Tag Archive for CD5

Morning Links: Creed calls for a safer Westwood, SaMo PD gets Share the Road wrong, and bike rap & Corgi bikes

Maybe there’s still hope.

Yesterday morning, Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Paul Kortetz in LA’s 5th Council District, announced that his one of his first actions as a councilmember will be to call for a safety study of Westwood Blvd, saying “a safer, better Westwood will the bedrock of a more vibrant Westwood Village.”

Photo by Eric Bruins

While it’s not an outright endorsement of the shovel-ready bike lanes Koretz singlehandedly killed at the behest of wealthy homeowners, it’s a huge step towards improving the dangerous street following its shameful removal from the city’s Mobility Plan.

It should be noted that a study of the proposed bike lanes was already underway when Koretz halted it, insisting that they would not be built no matter what the study showed. And even though I’ve been told by multiple sources that it would have shown the bike lanes would improve safety, with no significant impact on travel times or parking.

While Westwood is part of LA’s Great Streets program, it’s also part of the Vision Zero High Injury Network, indicating that it’s one of the city’s most dangerous streets — especially for pedestrians and the many bike riders who have no other viable route to get to Westwood Village from the Expo Line or other areas further south.

As Creed notes, despite the Great Streets designation, nothing has changed on the street under Koretz’ watch, unlike some of the others which have made great strides since receiving the designation. And despite the councilmember’s apparent belief that the best solution to a dangerous street is to keep it that way.

Creed seems to get that Westwood — or any other street, for that matter — can’t be a Great Street if it’s not safe and inviting for everyone who uses it, and that it needs to serve more than just a handful of local residents who claim it as their own.

You can see video of the full press conference on the Bike the Vote LA Facebook page.

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Santa Monica police revive a three-year old victim blaming bike safety spot that twists the meaning of Share the Road; the ad ran on yesterday’s KABC-7 evening news.

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Now get the bad taste that left you with out with a little nerdcore bike rap from Santa Monica’s Public Bikes.

And somehow, I’d forgotten about their Corgi-themed holiday video, which is still worth a watch even if the holidays are over.

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VeloNews profiles the slow and steady rise of Megan Guarnier, calling her America’s best cyclist, male or female.

A final verdict may never be reached in the Italian pay-to-race cycling scandal after lawyers and officials were driven from the hearing room by a broken heating system.

After taking up cycling to keep up her fitness in the offseason, a Canadian skier became the first from her country to compete at three different Olympics in three different sports; now she’s set her sights on becoming just the sixth person to medal at both the summer and winter games.

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Local

Evidently, LA had an ulterior motive in agreeing to host the world para-cycling championships at the last minute, hoping it would boost the city’s chances of winning the 2024 Olympics.

After experiencing the walkable streets and pedestrian plazas of New York, DTLA Rising’s Brigham Yen calls on LA to cut the backward bullshit and focus on road diets to create a more walkable — and by extension, bikeable — city.

The LACBC will host their rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion, featuring representatives from the LAPD, LA County Sheriff’s Department and the CHP, along with bike lawyer and BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, on the 30th of this month.

LA’s Groundwork Coffee opens in NoHo’s restored Historic Train Depot, offering a bike repair and accessories shop, and plenty of bike parking.

Pasadena will likely approve bikeshare next month, but the locations are still to be determined following public workshops.

Speaking of the City of Roses, the Brooklyn Bicycle Company offers a photo bike tour of the city. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

 

State

Despite projections of a budget shortfall, Governor Jerry Brown proposes increasing funding for active transportation by $1 billion over the next ten years; Calbike notes that the funds are prioritized for disadvantaged communities.

A New Jersey website recommends Orange County as a cyclist’s mecca for riders trying to escape the state’s cold winter.

The San Diego Union-Tribune wants your bike commuting stories. Actually, they want everyone’s commuting stories, which means they’ll need bicyclists and pedestrians to balance out all those people in cars.

Riverside plans to use a state grant to repair trails on Mt. Rubidoux, while installing benches, bike racks and a water fountain for cyclists along the Santa Ana River Trail in nearby Carlson Park.

 

National

New bike composites that blend polypropylene, polyethylene or steel with carbon fiber offer light weight and strength with less fragility.

Continuing their recent focus on clickbait, Bicycling recommends six ways to make sure you’re seen on the streets.

Like Ikea, modern furniture company Blu Dot is offering their own bicycle; the company will donate a bicycle to World Bicycle Relief for every one of the Handsome Cycles-made single speed bikes made by they sell.

It was nice while it lasted. Colorado Springs CO caves to NIMBY’s demanding they undo a road diet and remove buffered bike lanes on a formerly six lane street, even though it carried less than half the traffic it was designed for.

After failing to hire an engineer to oversee the city’s bike plan, Dallas spends $171,000 in bike lane funding to hire a consultant to design eight miles of bike lanes.

A new Minnesota study shows bikes are good for the economy and the people who ride them.

An Indiana couple who built a bike park in honor of their son after he was killed in Afghanistan receive an invitation to the presidential inauguration from bike-riding VP Elect Mike Pence.

Nice story from Cincinnati, where a cyclist spotted a familiar bike in unfamiliar hands, and assuming it was stolen, bought it from them and set out to find the real owner.

Nashville plans a low-stress bike network designed to make the city’s scary streets inviting to everyone.

A former soldier came back from serving in Kuwait with a back injury that kept him from riding a bike; now he runs a New York-based company building pedal-assist ebikes for others with disabilities.

A Canadian man depended on the kindness of strangers as he rode his bike from Montreal to Mexico, until one of those strangers stole his bike and all his belongings in Philadelphia.

Thrillist looks at New Orleans’ unique bike culture as the city takes steps to become more inviting for bike riders.

 

International

Road rage, yes; assault, yes; hit-and-run, only in the most literal sense, as Scottish police are looking for a cyclist who punched a driver through an open window following an altercation.

The UK’s Cyclist site offers advice on how to avoid solo crashes.

In a truly bizarre ruling, a British court gives a motorcyclist a year behind bars for speeding while fleeing from police, but only six months for actually killing another human being on a bicycle by riding carelessly in another case.

Indian politicians are battling over who gets to use the bicycle as a symbol of their support for the common people. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a driver is appealing his three-week sentence for killing a cyclist instead of thanking the judge for the gentle caress on the wrist.

 

Finally…

Police rescue a purloined bike cow. If police try to stop you for riding without a headlight, just stop already.

And your next bike computer could do everything but fix your flats for you.

 

Morning Links: Two favorite LA bike shops on the block, and Jesse Creed tackles Complete Street failures in CD5

Here’s your chance to get into the bike business.

Because two of LA’s favorite bike shops are now for sale, allowing buyers to step into already existing and successful businesses.

NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA is on the block thanks to owner Josef Bray-Ali’s bid to unseat LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st council district.

Meanwhile, Orange 20 owner TJ Flexer is looking for someone to take over Orange 20 Bikes, the iconic shop anchoring East Hollywood’s Hel-Mel district, as he moves on to other opportunities.

It would be a shame to lose either of these shops. Let’s hope someone steps up to save them.

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Speaking of city council candidates, Jesse Creed has written a must-read Op-Ed in the LA Daily News calling for Complete Streets.

Creed, who’s taking on incumbent Paul Koretz in CD5, criticizes Koretz’ failure to ensure safe streets, sidewalks and bikeways following construction of the Expo Line.

Never mind Koretz’ ongoing efforts to keep Westwood Blvd dangerous by single-handedly blocking the bike lanes that would have calmed traffic and improved safety for everyone.

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‘Tis the season.

A Rams fan donates eight bicycles to the CHiPs for Kids toy drive in honor of Luis Sanchez, the five-year old boy killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into his home as he was writing a letter to Santa asking for a bike.

A Victorville non-profit is giving 170 bicycles to kids who show a need and perform well in school.

The Fresno Hell’s Angels — yes, those Hell’s Angels — buy and assemble 800 bicycles for local kids.

A Boise, Idaho organization is calling for bicycle donations, as they’re currently 100 bikes short of their goal of giving 415 bicycles to kids who’ve never had one before.

A Texas company builds 100 bikes to give to children of first responders; last year they gave bikes to children of local soldiers.

An Oklahoma car dealer helps collect over 350 bicycles for distribution to children who need them.

An Iowa car dealer is collecting 400 bicycles to donate to children in a four county area.

Terre Haute, Indiana’s Bikes for Tykes program is giving over 400 bicycles to area kids.

Volunteers in Manitoba, Canada work 24 hours straight to build 334 bikes to give to kids.

Great idea from a British town, as bikes refurbished by homeless residents go on sale to local studentsI’d love to see a program like that here in Los Angeles.

And two LA cops play Santa Claus after a bike rider spots a duffel bag full of packages that had apparently been lost or stolen.

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Spanish pro Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez calls it a career after 17 years and 14 Grand Tour stage victories.

Sad news from France, as a rising young cyclist died in a fall while hiking.

Ella Cycling Tips takes a deep dive into the story of transgendered bike racer Jillian Bearden.

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Local

Metro is lowering its walkup price for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare to just one dollar for the first half hour from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.

CiclaValley says a new traffic light on Riverside Drive is a recipe for disaster, with the light almost invisible as it’s hidden behind trees.

Kanye is one of us, as he rides his BMX on the streets of Los Angeles in a full-face helmet. So actually, it might have been anyone in there.

Bike SGV is selling refurbished bike for the holidays through 12-23, with most under $100.

A Santa Clarita radio station looks at Sunday’s Finish the Ride Holiday Challenge.

 

State

Caught on video: A La Mesa man is lucky to have his bike after security footage show a man pulling bolt cutters from under a blanket and cutting the lock on his mountain bike; evidently, the thief was frightened away before he could take it.

San Diego police release photos of a suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that injured a bike rider in Linda Vista; police blame the victim for running a stop sign.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs moves next door in 2018.

A 33-year old driver was allegedly stoned when she fled the scene after running down a woman riding her bicycle in a marked Moorpark bike lane; she faces charges of DUI and felony hit-and-run, while her 62-year old victim was hospitalized with major injuries.

A Berkeley website recounts the miraculous recovery of a new mother run down by a stoned driver as she biked home from work last February; she recently ran a 5k, just 10 months after a wreck no one expected her to survive.

A 23-year old Stockton driver is under arrest for allegedly fleeing the scene following a crash that killed a bike rider, as well as two passengers in his car.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a cowardly hit-and-run driver left a bike rider to die in the street following an early morning collision.

 

National

Bicycling says there’s never been a better time to be a bicycle entrepreneur.

Here’s your chance to be a test pilot for a new heads-up display for cyclists made by a company that specializes in displays for fighter pilots. Saying “zoom, zoom!” when you ride is purely optional.

A Seattle bike co-op is helping to reduce the recidivism rate for juvenile offenders by teaching kids how to fix a bicycle.

A Washington cyclist thanks drivers for the courtesy, but urges them not to wave him through intersections when they have the right-of-way.

An Albuquerque NM cop received a hero’s award from the mayor for digging into his own pocket to buy a bike for a 12-year old boy after his was stolen on his birthday.

An ex-cop in South Dakota has seen positive results for his Parkinson’s Disease from using medical marijuana, allowing him to attempt a 300-mile bike ride across the state.

Mason City IA is trying to buy an elevated rail line through the city to create a five-mile High Line bikeway.

A Wisconsin woman faces charges after drunkenly driving her car on a bike path and getting stuck on a bike bridge. Although that can happen here in the City of Angels, as well.

Ohio could be the next state to adopt a three-foot passing law, after the legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk.

A writer for the New Yorker offers a tongue-in-cheek list of all the reasons he’ll never ride a bike in the city.

An Op-Ed in the New York Times says forget Times Square, it’s time to banish cars from all of Broadway.

A Georgia driver was under the influence of six different drugs and reaching for her cellphone when she crossed the center line and struck three cyclists, killing one.

 

International

Bloomberg says looking good is easier than ever, as the competition is beginning to catch up to Rapha.

The New York Times looks at Costa Rica’s La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, calling it the world’s toughest mountain bike. And which may or may not involve crocodiles.

Madonna’s son is one of us, as he starts a job as a London bicycle delivery rider.

A British couple adopt a dog that adopted them as they rode their bikes back to their hotel in Greece.

Cyclists in the UK face the same problem riders do in this country — drivers who think they know the laws regarding bicycling, but don’t.

Cycling Tips stumbles on a Frenchman with a remarkable bicycle collection at this year’s Tour de France.

One more reason to hate Adolph Hitler — the biggest bike theft in Danish history. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

No bias here. Australian police are looking for a road raging cyclist who allegedly punched a car passenger in the face for no apparent reason. As we’ve said before, there’s never any excuse for violence; however, the story doesn’t make the slightest mention of what led up to the incident.

 

Finally…

Once again, a bike gets the blame for causing a crash — except this time, no one was on it. Always a good idea to toss your bottle of cheap booze before the police get there

And you’ve got to do something when it snows in Portland.

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Morning Links: Bike lane blocking LA CM cuts WeHo ribbon; MI takes fatal crash seriously, Ventura DA doesn’t

No hypocrisy here.

Twitter user fig4all attended the ribbon cutting for the new Fairfax Blvd bike lanes in West Hollywood on Thursday. And was surprised to see LA’s 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz participating, since the bike lanes connect to existing lanes in his district.

Particularly since Koretz has single-handedly blocked badly needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of wealthy homeowners, while leading the fight to have them removed from the Mobility Plan.

Fairfax Ribbon Cutting

Is it just me, to does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

Is it just me, or does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

On the other hand, let’s give credit to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for working to get the new Fairfax bike lanes on the street, regardless of who shows up to cut the ribbon.

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Kalamazoo bike riders say Tuesday’s tragedy is a wake-up call for cyclists to always be aware of their surroundings on the road, while others decry the news coverage focused on telling cyclists how to protect themselves from two ton ballistic missiles, rather than telling drivers not to kill innocent people on bicycles.

Over 700 members of the local community came together to pray for the victims.

Prosecutors have shown they’re taking the case seriously, filing five second degree murder charges against the driver, along with four counts of reckless driving. However, police have still not given a reason for the crash.

The mother of driver Charles E. Pickett, Jr. insists her son is not a murderer and would never crash into anyone on purpose, although his Facebook page doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the Facebook link.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says another Ride of Silence isn’t going to change anything; we need to stop being silent, start filing police reports and demand changes from our local leaders if crap like this is ever going to stop.

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Contrast the Kalamazoo case with last year’s Moorpark massacre, in which a distracted driver plowed into a cyclist, then overcorrected to hit a motorcycle rider head-on, killing both men.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA’s office inexplicably filed misdemeanor manslaughter charges, rather than the felony charges recommended by the CHP. Guaranteeing that the driver, 26-year old Rachel Hill of Ventura, will receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist, at best.

And eliminating whatever leverage the DA may have had to negotiate a guilty plea requiring any real jail time before the case even starts.

Needless to say, the widows of Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman are outraged.

As any rational person would be.

KABC-7 reports Hill’s lawyer denies she was using her phone at the time of the collision; they admit she had used it a few minutes prior to the crash, but swear she’d stopped before the wreck occurred. Which fails to explain why she couldn’t manage to see the first victim or avoid either one.

So maybe she crashed into them just for the hell of it.

The charges in the Kalamazoo case shows what happens when authorities take traffic crime seriously. And this case shows what happens when they don’t.

Hopefully, the justifiable outrage to the misdemeanor counts will convince Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten to re-file the case as a felony.

If not, maybe Ventura County voters should consider whether he belongs in the job.

Come back next week when we’ll have a guest post from the daughter of one of the victims.

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If you wonder why LA drivers speed with abandon, it’s because police can’t legally use speed guns on 75% of LA streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct speed surveys in compliance with California’s murderous 85th percentile law, which requires that speed limits be set to the rate 85% of drivers speed travel.

Yet conducting the surveys means limits will most likely have to be raised in order to be enforced.

Putting speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits is like leaving armed robbers in charge of bank security. Contact your state legislators and demand a change.

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The CyclingTips website asks if professional cycling’s WorldTour is really so desperate for sponsors that it needs a team owned by a Bahraini prince with a dossier thick with human rights abuses and torture allegations; activists threaten to block next year’s Tour de France if the team participates.

Turns out a British extreme cyclist didn’t go missing on the unsupported cross-country Trans-Am Bike Race after all; he was just the victim of dehydration and a broken GPS.

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Local

Twitter user captainandstoker offers a bike cam view of the new curb-protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street. Meanwhile, groundbreaking is finally scheduled to take place on the long-promised MyFigueroa project this summer.

Richard Risemberg calls for volunteers to help out with Flying Pigeon owner Joseph Bray-Ali’s run for city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

The Eastsider talks with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

LA Eater examines a quartet of area coffee shops where cycling and caffeine collide.

Forget hi-viz. If you really want to be seen, join the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride tomorrow, at a location to be announced later today.

Don’t get that confused with Sunday’s non-clothing-optional LA River Ride, though, with routes ranging from a 15-mile family ride to a century ride around Long Beach and back.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV Programs Director David Diaz about this weekend’s Viva SGV open streets event.

 

State

The annual AIDS/Lifecycle Ride will pass through Ventura and Malibu before ending at LA’s Fairfax High School on Saturday.

A 13-year old eighth grader becomes the youngest person to graduate from Moorpark College; like the genius he is, he enjoys riding a bike when he’s not studying.

A Vacaville man has been selected as the Solano County Bike Commuter of the Year.

NorCal AAA is using ebikes to rescue drivers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero area.

 

National

Elly Blue is back to suggest that the best bike trips start on a train.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a bike rider was killed in a collision, Tucson considers how to improve the intersection so it won’t happen again.

You don’t have to see to ride a bike, as a group of Missouri tandem riders volunteer their time and bikes to take blind people bicycling on local trails.

 

International

The Winnipeg Free Press calls the city’s proposed bike helmet law well-intentioned but misguided.

Caught on video: A British cyclist records a number of too-close passes, including one so close you can almost taste the hay bales on a passing truck.

A South African writer complains about “arrogant” cyclists who insist on using the sidewalk — albeit legally — to get around dangerous road construction work. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, show some courtesy to other people using it.

A Kiwi website looks at the bike-mounted device developed by the Chattanooga police department to accurately measure a three-foot passing distance. Something the LAPD needs to get its hands on so they can start enforcing the passing law here, even if they can’t use speed guns.

An Aussie writer says your safety on the streets depends on wearing fluorescent hi-viz during the day and reflectorized clothing at night. Because expecting drivers to actually pay attention to what’s on the road ahead of them is just too much to ask.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a blowtorch to cut a bike lock on a public beach in broad daylight, leave the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia at home. No, cyclists aren’t safer riding against traffic, and militant bike riders hardly ever interfere with traffic on purpose.

And this is what happens when you try to ride a bike through a presidential motorcade.

 

Morning Links: CD5’s Paul Koretz’ credibility questioned; CABO president calls bike lane advocates Uncle Toms

Westside councilmember Paul Koretz seems to be catching it from all sides lately.

Just days after many bicyclists — yours truly included — reacted negatively to his call for slashing greenhouse gases after killing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, the UCLA Bicycling Academy falls just short of calling the councilmember a liar.

Consulting Economist Calla Wiemer writes that Koretz appeared before the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association recently to explain his decision to kill the bike lanes, after promising the same group last year that the city would study them.

The Councilmember offered two justifications for the cancellation. One was that he realized that incorporating bike lanes into Westwood Boulevard would only make the situation more dangerous. The other was that he recognized an “overwhelming consensus of the community” in opposition. In light of these considerations, he determined that regardless of any LADOT findings, he would not approve bike lanes for Westwood Boulevard. There was thus no point wasting time with a study.

Yet as Wiemer explains, the bike lanes would have improved safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets for bike riders, while moving riders out of the way of impatient motorists.

In fact, I’m told the safety portion of the study Koretz cancelled was virtually complete when he pulled the plug, and would have shown that the proposal would have no negative impact on safety — something he undoubtedly knew, despite proclaiming just the opposite as a justification for killing the project.

Which could explain his timing in killing the study last year before the results could be released.

As for his other excuse,

Koretz’s second justification for canceling the LADOT study was an ostensible “overwhelming consensus of the community” in opposition. The hundreds of riders who brave Westwood Boulevard daily on bikes would surely be surprised to discover the ease with which their interests can be overwhelmed in the view of the Councilmember. Moreover, those in favor of bike lanes extend well beyond the cycling community, or even the would-be cycling community taken to encompass those who would like to ride Westwood Boulevard but are deterred by present conditions. All who drive Westwood Boulevard regularly have the experience of getting stuck behind cyclists and wishing them out of the way. For motorists too, then, bike lanes are the answer….

With support of bike lanes for Westwood Boulevard so much in evidence, an “overwhelming consensus” in opposition would require a counterforce of a scale difficult to imagine. UCLA is, after all, the largest employer in Los Angeles after government and contributes $12.7 billion a year to the local economy. To understand the influences at work on the Councilmember, a group of UCLA students filed a public records request for all communications of the District 5 Council office pertaining to bike lanes. Covering the period February 24, 2010 to November 22, 2013, the file runs to 1035 pages. It is tough to read through all this material let alone infer any consensus from it. Views are presented on both sides of the issue with a relatively small number of people dominating the input. The most vocal opposition comes from the leadership of the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association.

One problem with this whole scenario is that the few who run the WSSM HOA carry such disproportionate weight in the Councilmember’s assessment of public opinion. Another problem is that a group constituted on the basis of homeownership in a diverse neighborhood of single family homes and condominiums, young and old, cyclists and non-cyclists would take such a strident position on bike lanes. As a member of this homeowners association myself, I am an indication of the range of opinion that exists in the neighborhood with regard to bike lanes.

It should be deeply troubling to anyone that a single councilmember can, let alone would, derail the democratic process to satisfy an unelected homeowner’s group — not even the Neighborhood Council elected to represent all those who live, work and shop in the area, rather than just the privileged few who can afford homes in the area.

The late Dale Carnegie once wrote that there are two reasons for anything a person says or does — a reason that sounds good, and the real reason.

Koretz has given us two reasons that sound good, but don’t stand up to even the most basic scrutiny.

Which leaves us to wonder just what his real reason is.

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Recently we discussed CABO’s opposition to AB 1193, a popular bill before the state legislature that would legalize protected bike lanes in California, which are currently prohibited under restrictive state law.

Jim Baross, president of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, wrote in response that the group didn’t oppose the lanes, but simply wanted to maintain standards that he said would ensure their safety.

Yet the following comment from Baross, left on the Cycling in the South Bay blog in response to a story about harassment from motorists on PCH, doesn’t sound like someone who supports bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

It is so similar it’s difficult not to menton (sic) the similarity to racists’ treatment of those they consider not to belong – though nothing nearly as pervasive or violent; bicyclists are not lynched, but we are certainly being discouraged from exercising our rights – equal or less than equal. Disturbing to me is the Uncle-Tom response seeking, in effect, separate and usually inferior facilities – the back of the bus may be safer and using shoulder space may be more comfortable, bit (sic) it shouldn’t be forced on anyone by harrasment (sic) or misapplication of laws.

He’s got a valid point that no one’s choice of where to ride should be forced on them at the end of a bumper.

But to call anyone who wants safe infrastructure that doesn’t require us to share the lane with motorists an Uncle Tom couldn’t be more offensive.

Whether to bicycling advocates who disagree with his apparent opposition to anything but the same vehicular cycling approach that has stymied the growth of bicycling for the past 40 years, or to those who have suffered from real racism for the last 300.

Jim, you’ve got some serious explaining to do.

Thanks to Bike SD’sSam Ollinger for finding the comment.

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Local

The Cypress Park Neighborhood Council meets tonight to discuss the already approved, funded and shovel-ready North Figueroa road diet and bike lanes, inexplicably halted by CD1 Councilmember — and apparent Koretz emulator — Gil Cedillo.

It only took two years, but a dangerous intersection on the Expo Bikeway has finally been fixed.

Yet another stolen bike, this time in Echo Park.

This is what an unsafe pass looks like captured from behind; thanks to topomodesto for the link.

More on LA Streetsblog’s winning night at the SoCal press awards.

 

State

A Federal court jury awarded $1.9 million to the parents of a cyclist shot by Indio police. No surprise, as this case stunk from the beginning.

A Petaluma bike building project helps steer kids from a life of crime.

A St. Helena columnist questions whether society is best served by sentencing a driver convicted of killing a cyclist in a left cross to prison. I can’t answer that question; I just know that people will continue to die on our streets until we start taking traffic crime seriously.

 

National

Bicycling says you need to lube more than just your chain.

A new national association of bicycling educators has been formed; thanks to Karen Karabell for the heads-up.

New rechargeable bike light allows you to light the road and recharge your cell at the same time.

Ninety-four percent of Oregon cyclists stop for red lights, compared to up to 77% of drivers who break the speed limit.

It’s been a bad year for cyclists in central Wyoming, as a rider from New York is killed while turning left across a highway. A letter writer suggests the solution is to let cyclists ride salmon; uh, no.

A Wisconsin writer says go ahead and ride to work, but buy a waterproof messenger bag first. And never try to race the rain.

A group of bystanders lift a taxi off an elderly New York bike rider.

 

International

A heartless UK thief steals a bike that was left to a woman after her father was killed in a plane crash.

Most Brits think the county’s roads are too risky for bicyclists; thanks to Jim Pettipher for the heads-up.

Scot pro David Millar is booted from his team for this year’s Tour de France.

Belgium’s soccer team prepares to lose to play the US in the World Cup by going for a leisurely bike ride.

 

Finally…

When you’re on parole and carrying meth, ammunition and a practice mortar round on your bike, don’t give police an excuse to stop you.

And guess who doesn’t think the doping investigation that brought down Lance Armstrong was good for cycling? That’s right, Lance.

 

Breaking news: Councilmember Koretz abandons safety, cyclists and his word on Westwood Boulevard

Evidently, the lives and safety of bike riders don’t matter when wealthy homeowners raise their voices in opposition.

At least, that the message CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz seems to be sending.

According to LA Streetsblog, Koretz has come out in opposition to bike lanes in any form on Westwood Blvd between National and Santa Monica Boulevards — despite an earlier promise to study the feasibility of such lanes, which is currently ongoing.

Evidently, he doesn’t want any facts to get in the way of making up his mind.

As Damien Newton, author of the Streetsblog story points out, any kind of bike lane on that section of Westwood has been adamantly opposed by a small group of local homeowners represented by the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowner’s Group, as well as business owners along the boulevard who fear a loss of parking spaces.

It is wildly unlikely that the city will move forward with a bicycle lane project without at least tacit support from the Council office, which is bowing to pressure from homeowner groups that have been hostile to transportation options outside of the automobile….

Local opposition to the lane publicly centered around an LADOT study of a bus lane (bikes allowed) which would have removed travel lanes and parking.  That plan was DOA.  Instead, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition proposed a “floating” bicycle lane where the parked-car adjacent bike lane would be moved to the curb during rush hour so that the road could continue to have a peak hour lane.  After the public meeting, the LADOT began a study of the floating bike lane (which they had only briefly introduced as an “idea” at the public hearing), but that was put on hold by the Councilmember.

It should be noted that the floating bike lane would not have resulted in the loss of a single traffic lane or parking space; the greatest handicap anyone would face would be crossing the street from one side to the other as the parking lane flipped sides.

Now, the floating bike lane plan has been rejected by the Councilmember before he has allowed the formal study to be was completed.  In response, today, the LACBC released an action alert calling on Koretz to move forward with a full study of the lanes that includes all stakeholders.

In that alert, the Bike Coalition calls attention to the councilmember’s broken promise.

Word on the street is that Councilmember Paul Koretz is reneging on his commitment to study bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard, connecting the future Expo Line Station to UCLA and Palms.  Earlier this year Koretz wrote, “I am an advocate of bike paths so long as we implement them intelligently and with the input of local stakeholders.”  With that in mind, LACBC respected local opposition to the City’s proposed bus-bike lanes and developed an alternative that still provides safety benefits without the traffic impact that upset some stakeholders. We then requested to work with the Councilmember to:

  • Study alternatives for Westwood with less traffic impact
  • Create an inclusive engagement process that is fact-based and respectful of divergent opinions

After agreeing to the above, Koretz stalled.  He did not set up an open and transparent process and instructed LADOT to stop the study.  Instead of seeking input from all stakeholders, he has listened to one small insular group of homeowners that have repeatedly put out inaccurate information to rally opposition to even studying the project.  At LACBC, we firmly believe that studying options is the first step in making decisions “intelligently.”

Koretz opposition also flies in the face of support for the lanes from his own appointee to the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, CD5 representative Jonathan Weiss, as quoted by Streetsblog.

Weiss argues that the road width is actually wide enough to put in lanes without removing parking or mixed-use lanes if lanes are narrowed.

“There is ample room for bike lanes without losing car lanes or parking,” Weiss writes in a letter to Koretz. “Providing bike lanes would actually free up traffic by separating bikes from cars.  And safety concerns will continue to keep risk-averse people from riding – exacerbating, rather than relieving, automobile traffic to UCLA and keeping buses stuck in traffic.  (Biking is actually faster than the bus during the evening commute.)  UCLA has done a great job in cutting its carbon footprint, but this bottleneck on its doorstep hinders its ongoing efforts in that regard.”

It’s short notice, I know.

But the LACBC is calling on everyone who rides Westwood — or would like to — to attend a meeting this evening to discuss the next steps in light of Koretz firmly planting a knife in the back of the Westside cycling community.

Come to our meeting TONIGHT (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. to plan next steps for RideWestwood and find out about upcoming actions:

UCLA – Public Affairs Building – Faculty Lounge (Room 5391)
337 Charles E. Young Dr. East (near Wyton and Hilgard).

If you can’t make the meeting — or even if you can — the coalition asks that you email Koretz’ office to demand he reconsider bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

Sample email:

to: paul.koretz@lacity.org 
cc: joan.pelico@lacity.org, jay.greenstein@lacity.org 
bcc: info@la-bike.org 

subj: Study Westwood Bike Lanes

Dear Councilmember Koretz,

Westwood Boulevard is currently one of the most popular routes for people riding bikes in your district.  It is also one of the least safe.  You’ve said before that, “I do not vote for things that kill people.”  I hope that you’ll at least study how to fix a dangerous situation that has already killed and will likely again if it is not improved.  As a community leader, it’s your responsibility to convene people with differing views, seek out accurate information and make informed decisions that respect all stakeholders.  I ask that you take this commitment seriously by studying alternatives for bike lanes along Westwood Boulevard and hosting an open and inclusive process to discuss the merits of the project.

Sincerely,

your name
your neighborhood 

And while you’re at it, you might remind him of his own support for bicycling, as he stated right here when he was first running for office.

When I was the Mayor of West Hollywood, I requested input from the bicycle community on how to implement bike lanes on part of Santa Monica Boulevard. I think Los Angeles needs to adopt a regional public transportation approach that not only addresses improving traffic flow, and mass transit, but also how we can improve options and the quality of life for bicyclists.

In general, we need to focus on the creation of an effective bicycle infrastructure. Los Angeles, with over 330 sunny days a year, should be the world leader in bicycle commuting. We need to start the work of building many more miles of safe bikeways and adequate secure parking for commuters. These two steps will be a good beginning in our efforts to alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow.

Odd that someone who fought for bike lanes on the even more congested Santa Monica Blvd through West Hollywood would oppose them on Westwood.

Or was he just saying what he thought we wanted to hear to win an election?

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