Tag Archive for CEQA

Morning Links: Lawsuit filed over Venice Blvd road diet, and road raging drivers around the world

Traffic safety deniers Restore Venice Boulevard has become just the latest group to abuse California’s CEQA laws in an effort to keep our streets dangerous and unlivable.

The organization has filed suit under the banner of a newly formed nonprofit group, Westside Los Angeles Neighbors Network.

The group is attempting to halt expansion of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project to Lincoln Blvd, as well as what it says are similar projects on Pico Blvd, Motor Ave and Centinela Ave adopted under the Livable Boulevards Streetscapes Plan recently passed by the city council.

The Venice lawsuit, and others like it that were filed in response to the since reversed road diets in Playa del Rey, point out the desperate need for CEQA reform, which was never intended to block non-polluting bikeway projects, or other efforts to cut smog-belching automobile traffic.

They may like Venice Blvd just the way it used to be.

But the city will never survive if we don’t take steps to provide viable alternatives to driving now.

As well as undoing the damage done to our neighborhoods by decades of auto-centric policies on Venice, and countless other streets through LA.

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Today’s common theme is road raging drivers.

Or more precisely, road raging drivers attacking people on bicycles.

In a five-part Twitter story, a Sacramento cyclist records a driver who buzzed him, then pulled over to threaten to cut his throat. Only to discover that the CHP didn’t really care.

But to her credit, Burbank state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman does.

Witnesses report that a North Carolina driver appeared to accelerate as he drifted off the roadway and slammed into a bike rider, before fleeing the scene.

A British Columbia bike rider was followed by a horn-blaring driver who pulled over and attempted to intentionally door her.

It’s hard to catch at first, but the rider of a possibly stolen motorcycle swerved onto the wrong side of the road to attempt to kick a British man off his bicycle.

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Jerry Seinfeld is one of us, as he goes bike shopping with Zach Galifianakisz.

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CicLAvia’s Tafari Bayne demonstrates how to get to the California African American Museum by bike and train.

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Local

A group of Ukrainian military vets set out from Los Angeles last month on a 6,200-mile ride across North America to call attention to the ongoing conflict.

Apparently not grasping the concept, Pasadena residents call for more free parking, fewer e-scooters and moving bike lanes to a side street at a meeting to update the General Plan for the town’s central business district, conflicting with requirements for sustainability and improved carfree circulation.

Good piece by Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who says people are not defined by what they use to get around, and that transportation stereotypes can make the streets more dangerous.

CiclaValley makes an escape to Mount Baldy.

 

State

Sure, tell us again about those entitled cyclists. California voters appear poised to repeal the state’s recent gas tax increase, imperiling plans to repair the states roads and bridges, as well as funding alternative forms of transportation. Seriously, anyone who votes against the gas tax should be permanently prohibited from ever complaining about bad roads or traffic.

San Diego’s mayor, former police chief and a radio host will team together for a 760-mile bike ride down the California coast to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

More proof there are still good people in the world. A triathlete competing in the Big Bear Triathlon dropped out of the race to perform CPR on a runner who had stopped breathing, even though he was in second place in the race.

An extreme athlete known as the Bionic Woman stopped in Apple Valley on her attempt to become the first woman with a prosthetic leg to ride unsupported across the US.

Folsom is working to complete the city’s first Class IV protected bike lane, which will be colored red to call drivers’ attention to it.

San Francisco discusses how to bring the Bay Area’s docked bikeshare system to the Bayview/Hunter’s Point neighborhood.

Sad news from Eureka, where a bike rider died a week after he was struck by the driver of a truck. Note to CHP: If the victim was struck by the rear wheels of a timber truck doing up to 35 mph, it really doesn’t matter if he was wearing a helmet. Seriously.

 

National

A writer for VeloNews says ebikes can be life-changing for bicyclists with a medical condition.

Bicycling talks with famed stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill, and learns the secret to learning backflips.

Writing for Cycling Savvy, a bike rider says it’s safer to get off your bike and walk for a few minutes when drivers are blinded by the sun’s glare.

The rich get richer. Portland bicyclists will get new protected corners and bike lanes at a complicated multi-angle intersection.

A Colorado town is conducting a trial project to determine the effectiveness of sharrows, as well as buffered and separated bike lanes. Because they can’t just look at the results of projects just like those already in use around the world.

Drivers are convinced that plastic bollards along a bike lane in Jackson Hole WY have narrowed the nearly 11-foot traffic lanes and made it impossible to move wide loads, even though officials insist the lanes haven’t been narrowed an inch. A local columnist doesn’t like them one bit.

An Iowa bike rider is dead, and his wife and four-year old son injured, because an 83-year old driver picked the wrong time to adjust his mirror.

An Irish man visits a crash site to call for safe streets, five years after he was nearly killed when a driver hit his bike while riding to work in Cape Cod, leaving him confined to a wheel chair; his father called the police investigation biased after they concluded his son turned in front of the truck. Which is what police investigations usually conclude when they don’t — or can’t — talk to the victim first.

For once, a fallen New York bike rider gets justice, as a drunk driver gets 15 years for slamming into a group of riders participating in a bike tour, killing one and injuring three others; he was fleeing at a high rate of speed after crashing into a car while trying to park.

 

International

Vancouver bike rental shops are complaining about unfair competition from a Chinese dockless bikeshare system. Which is something SoCal bike rental companies are starting to complain about, as well.

He gets it. A Vancouver writer says there are no winners in the inevitable social media fights over bicycles, but bicyclists are the losers when it spills onto the streets.

An Ottawa news story describes shoaling as sexism in the bike lane. Which is probably true in many cases, even though it happens to men, as well.

Quebec bike riders are now prohibited from wearing earbuds or using an electronic device while riding, while drivers face an automatic license suspension for a second offense within a two-year period for even handling any electronic device.

A Toronto columnist says good intersection design makes it easier for everyone to navigate, whether by two wheels or four. Meanwhile, a Toronto councilor wants the city to investigate using cargo bikes instead of trucks to ship freight.

Unbelievable. An English police chief apologizes to the widow of a fallen bike rider for bungling the investigation into his death; officers never examined the car of the person who claimed to have found him, even though he could be heard over the phone arguing with a woman over whether their car had struck the victim.

An English Premier League referee and his friend rode their bikes 1,700 miles through seven countries to watch England play in the World Cup.

Lime is bringing its e-scooters to Paris with the blessing of city officials.

A new study shows 30% of the people who took part in an Indian ciclovía bought bicycles afterwards.

A South African official warns bike riders to stay off freeways and toll roads that have seen a “dangerous influx of bicycles.” However, given the country’s high rate of violent crime and reports of bike riders being attacked for their bikes and other belongings, it’s understandable that some might prefer to take their chances with high-speed drivers, legally or otherwise.

Kiwi cyclists are applauding $1.1 billion in funding for bike and pedestrian projects.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new book about America’s only remaining Tour de France winner includes his role in the divorce between Lance and Nike.

 

Finally…

LA bike riders were lucky to score CLIF Bars; Denver bicyclists get fresh pancakes and breakfast burritos. If you can’t ban cars, just remove their parking spaces.

And where to turn when you feel the need for $5,000 bike socks spun by a rare olden silk orb weaver spider.

Morning Links: Lawyer says mayor criminally liable for bike lanes, and meetings on Venice and Temple

Try to read this one without laughing.

I dare you.

A lawyer and regular contributor to City Watch insists that Mayor Garcetti could face criminal liability for a Mobility Plan that places bike lanes on city streets. Where riders are forced to suck in the air pollution from passing cars in what he describes as a violation of California’s CEQA laws.

He even says city officials may be held criminally liable for battery and homicide, comparing the situation to the tainted water in Flint, Michigan.

Which almost sounds sort-of semi-reasonable, until you consider just how far off base it really is.

Starting with the fact that it was the City Council, not Garcetti, which was responsible for the city’s Mobility Plan and the bike lanes proposed therein.

And that several studies have shown that the air inside motor vehicles is dirtier than the air bike riders breathe. Or that the health benefits of bicycling far outweigh the risk posed by bad air.

Not to mention that bike lanes are found on busy city streets in virtually every major city around the world, with no apparent mass die-off of bike riders gasping their last due to auto exhaust.

And never mind that Los Angeles already conducted an environmental review of the city’s bike plan following the debacle in San Francisco, where a single disgruntled man held up implantation of the city’s bike plan for years using a CEQA challenge, until a judge finally threw the case out.

Or that bike lanes were exempted from CEQA review four years ago when Governor Brown signed AB 417 as a result of that case.

Although you’d think a decent lawyer might have looked that up.

But if you ever need someone to file a writ ordering kids to get off your lawn, he may be your guy.

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If you’re not completely burned out after tonight’s argument over friendly discussion of the Venice Great Streets project at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting, you can do it all over again tomorrow when the Palms Neighborhood Council takes up the subject.

And a public safety meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss a planned road diet on Temple Street in Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown; the Vision Zero project would reduce the street to one lane in each direction, with bike lanes and a center turn lane.

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The 2018 Giro d’Italia will start just slightly outside the county — in Jerusalem.

Only a handful of riders can still challenge Chris Froome in the Tour de France. And he denies barging into one of them.

Polish rider Rafal Majka abandoned the Tour de France after falling in Sunday’s ninth stage.

Italian cyclist Adriano Malori announced his retirement from racing on Monday, nearly two years after being placed in a medically coma following a crash in Argentina’s Tour de San Luis.

Cycling industry insiders set up a fake motor doping website to see who’d be interested; cycling team managers, industry publications and individual cyclists who wanted to cheat their fellow racers took the bait.

Scottish track cyclist Katie Ford set new records for the greatest distance covered in both six and eight hours, despite suffering from epilepsy.

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Local

LA County has agreed to settle the case of an unarmed man killed by sheriff’s deputies for $2.9 million; 23-year old Noel Aguilar was shot when he fled after deputies tried to stop him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

LA Downtown News looks at the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare program, noting it costs more than similar programs in other cities and doesn’t have a discount program for low-income users.

Architects present plans to revitalize the LA River.

 

State

Solano Beach will raise funds for bike lanes and pedestrian paths by adding a $15,714 fee to the cost of every new single-family home and $11,206 for each new apartment. Which means improving alternative transportation at the expense of desperately needed new affordable housing.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a BMX-riding booze shoplifter who punched a Rite Aid employee in the face to make his getaway.

Bakersfield police somehow mistake a 5’2”, 115 pound, 19-year old bike-riding black woman for a bald, 5’10”, 170 pound machete-wielding man. So they pulled a gun on her, punched her in the mouth and set a police dog on her.

Santa Cruz installs its first bike box to improve visibility and safety for bicyclists.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition opposes a proposed ordinance that would ban bike chop shops in an effort to reduce bicycle theft, saying it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. The roots of the problem are addiction and homelessness, which are much more difficult to solve. And neither of which are helped by looking the other way while addicts deal in stolen bicycles.

Sacramento is preparing to boot bikes off some sidewalks in the downtown area. But not all of them, since they don’t have money to build bike lanes. Which means, unless they post it on every block, people will have no idea whether or not they can legally ride on any given sidewalk.

The Lake Tahoe basin is transforming itself with 50 miles of existing shared-use trails and another 6.5 miles currently under construction, with plans for nearly 26 miles more over the next five years.

 

National

Ford patents a retractable bike rack that would actually be built into your vehicle. Or you could just forget the car and ride your bike.

A woman is riding from California to Maine to collect stories from inspiring women.

A group of cops and other first responders will ride 500 miles from Dallas to Baton Rouge to honor the eight officers killed in the two cities last year.

Caught on video: This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign; a thief simply removes the bolts holding a sign in place and lifts it up to steal an expensive ebike.

A candidate for governor of Massachusetts is one of us, suffering minor injuries when he was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole.

She gets it. A writer from Massachusetts says the car is not king, and instead of stenciling sidewalks to ban riding bikes, the city should improve bike lanes so people don’t feel compelled to use them.

New York bicyclists are banned from a popular bike path so electric cars can race, instead.

Virginia officials decide to squeeze a bike trail between an expanded freeway and a sound wall, since neighbors won’t allow the bikeway on their side of the wall.

 

International

A poignant story, as a bike-riding former Ottawa, Canada heroin addict who saved the lives of 130 drug overdose victims has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $12,000 to send him home to see his parents one last time.

Caught on video too: A pair of British riders are taken down by “yobs” who rolled an old bike into their path. Warning: You may have to sit through an interminable movie trailer to get to it.

A UK police inspector sticks up for officers who intentionally doored a bike-riding theft suspect to make an arrest, even though the helmetless rider could have been seriously injured.

 

Finally…

Either a Virginia newspaper is in desperate need of punctuation, or a bicyclist crashed into a disregarded stop sign. If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to pee on the cop who busts you for it.

And seriously, don’t try this at home, especially not at 62 mph.

In flip-flops.

 

Three-foot passing law passes, along with bike lane exemption to CEQA; Jensie wins Colorado KoM

The state Assembly voted today to pass SB1461, the latest version of the state’s three-foot passing law.

According to the California Bicycle Coalition, the bill passed overwhelmingly, 50 – 16 — despite opposition from Republican legislators such as Diana Harkey of Dana Point, who insisted bicycling is getting out of control, and the responsibility for safety should be on cyclists.

As if it’s our responsibility to get the hell out of the way of dangerous drivers.

I hope Dana Point cyclists remember that when she comes up for reelection.

Then there was 59th District Assembley Member Tim Donnelly — yes, the guy who tried to take a loaded gun onto a plane — who asked if we couldn’t just trust the judgment of the California people and stop passing law after law.

Evidently, no one told him just who exactly elected the state legislature. And just what exactly they were elected to do.

Besides walk around with loaded pistols in their briefcases, that is.

The next step for the bill is a brief trip back to the Senate to reconcile a few technical amendments, then on to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.

Of course, this is the same Jerry Brown who vetoed a similar bill last year, joining Texas Governor Rick Perry as the only governors to veto safe passing distance legislation. And making Jerry Browned a synonym for getting dangerously buzzed by a too close driver.

No, seriously Jerry. You earned that one.

Word is that he intends to sign it this time, as virtually no one, other than a few sadly misguided legislators, opposed it this time.

On a related note, legislation to exempt painted bike lanes from CEQA review passed the state legislature today, as well.

This one could ultimately prove the more important of the two, as it removes a roadblock that has been used to block bike lane projects in San Francisco. And that has caused LADOT to proceed with extreme caution — and expensive environmental reviews — for fear the same thing could happen here.

Thanks to the California Bicycle Coalition, aka Calbike for shepherding the three-foot bill through the legislature.

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In a thrilling finish, Christian Vande Velde comes from behind to clinch the USA Pro Cycling Challenge by finishing second in the final stage time trial won by cycling scion Taylor Phinney. George Hincapie wraps up his long and storied career at the end of the Denver time trial. And in an unanticipated victory guaranteed to warm the heart of any aging long time bike race fans, the ageless Jens Voigt wins the King of the Mountain title.

The Guardian asks if professional cycling really wants to clean up its act. Surprisingly, Alberto Contador has good things to say about former arch-rival Lance Armstrong, even as he struggles to make a comeback in the Vuelta. A mathematician dissects the wording of the charges against Armstrong, and finds them fully consistent with being false. The French anti-doping agency says Lance was regularly tipped off about pending drug tests; thanks to CLR Effect for the link. Former framebuilder Dave Moulton says Landis and LeMond got screwed as part of the doping scandal.

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Friends and family speculate Mt. Washington bike victim Jean Carlos Galaviz may have been a hit-and-run victim, despite drinking two beers before riding and leaving with a third; note to Highland Park Patch, getting doored or riding without a helmet is not the hallmark of a risk taker. If you missed it Saturday, you can still listen to Where to Bike Los Angeles authors Sarah Amelar and Jon Riddle on Bike Talk. Examined Spoke examines the city council’s backward bike thinking in the biking black hole of Beverly Hills. The LACBC rides to the rescue when a film crew blocks a Hollywood bike lane. A 70-year old cyclist suffers a broken leg when he’s hit by a bus in a Baldwin Park crosswalk. Evidently, Amanda Bynes really is the new Lindsey Lohan, as the City Attorney’s office re-examines her second hit-and-run in four months, along with a previous DUI. Glendale officials hope a revised bike plan results in a five-fold increase in ridership, while a Glendale Riverwalk project faces a one month delay. A Long Beach teenager chases down her stolen bike with the help of some strangers.

A former Santa Ana College student makes bike theft a family affair at her alma mater. Authorities seek a man who attempted to sexually assault a Murrieta cyclist. Paso Robles commits to becoming a bike friendly community. Seventeen-year old Concord driver pleads not guilty in deaths of a bike riding father and daughter; he faces less than four years in juvenile hall. Guilty plea from the driver who ran down a cyclist because he was wearing plaid — the cyclist, not the driver.

People for Bikes offers six ways to ride more; the most effective way is just get fired for riding when you should be working and you’ll have all the time in the world. A look at Evan Schneider, editor the bicycling literary review Boneshaker in my hometown. A road raging Michigan man is arrested for brutally assaulting a cyclist, but only charged with misdemeanor assault on just $5,000 bail; nice to know how lightly authorities take a violent attack on a bike rider. Gothamist effectively dismantles an anti-bike review of bike messenger movie Premium Rush. New York cyclists and pedestrians complain about a rough bikeway surface installed to slow down speeding riders. Suri Cruise is rapidly becoming one of us. A DC-area cyclist says it’s time to hold other cyclists accountable — besides him, that is. A Bethesda MD hit-and-run victim is unsure if she’ll ever ride again.

A Nova Scotia cyclist is threatened with a knife after getting hit by a road-raging driver. A UK cyclist is badly injured after he’s pushed off his bike by passing motorists. A one-handed Paralympic cyclist hopes to add to her seven gold medals. Urban cycling is getting more popular in Prague, though not without problems.

Finally, in a remarkably wrong-headed move, manufacturers of a new pill want to empower drunk drivers to kill more people by masking breathalyzer results.

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