Tag Archive for Chris Kidd

A successful Wilshire CicLAvia, Give Me 3 moves forward, and who knew drivers run stops signs, too?

The view from the Downtown hub

The view from the Downtown hub

Just a few quick thoughts on Sunday’s CicLAvia.

After all, there’s been more than enough written on the subject to make a review by yours truly truly irrelevant.

But let me offer my congratulations to the folks at CicLAvia for pulling off the most successful event yet.

Maybe it was the extended 9 am to 4 pm hours, allowing people to travel the route more leisurely.

It could have been using both sides of a wide boulevard, unlike the recent CicLAvia to the Sea, allowing more space to move. And the limited traffic crossings certainly didn’t hurt, making it possible for even the slowest riders to cover the entire route in an hour or so of actual pedaling.

Meanwhile, the shorter distance encouraged more walking, making this the first one where I’ve seen a significant amount of pedestrians along the entire route.

Evidently, bikes are good for business

Evidently, bikes are good for business

It might have been the iconic theme for an iconic boulevard. Along with the many entertainment and educational options along the route; the woman singing traditional Korean songs in not so traditional Koreatown was a highlight for me.

Call it Gangnam-style from a handful of centuries back.

Then there was the food of every possible description, dispensed from everything from trucks and restaurants to church groups and kids hawking cookies and lemonade.

It could have been the abundance of portapotties, reducing bladder pressure and putting everyone in better mood.

Or maybe it was all of the above, in what felt like the best planned and organized CicLAvia yet. Clearly, organizers have looked at what didn’t work in previous events and made some changes for the better.

I'll believe a car-free Wilshire when I see  unicorn on it

I’ll believe a car-free Wilshire when I see unicorns

One minor criticism is that participants universally ignored signs suggesting slower people should keep to the right, resulting in conflict zones throughout the full length of Wilshire. Which may have been why I saw three riders fall, resulting, thankfully, in relatively minor injuries.

The worst was a woman who lay in the street grabbing her collarbone, causing me to ride a few blocks back to an aid station get medical help.

The others suffered scrapes and road rash, and declined medical help.

Note to everyone: If you have the option for free medical help in an event like this, take advantage of it. Prompt first aid can prevent worse problems later, and the need for avoid more expensive medical attention if further injuries become apparent the next day, as often happens.

A friend writes that she witnessed a bike-bourn hit-and-run, in which a couple on a tandem rode off after knocking down another rider. Witnesses were unable to stop the bike before it disappeared into the crowd, leaving the victim sprawled bloody on the street.

Me taking a picture from Downtown hub; photo by Maraget Wehbi

Me taking a picture from Downtown hub; photo by Maraget Wehbi

Then there’s the schmuck — and I use the term advisedly — who apparently was unwilling to make his way to one of the four crossing points, and gunned his late model Toyota through the barricades at Windsor Ave and across the CicLAvia route, where he hit a cyclist before fleeing the scene.

Fortunately, the rider wasn’t seriously hurt, though badly shaken. (Update: The rider has three fracture vertebrae as well as a mangled bike; having suffered the same injury a few decades back, he likely faces a long road to recovery and a lifetime of back pain.)

Unfortunately, the limited description means the driver will probably get away with it.

But on the off chance they find him, I hope they take away his license. And shove it so far up his ass he’ll need to see a proctologist to buy his next six pack of beer.

………

Congratulations to Wolfpack Hustle on pulling off what I’m told was a very successful and popular first-ever Civic Center Criterium on Sunday.

………

California’s latest attempt at passing a three-foot passing law is now before the Senate Standing Committee on Transportation and Housing after overwhelmingly passing the state Assembly, just shy of a veto-proof two-thirds majority.

The bill’s sponsor, Inglewood Assemblymember Steven Bradford, has been very smart in answering the unreasonable objections Governor Jerry Brown gave in vetoing the last two attempts to pass a three-foot law.

There should be no rational reason for Brown to veto the law this time around. Although as we’ve seen, rationality isn’t exactly his strong point when it comes to bikes.

There are some strong supporters of bicycling on this committee, including West Valley Sen. Fran Pavley. But it couldn’t hurt to contact committee members to voice your support.

As we’ve seen with the previous attempts to pass this law, nothing is guaranteed in California politics.

………

After learning that the rate of cellphone violations are down in California, a writer from the Press-Enterprise conducts his own survey and finds 7.7% of drivers he observed at a Temecula intersection were texting or using handheld phones — slightly higher than state stats.

More interesting, however, was his secondary observation that two-thirds of the drivers failed to stop for the stop signs.

Based accusations from motorists, I would have sworn only bike riders do that.

Pot, meet kettle.

………

Speaking of anti-bike bias, so much for the L.A. Newspaper Group’s self-proclaimed Summer of Cycling being a good thing, as the owners of the Daily News, Daily Breeze, Press Telegram, et al, once again trot out the tired cliché of licensing cyclists and requiring insurance for bike riders.

As usually happens when the press chums for angry drivers, the results will inevitably skew towards requiring licensing for bike riders, if only because there are far more motorists than there are bicyclists. Never mind that this question reads like a classic push poll designed to draw a negative response.

So once again, for their benefit and that of anyone else unclear on the concept, like most bicyclists, I have a drivers license, which means we’ve already passed the same test as anyone else on the road — and probably have a better knowledge of traffic law than most, since we too frequently have to defend our right just to be on the road.

And despite what the papers suggest, my automotive insurance covers me for liability when I ride, as well as covering medical expenses resulting from a collision with an uninsured motorist or a solo fall.

Just like pretty much every American bike rider over the age of 16.

So get over it, already.

And before they claim to cover the subject, they need to reach out to the people and groups who are fighting for the rights of cyclists every day.

Not the angry drivers who don’t have a clue about the rights of cyclists, or how to ride a bike safely on the streets of Southern California.

………

Congratulations to our friends at LA Streetsblog, winners of two L.A. Press Club awards Sunday night.

Well deserved.

………

Former LADOT Bike Blogger and current Calbike board member Chris Kidd updates his comprehensive listing of state sidewalk riding laws, including percentages of where it’s legal in each county.

………

Looks like we’re all invited to the official inauguration ceremony for our new mayor this Sunday evening. LADOT ranks the 50 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians; something tells me they’re not much safer for anyone else. Beverly Hills begins work on the city’s first bike lanes; needless to say, they’re only being installed on a trial basis. A writer raises questions about plans to improve bicycling on Redondo Beach’s Harbor Drive. A SoCal cyclist sets a new national one-hour record at the Home Depot Center Velodrome in Carson. A Valencia woman faces charges for a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist. San Diego prosecutors decide on misdemeanor charges for the driver responsible for killing cyclist Charles Gilbreth — despite recklessly passing a bus — and blame fallen cyclist David Ortiz, at least in part, for his own death.

Bikes Belong looks to reinvent itself. A smart new Maine bill redefines traffic to include bikes, bans right hooks and removes the restriction to ride to the right. NYPD is — finally — starting to take traffic fatalities seriously; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up. A New York columnist offers his take on the city’s new bike share program; Gothamist says that all you got? A Virginia cyclist is hit by a stray bullet when a man can’t manage to load his gun without firing it. A Texas woman leaps off her bike at the last second to avoid getting run over by a cement truck. New Orleans gets bike lanes on iconic Esplanade Ave. One hundred nineteen years ago yesterday, a Jewish mother of three successfully set out from Boston to bike around the world.

A bike-hating Toronto writer changes his tune after just  two hours on two wheels. A Winnipeg writer offers a tongue-in-cheek look at six ways a cyclist with a death wish can become a hood ornament; decent advice, but somehow, not so funny. Bikes now make up as much as a quarter of London’s rush hour traffic. Tips for the bike curious. Even in the Netherlands, childhood bike riding is down as more parents drive their kids to school. A look back at 150 years of bicycling in Copenhagen. Evidently, you need nine lives to ride a bike.

Finally, I don’t even know what to say here, as a Swiss man sexually assaults a bicycle after puncturing both tires; presumably so it couldn’t get away, I guess. And if you’re carrying a sunglass case full of meth on your bike at 1 am, put a damn light on it, already.

The bike, that is, not the meth.

Catching up: A well deserved award, an aside to Beverly Hills, and a lot of links

Congratulations to LADOT Bike Blog’s Chris Kidd for winning the California APA Distinguished Leadership Award — Student Planner. It couldn’t go to a more deserving person.

Or one who more deserves a job with the city; money may be tight, but we can’t afford to lose this level of talent and commitment.

……..

One of California’s leading bike bloggers is visiting Los Angeles this coming weekend, and looking for some fun bike-related activities. But aside from Critical Mass and Bicycle John’s Customer Appreciation ride in Agoura Hills, I’ve got nothing.

Any suggestions for fun bike activities this weekend? Just leave your suggestions in the comments below, and I’ll forward them.

……..

Note to Beverly Hills: If the city was safer and more inviting to walk and bike — and stopped fighting transit plans that might relieve your hellish traffic congestion — you might not have that high commercial vacancy rate. And that lack of parking south of Wilshire Blvd wouldn’t really matter.

Just a thought.

……..

The International Rescue Committee works with LACBC and C.I.C.L.E. to provide bikes and helmets to refugees in L.A. Streetsblog gets L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky on the record supporting bicycling — including a hint that he might support extension of the L.A. River bike Path through Universal Studios — and picks up the story of what to do about trash cans in the bike lane. Just when I finally get the monthly BPIT meeting on my list of events, they move to quarterly meetings, among other changes; LADOT lists bikeways installed so far in year zero of the new bike plan. Downtown News names CicLAvia the best reason to leave your car at home. A Santa Monica writer says cyclists need to tell other riders to obey the law and ride responsibly; I understand the thinking, but does anyone ever say drivers need to tell other motorists to clean up their act? Hear in the City talks to LAPD bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer about the recently passed cyclist anti-harassment ordinance; speaking of which, when can we expect the Mayor’s signature?

In the wake of a recent death, the San Francisco Examiner weighs mandatory helmet use. A San Francisco designer tackles a bike thief; thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up. The Sonoma paper considers what they call the peloton of Peter Pans; maybe someone can tell me what riding a bike has to do with refusing to grow up. A California woman rides RAGBRAI on one leg after losing a leg to cancer as a child. Charges have been dropped against an alleged distracted driver who killed a popular Nevada City cyclist. A cyclist files suit after she was snagged by a hot air balloon.

Maybe it’s enough for bike riding to just be, you know, fun. Ten tips to find the right bike, and 10 great American cities for urban riding; any guesses on whether L.A. made the list? Maybe the hysteria over emasculating bike seats is just a tad overblown. Great idea, as towns across the country build Safety Towns to teach bike safe bike riding techniques to kids. A road rage incident with racial overtones ends well, after all. Three suspects have been arrested for assaulting a 71-year old cyclist from a passing car. If you were involved with the late, great Red Zinger/Coors Classic bike races, you’re invited to a reunion; too bad watching the races isn’t enough to get in or I’d be there. Chicago officially unveils its first separated bike lane with a second on the way, even if drivers don’t know what to make of it. After a DC area cyclist is killed in a hit-and-run, Maryland authorities suggest that he shouldn’t have been on the road to begin with. In a nice piece, Zeke finds balance in his life as a bike advocate. Spotting the rare bare-breasted Florida bike thief.

Your next Porsche could fit between your legs if you have a spare $5,000 to $9,000. A cyclist riding from Alaska to Argentina has his bike stolen in Canada. A Toronto columnist discovers the glories of the fixie. An Ottawa paper calls out the bad bicyclist of the day; I’m sure elsewhere on their site they focus on bad drivers, right? After being passed so closely that his bike mirror was smashed, a Canadian cyclist calls for bike training for drivers; maybe the Ottawa paper should post a photo of that driver. A British news anchor asks why cycling fatalities are up while other traffic fatalities are down. A bungling thief rides the bike he’d stolen to a police station to claim his belongings. Best shot yet of Alberto Contador punching an over-aggressive fan in the Tour de France last week; meanwhile, his appeal hearing has been postponed yet again. The infinite jest of the TdF; Dave Moulton calls it a perfect result. Aussie cyclists push for a safe passing law in the wake of Cadel Evans victory in the Tour de France. After getting hit twice, a Kiwi cyclist doubts the value of high-visibility bikewear.

Finally, a cop nails a raccoon and a cyclist with a single shot. A Wisconsin bike thief completes his own unofficial triathlon in an attempt to escape authorities. And the Onion notices our little anti-harassment ordinance; Streetsblog invites you to come up with a better caption.

 

More on fallen cyclist Alex Romero, a good guy wins & thanks for supporting Safe Routes to Schools

KABC-7 offers more information on the hit-and-run death of Alex Romero.

Evidently, the driver who hit him had tried to pass a van on the right side when it collided with Romero’s bike at a high rate of speed. Local residents say De Soto is a de facto racetrack from Sherman Way to Saticoy Street, referring to it as a deathtrap. Evidently, they’re right, as witnesses reported the killer car was travelling at highway speeds — reports online vary from 66 to 100 mph.

In a report that oddly wasn’t posted online, KNBC-4 reports that the driver may have been being followed or chased by another car.

Police are looking for a gray or silver — the latest report called it a metallic gray — Toyota Corolla or Camry with moderate to significant damage to the front passenger side. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Krajchir at (818) 644-8034 or email 26481@lapd.lacity.org. Or call LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7; anonymous calls can be made to Crimestoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

The Claremont Cyclist said it very well

How long will we continue to allow the irresponsible, anti-social driving practices of certain individuals, who care not for the lives of any other road users, to be given free reign, to leave trails of death and destruction and shattered lives, across our roads and highways?

Rest in Peace Mr. Romero, and my condolences to family and friends.

.………

Congratulations to LADOT’s Chris Kidd, named Student of the Year by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Planning Association. The award couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person. Just more proof that this is one employee the city can’t afford to lose when his internship with LADOT is up next month.

Just a hint.

.………

As of 10 am Friday, the Safe Routes to School 2012 Southern California Regional Platform had been endorsed by 77 people — two more and three weeks earlier than the original goal of 75 set for May 15th.

I recognize a lot of the names on that list as regular readers of this site, so please accept my personal thanks to everyone who signed after reading about it here. And to anyone who hasn’t signed up yet, there’s still time.

.………

File under the heading of they just don’t get it. After a Brooklyn board votes against bike lanes on the Bay Ridge Parkway, a writer for the Brooklyn Eagle insists that those opposed to the proposal aren’t primitive antediluvians who reject anything not propelled by an internal combustion engine.

Biking here is great, especially along the Shore Road Narrows Promenade. Spectacular! I have two bikes, but find it impossible to ride safely along local avenues because they were not constructed to accommodate designated bike lanes in the first place!

Is it just me, or do the problems inherent in that statement just sort of leap out at you?

.………

Joel Epstein says tear down the fence blocking access to a park at Santa Monica and Bundy, and add a Metro TAP card kiosk and bike parking. Josef Bray-Ali says they start cyclists early at USC; now if school would just show the same support to more adult riders. Take a CicLAvia survey and you could win a $200 gift certificate from Flying Pigeon Bike Shop — which is enough to get you a Flying Pigeon of your very own. Metro’s rush hour bike ban is one step closer to repeal, and L.A. City Planning wins an award for the newly approved L.A. bike plan. Four L.A. firefighters will ride across the country on a 45-day journey to honor those who lost their lives on 9-11. Streetsblog is auctioning a signed Give Me 3 poster online. Jack Black goes bike shopping at I. Martin. Glendale’s city council officially adopts the city’s new Safe and Healthy Streets Plan on a unanimous vote.

Joe Linton give a positive review to Long Beach’s new separated bike lanes, officially opening on Saturday; if you want to understand the meaning of bikelash, read the driver comments on the Linton story. The Long Beach City Council moves to honor Mark Bixby by naming the bike paths he worked so hard to get on the new replacement for the Desmond Gerald Bridge after him. Police escort a cyclist off the 405 Freeway in Orange County after he’d ridden four miles on the highway; a CHP officer struggles with another highway rider in Chico. Cruise the Conejo Valley on April 30th. New York and Long Beach aren’t the only cities with bike lane controversies, as Visalia votes to keep bike lanes on a pair of streets, despite complaints. The Big Sur stage of the Amgen Tour of California is threatened by slides undermining Highway 1 along the coast. A decision has been postponed on a proposed 5 – 10 mph speed limit on the Golden Gate Bridge. Here’s your chance to Race Behind Bars at Folsom Prison if you’re sure they’ll let you back out.

Just in time for Earth Day, Trek plans to start recycling carbon fiber. Mia Birk writes that stop signs don’t work for bikes. A nice thought, every month is bike month. A new business in my home town plans to combine a bar, coffee shop and bike shop; totally works for me. What if the car had been invented before the bicycle? A Yuma paper offers an example of press bias, as a cyclist riding on a separated bike path gets right hooked, then blamed. A Memphis mother says connected bike lanes are the right kind of change. NTDOT offers a simple five-point pledge for better bike behavior; NY Streetsblog says combined with the upcoming “Don’t Be A Jerk” campaign, it sends the wrong message. The value of a human life is just $250 in Florida, as long as that human rides a bike.

A new poll says one in ten would give up bicycling if helmet use is made mandatory. A UK women’s race is disrupted by a hit-and-run driver and a tack-strewing saboteur. The head of the UK’s AA — equivalent to our AAA, not Alcoholics Anonymous — defends the organizations recent helmet and hi-vis vest giveaway following a Twitterstorm of protest from cyclists. Town Mouse takes a lovely scary ride home under a placebo moon, without encountering any creatures of the night. A cyclist complains about biking’s cult of fear. An interview with the Brazilian driver who plowed through the Critical Mass ride that injured at least 17 people; not surprisingly, he says it really wasn’t his fault.

Finally, Copenhagen’s Sperm Bike makes special deliveries to fertility clinics. And the cutest sharrow T-shirt model you’ll ever see.

A busy weekend means I’m not sure if I’ll be able to update the events this week, so just in case, please accept my wishes for a happy Passover, a joyous Easter or just a lovely spring weekend, whichever is appropriate.

%d bloggers like this: