Tag Archive for ciclovía

Morning Links: A report on Garden Grove’s April Fools ciclovía, and a brief update on today’s news

Yesterday, I received the latest in a series of reminders that there is, as my doctor puts it, a chemistry experiment going on in my body with the many medications I take for diabetes, allergies and neuropathy. Not to mention the diabetes itself.

Usually they play together well. But every now and then they combine to knock me flat on my ass; I can go from feeling fine to sick as a dog in a matter of minutes. Which is what happened yesterday.

Fortunately, Mike Wilkinson was ready to step into the breach with a report on Saturday’s Re:Imagine Garden Grove open streets event, complete with photos by his wife Argelia.

You’ll find his story below, followed by a handful of items to keep you abreast of the day’s most important news.

And barring anything unexpected, we’ll be back with a full report tomorrow.

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The city wasn’t fooling on April 1st when Re:Imagine Garden Grove closed 2.5 miles of downtown streets to motorized traffic and opened them to bikers, skaters, walkers and other people on hard-to-describe conveyances. My wife and I couldn’t resist an event so close to home, so we put the pups in the trailer and enjoyed a pleasant three mile tandem ride to the event.

The starting point for most attendees was historic Main Street, where there were bands, booths and local businesses doing a brisk business. That was also the location for the planned “after party”. When we were there it looked like things were just getting started… even Elvis was in the house!

The route east from Main Street began on quiet side streets. It passed through the civic center and had a pleasant block party atmosphere. The pace was slow, so there was plenty of time to check the Vans skating demo and the many displays staffed by a variety of businesses and public agencies. Then a left turn took us onto Garden Grove Boulevard, where one side of the street remained closed to motorized traffic while the other side was open. The block party vibe was gone, but there were more booths and even some large, county-fair-style rides.

The quiet streets and turns at the start of the route were more relaxed but less impressive than the massive, straight line location of the Long Beach event we attended in November. Relaxed vs. impressive is a personal preference, but riding on one side of Garden Grove Boulevard while cars whizzed by on the other side probably diminished the open streets magic for almost everyone. On the plus side, Garden Grove had a distinct party central location that was an attraction for many and appeared to be good for business. Overall, we thought it was a sign of progress that a local city was hosting such an event, and we were glad to go.

All photos by Argelia Wilkinson

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VeloNews asks if Philippe Gilbert can win all five Monuments this year, and offers photos of Tustin’s Coryn Rivera’s historic win at Flanders.

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Local

One year into the city’s Vision Zero program, traffic fatalities are up sharply in Los Angeles, and increasing so far this year, as well, putting the called-for 20% reduction by the end of 2017 at risk. That was never a realistic goal. It took all of last year just to identify the high-risk streets and develop an action plan; so far, the city has taken no real action to reduce deaths.

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds discusses the increase in traffic fatalities on KPCC’s AirTalk.

The NoHo Arts District looks at efforts to reimagine Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood as a Great Street, including a calendar of public meetings; CiclaValley encourages you to make your voice heard.

If you want a fast and hassle-free way to get to Dodger stadium, ride a bike.

 

State

A new study shows providing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants has cut the rate of hit-and-runs in California.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition comes out against a bike lane, after the city removes plans for a protected lane.

 

National

A new study shows one in four drivers were using their phones just before they crashed.

Talk about driving distracted. A Florida driver was blinded by the sun, using an inhaler and possibly nodding off due to sleep apnea when he ran down a local bike advocate. But he walked with no charges or citation because he didn’t do it on purpose.

 

International

An English cycling legal group is bringing a private prosecution against a killer driver after the state declines to do it. In the UK, private citizens or groups can pay to bring legal charges against someone the state won’t prosecute, for whatever reason. Too bad we don’t have that option here.

I don’t think they’re supposed to do that. A British bus driver is caught on video wrestling a bike rider to the pavement after getting out of his vehicle, for reasons apparently only they know.

An Aussie driver gets six years for the meth-fueled crash that left a bicyclist critically injured. She was reportedly on her way to beg her father for money to buy more drugs when she ran down the rider and fled the scene, claiming her car was damaged by hitting a kangaroo.

 

Finally…

For just $5,000, you can own your very own bubble-shaped e-trike. A new use for your old bike pumps.

And even Mary Poppins is one of us.

 

Weekend Links: Deplorable Gold Line bike locker, distracted beach biking, and a 17-mile non-CicLAvia ciclovía

Del Mar 1What good is a bike room if it’s not clean, not maintained and not secure?

Sean B forwards these photos of the bike locker at the Pasadena Del Mar Metro Station, noting that the floor is filthy, half the racks are broken and one appears to have been sawed through to steal the bike that was presumably in it.

I’m told this isn’t actually part of Metro’s bike locker program, but rather, just a set of racks with walls and a roof, where a sign tells riders to lock up there at your own risk.

Del Mar 2Seriously?

If Metro really wants to encourage people to use their own bikes to solve the first mile/last mile problem, they’ve got to do a lot better than this.

Deplorable conditions like this only serve to encourage bike thieves, making it clear that no one is paying attention and they aren’t likely to be interrupted.

Del Mar 3Sean also notes that he’s tried contacting Metro about these conditions on numerous occasions, with no luck.

Let’s hope someone there sees this and makes fixing this room a priority. Or better yet, does whatever it takes to replace it with a secure bike locker.

Because bike riders deserve a hell of a lot better than this.

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Clearly, distracted drivers aren’t the only ones we have to worry about.

Thanks to David Wolfberg and Tony K. for the heads-up.

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Now that’s what I call a ciclovía — seventeen miles through seven San Gabriel cities.

626 Golden Streets

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Maybe the solution to hit-and-run is more cars that turn their drivers in. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Pro cyclist Peter Sagan and wife light up the holidays in this Euro commercial, no translation necessary.

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Local

Richard Risemberg says the new bus and bike only lanes on Wilshire Blvd seem to have increased ridership, though dangerous gaps remain on the Westside thanks to wealthy, short-sighted residents.

Boyonabike says driverless cars aren’t the answer; transit and walkable, bikeable communities are.

Santa Monica approves a pilot program to place three parklets on Main Street.

A Santa Monica letter writer says public officials have a duty to cater to car users, who apparently have a God-given right to free parking.

Bike SGV offers an analysis of the new Duarte draft bike plan.

 

State

A mountain biker was rescued after getting lost in Beaumont; she called a friend to say she was cold, exhausted and thought she was going to die.

Be careful riding in Napa, which now officially the most inebriated city in California.

 

National

A Honolulu man faces up to 15 years for killing a bike rider while high on meth.

Caught on video: A Portland thief shows how easy it is to snatch a bike off the front of a bus. Always lock or disable your bike in some way before you put it on a bus rack to discourage potential thieves.

A bighearted Washington cop buys a stolen tandem from a homeless man, and fixes it up before returning it to its owners, who met while riding bikes 66 years earlier.

Not surprisingly, a Flagstaff crackdown on scofflaw cyclists does nothing to improve safety.

A Denver driver gets six years in a halfway house for seriously injuring a bike cop after lying about having a seizure-inducing medical condition. Although you have to wonder how long that sentence would be if his victim hadn’t been a cop.

Austin TX considers removing a bike lane to provide more parking, while local residents fight to keep it. Meanwhile, police in Austin bust a bike thief responsible for stealing 97 bikes, valued up to $12,000.

After an Ohio cyclist is rear-ended, he gets yelled at by the driver and lectured by a cop for riding in the traffic lane. Until he points out the sharrows he was riding on.

A Maine writer offers seven ways to improve bicycling in the state, most of which would make sense anywhere. Let’s face it, there are very few politicians I’d want to see naked, on a bike or otherwise. Even if the idea of voting for someone who has nothing to hide is appealing.

Turns out it’s legal for a woman to ride a bike topless in Philadelphia, even if it is a challenge to get the local police on board.

 

International

This is how you get more women on bikes. After Calgary builds out an entire network of protected bike lanes seemingly overnight, the percentage of female riders jumps.

A Toronto woman has started a petition to require cyclists to be licensed, even though the city has rejected that four times in the last 30 years. Although riders may not have to worry too much; the petition had just 15 supporters so far.

Brit pro cyclist Bradley Wiggins was bullied growing up and called a gay slur for having the audacity to wear spandex in public.

If your headphones are so loud you can’t even hear a London train coming, maybe you should turn them down a little. And don’t ride around the damn crossing barriers.

London police are treating an apparent road rage hit-and-run as attempted murder; the same driver who ran down a cyclist may have tried to crash into a cop who responded to the incident.

A Glasgow taxi driver suffered a broken nose and cheekbone when he was punched by a bike rider, after the rider had fought with the cab’s passenger. Violence is never the answer, no matter how angry you are or how much you think they deserve it. It only makes a bad situation worse.

A trio of British cyclists riding a single bike made for three survive a collision on US Route 66 when the sun gets in a driver’s eye; needless to say, he wasn’t charged.

Probably not the best idea to punch a Dubai cop for trying to stop a cyclist from riding on a jogging path.

A pair of apparent German tourists came to the aid of a Kiwi bike rider when she was assaulted by a man who punched her several times before throwing her to the ground.

 

Finally…

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

If you’re riding a bike while carrying burglary tools and stolen car radios, put a light on it already — and stay off the damn sidewalk. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge invisible turkeys.

And hopefully, we don’t have to deal with drivers who kill bike riders while getting a blowjob behind the wheel.

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Thanks to Erik Griswold for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

An ancient Norse tradition I just made up says giving to an underfunded bike website ensures the wind will always be at your back in the coming year, and your tires will be impervious to thorns.

Morning Links: CicLAvia comes to the Valley, bike confusion east of Barstow, and why our roads are dangerous

CicLAvia Valley MapThe route for the first ever — but far from last — San Fernando Valley CicLAvia has been announced.

The March 22nd open streets event will follow Ventura and Lankershim Blvds, and be the first of four this year; later stops include Pasadena, Culver City/Venice and the ever popular Heart of LA route.

Th best part is, for those of us south of the Hollywood Hills, Metro’s Red Line will drop you off right to the middle of the route.

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Adventure Cycling notes that it either is or isn’t legal to ride on Interstate 40 east of Barstow.

According to Caltrans, bikes are banned from the highway, even though the only alternate on famed Route 66 was washed out last year.

On the other hand, signage on the Interstate clearly says bikes are allowed.

Nope. No confusion there.

Thanks to prinzrob for the link.

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In a touching must read piece, a New York cyclist opens her heart, and her wallet, to the pregnant girlfriend of the man who stole her much loved bike.

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In another must read, a writer clearly explains why the current rules of the road don’t keep people from dying. In fact, they’re often a contributory factor — including the 85% rule used to set deadly speed limits throughout the US.

And it includes this statement from the executive director of New York’s Transportation Alternatives, which should become the new mantra for every traffic planner and government official.

“It’s completely unacceptable for someone to die in a plane crash or an elevator,” he said. “We should expect the same of cars.”

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Local

Streetsblog looks at what may be a positive end to the long-running fight over bike lanes on North Figueroa. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m willing to be surprised.

Milestone Rides offers six road safety tips for dealing with angry drivers, noting it’s not if you’ll be harassed but when.

Things are getting serious in the campaign for the March LA city council election. This weekend you’re invited to help canvass for Jose Huizar, one of the most effective voices for bike riders on the city council, on both Saturday and Sunday. Huizar is in what promises to be a tough re-election battle against termed-out county commissioner Gloria Molina.

Somehow I missed this one earlier this month, as Boyonabike discusses bike advocacy and the importance of getting involved to change our streets.

 

State

Calbike looks at the state’s bike bests of 2014, including the hiring of Seleta Reynolds to head LADOT and Tamika Butler as Executive Director of the LACBC.

San Clemente plans to beautify a bike trail along the beach; replacing the guard rail with a planted median should improve safety for riders, as well.

No bias here. After a Palm Springs cyclist suffers major injuries in a collision with a van, all the local paper seems to care about was the road closure.

Wait, what? A Palo Alto commissioner wants a new bike and pedestrian bridge redesigned to make it less of a landmark; maybe what he really means is less expensive.

A San Francisco jury awards $4 million in damages after concluding the truck driver who killed a San Francisco bike rider was negligent in causing her death. Police had brushed the case under the rug, blaming the victim until a member of the local bike coalition found security camera footage that captured the impact — which the SFPD hadn’t bothered to look for. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

 

National

Virtual traffic lights on a heads-up display promises to revolutionize driving. Of course, no one else will be able to see them, but who really cares about cyclists or pedestrians, anyway? Thanks to John Montgomery for the tip.

A Nevada video shows how to sell Vision Zero to a skeptical public.

Bike-friendly Colorado gets it. The state’s governor calls for a system of bike trails connecting the entire state. A Colorado professor says drivers think we’re rude if we obey the law and criminals if we break it. And Denver will close a busy interstate highway through the heart of the city to install a new bike and pedestrian bridge.

Cheyenne, Wyoming considers bailing on plans for bike lanes on a pair of busy streets, since people only ride bikes for recreation and no one would ever actually use one to get anywhere.

Now that’s more like it. Nebraska considers a far tougher version of the three-foot passing law, requiring drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider, or give three feet if that’s not possible.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in the Midwest. A Nebraska driver who fled the scene, leaving left a cyclist paralyzed from the neck, down gets six to ten years in jail, while a hit-and-run driver who killed a Kansas cyclist is sentenced to 11 years on a second degree murder charge.

Even in Iowa, a new apartment building is being designed around the needs of bike riders.

The spin has begun. The Austin TX paper says the cancelation of last Sunday’s national cyclocross finals was a mutual decision between city and race officials to protect heritage trees; USA Cycling’s VP of national events says not so much.

Interesting case from New Jersey, where an appeals court ruled that someone who texts another person when they’re behind the wheel can be held responsible for any injuries caused by the distraction.

Bad road design may have been a contributing factor in the case of the allegedly drunken, hit-and-run Baltimore bishop who killed a popular cyclist last month. And the city’s new draft bike master plan calls for cutting the red tape and getting serious about bike improvements — especially with intoxicated prelates careening around the streets.

 

International

An Australian writer who doesn’t ride a bike says outrage over the anti-bike Family Feud question is misplaced, while a cyclist responds with eight annoying things a bike hater might say.

A road raging Singapore cyclist is lucky to get off with a light charge after throwing his bike at a car; of course, no reason is given for why he might have been so angry with the driver.

 

Finally…

If the police catch you in the act of cutting the cable on a key-operated bike lock, don’t tell them you forget the combination. An Aussie family of four and their two dogs travel 3,700 miles by bike along the country’s coast, subsisting on what they could forage along the way — including road kill.

And caught on video: a Brit cyclist is knocked off his bike by a van, then attacked by the driver; police are looking for the victim to investigate the case. Be patient, it get’s interesting about 50 seconds in. And thanks again to John McBrearty.

A call for a bike friendly DTLA, Bike Snob takes on Chicago honker, and Coronado declared bike friendly

LA cyclist Patrick Pascal writes to say he was disappointed that he was out of the country for last week’s CicLAvia.

Until, that is, he discovered he was just in time for Spain’s equivalent in Madrid the same day.

Madrid riders celebrate car-free streets; photo by Patrick Pascal

Madrid riders celebrate car-free streets; photo by Patrick Pascal

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LA’s DT News makes a mostly accurate and insightful call for a bike friendly Downtown.

The website cites opportunities like the Spring Street Bike Lane, CicLAvia, bike trains and the needlessly controversial MyFigueroa project, as well as the need for more bike lanes and bike racks at buildings in Bunker Hill and the Financial District.

It’s a good piece, and one I hope city officials pay attention to.

Just a couple of minor quibbles.

While wearing a bike helmet may be smart, it’s not required for anyone over 18.

And when riders get furious at drivers who honk at drivers for going too slowly in traffic, it’s not the bike rider who’s the problem.

Drivers have to accept that bicyclists have a right to the roadway, just as they do. And that shared lanes — which is every right hand lane not next to a bike lane — means they have to be patient and pass when it’s safe to do so.

Not lay on their damn horns until riders get the hell out of their way.

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Bike Snob adroitly dissects the recent column by Andy Frye, the jerk ESPN and Chicago Sun-Times columnist who complained about getting flipped off when he gave a cyclist a “light toot” on the horn.

For anyone else tempted to give a bike rider a friendly honk on the horn, don’t.

Just don’t.

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Coronado is the latest SoCal city to be named to the Bike League’s list of Bicycle Friendly Communities, at the same Silver level as Long Beach and Santa Monica.

Outside of Southern California, West Sacramento and Eureka gain Bronze designations, while Menlo Park and Calistoga move up to Silver.

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LA City and County leaders call for a regional bike share program, rather than the Balkanized system we seem to be headed for. The Times says LA streets have to be made safe for cyclists, starting with the potholes; a road divot that would be a minor inconvenience to a motorist can be life threatening for someone on a bike. And speaking of road divots, the Times offers up opinions from bike hating drivers, as well as cyclists and more rational motorists, on whether California should adopt an Idaho Stop law. Glendale councilmember and former mayor urges Mayor Garcetti to slow traffic on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge project. Rather than fix a dangerous intersection near Universal, Metro plans to spend $27 million to raise pedestrians out of the way of rampaging traffic; hey Tom LaBonge, a bike lane on Lankershim might help tame traffic and make the bridge unnecessary at a fraction of the cost. LADOT announces a new program to repurpose LA Streets. A look at LA’s 4th Street non-bike boulevard. The LACBC voices its support for the most inclusive plan to restore the LA River; this weekend’s Found LA Festival along the river includes a bike ride hosted by the LACBC, ending at the Golden Road Brewery. Redondo Beach adopts a Living Streets policy, including a planned two-way cycle track along North Harbor Drive.

Red Kite Prayer talks with famed framebuilder Richard Sachs. Bike Newport Beach says it’s time to fix the deadly free right turns that turn city streets into virtual freeways; you know, sort of like LA is proposing for the Hyperion-Glendale bridge. A Newport Beach couple is arrested for biking under the influence and public drunkenness after the husband falls off his bike. Davis CA reduces the fines for bicycling violations. Because you’re mine, I ride the line; yes, I would totally ride Folsom’s planned Johnny Cash Trail. A professional cyclist with the Leopard-Sapporo cycling team is critically injured when she’s collateral damage in a Los Gatos traffic collision.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says bicycling with your kids is too risky; so do we keep kids from riding or make our streets safe for them? Your next bike lock could be controlled by your smart phone. Maybe it’s time to stop sharing the road. A road raging Seattle driver is charged with assault with a deadly weapon after purposely slamming into a cyclist, while a Seattle bike rider gets his stolen bike back a year later, a little worse for wear. A bicyclist with 16 heart stents and a pacemaker is riding from San Diego to Florida — and that’s after being shocked back to life by firefighters nearly a decade ago. Looks like my hometown won’t be adopting an Idaho Stop Law after all. A Mexican national whose feet were chopped off by extortionists plans to bike 670 miles across Texas in a ride for justice. Neither cyclists or motorists can seem to figure out new bike lanes in Cedar Rapids. A New York bike documentary says cars are the real enemy. A New York bike rider pays forward the kindness of a cycling Samaritan. The city’s famed Plaza hotel files suit over a block-long bike share rack, calling it an eyesore.

Bike Radar looks at the best lights for road bikes. A look at the world’s most dangerous highways. London cyclist gets ticketed for stopping outside a bike box because a car was blocking it. London’s first bicycle superhighway is called an accident waiting to happen following the death of a cyclist. Texting while bike riding is putting UK children at risk. Paris reclaims a roadway alongside the Seine from motor vehicles. A Zimbabwe rider is stabbed to death after accidently bumping into the wrong guy. The Bangkok Post says don’t promote cycling until bike lanes are in place to make it safer. An Aussie rider sets two long distance records for riding backwards.

Finally, in today’s wildlife report, an apparently prescient rooster — yes, rooster — saves a woman from taking a header when her handlebars fail. It looks like bike-hating deer may be trashing a memorial to a fallen bike rider. And at least all we have to worry about here are road raging drivers, rather than rampaging anti-bike bulls.

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