Tag Archive for Climate Ride

Morning Links: An inspiring and horrifying interview, outrageous bike news, and send a guy on Climate Ride.

Send this boy to camp. Or rather, Climate Ride.

Send this boy to camp. Or rather, Climate Ride.

Lots of news to catch up on before the weekend. So let’s jump right in.

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Sweet Ride USA’s Steve Isaacs offers an amazing, horrifying and ultimately inspiring interview with hit-and-run survivor Damian Kevitt in advance of Sunday’s Finish the Ride. Choose between the short 4:15 minute version and the full 16 minute one.

Unfortunately, it looks like illness is going to keep me from attending on Sunday, despite my best intentions. So if you’re planning to attend and would like to share your thoughts or photos, let me know.

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Here’s an intriguing invitation.

Inventor Eric F. has come up with what he describes as a “revolutionary bicycle safety device (US and international patent pending) that will save lives and visibly change the urban landscape.”

He’s looking for volunteers to participate in a focus group at Helen’s Cycles’ Santa Monica location, 2501 Broadway, on Monday, May 5th from 7 – 8 pm.

You can start your Cinco de Mayo celebration a little later. And it’s a good chance to check out the new green bike lanes in front of the shop.

Just watch out for drunks on your ride home.

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Congratulations to the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition’s Team LACBC on exceeding their fundraising goal for this year’s California Climate Ride.

But several of the team members are still short of the money they need to raise to participate in the ride.

I can personally vouch for everyone on the list, all of whom deserve to go on the bike adventure of a lifetime. And each of whom deserves your support for all they do to support your right to ride safely and enjoyably in the City and County of Angels.

In fact, I have never known a more committed and hardworking group of staff and volunteers, and as a board member for the past five years, I’m honored for the small part I play in supporting their work. Which is something I don’t say nearly enough.

But I’d like to call your attention to just one of those potential riders, and ask you to help him get from the California Wine Country to Sacramento next month.

Alex Amerri, President of the LACBC Board of Directors, has done an incredible job of guiding the organization through some turbulent times — often at the expense of his own career and personal life.

I’ve watched as he’s often put in more than full-time work in an unpaid, volunteer position. When he leaves the board — which hopefully won’t be anytime soon — he’ll leave the LACBC a far stronger, more stable and successful organization than he found it, positioned for even greater growth and influence in the years to come.

And you can’t ask any more than that of anyone.

However, the time he’s put in solving problems and creating opportunities for the coalition lately has meant he hasn’t had time to raise the funds he needs to participate in the Climate Ride. In fact, he’s less than a third of the way to his $3,500 goal.

So let’s send a boy to camp.

Or rather, a man to ride.

If you’ve got a little extra money laying around, make a donation to a good cause to support sustainability and improve our environment. And do it in the name of someone who truly deserves a few uninterrupted days on his bike.

And if not Alex, then help one of the other team members who do so much to help you.

Note: Alex has no idea I’m writing this. So let’s not tell him. Just let him be surprised when the donations start coming in, with no idea where they’re coming from or why.

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Prepare to be outraged.

It’s not unusual to find a story or two that makes a mockery of justice, and reminds us all that cyclists are still second-class citizens on our streets.

But today’s news carried three examples of just how far we have to go. And how self-centered, heartless and cruel some people can be.

First up, a Massachusetts woman is convicted of a reduced charge in a fatal hit-and-run when the judge rules that a second vehicle that hit the victim afterwards could have caused the fatal injuries. Never mind that the trailing vehicle would never have hit the rider in the first place if the hit-and-run driver hadn’t plowed into her and left her lying in the street.

Or there’s this, as Pennsylvania authorities refuse to file charges against a driver who killed a teenage cyclist — even though she was under the influence of cocaine and prescription drugs at the time. Nice to see them taking DUI so seriously.

And in a truly disgusting demonstration of genuine overly entitled, self-absorbed heartlessness, an Ontario — Canada, not California — driver sues the family of the teenage cyclist she killed for the emotional turmoil that taking his life has caused her. Evidently, she’s the real victim here, not the kid who lost his life, the parents who lost a child or the brother who OD’d because he couldn’t deal with the loss.

I never to wish ill on anyone. But I’m sorely tempted to make an exception in her case.

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Local

UCLA’s Herbie Huff and Madeline Brozen offer a rebuttal to the recent report showing bike lanes don’t cause traffic congestion if they’re put in the right place.

Cultural Weekly explains why CicLAvia has struck a chord with Angelenos. Although I’m not really sure that’s it.

Variety promotes this weekend’s first-of-the-year bike-in movie in Reseda Park.

KCRW’s DnA will host Reinventing the Wheel, a discussion on the future of mobility at the Helms Bakery complex on May 18.

Santa Monica police use a bait bike to get two bike thieves off the streets.

Long Beach offers a bike map of six downtown routes.

Santa Clarita plans a number of events around hosting a pair of stages in next month’s Amgen Tour of California.

 

State

The Idyllwild man who created the Stagecoach 400 mountain bike race finally finishes the route he designed after three failed attempts.

Streetsblog looks at last week’s California Transportation Choices Summit.

VeloNews rides the Amgen Tour of California route in reverse with the Rapha Women’s Ambassadors.

 

National

A new Strava map offers a detailed look at where people who use Strava run and ride bikes, which seems to be pretty much where people live. Then again, people who don’t use Strava ride everywhere.

A proposed MiniBrake promises to let parents stop their children’s bikes by remote control. Seems a little dangerous to stop a kid’s bike without warning, but it could keep them from riding into danger.

Treehugger lists five ways bicycling is getting better in the US. And one way it’s not.

A severely auto-focused Texas jerk letter writer says “You ‘need’ a car for business, shopping and taking your kids to Burger King. You only ‘want’ to ride your bike…” which places “an unreasonable safety burden on drivers of other vehicles.” Right. And maybe if those kids walked or rode to Burger King they might be healthier now, and as adults.

 

International

After a Brit thief steals a $4,200 e-bike, he calls the local dealer for advice on how to charge it. Which turns out to be the same guy he stole it from.

Lance says he’s still the winner of all those Tours de France, regardless of what anyone else says, while former Armstrong lieutenant George Hincapie promises an unvarnished look at pro cycling’s doping era in a new book.

Osaka police crack down on reckless cyclists — or any, for that matter — at the urging of local merchants.

 

Finally…

A cute 30-second video suggests the more you ride, the more calories you can take in. Not necessarily true, though, as I’ve learned the hard way.

 

Help a badly wounded rider get back on his feet, BAC Bikeways subcommittee minutes, and ride with Greg Laemmle

There’s no shortage of good causes these days, especially when it comes to bicycling.

But this one really deserves your attention.

On November 27th of last year, David Enright was riding his bike to pick up a U-Haul to start a new life in Seattle with his fiancé.

That’s when his life nearly ended.

As he crossed the intersection of Eagle Rock Blvd and Avenue 36 around 10:50 am, a car ran the red light and hit him from the side. Enright suffered a broken left forearm, right elbow and clavicle, as well as seven factures to his pelvis; he credits his helmet for sparing him from head injuries.

Do I really need to add that the driver was unlicensed and had no insurance?

Enright spent the past two months confined to a hospital bed, unable to move. Two weeks ago, he was finally released, though confined to a wheelchair, and immediately began the long and painful road to rehabilitation.

Friends say he has the strength, in both mind and body, to make it all the way back. On the other hand, that new life he was starting hasn’t exactly gone the way he planned.

In addition to crushing medical costs, he’s looking at a full year of lost wages and legal fees, as well as unexpected housing and storage costs.

And that’s where you come in.

A fundraising page has been established in his name. Donate just $40, and you’ll receive entry and drink tickets to a fundraising party at The Record Parlour in Hollywood on Sunday, February 9th.

One week later, a fundraising ride will roll from Intelligentsia Coffee Bar in Pasadena to the flagship Inteligensia in Silverlake, passing through historical landscapes, quiet ravines, bustling neighborhoods, and around the breathtaking Silverlake Reservoir. Suggested sponsorship is $200, however, sponsorship is not mandatory.

All proceeds go to help Enright’s long road to recovery.

Like I said, it’s a good cause.

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It’s also hard to keep up with all the important bike meetings in and around the City of Angels these days.

One of the most important is the work being done by the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, particularly the Bikeways Subcommittee.

That’s why I’m pleased to share the minutes of their most recent meeting:

Bicycle Advisory Committee of the City of Los Angeles
Bikeways Subcommittee
MINUTES
Sunland Room, LADOT, 100 Main St., Los Angeles CA
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 1-3 PM

1. Call to Order

2. Introduction of Subcommittee members and City staff

In attendance: Jeff Jaccobberger (BAC Chair), Herbie Huff (BAC Bikeways Subcom Chair), Jonathan Weiss (BAC Advocacy and Education Subcom Chair), Michelle Mowery, Nate Baird (LADOT Bicycle Outreach and Planning), Tim Fremeaux, Paul Meshkin, Carlos Rodriguez (LADOT Bikeways Engineering), David Somers (LADCP), Dennis Hindman (public)

3. Current bike lane designs for review

a. 48th St: Crenshaw Blvd to Normandie Ave

This is an HSIP project being led by Carlos Rios. It’s a road diet with a new signal at 11th. Design work will be completed in February.  

b. Lakme Ave: M St to G St

b, d, e, g, are all in a package in Wilmington. Most of these are ‘drop-in’ bike lanes that don’t require lane removal. Some of these projects are adding a center-turn lane. Most of these neighborhoods are residential, and some are mixed light industrial. Bike lanes have had a lot of support and success in this working-class community, and the department is looking forward to seeing the results of implementing a network of bike lanes here.

c. Loyola Blvd: Westchester Pkwy to Lincoln Blvd

This is a small section. Someone asked about a portion of an existing bike lane here, where current department practice would dictate the addition of painted buffers to the bike lane, but there are no such buffers. Tim Fremeaux noted that historical bike lanes are updated opportunistically with repaving.

d. McDonald Ave: Denni St to C St

e. Denni St: Fries Ave. to Banning Blvd.

f. San Vicente Blvd: Beverly Blvd. to Burton Wy. (E/B) Wilshire Blvd. (W/B)

Design of this bike lane discussed at a previous Bikeways Subcom meeting. The reason for the varying extents is that the E/B side is in the City of Beverly Hills. Tim has verified that Beverly Hills has the right-of-way to implement a bike lane. LADOT has shared the plans with the City of Beverly Hills.

g. St: Wilmington Blvd. to Watson Ave.

h. Valley Vista Blvd: Woodvale Rd. to Sherman Oaks Ave

i. San Vicente Blvd: Redondo Blvd. to La Brea Ave.

This is a short addition on a repaved segment, to add to bike lanes the department recently painted on the lower section of San Vicente.

4. Exposition Neighborhood Greenway

Because of the adjacent City park planned as a part of the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway, BAC member Jonathan Weiss wanted to determine the precise location of the Expo Bike Path between Westwood and Overland. Project lead Carlos Rodriguez explained that the bike path will be basically adjacent to the Metro ROW and the train tracks, running along the soundwall (with a 5’ landscaping buffer) and minimizing the disruption to the park. There will be a parallel pedestrian path on the park side of the bikeway which will act as an access route to the park.

5. Cesar Chavez: Mission to Sunset

The department is planning to add a bike facility here. This will be a difficult project, for which there is no off-the-shelf design. Some of it will be a continuation of the bus lanes on Sunset Blvd. Hill to Mission is the difficult section. The intersection at Vignes will be especially tricky because this is the location with the most bus boardings in the City, even more than in Patsaouras Plaza. The eastbound bus stop on Chavez at Vignes sees over 100 buses an hour. Tim shared a preliminary idea which is to add bike lanes on the bridge with turn lane removal. Jonathan Weiss recommended barriers in the tunnel similar to the ones that were recently implemented on 2nd St.

6. Wayfinding sign project – opportunity for input on sign placement

LADOT will release a public version of the location of the signs soon via the bike blog. BAC members should look for any errors and do basic fact-checking in their districts.

7. 20 mile sharrow package – discussion and opportunity for input

LADOT shared a draft sharrow package. BAC members felt all the streets were well chosen. Herbie will give Gregg Spotts from BSS a call about the fact that 4th St. sharrows need to be replaced after being slurried over. The request would be that if streets to be slurried can be known in advance, LADOT can wait until they are slurried before laying down the sharrows.

8. Approval of next meeting date: Weds, 3/19/2014

Please note that meetings will be on the 3rd Wednesday rather than the 1st Wednesday from now on.

9. General Public Comment

A few other notes:

DCP is looking to create a data unit in response to the Mayor’s emphasis on metrics.

DOT bikeways staffing is an issue. The department has requested an additional position in Bikeways Outreach and Planning this year’s city budget. BAC members and advocates should follow the budget to see if this is granted by the Mayor’s office.

10. Adjourn

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More on Francisco Alvarez, the 78-year old Glendora rider who died after he was hit by a car last week; the devoted grandfather was a popular Spanish Language poet with over 3,600 sonnets and other poems.

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LACBC board member Greg Laemmle is once again leading the bike coalition’s entry for the annual Climate Ride. Tell them why you want to ride with Greg, and you could win free entry to the ride, $2500 towards your fundraising commitment, and an Unlimited Laemmle Movie Pass for the remainder of this year.

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A new LA bike commuter is born. Writing for the Eastsider LA, Severin Martinez of Walk Eagle Rock says it’s time to take traffic safety seriously in Northeast LA; actually, it’s long past time to take it seriously everywhere. Broadway traffic lanes will be reduced from six to three in order to improve livability in the heart of Downtown. Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield leads a successful community ride in his district; hopefully this will inspire other councilmembers to lead rides in their own districts. Streetsblog adds more details to the story of hit-and-run victim Damian Kevitt’s Finish the Ride event on April 27th; they also say Mayor Eric Garcetti’s support of the city’s application for the Green Lane Project means he now has skin in the game for My Figueroa. The People St. parklet program goes citywide this week.

Ghost bikes are multiplying in the Inland Empire. Sixteen-year old San Diego bike rider injured when he’s hit by a 76-year old driver. Police ask for help tracking down the driver who ran down a Santee cyclist last week; fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured, though his bike looks badly mangled. The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition launches a Youth Bicycle Fleet. Sacramento bartender faces DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges for killing a cyclist last April. Sounds like authorities are taking this one seriously for a change, as an El Dorado County driver is booked on $1 million bail after disappearing on a warrant for the suspected DUI death of a cyclist last year.

A blogger falls in love with bicycling. Scary collision as a resting Seattle cyclist is slightly injured after being knocked off an overpass. For the first time I can recall, a bicycle is part of the traditional mayors’ Super Bowl bet. A Tucson filmmaker says it’s time to let women ride in the Tour de France; past time, if you ask me. Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an LA problem, as police seek the motorist who killed a cyclist near my hometown. Bicycle tourism is starting to have an effect on businesses’ bottom lines in Montana. San Antonio artists create breathtaking underpass chandeliers from bike parts. Chicago merchants are discovering bike lanes are good for business. Northwestern University students develop a smart bike to help prevent collisions.

The Times of London absurdly claims bike riders pose as much risk to pedestrians as motorists do; yeah, that’s one way of looking at it. Indian MAMILS put pedal to the metal. The bike racing season is off and running as Aussie Simon Gerrans wins the Tour Down Under.

Finally, this is why you don’t want to tempt fate: minutes after pointing out to a riding companion where he’d want his ashes scattered, a UK rider is killed in a solo fall. And a writer for Outside magazine says it’s time to fight back — metaphorically, if not literally — against jerks who attack cyclists.

Get a ticket for not signaling? Maybe you didn’t really break the law

Maybe you don’t have to signal your turns after all.

Turns out drivers don’t.

Like many Californians, I have long labored under the assumption that all road users — motorists and bicyclists alike — are required to signal every turn or lane change.

Something many, if not most, fail to do.

After all, there’s no point in tipping off total strangers about where you’re headed.

Still, it’s not uncommon for bike riders to be ticketed for failing to stick an arm out — preferably with multiple fingers extended — to let those around them know which way they’re going to go.

But as it turns out, it may not be illegal.

The section of the vehicle code that specifies our right to ride on the roadway, CVC 21200, clearly states “a person riding a bicycle… has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle….”

In other words, any law that applies to a driver applies to a bike rider. And drivers don’t have to signal their turns unless it affects other vehicles.

But don’t take my word for it. It says so right here in CVC 22107

22107.  No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.

So if your turn doesn’t interfere with the movement of other road users, a signal isn’t required.

For instance, if you’re making a left turn onto a street with no vehicle traffic, there should be no legal requirement to signal. The only exception would be if there were cars in front or behind you on the first street whose movement might be affected by knowing if you’re going to turn or go straight.

Or say you’re turning right onto a street with a designated bike lane. A turn signal shouldn’t be necessary, even if there are cars on the street you’re turning onto because they aren’t legally allowed to drive in a bike lane, and therefore shouldn’t be affected by your movement.

Of course, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you won’t get a ticket for it.

But as bike lawyer Bob Mionske pointed out recently, if you get a ticket for something like that and you can afford to fight it, you probably should.

There’s a good chance that the officer who wrote the ticket won’t show up in court and the case will be dismissed. Or even if he or she does, the officer may not clearly remember the case — which is yet another reason to never argue with a cop so your case doesn’t stand out in his mind.

But assuming he does, ask the officer to diagram the location of every vehicle on the street at the time of the alleged infraction. And explain exactly which ones were affected by your failure to signal, and how.

If he can’t do it, the case should be dismissed.

Key words being, should be.

Because as we should all know by now, the courts don’t always bend over backwards to ensure justice for those of us on two wheels.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t signal your turns.

You should.

It’s smart. It’s courteous. And it’s usually safer, though there are times when prudence dictates keeping both hands on your handlebars.

And lord knows, you don’t want to argue with Prudence.

But you may not be breaking the law after all. Even if you don’t lift a finger.

Update: Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious points out that this law could be read to refer to movement of the vehicle, rather than a requirement to signal. The problem is, the law was written in the 1950s, evidently prior to the invention of punctuation, which could have clarified the meaning.

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Then again, if you ride in Alhambra, you may be breaking the law.

But only if you live there.

That city is one of a rapidly dwindling list of towns that still requires registering your bike, even if does only cost a dollar to do so.

But despite what their city ordinance says, you can’t legally be ticked for riding your bike in Alhambra if you live in another city and haven’t licensed it in the city you live in. If your city even requires it.

That’s because their law is illegal.

The section of the state vehicle code that allows cities to require bike licenses, CVC 39002, clearly states that any such licensing requirement applies only to residents of that particular city. And therefore, may not be applied to anyone biking in or through that city who doesn’t actually live there.

So you live in Alhambra and get a ticket for not licensing your bike, pay it.

If not, once again, fight it.

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Laemmle Theater president Greg Laemmle, your host for Team LACBC at Climate Ride

Laemmle Theater president Greg Laemmle, your host for Team LACBC at Climate Ride

Here’s your chance to take part in the upcoming Climate Ride for free.

And maybe even have your required fundraising done for you.

Laemmle Theaters invites you to ride along with company president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle on the five-day fundraising ride through Northern California to benefit sustainable transit and green energy.

Four winners will have their entry fee paid as members of Team LACBC, and win a free pass for two at any Laemmle Theater for the remainder of this year.

And one of those four winners will receive the grand prize, meaning the company will contribute the minimum required fundraising amount of $2400 on your behalf.

Which means you’ll not only ride for free, but all your required fundraising will be done for you. Of course, you’re still welcome to raise more money on your own; it is a good cause, after all.

You just have to fill out the simple form on the link above, and explain why you want to ride with Greg.

Entries are due by April 5th.

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Finally, after riding through the Biking Black Hole both ways on my way too and from a meeting in Downtown L.A. on Wednesday night, I have a suggestion for their new city motto:

Beverly Hills. Where the bike lane ends.

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