Tag Archive for CLR Effect

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan released, bike riders behaving badly, and why our streets stay dangerous

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It was a surprise announcement.

And both heartening, and a little disappointing.

Word broke Thursday morning that LA’s Vision Zero Alliance had finally released its long-awaited Action Plan, explaining how the plan to reduce traffic fatalities by 20% by the end of this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025.

While the report hits all the appropriate notes, it’s a little short on specifics.

For instance, it talks about the need to reduce speeds to drive down LA’s worst in the nation traffic death rate, but doesn’t actually commit to reducing speed limits to 20 or 25 mph, as other major cities have done. And it discusses working to change laws at the state level, without stating whether they will fight to remove the deadly 85th percentile law that drives up speeds and destroys livability — not to mention survivability — on city streets.

However, there are a few specific actions we can follow to verify that the plan is on track:

Vision Zero means designing a street network that is safe for all modes. The City will:

Install live-saving improvements on the priority corridors and intersections along the High-Injury Network, such as optimizing four-hundred traffic signals and redesigning at least twelve miles of City streets every year to accommodate safe transportation for all.

Update 100 percent of the expired speed surveys on the priority corridors by the end of 2017.

Update all City street-design standards used by the Bureau of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of City Planning to be consistent with the National Association of City

Unanswered is whether the city will address the chronic understaffing problems at LADOT so they actually have the capability to work on Vision Zero, without throwing the hard-fought Mobility Plan out the window.

Some of those bicycling deaths could be prevented simply by building out the low-stress network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the plan, giving riders a safer and more comfortable alternative to riding busier streets.

Also unanswered is how they will solve the problem of recalcitrant councilmembers who attempt to block desperately needed safety improvements in their districts, as Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz have already done.

Not to mention LA’s rampant NIMBYism, which rises up to oppose virtually any changes on our streets, especially if there’s the slightest suspicion it might slow traffic down.

Which is pretty much the point.

Here’s what LA Curbed’s Alissa Walker and Streetsblog’s Joe Linton have to say on the subject.

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Today’s common theme, bike riders behaving badly.

Probably not the best idea to park your bike in front of a Palo Alto police station with a can of Colt 45 instead of a water bottle.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo police are looking for a butt-slapping bike rider who assaulted two women on campus in less than a week. Chances are, it’s not the same jerk who’s been assaulting English women in the same fashion for the last month.

Canadian police are looking for a bike-riding man who tried, and failed, to break into a business with a rock.

The Austrian man who was busted for trying to ride naked into a hotel in eight degree weather says he was trying to impress a girl. Although getting fired from his job as a pastry chef at the hotel probably isn’t the way to do it. And someone should explain to him about shrinkage.

A Pennsylvania bike rider was apparently under the influence when he was killed by a 17-year old driver; the victim had a water bottle filled with booze, and a dope pipe in his pocket.

University of Florida students are unnerved by a man riding his bike around campus wearing a swastika. Sometimes bike riders are the bad guys. And sometimes they’re just assholes. But even assholes have a constitutional right to be one.

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Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a distracted driver gets a whole 75 days in jail for killing a cyclist while apparently checking his email.

But not as cheap as Illinois, where a drunk driver cops a plea for killing a man who was riding his bike home from work, in exchange for a whopping ten days behind bars. Ten effing days. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

And a three-time Brit traffic serial killer gets his suspended license back three years early because it’s an inconvenience to his family. It was probably pretty inconvenient for the families of his victims, too.

And then we wonder why nothing ever seems to stop the carnage on our streets.

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Nice to hear from Michael Wagner of CLR Effect, who offers news from LA County’s too often neglected Eastside.

Even if the news isn’t exactly what we want to hear.

Like the bad news that yet another local bike shop is going out of business, as the popular Coates Cyclery is closing is doors. And this time, it’s his LBS. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the first link.

He also sends word that there will be a clean-up day on Glendora Mountain Road Sunday, February 5th to pick up the trash left behind by the people who travel it. Not all of whom are in cars.

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The 3rd annual Night on Broadway will take place this Saturday, with over 60,000 people expected to celebrate with free events and music on DTLA’s main street; there will be a bike valet, so you can leave your car at home.

Santa Monica Planning is hosting a ride with SaMo’s mayor this Sunday. LA mayor Eric Garcetti agreed to ride with bicyclists when he was running for office four years ago, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has bothered to ask him to do it. Which should be a big hint to the LACBC, the BAC, LADOT…

Also on Sunday, community coalition Si Se Mueve is holding a free community bike ride through Northeast LA.

Yet another Sunday event, as Walk Bike Glendale is sponsoring their first Women’s Ride of 2017.

Finishing up a very busy Sunday, Black Kids on Bikes is holding a free bike tune-up session, followed by a freedom ride.

And one last reminder about the LACBC’s rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion on Monday in DTLA. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the link.

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A Welsh Olympic gold medalist says there’s still a lot of sexism in cycling, but it’s not blatantly obvious. And the fluffy music played at women’s races doesn’t help.

NPR talks with the filmmaker behind Icarus, an amateur cyclist who filmed himself doping, only to accidently uncover the Russian doping scandal.

US Cycling membership now includes legal benefits, including a free consultation, reduced legal fees, and priority consideration for pro bono legal representation. Although virtually any bike lawyer will offer a free consultation.

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Local

The LA Times looks at bike trends for 2017, from comfort bikes and ebikes to lighted helmets and ultra bright headlights.

Speaking of the Times, they make the bizarre claim that ebikes may be the greenest form of transportation in human history. They’re a great alternative to driving, but it’s ridiculous to claim ebikes are greener than bicycling or walking.

If Elon Musk is building a tunnel in LA, can we ask him to put in a bike lane?

An editorial in USC’s Daily Trojan calls California’s ban on headphones for bike riders a new, overbearing law. Except the law only prohibits wearing headphones in or on both ears, rather than one. And it’s not new. Wearing headphones in both ears has been illegal for years, just as it is for drivers; all that changed with the new law was to eliminate loopholes to include any form of headphones or earpieces.

This Wednesday is the deadline for Santa Clarita high school seniors to apply for a college scholarship in honor of fallen cyclist, musician and teacher Rod Bennett.

Long Beach is looking for a Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officer. They had me right up to the healthy living part.

Let’s face it. CiclaValley is probably having more fun than the rest of us these days.

 

State

Momentum Magazine previews April’s Sea Otter Classic at the famed Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, calling the world’s premier cycling festival.

San Jose’s Good Karma Bikes helps teens learn how to keep their bikes in good working order while teaching job skills.

Fresno puts off a vote on the city’s new Active Transportation Plan that would add 950 miles of bike lanes, routes and trails.

 

National

The founder of Justin’s nut butters is one of us, too.

Bicycling reviews the warmest clothes for winter riding. And they list six epic bike events you probably don’t know about, including two in California.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, as cyclists react to the hit-and-run death of a 19-year old racer; his own mother found his body and mangled bike after he didn’t come home from a ride. Thanks to Shannon for the tip.

A recent Rutgers University study concludes that concerns about racial profiling are a barrier to bicycling in communities of color. It’s not just their imagination; blacks are more likely to be stopped and ticketed by police in northern cities, as well as in the deep south. And from what I’ve heard, that goes for black and Latino riders in SoCal, too.

A New Jersey paper recommends renting a bike when you travel to Europe, rather than trying to take yours with you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Chattanooga national masters champ is doing back-to-back 75-mile rides to celebrate his 75th birthday.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists eight reasons you should talk your friends into bicycling. They also list six “essential” tips for losing weight by bicycling, all of which you could figure out on your own.

Seventy-one percent of people responding to an online poll in one Canadian town think winter bicycling should be banned; one bighearted driver thinks running over a cyclist could provide extra traction on icy streets.

Toronto ups the ante for the combination of a coffee shop and bike shop by throwing in an art gallery, too.

London’s police department is going to put undercover cops on bikes to bust drivers making dangerous passes; they want to send the message that anyone on a bike could be a cop. We’ve been trying to talk the LAPD into trying that for years, but without success so far.

Britain sets aside £300 million — the equivalent of $376 million — for bicycling, then spends it on other things.

An Irish cyclist tries to reassure local businesses that bike lanes and parking can coexist, and that bike riders shop, too.

In a truly bizarre case, Dutch police have filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice against a UN lawyer from Jamaica who claimed she had been brutalized by cops who arrested her when she got off her bike and walked it across a busy street.

Who needs a mountain when you’ve got a parking garage? Adelaide, Australia cyclists compete in their own indoor hill climb. Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the news.

Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new world record for the longest single-file line of moving bicycle traveling together, with 1,186 riders. Even that’s probably not enough to convince some drivers it’s better to let cyclists ride abreast.

 

Finally…

If you have to ask a Tostitos bag if you’re too drunk to drive, you’re too drunk to drive. Better stick to IPAs; the beer you drink could say you’re likely to have your bike stolen.

And this is what happens when a town gets serious about promoting bicycling, without getting too serious.

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Thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous donation to support this site. Donations are always welcome to help us bring you the best, freshest and most accurate bike news in this post-truth era of alternate facts and fake news.

Morning Links: Hands-free cellphones are as dangerous as handheld phones, and bike news from East LA County

Give so snark can live. Support the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today!

In news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — but which would probably shock most people, if they actually put their phones down long enough to pay attention — Australian researchers conclude hands-free cellphones are just as dangerous as handheld phones.

Researchers in Queensland tested driver reactions using a traffic simulator, and found that any cellphone use — hands-free or otherwise — increased reaction times by 40 per cent, or one full second.

Which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider that it adds an additional 33 feet of stopping distance to a car going just 25 mph. As if anyone drives 25 miles per hour anymore.

The study also found that less experienced drivers were likely to be twice as impaired by mobile phone conversations.

So make that 66 feet, instead.

Then multiply by the speeds drivers actually travel.

However, researchers did not study the dangers posed by texting, which distracts drivers both mentally and visually, while also taking one or both hands off the wheel.

The obvious conclusion is that any cellphone use while driving is dangerous, to the people in the vehicle as well as anyone around them.

Which is frightening considering the proliferation of cellphones in our society, and the willingness of drivers to ignore current laws limiting their use. And terrifying in an age when WiFi and hands-free connectivity are being built into many motor vehicles.

Something that makes no more sense than installing a bar in every dashboard.

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It’s been far too long since we’ve checked in with Michael Wagner at CLR Effect, who sends word of recent happenings in East LA County.

Hello Ted, it has been a little while since I have seen you out on the eastern edge of the county, and I wanted to update you, and the readers of BikinginLA, with some recent news.

Though it has been pretty quiet lately in my own hometown (Claremont), next door LaVerne has been busy with the approval process for their Active Transportation Plan; a couple weeks ago it moved through committee, and next week will go before the City Council.

This past weekend local club, SC Velo donated a bike repair station, which was installed and dedicated at Oak Mesa Park before a great turn out of cyclists.

Both these events are helping the city shed their reputation of being less-than-friendly to bikes, and have riders in the greater Pomona Valley area pretty excited. Cheers, appreciate all you do to keep us informed.

I hope to make a few improvements to this site in the near future that will make it easier for me, and everyone else, to keep up Michael’s excellent site, and many of the other great blogs that have slipped through the cracks here lately.

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‘Tis the season.

Long Beach’s Velo Allegro bike club teams with the YMCA to give over 130 bicycles to 3rd graders from low income families. Thanks to Anthony for the heads-up.

A pair of San Diego Chargers host a Holiday Bike Build, donating 52 bicycles to children of service members stationed at the San Diego naval base.

For the past 20 years, inmates at Folsom Prison have spent their days restoring bicycles to like-new condition to donate to children in El Dorado County; this year 200 bicycles will be distributed by high school kids in cooperation with the local Rotary Club.

The family of a former Colorado police officer who died while participating in an organized bike ride carry on his love of bikes by donating 29 bicycles to be given to local children.

Cincinnati Bengals players present nearly 300 bicycles to elementary school children.

A 71-year old New Haven CT man operates a one-man bike program, giving away 80 to 100 bicycles a year by going door to door asking for donations, as well as dipping into his own pocket.

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Great news, as Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx has emerged from a six-month coma following a collision with a race moto, and begun saying simple words and recognizing family and fellow riders. But don’t get me started on whether race vehicles belong anywhere near the peloton.

Cycling News calls out five successes and five failures in pro cycling this year.

A French pro cyclist is the latest to say UCI is handling WorldTour reforms very badly.

A 30-year old Kiwi Olympic gold medal-winning rower is attempting to switch to cycling, riding in a pair of elite New Zealand races to determine what future he has in the sport.

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Local

An LA County sheriff’s deputy shot and wounded a bike rider who was allegedly armed with a handgun when the man got off his bike and ran after refusing to pull over for a traffic stop.

Richard Risemberg calls on Metro to place bikeshare docks in residential neighborhoods to encourage people to leave their cars at home, and says Santa Monica is doing it right. Speaking of which, SaMo begins installation of the area’s first bike counter. Or rather, the second.

Don ye now your gay apparel, as Bike SGV is hosting a Cycling Santas Bike Train this Saturday.

The LACBC is partnering with neighborhood chapter Bike Walk Glendale for the 6th annual Holiday Ride this Sunday.

Roughly 30 cyclists participated in Tuesday’s die-in to call for Bikes May Use Full Lane signs in Palos Verdes Estates. No word yet on whether anyone in the insular burg was actually paying attention.

 

State

A new Stanford study hopes to determine if the new generation of bicycle seats reduces the risk of sexual dysfunction.

A 70-year old San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he allegedly rode his bike through a red light and was struck by a driver existing a freeway. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver in question witnessed him go through the light.

Bike friendly Davis plans to develop two additional protected intersections, following the success of one that opened last year, which claims to be the first in the US.

Redding receives $8 million in grants to build sidewalks and buffered bike lanes along a major street.

 

National

Bicycling profiles an Anchorage AK native who founded two bike brands before he was 25.

Portland’s bike-powered coffee roaster failed because the single bike couldn’t turn out enough coffee to support the business, as well as support over 20 orphans in the Philippines.

A Wisconsin man facing charges of hit-and-run and reckless homicide in the death of a bike rider earlier this year now faces 12 additional charges for pawning landscaping equipment belonging to his employer.

The Reading PA paper endorses plans for a new $15 million indoor velodrome.

Buffalo NY is bucking the trend for more human spaces, slowly introducing cars back onto a failed pedestrian mall in an attempt to revitalize the downtown area.

An Op-Ed in the Savannah GA paper says protected bike lanes benefit everyone.

 

International

LA may or may not be the hit-and-run capital, but it’s clearly a worldwide problem as shown by this tragic wreck in Jamaica.

The rich get richer, as London’s mayor announces plans for two new curb-separated bicycle superhighways.

A British driver blames everyone but himself when a bike rider unexpectedly ended up on the hood of his car as he turned across a separated bike lane, saying the bikeway was nearly impossible to see and the bicyclist wasn’t wearing hi-viz. Evidently, looking both ways before making a turn is passé in the UK.

Edinburgh residents square off over plans for the city’s first cycle superhighway.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can carry a Christmas tree home on a bikeshare bike — even in Paris. Italy, where the graphene meets the road.

And they should know what happens when you leave a bicycle out in the elements, even in a Bike Tree.

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A special thanks to Dennis Eckhart and Joseph Rozier for this week’s first donations to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

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