Tag Archive for Complete Streets

Morning Links: Agenda 21 raises its ugly head in West Covina, and Complete Streets coming to East LA’s Soto St

They’re on to us, comrades.

With all the craziness in American politics these days, the Agenda 21 crowd had to show up to contest the growth in bike lanes and bicycling sooner or later.

Surprisingly, they popped up in West Covina, despite the highly contentious debate over bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

For the uninitiated, Agenda 21 was an obscure, voluntary plan developed by the United Nations to promote sustainable development.

But in the hands of the right wing conspiracy theorists, it somehow became a secret plan to undermine American sovereignty and force us out of their cars. Making any attempt at developing bike lanes or promoting transit part of a vast conspiracy for worldwide bike domination.

Take this video.

Please.

Apparently, West Covina’s current effort to develop an active transportation plan is just part of that vast conspiracy.

Which is why it’s so important to email your city councilmembers and county supervisors, and show up for meetings when you can.

Because these people are out there. And rational or not, their votes and voices count just as much as yours.

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A public meeting will be held tonight to discuss a Complete Streets project on Soto Street in East LA.

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The war on bikes goes on.

A 74-year old Kansas man is under arrest for attempting to run a bike rider off the road.

Police in the UK are looking for a passenger who got out of a car, pushed a man off his bicycle, then repeatedly punched him in the head.

And evidently, there’s a war on wheelchairs, too. A Denver man was ticketed after getting hit by a car for taking too long to wheel himself across the crosswalk.

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Clearly, cheating is nothing new in cycling. And there are a lot more ways to do it than just doping.

A transgendered cyclist has won policy concessions from Cycling Canada and UCI to open the way for more participation by trans athletes.

BMC’s Brent Bookwalter should win the Scaramucci Award for the shortest time in the yellow jersey at the Tour of Utah.

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Local

A “serious cyclist” wrote a letter in the LA Times saying he’s glad Mar Vista reversed its decision to create “separate” bike lanes, calling the parking-protected bike lane one of the most dangerous he’s seen. Just one problem — the Vista del Mar road diet in Playa del Rey is being reversed; the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista aren’t.

Sign up for a free one-month pass for the Pasadena Metro Bike bikeshare.

Expansion plans for the 710 Freeway in Long Beach pledge to improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians, though a writer for Streetsblog remains skeptical.

 

State

Streetsblog writes more about the state award to extend the Metro bikeshare to USC, South LA and the Expo Line.

New plans call for banning private cars from San Francisco’s Market Street in favor of taxis, buses and sidewalk-level bike lanes.

A Sacramento TV station confirms that yes, it’s illegal to ride salmon.

 

National

Bicycling talks with a bicycle courier who’s working to make bike touring more accessible for deaf cyclists.

Seattle’s new dockless bikeshare systems have proven popular, with both companies recording over 5,000 rides each in the first week, despite being limited to just 500 bikes each.

Distracted bicycling may be a bad idea, but it’s not illegal under a new Washington state law.

Get your resume ready. Advocacy group Bicycle Colorado is looking for a new Executive Director.

Iowa Public radio talks with the oldest female competitive BMX rider in the US.

Bike riders often spot things other people might miss. Like human remains on the side of an Austin TX bike trail, for instance.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Texas. A hit-and-run driver who killed a Corpus Christi bike rider was sentenced to 35 years — yes, years — in prison, and will have to serve at least half his sentence before being considered for parole. In California, drivers rarely get 35 months for a fatal hit-and-run.

A Chicago weekly allows bicyclists to vent their complaints about their fellow bike riders.

Residents in a Madison WI neighborhood are urging city officials to keep their hands off a popular bike path, and not turn it into a road for motor vehicles.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver charged with intentionally running down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been released from federal custody on the condition that he not leave the area. Meanwhile, the cyclist who recorded the crash finally got back on his bike this past weekend.

Walking on water may be challenging, but biking across Vermont’s Lake Champlain is doable.

Thieves burglarize a New York ebike shop and steal $10,000 worth of ebikes and electric scooters, even though it’s illegal to ride them in the state.

A New York website accuses the NYPD of having a streak of sadism and doing the opposite of Vision Zero by targeting bike riders in response to crashes involving bicyclists.

Philadelphia begins construction on the city’s first one-way protected bike lane.

The 2.6 mile Laffite Greenway is becoming the heart of the burgeoning New Orleans cycling scene.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case against bike bells, saying it can be more polite and helpful to actually say what you’re doing.

Canadian comic artist Kate Beaton is one of us. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

A Montreal mother says if you want to get women like her to ride a bike, the city needs more protected bike lanes, and sharrows just don’t cut it anymore.

A writer for The Guardian says it’s time for Britain to free itself from the chokehold cars have over the country. The same could be said for the US, as well. Or is that just more Agenda 21?

A condolence book for the Manchester bombing victims was carried to the city by bicycle from a town 45 miles away.

When a British man cycling with his wife suffered a heart attack outside a pub, he was saved with a portable defibrillator the patrons had purchased as a wedding present for the owner.

The Financial Times checks in with Mark Beaumont during the Scottish adventurer’s attempt to bike around the world in 80 days, including the dental work done by his performance manager after hitting a pothole near the Mongolian border.

Rihanna teams with Chinese bikeshare provider Ofo to donate bicycles to girls in Malawi to help them get to school. Although Ofo may have a little trademark problem back home.

 

Finally…

Why bother teaching your kids to ride a bike, when you can just pay someone to do it for you? Bad enough to be hit by someone on a bike; worse when it’s your bike.

And now you, too, can win a spot on a pro cycling team without actually riding anywhere.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous contribution to help support this site.

Morning Links: Insights on the Venice Great Streets debate, and Complete Streets discussions in the South Bay

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Mar Vista Community Council debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

The quasi-governmental body defeated a motion to reject the Venice Great Streets project and return the street to its previous six-lane configuration, before voting 10-1 to support Vision Zero and a six-month reassessment of the project.

Two hours of public comment were roughly evenly divided, with nearly 60 speakers on each side.

Project proponents emphasized the need for safety in response to personal histories of collisions, injuries, and relatives’ traffic deaths. Speakers also brought up climate change, noise pollution, excessive space still dedicated to cars, and improved conditions for seniors and disabled. Proponents emphasized giving the recently opened project a chance to prove itself.

Project opponents raised issues of impacted commute times, emergency response delays, tsunami evacuation routes, disabled access, scofflaw cyclists, excessive Westside development, worsened air quality, and untrustworthy city data – questioning whether the project actually makes the street safer. Ironically, supporters held up orange paper signs stating “stop the unsafe streets project.” Opponent statements included “we want our lane back now,” “L.A. runs on four tires and an internal combustion engine” and “this is not Amsterdam, this is Mar Vista.”

After the meeting, one supporter offered these thoughts after finding himself surrounded by opponents of the Great Streets project, which provide some valuable insights going forward.

(I’m withholding his name due to the vitriol and anger displayed by some of the opponents, and have edited his comments slightly).

The anti crowd was for the most part older, and extremely entrenched in their viewpoints. Their perceptions, accurate or not, will supersede anything put forward by any of us, but especially those of Councilmember Bonin and the LADOT. It doesn’t matter that these perceptions were most likely forged while the project was under construction and therefore the most disruptive. I believe that the way forward is not through this crowd. They will not be moved regardless of how well the project proceeds. At best they’ll quietly subside over time.

Even before the meeting began I heard repeatedly that bicyclists are lawless, always running stop signs and red lights, have no regard for the rules of the road, and “if I hit one I’ll be to blame.” This sentiment was expressed in varying forms every time a professed bicyclist spoke to the council. Being a bicyclist in their minds somehow qualifies one as an activist and therefore not entitled to voicing an opinion. Never mind that pretty much everyone in attendance was an activist simply by attending.

Simply put, I believe the anti crowd feels they are the victims through all this. They see themselves as being overrun by an “elite” bent on making war with their entitled right of dominance of access. It’s almost impossible for them to fathom that a grown person would use a bicycle as anything other than recreation.

However, aside from a few disparaging remarks about victims of traffic, it was clear that the pedestrian safety component of the project transcends the divisions on the other issues. While I have my personal opinions about their concerns over safety, it was heartening to feel even a tiny bit of consensus.

Then again, those opposed to the Great Streets project might want to consider the results of this road diet in Orlando FL before making any rash decisions.

Because of this project, College Park’s main street has become a thriving corridor. Safety greatly improved after the project: total collisions dropped by 40 percent, injury rates declined 71 percent, and traffic counts briefly dropped 12 percent before returning to original levels. Pedestrian counts increased by 23 percent, bicycling activity by 30 percent, and on-street parking—which buffers the sidewalks from automobile traffic—by 41 percent.

In addition, the corridor has gained 77 new businesses and an additional 560 jobs since 2008.

The value of property adjacent to Edgewater and within a half mile of the corridor rose 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

That’s what Mar Vista residents have to look forward to, if they just have the patience to let it happen.

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Hermosa Beach will discuss the city’s Bicycle Transportation Network at a special city council meeting next Monday, as part of the PLAN Hermosa (scroll to bottom).

The same night, there will be a public workshop in Manhattan Beach to discuss Living Streets and Complete Streets in the South Bay.

Although you might ask them why complete, livable streets are okay for the South Bay, but not Playa del Rey.

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CNN takes a look at bicycling travel destinations around the world, starting with ten bicycling international routes that will take your breath away, including the Great Divide trail and a rail-to-trail conversion in Montana and Idaho. As well as the five best bike paths in Sydney, Australia.

And follow up by offering their own listing of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

None of which are named Los Angeles.

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No surprise who won the sprint finish in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, which Bike Snob says has outlived it’s usefulness.

Bike Radar writes about trained boxer turned cyclist Nacer Bouhanni throwing a punch during Tuesday’s 10th stage, but all they really seem to care about is his new bike.

Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang will continue in the Tour, despite suffering two small fractures in his left arm after colliding with a teammate on Wednesday; the San Francisco Chronicle responds to all the injuries this year by calling the race a full-contact sport.

A ceremony will be held today on the slopes of Mont Ventoux to honor fallen cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the ascent during the 1967 Tour de France; race leader Chris Froome plans to honor him during Thursday’s stage.

Former pro Danny Summerhill accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of jail for firing his gun into a hill between two Colorado homes because he was having a bad day on a training ride. Of course, the unanswered question is why he had a gun on his bike, and where he kept it.

Now that’s the right kind of podium girl. German cyclist Florenz Knauer got down on one knee on the podium to propose to his girlfriend after winning a British Columbia grand prix.

A writer for the Guardian says Philippa York can be the trailblazer who hauls cycling into the 21st Century, following her transition from Scottish cyclist and journalist Robert Millar.

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Local

The LA Weekly considers why there are no bike lanes in Skid Row, as residents call on the city to treat them fairly.

The SCV Bicycle Coalition is providing a free bike valet at Saturday’s Concert in the Park by an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band in Santa Clarita.

A dozen people learned mountain biking skills and etiquette at a free month clinic offered by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) at Malibu Creek State Park.

CiclaValley has a blast descending Old Topanga Canyon.

 

State

San Clemente has opened a new two-way cycle track along El Camino Real, along with a separate pedestrian walkway.

Former world champ and Olympic cyclist Amber Neben worked with special needs kids in Riverside to learn how to ride an adaptive bicycle.

Ventura County is planning to install three miles of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Thousand Oaks.

Caltrans proposes filling a gap in a Shasta bike trail in hopes of bringing more tourism to the town.

 

National

No surprise here, as a new study shows that people who live in areas with more transportation options have better health.

Strider has formed a non-profit to help distribute their balance bikes to children with mental, physical, or financial challenges.

A Gold Star mother and father stopped in Albuquerque on their four-month bike tour across the US to honor their sons, and all the military men and women killed since 9/11.

Sounds like fun. A Wichita KS bar hosts a show for “freak bikes” or “rat bikes” — aka any funky, weird or unusual bike.

A Wisconsin airman is back to serving as an MP, after two years of training fulltime as a cyclist as part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete program.

In a sign of just how seriously authorities don’t take traffic crimes, a Wisconsin man was held on a ridiculously low $1,500 bond after he was arrested for attempting to intentionally run over a bicyclist while driving drunk.

A Michigan driver lost control and rolled his car down an embankment. So naturally, the guy on the bike gets the blame.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway originally told police a man and a woman on the side of the road threw a bicycle at him.

City Lab looks at the battle over bike lanes in Baltimore, where the mayor had threatened to remove a protected bike lane before being stopped by a court order.

 

International

The crowdfunding campaign we mentioned yesterday for a Calgary cyclist clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail has been frozen after the victim closed the account; a police sweep of the trail found no safety issues. And yes, something smells very fishy.

There’s a special place in hell for the men who stole a nine-year old Winnipeg boy’s bicycle, then dragged him behind their pickup when he tried to stop them.

A Halifax randonneur became the first woman to complete a 621-mile Nova Scotia brevet in 74 hours or less, finishing with 10 hours to spare.

Singapore-based Obike becomes the first dockless bikeshare system to open in London, competing with the well-established Boris Bikes.

 

Finally…

Bicycling can make you a better surfer. No need to worry about road debris when you have your own leaf blower bike to blow it away.

And clearly, nothing has changed on LA streets in the past 96 years.

Morning Links: Lankershim Great Streets Pop Up, Finish the Ride Holiday Challenge, and ebike with Nelson Vails

It's the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today to help keep SoCal's best source for bike news coming your way every day.

It’s Day 6 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Let’s start with a couple of upcoming events.

First up, this Saturday’s Lankershim Community Pop Up will demonstrate what the boulevard could be if it’s reimagined as a Complete Street — complete with protected bike lanes — as part of the city’s Great Streets program.

Lankershim was scheduled to have bike lanes installed several years ago, but the plans were halted by then-Councilmember Tom LaBonge as part of his successful campaign to keep LA streets dangerous. Now that he’s been termed out of office, there may be hope for progress on the dangerously auto-centric street.

The LACBC will be hosting a #RideLankershim community bike ride as part of the event.

lankershim-pop-up

And a week from Sunday, Finish the Ride will host a Ride, Run, Walk ‘n Roll + Cyclocross Holiday Challenge at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, in conjunction with SoCal Cross and SAFE.

dec-finish-the-ride

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Local

Shinola has opened their latest Los Angeles location in the Arts District in DTLA (scroll down).

Bella Thorne is one of us, as the 19-year old actress and singer rode the streets of LA in her hoodie and ripped jeans.

Bike SGV invites bike riders to join them in tomorrow’s Monrovia Holiday Parade.

CiclaValley says riding the Cogswell Dam trail offers the solitude of getting away without much hassle.

You’re invited to ride a pedal-assist ebike with 1984 LA Olympian Nelson Vails at Saturday’s Electric Bike Expo in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Diego cyclists will ride to the city’s December Nights celebration in Balboa Park Friday night to highlight bikes as transportation and a way to fight climate change. Meanwhile, the city is making the temporary Bicycle Advisory Committee permanent as part of the city’s Climate Action Plan.

A Corona bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when his bicycle was clipped by a train as he walked it along the railroad tracks.

Pedego is opening a shop in Palm Springs.

San Luis Obispo’s Bike SLO County is working to help put low-income, homeless and at-risk children and adults back on bicycles; they’ve given refurbished bikes to 17 people so far.

 

National

Peer-to-peer bikeshare system Spinlister is starting a new program to help bike shops rent bicycles.

An Oregon woman rode solo on a 5,350 mile journey across the US by following Adventure Cycling’s northern tier route.

Houston plans to double the size of the city’s bikeshare system.

Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare system celebrates the season with a fully reflective, candy cane stripped bike.

Streetsblog Chicago calls it a waste of police resources to ticket bicyclists who cross the street during a leading pedestrian interval crosswalk signal.

A Detroit non-profit wants to spread bicycling to every neighborhood in the city, giving away hundreds of used bikes to make sure every kid can have a bicycle.

It takes a real jerk to steal a ghost bike for a fallen Kentucky rider.

Despite the mayor’s upbeat pronouncements, New York’s Vision Zero is headed in the wrong direction, as more pedestrians and bike riders have lost their lives in the two years the program has been in effect.

The NYPD has released a near-real time map tracking traffic collisions in the city, including crashes with bicyclists and pedestrians. Which is something Los Angeles can and should be doing as part of Vision Zero. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

Philadelphia women describe the harassment they experience working as bike messengers on the city’s streets.

 

International

A new study shows exercise really does lower your risk of death. Although bicycling drops your overall risk 15%, but oddly, doesn’t reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.

Bike Radar says you don’t need an expensive bike to enjoy mountain biking, but it helps.

British police are looking for the bike rider who collided with a 71-year old woman, who later died of her injuries; the rider did stop and provide assistance until the woman was airlifted for treatment, but left without providing his contact information. Yet another reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, especially the elderly. And yes, you need to provide your ID and insurance information, just like drivers do.

Caught on video: A Brit driver barrel rolls into a ditch after hitting a bike that fell off the roof rack of another car at 70 mph. Always make sure to mount your bike securely. And double check it before you hit the road.

Britain’s Prince Charles was one of us, reporting that he was lucky to survive being hit by a bus while riding his bike as a youth.

An Indian rider describes the experience of riding the country’s first cycle superhighway.

A UNICEF program has donated 150 bamboo bikes to help girls in Ghana stay in school by providing the means to get there.

Caught on video too: A road raging Australian cyclist boarded a Brisbane bus and repeatedly punched the driver in the face before getting back on his bike and riding away. Once again, no matter what the driver may have done, violence is not the answer; take down the time, location and number of the bus and file a formal complaint instead. Preferably with bike cam video to back it up.

An Aussie website examines the history of bikewear.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to scam someone out of a bike by dressing like fake cop and saying it’s stolen, at least make sure it’s worth stealing; no, this wasn’t him.

And if you’re going to sell your used bike, at least make sure the wheels face the right way.

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If you missed it yesterday, take a few minutes to read David Kooi’s insightful guest post explaining why you should support your local bike shop.

Morning Links: Jefferson Blvd Complete Streets in line for state funding, and LA pro Phil Gaimon calls it a career

Maybe we really will see some changes around here. Particularly in some of LA County’s less advantaged communities.

Richard Parks forwards news that the California Transportation Commission has recommended funding a number of active transportation projects in LA County.

Topping the list from his perspective is a much needed and hard fought effort to transform Jefferson Blvd into a Complete Street.

The California Transportation Commission has recommended $6 million in funding to make Jefferson Blvd. from Vermont Ave. west to Western Ave. a complete street. The plan calls for protected and buffered bike lanes, pedestrian lighting, sidewalk repairs, street trees and more. This project will link to USC’s Jefferson Blvd. Streetscape Plan which intersects with the MyFigueroa project. The CTC will ratify staff recommendations in December.

Other projects on the list include:

  • $3.4 million for the second phase of the West Santa Ana Branch Bikeway in Paramount
  • $1.8 million for bike and pedestrian enhancements on Atlantic Ave in Cudahy
  • $1 million for the first phase of the Pacoima Wash bike and pedestrian path in San Fernando
  • $1.5 million for intersection improvements at the Slauson Blue Line Station
  • $660,000 for the Garfield Avenue Complete Streets Corridor in South Gate
  • $1 million for a Huntington Park Safe Routes to School project
  • $1.1 million for the Southern California Disadvantaged Communities Planning Initiative
  • $5.3 million for Safe Routes to School pedestrian improvements in Lancaster
  • $2 million for a bike lane gap closure project on Spring Street in Signal Hill
  • $1.4 million for phase II of the DWP’s Los Nietos Safe Routes to School

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LA’s own pro cyclist Phil Gaimon calls it a career after failing to find a WorldTour ride for next season. He says don’t call it retirement, though, in a great self-penned piece that reflects the struggles of most pro cyclists; meanwhile, his Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this Sunday will become his semi-official non-retirement party.

On the other hand, British pro Bradley Wiggins considers un-retiring.

And a 25-year old Spanish cyclist gets a four year ban for doping with a drug he denies ever taking.

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Local

Venice Blvd now officially belongs to Los Angeles instead of being under the control of Caltrans, after the state pays LA to take it off their hands.

Metro is asking for input on the coming LAX Connector Line, which includes plans for a bike hub to make it easier to ride to the airport.

 

State

An unidentified bike rider was hospitalized with traumatic injuries after he or she was hit by a Garden Grove police officer. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

A Redlands thief plays Mission Impossible by lowering himself through the roof to steal $200 from a bike shop.

It’s been a rough few days in Fresno; just two days after a bike rider was killed in a collision, another rider suffered life-threatening injuries yesterday.

San Jose church members assemble 60 bicycles to donate to local children.

Palo Alto considers budget options for a new bike bridge after rejecting a previous design that came in over budget.

A Santa Rosa letter writer says the anti-bike residents along a local roadway remind him of Deliverance.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at why American trucks are so deadly for bicyclists and pedestrians, after London takes steps to ban dangerous trucks from the roads.

An Oregon TV station asks if it’s time to put bike lanes on a key bridge after a bike rider was killed by a driver with 31 previous traffic convictions. Bike lanes would be a good idea; keeping demonstrably dangerous drivers off the roads would be better.

Authorities say they know who sabotaged a Colorado bike trail, however, no charges have been filed yet in what the BLM calls an isolated incident.

Texas residents worry about property values plummeting if a proposed bike lane gets built. Never mind that bikeways have consistently been shown to increase property values.

A DC bicyclist dodged a bullet — literally — when a road raging driver took a shot at him; his rear bike tire wasn’t so lucky.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 90-year old Florida woman consistently holds her own on a 31-mile weekly group ride.

 

International

Riding a bicycle just five minutes a day can cut your risk of early death from heart disease. But it won’t get you very far.

Bicycle Times offers a guide to buying a bicycle.

Bike Radar recommends five bike action cams they like, all of which just happen to be made by GoPro or Garmin.

Who couldn’t use a few tips on dating a female competitive cyclist?

Anti-bike terrorists strike again, this time strewing tacks on an Ottawa bike lane.

Bodyguards ban British Foreign Secretary and former London Mayor Boris Johnson from bicycling over fears that riding a bike would make him a target. Just like it does the rest of us.

China’s maintenance-free, dock-less Mobike bikeshare system is expanding to Singapore, which appears to have won that skirmish in China’s bikeshare startup battle.

 

Finally…

Do Angelenos fear Scientology’s bike-riding security guards because they’re Scientologists, or because they’re on bicycles? Your next racing kit could have as much coffee inside as you do.

And it’s not unusual for a drunk driver to flee from the cops after nearly hitting a bike rider. Except when the driver is just 12-years old.

 

Morning Links: Caltrans meeting Tues, driver chases cyclist onto bike path, and plants close LA River bike path

Bobby Peppey sends news of a couple bike-related developments from Caltrans.

First up is a short survey — available in English and Spanish — regarding the state transportation department’s shift from a strictly motor vehicle-focused agency to planning for an “integrated multi-modal transportation network (including walking, biking, transit and driving) that meets the needs of all users.”

Next, he reminds us that Caltrans will host a public meeting and webinar tomorrow afternoon to discuss the latest developments on SoCal projects and gather public input.

He notes that the last meeting was filled with government bureaucrats who showed little sympathy for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users; in fact, he says he was the only person in the room who wasn’t paid to be there.

As he puts it,

I brought up the intransigence of Los Angeles City Councilmember’s towards building a safe, comfortable system of bicycle infrastructure in our City at the last meeting and hope to not be the only one doing so at the October 25 the meeting.

Let’s hope he’s not.

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Speaking of Caltrans, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards news that bikes will be barred from Camp Pendleton for the coming week, although riders will still be allowed on the 5 Freeway.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-1-42-12-am

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A rider connecting with the Rio Hondo trail in Rosemead was literally chased onto the trail by a road raging pickup driver, who was only stopped by the bollards at the entrance to the path.

All, apparently, because the cyclist had the audacity to make a left turn into the crosswalk leading to the path by legally using the left turn lane, which did not delay the driver behind him by a fraction of a second.

The rider, identified only as Askeee, notes that he aggravated the situation by flipping off the driver after he honked at him, asking “since when is that an acceptable reason for vehicular assault?”

To which the answer would be, at least since police blamed me for the road raging driver who plowed into my rear wheel after I flipped her off when she angrily honked at me like that.

(Lesson #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.)

Even though that would never be considered an excuse for any other form of assault with a deadly weapon. No one would think it’s okay if someone pulled out a gun and shot the other person after being given the bird, yet the simple fact of being behind the wheel seems to make it okay.

Let’s hope he filed a police report. And that the police take it seriously this time.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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At least now we know why the LA River bike path will be closed until the Ides of March; the Army Corps of Engineers will be using it as a staging area to remove non-native vegetation from the river channel.

Which does not explain why no notice was given, or why no one seems to give a damn about the needs of bike riders who use it.

At least the Corps promises LADOT has installed a detour path and signage. Which, based on what they offered last year, will likely be just as confusing, circuitous and impractical as ever.

CiclaValley urges everyone to turnout for a public workshop with the Army Corps on November 7th to express your outrage and demand a better solution, as well as emailing them and Congressman Adam Schiff; the LACBC offers some key talking points.

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Damian Kevitt, hit-and-run survivor and founder of both Finish the Ride and SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — sends word that SAFE Support is up for one of this year’s LA2050 Challenge Grants.

You can cast your vote to support the project here.

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Local

Jesse Creed’s upstart campaign to oust anti-bike lane incumbent city councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th District has gained the support of some big names in Hollywood.

A Metro committee approves funding for expansion of the DTLA Metro Bike bikeshare into Pasadena, Venice and the port cities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Although the Venice and port city expansions are most likely an attempt to stave off expansion of the Santa Monica and Long Beach bikeshare systems into those areas.

Richard Risemberg writes about the impending departure of Michelle Mowery from LADOT to work on the LA River bike path. Maybe she could start by convincing the Army Corps of Engineers to keep it open a little more often.

The Pasadena city council will receive a report on the city’s bike safety efforts up to this point, along with plans for the future at tonight’s meeting. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Megan Lynch also forwards news that a cyclist was air rescued after crashing on Glendora Mountain Road; no word on the condition of the rider.

A new master plan including roughly 100 miles of multi-use trails in the Castaic area will go before the LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday; the plan also includes three proposed bike skills park amenities. Whatever the hell that means.

Cycling in the South Bay posts the honorees from last weekend’s Fourth Annual South Bay Cycling Awards, and offers a truly devastating first-hand report from the survivor of a life-changing cycling collision.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that killing a Long Beach bike rider with a screwdriver is still murder, even if you kill the wrong person by mistake.

 

State

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty federal agent tried to stop thieves from taking his bicycle by jumping into the back of their pickup, and went on an unwanted seven mile ride through San Diego; both suspects were captured as  they fled after crashing the truck.

A Redlands couple is nearing the end of a 10,000 mile tandem journey around the US.

Over 1,000 cyclists participate in Sunday’s Santa Barbara 100 cycling event to raise Cottage Children’s Medical Center Family Assistance Fund.

San Luis Obispo adopts a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities within 14 years.

Modesto police pitch in to buy a new bike for a junior high student after they were impressed by his detailed crime report.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Bike Trail finally opened Sunday, allowing bicyclists to ride from Emeryville to Yerba Buena Island. And back.

 

National

A pair of Minnesota cities are declaring their DIY bikeshare systems a success; the systems make refurbished bicycles available to anyone for free, no ID necessary; surprisingly, 85% of the bikes were returned last year.

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss is one of us.

Gotham entrepreneurs are doing their best to cash in on the popularity of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare.

The driver of a stolen car was arrested after deliberately trying to run down a Philadelphia bike cop; fortunately, the officer was uninjured, though his bike appears to have seen better days.

Bighearted Alabama cops dig into their own wallets to buy a bike for a teenager after his was stolen.

Now that’s more like it. A Florida driver got ten years for a drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider.

 

International

A Vancouver bike shop worker was sentenced to 18 years for shooting his boss two years ago following a dispute over a rental agreement.

Bicyclists are under attack by anti-bike terrorists around the world, as someone has tossed tacks on the roadway leading to London’s Regent Park twice in the last week; the site is the planned route for one of the city’s cycle superhighways.

A British woman missed her own mother’s funeral after a truck driver forced her bike off the road and into a ditch, leaving her too injured to attend.

A member of Britain’s Parliament says not enough is being done to protect bicyclists from injury and intimidation. No shit.

A former Catholic church in Belgium is now a shrine to the Cannibal.

How about taking your next bike vacation in Tanzania?

An Aussie cyclist has been fined the equivalent of $115 for passing a stopped car on the left — which would be our right; it violated the law because the car was signaling for a left turn.

New Zealand opens a beautiful new sculptural underpass for cyclists in Christchurch.

Sad news for manga lovers, as popular manga artist Hiroyuki Shoji was found dead next to his bicycle in Japan last week.

 

Finally…

Your next bike may not need you to keep it stable. From wrestling champ to BMX podium, before the age of eight.

And the best seat for a bike race is directly above the course. Especially when you’re a black bear.

 

Weekend Links: A call for bold action on bikeways, and driver high-fives passenger after dooring bike rider

My apologies.

We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

………

Nothing like reading an article, and finding one of your own comments cited to support the observations of one of your favorite writers.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker writes that it will take more than bike lanes to make bicycling safe, noting that while cities are “working hard to stripe streets with green lanes and helmeted stick-figure icons,” few have managed to build a continuous, protected and highly visible network of bike lanes.

She observes that US cities need to start with a grand gesture like the plan in Paris to turn a prominent riverfront highway into a grand boulevard for biking and walking, showing that biking is a “vital, valued part of Parisian street life.”

The best way to make biking safer is not to hide our bikes on a “quiet” side street, but to put them on display in the busiest part of the city—a vibrant, active, healthy city.

That’s something LA has yet to do, even though a complete network of bike lanes is called for on many of the city’s major boulevards under the new Mobility Plan.

Instead, we’ve moved the other way, removing major streets from the plan and shunting riders off onto those quieter side streets, where they won’t be seen or heard.

Or probably even ride, since that’s not where they want to go.

Which was what my comment was about.

For all the talk about LA moving past its auto-centric past into a more complete, multi-modal future, it remains just that.

Talk.

Let’s hope that the release of LA’s Vision Zero plan, which is due sometime this month, spurs some real commitment, let alone bold action, on the part of the city.

Because actions speak louder than words.

And right now, when it comes to bicycling, Los Angeles has its hands over its mouth, and fingers planted firmly in its ears.

………

Caught on Video: A Chicago driver high-fives one of her passengers after dooring a bike rider, while the cop who responds threatens the victim with a ticket for not riding in the non-existent bike lane.

……….

Pro cyclist Tom Zirbel set a new American hour record in his final act before retiring, while finishing just short of Bradley Wiggins’ world mark.

A European sports site questions whether Alberto Contador can win another Grand Tour as he jumps to the Trek-Segafredo team; two-time Giro winner Ivan Basso follows him as part of the support staff.

A look at Day One of Mammoth Mountain’s Kamikaze Bike Games.

Cycling Industry News talks with mountain bike legend and bikemaker Gary Fisher.

………

Local

Plans for a new and improved LAX include a network of bike lanes to provide safe access to the airport, which currently is extremely unwelcoming for cyclists.

Streetsblog looks at the new report calling for mobility sharing to help remove 100,000 vehicles from LA’s streets in just five years.

CiclaValley goes on a bike date with fellow bicycling parent LA Bike Dad.

The Border Grill’s Mary Sue Milliken writes about riding 300 miles in three days with 100 other chefs to help ensure no kid goes hungry.

Santa Monica Next asks six candidates for SaMo city council about the last time they walked or rode a bicycle.

A Pasadena councilmember asks LA Mayor Garcetti to help kill the much-hated 710 Freeway extension, saying the money would be better spent on a north-south boulevard, more bike lanes and widening other nearby north-south streets.

Bike SGV hosts a women-only bike ride to the Alhambra Farmer’s Market today.

Cycling in the South Bay discovers that most Palos Verdes Estates residents don’t actually hate cyclists, despite the impression given on unsocial media.

 

State

Construction begins on a four-year project to add bike lanes to the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

An Oakland driver took bike jacking to the extreme, running down a bike rider with his car, then driving off with his bicycle.

An Op-Ed in the UC Berkeley paper says the city must unite to support bike-friendly street designs.

A passing CHP bike cop helped save the life of a 30-year old Sacramento woman when she collapsed with a heart attack while playing kickball.

 

National

Bicycling explains how a pedal strike can, in fact, start a wildfire. Which is not that different from starting one with a careless swing of a titanium golf club.

An electric vehicle website finds what they consider the perfect bike rack for your new Tesla. Other than obscuring the license plate, which is illegal in most, if not all, states.

Las Vegas Magazine says there’s no shortage of great riding around the gambling mecca.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A state senator from Queens NY says the city should keep cyclists safe by installing traffic signals instead of bike lanes. Never mind that, despite his assertions, bike lanes have been studied and reviewed by the city, and proven to improve safety.

New York cyclists turn out in force to demand safer streets and increase police reforms under Vision Zero.

A Maryland bike thief traded up, breaking into a garage to take a Trek hybrid, and leaving a Huffy in its place.

 

International

Britain’s bike-riding countess is planning a 450-mile palace to palace ride.

An English physician says ebikes really are good for you and your wallet.

British police go undercover on bicycles to nab drivers making unsafe passes; motorists are given the choice of prosecution or a 15-minute lesson in how to pass a bicyclist safely. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Penalties are going up for drivers in the UK who use their phones behind the wheel.

A Scottish farmer was fined for camouflaging a pipe running across a roadway after a bike rider was injured when he crashed into it.

The lawyer for a meth-using Aussie driver says it wasn’t really her fault that she killed a cyclist, because she might have been taking a nap at the time.

 

Finally…

You, too, can operate your own pop-up pedal-based bike bar. Are you really a pro cyclist if you have to pay to join the team, let alone actually race?

And why rush your pregnant wife to the hospital in a speeding car when you can go by cargo bike?

 

Morning Links: Waking the sleeping giant in LA and Pasadena, and a gut-wrenching Colorado hit-and-run

Lots of news leading up to next month’s elections.

LA’s Bike the Vote reviews Thursday’s Livable Streets forum for candidates running to replace termed-out Tom LaBonge, while Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers his detailed analysis, along with sound recordings of the event.

My take on night was that Tomas O’Grady and LaBonge staffers Sheia Irani and Carolyn Ramsey stood head and shoulders above the rest, although Mexico City native Fred Mariscal got the biggest applause of the night for insisting LA has to move past its overdependence on cars.

On the other hand, I had major concerns about the ability of the two LaBonge staffers to step out of the shadow of their bike-friendly-in-name-only boss to actually support bicycling and other non-automotive transportation the way they promised.

But in talking to them afterwards, both seemed sincere in wanting to improve safety and make room for bikes on our streets. And while I disagreed with Ramsay on a few points, I came away convinced she would actually listen to bicyclists and be willing to change her mind if presented with compelling arguments, unlike the man she’s running to replace.

Then again, Gil Cedillo made some pretty good promises, too.

But all eight candidates deserve a degree of support for simply showing up, unlike the other six who apparently had better things to do that night.

Meanwhile, Orange 20’s Richard Risemberg seems sold on O’Grady, while the Daily News splits their endorsement between O’Grady and Teddy Davis, who was one of those who didn’t bother to show up on Thursday.

……..

The LACBC offers great information on how to bike the vote, including responses to candidate questionnaires for council district 4, as well as district 14, where termed-out County Supervisor Gloria Molina is challenging incumbent Jose Huizar, one of the best friends bike riders have had on the city council in recent years.

Personally, I won’t vote for anyone who doesn’t complete the LACBC’s questionnaire. And I hope you’ll base your vote on their responses, as well.

……..

The candidates in CD 14 talk housing costs and basic services in Boyle Heights. And several candidates, including Molina, O’Grady, Irani and — apparently grudgingly — Ramsey, pledge to take a pay cut if they get elected.

It should be noted that LA city councilmembers receive the highest pay of any large city in the US. Which is one reason the office seems so attractive to politicians who have been termed out of other seats.

……..

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition has posted audio of the complete streets portion of a recent mayoral candidate forum for their city, as well as responses to their own candidate questionnaire.

……..

Why does all this matter?

Because bike riders remain, potentially, one of the largest voting blocks in the City and County of Los Angeles, capable of swaying elections to ensure safe streets for all of us.

But only potentially, until we finally manage to wake the sleeping giant.

……..

My hometown newspaper offers a gut-wrenching look at the effects a violent left cross and hit-and-run had on a triathlete and father; an exceptionally well written piece almost guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye. Or at least, it did mine.

On Monday, they follow-up with a story asking if justice was served.

That would be a no.

Hell no.

……..

Local

Confirmation that LA Times automotive writer Jerry Hirsch is one of us. I can personally attest he’s one of the good guys.

A Lakewood bike rider saves the life of a newborn baby who had been abandoned by her mother, scooping up the infant and racing to a nearby fire station. She can be grateful her rescuer wasn’t in a car, or he might not have heard her cries. Thanks to Margaret Wehbi for the heads-up.

 

State

UC San Diego is building a new Class 1 bike path on campus.

A non-cyclist rides the bike lanes of Redlands.

 

National

The bike that Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett commandeered from the local police to celebrate winning the NFC championship raises $10,000 for charity.

A Michigan bike rider survives a head-on collision with a truck in France to come back and rescue the medical company he built.

A good Samaritan who helped a Florida woman after she fell off her three-wheeled bike ends up stealing it.

 

International

Drawing a thread through today’s news, a proposed mandatory helmet law draws mixed reviews in Saskatchewan; The Netherlands is unlikely to require bike helmets for the young and elderly despite the recommendations of a recent report, and a New Zealand writer says those irritating cyclists need to get over themselves and wear one, already.

The Economist says London is slowly becoming a better place for bicyclists.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis becomes the third cyclist in the last few months to break the previously long-standing hour record, as Bradley Wiggins waits in the wings.

Thai authorities are building bike lanes to accommodate a bicycling boom in Chiang Mai.

 

Finally…

A 13-year old paracyclist sets a new world record for the second time, but it won’t count because doping authorities failed to show up. And a cake, ale and cigarette-loving plump Paddy — his word, not mine — rebels against hectoring from “broccoli-loving cycling fascists.”

Actually, I’m more of a spinach guy, myself.

 

Designed to kill — LA throws out Complete Streets to plan high-speed Hyperion Bridge complex

Call it a big step backward for livability — and survivability — on LA streets.

Despite a state Complete Streets policy to accommodate all road users, plans to rehabilitate the Hyperion-Glendale bridge complex currently calls for a high-speed viaduct focused strictly on moving motor vehicles as quickly as possible, at the expense of all other road users.

Bike lanes included in the current bike plan have been left out. As have safely usable sidewalks. And apparently common sense, as the plans reflect a big step backward to the failed policies of the past, similar to the killer roadways currently found in Orange County and San Diego.

Not exactly what you’d expect from our new progressive mayor, who seemed to get it when completing a questionnaire for the LACBC prior to this year’s election. Or new bike-friendly City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who replaced Garcetti in CD13.

On the other hand, it’s exactly what we might expect from Councilmember Tom LaBonge, who professes his support for bicycling while opposing bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd, and was the driving force behind the removal of the green bike lane on Spring Street in Downtown LA.

With friends like that, we don’t need enemies.

I’ll let the latest Action Alert from the LACBC take it from here.

The LA Bureau of Engineering (BOE) and Caltrans are currently studying rehabilitating the Hyperion-Glendale complex of bridges over the 5 Freeway and LA River connecting Silver Lake to Atwater Village. Despite being designated for bike lanes in the 2010 Bicycle Plan, the proposed project does not include these planned lanes. Why? LACBC and LA Walks (and many of you) attended a community workshop last night to find out.

What we discovered is plain old car-centric engineering from start to finish. Caltrans and BOE are designing Hyperion Ave. to freeway standards with a design speed of 55 miles per hour. Based on that design speed, they are pursuing a median crash barrier, banked turns, and supersized car lanes. Those decisions leave no room for bike lanes and just a narrow sidewalk on only one side of the street.  Simply designing the street to normal city street standards would leave enough room for everyone.

Your voice is needed to make Hyperion Ave. safe for all. Tell Caltrans and BOE that freeway speeds have no place on city streets and that walking and biking are just as important as moving traffic. Comments can be emailed to Tami Podesta by October 11th at [email protected]. Please cc: [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

To: [email protected]
cc: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
bcc: [email protected]

Subject: No Hyperion Freeway – Build a Safe Viaduct for All

As someone who bikes or walks between Silver Lake and Atwater Village, it is absolutely critical that Hyperion Ave. be made safe for people like me. Everyone’s needs can be met if the project is designed for appropriate speeds through an urban community. Specifically, I would like the project to include:

  • Bike lanes on Hyperion Ave.
  • Wider sidewalks and well-marked crosswalks with wayfinding signs
  • Narrower traffic lanes to provide more space for bicyclists and pedestrians and discourage speeding
  • No crash barrier and banked turns that will make people drive even faster
  • A complete crosswalk on the Atwater end of the viaduct to let people access the sidewalk from both sides of Glendale Blvd. and give bicyclists an alternative through the dangerous merge

There is no reason for this project to not be consistent with the bike plan and Caltrans complete streets policy. The viaduct is currently the greatest barrier to safe bicycle access across the 5 Freeway and the LA River. This project can change that and make all travelers benefit.

Sincerely,

your name
your address

………

A new petition calls on Caltrans to stop chip sealing popular cycling routes, following the disastrous resurfacing of Angeles Crest Highway and Mt. Baldy Road.

The surfacing treatment, which combines a layer of asphalt over gravel or other aggregate material, results in a rough roadway that is, at best, unpleasant to ride. And at worst can create dangerous conditions that make it difficult to maintain control of a bike.

Considering the outcry from bike riders when Caltrans chip sealed PCH north of Cambria earlier this year, it’s nearly incomprehensible that they would use the same technique on some of Southern California’s most popular riding routes.

Which begs the question — is Caltrans merely incompetent and tone-deaf to the needs of cyclists, or is the agency actively trying to discourage riding on these roadways?

………

Santa Monica sends a shot over the bow of LA’s long-delayed Bike Nation bike share program, as they vote to move forward with their own plan, in what the city hopes will grow to be a regional program developed in conjunction with Metro.

……..

Times readers weigh in on the new three-foot law, as the writer gently corrects a negative commenter. West LA’s Martin Cadillac could become a bike-friendly mixed-use housing, office and retail development; an apparently less bike-friendly car dealer in DTLA says he’s not trying to kill the MyFigueroa project. The aforementioned CMs LaBonge and O’Farrell belatedly celebrate the city’s first Bicycle Friendly Street. Celebrate the new and improved Colorado Boulevard this Sunday. Malibu gets a $900,000 Caltrans grant to improve the existing bike route on PCH through the west side of town. Boyonabike looks at how Monrovia could become more bike friendly in advance of the coming Gold Line station. Old Pasadena gets bike racks.

The Orange County Register finally drops its draconian paywall, but only to complain about Long Beach bike riders. Homebuyers along OC’s new Great Park will get a new bright orange bike. A San Diego driver says he’s going to keep crossing over the centerline to pass bike riders safely, regardless of whether permission to do that was removed from the new three-foot passing law; thank you. Somehow, Modesto police don’t know which way a bus was travelling, but know a cyclist rode in front of it. A 17-year old Redding-area driver is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 61-year old bike rider. A 19-year old man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a Chico cyclist, as well as possession of marijuana for sale — the day he was supposed to get off probation for a previous drug conviction.

Forbes says bicycling is badly in need of good PR, as London’s formerly bike-friendly Daily Telegraph cries out against the false god of cycling. Forbes also presents 10 cities where bicycles rule the streets; I think riders in many of those cities might disagree. Are America’s planners making Americans fat? A good looking new video from Adventure Cycling highlight’s the US Bicycle Route System — and inadvertently, bicycling’s white problem. While LA’s city leaders are busy ripping them out, Las Vegas installs new green bike lanes downtown. Nevada cyclists can now run red lights that fail to detect their presence. Instead of telling cyclists where not to park, why not install enough bike racks for everyone? A second person has been arrested in the death of two New Hampshire cyclists last weekend; the suspect allegedly provided drugs and a car to the unlicensed driver who killed them. Bikeyface says you too could ride to work on a cloud, even if you’re not athletic. New York’s Daily News rides a bike share bike with the city’s Republican candidate for mayor. A New York cabbie is really sorry and has trouble sleeping after he severed the leg of a British tourist following a dispute with a bicyclist; imagine how his victim must feel. Arlington VA cyclists get a new bike repair vending machine. Georgia considers a slate of anti-bike legislation.

A cyclist is critical of Vancouver’s GranFondo after suffering life-changing injuries when he hit a storm grate. A UK cyclist is dead because a race track failed to let drivers know there was a bike path on their property. A Brit couple time their wedding photos to include the Tour of Britain. British bike scribe Carlton Reid attempts to defend bike riding before a hostile TV audience. The successful Paris Velib bike share system may shrink because people won’t stop stealing their bikes. Bike racing’s governing body could have a new president Friday. Garmin-Sharp rider Peter Stetina prepares to compete at the world championships, despite his father’s recent near-fatal fall and flooding at the family’s Boulder CO home.

Finally, when you call the police to report a 5’9″, 90-pound man broke into your trailer, knocked you over the head and stole your bike, maybe you shouldn’t mention he stole your meth, too.

Three SoCal cities in top 10 for Complete Streets policies; proposed three-foot law moves forward

A national organization honors the Best Complete Streets Policies of 2012.

According to a press release from Smart Growth America, three of the top 10 policies are from cities in the greater L.A. area — though they define that as a far greater area than anyone here would. They list Hermosa Beach and Huntington Park tying for second behind Indianapolis, with Rancho Cucamonga in 10th place.

I think San Bernardino County would dispute that it’s anywhere near L.A. And I’m not sure L.A. would admit to more than a passing acquaintance it.

According to the SGA website, 488 cities and towns nationwide have adopted Complete Streets policies.

There may be hope for this country yet.

Update: I initially wrote that Orange County’s Huntington Beach received the honor, rather than L.A. County’s Huntington Park. Thanks to TQ for the correction.

………

California’s latest proposed three-foot law is amended to address the improbable concerns of our veto-wielding governor. Can’t say I’m familiar with the bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Steven Bradford, but I’m liking the guy more and more each time I read about this bill. Here’s who you need to bug before April 22nd to get the bill out of committee.

But will Ohio get theirs before we get ours? Depends a lot on Governor Brown and his veto pen.

……..

The Antelope Valley Times offers a detailed update on the two idiots — and I use the term advisedly — who intentionally Jerry Browned a group of cyclists on Sunday morning, as we discussed here yesterday.

Idiot one is being held on $100,000 bail, while idiot two was released on $30,000.

Thanks to Michele Chavez for the link.

………

The authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles will team with the LACBC for L.A. Roubaix, our own not-so-hellish cobblestone-equivalent ride this Sunday; I’m told participants may have an opportunity or two to join in on Sunday’s Rowena Ave Cash Mob, as well.

………

Will pedestrian improvements make Downtown’s freeway overpasses more walkable? A petition calls for completion of the planned Confluence Park and its connecting bikeways. Santa Monica students go car free. Time for a little beer-induced bike-centric socializing in Upland. Calabasas bike-centric eatery Pedalers Fork is looking damn good, even if we have to wait until the 22nd for it to open. Long Beach police are on the lookout for a bike-borne groper, who evidently owns, steals or borrows multiple bicycles. Signal Hill wants to hook up with Long Beach, bike lane-wise.

A visit to frame building school, in two parts. Velodrome season opens in San Diego on Wednesday. San Diego needs to work with SANDAG to develop a regional bicycling plan. San Francisco Streetsblog discusses raised bike lanes to separate bikes from taxis; they’re coming to Chicago, too. A 12-year old Oakland thief is arrested after attempting to make his getaway by bike. Santa Rosa is the latest city to consider a cyclist anti-harassment ordinance. A Novato bike shop gets the okay to sell beer to its customers; now that’s what I call full-service. A Vacaville cyclist is recovering after being seriously injured riding salmon.

The late Annette Funicello was 1958’s Bicycle Queen, while Stephen Colbert wipes out on a pink cruiser in the House office building. A Great White North news site challenges Lance to earn back a little respect by competing in the Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race through the Alaskan wilderness — in winter; or he could just sponsor my brother so he doesn’t have to sell his entire dog team and equipment, damn it. An OKC cyclist is looking for the hit-and-run motorist who gave him fifty bucks, then drove off. New York’s long-delayed bike share program will kick off next month; Gothamist offers a first look at a new station in Brooklyn. New York cyclists push for bike lanes on the famed Verranzano Bridge. A Brooklyn cyclist is billed $1,200 for damage to the NYPD patrol car that hit him. A Daytona Beach mother is killed riding on her way to a job interview. A Pensacola man gets 24 years for killing a cyclist in a hit-and-run six months after getting out of prison on a DUI. Miami Heat stars LaBron James and Dwayne Wade support the city’s Critical Mass.

A Vancouver cyclist is killed in a collision with a pedestrian; when bicyclists collide with pedestrians or other bike riders, it can be deadly for both victims. After the latest London bike death, cyclists call for a ban on large trucks at rush hour. London Cyclist explains why drivers get mad at us, and offers slang you need to know. A UK writer points out the first death from performance enhancing drugs occurred in 1886; not surprisingly, the victim was a cyclist. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili breaks his shoulder riding his bike in Turkey.

Finally, all the hot vampires and werewolves from Twilight recommend using bike lights so you won’t end up undead like them; or am I reading a tad too much into it? Perez Hilton loves this bike. And it turns out Niceville isn’t for at least one pedestrian and bike rider.

Better news on Adam Rybicki, LA engineers get bike/ped training, CA considers 15 mph passing law

Good news on the condition of Adam Rybicki, who was critically injured in a collision with an allegedly drunk, underage driver in Torrance on Sunday.

Jim Lyle forwards the following comment from the original story in the Daily Breeze:

A number of physicians ride on this ride and were instrumental in initially saving Adams life. Richard Brenner is one of our riders and is also a physician. Here’s what he has to say about his visit to Adam tonight: “I just returned from visiting Adam at Harbor General. He is in the ICU 3 West. He is still in a coma but shows responsiveness in his extremities. 
He has a trach tube but is not on a ventilator. He has a drainage tube in the head but they haven’t needed to drain anything. The nurse, a great guy, 
told me that his ICP, intracranial pressure, was excellent. He had a cervical collar on and has not been to the MRI. His vitals were good. His face looks a lot better than I expected. There is some swelling but I didn’t see any of the lacerations I was expecting. The nurse noted that Adam has been improving in his responsiveness during his shift. Say a prayer.

Also, in answer to questions I’ve gotten from several people, cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels confirms that the passengers in the car driven by Jaclyn Garcia could not be legally required to take a breathalyzer test, even though they were underage and allegedly drunk at the time of the collision. Under California law, only the driver is required to prove sobriety.

The officers investigating the crash could have given them field sobriety tests to test for underage drinking or public intoxication, however. Wheels also notes that police would not have allowed them to leave on their own if they were too drunk to take care of themselves, and could have taken them into custody until they sobered up or someone came to get them.

The passengers also bear no legal responsibility, according to Wheels, either for the collision itself or for allowing Garcia to drive under the influence, unless they were actively interfering with her ability to drive. That’s something we should look at trying to change; anyone who knowingly allows someone to drive after drinking should bear some responsibility for whatever follows.

And contrary to my understanding, while the person(s) who sold, served or supplied the girls with alcohol could be held responsible for violating state liquor laws, they bear no responsibility for the collision itself under California law.

For anyone who may have missed it yesterday, it appears the initial comments by a Torrance Police spokesperson were wrong. All reports I’ve received from people on the scene of Sunday’s collision indicate the Torrance police conducted a fair, thorough and unbiased investigation, and that the officer who’s comments suggested police were blaming the cyclists was not involved in the investigation and had no direct knowledge of the case.

.………

One of my biggest complaints over the years, and one I’ve frequently heard from other cyclists, is that bike infrastructure too often looks like it was designed by someone who had never been on a bike.

From bike lanes that start and stop at random and place cyclists squarely in the door zone, to bike paths that double as sidewalks and force riders to navigate through turning motor vehicle traffic.

Now the LACBC is working with LADOT and the Mayor’s office to do something about it.

Since the Mayor’s Bike Summit last year, the LACBC has been working quietly behind the scenes to arrange a training program in complete streets and bicycle and pedestrian safety design. Now it’s finally going to take place later this month, with an intensive two-day training session, not just for Bikeways staff, but for all of the city’s roadway engineers.

Maybe we can use this as a springboard for a Vision Zero plan for Los Angeles to achieve a rate of zero cyclists and pedestrians killed on city streets by 2020.

With the new bike plan, better relations with and enforcement from the LAPD, a bike-friendly mayor, a soon-to-be adopted anti-harassment ordinance, and now bike and pedestrian safety training for the people who design our streets, the pieces are finally in place.

It might be hard, but it is doable.

.………

Cyclelicious reports on the latest attempt to approve a three-foot passing law in the California legislature. As the bill now stands, it contains not only the three-foot provision, but also a requirement that drivers pass cyclists at a maximum 15 mph speed differential.

While most reasonable people understand the need to slow down to pass a cyclist, this appears to be an unenforceable standard as it now stands, requiring drivers to slow from 60 mph or more on some highways to 30 or 40 mph — or less — when they pass a cyclist riding on the shoulder.

A better standard might be to require the maximum speed differential when passing a cyclist in the same lane.

Even then, such a speed differential would be virtually impossible to objectively measure, requiring an officer with a speed gun to measure the relative speeds of both the cyclist and the passing vehicle. And frankly, police usually have better things to do with their time.

The only time something like this might come into play would be in the event of a collision, when it could be proven that the vehicle did not slow down before hitting the cyclist.

Which makes me wonder if it’s really just a straw dog — something that could be negotiated away in order to gain approval for the three foot provision.

Or does someone else have some insights on this that I don’t?

.………

CicLAvia is still looking for volunteers for Sunday, as well as the days leading up to L.A.’s new favorite biking, walking, sitting and just generally hanging out event. Fill out this form to volunteer on Sunday, or this one to volunteer to help get ready on Friday and Saturday; email CicLAviaVolunteer [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.

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LADOT Bike Blog offers an interview with new BAC chair Jay Slater. Damien Newton looks at the county’s proposed bike plan and not surprisingly, finds it lacking, with no plan to implement any of it. Steven Box writes that is has been a long road to relevance for L.A. cyclists, but this is just the beginning. Santa Monica unveils their proposed Bicycle Action Plan on Wednesday. Answering questions about the coming weekend’s 2011 Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer event. Richard Risemberg rolls with the monthly Vélo Rétro ride. L.A. Cyclist recounts the restoration of a Nishiki with a bizarre front freewheel. Cynergy Cycles invites you to be one with your bike this Thursday. What to do to keep from getting dropped on group rides. A look back at Santa Monica bicycling history. Evidently, there’s a new Pashley in town. The Times offers a story on biking the steep trail to Little Pine. April is Distracted Driving Month in California — which means don’t do it, rather than encouraging it.

The Quiznos Pro Challenge thankfully abandons their horrible sandwich huckstering name and will hereby be known as the USA Pro Cycling Challenge; now that sounds like something I might actually watch. A new study shows that the percentage of who rides is nearly equally divided among economic groups, with lower income riders making up the largest group and upper income the smallest — so much for the idea that only rich yuppies ride bikes.

Twelve reasons to start using a bike for transportation. The U.S. once led the world in cycling. Minneapolis’ success offers a lesson in how to beat the bikelash. A cycling physician is killed when a driver has a sneezing fit. DC bike commuting on the increase. A cyclist participating in an annual Florida cycling event is killed when a driver attempts to retrieve a dropped cell phone; am I the only one who thinks calling this the event’s first fatality sounds like they’re planning for more?

In what’s sure to be seen by Tea Partier’s as yet another plot for world domination, the UN is now tweeting about road safety. After riding 1750 miles across Europe, a group of Brit soldiers riding for to raise funds for charity are forced to complete the journey on foot due to safety regulations. Mayor Boris considers establishing the London Marathon on Wheels. Saxo Bank SunGuard rider Nick Nuyens takes the Tour of Flanders in a final breakaway with Sylvain Chavanel and Fabian Cancellara; proof the strongest rider doesn’t always win. An Aussie man gets a slap on the wrist after setting a trap for mountain bikers, then changing his mind and warning riders.

Finally, Gothamist offers a hilarious take on the New York Post’s idiotic attempt to link their irrational hatred of New York bikeways and the woman behind them to — wait for it — 9/11.

I’m in catch up mode this week, so please bear with me. I’ve got lots of good stories in the queue, including a guest post from Eric Weinstein on Sunday’s Crosstown Traffic Ride, updates on bike-related criminal cases from Dj Wheels, bike lanes blocked by movie crews, and photos of the crappiest bike lane on the Westside — yes, even worse than Westwood’s Ohio Ave.

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