Tag Archive for Coyote Creek Bike Trail

Morning Links: Fletcher Drive and Venice Blvd meetings this week; Vision Zero improvements for Temple St

It’s a busy week for the LA bike world.

From Vision Zero and Great Streets, to the grand re-opening of a popular bikeway.

There’s a follow-up meeting to discuss the proposed Vision Zero improvements for Fletcher Drive this Wednesday, as local business groups post misleading information to oppose it. And count KTLA traffic reporter Ginger Chan in the anti camp, evidently.

The battle over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project goes on, with the next skirmish scheduled for an open house in Mar Vista this Saturday. And yes, the folks opposed to the changes are calling for a big turnout. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

The LACBC posted photos of the proposed Vision Zero improvements for Temple Street, including bike lanes and a 2.3 mile lane reduction.

And the Coyote Creek bikeway is finally reopening tonight in Los Alamitos.

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The yellow jersey comes and goes, and comes back again, though Chris Froome nearly lost the day to a broken spoke on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Guardian features notes from the past week at the Tour de France.

Good question. A Cycling News Op-Ed offers a nuanced take on cycling’s hypocritical and uneven handling of past dopers, questioning why we pillory Tom Simpson, Lance or Jan Ullrich, while giving other riders from the doping era a pass.

A Scottish newspaper addresses the rampant sexism in pro cycling, where podium girls are more visible than women cyclists.

A 21-year old Zimbabwean cyclist has risen to become the nation’s road and mountain bike champ, despite not even owning his own bicycle. Someone get this man a sponsor, stat.

Nice gesture from the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, which gave a new bike, helmet and an autographed pro cycling team jersey to a six-year old Idaho girl suffering from hearing loss.

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Local

Bike riders continue to complain about homeless encampments encroaching on the Orange Line bike path between Sepulveda and Hazeltine, although local businesses say they’re beginning to see improvement as the city steps up enforcement efforts. Part of the problem is that the encampments are on private property, limiting what authorities can do to remove them.

Santa Monica police bust a thief who stole a $1,250 bike when the owner left it unlocked outside a restaurant. Which is sort of like leaving your laptop or smartphone on the sidewalk, and trusting it will be there when you get back.

 

State

Bad news from Laguna Nigel, where a man suffered severe head trauma after losing control of his bike and hitting a tree face first. Let’s hope he makes a full and fast recovery.

A letter writer calls for a walkable, bikeable Mariner’s Mile that will serve as a Main Street for Newport Beach, not a freeway that slashes across the community.

Tragic news from Vallejo, as the 16-year old boy who was hit by a pickup while riding with his father on Thursday has died three days after the crash. Something is seriously wrong when a boy can’t safely go for a ride with his dad.

A Chico letter writer calls on bike advocates to clean up the mess made by homeless camps on a bike path. You know, just like drivers pitch in to clean up the roads they use.

 

National

NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr. rides his bike to earn more beers.

A Nebraska judge tossed a case against an alleged meth dealer after a cop stopped him for riding in a crosswalk — which isn’t illegal in the state — making everything they found on him inadmissible.

The Nashville Tennessean says yes, cyclists and pedestrians need to pay attention, but if drivers aren’t willing to watch the road, they shouldn’t be on it. Meanwhile, the widow of a fallen rider says to pass bicyclists like you love them. Which is good advice for anyone, no matter who you’re passing or how.

A Central New York bike ride appears to have set a new record for the largest classic bicycle parade, with 158 people riding bikes built as far back as 1923.

 

International

Combine your love of bikes and food with eight culinary bike tours for from around the world. Or maybe you’d prefer a beautiful tour mixing bikes and trains.

This is why you don’t run red lights. Dash cam video captures a Ottawa, Canada bike rider going through a red light and riding directly into the path of an oncoming car; fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured.

A Canadian writer says there’s not a number on your back in a group ride, so don’t treat it like a race.

Not surprisingly, Manchester, England is having the same problems with dockless bikeshare bikes nearly every other city has. Including a London borough that ordered them removed.

After someone stole a British woman’s bicycle, she just stole it back. Even though this turned out okay, it’s always best to let the police handle it; there have been several cases that didn’t end as well.

Now that’s more like it. A British judge sentences a drunk hit-and-run driver who seriously injured a 16-year old bike rider to three years in jail, and revokes his license for more than eleven years, while calling for stiffer penalties for hit-and-run drivers.

A Scottish model is riding the length of the UK to raise funds for children in Cape Verde, but describes the ride as “horrific.”

New stamps from Germany, Switzerland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina commemorate the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, while French stamps honor the invention of concrete.

An Indian man rides his bike over 1,200 miles through the Sahara Desert in 28 days.

An editorial in an Aussie paper says the government should come to its senses and reverse oppressive fines on cycling and the removal of bikeways.

 

Finally…

How many people can say their bike lights are literally out of this world. If you’re going to use your smartphone while you ride, try to look up before crashing into a police car.

And if you think bicyclists are lunatics waging an idiotic war with anyone normal, while riding one yourself, what does that make you?

Just asking.

 

Morning Links: Flooded waterway bike paths, sampling new lighted bike safety backpack, and #peaceontheroad

As you may know, this site has long been a supporter of local bike shops.

So starting today, we’re putting a dollar figure on that support, with our first-ever sale on ad space.

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA will be offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates just for local bike shops, or other small businesses in the bike industry. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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Mike Wilkinson forwards a reminder of the primary purpose of the popular Coyote Creek bike path.

Similar views can be found today on the Ballona Creek and the LA River pathways, as well as virtually any bike path along one of Southern California’s usually arid riverbeds.

Just in case you need a reminder of why local authorities sometimes seem to overreact by closing the paths whenever rain seems imminent.

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Look what came from India last week.

As the Onion once put it, “Visibility is crucial when biking. Ride with a lit highway flare in each hand.”

Since that’s not always practical, the Aster backpack from Lumos comes complete with built-in reflectors, front lights, tail lights, turn signals and brake lights.

I’m not normally a fan of the visibility arms race — any driver actually paying attention to the road should be able to see a cyclist without making us dress up like brilliantly lit dystopian clowns — it does promise to combine practicality with safety.

And while I’m more of a messenger bag guy, I’ll look forward trying this out and letting you know what I think.

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Nice piece from the Racers Who Ride Foundation, as pro racer Ozz Negri, Jr. discusses his love of bicycling and what #peaceontheroad is all about.

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Sad news from the world of cyclocross, as a Belgian coach apparently committed suicide after one of his junior cyclists failed a dope test, and a 15-year old British U-16 national champ unexpectedly died in his sleep Friday night.

World Champion Peter Sagan discusses the loss of anonymity that come with his cycling success.

Irish cycling great Sean Kelly says a chance encounter with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on their South African honeymoon helped launch his pro career.

An Aussie paper talks with retired pro Cadel Evans, crediting him with sparking a Lycra revolution in the country.

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Local

Metro is holding a meeting this Thursday to discuss the first segment of the planned Rail to River trail through South LA.

Bike-friendly Santa Monica doubles down on plans for a sustainable future. Meanwhile, the city council will vote to approve a contract to study bicycle intersection treatments, including bike boxes and detection devices to help traffic signals identify bike riders.

 

State

Organizers of Saturday’s Tour de Palm Springs had to work through the night to plan an alternate route after several streets were flooded by Friday’s rain.

Marin County officials use speed guns to measure how fast mountain bikes ride on county trails. And learn the overwhelming majority of riders obey regulations.

Stockton’s interim police chief started on the road to becoming a cop when a pair of bullies stole his Schwinn back in sixth grade.

 

National

This year’s RAGBRAI will take an easier route across northern Iowa.

Winter bicycling is spiking in popularity in the Chicago area, despite the cold.

An Illinois family has given up their car and taken to their bikes as their primary form of transportation, and are documenting the experience to help others understand how to be less reliant on cars.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old New Hampshire man still rides 1,000 miles a year.

A Staten Island website says bicyclists and pedestrians bear responsibility for avoiding crashes under Vision Zero, too.

DC area planners are measuring cycling level of stress to plan lower stress routes that would encourage more people to ride bikes. Although now stress is good for you.

A Norfolk VA paper asks if the city council is crazy for going forward with a 10 mile, $62 million bike path. They have a point; according to a road builders association, they could build a four lane highway for the same price. However, the price tag also includes prep work for future high speed transit, even though voters recently killed plans for light rail.

 

International

Bikeshare is credited with getting more women on bikes.

The executive director of a Winnipeg, Canada bike advocacy group calls on the city to adopt Vision Zero, for reason that should be obvious.

North London police get it, saying bicyclists will no longer be fined for riding on the sidewalk, and they’ll look into the reasons why people would feel the need to choose sidewalks over riding on the road.

A British councilor gets it, too, saying “Cyclists should not be expected to take their lives in their hands every time they set out on the roads.”

A new survey shows a fifth of Brits haven’t ridden a bike in over ten years, and one and ten can’t even remember how. Evidently, not even riding a bike is just like riding a bike.

This is the cost of traffic violence. After a UK musician was killed in crash while riding his bike, his band mates release the final recording he made just days before his death as a free download in his honor.

Way to kill a burgeoning bike movement. Sales for pedal-assist ebikes have plummeted in Malta after the country required helmets and registration. That should serve as fair warning for those of us here in the US.

A Malaysian city councilor calls for making Penang the cycling capital of the island nation.

A team of self-appointed bike vigilantes hunt through the streets and alleys of Guangzhou, China for bikeshare bikes that have been appropriated for private use.

Chinese-made bikes are taking over the world; 93.5% of bikes sold in the US last year were made in China.

 

Finally…

It takes a major scumbag to drag a dog behind his bike. And anyone can ride a bike, but how many can say they’ve been felicitated?

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On a personal note, it was six years ago today we took a chance on a very pissed off adult dog with major abandonment issues. 

Which turned out to be one of smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

Rescue dogs are the best.

Morning Links: Hidden danger on the Coyote Creek Trail, and the Bike League analyzes cycling fatalities

I’m just getting word of a dangerous situation on the Coyote Creek Trail in Los Alamitos.

Orange County cyclist Bob Masuzumi writes that he was riding south on the trail with a small group of riders between Wardlow Road and Los Alamitos Blvd, just before a bridge that crosses a secondary creek next to the high school.

As he tells it,

The rider in the lead didn’t realize the trail, which is poorly marked, curved away from the creek and that you had to cross the creek using the bridge.  Unfortunately, he rode off the trail and ended up at the bottom of Coyote Creek, sustaining a serious concussion resulting in 3 days in the ICU.  He was then transferred to their rehab facility from which he should be released tomorrow.  However, he will continue to receive therapy as an out-patient for an unknown length of time.

I believe that not only does it need proper markings, but there should be a fence extending from the bridge past the curve, so that other riders do not make the same mistake.  Also, a fence needs to be added on the other side of the bridge.  Currently, a rider, after crossing the bridge, needs to make a 90 degree right turn, otherwise they  will end up going down the embankment toward the high school.  This area does not seem to be very safe for cyclists at all & we believe should be corrected to prevent anything similar happening to another cyclist.

I can’t say I’m familiar with the area, even though we’ve discussed problems on the trail before. Including the fact that Los Alamitos has failed to adequately maintain its section of the pathway.

But if you know the part of the trail he’s talking about, what do you think?

Is this as dangerous as it sounds, and does it need corrective measures — or at least a warning sign to comply with state law regarding known dangers on off-road trails?

And is anyone familiar with any other riders who may have been hurt there?

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A new report from the League of American Bicyclists offers a detailed analysis of bicycling fatalities over a recent 12-month period.

We learned, for example, that a much higher percentage of fatal crashes than expected — 40% of fatal crashes with a reported collision type — were “hit from behind” incidents — that’s important to know for our education program. Not surprisingly, high-speed urban and suburban arterial streets with no provisions for bicyclists are an over-represented location — representing 56% of all bicyclist fatalities — that’s good information to share with our Bicycle Friendly Community partners.

We found important new information about why crashes happen, how they are reported, and the scope of enforcement actions taken against motorists — including common felonies charged and average sentences for 77 convictions related to bicyclist fatalities

Overwhelmingly, however, we were struck by the lack of information, the lack of action, and the lack of a sense of outrage over these deaths, even in communities where this kind of tragedy is relatively common.

It’s something I plan to dive into over the next few days. Because the better we understand how and why these tragedies occur, the more we can do to prevent them.

As they say in asking us all to call on the US Department of Transportation to demand action — and as I’ve argued many times before — there’s only one acceptable number of traffic fatalities when it comes to cyclists and pedestrians. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Zero.

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Local

Metro honors Sweeyoke Ooi for their monthly Why We Ride series. Because, as they say, Bike Week never ends for many Angelenos. And they offer photos from their Bike Week Guided Ride Day, which evidently did. End, that is.

The Times astutely notes that it’s time to retire the myth that Los Angeles has a love affair with cars, despite what our state’s senior Senator says.

Rick Risemberg attends Sunday’s Reinventing the Wheel: the Future of Mobility in LA sponsored by Santa Monica public radio station KCRW and finds it sadly auto-focused. And out of beer.

Surprisingly, LA doesn’t make the list of the 20 most dangerous cities for pedestrians, though the Riverside/SanBernardino/Ontario region does.

Michael Wagner of CLR Effect confronts Death at the Tour of California. Twice, in fact.

I missed this one last week, as Cycling in the South Bay says being nice has nothing to do with how we’re treated on the road.

 

State

A seven-hour bike ride along the Orange County coast.

The new Napa County Bike Commuter of the Year just got back on his this January after suffering a broken leg in a dooring.

A new infographic lists the top eight American cities for cyclists. Bagdad by the Bay makes the list; LA, not surprisingly, doesn’t.

 

National

Sixteen drunk driving arrests, nine convictions, and the maximum sentence allowed under Washington law is three lousy years. This is why people continue to die on our streets.

The Las Vegas Weekly questions whether the city deserves its new bike-friendly designation. Then again, I once wondered the same about Santa Monica.

A Montana man gets five years for killing a cyclist in a drunken hit-and-run.

A Boston pediatrician prescribes public bike share to treat heath problems due to poverty.

Why teach your kid to ride a bike when you can hire a coach at $90 per lesson to do it for you?

 

International

Caught on video: A British Columbia cop goes on trial for punching a handcuffed cyclist in the face. Since when do bike riders get arrested — let alone punched — for not wearing a helmet and allegedly running a red light?

London’s Telegraph tells cyclists not to vote for an anti-bike political party. Good advice for bike riders everywhere.

Ex-Chevalier Lance Armstrong is stripped of the French Legion of Honor.

In a brilliant experiment, a Swedish city gives residents free bikes for six months as long as they promise not to drive three days a week; thanks to Daniel Blazquez for the link.

Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich injures two people in a three car crash while driving drunk at 20 kilometers over the speed limit. Then tries to pass it off by saying it could happen to anyone. Uh, no. Only someone stupid and careless enough to get behind the wheel after drinking.

 

Finally…

Yet another reason to wear a helmet, as a road-raging Oregon driver hits a bicyclist in the head with a hatchet; fortunately, the rider is okay. And police recover a Welsh cyclist’s stolen bike, but give it to someone else due to a clerical error.

But at least he got his pedals back.

 

A popular bike path closes with no apparent warning; a bike-hating OC writer tries to rip us a new one

I’ve gotten a few emails lately wondering why the Coyote Creek Bike Trail suddenly closed with no advance warning.

The popular Class I bikeway provides a 9.5 mile off-road route along Coyote Creek from Santa Fe Springs until it merges with the San Gabriel River Trail.

Or at least it did.

According to the following email I received from Fullerton cyclist Colin Campbell, the bike path is going to be closed at Alondra Drive for the next several years. And if Caltrans bothered to tell anyone in advance, the word didn’t get out to the riders who use it.

After this morning’s ride, I ate a slice of cold pizza and went out to “finish” today’s ride.  (I’m in the Strava “Twice the Tour” Challenge, in which riders must ride double the miles of the Tour of California, or 1479 miles, during May.)

I’ve been trying to find out how long the Coyote Creek bike trail would be closed around Alondra, I-5, and Firestone.  Last Friday I rode up to the closure from the south, and I couldn’t find anyone to talk to.  Over the weekend, I searched on the Internet and read about the I-5 widening and improvement project from the Orange County line to I-605.  What I read said that there were seven smaller projects, one of which is at Coyote Creek and Alondra. This project has just started, and is schedule to complete sometime in 2015.

So today, I rode across Rosecrans and headed south.  Just past the Alondra underpass, I found people, who directed me to the contractor’s construction office at the corner of Alondra and Freeway Dr, just east of Coyote Creek.  I was able to speak with Mark, the project manager.

He gave me a short overview of the project, and the bad news – the trail will likely be closed for at least a couple of years.  It has already been filled with dirt so that equipment can access the strip of land between the creek and the trail, where 36-inch piles will be sunk 100 feet to support the new I-5 bridge.  I-5 is going to be raised about six feet, and Alondra about 10 feet above where they are today.  So eventually, the trail may head through there “at grade”, rather than being sunk several feet.  (This is just my guess, nothing I was told.)

For now, there are signs at Artesia and at Rosecrans advising riders that the trail is closed.  It is possible to ride south to the swap meet (old drive-in theater) and exit onto Alondra.  However, at some point, Alondra will be closed while it is rebuilt 10 feet higher.  From there, ride east to Valley View, and take Valley View south to Artesia to reenter the trail southbound.

It is also possible to ride north to Firestone, follow Firestone southeast under Valley View, turn right, then right again, and take Valley View north past the closure (most likely to Rosecrans for most riders).

The bottom line is that the Coyote Creek trail is lost to us for a good while, and we should get used to using other routes.  And of course, the other bottom line is that no one in Caltrans thought to inform the cycling community of this “minor” impact….

In a follow-up email, Campbell talks a little more about the closure and apparent lack of notice, and notes that parts of the trail that remain open are in need of repair.

In short, the trail was closed as part of the improvement project on Interstate 5 from the Orange County line to Interstate 605.  I understand that closure of the trail was necessary, but I’m a little sad that Caltrans apparently did nothing to tell cyclists about the closure or the duration thereof.  I suppose that several hundred riders use the trail daily, while about 178,000 vehicles travel I-5 each day.  I am a little bit hopeful that some planning can be done to reopen the trail sooner than the project manager indicated.

One thing I didn’t mention in my e-mail below is that the Coyote Creek trail has been repaved along most of its length, except for about four miles in Cerritos, Hawaiian Gardens, and Los Alamitos.  Part of the trail is breaking up, leaving the surface narrowed and rough.  LA County DPW tells me that the cities along the trail built it and are responsible for maintenance.  I haven’t yet tried to find out if improvements are in their plans.

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An Orange County letter writer calls out every anti-bike cliché in the book to protest the recent decision to put sharrows on the coast highway.

After all, we non-bicyclists contribute monies, through our taxes, which pay for all of those never-ending miles and miles of bicycle paths, bicycle lanes, bicycle markings and other alleged “safety measures.” Presently, bicycle riders are getting a “free ride.” Bicyclists are the only group who share the road but don’t pay their fair share.

Evidently, she’s aware of a lot more never-ending miles of bikeways than than the rest of us. Which makes me wonder just where the hell Orange County is hiding them.

She also complains about “older, leisure-time bicycle riders” who dress up in too-tight clothes and an “all-too-common case of road rage.” In fact, she goes so far as to call for banning any cyclists over the age of 65 from riding on public streets.

No, seriously.

I never knew road rage was something you could wear. Then again, I also didn’t know it was possible to meander aggressively. Or that cyclists put drivers of cars, SUVs and trucks in peril.

I must have missed all those stories about careless, distracted and/or aggressive cyclists slamming into SUVs and killing or maiming the drivers. Evidently, it must happen a lot, and we can only thank her for bringing it to our attention.

I know I, for one, will immediately pack away my spandex so as not to threaten or offend innocent motorists such as herself. Even if I still have a few good years left before I can expect to lose all control over my bike and body after crossing that magical 65-year old threshold.

Especially since she thinks the sharrows and bike lanes that we demand others pay for only make drivers more impatient and aggressive. And make it our own damn fault if we get doored and thrown in front of oncoming traffic.

She concludes that if we really insist on having such life-threatening bikeways, we should be forced to pay the exorbitant construction costs ourselves.

Then again, maybe we should send her a bill for all those roads that motorists like her don’t pay for, either.

And as it turns out, she doesn’t seem to like dogs any more than she likes bikes.

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Finally, one more reason to pass pedestrians with the same margin you’d expect from drivers, as a Pennsylvania man pulls out a gun and shoots at a cyclist who brushed against him. And just in time for Bike to Work Day, the father of Vehicular Cycling seems to suggest that Complete Streets are a fraud, and nothing can be done to encourage people to switch from cars to bikes; thanks to Christopher Kidd for the link.

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