Tag Archive for crosswalks

Yesterday’s ride, on which I stop traffic

Maybe it was the uptick in my mood after yesterday’s surprisingly pleasant encounter with the LAPD. Or maybe everyone was just in a good mood brought on by the Lakers parade.

But everywhere I went, people just seemed a little happier to share the road. Pedestrians — other than the hothead who touched off yesterday’s incident — thanked me for warning them when I was about to pass. Bus drivers waited patiently for me to ride out of their way, and even waved in thanks when I moved out of the way so they could turn.

But the highlight had to be the young mother waiting patiently to cross the street with her small daughter.

They were standing next to a crosswalk with no traffic signal. The kind where drivers are legally required to stop so people can cross.

But as I rode up, I watched several cars drive past without even pausing, leaving both mother and child stranded on the curb. So when I got there, I made a point of stopping, and nodded to indicate they could cross.

Just as they stepped off the curb, though, I noticed a car approaching on my left, clearly intending to pull around me and drive through the crosswalk. So I stuck my arm out, signaling him to stop — though it did occur to me later that he could have just as easily read that as a left turn signal.

Either way, it did the job. He stopped, and mother and child crossed safely.

About halfway across, though, she turned back to me and said “Thank You.” Then as she continued on her way, she added “You rock!”

Over 24 hours later, that still feels pretty damn good.

……..

Flying Pigeon adds Dutch bikes to their lineup of proletarian cycles. Damien Newton observes that yesterday’s Downtown street closures prove the city could host a ciclovia. Streetsblog also notes that cycling and pedestrian projects depend on federal funding, and examines the failure of the Chicago parking privatization plan our mayor wants to emulate. Curbed offers a suggestion to replace the 10 freeway with a bikeway, among other green improvements. A Hoboken cyclist addresses common concerns about adding new bike lanes — maybe LADOT should read it. The Fox News staffer who dragged a cyclist through Central Park has been arrested. And finally, the Beeb examines Britain’s ghost bikes.

That’s so unL.A. — A formerly pedestrian-free crosswalk

Last week I posted a photo last week of the world’s first working, no-pedestrians-allowed crosswalk. And the last thing I expected was that someone would actually do something about it.

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

For nearly three full days, no one even noticed. Then Damien Newton reposted it on Streetsblog LA. And then the snarky, justifiably outraged comments started pouring in. Traffic to my site went through the ceiling — well, it is a pretty low ceiling, after all. Other sites picked it up (thank you, Green LA Girl).

And then Damien had to go and ruin it all.

He emailed someone at L.A.’s Department of Transportation. And actually got a response.

Next thing you know, there’s a work crew on its way to take down the signs and turn it back into a real, functional crosswalk that actually allows pedestrians.

Sure enough, I went by this morning, and the signs are down. People were actually using it. No one was getting a ticket. And no one was getting run over.

westwood-2

So far, at least.

Now, if someone could just do something about the street next to my building, which is starting to look — and feel — like the famed cobblestones of Paris – Roubaix.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

 

Reaview Rider gets challenged to a race, cyclist vs. motorcycle cop. Clean-up is completed along the Orange Line bikeway. Wisconsin lawmakers finally consider changing the law that penalizes the biking dooree, instead of the doorer. Cleveland riders are going to get their very own Bikestation, complete with lockers, showers and repair facilities; we can’t even get sharrows. And the stud factor for local cyclists just went up dramatically — evidently, Mr. Gyllenhaal is one of us.

That’s so unL.A. — A formerly pedestrian-free crosswalk

Last week I posted a photo last week of the world’s first working, no-pedestrians-allowed crosswalk. And the last thing I expected was that someone would actually do something about it.

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

For nearly three full days, no one even noticed. Then Damien Newton reposted it on Streetsblog LA. And then the snarky, justifiably outraged comments started pouring in. Traffic to my site went through the ceiling — well, it is a pretty low ceiling, after all. Other sites picked it up (thank you, Green LA Girl).

And then Damien had to go and ruin it all.

He emailed someone at L.A.’s Department of Transportation. And actually got a response.

Next thing you know, there’s a work crew on its way to take down the signs and turn it back into a real, functional crosswalk that actually allows pedestrians.

Sure enough, I went by this morning, and the signs are down. People were actually using it. No one was getting a ticket. And no one was getting run over.

westwood-2

So far, at least.

Now, if someone could just do something about the street next to my building, which is starting to look — and feel — like the famed cobblestones of Paris – Roubaix.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

 

Reaview Rider gets challenged to a race, cyclist vs. motorcycle cop. Clean-up is completed along the Orange Line bikeway. Wisconsin lawmakers finally consider changing the law that penalizes the biking dooree, instead of the doorer. Cleveland riders are going to get their very own Bikestation, complete with lockers, showers and repair facilities; we can’t even get sharrows. And the stud factor for local cyclists just went up dramatically — evidently, Mr. Gyllenhaal is one of us.

That’s so unL.A. — A formerly pedestrian-free crosswalk

Last week I posted a photo last week of the world’s first working, no-pedestrians-allowed crosswalk. And the last thing I expected was that someone would actually do something about it.

Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

For nearly three full days, no one even noticed. Then Damien Newton reposted it on Streetsblog LA. And then the snarky, justifiably outraged comments started pouring in. Traffic to my site went through the ceiling — well, it is a pretty low ceiling, after all. Other sites picked it up (thank you, Green LA Girl).

And then Damien had to go and ruin it all.

He emailed someone at L.A.’s Department of Transportation. And actually got a response.

Next thing you know, there’s a work crew on its way to take down the signs and turn it back into a real, functional crosswalk that actually allows pedestrians.

Sure enough, I went by this morning, and the signs are down. People were actually using it. No one was getting a ticket. And no one was getting run over.

westwood-2

So far, at least.

Now, if someone could just do something about the street next to my building, which is starting to look — and feel — like the famed cobblestones of Paris – Roubaix.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

Pandora Street, between Eastborne and Santa Monica Blvd.

 

Reaview Rider gets challenged to a race, cyclist vs. motorcycle cop. Clean-up is completed along the Orange Line bikeway. Wisconsin lawmakers finally consider changing the law that penalizes the biking dooree, instead of the doorer. Cleveland riders are going to get their very own Bikestation, complete with lockers, showers and repair facilities; we can’t even get sharrows. And the stud factor for local cyclists just went up dramatically — evidently, Mr. Gyllenhaal is one of us.

That’s so L.A. — Pedestrian-free crosswalks

 

They say no one walks in L.A. And that may be true soon, if our local department of transportation continues their policy of removing crosswalks for the safety of pedestrians.

No, seriously.

Then there’s this intersection in Westwood, which features what may be the world’s first crosswalk where no pedestrians are allowed — despite the presence of a working pedestrian signal.

Kind of makes you wonder just who it’s intended for, doesn’t it?

westwood-crosswalk1

On a totally unrelated note — after two decades as an Angeleno, I had long ago given up any hope of finding a decent tamale in this town. At least without making a pilgrimage to East L.A.

Then a few weeks ago, we took a trip to MacArthur Park and discovered Mama’s Hot Tamales Café. Absolutely the best tamales I’ve ever had in this town. And the best part is, it’s a non-profit restaurant established to help train people for careers in the restaurant industry, while helping to reclaim and revitalize the MacArthur Park area.

So check it out if you get a chance. Because a cyclist has to eat. And be sure to try the Mexican Mocha — by far, the single best cuppa joe I’ve had in years.

Open for lunch 11 am — 3:30 pm, 7 days a week.

The Cycling Lawyer says goodbye to Velo News. A new database has been established to track dangerous and threatening drivers here in Los Angeles. And a Belgian cyclist has been found dead in his hotel room during the Tour of Qatar.

 

That’s so L.A. — Pedestrian-free crosswalks

 

They say no one walks in L.A. And that may be true soon, if our local department of transportation continues their policy of removing crosswalks for the safety of pedestrians.

No, seriously.

Then there’s this intersection in Westwood, which features what may be the world’s first crosswalk where no pedestrians are allowed — despite the presence of a working pedestrian signal.

Kind of makes you wonder just who it’s intended for, doesn’t it?

westwood-crosswalk1

On a totally unrelated note — after two decades as an Angeleno, I had long ago given up any hope of finding a decent tamale in this town. At least without making a pilgrimage to East L.A.

Then a few weeks ago, we took a trip to MacArthur Park and discovered Mama’s Hot Tamales Café. Absolutely the best tamales I’ve ever had in this town. And the best part is, it’s a non-profit restaurant established to help train people for careers in the restaurant industry, while helping to reclaim and revitalize the MacArthur Park area.

So check it out if you get a chance. Because a cyclist has to eat. And be sure to try the Mexican Mocha — by far, the single best cuppa joe I’ve had in years.

Open for lunch 11 am — 3:30 pm, 7 days a week.

The Cycling Lawyer says goodbye to Velo News. A new database has been established to track dangerous and threatening drivers here in Los Angeles. And a Belgian cyclist has been found dead in his hotel room during the Tour of Qatar.

 

That’s so L.A. — Pedestrian-free crosswalks

 

They say no one walks in L.A. And that may be true soon, if our local department of transportation continues their policy of removing crosswalks for the safety of pedestrians.

No, seriously.

Then there’s this intersection in Westwood, which features what may be the world’s first crosswalk where no pedestrians are allowed — despite the presence of a working pedestrian signal.

Kind of makes you wonder just who it’s intended for, doesn’t it?

westwood-crosswalk1

On a totally unrelated note — after two decades as an Angeleno, I had long ago given up any hope of finding a decent tamale in this town. At least without making a pilgrimage to East L.A.

Then a few weeks ago, we took a trip to MacArthur Park and discovered Mama’s Hot Tamales Café. Absolutely the best tamales I’ve ever had in this town. And the best part is, it’s a non-profit restaurant established to help train people for careers in the restaurant industry, while helping to reclaim and revitalize the MacArthur Park area.

So check it out if you get a chance. Because a cyclist has to eat. And be sure to try the Mexican Mocha — by far, the single best cuppa joe I’ve had in years.

Open for lunch 11 am — 3:30 pm, 7 days a week.

The Cycling Lawyer says goodbye to Velo News. A new database has been established to track dangerous and threatening drivers here in Los Angeles. And a Belgian cyclist has been found dead in his hotel room during the Tour of Qatar.

 

A little this, a little that

A few random thoughts while I get back into serious biking and blogging mode after the holidays…

So this is why they hate us. Over the weekend, my wife and I were wandering through Santa Monica, in full pedestrian mode. After awhile, we found ourselves needing to cross a busy street. So like the safety conscious, law-abiding citizens we are, we waited patiently until the light changed, then crossed in the crosswalk.

Unfortunately, not everyone shared our patience.

As we neared the other side, an oncoming cyclist apparently decided that normal traffic laws don’t apply to her. Or possibly to cyclists in general, since we didn’t have the opportunity to discuss her motivation with her.

Instead, we were busy trying to scramble out of her way after she ran the red light — despite the fact that we were directly in front of her at the time.

Now, I’m not one to insist that every rider has to obey every traffic law. Sometimes it’s safer to break the law; sometimes, strict adherence to the law just doesn’t make sense in a given situation. So even though I stop for red lights, I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not you want to stop.

But here’s a general rule of thumb: When there are people in the crosswalk directly in front of you, stop your goddam bike long enough to let them pass, for chrissake.

Loopholes in the lawI was relieved to read in the Times over the weekend that the state legislature didn’t go overboard when they banned texting while driving.

It seems that the law that went into effect on the first only bans two-way communications; that is, you can’t read or write a text or email to or from another person. (Damn, that was a complicated sentence.) But you can still text or email a corporate site or public forum — although how a cop is supposed to know whether you’re texting another person, or posting to your blog, is beyond me.

So by all means, feel free to respond to this post, or bid on that Cervelo carbon frame you’ve always wanted, while you cruise down the 405 at rush hour. (Cruise being a relative term, or course.)

And best of all, the law only concerns motorized vehicles. So while it may be illegal to text from the saddle of a Harley while you’re stopped at a red light, it’s perfectly legal to do so while you pedal down Wilshire Boulevard.

So be sure to take your iPhone with you on the next Midnight Ridazz Vegan Banana Penis ride, and text us all a photo of the cop writing you a probably unenforceable ticket for riding without a license. Or not.

Imagine no more patch kits. Finally, I was catching up on my reading the other day, when I stumbled upon this small item in the December Esquire Magazine. Evidently, a pair of French scientists have invented a form of synthetic rubber that can heal itself — automatically resealing itself in the event of a puncture or cut.

The developers envision using it to make unbreakable glassware, or — far more interesting for us Angelenos with our crumbling roadways — mixing it with asphalt to develop road surfaces that won’t crack.

And as a cyclist, my mind immediately goes to tires and tubes that won’t go flat. Allowing us to leave our patch kits, tire levers and pumps behind, once and for all.

Although that would ruin the fun for all those people who seem to derive such joy from breaking their empty beer bottles in the bike lane.

 

Ubrayj — or El Brayjereno, if you prefer — describes how to stage a coup in the LABAC. L.A. loses it’s Bike Snob, but gains an Anonymous Cyclist. Damien wants to know what kinds of stories you want StreetblogLA to cover in the coming year. Personally, I want to know why no one has chucked a brick through those damned digital billboards yet. (Not that I condone taking the law into your own hands, of course.) And Timur, in his non-cycling blog, poetically describes his language skills in architectural terms — a perfect example of why I love his writing. Borrowing his metaphorical device, though, my German is like an old refrigerator box under the overpass that someone is using to sleep in, while my Spanish is like an empty Carona six-pack at his feet. And my French is like a broken bottle of Ripple in the gutter… 

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