Tag Archive for dangerous streets

Morning Links: Is Los Angeles America’s most dangerous city for bike riders, and near road kill on Texas hwy

A new report ranks Los Angeles as the nation’s most dangerous city for people on bicycles.

But take it with a grain of salt.

Or maybe even a bag.

First, because LA can be expected to rank high in bicycling fatalities — which are weighted heavily in the report — simply because it’s the nation’s second largest city. The only accurate measure would be to consider such deaths on a per capita basis.

Which is not to say too many people aren’t dying on our streets, due to the city’s failure to build the safe streets and bike infrastructure we were promised. Or to tame the toxic entitlement expressed by too many LA drivers.

Second, because this study is nothing more than click bait to get you to visit their site. It’s put out by a home security company that has absolutely nothing to do with bicycling or dangerous streets.

Unless you count the risk posed to bike riders by their own private security cops.

Yes, Los Angeles may be a dangerous place for people on bikes — and one that has done far to little to fix the situation.

But is it really the most dangerous place in the nation to ride one?

Probably not.

And probably not even the most dangerous place in Southern California.

Meanwhile, Davis is the anti-LA according to the study, ranking as the safest city for bike riders in the US.

And Iowa is ranked as the most dangerous state, which will probably come as a surprise to anyone who’s ever ridden there.

………

Thanks to F Lehnerz for forwarding the following trio of outrageous links.

A San Jose man says pedestrians have too much freedom already, apparently wanting people on foot to be herded and channeled so as to pose less of an inconvenience when he zooms down the streets.

A Boulder CO woman says out-of-control bicyclists and pedestrians have made it one of the most dangerous cities in the US for drivers. Which probably explains why there are so many ghost cars to honor all those drivers who were almost killed when they had to slow down or tap the brakes to a avoid a human being.

And a Texas woman was inches from becoming road kill when a pickup driver passed her at high speed with two wheels on — or over — the white line. Yet the response from the local police was, literally, “So what do you want us to do about it?

………

Local

The LA city council’s Transportation Committee has approved regulations for dockless bikeshare, ebikes and e-scooters, allowing up to 3,000 devices in the initial rollout, plus another 7,500 in disadvantaged communities. And they’ve eliminated the absurd prohibition in areas served by Metro Bike.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says the lawsuit we mentioned last week to halt road diets on five Westside streets is just a tad off base, since no road diets are actually planned for those streets.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman reports on last week’s rally and press conference to demand justice for fallen hit-and-run victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier, and the suspiciously timed South LA safe streets meeting that was scheduled at the last minute — and at the exact same time.

 

State

Hundreds of bike riders circumnavigate Coronado Island in an annual pre-4th of July tradition.

Palm Springs is getting several new bike lanes and a road diet.

There’s a new bike shop in Thousand Oaks.

 

National

The Daily Beast says forget the car, and ride a bike if you really want to see your state.

Dockless ebikes and regular bikes are coming to New York, where the traditional Citi Bike docked bikeshare has been exceptionally successful.

 

International

Cycling Industry News says the next big thing in bicycling is smarter bikes.

One more for your bike bucket list — riding the premier wine regions of Chile.

Vancouver’s former chief planner says cities are literally wasting public money by not investing in smart bike infrastructure, noting that the costs amount to a rounding error in most city transportation budgets.

A 17-year old Saskatoon, Canada high school graduate will be spending his gap year on a 19,000-mile bike tour around the world.

An Estonian bicyclist on an around the world trip should have skipped Winnipeg, Canada, where thieves broke the garage door where he was staying and made off with his tent and bicycle.

Elderly pedestrians say they’re being scared off a Nova Scotia multi-use trail by bike riders who speed and don’t signal. Seriously, it’s not that hard to slow down and show a little courtesy around other people. Although it’s hard to see how signaling would help when passing pedestrians from behind.

Record numbers of people are taking advantage of London’s heatwave to get out on their bicycles.

A UK court has cleared organizers for the death of a spectator who was killed by an out of control mountain bike racer.

Over half of British parents want bike eduction to be taught in the schools.

Just like London, half the traffic in Dublin, Ireland at rush hour is on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

A creative website ranks the top ten prints inspired by the Tour de France. I only want all of them. But I’d settle for number eight.

Chris Froome asks cycling fans to just let him ride in peace, and no more urine, please. Meanwhile, ESPN says it’s time to take a deep breath and reassess doping regulations that benefit wealthy riders.

New Zealand Ironman champion Terenzo Bozzone is in stable condition after being run down by a hit-and-run truck driver.

Now that the feds have settled with Lance, they’re suing former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel to recoup $1.2 million.

Toxicology reports appear to indicate that 23-year old cyclist Michael Goolaerts had no drugs, alcohol or other medications in his system when he collapsed and died during the Paris-Roubaix race earlier this year.

 

Finally…

Giving your bike a bath could make you faster. Your Children At Play sign is stupid and ineffective

And no, red light running will never be cool.

 

Morning Links: Cyclist’s sister says don’t look away, march for Woon, and cops still don’t get bus & bike lanes

In a truly heartbreaking essay, the sister of a fallen LA bike rider calls on all of us to look squarely at the crisis of traffic fatalities.

In 2016 my brother Tom was biking home in Los Angeles. He took a street that I would learn is quiet for LA, but statistically deadly for bicyclists and pedestrians. At about 6 p.m. on this particular Saturday, a drunk driver in a box truck careened down a side street, hitting parked cars before killing my brother at an intersection. He was 26.

That first night after I got the call I was shocked and frightened. My brother was already dead, yet I was scared of what was to come. We had few details that first night, and my recollection is fuzzy. Trauma affects your memory.

Tomas Brewer was killed while riding on Temple Street in Echo Park, where Councilembers Mitch O’Farrell and Gil Cedillo recently blocked plans for a desperately needed road diet on one of the city’s most dangerous streets.

An LAPD officer had noticed 22-year old Cruz Tzoc speeding up Burlington Ave just moments before the crash, but was unable to catch up to him before Tzoc smashed into Brewer’s bike.

He was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit.

His sister went on to put her own grief in context, and ask that you look at the problem without looking away.

I do, however, judge the facts and the broader context of the loss imposed by traffic collisions. We made tremendous progress in the 1960s and 1970s reducing traffic fatalities and cutting drunk driving deaths. Policy changes, automobile safety features, and awareness building through advocacy have helped to save, many, many lives. But now that progress has petered out and started to reverse. Impaired drivers and speeding drivers are still killing us. There are new threats, like distracted driving. Meanwhile, cars are still designed to go very fast, development is sprawling and demands a car-centric lifestyle, bike infrastructure is an afterthought, bars are built in the middle of parking lots, and people protest against changes intended to save human lives.

It is frightening, but please try to look squarely at this crisis. Respect and be gentle with us, the surviving family members. We may be on the edge, or somewhere in the pit of grief. Please allow yourself to feel those ripples of impact, and let them move you to do something, anything to start saving lives.

 

As for the photo, maybe if we had more signs like this, we’d have fewer stories like these.

………

There will be a meeting tomorrow night to discuss safety solutions for the long-neglected streets of South LA, where Frederick “Woon” Frazier was killed by a hit-and-run driver last April.

And the LACBC has announced a public march and press conference will be held this Thursday to demand justice for Frazier.

His alleged killer turned herself in last month as police were closing in, but has yet to be formally charged.

………

The rights of bicyclists to ride in LA’s Bus and Bike Only Lanes remains under assault by misinformed police officers, who seem incapable of reading the posted signs saying bikes are allowed in the lanes.

Then again, that’s nothing new.

And no, Darth Vader has no begun working with LAPD Traffic; Michael blurred the photo of the officer to protect his identity.

………

Once again, a motor vehicle has been used as a weapon.

According to police in Tampa, Florida, a former US track star intentionally drove his car off a highway and onto a separated bike path, killing a father as he rode his bike with his small children.

Thirty-year old Mikese Morse fled the scene, leaving Pedro Aguerreberry’s two kids to watch him die in front of them.

Police arrested Morse a few hours later on a charge of first degree murder — a charge that requires premeditation.

Morse’s parents said he was suffering from a debilitating mental illness, and he had posted a series of “increasingly angry and unhinged” videos on Instagram, saying that he was going to kill someone.

And yet he was still legally allowed behind the wheel of a two-ton machine capable of killing another human being.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Local

REI has raised $1.6 million to “rewild” five urban projects in cities across the US, including LA’s San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

CiclaValley and Streetsblog both look back at yesterday’s successful San Fernando Valley CicLAvia.

An open house will be held at 6 pm tonight at the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library to discuss closing the ridiculous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line Bike Path. Local homeowners successfully fought the bike path through the area when the Expo Line was built, claiming thieves would use it to burglarize their homes; now it will cost exponentially more to build what could and should have already been finished.

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride will take a tour of bike-friendly Santa Monica.

 

State

A La Jolla cancer research center has been awarded four grants from the $2.4 million raised by San Diego Padres annual Pedal the Cause fundraising ride.

A teenage San Diego girl was struck by a car while riding her bike when the driver went off the road after apparently suffering a medical emergency.

Monterey is about to break ground on an $8.5 million project to install separated bike lanes along the median on a major roadway. However, without improved signalization, a bike lane in the center of a roadway is likely to result in increased conflict points at intersections, which is why the one on Culver Blvd in Culver City has never been successful.

 

National

Maybe you should take another look at your helmet. A new study shows shows that unvented “urban style” helmets and helmets without the new MIPS anti-concussion technology are twice as likely to result in injuries in a crash.

Bicycling looks at the best tandem bikes, with prices starting at just $430.

A Seattle writer says the only downside to ebikes is the battery dying while climbing a hill.

A Phoenix TV station discovers where LimeBikes go to die.

Authorities in New Mexico believe they’re closing in on a suspect in the cold case death of an 19-year old woman who disappeared while riding her bike in 1988; a Polaroid photo found lying on the ground the next year 1,600 miles away may show her and a young boy lying on a bed bound and gagged.

A Chicago weekly worries that e-scooters will clog the city’s sidewalks and bike lanes.

A Chicago writer says the most direct routes aren’t always the safest or most enjoyable, suggesting that side streets are better for low-stress riding with kids. That’s something that too often gets lost in the debate over bike lanes — different riders have different needs. Some may want a low stress route, while others need to ride busier streets for their commute. That was the beauty of the 2010 Los Angeles Bike Plan, which contained three separate but connected networks ranging from quiet bikeways to protected bike lanes on busy streets. Maybe we can still get LA leaders to pull it off the shelf. Or out of the trash bin. 

The anti-bike lane screed from the publisher of Crain’s is still reverberating through Detroit, as a local advocacy group offers a calm response.

New York bicyclists protest the ICE detention center by riding their bicycles around it and blocking access.

In a very brief letter to the editor, a Pennsylvania bike rider reminds drivers that honking their horns accomplishes nothing but startling someone on a bike.

Caught on video: A bike rider was spotted riding in the middle of a major Virginia highway at rush hour, even though state law bans bikes from limited access highways. Don’t let LA drivers see what rush hour traffic looks like in Virginia, though, or they’ll all want to move to there. Or better yet, show them. Please.

 

International

As Pirelli re-enters the bike tire market, Rouleur takes a look back at the classic Pirelli posters of the last century, which set the standard for graphic design.

Once again, riding a bike proves to be the fastest way to cross a major city, as a bike rider wins a race between a motorcycle, bike bus, car and walking through central London.

A 70-year old British man says he just got out of the hospital with broken ribs and a fractured skull after he was hit by a speeding bicyclist riding illegally on the sidewalk. Seriously, don’t do that. Whether or not riding on the sidewalk is legal where you live, pedestrians should always receive the right-of-way there or in a crosswalk.

Dublin officials have called for greater enforcement of laws banning parking in bike lanes. Which is already proving to be a problem on the new My Figueroa semi-Complete Street in DTLA, where Central Division bike cops cracked down yesterday after receiving complaints.

In an inspired protest, German rabbis and imams rode tandem bikes through the streets of Berlin to fight antisemitism and Islamophobia.

A Tanzanian newspaper says people don’t run or ride bikes in Dar es Salaam because too many roadways lack the required service roads, and those that don’t are often blocked by traders.

A second dockless bikeshare company has closed up shop in Singapore, citing difficulties in meeting licensing requirements.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian rider Victor Campenaerts was knocked off his bike after colliding with a drunken fan at the country’s national championships; he managed to finish the race despite a mild concussion.

 

Finally…

If you think you can ride fast, try pedaling at 134 mph. It’s a battle of the Jeremys over moms biking to school.

And if you really need a name for two-wheeled conveyances that aren’t ebikes, here’s one.

Bicycles.

 

Morning Links: NYT shines national spotlight on LA’s deadly car culture, and open season for open streets

Los Angeles’ hit-and-run car culture and deadly streets takes their bow in the national spotlight.

And the picture isn’t pretty.

The New York Times, in an article by LA-based reporter Jose A. Del Real, examines the problems on our streets and the rising toll among bike riders, through the tragic death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA.

Cyclists have long risked danger in Los Angeles, where a loose and lackluster network of bike lanes means they often ride alongside speeding cars. Today, cyclists draw a special kind of vitriol from drivers in America’s car capital, where traffic congestion is increasingly intolerable as the region’s population grows by an estimated 50,000 people a year.

In poor areas of the city, where people are more likely to depend on walking and cycling as the sole means of transportation, residents complain of a disregard for their well-being by drivers who treat their neighborhood streets like highways. City data shows that the dangers to pedestrians and cyclists are particularly acute in South Los Angeles — where Mr. Frazier was killed — which lags the rest of the city in safety infrastructure.

He note that the mayor has promised to ramp up advertising to fight the carnage on our streets.

That’s right, advertising.

“I am confident that without our efforts, things would be even worse,” Mr. Garcetti said earlier this year. He said the city’s transportation department would ramp up advertising related to road safety.

The purpose of Vision Zero is to remake our streets so that human mistakes don’t result in fatal crashes.

It’s hard to see how even the most hard-hitting ad can equal the life-saving effectiveness of a single road diet.

It’s an important read.

One that even quotes me couple times, along with the newfound advocates who’ve risen in the wake of Woon’s death.

And Del Real did me the favor of not quoting most of the things I said, as he caught me in one of my more pissed off moods at the inaction of city officials in the face of the rising bike and pedestrian deaths and lawlessness on our streets.

Then again, I don’t think they could print most of that in the Times, anyway.

Maybe that national spotlight will embarrass our mayor as he angles for higher office.

And make him realize he has a lot more work to do right here in the City of Angels first. Along with a few city council butts to kick.

We can hope.

………

The streets are officially open.

The Los Angeles Daily News looks at another successful CicLAvia in the North San Fernando Valley, and contrasts it with the dangers riders face on LA streets. KCBS-2 reports from earlier in the day.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating open streets on Sunday, as thousands turned out for the fifth CycLOUvia in Louisville KY.

And just a tad further north, Winnipeg, Canada celebrated its ninth annual Ciclovia.

………

The Ad Council has posted the winners of their annual student film contest focusing on the dangers of texting while driving.

Hopefully they’ll show these to the sheriff’s department.

………

Local

The city council’s Transportation Committee has voted to approve protected bike lanes on 5th and 6th Streets in LA’s Skid Row. That should make it almost a done deal, since the full council usually rubber stamps decisions made in committee. Update: Joe Linton informs me that the full council has already approved the motion, voting 11 to 0 on Friday to install the lanes.

The LA Times travel section offers tips on how to choose a car bike rack for your next road trip. Best advice: Whatever rack you choose, make sure your can lock it to your car, then lock the bikes to the rack. And take them inside when you stop for the night or leave your car for any length of time.

Calabasas-based 10 Speed Coffee is opening a new bike-themed outpost in Santa Monica.

 

State

San Juan Capistrano police give a six-year old boy a new bicycle to replace the one he managed to jump off of, saving his own life just before it was crunched by a red light-running driver. However, it’s strange that the driver was booked on a felony hit-and-run charge, which requires serious injuries under California law; otherwise, it should be a misdemeanor.

The new captain of the Chino Hills police department is one of us, and a long-time member of Redland’s Citrus Valley Velo cycling club. 

Cycling legend and commentator Bob Roll takes a low-tech roll through Silicon Valley.

 

National

Trump’s tariff’s as he ramps up a trade war with China could come at the expense of the booming growth of ebikes, most of which are made in the Middle Kingdom.

A new study refutes the myth that more and wider roadways are necessary for regional economic success, showing that the cities that don’t have traffic congestion are the ones that are dying.

Bicycling takes a look at the new old Harley Davidson bicycle, which can be yours for a mere $4,200.

Popular Mechanics rates the best multi-tools, and says every kind of bike is going electric, from motor scooters to cargo bikes. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

An Anchorage AK bike shop suffered $75,000 in losses during a late night burglary, as thieves appear to be targeting high-end bicycles in the city.

Taking distracted driving to a new extreme, the backup driver responsible for overseeing the self-driving Uber car — and preventing the crash that took the life of Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bike across a Tempe AZ street — was watching The Voice on Hulu, instead of the road. Police had initially blamed Herzberg, calling the crash unavoidable before realizing it was anything but.

Three Utah bicyclists participating in a charity ride were seriously injured when they were run down from behind by a “drowsy” driver coming home from working a night shift; fortunately, their injuries were not life-threatening.

While the rest of the country is just discovering protected bike lanes, Boise ID had them in the ’70s, but let them fade away.

This is why you should always question police investigations following a crash. Colorado police reversed themselves after initially blaming the victim for a serious crash after they were finally able to talk to her in the hospital; she refuted the driver’s claim that she was riding her bike on the shoulder and illegally turned in front of him.

Emotions run high as 18 bike riders return home to Oklahoma after a three-week ride through seven states, retracing the steps of the Cherokee tribe during the infamous Trail of Tears.

LimeBike is threatening to walk away from Chicago’s pilot dockless bikeshare program over a clause that requires bikes to be locked to a stationary object when not in use.

A Massachusetts town celebrates its history as a bicycle factory town by giving new bikes to 19 kids.

An op-ed in the New York Times says if we want to build a sustainable future, cities and people must take priority over cars.

Sad news from Pennsylvania, where a woman was killed riding her bike home from her new job because she didn’t want to bother anyone by asking for a ride; her relatives didn’t even know she owned a bike. Naturally, police blamed her for the rear-end crash for riding in the traffic lane on a 45 mph road, rather than on the shoulder.

 

International

City Journal examines the worldwide problem of vandalism and destruction that’s causing a major retreat by bikeshare providers, docked and otherwise.

Road.cc reviews five of the best foldies, and considers 26 of the best books in bicycling. As if anyone has time to read when you could be out on your bike.

Bike Radar recaps the week’s best new bike gear.

A 29-year old Belgian man stopped in Winnipeg on a 30-month bike trip from the tundra of far northern Canada to the tip of southern Argentina.

Caught on video: A Toronto bike rider catches a crash on a bike cam when he’s hit head-on by a driver making an illegal U-turn, who drove off after giving him a fake name and phone number. Amazingly, police don’t consider it hit-and-run since he didn’t need immediate medical attention.

A commentator on a conservative website says a call for banning right turns on red lights in Toronto is based on junk science, saying that stats showing 13% of crashes occurred when drivers were turning right just means that 87% didn’t, and that drivers aren’t always at fault. By that measure, running red lights should be legal too, since it doesn’t always result in a wreck, either.

A London writer says putting signs on the back of large trucks isn’t enough to protect bike riders and pedestrians from getting killed in their drivers’ blind spots. But ads will stop deadly crashes in Los Angeles, right?

A English minister says he understands the benefits of bicycling, but may get rid of the bikes in his garage because of the dangers posed by motorists. Although he says “militant cyclists” don’t help the cause of bicycling by trying to impose their rights. Which is another way of saying people who want to legally ride their bikes without getting run off the road.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A South African driver’s mother suffered a heart attack and his father has suffered from depression after he was sentenced to ten years for killing two bike riders. Then again, if you think that’s bad, imagine the suffering of his victims’ families.

Nepal paid tribute to the country’s national cycling champion after he was killed falling into a river while competing in Sri Lanka.

Aussie police warn of an “epidemic” of headphone-wearing cyclists and pedestrians killed in traffic collisions. If you can call an average of two a year an epidemic — and if the headphones were actually what caused the crashes. After all, if headphones cause crashes, car sound systems and hermetically sealed, soundproof vehicles should, too. 

Touching story as a Japanese man flew to Taiwan to thank the man who cared for his son when he was fatally injured by falling rocks while mountain biking.

Now you can tour Vietnam and Sri Lanka by ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fourth time is the charm, as SoCal’s Coryn Rivera nips Megan Guarnier to win her first US Pro national road race championship. Tennessee’s Emma White dominated the women’s U-23 races.

An Idaho man was part of an eight-person team that set a new record of just under five days, four hours in the Race Across America.

Bicycling explains how to watch the Tour de France this year. And no, streaming it live on your handlebars while you ride probably isn’t the best idea.

Seriously? Team Sky’s coach says Chris Froome’s safety is at risk after five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault calls Froome a cheat over his failed drug test.

The race of the century — or at least the next few weeks — will roll on July 1st as the grudge match between LA’s own Phil Gaimon and alleged motor doper Fabian Cancellara will charge up Switzerland’s Col du Pillon. You can cheer Gaimon on with your own cookie-themed kit.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you miss your train, and end up beating it to your destination. Even Transylvania is becoming bike friendly.

And presenting the Uniform Manual of Traffic Engineer Excuses.

 

Morning Links: Safe bicyclist injured anyway, a big thumbs up for a safe pass, and our absurd surrender to cars

One quick note before we get started.

Yesterday, a friend and long-time supporter of this site texted me to say she was in the back of an ambulance on the way to the emergency room after getting hit by a driver.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, and was sent home with a large hematoma and assorted scrapes and bruises.

She’s one of the safest and most conservative bike riders I know, and someone who always rides with a helmet and hi-viz. Yesterday the helmet came in handy; the hi-viz, apparently not so much.

I don’t have any details yet.

But this is just one more reminder about the dangers of LA streets. And that it’s already long past time to do something about it.

………

Undoubtedly the cutest thing you’ll see today, as a four-year old Brit bike rider gives a truck driver a big thumbs up for a safe pass.

………

Local

LA’s traffic safety deniers say don’t bike the vote.

It will be a busy day on PCH Saturday, when 2,500 bicyclists come through the ‘Bu on the final day of the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride; this year’s ride raised a record $16.6 million for HIV programs.

 

State

An Orange County writer has been commissioned to write a history of Richard Long and the founding of GT Bicycles.

Bike SD calls on San Diego to save the planned Hancock Street bike lane, as local businesses demand its removal from the community plan in favor of more parking.

San Bernardino’s bus system talks with a man who rejuvenated his life when he got back on his bike in his 40s, and on the bus.

A Santa Cruz work skills program that teaches high school students to work as bike mechanics for class credit is slowly spreading across the US, with programs at schools in Colorado and Minnesota, and throughout California.

Someone should tell the UC Davis school newspaper there’s absolutely nothing funny about kicking people off their bikes. No, seriously.

Sad news from NorCal, where a 70-year old man died of an apparent heart attack while participating in a gravel race at Lake Davis.

 

National

Treehugger says people who walk, bike or ride scooters aren’t fighting over a cookie, as London’s former cycling chief said, we’re fighting over crumbs.

Another great piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says our surrender to the automobile is absurd and deadly, yet people still prefer a handful of cars to hordes on bikes coming to spend money at local businesses. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Strong Towns looks at how bike lanes benefit businesses, saying that in city after city, business owners see more foot traffic and higher sales when streets are redesigned to be more bike and walk friendly.

Once again, a cross-country cyclist has his bike and all his gear stolen, this time in Eugene OR. And once again, the local community pitches in to help out.

Colorado tells bicyclists and pedestrians that safety starts with all of us. On the other hand, it usually ends on the bumper of a car.

Come to the US for a summer work program, go home in a box thanks to a Texas drunk driver who plowed into a group of five bike riders, injuring one rider and killing a 23-year old man from Columbia who had only been in this country for three weeks. Somehow, I suspect the tears on the cheek of the driver in her booking photo are nothing compared to those of the victim’s family. But maybe that’s just me.

A St. Paul MN man has pled guilty to vehicular homicide for fleeing the scene after killing a bicyclist; he claimed he ran a red light to get away from a road rage altercation and hit something, but didn’t stop to see who or what he hit. His mother is also charged with aiding him in the coverup.

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is called a secret mountain biking mecca.

An Ohio family is understandably outraged that no charges will be filed in the death of a 12-year old boy, even though the driver admitted he was reaching for a phone just before the crash; police incorrectly blamed the victim for riding his bike in the traffic lane, rather than as close to the edge as possible.

A Boston bus and bike lane has been returned to its previous life as a parking lane, despite a successful one-month pilot project.

New York bicyclists will form a human-protected bike lane tomorrow to demand safer streets where a man was killed while riding home from work last year. Maybe that’s what we need to do here to finally get a little attention.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks to bespoke bike builders to determine the trends in women’s bikes, beyond the mass market bike makers’ usual approach of shrink it and pink it.

A Canadian news site talks with the Toronto mountain biker who cut up his arms crashing into barbed wire that had been strung at chest height across a popular trail. Stunts like this aren’t pranks, they’re acts of terror — deliberate attempts to injure or kill people on bicycles. And the jerks responsible should be charged accordingly.

A Toronto man gets a $1,200 bikeshare bill despite insisting he returned the bike, then proving it.

Ikea’s Sladda bike has been done in by a belt, as the company permanently recalls all of the build-it-yourself bike-in-a-boxes.

London tells “irresponsible” cyclists to slow down and be considerate.

Two armed, masked men on bikes stole a $25,000 TV camera from an Australian news crew reporting from the UK.

A British university professor says ebikes could be core to sustainable mobility — if the government stops marginalizing bikes in favor of low-emission motor vehicles.

An Indian planning professor says he wishes he could ride to work, if only the country would invest in safe streets and bikeways.

Mumbai considers plans to build dedicated bike paths near the city’s transit stations.

 

Competitive Cycling

Third place finisher — and last year’s winner — Alison Tetrick offers a first hand view of this year’s 200-mile Dirty Kanza gravel race.

Forget Peter Sagan’s legs, check out his core workout.

Cycling Weekly offers tips on how to nail your first bike race, saying “racing is a landmark moment in the life of any competitive-minded rider.” Funny, I took up bicycling because I was too competitive, and it offered me a chance to ride just for the sheer joy of it.

Joe Lindsey offers up five ways to liven up the Tour de France. My favorite is his suggestion to make the riders shotgun a beer before a mass start.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to sue the government over injuries caused by a pothole you didn’t even hit. Seriously, slow down, watch for cars and don’t run into light poles.

And when you get hit by cars twice in nine days, it’s either incredibly bad luck, or bad streets and crappy drivers.

Or maybe all of the above.

 

Another open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles #CrashCityHall

There wasn’t time to get all the #CrashCityHall letters online last week.

So we’re going to post the remaining letters over the next few days — starting with this powerful post from registered dietician and endurance cyclist Matt Ruscigno, founder of LA’s iconic Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb. 

………

Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles,

I’m writing to you today as a long-time resident of our wonderful city, a public health expert, and a recent victim of an inattentive automobile driver. That collision left me with 16 broken bones requiring 6 nights in the hospital, a chest tube, and a surgery to install metal plates in my shoulder and collarbone. If I weren’t a skilled cyclist, I would probably be dead.

It’s easy to dismiss this as an ‘accident,’ but the statistics on the number of people injured and killed by automobile drivers in Los Angeles paint a different picture. This is a public health crisis. Yet we know how to fix it:

  • Reduce automobile speed limits
  • Invest in infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Reimagine public space to focus on people, not automobiles

Los Angeles and California are leading the way in reducing automobile emissions but are falling behind (see London, Bogota, New York, Copenhagen for examples) when it comes to the public health issue of people dying in the streets because automobile speed and convenience is prioritized over human safety.

Los Angeles is a beautiful city with near perfect weather for cycling and walking year round. And we are simply running out of space to store and transport personal automobiles. The benefits of building infrastructure that makes human-powered transportation more accessible are well established:

  • Improved air quality and lower rates of asthma, especially among children
  • Increased physical activity that lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases
  • Fewer automobile collisions that result in injury or death of our most vulnerable road users

The potential to transform our city is awesome, in the true sense of the word, but it won’t be easy. Copenhagen didn’t become a place where 24% of city trips are taken by bike overnight. It took strong leadership and knowledge to re-imagine how city space is used. This isn’t about cyclists versus drivers; it’s about making it easier for more people to walk and bike more often.

The statistics are there: something needs to be done, and soon. We can build on what other cities have done and apply it uniquely in our wonderful city. There are thousands of us here to help, but we need leadership from our elected leaders. There simply isn’t enough space in the city to keep prioritizing automobiles, so the question is, how many more people have to be injured or killed before we start taking concrete steps? I hope we can do this soon as I’d hate to see a single person go through the pain I’ve experienced over the last 5 weeks.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD

 

An open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles #CrashCityHall

No Morning Links today, as we get ready to #CrashCityHall Friday morning. Hopefully we’ll see you there; if not, I’ll see you back here on Monday.

What follows is my letter the mayor and city council. And we’ll feature some of the late arriving letters next week.

………

May 18, 2018

Dear Mayor Garcetti and the City Councilmembers of the City of Los Angeles,

Howard Beale may have been a fictional character, but he might as well be a citizen of Los Angeles trying to survive on our deadly streets.

Because like many other residents of this great city, I’m tired of living in fear for my own life and the safety of others on the streets and sidewalks of L.A.

And like Beale, we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

We live in a city where for too long, the movement of motor vehicles has been prioritized over the safety and movement of human beings. To the point that too many people who drive feel they own the streets, and everyone else has an obligation to get out of their way.

Unfortunately, too many members of our city council seem to agree. If not in their words, then by their actions.

The elected leaders of this city have voted to adopt Vision Zero, but failed to adequately fund it. You’ve adopted the 2010 Bike Plan and Mobility Plan 2035, but failed to build it. You’ve adopted Complete Streets policies, but failed to support them when it came time to put paint on the street.

And you hired one of the leading traffic planners in the United States, but you listen instead to the complaining voices of untrained motorists who don’t want to be delayed for a few moments on their commute. Even if it means saving the life of another human being. Or their own, for that matter.

As Stevie Wonder put it, “If you really want to hear our views, you haven’t done nothing.”

So let’s be perfectly clear.

Many, if not most, of the people you were elected to represent may drive cars. But we are all human beings, some of whom bike, some of whom take transit, and all of whom walk.

And none of whom want to bury a loved one or feel threatened on the streets. Yet too many of us do, every day.

As a human being, I don’t want to see one more needless death or injury on the streets of Los Angeles. As a taxpayer, I don’t want my city to waste one more penny on the needless lawsuits that result.

And as an Angeleno, I want safer and more livable streets for all of us.

When you side with the traffic safety deniers, who like climate change deniers, reject the proven science of traffic safety and urban planning, and insist on their right to drive with the pedal to the metal, you are choosing their convenience over the safety of literally everyone else.

And failing the people who voted you into office, and who you were elected to serve.

The people who have written the letters in this packet, and those who will speak before the council today, are not activists. We are the citizens of Los Angeles, who are sick to death of being treated like second class ones at the expense of motor vehicles.

We know that failure to take action now to build Complete Streets and provide safe, viable alternatives to driving that allow Angelenos to choose to leave their cars at home will inevitably lead to a dystopian, smog-choked and gridlocked future.

Because right now, traffic in Los Angeles is as good as it will ever be, as more and more cars are added to an already built-out traffic grid.

Only you can prevent the inevitable failure of a once-great city by taking action right now to ensure the safe, livable and prosperous Los Angeles we all want.

We understand that takes courage to do the right thing in the face of public opposition. But you weren’t elected to blindly follow the voices of those who scream loudest.

Anyone could do that.

You were elected to lead this city. To carefully examine the issues and make the tough decisions that will benefit your district, and all of L.A.. And make this the city that it can and should be, for all of us.

We are your constituents. We don’t want to be the victims of your inaction.

And we’re not willing to wait one more day for safer streets for our children, parents, families and friends.

So we ask you, today and every day, to have the courage to do the right thing.

We’ll have your back when you do.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

Council District 4

………

One more brief note.

This may be the best letter we received for #CrashCityHall, even if it is the shortest.

Dear Los Angeles,

Please be so kind as to stop killing cyclists and pedestrians.

NOW.

Sincerely,
Marvin D
San Diego, CA

Guest Post: The fourth open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of LA,

In an effort to “be the change you want to see in the world,” I sold my car ten years ago and have since used my own feet, a bicycle, or the transit system to get around.  While the results of this have brought the most rewarding experiences of my life, it has also been a struggle to live without a car in a car’s world.

Drivers are becoming increasingly more distracted, careless, unsympathetic and enraged.  These behaviors cause not only car accidents but the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians, who travel without the protection of metal armor.  Why do drivers feel so entitled to the roads?  Why is this set of traits common in the majority of car owners?  It’s easy to see the answer on the streets – they’re designed specifically for cars.  With lanes designated for driving, turning and parking, there’s often no space left for a bicycle to squeeze through.  And pedestrians must be defensive even when walking through a crosswalk with a walk signal.  Drivers are impatient to share the road when they believe it belongs to them.

Every time you see a cyclist in the streets of LA, please understand the fear we’ve overcome to be there.  Please know that we have been spit at, screamed at, sworn at, had objects thrown at us, been told to “get off the road,”  have had way too many “close calls,” or have lost a fellow cyclist to careless driving or road rage.  And yet we’re still out there.  As pedestrians and cyclists we’ll continue to defend our space on the streets, but we would truly appreciate some help from our representatives.  Please take some steps to create streets that belong to everyone.   A city’s priorities are evident in it’s infrastructure and use of public space.  If you, dear City Council Members, were to add more bike lanes, create some road diets, invest in green spaces instead of parking lots – think of the message you’d send.

Sincerely,

Amanda Gohl

Pico-Union, Los Angeles, CA 90015

………

Join us tomorrow as we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and urge city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing. 

  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles City Hall
  • 200 N. Spring Street
  • 10 am

Guest Post: The third open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

We’re less than two days away from CrashCityHall on Friday to demand safer streets for people on bikes, on foot, and everyone else.

If you’re as mad as I am about the needless risks bike riders and pedestrians face on our streets — and the lack of action from city leaders — I hope you’ll join us as we crash the 10 am city council meeting. And urge the mayor and city council to have courage the courage to do the right thing. 

Since many people can’t be there in person, I’m accepting letters from people who want to have their opinions passed on to the council members at the meeting. 

Here’s the third of those #CrashCityHall letters, from Sean Meredith.

……….

From: Sean Meredith
Los Angeles, CA 90027

To Mayor Garcetti and all Los Angeles City Council members:

Ten years ago, for a combination of reasons, I began commuting by bicycle. This harrowing and freeing experience changed me even more than fatherhood. I began to open up to the inequities in our transportation system. For myself, I was willing to risk my life riding and being a second class citizen. But when I imagined myself in the shoes of people who had no option to drive a car. I thought that these folk should be able to get to school, work, or wherever they’re going without dying or feeling constantly threatened. I have since dedicated most of my free time to making biking and walking safe for people of all abilities and ages.

Our car culture is dangerous. And the safety deniers who will trample over anyone’s life to keep the status quo of car dominance are a threat to the future of our city and our world.

Ensuring that public spaces truly serve the people is vital to our daily lives and the future of our planet. This requires our society to confront its expensive commitment to modes of transportation that strangle our communities and warm our climate: cars. Making our roads safe for all users immediately improves mental and physical health outcomes for people of all ages, lessens cancer causing pollutants, and reduces carbon emissions. A world class city where walking is pleasurable, biking is viable, and public transportation is reliable will lower automobile dependency and contribute in the Oight against climate change.

In Los Angeles, pedestrians and cyclists are involved in 14% of trafOic collisions but account for 51% of the fatalities. Hundreds of lives are lost every year and hundreds more families are shattered by these tragic outcomes. Livable streets create community, support local businesses, and are a welcoming environment for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities. As transit consultant Jarrett Walker describes it, a modern city does not have the “geometry” to solve car congestion. Our best option is to develop safe, environmentally friendly alternatives.

Families who want safe streets for all are demanding courage and leadership from our city. Now is always the time to act.

Kindly,
Sean Meredith

………

There’s still time to submit a letter demanding safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else if you can’t #CrashCityHall in person this Friday.

Just email it today to ted at bikinginla dot com.

I’ll print it out and include it with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips:

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter on here. I’ll be happy to put it online as a guest post leading up to Friday’s council meeting.

Guest Post: Another open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

Recently, I announced my intention to #CrashCityHall this Friday to demand safer streets.

And invited anyone who’s just as mad as I am about the needless risks bike riders and pedestrians face on our streets — and the lack of action from city leaders — to join me. And tell the mayor and city council to show have courage the courage to do the right thing. 

Since many people can’t attend a 10 am city council meeting, I’m accepting letters from people who can’t make it, but still want to have their opinions passed on to the council members at the meeting. 

Here’s the second of those #CrashCityHall letters, from Doug Moore.

………

May 18th, 2018

To Mayor Garcetti and all Los Angeles City Council members,

I write you today in an effort to get you to start thinking about how dangerous our car culture has become in Los Angeles. And to urge you, our city leaders, to implement ways to make our streets more safe for all that use them.

In so doing, these changes will bring other qualities such as reduced car noise, nicer public spaces, better air quality and stress free walking, cycling, jogging and dog walking –and yes, driving.

Being a cyclist, I am very aware of how badly our streets and boulevards have suffered because of the amount and speed of traffic.

I live in Tujunga, CD7, Council Member Monica Rodriquez district. Each morning, I bike a short way on Foothill Blvd to board LADOT Express Bus 409 to DTLA.

I de-bus at the Glendale Park & Ride, prep my bike then cycle 13 miles to my office at USC.

I travel through Glendale, to Eagle Rock Blvd/Cypress Ave (Council District 14, Jose Huizar) to the Broadway Bridge into Chinatown (Council district 1, Gil Cedillo) to Hill street, then to Olympic Blvd then Figueroa (Council District 9, Curren Price) and finally to campus. In the afternoon I reverse this trip – with a slightly different route. On Fridays I drive.

I would like to provide the following undisputable facts, that come from years of this type of cycling, this type of intimacy with traffic, this type of exposure to our roadways:

  • Our streets are more dangerous than they have ever been – mostly because of excess speed.
  • Drivers are more distracted than ever before in our city’s history.
  • Motorists are driving while smoking weed. Alot!
  • Many drivers are attentive and share the road. But there is a disturbing trendwhere higher numbers of drivers are doing just the opposite.
  • Painted cycling infrastructure such as “Sharrows”, striped lanes, colored lanes,pedestrian crosswalk demarcation & similar are often seen as ‘optional’ for motorists.We all know about the latest trend of motorist hit-and-run tragedies. These have left other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists severely injured or dead.Here in Tujunga, in April, a DOUBLE FATIL hit and run occurred on Foothill Blvd. The driver, as of this writing, has yet to be apprehended. An innocent couple, engage to be married have perished from our community.

Where has this selfish, narcissistic attitude from drivers come from?

We all know about the speed of traffic on major roads and boulevards is dangerous even at legal limits, but when most drivers are 10, 15, or even 20 mph above and beyond, the danger level is unacceptable.

Where does this need-to-speed attitude come from?

We all know about the horrible traffic congestion in our city and how it continually downgrades the quality of life here. We skip get-togethers. We forgo dinners and kids sports and other social engagements across town – because “the traffic getting to the Westside from Eagle Rock is a nightmare”.

It’s not funny anymore. It’s a serious soul-sucking way of life in our city. Why have we surrendered our social connections and quality of life?

The answer to all these is the same: Our run-away, out-of-control car culture. We’ve reached “peak-car” in our city.

I know that you, leaders of this city, who are smart and insightful and understanding, know this too. You can see it as we all do.

We must start to make changes. I don’t have all the answers, but there are ideas out there that organically reduce traffic speeds. That help separate cars from people walking. Jogging. Cycling. Walking the dog. That make our public roadways safer for everyone who uses them, including motorists.

Widen the sidewalks, not freeways. Add separated bike lanes, not car lanes. Make streets and boulevards pleasant. Green with more trees and shade. More quiet to provide a nice place to shop. To hang-out with neighbors. To read on a bench.

As far as safety, traffic cops at critical intersections help so much! Intersections are where many of the dangers lie for cars vs walkers and bikers. I love seeing these guys when approaching an intersection, whether by car or on bike. Everyone is instantly on best behavior and courteous.

Getting buy-in and approval on these changes is the hard part, of course. Motorists tend to seethe at reduced speeds and “perceived” increase in commute times. Reduced lanes. Less parking. But this is the right direction for Los Angles. The right thing to do in your district.

We’ve tried over and over to increase the car infrastructure thinking that these projects would help. Did widening the 405 Fwy really help? What a huge, expensive, time consuming project.

It’s time to swing the other way on transportation projects. Less “car-centric”, more “people-centric”. Motorists are people too, and they’ll appreciate these changes.

When faced with options in difficult circumstances such as this, an upside is this: it’s always easy to pick out the correct option. It’s the one that tends to be avoided. It’s the one we put at the bottom of the list. It’s the one that’s the hardest.

Why? Because the right thing to do is always the hardest thing to do. That’s a fact of human nature.

I know you are thinking: “Change the car-culture, yeah, right.” But it can be done. In bits and pieces. You will gain converts. It can build momentum and you must try, as lives of our residents are depending on safe passage to work, school and the market.

In the book “Profiles of Courage”, check out the examples of other great leaders, who have acted bravely. Acted with integrity. Gone against the opinions of their constituents to do the right thing.

As a cyclist (yes and a motorist too) I am growing weary of seeing yet more Ghost Bike installations that signify the death of a fellow rider.

As a motorist, I’m continually saddened and outraged to see yet another makeshift memorial of candles, Crosses and flowers where a Mom or Dad or son or daughter or young couple was killed in a crosswalk.

We can do better and am counting on you all to have the courage to do so.

Thank you for your time today. Be brave. Do the right thing. And finally, a reminder that it’s Bike Month. Get out and ride. You’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Doug Moore, cyclist, motorist, pedestrian, resident

………

If you can’t #CrashCityHall on Friday, email a letter demanding safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else to ted at bikinginla dot com by this Wednesday.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips:

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter on here. I’ll be happy to put it online as a guest post leading up to Friday’s council meeting.

Morning Links: Fix deadly La Tuna Canyon, LimeBike off to a fast start, and ‘tis the season for bike giveaways

Well that was a major pain in the tukus.

Please forgive the extended unplanned and unexcused absence this week. Sometime between Friday night and early Monday morning, a problem developed that prevented me from posting anything or saving any changes to this site.

After extended troubleshooting, the problem was tracked down to an invisible folder hidden on the webhost’s site. We still don’t know why it was acting up, but the problem finally seems to have cleared up, at least for now.

The good news is, you haven’t missed anything. You’ll find all the news from the last five days included in today’s massive post.

So make yourself comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Thanks to Steve S, without who’s invaluable help we’d still down for the count.

………

A new petition calls on LADOT to immediately implement long-delayed safety improvements on La Tuna Canyon to reign in speeding drivers and improve safety for bike riders and equestrians.

There’s no way to know if that would have prevented the hit-and-run crash that has left Keith Jackson in a coma for the past week.

But it may help prevent the next one.

………

Dockless bikeshare provider LimeBike released a year-end report detailing its impact in cities across the US, from DC to Seattle.

As well as a pilot project in LA’s CD15.

Although those figures pale compared to the 103,000 active riders and 220,000 miles traveled on their bikes in Seattle in just the last five months.

………

‘Tis the season.

Note: There’s so much bad news out there, it helps to take a few moments to realize that there are a lot of bighearted people trying to do a little good in this world.

A Santa Clarita landfill company donates 60 bicycles and helmets to kids through a pair of local groups, part of a nationwide effort to donate 2,000 bikes across the US.

Fontana police gave nearly 200 bicycles to local kids.

Eighteen Adelanto students got new bicycles after winning a drawing for bringing non-perishable food items to their schools.

A group of Lompoc mountain bikers have given 120 bicycles and helmets to children of military personnel stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s office donated 150 kids bicycles that were refurbished by inmates at a local honor farm.

A local property company donated 50 bikes to kids at a Fresno elementary school.

Fifty kids in Coarsegold CA received new bicycles thanks to donations from people throughout the Central Valley.

An Idaho group gave 400 bicycles to kids in need; no one was turned away, even if they weren’t registered for the program.

Hundreds of people in Austin TX volunteered their time to distribute thousands of bikes and other gifts for families who struggle to put presents under their tree.

GM employees donated 260 bicycles, along with toys for 30,000 North Texas children.

An Arkansas church bought and built over 400 bicycles for struggling families.

A thousand Michigan volunteers helped build bikes to be given to kids in need.

A Kentucky Audi dealer has donated 262 bikes through the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program; a local bike club gave funds to include bike helmets and locks for each kid.

The son of a late Pennsylvania school nurse has continued the woman’s bike giveaway drive, donating 150 refurbished bicycles to local school kids.

Eight Pittsburgh-area special needs kids received new adaptive bicycles, enabling them to ride for the first time.

The wife of North Carolina’s late Bicycle Man is carrying on his tradition by giving 1,200 bikes to kids.

Seventy kids in Savannah GA received new bicycles thanks to a pair of local nonprofits.

Florida’s Jack the Bike Man continued a 26-year tradition by giving 1,500 bikes and helmets to kids in need.

A Florida artist is teaching 24 kids how to build their own bicycles that reflect their personalities.

………

It’s the last four days of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Steven F and Dennis F for their generous donations to help keep this site coming your way!

………

Local

More theater of the absurd in the fight against road diets by overly entitled LA drivers, as Keep LA Moving is continuing their lawsuit against Los Angeles — even though they’ve already won by getting the Playa del Rey road diets ripped out. All because some of the traffic lanes are narrower than they were before, and a few small sections of bike lanes still remain on the streets where there was enough room for them after the traffic lanes were reinstalled.

No surprise here. Our old friend Richard Lee Abrams once again confuses the cure with the disease, insisting densification is killing Los Angeles. What’s really killing the city are the NIMBYs who fight growth, creating more sprawl and forcing people live miles from their jobs. The solution is more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods served by adequate transit, so people don’t have to drive to get to work or shopping.

No surprise here. The British tourist who was accidently shot by an LAPD cop last year as she was riding on the Venice beach bike path has filed a suit against the city; the bullet passed through the dog the cop was trying to shoot and hit her in the calf. The city might as well just open the treasury and let her walk out with as much as she wants; it will still be less than a jury is likely to give her.

A Georgia man will arrive at the Santa Monica pier at the end of this month, completing a 10,000 mile ride around the perimeter of the US that he began 17 years ago; he’s raised $75,000 to fight childhood cancer along the way.

A Long Beach letter writer says bike lanes need to be maintained, and trash and broken glass removed. It doesn’t do any good to build bike lanes if they’re not kept in a safe and ridable condition.

Ofo is bringing their bright yellow dockless bikeshare bikes to Bellflower.

Monterey Park’s vote on its first protected bike lane has been put off until next month.

CLR Effect discovers that basketball great Reggie Miller is one of us, too.

 

State

The LA Times says the car can no longer be king of the road if California is serious about climate change, as proposed new CEQA guidelines will make it easier to build bike lanes and transit oriented development projects.

Chula Vista was honored by the San Diego Bicycle Coalition for their efforts to make the city’s streets safer for people on bikes.

Riding to the Coachella festival should be a little easier in 2019, as plans are underway for bike lanes in Indio leading to the festival site.

A San Luis Obispo Op-Ed points out that not only do bike riders pay for the roads, bicyclists were responsible for paved roads in the first place.

Even the trees are out to get us. A Palo Alto man was severely injured when a tree fell on him as he was riding his bicycle during high winds.

Sacramento bicyclists complain that the closure of a bridge leaves no safe route into the city.

 

National

If the GOP tax plan passes today, you can kiss your paltry $20 a month bike commuting benefit goodbye. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

The LA Times examines Rep. Tom McClintock’s bill to allow mountain bikes in wilderness areas, which has split the offroad community.

Slate says the dockless bikeshare invasion is going to be messy, but worth it.

A writer for Road and Track says traffic calming just makes drivers angry. And that Vision Zero won’t work without a scientific approach to reducing fatalities. Which is exactly what Vision Zero is supposed to be, anyway.

A new study says the pollution you suck in on your bike commute may be killing you after all.

A singletrack site offers advice on how to buy a new bike without your significant other catching on.

Bicycling offers advice on what to do if your bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere. I always carried wire, a bandana and a roll of duct tape in my seat pack when I rode far from civilization, which was usually enough to patch it up — or stop the bleeding — long enough to get home.

Bike-friendly Portland is going the wrong way, tearing out a popular bike route to widen a freeway.

Seattle will continue with dockless bikeshare through at least the middle of next year, even though the pilot program technically ends this month. And decides to install bike racks where they’re not needed to discourage homeless camps.

Arizona police are looking for an elderly woman who right hooked a bike rider, then drove off after giving him $100 for a new bike.

A Santa Fe NM writer says the way to make bicycling safer is to build more separated bike paths, and improve the ones they have.

No bias here. An Indianapolis radio host says people complaining about the plot of The Last Jedi are the worst people in the world — even worse than people who ride in bike lanes.

Memphis will remove the bollards from a protected bike lane in front of a 72-year woman’s home, because she wants to be able to “twirl” into her driveway.

A Syracuse NY scumbag asshole cycling coach gets seven years for sexually abusing a girl under the age of 15 who he was training.

New York considers proposals for dockless bikeshare to serve areas where the city’s successful Citi Bike system doesn’t reach.

Over 200 New York delivery people protest the city’s absurd ban on ebikes, which are legal to own as long as you don’t use them on city streets.

New York appears to be practicing Vision Zero in reverse, with bicycling deaths up nearly 50% this year. But all the mayor wants to talk about is busting delivery people for riding ebikes.

No bias here, either. The NYPD bends over backwards to blame a bike rider in a fatal crash, saying he just happened to fall over as he was trying to pass a truck. A more likely explanation is the driver didn’t see the rider, and passed him close enough to knock him off his bike.

A proposed DC rail bridge could include a parallel crossing for bikes and pedestrians.

Louisiana’s West Baton Rouge Parrish is prepared to meet a court challenge over plans to build a five-mile recreational bike path atop the Mississippi River levee; they’re being sued by four landowners who have refused to grant access to construction crews.

 

International

The researcher following the migration of the Monarch Butterflies finally finished her journey in Mexico, after over nine months and 10,000 miles.

A British Columbia columnist says separated bike lanes squeeze buses and other drivers. But a letter writer says that’s why we need protected bike lanes, because there are enough angry drivers out there already.

Nice piece from the Guardian, where a writer says bicycling helped him overcome depression and panic attacks.

If you build it, they will come. Bicycling has surged another 15% in central London after the city built a network of protected bikeways. Which suggests what could happen here, where the distances may be longer, but the weather is a hell of a lot better.

An English community concludes that reducing speed limits to 20 mph in some areas has actually resulted in an increase in fatalities, but it would cost too much to roll it back; a nationwide study shows lowering speed limits is more effective when done in conjunction with other traffic calming measures.

A British man has refurbished roughly 1,000 bikes a year for the last 18 years, donating them to local charities or selling them for the equivalent of $13 to pay for parts.

British black box driving data shows women are safer drivers than men, and speed is the single biggest risk factor.

Authorities are looking for a UK mountain bike rider who allegedly went berserk after a driver accused him of preparing to run a red light, by attacking her car and threatening her with a knife.

A new movie will tell the story of Scottish BMX star John Buultjens, who rose from a battered childhood to portraying his own abusive father on film.

An Australian writer says drivers and bicyclists break the rules of the road in equal proportions, that there are aggressive drivers as well as cyclists, and that no motorists have been killed by anyone on a bicycle. So don’t hate us because we wear Lycra.

A test of bicycling paramedics on Australia’s Gold Coast has proven so successful that it’s spreading to other cities.

Former Aussie pro Adam Phelan writes movingly about the healing power of riding a bicycle. Something I think most of us have experienced at one time or another.

Over 120,000 people voted to name Seoul’s bikeshare system the Korean city’s favorite public service. Personally, I’d vote for indoor plumbing, but that’s just me.

A Japanese ebike rider is accused of gross negligence in the death of a 77-year old woman while using a smartphone in one hand and holding a drink in the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

Let’s just get all the Chris Froome news out of the way first.

Lance’s invitation to speak before next year’s Tour of Flanders is called “absolutely reprehensible.”

Former pro Alexander Vinokourov faces charges for paying a competitor to take a dive in the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The women’s pro peloton has formed a union to fight for better treatment and a living wage.

Britain’s Tour de Yorkshire has set an example for the rest of the cycling world by replacing podium girls with successful local businesswomen.

Sad news from the UK, where former British national champ Sharon Laws died of cervical cancer; she was just 43.

 

Finally…

No, the shoulder of a roadway is not a bike lane, even if it has a bike route sign. Your next bike could be a classic seat tube-less mountain bike worth $6,500. If you’re going to sell a hot bike, try taking the sticker with the owner’s name on it off first.

And an Italian bicyclist fulfills every rider’s fantasy to shoot down threatening motorists.

And yes, I know that last one is probably fake. But still. Thanks to Erik Griswold and Ed Rubinstein for the heads-up.

%d bloggers like this: