Tag Archive for dangerous streets

Morning Links: Another reason to ride, as traffic congestion costs LA drivers; Flying Pigeon calls out Tom LaBonge

As if you needed another incentive to ride a bike.

The LA Weekly says the city’s traffic congestion costs motorists $5,700 a year, compared to an average of just $1,700 nationwide. And that’s in addition to the estimated $2,458 LA drivers lose due to bad roads.

On the other hand, traffic congestion doesn’t cost bike riders a dime. Although those bad roads can bust wheels and frames.

And bones.

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Writing for Flying Pigeon, Richard Risemberg says as if anti-Fig4All City Councilmember Gil Cedillo isn’t bad enough, CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge manages to insert himself into bike photo ops while blocking much needed bike safety projects.

Tom LaBonge intrudes his bulky self into every bike-related photo op anywhere in or near his district, often wearing his signature red sweater to catch the eye (and the cameras). But he has stopped the Fourth Street Neighborhood Greenway, is trying hard to stop the Lankershim Boulevard road diet, and stands stubbornly against a community-friendly Glendale/Hyperion bridge rebuild.

And now, Sixth Street in the Miracle Mile, a narrow four-lane that impatient scofflaws use as a fast alternative to Wilshire one block away, sometimes hitting speeds of 60 and 70 miles per hour…

Sixth Street was slated to receive a road diet, but—yes, you guessed right!—Tom LaBonge chose to “defer” it. His rationale? Road work on Wilshire might send more traffic onto Sixth. But his presumptions have led him into error: road diets, while they restrain top speeds, often smooth out traffic flow and result in quicker, if calmer, A to B transits of a street.

Something is seriously wrong when a single councilmember can derail already-approved road treatments designed by people actually qualified and paid to make those decisions.

If Mayor Garcetti really wants to do something about our dysfunctional city government, this would be a damn good place to start.

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In pro cycling news, the Astana cycling team risks losing its license for the pro tour after yet another rider is caught doping. Good thing the sport has cleaned itself up.

Meanwhile, VeloNews attempts to fit injured cycling scion Taylor Phinney for next year’s yellow jersey in the Tour de France, even though he’s still working on his comeback and has never ridden — let alone won — a single stage of the Tour.

Give the man a little time, already.

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Local

Metro moves forward with a mealy-mouthed, weak-ass Complete Streets policy.

Flying Pigeon hosts another of their popular Get Sum Dim Sum rides on Sunday.

The 2nd annual Long Beach AIDS Ride rolls on November 15th with rides of 40 and 70 miles, along with an eight mile family ride.

 

State

BikeSD reports bike and livability advocates in the Hillcrest neighborhood are subject to death threats.

San Francisco’s police investigate a series of attacks on bike riders in the city’s Panhandle.

 

National

A new government study confirms Millennials are driving less and biking and walking more.

A Kickstarter project promises jeans cut to accommodate the massive thighs of serious cyclists, which won’t always fit in regular jeans. A problem I once had, and sincerely hope I will again someday.

Grist gushes over the beautiful bike freeways in Minneapolis.

Three years ago, the NYPD recommended a mandatory helmet law for cyclists, but can’t be bothered to enforce traffic laws to protect them.

Nice. Atlanta’s working on a citywide network of protected bike lanes.

 

International

A Calgary writer explains why he rides in the road when there’s a bike path nearby.

Seriously? An Edmonton city councilor wants to discourage bike commuting by requiring licenses for anyone who rides to work.

The Guardian says bicycling is good for everyone; mass cycling could save the National Health Service £17 billion — the equivalent of $27 billion — over 20 years, and prevent 500 road deaths a year.

Britain’s Department for Transport calls for doubling cycling by 2025, but lacks the funding to do it.

Copenhagenize’s Mikael Colville-Andersen discusses how cities around the world are adapting to bike riders.

A group of cycling physicians call for more to be done to improve bike safety in Perth, but the equivalent of a three-foot law fails in West Australia.

 

Finally…

A Scot cyclist goes for an unplanned swim after swerving to avoid a dog. You thought LA potholes were bad — a New Zealand cyclist rides into a sinkhole and can’t get out; his dog stayed with him until help finally arrived.

And a road raging Kiwi cyclist goes off on the driver who rear–ended him following a roadside dispute; something tells me there are no innocent victims in this one.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your voice is needed to make Hyperion Ave. safe for all. Tell Caltrans and BOE that freeway speeds have no place on city streets and that walking and biking are just as important as moving traffic. Comments can be emailed to Tami Podesta by October 11th at Tami.Podesta@dot.ca.gov. Please cc: tom.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, and mayor.garcetti@lacity.org.

To: Tami.Podesta@dot.ca.gov
cc: tom.labonge@lacity.org, councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org, mayor.garcetti@lacity.org
bcc: info@la-bike.org

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

your name
your address

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call now to fight killer roads in San Diego, and a near repeat of a Huntington Beach bike path collision

Just a quick update on a busy day.

Anyone who rides in the San Diego area should take a moment to read today’s BikeSD, in the wake of the death of a publicly unidentified bike rider on Clairemont Mesa Blvd last week.

While no official word has been released regarding the cause of the collision, cyclists have been quick to blame bad road design that forces riders going straight to cross over an exit lane leading to a freeway onramp — just as they did in the death of David Ortiz last year.

In response, riders are prepared to take on, not just a city famed for turning a blind eye to cycling fatalities, but what may be the state’s most bureaucratic and unresponsive agency.

There’s still time to join in and call Caltrans District Director Laurie Berman to demand that she appear at tomorrow’s San Diego City Council meeting to defend the city’s high-speed killer streets, and Caltrans’ apparent refusal to do anything to make them safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Or motorists, for that matter.

And to attend tomorrow’s council meeting yourself to demand both immediate and long-term action to prevent more needless deaths on the city’s streets.

Because far too many people have died on San Diego streets already.

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Our anonymous South Bay/Orange County correspondent reports another collision at the exact same site where a car went off PCH in Huntington Beach and nearly killed cyclist Richard Lauwers as he rode on the bike path below.

No cyclist involved

By 10pm, when I rode past, the totaled car had been righted and was facing north, in the exact location of the incident that put Richard Lauwers in the ICU for days.

The tow truck driver was the only one still on the scene, using power tools to try to get the mangled car roll-able.  He said he’d arrived just as the ambulance left Code 3 for UCI.  “The kid fell asleep,” is what HBFD told him, and he added that the car had rolled and then came to rest upside down, half on the path & half on the sand. He also said the cops don’t suspect alcohol or drugs (of course, if the tox results disagree, there’ll be charges.)

I hope all the pretty sparkly bits of glass are swept off the path for the Sunday morning cyclists.

I hope a mom isn’t signing Consent to Harvest papers tonight.

Ride safe out there!

Two serious collisions that sent drivers off the road in exactly the same spot indicates a serious safety problem that has to be addressed on the roadway.

And should serve as a warning to cyclists that they may not be safe riding the bike path there.

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Finally, I stumbled on something I found heartbreaking over the weekend.

Yes, it’s a good thing that bicycling has become so mainstream that it’s now used to sell everything from pharmaceuticals to fashion.

But it’s a sad day when a once proud Pashley is relegated to serving out its remaining days as a flat-tired retail display in a Santa Monica Banana Republic.

Banana Republic Pashley

A succinct summary of why San Diego kinda sucks for cyclists, and a massively growing list of biking events

Lately, San Diego cycling has been in the news far too often and for all the wrong reasons.

The city and surrounding areas have continued their unacceptably high average of a bike fatality a month over the past 16 months, including the recent deaths of David Ortiz and Chuck Gilbreth.

Yet the local police seem to think drivers can’t be held accountable if they don’t have to scrape the rider’s remains off the road.

The city seems to have a problem with inattentive drivers, exacerbated by surface streets designed like mini-freeways for maximum motor vehicle speed.

I recently received an email from a rider who goes by the nom de bike of gottobike, who succinctly summed up the situation in San Diego, and which I wanted to share with you.

San Diego has beautiful weather for year around cycling; however, the streets and highways are far from safe and the San Diego Police Departments policy on enforcing laws to protect cyclists is basically “no autopsy, no foul”.

In pursuit of higher levels of service for motorized traffic, bicycle and pedestrian access has been designed out of most of our local streets and highways. One of the deadliest traffic designs that has gained favor amongst San Diego traffic engineers is the extremely long merge tapers for transitioning from city street to freeway. These are essentially extended death zones for cyclists, especially with the abundance of aggressive / incompetent / malicious motorists that we face every day.

We do have a few nice cycling areas; however, these are largely located in wealthy neighborhoods far from places of employment and are best enjoyed on weekend sport rides.

San Diego can be nice for the spandex and carbon recreational cyclist; however, for the daily commuter San Diego is a dangerous and toxic no man’s land.

-gottobike

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Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

The annual BikeFest Tour of Long Beach rolls on Saturday, May 5th, with rides of 31 and 62 miles, as well as a Gran Fondo, and day-long bike festival; proceeds support pediatric cancer research at Miller Children’s Hospital of Long Beach. I wish just once they wouldn’t schedule around my anniversary so I could go.

This Saturday will see a free Tour de Palmdale Poker Run Fun Bike Ride to celebrate the city’s hosting of the 6th Stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Riders will meet at Marie Kerr Park, 2723 Rancho Vista, and ride a 30 mile course through the city, picking up a playing card at each stop; the one with the best poker hand at the end of the ride wins. Thanks to Michele Chavez for the tip.

Saturday, May 5th, Culver City’s Walk ‘n Rollers will host a free Kids Bike Safety Festival at El Marino Language School, 11450 Port Rd, from 10 am to 3 pm to teach children how to ride their bikes safely and encourage them to bike to school more often.

The Eastside’s Ovarian-Psycos Bicycle Brigade will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a women-only full moon ride kicking off at 5 pm at Proyecto Jardin, 1718 Bridge Street.

This month’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride sounds like fun, as board member Greg Laemmle leads a pair of rides exploring L.A.’s historic trains and stations on Sunday, May 6th. The main route will offer a mostly flat, moderately paced 25 mile ride starting at the Union Station courtyard, 800 N. Alameda at 10 am; this will meet up with a 10 mile ride starting at Glendale Train Station, 400 West Cerritos Ave, at noon.

The L.A. River bike path will be closed for a 5K Fun Run from 4 am to 11 am on Sunday, May 6th, between Los Feliz Blvd and Marsh Park.

It might be worth the long drive to Davis CA for the first ever Legends Gran Fondo sponsored by the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame on May 6th, featuring America’s first Tour de France winner Greg LeMond — the man whose name is on my bike —  as well as former World Champion Ruthie Mathes, Olympic silver medalist Nelson Vails, and other members of the Hall of Fame.

You’re invited to participate in a live webcast with pro cyclist Levi Leipheimer at 1:30 pm on Monday, May 7th. The webcast is open to the public; however, you must have a Ustream profile or log-in using your Twitter account in order to join the live chat, or ask questions using your Facebook account. And if Levi likes your question, you’ll win a limited edition Levi poster from CLIF Bar.

Beverly Hills will hold a final public hearing on the city’s proposed bike pilot bicycle routes during a special meeting of the city’s Traffic & Parking Commission at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 9th in the Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive, Room 280A.

L.A. Streetsblog holds it’s third annual fundraiser at Eco-Village116 Bimini Place on Friday, May 11th starting at 6 pm; admission is $25 on a sliding scale based on ability to pay.

May is Bike Month. The first National Bike to School Day is scheduled for May 9th, with National Bike to Work Week taking place on May 14th through 18th, and National Bike to Work Day on Friday the 18th.

Here in L.A., Bike Week kicks off at 10 am Monday, May 14th at Expo Park/USC Station, which is also the starting point for the Expo/Mid-City Bike Ride starting at 8 am. Good Samaritan Hospital’s annual Blessing of the Bicycles will take place on Tuesday, May 15th from 8 am to 9:30 am in front of the hospital at 1225 Wilshire Blvd; expect a great breakfast and bike swag, with non-sectarian bike blessings from virtually every faith found in L.A. Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 17th, with Bike to School Day on Friday, May 18th.

Pasadena offers a busy Bike Week as well, with rides ranging from A Taste of Pasadena and Ladies Night, to a Mayor’s Ride and Bike-In Movie Night from Monday the 14th through Saturday the 19th. Check with CICLE.org for more rides and full details.

The annual Ride of Silence takes place in the middle of Bike Week on Wednesday, May 16th, with Southern California rides in Irvine, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, Carlsbad, Temecula, Thousand Oaks and Ventura; a ride will be held in Oxnard in memory of six-year old Anthony Martinez Jr.

The Amgen Tour of California will kick off with the first of eight stages on Sunday, May 13th in Santa Rosa, with Southern California stages from Palmdale to Big Bear on Friday, May 15th — where you can enjoy the full VIP experience, including free cowbell — Ontario to Mt. Baldy on Saturday the 19th, and the final stage from Beverly Hills to L.A. Live on Sunday, May 20th.

The Culver City Bicycle Coalition is looking for volunteers for the city’s bike count on Saturday, May 19th and Wednesday, May 23rd.

Ride the Downtown leg of the Amgen ToC final stage with the Nissan Ride Before the Pros on Sunday the 20th. Riders of all ability levels are invited to ride the 5-mile closed circuit from 8 am to 9:30 am starting at Staples Center. Think of it as a mini-CicLAvia; free registration required.

Also on the Sunday the 20th, the younger set can join in the inaugural Kidical Mass Bixby Knolls bike ride, from 1 to 3 pm beginning and ending at Los Cerritos Park in Long Beach. The four mile ride will be led by Long Beach Bike Ambassador and Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz, and feature complimentary ice cream, music, free tune ups, yoga demonstrations and a blessing of the bicycles.

Anyone who rides PCH — or would like to — is invited attend a meeting discussing design of the Pacific Coast Bike Route Improvements Project between Busch Drive and the western Malibu city limit. The meeting is scheduled for 6 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, May 23rd in the Multi-Purpose Room at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. Note that the meeting has been moved from Saturday the 19th; the Saturday meeting has been cancelled.

The Palms Neighborhood Council will host their 19th Annual Bike Rodeo on Saturday, June 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm at Palms Elementary School, 3520 Motor Ave. The event is free for Palms residents and children attending Palms area schools.

L.A.’s favorite fundraising bike ride rolls out on Sunday, June 10th with the 12th Annual L.A. River Ride; this one just keeps getting bigger and better every year. Six different rides, from an easy family ride to a fast, flat century. Funds go to support the LACBC in building a better, more bikeable L.A. County; save $10 if you register by May 15th.

Recover from The L.A. River Ride with a laid-back bike, brunch and beer ride the following Saturday, June 16th. The first annual B3 charity bike ride will raise funds for the Pablove Foundation with beer and food specials, while making a loop between Golden Road BrewingTony’s Darts Away and Mohawk Bend.

Sunday, July 1st, Shuntain Thomas, the Real Rydaz and We Are Responsible People (WARP) will host a ride through the streets of South Los Angeles to raise attention to the problem of childhood obesity and streets as recreational space. The ride starts at 10 am at Exposition Park, and ends at a street festival at 86th Street and Vermont Avenue.

Bikes are normally banned from the famed San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge, but you can ride it on Sunday, August 26th, during the 5th Annual Bike the Bay, to benefit the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Get an early registration discount through April 30th.

Early registration has opened for the national Pro Walk/Pro Bike® conference to be held September 10th through 13th in Long Beach. The 17th annual conference is sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, and Project for Public Spaces.

This year’s Tour de Fat will take place on Saturday, September 15th at Los Angeles State Historic Park — and this time, it’s not scheduled on the Jewish high holidays, so everyone can attend.

Mark your calendar for the next CicLAvia from 10 am to 3 pm on October 14th; more details to follow.

The law of unintended biking consequences — cities ignore bike safety at your peril

Just days after four-foot wide speed cushions were installed on a Palos Verdes Estates street, a 65-year old cyclist went down hard.

So hard, in fact, that he was still unconscious a week later. Yet local authorities say they can’t “conclude without a doubt” that the cushions were at fault.

Maybe not.

But it’s highly likely that a jury would — and no doubt, eventually will — conclude otherwise.

And that’s the problem. When what seems like commonsense roadway solutions are applied without consulting the cycling community — or at least, traffic engineers who actually ride themselves — it’s not just your safety that’s at risk.

It’s your tax dollars, as well.

Because the inevitable lawsuits that follow are either paid out of your tax dollars, or through a government insurance policy that’s paid with your tax dollars. And one that can often increase, sometimes dramatically, following a successful lawsuit alleging negligence.

In the Palos Verdes Estates case, Richard Schlickman, described as an experienced cyclist, skidded nearly 80 feet after losing control when he either hit one of the newly installed speed control devices on the 500 block of Via del Monte, or swerved to avoid them.

According the Daily Breeze, an unidentified cyclist who witnessed the incident said the speed cushions were the cause of Schlickman’s wreck.

“I saw him fall and slide down on the asphalt. It definitely occurred at that first speed bump there,” said the cyclist, who did not want to give his name. “I really think those speed bumps are dangerous. You’re going to see more accidents.”

The Daily Breeze goes on say the police believe his speed may have been a factor.

The police report said Schlickman’s wreck was caused by the cyclist’s speeding between 25 and 28 mph, above the 15 mph limit posted near the new speed humps, said Robinson of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

However, the photo that accompanies the story clearly shows the 15 mph speed limit sign has a yellow background, rather then the standard white, indicating it’s an advisory, rather than mandatory, limit. Which is something you’d think the local police would understand.

In addition, the sign is located directly next to the speed cushions, providing inadequate warning for cyclists. While most drivers could brake quickly enough to slow down to the recommended 15 mph speed, a cyclist travelling downhill at 25 mph would have a much more difficult time slowing that quickly without losing control. And even then, 15 mph could be too fast for many cyclists to safely traverse the multiple-inch high humps.

So without advance warning of the speed cushions, what would merely be a minor annoyance to most drivers could be a deathtrap to bike riders.

According to the article, the cushions were installed with the best of intentions, as local residents were concerned about speeding drivers, as well as cyclists; in fact, 91% of residents approved the installation.

Maybe the other 9% were bike riders, who could have predicted the inevitable outcome. Had the city consulted with cyclists before installing a device designed strictly for motor vehicles, they most likely would have been forewarned about the obvious dangers.

Instead, an experienced cyclist is suffering from a serious brain injury. And when the inevitable lawsuit is filed, the attorneys will have no problem pointing the finger at those responsible.

Of course, one of the primary factors involved in assessing liability in a case like this is proving that the party responsible knew, or had reason to know, of the danger.

In this case, Palos Verdes Estates clearly failed to do their due diligence in assessing the danger to cyclists prior to installing the speed cushions.

In other cases, such as the dangers posed by potholes and other road hazards, liability often comes down to whether the government agencies concerned were aware of the problem prior to the injury.

Take the rutted moonscape left behind by the so-called Hudson River on heavily biked 4th Street. Bicycle Fixation’s Rick Risemberg has filed numerous requests with the city to have it fixed, which meets the requirement for ensuring they are aware of the problem. And there have already been injuries — plural — to cyclists as a result of those dangerous conditions.

Which means the next cyclist injured there should have no problem proving his or her case. I’ll be happy to testify to the risky maneuvers required to avoid the danger spots, which can easily take down a rider or force them into the path of oncoming cars.

And something tells me I won’t be the only one.

The same thing goes for eastbound Ohio Ave west of Sepulveda Blvd, the West L.A. Bikeway through Westwood Park, and Wilshire Blvd between Westwood and Beverly Hills. All of which I’ve reported myself at one time or another.

And none of which have seen the slightest effort to repair.

Then there’s the intersection of Ohio and Manning Avenues, where frequent running water washes out the asphalt, leaving deep pits in the roadway.

It’s been patched — usually badly — at least a dozen times in the 18 years I’ve lived in this neighborhood. Yet as far as I’ve seen, no effort has been made to identify and repair the root problem to keep the potholes from reappearing a few weeks later.

Which suggestss that the city is well aware of the problem, but chooses not to fix it. And that means you’ll be the one who pays if someone gets hurt as a result.

Whether you’re the one who’s injured.

Or stuck with the tab afterwards.

On a related note, the LACBC has launched the Good Roads Campaign to catalog road hazards and report them to L.A. Bureau of Street Services. They may want to start with the one above, even if it is just a little outside the city limits.

Best wishes to Richard Schlickman for a full and speedy recovery. And a belated thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up on the Daily Breeze articles.

Update: Jim Lyle notes in the comments that there are now large warnings of the speed humps painted on the pavement; hopefully, that will be enough to keep riders safe.

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I meant to include this link in the recent report on the New York bikelash, as Steve Vance of Stephen Can Plan writes that he’s keeping track of Brooklyn’s bike lane drama as well, because the same fight could soon come to Chicago.

Meanwhile, a Lower Manhattan newspaper goes against the tabloid bikelash to support bike lanes, public plazas and pop-up cafes. Bicycling offers a recap of the New York bikelash, as well as a look at Brooklyn’s upcoming Red Hook Crit. And after 10 cyclists were ticketed for violating a 15 mph speed limit in Central Park, NY officials fall over themselves to disavow it; maybe they’re just making it up as they go along.

.………

The planned CC City Council discussion of a motion to weaken Culver City’s newly adopted bike plan — replacing bike lanes on Washington Blvd with sharrows and allowing the City Council to override the plan — has been postponed while council aides study the proposal.

And LACBC affiliate Culver City Bicycle Coalition hosts their monthly Family Ride this Sunday, March 27th, along with a special ride on Saturday, April 16th to look at improvements for the recent Safe Routes to School grant.

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The LACBC memorializes Mark Bixby, and joins calls for naming the new replacement for the Gerald Desmond bridge — or at least the bike lanes on it — in his honor. And the survivor of that plane crash, cyclist and commercial real estate CEO Mike Jensen, is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, the annual Long Beach Bicycle Festival that Bixby founded will take place on Friday, May 13th and Saturday, May 14th in Downtown Long Beach. The festivities include the Tour of Long Beach on Saturday, May 14th, with rides of 4, 31 and 61 miles to benefit Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach.

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KCET offers a great history of bicycling in Los Angeles. Architects consider a bike-friendly L.A. Council President Eric Garcetti launches a program offering up to $2,500 for neighborhood improvement projects within his district. LADOT Bike Blog looks at chicanes, my favorite traffic calming method to ride. The LookOut News profiles LACBC affiliate Santa Monica Spoke. Santa Monica is looking for artists to design and build functional bike racks. REI Santa Monica hosts a talk by Dominic Gill, who’s travelled the US on a tandem, inviting strangers to hop on the empty seat; 7 – 8:30 pm Thursday, March 31st at 402 Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica. Hearings are announced for L.A.’s proposed new bike ordinance; Writing for Flying Pigeon, Rick Risemberg says the bike parking plan is half-a step-forward. Two former USC students turn college poverty into a booming L.A. based bike business. The conflict between equestrians and mountain bikers that threatened to derail L.A.’s bike plan spreads to Malibu.

How to have a bike lane that requires removing parking, without removing parking. Rancho Santa Fe gets its first bike shop. Long Beach’s biking expats encounter just a little mud on their way to Ventura. San Francisco’s successful Sunday Streets — their ciclavia — offered space for a four-person bike and a three-wheeled piano. The Amgen Tour of California prepares for winter weather on the tour’s opening stages; speaking of which, Tahoe-area artists are invited to create art out of bicycles for an installation in conjunction with the tour. There’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal the bike from underneath a man with cerebral palsy; fortunately, there are still caring people in the world to make it right. Marin County improves bike detection at 31 traffic signals. Visalia business owners oppose bike lanes after apparently concluding that cyclists don’t spend money, even though Texas cyclists say biking is good for the local economy.

The feds are looking for feedback on a proposed rule to improve vehicle rear visibility and reduce back-up collisions. How to booby trap your bike to deter thieves. Tucson hosts their second ciclavia this Sunday; Tucson Bike Lawyer says it’s in his neighborhood. If you’re going to assault a cyclist on his way into work, it’s probably better to make sure he’s not an off-duty cop; Digital Dame asks if the driver is a Christopher Thompson protégé. Oregon Representative Earl Blumenauer talks bikes. A Vancouver WA city council member displays typical ignorance of roadway economics, opposing a road diet and bike lanes “because bicycles don’t pay gas tax or license fees.” Six bikes worth $40,000 were stolen from Austin custom bike builder KirkLee Bicycles, including one featured in Bicycling Magazine’s Dream Road Bike of the Year competition. Cambridge MA installs free bike repair stations for cyclists.

As London’s large trucks continue to take their murderous toll, a new augmented reality campaign tries to do something about it. The UK cuts gas taxes for motorists, and at the same time, threatens to eliminate a program to encourage bike commuting. Now that’s what I call a fat tired bike. UCI appeals Spain’s decision to clear Alberto Contador on doping charges; 11 major teams consider breaking away from UCI to form their own super league. Riding the 2012 Olympic mountain bike course. Rookie racing phenom Taylor Phinney of BMC Racing withdraws from his first WorldTour race due to continued knee problems. Japanese cyclist Kazunari Watanabe competes despite the destruction of the home he grew up in. A group of seven Estonian cyclists were kidnapped while riding in eastern Lebanon. A Japanese father who escaped the tsunami by bike looks for his family, who were stuck in traffic when the waves hit.

Finally, TreeHugger offers 12 ways to carry a dog on a bike — almost guaranteed to make you smile. And after the recent item suggesting a freeway-riding cyclist may have caused a collision on the 110 Freeway, reader Christelle reminds us of this classic Crimanimalz video.

One last note — frequent bike blogger and friend Will Campbell rode out today’s 6.8 earthquake while on vacation in Thailand; only a native Angeleno would take something like that in stride.

Fixing a dangerous NoHo intersection a little too late; Cyclecross in Griffith Park, events & weekend links

Efforts are underway to get a traffic signal at the North Hollywood intersection where cyclist Robert Painter was killed last December by a heartless driver who fled the scene and left him to die in the street. Unfortunately, it’s too late for two little girls; one killed and the other in critical condition as a result of a driver who hit them in the same marked crosswalk.

Update: Earlier I’d written that the driver who hit the girls had fled the scene, rather than the driver who killed Robert Painter. That was my error; thanks to Michele for calling it to my attention.

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Looks flat, right? Didn't use to.

Greg forwards a photo of the Marina Bike Path between Mindanao and Fiji Ways. It may not look like much, but he says the simple fact that it’s flat is a big improvement as some of the tree roots that have forced the pavement up have been ground down.

On the other hand, it was still pretty bumpy last time I rode through.

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In upcoming events:

Bike Talk airs Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Help the South Bay Bicycle Coalition conduct vital a bike count to help prepare for the upcoming South Bay Bike Master Plan on Saturday the 6th from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm; volunteers are still needed. Thanks to Steve Montalto for the heads-up.

Flying Pigeon host their next Brewery Ride to the Eagle Rock Brewery on Saturday, November 6, starting at 3:20 pm at the Flying pigeon LA bike shop on North Figueroa.

Cyclocross racing comes to Griffith Park as the SoCal Cross Prestige Series hits town on Saturday and Sunday, November 6th and 7th, from 9 am to 4 pm both days. The event takes place in the Vermont Canyon Park and Parking Lot next to the Greek Theatre. You’re invited to join in on the 2:30 pm Saturday Fun Cross Relay for Charity, free for LACBC members.

Flying Pigeon invites riders to ride and share a beer with Momentum Magazine co-founders Mia Kohout and Tania Lo on Wednesday, November 10 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm, starting at Flying Pigeon’s North Figueroa location.

Friday and Saturday, November 12th & 13th, celebrate the city’s favorite cuisine by riding your bike to the LA Tamale Throwdown sponsored by the Eastside Bicycle Club at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Rose Hill; free bike valet sponsored by the very busy Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.

Flying Pigeon and the Bike Oven host the free Spoke(n) Art Ride on the 2nd Saturday of every month; the next ride will take place on Saturday, November 13th, starting 6:30 pm at 3714 N. Figueroa St. in Highland Park.

On Saturday, November 20th, the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club is tentatively scheduled to hold a memorial ride for James Laing, the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk hit-and-run driver in Agoura Hills on October 23rd. The ride is scheduled to begin at 8 am at the Agoura Hills Bicycle John’s, 29041 Thousand Oaks Blvd; it will have an easy pace to accommodate all riders, and visit the roadside memorial where Laing was killed.

Explore the effects of bicycles on art and culture at Re:Cycle — Bike Culture in Southern California, at U.C. Riverside’s newly relocated Sweeney Art Gallery at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside, exhibition continues through December 31st.

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LADOT Bike Blog offers a detailed report on Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting; sorry I missed it earlier. Stephen Box says cyclists should have input into the selection of the new LADOT chief or City Hall will once again face the wrath of the riders. Thanks to the efforts of cyclists and local residents, Burbank’s Verdugo Avenue road diet survives for at least another six months. Get a discount at Local in Silver Lake when you ride your bike. Bicycle Fixation considers the last patch job on the massive 4th Street pothole known as the Hudson River. The Inland Empire Women Cyclists celebrated Halloween with their Great Pumpkin Ride; thanks to the Claremont Cyclist for the link. San Francisco holds their Bike Expo on Saturday. The cyclist killed by a big rig near Portola Valley on Thursday was a nurse, mother and avid cyclist out to make the roads safer; every death on the roads leaves a hole in someone’s world. A Petaluma writer says fix the roads first and screw the proposed bike boulevard.

A Times writer takes a sunrise bike ride down Maui’s Haleakala volcano; personally, I’d rather ride in Barcelona or maybe visit a shrine to the patron saint of cyclists. More on the culture clash dividing the nation’s largest cycling club. A roadway confrontation in the Colorado high country results in the conviction of both the driver and a cyclist. The mysterious Muskegon bike artist strikes again. A Connecticut garage owner graphically demonstrates the dangers of distracted driving. The Philadelphia-based hipster bicycle video game you’ve been waiting for will soon be available from the Apple App Store. South Carolina’s car-free Bicycle City breaks ground next month; now that I think about it, BikingInSC has a ring to it.

British bike deaths declined 10% last year, but rose the first part of this year. An innovative bike anti-theft device is being tested in Portsmouth, UK; if someone tries to move the bike it triggers a security camera. Definition of irony: A Brit cyclist is run over by a trailer full of London’s Boris Bikes. A presumably dope-free Floyd Landis finishes 4th in New Zealand’s Tour of Southland. An Aussie driver who killed a former cricket star who was riding with friends loses his license and gets a whopping $900 fine; of course, that coverts to a much stiffer $913 U.S.

Finally, how to terrorize an entire city on two wheels; gravity is the only law you have to obey. Then again, the Eagle County CO District Attorney really knows how to terrorize a community, as a Vail-area driver escapes felony charges for seriously injuring a cyclist in a hit-and-run because a conviction could hurt his ability to earn a living.

No, seriously.

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