Tag Archive for David Drexler

Morning Links: Proposed Atwater Village road reduction, photos from Ride the COLT, and a CicLAvia chicken

Here’s your chance to help make one deadly street a little safer.

Los Angeles is considering a proposal to extend the Fletcher Drive road diet south through Atwater Village as part of the city’s Vision Zero program.

This is the area where 19-year old Ryan Coreas was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he attempted to cross Fletcher last December on his way to get a soda.

There’s something seriously wrong when someone can’t cross a damn street on a simple little errand like that without getting killed.

And in this case, it’s the street itself.

A meeting will be held tonight to discuss the options for improving what is one of the city’s most dangerous streets, included in the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network. Which of course means the NIMBYs and cut-through drivers will be out in force doing their best to keep the street dangerous.

If you can’t make the meeting, here’s a sample email that was forwarded to me that you can send to voice your opinion. Especially if you live or work in the Atwater Village area, or reside in Council District 13.

Dear Councilmember O’Farrell-

I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD] and write to express my support for LADOT’s Fletcher Drive safety improvement project ‘Alternative 1.’

I was saddened to learn of the death of Ryan Coreas at Fletcher Dr & LaClede Ave at the beginning of the year, and appreciate your office’s leadership in improving this dangerous street. If Los Angeles is going to end traffic-related deaths as the City’s ‘Vision Zero’ policy dictates, we need to make safety the first priority and work quickly to fix dangerous roads like Fletcher Drive that encourage speeding.

Alternative 1 is the only option that would improve safety for all road users, but especially for pedestrians when they are most vulnerable at night. Alternative 1 reduces crossing distances for pedestrians and unsafe speeding by incorporating curb extensions. Alternative 1 adds center turn lanes that will make accessing businesses and residences by car safer, while simultaneously improving access for emergency vehicles. Alternative 1 has an added benefit of extending existing bike lanes on Fletcher Drive, providing a safer bike connection between Northeast Los Angeles and the L.A. River Bike Path.

I know from driving on Fletcher Drive regularly that existing traffic congestion is not of a level that makes safety improvement prohibitive. The 2 Freeway also parallels this street, providing access for drivers seeking to bypass the area. Right-sizing Fletcher Drive will discourage cut through traffic while improving mobility options for those accessing local businesses in Atwater Village, Frogtown, and Glassell Park.

I urge you to support Alternative 1 to improve the safety of Fletcher Drive.

Sincerely,

[NAME]

[ADDRESS]

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

……….

David Drexler did the double on Sunday, taking part in Chartsworth’s Ride the COLT in the morning, before rushing over to participate in the Glendale to Atwater Village CicLAvia in the afternoon.

Where he befriended a bike-riding chicken.

No, seriously.

Here are some of his photos from the COLT ride — and posing with his newfound CicLAvia buddy. You can read his take on CicLAvia here.

………

Writing for City Watch, an attorney demonstrates that he didn’t bother to do a basic Google search on road diets before going off on the mayor for inflicting them on the city’s poor, suffering drivers. As well as ranting that LA is being sued for forcing poor, innocent kids to suck in toxic fumes because he — the mayor — insists on putting bike lanes on busy streets.

Because as we all know, little kids are the only ones who ever ride bicycles, especially on busy streets. And no one would ever want to use a bike lane to actually, you know, go somewhere.

………

A fundraising account has been established for track cyclist John Walsh, who was seriously injured at the SoCal State championship on Sunday. As of this writing, it has raised nearly $5,000 of the $30,000 goal.

………

Local

More semi-NSFW photos from LA’s cheekiest road safety protest ride.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman examines the Vision Zero plans to improve safety in South LA.

CiclaValley celebrates the three miles of bike lanes coming to Sepulveda Blvd in the north SFV.

KFI’s John and Ken go off on the road reconfigurations currently underway in Playa del Rey, which seem none too popular with the drivers who used the deadly beachside streets as virtual commuter highways. If you can listen to more than a few minutes of this crap without throwing your device out a window, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Trial began on Monday for a Long Beach man who faces life in prison after getting beaten by police when they stopped him for the crime of riding without a light.

 

State

Wacky Coronado will talk about how bike riders can safely get from here to there; let’s hope the proposed sharrows and greenways don’t make any more residents dizzy.

A Santa Clara driver complains a bicyclist swore at him after he pulled into a bike lane when his car suffered a mechanical problem. Seriously, don’t be a jerk. On the other hand, bike riders might be more understanding of emergencies like that if so many people didn’t drive in bike lanes just because they can.

San Francisco’s bikeshare system begins its expansion throughout the Bay Area.

It takes a major piece of walking human scum to steal the wheels off a ghost bike.

The Woodland branch of a national non-profit donated ten adaptive tricycles to special needs kids.

A Eureka writer says sometimes you have to get back on your bike or stay face down in the gravel. Literally, on occasion.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers tips on the proper care and feeding of your bike helmet.

Steve Katz forwards news of a bizarre case in Austin TX, which began when a driver plowed into a group of cyclists Saturday morning, injuring four, after claiming he’d fallen asleep. And ended when a witness stopped to help, only to have a passenger in the driver’s car steal his Jeep.

A Missouri church took up a collection to buy a new adult tricycle for a special needs man after his was stolen.

Bicycling talks with the survivors of the Kalamazoo massacre one year later.

Chicago finally releases its Vision Zero action plan for the next three years.

A Michigan woman will spend at least three years and three months behind bars for fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider in a crash, with a blood alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit. So no, WTVB, she’s not headed to jail for merely hitting a bicyclist with her car.

Sad news from New York, where an investment banker was killed by a bus, becoming the first Citi Bike bikeshare rider to be killed since the program was introduced four years and over 43 million rides ago; he’s just the second person killed since bikeshare came to the US in 2010. Thanks to Alan Thompson and Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A Pennsylvania mom plays detective to get her son’s stolen bike back.

A Baltimore letter writer asks if the mayor is trying to drive Millennials out of town by ripping out a protected bike lane.

Miami gets its first protected bike lane. If you can call a lane separated with nothing more than flexible plastic posts “protected.”

A kindhearted Florida deputy gives a man a new bike after his was destroyed in a hit-and-run.

 

International

Architectural Digest ranks the eleven most scenic bike rides in the world, having evidently never ridden through the Rocky Mountains. Or the American prairie, for that matter.

After a British man gets knocked off his bike by a car towing an RV, he gets even by applying the van’s handbrake, and filming the driver’s wheels spinning as he tries to move forward.

Three out of four daily bike riders in Ireland are men. Which is a stat that could be cited, give or take, for virtually any first world country outside northern Europe.

A soccer coach is bicycling the full length of Italy to fulfill a promise after his team avoided relegation.

A look at the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, from the country where it was born.

Iranian women are ignoring a fatwa from the country’s supreme leader prohibiting them from riding bicycles in public, and posting videos of themselves doing it anyway.

A Kazakh tribesman has left his families flocks behind to compete as an amateur cyclist in China.

 

Finally…

Nobody likes bike thieves, but this is going way too far. Your next bike bell could ring inside cars.

And if you think doping is crappy, you may be right.

Or maybe not.

 

Morning Links: Riding with SaMo’s mayor, crazed California driver, and your next bike should have a bazooka

Evidently, Saturday’s ride with the mayor of Santa Monica was a successful affair.

David Drexler forwarded his thoughts afterwards.

Thanks for the “heads up” about the monthly ride with the Santa Monica Mayor Ted Winterer.

It was a lot of fun.  He is a great guy, and very approachable.

We chatted for a while before the ride, and rode together for a while. He likes to talk about cycling infrastructure and Santa Monica’s plans for the future including a fully protected bike lane from North to South coming up soon for construction that will feed into the East/West green lanes.

The Mayor told me that both he and his wife and 2 children all have bikes at home and ride together, and most days he cycles from his home to his city office in Santa Monica.

Also with us for the ride was the Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole who likes cycling and was pointing out areas for Green Lane expansion and revision to the Mayor during the ride.

You don’t have to be a resident of Santa Monica to participate in the Monthly ride with Mayor, so everyone should consider coming out and chatting with him about cycling next time.

Photo attached of the Mayor (on the left) giving the group instructions before the ride.

………

These are the people we share the roads with.

Somewhere in California, a crazed road raging driver harassed a bike rider, demanding that “all you little bastards” should get out of town, and threatened to come back with a shotgun.

Although any experienced road raging driver would know that using a gun is a crime, but using a car just makes it an accident.

Right?

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Members of the pro peloton name the most promising young riders; no North or Central Americans made the list, though one Columbian rider did.

So much for cleaning up the sport. An anti-doping organization claims no drug testing has been done at the last five international cyclocross events, and they haven’t checked for motor doping, either.

Alberto Contador says it’s more important to ride with style than to win. Something tells me his sponsors would disagree.

Flamboyant world road champ Peter Sagan likes Haribo candies more than post-race interviews; Bicycling Magazine compares his early season behavior to performance art.

VeloNews discusses Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad one-day classic, where riders used a tactic employed by traffic-shy cyclists around the world by taking to the sidewalk. And it turns out the women Omlooped, too. Twice.

………

Local

Road and Track says the future of Los Angeles transportation is full of possibilities, from trains and hydrogen-powered cars to, yes, bicycles.

A new bike-inspired coffee shop and bicycle accessory shop will be opening soon on York Blvd in Highland Park, where a successful road diet has helped bring life to the street. Though this being Los Angeles, not everyone approves.

CiclaValley explains how to take your bike on MetroLink.

There will be a feeder ride for people looking to get from Highland Park to Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event.

 

State

Bike co-op and advocacy group BikeVentura is officially launching with a party this Saturday.

Sacramento sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike thief who assaulted the owner of a bike he was trying to steal.

 

National

Nice to know we’re still making life miserable for self-driving cars.

Mobility Lab asks how far is too far to ride to work, concluding that anything beyond 30 miles is just crazy. Although I once met one of the early RAAM competitors, who commuted 157 miles by bike from his home in Steamboat Spring CO through the mountains to Denver, and back again, everyday, even in the dead of winter.

Police in Oregon are searching for the identity of a drunken rider who was hit by a truck on Friday. This is why you should always carry ID. And ride sober.

Young riders of faster ebikes could be required to wear a helmet until they reach the age of 21 under proposed Utah legislation.

A Denver bicyclist claims he was repeatedly passed, then intentionally run down by a road raging street sweeper driver.

A former Wichita KS bike shop owner now runs a bike repair service out of his garage, while offering free bike rentals to anyone who wants to borrow one.

Even heartland cities are attempting to eliminate traffic fatalities, as Columbia MO commits to developing a Vision Zero plan.

Massachusetts is planning a network of bike lanes to keep up with rising demand.

Evidently, blocking bike lanes is nothing new; New York truck drivers have been doing it since at least 1899.

If anyone feels like moving to the deep South, the Georgia Bikes advocacy group is seeking a new executive director.

 

International

Road.cc presents the perfect bikes to buy when you have more dollars than sense.

A Nova Scotia columnist calls on the province to scrap its mandatory bike helmet law, saying that it will keep bikeshare from succeeding there without making riders any safer. Meanwhile, a writer for Forbes says bike helmets can be hazardous to your health by encouraging risky behavior.

British cycling champ Chris Hoy goes from Olympic gold medalist to children’s book author.

Caught on video: A Kiwi parent could face a police investigation after he knocks a BMX rider on his ass for colliding with his skateboarding son at a new skate park.

 

Finally…

Not even bike messengers are safe from automation. Forget a Swiss Army Knife; what you really need is a bazooka-toting Swiss Army Bicycle.

And seriously, cats should know better than to try mountain biking, anyway.

 

Morning Links: A reminder to register your bike for free, ranking the cyclists, and does Metro bike cost too much?

I received the following email from David Drexler after he sent the photos of the sadly stripped bike at the Expo Line Bundy Station earlier this week.

I registered my bikes today at BikeIndex with pics. I had them always registered somewhere else.

You know — more people should register with pics on BikeIndex.

It was a sobering experience when I took 30 minutes to peruse the listings of bikes stolen.  Keeping in mind that the ones listed are not all that have been stolen — many don’t register at Bike Index — and there were a ton.  And when I put in my LA zip code and just using a 1 mile radius or 1 mile of Santa Monica beach zip code — the results were staggering.

I took the time to study what folks wrote about where the bike was when stolen and what kind of lock and basically all different locks and places and times of day. There was no safe haven lock or place from what I could see.  And it was insignificant if there were cameras around. It is almost as if there are professional bike thieves just on a constant roam of Southern California ready with tools and portable saws at all times.  Bikes have been stolen from every imaginable location including one guy that reports that he turned his back on a bike he brought into a convenience store for safety and someone ran out with it, from cars, from bike racks where a person cable and u-locked it to the rack.  Thieves just tore apart the rack to get at the bike.

As a matter of fact, there are professional bike thieves roaming SoCal communities on a constant basis. Along with people stealing to support drug habits, homeless encampment bicycle chop shops, and people willing to steal your ride just because the opportunity presents itself.

And quite frankly, the odds of ever seeing your bike again once it’s gone are somewhere on a continuum between slim and none.

But you can raise those odd considerably by taking his advice and registering your bike for free with Bike Index right here on this site, and reporting it to the police if your bike is stolen.

And yes, police do check those listings when they find a stolen bike, and have returned bikes to their owners as a result.

Lots of bikes.

So don’t wait. Take a few minutes to register your bike right now.

You have nothing to lose. Except maybe your bike if you don’t.

Full disclosure: This site does not receive any compensation, financial or otherwise, from Bike Index for hosting their registration and stolen bike listings. We just want to help you fight back against bike theft.

………

Cycling Weekly ranks the year’s 100 top cyclists; the top ranked American is Megan Guarnier at #6, while the highest ranked American man is Andrew Talansky down at #84.

Belgian cyclist Greg Van Avermaet describes the mountain bike accident that left him with a broken ankle.

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Local

An editorial in the LA Daily News says the Metro bikeshare system is a good idea, but it costs too darn much.

CiclaValley tells the tale of his Veteran’s Day bike excursion into the Sierra foothills, while Milestone Ride’s Johnny Lam goes deeper into the Sierras for Adventure Cycling.

Long Beach gets a $50,000 grant to put on bike and pedestrian safety workshops.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority will produce two videos focusing on the leading causes of bike and pedestrian injuries and deaths, once they figure out what they are.

Evidently, craft beer and bike lanes aren’t enough to get Millennials to move to San Diego. Then again, they don’t seem to be sticking around LA, either.

Plans are moving forward for the 50-mile CV Link bike path around the Coachella Valley, though bike riders and wheelchair users could be forced to use the dangerous Hwy 111 in places after two cities refuse to participate.

Ventura County cyclists are invited to take a survey on regional bicycle wayfinding.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. San Francisco will install a protected bike lane on a street where a woman was killed riding her bicycle earlier this year.

 

National

People for Bikes says Americans voted for bicycles in a big way, including passage of LA’s own Measure M.

The Guardian asks if Chicago’s proposed floating bikeway could overcome the doubters and reconnect the city.

The New York Times says blame mobile apps for the largest spike in traffic fatalities in 50 years.

New York police finally arrested a killer hit-and-run driver for deliberately running down a bicyclist as he rode in a bike lane.

An 83-year old Virginia man fought, and failed, to get a red light at an intersection near his home; it cost him his life this past weekend as he walked his bicycle in the crosswalk.

A New Orleans woman writes about ghost bikes in the city following the death of her friend. Yet the website oddly files it under “The Lighter Side.”

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar says the world may be a mess, but it’s still a beautiful place to explore on a bike.

London’s Mirror says the answer to the question of whether an ebike is worth buying is not quite yet.

London’s mayor kills plans for one of the city’s cycle superhighways, meaning the city probably won’t have any segregated bikeway from central to west London anytime soon.

A British mother is looking for an apology from the hit-and-run cyclist who knocked down her five-year old daughter and just kept going.

A man in the UK says cyclists should be required to carry liability insurance if they insist on riding in the roadway; his petition has garnered nearly 30,000 signatures.

Irish prisoners have refurbished 2,000 bicycles to give to school children in Africa; meanwhile, bikeshare has come to the continent despite a near total lack of infrastructure.

A TV host in Zimbabwe faces charges in the death of a bicyclist who was riding in a cycle track.

Even when a bike lane doesn’t work out, it only cost an Aussie city a total of $20,000 to paint it and rip it out again.

As internet-based bikeshare gains popularity in China, providers struggle for a share of public space.

 

Finally…

Now you can ride the famed Little 500 on a board when you’re bored. The impetuous, alcoholic and bushy-bearded inventor of the Pedersen bike.

And rising from the dead to ride nearly 2,000 miles, minus an arm and a leg.

 

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