Tag Archive for David Ryu

Morning Links: 6th Street meeting draws complaints, hit-and-run BOLO alert, and bike to the World Series

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s neighborhood meeting to discuss much-needed safety improvements on 6th Street.

Despite the unanimous support of the local neighborhood council, as well as other area councils and groups, Ryu appears to be dismissing calls for a 6th Street road diet to improve safety.

Instead, he has come back with his own plan, which would remove parking and add one or more left turn bays. Which would only increase the speeding local residents blame for the numerous crashes and multiple deaths on what should be a relatively quiet commuter street.

The people I’ve heard from have described the meeting as a waste of time, saying Ryu’s staffers seemed angry and tried to steer people towards his plan, rather than listening to area residents, as the councilmember has promised to do.

It’s hard to imagine Ryu approving any road diet after the disaster in Playa del Rey, on 6th Street or anywhere else.

But it’s also hard to imagine Vision Zero succeeding if he won’t listen to the concerns of the people in his district, and take concrete steps to improve safety for everyone.

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The LAPD has sent out an alert to be on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man riding his bicycle on Victory Blvd near Van Alden earlier this month.

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Yes, you can ride your bike to the World Series at Dodger Stadium.

Just don’t expect a bike valet when you get there.

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Adding insult to injury, Belgian pro cyclist Jan Bakelants was lifted to safety after tumbling over a guard rail and failing into a ditch during the Il Lombardia race earlier this month. Only to be run over by a race moped after they laid him down on the roadway.

Twenty-year old French cyclist Mathieu Riebel was killed in a head-on collision with an ambulance while competing in the Tour of New Caledonia last Friday.

Columbian Tour de France contender Rigoberto Uran says forget fame, he just loves racing his bike.

Cycling Tips looks at the whys behind China’s new WorldTour race, and what the future holds for the event.

Researchers try to quantify what it means to suffer while racing a bike.

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Local

The LAPD has arrested a woman suspected of being the bike-riding North Hollywood arsonist.

LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati, is raffling a Raleigh ebike worth $3,199. And no, a raffle is not the same as an auction.

The semi-regular Draft Meetup is back at Pure Cycles this Thursday, offering bike talk combined with free food and beer.

Pasadena’s Metro bikeshare has seen nearly 14,000 rides since it opened in July.

West Covina is holding a meeting tomorrow to unveil their draft Active Transportation Master Plan. Although they might have better luck if they rescheduled for a night that didn’t conflict with the World Series.

No surprise here. The parents of 13-year old Ciara Smith have filed a lawsuit against Metro, as well as the bus driver, Los Angeles County and Caltrans, after she was killed by a bus as she rode her bike along PCH in Redondo Beach last May.

 

State

The man charged with stabbing two people as they looked for a stolen bicycle in Coachella is still being held without bail, and will undergo a psych evaluation.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls for a strong statewide law prohibiting drivers from harassing bicyclists. As the story notes, Los Angeles has an anti-harassment ordinance that allows riders to sue in civil court, but it has proven to be difficult to use. And it’s no use if the incident occurs outside the city limits.

Danville police are looking for what may be a single hit-and-run driver who crashed into three bike riders in two separate incidents on the same road 40 minutes apart.

Napa is planning to widen the main road leading into town, but only intends to place a bike lane in one direction; the city says they need to wait until a bike and pedestrian bridge is built to accommodate riders, even though plans for the bridge haven’t even come up for a vote yet.

 

National

Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger, was famed for his BMX stunts.

Restock your bunker, and gird yourself for the coming bikeshare wars.

Bicycling tells you how to make a left turn.

Another candidate for the parent of the year award. A Montana woman could soon be staying at the same detention center where she works, after she intentionally chased down and ran over her boyfriend as he tried to escape on his bicycle after a fight, with her four young kids in the car watching the whole thing.

An 83-year old Michigan driver will avoid jail time in the death of one bike rider and injuring another, after he was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service and forbidden to ever drive again. Once again raising the issue of how to get older people off the road after they’ve lost the ability to drive safely. And before they kill someone.

A state senator says a pair of New York bikes lanes are continuing to cause crashes. After all, it couldn’t be the fault of careless or distracted drivers who can’t manage to follow the lines on the street banging their cars together.

A health columnist for the New York Times says riding a bike without a properly fitted helmet is stupid.

New York’s Prospect Park is going permanently carfree next year. I’d like to say maybe there’s hope for LA’s Griffith Park, but that would imply that Los Angeles would finally coming to grips with its automotive addiction, which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

Baltimore police are investigating a series of attacks by groups of teens who swarm bicyclists and steal their bikes.

 

International

A Montreal cop is on trial for fatally backing over a bike rider when he tried to stop the victim for riding the wrong way on a one-way street.

The BBC talks with LA’s own Phil Gaimon about his new book Draft Animals.

A British bicyclist suffered a massive hematoma on his hip after being knocked off his bike by a road raging driver. Actually, his hip looks pretty much like mine did following my run-in with the beachfront bike path bees.

The governor of a Nigerian state has ordered truck drivers who break traffic laws to see a shrink if they cause a crash. Maybe we could offer that here instead of traffic school.

Nothing crazy about a first-time unicyclist pledging to ride across New Zealand’s largest farm to raise funds for mental health issues.

Singapore is planning to fight congestion and smog by capping the number of vehicles on its streets. A solution that makes so much sense that we can rest assured it will never be tried here. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise nearly $4,000 to send the body of a world travelling bike rider back home to China after he was killed in an Argentine car crash. Thanks to The Bicycle Wars for the link.

Nothing like a little North Korean propaganda to start your day, revealing that women “is forbidden to ride a Bicycle” because a “skirt should always cover the knees, and wear pants ladies is impossible.” Though you’d think a piece authored by someone named Bill Cooke would demonstrate a somewhat better grasp of the English language.

 

Finally…

Just because you’re undead doesn’t mean you can’t ride a bike — or get attacked by a drunk tourist. You too can have your very own 3D-printed Slovakian e-mountain bike for the low, low price of just $24,000.

And this is why Kardashians shouldn’t bike after drinking.

 

Morning Links: Meetings for 6th Street and new LA General Plan, and Burbank cops don’t care about a close pass

David Ryu, LA’s 4th district councilmember, is hosting a neighborhood meeting tomorrow to discuss safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

While it seems unlikely that Ryu will approve the road diet local residents have been demanding in the wake of the Playa del Rey fiasco, this is our chance to fight for safety on a street that poses needless risks to bike riders and pedestrians.

And just maybe Ryu might prove me wrong.

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The LA Department of City Planning is hosting a pair of public meetings to gather input for the city’s new General Plan, in South LA tomorrow morning and Hollywood Wednesday evening.

The Have A Go website reports that almost no bicyclists attended an earlier meeting, resulting in virtually no one to give a voice to visions of a more bikeable, walkable city not strangled by motor vehicles.

This is your chance to envision a more livable city, and maybe — just maybe — see it become a reality in your lifetime.

Or you could just sit back and complain about it later, insisting you never had a say in the matter.

Just like all those people who suddenly found themselves shocked to discover LA has a mobility plan, or that Vision Zero calls for safety improvements on the streets they like to zoom along.

You can also give your input in a short survey, instead.

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Bike SGV hosts their Spooky Night Bike Train tomorrow.

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A cargo bike rider complains to Burbank police officers about just watching while a driver passes within inches of him and his two-year old daughter, directly in front of their squad car.

Naturally, they respond with their best Sgt. Schultz imitation by saying they didn’t see a thing, and asking if he shouldn’t he be riding on the sidewalk, anyway.

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In an update to Sunday’s fatal bike crash on PCH in Santa Monica, a Good Samaritan who stopped to help the victim says the Santa Monica police aren’t being forthcoming with the full details.

And she reports that the driver fled the scene and was chased down by witnesses to the crash, rather than returning on his own as the police had said.

Thanks to Jorge Casuso for the heads-up.

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A new bill signed into law by the governor gives local governments the right to seize cars used by pimps or Johns for prostitution.

However, drivers who flee the scene of crashes or use their cars to deliberately threaten or harm bicyclists or pedestrians are more than welcome to keep theirs.

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The British team doctor who sent the suspicious package that has left a cloud over Bradley Wiggins has walked away from the organization without talking to doping authorities.

The head of the Movistar team says 13.5 miles of Paris – Roubaix cobblestones are too dangerous to include in next year’s Tour de France.

A British writer says we may have entered the age of post-truth, but cycling got there decades earlier.

Doping has reached the dog world, as sled dogs in Alaska’s famed Iditarod test positive for Tramadol, the same painkiller that’s legal for professional athletes under current doping rules, and widely used — or abused — in the pro peloton.

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Local

Another missive from self-proclaimed lawyer Richard Lee Abrams, who accuses the city of placing bike lanes on busy streets where smog harms kids on bicycles, as an excuse to install road diets in an attempt to intentionally turn traffic congestion into an unbearable nightmare and force people to use subways and fixed rail. Which might sort of almost make sense if the recent Playa del Rey road diets were anywhere near rail lines. I’m also told the reason Abrams isn’t listed in the California bar is that while Abrams is his real name, he’s listed in the bar under another name. Sure, let’s go with that.

Police are looking for a possible bike-riding arsonist who may be responsible for setting four separate trees on fire in North Hollywood.

A Playa Vista photographer transforms trash into art, inspired by a garbage bin he discovered on a Chicago bike ride.

Carson is now home to eight Starbucks and a Jersey Mikes, and it’s getting a bike path along the Dominguez Channel. It’s also the home of the new LA Chargers, but nobody’s perfect.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson pens a hard-hitting piece about the failure of the Playa del Rey road diets, and the pain advocates felt when the news broke. However, while his solution to confidently take the lane instead of fighting for bike lanes may work for some of us, it doesn’t address the 8 to 80 problem, or encourage the vast majority of people who might like to ride their bikes if they weren’t so afraid of traffic to get out and try it.

 

State

San Diego’s Bikes for Boobs has raised $23,000 for breast cancer prevention.

No, Bakersfield 23ABC News, bike lights and helmets might make bike riders safer, but they won’t do a damn thing to improve the streets.

A San Luis Obispo County rehabilitation nurse urges bicyclists to stop riding up and down the Nipono Mesa hills in the traffic lanes where they have every right to be, because unsuspecting drivers would never in their wildest dreams imagine that anyone might actually do that. So the problem isn’t clueless and careless drivers, but the people on bikes who might be in their way. Got it.

Speaking of SLO, a letter writer says drivers are fed up with road diets and sacrificing parking spots to make room for all those damn bike lanes, questioning whether that really helps the cause of bicycling.

San Francisco clears away the last of the homeless encampments blocking a popular bikeway, and a TV reporter discovers what may be the city’s most dangerous bike lane.

The Santa Rosa train may have been SMART, but riding in front of it with headphones and talking on a cellphone, not so much.

A bicyclist who lost his sight to diabetes will take part in this weekend’s Shasta Wheelmen Wildcat Granfondo in Redding, despite surviving a pair of double kidney transplants.

 

National

The best technical minds in America are hard at work answering the single most pressing issue regarding driverless cars: Who’s at fault when they crash?

A new device promises to let you carry your bike suspended across your back. Wouldn’t that just make it bang into every branch, bush, rock and signpost along the way? Not to mention any people you happen to pass.

A woman discusses what she learned on a 4,274-mile bike ride across the US from Virginia to Seattle.

A kid riding to school shouldn’t have to jump off his bikes and roll out of the way to avoid getting run over, like this boy in San Antonio TX.

Caught on video: A man steals a laptop from inside an Oklahoma hospital without ever getting off his bicycle.

A 16-year old Minnesota driver is accused of using Snapchat seconds before he plowed into a bike rider.

A Minnesota theater is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a bike riding actress, who was killed in a crash after the spirit first appeared, making the ID seem unlikely.

A writer in Albany NY explains how he became a bike person, and discovers that how we move around our community matters. And it’s really fun, too.

Former Olympic gold medal track cyclist Marty Nothstein announces his bid for Congress as a Republican in Pennsylvania’s 15th district.

In what sounds like the theater of the absurd, New York’s mayor announces plans to fine the employees of ebike delivery people; for reasons that escape most rational people, it’s illegal to use the nonpolluting bikes on Gotham streets. Better to make delivery people pedal for eight hours a day, or maybe just use a massive SUV like the mayor does.

The parents of a ten-year old New York girl credit her $40 bike helmet with saving her life after a nearly four-ton forklift rolled over her head as she was riding her bicycle.

A doubly bighearted Virginia deputy bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen. Then bought a second bike for another boy who didn’t have one.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists the eight types of cyclists you see on every winter ride. Seriously, just get out and ride your bike, wherever and however makes you happy. And screw the labels.

A British woman is looking for the apparently drunk or stoned man who crashed his bike into her and her friends, then jumped up and started punching them, breaking her nose and knocking her friend out cold.

Caught on video too: An English bike rider get assaulted by a road raging driver, after flipping him off for a dangerously close pass on a blind curve.

A new Danish ebike is too fast to legally be used on the streets in the European Union.

An Egyptian woman is training to become the first woman to ride solo around the country.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia calls Singapore-based dockless bikeshare provider oBike a shadowy organization that has hurt the chances for other bikeshare providers.

 

Finally…

Maybe this explains why a Huffy rides like a sewing machine. Who knew a traffic light was the cure for the bicyclists God complex?

And apparently, it’s bad luck to steal a bicycle from a police station.

 

Morning Links: Mar Vista Great Streets success, 6th Street safety open house, and road rage around the world

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

My hard drive cable failed just as I was finishing yesterday’s post. Fortunately, I was able to get it replaced, and recovered most, though not all, of what I had written.

As a result, today’s post includes news from both days. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in; we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

And come back tomorrow, when we’ll have even more bike and safety news we couldn’t squeeze into today’s post.

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It’s working.

Despite the claims of road diet opponents, the three-month safety stats show the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista is working exactly as promised, with collisions, injuries and speeding down, while resulting in what should be an easily tolerable delay in rush hour traffic.

Which should put the debate to rest, but probably won’t.

Meanwhile, a new Toronto study shows what Mar Vista has to look forward to, as controversial separated bike lanes on a downtown Toronto street have significantly improved safety, while boosting business in the surrounding area.

Like Mar Vista’s Venice Blvd Great Streets Project, Toronto faced near-constant demands from drivers to remove the Bloor Street bike lanes, as well as merchants angry over the loss of parking spaces.

It’s been successful in Toronto.

And it will be in Mar Vista, if local leaders can fight off the demands to remove them.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for link to the Toronto study.

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Speaking of traffic safety improvements, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 21st, to discuss the desperately needed changes to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

As we’ve noted before, even though the Mid City West Community Council has voted unanimously to support lane reductions on 6th, Ryu has dragged his feet on the project, despite his oft-stated promises to listen to the local community.

He has suggested an alternative that would keep two lanes in each direction, while adding left turn bays at several intersections and removing parking spaces near intersections.

This would actually have the opposite effect of the safety improvements the local community has been begging for, speeding the flow of traffic rather than slowing it, while increasing the risk to bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

It’s important that everyone who uses the street in any way, or cares about traffic safety, attend to if you can to demand a safer 6th Street.

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Long Beach bike advocate and Pedal Love founder Melissa Balmer teamed with Minnesota writer and consultant Jay Walljasper to author a new study on the Surprising Promise of Bicycling to be released today.

The study focuses on the “untapped demographic potential, growth of bike share and infrastructure, the deepening influence of grass roots advocacy,” as well as the promise of ebikes.

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Today’s common theme is road raging drivers.

And bike riders, too.

An Arkansas man faces charges for crashing into a man on a bike — evidently intentionally — then threatening him with a machete, apparently because the rider sprayed a couple dogs with a water bottle when they chased after him.

Witnesses say a driver appeared to intentionally cross over the yellow line to smash into Georgia teenager as the boy signaled for a left turn on his bike.

The Chicago bike rider who was hit with a drum by a road raging driver — after smashing the man’s rear window with his U-lock — has started a crowdfunding campaign to get his damaged teeth fixed.

An Ohio lawyer could face disbarment for brake-checking a bike rider and smashing his cellphone in a road rage incident.

Evidently, there’s no shortage of road rage in Asheville NC. Police are looking for a bicyclist who allegedly hit a driver several times with his helmet, kicked him, and stole his eyeglasses and $80. This comes just two weeks after a driver was caught on dashcam video punching a cyclist.

A London cab driver tells a bike rider to “go back to f***ing Poland” or wherever he’s from after the rider complains about the driver stopping in a bike box.

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We’ll catch up with a long list of bike events tomorrow, but I want to mention just a couple today due to the tight timelines.

Bike SGV is hosting the BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tomorrow night, offering a free two-wheeled tour of the Pasadena art fest with stops at several venues.

And AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides starting at Balboa Park this Saturday, to officially start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast. You can choose from rides of 14 or 43.7 miles, with a free lunch provided for registered participants.

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Local

In what’s just the latest multimillion dollar settlement due to the city’s dangerous streets, the LA city council voted to pay $15 million to a man who suffered permanent brain damage due to a substandard Hollywood crosswalk. That’s $15 million they could have used to fix several dangerous intersections, instead of paying for not fixing one.

Paramedics at LAX will now make their way through the terminals by bicycle.

Volunteers are needed for the tenth annual Long Beach bike count.

Sports Illustrated reviews the new book Draft Animals from LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon.

The SGV Connect podcast remembers Bike SGV staff member Brian Velez, who passed away unexpectedly last month. A memorial ride will be held in his honor this Sunday.

 

State

Governor Brown once again pulls out his veto pen to strike down a bike bill, negating a law that would have required the California Department of General Services to expand an employee bikeshare program it currently runs for staffers in Sacramento to other departments, and other areas of the state.

Goleta considers building a separated bike and pedestrian path through the city.

The very cool new Johnny Cash Art Trail officially opens in Folsom this Saturday.

San Francisco is preparing to issue permits to an e-bikeshare operator, portentially violating the non-compete agreement they have with Ford’s GoBike.

Oakland explores a new approach to fixing a dangerous intersection with paint and bollards, by adding bike lanes and a widened median for pedestrians, in just ten weeks for a mere $30,000. The result has been a 7% drop in speeding with no decrease in median speeds, and a whopping 86% increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A seven-year old Oakland bike shop provides local youth with job training and affordable transportation.

A Marin writer questions the wisdom of reopening a closed-off tunnel for bike and pedestrian use.

A new study from UC Davis shows that many trips that could be made by foot, bike or transit are now being made by Uber and Lyft, adding to the congestion on our streets.

 

National

Doctors call for cities to do more to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe, as the US faces its biggest jump in traffic deaths in 50 years.

If you’ve spent much time walking or riding a bike, you may be surprised to learn that traffic engineers have an ethical duty to protect public safety, which they’ve too often ignored. Okay, maybe shocked is a better word.

Yes, it is possible to ride a bike from the airport in major cities around the US, including Los Angeles.

An article in Bicycle Times calls bicycling the ultimate social sport.

No irony here. A Nebraska bike rider was hit by a car on the way home from a bicycle safety meeting; needless to say, the driver wasn’t ticketed.

A retired Wisconsin legislator says the state’s governor is no friend to bicycling.

A pair of Detroit men have been arrested for at least three separate daylight abductions and sexual assaults of women as they rode their bicycles. Let’s hope they get thrown into a deep pit for a very long time.

An Indianapolis man entertains passing drivers by juggling and riding his bike backwards in a parking lot.

Massachusetts’ abolition-themed 1854 Cycling Company hires recently released inmates, giving them a second chance in life; the owner grew up in South Central LA.

New York police are targeting people on bikes, rather than focusing on the operators of more dangerous vehicles.

Lawyers are challenging a recent New York Vision Zero law making right-of-way violations a misdemeanor offense; three judges have found the law unconstitutional on the grounds that people can’t be held accountable for violations they don’t know they’re committing.

There’s a special place in hell for the guys who tried to jack a New York bikeshare bike from a 13-year old Hasidic boy; police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Delaware is now officially the second state to authorized the Idaho Stop law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields on two-lane streets.

Officials say a proposal to build a bikeway alongside a North Carolina freeway could reduce congestion while boosting the local economy.

There is something seriously wrong when a soldier can receive multiple Purple Hearts on four overseas deployments, only to be killed in a collision while riding a bicycle back to his Georgia base; he was an advocate for wounded vets through the Operation Enduring Warrior program.

 

International

This is what happens when people who ride bicycles get involved in the political process, as both major candidates in Montreal’s mayoral election court the bike vote. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where bicyclists should be a major political block, but aren’t.

A writer for a Canadian university says traffic laws apply to those cocky cyclists too, while apparently confusing the rate of fatalities caused by bicyclists with those caused by motorists.

An independent commission has urged London’s mayor to be bold in reducing congestion and air pollution, and create transportation system centered on walking, bicycling and transit.

A British bike rider has been jailed for three weeks for crashing into a four-year old kid while riding brakeless.

Britain’s Chris Boardman offers a ten-point plan to enjoy bicycling in your middle age. I can shorten that to two points: 1) get on your bike, and 2) ride it.

A councilmember in Bengaluru, India has demanded that the city fix the streets and make it pothole-free within 15 days. Let us know if it works; I know a few other cities that could use it.

A writer for the Nikkei Asian Review says a simple formula can reflect the affluence of a country by measuring those who ride a bike because they choose to, as compared to those who ride because they have no alternative.

 

Finally…

No, attaching a flashing light to your helmet will not ward off magpie attacks. Forget Pinarellas and Conalgos; if you really want to impress the guys on your club ride, show up on a gold-plated Giant.

And your new $4,000 BMW ebike would offer as much torque as a small car.

Okay, a very small car.

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A special thank you to Linda Campbell for her generous contribution to help support this site. Or maybe to the BikinginLA computer repair fund.

 

Morning Links: An open letter to David Ryu, Mar Vista CC is at it again, and motion could remove LA bike lanes

Dear Councilmember Ryu,

As a resident of LA’s 4th Council District, I have long been concerned about the risks that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists face in our district.

One area of particular concern is 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea. As you are no doubt aware, 6th is a two-lane street west of Fairfax, then becomes four lanes between Fairfax and La Brea.

Once it widens to two lanes in each direction, the character of the street changes dramatically. Speeds increase while drivers jockey for position, often shifting lanes without warning to go around stalled traffic or turning vehicles.

As a motorist, it is an unpleasant street to drive, and one requiring constant concentration. As a pedestrian, it is a difficult, and at times dangerous, street to cross. And someone who used to bicycle to Downtown when I lived in West LA, it was easily the most dangerous part of my commute.

This is borne out by the two pedestrian deaths and hundreds of crashes that have been recorded on the street over the last several years, as well as statistics showing 6th Street is three times as dangerous as the average LA arterial.

Fortunately, there is a proposal from LADOT which would address these issues by removing a traffic lane in each direction and adding a center left turn lane, with bike lanes on each side from Fairfax to Cochran.

Lane reductions like this have been shown to improve safety up to 47%, with an average of 30% improvement in cities across the US. Those same results have held true with previous road diet projects here in Los Angeles, as well.

Further, this is a project that has the full support of the surrounding community. The Mid-City West Community Council voted unanimously to back this project over a year ago.

Before you were elected to office, you told the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that you start and end any decision with the community. In this case, the voice of the community is clear.

It is long past time to improve safety on this dangerous street. I urge you to immediately support this project as recommended by LADOT.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers, BikinginLA.com

If you want to write in support of the proposed 6th Street road diet, send your email to [email protected], and CC [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. You can find a brief sample email you can use as a template here (pdf).

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Mar Vista Community Council’s bizarre bike “safety” motions and efforts to roll back the Venice Great Streets project will be back on the table when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meets tonight.

Among the motions under consideration are one that would require bike “night lights,” even though front and rear bike lights and side reflectors are already required under state law for any bike ridden at night.

It would also require mandatory bike helmet use for all riders, regardless of age, even though that would conflict with existing state law, which means the city has no authority to mandate their use.

Another motion calls for restoring the two traffic lanes that were removed from Venice Blvd as part of the Great Streets Project by removing the center median, or placing a center bike path there. Both of which show a clear lack of understanding of traffic calming, as well as bikeway design.

Center medians are used to slow traffic and prevent unsafe left and U-turns, as well as head-on collisions with speeding drivers who cross the center line.

Meanwhile, center bikeways create multiple conflict points at every intersection, dramatically increasing the risk of injury collisions. Which is why existing median bikeway on Culver Blvd failed.

As alternative, they suggest restoring the traffic lanes by removing street parking, and replacing it with parking garages every three blocks — with no hint of where to put them or how to pay for it.

A final motion simply calls for removal of the entire Venice Great Streets project in order to restore three lanes in both directions.

Clearly, someone on the committee has a fixation with doing everything in their power to keep Venice Blvd dangerous. And at the same time, allowing traffic to continue destroying the fabric of the Mar Vista community, reverting back to a virtual highway to keep peak hour traffic flowing, with excess capacity the rest of the day.

All of which suggests a complete and total ignorance of state bike laws and traffic safety planning, as well as the benefits of road diets. Which is what happens when you put people in charge who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Instead of the misguided, illegal and impractical motions on the agenda, maybe they should replace them with a single motion requiring every member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to actually learn something about the subject.

If you can make it there tonight night, maybe you can try to explain it to them.

Thanks to N.E. Farnham for the heads-up.

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A new motion from the usually bike-friendly 12th CD Councilmember Mitch Englander (pdf) could potentially halt all new bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, as well as rip out many existing lanes.

The motion comes in response to the latest city settlement with an injured bicyclist, as the LA city council voted to pay $7.5 million to a man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a ridge of pavement that had been lifted four inches by a tree root. And which the city had previously been warned about, but done nothing to fix.

Never mind the 17 other lawsuits that have been filed against the city by injured bike riders, or the relatives of those killed, this year alone. Many, if not most of whom, weren’t riding in bike lanes when they were injured.

Englander’s motion, which was seconded by the 2nd District’s Paul Krekorian, would require that new bike lanes only be installed on streets with a pavement quality grade of A. Which sounds good, until you consider that LA’s streets average a C plus.

So basically, new bike lanes could only go on new pavement.

To make matters worse, the motion calls for closing or removing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade of B or lower. Which would mean most of the bike lanes in the City of Angels would be unceremoniously stripped off the pavement.

The practical result would be that people would still ride those same streets, and be subject to the same bad pavement, but without the separation from traffic that bike lanes provide. So any falls, or swerves to avoid cracks or potholes in the pavement, could be catastrophic.

And by removing a proven safety feature, the city’s exposure to liability could be exponentially higher when, not if, someone is injured on one of those streets.

The motion isn’t all bad, however.

The requirement that pavement quality on current bike lanes be inspected is something that should have been passed into law decades ago. As anyone who has ever ridden the 7th Street bike lanes leading to and in DTLA can attest.

And pavement quality should be considered before installing new bike lanes, rather than just slapping paint down on failing streets, as has been the practice in the past.

If the motion advances, which is not a given, it must be amended to so that only the bike lane would be required to have an A grade, which would allow just that portion of the roadway to be patched or repaved to bring it up to code, rather than the entire street.

Although that would give drivers one more reason to hate us.

And the misguided requirement that existing bike lanes be closed or removed should be stricken, period.

Thanks to T.J. Knight for the tip.

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In what they describe as a win-win for everyone, the San Diego State University Police Department has teamed with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego County Bicycling Coalition and Cycle Quest Bicycle Store to fight bike theft.

The groups worked together to register 150 bicycles with the university’s bike registration program, which is open to students, faculty and staff. Everyone who registered their received a free Kryptonite lock and mount, as well as free bike repair, and bike lights and literature from the SDCBC.

Which is almost enough to make me want to go back to college.

Including these 150 bikes, the university has registered 476 bikes so far this year, ensuring that the information will be available if anything should happen to the bikes.

They report that 81 bikes have been reported stolen since the first of the year, most of which were secured by just a thin cable lock or locked to the rack by the front wheel alone.

And yes, they also instruct students on how to lock their bikes properly when they register them.

………

VeloNews considers how the Vuelta became cycling’s most dramatic grand tour.

Like father, like sons. A Lithuanian cyclist has been suspended following a positive drug test, 15 years after his father tested positive for EPO after finishing third in the 2002 Tour de France, and just months after his brother died as a result of suspected doping.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez got fired from the BMC team after his B sample confirmed his positive doping test prior to the Vuelta.  But really, the doping era is over, right?

………

Local

Everyone has an opinion about the proposed restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. Including an environmental advocate who says reversing the Playa del Rey road diets will mean more roadkill. Hopefully, she doesn’t mean us.

Manhattan Beach approves new bike route signs, buts holds off on sharrows over fears that they make bike riders “more assertive about occupying road space.” In other words, they’re worried about those uppity bike riders wanting to ride exactly where the markers on the road say they’re supposed to ride.

 

State

San Diego won’t be changing their sidewalk policies, even after a man was awarded $4.85 million when he was severely injured riding his bike on a tree-damaged sidewalk the city had known about, but failed to fix. Sound familiar?

Over 1,000 bicycles have been stolen in San Diego this year.

A Los Altos writer offers five rules to live by as a cyclist. Although he says not to ride three abreast, even though it’s perfectly legal on non-sharable lanes, as long as you stay within a single lane; however, you should always allow drivers to pass when it’s safe to do so.

San Francisco advocates discuss the status of Vision Zero in the city.

The North Bay Area’s new SMART trains are dealing with an unexpected crush of passengers boarding with bicycles. Which shows who the smart ones really are.

Someone please tell the Mountain View city council that removing a crosswalk is not a safety improvement.

Sacramento’s mayor tries out a new three-day pop-up parking protected bike lane.

 

National

A lifelong roadie turns to dirt jumping at the age of 44, as Bicycling asks if it’s too late him to catch big air. Easy answer: If you’re not dead, it’s not too late.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare reaches its 50 millionth ride.

 

International

A UK writer says it’s time to modernize the country’s traffic laws, but adding offenses for bicyclists is not the place to start.

A British cyclist urges others to get trained in CPR; he was revived after his heart had stopped for 30 minutes while riding.

A London journalist captured a month’s worth of close calls on his bike cam to show how dangerous riding in there can be.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t eat or drink on a bike? If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on the spokes of your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, don’t use your knife to threaten a driver who honks at you. Or a hatchet.

Or better yet, just don’t. Period.

 

Morning Links: Backsliding on road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, and dockless bikeshare in LA

So much for that.

Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced plans to scrap the road diet on Jefferson and Culver Blvds in Playa del Rey. New plans call for removing the bike lanes and restoring one westbound lane; bikes and pedestrians will now share a single “protected” shoulder on one side.

Needless to say, the anti-road diet forces were quick to claim victory.

Which means we might as well give up on Vision Zero and the mobility plan; they mean absolutely nothing if every safety improvement can get reversed if drivers don’t like it.

Photo of Culver Blvd from Streetsblog LA.

………

Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion that could allow dockless bikeshare in the City of Los Angeles.

Ryu’s motion would instruct LADOT and Bureau of Street Services to work with the City Attorney to develop a pilot program to test dockless bikeshare in the city; according to LAist, LADOT has already been in discussions with various bikeshare providers.

 

The problem with that is the people using those bikes will need safe places to ride, which they won’t find in Ryu’s district.

While he hasn’t actively opposed key bike lanes like some of his colleagues, he’s also done little or nothing to move them forward, in a distract starved for safe bicycle access.

And he has blocked implementation of a long planned and desperately needed road diet on 6th Street between Fairfax and LaBrea, despite the strong support of the local neighborhood council.

We’ll have more on that tomorrow.

………

Heal the Bay is hosting a free, casual bike ride to explore Ballona Creek and the Ballona Wetlands this Saturday.

………

Today’s common theme, collisions between people on bikes and on foot.

A woman in Spokane WA says she was run down by a bike rider while walking on a trail, and claims it may have been intentional because he was angry afterwards.

Two people — most likely a bicyclist and pedestrian — were injured in a crash on a popular Chicago pathway.

A British man is criticizing the police investigation of the collision that killed his wife, even though the bike rider who crashed into her as she crossed the street appears to have been riding legally at the time of the crash.

………

The war on bikes goes on.

In a horrifying case, a Kansas driver is facing a first-degree premeditated murder charge after admitting that he intentionally sped up to run a bike rider down.

A North Carolina driver has been charged with simple assault for repeatedly punching a cyclist in the face after attempting to run him off the road; the one-sided fisticuffs were caught on dashcam video.

And a road raging driver drove onto a bike path in an attempt to deliberately run down an Australian bike rider, then made a U-turn to come after her again before she escaped by riding into traffic and hiding in the bushes.

………

In non-bike news, Streetsblog LA founder Damien Newton has formed a group attempting to raise $1 million to buy the Santa Monica Daily Press, and run it as a non-profit.

As causes go, you could do a lot worse with your money.

………

Once again, a cyclist blows a win by celebrating too soon. Though the site’s description of him as cocky and showboating seem pretty far off base.

Italian cyclist Stefano Pirazzi has been banned for four years for doping before the Giro d’Italia, joining a long line recent busted dopers. Which begs the question of whether the doping era is really over, or if cycling teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

Busted French motor doper Cyril Fontayne says he’s not the only one cheating by using a small electric motor hidden inside a bike frame, although he claims he was only using it to help his sciatica.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at UCLA’s new 130-bike bikeshare system.

LA Magazine says changes have to be made to make walking to the Grove and Beverly Center from the coming Purple Line a less frightening and dangerous experience. The same goes for riding a bike, as well.

Santa Monica has installed new bike boxes at the intersections of Broadway and 11th and Ocean and California.

The Santa Monica College student paper offers advice on how to get started and stay safe riding a bike.

Long Beach bike shop City Grounds has closed down it East Village retail outlet after nine years.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill making it legal to cross in a crosswalk while the timer is counting down, as long as you get to the other side before it expires. However, the law does not apply to older crossing signals without a timer.

San Francisco passes an otherwise toothless ordinance allowing authorities to confiscate bikes from bicycle chop shops, but without any legal consequences; homeless advocates object because selling bicycles that may or may not belong to them is one of the few ways homeless people can earn money.

A new pilot program will allow ebikes on three paved trails in the East Bay area.

Bike advocates from around the state are converging on Sacramento for Calbike’s annual California Bicycle Summit.

 

National

Bad ideas never die. A new bike is renewing the idea of a propelling a bicycle by moving the handlebars as well as pedaling, despite other failed attempts.

A bike-riding Illinois boy is a hero, after riding for help when he spotted a neighbor’s house on fire.

A Detroit woman out for an early morning bike ride was abducted, robbed and sexually assaulted by two men in a van. A tragic reminder that women face risks on the road that male riders don’t.

AAA is now offering bicycle services in the Detroit area. Meanwhile, SoCal AAA still doesn’t seem to understand that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too — and they might have more customers if they did.

The New York Times considers how to bike commute and stay fashionably dressed at work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly shares stories of bike riders who came to the rescue of others.

A British Columbia deer could face charges for assault on a bike-riding police officer, however, it may be hard to find without a license plate.

No surprise here. A new report shows half of the collisions on an Ottawa, Canada bike path result from right hooks; a Toronto paper offers advice on how to avoid those, and other road hazards.

Caught on video: A mountain biker takes a knife-edge ride across an Austrian mountain ridge.

In a landmark case, a South African driver has been sentenced to three years for a fatal hit-and-run; it marks the first time a driver has been sentenced for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in that country.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not riding your bike really can drive you crazy. Seriously, don’t believe the navigation system on your phone.

And Chinese dockless bikeshare giants Mobike and Ofo are in merger talks.

Let’s hope they do. And call the new company Mofo.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero funding carries the day, cyclist-killing pedophile sentenced, and bad bike marketing

Safer streets won the day at yesterday’s meeting of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Curbed LA, a motion passed to allocate 60% of the city’s Measure M local return funds to Vision Zero projects, as opposed to a city plan to allocate two-thirds to fixing the city’s crumbling streets.

The motion sponsored by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin passed by a slim 3 – 2 margin, with CD5’s Paul Koretz and CD4’s David Ryu voting to fix potholes while keeping the city’s streets dangerous.

As Bonin put it,

“We can fill a bunch of potholes, or we can save a bunch of lives.”

However, comments from Koretz blamed jaywalking pedestrians and poor pavement quality in bike lanes, not high speeds, poor street design or dangerous drivers, for the city’s unacceptably high rate of fatalities.

Never mind that he’s the one responsible for blocking planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and on other streets in his mostly Westside district.

And Ryu is the one standing in the way of a desperately needed road diet on 6th Street that’s overwhelmingly supported by the neighborhood councils in the area.

But sure, let’s go with potholes over human lives.

………

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

An Agoura Hills man was sentenced to the maximum term of nearly six years behind bars for committing lewd acts with a 14-year old boy, 29 years after he was convicted on felony counts of hit-and-run and conspiracy for killing a bike rider in Laguna Hills.

Gary Haw, who owned a string of tanning salons in the early 2000s, is also suspected, but wasn’t charged, with molesting other boys who worked for his company.

He was driving his father’s $80,000 Porsche when he slammed into his 17-year old victim in 1988. Despite throwing the boy’s body the length of a football field, he was somehow acquitted of vehicular manslaughter in the case, and received just two years in prison.

His father was convicted of obstruction and lying to a police officer for attempting to cover for Haw by claiming he was the one driving, even though he was at his Culver City home at the time of the crash.

Haw was also convicted of molesting a child in Santa Monica that same year.

Yet his attorney in the current case argued that Haw was a “pillar of the community” who was unlikely to re-offend.

Which seems highly unlikely, given his track record.

And which makes the five year, eight month sentence seem a few decades too short.

………

Once again, a bicycle company badly misses the mark by assuming their market is made up solely of immature straight males.

As Bicycling points out, the sexist and homophobic ad Wolf Tooth Components and another company shared on social media over the weekend was quickly pulled when wiser heads prevailed following an intense backlash.

The question is why anyone would approve it in the first place. And why does the bike industry just not get it?

………

Patrick Lynch forwards video of an airport bike cop photobombing a Today Show news report on TSA pat-downs.

………

A professional mountain biker describes his addiction to Tramadol, the painkiller used — legally — by many cyclists in the pro peloton.

Women’s races have been added to two of the four stages of the new Colorado Classic bike race, with an unrelated women’s crit the third day.

A German website profiles American cyclist Leah Thorvilson, who went from marathon runner to winning a pro cycling contract at age 38 by coming in first in a Zwift virtual cycling competition.

………

Local

CiclaValley calls tonight’s People For Bikes Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles a must.

LA-based Smart Bikes is accepting pre-order sales for their new Hexagon light, combining a rear-view camera with a taillight, brake light and turn signals, and allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s coming behind you. But probably not the “ultimate safety device,” as the company describes it.

The LACBC’s annual River Ride will once again feature a Long Beach start, as well as the traditional starting line in Griffith Park; the Long Beach start was discontinued last year due to construction work.

 

State

There seems to be a common theme to our first three stories. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • Health rankings of California counties indicate where you live has an impact on how healthy you are and how long you’ll live, with Orange County near the top of the list, and Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties not so much. Safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods with access to fresh fruits and vegetables made a positive difference.
  • Calbike says a good state transportation bill was poisoned at the last minute by an ill-advised compromise allowing the trucking industry to keep polluting neighborhoods near ports and trucking routes.
  • A white paper from the California Air Resources Board says physical activity is good for you, just try not to breath the air.

Long delayed plans for a bikeway on San Diego’s Coronado bridge could cost as much as $210 million for a 15-foot tube suspended beneath the bridge, and could require a toll to fund it — either on the bicyclists and pedestrians using it, or the drivers on the bridge above them.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says “smug weekend cyclists” should be banned from a large number of mountain roads. Does that mean modest weekday riders are okay?

A Sacramento magazine says it’s time for the city to stop spinning its wheels and build its first protected bike lane, noting that Sacramento and Las Vegas are the only two of America’s 40 largest cities without at least imminent plans for one.

A Folsom newspaper says cyclists and motorists need to work together for safety, and drivers shouldn’t squeeze cyclists off the road.

 

National

A new study questions why girls lose interest in bicycling when they reach their teens; not surprisingly, traffic is a major factor.

A writer for Forbes calls the new $5,000, 33 mph Stromer ebike a people magnet and a thing of sheer beauty. Although here in California, any motorized bicycle that goes that fast requires a helmet and a motorcycle license.

It was a big night out for a Denton TX man, who was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into three separate vehicles before hitting a woman on a bicycle, then running away and attacking a woman getting out of her car, insisting he needed it to get something to drink.

Chicago bike riders are cheering plans for extending a bike trail and building a riverwalk bike path on both sides of the river through a gentrifying industrial corridor.

A Cleveland letter writer says don’t be a jerk by riding in the middle of the lane and slowing down traffic just to prove you have a right to the road. Never mind that riders are taught to take the lane to avoid the door zone, increase visibility and make drivers go around them to pass.

Next City examines how Massachusetts is updating its statewide bike plan to shift focus from recreational riding to riding for transportation.

 

International

The international bicycle industry is finally getting onboard with bike advocacy.

Peru’s Agricultural Minister was fired for sunbathing and riding her bicycle while half the country was being devastated by the worst flooding in two decades.

Plans are underway to install segregated bike lanes on London’s Westminster bridge, site of last week’s terrorist attack. However, work has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as one British lord inexplicably blames the current painted lanes for contributing to the carnage.

A British rider is close to finishing his goal of riding 107 kilometers (66 miles) every day for 107 days, despite working full time, and overcoming food poisoning and a major storm.

The head of Ireland’s Green Party calls for improving safety for cyclists on the country’s roads, comparing riding in Dublin to a Ben-Hur chariot race.

CNN takes a 12-day, 602-mile ride around Taiwan on a route that is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s greatest adventures.

Singapore is trying to encourage bicycling by installing bike racks and bike parking zones throughout the island.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Going full Superman downhill on a fixie doesn’t look as hard as getting back on the spinning pedals. Evidently, bike racers get fined for riding where bike riders are supposed to.

And nothing like riding your fat bike past a long line of cars stalled in an Alaskan blizzard.

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: Daily News spins bike news badly, not getting it San Pedro, and a local bike rider needs your help

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Sometimes, good news is bad news, depending on how you spin it.

The LA Daily News looks at the LA city council’s re-adoption of the new Mobility Plan last week, and the promise to consider proposed amendments after the first of the year.

Except they give it a very negative spin.

The story focuses on the possibility that bike lanes could be removed from the plan, likely or not. Along opposition to the plan from Councilmembers Paul Koretz and, disappointingly, David Ryu.

Koretz focuses his opposition to removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd in and near Westwood Village, just outside the UCLA campus, claiming it’s too dangerous for bike riders. Yet somehow, refuses to consider any plans to make it safer or propose any viable alternative.

His only solution is to keep it dangerous, while his search for a long-promised alternative route is seeming more and more like OJ’s search for the real killer.

Meanwhile Ryu, who promised to reconsider the decisions made by his predecessor Tom LaBonge, instead appears to be following in his anti-bike footsteps.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says at least the city isn’t stabbing us in the back anymore.

They’re aiming their knives directly at us.

………

Apparently, parking causes less congestion than bike lanes.

A San Pedro letter writer complains that replacing parking spaces with bike lanes on Western Avenue would increase congestion and make it harder for emergency vehicles to get through.

Which seems highly unlikely, unless cars are currently able to pass through parked vehicles, which would appear to violate the laws of physics. And emergency vehicles usually find it easier to drive through bike lanes than parked cars.

He also complains that the Measure R funds that would be used to pay for the lanes weren’t supposed to be used for bike lanes, suggesting they should instead be funded by supporters of Calbike and CABO, neither of whom had anything whatsoever to do with them. And that funds should be raised by registering and taxing bicyclists, and imposing fines on law-breaking cyclists.

The first of which is impractical for many reasons, and the latter already happens, despite his protestations. And those fines go to the state, just like the fines paid by scofflaw drivers.

Never mind that bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads we ride.

Then again, that letter has nothing on this absurdly auto-centric writer from Santa Barbara.

Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

………

If you’re looking for a good cause this holiday season, you can’t do much better than World Bicycle Relief, which is using donated bicycles to change lives in less developed countries.

………

Another good cause a lot closer to home.

Popular cyclist Egee Mabolis was badly injured during the monthly Ride With No Name, leaving him with no feeling in his arms and legs. A gofundme account established to help cover his medical costs has raised nearly $11,000 of the $25,000 goal — even though that won’t begin to cover the cost of his hospital care and rehabilitation, since he doesn’t have insurance.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Mabolis was profiled by the LA Weekly last year for his work taming the notorious Trader Joe’s parking lot in Silver Lake.

………

Film fans take note.

The first film from famed British director Ridley Scott, the auteur responsible for Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, was about a boy and bicycle, starring his late brother and future Top Gun director Tony.

The 27-minute student film is now available online.

While we’re on the subject of films, a writer for the Daily Beast kind of misses the point of the new documentary Bikes vs. Cars, which doesn’t really call for replacing all cars with bicycles, as tempting as that may seem at times.

If you want to see for yourself, Bikes vs. Cars opens this Friday at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.

………

Local

CicLAvia staffer and LADOT commissioner Tafarai Bayne discusses what it’s like to grow up carless in LA and the perils of biking while black.

A cyclist in his 40s suffered moderate injuries when he was hit by a sheriff’s deputy in Carson Thursday night.

Just one problem with LA’s 2024 Olympic bid: The BMX and mountain biking events projected for Griffith Park could be illegal.

Evidently, people really do walk in LA and Pasadena. And ride bikes, too.

 

State

An Escondido cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries when she was the victim of a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the driver of a black Toyota Corolla.

A local hiking group voices their support for the planned 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway around the Coachella Valley.

San Francisco follows an all-too-familiar pattern of fixing dangerous streets only after it’s too late. But at least they fix them, unlike some LA council districts we could name.

A transportation expert from UC Davis will make a presentation at this week’s Paris climate change conference touting the benefits of bicycling as a climate-friendly measure.

Family members and witnesses question the CHP’s investigation of a cyclist killed by a Sacramento judge, leading them to wonder if it’s just sloppy work or a cover-up.

 

National

America may not have hit peak car after all. Or maybe it did.

HuffPo says bikeshare is having a positive impact on city life throughout the US.

Life is cheap in Portland, where a truck driver faces a maximum $260 fine for dangerous left turn that took the life of a bike rider.

A Detroit man raised $15,000 to buy a new car for a man who rode a bike to work every day to save money to care for his sick wife.

The bike-hating New York Post blames scofflaw cyclists for the 4,463 bicyclists injured in the city last year, not the people in the big dangerous machines. And insists an Idaho stop law will only make things worse.

 

International

England’s last Plantagenet king is helping to lead the reclamation of Leicester from automobiles, over 500 years after Richard III famously failed to trade his kingdom for a horse.

British bike thieves get 12 years apiece for stabbing a man who was trying to reclaim his stolen bike.

Police in an English town are on the lookout for a cyclist — to thank her for lending them her hi-viz jacket so they could direct traffic.

A British man rides 400 miles to honor his late bike-riding mother.

Brit riders hold their third annual die-in to call for a stop to killing cyclists.

Caught on video: Apparently, being pregnant and wearing glasses is the latest excuse for left-hooking a British cyclist.

An injured cyclist says Maltese authorities are always on the driver’s side, concluding that his recent collision somehow broke the laws of physics.

Vogue says stylish cyclists are taking over Moscow.

Selling bikes by Bollywood.

A gold medal-winning Thai-American BMX rider is just as happy working in the rice paddy as competing against Asia’s best. No, really, that’s what it says.

 

Finally…

The beauty of a bicycle is its simplicity, until designers get their hands on it. Why clutter your home with bikes when you can park them on the ceiling? Evidently, the color of his bike is enough to make a man a suspect in the UK — accurately, as it turned out.

And shirtless cyclist and actor Russell Crowe goes riding with his mates in the “middle of f**king nowhere.”

 

Morning Links: New El Monte Bike Hub opens, let CD4’s David Ryu know what you think, and sexist socks at Interbike

Today’s big news is the opening of Metro’s first Bike Hub in El Monte.

Similar to the Santa Monica Bike Center, it provides secure bike parking, along with basic parts, accessories and service to encourage riding the first and last mile, or more, when taking transit.

Plans are also in the works for additional Bike Hubs at Union Station, the Red Line Hollywood and Vine station, the Culver City Expo Line Station at Venice and Robertson, and the Lankershim Depot in North Hollywood.

The Hollywood Bike Hub has been promised for a long time, with an empty storefront marking the location in the W Hotel on Vine Street. Nice to see it’s finally happening.

And this is what Metro’s new bikeshare bikes will look like when they hit the street next year. Although I was kind of hoping they’d be in color.

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New LA CD4 Councilmember David Ryu wants to hear from people in the district. So if you live or work in CD4, take a minute to complete the survey and let him know we need safe spaces to ride and walk.

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Surly’s Marketing Manager address sexism in the bicycling industry — including within her own company — in the wake of the Sockgate blunder at Interbike.

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First Chris Froome, now Geraint Thomas pulls out of the world championships; last year’s champ is out, as well.

In the wake of Tom Dumoulin’s epic fold in the penultimate stage of the Vuelta, VeloNews lists the top five cycling implosions. And yet, they also list him as one of five riders to watch.

Today’s CrossVegas will be the first ever US stop on the cyclocross World Cup.

And the Hollywood Reporter reviews the new Lance biopic, and finds it could have used a little something itself. Maybe a short film about two homeless LA BMXers will hit the spot, instead.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman strongly argues with Fix the City’s assertion that the bike and bus lanes contained in the new Mobility Plan are an attempt to steal their precious traffic lanes by people who have the luxury of riding a bike or taking the bus; she suggests that bikes and buses aren’t a luxury for underprivileged people in South LA. The problem with Fix the City and other similar groups is that they seem unable to look past their own convenience to consider the needs of others.

KPCC looks at the LA bike and pedestrian count conducted by the LACBC and Los Angeles Walks, which starts today, although the rain could adversely affect the results. It shouldn’t be up to volunteer organizations to keep stats the city and county should be collecting; hopefully the city is serious about keeping their own stats moving forward.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses fighting the bikelash with Modalcity’s Chris and Melissa Bruntlett.

CiclaValley rides far from home in the Coachella Valley. But it’s still a valley, right?

 

State

A section of the 405 Freeway will be named in honor of former Westminster police chief and city manager Mitch Waller, who was killed riding his bike somewhere else.

An OpEd in the Desert Sun says plans for a 50+ mile bikeway looping around the Coachella Valley are silly, and instead of reducing pollution, it will increase it during construction.

A Palm Springs police officer is honored for attempting to save the life of a 60-year cyclist who had collapsed from a heart attack. Sadly, while the officer may have saved the victim’s life that day, he died six days later in the hospital.

An informal survey from the local paper suggests most people in Tehachapi support bicycling; however, the CHP once again gets it wrong, saying it’s illegal to ride two or more abreast because bikes are required to ride far to the right. Actually, state law doesn’t even address the question of riding abreast, and the requirement to ride as far as practicable to the right doesn’t apply if the lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. And once that standard is met, it doesn’t matter if you ride four abreast, as long as you all stay in the same lane.

Cupertino makes changes to improve safety after a 15-year old student was fatally right hooked by a semi last year.

That mustachioed San Fran Critical Mass cyclist who — allegedly — bashed a car with his U-lock has pleaded not guilty to a plethora of charges. The car was undoubtedly bashed; what’s alleged is that he’s the one who did it.

San Francisco gets its first parking-protected bike lane.

A suspicious looking man with muttonchops was busted with a pair of bolt cutters near a CSU Sacramento bike rack. Although if the police had just waited until he actually used them, they might have had a stronger case.

 

National

Evidently, you have a biological need to ride your bike. And it can heal a broken heart, too.

Even in bike friendly Portland, not everyone gets it. The Portland paper questions whether the city really needs bikeshare in advance of the system planned for next year, despite the success of similar systems elsewhere. Meanwhile, New York business owners say a three-week old bikeshare station is causing traffic jams and driving away business. No point in giving people time to get used to it or anything.

Two Milwaukee men rode 1,400 miles from New Orleans to Minneapolis to have a beer with a friend suffering from ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, and meet with other sufferers along the way. The same incurable disease recently took the life of LA bike attorney Howard Krepack.

How can we expect most drivers to pass bikes safely when the police can’t even seem to manage it? A St. Louis cop plowed into a cyclist from behind, despite flashers on the rider’s bike and backpack.

Illinois cyclists object to plans for an unprotected bike lane.

Elkhart IN considers a road diet to improve their downtown shopping district. Naturally, an auto repair shop, which apparently doesn’t have a parking lot, objects.

There are many good ways to use a bike. Throwing one onto a New York train track isn’t one of them.

New York’s boulevard of death gets a new protected bike lane, and hopefully, a new name soon.

No need to be on your best behavior once you leave elected office. A former North Carolina city councilman was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run after crashing into a bike rider.

 

International

A new Canadian Ti foldie has become the most successful bike-related Kickstarter ever, raising nearly $1 million US with 16 days to go; they only asked for $90,000. Or you could just get a folding cargo bike.

Evidently, Simon and Garfunkel were ahead of their time. A new British study of bicycling efficiency says slow down, you move too fast.

Looks like they don’t take vehicular assault much more seriously in the UK than in the US, as a road raging driver who attempted to back into a bike rider loses his license for a whole year. At least he lost his license; even that seldom happens here.

Brit motorcyclists are up in arms over raised armadillos installed to protect bicyclists, suggesting they pose a risk to that other kind of cyclists.

Try on Levi’s Commuter series of bike clothes in Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, and send a selfie of yourself riding in San Francisco.

A Canadian couple bring coffee culture to bike-mad Catalonia.

A new study from Spain says male cyclists between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to be killed in collisions than adults, possibly because there are more of them on bikes and younger riders are more likely to take chances. And in other news, sangria is wet.

Thailand is starting to take bikes seriously, with an additional 42 bike lanes planned for rural areas of the country, including a 115 mile bikeway.

 

Finally…

A tree falls on a car in Brooklyn because a sanitation truck ran into it, and they still manage to blame bike lanes. Bad enough we have to watch out for cars, now we have to lookout for boats, too; thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

And a Buenos Aires bikeshare ad campaign wins advertising’s top award.

buenos-aires-bikeshare ad

Morning Links: LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 passes the council, but the fight isn’t over yet; cyclist critically injured in OC

Fours years after the 2010 bike plan passed, the media seems to have finally discovered it when the Mobility Plan wins approval from the city council.

And does their best to panic easily frightened autocentric Angelenos into thinking we’re coming for their precious traffic lanes.

As predicted, the LA City Council passed the Mobility Plan, but not by the usual unanimous vote; in an unexpected move, Council President Herb Wesson allowed both debate and public comment before calling a vote.

That turned out to be 12 in favor and two against. Just enough to secure passage on the first reading, though several contentious amendments were deferred for later consideration.

Which means we may have won the day, but the key battles remain to be fought.

According to Streetsblog, still to be considered are motions to remove various bikeways, including:

  • Notoriously anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s motion to remove virtually every bike lane in his district from the plan;
  • Councilmember Curren Price’s request to remove a protected bike lane planned for Central Avenue, apparently because he thinks it doesn’t solve the 8 to 80 problem, even though it does;
  • And newly elected Councilmember David Ryu’s call for removal of the long-promised 4th Street bike friendly street — even though such bikeways have been shown to increase property values, reduce speeding and cut-through traffic, cut crime and improve safety and livability.

Yeah, who would want that?

Meanwhile, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz may have shot himself in the foot by pressing for a vote on his motion to remove Westwood Blvd from the plan, which promptly lost with just three votes in favor.

And you can probably guess which three votes those were.

In an interview with KABC-7 — which includes a highly truncated interview with yours truly — Koretz explains his opposition by saying there’s too much traffic, bus and otherwise, on Westwood for bicyclists to ride safely.

So instead of doing something to improve it, he opts to keep the street dangerous for everyone. Smart.

Most disappointing was Ryu’s support for removing Westwood and 4th Street from the plan.

While most bicyclists supported his opponent in the recent election, many had high hopes that he would turn out to be good second choice, and earn the support of the bicycling community. But if his actions Tuesday are any indication, it could be a very long four years for bike riders in his district.

And needless to say in overly litigious LA, opponents to the plan are already planning a legal challenge based on the worst-case projections that it might lead to increased congestion.

Never mind that it could actually relieve congestion by giving people an alternative to driving. Or that a key component of the plan is a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2035, in part by slowing traffic.

Evidently, those opponents are willing to accept a little collateral damage if they can get to their jobs just a few seconds sooner.

And let’s not forget that even LADOT describes the plan as “aspirational,” meaning there’s no actual commitment to build any of it.

Meanwhile, Cedillo once again trotted out his argument that he has to represent his entire district, not just the 1% that ride bikes.

Even though that 1% figure only counts those who commute to work, and fails to consider anyone who rides to school, for errands or any other reason. As well as a number of immigrants for whom a bike is their only form of transportation — many of whom live in Cedillo’s district.

And it fails to consider the overwhelming proportion of people who say they would like to ride a bike if they had a safe place to do it.

BAC President Jeff Jacoberger put that 1% figure in perspective — and I’m told, brought tears to some who heard his comments — when he said that as a gay man, he used to be considered one of the 2%, but see how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Hopefully, this plan will overcome the challenges that still lie ahead, and in 20 years, we’ll all be able to look back and say the same thing.

See how far we’ve come.

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The Times gets it, saying “the old vision of widening streets and accelerating car traffic isn’t possible or practical anymore.”

LA Curbed gets it, too, calling it a “big-time plan to make it easier for everyone to get around the city.”

Writing for HuffPo, Joel Epstein says it’s the opponents, not supporters of the plan, “who are putting up roadblocks to a Los Angeles that recognizes that every bike rider, pedestrian and transit rider is one less car on the road.”

And the LABC thanks everyone who wrote, called and attended council sessions in support of the Mobility Plan.

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Sad news from Orange County, as a man from Bell isn’t expected to survive after he was struck by an SUV while riding his bike in Anaheim.

And a 14-year old girl was hit by a Mercedes while riding her bike in Newport Beach Tuesday night. The car may have been accompanied by two motorcycles, suggesting it might have been part of a motorcade, or the bikes could have been chasing the driver as he fled the scene.

Update: The girl, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of friends, was apparently hit head-on by the driver of a silver or white Mercedes. The victim is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries; she was not wearing a helmet, though it’s unclear from the description whether that could have made a difference.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

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Disc brakes are coming to the peloton for a two-month trial.

With the Vuelta and the USA Pro Challenge just days away, does anyone really care about the Eneco Tour? TdF winner Chris Froome apparently doesn’t, setting his sights on the Spanish tour.

Anyone can win the Tour de France; a new book looks at the riders who finished dead last.

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Local

SaMo police bust a homeless man for bike theft after tracking a bait bike by GPS.

 

State

Pacific Beach planners are plenty peeved to find San Diego’s bikeshare on the boardwalk. Might as well leave it there; they’ll need something to do on Sundays after their football team moves to LA.

Still more San Diego bike lanes are under attack by misguided business owners who seem to think all customers arrive by car, even though studies repeatedly show bikes boost business.

Cars are now prevented from turning onto San Francisco’s Market Street, though police fear drivers will anyway because their GPS units tell them to.

Caught on video: A Bay Area B-baller makes a half-court shot while riding a bike. Allowing bikes on the court could make the NBA a lot more interesting.

Mountain View bicyclists get their first protected bike lane.

 

National

A new peer-reviewed study looks at how drag affects time trial performance. Though why anyone would dress in drag for a speed competition is beyond me. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Eating your probiotics will lead to better gut bacteria diversity and make you a better bike rider.

Fodor’s ranks the nation’s top 10 urban bike paths. None of which are within 300 miles of Los Angeles.

Fortune says bikeshare is reshaping American cities, even if it’s not making any money.

Honolulu cyclists won’t have to hold their noses anymore as they ride past an illegal dump site.

A New York cyclist has a magical two-hour ride around the city after just setting out to get air in his tires. Things like that simply don’t happen when you drive.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists take to Facebook to fight bike theft.

Once again, a wire has been strung across Brit bike trail. And once again, a deliberate attempt to maim bike riders is inexplicably written off as a prank.

The BBC looks at how Paris allows cyclists to ride through red lights, but only where there is no crossroad.

Good news from the UK, as a 16-year old bike rider is miraculously brought back to life 30 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest during a cycling competition.

Bicycling asks if anyone really needs that Japanese Breathalyzer bike lock. That would be, no.

 

Finally…

No matter who you think had the right-of-way, don’t push another bike rider into an aqueduct. British police haven’t banned bike racing, just cancelled all the upcoming races.

And the Chicago Tribune is frightened by bicycles, and worried sick about where everyone will park.

 

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