Tag Archive for David Ryu

Morning Links: LAPD recovers possibly stolen bikes, Los Feliz NC gets real with Ryu, and ticketing trucks in SaMo

If you had a bike stolen recently in Santa Monica or Venice, you might want to check with the LAPD’s Pacific Division.

According to the LA Times, the driver of a pickup crashed into two other vehicles as he was fleeing the police. The chase began when officers discovered the truck had been stolen a few days earlier in Bakersfield.

Three people were hospitalized, including a passenger in the truck.

After police arrested the driver, they discovered a number of bicycles in the back of the truck, and were checking to see if they had been stolen.

However, given that most bike thefts are never reported to the police, if the bikes weren’t registered, there’s a good chance they won’t show up in a police database.

Which means the thief will get away with it — assuming they are stolen.

And the owners may never see them again.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

I can’t say I’m familiar with the members of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. But after reading this letter, I could kiss every one of them.

This especially matters as Ryu contemplates ripping out the highly successful road diet on Rowena — after he already cancelled the desperately-needed road diet planned for 6th Street behind LACMA in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.

LA’s Vision Zero program is already at risk of dying before it has even been implemented, thanks to the auto-centric reactions of city councilmembers who, like Ryu, seem to fear angry drivers more than they fear blood on their hands.

And to answer the question posed in the letter, there is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

None.

I’d love to see a version of this letter forwarded to every member of the city council. Especially CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and CD5’s Paul “Killer” Koretz.

Thanks to Alissa Walker for posting the letter.

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File this one under things that never happen in real life.

Yes, that’s a Santa Monica police officer ticketing a delivery driver double-parked in the San Vicente bike lane.

I complained about delivery drivers blocking the bike lanes for years when I regularly rode that route, and never got any results. From the police or the delivery companies.

And was harassed so much that I had to block the comments on my videos of bike lane-blocking trucks on my YouTube channel, and finally had to delete the videos entirely.

Which seems to be what’s happening in Reddit, as redditors argue that police are overreacting to what they consider a minor inconvenience for people on bikes.

Even though blocking those bike lanes forces riders out into the general traffic lanes on a section of roadway where few drivers seem to pay attention to much of anything, including the speed limit.

Still, it’s good to see SaMo police taking this seriously.

Let’s hope they keep it up. And maybe delivery drivers will finally find somewhere else to park.

Thanks again to the esteemed Mr. Linton.

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The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Toronto bike rider shook his head as he passed a driver blocking an off-road cycle track. So the motorist drove down the road to the next crossing point, waited for other riders to pass, then intentionally plowed into him.

And denied afterwards that he hit anyone.

Fortunately, the whole thing was caught on video.

He now faces charges for hit-and-run and failing to report a collision, as well as failure to yield. Even though he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

And then a local website has the audacity to say “Both drivers and cyclists are responsible when it comes to road safety.”

Which is like telling shooting victims they have a responsibility to stay out of the way of bullets.

Then there’s this one, where an impatient and indignorant driver can’t even manage to wait a few seconds for a bike rider to have room to pull over and let her pass.

And evidently concludes that the woman on the bike doesn’t belong there, because there’s no bike lane on a street that’s too narrow for one.

https://twitter.com/THREADRIOT/status/1034625219879739395

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Local

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride in the ‘Bu.

 

State

The proposed Peninsula Bikeway promises to connect the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City, and eventually extend across the entire South Bay Peninsula.

 

National

NPR reports on the great American e-scooter debate, saying dockless scooters are gaining popularity and scorn across the US.

El Paso TX bike riders get a shiny new two-way cycle track along a street car route.

A legally blind Indiana man put over 2,000 miles on his bike in the last year, despite his vision problems — until he was taken down by a pothole. A reminder that bad roads pose a risk to everyone on bikes, but some more than others.

A Cincinnati city councilmember says scooter companies like Bird and Lime should be held responsible for the actions of the people who use them. Which I’m all in favor of, as long as the same rule applies to a few other companies, like Tesla, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Kia, et al.

Providence RI gets creative with outreach to build support for a bike lane project, including day-long popups. Then again, if people in Rhode Island are anything like people in LA, once the bike lanes are installed, they’ll insist they were never consulted and the popups never happened.

In a study that runs counter to what we’re usually told, Boston researchers conclude that lowering speed limits actually does result in lower speeds. Which we should remember the next time we’re told that raising speeds under the deadly 85 percentile law really doesn’t matter.

Facing as much as 40 years behind bars — or as little as nothing — a New Orleans driver who fled the scene after killing a bike-riding artist begs forgiveness from the victim’s family, saying he thinks about the crash every day. Chances are, they do too.

 

International

A British Columbia woman credits her bike helmet with saving her life when a pickup driver literally ran over her head.

A Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario bike shop has become a haven for bike tourists. And having a free pump track in back doesn’t hurt.

Montreal business owners are fighting a planned bike path along a wide industrial corridor, saying it will increase traffic and angry drivers, even though it will just narrow the overly wide traffic lanes without removing any lanes or parking.

Caught on video: Road.cc talks with a British bikemaker about how hard it is to design a bicycle.

Forty percent of the residents of Malmö, Sweden bike to work or school every day, thanks to a 200-mile bike lane network that makes bicycling the fastest way across the city.

A Bangalore, India website says the city has done nothing to promote bicycling or ensure the safety of bicyclists, despite the 45,000 bike riders in the city.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was acquitted on a charge of dangerous driving in the death of a bike rider, who apparently just magically appeared in front of him.

Police in Australia’s Queensland state have started a new “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign to fight close passes by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great piece from Bicycling about LA’s own CNCPT cycling team — aka Concept — made up entirely of people of color. And dedicated to blowing up the sport, in a good way.

The Vuelta saw a long breakaway in Wednesday’s stage, and a change in the leader’s jersey.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is shutting down his cycling season after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus; he ranks second on the all-time Tour de France list with 30 stage victories.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali continues to have pain in his back after suffering a vertebra fracture in a crash during the Tour de France, and questions whether he will ever be the same again.

 

Finally…

No, it’s not okay to right hook someone in a bike lane. Pedestrians say people on bikes should wear license plates.

And as former pro and current Cookie Monster Phil Gaiman will attest, people who ride bicycles need a good fuel source.

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I was hoping to attend today’s official opening of the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project, but it looks like a busy day with too many obligations will keep me away. 

If you go, try to corner LA Mayor Eric Garcetti — assuming he’s not too busy running for president to show up — and ask how Vision Zero can work if councilmembers have the power to block projects like MyFig in their own districts. 

And how it can possibly succeed if his own office isn’t willing to go out and fight for it.

I think we’d all like to hear the answers to that.

 

Morning Links: Take action to preserve Rowena bike lanes, why drivers run from crashes, and more e-scooter news

It’s bad enough that we can’t get the Complete Streets we were promised.

Now we’re having to fight just to hold on to the ones we’ve got.

While there seems to be a temporary ceasefire in the fight over the parking protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, the highly successful lane reduction and bike lanes on Rowena Ave are imperiled, following a $50,000 study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu.

Residents blame the redesigned street for an increase in cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, even though pervious studies have shown that the street carries more motor vehicle traffic, more safely, now than it did before.

And even though the study showed no link between the cut-through traffic and the removal of excess capacity on Rowena.

A more likely culprit is the Waze app, which frequently directs drivers onto streets that aren’t intended to handle that kind of traffic.

The new study ends by suggesting four alternatives, only one of which would retain the current Complete Streets design; the other three appear to be included to give Ryu political cover should he decide to rip out the bike lanes and restore the street to it’s original unsafe capacity.

Local group Keep Rowena Safe offers their response to the study, and urges everyone to contact Ryu and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represent the surrounding area, to demand that the current design stay in place.

KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE

KEEP ROWENA SAFE

KEEP THE ROAD DIET

Please e-mail Councilmembers David Ryu and Mitch O’Farrell

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

And don’t forget to cc Mayor Garcetti and Assemblymember Laura Friedman

[email protected]

[email protected]

You can find a sample letter here.

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Troubling piece from the Washington Post, as the paper’s transportation writer looks at the psychology behind America’s rising rate of hit-and-run crashes.

And concludes drivers flee because they’ve been drinking, because they panic, think it’s no big deal or they can’t cope with what just happened.

Or because they just lack good moral judgement.

Gee, you think?

………

Still more e-scooters in the news.

A writer for City Watch says e-scooters will never be a first mile/last mile solution for LA transit, in part because they don’t work on hills (actually, they do). And in part because LA and Metro failed to build the bike lanes and bike parking we’ve been promised.

The Have A Go website takes LA to task, saying the issues with scooters are a problem of the city’s own making, repeating the charge that the failure lies in the city’s failure to build out the bike lane networks contained in the 2010 bike plan.

West Hollywood’s semi-enforced ban on dockless scooters appears to be working, with complaints dropping to roughly two a week. Although that ban couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the recent increase in WeHo traffic congestion, as previous scooter users go back to Uber and Lyft.

Pasadena may invite scooter providers to the city, as long as they promise to play nice.

Santa Monica reminds everyone of the rules governing scooter use.

Graphic from the Santa Monica e-scooter website

The Louisville KY newspaper looks at the city’s experience with e-scooters after their first month on the streets, where only 100 are allowed under initial limits.

The Department of DIY strikes in Cincinnati, where a couple of people used a little paint to create their own scooter parking spaces, calling them “Bird Cages,” to show how easily the scooter parking problem can be solved.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wants to pull the brakes on e-scooters.

Streetsblog asks if it’s time to redefine the bike lane in the age of e-scooters and other mobility devices.

The Verge says scooter providers are trying to rehabilitate their image in the face of city crackdowns across the US; Lime is allowing users in three cities to donate to preselected charities through their app, while promising to fund new bike lanes.

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Local

Bike rider Doug Weiskopf writes that he was bullied off the Mariposa Bridge by complaints from Burbank horse riders, who he says have appropriated the bridge and portions of Griffith Park as their own.

The LACBC is providing a new monthly recap of the projects they’re working on, ranging from Rowena to getting the promised bike lanes on the new Spring Street bridge.

 

State

An Op-Ed from the chair of the Santa Ana Bikeways and Walkability Committee credits Councilwoman Katrina Foley with creating the committee and passing the city’s first new bike plan since 2002, and urges her election as mayor.

San Clemente will allow bicycles and ebikes on the city’s Beach Trail. Except during the summer months, when most people would to want to use it.

San Diego police are looking for four men and a woman who chased down a bike rider in their car, then punched and stabbed him multiple times; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

Thousand Oaks is adding bike lanes on the north side of Moorpark Road, and replacing missing sidewalks, to improve safety for bicyclists tackling the Norwegian Grade climb.

The San Francisco Chronicle suggest ditching the car and exploring Sacramento by bike.

 

National

Bicycling offers five tips to use your bike to burn belly fat. The magazine also offers 30 of their favorite crazy bike videos, if you’re willing to click through 30-plus pages.

A Denver nonprofit has committed to giving 25,000 bicycles to second grade students over the next five years.

Police in Grand Junction CO bust seven bike thieves and recover a large cache of hot bikes after a bait bike leads to a bicycle chop shop. This is why the LAPD need to use bait bikes like other California police departments; it’s less about arresting a single thief than getting the ringleaders behind them.

A Colorado fundraiser serves up beer to raise funds to send bikes to Africa, averaging 20 bicycles a year to help change lives, one bike at a time.

A Wisconsin paper looks back on the efforts of a pair of bike-riding hippies in the 1970s that set the state on its bike friendly path.

Businesses along New York’s former Boulevard of Death say no one’s using the new bike lanes, and they’d rather have their parking spaces back, even if it means a return to the deadly street.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A road raging 87-year old North Carolina man faces charges after he attempted to make an unsafe pass around a group of bicyclists, then cut back in behind the lead rider and preceded to run her off the road in retaliation for his own crappy driving.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A South Carolina woman plans to celebrate her 80th birthday by riding 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway to raise $80,000 provide bikes to women in Tanzania.

 

International

Following a summer of road rage and bicycling deaths, a Toronto website discusses how bike riders can make peace with motorists. Mostly by wearing a helmet, keeping the tunes turned down and behaving yourself on the streets.

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth’s homeopathic physician has brought to light the bicycling deaths of four people in five years in a single London neighborhood — and the efforts of the city’s transportation department to block safety improvements under former Mayor Boris Johnson.

A six-year old English kid set a goal of riding his bike 25 miles this month to raise money for the homeless.

A Welsh website clarifies what is and isn’t allowed for people on bicycles in the UK’s Highway Code to clear up the confusion and conflicts with drivers.

A Danish city councilor calls for a ban on gas-powered motor scooters, not to protect bike riders, but to protect the air.

Legendary Italian framebuilder Dario Pegoretti died unexpectedly of a heart condition on Thursday. Bicycling profiled Pegoretti a few years ago.

Saudi women are wearing sports abayas that allow them to bicycle more comfortably.

Sometimes DIY traffic calming efforts can backfire, as the lead riders in a group of cyclists found out the hard way. They were injured when they hit a homemade speed bump intended to slow noisy traffic in an Australian national park; one rider will miss the masters world road championships he trained for the past year with a concussion, broken ribs and broken collarbone, as well as a broken bike.

Good question. A Kiwi bicyclist wants to know why so many people hate cyclists. From the conversations and comments I’ve seen, the main objection is lawbreaking bike riders — as if the majority of drivers don’t break traffic laws on a daily basis. But violations by bike riders are somehow seen as different.

A British website says the real cost of Chinese dockless bikeshare bikes isn’t what you pay, it’s the personal data and privacy you give up to use them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock’s lanterne rouge ride through the entire Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade has raised nearly $400,000 to repair and improve Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey last year.

A Russian cyclist was declared ineligible for the Asian Games at the last minute after several countries complained about her recent citizenship change to avoid sanctions on Russian athletes.

A Swedish scientist is working on a test to detect blood packing using an athlete’s own blood to stop one of the most common forms of cheating.

 

Finally…

Evidently, calling something “the worst cycling event ever” can have an impact, after all. What it’s like to wear bike shorts for a week, without coming in actual contact with a bicycle or anything.

And if you want to see the pope on the Emerald Isle, get on your bike.

Or maybe get on a plane or a boat first. It could be a wet ride otherwise.

 

Morning Links: Help keep Rowena safe next Wednesday, and London bike riders attacked by road raging driver

Keep Rowena Safe urges you to show up at Wednesday’s meeting of the excessively named Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

And ask why they would even consider undoing the road diet on Rowena Ave, which has proven itself successful in slowing traffic and improving safety.

Once again putting the imagined convenience of a few motorists over the safety of everyone else, and the livability of the entire community.

Then again, you might want to put the same questions to Councilmember David Ryu, since it was his office that shelled out $80,000 to study making Rowena more dangerous again.

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London bicyclists are stunned when an aggressive motorist deliberately drives at a long line of riders in a marked bike path, then threatens them with his car when they catch up to him.

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Local

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies wrote 67 tickets during yesterday’s four-hour bike and pedestrian safety operation, mostly for distracted driving. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Santa Monica-based Bird announces plans to donate $1 per day for every scooter in operation to help build more bike lanes. While that could quickly add up to a lot of money, the real problem is developing the political backing to build bike lanes, rather than finding the funding, as we’ve repeatedly seen in Los Angeles.

 

State

VeloNews talks with San Diego’s SportRX about what to look for in prescription bicycling glasses, and reviews several models. Full disclosure: SportRX provided me with a pair of prescription Oakleys several years ago, which are still by far the best glasses I’ve ever owned, for bicycling or anything else. And getting them was one of the easiest processes I’ve gone through, without ever setting foot in the store. 

Orange County is considering options for a bike path along Avenida La Plata between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

A Highland bicyclist takes issue, at great length, with the new law clarifying that bicyclists who ride off after crashing into someone on a bike path can be charged with hit-and-run.

Santa Barbara police will be out in force to take the fun out of enforce traffic laws during the annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride this Sunday.

Talk about not getting it. A Santa Maria newspaper complains that removing a whopping 24 parking spaces next to a Solvang park to make room for bike lanes would ruin “Solvang’s tourism quaint, wow factor.” And that encouraging more bicycling — without removing a single traffic lane — would somehow force drivers off the street and into the surrounding neighborhood. As if anyone visits the faux Dutch community to see its quaint parking spaces.

 

National

USA Today offers a long list of guided bike tours to get you back on your bike, after first reciting a brief history of the bicycle, in case you’ve forgotten.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride in gravel and other uneven surfaces.

Streetsblog questions why “bull bar” grill attachments are the hot fashion accessory for US police vehicles, when they’re outlawed abroad, and deadly for any pedestrians who get in their way. I’m less concerned about police using them than I am the jerks in massive pickups and SUVs who insist on putting them on their trucks for no apparent reason.

Your next bike helmet could be printed, not manufactured. Then again, so could the bike you use it on.

Dockless bikeshare companies are bailing on the Big D after Dallas developed regulations requiring the companies to pay for the number of bikes or scooters they have on the streets; just 3,500 bikes remain compared to a peak of 20,000.

A couple of Chicago kids achieve their goal of riding their bikes a total of 100 miles over summer vacation, turning it into a chance for three generations to ride together. While that’s something to be proud of, someone should tell the reporter that a 13.5 mile ride is no big deal for a lot of people. Even kids.

Evidently, athleticism runs in the family, as the great-grandfather of NFL All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was a star of the Buffalo NY bike racing circuit in the 1920s.

Good for him. A Philadelphia bike rider sues a hotel and its valet parking manager for blocking a bike lane.

A Delaware city is using stenciled messages on the sidewalk to tell riders over 12 to walk their bikes. That’s actually a good idea. In too many cities, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether and where you’re allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk; putting a notice there removes any confusion.

DC bicyclists pair up with blind riders for weekly tandem rides.

Dockless bikeshare providers Mobike and Ofo have pulled out of DC, as well.

A former North Carolina sheriff’s lieutenant is riding his bike to recover from PTSD, after he was nearly beaten to death on the job more than 17 years ago.

 

International

London’s deputy mayor for transportation calls a local government council disgraceful for opposing plans for one of the city’s cycle superhighways, at the same time a bike rider was fighting for her life following a crash a few miles away.

You’ve got to be kidding. English social media users blew up when a driver complained about two bicyclists riding abreast on a quiet country road — which is perfectly legal in the UK — saying, “It doesn’t take a lot of my time to pass them – it’s the principle.”

The daughters of a fallen bike tourist says she would never have attempted riding the steep downhill on the Irish road where she was killed if there had been warning signs to tell her how dangerous it really was.

Australian bus drivers are put on bicycles to learn what it’s like to be passed by a bus, and how to drive around bike riders. Can we do that here, Metro? Pretty please?

Life is short in Singapore, where a bus driver got a whopping six weeks behind bars for a negligent crash that left a 36-year bike rider in a nursing home with permanent brain damage.

 

Competitive Cycling

Team Sky road captain Luke Rowe helped guide fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, one year after breaking his leg in 25 places while white water rafting.

Now that Thomas has won a Tour, he may chuck it all to take up triathlons.

Admit it. You always wanted to know more about the woman who rides a motorcycle with a chalkboard at the head of the peloton.

A day after we got a Roman Catholic look at the Tour de France, we get the Anglican view, as an English minister considers the parallels between the Christian faith and professional cycling.

CiclaValley uses the Tour to illustrate how cyclists are tougher than other athletes.

A local paper previews the prologue of the Tour of Utah, which kicks off on Saturday.

The initial rosters have been released for this month’s Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Yes, a bicycle and clothing are basic requirements for women who want to ride bikes. If you have to wave a flag just to cross a street, it should be a white one, instead.

And how to tell you’re a really crappy driver who probably shouldn’t be one.

 

Morning Links: Group plans Vision Zero ambush today, and Tour de Palm Springs killer had suspended license

Apparently, we’re about to be ambushed.

According to an alert from anti-safety, pro-traffic group Keep LA Moving, a seemingly innocuous motion being considered at today’s LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting is really a motion to redefine the city’s Vision Zero program.

Or more precisely, gut it.

The motion from CD2 Councilmember Paul Kerkorian and CD4’s David Ryu talks about refining the Vision Zero model “in order to serve the objective of more effectively increasing the safety of our streets.”

However, according to Keep LA Moving, it’s really about reducing the emphasis on bike and pedestrian deaths, since they only amount to 15% of the total collisions in the City of Los Angeles.

Tomorrow’s motion states that going forward, Vision Zero should “incorporate a data validation process to ensure that the High Injury Network supporting data was appropriate and reliable.”  Currently, data is heavily weighted in favor of pedestrians and cyclists, all but disregarding the safety of motorists. According to LADOT’s Vision Zero website: “We also give more weight to counts of Killed or Serious Injuries among people walking or biking, so deaths or serious injuries at all intersections are multiplied by three, while vehicle-vehicle deaths or serious injuries do not receive a multiplying factor. For example, if an intersection contains one fatal pedestrian collision, two severe bicycle injuries, and one fatal vehicle-vehicle, the score would be 10 (3 for the pedestrian, 6 for the two bicycles, and 1 for the vehicle-vehicle).”

In the Vision Zero Action Plan, released in 2017, the LADOT states that “people walking & biking account for roughly 15% of all collisions”. It’s not surprising then that  Vision Zero hasn’t reduced accidents and injuries since its inauguration in 2015 because the LADOT is only focusing on 15% of the problem! What’s more, the LADOT says “Vision Zero is an injury reduction strategy, not a collision reduction strategy.” And of course, collisions aren’t being reduced either. Vision Zero needs to concentrate on both reducing the severity of accidents and on the number of accidents that happen!

Never mind that Vision Zero has barely even been implemented up to this point.

Or that while bicyclists and pedestrians are only involved in 15% of LA collisions, they result in nearly half of all deaths and serious injuries.

Let that sink in.

Keep LA Moving says LADOT is focusing on just 15% of crashes. But Vision Zero isn’t about reducing crashes, it’s about eliminating deaths and serious injuries.

And drivers, surrounded by two tons of glass and steel, and protected by air bags, seat belts and crumple zones, face considerably less risk in a collision than people walking and riding bikes.

Which is the entire reasoning behind the multiplication factor, because bike riders and pedestrians are several times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision.

But Keep LA Moving thinks that doesn’t matter.

Or rather, that you don’t matter. Because the people in the other 85% of the crashes, who are less likely to be injured or killed, apparently matter more to them.

Then there’s their other major lie.

To date the LADOT has focused on “pet projects” in select districts that appease a vocal minority of residents — roads that were never flagged as needing such treatment.  Special interests and personal agendas have been allowed to drive decisions rather than actual concerns for public safety.

The road diet on Venice Blvd, in Mar Vista is a prime example. In the 11 years leading up to the Venice road diet, there was one fatality and seven severe injuries to people walking or biking along that 0.8 mile stretch. None of the contributing factors to these tragic accidents have been addressed by the road diet. Rather than analyze these accidents and implement real safety improvements fixing the problems, the LADOT chose instead to implement a road diet. They installed a road diet on a road with 45,000+ cars per day, in violation of their own standards. (The LA Complete Streets Design Guide states that road diets should only be used on streets with excess capacity and volume less than 20,000 cars.) The disastrous and wildly unpopular Playa del Rey road diets, defeated last Fall, had the same issues. In fact, in both PdR and Mar Vista, accidents and injuries increased after the implementation of road diets. Not only on the roads dieted, but on the residential side streets as well, as drivers searched for alternatives to the gridlocked boulevards.

But as they well know, the Venice Blvd project was never intended as part of Vision Zero.

Instead, it was developed by local residents as part of the mayor’s Great Streets project.

And rather than something sprung without warning on unsuspecting locals and businesses, it grew out of workshops sponsored by the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce dating back to 2014. With several public pop-up demonstrations, including a demonstration of the parking-protected bike lanes at the 2015 Venice CicLAvia.

I know, because I was there.

Let’s also bear in mind that the reference to a maximum 20,000 vehicle traffic volume for road diets refers to reducing four lane streets to three lanes, with two through lanes and a center turn lane. Not massive six lane thoroughfares like Venice Blvd, which never should have been built that wide to begin with.

But that doesn’t matter to them, since their real goal is to halt road diets anywhere in the city, willing to trade human lives — yours and mine — to avoid inconveniencing drivers.

They deny the proven efficacy of road diets, just as climate change deniers claim global warming is a myth.

All of which helps explain why the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has written to oppose the motion.

Let’s hope that Transportation Committee members Paul Kortez, Nury Martinez and Chair Mike Bonin can resist the pressure from this very vocal and well-financed driver activist group.

If you can make it on such short notice on Valentines Day — I can’t, unfortunately — you need to make your voice heard.

If not, take a few moments to urge them to reject this motion, and keep LA’s Vision Zero program intact.

And maybe tell Ryu and Krekorian what you think while you’re at it.

Credit Peter Flax with the heads-up.

………

Ronnie Huerta Jr., the driver who killed Mark Kristofferson during Saturday’s Tour de Palm Springs, was driving on a suspended license.

And suspended for good reason.

Huerta had been pulled over four times for speeding in the last two years, along with a host of other traffic violations.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until he kills someone.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

………

Local

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council could try to stop plans for desperately needed bus and bike lanes in Hollywood, and have already drafted a letter demanding that they be removed from the proposed Hollywood community plan. You can let them know what you think at their regular meeting on the 21st. And yes, I plan to be there.

 

State

Marin’s bike-unfriendly columnist says bicycle-riding tourists should just take the ferry and skip the town entirely. Maybe he should just stand outside the city and yell “Hey, you kids get off our lawn!”

 

National

Yet another study confirms the benefits of bike lanes, showing painted bike lanes reduce the risk of crashes by a minimum of 40%.

The Trump administration’s new proposed budget would be a disaster for bicycle infrastructure projects, while NACTO doesn’t think much of his infrastructure plan, either.

A Seattle writer tries the city’s new LimeBike dockless bikeshare ebikes, climbing a moderate hill with little effort, and living to tell the tale.

Utah moves forward with a bill that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, but still have to wait for red lights. Or maybe notA similar bill died in the California legislature earlier this year.

Seriously? The Houston Chronicle predicts an autonomous car nirvana, where the world will be free from traffic jams, parking tickets and auto mechanics, and no one will want to ride buses or bikes anymore because they’ll be so happy with their driverless cars.

Life is cheap in Minnesota, where a 16-year old distracted driver won’t spend a day behind bars for killing a bike-riding man while she was using her cellphone, after the DA pleads her case down to a misdemeanor.

An Ohio ultra-endurance rider prepares to take part in this year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM, as he rides to relieve PTSD from several combat tours in Afghanistan.

The Boston Globe talks with a local bike lawyer who went from a planned position as a prosecutor to getting justice for bicyclists.

Researchers at Virginia Tech University are doing comparison testing of bicycle helmets, with plans to release their results in April.

 

International

A Vancouver writer makes the case for diversity in the urbanist world, suggesting that if everyone you see on a bike or in a planning session looks like you, there’s a problem.

Just in time for Valentines Day, a bike-riding English couple have been married for 64 years, after meeting at their local bike club in 1953.

London officials call for tightly regulating and licensing dockless bikeshare systems.

A new survey from a British tire company claims bus drivers are the safest drivers on the road, and bicyclists and van drivers the most infuriating. Something tells me I’d like to see their methodology.

Nice piece from Patrick Brady, as he searches for serenity on a bike tour of Buddhist temples in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

You haven’t made it until you’ve had the honor of being blocked on Twitter by Chris Froome.

Once again, mountain bikers race through the hills, alleys and yes, stairways of Italy’s Valparaiso Cerro Abajo.

 

Finally…

What to ride when you need to carry craft beer kegs and a dog or two on your cargo bike. Be on the lookout for Sasquatch if you ride around Lake Arrowhead.

And if you really want to be safe, mount this turn-signal equipped seat bag sideways so the arrow points up at your butt.

Maybe then drivers will actually see you.

 

Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

………

In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

………

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

………

‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

………

It’s Day 14 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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

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

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

Thanks to Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

………

Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

………

On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

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.

………

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.

………

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

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

Bike SGV hosts their Spooky Night Bike Train tomorrow.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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).

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

 

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