Tag Archive for driver’s licenses

Morning Links: Motions to inspect broken bike lanes move forward, and keeping dangerous drivers off streets

Maybe our broken bike lanes might get fixed after all.

Streetsblog is reporting the approval of both of motions calling for the inspection and maintenance of LA’s bike lanes and bike paths at Wednesday’s meeting of the City Council Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee.

However, assuming the motion passes the full council, there’s still a long way to go, as Joe Linton points out.

Greg Spotts spoke on BSS’s (Bureau of Street Services) efforts to address issues keeping street pavement in good repair. The city faces a reported $3-4 billion backlog in street maintenance. With some recent street repaving monies from the S.B. 1 gas tax and Measure M, BSS is stepping up its efforts to inspect and maintain streets, and now has dedicated staff working to inspect and repair asphalt on city bike lanes.

Spotts noted that BSS has identified 300 bike network locations that need “large asphalt repair.” BSS crews are currently working their way through these sites, having completed 19 repairs to date.

And those are just the ones they know about.

But at least the city has hired six new people to fix and maintain bike lanes.

Meanwhile, there may be hope for LA’s crumbling streets.

Councilmembers Mitchell Englander and Joe Buscaino say at current rates, streets and sidewalks in Los Angeles won’t be repaired in time for the 2028 Olympics — missing the games by a mere 20 years or so.

But money from Measure M and the new state gas tax increase could provide a source of funding that would allow the city to speed up those repairs.

We can only hope.

Of course, if the proposition calling for the repeal of the gas tax qualifies for the ballot, and California voters decide they’d prefer crappy streets and lower gas prices, all bets are off.


I’m not always a fan of Bike Snob.

But he nails it this time, saying our current system of licensing drivers and motor vehicles is “woefully ineffectual and does little to keep dangerous drivers off the streets.”

Meanwhile, a Canadian writer asks if driving is a privilege, why is it so hard to revoke?

It’s like Traffic author Tom Vanderbilt put it — a driver’s license is too easy to get, and too hard to lose.


Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes a deep dive into the subject of sidewalks, and comes to the conclusion that they’re not even necessary.

Yes, the CEO of Ford, the company that essentially put automobiles on U.S. streets, is calling for a “complete disruption and redesign of the surface transportation system.”

What Ford is preparing for—and championing through its bike share and microtransit shuttle services—is the fact that streets will no longer be planned around this binary use of cars versus everyone else. And the place for new modes to mix is not a narrow broken sidewalk: It’s the safe, shared, slow, well-maintained street that has walking at its core.

Instead of a one-size-fits-all equation of lane widths calculated to move cars quickly, with pedestrians pushed off to the side, the definition of a city street will change based on what people need, neighborhood by neighborhood, says Greg Lindsay, director of strategy for the urban mobility festival LACoMotion.

It’s a great read. And may challenge your concept of what a street should be.

It did mine, anyway.


Great idea. A new youth racing program at the LA Velodrome aims to develop at least one track cyclist for the US Olympic Team at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.



Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a fast, 25 – 30 mile woman-led ride tonight, and every Thursday. The co-op is also hosting a moderate paced ride to the East LA Art Walk this Sunday.

Sant Monica Spoke and the Santa Monica Planning department are hosting a Kidical Mass ride this Saturday.



San Luis Obispo decides to move forward with a modified version of the bikeway that’s been drawing all the bike-hating NIMBYs out of the woodwork. Proof that not all NIMBYs live in Los Angeles. It only seems that way.

A new bike and pedestrian trail project would connect downtown Redding to the Sacramento River Trail.



Streetsblog questions whether the dockless bikeshare revolution is just a mirage.

A former pro explains how he learned to love wearing a helmet mirror.

The new chairman of the Federal Reserve is one of us, as he struggles to convince his security detail to let him keep up his eight-mile bike commute to DC.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune offers tips on how to ride your bike at Mardi Gras, for those lucky enough to go. Pro tip: Avoid Mardi Gras Day, when it’s too crowded move, and go the weekend before when the crowds are smaller and it’s more fun.



How to roll the dents out of your steel frame bike.

Canadian bicyclists are urged to bike commute tomorrow as part of the international Winter Bike to Work Day. Try not to suffer too much under LA’s sunny skies and 80° temperatures.

Here are ten beautiful places in the UK to add to your bicycling bucket list.

British advocacy groups are “deeply concerned” about plans to ban bikes from a highway that’s a popular time trial route.

In a win for the gig economy, bicycle couriers for Britain’s National Health Service win full employment rights, after their employer had argued that they were self-employed contractors.

That gold-inlaid custom bike built for Irish mixed martial arts champ Connor McGregor cost the equivalent of nearly $21,000.

More proof that bike riders face the same problems everywhere. An Aussie bicyclist complains about pedestrians and dog walkers making a beachfront pathway a nightmare.


Competitive Cycling

Australia’s 3,500-mile Indian Pacific Wheel Race has been cancelled following the death of pioneering ultra-distance rider Mike Hall in a collision during last year’s race.

A French design firm reimagines the dreaded broom wagon. Although they somehow think riders in the Tour de France will be able to hop on board to catch a rest, then rejoin the race when they’re feeling better.



Why should ‘bent riders miss out on all the fat bike fun? Anyone can race a dual snow slalom on skis; try it on a bicycle instead.

And when a dockless bikeshare company fails, it becomes the UK’s cheapest bicycle.

In every sense.

Morning Links: Driver’s license revoked in Moorpark deaths, the cost of traffic violence, and bike infrastructure news

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.


One detail was left out in previous stories about the limp slap on the wrist given Rachel Hill in the Moorpark distracted driving deaths of cyclist Maciek Malish and motorcyclist Jesse Cushman last year.

In addition to 300 days in county jail and three years probation, Hill had her driver’s license permanently revoked, according to the Moorpark Acorn.

Not suspended. Revoked.

The paper says she can apply for a new license at some point down the road. Which suggests that permanently doesn’t really mean permanently.

Still, that’s a stiffer penalty than most killer drivers receive.

And something that should be required following any traffic fatality where the driver is found at fault. Particularly if he or she flees the scene.


This is the cost of traffic violence.

Cycling in the South Bay relates the horrifying tale of the aftermath of a drunk driving collision, and a cyclist’s shattered ankle that refuses to heal.

And the Daily Bruin offers an update on UCLA triathlete Nako Nakatsuka, two and a half years after she was seriously injured in a collision, then seriously screwed by the legal system when she was forced to pay for damages to the car that hit her, as well as her own medical expenses.

You should always get a good lawyer to review your case if you’re injured in a wreck; there shouldn’t be any cost to you unless you receive a settlement.


Today’s common theme is bike infrastructure.

Tempe AZ cyclists get their first bike box.

Philadelphia opens a mile long, two-way protected bike lane; it had been the largest city in the US without one.

Kansas City installs a new bike signal to give bicyclists a head start.

The news is not all positive, however; a bike rider complains that Berkeley’s protected bike lanes only result in greater confusion, and fail to employ best practices from around the world.


It was a bad weekend for bike racing, as a Serbian cyclist died following a collision in a Chinese race, and a 60-year old English amateur cyclist died when he hit a support vehicle in a French race.

Controversy continues over therapeutic exemptions given to Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins over the use of banned asthma medication, after his medical records were released by Russian hackers.



CiclaValley offers an up-close look at the Encino Velodrome’s Ride the Black Line.

Friends of fallen cyclist Alan Deane met at his Pasadena ghost bike on the fifth anniversary of his death to call for safer streets and tougher sentences for killer drivers. Thanks to Complete Streets Pas for the heads-up.

Megan Lynch forwards word of the latest crackdown on bicycle and pedestrian safety violations, this time in El Monte on Tuesday.

Santa Monica Spoke will host a Handlebar Happy Hour at the Border Grill this Wednesday.



Cyclists can expect to see safety improvements along PCH in the Capistrano Beach area, as plans call for a two-way protected bike lane along the highway.

A Ventura bike rider tried to defend himself with a stun gun when he was punched by three people as he rode on a beachfront bike path, who then pepper-sprayed him and stole his bike and cellphone.

The Sacramento Kings’ new arena features 100 bike racks, as well as a free bike valet, but no safe way to get there. And you’ll have to do something with your bike helmet, since they aren’t allowed in the arena.



A new bike helmet comes complete with built-in Wi-Fi, action cam, speakers and microphone. But no word on whether it will save your skull if you fall off your bike.

Forget air cartridges and bicycle pumps; fill your next flat simply by pedaling, as long as you don’t mind a lot of extra hardware.

Someone is using upholstery tacks to sabotage a new Seattle cycle track; local bike shops report over 30 people have come in to have flats caused by tacks repaired. And that doesn’t count all the people who may have fixed their flats themselves.

Bike advocates around my hometown remind drivers and bicyclists to watch out for each other.

An Iowa economics professor says it’s just not fair that bike riders don’t have to pay to use the roads, especially since some bikes cost “well into four figures.” Although you’d think an econ professor would understand the economics of bicycling a little better.

Iowa cops recover a boy’s stole bicycle after it had been dismantled. So they made the thief put it back together before they returned it.

Over one thousand Milwaukee bike riders turn out for a slow roll ride honor a local bike shop owner and cycling legend after he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of liver cancer.

The New York Times questions why phone manufacturers don’t cut off texting drivers, when they have the technology to do it. Damn good question. And let’s include car makers in that, too.

Washington’s two senators both oppose legislation that would allow mountain bikers into federal wilderness areas, as do two of the state’s leading bike advocacy groups.

South Carolina authorities rule the death of a pregnant woman in a collision with a bicyclist was an accident, even though the cyclist was riding without lights after dark; he faces a fine of just $232.50.

A New Orleans writer says cycling in the Crescent City is still dangerous, but getting better.



Four Americans stop in British Columbia on an 8,000 mile ride to call attention to the dangers of distracted driving.

A new documentary tells the story of an aboriginal youth who helped build world-famous mountain biking trails in the Yukon.

A Winnipeg professor calls for making cycling in the city safe for everyone.

A 19-year old British man competed in triathlon two years after he was paralyzed for three months in a fall off the top of a concrete velodrome.

Police are looking for a road raging driver who repeatedly bumped a Brit bike rider as he waited for at a series of red lights, then ran over his rear wheel when he finally got off to protest.

A former British cabinet member denies sabotaging a Welsh mountain bike trail, insisting he was trying to clear it instead. Sure, let’s go with that.

Volvo introduces a new bicycle and pedestrian detection system for buses, starting next year on European bus systems.

A cyclist from the United Arab Emirates embarks on a three-day, 310-mile journey through Belgium and France to dispel myths about Islam following the recent terrorist attacks.

A Pakistani extreme cyclist says she rides to break stereotypes that limit the sports and professions women can participate in.



If you want to ship your bike without getting damaged, put a TV on the carton. Seriously, if you’re going to ride 250 miles from Germany to Poland to visit your grandmother, tell your parents first.

And forget doping; how about a little scrotal Botox instead?


The nail that stands out, pt. 2


Feel free to copy and use this image. Or make a better one, and I'll post it here.

Feel free to copy & use this image. Or make a better one, and I'll post it here.

After I put yesterday’s post online, I went out for a nice, long ride down the coast to Hermosa Beach, enjoying the ride, the sunshine and the bikinis. And those wearing them, of course.

But then, as I was nearing my home, I started kicking myself — mentally anyway; doing it physically would be kind of difficult with my feet locked into my pedals. And after 46 miles on the bike, I’m not sure I would have had the energy, anyway.

Because it occurred to me that in my response to Mr. Rowe’s letter to Rupert Murdoch’s latest acquisition, I failed to address a key point. Consider the penultimate line of his screed:

“…Bicycles should be required to have a fee-paid license plate and be ticketed for infractions….”

It’s a variation on the same old canard you’ll find on virtually any message board or letters column discussing cycling. Sooner or later, someone will suggest that all cyclists should a) have to study and pass a test, b) have a license, such as a driver’s license, c) have license plates, as Mr. Rowe suggests, and/or d) carry liability insurance.

The catch is, we already do.

You see, in today’s auto-centric society, most cyclists are also drivers. In fact, while I’m sure there must be some, I don’t personally know of a single cyclist over the age of 16 who does not have a driver’s license.

Which means that we have studied the rules of the road, so there is no excuse for any bicyclist not knowing the rules of the road — just as there is no excuse for any driver being unfamiliar with the traffic laws and regulations, including laws regarding cyclists’ right to the road.

We can also be ticketed, just like the operator of any other vehicle — legitimately or not. And while I have no personal knowledge of the subject, I would assume that any ticket received while cycling can result in points against the recipient’s driver’s license, under the provisions of section 21200 of the California Vehicle Code, just as they would for a driver who receives a similar citation.

And as I discovered when I was struck by a car several years ago, car insurance in this state covers the driver, not the vehicle — which means that the driver is covered when operating his or her car, or any other vehicle. Including a bicycle.

In fact, State Farm paid my entire medical bill under the uninsured driver section of my policy. And as my agent explained at the time, any other section of my policy — including liability coverage — would be equally valid, whether I was in my car, driving someone else’s car, or on my bike.

So the problem isn’t one of licensing or liability coverage. It’s just that some cyclists, like some drivers, are jerks. In fact, I’m convinced that people ride their bikes the same way they drive. If someone is a safe driver, he or she will undoubtedly be a safe cyclist, while those who drive like jerks will undoubtedly ride the same way. Just like drivers, they usually get away with it simply because there’s seldom anyone around to enforce the law.

And here in L.A., the cops usually have more important things to do than worry about whether a cyclist blew through a stop sign.


Will uses my new favorite word in an attempt to track down the indignorant Mr. Rowe, and sacrifices a chunk of flesh to a man-eating chainring. Next weekend’s Brentwood Gand Prix will reward competitors with a special prize for the Sex and the City crowdA lone cyclist takes to the freeway; as Richard Pryor would say, that _______’s crazy!  A town in Arkansas weighs becoming a LAB-approved bike friendly city. If only our own local cared that much; we’re still waiting for action on the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights.


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