Tag Archive for Eli Akira Kaufman

Morning Links: LACBC needs your help, legal dockless scooters coming to LA, and protected bike lanes for LA County

And, we’re back.

For now, anyway.

It’s going to be a long and difficult haul to regain full use of my knee and the leg it’s attached to following my recent knee replacement.

While the pain is greatly improved, it’s going to be around for awhile. Along with a mind-muddling mix of diabetes, neuropathy and pain meds. And the ever-changing array of medieval torture devices and exercises my surgeon and therapists have in store.

So if I have to miss a few days here and there, please accept my apologies in advance.

But I’ll do my best to be here for you every morning.

And keep you up to date on all the latest bike news and advocacy.

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Let’s start with some difficult news from Eli Akira Kaufman, the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Two months ago, I joined LACBC as Executive Director because I believe that everybody has the right to travel our streets safely. One thing that was clear to me from my years as a member of the Coalition and rolling with friends and family on the LA River Ride was how tight knit the community is – especially the LACBC staff.

Through all the twists and turns, this team has worked tirelessly to grow LACBC into an organization of which we can all be proud. As a small but powerful team, they have done an incredible job working to make the entire County of Los Angeles a safer region for people on bikes, on foot, and in automobiles. When I was hired, the organization was already in the process of evaluating our overall financial health. Last month, it became clear that LACBC could no longer support the status quo with our current budget. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions, including having to move one staffer to a part-time role as two other team members departed to pursue other opportunities.

These changes are as heartbreaking as they are challenging, because Dana, Lyndsey, and Cesar are family to us. Their contributions can not be overstated and their daily passion, creativity and thoughtfulness will be deeply missed. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that each of them had the opportunity to speak to our larger LACBC family, as we’ve all benefited from the impact they have made – and will continue to make – in our community.

Sources tell me the problems stem, at least in part, from the long leadership vacuum caused by former LACBC ED Erik Jansen when he stepped down after just seven months on the job. Not to mention a troubling degree of disengagement while he was still on the job.

Which means it’s been nearly two years since the coalition has seen effective leadership. And that’s taken a serious toll on their finances.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, the answer is simple.

Open your wallet.

If you’re an LACBC member, renew your membership. If not, join today. Or make a contribution.

A big one, if you can.

All to help LA County’s leading bike advocacy group get back to fighting for your rights and safety on the streets, and in the civic offices of the county’s many communities.

I’m on a tight budget myself these days, as I await an avalanche of medical bills. But I’ll be renewing my LACBC membership early to help out.

It’s the least I can do.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most I can do right now.

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Los Angeles is about to be flooded with scooters and dockless bikes, as the city’s one-year pilot program is ready for kickoff.

DTLA is getting new scooter and bikeshare parking zones similar to the ones in Santa Monica; unfortunately, they’re on the sidewalk instead of the street.

However, the city’s new data sharing requirement means that LA officials will now be tracking every trip you take on them, everywhere you go. Politico calls it the next data privacy fight.

So depending on where you’re going and why, you might want to choose another form of transportation if your privacy matters to you.

Meanwhile, City Lab says maybe the solution to dockless bikeshare and e-scooters is to bring back the docks.

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Big news from LA County, where county supervisors approved a motion by 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider adding protective barriers to new and existing bike lanes in unincorporated areas.

Which doesn’t, despite breathless proclamations from some quarters, mean the county will suddenly start sprouting protected bike lanes.

But assuming it goes beyond just studying, it could be a big step in the right direction.

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Is it just me, or does new e-scooter provider Wheels not have a clue who their target market is?

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Unbelievable. An Oakland man is living proof that you can chase a woman down with your car, knock her off her bike, steal her cellphone, and threaten her with a gun. And not spend a single day behind bars.

A Cleveland woman with an extensive criminal record will spend the next five years behind bars after intentionally running down a man as he was riding his bicycle; she accused him of robbing her, though police said they knew each other.

A DC motorist is under arrest after throwing a beer at a bike rider from a moving car — then flashing a knife at the victim when he came back for a cellphone, which he had inconveniently dropped while flinging his brew.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver tries to intentionally run down a bicyclist, even following him onto the wrong side of the road as the rider attempted to get out of his way.

And no surprise here, as a new study shows many drivers see bike riders as less than fully human, and that dehumanization makes them likely to act aggressively towards people on two wheels as a result.

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Always inspect your bike before a ride.

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Local

Bike people aren’t always the good guys. The LAPD is looking for a man who rode his bike up to a Reseda home, and snatched a teacup Yorkie off the porch before riding off.

Bad news for long-time Sherman Oaks bike shop The Bike Connection, which suffered an attic fire Friday night; no word on how much damage the fire caused the 40-year old shop.

Pasadena has reconfigured the popular Rose Bowl loop, forcing the hundreds of bicyclists who turn out for an informal, twice weekly ride to slow at a key intersection; riders say it just increases the risk for everyone.

Forty-four palm trees could stand in the way of a Long Beach complete streets project, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.

State

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? An Orange County state legislator has introduced a bill that would add two speed-limit free lanes to the I-5 and State Route 99, allowing drivers to go as fast as they damn well please.

Bird gives Thousand Oaks exactly that, telling the city to forget about those plans to bring scooters to its streets.

Kindhearted Fresno cops pitched in to buy a boy a new bike when they were unable find the one he got for his birthday after it was stolen.

After a San Francisco woman was killed riding her bike, over 100 people turned out to form a people-protected bike lane to call for more permanent, non-human protection. The city responded right away by extending the street’s protected bike lane, though only by two blocks. And needless to say, the driver who caused the crash by dooring her, forcing her into the path of a truck, won’t face charges.

San Francisco safety advocates say the city’s Vision Zero program is doomed to fail without improved metrics, better transit, and rock-solid commitments. The same could be said for its bigger state mate to the south. And has been.

Sacramento plans a crackdown on illegally parked dockless Jump ebikes and e-scooters; the city is the first where Jump bikes are more popular than parent company Uber.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show opened in Sacramento, both Pink Bike and Cycling Tips hit the highlights.

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir is one of us. Or used to be, anyway.

National

A bipartisan bill would restore the commuter bike benefits that were removed under the Trump tax plan, and extend it to bikeshare and ebike users.

Your next bike could be lighter and stiffer than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber. And made from the same stuff they make matches out of.

An Arizona paper takes a deep dive into the Uber self-driver car crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she rode her bike across a Tempe street, in an effort to determine who’s really at fault. Unfortunately, they conclude that no one will be held accountable for her death.

After riding from her home to the state capital earlier this year, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it the nation’s most popular state for bikepacking.

Maybe they don’t want us there. A new tourism video for South Dakota’s Black Hills shows hikers, hunters, fishermen, equestrians, cars, trucks and canoes. Bicycles, not so much. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

They get it. An Amarillo TX radio station says bikeshare and e-scooters are great, but where are the bike lanes to support them?

They get it, too. After a bicyclist was killed, the Houston Chronicle questions why the city continues to build unsafe streets.

A Pennsylvania Home Depot gave a new bike to one of their employees after his was stolen; the local police department also pitched in $800 to help the 21-year old autistic man get a new Trek.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, as the paparazzi caught him riding his bike in New York’s East Village.

Rent a Baltimore apartment, and get a new bike instead of a parking space.

International

An Ottawa letter writer says yes, we need to get more people on bicycles, but calls a new bicycle intersection as useless as Captain Hook’s other glove.

A Prince Edward Island man showed his 19-year old daughter some tough love, calling the police after she failed to return a bicycle she’d taken from his home without permission, in hopes it would force her to get help for her drug addiction.

No bias here. After an English bike rider gave police bike cam video of a dangerous pass, they responded with a ticket. For him.

A British lord, who previously claimed — without evidence — that bike lanes cause pollution is now calling for licensing and insuring bicyclists.

That’s more like it. An Irish hit-and-run driver got five years behind bars for seriously injuring a bike rider while driving without a license.

An Irish official had to apologize for comparing bicyclists to Nazis, saying he’s one himself. A cyclist, that is, not a Nazi.

Why pay to ride indoors, when you can turn a profit by using your stationary bike as an artisanal, organic cocoa grinder, like this one in the Ivory Coast.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a South African man used his bicycle to save a young boy from a pair of rampaging Rottweilers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list: Shredding Indonesia’s smallest and most secluded bike park.

A Singaporean writer bemoans the death of dockless bikeshare in the island city-state, following the collapse of Chinese bikeshare providers.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling is establishing a fund to honor 23-year old pro cyclist and Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month; family members have donated her brain for study to determine if a recent concussion could have caused her rapid descent into depression.

Family and friends remember Tate Meintjes, calling his death a huge loss, after the 19-year old cyclist was killed preparing for the Redlands Classic.

Paralyzed German track cyclist Kristina Vogel now has her own doll as part of Mattel’s Shero program.

Road.cc offers highlights of pissed-off cyclists in the pro peloton.

Finally…

If you’re going to fake a bike wreck and claim a driver hit you, try to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.

This is why you don’t casually stroll across a bike race.

And apparently, turkeys have learned how to cork.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last link.

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Thanks to Margaret W and John L for their generous donations to support this site. Or maybe for my new knee.

Or both.

Morning Links: LACBC hires new ED, LA Walks hiring new ED, and Diamondback bike found in Silver Lake

Let’s offer a round of congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman, the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Although you may know it better as the LACBC.

Kaufman takes over an organization that has spent the last few years in transition, following the departures of former LACBC Executive Directors Tamika Butler and Erik Jansen in just the past 18 months.

Hopefully he’ll be able to steady the bike coalition, and provide the stable leadership the LACBC desperately needs as the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, at a time when our streets have been in turmoil due to a lack of support at city hall.

The simple fact is, we need strong, effective leadership from the LACBC, in the halls of city hall, in the media and on the streets. And the LACBC needs strong, effective leadership in order to provide it.

So let’s all pat him on the back and wish him well.

And tell him to roll up his sleeves and get down to work.

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Speaking of Executive Directors, pedestrian advocacy group LA Walks is in the market for a new one.

Current ED Emilia Crotty is stepping away after three and a half years to be closer to her family on the East Coast.

She’s been a strong advocate for safer streets for people on foot, and all other road users, and will be missed.

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If you’ve lost a Diamondback Sorrento recently, you may be in luck.

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

Portland police are looking for whoever has been tossing nails into a bike lane, using different kinds of nails at different times of day.

A separated bike lane in New York’s East Village was sabotaged with broken glass, as well as graffiti calling for a return of street parking.

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We mentioned earlier this week that New Mexico State Rep. Angelica Rubio is biking across the state to attend the opening session of the legislature.

Now Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards word that she’ll be introducing a bill to mandate a five-foot passing distance in the state.

The bill also allows drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass someone on a bike, a provision California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed in an earlier version of our state’s three-foot law.

Let’s hope she arrives safely at the legislature; the safety of all the state’s bike riders could depend on it.

And let’s hope someone in California’s legislature follows her example, and re-introduces the provision Brown killed.

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Local

CicLAvia’s annual pLAy day in LA fundraiser is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, February 10th.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says Elon Musk’s tunnels will only benefit the people who can afford an all-electric autonomous vehicle, and he’d be better off donating the money to the mayor’s Twenty-Eight by ’28program to build road, transit and bike projects before the upcoming LA Olympics.

The good news is Monterey Park has installed a new buffered bike lane on Riggin Street. The bad news, it’s just over half a mile long, giving way to sharrows on either end. As we’ve said before, the arrows in sharrows are only there to help drivers improve their aim.

State

California has finally revised CEQA rules to eliminate LOS (Level of Service) standards that considered bus lanes and bike racks bad for the environment, although the new rules don’t go into effect until next year.

San Diegans are invited to learn how to fix their bikes and make jewelry from bike parts.

A Modesto man was stabbed by a man on a bicycle while delivering newspapers in a “bad neighborhood.”

National

An Alaskan man was set on his path to become a stuntman stand-in for Kevin Bacon and Keanu Reeves when a truck ran his bike off the road, wrecking it while he walked away injury-free.

PC Magazine tries out Nordic Track’s new Virtual Reality stationary bike at CES in Las Vegas, and says it’s a fun workout — if you don’t throw up.

A Kansas man has pled guilty to second degree murder for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, claiming the man had struck his mother with a lead pipe.

A Lubbock TX website says the growing number of e-scooters are increasing the need for bike lanes in the central city.

A Chicago letter-writer tells drivers to learn the Dutch Reach and save a life.

A Minneapolis bike writer says there’s still hope, even though the theme of the past year was conflict between drivers and bicyclists.

Two years after an Ohio teacher crowdfunded enough money to buy every kid at her school a new bicycle, the project has morphed into a nonprofit to give kids bikes, as well as other “joyful” things like Halloween costumes.

A Boston letter writer says an auto-first policy is a road to ruin.

Massachusetts plans to get more bicyclists on the roads by focusing on improving safety and accessibility.

New York’s TransAlt advocacy group asks the city’s leaders for a Bike Mayor like London has,. Although we need it here in Los Angeles a lot more than they do.

A DC writer takes a deep dive into the liability issues surrounding e-scooters, after she ends up in the ER when the one she was riding came to a rapid and unexpected stop.

Life is cheap in Louisiana. The widow of a fallen East Baton Rouge councilmember says a lousy 12 days behind bars for the driver who killed him and injured another man as they rode their bikes is a perversion of justice. No shit.

International

The Guardian offers suggestions from around the world on how to encourage urban bicycling, from providing free bicycles to putting spikes on drivers’ steering wheels.

Road.cc goes to the source and gets the inside scoop on how to protect your bicycle from a professional bike thief.

After an English bike rider complains about a close pass by a bus driver, a cop tells him maybe he should drive a Hummer.

A new British bike helmet promises to protect your skull and grey matter even if you get run over by a bus. And remains wearable after surviving 200 impacts.

This is who we share the roads with, UK edition. A drunk van driver smashed into the home of a 92-year old woman, barely missing two young schoolgirls on bicycles, after careening through the town.

Paris is planning free transit and bikeshare for kids.

French bikemaker Coleen has introduced a very cool looking ebike based on a 1941 design by French architect Jean Prouvé.

One more for your bike bucket list — an adrenalin-pumping bike tour of the Greek Isles for a mere $7,000 per person.

Horrifying story from India, where a bike rider was struck by a hit-and-run driver, severing his leg, while the force of the impact threw him into the back of passing truck; his body was finally discovered over 250 miles away. Unfortunately, the Indian press uses the same term to describe bicyclists, motor scooters and motorcycles, so it’s unclear just what kind of bike he was riding.

Entrepreneur looks at the not-unexpected collapse of Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo, which dismissed its entire international business department. Meanwhile, the company has pulled its 6,000 out of London, where most of the surviving bikes had been illegally converted to private use.

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Redlands bike club GS Andiamo, which got USA Cycling’s nod for Division II Cycling Club of the Year for 2018. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Peter Flax confesses what it was like to be a fondo VIP for Bicycling magazine.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine suggests 15 mountain bike races you should seriously consider entering this year. Unless you don’t ride mountain bikes, that is. Or race. But otherwise, sure.

Finally…

If you’re going to ride off on your bike after throwing a flaming Molotov cocktail into your neighbor’s yard, try not to get caught on the security cam. More proof you can carry anything on a bike — even a stolen flatscreen TV.

And this must be where dockless bicycles go to die.

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