Tag Archive for Eric Garcetti

Morning Links: LA finally gets bike traffic lights, Garcetti say no to Veep, and it’s a bike safety weekend

For once, LA bike riders are being treated like we actually belong on the streets.

On Thursday, the city officially unveiled the new protected bike lanes on Los Angeles Street, complete with LA’s first bicycle traffic signals.

Although the LA Weekly’s Dennis Romero can’t resist getting a little anti-bike dig in.

As he suggests, the bike-shaped signals are designed to tell riders when to stop. As well as when they can proceed, independent of the traffic signals for motor vehicles.

Sort of like walk signals tell pedestrians when they can cross the street, whether or not the traffic signal is green.

They could definitely use some on the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Westwood and Century City, where bicyclists are expected to stop at red lights on T-intersections even when there’s no cross street.

And many don’t.

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After yesterday’s surprising news that Eric Garcetti is on Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential short list, the first-term LA mayor says not so fast.

Then again, that’s exactly what he’s expected to say, unless and until he actually gets the nod.

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Evidently, it’s a bike safety weekend.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will step up enforcement of traffic violations that can lead to collisions between motor vehicles and bicyclists or pedestrians today. So obey the letter of the law, because you don’t want to be the one who goes home with a ticket.

And the Santa Monica Police Department will conduct yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns on Saturday.

So we should all feel safer on Sunday, right?

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VeloNews says if America’s Tejay van Garderen doesn’t win the Tour de Suisse, he’ll be carrying water bottles for Richie Porte at the Tour de France next month.

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Local

Metro board committees unanimously support the proposed Measure R sales tax extension, which could mean significantly more funding for bike and pedestrians projects.

The LA Times calls for making the pilot program to install interlock devices on the cars of convicted drunk drivers permanent and expanding it statewide. What we really need to do is impound the vehicles of DUI drivers while their licenses are suspended to keep them from getting behind the wheel. And let’s not forget that interlock devices do nothing to stop drugged driving.

CiclaValley says riding to the top of Mt. Baldy is a must.

Members of my college fraternity will depart from Long Beach this morning on one of three cross-country routes to raise over half a million dollars for disabled people nationwide.

 

State

Santa Barbara approves moving a contentious bike lane to a back street in order to preserve precious parking through a commercial zone. Because no one would never dream of riding a bike to go to a restaurant or retail store.

Sacramento increases fines for riding a bike on the sidewalk from $5 to $250, despite a lack of safe alternatives in many areas.

Changes to the bike path on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge will add $6.5 million to the project, which has already seen $24 million in cost overruns.

 

National

Nice move from Polar, as all the proceeds from their new Rainbow Pride water bottle will go to support victims and families of the Pulse shooting rampage in Orlando.

The Huffington Post says cyclists shouldn’t have to risk their lives just to use the road.

A Seattle cyclist gets her stolen bike back, thanks to registering it with Bike Index. Which you can do for free at the top of this page.

After two years of denials, new evidence shows a Spokane sheriff’s deputy really did crash into a teenage bike rider as they both maneuvered to avoid the collision, after an outside investigator found the imprint of the victim’s hat embedded on the bumper of the patrol car. Which raises the question of why police investigators couldn’t find it themselves with a two year head start.

Sad news, as the woman who helped start my hometown on the path to becoming one of the nation’s most bike friendly cities has passed away from Alzheimer’s at age 76.

Hats off to Kansas and Missouri, where authorities no longer consider crashes accidents.

A “hesitant” Chicago bike rider sees the world from a windshield perspective, as she calls for testing and licensing cyclists to improve safety, while complaining about road diets and bike lanes designed to do just that.

Cleveland drivers are confused by new bike lanes on two of the city’s busiest streets, but a bicyclist says they’re not so bad.

Nashville plans a left side bike lane along a center median to eliminate the risk of doorings and right hooks.

Both Streetsblog and Gothamist say the NYPD needs to stop targeting cyclists and start focusing on the people in the big dangerous machines.

Why wait? Residents of a DC suburb are protesting bike lanes that haven’t even been proposed yet.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to overcome setbacks, from losing a race to getting hit by a car.

Toronto drivers who kill or injure pedestrians or bicyclists too often avoid charges. In other words, just like drivers virtually everywhere.

Britain’s Jo Cox was one of us; the British Labour Parliament member was assassinated Thursday, by a supporter of an American neo-Nazi group.

A London bike rider became the latest victim of anti-bike sabotage when a group of teenagers strung a rope at neck level across a Hyde Park pathway.

A British writer learns that a 30 kilometer ride through Provence — 18.6 miles — isn’t that far, and can be enjoyable.

A couple from the UK celebrated their 60th anniversary, after they met when he stopped to help fix her bike.

 

Finally…

No motor scooter for you; get around campus the old fashioned way — on a bicycle. Don’t leave a suspicious package in your Metro bike locker.

And seriously, don’t punch a cop who tries to stop you for riding in the middle of the road. But feel free to correct him if you were just riding in the middle of a non-sharable lane.

No, seriously, they love that stuff.

 

Morning Links: Garcetti on Veep list, LA’s people-friendly transformation has begun, and Lance visits Kalamazoo

Bernie Sanders isn’t being considered as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

But our own LA Mayor Eric Garcetti reportedly is.

At least, that’s what I’m told the story says, since the Wall Street Journal won’t let me read the damn thing, despite numerous attempts to log in.

It’s far too soon to worry about what our current mayor becoming a heartbeat from the presidency might mean.

But let’s not forget that LA’s Great Streets program and commitment to Complete Streets originates from the mayor’s office. And popular LADOT director Seleta Reynolds serves at the pleasure of whoever occupies that office.

Chances are, Garcetti won’t get the nod. California’s Democratic stronghold is probably already in Clinton’s pocket, so the choice will more likely go to someone from a swing state.

So he may have to settle, for now, anyway, for the honor of simply being considered for the nation’s second highest office.

But if he did get it, it could mean some big changes in the City of Angels.

And not necessarily for the better.

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Speaking of changes made under Garcetti’s leadership, PBS looks at five spaces that urban designers have transformed into pedestrian paradises.

Not surprisingly, the first three are in New York, where former DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan worked to shift the city’s focus from cars back to people.

But the next one is right here in DTLA, where Broadway has gotten a makeover to be more inviting to people on bikes and foot. Although I’d call it a work in progress, rather than paradise found just yet.

Now just imagine if Hollywood and Highland was transformed into a pedestrian plaza like New York’s Times Square, taming one of the city’s most dangerous streets overnight. And sending commercial sales and property values skyrocketing, while giving tourists the Hollywood experience they expect, but seldom find.

Maybe Garcetti can make it happen before he moves to DC.

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The four people injured in last week’s Kalamazoo crash continue to recover from their injuries. One of the riders has already been discharged from the hospital, saying it still seems surreal.

Lance Armstrong — yes, that Lance — visits Kalamazoo to finish the ride the nine victims didn’t get to, and explains in his own words the emotional impact of talking to the victims and their families, while riding past five ghost bikes on the side of the road.

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The US qualified fewer spots for the men’s Rio Olympics cycling competition than Iran and Morocco.

South African U-23 rider Keagan Girdlestone is off the ventilator and out of a medically induced coma, yet remains in critical condition after a collision with a team car while racing in Italy 10 days ago.

An Aspen CO bike racer and skier makes a remarkable comeback from a brain aneurism that typically kills 70% of sufferers within 24 hours, winning a hill climb while competing with a small clip securing a blood vessel in his brain.

A New York cycling champ describes what it’s like to come out of the closet as a gay cyclist.

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Local

LA city prosecutor Andrew Said looks at how California’s outdated speed laws guarantee our streets remain dangerous.

A Santa Clarita resident complains that the city’s McBean Parkway has been converted to a high-speed superhighway, and calls for a road diet, lower speed and better sidewalks to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

Milestone Rides goes bike camping and rattlesnake dodging in Henninger Flats, in the Angeles National Forest above La Cañada.

 

State

Newport Beach will consider safety improvements near schools, including crossing guards and buffered bike lanes, following the death of eight-year old Brock McCann as he rode home from school last month. It shouldn’t take the death of a child to prompt improvements to protect children on their way to and from school.

The CHP says a Bakersfield bus kept going after hitting a bike rider; the bus company says oh no we didn’t.

A Fresno driver has been arrested in the February hit-and-run that nearly killed a local surgeon as he rode his bicycle; the 23-year old driver has reportedly confessed.

 

National

USA Today lists ten open streets events around the country, starting with our own CicLAvia.

Gizmodo rates the best bike rack, basket and panniers for bike commuters.

A Colorado letter writer says demonizing cyclists doesn’t help anyone.

A cyclist is taking part in Colorado’s 400-mile Ride the Rockies bike tour for the fifth time. But just the first time since losing his vision in both eyes.

Next time you visit the original Coors plant in Golden CO, you can check out a bike from the town’s Bike Library for free for the first two hours. Meanwhile, a 25-bike Castle Rock CO bikeshare system will be free all summer thanks to a local hospital.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Kansas paper offers a heartbreaking look at California native Steven James Lewis, a bike tourist who had traveled throughout the world before losing his life, along with one of the rescue dogs he was towing behind his bike.

In a case reminiscent of our own Dr. Christopher Thompson, an Illinois driver is on trial for brake-checking a group of cyclists and forcing one into a ditch; the driver claims he had to brake to avoid another vehicle after passing the riders. Sure, let’s go with that.

Authorities credit a 12-year old Michigan boy’s helmet with saving his life when he was hit by a van and landed on his head.

Charleston SC councilmembers will have to decide if the safety of bike riders is worth just 48 seconds, as a temporary road diet and bike lanes over a bridge angered drivers by delaying them less than a minute at rush hour. I think we all know what certain LA councilmembers would say under the same circumstances.

 

International

Most female Strava users say there are no barriers to women’s bicycling. Of course, they are the ones already doing it, not the ones afraid try or unsure if they can make it work.

Rio will reopen the bike path that collapsed in February killing two people; plans are to open the path in time for the Olympics.

If vehicular cycling had never caught on in the 70s, would every North American city look like bike-friendly Montreal?

A British bike rider was the victim of a random attack by a large group of youths, apparently just for the hell of it since nothing was stolen.

A Kiwi truck driver slammed into a parked car. And naturally, blamed a bike rider.

Sydney, Australia police believe the person seen sabotaging a bike path in his boxers may be a local resident; as many as 800 flats have been caused by tacks over the past two years.

Forget protected bike lanes; Kyoto has a two-third mile arcade for bike riders.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride a bike to OC’s famed Trestles surf break, do it upright with a board under your arm like any self-respecting surfer. A writer asks what bike would Ramsey Bolton ride, although he seems more like the massive SUV type to me.

And no matter how pissed off you are after a driver cuts you off, don’t slash his tire with a knife.

And if you do, make sure he’s not a cop first.

 

Morning Links: Turning Vision Zero into an unfunny joke, adventures in traffic blocking, and CicLAvia the Musical

No bikes involved this time.

But sadly, a 17-year old high school student was killed while walking in a crosswalk on North Figueroa yesterday, apparently unaware that classes had been cancelled due to a terrorism hoax.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on the street in the last six months, with three pedestrians and a cyclist losing their lives on a street that was supposed to have been made safer by now.

And would have been, if Councilmember Gil Cedillo hadn’t unilaterally killed a fully funded, shovel ready road diet for reasons he has yet to fully explain, instead bizarrely claiming he was halting the safety project in the name of safety. Yet as yesterday’s tragedy clearly shows, his inaction has merely helped keep a dangerous street deadly.

Unfortunately, we live in a city where councilmembers oversee virtual fiefdoms, thanks to the reluctance of their fellow councilmembers or the mayor to challenge them for fear of retaliation against projects in their own districts.

This has to change.

If Cedillo is unwilling to admit his mistake, someone in city leadership or LADOT has to find the courage to stand up to him to protect the lives of our fellow Angelenos.

Otherwise, people will continue to die needlessly.

And our much-vaunted and fought-for Vision Zero will be nothing more than a very unfunny joke.

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Today’s theme is bizarre court cases involving allegedly traffic-blocking bike riders.

A Louisville KY bike and pedestrian advocate rejected a plea deal on charges of blocking traffic and running a red light, insisting that bicyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes. Or stop at red lights, for that matter.

A Pennsylvania bike rider faces charges for repeatedly obstructing traffic by slowly riding his bike in the middle of the road; a prosecutor hints he may be trying to get hit after receiving a settlement from a drunk driver for a 2007 collision. Or he could just be taking the lane on a narrow street, like bike riders are instructed to do.

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‘Tis the season.

For the seventh year, the Burbank Bike Angels will donate over 120 refurbished bikes to children of local low-income families.

A Rochester NY bike shop donated 20 bikes to an organization serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for the second year in a row.

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Local

Democratic legislators ask Obama for funding to start planning and design work for the restoration of the LA River, which could include extensions of the LA River bike path.

LADOT is looking for a Planning Assistant. Riding a bike should be an added requirement for the job, though.

CiclaValley offers 100 seconds of bike commuting from the Valley to DTLA.

 

State

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says anti-bicycle bigotry is growing, as local residents fight plans for long-promised bikeways.

San Diego approves a new climate action plan, including a commitment to cut car trips in key transportation zones by 50% within 20 years.

SF Gate says nice try on San Francisco’s first raised bike lane, but it doesn’t actually keep cars and trucks out.

 

National

Pro ‘cross racers offer advice on how to avoid high bike fees when you fly.

The Federal Highway Administration provides Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks.

The family of a Portland driver accused of fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist while driving stoned says it was just an accident and he’s really an awesome person. Except when running down bike riders while too high to drive, evidently.

A New Mexico man is arrested for his seventh DUI, just three months after being released from prison for killing a bike rider in 2005 while driving at three times the legal limit. Yet somehow, despite repeatedly proving he’s incapable of resisting the temptation to drink and drive, he’s still allowed behind the wheel.

Forget skiing. If you’re looking for a little winter adventure, try fat tire cycling through the Minnesota snow.

The Wall Street Journal says New York safety advocates say more needs to be done even though traffic deaths are declining. After all, it’s Vision Zero, not Vision Slightly Better.

A Savannah writer nails it. “A legion of scofflaw cyclists cannot inflict the amount of pain, suffering and death as one young man driving a Dodge Durango.”

 

International

Unbelievable. A Costa Rican cab driver denies doing anything wrong after pulling out from the curb and hitting three lead riders of a bike race after police had cleared the route; fortunately, no one was badly hurt.

A road raging bus driver deals with a confrontation with a London cyclist by running over his bike.

A candidate for London mayor offers a six-point plan to make the city a “byword for cycling around the world.”

A British man gets life in prison for intentionally driving his car into his bike-riding romantic rival.

Police are looking for a Brit rider who threw a woman down a flight of stairs after becoming enraged because her dog was not on a leash.

An Indian paper calls speeding and luxury cars a killer combination. Meanwhile, 110 CEOs from all over the world will ride over 500 miles on a week-long expedition through the country, and a champion para-cyclist explains how he didn’t let losing a leg stop him.

Brisbane, Australia’s Green Party proposes a network of protected bike lanes, which would allow cyclists to ride in safety to within two blocks of any location in the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and win the world championships, as the prestigious former British Medical Journal says the rainbow jersey isn’t cursed after all. What it’s like to ride a bike to your own wedding.

And presenting CicLAvia, the musical.

Morning Links: Tragedy in Santa Clarita, LA announces Vision Zero, and too much racing news for one day

Sad news from Santa Clarita, as a man apparently rode his bike to commit suicide Sunday morning.

According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the unidentified man jumped to his death off the bridge on White’s Canyon Road at Via Princessa in full view of several people. Deputies said an overturned bicycle behind the yellow sheriff’s tape belonged to the man who jumped.

As others have said before me, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

No matter how bad things may look today, it will change. Maybe not now, maybe not soon. But it will. That’s the way life goes.

Hopefully the good, in the end, will outweigh the bad.

And you are not alone.

There are people who care. If you need help, call. Or talk to someone you know. Not tomorrow, not next week.

Now.

I want to see you back here tomorrow. And many more tomorrows after that.

NOTE: I heard from a relative of the victim who complained that the line about the permanence of suicide was glib. It was not intended that way; I learned it from a psychiatrist who specialized in treating depression. And it has helped me get through some very bad days.

I didn’t say this last night in my rush to get this online, but my heart and prayers go out to the victim and all his family and loved ones. Regardless of how he died, he was one of us.

Update: The victim has been identified as 23-year old Phillip Michael Griffin; a search had been underway since he went missing on Wednesday. 

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This is a big day in LA.

According to Los Angeles Walks, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will formally announce the city’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths in the City of Angels within the next 10 years. He’s set to make the announcement at the intersection of Cesar Chavez and St. Louis in Boyle Heights at 12:30 pm.

Of course, the question is whether the city is willing to make the tough choices that will require. As the recent controversies over Westwood Blvd, North Figueroa and the Glendale-Hyperion bridge make clear, many Angelenos — and a handful of elected representatives — still favor convenience over safety, and maintaining the automotive hegemony on our streets.

And are more than willing to twist that safety argument to preserve the status quo and keep our streets dangerous.

It will take strong leadership to make a dent in the number of deadly collisions in our city, let alone eliminate them in 10 years. And it can’t be done if we continue to carve out certain streets, neighborhoods or council districts.

We haven’t seen that yet from our city leaders. In fact, we haven’t heard from the mayor on any of those controversies, or any of the other streets where opposition to bikes has blocked much needed safety improvements.

Hopefully, that will change today.

In fact, it has to.

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Way too much racing news today.

Taylor Wiles won the second stage of the women’s USA Pro Challenge; Kristen Armstrong ended up winning the short three-day tour by 29 seconds over Wiles on Sunday. Taylor Phinney’s mom — who was a pretty decent cyclist herself — is thrilled to see how Colorado has embraced women’s bike racing.

Saturday’s men’s stage was taken by Roman Kreuziger after a long breakaway, while BMC’s Rohan Dennis finished with the main pack to hold a 44 second lead. He held that lead to win the Pro Challenge, with teammate Brent Bookwalter taking second.

Earlier in the race, Dennis had chucked his panini at a rider who attacked when the peloton stopped to pee.

Across the Atlantic, BMC won the team time trial on the first day of the Vuelta a España; however, no individual times were recorded due to a dispute over the unsafe conditions of the sand-covered route. On the other hand, at least they didn’t have to outrace a tank.

After all the rumors about motor doping over the summer, Vincenzo Nibali did it old school, getting bounced from the race for holding onto a team car to catch up to the peloton after a crash. Astana teammate Paolo Tiralongo posts a nasty eye injury he suffered in that same crash. All of which supports Deadspin’s observation that the Vuelta is the best race of the season, calling it “as spectacular as a relatively tame sport gets.”

And for future reference, you might want to keep your eye on a 16-year old racer from San Diego’s Torrey Pines High School.

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Sometimes, cyclists really are heroes.

On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Washington Post tells the story of professional cyclist Ken Bellau, who returned to his New Orleans home after competing in the Tour of French Guyana, hopped in a boat, and saved over 400 people from the flooding caused by the hurricane.

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Local

South Pasadena neighbors team up to chase down a one-man bike theft crime wave; the thief had been busted three times for similar crimes in just the last 45 days.

Pasadena’s newly passed general plan calls for increased density in the urban core while encouraging people to walk, bike or ride transit.

 

State

A Laguna Beach website asks if it’s possible for hikers, mountain bikers and wilderness habitat to co-exist.

A Coronado letter writer says beaches and bicycles are not at match. A statement disproven daily at pretty much every beach, everywhere.

Those anti-bike Coronado people couldn’t have been happy on Sunday, as 3,400 cyclists rode around the bay, through the town and across the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in a fundraiser for the San Diego Bicycle Coalition.

A reminder from Santa Cruz that drivers are required to make a right turn from the farthest lane to right, which means merging into a bike lane rather than turning across it. But make sure to check for bikes first.

Deb Hubsmith’s hometown newspaper says the late founder of Safe Routes to School showed the impact one person can have in a short lifetime.

The Bay Area’s Bicicletas Por la Paz is a band, bicycle advocacy group, awareness collective and food kitchen rolled into one.

The Sacramento paper says it’s long past time to make safe, easy bicycling a priority.

A South Lake Tahoe cyclist is back home after riding through Iran to meet with school children to promote peace, although not everyone in this country welcomed his efforts. Or in that one, probably.

 

National

Now that’s more like it. A Reno man gets 20 years for the drunk driving death of a 16-year old bike rider; he was nearly twice the legal limit when he was arrested. Similar cases here seldom result in more than a couple years.

A Chicago writer rides Missouri’s 238-mile Katy Trail with her husband, even if their starting point was under water. Meanwhile, the Windy City has a shiny new three-mile elevated rail-to-trail conversion.

The Chicago man who was brutally beaten by five honor students was selling the bike to raise money for school; his attackers reportedly believed the bike was stolen.

Cleveland prepares to paint a buffered bike lane on a newly resurfaced street. And bizarrely puts the buffer next to the curb, instead of next to the traffic lane where it might actually do some good.

Sad news from Massachusetts, as a bike rider hit by a drunk driver in 1996 dies after 19 years in a coma; his family has forgiven the driver, but the DA has yet to determine if additional jail time is warranted as a result of the death.

President Obama and family ride their bikes through the drizzle on Martha’s Vineyard. Although judging by the photo, daughter Malia isn’t too happy about it.

A PA paper offers advice on how to teach someone to ride a bike safely. But despite what they say, might does not make right; drivers don’t have a superior right to the road because they’re in the larger vehicles.

If you really want your employees to ride to work, try offering a free bike valet like this New York company. But discourage them from stealing a bikeshare bike to commute with.

A Baltimore driver hits a cyclist while trying to pass on a curve, then gets out of his SUV and hits him some more. With his fists. Showing how non-seriously authorities take traffic violence, he’s out on just $25,000 bail.

 

International

A musician rides 1,800 miles across Canada to perform, while supporting a movement for clean air, food and water.

Bicycling looks at how Bogotá’s ciclovía changed the world. I’m not sure the new Mobility Plan would have passed without CicLAvia, which is based on the Bogotá event.

Better bike routes and more bicycling could solve the traffic problems in Manchester UK.

A British bike rider was lucky to get away with a broken wrist and hand injuries after someone sabotaged his bike by disconnecting his brakes; the local government councilor crashed into a lamp post after careening down a hill at 30 mph.

A private postal service in Edinburgh delivers the mail by bike for a third less than conventional services; not surprisingly, business is growing by booming 20% a month.

A Chinese tourist who was kidnapped by Taliban militants while bicycling through Pakistan over a year ago has been freed by Pakistani security forces.

 

Finally…

It may not be safe for Florida kids to bike to school, but at least they can pedal at their desks. A new smart helmet could help avoid wrecks. Too bad we can’t get drivers to wear it.

And while the driverless car is still in development, the riderless bike is here today.

 

Weekend Links: CicLAvia feeder rides, and the Times spanks the mayor over his disappearing act on difficult issues

Just a quick update while we all wait for Sunday’s CicLAvia.

Speaking of which, Flying Pigeon is hosting a feeder ride from NELA; you can find other feeder rides and walks on the CicLAvia website.

Meanwhile, Tito’s Tacos does a turnaround and announces they’ll welcome CicLAvia after all, after threatening to sue over a misplaced fear of lost business.

And don’t forget to read the Militant Angeleno’s guide before you ride.

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The LA Times complains that while Mayor Garcetti is as appealing and articulate as ever, he’s avoiding tough or controversial decisions.

A lot of bike, walking and safety advocates would agree with that.

Garcetti was nowhere to be seen, publicly at least, during the fight for bike lanes and sidewalks on the Glendale-Figueroa bridge, and the conflict over bike lanes on Westwood and North Figueroa. Much to the chagrin of many who expected him to step up and get involved.

He had a lot of support from the bike community when he ran for mayor two years ago. But aside from making a great choice to lead LADOT by appointing Seleta Reynolds, we’re still waiting for him to show us we made the right choice.

It’s the mayor’s job to lead the city.

So far, at least, he seems to be content to let the city council take the lead. And let a handful of councilmembers act like feudal lord in their little fiefdoms.

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Local

Mrs. CiclaValley has her bike stolen from the NoHo Metro station, which is quickly becoming ground zero for bike thefts.

South Bay cyclists will soon get a bike lane connecting Sepulveda Blvd with the Strand in Manhattan Beach.

 

State

The Union-Tribune explains how San Diego’s new bikeshare system works.

Huh? The local paper says bicycling collisions are up in San Luis Obispo because better infrastructure and bicycle education encourage more people to ride — even though bike-related ER visits have dropped significantly since 2009. So collisions are up, but injuries are down, and better infrastructure and education are to blame. Thanks to John McBrearty for the link. 

San Francisco bicyclists jokingly puts a $100,000 bounty on a TV reporter who’s been critical of cyclists. At least, let’s hope it’s a joke; if it was serious, they probably wouldn’t have been posted it on Craigslist.

A San Francisco cyclist suffers life-threatening injuries in a collision with a house.

Sad news from Marin County, as the driver accused of running down a cyclist in a road rage attack reportedly committed suicide. A tragic reminder that over-the-top anger can be a sign of depression.

Sacramento bicyclists call for a tougher sentence for a driver who killed an experienced cyclist last year, while the judge in the case tosses out a proposed plea deal that left the victim’s family feeling blindsided.

The main road through Truckee could get bike lanes and roundabouts.

 

National

The Bike League offers new model laws for better biking, including allowing drivers to cross double yellow lines to safely pass bicyclists, and let bike riders make their own choices regarding lane positioning instead of the outdated ride to the right regulations.

A Denver commenter somehow concludes that a drunk on a bike is more dangerous than a drunk driver. Never mind the higher speeds and two-ton difference in vehicle weight.

Will Olson, the mountain biker killed in a Colorado enduro race last weekend, is described as a legend; the Crested Butte event was going to be his last race before moving to Vermont.

A Nebraska community college gets its own five bicycle bikeshare program.

The laws are a lot tougher in Texas, but the results aren’t. An Austin driver faced up to 30 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he ended up getting the minimum sentence of just two years. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Boston residents freak out when a flip flop-wearing bicyclist rides on a local freeway. Considering he’s shown riding in the left center lane, they’ve got a point.

After a Boston bike rider is killed by a semi-truck driver who left the scene, the focus is on improving truck safety rather than fixing the city’s most dangerous intersection.

A Florida cyclist faces battery charges for touching the hat of a driver who almost hit her.

 

International

The jury is still out on the presumed safety in numbers effect.

There goes the bike vote. A Canadian bicyclist is told to bug off after complaining that the prime minister’s campaign bus was parked in a Toronto bike lane.

An injured Welsh cyclist is forced to wait 70 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

 

Finally…

Now you can own a bike that was actually touched by Prince Harry. A letter writer apparently mistakes sharrows for bike lanes, and misses the point entirely. FYI, bike riders pay taxes to maintain the roads, just like everyone else.

And evidently, Hitchcock was right.

 

Weekend Links: First Great Streets unveiled, say hello to Allo, and bikes as weapons of war

I wasn’t expecting any bike news in Mayor Garcetti’s State of the City address.

So I confess, I wasn’t paying that close attention as I worked on other things. Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton confirmed what I thought I heard on Thursday.

And that is that six LA streets have been identified as the city’s first to be unveiled under the mayor’s Great Street’s initiative:

  • Crenshaw Blvd
  • Figueroa Street
  • Gaffey Street (San Pedro)
  • Reseda Blvd
  • Van Nuys Blvd
  • Westwood Blvd

Hats off to the mayor for selecting streets that represent a broad cross-section of the city. Only Westwood could be described as passing through an upscale neighborhood, while Crenshaw and Figueroa are every bit as iconic as Wilshire Blvd, home of last Sunday’s CicLAvia.

The goal is to make these streets accessible to everyone — including bicyclists, pedestrians and the handicapped — with green streets, plants, art and people-focused plazas.

It will be interesting to see how far Garcetti’s initiative gets in the face of Westwood’s infamous NIMBYism, and local Council Member Paul Koretz opposition to bike lanes on the street.

……….

The Kickstarter for the Allo combination speaker and handlebar cell phone mount has been fully funded, so you’ll soon be able to listen to music, use navigation, make phone calls or use any app you want while you ride. And now you can pre-order your Allo for $35 until the campaign ends on Sunday.

Personally, I’d rather keep my hands on the handlebars and my attention on the road in front of me.

But that’s just me.

……….

Local

Metro honors six-month bike commuter Nick Rosenblum as part of their monthly Why You Ride series.

How to report broken LA bike racks or other street repair problems.

USC’s Neon Tommy talks with Maria Sipin, one of the city’s leading — and one of my favorite — bike and transit advocates.

MIT Media Lab has combined LAPD records and Google Map data to create a detailed map of LA bike crashes. Not surprisingly, the worst streets are Olympic, Venice and Sunset Boulevards.

 

State

I shoehorned this one in at the last minute last night, but it deserves more attention. Historically risk — and modern times — averse Caltrans has adopted the forward-thinking NACTO Guide, which could be a real game changer for California streets and cyclists. Streetsblog explains why it matters.

Bike Newport Beach calls for more, and more visible, bike cops to improve safety. And they suggest taking your helmet off when you’re not actually on your bike.

San Diego County goes all eminent domain on property owners’ asses to build seven miles of bikeways, but regional leaders still think freeways first.

A memorial ride will be held Saturday for fallen San Diego cyclist David Voight, killed by a suspected drunk driver in a stolen car last month.

San Diego bike thieves target high-end bikes.

Stockton police are looking for a woman wearing a purple coat and head wrap, riding a purple bike, who whipped another woman in a dog dispute; no word on what her rival, or the dog, was wearing.

Ciclovia comes to Yosemite, as 17-mile Yosemite Road opens to bikes only this weekend.

 

National

A new Minneapolis study shows bike lanes don’t adversely affect vehicular traffic if you put them in the right places.

Wisconsin gets a new vulnerable user law; a similar bill is under consideration in California.

 

International

Maybe they need to bring back the mythical war on the car in Toronto. See below for just the bikes to do it with.

Brit advocacy group protests the incredibly light sentence given a youthful careless driver who took the life of a cyclist out for the maiden ride on his new bike.

The Guardian asks if shaming bike riders is a good thing when the cams are turned back on us.

A 125-year old Yorkshire cycling club discovers materials documenting members returning to bicycling after coming home from the war. In 1919.

David Hembrow says shared spaces don’t protect the vulnerable, but prioritize the powerful.

Former Amgen Tour of California and defending Vuelta winner Chris Horner suffered serious injuries when he was apparently hit by a car while training near Italy’s Lake Como.

 

Finally…

A new Japanese bike is designed to unfold into a wheelchair, allowing riders to turn into rescuers in emergency situations. Or it could come in handy the next time I attempt to ride Wilshire on a non-CicLAvia.

And Rex Reese forwards word that the peaceful, unassuming bicycle has had its place as a weapon of war in sometimes silly, sometimes frightening ways. Which could also come in handy the next time I try to ride Wilshire. Although that photo of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp posing in Yellowstone in 1896 is seriously cool.

 

More on the 2nd-car death of Andy Garcia, no more green bike lane, and LA gets tougher on hit-and-run

Streetsblog attempts to clear up the confusing details over the hit-and-run collision that resulted in the death of Luis “Andy” Garcia.

Garcia was killed after 21-year old Wendy Villegas hit a group of five riders and fled the scene, leaving her victims lying in the street, where he was hit by a second vehicle.

Streetsblog writer Sahra Sulaiman talks with some of the other riders involved.

What they have to say contradicts some of the details in the official press release from the LAPD — including the fact that Mario Lopez, one of the riders hit in the initial collision, suffered a broken back, rather than the minor injuries the police report.

And paints a picture of a needlessly horrifying night that took the life of a young bike rider, shattered two families, and forever scarred the four surviving riders, as well as the three men who prayed over Garcia after their van took his life.

All because a young woman got behind the wheel when she was too drunk to drive, and fled like a coward after colliding with her victims.

Then again, there’s no such thing as being just a little drunk when you’re driving.

………

Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Also courtesy of Streetsblog, which has been very busy on the bike front this week, comes official confirmation that you can kiss your green Spring Street bike lanes goodbye.

The highly popular bike lanes barely survived an attempt by Hollywood filmmakers to have them removed entirely; regretfully, self-described bike supporter Council Member Tom LaBonge bought into the industry’s easily disprovable lies — as did our new bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti.

If it wasn’t for the efforts of Council Member Jose Huizar and a few others, the bike lanes would have been removed entirely, rather than just stripped of their green paint.

Now they await a newly approved treatment that costs significantly less, but may not be as effective in capturing the attention of motorists.

We should all hold Hollywood — and our elected readers — accountable for any drop in ridership on the street.

Or increase in injuries.

……..

The LA City Council instructs the LAPD to take a tougher stance on tracking hit-and-runs. And will work at the state level to revoke the licenses of fleeing drivers, and forfeit their vehicles.

Which is exactly what I’ve long been calling for.

So whether someone has read my blog, or just came up with the idea on their own, thank you. Frankly, I couldn’t care less who gets the credit as long as long-needed changes are made.

Now let’s get it done. And put a stop to this deadly epidemic.

………

The LA Times says the ball is in Governor Brown’s court when it comes to signing the three-foot passing law, noting that this is the fifth attempt at passing it in California. The first two never made it out of committee, while our esteemed governor vetoed the last pair.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog notes the Times promises more coverage of bicycling issues on their Opinion page. With all the bike-riding reporters and editors who work at the paper, the only question is what took so long.

Speaking of which, Streetsblog and the new Santa Monica Next are holding a fundraiser this Sunday.

………

lb_market_valetKelly Heller sends word that the Long Beach Southwest Farmers Market will begin offering a bike valet this Sunday:

Since it doesn’t begin till next weekend, I cannot tell you anything about how the valet staff is or what the bike accommodations look like.

However, I certainly *can* attest to the fact that this farmer’s market has a significant car-traffic problem.  They are paying for at least three traffic guards, and the whole time we were locking up our bikes and readying our shopping bags we observed the frustration of both the drivers and the traffic guards as they yelled at each other and everyone struggled to find any remaining needle-in-a-haystack open parking spots.

It’s nice to see that someone did the math and figured out that putting up a free bike valet might be the ideal solution.

………

There may be hope for the LA River yet, beyond the current unfinished bike path next to a graffiti-clad concrete river bed. The city breaks ground on a new park next to the river in Sherman Oaks that will include a short bike path. The city council approves a new $6 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the LA River in North Atwater Village. Larchmont Village loses thirty — yes, 30 — bike racks in order to satisfy drivers who prefer parking meters. Residents want to tame traffic on Ave 64.

There will be a blood drive in honor of fallen OC cyclist Kurt Kirkey in Aliso Viejo on Wednesday, October 2nd. Bike Newport Beach looks at the different mindset for riding in Paris. A Bakersfield driver was using a legal hands-free device when she struck and killed a cyclist riding in a bike lane Tuesday night, in what has been a horrible year for Kern County cyclists and pedestrians; police say the driver was at fault. Sharrows or Supersharrows? When a cyclist is nearly decapitated by fishing line strung over a bike trail, it’s not a prank, it’s a terrorist attack.

Industry trade group Bikes Belong folds itself into its own People for Bikes subsidiary. Elly Blue offers five tips for the bike industry to increase ridership among women. Lovely Bicycle asks if it’s possible to have too short a ride. The Houston Chronicle asks how relatively ancient Chris Horner won the Vuelta. A Houston rider has his bike stolen when he’s mugged on a popular bike trail. Evidently, there’s a requirement in Montana that says drivers have to pass bike riders even when it’s not safe to do so. A Milwaukee man is shot and killed after spotting a man riding a child’s stolen bike. Apparently, more bikes really do mean safer streets, even if New York’s Daily News has trouble believing it. Evidently, you can do tricks on a bike share bike. Male riders outnumber women in Philly, like just about everywhere else. A Maryland rider explains what it’s like to be a cyclist on the state’s roads. DC could remove restrictions preventing bike shops from selling used bikes. A 77-year old Arlington VA driver threatens the cyclist he right hooked with a baseball bat; the driver claimed the rider should have signaled for the left turn he wasn’t making.

A Winnipeg law would absurdly force groups of 10 or more bike riders to get a parade permit. Beat the crap out of a UK bike rider in a road rage incident, and walk away with a fine. A three-year old Brit girl is banned from riding her bike because she might damage resident’s cars. Is Europe’s bad economy causing the boom in bicycling? After overseeing the worst doping era in bike racing history, Pat McQuaid says he’s the only one who can clean it up; I’d say let’s give him the same ban Lance got. The mother of racing great Marco Pantani thinks her son was poisoned after breaking pro cycling’s doping omerta. A Sydney paper continues its highly biased anti-bike reporting, including blaming bike lanes for a loss of handicap parking and cyclists for running red lights; apparently, objectivity and grammatically correct headlines aren’t attributes expected of the local press. Meanwhile, the Guardian says the anti-bike hysteria in the Sydney press has got to stop, and local cyclists fight back on Twitter.

Finally, this is one way to ride with a dog. And if you’re planning to burgle a flat screen TV, maybe a bike isn’t your best choice for a getaway vehicle.

My thoughts on yesterday’s election

If you’re coming here looking for my take on yesterday’s election results, you won’t find it.

That’s because, once again, I’m guest editing LA Streetsblog in Damien’s absence, which is where you’ll find my reaction to the city’s new mayor.

Oh, and Mr. Garcetti? If you’re looking for someone to help out with bike issues, I’m available.

Just saying.

Breaking news: L.A.’s groundbreaking bike anti-harassment ordinance passes full City Council

L.A.’s first-of-it’s-kind ordinance to protect cyclists from harassment by motorists by making it a civil violation has passed the full City Council by a unanimous vote. Now the measure goes to the Mayor’s office for his signature, which is expected. You can download the full ordinance here; no word on when it will go into effect.

There is no overstating just how important this innovative new law is. For once, L.A. is leading the way in protecting the rights of cyclists with an ordinance that is likely to be copied by cities around the world

The hearing for the ordinance lasted just 40 minutes, with moving comments from a number of cyclists and council members, including District 11th District Council Member Bill Rosendahl, who has shepherded the measure from its inception — and who learned to ride a bike again just two weeks ago after a break of over 40 years.

But Council President Eric Garcetti may have said it best when he suggested that this ordinance may be what it takes to move L.A. from Carmegeddon to Cycletopia.

Unfortunately, any urge to celebrate this important win is tempered by news of last night’s fatal bike collision Downtown — sources at City Hall tell me police have ruled out road rage as the cause — as well as news of two other SoCal cycling fatalities, and confirmation of the previously reported fatality in Santa Maria earlier this week.

I’ll try to catch up will all the news as quickly as I can.

Meanwhile, come out and join the LACBC Board of Directors at our annual public meeting at the Encino Velodrome to celebrate the victory and discuss what we can do to prevent more tragedies.

BAC Chair Emeritus Alex Baum and Councilmember Bill Rosendahl take questions surrounded by cyclists after the unanimous vote.

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