Tag Archive for Eric Garcetti

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero funding, bike theft goes unpunished, and Merced driver topples nine riders

There’s more reaction to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to increase funding for Vision Zero, as advocates say it’s not enough.

The mayor’s proposal instead calls for using Measure M return funds to repave 60 lane miles of streets — just 30 actual miles — in the High Injury Network, while making safety improvements at the same time.

Meanwhile, his proposal to boost Vision Zero spending to $16.6 million would still represent just a small fraction of what New York spends each year to reduce traffic fatalities. Even though Los Angeles leads the nation in pedestrian deaths.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler suggests tapping police and fire departments budgets to make up the difference.

Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the city could find other ways of securing more money for Vision Zero. One option, she said, would be to tap police and fire department funding.

“When you’re looking at the important work these departments do, it’s all about saving lives,” Butler said. “Vision Zero is about saving lives, too.”

The LAPD is chronically understaffed, with the smallest police force per capita of any major American city, while struggling to protect one of the largest patrol areas. As it is now, police have more cases than they can handle, and relatively minor crimes — like stolen bikes — often don’t get investigated.

And the fire department is just recovering from the drastic staffing cuts during the last economic downturn that increased response times to unacceptable levels, putting traffic victims and others in need of emergency care at needless risk.

Yes, we need to find the money to fix our streets somewhere, as well as dramatically increasing spending on Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths.

But taking funding from the police and fire departments is the wrong way to go about it.

………

Speaking of bicycle theft, an Op-Ed in the LA Times asks why cities are allowing bike theft to go virtually unpunished.

A big part of the problem has been changes in the law a few year back that reclassified any theft below $1,000 as a misdemeanor, while preventing people convicted of misdemeanors from receiving any real jail time.

And since most bikes fall under that threshold, police put less effort into investigating those thefts, since they know the thief will be back on the street in a few days even if they manage to get a conviction.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t still try to return bikes to their rightful owners when they can. In fact, a detective in the West LA division reported at last week’s meeting of the department’s bike liaison program that they had recovered three bikes in recent months using Bike Index.

Which is just one more reason to register your bike.

………

An 81-year old Merced driver struck four cyclists with his mirror as he tried to slip past a group of riders without crossing the center line, taking down all nine riders in a chain reaction crash, while sending three to the hospital.

Investigators said the riders did nothing wrong, and the driver would likely be ticketed for unsafe passing. Although the CHP suggests being old may be the new Get Out of Jail Free card.

You can put this one directly on Governor Brown’s doorstep.

Unlike some other states, California’s three-foot passing law does not allow drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass people on bicycles, because Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have permitted it.

The result is drivers who try to squeeze by bicyclists unsafely rather than risk a ticket for briefly having two wheels over the yellow line.

So it’s the people on bikes who pay the price, instead.

………

Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this newsreel view of Nazi occupied Paris in 1944, filmed in part using a camera hidden in a bike basket.

………

The fourth of the five Monuments rolled on Sunday with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, the ending of which should not shock anyone. Meanwhile, the first women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended in a solo breakaway.

The peloton paused before the race to pay tribute to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision with a van while on a training ride on Saturday. Vincenzo Nibali dedicated his victory in the Tour of Croatia to Scarponi, who he said was like a brother to him. And an Aussie rider wonders if it could be him next time.

………

Local

The new Los Angeles State Historic Park finally opens after 14 years, offering walkways and bike paths in the shadow of Downtown LA and Chinatown.

KABC-7 talks with the architect working on a 12-mile long bike path along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley, part of plans to extend the existing bikeway the entire length of the river.

The Wave newspaper offers an even-handed look at last week’s CD1 debate between Gil Cedillo and Joe Bray-Ali. Speaking of Bray-Ali, the Times has reconsidered their endorsement of him, and concluded that yes, he is the right person for the job.

Burbank approves plans for two-way separated bike lanes on a 1/3 mile section of Leland Way.

Long Beach held a tricycle race at the city’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and call attention to next month’s annual Tour of Long Beach.

 

State

Newport Beach pulls back on plans to widen the Coast Highway at Mariner’s Mile to three lanes in each direction, as residents call for revitalizing the street to make it more attractive to bike riders and pedestrians, instead.

They’re onto us, comrades. A San Diego letter writer insists the nefarious bike lobby is running the city government, indoctrinating fourth graders, and forcing poor, put-upon drivers to plod through potholes while we luxuriate in bike lanes. Although he doesn’t begin to compare with the Michigan woman who thinks having to obtain a license to park on the street is just as bad as the Holocaust.

San Franciscans are questioning why bicycles are banned from the city’s light rail trains after an injured woman is denied a ride to the hospital after falling on the tracks.

 

National

Twenty-two mountain bikers have been mauled by bears in the last 17 years, a surprisingly low rate given the number of riders in bear country and the speed they travel.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A skilled reconstructive hand surgeon and medical professor riding in a bike lane was killed in a collision with a bus in Las Vegas, while his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.

Denver police bust a serial bike burglar.

A Montana compromise will create an 80,000-acre wilderness area, in exchange for allowing mountain biking on 3,800 acres.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Texas cop is acquitted of criminally negligent homicide after running over and killing a man who was fleeing on his bicycle. Even though he moved his car and the victim, lied about what happened, and waited over eight minutes to call the paramedics while the man died.

A trio of Peoria IL priests are riding their bicycles 350 miles across the diocese to encourage more vocations to the priesthood.

After years of decreases, doorings increased fifty percent in Chicago in 2015.

Hundreds of people turn out to call for more bike lanes in Boston.

A North Carolina woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis wins her fight to ride a bicycle.

New Orleans passes ordinances that will require a safer passing distance, as well as prohibiting motorists from driving in bike lanes; the law also bans harassing bike riders or throwing anything at them.

 

International

A group of students is following the monarch butterfly migration on their 9,000 mile journey from Mexico to the US.

Ottawa, Canada residents are up in arms over plans to remove 97 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. After all, who cares about improving safety if you have to walk a few steps from your parking space?

An artist depicts bicycling through London in a series of illustrations.

A man returns home to his English hometown seven years after he left on a 43,000-mile around the world bike tour that raised the equivalent of nearly $13,000 for charity.

As many as 10,000 people may have turned out in for this year’s Pedal on Parliament calling for safer streets for Scottish bike riders.

Caught on video: An Irish cyclist was nearly hit head-on by a speeding truck that crossed the center line.

An Irish government minister says he’s lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle with his wife.

The Danes do know how to combine bikes and beer.

A new Australian bikeway will be built like a limited access freeway, making it difficult for local residents to use it.

Caught on video too: An Aussie cyclist sticks the landing when he’s hit by a driver, flipping in the air and coming to rest sitting on the roof of the car.

A local newspaper talks with the founder of Singapore’s only cycling instruction school, who says over half his students are adults.

Dockless bikeshare may still have a few kinks to work out, after a Chinese man was charged the equivalent of $60,000 for a 20-minute ride. And the founder of one of the bikeshare companies says yes, there’s a bikeshare bubble, but his company will survive.

Bicycling is growing in popularity in South Korea, where beautiful mountains and lakes are just a short ride from Seoul, and the roads have bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an inflatable frame and fit in the trunk of a Ford. Probably not the best idea to push a baby carriage with a foldie.

And admit it. You’ve spent years perfecting your imitation of Charlie Chaplin hammering a sprint finish.

 

Morning Links: More funding for Vision Zero, City of Angels Ride, and saving NB cyclists by crashing into them

In his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a boost in Vision Zero funding, from a paltry $3 million up to $17 million.

Although that’s still a far cry from the $155 million New York spends on Vision Zero each year.

And as CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin made clear, it’s not nearly enough.

………

This one sounds like fun.

Adam Ginsberg reminds us that there’s still time to register for this Sunday’s City of Angels Charity/Fun Ride benefitting the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center.

After all, how often do you get a tour of LA with a police escort, and the intersections corked by cops?

………

Newport Beach police don’t have to look very far in their quest to crack down on violations that threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, after one of their own officers collided with a bike rider Thursday afternoon.

The victim was reported to be conscious and breathing when he was taken to a local hospital.

And unlike the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which insisted on investigating its own deputy in the crash that killed Milt Olin, the NBPD has wisely handed the investigation over to the CHP.

………

In case you’ve forgotten, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo was for bike lanes before he was against them.

Then again, that’s when he was running for council the first time and thought he needed our votes.

………

Apparently, aggressive riding is okay, but punching another rider isn’t, as Ukrainian cyclist Andriy Grivko gets a 45 day ban for slugging Marcel Kittel during a race.

The probe into British Cycling continues, as an outside investigator delves into their medical records.

………

Local

The long-delayed Los Angeles State Historic Park will open this Saturday on the east edge of Chinatown in DTLA.

The Metro Bike bikeshare has hit 134,000 rides through March since its launch July 7th, but is still far below their target goal of two rides a day per bike.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures what happens when Waze intersects with trash day on a narrow roadway.

West Covina police will patrol the city’s parks on bikes to address concerns over the homeless population.

A suspected bike thief apparently got away from sheriff’s deputies in Newhall by taking to the rooftops in his effort to escape, although they did recover three bicycles during the search. I just wish there was an armed response like that every time someone steals a bike.

Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica to talk bikes May 3rd.

 

State

The San Diego Padres’ annual fundraising ride will cross the Coronado Bay Bridge for the first time this fall.

Palm Springs bicyclists rode to city hall in support of the proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path, in the face of opposition from the city’s mayor.

A Monterey woman describes how she won a Brompton bike race wearing a plaid skirt, while Monterey bike shop owners explain how they’re adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace.

A Stanford postdoctoral fellow considers the problem of distracted drivers, and how they can keep women from riding their bikes.

 

National

You may never have to carry a spare tube or patch kit again — if you can get used to the strange looks you’ll get.

The Today Show considers how to find the right bikes and accessories for any rider.

A government website looks at how technology can help eliminate traffic deaths.

A new Portland video asks people how many traffic deaths and injuries would be acceptable for their own families, then asks if that should be the goal for everyone.

A bighearted 11-year old Wyoming girl won a new bicycle at an Easter egg hunt over the weekend. But instead of riding it home, she turned around and gave it to another girl who needed one.

Three Michigan police agencies deny charges in a federal report that they could have done more to prevent the Kalamazoo massacre, despite failing to respond to three calls warning about the stoned driver as he careened down the road for 22 minutes before the fatal crash.

The rich get richer. New York continues to get safer for bicyclists, as Brooklyn’s busiest business corridor is about to get a bike and pedestrian-friendly makeover. And plans are underway to install 24 blocks of protected bike lanes along iconic 7th Avenue.

 

International

A British man shares the lessons he learned bicycling around the world for seven years, including that strangers will open their doors for you, and Iran is a much better place than people make it sound.

If you still aren’t convinced, London’s Telegraph offers eight stats that show why you should bike to work — like being less likely to need Viagra in your 50s. The Telegraph also gives a glowing review of the $35,000 Bugatti urban bike without actually bothering to ride it.

London cyclists complain that a study showing bike commuting cuts your risk of cancer by 41% doesn’t take into account the dirty air they have to breathe.

Caught on video too: A British bike advocate’s camera is stolen as he’s recording cars parking in a bike lane, then smashed to bits by the thief after a brief chase.

Belfast’s successful bikeshare system is being put at risk as more than one-third of the bikes have been stolen or put out of action by vandals.

An Aussie cyclist urges other riders not to react to aggressive or threatening drivers. Which may be good advice, but it’s a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had the crap scared out of you.

As China’s dockless bike bikeshare systems expand into new cities, bike abuse and vandalism follow.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your cruiser bike as a getaway vehicle after a double-barreled bank robbery, at least hide the damn thing afterwards. Before you headbutt someone who won’t loan you his bicycle, make sure he actually owns one.

And an Aussie writer says don’t do things that could kill you. Which pretty much eliminates everything other than staying in bed all day.

Except that can kill you, too.

 

Morning Links: Bike lane advice for the mayor, dueling Idaho Stop Op-Eds, and a Cannibal-themed beer in DTLA

So far, Mayor Eric Garcetti has talked a good game when it comes to bicycling.

But as a recent Op-Ed by Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald made clear, he’s failed to translate that talk into paint on the street.

Let alone protected bike lanes.

In fact, implementation of the city’s hard-fought bike plan has fallen precipitously since former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa left office four years ago, from a high of 251 lane miles — a single side of a roadway — to just 17 lane miles in the last fiscal year.

Although it should be pointed out that sharrows were included in Villaraigosa’s total.

Now Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is offering advice on what Garcetti can do to make LA bike friendly, with nearly 23 miles of bike lanes and road diets that could be implemented right away, along with another 30.8 miles that could be easily converted from bike lanes to protected lanes.

That’s if Garcetti is serious, of course.

I would have included Hollywood Blvd in that list, which desperately needs safety improvements to protect the millions of tourists who visit the Walk of Fame every year, as well as providing a much needed east-west route for local bike riders.

In fact, there’s not currently a single safe route in or out of Hollywood in any direction. A situation that will only get worse when the Metro Bike bikeshare arrives within a few years.

LA cyclists have long supported Eric Garcetti, both during his time on council, and in his run for mayor four years ago.

It’s time he returned the favor.

………

While the LA Times has virtually ignored the subject, the Times-owned San Diego Union-Tribune has taken the lead on covering California’s consideration of the proposed Idaho Stop Law.

Today, they offer a pair of dueling Op-Eds on the matter.

The executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition says it’s smart policy for California to adopt an Idaho Stop Law.

Meanwhile, a former Oceanside councilmember says it would be bad for kids who lack the judgment to make those quick decisions — and says it’s really about Strava users not wanting to stop, anyway.

She makes a valid point about kids. Although there’s nothing that says you can’t come to a full stop if you want, which might be a better option for kids under driving age.

But let’s be honest.

This law isn’t so much about the spandex-clad than it is the everyday riders who are faced with the prospect of choosing between dangerous traffic-clogged streets on their commutes or recreational rides, or taking side streets where they’re forced to stop every block or two.

And while riders would be allowed to treat stop signs as yields, they would still be required to slow down and observe the right of way, and yield to opposing traffic when appropriate.

In other words, pretty much what most drivers already do.

………

DTLA’s Mumford Brewing now has a barrel-aged brew named after the legendary Eddy Merckx. Just because.

………

Talk about a great looking poster. This is for Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament campaign, something we might want to seriously consider replicating here.

………

Belgian’s one-day Dwars Door Vlaanderen cobble classic made its first appearance in the UCI WorldTour on Wednesday; American rider Kiel Reijnen appeared to avoid serious injury when the peloton squeezed him off the road and into a ditch.

A 55-year old British amateur cyclist was banned for doping, but at least he had an excuse.

Former pro Phil Gaimon suggests that podium girls be replaced with podium puppies. Now there’s an idea we can all get behind. And clean up after.

………

Local

How to get your bike, or other possessions, back if you leave it on a Metro bus or train. Not that you would ever do that, of course.

The Argonaut says the future has two wheels, as it looks forward to Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, as well as efforts to make Mar Vista safer and more inviting to people walking and on bikes.

Pasadena will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan. Which should include a heavy reliance on walking and bicycling to help get people out of their cars.

 

State

An OC supervisor has a massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail removed. And judging by the riprap installed in its place, doesn’t want it to return, either.

An Arizona couple describe what its like to watch their cell phones, IDs, credit cards and cash go up in smoke when a newly purchased ebike caught fire on the sand in Newport Beach.

Carpenteria will host its first Open Streets festival on April Fools Day, closing over a mile of downtown streets to motor vehicles.

Santa Barbara is already getting started implementing their 2016 bike plan, with three new projects set to open by this summer. Unlike, say, a certain city to the south.

Still more bad news from up north. Fresno police are investigating Tuesday’s hit-and-run death of a bike rider as a homicide instead of a traffic collision, suggesting they have reason to believe the death may have been intentional.

The Mercury News looks at why people in San Jose are reluctant to bike to work. Spoiler alert: They’re afraid of cars.

An El Cerrito couple got more than they bargained for when they left a bike in their yard with a “free” sign, and retuned home to find the bike gone, a man in their backyard, and their home burglarized.

San Francisco moves to regulate app-based, Chinese-style bikeshare systems.

Oakland city commissioners are angry that bikeshare plans didn’t include bikes for people with disabilities.

A Napa Valley letter writer asks why the woman who right hooked him in a rush to get to church didn’t care enough to stop or find out if he was okay.

 

National

Now you, too, can ride dressed like the Simpsons.

Bicycling wants to help you master the art of the paceline. Which will undoubtedly come in handy for your next bike train commute.

Now that’s more like it. A Nevada man faces up to 40 years in prison following his conviction for fleeing the scene after crashing into an 11-year old girl who was riding her bike in a Reno trailer park; he was twice the legal limit when he was arrested. The same crime in California probably wouldn’t result in more than a few years, if that.

A bike-riding Denver letter writer reminds drivers that you’ll get home a lot later if you hit someone.

The University of Iowa profiles a bicycle-riding associate who’s using her fellowship to learn how bike safety research can influence public policy and improve rider safety.

Houston approves a new bike plan calling for nearly 1,800 miles of bikeways, adding to the current 500 miles of lanes and trails, half of which are separated from traffic in some way.

Grieving family members release balloons to honor a Little Rock AK man killed by a wrong way driver as he rode his bike last week. Nice gesture, but never release balloons — especially Mylar ones; stick with a ghost bike instead.

Two years after Memphis yanked bike lanes off the city’s Riverside Drive due to complaints from motorists, they’re planning to try again.

Pittsburgh bicyclists would rather share the road with a robot than with a human being behind the wheel. And who can blame them?

Ten young cyclists have been chosen to follow the infamous 950-mile Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

Mississippi’s 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway will soon be getting Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, as well as signs telling drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders.

 

International

Tern isn’t just about foldies anymore.

A bike industry news site looks at ten cities around the world that are building bicycling into everyday life. None of which are Los Angeles. Or in North America, for that matter.

Nice gesture from the builder of LA’s StoopidTall Bike, who’s in Cuba with 30 pounds of bike parts to help a man’s quest to set a new record for the world’s tallest bicycle.

Don’t ride your bike in an anti-social manner in the UK.

Former Brit heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is one of us, riding a bike with his daughter in a child seat as he talks about making a comeback, after losing his titles following a failed drug test.

A British bike rider gets six years, eight months behind bars for slashing a man across the face with a box cutter when the victim asked him for a cigarette.

Chinese bikeshare is booming, and it’s headed your way. And so are efforts to scam users out of their money.

India and Bangladesh attempt to build peace through bicycles, with an 11 day joint military ride through both countries.

A San Francisco writer goes on a bicycle tour of New Zealand looking for an actual kiwi, and comes up empty. But discovers the journey was really the whole point.

Aussie riders call for new laws protecting bicyclists from having items thrown at them from passing cars, as well as prohibiting tacks and other items left on bikeways; as it is now, someone who leaves tacks on a bike path usually faces nothing more than a littering charge.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you can’t afford a two-wheeled Bugatti, either — or ride it around the block, for that matter. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got a rattlesnake?

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle from a former Marine, don’t leave yours behind. And if you do, don’t come back for it.

 

Weekend Links: A wake-up call for Eric Garcetti, an endorsement tie in CD9, and upping the visibility arms race

Bike the Vote LA co-founder Michael Macdonald has penned a must-read Op-Ed for the LA Times, saying Los Angeles has seen too much talk and not enough action from Mayor Eric Garcetti when it comes to making our streets safer.

Couldn’t agree more.

Garcetti has done a great job setting priorities and policies for the city. But he’s done a lousy job of translating them to the real world, especially when it comes to our streets. Let alone his failure to even weigh in on street-level fights like ensuring human access on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, or the shameful, and ultimately successful, effort to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan.

Let’s hope he does better in his next term.

Our lives, and the future livability of the city, depend on it.

………

Speaking of Bike the Vote LA, they continue their recent string of endorsements with a tie in LA’s 9th council district between Jorge Nuño and Adriana Cabrera, saying the district has languished under current Councilmember Curren Price Jr.

And the Los Angeles Post-Examiner examines CD5 incumbent and pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz’s recent call to ban bikes from Westwood Blvd.

………

A new waterproof cycling jacket ups the visibility arms race, with hi-viz panels for day use, and LED lights and reflective panels on the front, back and sleeves.

A new sci-fi styled bike taillight includes turn signals, crash detector, automatic brake light, and a rear cam that projects images directly to your handlebar-mounted smart phone, so you can watch your bike get rear-ended in real time.

Thanks to Zwift, riding indoor doesn’t suck as much. Even ghosts are getting in on it.

………

The season’s last World Cup track cycling stage starts today at the StubHub Center’s Velo Sports Center in Carson. Although the Aussie team may have to withdraw after their bikes got stuck in Columbia.

You don’t need to read French to get the message not to celebrate your victory too soon.

Lance will finally face trial in DC this November for the feds $100 million dollar doping fraud lawsuit.

………

Local

The LA Times goes fat biking in the snow.

Not surprisingly, West Hollywood has a higher rate of DUIs than surrounding cities, given the high number of nightclubs and bars in the city.

Santa Monica is throwing a party today to celebrate four park projects.

Monday will be another day of enhanced traffic enforcement in Santa Monica, as police are once again on the lookout for violations that affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of who commits them. So just make sure it’s not you.

The San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets lists seven can’t miss open streets events this spring, starting with their own 18-mile event next Sunday.

 

State

San Diego’s Padres Pedal the Cause raised $2 million for cancer research.

A San Francisco supervisor commits to supporting protected bike lanes on upper Market Street, which has one of the city’s highest collision rates.

 

National

National Geographic shares bike maps from the 1890s, while questioning whether the current urban bike craze will live on.

The Denver Post says yes, walking, biking and transit are good things, but let’s not make it harder for people to drive, noting that it would take a monumental shift in behavior to get commuters to leave their cars at home five days a week. On the other hand, if people left their cars at home just one day a week, it would probably solve all of the city’s traffic problems.

Caught on video: A Chicago TV station catches a bike colliding with a taxi during a live remote.

A Detroit bike rider was the victim of second-hand lightening when a bolt struck a utility pole, causing a live wire to fall and electrocute him.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who mugged a 79-year old Michigan bike shop owner, stealing several hundred dollars from the shop; the victim recognized the thief as someone he had once fixed a bike for.

The good news is New York traffic deaths are down 23% under the city’s Vision Zero; the bad news is the good news doesn’t include bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Pennsylvania man got three months to five years behind bars for the drunken crash that left a bike rider with life-threatening injuries. But he wasn’t behind the wheel; he was pedaling his own bike at the time.

A North Carolina runner was impaled by a nail purposely placed on a trail; investigators have found at least 40 more four-inch nails pounded into tree roots and logs so up to an inch was sticking out. Like similar cases affecting bike trails, this needs to be treated like the domestic terrorism case it is, rather than just a dangerous prank.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says your riding habits will change when you have kids, but that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Protected bike lanes on a major Toronto street have boosted bicycling rates 36%, while increasing rush hour drive times by 8.5 minutes. However, the city believes they can eliminate that delay by making adjustments to turns, parking and traffic signals.

The thrills of playing Pokémon Go by bike on London’s busy streets.

Maybe they didn’t tip him. A Brit food delivery driver is caught on video stealing a customer’s $250 kids bike.

It’s ten years behind bars for a stoned British driver who killed a bike rider while fleeing from police.

Chinese police crack down on bike-riding food delivery people.

 

Finally…

If you’re on probation and riding your bike at two in the morning, leave your stun gun and blow pipe at home. If you have a lifetime driving ban for too many DUIs, it’s probably not the best idea to ride a gas-powered bicycle when you’re wasted.

And that’s one way to build a DIY protected bike lane.

And fix your toilet, too.

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

………

As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

………

VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

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.

………

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.

………

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

Help keep LA's best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

Help keep LA’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

………

‘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.

………

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. 

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

 

%d bloggers like this: