Tag Archive for Eric Garcetti

Morning Links: LA’s first people protected bike lane protests Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ineffective Vision Zero

About damn time.

Bike activism finally returned to the mean streets of Los Angeles, with the city’s first people protected bike lane, courtesy of a new group calling itself People Protected LA.

Their message, “LA needs safe streets, not lip service.”

Which is exactly what they got in remarks from LA’s mayor, who took a break from his unannounced campaign for president to defend the city’s Vision Zero program at the annual convention of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, better known as NACTO.

According to LAist,

Speaking at the conference Tuesday, Garcetti said the city has implemented “over 1,200 Vision Zero improvements” but said he recognizes that not all of them will work out as planned…

“They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s not done yet, people are still dying’,” Garcetti said. “Well, we had a 7 percent reduction last year (and a) double-digit reduction in pedestrians this year — those are real people that are still living. You can’t quantify who they are, but that is worth it … because those are people who are going to be alive for decades from now because of those improvements. So our reach must always exceed our grasp.”

 

Which sounds great, if you ignore the 80% increase in pedestrian deaths over the last two years, or the six bicyclists who were killed in traffic collisions in just the first four months of this year.

Not to mention the continued failure to build the network of safe bikeways we were promised with the 2010 bike plan.

Or the cancellation of nearly every planned road diet project by frightened councilmembers, after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin by ordering the removal of the bike lanes and road diets he was fighting to protect in Playa del Rey.

Let alone Garcetti’s repeated failure to defend his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs at any of the city’s countless contentious public meetings, leaving it to bike and pedestrian advocates to do his job for him.

Which makes a protest like yesterday’s people protected bike lane almost inevitable.

And necessary.

This is how a press release from the organizers of the people protected bike lane addressed the protest.

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched Vision Zero in 2015 and set a goal for 2017 of a 20% reduction in traffic deaths. Instead, Los Angeles has seen a 34% increase in traffic deaths. Last year, 245 Angelenos were tragically killed in traffic collisions. LADOT has determined that speed is the primary factor causing unnecessary loss of life, and that improvements to roadway infrastructure are critical in reducing deadly speeding, yet proposed projects like North Figueroa Street, 7th Street, Fletcher Drive, Manchester Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Temple Street, and Venice Boulevard have languished or been cancelled outright.

Up to this point, LA’s Vision Zero program has been a major disappointment.

And to be perfectly honest, so has the mayor for the past few years.

Let’s hope he gets the message, and refocuses his attention on the people and the city that elected him.

And finally turns Vision Zero into the transformative, life saving program we were promised.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers more on Garcetti’s remarks and the protest, saying LA’s mayor doesn’t “appear to have used his considerable influence to help councilmembers to better embrace Vision Zero.”

No, he hasn’t.

All photos by Michael MacDonald.

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Tragic news from Rialto, where the father of a three-year old girl remains in a medically induced coma after a heartless coward crashed into his bike, and left him bleeding and barely conscious in the street.

Andy Welch was riding his bike to the market when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, laying crumpled in the street for nearly half an hour as more drivers sped by.

He was finally able to crawl to his cellphone and call for help.

This is yet another tragic reminder of California’s pervasive hit-and-run epidemic.

And the near total lack of action on the part of our elected officials, who have the power to stop it.

Yet don’t seem to recognize the problem.

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Local

See above.

 

State

Caltrain develops a new bike plan to accommodate bicyclists, but bike riders say it doesn’t go far enough.

A San Diego writer traces the engineering mistakes and bad political decisions that turned busy Clairemont Blvd into a dangerous “stroad.” And questions whether it will be the next San Diego street to get a road diet and bike lanes, which some local residents consider a “conspiracy to make driving so difficult that we all will be forced to pedal bicycles.” They’re onto us, comrades.

A Santa Barbara bicyclist offers advice for motorists, like don’t door bike riders and signal your damn turns. Although he may not have actually said the d-word.

 

National

A writer on an automotive website says scooters are a menace, but it’s okay to feel conflicted about bikes as long as you don’t take it out on the riders.

Singletracks questions why e-mountain bikes are still fighting for acceptance in the US, despite their popularity in Europe.

A local newspaper talks with America’s other ex-Tour de France winner about his new Portland-area cannabis shop, and how he moved from illegal doping to legal dope.

They get it. The Denver Post says e-scooters may be a headache, but the solution is building more bike lanes to accommodate their users, while the city works on a pre-paid rental plan to get users to ditch their cars.

A bike-riding Colorado Springs CO city councilmember says the city must accommodate alternative forms of transportation.

According to a Nebraska planning professor, safe and efficient self-driving cars could block efforts to build walkable, bikeable and livable communities.

A pair of musicians stop in Ohio on their 4,300 mile tour of the US by bicycle.

The Brown University paper calls the arrival of Uber’s JUMP electric bikeshare program a giant leap for Providence RI.

A Connecticut public radio station spends an hour discussing the origins of bicycles, and how bikes helped inspire the women’s movement over century ago.

A cannabis website examines New York’s illegal bicycle weed delivery services.

 

International

A local writer describes how Bogotá’s ciclovía has become a part of life for an entire generation.

Lime scooters invade Canada.

New British government figures show the number of pedestrians injured in collisions with bicyclists reached an all-time high of 531 last year. However, despite the obvious implication, there’s no word on who was at fault in the crashes, or whether it was simply due to the increased number of people riding in the UK. That said, it’s a reminder to always use care around people on foot, who can be unpredictable and are the only ones more vulnerable than we are.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old man from the UK just finished a 4,000 mile bike ride across the US.

Maybe its a sign of progress that bicycles are seen as a sign of progress in Armenia, as the new Prime Minister makes waves by riding the “first official state bicycle of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.”

An Indian website says now is the best time to own a bicycle, and the country’s first homegrown ebike will help you burn more calories than cash.

Israeli government ministries appear to be arguing over the best way to kill the ebike boom.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list. Mountain biking ancient Moroccan Berber trails.

Australian drivers — and some bicyclists — have a meltdown after someone posted a photo of a group of riders using the traffic lane, rather than the bike lane next to them.

A wanted Japanese criminal hid in plain sight during seven weeks on the run, touring the country by bike and posing for Facebook photos.

An Air Force major rode 375 miles across Korea to honor fallen service members.

Mountain biking champ Rebecca Rusch won an Emmy for her documentary Blood Road, retracing the infamous Ho Chi Minh trail through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to find the site of her pilot father’s death during the Vietnam war.

Two Chinese farmers are expanding their horizons by riding across the country one stage at a time; in the last five years their traveled over 12,400 miles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Olympian and cycling promoter David Chauner says the solution to cycling’s broken business model in the US is to develop a season long track cycling competition. Sort of like the World Cycling League he’s been trying to get off the ground, for instance.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with angry drivers, but at least we don’t have to contend with road raging ‘roos.

And when dangerous streets mean saying goodbye like a fighter pilot going into war.

Which isn’t the least bit funny.

 

Morning Links: LA’s absent mayor leads to failing Vision Zero, and anti-Vision Zero widening of Magnolia Blvd

The Guardian’s Laura Laker questions whether Vision Zero has lost its way, describing the program as a success in New York.

And a failure in Los Angeles.

In January last year the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, announced its first Vision Zero strategy, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025. Work would focus on 40 High Injury Network streets, particularly those near schools. Interventions included pedestrian scrambles, painted kerb extensions protected by bollards, and left turn safety improvements.

However, things started to unravel. On Temple Street, where 34 people were killed or severely injured within 2.3 miles in eight years, a “road diet” expected to reduce crashes by up to 47%met backlash from residents and drivers. Local city leaders downgradedlane removals to things that wouldn’t interfere with motor traffic: sidewalk repairs, new traffic signals and crosswalks.

She quotes Jon Orcutt, the former NYDOT director of policy who developed New York’s Vision Zero plan, as he points the finger exactly where it belongs by saying LA councilmembers who supported Vision Zero were left isolated and “hung out to dry” in the face of opposition.

The former policy director also explained who was responsible  for problems with New York’s plan after its initial success.

Orcutt also expresses his frustration at a lack of ongoing improvement in New York after those initial improvements.

“We need leaders to say, ‘This is what we are doing in the city, and you don’t get to say no, and you don’t get to come back on what our technical experts say,’” he says. “That is the power of the mayor – that’s the point of the megaphone you have.”

That’s exactly the problem in Los Angeles, with a mayor who’s too busy exploring a run for president to do the job he was elected to do. And who has repeatedly failed to support his own Vision Zero and Great Streets programs, let alone fight for them.

It was also Mayor Garcetti who pulled the rug out from under Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin, caving in the face of a backlash from angry drivers after Bonin took bold action to improve safety in Playa del Rey.

And yes, hanging him out to dry.

If Garcetti really wants to be president, maybe its time he stepped down as mayor to focus full-time on his run for the White House.

Then maybe someone will step in to take his place, and actually fight to stop the deaths on out streets, instead of just talking about it.

If not, it’s long past time to come back home and roll up his sleeves, put up his dukes, and start fighting for the safety plans he put in motion.

Because right now, his traffic safety legacy is just so many words.

Ghost bike photo by Matt Tinoco

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More evidence that Vision Zero is failing in the mayor’s virtual absence.

CiclaValley reports on plans to widen Magnolia Blvd between Cahuenga Boulevard and Vineland Avenue, as the city claims to be improving safety by adding a traffic lane.

Never mind that reducing congestion and improving traffic flow will allow more drivers to speed through what once was a quiet two-lane street.

Which is the exact opposite of Vision Zero.

He urges you to send a version of the following email before the comment period ends at 5 pm next Monday.

And so do I.

To: [email protected]

CC: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Subject: Magnolia Boulevard Widening (N) Comments

I am writing because I am opposed to the widening of the north side of Magnolia Boulevard between Vineland and Cahuenga. This project does not improve safety conditions for those that use the roadway and puts vulnerable populations at increased risk of injury.

This is a growing and vibrant area that needs to serve everyone’s needs safely. Please prioritize projects that saves lives over seconds.

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Local

Jonathan Weiss, whose son’s bike was recently stolen from the Westwood Rancho Park Expo Line station, calls for e-lockers to improve the security problems that can keep people from biking to the train. Or riding back home if they do.

Pasadena police will be conducting a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement program on Friday. Which means ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports on Sunday’s Pride of the Valley open streets event in Irwindale and Baldwin Park.

Santa Monica’s 16-month dockless bikeshare and e-scooter pilot program officially kicked off on Monday, including the introduction of Uber’s Jump dockless ebikes.

 

State

Former Elektra Records president Jeff Castelaz is preparing to embark on his tenth Pablove Across America Ride, traveling from San Raphael to Los Angeles. The annual ride, which is named after his late son Pablo, has raised over $3 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.

As we noted yesterday, San Diego resident Denise Mueller-Korenek is now the fastest person on Earth, setting a new land speed record for human-powered vehicles. The Wall Street Journal offers on-bike video of the record-setting ride, if you can get past their paywall.

El Cajon is struggling to regulate dockless bikeshare, as both Ofo and Limebike set up shop in the city.

The San Francisco department of transportation’s Rapid Response Team is working with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to fix a deadly crosswalk where a bike rider was killed last week. That’s how Vision Zero is supposed to work, unlike Los Angeles, where traffic deaths just result in crickets.

 

National

Reader’s Digest — yes, it’s still around — explains how to use Google Maps to find safer bike routes.

An Iraq war vet is focusing on helping others after riding 4,300 miles across the US, saying she bought her bike to save her own life instead of ending it.

VeloNews considers the difference between long-term bike trends and passing fads.

A New York bus driver faces just 30 days in jail as he goes on trial on misdemeanor charges in the death of the first person killed riding one of New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare bikes.

Orlando FL moves towards allowing dockless bikeshare, despite complaints from the city’s docked bikeshare provider.

 

International

Venture capitalists say the future is bright. And comes on two wheels.

Treehugger says if you have trouble riding a bike, maybe you’re just using the wrong kind.

After writing a needlessly offensive column that made a good point — that some bike riders should cool it with aggressive cycling around pedestrians — a Vancouver writer ignores the complaints and pats himself on the back because older people agreed with him.

A Toronto columnist explains why bicycle licensing is a bad idea, saying that city abolished its licensing requirement in the 1950s.

Speaking of Toronto, advocates say political will is needed to solve the city’s bike infrastructure inequity.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a young woman gets off with community service and losing her license for 18 months for killing a bike rider after losing control of her car while speeding.

Dublin bicyclists are attaching cardboard wheel clamps — aka boots — to cars parked in bike lanes to protest the lack of police enforcement.

The Guardian offers a photographic look at Sunday’s carfree day in Paris and Brussels.

A writer sets off on a bike tour of Austria’s Tyrol region in search of the best food, in advance of next week’s road cycling world championships.

After arriving from Lithuania, a woman has created her own position as Malmö, Sweden’s Violinist on a Bike, between rehearsals with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Bulgarian driver faces a murder charge for killing a bike-riding ballet dancer while high on coke and cannabis; he also faces a charge for his third offense for driving without a license.

Once again, an Australian study has found that drivers are responsible for the overwhelming majority of traffic collisions involving bike riders.

Fourteen percent of Australians have traded their car commutes for walking or bicycling, and 56% are open to leaving their cars at home.

Good question. An Op-Ed in the Guardian asks why bicycling deaths are rising in Australia when cars are significantly safer than they were 25 years ago, concluding that the problem rests with aggressive and entitled drivers.

Heartbreaking story from Japan, where a mother faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter after her umbrella got caught in her bike wheel, and her 18-month old son hit his head on the pavement when he fell to the street.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can ride a slightly used pro racing bike, or buy weed from a slightly used ex-yellow jersey winner.

And what’s the penalty for Scooting Under the Influence, anyway?

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Thanks to Hamid V for his generous donation to help support this site. 

If everyone who visits BikinginLA today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep to keep this site going for a full year. 

And G’mar Tov to all our Jewish friends; may your fast be easy.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Another open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles #CrashCityHall

There wasn’t time to get all the #CrashCityHall letters online last week.

So we’re going to post the remaining letters over the next few days — starting with this powerful post from registered dietician and endurance cyclist Matt Ruscigno, founder of LA’s iconic Feel My Legs, I’m a Racer hillclimb. 

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Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles,

I’m writing to you today as a long-time resident of our wonderful city, a public health expert, and a recent victim of an inattentive automobile driver. That collision left me with 16 broken bones requiring 6 nights in the hospital, a chest tube, and a surgery to install metal plates in my shoulder and collarbone. If I weren’t a skilled cyclist, I would probably be dead.

It’s easy to dismiss this as an ‘accident,’ but the statistics on the number of people injured and killed by automobile drivers in Los Angeles paint a different picture. This is a public health crisis. Yet we know how to fix it:

  • Reduce automobile speed limits
  • Invest in infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Reimagine public space to focus on people, not automobiles

Los Angeles and California are leading the way in reducing automobile emissions but are falling behind (see London, Bogota, New York, Copenhagen for examples) when it comes to the public health issue of people dying in the streets because automobile speed and convenience is prioritized over human safety.

Los Angeles is a beautiful city with near perfect weather for cycling and walking year round. And we are simply running out of space to store and transport personal automobiles. The benefits of building infrastructure that makes human-powered transportation more accessible are well established:

  • Improved air quality and lower rates of asthma, especially among children
  • Increased physical activity that lowers risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases
  • Fewer automobile collisions that result in injury or death of our most vulnerable road users

The potential to transform our city is awesome, in the true sense of the word, but it won’t be easy. Copenhagen didn’t become a place where 24% of city trips are taken by bike overnight. It took strong leadership and knowledge to re-imagine how city space is used. This isn’t about cyclists versus drivers; it’s about making it easier for more people to walk and bike more often.

The statistics are there: something needs to be done, and soon. We can build on what other cities have done and apply it uniquely in our wonderful city. There are thousands of us here to help, but we need leadership from our elected leaders. There simply isn’t enough space in the city to keep prioritizing automobiles, so the question is, how many more people have to be injured or killed before we start taking concrete steps? I hope we can do this soon as I’d hate to see a single person go through the pain I’ve experienced over the last 5 weeks.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Matt Ruscigno, MPH, RD

 

An open letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council of Los Angeles #CrashCityHall

No Morning Links today, as we get ready to #CrashCityHall Friday morning. Hopefully we’ll see you there; if not, I’ll see you back here on Monday.

What follows is my letter the mayor and city council. And we’ll feature some of the late arriving letters next week.

………

May 18, 2018

Dear Mayor Garcetti and the City Councilmembers of the City of Los Angeles,

Howard Beale may have been a fictional character, but he might as well be a citizen of Los Angeles trying to survive on our deadly streets.

Because like many other residents of this great city, I’m tired of living in fear for my own life and the safety of others on the streets and sidewalks of L.A.

And like Beale, we’re mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

We live in a city where for too long, the movement of motor vehicles has been prioritized over the safety and movement of human beings. To the point that too many people who drive feel they own the streets, and everyone else has an obligation to get out of their way.

Unfortunately, too many members of our city council seem to agree. If not in their words, then by their actions.

The elected leaders of this city have voted to adopt Vision Zero, but failed to adequately fund it. You’ve adopted the 2010 Bike Plan and Mobility Plan 2035, but failed to build it. You’ve adopted Complete Streets policies, but failed to support them when it came time to put paint on the street.

And you hired one of the leading traffic planners in the United States, but you listen instead to the complaining voices of untrained motorists who don’t want to be delayed for a few moments on their commute. Even if it means saving the life of another human being. Or their own, for that matter.

As Stevie Wonder put it, “If you really want to hear our views, you haven’t done nothing.”

So let’s be perfectly clear.

Many, if not most, of the people you were elected to represent may drive cars. But we are all human beings, some of whom bike, some of whom take transit, and all of whom walk.

And none of whom want to bury a loved one or feel threatened on the streets. Yet too many of us do, every day.

As a human being, I don’t want to see one more needless death or injury on the streets of Los Angeles. As a taxpayer, I don’t want my city to waste one more penny on the needless lawsuits that result.

And as an Angeleno, I want safer and more livable streets for all of us.

When you side with the traffic safety deniers, who like climate change deniers, reject the proven science of traffic safety and urban planning, and insist on their right to drive with the pedal to the metal, you are choosing their convenience over the safety of literally everyone else.

And failing the people who voted you into office, and who you were elected to serve.

The people who have written the letters in this packet, and those who will speak before the council today, are not activists. We are the citizens of Los Angeles, who are sick to death of being treated like second class ones at the expense of motor vehicles.

We know that failure to take action now to build Complete Streets and provide safe, viable alternatives to driving that allow Angelenos to choose to leave their cars at home will inevitably lead to a dystopian, smog-choked and gridlocked future.

Because right now, traffic in Los Angeles is as good as it will ever be, as more and more cars are added to an already built-out traffic grid.

Only you can prevent the inevitable failure of a once-great city by taking action right now to ensure the safe, livable and prosperous Los Angeles we all want.

We understand that takes courage to do the right thing in the face of public opposition. But you weren’t elected to blindly follow the voices of those who scream loudest.

Anyone could do that.

You were elected to lead this city. To carefully examine the issues and make the tough decisions that will benefit your district, and all of L.A.. And make this the city that it can and should be, for all of us.

We are your constituents. We don’t want to be the victims of your inaction.

And we’re not willing to wait one more day for safer streets for our children, parents, families and friends.

So we ask you, today and every day, to have the courage to do the right thing.

We’ll have your back when you do.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

Council District 4

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One more brief note.

This may be the best letter we received for #CrashCityHall, even if it is the shortest.

Dear Los Angeles,

Please be so kind as to stop killing cyclists and pedestrians.

NOW.

Sincerely,
Marvin D
San Diego, CA

Guest Post: The fourth open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

Dear Mayor Garcetti and City Council of LA,

In an effort to “be the change you want to see in the world,” I sold my car ten years ago and have since used my own feet, a bicycle, or the transit system to get around.  While the results of this have brought the most rewarding experiences of my life, it has also been a struggle to live without a car in a car’s world.

Drivers are becoming increasingly more distracted, careless, unsympathetic and enraged.  These behaviors cause not only car accidents but the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians, who travel without the protection of metal armor.  Why do drivers feel so entitled to the roads?  Why is this set of traits common in the majority of car owners?  It’s easy to see the answer on the streets – they’re designed specifically for cars.  With lanes designated for driving, turning and parking, there’s often no space left for a bicycle to squeeze through.  And pedestrians must be defensive even when walking through a crosswalk with a walk signal.  Drivers are impatient to share the road when they believe it belongs to them.

Every time you see a cyclist in the streets of LA, please understand the fear we’ve overcome to be there.  Please know that we have been spit at, screamed at, sworn at, had objects thrown at us, been told to “get off the road,”  have had way too many “close calls,” or have lost a fellow cyclist to careless driving or road rage.  And yet we’re still out there.  As pedestrians and cyclists we’ll continue to defend our space on the streets, but we would truly appreciate some help from our representatives.  Please take some steps to create streets that belong to everyone.   A city’s priorities are evident in it’s infrastructure and use of public space.  If you, dear City Council Members, were to add more bike lanes, create some road diets, invest in green spaces instead of parking lots – think of the message you’d send.

Sincerely,

Amanda Gohl

Pico-Union, Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Join us tomorrow as we #CrashCityHall to demand safer streets, and urge city leaders to have the courage to do the right thing. 

  • Los Angeles City Council
  • Los Angeles City Hall
  • 200 N. Spring Street
  • 10 am

Guest Post: The third open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

We’re less than two days away from CrashCityHall on Friday to demand safer streets for people on bikes, on foot, and everyone else.

If you’re as mad as I am about the needless risks bike riders and pedestrians face on our streets — and the lack of action from city leaders — I hope you’ll join us as we crash the 10 am city council meeting. And urge the mayor and city council to have courage the courage to do the right thing. 

Since many people can’t be there in person, I’m accepting letters from people who want to have their opinions passed on to the council members at the meeting. 

Here’s the third of those #CrashCityHall letters, from Sean Meredith.

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From: Sean Meredith
Los Angeles, CA 90027

To Mayor Garcetti and all Los Angeles City Council members:

Ten years ago, for a combination of reasons, I began commuting by bicycle. This harrowing and freeing experience changed me even more than fatherhood. I began to open up to the inequities in our transportation system. For myself, I was willing to risk my life riding and being a second class citizen. But when I imagined myself in the shoes of people who had no option to drive a car. I thought that these folk should be able to get to school, work, or wherever they’re going without dying or feeling constantly threatened. I have since dedicated most of my free time to making biking and walking safe for people of all abilities and ages.

Our car culture is dangerous. And the safety deniers who will trample over anyone’s life to keep the status quo of car dominance are a threat to the future of our city and our world.

Ensuring that public spaces truly serve the people is vital to our daily lives and the future of our planet. This requires our society to confront its expensive commitment to modes of transportation that strangle our communities and warm our climate: cars. Making our roads safe for all users immediately improves mental and physical health outcomes for people of all ages, lessens cancer causing pollutants, and reduces carbon emissions. A world class city where walking is pleasurable, biking is viable, and public transportation is reliable will lower automobile dependency and contribute in the Oight against climate change.

In Los Angeles, pedestrians and cyclists are involved in 14% of trafOic collisions but account for 51% of the fatalities. Hundreds of lives are lost every year and hundreds more families are shattered by these tragic outcomes. Livable streets create community, support local businesses, and are a welcoming environment for residents and visitors of all ages and abilities. As transit consultant Jarrett Walker describes it, a modern city does not have the “geometry” to solve car congestion. Our best option is to develop safe, environmentally friendly alternatives.

Families who want safe streets for all are demanding courage and leadership from our city. Now is always the time to act.

Kindly,
Sean Meredith

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There’s still time to submit a letter demanding safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else if you can’t #CrashCityHall in person this Friday.

Just email it today to ted at bikinginla dot com.

I’ll print it out and include it with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips:

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter on here. I’ll be happy to put it online as a guest post leading up to Friday’s council meeting.

Guest Post: Another open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

Recently, I announced my intention to #CrashCityHall this Friday to demand safer streets.

And invited anyone who’s just as mad as I am about the needless risks bike riders and pedestrians face on our streets — and the lack of action from city leaders — to join me. And tell the mayor and city council to show have courage the courage to do the right thing. 

Since many people can’t attend a 10 am city council meeting, I’m accepting letters from people who can’t make it, but still want to have their opinions passed on to the council members at the meeting. 

Here’s the second of those #CrashCityHall letters, from Doug Moore.

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May 18th, 2018

To Mayor Garcetti and all Los Angeles City Council members,

I write you today in an effort to get you to start thinking about how dangerous our car culture has become in Los Angeles. And to urge you, our city leaders, to implement ways to make our streets more safe for all that use them.

In so doing, these changes will bring other qualities such as reduced car noise, nicer public spaces, better air quality and stress free walking, cycling, jogging and dog walking –and yes, driving.

Being a cyclist, I am very aware of how badly our streets and boulevards have suffered because of the amount and speed of traffic.

I live in Tujunga, CD7, Council Member Monica Rodriquez district. Each morning, I bike a short way on Foothill Blvd to board LADOT Express Bus 409 to DTLA.

I de-bus at the Glendale Park & Ride, prep my bike then cycle 13 miles to my office at USC.

I travel through Glendale, to Eagle Rock Blvd/Cypress Ave (Council District 14, Jose Huizar) to the Broadway Bridge into Chinatown (Council district 1, Gil Cedillo) to Hill street, then to Olympic Blvd then Figueroa (Council District 9, Curren Price) and finally to campus. In the afternoon I reverse this trip – with a slightly different route. On Fridays I drive.

I would like to provide the following undisputable facts, that come from years of this type of cycling, this type of intimacy with traffic, this type of exposure to our roadways:

  • Our streets are more dangerous than they have ever been – mostly because of excess speed.
  • Drivers are more distracted than ever before in our city’s history.
  • Motorists are driving while smoking weed. Alot!
  • Many drivers are attentive and share the road. But there is a disturbing trendwhere higher numbers of drivers are doing just the opposite.
  • Painted cycling infrastructure such as “Sharrows”, striped lanes, colored lanes,pedestrian crosswalk demarcation & similar are often seen as ‘optional’ for motorists.We all know about the latest trend of motorist hit-and-run tragedies. These have left other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists severely injured or dead.Here in Tujunga, in April, a DOUBLE FATIL hit and run occurred on Foothill Blvd. The driver, as of this writing, has yet to be apprehended. An innocent couple, engage to be married have perished from our community.

Where has this selfish, narcissistic attitude from drivers come from?

We all know about the speed of traffic on major roads and boulevards is dangerous even at legal limits, but when most drivers are 10, 15, or even 20 mph above and beyond, the danger level is unacceptable.

Where does this need-to-speed attitude come from?

We all know about the horrible traffic congestion in our city and how it continually downgrades the quality of life here. We skip get-togethers. We forgo dinners and kids sports and other social engagements across town – because “the traffic getting to the Westside from Eagle Rock is a nightmare”.

It’s not funny anymore. It’s a serious soul-sucking way of life in our city. Why have we surrendered our social connections and quality of life?

The answer to all these is the same: Our run-away, out-of-control car culture. We’ve reached “peak-car” in our city.

I know that you, leaders of this city, who are smart and insightful and understanding, know this too. You can see it as we all do.

We must start to make changes. I don’t have all the answers, but there are ideas out there that organically reduce traffic speeds. That help separate cars from people walking. Jogging. Cycling. Walking the dog. That make our public roadways safer for everyone who uses them, including motorists.

Widen the sidewalks, not freeways. Add separated bike lanes, not car lanes. Make streets and boulevards pleasant. Green with more trees and shade. More quiet to provide a nice place to shop. To hang-out with neighbors. To read on a bench.

As far as safety, traffic cops at critical intersections help so much! Intersections are where many of the dangers lie for cars vs walkers and bikers. I love seeing these guys when approaching an intersection, whether by car or on bike. Everyone is instantly on best behavior and courteous.

Getting buy-in and approval on these changes is the hard part, of course. Motorists tend to seethe at reduced speeds and “perceived” increase in commute times. Reduced lanes. Less parking. But this is the right direction for Los Angles. The right thing to do in your district.

We’ve tried over and over to increase the car infrastructure thinking that these projects would help. Did widening the 405 Fwy really help? What a huge, expensive, time consuming project.

It’s time to swing the other way on transportation projects. Less “car-centric”, more “people-centric”. Motorists are people too, and they’ll appreciate these changes.

When faced with options in difficult circumstances such as this, an upside is this: it’s always easy to pick out the correct option. It’s the one that tends to be avoided. It’s the one we put at the bottom of the list. It’s the one that’s the hardest.

Why? Because the right thing to do is always the hardest thing to do. That’s a fact of human nature.

I know you are thinking: “Change the car-culture, yeah, right.” But it can be done. In bits and pieces. You will gain converts. It can build momentum and you must try, as lives of our residents are depending on safe passage to work, school and the market.

In the book “Profiles of Courage”, check out the examples of other great leaders, who have acted bravely. Acted with integrity. Gone against the opinions of their constituents to do the right thing.

As a cyclist (yes and a motorist too) I am growing weary of seeing yet more Ghost Bike installations that signify the death of a fellow rider.

As a motorist, I’m continually saddened and outraged to see yet another makeshift memorial of candles, Crosses and flowers where a Mom or Dad or son or daughter or young couple was killed in a crosswalk.

We can do better and am counting on you all to have the courage to do so.

Thank you for your time today. Be brave. Do the right thing. And finally, a reminder that it’s Bike Month. Get out and ride. You’ll be glad you did.

Sincerely,

Doug Moore, cyclist, motorist, pedestrian, resident

………

If you can’t #CrashCityHall on Friday, email a letter demanding safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else to ted at bikinginla dot com by this Wednesday.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips:

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter on here. I’ll be happy to put it online as a guest post leading up to Friday’s council meeting.

Morning Links: Not so fast for Vision Zero funding, Union Street protected bike lane, and Blumenfield bike ride

So much for the $91 million we were promised for Vision Zero.

Just days after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he was proposing that amount for Vision Zero in next year’s budget, it turns to be yet another disappointment.

Instead, the newly released budget contains $90 million for all street safety improvements, which includes Vision Zero and any other street improvements. And while it’s a significant increase, that’s up from $78 million for street improvements in last years budget, not the $27 million that was budgeted for Vision Zero, as we were led to believe.

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Meanwhile, the budget does call for $71 million to repave LA’s broken streets, and another $41 million for sidewalk repairs.

………

The bruising battle for safer streets goes on in Pasadena, with a public workshop schedule for May 9th to consider plans for a protect bike lane on Union Street.

Greg Gunther of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition has put together this practically perfect primer for the project:

Protected bike lanes (PBL) are a simple concept with powerful benefits.

  • In essence, they’re like sidewalks for bikes
  • They put a protective buffer between drivers and bike riders
  • They make it pleasant for anyone to bike – just as sidewalks make it pleasant for anyone to walk
What are the benefits?
  • Increase safety 
    • 89% fewer bicyclist injuries 
    • Reduce driving stress by bringing predictability to the street 
    • Less sidewalk riding reduces pedestrian injuries
  • Promote economic vitality
    • Business revenue increases along PBL routes (NYC DOT, Measuring the Street, New Metrics for 21st Century Streets)
    • Bicycle lanes increase the value of nearby property

Why do PBLs Matter?

  • With increased safety, comes increased ridership (Do you think that biking in Pasadena feels unsafe?  You’re not alone… )
    • Most surveyed expressed an interest in riding a bike more often, but resist because it feels unsafe (2012 – Jennifer Dill)
    • Safe places to ride increase ridership – protected bike lanes have shown to create a proven spike in bicycle traffic (2014 – Monsere, et al)
  • With increased ridership, comes universal benefits
Why on Union Street?
  • Union Street is a major east-west corridor in Pasadena’s Central District – when combined with the proposed Bike Boulevard on Holliston Avenue we will have a network that connects Caltech, Pasadena City College with the Playhouse District, the Civic Center, Old Pasadena and the Gold Line
    • Current traffic volumes are far below the street’s capacity
    • Current plans for the street also include multiple pedestrian enhancements to make the entire street segment safer for everyone 
  • In the future, there are also plans under discussion that would create a “link” restoring historic connections between the Central District and the Arroyo – after that, watch out!
    • The Arroyo Seco Bike Path already provides more than 2 miles of protected bikeway from South Pasadena through Highland Park to Mt. Washington
    • Future improvements are slated to connect downstream to the Los Angeles River – bringing Downtown L.A. within biking reach across comfortable and safe protected lanes
What can I do to help make sure this happens?
  • Make sure you weigh in to voice your preferences
    1.  At minimum, Visit the project website and share your thoughts http://bit.ly/UnionStProtectedBikeLanes
    2.  Even more help:  Send an e-mail that registers your support to Rich Dilluvio [ [email protected] ]
    3.  First Prize:  Attend the City’s Community Workshop
      • Wednesday, May 9th – 6:30 to 8:30pm 
      • Pasadena Presbyterian Church – 585 Colorado Blvd (@ Madison) – Gamble Lounge

“The best thing about a bike-friendly city isn’t the bikes – it’s the city!”

………

David Drexler took part in the rescheduled Blumenfield Bike Ride through Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s 3rd Council District in the San Fernando Valley on Saturday.

According to Drexler,

It was a great ride with all streets closed by LADP for us so we did not have to stop. I highly recommend it — lots of bike advocates were there and it was very well run.

He also reports the councilman’s wife and two kids were along for the ride, and Blumenfield told him they regularly ride as a family.

There may be hope for this city yet.

Councilman Blumenfield addresses the crowd

A good sized group gathers as Blumanfield prepares to lead the ride

It always helps to have a police escort

………

Richard Fox sends word of a new Facebook group for casual SoCal bicyclists.

A new Facebook group has been created for casual cyclists to share favorite rides, announce events, and develop ideas to improve cycling facilities throughout SoCal. Casual cyclists are those who prefer to ride at slow to moderate speeds on trails and low-traffic roads with bike lanes, or even sidewalks when roads seem dangerous to ride on. Most public cycling organizations and bike clubs are composed of road cyclists, racers, and commuters that lobby for safer roadways. We also want safer roadways, but we prefer riding on bike trails away from traffic altogether. This group joins together all the SoCal regions so that we can share experiences beyond our boundaries and help each other in our lobbying efforts. Follow or join at: www.facebook.com/groups/430036694076594/.

………

Local

Great piece from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez, who spends a day at a South LA bike shop to get a feel for the city’s spandex-free bike culture. Thanks to Alan Ginsberg for the heads-up.

A fundraiser organized by an LAPD officer raised over $5,000 for the family of fallen teenage cyclist Sebastian Montero; police are looking for his bike that was stolen two months before his death so they can return it to his mother.

The AP offers a brief report on Sunday’s CicLAvia.

Somehow we missed this one last week, as Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Bikes Belong founder and former Long Beach Bicycle Czar Charlie Gandy talk bike politics and environmentalism on Bike Talk.

 

State

It’s a well-deserved seven years behind bars for the 18-year old driver who killed a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student as he rode his bike to class in a drunken hit-and-run. Cases like this are doubly tragic; not only is one life needlessly ended and another ruined; but two families shattered.

 

National

c|net provides your guide to dockless e-scooters.

A new documentary about the faith and determination required to compete in the Race Across America will screen in theaters across the US on May 22nd.

Arizona’s Pima County offers a $2.1 million settlement to a bicyclist who was seriously injured on a bike lane described as a death trap.

The Illinois legislature is considering bills that would require drivers to learn the Dutch Reach, add bike questions to the driver’s test, and teach bike safety to school children.

A Massachusetts paper says the best way to celebrate spring is from behind the handlebars. Something we can probably all agree on.

A Brooklyn letter writer gets it, saying you don’t have to ride a bike to know that carving two blocks of police parking out of a protected bike lane is a mistake.

The same day the LA area celebrated its latest CicLAvia, New York opened up 30 blocks of the Great White Way to bikes and pedestrians for a two-mile carfree open streets event.

If they can do it there, we can do it anywhere. New York finally gives the boot to cars in Central Park. Raising hopes that maybe one day we can see cars banished from Los Angeles city parks, including Griffith Park. Because parks are for people, not cars.

 

International

A 60-year old Canadian woman is riding solo through 5,000 miles of the US and Canada.

No irony here. A British bus driver spent the day training to share the road with bicyclists, then got hit by a bus while riding his bike back home; police say the cell phone in his back pocket may have saved him from paralysis.

Nice video from the UK, where a man surprised his 88-year old father, a former cycling champ, with an ebike and swiftly got him back to racing form.

A 77-year old Scottish man spent three weeks shoveling dirt and debris from three miles of roadway to make it safe for bike riders, after being told the local government wouldn’t get around to it until summer.

Who says politicians are useless? A member of the Scottish parliament rescued an 81-year old bike rider who accidentally rode into a canal.

A Bollywood actress complains that five-star hotels don’t accept bicycles. But rides her single speed bike to them anyway.

Police in New Zealand are taking to their bikes after recognizing what the rest of us already knew — that bikes give you a better view of what motorists are really doing in their cars.

Tragic story from New Zealand, where a mountain biker has spent the last two months in a hospital paralyzed from the neck down except for a little movement in her arms after she was struck by careless trail rider, and calls for better bike rider behavior.

The killer hit-and-run epidemic has spread to law-abiding Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spoiler alert: Skip this section if you’re still planning to watch yesterday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Cycling Weekly provides five talking points from Liège-Bastogne-Liège to impress everyone around the water cooler, who probably never heard of it.

Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels won the men’s race, while Michael Woods became the first Canadian to podium in Liège-Bastogne-Liège; Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen won the women’s race for the second year in a row.

Italy’s Alberto Bettiol will miss the Giro after breaking his left clavicle and a rib in the race, while women’s great Marianne Vos suffered a broken collarbone in a collision with another cyclist.

A semi-pro New Zealand cyclist is showing signs of improvement after being roused from a drug-induced coma following a collision that shattered his upper body.

Everything you always wanted to know about Lance Armstrong but probably didn’t care enough to ask.

 

Finally…

Be vewy, vewy quiet, we’re hunting KOMs. Why buy an ebike when you can just build one yourself?

And if you’re going to ride a bike naked in the middle of a thunderstorm, fasten balloons securely to protect your modesty.

Although if you actually had any, you probably wouldn’t be doing it to begin with.

 

Morning Links: Eric Garcetti fails street safety test, LA BMX pro fatally shot, and meet Cycling Without Age founder

A must read Op-Ed from Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald, who asks where Mayor Eric Garcetti is, as angry motorists torch the mayor’s signature traffic safety plans.

And Angelenos continue to die on the streets.

And yet, since the mayor’s 2015 directive, Los Angeles hasn’t just gotten more dangerous, it has become outright hostile to the concept of roadway safety. A small but vocal contingent of residents has taken an increasingly combative posture to any meaningful safety improvements that appear to interfere with their daily car commutes. City agencies have responded to this pushback by buckling — either canceling or watering down proposals to address dangerous speeding on North Figueroa StreetLankershim Boulevard, the Hyperion bridge and elsewhere. At the same time, we’ve seen a 43% increase in traffic fatalities in the first year after the adoption of Vision Zero, with the fatality rate trending to rise again in 2017.

Garcetti, meanwhile, has been inexplicably and unaccountably silent on the matter.

When Councilman Mike Bonin and Garcetti announced last week that they were removing a multi-street Vision Zero effort in Playa del Rey, it was in large part because Garcetti refused to insert himself in the debate around safety. As the drama escalated and some residents threatened a recall of Bonin over the safety upgrades, Garcetti never came to the councilman’s defense…

This is why I won’t support Eric Garcetti for any higher office, despite strongly supporting him in the past, first on the city council, then in two runs for mayor of Los Angeles.

The last straw came last week, when Garcetti appeared to take credit — if you want to call it that — for the decision to rip out the road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, even though at least one of those bike lanes was included in the 2010 bike plan.

He has done a great job of setting policy by calling for safer, more walkable and bikeable communities, and bringing Vision Zero to Los Angeles, along with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds.

But then he disappeared, leaving it up to others to defend those policies, as he set off in search of other initiatives, like so many shiny new toys.

He had the potential to be a great mayor.

But that will never happen unless and until he decides that this is the job he actually wants to have.

And that means rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on the street level with the rest of us.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

On a related subject, Curbed asks if LA’s road diets are in jeopardy due to the bikelash in Playa del Rey. That would be an unequivocal yes.

Speaking of which, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu has put a survey online asking about safety improvements on 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea; this is your chance to voice your opinion on whether to improve traffic flow on the deadly street (Option A), or slow traffic and improve safety through a lane reduction (Option B). Do I really have to tell you which one I prefer?

Meanwhile, community group Keep Rowena Safe offers proof that lane reductions, aka road diets, really work. Which isn’t to say that the Rowena road diet isn’t at risk of being ripped out by Ryu, despite its proven success.

………

Fast Company lists 50 reasons why everyone should want more walkable streets, virtually all of which apply to bikeable streets, as well.

And somehow we missed this one from earlier in the month, as an architecture critic for the Philadelphia Enquirer listed seven ways bike lanes benefit motorists and pedestrians. Commit these to memory for the next time an angry driver complains about bike lanes. Which will probably be the next time you go to any public meeting or onto any social media platform.

………

Tragic news from the Vermont Square neighborhood of Los Angeles, where BMX pro Gabe Brooks was found shot to death outside his home at 52nd and Western. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

………

Here’s your chance to meet Ole Kassow, the founder of Cycling Without Age — the international program that’s changing lives by giving older people the chance to enjoy bicycling again, often for the first time in decades.

Kassow will hold a meet and greet at the Surf Food Stand on The Strand in Manhattan Beach, from Noon to 3 pm this Saturday.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.

………

Local

KPCC looks at the effects of the deadly 85th percentile law, which will force Los Angeles to raise speed limits on a number of streets, whether we want to or not.

If you think the LA streets you ride could use a good cleaning, there may be a reason for that.

 

State

San Diego State University is cracking down on students who don’t ride their bikes in designated bike lanes or routes. Even though that would appear to violate state law; under California law, bikes are legally allowed on any public surface street where motor vehicles are permitted.

Former motocross racer and current Pink husband Carey Hart catches hell on Instagram for the crime of letting his 10-month old son roll gently on a skateboard, sans helmet.

A San Francisco museum is attempting to halt an effort to close Golden Gate Park to cars on weekends year-round; the main road through the park is already closed on Sundays and half the year on Saturdays. On the other hand, if the street was closed, the museum wouldn’t have to worry about the parking spaces they lost when a cycle track went in.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Novato man has been charged with multiple felony hit-and-run counts, despite intentionally running down four bicyclists earlier this month; he faces a maximum of five years behind bars. He should be facing four counts of assault with a deadly weapon at the bare minimum.

A proposed new bridge over the Sacramento River could improve access for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as providing space for a possible future streetcar line.

The town of Paradise is rewarded with full bike racks at the town’s elementary school as new bike lanes near completion, part of a Safe Routes to Schools project.

 

National

Caught on video: A Chicago burglar discovers that a stolen bicycle can come in handy to cart off a freshly stolen snow blower. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Not surprisingly, the family of a Michigan cyclist killed by an 83-year old driver want a change in the review process to keep dangerous drivers off the road. And they’re right.

JuJu got his bike back; someone turned the Pittsburgh Steeler and former USC star’s bike in to the police, claiming he’d bought it for $200 before recognizing it on TV. Sure, let’s go with that; no one would want to get rid of a stolen bike just because it got too hot.

New York Streetsblog calls for the state to give prosecutors the tools they need to go after hit-and-run drivers, and for prosecutors to be more willing to do it.

A road raging New Orleans driver tried to run a bike rider off the road after telling him to get onto the sidewalk, then got out of his car and physically attacked him.

 

International

Relatives of people killed by traffic violence in Toronto call for safer streets; the families want safer infrastructure and stiffer penalties for careless drivers.

A new survey shows that 87% of British cyclists think bike lights should be required day and night, 81% call for mandatory helmets, and over half would require mirrors and hi-viz. Which might be explained by the fact that the survey was conducted by a car rental company, of its own self-identified bicycling customers.

After a friend was badly injured riding his bike, a Bengaluru, India writer asks if it’s better to risk life and limb to be socially and environmentally responsible by taking to two wheels, or add to the city’s choking congestion by driving a private car.

 

Finally…

Your next ped-assist ebike could have hydrofoils instead of wheels. Why wait for someone to give you bad bicycling advice when you can read it all here? Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

And this may be the best scary clown bike fast food burger commercial in human history.

Morning Links: The death of LA’s Vision Zero, safety improvements in Mar Vista, and more kindhearted people

Vision Zero, in any meaningful sense, is dead in Los Angeles.

We may see incremental improvements; a new crosswalk here, a bike lane there. But only if they don’t adversely affect anyone on four wheels.

Which is not what Vision Zero is about.

But any meaningful attempt to reduce traffic deaths to anywhere near zero in finished.

That’s because CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti jointly announced yesterday that they are caving in to the angry NIMBY and driver-led backlash, and ripping out the bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey.

Although that’s not the way they put it.

And in the process, throwing bicyclists and anyone else who fought for the changes under the bus. Perhaps literally.

They present it as a compromise, with a long list of pedestrian-focused improvements that won’t do crap to protect people on bikes, slow traffic or prevent crashes between motorists.

But let’s be honest.

This is a compromise like Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett compromised at the Alamo.

Those pedestrian improvements were already planned as the next phases of the community-driven process to improve safety in Playa del Rey — after the road diets, not in place of them.

So instead of improving safety and livability in the area, it will go back to being a virtual freeway for pass-through motorists.

Except now the city will be on the hook financially for every death and injury that occurs in the area, after removing the safety improvements designed to prevent them.

It’s a liability lawyer’s dream.

Worse, though, is the potentially fatal damage it’s done to Vision Zero in Los Angeles, as few, if any, councilmembers will be willing to subject themselves to the hate and vitriol Bonin and his staff have faced.

It’s a surprise they held out as long as they did.

Chances are, road diets are now off the table in this city. Perhaps permanently.

The same with installing the bike plan, which is no longer worth the silicon it’s printed on. Or any other substantive street changes that inconvenience motorists in any way, or makes NIMBY home and business owners sharpen their pitchforks and light the Tiki torches.

Even if they’re the ones who’ll benefit from it.

And even though Vision Zero was never about crosswalks or enforcement — or cutsie football videos — but about redesigning the roadways so that when people act like people do, their mistakes won’t be fatal. To them or anyone else.

Which is what these road diets were supposed to do.

But we’ll never know if they would have succeeded or not, because they were never given the chance.

I’ve long questioned whether LA’s leaders had the courage and conviction to make the tough choices Vision Zero would require, and withstand the inevitable criticism that would be directed their way.

They’ve answered with a resounding no.

The odd thing, though, is that Garcetti somehow got his name attached to the plan to restore traffic lanes — and got top billing, no less.

Even though he didn’t do a damn thing to implement or support the road diets. Or any of the other traffic safety improvements that have gone down to defeat under his tenure, from bike lanes on Westwood Blvd to sidewalks on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge.

He hasn’t shown up for a single public safety meeting since announcing Vision Zero to great fanfare two years ago. Or made a single public statement in support of Mike Bonin and the desperately needed safety changes in Playa or Mar Vista.

And yet, he gets full credit — if that’s the word you want to use — for restoring the Playa del Rey streets to their original dangerous condition, and thrusting a dagger through the heart of his own signature safety policy.

It’s been seven years since the late Bill Rosendahl stood before the city council and proclaimed that car culture ends today in the City of Angels.

He was wrong.

It’s clearly just getting started. And we will all pay the price.

………

In better news, The Argonaut reports on the figures released last week showing safety improvements and a reduction in speeding on Venice Blvd following the recent lane reductions.

However, traffic truthers refuse to accept the results; the leader of the Bonin recall effort tried to claim the street was actually more dangerous, because injuries went up on a per capita basis since there was a drop in traffic.

………

Today’s common theme, kindhearted people — mostly in blue.

An Ohio sheriff held back bicycles from a property auction, insisting that they be given to kids and adults who need them instead.

Tennessee cops pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle, after the one he relied on to get to work was stolen.

A Florida man bought a new bicycle for a boy who was run over by a distracted driver as he was riding to school; unfortunately, he’s too scared to ride it.

But Michigan cops got it backwards, buying a car for a woman who rode her bike or took a bus 13 miles to work for years.

………

Women’s racing takes a big step back, as the Tour de France cut’s the women’s La Course back to a single day.

Austrian cyclist Christoph Strasser set a new indoor 24-hour record at 585.25 miles, and vows to never ride on a track again; he’s a four-time winner of the Race Across America.

And SoCalCross offers a video recap of the year’s first cyclocross race at Irvine Lake.

………

Local

The city council’s Public Works and Gang Prevention Committee approved a motion to paint LA’s bike lanes a dull, non-reflective green, prioritizing the convenience of the film industry over the safety of bike riders. After all, it’s just so damn hard for film crews to cover-up a bike lane with some sort of mat, let alone fix it in post.

LADOT has installed what appears to be a very problematic bus loading platform in the bike lane on First Street in DTLA, which forces riders up a sharp ramp while creating a crowded conflict point when people board or get off; as passengers adjust to it, they will likely start to wait on the platform, blocking the bike lane.

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup has been honored with the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award, the highest honor offered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; Shoup’s work has changed the understanding of the hidden costs of parking around the world.

Musician Andrew Bird used the LA River as his muse, inspired by his bike rides along it.

CiclaValley M.A.S.H.s gears up the Bulldog.

 

State

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when a woman crashed into his bike in Pacific Beach.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old San Diego County man just finished a 4,300-mile ride across Canada.

Construction of a new bike path has Santa Barbara residents on edge, as road surface grinding is keeping them up at night.

If people in San Luis Obispo look depressed, it’s because they’re no longer the happiest city in the US. It’s probably no coincidence that every city in the top five is ranked silver or higher on the Bike League’s list of Bicycle Friendly Communities.

A San Francisco bike cop is in grave condition after he was run down by a suspect, who was arrested several hours after fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to clean your dirty, dirty bike.

Rails-to-Trails recommends some haunted pathways for your pre-Halloween riding pleasure, including one with a ghost bike. No, literally.

No surprise here, as the Washington jerk bicyclist who injured a pedestrian after yelling “hot pizza,” expecting her to jump out of the way, is now facing a lawsuit; he uses the same excuse drivers do, saying 3 mph pedestrians shouldn’t mix with cyclists doing 15 mph.

What’s one way to jeopardize a football scholarship at Texas A&M? Stealing a bait bike is a good start.

Bike PGH meets up with carfree former Trojan and current Pittsburgh Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Now that’s more like it. A New York man was sentenced to five to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; more importantly, he received a lifetime revocation of his driver’s license. Which should be automatic for any driver in any hit-and-run.

DC has become a testing ground for dockless e-bikeshare.

 

International

A new documentary takes a look at MAMILs, following four men from the US, the UK and Australia. Which should be required viewing for anyone who makes fun of middle-aged people on bikes, spandexed or otherwise.

Road.cc explains how to stop the dreaded speed wobbles.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Cuba.

A Canadian newspaper talks with Danish bicyclist Ole Kassow, who created the Cycling Without Age program.

Ed Sheeran won’t be one of us for a while, after realizing the next day that he had fractured not one, but both arms when he was hit by driver while riding in London; he had to cancel his upcoming Asian tour.

Motorist and bicycling groups both condemn calls for British bicyclists to be required to carry numbered license plates.

A Turkish librarian operates his own personal book bike, towing books for children from village to village in a bike trailer.

An Aussie newspaper says kneejerk decisions to confine dockless bikeshare bikes to specified parking areas defeats the whole purpose.

 

Finally…

Maybe Bonin should have just used a coloring book. Evidently, we’re just sidewalk speeding cyclos.

And the left lane of the southbound 5 Freeway in Newhall Pass may not be the best place to walk your bike.

Especially before 6 am.

Thanks to kdbhiker for the photo.

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