Tag Archive for Erik Jansen

Guest Posts: An attack on children and mountain biking, and LACBC response to last week’s FedEx bike death

Sorry to disappear on you this week. 

My St. Patrick’s Day was interrupted by a sudden sharp pain, a panicked trip to the emergency room, and an unplanned stay at Cedars-Sinai.

Where their firewall somehow prevented me from logging into this site. Not that I was capable of doing much in my morphine-induced haze, anyway.

Now I’m finally back home, a handful of kidney stones, a few pounds and a couple thousand bucks lighter.

I’m still trying to shake the last of that drug fog and make up for some lost sleep, so let’s skip the Morning Links one more day, and catch up on a couple of recent guest posts.

First up is a one from Mike Vandeman arguing against allowing kids to take up mountain biking. While it’s not something I agree with in any way, I’ll let him make his case. As he said in an email to me, you can’t argue with facts. We’ll let you decide just what those facts are.

Next, I had planned to share the LACBC’s press release on the tragic death of Elisa Gomez in Monday’s post, so we’ll finish with that today. As you’ll recall, Gomez was killed by a FedEx driver who pulled out from a stop sign while she was directly in front of his truck, then run over after he failed to stop, and fled the scene. A suspect was taken into custody, but no word on an arrest.

Then barring any unexpected setbacks, we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled Morning Links tomorrow.

………

Children and Mountain Biking

by Mike Vandeman, [email protected]

Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking,
besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is
extremely dangerous. Recently a 12-year-old girl DIED during her very
first mountain biking lesson! Another became quadriplegic at 13!
Serious accidents and even deaths are commonplace. Truth be told,
mountain bikers want to introduce kids to mountain biking because (1)
they want more people to help them lobby to open our precious natural
areas to mountain biking and (2) children are too naive to understand
and object to this activity. For 600+ examples of serious accidents
and deaths caused by mountain biking, see
http://mjvande.info/mtb_dangerous.htm.

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are
inanimate objects and have no rights. There is also no right to
mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996:
http://mjvande.info/mtb10.htm. It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to
say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have
EXACTLY the same access as everyone else — ON FOOT! Why isn’t that
good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking….

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more
harmful to wildlife, people, and the environment than hiking, and
that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. To settle
the matter once and for all, I read all of the research they cited,
and wrote a review of the research on mountain biking impacts (see
http://mjvande.info/scb7.htm). I found that of the seven studies
they cited, (1) all were written by mountain bikers, and (2) in every
case, the authors misinterpreted their own data, in order to come to
the conclusion that they favored. They also studiously avoided
mentioning another scientific study (Wisdom et al) which did not
favor mountain biking, and came to the opposite conclusions.

Those were all experimental studies. Two other studies (by White et
al and by Jeff Marion) used a survey design, which is inherently
incapable of answering that question (comparing hiking with mountain
biking). I only mention them because mountain bikers often cite them,
but scientifically, they are worthless.

Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills
small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife
and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches
kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it’s NOT!). What’s
good about THAT?

For more information: http://mjvande.info/mtbfaq.htm.

Note: It’s the policy of this site not to post personal contact information; however, Mike Vandeman’s email address has been included at his request.

………

LACBC CALLS ON OFFICIALS TO ACT FOR SAFER STREETS: 54-YEAR-OLD WOMAN ON BICYCLE KILLED IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH

LOS ANGELES – Yesterday morning, Elisa Gomez was hit by a delivery truck southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and left to die in the middle of the street. The 54-year-old bicyclist was riding Eastbound on Washington Avenue at around 8:30 in the morning and was struck from behind by a FedEx delivery truck, which then sped away. This tragedy is indicative of the grim realities faced by bicyclists and pedestrians on our county’s streets.

Los Angeles County is known as the “hit-and-run capital of the nation” with 50% of all traffic crashes categorized as “hit-and-run.” The national average is 11%. In 2015, over 28,000 hit-and-run crashes were reported across the county. That averages out to one hit-and-run crash every 18 minutes in Los Angeles County, a number that glaringly shows the risks faced by those walking or biking in our county.

Making streets safer for all road users has to be a priority for the City of Los Angeles,” stated LACBC Executive Director Erik Jansen. “Simple steps can be taken to calm traffic and make drivers more aware of vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking. We know how it do it — other cities have shown immense progress building infrastructure to decrease speeds, make turns safer, and build a city at a human scale. Angelenos deserve safe streets and they deserve elected officials willing to show real leadership to make it happen.

Elisa was killed a block away from the Washington Blue Line Metro station southeast of Downtown Los Angeles. In 2017, LACBC partnered with other community organizations and Metro to conduct community engagement along the Blue Line to assess the safety and access needs for people walking and biking to stations. LACBC chose to focus on Washington Station, an area surrounded by the High Injury Network, to work to prevent tragedies such as these. Currently, Metro is using the data collected through this process to apply for funding to make infrastructure improvements identified by the community.

The widely-accepted belief that people dying on our streets is inevitable is a false one. These tragedies are wholly preventable, and that’s why we call them “crashes” and not “accidents.” LACBC calls upon our city and elected officials to be leaders for safe streets and commit to adequately funding and implementing initiatives like Vision Zero. Without their leadership, Elisa Gomez will not be the last bicyclist who will be killed on Los Angeles streets.

I reached out to Jansen for further comment, and received the following response.

Elisa Gomez didn’t have to die. While the driver is ultimately responsible for running her down and leaving her to die on the pavement, her death could have been prevented by ensuring Angelenos have access to safe streets. We know how to make streets safe, and Elisa Gomez deserved elected officials willing to show real leadership to end traffic fatalities in Los Angeles. We need action, and not just another plan sitting on a shelf.

It’s good to see the LACBC take an active lead in fighting for safer streets. Because if there’s any good that can come from this senseless tragedy, it will be keeping it from happening to someone else.

Morning Links: Erik Jansen replaces Tamika Butler as LACBC ED; Delaware could adopt Idaho Stop

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has decided to promote from within, turning to interim Executive Director Erik Jansen to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler as head of the coalition.

Jansen, the Deputy Executive Director of Advancement, stepped up to fill the void after Butler announced her resignation last June. And was selected to remain as head of the organization by the coalition’s board of directors, following a nationwide search.

Building upon the national reputation the LACBC enjoyed under previous ED Jennifer Klausner for its groundbreaking efforts to reach out to LA’s immigrant community, Tamika Butler led the organization in refocusing its efforts on building equity in underserved communities.

And in doing so, became a leading voice for the underprivileged and people of color within the bicycling community nationwide.

Now it will be interesting to see if Jansen continues those efforts, or moves the LACBC back to a more mainstream form of bicycle advocacy.

He comes at a time of unprecedented bikelash in the City of Angels, with bike lanes and safety projects under fire in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey. And as a lawsuit against the city, and a recall campaign to unseat Councilmember Mike Bonin, attempt to derail LA’s Vision Zero program and intimidate councilmembers to prevent any future lane reductions.

The LACBC has grown to become a mature advocacy group over the past several years. And will need strong leadership to help LA become the bikeable, livable community it must become.

You can meet Erik Jansen when the LACBC hosts a Handlebar Happy Hour at Pure Cycles in Burbank tonight, with free food and drink courtesy of BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass.

Photo from LACBC.

………

Delaware could become just the second state in the country to legalize the Idaho Stop.

Hopefully California won’t be too far behind.

………

Male pro cyclists get a boost in the minimum wage, but women riders still don’t even have a guarantee of getting paid.

Britain governing body for cycling hopes to create a women’s cycling team patterned on the successful Team Sky.

A reminder to always cover-up or wear sunscreen when you ride, as retired Columbian racer Lucho Herrera blames cycling for his skin cancer. Something I can relate to, and more than once.

Sometimes a wicked time trial crash is the best form of advertising.

……….

Local

KPCC reports on the bike and pedestrian count conducted over the weekend by Los Angeles Walks and the LACBC.

The MyFigueroa project is just one of the projects changing the face of DTLA’s Figueroa corridor.

UCLA will launch an on-campus bikeshare program next week.

KNBC-4 looks at the COAST Open Streets Festival coming to Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

The San Diego Bicycle Coalition is looking for public input on plans for the pre-Halloween CicloSDias open streets event to be held next month.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old North San Diego County man rode 4,200 miles across Canada in 56 days as part of a church group ride.

San Francisco moves forward with plans to sort of crack down on bicycle chop shops without actually making them illegal; a homeless advocate argues that they’re just an entrepreneurial way to for homeless people to make a living recycling bike parts that they happen to find. Except too often, they happen to find bikes that belong to other people.

A 63-year old Napa woman is back home after riding solo 5,000 miles across the US.

 

National

The Denver Post lists Colorado’s best mountain bike trails for your next trip to the Centennial State.

Police in Colorado arrested a man accused of threatening mountain bike riders with a hatchet, on the same trail where a rider was fatally shot a week earlier.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever ambushed a 13-year old Colorado boy in a park to steal his bicycle.

A 19-year old Fargo SD man was killed in a bicycle collision over the weekend, three years after he was deliberately run down in a dispute with a breakaway Mormon religious sect while riding his bike in Utah.

Bike lanes get the blame for traffic congestion in Minneapolis, even though construction projects are likely the real culprits. Never mind that the local TV station couldn’t seem to find any traffic backups to show in the report, despite taking the time to count bikes and cars during the morning and evening rush hours.

The Today Show’s Al Roker is one of us, making room on his daily bike commute for new co-star Megyn Kelly.

No bias here. When a bikeshare rider was hit by a New York Uber driver, the NYPD went out of its way to blame the victim, even though a witness said the driver was at fault.

 

International

Mexico City residents are using bicycles to deliver emergency supplies and help victims of last week’s earthquake.

The war on bikes continues. A Montreal man was seriously injured when he fell off his bike trying to avoid fishing line that had been strung at neck level across a bridge on a bike path.

A Toronto bike rider says the city’s car-first policies create a war on people, as a backlash results in the removal of stop signs that had gone through a community-driven public approval process.

Kindhearted Brits contribute the equivalent of $4,000 to replace the custom-made trike that allowed a man with cerebral palsy to ride, after his was stolen.

The Guardian says government efforts to criminalize reckless bicycling in the UK are ignoring the cause of 99% of the country’s fatal crashes to focus on just 0.12% of them, calling it headline grabbing hypocrisy.

Amsterdam is cracking down on unauthorized dockless bikeshare systems.

An Istanbul man fights his own depression by documenting his journeys around Turkey on his 1960s bicycle with photos and inspiring messages, earning 130,000 Instagram followers in the process.

An Israeli website takes a two-wheeled tor through bicycle history in the county.

Someone is dumping dockless bikeshare bikes into an Australian river; contractors pulled out 40 bicycles in just four hours. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

China’s Mobike and Ofo are battling for world domination in the dockless bikeshare market.

 

Finally…

Next time you sign up for a bike race, make sure it’s in the right country. Your next jean jacket could be more connected than a mafia hitman.

And now you, too, can live like America’s only remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million.

 

%d bloggers like this: