Tag Archive for Fiji Way

Morning Links: Awkward cycle track in Marina, PCH closed at Point Magu, fight North Fig parking at City Hall

Photo courtesy of Black Girls Do Bike – LA

Photo by Gary Cziko in Cyclists are Drivers

It’s been awhile since I’ve ridden on Fiji Way through Marina del Rey.

Then again, it’s been awhile since I’ve ridden anywhere.

But it looks like those wide, buffered bike lanes that helped tame one of the area’s most frequent sites for bike collisions has been replaced with an awkward and very uncomfortable cycle track, with riders separated from oncoming traffic by nothing more than a few plastic bollards.

Marty Blount of South LA’s Major Motion Recreational Cycling Club forwards a photo of the new, and hopefully temporary, installation taken by members of the new Black Girls Do Bike – LA club.

The question is why bike riders have suddenly been shifted to just one side of the wide, divided roadway. And why riders facing traffic haven’t been placed next to the curb, rather than in the frightening position of riding directly next to traffic coming from the opposite direction.

Hopefully, we’ll get some answers soon.

Update: I received the following response from Daniel Quintana of the Head-Traffic Design Section, Traffic and Lighting Division, Public Works.

The recent temporary changes are due to the installation of a waterline project along Fiji Way.  The trench and equipment will occupy a large section of the road on the west side that required the temporary relocation of the bike facility.   The condition is temporary, but may be there for a few months.  We will check with our construction staff more specific timeline for this temporary change and will have them respond.  We will also have our staff review the installation for additional temporary signs or markings may help clarify this temporary condition.

Update 2: Brittany Baker, Program Manager with the Construction Division of the LA County Dept. of Public Works, followed up with additional information on the closure of the bike lane.

As Mr. Quintana has mentioned below, this temporary bike path detour is a result of our Marina del Rey Phase 3B Waterline Project that is just starting up.  This project is expected to last from December 2014 through August 2015.  The temporary bike path detour will remain in place for this duration.  Attached, please find a project information flyer (pdf) with details on the temporary bike path detour.

Please also note, over the course of the next 4-5 weeks, there may be a stretch of the Marvin Braude Bike Path that runs adjacent to Oxford Basin (between Yvonne Burke Park and Washington Blvd in Marina del Rey) that may be reduced to one lane to accommodate construction activities within Oxford Basin.  The bike path will NOT be completely closed and signage will be placed that will require bicyclists to walk their bicycle during that short stretch of one bicycle lane.

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You won’t be riding PCH west of Malibu for awhile.

Caltrans reports the highway will be closed between Yerba Buena and Los Posas Roads near Point Magu for the next several weeks while they repair a recent mud slide.

And that’s assuming the hillside remains stable long enough to fix it following this week’s storms.

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If you read this early enough, you may still have time to rush to City Hall to fight councilmember Gil Cedillo’s misguided attempt to install dangerous diagonal parking on North Figueroa, rather than the much needed bike lanes he infamously promised to support.

Let’s hope the City Council will have the courage to call him on his attempt to maintain the 20th Century auto-centric hegemony over streets that should belong to everyone, rather than just the motorists who make the street a dangerous, high speed game of frogger.

And ask why he has developed such an apparent animosity for anyone with the audacity to ride a bike in his district.

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‘Tis the season.

Over 50 Santa Clarita kids will get new bikes, starting with a group of preschoolers. The entire third grade class of a Long Beach school gets new bikes. And the Sacramento Kings give thousands of bikes to kids in the region.

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Local

New LADOT head Seleta Reynolds discusses the future of LA transportation with other local leaders; it’s looking a lot brighter with her at the helm.

An LA rider is okay despite bouncing off a motor vehicle for the sixth time in five years. Let’s hope this was the last time.

The new OSH on La Brea plays hide the bike rack; it took me awhile to even find it in the photo.

Looks like James Franco is one of us, after going out for a Saturday ride on the Venice bike path.

Boyonabike visits the new BikeSGV headquarters.

Once again, a SoCal cyclist is the victim of a hit-and-run, this time in Redondo Beach.

Long Beach invites you to donate any unwanted bike to provide transportation for homeless people.

 

State

Streetsblog reports on Calbike’s aggressive agenda for the coming legislative session.

Pedal Love’s Melissa Balmer will host a webinar on media outreach skills for bike advocates this Thursday.

Orange County riders are justifiably outraged after a school bus driver avoids charges and keeps driving despite hitting cyclists on two separate occasions; new BikinginLA sponsor Michael Rubinstein suggests the school district could be liable for allowing her to keep driving. Thanks to everyone who sent me the link.

KPBS reports on San Diego’s long delayed bike share program, which will still open long before LA’s long promised system.

Friends of fallen San Diego cyclist Kerry Kunsman ride the last leg of the 1,800 mile coastal journey he was unable to finish.

Clearly, no one is safe from drunks behind the wheel; a 22-year old Apple Valley woman just walking next to a bike rider was killed by an alleged drunk driver.

 

National

Consumer Reports says you need a bike helmet to prevent concussions. But fails to note that bike helmets don’t do that.

Strong Towns says we need to design roads that accommodate automobiles in an environment dominated by people, rather than the other way around.

Louisville KY cyclists will soon enjoy a massive underground bike park.

No matter how big a hurry you’re in, don’t drag your bike under a stopped train that’s blocking your way; a Delaware cyclist was killed when the train he was crawling under started moving.

Don’t try this at home. An Orlando mother is under arrest for knocking a boy off his bike, then choking and threatening to kill him for bullying her daughter.

That’s more like it. A Miami driver who got off with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist gets an extra two years for violating his probation; his original sentence led to much needed changes in the state’s hit-and-run laws.

 

International

Big hearted — and evidently, very strong— Calgary bystanders not only lift a truck off a bike rider following a collision, they pitch in to buy the victim a new bike.

A Newfoundland writer calls the province’s upcoming mandatory helmet law misguided.

No mandatory helmets for London’s Boris Bike riders; meanwhile, bike share could help in low income areas if someone could just figure out how to make money at it.

Even the United Arab Emirates is working to become more bike friendly.

More proof how non-seriously traffic crimes are taken around the world, as a New Zealand driver charged with fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist is excused from court proceedings so he can travel with his wife.

A New Zealand report looks at the economic benefits of bicycling — like every dollar spent on bicycling returns $20 in benefits to the community, and a doubling of European ridership would result in 400,000 new jobs.

 

Finally…

A UK rider crosses the finish line with two bikes, but isn’t riding either one. A Kiwi cyclist is fined for not wearing a helmet, despite not wearing anything underneath it, either.

And does anyone really need a bike with built-in Bluetooth and vibrating directional handlebars?

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Best wishes for a happy Chanukah to everyone who plans to light a candle tonight.

Newly installed Fiji Way buffered bike lane already blocked by Friday

That didn’t take long.

Just two days after the new buffered bike lane on Fiji Way in Marina del Rey was completed, it was already blocked on Friday by a semi-trailer illegally parked in the bike lane — in an area that had been designated as a no-parking zone long before the lanes were even contemplated.

And close enough to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Marina station that they could undoubtedly see it just by looking their windows. Let alone drive right past it every time a squad car leaves the station.

So what good does it do to install bike lanes if authorities don’t care enough to keep people from parking in them?

If that’s the way it’s going to be, the county should have just saved the money. Because the only thing worse than no bike lane is one we can’t safely use.

One of L.A. County’s most dangerous streets gets a little safer with buffered new bike lanes on Fiji Way

Just quick update on last week’s item about pending bike lanes on Fiji Way in Marina del Rey.

A ride down to the South Bay yesterday morning showed that nothing had been done on the street beyond the preliminary markings that had gone down earlier.

Yet by the time I rode back a few hours and many miles later, the street had been transformed into, if not a cyclists’ paradise, a much safer and more inviting connection between the Santa Monica and South Bay bike trails.

And turned what has been one of the area’s busiest — and most dangerous — bicycling thoroughfares into something that promises to be significantly safer.

As you can see from the video, a bike lane has been installed on the west/southbound side of the roadway, and the much hated, and probably illegal restriction to ride single file — which is unsupported by anything in California law — has been painted over.

Moving down to the turnaround at the end of the street, near the connection to the Ballona Creek bikeway, the road narrows to a single lane, with painted separators keeping motorists away from riders. And hopefully, reducing the risk of right hook collisions.

Continuing around the turnaround to the north/eastbound side of the street reveals a road diet for most of its length to Admiralty Way.

It was unclear yesterday whether the reduced roadway was being striped for a buffered bike lane, or if the county was planning to allow curbside parking, which had previously been banned, with door-zone bike lane alongside.

But a quick conversation with a member of the county road crew confirmed that cyclists will now enjoy a wide curbside bike lane with a comfortable buffer to the left — separating riders from the high speed, and often confused, drivers who have traditionally frequented the area. And that work on re-striping the street should be finished today.

Fiji Way has long been the missing link in the Marvin Braude bike trail, the name given the full length of the bikeway connection Palos Verdes with Pacific Palisades

As well as one of the most dangerous streets for cyclists, with multiple near-daily collisions as drivers entered or exited driveways without looking for riders first — like this one. Or brushed past or rear-ended riders on the previously unmarked street.

This should go a long way towards reducing those collisions, making what had been a needlessly risky ride much safer.

And it’s a high-profile improvement that shows the county may really be committed to improving conditions for cyclists.

Bike lanes and possible road diet on Fiji Way; split decision in Earl Cox Angeles Crest road rage case

Just a few quick notes to start the week before I either A) go out for the ride I’d planned, or B) succumb to the heat and follow the dog’s example by going back to sleep.

Right now, I’d say it could go either way.

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Evidently, the county is taking their new commitment to bike-friendliness seriously, as shown by the beefed-up bike plan recently adopted by county supervisors.

A recent ride through the Marina revealed that commitment is about to make its way onto the pavement, if it hasn’t already.

Riders who take the beachfront Marvin Bruade bike path, aka South Bay and Santa Monica bike paths, through Marina del Rey have long been frustrated by the condition of the bikeway through the County-owned lands.

As if the cracked and crumbling, tree-root upraised conditions of the off-road pathway weren’t bad enough, riders have had to deal with the on-road portion on Fiji Way leading from where the off-road pathway ends to where it connects with the Ballona Creek bike path — including a painted prohibition against side-by-side riding that’s unsupported by anything in state law.

And with a nearby sheriff station to ensure compliance, if they happened to have too much time on their hands.

But it looks like things are in the process of changing.

Initial markings have appeared on the pavement sketching the outlines of an apparent road diet on Fiji Way, reducing the over-wide traffic lanes that encouraged speeding by the few car that actually use that street, and installing bike lanes for the hundreds, if not thousands, of cyclists who ride the street every hour on sunny days.

It’s hard to tell yet, but it looks the road could be cut from four lanes to two in places, with bike lanes more than wide enough to be ridden two-abreast, and placed safely against the curb in a no parking zone. And definitely reduced at the turnaround, where riders have had to contend with lost tourists and right-turning locals for far too long.

You can see the markings for that section in the short video below.

But however it turns out, it looks like a big improvement is on its way soon.

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Cyclist/attorney Dj Wheels reports that Earl Cox has been convicted of simple assault in the Angeles Crest road rage case in which he was charged with yelling at three separate groups of riders, and deliberately swerving at two of them — all because he thought they were being rude by riding in the roadway and felt a need to teach them some manners. However, Cox was acquitted on the more serious charge of assault with a deadly weapon for using his car as a weapon. Sentencing is set for September 12th in Burbank; I wonder if he’ll get more time than Patrick Roraff got for actually killing Jorge Alvarado.

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition sends word that police are on the lookout for a high-end bike thief suspected of riding off with a pair of Colnagos from SoCal dealers.

An Iowa driver ran a stop sign, swerved and hit a cyclist, then backed up, got out of his car and threw the rider’s broken bike at him before punching and kicking him. Only after he evidently felt he had sufficiently assaulted the victim — by car, bike, fist and foot — did he flee the scene. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Sam Ollinger of the must-read Bike SD sends word of a tragic man-bites-dog twist in the seemingly endless reports of bike collisions, as a car overturns after striking and slightly injuring a cyclist, killing the driver. I’m grateful the cyclist survived relatively intact, but sad that anyone has to die on our streets.

Improvements are underway on Jefferson Blvd in Culver City at the notorious stretch where an allegedly drunk and/or distracted Christine Dahab plowed into a group of late night riders, injuring 13 — some severely. The road will now include five-foot wide door-zone bike lanes from Duquesne Ave to Higuera Street, as well as bike parking and improved access to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Thanks to Dan Mick for the link.

Finally, I’m booked in the morning, but anyone who can get to Van Nuys Tuesday morning should consider attending an L.A. Planning Department hearing on the proposed expansion of Universal Studios. As you may be aware, Universal is planning a dramatic expansion of their theme park property, including a left coast version of their popular Harry Potter park in Orlando FL. The problem is, the company has consistently blocked expansion of the L.A River bike path along their property while proposing a crazy-quilt alternative virtually guaranteed to keep cyclists away. As far as I’m concerned, alternate routes are great in that biking-infrastructure-starved part of town, But they’ll have to build their park over my dead body unless they agree to extend the bike path along the river as a condition of approval — and pay for it, for that matter, just for being such jerks about it. The meeting takes place in the Council Chambers at Van Nuys City Hall starting at 9:30 am.

And yes, you can quote me on that.

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