Tag Archive for Fletcher Drive

Morning Links: Bike lanes for gridlock, hijacking transportation in Mar Vista, and voting for danger on Fletcher Drive

Let’s end the week with a look at all the many and varied goings on in the wonderful world of LA traffic planning.

The apparently non-existent Richard Lee Abrams is back at it, blaming bike lanes as part of LA’s secret transportation plan to cause, not relieve, gridlock. No record of an LA attorney practicing by that name exists online or in the California Bar; however, another lawyer is registered with the Bar at the same Hollywood residential address, phone number and fax. Thanks to Evan G and Marc C for their sleuthing skills.

A board member of the Mar Vista Community Council says we can’t let LA transportation get hijacked by self-serving special interests, like beating up on motorists to squeeze in a protected bike lane on Venice Blvd at the expense of a third — yes, third — traffic lane in each direction. Because clearly, a city street just can’t be wide, fast or dangerous enough.

LADOT hosted the second of three meetings to discuss Vision Zero improvements to Fletcher Drive; when attendees were asked to vote on the proposal, a write-in option to do nothing was the preferred choice, as people questioned whether the deadly road was really dangerous. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2nd; hopefully sanity with prevail.

The My Figueroa project is slowly making progress along South Figueroa between USC and DTLA; Streetsblog notes that most of the bike lanes will be buffered, not the curb-protected lanes we were promised. And the promised connecting bike lanes on King Blvd appear to have fallen off the map.

Meanwhile, KFI’s rabidly anti-bike John and Ken profess to post maps of LA’s coming road diets. Except what they actually put online is various maps from the city’s mobility plan, most of which have nothing to do with lane reductions. Which is sort of like posting a photo of a haystack, and calling it a pile of needles.

And Erik Griswold shared a photo from Playa del Rey showing two bikes — including one with a child’s seat — in front of The Shack after taking advantage of the new bike lanes on Culver Blvd.

He also sent the one at the top of this page showing the lane reduction on Vista del Mar as it approaches Culver Blvd; note that a second lane northbound lane would have put the fog line somewhere in the bushes.

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A gambling website asks how hard the Tour de France really is, before concluding that it’s really, really hard.

A South African website considers how much cyclists get for finishing the Tour. Hint: You’re a lot better off winning than finishing on the fifth place team.

Nice piece on American cyclist Nate Brown, who wore the polka dot jersey for two days, a year after he dropped everything to be with his cyclist girlfriend as she battled a sudden, life-threatening heart condition.

Bicycling looks at the convoluted history leading up to the token two-day women’s La Course. Thursday’s first stage marked a remarkable comeback from last year’s Rio Olympics; the top 20 finishers will compete in a time trial on Saturday.

An Oregon bike race no longer offers equal prize money for men and women cyclists, blaming UCI guidelines for paying the women’s champ less than 10% of what the men’s winner will earn.

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Local

The LA Weekly looks at the 41 Thursday Crew, as hundreds of riders of all ages and backgrounds take to the darkened streets of Los Angeles on BMX bikes to celebrate riding in the city.

Walk Bike Burbank says the way to spot a bike-friendly business is look for all the bikes parked where a single car would be.

Pasadena Weekly looks at the kickoff of bikeshare in the Rose City.

West Covina police will assign two officers to bike patrol duty in city parks following complaints about homeless people and illegal activity. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Santa Monica’s Planning Commissioner says bicycling in the city needs to be 50,000 times safer and easier; residents respond that anything that slows traffic — like bikes, for instance — should be considered a crime against the people of LA County, if not humanity. Meanwhile, the city says it’s time to shift away from automobile-centric planning.

Join Bike Talk at the KPFK Summer Celebration at Pan Pacific Park this Saturday.

Bike SGV is teaming with Women on Wheels to host a Mariachi Music Funride next month.

 

State

Evidently, it runs in the family. A 20-year old San Diego woman gets four years for the speeding hit-and-run death of a teenage boy after drinking with her boyfriend; her sister is doing time for an alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter.

A San Diego man escaped by bicycle after stabbing another man during a fight; the victim suffered life-threatening injuries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Moreno Valley man faces 45 years to life for the drunken car crash that killed a grandmother and two young girls. He was driving on a suspended license while on probation for a previous DUI, and had already broken his probation three times. This is why we need to impound the cars of anyone convicted of driving under the influence, because too many keep driving anyway until they kill someone. And he should have been locked up the first time he broke probation.

Sad news from Goleta, where a man was killed in a collision with an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks. Never ride on railroad tracks for any distance; you have nowhere to go if a train comes along.

Where your bike is most likely to be stolen in San Francisco.

The widow of a UC Davis professor has filed suit against a waste management company after he was killed by the driver of a garbage truck while riding to work last year.

 

National

Treehugger says other activities are for more dangerous than bicycling, so why pick on bicyclists when it comes to helmets?

The Washington Post says bicyclists are worried Oregon’s bike tax could spread.

After a Colorado lawmaker proposes a bicycle tax, he backtracks after the backlash, saying he was just trying to start a conversation. Denver Streetsblog insists the last thing the state needs is a tax on bicycles.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider was critically injured after trying, and failing, to weave his way through an intersection against the light. Warning: The dash cam video is very hard to watch; use your judgment on whether you really want to click the link.

Sometimes the punishment fits the crime. The Alabama pickup driver and passenger caught on video screaming at a bicyclist have been ordered to take part in a public service announcement on the state’s three-foot passing law, as well as learning more about the cycling community.

A Florida man has been convicted of being the driver behind the wheel when his car ran down a bike rider, after convincing his girlfriend to take the blame; he now faces up to 30 years in prison, despite being acquitted on a DUI manslaughter count.

Fifteen Eastern Seaboard states are completing the mostly carfree 3,000 mile East Coast Greenway running from Florida to Maine. Meanwhile, we can’t even manage to build a bikeway across LA, let alone the West Coast.

 

International

Montreal is installing bicycle footrests in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, though some think the money could be better spent on improving safety instead.

London’s Regent’s University awarded a posthumous diploma to an Italian prince who was killed while riding his bike to class last October.

Caught on video too: A British hit-and-run is captured on security cam, as a driver backs up and leaves his bike-riding victim lying in the street; fortunately, her injuries were not life-threatening. Once again, use your judgment on whether you really want to see it.

A group of Saudi women are defying cultural norms to form the country’s first women’s cycling team.

A Miami man lied about his age to ride a bicycle on China’s Great Wall.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to egg a passing cyclist, make sure he’s not a cop on his lunch break. And who needs an ebike when you can just hop a passing Kenworth?

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One last note: Thank you to everyone who serves as unofficial proofreaders for this site. While I do my best to avoid any errors, I truly appreciate your help in catching and correcting the ones that slip past me.

 

Morning Links: Fletcher Drive and Venice Blvd meetings this week; Vision Zero improvements for Temple St

It’s a busy week for the LA bike world.

From Vision Zero and Great Streets, to the grand re-opening of a popular bikeway.

There’s a follow-up meeting to discuss the proposed Vision Zero improvements for Fletcher Drive this Wednesday, as local business groups post misleading information to oppose it. And count KTLA traffic reporter Ginger Chan in the anti camp, evidently.

The battle over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project goes on, with the next skirmish scheduled for an open house in Mar Vista this Saturday. And yes, the folks opposed to the changes are calling for a big turnout. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

The LACBC posted photos of the proposed Vision Zero improvements for Temple Street, including bike lanes and a 2.3 mile lane reduction.

And the Coyote Creek bikeway is finally reopening tonight in Los Alamitos.

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The yellow jersey comes and goes, and comes back again, though Chris Froome nearly lost the day to a broken spoke on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Guardian features notes from the past week at the Tour de France.

Good question. A Cycling News Op-Ed offers a nuanced take on cycling’s hypocritical and uneven handling of past dopers, questioning why we pillory Tom Simpson, Lance or Jan Ullrich, while giving other riders from the doping era a pass.

A Scottish newspaper addresses the rampant sexism in pro cycling, where podium girls are more visible than women cyclists.

A 21-year old Zimbabwean cyclist has risen to become the nation’s road and mountain bike champ, despite not even owning his own bicycle. Someone get this man a sponsor, stat.

Nice gesture from the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, which gave a new bike, helmet and an autographed pro cycling team jersey to a six-year old Idaho girl suffering from hearing loss.

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Local

Bike riders continue to complain about homeless encampments encroaching on the Orange Line bike path between Sepulveda and Hazeltine, although local businesses say they’re beginning to see improvement as the city steps up enforcement efforts. Part of the problem is that the encampments are on private property, limiting what authorities can do to remove them.

Santa Monica police bust a thief who stole a $1,250 bike when the owner left it unlocked outside a restaurant. Which is sort of like leaving your laptop or smartphone on the sidewalk, and trusting it will be there when you get back.

 

State

Bad news from Laguna Nigel, where a man suffered severe head trauma after losing control of his bike and hitting a tree face first. Let’s hope he makes a full and fast recovery.

A letter writer calls for a walkable, bikeable Mariner’s Mile that will serve as a Main Street for Newport Beach, not a freeway that slashes across the community.

Tragic news from Vallejo, as the 16-year old boy who was hit by a pickup while riding with his father on Thursday has died three days after the crash. Something is seriously wrong when a boy can’t safely go for a ride with his dad.

A Chico letter writer calls on bike advocates to clean up the mess made by homeless camps on a bike path. You know, just like drivers pitch in to clean up the roads they use.

 

National

NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr. rides his bike to earn more beers.

A Nebraska judge tossed a case against an alleged meth dealer after a cop stopped him for riding in a crosswalk — which isn’t illegal in the state — making everything they found on him inadmissible.

The Nashville Tennessean says yes, cyclists and pedestrians need to pay attention, but if drivers aren’t willing to watch the road, they shouldn’t be on it. Meanwhile, the widow of a fallen rider says to pass bicyclists like you love them. Which is good advice for anyone, no matter who you’re passing or how.

A Central New York bike ride appears to have set a new record for the largest classic bicycle parade, with 158 people riding bikes built as far back as 1923.

 

International

Combine your love of bikes and food with eight culinary bike tours for from around the world. Or maybe you’d prefer a beautiful tour mixing bikes and trains.

This is why you don’t run red lights. Dash cam video captures a Ottawa, Canada bike rider going through a red light and riding directly into the path of an oncoming car; fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured.

A Canadian writer says there’s not a number on your back in a group ride, so don’t treat it like a race.

Not surprisingly, Manchester, England is having the same problems with dockless bikeshare bikes nearly every other city has. Including a London borough that ordered them removed.

After someone stole a British woman’s bicycle, she just stole it back. Even though this turned out okay, it’s always best to let the police handle it; there have been several cases that didn’t end as well.

Now that’s more like it. A British judge sentences a drunk hit-and-run driver who seriously injured a 16-year old bike rider to three years in jail, and revokes his license for more than eleven years, while calling for stiffer penalties for hit-and-run drivers.

A Scottish model is riding the length of the UK to raise funds for children in Cape Verde, but describes the ride as “horrific.”

New stamps from Germany, Switzerland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina commemorate the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, while French stamps honor the invention of concrete.

An Indian man rides his bike over 1,200 miles through the Sahara Desert in 28 days.

An editorial in an Aussie paper says the government should come to its senses and reverse oppressive fines on cycling and the removal of bikeways.

 

Finally…

How many people can say their bike lights are literally out of this world. If you’re going to use your smartphone while you ride, try to look up before crashing into a police car.

And if you think bicyclists are lunatics waging an idiotic war with anyone normal, while riding one yourself, what does that make you?

Just asking.

 

Morning Links: Proposed Atwater Village road reduction, photos from Ride the COLT, and a CicLAvia chicken

Here’s your chance to help make one deadly street a little safer.

Los Angeles is considering a proposal to extend the Fletcher Drive road diet south through Atwater Village as part of the city’s Vision Zero program.

This is the area where 19-year old Ryan Coreas was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he attempted to cross Fletcher last December on his way to get a soda.

There’s something seriously wrong when someone can’t cross a damn street on a simple little errand like that without getting killed.

And in this case, it’s the street itself.

A meeting will be held tonight to discuss the options for improving what is one of the city’s most dangerous streets, included in the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network. Which of course means the NIMBYs and cut-through drivers will be out in force doing their best to keep the street dangerous.

If you can’t make the meeting, here’s a sample email that was forwarded to me that you can send to voice your opinion. Especially if you live or work in the Atwater Village area, or reside in Council District 13.

Dear Councilmember O’Farrell-

I am a resident of [NEIGHBORHOOD] and write to express my support for LADOT’s Fletcher Drive safety improvement project ‘Alternative 1.’

I was saddened to learn of the death of Ryan Coreas at Fletcher Dr & LaClede Ave at the beginning of the year, and appreciate your office’s leadership in improving this dangerous street. If Los Angeles is going to end traffic-related deaths as the City’s ‘Vision Zero’ policy dictates, we need to make safety the first priority and work quickly to fix dangerous roads like Fletcher Drive that encourage speeding.

Alternative 1 is the only option that would improve safety for all road users, but especially for pedestrians when they are most vulnerable at night. Alternative 1 reduces crossing distances for pedestrians and unsafe speeding by incorporating curb extensions. Alternative 1 adds center turn lanes that will make accessing businesses and residences by car safer, while simultaneously improving access for emergency vehicles. Alternative 1 has an added benefit of extending existing bike lanes on Fletcher Drive, providing a safer bike connection between Northeast Los Angeles and the L.A. River Bike Path.

I know from driving on Fletcher Drive regularly that existing traffic congestion is not of a level that makes safety improvement prohibitive. The 2 Freeway also parallels this street, providing access for drivers seeking to bypass the area. Right-sizing Fletcher Drive will discourage cut through traffic while improving mobility options for those accessing local businesses in Atwater Village, Frogtown, and Glassell Park.

I urge you to support Alternative 1 to improve the safety of Fletcher Drive.

Sincerely,

[NAME]

[ADDRESS]

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

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David Drexler did the double on Sunday, taking part in Chartsworth’s Ride the COLT in the morning, before rushing over to participate in the Glendale to Atwater Village CicLAvia in the afternoon.

Where he befriended a bike-riding chicken.

No, seriously.

Here are some of his photos from the COLT ride — and posing with his newfound CicLAvia buddy. You can read his take on CicLAvia here.

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Writing for City Watch, an attorney demonstrates that he didn’t bother to do a basic Google search on road diets before going off on the mayor for inflicting them on the city’s poor, suffering drivers. As well as ranting that LA is being sued for forcing poor, innocent kids to suck in toxic fumes because he — the mayor — insists on putting bike lanes on busy streets.

Because as we all know, little kids are the only ones who ever ride bicycles, especially on busy streets. And no one would ever want to use a bike lane to actually, you know, go somewhere.

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A fundraising account has been established for track cyclist John Walsh, who was seriously injured at the SoCal State championship on Sunday. As of this writing, it has raised nearly $5,000 of the $30,000 goal.

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Local

More semi-NSFW photos from LA’s cheekiest road safety protest ride.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman examines the Vision Zero plans to improve safety in South LA.

CiclaValley celebrates the three miles of bike lanes coming to Sepulveda Blvd in the north SFV.

KFI’s John and Ken go off on the road reconfigurations currently underway in Playa del Rey, which seem none too popular with the drivers who used the deadly beachside streets as virtual commuter highways. If you can listen to more than a few minutes of this crap without throwing your device out a window, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Trial began on Monday for a Long Beach man who faces life in prison after getting beaten by police when they stopped him for the crime of riding without a light.

 

State

Wacky Coronado will talk about how bike riders can safely get from here to there; let’s hope the proposed sharrows and greenways don’t make any more residents dizzy.

A Santa Clara driver complains a bicyclist swore at him after he pulled into a bike lane when his car suffered a mechanical problem. Seriously, don’t be a jerk. On the other hand, bike riders might be more understanding of emergencies like that if so many people didn’t drive in bike lanes just because they can.

San Francisco’s bikeshare system begins its expansion throughout the Bay Area.

It takes a major piece of walking human scum to steal the wheels off a ghost bike.

The Woodland branch of a national non-profit donated ten adaptive tricycles to special needs kids.

A Eureka writer says sometimes you have to get back on your bike or stay face down in the gravel. Literally, on occasion.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers tips on the proper care and feeding of your bike helmet.

Steve Katz forwards news of a bizarre case in Austin TX, which began when a driver plowed into a group of cyclists Saturday morning, injuring four, after claiming he’d fallen asleep. And ended when a witness stopped to help, only to have a passenger in the driver’s car steal his Jeep.

A Missouri church took up a collection to buy a new adult tricycle for a special needs man after his was stolen.

Bicycling talks with the survivors of the Kalamazoo massacre one year later.

Chicago finally releases its Vision Zero action plan for the next three years.

A Michigan woman will spend at least three years and three months behind bars for fleeing the scene after seriously injuring a bike rider in a crash, with a blood alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit. So no, WTVB, she’s not headed to jail for merely hitting a bicyclist with her car.

Sad news from New York, where an investment banker was killed by a bus, becoming the first Citi Bike bikeshare rider to be killed since the program was introduced four years and over 43 million rides ago; he’s just the second person killed since bikeshare came to the US in 2010. Thanks to Alan Thompson and Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A Pennsylvania mom plays detective to get her son’s stolen bike back.

A Baltimore letter writer asks if the mayor is trying to drive Millennials out of town by ripping out a protected bike lane.

Miami gets its first protected bike lane. If you can call a lane separated with nothing more than flexible plastic posts “protected.”

A kindhearted Florida deputy gives a man a new bike after his was destroyed in a hit-and-run.

 

International

Architectural Digest ranks the eleven most scenic bike rides in the world, having evidently never ridden through the Rocky Mountains. Or the American prairie, for that matter.

After a British man gets knocked off his bike by a car towing an RV, he gets even by applying the van’s handbrake, and filming the driver’s wheels spinning as he tries to move forward.

Three out of four daily bike riders in Ireland are men. Which is a stat that could be cited, give or take, for virtually any first world country outside northern Europe.

A soccer coach is bicycling the full length of Italy to fulfill a promise after his team avoided relegation.

A look at the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, from the country where it was born.

Iranian women are ignoring a fatwa from the country’s supreme leader prohibiting them from riding bicycles in public, and posting videos of themselves doing it anyway.

A Kazakh tribesman has left his families flocks behind to compete as an amateur cyclist in China.

 

Finally…

Nobody likes bike thieves, but this is going way too far. Your next bike bell could ring inside cars.

And if you think doping is crappy, you may be right.

Or maybe not.

 

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