Tag Archive for Glenn Bailey

Important LAPD meeting next week for anyone who lives or rides through the San Fernando Valley

Yesterday I received the following email from Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. 

Dear Valley Bicyclists:

At the request of LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, an important meeting with Valley bicyclists to discuss and improve the handling of:

  •       traffic enforcement to ensure cyclist safety
  •       hit and run collisions/crimes
  •       bicycle thefts
  •       improving safety on the Orange Line and other bicycle paths in the Valley
  •       safety education for motorists and cyclists
  •       and other topics of interest to bicyclists

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division will be participating and the County Sheriff (Metro Orange Line enforcement) has been invited as well.

You are cordially to invited to attend:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LAPD Van Nuys Division
6240 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

So that there is adequate seating and copies of handouts, please RSVP via email to glennbaileysfv@yahoo.com if you are attending OR may be attending. Also, if you have additional topics you wish to be considered for this or a subsequent meeting, please forward those as well.

I encourage you to forward this invitation to other interested Valley cyclists.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Having worked with both Bailey and Deputy Chief Villegas as part of the department’s bike task force, I can assure you this is one meeting that will definitely be worth your time.

Especially given the subject matter.

Northridge West NC tables ridiculous $150 licensing proposal after no one speaks in favor of it

L.A. Bicycle Advisory Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reports on the absurdly punitive proposal to charge cyclists a $150 annual licensing fee, which was tabled on a technicality in the middle of debate at last night’s Northridge West Neighborhood Council meeting.

According to Bailey, not one person spoke in favor of the proposal — including the author of the proposal, who was sitting in the audience.

A proposal to charge $150 annual bicycle “license” fee was abruptly tabled last night in the middle of public comment being heard by the Northridge West Neighborhood Council board.

After several cyclist stakeholders made comments strongly opposing the measure, NWNC President Tom Johnson announced the item would be tabled because “the motion needs to be presented by a Board member” and that it was an “oversight” that it was placed on the agenda.  Johnson asked the remaining speakers to “save it for a month” but that was objected to and comments continued.

Residents, stakeholders, and cyclists unanimously spoke against the proposal, listed on the agenda as 13v. Motion: NWNC Requests LA City to Encourage Bicycle Violator Citations and Reinstitute Bicycle Licensing (Bicycle license fees must be at least $150 per year to reflect their shared responsibility for the cost of maintaining the roads and their safe use).

The measure was repeatedly called “ridiculous” in that it would “become a barrier” to cycling and thereby hurt public health and the environment.

Glenn Bailey, vice-chair of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee reviewed the reasons the City repealed its previous licensing ordinance two years ago and told the board that “we should be encouraging, not discouraging, cycling.”

He asked the board not to “waste any more of our time” by giving any further consideration to the proposal, which speakers pointed out was in violation of the California Vehicle Code.

NWNC stakeholder Ron Wengler, whose name was on the agenda as proposing the motion, was in the audience but did not speak in favor of the item.  In fact, no one did.

The 93 Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles are advisory bodies established under the City Charter and are governed by boards elected by the stakeholders within the boundaries of each NC.

Although many emails were sent prior to the meeting, additional comments may be directed to all NWNC board members by emailing board@northridgewest.org

As Glenn points out, the proposal is ridiculous — and illegal — on its face, and should be dead on arrival, with no attempt to revive it at the next meeting.

And writing for Cyclelicious, Richard Masoner artfully eviscerates Wengler’s proposal, and warns him to be careful what he wishes for, because he just might get it.

A “Modest” Proposal: $150 Bicycle License Fee? That’s What Up In Northridge Tonight

I received the following email this morning from BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey, and think it’s important enough that I’m reposting it in it’s entirety.

In 1729, Jonathan Swift wrote his essay: A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.

Tonight in Los Angeles 282 years later, the Northridge West Neighborhood Council is considering a “modest” proposal of its own:

13v. Motion: NWNC Requests LA City to Encourage Bicycle Violator Citations and Reinstitute Bicycle Licensing (Bicycle license fees must be at least $150 per year to reflect their shared responsibility for the cost of maintaining the roads and their safe use).

$150 cost per bicycle to maintain roads?  Really?  How many potholes have bicycles created?  None.

Although they are confusing licensing (a person) with registration (a vehicle/bicycle), this is clearly an anti-bicycle proposal.  In fact, many motor vehicles on the road today are not charged fees this high!

Help defeat this outrageous proposal by attending and speaking up at tonight’s meeting:

Northridge West Neighborhood Council
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Beckford Elementary School

19130 Tulsa Street, Northridge, CA 91326

This item is 13v; the full agenda may be viewed at:  http://www.northridgewest.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/NWNC-April-2011-Agenda.pdf

If you are unable to attend tonight’s meeting, please consider sending an email IN YOUR OWN WORDS to the NWNC board expressing how you feel about this “modest” proposal:  board@northridgewest.org

Thank you for your support of bicycling….and bicyclists…..in Los Angeles.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Of course, this proposal is outrageous, and clearly not intended to regulate cycling, but to force the overwhelming majority of riders off the road.

At $150 dollars, it’s significantly more than I pay to license may car — which actually does cause damage to the road, as well as contributing to traffic congestion and air pollution. And, unlike my bike, poses significant risk to other people if I operate it carelessly.

A careless driver is a danger to everyone around him, while even the most reckless cyclist is primarily a danger to him or her self.

As for that well worn out and blatantly false claim that cyclists don’t pay our share of the road, the fact is that it’s drivers who don’t pay their full share for the roads they use. And all taxpayers — you, me and everyone you see on the road today, in or out of cars — make up the difference.

How about a counter motion requesting a$150 rebate for everyone who agrees to ride a bike instead of contributing to L.A.’s massive gridlock?

Because we’re not the ones slowing down traffic, clogging the streets and damaging the roads. Take every bike in Los Angeles off the roads, and traffic wouldn’t improve at all. But remove just a fraction of the motor vehicles, and traffic improves instantly, as anyone who has ever driven on even a modestly observed legal or religious holiday has already seen.

I won’t be at that meeting tonight.

But I won’t leave the house today until I’ve emailed the Northridge West Neighborhood Council to express my disgust and anger at this outrageously punitive motion.

And I hope you will join me in flooding their inbox with emails demanding fair treatment for cyclists, and recognition that it’s driver, not bike riders, that cause the problems.

Izquieta pleads guilty in OC drugged hit-and-run death; Jay Slater elected chair of BAC

Riverside resident Patricia Ann Izquieta has pleaded guilty in the 2009 death of cyclist Donald Murphy in Newport Beach.

According to KPCC 89.3 – which describes Izquieta as “drug-addled” at the time of the collision — she changed her initial not-guilty plea to admit to charges of felony hit-and-run with death or permanent injury, felony manslaughter while intoxicated and misdemeanor driving without a valid license.

And for that, she is expected to receive a whopping three years in prison — despite being under the influence of several prescription medications at the time of the collision.

On the other hand, Murphy, who spent much of his spare time working with recovering addicts in halfway houses, received the death penalty for the crime of riding a bike on a public street.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad there was a conviction in this case, and that justice was done.

But sometimes justice stinks.

.………

In a surprising move, Jay Slater is elected Chair of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee by a one-vote margin after calling for better outreach to LADOT, the mayor and City Council committee heads; former Chair Glenn Bailey is unanimously elected Vice Chair.

Glenn has done a great job as Chair over the last few years, raising the profile of the BAC and helping restore it to it’s legitimate place as the leading voice for cyclists in L.A. government. Regardless of last night’s vote, he deserves the thanks of the city’s cyclists for a job well done; if you’ve noticed improvement in how we’re treated on the streets and in City Hall, he deserves a lot of the credit.

And congratulations to Jay Slater, who is well-respected in L.A. cycling circles and well-connected to city leadership. Here’s hoping he can build on Glenn’s work and take the BAC to the next level.

I know, like and respect both men. If they can work well together as leaders of the BAC, it should be an unstoppable combination.

Thanks to Christopher Kidd for live tweeting the meeting. Meanwhile, Chris also reports on last week’s meeting of the BAC Bikeways Subcommittee.

.………

People for Bikes urges everyone to help double their membership by inviting a friend to take the pledge. So I’m asking you. If you haven’t signed up yet, take 30 seconds to do it right now; you could win a free Timbuk2 messenger bag.

.………

America’s rising bike hero puts his first pro year on hold as Taylor Phinney pulls out of the Tour of Qatar due to tendonitis in his knee. I’ve had the privilege of riding with both his parents — not that they’d remember it — and word is that he’s better than both onboard a bike, which is saying something. And he seems to be a genuinely nice guy, which appears to run in the family.

Meanwhile, Floyd “I was lying then but seriously, I’m telling the truth now” Landis says he had to choose between cheating by doping and being cheated by dopers; the Amgen Tour of California says not on our watch. Alexandre Vinokourov says this will be his last year as a pro cyclist. And Aussie cyclist Jack Bobridge breaks Chris Boardman’s 15-year old world record in the 4 kilometer individual pursuit.

.………

A DC area writer says cyclists will follow the rules when the rules make more sense. Ohio bike lawyer Steve Magos responds that cyclists need to follow the rules and obey the traffic laws we have now.

.………

The L.A. City Council decides not to decide on a proposal for bus and bike-only lanes on Wilshire Blvd. Car-less Valley Girl offers great advice on what not to do when you ride a bike and why; seriously, read it already. REI Santa Monica is hosting a presentation on cycling California’s central coast by the extremely nice and knowledgeable Meghan Kavanagh. Joe Anthony of Bike Commute News writes a great piece on the history and importance of the Save A Cyclist campaign; it’s definitely worth reading — and not just because he quotes me. Good daily news report from L.A.’s 2nd Council District. I spent most of yesterday on Tuesday’s ride from the Ballona Creek outlet to L.A. City Hall hosted by Jared Blumenfield, West Coast Administrator for the EPA. The Valley Bikery celebrated the Grand Opening of their new storefront, with coverage by CicLAvia and Streetsblog’s Damien Newton. Speaking of CicLAvia, mark your calendar for April 11, July 10 and October 9. More on NIMBYist opposition to the proposed extension of the beachfront bike path in Venice, as well as a surprising supporter. Tim Robbins rides a bike in Santa Monica. Long Beach hosts a workshop on the city’s bike master plan Wednesday night, part of a series of upcoming meetings. The city also begins construction on separated bike lanes downtown; thanks to Frank Peters for the heads-up. The Claremont Cyclist examines differences in helmet use between lycra and denim clad riders.

San Diego-area Representative Duncan Hunter, recent recipient of his similarly named father’s hereditary seat, says getting San Diegans out of their cars is not feasible; way to think small, Congressman. Just Another Cyclist says California’s Mandatory Use Law really isn’t. Do SF cyclists consider new center lane sharrows too dangerous to use? A bicycling widow campaigns for safer roads for cyclists a year after his death.

Elly Blue says don’t be afraid to ride a bike, be afraid of what could happen if you don’t. A new $16 tool could save your next bent rim. A University of Arizona student has her first bike commuting collision, with another cyclist no less. Chicago’s leading mayoral candidate is an avid cyclist and bike supporter. Boston Biker astutely tells motorists cyclists are not the ones slowing them down. A columnist for the Boston Globe says if a little less car space is the price we have to pay to see women, children and the elderly pedaling the city’s streets, it’s worth it; thanks again to Frank Peters. John McCain — who I used to admire — has gone from maverick to whack job, insisting that not one federal dime be spend for bike parking at airports; God forbid some crazy person might actually want to ride to one instead of spending hours in backed-up traffic.

A Bahamian cyclist is murdered as witnesses report seeing a driver chase and intentionally run him down. No European-style strict liability for English cyclists; more on that topic soon. The BBC notes the rise of bike helmet cams; here’s a quick overview of some of the leading options. Town Mouse reports on the new Cycling Embassy of Great Britain after failing to get her Boris Bike account to work. Northern Ireland’s Assembly votes to reduce the rate of cycling in the province by requiring mandatory helmet use for all riders. In Copenhagen, parents are afraid to let their children ride because of speeding cyclists. Storming the beaches of Normandy by bike. The number one reason New Zealand is so shit for cyclists — the author’s words, not mine; personally, I think the #1 reason more people don’t ride is because we’re usually treated like #2. Ghost bikes may soon haunt Kiwi drivers; I’m a big supporter of ghost bikes, but what if we just didn’t kill any cyclists so they wouldn’t be necessary?

Finally, Cyclelicious points us towards this story about a new Jakarta bicycle track; maybe it’s just a bad translation, but I really, really like their promise to “sterilize the special track from other road users.” I don’t know what kind of disinfectant they use, but I want some.

Or I could just ride on the other side of the road. As long as it’s not this one.

BAC Chair Glenn Bailey files to run for L.A. City Council

Glenn Bailey, left, with other members of the BAC.

Evidently, Stephen Box isn’t the only local bike advocate running for City Council next spring.

I’d glanced at the list of candidates who filed before the deadline on Saturday, but hadn’t really paid much attention to it; other than Box and the current council members running for re-election, none of the names jumped out at me.

I should have looked a little harder.

I was on the phone last night with Hillel Aron, Editor-at-Large of Neon Tommy, USC’s outstanding online news source, when he asked what I thought about bike advocates such as Stephen Box and Glenn Bailey running for the council.

Wait a minute, I said.

Glenn Bailey is running for L.A. City Council?

So as soon as I got off the phone, I went back to look at the list of candidates to succeed retiring Councilmember Grieg Smith. And there he was, one of 11 candidates running in that district and the 72nd person to file for the council in Los Angeles, filing his papers on Friday, November 12th.

It’s true.

Neighborhood Council member and Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey is running for City Council in the Valley’s District 12. And yes, it’s the same Glenn Bailey.

Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be on the ballot.

He still has to gather 1000 valid signatures (pdf) by December 8th to make it on the ballot, or gather 500 signatures and pay a $300 filing fee; unfortunately, petitions can only be signed by people registered to vote in that district or I’d volunteer to sign right now. And he has until December 13th to change his mind and back out.

But depending on how things turn out on March 8th, two of the city’s leading voices on behalf of cyclists could be doing a lot more than speaking for us.

And speaking of Grieg Smith, he promises to protect the Wilbur Ave bike lanes when and if the road diet is reconfigured.

.………

In light of Bailey’s candidacy, this would be a good time to remember his eloquent remarks at Mayor Villaraigosa’s recent Bike Summit.

Good morning Mayor Villaraigosa, fellow cyclists.

On behalf of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Mayor’s Bike Summit.

The BAC, was established by Mayor Bradley 35 years ago to make recommendations to the City on all bicycle related matters.  It is composed of an appointee of each of the fifteen Councilmembers and four from the Mayor.  For most of Mayor Bradley’s twenty years in office, his office staffed the Committee.  As a result, when the Mayor’s office called a City department about a bicycle matter, they were usually responsive.

Several days ago the Mayor’s office requested the top bicycle priorities of the BAC.  I invited each BAC member to respond and those suggestions have been compiled and submitted to your office as an “unofficial” list.

____________________________________________________________

Mr. Mayor, last December in an interview from Copenhagen you stated that the Los Angeles has to do a much better job for bicycling.  We couldn’t agree more.

A better job for bicycling means safely accommodating bicycles on all projects, on all streets, without exception.

A better job for bicycling means the prompt repair of potholes, cleaning debris, and other hazardous road conditions.

A better job for bicycling means the vigorous enforcement against the blocking of bike lanes by delivery vehicles, unhitched trailers, or anything else.  (Audience:  trash cans!)

A better job for bicycling means a transit system that integrates cyclists in every aspect of its operation, not just when it’s convenient to do so.

A better job for bicycling means providing convenient and secure parking at every City building and park, including at City Hall itself, and at all commercial and retail locations.

A better job for bicycling means holding the line, in fact, rolling back the recent increases in speed limits.

A better job for bicycling means a properly trained police force that enforces the law equally and fairly and that protects and respects the rights of cyclists.

A better job for bicycling means vehicular hit and runs will be fully investigated and prosecuted for the crimes that they are.

A better job for bicycling means a visionary and robust City Bicycle Plan that is implemented each and every day, not just sitting on sitting on a shelf for five years awaiting its next revision.

A better job for bicycling means installing at least fifty miles of bicycle lanes every year for the next three years, rather than the five mile annual average of the past fourteen years under the current 1996 Bicycle Plan.

A better job for bicycling means incorporating the City Council endorsed Cyclist’s Bill of Rights in the operation of every City department and every action taken by the City and its employees.

And a better job for bicycling means welcoming and encouraging cyclists to participate in every step of the decision making process, the outcome of which affects our very lives.

Thank you for listening and for your support.

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Two actors on ABC’s Castle agree to go car free in Los Angeles for seven days a month, and follow their progress on an online reality program.

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An L.A. bike theft is caught on tape, and $1000 reward is offered for return of the bikes; in Tucson, a police car is shown rolling past a bike theft in progress captured on a security camera.

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The social calendar is starting to get busy, as the South Bay Bike Coalition is holding an informal cocktail mixer from 7 – 9 Tuesday night, and the Bikerowave plans a New Years Eve party, which could be the highlight, or highlighter, of the year.

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The LACBC announces their first annual report is now available for download. Bob Muellner reports on the proposed anti-harassment ordinance on KCRW’s Shortcuts blog, and says if everyone would just obey standard traffic laws, things would go a lot better. Meanwhile, KPCC profiles L.A. eco, bike and river activist extraordinaire Joe Linton; anyone notice that it’s the public radio stations who provide the best coverage of bicycling issues? Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles offers a workshop on Winter Training for Metabolic Efficiency this Wednesday. A cyclist discovers LADOT’s bike riding parking enforcement officers. Glendale plans to add bike parking downtown; granted, it’s only five words out of the entire article, but it’s a good five words. The latest area bike co-op is born as the Bicycle Lounge opens its doors in Riverside. San Francisco buses, bikes and businesses battle to be king of the road. A Redding bike count shows an 80% increase in the last year alone.

Pick your bicycling calendar for the upcoming year, including one from Long Beach’s cycling expats, Russ Roca and Laura Crawford. Or maybe you’d prefer an autographed George Hincapie championship jersey. Victims of distracted driving are remembered online. Even the U.S. Secretary of Energy rides a bike. An all natural, biodegradable spoke card. A new website celebrates the bicycle as an art form; thanks to EvoVelo for the link. MTV host and BMX cyclist TJ Lavin returns home after a nearly fatal bike stunt. A Utah teenager turns herself in following a fatal hit-and-run. A Phoenix woman is arrested in the hit-and-run death of a cyclist. More on the Oregon bike commuter study, which shows cycling is good for you except when you crash, while a local paper offers a highly skewed perspective on the same study. At least L.A. cyclists don’t have to deal with moose on the bike paths. My hometown passes a ballot measure to create and implement a citywide Bicycle Safety Education Plan. The Eagle County, CO District Attorney who declined to file felony hit-and-run charges against a wealthy fund manager hasn’t filed charges in the other hit-and-run that occurred the same day, either; thanks to Cyclelicious for the link. An Ohio cyclist is killed in what locals call a hit-skip collision, making it sound so much more fun than a mere hit-and-run. Yet another cyclist is killed in the most dangerous state for bicycling, the 9th Tampa-area rider to die in the last four months.

Nova Scotia considers the metric equivalent of a three-foot passing law. A street racing Brit driver who killed a cyclist at 80 mph six years ago asks for his license back. The Guardian asks what you would do if you saw a bike being stolen. The great Aussie helmet debate goes on, as an ER doctor says research shows the effectiveness of that country’s mandatory helmet law. A New Zealand driver is reportedly traumatized after crossing onto the wrong side of the road to hit three cyclists head-on; on the other hand, two of the riders she hit are dead, which just seems a little worse to me. In a separate Kiwi collision, a cyclist questions if she’ll ever ride again after seeing her riding partner killed. Also in New Zealand, a driver runs a cyclist off the road, then stops to lecture him before driving off. Biking the Hajj from Capetown to Mecca. An American expat buys a bike in Beijing. UCI announces an amateur world championship tour for next year.

Finally, a successful Hollywood director strips away the trappings of his success to live the change he advocates, and chooses to ride his bike virtually everywhere. With a helmet, the article notes.

A friendly greeting, a nearby death, another bike-hating DJ

It was one of those things that just wouldn’t happen if I’d been driving a car.

Last week, I was on my way back home from a long ride when I stopped at a red light across from Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica. Next to me was a frozen yogurt store than had opened recently in what had been an empty space.

The tables outside were filled with an eclectic assortment of people enjoying the sunny afternoon. At the one closest to me, a couple of well-dressed children sat enjoying their desserts.

“Excuse me sir,” said the young African American gentleman at the table, waving as his female companion concentrated on her yogurt. “Nice day, isn’t?”

I nodded in agreement.

“I just graduated from 5th grade,” he continued. “It was hard work, but I made it.”

“Well, congratulations. You should be very proud,” I said. “That’s quite an accomplishment.”

“I am!” he answered cheerfully. “Thank you!”

Just then the light changed, so I wished him well as I clipped back into my pedal and started up the road.

“You too,” shouted the voice from behind. “Enjoy your ride!”

………

A wrong-way cyclist was killed in Palm Springs Saturday night.

The rider, identified as 46-year old Indio resident Eric Mendoza, was headed north in the southbound lanes of North Indian Canyon Drive in Palm Springs when he was struck by an unidentified driver at about 11:24 PM.

Riding facing traffic greatly raises your risk of a collision while increasing the potential severity of injuries due to higher relative speeds. In fact, LAPD statistics show that 30% of cyclists killed in Los Angeles in 2008, and 20% of those severely injured, were riding on the wrong side of the road.

………

A Pittsburgh cyclist responds to the latest bike-hating DJ, who admits to being tempted to run down those “arrogant little dorks” on their bicycles.

“They’ve got to stop being so arrogant about what they’re doing. They’ve got to obey the rules. They have to do the right thing or else they’re going to get killed.”

Funny how the people who hate bicyclists profess to be so concerned about our safety while simultaneously professing their desire to frighten, injure, maim and/or kill us for the heinous crime of riding a bike in the street. Or maybe just being in their way.

And maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the real arrogant ones are the people who insist that the roads belong to them, rather than acknowledging that others have a right to be there, too.

………

Bike Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey reports that LADOT has taken the initial steps to install 2.3 miles of bike lanes on Winnetka Ave between Gault and Nordhoff Streets, 14 years after they were included in the 1996 bike plan — and after another 1.75 miles included in the plan were replaced with curb-to-curb traffic lanes without consulting the bike community.

Bailey urges LADOT to extend the bike lanes two miles to the south, which is also called for in the bike plan, allowing riders to connect with the Orange Line and Pierce College.

Update: LADOT Bike Blog offered clarification in the comments that the bike lane only needs to be extended .8 mile to connect to the Orange Line and the Pierce College Station. He also notes that a couple of road narrowings, including a crossing over the L.A. River, would have to be addressed before the bike lanes can be extended to their planned terminus at Ventura Blvd — something Glenn Bailey had mentioned as well, but which I left out.

Meanwhile, Stephen Box takes LADOT to task for failing to attend last weekend’s Caltrans workshops on Understanding Bicycle Transportation, where they could have learned how to install sharrows correctly.

And speaking of Box, he will be honored, along with Sgt. David Krumer of the LAPD’s Bike Task Force, as the winners of the Eastside Bike Club’s 1st Annual Golden Crank Award for their outstanding contributions to the cycling community in Los Angeles over the past year. The awards will be given at the bike club’s second anniversary celebration this Saturday, June 26.

We will be making the presentation at the EASTSIDE BIKE CLUB 2nd Gear Anniversary Celebration which will be held at

LINCOLN PARK
3501 Valley Blvd, LA CA 90031
PARK PHONE #  213/847.1726

We will begin our day at 2pm to gather, meet and relax at Lincoln Park.  Our presentation will begin at 5pm  followed by a community bike ride   We will contain our ride to the LAPD Hollenbeck Division.  We are asking everyone to decorate your bikes in RED WHITE AND BLUE and wear clothing of the same colors if possible.  Bring Bells, Whistles and Horns!

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Lance Armstrong almost — but not quite — pulled off a big upset by jumping up from seventh place in the final stage of the Tour of Switzerland to finish 2nd, 12 seconds behind winner Frank Schleck; the previous day’s leader, Robert Gesink, dropped back to 5th.

However, the race was overshadowed by the heart attack suffered by 31-year old former Luxembourg national champion Kim Kirchen, who had been in 48th place after the seventh stage. Kirchen was reportedly in stable condition after being placed in medically induced coma.

………

Bike Girl advises women riders how to gracefully dismount. Adult drivers are every bit as distracted as their teenage counterparts, which should come as no surprise to those who share the road with them. Into every bike commuter’s life a little rain must fall — along with hail and hurricane force winds, at times. Preview the upcoming movie about America’s first black bike hero. A Chicago man reminisces about his father walking the walk and biking the bike. CNN discovers naked bicycling in St. Louis; Pittsburgh rides naked while DC dons seersucker. In Colorado, even ski towns strive to be bike-friendly. Three to eight years in prison for an Idaho drunk driver convicted of killing a cyclist. Pylon-protected bike lanes on DC’s Pennsylvania Avenue. BMX racers from around the world will be headed to Allegany County, PA for the Stars-N-Stripes Nationals this weekend. Interview with a cam-wearing car-dodging cyclist in Annapolis. A Huntsville, AL bicyclist provides inspiration for Complete Streets in her hometown following her death while riding in another state. A triathlete gives up riding the roads of Israel after the latest of 12 fellow triathletes, the son of a former Israel Supreme Court justice, is killed in a hit-and-run collision. Cyclists in India may soon be required to paint their black bikes bright orange for the sake of safety. A UK cyclist has his new custom-made bike stolen just minutes into his first ride. A distracted Brit bus driver who killed a cyclist walks free.

Finally, an injured non-car-owning cyclist is banned from driving — but not riding — after running a red light and colliding with a car. And Missouri unveils bicycling commemorative license plates, so you can show your support for cyclists while you run them off the road.

An alleged killer to be arraigned; peak hour lanes to be debated again in Northridge

A couple of quick notes.

A reader named Danny sends word that Robert Sam Sanchez, the driver arrested in connection with the hit-and-run death of cyclist Rod Armas, will be arraigned this Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

As you may recall, Rod and his 14-year old son Christian were nearing the finish of the L.A. Wheelmen’s Grand Tour Double Century when they were struck by an alleged drunk driver on PCH near Malibu early in the morning of Sunday, June 28; Rod was killed and Christian was seriously injured. The driver ditched his truck about a mile away and was arrested by sheriff’s deputies a short time later.

According to Danny, the arraignment will take place in Dept. 1 of the Malibu Courthouse this Thursday, August 20, at 8:30 am. He says he plans to be there and will fill us in on any details. If anyone else plans to attend, feel free to forward observations you may have (you can find my email on the About BikingInLA page.

My prayers go out to the entire Armas family; if anyone can provide an update on Christian’s condition, let me know. And you can still make a donation to the Armas family online through the Talbert Family Foundation.

On another note, on the heels of last week’s successful turnout at the Northridge West Neighborhood Council meeting to fight the “rumored” peak hour lane proposal, BAC Chairperson Glenn Bailey sends word that the subject will be taken up by their Northridge East counterparts on Wednesday:

Fellow bicyclists and other interested persons:

This morning I received the attached agenda for the Northridge EAST Neighborhood Council meeting for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 19 which includes Item 7d:

7. Old Business

d. Proposed Peak Hour Lane Reseda Boulevard

[Possible Action]

The meeting will be held at CSUN’s University Club located northwest of Nordhoff and Zelzah, enter from Dearborn St.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and refreshments are usually served.  (NOTE:  When I called the University Club (818-677-2076) inquiring about bicycle parking I was told to “Tie it to a tree.”  <sigh>  I requested that they get a bicycle rack by tomorrow night’s meeting.)

FYI, I made a presentation at the Northridge East NC’s July meeting as to the information I had obtained as of then and I was well received.  This morning I emailed the NENC board recommending that they vote to OPPOSE the Reseda Boulevard peak hour lanes and SUPPORT the installation of the long planned bicycle lanes between Nordhoff and Rinaldi streets.  (The bicycle lanes would assure that no peak hour lanes would be installed in the future, or at least that it would be a much more difficult process.)

I am hoping you might be able to attend this meeting and inform others.  As you can see, this time there is no motion listed on the agenda so it could go either way.

I will not personally be able to attend this meeting as I have a previous commitment out of town.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email and/or telephone me,

Thank you for your interest and assistance.

Cordially,

Glenn Bailey, Chairperson

Bicycle Advisory Committee

City of Los Angeles

If you live or ride in the area, I urge you attend the meeting if you can. LADOT may claim they don’t have any current plans for peak hour lanes on Reseda, but that could change as soon as we turn our backs. Let’s keep up the fight until we get those long-promised bike lanes painted on the street. (And thanks to Joe Linton for providing a link to the NENC agenda).

………

Evidently, Stephen Colbert reads Streetsblog LA, at least when it’s about him. Mikey Wally announces a party at Orange 20 to celebrate his return, along with two other SoCal cyclists, from a NY to LA cross-country ride.  C.I.C.L.E. and the Santa Monica Museum of Art join together for an art ride this weekend, promising a slow pace and observance of all traffic laws. The Springfield Cyclist can now legally run red lights. A Colorado jerk motorist says bikes have as much right on the road as sheep, but at least sheep have enough sense to get out of the way. Athletes from the University of Colorado come to the aid of a fallen cyclist. Tucson unveils the Bike Church, a memorial to fallen cyclists made entirely of bike parts. Graphic evidence that cycling casualties go down as ridership goes up. A Toronto cyclist returns to find her bike ticketed for excessive awesomeness. Ireland agrees to pay for bike parking facilities; one of their top amateur cyclists is killed in a single vehicle car crash. Finally, in what may be the most vile incident in recent memory, a cyclist in Texas is killed by a hit-and-run driver who pulls the victim inside his back seat and drives home, leaving him in the car to die.

Today’s post, in which I beat a dead horse

Let’s take a quick look back at last week’s LADOT controversy, before I move on to other subjects.

As you may recall, last Monday I broke the news that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation was secretly planning to install peak hour lanes on Reseda Blvd, which would have necessitated the removal of two miles of existing bike lanes, as well as the cancellation of another long-planned — and long delayed — 3-mile extension.

This came to light courtesy of Glenn Bailey, chairman of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. He had learned of the plans in an official LADOT status report to the BAC, which indicated that the planned extension conflicted with “peak hour usage in the near future.” Bailey then confirmed those plans in a conversation with Ken Firoozmand, Transportation Engineer for the West Valley division of LADOT.

The response was overwhelming, as the story quickly spread through the Internet. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition issued an action alert from urging cyclists to attend a meeting of the Northridge West Neighborhood Council, which was planning to vote on a resolution in support of the plan after learning about it from Bailey; the large, highly motivated turnout resulted in a unanimous vote against the peak hour lanes.

And that’s when the inevitable backlash began.

Representatives from LADOT contacted both Streetsblog and LAist, insisting that the agency had no plans to install peak hour lanes on Reseda and that “…It was all based on rumor, nothing that we had propagated.”

Obviously, they were mistaken. Or lying. I chose to give them the benefit of the doubt; others didn’t.

Joe Linton, BAC member and founder of the LACBC, responded by providing the original document revealing the existence of the peak lane plan, and expressed concern for the LADOT staffer who was only doing his job in providing that information to the BAC.

Meanwhile, Glenn Bailey circulated an open letter providing full details of how he became aware of the plan and confirmed its existence with Firoozmand. He also pointed out the Notice of Street Work for a one-mile section of Reseda where the proposed bike lanes would go, which local residents were concerned would provide an opportunity to install the peak hour lanes; Glenn has requested that this section be restriped for the long-promised bike lanes, instead.

A commenter on Streetsblog noted that the bridge over the viaduct near Victory Boulevard was widened with the express purpose of turning the Reseda into a major north-south thoroughfare. In my initial conversation with Bailey, he’d quoted Firoozmand as saying “We wouldn’t have widened the bridge if we weren’t planning to include peak hour lanes. The only reason I didn’t include that in the initial story only because I had failed to write down which bridge he was referring to.

Yet incredibly, when LADOT was confronted with proof of the plan, they stuck by their initial denials. Damien at Streetblog offered this official response from LADOT:

The information provided yesterday is accurate and still stands: the Department has no current plans to remove any portion of the bike lane or to install peak hour lanes on Reseda Boulevard.

Note the key word “current.”

All they had to do was acknowledge their error, and admit that a plan had been considered but was no longer under consideration — whether or not that had anything to do with the massive response in opposition to the plan.

Instead, they chose to engage in a cover-up — not exactly the kind of open, honest government we have a right to expect as citizen of a democratic society. And in the process, they continued to smear both Glenn Bailey and me as the unnamed sources of those unfounded “rumors.”

Unfortunately, as of this writing, a few local websites still haven’t corrected the stories based on LADOT’s false denials, despite the overwhelming proof to the contrary.

And a full week later, none of the council members I contacted before publishing the initial story — Rosendahl, Kortetz, Zine and Smith — has bothered to respond in any way.

Meanwhile, Joe Linton has written an open letter to Rita Robinson, General Manager of the LADOT, as well as Mayor Villaraigosa, Council President Garcetti, and Council Members Rosendahl, Smith, and Zine. It reads in part:

It doesn’t surprise me that LADOT would favor a peak lane plan that would increase capacity for cars, indeed this is LADOT’s job and what LADOT has historically successfully focused on. What surprises me is that LADOT staff lied. Governmental agencies depend on the trust of the public to make our city work. When LADOT staff deny something that LADOT staff have already put in writing, this duplicity damages the public trust and makes it difficult for all of us to work together in the future.

I urge you to work with your staff to be honest, clear and transparent and to rebuild the public trust that their actions have strained. I also urge you to immediately implement the long-delayed bike lanes on Reseda Boulevard.

Meanwhile, the LACBC has sent out another Action Alert calling attention to the LADOT’s false denials, and urging everyone to contact the appropriate officials:

Some of you may have been getting letters assuring you that the bike lane was never going to be removed and that this was all a rumor.  Due to the overwhelming response to this threat, it seems that DOT has retracted their plan and is now claiming that there is currently no plan to install a peak hour lane.

We want to make sure that there will never be a plan to install peak hour lanes on Reseda Blvd.

Let’s install the already approved bike lanes on Reseda Blvd!

Due to your emails and the extreme circumstances of this issue, Mayoral staff requested a meeting with LACBC. They suggested that if there is community consensus, a bike lane could be completed this year.

Here’s what you can do:

Please write to Councilmembers Smith and Zine and let them know that you would like to see the already approved extension of the Bike Lane of Reseda Blvd from Vanowen to Rinaldi installed by the end of 2009.

Please send in and email your letters to:

Honorable Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine
200 North Spring Street, Suite 450
Los Angeles, CA 90012
councilmember.zine@lacity.org

Honorable Los Angeles City Councilmember Greig Smith
200 North Spring Street, Suite 405
Los Angeles, CA 90012
councilmember.smith@lacity.org

Jonathan Brand, Planning Deputy for Dennis Zine
jonathan.brand@lacity.org

Phyllis Winger, Chief Planning Deputy for Greig Smith
phyllis.winger@lacity.org

Honorable Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
mayor@lacity.org

It’s your government. And it’s up to you to decide whether to accept secret plans and cover-ups. Or whether you’re going to do something about it.

LADOT: We didn’t do it, nobody saw us do it, you can’t prove anything*

We could declare victory. But the opposition now claims they were never playing.

In fact, they have no idea what we were even talking about.

No, really.

I first heard about the West Valley DOT’s plans to install Peak Hour Lanes on Reseda Boulevard when I was sitting in on the meeting of the Bike Advisory Committee last week. Committee Chairman Glenn Bailey mentioned it in passing, saying he’d like it added to the agenda for the next meeting.

He said it had come to light when bike planners had tried to coordinate with their West Valley counterparts about installing another three miles of bike lanes on Reseda, and were told not to bother because it wasn’t going to happen. The decision had been made to go with the peak hour lanes instead.

In speaking with Glenn later, he related a conversation with a district engineer who confirmed the plans.

Yet a spokeswoman for the LADOT now tells Damien Newton that there were never any plans to install peak hour lanes or to remove the existing bike lane.

Fair enough.

Maybe a few rogue engineers had been acting on their own without getting approval from their superiors. Maybe it was only under consideration and they were just making preparations in case such a plan was approved.

Or maybe they were surprised by the overwhelming opposition from the cycling community, and are now in full backpedal mode, sounding like Sgt. Schultz as they deny any knowledge of any such plan.

As Stephen Box sagely points out, the fact that the old bike plan called for a bike lane the full length of Reseda, while the new bike plan calls that “currently infeasible,” indicates that someone, somewhere made a decision to do something else with the boulevard.

But that’s the advantage of secret plans.

They’re easy to deny if anyone finds out.

*Also known as the Bart Simpson approach to public relations

……….

Bike Date uncovers the latest high-tech bike prototype, complete with biodegradable wheels. Metblogs notes the opening of Bikrowave 3.0. Stephen Colbert offers his tips for cyclists. A blogger questions the quality of police investigations of cycling accidents — scroll down for some fascinating insights from a retired cop. Following the recent attempted shooting of a cyclist, an Asheville writer calls for a peace treaty between cyclists and drivers. Four years after a near fatal collision on the same spot, a New York cyclist marks the opening of a new protected approach to the Manhattan Bridge. A new Missouri law allows bikes and motorcycles to run red lights if they fail to change. A Minneapolis-area driver attacks a cyclist with an ax following an on-road dispute. The author of the new Colorado Bike Safety bill explains how it should benefit cyclists and drivers. Finally, a Louisiana cyclist is stopped for riding with a three-foot alligator on his shoulders.

Incomplete Streets: A line in the sand — and on the street

The line is drawn.

At first, I didn’t notice a lot of excitement following yesterday’s post about the West Valley DOT’s secret plan to remove two miles of existing bike lanes from Reseda Blvd, along with another three miles of planned lanes.

Then Damien at Streetsblog picked up the story.

The next thing I knew, it was featured on the website of KPFK and a topic of discussion on the Ridazz forum and on Los Angeles Fixed Gear, as well as countless Facebook and Twitter pages. LAist gave it a brief mention, as did the Examiner.

And the LACBC sent out an action alert late in the day — thought they failed to give BAC Chairman Glenn Bailey credit for his legwork in bringing this to light:

EMERGENCY ACTION NEEDED:

STOP THE REMOVAL OF RESEDA BIKE LANES!

TAKE ACTION TODAY!!

Unbelievably, LADOT’s West Valley office has proposed to REMOVE the existing bike lanes on Reseda Blvd. between Ventura Blvd. and Vanowen to make room for peak hour traffic lanes.  The City’s current Bicycle Master Plan actually calls for extending these lanes three miles farther north, which would also be killed by plans to run the peak hour lanes there as well.

There is a motion in favor of the Peak Hour Lane proposal before the Northridge West Neighborhood Council Tuesday night at 7pm, in the auditorium of Beckford Avenue Elementary School, at 19130 Tulsa Street in Northridge.

What you can do:

1) Attend this meeting and oppose this outrageous plan!

Where: 19130 Tulsa Street in Northridge

Auditorium of Beckford Avenue Elementary School

When: Tuesday 7 pm

2) Contact the local Council Member, Dennis Zine, to let him know how you feel!

Jonathan Brand, Planning Deputy for Dennis Zine

jonathan.brand@lacity.org

213-473-7003

200 N. Spring Street, Rm 450

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 473-7003 Tele

(213) 485-8988 Fax

3) Contact LA Mayor Deputy Borja Leon Borja.Leon@lacity.org and Deputy Mayor Transportation Jaime de la Vega jaime.delavega@lacity.org

Key points:

• Rather than removing the bike lanes on Reseda, they need to be extended north three miles as called for in the current Bicycle Master Plan

• The current Bicycle Master Plan also stipulates that before any bike lanes are removed, there must be a public hearing before the Transportation Commission. -Insist that this procedure be followed.

• Peak hour lanes have also been installed recently on Balboa, De Soto, Tampa and Topanga Cyn Blvd., key arterials in an area that serves cyclists poorly.

• Are the peak hour lanes were actually needed?

This is a significant move backwards on bicycling issues in Los Angeles.  With the LA Bicycle Plan soon to be released, we need to take positive steps forward.

According to Glenn, the result was a great last minute turnout at the Northridge West Neighborhood Council meeting last night — with over 60 “bicyclists, homeowners, residents and stakeholders” — which he was told was their largest crowd ever.

And as a result, they voted unanimously to oppose the plan.

Unfortunately this is only the beginning. A line has been drawn, but it’s going to be a long, hard fight.

So don’t stop just because we’ve won the first battle. Call or write your councilmember, as well as councilmembers Zine and Smith, who represent the districts affected, along with the deputy mayors listed in the LACBC alert.

As Glenn put it,

This effort has just begun, and it won’t be easy.  Fighting City Hall never is.  But that will make our ultimate victory that much more significant.

…………

Evidently I inadvertently broke the news about the new Transportation Committee officers. Oops. A cyclist collided with a deer on Angeles Crest Highway over the weekend; L.A.’s Cycling Examiner says be prepared to offer first aid in an emergency. Green LA Girl calls our attention to this weekend’s Bike Day LA. Stephen Box calls on LADOT to slow down its mad rush to approve higher speed limits that risk everyone’s safety. Bike Date looks at Idaho Stops and bike lanes that disappear at intersections. Someone is attacking Wilmington, DE cyclists and joggers with blow darts. The Philadelphia Enquirer says it’s time for détente between cyclists and drivers. A Boston writer uses the cycling death of her own daughter to call for fairer treatment for bicyclists. Following a typical anti-cyclist rant, a Baltimore writer says we all have to share the road. Finally, after a conflict between Critical Mass riders and a driver in the bike Mecca of Ogden, Utah, the mayor plans to ride with cyclists. Yeah, like that could ever happen here.

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