Tag Archive for Great Streets

Morning Links: Two endorsements for Villaraigosa, Great Streets Strategic Plan, and insurance bike value rip-offs

Writing for an automotive website, a third-generation Californian endorses former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for governor in tomorrow’s primary election, in part because of his support for bicycling, CicLAvia and transit.

He’s got my vote, as well, for many of the reasons listed in the article.

As well as pushing through LA County’s Measure R that increased sales taxes half a cent to fund transportation projects. Then Villaraigosa got the federal government to adopt the America Fast Forward program that has allowed Metro to expand rapidly.

Besides, Antonio Villaraigosa is the only gubernatorial candidate — or LA mayor — I’ve actually ridden and chatted with at CicLAvia.

But no matter who you support, get out there and Bike the Vote tomorrow.

I’m happy to report that my brother and his kitty litter panniers have finished the first leg of his trip, from Grand Junction CO to Denver, with a brief stop at the Continental Divide.

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Los Angeles released its new Great Streets Strategic Plan.

I haven’t had a chance to read the whole thing yet, but it doesn’t seem to include anything about the mayor actually showing up to defend any of the beleaguered projects already in place.

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Must read piece from bike lawyer Bob Mionske, on how insurance companies are undervaluing bicycles damaged in crashes to avoid paying the full value. And more importantly, how you can fight back.

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Local

More bad news from South LA, where a man was shot and killed in a drive-by as he rode his bike on the 200 block of East 95th Street shortly after midnight Sunday morning.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has proposed mostly cosmetic upgrades for Hollywood Boulevard. Let’s demand that they include protected bike lanes, and a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood and Highland, in any makeover.

A new bike boulevard is under construction in Los Angeles. That’s LA County, not the city.

 

State

Apparently never having heard of induced demand, San Diego is replacing a 1950’s era four lane bridge in Mission Bay with two separate bridges with three lanes each. But at least they’re adding protected bike lanes in each direction.

Streetsblog says Caltrans’ Chief of Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety has made great strides in just two years, but clearly has a long way to go to change the state DOT’s car-centric culture.

A San Francisco writer says the city doesn’t have an e-scooter problem, it has a car problem.

Frightening news from San Francisco, where a man was beaten with a metal pipe by a thief who stole his bicycle, then threatened a second man to steal his bike, as well.

Sad news from the Oakland Hills, where a bicycle tour guide for Backroads was killed in a head-on collision with the driver of an SUV.

 

National

Carshare company Lyft is buying bikeshare provider Motivate, the parent company of bikeshare systems in New York, DC, Chicago and San Francisco.

Viva, Las Vegas, which may be the least likely candidate to make the Bicycle Friendly Community list.

Complete Streets volunteers in Phoenix resign en masse to protest inaction at city hall.

Inspiring story from my hometown, as a young man fights back to graduate from high school after he was paralyzed by a sleeping driver as he was walking in a bike lane.

A Tulsa OK writer says the shop manager and wrench for a local bikemaker could be the luckiest man in town because he’s the most content in his work.

A Wisconsin letter writer says the real problem is bike riders refuse to share the road with drivers, even though he owns one himself. A bike, that is, not a bike rider.

Detroit names a bike and pedestrian bridge after the father of Michigan’s rails-to-trails movement.

Infuriating story from Kentucky, where a woman recounts being left lying alone in the street with a broken back as she watched the driver who slammed into her bike just drive away without stopping.

Russian pianist and composer Daniil Trifonov is one of us, which may not have been the best thing in this case. He was forced to cancel his upcoming tour to premier his latest work, after injuring his ankle in a New York bike crash.

A native New Yorker says channel your bike rage into something more productive, like attending community board meetings to demand more bike lanes.

Maryland mountain bikers ride to honor a bike-riding Baltimore cop who was killed in a collision while responding to a call.

Florida bicyclists ride to remember a young mother and daughter who were killed by a street racing teenager doing 102 mph on a surface street.

 

International

After Quebec quadrupled traffic fines for bicyclists, one rider received $381 worth of tickets for bad brakes and not having front and rear reflectors, even though he had red taillight.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Canadian careless driver says he’s now haunted by death after killing a bicyclist, and has ruined countless lives — including his own.

A Toronto insurance company says drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians all break the rules.

Montreal responds to the death of a bike rider last year by banning cars from a mountain road through the city, even if drivers don’t like it.

The London Standard recommended celebrating yesterday’s World Bicycle Day by exploring unusual parts of city. Seriously, there’s no better way to get to know any city — whether your own or anywhere else.

London’s Telegraph says hotel hopping by bicycle may be the next big travel trend.

A London nonprofit is rebuilding old bikes to give refugees a new lease on life.

A writer for the Guardian says requiring ebike riders to carry insurance, like the European Union recently ordered, will slow the growth of ebiking when we should be encouraging it.

Caught on video: A British bike rider just barely avoids getting doored by the passenger of a moving car.

A Malta newspaper says poorly designed roads are putting bicyclists in danger. Pretty much like everywhere in the US.

Mumbai bike riders celebrate World Bicycle Day with a two-wheeled flash mob, while India’s vice president calls bicycling the best and cheapest form of exercise.

Auto-centric cities are the main barrier to promoting bicycling in Iran. Pretty much like everywhere else.

A Kiwi radio host apologizes to the motorist who ran over him on his bike, calling himself a moron for not paying attention to the traffic light because his mind was on the book he read the night before.

An Australian pro-driving extremist group is targeting bike riders with doctored photos and death threats both online and on the road; naturally, police in New South Wales have responded by ticketing bike riders for not wearing a helmet.

The Korea Times looks back at the introduction of bicycling in the country; the first bike on record in Korea was a Penny Farthing ridden by an American naval officer in 1884, though the bicycling craze soon spread to the country’s royal family.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nearly two dozen cyclists were treated for injuries when bad pavement caused a mass crash in a Maryland bike race.

Once again, a pro cyclist has been sidelined by a collision, as Dimension Data’s Lachlan Morton suffers a broken arm when he’s struck by a driver while training in Colorado.

 

Finally…

Don’t bring a knife to a car fight. Nothing like getting rescued by Sherlock Holmes. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up on both stories.

And maybe it’s not just drivers who drive us crazy.

 

Morning Links: Driver arrested in South LA hit-and-run, and fake news from Venice Blvd traffic safety denier

Before we start, don’t miss Doug Moore’s open letter to the LA city council if you didn’t read it yesterday.

You’ll also find instructions at the end on how to submit your own letter to the council if you can’t join us to #CrashCityHall this Friday.

Or even if you can.

These are the gifts we’ll have for the mayor and city councilmembers on Friday. Think they’ll get the message?

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You can run, but you can’t always hide.

The Chief Lunes bike ride reports that the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last month has finally been arrested.

In addition, charges are pending for her two passengers, who encouraged her to flee and helped in the coverup that followed.

We’ll let them tell the story.

Let’s hope his family gets the justice they deserve.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

Writing on City Watch, where facts go to die, Selena Inouye, the “chief grassroots organizer” for Restore Venice Blvd, calls the Mar Vista Great Streets project an “epic fail.”

She demands that Mayor Eric Garcetti and Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin keep their promise to remove the road diet if the data shows it’s not working after a year.

Even though that year won’t be up for another week. And the data for that full year probably hasn’t even been compiled, let alone released yet.

Not that any decent traffic safety denier would let an inconvenient little fact like that get in the way.

Instead, she relies on — and distorts — the stats released at the six-month point to make her case, noting that collisions and injury collisions both went up.

Although what she presents as a dramatic increase, the city says was statistically insignificant.

In fact, there were just two — yes, two — more minor injury collisions during the first six months of the trial period than in the same six months the year before.

And let’s not forget that the purpose of the often misconstrued Vision Zero is not to prevent collisions, but to keep those collisions from resulting in serious injuries or death.

Which, based strictly on the data she’s using, the Venice road diet seems have done pretty well.

Or that any major change, to any street, is likely to result in an increase in collisions until drivers get used to it.

Then there’s her bizarre — and demonstrably false — statement that the $91 million devoted to street safety improvements in the mayor’s budget will be spent on road diets.

While Garcetti had initially stated that the budget for Vision Zero would increase to $91 million, he later corrected himself to say that figure referred to the city’s entire street safety improvement program.

Improvements to Vision Zero’s High Injury Network would only get a boost to a relatively paltry $37 million. With none of that specifically budgeted for road diets.

And with the way the city council has been cowed by the angry drivers Restore Venice Blvd and Keep LA Moving purport to represent, there’s not much chance of any many road diets getting installed in the near future.

Then there’s her claim that reducing the number of traffic lanes by one-third on Venice has resulted in gridlock, reflected by a nearly one-third drop in vehicles per day.

Yes, according to her, a substantial drop in vehicle in vehicle usage somehow managed to cause the entire street to become so congested that movement in any direction is impossible.

Or maybe she just doesn’t understand what gridlock means.

Never mind that those same six month figures show that average driver speeds remained unchanged from before the road diet. Yet miraculously, drivers still managed to exceed the speed limit, despite being unable to move at all.

But why let a little thing like facts get in the way?

Although I’d seriously like to know what kind of a person quotes herself in her own opinion piece.

Clearly, when you want to get the quote right, you go right to the source.

Unless you are the source, then you can write whatever the hell you want.

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Caltrans is looking for applicants for its new California Walk and Bike Technical Advisory Committee to help guide staff decisions about walking and biking design and policies.

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the tip.

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Metro offers their take on Bike Week activities.

MetroLink is hosting a Twitter party in honor of Bike Week tonight.

Tomorrow night is the worldwide observance of the Ride of Silence, with local RoS rides in the San Fernando Valley, the Rose Bowl, the Conejo Valley, and Orange County. My goal is to one day have a Ride of Silence that goes straight down Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica to DTLA.

And it turns out that this isn’t just Bike Week, it’s also Infrastructure Week. Or as Treehugger suggests, let’s make it Bike Infrastructure Week.

Please.

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Local

Los Angeles finally broke ground on the long-promised bike, foot and equestrian bridge over the LA River, connecting Atwater Village to Griffith Park and the LA River bike path.

Mar Vista bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a bicycle travel meet-up on June 17th, along with bike maintenance workshops this Saturday and May 27th.

When marketing your lightweight German ebike, always include a photo from the Santa Monica Expo Line station.

Best wishes to Santa Monica Next editor Jason Islas, who is scooting off to work for Bird.

 

State

Two guided bike rides will be held Sunday in honor of Grossmont College political science professor Brian Jennings, who was killed in a collision with a sleeping driver last month.

A bicyclist was seriously injured in a collision in Palm Desert yesterday morning; as usual, no information is available.

VeloNews looks at how the Montecito cycling community is coping with loss following the recent fires and mudslides.

A local paper offers ten reasons why you should ride your bike in Sonoma.

 

National

Bicycling says hill yes!

Life is cheap in Oregon, where the local DA determines that a FedEx driver didn’t commit a crime when he killed a bike rider by failing to yield, because he wasn’t drunk or distracted at the time. So go ahead and turn in front of that person on the bike; the worst you’ll get is a traffic ticket.

The local paper says Spokane WA has come a long way in the last decade, but still has a long way to go to be safe and inviting for people on bikes.

Sadly, bike theft is nothing new, as this Arkansas story shows.

An Indiana endurance cyclist talks about how her riding season ended when an aggressive driver tried to pass her on the left as she and a riding companion were trying to make a left turn, after already claiming the left turn lane.

More proof bike riders just can’t win. A Massachusetts bus driver calls the police because a bike rider was tying up traffic trying to save a turtle in the roadway.

A Brooklyn driver gets three to nine years for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a teenager riding his bike; the driver was at twice the legal limit after drinking all day, and doing 80 miles an hour on a surface street when he hit the victim head on. You have to really fuck up to get nine years behind bars, and make it seem like it’s not enough.

A viral video shows a Philadelphia driver appearing to run down a cyclist from behind in a bike lane, apparently on purpose. Although the police question the validity of the video, in part because the rider doesn’t seem to have any hands.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Florida woman calls for an end to distracted driving after the March crash that killed her husband; remarkably, she asked that the driver not be prosecuted, because living with what he did was punishment enough.

The head of a Florida rehab facility calls for Complete Streets so his clinic will get fewer customers.

Continuing our Florida traffic safety trifecta, a woman wins her decade-plus fight for red light cameras in the state. Los Angeles cancelled its red light camera program, caving to drivers who claimed it increased the risk of collisions when drivers jammed on their brakes to stop. Because they couldn’t, you know, just drive at a safe speed that would allow them to stop for red lights, or anything.

 

International

The CBC offers six reasons to ride a bike.

Bicyclists hope that the century-old traffic laws in Nova Scotia, Canada, will be rewritten with them in mind, for once.

The BBC, with its keen grasp of the obvious, says cheap dockless bikeshare bikes are flooding the world. Although that’s not exactly how they say it, being British and all.

A Chinese website asks if the country’s polluted cities can leave the car behind.

 

Competitive Cycling

No bias here, either. A writer for the Press-Telegram says the Long Beach start of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday ruined Mother’s Day business for local restaurants. Or maybe some local restaurants. Or maybe having the race there was good for business after all. Seriously, there may be a good story about the effect the race had on local businesses, for better or worse, but this wasn’t it.

Cycling Weekly features highlights from stage one of the AToC, while the Long Beach Post offers photos of Sunday’s race. But sadly, none showing the countless mothers staying away from empty restaurants in droves.

Thousands turned out to see the riders off on yesterday’s Ventura start, which was won by a rookie rider on the WorldTour who may be destined for great things.

Now you, too, can own a bike ridden by the Rally Cycling team in the Tour of California, while you raise funds for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.

And yes, there is still another race going on over in Italy.

 

Finally…

What kind of grownup attitude is saying if you break the law, I will too? So there. No, seriously, if you want safer streets, just stick a seat post up your ass.

And sometimes you just need the right motivation to set an even faster record.

Like making it to the royal wedding on time.

Morning Links: Father fighting for his life after La Tuna hit-and-run; NC member attacks “cycling zealots”

Earlier in the week, we mentioned the La Tuna Canyon hit-and-run that left a bicyclist in a coma.

Today the news media caught up, as KNBC-4 offered a report on the crash that has Keith Jackson fighting for his life; KTLA-5 had a similar report.

The father of three was riding with his son and daughter-in-law when the driver of a black Mazda plowed into him, then fled the scene without so much as slowing down. His son says the driver was veering all over the road, possibly driving distracted, before slamming into Jackson as he rode on the shoulder.

He remains unconscious in the ICU, four days after the crash.

A ride will be held this Sunday to finish the La Tuna Canyon ride Jackson started, but was unable to complete, departing from the LA Zoo parking lot at 8:30 am.

CiclaValley says the deadly street is slated to have bike lanes under the city’s mobility plan; however, that would be little protection against an out-of-control driver.

Meanwhile, the person who left him bleeding in the middle of La Tuna remains free. LA’s hit-and-run reward program means there’s an automatic $25,000 bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this heartless coward.

Let’s hope someone collects it soon.

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Mar Vista’s self-appointed traffic expert is at it again.

Dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member Kenneth S. Alpern offers a remarkably biased attack on “cycling zealots” who “eschew scientific data,” while doing exactly the same thing himself.

There’s a reason or five why myself and others have decried the Venice Blvd. “road diet”.  Not only does it hurt motorists, it got in the way of a better, safer solution for both bicyclists and pedestrians and motorists, and safety problems have gone up, not down. (Ed. note: That does not appear to be true; the most recent stats from LADOT show just the opposite.)

Bicyclists want safety and respect, but reconfiguring roads in a way that purportedly help a few but tell the majority to go pound sand (the ones who are otherwise very pro-transit, and happy to pay for it) isn’t helpful.  That road diet interferes with Micro Transit, bus operations, and the ability for small businesses to thrive on what should be Great Streets.

However, the studies he conveniently ignores contradict his attacks.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), road diets have been shown to reduce crashes from 19% to 47%. Other studies have shown that bike lanes reduce injuries and deaths up to 40%, while protected bike lanes, like the ones on Venice, reduce injuries and deaths up to 90% — and not just for people on bikes.

In addition, projects like the one on Venice have been repeatedly shown in cities across the US to improve retail sales, reduce business vacancies, and increase property values in the surrounding neighborhood.

But who would want any of that, right?

It’s far better to pretend the science is on his side, and engage in character assassination of hard working and dedicated city employees.

As well as his fellow Angelenos who are simply fighting for safer, more vibrant and livable streets, and the basic human right to be able to travel safely, and get home to their families in one piece.

Regardless of how or where they choose to travel.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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‘Tis the season.

Caught on video: Bighearted LA Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth had a surprise for the students of Grape Street Elementary School in Watts when he showed up to award new bicycles to a few outstanding students — giving new bikes and helmets to each of the nearly 600 students in the school, which he paid for out of his own pocket. Watch the video below if you want to see a lot of really happy kids. And remind yourself what really matters.

A Michigan cop was honored for saving the life of a 12-year old girl who was being attacked by a dog; his department gave the girl a new bicycle and a gift card as early Christmas presents.

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It’s Day 20 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Paul F for his generous contribution to help keep bringing you the best bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world.

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Local

The city council Transportation Committee will consider rules for dockless bikeshare today, proposing the establishment of a pilot program to develop regulations — even though at least three bikeshare providers are already on the city streets.

East Hollywood’s bike trailer-delivered Bicycle Coffee will open a second location in Little Tokyo next year.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy reviews the school’s new strategic plan, and likes the call for better civic engagement.

Curbed says Burbank is leading the way to a more affordable, walkable — and bikeable — future.

 

State

The Moreno Valley Unified School District is looking for volunteers to help contest-winning kids build the bicycle of their dreams.

Former pro cyclist Roy Knickman returned to his hometown as a Paso Robles firefighter to fight the ongoing fires in Ventura County; Knickman won bronze in team time trial in the ’84 Olympics, and had a long pro career before joining the fire department.

A kindhearted Sacramento bike rider is raising funds for a woman who lost her legs when she was hit by a driver after she pulled her car over to help another motorist.

 

National

A recent high school graduate has set out to talk to one veteran of WWII every day, beginning by riding his bike to retirement homes to talk to vets; he estimates it will take 10 years to complete the task. You can see his website here, and contribute to his efforts.

HuffPo offers 12 reasons why bicycling will continue to grow.

Forty-two bike shops in 23 states — and one in Russia — observed the first Bike Shop Day on Saturday.

A long-planned Oklahoma City bike lane somehow disappeared during a series of secret meetings, and no one seems to know who was responsible.

A Tucson running coach traded her car for an ebike for a month. And liked it.

Austin, Texas is transforming a major auto-centric roadway into a bike, pedestrian and transit focused corridor, leaving just one lane for motor vehicles in each direction. Hopefully, Texans will have better sense than to revolt over positive changes to the street, unlike overly entitled drivers in some SoCal cities we could name.

A Boston woman has dropped 55 pounds and quit drinking after taking up bicycling.

When a New York bike rider complained about a state senator’s limo blocking a bike lane, the politician responded by impersonating a cop and trying to pull the rider over. Then his driver floored it, driving on the wrong side of the road and running red lights to get away when bicyclist tried to take his photo.

A Brooklyn bicyclist is preparing to sue the NYPD for wrongful arrest after a judge threw out a ticket he received for arguing with the cop that nearly ran him over.

Florida residents complain that new bike lanes will mean they can’t park in front of their own homes; the state DOT responds saying they can park in their own driveways, and the space in front of their houses was never intended for parking anyway.

 

International

A Canadian ebike rider says sorry he’s not sorry for being happy.

A British driver tells the court he should have slowed down before hitting and killing a man on his bike. You think?

Yesterday we mentioned that a Brit bike rider was facing jail for crashing his bike into a couple of pedestrians; it turns out that the victims were his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, and the crash was anything but accidental.

A UK advocacy group says stop making it so hard to ride a bike to school.

Dublin bike riders protest new signs telling them to dismount at a rail line by doing exactly that. Meanwhile, a Dublin cyclist chases down and confronts a man he sees stealing a bike, causing the thief to drop the bike and run off.

Bike sales in Poland are shifting from mountain bikes to urban cycling, and bucking international trends by going from the internet back to brick-and-motor bike shops.

Australian police are looking for a road raging bicyclist who hit a woman’s car several times before reaching in and throwing her car keys down an embankment. And scaring her Down Syndrome daughter.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist riding in a crosswalk with the light is hit by a right-turning driver; fortunately, he appears to bounce back up. But even though the video clearly shows the red light stopping cross traffic, a Kiwi website blames him for ignoring the traffic signal. Maybe red means go Down Under.

It was a deadly year for bicyclists in New Zealand, as cycling traffic fatalities were triple last year’s total.

American cycling great Rebecca Rusch writes about bicycling the 1,200 mile Ho Chi Minh Trail in search of the place where her late father’s plane went down during the Vietnam war.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI announces the 18 teams that will compete on this year’s WorldTour.

The Giro may have to move the start of next year’s race from Jerusalem in light of the tension caused by Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to the city.

Transgender former cyclist Philippa York says cycling’s conservative culture suppresses LGTBQ issues, pointing out there’s not one openly gay cyclist in the men’s peloton.

 

Finally…

If you’re already out on bail while you appeal your conviction for hitting a bike rider while high, try not to get busted in an underage prostitution sting. At last, a cure for helmet hair, also known as a headband.

And it may not be the best idea to crash a holiday boat parade by riding your bike through the crowd and loudly asking if anyone wants to buy heroin.

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Please accept my best wishes to all celebrating the Festival of Lights this week.

Chag Urim Sameach!

 

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

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A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

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We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

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A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

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An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

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Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

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

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

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

Which is not what Vision Zero is about.

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

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

Although that’s not the way they put it.

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

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

But let’s be honest.

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

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

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

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

It’s a liability lawyer’s dream.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is what these road diets were supposed to do.

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

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

They’ve answered with a resounding no.

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

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

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

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

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

He was wrong.

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

………

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

Bicycles are making a comeback in Cuba.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Especially before 6 am.

Thanks to kdbhiker for the photo.

Morning Links: Mar Vista Great Streets success, 6th Street safety open house, and road rage around the world

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

My hard drive cable failed just as I was finishing yesterday’s post. Fortunately, I was able to get it replaced, and recovered most, though not all, of what I had written.

As a result, today’s post includes news from both days. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in; we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

And come back tomorrow, when we’ll have even more bike and safety news we couldn’t squeeze into today’s post.

………

It’s working.

Despite the claims of road diet opponents, the three-month safety stats show the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista is working exactly as promised, with collisions, injuries and speeding down, while resulting in what should be an easily tolerable delay in rush hour traffic.

Which should put the debate to rest, but probably won’t.

Meanwhile, a new Toronto study shows what Mar Vista has to look forward to, as controversial separated bike lanes on a downtown Toronto street have significantly improved safety, while boosting business in the surrounding area.

Like Mar Vista’s Venice Blvd Great Streets Project, Toronto faced near-constant demands from drivers to remove the Bloor Street bike lanes, as well as merchants angry over the loss of parking spaces.

It’s been successful in Toronto.

And it will be in Mar Vista, if local leaders can fight off the demands to remove them.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for link to the Toronto study.

………

Speaking of traffic safety improvements, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 21st, to discuss the desperately needed changes to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

As we’ve noted before, even though the Mid City West Community Council has voted unanimously to support lane reductions on 6th, Ryu has dragged his feet on the project, despite his oft-stated promises to listen to the local community.

He has suggested an alternative that would keep two lanes in each direction, while adding left turn bays at several intersections and removing parking spaces near intersections.

This would actually have the opposite effect of the safety improvements the local community has been begging for, speeding the flow of traffic rather than slowing it, while increasing the risk to bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

It’s important that everyone who uses the street in any way, or cares about traffic safety, attend to if you can to demand a safer 6th Street.

………

Long Beach bike advocate and Pedal Love founder Melissa Balmer teamed with Minnesota writer and consultant Jay Walljasper to author a new study on the Surprising Promise of Bicycling to be released today.

The study focuses on the “untapped demographic potential, growth of bike share and infrastructure, the deepening influence of grass roots advocacy,” as well as the promise of ebikes.

………

Today’s common theme is road raging drivers.

And bike riders, too.

An Arkansas man faces charges for crashing into a man on a bike — evidently intentionally — then threatening him with a machete, apparently because the rider sprayed a couple dogs with a water bottle when they chased after him.

Witnesses say a driver appeared to intentionally cross over the yellow line to smash into Georgia teenager as the boy signaled for a left turn on his bike.

The Chicago bike rider who was hit with a drum by a road raging driver — after smashing the man’s rear window with his U-lock — has started a crowdfunding campaign to get his damaged teeth fixed.

An Ohio lawyer could face disbarment for brake-checking a bike rider and smashing his cellphone in a road rage incident.

Evidently, there’s no shortage of road rage in Asheville NC. Police are looking for a bicyclist who allegedly hit a driver several times with his helmet, kicked him, and stole his eyeglasses and $80. This comes just two weeks after a driver was caught on dashcam video punching a cyclist.

A London cab driver tells a bike rider to “go back to f***ing Poland” or wherever he’s from after the rider complains about the driver stopping in a bike box.

………

We’ll catch up with a long list of bike events tomorrow, but I want to mention just a couple today due to the tight timelines.

Bike SGV is hosting the BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tomorrow night, offering a free two-wheeled tour of the Pasadena art fest with stops at several venues.

And AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides starting at Balboa Park this Saturday, to officially start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast. You can choose from rides of 14 or 43.7 miles, with a free lunch provided for registered participants.

………

Local

In what’s just the latest multimillion dollar settlement due to the city’s dangerous streets, the LA city council voted to pay $15 million to a man who suffered permanent brain damage due to a substandard Hollywood crosswalk. That’s $15 million they could have used to fix several dangerous intersections, instead of paying for not fixing one.

Paramedics at LAX will now make their way through the terminals by bicycle.

Volunteers are needed for the tenth annual Long Beach bike count.

Sports Illustrated reviews the new book Draft Animals from LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon.

The SGV Connect podcast remembers Bike SGV staff member Brian Velez, who passed away unexpectedly last month. A memorial ride will be held in his honor this Sunday.

 

State

Governor Brown once again pulls out his veto pen to strike down a bike bill, negating a law that would have required the California Department of General Services to expand an employee bikeshare program it currently runs for staffers in Sacramento to other departments, and other areas of the state.

Goleta considers building a separated bike and pedestrian path through the city.

The very cool new Johnny Cash Art Trail officially opens in Folsom this Saturday.

San Francisco is preparing to issue permits to an e-bikeshare operator, portentially violating the non-compete agreement they have with Ford’s GoBike.

Oakland explores a new approach to fixing a dangerous intersection with paint and bollards, by adding bike lanes and a widened median for pedestrians, in just ten weeks for a mere $30,000. The result has been a 7% drop in speeding with no decrease in median speeds, and a whopping 86% increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A seven-year old Oakland bike shop provides local youth with job training and affordable transportation.

A Marin writer questions the wisdom of reopening a closed-off tunnel for bike and pedestrian use.

A new study from UC Davis shows that many trips that could be made by foot, bike or transit are now being made by Uber and Lyft, adding to the congestion on our streets.

 

National

Doctors call for cities to do more to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe, as the US faces its biggest jump in traffic deaths in 50 years.

If you’ve spent much time walking or riding a bike, you may be surprised to learn that traffic engineers have an ethical duty to protect public safety, which they’ve too often ignored. Okay, maybe shocked is a better word.

Yes, it is possible to ride a bike from the airport in major cities around the US, including Los Angeles.

An article in Bicycle Times calls bicycling the ultimate social sport.

No irony here. A Nebraska bike rider was hit by a car on the way home from a bicycle safety meeting; needless to say, the driver wasn’t ticketed.

A retired Wisconsin legislator says the state’s governor is no friend to bicycling.

A pair of Detroit men have been arrested for at least three separate daylight abductions and sexual assaults of women as they rode their bicycles. Let’s hope they get thrown into a deep pit for a very long time.

An Indianapolis man entertains passing drivers by juggling and riding his bike backwards in a parking lot.

Massachusetts’ abolition-themed 1854 Cycling Company hires recently released inmates, giving them a second chance in life; the owner grew up in South Central LA.

New York police are targeting people on bikes, rather than focusing on the operators of more dangerous vehicles.

Lawyers are challenging a recent New York Vision Zero law making right-of-way violations a misdemeanor offense; three judges have found the law unconstitutional on the grounds that people can’t be held accountable for violations they don’t know they’re committing.

There’s a special place in hell for the guys who tried to jack a New York bikeshare bike from a 13-year old Hasidic boy; police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Delaware is now officially the second state to authorized the Idaho Stop law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields on two-lane streets.

Officials say a proposal to build a bikeway alongside a North Carolina freeway could reduce congestion while boosting the local economy.

There is something seriously wrong when a soldier can receive multiple Purple Hearts on four overseas deployments, only to be killed in a collision while riding a bicycle back to his Georgia base; he was an advocate for wounded vets through the Operation Enduring Warrior program.

 

International

This is what happens when people who ride bicycles get involved in the political process, as both major candidates in Montreal’s mayoral election court the bike vote. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where bicyclists should be a major political block, but aren’t.

A writer for a Canadian university says traffic laws apply to those cocky cyclists too, while apparently confusing the rate of fatalities caused by bicyclists with those caused by motorists.

An independent commission has urged London’s mayor to be bold in reducing congestion and air pollution, and create transportation system centered on walking, bicycling and transit.

A British bike rider has been jailed for three weeks for crashing into a four-year old kid while riding brakeless.

Britain’s Chris Boardman offers a ten-point plan to enjoy bicycling in your middle age. I can shorten that to two points: 1) get on your bike, and 2) ride it.

A councilmember in Bengaluru, India has demanded that the city fix the streets and make it pothole-free within 15 days. Let us know if it works; I know a few other cities that could use it.

A writer for the Nikkei Asian Review says a simple formula can reflect the affluence of a country by measuring those who ride a bike because they choose to, as compared to those who ride because they have no alternative.

 

Finally…

No, attaching a flashing light to your helmet will not ward off magpie attacks. Forget Pinarellas and Conalgos; if you really want to impress the guys on your club ride, show up on a gold-plated Giant.

And your new $4,000 BMW ebike would offer as much torque as a small car.

Okay, a very small car.

………

A special thank you to Linda Campbell for her generous contribution to help support this site. Or maybe to the BikinginLA computer repair fund.

 

Morning Links: An open letter to David Ryu, Mar Vista CC is at it again, and motion could remove LA bike lanes

Dear Councilmember Ryu,

As a resident of LA’s 4th Council District, I have long been concerned about the risks that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists face in our district.

One area of particular concern is 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea. As you are no doubt aware, 6th is a two-lane street west of Fairfax, then becomes four lanes between Fairfax and La Brea.

Once it widens to two lanes in each direction, the character of the street changes dramatically. Speeds increase while drivers jockey for position, often shifting lanes without warning to go around stalled traffic or turning vehicles.

As a motorist, it is an unpleasant street to drive, and one requiring constant concentration. As a pedestrian, it is a difficult, and at times dangerous, street to cross. And someone who used to bicycle to Downtown when I lived in West LA, it was easily the most dangerous part of my commute.

This is borne out by the two pedestrian deaths and hundreds of crashes that have been recorded on the street over the last several years, as well as statistics showing 6th Street is three times as dangerous as the average LA arterial.

Fortunately, there is a proposal from LADOT which would address these issues by removing a traffic lane in each direction and adding a center left turn lane, with bike lanes on each side from Fairfax to Cochran.

Lane reductions like this have been shown to improve safety up to 47%, with an average of 30% improvement in cities across the US. Those same results have held true with previous road diet projects here in Los Angeles, as well.

Further, this is a project that has the full support of the surrounding community. The Mid-City West Community Council voted unanimously to back this project over a year ago.

Before you were elected to office, you told the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that you start and end any decision with the community. In this case, the voice of the community is clear.

It is long past time to improve safety on this dangerous street. I urge you to immediately support this project as recommended by LADOT.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers, BikinginLA.com

If you want to write in support of the proposed 6th Street road diet, send your email to [email protected], and CC [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. You can find a brief sample email you can use as a template here (pdf).

………

Mar Vista Community Council’s bizarre bike “safety” motions and efforts to roll back the Venice Great Streets project will be back on the table when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meets tonight.

Among the motions under consideration are one that would require bike “night lights,” even though front and rear bike lights and side reflectors are already required under state law for any bike ridden at night.

It would also require mandatory bike helmet use for all riders, regardless of age, even though that would conflict with existing state law, which means the city has no authority to mandate their use.

Another motion calls for restoring the two traffic lanes that were removed from Venice Blvd as part of the Great Streets Project by removing the center median, or placing a center bike path there. Both of which show a clear lack of understanding of traffic calming, as well as bikeway design.

Center medians are used to slow traffic and prevent unsafe left and U-turns, as well as head-on collisions with speeding drivers who cross the center line.

Meanwhile, center bikeways create multiple conflict points at every intersection, dramatically increasing the risk of injury collisions. Which is why existing median bikeway on Culver Blvd failed.

As alternative, they suggest restoring the traffic lanes by removing street parking, and replacing it with parking garages every three blocks — with no hint of where to put them or how to pay for it.

A final motion simply calls for removal of the entire Venice Great Streets project in order to restore three lanes in both directions.

Clearly, someone on the committee has a fixation with doing everything in their power to keep Venice Blvd dangerous. And at the same time, allowing traffic to continue destroying the fabric of the Mar Vista community, reverting back to a virtual highway to keep peak hour traffic flowing, with excess capacity the rest of the day.

All of which suggests a complete and total ignorance of state bike laws and traffic safety planning, as well as the benefits of road diets. Which is what happens when you put people in charge who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Instead of the misguided, illegal and impractical motions on the agenda, maybe they should replace them with a single motion requiring every member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to actually learn something about the subject.

If you can make it there tonight night, maybe you can try to explain it to them.

Thanks to N.E. Farnham for the heads-up.

………

A new motion from the usually bike-friendly 12th CD Councilmember Mitch Englander (pdf) could potentially halt all new bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, as well as rip out many existing lanes.

The motion comes in response to the latest city settlement with an injured bicyclist, as the LA city council voted to pay $7.5 million to a man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a ridge of pavement that had been lifted four inches by a tree root. And which the city had previously been warned about, but done nothing to fix.

Never mind the 17 other lawsuits that have been filed against the city by injured bike riders, or the relatives of those killed, this year alone. Many, if not most of whom, weren’t riding in bike lanes when they were injured.

Englander’s motion, which was seconded by the 2nd District’s Paul Krekorian, would require that new bike lanes only be installed on streets with a pavement quality grade of A. Which sounds good, until you consider that LA’s streets average a C plus.

So basically, new bike lanes could only go on new pavement.

To make matters worse, the motion calls for closing or removing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade of B or lower. Which would mean most of the bike lanes in the City of Angels would be unceremoniously stripped off the pavement.

The practical result would be that people would still ride those same streets, and be subject to the same bad pavement, but without the separation from traffic that bike lanes provide. So any falls, or swerves to avoid cracks or potholes in the pavement, could be catastrophic.

And by removing a proven safety feature, the city’s exposure to liability could be exponentially higher when, not if, someone is injured on one of those streets.

The motion isn’t all bad, however.

The requirement that pavement quality on current bike lanes be inspected is something that should have been passed into law decades ago. As anyone who has ever ridden the 7th Street bike lanes leading to and in DTLA can attest.

And pavement quality should be considered before installing new bike lanes, rather than just slapping paint down on failing streets, as has been the practice in the past.

If the motion advances, which is not a given, it must be amended to so that only the bike lane would be required to have an A grade, which would allow just that portion of the roadway to be patched or repaved to bring it up to code, rather than the entire street.

Although that would give drivers one more reason to hate us.

And the misguided requirement that existing bike lanes be closed or removed should be stricken, period.

Thanks to T.J. Knight for the tip.

………

In what they describe as a win-win for everyone, the San Diego State University Police Department has teamed with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego County Bicycling Coalition and Cycle Quest Bicycle Store to fight bike theft.

The groups worked together to register 150 bicycles with the university’s bike registration program, which is open to students, faculty and staff. Everyone who registered their received a free Kryptonite lock and mount, as well as free bike repair, and bike lights and literature from the SDCBC.

Which is almost enough to make me want to go back to college.

Including these 150 bikes, the university has registered 476 bikes so far this year, ensuring that the information will be available if anything should happen to the bikes.

They report that 81 bikes have been reported stolen since the first of the year, most of which were secured by just a thin cable lock or locked to the rack by the front wheel alone.

And yes, they also instruct students on how to lock their bikes properly when they register them.

………

VeloNews considers how the Vuelta became cycling’s most dramatic grand tour.

Like father, like sons. A Lithuanian cyclist has been suspended following a positive drug test, 15 years after his father tested positive for EPO after finishing third in the 2002 Tour de France, and just months after his brother died as a result of suspected doping.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez got fired from the BMC team after his B sample confirmed his positive doping test prior to the Vuelta.  But really, the doping era is over, right?

………

Local

Everyone has an opinion about the proposed restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. Including an environmental advocate who says reversing the Playa del Rey road diets will mean more roadkill. Hopefully, she doesn’t mean us.

Manhattan Beach approves new bike route signs, buts holds off on sharrows over fears that they make bike riders “more assertive about occupying road space.” In other words, they’re worried about those uppity bike riders wanting to ride exactly where the markers on the road say they’re supposed to ride.

 

State

San Diego won’t be changing their sidewalk policies, even after a man was awarded $4.85 million when he was severely injured riding his bike on a tree-damaged sidewalk the city had known about, but failed to fix. Sound familiar?

Over 1,000 bicycles have been stolen in San Diego this year.

A Los Altos writer offers five rules to live by as a cyclist. Although he says not to ride three abreast, even though it’s perfectly legal on non-sharable lanes, as long as you stay within a single lane; however, you should always allow drivers to pass when it’s safe to do so.

San Francisco advocates discuss the status of Vision Zero in the city.

The North Bay Area’s new SMART trains are dealing with an unexpected crush of passengers boarding with bicycles. Which shows who the smart ones really are.

Someone please tell the Mountain View city council that removing a crosswalk is not a safety improvement.

Sacramento’s mayor tries out a new three-day pop-up parking protected bike lane.

 

National

A lifelong roadie turns to dirt jumping at the age of 44, as Bicycling asks if it’s too late him to catch big air. Easy answer: If you’re not dead, it’s not too late.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare reaches its 50 millionth ride.

 

International

A UK writer says it’s time to modernize the country’s traffic laws, but adding offenses for bicyclists is not the place to start.

A British cyclist urges others to get trained in CPR; he was revived after his heart had stopped for 30 minutes while riding.

A London journalist captured a month’s worth of close calls on his bike cam to show how dangerous riding in there can be.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t eat or drink on a bike? If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on the spokes of your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, don’t use your knife to threaten a driver who honks at you. Or a hatchet.

Or better yet, just don’t. Period.

 

Morning Links: Venice Great Streets attacked, Bonin recall leader criticized, and LA cyclist sets Le Mans record

Clearly, the battle over the Venice Great Streets project is far from over.

Despite the recent vote by the Mar Vista Community Council to keep the project in place while requesting more data, opponents of the project are back at it again, demanding that the street be returned to its previous six lane configuration.

The latest attack comes tonight, when the MVCC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider two motions to reverse the lane reductions and protected bike lanes, under the false flag of improving safety for bicyclists. Along with motions to require all bike riders to wear a helmet and have “reflective night-lights” installed on their bikes.

Whatever that means.

Maybe someone should tell them that bikes are already required to have lights after dark. And nightlights are what you install in your kids’ bedroom so they won’t be afraid of the dark, or so grandma won’t trip in the bathroom at night.

Then again, they also want to see laws banning people from looking at their “mobile electronic devices” while crossing the street. Because everyone knows distracted pedestrians are the real problem, not all those texting drivers in their multi-ton SUVs.

Right.

Sound more like the leadership of the committee is suffering from a serious case of windshield bias, and can’t wait until they’re free to go zoom zoom down the boulevard once again.

And never mind that the paint used to create the current configuration costs roughly $50,000 a mile, plus the cost of the plastic bollards, while the permanent road reconfiguration and paved off-road bike paths they propose could add up to tens of millions of dollars, if not more.

I suppose they could have a bake sale to pay for it.

And if they think people are pissed off now, just wait until they try to take their parking spaces away.

This email, from someone who requested that her name not be used, sums it up nicely.

I live in Mar Vista & just got this agenda for the neighborhood council meeting tomorrow. It is chock-full of anti-bike motions, from getting rid of the Venice Blvd bike lanes immediately to supporting mandatory helmet & reflector laws and banning texting while crossing the street to discourage obstacles (er, “distracted pedestrians”) from entering the roadway.

They are trying to frame killing the Venice bike lanes as pro-safety by couching it within a seemingly thoughtful proposal to build out a bunch of off-road bikeways through the neighborhood on side streets, which is great except that probably won’t happen anytime soon and will definitely be less convenient/slower than what we have now. As far as I can tell the short term proposal is to restore 3 lanes of traffic on Venice and put the bike lanes next to the cars again.

Super-shady that they announce these things with 24 hours’ notice…. hope some other bikers in the neighborhood have time to make it.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 pm tonight at the Windward School, in room 1030 of Building C (by the baseball diamond), 11350 Palms Blvd.

Note: The meeting agenda says it’s scheduled for 7:30 pm to 9 pm, despite the email to community members linked to above that incorrectly says 6 pm. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks to rob kadota for the heads-up.

Be there if you can make it.

Because they’re counting on the short notice to pack the house with bike lane and road diet opponents tonight, and crowd out any support for the project.

And while you’re at it, contact CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, and tell him you support the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project to improve safety and increase livability in one of LA’s previously neglected neighborhoods.

Because he’s the one who will ultimately make the decision.

And your voice matters.

………

Speaking of Bonin, a writer for Medium outs fellow progressive and self-described Berniecrat Alexis Edelstein as one of the leaders of the NIMBY-led effort to recall him.

Mike Bonin is one of the most progressive members of the council, and he has a track record of leading on the issues that matter most to the progressive movement. Bonin is the author of the $15 minimum wage, author of the most comprehensive clean money campaign-finance reform in the recent history of Los Angeles, author of the fracking moratorium and the effort to reach 100% clean energy and I am writing this to call out Alexis’ effort as nothing more than a NIMBY assault on a true progressive. Alexis, like most Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) activists got activated when something happened in his backyard — in this case a street safety measure (reduced lanes/added bike lanes) that the department of transportation installed with Bonin’s support and approval, which caused some additional traffic. Trying to make your community a safer place for pedestrians has never been more vilified than in this situation. Is this really grounds for a recall? Absolutely not!…

As he has sought to raise money for the recall effort, Alexis has started tapping into networks and groups that were established to continue moving forward the progressive agenda that was deeply ingrained within us during the presidential primary, the good ole’ days. I do not appreciate my movement being hijacked by someone who is so angry about an effort to save people from speeding cars in his neighborhood that he would call for a recall of a progressive Councilmember. Alexis’ actions distract elected officials and community activist from important matters that need to be address within the district. Alexis’ underhanded and misleading tactics need to be called out.

He goes on to decry a lack of transparency in the campaign, while adding what he sees as the real reason behind Edelstein’s efforts.

The recall has already allowed Alexis to frequent alt-right radio programs to promote and solicit funds for the recall, and every time he has gone on these shows to cozy up to racist shock jocks, he has made sure to use the social media accounts he set up for the recall to share his media appearances and promote himself. The voters of CD 11 made their voices heard loud and clear during March’s Election, but Alexis is behaving like a scheming opportunist who is blatantly rallying against Bonin because he thinks it will get him some press and boost his fledgling political career.

………

Somehow, this one slipped under the radar.

So let’s all offer a belated congratulations to Evens Stievenart of LA’s Big Orange Cycling for successfully defending his championship in the solo category of the 24 Hours of LeMans Cycling last month.

A former race car driver, Stievenart set a new record by riding a whopping 593 miles in the 24 hour period.

You can read the original news story in French, or settle for a bad Google translation.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

………

It’s more of the same in the Vuelta following Tuesday’s individual time trial; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights.

Andrew Talansky, one of America’s top cyclists for the past several years, has announced his retirement at the ripe old age of 28.

Nothing like having Jens Voigt show up to compete in your local club time trial. Twice.

Pro cycling’s infamous dope doctor gets a whole nine months behind bars after being convicted as the kingpin of a doping network that incited amateur athletes to cheat.

……….

Local

Self-described transportation justice advocate Monique López, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for the LACBC, describes what she thinks about when she rides her bike through the mean streets of LA.

A cyclist riding in Malibu’s Latigo Canyon was run down by a hit-and-run motorcyclist over the Labor Day Weekend (scroll down), suffering a shattered wrist and elbow; the moto rider stopped briefly to give a possibly fake name, and explain that he was trying to pass the bike rider on the right after hitting some gravel. Then again, it’s not the first time something like that has happened.

CiclaValley writes how the weekend’s massive La Tuna fire hit close to home in more ways than one.

 

State

San Diego’s struggling DecoBike bikeshare system will remove 16 popular docking stations from the boardwalks in beach communities at the urging of local residents and business owners. Which will make it more difficult for bikeshare users to ride to San Diego’s popular beaches, defeating the whole purpose of trying to get people out of their cars.

The pedestrian critically injured when a Hemet driver had a sneezing fit was a 16-year old girl walking with her bike-riding boyfriend; she remains in critical condition with major injuries following two emergency surgeries.

Riverside authorities are still looking for the hit-and-run van driver who killed Forrest Holmes as he rode his bike on Limonite Ave in Jurupa Valley one year ago today.

A 40-year Hollister cyclist says things have gotten a lot better for bicyclists in the area in recent years.

Mountain View parents say a road diet has made it nearly impossible to drop their kids off at school. Never mind that the project is still under construction. Or that maybe they could bike or walk to school with their kids once it’s finished.

 

National

Forbes says Oregon’s new $15 tax on bikes over $200 as part of a $5.3 billion transportation package could represent the future of infrastructure funding.

A pair for researchers are urging Seattle to force private bikeshare companies to provide helmets for riders, in an apparent attempt to kill bikeshare in the city a second time.

A section of a bike path through the University of Idaho will be renamed after three-time Olympic gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong.

A Philadelphia writer says the city’s first parking-protected bike lane isn’t good enough.

Kindhearted Orlando FL cops pitch in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was stolen off his porch.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump evidently prefer to do their cycling inside their DC home.

 

International

A Canadian father complains about parents who park in a bike lane to drop their kids off at school. More proof that bike riders everywhere face the same problems.

An arrest has finally been made in the hit-and-run death of the mother of British cycling legend Chris Boardman last year; a man and a woman have been charged in the death and subsequent cover-up. Meanwhile, Guardian readers react to his recent claim that Britain’s streets are too dangerous to ride.

Bicycle Dutch explains why there’s no such thing as jaywalking in the Netherlands.

A group of Malaysian endurance athletes have become the first to ride and carry their mountain bikes up Nepal’s 26,545 Annapurna, one of the world’s highest mountains.

 

Finally…

Bicycles, the choice of supermarket meat thieves everywhere. No, refusing to give your name after getting busted for bike rustling won’t keep you out of the slammer.

And once you start down the stairs, don’t hit the brakes.

Morning Links: Playa del Rey non-traffic, 30-second delay on Venice Blvd, and more City Watch inanity

After all the horror stories, a rare moment of clarity in Playa del Rey.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve undoubtedly heard motorists ranting that the recent road diets in Playa del Rey have been an unmitigated disaster. Resulting, they swear, in endless traffic backups that have cost people their jobs and stolen time from their families.

Maybe not so fast.

It’s always possible that Jon Phillips happened to ride Culver Blvd through Playa del Rey on an exceptionally light traffic night. Or maybe those horrendous traffic backups had dissipated by the time he rode through at 6 pm.

But other than a brief backup caused by the traffic light at the transition from Jefferson to Culver, it’s nowhere to be seen on the bike cam video he captured Monday evening, as he rode from Jefferson and Lincoln to Vista del Mar on Culver Blvd.

………

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton attended Saturday’s workshop to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista, where LADOT revealed the changes to the road have increased evening peak travel times by just 30 seconds, and not at all in the morning.

Which, unsurprisingly, commenters to the story promptly called fake news.

It’s one of the major problems in American society these days that far too many people are willing to throw actual research and facts out the window, and refuse believe anything that contradicts their own prejudices.

And anyone who has ever driven a car — or ridden in one, apparently — seems to consider themselves experts in traffic planning.

………

The hack jobs go on at City Watch, where a pair of reading-for-comprehension challenged columnists take issue with the scoring system used by Vision Zero LA, which gives more weight to injuries and deaths of people on foot or bikes than in cars.

So why are traffic collisions involving vulnerable road users considered more important than motor vehicle crashes?

Because, according to Vision Zero, “They account for roughly 15% of all collisions, but approximately 50% of all deaths.” Or in other words, are a little more than three times as likely to be fatal.

Which is right in the second paragraph of the page these self-appointed transparency advocates link to that explains how the scoring system was used.

Evidently, they missed that part.

………

Business Insider says credit Chris Froome’s four Tour de France victories on his unique physiology, while a writer for the Irish Times says don’t count on him making it five.

A Canadian cycling magazine offers a post Tour wrap-up.

A sprinter loses his shot at victory in an Oregon bike race when the men’s field catches up to the women near the finish line, and he collides with another rider.

Bicycling looks at the rich history of the cycling jersey.

……….

Local

An urbanist website looks at the expansion of bikeshare and parking-protected bike lanes in DTLA.

The Better Bike Share partnership offers an exit interview with the LACBC’s outgoing Executive Director Tamika Butler. Speaking of which, you still have a few weeks to get your resume in to replace her.

Every superhero has an origin story. The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, tells how he really became a cyclist. And gives this site some of the blame credit for inspiring him.

The Pasadena Star-News suggests bike theft — or mangling a bike trying to steal it — is apparently just part of the problems on the Gold Line. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica city officials explain how they go carfree at least some of the time. Note to Santa Monica Lookout: If SaMo is boldly moving into the post WWII era, they’re only about 70 years too late.

Plans to revamp the failing South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach include better bicycle and pedestrian access.

The CEO of the Union Rescue Mission rode his bike from LA’s Skid Row to Sacramento to call attention to homelessness, despite losing a leg to flesh eating bacteria last year.

 

State

San Diego is dealing with the problem of bad data from cameras that are supposed to automatically count bike riders.

A Napa teenager arrived at the US – Mexico border, completing a 1,000-mile bike journey down the California coast to raise money for the families of fallen police officers.

The Ventura County Star urges local cities to follow Ventura and the county’s lead in making bicycling and bike lanes a priority.

Sad news from Salinas, where a 60-year old man died two months after he was hit by a car while riding his bike; he initially refused treatment, saying he wasn’t injured. This is why you always assume you’re hurt following any collision or serious fall; serious injuries — especially internal injuries — may not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of a crash.

Bad dog! A Riverside bike rider t-boned a pickup truck while trying to escape from the two-year old German shepherd that was chasing him; the victim suffered a compound leg fracture.

The East Bay parks district will allow ebikes on some recreational trails on a trial basis.

 

National

NPR says instead of getting self-driving cars to recognize bicyclists, bicycles may need to signal their existence to the cars.

Bicycling examines bike helmets, and what you get at every price point. For $300, the damn thing had better come with a full body flak jacket that drops down in the event of a collision. Or maybe a force field.

The next time you go mountain biking, try riding on wood, not just through woods.

The editor of Bike Portland shares his views on the new Oregon bike tax. Meanwhile, Portland may be the first US city to offer an adaptive bikeshare for people with disabilities.

A tech website compares Seattle’s new LimeBike and Spin dockless bikeshare systems, while a local newspaper looks at LimeBike’s entrance to Key Biscayne FL.

Thanks to Donald Trump, Utah’s Bear’s Ears National Monument is becoming a more popular mountain biking destination.

An Austin TX hotel and bar are both facing lawsuits for serving an intoxicated woman who then got in her car and critically injured a woman riding her bicycle. Unfortunately, under California law, bars and restaurants can’t be held responsible for serving drunks who go out and kill or injure someone here. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

A Texas man says he was the victim of a road raging bicyclist, who he says circled back to attack him after he slowed to wave at a friend. Which kind of stretches credibility, though it is possible the rider may have misinterpreted the gesture; either way, just don’t. Period.

Chicago’s elevated 606 Trail bikeway and green space turns one year old, while Dayton OH is considering an elevated rail-to-trail park and bikeway, even if the possible completion is years away.

Must have been a heavy bike. J. Patrick Lynch forwards news that an Illinois cop will receive lifetime disability benefits after injuring his back picking up a bicycle.

This is who we share the roads with. A road-raging 19-year old Michigan dirt bike rider was sentenced to up to 100 years in prison for beating a driver to death after arguing with him.

 

International

A Canadian researcher deconstructs the way the press reports on fatal crashes involving bicyclists, subtly shifting the blame away from the driver. Like in this one, for instance.

An Ottawa, Canada bike rider says keep your head up, so you don’t crash into other riders. Like her, for instance.

A Montreal man posted the bloodied end results of the hit-and-run involving his bike-riding mom, adding, “We would love to catch the dirt bag who thinks it’s OK to leave a bleeding woman they just hit on the street.” Which is pretty much how most of us feel about any hit-and-run.

Glasgow bike cops are caught riding on the sidewalk, even though bikes are banned on them. Sort of like the sidewalk-riding bicycling meter readers in downtown Beverly Hills.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Dublin teenager pled guilty to smashing the owner of a bicycle with a hammer when he tried to stop the teen from stealing his bike.

Speaking of Dublin, bike advocates are complaining about the local tram company’s video criticizing bicyclists, accusing it of covering up for calls to improve the safety of its tracks.

Police confiscated 225 bicycles for riding on the highway in Dubai, where it’s illegal to ride a bike on any road with a speed limit over 37 mph.

 

Finally…

Riding on railroad tracks is stupid; especially when there’s a train between them and your bike. Pro tip: If police bust you for carrying a concealed weapon on your bicycle, along with a backpack full of meth, hydrocodone, Clonazepam, morphine, needles and a scale, always claim you just found it a few blocks away.

And don’t run down the person you think stole your bike.

Especially if it’s not really your bike.

 

Morning Links: New Mar Vista website, LADOT debuts micro-sweeper, and Caffe Luxxe hosts vintage bike exhibit

LADOT has put up a website to keep track of updates on the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

Which should come in handy both to explain what’s going on and why, and to keep up with what promises to be an endless series of public meetings defending the project.

………

Speaking of LADOT, they unveiled their new micro-sweeper to remove debris from protected bike lanes, demonstrating it in the protected bike lane next to City Hall on Los Angeles Street.

Let’s just hope it’s powerful enough to suck up all the police cars that are usually parked in it.

………

Just in time for the finale of the Tour de France, Santa Monica’s Caffe Luxxe is teaming with Helen’s Cycles to host an exhibition of rare vintage bikes starting today — July 20th, not January — through the end of September.

………

LA County will host a safety training workshop for people walking and riding their bikes in the dangerous Florence-Firestone area this Wednesday.

………

A writer for a Jewish magazine questions whether the legendary Italian racer Gino Bartali really saved Jews during WWII, despite his recognition as Righteous Among the Nations by the World Holocaust Remembrance Center’s Yad Vashem.

Michelle Sarfatti bases his refutation on Bartali’s famed reluctance to discuss his work during the war, and a problematic book written in the 1970s which was the first to claim Bartali had hidden forged identity papers in the frame of his bicycle to smuggle them past the Nazi’s.

Yet the Yad Vashem page cites Holocaust survivors whose identity papers were delivered by Bartali, and notes that he told his story to the daughter of the rabbi who founded the resistance network.

And the BBC reports that he told his story to his son in bits and pieces over the years, but made him promise not to tell anyone. A promise he kept until his father’s death.

………

From ski jumper to Tour de France stage winner in just five years.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Warren Barguil will be the next French Tour winner — once Chris Froome gets tired of winning it, that is. Although Rigoberto Uran has shown himself to be Froome’s most dangerous challenger this year.

Bicycling looks at the science behind those WTF areo tucks.

If you haven’t seen it yet, this is what racing 100-plus miles every day for three weeks does to your legs.

It’s a start. Spain’s Vuelta has eliminated the obligatory kisses from podium girls, and will have podium boys — aka hosts and hostesses — as well.

………

Local

Marketplace talks with the founder of LA-based Thousand, asking if a better looking helmet will keep people safer on their bikes. Short answer, probably not. Longer answer, only if it gets people who wouldn’t otherwise wear one to strap it on.

A professor at LA-based Concord Law School offer five steps to follow if you’re involved in a bicycle crash.

Cal Poly Pomona is finally fixing deadly Kellogg Drive to make it safer for people walking or riding bicycles, four years after student Ivan Aguillar was killed while riding his bike to campus, and 13 years after another student died walking in a crosswalk. Although the reason for fixing it has nothing to do with safety, of course.

The Montbello Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Thursday Night Ice Cream Ride tonight.

 

State

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting rides the Santa Ana River Trail, saying OC hikers and bike riders are giving up on it now that it’s become a linear homeless encampment.

La Palma is putting its cops back on bicycles, a decade after cutting the bike cop program due to budget cuts. Meanwhile, a police website explains why bike cops matter.

San Diego police are stepping up efforts to bust bike thieves using GPS-equipped bait bikes, making 109 arrests in three years — with 107 convictions. Yet the LAPD is still reluctant to give it a try, fearing accusations of entrapment.

An Escondido bike rider was injured, apparently seriously, when he was hit by a truck Wednesday morning.

In an effort to encourage bike tourism, Ventura has declared itself a Bicycle Friendly City, just two months after getting a bronze-level recognition from the Bike League.

A Bakersfield artist is holding an exhibition of artwork from a cyclist’s perspective.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 60-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, and his companion injured; a third Bay Area bike rider was injured in another hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycle Times considers the etiquette of passing on a busy bike path.

A Seattle writer insists smoking dope makes him a better cyclist, and wonders if it will help with swimming. Probably not. On both counts.

That didn’t take long. Just days after Oregon passed the first country’s first bicycle tax, an anti-tax Colorado state senator proposes a similar bill. Because nothing encourages a healthy, non-polluting, non-destructive form of alternative transportation like taxing it.

A new Utah study says invest in bicycling and walking to improve the state’s economic and physical health.

A Missoula newspaper provides an obituary of Dennis Bernard Sparrow, a noted 1980’s frame builder and member of the 1960s proto-punk band The Missing Lynx.

Bad enough that thieves in a passing car mugged a Lincoln NE man and stole his BMX bike, along with his cellphone and cash; they also stole his puppy.

A Chicago writer questions whether the city’s Vision Zero plan has enough teeth to achieve its ambitious goals. Which is the same question many of us are asking about LA’s plan.

Minneapolis police are looking for a bike rider who may have witnessed officers attempting to resuscitate the unarmed Australian woman the cops shot after she had called 911 to report a sexual assault.

A Kentucky pickup driver is a hero after rescuing a man who wrecked his bicycle and taking him to the ER.

A Philadelphia man was sentenced to 29 to 62 years behind bars for gunning down a 16-year old kid as he rode his bike, following a dispute three months earlier. If he’d used a car instead of a gun, he might be looking at 62 weeks, instead. Or maybe days.

Talk about going the wrong way. Atlanta is the latest city to rip out an apparently success bike lane — in this case one built with the support of REI and People For Bikes — and replaced it with parking.

A Florida woman testifies that her boyfriend convinced her to take the blame after he ran down a bike rider while driving on a suspended license.

 

International

Bike Radar lists five cycling debates that just won’t die, from headphone and helmets to doing the wave.

Canadian bicyclists are calling for a change in the law in Nova Scotia, where dooring a bike rider remains perfectly legal.

A UK letter writer says enforcing the equivalent of a five-foot passing distance will cause gridlock on the streets. Which is pretty much the opposite effect of what it’s had anywhere else.

South African cyclists are planning a ride calling for enforcement of a safe passing distance, and the prosecution of drivers who crash into bike riders. Proving that bicyclists face the same problem exist everywhere.

Cyclists in Sydney, Australia are complaining about cars parked in a bike lane, putting children at risk from oncoming cars when they have to ride into traffic to get around them. Proving once again that the same problems exist everywhere.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist is lucky to escape when a driver zooms across his path at the last second.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bicycle, try not to take it from the local DA. Two drivers collided on a Minnesota bridge, so it’s the drunk bike rider’s fault.

And this pretty well sums up the absurdity of the great LA road diet debate.

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