Tag Archive for Hilda Solis

Morning Links: Good news on East LA bike boulevard, wasted bike racks, and a relaxing Dutch bike ride

There’s surprisingly good news about that badly worn East LA bike boulevard we mentioned last week.

As you’ll recall, Aurelio Jose Barrera submitted a photo showing the markings on the one-year old bike boulevard at Hubbard and Simmons were so badly worn that there was virtually nothing to indicate it was a bikeway of any kind.

Let alone a vital link in the Safe Routes to Schools program. Or one of the few decent pieces of bike infrastructure in a long-neglected part of the community.

But late Friday, I received the following statement from the office of County Supervisor Hilda Solis and LA County Public Works.

Wheels of progress turning in East LA 

The streets of iconic East Los Angeles are under construction with miles of roadway improvements underway, including new bike routes and traffic safety features.

At Hubbard Street and Simmons Avenue, where bikeway pavement markings had begun to show excessive wear, LA County Public Works crews have scoured the roadway to make way for a smoother road surface for motorists and cyclists. Once road reconstruction is complete, new thermoplastic street markings will be reapplied to clearly indicate East LA’s rapidly growing bike network.

“Biking is a win/win that provides tremendous physical and benefits for the rider while improving neighborhood air quality and reducing traffic congestion,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said. “I am committed to installing, expanding, and maintaining high-quality and safe bike lanes where appropriate. Currently, our neighborhood streets in East Los Angeles are under construction with roadway improvements that include maintenance and new bike routes that improve safety for all commuters. These enhancements include smoother riding surfaces and clear sustainable markings. When complete, I’m excited to see even more East LA residents take advantage of these new bike paths!”

Among the many other projects underway to promote connectivity to mass transit for pedestrians and cyclists is the Eastside Light Rail Bike Interface, which broke ground in January and will yield an additional six miles of new bikeway. The Gold Line Eastside Access Phase II project will bring another three miles of bikeway improvements along 1st Street, Ford Boulevard 4th Street and Via Corona Street. The $4.7 million project is expected to be completed in fall 2020.

It’s nice to know someone in local government is actually listening.

And more importantly, doing something about it.

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This is what it looks like when you have to install bike racks, but don’t want anyone to actually use them.

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This is what a morning bike ride to the doctor’s office looks like in the Netherlands.

Unlike the mad frenzy of American streets, just watching this is nearly as calming as watching a fish tank.

Except for the burning envy of wishing we could have streets and bikeways like that here.

Thanks to William Robinson for the heads-up.

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Local

There was an unconfirmed report of a robbery attempt on the Ballona Creek bike path yesterday. Please contact me if anyone has additional information.

Metro is sponsoring another bike safety class in the Altadena/Pasadena area on July 1st.

 

State

Snow Valley Mountain Resort has opened its ski lifts and downhill trails to mountain bikers.

A Stockton deacon has erected the city’s first ghost bike, in honor of a man killed by a hit-and-run driver last year; four bike riders have been killed in the city already this year.

Streetsblog says Sacramento is warming up to bicycles, as state legislators discover the joys of dockless ebikes.

 

National

Now you can have your very own classic 1917 Harley-Davidson, as long as you’re willing to pedal it. And pay for it.

Sad news from Chicago, where a 76-year old Elizabeth Brackett died in an apparent fall from her bike while training for a triathlon; the former PBS journalist was a world champion triathlete in her age group.

Talking in Louisville KY, former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan warns about making the same mistakes with autonomous cars that we just recovered from, with car-oriented development instead of people-oriented development. Except too many cities are still caught up in the former and hoping to make the leap directly into self-driving cars — Los Angeles included.

Worst excuse ever. A Kentucky driver says he killed one bicyclist — the golf coach at Western Kentucky University — and injured three other riders, because he rear-ended them before he could check his mirrors to go around them. Evidently, he was driving the automotive equivalent of a brakeless fixie, and had no idea how to stop his car without crashing into something. Or someone.

Even in Akron, Ohio, bike riders are complaining that drivers are getting more aggressive and careless.

For a change, the New York Times recommends five relatively affordable add-ons to make your bike commute more enjoyable.

A writer for the NY Times apparently attempts to prove it’s possible to write 1,000 words without saying anything, other than insulting lycra-clad bike riders and complaining about concrete barriers on a bike path.

A British travel writer says a bike is the best way to visit New York’s hippest borough, suggesting five of the best Brooklyn bike routes.

 

International

Now this is how you encourage bike commuting. The Great-West Life Assurance Company has built an 1,800-square foot bicycle pavilion for their Canada headquarters, complete with two-tiered parking for 162 bicycles, a tune-up station and repair tools.

Ottawa, Canada residents decide they’d rather preserve parking than give kids a safe route to school while a bike and pedestrian bridge is rebuilt; the local paper calls it the opposite of Vision Zero.

Quebec is still struggling to figure out whether to classify mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs as pedestrians or bicycles, or something else altogether.

A Toronto newspaper examines the four elements that make up a bike-friendly protected intersection, while calling for a boost in the city’s Vision Zero budget.

A competing Toronto paper complains that the fight to save lives on the city streets amounts to a war on cars, and that while any deaths are regrettable, it’s a price they seem willing to pay to avoid making any significant concessions to traffic safety.

No surprise here. A new survey of Londoners has found that bike riders are the happiest commuters.

Sixteen thousand British riders took part in a 54-mile London to Brighton charity ride to fight heart disease.

A UK automotive website looks at the best cars for bike riders, most of which aren’t available in the US. Actually, the best cars for bike riders would combine automatic braking systems with foam hoods and bumpers for when the former fails.

A new British ebike lets you mine cryptocurrency with every pedal stroke.

A 37-mile Irish singles ride gives speed dating a whole new meaning.

Good idea. Finnish speeding tickets are linked to your income, so a wealthy driver pays more than someone just scraping by.

A pair of Brits made it to Volgograd, Russia just in time for yesterday’s World Cup match between England and Tunisia, traveling 2,400 miles through six countries in just over three weeks.

Trek is promoting randonneuring in India.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rwanda claims to be taking the next step towards becoming a cycling powerhouse by waiving a 25% import tax on racing bicycles, assuming a lower cost will encourage more people to take up the sport.

Bike racing still has a drug problem, as nearly five percent of pro riders tested positive for Tramadol, which is still legal for reasons no one can seem to explain.

Twenty cyclists were injured when a mother with three kids in her car suddenly made a U-turn during a Belgian bike race, on an apparently open course; after the crash, her partner went back to their home and returned with a baseball bat to threaten the victims.

Rouleur looks at Ryan Eastman’s transition from rising pro cyclist to paramedic, after his racing career was ended by a crash with a deer  while descending at 55 mph on a training ride.

 

Finally…

If you want to get away with hit-and-run, remember to remove the bicycle from under your car. Now you can ride your bike without missing a moment of the World Cup.

And don’t ride your ‘bent on the autobahn.

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Thanks to David E for his generous contribution to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

 

Morning Links: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

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Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.

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LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.

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Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

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UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Local

Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.

 

State

The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.

 

National

Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.

 

International

A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

Morning Links: LACBC Bikes the Vote in June’s county elections, and anti-bike San Marino NIMBYs attack

Things are starting to get interesting.

As we discussed earlier, the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee* crafted questionnaires for the candidates for LA County Supervisor and Sheriff in next month’s primary election.

Now responses have finally come in from some of the leading candidates, including Hilda Solis in the 1st District, and Bobby Shriver and Sheila Kuehl in the 3rd, as well as Jim McDonnell, considered by many to be the front runner for county sheriff.

And they have some intriguing things to say.

Personally, I’ve been leaning towards Kuehl. But I’m starting to seriously question that choice based on her comment — which she repeats twice — that she supports bike lanes as long as they don’t reduce the total number of lanes available to vehicles.

In other words, she’s not in favor road diets.

Even when they reduce speeds and improve safety and livability for everyone. And she seems to be in favor of maintaining the automotive hegemony that has made a shambles of our city and county, and put the lives of their residents at risk.

But other than that, she has some good things to say.

On the other hand, Shriver seems to get that overcapacity encourages high speeds and dangerous driving, and that narrowing lanes and installing bikeways can help tame traffic.

Meanwhile, McDonnell has some good things to say about the role law enforcement can play in making the streets safer and more equitable for people on bikes, and improving relations between the department and county cyclists.

I don’t know yet how I’m going to cast my ballot, whether for these or any of the other candidates who’ve responded to the surveys. But one thing I can guarantee you is that I won’t vote for anyone who didn’t respond.

Because we have a right to know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter to us. And to make an informed decision based on their responses.

Whether or not we happen to agree with them.

*Full disclosure: I chair that committee, and helped write the questions along with LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins and some truly outstanding volunteers, including the guy in the next paragraph — and I don’t mean Gil Cedillo.

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Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Rick Risemberg agrees that you should read what the candidates have to say about bikes now, or be sorry later. And uses 1st District City Councilmember Gil Cedillo — who didn’t respond to the LACBC’s questionnaire for last year’s city election — as the poster child for what could happen otherwise.

The LA Times notes Kuehl and Shriver also disagree on the plans for the Subway Not Quite to the Sea as it passes through Beverly Hills and under the high school. And whether that really matters at this point.

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Evidently, they have NIMBYs in San Marino, too.

Annonymous opposition has arisen to what had been expected to be a fairly smooth route to adoption of the city’s draft bicycle and pedestrian plan (pdf).

Their objections seem to focus on the plan’s regional connectivity with other local jurisdictions — which could bring dreaded outsiders on bikes! to their fair city. And worse, those dirty, smelly cyclists might “freshen up, shower and change clothes” in their precious parks and schools.

Ooh, scary!

The only thing missing is a reference to Agenda 21. Although I’m sure someone will bring that up at today’s meeting to discuss the plan (pdf).

San Marino flyer front

San Marino flyer back

If you live or ride in the area, you might want to be there.

Because your voice will be needed.

Thanks to BikeSGV for the heads-up.

San Marino Meeting

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Mark Cavendish bookends the Amgen Tour of California with victories in the first and final stages, while Bradley Wiggins wins the overall title and sets his sights on making the team for the Tour de France. Bike prodigy Peter Sagan won the penultimate stage in a sprint to Pasadena City Hall, as a Spanish cyclist celebrates one lap too early.

Meanwhile, Cadel Evans is back in pink at the Giro d’Italia, as Pieter Weening sprints to victory.

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Local

Former LACBC board member Michael Cahn writes that a bike rider was injured by a car in Santa Monica on Saturday. And examines both how it happened, and what can be done to prevent something similar in the future.

Paramedics rescue a bicyclist who apparently suffered a heart attack while riding on a bike path next to Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

 

State

Not even pedestrians are safe from hit-and-run drivers, as a UC San Diego professor is killed while walking on the sidewalk with her husband; thanks to Mark Ganzer for the heads-up.

KCET looks at Bike Week in Ventura County.

 

National

Passersby help free a Seattle bike rider trapped underneath a truck after she’s apparently right-hooked by a drunk driver.

The bicycling equivalent of a dude ranch is planned for a location near Arizona’s Saguaro National Park.

A 90-year old Arizona driver “thought” he had enough room to pass a trio of bike riders; instead, he hit all three, killing one. Something has to be done now to ensure older motorists are still safe to drive before they kill someone, not after.

A Colorado e-bike builder develops a bike-pulled emergency response trailer to help people stranded by natural disaster.

A Michigan bike builder specializes in wood frame bikes.

 

International

Former Trinidad and Tobago national team cyclist Roger Smart was killed while driving on the island, the second member of the team killed in a collision in the last two months.

An Irish bike rider on 3,000 kilometer fundraising tour for his sister’s medical expenses says the county’s drivers are going to kill someone, and it might be him.

Drivers in an Aussie state could now face up to two years in jail for endangering cyclists, motorcyclists and “riders of animals.” I assume they mean horses. Or do they have a lot of koala and wallaby jockeys Down Under?

Nice. A 60-kilometer Hiroshima expressway has bike and pedestrian lanes for its full length, even as it connects six separate islands.

 

Finally…

Cambridge, UK cyclists are being targeted by a drive-by egger. And an Aussie writer wraps her story in so much anti-bike bile it’s impossible to take seriously. Which is too bad, because she  actually has a point.

 

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