Tag Archive for Joe Linton

Morning Links: Don’t blame bike lanes for bad pavement lawsuits, and a call to ban cars from Rose Bowl loop

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says not so fast.

Despite what Councilmember Mitch Englander asserted in his recent motion, Los Angeles hasn’t paid out tens of millions of dollars for injuries to bicyclists due to bad pavement in bike lanes.

In fact, only one of the seven recent bike-related settlements with the city was due to a crash that occurred in a bike lane.

The rest took place on the sort of infrastructure-free streets most LA bicyclists have to ride every day due to the lack of a even the most basic bicycle network in most of the city.

And on the same crappy streets you’ll find on most city streets.

The City Council Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee will discuss two motions mandating much-needed inspections, and possibly repairs, to pavement in the city’s bike lanes and bike paths at 1 pm today.

But let’s not confuse that with the real problem.

Which is the city’s failure to build out the 2010 bike plan as promised. And the failure to the maintain streets we all have to use.

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He gets it.

A writer for the Pasadena Star News says instead of adding stop signs to the Rose Bowl loop, which would effectively put a halt to the popular cycling, why not ban cars instead?

Why not, indeed.

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We’re less than a month away from the annual Oscar ceremony. Which brings up the annual question, will anyone bike to the red carpet in Hollywood?

Environmentalist and actor Ed Begley, Jr. has done it before. In a tux, and despite the rain.

But no word yet on whether anyone will do it this year.

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Local

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, a new report shows Los Angeles has the world’s worst traffic congestion for the sixth year in a row. And it will only get worse unless the city and county provide people with viable alternatives to driving.

Atwater Village residents say they don’t feel safe walking or riding on the LA River bike path due to homeless camps along the river.

Bike SGV will hold their first general meeting of 2018 tomorrow night.

 

State

California’s only emperor was one of us.

The 9th annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride rolls in Nevada City this Sunday.

 

National

The art of mountain biking.

Bike friendly Boulder CO debates whether to allow ebikes on open space trails.

Ride Chicago’s bikeshare system ten times this month, and they’ll pin a medal on you and invite you to a party.

The NYPD puts out a wanted poster for a group of reckless teenage bike riders.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian discovers firsthand what it’s like to be doored.

You may never be a star of the English stage. But your bike might be.

A British city noticed that 68 near-identical bike-hating comments about a road closure came from a single computer. And 50 more came from just three additional IP addresses. In case you’ve ever wondered why there always seem to be so many public comments from people who hate bikes.

A Dublin paper asks if it’s time to give bicyclists and pedestrians a head start at red lights. That would be yes. And not just in Dublin.

Replacing delivery trucks with cargo bikes in Barcelona.

Workers for Dutch bike brand Van Moof track down a Bluetooth-equipped stolen bike, and discover a warehouse full of stolen bicycles from across Europe.

Docked bikeshare is expanding in India, while a free public bikeshare is opening at Hyderabad Metro stations.

A new Australian study shows that how you commute to work really does affect your body mass. And no, driving doesn’t make you any skinnier.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wolfpack Hustle is bringing back the Forsyth Cup at the Encino Velodrome in April, thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

Pro cycling’s Team Dimension Data plans to donate 5,000 bikes to an African charity this year.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to launch yourself off the roof with an antifreeze-fueled rocket attached to your bicycle. Now you can tow your new sailboat with your mountain bike.

And forget the bike park. Try riding the waterpark, instead.

Morning Links: Multi-tool bars Streetsblog editor from Metro meeting, and Lyft re-envisions Wilshire Blvd

Streetsblog editor Joe Linton was kept out of a Metro meeting to discuss the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project until he agreed to throw his “dangerous” multi-tool and wrenches into the trash.

And was told he could fish them out after the meeting — after one of the security officers dumped coffee into it.

Just another sign of how bike riders are treated in this city.

Never mind how easy it would have been for someone, anyone, to agree to hold them for him until he came back out. Or just how stupid it is to talk about encouraging bicycling, while actively discouraging bicyclists.

And never mind the kneejerk opposition he found to including bikes in the project once he finally got inside the Metro meeting.

Photo from LA Streetsblog.

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Lyft envisions a redesigned Wilshire Blvd that reduces the street’s 10 spacious lanes down to just three narrow one, along with dedicated bus lanes, to show what life could be like in a world of shared, self-driving vehicles.

The plan also includes wider, park-like sidewalks and protected bike lanes.

The company says the narrowed street could accommodate twice as many road users and carry four times as many people as it currently does.

Wilshire capacity before redesign

Wilshire capacity after redesign. Charts from CNN

No word on whether the forces attempting to roll back road diets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey plan to recall the president of Lyft or file suit to stop the concept while it’s still in the vaporware stage.

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A report on KABC-790 radio says evacuees fleeing the La Tuna fire earlier this month were delayed due to traffic jams caused by the road diets on Foothill Blvd. Although it’s surprising they would have been so surprised by changes that were made five months ago.

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Three-time US Olympic track cyclist Sarah Hammer retired at age 34, ending a career that began with her first junior title 22 years ago.

Next year’s Giro d’Italia will start just a little outside the country in the ancient Roman suburb called Jerusalem.

It’s official. Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont rode around the world in less than 80 days, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes — smashing the previous record by 44 days.

A memorial was unveiled in the English hometown of fallen cyclist Tom Simpson to mark the 50th anniversary of his death on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

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Local

An Op-Ed in the LA Times calls the cars the third rail of California politics, saying people will revolt if you slow them down or make driving more expensive. Which, as we’ve seen recently, is all too true.

Pasadena’s Art Center in planning a bikeway inspired by the historic California Cycleway to connect its separated campuses.

Parisian haute couture menswear brand Berluti has opened in Beverly Hills, with a made-to-order bespoke bicycle among the shop’s offerings.

Simon Cowell is one of us, as he goes bike riding with his family in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, which is finally starting to show some promise.

Curbed calls the Marvin Braude Bike Path through Santa Monica LA’s most beautiful bike path, even though the Santa Monica section is actually in… wait for it… Santa Monica. I’ve heard the beachfront bike path called many things in my many years here, but never The Strand.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News looks at the controversy over Vista del Mar and the Playa del Rey lane reductions, albeit from a mostly windshield perspective.

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding scumbag who’s been exposing himself to underage girls.

 

State

UberEats will now be delivering some of their food orders by bicycle in San Diego.

This is why you shouldn’t chase a bike thief yourself. A pair of Visalia men nearly got shot by a bike thief after they chased him down when they saw him take a bike from their garage.

A Modesto Op-Ed calls for greater enforcement of bike safety laws, especially California’s too-often ignored three-foot passing law

The International Cycling Safety Conference in Davis will explore how smart city technology can help make urban areas more bicycle friendly.

A homeless Redding woman was stabbed by another homeless woman following an argument as the victim was riding along a canal.

Eureka police are looking for a fleeing DUI suspect who hijacked a woman’s bike at gunpoint, before trading down by jacking a car as he rode her bike through a mall parking lot.

 

National

Bicycling talks with cyclists who credit their helmets with saving their skulls.

Seattle permanently removed a traffic lane on a downtown street to make room for protected bike lanes. Despite mixed opinions, no politicians appear to have been recalled and no one’s filed suit to stop it yet, unlike a certain SoCal city we could name.

Bicycle Retailer says this week’s Interbike show in Las Vegas is still the best way for smaller brands to get noticed.

A popular Colorado man was found shot and killed three days after he disappeared while on a bike ride this past Thursday; police are treating the case as a homicide.

Counter protesters interrupted a press conference by a New York state legislator who wants to halt plans to install a protected bike lane on a deadly Queens boulevard.

 

International

A new study shows triathletes face twice the risk of dropping dead during a competition as marathon runners, with the greatest risk occurring during the swimming leg of the race.

Brakeless fixie-rider Charlie Alliston has been sentenced to 18 months after being convicted of wanton and furious driving for killing a London woman as she was crossing the street. Thanks to Allyson Vought and John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Caught on video: Nothing like a little no-hands dab and dance while riding on a British street.

British bike historian Carlton Reid examines why the country’s most bike-friendly urban design failed to encourage bicycling; short answer, they made it too easy to drive.

Bicycling deaths and serious injuries are down 20% since UK police began an undercover operation to catch drivers passing too close to bicyclists. Maybe that will convince the LAPD to finally give it a try.

Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, will receive the equivalent of nearly $30 million dollars to convert their city centers to bike-friendly mini-Hollands.

German police are looking for a cyclist who interfered with rescue personnel to film a dying motorcyclist, rather than offering assistance before paramedics arrived as the law requires. Seriously, WTF is wrong with some people?

An Australian news site looks at what happens in the aftermath of a bicycling collision, including the obvious observation that it’s always the person on the bike who loses.

Aussie authorities blame tourists using GPS devices for a crash that injured a bike rider. So naturally, social media blames the people on two wheels.

Caught on video two: A dog sits upright in the saddle behind a bike-riding girl in an undisclosed Asian country, with its paws wrapped around her waist like a child trying to hold on.

 

Finally…

Who needs motor doping when you can just fire up the afterburners. Or maybe just let hurricane-force winds give you a gentle little nudge.

And now you, too, can own your very own Beastie.

Unless you’d rather ride a bike made of whisky casks.

 

Morning Links: Bike lane advice for the mayor, dueling Idaho Stop Op-Eds, and a Cannibal-themed beer in DTLA

So far, Mayor Eric Garcetti has talked a good game when it comes to bicycling.

But as a recent Op-Ed by Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald made clear, he’s failed to translate that talk into paint on the street.

Let alone protected bike lanes.

In fact, implementation of the city’s hard-fought bike plan has fallen precipitously since former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa left office four years ago, from a high of 251 lane miles — a single side of a roadway — to just 17 lane miles in the last fiscal year.

Although it should be pointed out that sharrows were included in Villaraigosa’s total.

Now Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is offering advice on what Garcetti can do to make LA bike friendly, with nearly 23 miles of bike lanes and road diets that could be implemented right away, along with another 30.8 miles that could be easily converted from bike lanes to protected lanes.

That’s if Garcetti is serious, of course.

I would have included Hollywood Blvd in that list, which desperately needs safety improvements to protect the millions of tourists who visit the Walk of Fame every year, as well as providing a much needed east-west route for local bike riders.

In fact, there’s not currently a single safe route in or out of Hollywood in any direction. A situation that will only get worse when the Metro Bike bikeshare arrives within a few years.

LA cyclists have long supported Eric Garcetti, both during his time on council, and in his run for mayor four years ago.

It’s time he returned the favor.

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While the LA Times has virtually ignored the subject, the Times-owned San Diego Union-Tribune has taken the lead on covering California’s consideration of the proposed Idaho Stop Law.

Today, they offer a pair of dueling Op-Eds on the matter.

The executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition says it’s smart policy for California to adopt an Idaho Stop Law.

Meanwhile, a former Oceanside councilmember says it would be bad for kids who lack the judgment to make those quick decisions — and says it’s really about Strava users not wanting to stop, anyway.

She makes a valid point about kids. Although there’s nothing that says you can’t come to a full stop if you want, which might be a better option for kids under driving age.

But let’s be honest.

This law isn’t so much about the spandex-clad than it is the everyday riders who are faced with the prospect of choosing between dangerous traffic-clogged streets on their commutes or recreational rides, or taking side streets where they’re forced to stop every block or two.

And while riders would be allowed to treat stop signs as yields, they would still be required to slow down and observe the right of way, and yield to opposing traffic when appropriate.

In other words, pretty much what most drivers already do.

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DTLA’s Mumford Brewing now has a barrel-aged brew named after the legendary Eddy Merckx. Just because.

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Talk about a great looking poster. This is for Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament campaign, something we might want to seriously consider replicating here.

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Belgian’s one-day Dwars Door Vlaanderen cobble classic made its first appearance in the UCI WorldTour on Wednesday; American rider Kiel Reijnen appeared to avoid serious injury when the peloton squeezed him off the road and into a ditch.

A 55-year old British amateur cyclist was banned for doping, but at least he had an excuse.

Former pro Phil Gaimon suggests that podium girls be replaced with podium puppies. Now there’s an idea we can all get behind. And clean up after.

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Local

How to get your bike, or other possessions, back if you leave it on a Metro bus or train. Not that you would ever do that, of course.

The Argonaut says the future has two wheels, as it looks forward to Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, as well as efforts to make Mar Vista safer and more inviting to people walking and on bikes.

Pasadena will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan. Which should include a heavy reliance on walking and bicycling to help get people out of their cars.

 

State

An OC supervisor has a massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail removed. And judging by the riprap installed in its place, doesn’t want it to return, either.

An Arizona couple describe what its like to watch their cell phones, IDs, credit cards and cash go up in smoke when a newly purchased ebike caught fire on the sand in Newport Beach.

Carpenteria will host its first Open Streets festival on April Fools Day, closing over a mile of downtown streets to motor vehicles.

Santa Barbara is already getting started implementing their 2016 bike plan, with three new projects set to open by this summer. Unlike, say, a certain city to the south.

Still more bad news from up north. Fresno police are investigating Tuesday’s hit-and-run death of a bike rider as a homicide instead of a traffic collision, suggesting they have reason to believe the death may have been intentional.

The Mercury News looks at why people in San Jose are reluctant to bike to work. Spoiler alert: They’re afraid of cars.

An El Cerrito couple got more than they bargained for when they left a bike in their yard with a “free” sign, and retuned home to find the bike gone, a man in their backyard, and their home burglarized.

San Francisco moves to regulate app-based, Chinese-style bikeshare systems.

Oakland city commissioners are angry that bikeshare plans didn’t include bikes for people with disabilities.

A Napa Valley letter writer asks why the woman who right hooked him in a rush to get to church didn’t care enough to stop or find out if he was okay.

 

National

Now you, too, can ride dressed like the Simpsons.

Bicycling wants to help you master the art of the paceline. Which will undoubtedly come in handy for your next bike train commute.

Now that’s more like it. A Nevada man faces up to 40 years in prison following his conviction for fleeing the scene after crashing into an 11-year old girl who was riding her bike in a Reno trailer park; he was twice the legal limit when he was arrested. The same crime in California probably wouldn’t result in more than a few years, if that.

A bike-riding Denver letter writer reminds drivers that you’ll get home a lot later if you hit someone.

The University of Iowa profiles a bicycle-riding associate who’s using her fellowship to learn how bike safety research can influence public policy and improve rider safety.

Houston approves a new bike plan calling for nearly 1,800 miles of bikeways, adding to the current 500 miles of lanes and trails, half of which are separated from traffic in some way.

Grieving family members release balloons to honor a Little Rock AK man killed by a wrong way driver as he rode his bike last week. Nice gesture, but never release balloons — especially Mylar ones; stick with a ghost bike instead.

Two years after Memphis yanked bike lanes off the city’s Riverside Drive due to complaints from motorists, they’re planning to try again.

Pittsburgh bicyclists would rather share the road with a robot than with a human being behind the wheel. And who can blame them?

Ten young cyclists have been chosen to follow the infamous 950-mile Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

Mississippi’s 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway will soon be getting Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, as well as signs telling drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders.

 

International

Tern isn’t just about foldies anymore.

A bike industry news site looks at ten cities around the world that are building bicycling into everyday life. None of which are Los Angeles. Or in North America, for that matter.

Nice gesture from the builder of LA’s StoopidTall Bike, who’s in Cuba with 30 pounds of bike parts to help a man’s quest to set a new record for the world’s tallest bicycle.

Don’t ride your bike in an anti-social manner in the UK.

Former Brit heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is one of us, riding a bike with his daughter in a child seat as he talks about making a comeback, after losing his titles following a failed drug test.

A British bike rider gets six years, eight months behind bars for slashing a man across the face with a box cutter when the victim asked him for a cigarette.

Chinese bikeshare is booming, and it’s headed your way. And so are efforts to scam users out of their money.

India and Bangladesh attempt to build peace through bicycles, with an 11 day joint military ride through both countries.

A San Francisco writer goes on a bicycle tour of New Zealand looking for an actual kiwi, and comes up empty. But discovers the journey was really the whole point.

Aussie riders call for new laws protecting bicyclists from having items thrown at them from passing cars, as well as prohibiting tacks and other items left on bikeways; as it is now, someone who leaves tacks on a bike path usually faces nothing more than a littering charge.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you can’t afford a two-wheeled Bugatti, either — or ride it around the block, for that matter. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got a rattlesnake?

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle from a former Marine, don’t leave yours behind. And if you do, don’t come back for it.

 

Morning Links: Bike-friendly council candidates still in running, and DSS poster makes biking look dangerous

It looks like three of the four remaining city council candidates could be good for bicycling.

And you can guess who the other one is.

Monica Rodriguez and Karo Torossian will be in a runoff for the CD7 council seat. Rodriguez was one of the three candidates who got the nod from Bike the Vote LA before this month’s primary election. I’m told Torossian would have received strong consideration if he had gotten his response in before the deadline.

Meanwhile, the results in CD1 are expected to be certified today, with long-time bike and community advocate Joe Bray-Ali taking on the extremely bike unfriendly Gil Cedillo. As you’ll recall, it was Cedillo who singlehandedly blocked the desperately needed road diet on North Figueroa, and attempted to have all the proposed bike lanes in CD1 removed from the Mobility Plan, earning him the moniker “Roadkill Gil” from some in the district.

The Times sums it up nicely, calling Bray-Ali’s forcing the runoff a victory for a new vision of a sustainable LA.

Although it’s not a victory yet.

Think of it as the game going into overtime. Both candidate start out on even footing, and who wins will depend on what happens in the coming weeks.

It will take the support of the entire bicycling community, and everyone who wants a better LA, to overcome the massive amounts of special interest money that will inevitably flow in from outside the district to help keep a career politician in office.

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Streetblog’s Joe Linton takes the L.A. County Department of Social Services to task for making bicycling look dangerous.

The ad depicts a fallen spandex cyclist. The text reads “When life gets rough.” The ad falls into the alltoocommon grim bicycling-equals-danger trope which shames cyclists and reinforces misperceptions about cycling safety.

To be honest, it really doesn’t bother me.

Given the unpaved surface, I read the image in the ad as a face plant by a mountain biker, which is just part of the sport.

But maybe that’s just me. What do you think?

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Former Stallone stunt double Eric Barone beat his own record with a 141 mph downhill on a snowy French ski slope. Which is just a tad faster than most of us have done on dry land.

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Sad news from South Africa, where an Egyptian cyclist died of a heart attack while competing in the African track cycling championships.

Cycling News offers five things they learned from last weekend’s Milan – San Remo, including that Peter Sagan is no Cannibal as he slips to the 78th second place finish of his career, compared to 92 wins.

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Local

The LA Times says Los Angeles needs to become a more walkable, bikeable and transit-oriented city, and the city needs to channel Angelenos’ desire for a more urban city into more effective new planning guidelines.

Los Angeles Magazine calls Sunday’s CicLAvia your next chance to experience LA free from the tyranny of the automobile.

Take a great rear-facing bike cam view of this past Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride. CiclaValley also joined in on the ride.

Pasadena Now looks at the recently approved state grant to build a two-way protected cycle track on Union Street.

 

State

Back east, they have to plow bike paths. Out here, we mow them.

After missing last year, Garden Grove will host its third almost-annual Open Streets event on April Fools Day. Let’s hope they don’t say that when we all show up.

Bay Area bicyclists ride to consider what can be done to fix the Hairball, a maze of intersecting highways where a bike path that runs underneath has turned into a de facto homeless camp.

A pair of bike-riding UC Berkeley researchers take a deep dive into the physics of why bike riders hate stop signs. Speaking of which, Calbike wants your support for AB1103, which would legalize the Idaho stop in California. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the heads-up.

 

National

NACTO says Trump’s budget would be a disaster for cities and their transportation systems. No shit.

Performance Bike is using the world’s most famous computer to get inside your head, or at least your browsing history, to target their marketing at you.

Outside recommends an e-fat bike to power your way over backcountry terrain. Because don’t we all want to rip up endangered terrain by riding off trail, while annoying the crap out of everyone else on trail? Or is that just me?

The heartbreak of people who can’t ride bikes.

The Mayor of Maui tells bicyclists to ride in the door zone to avoid salmon cyclists in the bike lane, and misreads the law to suggest that’s required anyway. There is no law, anywhere in the US, that requires people to ride to the right in a bike lane. And it’s usually safer to ride in the center to left third, depending on the width of the lane, to ensure you’re outside the door zone.

Idaho police shoot and kill a rampaging armed man on a mountain bike who was threating dog owners on a popular trail, and killed one dog.

Au contraire, Findley, Ohio’s The Courier; the city is not proposing a ban on bicycling in the downtown area, just against riding on the sidewalk. Big difference, mais non?

A road raging Ohio driver faces a minimum of two and a half years in prison for a screaming punishment pass and brake check that left a bike rider injured. Meanwhile, Ohio becomes the latest state to adopt a three-foot passing law; 28 states now require drivers to give at least three feet while passing someone on a bike.

The Village Voice asks if racism will derail plans for bike lanes and other safety improvements on 111th Street in Queens; one opponent insists the lanes won’t be necessary once Trump deports all the illegals, since there won’t be anyone left to ride a bike. Maybe someone should explain to her that lots of people who ride bikes were born in this country, including the many of the ones she assumes don’t belong here.

They’re onto us, comrade. A North Carolina letter writer insists a group of new hotels under construction are a plot to make driving so impossible everyone would be forced to bike or walk.

 

International

The premier of Manitoba plans to ride 100 miles this June to honor indigenous peoples in the province.

London is about to get protected bike lanes on the Westminster Bridge, providing safer access to Parliament and the palace.

A new British report says new roadways damage the countryside, quickly get jammed due to induced demand, and discourage alternative forms of transportation like biking and walking.

Something happened between a bicyclist and a pedestrian in a British town. No, really, that’s all the story says.

A new French law requires kids under 12 to wear a bike helmet when they ride. And they want kids to nag their parents to wear one, as well.

An Aussie man got a $1,000 fine for biking under the influence, adding to his 17-page rap sheet.

 

Finally…

Evidently, the way to clear a crowded bike path is to raise your voice in song; thanks to Scott Larsen for the heads-up. Yes, bicycling can be boring, but only if you are.

And nothing like snuggling up around an ebike fire on the beach.

 

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s when the inevitable backlash began.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note the key word “current.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what you can do:

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

Please send in and email your letters to:

Honorable Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine
200 North Spring Street, Suite 450
Los Angeles, CA 90012
[email protected]
Honorable Los Angeles City Councilmember Greig Smith
200 North Spring Street, Suite 405
Los Angeles, CA 90012
[email protected]Jonathan Brand, Planning Deputy for Dennis Zine
[email protected]

Phyllis Winger, Chief Planning Deputy for Greig Smith
[email protected]

Honorable Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
[email protected]

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

This just in: Did LADOT lie? Or don’t they even know what they’re doing?

Earlier this evening, Joe Linton left the following comment on today’s post — about LADOT’s official denial of any plans to put peak hour lanes on Reseda Boulevard — which I’ve moved up here to give it the attention it deserves:

The LADOT owes you an apology, Ted! Bicyclists were responding to an earlier document from LADOT that pretty clearly states that they intended to implement the peak hour parking restrictions, and put the bike lane project on hold. From the June report from the LADOT bikeway engineer to the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee – regarding the status of the Reseda lanes: “West Valley District does not concur with the [Reseda bike lane] project, cites peak hour lane usage in near future.”

See the original LADOT report document here: http://glatwg.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/bike_lane_projects_in_progress1.pdf

Cyclists deserve an apology from the LADOT for their lie… and the immediate implementation of the long-delayed Reseda bike lanes.

Note item #8 from the LADOT document:

Reseda-1

And note the status report:

Reseda-Cropped

The question is, did LADOT intentionally lie to us? Or do they honestly not know what their various divisions are doing?

I don’t know which possibility scares me more.

Thanks, Joe. I owe you one.

But I’m not going to hold my breath on that apology.

Update: 8-14-09, 3pm:

BAC Chairperson Glenn Bailey has written a detailed rebuttal to LADOT’s denial of their plans to install a peak hour lane on Reseda Blvd. Damien Newton has put the full text of Glenn’s letter online at Streetsblog — and says he doesn’t believes that LADOT intentionally misled him.

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