Tag Archive for L.A. Bicycle Advisory Committee

Morning Links: Sign up online for BAC agendas and minutes, and LAPD cracks down on USC cyclists

Maybe LA city government really is becoming more open and accessible under Mayor Garcetti.

For the first time, you can sign up for reports and agendas from a long list of city agencies and committees — including the city’s long-neglected Bicycle Advisory Committee.

You’ll find them listed under the LADOT heading, where you can opt to receive BAC agendas and minutes, as well as other LADOT groups including the Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

And just below, you’ll find reports from the police and fire commissions. Both of which have a lot to say about your ability to ride legally and safely.

Thanks to BAC members David Wolfberg and Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

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The LAPD cracks down on salmon cyclists at USC, calling it a last resort in response to a rising number of bike collisions on and around the campus.

Actually, the last resort appears to be campus officials acknowledging the high level of bike commuting students, and working with city officials to accommodate bike riders so they don’t feel a need to break the law.

There’s a reason UCLA is recognized as a bike-friendly campus. And USC isn’t.

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Local

Laemmle Theater president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle says we need good policies and urban planning, and smart business practices to encourage bicycling and walking in LA County.

A 16-year old LA student transforms his life — and his formerly 250 pound body — by biking to school.

Flying Pigeon’s Richard Risemberg attends a glum Bicycle Plan Implementation meeting, which brightens considerably when he discovers new LADOT head Seleta Reynolds had been listening patiently for the whole meeting. Turns out she stopped by Tuesday’s BAC meeting, too.

Ride to celebrate the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, expected to be announced by President Obama on Friday; CORBA offers only conditional support for the designation.

Cyclists are invited to participate in a public workshop on October 22nd to develop a joint bike plan for Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Malibu and Westlake Village.

A new two-mile stretch of bike path opens along Coyote Creek in La Mirada.

 

State

Inland riders are gearing up for Sunday’s Temecula Valley Century, with five rides ranging from 6.4 to 101.5 miles. None of which is a bike race, regardless of what the Press Enterprise might say.

Local merchants are on board this time for Salinas’ second ciclavia.

The SF Gate talks with the Sonoma County Gran Fondo cyclist felled by a squirrel through the spokes; he was lucky to get away with a concussion and minor facial fracture. And you don’t want to miss that amazing photo of the squirrel jammed in his wheel; then again, maybe you do. Thanks to Kent D for the second link.

 

National

HTC unveils a periscope shaped cam to compete with GoPro.

A Seattle website explains what happens after your bike is stolen. And it ain’t pretty.

Now that’s more like it. A Texas driver gets 18 years — yes, years — in jail for killing a cyclist while under the influence. He was caught attempting to hide the victim’s body after driving away with his headlights off when the bike rider tumbled into the bed of his truck following the collision.

A Kentucky teenager apologizes for throwing a cup of ice at a cyclist and goes for a ride with his victim; does it matter that a judge ordered him to do it?

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d shoot a seven-year old Detroit girl out riding her bike; she was collateral damage in a car-to-car shootout.

Bad enough when people drive in the bike lane; worse when they get high and drive down a Michigan bike path.

Bikeyface complains about bike lane bike creeps.

We may have to worry about rabid LA drivers, but New Jersey cyclists have to deal with rabid coyotes; I’m not sure which is worse.

Many cyclists have ridden along the Hudson River, but not many have actually pedaled across it.

The Orlando paper endorses a plan for a continuous 275-mile bike trail from the Atlantic to the Gulf coasts.

 

International

London, Ontario cyclists reject the city’s new bike plan as too little, too late.

A Brit police and crime commissioner says cyclists should be forced to wear numbered plates big enough to be read at a distance so they can be identified and prosecuted when they break the law. After all, that’s worked so well to curb law-breaking by motorists, right?

Despite what the local authorities say, the jerks who stretched a cord across a British roadway at neck height aren’t morons, they’re terrorists attempting to injure or intimidate bicyclists and motorcyclists.

Good thing cycling has cleaned up it’s act. Otherwise, the Astana team could be in trouble after not one, but two riders test positive for EPO.

Tres shock! An Aussie study suggests cyclists break the law because they don’t feel safe on the streets.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Extreme off-road Lego bike stunts. Yes, Lego. Evidently, they really are out to get us, as a car — a real one — crashes into a Brit bike shop, at least the 10th time it’s happened to the same store.

And a rare condition can give cyclists a third, non-functional testicle — including riders who weren’t born with two.

 

Unconfirmed rumor says Dr. Thompson may be back on the streets soon; LA BAC meets tonight

It’s possible LA’s bicycling Boogey Man could be getting out of jail soon.

If he hasn’t already.

Rumors are swirling that Dr. Christopher Thompson, the road raging driver responsible for the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check that seriously injured two cyclists, was due to be released from Norco prison yesterday.

I haven’t been able to find confirmation one way or the other yet.

But Thompson is four years into a five year sentence. With good behavior, it would make sense that he would be due for release soon.

The question is, should we care?

Yes, he did a horrible thing. But he’s apologized, and he’s done his time.

Maybe it’s time to simply put him in our unpleasant past, and get him get on with his life.

And us with ours.

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The LA Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tonight with a long agenda, including discussion of bike lanes on Figueroa Street.

Bicycle Advisory Committee of the City of Los Angeles
Agenda
Tuesday, February 4, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall ‐ Community Room
6501 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

PLEASE NOTE

  • Public participation in Bicycle Advisory Committee meetings is welcome.
  • This agenda is tentative and may be updated as the meeting date nears.
  • Items may not be considered in the same order as this Agenda.
  • Meetings start promptly at the posted time
  • Sign Language Interpreters, Communication Access Real-Time Transcription, Assistive Listening Devices, or other auxiliary aids and/or services may be provided upon request. To ensure availability, you are advised to make your request at least 72 hours prior to the meeting you wish to attend. Due to difficulties in securing Sign Language Interpreters, five or more business days’ notice is strongly recommended. For additional information, please contact: Shelly del Rosario at LADOT at (213) 972-5980

1. Call to Order – Count for Quorum – Member Sign In
2. Approval of Minutes from December 2013 Meeting
3. Introduction of Committee Members
4. Public Comment: Non Agenda Items: All speakers must submit a City of LA Speaker Card before they will be
recognized. Public Comment is limited to two (2) minutes per speaker.
5. Los Angeles Police Department Report
a. Discussion and possible action re LAPD/LACBC handout re rules of road for bicyclists.
6. LADOT Bikeways Program Report
7. LADOT Bikeways Engineering Report re Bikeways Installed and In Progress
8. Bikeways Subcommittee Report:
a. 20‐Mile Sharrow Package
b. Discussion and possible action re Planning Department request to fund and staff “metrics”
c. Discussion and possible action re LADOT funding and staffing levels
9. Advocacy and Education Subcommittee Report:
10. Planning Subcommittee Report:
a. Discussion and possible action re Year 2 Environmental Review Package
b. Discussion and possible action re Mobility Element Update
11. Planning Department Report:
12. Metro Update
13. Update re status of Bike Plan Year 1 Environmental Package Projects (see next page):
a. Discussion and possible action re North Figueroa Package
14. Update re other projects
a. My Figueroa
b. Hyperion/Glendale Blvd Bridge:
c. Signage on LA River bike path
15. Involvement with Other City Departments:
a. City Attorney
b. Recreation and Parks
c. Public Works‐Bureau of Engineering
d. Public Works‐Street Services
16. Upcoming Events/Activities:
17. Officer Reports – Chairman – Vice Chairman
18. Member Reports – Emphasis on Council District Meetings and Projects
19. Adjourn

Next Meeting – April 1, 2014

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Boyonabike calls for an end to car-centered culture at Caltrans. The LAPD is increasing bike patrols along the Venice Boardwalk; hopefully they’ll bring a little peace to the bike path, as well. Sweet Ride USA releases a mouth-watering Episode Three featuring Peddler’s Creamery and DK Donuts; they’re featured in this month’s Bicycling. In his new role reporting for Streetsblog, Joe Linton asks if LA bridge builders can reconfigure the Riverside-Figueroa bridge; welcome back to one of LA’s most knowledgeable and influential bike, transportation and river advocates. Pink and daughter take a “strenuous” ride along the beach in Santa Monica; meanwhile, the singing Braxton sisters learn to ride a bike on TV, sort of.

A San Diego cyclist sues over a bad crash caused by a broken sidewalk. An 11-year old Bakersfield boy is killed by a car while riding his bike. Santa Barbara is letting 30-year old bike lanes near a school fade to oblivion in favor of parking. A Fontana cyclist escapes robbers who attempted to form a human barricade on a bike path. Jury deliberations begin for a man charged with attacking a rider on a bike path.

How to improve traffic safety for older adults; something has to be done to get dangerous drivers off the road while allowing safe ones to keep driving. New medical study shows master’s cyclists up to 71-years old maintain muscle mass as well as much younger riders. How to create a pop-up protected bike lane for just $600. New wireless hi-def bike cam released by Shimano, as well as new models by other makers. A man and his bike make beautiful music together. No more Viva Bike Vegas gran fondo in Las Vegas following Interbike this year. Anchorage motor vehicle laws stack the deck against cyclists; same story could be written just about anywhere. Tucson looks to build protected bike lanes; they could beat out LA for the Green Lane Project funding if the My Figueroa project fails to move forward. Going carless with bike and car share in Denver. A Houston area cop teams with Walmart to replace a boy’s stolen bike. St. Louis County votes for Complete Streets, despite protests from some cyclists decrying bike lanes and the “bicycle industrial complex.” A Delaware cyclist is ticketed for riding his bike safely and legally. Fortunately, not many bike riders are found on freeways, as a South Carolina driver is stopped for weaving in and out of traffic at 107 mph, while drunk — and with a open, half-empty gallon bottle of vodka — and no license. Sorry Houma, Louisiana, a shared lane may be many things, but it’s not a bike path. A 21-year old Tampa man faces prison for killing a bike rider while drag racing.

British experts say it will take more and better data to cut rates of bicycling injury and deaths; “Every death through cycling is entirely preventable, with countless lives shattered by the ripple effect of these tragic events.” Bike-hating Top Gear hosts take a ride through the streets on London. After barely surviving a collision with a car, a UK cyclist has to wait to learn if she can have her missing teeth replaced. Nottingham bike lanes are a “waste of cash and unwanted;” except by the people who might ride them, of course. The Tour of Dubai could help counter anti-bike fear-mongering. It’s war out there as Adelaide drivers and cyclists do battle daily on their commutes. It’s legal to cross a double line in Australia to pass a cyclist safely; not so in California, thanks to our veto-pen wielding governor.

Finally, a New Zealand study shows cycling is safer than you think — in fact, a two-hour ride is six times safer than riding a horse, 15 times safer than a day on the slopes and 35-times safer than playing rugby.

Report from an active BAC Bikeways committee, and a long list of pre-holiday bike links

Sometimes pressing issues force me to set aside things I intend to discuss here.

That’s what happened over the last few weeks, as I’ve been meaning to post a link to the minutes of last month’s meeting of the Bikeways Subcommittee of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee.

As you’ll see, the committee — and the BAC as a whole — is doing great work on some of the most pressing issues facing LA cyclists.

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LADOT’s People St prepares to work with the community to transform the streets of LA. The CEO of DTLA’s Union Rescue Mission rides his way back from a heart attack and kidney transplant. Metro to consider better bike and car parking in North Hollywood. A homeless Rosemead man teams with an off-duty anesthesiologist to save the life of a fallen bike rider; remember that the next time you’re tempted to look down on the tattered guy huddled in a doorway. CLR Effect says pay attention out there after coming on an injured bike rider near a school. A Santa Monica letter writer complains about a lack of enforcement against bike riders, but neglects to consider all those scofflaw motorists. The Acorn asks that the sheriff’s deputy who killed cyclist Milton Olin, a 16-year veteran, be investigated for distracted driving.

Twenty Riverside students get new bikes. Dates are set for next April’s 30th Redland’s Bicycle Classic. A Big Bear bicycling group invests $35,000 in local bike projects. Huntington Beach’s new mayor has supported bike paths since he was eight years old; let’s hope he still does. San Diego city council approves a $312 million bike plan. A San Diego summit considers how to wean the North County area off auto-dependency. San Diego State students are threatened with having their bikes impounded if they don’t use the new bike racks. The Borrego Springs Century rolls this weekend. Now that’s more like it, as a Santa Barbara driver faces murder charge for a drunken hit-and-run after his victim dies. A Bakersfield driver faces a vehicular manslaughter charge for killing a cyclist while legally using a hands-free device. Small town San Luis Obispo ranks as the 7th most dangerous city for California cyclists. A former Google engineer wants to put turn signals on your hands. How to use your bike for holiday shopping. Ride 2 Recovery brings a greater sense of normalcy for a wounded Stockton Iraq war vet.

Cyclists send a message to motorists in a nice new video; basically, that message is please don’t kill me or someone I love. Physical activity is the new wonder drug. Bike lanes are good for small businesses; someone should tell that to the anti-bike merchants on Westwood and Lankershim. The Bike League is seeking a new Equity Advisory Council member. A tongue-in-cheek look at why you should never try biking to work. NPR looks at efforts to make bike share more accessible. A look at America’s top 10 protected bike lanes; not surprising, Los Angeles — which recently got its first sort-of protected bike lane in the 2nd Street tunnel — doesn’t make the list. Bike Portland examines when it’s legal to ride side-by-side in Oregon; it’s legal here in California, though many some misinformed cops may disagree. Long Beach biking expats The Path Less Pedaled looks at Oregon’s Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. Seattle’s new mayor could mean less support for a new bike plan. My hometown, which has a real winter, holds a Winter Bike to Work Day; Los Angeles, which doesn’t, doesn’t. An over-privileged 16-year old Texas boy gets probation for killing four people while driving dunk at three times the legal limit; thanks to Austin Brown for the heads-up. Big hearted Nebraska driver goes bowling after running down a bike rider; no word on what he scored. The family of a fallen Chicago cyclist hopes to crowd source his funeral expenses. Ohio driver fesses up to punching a bike rider in a road rage incident; it helps when the chief prosecutor is a cyclist too. DC Streetsblog asks the Associated Press to nix the term accident in their style book. A different kind of scofflaw cyclist, as a DC rider stencils bike-positive messages on bike lanes. Cranky VA letter writer takes issue with the idea that bike lanes improve livability. Alabama foster kids get 502 new bikes for the holidays.

Trek hopes the Schlecks can bounce back. A BC writer just doesn’t get the concept of sharrows; problem is, he’s not far off. As expected, Specialized kisses and makes up with the Canadian bike shop they tried to run out of business; that means they’re not overly litigious bullies anymore, right? A Canadian cyclist videos his own face plant after a failed stunt, leading to a breakthrough in facial surgery. Avid cyclists are going extinct, and maybe that’s a good thing. UK study show’s only a tiny fraction of cycling collisions resulted from bad behavior by the bike rider. Look, no matter what they did to piss you off, don’t punch out drivers — or moms in front of their kids. Newly minted Sir Bradley Wiggins is humbled by the honor. The Beeb asks if new technology could make cyclists safer; thanks to Victor Bank for the link. Unconscious Norwegian cyclist is saved when a passing snowplow operator sees the handlebars of his bike poking out from a snow bank. A new Bangkok bike promises to clean the air while you ride; now we only need a few hundred billion of them and enough people to ride ‘em.

Finally, great holiday ad from Jamis bikes, aside from the gratuitous sex object. And don’t try this at home. Or especially not this.

Agoura Bicycle John’s celebration today, no BPIT this week, and Brentwood Grand Prix Saturday

Bike Talk airs every Saturday at 10 am; listen to it live or download the podcast from KPFK.

Bike Long Beach hosts Bike Saturdays every weekend; ride your bike to participating local shops and business throughout the city to get special offers and discounts.

Saturday, July 30th, the Bicycle John’s in Agoura Hills hosts their 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation & Le Tour Celebration with a 20 mile social ride, pre-ride events and registration and post-ride BBQ, auction and prizes, including manufacturer reps and leaders from the local cycling community. It takes place from 3 pm to 9 pm at 29041 Thousand Oaks Blvd in Agoura Hills, with the ride scheduled from 4 pm to 6 pm.

The Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting previously scheduled for Tuesday, August 2nd has been rescheduled for October; meetings will now be held on a quarterly basis.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee holds it’s bimonthly meeting on Wednesday, August 3rd — not Tuesday, as usual — at 7 pm at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave.

Flying Pigeon hosts their monthly Brewery Ride on Saturday, August 6th at 3 pm; followed by Spoken(n)Art Ride at 6 pm on August 13th at 6 pm, and the popular Get Sum Dim Sum Ride at 10 am on Sunday, August 21st. All rides meet at Flying Pigeon Bike Shop, 3714 North Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

West L.A.’s annual Brentwood Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, August 7th on San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood; races start at 7 am and run through 4 pm.

Also on Sunday, August 7th, the LACBC hosts the monthly Sunday Funday ride; this month’s edition explores the self-proclaimed America’s Most Bike-Friendly City with the Long Beach Family Fun Ride hosted by Board Member Steve Boyd. The easy, family-friendly ride is open to LACBC members and a guest; discount memberships are available at the ride. The ride assembles at Del Valle Park, 5939 Henrilee Street in Lakewood at 9:30 am, with the ride starting at 10 am.

Sunday, August 14th from 1 to 3 pm, American Legion Auxillary Post 817 is hosting a BBQ and raffle at 13553 Reedley St, Van Nuys. Just $2.50 a plate gets you a choice of burger, hot dog, chicken or hot link, including chips and potato salad; full bar will be available for an additional price. 100% of the BBQ proceeds will benefit Ride2Recovery, a program to help injured veterans overcome the obstacles they face through bicycling.

The Encino Velodrome hosts the Encino 6 Hour Race on Saturday, August 20th at 17301 Oxnard Street, at the edge of Balboa Park in Encino. Gates open at 10 am; race day registration is at 11 am and racing starts at noon.

Tuesday, August 30th, Santa Monica’s Library Alehouse will host a benefit night for Streetsblog LA from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm; a portion of all food and drink purchases will benefit Streetsblog; 2911 Main Street. Events will include a raffle, drink specials and possibly a bike valet.

The 2011 Far West and SCNCA Elite Track Cycling Championships come to the Encino Velodrome on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th at 17301 Oxnard Street, at the edge of Balboa Park in Encino. Gates open at 8 am; racing starts at 9 both days.

Mark your calendar for L.A.’s Ultimate Bike Weekend, as the 2011 L.A. edition of the Tour de Fat comes to town on Saturday, October 8th, followed by the next CicLAvia on Sunday, October 9th, offering an expanded route taking participants another 2.5 miles into Boyle Heights.

Finally, the LACBC’s award-winning City of Lights program will host their 2nd Annual City of Lights Awards/Fundraising Dinner on Thursday, October 27th from 6 to 11 pm at CARECEN HQ, 2845 W 7th Street. Tickets will be available for $45 later this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But sometimes justice stinks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your BAC at work — building better bikeways; a civil cyclist anti-harassment ordinance

A few notes from this week’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting:

As you may be aware, the City Attorney has finally reported back on the proposed anti-harassment ordinance.

Your Bicycle Advisory Committee hard at work in Hollywood Monday night.

Not surprisingly, the response was that there wasn’t much the city could do, since most of the actions that would be covered by the ordinance — such as throwing objects at cyclists, encroachment, threatening a cyclist, etc. — were already covered by state law. And any attempt to address traffic regulations, such as creating a minimum three-foot passing distance, can only be addressed at the state level.

But then he offered up with a brilliant alternative.

Instead of making harassment of cyclists a criminal offense, the recommendation was to make assaulting, threatening or harassing a cyclist a civil offense under the L.A. Municipal Code.

That would allow bicyclists to sue a driver in civil court for any violations, instead of pursuing criminal charges. As a result, it would eliminate the need for police to actually witness the violation, and require a lower burden of proof since only a majority of jurors need to reach agreement in a civil case, rather than the unanimous verdict required in a criminal trial.

The ordinance would also include a provision for attorney’s fees, which could encourage a lawyer to represent you on a contingency basis. Or at the very least, mean that anyminey you’re awarded by the court wouldn’t be eaten up by lawyer’s fees.

The BAC voted unanimously to endorse the plan, which has been referred to the City Council Transportation and Public Safety Committees for further consideration.

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Reports are that new BAC Second District representative Ayla Stern hit the ground running.

LADOT reported at the meeting that their priority in building out the new bike plan over the first five years will be filling in gaps in the current bikeway system, and building bikeways in areas that currently lack any biking infrastructure.

They also plan to focus on completing key links, such as the Cahuenga Pass between Hollywood and the Valley, as well as extending the Orange Line bike path and building a new bike path along the Expo Line. In addition, if a street included in the bike plan is scheduled for resurfacing, a bikeway can be striped as part of the repaving, whether or not it’s part of the five year plan.

A perfect example is the work currently being done to install HOV, or car pool, lanes on the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass. Metro has offered to build bike lanes on Sepulveda Blvd wherever their work involves that street, which is the key connecting route for cyclists between the Westside and the Valley — despite a bike lane that repeatedly stops and starts and is only a few feet wide in places.

The BAC passed a motion asking the city to use this opportunity to fill in any remaining gaps to create a continuous bike lane from Ventura Blvd to Wilshire Blvd, and to explore innovative solutions to improve safety for cyclists at the Sepulveda Blvd onramp to the southbound 405.

They also approved a motion to ask that design and construction of the Expo Bikeway be done along with the rail work, so that it can be included in any plans and not precluded by the plans or alignment for the Expo Line.

A limited schedule of hearings on the bike plan will take place next month.

  • Sept. 2, Thurs 5:00 to 8:00 PM in the Braude Building in Van Nuys
  • Sept 11, Sat 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM @ Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave.
  • Sept 14, Tues 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM @ Felicia Mahood Senior Center next to WLA City Hall
  • Sept 16, Thurs 5:00 to 8:00 PM in South LA /Webinar
  • Additional dates may be added but any delay will probably foreclose the possibility of applying for the next Metro Call for Projects

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Speaking of bikeways, Claremont Cyclist asks what good is a bike lane or path when it’s obstructed?

Funny he should mention it. I ran into this guy — not literally, fortunately — in Westwood yesterday; maybe he was just trying to save seven bucks.

………

Are drivers out to get public radio hosts? First KCRW’s Warren Olney got doored earlier this year; now Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! gets hit by a car as he was riding through an intersection.

Fortunately, he’s okay, aside from what he describes as the occasional stab in the back from an invisible angry dwarf, but says his racing bike may be cursed. And it gave a Chicago bike commuter second thoughts about some of her close calls. Thanks to Patrick Murray for the heads-up.

………

A rally is scheduled at City Hall for noon today with Barbara Boxer and Move LA in support of the Mayor’s 30/10 plan to speed up transit projects; what we need is a 25/10 plan for bikeways to go with it. Speaking of the Mayor, he wants your questions for Monday’s Bike Summit, even if you can’t be there in person.

………

LACBC’s first monthly volunteer mixer was a success. Santa Monica ciclovia gets its own website; thanks to Gary Rides Bikes for the link. Flying Pigeon helps distribute the new Blogdowntown Weekly on Nihola Family bikes. Ubrayj sees some progress in his campaign for a car-free Lincoln Park. Tucson police finally begin enforcing Arizona’s three-foot passing law; the cartoon at the beginning alone is worth the click. A Kentucky man buys a bike custom made for Floyd Landis — for $5. Evidently, bike share isn’t a new idea; Mark Twain suggested it 115 years ago, in Portland, of course. Testing out the triple seat Kangaroo Family bike. Did Chicago police protect the Hyatt Hotels heir from road rage charges after he tried to run a cyclist off the road? Is the real conflict between cyclists and motorists, or between patient and not-so-patient people? A writer says cyclists should be as courteous as other road users; do we really need to lower ourselves to that level? Brisbane police crack down on bell-less bikers. A Vancouver politician says Critical Mass should declare victory and obey the law. Evidently, L.A. cyclists aren’t the only ones who have to deal with pothole problems.

Finally, an Austin man was killed last year after crashing in his first bike race; yesterday, his heart finished the first lap.

BAC meets Tuesday — new location, new attention from police brass

L.A.’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, appointed by the city council members to advise them on bicycling issues, holds its next bi-monthly meeting tonight — with a promised appearance from high-ranking members of the LAPD.

The LAPD has been meeting with select members of the LACBC, Bikeside, the Bike Writers Collective, Sustainable Streets, LA Bike Working Group, IlluminateLA, the Voice Newspapers and the BAC to improve training for police officers on bike issues and cyclists’ right to the road.

Evidently, my invitation got lost in the mail.

However, this is your chance to voice your opinion on the often-troubled relationship between cyclists and police, as well as the hit-and-run epidemic and whether you get the support you need from the LAPD to feel safe on the streets of L.A. And what you think needs to be done to improve the situation.

Personally, I’m holding out for better training for accident investigators into the unique mechanics of cycling collisions, so they won’t conclude that any more cyclists backed into the cars that hit them. Or that a cyclist could break the laws of physics by falling to the left while leaning into a right turn, as they did in my case.

As well as never again concluding that it’s the cyclist’s fault when a rider collides with a car or truck that just right-hooked him, as recently happened in Long Beach.

Because no cyclist — not you, not me, not any of us — will be safe on the streets as long as the police continue to blame us for the actions of others.

There will also be discussion of the status of bike lane work on Winnetka Avenue, Reseda Boulevard and Rinaldi Avenue, as well as Main Street in Venice. Along with construction of the San Fernando Road Bike Path and extension of the L.A. River Bike Path.

The meeting starts at 7 pm at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Avenue in Hollywood.

According to BAC President Glenn Bailey:

Three bicycle parking racks are in front of the building on Fountain; there is also wrought iron fencing in the rear that can be used to lock up bicycles. Metro Red Line stations are located at Hollywood and Vine (closest) and Hollywood and Highland, both just a short bicycle ride away. There is also a motor vehicle parking lot directly behind the building (to the north).

I won’t be able to make it this time due to a prior commitment. Although I will be at the City Council Transportation Committee meeting on the 24th, when the theme will be Bike Safety — and we’re promised new LAPD Chief Beck will be present.

But I urge you to attend if you can make it to Hollywood tonight. Because it sounds like this BAC meeting will definitely be worth it.

………

The Bike Working Group proposes a Backbone Bikeway Network connecting every part of the city as part of their Best Bike Plan; now that’s more like it. LACBC reports on bike sharing, the proposed anti-harassment ordinance and speed limit increases. Damien Newton rides the DIY sharrows and lives, despite LADOT’s trepidations. Will offers his take on saving seconds by jumping the light. Pasadena plans to improve the popular Rose Bowl loop. A Los Gatos cyclist riding on the sidewalk is killed by an out-of-control driver. Bob Mionske says use a gun, go to jail; use a car, it’s called an accident. Bikes menace pedestrians on St. Augustine sidewalks. Three-time le Tour winner Greg LeMond settles his lawsuit against Trek, the former manufacturer of LeMond bikes. DC police order cyclists to get into a non-existent bike lane. Who has the right-of-way when joggers and cyclists meet head-on? An Ohio appeals court ruling concludes cyclists can’t be searched without individual probable cause. Tucson Bike Lawyer gets a new Dutch bike. An overview of the Dallas Bike Trail Network. SFPD once again prepares to take aim at Critical Mass. Winnipeg considers a $17 million, two-year bridge retrofit to protect cyclists and pedestrians; a local driver suggests it’s your fault if he loses control on icy streets and accidently kills you. A Queensland bike repairman suggests mandatory inspections to get dangerous bikes off the roads; I’m sure the extra work he’d get has nothing to do with it. Bicycling is back on the Emerald Isle, and so is bike theft. Motorists hate the new 30 kph (18 mph) speed limit in Dublin’s city center, while everyone else seems to love it. I have no idea what this says, except it has something to do with Lance Armstrong, Trek, Austin racer Bryan Fawley, an 83 kilometer mountain bike marathon called Miles of Discomfort and the Tour Down Under. Finally, the Swedish rapper who beat a Hollywood jazz musician unconscious before driving over him as an off-duty police officer hung on the door, begging him to stop, has been found guilty of 2nd degree murder.

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s when the inevitable backlash began.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note the key word “current.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what you can do:

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

Please send in and email your letters to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

No, really.

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

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

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

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

Fair enough.

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

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

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

But that’s the advantage of secret plans.

They’re easy to deny if anyone finds out.

*Also known as the Bart Simpson approach to public relations

……….

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

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