Tag Archive for L.A. City Council

Morning Links: Happy Bike to Work Day, #CrashCityHall tomorrow, and Rapha says sit on it

Happy Bike to Work Day.

You can ride Metro, Metrolink and many other transit systems free today with your bike, or in some cases, just a helmet.

And don’t forget about the LACBC’s Handlebar Happy Hour at Gulp Sushi Alehouse in DTLA, sponsored by BikinginLA title sponsors Pocrass and De Los Reyes.

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We’re just one day away from #CrashCityHall.

I hope you can join me, and other walkers and bike riders from throughout Los Angeles, as we crash tomorrow’s city council meeting to demand safer streets for all of us.

And urge our elected leaders to have the courage to do the right thing.

Be there at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, for the 10 am council meeting. And be sure to fill out a speaker card to get your one minute of speaking time at the microphone.

I’ll try to get there a little early to meet everyone outside; if not, you’ll find me at the back of the chamber as the meeting starts.

And come back this afternoon, when we’ll have two more open letters to the city council, from Amanda Gohl.

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Local

Streetsblog confirms the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, while noting that the LAPD has refused to return calls about the case.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino reports a bike rider was hospitalized after getting struck by a driver in Watts Tuesday evening.

More misleading stats about the Mar Vista Great Streets project from the “chief grassroots organizer” of traffic safety denying “road diet opposition group Restore Venice Blvd,” who concedes there was extensive outreach for the project before accusing the city of inadequate outreach for the project. Here’s my response to her equally misleading post on City Watch.

Curbed recommends four rides to explore Los Angeles on two wheels, including the Eastside Mural Ride, Ballona Creek, and riding to Dodger Stadium.

The Santa Monica Daily Press post their short list of Bike Week activities. Although someone should tell them to post it before most them are over.

Lifehacker says go ahead and get bike riding lessons for your kids, recommending classes from REI and the YMCA, as well as LA’s C.I.C.L.E and Bicycle Kitchen.

 

State

Calbike announces their endorsements for two ballot initiatives, lieutenant governor and a trio of SoCal legislative races.

The Press-Enterprise reports on the Rides of Silence in the Inland Empire.

The local newspaper profiles Folsom’s first family of bicycling.

Bike-riding volunteers deliver fresh burritos to San Francisco’s homeless people each month.

 

National

It turns out Millennials are driving and buying homes after all.

The usual suspects lead a new report of America’s most bikeable cities, with Minneapolis and Portland leading the way, followed by Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. It’s a list that bears little resemblance to People for Bikes’ recent rankings.

High on the list of laws that shouldn’t have to be passed, Albuquerque NM is moving to prohibit parking and driving in bike lanes.

The future of bicycling in Kansas City includes a protected and connected bike network.

A Houston writer says drivers have got to stop their victim-blaming excuses.

A Brooklyn website accuses New York of favoring rich ebike riders while thousands of delivery drivers suffer.

A New York bicyclist is suing the city after NYPD officers were caught on camera using their patrol car as a weapon to knock him off his bike, then lied that he resisted arrest, when the video shows him standing calming and submitting to handcuffs. And never mind the dope they claimed he had on him. Intentionally striking a bike rider with a police car is an illegal use of deadly force, posing a risk of serious, if not fatal, injuries even at slow speeds.

Writing in the New York Times, an architect and urban planner says there are better ways of getting around town than driving.

A Pennsylvania man hopes to someday ride a bike again, ten months after he was intentionally run down by the driver of an SUV who fled the scene, and still hasn’t been caught.

South Carolina residents are dusting off their bicycles after learning repairs to a bridge could take four weeks.

 

International

An automotive fleet website ranks the world’s ten best bike cities; New York and DC get an honorable mention.

Now you can sit on, and not just in, your Rapha.

Quebec bike riders can now ride through a red light on the walk signal after coming to a full stop and yielding to pedestrians, and don’t have to signal for a stop, which no one usually does anyway.

After two years of Vision Zero, Toronto bike and pedestrian deaths are still not coming down.

Not surprisingly, traffic injuries and deaths has dropped by half at London’s Bank Junction after banning all traffic other than buses and bicycles.

Taking a page from soccer, British cops hand out yellow cards to warn riders of bicycling violations. Does getting two yellow cards mean you get tossed off your bike? And if you’re not successful enough, could you get relegated to a lower town?

A writer for the Guardian explains why she moved her family to a nearly carfree city in the Netherlands. As if any explanation is necessary.

An Aussie newspaper disabuses readers of their anti-bike misconceptions, pointing out that’s it’s legal to ride abreast and bicyclists are not obstructing traffic just because they’re not driving.

Shenzhen, China’s Qianhai business district will get its own elevated walking and biking pathway, similar to New York’s successful High Line Park.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for bike racing fans. Amgen has renewed its sponsorship of the Tour of California for another two years.

American Brent Bookwalter was back for yesterday’s time trial in the Tour of California, eleven years after he nearly lost his leg karate kicking a light pole.

The winner of the time trial was a local favorite who jumped into the leader’s jersey, but may not win the war.

A Sacramento TV station offers a glossary of bike terms for any wheel suckers who may be turning in for the first time.

In today’s nearly spoiler-free Giro report, the man in the pink leader’s jersey says he’ll keep attacking leading up to Tuesday’s time trial.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine says this is how you celebrate a win.

https://twitter.com/AmgenTOC/status/996537221564907520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclist.co.uk%2Fnews%2F4762%2Fwatch-how-to-celebrate-a-victory-as-a-professional-cyclist

 

Finally…

Before you ride through an abandoned railroad tunnel, make sure it really is. Kiss your Dutch beer bike goodbye.

And happy 199th birthday to New York’s bicycling community. Scroll down after clicking the link.

No, further. Seriously, keep scrolling.

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Ramadan mubarak!

Morning Links: LA’s hit-and-run epidemic, LA Mobility Plan could save lives, and Metro Bike may reduce fares

It looks like the press has finally noticed what’s happening on our streets.

In a piece for the Los Angeles Daily News, Josh Cain writes about the carnage of recent weeks.

The increase in bicycle deaths came despite what police officials said at the meeting was an across-the-board drop in serious traffic collisions in the city so far this year — fatal collisions and crashes resulting in serious injuries were down 10 percent, Moore said. Fatal vehicle-on-pedestrian crashes were also down significantly, falling 25 percent.

There were 18 cyclists killed in Los Angeles for all of 2017, and police officials said after the fatal collisions in April, the city appeared to be on track to match that total again…

Los Angeles statistics collected as part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic deaths showed that while all deaths from traffic collisions over the last three years, cyclist deaths continued to rise. In the San Fernando Valley, there were just three cyclist deaths in 2015, while last year there were eight.

In case you’re wondering, this is why I’m going to City Hall on the 18th, to demand our elected leaders have the courage to do the right thing.

It’s time to call the city council on their inaction on Vision Zero, and their repeated capitulations to traffic safety deniers in shelving vital lane reductions and other street safety projects.

And doing little more than talking about doing something to halt hit-and-run, while bicyclists and pedestrians — and even motorists — continue to suffer the consequences of their inaction.

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Speaking of which, if you can’t join me on the 18th — or even if you can — feel free to send a letter demanding for safer streets for you, me and everyone else. Just email your letter to me by Wednesday, May 16th to ted at bikinginla dot com.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor, containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips if you plan to write a letter.

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

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A new study from the LA County Department of Health concludes that if Los Angeles actually built out the city’s Mobility Plan 2035 — which seems highly unlikely at this point — it could prevent up to 4,600 cases of cardiovascular disease each year, while saving over $160 million per year in health costs.

Which is just one more reason city leaders need to do the right thing. And one less reason to wonder what that is.

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Metro is recommending much needed rate changes to its Bike Metro bikeshare program that would finally make renting a bike a single time cost the same as a bus ride for 30 minutes or less.

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CBS Sunday Morning looks at Manny Silva, Compton’s Godfather of lowrider bikes.

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The #1 phrase that belongs on the bicycling scrapheap of history: “In a crash between a bike and a car, the car is going to win every time.”

Seriously, there is absolutely no one who rides a bike — and pretty much no one on earth — who doesn’t already know that.

And it’s not a question of who wins.

It’s someone’s life.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA is hosting a 2018 June Primary Ballot Party next Wednesday to discuss options for the upcoming election.

Reseda residents say the LA River bike path has become a campsite for the homeless and IV drug users in the community.

Culver City lists their Bike Month events, while a Pasadena website looks at the upcoming Bike Week events in that city.

The South Pasadena Police Department will be conducting stepped-up bike and pedestrian safety operations throughout this month. You know the drill — ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction. You don’t want to celebrate Bike Month with a traffic ticket.

Bike SGV is hosting their first-ever bird watching ride this Saturday.

The long-awaited Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail is nearing completion, if they can just figure out how to keep people using it from getting hit with golf balls.

 

State

The Orange County Register maps where Southern California’s deadly crashes occur in a sea of blood red dots.

San Diego’s three-year old Vision Zero program is focusing on 15 deadly intersections to improve safety.

A San Francisco writer says she has good reason not to ride her bike right now, but she’s not ready to put it into storage.

The Press Democrat looks at custom bike builders in Sonoma County.

Sacramento installs its first parking-protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Our own Phil Gaimon goes riding in Yosemite.

 

National

President Trump once again criticized former Secretary of State John Kerry for breaking his leg while riding his bike, saying you don’t enter a bike race at 73, and you’d never see him (Trump) in a bike race. Except Kerry was only 71 at the time of the crash, he was just out for a bike ride with full security during a break in tense negotiations, not competing in a race, and more than a few people older than that still race. And at least Kerry can ride a bike.

Gear Junkie looks at surprises in People for Bikes’ new list of the nation’s most bike friendly cities; meanwhile, Cheyenne WY ranked near the bottom, scoring just 1.2 out of a possible 5 points. Which just goes to prove that not much has changed since I tried to ride there decades ago, and vowed never to do it again.

A CEO in the energy field says Houston streets remain dangerous because the city doesn’t have the same sort of safety culture found in private industry, and that department heads should be fired if they can’t solve the problem.

There’s a special place in hell for the red light-running driver who struck an Illinois bike rider with her car, then got out to pick up her license plate before driving off and leaving him bleeding in the street.

Pittsburg cycling icon and two-time RAAM champ Danny Chew competed in his first marathon as a handcyclist, 20 months after he was paralyzed in a bicycling crash.

New York bicyclists get a little divine protection at the annual Blessing of the Bicycles; LA’s will take place at Good Samaritan Hospital on May 15th.

New York announces plans to put bike lanes on six bridges crossing the Harlem River, making the already bike-friendly city that much safer for everyone.

The New York Post starts by saying construction delays are turning a New York bike path into an obstacle course, then naturally have to blame people “biking out here like maniacs, like they’re in the Tour de France.”

Filmmaker Casey Neistat records a video telling the NYPD to focus on fixing problem streets instead of cracking down on bicyclists.

 

International

The body of a missing German bicyclist was found near the base of a 600 foot cliff, a day after his Polish riding companion was found nearby; both deaths are believed to be accidental.

They get it. Eighty-six percent of Victoria, British Columbia residents support more bikeways as an investment in the future, whether they ride bikes or not.

A Manitoba tribal chief is calling for safety improvements on the unpaved highway where three boys were killed while walking and riding their bikes.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Prosecutors in Halifax, Canada drop charges of failing to yield to a vehicle against a driver who injured a bike rider, after concluding that a bicycle isn’t a vehicle because it doesn’t have a motor. Which basically gives drivers permission to do anything they want to anyone who isn’t in a car.

A London man was hospitalized in critical condition after a collision with a man riding a bike near a busy tube station. A reminder to always use caution around pedestrians, because they’re the only ones more vulnerable than we are. And they don’t always use caution around us.

Scouting Scotland’s ancient refuge huts for hikers and bikepackers.

Paris is demanding emergency action after a disastrous change in management companies for the city’s famed Vélib’ bikeshare system has left much of it inoperable.

Add this one to your bike bucket list — spending a week riding along the coast of Northern Italy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside explains how you can watch all the top bike races for less than $200 a year.

Chris Froome entered the Giro already banged up after crashing while scouting the Jerusalem time trial course; an Israeli billionaire bike lover is sponsoring the race to get more people in the country on bikes.

A Turkish rider was forced to withdraw from the new Israel-based cycling team in the face of death threats following Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

A 20-year old student at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia is now a double U.S. Collegiate Cycling champ, after winning the road championship to go with the mountain biking title she won last fall.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old Kiwi cyclist keeps a deathbed promise to his friend to compete in race around a New Zealand mountain and finishes second, despite saying he’s not a racer; his friend had won the same race over 60 years earlier.

Once again, a pro cyclist has been injured in a crash with a race moto, as British hill climb champ Joscelin Lowden suffered a broken clavicle after crashing with a security bike. Maybe someday, race organizers will finally figure out that motor vehicles don’t belong in the damn peloton.

Then again, it’s not just the cyclists who are at risk from race vehicles.

 

Finally…

Why not tri bamboo? Your next tires could be 3D printed, not pumped.

And hi-viz may not be the best choice if you don’t want to be noticed — like a mob assassin, for instance.

 

Morning Links: Storm City Hall for safer streets on May 18th, and killer Kalamazoo driver convicted of murder

As the great prophet Howard Beale once said, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

And I’m willing to march on City Hall by myself if that’s what it takes.

I’ve spent the last several weeks trying, and failing, to get support from LA advocacy groups for a plan for bike riders and pedestrians to storm city hall on Bike to Work Day this month to demand safer streets.

While I understand their need for campaigns and strategic planning, too many people are dying right now. And too many city councilmembers are backing away from the promises we were made.

So if this isn’t the right time for action, when is?

As I struggled with my own anger over the recent rash of bicycling fatalities and fatal hit-and-runs, I kept coming back to the questions of if not me, then who? And if not now, when?

Do we wait until someone else dies? Or twenty more people?

Do we wait until the next road diet is cancelled by councilmembers caving to angry drivers and traffic safety deniers?

And when is the right time to demand demand safer streets? As the Chinese proverb famously says, the best time would have been 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.

It’s my intention to give the mayor and every member of the council a copy of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing, and see if they get the message. If we can raise just $400 in the next week to cover the costs, I’ll do it.

Besides, we only need another $375, thanks to a donation from Douglas M to get things started.

But either way, I’m going to be there on May 18th, even if that means standing alone before the city council.

Because something needs to be done now.

I hope you’ll join me. And help spread the word, so we can get as many people as possible to show up that day.

And I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to help send a message to the council that it’s time to show a little courage and do the right thing.

Update: I’ve been reminded that the LA City Council doesn’t meet on Thursdays, so doing this on Bike to Work Day won’t work. 

The question is whether it’s better do storm city hall on Tuesday, May 15th after the Blessing of the Bicycles, Wednesday the 16th before the Ride of Silence, or Friday the 18th before Bike Night at Union Station.

So what works better for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Update 2: It looks like Friday, May 18th works for more people. So that’s the day we’re storming City Hall.

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Guilty.

In a verdict that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the driver responsible for the Kalamazoo massacre has been convicted on five counts of second degree murder for killing five bike riders in a drug-driven 2016 crash, and injuring another four.

Charles Pickett Jr. was also convicted of five counts of causing death while driving under the influence, after allegedly popping a handful of pain pills before getting behind the wheel. In addition, he had meth in his system as well as alcohol at the time of the crash.

Pickett now faces a possible life sentence when he’s sentenced next month.

A well-deserved one.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, a writer looks at the devastating effects of a Texas hit-and-run.

Boston magazine offers an in-depth examination of the events leading up to the death of a brilliant surgeon when she was right hooked by a truck driver while riding to work. And the police investigation that went out of its way to blame the victim.

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Local

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined with other mayors around the world to issue a Commitment to Green and Healthy Streets, envisioning “a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities.” However, as Streetsblog points out, it takes more than lip service to be a climate mayor. It will be very hard for LA to live up to that commitment as long as city councilmembers are free to cancel safety and Complete Streets projects to appease angry drivers.

Streetsblog examines the dangers faced by many bike riders on the streets that go well beyond traffic safety. Like the 14-year old bike rider gunned down in a quiet Azusa neighborhood yesterday.

 

State

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will relaunch their Go Human campaign throughout their six-county region for Bike Month.

Celebrate Bike Month with ten bike trails within ten miles of Morro Bay.

 

National

NACTO presents a nationwide study of bikeshare in the US; while docked bikes outnumber dockless bikes 56% to 44%, only 4% of the actual trips are taken by dockless bikeshare. Something that’s likely to change as dockless bikeshare matures in this country.

In an absolutely brilliant move — sarcasm intendedVista Outdoor responds to the recent boycott by bike retailers over the AR-15 rifles made by one of their subsidiaries by deciding to stop selling guns. And get those darn bike people off their backs by getting rid of their bicycling equipment divisions, as well.

You can now control your LED-lighted Lumos bike helmet with your Apple watch, assuming you have either one. Or buy them both at your friendly neighborhood Apple Store if you don’t.

NPR looks at the LaneSpotter app, which allows users to flag problems with bikeways in real time, like a WAZE for bike riders.

Building bamboo bikes in Oahu.

A Portland nonprofit intends to collect 1,000 bicycles in a single day to refurbish and donate to kids in need.

A Washington sheriff’s deputy says police have to actually observe a traffic violation, such as a violation of the three-foot passing law, in order to write a ticket. Unfortunately, the law is no different here in California.

A Seattle website says the ebike craze has become a verifiable movement in the city.

A Spokane WA bike commuter compares bicyclists to the NRA, and says some bike riders in the city are just jerks. Bicyclists are human, some humans are jerks. Therefore, some bicyclists will inevitably be jerks. Just like some drivers and pedestrians. 

Forget protein bars. Austin TX bike riders get free tacos for breakfast on Bike to Work Day.

Houston residents are calling for changes after two people are killed in the same spot while riding bikes in the last two years; a crowdfunding campaign raised $15,000 to send the latest victim’s body back to India.

Evanston IL city aldermen reject a call to remove a parking-protected bike lane, after a female alderman — alderperson? — calls them “an absolute disaster at rush hour.”

Speaking of Evanston, a local man discovers how it feels when his bike has a starring role in a police chase.

New York council members call on the mayor to stop the city’s ridiculous ebike ban, and talk with the food delivery riders who use them to develop new rules.

 

International

Cycling Industry News considers why the bike industry has such a hard time catching counterfeiters. Which is why you should always buy from a reputable source; any deal that seems too good to be true probably is.

An Ottawa TV station says people are taking to bicycles and ebikes to fight rising gas prices.

Cambridge, England council candidates consider calls to ban parents from driving their kids to school. Unlike the US, where schools attempt to ban kids from biking or walking to class.

One more to add to your bike bucket list — Spain’s sun-soaked Mallorca island.

Tel Aviv, Israel opens the first velodrome in the Middle East.

Around 50 Brisbane, Australia bicyclists stage a die-in to call for better bike safety, tying up traffic during the morning rush hour. While the technique can be effective, we don’t win any friends by inconveniencing people just trying to get to work.

 

Finally…

Ten ways to tell others on the road that an angel just got its wings. Call it a secure dockless bikeshare parking spot.

And the Foos are some of us, too.

Most of them, anyway.

 

Morning Links: LA Council committee considers bikeway pavement, and including everyone in Complete Streets

Maybe it’s good news. Or maybe not.

The LA City Council’s bizarrely combined Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee will take up two motions regarding the safety and maintenance of bike lane pavement this Wednesday.

The first, #17-1142-S1, would require the city to inspect and repair the pavement on any existing bike lanes, and certify that the pavement is in good condition before any new bike lanes are installed.

The second, #15-0719-S17, requires city inspectors to examine the pavement on every mile of bike paths and bike lanes in the city, and develop a plan to bring them up to appropriate safety standards.

Which is something that should have been done a long time ago.

However, it appears to be a significant change from the original version of this motion, which would have prohibited installing any new bike lanes on streets with anything less than an A grade. And required the removal of existing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade lower than that.

Which would require ripping out most bike lanes in the city. Even though most of the crashes involving bad pavement that inspired these motions didn’t happen in bike lanes to begin with.

So let’s be clear.

Inspecting bike lanes and bike paths is a good thing. Fixing the pavement is even better.

But using bad pavement as an excuse to block or remove bike lanes could bring what little progress Los Angeles has made towards safer streets crashing to a halt.

Which means it could be worth your time to show up for the committee meeting tomorrow at 1p at City Hall if you can make it.

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Our old friend Karen Karabell forwards this piece by longtime bike commuter and League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Martin Pion, arguing that real Complete Streets would accommodate inexperienced riders, as well as more experienced vehicular cyclists.

You won’t get any argument from me.

I’m a strong supporter of safe bike lanes and Complete Streets that can be safely used by anyone from 8 to 80, and get more people out on bikes.

But I also support the repeal of restrictive ride-to-the-right and must-use laws that are too often misinterpreted to require riders to hug the curb or use unsafe bikeways.

People should be able to ride wherever and however they feel safest, whether thats a protected bike lane or mixing with motor vehicles in the traffic lane.

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Local

No, a coastal ferry will not solve the Westside’s traffic problems, but it could provide a way to get your bike from Santa Monica to Malibu without having to ride PCH.

Mobile bike repair shop Beeline Bikes is expanding to Los Angeles.

A letter writer in the LA Times says if London and Copenhagen can get people out of their cars, Los Angeles can, too.

The San Gabriel Vally Tribune offers a nice profile of Eastside Bike Club founder and Stan’s Bike Shop owner Carlos Morales, one of the stars of the new documentary MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), which premiers on the 21st. He’s also one of the nicest people you’re likely to meet.

 

State

Bay Area bicyclists complain that plans for new Caltrain bike cars that separate riders from their bikes is an invitation to theft.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 69-year old man was killed when he rode his bicycle into a parked car.

A Sonoma paper says the market is surging for folding and electric bikes — and folding ebikes — in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Streetsblog says the Marin Independent Journal is continuing to push to convert plans for a new bike and pedestrian pathway on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle use, in the mistaken belief it will somehow solve their traffic problems. Apparently, they’ve never heard of induced demand.

 

National

Treehugger writes in praise of riding slowly through the city.

No, you don’t need a fat bike to ride on snow, as long as you’re willing to go downhill.

Forbes says belt-drive Priority Bicycles are being ridden by the cool kids all across New York City.

Former 1984 Olympic cycling gold medalist Alexi Grewal, who recently married a woman from Punjab, India, says Punjabi youths could shine in international cycling with enough institutional support from the government.

 

International

Four Canadian men are riding over 600 miles around Lake Ontario in the dead of winter to raise funds for charity and to encourage young people to be more active. Then again, they’ve already ridden to the North and South Poles.

A new British group is pushing to get the Labour Party to commit to more bike-friendly policies.

Bike advocacy groups in the UK criticize members of the House of Lords for insisting that bike lanes cause congestion and increase pollution, without having any evidence to back it up.

Britain won’t develop any new standards for dockless bikeshare because it’s too busy trying to kiss Europe goodbye.

A local website looks at the state of eco-friendly bicycling in Bangshal, Bangladesh, where newly married couples used to be given bicycles, until Hondas became more popular.

A letter writer in Islamabad complains that ebike riders don’t get any health benefits, apparently unaware that ped-assist ebikes help the rider, but don’t do all the work.

Demand for ebikes is still high in Japan, 25 years after Yamaha introduced the first one.

A 19-year old Singaporean fixie rider gets nine weeks behind bars for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a collision while riding brakeless.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will compete in the five-day Ruta del Sol in Andalucia, Spain, despite the doping cloud hanging over his head.

Mark Cavendish wants to go faster, while sticking to two wheels.

 

Finally…

Why just sell bikes, when you can steal them, too? Now this is how you promote a bike race.

And who says there’s no such thing as fixie rap?

Morning Links: A profile in political cowardice on Lankershim Blvd, and biking while your spouse shops

Call it a profile without courage.

The Daily News looks at CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian’s last-minute decision to pull the plug on the long-discussed Lankershim Blvd bike lanes in North Hollywood, as he hides under the political fig leaf of claiming more outreach needed to be done.

Because evidently, five years worth of Lankershim meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes just isn’t enough. Maybe what he really wants is to keep talking until he’s termed out in 2024, so it can be someone else’s problem.

Meanwhile, CiclaValley questions Krekorian’s leadership on the issue, and sounds pretty damned pissed off about it. And justifiably so.

Krekorian’s rejection of the project may be at least partially related to the defeat of bike advocate Joe Bray-Ali in last month’s CD1 council race, which may have sent a mistaken signal that LA’s politicians have nothing to fear from bike riders.

That’s the wrong lesson to take away from that election, however.

Bray-Ali appeared to be on the verge of an upset victory over incumbent Gil Cedillo when he lost many of his supporters as his comments on a racist website came to light.

It should be seen instead as a sign of what the bicycling community can do when they’re truly motivated, when a sitting councilmember was forced to fight dirty just to hold onto his seat in a city where incumbent members of the city council virtually never lose.

And that’s something Krekorian may want to remember as 2020 approaches.

Krekorian cited fears of lost business along the Lankershim corridor, even though numerous studies have shown that bike lanes are good for business, and creating a more walkable, bikeable corridor could more than make up for the loss of any parking spaces. Which LADOT must have undoubtedly pointed out in discussing the project with him.

And fears of unending traffic jams are usually unfounded, as well, as road diets have been shown to actually improve traffic flow in some cases.

The simple fact is that Krekorian’s decision to keep Lankershim solely dependent on dangerous and unhealthy automotive traffic is far more likely to hinder the success of the district than to benefit it, or the people and businesses in it, in any way.

What it really comes down to is what former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan discussed in her book Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution.

…An important observation that I share from my years as commissioner is that when you push the status quo, the status quo pushes back — hard. Six years after we rolled the first barrels into place, closing Broadway to cars, the plazas at Times Square became the new status quo…

The Times Square saga is a reminder that in New York and other cities, changing the streets is a blood sport at all levels. Projects that alter streetscapes upset people who naturally cling to stability, even if that stability is unsafe or inefficient. The flip side is that once change is in place, it becomes the new norm and frames expectations of citizens.

The most important lesson is that safer streets work, and that they can be executed quickly and cheaply… Sustainable streets make sense for safety, traffic, and long-term planning, and they make sense for the economy.

Maybe we should buy him the book.

Or maybe we should all send him copies of Profiles in Courage and Do the Right Thing, because he seems to have missed the point of both.

The real problem, with Krekorian and the rest of LA’s city government, is that they live in constant fear of angering the electorate in their districts — never mind that they probably hold some of the most secure council seats in the country. And so they’re afraid to do anything that might upset anyone, which makes doing nothing seem to be the safer choice.

Which is why the city’s streets are crumbling underneath us, and why they will likely remain dangerous long after our current leaders are gone.

There are exceptions, of course. Mike Bonin in CD11, CD14’s Jose Huizar, and Joe Buscaino in CD15, in particular, have shown genuine leadership and courage in transforming the streets of their districts.

But let’s be honest.

However he chooses to frame it, Krekorian’s decision to pull the plug on Lankershim was less an example of leadership than plain, old fashioned cover-your-ass cowardice.

And the people of Los Angeles deserve better.

If you’re as angry about this as I am, you can let Paul Krekorian know how you feel at an ice cream social today at noon in North Hollywood.

………

Mike Wilkinson forwards this photo captured by his wife Argelia in a Walmart parking lot yesterday.

Photo by Argelia Wilkinson

………

Another young bike racer has been killed on a training ride, as promising junior time trial specialist Joe Guy died when he was struck by a van in the UK.

A European website suggests Giro winner Tom Dumoulin’s bowels may have saved the 100th edition of the race from an epic flop.

The 2019 edition of the Tour de France will honor the legendary Eddy Merckx in the five-time winner’s homeland by departing from Brussels.

………

Local

Unlike NoHo, road diets and bike lanes will be coming to a number of Playa del Rey streets in an attempt to slow traffic, improve safety and reduce cut-through driving. Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents the area, gets it right, pointing out the need for improvements while overcoming the usual kneejerk NIMBY objections by suggesting that the changes aren’t necessarily permanent.

Barrio.LA takes a field trip to Atwater Village in advance of the Glendale – Atwater Village CicLAvia on the 11th.

 

State

The Orange County Register says the county is the mecca of the ebike craze.

The New York Times looks at Berkeley-based Monkeylectric and nearby Revolights wheel lights, noting the former is nearly required at Burning Man.

Sad news from Yuba County, where a 50 year-old Marysville woman was killed from behind as she rode her bike without lights at 1 am. Seriously, if you’re going to ride at night, put some damn lights on your bike. And carry a spare set with you during the day in case you get caught out after dark.

 

National

Streetsblog says blaming dangerous streets on people wearing black, as the Seattle Times did on Sunday, wins the prize for anti-pedestrian — and anti-bike — idiocy.

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is training to ride the 2,800-mile Tour Divide.

The father of a killer hit-and-run driver brought gasps to a Colorado courtroom when he blamed the victim for simply riding his bicycle on the street — even though his daughter had a BAC nearly twice the legal limit three hours after the crash, as well as trace amounts of cocaine and THC.

A Tennessee woman who took up ebike riding in her 40s says ride big in every way. Thanks to Karen Karabell for the link.

This is who we share the roads with. After tearing up a ball field by cutting doughnuts on the grass, a Connecticut pickup driver apparently targeted a bike rider, forcing him to dive off his bicycle to avoid getting hit.

Syracuse NY offers a $2.25 million settlement to a bike rider injured when he was struck by an off-duty police officer driving a city police car; the officer played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, saying he was blinded by glare on his windshield.

It took the NYPD just four days to piece together security camera footage to catch the hit-and-run driver who killed a bicyclist, even though it took them four months to make an arrest in the case.

 

International

The BBC looks at how the privately funded ciclovías in Santiago, Chile are transforming the streets.

A Canadian paper says your epic fundraising bike journey across the Great White North probably won’t actually make any money, and isn’t really a great idea.

In a change from just two years ago, all three major British political parties support bicycling in their manifestos, the equivalent of American political platforms; Brit cycling great Chis Boardman says that represents progress.

A London bike project fixes old bikes to give to refugees, providing around 90 bikes a month to people in need.

An Irish judge rules an ebike rider was highly negligent in riding without lights after dark, denying him any damages from the driver who hit him.

The Telegraph asks if Italy’s Alta Badia is the world’s greatest cycling destination. Actually, the best cycling destination is wherever you happen to be going today.

A new Spanish study shows the amount of bikeways boosts the number of bike riders, while improved safety depends on connecting them into an actual network.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist was lucky to survive when a rope attached to a truck got caught in his spokes, dragging him for 70 feet.

 

Finally…

This is what it looks like when a stray dog steals a GoPro and accidently films a Russian bike ride, along with the inside of its mouth. When you’re named after a bird, you can probably expect to be attacked by one.

And if you miss your brother, just dig him up and take him for a bike ride.

Literally.

 

Morning Links: LA Council revives Vision Zero funding, New York and Chicago show what can be done

Maybe they care after all.

Or maybe they were just stunned by the outrage.

Just days after the LA City Council’s Budget Committee zeroed out funding for Vision Zero in the city’s proposed budget — while saying they had no intention of doing exactly that — the full council passed a final budget allotting $27.2 million for Vision Zero over the next year.

Which is still nearly $53 million less than LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds says is needed to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% by the end of the year.

Let alone eliminating traffic fatalities entirely by 2025.

Surprisingly — and not surprising — the vote was unanimous to adopt the budget; not surprising, since the council usually votes in lockstep, but surprising that safety curmudgeon Councilmembers Koretz, Cedillo and Ryu went along.

It’s just a fraction of the amount New York spends on Vision Zero each year — let alone the additional $400 million in Vision Zero funding the city will spend over the next six years.

But it’s a start.

Only a start.

………

Demonstrating what Los Angeles could — and should — be doing, New York’s infamous Boulevard of Death has gone two years without a traffic fatality after being selected by the city as a Vision Zero Priority Corridor.

NYC added bike lanes, increased space for pedestrians and slowed traffic on Queens Boulevard, choosing to save lives at the risk of slightly inconveniencing drivers.

Meanwhile, as Chicago increased bike infrastructure 135% over the past decade, crashes dropped 54%, deaths and serious injuries fell 60%, and ridership jumped 167%.

Now that’s how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

………

Just in time for Bike Week, the Bike League announces two new Bicycle Friendly Businesses in California, including one in Los Angeles.

And strangely, the Coronado City Hall, where residents complained that bike lanes make them dizzy and compared them to desecrating their daughters.

………

The Sacramento Bee celebrates local rider Evan Huffman’s breakaway victory in Wednesday’s 4th stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while Thursday’s Big Bear stage ended in a surprising sprint finish after nearly four hours of climbing.

Bicycling looks at how Toms Skujins’ Cannondale team reacted to his crash in the Tour of California.

………

Local

After surviving this year’s election, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo thanks voters and touts his accomplishments, barely hinting at the raging discontent that nearly cost him his seat. Meanwhile, defeated challenger Joe Bray-Ali swears to hold his nemesis accountable “…for every misstep, every false move, every idiotic proposal…”

The Daily News looks at Wednesday’s North Hollywood Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox 11 discovers it’s Bike Month after nearly three weeks.

Burbank residents took to their bikes for Thursday’s Bike and Walk to Work Day in the city; no word on whether more people strapped on their sneakers.

Nothing like inciting a little panic about Pasadena traffic due to a confluence of events in the city, including the finale of the Tour of California; the Pasadena Star-News shows it’s possible to take a more measured tone.

Long Beach is collecting unloved and unwanted bicycles this Saturday to help find them a new forever home.

 

State

Bike Month puts the spotlight on bicycling in Solano Beach, thanks to the local advocacy group.

Thousands of San Diego residents took advantage of the 100 Bike to Work Day pit stops in the county.

An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run murder of a Barstow bike rider, who was deliberately run down after an argument with a pickup driver.

A Santa Barbara chiropractor says wear your darn helmet, already.

A candidate for the Olympic track team was injured in a collision with a trash truck in Santa Barbara while he was riding his bicycle; he was riding, rather than running, due to an ankle injury.

San Francisco’s Ride of Silence was longer this year to remember the too many people killed while riding their bikes in the city.

The Sacramento Bee maps where you’re most likely to get hit by a car while riding your bike in the capital city, just in time for the start of the city’s bikeshare system.

 

National

Clean Technica says no, 80% of private cars will not disappear from American roads in the next 13 years.

Bicycling talks with long distance cyclist Brody Levin about how to have the ultimate bikepacking adventure.

Pro wrestler Dean Ambrose is one of us, as he talks about crashing his mountain bike a week before Wrestle Mania.

A Portland man is suing the police department claiming that he was just trying to ride his bike home from work when a cop stopped him, knocked him to the ground and arrested him, apparently for the crime of riding while black.

Seattle has the right idea. Instead of Bike to Work Day, they celebrate Bike Everywhere Day. Meanwhile, a Seattle bike rider writes a thank you note to everyone who came to her aid following a collision on Monday.

Forget toilet plunger protected bike lanes. A Texas bike club designed and built their own four-ton steel truss bike and pedestrian bridge.

An Arkansas newspaper looks at the annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride, a 950-mile bike tour following the route of the 1830s Trail of Tears that devastated the Cherokee Nation.

A Chicago woman is suing the police department, claiming that she was struck by an unmarked police SUV while riding her bike, and the officer falsified the report to blame her for the crash.

Caught on video: Columbus, Ohio drivers are using an off-road bike path to bypass heavy traffic.

That’s more like it. A Pennsylvania man gets five to ten years behind bars for causing the chain reaction crash that led to the death of a woman on her bike; he was driving despite a suspended sentence and had synthetic marijuana in his system.

The war on bikes continues, as four Virginia bicyclists were attacked with a paintball gun from a passing car.

A Florida doctor somehow feels the need to point out that pro cycling is dangerous before offering safety tips for bike riders. Just like you should always point out how dangerous F1, NASCAR and IndyCar racing is before telling drivers to buckle their seatbelts.

 

International

Caught on video too: This is how quickly a dooring happens. And how close it can come to disaster.

Bike Radar offers six reasons you should leave your headphones at home on your next ride.

Political campaigning was suspended in Wales after former First Minister Rhodri Morgan collapsed and died while riding his bicycle.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero, as a Scottish man riding his bike home from work rescued a fawn drowning in a canal.

Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden remains in extremely critical condition in a Milan, Italy hospital with severe brain damage.

 

Finally…

Yes, your Ganesha bike shorts are offensive. Why teach people how to bike around cars when you can teach people how to safely drive around bikes?

And this is what happens when you get your bike too close to a crossing gate.

 

Morning Links: Zero vision instead of Vision Zero in Los Angeles, and bike riders really do make better lovers

So much for Vision Zero being a priority in Los Angeles anytime soon.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that the new budget the city council will vote on later this week won’t include dedicated funding for the campaign to end traffic deaths in Los Angeles.

Even though the council’s Transportation Committee had voted to devote 60% of Measure M return funds to stop killing bicyclists and pedestrians.

And even though LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds estimated it would take $80 million to meet the mayor’s goal of reducing traffic fatalities 20% this year. Let alone ending them by 2025.

And even though the mayor’s own budget had included a woefully inadequate $16.7 million for Vision Zero.

Instead, the council’s Budget Committee voted to zero out funding for Vision Zero, while saying it was no one’s intention to zero out funding for Vision Zero. They promised to circle back at a later date to consider giving some unspecified piece of the pie to improve safety, while channeling much of the funding to repaving streets.

And we’ve learned from experience what their promises are worth.

As Linton wrote,

Despite LADOT having submitted a Vision Zero work plan with costs (see budget memos 130 and 131), Krekorian and Englander both asserted that directing monies to LADOT for Vision Zero was – in Krekorian’s words “buying a pig in a poke” – paying for an unknown quantity lacking “specific expenditures.” The Bureau of Street Services has not submitted an expenditure plan, but can pour money into its perpetually backlogged repaving programs, which divide expenditures by 15 for the 15 council districts….

In an interview with Streetsblog this morning, Bonin expressed frustration that his colleagues were praising the city budget for its no-kill animal shelters, while not yet dedicating any money to no-kill sidewalks. Bonin said that it didn’t make any sense for the council to put off Vision Zero funding that would prevent deaths and save lives. Bonin further stated that he is continuing to push for a genuine city commitment to Vision Zero.

So for now, at least, it’s exactly what so many of us have feared.

LA may have a Vision Zero plan. But zero commitment to follow through.

………

Forget those reports from a few years ago that bicycling can cause erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems.

Because a new study shows no significant negative impacts for men or women; in fact, cyclists scored higher in sexual function than non-riders.

But we already knew that, right? And so did our undoubtedly very pleased significant others.

And you can stop riding those cut-out and cutoff saddles, because bike seats didn’t matter, either.

………

Metrolink will be hosting a Bike Week Twitter Party this evening.

………

As a public service, no more news about today’s elections in CD7, and especially, CD1 until we have actual results, and can kiss this seemingly endless election cycle goodbye.

You’re welcome.

………

Cycling Weekly takes advantage of a rest day at the Giro to catch up with who’s out of the race. America’s best hope took a hit as Tejay van Garderen cracked on Sunday’s stage, dropping four minutes behind the leader.

Monday’s stage 2 of the Amgen Tour of California featured a long breakaway, a dramatic finish, and snakes. And Kiwis.

Latvia’s Toms Skujins was pulled from the race by his Cannondale-Drapac team despite somehow managing to get back on his bike following a particularly nasty solo fall during Monday’s race.

Team Sky’s Ian Bosewell wants to rebuild fans’ trust in American cycling by showing the new generation of riders can succeed without doping; he’s going to participate in a bike giveaway at the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club the day after the race’s Pasadena finish.

The AToC will roll along the Central Coast in today’s stage 3, finishing in Morro Bay.

………

Local

KNBC-4 wishes you a happy Bike Week.

The Daily News says business owners are struggling to deal with the increasing homeless encampment along the Orange Line bike path in Van Nuys, with open drug dealing and prostitution, as well as people turning the bikeway in an open air toilet. I’ve heard from several riders who no longer feel safe riding the bikeway, and asked an LAPD officer to look into it; he reported that they couldn’t be legally removed because they’re on private property.

The LACBC reports Culver City will get a Metro Bike Hub next year.

The County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to proceed with the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network at today’s meeting.

 

State

Coronado suffered a rash of bike thefts, averaging nearly one stolen bike a day over an 11 day period.

The long-planned CV-Link multi-use pathway around the Coachella Valley gets final approval, after excluding Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells from the route. Which they will regret once it’s built and the bizarre resistance to the pathway fades away.

Nearly 300 chefs from around the US will depart from Santa Barbara on their bikes today, riding 300 miles to raise $2 million to help end child hunger; you can donate or sponsor a rider here.

It’s time for the four-day Great Western Bicycle Rally in Paso Robles next week.

Santa Paula police bust the bike-riding suspect who allegedly set a man on fire as he slept on a bench; the victim is being treated Los Angeles with burns over 50% of his body.

Writing in the Fresno Bee, a conservation advocate seems to believe the prospect of allowing bicycles in American wilderness areas will crack the final seal holding back the two-wheeled apocalypse.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a bike rider was killed in a crash on Mount Hamilton near San Jose. And a 15-year old boy was killed by a train while crossing a bridge in Manteca in the Central Valley.

Once again, San Francisco bike advocates form a human barrier to create a temporary protected bike lane.

 

National

Police departments across the US are going undercover to catch drivers texting behind the wheel. Except in Southern California, of course.

A Oregon paper asks readers whether there should be a tax on bicycles. And gets a response saying bicycles take up more room than cars do. No, really.

A 62-year old legally blind Idaho man has regained his freedom now that he can safely ride a bike on a Boise bikeway.

A Colorado man has been cited for careless driving after the tandem bike he was piloting veered onto the wrong side of the road and sideswiped an SUV, injuring two children on the bike.

The DIY toilet plunger protected bike lane movement has now spread to Omaha NE.

The former Governator took advantage of Houston’s bikeshare system while he was in town to give a commencement address.

A Michigan woman gets six months in jail for a fatal collision with a bicyclist because she had THC in her blood, even though she had the right-of-way and, according to her lawyer, police concluded there was nothing she could have done to avoid the crash.

Heartbreaking news from Indiana, where a driver lost control swerving to avoid a bike rider who had fallen while crossing the roadway and collided with a truck, killing an 11-year old girl in the passenger seat.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Ohio Bike Lawyer Steve Magas, who talks about Bike Week and the challenges facing Cincinnati’s growing bicycling community.

Once again, a bike rider has been struck by a cop responding to a call, this time in New York.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler delivered the keynote address at last week’s Transportation Alternatives’ Vision Zero Cities conference, asking if Vision Zero can work in a racist society.

Eight hundred riders turned out for a South Carolina bike race — including some of NASCAR’s top drivers.

Caught on video: The moment a New Orleans cyclist was shot with a pellet gun was captured on bike cam by one of his fellow riders; fortunately, he’s now out of the hospital.

 

International

Cycling Weekly takes a look at knee pain and what to do about it.

Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid’s effort to resurrect Great Britain’s forgotten bike highways of the 1930s continues to gain traction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

A British army vet with early onset Alzheimer’s is riding across the country to raise funds to fight the disease that killed his father and grandfather in their 40s.

An Irish advocacy group says horses are treated better on the country’s highways than cyclists are.

In a terrifying, yet ultimately harmless crash, a South African cyclist was dragged behind a semi-truck after a hook from the truck got caught on his jacket.

A New Zealand bike advocate is concerned by a plan to let children, as well as older and disabled cyclists, ride on the sidewalk, saying it would put kids at greater risk from cars backing out of driveways. But evidently, running over older bike riders is perfectly okay.

One thousand riders from a dozen countries around the world turned out for a two day Chinese Gran Fondo.

 

Finally…

As long as they’re removing statues of Confederate leaders, New Orleans might want to rename a bikeway or two. Red Bull says tall bikes will save the world.

And don’t steal bikes, dude. Especially from America’s biggest bike race.

 

Yet another bike rider dies on SoCal streets, as a 57-year old cyclist is killed riding in Carson

I could just scream.

For the fifth time in the last seven days, a bike rider has been killed on the mean streets of Southern California,.

According to the Daily Breeze, a 57-year old man was killed in a collision with a passenger van around 5 pm at the intersection of Avalon Blvd and Gardena Blvd in Carson. The victim, who is believed to be a resident of the city, was declared dead at the scene.

The driver remained at the scene following the collision; no other details are available at this time.

This is the 36th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, a horrifying half of which have occurred in L.A. County – which compares with 23 cycling deaths in L.A. County for all of last year.

My deepest sympathy for the victim and his loved ones.

………

Meanwhile, despite the lack of any information, KCBS-2 seems to think it’s important to question whether or not the victim in this case was wearing a helmet — without any details on how the collision occurred or whether a helmet would have made any difference.

Or, evidently, if the victim even suffered a head injury.

Despite popular opinion, bike helmets are not magic devices that can ward off serious injuries or death for the wearer.

While they are designed to protect against catastrophic head injuries in slow speed collisions, they offer little protection in high speed crashes, little or no protection against concussions, and no protection for any other part of the body.

I never ride my bike without one.

But it is simply irresponsible for any journalist to bring up the question of whether the victim was wearing one with no information to support it.

………

The Fontana Herald News offers a look at the life of 18-year old Carlos Morales Guzman, the bike rider killed by a train in Fontana last Saturday.

………

The green bike lanes on Spring Street, popular with everyone but Hollywood filmmakers, will see a significant reduction in paint coverage — and possibly safety — thanks to an unpopular compromise passed today in a unanimous vote of the L.A. City Council.

You can read my report here on LA Streetsblog.

………

Finally, a Santa Monica cyclist pleads guilty to a charge of Assault with a Deadly Weapon after running a red light at the Third Street Promenade and seriously injuring a pedestrian.

I’ve never heard of a motorist facing a similar charge after running a red light, though, even if someone is killed as a result. And to the best of my knowledge, a charge of Assault with a Deadly Weapon requires intent to cause harm, which would seem highly unlikely in a traffic collision — and which the police say was not present in this case.

Yes, cyclists who cause harm by breaking the law can and should be prosecuted, just as drivers are. Or should be, anyway.

But at first glance, this would seem to have been a significant overreach by prosecutors. Even if they did get away with it.

And don’t get me started on the promise by the Santa Monica police to focus on bicycling violations this summer, which sounds a lot like selective enforcement. Let alone the opposite of the bike-friendly city that SaMo aspires to be.

I’ll be writing about this for Streetsblog on Friday. If you have any inside knowledge of this case, or you’re a lawyer or police officer who can offer insight into the matter — on or off the record — email me at bikinginla at hotmail dot com.

Move along, nothing to see here

I have to beg your forgiveness.

Trying to follow up on the recent rash of bicycling fatalities ate up the time I would have used to write today’s post, which was intended to be a rant over the City Council’s repeated rescheduling of the vote to repaint the Spring Street green bike lanes.

Because it’s looking more and more like this issue is being hammered out behind closed doors. And while the council may or may not be talking with representatives of the film industry, they sure as hell aren’t talking to us.

And that scares me.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen them, I’ve updated the stories on the death of the 25-year old Los Angeles resident killed while riding near Caltech, and the 12-year old killed in Camarillo on Sunday.

Just a couple other quick notes.

Damien Newton offers a great recap of the issues involved in the debate over repainting the Spring Street green bike lanes, pointing out the fallacies offered by the other side — which is the nicest way I can put it.

A new study shows California drivers want bike lanes just like we do. I’ve long argued that bike lanes provide as much benefit to drivers as they do for cyclists; thanks to Monet Diamonte for the link.

Yes, the Bible teaches us to share with the less fortunate. But if you encounter a bear while riding your bike, it’s probably best not to offer it any barbecue from your church picnic.

And if you’re too drunk to stay on your bike, you might not want to ride away from the police while making siren noises with your mouth.

Just a suggestion.

L.A. cycling loses its best friend, as Councilmember Bill Rosendahl announces he won’t seek re-election

Transportation Committee Chair Bill Rosendahl addresses the City Council in 2010.

In very disappointing news, CD 11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl announced he won’t seek re-election next year as he continues his battle to overcome urethral cancer.

Rosendahl has probably been the best friend L.A. cyclists have ever had in local government, stepping strongly up after the Mandeville Canyon incident to demand greater safety and acceptance for cyclists on our streets.

He was the council’s prime mover behind the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, as well as shepherding the bike plan through the legislative process. And it was Rosendahl who famously proclaimed an end to car culture in the self-proclaimed car capital of the world.

In a powerful statement before the full council, Rosendahl said “The culture of the car is going to end now!” He reminded his fellow council members about the harassment cyclists face on the road, as well as the lack of support riders have received from the LAPD in the past. “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

“This is my pledge to the cycling community.”

In fact, it was his meeting, as chair of the Transportation Committee, that first brought then new LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger to meet with cyclists in council chambers, beginning the process that has helped make the LAPD one of the most bike-friendly police departments in the country.

Rosendahl has named his chief of staff Mike Bonin as his preferred successor. But whoever wins next year’s election will have massive shoes to fill.

And it’s up to us to ensure his replacement will support bikes as much as he has. Or this will be a huge loss for L.A. cyclists.

And for the city.

You can read his announcement here.

Best wishes to Bill Rosendahl in his fight against cancer, and for a long and healthy return to service once he recovers.

And my personal thanks for all he’s done to make bike riding a safer and more enjoyable means of transportation in the City of Angels.

………

Cal State Northridge’s newspaper looks at Sunday’s CicLAvia, while CLR Effect offers Michael’s usually outstanding photos, and Richard Risemberg provides a great photo collection of his own. The Time’s CicLAvia collection isn’t too shabby, either. Meanwhile, LAist fills a page with photos of Sunday’s event — and has the infinite good taste to quote yours truly — while Will Campbell offers yet another of his great timelapse videos.

………

Tonight’s Westside Mobility meeting will be streamed live online. Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles invites you to kickoff the new season with the UCLA Cycling Team. C.I.C.L.E. hosts a Pasadena ArtNight Ride this Friday. Biking Brian says Caltrans has ruined the popular Angeles Crest Highway for bicyclists; that’s what happens when the needs of bike riders aren’t even considered. OC’s cdmCyclist interviews cycling Newport Beach councilwoman Leslie Daigle. As if dodging dangerous drivers isn’t bad enough, maybe mountain bike riding on opening day of deer hunting season isn’t the best idea. A Menifee couple came up with the cool new frame and wheel bike lights used in Paralympic closing ceremonies. This past weekend, at least, a bike was the faster way to get around San Francisco. Two bike riders are injured, one seriously, in a St. Helena collision.

Something about this Schwinn helmet PSA just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe bicycling would be taken more seriously as transportation if it wasn’t so damn much fun. Elly Blue makes the case for equal prize money for men and women in bike racing. A six-year old Las Vegas boy is critically injured after riding out from between two parked cars. Is it an accident when a bike rider hits a strand of barbed wire strung along a bike path, or was it an act of sabotage — update: it was sabotage. If you’re riding with a bag of meth, don’t cross against the Don’t Walk signal in Coon Rapids TN. How to keep your skirt down while you ride; not a problem I normally have. An 83-year old Maine driver seriously injures an 11-year old cyclist months after his license was revoked for a medical condition. Massachusetts police arrest a cyclist for riding in the middle of the road in the middle of the night; the article doesn’t make it clear if he was taking the lane or riding down the center line. The NYPD, which doesn’t exactly share their L.A. counterpart’s reputation for bike-friendliness, is targeting their crackdown on cyclists, but that didn’t stop a bike rider from getting $1,555 in fines from a single stop. Here’s a new one; a Virginia letter writer says cyclists don’t pay for the roads — so we should pay for schools, instead.

A Calgary columnist says clearing snow from bikeways is a misplaced priority. An Ontario writer asks why bike helmets aren’t mandatory. A Brit bike rider complains about cyclists and their — our — “almost constant stupidity;” if the shoe fits, lady. A new TV ad says cyclists should See Track: Think Train; seriously, there’s no excuse for getting hit by a train. A new UK bike safety campaign is called too soft on drivers. An Oxford ethicist says instead of helmet laws, we should make cities bike friendly. Just when you thought bike racing was over for the year, Andy Schleck attempts a comeback in the Tour of Beijing.

Finally, I love this story about Scottish parents who travelled over 4,000 miles to surprise their bike-riding son as he rode across the U.S. And this bike takes single-speed riding to the extreme by attaching the pedals directly to the wheel, unicycle style.

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