Tag Archive for LA County

Morning Links: LACBC needs your help, legal dockless scooters coming to LA, and protected bike lanes for LA County

And, we’re back.

For now, anyway.

It’s going to be a long and difficult haul to regain full use of my knee and the leg it’s attached to following my recent knee replacement.

While the pain is greatly improved, it’s going to be around for awhile. Along with a mind-muddling mix of diabetes, neuropathy and pain meds. And the ever-changing array of medieval torture devices and exercises my surgeon and therapists have in store.

So if I have to miss a few days here and there, please accept my apologies in advance.

But I’ll do my best to be here for you every morning.

And keep you up to date on all the latest bike news and advocacy.

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Let’s start with some difficult news from Eli Akira Kaufman, the new executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Two months ago, I joined LACBC as Executive Director because I believe that everybody has the right to travel our streets safely. One thing that was clear to me from my years as a member of the Coalition and rolling with friends and family on the LA River Ride was how tight knit the community is – especially the LACBC staff.

Through all the twists and turns, this team has worked tirelessly to grow LACBC into an organization of which we can all be proud. As a small but powerful team, they have done an incredible job working to make the entire County of Los Angeles a safer region for people on bikes, on foot, and in automobiles. When I was hired, the organization was already in the process of evaluating our overall financial health. Last month, it became clear that LACBC could no longer support the status quo with our current budget. As a result, we have had to make difficult decisions, including having to move one staffer to a part-time role as two other team members departed to pursue other opportunities.

These changes are as heartbreaking as they are challenging, because Dana, Lyndsey, and Cesar are family to us. Their contributions can not be overstated and their daily passion, creativity and thoughtfulness will be deeply missed. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that each of them had the opportunity to speak to our larger LACBC family, as we’ve all benefited from the impact they have made – and will continue to make – in our community.

Sources tell me the problems stem, at least in part, from the long leadership vacuum caused by former LACBC ED Erik Jansen when he stepped down after just seven months on the job. Not to mention a troubling degree of disengagement while he was still on the job.

Which means it’s been nearly two years since the coalition has seen effective leadership. And that’s taken a serious toll on their finances.

If you’re wondering what you can do to help, the answer is simple.

Open your wallet.

If you’re an LACBC member, renew your membership. If not, join today. Or make a contribution.

A big one, if you can.

All to help LA County’s leading bike advocacy group get back to fighting for your rights and safety on the streets, and in the civic offices of the county’s many communities.

I’m on a tight budget myself these days, as I await an avalanche of medical bills. But I’ll be renewing my LACBC membership early to help out.

It’s the least I can do.

Unfortunately, it’s also the most I can do right now.

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Los Angeles is about to be flooded with scooters and dockless bikes, as the city’s one-year pilot program is ready for kickoff.

DTLA is getting new scooter and bikeshare parking zones similar to the ones in Santa Monica; unfortunately, they’re on the sidewalk instead of the street.

However, the city’s new data sharing requirement means that LA officials will now be tracking every trip you take on them, everywhere you go. Politico calls it the next data privacy fight.

So depending on where you’re going and why, you might want to choose another form of transportation if your privacy matters to you.

Meanwhile, City Lab says maybe the solution to dockless bikeshare and e-scooters is to bring back the docks.

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Big news from LA County, where county supervisors approved a motion by 1st District Supervisor Hilda Solis to consider adding protective barriers to new and existing bike lanes in unincorporated areas.

Which doesn’t, despite breathless proclamations from some quarters, mean the county will suddenly start sprouting protected bike lanes.

But assuming it goes beyond just studying, it could be a big step in the right direction.

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Is it just me, or does new e-scooter provider Wheels not have a clue who their target market is?

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Unbelievable. An Oakland man is living proof that you can chase a woman down with your car, knock her off her bike, steal her cellphone, and threaten her with a gun. And not spend a single day behind bars.

A Cleveland woman with an extensive criminal record will spend the next five years behind bars after intentionally running down a man as he was riding his bicycle; she accused him of robbing her, though police said they knew each other.

A DC motorist is under arrest after throwing a beer at a bike rider from a moving car — then flashing a knife at the victim when he came back for a cellphone, which he had inconveniently dropped while flinging his brew.

Caught on video: A Virginia driver tries to intentionally run down a bicyclist, even following him onto the wrong side of the road as the rider attempted to get out of his way.

And no surprise here, as a new study shows many drivers see bike riders as less than fully human, and that dehumanization makes them likely to act aggressively towards people on two wheels as a result.

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Always inspect your bike before a ride.

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Local

Bike people aren’t always the good guys. The LAPD is looking for a man who rode his bike up to a Reseda home, and snatched a teacup Yorkie off the porch before riding off.

Bad news for long-time Sherman Oaks bike shop The Bike Connection, which suffered an attic fire Friday night; no word on how much damage the fire caused the 40-year old shop.

Pasadena has reconfigured the popular Rose Bowl loop, forcing the hundreds of bicyclists who turn out for an informal, twice weekly ride to slow at a key intersection; riders say it just increases the risk for everyone.

Forty-four palm trees could stand in the way of a Long Beach complete streets project, including new sidewalks and bike lanes.

State

Seriously, what could possibly go wrong? An Orange County state legislator has introduced a bill that would add two speed-limit free lanes to the I-5 and State Route 99, allowing drivers to go as fast as they damn well please.

Bird gives Thousand Oaks exactly that, telling the city to forget about those plans to bring scooters to its streets.

Kindhearted Fresno cops pitched in to buy a boy a new bike when they were unable find the one he got for his birthday after it was stolen.

After a San Francisco woman was killed riding her bike, over 100 people turned out to form a people-protected bike lane to call for more permanent, non-human protection. The city responded right away by extending the street’s protected bike lane, though only by two blocks. And needless to say, the driver who caused the crash by dooring her, forcing her into the path of a truck, won’t face charges.

San Francisco safety advocates say the city’s Vision Zero program is doomed to fail without improved metrics, better transit, and rock-solid commitments. The same could be said for its bigger state mate to the south. And has been.

Sacramento plans a crackdown on illegally parked dockless Jump ebikes and e-scooters; the city is the first where Jump bikes are more popular than parent company Uber.

The annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show opened in Sacramento, both Pink Bike and Cycling Tips hit the highlights.

The Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir is one of us. Or used to be, anyway.

National

A bipartisan bill would restore the commuter bike benefits that were removed under the Trump tax plan, and extend it to bikeshare and ebike users.

Your next bike could be lighter and stiffer than aluminum and cheaper than carbon fiber. And made from the same stuff they make matches out of.

An Arizona paper takes a deep dive into the Uber self-driver car crash that killed Elaine Herzberg as she rode her bike across a Tempe street, in an effort to determine who’s really at fault. Unfortunately, they conclude that no one will be held accountable for her death.

After riding from her home to the state capital earlier this year, a New Mexico lawmaker wants to make it the nation’s most popular state for bikepacking.

Maybe they don’t want us there. A new tourism video for South Dakota’s Black Hills shows hikers, hunters, fishermen, equestrians, cars, trucks and canoes. Bicycles, not so much. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

They get it. An Amarillo TX radio station says bikeshare and e-scooters are great, but where are the bike lanes to support them?

They get it, too. After a bicyclist was killed, the Houston Chronicle questions why the city continues to build unsafe streets.

A Pennsylvania Home Depot gave a new bike to one of their employees after his was stolen; the local police department also pitched in $800 to help the 21-year old autistic man get a new Trek.

Actor Justin Theroux is one of us, as the paparazzi caught him riding his bike in New York’s East Village.

Rent a Baltimore apartment, and get a new bike instead of a parking space.

International

An Ottawa letter writer says yes, we need to get more people on bicycles, but calls a new bicycle intersection as useless as Captain Hook’s other glove.

A Prince Edward Island man showed his 19-year old daughter some tough love, calling the police after she failed to return a bicycle she’d taken from his home without permission, in hopes it would force her to get help for her drug addiction.

No bias here. After an English bike rider gave police bike cam video of a dangerous pass, they responded with a ticket. For him.

A British lord, who previously claimed — without evidence — that bike lanes cause pollution is now calling for licensing and insuring bicyclists.

That’s more like it. An Irish hit-and-run driver got five years behind bars for seriously injuring a bike rider while driving without a license.

An Irish official had to apologize for comparing bicyclists to Nazis, saying he’s one himself. A cyclist, that is, not a Nazi.

Why pay to ride indoors, when you can turn a profit by using your stationary bike as an artisanal, organic cocoa grinder, like this one in the Ivory Coast.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a South African man used his bicycle to save a young boy from a pair of rampaging Rottweilers.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list: Shredding Indonesia’s smallest and most secluded bike park.

A Singaporean writer bemoans the death of dockless bikeshare in the island city-state, following the collapse of Chinese bikeshare providers.

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling is establishing a fund to honor 23-year old pro cyclist and Olympic medalist Kelly Catlin, who took her own life earlier this month; family members have donated her brain for study to determine if a recent concussion could have caused her rapid descent into depression.

Family and friends remember Tate Meintjes, calling his death a huge loss, after the 19-year old cyclist was killed preparing for the Redlands Classic.

Paralyzed German track cyclist Kristina Vogel now has her own doll as part of Mattel’s Shero program.

Road.cc offers highlights of pissed-off cyclists in the pro peloton.

Finally…

If you’re going to fake a bike wreck and claim a driver hit you, try to make sure there aren’t any witnesses.

This is why you don’t casually stroll across a bike race.

And apparently, turkeys have learned how to cork.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last link.

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Thanks to Margaret W and John L for their generous donations to support this site. Or maybe for my new knee.

Or both.

Morning Links: Biking to fight climate change crisis, how to bike Spring Street, and a musical view of CicLAvia

A new report warns that the Earth only has another eleven years to reverse climate change before suffering irreversible and catastrophic damage.

Not surprisingly, bicycling and walking more were among the mitigating tactics the researchers recommended to help fight climate change and keep the planet habitable.

Then again, that news is nothing new.

Although it may come as a shock to some members of the LA city council, where self-proclaimed environmentalists continue to block bike lanes and keep Angelenos dependent on their cars, despite acknowledging a climate emergency.

Maybe now they’ll finally get the message. And actually do something about it.

Though something tells me we may all turn blue from waiting.

Unless we die first from the effects of all those cars idling in traffic.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s takeaway from that climate change report is that we need to all switch to solar powered e-cars.

It’s almost like he has a stake in it or something.

Thanks to Jason Islas for the Musk heads-up.

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LADOT has advice for bike riders on how to use the new left hand, parking protected bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA.

Now if they could just come up with advice for drivers on how to avoid parking in it.

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LA County serves up a great video recap weaving a musical tapestry from last month’s Celebrate LA! CicLAvia.

Thanks to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for the link.

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Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss continues his ascent to being one of the country’s leading bike advocates, this time taking on the self-described “avid cyclists” who stand in the way of bike safety.

Sort of like the Kiwi driver and self-described cyclist who got upset when he had to follow two chatting bike riders, calling them entitled, rude and careless for delaying him for a whole 21 seconds.

Meanwhile, a bike advocate respond to his video by saying “Revving your engine, overtaking on a blind corner, and yelling at people on bikes is a dick move.”

Something tells me Weiss would agree.

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Anyone have more information about this crash near Santa Monica Airport? That totally trashed bicycle doesn’t look good.

However, there’s nothing in the news about it. And usually, no news is good news.

Update: I saw the following email from Benjamin S after I posted this last night. 

Meanwhile, a comment below says it took police 12 hours to clear the crash scene, and that forensics was called to investigate, which is never a good sign. 

Let’s all take a moment to offer a prayer or good thoughts for the victim of this crash, and hope for the best.

Update 2: According to Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole, the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.” 

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Pro cyclist Ted King was on the receiving end of a punishment pass from a road raging driver.

Twitter user RS recognizes the location as Petaluma Road in Point Reyes.

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Nothing like endangering a kid in a baby carriage with an ill-advised pass.

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Lifehacker considers whether you should buy an ebike. Unfortunately, the first — and often, last — consideration for many people is whether they can actually afford it.

The New York Times questions whether ebikes are about to take over the city, now that Gotham has eased restrictions on ped-assist bikes.

Business Times argues that ebikes can make you fitter than a regular bike. Which is probably true if the regular bike stays in your garage.

And Wired examines how dockless bikeshare provider Jump designed a global ebike capable of serving the most people, in the most urban environments.

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Local

A ghost bike will be placed tonight for the victim of Sunday’s bike crash in Sun Valley.

 

State

The Challenged Athlete’s Foundation is hosting a 600-mile Million Dollar Challenge ride down the left coast from Monterey to San Diego next week.

The Orange County Bike Bells program to distribute bike bells to mountain bikers was honored with a Savvy Award for the best use of a promotional item from the national City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA).

A separated Class 1 bike path in Goleta has won the Bikeways and Trails Project of the Year Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Now this Oakland bikeway is what a protected bike lane — and a Complete Street — should look like.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s Levi’s GranFondo drew over 4,000 bicyclists to Sonoma County over the weekend.

Sacramento approved a change to the city’s food vending vehicles code to legalize food bikes, at the urging of a couple who found out their fresh Stroopwafel bike violated the city codes.

 

National

The author of the “safety in numbers” theory says that tiny vehicles, such as e-scooters, could be the best thing to happen to Vision Zero.

Bike Index talks with the owner of the 5,000th stolen bicycle recovered through the free bike registry.

Bicycling profiles what they call cycling’s cutest rider, a three-pound Schnoodle named Pippa.

It’s neighbor against neighbor on the streets of Denver, where residents are split on a series of mini traffic circles installed as part of a neighborhood bikeway giving priority to non-motorized users.

Cycling tackles one of Colorado’s most iconic passes.

A Colorado bike tour has left a trail of bounced checks and broken promises in its wake, including stiffing a high school marching band.

If drivers can’t even manage to avoid dooring the new Milwaukee street car, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

In a problem DTLA bike riders can relate to, a Chicago TV station reports that bike riders are being endangered by having to swerve around cars and buses parked in a bike lane.

Maine is trying to boost bike tourism by plotting a 320-mile extension to US Bike Route 1 through the northern part of the state.

New York is building a 750-mile escape route, uh, bike trail to Canada.

WaPo discovers ‘bents, saying today’s adult tricycles are low, sleek, speeding and growing in popularity.

 

International

In Vancouver, dooring isn’t considered a crash, because the car isn’t moving and bikes aren’t considered vehicles. And the fine is just $81.

Life is cheap in Manitoba, Canada, where an allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver got just two years for killing a bike riding father; he also lost his license for five years, but the court cut that in half to credit him with the time since the 2016 crash.

A candidate for the Windsor, Ontario city council is taking Bike the Vote seriously by doing his campaigning by bicycle.

A “radical” new proposal would pedestrianize half of the streets in London’s historic core, banning cars and trucks while lowering speed limits to just 15 mph.

A reporter follows BBC presenter Jeremy Vines as he rides his bike from his TV gig to his radio studio, and quotes Vines saying riding a bike is quicker than a Maserati in London.

Safety first. A British bike rider dressed all in black, including a balaclava, to murder a man in a bike-by shooting — but wore a hi-viz jacket over it. One paper suggests it could be an effort to hide in plain sight.

No surprise here. A new study from a British insurance company shows that bike riders make better drivers; bike riding drivers filed claims at less than half the rate of other motorists.

A UK city is posting “Share with Care” signs to remind bike riders and pedestrians to safely share formerly pedestrian streets that were recently opened to people on bicycles.

Police in a British city are stopping bicyclists for using a cellphone when they ride. Only problem is, that’s not illegal.

A Scottish woman is on track to shatter the record for the fastest women’s ride around the world.

Bicycling is booming in Russia, despite market conditions that limit the importation of better quality bikes.

International diplomats climb on their bikes to fight climate change in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Foreign workers in Dubai can’t get to their jobs after their bicycles were confiscated for violating the emirate’s law mandating bike helmets and hi-viz.

Kiwi bike riders say they’re sick of the anti-cyclist vitriol on social media.

The Korea Times takes a look back at the country’s first women bike riders, even though many of the first women’s bikes were ridden by men wearing traditional skirts.

Tragic news from Japan, where an 88-year old woman is in a coma after being knocked down by a 13-year old boy on a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

An admittedly flawed Irish study shows a worrying increase in spinal injuries among competitive cyclists.

A writer for Outside says America’s most recent ex-Tour de France winner is seeking forgiveness by starting a new cycling team.

A new Chinese cycling team with a massive budget sets out to win the Tour de France by 2025.

 

Finally…

A cuter, fluffier way to sniff out dope cheats. Why change tires when you can just zip on a new tread?

And apparently, there’s nothing scarier than bike-riding teenagers in clown masks.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bicycling looks at the science behind those WTF areo tucks.

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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