Tag Archive for LA Mobility Plan

Morning Links: LA Mobility Plan under fire in Sherman Oaks tonight, and bike theft warnings in Brentwood

Once again, an overly simplistic misinterpretation threatens LA’s new mobility plan.

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council is scheduled to discuss the plan tonight at their 6:30 pm meeting in the auditorium of the Sherman Oaks, 14750 Dickens Street.

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Maybe someone could remind them, as we keep repeating, that those estimates are a worst-case scenario, assuming no one takes advantage opportunity created by the new bus and bike ways and safer sidewalks created by the plan to leave their cars at home.

And that by providing people with viable alternatives, we could actually see a reduction in motor vehicle traffic, resulting in less, not more, congestion.

Of course, all that is clearly explained in the plan itself.

But why bother with the facts — or actually reading the damn thing — when it’s so much fun to fly off in a doomsday panic over a plan designed to ease LA’s traffic choked future?

After all, the city is already gridlocked to a large extent. And continuing on the same auto-centric course only guarantees things will continue to get worse.

If you missed it over the weekend, take a few minutes to read LA Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne’s remarkably cogent analysis of the mobility plan.

Because it’s cars that have killed the vitality of our city.

And it’s long past time we took it back.

Thanks to Glenn Bailey for the heads-up.

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Bailey also forwards a notice about bike thefts from the Brentwood Community Council.

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If you follow BikinginLA on Twitter, you’ve no doubt noticed the daily drumbeat of stolen bikes; sometimes several a day. And those are just the ones reported to the Bike Index stolen bike database, which is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bikes taken in the LA area.

So like the notice says, keep your bike inside if at all possible. If not, lock it securely to something solid and immovable.

And make sure you register it now to ensure you have all the information you’ll need if anything does happens to it.

………

Taylor Phinney continues his amazing comeback from the potentially crippling injury he suffered in a collision with a race moto at last year’s nationals, as his BMC team won the team time trial at the world championships; Velocio-SRAM took the women’s title. Not bad for someone who was told he’d be lucky to walk, let alone ride a bike again.

That $10,000 bike stolen from a Richmond hotel near the finish line of the world’s road course actually belonged to American rider Evelyn Stevenspolice recovered it undamaged in time for Sunday’s time trial.

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Local

Richard Risemberg recaps PARKing Day in LA, which demonstrates that curbside parking spaces can be put to better use.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief found in an alley with numerous bikes, bike parts and burglary tools. If you’ve lost a bike on the Westside recently, you might want to check with them.

 

State

A 33-year old Anaheim bike rider was critically injured in a hit-and-run collision Sunday morning; a 17-year old driver has been arrested on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges. Yes, the driver is four years below the legal drinking age, although DUI doesn’t always imply alcohol use. And as others have pointed out, the legal blood alcohol level for minors is zero.

More good news on the purloined bike front, as the man riding across the US with his rescue dog to promote animal adoptions got his stolen Yuba Mundo bike back. No word on whether police recovered his GoPro, GPS, dog toys and other gear.

 

National

A Washington father offers advice on how to engineer an elementary school bike train.

Aspen CO police bust a one-man bike theft crime wave.

A 70-year old Chicago man will bike Spain’s 500-mile Camino de Santiago to raise funds for his Catholic parish.

Proof bicyclists are tough — a Chicago cyclist rode to the hospital after realizing he’d been shot in the leg.

A bicyclist was killed riding in the traffic lane on a Minneapolis freeway, while three other cyclists have received warnings for riding on local freeways since June. It’s illegal to ride on most freeways there, just as it is here.

An Ohio mother pleads for drivers to be more careful after her adult son was killed while on a group ride last week.

The Cleveland traffic engineer behind the bike lanes — yes, more than one — with the buffer on the wrong side swears the design is the best practice to prevent right hooks, even though it runs counter to recommendations from the Federal Highway Administration and the NACTO design guide.

Lynchburg KY demonstrates that bike racks can double as public art.

A Philadelphia writer calls out dangerous cyclists on local pathways, while acknowledging that most riders are sensible and bicycling benefits the community. On the other hand, seven mph is a ridiculously low speed limit, and assumes every bicyclist knows how fast he’s going. Or slow, in this case.

The White House, Fox News and the tech community are mourning the death of Jake Brewer, a senior policy advisor to U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, and husband of Fox News personality Mary Ham. Brewer was killed on a charity ride over the weekend when he lost control on a sharp curve, crossed the centerline, and was hit by a car coming in the opposite direction. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the news.

 

International

Despite the odds, Cuban cyclists and bike mechanics are rebuilding the county’s bike culture.

After police amazingly concluded a bike riding, cross-dressing British spy died when he somehow zipped himself into a duffel bag and padlocked it from the inside as part of a sex game, a forensic investigator more logically deduces that he was murdered, and that he dressed as a woman as part of his spycraft.

Bike Radar looks at why more women don’t work at bike shops.

Britain’s Transport Committee will look into police bias against cyclists. Intentional or not, police bias against bike riders is a problem virtually everywhere, and can adversely affect ticketing and investigations of wrecks involving bicyclists.

More proof cyclists are tough. A Brit bicyclist is putting off potentially life-saving surgery to compete in next year’s Rio Olympics; only eight millimeters of his spinal cord remain unaffected by a cancer tumor.

Now that’s a fixie. The Guardian talks with cyclist who rode the full length of the UK on a Penny Farthing in just 15 days.

Riding through three European countries on bikeways along the Bodensee.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: This is what it looks like to pull a major endo after hitting a pothole. Seriously, if you don’t bother to lock up your bike, don’t blame the police when it’s gone.

And if you’re hiding a stolen car at your home after assaulting the owner to steal it, try not to get liquored up and shoot at a group of cyclists.

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Thanks to Eric Lewis for his generous donation to support BikinginLA.

Just $10 a year from everyone who visits here today would fund this site for a full year.

Morning Links: Cut off in a green lane, an 11-year old voice of reason, and an insightful look at LA’s Mobility Plan

Even with a green Santa Monica bike lane, some drivers can’t be bothered to look for bikes before cutting into it.

Thanks to John Montgomery for the video.

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It’s kind of sad that the voice of reason at Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena road diet came from an eleven-year old boy.

Let alone the hate it inspired in some quarters.

Matty Grossman has become the perhaps unwilling star of LA bike advocacy, with an interview on KCBS-2 and a profile in the LA Times that features the following video, recorded by Sean Meredith.

It’s a little hard to hear — after all, he is just eleven — but it’s worth cranking up the volume as far as it goes to catch every word

Especially this segment excerpted from the Times’ story.

“I have lost track of the number of cars who have purposely violated my legal right to three feet of safety or shouted obscenities at me,” Matty said at Monday’s town hall. “Can you imagine the kind of monster who yells ‘F you’ to a child?”

And Matty, a sixth-grader, is over it.

“It’s whiny, entitled behavior you wouldn’t tolerate from a kid,” he told the room. “Why should I tolerate it from adults?”

Why should any of us?

Maybe it was being shamed by a kid that caused one rabidly anti-bike commenter to lash out in protest over a kid interrupting the conversation on “adult issues” like bike lanes and transportation policy.

But that’s exactly the point.

Because if some drivers will treat a little kid like that, imagine how they treat a grown-up on a bike.

According to the press reports, Matty wants to grow up to be mayor of Los Angeles. Or an astrophysicist.

He’s got my vote.

But if that doesn’t work out, I think we can get him a job with the LACBC.

………

Speaking of Rowena, and by extension, the new mobility plan, Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne offers an insightful explanation of just why it’s so desperately needed, despite rumblings from some quarters.

Sometimes we tell ourselves it has been this way for all time. Recently a reader sent me an email that included this line: “Driving by car is how it’s done here.” (The word “son” at the end of the sentence was implied.)

But that’s not really true — not if you take a broad view of Los Angeles history. Look at a photograph of, say, Broadway in downtown L.A. in the late 1920s. It is full of people walking. But it is also full of people in cars, on bikes and on streetcars.

It looks vital. And guess what? It also looks very congested. In the decades that followed, in our tireless efforts to stamp out the congestion — something we became truly expert at — we wound up stamping out the vitality too.

Seriously, take a few minutes and read it all the way through.

I’ll wait.

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Yet another young man has been fatally shot while apparently riding a bike in South LA, this time in the Florence neighborhood just after midnight Friday.

Excuse my language, but just when are we going to stop this fucking waste of life? The right to keep on living is the most basic of all human rights.

………

There’s a new world record for a human-powered vehicle, set by a bullet-shaped bike ridden by Canadian Todd Reichart and the AeroVelo team at the annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge. It was clocked at 85.71 mph, beating the old record by 2.58 mph.

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That didn’t take long. The world championships haven’t even started yet, and a bike thief already made off with a $10,000 Specialized S-Works belonging to the Dutch team. And no offense to The Verge, but I’ve done a lot faster than 30 mph.

Former world champ Mark Cavendish is the latest high-profile rider to pull out of the worlds, along with Aussie Rory Sutherland.

WaPo offers a quick 11-point world championship overview, while Men’s Journal proffers seven reasons why you should care. One small problem with the course, though, is its made-for-TV tour through a virtual shrine to the Confederacy.

And it’s been 21 years since the carbon frame conquered the world of racing.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes an in-depth look at LADOT’s new annual report, and offers four metrics to guide future bikeway implementation.

Bicycling isn’t a luxury in South LA, where a bike count shows people who can’t afford cars riding to or from work and school. And people there have more to fear than dangerous streets and drivers.

He doesn’t mention bikes, but 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield writes about revitalizing Reseda through the Great Streets program on Sherman Way. Let’s just remind him to include some decent bike lanes while he’s at it. And slow the damn traffic down.

Nonprofit creative arts center Art Share LA is giving you one last chance to say goodbye to the soon-to-be demolished 6th Street Bridge with an exhibit called Ode to the Bridge.

After winning joint custody, Chris Brown wants to treat his daughter Royalty royally by teaching her to ride a bike.

 

State

An off-duty CHP officer spotted a man sleeping in an Oceanside bike lane; when he stopped to investigate, he discovered the man was the victim of a hit-and-run. He was in critical condition as of Friday morning.

After riding over 9,300 miles through 31 states with his rescue dog to promote pet adoption, an animal activist had his bike, iPod, GoPro and dog toys stolen in San Diego. At least he managed to hold onto the dog.

Prospects for the Coachella Valley’s proposed 50-mile CV Link bikeway aren’t looking good, as Indian Wells and Rancho Mirage both vote to block the proposed route.

Sad news from Lompoc. A bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by an SUV, as the driver apparently tried — and failed — to pass. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Morgan Hill decides to expand efforts to make the downtown area “inviting to visitors on all modes of transportation.” Note to Morgan Hill: Sharrows don’t make for Complete Streets.

A San Ramon attorney will be sentenced next week for the hit-and-run death of a Chinese tourist three years ago. Sentencing is at the judge’s discretion; he could actually get probation for killing another person and running away to cover-up his crime.

Thanks to Google, we may one day hear the anti-bike brigades say LA isn’t Silicon Valley instead of comparing us to Copenhagen.

Not taxing bikes or bike riders wins out with 56% of the vote in the SF Gate’s very unscientific poll.

Streetsblog is looking for someone to run the San Francisco site and cover transportation issues in the Bay Area. I’d consider it, but it would mean becoming a Giants fan. And some lines a man just can’t cross.

 

National

This Tuesday is Worldwide Car-Free Day. Which is not the same as free car day, unfortunately.

In case you’re desperate for a physics lesson, Wired obliges with a discussion of pulling a bike with a giant rubber band.

Bicycling reports on the Breaking Away reunion at Interbike, although the Las Vegas Review-Journal does it much better.

The level of bike commuting in Portland has reached an unheard of — in the US, at least — 7.2%; it was only at 2.8% in 2004.

Fifty-two soldiers complete a two day, 167-mile ride from Fort Knox KY to Fort Campbell.

When some Michigan hikers looked at pictures they’d just taken off a cliff, they discovered legs and a bicycle in the photos; when rescuers arrived, they found a the body of a man in his 30s at the base of the cliff.

Now this is a great idea. Over 70 businesses and many homes in Ashland VA have bike gardens — bicycles with planters or arranged like sculptures. Love to see something that spread around the LA area.

Very strange case from upstate New York as a cyclist has been unresponsive since he was found lying in the road, suffering from a double skull fracture and a broken orbital socket and clavicle. Yet his bike and helmet were undamaged and there was no sign of a collision.

Caught on video: It takes major huevos to steal a Philadelphia cop’s bike. Or maybe just major stupidity, since the bike was clearly marked “POLICE.”

A Charlotte NC writer says both cyclists and motorists have control over whether they get out of control. However, bicycling is not particularly dangerous, as he suggests; people in motor vehicles aren’t immune from collisions and serous injuries, or worse.

 

International

A Saskatoon city counselor says new bike racks are a waste of money, since cyclists can “tie up” their bikes to loading zone signs. Sounds like he’s more used to hitching posts.

You’re kidding, right? Toronto proposes producing a paltry 2.5 miles of new bike lanes a year for the next 10 years. No word on whether those are centerline miles or lane miles; the latter would mean bike lanes on just 1.25 miles of roadway per year.

The 18-year old London man convicted of fatally stabbing a 15-year old boy to steal his bike will now spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A Singapore court cuts the sentence of a hit-and-run cyclist to three weeks; he’d originally been sentenced to eight weeks behind bars for fleeing after injuring a 69-year old woman while riding on the sidewalk.

Kuala Lumpur cyclists crowd-source a route map to make the city more bike friendly.

 

Finally…

Evidently, commie bikes are hard to find in the UK, even if the new head of the Labour party rides one. If you’re selling crack cocaine from the seat of your bike, try not to ride into a car while making your getaway from the cops.

And maybe it’s better to quaff that ale post ride rather than pre. Although after reading the effects booze has on a bike rider’s body, you may need a drink.

 

Morning Links: Honked at for riding sharrows, Vision Zero lost in Mobility Plan fallout, and upcoming bike events

Digital Slurry offers video evidence of what we already know.

Many drivers just don’t get sharrows.

And don’t have a lot of patience when they find a bike riding legally in front of them, regardless of whether there’s a picture of a bike with an oversized pointy hat painted on the street.

His bike cam video was shot while riding in Venice. But anyone who has ridden on sharrows in Hollywood, or most anywhere else in LA, has probably had the same experience.

Meanwhile, On My Bike LA offers a video response to Bruce Feldman’s Op-ed in the LA Times complaining about the Mobility Plan.

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The big news this week was the announcement of LA’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic fatalities in just the next 10 years.

Or at least, it should have been.

*crickets*

Instead, everyone still seems to be shocked! shocked! that LA would possibly consider removing traffic lanes in order to improve mobility. Let alone safety.

At least the LA Times has remained rational, turning the new Mobility Plan into a very cool interactive map that allows you explore the road changes proposed as part of the plan.

The Los Feliz Ledger, on the other hand, says everyone was taken by surprise by the passage of the plan, even though it had a four year public process — even longer of you count the 2010 bike plan, which was incorporated into it — along with a dedicated website and 20 public meetings.

Then again, 91.4% of Angelenos couldn’t even be bothered to vote in the last election, never mind actually get involved in a process that will shape our streets and city for the next 20 years.

Seriously, if you don’t get involved with your own local government, who’s fault is that?

………

Time to catch up on upcoming bike events.

Metro is offering more free bike safety classes throughout the LA region this weekend.

Join the Eastside Bike Club to walk or bike this Saturday to trace the footsteps of LA’s first settlers.

A memorial ride will be held in Huntington Beach this Saturday to remember fallen cyclist and hit-and-run victim Michael Vega.

Bike riders are invited to join the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and Caltrans to ride the Santa Ana River Trail on Saturday to show the need to finish the trail.

Bike SGV is hosting the last bike train of the summer this Sunday starting at Santa Fe Dam.

The LACBC’s September Sunday Funday Ride rolls through Long Beach, with a 25-mile guided tour of parks, lagoons and universities.

Metro’s new El Monte Bike Hub — the first of what will hopefully be many throughout the region — has its grand opening on September 14th.

Pedal for Parkinson’s will raise funds to support Parkinson’s research in Solano Beach on September 27th.

Bike SGV is hosting a family friendly ride back to the 1920s in El Monte on October 3rd.

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Johan Esteban Chaves took his second stage of the Vuelta on Thursday to move back into the leader’s jersey. After getting booted from the race for hanging onto a team car to rejoin the peloton, Vincenzo Nibali is barred from racing anywhere else until the Vuelta is over.

Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is taking aim at next month’s worlds in Richmond, Virginia once he’s done with the Vuelta, where every stage seems to have his name on it.

Domestic cycling teams complain about the strong-arm tactics of the WorldTour teams at the recent USA Pro Challenge.

And here’s someone to keep an eye on, as a Del Mar track cyclist wins four silver medals at the USA Cycling Elite and Junior Track National Championships.

Especially since she’s just a nine-year old fourth grader.

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Local

A Santa Barbara podcast discusses itineraries for touring Los Angeles car-free by foot, bike and public transportation.

The LA Weekly looks at the Spoke Café along the LA River bike path in Frogtown, and its owners’ struggles to get city permits to sell their own food and beer.

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly update, including news that they have a fleet of shaft-drive bikes to sell, along with the company that made them. Anyone want to start a Kickstarter so I can buy a bike company? Didn’t think so.

Santa Ana is opening three Bike Huts to provide secure bicycle parking safe from thieves and the elements.

The San Diego Free Press says the region’s transportation plan is stuck in reverse.

In the wake of the San Diego “bike mob” that chased down an angry hit-and-run driver, BikeSD explains what sharrows are, and how to deal with a road raging driver. And no, shooting them in self defense is not an option.

Coronado’s apoplectic NIMBY attack on a proposed beach bike path goes on… and on. Seriously, people, it’s just a bike path.

UC Santa Barbara had to pay out of their own pockets through student fees to build a bike roundabout to improve a dangerous intersection.

No bias here. After a San Francisco bike rider suffers a life-threatening head injury in a right hook, a local TV station says he tried to overtake the car on the right.

Now this I want to see. Folsom, home to the prison made famous by Johnny Cash, is planning eight public art works honoring the legendary Man in Black along the bike path named for him.

An Auburn driver gets four years for the death of a bike rider while under the influence of Vicodin; he pled no contest after the original charge of murder was taken off the table.

 

National

Huffy recalls some of their bicycle shaped objects that have front disc brakes to replace the quick release.

Never a good idea to steal a bike from a gang called Satan Disciples; the theft by another gang led to the fatal shooting of a 17-year old in Chicago.

A Minnesota bike rider says it’s okay to go through a red light, even though it is illegal, if you scan the intersection for safety and go slowly if the way is clear.

Evidently, they take hit-and-run seriously in Michigan; a driver faces up to 15 years for failing to stop, after killing a nurse who was riding across the state as part of a group ride.

Ford says they want to be known as a mobility company, not a car maker, as they unveil their new e-bike in Louisville KY.

After the bike a 10-year old Connecticut girl got for her 10th birthday was stolen, the police dispatchers who took the call pitch in to replace it.

A bike riding writer for New York Magazine says the solution to the city’s rude, spandex-clad cyclists is to build more protected bike lanes.

Caught on video: A Philadelphia mom riding with her kids on a cargo bike is verbally harassed by a driver for going around a pickup parked in the bike lane. If the jerk was so concerned about her kids, maybe he shouldn’t have taught them so many four-letter words.

Removing a traffic lane from a Charleston bridge to make room for bike lanes could actually result in less delay, while allowing the bridge to function at acceptable levels for decades.

If New Orleans can become bike friendly, so can Shreveport.

 

International

Buenos Aires is banning most motor vehicle traffic from 100 blocks of the city’s downtown area.

A Canadian advocate explains why bike helmet laws don’t work.

Ontario drivers will now face fines of at least $490 for distracted driving, and $365 for dooring a bike rider, although cyclists will be fined $110 for riding without lights.

An Ottawa university professor files a $1 million lawsuit after being doored by someone in a car owned by the Japanese Embassy.

British bicyclists are being taken down by potholes and crumbling roads. Sort of like what LA bike riders deal with on a regular basis.

London’s Evening Standard looks at tech solutions to bike theft.

A Canadian writer takes a death-defying two-wheeled tour of Copenhagen while on a business trip,

 

Finally…

Wait. You mean that picture of a bike rider with an oversized pointy hat actually means something? Your could soon lock your bike to a rack made from a forest of flexible poles that won’t chip your paint, as long as you’re okay with having it stolen.

And if you really want to confuse one of Google’s self-driving cars, do a track stand. And if you want to confuse a writer for the Washington Post, point out that people on bikes with gears can do them. too. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan passes but defers battles, Tito’s Tacos owner battles Culver City over CicLAvia

Good news and bad news from Tuesday’s LA city council committee session.

As we discussed earlier, the council’s Transportation and PLUM committees held a joint session to discuss the plan for managing mobility in the city for the next 20 years.

After what the LACBC’s Eric Bruins described in an email as “quite contentious discussion of some the proposed amendments,” the plan was passed unanimously, with two primary amendments. One to prioritize equity during the implementation, and another to add the council as an implementing agency along with the mayor’s office and city departments.

What the last one means in the real world, I have no idea.

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog's Joe Linton

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog’s Joe Linton

Two other amendments aimed at derailing significant portions of the plan were tabled for the time being.

As expected, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz asked that planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd be stripped from the plan, saying the street is not suited for bicycling — even though hundreds of riders already use it every day. CiclaValley offers much better arguments against them than Koretz and his minions supporters.

Although it’s hard to top a claim that a mobility plan that aims to improve safety and reduce reliance on motor vehicles will somehow harm habitats and wetlands (see photo to right).

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz's Twitter feed

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz‘s Twitter feed

And needless to say, while NELA Councilmember Gill Cedillo claimed to support the plan, he also offered an amendment to gut it by removing some of the bike lanes in his district.

Or just about all of them.

The plan now goes to the full city council next week, leaving the bike portion of the plan, along with the city’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths within the next 10 years, intact for now.

However, the motions by Koretz and Cedillo will undoubtedly rear their ugly heads at a future date when they’re reconsidered in committee. And could still be passed by the council, stripping out key parts of the plan after we all turn our attention somewhere else.

Still, it’s considered a big victory by just about everyone.

With the exception of Flying Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg, that is, who takes a contrarian view by suggesting that the proposed amendments will gut the plan. And that councilmembers have no legal veto power over agency-approved projects, either individually or collectively.

Yet they do it anyway.

………

You already know CicLAvia is coming this Sunday, right?

Thankfully, it will bring changes from the hugely overcrowded 2013 CicLAvia to the Sea route, which saw massive bike traffic jams as riders limited to just one half of Venice Blvd backed up for blocks at red lights.

KNBC-4 calls it a come-as-you-are affair, though they recommend putting some sparkly handlebar streamers on your bike.

There are plenty of feeder rides to help get you there. And thankfully, the Militant Angeleno has created the latest in his indispensible guides to what to see, including the movie studio where my dad used to lay tile for movie sets and met Judy Garland.

However, the owner of popular Tito’s Tacos clearly doesn’t get it, threatening to sue Culver City for blocking motor vehicle access to the busy taco stand, which she claims is the only way her customers could possibly get there.

If she’d stop complaining and embrace the hundred of thousands of people who will be riding and walking past on sunday, she could end with lines around the block.

The Militant sums it up about as well as anyone can in his guide.

But seriously, Señora Davidson, you have no reason to fear CicLAvia this Sunday. Because we are coming. And you will get A LOT of business. And you can be rest assured that unlike your car-oriented customers, we won’t be crashing into your wall. [MIC DROP]

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Teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge taking place in two weeks.

Eric Heiden, one of the first wave of American pro cyclists — and a five-time gold medal winning speed skater — is still active in the sport 30 years later as team physician for BMC. Laurens Ten Dam could have used his help, as the Dutch rider’s season may have come to an early end after he was hit by a car while training.

And in the story that never ends, the Feds want Lance’s medical records as part of their $100 million case against him.

………

Local

The latest Clitoral Mass drew hundreds of women and women-identified riders to reclaim the streets.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program is officially online.

A Burbank letter writer claims to be a bike advocate, as long as they ride slowly and don’t arrogantly compete with cars.

LA County has approved a bike path leading to an eventual Metro stop in Duarte.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition hosts a Bicycle Scavenger Hunt this weekend, and Streetsblog is holding a fundraiser Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village this Saturday.

 

State

Nice piece from former Long Beach Mobility Director and current Calbike board VP Charlie Gandy offering a brief history of the US bike movement, and saying if we really want to be the “all powerful bike lobby,” we need to be more like Gandhi.

The Newport Beach e-bike rider killed when he crashed into the back of a minivan on Sunday may have been distracted by his cell phone. Seriously, put the damn thing away when you ride; if you need to use it, pull over and stop first.

San Diego neighbors team together to catch a bike thief who has been plaguing their neighborhood.

Fresno sees a near 40% jump in bike commuting since 2009.

A Morgan Hill business owner says don’t believe the hype from opponents of a road diet; his business has gone up since it went in, and the street is calmer, quieter, safer and more active, with a more diverse group of users. But other than that, it’s a failure, right?

Lets hope there’s a good bike lawyer in the Bay Area, as San Francisco police ticket bicyclists for not putting a foot down when they stop — even though that’s not required under California law. Expecting cyclists to put a foot down is the equivalent of making drivers put their emergency brake on at every stop sign.

Once again, bike hate rears its ugly head in Marin County, as a road raging driver tries to run down a pair of cyclists, striking one from behind. Fortunately, both escaped serious injury, while the driver was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, landlocked Turlock is no better, as a driver uses his car as a weapon, intentionally sideswiping a bike rider following a dispute.

 

National

Scenic Jackson WY is the latest town to get bikeshare before LA, even if you can’t tour the Tetons on it.

A Kansas cyclist bizarrely says having to use lights on his bike after dark is an “absolute atrocity,” and the city council members are idiots for requiring it. Apparently, it’s just another government conspiracy to take away our God-given right to ride like ninjas.

After Texas thieves force a bike rider off the road with their car and steal his cellphone at gunpoint, he goes home and tracks it on his iPad before telling the police where they can find them.

It just keeps getting more bizarre. A Vermont woman married to a cop could lose her license — not because she killed a cyclist, or drove drunk while under the influence of three prescription drugs, but for failing to submit the proper form in time. At least she faces a misdemeanor DUI charge, even though it would probably be a felony for anyone else.

Bikeshare will continue to besmirch the sidewalk in front of New York’s iconic Plaza hotel, as the state supreme court upholds dismissal of the hotel’s lawsuit demanding its removal.

If a New York bus driver says you can’t bring your bike onboard, don’t whack him with it and threaten to kick his ass.

A Pennsylvania legislator is the latest to propose requiring bicyclists to wear reflective clothing, after a similar California proposal thankfully died on the vine earlier this year.

An apparent salmon cyclist was killed in a bike-on-bike collision on a Delaware highway. Or if he wasn’t riding the wrong way, the other guy was.

You know things are bad in Baton Rouge when a bike rider is hit by a car on his way home from a memorial for another rider.

A Miami area woman is under arrest for punching a seven-year old bike-riding boy in the face for making fun of her. She must be the poster child for anger management dropouts.

 

International

A new Brazilian action cam promises to simplify the process of uploading and automatically editing the highlights.

A Vancouver cop is convicted of punching a red-light running cyclist after he was cuffed for talking back.

Caught on video: A London cab driver narrowly avoids running over a cyclist after the rider is knocked off his bike by a driver’s car door. He didn’t just swerve to avoid it, despite what the headline says.

Unbelievable. A London cyclist requests security camera footage from the city that could show the hit-and-run driver who ran him down from behind, and is told he could only get it if he died.

The BBC offers twelve tips for first time bike commuters, while the Independent can only manage five.

The UK plans to use infrared sensors to count cyclists and measure riding activity to improve streets and communities. Can we get some? Pretty please?

Self-titled Brit lawyer “Mr. Loophole” urges motorists to turn the tables by recording cyclist who ride dangerously in order to goad motorists into attacking them so they can capture it on video. He’s onto us, comrades. Although I’d suggest he may be some other type of hole.

A UK truck driver was reaching across his cab to play a sermon on his mobile phone moments before running down a bike rider.

Australia will reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which is blamed — or credited, depending on your perspective — with helping the country bypass the bike boom.

An Aussie website offers nine tips on how to look good on your bike. All of which apply only to the spandex set, and most of which are totally full of crap. Except for the one about sleeveless jerseys, which don’t look good on anyone. No, not even you.

 

Finally…

At last, there’s a bike built for aspiring Bruce Waynes. The Onion offers their own take on car maker’s attempts to improve safety for cyclists, which makes more sense than some of the real ones. I’m looking at you, Volvo.

And next time you’re riding in the Bay Area, keep your eyes open for falling lampposts felled by urine.

 

An open letter to the LA City Council in support of the Mobility Plan 2035

Dear Councilmember Ryu and Honorable Councilmembers,

As a resident of the 4th Council District, and someone who walks, bikes, drives and uses transit throughout the City of Los Angeles, I strongly urge you to support passage of the Mobility Plan 2035 to increase safety on our streets, while encouraging alternative transportation, increasing livability and creating a more sustainable future for our city.

It is vital that we have a well-connected bicycle network, including protected bike lanes, bike friendly streets and other safety enhancements, in all parts of the city to encourage people to leave their cars at home and embrace alternative transportation methods to improve the health of both our city and its residents. Bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to reduce injury collisions for all road users by as much as 50% — protected bike lanes by up to 90% — while improving the livability and health of neighborhoods and commercial corridors, resulting in increased property values, commercial occupancy and business receipts.

Our city’s current reliance on automotive transportation is clearly unsustainable. Our streets are already at or near capacity, with little or no room to expand; even where expansion is possible, increasing capacity will only increase demand. We have no choice but to provide safe, viable and inviting alternatives to help remove some of those cars from the roads. It only takes a small reduction in traffic volume to create a significant reduction in traffic congestion.

There are currently no safe bike routes in or out of my neighborhood in Hollywood west of La Brea, with few bike lanes and only sharrows on a handful of streets, most of which are too heavily travelled by motor vehicles to accommodate the overwhelming majority of people on bicycles, not to mention the 65% of people who say they would like to bike more if they had safer alternatives. We desperately need both the east/west and north/south bike lanes contained in the plan to encourage people to commute to work and school, as well as ride to shopping or family recreation. And I need them for my own personal safety; even as an experienced bicyclist, I must ride in fear anytime I leave my home on my bicycle, and take extraordinary steps to ensure I’m seen by motorists, even in broad daylight.

I am also concerned by the unprecedented recommendation to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan — after they were unanimously approved by a vote of the city council as part of the 2010 Bike Plan, which has been subsumed into the Mobility Plan, and which was part of a long public process leading to its approval. Westwood is one of the city’s most dangerous streets for people riding bikes, with over eight times as many bike-involved collisions as on similar streets in Los Angeles. Westwood is already heavily used as a commuter route by UCLA students, faculty and employees, as well as people who work along the boulevard and on the Wilshire corridor; this will only increase, perhaps dramatically, once the Westwood Expo Line station opens early next year. In addition, bike lanes could help revive the long declining commercial corridor along Westwood Blvd and bring more life to commercially failing Westwood Village.

I urge you to vote to adopt the Mobility Plan 2035 as written to ensure greater safety and livability for everyone who uses our streets.

Thank you for your consideration,

Ted Rogers

bikinginla.com

 

Morning Links: It’s Mobility Monday — contact your councilmember to support LA’s Mobility Plan as written

Today is Mobility Monday

A day designated to voice your support for the LA Mobility Plan 2035, which includes the hard fought bike plan passed unanimously by the city council in 2010. Yet that same plan is under attack by members of that same council, including some who voted for it just five years ago.

And yes, I’m looking at you, Paul Koretz.

We’ll let the LACBC explain, as I shamelessly lift from the coalition’s weekly newsletter.

Action Alert: Mobility Plan 2035 Goes to Committee On Tuesday and Needs Your Support

The long-awaited Mobility Plan 2035 is coming before a joint council committee hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4th at City Hall Room 340 (Council Chambers). In the past several weeks, opponents have launched baseless attacks on the Plan’s bicycle and transit networks, with particular vengeance against proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd connecting to UCLA. The campaign was hot enough to get picked up by the Los Angeles TimesKPCC’s Airtalk, and UCLA Green Commuter Blog.

As reported by the Times, Councilmember Paul Koretz opposes these critically needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd. Worse yet, he wants to remove them from the Mobility Plan, not just block the project from being installed. Such a move would be totally unprecedented and reverse nearly a decade’s worth of bicycle advocacy on the Westside.

The integrity of the Bicycle Plan itself is at stake. We need your help demonstrating the community’s strong support for a safer, more accessible streets in Los Angeles.

Take Action Now!

  1. Mark your calendar and come to the hearing at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4th at L.A. City Hall Room 340 (Council Chambers)
  2. Email the council committee: use the sample email at la-bike.org/mobilityplan
  3. Join us for another #MobilityMondayLA day of online action this Monday. For more info, go to: la-bike.org/mobilityplan

Below you’ll find the email address, where available, and Twitter handles for each of the councilmembers; you should be able to contact the councilmembers without public email addressed through their webpages.

………

Cyclists aren’t even safe from drivers on the race course, as yet another pro racer has been taken out by an official vehicle; Greg Van Avermaet had a 15-second lead on a solo breakaway when a race moto ran him down from behind.

A British rider is the only one who didn’t know he’d just won the biggest race of his career.

And cycling has lost the lead when it comes to doping.

………

Too much sad news from the world of cycling this weekend.

Ghana’s top cyclist was killed in a traffic collision while training. A 22-year old women’s racer died from an apparent embolism while on route to a Women’s World Cup race. And a Colorado mountain biker died following a crash near the finish line of a Crested Butte Enduro race.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg complains about being unable to get a sinkhole fixed, in a bike lane that doesn’t connect to anything.

 

State

A man was found dead in an Anaheim alley with his bicycle around 4 am Sunday; no word on whether he was riding his bike or if it just happened to be nearby. Hopefully, we’ll get more details in the next few days.

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? A former Marine from Escondido who lost both legs and part of his brain in an Afghan explosion just finished a 3,000 mile handcycle trip across the US.

Marin County parks officials are being trained to use radar guns to catch speeding cyclists on fire roads, despite the lack of posted speed limits.

 

National

Spokane cops bust twelve bike thieves with the help of a bait bike. On the other hand, when Chico cyclists tried to same thing, no one took the bait.

Boulder CO motorists declare the “right sizing” of a city street to add buffers to existing bike lanes a failure in the first week, rather than wait to see if it actually works; the local paper explains what all the markings mean. Meanwhile, a law professor at the local university says buffered bike lanes cause car collisions and encourage law breaking by bike riders, resulting in traffic congestion that will increase noxious emissions and greenhouse gases. And evidently, will basically lead to the end of life as we know it.

A letter writer from Pueblo CO says they should rip out that city’s bike lanes before it becomes a laughing stock for visitors, since there’s not a single bike lane in the UK or the rest of Europe. No, really, that’s what he said.

A Houston lawyer bikes across the country just to talk to people and figure out what makes America tick.

Two Iowa reporters created the world’s largest bike tour in the 70s because they wanted to ride across the state, and have their newspaper pay for it.

A Kansas City paper says the city needs to move faster to finish promised bike lanes.

Boston encourages people to park for free, and pedal the last few miles to work.

When Bono honored the woman who came to his aid following his bicycling wipeout in Central Park, New York concert goers booed her off the stage.

Bikes not guns, as 50 Baltimore men ride across the city calling for an end to violence.

A Virginia advocacy group mails a users guide to local residents explaining how sharrows work, four years after they were installed and the city neglected to do it.

This is why you never say you’re not hurt following a collision, as a 14-year old New Orleans boy is hospitalized with a brain bleed days after he and a friend were hit by a cabdriver while riding their bikes.

 

International

A new movie looks at how bad planning is the real cause for the conflict between bikes and cars.

Other children pitch in to raise funds to buy a special bike for a four-year old boy with cerebral palsy in Ottawa, Canada.

London drivers have a meltdown when roads are closed for a cycling event.

An Irish paper catches 22 rule breaking bike riders in just half an hour. No word on how many motorists broke the law in the same period, though.

Bangladesh factory workers beat a man to death for allegedly stealing a bicycle.

A passing plumber with a second-hand defibrillator saves the life of an Aussie cyclist who was having a heart attack.

Instead of improving safety on Western Australia streets, government councils want to let people ride on the sidewalk.

China discovers randonneuring thanks to the efforts of a single cyclist.

 

Finally…

A style website explains how to make a bike your best fashion accessory, because how you look with it is far more important than where it can take you. But if you really want to make a statement, try riding a Big Wheel to the first day of an NFL training camp.

And an eight-year old boy completes his first triathlon, despite suffering from cerebral palsy.

Now then, what was your excuse?

Weekend Links: 3 years for vehicular assault, LA’s Mobility Plan passes PlanComm, and CicLAvia Pasadena

Three years hardly seems long enough.

But it will have to do.

According to the Daily Breeze, William Thomas Kelly reached a plea deal that will keep him behind bars for the next three years for his drunken road rage rampage through the Palos Verdes area, in which he deliberately used his car to assault a cyclist and smash into parked cars.

Kelly reportedly hit one car, then backed up to hit it again and drove on to sideswipe a parked car. He then hit the pedal of a bicyclist; when the rider yelled at him, he backed up and used his car to knock the rider and his bike into the bushes, then drove back and forth over his bike. He was later found passed out with a BAC of at least 0.11 after crashing into a gated fence.

Hopefully, the plea will include a condition that he never drive again.

……..

The LA Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve the city’s mobility plan, including a slightly scaled back version of the 2010 bike plan and a commitment to Vision Zero.

Streetsblog reports the planned Westwood Blvd bike lane survived an attack by a representative of Councilmember Paul Koretz, while Commissioner Richard Katz questioned whether bike facilities belong on the street at all.

Katz said he supported expanding the bicycle network, but “we will never be Boulder or Davis.”

Not with thinking like that, anyway.

……..

CicLAvia offers a list of activities along Sunday’s Pasadena route, while KNBC-4, KCET and the Pasadena Star-News looks forward to it. Note to Star-News: Unless the director of Walden School is selling something as he rides to work, the word you want is pedals, not peddles.

Feeder rides — and a walk — are available from throughout the area. The Militant Angeleno provides his must-read guide to the Rose City route; seriously, never go to any CicLAvia without reading the Militant’s detailed and insightful guides first. Time Out gives their thoughts on Sunday’s event, while CiclaValley provides a handful of tips and a handy checklist of everything you need to bring.

And yes, bikes are optional; this should be the most walkable CicLAvia yet.

In honor of CicLAvia, KPCC will broadcast a one-hour show all about bikes at 10 am today and again on Sunday; you can listen live online.

And the San Gabriel Tribune says every weekend should be like CicLAvia in every downtown in the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier areas. Or maybe just everywhere.

I’m not going to be able to make this one, so let us all know how it goes.

……..

I’m hearing nothing but good things about the new green separated bike lanes in Redondo Beach, which includes some of the area’s first bicycle traffic signals.

But the smartest thing they did was put sharrows on the roadway next to it for riders who want to go faster or avoid the bikeway crowds on busy weekends.

Both Ted Faber and Jim Lyle sent photos.

Photo by Ted Faber

Photo by Ted Faber; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle; note the sharrows on the street to the right

Photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

photo by Jim Lyle

……..

LGBT site Frontiers Media looks at the bike scene in the City of Angeles, with brief overview of bicycling in the city.

They go on to list five places every LA bike enthusiast should know, along with seven gadgets and gizmos for geared-up Angelenos. Although I wouldn’t call a $3,750 Cervelo a gadget. And I sure as hell wouldn’t call it a mountain bike.

……..

The latest bike racing rumors involve mini-motors in the pro pelaton, as Ryder Hesjedal takes offense at having his bike checked to make sure he’s not motor doping.

Former Giro champ Damiano Cunego is out of this years race with a broken collarbone, while Contador continues to hold the leader’s jersey. And no, he didn’t have a motor in his bike, either, but he did command some respect on Thursday.

Meanwhile, former pro and ’97 TdF winner Jan Ulrich faces up to three years in prison for a DUI collision that injured two people.

Closer to home, next year’s US pro cycling championship will move from Chattanooga to Winston-Salem NC.

……..

New bicycle maker Brilliant will ship you a steel frame bike for $300, as long as you’re willing to assemble it yourself. And don’t expect your LBS to fix it for you if you screw it up.

Then again, it might be easier to just print your next ti bike, or at least the handlebars.

Or maybe you’d prefer a steam powered bike.

……..

Local

Streetsblog gives us part two of their interview with retiring UCLA parking maven Donald Shoup.

The LACBC interviews super bike volunteer Wayne “Ridetime” Howard, while Bicycling profiles Coolass Mike Bowers and his efforts to put 1,000 bikes in the hands of foster kids.

Malibu city council committees approve the 850-page PCH Safety Study, which calls for 130 safety improvements along the dangerous coast highway, including bike lanes where they don’t conflict with street parking. God forbid a parking space should be sacrificed in the name of safety.

The LA Weekly profiles an Oakland-based theater company that’s traveling across the country by bike; they’ll perform at the Santa Monica Pier on the 1st, before moving on the San Diego and eventually making their way to New York.

A new proposal to replace the much-hated plans to complete the 710 Freeway includes light rail and a multi-lane boulevard complete with busways and a separated bike path.

The first phase of Santa Monica’s MANGo neighborhood greenway officially opens today.

Long Beach is officially opening the new pedestrian walkway on the beach today, which promises to improve safety on the beachfront bike path by separating bikes from people on foot. Something Santa Monica desperately needs to do.

Your last chance to weigh in on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge could come this Wednesday before the Public Works Committee; the full city council often doesn’t allow public comments before taking a vote, especially if someone is likely to disagree with their pre-determined decisions.

 

State

A Tustin man is under arrest for breaking the window of a bike shop and stealing an adult-sized tricycle; he was in the process of stealing another bike a mile away when caught.

San Diego held their rain-delayed Bike to Work Day Friday.

San Diego’s North County is sprouting new sharrows; the story reports that sharrows on the Coast Highway in Solano Beach dropped average speeds by 10 mph without increasing congestion. Nice that they’re using us for rolling speed bumps, though.

A Marine vet who lost his legs in Afghanistan will set off from San Diego Monday for a 65-day ride across the US on a hand-cranked ‘bent.

A legal opinion concludes that the planned 50-mile multi-use path through the Coachella Valley qualifies for tax funds as a roadway because electric golf carts will be allowed to use it.

A gang member is under arrest for stabbing a bike riding Redlands art student in the face.

San Francisco’s bike share system is expanding from 700 to 7,000 bikes throughout the Bay Area.

As if the internet isn’t killing enough of their business, now Bay Area bike messengers are being targeted by bike thieves.

The new Marin bicycling museum opens to the public on Saturday, June 6th, with nearly 200 years of bike history, including the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame; a local group celebrates by calling for a crackdown on Marin off-road riders.

Modesto is working to convert itself to model bike-friendly city for everyone on two wheels.

 

National

A new infographic from People for Bikes shows many of the assumptions about women and bicycling are wrong, while Bicycling suggests 10 ways bike shops can be more welcoming to women. But the biggest barrier to greater diversity on bikes may be access to safer infrastructure.

Four cities are racing to build the first working protected intersection in the US. And no, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Portland parents launch a national PAC to force apologists for traffic violence out of office. About damn time.

A local motorcycle club plans to throw volleyballs at speeding Spokane sheriff’s deputies to protest the death of a 15-year old bicycle rider, after investigators conclude their patrol car didn’t hit the teen’s bike. Note to Spokane County Sheriff’s Department: It’s not unusual for bike riders to go over the handlebars in a panic stop without anyone actually hitting them; that doesn’t mean the driver who forced the panic stop isn’t responsible.

Proof bike riders aren’t always the good guys. Colorado state police are looking for a bicyclist who caused a motorcycle rider to wipeout near my hometown; a witness reports the rider veered in front of the motorbike and slowed down, causing the victim to lose control and be thrown from his bike, then just turned around and rode away without stopping to help. Jerk.

To no one’s surprise, the fatal shooting of a Colorado cyclist has officially been linked to the random shooting of a driver on the nearby I-25.

Albuquerque becomes the latest city to get bike share before LA; officials hope the program will help revitalize the downtown area.

A Texas bike rider discovers a casket, presumably with the body still inside, along a bike path after the recent floods.

Michigan traffic engineers take road diet to the extreme, proposing a street with a single lane shared by drivers traveling in both directions, and bike lanes on either side; drivers are supposed to safely merge into the bike lanes when they meet a car coming in the opposite direction. Anyone want to guess how that will work in real life?

Nice story from Ohio, as a 5th Grader saved the rewards he got in school for good behavior to buy his younger brother a bike — even though he didn’t have one himself. When teachers and administrators found out, they took up a collection to buy him one, too.

A Notre Dame dean and physics professor has ridden across the country every summer for the last five years to raise funds for rare disorders.

While the rest of New York’s media was focused on a bike riding neurological researcher killed by a hit-and-run driver who was fleeing the police, the Post saved its front page for a scofflaw cyclist out for a ride with his son.

Virginia’s Bicycle Bandit faces up to 100 years in prison for robbing a series of banks before pedaling — not peddling — to make his getaway.

A Baton Rouge driver turns himself in five days after he fatally stuck a bike rider. Which presumably would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

 

International

Bike Score ranks the least bike friendly cities in Canada.

A new Canadian study show wide traffic lanes make for more dangerous streets.

Five years after Vancouver merchants fought separated bike lanes, they’d now fight if anyone tried to remove them, according to the leader of a local business association.

A cyclist from the UK will attempt to break the seven day record by riding over 1,800 miles in a single week.

Yes, the UK’s new 20 mph speed limits can reduce injury collisions, but only if drivers actually observe them; a study shows the lower limit reduced speeds by just 1 mph in one city.

The acting leader of the British Labour party calls for a ban on large trucks during peak traffic hours to protect bike riders. Meanwhile, rear- and side-facing cameras on those same trucks could save the lives of cyclists and pedestrians, if they’d actually use them.

Somewhere between 50 to 100 bystanders teamed together to lift a double decker bus — yes, a bus — off a critically injured Brit unicycle rider.

Scottish lawyers warn about the danger to cyclists crossing Edinburgh’s tram tracks; one firm alone claims to represent nearly 100 such cases.

An Irish Paralympic cyclist is raising funds for a new leg in hopes of making the podium in Rio next year.

A New Zealand cyclist is attempting to circumnavigate the country in just three months, riding over 6,000 miles to raise funds for an ambulance company.

Sydney, Australia officials go the wrong way, making the city more dangerous for cyclists by reneging on a promise to replace a bike lane scheduled for removal.

A Bangkok bike commuter says he’s tired of weak support for bicycling, as well as suggestions that bike riders belong on an off-road recreational path instead of commuting.

 

Finally…

Actor Matthew Modine got his start with a bike left behind when someone smashed his grownup lemonade stand. The battle between cars and bikes has been going on a long time; the first recorded collision between two vehicles was between a bike and a car back in 1896.

And be sure to look up every now and then when you ride.

……..

One last note.

Recently, I mentioned a moving piece from Zócalo Public Square in which Aurelio Jose Berrera wrote of getting up early a few days a week to ride out in search of homeless people huddled in the doorways and alleys of our city, his bike loaded down with donated food to hand out to those in need.

His story reminded me of a saint whose heart was similarly filled with compassion for a homeless stranger.

So I was surprised to open my laptop the other day, and discover an email from Berrera thanking me. According to his message, what I wrote, along with a handful of other stories about his efforts, helped inspire Petaluma-based Yuba Bicycles to donate a Mundo cargo bike to make his volunteer work a little easier.

According to a Yuba press release he attached, 

“Jose is an honorable, kind and humble man whose generous spirit and desire to help others is an example for all of us,” says Benjamin Sarrazin, founder and owner of Yuba Bicycles. “Yuba is proud to help Jose by providing a cargo bike that will hopefully enable him to more easily carry out his mission. He is truly a hero.”

I couldn’t agree more.

But there’s more than one hero here.

Yuba deserves a round of thanks for caring enough to give a bike to help those so many of us don’t even seem to see. As does everyone who contributes to help Berrera help them.

I’m not sure how big a role I really played in helping him get the new bike.

But his email made my week.

 

Morning Links: 3 important bike meetings, 1 last endorsement in WeHo, and what to do at CicLAvia Pasadena

The seemingly endless series of LA area elections is finally drawing to a close with next week’s vote in West Hollywood, where Bike the Vote LA endorses John Heilman for city council.

……..

Lots of important meetings this week.

A meeting will be held from 5 to 7 pm this evening to discuss improvements to 7th Street in DTLA, including possible plans for protected bike lanes. It takes place at the Ratkovich Company, 700 S. Flower Street, Suite 2600.

The Los Angeles Planning Commission will consider the city’s draft Mobility Plan — which includes the previously approved 2010 bike plane — tomorrow on the second floor of the Van Nuys City Hall, 14410 Sylvan Street. According to an email from the LACBC, the updated plan includes a focus on protected bike lanes and complete streets; however, opponents of some projects, including the embattled bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, are fighting their inclusion in the plan. Bike riders are urged to attend, or email James Williams in the City Planning Commission office at [email protected] to voice their support.

The Griffith Park Advisory Board is meeting at 6:30 pm tomorrow at the Griffith Park Visitor’s Center, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive. The topic of interest is discussion of the Vision Plan for the park, which should focus on removing cars while maintaining access for people, rather than reopening previously closed streets as in the recent Mt. Hollywood controversy.

……..

CicLAvia offers a list of activities along Sunday’s Pasadena route.

……..

Corona del Mar’s loss is Portland’s gain.

Prominent Newport Beach bike advocate Frank Peters writes to say he’s given up on SoCal sunshine — and waiting for safer streets — and moved to the damp, but bike friendly city to the north.

The author of cdmCyclist and a member of the committee that helped draft the city’s bicycle master plan, Peters has been one of the leading voices calling for bike safety in Orange County in recent years. And more importantly, actually doing something about it.

But as he points out, while those safer streets are coming, they’re not likely to be built out in his lifetime.

He will be missed in the OC.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t rust up there.

……..

Local

Employees in the LADOT division responsible for striping streets received an average of over $48,000 in overtime last year. If bike lanes were responsible, as the story suggests, they should have been able to build out the entire bike plan by now.

Streetsblog honors Streetsie Award winners LA City Councilmember José Huizar and bike videographer Nate Lucero with a short ride in Eagle Rock this Friday.

The LACBC is joining with Metro to offer a series of free bike safety classes around the county.

Rancho Cucamonga has developed a comprehensive multi-modal transportation plan that includes “robust” bike and pedestrian networks.

The Long Beach Gazettes says this summer could be the best yet for urban bike riders, thanks to the city’s first Beach Streets ciclovía and a new pedestrian path separating walkers from bikes on the beach.

The third annual Jewel City Ride rolls through Glendale on Sunday, June 7th, with three routes ranging from seven to 50 miles.

 

State

A Rancho Mirage resident says city leaders are embracing a dying economic model in opposing a planned 50-mile bike path connecting the Coachella Valley.

A Fresno bicyclist died 10 days after he was injured in an alleged suicide swerve. Amazing how many bike riders turn into the path of drivers. Or could it be that the drivers are just passing too closely and blaming the cyclists for their mistakes?

Oakland challenges LA’s unofficial title as the hit-and-run capital of the state; the OPD solves just 2% of all hit-and-runs in the city.

Sad news from St. Helena, as a young Midwestern woman visiting on vacation was killed in a collision with a box truck; the story reports she was turning left from a driveway when she rode her bike into the side of the truck. Update: The victim was a 31-year old Ohio woman celebrating her first anniversary; her husband was riding 20 feet behind and witnessed her death. She may not have been familiar with how to stop the rented fixed gear bike she was riding. 

 

National

Colorado police are still looking for leads in last week’s fatal shooting of a bike rider considered the town’s unofficial mayor.

A Minnesota professor blames social media for last weekend’s water gun assault on Pedal Pubs. Or maybe some people just don’t like them.

The driver who killed a Kentucky cyclist during a bike event is a really good guy with a possible drinking problem, according to his wife, in an attempt to shift blame the victim. Even though police say her husband admitted drinking six beers and smoking dope before they caught him trying to flee the scene with the victim still in the bed of his pickup. But other than that, he’s a champ, right?

Pittsburgh preps to become the latest city to have bike share before Los Angeles. At this rate, we may be the next-to-last city to get one.

New Orleans drivers are ignoring one of the city’s bike lanes, and police are ignoring their violations. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A Savannah cyclist says he knows several people who have given up bike riding because they’re afraid of aggressive drivers, but never the other way around.

The closure of a Miami causeway for reconstruction will force cyclists onto a deadly, high-speed bridge that’s already taken too many lives.

Miami police team with a local bike shop to offer a new twist on gun buyback programs; the first 50 people to turn in any gun will get a free bike.

 

International

Vancouver police tell drivers to shoulder-check for cyclists before making turns or lane changes. I’m not sure suggesting that drivers perform any kind of body-check in hockey mad Canada is a good idea, though.

An Ottawa writer says the city has lost the mythical war on cars.

UK bike injuries are on the increase despite a boost in safety funding, even while pedestrian and motorcycle injury collisions drop dramatically. Of course, the rise could be due to a jump in ridership, which could mean the rate of injury collisions has actually stayed the same or maybe even dropped.

A British runner died of a brain injury after a collision with a cyclist; police have found the bike rider but say there’s no suggestion of criminality. Sounds like the NYPD after any cyclist or pedestrian gets run over.

 

Finally…

Cycling Weekly says chow down on chicharróns to power up for your next ride. The Brit bike rider who plowed into the side of a bus after running a red light blames it on a broken brake cable.

And a new study says pedaling backwards is actually better for you. Though it’s probably best practiced on a bike that isn’t moving for any extended time.

 

Weekend Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ramsay, bike protest at Malibu City Hall, and rough week for LA cyclists

Too much news, good and bad, for one weekend.

So let’s dive right in.

……..

Bike the Vote LA has officially come out in favor of Carolyn Ramsay in the May 19th election for LA’s Council District 4, which they describe as crucial for LA cyclists.

And as someone who lives in the district, so do I. Bike-friendly improvements can’t come soon enough to an area where there are far too few safe and comfortable options for cyclists.

Riders are invited to join Bike the Vote LA to canvass for Ramsay on Saturday.

……..

LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 goes before the Planning Commission on May 29th at the Van Nuys City Hall. The plan incorporates the 2010 bike plan, which has been gutted in some areas by a handful of city councilmembers, despite being unanimously approved the council in 2011.

Evidently, unanimous votes don’t mean what they used to. Maybe they had their fingers crossed.

You might want to consider showing up to tell the Planning Commission how you feel about that.

……..

If you ride PCH or the Malibu Hills, you owe it to yourself to protest the illegal mistreatment of cyclists by the motorists on the highway, as well as by members of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Join Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson at Malibu City Hall at 9 am on Saturday, May 9th, or meet him at Will Rogers State Park to ride into the city as a group. And hopefully not get any tickets for not riding in the non-existent bike lane along the way.

This has been an ongoing problem in the area, as bike riders work with the department to ensure fair enforcement, only to see new officers transferred in who don’t understand the basics of bike law, so the process starts all over again.

And it’s time it stopped.

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It’s been a rough week for LA cyclists.

According to a Facebook account, two bike riders training for the AIDS/Lifecycle Ride were mugged and robbed at gunpoint by three men on the LA River bike path Wednesday night.

One of the riders was eventually able to get away, but the other lost his bike and cell phone to the thieves.

Unfortunately, the account doesn’t say where it happened on the bike path. So be alert out there, especially at night. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.

Then there’s this case, where a cyclist definitely didn’t get a three-foot passing margin.

In another Facebook account, a rider describes being passed by a vehicle so closely that the trailer it was pulling actually brushed his foot, scraping the side of his shoe — despite the fact that he was riding at the speed limit in a no passing zone.

Needless to say, the driver refused to take any responsibility, instead blaming his victim for being on the road. Or maybe the planet. Thanks to Mike Kim for the link.

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A Santa Ana cyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked by a large truck when he came off a sidewalk into the street, and was caught under the rear wheels of the truck. He was dragged about 200 feet before the truck came to a stop.

As usual, the driver was not cited.

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Let’s catch up with the upcoming bike events.

Don’t forget Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records from noon to 4 pm this Sunday, benefitting the LACBC.

All ages are welcome to the family friendly second annual Walk ‘N Roll Festival in Culver City this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club is hosting a breakfast ride on Sunday to kick off Bike Month.

Santa Clarita will host their free Hit the Trail community bike ride on Saturday, May 9th.

The LA edition of the worldwide CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement rolls on Sunday, May 10th, starting at the Spoke Bicycle Café on the LA River bike path.

Tour LA’s iconic street art with the Eastside Mural Ride on Saturday, May 16th.

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Local

CiclaValley goes climbing.

Councilmember Jose’ Huizar calls for re-evaluating streets in Downtown LA to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new bike from LA-based Pure Fix pays tribute to the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, and former NBA All-Star Rasheed Wallace. But could it support an extra large rider like Biggie?

Santa Monica businesses can join in the city’s 2015 Commuter Challenge: Bike Month to see which company can achieve the highest CO2 savings by having their employees bike to work through May. Which just happens to be National Bike Month, as well as the start of the National Bike Challenge.

Manhattan Beach residents raise a whopping 543% of their Indiegogo goal to market an affordable e-bike beach cruiser.

The long planned two-way bikeway connecting Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach should be rideable by Memorial Day.

Advice on bicycling in LA County from a student at Biola University.

 

State

Schedule your life around the TV viewing schedule for the Amgen Tour of California for the next few weeks. Needless to say, the women’s races won’t be televised — except for a one-hour 11 pm highlight show. So much for network support for women’s racing.

Unbelievable. San Diego police are looking for a road raging truck driver who hit bike rider in the head with a hammer during an argument. I repeat, he hit a bike rider in the head with a hammer. Proof that bike helmets really do help.

The San Diego Bike Coalition kicked off Bike Month a day early. Apparently, they were too excited to wait another day.

A Modesto driver gets six years for a hit-and-run that seriously injured a cyclist while she was high on meth; somehow, she was still allowed on the road despite two previous DUIs.

Sacramento considers putting more of their streets on a diet.

I’ve said it before: It takes a major schmuck to mug a small boy and steal his bike, this time in Calaveras County.

A proposed Merced bike path is the regional finalist in a $100,000 contest sponsored by Bell Helmets.

San Francisco buses get triple bike racks, something we’ve been promised down here now that the law has been changed to allow them.

A Marin equestrian says safely sharing every trail with bikes, hikers and horses is an illusion. Maybe so, but bike riders and hikers hardly ever poop on the trail.

 

National

Bicycling lists 10 mistakes for beginner bike riders to avoid.

A new bipartisan Safe Streets bill in Congress would give planners two years to adopt Complete Streets policies for all federally funded transportation projects.

Denver bike messengers adapt to a declining market, while a London bike courier spills his secrets.

Mountain biking ex-president Bush does his best Elvis impersonation while leading wounded vets across his Texas ranch on the first leg of a 100 mile ride.

A Milwaukee writer discusses how to transport your dogs by bike.

A Vermont website worries that Complete Streets safety improvements will make things worse for cyclists in the wake of recent bicycling collisions. Even though none of them had anything to do with Complete Streets.

Bono still can’t play guitar five months after his bicycling spill in New York’s Central Park; it could take him another 13 months to learn if he’ll regain feeling in his hand.

Baltimore’s hit-and-run bishop gets defrocked four months after the alcohol-fueled death of a cyclist.

Wal-Mart isn’t responsible for the injuries suffered when a Mississippi boy took one of their bicycle-shaped objects for the spin through the store.

A Florida rider discusses when to pack it in and call the SAG wagon.

 

International

Advice on how to ride around the world from a Scottish rider who set a record doing it; a fellow world traveler writes about his plans to cross Australia by bike.

Here’s something LA riders can relate to, as a hard-won Toronto bike lane is blocked by a film shoot.

Canadian teens ride from Auschwitz to a Netherlands Nazi transit camp to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation Holland.

A UK rider is nearly garroted by an extended dog leash while riding on a bike path.

Caught on video: This is why you need good brakes, as a Brit bike rider barely avoids becoming bus fodder.

Also caught on video: The owner of a Dutch cat litter company converts his bakfiets into a kitty carriage for a 300-mile journey from Amsterdam to London.

VeloNews asks if the Vuelta has lost its mojo.

German police thwart an alleged plot to bomb a Frankfurt bike race; the race was cancelled in the wake of the arrests.

Touring China by bike may be the best way to find clean air and quiet in the booming country; meanwhile, a 28-year old Pomona College student is honored for teaching Chinese people how to take control of their own lives by building bamboo bikes.

 

Finally…

If you’re trying to sell a stolen bike, try to make sure your coffee-drinking potential customers aren’t off-duty cops. An Indian cyclist credits his survival in a hit-and-run in part to his knee and elbow pads, while a badly injured Brit rider thanks his badly mangled helmet.

Your next bike could be made of carbon fiber, ash and mahogany, though that wooden saddle looks a tad harsh. And you may never have to look up while you ride again; although personally, I’d be more impressed if it showed what’s behind me, instead. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the tip.

………

One last note. I’ve been told about a possible bicycling fatality in Granada Hills on Wednesday, but haven’t been able to get confirmation; both the CHP and the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division say they aren’t aware of anything. 

Let’s hope this one’s just a false alarm.

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