Tag Archive for LA Streetsblog

Morning Links: Active Trans grants approved for LA County, and fight goes on for carfree Mt. Hollywood Drive

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA will support local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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It looks like change is finally coming to LA area streets.

Streetsblog reports that thirteen new bike and pedestrian projects totaling $33.6 million have been funded through California’s Active Transportation Program, with another eight grants worth $28.78 million scheduled to be approved by SCAG — the Southern California Association of Governments — next month.

You can find a full listing of the projects, scattered throughout LA County, on the Streetsblog story.

But don’t hold your breath. As they note, the funding won’t actually be available for another two to three years.

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CiclaValley asks you to turn out for today’s special meeting of the LA City Council’s Arts, Parks, and River Committee to demand that Mount Hollywood Drive in Griffith Park be kept carfree.

The committee meets at 3 pm in room 1060 of City Hall in DTLA; if you can’t make it, he has a sample email and email addresses to send it to.

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Still more tragedy in the cycling world, as Ukrainian former U-23 world champ Dmitry Grabovskyy died of a suspected heart attack at 31. Meanwhile, tributes have flowed in for the 15-year old British cyclocross champ who died in his sleep over the weekend.

Now that’s more like it. Britain will offer equal prize money to both the men’s and women’s winners of the country’s national racing series.

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Local

As we noted yesterday, it wasn’t just Coyote Creek that was flooded by the recent rains; the LA River wasn’t exactly the safest place to ride, either.

Metro is holding a meeting this Thursday to discuss plans to improve access to Downtown’s Union Station, including a bike and pedestrian esplanade on Alameda Street.

The LACBC’s Ask An Officer panel discussion has been rescheduled for this coming Monday.

An editor with the USC paper says there’s a silver lining to having her bike stolen, forcing her to slow down and notice things she used to ride past. Although you’d think a fine university like USC would teach the difference between breaks and brakes before the senior year.

 

State

A Stanford physician and casual cyclist raised $10,000 to fight breast cancer by surviving the 2016 Death Ride, a 129-mile timed endurance ride with 15,000 feet of climbing over five mountain passes.

Speaking of Stanford, a professor there is looking for more participants for a study of bike saddles; currently over 1,000 cyclists are enrolled, but they’d like to have 10,000.

Streetsblog tries out the new dockless, app-based bikeshare bikes from Bluegogo; the company is making a soft launch with a few hundred bikes in San Francisco by locating them on private parking spaces to get around city regulations and objecting officials. Thanks to Eric Weinstein for the heads-up.

San Francisco leads the state as the most dangerous place to drive a car, and ranks second in the nation for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. None of which suggests it’s exactly a great place to ride a bike, either.

A mudslide caused by Sunday’s storm in Northern California has blocked, if not destroyed, a popular bike trail at Lake Natoma.

 

National

The new PlacesForBikes project from PeopleForBikes — who have evidently decided to save money by removing the spaces from their names — will encourage bike-friendly cities by providing an alternative to the Bike League’s rating system.

The last remaining founder of Adventure Cycling will turn 71 on Sunday and retire from the organization; Greg Siple also helped inspire the 1976 Bikecentennial cross-country ride.

A bill that would ban bike riders from most of Montana’s two-lane highways is being rewritten in committee following an outcry from advocates, but no word on exactly what changes are being made.

A proposed Iowa bill would require bike riders to have a red LED taillight on their bikes, apparently even during daylight hours; the law was suggested by a blame-shifting driver who crashed into five — count ‘em, five — bicyclists with his motorcycle as the sun was setting, insisting he would have seen them if only they’d had flashing lights on their bikes. Sure, let’s go with that.

A new study shows Minnesota residents took 96 million bike trips totaling 139 million miles last year, and generated nearly $800 million throughout the state.

University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to make materials change from hard to soft, which would allow bike tires to automatically adjust to different surface conditions, among other applications. Yes, there’s an obvious joke there, and no, I’m not going to make it.

A group of bicyclist will follow a mostly offroad route on a ride from Seattle to Boston later this year to raise funds for a local alternative high school.

New York deployed 50 bike cops to control crowds at Saturday’s peaceful Women’s March, with one source saying a single officer on a bike can do the job of three cops.

 

International

Bike-powered machines made from discarded parts are changing lives in Guatemala.

Bike Biz talks with the CEO of Zwift about whether virtual reality is the future of indoor cycling. A Scottish man used a similar system to virtually bike the length of Britain.

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where an off-duty Mounty walks with just a $1,500 fine for killing a five-year old bike rider with his jacked-up pickup; he claimed he couldn’t see the boy, who was riding with the light in a marked crosswalk with his father and brother, as he turned right. If you can’t see a little boy directly in front of your truck, it doesn’t belong on the damn roads.

Caught on video: A British newspaper seems to take great glee in watching a bike rider flip over a curb after flipping off a motorist.

A bike advocate on the Isle of Man calls for reforming traffic laws, claiming drivers cause 90% of all collisions with bicyclists.

A former assistant professor is riding over 6,200 miles across India to raise awareness of climate change and encourage people and organizations to take responsibility for reducing their carbon footprint.

A Johannesburg mountain biker nearly lost an eye when he ran into an unmarked wire that had been left across the entrance to a pathway, despite verifying that the trail was open to bicycles.

China has completed construction on a 4.7 mile elevated bikeway in the city of Xiamen, a first for the country.

 

Finally…

No, a Holocaust memorial is not the place to hop about on your bike. It wasn’t easy going onstage after a bike-riding Robin Williams.

And you don’t want to risk offending the tweeter-in-chief.

 

Morning Links: Fighting for the Rowena road diet, CiclaValley and Bike SGV honored, and reimagining Ventura Blvd

The fight goes on.

A group of Silver Lake residents have created a website to support the successful Rowena road diet in the face of continued opposition from some people who want it torn out, even though it has dramatically improved safety on the formerly dangerous street by cutting overall traffic injuries 22% and serious injuries and fatalities a whopping 75%.

The site includes a before and after analysis, safety research, and a page dispelling persistent myths about the road diet, including the false claim that installing bike lanes was the sole purpose for the reconfiguration.

They urge you to contact CD4 Councilmember David Ryu and tell him to keep Rowena the way it is, and sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of future action.

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Streetsblog officially announces the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

As expected, CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew won the award for Journalist/Writer of the Year, and Bike SGV won a well deserved award for Livable Streets Advocacy Group.

Other winners were

  • Elected Official of the Year: Tie between Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece-Harris Dawson and José Huizar
  • Civil Servant of the Year: Metro’s Phil Washington
  • Livable Streets-Friendly Business Award: Metro Bike’s Bicycle Transit Systems
  • Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy: Los Feliz Neighborhood Council president Luke Klipp

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If you live or ride in the Valley, don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to reimagine iconic Ventura Blvd. And hopefully make it safer and more inviting to bike riders, even if we got left out of the invitation.

And mark your calendar for the next Draft People for Bikes meetup at Burbank’s Pure Cycles on the 19th.

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A British para-cyclist champ calls the sudden announcement that the world championships will be held here in LA a joke; not because of the location, but because would-be competitors were given just seven weeks notice.

Good analysis from Cycling News, as they ask what, if anything, has been done to improve safety after pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed in a collision with a race moto last year.

Systematic doping is so endemic among Russian athletes that the leaders of 19 national anti-doping organizations say the country’s athletes should be banned from all international events.

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Local

LAist offers good advice for riding in the rain. I’ll add a little more: Most drivers can’t imagine anyone riding a bike in the rain, which means they won’t be looking for you. So be conspicuous in your lane positioning and at intersections. And use the best, brightest — and as many — lights as you can manage, and wrap them in plastic unless you know they’re waterproof.

Speaking of Mike Bonin, he earns the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA for the March 7th city council election in CD11.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is offering a $20 discount on annual memberships through this month.

SaMo’s Soft Pedalers will host a Black History Bike Ride on the 24th.

 

State

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is hosting their second annual Recovery Ride on the 29th, with routes around San Diego Bay ranging from 12 to 40 miles.

 

National

A new bike lock unveiled at the Las Vegas CES show combines traditional strength with an anti-theft motion detector and the ability to lock and unlock using an app on your phone.

Steamboat CO cyclists say it’s too early to judge the success of the ski resort town’s mountain biking trails, despite a survey showing summer bike tourism has declined over the last two years.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a driver walks with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist competing in an amateur time trial, despite attempting an unsafe pass and violating the state’s three-foot passing law; the victim was blamed for an alleged suicide swerve.

Must be nice. Iowa’s governor calls for better protections for cyclists and stiffer penalties for distracted and impaired drivers. Most California bicyclists have given up on ever hearing something like that from Jerry Brown.

Despite rising numbers of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers want to repeal the state’s hands-free cellphone law in the name of liberty. So why not just pass a law giving people the personal freedom to drive drunk, stoned or blindfolded? The same principle applies.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says as long as security for Donald Trump’s 5th Avenue apartment threatens to make the street a traffic nightmare, they should turn the street into a pedestrian plaza like Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare will test out laser lights that project the image of a bicycle 20 feet in front of the rider in an effort to improve safety.

The governor of New York announces plans to fill in the gaps between existing pathways to create a 750-mile biking and hiking trail through the state in just three years. Notice that no one has proposed anything like that here in California, despite an ideal climate for year-round riding. Present wet weather excepted.

A South Carolina man finds and restores the 55-year old bicycle his brother got for Christmas in 1961, and gives it to him again.

New Orleans breaks ground on a new bike and pedestrian path that will connect two existing paths to create a four-mile trail through beautiful oaks, cypress trees and lagoons.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains why cyclists ride side-by-side.

Britain’s transportation secretary says he didn’t give anyone his contact information after dooring a bicyclist because no one asked. No, seriously.

A Member of Britain’s Parliament confuses the solution with the problem, questioning whether the loss of blacktop for bike lanes is causing London’s traffic congestion. If he really wants to see congestion, try putting all those bike commuters back into motor vehicles.

Yes, you can ride your bike from London to Paris without dealing with traffic. Although it might get a tad damp if you miss the ferry.

Italy’s Pinarello unveils its new high-end Dogma 10 racing bike, even as it’s already facing the threat of a lawsuit.

Singapore’s transport minister tells parliament that bicycles and personal mobility devices are an essential part of the country’s efforts to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

Nothing like being injured in a crash directly outside a hospital — then taken to another one instead. Thank goodness you still have the freedom to shoot a whale from a moving bike or car in landlocked Tennessee.

And there are worse things than LA drivers, like trying to free a fat bike from an electric fence.

Morning Links: 4th Annual Resolution Ride this Saturday, local advocates nominated for Streetsblog awards

Update: The Resolution Ride has been cancelled for this weekend: 

The Resolution Ride has been postponed due to inclement weather! But don’t worry, you’ll still get a chance to continue your resolutions on our rescheduled date of February 12th! Same time, same place – and with the added bonus of happening alongside our annual Expo! This means more chances to win, more fun, more resolutions, and even more reason to come out and ride with us.
If you can’t attend the rescheduled date and would like a refund, please contact Gonzalo Garcia (gogarcia@aidslifecycle.org) to do so. Keep those resolutions going in the new year and come ride with us February 12th!

I’m a sucker for a good cause.

This Saturday, AIDS/LifeCycle is hosting their 4th Annual Resolution Ride in Griffith Park to raise funds the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

With rides of 15 and 35 miles, the very reasonable $30 pre-registration fee — $35 for day-of registration — is even more reasonable when you consider it includes lunch and music.

If the name sounds familiar, AIDS/LifeCycle hosts the hugely popular 600-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles ride each year, benefitting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.

Here’s what they have to say about the day’s events.

WHAT:  4th Annual Resolution Ride

Join AIDS/LifeCycle for a fun bike ride to keep your New Year’s fitness resolutions going! Roll into the new year with two fully-supported bike rides (15-mile or 35-mile) and festival in beautiful Griffith Park. This annual event is for riders of all skill and fitness levels. The day includes a bike skills and safety clinic for new riders, a fitness festival with local businesses, nutritious food, and great music! Participants will have a chance to win a new bike from Just Ride LA.

Register at resolutionride.org.

The 4th Annual Resolution Ride is produced by AIDS/LifeCycle and benefits the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

WHEN:  Saturday, January 7, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.                             

WHERE:  Griffith Park – Crystal Springs Picnic Area, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.

COST:  $30 Registration Fee until January 6. (Registration fee increases to $35 on-site on January 7.)

Lunch is included.


Each rider is required to bring a bicycle, identification, and a Consumer Produced Safety Commission-approved helmet.

A limited number of loaner bikes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis courtesy of Just Ride LA. To reserve a bike, email chris.v@justridela.com.

For more information, visit resolutionride.org.

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Congratulations to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew on his nomination for Streetsblog’s 2016 Journalist/Writer of the Year; as of this writing, he’s leading with over half the vote.

You’ll also see familiar faces among the candidates for Advocate of the Year, including Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald and CicLAvia’s Romel Pascual, and Advocacy Group of the Year, where Bike SGV leads Investing in Place with LACBC.

Voting ends at noon tomorrow.

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Thirty-one-year old Belgian pro Gianni Meersman is forced to retire after discovering he has a heart condition, blocking his transfer to a new team.

Newly retired Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins attempts to follow in the tracks of Britain’s Eddie the Eagle by competing in ski jumping TV show.

American Olympic cyclist Missy Erickson talks about being sexually abused by someone close to her when she was 17.

I want to be like him when I grow up. France’s Robert Marchand will attempt to break the world senior hour record he set five years ago when he was just a wee lad of 100 years old.

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Local

The LACBC’s Colin Bogart is raising funds to go on this year’s Climate Ride, asking 200 people to donate $20.17 apiece.

Boyonabike looks back at year’s developments in car-free transportation in the San Gabriel Valley.

Time is running out to tell Metro where to put their bikeshare stations in Pasadena and Venice. Although we desperately need to come with a good nickname for them.

Ride smart in Hawthorne today, where police are conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation, focusing on violations by drivers, cyclists and people on foot that can lead to crashes.

Chris Brown is one of us, even if he’s just riding past his fleet of luxury sports cars at his Tarzana home.

Caught on Video: Long Beach expats and famed bike travelers the Path Less Pedaled return to SoCal for a ride to the Tree of Life in the Verdugo Mountains.

 

State

A writer for San Francisco Streetsblog gets a horn-blaring punishment pass from an Uber and Lyft driver while riding in San Diego, for the crime of riding a bicycle — legally — on the street.

A suspected drunk driver faces charges after crashing into a Concord bike rider on New Years Eve.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed when he was rear-ended by one driver, then struck by another; and yes, he was riding with lights and a helmet.

 

National

Men’s Journal offers their annual bike buyers guide, with bikes ranging from $950 to $10,000.

That’s one way to get a ride home on New Year’s Eve. Oregon state police drop a bike rider off at his home after citing him for bicycling under the influence.

A Washington drunk driver will spend more than three years behind bars for killing a lightless, intoxicated bike rider.

China’s massive LeEco electronics conglomerate unveils two new smart bikes at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas; both have a built-in four-inch screen with an Android operating system.

Wichita KS will spend $1.6 million to expand three bike paths this year.

Missouri police shoot and kill an armed bike rider who they suspect of being mentally ill.

A popular Indianapolis charity ride loses its booty.

A New York TV station looks at the perennial complaints about NYPD officers jeopardizing the safety of bicyclists by parking in the city’s bike lanes. So naturally, they focus on the people who think cyclists should just get over it.

Even though Savannah GA leads the state in bike commuting, the city has just two bike lanes to serve over 150,000 residents.

 

International

How to be a weight weenie.

Montreal residents are fighting a bike path behind their back yards as a symbol of densification and the direction the city is headed.

A London politician calls on the city to put plain clothes bike cops on the street to watch for bad drivers who put cyclists at risk.

Caught on video too: A Brit driver’s phone magically drops his phone from his hand when he realizes his texting is being filmed by a cyclist.

Northern Ireland’s police service says bike theft is the new car theft.

A German collector is selling his entire collection of 75 steel road bikes and frames on eBay for $35,000.

An Aussie rider describes what he saw on a 2,800 mile ride along the South Australian coast.

Another app-based Chinese bikeshare company hits the streets, putting 70,000 bicycles to work in just one month; unlike the dock-based American bikeshares, the Chinese systems use GPS to locate a nearby bike, allowing bikes to be picked up and left anywhere.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about e-rickshaws. You can see a lot of things on a bike — like an alligator engaging in a death match with a Burmese Python.

And just stick it in your ear, already.

Morning Links: Rough week for LA bike riders, Streetsie Award celebration, and more sexist bike marketing

Last week was a rough one for LA area cyclists.

Santa Monica police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who rear-ended a bike rider on Ocean Avenue last Wednesday; anyone with information is urged to call Traffic Investigator Jason Olson at 310/458-8954.

An 82-year old cyclist from Marina del Rey was seriously injured when he was hit by a car in Palos Verdes Estates on Friday.

And a bike rider suffered major injuries when he was hit by a UPS truck turning into a driveway in Baldwin Park Friday evening.

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Streetsblog will honor two of their 2015 Streetsie Award winners this Thursday, Santa Monica’s Cyclehop/Hulu for the Breeze bikeshare program, and CA Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

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Specialized builds the bike of the future, sort of.

Yet that doesn’t seem to be the only thing they specialize in, as they somehow resort to the sexist marketing of the past to promote their new e-bike.

Maybe bike companies should be required to hire women to head up their marketing departments so the industry will finally stop shooting itself in the foot.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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German pro cyclist Marcel Kittel says there’s no longer a systematic doping culture in the sport. Then again, that’s what Lance said.

Of course, doping isn’t the only way to cheat; France’s Arnaud Demare is accused of getting a tow from a team car before winning Saturday’s Milan-San Remo race in a tight finish, while the peloton rode through a wall of smoke along the way.

If you have a USA Cycling license, your personal data may have been hacked.

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Former pro Phil Zajicek remains in a medically induced coma after losing an arm when he apparently crossed the center line and crashed into a pickup while riding with a group in Boulder CO; he also sustained facial fractures, broken ribs, a shattered femur and an undisclosed head injury.

A gofundme account has been started to raise $300,000 for his medical care and to support his family.

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Local

Streetsblog reviews Sunday’s Beach Streets open streets/ciclovía in Long Beach; a commenter calls it more relaxed and less bike-oriented than most CicLAvias. Meanwhile, the Press-Telegram says over 50,000 people turned out to enjoy the day. Which is over twice as many as supposedly attended last year’s far more crowded Culver City to Venice CicLAvia.

Investing in Place and the LACBC call for more funding for walking, biking and safe routes to school in Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure.

Joel Epstein writes that density is LA’s destiny, and says a proposed anti-growth measure comes at the wrong time as Los Angeles is embracing its bike, pedestrian and transit-oriented future and putting it’s auto-centric focus in the past.

LA’s Pure Fix offers advice on how to photograph your bike.

You know the new Ovarian Psychos documentary has had an impact when their story reaches Pakistan.

Caught on video: A Long Beach cop walks away when a BMX rider schools him on the law allowing bikes on the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade.

 

State

Orange County’s Transportation Authority has $20 million to invest in boosting bikeways in the county.

The Marines finally got around to releasing some of the mountain bikes that were seized for trespassing on trails crossing the Miramar base in North San Diego, after reaching agreements with the owners.

If you’re still jonesing for open streets, head out to El Centro in the desert north of Mexicali this Saturday.

Unbelievably, Fremont uses Safe Routes to Schools funding to make the street in front of a high school less safe by removing a bike lane to make room for a left turn lane. Update: It turns out the bike lane removal is only temporary during the construction, although using SRTS funding for a turn lane is questionable; thanks to Robert Prinz for the heads-up.

Sausalito continues to struggle with how to deal with bike-riding tourists.

 

National

The AP looks at lax penalties for errant drivers who hit cyclists. About damn time the press finally noticed.

Good idea. An Austin TX company offers e-bike foodie tours of local restaurants.

A Minnesota reporter wonders why the state shouldn’t adopt the Idaho Stop law now if it improves safety for bicyclists, and police aren’t enforcing the law against riding through stop signs as it is. Apparently, a British cardiologist would concur.

Jeffrey Tanenhaus explains why he left his corporate job behind and rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the country.

A TV station asks if DC is moving fast enough on bike lanes; local cyclists say not really.

 

International

A new kind of bike rack promises to block bike thieves; since they were installed at a London stadium and park, not a single bike has been stolen. Can we get some here? Pretty please?

After a British bike courier was injured by a distracted hit-and-run driver, he turns to a crowdfunding site to raise money to pay his rent; so far he’s raised over five times the original £300 goal.

An Irish cyclist is injured in yet another anti-bike attack, as someone strung a wire at neck height across a bike bridge. Note to press everywhere: a deliberate attempt to injure or kill someone riding a bike may be many things, but a prank isn’t one of them.

A disabled Indian cyclist tries to crowdfund the money he needs to compete in the Rio Paralympic games.

Israeli cyclists ride in honor of the legendary Gino Bartali, following the route he rode from his home in Italy to the convents of Assisi, where he passed on documents that were hidden in his bike to save Jews in WWII.

A Kiwi website asks if it’s time to reevaluate New Zealand’s and Australia’s mandatory bike helmet laws. Although they may provide some protection from dead kangaroos.

An Aussie feels guilty about the bike he used to get home from a drunken night out, and takes out an ad to find the owner he stole it from.

The next time someone calls for registering bikes and licensing cyclists, remind ‘em that’s the way North Korea does it.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to leave an explosive device on a bike path, make sure police can’t defuse it by simply unscrewing the cap. When you’re riding after dark, try to keep your candles blowing out.

And evidently, they have some very bad swans in Florida.

 

Weekend Links: Protected bikeways bill and four hit-and-run bills await Governor Brown’s uncertain signature

Streetsblog explains AB 1193, the new protected bikeways bill currently awaiting Governor Brown’s signature.

There should be no reason why he wouldn’t sign it.

Then again, that’s what we said about the first two attempts at a three-foot passing law. And you know how that turned out.

Meanwhile, Bicycling says there’s a nationwide boom in protected bikeways, while Vancouver’s see a record number of riders this summer.

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Streetsblog also explains the four hit-and-run bills awaiting Brown’s signature.

None remove the incentive for drunk drivers to flee the scene by making the penalty for hit-and-run equivalent to drunk driving penalties. And none call for seizing the vehicle used in a hit-and-run upon conviction.

But they’re a good start.

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Credit Orange County cyclist and attorney David Huntsman for this idea.

Instead of paying $100 or more to ride the Beverly Hills Gran Fondo, donate the money to Better Bike to support the fight for better inclusion in the bike-unfriendly community — including desperately needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

Speaking of Better Bike, they look at Strava to reveal where cyclists really ride through the Biking Black Hole.

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The sheriff’s department will conduct an internal investigation into the Milt Olin case; according to the story, at least one cyclist doesn’t have much faith in their impartiality.

Red Kite Prayer’s Padraig says the DA’s decision not to prosecute makes us all second-class citizens. Cycling in the South Bay says the DA has given cops a license to kill.

And former pro Dave Zabriskie explains why his Yield2Life foundation is co-sponsoring Wednesday’s Olin protest ride and vigil.

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There are no words. The junior world time trial champion, 18-year old Igor Decraene of Belgium, took his own life on Saturday.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers five things he learned at the city council Transportation Committee meeting this week, including that protected bikeways may or may not be on the streets of LA in the coming year.

Writing for Orange 20, Richard Risemberg looks at how Westside road diets and walkable/bikeable streets encourage people to linger, shop, eat and spend more, despite what some less-informed councilmembers seem to think.

The Times reviews advanced new bike accessory designs.

Pasadena moves forward on an ambitious new bike plan.

Hermosa Cyclery celebrates its 40th anniversary as four local men carry on for the original owner.

Proposed Redondo Beach redevelopment promises a 30 to 40 foot wide pedestrian and bike path along the waterfront; hopefully, they’ll get rid of that damned “cyclists dismount” zone in front of the pier while they’re at it.

 

State

I wonder how many drivers will be deterred by the whopping $35 fine for violating California’s new three-foot passing law.

A Laguna Beach cyclist says bike riders must admit the coast highway is a death trap.

A Stockton rider wisely gives up his bike when three men approach showing a gun, and ask if he’s willing to die for it. Well, if you put it that way…

 

National

Bicycling’s Elly Blue offers advice on how to close the gender gap and get more women into bicycling.

A writer for CityLab says get over shoaling, already

It takes a real schmuck to steal a brand new adult tricycle from a legally blind woman.

A Washington state driver was drunk and texting when he drifted off the road and rear-ended a cyclist.

Tragically, a Seattle cyclist is killed in a left cross less that two weeks before the dangerous bike lane she was riding in was due to be replaced with a protected lane.

Great piece from a Colorado Springs non-cyclist, who says bike riders deserve genuine appreciation. Read this one to counter out all that bike hate out there.

Nice. A Wisconsin bike advocate donates a new bike to a 12-year old hit-and-run victim.

Twenty-three reasons why bicycling is the best way to navigate New York City.

 

International

NHL defenseman Cory Sarich gives up bicycling and may never play hockey again following a horrific left-cross crash with an 85-year old British Columbia driver.

Always report bad road condition whenever possible; a London man didn’t and another rider paid the price.

A pair of Russian girls explore Great Britain and Ireland by Brompton.

Perhaps the greatest cyclist of all time, the Cannibal, aka Eddie Merckx, is hospitalized with heart pains; he has minor heart surgery as a result.

Bicycling the streets of Cambodia’s capital is not for the faint hearted.

 

Finally…

This is how you wear a cycling cap. When you need to revive, turns out a combination of coffee and naps are more effective than either one alone; throw in walking the Corgi, and that’s the story of my life these days.

And yes, traffic rules apply to everyone, and no, stop signs are not mere suggestions. Even if many drivers seem to treat them that way.

 

Morning Links: Streetsblog scores at the LA press awards; West Hills bike shop gutted in weekend fire

Congratulations to Streetsblog LA for being named Best Group Blog at the 56th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards.

And yes, that’s my name on there, too, thanks to my occasional role as guest writer and editor last year.

Photo shameless stolen from Damien Newton's Twitter account.

Photo shameless stolen from Damien Newton’s Twitter account.

The site also scored a third place award for best multimedia package, and Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman took second place awards for best online journalist and best news photo.

While I’m honored to have my name on the award, Sulaiman, Brian Addison, LA Streetsblog founder Damien Newton, editor Joe Linton and the other members of the Streetsblog team are the real rock stars behind Southern California’s best source for transportation news.

I’m just honored they let me play in their sandbox from time to time.

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Local

Cycling in the South Bay discovers taking the lane on PCH through the ‘Bu works fine when you’re riding in a group, not so much when you’re on your own.

West Hill’s popular Spoke N’ Wheels Bicycles is out of business for now following an apparent electrical fire that gutted the store.

A pretty graphic. Until you realize it’s a heat map of Los Angeles bicycling crashes — and only those that get reported.

 

State

A new law could save our cities by replacing Level of Service as the standard for traffic flow.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition teaches Silicon Valley shuttle bus drivers how to drive around bike riders.

If you build it, they will ride. Marin County ridership is up 66% after the county invests $28 million in new infrastructure.

 

National

The Bike League examines bike share’s gender gap.

Iowa sets an official policy to reduce traffic fatalities in the state to zero, after suffering 127 traffic deaths so far this year.

A Michigan teenager with cerebral palsy returns home from his first bike ride — a 250 mile journey across the state.

Indiana will now allow cyclists to ride through red lights that don’t change after two minutes.

 

International

An Ottawa writer says the city still isn’t safe enough for cyclists. Then again, name one city on this continent that is.

UK’s Mirror looks at the recognition finally swirling around Yorkshire cycling legend Beryl Burton.

A writer for the Telegraph decries snobbish cyclists who place themselves above other riders.

Bicycling lists this year’s Tour de France contenders.

Christchurch, New Zealand cyclists are hit by a car on an average of one every three days.

 

Finally…

Someone has taken bike porn to a new extreme by hacking Madrid’s new e-bike share system. And a cute video from British retail chain Halfords introduces the Bike Whisperer.

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The Times on Streetsblog’s Damien Newton, Newton on LADOT insurrection, and lots of weekend rides

Just a few quick notes to kick off what promises to be a perfect weekend to ride a bike.

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The LA Times interviews Streetsblog’s Damien Newton, who adroitly points out that everyone breaks the law on our streets — cyclists, drivers and pedestrians alike.

“Pretty much anyone who uses the road breaks the law on a regular basis. But people excuse their own breaking of the law,” he says…

He doesn’t care if you’re on a bike; he cares that you stop thinking of bicyclists as an odd nuisance — and stop framing the debate as “drivers vs. bicyclists”:

“The subtext is ‘We need to get along with these weirdos, because they’re out there.’ ”

As for weirdos, the paper notes Damien isn’t.

I could have told ‘em that.

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Speaking of Damien, he offers an insightful look at yesterday’s insurrection by LADOT employees.

In case you missed it, a contingent of LADOT employees — estimated at anywhere from 50 to 200 — stormed Wednesday’s city council session to demand the ouster of their boss, Transportation General Manager Jaime De La Vega, saying the rank and file had lost confidence in their leader.

Just one problem.

De La Vega had been brought in by previous Mayor Villaraigosa to shake things up in a department that had previously been dedicated to automotive throughput at the expense of livability. And survivability.

Whether these employees have a legitimate complaint, or are simply demanding a return to the bad old days when they could ignore the needs of anyone not wrapped in a ton or two of glass and steel is anyone’s guess.

And certainly not mine.

Newton examines it in great detail, in a must read for anyone who cares about the future of our streets.

But consider this.

Many of those complaining are long-time LADOT employees, who were with the department during the bad old days.

And the bike plan they point to as a sign that the department has changed is one that was demanded by bike riders, after they rejected the watered-down plan LADOT presented that no one loved. Except perhaps bike hating motorists and the DOT engineers who bent over backwards to accommodate them while tossing cyclists a bone.

Meanwhile, most of the improvements we’ve seen on the streets have come in the last few years, during De La Vega’s tenure.

That’s not to say there aren’t major problems at LADOT.

Just that Mayor Garcetti and the city council should look long and hard before deciding just what the real problem is.

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I confess.

I haven’t done a very good job of keeping up my Events page, as my focus has been elsewhere while I work on a reboot of this site in the coming weeks.

But a couple of upcoming rides demand attention.

First up, Active Streets LA returns to South LA on Saturday with a free mini-CicLAvia of sorts, featuring a bike ride and walk, free family activities, refreshments and a raffle.

The LACBC and Wolfpack Hustle host the first ever Huntington Park Grand Prix single speed bike drag race on Saturday.

For those looking for a reasonably challenging ride, the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles are teaming up with the LACBC to host a ride on Mulholland this Sunday.

CICLE hosts the perfectly alliterative Pomona Pumpkin Patch Pedal this Sunday, offering a much more sedate alternative to riding Mulholland.

And next Sunday, October 27th, you’ve got another chance to Ride Lankershim in support of a proposed bike lane on North Hollywood’s main street. Even though the bike lane is included in the 2010 bike plan approved by city council, it’s been opposed by bike-friendly-in-name-only Councilmember Tom LaBonge up to this point. So it’s up to us to show just how needed, wanted, convenient, traffic calming and life-saving this lane could be.

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One other quick note. The LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee usually meets on the last Tuesday of every month to talk bike politics. However, due to a scheduling conflict, this month’s meeting has been moved to Wednesday, October 30th at 6:45 pm. The meeting will take place on the mezzanine level of LACBC Headquarters, 634 S. Spring Street Downtown, and is open to everyone; you don’t have to be a member to participate.

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Finally, maybe you’ll have better luck loading this page than I’ve had, but you’ve got to respect a $36 million football player who prefers to bike and bus to work. Although I suspect his route is just a tad easier than this one.

And you know there’s something going on when even the Biking Black Grey Hole of Beverly Hills is talking bike share.

Don’t even think about bugging after 5:30 tonight until the Dodgers secure their place in Saturday’s game seven against the Cardinals.

And if they don’t, just don’t bug me, period.

Seriously.

More on the 2nd-car death of Andy Garcia, no more green bike lane, and LA gets tougher on hit-and-run

Streetsblog attempts to clear up the confusing details over the hit-and-run collision that resulted in the death of Luis “Andy” Garcia.

Garcia was killed after 21-year old Wendy Villegas hit a group of five riders and fled the scene, leaving her victims lying in the street, where he was hit by a second vehicle.

Streetsblog writer Sahra Sulaiman talks with some of the other riders involved.

What they have to say contradicts some of the details in the official press release from the LAPD — including the fact that Mario Lopez, one of the riders hit in the initial collision, suffered a broken back, rather than the minor injuries the police report.

And paints a picture of a needlessly horrifying night that took the life of a young bike rider, shattered two families, and forever scarred the four surviving riders, as well as the three men who prayed over Garcia after their van took his life.

All because a young woman got behind the wheel when she was too drunk to drive, and fled like a coward after colliding with her victims.

Then again, there’s no such thing as being just a little drunk when you’re driving.

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Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Also courtesy of Streetsblog, which has been very busy on the bike front this week, comes official confirmation that you can kiss your green Spring Street bike lanes goodbye.

The highly popular bike lanes barely survived an attempt by Hollywood filmmakers to have them removed entirely; regretfully, self-described bike supporter Council Member Tom LaBonge bought into the industry’s easily disprovable lies — as did our new bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti.

If it wasn’t for the efforts of Council Member Jose Huizar and a few others, the bike lanes would have been removed entirely, rather than just stripped of their green paint.

Now they await a newly approved treatment that costs significantly less, but may not be as effective in capturing the attention of motorists.

We should all hold Hollywood — and our elected readers — accountable for any drop in ridership on the street.

Or increase in injuries.

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The LA City Council instructs the LAPD to take a tougher stance on tracking hit-and-runs. And will work at the state level to revoke the licenses of fleeing drivers, and forfeit their vehicles.

Which is exactly what I’ve long been calling for.

So whether someone has read my blog, or just came up with the idea on their own, thank you. Frankly, I couldn’t care less who gets the credit as long as long-needed changes are made.

Now let’s get it done. And put a stop to this deadly epidemic.

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The LA Times says the ball is in Governor Brown’s court when it comes to signing the three-foot passing law, noting that this is the fifth attempt at passing it in California. The first two never made it out of committee, while our esteemed governor vetoed the last pair.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog notes the Times promises more coverage of bicycling issues on their Opinion page. With all the bike-riding reporters and editors who work at the paper, the only question is what took so long.

Speaking of which, Streetsblog and the new Santa Monica Next are holding a fundraiser this Sunday.

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lb_market_valetKelly Heller sends word that the Long Beach Southwest Farmers Market will begin offering a bike valet this Sunday:

Since it doesn’t begin till next weekend, I cannot tell you anything about how the valet staff is or what the bike accommodations look like.

However, I certainly *can* attest to the fact that this farmer’s market has a significant car-traffic problem.  They are paying for at least three traffic guards, and the whole time we were locking up our bikes and readying our shopping bags we observed the frustration of both the drivers and the traffic guards as they yelled at each other and everyone struggled to find any remaining needle-in-a-haystack open parking spots.

It’s nice to see that someone did the math and figured out that putting up a free bike valet might be the ideal solution.

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There may be hope for the LA River yet, beyond the current unfinished bike path next to a graffiti-clad concrete river bed. The city breaks ground on a new park next to the river in Sherman Oaks that will include a short bike path. The city council approves a new $6 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the LA River in North Atwater Village. Larchmont Village loses thirty — yes, 30 — bike racks in order to satisfy drivers who prefer parking meters. Residents want to tame traffic on Ave 64.

There will be a blood drive in honor of fallen OC cyclist Kurt Kirkey in Aliso Viejo on Wednesday, October 2nd. Bike Newport Beach looks at the different mindset for riding in Paris. A Bakersfield driver was using a legal hands-free device when she struck and killed a cyclist riding in a bike lane Tuesday night, in what has been a horrible year for Kern County cyclists and pedestrians; police say the driver was at fault. Sharrows or Supersharrows? When a cyclist is nearly decapitated by fishing line strung over a bike trail, it’s not a prank, it’s a terrorist attack.

Industry trade group Bikes Belong folds itself into its own People for Bikes subsidiary. Elly Blue offers five tips for the bike industry to increase ridership among women. Lovely Bicycle asks if it’s possible to have too short a ride. The Houston Chronicle asks how relatively ancient Chris Horner won the Vuelta. A Houston rider has his bike stolen when he’s mugged on a popular bike trail. Evidently, there’s a requirement in Montana that says drivers have to pass bike riders even when it’s not safe to do so. A Milwaukee man is shot and killed after spotting a man riding a child’s stolen bike. Apparently, more bikes really do mean safer streets, even if New York’s Daily News has trouble believing it. Evidently, you can do tricks on a bike share bike. Male riders outnumber women in Philly, like just about everywhere else. A Maryland rider explains what it’s like to be a cyclist on the state’s roads. DC could remove restrictions preventing bike shops from selling used bikes. A 77-year old Arlington VA driver threatens the cyclist he right hooked with a baseball bat; the driver claimed the rider should have signaled for the left turn he wasn’t making.

A Winnipeg law would absurdly force groups of 10 or more bike riders to get a parade permit. Beat the crap out of a UK bike rider in a road rage incident, and walk away with a fine. A three-year old Brit girl is banned from riding her bike because she might damage resident’s cars. Is Europe’s bad economy causing the boom in bicycling? After overseeing the worst doping era in bike racing history, Pat McQuaid says he’s the only one who can clean it up; I’d say let’s give him the same ban Lance got. The mother of racing great Marco Pantani thinks her son was poisoned after breaking pro cycling’s doping omerta. A Sydney paper continues its highly biased anti-bike reporting, including blaming bike lanes for a loss of handicap parking and cyclists for running red lights; apparently, objectivity and grammatically correct headlines aren’t attributes expected of the local press. Meanwhile, the Guardian says the anti-bike hysteria in the Sydney press has got to stop, and local cyclists fight back on Twitter.

Finally, this is one way to ride with a dog. And if you’re planning to burgle a flat screen TV, maybe a bike isn’t your best choice for a getaway vehicle.

My thoughts on yesterday’s election

If you’re coming here looking for my take on yesterday’s election results, you won’t find it.

That’s because, once again, I’m guest editing LA Streetsblog in Damien’s absence, which is where you’ll find my reaction to the city’s new mayor.

Oh, and Mr. Garcetti? If you’re looking for someone to help out with bike issues, I’m available.

Just saying.

Nothing to see here — find me on LA Streetsblog today

Just a quick note to let you know I’m still alive, and haven’t suffered another computer failure.

Although Verizon and I may need to have a little chat about my internet connection.

My morning has been filled trying to keep up with LA Streetblog, where I’ll be guest editing for the next few days. That’s where you’ll find my contribution exhorting bicyclists and transportation advocates to get off their butts and get out and vote.

Even though I know far too many won’t.

I’ll try to get a new post on here for tomorrow. And you can find me on Streetsblog through Thursday.

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