Tag Archive for LADOT

Morning Links: Bay Area bike advocate busted for Biking While Black, and LADOT officer blocks a DTLA bike lane

Was a Richmond bike rider busted in Oakland for Biking While Black?

Najari Smith, the founder and executive director of non-profit group Rich City Rides, was handcuffed and taken into custody on Friday for the crime of playing amplified music while leading a group of kids on a celebratory ride, and forced to spend the weekend in jail.

Which at it’s worst is a violation of the vehicle code, and a just ticketable offense.

Like LA’s East Side Riders, Rich City Rides operates as a bike shop/co-op dedicated to building a better community by getting the people of the economically depressed area onto two wheels. And Smith is respected, if not beloved, as the peacemaking leader of that group.

In fact, Streetsblog reports that Smith was trying to calm young riders angered by the aggressive police tactics when he was arrested. And that he remained calm and respectful throughout, turning down his music when requested by officers.

Not that it appeared to make any difference.

According to Streetsblog, Oakland police issued a statement saying Smith was taken into custody for repeatedly refusing to provide identification after officers approached him for blocking an intersection. Even though that’s not what was written in the citation.

However, police in the East Bay area have a history of cracking down on groups of young black bike riders.

And a Stanford University study showed Oakland police ticketed black riders at six times the rate of white bicyclists, in a city that’s less than one-third black.

Photo shows Najari Smith with the trailer and sound system he was using when he was arrested.

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What does it mean when the people responsible for keeping drivers from blocking bike lanes are the ones blocking them?

In more ways than one.

A bike rider who prefers to remain anonymous forwarded this video of a confrontation with an LADOT Traffic Officer who not only stopped in a DTLA bike lane in heavy traffic, but passive aggressively stood next to her car refusing to move an inch so the rider could get by.

Maybe she was under no obligation to move until she was damn good and ready.

But is it too much to expect a little common courtesy from a city employee, when stepping aside for a few seconds wouldn’t have affected her job performance in the slightest?

Apparently so.

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Once again, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office plea bargains a serious crime down to a mere caress on the wrist, as a French citizen was sentenced to time served — a lousy 18 days — for ramming his SUV into a group of people in DTLA.

That’s despite facing up to eight years on the original five counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

Seriously, how can we expect drivers to take traffic crime seriously if the DA doesn’t?

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Awhile back, we linked to a story about a rapidly growing petition from an Australian anti-bike group that was calling for bicyclists to be required to ride single file.

Now Cycling Tips reveals the results of a months-long investigation in to the hidden face behind the Facebook group behind the petition.

And their surprising discovery that it may be a well-known cyclist who turned against the local cycling community, after most of the local group rides had turned against him.

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Local

Seriously? Public TV station KCET offers ten basic bike tips for a satisfying ride. And the first one is “Wear a helmet.” As I’ve noted before, I never ride without one. But bike helmets should be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, never the first. Better advice would be telling people to ride defensively.

Keep Rowena Safe is asking for an all-hands on deck turnout for tonight’s meeting of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee, to counter a suspected effort to undo the successful Rowena road diet.

It’s going to be a busy few months on SoCal streets, as Santa Monica Next announces details of October’s two-mile COAST open streets event in the coastal community. That comes one week after the epic CicLAvia celebrating the LA Phil’s 100th birthday, and a little more than a month after Long Beach gets in on the act.

 

State

Some people just don’t get it. A community planning group in Ramona wants San Diego County to prioritize improving traffic safety before building bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Never mind that building them is how you improve traffic safety.

You’re invited to re-imagine Downtown Ontario tonight with pop-up buffered bike lanes on Euclid Avenue, as well as extended sidewalks and parklets, followed by a free concert in the town square.

A San Jose sidewalk rider asks everyone to just chill out, because he says it’s not that bad, and the streets can be dangerous. Never mind that sidewalk riding is illegal in downtown San Jose, and riding on the sidewalk actually increases your risk of a collision.

 

National

The rich get richer. Portland gets a beautiful new two-way protected bikeway through an industrial zone, even if no one knows its there.

A San Diego native plans to ride an electric wheelchair across the Cascade Mountains through Washington State to call attention to improving accessibility to the outdoors; he was paralyzed when he crashed his bike into a tree ten years ago while he was a student at UC Santa Cruz.

One Tucson AZ letter writer insists not all people on bicycles are jerks, while another says some bike riders don’t use common sense — like walking their bikes across busy intersections. Sure. As soon as drivers get out and push their cars across them.

An Op-Ed in a Colorado newspaper says mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wilderness areas.

A Colorado triathlete recounts the story of the horrifying crash with a careless driver that left her severely injured — and how the police and press got the story wrong because they could only talk with the driver afterwards.

A Colorado town pats itself on the back for improving safety for bike riders — by banning them from riding on sidewalks in the central business district.

Witness the Ofo graveyard, where yellow Dallas dockless bikeshares go to die. You’d think they could donate some of those bikes to homeless or underprivileged people. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

 

International

CNN looks at how children around the world get to school. Hint: Kids in the US don’t ride bikes. Or walk, for that matter.

A bike rider in British Columbia suffers potentially life-threatening injuries when he’s hit by a driver. But all the local paper seems to care about is the road that was closed as a result.

Calgary bicyclists complain after the city botched several bike path detours, forcing riders onto dangerous streets. Sort of like the repeated closures of the LA River bike path around Griffith Park, part of which remains closed through next year.

The Royal Canadian Mounties have recovered ten racing bikes stolen from a Malaysian track cycling team last month, hidden in an abandoned property outside of Edmonton.

An English bike rider wants to thank the bystanders who lifted a car off his leg following a crash.

A British children’s TV host is offering a reward for the return of his stolen ebike, which he named after his brother who died last year after suffering from Down’s Syndrome and dementia.

The New York Times offers a moving look at Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists murdered by ISIS terrorists in Tajikistan. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

Israel announces plans to build nearly 375 miles of bike paths to connect with existing paths, forming a 750-mile bikeway stretching across the country.

An Australian city attempts to save lives by experimenting with the equivalent of an 18 mph speed limit.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s winner of last year’s Colorado Classic will join the winner of the 2018 women’s Amgen Tour of California, and over 80 other riders, as she attempts to defend her title in this year’s race.

Aussie cyclist Simon Gerrans decides to call it a career after 14 years, with wins in Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Santos Tour Down Under, as well as stage wins in all three Grand Tours.

Maybe Gerrans shouldn’t be the only one to retire. Germany’s Tony Martin’s comeback from a fractured cervical vertebrae is on hold after his doctors say another fall right now could be fatal.

Scottish residents complain about being trapped in their homes by the time trial in the European road cycling championships.

 

Finally…

Who says you need a truck to move your belongings to a new home? Call it whatever you want, a fanny pack by any other name is still a fanny pack.

And this is not the proper way to carry a bike on your car.

Credit Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery with the link.

 

Morning Links: Sympathy for fallen LADOT Traffic Officer, and terrorist attack kills bike tourists in Tajikistan

As bike riders, we don’t hesitate to criticize LADOT when its called for.

But let’s take a moment to offer the the city’s Department of Transportation our sympathy and prayers on the death last week of LADOT Traffic Officer Gregory Park, who became collateral damage in a traffic collision as he was writing a parking ticket in Van Nuys.

I hope you’ll join me in sending our condolences to his family, friends and co-workers.

And remember that we’re not the only ones at risk on the streets.

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Yesterday we mentioned two American bike tourists who killed in Tajikistan, along with riders from Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Today we learned that the four were victims of a terrorist attack, as Islamic State claimed credit for the killings. They were run down with a car, then attacked with knives.

Three others in the group were wounded.

Authorities later killed two suspects and arrested three others, as well as recovering a car that may have been used in the attack. Another three suspects were “rendered harmless,” though it was unclear what was meant by that.

Although I’m sure we can guess.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

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Hats off to new LA Laker LeBron James for opening a new Akron, Ohio school for at-risk kids.

The goal is to help kids who are lagging behind in school and struggling at home with accelerated learning and help combating difficulties outside of the classroom.

But here’s the best part.

LeBron James often credits his bicycle as a huge factor in his childhood that gave him an escape from dangerous parts of his neighborhood and the freedom to explore — every student will receive a bicycle when they arrive.

I’ve never been a big basketball fan, but I’m starting to like this guy.

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Local

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday bike ride will explore South LA and the Watts Towers this Sunday.

Santa Monica approved a $5 million plan to quintuple the amount of green bike lanes in the city, as well as providing more secure bike parking and video bike recognition systems at red lights.

 

State

Wheel Tales is offering three community bike adventures, including four day rides along California’s Central Coast or a Santa Cruz Challenge.

Charles Hudak sends word that Ofo is not leaving Southern California, let alone the US, despite emails to that effect that went out Friday in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Speaking of San Diego, it’s less than a month away from Bike the Bay, your once-a-year chance to ride the city’s iconic San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge and cruise around the San Diego Bay.

Video shows a bike rider nearly run down on the Bay Area’s Mt. Diablo, as a tour bus drifts onto the wrong side of the road as the rider approaches.

Deontae Bush, the bike rider killed in an Oakland collision Friday night, was just pushing off from the curb after giving a woman money for bus fare when he was struck and killed.

 

National

Oh, hell no. A new bill in Congress would tax transit agencies, bicycle tires and ebike batteries to pay for the growing Highway Fund deficit instead of raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993. In other words, they want bike riders and transit users to subsidize drivers even more than we already do.

Bloomberg says Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods will make virtually every bicycle sold in the US more expensive, at a time when local bike shops are already struggling to survive.

Pacific Standard talks with Adonia Lugo about building a more inclusive bike advocacy movement.

Good piece, as CNN’s Wisdom Project considers the mindfulness and zen of bicycling. I’ve long considered bike riding a form of moving meditation.

An economist riding across the US concludes that bicycling is the third most dangerous sport, no matter how you calculate it.

Police in Houston release new video of the suspect in the fatal shooting of famed cardiologist Dr. Mark Hausknecht as he rode his bike to work.

No bias here. After a Tulsa bicyclist was killed and another rider injured when they were run down by a pickup driver, a local TV station blames the confusing bike lanes that they weren’t using, which aren’t on the street they were riding on.

Last week’s Chicago Critical Mass ended in front of city’s police headquarters to protest the department’s policy of zero-tolerance bike enforcement in black and brown communities.

Bicycling to Rhode Island’s famed Newport Folk Festival reached an all-time high, as over 1,800 people left their cars at home each day to rode to the festival.

New York could have a black, bike-riding mayor in three years if the Brooklyn borough president has his way.

Gothamist says private cars are increasingly pointless as e-moped sharing comes to New York. Meanwhile, dockless ped-assist e-bikesharing is unveiled in the Big Apple, which just legalized such lower-speed ebikes.

A Florida letter writer complains about all those inconsiderate bicyclists who park their cars at the beach to ride their bikes, as opposed to all those very considerate drivers who park at the beach to just go to the beach.

 

International

A new campaign is underway to get bicycle mayors appointed for over 100 cities around the world by 2020. Although the Los Angeles bicycle mayor would probably be too busy running for bicycle president to actually get anything done.

Caught on video: A clumsy Montreal thief dismantles a traffic sign to steal a bicycle, prompting the mayor to call for more bike parking. And this is why you never lock your bike to a sign post.

A new Toronto app allows riders to report problems with bike parking, including the need for more. Meanwhile, a new survey shows 80% of Toronto residents support building protected bike lanes, including 75% of drivers. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

As we mentioned last week, London’s new Vision Zero plan would eliminate traffic deaths by 2041. They might actually succeed, after cutting traffic fatalities nearly 50% in just the last ten years, and with an actual plan to get them the rest of the way.

After a British woman was knocked unconscious in a crash with another bicyclist, she woke up unable to remember how to speak English.

A driver in the UK gets eight years for a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a local chef as he biked home.

Great Britain is looking for ideas on how e-cargo bikes and electric transport vans can make more last mile deliveries.

Celebrate Geraint Thomas’ victory in the Tour de France with five of the best bicycling routes in Wales.

According to a Swiss study, riding an ebike less than four miles a day, at least three times a week for four weeks, is enough to start getting back into shape. Meanwhile, a writer for Bike Radar says like it or not, ebikes are here to stay, and that’s a good thing.

Korea will mandate the use of bike helmets at the end of September, though hygiene-wary bicyclists question the wisdom of shared helmets for bikeshare.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Magazine recounts five OMG moments from the Tour de France. Four of which are exactly the ones I’d list.

Cycling Weekly goes back to last winter to examine how Geraint Thomas won the Tour, while a Welsh columnist says maybe Thomas should run for first minister of Wales.

Nice piece from NPR about Texan Lawson Craddock’s last place finish in the Tour de France, riding almost all 2,082 miles with a broken shoulder blade. Needless to say, it was not easy on his mom.

In a sign of the times, officials examined bikes for motor doping over 3,000 times during the three week tour.

Ethiopian cyclist Tsgabu Grmay’s determination and thick skin has made him a two-time competitor in the Tour de France.

A writer for VeloNews decides to enter the Leadville 100 race on a mountain bike as old as he is.

Writing in Bicycling, a former racer recounts the broken promise that cost him the 2001 U-23 championship, which had haunted him ever since.

 

Finally…

Biking home after too many biers could get you a big fine. Apparently, asking a cop why he’s pulling over bicyclists on a charity ride can also get expensive.

And Cincinnati unexpectedly gets the Bird.

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever, and flipping the script on commuting

Let’s catch up with a few events.

A memorial ride will be held tonight to remember Frederick “Woon” Frazier, who was killed in a hit-and-run in South LA’s Manchester Square on Tuesday.

CICLE is co-hosting the family friendly BEST Ride: Pacific Electric Donuts to Daisies Ride this Saturday in conjunction with Bike Metro, SoCal Cross and ELP Advisors.

Third District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield is holding his rescheduled 5th Annual Blumenfield Bike Ride through Warner Center and Woodland Hills on April 21st; the original March date was postponed due to rain. This is your chance to meet the councilmember and discuss issues regarding bike safety and Vision Zero.

Also on the 21st, Orange County residents can explore a temporary pop-up bike lane and other safety and livability improvements on Merrimac Way in Costa Mesa.

CicLAvia returns from its winter hiatus with The Heart of the Foothills, a special Earth Day edition stretching from San Dimas to Claremont on April 22nd.

Bike SGV is hosting a ride through the Eaton Wash on April 29th, part of their series of SGVgreenways Exploratory Rides.

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Former LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon continues his Worst Retirement Ever series with the Taiwan KOM Challenge, Part 2: THE RACE.

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Local

News of South LA’s two hit-and-runs, including the fatal crash that killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier, has gone international.

The NRDC has teamed with LADOT to issue a set of recommendations to flip the script on commuting, and “help L.A. use shared mobility as a tool to address climate change and make transportation more accessible for all.” Los Angeles has never had a problem setting goals; it’s in turning those goals into action where the city traditionally fails.

 

State

BikeSD announces Judi Tentor as just their second Executive Director, replacing irreplaceable founder Sam Ollinger.

Santa Barbara police conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement day tomorrow. So ride to the letter of the law if you’re riding through the city.

A YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) San Francisco supervisor and mayoral candidate goes full on NIMBY in having a bikeshare dock removed from her block.

NorCal’s Caltrain will attempt to improve efficiency by allowing bicyclists to board first.

 

National

An architecture website says placing room for bicyclists and pedestrians next to autonomous cars will allow neighborhoods to reclaim even the busiest streets.

LimeBike claims their dockless bikeshare bikes and scooters have saved 540,000 pounds of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere, the equivalent of 28,000 gallons of unburned gas, in just the first three months of this year.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Wyoming man gets five years for his tenth DUI conviction after he was stopped leaving an Oregon strip club; his other nine convictions were in Wyoming. At least this time they managed to get him off the road before he killed someone, for a change.

Seattle considers a plan that would allow ebikes on five multi-use trails.

No logical disconnect here. A Colorado TV station says bicyclists run stop signs all the time, but allowing them to treat stops as yields would result in a big increase in collisions. Uh, sure. Let’s go with that.

Utah students will get a visit from competitors in the upcoming Tour of the Gila.

Kansas City residents have responded positively to road diets, as the city moves forward with plans for bikeways, including a 10-mile long bike lane. And without the near riots seen and threats to tar and feather elected officials like we’ve seen in the City of Angels.

A local TV station profiles the founder of a weekly San Antonio bike parade.

Lance Armstrong talks cycling, including the failure to build bike infrastructure in Texas and former Governor Rick Perry’s veto of a three-foot passing law. And what it feels like to have the feds closing in.

A New York nonprofit starts a weekly bike train from Brooklyn to Manhattan to ease the pain for commuters when a subway line shuts down for repairs next year.

Here’s your chance to cover New York and national transportation issues for Streetsblog as their new editor-in-chief. The only downside is you’d have to move to the Big Apple.

In one of the most wrong-headed commentaries in recent memory, a Staten Island writer says they should declare themselves a traffic sanctuary, and refuse to obey any traffic laws that inconvenience them in the slightest, from the new 25 mph speed limit to speed and red light enforcement, and parking in bike lanes whenever they damn well feel like it.

A Florida bicyclist gets a $113 ticket just for taking the lane.

 

International

A Canadian letter writer fails to grasp that not everyone has to ride a bike to see major traffic and community benefits, and those who do don’t have to do it all the time, or on every trip.

Momentum Magazine profiles Canada’s nationwide bike advocacy organization.

Cardiff, Wales is proposing a network of five fully separated cycle superhighways.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a careless truck careless truck driver gets off with just 80 hours of community service for running down two bicyclists, killing a man visiting from Japan and injuring another from the UK.

A New Zealand writer wonders if ebikes could solve Auckland’s traffic problems, although lower prices and more sizing options would help.

An Aussie radio station apparently believes that bike helmets prevent nose, mouth and jaw injuries.

City Metric considers how China fell in love with dockless bikeshare. Although considering the number of abandoned and vandalized bikes blocking city sidewalks, I’m not sure love is the right word.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just a week after winning Paris-Roubaix, Peter Sagan will be back in action at Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race.

Peloton talks with Silvan Diller, the unsung Swiss cyclist who became the hero of Paris-Roubaix by finishing an unexpected second to Sagan.

Big step forward for Saudi Arabia, which held its first women’s bike race, even if some people felt women sweating on bikes were just too seductive.

Hopefully Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin won’t have to take another dump on the side of the road at this year’s Tour of Italy, after being diagnosed with problems tolerating lactose and fructose.

You can watch this year’s Giro in the US and Canada, as well as the Amstel Gold, as long as you’re willing to fork over $30 a month, or $150 a year.

 

Finally…

Here’s the real cause of traffic — no dogs on trains. Sometimes Last is first.

And yes, it’s still illegal to pay kids to steal bikes for you, even if you don’t steal them yourself.

 

Morning Links: LADOT’s new focus on “transportation happiness,” and LA BAC meets tomorrow in Hollywood

LADOT chief and NACTO president Seleta Reynolds explains how Los Angeles is adapting urban mobility for the digital age — including an emphasis on transportation happiness.

To achieve that, she says,

We are currently drafting a Mobility Bill of Rights to identify core principles like reliability, safety, comfort, equity, transparency, and community that should be the foundation of services we provide or allow to serve Los Angeles. Each of these principles has a set of key performance indicators that we will baseline with Angelenos in order to guide improvements to existing service, like taxis and transit, and help us to regulate new services as they come into the city.

Of course, if the city really wants to increase transportation happiness, they’d place a greater emphasis on bike riding and safer streets, since bike riders are the happiest commuters.

Today’s photo show a new bike box next to Hollywood High School.

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The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet this Tuesday at the Hollywood City Hall.

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Local

CiclaValley notes a Baby on Board sticker doesn’t stop a driver from texting.

A Santa Clarita radio station reports on the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition’s introductory bike ride along local trails this Saturday.

Santa Monica is hosting a safe streets open house tomorrow night to consider a makeover of 17th Street.

 

State

Bike riders offered warning about the dangers of self-driving cars before Uber decamped for Arizona to avoid regulation restrictions in California — and before Elaine Herzberg was killed as she walked her bike across a Tempe street.

Australian BMX champ Sam Willoughby continues to make progress at his San Diego home, two years after a crash in competition left him paralyzed from the chest down.

A San Diego Op-Ed says the city has to prioritize bikes and transit if it’s going to have any hope of meeting its climate goals.

Palo Alto is already backpedalling on ambitious plans to install eleven roundabouts, even before the first one opens.

After a news story last week revealed San Leandro police could be breaking the law in their crackdown on teen bike riders, they respond by accusing bicycle flash mobs of disrupting traffic. Which does not justify illegal bike seizures or assaulting kids on bikes.

Bike rentals have begun for the year in Yosemite. Although someone should tell NBC Bay Area to hire a decent proof reader; pretty sure they meant rentable, not rentalable.

 

National

A 1,300-mile bike ride this month will connect all three 9/11 crash sites for the first time.

A Missoula MT letter writer says studies show businesses don’t need wide streets to succeed, and the city can make better use of excess capacity. Which should be mandatory reading for anyone who complains about LA lane reductions.

Bicycling brought $137 million in health and business benefits to Northwest Arkansas last year, after two counties build 163 miles of bike trails over the last ten years.

An Indiana reporter says you don’t have to be a bicyclist to not want to see another ghost bike.

A new US bike route route could be coming to southern Kentucky.

A Connecticut reporter learns the benefits of bikeshare firsthand.

Pedaling in Palm Beach in the 1930, on the first balloon tires, in a bike club founded by the Schwinn founder’s son-in-law.

Streetsblog says instead of the failed pedestrian bridge that collapsed and killed several people, why not a complete streets makeover of the entire roadway?

 

International

A proposed Quebec law would dramatically jack up fines for scofflaw bicyclists.

The Guardian reviews MAMIL, the documentary featuring LA’s Eastside Bike Club, and partly filmed at Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa.

A local paper examines why Cambridge is the UK’s leading cycling city.

The family of a popular Welsh chef and triathlete who was killed in a crash while on a training ride last year are opening a school in Fiji in his honor.

A new British survey shows ebikes are a hit with riders over 55, while a Kiwi columnist suggests ebikes will be a passing fad like adult tricycles. Note to world: If anyone ever calls me a “silver cyclist,” I’ll go buy a cane and beat them mercilessly with it.

A Zimbabwean man has died in Belgium, over a decade after he was brought to the country to train as a cyclist as part of a TV show.

Pakistani women ride to protest sexual harassment and fight to reclaim their place in public spaces.

South Korean bike makers struggle as air pollution and a lack of infrastructure discourages people from getting on their bikes in the country.

Singapore learns that a heavy hand is no panacea when it comes to dealing with abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

Hong Kong puts the blame on reckless bike riders for last year’s nearly 2,000 crashes, rather than the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutchman Niki Terpstra won this year’s Tour of Flanders in a solo breakaway; countrywoman Anna van der Breggen took the women’s title. A massive crash caused Team Sky’s captain to get DQ’d for riding off the course. SoCal’s Coryn Rivera discusses the emotions she went through after winning last year’s race

Don’t expect any resolution to the Chris Froome doping allegations anytime soon; the case is expected to continue until after this year’s Tour de France.

A Denver Post columnist questions the wisdom of underground bike races on public trails, but doesn’t seem to really mind. Although someone should tell him that LA’s Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race hasn’t been held for a few years now.

 

Finally…

It may be a bicycling paradise, but you still have to follow the rules. Your next bike seat might look funny, but feel better.

And nothing like skitching at highway speeds, sans helmet.

Not that one would help at those speeds.

Morning Links: Crosswalk running parking cop, talking bike theft on Bike Talk, and Blessing of the Bicycles set

Curbed says city officials think Angelenos don’t understand how dangerous our streets really are, while bike and pedestrian advocates just wish they’d commit to fixing them.

On the other hand, our streets might be safer if LADOT’s parking enforcement officers stopped for people in crosswalks, too.

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The latest edition of Bike Talk feature’s Bryan Hance of Bike Index talking bike theft and prevention with yours truly and Carlos Morales of Stan’s Bike Shop.

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My favorite event of the annual LA Bike Week is set for May 15th, with the nondenominational Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Sam Hospital.

This year they’ll be honoring Metro with the Golden Spoke Award.

Here’s the spoke card for the event.

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It was a bad day for a bike-riding refugee kid in Texas, and stroller-riding kids in New York.

The Netherlands became safer when they got tired of burying children killed by cars. But you have to wonder if America’s kindermord moment will ever come, if it hasn’t already.

Then again, we don’t seem to place much value on kids killed by guns, either.

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Local

The LAPD is looking for a missing 16-year old girl suffering from autism and depression, who may be riding a bicycle.

The Capital & Main website says Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel could just make things worse for Los Angeles by amplifying existing inequities. And the real solution is to get more cars off the road, not trying to reinvent the subway.

A new ranking of America’s best fondos rates Phil Gaimon’s Phil’s Cookie Fondo #8 in the US in just its 3rd year; last weekend’s Malibu GRANFONDO was ranked 13th, and the Campagnolo GranFondo San Diego was 3rd.

Maybe there really will be a Marathon Crash Ride this year after all.

 

State

Officials have broken ground on bike and pedestrian projects in Encinitas designed to provide safe routes under an I-5 overpass.

A Santa Cruz writer says safe and convenient biking and walking can reduce the county’s deep social inequality.

The National Park Service could reopen an off-road trail to give bicyclists crossing the Golden Gate Bridge a safer route into Sausalito.

An Oakland letter writer says putting in a road diet is an “experiment by the traffic calming industry that is using social engineering and behavior modification” to force people onto bikeshare bikes. They’re onto us, comrades.

A Sacramento paper says dockless bikeshare could reduce traffic and ease commutes on a local highway.

Chico bicyclists ride to remember a man who remained a dedicated bike advocate up to his death five years ago, even after a collision that left him a quadriplegic.

 

National

Hawaii bicyclists are calling for the passage of a three-foot passing law. Twentynine states currently require at least a three-foot distance to pass a bicyclist, including California.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a Las Vegas mom.

Would you want to ride on the Donald J. Trump Utah National Parks Highway?

A road-raging Santa Fe NM driver admits to slamming on his brakes and backing into a senior citizens bike club, sending one rider to the hospital. Of course, in his telling, he’s the innocent victim of the rude and offensive riders who slammed into his car, then wanted to fight him; fortunately, he fled the scene before granny could kick his ass. And needless to say, he got off with a just a traffic ticket. 

Oklahoma City opens a new eight-mile bike path named after the late, great Will Rogers.

In what could be a huge leap in rehabilitation, a man who was paralyzed from the shoulders down in a bike crash was able to feed himself with his own hand and arm at an Ohio University, thanks to electrical brain implants connected to a computer system.

A Charlotte NC business site says developers have to do their part if it’s going to become a bike city.

A North Carolina man gets 28 years behind bars for beating a bike rider to death after the victim complained about a too-close pass — and possibly used racial slurs. The driver’s son, who was 16-years old at the time of the attack, faces charges for joining in the road rage attack.

 

International

Cycling Tips unwraps the mysteries of handlebar tape.

Carlton Reid of Bike Biz says bike mechanics are worth their weight in gold. Seriously, when you find a good wrench, you should treat him or her like your bike’s best friend. Because they are.

Great idea. An English community group is looking for volunteers to help disabled riders go mountain biking on adult tricycles and three-wheeled handcycles.

The Evening Standard offers tips on how to travel with your bike.

Britain’s proposed law banning dangerous cycling could carry a life sentence for fatal crashes; drivers currently face a maximum of 14 years, though that may be raised to match the bike bill.

Unbelievable. An Irish court rules that a driver had no obligation to back out carefully from a walled-off driveway with no view of the sidewalk, after bicyclist crashed into the side of his car.

Even in the Netherlands, you need to know how to ride your bike safely.

The UN is getting into the bikeshare business, opening a system for staff and visitors at their Nairobi office.

Britain’s Daily Mail says an “activist” cycling group in Melbourne, Australia, is fighting to remove fines for not wearing a bike helmet.  Which seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for “activists” to advocate for.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins says allegations that he doped are part of a malicious smear campaign. Which is pretty much what everyone who has been caught doping has said.

The Guardian says the evidence of doping around Team Sky cyclists and other pro athletes shows deep corruption and a “culture of studied evasion.”

 

Finally…

If you can’t get a bikeshare bike in Paris, just buy one already. How do you take the lane when you’re riding in boat traffic?

And evidently, you need to put turn signals on your bike. Because those darn hand signals are just so 2017.

 

Guest Post: CD1’s Gil Cedillo blocks Vision Zero complete street project on Temple Street

We’ve talked a lot on here about North Figueroa. And how CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo singlehandedly blocked a shovel-ready complete streets project designed to tame the deadly street.

Less discussed is how committed Cedillo has been about blocking any similar projects in his district. Including a long-planned lane reduction on Temple Street that crosses council district boundaries.

Derrick Paul writes today to explain what’s going on with Temple.

Or not, in this case

………

I recently discovered a proposal to improve street safety near my neighborhood has been quietly canceled. LADOT proposed a group of projects around the middle of 2017 in support of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, which is a commitment to stop tolerating traffic-related injuries and fatalities on city streets.

One of the streets included — Temple Street — is directly adjacent to my neighborhood. The street carves through numerous street-facing residences and intersects several commercial corridors, connecting residents with businesses and public facilities (schools, parks, a library). However, like many streets in Los Angeles, this very localized thru-fare is also very large, and accommodates little else besides passing automobile traffic.

Crossing the street is a daring negotiation, and attempting to use a bicycle along it is hostile and outright dangerous, pushing any reasonable person to the sidewalk. The Vision Zero project called for numerous infrastructure changes to improve safety for all users of the street, but it’s implementation, set for completion last month, never materialized.

I learned that our district councilman stopped LADOT from moving forward. This is very surprising, as there had been no meetings with my neighborhood, no general outreach to constituents of the community. The project had been shelved with no public explanation.

Seeking further information from Council District 1, which is represented by Gil Cedillo, I reached out through one of his social media channels. I asked why his office doesn’t support mobility safety in our community. A response eventually came, but in the form of another question. “I support vehicle and pedestrian safety in our district. What makes you think otherwise?” he or someone associated claimed. After pointing to his contradicting decisions and pressing for further details, the chat went silent  His form of outreach and accessibility turned out to be lip service, a façade of transparency. So I dug a little further and found this ground had been covered before.

In 2014, residents in Highland Park ran into a similar obstacle. After years of outreach and effort, advocates found their push for better street conditions unilaterally halted by Gil Cedillo. Initially promising constituents he would support their process, which had preceded him under councilmember Ed Reyes (who termed out in 2013), Gil Cedillo changed his mind once winning his election and denied LADOT the authority to implement the project.

Pushes to convince Cedillo to move forward with the project, as he promised, yielded divisive, charade meetings, little reasonable conversation or explanation, and little actual engagement. Pressure from advocates eventually ended with a letter from Cedillo, declaring his decision to indefinitely halt the project and expressing a list of alternatives, which strangely excluded the bicycle lane that formed the centerpiece of the project advocates long pushed for. Nearly four years later, most of Cedillo’s alternatives never materialized.

During this inaction, several people died or suffered severe injuries from traffic collisions along Figueroa Street. The history I reference is well documented in the archives of a blog maintained during the time.

From 2013 to 2017, 23 people suffered severe injuries along the dangerous stretch of Temple Street near me, 5 of them fatal. Under a backdrop of this much carnage, our street has a lot of room for improvement, and our city’s department of transportation recognizes this and has done the hard work of designing, proposing, and funding a project to do so. Yet my city councilman mysteriously wants to keep it from moving forward. It’s really baffling. Is it out of spite? What stake does he have in keeping the street dangerous? None of this is clear. I could understand if Cedillo had made this decision out of a genuine concern of the community, but his decision is unilateral.

Our councilman should be supportive, not disconnecting from his constituents and making these very important decisions on his own. Is it not us who he is representing and responsive to?

The lack of engagement is reflected in our district webpage, where a photo of a smiling Gilbert Cedillo is surrounded by a ghostly shell of text, devoid of many community updates. Our councilmen and councilwomen practically have the power of kings in their jurisdiction, and unfortunately we have to pray they are virtuous enough to empower us. There are engaged constituents in District 1 interested in working to solve problems in our community. Momentum to reconfigure our most dangerous streets to a safer layout, as Vision Zero proposes, is an easy one, and Cedillo should support it. The alternative is dangerous streets that continue to fail us.

Fortunately all is not lost. Temple Street crosses through two districts — District 1 and 13. District 13, overseen by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, plans to support the project.

Photos of Temple Street by Derrick Paul

………

Here’s the contact page for Cedillo’s office , as well as Mitch O’Farrel’s, if you want to let them know what you think. 

One of them might actually listen to you.

 

Morning Links: LADOT releases three-year strategic plan, and GOP bill would require Vehicle Code on bike paths

LADOT released their strategic plan for the next three years.

The bicycling portion of the plan calls for filling in gaps in the bicycle network and a focus on first and last mile connections to transit, as well as improving connections to the LA River bike path, after the city installed just 26 miles of bike infrastructure last year.

LADOT shifted their measurements to lane miles a few years back, so in actuality, they only installed bikeways on 13 miles of roadway — far from the 40 miles a year we were promised in the 2010 bike plan. Those could also include sharrows and bike routes, further reducing their value.

And there’s no word on whether that 26 miles includes the bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were ripped out after angry drivers cowed city officials into backing down.

The city will continue to focus on Vision Zero and the High Injury Network, so we may see some additional improvements there.

But it looks like anyone hoping LADOT and the City of Los Angeles would actually move forward with the multiple bicycle networks we were promised in the hard-fought bike plan, now part of the city’s mobility plan, will be very disappointed.

Then again, most of us would be happy with a single bike network that actually went somewhere.

………

Get ready to signal your turns and ride to the right on bike paths.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that Republican members of the state assembly have submitted a bill that impose the same vehicle code statutes that drivers are required to follow on anyone who rides a bicycle on any publicly maintained trail, road or bikeway.

In other words, if a driver has to pass a bicycle with a three-foot passing distance, so would you. If a driver has to signal a lane change — not that many do — you would, too. And if you rode off after colliding with someone, you could be charged with hit-and-run.

Of course, you’d also have to turn on your lights and windshield wipers if it rained, have windshield and side mirrors, and only leave the door of your bicycle open long enough to get in and out.

In other words, it’s a stupid law that would have ridiculous and unpredictable consequences.

Masoner suggests it might merely be a placeholder to meet the legislature’s cutoff date for introducing new bills, with the intention that it would be gutted and replaced with something different at a later date.

Although he notes it also appears to be a response to this case from Sacramento, where a runner was seriously injured in a collision with a man on a bike, who just rode off afterwards. And the local DA couldn’t figure out if the hit-and-run statutes applied to a crash on a bike path.

However, if that’s the case, then the proper response would be to specify that hit-and-run is hit-and-run, no matter where or how it occurs.

A heavy handed, scattergun approach like this is the worst possible way to go about it.

On the other hand, the GOP’s minority status in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature means there’s almost no chance this bill will actually go anywhere.

………

Today’s common theme is stolen bicycles.

The Davis police association teamed with a community church to buy a new recumbent tricycle for a local woman suffering from ALS, after hers was stolen Wednesday morning. And yes, there’s most certainly a special place in hell for whoever took her bike.

It takes a real jerk to steal an Aussie boy’s $2,000 mountain bike that he worked for two years to buy. On the other hand, his mom’s decision to leave it outside and unlocked while they went to diner wasn’t the brightest move, either.

And don’t even get me started on the kind of person who’d steal a vintage bike that an 88-year old British man had ridden since 1949.

………

Local

Streetsblog is accepting votes for the advocate of the year through next Wednesday.

Doug Moore forwards the latest update on the MyFigueroa project, noting that work appears to have stalled out in recent weeks.

A passing mountain biker discovered a mobile home on fire in Castaic, where a woman’s body was found inside.

Santa Monica police will be running another bike and pedestrian safety operation today and Monday. Standard protocol applies: Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls this Sunday with a mini food tour in Southeast LA.

 

State

Highway 101 could undergo a road diet in Carlsbad to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

WTF? A San Diego cop actually watches an elderly driver right hook a bike rider and then flee the scene, yet doesn’t bother to make an arrest. Seriously, why would anyone take hit-and-run seriously if the police don’t?

San Luis Obispo officials are debating which of two bike boulevard proposals to move forward with, while some residents prefer none of the above.

San Francisco officials and advocates discuss the city’s progress on Vision Zero.

A Bay Area paper lists nine unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade. As long as you’re very flexible on your definition of a bike.

A pair of Marin doctors got busted for illegally riding their bikes on prohibited trails, then trying to evade arrest; one of the men has a long history of riding outside the lines.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get a better bike butt.

Nothing like absolving a drunk of responsibility with passive language. An Oregon bicyclist is dead because a drunk driver “failed to negotiate a curve.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Portland is “completely overrated as a bike city.”

Life is cheap in Washington, where a driver was sentenced to just three months of house arrest. Or as most people would call it, a staycation.

A Dallas-Fort Worth TV station says abandoned LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes are turning into a bike apocalypse. Evidently, they have a very low standard for the end of the world in Texas.

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Participants in a frozen Chicago New Year’s Day ride saved the life of an elderly man who had apparently wandered off from a nursing home without a hat, coat or gloves in subfreezing temperatures. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Apparently, there’s nothing to stop drivers from taking a shortcut along a DC bike path.

A Florida DOT spokesman gets sharrows wrong, saying bike riders have the right to use the entire lane, but should ride to the right anyway. Sharrows actually indicate the proper lane positioning for people on bikes on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

 

International

The CBC talks to Canadian frostbikers to discover why they like to keep riding through the winter, and whether cars and bikes can coexist on snowy streets.

A 27-year old London woman is committing to riding a bicycle again for the first time in 13 years, even though she’s afraid of riding around cars.

Scottish advocates are calling for all motor vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which can be set to keep drivers from speeding, though it can be overridden with the push of a button.

WTF? After an Irish bicyclist records himself being “bumped” by a driver, but the police say it wasn’t a collision.

Evidently, the courts aren’t any tougher on killer drivers in Ireland than they are here.

Irish biking groups complain about a Twitter poll run by the local police that asked if it was more dangerous for bicyclists to run red lights or vehicles to park in bike lanes; needless to say, the driving public overwhelmingly blamed the people on bikes.

Finland considers offering consumer subsidies for ebikes to encourage their use.

The war on bikes goes on, as one Australian rider is forced off the road by an angry driver, and another pushed off his bike after the man stops to yell at him following a punishment pass.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new BBC documentary looks at why cycling is more than a sport in Colombia.

You may soon be able to invest in the Chinese parent company behind the Ironman and Tour de Suisse.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome was a bad, bad boy and deserves to be punished.

Hundreds of cyclists turn out for a ride to honor Jason Lowndes; the rising young Australian was killed in collision while on a training ride just before Christmas.

Red Bull says cyclocross is the perfect winter biking pursuit.

 

Finally…

Lots of people try to steal their bikes back, just not from the police. Wayfinding is always more fun when it points the wrong way.

And now you, too, can ride in Patrick Swayze’s lightly worn cycling shorts.

 

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

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

………

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

………

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

Bicycling looks at the science behind those WTF areo tucks.

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

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

………

Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Morning Links: Petition to ban bikes on Mandeville, Mowery moves on, and LA leaders keep our streets dangerous

They just don’t get it.

Todd Munson forwards news of an online petition calling for a ban on bicycles on Mandeville Canyon and Westridge Roads in West LA.

Which as of early Thursday morning, had managed to collect a whopping 70 signatures — 44 of them anonymous.

Maybe someone should point out that an anonymous signature is the same as no signature at all. Which leaves just 26 people brave, and mistaken, enough to put their name where their mouth is.

Mistaken, because California law allows bicycles on any public roadway where motor vehicles are allowed, with the exception of some limited access highways.

Which means that the only ways to ban bicycles from those roads is to —

A) Change the state law;

B) Start a crowdsourcing campaign to raise the several million dollars it would take to buy the roadways from the city, and convert them into private streets; or

C) Ban all motor vehicles from the streets, requiring residents to walk up the steep hillsides to get to their homes.

Personally, I’m all in favor of the last option; if they want to get rid of bikes, they can give up their expensive cars and massive SUVs. At which point they’d complain about all the damn hikers clogging the streets.

Then again, there is one other option.

They could accept that the public roadways belong to the public, and that anyone who wants to use them is entitled to do so, for any reason, using any form of street legal conveyance. And then slow the hell down and learn to drive safely.

But that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

Which is not to say the people on bikes aren’t part of the problem.

We can all make a point to be more courteous and ride safely, and make room for others on the road to get by when it’s safe to do so.

Even if we’re the only ones who do it.

………

Congratulations to Michelle Mowery on her new job with the City of Long Beach.

It was under her leadership as Senior Bicycle Coordinator for LADOT that Los Angeles was named a Bicycle Friendly Community in 2012.

She spent years struggling with LADOT’s notoriously auto-centric senior engineers — and often, the city’s more vocal bike advocates. But showed what she could do when she finally got the chance under former Mayor Villaraigosa.

Too bad the progress they made has come to a screeching halt since then.

………

Here’s a must read from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who asks why city leaders want to keep LA streets dangerous.

Meanwhile, LA transportation advocates call on Mayor Garcetti to keep his promise to use Measure M funds to improve safety on LA streets, accusing the city of backpedalling on Vision Zero.

………

Bring a bike — or a helmet — and ride free on Metro buses and trains today.

And don’t forget tonight’s Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hours, in Claremont, Downtown LA and Santa Monica, just to name a few. Just try not to be like the beer-toting guy at the bottom of this post.

………

The highlight of the Giro so far: Belgian cyclist Victor Campenaerts asked out the woman of his dreams by writing a message on his chest before competing in Wednesday’s time trial; fortunately, she said yes, especially since he was fined the equivalent of $87 for “damaging the image of the sport.

Cycling Weekly asks if Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin can hold the leader’s pink jersey all the way to the Giro’s finish in Milan.

Wednesday’s fourth stage of the Amgen Tour of California finished with a five man breakaway in Santa Clarita. The Daily News says today’s fifth stage Mt. Baldy finish will be a contest to see who has the best legs.

Heartbreaking news from San Jose, where a cyclist was killed just hours after posting a video from the Tour of California as he was riding on the same descent where Toms Skujins crashed during Monday’s stage 2; he went over his handlebars trying to stop when he encountered a fire truck coming uphill as he was descending on a narrow road.

Bicycling says pro cycling has to address the risk of concussion, like pro football is just beginning to do.

………

Local

The LACBC offers advice on what to do if you get a ticket riding your bike. Which is timely advice, since the tone-deaf LA County Sheriff’s Department celebrated Bike Week by cracking down on bike riders in Malibu yesterday.

This is all it takes to commute to UCLA from Santa Monica by bicycle.

Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV education director Jose Jimenez about the county’s first bike traffic school.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever robbed a 72-year old Irwindale man at gunpoint as he rode his bicycle home from a doctor’s appointment, after cutting him off with their car.

Writing for the International Journal of Transportation Innovation, the LACBC’s Tamika Butler asks uneasy questions about the role of Vision Zero in a racist society, and whether the engineers and policy makers responsible for implementing it have the skills to rectify inequity in city planning.

 

State

Thousands are expected to take part in San Diego’s Bike to Work Day.

Two dozen riders turn out for the Ride of Silence in Riverside, joining riders from around the world.

KTLA-5 talks Bike Week with Jenson USA in Riverside.

Bike-friendly Redlands ups the ante by making plans for another 26 miles of bike lanes.

Caltrans plans to install green bike lanes on both sides of the exceptionally wide five lane main street through Joshua Tree. Not just to improve safety for bike riders, but to save the lives of pedestrians.

Bad news from Turlock, where a man on a bike was run down from behind by a pickup driver. Note to Turlock Journal: When someone is hit by a truck doing nearly 60 mph, it really doesn’t matter if he was wearing a helmet. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

National

A real estate website says yes, it is possible to live in the suburbs without a car.

A new nationwide insurance policy promises to provide liability coverage for bike riders anywhere in the US. Although here in California, your car insurance should cover you on your bike.

Blind Paralympic cyclist and Iditarod musher Rachael Scdoris-Salerno announces plans to run for Congress as an Oregon Democrat.

In yet another example of allowing dangerous drivers to remain on the road until they kill someone, an Oregon driver gets three and a half years for killing a bike rider, by driving with bald tires that caused his truck to fishtail in wet weather. He admitted to receiving somewhere between 30 to 40 tickets for driving with a suspended license, but would just buy another cheap used car when his got impounded.

Colorado passes a bill that will allow the state to suspend driver’s licenses drivers who flee the scene of an injury collision, regardless of whether they’re convicted. Which is something I’ve been advocating for years.

Slap, meet wrist. A Wisconsin woman was sentenced to 11 months behind bars for killing a bicyclist while texting — to be served one week a year on the anniversary of his death, apparently for the next 50 years.

Revenge is a dish best served cold when a squirrel makes you do a faceplant off your bike, as long as you’re a Chicago alderman.

Surprising no one, the NTSB concludes that the Kalamazoo crash that resulted in the death of five cyclists was due to a drugged driver, as a judge rules the driver’s prior DUI arrest can’t be used as evidence. The victims were remembered during Wednesday’s Ride of Silence.

Boston’s mayor says cyclists and pedestrians need to take more responsibility to avoid crashes, and “be more cognizant that a car is a car.” Because so many people who walk or ride bikes have no idea that getting hit by a car can hurt, apparently.

A Florida writer tells drivers to thank a cyclist. Or if they can’t manage that, at least put down their phones.

 

International

We missed Global Bike to Work Day by one week; riders logged 276,818 commutes on Strava, breaking the previous record by nearly 200,000.

Maybe there’s a forgotten network of 1930s separated bikeways here in the US, too.

Volvo’s LifePaint ad has been banned in the UK for misleading imagery; the reflective spray, which the company said works on any surface, was designed to work on dry textiles and fibrous materials, not bike frames, as the ad suggests.

Caught on video: Evidently, things are no different on the Emerald Isle than anywhere else, as an Irish cyclist records a 52-second highlight reel of punishment passes.

It took a bike thief just three seconds to make off with a Dublin bikeshare bike using a technique posted online.

Motorcycle legend Nicky Hayden was seriously injured in a bicycling collision in Italy on Wednesday, reportedly suffering severe head and chest trauma.

Adding insult to injury, a road-raging Kiwi driver tried to punch a bike rider and spit in his face after trying to ram him into a fence.

 

Finally…

If you have to get run down by an 80-something hit-and-run driver, at least make it a Rolls Royce. If you’re riding drunk and carrying a beer on your bike, try to avoid people driving at nearly four times the legal alcohol limit.

And our own Phil Gaimon reaches new heights in his Clif Bar commercial debut on Kimmel.

Morning Links: New bike lanes go nowhere in Echo Park, and Laura Chick endorses Joe Bray-Ali in CD1

The more I think about it, the madder I get.

Los Angeles took what appears to be a small step forward by installing bike lanes on dangerous Glendale Blvd in Echo Park as part of a repaving project over the weekend.

Three whole blocks, that is. With no plans to extend them in any direction.

In other words, yet another in LA’s dystopian non-network of disconnected bike lanes that don’t go anywhere or connect to anything.

They just are. Which may be very Zen. But it’s also just this side of worthless.

More troubling is why.

Why not extend bike lanes further south on Glendale to Downtown and north to Silver Lake? Apparently that would involve far more than restriping the road.

“Extending bike lanes north would require Caltrans involvement as [Glendale Boulevard] becomes a State Highway (Route 2) north of Berkeley,” Fremaux explained. “On either end, the existing width would not allow for the extension without removing lanes and/or parking. Exploring such an effort is not in our near-term workplan.”

Let that sink in.

They’re more than happy to install a bike lane as part of a repaving project, but only as long as it doesn’t inconvenience anyone.

As far as the city is concerned, your life and safety are less important than a parking space. Let alone your comfort and convenience on the road.

Which is the exact opposite of Vision Zero.

And the opposite of what cities like New York, Portland and Vancouver are doing by narrowing roads and removing parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. And resulting in not just better safety, but improved traffic flow, increased livability and better sales figures for businesses along the routes.

We expected better from Mayor Eric Garcetti and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. But until they’re willing to make the hard choices and stand up to local opposition and sometimes recalcitrant councilmembers, we’re not going to get it.

So we’ll have to settle for a disconnected non-network of three-block long bike lanes that don’t go anywhere.

Or protect anyone.

………

Former city controller Laura Chick becomes the latest to endorse Joe Bray-Ali, saying “It’s important to have ethical and responsible leadership.”

Meanwhile, Jesse Creed offers lessons learned in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Paul Koretz in CD5.

………

San Diego’s Jennifer Valente won her second world championship as part of the first place US team in the four-member women’s team pursuit.

Britain’s Team Sky is being investigated for violating the “no needles” rule, accused of injecting riders with an amino acid that aids muscle recovery.

A spectator may have deliberately tried to bring down Czech cyclist Zdenek Stybar at last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.

Here’s your chance to get a spot on a pro cycling team. But only if you can beat another amateur rider in a head-to-head TV show competition.

………

Local

USC removes bike racks and impounds eighty bicycles in preparation for next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; students can get them back at no charge.

Brompton and Just Ride LA will hold a bike scavenger hunt in DTLA on the 30th.

June’s CicLAvia will roll through Glendale and Atwater Village.

CiclaValley says trucks are being banished from parking on Riverside Drive, which should make room for bicycles.

A writer for the Glendale News Press says the bicycle is man’s best inanimate friend. Meanwhile, financial writer Richard Reis calls it the ultimate money-saving device.

There’s an election in Pasadena next Tuesday for the last remaining seat on the city council between incumbent Andy Wilson, who supports the new Union Street cycle track and the coming bikeshare system, and challenger Phil Hosp, who complains about being stuck in traffic caused by the Gold Line.

Megan Lynch tweetstorms the story of nearly getting run over by a cyclist barreling down a South Pasadena sidewalk.

 

State

Cycling Weekly offers six reasons you should go cycling in California. Although the best one is it’s just outside your door.

A Santa Barbara paper looks at the success to Stinner Frameworks, which has grown from a local bikemaker to an internationally recognized brand.

It was a case of instant karma in Santa Rosa, when a driver who circled around to harass a bicyclist lost control of his car and crashed into a parked truck. Although someone should ask the Press Democrat what the hell difference it makes whether the bike rider was a transient.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bike rider was killed when a driver ran down his allegedly lightless bicycle from behind.

Tesla is paying employees to bike to work to deal with chronic parking overcrowding at their Palo Alto headquarters.

 

National

More Americans now work from home than bike and walk to work combined. Which is good for removing cars from the road, not so good for public health.

Ten things to do if you’re injured in a bike crash.

A new solar powered bike lock offers a double locking mechanism making it twice as hard to pick, and will notify you by Bluetooth if someone tries to break it.

A Montana paper says a state senator’s anti-bike campaign isn’t funny, and has already done damage to the state’s reputation.

Arkansas is the latest state to pass ebike legislation based on the California model.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where killing a member of the Triathlon Hall of Fame as she was riding her bike is only worth a lousy $3,000 fine.

A New York bike rider is asking a judge for a default judgment against the city’s former mayor after 89-year old David Dinkins refuses to sit for a deposition in the hit-and-run case.

A DC man has been charged with disobeying a traffic signal for killing a Kiplinger’s editor as she was crossing the street when he crashed his bike into her. He’ll be lucky if he avoids more serious, and possibly deserved, charges in the case.

New Orleans thinks twice after starting to remove a guerilla ghost bike sculpture installed on a median.

The last of Miami’s cocaine cowboys is one of us, too; Gustavo Falcon was busted while riding with his wife near Disney World after 26 years on the run.

 

International

Costa Rica’s state-owned bank is encouraging employees to bike to work, offering a bike parking area, lockers, and dressing rooms with showers.

A British man gets death threats after posting video of kids popping wheelies and riding with no hands, but at least one finger.

A new online tool shows how various factors can be changed to increase bicycling rates throughout the UK.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine talks with London’s former cycling commissioner, who says the vast majority of road space is given to the least efficient users of it.

A new Singapore bikeshare company is offering a system that will award or deduct points based on rider behavior, which will determine how much they pay for their next ride.

 

Finally…

Actually, most elephants do look good in Lycra. It will be Lady Pippa next time she Races Across America.

And no, a mall is not a BMX track.

 

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