Tag Archive for LADOT

Morning Links: Safety improvements on Riverside Drive, and bike riding makes you happier than money

Just weeks after advocates and local residents demanded action on Riverside Drive, they’re actually getting it.

LADOT has announced it’s making safety improvements to the Riverside Drive intersection where 17-year old Christian Vega was killed when he was struck by a driver.

Although that news is tempered by the LAPD’s conclusion that the driver wasn’t at fault, after security video showed that Vega was crossing against the light.

Now if we could just get fast action like that before someone gets killed.

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Somehow we missed this one last week.

A new study from researchers at Yale and Oxford shows that exercise makes you happier then money.

But you already knew that, right?

Then again, riding a bike with a fat wallet would probably put a smile on anyone’s face.

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That GoFundMe account for the son of fallen South LA bike rider Frederick “Woon” Frazier is now over $5,000, halfway to the $10,000 goal.

That comes just 24 hours after Peter Flax’s article appeared in Bicycling with a link to the fund.

Which will undoubtedly come as a huge blessing to his desperately poor family, after losing Woon’s income that helped pay for half their rent and expenses.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. Even Rolls Royce drivers in DTLA don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a crash.

CiclaValley goes gravel biking on the Santa Clara Truck Trail.

State

This is who we share the roads with too. An Orange County man got 15 years behind bars for killing two road workers in a drunken crash when he slammed into their truck as it was stopped in a bike lane; he was arraigned on a previous DUI in 2014, but never bothered to show up to court.

He gets it. A San Diego letter writer says painting sharrows on the street to encourage more bicycling is just wishful thinking.

A Corona teacher started a nonprofit called Bicycles for Children, which has helped keep kids in school by donating over 4,700 bikes to elementary school kids in the last seven years.

A 13-year old Los Alamos boy who was riding salmon suffered major injuries when he was struck by a right-turning driver.

National

Bike Mag explains the differences in the technologies behind various helmets designed to reduce your risk of concussion. Although the best way to avoid a concussion is to stay on your bike.

An Oregon paper says stop means stop, and bicyclists shouldn’t be any exception.

So much for U-locks. A pair of Denver bike thieves are caught on video using a grinder to cut through a Kryptonite U-lock and steal the bike in just 12 seconds, start to finish. And when the owner opened the app for his Tile tracking device, he found two years worth of weak battery notices and no clue where his bike was.

A Green Bay Packer tradition of borrowing a kid’s bike to ride to the first day of practice led one player to develop a lasting friendship with the boy whose bike he borrowed. And organizing a benefit concert when the boy’s father went into a coma suffering from necrotizing fasciitis.

Chicago’s transit authority says combination bus and bike lanes could be the solution to a faster commute.

When his bike turns up missing, along with the entire storage unit it was in, Minnesota man decides it can’t hurt to enlist the help of every elected official this side of the president in the hunt.

A Cleveland site asks if Vision Zero is the answer, saying the city’s bicyclists and pedestrians need more than a little paint on the street. The clear answer is yes — if, and only if, political leaders fully commit to the program, and have the courage to stand up to angry drivers. Unlike a certain SoCal metropolis we could name.

Maybe you should check under your bed. A Boston family did, and discovered a long-lost masterpiece by a Nigerian artist that hadn’t been seen since it was first exhibited in 1961. The painting, worth an estimated $100,000, shows four children on bicycles swerving out of the way of a truck. Something we can all relate to.

A group of Massachusetts bicyclists will ride to the Statue of Liberty in support of immigrants.

No bias here. A New York TV station sounds the alarm about “two-wheeled terrors” racing along a Hudson River path, after a four-year old girl was left bloodied when she was struck by someone on a bike. Somehow, the reporter seemed shocked when other bike riders refused to offer a collective mea culpa for the actions of one person. But we all need to slow down and ride safely around pedestrians, especially kids.

A Brooklyn jury gave a man a massive $110 million judgment after he was paralyzed when transit worker dropped a railroad tie on him while he was riding his bike next to an elevated subway track.

Great idea. A New York state legislator wants to use traffic cameras to crack down on people who drive or park in bike lanes. Can we do that here? Pretty please?

In yet another example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road until it’s too late, a woman in New York state killed a man on a bike in a drunken crash, despite six previous license suspensions. A driver should lose their license for at least a year after their first DUI. And have their driver’s license revoked after a second offense — and the car impounded so they can’t keep driving it anyway.

A South Carolina firefighter decides to adopt the puppy he rescued from under a pile of rocks, after some bike riders heard the dog crying; naturally, he named the dog Rocky.

No bias here, either. A witness told a Louisiana TV station that a bike rider collided with the front of a car, which had the green light. Unless the rider rode head-on into the car, the driver hit the bicyclist. And chances are, the “witness” was inside the car at the time, since they described the victim as coming out of nowhere, which is an unlikely observation from someone on the street.

Apparently taking a clue from Los Angeles, mostly white-haired St. Petersburg residents rise up against “lane loss,” as the city moves forward with its Complete Streets program. Because why would you want a street that safely serves everyone when you can continue to go “vroom, vroom,” instead.

International

Cars are killing us without even hitting us. A new study shows that pollution from car exhaust causes four million cases of asthma worldwide every year. And never mind what it’s doing to the planet.

Treehugger says 37,000 lives could have been saved over the past 25 years with lower speed limits.

A London ebike maker will pay its employees the equivalent of 68¢ a mile to ditch their cars and commute by ebike; workers who prefer traditional bikes will get just 26¢.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a retired woman was convicted of killing a bike rider in a collision. Yet the judge said she wouldn’t sentence her to jail because the death resulted from “a second or two moments” of inattention. Sort of like most crashes, fatal or otherwise.

A British expat discovers a bicycling paradise in Spain.

Police in an Australian town were forced to delete a victim blaming tweet after a driver hit a seven-year old bike-riding girl, when outraged Twitter users rose up to complain.

An Australian study suggests that bike lanes actually increase the risk for bicyclists, because drivers pass riders in bike lanes closer than they do otherwise.

The price is going up for China’s dockless bikeshare.

Competitive Cycling

Olympic gold-medal cyclist Marty Nothstein filed suit against USA Cycling, alleging the organization defamed him and invaded his privacy by leaking an allegation of sexual misconduct during his failed run for congress.

Lance talks doping to Rice University students, saying he started because everyone else was doing it. And would have won even if he hadn’t doped. Which kind of begs an obvious question...

Finally…

Your next helmet could collapse so your head doesn’t. If you’re carrying weed, meth and a narcotic pill on your bike, put a damn light on it, already.

And your next handlebars could be as kinky as you are.

Morning Links: Tearjerking look at Woon tragic death, Pasadena flirts with e-bikeshare, and fix for Spring St

Seriously, they’re just trying to make us cry now.

Just days after Sahra Sulaiman’s moving story on how Frederick “Woon” Frazier’s mom is coping with the death of her only son a year later, former Bicycling editor-in-chief Peter Flax steps up with a heartbreaking look of his own for his former publication.

And no coincidence, in either case, that today is the one-year anniversary of needless, cowardly hit-and-run that took his life.

Or that, despite the announcement of pending charges against the speeding, uninsured driver who left him to die in the street — then attempted to coverup her crime by repainting her Porsche Cayenne — no charges have actually been filed a full year later.

Even though she turned herself in and confessed to the crime when investigators were closing in on her.

Maybe they’re waiting for today to do it with a big splash.

We can only hope.

Flax describes the day of Woon’s death in painful new detail.

When Woon got to the busy intersection of Normandie and Manchester avenues, less than a mile from home, he arced a slow right turn. Almost instantly, the Porsche was upon him. A nearby security camera caught the moment when a driver in a white Cayenne, who had been speeding in the gutter lane, closed the gap to Woon’s rear wheel and struck him from behind.

The impact was fierce, more than enough to shatter the rear triangle of his carbon-fiber frame. Then the driver took off, leaving Woon to die on Manchester Avenue before an ambulance could take him to the hospital.

Perhaps an hour after her son left the house, Owens (Woon’s mother) heard a knock on her door. On the front step stood three LAPD officers. One detective pushed up his shades—his eyes were red, Owens recalled—and told her that Woon had been in a crash and didn’t make it.

It’s a must read, as Flax delves into the extreme loss, emotionally, physically and financially, for a family that can least afford it, in any sense. Yet refuses to give up on long-delayed justice, even without hope of a civil judgement.

But be sure to have some tissues on hand.

Flax ends his story with a visit to Woon’s ghost bike. And an unexpected encounter, as a monthly South LA group ride came pedaling by.

Everyone was staring and shouting at the ghost bike. Two dudes popped synchronized wheelies. 

I later recalled something Owens told me that afternoon. She and her son had been talking about the dangers of riding a bike in South Central, and Woon looked up at his mother and tried to reassure her. “Don’t worry, Momma,” he said. “If something happens to me, they’ll ride for me.” She said she didn’t understand it then, but she understood it now.

A Latino guy on a tricked-out fixie was riding shotgun at the back of the Fixie Goons. As he passed the ghost bike, we made eye contact for a second. Then he titled his head back and shouted to the sky: “Long live Woon!”

Long live Woon, indeed.

Although the best part of Flax’s story isn’t even part of it.

He mentions, almost in passing, the crowdfunding page set up for Woon’s three-month old son.

Sitting in the small and crowded living room in South Central, Beverly Owens spent a few hours talking about her son and her heartbreak, but there was one more bittersweet disclosure to come. On the day of Woon’s funeral, Owens said, his girlfriend found out she was pregnant. 

The baby is three months old now. The boy’s mother is trying to raise him on her own, but it’s tough. An ongoing GoFundMe campaign helped buy a crib and car seat, but diapers are expensive. A settlement in civil court would have really make a difference for the people Woon left behind.

When I last checked the GoFundMe site on Sunday night, it had been languishing at just over $1,000 for four full months.

But within hours of Flax’s story appearing online, it had jumped to over $3,000. And now sits at $3,555 as of this writing.

A happy ending to a very sad story.

Photo of Woon’s mom looking at his photo from GoFundMe page.

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In a surprise announcement, Pasadena may be getting back into the bikeshare business.

Less than a year after pulling the plug on the Metro Bike docked bikeshare program, the city is considering buying into an ebike bikeshare proposed by San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

The program will roll out 1,000 bikes which can be ridden in ped-assist or fully electric mode, across ten SGV cities.

Just don’t plan on riding an e-scooter in the Rose City anytime soon.

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It looks like LADOT heard the complaints about the notorious Spring Street parking lane protected bike lane, and will be making some much needed improvements soon.

At least, we can hope they’ll be improvements.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

A San Francisco driver chased a man on a bike and intentionally ran him down with his car after the two got into an argument; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously hurt.

Yet somehow, police inexplicably failed to make an arrest.

Something tells me they wouldn’t let the suspect go if he’d pistol whipped the victim, which is no different in any real sense than using a motor vehicle as a weapon.

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Usually I’m loathe to share a commercial TV spot on here, especially for an insurance company. And especially without getting paid for it.

But this gecko-less Geico semi-PSA is worth a small exception.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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A new Mobility Lab video shows that walkers and bike riders are the happiest commuters.

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Local

Work has finally begun on the new bike and pedestrian bridge across the LA River using the piers originally used by the Red Car trolleys, which will allow access for people on bikes and on foot to cross the river once work begins on remaking the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

Riders using the Expo Line bike path will have to deal with a three-year detour — 1,096 long days (don’t forget leap year) — for construction of an oddly spelled “creative” high-rise office complex at Jefferson and National.

Not everyone likes LA’s demand that dockless bikeshare and e-scooter companies share their usage data with the city; the Electronic Frontier Foundation says the ride tracking pilot program is out of control. Thanks to Steve S for the link.

A Santa Clarita man was seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of a car while riding his bicycle on Sunday; a witness worried the victim would never walk again. Meanwhile, Santa Clarita collisions are down 24% since the implementation of the city’s Head’s Up safety campaign.

The Laemmle theater chain — run by bike-riding former LACBC board member Greg Laemmle — will screen The Bikes of Wrath, a documentary following five Australians as they ride from Oklahoma to California, following the westward Okie migration described in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

State

San Diego gives the boot to DecoBike, operator of the city’s docked bikeshare, alleging an unspecified breach of contract.

How about a three-day self-paced bike tour through the wine country surrounding Los Olivos?

National

Walmart is moving beyond their typical low-end bicycle shaped objects to introduce a high-end mountain bike selling for up to $6,000.

The question of how many bike shops there are in the US, and whether they’re shrinking or expanding, depends on how you define “bike shop.”

A Seattle radio station offers a discussion on how to ride a bike in a town without enough bike lanes. Which is probably required listening for all of us here in America’s Worst Bike City.

Bike Mag takes a ride in the heat, thorns and amazing desert blooms around Tucson AZ.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Chicago grandmother stops by the Grand Canyon on a cross-country bike ride, as part of a group of 14 senior citizens riding across the US the hard way, going east to west headfirst into the prevailing winds.

Once again, a bicyclist visiting this country has been killed, this time in New Mexico, where an Australian man was run down from behind by an “inattentive” driver. There’s something terribly wrong when someone can’t ride a bike while visiting this country without getting shipped back home in a coffin.

There’s a special place in hell for the Texas thief who rode off with a nine-year old boy’s bicycle as he pleaded with him not to take it.

A bike-riding Maine letter writer freaks out at the sight of a group of bicyclists riding two abreast, which appears to be perfectly legal in the state. Besides, anyone who uses the too-tired phrase that bicycling is a two-way street belongs in cliche jail.

Now that’s more like it. Cambridge, Massachusetts has passed a first-in-the-nation ordinance requiring it to add permanent protected bike lanes anytime they reconstruct a road in the city’s bike plan. LA advocates fought for a clause like that when the bike plan was adopted. Needless to say, we didn’t get very far.

Seriously? A Massachusetts TV station reminds viewers to wear a helmet when they ride a bike, after someone sent them a photo of a helmetless rider popping a wheelie in the middle of a busy intersection. Call me crazy, but I’d think better advice would be don’t pop wheelies in intersections. with or without one.

International

A new study shows the cognitive and psychological benefits of bicycling are the same whether you pedal yourself or let an ebike do it for you. So just get out there and ride, already.

Argentina’s national soccer coach Lionel Scaloni is one of us; he was lucky to escape with a few cuts and bruises when he was hit by a driver while riding in Spain. Just a pity that we too often find out who rides a bike when they get knocked off one.

Montreal tried to close a popular park to motor vehicles after a bike rider was killed — then reopened it after motorists rose up in anger. Which might sound familiar to anyone who remembers LA’s Playa del Rey fiasco.

Adventure cyclist Ishbel Holmes set out on an around-the-world bicycle tour, only to adopt a stray dog in Turkey that she says changed her life forever.

Competitive Cycling

British Continental cyclist Ian Bibby said he’s devastated after thieves broke into his garage and stole his bike.

Cyclist considers the favorites for Sunday’s infamous Hell of the North, aka Paris-Roubaix.

Minnesota’s North Star Grand Prix launched a crowdfunding campaign to make up a $200,000 shortfall in funding in their planned comeback as a UCI women’s race.

And this is how you give a post-race interview.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

Finally…

Discovering that bike riding can actually be fun if you try. Why did a bike-riding Domino’s worker get run down with a full load of Little Caesars pizzas?

And adding insult to injury.

Literally.

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

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

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

Then again, that news is nothing new.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Jason Islas for the Musk heads-up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something tells me Weiss would agree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

Cycling tackles one of Colorado’s most iconic passes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

Morning Links: 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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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