Tag Archive for LADOT

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Morning Links: Honoring #bikeLA’s successful women, Tour de Fat hates us, and Rail to River meeting tomorrow

This one’s worth a listen.

The Cycle Feed podcast talks with our own Dorothy Wong, who walked away from Hollywood to become one of SoCal’s leading bike race organizers, and the driving force behind SoCal Cross.

And while we’re recognizing successful LA women, Grist honors LADOT’s Rubina Ghazarian and Metro’s Avital Shavit as part of the Grist 50 for their work getting LA on two wheels with the new Metro Bike bikeshare program.

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The 2017 Tour de Fat schedule has been announced, with 33 stops throughout the US for the annual beer and bike festival.

But if you live in the LA area and want to attend, you’ll have to travel at least 120 miles, as they’re apparently avoiding Los Angeles like the plague. They’re making four California stops, with the closest one in San Diego on July 8th. Not to mention two in the Bay Area.

Seriously, was it something we said?

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There will be a meeting in Huntington Park tomorrow to discuss plans for the awkwardly named Active Transportation Rail to River Corridor.

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USA Cycling announces a new 12-race American Road Calendar; the only California race in the series will take place in San Dimas this weekend.

On the women’s side, USA Cycling has set a goal of becoming the number one women’s cycling nation in the world. But if they fail, they’ll probably feel like number two.

The head sprint coach for British Cycling makes an emotional appeal for organ donors as he discusses the liver transplant that saved his life. I’ve signed my donor card, though I’m not sure anyone would want my used parts anymore.

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Local

A 50-year old bike rider suffered unspecified injuries when he allegedly turned left into the path of a BMW in Glendale Friday afternoon; police concluded the victim was at fault. Let’s hope that’s based on something other than the statement of the driver involved.

Pasadena gets it. The Rose City has adopted a new Street Design Guide that focuses moving everyone, not just the people in cars, and “accommodate(s) all users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, skateboarders and scooters.”

Damien Newton talks with Monica Curiel of Bike SGV about the bike and pedestrian count planned for April 1st; volunteers are needed throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

The Long Beach Grand Prix course opens to the non-motorized public for a brief time next Tuesday with a mini Beach Streets-style ciclovía.

 

State

Jason Roy Rocha was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, evading police and hit and run with permanent injury after fleeing the Sunday morning crash that killed Encarnacion Salazar Munoz as he rode his bike home from work in Anaheim. The OC DA takes traffic crimes like this very seriously; with a little luck, Mr. Rocha can look forward to a long time behind bars.

The recent $4.85 million settlement with a man who was injured while riding his bike on the sidewalk could lead to changes in how San Diego sidewalks are maintained.

Ventura County gets $3.3 million in grants for three active transportation projects.

The San Luis Obispo paper calls on SLO County to spend the money to add another 4.4 miles a popular bike trail.

More bad news from NorCal, where a man on a bike was killed in collision in West San Jose; no details are available. Al Williams fills in some of the details, reporting the crash occurred near his home on a four lane street with bike lanes and a 35 mph speed limit; he says there was a Porsche with a broken windshield stopped on the side of the road when he went by.

San Francisco gets new ferry boats with room for 50 bikes. And a lot of people, too.

 

National

No, really. Scofflaw cyclists don’t break the law more than anyone else.

PlacesForBikes Michael Andersen asks if women riders are really more risk averse, or just more honest about admitting their fears.

The Robb Report shares a first-person view of one of their staff members wiping out on an ebike. Repeatedly.

Bicycling seems to have a bit of a donut obsession lately.

The Idaho mountain biker who was shot and killed by police last week for threatening dog owners with a gun on a local trail was well known and liked at the local bike co-op.

A Montana physician says the bike-hating senator who wants to ban bicycles from state highways is wrong.

My hometown newspaper looks at the pain grieving families feel over the light sentences given killer drivers. And tips are running out in the investigation into a series of apparently random shootings in the area two years ago that took the life of a popular cyclist, along with another man.

Houston is prepared to pass a new bike plan, even though critics complain it goes too far to “appease a vocal cadre of cyclists.”

The stoned driver who killed five cyclists in the Kalamazoo massacre will reportedly plead insanity.

A Wisconsin man purchased a billboard to ask drivers to watch for cyclists in memory of his wife, who was killed while riding a year ago today.

New York is getting more serious about Vision Zero, as the city gets ready to break ground on safety improvement projects throughout the five boroughs, including more protected bike lanes.

DC could soon pay commuters to leave their cars at home. California has a similar law allowing employers who subsidize parking to offer employees the chance to cash-out their parking space and take alternative transportation instead.

A Charlotte NC cop only realizes he hit a salmon cyclist when saw his broken side mirror. But if he never saw the victim, how did he know he was riding the wrong way?

In another North Carolina crash involving law enforcement, a bike rider was killed in a collision with a state police officer after allegedly running a red light, while the driver was only doing 23 mph. Funny how it always seems to be the other guy’s fault when a cop gets in a crash.

 

International

Bike Radar asks if a new series of mixtes from Brit bikewear maker Vulpine are the ultimate urban bikes.

Sad news from Costa Rica, where the fourth victim of a hit-and-run driver has died, seven weeks after her riding companions were killed at the scene; the driver turned himself in only after police discovered his car.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker dives head first into the great helmet debate, saying that while he wears one most of the time when he rides, “you don’t make cycling safe by obliging every rider to dress up as if for urban warfare.”

Caught on video: An English bike rider comes to blows with a driver who reportedly blocked his path. Seriously, drivers can be jerks, but violence only makes a bad situation worse. 

A London bike rider is on trial for beating a man to death with his bike lock, when he and his friends followed the victim after a dispute in a chicken stand.

The strongman president of Turkmenistan is one of us, too.

A former South African rugby player got seriously banged up in a solo fall.

Trucks hauling dirt from a Melbourne rail tunnel currently under construction will be fitted with protective sideguards to protect bicyclists. Sideguards have been proven to improve safety and save lives; all commercial trucks should be required to have them installed, including here in the US.

Apparently there’s nowhere that cyclists can ride without some people complaining. Like the Aussie rider who was assaulted by a man who told him to “cycle on the road” — while he was riding in a velodrome. Yes, a velodrome.

Fortune says China’s app-based bikeshare model doesn’t make any sense, despite the investor funds that are pouring in.

 

Finally…

Yes, it looks beautiful, but how does it ride? If you’re going to rob a gas station with a toy gun, try not to ride your bike into a pole when you make your getaway.

And here’s your chance to catch up on the best bike vs animal videos, including the infamous zombie kangaroo herd.

Morning Links: Angry DASH driver tries to run rider off road, and endorsement for Pasadena city council

Apparently, a LADOT DASH bus driver is in need of some serious retraining.

Or the city might find itself on the hook for violating the its own bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Or worse.

Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the heads-up.

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Bike the Vote LA continues their run-up for the March 7th election by endorsing Andy Wilson for Pasadena’s city council district 7.

Meanwhile, the Burbank Leader reports on the Burbank city council forum, where one of the candidates actually called for better bike infrastructure.

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Lance says he loved wearing the US Postal Service uniform and hearing the national anthem played when he won, and being sued by the feds can’t take that away. Although they could take everything else.

Interesting piece from Cycling Weekly, as they look at ten racing inventors that changed cycling, with a few names you might know like Campagnolo and Cinelli.

VeloNews looks at the recent renaissance in French cycling, while Cycling News looks back at cycling’s “decadent” decade of the 1990s.

You may soon need a ticket to watch your favorite cyclists compete, as Belgian cycling promoters consider charging fans to watch the race.

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Local

A Covina bike rider was injured in what police believe was a gang-related shooting.

The Press-Telegram discusses the ebike expo coming to Long Beach this weekend.

Help restock books in the Silver Lake area on the monthly Street Librarians Ride this Sunday.

 

State

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious offers a review of bike-related legislation in the state legislature, including the possible elimination of the ride-to-the-right law we discussed yesterday, and an actual bipartisan bill to legalize the Idaho Stop — a term Masoner helped popularize — in California. The only thing more shocking than the Idaho Stop actually being considered in California is the concept of Democrats and Republicans actually working together to pass it.

A Newport Beach bike rider suffered life-threatening injuries when he was apparently rear-ended by the driver of an SUV. Thanks to Lois for the link.

Sacramento police are looking for a bike-riding knife-bearing bike path robber.

Mountain View considers whether a 15 mph speed limit is too high — or too low — on a popular bike and pedestrian trail.

A Marin columnist contends mountain bikers who want to force the county to open all trails to bikes are acting like spoiled children.

Redding police identify the bike-riding victim in last week’s traffic shooting; the case is still under investigation, even though it’s being described as self-defense.

 

National

Friendship Circle is sponsoring their 6th annual adaptive bike giveaway program for kids and teens with special needs.

A new study from the University of Duh says improving cardiovascular fitness may help extend your life. And here we all thought sitting on your couch eating Cheetos and watching TV was the key to outliving all your friends.

Tragic news from Arizona, where a bike rider is dead in an apparent road rage shooting after arguing with a driver and his passengers.

A bill in the Iowa legislature would force drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, while requiring bicyclists to use front and rear lights at all times — even in broad daylight — while a competing bill would require riders to display a slow-moving vehicle flag.

Kindhearted Oklahoma firefighters replace a small boy’s bicycle after his was destroyed in a collision with a pedestrian.

A Boston man describes his decision to keep riding after doctors discovered a cancerous tumor in and around his lower spine.

New York police confiscate two bikes from teenage cyclist accused of riding recklessly. Too bad that doesn’t seem to apply to reckless drivers, who just get a ticket — if that — and get sent on their way.

Good read from a Gotham website, which says Vision Zero only works when victim blaming stops and accountability starts.

A Savannah GA writer says traffic fatalities are the real American carnage, even if they weren’t mentioned in the inaugural address.

A quintet of bike-riding NASCAR drivers promote bike safety before turning their attention to qualifying for the Daytona 500.

A Florida woman gets 22 years behind bars for intentionally running over her bike-riding friend. Makes you wonder what she’d do to someone she didn’t like.

 

International

Caught on video: Nothing like standing on the pedals of your fixie with your fluffy white cotton tail bouncing in the breeze.

Caught on video too: A Brit woman responds to catcalls from a van driver by ripping off its wing mirror, then just rides away. Or maybe not.

Caught on video three: This is what it looks like to be sideswiped by a passing van.

It’s been too long since we checked in with Scotland’s Town Mouse, who gives one more reason you otter ride a bike.

A Kiwi bike rider urges drivers to just look, already.

A Chinese writer tells his countrymen to stop creating bikeshare companies.

A new study suggests the implementation of a minimum passing distance in Australia’s Queensland state isn’t having a significant effect on the amount of harassment bicyclists experience.

We can’t seem to get away from Malaysia this week.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with SoCal drivers, but at least we don’t have to ride in front of runaway bulls — although we do have to contend with machetes. Yes, blowing through red lights and clipping a cyclist while driving on just three tires was probably a very bad idea.

And hi-viz may not be necessary, but some clothing is usually recommended.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan released, bike riders behaving badly, and why our streets stay dangerous

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

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It was a surprise announcement.

And both heartening, and a little disappointing.

Word broke Thursday morning that LA’s Vision Zero Alliance had finally released its long-awaited Action Plan, explaining how the plan to reduce traffic fatalities by 20% by the end of this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025.

While the report hits all the appropriate notes, it’s a little short on specifics.

For instance, it talks about the need to reduce speeds to drive down LA’s worst in the nation traffic death rate, but doesn’t actually commit to reducing speed limits to 20 or 25 mph, as other major cities have done. And it discusses working to change laws at the state level, without stating whether they will fight to remove the deadly 85th percentile law that drives up speeds and destroys livability — not to mention survivability — on city streets.

However, there are a few specific actions we can follow to verify that the plan is on track:

Vision Zero means designing a street network that is safe for all modes. The City will:

Install live-saving improvements on the priority corridors and intersections along the High-Injury Network, such as optimizing four-hundred traffic signals and redesigning at least twelve miles of City streets every year to accommodate safe transportation for all.

Update 100 percent of the expired speed surveys on the priority corridors by the end of 2017.

Update all City street-design standards used by the Bureau of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of City Planning to be consistent with the National Association of City

Unanswered is whether the city will address the chronic understaffing problems at LADOT so they actually have the capability to work on Vision Zero, without throwing the hard-fought Mobility Plan out the window.

Some of those bicycling deaths could be prevented simply by building out the low-stress network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the plan, giving riders a safer and more comfortable alternative to riding busier streets.

Also unanswered is how they will solve the problem of recalcitrant councilmembers who attempt to block desperately needed safety improvements in their districts, as Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz have already done.

Not to mention LA’s rampant NIMBYism, which rises up to oppose virtually any changes on our streets, especially if there’s the slightest suspicion it might slow traffic down.

Which is pretty much the point.

Here’s what LA Curbed’s Alissa Walker and Streetsblog’s Joe Linton have to say on the subject.

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Today’s common theme, bike riders behaving badly.

Probably not the best idea to park your bike in front of a Palo Alto police station with a can of Colt 45 instead of a water bottle.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo police are looking for a butt-slapping bike rider who assaulted two women on campus in less than a week. Chances are, it’s not the same jerk who’s been assaulting English women in the same fashion for the last month.

Canadian police are looking for a bike-riding man who tried, and failed, to break into a business with a rock.

The Austrian man who was busted for trying to ride naked into a hotel in eight degree weather says he was trying to impress a girl. Although getting fired from his job as a pastry chef at the hotel probably isn’t the way to do it. And someone should explain to him about shrinkage.

A Pennsylvania bike rider was apparently under the influence when he was killed by a 17-year old driver; the victim had a water bottle filled with booze, and a dope pipe in his pocket.

University of Florida students are unnerved by a man riding his bike around campus wearing a swastika. Sometimes bike riders are the bad guys. And sometimes they’re just assholes. But even assholes have a constitutional right to be one.

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Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a distracted driver gets a whole 75 days in jail for killing a cyclist while apparently checking his email.

But not as cheap as Illinois, where a drunk driver cops a plea for killing a man who was riding his bike home from work, in exchange for a whopping ten days behind bars. Ten effing days. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

And a three-time Brit traffic serial killer gets his suspended license back three years early because it’s an inconvenience to his family. It was probably pretty inconvenient for the families of his victims, too.

And then we wonder why nothing ever seems to stop the carnage on our streets.

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Nice to hear from Michael Wagner of CLR Effect, who offers news from LA County’s too often neglected Eastside.

Even if the news isn’t exactly what we want to hear.

Like the bad news that yet another local bike shop is going out of business, as the popular Coates Cyclery is closing is doors. And this time, it’s his LBS. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the first link.

He also sends word that there will be a clean-up day on Glendora Mountain Road Sunday, February 5th to pick up the trash left behind by the people who travel it. Not all of whom are in cars.

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The 3rd annual Night on Broadway will take place this Saturday, with over 60,000 people expected to celebrate with free events and music on DTLA’s main street; there will be a bike valet, so you can leave your car at home.

Santa Monica Planning is hosting a ride with SaMo’s mayor this Sunday. LA mayor Eric Garcetti agreed to ride with bicyclists when he was running for office four years ago, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has bothered to ask him to do it. Which should be a big hint to the LACBC, the BAC, LADOT…

Also on Sunday, community coalition Si Se Mueve is holding a free community bike ride through Northeast LA.

Yet another Sunday event, as Walk Bike Glendale is sponsoring their first Women’s Ride of 2017.

Finishing up a very busy Sunday, Black Kids on Bikes is holding a free bike tune-up session, followed by a freedom ride.

And one last reminder about the LACBC’s rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion on Monday in DTLA. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the link.

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A Welsh Olympic gold medalist says there’s still a lot of sexism in cycling, but it’s not blatantly obvious. And the fluffy music played at women’s races doesn’t help.

NPR talks with the filmmaker behind Icarus, an amateur cyclist who filmed himself doping, only to accidently uncover the Russian doping scandal.

US Cycling membership now includes legal benefits, including a free consultation, reduced legal fees, and priority consideration for pro bono legal representation. Although virtually any bike lawyer will offer a free consultation.

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Local

The LA Times looks at bike trends for 2017, from comfort bikes and ebikes to lighted helmets and ultra bright headlights.

Speaking of the Times, they make the bizarre claim that ebikes may be the greenest form of transportation in human history. They’re a great alternative to driving, but it’s ridiculous to claim ebikes are greener than bicycling or walking.

If Elon Musk is building a tunnel in LA, can we ask him to put in a bike lane?

An editorial in USC’s Daily Trojan calls California’s ban on headphones for bike riders a new, overbearing law. Except the law only prohibits wearing headphones in or on both ears, rather than one. And it’s not new. Wearing headphones in both ears has been illegal for years, just as it is for drivers; all that changed with the new law was to eliminate loopholes to include any form of headphones or earpieces.

This Wednesday is the deadline for Santa Clarita high school seniors to apply for a college scholarship in honor of fallen cyclist, musician and teacher Rod Bennett.

Long Beach is looking for a Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officer. They had me right up to the healthy living part.

Let’s face it. CiclaValley is probably having more fun than the rest of us these days.

 

State

Momentum Magazine previews April’s Sea Otter Classic at the famed Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, calling the world’s premier cycling festival.

San Jose’s Good Karma Bikes helps teens learn how to keep their bikes in good working order while teaching job skills.

Fresno puts off a vote on the city’s new Active Transportation Plan that would add 950 miles of bike lanes, routes and trails.

 

National

The founder of Justin’s nut butters is one of us, too.

Bicycling reviews the warmest clothes for winter riding. And they list six epic bike events you probably don’t know about, including two in California.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, as cyclists react to the hit-and-run death of a 19-year old racer; his own mother found his body and mangled bike after he didn’t come home from a ride. Thanks to Shannon for the tip.

A recent Rutgers University study concludes that concerns about racial profiling are a barrier to bicycling in communities of color. It’s not just their imagination; blacks are more likely to be stopped and ticketed by police in northern cities, as well as in the deep south. And from what I’ve heard, that goes for black and Latino riders in SoCal, too.

A New Jersey paper recommends renting a bike when you travel to Europe, rather than trying to take yours with you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Chattanooga national masters champ is doing back-to-back 75-mile rides to celebrate his 75th birthday.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists eight reasons you should talk your friends into bicycling. They also list six “essential” tips for losing weight by bicycling, all of which you could figure out on your own.

Seventy-one percent of people responding to an online poll in one Canadian town think winter bicycling should be banned; one bighearted driver thinks running over a cyclist could provide extra traction on icy streets.

Toronto ups the ante for the combination of a coffee shop and bike shop by throwing in an art gallery, too.

London’s police department is going to put undercover cops on bikes to bust drivers making dangerous passes; they want to send the message that anyone on a bike could be a cop. We’ve been trying to talk the LAPD into trying that for years, but without success so far.

Britain sets aside £300 million — the equivalent of $376 million — for bicycling, then spends it on other things.

An Irish cyclist tries to reassure local businesses that bike lanes and parking can coexist, and that bike riders shop, too.

In a truly bizarre case, Dutch police have filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice against a UN lawyer from Jamaica who claimed she had been brutalized by cops who arrested her when she got off her bike and walked it across a busy street.

Who needs a mountain when you’ve got a parking garage? Adelaide, Australia cyclists compete in their own indoor hill climb. Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the news.

Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new world record for the longest single-file line of moving bicycle traveling together, with 1,186 riders. Even that’s probably not enough to convince some drivers it’s better to let cyclists ride abreast.

 

Finally…

If you have to ask a Tostitos bag if you’re too drunk to drive, you’re too drunk to drive. Better stick to IPAs; the beer you drink could say you’re likely to have your bike stolen.

And this is what happens when a town gets serious about promoting bicycling, without getting too serious.

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Thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous donation to support this site. Donations are always welcome to help us bring you the best, freshest and most accurate bike news in this post-truth era of alternate facts and fake news.

Morning Links: Road rage assault in San Diego County, and LAPD looking for shooter of Echo Park bike rider

Come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Mr. CiclaValley himself as he talks with Toluca Lake resident and pro cyclist Phil Gaimon about next weekend’s inaugural Malibu Gran Cookie Fondo.

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This is who we share the roads with.

San Diego’s 10News reports a road raging driver intentionally knocked a local radio host off his bicycle as he was escorting a disabled cyclist on the Coast Highway in Carlsbad, just a few miles from the end of the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s 620-mile Million Dollar Challenge.

As the rider worked to make it up a small hill, an impatient driver began honking his horn, despite a support van warning cyclists were ahead. So KOGO host Bob “Sully” Sullivan rode back to explain that his riding partner was a paraplegic using a handcycle to get up the hill.

“‘We’ve gone 590 miles, give me 90 seconds, I’ll have him up and over this grade, you can be on your way,'” Sullivan said he told the man. “Completely agitated, he says to me, ‘I don’t care if it’s f-ing God up there. Get out of the f-ing road.'”

Sullivan said that’s when he stopped talking to the man and got back on his bike. The truck’s driver accelerated and hit Sullivan’s bike, causing him to fall to the roadway.

Yet despite the presence of an off-duty Carlsbad cop riding in the opposite direction, no charges have been filed.

“I think he needs to be arrested,” Sullivan said. “Somebody who purposely hits somebody on a bicycle using his car is either assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, at the very least shouldn’t be driving a car right now.”

Seriously.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

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The LAPD is asking for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed a bike rider in Echo Park last week; 37-year old William Perea was hit with gunfire as he rode at Mohawk and Montana the night of October 17th.

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LADOT says safety remains the top priority on the LA River bike path, as they remind both walkers and bike riders about the statutes governing the pathway and the need to share it safely, in the wake of a collision with a bicyclist that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

………

Equity is the common theme of the day.

Momentum Magazine looks at the nationwide movement to build greater equity in bicycling.

People for Bikes says the massive racial wealth gap is a major barrier to bicycle use, noting that a bike can’t save you money if you don’t have enough to buy one.

And Curbed looks at the speech given by the LACBC’s Tamika Butler that brought down the house at last month’s NACTO conference.

The LACBC deserves a lot of credit for starting this conversation, even before Butler came on board, with its outreach to lower income immigrant communities in the last decade. Along with notable presentations at the National Bike Summit that marked the bike coalition as a national leader on the subject.

………

Don’t forget to vote for LA Bike Trains and SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) for this year’s LA2050 challenge grants; voting ends tomorrow.

………

Local

KCET discovers the delicious marriage of bicycling and desserts that is Sweet Ride USA, with new episodes appearing online every Wednesday through November 16th.

KPCC discusses solutions to the first mile/last mile problem for transit users.

The Westwood Village Improvement Association discusses how to improve business and better serve the surrounding community. Oddly, making it safer to walk and bike there doesn’t seem to be an option, even though both would benefit the Village’s long suffering businesses.

Pasadena’s bikeshare system is expected to open next July as the Metro Bike system expands northward; the system is expected to have 400 bikes at 34 docking stations around the city.

The new and improved Agoura Road, complete with shiny new bike lanes, opens in Agoura Hills after a year of construction.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recounts Tuesday’s civil obedience protest ride and lengthy council session in Palos Verdes Estates in his own inimitable style.

 

State

Hats off to OC’s Special Spokes and the San Clemente Rotary for providing special-needs kids with adaptive bicycles. With all the negativity this election year, it’s nice to see people working to make a real difference in kids lives.

A Clovis driver faces up to a year in jail for fatally rear-ending a bike rider last April.

An unidentified man was shot and killed as he rode his bike in Fresno Tuesday night; police are unsure if the shooting was gang-related.

 

National

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a bicycle on loan to a vet from Ride 2 Recovery so he could ride across the US with his dog, who’s suffering from terminal cancer. And in my hometown, no less.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about a new Close Call Database allowing bike riders to report punishment passes from angry motorists to establish a paper trail in case the driver does it again. Or worse.

A Texas rider says learn to ride safely and obey the law, or don’t ride at all.

A Maine newspaper says the technology for today’s carbon fiber bicycles got its start in the state with Aegis Bicycle, but the company couldn’t hold out against increasing competition and the demand for ever lighter frames.

New York tells cyclists and pedestrians to make themselves more visible, and drivers to pay more attention, in advance of the end of daylight savings time next month. Meanwhile, a new proposal would allow bike riders to get a head start at traffic signals by going with the walk signal for the leading pedestrian interval.

Who was that masked man? A Bronx bike rider is a hero after retrieving a woman’s stolen purse, then riding off before she could thank him. No word on whether he left a silver bike chainlink behind.

Philadelphia police arrested a 17-year old boy in the shooting of a Good Samaritan who got off his bicycle to try to stop an armed robbery; he faces charges including attempted murder and aggravated assault.

Bikes and dogs are now officially banned from Arlington National Cemetery.

A Charleston writer says the city deserves the distinction of being called America’s worst city for bicycling.

 

International

You know Calgary has a lot of bike riders when the city’s bike counter gets maxed out with 68 days still left in the year.

Ella Cycling Tips offers advice on how to recover mentally from a bicycling crash.

Life is cheap in Belize, where champion cyclist Marlon Castillo is fined just $13,000 for the careless driving collision that killed his friend.

Ottawa police release a new PSA campaign explaining how to use and drive around the city’s new bike box and bi-directional bike lanes.

Caught on video: A British cabbie clips a cyclist with his mirror, then launches into a foul-mouthed temper tantrum claiming the rider somehow hit him. And yet some actually question who was in the right.

Tom Cruise is one of us, as he reportedly rides through the English countryside with his new girlfriend.

A Brit cyclist born with just one arm is raising funds to buy a prosthetic arm so he can compete in the Paralympic Games; a Go Fund Me account has raised a little more than half of the £7,500 goal, the equivalent of $9157.

A nine-year old cyclist may be a better climber than most of us, topping Italy’s famed Mt. Ventoux and Stelvio climbs in under 48 hours.

An Aussie writer says Sydney needs to focus less on fining bike riders and more on building some decent infrastructure for them.

A German cyclist survives a night in the snake and crocodile-infested Australian wilds after taking a header over his handlebars and dislocating is shoulder.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a bicycle to make your getaway after stealing a bag-full of booze, try not to ride into a lamppost. Why settle for a mere sag wagon when you can have your very own bike butler?

And in LA we have police chases; in London, it’s investment bankers biking away from bobbies.

 

Morning Links: Goodbye and thank you to Michelle Mowery, and improvements and closures on LA River bike path

Bittersweet news from LADOT, as longtime bicycle and active transportation coordinator Michelle Mowery announced today that she is leaving for a position with the mayor’s office, focusing on the LA River Bike Path.

On  Monday, October 24th, I will be beginning a new assignment with Mayor Garcetti’s LA Riverworks Team to focus on the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path.  While I am excited about working full-time on the River; it will be very, very difficult to leave my home at LADOT.  I will miss working with all of you on projects that have, and continue, to make bicycling more accessible in the City of Los Angeles.

The last 22 years with the City have been the most exciting and fulfilling of my 39 years in public service.  I can’t tell you all how wonderful it has been to see cycling established a real means of transportation in Los Angeles.  I will miss many of you as I shift my focus in the City but expect to continue to see you in my efforts on behalf of the River.  It has been my greatest pleasure to serve the City as a transportation professional on two wheels.

Thank you all for your cooperation and support over the years.

When I first got involved in bike advocacy efforts in Los Angeles, I found myself loosely allied with a group of advocates who blamed Mowery for the city’s decades of failure to do anything to protect the safety of bicyclists, and who made it their not-so-secret goal to have her fired.

I resisted those efforts, to the point that I found myself ostracized and attacked because I questioned whether she was really to blame.

And openly wondered what she could do with the actual backing of the city, instead of the old school, auto-centric senior LADOT engineers, who have since retired or otherwise moved on, squashing her every effort.

I think the last several years have more than answered those questions.

Since bicycling first received the attention and backing of the mayor’s office during the Villaraigosa administration, Los Angeles has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes, including the city’s first parking and curb protected bike lanes, as well as an actual bike network in Downtown LA.

Under her tenure, Los Angeles was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists for the first time in 2012. And made Bicycling Magazine’s biannual list of the country’s best cities for cycling, currently checking in at a lofty 24.

Which is not to say we don’t still have a long way to go. It only takes a few hours riding the mean streets of Los Angeles to realize just how inadequate LA’s bicycling infrastructure is for a car-centric city this size.

But it made huge leaps under Mowery’s guidance, once she was finally allowed to do her job.

We owe her a big round of thanks for sticking in there and doing the best she could when the job was impossible, and she was the focal point for every cyclist angry over everything that didn’t get done.

And showing us all what this city could be once she was given the chance.

………

The LA Weekly takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the call for banning bikes on the LA River Bike Path through Elysian Valley, in the wake of an elderly woman who was seriously injured in a crash with a bike rider.

Not to mention they have the good taste to quote yours truly.

The story notes that that someone placed an illegal, DIY sign at the entrance to the path reading “Bike Path Closed,” which was largely and justifiably ignored.

Meanwhile, LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell says the city will be making safety improvements to the path to notify riders to slow down or dismount in areas with a high level of pedestrians.

As well as increasing police presence on the path. Which is something bike riders, as well as pedestrians, have long called for.

Although the call to dismount is highly questionable. Especially since people somehow seem to manage sharing the path on the far more crowded beachfront bike path.

And it should be noted, as we mentioned here yesterday, that the rider stopped and cooperated with police following the crash.

Although none of it may really matter now, since the bike path is once again being closed for the winter, for reasons that have yet to be explained.

………

The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka Mr. CiclaValley in his off-duty hours, sends word about the organization’s new team kit, which is available for preorder right now.

LACBC’s 2017 Kit is now for sale by preorder for a limited time until October 30th. To support the local cycling community, LACBC collaborated with L.A.-based collective superdomestik on design and California-based manufacturer Voler on production.

Go to LACBC’s Facebook Page to find out how you can win gear and go to the team store to purchase from the 2017 collection.

lacbcfsprosq

………

USA Cycling announces the Pro Road Tour racing schedule for next year. The tour comes to California just twice, in April and May, for the Dana Point Gran Prix and the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

………

Local

CD1 city council candidate Josef Bray-Ali writes about how to get the people who ride for fun to join forces with people who ride for transportation, and make the city more bike-friendly without additional funding.

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot and killed a man in San Fernando Thursday night.

The Santa Monica College student newspaper looks at last weekend’s CicLAvia in the Heart of Los Angeles.

Metro is sponsoring a free Bicycle 101 class at the El Monte bike Hub.

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a four-wheel, surrey-style bike from a school for autistic children in San Diego.

Authorities are looking for the heartless coward who hit a young child in Victorville as he was riding his bike and left him lying in the street; the boy may have suffered serious head trauma in the hit-and-run collision.

The new bikeway over half of the San Francisco Bay is finally expected to open this Sunday.

Chico approves a free citywide bike registration system, while a 93-year old Chico man remains in critical condition eleven days after he was hit by SUV while driving his bike.

 

National

CityLab urges you to ride with a boombox on your bike instead of headphones, so you can annoy more people with your excellent taste in music. However, it may take some practice to develop the retro skills required ride your bike with a massive boombox perched on one shoulder, ‘70s style.

Eyewear maker Bollé introduces a mountain bike helmet with features that actually make sense for a change, including a detachable visor, slots to store your glasses and space for an embedded tail light.

Anti-bike terrorists have struck again, sabotaging a Colorado mountain bike trail with spike-embedded boards buried in the dirt. If you question the use of that term, consider what would happen to a rider who suffers a blowout while zipping down a trail.

The Michigan senate responds to the Kalamazoo massacre by passing bill requiring a five-foot passing distance, and another requiring three hours of bike and motorcycle safety training in all driver’s ed courses.

New York bike messengers form a union to fight for better treatment from Uber and other delivery firms.

A Philadelphia cyclist correctly resists police efforts to make him stop recording an arrest and to hand over his phone as evidence. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in a public place, and police have no right to stop you as long as you don’t interfere with their actions. And they can’t seize your phone without probable cause, or delete any of the contents. Which does not mean they won’t try.

 

International

A new report from the United Nations Environment Program calls for countries around the world to spend at least twenty percent of their transportation budget for safe bike lanes and sidewalks, noting that people on foot and two wheels, with or without motors, make up nearly half of the 1.3 million people killed in crashes worldwide each year.

A London hospital spent the equivalent of $12,000 to fight a protected bike lane in an apparent attempt to drum up business; 315 bike riders were killed or injured on the roads approaching the hospital over the last ten years, including some directly in front of their entrance.

A British man has been jailed for 28 months following a racist attack on a bike rider; he was one of three men who swerved at the victim in their car, doored him and forced him off his bike, then violently attacked him while screaming racial epithets.

Winston Churchill’s grandson is one of us.

A six-year old Irish boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is able to ride a bike for the first time thanks to a new medication. Nice to finally see some hope for this cruel disease.

Caught on video: A British railway worker saves an apparently drunk bicyclist at the last minute after he had fallen on the tracks. Or maybe not.

The brother of a fallen cyclist begs a Dublin county council to reconsider its decision not to include safe routes to schools in their draft development plan.

Security camera footage shows thieves casually bicycling on their way to rob Kim Kardashian in Paris, then back again with her $10 million jewelry in tow.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist loses a piece of his ear when a Magpie swoops down and attacks without warning.

Justice and common sense prevailed in Australia, where a drugged-out driver will spend at least three years in jail for killing a bike rider, despite attempting to use her newborn baby as a Get Out of Jail Free card.

 

Finally…

Your next U-lock could raise a real stink. Does this bike really look like a Lamborghini to you?

And anyone can ride a bike the usual way. But how many can do it facing backwards?

 

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: Saving lives through sound — as in audible — design, and random bike attacks around the world

Achieving LA’s Vision Zero goals will take some out of the box thinking.

And LADOT’s recent hiring of a sound artist-in-residence certainly fits that description.

According to Gizmodo,

In his role as LADOT’s artist-in-residence, Alan Nakagawa will specifically focus on LA’s Vision Zero plan, an international movement to reduce traffic deaths to zero. An avid cyclist, Nakagawa has long been immersed in transportation culture as a studio artist who has worked with the public art department in LA’s transit agency, Metro, for over 25 years. His goal is to focus on the neighborhoods affected most by traffic deaths, and use a very targeted approach for every neighborhood that takes cultural nuances into consideration.

Whether it will result in fewer deaths on our streets is debatable.

But at least the department is thinking about something besides Level of Service and how to move more cars faster through our streets.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Today’s common theme is road raging drivers and apparently random attacks on bike riders around the world.

A Washington driver is under arrest for using her car to herd a cyclist back onto the roadway as he tried to get away from her, then intentionally rear-ending his bike. Naturally, when arrested, she was only concerned about the damage to her car.

A Denver cyclist believes the hit-and-run SUV driver who ran him down from behind did it on purpose.

An Indianapolis bicyclist has no idea why a driver shot him in the chest after stopping to ask him a couple questions; police wonder if it’s related to the shooting of another cyclist the same morning.

A German cyclist was gunned down in an apparently random attack; a passing motorist was shot at as well.

And it goes both ways, as London Critical Mass riders are caught on video attacking a van driver who bumped a cyclist after being blocked in at a red light.

………

Tour of California champ Megan Guarnier wins Sunday’s Philadelphia International Cycling Classic to increase her lead in the Women’s WorldTour; Eduard Prades takes the men’s title.

………

Local

Streetsblog discusses Santa Monica’s first open streets event, where a good time was reportedly had by all.

A former writer for the LA Times has died of cancer; not only did David Lamb cover the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars — including naming the infamous Hamburger Hill — he also wrote a book about his tobacco-fueled midlife bike tour across the US.

Cycling in the South Bay remembers another popular local cyclist who lost his life to cancer over the weekend. I fucking hate cancer; I’ve lost too many good people to that damn disease.

KTLA-5 did a ride-along to promote the LACBC’s River Ride on Monday, while CiclaValley offers tips for this Sunday’s ride. Tip #1: You can still get a discount if you register online.

West Hollywood will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Fairfax Ave bike lanes this Thursday.

 

State

A Miami cyclist discusses how a ride down the California coast in last year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride changed his life; this year’s edition is taking place this week.

Camarillo is joining the list of cities cracking down on traffic violations that endanger cyclists and pedestrians this month. So watch how you ride in the city, because they’ll be watching you.

Santa Barbara could get its first bike boulevard on the city’s westside, but not on the preferred street if one woman has her way. After all, who would want better safety and livability, as well as increased property values?

A fast-growing Sacramento maker of space-efficient bike racks has changed its name to better reflect what they do. Or maybe they just want to sound more like a private military security contractor.

 

National

Wired digs deep into physics to determine if $3,400 Zipp wheels are worth the money. And concludes it’s complicated.

A new bike OS allows your lights, gearing, bike computers and other electronic gear to work together and share a single control mechanism and battery. And presumably, control your hidden motor-doping engine, as well.

A Portland city council candidate proposes adding adaptive bicycles for people with disabilities to the city’s coming bikeshare system. Meanwhile, Portland’s largest bike advocacy group expands its focus to include transit and pedestrian issues, while forming a 501(c)4 wing to allow it to recruit and endorse political candidates.

Bikeshare company Zagster’s success leads to a bigger Boston headquarters.

Caught on video: A creative DC bike thief climbs on the back of his SUV to wrestle a locked bike off a sign post.

Atlanta invests a whopping $1 billion in bike and pedestrian projects over the next 25 years.

 

International

Winnipeg becomes the latest Canadian city to consider a mandatory bike helmet law.

Paris fights the city’s notorious pollution by banning cars built before 1997, while Norway considers banning gas-powered cars by 2025. Although the electric ones hurt just as much when they hit you. Or so I’m told.

A new truck cab design from Mercedes-Benz lowers the driver’s position and provides see-through doors to greatly reduce blind spots and improve visibility of people riding bikes and on foot.

 

Finally…

The next time you find yourself along side a Porsche at a red light, challenge ‘em to a race. If you want to change your life for the better, steal a former Congressman’s bike.

And if you’re going to throw your bike, at least do it with a little panache.

Attorney Solves the Great Mystery of the “No Biking In Crosswalk” Signs

Bikes Have Rights™
By James L. Pocrass, Esq.
Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

USC Crosswalk Sign

Cyclists biking around the University of Southern California may once again be stopped and cited for riding their bikes in a crosswalk.

The officer stopping them, whether they are from the Los Angeles Police Department or USC security, when asked why they are writing a ticket might reference the sign that reads “Walk Bikes In Crosswalk” as the reason for citing the cyclist. What the officer apparently doesn’t know is that there is no such law, regardless of what the signs says.

At the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Open House a couple of months ago, I met a graduate student who attends USC and who is a cyclist. He told me about this sign at Jefferson and Royal, and a few others like it, near the USC campus. He wanted to know if these signs were accurate and enforceable. A few days later he took and emailed me the accompanying photo.

I knew this wasn’t a question of law as bicycles can be ridden – legally – through crosswalks. So where and how and why was this sign on the street?

We contacted Sgt. Flynn of the LAPD, Central Traffic Division, who said, “I do not know of any California Vehicle Code section that states you can’t ride your bike in a crosswalk.  The only section that someone could be cited for, if it is an official sign, would be CVC 21461(a)vc ‘Official Traffic Sign or Signal-failure of Driver to Obey Regulatory Provisions.’”

So where did this sign come from and why is it still there? What we found out after many, many telephone calls and emails, is that the sign is reflective of old laws that empowered officers to cite bicyclists for not walking their bikes in a crosswalk. But that law was taken off the books in 2006.

This is not a new issue, particularly in the USC neighborhood. In September 2009, the Daily Trojan reported that a task force of LAPD officers and USC security was being put together to regulate safety. This would include sting operations set up at intersections to cite cyclists riding their bikes in crosswalks. Citations could cost up to $250.

On Jan. 12, 2010, four months later, Streetsblog wrote a more extensive article on this same topic called “If You Want to Know Bicycle Law, Don’t Ask the California Highway Patrol, Part 2.” Streetsblog reported that, as we know, there was no law that stated that cyclists had to dismount and walk their bikes in crosswalks. Ten years later, since the 2006 change in the law, we’re still discussing these same issues.

Los Angeles Department of Transportation has jurisdiction over most traffic devices – signs and signals – in the City of Los Angeles. DOT employees confirmed that this sign is a DOT sign and it was installed by DOT.

LADOT’s Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowrey was one of the people involved in the 2006 modifications of the California Vehicle Code that resulted in the removal of the law that bicycles had to be walked through crosswalks.

When we asked Mowrey about this sign, she told me that whether or not it is reflecting the pre-2006 law, it is a non-standard sign.  Mowrey told us that though the sign doesn’t appear in any Caltrans’ manuals, a black-and-yellow sign, as it is, indicates that it’s a warning sign, not a regulatory sign, which is black-and-white. Citations can be issued only on regulatory black-and-white signs. That’s why speed limit signs are black-and-white and “Share the Road” signs are black-and-yellow.

An LAPD representative said the LAPD was not involved in the signs. We were told their opinion of the sign is that it is a safety recommendation. Our question, then, would be, do LAPD officers know that or are they still ticketing cyclists for disobeying the sign? We don’t have an answer to that question.

We talked to three different people at LADOT about why these signs were up. In essence, they all said that after the law was changed, in 2006, steps were taken to remove signs like these on all city streets. These signs were overlooked, apparently, and it was just an oversight.

Mehrdad Moshskar, LADOT’s central district engineer, was our next stop. We were referred to him to find out how to get the signs removed. Moshskar assured me that all of these signs in that area of town would be removed soon.

People have asked me if I thought the signs originated with USC. I have no idea, and no one knew or was willing to tell me.

The official answer came from Tim Fremaux in the LADOT Bicycle Coordination Department who said, “Anyone can submit any traffic-related request via myladot.lacity.org and it will be reviewed. If DOT approves the request, it will be implemented on our streets.”

There are Traffic Division and Bicycle Liason meetings held on a quarterly basis, which are open to the public. These meetings include representatives from LADOT, USC, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office and other public groups. For more information about these meetings, contact Lt. Chris Ramirez at 213-486-6000.

Meanwhile, if anybody goes past Jefferson and Royal, would you email me at info@pocrass.com and let me know if the sign is still up?

 

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

Jim Pocrass, Pocrass & De Los Reyes LLP

For more than 25 years, Jim Pocrass has represented people who were seriously injured, or families who lost a loved one in a wrongful death, due to the carelessness or negligence of another. Jim is repeatedly named to Best Lawyers of America and to Southern California Super Lawyers for the outstanding results he consistently achieves for his clients. Having represented hundreds of cyclists during his career, and Jim’s own interest in cycling, have resulted in him becoming a bicycle advocate. He is a board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Jim Pocrass at 310.550.9050 or at info@pocrass.com.

Morning Links: Turning Vision Zero into an unfunny joke, adventures in traffic blocking, and CicLAvia the Musical

No bikes involved this time.

But sadly, a 17-year old high school student was killed while walking in a crosswalk on North Figueroa yesterday, apparently unaware that classes had been cancelled due to a terrorism hoax.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on the street in the last six months, with three pedestrians and a cyclist losing their lives on a street that was supposed to have been made safer by now.

And would have been, if Councilmember Gil Cedillo hadn’t unilaterally killed a fully funded, shovel ready road diet for reasons he has yet to fully explain, instead bizarrely claiming he was halting the safety project in the name of safety. Yet as yesterday’s tragedy clearly shows, his inaction has merely helped keep a dangerous street deadly.

Unfortunately, we live in a city where councilmembers oversee virtual fiefdoms, thanks to the reluctance of their fellow councilmembers or the mayor to challenge them for fear of retaliation against projects in their own districts.

This has to change.

If Cedillo is unwilling to admit his mistake, someone in city leadership or LADOT has to find the courage to stand up to him to protect the lives of our fellow Angelenos.

Otherwise, people will continue to die needlessly.

And our much-vaunted and fought-for Vision Zero will be nothing more than a very unfunny joke.

………

Today’s theme is bizarre court cases involving allegedly traffic-blocking bike riders.

A Louisville KY bike and pedestrian advocate rejected a plea deal on charges of blocking traffic and running a red light, insisting that bicyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes. Or stop at red lights, for that matter.

A Pennsylvania bike rider faces charges for repeatedly obstructing traffic by slowly riding his bike in the middle of the road; a prosecutor hints he may be trying to get hit after receiving a settlement from a drunk driver for a 2007 collision. Or he could just be taking the lane on a narrow street, like bike riders are instructed to do.

………

Help keep LA's best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

Help keep LA’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to you every morning.

………

‘Tis the season.

For the seventh year, the Burbank Bike Angels will donate over 120 refurbished bikes to children of local low-income families.

A Rochester NY bike shop donated 20 bikes to an organization serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for the second year in a row.

………

Local

Democratic legislators ask Obama for funding to start planning and design work for the restoration of the LA River, which could include extensions of the LA River bike path.

LADOT is looking for a Planning Assistant. Riding a bike should be an added requirement for the job, though.

CiclaValley offers 100 seconds of bike commuting from the Valley to DTLA.

 

State

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says anti-bicycle bigotry is growing, as local residents fight plans for long-promised bikeways.

San Diego approves a new climate action plan, including a commitment to cut car trips in key transportation zones by 50% within 20 years.

SF Gate says nice try on San Francisco’s first raised bike lane, but it doesn’t actually keep cars and trucks out.

 

National

Pro ‘cross racers offer advice on how to avoid high bike fees when you fly.

The Federal Highway Administration provides Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks.

The family of a Portland driver accused of fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist while driving stoned says it was just an accident and he’s really an awesome person. Except when running down bike riders while too high to drive, evidently.

A New Mexico man is arrested for his seventh DUI, just three months after being released from prison for killing a bike rider in 2005 while driving at three times the legal limit. Yet somehow, despite repeatedly proving he’s incapable of resisting the temptation to drink and drive, he’s still allowed behind the wheel.

Forget skiing. If you’re looking for a little winter adventure, try fat tire cycling through the Minnesota snow.

The Wall Street Journal says New York safety advocates say more needs to be done even though traffic deaths are declining. After all, it’s Vision Zero, not Vision Slightly Better.

A Savannah writer nails it. “A legion of scofflaw cyclists cannot inflict the amount of pain, suffering and death as one young man driving a Dodge Durango.”

 

International

Unbelievable. A Costa Rican cab driver denies doing anything wrong after pulling out from the curb and hitting three lead riders of a bike race after police had cleared the route; fortunately, no one was badly hurt.

A road raging bus driver deals with a confrontation with a London cyclist by running over his bike.

A candidate for London mayor offers a six-point plan to make the city a “byword for cycling around the world.”

A British man gets life in prison for intentionally driving his car into his bike-riding romantic rival.

Police are looking for a Brit rider who threw a woman down a flight of stairs after becoming enraged because her dog was not on a leash.

An Indian paper calls speeding and luxury cars a killer combination. Meanwhile, 110 CEOs from all over the world will ride over 500 miles on a week-long expedition through the country, and a champion para-cyclist explains how he didn’t let losing a leg stop him.

Brisbane, Australia’s Green Party proposes a network of protected bike lanes, which would allow cyclists to ride in safety to within two blocks of any location in the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and win the world championships, as the prestigious former British Medical Journal says the rainbow jersey isn’t cursed after all. What it’s like to ride a bike to your own wedding.

And presenting CicLAvia, the musical.

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