Tag Archive for lane reductions

Morning Links: Mar Vista Great Streets success, 6th Street safety open house, and road rage around the world

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

My hard drive cable failed just as I was finishing yesterday’s post. Fortunately, I was able to get it replaced, and recovered most, though not all, of what I had written.

As a result, today’s post includes news from both days. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in; we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

And come back tomorrow, when we’ll have even more bike and safety news we couldn’t squeeze into today’s post.

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It’s working.

Despite the claims of road diet opponents, the three-month safety stats show the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista is working exactly as promised, with collisions, injuries and speeding down, while resulting in what should be an easily tolerable delay in rush hour traffic.

Which should put the debate to rest, but probably won’t.

Meanwhile, a new Toronto study shows what Mar Vista has to look forward to, as controversial separated bike lanes on a downtown Toronto street have significantly improved safety, while boosting business in the surrounding area.

Like Mar Vista’s Venice Blvd Great Streets Project, Toronto faced near-constant demands from drivers to remove the Bloor Street bike lanes, as well as merchants angry over the loss of parking spaces.

It’s been successful in Toronto.

And it will be in Mar Vista, if local leaders can fight off the demands to remove them.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for link to the Toronto study.

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Speaking of traffic safety improvements, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 21st, to discuss the desperately needed changes to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

As we’ve noted before, even though the Mid City West Community Council has voted unanimously to support lane reductions on 6th, Ryu has dragged his feet on the project, despite his oft-stated promises to listen to the local community.

He has suggested an alternative that would keep two lanes in each direction, while adding left turn bays at several intersections and removing parking spaces near intersections.

This would actually have the opposite effect of the safety improvements the local community has been begging for, speeding the flow of traffic rather than slowing it, while increasing the risk to bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

It’s important that everyone who uses the street in any way, or cares about traffic safety, attend to if you can to demand a safer 6th Street.

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Long Beach bike advocate and Pedal Love founder Melissa Balmer teamed with Minnesota writer and consultant Jay Walljasper to author a new study on the Surprising Promise of Bicycling to be released today.

The study focuses on the “untapped demographic potential, growth of bike share and infrastructure, the deepening influence of grass roots advocacy,” as well as the promise of ebikes.

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Today’s common theme is road raging drivers.

And bike riders, too.

An Arkansas man faces charges for crashing into a man on a bike — evidently intentionally — then threatening him with a machete, apparently because the rider sprayed a couple dogs with a water bottle when they chased after him.

Witnesses say a driver appeared to intentionally cross over the yellow line to smash into Georgia teenager as the boy signaled for a left turn on his bike.

The Chicago bike rider who was hit with a drum by a road raging driver — after smashing the man’s rear window with his U-lock — has started a crowdfunding campaign to get his damaged teeth fixed.

An Ohio lawyer could face disbarment for brake-checking a bike rider and smashing his cellphone in a road rage incident.

Evidently, there’s no shortage of road rage in Asheville NC. Police are looking for a bicyclist who allegedly hit a driver several times with his helmet, kicked him, and stole his eyeglasses and $80. This comes just two weeks after a driver was caught on dashcam video punching a cyclist.

A London cab driver tells a bike rider to “go back to f***ing Poland” or wherever he’s from after the rider complains about the driver stopping in a bike box.

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We’ll catch up with a long list of bike events tomorrow, but I want to mention just a couple today due to the tight timelines.

Bike SGV is hosting the BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tomorrow night, offering a free two-wheeled tour of the Pasadena art fest with stops at several venues.

And AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides starting at Balboa Park this Saturday, to officially start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast. You can choose from rides of 14 or 43.7 miles, with a free lunch provided for registered participants.

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Local

In what’s just the latest multimillion dollar settlement due to the city’s dangerous streets, the LA city council voted to pay $15 million to a man who suffered permanent brain damage due to a substandard Hollywood crosswalk. That’s $15 million they could have used to fix several dangerous intersections, instead of paying for not fixing one.

Paramedics at LAX will now make their way through the terminals by bicycle.

Volunteers are needed for the tenth annual Long Beach bike count.

Sports Illustrated reviews the new book Draft Animals from LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon.

The SGV Connect podcast remembers Bike SGV staff member Brian Velez, who passed away unexpectedly last month. A memorial ride will be held in his honor this Sunday.

 

State

Governor Brown once again pulls out his veto pen to strike down a bike bill, negating a law that would have required the California Department of General Services to expand an employee bikeshare program it currently runs for staffers in Sacramento to other departments, and other areas of the state.

Goleta considers building a separated bike and pedestrian path through the city.

The very cool new Johnny Cash Art Trail officially opens in Folsom this Saturday.

San Francisco is preparing to issue permits to an e-bikeshare operator, portentially violating the non-compete agreement they have with Ford’s GoBike.

Oakland explores a new approach to fixing a dangerous intersection with paint and bollards, by adding bike lanes and a widened median for pedestrians, in just ten weeks for a mere $30,000. The result has been a 7% drop in speeding with no decrease in median speeds, and a whopping 86% increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A seven-year old Oakland bike shop provides local youth with job training and affordable transportation.

A Marin writer questions the wisdom of reopening a closed-off tunnel for bike and pedestrian use.

A new study from UC Davis shows that many trips that could be made by foot, bike or transit are now being made by Uber and Lyft, adding to the congestion on our streets.

 

National

Doctors call for cities to do more to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe, as the US faces its biggest jump in traffic deaths in 50 years.

If you’ve spent much time walking or riding a bike, you may be surprised to learn that traffic engineers have an ethical duty to protect public safety, which they’ve too often ignored. Okay, maybe shocked is a better word.

Yes, it is possible to ride a bike from the airport in major cities around the US, including Los Angeles.

An article in Bicycle Times calls bicycling the ultimate social sport.

No irony here. A Nebraska bike rider was hit by a car on the way home from a bicycle safety meeting; needless to say, the driver wasn’t ticketed.

A retired Wisconsin legislator says the state’s governor is no friend to bicycling.

A pair of Detroit men have been arrested for at least three separate daylight abductions and sexual assaults of women as they rode their bicycles. Let’s hope they get thrown into a deep pit for a very long time.

An Indianapolis man entertains passing drivers by juggling and riding his bike backwards in a parking lot.

Massachusetts’ abolition-themed 1854 Cycling Company hires recently released inmates, giving them a second chance in life; the owner grew up in South Central LA.

New York police are targeting people on bikes, rather than focusing on the operators of more dangerous vehicles.

Lawyers are challenging a recent New York Vision Zero law making right-of-way violations a misdemeanor offense; three judges have found the law unconstitutional on the grounds that people can’t be held accountable for violations they don’t know they’re committing.

There’s a special place in hell for the guys who tried to jack a New York bikeshare bike from a 13-year old Hasidic boy; police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Delaware is now officially the second state to authorized the Idaho Stop law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields on two-lane streets.

Officials say a proposal to build a bikeway alongside a North Carolina freeway could reduce congestion while boosting the local economy.

There is something seriously wrong when a soldier can receive multiple Purple Hearts on four overseas deployments, only to be killed in a collision while riding a bicycle back to his Georgia base; he was an advocate for wounded vets through the Operation Enduring Warrior program.

 

International

This is what happens when people who ride bicycles get involved in the political process, as both major candidates in Montreal’s mayoral election court the bike vote. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where bicyclists should be a major political block, but aren’t.

A writer for a Canadian university says traffic laws apply to those cocky cyclists too, while apparently confusing the rate of fatalities caused by bicyclists with those caused by motorists.

An independent commission has urged London’s mayor to be bold in reducing congestion and air pollution, and create transportation system centered on walking, bicycling and transit.

A British bike rider has been jailed for three weeks for crashing into a four-year old kid while riding brakeless.

Britain’s Chris Boardman offers a ten-point plan to enjoy bicycling in your middle age. I can shorten that to two points: 1) get on your bike, and 2) ride it.

A councilmember in Bengaluru, India has demanded that the city fix the streets and make it pothole-free within 15 days. Let us know if it works; I know a few other cities that could use it.

A writer for the Nikkei Asian Review says a simple formula can reflect the affluence of a country by measuring those who ride a bike because they choose to, as compared to those who ride because they have no alternative.

 

Finally…

No, attaching a flashing light to your helmet will not ward off magpie attacks. Forget Pinarellas and Conalgos; if you really want to impress the guys on your club ride, show up on a gold-plated Giant.

And your new $4,000 BMW ebike would offer as much torque as a small car.

Okay, a very small car.

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A special thank you to Linda Campbell for her generous contribution to help support this site. Or maybe to the BikinginLA computer repair fund.

 

Morning Links: The unholy battle over road diets in City of Angels, free range kids on bikes, and JuJu is one of us

LA’s bruising street fight is starting to get international attention, as World Magazine looks at the battle over road diets in Los Angeles. And has the good taste to quote yours truly.

Meanwhile, the battle to undo those road diets has spread east, where a petition calls for removing the bike lanes and bollards on deadly Foothill Blvd, as well as Sunland Blvd.

As of this writing, it had garnered over a thousand signatures. Not to mention a lively, if somewhat misinformed and frightening, debate on the local Next Door.

And someone should tell them those bollards are flexible, and can be driven over in case of an emergency.

Thanks to Doug Moore for the heads-up. Road diet photos from the USDOT Federal Highway Administration website.

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Speaking of debates, David Wolfberg forwards one from the Free Range Kids site asking if kids are learning to ride their bikes at an older age. Or maybe not at all.

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Former USC and current Pittsburgh Steelers star JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of us.

https://twitter.com/TeamJuJu/status/904857339827597313

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Don’t try this at home. A hi-viz clad Aussie salmon cyclist decides to make a sudden U-turn across, and through, three lanes of oncoming traffic.

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The lead stays the same, if a little less so, following a brutal climb in the Vuelta. Cycling Weekly offers five talking points from the stage.

More carnage from the Tour of Britain, where several riders crashed into the back of a car parked on the race course. Meanwhile, two cyclists have been disqualified for riding on the sidewalk to attack the peloton.

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Local

In the latest settlement due to LA’s crappy roads, the city council voted to pay a Sherman Oaks bike rider $6.5 million for injuries suffered when he hit a pothole on Valley Vista Blvd. Money that could have been much better spent trying to prevent crashes like this in the first place.

Bono tells KROQ that Brandon Flowers of The Killers is one of us, after he wiped out on his bike like the U2 front man did awhile back.

CiclaValley questions whether the planned East Valley Transit Corridor will underwhelm cyclists and the Valley alike.

Not only will Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles measure your butt to find the perfect saddle, they’ll also keep a digital record of your nether regions stored for future reference. At least when someone builds a statue of me after I’m gone, they’ll have a perfect record of my ass.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune offers an in-depth look at the removal of 15 beachfront bikeshare stations.

A Calabasas letter writer says the purpose of a planned bike lane is solely for safety, not recreational riding.

Caught on video: The local paper offers a thrilling — and bouncy — firsthand view of mountain biking down the highest peak in San Luis Obispo County. Meanwhile, a local man  goes on an epic 3,500 word rant accusing San Luis Obispo of “ramming a bicycle freeway” through an unwilling neighborhood, destroying residents’ quality of life and apparently ending life as we know it.

A Ceres man leaves a note thanking the cop who arrested him, saying he needs help after he was busted for meth while riding a stolen bicycle.

Santa Clara County’s $6 billion transportation project is on hold, thanks to a single woman who is suing to stop the whole thing to protect an ancient aquifer under a planned BART station. As opposed to all those modern aquifers, evidently.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Portola driver won’t be charged, despite being found at fault for plowing head-on into a group of cyclists last month, injuring six people.

 

National

When an Albuquerque street turned out to be narrower than expected, planners naturally responded by narrowing the bike lane while leaving the spacious traffic lanes intact.

An admitted Massachusetts gang member accuses police officers of harassment after he was stopped for riding without a helmet, which isn’t illegal, and riding salmon, which is.

Next time you’re in New York, take a 38-mile bike tour around Manhattan.

A Jersey Shore bike rider won a $1.58 million judgment after she was struck by the driver of a city-owned vehicle.

 

International

Residents of a Canadian town complain that bicyclists continue to ride abreast in the traffic lane, instead of single file in the new, apparently substandard bike lane. Just a thought: If you want bicyclists to actually use it, don’t build a crappy, poorly marked gutter bike lane in the first place.

Let’s see if I’ve got this one right. After she’s released from prison two years early for the drunken death of a bike rider, an English woman gets drunk at a concert, and proceeds to punch a stranger who told her boyfriend to stop peeing on the woman sitting in front of him.

Britain’s prime minister says the country may consider new laws to target dangerous cycling, after a woman was killed by an out-of-control fixie rider. Meanwhile, no charges are expected after a British bike rider was killed when a “reckless” pedestrian stepped in front of him; in fact, there’s currently no law against wanton walking. And unlike the bike case, no plans to create one, either.

A cyclist in the UK says horses don’t belong on modern roads, sounding just like the drivers who say the same thing about bicyclists.

The mayor of Paris plans to make it the world’s most bikeable city.

Riding the boardwalk on the Israeli coast from Tel Aviv to Jaffa.

An Aussie writer calls for relaxing the country’s strict bike helmet law, because he says we need more cyclists.

Caught on video too: Seriously, don’t run a red light right next to a Kiwi motorcycle cop. Or better yet, just don’t run red lights, period.

 

Finally…

Enjoy your Yellowstone ride, but keep your distance from the bears and wolves — and the bison. Nothing like having your bike crash recorded for posterity on Google street view.

And it’s probably more credible to claim you’re not a violent man if you don’t get caught on video threatening to follow a cyclist and fuck his life.

I’m just saying.

 

Morning Links: Vista del Mar timetable released, LADOT Active Transportation Staff grows, and a little good bike news

One important note before we get started.

A Twitter account recently came to my attention for an organization incorrectly claiming to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

This same group, Westside Walkers LA, also falsely claims to be sponsored by the city.

However, the only Westside Walkers group that appears to actually exist as anything other than a Twitter account is a mall walking group sponsored by UCLA Health.

Last night, they misrepresented themselves as being associated with, and one of the founders of, this website and/or the associated Twitter account @bikinginla.

Just to be clear, neither this group or its Twitter account, or any person(s) responsible for it, are associated with BikinginLA, or its Twitter account or Facebook page, in any way whatsoever. Nor are any other social media accounts or organizations, on any platform.

If you become aware of anyone falsely claiming to represent this site, whether online or in person, please contact me immediately at the address on the About BikinginLA page.

Thank you.

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A timetable has been released for the restoration of two travel lanes on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, following the uproar from inconvenienced commuters after they were removed in an effort to improve safety.

The lanes, not the commuters.

Although that would probably improve safety, too.

The Daily News reports the work will begin on August 21st, and take two to three weeks to complete.

Never mind the misleading headline, which a) incorrectly implies there are bike lanes on Vista del Mar, and b) suggests that the other recent lane reductions in the area, which do have bike lanes, are also being removed.

They’re not.

Although not everyone is happy about the change back.

I’ve been copied on an email to a representative of the Coastal Commission from a rider named Gregory, who’s fighting a rearguard action to keep the changes in place.

Hello! I’m a resident of Los Angeles in Mike Bonin’s district. I just left you a voicemail. I’m concerned that Los Angeles is planning to remove the parking along Vista del Mar and thereby adversely affect beach access for Californians.

Recently a road diet was implemented on Vista Del Mar and Culver Blvds because of the dangerousness of the area and settlements paid to dead pedestrians.  The road diet created a bottleneck and caused a large amount of delays for commuters. However, after a recent reconfiguration and change to the light timing, any delays seem to have disappeared.

I drove the road three times on rush hour last Tuesday. I videoed one trip which I could share if needed. At 7:0 am it took about 7:30 to get from Imperial to Jefferson, at 830 am it took about 9:15, and at 930am it only took 6 minutes and I drove the speed limit the entire time and was first in line at the one light that caught me.

So once again, the problems with traffic really seem to have gone away and actually driving down Vista del Mar was pleasant! I didn’t have to worry about someone passing me at 60 mph and zooming from lane to lane. Hopefully that lane can remain gone. However, Mike Bonin’s office has recently come out and said that they will change the road back to two lanes and remove parking along Vista del Mar. This concerns me, as that would lead to a net loss of parking and loss of access to the beach for Californians, and would generally make the road less pleasant and less safe. Do we really want Vista del Mar to turn into a freeway?

Thank you for looking into this.

Update: You can find contact information for the Coastal Commission here.

He followed-up with an email to LADOT and Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office.

Hello! I would like to express my happiness at the current lane situations on Vista del Mar, Culver, and Pershing Blvds. With the recent changes to light timing and the lane tweaks the traffic situation seems to have been fully ameliorated. I feel safe driving on Vista del Mar for the first time now! It used to be a race track with cars weaving in and out at high speed, occasionally creating collisions that stopped traffic completely. Now traffic goes at a reasonable speed and even at rush hour there isn’t much of a delay. I recently travelled north at 930 am and drove the speed limit the entire way. Hopefully a few reactionaries won’t get the lanes removed without a study. This is LA, traffic is to be expected, and the current configuration on Vista del Mar, Culver, and Pershing is the best of both worlds.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, is done to ensure Vista del Mar doesn’t return to the deadly, high-speed raceway it used to be once the restoration is complete.

And if Bonin can resist the pressure to return the other streets to their original dangerous configurations.

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Vision Zero LA tweeted a photo of the new Active Transportation Team at LADOT; 21 people, by my count.

It was only a few years ago that the entire active transportation staff at the agency consisted of former Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery.

Let’s hope that the larger staff leads to a better job of communicating than they’ve done lately.

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We could all use some good news these days. Like these stories gleaned from yesterday’s headlines.

A Willow Glen CA man joined with his brother, sister and brother-in-law to bike 300 miles through Minnesota, raising $10,000 for healthcare clinics in the Congo.

From Texas comes the story of a newly elected Dallas city councilwoman who led an 11-year fight to stop a planned $1.7 billion highway expansion that would have destroyed a local waterway, after scouting it out on her bicycle.

Austin TX honors three cops and four civilians who joined together to save the life of a woman whose bike was hit by a spinning car following a crash, lifting the 3,000 pound vehicle off her so she could be rescued. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Nice story from North Carolina, where locals knew a man who rode his bike everywhere as Bicycle Johnny. And the whole town came together to pay for his funeral when he died.

Also from North Carolina, the inspiring story of a bike rider who befriended the driver who ran him down and left him briefly paralyzed, as well as the doctor who saved his legs and his life; a year to the day after the crash, he’ll join that doctor in running in a half marathon.

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Cycling Weekly lists the six most bizarre non-cycling injuries sustained by professional cyclists. Although they limit it to the modern era, starting with Greg LeMond’s turkey shoot in which he ended up being the turkey.

A pair of websites question the fairness of allowing transgender pro cyclist Jillian Bearden to compete as a woman in the new Colorado Classic bike race, which begins today in Colorado Springs.

Kiwi rider Jesse Sergent makes the difficult transition from pro cyclist to real estate agent.

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Local

Speaking of good news, the Militant Angeleno is back with his latest epic CicLAvia guide, just in time for Sunday’s San Pedro meets Wilmington event. Personal issues will keep me from attending this one, so feel free to send photos or stories from the event for Monday’s post.

Longbeachize says a proposal to stripe bike lanes on Junipero Ave in Long Beach is lacking in imagination, for both drivers and bicyclists.

 

State

One more in the “I’m a cyclist but…” category. A San Diego letter writer says he’s been commuting to work by bike for 20 years, but that city officials goal of an 18% bicycling mode share is just burdening the public unless they ride, too. But since when is getting people out on their bikes a burden?

San Jose gets a temporary pop-up protected bike lane, as representatives of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, aka NACTO, visit to advise the city on how to create a world-class bicycling network.

The Sacramento Bee offers a drone’s-eye view of 20 bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes who rode through the city on a 4,280-mile journey that began in New York.

 

National

The Adventure Cycling Association is planning to add 400 miles to the 2,700-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, already the world’s longest mountain biking trail.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis introduces a hemp-oil CBD supplement for athletic aches and pains.

Bicycling offers advice on how to extend the life of your drivetrain.

A representative of the Denver Department of Environmental Health says traffic fatalities are a public health crisis, and Vision Zero is the solution.

Paramedics in Jackson Hole WY may take to their bikes to get around during the solar eclipse later this month, concluding it could be the fastest way to reach people who need help.

Kindhearted Omaha NE paramedics give a girl a refurbished bicycle to replace the one a man stole from her in a strong-arm robbery. Although the TV station seems confused as to just how many girls there are in the story.

The prosecution has rested in the case of the Pennsylvania cyclist charged with deliberately obstructing traffic on multiple occasions; an off-duty cop testified the rider intentionally crashed into his car, then claimed the car hit him.

Cambridge, Mass pulls the plug on a protected bike lane in mid-construction after local businesses complain, putting the job on hold for 30 days.

Someone is riding his bicycle up to the windows of New York cab drivers, and stealing their cash.

A New Jersey bike group visits the castles of Muenster, Germany.

A DC advocacy group calls for sharing trails with ebike users.

A concerned Florida motorist was already on the phone with 911 to report a dangerously reckless driver when the allegedly stoned driver struck a bike rider; police found cocaine, marijuana, hash oil and drug paraphernalia in his car.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh says middle-aged men, aka MAMILs, don’t take up riding because of a mid-life crisis, but because of the enjoyment they get from bicycling.

Good writes about those vaporware Chinese smog-eating bikes, saying prototypes should be on the streets of Beijing by the end of the year.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to drive drunk and scream racial slurs at the cop that pulls you over, always have a bike in your trunk to attempt a getaway.

And if you’re carrying a debit card and company ID belonging to someone else, as well as burglary tools, and have an outstanding warrant, maybe a train platform isn’t the best place to ride your bike.

 

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