Tag Archive for Los Angeles bike plan

L.A. bikes the vote, kneejerk anti-bike bias rears it’s ugly head, and a massive weekend list o’ links

A busy week of bike meetings and breaking news meant pushing back a lot of stories.

So grab a cup and settle in for a full weekend worth of the latest bike news from L.A. and around the world.


The LACBC provides responses to candidate surveys from 13 candidates for L.A. city council; surprisingly, some very bike-friendly candidates, such as Odysseus Bostick in CD 11, failed to respond.

Meanwhile, a writer for the L.A. Times offers a one-sided windshield-perspective look at the CD 11 candidates; I thought the Times had outgrown that sort of crap in recent years.

And I’m sick to death of people who don’t ride a bike stating with presumed authority that no one would ever ride from the Westside — or the Palisades — to Downtown when there are riders who do that, or its equivalent, every day.

I make the Westside to Downtown ride several times a month myself. And find it easier, cheaper, faster, more enjoyable — and yes, safer — than driving a car. But it’s so much easier to claim no one would do it than talk to someone who does.

As for the race for L.A. Mayor, Streetsblog offers video interviews from all five leading candidates. And the Times sort of makes up for their misstep above by getting them on the record for their stands on transportation issues, including bicycling.

If you want to do more than just cast a vote to ensure the city’s next leaders support bicycling — or any other city in L.A. County for that matter — come to the the LACBC’s Civic Engagement Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 26th at 6:45 pm at the Johnnie’s Pizza at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Blvd.


Has it really been two years since L.A. adopted a new bike plan? The city is making real progress, but anti-bike critics remain.

LADOT considers floating bike lanes for Westwood Blvd, but an LA Observed writer with a terminal case of windshield perspective says those damned bike lanes are going to ruin the streets for the rest of us. Examined Spoke responds, while Boyonabike smells anti-bike bias.

Rampant anti-bike NIMBYism rears its ugly head at the Westside bike lane meeting, as local neighborhood councils and business owners came in with minds already made up and their ears closed. On the other hand, Rancho Park Online offers a surprisingly well reasoned analysis of the Westwood proposal.

Meanwhile, Eagle Rock business owners question whether bike lanes are good or bad for business; that pretty much depends on whether their business can benefit from bike riders’ money. The Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council says keep bike lanes off Lankershim and put them on Vineland, instead; if you want to see a perfect example of irrational anti-bike bias, read the comments — seriously, elitist bike Nazis? And NoHoArtsDistrict tries to get the facts straight.


In one of the most outrageous cases in recent memory, a Buenos Aires driver runs down a cyclist, then flees with his victim’s body still on the hood of his car for 17 kilometers — 10.5 miles — until he’s stopped at a toll both.

And when the attendant pointed out he had a body on his car, he responded “Does that mean you’re going to charge me twice?”

Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Glendale News-Press finally reports on last Sunday’s horrible hit-and-run collision in which a cyclist was knocked off his bike and dragged onto the 5 Freeway by the fleeing minivan; I’ve updated the original story.


Even pro teams are victims of violence these days.

According to Cycling News, the Jamis-Hagens Berman team was on a training ride outside otherwise bike-friendly Tucson when a car pulled up next to them and the driver started swearing at them.

The car then swerved into the lead riders before speeding off, causing the riders to crash; fortunately, no one was seriously injured. And just as fortunately, the team car was following the paceline and managed to get photos of the driver’s license plate.

Hopefully, there will be an arrest — and serious charges — soon.


KNBC-4 recommends the LACBC’s ‘80s Bike Prom this Saturday, as do I; if I wasn’t still keeping a close eye on my wife thanks to her foot-dragging insurance company, I’d be there myself. Streetsblog is hosting a fundraiser with outgoing councilmember Bill Rosendahl the same night. A Midwestern transplant discovers you can bike in L.A. without dying, and borrows this blog’s name in the process. Here’s your map for April’s CicLAvia to the Sea; there will be a community meeting to discuss it next Thursday. New pavement and bike lanes for Cypress Park. Burbank adopts its new general plan; naturally, the only no vote came because the plan includes a bigger bike network. Universal Studios will fund projects to alleviate Burbank traffic caused by their expansion, and extend the L.A. River bike path they’ve long tried to block. Long Beach wants to help you become a street savvy cyclist.

A La Habra teen is stabbed by two men for his bike. Huntington Beach plans to widen Atlanta Avenue and add bike lanes in both direction; hopefully they won’t follow the murderous OC pattern of striping wide lanes to encourage more speeding drivers. A Coronado driver says yes, it is my job to make you obey the law. Not so fast on those new bike lanes on the Coast Highway in Leucadia. San Diego plans to add bike lanes and sidewalks to fix a dangerous stretch of road in San Ysidro. Temecula’s Sarah Hammer takes gold in the women’s individual pursuit at the World Championships. This has got to be the crappiest name ever for a bike ride; no, I mean literally. Camarillo adds two miles of bike lanes. Cambria riders push Caltrans to fix the damage they did to one of California’s favorite riding routes. Turn any shoes into cleated bike shoes. Cyclists on San Francisco’s King Street are at the mercy of cars once the bike lane ends mid-block. San Francisco police bust a fugitive sex offender for riding on the sidewalk. Supporters of a fallen Oroville cyclist says it’s time to end hit-and-runs.

The man whose name graces my bike says he wants to get back into the business; makes sense since he’s now America’s only Tour de France winner. Not surprisingly, traffic fatalities rose nationwide in 2012. The USDOT questions whether dead cyclists and pedestrians count enough to count. L.A.-style bicyclist anti-harassment laws are spreading nationwide. Dave Moulton says lighter isn’t always better. Ninety members of my old fraternity plan to bike across the county to raise awareness for disabilities this summer. Sorry Wired, fat bikes don’t huck and bikes can’t outrun wolves. Washington considers a $25 fee on the sale of any bike over $500; even the woman who wrote the bill doesn’t support it. A bike rider is killed by a train because a Utah driver couldn’t be bothered to clean the frost off her windshield. Rocky Mountain National Park considers its first off-road bike trails. If you’re stopped for biking under the influence on your birthday, it’s probably not a good idea to celebrate by strangling the cop. A Chicago newsman panics over planned bikeways and bus lanes on the Loop. Now that’s more like it, as an Indiana driver gets 18 years for killing two teenage bike riders after smoking meth. New York plans a crackdown on bike delivery riders. Former Bogota mayor Enrique Penalosa says Gotham could be more livable. A Philly writer wisely suggests that instead of focusing on how to get women to ride, we should consider what works for everyone; Elly Blue says just invite everyone to the party. Bike safety goes down in flames in Virginia legislature. Wannabe Latin pop star Carlos Bertonatti finally pleads guilty in the 2010 drunken hit-and-run death of a Miami cyclist; Bertonatti faces up to 35 years, but it’s unlikely he would have changed his plea if there wasn’t a deal in place.

Once again, a study supports the obvious conclusion that lower speeds and separated bike lanes significantly reduce the risk of cycling injuries. Five lessons from the world’s most bike friendly city, winter edition. How to travel with your Brompton. Looks like next year we can look forward to the Giro d’Eire. A look at the five best Hollywood bike scenes from a Brit perspective, without mentioning Breaking Away, American Flyers or Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. A major failure of education and traffic planning, as English children are banned from biking or walking to school. A New Zealand writer asks if hi-viz makes you a target. Australia, which mandates bike helmets for everyone, also requires bike bells in an apparent attempt to help more angels get their wings. Adelaide police statistics show drivers are at fault in an overwhelming 80% of all collisions; thank God Aussie cyclists have their bells to protect them.

Finally, this is why some people hate lawyers. A defense attorney claims his client wasn’t impaired when she killed a cyclist, but only took the drugs afterwards — apparently to cope with just having killed someone while driving distracted at over 70 mph.

Or maybe you just need a little bike rap to kick off your weekend; the language may be offensive to some, including heavy abuse of the dreaded n-word.


Thanks to Chris and the gang at the Westwood Helen’s, I no longer have a busted bearing in my bottom bracket. And neither does my bike.

If you’re looking for a great LBS, tell ‘em I sent you.

Your big, bold list of King/Inauguration Day bike links

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Dr. Martin Luther King

Something to remember as we confront the irrational anger in today’s America.

And on our streets.


L.A. cyclists finally have some real reasons to get excited as plans are unveiled for the city’s first cycle tracks and raised bike lanes. Meanwhile, the city speeds up key projects by opting out of environmental review; hearings for first year projects will be held next month.

Personally, I’ll be happy when the 7th Street bike lanes don’t stop at Figueroa, throwing me head first into the madness of barely organized traffic every time I ride Downtown.


Evidently, you can ride slowly in L.A. traffic and still get where you’re going in one piece. Orange 20 Bikes reports on Saturday’s Tweed Ride. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Marathon Crash Race 2013 on March 17th. The Venice Neighborhood Council discusses road diets, bikes lanes and back-in angled parking on Tuesday. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Operation Firefly brings bike lights to Boyle Heights. The LACBC offers Pigskins & Pedals: A Sunday Funday Tour of LA’s Historic Football Stadiums on Sunday, Feb 3rd, while new LACBC-affiliate chapter Downey Bicycle Coalition kicks off a series of monthly community bike rides next weekend. Cycling in the South Bay promises to stop for stop signs — well, that one, at least. CLR Effect looks at a cloudless Sunday on two wheels, meanwhile, Michael writes movingly about the loss of his father last week; let’s all offer a prayer or some good thoughts for a good man.

Where to ride if you’re visiting Disneyland. A 47-year old San Marcos cyclist is seriously injured in an early morning hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane. Some cities ticket cyclists for riding on the sidewalk; in El Cajon they shoot them repeatedly. The San Luis Obispo paper calls on a “well-meaning” Caltrans to fix the mess they created on Hwy 1.

American Katie Compton wins the world overall cyclocross championship without a single pedal stroke, while a Kiwi rider makes his mark with his moustache. A People for Bikes survey shows the need for better infrastructure. Your next bike lock could be a kickstand, and vice versa. L’affaire Lance — which we’re otherwise ignoring here — elevates America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, while the other former Tour de France winner who swore he didn’t dope but didn’t go on Oprah sues Armstrong’s confederates; Dave Moulton wishes Lance would just go away and take his dope with him. Riding fat tire bikes through the Alaskan winter. In a tragic irony, a postal worker is killed at the same dangerous intersection where a mail truck killed a cyclist in 2011. Can America survive a White House Chief of Staff who bikes while distracted?

London Mayor BoJo appoints a writer for the Daily Telegraph as the city’s first bicycling commissioner; I suppose it’s only Americans who’d be bothered that his name is Gilligan, right li’l buddy? Britain’s Parliament commits to getting the country on their bikes; don’t hold your breath for Congress to pick up the torch. The same UK court that fined a driver £35 for killing a cyclist fines another £110 for hitting a parked car. An Irish cyclist says it’s time to make helmet use mandatory. Scot cyclists prepare to Pedal on Parliament again. Soccer-playing 2006 Tour de France champ Oscar Pereiro says cyclists aren’t the only ones who dope, pointing the finger at his fellow footballers. Speaking of the TdF, the 2014 edition kicks off in the home of the Damned United. Even in Copenhagen, NIMBYs fight bike lanes. American tourists in Taiwan want to share a photo with two Aussie cyclists they met on the road. An Australian cyclist loans his own front wheel to a racer in need. A New Zealand writer says bicycles could save the world.

Finally, if you’re going to ride, ride by the rules — all 91 of them. Soar high above traffic in your own bicycle habitrail. And if this isn’t enough links for your MLKing/Inauguration Day reading, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a big bunch more.


Congratulations to April Economides, Kevin Hopps and Trent Strong, the newest members of the LACBC board of directors; if you’re not a member of the LACBC, you’re missing out on the county’s largest and most effective bike advocacy organization.

The link love is back — Villaraigosa’s failing bikeway promise, Roadblock joins the bloggerati

Leading L.A. bike advocate and Creak Freak Joe Linton offers another of his exceptional bike wonk efforts, digging deep into the mayor’s promise to build 40 miles of bikeways each year.

And not surprisingly, finding it lacking.

Linton points out that between what’s already installed and what’s projected to be installed by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th, the city will end up over 23% short of the mayor’s promise, at 31.04 miles.

And that includes eight miles of sharrows, which we all seem to appreciate, but which most would hardly consider fulfillment of the mayor’s promise.

After all, sharrows are easy to put down almost anywhere. But unlike bike lanes, they don’t grant us one inch of pavement we weren’t entitled to before. Or get us out of the traffic lane, where our safety depends on the willingness of drivers to observe the law. Let alone pay attention.

Which isn’t something you really want to count on.

Still, Joe holds out hope that L.A. will live up to its promise. And offers a list of low hanging fruit that could be installed quickly and easily.

Are you listening Mayor?


Speaking of our soon-to-be outgoing mayor, Streetsblog is keeping an eye on L.A.’s 2013 mayoral candidates.

I particularly like cyclist, businessman and former First Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner’s comment that 35 years is too long to build out the city’s bike plan.

“We want a bike-friendly city. What does the City deliver? A 35-year plan.  It took Tolstoy one year to write “War and Peace,” four years for physicists to assemble an atom bomb, eight years to answer JFK’s call to land a man on the moon, and it took Dick Riordan three months to fix the 10 freeway after the Northridge earthquake. Why is it going to take 35 years to make us bike-friendly?

Why indeed?

A motivated mayor could easily build out the entire plan before he or she is termed out, even if we tossed in a few cycle tracks, bike boxes and other assorted infrastructure still considered experimental under current Caltrans guidelines.

As NYDOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said, it’s just paint.


In a very pleasant surprise, one of the leaders of L.A.’s cycling community joins the bloggerati, as Roadblock begins a bi-weekly column for the excellent KCET’s Departures series; it’s worth the click just for the breathtaking photos.

They also offer a first-hand report on Flying Pigeon’s ever popular Get Sum Dim Sum ride.


The long awaited Main Street road diet in Venice is now underway. Richard Risemberg reminds the Tea Partiers among us that bikes aren’t socialistic, but highways are. The LACBC tours bike-friendly Long Beach with County Supervisor and presumed L.A. mayoral candidate Zev Yaroslovsky. LADOT offers an update on the latest BPIT meeting, while Street Services take a patchwork approach to preserving sharrows. Better Bike offers advice on how to put a dent in Beverly Hills bike theft. The Weekly looks at the Fresh Food Bike grocery delivery mentioned here awhile back. USC releases a draft plan for dealing with bike safety on campus; all options seem to include at least a partial bike ban or dismount zone. Will Campbell discovers a new bike/ped path in Burbank. South Pasadena is looking for advisory committee members for a remake of Monterey Road, including possible bike lanes. A must read, as KCRW’s Shortcut’s blog asks if the auto industry will ever give a crap about safety; the proliferation of texting and Facebook enabled dashboards suggests otherwise.

California has updated it’s overly conservative guide to what traffic signals, signage and markings are allowed on our streets; wayfinding and Bikes May Use Full Lane signs are now allowed, NACTO not so much. Riverside’s mayor calls for fighting obesity with more bike lanes. Redlands cyclists set out to form the desperately needed Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance; if you’re in San Bernardino County, you should definitely look these guys up. A look at the recent High Desert Cyclocross. Buellton approves a close-circuit bike race for March 31st; yes, that’s what they call it. Santa Barbara’s Wheel House Dutch-style bike shop will go out of business at the end of the month after a steep rent increase; don’t get me started on greedy landlords, especially in this economy.

People for Bikes is now up to nearly 500,000 supporters; as I recall, I signed up about 490,000 ago. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says “I didn’t see the cyclist” — or as the Queen’s loyal subjects put it, “Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You” aka SMIDSY — is a confession of guilt; something I’ve been saying for years. Good offers a beginners guide to Cycle Chic. There seems to be little love for Seattle’s so-called Mayor McSchwinn. Albuquerque decides to ban bikes from an industrial area rather than require truckers to drive safely; a local bike blog quite correctly calls them on it. A Madison WI cyclist offers a mittened response to angry drivers on snowy days, and not the one you might think. St. Louis could soon require bike parking along with new car parking lots. New York vehicle crashes disproportionately affect children in poor neighborhoods. More Miami mayhem as a Brazilian race car driver plows into a man loading his bike onto a car, allegedly after a night of drinking and cocaine use. A long time vehicular cyclist feels uniquely qualified to debunk the practice.

A writer for London’s Guardian considers his double life as a slow cycling Dutch-style commuter and a Lycra-clad speedster; meanwhile, the paper offers advice on how to start cycling to work. While we’re on the subject of Fleet Street, a writer for the conservative London Mail says he wishes cars had never been invented after getting hit by one while riding to church. UK businesses offer to pitch in with money, materials and equipment to cut the cost of a much-needed bike path. Britain’s Parliament considers a new law to criminalize dangerous cycling that results in death — of others, that is; causing your own death by riding recklessly will remain perfectly legal. Bicycle registration is not the answer for bad behavior, according to the European Cyclists’ Federation. A witness claims that bike-hating Aussie cricketer Shane Warne deliberately hit a cyclist he blamed for attacking his car; thanks to cyclist and attorney David Huntsman for the tip. Horrifying story of an Australian sex offender who deliberately ran down and crippled a female cyclist in a failed attempt at abduction; there is not a hole in hell deep enough for someone like that.

Finally, a reminder to check the background of your photos before you post them online, even if it does feature a famous cyclist. And a great Monty Python-esque response to the question what have the cyclists ever done for us?

And thanks to Margrét Helgadóttir and D. D. Syrdal for reminding me that it’s possible to ride past angry drivers as calmly as I’ve passed other dangerous beasts over the years.

Wednesday’s ride, on which I got downtown faster and happier on two wheels than four. Or more.

I had a meeting downtown on Wednesday night.

That’s not unusual for me anymore. After years of seldom venturing east of LaBrea, I now find myself making the 12.5 mile trip from my home on the Westside to the newly vibrant Downtown L.A. on a nearly weekly basis. Sometimes several times a week.

More often than not, I make the trip by bike or bus, mostly due to a lack of what I would consider secure bike parking. While that situation is slowly improving, I’m still no more comfortable leaving my bike on the street than I would be locking my laptop to a light pole.

Call me paranoid.

But at least it’s kept me from having to replace a bike after someone else rides off with it.

My old apartment was just off Santa Monica Blvd, making the 704 or 728 buses an easy and convenient option for me. The 728 offered an especially pleasant trip — at least compared to most other Metro buses — getting me from door to door in 45 minutes to an hour in most cases, with a minimum of discomfort.

Now that I’ve moved a few blocks away, it takes 25 minutes just to get to the 728. But I still prefer that to Wilshire Blvd’s 720 line, even though that’s just a couple blocks from where I am now.

The heavy congestion on Wilshire means that the same trip that takes less than an hour on the 728 can take up to an hour-and-a-half on the 720. And the abysmally pitted, pocked and potholed pavement on what was once L.A.’s glittering centerpiece boulevard virtually guarantees a jolting, stomach churning ride the entire way.

Which is why Wilshire needs a Bus Only Lane for the entire distance through Los Angeles, from the Santa Monica border to downtown.

And why I challenge Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Bill Rosendahl to ride the 720 to City Hall just once — and then try to justify excluding key Westside sections rather that taking a necessary step to improve transit for everyone.

And don’t forget that bikes are allowed to share bus lanes, which means a BOL the full length would result in new smooth pavement and a clearer traffic lane on a street that is virtually unridable now.

So I often find myself making the trip by car, much against my wishes.

Then again, that’s no piece of cake, either.

During the day, a trip downtown can take as little as 45 minutes; at rush hour, that balloons to a mind and butt numbing hour or more. Sometimes a lot more.

To drive all of 12.5 miles.

Then there’s the problems posed by L.A.’s notoriously impatient and aggressive drivers, making the simple act of driving seem like a game of bumper cars. And once I finally arrive, there’s the challenge of finding parking that won’t exceed my income for the previous week.

Fortunately, Wednesday’s meeting took place in a bike-friendly environment where I could take my bike safely inside.

So I made plans to ride with a friend, allowing enough time for a leisurely ride to the city center. But then complications arose, not the least of which was the need to walk the dog, who was impatiently nuzzling her leash with her legs metaphorically crossed, suggesting that waiting for my wife to get home to take her out might not be the best idea.

So I had to tell him to go ahead without me.

My friend, not the dog.

I briefly considered taking the car, but just couldn’t face the prospect of yet another commute from hell. Instead, I hopped on my bike for a solo ride downtown, leaving myself just over an hour to make the trip.

After taking side streets through the biking black hole of Beverly Hills, I found myself riding a relatively car-free route that lead from 8th Street, up to the future bike boulevard on 4th, then back down to 7th, which will soon feature bike lanes itself for most of it’s length.

Instead of the usually harrowing, traffic-choked commute by car — or the Third World conditions of the 720 bus — I enjoyed a pleasant, relaxing ride that had me feeling better and arriving in a far better mood than when I left.

And even had time to stop for coffee before going into my meeting.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a perfectly pleasant L.A. evening as we rode back on an Olympic Blvd nearly abandoned by the city’s drivers, with only one puddle-hidden pothole to mar the experience.

I wasn’t really wasn’t surprised by how fast, efficient and enjoyable it was to make the trip by bike, particularly compared to my other options.

But it was nice to be reminded once again.


KCET’s report on the changes coming to 7th Street suggests that the success of that project could have a lot to do with how quickly the city rolls out the rest of the new bike plan.

And unfortunately, their probably right.

But as @sam_ebnet astutely points out, that’s a bit like saying we’ll put the front wheel on a car, and if it drives well, we’ll put the other three on. Or building a freeway, and if it proves popular enough, adding the off-ramps later.

L.A.’s bike plan will only succeed when it’s seen as a system, rather than a series of independently planned projects. Both 4th Street and 7th are vital links in that system, and each will do much to make riding safer and more enjoyable.

But it is only when the entire network is built out, and cyclists can ride routes that actually connect with one another, that we’ll enjoy a truly ridable city.

Roraff apologizes for killing Jorge Alvarado; cyclists disagree with city on environmental review

According to the Highland Community News, Patrick Roraff is sorry he killed pro cyclist Jorge Alvarado last April.

In a brief story about the case going forward against Roraff and co-defendant Brett Morin for the alleged street racing collision that killed Alvarado, the paper mentions that Roraff wrote a letter apologizing to Alvarado’s family — as well as telling investigators how much he regretted his actions.

According to the accident report, Roraff wrote a letter to Alvarado’s family apologizing for the crash and told investigators, “I feel so stupid for even doing that, like trying to show off … I wish I could go back and just change everything, but I can’t … I can’t believe I took away a life.”

Unfortunately, no amount of remorse will bring the rising pro rider back to life.

Then again, no amount of punishment will either, no matter how much jail time the two teenage drivers receive.

Thanks to Dj Wheels for the heads-up.

Update: I received an email from an L.A. cyclist named Bret Morin, who pointed out that I had misspelled the name of the driver charged in Alvarado’s death as Bret, rather than Brett. My sincere apologies to the other Bret Morin for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Surely no one is really surprised by this. Damien Newton reports that cyclists are in conflict with L.A.’s notoriously risk-averse agencies over plans for environmental review of projects in the new bike plan.

You didn’t think the fight was over once the plan was unanimously passed by the city council, did you?


Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson ride a tandem in Venice, which brings up one of my pet peeves.

For those unclear on the subject, the world-famous Venice Boardwalk is that crowded sidewalk between the stores and the beach where bikes are banned. That narrow strip of asphalt where Simpson and Johnson rode last weekend is the world-famous Marvin Braude, formerly Venice/Santa Monica, Bike Path, where bikes are actually allowed and pedestrians banned.

In theory, at least.


LACBC calls for volunteers for this weekend’s Culver City bike count. The West Hollywood Bicycle Task Force meets this Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Bikerowave is hosting a bike swap meet this Sunday. Source readers overwhelmingly approve of removing bike restrictions on Metro trains. Fourth District Councilmember Tom LaBonge rides next to the L.A. River; public television station KCET offers a field guide to biking it yourself. Harry Dougherty offers great photos from last weekend’s Sunday Funday ride, as well as the L.A. River clean-up. Santa Monica Spoke will host a bike exhibition at the 20th Annual Santa Monica Festival. Gary Kavanagh says Santa Monica could be the envy of the bicycling nation. Hermosa Beach invites you to an all ages bike playdate on Saturday the 14th. SoCal’s bike-friendliest city celebrates Bike Month. The Claremont Cyclist offers local bike news, including the new Citrus Regional Bikeway. The Amgen Tour of California will bypass the scenic central coast due to a massive landslide.

Astronaut Grover says wear your helmet. It’s Bike Month, so get out there and don’t proselytize. What to consider when you get new tires. Then again, maybe you’re overinflating your tires; based on this, I may try dropping my front tire a little. What’s your motivation to ride to work? The League of American Bicyclists shifts their focus from educating cyclists to educating the drivers who threaten us, and wants your help to do it; they also release the latest list of bike-friendly cities. No surprise cycle tracks save lives. Touting the environmental benefits of cycling could do more harm than good. People for Bikes says 2011 could be the year of the bike. The perfect accessory for your designer handbag could be the new Kate Spade bike.

Lovely Bicycle ponders why some towns aren’t cycling towns. Participants in New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Ride seem to spend more time walking than riding. The Washington Post implies cyclists are the only ones who need to obey the law, while Wash Cycle deftly dismantles their arguments. DC cyclists are threatened by drivers, as well as the roads they ride on. Maryland adds tougher penalties for negligent drivers who kill cyclists. A cyclist is killed by a hit-and-run driver in North Carolina after falling in the street, even though his friends tried frantically to stop the oncoming driver; thanks to Zeke for the heads-up. Florida cyclists may get a chance to ride a local causeway legally. The legal deadline has passed for Lance Armstrong to sue Floyd Landis over doping allegations.

Canadian parents are charged with letting their nine-year old son ride without a helmet after he’s hit by a car. Maybe if you rode with a halo around your head, you might not end up with one. A nurse saves the life of a man who collapsed during a triathlon, then finishes the race herself. Town Mouse wonders if we’re teaching our children the right lessons. An 81-year old UK man dies after a collision with a cyclist. Great mostly bike-related artwork. Good road design makes peace break out between cyclists and drivers. Sydney homeowners discover living near a bike path is good for property values.

Finally, if you’ve already jumped bail after being ordered not to drink, don’t get drunk and ride your bike into a parked patrol car.

Riverside cyclist killed by train; more on the new bike plan and press conference

Somehow I missed this one while I was tied up with the bike plan this week.

According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, a 26-year old Riverside man was killed on Tuesday when he was hit by a train.

The cyclist, who has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin, was riding with his girlfriend on Adams Street east of Highway 91 while they waited for a train to pass. After the train had gone by, he rode around the crossing arm barriers and directly into the path of a second train coming in the opposite direction.

He died in a local hospital several hours later, after suffering head injuries and broken bones; according to the Press-Enterprise, it was the 3rd similar incident in the last two years.

Evidently, some people think that’s funny.

Update: The victim was identified as 26-year old Roberto Garcia.


A few photos from today’s press conference and rally to celebrate the City Council’s unanimous passage of the new bike plan.

LACBC board member Scott Moore poses with a very happy 4th District Councilmember Tom LaBonge.

There was a great turnout of cyclists, as well as the press.

Cyclists of every description were in attendance.

This is what the bike plan is really about — so kids like Sammy Newton will enjoy a much safer and more livable L.A. than the one we know today.


More on yesterday’s passage of the new bike plan, and Wednesday’s rally to celebrate it.

CD 11 Councilmember Bill Rosendahl offers a letter of thanks to the bicycling community for their work on the bike plan, while KCET talks with him about making it a reality.

LADOT Bike Blog provides a great recap of Wednesday’s rally and press conference, as does LACBC. KABC-7 reports on Wednesday’s rally, and has the exceptional good taste to lead off by talking with yours truly, while Streetsblog offers a photoblog of the day’s highlights. Josef Bray-Ali offers a look at the City Council session — including video — as well as the BPIT (Bike Plan Implementation Plan) meeting that followed, and offers some great photographs. Highland Park Patch gets Josef’s take on the plan, while Mar Vista Patch says it’s designed to wean us off our dependency on cars, while calling for more of those “bike friendly logos.”

Richard Risemberg says the door zone matters. GOOD provides an in-depth examination of what the new plan means. City Maven says doubts remain about the city’s ability to fund the plan; then again,  there’s also some question whether the city’s deficit-reduced staff has the manpower to pull it off. The Daily Bruin looks at how it will affect the UCLA area. KPCC’s Larry Mantle talks with LADOT’s Michelle Mowery and LACBC’s Jen Klausner in advance of Tuesday’s Council vote.

And Bikeside astutely notes that the plan has to be about more than bike lanes.


CicLAvia is looking for volunteers and working with neighborhood councils to ensure success, while Lance Armstrong tweets his plans to join in on the next one April 10th.


What’s your vision for reinventing Highland Park’s York Blvd? Thursday Twitter chat #bikeschool interviews L.A.’s own car-free Joe Anthony, aka @ohaijoe. CD4 candidate Stephen Box is hosting a series of campaign bike rides on Sunday in advance of Tuesday’s vote. Glendale’s new bike count offers a chance to improve safety. Burbank is planning a bike tour of the Magnolia Park area on April 2nd. Long Beach meets Thursday for another workshop on that city’s new bike plan. Felony hit-and-run charges have been filed against a Patterson woman who killed a 27-year old Northridge native, who initially claimed she had hit a dog. Bike lanes are planned for a dangerous intersection where cyclist Lauren Ward was killed last November.

Tucson Velo goes car light. A cyclist prepares to shatter records for the Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race — 350 miles through the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter. Trial begins for the Colorado driver accused of attacking two cyclists with a baseball bat. Chicago’s newly completed bike count could help make the city friendlier to bike riders. A Memphis police officer plans to create an indoor bike park. Removing traffic capacity can actually improve traffic flow — unless drivers act selfishly. Why North American driver seem to sympathize with road rage. How to light yourself up for nighttime riding. Panasonic offers a new e-bike to help keep your kids fat and out of shape.

Finally, it turns out that New York’s infamous War On Cars is a myth, and that cyclists won’t have to worry about their proposed bike license plate law after all.

And your word for the day: bikelash.

A unanimous vote, a new bike plan for Los Angeles, and a reminder why it’s needed

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

This afternoon, I sat in City Hall and watched as L.A.’s City Council unanimously passed a widely praised new bike plan. Tonight, I got a call from a friend who got clipped by a car on her way home.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, indeed.

I got up early to take the 1 to 1.5 hour bus ride downtown, arriving to find the council chambers filled to overflowing with Teamsters. They were there, I’m told, to support a proposal to disincorporate and annex so-called city of Vernon — the city where businesses outnumber residents and local government seems more akin to a fiefdom operating on a code of omertà.

The long, passionate discussion meant it was well after noon before the room emptied out enough to let us in. And because of the late hour, we were at risk of being pushed off to another day.

As a result, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, who has championed the plan from the beginning, made a simple request. He could hold the quorum together long enough for a vote on the motion if we agreed to limit comments in favor of the plan to just 10 minutes.

I looked around the room, counted the cyclists — including several members of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, as well as the LACBC and Bikeside — and decided that mine could wait for another day.

I’ll let others fill you in on the nuts and bolts of the hearing. But there were a few standout moments.

For instance, Bikeside’s Alex Thompson lead things off by knocking it out of the park, saying this plan makes L.A. competitive with any other city in the U.S. — better, even, than the widely praised plans of New York and Chicago.

Flying Pigeon LA owner Josef Bray-Ali said the plan includes propoals to document “the trail of blood on our streets.” And said that this information needs to be collected and made public.

The LACBC’s Alexis Lantz stated that our streets are currently biased against those too young or too old to drive, as well as those who choose not to. This plan, she said, will create complete, healthier streets, and she noted that the support of the council would be critical to its implementation.

The BAC’s Jeff Jacobberger pointed out that bikeways have already been placed where it’s easy, so now it’s time to put them where it’s hard, which may mean removing parking or a lane of traffic.

New Chair Jay Slater says the BAC stands ready to work with the city to implement the plan, insisting that it should not go the way of the failed 1996 bike plan. And outgoing Chair, and current Vice Chair, Glenn Bailey quoted William Mulholland, saying “There it is. Take it;” noting that we can’t turn back the clock, but we can educate drivers and cyclists to take back the streets.

Then there were the dueling comments from cyclists who support allowing mountain biking in city parks, and the equestrians dead set against any mode of parkland transportation with wheels instead of legs.

In the end, the plan was adopted, with a motion by Councilmember Tom LaBonge that the issue would be studied and that nothing in the plan would change existing policies in the meantime.

Although it should be noted that virtually every horseman and horsewoman, as well as a couple representatives from the Sierra Club, insisted that they support cyclists who ride for transportation; it’s just recreational riders in city parks that they oppose.

Which of course leads to the question of whether horses in the park are recreational, or if they’re used for transportation.

Then there was the comic relief provided by two commenters appearing on video from the Valley City Hall, who seemed to think that a three-foot passing law had miraculously been included as part of the plan. And insisted that no driver could possibly pass a cyclist at such a dangerously extravagant distance.

So if you get buzzed riding in the valley, you can start there in your hunt for suspects.

Meanwhile, Council President Eric Garcetti noted that he’s supported bikeways since he was seven years old, and takes pride in the design standards included in the plan that say Los Angeles embraces bicycling.

And Rosendahl said the plan isn’t the final word, and that if changes are necessary, “I’m not leaving; if the people re-elect me, I’ll be here for another five years.” He also suggested that once the plan is built out, “If you get me a safe place to ride, I’ll get on that bike.”

With that, LaBonge had BAC Chair Emeritus Alex Baum — the only remaining original member of the BAC, appointed by the late, great Mayor Tom Bradley — call for a vote on the motion. And it carried unanimously, with all 12 members voting in favor.

As for my remarks, I had intended to point out that the adoption of the bike plan wasn’t the end of a long and difficult process.

Rather, it’s the beginning of an even longer and more difficult one. Because now it’s up to all of us to ensure that the lines on that map turn into paint and signs on the street, and that it doesn’t end in failure like the last one.

I was also going to ask that we use this plan as a springboard to accomplish something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Or last year, even.

That the city commit itself to zero bicyclists killed on our streets by 2020.

It wouldn’t be easy. It would take education, enforcement, and genuine commitment from the Mayor, City Council, LAPD, LADOT, Street Services and Planning, as well as the entire cycling community.

But it is achievable. And using this plan as a springboard, we could make the last bike death in this city the last bike death in this city.

As for my friend, she was shaken up, but it sounds like she’ll be okay.

And when she called the police, they took her seriously, and sent a patrol car to her home to investigate what they said was a clear case of a hit-and-run.

And that alone is a big change.


Read more about the bike plan from Streetsblog LA, the LACBC, NBC4 LA and the L.A. Times, and follow the Twitter feed for the plan.


Celebrate the passing of the bike plan when Mayor Villaraigosa plans to sign it at a rally and press conference on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, from 9:30 am to 10 am.


Mark your calendar for March 9th, when L.A.’s groundbreaking new bicycle anti-harassment ordinance is scheduled for a final hearing with the Transportation Committee before moving on to the full council for adoption; more information as it becomes available.


Two other brief notes:

Frank Peters of cdmCyclist reports that agreement has been reached to ensure that bike lanes will be included on the soon-to-be-rebuilt Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach — and that they won’t be cut from the plans, even if it comes in over budget.

And Road.CC says that Brazilian banker Ricardo Neis, who was recorded plowing down dozens of cyclists participating in the Porto Alegre Critical Mass, will be charged with attempted murder.

Clearly, Brazil gets it.

And evidently, Caltrans — and L.A.’s leadership — is starting to.

Newport Beach cyclist was world-class triathlete, killer driver had 16 tickets; bike plan goes to council March 1

Authorities released the name of the cyclist killed by an alleged drunk driver in Newport Beach Monday evening.

Forty-one year old Amine Britel, a local businessman and world-class triathlete originally from Morocco, was pronounced dead at the scene. His killer, Danae Marie Miller, was released on bond Tuesday morning, on a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated — and was on the road despite receiving 16 traffic tickets over the last six years, including six tickets for speeding or driving too fast for conditions in a three-year period.

Miller has apparently been playing Russian Roulette with her car for years, while the courts failed to do anything to stop her. Now one life is ended and another shattered, all because a woman who probably shouldn’t be allowed behind the wheel got behind one after drinking.

Thanks to Lois Rubin for the link to Britel’s profile on Wafin.com, and Patrick Pascal for the link to the Daily Pilot story about Miller’s driving record.


Word comes from the LACBC that the draft bike plan is scheduled for final approval by the City Council on Tuesday, March 1st. A press conference will be held at City Hall at 9:30 am Wednesday to celebrate its anticipated passage.


Three cyclists barely survive falling boulders during the recent Christchurch earthquake; the riders suspect a nearby jogger didn’t make it. The photos offer fair warning of what could happen on PCH when  — not if — it happens here. Thanks to the Trickster for the heads-up.

There are several ways you can help. Then again, there are always those who’ll make the best of any situation.


The controversy over New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes just won’t go away, as a cyclist and university professor sides with the opposition, and video shows an ambulance bypassing traffic by using the bike lane.

And the crackdown on scofflaw cyclists continues as NYPD officers allegedly beat a teenage cyclist on camera, then throw him in jail for 24-hours for riding on the sidewalk; according to police, the ass-kicking was justified.


Then again, the same battle is being fought on this coast, as battle lines are dug in over the Wilbur Avenue road diet — even though it’s supported by 77% of local residents — while LADOT claims to have a compromise.


If you own a Felt bike, be sure to check this recall list.


Why show your eco-cred by arriving at the Oscars in a Prius when you could go by bike? Maybe co-host Anne Hathaway will do it.


The CalTrans Bicycle Advisory Committee meets this Thursday at 1:30 pm. Help CicLAvia expand east into Boyle Heights. Bicycle Fixation takes the city to task for poor roadway maintenance on 4th street that put cyclists at risk. LADOT Bike Blog asks how you would improve 7th Street for bikes, and reports on the recent BAC meeting, including the election of Jay Slater as chair. Green LA Girl interviews Lindsey Darden, author of Adventures of a Car-Less Valley Girl. Call it the art of bike maintenance, as C.I.C.L.E. and Bikerowave team with the Santa Monica Museum of Art for a tour of the museum, bike maintenance workshop and a mini-ride through the neighborhood on Saturday. Bikerowave plans a 4th birthday celebration this Friday. CD4 council candidate Stephen Box will sponsor free bike repair at the Hollywood farmers market this Sunday. Long Beach is building a multi-modal downtown; maybe L.A. could follow suit. Claremont Cyclist asks why smaller towns aren’t included in lists of bike-friendly cities. Who needs a car when you can bring home $100 in groceries by bike? A four-year old is killed in Sacramento after riding his bike out into the street. The father of the folding bike dies at age 77.

Free bike repair stands are popping up at Whole Foods stores. Next time a driver runs you over, ask if he or she is a Verizon customer. Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey blames bad reporting for bike racing’s continued lack of popularity, while the magazine looks for the next Lance Armstrong among a small group of rising stars. Tucson Bike Lawyer takes issue with yet another incorrect reminder that cyclists don’t pay for infrastructure; I know I do, and you do, too. A Colorado man gets hit by a car, then faces charges for biking under the influence. Utah considers the Idaho Stop Law. Chicago’s new mayor is a big supporter of biking; then again, so is Detroit’s. If you’re going to hit a car, at least make sure it’s an ambulance. A Florida cyclist is hit by a car, but the dog he was towing escapes unharmed. Everyday substitutes for expensive sports bars and drinks.

Now you can ask strangers to rate your ride. London’s new Olympic velodrome is officially open. British cycling champ Victoria Pendleton plans a series of women-only bike rides. Plans are underway to change the bike lanes near Blackfriars Bridge to speed traffic and make cycling less safe. A Manchester bike cop is the victim of a hit-and-run; the driver got out and looked at the victim before fleeing the scene. A Brit cyclist threatens an offending driver with a meat cleaver. Malaysian track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is expected to make a speedy recovery after finishing a World Cup race with a massive wood splinter through his leg. Now you can produce clean drinking water while you ride; I produce a lot of water when I ride, but you wouldn’t want to drink it.

Finally, a fascinating Seoul study shows how cyclists make the transition from leisure riders to bike commuters. Married, married and lower income people are more likely to make the switch; oddly, so are people who live in high-rise buildings. And it concludes that governments should invest in separated bike lanes.

Maybe the Idiot’s Guide to Bike Commuting would help.

Bike plan moves forward, police crackdown in OC, Box and bikes profiled in LA Weekly

First the big news, as the joint Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management votes to move forward with the draft bike plan, with a five year plan for implementation.

While that’s great news for city cyclists, it also means no for now to the proposed South Venice Beach bike path extension.

The debate was dominated by discussion over whether to allow bikes on city trails currently used by hikers and equestrians — something that safely occurs around the world, yet according to the local horse crowd, would lead to inevitable disaster here in L.A.

While there’s an obvious need for people to use trails safely and courteously, and observe the rights of other users, public parks and trails belong to everyone and shouldn’t be set aside for any single group. Or exclude any single group of users.

The committee voted to have the Planning Department negotiate language between both types of riders; however, anything that doesn’t find a way to accommodate all users would be a failure.

Meanwhile, the plan will now go to the full committee for final approval before going to the Mayor for his signature; all indications are Villaraigosa will sign off on the plan.

You can still follow yesterday’s live coverage of the meeting from L.A. Streetsblog, LACBC and Christopher Kidd of LADOT Bike Blog by clicking here.


New York cyclists have been justifiably up in arms the last few weeks over the NYPD’s efforts to crack down on lawbreaking cyclists, while ignoring more dangerous violations by drivers.

Now a similar move is underway here as the Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa police departments are banding together to conduct a “specialized Bicycle Safety Enforcement Operation” on the 19th and 24th of this month.

Despite the title, the press release promises officers will address traffic violations by cyclists and other vehicle operators that could “lead to bicycle vs. vehicle collisions, injuries and fatalities.”

The goal of the program is to educate the public about the safe and lawful use of bicycles, as well as the safe and lawful use of vehicles that share the roadway with bicycles. Prevention is a key component of the program, which centers on the traffic laws that can prevent bicycle riders from becoming injured to killed due to illegal use or reckless behavior by bicyclists and vehicles. In addition, the Police Departments involved may be required to enforce obvious violations to the City’s Municipal Code to maintain safe operations.

I don’t have any problem with enforcing traffic violations by cyclists; frankly, I’ve seen some cyclists who should be ticketed, if not thrown into leg irons. However, I would expect — and all cyclists have every right to expect — that unlike the situation in New York, the crackdown will address violations by drivers as well as cyclists.

And it should take into account which violators pose the greater risk to others.


Neon Tommy Editor-at-Large Hillel Aron offers an in-depth profile of CD4 City Council Candidate Stephen Box and the history of L.A. bike activism in this week’s L.A. Weekly.

As the article notes, it’s almost impossible to unseat a sitting council member in L.A.; even the most unpopular usually cruise to victory over seemingly more worthy opponents once special interest money starts pouring in. Despite that, there’s a growing sense that Box may have a real shot at forcing incumbent Tom LaBonge into a runoff next month.

LaBonge has long supported cycling, though not always in the way cyclists would prefer; if he were smart, he’d move to strengthen his support of bicycling to undercut Box’s strongest base of support. Instead, he seems to be focused on shoring up support from the anti-bike crowd, as many cyclists see him, rightly or wrongly, as an obstacle in the way of many bicycling issues.

And it’s hard to take the other candidate in the race, Tomas O’Grady, seriously when he ignores questions from the city’s leading newspaper.

You have your own chance to evaluate the candidates tonight when the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council hosts a candidate’s forum at Silver Lake Community Church, 2930 Hyperion Ave. Or you can meet Stephen Box at an open house from 2 to 4 pm this Sunday at 3311 Lowry Road in Los Angeles.

Box has also received an endorsement from MobileFoodNews; not to surprising since LaBonge has been seen as an opponent of L.A.’s popular food trucks.

One other note — the writer of the Weekly article gave me every opportunity to attack other bicycle advocates and advocacy groups; I chose not to do that. It’s my firm belief than anyone working to support cycling in Los Angles deserves my support and gratitude, whether or not I happen agree with them. I’m saddened that not everyone feels the same way.


If you’re looking for a good ride this weekend, consider the Tour de Palm Springs, with rides ranging from 5 to 100 miles. A little further down the road, the Santa Clarita Century rolls on April 2nd offering a full century, half century, 25-mile and family rides.


CicLAvia has received a $25,000 grant from the California Endowment. Meanwhile, GOOD is throwing a fundraising party to benefit CicLAvia on Saturday, March 5th; tickets range from $20 to $500.


The newly unveiled draft plans for South Figueroa range from good to wow, though Josef Bray-Ali says they could use some polishing; then again, there are more important things than signing in for a meeting. L.A. will soon get its first bike corral in Highland Park. Rick Risemberg, who appears to be everywhere these days, writes about taking part in last weekend’s LA Brewery Ride with Flying Pigeon. Cool Claremont bike racks. Long Beach replaces a mandatory bike licensing law with voluntary registration through the National Bike Registry.

A popular retired Bakersfield educator died of a heart attack while riding with friends. A three-year old Visalia girl is killed when she’s backed over by a neighbor’s pickup while riding on the sidewalk. San Francisco police have refused to take reports or issue citations for collisions involving cyclists unless an ambulance is called; so not matter what a driver does, if they don’t seriously injure a rider, they walk. Shameful. Matt Ruscigno rides from San Louis Obispo to L.A. in a single day — while sick. This year’s Amgen Tour of California won’t tour California exclusively.

J. Edgar Hoover on a bike, sort of. It’s not the same as an Idaho Stop Law, but Oregon considers lowering the fines for cyclists who roll through stop signs. Somehow I missed this; Dr. Matthew Burke, the orthopedic surgeon, U.S. Army Major and Iraq war vet critically injured by aggressive driver while on a group ride last October, passed away over the weekend after 4 months in a coma; the driver is charged with reckless homicide.

Yet another London cyclist is killed by a large truck, this time a 28-year old art curator. More bikes than cars expected to cross London’s bridges during morning rush hour in 2011. Irish physicians urge the passage of a mandatory helmet law, even though you’re over six times more likely to die walking on the sidewalk. Europe already has the kind of airport bike lanes John McCain wants to kill. Looks like rising star Taylor Phinney will compete in the Tour of Oman after all. South African cyclist Michael Dean Pepper is banned for three years for a failed drug test; sometimes I think we should just ban everyone for two years and start over.

Well, that’s one more problem we don’t face in L.A. — a South African cyclist survives after using his bike to fight off a leopard attack; evidence suggests that the animal had just escaped from a snare and was fighting for its life, as well.

Cyclist killed in La Quinta, bike plan passes Planning, Vail hit-and-run driver walks, and goodbye Aurisha.

A cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run in LaQuinta, near Palm Desert, on Tuesday afternoon.

Fifty-six year old Joseph Patrick Szymanski was killed while riding on Avenue 54 in La Quinta about 3 pm Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters pronounced him dead at the scene; his body was found lying in the bike lane, though authorities note that they don’t know where he was when he was hit.

Tracey Salter of Merriam, Kansas woman was arrested an hour later about three miles away on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

The article notes that a police spokesman didn’t know if Szymanski was wearing a helmet. But unless he died of a head injury, whether or not he was wearing a helmet is irrelevant. And even if he did, there’s no reason to believe it would have helped unless he was struck at slow speed.


After years of contentious debate, the draft bike plan passed the city Planning Commission with near-unanimous support from the cycling community. The only serious disagreement came from equestrians opposed to allowing bikes on off-road trails, updating a conflict that goes back to the earliest days of cycling.

According to the LACBC, the plan will now go to Mayor Villaraigosa’s office for review before heading to the City Council in February for final approval.


Time to add Vail to your biking boycott list, after the schmuck driver who ran down a cycling transplant surgeon and left him lying critically injured on the side of the road — claiming it was a result of that new car smell — walks with a year’s probation and a suspended jail term.

That’s after the local DA declined to press felony charges because it could affect the driver’s high income career; by that standard, every rich sociopath and over-privileged jerk who commits a crime should get off the hook.

And from the looks of it, it’s possible that one just did.


Damien Newton talks to the Beverly Hills cop who seemed to suggest a correlation between cyclists and criminal activity; turns out he’s one of us. And didn’t mean it that way.


In non-wheeled human powered transportation news, Bikeside reports on the impatient hit and run driver who critically injured a Santa Monica pedestrian. And while we’re on the subject, Dj Wheels notes that Moran Bitan, the 18-year old driver who killed a 16-year old Notre Damn High School cross country runner Conor Lynch, faces a pretrial hearing on the 27th at the Van Nuys courthouse.

And still no charges against Stephanie Segal in the alleged drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist James Laing in Agoura Hills this past October.


Nice KCET interview with L.A Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery about riding the L.A. River; thanks to Bicycle Fixation and Flying Pigeon for the heads-up. Speaking of Flying Pigeon, they’re getting four new Velorbis bikes just in time for Christmas. Or maybe you’d prefer a very cool and unique looking chainless STRiDA folding bike. Another street falls victim to the stupidest and most dangerous law in California.

Employees of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System buy a new bike and helmet for every first grade student at a local elementary school. CalTrans pushes for a bike lane to nowhere in Bakersfield. Berkley is the most dangerous California city of its size for cyclists, pedestrians and conservatives. Evidently, you can have a good ride in Sacramento, even without Lycra. Ross Del Duca continues his thoughts — started here — on divisions, divides and cultures that divide cyclists, or not. California releases the new standards for complete streets. The SF Gate discusses why and how to register your bike; in addition to the National Bike Registry and Stolen Bike Registry mentioned in the article, I like the free international bike registration program from Bike Revolution.

Something tells me this app intended for motorists will prove very popular with cyclists. A women’s bike team can be run for just 5% of what it costs to run a men’s pro team. Bike before breakfast to maximize weight loss and other health benefits. If you think you’re tough, try racing 150 miles through the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter. The New York Times points out that there are laws against bad bike behavior. Philadelphia drivers love the city’s new parking contraflow bike lanes. Just in time for Christmas, get an official crown of thorns helmet so you, too, can suffer like Jesus while you ride.

Finally, if you’re going to ride your bike on the sidewalk in Santa Monica, leave your meth and crack pipe at home (scroll down to Monday). And a new study discovers the cause of San Francisco’s traffic problems: cars.

Go figure, huh?


Photo stolen from LACBC Facebook page


On a personal note, best wishes to LACBC’s Aurisha Smolarski, who’s moving on to pursue other career goals. In the 2-1/2 years she’s been working with the bike coalition, I’ve watched Aurisha grow to become one of the city’s most effective advocates for cycling, and a friend. She has arguably done as much as anyone to improve the state of bicycling in Los Angeles, often working quietly behind the scenes to fight for the rights of cyclists and set the stage for our budding biking renaissance.

She will be very missed.

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