Tag Archive for Los Angeles

Guest Post: Law Enforcement Needs to Understand Traffic Laws

Despite years of effort, we still have a long way to go in educating police officers on the rights of bicyclists. 

It seemed like we had solved the problem, in Los Angeles at least, five years ago when the LAPD worked with bike riders and the City Attorney to clarify the laws governing bicycling, and create a bicycle training module that all street level officers were required to complete.

Yet bicyclists still encounter officers who seem to have missed, or forgotten, that training. And as architect and bike commuter Michael MacDonald learned the hard way, we still haven’t made any progress with the Sheriff’s Department. 

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By Michael MacDonald

I’m frequently the recipient of harassment, insults, and aggression from drivers who don’t understand that riding on the street is perfectly legal. Commuting by bike around Los Angeles — with little-to-no bike infrastructure within a 5-mile radius of my house, I’ve come to expect the regular rage-fueled driver. And yet as frustrating as this aggression is from the motoring public, it is even more demoralizing to receive similar harassment from law enforcement personnel. Too many officers in Los Angeles aren’t familiar with the fact that a person on a bike is perfectly within their rights to control a travel lane on almost all Los Angeles streets, and that cyclists take the lane for safety.

Before I started riding a bike in Los Angeles, I had thankfully had very few interactions with law enforcement. But then in 2013, I was detained in the back of a Sheriff’s Department squad car because 2 deputies thought that a person riding a bike on the street in Rosemead didn’t look right.

Over the last 2 weeks, motorcycle officers have twice stopped me – for riding in the street, legally.

The first incident was on returning from the wonderful CicLAvia Southeast Cities on May, 15 2016. On my way home by bike, still on a high note from the event, I took Central Avenue. Despite its lack of bike lanes, Central is a critical North/South connector within South L.A. Proposed bike lanes on Central are included in the City’s Mobility Plan 2035, have widespread community support, and are needed to address Central’s horrific safety record. But frustratingly, Councilmember Curren Price has blocked the bike lanes from being installed and is working with Councilmember Paul Koretz to try to get them removed from the Plan, so they won’t even be considered in the future.

While I was waiting at a red light in the rightmost travel lane on Central at 27th Street, an LAPD motorcycle officer approached at a rapid pace and stopped inches from me. He proceeded to aggressively explain, “This isn’t your lane – you can’t ride in the middle.” I have been riding long enough to have nearly memorized California Vehicle Code, not just CVC 21202(a)(3), but 21656, 21760, and 22400 too. I knew he was wrong. And yet his tone and demeanor made it clear this wasn’t a conversation. This was a stern demand with the threat of a ticket seconds away.

As he pulled off, I wasn’t even clear on how he expected me to ride since the lanes on Central are so narrow. I stopped and took some time to compose myself after this demoralizing experience of state-sponsored harassment. Then, I continued to ride in the middle of the lane: where it’s safest when bike lanes aren’t provided, and where California’s Vehicle Code says I have the right to ride.

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10 days later, I was again confronted with a similar situation – but this time I had my helmet camera rolling. During the Tuesday evening rush hour on May 24th, a Sheriff’s deputy pulled up alongside me as I rode in the Wilshire Blvd bus/bike lane through Koreatown (Wilshire & Kingsley). Just as before, the deputy clearly wasn’t familiar with relevant California traffic laws, but still felt the need to tell me what I was doing would not be permitted and that I would receive a ticket if I continued on.

First, as an aside, I will say that these Wilshire bus/bike lanes are so frequently filled with dangerous scofflaw drivers that it’s a tiny bit refreshing to see them actually being patrolled, and I commend Metro/the Sheriff’s Department for efforts to try to speed up the 20 & 720 buses on this route. But this deputy seems to be completely unaware that these lanes are also for the use of people on bikes, just as the lane’s signage says.

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

He started by claiming that cyclists are not permitted to use the bus/bike lane whatsoever. After I pointed out the sign ahead saying, ‘Bikes OK,’ he said that cyclists must ride the curb edge, which is dangerous and without legal basis. Finally, he claimed that cyclists are required to get out of the way of buses. Of course, how people on bikes are supposed to accomplish this feat within this tightly sized lane with no turnouts is a mystery to me.

Just to state the obvious: this deputy is wrong on all counts. First, LADOT has designated these lanes for the use of bicycles and accordingly posted signs stating “Bikes OK.” Second, there is no requirement to ride along the curb as CVC 21202(a)(3) applies, since the lane is too narrow to for a bicycle to be safely be ridden side-by-side with a vehicle, let alone a bus. Metro’s own “Bike Guide” even instructs people on bikes to ride at the center of the lane when proceeding straight. Third, there is no requirement for bikes or slower vehicles to turn-out on a multi-lane roadway. CVC 21656, the law requiring vehicles to turn out, only applies on 2-lane highways – and even then, it only is triggered when there is a queue of 5 vehicles behind.

This isn’t the first time someone has been pulled over by LASD in a bus/bike lanes in Los Angeles. In 2014, my friend, Marc Caswell, was wrongly ticketed by a Sheriff’s deputy for legally riding in a bus/bike lane on Sunset Blvd. In the end, the deputy failed to appear at the hearing, so the ticket was dismissed.

But it isn’t just being pulled over. Twice last year, I was aggressively instructed by Sheriff’s deputies to ride up onto the sidewalk to let a bus pass while in the Sunset Boulevard bus/bike lane. And when I called to report Tuesday’s incident on Wilshire, the LASD Watch Commander also appeared to be completely unfamiliar that bikes might be permitted to ride in bus/bike lanes or centered within a lane.

If I have been the recipient of these types of incidents three times in the last year, how many other Angelenos have received the same dangerous misinformation, been ticketed incorrectly, or had an unwarranted traffic stop trigger other policing problems? If we are to look to officers to enforce traffic laws, it seems only reasonable to expect that they would understand the law. And, certainly, we should not accept these officers instructing people to endanger themselves by riding in an unsafe way just to speed up motor vehicle traffic.

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It’s obvious to me at this point that LADOT, Metro & the Sheriff’s Department need to sit down and get on the same page about bus/bike lanes and the Vehicle Code. There is a simple fix: Sheriff’s Department deputies, who are acting on Metro’s behalf, need to understand the laws they are sworn to enforce. Since these patrols are funded by Metro, the Agency has the responsibility to ensure that these deputies are performing enforcement in compliance with Metro policies.

The bigger picture is that all L.A. law enforcement needs to step up their game on bikes. I am not suggesting special treatment, just that officers take some time to better understand the laws they enforce. Different departments have made some commendable strides, recognizing that cyclists belong on the street and don’t deserve extra scrutiny beyond that which is applied to motorists. But we are well past the point where any law enforcement officer patrolling L.A. streets has an excuse to not be familiar with the fact that people are allowed to ride bikes in the street and legally afforded options to maintain their own safety.

The City, County, and State all have ambitious goals to increase bicycle commuting to increase public health and reduce greenhouse emissions. To paraphrase a friend of mine: People are not going to be attracted to cycling as long as you need to be a traffic law expert – capable of citing Vehicle Code chapter, line, and verse – just to ride on L.A. streets.

We need law enforcement to get on board. And fast.

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South Los Angeles-based architect Michael MacDonald is a frequent bike commuter and a steering committee member of local advocacy group, Bike The Vote L.A. His architectural practice, Studio MMD, provided design for Street Beats, one of 8 project teams awarded by the Mayor’s Great Streets LA challenge grant program to re-envision Los Angeles streets.

Morning Links: A bike hate blast from the past, take your baby skid lid back, and ready answers to bike myths

Thanks to a couple of new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition yesterday, we’re now up to 21 people who’ve joined in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Which means we need just three more people to sign up or renew your membership today to make it 24 new members by May 24th.

As you’ll see below, the bike coalition is active in getting political candidates on the record for their support for bicycling, as well as getting you discounts at businesses throughout the county. And if you sign up through this site, you’ll get some great bike gear to wear when you vote or chow down.

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Clearly, bike haters are nothing new.

My Altadena-based friend Tim Rutt sends proof in the form of a 1987 column by political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, in which he calls for an examination of “the actions necessary to license, regulate or abolish entirely” the bicycle menace.

Our nation is afflicted with a plague of bicycles. Everywhere the public right-of-way is glutted with whirring, unbalanced contraptions of rubber, wire, and cheap steel pipe. Riders of these flimsy appliances pay no heed to stop signs or red lights. They dart from between parked cars, dash along double yellow lines, and whiz through crosswalks right over the toes of law-abiding citizens like me.

In the cities, every lamppost, tree, and street sign is disfigured by a bicycle slathered in chains and locks. And elevators must be shared with the cycling faddist so attached to his “moron’s bath-chair” that he has to take it with him everywhere he goes.

On the other hand, his skills at prognostication leave something to be desired.

Bicycles are quiet and slight, difficult for normal motorized humans to see and hear. People pull out in front of bicycles, open car doors in their path, and drive through intersections filled with the things. The insubstantial bicycle and its unshielded rider are defenseless against these actions. It’s a simple matter of natural selection. The bicycle will be extinct within the decade. And what a relief that will be.

Actually, we’re still here.

So deal with it, P.J.

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If you bought your baby’s Schwinn bike helmet at Target, take it back; the infant helmets have been recalled due to a choking hazard. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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A new British bike website provides instant answers to refute any bicycling myth bike haters and NIMBYs can throw at you.

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The New York Times looks at the movement to call collisions crashes instead of accidents. But doesn’t promise to make the change themselves.

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VeloNews asks if Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk can hold onto the pink leaders jersey in the Giro d’Italia.

The financial fallout from pro cycling’s doping scandals continue, as another team will fold at the end of this year for lack of sponsorship.

Who says the men’s pro tour is too tough for women? A Ukrainian woman will team with a group of 13 other riders to take on every stage of the Tour de France one day before the men get there.

CiclaValley looks at the fun side of last week’s Amgen Tour of California.

A comment from tdf65 suggests we should continue to link to stories about bike races here, but withhold the actual results, since some people record the races and don’t get to view them until later. However, I’ve always assumed it was safe to mention winners and losers, since the daily nature of this site means we’re at least a day behind the race’s finish.

But what do you think? Are we spoiling the fun by saying who won, or do you want to know now?

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Local

The Expo Line may be convenient, but it still doesn’t beat a bike from Downtown to the beach.

The LACBC posts a response to their candidate survey from County Supervisor District 4 candidate Janice Hahn, who promises to follow through with the county Bicycle Master Plan.

The LACBC also talks with the bike-friendly owner of Uli’s Gelateria in DTLA, who offers a discount for members of the bike coalition. Just one more reason to click that link above and sign up today.

CicLAvia posts a great collection of photos from the recent Southeast Cities CicLAvia. Which only makes me more disappointed that I had to miss it with a bad back.

Los Angeles Magazine looks at plans for Metro’s coming bikeshare program in DTLA, as well as a system — not a network, since there are no east/west routes currently planned — of protected bike lanes.

A Pasadena group considers the possibilities if Caltrans would kill the unneeded and unwanted extension of the 710 freeway, and build a sequel to the city’s popular Old Town instead. Maybe we could even see bikes running through there instead of semi-trucks.

 

State

The San Diego cyclist paralyzed in a drug-fueled wrong way collision is suing the city for maintaining dangerous conditions on Fiesta Island where the wreck occurred.

A San Diego letter writer suggests drivers are entitled to be rude to bike riders because we’re all scofflaws and cyclists are just a middle-class affectation. No, really.

Damien Newton’s latest podcast talks with Dave Campbell of Bike East Bay, sponsors of what may be the “biggest, baddest Bike to Work Day in the world.” Newton also offers advice on how to make a Livable Streets presentation to little kids.

The Sunnyvale actor accused of nearly killing a Berkeley bike rider while high on weed finally turns himself in to face charges.

 

National

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sees a gradual shift away from car culture. Which can’t come non-gradually enough.

Seven tips for how to teach a child to ride a bike. All of which work for adults, as well.

A Cincinnati councilmember says a parking protected bike lane can stay, but needs improvements to avoid the city’s easily confused motorists.

If you drop something on the railroad tracks with a train coming, just leave it there for crying out loud. Seriously, nothing you own is worth dying for. Things can be replaced, lives can’t.

Sixteen-hundred Buffalo bike riders take a leisurely slow roll around the city to support a plan for 300 new bike lanes in the next ten years.

A New York letter writer shows just how much she doesn’t get it, insisting that bike lanes don’t help pedestrians and that Queens Blvd was not intended to be a playground. Because obviously, no one ever rides a bike to actually get anywhere or anything. And bike lanes really do slow traffic and improve safety for everyone, while providing a cushion to protect pedestrians from motor vehicles.

Call it the not-quite naked Pittsburgh bike ride.

Philadelphia will host a national conference next month on how to improve equity in bikeshare systems.

A DC website says if you’re crushing on a fellow bike commuter, try crashing into ‘em. Or just, you know, talk to him or her.

NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson is one of us, finishing a 103 mile South Carolina ride with a 10,000 foot elevation gain in just over six hours.

A Mississippi bike camp helps children with disabilities learn how to ride a bike.

A bighearted stranger insists on buying a Florida boy a new bike his parents couldn’t afford, after learning the child was recovering from heart surgery.

 

International

Fashion designer Paul Smith is one of us as well, as a new book features his extensive collection of classic cycling jerseys.

Nothing like finding a secret Canadian cycle track hidden in plain sight on the roadway.

A London cyclist has started an online gallery of no- and lo-viz bike riders to capture the archetypical inner city road user.

Brit cyclist Chris Boardman says the country needs to invest more than the price of a cup of coffee to boost bicycling in the county.

A group of friends are riding over 1,500 miles from Brighton, England to Lagos, Portugal to honor a popular 21-year old British surfer who drowned riding the waves in Bali.

Maybe you should take your next family bike vacation in the Netherlands. And bring me with you.

A writer says if you plan to ride your bike in Zagreb, Croatia, bring five locks and a security guard if you’re going to leave it outside. Sounds a lot like LA, too.

Caught on video: Adventure cyclist Rebecca Rusch rides and climbs 19,341-foot-tall Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief.

A Kiwi man gets just 13 months for a drunken attack on two separate bicyclists, despite a whopping 118 previous convictions; he claimed he punched them repeatedly because he was fighting off wasps.

An Aussie Roads Minister says a high number of bicycling tickets proves bike riders aren’t doing the right thing, while only four tickets for unsafe passing means drivers are. On the other hand, it could just show that police are targeting people on two wheels and ignoring more dangerous violations by the ones on four.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be solar powered, if you don’t mind riding with a couple of massive solar cookie sheets attached. No matter how close a driver cuts you off, don’t follow him home and stab his spare tire to death.

And if you successfully escape from a halfway house by bicycle, just keep going next time.

 

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

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If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

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As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

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Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

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After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

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Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

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Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

Weekend Links: The CHP gets it wrong again, the LA Times gets it right, and North Fig safety dogs Cedillo

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive after yesterday’s unplanned absence.

So let’s get two more people to sign up or renew your membership now to make it 21 new members by the 21st.

Your fellow bike riders are depending on you to add your support to the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, and help make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city.

Never mind the great LACBC gear you’ll get just for signing up.

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Happy Bike to Shop Day.

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Once again, the CHP gets it wrong.

Despite what a CHP officer told the OC Register’s traffic columnist, there is no law in California requiring cyclists to ride single file, on narrow roads or anywhere else.

Even though the department has been known to misapply CVC 21202, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable.

However, subsection 3 of the ride to right law exempts substandard lanes from that requirement, explicitly stating that the law does not apply on any lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to safely share with a motor vehicle. In most cases, that means any lane less than 14 feet wide, since bike riders are allowed to ride a safe distance from the curb, and drivers are required to give at least a three-foot passing distance.

That means, despite the officer’s assertions, that there is no legal justification for ticketing cyclists who ride abreast in a narrow lane, and no requirement under California law that they ride single file in the scene shown in the photo accompanying the column, where the lane is clearly too narrow for a cyclist to safely share with most cars, let alone a truck or SUV.

Yes, it is courteous to allow drivers to pass when safe to do so.

However, it is often safer for bicyclists to ride side-by-side on narrow roadways — not so they can chat, but to increase visibility and prevent unsafe passing.

As for whether it’s legal to cross a solid yellow line to pass a cyclist, that is allowed in most states with a three-foot or wider passing law. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of California’s three-foot passing law that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass a cyclist, but only when safe to do so.

It’s not the officer’s fault he doesn’t know the law in this case.

The CHP has long failed to adequately train their officers in bike law, forcing officers to rely on cheat sheets that don’t list the many exceptions to CVC 21202, or go into detail on any of the other laws governing the rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

But providing false information like that only puts bike riders at needless risk, and encourages driveway vigilantes to take out their frustrations on bicyclists who are riding safely and within their rights.

Let alone subjecting them to tickets that aren’t legally justified, but are often too difficult to fight.

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Great opinion piece from Paul Thornton the LA Times, who says if LA really wants to encourage more bicycling, the city needs to fix the roads so they’re safe to ride.

He also calls out former councilmember Tom LaBonge and current member Paul Koretz for dangerous decisions that defeat the purpose of the city’s Mobility Plan.

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The Eastsider examines the North Figueroa safety issues dogging CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, as he claims to be working to improve safety, despite unilaterally cancelling a road diet designed to do exactly that.

And they talk with Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who has thrown his hat into the race to challenge Cedillo in next year’s city elections.

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Germany’s Andre Greipel wins his third sprint of the Giro d’Italia, then promptly quits the race. Andrey Amador takes the leader’s jersey from Bob Jungels after the 13th stage, becoming the first Costa Rican to lead a Grand Tour.

Cycling Weekly examines five talking points about the Giro as the race reaches the legendary Dolomites this weekend.

This has been one of the most democratic Amgen Tour of California’s in memory, as the race had yet another stage winner in Latvian pro Toms Skujins. Aussie Rohan Dennis won Friday’s time trial to leap into second place, 16 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphillppe.

Meanwhile, American Megan Guarnier won the first stage of the women’s tour in a last minute breakaway.

The AToC heads to Santa Rosa today, on the same day the city hosts their 122nd Rose Parade. Which is different from Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

………

Local

CiclaValley reacts to Thursday’s bicycling fatality in Panorama City, which occurred just hours after he returned from Wednesday’s Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

The newly opened Expo Line extension adds 130 bike racks and lockers at seven new stations.

The LAPD has put out a BOLO Alert for a bike thief in the Central LA area.

South LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino rode an ebike 25 miles to work at City Hall in observance of Bike to Work Day.

KPCC is the latest media site to talk with the Eastside’s Ovarian Cycles Bicycle Brigade, who host their monthly women-identified Luna Ride tonight.

A writer for the Daily Bruin tweets that the board of directors for Westwood Village has voted to spend $44,000 for two bikeshare hubs in the village this fall. Unfortunately, the lack of bike lanes means there won’t be any safe places to ride them.

The Santa Monica Spoke invites you on a multi-modal Expo Line ride on Sunday.

The LACBC talks with Antelope Valley cyclist and soap maker Sharon Murdock.

 

State

It takes a world champion schmuck to steal an adult tricycle from a 67-year old Anaheim woman with multiple sclerosis.

A Huntington Beach man gets seven years for beating a police officer who stopped him for an alcohol violation while riding his bike; the officer’s daughter was doing a ride along and witnessed the assault. Not that the sentence isn’t warranted, but why is it that motorists seldom get a fraction of that for actually killing a cyclist or a pedestrian?

Potential San Diego bike commuters want more than just bike lanes to get them to ride, like showers and more considerate drivers. They have a much better chance of getting the showers.

A Fresno cyclist says don’t count on laws to protect you from distracted drivers.

In a seriously disgusting assault, a white Rancho Murieta driver ran a black bike rider off the road before getting out and punching him, after telling the victim to “go back to the hood.”

 

National

Members of the bicycle industry finally bind together to promote bicycling in the US. Something should have been done decades ago — and with a much higher budget.

HuffPo says we’ve been brainwashed into calling crashes accidents.

Caught on video: A Seattle truck driver jumps the curb in an apparent attempt to run down a bike rider; the action starts after the 1:50 mark. Note to cyclists: when you’re posting video of drivers behaving badly, feel free to delete the extraneous footage leading up to it.

A Salt Lake cyclist says he’ll be happy to pay for his fair share of the roads, as long as drivers pay theirs.

Agenda 21 is just so passé; evidently the new global bad guys are AARP and the World Health Organization, forcing age-friendly complete streets down the throats of those fine, upstanding Vermonters.

Apparently, traffic violations that put bike riders at risk don’t violate the rules of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

A DC bike commuter lists his pet peeves about riding to work, from cars that don’t signal to the traditional catcall to get on the sidewalk.

A bicycling Florida non-profit is redefining sharecropping, riding en masse to work organic gardens on land borrowed from homeowners; the model has already spread to Oakland and Uganda.

 

International

Brazil’s bike-riding president is running out of options to fight her ouster by impeachment.

A Toronto bike lane carries nearly as much bicycle traffic as the roadway next to it does cars.

Nothing like just now returning one of London’s Boris Bikes late after it was rented on New Years Day — in 2015.

London’s Telegraph asks if an increase in heavy truck traffic in the UK is responsible for an unexpected decrease in bike ridership. Not bloody likely, to use the vernacular.

More spending on bicycling would show Britain is serious about increasing ridership.

Two Afghan cyclists on a round the world journey stop in New York to tell UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their country is tired of war and violence, before setting out across the US for Los Angeles.

An Aussie writer asks motorists to remember the driver who killed his 75-year old bike-riding uncle, showing rare understanding and sympathy for the inevitable impact it had on the man responsible.

 

Finally…

Forget self-driving cars; the next thing is Google’s interactive Levi bike jacket. Nothing like putting a billboard in the middle of a bike lane.

And the next time you’re in San Diego, a bronzed Bill Walton and his bike will be waiting to greet you on the shores of Mission Bay.

 

No Morning Links today

Unfortunately, keeping up with yesterday’s two breaking news stories — and an attempt to correct a CHP officer’s mistaken interpretation of the ride-to-right requirement in yesterday’s Orange County Register — has taken up the time I would normally have used to write today’s Morning Links.

So please accept my apologies. And come back tomorrow, when I’ll try to catch up with an expanded Weekend Links.

Use the extra free time today to get out for a bike ride if there’s a break in the predicted drizzle. Or even if there isn’t.

And if you haven’t already, take a moment to sign up with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition as part of our first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

We’re now up to 19 new members, so we need at least one more person to sign up now or renew your membership to keep up our one-a-day pace and make it 20 on the 20th.

And a special thanks to everyone who has joined already to help build a more bikeable community.

Morning Links: Life is cheap in Ventura County, Kuehl’s cartoon bike goes Expo, and happy Bike to Work Day

We’re still at 17 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

Let’s get this up to one per day by getting just two more people to sign up now or renew your membership today to make it 19 on the 19th. It’s worth the low cost of membership just for the great LACBC gear you’ll get. Never mind helping to make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city and county.

………

They should be ashamed.

The Ventura County DA’s office gave an unwarranted gift to a killer driver on Tuesday, by charging a Camarillo woman with two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter in the distracted driving death of two people in Moorpark last year.

Even though the CHP had recommended felony charges.

Twenty-six-year old Rachel Hill was allegedly distracted by a “portable electronic device” when she slammed into 53-year old cyclist Maciek Malish at 55 mph, then overcorrected after killing him and smashed head-on into 43-year old motorcyclist Jesse Cushman as he rode in the opposite direction.

Thanks to the inexplicable generosity of the DA’s office — which evidently doesn’t take either traffic crime or human life seriously — Hill faces a maximum of one year in county jail for each count, rather than the six years in state prison per count the CHP and common sense suggests is warranted.

Now two men are dead and two families shattered, while a deadly driver is guaranteed of receiving nothing more than a gentle slap on the wrist.

It’s heartbreaking to realize the lives of those on two wheels are worth so little in Ventura County — even when one is an Emmy winning sound editor.

Let’s hope voters in the county remember this when the next election rolls around.

………

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has a little fun riding the new Expo Line with an animated bike, surfboard and service dog.


………

Happy Bike to Work Day.

If you’re reading this early enough, you’ll find pit stops all over the LA area.

If not, don’t fret; both the Santa Monica Spoke and the LACBC are hosting handlebar happy hours for your ride home.

KPCC observes Bike to Work Day while noting that local bike commuting rates are still too low; Pasadena leads LA area cities with a 2.2% share.

………

Italian cyclist Diego Ulissi came out on top in a three-way sprint in Wednesday’s stage of the Giro d’Italia, as Bob Jungels keeps the leader’s pink jersey. Former leader Tom Dumoulin dropped out due to a sore butt.

The fourth stage of the Amgen Tour of California ends with a sprint finish at Laguna Seca; thousands turned out for the start at Morro Bay. Peter Sagan captured his record 15th stage victory in the race, while Julian Alaphilippe leads American Peter Stetina by 22 seconds in the general classification.

………

Local

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

HuffPo’s Joel Epstein complains about LA’s trashy streets.

The president of the Holmby-Westwood Property Owners Association says the possible removal of Westwood Blvd from the bike plan is a victory for residents, insisting Gayley Ave is better suited for a bike lane. Because God forbid we should get in the way of their precious Mercedes, Range Rovers and Teslas.

Glassell Park will consider improvements to Verdugo Road, including a road diet and possible bike lanes.

LA Magazine says the Biking Black Hole’s new bikeshare system is encouraging people to ride bikes “on streets that are hostile, if not downright dangerous, to two wheels.” Sort of like Westwood/Holmby Hills residents.

 

State

The 2016 Tour de OC rolls this Saturday to help send foster kids to camp for a mentorship program.

San Diego traffic delays have doubled over the last three years, as too few people opt for transit or riding to work. Yet the city’s mayor says separated bike lanes work, and getting 22% of commuters on bikes is doable.

Bike friendly Redlands is looking for state funding to install a new bike lane connecting with the Santa Ana River Trail.

Fresno is looking to improve the health of its residents by making it safer to ride and bike in the largely Latino and African American south part of town.

A San Francisco cyclist was critically injured when he was run over by a cab driver while riding in a crosswalk.

San Francisco’s Tenderloin district is about to get its first bike lane.

The Sacramento Bee wades into the great helmet debate with a surprisingly even-handed report.

 

National

A police website discusses the new GPS-enabled bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

NPR joins in on a Portland house move by bicycle.

A Spokane bike shop is helping the homeless and underemployed get back on their feet and out on the road.

Caught on video: An Arizona bike rider catches a foul-mouthed road raging driver on his bike cam screaming at him to get on the sidewalk because he was using the left turn lane.

A year later, there are no leads in the apparently random shooting of a bike rider from a passing car near my hometown.

Someone has apparently set out to deliberately injure or kill Colorado mountain bikers by planting three-inch nails embedded in concrete on a new singletrack trail; it’s the second such incident in the area in the past year. Whoever did this should face an attempted murder charge when they’re caught, at the bare minimum.

A North Dakota letter writer applauds attempts to say no to those damn liberal bike lanes.

A bike-riding Massachusetts minister asks motorists to watch out for bicyclists, and not judge the majority of well-mannered riders by the actions of a few idiots. His words, not mine. But still.

Once again, New Yorkers rise up against bike lanes, this time in Brooklyn. Somehow, they seem to think older and handicapped people fair better dealing with speeding cars than bicycles.

An 11-year old bike rider never even left his driveway, yet he’s in the hospital now because a driver couldn’t be bothered to pull over before reaching into the backseat to get something. Too bad it’s not against the law to be an effing jackass.

 

International

A UK shire re-enacts the 97-year old unsolved murder of a young woman as she rode her bike from her uncle’s house.

Nothing like taking a beating from a road-raging 77-year old Brit driver.

A Scottish adventure cyclist has circled the world twice — once setting a world record — and ridden from Alaska to Argentina and the full length of Africa, all before his 34th birthday.

Despite the panicking headline, only eleven Belfast cyclists have been cited for biking under the influence in the past five years.

It’s urban drivers who benefit most from cycling, though that’s not always obvious to motorists, according to a Dublin letter writer.

Barcelona considers building superblocks to reclaim 60% of the city’s streets from cars.

An Aussie pro cyclist says she’s encouraged to see more riders Down Under, yet utterly afraid because of their lack of skills and bad behavior.

An Australian politician says all new road and rail projects in the country should include walking and cycle tracks. Actually, that should be the policy everywhere.

 

Finally…

Think of it as fly paper for bicyclists. Maybe you don’t want to wear that yellow jersey after all.

And it’s pedals, dammit, not peddles.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: The aftermath of a bike collision, bikeshare’s really happening, and cop dogs behaving badly

Great news! We’re now up to 17 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So who wants to be the next to sign up now or renew your membership and get it up to 20 today? It’s worth it just for the great LACBC gear you’ll get — let alone the difference you’ll help make on our streets and in our communities.

………

Mike Wilkinson, who frequently forwards news tips — and graciously serves as my unpaid proofreader — came upon the immediate aftermath of what thankfully appears to have been a relatively minor bike collision on Monday.

Yesterday while out for my lunch time “blast” I came upon the scene of a collision just a minute after it happened. The photo shows what I saw as I arrived. Look carefully, and you may see that the car’s rear view mirror is broken, and there is a dent above the front wheel.

Collision

I’m not going to write about the details of what I saw and heard. I will say that the things I saw and heard reminded me of the importance of gathering information immediately after any kind of collision, even if the collision seems to be minor. The following items seem important to me:

  1. Get a picture of the other party’s driver’s license.
  2. Take a picture of the other party’s insurance ID.
  3. Take pictures of all vehicles involved, including the licenses plates.
  4. Get contact information from any potential witness.
  5. Don’t say anything about who may be at fault for the crash.

I’m sure that more experienced minds have more comprehensive lists. Remember also that the state of California DMV requires notification for any crash that results in injury, no matter how minor, or damage exceeding $750.

Finally, be careful!

I’ve offered my thoughts on what to do if you’re in a collision here and here, based on my personal experience. And BikinginLA sponsor Jim Pocrass provided expert advice from a bike lawyer’s perspective.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly said a crash must be reported to the DMV if there was property damage over $500, rather than $750, and failed to note that injuries must be reported, no matter how minor. 

………

Metro’s still unnamed bikeshare system is finally becoming a reality; thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood decides to name its new bikeshare WeHoPedals. Although the rejected WeHoGo name was a lot better. Or maybe even Zuzu’s Pedals.

And Global Green celebrates Bike Month with Santa Monica’s much better named Breeze bikeshare, and the coming of the Expo Line this Friday.

………

Let’s catch up on Bike Months news here in the LA area and around the US.

Commuting on Bike to Work Day is about to get a little easier as a new BikeHub opens in Covina on Thursday.

At least 20 Santa Clarita businesses will compete against one another to see which can get the most employees to ride to work.

An OpEd in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says every month is Bike Month, and education is the key to encouraging more, and safer, bicycling.

A Minneapolis bike commuter offers practical advice on how to do it yourself.

And a Louisiana radio personality explains why he bikes to work. Anyone who names his dog named after a zydeco legend has my undying respect.

………

This time it’s a four-legged cop, and a cop’s dog, behaving badly.

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy shot a CHP officer’s pit bull after the dog bit his 12-year old son as the family was getting ready for a bike ride.

And a Mississippi police dog chewed his way out from under a fence, and bit a boy riding his bike.

………

First year pro Giulio Ciccone won the 10th stage of the Giro, while Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels moves into the leader’s jersey. The race now moves into the brutal climbs of the Dolomites, as a writer remembers falling in love with his first Giro.

Twenty-three-year old French rider Julian Alaphillipe won Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California on the slopes of the famed Gibraltar climb above Santa Barbara, dropping American Peter Stetina with an uphill sprint to take the leader’s jersey.

CiclaValley offers some great pictures from Monday’s Stage 2, while a Santa Barbara website posts photos of Tuesday’s Gibraltar finish.

Sacramento is looking forward to the added exposure of hosting the finish of both the men’s and women’s races in the ToC.

Cycling Tips has a preview of the four stage women’s tour, which starts Thursday in South Lake Tahoe. But good luck if you actually want to watch it if you can’t be there in person.

And you’d ride faster if there was a guy in a chicken suit chasing you, too.

………

Local

MyFigueroa offers an update on the long-delayed project which will result in what would have been DTLA’s first protected bike lane, if Los Angeles Street hadn’t jumped to the head of the line.

The Daily News looks at tonight’s Ride of Silence in the San Fernando Valley.

The LA Weekly provides a slide show from Sunday’s CicLAvia. Not bad for a publication that wrongly predicted the first one would create a traffic nightmare.

 

State

Westminster’s mayor pro tem recounts the journey to convert a rundown two-mile strip of Hoover Street into a landscaped recreation corridor for biking and walking.

The head of CABO teaches a 14-hour bike safety class tailored to San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood.

The San Francisco cyclist hit by a police car last week says the city must do more to protect bike riders, and do it faster.

A Sacramento ER doc wants you to ride your bike, but put on a helmet when you do; he also says to follow the rules of the road and ride defensively. And a physician with the Cleveland Clinic says make sure it fits correctly.

 

National

Redfin ranks the nation’s most bikeable downtownsBut forget finding LA or any other SoCal city on the list.

Bike lanes build jobs.

A new line of women’s bikewear from Scott promises to eliminate road rash, at least on the parts it covers.

Now that’s more like it. A travel company is offering a trio of bike tours leading to the some of the nation’s leading microbreweries.

Tejano music legend Emilio Navaira was one of us, as he passed away in Texas Monday, despite riding his bike every day to get back into shape.

Sinead O’Connor lashes out at her family following her disappearance on a Chicago ebike ride.

Leave the car at home and join an organized group bike ride to see the Indianapolis 500. Now if they could just get the drivers to ride to work.

A Philly cyclist makes the argument that crashes aren’t accidents and can be avoided, while the Associated Press finally agrees, more or less.

Pennsylvania releases a new interactive mapping tool that combines detailed bike routes, traffic volumes and speed limits, and as well as state parks, forests and trails.

A New York website calls Janette Sadik-Khan the prophet of bike lanes, and lists the best things about biking in the city. Meanwhile, Sadik-Khan’s heirs at NYDOT make plans to put bikeways and improved sidewalks on bridges connecting Manhattan and the Bronx.

A New Orleans bike rider barely survives a robbery attempt, after a gun misfires when a trio of men force him off his bike and rifle through his pockets.

 

International

Thirteen cities around the world where bicycling is gaining modal share. None of which are named LA. Or anywhere else in North or South America, for that matter.

A Winnipeg woman gets back on a bike for the first time in 18 years, and likes it.

A London bike rider is mugged by moped riding thieves.

Paris ups the ante in its bid to host the 2024 Olympics, including cleaning up the Seine River and building a bike path linking venues for the games. Your move, Los Angeles.

Lawyers for an Australian woman argue she shouldn’t face jail for killing a cyclist while high on meth because she has a 10-month old baby, even though her actions left the victim’s three children without a mother.

What the hell did Aussie officials think would happen when they protected pedestrians from bicyclists, instead of protecting riders from cars?

 

Finally…

Don’t throw a fit if your bike doesn’t fit in a Fit. Nothing like a bike path where bicycling is banned, unless it’s telling Danny MacAskill he’s no Danny MacAskill in a nearly undecipherable brogue.

And yes, we cyclists are just here to fuck you up.

 

Morning Links: Town hall to talk 6th Street road diet, a busy Bike Week, and a hot Giant recovered in Redlands

We’re sill stuck on 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So who wants to help take it up to sign up now or renew your membership to take it up to at least 15 today? You’ll help give bike riders a real voice in the LA area, and get some great LACBC gear in the process.

………

A town hall meeting will be held on Wednesday to discuss the much-needed road diet on 6th Street between La Brea and Fairfax.

As someone who used to regularly ride that stretch of road when I lived on the Westside, I can attest that it can be pretty intense, whether you’re on two wheels or four. Especially at night, when traffic lets up and drivers feel free to haul ass without regard for who or what may be in their way.

………

KPCC looks at the remaining 15 days of Bike Month, starting with today’s Blessing of the Bicycles.

West Hollywood is celebrating bike month on Thursday, with a Bike to Work Day hub near Santa Monica Blvd and Hancock Avenue; some WeHo restaurants will offer a 10% discount to bicyclists through May 28th, though details are lacking.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is free this Thursday through Saturday.

And don’t forget that you and your bike get free rides on Metrolink this week.

………

Lois forwards word of recovered bike in Redlands.

From the Redlands Police Department page. RPD recovered a stolen Giant road bike.

“Police contacted four subjects in a vehicle in the 10 block of W. Colton Avenue and made several arrests for warrants and probation violations. Officers located a Giant road bicycle inside their car, and no one in the car claimed ownership of the bike. If you recently had a Giant road bike stolen, please contact the Redlands Police Department at rtolber@redlandspolice.org.”

………

Maybe he should ride the wrong bike more often. A former Slovenian ski jumper wins the Giro time trial after his bike is disqualified, and he’s forced ride a backup bike with the saddle set too low, and no water bottle or computer.

On the other hand, Russian rider Alexey Tsatevich was sent home by his Katusha team for illegally drafting another rider during the time trial.

No surprise Sunday in the Amgen Tour of California, as last year’s champ Peter Sagan wins the first stage. But the second stage was a big surprise, as American Ben King won in a two-man breakaway, taking the leader’s jersey just four months after ankle surgery.

It was a perfect starting place for Stage 2 of the race for pro cyclist Geoffrey Curran, whose family has lived in South Pasadena for over 50 years.

Today’s stage starts in Thousand Oaks and finishes in Santa Barbara.

………

Local

Something’s wrong when even students at high-end private academies aren’t safe on their way to school.

Paul Koretz tells UCLA’s Daily Bruin he wants Westwood Blvd removed from the Mobility Plan before studies of alternate routes are complete, because he may not be on the council when they are finished. So basically, he wants to impose his bad decisions on whoever is elected to replace him.

LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds talks transportation in DTLA, assuring drivers there’s no war on cars, even if she does want to discuss making some Downtown streets car-free.

The seemingly omnipresent CiclaValley looks at the semi-protected bike lanes coming to Van Nuys Blvd. Apparently, CD7 Councilmember Felipe Fuentes’ staff liked the story.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman says Sunday’s successful Southeast Cities CicLAvia was four years in the making, while KPCC says a good time was had by all. Or words to that effect, anyway.

LA’s Fox-11 asks if you can ditch your car in 2016.

Pasadena proposes spending $1.8 million to install bicycle detection systems at key intersections.

Santa Monica will host a mini-ciclovía on June 5th to help welcome the Expo Line to town.

Mark your calendar, as LA’s own Swrve hosts one of their semi-irregular warehouse sales on Saturday, June 11th.

 

State

The OC Register’s Dan Whiting looks at Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, with a record five rides planned in Orange County.

The madness continues in Coronado, as the city tosses out its already approved and funded bike plan after last year’s bizarre complaints from residents, and votes to start over.

A Santa Rosa woman clearly doesn’t get that bicyclists are allowed on the road, bike lane or not, and allowed to ride in the middle of the traffic lane. The solution to the “dangerous” conditions she describes is to drive safely, not for bikes to get the hell off the road.

This is why you don’t want to chase after bike thieves; a Fresno man was stabbed trying to get his bike back. That was just days after a Fresno bike rider was stabbed to death as he rode past a bus stop.

The woman who tried to flee after hitting a San Francisco cyclist has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon for the apparently intentional attack.

AAA is now using ebikes to rescue drivers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

Monterey gives free bike helmets to kids to encourage them to ride their bikes.

Sacramento is planning a $17 million, 4.5 mile rail-to-trail bike path.

 

National

Seattle is backsliding on the bikeways promised in its bike plan.

KC gets its first green bike box, with more bike racks and another 50 miles of bike lanes on the way.

A reportedly suicidal Sinead O’Conner was found safe after disappearing on an ebike ride in Chicago on Sunday.

A New York site says taming the city’s notorious Boulevard of Death is worth the effort, even though it calls plans for bike lanes on the street “radical.”

In a city notorious for vehicles blocking bike lanes — including police vehicles — the NYPD finally gets around to doing something about it. For one whole week, anyway.

Usher is one of us, as GQ uses his stylish ride through New York as the model for us all.

A Maryland county is measuring traffic stress levels to study how biking comfort affects connectivity.

The Atlanta Falcons are participating in Bike to Work Day this week. So will we see the new LA Rams on their bikes this Thursday?

 

International

A British man is convicted in the road rage stabbing of a prominent bike advocate following a traffic collision; the National Health Service admits they got things wrong in managing the killer’s paranoid schizophrenia, even though he was not psychotic at the time. His actions might tend to argue otherwise.

An English motorcyclist gets just two years for killing a bike rider while pulling high-speed wheelies.

Caught on video: An Irish paper investigates bike safety, and finds hundreds of near misses on the streets of Dublin. Although to be fair, a number of the close calls appear to be the riders’ fault.

A 14-year old Spanish cyclist sponsored by pro rider Vincenzo Nibali was killed in a collision with a garbage truck; Nibali was reportedly devastated, regarding the boy as a godson.

A road raging Spanish cab driver was charged with attempted murder for running down a bike-riding former Olympic medalist.

In Guyana, even the police are under the influence, as a drunk cop runs down a 10-year old boy while on duty.

Queensland is reconsidering its ten-year bike safety plan halfway through, as new thinking around the world threatens to leave the Aussie state behind.

 

Finally…

Maybe you need a bike with a bendy down tube. Seriously, it’s better to be arrested for outstanding warrants than get hit by a car trying to flee the cops on your bike.

And it’s probably not the best idea to run down the mayor while riding on the sidewalk.

 

Morning Links: Cops behaving badly, Amgen Tour of California kicks off, and sign up for the LACBC today

We’re sill stuck on 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

If we can’t get 100 new members this month, let’s at least get one a day for the rest of the month, starting today. So if you’re not a member yet, take a few minutes to sign up now. Or if you’re already a member, use this opportunity to renew your membership today.

It’s worth it just to get some new LACBC gear. And make a real difference on our streets.

………

Today’s theme is cops behaving badly.

When a Merced cop stops a young black man for riding on the sidewalk, it somehow escalates into a violent takedown by the police — including tackling the man filming it, in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Although needless to say, the police see it differently; thanks to Henry Fung for the link.

Next up, a careless San Francisco cop pulls out from the curb, apparently without checking his blind spot, and nails a bicyclist riding in the very obvious bike lane.

And an off-duty Charleston SC cop grabs a man’s backpack, throws him off his bike and tries to punch him following a wrong-way collision; the officer is now on well-deserved administrative leave without pay pending an internal investigation.

………

KABC-7 reports on Sunday’s Southeast Cities CicLAvia. Although they can’t seem to tell the difference between bikes that move and those that don’t.

………

Italian rider Gianluca Brambilla takes the leaders pink jersey off Tom Dumoulin’s back in the Giro d’Italia.

Edward Rubenstein offers a preview of the Amgen Tour of California, which kicked off Sunday in San Diego as Peter Sagan wins the first stage.

Team Novo Nordisk is less about winning and more about proving diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from riding. Nor, evidently, does hamburgers, soda and ding dongs. Although sprinters won’t have much of a chance to show their skills on this year’s vertical course.

Santa Clarita cycling fans gather to watch the opening stage of the ToC in anticipation of today’s finish of Stage 2, which starts in South Pasadena.

And motor doping once again rears its ugly head as three riders are disqualified in Indonesia’s Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen.

………

Local

As expected, the LA City Council voted 11 – 1 to send plans to provide separate but unequal alternatives to bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave back to the Planning Commission. The best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway is to insist on putting it someplace where bicyclists don’t want to go.

The LACBC and Bike SGV get LA City Councilmember Mitch Englander on the record for some very bike-friendly positions as a candidate for LA County Supervisor in District 5. And speaking of Bike SGV, Damien Newton talks with Executive Director Wes Reutimann.

The Army Corps of Engineers is removing flood control barriers that closed a large portion of the LA River bike path; once the barriers are removed from each section, LADOT has to evaluate the condition of the path before it can be reopened.

A project to improve traffic flow onto the 110 Freeway in San Pedro is finished, including new bike lanes and sidewalks on John S. Gibson Blvd.

A man in his 20s was shot and killed while riding his bike in Compton Saturday evening.

Burbank is planning three pit stops for Bike to Work Day on Thursday.

Sixty-four La Puente kids have new bikes as a reward for academic achievement and perfect attendance, thanks to the Golden State Foods Foundation.

 

State

Laguna Beach holds a Bike Rodeo and Safety Expo as part of their ongoing efforts to improve safety for bicyclists.

Downtown San Diego bike riders are being victimized by bike thieves breaking into so-called secure bike rooms and parking garages.

Ebikes could be the answer the answer to bike commuting in San Bernardino’s hilly climate.

The 52nd annual Great Western Bicycle Rally comes to Paso Robles May 26th through 30th.

A Sunnyvale actor faces felony charges for allegedly running down a bike rider in Berkeley in February. If they can find him, that is.

Napa draws over 1,400 cyclists of all ages to its fifth annual Bike Fest.

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets around to throwing out eleven rules that prevented cities from building bikeable, walkable streets.

A moving piece on Facebook, as an Arizona cyclist comes face-to-face with the driver who nearly killed him two and a half years earlier. And surprises himself by forgiving him.

Another way bikes are good for business. Bike sales may be down nationwide, but not in my bike-friendly hometown. Evidently, making the city safe and inviting for bike riders actually encourages people to buy more bicycles.

Leonardo DiCaprio goes for a bikeshare ride through Gotham with his new girlfriend.

An anti-bike Philly columnist gloats over an apparent decline in bike commuting, that could simply be due to bad weather during the latest bike count.

Someone is attacking New Orleans bike riders with paintball guns.

 

International

There are lots of reason to take off on a bike tour. Like becoming the fastest woman to ride around the world because your boyfriend was killed by a crocodile. On the other hand, having a baby 12 weeks early is a good reason to stop one.

Plan your next European bike vacation. I’ll take the ride to Bruges, thank you.

A Calgary woman has built a business teaching immigrant women how to ride a bike.

A London hospital fights plans for a proposed floating bus stop next to a bike lane, fearing patients will get run down by bike riders. Better to let the cyclists get run down by cars, thus creating more business for the hospital.

A Croatian bike ride takes cyclists from sea level to the top of the highest peak in Dalmatia, gaining over one mile of elevation in just 20 miles.

Someone is booby trapping bikeways around Brisbane, Australia; a 17-year old bike rider was seriously injured when he was garroted by a rope strung across a bike path.

Over 5,000 yellow-clad Thai cyclists ride to mark the 70th anniversary of the king assuming the throne.

 

Finally…

Call it a case of he said/he said as both types of cyclists accuse one another of road rage. Who needs Bike to Work Day when you can have a full week of biking from work to craft breweries?

And seriously, if someone says bicycling is the new golf one more time, I’m going to start yelling “fore” every time I ride down the street.

 

Morning Links: Climate Riders still need help, ending the war on our streets, and more on the Mobility Plan debacle

We’ve stalled once again at 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So take a few moments to add your voice to SoCal’s leading bike advocacy organization. Or if you’re already a member, encourage your family, friends and co-workers who ride, or who simply support bicycling, to sign up today. And get some great LACBC bike swag in the process.

And thanks to everyone who has joined already!

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A couple of Climate Riders for Team LACBC still need a little help with donations to meet their commitment for the ride. Nicole Rostoker and Cesar Garcia only have until the end day today to collect another $500 and $200 respectively. So give them a boost if you can.

Meanwhile, a Climate Ride training ride will be held on Latigo Canyon Road on Saturday; the ride is open to anyone who needs a good workout, regardless of whether you’re participating in the Climate Ride.

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Today’s must read comes from the Wall Street Journal’s bike riding sports columnist Jason Gay, who tells America that bike riders are not your enemy, and calls for an end to the ridiculous battle between cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Not to mention making what may be the first known reference to bird-flipping koalas.

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UCLA’s Daily Bruin reports on Wednesday’s meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, which voted to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan. Maybe someone should tell Paul Koretz that the solution to a dangerous street isn’t keeping it dangerous.

Meanwhile, LAist’s Matt Tinoco does a good job of explaining the whole convoluted process.

And the LACBC offers their take on the sordid mess as they continue to fight to keep the plan intact, saying the proposed removal demonstrates a lack of engagement with the community, as well as a commitment to build a complete transportation network that works for everyone.

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We’ve got dual Bike Blessings in today’s news.

Katrina Bada forwards a reminder of Tuesday’s 2016 Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital, which will honor bike-friendly LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino, as well as featuring special guest Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The future mayor retrieves his bike at the 2005 Blessing of the Bicycles

The future mayor retrieves his bike at the 2005 Blessing of the Bicycles

Dr. Michael Cahn sends word that St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica will host their own Blessing of the Bicycles at 2 pm on Bike to Work Day next Thursday. Although they could have done a better job of promoting it.

In other Bike Week news, Santa Monica Spoke lists SaMo’s Bike to Work Day pit stops, as well as a Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hour next Thursday.

And the LACBC is hosting their own Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hour at the Angel City Brewery in DTLA the same day.

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Still more Bike Month news, as the Bay Area celebrated Bike to Work Day a week before LA County.

SFist says San Francisco officials only pretend to care about cycling on the city’s Bike to Work Day.

Napa shows a 25% to 30% increase in bike riders stopping at the city’s energizer stations compared to last year.

Bike to Work Day was probably the wrong day to try to flee the scene after hitting a San Francisco bike rider in front of a group of cyclists and other onlookers, who rushed to grab the driver’s keys and prevent her from leaving. Update: It looks like the wreck was an intentional assault with a deadly weapon. 

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Caught on video: The owner of a Fresno bike shop throws in the towel after a series of smash and grab burglaries, vowing to reopen somewhere else, hopefully a little safer. Thanks to Cristina Rayas for the link.

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Tom Dumoulin extends his lead in the Giro, while Lotto-Soudal rider Tim Wellens wins the sixth stage in a solo breakaway.

South Pasadena prepares to host the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while CiclaValley continues his run-up to the race with a look at the riders to watch.

Which can be summed up in two words: Peter Sagan. Thanks to Edward Rubinstein for the link.

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Local

Too little, too late? A deadly stretch of North Figueroa gets a flashing traffic signal. Rather than the fully funded, shovel ready road diet that might actually have saved lives if it hadn’t been stopped by CM Gil Cedillo.

Richard Risemberg says it’s time to say goodbye to Cedillo, as three people announce their candidacy in an attempt to make him a one-term councilmember.

Streetsblog reports a that meeting was held last night to discuss a road diet and bike lanes proposed for Fletcher Drive in Atwater Village; the story says a similar project on nearby Verdugo Road is in the early stages of discussion.

A judge orders a pair of sheriff’s deputies to provide photos of their tattoos to show if they’re members of an LASD gang clique; the officers are being sued in the 2013 fatal shooting of Terry Laffite in South LA.

West Hollywood considers a new list of names for their coming bikeshare system; they also have better streets to ride them on. Personally, I liked the rejected WeHoGo.

The Source explains how to get to the new Expo Line stations, including options for bike share and bike parking; the line officially opens one week from today.

Santa Monica will hold yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety enforcements on Saturday. By now, you know the protocol: Obey the letter of the law until you get outside the SaMo city limits.

Long Beach ranks tenth on Zillow’s list of the ten most bike friendly cities in the US, while another website rates it the eighth most charming city of its size.

 

State

Three Santa Barbara women are being honored for bringing “the joy of bicycling to countless youth” and making cycling safer and more accessible for everyone.

The Fresno Bee looks at next week’s Ride of Silence; last year’s Clovis/Fresno ride was the largest in the state. If you missed it, CiclaValley offers a guest post on next Wednesday’s San Fernando Valley’s Ride of Silence.

A San Francisco public TV and radio station examines the role of data in improving safety for bicyclists.

Berkeley opens a new buffered — not protected, apparently — bike lane where a woman was nearly killed by a stoned driver while riding her bike earlier this year.

The National Park Service suggests reopening a trail that would give bike riders a safer route into Sausalito, while providing expansive views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Davis doctors call for greater bike helmet use, while Treehugger says helmets are the last thing we should be worrying about when it comes to bicycle safety. As we’ve discussed before, I never ride without mine. But helmets should always be considered a defense of last resort when all else fails.

 

National

A new infographic shows the overwhelming benefits of protected bike lanes, including spurring economic growth, improving safety for pedestrians and making driving less stressful. Someone should send this to Paul Koretz. Not that he’s likely to care, of course.

Strong Towns says the economic benefits of bicycling can’t be ignored. Although LA seems to be doing a pretty good job of it; maybe if LADOT did a better job of selling bikeways, local businesses and homeowners would be fighting to get theirs instead of fighting to stop them.

Chicago Magazine offers an insider’s guide to biking in the Windy City.

An X-Games cyclist shares his journey to mental health with Niagara NY area high school students.

A former bike racer walked away from Wall Street to make high-end sport bicycles.

Sad news, as a retired New Jersey cop has died of injuries he suffered on the first day of the Police Unity Tour to honor fallen police officers.

A 17-mile DC ride has already registered close to 6,000 riders with 10 days still to go.

An article in the Washington Post says bicycling is more dangerous than you think, while another site argues that bike commuting is good for you. Actually, your odds of surviving any given ride are over 6.3 million to one; try taking that to Vegas.

A Louisiana driver gets 25 years for the DUI death of a seven-year old girl as she was riding her bike home, although he could be out in as little as three years with time served.

 

International

A proposed revision to Quebec law would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider.

A new police bicycle can read license plates and measure the speeds of passing cars. We need a Kickstarter to buy one for every bike cop on the LAPD. And me, too.

 

Finally…

So if a car exiting a freeway hit a bike rider, why does the headline say the cyclist collided with the car? If you’re going to get run down by a beer truck, try to make sure it’s a decent craft brew and not just hops-flavored water.

And a funeral home billboard drives home the message not to text behind the wheel.

 

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