Tag Archive for Marathon Crash Ride

Morning Links: LA Times takes MyFig to task, 111-year old indoor cyclist dies, and a look at the Marathon Crash Ride

One quick request before we get started.

My nephew is in the final semester of film school, and in need of a location for his senior project.

If you know of a high-rise building in the LA area that has a long hallway with an elevator and multiple office doors, and might be open to a low budget student shoot, let me know.

You can reach me at the address on the About page.

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Here’s a must read we missed yesterday.

An op-ed in the Sunday Los Angeles Times makes the case that the troubled MyFigueroa project represents everything that’s wrong with LA’s alternative transportation efforts.

At the project’s launch last August, Mayor Eric Garcetti boasted of a “safer” and “more enjoyable” way to get around Los Angeles — a harbinger of our transit-friendly, less-car-reliant future.

But when I hopped on a bike share and rode the entire south to north length of the project, I discovered the same patchwork approach to safety that governs the rest of L.A.’s infrastructure….

In isolation, and for blocks at a time, MyFig’s enhancements are worthwhile, even exemplary. But benevolently making things safer for a block or two — only moments later leaving anyone without a car inconvenienced at best, in danger at worst — isn’t enough of an improvement.

As a pilot redesign, what MyFig doesn’t do is as instructive as what it does.

Meanwhile, the paper lists what we got for our $20 million. And it ain’t pretty.

For anyone who remembers the long, difficult process getting the MyFig project off the ground, the final result comes as no surprise.

At every step along the way, compromises were made to appease business owners and drivers, from AAA, who have their SoCal headquarters on the street, to Felix Chevrolet, which didn’t want to give up free street parking.

Too many times, bike riders and pedestrians were frozen out of the discussions to resolve any issues.

So what resulted was a project that was, in effect, designed by a committee that didn’t want it there in the first place.

And not surprisingly, ended up as a very incomplete Complete Street.

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Let’s all wish a heartfelt rest in peace to LA’s own Henry Tseng, who pulled himself out of his wheelchair every day and onto an exercise bike at the gym.

At 111 years old.

We should all want to be like him when we grow up.

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The Los Angeles Daily News looks back at the short history of the Marathon Crash Ride, crediting “the notorious” Don Ward for its scofflaw beginnings.

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This is what it looks like when a bike rider barrels onto a British country road without looking, and onto the hood of a car.

Meanwhile, another “shocking” video captures the close calls and near misses that come with riding a bike in Liverpool.

Although it’s only really shocking if you don’t spend much time on a bike yourself, wherever you ride.

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Local

Interesting work from Kegel.com, teasing out virtually every bike-related LA City Council file for the last six years.

The LACBC reports the Arroyo Seco Bike Path is closed to repair storm damage.

The LA Times says yes, Los Angeles will collect data on every scooter ride you take, but no, Big Brother isn’t watching.

Velo Club LaGrange returns to sponsoring a road race this June after the demise of the popular Brentwood Grand Prix, with closed course race at the Porsche Experience Center.

CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin offers an overview of Westside Fast Forward, a series of projects designed to help reduce congestion and provide alternatives to driving, including Metro bikeshare and dockless e-scooters. Although it’s disappointing that one of LA’s most bike-friendly councilmembers didn’t even mention building out the bike plan.

Community members pitched in, along with Reseda Bicycle, to help a 91-year old woman get a new adult tricycle after her customized trike was stolen from Pierce College.

The LACBC’s April Sunday Funday Ride rolls through historic San Fernando, rescheduling a ride that got washed out last month.

The Santa Monica Daily Press identifies the victim of last week’s fatal scooter crash, recalling him as gentle, kind and helpful.

State

A new bill in the state legislature would transform how projects are funded and managed under California’s Active Transportation Program, allocating 75% of funds to regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations.

A woman riding a bike in El Cajon suffered undisclosed major injuries when she was struck by the driver of an SUV on Sunday.

Indian Wells continues to be dangerous for people on bicycles, as a bike rider suffered unknown injuries when he was struck by the driver of a minivan. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A new bike co-op has launched to provide free refurbished bikes for kids in East Palo Alto, as well as teaching them wrenching skills.

A Sacramento cyclist is back to racing after discovering a congenital heart defect at age 56.

Sonoma and Marin County bike riders feel like they’re getting the short end of the bike path, as a promised 54-mile bikeway paralleling a new train line is only one-third complete.

They get it. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat calls for making hit-and-run a felony for everyone.

National

The Bike League has released their benchmarking report for bicycling and walking in the US.

People for Bikes is in the market for a marketing director.

Good advice for Los Angeles. The Brooking’s Institute says stop trying to solve unsolvable traffic problem, and start building great places.

A bike parking and bollard maker lists twelve outstanding Twitter accounts for followers of active transportation. No, really. I’m sure BikinginLA was number 13, right?

Writing for Outside, Joe Lindsey calls for a truce in the bike helmet wars.

Fast Company says the scooter wars are really a hundred years old.

Talk about burying the lede. An Alaskan drunk driver drove onto a sidewalk and plowed into two kids riding their bikes, seriously injuring them. But the local paper oddly leads off with traffic news.

A Manhattan, Kansas volunteer group provides a free, privately funded 160-bike bikeshare system that rolls out every year when the weather warms up.

The Chicago Tribune looks at Black Girls Do Bike, saying it brings the physical and emotional benefits of bicycling to women of all levels.

How to write a bad headline. A Kentucky TV station appears to suggest that a man was somehow killed after a self-riding bicycle and a self-driving car collided.

Sad news from Boston, where a 71-year old man died in a collision with another rider on a bike path.

Good op-ed from the New York Times looking at how cities around the world are getting the message that streets are for people, not cars. And LOS has got to go.

Philly bike riders wisely conclude that if you’re going to ride naked to call for better bike safety, you should at least do it in a warmer month.

Turns out placing bicycles around the city as a guerrilla ad campaign for a liquor maker is perfectly legal in Philadelphia.

International

Fast Company examines eight cities around the world that are taking bod steps to get rid of cars. Hint: Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

Outside lists their take on the world’s 25 best bike rides right now, including May’s Belgian Waffle Ride in San Marcos.

Your next bike could be a ped-assist, reverse tricycle ebike that leans into corners to improve performance.

An Ontario, Canada bike lane becomes an instant challenger for the world’s scariest green bike lane.

A British bike club composed of porn stars vows to continue riding and raising funds for charity, despite losing official recognition.

This is who we share the sidewalks with. A woman in the UK faces charges for punching a grandmother for walking too slowly.

Amsterdam’s nine-year old junior bike mayor explains what it takes to make the city safe for kids. Needless to say, Los Angeles doesn’t have a bike mayor, junior or otherwise.

Belgium attempts to boost bike sales and increase ridership by cutting the Value Added Tax on bicycles by over 70%.

You’ve got to hand it to German officials, who somehow thought using skimpily clad models saying “Looks like shit. But saves my life.” was the best way to promote bike helmet use. And then stand by their decision in the face of well-deserved criticism.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list. Rome has announced plans for a 155-mile bike path leading from the St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City to the Basilica of St. Frances of Assisi.

An Indian hit man put that line about “if you want to get away with murder, use a car” into practice, getting away with a hit-and-run that killed a bike rider for five years before police realized it was a contract killing.

Competitive Cycling

Now that’s impressive. A South African mountain bike race fielded its first all-handicapped team competing against able-bodied riders.

Six current and former pro cyclists open up about their own depression, including LA’s Phil Gaimon.

Finally…

Who says you can’t move a sofa across town on a Lime scooter? Let’s hope they start making these in bike shorts.

And the message here seems to be that autonomous cars will knock your legs off.

Morning Links: Surprising support for safer streets, a pro-car attack on open streets & Marathon Crash rides again

One quick note: Statistics show that traffic collisions spike after daylight savings begins, so be extra careful on the streets for the next few days.

Photo by Ted Faber

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They get it.

An Op-Ed from Toronto college professor says pedestrian deaths won’t end until the city stops pandering to cars and drivers.

There’s no sugar-coating it: We can only make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists when road space is taken away from cars… Transformative infrastructure disrupts the dominance of the car while enabling people to safely switch from driving their cars to using bikes, transit or walking…

When cars slow down, not only are streets safer, but they become more enjoyable places to be. When good cycling infrastructure is present, people stop being “cyclists” and instead are just normal people going about ordinary, mundane activities. We need to stop thinking that bike lanes are only for “cyclists” and better sidewalks or more crossings are only for “pedestrians.” They are for everyone and they give people choices as to how they get around.

Then there’s this from a surprising source — the executive editor of The American Conservative, who notes that it’s become safer to drive and more dangerous to walk — and bike — in recent years.

And that the recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association didn’t go far enough in calling for safer streets.

Curiously, there is little attempt by the GHSA to grapple with the very obvious and long-term problem—the conflict that occurs when one attempts to combine pedestrian accessibility with roads that support highway speeds. Even with smartphones locked away and all drivers drug free, there are bound to be incidents in which the operator of a two-ton object barrelling down the road does incredible damage to a defenseless human being of one-tenth the weight. The only sure way to protect the vulnerable party in this situation is to slow vehicles to truly safe speeds wherever pedestrians are present. And the only way to guarantee slower speeds is to create streets—not the all-to-common suburban thoroughfares that accomodate highway speeds—that do not allow drivers to travel through neighborhoods at unsafe velocities.

Such a transformation of our built environment will require more than band-aid fixes, such as “pedestrian hybrid beacons” (special button-activated lights and crosswalks placed at midblock) and demeaningly-named “refuge islands” recommended by the GHSA report. Only a dramatic paradigm shift will cause drivers to ease off the pedal when they are off the interstate. Such a new approach would call for narrower streets that are not designed for highway speeds—or even what behind the wheel may seem relatively pokey rates of travel. At even 35 miles per hour, there is a 31 percent chance a vehicle will kill you, rising to 54 percent for seniors over 70 years old. In contrast, at 20 miles per hour, the risk of pedestrian death goes down to an average of 7 percent…

True sharing of the streets between all modes of mobility—including one’s own two feet—demands, as Cortright states so well, that walking and biking are no longer treated as a “second class form of transportation.” This transition will require recovering a rather older form of techne, a craft of building human-centered places, that does not need artificial intelligence or other “smart” devices to save us from the mechanical beasts we have allowed to dominate our streets.

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On the other hand, some people just don’t get it at all.

A newspaper in Bend, Oregon says the city’s twice-a-year open streets events are “anti-car street parties” that only serve to alienate motorists.

Because no one who drives a car would ever actually get out and enjoy it themselves, apparently.

Rather than patting themselves on the back for supporting environmentally and socially commendable causes, city councilors should be asking themselves whether they’re using the public’s money effectively. Does it really make sense to spend $22,500 on an alternative-transportation event that preaches to the anti-car choir even as it subtly alienates the very people whose support the city really needs?

Those other people are the ones who drive cars and trucks, and they might think better of cyclists, pedestrians and so on if they weren’t treated as pariahs on their own streets and at their own expense. There’s an in-your-face quality to Open Streets that simply isn’t useful if the city’s goal is to encourage respectful coexistence by motorists, cyclists and others.

Evidently, it’s only coexistence when the roads belongs to cars, period.

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It looks like the Marathon Crash Ride is back next Sunday after all.

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Local

Bike the Vote LA has released their voter guide for the April 3rd primary election in California Assembly District 54, which is currently vacant following the resignation of Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.

Don’t plan on riding the new Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail anytime soon unless you enjoy dodging golf balls; the April 22nd opening has been cancelled until they can stop errant shots from escaping from a nearby driving range.

There will be a blessing of the bicycles and other mobility devices in Santa Monica on Sunday the 25th.

 

State

Calbike is urging you to speak with your state assembly member and senator during Advocacy Week, March 22-29, when the legislature is not in session.

Dockless bikeshare is coming to North San Diego County for a one-year trial.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a former Palm Springs councilmember aimed at derailing the CV Link bike and pedestrian trail surrounding the Coachella Valley. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Menlo Park website explains what all those markings on the street mean, including bike lanes, bike boxes and sharrows.

 

National

A group of veterans are riding from Florida to Los Angeles for Ride 2 Recovery, while a Navy vet is riding cross-country for raise funds for veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation.

A Seattle reporter takes a ride along a still under-construction bike lane and road diet connecting to the Amazon campus.

Nothing like an insurance company that doesn’t get the law. A Washington state firm tells a driver to go ahead and right hook a bike rider after passing him.

Colorado letter writers take up the great ebike debate, discussing whether they should be allowed on trails.

Fort Worth and Arlington TX hope to avoid the problems neighboring Dallas has with abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

Stop de Kindermoord comes to New York as residents demand an end to children being killed on the streets.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York will redesign a street where two small children were killed while walking with their mother after a driver ran a red light. Although I don’t know any design elements that will take a driver’s foot off the gas pedal.

WaPo offers advice on bike touring, with a little help from Adventure Cycling.

 

International

The year’s first edition of the World Naked Bike Ride took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday to call for safer streets. And no, the story’s not safe for work.

Vancouver residents rise up in anger over the thought of a bike path besmirching a public park. Never mind that it might actually allow more people to enjoy the park.

The way to encourage more bicycling in the UK is not to give bicyclists a safe passing law, then threaten them with a life sentence for killing a pedestrian.

An Irish writer says cyclists are just failed runners, but he’s now going to join the MAMILs for a mid-run snack.

Irish police are warning bicyclists to be careful using ride-tracking apps like Strava, which could lead thieves to your bike if you leave it on the default settings.

Sad news from South Africa, where two bicyclists have died during the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour, one from a heart attack and the other the result of a 20-rider pileup; police are investigating both deaths.

No bias here. A local government in Western Australia responds to the state’s new one-meter passing law by moving to ban bikes from narrow roadways, insisting there’s there’s no room for drivers to obey the law.

No bias here, either. A New Zealand writer complains about male cyclists who don’t have bells on their bikes, or want them. And somehow assumes that means they’re lawbreaking scofflaws who complain about the way drivers treat them.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Chinese website considers why there’s no culture of competitive cycling in the country, oddly placing the blame on a lack of cycle tracks and conflicts with drivers.

Keith Olberman talks with former pro Phil Gaimon about riding clean in the sport that’s become the poster child for doping.

 

Finally…

Cleaning your bike pedals the cute, furry natural way. When you absolutely, positively have to spend $165,000 for $27,000 worth of bike racks.

And Elon Musk now says his Boring tunnels will put bicyclists and pedestrians first.

Lucky  us.

 

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