Let’s talk election news before we move on to other subjects.
Starting with a handful of endorsements from Bike the Vote LA, as they rush to get them in before next month’s LA city election.
First up, they’ve endorsed CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino for re-election. Buscaino has been a strong supporter of bike lanes and safer streets in his district. And unlike most LA city councilmembers, had the backbone to stand up to San Pedro residents who demanded removal of a road diet intended to improve safety for students on their way to school.
While they’re not making an endorsement in CD9, currently represented by Curren Price, they shared this questionnaire response from opposition candidate Adriana Cabrera. Cabrera seems to grasp the importance of bikes in a community where many residents rely on them for transportation, calling for a return of the Central Avenue bike lanes Price had removed from the Mobility Plan.
And like the LACBC, Bike the Vote takes a strong stand against the anti-growth Measure S, portraying it as a ego project from Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which “will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse.” Never mind that almost all the funding for the measure has come from AHF, instead of being spent for the benefit of patients and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
Although that’s not nearly as strong a stand as the LA Times took in rejecting the measure, describing it as a “childish middle finger to City Hall” that will worsen the city’s housing crisis and stifle economic development.
Finally, the LA Weekly asks if bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali can defeat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in CD1, noting the historical difficulty in beating an incumbent councilmember in the City of Angels. It should also be noted that Cedillo’s stated opposition to bike lanes that benefit just a “small, tight-knit community of cyclists” flies in the face of his self-proclaimed support for immigrants, many of whom rely on a bicycle as their sole source of transportation.
Maybe they don’t really want to talk to us.
In an apparent effort to get public input on Caltrans’ new Bike and Pedestrian plan without really having to engage the public, Caltrans is holding exactly three public meetings — yes, 3 — to discuss the plan in a state of 38 million people.
That works out to 12.6 million people trying to squeeze into each room. Which means you should get there early if you want to attend the meeting in Santa Ana on March 6th.
Never mind that by not holding meetings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco or Sacramento, they are bypassing the state’s major population centers. And the overwhelming majority of people who walk or ride bikes.
But at least you can attend the meetings virtually, via webinar.
After all, we’re easier to ignore that way.
Which would seem to be the point. Because you don’t limit it to just three meetings for the entire state of California if you really want to hear from the people.
That’s one way to lose the bike vote.
A candidate for Claremont city council parked his car, which doubles as a campaign ad, in a Claremont bike lane. And left it there.
Which, as it turns out, appears to be semi-legal there, if you ignore the state prohibition against blocking bikeways.
However, it does guarantees that every rider who has to change lanes to go around it will notice the car, and most likely remember his name on election day.
When they cast their ballot for his opponent.
Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.
People on bikes are heroes once again.
Or make that twice.
A San Antonio postal carrier can credit a bicycling nurse for saving her life, after she teamed with other riders to help after postal worker was shot in the leg.
And a British bicyclist saves a pair of swans from morning commuters by herding them off the road.
They’re one of us, too.
Actress Bella Thorne rides the sidewalks of LA with friends until she gets a flat. Maybe someone should tell her those can be fixed pretty easily.
New York celebrity chef Seamus Mullen lost 70 pounds by cutting out processed carbs and getting back on his bicycle.
Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins won’t be making any ski jumps for awhile.
Afghan and Pakistani cyclists compete in a 217-mile race through Pakistan’s militant-torn northwest province in an effort to bring the countries together and promote tourism.
The Beverly Press attempts to explain LA’s Vision Zero plan to the general public.
Santa Monica’s dangerously auto-centric Lincoln Blvd could get a pedestrian-friendly makeover; while there are plans to improve bicycle crossings, there don’t appear to be any plans for bike lanes on the boulevard.
This is why you have to support your local bike shop. Pomona’s Coates Cyclery will be closing at the end of this month after 83 years in business; owner Corey McCroskey blames competition from online sites. Clearly, it’s not just a SoCal problem.
AAA says don’t raise gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads, just cut state transportation bureaucracy. But how do they expect to speed up bridge and highway repairs by firing the people who do the work?
An Orange County man gets 56 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man, then riding away on a beach bike; it was his third strike after two previous violent crimes. And another OC man gets 15 years to life for a drunken, high-speed crash to that killed a man as he slept in his own home.
Mariner’s Mile on the West Coast Highway through Newport Beach will eventually be remade into three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and no street parking. Hopefully, they’ll take steps to slow traffic and avoid making it into a high-speed throughway with just a lousy stripe of paint to protect people on their bikes.
Riverside is the latest city to stage enhanced enforcement of traffic offenses that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, today and again on the 27th.
Palm Springs police use a bait bike to bust a bike thief who was also carrying over an ounce of meth.
An alleged drunk hit-and-run driver says he fled the scene of a Bakersfield collision because he was scared. Imagine how his bike-riding victim felt.
Four Bay Area communities agree to cooperate on a regional bicycle network.
Famed cyclist Barry Bonds, who used to be a baseball player, crashes the San Francisco Giant’s annual fan fest on his bike.
Marin mountain bikers vow to defy the ban on riding most county trails to force them to open more space for bikes; an Op-Ed in the local paper calls the group “extreme,” and says bike access and conservation just aren’t compatible.
Forbes says cyclists may get the most benefit from self-driving cars, but could be the biggest challenge for them.
Oregon is connecting already existing mountain bike trails in five national forests to create a single 650-mile mountain bike trail traversing the entire state.
Two-thirds of Denver voters would support a sales tax increase to build out the city’s bicycle network, including a number of protected bike lanes, within the next five years. Although drivers and business owners don’t seem to like the latest one.
Houston cyclists call for safety improvements after two riders were killed in collisions with light-rail trains during Super Bowl weekend.
A Massachusetts naturopath builds a better e-velomobile. But don’t expect the world to beat a path to his door.
A Philadelphia Op-Ed says the now-cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is good for the city. Meanwhile, the communications director for the Philadelphia bike coalition pens an Op-Ed of his own, skillfully dismantling the auto-centric arguments of a motorist fringe group.
A British Columbia cyclist says drivers have to be cruel to be kind, and stick to the right of way rather than waving bicyclists through intersections ahead of them.
Love this. Canadians tourists bring bicycles with them to explore Cuba, then leave them behind to help young cyclists when they go home.
A Canadian bike magazine talks with Michael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame.
London police are looking for a bike rider who collided with a 72-year old man after the older man died two weeks later; the bicyclist stayed at the scene, but police didn’t record his name at the time.
A Scottish Paralympian with cerebral palsy is crowdfunding a new racing tricycle after hers was destroyed when thieves stole her car and crashed it into a gas station with the bike inside.
Caught on video: A Brit bike rider shames a van driver into getting out and picking up his litter. I may have been known to pick trash up and return it to the offending person with a polite “I think you dropped this” in my more reckless days.
FedEx refuses to deal with a Brit cyclist who was terrorized by one of their road-raging drivers because his blog doesn’t have a high enough profile, and accidently sends him an email saying so. Which probably means I’m toast if a FedEx driver ever tries to run me down.
A British insurer has developed what may be the world’s first bicycle street gritting machine, designed to spread salt on frozen bike lanes to prevent injuries.
British drivers reject using the Dutch Reach to keep from dooring bike riders because it’s just too hard. Although officials illustrate it with a bizarre video showing drivers reaching through an open window to grab the door handle from the outside, rather than just opening the door with the opposite hand.
After she was dumped by the man who taught her to ride, a Philippines woman realizes that bicycling is her one true love.
Seriously. If you’re riding your bike after dark while drunk, with dope, a bunch of concealed knives and an active warrant, put some damn lights on it. Nothing like learning the hard way that a crossing gate sensor doesn’t recognize carbon fiber — and getting stuck with the bill to fix it.
And Elon Musk is boring Los Angeles. No, literally.