Tag Archive for Marvin Braude bike path

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Dj Wheels for the heads-up.

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

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

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

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

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

In theory, at least.

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

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

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

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

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

Open letter to Metro and LA County DPW — making the Marvin Braude Bikeway a transportation corridor

Pedestrians often block cyclists on the bike path, despite numerous bike-only signs

If you’ve ever tried to ride the beachfront bike path through Santa Monica and Venice, chances are, you know what the problem is.

Despite countless bike-only signs along most of its length, the path is plagued by the seemingly inevitable conflicts between cyclists, skaters, joggers and pedestrians, as we all fight for a few feet of space on what should be the crown jewel of SoCal cycling.

The problem stems from a traditional lack of enforcement, which has caused countless residents and tourists to believe the path is open to everyone. Not mention location, since the bike path is situated directly on the sand, while pedestrian walkways, where they exist, are often well away from where most people want walk.

Now the County Department of Public Works is preparing a proposal that might solve that problem for a relatively lengthy section of the bikeway.

The County is submitting an application in Metro’s Call for Projects for a pedestrian walkway that would parallel the bike path from Ocean Front Walk north to Will Rogers State Beach. Something that would provide other users a space of their own directly on the sand, while freeing room for bikes on a path that was built for our use — but which many riders avoid because it’s often too crowded to ride.

Problem is, they’ve made a similar request before. And were turned down because the project was seen as benefitting recreational riders, rather than commuters.

This, despite the fact that simple observation indicates that at least some commuter cyclists already use the bike path as an alternative to PCH and crowded Santa Monica streets. And more commuters would use it if there weren’t so many non-cyclists clogging their way.

As a result, I’ve written the following letter in support of the project.

I urge you to write a letter of your own asking Metro to fund the pedestrian walkway, and send it to L.A. County Bikeway Coordinator Abu Yusuf, who has agreed to forward our letters to the right people and include them in the application.

Since Metro’s focus is on transportation, rather than recreation, your letter should stress how a pedestrian walkway would make it easier for you to commute to work, class or other situations, and make you more likely to use your own bike as opposed to other methods of transportation; feel free to use my letter as a guide.

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January 11, 2011

Gail Farber
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works
900 South Fremont Ave
Alhambra, CA 91803-1331

Dear Ms. Farber,

It has come to my attention that the Department of Public Works for the County of Los Angeles will be submitting an application for funding for the Marvin Braude Pedestrian Walkway Gap Closure Project in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2011 Call for Projects.

As you are undoubtedly aware, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail is one of Southern California’s most popular bikeways, drawing a very high volume of bicyclists, pedestrians, skaters and other users. While there are nearby walkways along other sections of the bike path, there is no pedestrian walkway along the section between Ocean Front Walk in Santa Monica and Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades.

As a result, bike riders and pedestrians are forced to compete for a limited amount of space, creating inevitable conflicts between various users, as well as congestion that greatly reduces the path’s utility for transportation riders and dramatically increases the risk of serious injuries.

Closing the proposed gap closure between the existing walkways would allow both bicyclists and pedestrians to travel this section of the Marvin Braude bikeway with greater safety. It would also provide access to local transit hubs, as well as the Exposition Light Rail Transit line that is currently in the beginning stages of being extended to Santa Monica.

In addition, moving pedestrians onto a separate pathway would increase the viability of the bikeway as a transportation corridor for bicyclists by providing safer access for riders commuting to the many activity, shopping and employment centers in the Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu areas. It would also encourage people who do not currently use their bikes for transportation to consider it as an alternative to driving or other methods of transit.

I myself have often considered using my bike for transportation to work or meetings in the area, but have usually rejected it at least in part due to the congestion and safety hazards caused by pedestrians and other non-bike users on the bike path.

I strongly urge the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to move this vital project forward by approving funding for the Marvin Braude Pedestrian Walkway Gap Closure Project in the 2011 Call for Projects.

Sincerely,

Ted A. Rogers
BikingInLA.com

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UCLA will host a day-long Complete Streets workshop Downtown on Friday, February 25th; participation is open to registered attendees; thanks to @Maddz4planning and @kneel28 for the heads-up. Bikerowave is offering a free bike-fitting workshop at 6 pm Saturday, January 15th; few things will improve your performance and enjoyment more than a bike that fits right. CicLAvia ventures into L.A. cycling’s undiscovered country, scouting streets for a possible South L.A. route. Bikeside encourages cyclists to walk precincts for the newly beardless Stephen Box. LADOT Bike Blog introduces LADOT’s Assistant Coordinators. Flying Pigeon looks at the January Spoke(n) Art Ride; the next one takes place on Feb. 12. Gary writes about the lessons learned from Long Beach’s bike planning. One of L.A.’s best wrenches, who I never seem to get over to see even though he works just down the road, offers some breathtaking views of the city from a recent off-road ride.

A Huntington Beach cyclist sues the city after falling while crossing railroad tracks. San Clemente requests funding for a possible bicycle freeway. Would new bike racks encourage more San Diego cycling? Santa Cruz officials consider moving the 1800-mile Pacific Coast Bike Route off a busy main road and onto a quieter, more picturesque street. Even famed bike builder Gary Fisher is a victim of bike theft.

Streetsblog says we’re all pulling for AZ Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; a vigil will be held for her and the other shooting victims on Tuesday evening. Commuting to work could save your life. Bike Portland’s Jonathon Maus says it’s time to tone down the rhetoric on our streets, as well as our political discourse; I couldn’t agree more. People riding bikes aren’t jerks, they’re just like you. Does the Mary Poppins effect keep cyclists in regular clothing safer? New Belgium’s Tour de Fat raises over $300,000 for bike non-profits, including C.I.C.L.E. and LACBC.  Ohio bike lawyer Steve Magas — one of the out-of-area lawyers you’ll find over there on the right — looks at the official stats for cyclists killed in that state in 2010, and lowers the count by two. Make phone calls directly from your bike with this awkward, butt-ugly innovative helmet with built-in phone; thanks to Just Another Cyclist for the link. Tips to quiet your ride. Fears of unbridled gentrification rise as streetcars return to Lego City; yes, it’s written with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

I confess, there were times I felt like a cowboy riding around the Mountain West, but turn my bike into a horsie? No. Just no. A top British barrister says the courts have to do more to protect cyclists. A Spanish mountain biker charged with doping offenses has committed suicide. The London Olympic Velodrome could be the world’s fastest track. British Olympian James Cracknell says he’s lucky to be alive after getting hit by a gas tanker near Winslow AZ last July; I think everyone who’s followed the story would agree. A Surrey cyclist raises over £90,000 for charity by riding 100,000 miles. Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde remains banned. A German biker didn’t think cycling through Siberia would be so darn cold.

Finally, the solution to dooring could be as simple as stop riding your damn bike on the street, according to antidooring.org, which also notes that every car on the road can replace up to six bicycles; I sincerely hope this is tongue-in-cheek. An Ohio used car dealer is willing to give joggers and cyclists a 15% discount if you just promise to stay the hell out of his way. Maybe it would help if we all took this pledge.

And RIP to Peter Yates, director of Breaking Away, the movie that got me on a bike three decade ago. Arrivederci, papa.

Tuesday’s ride, in which I discover that not all dangerous jerks ride on four wheels

Recently, Santa Monica’s Parks and Rec Commissioner commented about how dangerous the beachfront bike path can be.

I experienced that for myself yesterday, when I was almost nailed by another cyclist who couldn’t seem to grasp what the problem was.

I’d thought I was going to be stuck at home all day, despite the best weather we’d seen in a few weeks. But as the morning progressed, I found myself with an unexpected opportunity to get out for a quick ride, so I grabbed my bike and took off for the coast.

Apparently, a lot of other people were distracted by the lovely day, too.

I could almost count on getting left crossed and right hooked, cars pulling out in front of me and doors flying open unexpectedly. But a little defensive riding kept me out of harms way.

Still, I was having a very enjoyable ride as I come down the bike path below the Palisades, headed towards the pier. I had just passed the life guard headquarters, and was approaching the end of the parking lot below the life guard station, at the point where the bike path takes a short jog to the left before turning right and down a short hill.

While I usually prefer to stay on the bike path to enjoy the view, a lot of riders take the more direct route through the parking lot there. And sure enough, I saw a rider coming up on my left through the parking lot to merge onto the bike path.

A quick mental calculation indicated we were on a direct collision course; if neither of us changed our pace, I would arrive at the access point just in time for him to t-bone me.

Since I was already in the superior position on the path, prudence would have dictated that he should yield and pull in safely behind me. But sometimes, prudence is nothing more than a woman’s name. And not a fashionable one at that.

As I watched, he accelerated, picking up his cadence in an apparent attempt to beat me. Sure enough, he darted onto the path just feet in front of me, as I feathered my brakes to avoid a collision.

As he darted down the hill, I yelled out “a**hole!”

And instantly regretted it.

Not because his riding didn’t deserve it, but because I’ve learned over the years that the only thing you accomplish by calling someone that is to convince them that you’re one yourself. And it didn’t fail in this case, either.

Clearly, he heard me, as he slowed down to let me catch up to him, anger evident on his face. Yet in typical passive aggressive style, insisted that the only problem was my anger over something so trivial as risking the safety of a total stranger.

It was clear that any discussion would be a waste of breath, so I just rode on, leaving him in my wake.

Yet a few moments later, he was at my side again, demanding to know what he did wrong. So I pointed out that he had sped up to cut me off, and said that what he did was no different than what a bad driver might have done. And that merely avoid a collision wasn’t good enough, any more than it is when a driver thinks he passed safely after buzzing you, just because he didn’t actually make contact.

And that he would be just as angry if someone did to him.

Instead of conceding the point, though, he denied accelerating — despite having started out well behind me, yet somehow miraculously getting there before me.

Again, it was evident that I was wasting my time, so I refocused on my own riding as he once again dropped back behind me.

This time, though, he slipped into my wake, and drafted on me for about half a mile. Then out of the blue, called out from behind, asking me to get out of his way so he could finish his ride — despite a wide open lane on the other side of the center line where he could have easily gone around me.

Once again, exactly like drivers all too often do, honking and yelling behind a cyclist rather than just pulling around to pass.

So I moved to my right and slowed to let him go by, sincerely hoping that I wouldn’t see him again.

I’ve long suspected that people ride the way they drive. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he would have done exactly the same thing if we’d met when he was behind the wheel.

All I know is that’s not the kind of person I want to share a road or path with, on two wheels or four. And proving once again that anyone can learn to ride fast, but it takes experience and effort to learn to ride well.

And for once, I understood what drivers are talking about when they complain about dangerously aggressive cyclists.

Turns out it’s not a myth, after all.

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If you’re not busy Wednesday evening, stop by the Palms Neighborhood Council, as Mayor Villaraigosa stops by to discuss making the streets safer for cyclists. Or discuss the Santa Monica Bike Plan with special guest Long Beach Mobility Coordinator Charlie Gandy. Meanwhile, Gary sums up coverage of the recent SaMo Bike Plan Workshop, and takes a consultant to task for the absurd comment that all the easy bike projects have been done already.

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Amazingly, the bike lane on eastbound Ohio near the VA Hospital has been restriped and moved out of the badly broken asphalt along the gutter; I’ve long considered this the worst bike lane on the Westside, so the news is more than welcome. Interestingly, I just rode that section on my way home Tuesday afternoon and nothing had been done yet; clearly, they worked fast.

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Council candidate Stephen Box releases his first campaign video. Don Ward, aka Rhode Block, responds to his well-deserved honor as Advocate of the Year. The city authorizes a $50,000 reward in the murder of a 14-year old bike rider. Mark your calendar for the next Streetsblog event on Tuesday, January 18th, as they join with KPCC, American Institute of Architects, Pasadena and Foothill Chapter, and Pasadena Magazine to discuss Planning the Future of Our Streets. The L.A. Business Journal looks at the story behind Riding Bikes With the Dutch.

Bike San Diego says 2011 will be the year of the bike in our neighbor to the south. A Davis cyclist is left crossed by a 78-year old driver, while a Modesto cyclist is killed in a right hook while riding in a crosswalk without a light. CHP investigators are “getting pretty close” to an arrest in a fatal Redding-area hit-and-run last November. California’s new higher threshold for grand theft will be “bad for bikes, and bad for bike business.” Life as a diabetic cyclist. Courtesy of Just Another Cyclist comes word of DIY bike snow tires.

Ending the mythical war on the car, or how to talk to conservatives and drivers; a writer for London’s Guardian newspaper astutely asks where the victims of this so-called war are, maybe the real war is the one on bikes. The focus for government should be on comprehensive policy measures to make cycling safer, not helmet laws. The old saw that roads pay for themselves turns out to be a myth, and cyclists probably overpay for our share of the road; dig deep into the details with the full report. Virtually ride through virtually any neighborhood with Google Bike. Safe passing bills are introduced in Virginia and Washington state, but not everyone thinks the Washington law is a good idea. Taking a stand against a dangerous project in Montana. A DC cyclist spots his stolen bike and politely leaves a note on it. The new year claims its second victim in Florida.

The best way to protect cyclists and pedestrians could be to make driving more dangerous. Researchers call for a ban on large trucks in cities after finding they’re involved in 43% of fatal bike collisions — despite making up just 4% of traffic. An Edinburgh city councilor gets criticism for claiming mileage when travelling by bike. A Dutch formula for calculating the benefits of cycling, including cupcakes consumed. Bike helmets may offer protection for children, but can be dangerous when not riding. Say it ain’t so, Jeannie — the ageless Jeannie Long-Ciprelli, one of the greatest cyclists of all time, hints at retirement at age 52.

Finally, the former king of Bhutan takes up cycling to support the county’s GNH — Gross National Happiness. Imagine what could happen in this country if our leaders actually focused on what would make us happy.

And seriously, don’t build jumps on multi-use trails; that won’t make anyone happy.

Texas jogger dies after colliding with a cyclist; is it just a matter of time before it happens here?

It was bound to happen sooner or later.

Last week, a jogger on a popular shared use trail in Dallas suddenly turned to reverse direction and collided with a cyclist who was attempting to pass her. She struck her head as she fell, resulting in a fatal brain injury.

The reports I’ve seen don’t say how fast the rider was going or how close he was passing, or if he tried to warn her first. It didn’t help that her headphones may have kept her from hearing the rider as he approached.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to spend much time riding along the beach in Santa Monica and Venice to realized that a similar tragedy could happen here anytime.

Collisions between cyclists and pedestrians occur on the beachfront bike path on almost a daily basis.

Like the elderly rider I saw go over his handlebars when a small child on a tricycle suddenly strayed onto the wrong side of the path. Or the cyclist who was knocked of her bike as she tried to pass a group of pedestrians who stopped to talk without moving off of the path they shouldn’t have been on to begin with.

I’ve had several close calls exactly like this one myself, where someone has turned directly into my path without checking to see if anyone is behind them. Sometimes it’s a pedestrian or jogger, sometimes another rider making a left turn without bothering to look back first, evidently operating under the assumption that they’re the only ones there.

I’ve also had a number of close calls when a pedestrian has stepped onto the bike path without looking in either direction for oncoming traffic.

Call me crazy, but I’d think the mere existence of a bike path is a pretty good indication that there could, maybe, just possibly be bikes on it. And simple prudence would suggest that looking for them before attempting to cross would be a good idea.

But hey, that’s just me.

The Texas tragedy has reverberated around country, as the Bike Portland says it shows the need for more, and therefore, less crowded trails, as well as more courtesy on them, and Witch on a Bicycle offers advice on how to ride a multi-use path. Meanwhile, some people have responded by saying a 10 mph speed limit may be necessary on multi-use trails.

But it’s not a question of how fast you ride. It’s a matter of riding safely, and being prepared for other people on the path to do the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time.

I’m usually one of the fastest riders on the bike path. But I make a point of riding with my hands on my brake levers whenever there’s someone else around, which is most of the time. And passing other riders and pedestrians with the same three-foot or more passing distance I expect from drivers.

If I can’t, or if the other person’s actions make me suspect that they may somehow pose a hazard, I’ll announce my presence and tell them I’m about to pass — even though it’s often wasted breath, too many people can’t hear me or anything else over their headphones.

Sooner or later, though, something like this is bound to happen here. And when it does, the question isn’t whether the fault will lay with an overly aggressive cyclist or careless pedestrian.

It’s whether the city agencies who have repeatedly failed to enforce the path’s bike-only restrictions will be held accountable for it.

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The Santa Monica Public library will host a free discussion with David Herlihy, author of The Lost Cyclist tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s MLK Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard; thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for the heads-up.

David V. Herlihy, author of the acclaimed Bicycle: the History, will discuss and sign his new book, The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance.  The book tells the true story of Frank Lenz, a young photographer who disappeared in Turkey in the spring of 1894 while trying to complete a round-the-world bicycle ride.  Herlihy will show photographs by Frank Lenz, taken before the world tour, when he rode an old-fashioned high-wheeler bike, and during the tour, when he rode a modern-style “safety” bicycle across North America and Asia.  A book sale and signing, courtesy of Diesel Bookstore, will follow the program.

And speaking of L.A.’s city by the bay, the Santa Monica Spoke invites you to attend a social mixer to talk bikes with the candidates for Santa Monica City Council tomorrow evening from 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm at 502 Colorado Blvd.

Plan carefully, and you could even make an evening of it.

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Rumors that Alberto Contador’ blood contained traces from a plastic IV bag have evidently been confirmed, as the New York Times reports that a new test first used in this year’s Tour de France showed plasticizer levels eight times over the allowed limit; a spokesman for Contador calls the story unfounded.

The Times quotes Bernhard Kohl, who finished 3rd in the 2008 Tour de France before being disqualified as saying:

“It’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping…. Riders think they can get away with doping because most of the time they do.”

Lance Armstrong’s test samples from his riding days could be subjected to the same tests in a seemingly relentless effort to prove the new-retired rider cheated. Fortunately, not every cyclist is dirty.

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Word came yesterday that the Massachusetts LAB-certified cycling instructor who was stopped repeatedly and arrested for the crime of riding in the roadway on a state highway had his charges dismissed last month, though authorities still have a few days to appeal.

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The video may be three years old, but it’s relevant today since it shows the current front-runner for mayor of Toronto. On it, he says his “heart bleeds” for cyclists killed on the streets, but at the end of the day it’s their own fault, comparing bicyclists riding with traffic to swimming with the sharks.

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Evidently, the anti-bike backlash has extended to wildlife, as riders are taken out by squirrels and wallabies in separate attacks; this comes on the heels of an elite New Zealand rider whose season was ended by a magpie.

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A warm welcome to L.A.’s newest cycle chic. KPCC’s Larry Mantle had a good program on distracted driving on Tuesday; maybe the solution is hands-free texting. KABC-TV offers a mostly balanced, if somewhat lightweight, look at the conflict between bikes and cars; Damien Newton artfully deconstructs it. A new 3,000 square foot bike shop opens Downtown; link courtesy of @LosAngelesCM. USC’s Neon Tommy says the draft bike plan could make L.A. bike friendly, and reminds us there’s still time to submit your comments. Lisa Simpson, bike shop owner. Census data shows my hometown in the nation’s #3 cycling city behind Boulder CO and Eugene OR; L.A. checks in at a surprisingly high #26. In Oregon, anyone can write a traffic citation, even if the police and courts don’t always know it. And remember to wear orange if you ride there during hunting season. The Wisconsin bike shop owner who was hit by a car five yeas after barely surviving a racing accident died on Tuesday; the driver says he couldn’t see the riders in front of him because the sun was in his eyes. Don’t even try to figure out who’s at fault in this wreck as a salmon cyclist is hit by two drunk drivers in rapid succession; link courtesy of the previously mentioned WoaB. Advice on how to ride with another cyclist. After an Augusta driver hits five riders, critically injuring one, debate rages over how to keep cyclists safe — or whether we even belong on the roads. If you see someone riding your son’s stolen bike, don’t hit him with your SUV. Get out that ugly bridesmaid dress you thought you’d never wear again, as bike Pittsburgh hosts their first Bridesmaid Dress Ride. Rhode Island authorities look for the young motorists who intentionally forced a rider off the road during a triathlon. A London cyclist who was charged with assault after being strangled with his own scarf during an argument with a cab driver has his case dismissed; the court rules the driver’s version of events wasn’t credible. A driver in Singapore hits a cyclist with enough force that the rider smashes her windshield ­— then drives home with his bike jammed under her car, convinced that she was hit a falling branch; amazingly, the judge believed her. A bicyclist is killed when a school bus overturns in India’s Uttar Pradesh province, injuring 12 students; the driver ran away following the incident.

Finally, drivers evidently don’t stop for stops signs, either; then again, there are worse things than getting a ticket. And it looks like the LAPD won’t be pulling anyone over using jet packs, after all.

A minor miracle on the beachfront Marvin Braude bikeway

Finally, the sand is on the side of the bike path, where it's supposed to be.

Did you notice that?

To be honest, I almost missed it. Not because the change wasn’t dramatic, but because things were finally exactly the way they’re supposed to be — and until this year, usually had been.

For the first time in months, the bike path along the beach was virtually clear of sand, all the way from the Venice pier to the northern terminus in Pacific Palisades.

Finally, no sand on the path as far you can see.

Last week, I wrote that even though the county has been very responsive in clearing the sand that had built up on the sections they maintain in Santa Monica and Venice, results from the city had been significantly less impressive.

And the relatively small section the city is charged with maintaining, from north of the Annenberg Community Beach House to Will Rogers State Beach, remained covered with sand that had been there since the storms of last spring.

The telltale scrape marks left by a front loader after clearing the sand.

Scrape marks left by a front loader after clearing the sand from the concrete.

What a difference a few days makes.

On Thursday, Eric B commented that he’d just seen a heavy front loader, followed by someone with a leaf blower clearing away the sand, on the bike path. So I reworked my planned route for the next day to take in that section.

Focused on my ride, I was halfway through before I saw the telltale scrape marks on the concrete. And finally noticed what wasn’t there.

Sand.

Now there's enough room that users in each direction can stay on their own side.

It had been cleared away at last, and the path was open and truly ridable for the first time in months. And like me, no one even seemed to notice.

Which is exactly how it should be.

So thank you, Mr. Haynes, or whoever it was who was responsible for finally getting it cleaned. Now if you can just have those maintenance people come back every now and then to keep it that way, we’ll all be happy.

There's still a little sand spilling over in places, but nothing we can't ride around.

Speaking of which, I received a report this morning from LAPD bike liaison Sgt. David Krumer that he observed police officers advising pedestrians to stay off the bike path in Venice over the weekend.

Politely, I hope.

But still.

And on Friday, I watched as a private work crew worked to remove the broken and battered sailboat that had been beached just off the bike path in Venice for the last several months, after the skipper was tragically killed in one of last May’s storms.

The boat beached after a fatal sailing accident was finally removed on Friday.

So after months of dealing with a barely ridable path — and in the case of pedestrians on the bike path, years of virtual non-enforcement of the bikes-only restrictions — it looks like we’re finally making some progress on Southern California’s most popular bikeway.

Now if someone can just give me the name of whoever is in charge of getting the sun to come out…

No one seem to notice where city assumes responsibility for maintaining the bike path; they just enjoyed a nice ride for a change.

………

Coverage of Friday’s Critical Mass ride and Blood In protest redux; links courtesy of Damien at Streetsblog. Beach bikes cruise PCH to Save the Ta-tas. The Anchorage paper tells drivers and cyclists to curb the temper and share the road. A 14-year old Fairbanks girl is dead and her brother injured after a pickup driver runs a red light. Oregon transit officials turn 8 parking spaces into 74 by trading cars for bikes. A Texas traffic engineer says just push the damn button if you want the light to change. Norman OK considers a three foot passing law after two cyclists are killed in OKC. A bike cop’s-eye view of a popular DC walking and biking trail. Mass Senators talk politics over bikes. Some drivers are jerks around cyclists, some cyclists are jerks around pedestrians. A Indianapolis triathlete gets right hooked by a minivan on its way to a Burger King. Evidently, the Tour de France is nearly as hard on reporters as it is on the riders; thanks to George Wolfburg for the link. A soon-to-be-ex member of Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack faces a two-year ban for doping. Belfast bobbies bear down on bike-raging bicyclists. A look at dooring from the driver’s perspective. Just one weekend into London’s new bike sharing program, refunds are already in the works. Biking across Australia in eight days or less. If you need a good laugh, check out the cycling infrastructure failure of the month, courtesy of Bicycle Fixation’s Rick Risemberg.

Finally, a UK cyclist takes one last ride to his own funeral.

True Grit: An open letter to the L.A. Dept. of Recreation and Parks

The county is clearing up their section of the bike path; the city, not so much.

I was surprised recently by how quickly the county responded to complaints about the Marvin Braude bike.

Do I really need to add that the city’s response hasn’t surprised me at all?

After meeting with officials from the county, I found out that the City of Los Angeles is responsible for maintaining the still sand-covered section of the bike path from north of the Annenberg Community Beach House to Will Rogers State beach.

The exact point where the city assumes responsibility for maintaining the bike path. Or not.

Clearly, they haven’t done the job — at least, not effectively — since the storms of last May. As a result, they’ve put cyclists, skaters and pedestrians at risk, while marring the beauty and utility of one of Southern California’s most popular recreation, commuting and tourist facilities.

So I reached out to my contacts with the city, and was directed to an individual with the Department of Recreation and Parks, which has responsibility for clearing the sand of that single sliver of bikeway.

I sent him the following email last week:

Dear Mr. Haynes,

I’m writing you today about the sand on the upper portion of the Marvin Braude Bike Path, since it is my understanding that your department has responsibility for maintaining the section from above the Annenberg beach house to Will Rogers State Beach.

I have recently been working with the county on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition to improve maintenance of the county section of the bike path. As a result, they have made significant improvements, resulting in a safer and more enjoyable experience for riders on the path.

Piles of sand reduce the ridable area, increasing the risk of collisions.

However, the city-maintained section of the path is still covered with sand, and has been since the wind storms of last May. As you can see from the attached photos, the usable portion of the bike path is significantly reduced in sections, while in others, bicyclists and other path users are forced to travel over a dangerous, constantly shifting surface of sand. In fact, as the top photo shows, you can see the exact spot where the city assumes responsibility from the county.

It is clearly only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured; even as an experienced bicyclist, I’m forced to slow down and ride carefully through this section. While state law absolves the city of liability for such injuries, it also require that adequate warning be given of unsafe conditions, which has not been done here, potentially making the city liable for any injuries that may occur because of the sand.

I urge you to look into this matter as quickly as possible, and take whatever steps are necessary to clear the sand off the city-maintained sections of the Marvin Bruade Bike Path — and keep it clear so that the tens of thousands of bicyclists who use this section of the path on a daily basis can ride in safety.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Riders and skaters frequently frequently slip on the loose sand as they round this curve.

Nearly a week later, I still haven’t received any response — and based on my most recent ride through that section, the sand is still there. And it probably will remain there until this winter’s storms deposit still more sand on the pathway, and turn what should be a pleasant bike ride into a slog through the Sahara.

I’m not going to publish his email address here, since it was given to me in confidence. Besides, I’d much rather have that city official spend his time getting the sand removed than responding to a flood of emails.

In some areas, as much a three feet of the path are lost to unremoved sand.

But you can contact his bosses, the commissioners of the Department of Parks and Recreation. And it couldn’t hurt to reach out to your council member, as well as 11th District Council Member Bill Rosendahl, who represents the district that runs along that section of the beach.

Because if we don’t complain, it’s clear that nothing is going to be done.

………

The Marvin Braude Bike Path isn’t the only city bikeway with problems; Joe Linton says the new Elysian Valley bike path along the L.A. River is a great place to walk and ride, even if it isn’t open yet — and no sign that it will be any time soon.

………

A good reason not to mention a bike thief’s mom — he may be armed. LADOT Bike Blog notes the street geometry on Abbot Kinney should work well for sharrows. LAist looks at Mayor Villaraigosa’s bike-centric YouTube video; Curbed says the mayor shouted his support for bicycle planning, or was it in pain? Jessica Biel rides a bike along the Hudson River, along with some guy named Justin. Knit one, purl two, pretty soon you’ve got a whole bike; but what kind of yarn do you use for the derailleur? Riding and reading Longfellow at the same time. More on the Anchorage law revision that would make bike riders liable for any collision; why not just declare open season on cyclists? Headline of the day: Naked Cyclists Stopped Near Dick’s Drive-In. Seattle gets bike boxes. Bicycling wraps up this years Tour, while Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack faces discipline for Sunday’s Jerseygate affair — which may have been completely calculated. After a British newspaper prints photos of a leading bike advocate breaking the law, road.cc shows how misleading photos like that can be. A Brit cyclist plans to compete in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, as well as the Paralympics a month later. When a cyclist hits an older woman in a crosswalk and asks if she’s blind, the answer may be yes.

Finally, after the heart attack suffered by pro cyclist Kim Kirchen — as well as L.A.’s own GT — maybe we should all consider our own cardiac health. The good news is, things are looking up for both of them.

True Grit: clearing a path for beachfront bicyclists

See the sand on the bike path? Me neither.

Notice anything different lately?

As you may recall, a couple weeks ago I wrote about the long-standing problem of sand on the Marvin Braude Bike Path along the beach in Santa Monica and Venice.

Then last week, I shared an email that I sent to County Bicycle Coordinator Abu Yusuf, after discovering that the county is responsible for maintaining the bikeway.

Or most of it, any way.

And I promised to let you know when I received a response. Then again, if you’ve ridden the bike path over the last few days, I probably don’t have to tell you what that response was.

To be honest, I didn’t think they were taking me seriously at first.

This is what local cyclists have had to deal with in recent months.

Mr. Yusuf emailed back, explaining that the bike path gets cleared three times a week, and inspected on a regular basis. And their records showed the maintenance was up to date and it was clear of sand.

So I picked up the phone, and said, as politely as possible, maybe you should take another look at those photos.

I explained that I’ve been riding that bike path for nearly 20 years. And this was the first time it had looked more like a sand trap at Riviera than southern California’s most heavily used bikeway — and stayed that way for over two months.

I was prepared for an argument. But his response surprised me.

As late as Monday, the bike path in Santa Monica looked like this.

Yusuf took my complaints seriously — even though they contradicted what he believed — and offered to meet me in Venice to take a first hand look.

Meanwhile, my original email, which had been circulated through the county maintenance department, seemed to be having an effect.

When I rode the bike path last week, it seemed a little cleaner than it had anytime since the storms of last May. Not yet free from sand, but clearly efforts had been made to clean the sand off in a number of places.

Then I rode it again this past Monday. And it showed even more improvement, though it still had a long way to go.

This is how the same section looked on Tuesday.

So Tuesday morning, I rode out to Venice, this time as a representative of the LACBC, to meet with Yusuf and the county’s other Bicycle Coordinator, Kristofor Norberg. I also asked my friend George Wolfberg to join us, since he’s involved in a number of local and regional community groups and bicycle advisory committees.

What we saw surprised us.

Overnight, following the regularly scheduled Tuesday morning maintenance, the bike path had gone from a sea of sand to an actual, ridable bike path. There were still problems, but the cement was cleaner than it had been in months.

It may not be perfect yet, but the bike path hasn't been this clear in months.

Of course, no pathway along the beach will ever be completely free of sand. Daily ocean breezes blow it onto the path, and every beachgoer who tramps across it drags a little sand with them.

But the difference was night and day.

So the first thing we did when Yusuf and Norberg arrived was to say thank you. Then we took them on a little walk to point out some problems that still remained.

They surprised us, too. Instead of the sterotypical SoCal bureaucrats hell bent on defending their department, we found two very polite and friendly men who were clearly committed to solving problems and finding a way to get things done.

In other words, exactly the kind of public servants our city and county so desperately need these days.

Kristofor Norberg and George Wolfberg examine how much of the bike path has been lost to sand.

We showed them places where a malfunctioning sprinkler system washed out the sand bordering the path, sending it streaming across the bikeway in inch-deep deposits. Along with areas where sand had been allowed to overtake the edges of the path, reducing its usable surface by as much as a foot and a half in places.

We pointed out places where pedestrians walk across the bike path, often without looking — and they showed us where warning signs had been removed or covered with graffiti, and where sweeping equipment had worn off the markings that indicated portions of the path were for bikes only.

And we talked about the problems presented by the odd combination of cyclists, skaters, skateboarders, joggers, pedestrians and Segway jockeys who traverse the path on a daily basis. In fact, we watched as a bike rider nearly had to be restrained after colliding with a skateboarder.

And after a tour that lasted well over an hour, our meeting felt more like four friends working together to solve a problem than a couple of cyclists butting heads against the usual brick wall of local government.

This sign used to say something; now it's just bike parking.

In the end, they committed to follow up with the county maintenance staff to make sure the path stays as clear of sand as possible, and to see what can be done about the problem areas and the streaks of sand the sweepers sometimes leave behind.

They offered to look into additional signage and striping to identify the bike-only portions of the path and warn pedestrians to look out for bikes when they cross the path. They also agreed to ask for bike cops to patrol the path from time to time to try to prevent conflicts before they happen.

And finally, they asked for your help.

If you notice any problems on the bike path or areas where the signage could be improved, Yusuf wants to hear from you; you can email him at ayusuf@dpw.lacounty.gov. Or just send them to me or the LACBC, and we’’ll forward it to him for you.

On the other hand, he also made it clear that there are limits to what he can do.

For instance, the county has responsibility for everything on the bike path itself — but anything on either side falls under the jurisdiction of other city or state agencies.

And their jurisdiction ends just north of the new Annenberg Community Beach House, where the city takes over.

Which means we face a whole different set of problems to get that section cleaned.

But at least, this is one clear victory for cyclists.

Clearly, we still have work to do; this is where the city maintained portion of the bike path begins.

Update on the dangerously sandy Marvin Braude Bike Path

As you may recall, last week I complained about the long-standing problem of sand on the popular Marvin Braude bike path through Venice and Santa Monica.

I also mentioned contacting a city official to get something done about it, only to get a response saying they weren’t sure who had responsibility for maintaining the pathway.

Bike tires and sand don't mix; maybe L.A. County doesn't get that.

Turns out, I reached out, not just to the wrong department, but the wrong government. Because even though the bike path borders Venice, which is part of the City of Los Angeles, it’s the county that maintains that section of the bike path.

As a result, yesterday afternoon I sent the following email to Abu Yusuf, Bikeway Coordinator for the County of Los Angeles, and cc’d County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who represents that district.

I’ll let you know when I get a response.

Dear Mr. Yusuf —

I want to reach out to you regarding the sand on the Marvin Braude bike path along Venice beach, since it is my understanding that L.A. County is responsible for maintenance of the path, rather than the City of L.A.; I don’t know if the county also has responsibility for maintaining the pathway through Santa Monica, as well.

As you may be aware, the bike path has been covered with sand since a series of heavy storms back in May. While attempts have been made to remove the sand using a heavy front-loader, that has actually made the situation worse by leaving behind a thin layer of sand that can cause riders to slip and fall.

Even as an experienced bicyclist, I’m forced to slow down and ride carefully when I take this path, especially on the many curves in the Venice section, and I have personally seen a number of bicyclists suffer minor injuries after falling because of the sand on the bike path. It is clearly only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured.

You can see photos on my blog, taken last week, showing the sand covering the bike path by clicking here. I’ve made suggestions as to more effective methods of removing the sand, and I’m sure you can come up with a number of others. But something has to be done; this bike path is one of the prime tourist attractions in Los Angeles County, as well as a vital recreation and transit corridor for local cyclists.

I urge you to look into this matter as quickly as possible, and take whatever steps are necessary to clear the sand off the County-maintained sections of the Marvin Bruade Bike Path — and keep it clear so that the tens of thousands of bicyclists who use this path on a daily basis can ride in safety.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers
bikinginla.com

………

Day three of le Tour traveled the legendary cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix, as the teams broke out special gear to handle the rough roads. Norwegian Thor Hushovd won the stage and a non-motor-assisted Fabian Cancellara moved back into the yellow jersey. Losers included Frank Schleck, who is out of the Tour after fracturing his collarbone in three places, and Lance Armstrong, who fell two minutes and 30 seconds back after suffering a flat, noting that his chances of victory have dropped.

Day four was, thankfully for the riders, far less eventful as Alessandro Petacchi wins the stage. Meanwhile, Saxo Bank rider Jens Voigt calls the organizers assassins. Cancellara doesn’t just wear yellow, he rides it as well. And the World Anti-Doping Agency says the drug probe resulting from Floyd Landis’ allegations is “significant.”

………

Two cyclists were injured in separate collisions in Glendale.

On Thursday, a cyclist riding on the sidewalk was struck by a driver who fled the scene; police later arrested 24-year old Akop Arshamian of Sun Valley on suspicion of felony hit-and-run.

In the other incident, a bike rider struck a car from behind on Sunday and did a face plant in the rear windshield. The Glendale News-Press says the rider was tailing the vehicle; reading between the lines, some cyclists might suspect the driver cut off the rider in order to make a right turn.

………

Check out the new video about BiciDigna, the Spanish-language bike co-op developed by the LACBC’s City of Lights program and the Bicycle Kitchen. Gary rides the new sharrows in Santa Monica, while Stephen and Enci Box take the debate over the LADOT sharrows program to the National Committee of Uniform Traffic Control Devices in Chicago. Travelin’ Local takes a lovely spin around Marina del Rey. Bicycle Fixation wishes all those bike-hating drivers who make anonymous comments would just shut up, and seemingly devotes his life to getting a water-filled pothole on 4th Street fixed. More bikes in Big Bear is a good thing. Heaven for bike riders: riding through a car-free Yosemite. A look at car-free spaces around the world. Are blue bike lanes better than black? A small Texas town bans groups of 10 riders or more without a permit. In DC, even NFL players ride bikes. A DC area radio host criticizes cyclists for riding on the road, and doesn’t think they belong off it, either. Would you rather ride in freezing weather or sweltering heat? Having lived in Louisiana and Colorado, I’ll take the heat, thank you. Speaking of Colorado, the Rockies baseball team actively encourages cyclists to ride to the games; any guess when the Dodgers will do the same? Miami-Dade is the deadliest county for cyclists in the nation’s deadliest state. London takes steps to reduces the number and severity of bike collisions with big trucks. When you suck in a fly, do you spit or swallow? Frida Kahlo rides a bike. A positive review for DIY sharrows in British Columbia. Wear your helmet, get a free ice cream. Two men in India are arrested after hitting a cyclist and loading into their van, telling bystanders they’re taking him to the hospital, then dumping him on the side of the road and leaving him to die.

Finally, everybody do The Bike.

True grit: surviving the dangerously sand-covered beachfront bikeway

For months cyclists in Santa Monica and Venice have had to ride over a loose shifting surface of sand.

It is — or rather, should be — the crown jewel of the L.A. area bikeway network.

But the internationally famous 22-mile Marvin Bruade Bike Path, also known as the South Bay, Marina and Santa Monica bike paths, has its problems.

Like the section though Manhattan Beach where cyclists are expected to dismount and walk their bikes when the beach area is busy, or a similar restriction in Redondo Beach that’s enforced 24/7. Or the stretch through Hermosa Beach where bikes are expected to observe an 8 mph speed limit as they wind their way through assorted joggers, skaters and pedestrians.

Can you spot the bike in this bike-only section of the Marvin Braude Bike Path in Santa Monica?

And don’t get me started on the near impassibility of the bike path at prime times through sections of Venice and Santa Monica due to the total lack of enforcement of the bike-only restrictions — despite the promises made over a year ago to the Time’s Steve Lopez.

In fact, while it’s popular with casual cyclists, many more experienced riders — myself included — largely avoid it on weekends and summer afternoons. Personally, if I don’t get there well before noon, I usually opt for a less scenic but far more ridable alternative on the streets.

Like Yogi Berra once said, “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

This is what riders have had to deal with near the Venice boardwalk lately.

Lately, though, there’s been another problem, as the storms of the last few months have left a deposit of sand strewn across the bikeway that lingers to this day.

At first, sections of the path, particularly through the winding curves along Venice Beach, were unridable due to several inches of windblown sand piled high atop the concrete. Yet even now, weeks later, sand remains on major portions of the bikeway, presenting a significant safety hazard to anyone using the path.

Users crowd to the relatively clear portion, cutting the usable surface area to just a small band.

In many sections, it covers most or all of one side of the path, pushing riders, skaters and pedestrians moving in both directions onto a single side of the bike path, greatly increasing the risk of collisions. In other places, it coats the entire pathway with a thin veneer of loose sand, forcing cyclists to traverse a surface that can shift dangerously beneath them, risking a spill if they take a corner too quickly or misjudge an angle.

I’ve used my first aid kit more in the last few months patching up strangers who’ve wiped out on the sand than I have in the last few years.

A small band of sand can cause a bikes wheels to slide dangerously; many are barely visible.

Even more dangerous are the barely visible wisps of sand that spread across many of the path’s curves, threatening to take down any unsuspecting cyclist who happens to overlook such a seemingly insignificant obstacle as they take in the many sights of Venice.

I find myself breaking well before most curves, taking even relatively clear-looking corners slower than I would have earlier in the year on the off-chance that there may be a fine layer of sand I don’t see. But on a bike path frequented by tourists, not many riders have the local knowledge required to anticipate problems like that.

Loose sand makes traction treacherous, especially for narrow-tired bikes and inexperienced riders.

Which means that, sooner or later, you’re going to end up paying for the injuries suffered by a cyclist who looses control and takes a serious spill, or the pedestrian he or she slides into — assuming you’re not the one it happens to. Because even though the state law absolves local governments of any liability for off-road (Class 1) trails, it also requires adequate warning of known hazards.

And if two months worth of sand piled on the bike path isn’t a known hazard, I don’t know what is.

Santa Monica isn't much better; this was taken by the pier.

Of course, a beachfront bike path should imply the presence of sand. But the length and amount of sand, as well as the amount of time it’s been allowed to remain there, goes far beyond any reasonable expectation.

In the past, both the Santa Monica and L.A. sections of the bikeway were swept on a semi-regular basis to keep conditions like this from building up. But this year, budget cutbacks have apparently impacted cleaning operations, making any attempt to clear the path a rarity.

Several cyclists have fallen or crashed into pedestrians attempting to go around this curve.

And on the few occasions when they have tried to clean the sand off, the tool used has been a heavy industrial front loader, rather than the smaller and more efficient Bobcats, sweepers or even hand brooms that have been used in the past.

A front loader may be fine for moving a few tons of sand, but it’s entirely inadequate when it comes to removing the last few layers of sand that can make it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain traction. In fact, it can make the situation worse, as the thin layer of sand a front loader leaves behind is often more dangerous than the thicker layer that was there before.

It’s simply the wrong tool for the job. Like using a pipe wrench to adjust your spokes.

A front loader on its way to yet another attempt to inadequately clear sand off the bike path.

Last week, after riding through Venice, I emailed a city official to say that something had to be done before someone gets seriously hurt. The response I got back said that they were working on it, but having trouble determining exactly what department has jurisdiction for the path.

You’d think that would be an easy question to answer after years of previous maintenance. But maybe that’s the effect of several rounds of staff cutbacks, as the institutional knowledge required to actually run the city is seriously depleted along with its staffing levels.

Evidently, though, they must have figured something out. As I rode back along the path on Wednesday, I passed yet another front loader on the bike path, apparently on its way to another semi-effective attempt to clear the concrete.

You can see the sand left behind by a front loader; notice scrape mark and tire tracks.

I’m not holding my breath.

This weekend marks the busiest time of the year on our local beaches, as tourists and locals alike crowd their way onto a few feet of prime beachfront real estate, competing for space on a thin strand of overly popular concrete.

Will the bike path be ready for them — let alone safe?

I wouldn’t count on it. I also wouldn’t count on it being ready for riding anytime soon afterwards.

Because if they can’t manage to sweep off the sand left behind by a few storms, how are they going to clean up after a few hundred thousand beachgoers?

This is what cleaning with front loaders leaves behind, as shown by the scrape marks; a loose sandy surface that can easily bring a cyclist down.

A brief bit of news, and hot bike links for a warm L.A. weekend

Lots of interesting bike stories in the news the last few days — far too many to hold onto until my next post. So pull up a chair, pop open a cold one, and settle in for a bit of reading.

But first, one bit of news. The hotly debated motion to support extending the Marvin Braude Bike Path nearly two miles north to the border with the ‘Bu was passed in the City Council Friday by a vote of 9 – 2.

Does that mean the path will be extended?

Far from it. All it means is that the city’s representatives in D.C. will start looking into the availability of Federal funding to build it. Which is a very long shot, indeed.

So for the time being, you’ll have to keep turning back at Temescal Canyon. Or take the lane on PCH.

………

The Times considers L.A.’s big jump in bike thefts, so does KABC; as usual, Damien Newton takes a more in-depth look, and Bicycle Law offers advice on how to avoid it, and what to do if you don’t.

………

Roadblock — or Rhode Block — calls on LADOT Bikeways Coordinator Michele Mowery to connect with the cycling community. NELA campaigns for a bike corral and a more ridable Four Corners. Flying Pigeon hosts this weekend’s Spoke(n) Art Ride. Bicycle Fixation remembers when California actually had good roads. Streetsblog says advocates love the Backbone Bikeway Network; hey, ma, look — I’m an advocate! Solving USC’s bike/foot/car/truck/bus traffic issues. Now that Long Beach is officially a bike-friendly city, they’re actually becoming one. Stephen Box says the Times got it wrong in the Warren Olney dooring, then again, the Culver City PD doesn’t get it, either. A San Diego cyclist tells a first-hand tale of a thankfully injury-free hit-and-run. Amgen’s Tour of California unveils it’s toughest route yet. Portland passes a new bike plan leading up to the year 2030. Colorado’s 25th Anniversary Ride the Rockies — think of it as an alpine RAGBRAI — kicks of June 13th. Dave Moulton continues his excellent advice on how to be seen and not be a victim. Finding peace on sleepy city streets. Seattle installs special rail-crossing markings for cyclists and a video explaining how to follow them. The three-foot passing law moves forward in Virginia, as well as in Maryland. Do Arizona drivers have to give a three-foot clearance even when the bike lane is blocked? A new study suggests Portland’s bike boxes may be working. Minnesota considers allowing cyclists to turn left on a red light if the light doesn’t change. Iowa Bike Blog argues why a local legislator is wrong about their proposed five-foot — yes, five foot — passing law, which also includes an anti-harassment measure. USA Today looks at the long road faced by electric bikes in the US. A Charlotte street is about to get a road diet. Why don’t British women ride? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the 19% increase in serious cycling injuries and deaths last year, would it? Helsinki gets new bike lanes and cycle paths, while L.A. continues to wait for sharrows.  Finally, maybe instead of recalling defective cars, we should recall defective drivers.

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