Tag Archive for Mike Bonin

Morning Links: KFI gets involved in Bonin recall effort, La Verne cyclist shot in BB drive-by, and more war on bikes

No surprise which side John and Ken are on.

The KFI shock jocks have done their best to drum up anger over the lane reductions in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, coming down squarely on the side of keeping our streets dangerous.

Now they’re using the KFI website to support the misguided effort to recall Mike Bonin, one of the city’s best councilmembers. And one of the few with the guts to stand up to bullies like them.

Although I have to wonder if the national iHeartRadio chain, which owns KFI, knows what their employees are up to? And what they’d think about using the company website for partisan political purposes?

Then again, I also wonder if the people leading the recall effort are aware that anonymous political contributions totaling over $100 in a single calendar year are against the law. And that Los Angeles has a $700 limit on contributions to city council campaigns, which would undoubtedly apply to recall campaigns, as well.

Making the nearly $25,000 pledged to the recall so far tainted, and questionable as to whether it can be used for political purposes in the City of Los Angeles.

But then, that’s something for the city Ethics Commission to sort out.

What is clear is that this recall attempt — and especially John and Ken’s involvement in it — have little to do with Bonin.

It’s really about putting a stop to Vision Zero, and maintaining the deadly automotive hegemony on our streets at the expense of everyone else.

And sending a message to the rest of the council that they could be next.

Which should send a chill up the spine of anyone who cares about traffic safety. Or good government.

Note: Just to be clear, the term “bullies” was in regard to John and Ken. I did not refer to anyone opposed to the road projects in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey bullies, nor did I intend to.

Photo of Mike Bonin taken from CD11 website.

………

A woman was shot in the upper thigh with a BB gun from a passing car while riding in La Verne on Wednesday.

As the Claremont Cyclist commented, attacks like this should be classified as hate crimes.

If not terrorist attacks.

Update: A comment from Robs Muir indicates that this attack occurred near Benson and 7th Street in Upland, rather than La Verne. 

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

It’s been a bad week in the war on bikes. And yesterday was the worst yet.

A Sacramento bicyclist was shot with a stun gun by a teenager in a passing car.

A Houston mountain biker was left bloodied and scarred when someone strung a line thorny vines like a clothesline across a popular bike trail.

A Vermont man faces charges for running a bike rider off the road, then crashing his truck as he tried to flee, and running away from that crash.

A British bicyclist suffered head injuries when he was kicked off his bike by a passing motorcyclist.

Another British rider was apparently shot at from a passing car; fortunately, the bullet missed.

Of course, it sometimes it goes the other way. Concord CA police are looking for a bike-raging bicyclist who shot a driver with a flare gun following an argument. Yes, a flare gun.

………

David Drexler forwards security video, along with a wanted poster, of “crusty old men” stealing bicycles from a locked garage.

Which serves as yet another reminder that locked garages and storage rooms aren’t as secure as they may seem; the isolation gave these thieves over 15 minutes to cut the locks and make off with the bicycles without anyone noticing.

Store your bikes inside your home or apartment if you have the room; if not, lock them as securely as possible to an immovable object in a locked garage or storage room.

And make sure you register them.

………

These are the people we share the roads with, as road raging Highland Park driver is caught on video repeatedly ramming the car ahead of him.

……….

Local

LA Curbed offers a great interview with former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler about her efforts to expand the conversation about bicycling beyond just bikes during her time at the coalition.

CiclaValley discovers just how hard it is to ride up the third steepest hill in the US.

Seventy cyclists raised nearly $15,000 for the Agoura Hills chapter of the ALS Association at the inaugural Ride to Defeat ALS last month.

 

State

Under proposed regulations to combat racial profiling, police in California would be required to collect data on every traffic stop they make, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

As Laguna Beach debates the need for more parking, one councilmember suggests removing parking from PCH to widen sidewalks or install bike lanes. As the story notes, they can’t build enough parking spots to meet the demand from tourists and residents. So the obvious solution is to provide transportation alternatives to reduce the demand for parking.

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he lost control of his bicycle riding downhill and slid into a retaining wall.

Lake Elsinore will begin work on adding sidewalks and bike lanes on some of the city’s older streets.

The annual Tour de Big Bear rolls this Saturday with rides ranging from 25 to 100 miles.

Now there’s a good cause. Three Texas women stop in Santa Barbara on a 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to raise funds to care for young sex trafficking survivors.

A writer in San Luis Obispo complains that the bike lobby is forcing crazy ideas for a bicycle boulevard on unwilling residents — never mind that bike boulevards actually benefit the people who live on the street. And says Los Angeles had to “roll back many similar improvements” at great expense to the public. Um, no. LA is undoing a single road diet on Vista del Mar, which simply involves removing a little paint and restriping the roadway. And it’s not like we actually have bike boulevards to roll back.

A hairy Santa Rosa mountain biker goes riding in Annadel State Park.

Bicyclists are excited about plans to ban private cars from San Francisco’s iconic Market Street, but merchants are worried about the effect it will have on their businesses.

 

National

It’s not unusual for a blind bicyclist to ride a tandem. But a blind cyclist is riding coast-to-coast on his own bike to raise awareness for people with vision impairments, guided by a riding companion via two-way radio.

Oregon dedicates a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge connecting parks in the state capital.

Streetsblog Denver reminds the local constabulary that ticketing a man in a wheelchair after he gets hit by a car is not Vision Zero.

Colorado officials find a leg bone from a 70 million-year old duck-billed dinosaur while conducting a survey for a new bike trail.

Austin TX is installing 12 bicycle traffic lights around the city to give bike riders a few seconds head start at intersections.

New York plans to add more bike lanes to meet surging demand.

NY Streetsblog says the NYPD continues to slander victims by incorrectly blaming them for causing crashes, inflicting needless pain on their families.

An anti-bike Philadelphia columnist says put a referendum on the November ballot about bike lanes, and let the entire city vote on whether it wants them. Which won’t pass if people like this woman have anything to say about it.

 

International

Ped-assists have made their way to the foldie world, with new folding ebikes from Tern and Brompton.

This is why you always carry ID when you ride. Canadian authorities are still trying to identify a woman who was killed in a crash on Tuesday.

The Guardian asks if cyclists and autonomous cars can co-exist by 2035. Or ever.

A British bike rider wants to thank the hit-and-run driver who left him lying on the side of the road, because doctors found a brain tumor as they were treating him for head wounds.

A motorcyclist in the UK is being called a hero after he ditched his bike to avoid a head-on crash with a group of cyclists, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. A crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new specialized wheelchair has raised nearly twice the original goal of £15,000, the equivalent of almost $20,000.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is taking a break from politics with a cycling vacation in Croatia, while royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is back on her bike to the delight of the paparazzi.

Bicycling is booming in Israel, as the country encourages riding as an alternative to driving, though not everyone is happy about it.

A Malaysian city moves to ban teenage bike riders from certain streets at night, in response to a crash earlier this year that killed eight young riders.

 

Finally…

No, don’t knock a bike rider off his bicycle and drag him by his dreadlocks, even if you think he’s a snitch. If you’re going to wrestle a bike from its owner, make sure it doesn’t have two flat tires first.

And you could buy a new car for the price of some bikes.

But then you’d have to drive it.

 

Morning Links: Mar Vista votes to keep road diet, and Manhattan Beach still not happy with Playa del Rey changes

Two up, two down.

Following the lead of the Venice Neighborhood Council, the Mar Vista Community Council voted Tuesday night to keep the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in place.

The board also called for continued study of the project, which removed one traffic lane in each direction on Venice Blvd, while adding parking-protected bike lanes on either side.

And as Rabi Abonour pointed out, even the opponents of the project professed their love for bikes, if not the people on them, before spouting their vehement opposition.

According to Councilmember Mike Bonin, the first round of data for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project will be presented in a public meeting on Saturday the 22nd.

Evidently, some of the media attended a different meeting, though.

Even though reports were that comments were evenly divided between supporters and opponents of the Great Streets project, KABC-7 apparently only heard — or cared — about the people up in arms over it, falsely reporting that Mar Vista residents strongly opposed it.

Fox-11 was a little more balanced in their reporting, however.

Meanwhile, KCBS-2 got the whole concept of Great Streets wrong, insisting that the plan was to conduct a road diet and add bike lanes and parking on one major thoroughfare in every council district throughout the city.

While there will be a Great Streets project in each district, it’s a community-driven process, and up to local residents to decide just what changes to make.

………

Needless to say, Manhattan Beach isn’t satisfied with the change to the Play del Rey lane reconfigurations to reduce traffic congestion, preferring that LA rip out exactly the kind of road diets they use in their own city.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

The driver charged in the Tennessee hit-and-run caught on video over the weekend claims he never saw the victim, and didn’t even know he’d hit anyone until he got home and started receiving death threats.

Although given the force of that impact, you’d have to question whether the driver would have to have been in some sort of altered state to not even notice the crash.

Meanwhile, cyclists aren’t letting the incident stop them from riding the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, where the wreck occurred.

………

A great new British TV spot tries to encourage grown ups to get back on their bikes.

………

A pair of British publications remember fallen cyclist Tom Simpson on the 50th anniversary of his death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says the hell with unwritten rules, cyclists should attack if anything happens to the race leader during a stage, or sponsors should demand their money back.

Peter Sagan got booted from the Tour de France for what may have been an inadvertent elbow thrown at Mark Cavendish, but France’s Nacer Bouhanni just got a lousy $216 fine for actually punching Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer.

Afghan sisters Masouma and Zahra Alizada have joined a French cycling team. Not were bought, as the headline says; slavery remains illegal, even in cycling.

Atascadero’s Brian Lucido won the 2,800-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Race in 14 days, 23 hours.

………

Local

KCET reports the recently approved $100 million in state funds completes a trifecta of funding for LA River improvements, much of which will go towards parks and completing the bike path.

Santa Clarita installs new wayfinding signs on local bike and pedestrian trails.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Santa Monica is spending nearly $500,000 to improve bike and pedestrian access on the main road leading through the Santa Monica airport, including new sidewalks and a two-way cycle track.

A Redondo Beach woman has taken it on herself to throw away the ghost bike and memorials to 13-year old fallen bike rider Ciara Smith, forcing friends to replace it twice — apparently because it was blocking a sign designating PCH as the Vietnam Memorial Highway.

 

State

California commute times are the longest in the nation. Which may be the best argument yet for riding a bike.

Parking in bike lanes poses a danger to more than just people on bikes. A San Diego man is dead after crashing his car into the back of a semi illegally parked in a bike lane and extending out into the traffic lane.

San Francisco votes to move forward with bike lanes on upper Market Street over the objections of a citizen watchdog who tried to halt them, citing concerns over fire safety.

San Francisco approves rules for dockless bikeshare systems.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss and adventurer Brendan Leonard will begin writing weekly columns for Outside Magazine.

Hawaii’s visually impaired Bike Man costumed superhero rides to the top of the 4,200-foot Mauna Kea volcano.

An Oregon bike shop owner says the state’s new bicycle tax will be bad for business, even if it only adds $15 to the cost of any bike over $200.

A South Korean bike tourist feels showered with support when Portland residents pitch in to help after his bike and all his gear was stolen in the city.

Seattle residents debate a hypothetical and highly impractical bicyclist licensing scheme.

A bike-riding Las Vegas thief wins the ingenuity award for using a pole to steal a woman’s purse off the kitchen counter through the doggie door.

Denver puts its money where its mouth is, announcing a $2 billion — with a B — Mobility Action Plan designed to get people out of their cars.

A Milwaukee report concludes poorer neighborhoods provide less access to bike trails. Pretty much like virtually every other large city. Including Los Angeles.

A St. Louis nonprofit is nearing 30 years of helping kids earn a free bike.

A Vermont bakery peddles — and pedals — its wares, towing fresh baked goods in bike trailers to hawk on the streets.

A Savannah GA writer says it’s important to remember that safe streets aren’t a luxury, and being able to ride a bike safely is a necessity for many people.

Nice story from Florida, where a group of cyclists pitch in to buy a new bike for a special needs man after his was stolen, even though he frequently clashed with them.

 

International

The Calgary mountain biker who was clotheslined by barbed wire strung at neck level over a riding trail has started a crowdfunding campaign to pay his medical expenses, as well as buy security cameras for the park he was riding in.

London’s Mirror gets it, writing that “using a phone behind the wheel is like doing a Rubik’s cube while juggling shotguns.” And adds that we forget cars are dangerous because we drive them all the time without incident.

Proving that it is in fact possible to enforce a three-foot passing law, a British truck driver was fined the equivalent of over $1,300 after being ticketed for a too-close pass.

A Glasgow mother used social media to track down the teen who stole her son’s bike, and gave him a life lecture and a hug when she posed as a buyer to reclaim it.

The Department of DIY strikes in Dublin, Ireland, where 17 people formed a human chain to keep drivers from parking in a bike lane.

A woman with Type 1 diabetes rode her bike over 11,000 miles from Italy to Singapore to encourage other diabetics to live their dreams.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to be attacked by a road raging driver, at least request the salted caramel. You could one day race a bike in space.

And yes, bicycling can enlarge your labia, for those of you who have one.

………

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep bringing you SoCal’s best bike news every morning.

 

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

………

Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

………

Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

………

The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

………

Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

Morning Links: Manhattan Beach declares war over LA roadwork; Better Bike celebrates SaMo Blvd bike lanes

Manhattan Beach has declared war on Los Angeles.

According to a Facebook post from the group fighting to reverse the changes on Vista del Mar, the Manhattan Beach city council voted to go to the mattresses in a battle with the City of Angels.

Remarkably, the comments to that post blame the free parking on the roadway — which has always existed — with an apparent increase in trash, which has always been there. But which they apparently never noticed before because it was hidden by parked cars.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the screen grab

Meanwhile, the Argonaut reports on the road rage over the road reconstruction on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and four streets in Playa del Rey, including Vista del Mar. And illustrates it with a photo showing, not just no traffic backup on Venice, but virtually no motor vehicle traffic at all.

Rather than give these projects a chance, the motor maniacal NIMBYs want to rip them out right away. And if that’s not possible, they want to rip popular Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin out of the seat he was just overwhelmingly re-elected to.

On June 13 more than 100 residents of Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester lambasted the changes during a boisterous Mar Vista Community Council meeting, many of them peppering Bonin mobility deputy Jesse Holzer and Great Streets senior project manager Carter Rubin with a mix of questions and insults.

“Will a recall petition affect the pilot project? How quickly can we get rid of this dumb idea?” asked Edwin Ortega.

Morgan Pietz, a civil litigator who lives in Ladera Heights and works in Century City, said he’s creating a political action committee to fundraise for a campaign not only to restore traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard, but also to oppose any future lane reductions elsewhere.

So rather than just reverse the beachside street projects he objects to, Pietz wants to halt all road diets and Complete Streets projects anywhere in the city, whether local residents want them or not.

And Vision Zero be damned.

But as the Manhattan Beach council vote illustrates, most of the people fighting these projects, particularly in Playa del Rey, live outside the City of Los Angeles, many in homes far beyond the reach of average Angelenos. And commute to their jobs miles away in Santa Monica or Century City, demanding the right to continue their unsustainable lifestyle, and expecting LA to pay the price — financially and environmentally, as well as in human lives.

Maybe instead of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to fight the road projects, they could pitch in to pay the next massive legal judgment against the city the next time someone gets killed. And buy a little compassion while they’re at it.

It cost Los Angeles $9.5 million to settle the most recent lawsuit over the death of a 16-year old girl killed crossing Vista del Mar, in part because of the complete lack of crosswalks along the deadly street.

And it will cost the city many times that to settle the next one if nothing is done to improve safety, since the city clearly knows about the dangers on the street. Hence the urgency in making the changes.

Never mind that it’s the right thing to do to place the safety of human lives over the inconvenience of drivers, which will pass as people adjust to the changes.

Speaking of adjusting, any guesses how many of the people complaining about the horrendous traffic backups actually carpool to reduce congestion and their carbon footprint? You can probably count them on one finger. And yes, I’d suggest using that one.

Bonin explained his actions in a thoughtful, detailed and moving email yesterday, which should be required reading for anyone on either side of this debate. One demonstrating the political courage and decency that’s long been missing from most of LA’s elected leaders.

He promises to hold a community meeting in a month to discuss the changes, and to be there in person — in a city where officials usually hide from angry constituents.

By that time, LADOT should have actual statistics to show if the projects have been successful in reducing injury collisions, rather than the apocalyptic anecdotes thrown out by opponents.

And traffic congestion should have begun to dissipate as people adjust to the changes.

So hopefully, by then cooler heads will prevail and they’ll be able to discuss this like rational adults, instead of petulant children whose favorite toys have just been taken away.

Yeah, I know. As if.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on July 2nd invites you to explore the new street reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that South Bay drivers seem to consider a sign of the end times.

………

This year’s Tour of California champ George Bennett is just the latest cyclist to be hit by a car while training; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A women’s cyclist discusses the things she doesn’t miss now that she’s retired from competition, along with a few things she does.

No, poop doping isn’t likely to be a thing anytime soon; a professor at UC Davis calls the story ridiculously irresponsible. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

When banned dopers Lance Armstrong and former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel oppose the re-election of UCI chief Brian Cookson, it seems almost like an endorsement.

………

Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot takes a well deserved victory lap, reporting on the Beverly Hills City Council’s surprising unanimous vote to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. And the even more surprising vote to paint them a hi-visibility color, to the undoubted chagrin of the film industry.

Streetsblog reports the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes should be installed next year, while crediting a handful of advocates for keeping up the ultimately successful fight.

You can let Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse know just how happy you are with the council’s decision when she hosts a public bike ride on August 20th.

Long Beach improves the complicated five-way intersection of Walnut Avenue, East 20th Street and Alamitos Avenue to benefit pedestrian and bicycle safety, and pave the way for a planned bike network.

 

State

Del Mar is rolling out preliminary designs for a facelift of the downtown area, including new bike lanes on Camino del Mar and some side streets.

A Redlands minister discusses the cross-country bike ride he took last year to raise funds for a new playground at his church.

A Santa Cruz cyclist is suing just about everyone who had anything to do with developing a traffic circle where she fell and broke her hip, alleging there were no warning signs about the train tracks where she apparently caught a wheel.

It was a tragic day for bike riders in Central and Northern California yesterday, as three riders lost their lives in separate collisions.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious reports that Chinese bikeshare company Bluegogo has suspended their planned invasion of the Bay Area, and will be withdrawing from American shores.

 

National

A new research paper suggests there’s a one-to-one relationship between new highway lane capacity and traffic increases, yet planners fail to take induced demand into account when designing new projects. Hopefully there’s a one-to-one relationship with removing lane capacity, as well.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from Elly Blue, who’s started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Bikequity, described as a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice.

People for Bikes wants your help to choose a new name for Bike Boulevards. Los Angeles calls them Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan. But doesn’t seem to want to build any.

Instead of building a traditional street, Portland has built a 130-foot long street just for bicycles to connect three new buildings in the downtown area.

Don’t plan on going to Interbike in Las Vegas without a pass this year; the bicycle trade show has stopped allowing the public in on the final day of the show, as they have the past few years.

A New Zealand man is on his way back home after being seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of an SUV atop a Colorado pass while riding across the US; he’s now stuck with a $150,000 bill for medical expenses until a settlement can be reached.

An Iowa city has officially opened a new bike path segment, part of a 3,000 mile trail along the Mississippi River.

Relatives of a Chicago bike rider insist he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver, even though police say he just fell off his bike.

A new Minneapolis study shows there’s safety in numbers for pedestrians, as well. Unless this jackass happens to be around.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a Massachusetts man is devoting whatever time he has left to fixing up bicycles to give to local kids.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that riding a bike is at least as fast, if not faster, than taking a cab in New York City; researchers used data from cabs and the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to reach that conclusion.

A bighearted Virginia sheriff’s deputy buys a new bike for a four-year old girl after hers was stolen.

A New Orleans cyclist was stabbed in the arm and accused of stealing the bike he was riding, by a man who then stole the bike he was riding.

Awhile back, we mentioned the man who was riding his bicycle across the US to visit every major league baseball stadium; sadly, his journey ended when he was hit by a car in Alabama, suffering serious injuries. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

 

International

London’s mayor plans to make the entire city emissions-free by 2050, through a mix of zero-emission vehicles and increasing the mode share for bicycling, walking and transit to a whopping 80%, while cutting motor vehicle traffic by 3 million miles a day.

A London cyclist says hell is a city full of non-cyclists on bikeshare bikes.

There’s now a £2,000 reward — the equivalent of over $2,500 — to capture the British bike rider who was caught on video recently nearly getting smashed by a train when he climbed over the crossing barricades, after the near miss left the engineer with psychological trauma. Maybe it was the man shaking his fist at the train that nearly hit him that pushed the engineer over the edge.

So much for your GPS and Strava. A Dutch company has developed a new bike lock that blocks the cellular network for your mobile phone while you ride, releasing it once you lock your bike using the related app. Now if we can just require every driver to use one.

 

Finally…

How to achieve udder comfort on your bike. Now you, too, can own your very own old media publishing empire.

And if you’re going to fire a toy gun at a group of cyclists, make sure none of them are the king of a foreign country first.

 

Morning Links: More funding for Vision Zero, City of Angels Ride, and saving NB cyclists by crashing into them

In his State of the City address, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a boost in Vision Zero funding, from a paltry $3 million up to $17 million.

Although that’s still a far cry from the $155 million New York spends on Vision Zero each year.

And as CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin made clear, it’s not nearly enough.

………

This one sounds like fun.

Adam Ginsberg reminds us that there’s still time to register for this Sunday’s City of Angels Charity/Fun Ride benefitting the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center.

After all, how often do you get a tour of LA with a police escort, and the intersections corked by cops?

………

Newport Beach police don’t have to look very far in their quest to crack down on violations that threaten the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, after one of their own officers collided with a bike rider Thursday afternoon.

The victim was reported to be conscious and breathing when he was taken to a local hospital.

And unlike the LA County Sheriff’s Department, which insisted on investigating its own deputy in the crash that killed Milt Olin, the NBPD has wisely handed the investigation over to the CHP.

………

In case you’ve forgotten, CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo was for bike lanes before he was against them.

Then again, that’s when he was running for council the first time and thought he needed our votes.

………

Apparently, aggressive riding is okay, but punching another rider isn’t, as Ukrainian cyclist Andriy Grivko gets a 45 day ban for slugging Marcel Kittel during a race.

The probe into British Cycling continues, as an outside investigator delves into their medical records.

………

Local

The long-delayed Los Angeles State Historic Park will open this Saturday on the east edge of Chinatown in DTLA.

The Metro Bike bikeshare has hit 134,000 rides through March since its launch July 7th, but is still far below their target goal of two rides a day per bike.

Caught on video: CiclaValley captures what happens when Waze intersects with trash day on a narrow roadway.

West Covina police will patrol the city’s parks on bikes to address concerns over the homeless population.

A suspected bike thief apparently got away from sheriff’s deputies in Newhall by taking to the rooftops in his effort to escape, although they did recover three bicycles during the search. I just wish there was an armed response like that every time someone steals a bike.

Rotterdam comes to Santa Monica to talk bikes May 3rd.

 

State

The San Diego Padres’ annual fundraising ride will cross the Coronado Bay Bridge for the first time this fall.

Palm Springs bicyclists rode to city hall in support of the proposed 50-mile CV Link bike path, in the face of opposition from the city’s mayor.

A Monterey woman describes how she won a Brompton bike race wearing a plaid skirt, while Monterey bike shop owners explain how they’re adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace.

A Stanford postdoctoral fellow considers the problem of distracted drivers, and how they can keep women from riding their bikes.

 

National

You may never have to carry a spare tube or patch kit again — if you can get used to the strange looks you’ll get.

The Today Show considers how to find the right bikes and accessories for any rider.

A government website looks at how technology can help eliminate traffic deaths.

A new Portland video asks people how many traffic deaths and injuries would be acceptable for their own families, then asks if that should be the goal for everyone.

A bighearted 11-year old Wyoming girl won a new bicycle at an Easter egg hunt over the weekend. But instead of riding it home, she turned around and gave it to another girl who needed one.

Three Michigan police agencies deny charges in a federal report that they could have done more to prevent the Kalamazoo massacre, despite failing to respond to three calls warning about the stoned driver as he careened down the road for 22 minutes before the fatal crash.

The rich get richer. New York continues to get safer for bicyclists, as Brooklyn’s busiest business corridor is about to get a bike and pedestrian-friendly makeover. And plans are underway to install 24 blocks of protected bike lanes along iconic 7th Avenue.

 

International

A British man shares the lessons he learned bicycling around the world for seven years, including that strangers will open their doors for you, and Iran is a much better place than people make it sound.

If you still aren’t convinced, London’s Telegraph offers eight stats that show why you should bike to work — like being less likely to need Viagra in your 50s. The Telegraph also gives a glowing review of the $35,000 Bugatti urban bike without actually bothering to ride it.

London cyclists complain that a study showing bike commuting cuts your risk of cancer by 41% doesn’t take into account the dirty air they have to breathe.

Caught on video too: A British bike advocate’s camera is stolen as he’s recording cars parking in a bike lane, then smashed to bits by the thief after a brief chase.

Belfast’s successful bikeshare system is being put at risk as more than one-third of the bikes have been stolen or put out of action by vandals.

An Aussie cyclist urges other riders not to react to aggressive or threatening drivers. Which may be good advice, but it’s a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had the crap scared out of you.

As China’s dockless bike bikeshare systems expand into new cities, bike abuse and vandalism follow.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your cruiser bike as a getaway vehicle after a double-barreled bank robbery, at least hide the damn thing afterwards. Before you headbutt someone who won’t loan you his bicycle, make sure he actually owns one.

And an Aussie writer says don’t do things that could kill you. Which pretty much eliminates everything other than staying in bed all day.

Except that can kill you, too.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero funding carries the day, cyclist-killing pedophile sentenced, and bad bike marketing

Safer streets won the day at yesterday’s meeting of the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Curbed LA, a motion passed to allocate 60% of the city’s Measure M local return funds to Vision Zero projects, as opposed to a city plan to allocate two-thirds to fixing the city’s crumbling streets.

The motion sponsored by CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin passed by a slim 3 – 2 margin, with CD5’s Paul Koretz and CD4’s David Ryu voting to fix potholes while keeping the city’s streets dangerous.

As Bonin put it,

“We can fill a bunch of potholes, or we can save a bunch of lives.”

However, comments from Koretz blamed jaywalking pedestrians and poor pavement quality in bike lanes, not high speeds, poor street design or dangerous drivers, for the city’s unacceptably high rate of fatalities.

Never mind that he’s the one responsible for blocking planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and on other streets in his mostly Westside district.

And Ryu is the one standing in the way of a desperately needed road diet on 6th Street that’s overwhelmingly supported by the neighborhood councils in the area.

But sure, let’s go with potholes over human lives.

………

Sometimes, I don’t even know what to say.

An Agoura Hills man was sentenced to the maximum term of nearly six years behind bars for committing lewd acts with a 14-year old boy, 29 years after he was convicted on felony counts of hit-and-run and conspiracy for killing a bike rider in Laguna Hills.

Gary Haw, who owned a string of tanning salons in the early 2000s, is also suspected, but wasn’t charged, with molesting other boys who worked for his company.

He was driving his father’s $80,000 Porsche when he slammed into his 17-year old victim in 1988. Despite throwing the boy’s body the length of a football field, he was somehow acquitted of vehicular manslaughter in the case, and received just two years in prison.

His father was convicted of obstruction and lying to a police officer for attempting to cover for Haw by claiming he was the one driving, even though he was at his Culver City home at the time of the crash.

Haw was also convicted of molesting a child in Santa Monica that same year.

Yet his attorney in the current case argued that Haw was a “pillar of the community” who was unlikely to re-offend.

Which seems highly unlikely, given his track record.

And which makes the five year, eight month sentence seem a few decades too short.

………

Once again, a bicycle company badly misses the mark by assuming their market is made up solely of immature straight males.

As Bicycling points out, the sexist and homophobic ad Wolf Tooth Components and another company shared on social media over the weekend was quickly pulled when wiser heads prevailed following an intense backlash.

The question is why anyone would approve it in the first place. And why does the bike industry just not get it?

………

Patrick Lynch forwards video of an airport bike cop photobombing a Today Show news report on TSA pat-downs.

………

A professional mountain biker describes his addiction to Tramadol, the painkiller used — legally — by many cyclists in the pro peloton.

Women’s races have been added to two of the four stages of the new Colorado Classic bike race, with an unrelated women’s crit the third day.

A German website profiles American cyclist Leah Thorvilson, who went from marathon runner to winning a pro cycling contract at age 38 by coming in first in a Zwift virtual cycling competition.

………

Local

CiclaValley calls tonight’s People For Bikes Draft Meetup at Pure Cycles a must.

LA-based Smart Bikes is accepting pre-order sales for their new Hexagon light, combining a rear-view camera with a taillight, brake light and turn signals, and allowing you to use your smartphone to see what’s coming behind you. But probably not the “ultimate safety device,” as the company describes it.

The LACBC’s annual River Ride will once again feature a Long Beach start, as well as the traditional starting line in Griffith Park; the Long Beach start was discontinued last year due to construction work.

 

State

There seems to be a common theme to our first three stories. I just can’t seem to put my finger on it.

  • Health rankings of California counties indicate where you live has an impact on how healthy you are and how long you’ll live, with Orange County near the top of the list, and Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties not so much. Safe, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods with access to fresh fruits and vegetables made a positive difference.
  • Calbike says a good state transportation bill was poisoned at the last minute by an ill-advised compromise allowing the trucking industry to keep polluting neighborhoods near ports and trucking routes.
  • A white paper from the California Air Resources Board says physical activity is good for you, just try not to breath the air.

Long delayed plans for a bikeway on San Diego’s Coronado bridge could cost as much as $210 million for a 15-foot tube suspended beneath the bridge, and could require a toll to fund it — either on the bicyclists and pedestrians using it, or the drivers on the bridge above them.

A Santa Cruz letter writer says “smug weekend cyclists” should be banned from a large number of mountain roads. Does that mean modest weekday riders are okay?

A Sacramento magazine says it’s time for the city to stop spinning its wheels and build its first protected bike lane, noting that Sacramento and Las Vegas are the only two of America’s 40 largest cities without at least imminent plans for one.

A Folsom newspaper says cyclists and motorists need to work together for safety, and drivers shouldn’t squeeze cyclists off the road.

 

National

A new study questions why girls lose interest in bicycling when they reach their teens; not surprisingly, traffic is a major factor.

A writer for Forbes calls the new $5,000, 33 mph Stromer ebike a people magnet and a thing of sheer beauty. Although here in California, any motorized bicycle that goes that fast requires a helmet and a motorcycle license.

It was a big night out for a Denton TX man, who was arrested after allegedly crashing his car into three separate vehicles before hitting a woman on a bicycle, then running away and attacking a woman getting out of her car, insisting he needed it to get something to drink.

Chicago bike riders are cheering plans for extending a bike trail and building a riverwalk bike path on both sides of the river through a gentrifying industrial corridor.

A Cleveland letter writer says don’t be a jerk by riding in the middle of the lane and slowing down traffic just to prove you have a right to the road. Never mind that riders are taught to take the lane to avoid the door zone, increase visibility and make drivers go around them to pass.

Next City examines how Massachusetts is updating its statewide bike plan to shift focus from recreational riding to riding for transportation.

 

International

The international bicycle industry is finally getting onboard with bike advocacy.

Peru’s Agricultural Minister was fired for sunbathing and riding her bicycle while half the country was being devastated by the worst flooding in two decades.

Plans are underway to install segregated bike lanes on London’s Westminster bridge, site of last week’s terrorist attack. However, work has been postponed for the foreseeable future, as one British lord inexplicably blames the current painted lanes for contributing to the carnage.

A British rider is close to finishing his goal of riding 107 kilometers (66 miles) every day for 107 days, despite working full time, and overcoming food poisoning and a major storm.

The head of Ireland’s Green Party calls for improving safety for cyclists on the country’s roads, comparing riding in Dublin to a Ben-Hur chariot race.

CNN takes a 12-day, 602-mile ride around Taiwan on a route that is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s greatest adventures.

Singapore is trying to encourage bicycling by installing bike racks and bike parking zones throughout the island.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Going full Superman downhill on a fixie doesn’t look as hard as getting back on the spinning pedals. Evidently, bike racers get fined for riding where bike riders are supposed to.

And nothing like riding your fat bike past a long line of cars stalled in an Alaskan blizzard.

%d bloggers like this: