Tag Archive for mobility plan

Morning Links: Help Metro rank their budget priorities, and WeHo unveils its new bike/ped mobility plan

Metro wants your input on their proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year. You can respond online or in person at any of the meetings below.

And be sure to rank Active Transportation at the top of your priority list.

Which hopefully means more than just running to catch the bus that’s leaving without you.

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West Hollywood unveils its draft Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan, which promises to deliver real networks for bicycling and walking.

Hopefully sooner rather than later.

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Now you, too, can make your pancakes like the pros do.

An entire Iranian cycling team gets banned after two of its riders test positive for steroids.

Just like sidewalk cyclists in cities around the world, pro cyclists Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet and Sep Vanmarcke could face a fine. They should do their racing in Los Angeles, where riding on the sidewalk is legal.

And despite Sagan’s example, a mouthful of candy probably isn’t the best way to refuel on your ride.

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Local

KPCC looks at the CD1 city council race between embattled incumbent Gil Cedillo and four challengers, most notably our own Joe Bray-Ali.

This month’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride will be a feeder ride from Highland Park to the 626 Golden Streets event.

Metro unveils the locations of Pasadena’s coming bikeshare system.

 

State

Fresno releases their $1.3 billion Active Transportation Plan, despite not building out the city’s previous plans. Not unlike the languishing plans found most cities, where new bike and pedestrian plans are usually forgotten as soon as they’re written.

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of a violent mugging when someone whacked him with a crowbar and stole his bike. One more reason to always wear a helmet.

Oddly, if you fail to remove parking meters from the curb next to a raised San Francisco bike lane, drivers will continue to park there.

Caught on video: A Sacramento cyclist is lucky to be alive when his back wheel is clipped by a speeding train after riding onto a railroad crossing. No word on whether he rode through the barriers, or even if the crossing had crossing arms or warning lights.

Security video was posted online that shows the fatal shooting of a bike rider in Redding last month; the driver claims it was self defense, though the victim may have been reacting to a near collision.

 

National

Schwinn invites you to relive your childhood with a new limited edition Lemon Peeler Stingray.

Mountain bike legend Gary Fisher says e-mountain bikes are the next big thing, because they remove all the work and just leave the fun. Which kind of takes the fun out of it.

Like pretty much anything else from Ikea, their new bike requires some assembly, but Fast Co-Exist says you’ll have a very rideable urban bike when you’re done.

This is the cost of traffic violence. One of the nation’s leading experts on bioterrorism was killed in a collision when he was collateral damage in a wreck between two cars in St. Louis.

Friends of a killer Minnesota driver blame a possible undiagnosed brain tumor instead of intoxication for the crash that took the life of a runner in a crosswalk.

CNBC talks with MIT physicist Assaf Biderman, maker of the Copenhagen Wheel, which promises to turn nearly any bike into an ebike.

A New York driver cuts a teenage bike rider off as he rides on a sidewalk, then blames him for getting mad.

A New Orleans writer calls Mardi Gras a gateway drug that turns people on to the possibility of two-wheeled transportation because it’s the most efficient way to get around during carnival season.

Bike-riding medics protect the crowd at the Mobile AL Mardi Gras celebration.

 

International

The family of a fallen British bicyclist call for reforming the country’s sentencing laws after the driver who killed him cops a plea for a reduced sentence.

Britain could cut serious bicycling collisions by a third just through better enforcement of safe passing laws.

A British man decides he needs a change, and bikes 9,000 miles from his hometown to South Africa, while expecting to get jumped by a lion along the way.

The leading Dutch bikeway engineering guide gets an update, showcasing the country’s best bike practices. Which means the best practices, period.

Five German woman have been attacked by an acid-throwing bike rider since December.

 

Finally…

If at first you fail to hit a cop with a bicycle, try throwing a tricycle. Is it still a three state challenge if there’s only two?

And if you’re going to flee from a failed break-in, remember to take your bike with you.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan suffers setback, Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia guide, and more Bike Week news

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive is slowly climbing, now up to 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — which means we’ve got just two and a half weeks to reach the goal of 100 new members by the end of May.

Few things are more important that adding your voice to Southern California’s leading bike advocacy organization. Because individually, we can’t accomplish much, but together, we can move mountains. And maybe even councilmembers.

So please, take a few moments to sign up now. Consider it a personal favor for me, you, and countless other bike riders in the LA area.

And a special thank you to everyone who has already signed up already!

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Looks like the fix is in.

And Westwood and Central could be out.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to support a pair of anti-bike amendments to the city’s Mobility Plan.

After the Planning Commission voted to keep the city’s Mobility Plan intact earlier this year, rejecting proposals to remove bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, the plan came back to the Transportation Committee yesterday, where Councilmember Paul Koretz pulled a fast one.

Rather than arguing once again for removal of the streets from the plan, he proposed a quartet of alternate streets: Gayley Avenue and Midvale Avenue in Westwood, and Avalon Boulevard and San Pedro Street in South LA.

None of which provide direct routes, while shunting bike riders off commercial corridors and onto back streets — even though studies have repeatedly shown bike lanes are good for local businesses. And even though many riders, especially women, are less likely to ride routes out of public view after dark.

Not to mention that those streets would require extensive signalization and improved crossings, dramatically increasing costs.

Surprisingly, the usually bike friendly Jose Huizar joined Koretz and David Ryu in supporting the proposal, despite near unanimous calls from speakers to keep the plan intact. As a result, Koretz’ proposal will now go before the full council on Friday; if they vote to support it, it will go back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration.

But regardless of what the commission rules, the full council can, and possibly will, override their recommendations with a three-quarters vote.

Which is more likely than not in a city where councilmembers usually vote in lockstep out of a deathly fear of alienating one another. With the result that they rule as virtual kings in their own districts, with virtually no checks or balances on their decisions.

Not to mention an ostensibly bike-friendly mayor who professes to support safer streets, yet doesn’t seem willing to take on individual councilmembers to make it happen. Thus making LA’s weak mayor system that much weaker.

And demonstrating once again that the seven-year public process that went into developing the Mobility Plan means nothing compared to the whims of a councilman.

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It’s here!

The Militant Angeleno has released his long-awaited, personally researched guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia through the cities of Southeast LA County.

His guides are always fascinating, so don’t ride without giving it a read first.

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Still more news leading up to next week’s Bike Week.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during Bike Week.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Bike Week Camp Coffee Wednesday on the jetty at the end of Ballona Creek.

And Pasadena invites bicyclists to stop by city hall on Bike to Work Day next Thursday.

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More sad news, as Canadian pro downhill champ Stevie Smith was killed in an enduro motorcycle crash on Tuesday.

Women’s pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo is back in her home state of Colorado as she continues to recover from a devastating head injury suffered in the San Dimas Stage Race; her memory is slowly returning after initially being unable to even recognize her own parents or teammates. A gofundme account has raised over $46,000 to help defray her medical expenses.

And seriously, what’s a little tow between friends?

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Local

Just a tad late. The LA Times finally catches up with BMX pro Nigel Sylvester’s high speed, law defying tour of LA, a month after the video was featured here and on other media sites.

The LACBC talks with the bike-riding Gangsta Gardner of South LA.

Bikeshare has officially opened in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. That chill you feel is Hell freezing over.

Walk or ride your bike to the station when Metro opens the Expo line next week; otherwise it will cost you a whole $2 a day to park at the station.

The Canyon News looks forward to Santa Monica’s first open streets event next month.

The Glendale driver caught on video trying to run a cyclist off road, then lying about it to authorities, has pled not guilty to three misdemeanor counts.

A Santa Clarita mountain biker was airlifted to safety after falling and apparently dislocating his shoulder. Rescuers rescued his bike, as well.

A man who may have been riding a bicycle was shot to death in an alley in Bell Tuesday night; two bikes were found in the alley along with the victim after the shooter fled.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider was struck by a big rig truck on an onramp to the 805 Freeway Wednesday morning; the 62-year old victim escaped with a broken leg.

A columnist for the Riverside Press-Enterprise is back to riding after breaking his wrist in a mountain biking race.

A British man has been arrested hiding on bike path on the Central Coast after he allegedly killed his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Clovis, then fled on a stolen bicycle.

A San Jose paper looks at the growth in bicycling and efforts to improve safety and infrastructure in the Bay Area. Although the headline could use some improvement. Cyclists don’t “trump” cars; bicycles simply provide an alternative to driving, which benefits everyone.

Sacramento begins construction on bike lanes on a city street, six years after high school students produced a video demonstrating the need for them.

 

National

Some pastors are extending their parishes to bike lanes and the riders who use them, recognizing that cyclists know the risks of the roads and choose to ride anyway. Nothing like making bicycling seem more dangerous than it really is.

Nearly 500 US retailers are participating in the BikeExchange, an online marketplace for bikes and equipment.

Momentum Magazine makes the business case for public bikeshare systems.

A black teenage girl is suing a white police officer for a brutal assault when she tried to ride off after he stopped her and her brother as they biked through a Tacoma WA parking lot; security camera footage shows the cop repeatedly pushing her up against an SUV and throwing her to the ground before using his Taser on her, while later claiming that she had attacked him.

San Antonio residents get out their torches and pitchforks after sharrows unexpectedly appear on their street, successfully demanding their removal. Seriously people, they’re just sharrows; it’s not like they actually mean anything.

Chicago police allege a group of gangbangers in an SUV made a U-turn to deliberately run down a bike rider, dragging him for blocks in an apparent random attack; yet so far the driver only faces misdemeanor charges.

A writer for the New York Times says combining intense intervals with longer rides could offer the greatest health and fitness rewards.

New York’s mayor overrides objections from a local community board to build protected bike lanes on Queens’ Boulevard of Death. Which shows what can happen in a city where leaders have the political will to support bicycling.

A Virginia woman was killed in a hit-and-run after she and her boyfriend met with a young woman, assaulted her and stole her phone before the pair fled by bicycle.

Louisiana moves forward with a vulnerable user law to increase penalties for drivers who injure or kill bicyclists and pedestrians. How about just keeping them from hitting us in the first place?

 

International

A Canadian writer says he pities long distance hikers and cyclists; but once the pain wears off, the vivid memories remain and he wants to do it all again.

A philosophy professor asks why so few black people ride bikes in Toronto, while the local paper says the city needs the political will to make its bold bike plan happen. Sounds familiar.

A British man ditched his job to ride 35,000 miles through 44 countries, raising $7,700 for charity. Which works out to 22 cents a mile.

The Guardian offers advice on how to ride in a group, while Bike Radar provides good tips on safer city cycling.

Bicycling offers four reasons by Budapest is great for bicycling.

 

Finally…

Now all you thrash rocker fans can own your very own Slayer BMX bike. A British inventor wants to secure your bike with a big bang.

And give your fellow riders a wave. But only if you deem them worthy.

 

Morning Links: Mealy-mouthed Mobility Plan goes to Planning Comm; pope raffles bikes to feed homeless

The big news this week is the city’s slightly revised Mobility Plan (pdf), which goes before the Planning Commission on Thursday.

According to LA Streetsblog, the city has apparently given up on eliminating all traffic deaths, since the plan now calls for a Vision Zero for cyclists and pedestrians only, and leaves motorists to their own fate.

Good news for those of us who travel by two wheels or two feet, who would like to feel confident we could go out into the city and return home again in one piece. But a tacit admission that city leaders fear our traffic problems may be too big to solve in the next 20 years, and LA’s overly aggressive drivers too difficult to rein in.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton also complains the plan’s weak-ass, mealy-mouthed, non-committal wording remains intact. Although he puts it far more politely.

Which sounds like more of LA’s traditional can’t do attitude that we hoped was finally over with the arrival of new leadership at LADOT and city hall.

On the bright side, this is the same Planning Commission that threw out the original 2010 bike plan and ordered the city to come back when they had a real plan to connect the city and keep cyclists safe. Which they did.

Maybe the Planning Commission will do that again this time.

And tell the city to come back when they’re finally ready to make a commitment.

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Local

Bike Radar asks if a vegan diet can work for cyclists; LA cyclist and dietician Matt Ruscigno is living proof it does.

A writer for the Santa Monica Daily Press misunderstands the basic premise of bike share, suggesting it benefits businesses and their out-of-town employees at the expense of local residents.

Santa Monica Spoke is having a meeting and party this Saturday to celebrate the third anniversary of the city’s Bike Action Plan.

 

State

Auto-centric Orange County gets $13 million for bike and pedestrian projects.

Proof that open streets events are good for business, as 83% of participants in San Diego’s recent CicloSDias dined at local restaurants along the route and 85% said they’d come back again to shop or dine in the neighborhood.

A 13-year old bike rider is hit by a car in Wildomar; fortunately, he’s expected to recover.

A Sacramento cyclist is killed in a train collision; sadly, it sounds like it may have been a suicide.

San Francisco has seen three recent cases of road raging drivers attacking cyclists and pedestrians, including one fatal hit-and-run.

 

National

The seven health benefits of riding a bike.

The Bike League is out with their latest list (pdf) of Bicycle Friendly Communities; doesn’t seem to be any changes here in SoCal, though.

Too sad. A newlywed Las Vegas bike rider is killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver just two weeks after getting back from his honeymoon. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

New York Daily News says high-end customized bikes are becoming the status symbol of choice for deep pocketed professionals.

New York responds to bike/pedestrian collisions in Central Park by lowering the speed limit for bikes to 20 mph, so scofflaw riders will have a lower limit to ignore.

More evidence of our auto-centric world, as a Florida man is refused service at drive-through Taco Bell, not because he was drunk, but because he was on a bike. Then gets arrested when he refuses to leave.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian says it’s time to stop blaming the bike riding victims, and put the focus on the fact that driving can kill.

Great photos from 69 years of the Tour of Britain; Tony the Tiger beats podium girls in my book any day.

Caught on video: UK police don’t seem to care that a driver buzzed a bike rider. Or that he was impersonating a police officer.

The Dutch concept of shared space brings order through chaos to create safer streets. Although it would take a major attitude change before that could work here.

Velonews bikes the hidden gems of the Taiwanese countryside.

 

Finally…

Now that’s one drawing I’d like to enter. The pope is raffling off some of the gifts he’s received to raise money to feed the homeless; five of the top six prizes are bicycles. Just what we all need, a bike helmet that can read your mind; it would want to know what I think sometimes.

And he may have won, then lost, the Tour de France seven times, but Lance can’t get past the first lap of a Beer Mile. But can we please stop adding “disgraced former cyclist” to every mention of his name before he has to put it on his drivers license?

 

Gov. Brown tacitly endorses hit-and-run; LA finally says enough is enough when it comes to traffic deaths

Once again, California cyclists have been Jerry Browned.

And this time, we’re not alone.

Everyone who uses the state’s streets and highways has been put at risk by our severely out of touch governor, who may be one of the last people left who has no idea that hit-and-run has reached epidemic proportions.

The state legislature gets it.

LA-area legislators Mike Gatto and Steven Bradford, and Corona’s Eric Linder — two Democrats and a Republican — successfully shepherded bills through both houses to address the rampant problem of drivers fleeing the scenes of collisions.

Although problem probably isn’t the right word. Crisis fits a lot better for a crime that afflicts nearly 50% of all collisions in the City of Los Angeles, and countless others throughout the state.

And yes, it is a crime.

One that kills and cripples far more people than mass shootings every year — even though that was something Governor Brown was quick to sign a bill to address.

Yet he apparently doesn’t think hit-and-run is a problem.

In vetoing four bills addressing hit-and-run — modestly increasing penalties, ensuring fleeing drivers lost their licenses for a mere six months, creating an Amber Alert-style warning system for the most serious cases and preventing wealthy drivers from buying their way out of criminal charges — he helped ensure that the crisis will remain one.

And that untold numbers of Californian’s will continue to bleed and die on our streets, since the governor sent a clear message — four, in fact — that it’s no big deal.

Thanks, Jerry.

Granted, he paid lip service to the seriousness of the problem (pdf). But then he went on to insist that current penalties are high enough.

Never mind that if penalties really were high enough, drivers would actually remain at the scene instead of driving home to sober up before turning themselves in. Or just pretending it never happened and hoping they don’t get caught.

And knowing they probably won’t.

Actions speak far louder than words. By vetoing all four widely varied bills — as well as another that would have increased penalties for vulnerable road users — Brown sent a clear message to heartless drivers to go ahead and flee.

Because even if you do get caught — which is less likely thanks to his veto of the Yellow Alert system — you’ll face a slap on the wrist, at best.

It took three tries to get a three-foot passing bill past his misguided veto pen. Each time weakening the bill by removing key features Brown objected to before he finally accepted a relatively toothless measure, with advocates making a mental note to strengthen it once he left office.

Which isn’t likely to be anytime soon, since he continues to enjoy a nearly two-thirds lead over his Republican challenger.

And that means, unless someone can manage to get the seriousness of the problem through his thick bald skull — hello AAA and CHP — we face another four years before we’ll finally have a new governor who may decide that too many people have been killed and maimed by cowardly motorists unwilling to face the consequences of their actions.

Then again, if his opponent in this year’s election, Neel Kashkari, were to come out strongly in favor of actually doing something about hit-and-run, he might change a few votes.

Including mine.

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At least there’s better news from Los Angeles.

I was told over a year ago by someone involved in the process that the city’s new mobility plan would call for reducing — though not eliminating — traffic deaths. And that the words Vision Zero would appear nowhere in the document.

What a difference a year makes.

Whether it was the influence of Mayor Eric Garcetti, or new LADOT head Seleta Reynolds already putting her stamp on it, the just released document calls for eliminating traffic deaths in the city by 2025.

The new strategic plan, Great Streets for Los Angeles, reflects a fundamental rethinking of our streets, from the traditional focus on automotive throughput — moving as many vehicles through a given intersection as quickly as possible — to ensuring that everyone on those streets gets home safely.

And that, instead of destroying our neighborhoods, our streets will finally become the key to revitalizing them.

After years of never uttering the phrase — despite nearly ceaseless prodding from myself, the LACBC and others — city officials have finally joined New York and San Francisco in committing to a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities.

Make no mistake. It won’t be easy.

In fact, as others have pointed out, it may be impossible.

But the key to Vision Zero is that it is a process as much as a goal. What matters are the steps taken to reduce the risk of traffic deaths, from calming traffic and reducing speed limits to improving crosswalks and bikeways. As well as increasing enforcement and education for everyone on the streets, and studying traffic deaths to determine why they happened and how they could have been avoided.

All based on the realization that even one fatality is one too many.

About time.

Or course, there’s more to the plan. As Streetsblog put it,

There’s plenty more in the plan that Streetsblog readers will love. We can’t get to all of it in this short article, but the plan includes: neighborhood traffic calming, bike share, car share, dedicated bus lanes, an improved bikeway network, transportation demand management, reducing disabled parking placard abuse, and plenty more.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Eric Bruins calls it “an ambitious yet achievable framework for the department over the next three years of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s term” and commends “LADOT’s new mission [which] prioritizes safe and accessible options for Angelenos of all ages and abilities, no matter their chosen mode of transportation.”

Then again, as bold as the plan is, it’s doomed to failure as long as individual councilmembers such as Koretz, LaBonge and Cedillo can opt out of already approved safety plans to ensure the streets in their districts remain dangerously auto-focused.

In other words is, we have to find a way to protect our nascent Vision Zero from elected officials with zero.

Vision, that is.

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