Tag Archive for MyFigueroa

Morning Links: Bike lanes for gridlock, hijacking transportation in Mar Vista, and voting for danger on Fletcher Drive

Let’s end the week with a look at all the many and varied goings on in the wonderful world of LA traffic planning.

The apparently non-existent Richard Lee Abrams is back at it, blaming bike lanes as part of LA’s secret transportation plan to cause, not relieve, gridlock. No record of an LA attorney practicing by that name exists online or in the California Bar; however, another lawyer is registered with the Bar at the same Hollywood residential address, phone number and fax. Thanks to Evan G and Marc C for their sleuthing skills.

A board member of the Mar Vista Community Council says we can’t let LA transportation get hijacked by self-serving special interests, like beating up on motorists to squeeze in a protected bike lane on Venice Blvd at the expense of a third — yes, third — traffic lane in each direction. Because clearly, a city street just can’t be wide, fast or dangerous enough.

LADOT hosted the second of three meetings to discuss Vision Zero improvements to Fletcher Drive; when attendees were asked to vote on the proposal, a write-in option to do nothing was the preferred choice, as people questioned whether the deadly road was really dangerous. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2nd; hopefully sanity with prevail.

The My Figueroa project is slowly making progress along South Figueroa between USC and DTLA; Streetsblog notes that most of the bike lanes will be buffered, not the curb-protected lanes we were promised. And the promised connecting bike lanes on King Blvd appear to have fallen off the map.

Meanwhile, KFI’s rabidly anti-bike John and Ken profess to post maps of LA’s coming road diets. Except what they actually put online is various maps from the city’s mobility plan, most of which have nothing to do with lane reductions. Which is sort of like posting a photo of a haystack, and calling it a pile of needles.

And Erik Griswold shared a photo from Playa del Rey showing two bikes — including one with a child’s seat — in front of The Shack after taking advantage of the new bike lanes on Culver Blvd.

He also sent the one at the top of this page showing the lane reduction on Vista del Mar as it approaches Culver Blvd; note that a second lane northbound lane would have put the fog line somewhere in the bushes.

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A gambling website asks how hard the Tour de France really is, before concluding that it’s really, really hard.

A South African website considers how much cyclists get for finishing the Tour. Hint: You’re a lot better off winning than finishing on the fifth place team.

Nice piece on American cyclist Nate Brown, who wore the polka dot jersey for two days, a year after he dropped everything to be with his cyclist girlfriend as she battled a sudden, life-threatening heart condition.

Bicycling looks at the convoluted history leading up to the token two-day women’s La Course. Thursday’s first stage marked a remarkable comeback from last year’s Rio Olympics; the top 20 finishers will compete in a time trial on Saturday.

An Oregon bike race no longer offers equal prize money for men and women cyclists, blaming UCI guidelines for paying the women’s champ less than 10% of what the men’s winner will earn.

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Local

The LA Weekly looks at the 41 Thursday Crew, as hundreds of riders of all ages and backgrounds take to the darkened streets of Los Angeles on BMX bikes to celebrate riding in the city.

Walk Bike Burbank says the way to spot a bike-friendly business is look for all the bikes parked where a single car would be.

Pasadena Weekly looks at the kickoff of bikeshare in the Rose City.

West Covina police will assign two officers to bike patrol duty in city parks following complaints about homeless people and illegal activity. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Santa Monica’s Planning Commissioner says bicycling in the city needs to be 50,000 times safer and easier; residents respond that anything that slows traffic — like bikes, for instance — should be considered a crime against the people of LA County, if not humanity. Meanwhile, the city says it’s time to shift away from automobile-centric planning.

Join Bike Talk at the KPFK Summer Celebration at Pan Pacific Park this Saturday.

Bike SGV is teaming with Women on Wheels to host a Mariachi Music Funride next month.

 

State

Evidently, it runs in the family. A 20-year old San Diego woman gets four years for the speeding hit-and-run death of a teenage boy after drinking with her boyfriend; her sister is doing time for an alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter.

A San Diego man escaped by bicycle after stabbing another man during a fight; the victim suffered life-threatening injuries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Moreno Valley man faces 45 years to life for the drunken car crash that killed a grandmother and two young girls. He was driving on a suspended license while on probation for a previous DUI, and had already broken his probation three times. This is why we need to impound the cars of anyone convicted of driving under the influence, because too many keep driving anyway until they kill someone. And he should have been locked up the first time he broke probation.

Sad news from Goleta, where a man was killed in a collision with an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks. Never ride on railroad tracks for any distance; you have nowhere to go if a train comes along.

Where your bike is most likely to be stolen in San Francisco.

The widow of a UC Davis professor has filed suit against a waste management company after he was killed by the driver of a garbage truck while riding to work last year.

 

National

Treehugger says other activities are for more dangerous than bicycling, so why pick on bicyclists when it comes to helmets?

The Washington Post says bicyclists are worried Oregon’s bike tax could spread.

After a Colorado lawmaker proposes a bicycle tax, he backtracks after the backlash, saying he was just trying to start a conversation. Denver Streetsblog insists the last thing the state needs is a tax on bicycles.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider was critically injured after trying, and failing, to weave his way through an intersection against the light. Warning: The dash cam video is very hard to watch; use your judgment on whether you really want to click the link.

Sometimes the punishment fits the crime. The Alabama pickup driver and passenger caught on video screaming at a bicyclist have been ordered to take part in a public service announcement on the state’s three-foot passing law, as well as learning more about the cycling community.

A Florida man has been convicted of being the driver behind the wheel when his car ran down a bike rider, after convincing his girlfriend to take the blame; he now faces up to 30 years in prison, despite being acquitted on a DUI manslaughter count.

Fifteen Eastern Seaboard states are completing the mostly carfree 3,000 mile East Coast Greenway running from Florida to Maine. Meanwhile, we can’t even manage to build a bikeway across LA, let alone the West Coast.

 

International

Montreal is installing bicycle footrests in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, though some think the money could be better spent on improving safety instead.

London’s Regent’s University awarded a posthumous diploma to an Italian prince who was killed while riding his bike to class last October.

Caught on video too: A British hit-and-run is captured on security cam, as a driver backs up and leaves his bike-riding victim lying in the street; fortunately, her injuries were not life-threatening. Once again, use your judgment on whether you really want to see it.

A group of Saudi women are defying cultural norms to form the country’s first women’s cycling team.

A Miami man lied about his age to ride a bicycle on China’s Great Wall.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to egg a passing cyclist, make sure he’s not a cop on his lunch break. And who needs an ebike when you can just hop a passing Kenworth?

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One last note: Thank you to everyone who serves as unofficial proofreaders for this site. While I do my best to avoid any errors, I truly appreciate your help in catching and correcting the ones that slip past me.

 

Morning Links: People for Bikes touts illegal ebike route, MyFig happening, and Bike the Vote says no on C

That ebike ride could end up putting you behind bars.

Jimmy Mac forwards word that People For Bikes recommends riding your ebike on the 21.5-mile Big Topanga Loop in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The only problem is that ebikes have been banned on the loop for nearly a year. Which means following their suggestion could get you up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

He reports he’s been in contact with the organization, and been promised that it would be removed from their site. But as if this weekend, it’s still there.

Let’s hope they have a good attorney on retainer for anyone who follows their suggestion.

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Doug Moore sends word that concrete changes are finally starting to take place with the long-delayed MyFigueroa project on South Figueroa. (As opposed to the long-delayed Figueroa for All project on North Figueroa.)

Just a heads up that there’s been less talk and more action regarding the MyFig project, especially between USC from the south to Olympic to the north.

The far right lane in each direction has changed: no parking. At all. Now it’s just a regular driving lane.  For cyclists – this is sort of worse than it was before, but will get better once they get to the part of the project that includes installation of the bike lanes.

I cycle this section several times a week to get to my office on campus, and wow, the drivers are not used to getting stuck behind cyclists. I seem to be pissing off a lot of motorists since this change.

The other thing is new paint/striping/lines on the north bound side. Now, it’s one lane for cars. One. Wow, are motorists really pissed now. All the other lane space has been re-striped for the upcoming bus stop islands.

So it’s a little tense out there until everybody gets used to this new flow.

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Bike the Vote LA takes a stand on Measure C in the May 16 General Election, urging a no vote on the measure that would actually reduce accountability for police officers under the guise of increasing civilian oversight.

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More fallout in the ongoing tribulations of bike-friendly CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali, who tries to get ahead of any further news links by revealing that he’s had affairs, and owes $48,000 in back taxes for his Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.

But he vows to press on in his bid to defeat incumbent Gil Cedillo, who must be twirling his imaginary mustache like Snidely Whiplash.

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Sad news, as 21-year old pro cyclist Chad Young died from injuries he received falling on a steep descent in the Tour of Gila last Sunday. VeloNews talks to people who remember the young rider; even before his death, the pro peloton struggled with news of his injuries.

Irish pro Nicholas Roche considers the recent deaths of Young and Michele Scarponi, noting that riders have just a helmet and a thin layer of Lycra to protect them, and sometimes that’s not enough.

Sunday marked the 11th annual Dana Point Grand Prix.

The Redlands Bicycle Classic stage race will kick off this Wednesday.

A British paper tells the story of Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to race in the Giro d’Italia.

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Local

A book website talks with LA’s bike-riding librarian.

The West Hollywood city council will consider the city’s new Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Plan at tonight’s meeting. Hopefully, they won’t approve it, then ignore it like most cities seem to do.

A Pasadena man was whacked in the head with an electrical box as he tried to ride away following a dispute with a man in a hardware store.

No bias here. My News LA says Pomona police are planning to celebrate Bike Month by cracking down on scofflaw cyclists. Except that’s not what the story from City News Service actually says, or what the police will be doing.

The Long Beach Report offers photos from Saturday’s Beach Streets University, where they estimate 10,000 people turned out for the open streets event. Note to LBR: It’s ciclovías, not “cylovias.”

A bike train by any other name. Manhattan Beach kids will be encouraged to join a “cycling school bus” as part of the city’s Bike to School Day on Wednesday.

 

State

Streetsblog asks how we can get Orange County’s many progressive transportation plans off the shelf and onto the streets.

Newport Beach wants you to be a roll model during May’s Bike Month.

Chula Vista held its first open streets event on Sunday.

Oddly, a Ramona hit-and-run driver doesn’t appear to have been arrested yet, even though witnesses followed the driver home after s/he hit a cyclist, and watched as the garage door was closed.

A Palm Springs city councilman says the planned CV Link bike path will be an asset for the Coachella Valley, and that cities that have pulled out of the project will come to regret it.

A Big Bear paper calls Big Bear Lake the cycling capital of Southern California. To which virtually every other cycling hotspot would beg to differ.

A Victorville bike rider was collateral damage when a driver stopped to let him cross the road and was rear-ended by another car, knocking it into him.

The Walgreens/People for Bikes Ride for Red Nose kicked off from Santa Barbara yesterday.

Sad news from Half Moon Bay, where a trail of debris led police to a driver who fled after killing a bike rider, dragging the bike underneath his car to a house a mile away.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge finally opens to bike riders and pedestrians seven days a week, as long as they’re willing to settle for going just halfway across.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. San Francisco reconsiders plans for a protected bike lane after a massive public outcry. No, to keep it.

The Napa Valley paper says it’s Bike Month, so let’s get out there and ride.

 

National

A new US study shows walking significantly increases blood flow to the brain, to a greater degree than bicycling. That does not, however, mean that walking is better for your overall health than bicycling, despite the breathless headline.

An economics website gives a wrongheaded nod to the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows speeding drivers to set their own speed limits, while failing to mention that higher speeds might be safer for drivers in some cases, but increases the danger for everyone else on or near the roads.

The LA Times looks at Portland’s efforts to make their bikeshare more accessible for handicapped users. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

An eight-year old boy born without most of his right arm is able to ride a bike for the first time, thanks to a team of students from the University of Iowa who built a special prosthetic arm and socket attached to his handlebars.

Once again, business owners shoot themselves in the foot by opposing protected bike lanes in Minneapolis, even though studies show added business from bike riders and pedestrians usually more than makes up for the loss of parking spaces.

Someone placed a memorial plaque on the site where a very much alive Ohio cyclist pulled an endo after hitting a squirrel, leading to a mystery as local officials tried to figure out what the heck happened there.

In a massive clusterfuck, a New York judge a) bases his judgment for a killer driver on an inaccurate preliminary report, b) apologizes to the driver, and c) rudely berates the victim’s mother when she tried to point out the mistake. Needless to say, d) the cop assigned to the case who promised to show up, didn’t.

New York police respond to killer drivers by cracking down on bike riders who dare venture outside the bike lanes.

Delaware’s former governor plans to ride across the US to benefit state organizations serving local youth, and encourage citizens of the state to be more active.

An education website profiles the South Carolina teacher who raised funds to buy every kid in her school a new bicycle.

A Florida woman hopes it will send a message to other drivers after she’s awarded $4 million in the death of her husband as he rode his bike in 2012.

 

International

A British Columbia driver gets eight well-deserved years for the drunken crash that killed two bicyclists, as well as the passenger in his own car.

A Winnipeg city councilor calls a new bike and pedestrian bridge a game changer that will dramatically improve safety.

Once again, a British lord blames London’s bike lanes for causing pollution. Not all those big, dangerous machines that spew smog out their butts, or the people who insist on driving them.

A “keen cyclist” won’t be riding again anytime soon after his wife got tired of UK thieves stealing his bike for the third time in six months. Although you’d think after the second time he’d stop leaving it in the garage.

More proof that people are the same everywhere, as Beirut drivers are already parking on the city’s one-week old bike lane. Meanwhile, bikeshare has opened in the city, even though users have to compete with aggressive motorists for road space.

 

Finally…

Evidently, when you’re a big star, you get stuck with the crappiest bike. As if watching out for trucks on the streets wasn’t bad enough, now we have to worry about them falling from the sky.

And who knew Earth Day was a leftist scam conducted by “self-appointed shamans” of “alleged ethnicity?”

They’re on to us, comrades. And our alleged ethnicities.

 

Morning Links: MyFig finally breaks ground, and another LA2050 bike proposal

Los Angeles city officials finally broke ground on the long-delayed MyFigueroa project on South Figueroa Street.

The three-mile long project connecting USC with Downtown LA will be the city’s first true Complete Street when it’s — hopefully — finished next summer.

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LA Bike Trains has a project competing for a grant from LA2050 to map out safe riding routes and provide wayfinding signs; we mentioned the proposal from SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) yesterday.

Meanwhile, voting has been extended until Friday.

 

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Local

Vision Zero LA is asking community groups to apply $25,000 grants to help spread the message on ten of the city’s most dangerous transportation corridors. Or as most people would call them, streets.

A writer for the LA Times says the response of LA voters to Measure M will determine whether Angelenos are still an automotive people.

A USC student writes about her trip down the central California coast with a friend following their high school graduation.

 

State

Stanton hit-and-run victim Deborah Gresham was remembered with a dedication at the end of Sunday’s Walking Dead season premier, as well as on the fan show Talking Dead; Gresham had founded and ran a 21,000-member Facebook page dedicated to the show.

A pair of middle-school cyclists from the Corona del Mar High School Mountain Bike Team gave up their Saturday morning to rebuild a trail in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

A San Diego writer urges a no vote on the county’s Measure A transportation tax, saying it doesn’t do enough for low-income communities reliant on bikes and walking, or to bring the transportation system into the 21st Century.

A 67-year old Sunnyvale woman is in critical condition following a hit-and-run while she was riding her bike.

San Francisco’s Department of DIY strikes again, building their own separated bike lane with $800 worth of safe-hit traffic bollards in an early morning raid.

 

National

A singletrack website lists the best beginner mountain bike trails in all 50 states; California’s is at Fort Ord.

A robotics engineer tells a Portland radio host that self-driving cars will make mass transit obsolete. Apparently forgetting that self-driving cars take up as much space on the roadways and do as much harm to the environment as any other cars.

In a rare burst of rationality, Tucson decides to lower speed limits on bike boulevards to 20 mph.

A Utah cyclist tells drivers a three-foot passing distance should be considered the bare minimum.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding thief who snatched an 89-year old Oklahoma war vet’s wallet out of his pants.

 

International

A review of 14 international studies show lower socioeconomic status, rural locations and riding mostly on sidewalks are the most common factors leading to bicycling injuries among children.

A New Brunswick landlord is sentenced to seven years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he also faces charges for allegedly beating a young man to death, and the alleged beating of one of his tenants.

The UK’s Daily Mail stages a race between bike riders and motorists to show how bike lanes are causing congestion, but only manages to prove once again that bikes are the faster option to get around a city.

Scottish police are looking for a road raging bike rider with a black dog and a prosthetic leg accused of shouting racial abuse at a driver. For better or worse, language like that is protected under the 1st Amendment in the US, not so much in many other countries.

An Irish writer complains that cycling may be the new golf, but golfers don’t get in her way on weekends like cyclists do when they should be having sex with their wives or mistresses. Never mind her reference to “the latent homosexuality that pervades all male activity.” No, really.

A 17-year old Kiwi cyclist looks forward to riding with his idol, a four-time champ twice his age.

 

Finally…

No, you wouldn’t want to smash a carbon bike by stamping a license number on it. Evidently, bike-riding zombies are a thing.

And not even brick and mortar business are safe on our streets.

 

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