Tag Archive for Neighborhood Councils

Weekend Links: Support bicycling on your neighborhood council, stupid insurance tricks, and more bike events

There’s one sure way to make a difference on our streets.

Run for your neighborhood council.

LA’s neighborhood councils are where decisions are made on whether or not to support bike lanes, road diets and other bike-friendly improvements and livability issues. And they can have a big influence on elected officials, who are reluctant to do the right thing without public support behind them.

Yet while some councils get it, others are too often dominated by auto-centric nay-sayers who find it easier to just say no than to take the time to understand how bikeways can provide an alternative to driving and improve safety and livability for everyone.

You could change that by signing up to give a voice for bicyclists right where you live, work or study, as online registration is open now for 35 of the city’s 96 councils.

Naturally, mine is not among them. Nor is the Westwood council, which desperately needs some help.

Those you still have to register for the old fashioned way.

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LA Bicycle Advisory Committee member Jonathan Weiss forwards news of a lawsuit that really should have been settled out of court.

According to a notice in the LA Daily Journal, a cyclist asked for $25,000 in damages after he was injured in a right hook while riding on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica; the insurance company countered with an offer of just $6,300, before doubling that to $13,000 just before trial.

The jury, on the other hand, awarded the cyclist over $78,000 — over three times what the rider was asking for — after a three day trial.

That’s what the insurance company gets for being cheap.

And that’s a good example of why you need to talk to a good lawyer if you get hurt while riding.

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Even after last week’s massive listing of bike events, there are still more coming up in the next few weeks.

Streetsblog looks at the coming Great Streets Challenge Grant Events for February and March, starting today in Reseda.

CiclaValley reminds us he’s leading the LACBC’S Sunday Funday CicLAvia Preview Ride through the Valley tomorrow.

The LA Planning Commission considers amendments to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the recently approved Mobility Plan this Thursday; if you can’t be there, email your support for keeping the plan intact.

Santa Monica hosts a Valentines Day Kidical Mass Ride on the 13th.

A free screening of the acclaimed documentary Bikes vs Cars will be held at Debs Park in Northeast LA on the 17th; you can see a trailer for the film here. Thanks to Alice Strong and Harv for the heads-up.

On the 20th, Culver City Biking Buddies invites you to join in on the Family Ride: The Sustainability Tour.

There will be a Lunar New Year Bike Train celebrating the Tet Festival in El Monte on the 21st.

BikeSGV will Bike the Gold Line in celebration of the opening of the Gold Line extension on March 27th.

BikeSD is hosting a 20-mile Bikes & Beers SD ride through the streets of San Diego on March 26th.

And start training now for the eighth annual Pablove Across America ride from San Francisco’s East Bay to LA to raise funds to fight childhood cancer; October 2nd through 8th.

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The LA Times says BMX legend Dave Mirra was the “reason little kids tried to create separation between a tire and the ground” while riding their bikes, as athletes and celebrities respond to his death.

Bicycling notes Mirra won the 2014 RAAM team competition with former pro Dave Zabriskie and two other riders, while gossip blogger Perez Hilton is unusually kind in posting a statement from Mirra’s wife.

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The chips keep falling in pro cycling, as Russian cyclist Eduard Vorganov becomes the latest rider to be banned for doping; his Katusha team could face sanctions since he’s the second rider from the team to be banned in the past year.

A medical website says bike racing is rapidly reaching the point of no repair when it comes to doping and other forms of cheating, and asks where’s the outrage within the sport? Meanwhile, a writer for the Guardian says don’t judge the beautiful, brutal sport of cyclocross based on the motor doping scandal.

Cycling Weekly says motor doping comes out of the Wile E. Coyote section of the cycling rule book, along with painting tunnels on brick walls and dropping anvils on your competition.

And America’s only remaining Tour de France winner offers a six-point plan to eradicate motor doping. Which will undoubtedly be ignored by those in charge, just like his warnings about doping were.

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Local

Don’t count on the LA River bike path through Silverlake and Atwater Village reopening anytime soon.

KPCC says not so fast on that report that LA is the most dangerous place in the US for pedestrians; the county ranks just 10th when ranked on a per capita basis. On the other hand, 10th may suck a little less, but it still sucks.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for experienced part time tour guides. Or you could be an organizing rep for the Sierra Club, or maybe manage the new PUBLIC Bikes store in SaMo.

Support is growing for a bike ferry linking the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path across the Marina del Rey inlet.

Family and friends remember Long Beach bike courier Daniel Nguyen, who fell to his death while rescuing a fellow hiker on Mt. Baldy this week.

Long Beach’s Pacific Avenue bike corridor is being extended into Los Cerritos.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Agency recommends riding the San Diego Creek Trail, calling it an inviting escape from the urban environment.

San Diego moves to improve safety on a one-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous streets; as usual, local residents prefer keeping their parking to saving lives.

Three young Fresno-area men were shot while riding their bikes; fortunately, only one was seriously injured.

A Modesto bike rider suffered life threatening injuries when he was struck by a big rig truck.

Good news from Berkeley, as a research scientist who was critically injured in a collision while riding her bike is expected to pull through. The driver, an actor who lists cycling as a skill on his resume, has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

 

National

City Lab says it’s time to put sharrows to rest, and maybe get rid of centerlines while we’re at it.

Six-foot ten-inch Denver Nuggets basketball star Danilo Gallinari is one of us.

Bicycling looks at the unofficial Fat Bike World Championships in Crested Butte CO.

A Kentucky man has been charged with murder for running down a teenage bike rider while under the influence. Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously there.

Residents of New York’s Upper East Side rise up against plans to install painted bike lanes on six streets to calm traffic, even though they wouldn’t remove any parking or traffic lanes.

They take traffic crimes seriously in Florida, too, as a driver gets 12 years for the DUI death of a cyclist.

 

International

I want one. A British man has developed a $37 DIY device to measure how close cars come when they pass you. Maybe we can combine it with a sign to show their score as they zoom by.

The company behind that solar power-generating bike path in the Netherlands will apply the technology to 600 miles of French roadways.

Maybe you want to spend your next vacation sampling the local cuisine on a bike tour of Macedonia. Or discovering why cycling in the Middle East is so attractive.

 

Finally…

Memorize this list for the next time you need a good excuse for failing your urine test; then again, none of them worked, so maybe not. We can all be grateful for bike commuters, especially if they’re riding to make beer every morning.

And this may be the greenest Super Bowl ever, but don’t try to bike there.

 

Morning Links: New app for navigating LA, advice on running for your local NC, and pointing the finger in Westwood

Figuring out how to get around the City of Angels just got a little easier.

And could help improve the way you get around in the future.

The new Go LA app, created by Xerox for iOS and Android devices, calculates the shortest, cheapest, and most sustainable way to get to your destination — whether on foot, by bike, motorcycle, taxi, car or transit, as well as ride-sharing options — while providing map routing and real time traffic and parking information.

And not just in terms of distance, but also time, cost, carbon footprint, health benefits and calories burned. Which means walking and biking will usually win on the last four counts.

The app also sends anonymous trip data back to LADOT to provide feedback on how people actually get around the city to provide data for future planning.

You can read more about the app on the Go LA press release.

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Maybe that app will make it easier to use Metro, as the LA Times says ridership on public transportation is in a decade-long decline.

The paper cites other transportation alternatives, such as bicycling and ridesharing, as just two in a long list of factors leading to the drop. Although a more likely culprit is increased fares combined with cuts in service.

Charging more for worse service is rarely a good business model.

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The LACBC offers details on the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections, and urges you to not only vote, but consider running for election to your local council.

As they point out, local councils are usually the first stops for any discussion for or against bike projects in the local community, and their opinions often carry a lot of weight with the area councilmember.

So your involvement really does matter. But you need to hurry, because the deadline to register as a candidate is approaching quickly in some areas.

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Speaking of neighborhood councils, a writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says the Westwood Neighborhood Council gets the blame for blocking improvements to Westwood Village, including putting up roadblocks to the Westwood Blvd Great Streets project. Homeowners in the area are among the city’s most notorious NIMBYs, and should be held accountable for the decline in the once vibrant Village, where even dancing is banned at their insistence.

Meanwhile, the same writer says Councilmember Paul Koretz has been making opposing promises to both sides about the planned Westwood Blvd bike lanes, promising the neighborhood council and homeowner groups he’d kill the bike lanes, while telling the Sierra Club he supported moving forward with engineering studies. Thanks to Michael Cahn for the heads up.

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BikeSGV reports that a proposed bike park is included in plans for the coming Puente Hills Landfill Park, along with bike and pedestrian access.

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Local

Richard Risemberg accuses the city of malign neglect in its approach to 6th Street in the Mid-City area, where a planned road diet and bike lanes have been blocked as injuries and deaths mount.

CiclaValley looks at the numbers behind the proposed Griffith Park shuttle service, and says they don’t add up. Or even come close.

A Santa Monica advocacy group says the city talks a good game when it comes to promoting alternative transportation, but is hardly discouraging its own employees from driving when they receive free parking.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $5,300 three-wheeled adaptive bike from a Burbank teenager with cerebral palsy.

Duarte develops a new Citywide Bicycle Master Plan and Safe Routes to Transit Master Plan to encourage more riding and promote bike and pedestrian safety. Evidently, the smaller the city, the more grandiose the title for their bike plan.

 

State

The head of the California State Transportation Agency — no, not Caltrans — says au contraire, the state is actually leading the nation in investments for bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Of course, as the nation’s most populous state, we should lead by default; the question is how do we stack up for spending as a percentage of population.

Some Cardiff residents are up in arms over a proposed bike and pedestrian trail that would run along a railroad track, claiming it would somehow cause irreparable harm to their community and the environment. Because evidently, bikes are so much more harmful than trains.

Menlo Park considers a bicycle boulevard connecting the east and west sides of the city.

San Francisco’s bikeshare program is expanding across the bay to Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.

The CHP is looking for the heartless coward who fled the scene after left-crossing a Sonoma Valley bike rider; the victim, who was on his honeymoon, is reportedly making a “miraculous” recovery, despite suffering a broken neck.

 

National

Seventy percent of American mayors support more bike lanes at the expense of traffic lanes or parking. The problem is getting their auto-centric constituents to agree.

A Portland cyclist wins a nearly half-million dollar judgment against a car wash after he slipped on the wet, soapy pavement, fracturing his hip, when a car wash customer pulled out and blocked the bike lane he was riding in.

An Idaho bike lawyer makes the case for the Idaho stop law that allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields and red lights like stop signs, arguing that it has helped the state maintain one of the nation’s lowest bicycling fatality rates as a percentage of population.

Not surprisingly, it’s going to be days before DC’s bikeways are cleared following last weekend’s blizzard. And things aren’t looking any better in New York.

 

International

Good news from Argentina, as Italian rider Adriano Malori has awakened from a medically induced coma after hitting a pothole at nearly 40 mph in the Tour de San Luis.

A Toronto paper rides along with bike-borne food delivery people through the city’s frozen streets.

It’s a daily double for the Guardian, as the paper test rides the sub-$700 dream bike of the British Labour Party leader, and looks at how bicycling unexpectedly became cool in Tel Aviv.

Caught on video: A British driver gets two and a half years for deliberately swerving head-on at a cyclist from the other side of the road in a successful attempt to frighten him. Thanks to Jeffrey for the link.

 

Finally…

Nothing like getting a punch in the face when you agree to buy a bike. Forget riding with your dog; try riding with a couple goats on your back.

And driving while very distracted: A pantsless Detroit man was killed in a car crash while watching porn on his smartphone.

 

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