Tag Archive for New York

Morning Links: Dockless bikeshare isn’t here yet, more on NYC bike path attack, and goodbye LAist

For a moment, it looked like dockless bikeshare had arrived in LA.

Even if it’s not entirely legal yet.

Marc, aka @mcas_LA, tweeted a pair of photos showing a fleet of LimeBikes in the Jewelry District in DTLA, even though the proposed ordinance to legalize dockless bikeshare hadn’t made it through the city council yet.

Alas, it was not to be.

Not yet, anyway.

LimeBike was quick to respond that the bikes were being test-ridden by their employees at a private event, and that they would never launch Uber-style without waiting for the proper permits.

So you’ll just have to wait awhile longer.

………

New York is responding to Tuesday’s terrorist attack by installing K-rail barriers at 57 intersections, including the one that Sayfullo Saipov used to drive onto the bike path.

A bill in the US Senate would provide $50 million a year to install bollards, planters and other barriers along bikeways to protect cyclists. Get back to me when they get serious; $50 million works out to a token gesture of just $1 million per state.

A student injured when Saipov’s rented truck crashed into a school attended class on Wednesday to keep his record for perfect attendance.

A writer for Opposing Views considers what the attack says about bike safety.

In an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, Eben Weiss, aka Bike Snob, writes that a terrorist attack isn’t going to scare bicyclists off their bikes because we already have to deal with motorists.

And it hasn’t stopped them, as New Yorkers flocked to the pathway when it reopened yesterday.

………

You can kiss LAist goodbye. The billionaire publisher of the “ist” and DNAinfo sites pulled the plug on the entire network yesterday, taking down all the archives at the same time.

The site had regularly written about bike issues, and been a supporter of safer streets in Los Angeles, and other cities around the world.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the closure came after employees had voted to unionize.

………

Local

Streeetsblog’s Joe Linton and Damien Newton correct the pernicious lie that Mike Bonin somehow stole money from the Measure M transportation tax to fund Vision Zero.

The LACBC’s Operation Firefly kicks off in Van Nuys next week, providing lights to bike riders who don’t have them.

The Pasadena Star-News asks if new trains, busways and bike lanes can end SoCal gridlock. Short answer, no. With more people bringing more cars here every year, our street will continue to be clogged. The only solution is to provide alternatives to driving, so the people who choose to leave their cars at home won’t be stuck in that mess.

Authorities are looking for funding to build a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 39 and the Old San Gabriel Canyon Road above Azusa to slow traffic and provide a safe extension to the San Gabriel River Trail, which currently dead ends at the roadway.

Helen’s Cycles is holding a trio of rides this weekend, while Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare celebrates its second anniversary on Saturday. And CicLAvia hosts their 2nd Annual pLAy Day in LA fundraiser on Sunday.

 

State

Nice piece in the LA Daily News about the recently completed, 450-mile Challenge Ride from San Francisco for wounded vets, including a former four-star Army Chief of Staff helping an injured ex-private up a hill.

The owner of a Coronado bike rental company opposes a proposal to allow LimeBike to operate on the island.

Bakersfield has received $200,000 in funding from Kern County for a number of bike-related projects, including bike parking in the downtown area, and the Build-A-Bike program that allows kids to earn a bicycle while learning about bike maintenance and repair.

San Luis Obispo is moving forward with plans for 50 new bicycling facilities, including buffered bike lanes and a bike boulevard, to fundamentally change the way people in the community get around.

Kindhearted Visalia residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a legally blind teenager after the one he got for his 16th birthday was stolen.

A San Jose columnist says a planned bike and pedestrian bridge is a key link to improve safety, even if a letter writer considers it a waste of money.

A San Francisco man was critically injured when a bike rider opened fire on the victim following an argument; the suspect was arrested nearby.

San Francisco protesters create a people-protected bike lane on the Embarcadero to call attention to the need for greater safety.

 

National

People for Bikes offers four reasons why businesses should embrace ebikes.

A Seattle magazine says it’s good that dockless bikeshare bikes are being abandoned in trees, because it removes the moral superiority of bicycling, and makes it seem like it an everyday activity. Which it already is.

Over 8,000 people are expected to attend Denver’s one-day VeloSwap bike swap meet and expo this weekend.

A Dallas columnist says relax, and give dockless bikeshare time to work itself out.

Former cyclist Sinead Miller is now working with Nashville’s Vanderbilt University to put an end to sepsis, after ending her pro career when she suffered a traumatic brain injury in a collision.

A driver tried to run over a group of Miami police officers on a weekly community ride, and apparently got away.

 

International

An Op-Ed in Canadian Cyclist Magazine calls out the special status of drivers, and says laws that make a cyclist’s life cheap have to be changed.

Glasgow’s Philippa York says she would have gladly given up the fame that came with her cycling career as the former Robert Millar in order to transition to a woman when she was younger.

 

Finally…

Oprah is one of us, even if one of her favorite things looks suspiciously like a ghost bike. And evidently, the painkiller Tramadol will make you faster.

Even if it has the opposite effect on me.

 

Morning Links: 2nd edition of popular SoCal bicycling guide, and more details on NYC bike path terrorist attack

Let’s start with an updated version of a popular SoCal bicycling guidebook.

This is how the publisher describes it.

Good news for SoCal cyclists who prefer riding on bike trails and low-traffic bike routes: Richard Fox has published a thoroughly updated 2nd Edition of his popular colorful 400-page guidebook, “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It showcases over 200 fun ride options from Cambria to San Diego to Palm Springs.  Ride descriptions have detailed turn by turn instructions accompanied by stylized scaled maps depicting paved vs dirt bike trails and on-road bike routes.  A typical ride is 10-20 miles long with beautiful scenery, few hills, little or no auto traffic, and lots of interesting things to see or places to eat en route. Options to extend or combine rides are described. Now available from available from Amazon or direct from the author for $21.95.

A sample page from the book

………

More on Tuesday’s terrorist attack on a New York City bike path.

An Argentine school honored five of the victims, who graduated in the same class of 1987; another of their schoolmates, now working as a scientist in Boston, was injured in the attack. Video shows them happy and smiling as they rode through New York before the attack.

Several of the victims appeared to be riding rental bikes from the New York branch of a San Francisco company.

The New York Times looks at the people caught in the driver’s path, while the Washington Post profiles one of the two Americans and a Belgian mother of two who were killed.

A New York cop is called a hero for stopping the attack by shooting the suspect, who now faces terrorism charges.

Not all the victims were on the bike path; one of the two kids in the school bus the driver crashed into remains in critical condition.

The New York Times says the attack exposed the vulnerable street crossings on the bike path; bike advocates have called for better protection for the bike path for more than a decade.

Fast Company says safe streets that shield bicyclists and pedestrians from motor vehicles are the best protection against future attacks. The attack prompted calls for improved safety for bike paths in Chattanooga, Boston and Santa Maria.

But it didn’t stop New Yorkers from returning to the path the next day. And the head of a New York bike advocacy group says we’ll never stop biking.

………

Peter Flax complains about the recent Shanghai Skoda Criterium, saying fake bike races don’t belong in professional cycling.

The Bicycling Hall of Fame announces four new members.

………

Local

LA’s Vision Zero plan is expected to bring protected bike lanes and safer street crossings to the area around USC, where 21 people were killed in crashes between 2014 and 2016. Unless any drivers object to it, of course.

Starchitect Frank Gehry says the long-promised transformation of the LA River will never happen. Which is odd, since he’s the one the mayor put in charge of designing it.

More Selena Gomez bike photos, as she goes riding in LA with the Bieb.

CiclaValley revisits the site of the La Tuna fire.

Cost estimates have nearly doubled for a 2.8-mile extension of the Whittier Greenway Trail due to required improvements at railway crossings; the project is still moving forward despite the $15.7 million price tag.

 

State

The California legislature will consider a bill that could legalize part of the Idaho Stop law next year; AB1103 would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, but maintain the requirement to wait for red lights.

A transient man in San Diego stabbed another man who tried to steal his bicycle.

San Diego plans a Day of Service to honor fallen bike rider Maruta Gardner, who was killed by a drunk driver as she was painting over graffiti in Mission Beach last year.

A Marin cyclist was locked up and had his bike confiscated for skitching behind a big rig on the 101 Highway.

 

National

NACTO has developed guidelines for when a protected bike lane should be installed. Which pretty much mandates one for most of Los Angeles.

A Portland musician and bike messenger was found dead in a park after apparently falling off his bike and hitting his head.

The man who recovered JujJu Smith-Schuster’s stolen bike wants the Pittsburgh Steelers tickets that were promised as a reward.

Residents of a Massachusetts town demand the city respond to complaints about “bicycle bullies.”

A day after the New York terrorist attack, a New York woman was shot in the stomach as she was docking her bikeshare bike; her attacker apparently shot himself afterwards.

A DC advocacy site suggests five street signs that point to a failed street design.

A Georgia woman has been convicted of two vehicular homicide counts, as well as seven counts of inflicting serious injury with a vehicle, DUI and endangering a child after swerving onto the wrong side of the road and hitting a group of bike riders head-on; she had meth and several other drugs in her system and was reaching for her cellphone at the time of the crash.

 

International

Someone hung a banner over a Montreal overpass accusing the city of too much talk and not enough action, while urging viewers to Bike the Vote en français.

Writing in The BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal — a Scottish physician says restricting bicycling in response to the death of a single pedestrian would cause needless harm to public health. Case in point, a new Danish study shows bicycling to work is as good for losing weight as working out at a gym five days a week.

Caught on video: A Scottish bike rider and a driver engage in an expletive-filled spat after the former complains about the latter talking on his phone while he drives.

There’s a special place in hell for the British men who crashed their van into a pair of boys who were sharing a bicycle, then jumped out and stole it.

Amsterdam has banned beer bikes after complaints about rowdy drunken tourists.

Dutch bicyclists complain that they can’t find a place to park their bikes at busy train stations.

Tel Aviv, Israel begins enforcement of a partial sidewalk bike ban.

A road raging Russian bike rider faces 15 years behind bars for the murder of a careless driver who nearly ran him down. Another example of what can happen if you let your anger get the better of you. Just shake it off and ride away.

 

Finally…

The best way to win a bake off is to train by winning a few track cycling championships. Your next bike could be a 13 pound Aston Martin.

And who doesn’t need a bike built to survive a fall of a cliff.

Even if you don’t.

 

Morning Links: Dennis Hindman found safe, terrorist attacks bike riders in New York, and Bruins joins Bonin’s staff

Let’s start with the good news.

According to his sister, longtime LA bike advocate Dennis Hindman has been found safe in a San Gabriel hospital after being missing for two months.

Apparently, the Toluca Lake resident has been in the hospital for the entire time he’s been missing.

No word on Hindman’s condition yet, or why his relatives were never notified.

However, a hospital stay of that duration is never a good sign; let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers until we have more information.

………

This time, it was us.

At least eight people were killed when a terrorist claiming an allegiance with ISIS drove 20 blocks down a New York bike path, leaving crumpled bikes and bodies in his path.

At least eleven others were injured.

Five of those killed were Argentine tourists who were visiting the city to celebrate their 30th high school reunion. One of the dead, and three of the people injured, were from Belgium.

The killer was shot by police after crashing his rental truck and exiting waving pellet and paintball guns; at last report he was hospitalized in grave condition after undergoing surgery.

The 29-year old native of Uzbekistan has been a legal resident of the US since 2010; he would have been unaffected by the recent travel bans.

The Associated Press lists other attacks where vehicles have been used as weapons.

Thanks to John Dammann for the heads-up.

………

Congratulations to former LACBC Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins, who is joining CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s staff as Transportation Policy Director, replacing longtime aide Paul Backstrom.

Or maybe we should offer our congratulations to Bonin for landing him. And to the people of CD11 for the exceptional hard work and dedication they’re about to receive.

Let’s hope they have the good sense to appreciate it.

………

Nothing like rounding a corner in San Clemente, and nearly getting hit head-on by a driver on the wrong side of the road.

Although that little honk from the scofflaw motorist was a nice touch.

Credit Eric Fleetwood for the video, and thanks to David Drexler for forwarding it.

………

There may be a lot of cyclists looking for work soon, as UCI’s new president calls for reducing the size of pro cycling teams to just six riders, after next year’s reduction to eight.

And former LA pro Phil Gaimon offers the latest in his Worst Retirement Ever series, as he tackles Colorado’s legendary Mt. Evans Hillclimb, the highest paved road in North America.

………

Local

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Susanna Schick, who writes about Move LA’s efforts to keep the city moving, while noting that every time she’s tried to push back against traffic, the cars push back harder.

Selena Gomez is one of us, as she stops to talk with fans while riding her bike in Studio City.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare celebrates its second birthday with a day of free rides this Saturday.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson writes movingly about his friend Rob Dollar, who was killed by an allegedly drunk and stoned teenage driver while riding outside of Phoenix on Sunday.

Long Beach’s Beach Streets wants to know what you thought about this past weekend’s open streets event in the city.

 

State

California’s new twelve cent gas tax increase will kick in today.

San Juan Capistrano will widen Del Obispo Street to remove a bottleneck, adding a lane in each direction, along with bike lanes on either side.

Orange County will begin restricting access to the Santa Ana River Trail in order to control the homeless camps that have sprung up along the trail; starting today the path will be closed from 6 pm to 7 am through the end of February, then 9 pm to 7 am until next October 31st.

San Diego’s city council makes the tough choice to remove parking to make room for bike lanes on University Avenue as part of the city’s Vision Zero program, reducing a gap in the city’s bike network. Meanwhile, the city approved a new connector road that will split existing neighborhoods, which would help complete a regional bike network, even though they’ve failed to track whether they’re meeting ambitious bicycling and transit goals to reduce greenhouse gasses.

An Arroyo Grande man says bike riders aren’t paying the “overinflated vehicle registration fees” car owners do, and suggests an annual $75 fee to ride a bike on the road. Never mind that bikes cause virtually no wear and tear on the road. Or that most bike riders already pay those same vehicle registration fees for one or more motor vehicles.

A middle-aged man was shot in the face while riding his bike near a San Jose light rail station. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the link.

San Francisco police are looking for a pair of brutal bike-riding San Francisco hat thieves.

 

National

A TV website lists ten things you probably didn’t know about American Flyers.

NACTO says a future of autonomous cars calls for a transportation blueprint that puts people first.

Forbes asks if private dockless bikeshare will become a fixture on college campuses.

Lil Kim is sort of one of us, too, as she teaches her three-year old daughter how to ride a bike.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for Colorado’s bike-riding bank robber, the Sneaky Cyclist Bandit. No word on what makes him so sneaky, though.

No bias here. A Denver TV station says the city’s efforts to become more bike-friendly may have hit a snag, because drivers don’t like a new sidewalk, calling it twice as wide as it needs to be.

A Dallas writer says the city can’t handle dockless bikeshare, where abandoned bikes are littering the sidewalks.

Chicago cab drivers are no longer required to drop passengers off at the curb, reducing their liability if someone doors a bicyclist.

Minneapolis has a bicycle-riding, unicorn-costumed candidate for mayor. Maybe Garcetti should consider that approach if he runs for president in 2020.

A Detroit bike co-op gave a new bike to a man with undisclosed medical problems, after the bike he used as his only form of transportation was stolen when he stopped to rest for a few minutes.

A Louisville KY bicyclist declares victory after authorities dropped charges of running a red light and obstructing traffic for not riding in a bike lane; he had claimed there was debris in the bike lane that could have given him a flat.

A New York bus driver was charged with a misdemeanor for the death of a bike rider last year, the first bikeshare rider killed in the city. But at least the driver honked before running him over.

 

International

You can now own your very own $815,000 cycling watch, which comes complete with a limited edition Colnago bike. For that price, it should also come with your own private bikeway to ride it on.

A bike-raging Toronto bike rider gets 18 months probation for an incident caught on video last August, in which a taxi driver intentionally turned into him after he had repeatedly slapped the cab and reached inside for the keys.

A road-raging London driver gets two years for intentionally running over a bike rider, breaking his back — then getting out of his car and telling the injured rider he’d run over him again if he had to.

Apparently they take repeated DUIs seriously in the UK, at least if you kill someone. A woman with three previous drunk driving arrests got eight years for the death of 17-year BMX rider after downing three pints of beer.

Caught on video: A British bicyclist confronts a motorist for driving on the sidewalk to get around a traffic diversion, who was none too happy about it.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t shoot your gun in the air while riding stoned, especially with a previous felony conviction. Your next ebike could run on hydrogen.

And you can now ride your bike through Graceland.

No, not that Graceland.

……..

Thank you to Alice Strong for her very generous donation to help support this site; you can make a donation anytime to help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day using the PayPal link.

 

Morning Links: The bi-coastal bikelash goes on, and good news on the medical and track racing fronts

The bikelash goes on.

Sometimes, even from people who profess to be cyclists themselves.

Take this writer from Goleta, just outside Santa Barbara.

Please.

He starts with a suspicion of a grand conspiracy to force drivers out of their cars.

According to him, road diets, bulb-outs and bike lanes are planned, not to improve safety or provide transportation options, but to make driving so miserable that people have no choice but to give up on their cars and take to bikes.

Never mind that if bicycling somehow miraculously reached the level of ridership found in the Netherlands, it would still only amount to 27% of all trips.

He insists that those behind it are those damn progressive politicians and traffic department bureaucrats, environmental advocates, and the “well-funded, politically powerful Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.”

Which would no doubt come as a surprise to the SBBC. And make it one of the few well-funded bike advocacy groups anywhere.

Or maybe the only one.

Then he pivots to the standard complaint that bicyclists don’t pay for the lanes they ride on. Which is based on the false assumption that drivers do, rather than being the most heavily publicly subsidized form of transportation.

The obvious solution, in his mind, anyway, is licensing cyclists.

Even though the money raised by licensing is unlikely to bring in enough to even cover its own operating costs. And even though bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads through their own taxes.

Naturally, he also complains that bike riders break the law. Except for him, of course.

And unlike motorists, who would never, ever dream of speeding, driving distracted or making an unsafe lane change in a vehicle capable of doing far more harm than even the worst scofflaw cyclist.

So the law needs to crack down on cyclists, he insists. And we all need to carry liability insurance, because maybe someday, in the bike utopian world he so fears, a distracted cyclist could cause a massive bike pileup that forces a poor, innocent driver off the road.

No, really.

It’s worth the read if you need a good laugh.

Unlike the New York Post’s latest attack on former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

In what passes for an exceptionally auto-centric, yet pedestrian review of her acclaimed new book, a writer for the paper goes on the attack, less for what she wrote than what she wrought.

He complains about “her ruinous tampering with historic traffic patterns” as she sought to turn the city into one of the world’s great bicycling cities, “everyone else be damned.”

Even though surveys consistently show most New Yorkers support the city’s bike lanes and the changes she helped make, and traffic fatalities have reached historic lows.

He goes on to complain that public plazas around Times Square are so crowded and overrun with tourists and hucksters that New Yorkers “assiduously” avoid it. Sort of like Yogi Berra’s famous proclamation that “No one goes there’s anymore. It’s too crowded.”

And in his eyes, moving parked cars away from the curb to form protected bike lanes makes the streets look like parking lots. Unlike before, when the same cars were far more attractively parked on the same streets.

Somehow, those cars also make it harder to see what’s on the other side of the street. Because they were apparently transparent before being moved a few feet to the left.

He tops it off with the assertion that the city’s bike lanes are only used by food delivery people most times of the day.

Never mind that bike commuting doubled in just five years, and more people are riding that ever before. Let alone those 22 million Citi Bike riders, who have to be riding somewhere.

He ends by complaining that the damage done by Sadik-Khan’s reign is with us to stay.

For which most New Yorkers are undoubtedly grateful.

And the rest of us can only envy.

………

If you haven’t already, take a few moments to sign the petition asking for all new or used cars sold in California to leave the lot with a temporary license plate.

It doesn’t take much effort watching traffic to realize that too many cars are on the streets with no front plates — or any license plates at all — making them virtually impossible to identify in the event of a hit-and-run or other traffic crime.

And enforcing the law requiring front and back plates on every vehicle seems to be a very low priority.

………

Exciting news on the medical front, as stunt cyclist Martyn Ashton takes his first mechanically assisted steps with a new hi-tech walker, three years after he was paralyzed from the waist down.

And after an injection of neural cells taken from his nose, a Polish firefighter can now ride an adaptive tricycle, four years after he was paralyzed from the chest down after a stabbing.

………

US women win their first-ever gold in team pursuit at the track cycling world championships; Temecula’s Sarah Hammer was part of the winning team, and qualified for the Rio Olympics in another event.

………

Road raging drivers are one thing. Getting chased by an ostrich is another.

And he really needs to learn to hold his line.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Amy Wong of Women on Wheels.

Russell Crowe goes mountain biking on Sunset Blvd, while the Brit press goes gaga over his biceps.

Burbank residents beg for safety improvements on Edison Blvd, including a proposal to install bike lanes to tame traffic.

A Pacoima man was shot to death Thursday night, apparently while riding his bicycle.

The next LACBC Sunday Funday ride with roll this Sunday, with a pre-St. Patrick’s Day themed ride through DTLA led by board member Patrick Pascal.

 

State

It’s been over 49 days since the Marines impounded a number of mountain bikes after their riders strayed onto the Miramar Marine base in San Diego, with no resolution in sight.

A Silicon Valley bike commuter creates a website to provide consumers with more information about insurance companies in an effort to force them to improve their customer service.

 

National

Here’s your chance to work in bike advocacy, as the Bike League is hiring a new Education Director and a Member Services Coordinator.

The Tucson truck driver who plowed into a group of cyclists while allegedly high on meth is being held on $1.5 million bond. Which somehow seems too low.

Two-thirds of Iowans support proposed legislation that would require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders. Although someone there clearly doesn’t like cyclists, as a popular Des Moines bikeway is sabotaged with tacks.

Chicago is building three curb-protected bike lanes, with an eventual goal of 50 miles of low-stress bikeways.

The Washington Post argue that the federal government should not reclassify bikeshare as mass transit programs, which would qualify it for Fed transit funding.

 

International

The new Audi A4 has lights on the doors to warn drivers if a bike is coming to help avoid doorings. Because actually looking before you open the door is just too hard.

A Vancouver business site says instead of investing $5 million in bikeshare, the city could have bought bicycles for about 200,000 children in low-income households. Which kind of misses the point.

A Toronto lawyer says cars are becoming the weapon of choice, yet drivers who use them to attack others still get their licenses back.

Nice piece on bicycling in Victorian England, which suggests that the bike-riding men of the day were the original hipsters.

Belgian rider Femke Van den Driessche is just 19 years old, and facing a lifetime ban for motor doping.

An Aussie writer says the only thing the country’s mandatory bike helmet law protects you against is fines. Meanwhile, an Australian news network does its best to whip up a panic over e-bikes.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Kiwi cyclist refuses to let a collision with a trailer keep him off his bike.

 

Finally…

The next driver who runs you off the road could have two left feet; no, literally. Ford wants to save you from those embarrassing moments when you can’t unclip from your pedals.

And I think we can all agree BikinginLA deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So who has an extra $30,000 lying around?

 

Morning Links: More media frenzy over fatal NY bike/ped collision; fallen SD cyclist was keeping blog of his trip

The cyclist who killed a pedestrian in New York’s Central Park calls it an unavoidable accident.

And claims he was only riding eight to nine mph at the time of the impact.

Or course, the key to riding safely is to respond to situations, especially those involving pedestrians, before a collision becomes unavoidable. And if he was riding so slowly, the question becomes why he was couldn’t stop and had to scream for people to get out of his way.

When I ride that slowly, which isn’t often, I can stop on a dime. And it’s hard to believe an impact at such a slow speed could cause the serious injuries the victim reportedly suffered.

Meanwhile, a writer for HuffPo asks when New York will crack down on reckless cyclists. And gets just about everything wrong, including blaming a delivery rider in the bike lane for riding too fast instead of the driver who right hooked him.

On the other hand, City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear does a good job of putting it all in perspective, noting that two New York pedestrians have been killed by cyclists in the past five years, while 156 pedestrians were killed by drivers in the city in 2013 alone. Yet still makes it clear that does not absolve cyclists of the need to ride safely.

And New York Streetsblog says every New York traffic fatality should be investigated like this case has been.

……..

Just heartbreaking.

Kerry Kunsman, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition board member killed while riding in Oregon over the over the weekend, was keeping a blog of his West Coast tour; the last entry was just hours before he was run down by a 74-year old driver.

……..

Local

Okay, so it doesn’t even mention bikes. But the contest between Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver for County Supervisor could be the most important race in the November election; the Time’s Jim Newton says there really is a difference between the two.

Meanwhile, Kuehl talks bicycling and transit issues with Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next in a 30 minute video.

KCET offers a good in-depth examination of the debate over putting bike lanes and sidewalks on the redesigned Hyperion Bridge.

LA2050 and Atlantic Live invite you to a twitter party this Wednesday afternoon; no, not to celebrate my birthday but to discuss placemaking and what it means to be an Angeleno.

The LACBC hosts the first Firefly Ball awards dinner on Thursday, October 30th.

 

State

Streetsblog looks at the new bikeways bills signed by Governor Brown last week.

The Laguna Beach Independent offers more information on the lawsuit filed by the husband of fallen cyclist Debra Deem against California and Newport Beach.

An LA student wins a $1000 Bicycle Accident Scholarship; Gabriel Ybarra, who will be attending Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, was riding with a friend who was hit and killed by a texting driver. Thanks to Sam Maher for the heads-up.

 

National

Unbelievable. Or maybe all too believable. After a fleeing driver leaves a Colorado cyclist lying in the street, another man walked up and stole her belongings.

The motorist who left American pro cycling legend Dale Stetina with life-threatening injuries faces up to one year in prison after pleading guilty to careless driving in Boulder CO.

A Minneapolis writer says the city’s cyclists are ghosts after dark, and suggests following military rules requiring helmets and reflective vests. But this outfit is definitely not the answer.

The bike-friendly mayor of Pittsburgh wants to Copenhagenize his city

New York considers doubling the fines for hit-and-run, but only if the driver knows or should know that an injury has occurred; laws that hinge on a perpetrator’s state of mind are almost always unenforceable, if not unconstitutional.

A Columbia University professor takes his students on an all-night bike tour to examine the history of New York.

 

International

Toronto cyclists start a sticker campaign to shame drivers who park in bike lanes.

A London cyclist tackles the Tour de France’s legendary Mount Ventoux — not once or twice, but six times in one day.

Yes please. Cycling through France’s Loire Valley.

 

Finally…

A Tucson cyclist tells what it’s like to avoid getting run over by a street car by mere inches. The Chicago Blackhawks invest in bike share. And a Colorado writer apologizes to motorists for the profanity he used when one of their number almost killed him; a good read and definitely worth the click.

 

A little this, a little that — NBC’s Tracy Morgan doors a cyclist, a killer Santa Cruz driver gets a sore wrist

A few quick notes before I hit the ground rolling on what promises to be a gorgeous day.

……..

Comedian, please.

Tracy Morgan, star of NBC sitcom 30 Rock, clearly doesn’t get it after dooring a cyclist in New York yesterday.

After flinging open the door of his car in the path of a bike delivery man, Morgan blamed the rider for wearing black. And made it clear that the incident was no big deal.

And in all honesty, it probably wasn’t.

To him.

According to the New York Post, Morgan was quoted as saying “This kind of stuff happens all the time in the city. I grew up in the city. I’ve been dealing with this stuff for years. Brooklyn-born and -raised, Bed-Stuy do or die.”

Unfortunately, he’s right. Whether he’s talking about cyclists getting doored, or celebs who refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

Meanwhile, E Online seems far more concerned about the comedian’s health than the cyclist he sent to the hospital with minor injuries.

At least future Gotham bike riders will face less risk of dooring from the city’s cabs, as the next generation cab design approved by the city will have sliding doors to protect those around them.

Maybe we can get Tracy Morgan to trade his Jaguar for one.

……..

While we’re on the subject of New York, local cyclists are tired of police blaming the victim and demand better protection and investigations from the NYPD. Meanwhile, a bike riding transit official clashes with a cop who tried to stop him from riding in a no-access area, and tries to pull rank by pretending to be a police commissioner.

……..

Pennsylvania cyclists get protection from a new four-foot passing law as of the first of this month; at least one driver can’t grasp the concept that it’s okay to wait until it’s safe to pass.

That seemed to be the rationalization our own governor used in vetoing last year’s three-foot passing bill, assuming that drivers would mindlessly slam on their brakes to slow down to pass cyclists at less than three feet, rather that wait a few seconds to pass safely.

Now he may get another chance to be less of an idiot do the right thing, as a new three-foot passing bill heads to committee — this time without the driver-appeasing clause Gov. Brown objected to last year.

……..

In a bizarre case from Edinburgh, a cyclist is slightly injured after jumping on the hood of a car during a roadway dispute, then holding on for dear life as the driver swerves from side-to-side and brakes repeatedly in an attempt to throw him off.

Note to cyclists — no matter how smart it may seem at the time, don’t climb onto the vehicle of the driver you’re arguing with.

Never mind getting killed. You could get strip searched.

……..

A Santa Cruz-area driver gets a whopping two years in jail for running down a cyclist and fleeing the scene, leaving his victim to die on the side of the road.

Can someone please explain to me how that isn’t murder?

The collision may have been unintended, but the decision to let his victim bleed out in the street was purely intentional.

Instead, Elliot Dess gets a slap on the wrist, while an innocent bike rider got the death penalty.

If the laws we have now don’t give prosecutors the tools they need to address crimes like this, then we need to change the law so future heartless killers will get the punishment they deserve.

Two lousy years.

Give me a break.

……..

San Diego cyclists are becoming a political force.

That’s something that should soon be happening here, as the LACBC is in the process of forming a political committee to help influence the election of bike-friendly civic leaders; more details soon.

……..

California’s oldest bike racer has another two titles under his belt. In an impressive performance, 93-year old Gordy Shields of El Cajon — soon to be 94 — won the state championship for his age group in both the 20k time trial and the criterium.

Of course, he was the only competitor in his age group.

But still.

……..

Finally, medical science at last discovers the discomfort many women riders have complained about for decades, and realizes that maybe it wasn’t all in their heads after all.

Meanwhile, Gothamist wonders if this, combined with reports of erectile dysfunction among some male riders, means cyclists will soon go extinct.

Uh, no.

Evidently, I’m a hipster from an unhappy home

But I’m just a soul who’s intentions are good; oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood. — Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, The Animals

It’s not just Los Angeles.

All around the country — around the world, in fact — cyclists and biking organizations are fighting for better biking infrastructure. Some insist on separated bikeways where cyclists are safe from careless, distracted or uncaring drivers, and envy those who enjoy a planned, functional system where biking is considered an integral part of the overall transportation plan.

Most of us, though, would gladly settle for a few feet of roadway set off from buzzing traffic by nothing more than a thin strip of paint, on the assumption that something dedicated to cycling is better than nothing.

And nothing is pretty much what we’ve gotten here in Los Angeles.

In fact, since the 1996 bike plan was implemented — the one the currently debated plan is supposed to replace, even though many cyclists consider it a significant step backwards — the city has added an average of just 4.5 miles of bike lanes a year. Not counting the ones frustrated cyclists have painted themselves, of course.

Compare that to New York, which recently added 200 miles of new bike lanes in just three years.

Of course, the excuse reason we’re given is that Los Angeles is too built out and there’s not enough room to add more lanes. Especially not compared to a spacious, low-density and bike friendly community such as New York.

But it’s not enough to simply build bike lanes.

As we learned here over this past summer, we have to defend the ones that have already been built, a lesson New York cyclists have recently learned, as well.

As you may be aware, the city’s cyclists have been up in arms — or off with their tops —  over the removal of a bike lane in New York’s Williamsburg neighborhood, reputedly because the local Hassidic community was offended by the scantily clad cyclists who used it.

Which leads us to this. One of the most astounding demonstrations of sheer, unadulterated ignorance in the guise of offering insight that I’ve ever encountered.

Raanan Geberer, a writer for a local Brooklyn newspaper, lumps those protesting the removal of the bike lane together as “hipsters,” explaining, with some justification, that they were “described in the media as such.” Then after addressing why the Hassidic community was offended — without evidently bothering to talk to any actual Hassidim — he goes on to say this:

One can also understand the anger of the hipsters. By and large, these are people who grew up in unhappy home situations and who have moved to Williamsburg from other parts of the city or the country to “be with their own kind” and live their own unconventional lifestyle. Many, if not most, were teased during their childhood because they were “different,” and fiercely want to defend their hard-fought right to live their lifestyle without interference.

So let me get this straight.

If you’re upset that the bike lane was removed, or that a religious group was apparently allowed to use their influence to dictate the dress and behavior of those outside their group, in violation of the U.S. constitution, you are undoubtedly motivated by an unhappy childhood. Not to mention the desire to be with your own kind and live an “unconventional” lifestyle.

You know, like an irrational desire to conduct radical counter-cultural activities — like riding a bike, for instance — as well as an unreasonable, revolutionary refusal to transport yourself by motor vehicle at all times.

Never mind that many, if not most, of those protesting the lane’s removal may live outside of Williamsburg and use the bike lane, not to get around the neighborhood, but to pass safely through it. Or that it is used — or rather, was — by all kinds of cyclists, some of whom may actually shop at Macy’s and vote Republican on occasion.

Unconventional, indeed.

Of course, while it’s tempting to dismissed this as the isolated ravings of an idiot, the same sort of lazy, biased reporting is found even when writers attempt to dig a little deeper in the story. But it brings up a larger problem, both in terms of infrastructure and acceptance by the larger public.

Too many people see cyclists as a single, homogenous — and often, in their eyes, law-breaking —mass, defined more by their own perceptions than anything remotely grounded in reality. When we’re actually nothing more than a loose collection of individuals trying to get from here to there, each of whom has his or her own reasons for riding and own way of doing it.

Sort of like the great multitude of those behind the wheel, in other words.

And unless we can change those perceptions, we’re going to have a hard time changing things on the streets. Because it’s easy to refuse — or remove — something that only benefits a small group of hipsters, lycra louts, critical massholes or Lance Armstrong wannabees.

But much harder to say no to the guy next door, or the woman who works next to you.

………

LACBC sponsors their Mid-Winter Merriment tomorrow from 11:30 am to 11 pm at the Library Alehouse, 2911 Main Street in Santa Monica; bike valet available after 5 pm. Stephen Box analyzes why 2009 was the Year of the Bike in Los Angeles. Photos from the successful St. Anne’s Toy Ride. Burbank’s newspaper notes that local bicycling is moving into a new age, and encourages cyclists and pedestrians to keep the pressure on. As of January 1st, seatless bikes will be legal in California, even if Bakfiets break the law in the City of Angels. Presenting the possible Algonquin of Bay Area biking. In New Jersey, a step back for bike parking, cleverly disguised as a step forward. New York considers a three-foot passing law, while Mississippi considers laws requiring safe passing and banning harassment, and Baltimore considers simple solutions like changing the direction of storm grates. Do women owe their emancipation to their bikes? Once again, the Tour of Georgia bites the dust, while the French again investigate Lance Armstrong’s former team. Flashing bike lights are now legal in Ireland; legal passing on the inside is still to come. Refurbished bikes are donated to Liverpool churches. A rally for a bike-friendly Bangladesh. Israeli cyclists fight the mandatory helmet law. New Years celebrants in Adelaide could be saved by cycling paramedics. Finally, poof that not all crime-fighting superheroes wear a cape; some ride a bike, then bravely run away.

%d bloggers like this: