Tag Archive for news links

A few choice comments, a hit-and-run update and a whole lotta links

But first, breaking news as I post this:

Condolences to our friends at the LAPD, who lost one of their own in an off-duty traffic accident tonight. My deepest sympathies to the officer’s family and loved ones, and the entire department.

Seriously guys, we may have our issues from time to time. But this city and its cyclists couldn’t exist without the men and women in blue.

You do an impossible job, and you do it well.

………

Some interesting comments posted online today.

First up is our own frequent commenter Danceralamode, responding to another comment on the Times story about Chief Beck’s appearance at yesterday’s Transportation Committee meeting:

With rights come responsibilities. Before the LAPD starts worrying about bicyclists’ rights I’d like to see some enforcement of the many traffic laws that MOST bicyclists break every time they take to the streets.

Posted by: James Sullivan | February 25, 2010 at 07:49 AM

Her response:

James Sullivan,

If that philosophy were used to determine the rights of every road user, there would be NOT ONE car on the road. Motorists make traffic violations more often than cyclists do and with more serious results, since a bike weighs 20lbs and a car weighs 4000lbs. If a drunk driver slammed into you then fled the scene while you were in your car, but you had rolled through a stop sign a few miles back, would you want the LAPD to say, well, since we have you rolling a right turn a few miles back, we’re not going to look for the person who almost killed you.

Also, you cannot group all cyclists together in this “they all break the law” discrimination. You have never seen me commute to work. How can you know if I violate any traffic codes? That’s the equivalent of me saying that all motorists are drunk drivers and should have their licenses revoked, just because a few people drive drunk.

Get a clue, Sullivan. You have to share the road; it’s the law. And you have to do it regardless of whether or not you like how the people around you use the road. Seeing a cyclist roll through a stop sign is no justification for passing them so quickly that you hit them and seriously injure them or for trying to run them down or for throwing objects out your window at them. And the LAPD do hand out citations to cyclists who break the law, but they have to see it to do so.

Before LAPD starts investigating any car on car DUIs or accidents, I want to see them fully enforce the cell phone ban. So no justice for you either, Sullivan, how do you like that?

Posted by: danceralamode | February 25, 2010 at 08:43 AM

That girl really should have her own blog. Oh wait, she already does.

Then there was this insightful comment from a cyclist named Jeff:

Anonymously posting information that generalizes bike riders with a broad swath is exactly why it takes the Chief of Police to address the issue personally. Everyone knows at least one incident of bicycle riders ignoring the “rules of the road”, but to paint all riders with the brush shows ignorance. Claiming that bicycle riders need insurance and registration before they use the roads shows the same ignorance. Take your bike to work just once and see what commuting riders put up with daily. The problem is not in the occasional roll-through, the problem is that automobile drivers have the mistaken belief that bicycles are not vehicles.

They are, and they are afforded the same rights as any other vehicle on the road. It’s about time.

Posted by: Jeff | February 25, 2010 at 08:55 AM

Finally, there was this comment from an Australian visitor, in response to Damien’s story about the same meeting on Streetsblog:

As an Australian visiing the United States and California who chose to use my bicycle as my prefered mode of transport for my short stay rather than use a car. I have several times questioned my decision after numerous near misses. Incidents that were totally avoidable. And I don’t mean by me not riding on the road. It is every cyclists right to ride on the road. What I mean is motorists blatant actions to threaten and attack me on the road with their car. Cement truck drivers, moms in unnecessarily large black pick ups, Metro Rapid bus drivers etc…. motorists who have chosen to be agressive toward me as a cyclist on the road.

Take just the case of the woman in the pick up. She drove past me, so she must have seen me on the shoulder of the road as she pulled around me to apparently over take me, only to make an immediate right hand turn at the lights as she is still paralell with me on the road. This was clearly more than accidental. This was aggressive driving intended to be an attack on me as a cyclist. At the speed I was riding at, she could have simply backed off the gas for just a matter of seconds, I would have continued straight ahead though the intersection ahead of her, and she could have turned right just behind me. Perfectly safe, and would have had no impact on the time of her journey.

As a visitor to Los Angeles and this country, I’ll be returning home and advising all that i know, to never consider using cycling as a viable mode of transport in LA. Sad indeed, considering that we are the ones who are doing the right thing by everyone else in this town and on the planet by reducing our carbon footprint. Sad indeed.

It’s bad enough that we have to deal with the riding conditions in L.A. on a daily basis. It’s a shame that this is the image visitors to our city will take home with them.

……….

A break in the investigation of last week’s Riverside hit-and-run death of Thomas Joseph Meeks, and the critical injury of his 15-year old stepbrother, reveals a possible motive for the driver’s failure to stop.

Motorcycle officers scouring the area found a white 1991 Camry that fit witness descriptions, with signs of recent repair work in the areas that would have been damaged in the hit-and-run collision. According to police, the same car may have been involved in a burglary in the parking lot of a Stater Bros. market just minutes before the impact.

Meek’s stepbrother remains in critical condition at Loma Linda University Medical Center; condolences and best wishes to him and his family.

……….

Thanks to the LACBC’s Dr. Michael Cahn for pointing us towards what maybe be the most sardonic cycling jerseys on the streets. Share the Damn Road, indeed.

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Make you plans for an urban cyclocross through the streets and stairways of Silverlake and Echo Park next month. The LAPD releases the full report on bike-involved collisions in 2008. Streetsblog discovers encouraging signs in Long Beach. The Long Beach Press-Telegram’s 77-year old Outdoor Columnist — and cyclist — urges drivers to share the road. USC’s Neon Tommy blog writes about the cycling community’s new relationship with Chief Beck. The Source covers the opening of the new bike stations in Claremont and Covina. Thanks to Curbed LA — one of my daily reads — Luckman Plaza now has bike parking. C.I.C.L.E.’s Joe Linton examines the new county bike plan, with a list of upcoming input meetings. Safety improvements on a busy San Francisco bike lane put the squeeze on cyclists. Rumors of its death evidently premature, the Idaho Stop law passes the Utah House. Evidently, the two drunk drivers who hit a Portland cyclist last year weren’t the ones who killed him. The 2012 Giro d’Italia kicks off in the sleepy little Italian village of… Washington DC? Car-Free Sundays, aka Via RecreActiva, aka Cyclovia, comes to Guadalajara. Swiss cycling deaths double in 2009. Complaining about cycle-pathic riders in Galway, Ireland, while contra-flow lanes may be coming to Dublin. The appropriately named 90-year old wife of a Bank of Scotland executive is allowed to keep driving, despite smashing into a high-vis clad cyclist. A Worcester UK cyclist and two pedestrians are shot with air rifles. How do you identify hit-and-run cyclists in Singapore?

Finally, in case you’ve fallen behind on your urology journals, the latest research clearly shows a connection between cycling and erectile disfunction in men, and related sexual disfunction in women.

But not (ahem) every cyclist.

Today’s blustery day edition of missing links

I wanted to get yesterday’s post online before bed last night, which meant I didn’t have time to include the usual links. And I do have a long, long list of interesting stories to share. So settle in for some serious clicking on today’s pre-holiday blustery day edition of today’s missing links.

Metblogs takes up the outcry over L.A. Bike Coordinator Michelle Mowery’s recent comments about our lack of homogeneity — aka playing the race card —  while one of L.A.’s leading political blogs puts her job on deathwatch and Jeremy Grant runs a help-wanted ad for the position.

Following Friday’s protest ride, Stephen Box and Jeremy Grant comment on the anti-bike policies at the Festival of Lights; Stephen got a ticket after the officer struggled to find something to write him up for. Los Angeles Rides author Timur sums up the year with a series of truly breathtaking photos (no bikes but definitely worth a look). The Huffington Post discovers Flying Pigeon’s Dim Sum rides; speaking of which, they’re now the city’s newest Pashley dealer — but no Guvnors, dammit.

A San Diego cyclist is in critical condition after colliding with a semi last week. Blaming the victim: for a change, it’s a driver who gets doored in Santa Cruz, rather than a cyclist. Streetsblog offers a history of San Francisco’s Critical Mass. Paso Robles passes a bike master plan. Glendale makes a serious run for bike friendliness, making safety improvements, painting sharrows and counting bikes — although it sounds like Burbank Councilman David Gordon (see safety improvement link) could stand to hear from a few cyclists.

An update on a Seattle cyclist mysteriously found laying in the street with life-threatening injuries last August. Bob Mionske examines the Philly anti-bike backlash following two pedestrians apparently killed by cyclists. A judge in Portland rules bike lanes — and cyclists’ protection in them — ends at the intersection.

London is ridable if you avoid the bus routes; but Brit drivers complain that cyclists and pedestrians will take advantage of those new 20 mph speed limits by doing crazy things like staying alive. The perfect gift for people who’d like to bike, but don’t want to bother with those annoying frames and handlebars, and furniture for people who truly live cycling.

Finally, in the spirit of the season, countless kids have gotten new bikes in the past few days, courtesy of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and the Derek Lewis Foundation, the Butte County, CA Sherriff’s Department, rapper Shawty Lo and defensive end Chauncey Davis of the Atlanta Falcons, and cornerback Tracy Porter of the New Orleans Saints. Hats off for having their hearts in the right place.

Seriously.

Dept. of DIY strikes again and other missing links

Never seems to fail.

The most interesting stories seem to happen when I’m tied up with work, or busy writing something else — like last yesterday’s open letter to 5th District Council Member Paul Koretz.

Photo courtesy of Ubrayj02/Flickr

Which is why I’m late in reporting the latest efforts from the city’s leading producers of biking infrastructure, the Department of DIY. As well as the first sharrows to appear on L.A. streets, at an undisclosed location somewhere in the vicinity the Bike Oven.

The first report — at least, the first one I saw — showed up on the website of the Flying Pigeon bike shop, from whom I stole the above photo. And was soon confirmed on LA Streetsblog.

I’ll let them tell the story, since they got there first and told it best.

But consider this.

In just one weekend, the Department of DIY put in more sharrows than LADOT has (i.e., zero), with more money and years of planning.

And the phenomenon seems to be spreading to New York.

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Speaking of infrastructure, Richard Risemberg — aka Mr. Bicycle Fixation — urges business people to support the 4th St. Bicycle Boulevard, while Portland and Copenhagen offer innovative new designs. If you missed last weekend’s St. Anne’s Toy Ride, Midnight Ridazz offers the 4th Annual All City Toy Ride this Friday, converging on Downtown from multiple starting points. Altadenablog reports on last weekend’s Tour of Pasadena’s Northern Neighbor, while LA Cycle Chic covers the Black Kids on Bikes’ Freedom Ride. The Daily Breeze reports on the newly formed South Bay Bicycle Coalition. Will Campbell encounters a truly bizarre driver. The big-hearted people at L.A. Greensters transport more than just toys to St. Anne’s. Long Beach’s cycling expats offer a 2010 calendar with photos from their tour of the West Coast, while Russ offers a great discussion of the Great Fear. Flying Pigeon offers an end-of-year clearance, while Cynergy Cicles offers a free lecture on Nutrition, Hydration and Recovery Techniques Wednesday night. Levi looks forward to his 4th TofC title. NPR discovers cargo bikes. Evidently, you can transport anything by bike, even a stolen Christmas Tree. Milwaukee considers bowing to existing reality, and making bike licensing optional. Delaware is the latest to consider a three-foot passing law. A history of cycling in the Windy City. This Friday, you can take your bike into your office in New York. The University of Cincinnati may have finished the football season undefeated, but they can’t seem to protect bikes on campus. Next on the list of cycling celebs, a winter-riding Rachel McAdams. A writer in Prague regrets punching out the cabbie who ran them off the road. The Godmother of bicycling promotes designs for women. British cyclists are freedom fighters, not menaces. London police seek a naked cyclist. Finally, tomorrow’s bike-only Transportation Committee meeting — and Rosendahl’s proposed anti-harassment ordinance — makes news across the Atlantic.

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