Tag Archive for NIMBYs

Morning Links: Manhattan Beach declares war over LA roadwork; Better Bike celebrates SaMo Blvd bike lanes

Manhattan Beach has declared war on Los Angeles.

According to a Facebook post from the group fighting to reverse the changes on Vista del Mar, the Manhattan Beach city council voted to go to the mattresses in a battle with the City of Angels.

Remarkably, the comments to that post blame the free parking on the roadway — which has always existed — with an apparent increase in trash, which has always been there. But which they apparently never noticed before because it was hidden by parked cars.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the screen grab

Meanwhile, the Argonaut reports on the road rage over the road reconstruction on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and four streets in Playa del Rey, including Vista del Mar. And illustrates it with a photo showing, not just no traffic backup on Venice, but virtually no motor vehicle traffic at all.

Rather than give these projects a chance, the motor maniacal NIMBYs want to rip them out right away. And if that’s not possible, they want to rip popular Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin out of the seat he was just overwhelmingly re-elected to.

On June 13 more than 100 residents of Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester lambasted the changes during a boisterous Mar Vista Community Council meeting, many of them peppering Bonin mobility deputy Jesse Holzer and Great Streets senior project manager Carter Rubin with a mix of questions and insults.

“Will a recall petition affect the pilot project? How quickly can we get rid of this dumb idea?” asked Edwin Ortega.

Morgan Pietz, a civil litigator who lives in Ladera Heights and works in Century City, said he’s creating a political action committee to fundraise for a campaign not only to restore traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard, but also to oppose any future lane reductions elsewhere.

So rather than just reverse the beachside street projects he objects to, Pietz wants to halt all road diets and Complete Streets projects anywhere in the city, whether local residents want them or not.

And Vision Zero be damned.

But as the Manhattan Beach council vote illustrates, most of the people fighting these projects, particularly in Playa del Rey, live outside the City of Los Angeles, many in homes far beyond the reach of average Angelenos. And commute to their jobs miles away in Santa Monica or Century City, demanding the right to continue their unsustainable lifestyle, and expecting LA to pay the price — financially and environmentally, as well as in human lives.

Maybe instead of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to fight the road projects, they could pitch in to pay the next massive legal judgment against the city the next time someone gets killed. And buy a little compassion while they’re at it.

It cost Los Angeles $9.5 million to settle the most recent lawsuit over the death of a 16-year old girl killed crossing Vista del Mar, in part because of the complete lack of crosswalks along the deadly street.

And it will cost the city many times that to settle the next one if nothing is done to improve safety, since the city clearly knows about the dangers on the street. Hence the urgency in making the changes.

Never mind that it’s the right thing to do to place the safety of human lives over the inconvenience of drivers, which will pass as people adjust to the changes.

Speaking of adjusting, any guesses how many of the people complaining about the horrendous traffic backups actually carpool to reduce congestion and their carbon footprint? You can probably count them on one finger. And yes, I’d suggest using that one.

Bonin explained his actions in a thoughtful, detailed and moving email yesterday, which should be required reading for anyone on either side of this debate. One demonstrating the political courage and decency that’s long been missing from most of LA’s elected leaders.

He promises to hold a community meeting in a month to discuss the changes, and to be there in person — in a city where officials usually hide from angry constituents.

By that time, LADOT should have actual statistics to show if the projects have been successful in reducing injury collisions, rather than the apocalyptic anecdotes thrown out by opponents.

And traffic congestion should have begun to dissipate as people adjust to the changes.

So hopefully, by then cooler heads will prevail and they’ll be able to discuss this like rational adults, instead of petulant children whose favorite toys have just been taken away.

Yeah, I know. As if.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on July 2nd invites you to explore the new street reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that South Bay drivers seem to consider a sign of the end times.

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This year’s Tour of California champ George Bennett is just the latest cyclist to be hit by a car while training; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A women’s cyclist discusses the things she doesn’t miss now that she’s retired from competition, along with a few things she does.

No, poop doping isn’t likely to be a thing anytime soon; a professor at UC Davis calls the story ridiculously irresponsible. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

When banned dopers Lance Armstrong and former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel oppose the re-election of UCI chief Brian Cookson, it seems almost like an endorsement.

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Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot takes a well deserved victory lap, reporting on the Beverly Hills City Council’s surprising unanimous vote to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. And the even more surprising vote to paint them a hi-visibility color, to the undoubted chagrin of the film industry.

Streetsblog reports the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes should be installed next year, while crediting a handful of advocates for keeping up the ultimately successful fight.

You can let Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse know just how happy you are with the council’s decision when she hosts a public bike ride on August 20th.

Long Beach improves the complicated five-way intersection of Walnut Avenue, East 20th Street and Alamitos Avenue to benefit pedestrian and bicycle safety, and pave the way for a planned bike network.

 

State

Del Mar is rolling out preliminary designs for a facelift of the downtown area, including new bike lanes on Camino del Mar and some side streets.

A Redlands minister discusses the cross-country bike ride he took last year to raise funds for a new playground at his church.

A Santa Cruz cyclist is suing just about everyone who had anything to do with developing a traffic circle where she fell and broke her hip, alleging there were no warning signs about the train tracks where she apparently caught a wheel.

It was a tragic day for bike riders in Central and Northern California yesterday, as three riders lost their lives in separate collisions.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious reports that Chinese bikeshare company Bluegogo has suspended their planned invasion of the Bay Area, and will be withdrawing from American shores.

 

National

A new research paper suggests there’s a one-to-one relationship between new highway lane capacity and traffic increases, yet planners fail to take induced demand into account when designing new projects. Hopefully there’s a one-to-one relationship with removing lane capacity, as well.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from Elly Blue, who’s started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Bikequity, described as a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice.

People for Bikes wants your help to choose a new name for Bike Boulevards. Los Angeles calls them Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan. But doesn’t seem to want to build any.

Instead of building a traditional street, Portland has built a 130-foot long street just for bicycles to connect three new buildings in the downtown area.

Don’t plan on going to Interbike in Las Vegas without a pass this year; the bicycle trade show has stopped allowing the public in on the final day of the show, as they have the past few years.

A New Zealand man is on his way back home after being seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of an SUV atop a Colorado pass while riding across the US; he’s now stuck with a $150,000 bill for medical expenses until a settlement can be reached.

An Iowa city has officially opened a new bike path segment, part of a 3,000 mile trail along the Mississippi River.

Relatives of a Chicago bike rider insist he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver, even though police say he just fell off his bike.

A new Minneapolis study shows there’s safety in numbers for pedestrians, as well. Unless this jackass happens to be around.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a Massachusetts man is devoting whatever time he has left to fixing up bicycles to give to local kids.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that riding a bike is at least as fast, if not faster, than taking a cab in New York City; researchers used data from cabs and the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to reach that conclusion.

A bighearted Virginia sheriff’s deputy buys a new bike for a four-year old girl after hers was stolen.

A New Orleans cyclist was stabbed in the arm and accused of stealing the bike he was riding, by a man who then stole the bike he was riding.

Awhile back, we mentioned the man who was riding his bicycle across the US to visit every major league baseball stadium; sadly, his journey ended when he was hit by a car in Alabama, suffering serious injuries. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

 

International

London’s mayor plans to make the entire city emissions-free by 2050, through a mix of zero-emission vehicles and increasing the mode share for bicycling, walking and transit to a whopping 80%, while cutting motor vehicle traffic by 3 million miles a day.

A London cyclist says hell is a city full of non-cyclists on bikeshare bikes.

There’s now a £2,000 reward — the equivalent of over $2,500 — to capture the British bike rider who was caught on video recently nearly getting smashed by a train when he climbed over the crossing barricades, after the near miss left the engineer with psychological trauma. Maybe it was the man shaking his fist at the train that nearly hit him that pushed the engineer over the edge.

So much for your GPS and Strava. A Dutch company has developed a new bike lock that blocks the cellular network for your mobile phone while you ride, releasing it once you lock your bike using the related app. Now if we can just require every driver to use one.

 

Finally…

How to achieve udder comfort on your bike. Now you, too, can own your very own old media publishing empire.

And if you’re going to fire a toy gun at a group of cyclists, make sure none of them are the king of a foreign country first.

 

Morning Links: Angry drivers and bikelash in Playa del Mar, sinkhole on Angeles Crest, and Bike Life in DTLA

A little bikelash and road diet rage were to be expected.

This is LA, after all.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that drivers are angry they can no longer speed on deadly Vista del Mar, or use the beachfront street as a virtual highway on their cut-through commutes from South Bay cities.

Streetsblog examines Monday’s angry backlash over the changes designed to slow speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety in Playa del Rey — including one bighearted person who shouted that people killed crossing the deadly street had it coming.

Just in case you wondered what kind of person would oppose desperately needed traffic safety improvements.

After all, who really cares about saving the lives of a few total strangers if it means your commute gets a few minutes longer? Although one person says traffic on his Vista del Mar commute is actually lighter than usual.

Once again, there are dueling petitions both opposing and supporting the changes. And once again, the nays are winning in a landslide.

Meanwhile, The Argonaut considers the resistance of some drivers to the road diet and bike lanes just completed on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, where over 48 bicyclists and pedestrians have been injured since 2011.

Including one truly bizarre statement that it took someone 45 minutes to drive the half mile from Beethoven to Centinela. Which would only seem possible if s/he stopped for coffee and donuts along the way. And had to wait while they made them.

Because really, why wait a few weeks to see if the changes will actually work when you can just demand they rip ‘em out before the paint is even dry?

And yet people wonder why it’s so hard to change anything in LA.

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If you were planning to ride Angeles Crest this weekend, start making other plans. Caltrans reports the highway is closed until further notice between Grassy Hollow and SR-39 due to a sinkhole in the roadway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Since you can’t ride Angeles Crest, head over to Grand Park this Saturday for a one-hour beer and taco-free gathering of the LA bicycling community.

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Once again, a cyclist competing in an open course time trial has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle; this time the victim was a 69-year old man in the UK.

More bad news, as a French cyclist was killed in a car crash, and another injured, shortly after taking first and third in a criterium last Thursday; both riders were veterans of the popular Red Hook Crit series.

The New York Times looks at the rise of Columbian cyclists, saying some compete for their county, and some in spite of it.

The Des Moines Register profiles a competitor in next week’s RAAM, saying don’t call her Wonder Woman.

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Local

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian celebrates how a chain reaction hit-and-run crash brought an unlikely group of Angelenos together. And a bike rider walked away thanks to the falling skills he learned riding a skateboard.

Helen’s Cycles will host their monthly mountain bike ride this Saturday.

Also on Saturday, learn how to advocate for Complete Streets at The Tripping Point, a free conference sponsored by Investing in Place, AARP California, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Pacoima Beautiful and Tree People.

 

State

Anticipating an increase in funding, the California Active Transportation Program is looking for shovel-ready bike and pedestrian projects. Like LA’s North Figueroa and Lankershim Blvd road diets, and the bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, for instance. Oh, wait.

Newport Beach police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement this month, with extra officers on duty June 14th and 26th. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Riverside will host the Santa Ana River Trail Bike Ride & Festival this Sunday.

The Pleasanton city council votes unanimously to adopt a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

San Mateo plans to double the size of its bikeshare program, the only one in the Bay Area not part of Ford’s 7,000 bike system.

 

National

NACTO is sponsoring a year-long initiative to identify problems that “slow the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country.” I can save them the trouble: blame NIMBYs who value parking spaces and faster commutes over lives and livability.

Streetsblog says algorithms to improve dangerous intersections are great, but we already know what needs to be done to improve safety.

A new study shows even regular coffee drinkers can get a performance boost from caffeine.

Not surprisingly, Oregon bike retailers are trying to stop plans for a tax on bicycles over $500.

An online travel service ranks Denver the tenth most bike-friendly city for tourists. Not surprisingly, Minneapolis ranks number one; more surprising is Los Angeles getting a nod on the Most Improved list.

Texas finally gets around to banning texting while driving, six years after then governor and now US Energy Secretary Rick Perry vetoed it.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops take the time to help a kid fix his bike.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver charged with reckless homicide in the death of a 16-year old bike rider walks with nothing but probation following a plea deal. Seriously, whoever agreed to this should be ashamed.

After a Chicago boy’s bike was stolen while he was at work, his friends mowed lawns, did chores and donated their allowances to buy him a new one.

Michigan Live offers a complete wrap-up of their extensive coverage of the one-year anniversary of the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre.

Indiana police are looking for a road-raging bike rider, though they won’t say what happened or why.

Baltimore’s mayor pledges to look into charges from some residents that bike lanes would make some streets too narrow for fire equipment. Even though parking spaces already do.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers 15 reasons why you should ride your bike this summer. Or maybe ten, they’re not really sure.

A London advocacy group calls on the city to modify safety barriers that have been placed in bike lanes on three of the city’s bridges.

A Scottish newspaper says the silence was deafening during a minute of quiet to protest the death of a young woman on her bike.

A new Dublin study shows enormous health benefits to bicycling, while noting that the risk to male riders between 20 to 29 increases with every mile, and may outweigh the benefits for some.

Coke is turning to e-cargo bikes to make deliveries. In the Netherlands, naturally.

A cyclist on a French river cruise takes a bicycling tour of the historic city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

An Aussie judge calls a driver a moronic bogan — the rough equivalent of trailer trash in the US — after the man pled guilty to beating and demanding an apology from the bike rider he’d just crashed into. But still let him off with just a fine.

 

Finally…

Training bike cops for the coming zombie apocalypse. If you really want to encourage bike commuting, free donuts and bacon should do the trick.

And nothing like a phalanx of school kids on unicycles unexpectedly rolling past your window.

Morning Links: Opponents call for removal of Venice Great Streets project; Ride the Colt next weekend

The paint is barely dry on the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

Yet already a petition is urging Councilmember Mike Bonin to rip it out, projecting — apparently based on nothing but their own fears — that it will exponentially increase traffic congestion, along with cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood.

And that it is already causing a calamitous decrease in business, as drivers who most likely seldom, if ever, stopped to shop in the area will now avoid it entirely.

Never mind that, as we noted yesterday, the people who actually study such things, based on genuine research rather than mere NIMBY supposition, say the living hell opponents fear is unlikely to actually come to pass.

In fact, a more likely outcome is that the road diet will have little or no effect on travel times, and may actually improve traffic flow, while a more walkable and bikeable street could have a positive effect on local businesses.

But why wait and give it a chance when you can just throw a massive online temper tantrum now?

After all, who cares about little things like greater safety, improved livability, higher property values, fewer commercial vacancies and increased retail sales if it means adding a few more seconds to your commute?

As of this writing, the petition has already seen 630 signatures in six days. A counter petition in support of the project has received 157 signatures since it went online two days ago.

How sad that it’s even necessary.

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If you can’t make it to CicLAvia a week from Sunday, consider riding the COLT in Chatsworth.

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Nice piece from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson confirming that bike riders are indeed the best people.

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Local

Los Angeles is testing a reflective street surface in Canoga Park designed to reduce the heat island effect caused by traditional blacktop. Which could mean a more comfortable ride on hot days if it’s successful.

Stay alert when you ride: A woman was attacked by a knife-wielding man while jogging on the bike path along Burbank Blvd near Lake Balboa.

A man was in critical condition after he was shot in the neck yesterday morning while riding his bike near the Lincoln Heights Recreation Center.

Streetsblog reports the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is refusing to commit to funding active transportation, despite the efforts of an environmental justice group and the vulnerability of many of their lower-income residents.

Apparently, the California Coastal Commission would rather keep PCH dangerous than eliminate 675 Malibu parking spaces to improve safety.

A Manhattan Beach city councilman is complaining that Los Angeles should have consulted with his city before trying to save lives on deadly Vista del Mar. Because really, who cares if people die in LA as long as traffic flows smoothly in the South Bay?

Hats off to the South Bay’s Beach Cities Cycling Club for organizing bike safety classes at local grade schools. Although it shouldn’t be left up to bike clubs to do what the school district should already be doing.

Long Beach is set to embark on plans to re-envision the PCH corridor as the city’s new Main Street, including a Complete Streets makeover of the deadly highway.

 

State

Imperial County border town Calexico is working on the first update to its bicycle master plan since 2003.

Ford’s new GoBike bikeshare program is set to expand and replace the existing Bay Area Bike Share, with a 10x increase from 700 to 7,000 bikes, and over 500 docks throughout the area.

San Francisco police say if you see a bike theft in progress, don’t try to intervene, but call the police instead.

Streetsblog takes an anti-bike Marin columnist to task for wrongly asserting that bikes can’t play a roll in solving the county’s transportation issues.

 

National

A new UC San Francisco study shows medical costs from bicycling injuries were over $24.4 billion in 2013, and increasing at a rate of $789 million a year. Which Treehugger says is yet another reason to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get the best deal on a used bike. Presumably without buying someone else’s stolen bike off Craigslist.

Despite international complaints, Orange Theory Fitness continues their orange ghost bike rip-off ad campaign, confusing and angering people in Bend OR.

This is who we share the roads with. A 20-year old Washington father is dead, and his friend injured, after the two Native American tribe members were intentionally run down by a pickup driver in what appears to be a hate attack

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a stoned driver got just 33 days in jail for killing a man on his bike, after pleading down from vehicular homicide and DUI charges. Naturally, he claimed it wasn’t his fault because the sun was in his eyes.

Massachusetts police blame the 78-year old victim in a bike crash for not wearing a helmet. Which wouldn’t have mattered if the speeding driver hadn’t hit him.

A town in Massachusetts installs a new sculpture celebrating cyclists.

Baltimore may halt work on a protected bikeway network after opponents of one bike lane complained that it made the street too narrow for fire trucks.

Nice story about an armless man riding a specially adapted bike and pulling a quadriplegic woman in a trailer behind him as they competed in a 50-mile Florida race.

Nearly 17,000 New Orleans bicyclists signed a petition demanding better protection from the police after a bike rider was nearly paralyzed when he was shot with a pellet gun; five other riders were shot with a paint gun in two separate incidents last month.

 

International

A new study found no link between the use of headphones or talking on a mobile phone and crashes by teenage bicyclists, though it did note a drop in the perception of sounds considered crucial for safe bicycling by riders of all ages.

A Toronto columnist says maybe he should pay more attention to angry drivers when he rides his bike, whether or not they’re right.

Another unintended Brexit consequence — British cyclists may lose their easy access to European bikeways.

Two hundred English cyclists rode 96 kilometers to raise funds in honor of the 96 soccer fans killed in the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster.

A nine-year old girl in the UK raised the equivalent of over $1,500 by riding 20 miles in memory of her little sister, who was born without a windpipe. Did I mention she’s just nine years old?

You’ve got to be kidding, part 2. A British judge told a man who stole a bait bike he just needed to get a job — despite 17 previous convictions, including one for bike theft.

The Bahrain-Merida pro cycling team had ten bikes stolen from the team truck parked outside of their hotel in the Netherlands.

A New Zealand bicyclist says overly courteous drivers are killing her with kindness. Almost literally.

Oddly, when you ride your bike drunk, with no lights or reflectors, and only a cowboy hat (scroll down) in violation of Australia’s mandatory helmet law, a judge may hold you responsible for whatever happens next. Even if your lawyer says cars are “a juggernaut of death.”

 

Finally…

Beware of bike cops if you plan to burgle stripper wear in your undies. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, take a shower, drink their milk and leave a load in their toilet, try not to leave your bicycle behind.

And it’s National Donut Day, which is as good a reason as any to stop for a snack on today’s ride.

 

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