Tag Archive for Paul Koretz

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Creed, possible SaMo heartbreak, and San Fran fights Chinese bikeshare

The first shoe has dropped in the race for city council in CD5.

Typical of LA’s gerrymandered council districts, the sprawling Westside district stretches east from Sepulveda to nearly encircle Beverly Hills, before reaching north to the San Fernando Valley west of Sepulveda.

For the past eight years it’s been represented by career politician Paul Koretz, who moved into the district once he was termed out of the state assembly, after serving on the West Hollywood city council.

It was Koretz who single-handedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of a small group of wealthy homeowners, followed by inciting a council vote to remove the lanes from the city’s mobility plan. And stating there would be no bike lanes as part of the Great Streets program in Westwood Village.

Yet he oddly still claims to support bicycling.

His reasoning is that Westwood, which is included in LA’s High Injury Network under the Vision Zero plan, is too dangerous for bike riders. So his solution is to keep it dangerous, and shunt all those riders who currently use it as the most direct route between the Expo Line and the UCLA campus onto other less practical alternatives.

And with the exception of Motor Blvd, he has failed to implement any of the major bike lanes called for in the city’s Mobility Plan.

So it should come as no surprise that Bike the Vote LA has endorsed his challenger, Jesse Creed, in the March election over the incumbent Koretz.

You can read Creed’s responses to Bike the Vote’s candidate survey at the above link, and find Koretz’ responses here, along with that of a third candidate, Mark Herd.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown offers a good analysis of both the candidates, and Bike the Vote’s endorsement.

But the bottom line is that Koretz has had eight years to prove his support for bicycling is more than just talk. But his actions, particularly on Westwood Blvd, have proven otherwise.

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Heartbreaking news, as there’s an unconfirmed report that the owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance shop was killed while riding to work recently. I’m working on getting official confirmation; if anyone has any information, please let me know.

Update: A comment from Chris, along with an email from Brian Nilsen, confirms that a GoFundMe page raising funds to defray funeral expenses has been set up by the son of Tony Barnes, the owner of Bicycle Ambulance. There is also a ghost bike in Barnes honor at South Centinela Ave and Jefferson Blvd in Playa Vista. I’ve reached to the LAPD for more information.

Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.

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San Francisco is threatening legal action to stop a Chinese app-based bikeshare provider from “dumping” thousands of rental bikes on the city’s streets without the proper planning or permits.

In other words, doing exactly what Uber did in moving into new markets, by establishing their ride hailing service first and dealing with the paperwork later.

But then, Uber was cars. And wasn’t Chinese.

And wasn’t threatening to disrupt the city’s existing dock-based bikeshare.

On the other hand, the problem with China’s app-based bikeshare model is that people are abandoning the bikes, resulting in a 500-bike pile in the city of Shenzhen.

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Calbike will host a webinar at 11 am today to discuss a grant program which could expand the use of ebikes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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An LGBT website says trans cyclist Jillian Bearden is receiving both praise and uninformed criticism as she continues to break barriers.

Cycling Weekly says fewer, but bigger races could save cycling in France.

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Local

The LA Rams may need some help, but at least the new head coach rides his bike to work. Thanks to Josh for the link.

The LACBC is calling for bike riders to submit comments on a proposed redesign of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills by this Friday; the section under consideration currently has painted bike lanes, which the coalition would like to see upgraded to parking protected lanes.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Planning & Policy Director.

The latest Bike Talk features former bike shop owners Josef Bray-Ali and TJ Flexer discussing the demise of the local bike shop.

 

State

Westminster police are on the lookout for a bike-riding burglar.

A San Diego Navy vet got a new $3,000 bike for Christmas after his was totaled when he did a face plant last September. Then someone stole off his car it after his first ride.

San Diego has secured funding to begin design work on a crucial link between the Chollas Creek bike path and the planned 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway; the path would allow residents of lower-income areas to safely cross the I-5 and I-15 interchange and get to jobs in the downtown area.

No bias here. A Bakersfield bike rider gets hit by a drunk driver who flees the scene. Yet police still blame the victim for wearing dark clothing and not riding in a crosswalk — even though there was no reason for her to even be in crosswalk.

A Menlo Park cyclist says a new bike project would only benefit a small number of bike riders at the expense of most bicyclists and the rest of the city.

Caught on video: An East Bay cyclist leaves his bike cam going when he stops for mid-ride coffee, and catches a high-end bike thief red-handed.

 

National

Bicycling says riding inside doesn’t have to suck anymore. But it’s still inside, and the bikes still don’t move.

A Seattle website says the city owes residents an apology and their $1.4 million back after buying the city’s troubled bikeshare program, then unceremoniously killing it just before the long weekend. But there’s still a desire for bikeshare if it’s done right.

A French company rode their 3D-printed bike over 600 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco to prove it works.

The war on bikes continues, as an Arizona bicyclist was shot repeatedly with BB guns by a man and woman in a passing car, with the couple’s child in the backseat. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.

A homeless man says refurbishing bikes at a Utah collective to give to others has given purpose to his life.

A Colorado letter writer says “stupid is as stupid does” in deciding whether to ride on the roadways with motor vehicle traffic, suggesting — or rather, outright stating — that bikes don’t belong on public streets. I’d apply that same aphorism to people who can’t resist the urge to share their particular anti-bike bias with the rest of the world; saying it’s not safe to share the roads with motor vehicles is really just saying that people are incapable of driving safely, which I refuse to believe.

Wisconsin police bust a pair of bike thieves and reclaim a stolen bike that was being sold on Craigslist; the victim had been given the bike by her grandmother.

Chicago bike riders continue to ride through the winter as part of a two-week challenge. Oddly, no one seem to consider doing something like that here in Southern California, where the weather is much more conducive to year-round riding.

Blocked bike lanes remain a big problem in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And pretty much everywhere else.

President-elect Trump’s traditional inaugural walk will be on a DC bike path.

 

International

Now that a Canadian reporter has recovered from a near-fatal bike crash, she says it was one of the best experiences of her life, because it changed her for the better. And yes, she plans to ride again.

Toronto is studying near-miss incidents, as well as actual collisions, before and after bike lanes were installed on a major street, in order to get a more complete look at how safety has changed.

London cabbies bring traffic to a standstill to protest plans to close a key junction to motor vehicles; cyclists argue that taxis are one of the biggest causes of congestion and drivers are just supporting “the right to poison Londoners.”

A self-described bike lane-skeptic member of the British parliament questions whether bike lanes are the reason London traffic congestion has gotten worse, and if they are causing an increase in pollution as a result.

Scotland promises a more ambitious and innovative approach to cycling, as council leaders promise to play a huge role in encouraging ridership; the country plans to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020.

 

Finally…

Filming yourself riding a bike on a Buddhist temple is probably not the best way to win friends in a foreign country. And not even wheelie-popping former Super Bowl winners are safe on a bike.

Weekend Links: Koretz faces serious challenge, 3-foot signs in PVE, and sabotage targeting cyclists continues

It looks like LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz is facing a serious challenger after all.

The LA Times is reporting that Westside attorney Jesse Creed has raised nearly $113,000 in just six weeks since announcing his candidacy, which is a remarkable amount for a first-time candidate. Meanwhile Koretz, a career politician who moved to LA’s 5th Council District to run for city council after being termed out in the state legislature, has reportedly raised $190,000.

The Times quotes Koretz’ campaign consultant as saying the councilmember is very popular, and he hasn’t talked to any leader of a community organization who supports Creed.

Maybe he’s just not talking to the right people.

Thanks to Robert Peppey for the heads-up.

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Jim Lyle forwards word that the first three-foot passing signs have already been installed in Palos Verdes Estates, thanks to calls from cyclists following the recent deaths of bike riders on the peninsula.

PVE 3-foot passing sign

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There’s been a rash of sabotage attempts targeting bike riders lately.

And it shows no sign of letting up.

The latest case comes from Marin, where mountain bikers found a rubber strip embedded with over 30 screws hidden in the dirt. Someone had also posted a sign saying bikes were prohibited from using a trail open to cyclists.

Meanwhile, Colorado police made an arrest in a case where hundreds of thumbtacks were strewn along the shoulder of a roadway popular with bicyclists, after a reporter spotted packaging for the tacks discarded along the side of the road. Police were able to trace it back to the store where it was purchased, where surveillance video showed the suspect buying the tacks.

It wasn’t the first time he’d gotten in trouble for attacking cyclists; seven years ago, his mother grounded him for two weeks after he deliberately ran a woman off the road as she was biking to work. She may have to ground him a lot longer this time.

Another suspect has also been identified, and will be issued a summons in the next few days.

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With all the bad news out there, it’s important to remember there’s a lot of good in the world, and a lot of good people.

Like the kindhearted Minnesota truck driver who offered to buy a 10-year old girl a new bike after spotting posters she made when hers was stolen.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

An 89-year old woman is about to finish her second ride across Iowa.

A 91-year old Maine man still rides almost every day.

And an 84-year old Virginia man has had to cut back on his daily bike rides; he’s now down to just 40 miles a day.

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The head of international cycling says incremental growth is the key to building women’s bike racing.

US Olympic cyclist Lea Davidson has overcome two hip surgeries to compete in Rio.

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Local

The LA Times’ Jonathan Gold is the latest to review Culver City’s meat centric, bike-themed restaurant and butcher shop The Cannibal.

Richard Risemberg says it’s not hard to be cool and comfortable at work after riding in LA’s blazing hot sun.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare continues to draw new users, but remains about $54,000 in the red each month.

 

State

Coronado, where bike lanes make residents dizzy, considers building a bike and pedestrian tunnel as the final stage of plan to remake the entrance to the city.

La Jolla says yes to expensive classic cars, but no to bikeshare.

Salinas receives over $10 million in grants to make streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, including $7 million for Safe Routes to Schools.

Caught on video: A San Francisco cyclist waves at a driver, and tries to open her car door — then pulls out a knife and stabs her tire. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if that door hadn’t been locked.

San Francisco will invest in more petite fire trucks to better navigate the city’s narrower streets.

 

National

USA Today lists ten great rail-to-trail conversions across the US.

The Department of DIY brings Prince and Bowie back to life on Portland bike lanes.

Denver will install a two-way cycle track on a major street for three months on a trial basis, before deciding whether to keep it for another year. Los Angeles could overcome a lot of community resistance if they’d take the same approach of trying temporary bikeways before making them permanent; people who currently oppose the projects might find they actually like them.

PolitiFact rejects a claim by an Austin TX advocacy group that bike lanes and sidewalks reduce crashes 38%; instead, they find road diets, including bike lanes, reduced the rate of crashes an average of 29%. Which is still pretty damn good.

In a horrifying case from Wisconsin, a 14-year old girl rode her bike over to the home of her brother’s 15-year old girlfriend, then slit the girl’s throat with a broken bowl before asking if she wanted to be killed on the spot, or left to bleed out; fortunately, the victim survived and was able to identify her attacker to police.

The alleged Ohio scumbag accused of murdering a bike-riding college student also chased a couple of young boys as they rode their bikes in 2014.

A new report suggests the news media report tends to scapegoat New York’s largely immigrant bicycle delivery riders, without talking to them to gain their perspective.

A Miami Critical Mass rider collided with a man in his 70s when he evidently didn’t cross the road fast enough. Which is a good reminder to slow the hell down and ride carefully around pedestrians.

 

International

Yesterday marked the third anniversary of the still-unsolved murder of a Canadian bike rider who was deliberately run down by a truck driver, apparently for pretending to take a photo of a little girl.

The mayor of Edmonton, Canada says his inability to get new bike lanes built has been the greatest disappointment of his first three years in office.

Toronto’s Bad Girls Bike Club helps young women overcome their fears of riding in the city.

Britain’s governing body for cycling says it’s time to turn the country into a great cycling nation.

Caught on video: A British delivery cyclist is forcibly arrested for the crime of spooking police officer’s horses.

A Canadian couple traveling around the world swap artwork for new bikes at a UK bike co-op and training center.

An English city plans to hit cyclists with a draconian £1,000 fine — the equivalent of $1322 — for riding through the town center.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some people? A bike rider in the Netherlands threatened a handicapped man in a wheelchair and kicked his dog. Then came back a few days later and threatened him again for posting the incident on Facebook.

The mayor of Manila promises to look into installing bike lanes in the Philippine city following a deadly road rage incident.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to deny you stole a bike, maybe you should hide the key you locked it up with. A Berlin reporter samples US pickup trucks, and decides he likes his bicycle better.

And caught on video, too: It’s always the second deer that nearly gets you.

 

Morning Links: Bike lane blocking LA CM cuts WeHo ribbon; MI takes fatal crash seriously, Ventura DA doesn’t

No hypocrisy here.

Twitter user fig4all attended the ribbon cutting for the new Fairfax Blvd bike lanes in West Hollywood on Thursday. And was surprised to see LA’s 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz participating, since the bike lanes connect to existing lanes in his district.

Particularly since Koretz has single-handedly blocked badly needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of wealthy homeowners, while leading the fight to have them removed from the Mobility Plan.

Fairfax Ribbon Cutting

Is it just me, to does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

Is it just me, or does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

On the other hand, let’s give credit to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for working to get the new Fairfax bike lanes on the street, regardless of who shows up to cut the ribbon.

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Kalamazoo bike riders say Tuesday’s tragedy is a wake-up call for cyclists to always be aware of their surroundings on the road, while others decry the news coverage focused on telling cyclists how to protect themselves from two ton ballistic missiles, rather than telling drivers not to kill innocent people on bicycles.

Over 700 members of the local community came together to pray for the victims.

Prosecutors have shown they’re taking the case seriously, filing five second degree murder charges against the driver, along with four counts of reckless driving. However, police have still not given a reason for the crash.

The mother of driver Charles E. Pickett, Jr. insists her son is not a murderer and would never crash into anyone on purpose, although his Facebook page doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the Facebook link.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says another Ride of Silence isn’t going to change anything; we need to stop being silent, start filing police reports and demand changes from our local leaders if crap like this is ever going to stop.

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Contrast the Kalamazoo case with last year’s Moorpark massacre, in which a distracted driver plowed into a cyclist, then overcorrected to hit a motorcycle rider head-on, killing both men.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA’s office inexplicably filed misdemeanor manslaughter charges, rather than the felony charges recommended by the CHP. Guaranteeing that the driver, 26-year old Rachel Hill of Ventura, will receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist, at best.

And eliminating whatever leverage the DA may have had to negotiate a guilty plea requiring any real jail time before the case even starts.

Needless to say, the widows of Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman are outraged.

As any rational person would be.

KABC-7 reports Hill’s lawyer denies she was using her phone at the time of the collision; they admit she had used it a few minutes prior to the crash, but swear she’d stopped before the wreck occurred. Which fails to explain why she couldn’t manage to see the first victim or avoid either one.

So maybe she crashed into them just for the hell of it.

The charges in the Kalamazoo case shows what happens when authorities take traffic crime seriously. And this case shows what happens when they don’t.

Hopefully, the justifiable outrage to the misdemeanor counts will convince Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten to re-file the case as a felony.

If not, maybe Ventura County voters should consider whether he belongs in the job.

Come back next week when we’ll have a guest post from the daughter of one of the victims.

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If you wonder why LA drivers speed with abandon, it’s because police can’t legally use speed guns on 75% of LA streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct speed surveys in compliance with California’s murderous 85th percentile law, which requires that speed limits be set to the rate 85% of drivers speed travel.

Yet conducting the surveys means limits will most likely have to be raised in order to be enforced.

Putting speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits is like leaving armed robbers in charge of bank security. Contact your state legislators and demand a change.

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The CyclingTips website asks if professional cycling’s WorldTour is really so desperate for sponsors that it needs a team owned by a Bahraini prince with a dossier thick with human rights abuses and torture allegations; activists threaten to block next year’s Tour de France if the team participates.

Turns out a British extreme cyclist didn’t go missing on the unsupported cross-country Trans-Am Bike Race after all; he was just the victim of dehydration and a broken GPS.

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Local

Twitter user captainandstoker offers a bike cam view of the new curb-protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street. Meanwhile, groundbreaking is finally scheduled to take place on the long-promised MyFigueroa project this summer.

Richard Risemberg calls for volunteers to help out with Flying Pigeon owner Joseph Bray-Ali’s run for city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

The Eastsider talks with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

LA Eater examines a quartet of area coffee shops where cycling and caffeine collide.

Forget hi-viz. If you really want to be seen, join the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride tomorrow, at a location to be announced later today.

Don’t get that confused with Sunday’s non-clothing-optional LA River Ride, though, with routes ranging from a 15-mile family ride to a century ride around Long Beach and back.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV Programs Director David Diaz about this weekend’s Viva SGV open streets event.

 

State

The annual AIDS/Lifecycle Ride will pass through Ventura and Malibu before ending at LA’s Fairfax High School on Saturday.

A 13-year old eighth grader becomes the youngest person to graduate from Moorpark College; like the genius he is, he enjoys riding a bike when he’s not studying.

A Vacaville man has been selected as the Solano County Bike Commuter of the Year.

NorCal AAA is using ebikes to rescue drivers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero area.

 

National

Elly Blue is back to suggest that the best bike trips start on a train.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a bike rider was killed in a collision, Tucson considers how to improve the intersection so it won’t happen again.

You don’t have to see to ride a bike, as a group of Missouri tandem riders volunteer their time and bikes to take blind people bicycling on local trails.

 

International

The Winnipeg Free Press calls the city’s proposed bike helmet law well-intentioned but misguided.

Caught on video: A British cyclist records a number of too-close passes, including one so close you can almost taste the hay bales on a passing truck.

A South African writer complains about “arrogant” cyclists who insist on using the sidewalk — albeit legally — to get around dangerous road construction work. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, show some courtesy to other people using it.

A Kiwi website looks at the bike-mounted device developed by the Chattanooga police department to accurately measure a three-foot passing distance. Something the LAPD needs to get its hands on so they can start enforcing the passing law here, even if they can’t use speed guns.

An Aussie writer says your safety on the streets depends on wearing fluorescent hi-viz during the day and reflectorized clothing at night. Because expecting drivers to actually pay attention to what’s on the road ahead of them is just too much to ask.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a blowtorch to cut a bike lock on a public beach in broad daylight, leave the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia at home. No, cyclists aren’t safer riding against traffic, and militant bike riders hardly ever interfere with traffic on purpose.

And this is what happens when you try to ride a bike through a presidential motorcade.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan suffers setback, Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia guide, and more Bike Week news

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive is slowly climbing, now up to 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — which means we’ve got just two and a half weeks to reach the goal of 100 new members by the end of May.

Few things are more important that adding your voice to Southern California’s leading bike advocacy organization. Because individually, we can’t accomplish much, but together, we can move mountains. And maybe even councilmembers.

So please, take a few moments to sign up now. Consider it a personal favor for me, you, and countless other bike riders in the LA area.

And a special thank you to everyone who has already signed up already!

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Looks like the fix is in.

And Westwood and Central could be out.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to support a pair of anti-bike amendments to the city’s Mobility Plan.

After the Planning Commission voted to keep the city’s Mobility Plan intact earlier this year, rejecting proposals to remove bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, the plan came back to the Transportation Committee yesterday, where Councilmember Paul Koretz pulled a fast one.

Rather than arguing once again for removal of the streets from the plan, he proposed a quartet of alternate streets: Gayley Avenue and Midvale Avenue in Westwood, and Avalon Boulevard and San Pedro Street in South LA.

None of which provide direct routes, while shunting bike riders off commercial corridors and onto back streets — even though studies have repeatedly shown bike lanes are good for local businesses. And even though many riders, especially women, are less likely to ride routes out of public view after dark.

Not to mention that those streets would require extensive signalization and improved crossings, dramatically increasing costs.

Surprisingly, the usually bike friendly Jose Huizar joined Koretz and David Ryu in supporting the proposal, despite near unanimous calls from speakers to keep the plan intact. As a result, Koretz’ proposal will now go before the full council on Friday; if they vote to support it, it will go back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration.

But regardless of what the commission rules, the full council can, and possibly will, override their recommendations with a three-quarters vote.

Which is more likely than not in a city where councilmembers usually vote in lockstep out of a deathly fear of alienating one another. With the result that they rule as virtual kings in their own districts, with virtually no checks or balances on their decisions.

Not to mention an ostensibly bike-friendly mayor who professes to support safer streets, yet doesn’t seem willing to take on individual councilmembers to make it happen. Thus making LA’s weak mayor system that much weaker.

And demonstrating once again that the seven-year public process that went into developing the Mobility Plan means nothing compared to the whims of a councilman.

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It’s here!

The Militant Angeleno has released his long-awaited, personally researched guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia through the cities of Southeast LA County.

His guides are always fascinating, so don’t ride without giving it a read first.

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Still more news leading up to next week’s Bike Week.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during Bike Week.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Bike Week Camp Coffee Wednesday on the jetty at the end of Ballona Creek.

And Pasadena invites bicyclists to stop by city hall on Bike to Work Day next Thursday.

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More sad news, as Canadian pro downhill champ Stevie Smith was killed in an enduro motorcycle crash on Tuesday.

Women’s pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo is back in her home state of Colorado as she continues to recover from a devastating head injury suffered in the San Dimas Stage Race; her memory is slowly returning after initially being unable to even recognize her own parents or teammates. A gofundme account has raised over $46,000 to help defray her medical expenses.

And seriously, what’s a little tow between friends?

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Local

Just a tad late. The LA Times finally catches up with BMX pro Nigel Sylvester’s high speed, law defying tour of LA, a month after the video was featured here and on other media sites.

The LACBC talks with the bike-riding Gangsta Gardner of South LA.

Bikeshare has officially opened in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. That chill you feel is Hell freezing over.

Walk or ride your bike to the station when Metro opens the Expo line next week; otherwise it will cost you a whole $2 a day to park at the station.

The Canyon News looks forward to Santa Monica’s first open streets event next month.

The Glendale driver caught on video trying to run a cyclist off road, then lying about it to authorities, has pled not guilty to three misdemeanor counts.

A Santa Clarita mountain biker was airlifted to safety after falling and apparently dislocating his shoulder. Rescuers rescued his bike, as well.

A man who may have been riding a bicycle was shot to death in an alley in Bell Tuesday night; two bikes were found in the alley along with the victim after the shooter fled.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider was struck by a big rig truck on an onramp to the 805 Freeway Wednesday morning; the 62-year old victim escaped with a broken leg.

A columnist for the Riverside Press-Enterprise is back to riding after breaking his wrist in a mountain biking race.

A British man has been arrested hiding on bike path on the Central Coast after he allegedly killed his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Clovis, then fled on a stolen bicycle.

A San Jose paper looks at the growth in bicycling and efforts to improve safety and infrastructure in the Bay Area. Although the headline could use some improvement. Cyclists don’t “trump” cars; bicycles simply provide an alternative to driving, which benefits everyone.

Sacramento begins construction on bike lanes on a city street, six years after high school students produced a video demonstrating the need for them.

 

National

Some pastors are extending their parishes to bike lanes and the riders who use them, recognizing that cyclists know the risks of the roads and choose to ride anyway. Nothing like making bicycling seem more dangerous than it really is.

Nearly 500 US retailers are participating in the BikeExchange, an online marketplace for bikes and equipment.

Momentum Magazine makes the business case for public bikeshare systems.

A black teenage girl is suing a white police officer for a brutal assault when she tried to ride off after he stopped her and her brother as they biked through a Tacoma WA parking lot; security camera footage shows the cop repeatedly pushing her up against an SUV and throwing her to the ground before using his Taser on her, while later claiming that she had attacked him.

San Antonio residents get out their torches and pitchforks after sharrows unexpectedly appear on their street, successfully demanding their removal. Seriously people, they’re just sharrows; it’s not like they actually mean anything.

Chicago police allege a group of gangbangers in an SUV made a U-turn to deliberately run down a bike rider, dragging him for blocks in an apparent random attack; yet so far the driver only faces misdemeanor charges.

A writer for the New York Times says combining intense intervals with longer rides could offer the greatest health and fitness rewards.

New York’s mayor overrides objections from a local community board to build protected bike lanes on Queens’ Boulevard of Death. Which shows what can happen in a city where leaders have the political will to support bicycling.

A Virginia woman was killed in a hit-and-run after she and her boyfriend met with a young woman, assaulted her and stole her phone before the pair fled by bicycle.

Louisiana moves forward with a vulnerable user law to increase penalties for drivers who injure or kill bicyclists and pedestrians. How about just keeping them from hitting us in the first place?

 

International

A Canadian writer says he pities long distance hikers and cyclists; but once the pain wears off, the vivid memories remain and he wants to do it all again.

A philosophy professor asks why so few black people ride bikes in Toronto, while the local paper says the city needs the political will to make its bold bike plan happen. Sounds familiar.

A British man ditched his job to ride 35,000 miles through 44 countries, raising $7,700 for charity. Which works out to 22 cents a mile.

The Guardian offers advice on how to ride in a group, while Bike Radar provides good tips on safer city cycling.

Bicycling offers four reasons by Budapest is great for bicycling.

 

Finally…

Now all you thrash rocker fans can own your very own Slayer BMX bike. A British inventor wants to secure your bike with a big bang.

And give your fellow riders a wave. But only if you deem them worthy.

 

Morning Links: Universal bike path on a five-year plan, and Koretz and Cedillo face challengers for LA Council in 2017

Good news, as the May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive now has resulted in a lucky 13 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, which means we still have 87 to go to reach the goal of 100 new members by the end of May.

So please, take a few moments to sign up now to lend your support to the leading voice for bicyclists in the LA area. Not to mention you’ll get free bike swag when you sign up, through a special arrangement with the LACBC just for BikinginLA readers.

And my deepest thanks to all those who have signed up already!

………

Don’t hold your breath waiting for that new bike path to open along the LA River through Universal Studios.

After I received an email asking about the path, which was promised by Universal in exchange for approval to open the new Harry Potterville, I contacted the LA County Department of Public Works.

And eventually, after the email was passed from person to person until it finally found someone who could answer my query, I got the following response.

A condition of the development agreement between NBC Universal and the County requires NBC Universal to provide funding to the County for the design and construction of a bike path along the Los Angeles River that will connect Lankershim Boulevard/Cahuenga Boulevard to Barham Boulevard.  The bike path requires a bridge crossing and ramps at either end in order to connect to the roadways; this requires coordination with and approval from multiple agencies, such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Los Angeles.

Because the project is complex, construction will probably occur in stages as plan approvals and permits are secured.  The bike path will not be open to the public until all project components are constructed, which could take at least 5 years.

So yes, it’s moving forward.

And no, you won’t be riding it anytime soon.

Then again, considering Universal had long fought any suggestion of a pathway behind the studio lot for fear aspiring writers would sue them after tossing their screenplays over the fence, this is progress.

………

It looks like CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz will get some competition as he runs for his final term on the city council, as a 30-year old lawyer representing homeless veterans has thrown his hat in the ring. No word on whether he’ll offer more support for bicyclists than Koretz, who has dedicated his time in office to stamping out bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The same story also mentions that Josef Bray-Ali, a long-time community advocate and owner of the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop, has taken out papers to challenge CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who singlehandedly killed shovel-ready plans for a much needed road diet on North Figueroa.

I’ve known Bray-Ali for nearly a decade, and found him to be a tireless advocate for safety for all on our streets, regardless of how you travel, with a deep concern for the entire NELA community.

He also has a detailed knowledge and understanding of city spending that few can match, with an uncanny ability to ferret out where the money really goes, as opposed to where it’s supposed to.

Which is why he’ll have my unqualified support in next year’s city election.

………

More big hearts in the news.

The Santa Ana police association and a non-profit community service program pitched in to buy a new adult tricycle for a man with cerebral palsy after his only source of transportation was stolen. The Orange Cycle bike shop provided the new bike at a sizable discount, while also pitching in a new helmet, bell and bike lock.

And a young Birmingham AL boy is so grateful when a cop stops to fix the chain on his bike, he gave the officer a pat on the head.

………

Sad news, as 21-year old Dutch cyclist Gijs Verdick died a week after suffering twin heart attacks while competing in an under-23 race in Poland.

Dutch rider Tom Dumoulin takes the pink jersey away from Germany’s Marcel Kittel in the Giro.

The first stage of the Amgen Tour of California will cover 106 miles through East San Diego County, while CiclaValley looks at Stage 2 through the iconic roads of the San Fernando Valley.

Bicycling talks with UC Berkeley law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, who briefly held the women’s hour record last year.

………

Local

The LA City Council Transportation Committee meets today to discuss proposed anti-bike amendments to the city’s Mobility Plan. I can’t make it due to prior commitments, so speak loudly on my behalf if you go.

The Eastside’s Ovarian Psychos have become LA’s unapologetic two-wheeled feminist powerhouse.

Santa Monica Spoke invites everyone to discuss women’s biking issues over donuts Tuesday morning.

 

State

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with the newest member of Calbike’s board of directors.

A Santa Barbara family takes a weekend road trip by bike.

An Olympic road cyclist from San Mateo urges people to join her for the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day this Thursday. Meanwhile, Cyclelicious asks if we focus too much on bike commuting to promote bicycling at the expense of other trips that can be taken by bicycle. Short answer, yes.

Caltrain and BART are adding more capacity for bikes by the Bay.

A cyclist in Calaveras County thanks the 99% of considerate motorists who pass safely, and reminds the other 1% why they need to.

A Sacramento writer says plans for a bike-friendly new development have turned out to be just the opposite as city budget problems cause cutbacks in promised bikeways.

A Chico letter writer complains about cyclists with their “smug biker gang mentality” who refuse to get out of her damn way no matter how much she honks. Even though the cyclists in question were riding to remember a much loved rider who died following a brief illness, after a 2007 collision left him paralyzed when the group he was riding with swerved to avoid a pedestrian. Big effing heart she’s got there.

 

National

A graphic from NACTO shows just how inefficient private motor vehicles are if you want to move more people without widening streets; a two-way protected bike lane can move nearly five times as many people per hour.

Remarkably, Anchorage AK police don’t keep stats on hit-and-runs, and have no idea how many drivers have fled the scene after hitting bike riders.

A 65-year old Des Moines bike rider has died after being assaulted by two men earlier this month.

An 18-year old Wisconsin bike rider gets just a $187 ticket for crashing into a woman while riding on the sidewalk, even though the victim died later as a result of hitting her head on the pavement. If we expect drivers to be held accountable for their actions behind the wheel, we have to expect bike riders to be, as well.

A New York man pleads not guilty to felony charges for failing to secure the boat he was towing after the trailer broke lose, fatally striking a young woman riding her bike last fall.

Sad news from the Police Unity Tour, as a retired New Jersey cop was critically injured on the ride to honor fallen police officers, and isn’t expected to survive.

Baltimore chefs get on their bikes to support a program that brings meals to patients with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

 

International

Nice piece from the Register’s Dan Whiting on Saturday’s 50-mile Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride, and a bike-riding East LA native who refuses to give up.

An Argentinian man traded his backpack for panniers 10 years ago, and hasn’t looked back since; he’s currently touring Africa after visiting 85 countries.

A pair of teenage salmon cyclists bring a major British highway to a complete halt, but slip away before they can be stopped.

A Manchester UK bike lane has been paved over just seven weeks after it opened, following complaints from bicyclists that it actually made the road more dangerous.

 

Finally…

If you want to go faster on your bike, just hang onto a car, only ride downhill or go through really scary neighborhoods. Bone up on excuses for your next failed drug test.

And when you’re riding Down Under, it’s bad form to punch the cops if they try to stop you for riding without a helmet.

………

Don’t miss today’s guest post about Team LACBC and the 2016 edition of the California Climate Ride. 

Morning Links: Koretz prevaricates on Westwood Blvd, possible 15 years in SD hit-and-run, and sing the joys of hi-viz

The UCLA Daily Bruin reports on last week’s City Planning Commission meeting, where commissioners voted to keep the Westwood Blvd bike lanes in the plan.

And they cite CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz as saying transportation policy for Westwood was developed without “consulting him or the community.”

Funny, that’s not the way I remember it.

I attended a number of meetings where the 2010 Bike Plan, and specifically Westwood Blvd, were discussed, dating back to when the initial plan was first unveiled in 2009.

All of which were attended by Koretz’s staff members, and at least some by Koretz himself. Including one highly contentious meeting that focused solely on Westwood, where supporters argued with angry residents and business owners protesting the possible removal of bike lanes and/or a traffic lane to in order to accommodate bike lanes.

Those complaints were heard loud and clear. The result was a revised plan creating a floating bike lane that would have retained all traffic lanes, and kept parking by flipping it from one side of the street to the other between the morning and evening rush.

However, business owners refused to consider it because it meant their customers would have to cross the street to get to their shops. Meanwhile neighboring homeowners, who were addressed directly, simply didn’t want bike lanes on “their” street.

Koretz responded to their complaints by halting a nearly-completed engineering study of bike lanes on the boulevard, followed by putting a permanent hold on installation of the bike lanes themselves at the behest of local residents. Even though I’m told the study would have showed the bike lanes would improve safety with no significant impact on traffic flow.

In response, traffic planner Ryan Snyder developed a plan that would have added bike lanes along most of Westwood, with sharrows in a small section where there was too narrow for bike lanes, while keeping all parking on both sides of the street and retaining existing traffic lanes.

Yet even the “Remove Nothing Plan” was rejected out of hand, this time out of supposed fear for the safety of cyclists on the busy street. Which never seemed to be a concern for opponents in any discussions prior to that point, making it seem that they were simply fishing for any argument to stop the plan.

And never mind countless outreach efforts by the LACBC and their bike ambassadors, and multiple presentations to neighborhood councils and homeowner groups.

So it wasn’t that there wasn’t any outreach, or effort to address the concerns of Koretz and local community members. It’s just that they insisted on sticking their fingers in their ears and stomping their feet like petulant two-year olds while shouting “No! No! No!”

To say neither he nor the community was consulted is disingenuous at best, if not an outright lie.

We deserve better from our elected officials.

………

Brace yourself, this one gets complicated.

San Diego’s NBC-7 reports that Jonathan Domingo Garcia, the 23-year old hit-and-run driver who killed adult tricycle-riding community leader Maruta Gardner as she was cleaning off graffiti in Mission Beach last week —

  • Was drinking 40-ounce beers with a friend just hours prior to the wreck
  • Spent the afternoon slashing tires and otherwise vandalizing cars with said friend
  • Got behind the wheel with alcohol, marijuana and another unnamed depressant in his system
  • Drove away after rear-ending another car
  • Later passed the same car on the right as the driver tried to stop him
  • Drove on the shoulder at twice the posted speed limit
  • Didn’t stop after hitting Gardner, but pulled over later in a parking lot to examine the damage to his car
  • Drove back to the crime scene, refusing to stop when a cop tried to flag him down
  • Hit another car trying to get away
  • Apparently couldn’t have cared less when told his victim was going to die, asking only if his car was damaged and when he could get it back

The station says he could get 15 years hard time if he’s convicted.

Somehow, that barely seems like enough.

………

Never mind getting drivers to pay attention. The key to safety is obsessive hi-viz, according to this 1978 bike safety vid dug up by British bike historian Carlton Reid.

………

Local

The LA Times is hosting a half-day conversation on the future of transportation in Southern California, including talks with Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, as well as discussions on self-driving cars, hyperloops and the next steps for LA. It appears to be free, but you have to apply for an invitation, which may or may not be granted.

A writer for the Pasadena Weekly says you are not a driving instructor, so keep your horn to yourself; it’s not intended to tell others how to drive, give them the audible equivalent of the bird, or tell slower traffic, including cyclists, to get the hell out of your way. Amen, sister.

CiclaValley offers some breathtaking bike photography from around the world.

 

State

A Fallbrook website offers photos of the recent 12 and 6 Hours of Temecula endurance mountain bike races.

Business owners on a Santa Barbara street complain that plans for a bike lane would violate California environmental laws by removing 100 parking spaces along the street; they swear they support bike lanes, just somewhere else where it would cost a lot more. No, seriously, they say removing parking spaces and giving people an alternative to driving would be worse for the environment.

Salinas bike lockers are going unused. If no one is using bike lockers, chances are they’re either in the wrong place, unsecure or people don’t feel safe riding there.

San Jose police arrest the driver who fled the scene and abandoned his car after running down a cyclist last week.

 

National

Once again, a new study upends your training diet by announcing fried foods are now good for you. Although a greasy meal before your next century could prove a little problematic.

A bike lawyer describes the risks of riding in the door zone, calling it a dangerous game of Russian roulette for cyclists.

In a long and wonky piece, People for Bikes says it looks like major changes are coming to the national street design committee that will make it friendlier to bicycling and walking.

Another example of women earning a fraction of what men do. After a Las Vegas gambler bets a woman gambler $10,000 she can’t ride her bike from Vegas to LA in 72 hours, he bets another guy $600,000 he can’t ride from LA to Vegas in 48.

Houston plans to make the notoriously auto-centric city more bike friendly, including a long-term proposal for 861 miles of “high-comfort” bikeways. Does that mean you have to ride them on a plush bike?

A Michigan cop told a cyclist to tell it to the judge when he was ticketed for impeding traffic by riding in the roadway, even though the rider insisted he was within his rights. So he did, and he won.

Big name, bike riding NASCAR and IndyCar racers team up with former pro cyclists on a 60-mile ride to the Daytona Speedway to promote bike safety.

 

International

Now that pro cycling is allegedly cleaning up its act, amateur cyclists represent the next frontier in doping. Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers say cycling was a cesspool back in his day, and only a fool would have believed it when he insisted he wasn’t doping. I guess that means there were a lot of fools back then, myself included, who truly wanted to believe.

Cycling Weekly says leave your bike at home when you travel, and rent one at your destination instead.

Evidently, the British press has run out of fresh scandals, and is resorting to replaying the greatest hits of recent bad bike behavior.

Yale looks at Germany’s new 62-mile bike superhighway.

An Indian cyclist hopes to win gold at the Rio Paralympics despite being born without hands.

If you see downed power lines, don’t ride over them; an Aussie rider learned that the hard way.

As bicycling gains in popularity, Singapore advocates hope to convince more people to commute by bike.

A travel website suggests bicycling is the best way to visit Bagan, Myanmar, which it describes as a temple-filled, real-life Narnia where bikes rent for $1 a day. You just have to walk through the right wardrobe to get there.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to reject a bike lane to preserve parking, but voting to preserve illegal double-parking may set some sort of NIMBY record. Now you can wash your clothes while you pedal; if they can figure out how to put that on an actual bike so you’ll have clean clothes to wear at the end of your ride, I’m in.

And you know we’re making progress when even burglars are going multimodal. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at February 18, 2016 5.31.50

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

 

Morning Links: Koretz aid promises Westwood bike lane removal, and the Bieb nearly takes out bikers in the ‘Bu

Don’t forget, there’s just four more days to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

………

Do they know something we don’t?

A field deputy for Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz assured the Westwood Neighborhood Council that a bike lane slated for Westwood Blvd north of Wilshire Blvd in the Village will be removed from the new Mobility Plan.

Even though he doesn’t have the authority to do that. And even though a proposal to remove it, or any other bike lane, from the plan must first be approved by the city Planning Commission, then face a hearing by the city council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees, before being voted on by the full council.

To this point, there have been no public discussions of the matter by any of those bodies.

Any secret discussions or backroom deals attempting to bypass that process would be a violation of the state’s Brown Act, which requires that all meetings of official bodies be held in public. And would likely invalidate any decisions resulting from it.

So let’s hope that she just misspoke or was misquoted, and meant to say that Koretz will attempt to have the bike lane removed from the plan.

Because we all have a right to be heard before any decision is made.

Especially the wrong one.

………

CiclaValley catches up on the latest details of the LA River bike path closure. The good news is most of the barriers will be on the opposite side of the river from the bike path. However, he says the path will close for construction of the barriers between Riverside and Glendale Blvd for two weeks starting on the 26th; no word yet on whether it will reopen in full or in part once the work is finished.

Meanwhile, LADOT Bike Blog fills in the history and the background of the flood control efforts on LA’s concrete river.

………

Tres shock! A new study shows what we already knew — sharrows don’t improve safety, and they don’t seem to increase ridership, either.

Meanwhile, another study suggests that biking infrastructure and gentrification mirror one another, making it difficult to say which one causes the other.

………

Semi-reformed celeb bad boy Justin Bieber nearly takes out an entire cycling team that was training in the ‘Bu, inexplicably running out in front of the riders waving his arms while they cruised down PCH at 25 mph.

However, all was forgiven when he posed for selfies with the riders, who forgot to ask why he did it in the first place.

Maybe he just wanted their autographs.

Although one site seems to blame the guys in the tight shorts, saying they should have stuck with SoulCycle.

………

Local

The petition to remove bike lanes from York Blvd in Northeast LA has 304 supporters as of this writing; the petition to keep them has 454.

There’s now more hope on Hope Street, as the DTLA street gets a new parklet.

A UCLA alum is filming a documentary about the problems bike riders face, focusing on last year’s Emmy Ride; the film’s executive producer is former Ad Men producer Tom Smuts, who started the ride.

Another former UCLA student writes that she has continued to ride after graduating, commuting to work, leading rides and volunteering as an advocate for safer streets. And it all began with the school’s program to rent out commuter bikes to students for $45 a quarter.

That guy riding one of New York’s Citi Bikes across the US has now made it to Claremont; Santa Monica Spoke invites you to welcome him when he ends his journey at the end of Route 66 on the 23rd.

Long Beach firefighters rescue a woman who injured her head when she somehow fell off the San Gabriel River bike path.

Mark your calendar. BikeSGV lists the seven — count ‘em — open streets events scheduled for the LA area this year.

 

State

Three Leucadia coffee shops will soon get bike corrals in the North San Diego County community.

Sad news from the Bay Area, as an 80-year old Novato sidewalk cyclist was killed in a collision with a 16-year old driver who was making a left turn out of a parking lot.

Streetsblog talks with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s new interim ED.

Best wishes to one of last year’s AIDS Lifecycle riders, Sonoma-area winemaker Chuck Hovey, who is recovering from a massive stroke he suffered just a week after finishing the ride.

In a crime that appears to be getting more common, a Sacramento cyclist is bike-jacked at knifepoint. Expanding the city’s bait bike program won’t help with that kind of theft, even though it lead to around 60 busts last year.

 

National

Nice. An Albuquerque program gives bikes to the homeless to help them get back on their feet.

An Oklahoma driver will face a felony manslaughter charge for the distracted driving death of a cyclist, who was biking across the country building and repairing homes; the woman who was riding with him is still recovering from her injuries.

Even the sponsor of the Missouri bill which would require every bicycle to have a 15-foot orange fluorescent flag agrees that it’s ridiculous; he claims he just wanted to get people talking about bike safety. He previously co-sponsored a bill that would have banned bikes from state roads if there was a bike trail within two miles of the highway.

Chicago is ticketing more drivers for parking in bike lanes, while expanding its bikeshare into predominantly African American and low-to-moderate income communities.

A 50-mile Kentucky bike ride will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the bike-riding Buffalo Soldiers in 1896.

A Massachusetts eighth grader testifies in front of a state legislative committee in support of a pair of bike safety bills, after his father was nearly caught between a bus and a row of parked cars when it cut into the bike lane as they were riding together.

Boston’s Bikeface compares bikes to shoes to explain why you always seem to need one more.

You still have a chance to win a bike ride with Bono through New York’s Central Park, who is tempting fate by returning to the scene of his solo crash.

A Georgia nurse who just happened to by passing by saved the life of a bike rider when he collapsed from a heart attack in the middle of an intersection.

Despite doomsday predictions, there have been no bike crashes on a Florida bridge two years after a ban on bikes was lifted.

 

International

Caught on video: An angry Brit bike rider confronts a driver inside a supermarket after a dangerously close punishment pass.

Supporters of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn raise funds to give him his dream bike, a sub-$700 Raleigh Criterium — even though a writer for the Telegraph criticized him for coveting such an “expensive” bike.

It took four cops to put an “arrogant” Irish bike rider in a squad car after he was busted for insisting on his “right to cycle in the manner in which he insisted he cycled;” during the incident, he called the Irish equivalent of 911 in an effort to report the police to the police.

So much for that friendly welcome to Europe. Norway is sending bike-riding Syrian refugees back to Russia the same way they came after they exploited a loophole banning anyone from walking or driving across the border.

The National continues its recent coverage of bicycling in the United Arab Emirates and beyond, this time offering a look at riding in Rwanda.

Dutch bank ING donates pedicabs to Philippine hurricane survivors to help lift them out of poverty.

 

Finally…

No matter how angry you get, don’t take it out on your bike. Speaking of tres shock!, LA bike thieves learn the hard way not to steal bikes. Or sit on them, anyway.

And it’s a common tactic for bike thieves to lock another bike to yours so they can come back later to take it. But what does it mean when someone ties a cute little dog up to your bike?

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions are always welcome in any amount, for any reason.

 

Morning Links: Daily News spins bike news badly, not getting it San Pedro, and a local bike rider needs your help

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2Sometimes, good news is bad news, depending on how you spin it.

The LA Daily News looks at the LA city council’s re-adoption of the new Mobility Plan last week, and the promise to consider proposed amendments after the first of the year.

Except they give it a very negative spin.

The story focuses on the possibility that bike lanes could be removed from the plan, likely or not. Along opposition to the plan from Councilmembers Paul Koretz and, disappointingly, David Ryu.

Koretz focuses his opposition to removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd in and near Westwood Village, just outside the UCLA campus, claiming it’s too dangerous for bike riders. Yet somehow, refuses to consider any plans to make it safer or propose any viable alternative.

His only solution is to keep it dangerous, while his search for a long-promised alternative route is seeming more and more like OJ’s search for the real killer.

Meanwhile Ryu, who promised to reconsider the decisions made by his predecessor Tom LaBonge, instead appears to be following in his anti-bike footsteps.

Writing for Orange 20 Bikes, Richard Risemberg says at least the city isn’t stabbing us in the back anymore.

They’re aiming their knives directly at us.

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Apparently, parking causes less congestion than bike lanes.

A San Pedro letter writer complains that replacing parking spaces with bike lanes on Western Avenue would increase congestion and make it harder for emergency vehicles to get through.

Which seems highly unlikely, unless cars are currently able to pass through parked vehicles, which would appear to violate the laws of physics. And emergency vehicles usually find it easier to drive through bike lanes than parked cars.

He also complains that the Measure R funds that would be used to pay for the lanes weren’t supposed to be used for bike lanes, suggesting they should instead be funded by supporters of Calbike and CABO, neither of whom had anything whatsoever to do with them. And that funds should be raised by registering and taxing bicyclists, and imposing fines on law-breaking cyclists.

The first of which is impractical for many reasons, and the latter already happens, despite his protestations. And those fines go to the state, just like the fines paid by scofflaw drivers.

Never mind that bike riders already pay more than their share for the roads we ride.

Then again, that letter has nothing on this absurdly auto-centric writer from Santa Barbara.

Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

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If you’re looking for a good cause this holiday season, you can’t do much better than World Bicycle Relief, which is using donated bicycles to change lives in less developed countries.

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Another good cause a lot closer to home.

Popular cyclist Egee Mabolis was badly injured during the monthly Ride With No Name, leaving him with no feeling in his arms and legs. A gofundme account established to help cover his medical costs has raised nearly $11,000 of the $25,000 goal — even though that won’t begin to cover the cost of his hospital care and rehabilitation, since he doesn’t have insurance.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because Mabolis was profiled by the LA Weekly last year for his work taming the notorious Trader Joe’s parking lot in Silver Lake.

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Film fans take note.

The first film from famed British director Ridley Scott, the auteur responsible for Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, was about a boy and bicycle, starring his late brother and future Top Gun director Tony.

The 27-minute student film is now available online.

While we’re on the subject of films, a writer for the Daily Beast kind of misses the point of the new documentary Bikes vs. Cars, which doesn’t really call for replacing all cars with bicycles, as tempting as that may seem at times.

If you want to see for yourself, Bikes vs. Cars opens this Friday at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood.

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Local

CicLAvia staffer and LADOT commissioner Tafarai Bayne discusses what it’s like to grow up carless in LA and the perils of biking while black.

A cyclist in his 40s suffered moderate injuries when he was hit by a sheriff’s deputy in Carson Thursday night.

Just one problem with LA’s 2024 Olympic bid: The BMX and mountain biking events projected for Griffith Park could be illegal.

Evidently, people really do walk in LA and Pasadena. And ride bikes, too.

 

State

An Escondido cyclist suffered life-threatening injuries when she was the victim of a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the driver of a black Toyota Corolla.

A local hiking group voices their support for the planned 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway around the Coachella Valley.

San Francisco follows an all-too-familiar pattern of fixing dangerous streets only after it’s too late. But at least they fix them, unlike some LA council districts we could name.

A transportation expert from UC Davis will make a presentation at this week’s Paris climate change conference touting the benefits of bicycling as a climate-friendly measure.

Family members and witnesses question the CHP’s investigation of a cyclist killed by a Sacramento judge, leading them to wonder if it’s just sloppy work or a cover-up.

 

National

America may not have hit peak car after all. Or maybe it did.

HuffPo says bikeshare is having a positive impact on city life throughout the US.

Life is cheap in Portland, where a truck driver faces a maximum $260 fine for dangerous left turn that took the life of a bike rider.

A Detroit man raised $15,000 to buy a new car for a man who rode a bike to work every day to save money to care for his sick wife.

The bike-hating New York Post blames scofflaw cyclists for the 4,463 bicyclists injured in the city last year, not the people in the big dangerous machines. And insists an Idaho stop law will only make things worse.

 

International

England’s last Plantagenet king is helping to lead the reclamation of Leicester from automobiles, over 500 years after Richard III famously failed to trade his kingdom for a horse.

British bike thieves get 12 years apiece for stabbing a man who was trying to reclaim his stolen bike.

Police in an English town are on the lookout for a cyclist — to thank her for lending them her hi-viz jacket so they could direct traffic.

A British man rides 400 miles to honor his late bike-riding mother.

Brit riders hold their third annual die-in to call for a stop to killing cyclists.

Caught on video: Apparently, being pregnant and wearing glasses is the latest excuse for left-hooking a British cyclist.

An injured cyclist says Maltese authorities are always on the driver’s side, concluding that his recent collision somehow broke the laws of physics.

Vogue says stylish cyclists are taking over Moscow.

Selling bikes by Bollywood.

A gold medal-winning Thai-American BMX rider is just as happy working in the rice paddy as competing against Asia’s best. No, really, that’s what it says.

 

Finally…

The beauty of a bicycle is its simplicity, until designers get their hands on it. Why clutter your home with bikes when you can park them on the ceiling? Evidently, the color of his bike is enough to make a man a suspect in the UK — accurately, as it turned out.

And shirtless cyclist and actor Russell Crowe goes riding with his mates in the “middle of f**king nowhere.”

 

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