Tag Archive for pedestrian safety

Morning Links: Blaming pedestrians in the name of safety, and free bike for helping catch Burbank bike thief

If you’re reading this, I assume you survived the three-day weekend in one piece.

So welcome back, and lets get started.

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A column by Steve Scauzillo in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune correctly notes that roads aren’t just for cars, and that pedestrians are paying too high a price just to cross the street.

And he describes the dangers of speeding traffic, and having to wave his arms to alert drivers who speed through intersections or aren’t paying attention.

But instead of urging drivers to slow down, or reminding them of the dangers their vehicles pose to others, he offers four suggestions to improve safety — three of which are aimed at people on foot.

1. Put down the cell phone when crossing a street.

2. It goes without saying that drivers should never be looking at or talking into a cellphone (except with the aid of a hands-free device).

3. Pedestrians should stop jaywalking.

4. Be alert in crosswalks — they are not impenetrable.

Like bicyclists, pedestrians have to look out for their own safety, because too many drivers aren’t looking out for either of us.

But the problems on our streets aren’t caused by careless pedestrians. Or bike riders.

They’re caused by a driving public that has forgotten that they’re operating big, dangerous machines that can kill in a moment of carelessness.

Or just don’t care.

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Burbank’s H&S Bicycles is offering a free bike worth up to $1000 for anyone who can help find the burglar who has robbed the store three times this year.

The latest theft involved the 2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude A50 Large seen below.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; I’m afraid I lost track of it over the weekend. But thank you anyway.

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Speaking of careless drivers, a Jimmy Johns bike delivery rider was hit by a distracted Miami cop while he was riding in a crosswalk.

And he was the one who went to jail.

The rider was so angry when he was struck by the woman driver as she spoke on her handheld cellphone that he failed to notice it was an unmarked police vehicle. And threw his bike against the car, causing $500 damage.

He was arrested for criminal mischief and ticketed for failing to yield. Even though it was at least the third time the same officer had been seen using her phone behind the wheel.

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Irish UFC fighter Connor McGregor is one of us, riding his bike to train for his recent bout with Floyd Mayweather.

Then again, so is the Philadelphia bike cop with the Nazi tattoo. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Thirty-year old Canadian cyclist Michael Woods is turning heads in the Vuelta in just his second Grand Tour, starting today’s stage in eighth place. Meanwhile, Russian cyclist Ilnur Zakarin has slowly worked himself up to a podium position.

Cycling Pub offers a wrap-up of the second week of the Vuelta.

Caught on video: Once again, a race vehicle has knocked down a cyclist, this time a team car in the Tour of Britain; fortunately, Polish rider Karol Domagalski was not seriously injured. More proof that motorized race vehicles don’t belong in the peloton, whether two-wheeled or four.

CNN profiles the great Miguel Indurain, the only cyclist to win the Tour de France in five consecutive years who hasn’t been stripped of his title.

Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador calls for a salary cap for pro cycling teams to help keep teams afloat and competitive.

A new report says current tests can’t discover the latest generation of hidden motors used for motor doping; naturally, cycling’s governing body begs to differ.

Aussie rider Carol Cooke has successfully defended her titles in the road race and time trial at the world Para-Cycling championships; she’s a three-time winner in road cycling, and four-time in the time trial.

Former race car driver Alex Zanardi successfully defended his world Para-Cycling time trial championship, and finished half a wheel behind the winner in the road race; he lost his legs in a horrific IndyCar crash in 2001.

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Local

A 43-year old bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was the victim of a drive-by shooting in Rosemead just after midnight Sunday.

Santa Monica is installing a state-of-the-art sensor system on some of its buses to detect bicyclists and pedestrians in time to avoid a collision.

Metro Bike comes to Venice this Thursday, with 165 bikeshare bikes at 15 docking stations.

 

State

An Op-Ed in the Orange County Register says the Santa Ana River Trail belongs to the taxpayers, and the homeless camps alongside it have to go.

Two hundred San Diego bicyclists rode to honor fallen cyclist Paul Cornish; the 70-year old bike rider, who once set a record for riding from LA to New York, was killed last week by a driver with a suspended license in a stolen car.

A 16-year old Hemet pedestrian is in critical condition, and his salmon cycling companion injured, because a driver had a sneezing fit.

A Los Banos burglar learns the hard way that if he’s going to carry two loaded guns, a meth pipe, $137 in cash and several coins on the bike he just stole, to put a damn light on it.

A Bakersfield writer says the city has wide streets that can accommodate everyone, and needs to build safe infrastructure to improve bikeability and walkability.

The San Jose Mercury News takes an ebike trip to Big Sur.

Not surprisingly, bicyclists support a new lane reduction project in San Jose.

A local paper profiles the policy and planning director for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, who’s working to make Petaluma more bikeable.

 

National

City Lab looks at the nationwide trend of using human bollards to create protected bike lanes and call attention to the need to improve safety for bicyclists.

Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont is three-quarters the way around the world as he attempts to circumnavigate the world by bike in just 80 days; he’s currently riding through the US.

A Santa Fe truck driver got ten and a half years behind bars for the meth-fueled crash that killed two people when he plowed into a group of five bike riders.

A Boulder CO couple has spent the last 14 months driving around the US to ride their bikes all over the country.

A San Antonio TX bike non-profit is fighting childhood obesity by allowing children to earn bicycles, requiring 12 hours of work to get the bike they want.

The mayor of an Iowa town says building bike trails is good public policy.

Minneapolis police remind bike riders that we need to stop for stop signs for our own safety, but get it wrong when a rider takes the lane. I couldn’t care less if you decide to roll a stop when there’s no one else around. But in the name of all that’s holy, observe the damn right-of-way and stop for stop signs if there’s conflicting traffic.

Authorities say changing the design of a bike trail on a massive DC area highway widening project could jeopardize the entire thing; bike advocates want the trail moved from next to the highway to the other side of a sound wall, which would violate an agreement with homeowners.

Coral Gables FL is planning to use planters and green space to create protected bike lanes.

 

International

Now that’s a ciclovía. Bolivia banned cars from city streets throughout the entire country for one day, dropping pollution levels up to 70%.

Manchester, England police are accused of victim shaming after tweeting that cyclists shouldn’t weave in and out of traffic, after two young women are killed in separate bike crashes that had absolutely nothing to do with that.

The Guardian looks at the maker of The Laserlight, which projects an image of a bicycle onto the street 16 feet ahead of your bike.

Britain’s Cycling Weekly is facing a boycott from women after labeling a woman in a photo of a racing club as a “token attractive woman.”

A British sports site offers their ten favorite inspirational quotes about bicycling.

An Irish father is riding through all 32 Irish counties in just eight days to raise funds in honor of his 16-year old daughter, who died of a brain tumor.

An 18-year old Saudi Arabian woman is using social media to get other young woman riding.

Nigerian soldiers ambushed a group of suspected bike-riding Boko Haram terrorists, recovering 18 bicycles, seven swords and a pair of slippers.

A Malawi cyclist plans to raise funds to send two needy students to school by riding over six miles uphill while standing up on his bike.

A New Zealand coroner blames the death of a woman bicyclist on brakes that were too large for her small hands, recommending that every bike rider should have a properly fitted bicycle.

Perth, Australia will invest $129 million to fill in the gaps and dead ends in the city’s network of bike paths.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging Aussie driver intentionally rammed a bike rider; no word on the condition of the victim.

When an ebike rider flees the scene after running down an elderly Shanghai woman, it sparks a debate over whether riders of electric bikes should carry liability insurance.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you ride your girlfriend’s bike to break into an office, try not to steal any cremated remains. If you’re going to steal a $2,000 bicycle from an unlocked garage, leave your $100 beater bike in its place.

And proof that you can ride a bike in a skirt.

Even if you’re a man.

 

Morning Links: Slow start for Metro Bike Share, and a call for banning bikes from LA River Bike Path

My apologies for the continued lack of email notifications for subscribers. Painfully slow response times from the service techs doesn’t help.

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According to the LA Times, bikeshare is off to a slow start in Los Angeles.

The paper reports that the Metro Bike system, currently limited to DTLA, averaged 73 trips per bicycle in the first three months of operation, less than one-sixth that of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare.

However, it’s doing better than Santa Monica’s Breeze, which averaged just 58 trips per bike in its first three months.

The paper also reports that Metro Bike plans to expand to Pasadena, Venice and the Port of Los Angeles next year, continuing its policy of developing isolated systems, rather than building an interconnected network throughout the city.

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As we noted earlier this week, it’s tragic that an Elysian Valley woman was struck from behind by cyclist while walking on the LA River Bike Path.

But it’s irresponsible to assume the rider was at fault without knowing any details of how it happened, or even if he or she stopped afterwards. And even more irresponsible to call for banning all bikes from the bike path as a result, as members of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch are demanding.

Particularly if this is just the second such collision in three years, as the story suggests. Which would be an enviable record for any shared path.

Shared pathways inevitably pose risks to both bike riders and walkers. Yes, those of us on two wheels have a greater responsibility to watch out for others, since we pose the greater risk.

But we can be the victims of careless pedestrians, just as they can be the victims of careless bicyclists.

And some of us have the scars to prove it.

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Don’t forget Sunday’s CicLAvia, which returns to the traditional Heart of Downtown course; you’ll find feeder rides from all over town.

Although my feeder ride is likely to be the Red Line.

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The Guardian looks at the 110th edition of the season-ending Giro Di Lombardia.

The inventor of hidden motors in racing bicycles accuses UCI, bike racing’s governing body, of blocking tests for motor doping at this year’s Tour de France.

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Local

CiclaValley asks if saving a few seconds behind the wheel really matters.

People often quit cycling because of a wreck with a car; a 76-year old Santa Monica man got into bicycling because of one; he took up master’s bike racing after he was hit by a car while walking, ending his career as a power lifter.

Malibu is asking for public input on what to do with Trancas Field above PCH, including a possible skate park and bike pump track.

 

State

Newport Beach police are looking for the owners of eight stolen bicycles recovered in a recent raid, along with a shitload of drugs.

The Wall Street Journal highlights some of the 87 bicycles from the collection of the late Marin County resident Robin Williams that are being auctioned this week; VeloNews lists their five favorite bikes from the collection. I’ll take the Soviet team bike, thank you; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

Soap opera star Bryan Craig will star in Ride, a new movie about BMX racing to be filmed around Napa and Petaluma.

How to plan a weekend getaway pedaling Napa’s wine country bike trail.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine continues its newfound commitment to clickbait, offering 12 ways bikes make American cities more awesome.

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is leading a 70 mile bike ride from Taos to Santa Fe NM to promote health and fitness. And no doubt, to prove he has the “stamina” for the job.

Every summer thousands of cyclists spend a week pedaling across Iowa; each fall, a handful of riders do it in a single day.

The best museum in Pittsburgh may be a five year old bike shop with a collection of 3,500 vintage and modern bikes.

A Florida driver got four to seven years for the hit-and-run death of a 10-year old girl who paused to talk with a friend as she rode her bike.

 

International

A new study says male bike riders are less likely to be involved in conflicts with vehicles at intersections than women. Which could be another reason why women are less likely to ride than men.

An Ontario letter writer blames those darn bike lanes for making bike riders lazy and drivers dangerous. Because it was paradise on the roads before they were striped, evidently.

Tragic news from Toronto, where an 84-year old woman was killed in a collision with a cyclist as she was crossing the street; police are looking for the hit-and-run rider who left the scene before officers arrived. For anyone unclear on the concept, you have an obligation to stop, render aid and exchange ID and insurance information following a collision, just like any driver.

One in three Toronto bicyclists are female, but a lack of safe infrastructure keeps more women from riding.

London business leaders say the solution to managing traffic is to rip out the bike lanes, drop the congestion charge, and let motor vehicles run amok. In other words, continue the same outdated policies that got them into this mess.

A San Francisco man rides 400-miles through Israel with wounded Israeli vets.

A group of Muslim women in Australia ride each week to overcome fear caused by “negative Islamic rhetoric” and show that they’re the same as any other women.

Bloomberg says China’s bikesharing programs could lead the world back to the bicycle.

 

Finally…

It takes a special kind of jerk to cut off a little girl on a bicycle, then swear at her because she scratched your car trying to avoid a wreck. No, it’s not the “left turn of death” if no one has been killed there and hardly anyone injured. But nice try.

And who needs a car when you can skitch?

Morning Links: Cedillo condemns calls for safer streets, Coronado madness round 3, and more bighearted people

One person’s political gain is another’s plea for safer streets.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo sent an email saying it’s unacceptable to use the hit-and-run death of Irma Yolanda Espinoza-Lugo on North Figueroa for political gain.

Except that seems to be exactly what he’s doing.

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It’s sad that calling for safer streets in the wake of a needless tragedy is seen as a “political opportunity for personal gain.”

Especially since this wreck occurred on a stretch of North Figueroa that would have already undergone safety improvements if Cedillo hadn’t personally blocked them, despite overwhelming community support.

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It just keeps getting nuttier down in Coronado.

After banning a beach bike path because it would attract bike riding tourists, and halting planned bike lanes because they would introduce vertigo-inducing visual blight, residents are now going after proposed traffic lights for fear they will cause gridlock, noise and pollution, and forever change the city’s quiet, calm atmosphere.

Because that’s what traffic lights do, evidently.

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Bighearted people continue to make the news.

A Kansas cop brought a homeless man to tears by giving him a bicycle from the department’s stash of unclaimed bikes, so the man wouldn’t have to walk several hours a day to his job.

And an anonymous donor replaced the bike stolen from a British Columbia teen after his was taken when he stopped at a 7-11.

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Business Insider offers a close-up look at Peter Sagan’s $9,250 world championship winning Specialized S-Works Tarmac. Note to TMZ: That’s a “super expensive” bike, not this.

An Austrian cyclist who took a frightening spill during the U23 road race blames a broken steerer damaged when his bike flew off a support car during the time trial.

Cycling Weekly looks at the six Brits who have won the worlds, including this year’s road race champ Lizzie Armistead.

And both drivers and cyclists say better education is the key to building on the success of the worlds to make Richmond VA a safer place to ride a bike.

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Local

CiclaValley says Times’ columnist George Skelton’s call for a registration fee on bike riders is flat Earth thinking. Meanwhile, a Modesto rider says go ahead and bill him 60¢ for the wear and tear his bike causes on the roads.

The Los Ryderz bike club in Watts will ride for cancer awareness on Saturday, despite losing their tools and a pair of bikes in a break-in. This would be a good opportunity for some bighearted people right here in LA to step up and help replace them.

Friends have set up a gofundme page for a Long Beach bike rider who was seriously injured in a collision with a truck last week; the fund has raised $7,285 of the $10,000 goal in just five days. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Bike League webinar will feature Daniella Alcedo from the LACBC’s Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition and Maria Sipin of Multicultural Communities for Mobility this Thursday at 11 am.

Krosstoberfest comes to Long Beach this Saturday with the SoCalCross Prestige Series cyclocross races at El Dorado Park. I can almost hear the polka music and smell the muddy lederhosen already.

Celebrate Rideshare Week with a ride on the karaoke rickshaw October 5th through 9th.

 

State

A teenage bike rider was seriously injured in an Escondido collision after witnesses said he rode through a red light and into the path of an oncoming truck.

No bias here. A Banning newspaper says a Beaumont cyclist was injured after “driving” into a car, even though it says the driver didn’t see him. The driver must have left crossed the rider, since they were going in opposite directions on the same road.

Saturday’s Simi Valley Share the Road Ride will honor fallen cyclist Phil Hernandez, while calling attention to the need to make room for bicyclists; riders can choose courses from 25 to 100 miles.

The San Francisco Chronicle rejects the call for an Idaho stop law, saying road safety and established law trump the inconvenience of stopping for a stop sign. Meanwhile, after the city’s mayor threatened to veto the ordinance because he won’t trade safety for convenience, Streetsblog SF offers proof he does exactly that on a regular basis.

Bad enough that we have to worry about dangerous drivers; a Berkley bike rider was injured when a falling tree knocked down a power pole and he crashed into the fallen power line.

The bicyclist killed in a Yolo County time trial over the weekend was an experienced cyclist who worked as a consultant for Oracle. Police say both the victim and the driver appear to be at fault, since the driver passed unsafely while the victim wasn’t riding far to the right.

 

National

If you have a bike with disc brakes, there’s a good chance it may be on this recall list. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

A pair of filmmaking adventurers rescue an abandoned puppy while on a 900-mile bike trip to climb 45 towers in the Southwestern US.

There’s special place in hell for someone who would steal a pair of custom-made tricycles that provide mobility for a wheelchair-bound Portland woman.

City officials in Boulder CO vote to undo a road diet in the face of vitriolic criticism, even though it improved safety in the short amount of time it was allowed to exist; People for Bikes says it will be just the fourth protected bike lane removed anywhere in the US.

An Iowa man faces up to 25 years in prison for killing a bike rider taking part in a group ride; his BAC was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Opinions vary over a protected bike lane currently under construction in Chattanooga TN, even among bike riders. Instead of complaining about the loss of just 15 parking spaces, try installing a few bike racks to draw customers on two wheels.

A writer for the Wall Street Journal seems surprised he survived his first ride on one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bike.

Philadelphians call for car-free weekends in the city center after the papal visit shows how nice the city could be with fewer cars.

A North Carolina man seems to be on a one-person crusade to have ghost bikes removed.

A Florida legislator re-files a vulnerable user law that would require drivers to yield to bike riders and pedestrians when making a right turn that crosses sidewalks, bicycle lanes or bicycle paths.

A crawling burglar in the Sunshine State somehow managed to steal 40 bikes and equipment worth $104,000 after disabling a bike shop’s security system. So if you start seeing a bunch of brand new bikes on Craigslist at ridiculously low prices…

 

International

Interesting collision data from the UK; not surprisingly, Mondays and morning rush hour are the most dangerous times for London bicyclists

Once again, bike riders are the good guys, as a pair of British paramedics drop out of a charity ride to help a woman injured in a car crash.

An Irish cyclist has his bike stolen after it carried him over 18,000 miles around the world; he was the only one of four competitors to finish last year’s World Cycle Race.

Wired says the recent car-free day in Paris shows what our cities can be.

A Danish study looks at the behavior of road users to determine the ideal width for two-way cycle tracks, concluding after a number of complex calculations that the magic number is 7.38 feet if there’s no parking, and 7.7 feet if there’s parking alongside the bike lanes.

Australia’s Victoria state has promised key bike projects, but failed to deliver. Sounds familiar.

 

Finally…

You too, can learn to pop a wheelie in just 35 easy lessons. For anyone unclear on the subject, throwing it through a restaurant window is not the proper use of your bicycle.

And that’s what I call a foldie, e-bike or otherwise.

 

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