Tag Archive for People for Bikes

Morning Links: More criticism of the GHSA bike safety report; register now for SoCal state highway safety summit

More responses to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s report on bicycle safety, which we discussed here yesterday.

Bike Portland digs deep into the stats to show the report just doesn’t add up. Streetsblog says despite what the report says, the bike boom has been fantastic for bike safety.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking says those scary numbers the report cited for California add up to just 6.3 deaths per 10,000 bike commuters in the state, and that the real scary data is how little states spend on bike and pedestrian safety.

The Bike League says the tone deaf press release doesn’t even mention speeding or driving behavior, and yes, bicycle safety is a national issue. And People for Bikes suggests that the safety in numbers effect means biking has been getting dramatically safer as Americans ride more.

On the other hand, KPCC’s Airtalk keeps it superficial in discussing the matter.

……..

The State of California is updating its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, described as a “holistic, statewide plan” that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roadways.

There are currently over 400 stakeholders participating in the process, from state and federal agencies to police departments, regional transportation agencies, tribal governments and private individuals.

As part of the update process, a Southern California summit will be held to collect public input on how to improve safety on the state’s roadways.

November 12, 2014
8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
California State University, Los Angeles
Golden Eagle Student Union
 

Advance registration is required no later than November 5th at

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1821831/California-SHSP-Development-Summits

Thanks to Alan for the heads-up.

……..

Local

Metro gets the ball rolling on South LA’s much needed Rail to River bikeway.

A writer for City Watch bizarrely asks if LA’s walkable streets and bike lanes are only for the creative class, before arguing that the streets will be incomplete if they don’t include street food vendors.

Writing for Streetsblog, former city council candidate Odysseus Bostick asks if Los Angeles can fix roads and sidewalks, invest in rail and bike share, and complete other needed infrastructure projects without raising taxes. Good question.

 

State

After five long years, Newport Beach unanimously approved the new Bicycle Master Plan. Maybe this will finally provide some much needed safety improvements down there.

San Diego plans to change the way residents get to work in the next 21 years.

A San Jose State University art exhibit documents a student’s bike tour down Highway 1.

 

National

Auto-centric magazine Road & Track surprisingly admits America is losing the war on distracted driving.

A cyclist rides a single speed from LA to Charleston SC in 27 days to raise awareness of human trafficking.

You can have Kevin Costner’s bike from American Flyers for a cool $40 grand. No offense, but for that price you can have damn near any bike you want.

Great idea, as the University of Louisville gives over 1,000 students $400 vouchers redeemable at local bike shops when they agree not to buy a campus parking permit for at least two years. Are you listening, parking-challenged UCLA?

A DC website asks if city residents will be willing to make the unpopular decisions necessary for Vision Zero to succeed. LA needs to ask itself the same question, now that it’s finally official policy here.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to ride in the rain, which is about as much winter as we ever get around here.

British employers should do more to ensure bike safety, as a significant proportion of road deaths and injuries are caused by work vehicles.

London’s Express offers ten, uh, make that six tips for safe winter riding.

Cycling Central argues that women riders don’t need their own Tour de France, but should have a pro tour of their own somewhere else. Probably because that would make it easier for TV and the press to ignore.

Bicycling is even booming in the land of Putin, as Russian cyclists bring bike culture to Moscow.

Life is cheap in Singapore, as a driver gets a whopping two weeks in jail for the death of a cyclist. But at least he won’t be driving — legally, anyway — for the next three years.

 

Finally…

No bikes involved, as Michigan man in a zombie costume tries to scare passing motorists, with predictable results; police are still looking for the driver. Speaking of which, you’ll need this bike for the coming zombie apocalypse.

And Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on the 2nd Annual South Bay Cycling Awards in his own inimitable style, tongue planted deeply in cheek.

 

Memorial service for Jim Swarzman, photos from CicLAvia, party with People for Bikes

A few quick bike notes, starting with the most important.

………

There will be a memorial service on Thursday for Jim Swarzman, the Encino cyclist killed by a hit-and-run driver in North San Diego County early Sunday morning. It will take place at noon at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, just off the 134 Freeway near Burbank and Griffith Park. The address is 5950 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles CA 90068; (323) 469-6000.

………

Santa Monica Spoke reports on an important city council meeting in that city tonight, including a discussion of bike lanes and road diets planned for the downtown area. The meeting takes place a 6:30 pm in the council chambers of Santa Monica City Hall.

………

I had planned to include this with my thoughts on Sunday’s CicLAvia, but haven’t been able to get that online yet due to more pressing matters. However, I do want to call your attention to great photo sets from Harry Dougherty from CicLAvia, as well as the LACBC Sunday Funday ride on the 4th.

George Wolfberg was also kind enough to forward photos, which I will share later along with my thoughts.

………

Don’t forget to attend tonight’s meeting of the Northridge West Neighborhood Council, or email your protest of the ridiculously punitive proposal to license all bikes for a minimum of $150 per year — clearly an attempt to force most cyclists off the road.

I don’t know if it’s possible to recall a member of a neighborhood council, but if it is, Valley cyclists should give it some serious consideration.

………

If you’re downtown tonight, you may want to attend the filming of People for Bike’s newest PSA, which promises to combine Djs, food and performance art. And you’re encouraged to bring your bike to join in. Full details below.

People for Bikes — giving you the power to change the world

According to Tim Blumenthal, bikes have the power to change the world.

As the president of the Bikes Belong Foundation, Blumenthal is one of the founders of People for Bikes, a new organization dedicated to making that change happen and finding a place on the streets — and in the federal budget — for the country’s rapidly expanding community of cyclists.

Created and funded by the Bikes Belong Foundation, a non-profit offshoot of the respected industry trade group Bikes Belong, People for Bikes was founded with a goal of building a nationwide coalition of one million bicyclists, one rider at a time — giving cyclists the clout that drivers have long enjoyed through organizations such as AAA.

According to Blumenthal, there are somewhere around 50 million bicyclists in the U.S., yet less than 1% of those have ever actively stood up to demand their rights and the support of their government — a number Blumenthal places at around 250,000 people.

So pat yourself on the back if you’re one of them.

Even though People for Bikes is supported by the bike industry — financially and otherwise — Blumenthal insists it operates independently of the business group.

“I’ve never been put under any pressure by any of the manufacturers,” he said. Rather than looking for instant results or increased sales, all of the companies involved take the long view, believing that bikes are good for the country.

He added that the group’s parent organization, the Bikes Belong Foundation, is also made up of leading organizations dedicated to the public good such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Just four years old, the foundation has rapidly become a major donor for local biking projects, including a grant to the LACBC to help build a regional bike-friendly community plan through the REI/Bicycle Friendly Communities Grant Program earlier this year.

In addition, People for Bikes has partnered with advocacy groups such as the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the Rails to Trails Conservancy. And they’ve recently joined with New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat, scheduled to visit Downtown’s L.A. State Historic Park on October 23rd.

Aside from simply signing up cyclists, the immediate goal of People for Bikes is to ensure the maximum percentage of funding for bike and pedestrian projects in the federal transportation bill to be considered next year.

Blumenthal traced a rising line through recent federal budgets, from just $450 million for bikes and pedestrians in 2000, to $700 million in 2007 and $1.3 billion this year, with a goal of $2 billion in 2012.

“Bike facilities don’t cost much compared to other transportation projects,” he continued, adding that bicyclists deserve better, safer and more convenient places to ride, such as dedicated bikeways, bike boulevards and separated bike paths.

In order to significantly increase the number of cyclists nationwide, average riders need to feel safe enough to ride regularly, according to Blumenthal. While stronger riders may feel comfortable riding in traffic or in a bike lane, for others, “a white stripe isn’t enough to make them feel safe.”

What’s necessary, he said, is to change the current culture where drivers have been prioritized and cars are king. But changing that car-centric mindset won’t be easy, as various users compete for increasingly limited space on and off the roads.

The first step, Blumenthal said, is simply to sign the pledge.

It’s a free and easy way to get involved — a “no brainer,” as he called it — adding that the organization won’t ask for anything other than your name, email address and zip code. (Something I can vouch for, having signed up a few months back myself.)

“It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you ride or where you ride,” Blumenthal continued. “People for Bikes is designed to unify all Americans who ride bikes.”

He explained that this is your opportunity to be part of a movement to increase the clout and credibility of bicyclists with key decision makers, and become a potent force in future legislation to make this a safer and more ridable country for cyclists of all types.

“More clout,” he said, “equals better bicycling.”

………

Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey reports that tonight’s scheduled meeting of the BAC has been postponed to accommodate the LAPD’s observance of the National Night Out. The meeting will take place on Monday, August 9 at 7 pm at the Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall Community Room, 6501 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

According to Bailey, the meeting will feature the revised bike plan, as well as a report from the LAPD.

At Monday’s rescheduled meeting, the City Planning Department will be presenting the revised draft Bicycle Plan as well as the proposed Five-Year Implementation Strategy.  Also, the LAPD will report its recent policy and training efforts relating to bicycling.  The revised special meeting agenda will be emailed in the next day or so.

………

Curbed LA relays a story from the Daily Bruin reporting on bad roads in Westwood — one of the city’s busiest biking centers — that take down riders on a regular basis. The city advises calling 311 to report potholes, saying they can be fixed within 48 hours. Although in my experience, patch jobs usually aren’t enough and often make the road rougher than it was before.

………

Just five weeks after suffering a heart attack, local rider GT gets the best news he could possibly get. Robert Sam Sanchez begins his prison term for the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Armas. Lance tells Antonio the goal is to stay on the bike, while Stephen Box calls on the Mayor to take advantage of the opportunity. Malibu wants a safer PCH; then again, so do cyclists. Cyclists demand change at the Beverly Hills Court House. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske advises you to keep your cool, even when the cop that pulls you over is wrong. Listen my children and you shall hear of cyclists calling “the bulldozers are near;” thanks to George Wolfburg for the heads up. Discovering bike parking in NYC. Illinois will now install and maintain roadside memorials to people killed by reckless drivers. The League of American Bicyclists says act now to stop the spread of roadside rumble strips. The National Journal asks if cyclists and pedestrians will squeeze out cars; LAB President Andy Clarke says transportation is not a zero sum game. A three-year old Cleveland boy is seriously injured by a hit-and-run cyclist who claimed his brakes weren’t working. After being seriously injured riding off-road, a Philadelphia cyclist tweets for help. Only one third of Toronto cyclists are comfortable riding major streets without bike lanes. Ticketing dangerous Delhi drivers through Facebook.

Finally, Boston Biker says electric bikes are nothing more than crappy mountain bikes made heavier and more expensive.

A look at vehicular cycling, People for Bikes, and a lot of links

If you listen to the most vocal cyclists, you would assume that vehicular cycling was a long-settled issue, and that everyone agrees that bicyclists belong in the traffic lane, operating their bike like any other vehicle.

But as Boston Biker astutely points out, it doesn’t take much observation to realize that the overwhelming majority of cyclists prefer riding in bike lanes. The European countries with the highest percentage of cycling also have the greatest amount of cycling infrastructure, while here in the U.S. — where a lack of infrastructure has virtually demanded a vehicular approach to cycling — the percentage of bike commuters languishes around 1%.

Adding infrastructure also encourages riding, as shown by the dramatic growth in New York cycling after the city tripled the miles of bike lanes on their streets. Whether or not riders are actually safer in a bike lane, they feel safer, and better infrastructure is frequently cited as the #1 factor that would encourage new riders to take up the sport.

Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. Given the choice, I prefer riding bike lanes and bike paths, but have no problem riding vehicularly when the situation calls for it.

But whether or not you agree with the writer, it’s a well thought out piece. And definitely worth reading.

………

I’ve been watching People for Bikes with interest lately, ever since the plan was announced at this year’s National Bike Summit back in March.

Formed by Bikes Belong, the bike industry’s leading trade group — and one of the best sources for cycling stats — with the support of several of the nation’s leading bike advocacy groups, People for Bikes has a goal of signing up one million cyclists to create a nationwide voice for cyclists.

By uniting a million voices for bicycling, we will help build a national movement with clout and influence. Our unified message—that bicycling is important and should be promoted—will resonate with leaders, the media and public.

It’s a worthwhile goal, with a pledge I think we can all agree on. And one that I’ve already signed up for.

The Pledge

I am for bikes. I’m for long rides and short rides. I’m for commuting to work, weekend rides, racing, riding to school, or just a quick spin around the block. I believe that no matter how I ride, biking makes me happy and is great for my health, my community and the environment we all share. That is why I am pledging my name in support of a better future for bicycling — one that is safe and fun for everyone. By uniting my voice with a million others, I believe that we can make our world a better place to ride.

But if you need a little further inducement, you have just one more week to sign up and have a chance to win a free Trek Allant that will be given away at the end of this month.

………

In a little bit of non-cycling news, one of the nation’s leading examples of eco living is closing.

Started by Julia Russel in the 1970s, Eco-Home demonstrates how anyone can live with minimal impact on the environment by retrofitting a 1911 California bungalow to conserve energy and water, and grow food locally, along with other ways to live in a more sustainable manner — including riding your bike for more trips.

Three more tours are still scheduled before it closes; read more on the Eco-Village Blog.

………

And in one more non-biking item that found its way to my inbox, Sony is sponsoring the nationwide Rock’n’ Roll Marathon Series, starting in San Diego on June 6 and reaching L.A. on October 24. Events include a two-day Health and Fitness Expo and a finish line concert for runners, family and friends.

So where’s the bike tour to go along with it?

………

In pro doping cycling news, Cadel Evans and Ivan Basso continue their comeback in the Giro D’Italia, as a strong performance in Tuesday’s time trial puts them within striking distance of the leader; today’s relatively easy stage doesn’t change anything.

A silver medal-winning Spanish track cyclist is the latest to test positive for a banned substance. Meanwhile, there may be more shoes to drop in the wake of Floyd Landis’ charges. And a federal investigation could answer once and for all whether Lance Armstrong is clean; international cycling’s governing body claims there’s no conflict of interest despite a $100,000 donation from Armstrong.

………

Cynergy offers a free lecture on how to use science to get race ready at 6:30p today; hopefully they won’t recommend the Landis technique. Damien Newton looks back at bike week and asks where’s our bike plan, while Stephen Box looks at what follows bike week and notes the success of the LAPD Bike Task Force. Sara Bond speaks about Bikeside Speaks! A call to build a bike corridor from Norwalk to the beach. CHP cracks down on BWI — Biking While Intoxicated. Is San Diego on its way to becoming SoCal’s newest bike Mecca? Tucson Velo explores Los Angeles with the locals. Shock in Arizona as police actually enforce the state’s three foot passing law. Five dollars could help fund a new documentary on ghost bikes. New York spends $15.7 million to complete the last half mile of a riverfront bike superhighway — roughly twice the cost per mile to build the proposed extension of the Marvin Braude Bike Path. WashCycle refutes the so-called facts about bike helmets; WalkBikeJersey objects to the media’s attitude of “wear a bike helmet or die.” Federal standards recommend rumble strips on rural roads, without regard for cyclist safety. The woman rider who made the podium of last year’s Leadville 100 while racing under another woman’s name and number pleads guilty — to trespassing? Cyclelicious points the way to a DC law firm that’s started its own in-house bike share program. DC’s bike sharing plan will see a 900% increase in size, while L.A.’s is still in the talking stage, like everything else. Sometimes the biggest danger cyclists face comes from other cyclists. A guilty verdict for the Portland-area man who intentionally backed his SUV over a cyclist. Cyclists aren’t the only ones who ignore stop signs. Police crack down on Copenhagen cyclists — for one week only. Eight riders are injured as an SUV drives into the peloton during an Irish race. A pocket sized guide to the 100 greatest climbs in Britain.

Finally, I’m packing my bags for South Carolina, as developers plan the nation’s first bike-only community.

%d bloggers like this: