Tag Archive for Peter Flax

Morning Links: Flax calls out road diet bullies, PCH bike/ped safety grant, and ‘tis the season for bike giveaways

Yes, we were bullied.

An Op-Ed by Peter Flax offers a good look at what he describes as the histrionics and fake news that have corrupted the road diet debate in the wake of the Playa del Rey debacle.

He describes the one-sided videos and unsupported accusations that the lane reductions were harming businesses in Playa and Mar Vista. And that it was Mayor Garcetti who pulled the plug in Playa del Rey.

One unpublicized meeting spelled the end of the task force and the Playa del Rey road diet. In league with outside forces, lower Playa business owners — among them prominent members of the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, already applying public pressure — demanded an audience with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. People familiar with the proceedings tell me the group confronted Garcetti with a narrative that the road diet was destroying local businesses and made explicit threats to undermine the mayor’s political ambitions. These strong arm tactics set off a chain of events that led to the near-complete reversal of traffic-calming measures on Culver, Jefferson and Pershing…

This was a savvy move: Everyone cares about the health of small businesses in the community. As an advocate for pedestrian and cyclist safety, I will admit that I’m comfortable if peoples’ commutes get a few minutes longer if it makes our streets less dangerous, but I don’t want local merchants to suffer. Nobody does, and a perception that road diets harm local businesses could shift public opinion in a major way. Dozens of studies conducted in major U.S. cities have concluded that traffic calming efforts ultimately boost business, but that certainly hasn’t stopped opponents from arguing that these dynamics don’t apply in L.A.

He also points the finger where it belongs — at the mayor and city departments that have failed to lead and to stand up in support of their own programs.

The absence of facts is a defining problem in the public conversation about our roads. This cannot simply be blamed on one side of this dispute. Part of the problem is how poorly our politicians and transportation officials as well as the city’s dominant news outlets have communicated incontestable facts to people who live and drive in L.A. The mayor has been painfully silent.

This has created a void that allows a free-for-all on Facebook and Nextdoor, where people on both sides can essentially make up their own facts — about travel times, accident rates, business impacts, the laws governing speeding and jaywalking, the scientific underpinning of Vision Zero, and so on. Rather than form opinions about what to do on Venice Boulevard based on substantiated traffic or accident data, published studies on road diets, or an unbiased analysis of business impacts, the public has wound up getting informed and misinformed by social media, where people who are angry about traffic freely dismiss INRIX and LADOT data as #fakenews and then create memes with data they prefer.

It’s worth reading the full piece. Because this is the fight we’re all in if we want safer streets in the City of Angels, whether we like it or not.

And yes, I’ve felt a lot of that bullying myself, usually after something I’ve written has been mentioned on Nextdoor, a site I avoid like the plague.

Although nowhere near as much as Flax, who has been subject to more abuse and attempts at character assignation than anyone should have to tolerate.

All for the sake of safer and more livable streets, and a more vibrant community.

There is a sickness within our society right now, where what should be civil, fact-based debates too often degenerate into name calling and outright lies.

Not to mention the death threats I reported to the police earlier this year.

This is our city and these are our streets. They don’t belong to cars or the people in them.

They belong to all of us.

And we all have a right to live — and survive — on them.

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A $15,000 state grant will be used to improve bike and pedestrian safety along PCH through Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Malibu, including better enforcement and education on bike laws.

Although they should start by educating the sheriff’s department, which frequently misinterprets CVC 21202 to ticket people for riding abreast or in the traffic lane, both of which are legal in most cases.

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‘Tis the season.

The parents of a fallen soldier have purchased 70 bicycles for kids at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood.

A Virginia Walmart has stepped in to supply 460 of the 600 bicycles needed for a kids’ bike giveaway, after the original order was screwed up.

One thousand volunteers turned out in Tampa FL to build 800 bicycles to give to needy children.

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This is day seven of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

You can donate with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

As always, any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And thanks to J Patrick L, Michael Y, Jeffrey F, Mark J, Joel S, Ellen S and Evan B for their generous donations to help support this site. And a belated thanks to Robs M for being the first to donate using Zelle, which apparently doesn’t let me know when someone uses it.

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Local

Spin is the latest dockless bikeshare company to invade LA, setting up office with a pilot program in Koreatown; Streetsblog asks if privately owned dockless bikeshare will prove to be a blessing or curse.

The LA Daily News looks at Metro’s plans to address the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Downtown LA — although construction won’t start for at least another five years. Good thing they weren’t planning to use it for the road cycling course in the 2028 Olympics.

UCLA’s student newspaper say’s Elon Musk’s tunnels won’t solve LA’s traffic problems, and represents the same old thinking that got Angelenos stuck in this mess. Although the point of the tunnels isn’t to solve traffic problems, but just to let wealthy drivers avoid them.

A Monrovia letter writer can’t seem to grasp the concept that sharrows mean that’s where bikes are supposed to be, bike riders don’t have to get the way out of impatient drivers, and drivers are supposed to change lanes to pass people on bicycles.

 

State

Southern California officials say cuts in the proposed GOP tax bill could result in an increase in traffic, including the loss of a $20 benefit for people who bike to work.

The OC Sheriff’s Department is looking for the owners of the 1,000 presumably stolen bicycles that were recovered near a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River; if you think your bike might be one of them, send a description of the bike and the serial and police report numbers to [email protected].

A 19-year old Watsonville man will face a vehicular homicide charge in the September death of a bike rider after police concluded he was speeding. And even though the victim ran a red light.

A new short documentary profiles a bike-riding, tai chi-practicing, tennis-playing San Franciscan octogenarian artist.

Once again, opponents attempt to use California’s CEQA anti-pollution laws to stop construction of bike and pedestrian paths in San Francisco, which is exactly what the revised rules are supposed to prevent. Update: J. Patrick Lynch forwards word that the San Francisco Supervisors shot that attempt down

You’ll soon need a reservation to visit the popular Muir Woods National Monument near Sausalito, unless you’re riding a bicycle or entering on foot.

A Sacramento cyclist is using a new form of inhaled insulin to control his Type 1 diabetes.

 

National

A new bike trailer can carry as much as a minivan while doubling as a fork lift — although you might need an ebike to pull the full 400 pound load.

Phoenix parents hop in their car and chase down a thief who stole their son’s bike.

A Colorado letter writer addresses the hatred expressed by some people towards the people on bikes who have the audacity to slow them down for a few seconds. Proving that it’s not just a SoCal phenomenon after all.

Caught on video: A pair of mountain bikers make the first-ever bike descent of a famed black diamond ski run at Jackson Hole WY.

Once again, authorities managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until he killed someone. A Houston woman calls for changes in DUI laws after her bike-riding husband was killed by an alleged drunk driver who was already facing a previous drunk driving charge. Anyone arrested for DUI should automatically have their license suspended and the car they were driving impounded until the case is resolved.

A Texas TV station steps in after a bike rider gets the runaround when his bike was damaged by an uninsured Lyft driver.

Heartbreaking story from Minnesota, where a restaurant worker was the victim of two crashes in three weeks while riding his bike. And may not survive the second one, after the driver fled the scene.

Kindhearted Michigan police buy a new bike for a five-year old boy after he got caught in his and had to be cut out.

The Department of DIY strikes in Boston, where someone spray painted a bike lane on a bridge.

Once again, the tone deaf NYPD responds to the death of bike rider killed by a speeding driver by ticketing people riding bikes.

No surprise here, as the man accused of killing eight people in the New York bike path attack on Halloween has pled not guilty.

Hundreds of Philadelphians form a human-protected bike lane to protest the death of a bike rider killed by the driver of a trash truck while riding in a faded bike lane.

A road raging Pennsylvania man was sentenced to between one to 23 months in prison for attempting to run a bike rider off the road and threatening to kill him; he blamed the victim, as well as medications he was taking for paranoia and bipolar disorders.

A Florida bike rider became the latest victim of a police officer responding to an alarm without lights and sirens.

 

International

Local politicians say more has to be done to protect bicyclists and pedestrians in Victoria, British Columbia. And pretty much everywhere else.

Toronto is considering adopting a bike registration and theft reporting app that has resulted in a 30% drop in bike thefts in Vancouver over the last two years. Can we get that here? Pretty please?

London’s protected cycle superhighways move people five times more efficiently than regular traffic lanes. Meanwhile, the city will ban construction of new parking spaces in large segments of the city to reduce pollution. Which is probably better than LA’s approach of ripping out bike lanes.

A British magazine talks with adventurer Mark Beaumont about his record-setting ride around the world in less than 80 days.

Kashmir bicyclists pedal for democracy to call attention to the upcoming election process.

Caught on video too: After an Aussie driver nearly sideswiped a man riding in a bike lane, the driver accused him of riding outside the lane, which he clearly didn’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

Israel may be paying Chris Froome two million euros — the equivalent of $2.37 million — just to participate in next year’s Giro d’Italia, which is scheduled to start in the country.

A federal judge rules that Lance can use the “everybody else was doing it” defense in the $100 million lawsuit brought against him for allegedly defrauding his government sponsors through systematic doping.

Seven Columbian cyclists and one Bolivian rider failed drug tests at August’s Tour of Columbia, testing positive for a form of EPO. But let’s all pretend the doping era ended when Lance got busted, okay?

 

Finally…

You may able to drink your next Surly. You could be able to ride on, not in, your next Rapha.

And probably not the best idea to interrupt your 25-year ride around the world by getting drunk and assaulting cops just hours after entering a new country.

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Thank you all for the kind words about my wife. It looks like she may be doing a little better, and may be able to avoid additional surgery for now. 

Fingers crossed.

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

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A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

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We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

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A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

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An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

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Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: Upcoming bike events, SoCal cyclist in ICU following crash, and riding across the US at 25

Let’s start by catching up with the upcoming bike events.

Santa Monica is hosting a Halloween Kidical Mass tomorrow.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event tomorrow has a Halloween theme.

Meet the founder of Cycling Without Age in Manhattan Beach tomorrow afternoon.

Helen’s Cycles is hosting four separate rides across the LA area this weekend.

San Diego is hosting its CicloSDias open streets event on Sunday.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is celebrating its second anniversary on November 4th.

Also on the 4th, the new Cub House in San Marino is holding a bike show, bicycle swap meet and ride.

The LACBC is co-hosting their monthly Sunday Funday ride with AARP as they explore LA history along the Expo Line on the 5th.

Join Bike SGV to bike to the Taste of South Pasadena on November 9th.

CICLE is hosting BEST Ride: Flower Power Ride to visit the LA Flower Market on the 11th.

The San Diego Padres are hosting their 5th annual Padres Pedal the Cause across the Coronado Bridge November 11th and 12th.

Bike SGV and Metro invite you to ride to the Taste of Glendora on the 18th.

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Jim Lyle forwards the sad news that Dan Martin, a member of the popular Big Orange Cycling was hit by a motorist while riding home from a club ride on Sunday. He’s currently in the ICU suffering from a broken neck, and faces a long recovery.

A crowdfunding campaign to help pay his medical expenses has raised over $13,000 in just over 24 hours.

I hope you’ll join me in praying for a full and fast recovery.

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Another beautiful piece from Peter Flax, as he reminisces about riding across the continent with his best friend half a lifetime ago.

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Next year’s Amgen Tour of California will kick off in Long Beach before moving to Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Pro cyclist Ben King credits God with saving him from an eating disorder as a teenager.

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Local

Streetsblog offers suggestions on how Councilmembers Englander and Krekorian could respond to injuries to bike riders, instead of their motion to remove bike lanes — including supporting Vision Zero and reading the 2010 bike plan, which includes an unimplemented requirement to inspect and maintain bike lanes. Only two of six lawsuits recently settled by the city actually occurred on streets with any kind of bicycling facilities.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility offers a video discussing bikeshare equity.

A San Luis Obispo writer goes biking in Venice.

The fire chief in Manhattan Beach is retiring after 40 years, and plans to go back to college and ride his bike to class.

 

State

A Santa Ana bicyclist was seriously injured after allegedly riding into oncoming traffic.

Kindhearted Redlands cops replace the bike a five-year old girl got for her birthday after thieves ransacked her parent’s home.

Caught on video: There’s a special place in hell for whoever mugged an autistic Visalia teenager and stole his bicycle.

No wonder drivers don’t take hit-and-run seriously. A 77-year old Napa County woman is expected to be sentenced to just three years probation after copping a plea in the hit-and-run death of a well-known bike commuter. At least her license has been permanently revoked, which should happen to any driver who can’t manage to stop after a crash.

A San Jose columnist says road diets are spreading across the state, even if parents ignore them near schools, and LA is busy ripping them out.

Ride a Ford GoBikes bikeshare bike in the Bay Area, and you could earn miles on Alaska Airlines. Whether you could earn enough to actually go anywhere is another matter.

A San Francisco reporter looks into who is responsible if you get hit by an Uber or Lyft driver, getting Lyft to pay up after blowing off a bike rider who wanted his damaged bicycle replaced.

Marin cyclists swarm the preliminary hearing for the 21-year old driver who allegedly ran down four bicyclists on purpose; his bail was quadrupled to $200,000, even though he has only been charged with hit-and-run.

 

National

Buy a new $65 Balance Cycle Wear jersey, and $25 will go to hurricane relief.

Hurry and you may still be able to get a basic GoPro for just $63.

Several states have forfeited a total of $28 million in federal funding intended for bicycling and walking projects. Fortunately, California was not one of them.

A governing website examines why AARP supports bicycling infrastructure.

If a proposed fee increase passes, it could cost you $30 just to ride your bike into a National Park.

A Portland garbage company blames the victim after one of their drivers fatally left-crossed a woman riding her bike; the company said she didn’t have a front light on her bike, wasn’t wearing hi-viz, and was riding under the influence.

People for Bikes talks with a Seattle community leader about the power of private dockless bikeshare to transform road design.

Boulder County CO is testing a pair of road signs that tell drivers to give three feet to pass a bicyclist, or instructing them to change lanes to pass a bike.

A Michigan man hit the road on his recumbent following his divorce, spending the last three years traveling the country and living on his modified bike, which, counting him and a trailer, now weighs 600 pounds.

Tragic news from New Hampshire, where a 91-year old woman was killed in a collision with a bicyclist as she walked near her retirement home.

Harvard Med School offers tips on how to teach your kid to ride a bike.

A Georgia bike shop replaces the bike a man used as his only form of transportation after it was stolen.

 

International

Caught on video: A London TV newsman uses bolt cutters to free his bicycle after someone chained a child’s bike to it, then bought a new chain to replace the one he cut. However, it’s a common bike theft technique for thieves to chain a cheap bicycle to one they want to steal, then come back for it later when there are fewer witnesses.

A British letter writer says the country must avoid the domination of the car, unlike Los Angeles.

Cycling rates are climbing steadly in most major English cities, with the exception of Birmingham and Manchester.

Over half of all trips are now taken by bicycle in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and nearly half in Amsterdam.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, as he goes for a ride with his dog on the streets of Prague.

Residents of Johannesburg, South Africa, are now riding to work thanks to an innovative private bicycle rental company.

Caught on video: An Aussie driver confronts a group of cyclists who were riding at the speed limit on the road ahead of him; it took him less than a minute to get around them.

A Korean writer discusses the country’s bike boom from a windshield perspective, after comparing bicyclists to road kill.

 

Finally…

Yes, it often feels like you’re invisible on a bike; no, it won’t help you elude the police. Maybe long bike rides cause babies.

And Nissan’s new Electric car prototype will sing to you as it runs you down.

 

Morning Links: Person behind fake advocacy group outed, and SCAG takes a deep dive into traffic safety data

Once again, Peter Flax has written a great piece, as he investigates the fake, Twitter-based advocacy group LA Westside Walkers.

And outs the person behind it as a Playa del Rey music video and documentary director Justin Purser, who lives steps from the initial Vista del Mar road diet.

Purser admits to being the person who started the account, although he bizarrely contends that he handed it off to a group of people he refuses to name after it was mentioned on this site, following his equally bizarre claim to have co-founded BikinginLA.

You can probably count the number of people who actually believe that on a closed fist, however.

Flax digs into the account, which continues its misleading, false-flag form of fake advocacy.

All the while, the barrage of strange tweets from the Westside Walkers account continues, a maddening mélange of dubious facts and falsely earnest advocacy, leveraging a completely faked identity to convince unsuspecting readers that measures meant to save lives are not working. It’s a total cesspool of bullshit distracting people from an actual life-and-death issue.

Meanwhile, someone from Playa del Rey forwarded screenshots in the upper left corner and below, showing comment by Purser from around the time the Westside Walkers account was started.

His point seems to be that the real goal of people who supported the road diets was to make the streets more dangerous, not less.

If that’s supposed to be a joke, it’s in very poor taste.

And says a lot more about the person who made it than it does anyone else.

Let’s hope his attitude really has changed, as Flax’s article suggests.

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The Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, has prepared an in-depth look at traffic safety conditions for the six-county region, as well as each of the individual counties.

Needless to say, it’s not a pretty picture.

A few graphic highlights —

 

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As we mentioned yesterday, Bike SGV is hosting their BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tonight. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow in La Puente and Montebello, respectively, to provide input on the SGV Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (scroll down).

The October Slow Ride: Revive Gateway Park! will be held tomorrow, hosted by the Elysian Valley Slow Ride.

AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides beginning at Balboa Park this Saturday to start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast.

The South Bay Cycling Awards will be held in Torrance tomorrow; you can see a list of nominees here.

Bike SGV will hold a memorial ride on Sunday to honor staff member Brian Velez, who recently passed away unexpectedly.

Helen’s Cycles will hold a number of rides this weekend, as well as a women’s bike maintenance clinic this coming Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the LACBC will host a City Cycling Class to develop urban riding skills.

Helen’s Cycles in Arcadia is sponsoring a No Drop Group Ride next Saturday, October 21st.

Also on the 21st, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house to discuss much needed safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

West Hollywood will be holding a WeHo Pedals Bike Share Basics workshop on October 26th.

Santa Monica’s Breeze Bike Share is celebrating its second birthday with a ride with the mayor on November 4th.

CicLAvia will hold their 2nd annual Play Day in LA fundraiser om November 5th.

The very busy Bike SGV will hold their annual “Noche de las Luminarias” awards ceremony on December 2nd.

And CicLAvia returns to iconic Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.

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Local

Long Beach bike advocates met with former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michele Mowery, now the city’s new mobility and healthy living programs officer.

The seven-day Pablove Across American fundraising ride will end in Malibu tomorrow; the ride raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Calabasas unveils a new and improved Las Virgenes Road, complete with two lanes in each direction, bike lanes and continuous sidewalks.

 

State

The bike lanes on El Toro Road will be closed for construction work Monday between Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 tollway.

Joshua Tree residents complain that new bike lanes installed by Caltrans in the downtown area don’t go anywhere.

Half Moon Bay drops plans for a bike bridge and pathways after giving up on funding from Caltrans.

After getting caught in a traffic jam caused by people escaping the Sonoma County wildfires, a Santa Rosa woman went back home and got her bicycle, carrying her 70-pound dog to safety in a duffel bag.

A drunk hit-and-run driver has been sentenced to five years for killing a Suisun City cyclist; he fled the scene on foot, abandoning his car after he crashed again while fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycling offers five GoPro hacks to make your videos worth watching. Most important: Install some editing software and learn how to use it. No one wants sit through five minutes of video to get to the 30 seconds where something actually happens.

Caught on video: A Seattle bicyclist was the victim of a punishment pass for having the audacity to ride outside the bike lane to pass another rider; the city’s former mayor calls it assault, even if the police don’t.

A writer for a Colorado company asks if employers should pay workers to leave their cars at home. California has a parking cash-out program designed to compensate employees who give up their parking spaces to bike, walk or take transit to work, but the program is so narrowly drawn it only applies to three percent of the state’s workers.

A Colorado writer says he’s never seen a bicyclist display animosity towards a motorist that wasn’t in response to the driver’s actions. And that drivers need to check their “vehicular privilege” at the door to their vehicle.

A New York man says getting run over by a dump truck while riding his bike was the last straw, and he’s officially done with the city. Getting run over by anything can have that effect on you.

Lobbyists descend on DC to convince lawmakers that bikeshare is bipartisan.

Baltimore’s bikeshare returns with a reduced fleet of bikes, now equipped with GPS, after it was shut down due to excessive thefts and maintenance backups.

 

International

A 72-year old writer says what cyclists over 60 really want is protected bike parking. Oddly, that’s exactly what cyclists under 60 want, too.

Caught on video too: A British driver has been fined the equivalent of $932 and lost his license for six months for forcing a bike rider off the road.

Caught on video three: A Scottish newspaper sees an out-of-control, brakeless bike rider barrel into a toddler; others may see a toddler suddenly dart in front of the bicyclist.

A Scottish writer wonders what can be done to get more women on bicycles, and concludes that better safety matters more than sweaty clothes or helmet hair.

Paris moves to ban all gas and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2030.

A new Swiss conversion kit promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike.

A Cape Town, South African cyclist was robbed of his bicycle, just days after armed thieves stole three bikes from a group of riders on the same roadway.

A 77-year old Australian man needed over a dozen stiches after he was the victim of a random attack by a man who stepped out from behind a tree, and beat the vicim’s face with a bottle as he was riding with his wife.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could run on strings. Nothing like getting your stolen bike back, and getting it stolen again on the way home.

And apparently, Metro really doesn’t want your bike blocking the aisles.

Although I’m still waiting to see a superhero zap the people blocking the bike area so you don’t have to block the aisle with your bike.

 

Morning Links: The war on bikes goes on, catching up on last week’s news, and Mar Vista CC takes a pass

My laptop is finally back in working order, after ten days and a hard drive-sized hole in my wallet. Which means we’re now back in business, with a lot to catch up on.

And my apologies in advance if I don’t you credit you for something you may have sent me. I’ve tried to keep track of who sent me stories while my computer was down, but may have lost a few along the way.

………

The war on bikes goes on. And on.

In a must read, LA’s Peter Flax has authored a very hard-hitting piece about the dangers people face on the streets simply for riding a bicycle.

Like it or not, cyclists are engaged in a civil-rights battle — about whether we deserve a truly safe place on the road, whether people who kill us with cars should face the same legal consequences as people who kill with other weapons, whether hundreds of human lives represent acceptable collateral damage in a properly lubricated car-focused economy.

I love riding fondos and ogling handbuilt frames, but there is actual blood in the street and people need to decide where they stand. You have to decide where you stand.

Someone has been sabotaging a new Portland mountain bike park, stringing dangerous trip lines across the trails. Thanks to Jeff Vaugh for the heads-up.

Colorado police are investigating after several nails and screws were scattered across the roadway along the route of a popular charity ride.

Australian police are looking for a suspect who may be responsible for tossing hundreds of tacks on a popular bicycling route for the last two years.

An Aussie writer says bicyclists who believe we have to earn the respect of drivers on roadways dominated by motor vehicles are suffering from the Lycra equivalent of Stockholm syndrome.

………

Speaking of catching up, here are just a few of the more important stories we missed.

In one of the best stories of the week, members of the Low Riders bike club built a new food cart for the Hollywood vendor whose cart was overturned by an angry man.

Keep your eyes open for a number of nearly identical hot bikes hitting the market, after 40 bicycles worth $50,000 were stolen from a Washington high school program to promote diversity and help get low income kids on bikes. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

An Idaho writer tells drivers and bicyclists to shut up already, while he explains what the state’s bike laws really are, including the Idaho stop law. Meanwhile, a writer for the Washington Post says maybe the Idaho stop should be legalized in DC to keep drivers from losing their minds over something that’s probably safer for bicyclists.

A Kansas man is accused of jumping the curb with his truck to intentionally run down a man riding his bike on the sidewalk after a dispute at a soup kitchen. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

Patrick Lynch forwards news that Corpus Christi TX police reminded both adults and kids to ride in the street after a 12-year boy was hit by a car while riding on the sidewalk. Even though, as he notes, the kid was hit on a four-lane virtual highway with a 45 mph speed limit and a substandard gutter-bike lane. And I’m sure no Texan would ever speed on a wide-open road like that, right?

Bikeshare helped people in Houston get around after Hurricane Harvey. Meanwhile, a Houston bicyclist was struck by a car while trying to cross a busy freeway, which raises questions of whether alternative routes were still damaged due to the hurricane. Thanks to Bryan Dotson for the tip.

A New York woman was critically injured when a drunk driver plowed into a group of bicyclists stopped at a red light during a century ride; the riders said it looked like he accelerated into the group intentionally after crashing into a parked minivan.

The 76-year old owner of a Delaware TV station was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

The Washington Post reports that bicycling to work means better health and a longer life.

A British Columbia lawyer who specializes in getting dangerous drivers off the hook says “arrogant cyclists” seldom obey the laws governing bicycling, and drivers should take pictures of their scofflaw behavior and report them to the police. And yet he somehow fails to see any hint of a double standard there.

………

If everything went according to plan, Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont will have set the new record for riding around the world by the time you read this, arriving in Paris in just 79 days — one day ahead of schedule.

………

Something many cyclists can relate to, as Tour de France and Vuelta winner Chris Froome says he hates looking in the mirror because he looks ridiculous with his massive legs and tiny chest.

A pair of teenagers took the top prizes in the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup, presented by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

……….

Local

The Mar Vista Community Council cited parliamentary rules in delaying a revote on the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, despite several motions calling on the city to restore the street to its original dangerous configuration — much to the frustration of a passionate and apparently evenly split crowd.

Glendale Assemblywoman Laura Friedman has secured $20 million in state funding to complete the final phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, one of three bike and pedestrian bridges planned for the LA River.

Long Beach considers a 40-year plan to increase density near the Los Cerritos Wetlands and Alamitos Bay, including new bike lanes, mid-block crossing and widened sidewalks to create a balance between vehicular traffic and alternative transportation.

 

State

Around 100 women and men turned out for a ride designed to get more women on their bikes in Imperial Beach.

A 68-year old Palo Alto woman had her purse stolen from her bike when she stopped to talk with a group of teenagers who were blocking the bike path she was riding on.

Drivers are running over the flex posts marking what passes for protected bike lanes in Oakland. Which should come as no surprise to anyone here in Los Angeles.

 

National

Once again, Burning Man attendees abandoned somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 bicycles in the Nevada desert, which will be turned over charitable groups to salvage what they can to donate to people in need.

A San Antonio TX bike rider was stabbed by an angry pedestrian after bumping into him on the sidewalk. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Clip-in pedals are technically banned in Kansas because they lack front and rear reflectors; state legislators promise to reconsider the requirement. California requires a reflector on the pedal, shoe or ankle visible for 200 feet from the front and rear.

A pair of Gold Star parents completed a ride across the US at New York’s Ground Zero to honor families who had lost sons and daughters in the military.

A new proposal would create a 1,650 mile biking, hiking and walking trail connecting New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as Philly bike advocates replace missing plastic bollards on a protected bike lane with toilet plungers, which were still there 24 hours later.

Baltimore has temporarily shut down its bikeshare system to tighten security after losing too many bicycles to theft and vandalism.

North Carolina’s LimeBike has brought dockless bikeshare to eight communities across the US, including SoCal’s Imperial Beach, with plans to expand to dozens more; needless to say, not everyone in IB is thrilled.

If you’re going to take part in a New Orleans area charity ride, don’t leave your Corgi at home. Note to Times-Picayune: not all mass bike rides are races. And if your headline is about dogs, don’t illustrate it with a photo of meat on the grill. Seriously.

A Key West bike shop turned its phone over to victims of Hurricane Irma to let relatives know they were okay.

 

International

London’s Evening Standard goes for a ride in a cycling team car. And presumably didn’t hit anyone.

London’s Guardian has taken an extended look at bicycling recently:

UK cycling organizations call for opening up more trails in Wales for bicycling, where bikes are currently banned on 79% of the trail network.

Inspired by his grandson, a British engineer is spending his retirement building a bike brand and making a new foldie ebike.

A Brit junkman reclaims trashed bicycles, and remakes them into kids custom-built tricycles, cruisers and three-wheel choppers.

Current or former students are suspected in the theft of 20 bicycles worth $10,000 from a New Zealand high school.

 

Finally…

Always carry a bicycle in your truck in case you need to pedal away from a crash. Now you can use a single app for bikeshare and carshare, as long as you’re willing to move to Germany.

And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to ride a bike.

But seriously, why wouldn’t you?

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that final link.

Morning Links: The great Playa del Rey street debate, new safe zones at LAPD stations, and LA drivers officially suck

There doesn’t seem to be any letup in the great debate over the Playa del Rey lane reductions.

Or the masses of motorists armed with pitchforks and torches marching on LA City Hall.

Although yesterday injected a little sanity into the discussion, through an LA Times Op-Ed by magazine editor and Manhattan Beach resident Peter Flax, who calls out his fellow South Bay denizens for their hysterical reactions to the changes on LA streets.

All hell has broken out in my adopted hometown of Manhattan Beach. If you believe the hysteria, families are being torn apart, livelihoods are being threatened and businesses are in danger of collapse. All because in early June, Los Angeles slowed traffic on several roadways in Playa del Rey, including removing one lane on each side of Vista del Mar, the thoroughfare that runs along the ocean from El Segundo to Playa.

South Bay commuters are livid that rush hour traffic is worse. They claim workers will permanently lose five hours of family time a week (even though no formal traffic study has been conducted). Silicon Beach tech entrepreneurs and private equity guys are sounding the alarm on Twitter that new traffic jams will harm recruitment. At a town hall with Manhattan Beach’s mayor, real estate agents speculated that home values might sag (in a town where the average home costs $2.2 million). A GoFundMe page was launched to raise money for a lawsuit and the Manhattan Beach City Council unanimously directed city staff to support that effort.

Absent from this heated conversation, however, is honest talk about what is really at stake along Vista del Mar: Preventing people from dying.

He criticizes those angered by the changes to improve safety and livability on LA streets, even while Manhattan Beach has removed lanes from their streets to protect their residents and preserve the beach community feel. Including the south end of Vista del Mar, where it changes names and narrows to two lanes as it enters the wealthy beach community.

And he concludes,

Traffic engineering decisions can’t only be about optimizing a morning commute or maximizing the appeal of working in Silicon Beach. They also have to be about Jack Tarwardy, a beloved 74-year-old shop owner in Playa del Rey who was struck and killed by a car in a crosswalk on Culver Boulevard. And about Michael Lockridge and Bridgette Burdene, killed by hit-and-run drivers on Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard, respectively. And about Naomi Larsen, the 16-year-old who tried to cross Vista del Mar and never made it.

When cars race through neighborhoods where people live, shop and play, speed kills. Taking steps that force us to slow down isn’t an outrage or a conspiracy, it’s making L.A. a better place to live.

It’s a good, and important read. One that deserves your full attention all the way through.

And needless to say, he takes a beating in the comments from self-appointed traffic planners who seem to think they understand traffic flow and safety far better than the people who get paid to do it for a living.

Not to mention the innumerable personal attacks accusing him of bias because he rides a bike. Though no one seems to notice the irony coming from those who suffer from a windshield bias.

I particularly like this one, from someone who blames bike lanes for a backup stemming from the 210 Freeway.

No, really.

 

And to address Mr. — or is it Ms? — bigred’s point, most studies show road diets not only don’t result in longer commute times, they can actually improve traffic flow, while at the same time reducing crashes up to 47%.

Although I must admit, I have never “stode” on a traffic island and watched the “enevedable” happen.

Meanwhile, a letter writer in the Times says Vision Zero is more like zero vision. Evidently, by his account, we’re supposed to keep letting people die on LA streets until Metro provides a viable alternate route to LAX in 2047.

After all, with an average of a little more than one person killed on Vista del Mar each year, that’s only another 30 or so dead mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers.

No big deal, right?

Then there are these comments, which were forwarded by someone who wisely wants to keep his name out of all this.

Because as we all know, nothing improves traffic safety more than taking a photo while driving.

Although maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see any traffic backup at all in that photo. And only one lonely person on a bike.

 

And yes, I think we can assume Mr. Beall does kiss his mother with that mouth.

So maybe this is a good time to let the unfairly reviled Councilmember Mike Bonin remind us why he approved this roadwork to begin with.

You can show your support — for Bonin, for the lane reductions, or even for Peter Flax — when the LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey this Sunday.

………

Great idea.

The LAPD has opened safe exchange zones for online buyers and sellers at nine police stations and nearly a dozen Ralphs stores.

Which means you can feel a little safer the next time you try to sell your bike, or buy parts off Craigslist or other online services.

It might also cut down on bike chop shops, since it would take major chutzpah to walk into a police station with a stolen bike or parts.

Then again, no one ever said bike thieves are the sharpest tools in the shed.

Just tools.

………

In news that should surprise no one who’s ever ridden a bicycle in Los Angeles, Los Angeles officially has some of the worst drivers in the US.

In fact, Allstate Insurance ranked the city 193rd out of 200, coming in just a few spots above bottom-ranked Boston.

And wipe that smile off your face, Glendale. Your drivers suck even more than LA.

………

UCI introduces several safety improvements on the eve of the Tour de France, but still allows race motos in the peloton.

Britain’s Simon Yates will be back at this year’s Tour after serving a four month suspension for doping because his team screwed up his paperwork for an asthma inhaler.

LA’s Phil Gaimon criticizes former teammate Andre Cardoso following the latter’s suspension for doping, saying “…it just comes off like he doesn’t give a shit, which is frustrating.”

Fifty-five year old Cambria resident Sheri Baldwin took three medals at the masters national road championships.

………

Local

The LA Weekly offers 20 suggestions on how to fix Los Angeles, most of which make a surprising amount of sense. Including turning LA’s existing bike lanes into protected lanes.

KPCC looks at Vision Zero from a South LA perspective, as Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson promotes safety amid fears of gentrification and increased policing.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility is hosting their annual Eastside Mural Ride this Saturday.

The URB-E electric scooter maker is sponsoring a new mobility hub near USC to help students beat traffic. Although from the description, it sounds more like a glorified scooter showroom.

The board of directors for Santa Monica’s Sunset Beach neighborhood says enough with all those bike and pedestrian plans, what the city really needs is a car plan for all those poor, neglected drivers. The best response came from a councilmember, who said “The reason we don’t have a ‘Motor Vehicle Plan’ is that for close to a hundred years, transportation in Southern California has BEEN a ‘Motor Vehicle Plan.”

The Daily Breeze looks forward to August’s CicLAvia in San Pedro and Wilmington, part of a busy summer in the harbor area. No, Daily Breeze, CicLAvia is a local, not global, movement, though it is a part of the global Open Streets movement, aka ciclovías.

 

State

La Jolla bike advocates call for riders to use bright lights, day or night. Credit Mark Goodley with starting that campaign with a series of posts on here, starting in 2012 after he barely survived a crash in Corona del Mar. Thanks to his efforts, I now ride with an ultra bright headlight and taillights even during the day — and it’s dramatically reduced the number of close calls I experience.

Fontana introduces a draft plan to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

Palo Alto approves plans for new bicycle boulevards, along with extending the bike network throughout the city.

San Francisco pulls the plug on funding the expansion of the Ford bikeshare system over fears of unfair competition with established bike rental companies, but the company goes forward with its official opening anyway; the expansion is part of Ford’s shift from building cars to providing mobility.

The intersection where a San Francisco bike rider was killed last week was on a list of the most dangerous ones in the city, but nothing had been done to improve it.

The kindhearted folks at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition refurbished 20 bikes to give to disadvantaged kids, then took them for a community ride.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, where a bike rider is fighting for his life after getting hit by driver when he allegedly rode through a red light. As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who hit him that saw what color the light was at the time of the crash.

Call it a national park ciclovía, as Yosemite’s Tioga Road opens for bikes and pedestrians a day before it opens to motor vehicles.

Someone slashed the tires of a bicycle parked at a Davis mosque; police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, after a torn-up Quran was tossed from a moving car the night before.

 

National

Try not to breathe on your next ride. Even “safe” levels of air pollution can shorten your life.

The ebike expansion goes on, with the introduction of a new $3,000, three-wheeled e-‘bent, and a new sub-$1,000 e-urban bike.

Interesting new study from Portland shows whether you ride a bike — and how you ride — affects how much empathy you have towards people on bikes. Evidently, those Manhattan Beach commuters must not ride at all.

A three-year old Las Vegas special needs boy has a new adaptive bike, courtesy of a local man who designs and builds them for free.

Denver may not be the most bikeable city, but evidently, it ain’t bad. Although you know we’re making progress when even cowboy-centric Cheyenne, Wyoming has a Bike Week.

You’ve got to be effing kidding. Life is dirt cheap in Idaho, where killing one bike rider and paralyzing another is only worth a lousy 60 days in jail — with work release, no less.

A Texas man calls for a bike safety plan after his cyclist son was killed in a collision; the driver faces charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, suggesting either intent or an extreme degree of carelessness.

Great idea. The recent Pedaler’s Jamboree is a 30-mile long music festival along Missouri’s Katy Trail bike path.

Massachusetts considers a ban on handheld cellphones while driving. What’s really needed is a law requiring phone makers to block all interactive services except 911 and GPS navigation in moving cars, since studies show the distraction from handheld mobile phones is as dangerous as drunk driving. And hands-free use is no better.

If you build it, they will come. Macon GA saw an 800% increase in cycling after striping a network of temporary bike lanes.

A South Florida writer suggests the area’s bike lanes are designed to kill and sharrows are just madness.

 

International

An Indian website questions whether the country’s prime minister will ever be able to ride the bicycle he received as a gift from the Dutch government, given how dangerous India’s roads are.

A Kiwi cyclist on a 2,400-mile journey through Australia’s New South Wales on his wife’s borrowed bike says forget wild animals, the biggest danger he encountered on his journey was from other humans — particularly the ones in motor vehicles.

A Kiwi driver gets off the hook for running down a woman on a bike after buying her a new one for $3,414, the equivalent of $2,500 US.

A Malaysian deli entrepreneur correctly calls bicycling a balm for the soul, and says people from the country should take it up. Cycling really must be the new golf, since that’s what he gave up to start riding.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying dope on your bike, put a light on it — and don’t tell the cop you were eating green Skittles after shoving it all in your mouth. Take a five week bicycling pub crawl through Europe, for the low, low price of just $9,427.

And yes, your new Porsche mountain bike is just like a racing 911.

Except for the engine, transmission, wheels, cockpit, and all that other car stuff.

 

Morning Links: Tamika Butler leaves LACBC, anti-bike NIMBYs sue LA, and Peter Flax nearly needs his own obit

When I was asked to join the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition in 2010, I set out a list of goals I wanted to accomplish as a board member.

Chief among those was extending the reach of the LACBC beyond its mostly white, mostly Westside base to serve the too often ignored communities south of the 10 Freeway, and east of the LA River.

Tamika Butler made that happen.

In her nearly three years heading the coalition, she brought a degree of professionalism that the mostly volunteer organization had never known, building a solid organizational structure and hiring an experienced professional staff to serve the bicyclists of LA County.

But more than that, she built upon efforts that had already been underway — some successful, some not — to make the LACBC a national leader in addressing equity in bicycling, and in using bikes as tools for social justice. And in the process, started a conversation on race and bias that has reverberated throughout the US.

Since stepping down from the board last year, I’ve watched as the stature of the bike coalition has continued to grow, not in her shadow, but on her shoulders.

And it had become obvious that she had outgrown her position with the LACBC, and would inevitably soon move on to a more prominent role.

That day has come.

The LACBC announced yesterday that Tamika Butler will be leaving her position as Executive Director as of July 14th. Streetsblog reports she’ll be moving on to head the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

They’ll be lucky to have her.

Normally, that would be their gain and the LACBC’s loss. But in this case, that doesn’t fit.

In her short time with the coalition, she has lifted it to heights no one could have predicted when the board voted unanimously to hire her. And left it positioned for even greater growth and success in the years to come.

I hate to see her go.

But it’s time to take her fight beyond the world of bicycling, where she can make a bigger impact on the greater society.

And help make this a better, fairer and more equitable city for all us.

You can read the messages of Tamika Butler and LACBC Board Chair Doug John announcing her departure here.

………

The City of Los Angeles is being sued by the guardians of LA past, who think it’s their self-appointed duty to stop any forward momentum in the City of Angeles.

Like the nearly completed Target store that’s been sitting vacant and unfinished at Sunset and Western for several years, keeping the neighborhood blighted, depressing local businesses and denying residents the jobs it would create.

Not because it violates city zoning rules, as they claim. But because they simply don’t want it in their neighborhood.

In other words, the worst kind of NIMBYs, willing to screw over an entire neighborhood — or city — in an attempt to maintain the status quo for the privileged few.

Now these same people are suing the city for — get this — exposing children to dangerous levels of smog by placing bike lanes on major streets.

Not that kids are likely to use those arterial commuter lanes. Or that they give a rat’s ass about kids with asthma.

And never mind that the studies they insist the mayor is refusing to conduct have been done repeatedly around the world, and show that the benefits of bicycling far outweigh any risk from auto exhaust or otherwise polluted air.

They just don’t want bikes besmirching their fair boulevards. Or to sacrifice one inch of pavement that could be devoted to their cars.

And they’re willing to rest their case on bogus fears about the dangers to kids to do it.

If they win, LA’s hard-fought bike plan will be out the window. Which has been their real intent all along.

Meaning that you’ll be forced onto side streets, if you choose to use what few bike lanes they deem appropriate, requiring longer, circuitous routes to get where you’re going. Or continue to mix it up with motor vehicles on streets that will remain dangerous in deference to LA’s automotive hegemony.

Let’s hope the courts see through this one and show them the door.

Preferably with a foot firmly attached to their collective ass.

You have to hand it to any attorney who would be willing to publicly display such a complete and total lack of understanding of bike lanes and road diets.

………

Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax writes his own obituary following a chilling close call with the driver of a Porsche on Olympic Blvd.

………

Manhattan Beach residents are going to war over the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, preparing to sue the city for their God-given right to drive from the South Bay to their offices in Santa Monica and Century City without setting wheels on a roadway actually designed for that purpose.

Because evidently, it’s worth killing a few strangers every year so they can keep commuting in their single-occupant SUVs from their multimillion dollar beachfront homes. And LA is supposed to just bend over and let them.

Regardless of the harm they do to the people and communities along their way.

You can see what those road diet opponents have to say on the subject by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

………

A British woman has started a petition to protect the roads — or rather, those poor, put-upon drivers — from dangerous cyclists who play chicken with cars and hurl abuse at the people in them.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be drivers who pass too close to bikes or do anything that might inspire that anger.

………

Britain’s governing body for sports either missed or willfully ignored problems with the cycling program.

Greg LeMond once again calls for banning race radios in the Tour de France to make the race more unpredictable and exciting. An idea I wholeheartedly endorse. Just put the riders on their bikes and let them race.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s public meeting to discuss changes to deadly Fletcher Drive though Atwater Village, which writer Joe Linton describes as a necessary route for bicyclists through the area, despite the dangers of high speed traffic. Needless to say, most drivers at the meeting seemed to prefer the option that didn’t include a road diet or bike lanes, and wouldn’t do much to improve safety for anyone.

Six streets in the San Fernando Valley are scheduled for Vision Zero safety improvements, including Sepulveda Blvd and Lankershim Blvd — where Councilmember Paul Krekorian has already decided to keep the street dangerous instead of installing a road diet with bike lanes. The misleading headline implies bike lanes are planned for all of the streets, which is contradicted by the story.

Bike SGV reports Pasadena is planning to make the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station more walkable and bikeable.

The new superintendent of the La Habra city school district rode a bicycle across the US when she was in her 20s. I like her already.

 

State

That bike-riding rhino replica will complete its tour of the left coast in San Diego this weekend.

A UC Riverside man will ride from LA to DC this summer to spread a message of diversity and tolerance.

It’s safe to get back on your bike again. The Sacramento man who was convicted of deliberately running down three bike riders is back behind bars after being released on a clerical error.

 

National

Wired looks at the movement of women’s bike makers to finally go beyond shrink it and pink it.

An Austin TX teenager says he was “just blowing off steam” when he shot a bike rider in the face with a shotgun, nearly killing him. Hopefully, he’ll be in prison long enough to permanently lose that smug look on his face; thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Must be something in the water. In another Austin case, a 26-year old man was arrested after trying to ride salmon on an Interstate highway in an effort to elude police.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News calls on the NYPD to stop automatically blaming bike riders for crashes where they weren’t at fault, and stop cracking down on people on bikes as a result. Like in the case of the Israeli man killed riding a New York bikeshare bike, who didn’t swerve into a bus after all.

Philadelphia steps up plans for Vision Zero after a longtime transportation advocate was killed when a driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk where he and another person were walking.

A Baltimore lawyer and the head of the city’s bike advocacy group explain why they successfully sued to prevent the mayor from ripping out a protected bike lane.

What the fuck is wrong with people? A Baltimore mother was murdered in a dispute over her son’s bike seat.

Jamie McMurray is one of us, part of the brigade of NASCAR drivers who’ve taken up bicycling, including a recent 102 mile ride up a South Carolina mountain.

 

International

Treehugger reviews Carlton Reid’s new book Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling. Which I hope to have in my own hot little hands in the near future.

The Guardian asks if you can pick out cities from just their naked bikeway networks. Even without looking at the multiple choice answers, Los Angeles is obvious from its disconnected non-network and over-reliance on river and beachfront bike paths.

Evidently, it’s perfectly okay to kill a bike-riding woman with your truck in the UK, then decide there’s no point hanging around once the paramedics arrive, and continue with your deliveries.

A Welsh website explains why participants in the World Naked Bike Ride aren’t likely to be arrested; apparently, public nudity is legal as long as you aren’t offensive. Which pretty much rules me out.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Record-setting, 105-year old Robert Marchand helps kick off a French cycling event he competed in several times in years past.

A Berlin bicyclist was fatally doored by a diplomat, apparently from the Saudi Arabian embassy. Thanks to again to Steve Katz.

Denmark focuses on building streets where children can bike to school alone, resulting in happier, healthier kids. And adults.

ZDNet looks at the smart internet-connected Estonian bike lock being installed in the Bay Area BART stations.

A 26-year old Indian man will spend the next three years bicycling around the country to share the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with school children. I want to be like him, too.

A bike group paints murals around Beirut, Lebanon to promote riding over driving.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to be invaded by Chinese dockless bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Your next bike light could help fill potholes. Bike racing comes to Beverly Hills; no, not that Beverly Hills.

And no, hurling it off a seven-story building is not the proper use of a bikeshare bike.

 

Morning Links: CA needs big bike boost to meet climate goals, screw the Rules, and riding on glass through NYC

It’s election day. Get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already.

And if you haven’t made a final decision in where to put your X, check out the voting guide from Bike the Vote LA.

I’m voting no on Measure S and yes on H. And wishing I was in CD1 to vote for Joe Bray-Ali, or still in CD5 to vote for Jesse Creed.

………

California will require a nine-fold increase in the rate of bike ridership, along with dramatic increases in walking and transit use, to meet the state’s 2030 climate change according to the LA Times.

Not to mention a corresponding decrease in driving rates, and an increase in density — which would be blocked if Measure S passes.

But it will take more than denser neighborhoods to get people out on their bikes.

Like a real commitment to building out the bike lanes and bicycle friendly streets contained in the Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035. A commitment we’ve yet to see from our certain to be re-elected mayor or the city’s Department of Transportation.

And one that will have to be replicated in cities and towns up and down the state.

Not to mention a genuine commitment to LA’s Vision Zero Plan, which the people in charge of implementing it still see as “aspirational.”

That suggests they’re not willing to make the tough choices necessary to actually end traffic deaths, but will gladly settle for merely reducing them.

Which means people may still not feel safe on the streets unless they’re wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass. And as long as they don’t feel safe, those lofty bike and walking goals won’t be met in the next 13 years.

Or maybe ever.

……..

Another great piece from former Bicycling editor in chief and current Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax, who says the Velominati’s Rules were funny at first, but it’s time to give them a rest.

Seriously. Just get out on your bike and ride. Everything else is just details. And if someone else doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.

………

If you haven’t seen it yet, this may be the coolest video you’ll see all day. Or maybe all week.

Bored New Yorker magazine illustrator Christoph Niemann sketched a simple illustration of a bike rider on the inside of a car window as he rode in the backseat. And filmed it as the rider appears to magically come to life, riding alongside as they travel through the city.

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More news from around the world about the Para-cycling Track World Championships that took place in our own backyard. But which no one seems to know about, since the local news media hasn’t bothered to mention it.

The US won its first-ever gold in the men’s team sprint event as the meet came to a close, with American Joseph Berenyi claiming double gold in the sprint and scratch C1-C2-C3 events.

Britain dominated day three with six medals, including a sweep of the tandem time trial; Brit rider Jon Gildea won two golds and a silver.

Slovak cyclist Jozef Metelka defended his title in the individual time trial.

And after so much bad news from Malaysia lately, it’s nice to see the country’s athletes shine in LA, taking bronze in the 200 meter sprint.

………

The US and the UK are finalizing plans for an every-other-year Olympic-style competition involving a half-dozen sports, including cycling; the first could take place in 2019.

After months of accusations of sexism and doping, Britain’s governing body for cycling has chosen a female soccer executive to head the organization.

Cycling Weekly hunts for the truth about the prevalence of asthma in the peloton, and the use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions to gain an unfair advantage over the competition.

You should be able to see the inaugural four-day Colorado Classic bike race, as NBC Sports has agreed to broadcast it and stream it live online.

………

Local

KPCC reports on plans for parking-protected bike lanes on Spring and Main in DTLA. The streets will eventually get concrete islands and curbs to protect riders and pedestrians at intersections.

The Source offers great photos of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley. Streetsblog reports on the event and solicits comments from readers who attended it.

 

State

Helmet cam video from the Santa Ana River trail shows it’s becoming a homeless encampment for several hundred people, potentially putting riders at risk. This is a lose/lose for everyone involved. A bike path should be safe for the people who use it. And everyone should have the right to have a roof over their heads, something Measure H will help accomplish in LA County.

San Francisco’s bike coalition object to the sudden removal of protected bike lanes from plans to improve safety on Upper Market Street. Maybe city officials want to improve safety, just not that much.

The San Francisco Weekly questions whether a proposal to put an end to bike chop shops in the city targets the most vulnerable. So, they’re saying stealing bikes is okay if you’re poor?

A Berkeley ghost bike memorializes a 78-year old man who had been riding in the city since he was a child.

 

National

Popular Mechanics says gravel cycling is terrifying — and exhilarating.

Legislation was introduced by California Representative Tom McClintock that would end the blanket ban on bicycles in federal Wilderness areas. Since it’s sponsored by a Republican, it might actually have a chance of passing in the current GOP dominated Congress.

The official report has been released into the death of a Montana Forest Service officer who was mauled by a grizzly bear, after crashing his mountain bike into it while rounding a blind curve at high speed.

Billings MT is struggling to find a way to pay for the city’s bike and pedestrian plan as federal funding dries up.

Austin TX has embarked on a three-year plan to reduce traffic congestion by doubling the number of people on bikes.

Muhammad Ali started boxing after his bike was stolen in Louisville KY; if he was still around this summer, he could just take the city’s new bikeshare, instead.

Bike Portland looks at day one of the first National Bike Summit of the Trump era.

 

International

Good news and bad news when it comes to the effects of bicycling on your sex life.

To the shock of absolutely no one, Carlos Vives and Shakira say their song La Bicicleta wasn’t copied from a Cuban singer.

Winnipeg officially decides it’s up to you whether or not to wear a helmet.

Bizarre tragedy from great Britain, where a bike rider died days after suffering a broken leg when he fell on a descent.

A British driver gets eight months for a “catastrophic error of judgment” for passing a bicyclist at the wrong time, even though the rider was wearing more hi-viz clothing than is “normally necessary.” So just how much is necessary?

Odd posters of a faceless boy on a balance bike have got residents of an English town talking.

Berlin is the latest city to plan a network of bicycle superhighways. You’ll note that Los Angeles is not rushing to join them.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to fuck someone in the bushes, get off your bike first — and maybe don’t do it in full view of a passing bus. If you’re going to steal a bike, promising to return it later probably isn’t going to work.

And no, sneaking your gun past airport security hidden in your bicycle probably isn’t the smarted move, either.

………

Thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help support this site. And a special thanks to Pocrass & De Los Reyes for renewing their sponsorship for another year.

 

Morning Links: Happy 200th bike birthday, US traffic fatalities jump, and DMV says no parking in bike lanes

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest rant on why motorists hate bicyclists.

………

Stop whatever you’re doing, and read this.

Hollywood Reporter editor Peter Flax has written a truly exceptional piece on the 200th birthday of the bicycle. Or the forerunner of the bicycle, if you prefer.

And the star-crossed German inventor who brought it into existence.

What is the soul of a bicycle? Is it a pedal-driven drivetrain? Or is it more elemental than that — a human-powered, two-wheeled machine that must be balanced and steered? These questions seem to underscore the doubts many cyclists have when they ponder Drais’ invention — or a modern e-bike. Is it actually a bike if it isn’t entirely powered by pedals?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

………

If you thought American roads were getting worse, you’re right. After a decade-long downward trend, traffic deaths in the US jumped to an estimated 40,200 last year — the highest total in more than 20 years.

The news is no better here, as California traffic fatalities rose at more than double the rate of the US as a whole.

Authorities blame increased driving, prescription drugs and distracted driving.

Then again, there could just more people of color on the streets. According to a study from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, drivers are more likely to stop for a white person in a crosswalk than they are blacks.

Or if they’re rich, they’re less likely to stop, period.

………

Came across this piece from the DMV while researching parking restrictions in bike lanes.

As it says, a bike lane is a dedicated traffic lane, and must be treated like any other traffic lane. That means parking in a bike lane is clearly prohibited, just like it is in an HOV lane, turn lane, or the #1, 2 or 3 lanes.

Remember that the next time you see someone parked in one. Although you might have to explain it to the local authorities.

………

More endorsements for LA City Council from Bike the Vote LA, as they call for re-electing Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 and Bob Blumenfield in CD3.

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After most Russian athletes were tainted by charges of systematic doping, they’re recruiting Australian former world track champ Shane Perkins to ride for them.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine explains everything you need to know about Europe’s one-day classics.

………

Local

After years of discussion, Metro approves a budget for a Bike Hub at Union Station.

CiclaValley goes riding in Griffith Park.

The Monterey Park Police Department is the latest to step up enforcement of violations that can lead to serious injuries to bike riders and pedestrians. Observe the usual protocol today; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

A new survey says Agoura Hills residents like bike lanes, but they hate traffic.

Redondo Beach considers beautifying the bike path at the north entrance to town with drought-resistant plants, as well as widening it to accommodate more people on foot.

 

State

Even tiny Joshua Tree is about to get its first bike lane. Although putting it behind traditional angled parking is just asking for trouble; back-in angled parking would be much safer.

Santa Barbara police blame a bike rider for colliding with a car, saying he gained too much speed coming out of a driveway; fortunately, he seemed okay other than some road rash.

A Fresno rider calls for improving the relationship between motorists and cyclists.

San Jose’s traffic columnist explains what sharrows are, but misses the opportunity to explain what they mean.

More sad news from Northern California, where a 77-year old man riding a bike was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; it’s the second Sacramento bicycling death in two days. And a Napa man was found dead on the side of a highway in what appears to be a solo bike crash.

Davis police bust the bike-riding mosque bacon draper.

An Oroville man was reunited with the bike and trailer he abandoned on the side of the road when everyone downstream from the damaged dam was evacuated. Although you’d think a bike would have been the best way to get out.

Horrible news from Redding, as a bike rider was shot and killed by a motorist in a road rage dispute. But the man had a concealed carry permit, so that makes it okay, right?

 

National

US News & World Report says ditch your car if you want to save real money. Who even knew they were still around?

Ditching your car could also save your life; heart disease is expected to be a $1.1 trillion dollar problem by 2035, with 45% of Americans suffering from some form. Fortunately, the cure could be as simple as getting more people out of their cars and onto bicycles. Thanks to my brother Eric for the heads-up.

PeopleForBikes looks at my already very bike-friendly hometown, as it prepares to get even more so. Every place I’ve ever lived has made great changes to become bike-friendly only after I left. Maybe I need to leave Los Angeles so it can finally make some real improvements on the street.

Bicycling Magazine looks at the nation’s first glow-in-the-dark protected bike lane at Texas A&M.

West Virginia considers stronger penalties for hit-and-run by making it a felony with up to three years in prison; right now it’s just a misdemeanor.

Sad news from DC, as the founder of the Rails-to-Trails movement has died from acute myeloid leukemia; David Burwell was 69.

The Big Easy demos the city’s coming bikeshare system.

 

International

Life is cheap in Britain, where a star player for the Southampton soccer team faces just a driver’s education class after admitting to careless driving in a collision that left a bike rider with critical injuries; the victim got a equivalent of a $37 fine for going through a red light.

An Irish man with schizophrenia says he doesn’t remember punching a man in his 60s and knocking him off his bike, but he’s very, very sorry.

The Copenhagen-based makers of the Bullitt cargo bike hire an illustrator to turn their cargo boxes into works of art, too.

A Kiwi cyclist was knocked cold in a moped hit-and-run. A she was helmetless, after her bike and helmet were stolen last week.

Caught on video: A Jeep driver cuts off a sidewalk-riding Aussie bicyclist in the right-hand drive equivalent of a right hook. Despite what the story implies, there’s no question who is at fault. And it ain’t the guy on the bike.

 

Finally…

Forget scofflaw cyclists; Millennial drivers are the real road terrors. If you run over protesters, you’re the victim.

And don’t smash mirrors, dude.

 

Morning Links: The tragic story of a ghost bike, and pre-holiday coffee and carb loading in the South Bay

It’s the final day of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Give now to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news coming your way every morning!

One quick note before we start.

Unless there’s breaking news, this will be the last new post until after the New Year, as we take the next week off for a little well-deserved rest and the opportunity to make some behind-the-scenes improvements.

So please accept my best wishes for joyful holiday, whatever and however you celebrate. And for a very healthful, happy and prosperous year to come.

May we all have peace, if not on the Earth, at least in our hearts.

Ride safely, and we’ll see you back here bright and early on January 3rd.

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In a truly heartbreaking story, Hollywood Reporter editor — and former Bicycling editor-in-chief — Peter Flax follows a ghost bike from being stripped down and painted, to installation as a memorial to fallen bike rider Deborah Gresham.

As you may recall, Gresham was the victim of a drunken hit-and-run just seconds from her Stanton home this past October; she’s recalled as the giving, generous and caring founder of a popular Walking Dead fan site.

Flax traces the history of the ghost bike movement from its beginnings in San Francisco and St. Louis, and talks with local ghost bike organizer Danny Gamboa.

It’s a moving long read that reminds us of the horrible, needless waste on our streets, and the unbearable loss suffered over and over throughout the country on a daily basis.

And one that brought tears to my eyes before he was done.

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Delia Park forwards news of a good excuse to load up on coffee and sweets tomorrow for a Christmas Eve and pre-Chanukah celebration.

Join for some post Donut Ride carb loading!

WHERE: St. Honore Bakery in Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes Estates.

WHEN: This Saturday, December 24th from 10am to 12pm. Come anytime- we will be there!

WHY: Seth Davidson Bike Injury Lawyer and Cyclists For PV and So Cal Bike Safety will be picking up the tab for coffee and sugary bakery items in order to support local businesses.

………

‘Tis the season.

Kindhearted employees of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office pitch in to buy a tandem bike for an El Rio man after thieves stole the money he’d been saving for two years so his medically challenged son could ride with him. Bad enough if thieves steal your bike; worse if they take your money before you can even buy it.

Food Network celebrity chef Guy Fieri rounded up bikes, helmets and other fun gifts for distribution to various NorCal children’s organizations.

Sacramento police give out bikes, helmets and toys to children. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office donated over 100 refurbished bicycles as part of its 17th annual Christmas Bike Giveaway.

An Ohio non-profit donates eleven new bicycles for children with a history of abuse, neglect and abandonment; since 2008, they’ve given new bicycles to nearly 6,500 children in foster care.

British cycling legend Brian Robinson dresses like Santa to give away 50 refurbished bikes for a UK charity.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV advocates David Diaz and Wes Reutimann, as well as South Pasadena Mayor Mike Cacciotti and Transit Coalition executive director Bart Reed about the years biggest stories, and what we can look forward to in 2017. Meanwhile, Joe Linton calls on readers to support the non-profit news organization.

West Hollywood’s Community Development Department says the lamely named WeHo Pedals bikeshare is off to a strong start, with 545 people completing 3,919 trips since it was launched at the end of August.

One Santa Monica paper says it’s been a great year for bikeshare in the city, while another looks at Santa Monica’s new bike counter.

Long Beach bike and pedestrian deaths are increasing, which reflects the larger national trend.

 

State

The family of fallen San Luis Obispo triathlete Bridget Dawson files a lawsuit alleging that the driver was on the phone with her employer at the time of the crash. Meanwhile, a pair of SLO bike advocates says it’s possible to halt the increase in bicycling fatalities in the county.

Richmond votes to conduct a road diet to create a four-mile Complete Street, including bike lanes.

A Marin County writer says the world isn’t going to come to an end when an existing trail is opened to mountain bikers, and that concerns over safety are just an excuse to try blocking bike access.

After an accused drunken, underage hit-and-run driver killed a bike rider in a Fairfield collision, he came back to ask a bystander what happened.

Redding police recover a 7-year old girl’s stolen lime green BMX after a month-long investigation.

 

National

Finally, a use for your hi-viz. Other that trying to not get run over, that is.

Streetsblog looks at how states are standing in the way of cities’ efforts to lower speed limits. California’s deadly and outdated 85th Percentile Law is to blame for our state’s constant increase in speed limits and the inability to reign them in.

No, seriously. As much as some of us would like to bring back hanging for bike rustling, it’s really not worth having a shootout with Tucson AZ police to escape after stealing a child’s bicycle.

An Austin TX bike rider settles with the city for $3,000, two years after he was hit by a police detective in an unmarked car who was unfamiliar with the rider’s right to the road.

The hit-and-run epidemic is really getting bad when even the cops are doing it. A Massachusetts police officer was charged with leaving the scene of an off-duty collision with a bike rider, as well as negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

An Alexandria VA writer discusses what his bicycle has taught him about local politics, noting “it remains socially acceptable to stereotype people riding bicycles as ‘scofflaws’, while people driving cars are given a pass on speeding.”

 

International

After a Calgary man tried to sell his bicycle to raise money for Christmas presents, he ended up in the back of a patrol car suspected of bike theft — even though he still had the original receipt.

Things are looking up for people-powered transportation in Winnipeg.

New Delhi drivers may soon have to prove they have a place to park it before they’re allowed to register a motor vehicle.

A letter writer says Rwanda must leverage its success in cycling, like other African nations have in marathons and soccer. And apparently, domestique translates to house-helper.

A 26-year old Eritrean man has been named African Cyclist of the Year.

Fifty Malaysian civil servants have been given foldies and instructions to bike to work.

A Singapore writer asks if tougher sentencing would reduce collisions — not accidents, please — before concluding that dangerous drivers need to be stopped before they kill.

 

Finally…

Now you can stick Peter Sagan on your next envelope. It’s one thing to take the lane on a busy highway, another to ride with no hands so you can give a cop the double bird.

And if you’re riding after dark with four grams of coke on your bike, put a damn light on it and stay off the sidewalk.

………

Thanks to Samuel Kurutz for his generous support of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. And to everyone who contributed their hard-earned money to keep this site coming your way every day.

I can’t begin to tell you how much your support means to me.

And if you have given yet, there’s still time.

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