Tag Archive for Play del Rey

Morning Links: Backsliding on road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, and dockless bikeshare in LA

So much for that.

Councilmember Mike Bonin has announced plans to scrap the road diet on Jefferson and Culver Blvds in Playa del Rey. New plans call for removing the bike lanes and restoring one westbound lane; bikes and pedestrians will now share a single “protected” shoulder on one side.

Needless to say, the anti-road diet forces were quick to claim victory.

Which means we might as well give up on Vision Zero and the mobility plan; they mean absolutely nothing if every safety improvement can get reversed if drivers don’t like it.

Photo of Culver Blvd from Streetsblog LA.

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Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion that could allow dockless bikeshare in the City of Los Angeles.

Ryu’s motion would instruct LADOT and Bureau of Street Services to work with the City Attorney to develop a pilot program to test dockless bikeshare in the city; according to LAist, LADOT has already been in discussions with various bikeshare providers.

 

The problem with that is the people using those bikes will need safe places to ride, which they won’t find in Ryu’s district.

While he hasn’t actively opposed key bike lanes like some of his colleagues, he’s also done little or nothing to move them forward, in a distract starved for safe bicycle access.

And he has blocked implementation of a long planned and desperately needed road diet on 6th Street between Fairfax and LaBrea, despite the strong support of the local neighborhood council.

We’ll have more on that tomorrow.

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Heal the Bay is hosting a free, casual bike ride to explore Ballona Creek and the Ballona Wetlands this Saturday.

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Today’s common theme, collisions between people on bikes and on foot.

A woman in Spokane WA says she was run down by a bike rider while walking on a trail, and claims it may have been intentional because he was angry afterwards.

Two people — most likely a bicyclist and pedestrian — were injured in a crash on a popular Chicago pathway.

A British man is criticizing the police investigation of the collision that killed his wife, even though the bike rider who crashed into her as she crossed the street appears to have been riding legally at the time of the crash.

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The war on bikes goes on.

In a horrifying case, a Kansas driver is facing a first-degree premeditated murder charge after admitting that he intentionally sped up to run a bike rider down.

A North Carolina driver has been charged with simple assault for repeatedly punching a cyclist in the face after attempting to run him off the road; the one-sided fisticuffs were caught on dashcam video.

And a road raging driver drove onto a bike path in an attempt to deliberately run down an Australian bike rider, then made a U-turn to come after her again before she escaped by riding into traffic and hiding in the bushes.

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In non-bike news, Streetsblog LA founder Damien Newton has formed a group attempting to raise $1 million to buy the Santa Monica Daily Press, and run it as a non-profit.

As causes go, you could do a lot worse with your money.

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Once again, a cyclist blows a win by celebrating too soon. Though the site’s description of him as cocky and showboating seem pretty far off base.

Italian cyclist Stefano Pirazzi has been banned for four years for doping before the Giro d’Italia, joining a long line recent busted dopers. Which begs the question of whether the doping era is really over, or if cycling teams have just gotten better at hiding it.

Busted French motor doper Cyril Fontayne says he’s not the only one cheating by using a small electric motor hidden inside a bike frame, although he claims he was only using it to help his sciatica.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at UCLA’s new 130-bike bikeshare system.

LA Magazine says changes have to be made to make walking to the Grove and Beverly Center from the coming Purple Line a less frightening and dangerous experience. The same goes for riding a bike, as well.

Santa Monica has installed new bike boxes at the intersections of Broadway and 11th and Ocean and California.

The Santa Monica College student paper offers advice on how to get started and stay safe riding a bike.

Long Beach bike shop City Grounds has closed down it East Village retail outlet after nine years.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill making it legal to cross in a crosswalk while the timer is counting down, as long as you get to the other side before it expires. However, the law does not apply to older crossing signals without a timer.

San Francisco passes an otherwise toothless ordinance allowing authorities to confiscate bikes from bicycle chop shops, but without any legal consequences; homeless advocates object because selling bicycles that may or may not belong to them is one of the few ways homeless people can earn money.

A new pilot program will allow ebikes on three paved trails in the East Bay area.

Bike advocates from around the state are converging on Sacramento for Calbike’s annual California Bicycle Summit.

 

National

Bad ideas never die. A new bike is renewing the idea of a propelling a bicycle by moving the handlebars as well as pedaling, despite other failed attempts.

A bike-riding Illinois boy is a hero, after riding for help when he spotted a neighbor’s house on fire.

A Detroit woman out for an early morning bike ride was abducted, robbed and sexually assaulted by two men in a van. A tragic reminder that women face risks on the road that male riders don’t.

AAA is now offering bicycle services in the Detroit area. Meanwhile, SoCal AAA still doesn’t seem to understand that a lot of their customers ride bikes, too — and they might have more customers if they did.

The New York Times considers how to bike commute and stay fashionably dressed at work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly shares stories of bike riders who came to the rescue of others.

A British Columbia deer could face charges for assault on a bike-riding police officer, however, it may be hard to find without a license plate.

No surprise here. A new report shows half of the collisions on an Ottawa, Canada bike path result from right hooks; a Toronto paper offers advice on how to avoid those, and other road hazards.

Caught on video: A mountain biker takes a knife-edge ride across an Austrian mountain ridge.

In a landmark case, a South African driver has been sentenced to three years for a fatal hit-and-run; it marks the first time a driver has been sentenced for fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider in that country.

 

Finally…

Apparently, not riding your bike really can drive you crazy. Seriously, don’t believe the navigation system on your phone.

And Chinese dockless bikeshare giants Mobike and Ofo are in merger talks.

Let’s hope they do. And call the new company Mofo.

 

Morning Links: Vista del Mar timetable released, LADOT Active Transportation Staff grows, and a little good bike news

One important note before we get started.

A Twitter account recently came to my attention for an organization incorrectly claiming to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

This same group, Westside Walkers LA, also falsely claims to be sponsored by the city.

However, the only Westside Walkers group that appears to actually exist as anything other than a Twitter account is a mall walking group sponsored by UCLA Health.

Last night, they misrepresented themselves as being associated with, and one of the founders of, this website and/or the associated Twitter account @bikinginla.

Just to be clear, neither this group or its Twitter account, or any person(s) responsible for it, are associated with BikinginLA, or its Twitter account or Facebook page, in any way whatsoever. Nor are any other social media accounts or organizations, on any platform.

If you become aware of anyone falsely claiming to represent this site, whether online or in person, please contact me immediately at the address on the About BikinginLA page.

Thank you.

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A timetable has been released for the restoration of two travel lanes on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, following the uproar from inconvenienced commuters after they were removed in an effort to improve safety.

The lanes, not the commuters.

Although that would probably improve safety, too.

The Daily News reports the work will begin on August 21st, and take two to three weeks to complete.

Never mind the misleading headline, which a) incorrectly implies there are bike lanes on Vista del Mar, and b) suggests that the other recent lane reductions in the area, which do have bike lanes, are also being removed.

They’re not.

Although not everyone is happy about the change back.

I’ve been copied on an email to a representative of the Coastal Commission from a rider named Gregory, who’s fighting a rearguard action to keep the changes in place.

Hello! I’m a resident of Los Angeles in Mike Bonin’s district. I just left you a voicemail. I’m concerned that Los Angeles is planning to remove the parking along Vista del Mar and thereby adversely affect beach access for Californians.

Recently a road diet was implemented on Vista Del Mar and Culver Blvds because of the dangerousness of the area and settlements paid to dead pedestrians.  The road diet created a bottleneck and caused a large amount of delays for commuters. However, after a recent reconfiguration and change to the light timing, any delays seem to have disappeared.

I drove the road three times on rush hour last Tuesday. I videoed one trip which I could share if needed. At 7:0 am it took about 7:30 to get from Imperial to Jefferson, at 830 am it took about 9:15, and at 930am it only took 6 minutes and I drove the speed limit the entire time and was first in line at the one light that caught me.

So once again, the problems with traffic really seem to have gone away and actually driving down Vista del Mar was pleasant! I didn’t have to worry about someone passing me at 60 mph and zooming from lane to lane. Hopefully that lane can remain gone. However, Mike Bonin’s office has recently come out and said that they will change the road back to two lanes and remove parking along Vista del Mar. This concerns me, as that would lead to a net loss of parking and loss of access to the beach for Californians, and would generally make the road less pleasant and less safe. Do we really want Vista del Mar to turn into a freeway?

Thank you for looking into this.

Update: You can find contact information for the Coastal Commission here.

He followed-up with an email to LADOT and Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office.

Hello! I would like to express my happiness at the current lane situations on Vista del Mar, Culver, and Pershing Blvds. With the recent changes to light timing and the lane tweaks the traffic situation seems to have been fully ameliorated. I feel safe driving on Vista del Mar for the first time now! It used to be a race track with cars weaving in and out at high speed, occasionally creating collisions that stopped traffic completely. Now traffic goes at a reasonable speed and even at rush hour there isn’t much of a delay. I recently travelled north at 930 am and drove the speed limit the entire way. Hopefully a few reactionaries won’t get the lanes removed without a study. This is LA, traffic is to be expected, and the current configuration on Vista del Mar, Culver, and Pershing is the best of both worlds.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, is done to ensure Vista del Mar doesn’t return to the deadly, high-speed raceway it used to be once the restoration is complete.

And if Bonin can resist the pressure to return the other streets to their original dangerous configurations.

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Vision Zero LA tweeted a photo of the new Active Transportation Team at LADOT; 21 people, by my count.

It was only a few years ago that the entire active transportation staff at the agency consisted of former Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery.

Let’s hope that the larger staff leads to a better job of communicating than they’ve done lately.

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We could all use some good news these days. Like these stories gleaned from yesterday’s headlines.

A Willow Glen CA man joined with his brother, sister and brother-in-law to bike 300 miles through Minnesota, raising $10,000 for healthcare clinics in the Congo.

From Texas comes the story of a newly elected Dallas city councilwoman who led an 11-year fight to stop a planned $1.7 billion highway expansion that would have destroyed a local waterway, after scouting it out on her bicycle.

Austin TX honors three cops and four civilians who joined together to save the life of a woman whose bike was hit by a spinning car following a crash, lifting the 3,000 pound vehicle off her so she could be rescued. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Nice story from North Carolina, where locals knew a man who rode his bike everywhere as Bicycle Johnny. And the whole town came together to pay for his funeral when he died.

Also from North Carolina, the inspiring story of a bike rider who befriended the driver who ran him down and left him briefly paralyzed, as well as the doctor who saved his legs and his life; a year to the day after the crash, he’ll join that doctor in running in a half marathon.

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Cycling Weekly lists the six most bizarre non-cycling injuries sustained by professional cyclists. Although they limit it to the modern era, starting with Greg LeMond’s turkey shoot in which he ended up being the turkey.

A pair of websites question the fairness of allowing transgender pro cyclist Jillian Bearden to compete as a woman in the new Colorado Classic bike race, which begins today in Colorado Springs.

Kiwi rider Jesse Sergent makes the difficult transition from pro cyclist to real estate agent.

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Local

Speaking of good news, the Militant Angeleno is back with his latest epic CicLAvia guide, just in time for Sunday’s San Pedro meets Wilmington event. Personal issues will keep me from attending this one, so feel free to send photos or stories from the event for Monday’s post.

Longbeachize says a proposal to stripe bike lanes on Junipero Ave in Long Beach is lacking in imagination, for both drivers and bicyclists.

 

State

One more in the “I’m a cyclist but…” category. A San Diego letter writer says he’s been commuting to work by bike for 20 years, but that city officials goal of an 18% bicycling mode share is just burdening the public unless they ride, too. But since when is getting people out on their bikes a burden?

San Jose gets a temporary pop-up protected bike lane, as representatives of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, aka NACTO, visit to advise the city on how to create a world-class bicycling network.

The Sacramento Bee offers a drone’s-eye view of 20 bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes who rode through the city on a 4,280-mile journey that began in New York.

 

National

The Adventure Cycling Association is planning to add 400 miles to the 2,700-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, already the world’s longest mountain biking trail.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis introduces a hemp-oil CBD supplement for athletic aches and pains.

Bicycling offers advice on how to extend the life of your drivetrain.

A representative of the Denver Department of Environmental Health says traffic fatalities are a public health crisis, and Vision Zero is the solution.

Paramedics in Jackson Hole WY may take to their bikes to get around during the solar eclipse later this month, concluding it could be the fastest way to reach people who need help.

Kindhearted Omaha NE paramedics give a girl a refurbished bicycle to replace the one a man stole from her in a strong-arm robbery. Although the TV station seems confused as to just how many girls there are in the story.

The prosecution has rested in the case of the Pennsylvania cyclist charged with deliberately obstructing traffic on multiple occasions; an off-duty cop testified the rider intentionally crashed into his car, then claimed the car hit him.

Cambridge, Mass pulls the plug on a protected bike lane in mid-construction after local businesses complain, putting the job on hold for 30 days.

Someone is riding his bicycle up to the windows of New York cab drivers, and stealing their cash.

A New Jersey bike group visits the castles of Muenster, Germany.

A DC advocacy group calls for sharing trails with ebike users.

A concerned Florida motorist was already on the phone with 911 to report a dangerously reckless driver when the allegedly stoned driver struck a bike rider; police found cocaine, marijuana, hash oil and drug paraphernalia in his car.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh says middle-aged men, aka MAMILs, don’t take up riding because of a mid-life crisis, but because of the enjoyment they get from bicycling.

Good writes about those vaporware Chinese smog-eating bikes, saying prototypes should be on the streets of Beijing by the end of the year.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to drive drunk and scream racial slurs at the cop that pulls you over, always have a bike in your trunk to attempt a getaway.

And if you’re carrying a debit card and company ID belonging to someone else, as well as burglary tools, and have an outstanding warrant, maybe a train platform isn’t the best place to ride your bike.

 

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