Tag Archive for Richard Fox

Morning Links: Not so fast for Vision Zero funding, Union Street protected bike lane, and Blumenfield bike ride

So much for the $91 million we were promised for Vision Zero.

Just days after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he was proposing that amount for Vision Zero in next year’s budget, it turns to be yet another disappointment.

Instead, the newly released budget contains $90 million for all street safety improvements, which includes Vision Zero and any other street improvements. And while it’s a significant increase, that’s up from $78 million for street improvements in last years budget, not the $27 million that was budgeted for Vision Zero, as we were led to believe.

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Meanwhile, the budget does call for $71 million to repave LA’s broken streets, and another $41 million for sidewalk repairs.

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The bruising battle for safer streets goes on in Pasadena, with a public workshop schedule for May 9th to consider plans for a protect bike lane on Union Street.

Greg Gunther of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition has put together this practically perfect primer for the project:

Protected bike lanes (PBL) are a simple concept with powerful benefits.

  • In essence, they’re like sidewalks for bikes
  • They put a protective buffer between drivers and bike riders
  • They make it pleasant for anyone to bike – just as sidewalks make it pleasant for anyone to walk
What are the benefits?
  • Increase safety 
    • 89% fewer bicyclist injuries 
    • Reduce driving stress by bringing predictability to the street 
    • Less sidewalk riding reduces pedestrian injuries
  • Promote economic vitality
    • Business revenue increases along PBL routes (NYC DOT, Measuring the Street, New Metrics for 21st Century Streets)
    • Bicycle lanes increase the value of nearby property

Why do PBLs Matter?

  • With increased safety, comes increased ridership (Do you think that biking in Pasadena feels unsafe?  You’re not alone… )
    • Most surveyed expressed an interest in riding a bike more often, but resist because it feels unsafe (2012 – Jennifer Dill)
    • Safe places to ride increase ridership – protected bike lanes have shown to create a proven spike in bicycle traffic (2014 – Monsere, et al)
  • With increased ridership, comes universal benefits
Why on Union Street?
  • Union Street is a major east-west corridor in Pasadena’s Central District – when combined with the proposed Bike Boulevard on Holliston Avenue we will have a network that connects Caltech, Pasadena City College with the Playhouse District, the Civic Center, Old Pasadena and the Gold Line
    • Current traffic volumes are far below the street’s capacity
    • Current plans for the street also include multiple pedestrian enhancements to make the entire street segment safer for everyone 
  • In the future, there are also plans under discussion that would create a “link” restoring historic connections between the Central District and the Arroyo – after that, watch out!
    • The Arroyo Seco Bike Path already provides more than 2 miles of protected bikeway from South Pasadena through Highland Park to Mt. Washington
    • Future improvements are slated to connect downstream to the Los Angeles River – bringing Downtown L.A. within biking reach across comfortable and safe protected lanes
What can I do to help make sure this happens?
  • Make sure you weigh in to voice your preferences
    1.  At minimum, Visit the project website and share your thoughts http://bit.ly/UnionStProtectedBikeLanes
    2.  Even more help:  Send an e-mail that registers your support to Rich Dilluvio [ [email protected] ]
    3.  First Prize:  Attend the City’s Community Workshop
      • Wednesday, May 9th – 6:30 to 8:30pm 
      • Pasadena Presbyterian Church – 585 Colorado Blvd (@ Madison) – Gamble Lounge

“The best thing about a bike-friendly city isn’t the bikes – it’s the city!”

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David Drexler took part in the rescheduled Blumenfield Bike Ride through Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s 3rd Council District in the San Fernando Valley on Saturday.

According to Drexler,

It was a great ride with all streets closed by LADP for us so we did not have to stop. I highly recommend it — lots of bike advocates were there and it was very well run.

He also reports the councilman’s wife and two kids were along for the ride, and Blumenfield told him they regularly ride as a family.

There may be hope for this city yet.

Councilman Blumenfield addresses the crowd

A good sized group gathers as Blumanfield prepares to lead the ride

It always helps to have a police escort

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Richard Fox sends word of a new Facebook group for casual SoCal bicyclists.

A new Facebook group has been created for casual cyclists to share favorite rides, announce events, and develop ideas to improve cycling facilities throughout SoCal. Casual cyclists are those who prefer to ride at slow to moderate speeds on trails and low-traffic roads with bike lanes, or even sidewalks when roads seem dangerous to ride on. Most public cycling organizations and bike clubs are composed of road cyclists, racers, and commuters that lobby for safer roadways. We also want safer roadways, but we prefer riding on bike trails away from traffic altogether. This group joins together all the SoCal regions so that we can share experiences beyond our boundaries and help each other in our lobbying efforts. Follow or join at: www.facebook.com/groups/430036694076594/.

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Local

Great piece from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez, who spends a day at a South LA bike shop to get a feel for the city’s spandex-free bike culture. Thanks to Alan Ginsberg for the heads-up.

A fundraiser organized by an LAPD officer raised over $5,000 for the family of fallen teenage cyclist Sebastian Montero; police are looking for his bike that was stolen two months before his death so they can return it to his mother.

The AP offers a brief report on Sunday’s CicLAvia.

Somehow we missed this one last week, as Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Bikes Belong founder and former Long Beach Bicycle Czar Charlie Gandy talk bike politics and environmentalism on Bike Talk.

 

State

It’s a well-deserved seven years behind bars for the 18-year old driver who killed a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student as he rode his bike to class in a drunken hit-and-run. Cases like this are doubly tragic; not only is one life needlessly ended and another ruined; but two families shattered.

 

National

c|net provides your guide to dockless e-scooters.

A new documentary about the faith and determination required to compete in the Race Across America will screen in theaters across the US on May 22nd.

Arizona’s Pima County offers a $2.1 million settlement to a bicyclist who was seriously injured on a bike lane described as a death trap.

The Illinois legislature is considering bills that would require drivers to learn the Dutch Reach, add bike questions to the driver’s test, and teach bike safety to school children.

A Massachusetts paper says the best way to celebrate spring is from behind the handlebars. Something we can probably all agree on.

A Brooklyn letter writer gets it, saying you don’t have to ride a bike to know that carving two blocks of police parking out of a protected bike lane is a mistake.

The same day the LA area celebrated its latest CicLAvia, New York opened up 30 blocks of the Great White Way to bikes and pedestrians for a two-mile carfree open streets event.

If they can do it there, we can do it anywhere. New York finally gives the boot to cars in Central Park. Raising hopes that maybe one day we can see cars banished from Los Angeles city parks, including Griffith Park. Because parks are for people, not cars.

 

International

A 60-year old Canadian woman is riding solo through 5,000 miles of the US and Canada.

No irony here. A British bus driver spent the day training to share the road with bicyclists, then got hit by a bus while riding his bike back home; police say the cell phone in his back pocket may have saved him from paralysis.

Nice video from the UK, where a man surprised his 88-year old father, a former cycling champ, with an ebike and swiftly got him back to racing form.

A 77-year old Scottish man spent three weeks shoveling dirt and debris from three miles of roadway to make it safe for bike riders, after being told the local government wouldn’t get around to it until summer.

Who says politicians are useless? A member of the Scottish parliament rescued an 81-year old bike rider who accidentally rode into a canal.

A Bollywood actress complains that five-star hotels don’t accept bicycles. But rides her single speed bike to them anyway.

Police in New Zealand are taking to their bikes after recognizing what the rest of us already knew — that bikes give you a better view of what motorists are really doing in their cars.

Tragic story from New Zealand, where a mountain biker has spent the last two months in a hospital paralyzed from the neck down except for a little movement in her arms after she was struck by careless trail rider, and calls for better bike rider behavior.

The killer hit-and-run epidemic has spread to law-abiding Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spoiler alert: Skip this section if you’re still planning to watch yesterday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Cycling Weekly provides five talking points from Liège-Bastogne-Liège to impress everyone around the water cooler, who probably never heard of it.

Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels won the men’s race, while Michael Woods became the first Canadian to podium in Liège-Bastogne-Liège; Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen won the women’s race for the second year in a row.

Italy’s Alberto Bettiol will miss the Giro after breaking his left clavicle and a rib in the race, while women’s great Marianne Vos suffered a broken collarbone in a collision with another cyclist.

A semi-pro New Zealand cyclist is showing signs of improvement after being roused from a drug-induced coma following a collision that shattered his upper body.

Everything you always wanted to know about Lance Armstrong but probably didn’t care enough to ask.

 

Finally…

Be vewy, vewy quiet, we’re hunting KOMs. Why buy an ebike when you can just build one yourself?

And if you’re going to ride a bike naked in the middle of a thunderstorm, fasten balloons securely to protect your modesty.

Although if you actually had any, you probably wouldn’t be doing it to begin with.

 

Morning Links: 2nd edition of popular SoCal bicycling guide, and more details on NYC bike path terrorist attack

Let’s start with an updated version of a popular SoCal bicycling guidebook.

This is how the publisher describes it.

Good news for SoCal cyclists who prefer riding on bike trails and low-traffic bike routes: Richard Fox has published a thoroughly updated 2nd Edition of his popular colorful 400-page guidebook, “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It showcases over 200 fun ride options from Cambria to San Diego to Palm Springs.  Ride descriptions have detailed turn by turn instructions accompanied by stylized scaled maps depicting paved vs dirt bike trails and on-road bike routes.  A typical ride is 10-20 miles long with beautiful scenery, few hills, little or no auto traffic, and lots of interesting things to see or places to eat en route. Options to extend or combine rides are described. Now available from available from Amazon or direct from the author for $21.95.

A sample page from the book

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More on Tuesday’s terrorist attack on a New York City bike path.

An Argentine school honored five of the victims, who graduated in the same class of 1987; another of their schoolmates, now working as a scientist in Boston, was injured in the attack. Video shows them happy and smiling as they rode through New York before the attack.

Several of the victims appeared to be riding rental bikes from the New York branch of a San Francisco company.

The New York Times looks at the people caught in the driver’s path, while the Washington Post profiles one of the two Americans and a Belgian mother of two who were killed.

A New York cop is called a hero for stopping the attack by shooting the suspect, who now faces terrorism charges.

Not all the victims were on the bike path; one of the two kids in the school bus the driver crashed into remains in critical condition.

The New York Times says the attack exposed the vulnerable street crossings on the bike path; bike advocates have called for better protection for the bike path for more than a decade.

Fast Company says safe streets that shield bicyclists and pedestrians from motor vehicles are the best protection against future attacks. The attack prompted calls for improved safety for bike paths in Chattanooga, Boston and Santa Maria.

But it didn’t stop New Yorkers from returning to the path the next day. And the head of a New York bike advocacy group says we’ll never stop biking.

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Peter Flax complains about the recent Shanghai Skoda Criterium, saying fake bike races don’t belong in professional cycling.

The Bicycling Hall of Fame announces four new members.

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Local

LA’s Vision Zero plan is expected to bring protected bike lanes and safer street crossings to the area around USC, where 21 people were killed in crashes between 2014 and 2016. Unless any drivers object to it, of course.

Starchitect Frank Gehry says the long-promised transformation of the LA River will never happen. Which is odd, since he’s the one the mayor put in charge of designing it.

More Selena Gomez bike photos, as she goes riding in LA with the Bieb.

CiclaValley revisits the site of the La Tuna fire.

Cost estimates have nearly doubled for a 2.8-mile extension of the Whittier Greenway Trail due to required improvements at railway crossings; the project is still moving forward despite the $15.7 million price tag.

 

State

The California legislature will consider a bill that could legalize part of the Idaho Stop law next year; AB1103 would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, but maintain the requirement to wait for red lights.

A transient man in San Diego stabbed another man who tried to steal his bicycle.

San Diego plans a Day of Service to honor fallen bike rider Maruta Gardner, who was killed by a drunk driver as she was painting over graffiti in Mission Beach last year.

A Marin cyclist was locked up and had his bike confiscated for skitching behind a big rig on the 101 Highway.

 

National

NACTO has developed guidelines for when a protected bike lane should be installed. Which pretty much mandates one for most of Los Angeles.

A Portland musician and bike messenger was found dead in a park after apparently falling off his bike and hitting his head.

The man who recovered JujJu Smith-Schuster’s stolen bike wants the Pittsburgh Steelers tickets that were promised as a reward.

Residents of a Massachusetts town demand the city respond to complaints about “bicycle bullies.”

A day after the New York terrorist attack, a New York woman was shot in the stomach as she was docking her bikeshare bike; her attacker apparently shot himself afterwards.

A DC advocacy site suggests five street signs that point to a failed street design.

A Georgia woman has been convicted of two vehicular homicide counts, as well as seven counts of inflicting serious injury with a vehicle, DUI and endangering a child after swerving onto the wrong side of the road and hitting a group of bike riders head-on; she had meth and several other drugs in her system and was reaching for her cellphone at the time of the crash.

 

International

Someone hung a banner over a Montreal overpass accusing the city of too much talk and not enough action, while urging viewers to Bike the Vote en français.

Writing in The BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal — a Scottish physician says restricting bicycling in response to the death of a single pedestrian would cause needless harm to public health. Case in point, a new Danish study shows bicycling to work is as good for losing weight as working out at a gym five days a week.

Caught on video: A Scottish bike rider and a driver engage in an expletive-filled spat after the former complains about the latter talking on his phone while he drives.

There’s a special place in hell for the British men who crashed their van into a pair of boys who were sharing a bicycle, then jumped out and stole it.

Amsterdam has banned beer bikes after complaints about rowdy drunken tourists.

Dutch bicyclists complain that they can’t find a place to park their bikes at busy train stations.

Tel Aviv, Israel begins enforcement of a partial sidewalk bike ban.

A road raging Russian bike rider faces 15 years behind bars for the murder of a careless driver who nearly ran him down. Another example of what can happen if you let your anger get the better of you. Just shake it off and ride away.

 

Finally…

The best way to win a bake off is to train by winning a few track cycling championships. Your next bike could be a 13 pound Aston Martin.

And who doesn’t need a bike built to survive a fall of a cliff.

Even if you don’t.

 

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