Tag Archive for road diets

Morning Links: Second lawsuit filed over Playa del Rey road diets, and bizarre racist traffic manifesto mailed

You knew it was coming.

In news that should surprise no one, a second lawsuit has been filed over the lane reductions on Vista del Mar and other streets in Playa del Rey.

This time, by the un-ironically named driver-activist group Keep LA Moving.

Which is fighting efforts to do just that in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, by demanding a continuation of the failed auto-centric planning that has harmed so many parts of our city, at the expense of everyone who isn’t currently in a car.

What is only a little surprising is the paranoid, tinfoil-hat wearing extremes to which they’ve taken their case.

According to a story in the Daily Breeze,

City officials have “engaged in a campaign of misinformation, name calling and race baiting, claiming that the aforementioned changes were made for ‘safety’ reasons, while the changes have made the affected roadways exponentially unsafe,” the lawsuit states.

Race baiting? Seriously?

In response to backlash, the lawsuit says, Bonin misleadingly used the stories of victims who were killed on the streets, failing to mention details that show lane reductions wouldn’t have prevented their deaths.

“In none of these cases was the unfortunate death caused by too many lanes on the road, or the lack of dedicated bicycle lanes,” the suit states.

Never mind that the victims might have survived the crashes if the traffic had been moving at a less deadly pace. Which was the expressed purpose of removing those lanes.

But here’s the best one.

It also accuses the city of failing to conduct adequate public outreach for the Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative, saying only 150 of Playa del Rey’s 12,000 residents were engaged in the process.

“LADOT thereafter populated neighborhood forums with outside, paid supporters to make it appear that local residents were overwhelmingly supporting the projects,” the suit states.

If you didn’t get your check, contact LADOT and demand payment. Because evidently, everyone else who supported the projects did.

And never mind that many, if not most, of those opposing the projects don’t even live in Los Angeles, let alone in Playa del Rey.

Keep L.A. Moving also alleges Bonin’s office has suppressed free speech by allegedly deleting critical comments and blocking users from his Facebook page.

Maybe they should give the 1st Amendment another read. Because I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Then finally, there’s this.

Keep L.A. Moving director Karla Mendelson said her group isn’t against safety, but wants to make elected officials think twice before implementing road diets.

No, they’re all for safety. As long as it doesn’t inconvenience them.

You can download a full copy of the lawsuit here.

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Traffic safety advocates and neighborhood council members around Los Angeles have been receiving a very strange and offensive screed purporting to discuss traffic safety.

This bizarrely auto-centric piece, which is filled with bike hate and 180 degrees wrong on most traffic safety efforts, reads like the Unibomber’s manifesto, but without the intelligence.

Take this section on wide bike lanes. Please.

Even more frightening than the writer’s obvious glee at the fantasy of watching another human being die in the street, is the fact that these fliers have been mailed to people’s home addresses — an implied threat clearly saying “we know where you live.”

I’m told that at least one neighborhood council member has resigned as a result.

It’s horrifying to think that working to make this a more bikeable, walkable and livable city could put you in the crosshairs of people willing to threaten others to maintain their philosophy of autos über alles on the streets.

But that seems to be the world we live in.

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The self-proclaimed “LA’s #1 walking and biking advocacy group” we mentioned yesterday —which calls Vision Zero “population control,” and falsely claimed to be part of the non-existent group behind this website — says it will hold a public meeting at Intelligencia Coffee in Venice on Saturday.

If you live in the area, maybe you should drop in and see if they really exist.

And if they’re really there, give them a nice, big WTF for me.

And maybe a restraining order.

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The Colorado Classic aims to reimagine bike racing; the Denver Post gives the details on all four stages.

Here’s your spoiler-free result of the first stage.

A Denver TV station says the presence of the Rwandan cycling team at the Colorado Classic sends a message of inspiration and hope, even if they’re not expected to win any stages.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis says banning Lance’s podcast is just being petty, as he prepares to return to mountain bike racing at the Leadville 100 with his Floyd’s of Leadville medicinal dope partner Dave Zabriskie.

Cycling great Andre Greipel says he’s lost all his instincts on the bike.

The Guardian offers a beautiful photo essay examining the 2,400-mile Transcontinental bike race across Europe.

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Local

Maybe one day your summer bike rides could be a bit cooler, as Los Angeles experiments with changing the surface color of streets to reduce roadway temperatures.

Great profile of 16-year old Los Angeles public transit enthusiast Kenny Uong.

CiclaValley discovers the San Fernando Valley’s secret climb.

Helen’s Cycles is sponsoring a trio of rides throughout the LA area tomorrow.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson offers his own inimitable advice on commuting to work.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News credits the removal of the Herondo wall on the Hermosa border and widening the bike path with opening the entrance to Redondo Beach, leading to a boom in business along Harbor Drive. So much for bike lanes killing business, as the above lawsuit asserts, as well as the “fat bike lanes” in the manifesto.

 

State

Residents insist that traffic congestion is a nightmare in Lytle Creek, even without any road diets or bike lanes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bike rider is sent flying when he apparently hits a curb after swerving to avoid an SUV that left-crossed him.

A San Francisco website says there ain’t no party like an East Bay Bike Party.

A 74-year old Healdsburg man will face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge for an unsafe pass that apparently caused a women to fall off her bike during a charity ride.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a specialized bicycle from a Navy vet who was using it to recover from paralysis, after he was shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan.

Violent crime is increasing on a Sacramento bike path with one of the region’s highest concentrations of chronically homeless people; one rider reported getting punched in the jaw just for being there.

 

National

Streetsblog asks why cities shouldn’t fund student bikeshare passes like they do transit passes.

No surprise here. A new study showed that adult-supervised bike trains to and from school increased physical activity for kids, providing 35% of their daily recommended exercise.

Seattle discovers the most effective way to cut solo car commutes is charging for parking by the day, rather than by the month. Just imagine if they combined that with safer streets to encourage more walking and biking at the same time.

Speaking of Seattle, the city’s limited experiment with dockless bikeshare doubled to a total of 2,000 bikes this week, and could double again when two more suppliers hit the streets. My apologies to whoever sent this; unfortunately, I’ve lost track of where I got this story. But thank you anyway.

Caught on video too: A safety conscious Spokane burglar straps on a helmet before riding off with a homeowner’s bike, while ghost riding another.

Good idea. A Kalamazoo MI bike club printed and distributed 100 lawn signs to promote the city’s five-foot passing law.

The Pennsylvania bicyclist on trial for obstructing traffic testified that he was simply riding in the center of the lane to avoid debris on the right and prevent unsafe passing.

A tone-deaf Atlantic City editorial says bicyclists have to ride responsibly to protect themselves from distracted drivers. Which is probably true. But wearing a bike helmet isn’t likely to prevent a collision. And even the brightest hi-viz and lights won’t help if someone is looking at his or her lap instead of the road.

Emmy nominee Keri Russell is one of us, as a fellow bike rider strikes up a conversation about her show The Americans as she waited at a Brooklyn stop light. A) Conversations like that never happen when you’re in a car, and B) it’s proof that bicyclists really do stop for red lights.

Leonardo DiCaprio is still one of us, and still riding bikeshare bikes across New York. No word on whether he stopped for stop lights or paused to speak with any other bike riders, however.

A New York lawyer goes looking for video of the hit-and-run that put a bike rider in the hospital, and finds a city-owned truck with damage matching the one that hit her.

 

International

A 16-year old Calgary boy has raised $8,000 to fight cancer as part of a 124-mile charity ride, four years after an eye exam lead to the discovery of a baseball-sized tumor in his brain.

Edmonton, Canada is testing side guards on trucks to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

Toronto developers are starting to build carfree, bike-only condos.

The sister of a fallen teenage bike rider lashes out at young Brit riders who put their lives at risk by pulling stunts in front of cars. Although you’d think she’d blame the stoned driver who killed him, instead.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike mechanic tackles a bike thief who tried to make off with his bike after he leaned it against a wall for a few moments.

The mayor of Melbourne, Australia threatens to deal with the problem of abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes by banning them entirely.

 

Finally…

Why bother biking to work or slogging through traffic when you can just swim. You could do worse than the Sneaky Cyclist Robber, as far as bank robber epithets go.

And a mountain biker tries to take a $149 Walmart bike down some steep singletrack, with predictable results.

Weekend Links: The Battle of Playa del Rey goes on, and felony hit-and-run on a Sacramento bike path — or not

The LA Times catches up with the road reconfigurations in Playa del Rey with the most detailed and even-handed story we’ve seen so far.

The paper reports that people angered by the changes are threatening to sue, even though the changes were made at the request of local residents who fear for their safety on the streets. And that the improvements on Vista del Mar were done at the urging of City Attorney Mike Feuer following the city’s $9.5 million payout for the death of a 16-year old girl in 2015.

Evidently, the residents of Manhattan Beach don’t care if the people of LA have to pay out even more the next time someone gets killed. Or even if someone gets killed.

Never mind that Manhattan Beach has narrowed a number of streets to improve safety and livability in the beachside city. As a matter of fact, it’s funny how Vista del Mar somehow loses two lanes once it enters Manhattan Beach and the name changes to Highland Ave.

But evidently LA beach communities can’t do the same thing.

Then again, this sort of irrational anger at traffic calming projects is nothing new in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, a Playa del Rey resident offers the best response yet to the hordes of angry Manhattan Beach commuters upset over the changes to area’s streets.

And if you read this early enough, there will be a bike ride in support of the changes departing from the Playground Lagoon in Playa del Rey at 10 am today.

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Sometimes, life — and the law — is just too bizarre for words.

As we mentioned earlier in the week, a Sacramento man was seriously injured when someone on a bicycle plowed into him as he ran on a riverfront path, suffering multiple facial and skull fractures, broken teeth and a broken hand.

The man who crashed into him hurriedly got back on his bike and fled the scene. But not before dropping his cell phone, which is now in the custody of the county DA’s office.

But this is where it gets weird.

If they open the phone, they should be able to find the person it belongs to in order to press charges. But they can’t open it without a warrant. And they can’t get a warrant unless a felony occurred.

And they’re not sure if it’s a felony to flee the scene after a crash on a bike trail, because they’re not sure if California’s hit-and-run statutes apply if the crash didn’t happen on a street or highway. Let alone if the vehicle involved was a bicycle.

And they can’t use the phone to charge the owner with a misdemeanor, because that would be an illegal search.

So they can’t do anything until they figure it all out.

Which seems kind of strange, since my understanding is that bike riders can be charged with hit-and-run if they flee the scene after hitting someone on a street. And drivers can be charged with hit-and-run if they leave after crashing into someone or something in a parking lot, which isn’t a street or highway.

So why can’t a bike rider be charged with fleeing the scene on a bike trail?

Of course, they could allege that the crash was intentional, which would make it felony assault, and bypass the whole issue.

But what’s the fun in that?

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Great story, as women in India’s Assam province are changing their lives by breaking the taboo against bicycling.

A village cycle bank founded by a non-government organization allows the women to borrow a bicycle on a rotating basis, giving them freedom of movement they’ve never enjoyed before, and providing an opportunity to rise out of poverty.

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The US national road championships will roll through the streets of Knoxville TN today and tomorrow.

ESPN talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney on the cusp of his first Tour de France, as part of the nine-man Cannondale-Drapac team.

Chris Froome says I beg your pardon, I was never offered triamcinolone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Atascadero man is expected to win this year’s edition of the 2,769 Tour Divide, despite being diagnosed with diabetes last year.

Bike Radar looks at LA ex-pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever as he travels the US looking for Strava KOMs.

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Local

LA officials have filed plans to reconfigure traffic lanes on Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, removing one lane in each direct, and adding 2.3 miles bike lanes and a center turn lane. Presumably, those are lane miles, so it would actually affect 1.15 miles of street.

The LAPD is investigating the apparent gang shooting of a man on a bike across from The Plant in Panorama City.

West Hollywood creates a new promotional video apparently intended to bore people into using alternative transportation. Very disappointing, coming from the people who brought you Alice in WeHoLand.

A worldwide non-profit group founded by two Pasadena brothers donated 17 bicycles to foster kids associated with a Cal State Northridge program.

Whittier will host its first Open Streets event the middle of next month.

 

State

A new Calbike survey shows even people who drive a lot want alternatives to driving; 78% support complete streets, and two-thirds believe cities should do more to encourage bicycling. Or maybe that should read “…especially people who drive a lot…”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation on Sunday, so watch how you ride in the county. For one day, anyway.

Some schmuck stole the bike a Santa Cruz writer used to travel the length of the left coast as documented in his book A Bicycle Journey to the Bottom of the Americas.

San Francisco bike rental companies feel threatened by the expansion of the Bay Area’s Ford GoBike bikeshare, which allows users unlimited rides in a 24-hour period for just $15.

A San Francisco public radio station talks with members of the DIY San Francisco Municipal Transformation Agency as they commit illegal acts of bike lane infrastructure.

 

National

A new study shows over riding to hard for too long could be bad for your bowels.

Another new study reports a slight increase in traffic collisions in states with legal marijuana.

A Seattle writer offers three reasons why bikeshare will work in the city, even though the city’s own bikeshare system failed.

Washington may be refusing to fund a 72-mile rail-to-trail conversion, but people are riding it anyway.

Most 10-year olds are happy to ride their bikes to a friend’s house. A Kansas boy just rode his 561 miles across the state.

An Austin TX city employee has developed a bike lane that lights up as a bicyclist approaches an intersection, making the rider more visible and alerting drivers that a bike is coming.

A New York man has been arrested for the apparently random attack on a bike rider that left him in a coma.

No bias here. After a Brooklyn bike rider knocks on the window of a police car to left them know they were drifting into his lane, they respond by giving him a ticket for disorderly conduct.

No bias here, either. Despite the recent deaths of two people riding their bikes, the NYPD doesn’t care enough to send anyone to a community meeting to discuss traffic safety.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Pennsylvania man intentionally drove his car into a man on a bike after the two had argued, then drove off dragging the bike under his car.

Great idea. A Maryland county crowdsources feedback on the county’s bikeways, allowing them to plan improvements and flag problems they might not otherwise know about.

Sharrows are coming to South Florida for the first time, despite studies showing they may actually do more harm than good.

 

International

A Columbian village is sponsoring a bike race to promote its natural beauty as the country transitions to peace after decades of guerrilla war.

It’s taken a Canadian man eight years to get back on his bike after recovering from the injuries he received when a hit-and-run driver plowed into a group of five cyclists. Which is four times longer than the driver’s sentence.

A Vancouver college student says bike lanes are great, but shouldn’t come at the expense of nature.

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, Montreal researchers concluded that people who ride their bikes to work suffer less stress on their commute and are more productive during the day.

Caught on video: Following a too-close pass, a London bicyclist responds by pressing the emergency shutoff button at the rear of the bus.

Even two black belts aren’t not enough to protect a competitor for the UK’s strongest man from an assault by teenage motorists while riding his bicycle.

A British soldier is riding and kayaking across the country to honor six fallen comrades — despite losing both legs and an arm in an Afghan bomb blast.

Teenage bike riders are terrifying drivers in a British town, who fear what could happen if they hit one. Which could be legitimate, although something tells me it might be worse for the kid.

An Australian boxer was banned from driving because of poor eyesight, but did it anyway, fleeing the scene after killing a 77-year old man as he rode his bike. It’s simply not enough to take away a driver’s license; as long as they have access to a car, too many will drive anyway.

South Koreans can now ride their bikes on a 1,677-mile network of trails without ever setting a wheel on roadway, which was built to appease a public angered by a massive river restoration project.

Two Korean men are riding across the US to call attention to the comfort women forced to work in brothels by the Japanese in WWII.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride past police carrying drugs on a stolen bike you weren’t on just a few minutes. When celebs screw up, they go into rehab; when a triathlete gets caught trying to sabotage a competitor’s bike, she checked into an eating disorder clinic.

And if you’re going ride a bikeshare bike naked, using the free seat cover is the least you can do.

Please.

 

Morning Links: Angry drivers and bikelash in Playa del Mar, sinkhole on Angeles Crest, and Bike Life in DTLA

A little bikelash and road diet rage were to be expected.

This is LA, after all.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that drivers are angry they can no longer speed on deadly Vista del Mar, or use the beachfront street as a virtual highway on their cut-through commutes from South Bay cities.

Streetsblog examines Monday’s angry backlash over the changes designed to slow speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety in Playa del Rey — including one bighearted person who shouted that people killed crossing the deadly street had it coming.

Just in case you wondered what kind of person would oppose desperately needed traffic safety improvements.

After all, who really cares about saving the lives of a few total strangers if it means your commute gets a few minutes longer? Although one person says traffic on his Vista del Mar commute is actually lighter than usual.

Once again, there are dueling petitions both opposing and supporting the changes. And once again, the nays are winning in a landslide.

Meanwhile, The Argonaut considers the resistance of some drivers to the road diet and bike lanes just completed on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, where over 48 bicyclists and pedestrians have been injured since 2011.

Including one truly bizarre statement that it took someone 45 minutes to drive the half mile from Beethoven to Centinela. Which would only seem possible if s/he stopped for coffee and donuts along the way. And had to wait while they made them.

Because really, why wait a few weeks to see if the changes will actually work when you can just demand they rip ‘em out before the paint is even dry?

And yet people wonder why it’s so hard to change anything in LA.

………

If you were planning to ride Angeles Crest this weekend, start making other plans. Caltrans reports the highway is closed until further notice between Grassy Hollow and SR-39 due to a sinkhole in the roadway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Since you can’t ride Angeles Crest, head over to Grand Park this Saturday for a one-hour beer and taco-free gathering of the LA bicycling community.

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Once again, a cyclist competing in an open course time trial has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle; this time the victim was a 69-year old man in the UK.

More bad news, as a French cyclist was killed in a car crash, and another injured, shortly after taking first and third in a criterium last Thursday; both riders were veterans of the popular Red Hook Crit series.

The New York Times looks at the rise of Columbian cyclists, saying some compete for their county, and some in spite of it.

The Des Moines Register profiles a competitor in next week’s RAAM, saying don’t call her Wonder Woman.

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Local

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian celebrates how a chain reaction hit-and-run crash brought an unlikely group of Angelenos together. And a bike rider walked away thanks to the falling skills he learned riding a skateboard.

Helen’s Cycles will host their monthly mountain bike ride this Saturday.

Also on Saturday, learn how to advocate for Complete Streets at The Tripping Point, a free conference sponsored by Investing in Place, AARP California, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Pacoima Beautiful and Tree People.

 

State

Anticipating an increase in funding, the California Active Transportation Program is looking for shovel-ready bike and pedestrian projects. Like LA’s North Figueroa and Lankershim Blvd road diets, and the bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, for instance. Oh, wait.

Newport Beach police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement this month, with extra officers on duty June 14th and 26th. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Riverside will host the Santa Ana River Trail Bike Ride & Festival this Sunday.

The Pleasanton city council votes unanimously to adopt a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

San Mateo plans to double the size of its bikeshare program, the only one in the Bay Area not part of Ford’s 7,000 bike system.

 

National

NACTO is sponsoring a year-long initiative to identify problems that “slow the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country.” I can save them the trouble: blame NIMBYs who value parking spaces and faster commutes over lives and livability.

Streetsblog says algorithms to improve dangerous intersections are great, but we already know what needs to be done to improve safety.

A new study shows even regular coffee drinkers can get a performance boost from caffeine.

Not surprisingly, Oregon bike retailers are trying to stop plans for a tax on bicycles over $500.

An online travel service ranks Denver the tenth most bike-friendly city for tourists. Not surprisingly, Minneapolis ranks number one; more surprising is Los Angeles getting a nod on the Most Improved list.

Texas finally gets around to banning texting while driving, six years after then governor and now US Energy Secretary Rick Perry vetoed it.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops take the time to help a kid fix his bike.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver charged with reckless homicide in the death of a 16-year old bike rider walks with nothing but probation following a plea deal. Seriously, whoever agreed to this should be ashamed.

After a Chicago boy’s bike was stolen while he was at work, his friends mowed lawns, did chores and donated their allowances to buy him a new one.

Michigan Live offers a complete wrap-up of their extensive coverage of the one-year anniversary of the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre.

Indiana police are looking for a road-raging bike rider, though they won’t say what happened or why.

Baltimore’s mayor pledges to look into charges from some residents that bike lanes would make some streets too narrow for fire equipment. Even though parking spaces already do.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers 15 reasons why you should ride your bike this summer. Or maybe ten, they’re not really sure.

A London advocacy group calls on the city to modify safety barriers that have been placed in bike lanes on three of the city’s bridges.

A Scottish newspaper says the silence was deafening during a minute of quiet to protest the death of a young woman on her bike.

A new Dublin study shows enormous health benefits to bicycling, while noting that the risk to male riders between 20 to 29 increases with every mile, and may outweigh the benefits for some.

Coke is turning to e-cargo bikes to make deliveries. In the Netherlands, naturally.

A cyclist on a French river cruise takes a bicycling tour of the historic city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

An Aussie judge calls a driver a moronic bogan — the rough equivalent of trailer trash in the US — after the man pled guilty to beating and demanding an apology from the bike rider he’d just crashed into. But still let him off with just a fine.

 

Finally…

Training bike cops for the coming zombie apocalypse. If you really want to encourage bike commuting, free donuts and bacon should do the trick.

And nothing like a phalanx of school kids on unicycles unexpectedly rolling past your window.

Morning Links: New bike lanes coming to South LA, and lawyer gets sidewalk riding law wrong, at least in CA

Los Angeles continues to rediscover — or maybe just discover, as in for the first time — that there’s life south of the 10 Freeway.

After years of not-so-benign neglect of the city’s Southside, it’s become a focus of LA’s Vision Zero efforts.

And now LADOT has submitted plans four road diets and bike lanes on four major north-south streets in South LA.

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Maybe the law’s different in Colorado.

A lawyer answers the question of who’s at fault when a driver pulls out of a driveway and hits a bike rider on the sidewalk, saying the rider could share some of the blame for a) riding on the sidewalk, and b) riding against traffic.

Except here in California, it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in many cities, though seldom advised. And sidewalks are bi-directional; bicyclists aren’t required to ride with traffic anymore than people are expected to walk that way.

Despite a misguided and very outdated opinion by the then-state attorney general.

………

Bicycling considers the crazy things that happen to a cyclist’s body while competing in the Race Across America. I remember one of the early RAAM competitor warning his crew about the dinosaurs along the roadway in Missouri.

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Local

The Eastsider looks at the new and improved Spoke Bicycle Café in Frogtown.

If Sunday’s CicLAvia is too tame for you, Helen’s Cycling is hosting a women-only mountain bike ride the same day.

The West Covina city council will consider the city’s possible participation in the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network tomorrow.

Police stats show bike theft is down in Long Beach, but that may not really be the case.

The Long Beach Bikes bikeshare is offering free ride time for Friday’s Moonlight Mash Long Beach Mad Max Ride.

 

State

A curmudgeonly San Diego sports columnist has taken to calling Kevin Faulconer the city’s Bicycle Mayor. Funny thing is, he seems to think it’s an insult.

The Fish and Wildlife Department is kicking mountain bikers off trails near Carlsbad, where riding was apparently always illegal but no one knew it.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition prepares for the next round in the fight for parking-protected bike lanes in the SoMa district.

 

National

Things could get a little safer on the streets, as Apple introduces a “do not disturb while driving” setting for the iPhone. But probably not a lot, since its use is voluntary.

Boing Boing offers a video look at how bicycles boosted the women’s rights movement. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

A new Kickstarter project promises to turn any bicycle into a cargo bike, complete with removable two-wheeled trolley.

It slowly dawned on a Seattle writer that he’s been riding less after moving to a part of town with less safe bike infrastructure. Something I can relate to after moving to Hollywood.

Now you’ll be able to ride at least a portion of the infamous Trail of Tears as it follows through Arkansas, tracing the steps of the Cherokee Nation on their forced march to Oklahoma.

A year after five bike riders were killed by an alleged drugged driver in Kalamazoo MI, his trial is still at least three months off. The family of one of the Kalamazoo victims says life is uncertain, so enjoy the ride.

Baltimore’s mayor scratches plans for a protected bike lane as it was being built, settling for a narrow two-way door zone bikeway to appease local NIMBYs.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old Florida man is tackling the 2,745-mile Tour Divide down the full length of the Rockies; it’s his third attempt after failing when he was 63, and succeeding four years later.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. A Canadian coroner blames a bike rider’s death on not wearing a helmet. Never mind that she wouldn’t have needed one if a massive truck hadn’t made an illegal right hook directly into her.

Canada’s automobile association says the cost of treating bike injuries is probably going up there, too. But they don’t really know.

Toronto bicyclists complain the city is spending too much money on building out the easy parts of the city’s new bike plan, rather than the ones that would make riders safe.

Speaking of Toronto, 75% of city residents support what had been a controversial protected bike lane, and want it to be made permanent.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a cab driver was fined the equivalent of $387 for allowing a passenger to fatally door a bike rider, plus another $845 in fines. Which he can pay off in low installments of less than $26 a week.

Not surprisingly, new security barriers installed in bike lanes to protect pedestrians on London bridges may increase the risk for bike riders.

No, Taiwan’s Giant bike maker is not being purchased by a Chinese bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

Not only we do we pay way, but bikes can help keep the tax rate down, too.

And seriously, don’t be that guy.

Just don’t.

 

Morning Links: Cedillo and Bray-Ali in CD1 runoff, and Santa Monica writer attacks Lincoln Blvd plans — and you

It’s semi official.

The latest vote count shows CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo with just 49.4% of the vote, putting him under the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff with second place finisher Joe Bray-Ali.

Which means Bray-Ali and Cedillo will likely face off in a winner-take-all vote on May 16th that will determine, not just whether the district will continue to be represented by a disinterested career politician, but whether it will see a safer and more livable future.

The final vote totals should be certified tomorrow.

If Bray-Ali wins, it will be the first time an incumbent councilmember has been defeated since 2003.

Meanwhile, LA’s famed Wolfpack Hustle has nothing but good things to say about him.

………

A writer of for the Santa Monica Observer explains street planning from the perspective of someone who has no idea how street planning works, predicting that a road diet planned for Lincoln Blvd will bring traffic to a screeching halt while making the surrounding community unlivable.

Actually, it should have exactly the opposite effect, taming an exceptionally dangerous street that has long depressed the local community and forced businesses along its way to struggle. The plans call for a more livable, walkable street that should help the area thrive for the first time in decades.

He also apparently has never been to a public meeting to discuss a community project, predicting that “…ten bicycle riders will show up and tell them they’re godlike. Bicyclists who live in mom’s basement have time to attend public meetings.”

Funny, the meetings I’ve attended have usually been filled with people trying to shout down those bike riders, who often have to take time off from their jobs and families to attend.

Not that he would know. Or care, evidently.

………

Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski outsprinted Peter Sagan and Julian Alaphilippe in a photo finish to win the 108th edition of the Milan – San Remo classic on Saturday.

Deadspin says the gray areas in cycling doping rules aren’t helping anyone.

Roger Pingeon, winner of the 1967 Tour de France, passed away after suffering a heart attack; he was 76.

………

Local

An LA bicyclist is asking for $2 million in damages after being injured by an FBI agent making an illegal U-turn while the rider was participating in a charity ride.

LA Curbed offers more details on the state grants to build bikeways in the LA area, including nearly $15 million for DTLA’s Arts District.

The Daily News Group’s Steve Scauzillo experiences what we’ve all felt at our first ciclovía at the recent 626 Golden Streets.

The LA Weekly previewed Sunday’s Marathon Crash Ride.

Long Beach celebrates the first anniversary of its bikeshare system, while introducing a branded “unicorn bike” program with prizes available for people who find it.

 

State

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be stepping up enforcement of traffic violations that can endanger cyclists and pedestrians today. You know the drill; obey the letter of the law in any area they patrol today.

Yes, she’s tougher than you are. An OC woman paralyzed from the waist down plans to hand-cycle her way to the North Pole in a solo marathon attempt.

Evidently, it runs in the family. A San Diego woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a high school student as he walked with a friend; her sister is doing eight years for a fatal DUI.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adult three-wheeled bike from a 69-year old Fresno veteran who used it for his only form of transportation; the bike was given to him by a stranger to replace a bike that was stolen when he rode to the market. The good news is a Fresno couple bought him a new bike after seeing the story on the news.

It was a bad weekend in Northern California. A 43-year old bike rider was killed in a Stockton hit-and-run, and a 65-year old man died when his bicycle was struck by a truck in Auburn. Meanwhile, a Sacramento man turned himself in for a hit-and-run last week, after apparently giving himself a few days to sober up.

A Palo Alto bike rider was seriously injured when she was struck by a wrong-way driver who was fleeing from police; police arrested all five people in the car after an extensive search of the downtown area.

Nice story from Santa Clara, where a former county supervisor sort of got his stolen Steyr Clubman bicycle back 34 years later.

Dozens of NorCal bicyclists rode to honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

 

National

Maybe racing 100 miles through the wilds of Alaska by bike, foot or skis in 40 degree below zero weather is your idea of a good time. Unless maybe you’d rather do 1,000 miles, instead.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where the hit-and-run death of an off-duty firefighter as he rode his bike is only worth a lousy 90 days in jail; the driver claimed she fell asleep at the wheel. Although she was presumably fully awake when she fled the scene afterwards.

Iowa’s famed RAGBRAI, and tourism in general, may be taking a hit because of Iowa Congressman Steve King’s recent comments about “someone else’s babies.”

Sadly, no surprise here. Chicago bicyclists suffer from the Biking While Black syndrome, as minority areas receive the most bike tickets. Something that seems to be true in many major cities, including Los Angeles.

Seriously, if someone can use a bike rack to jump over the fence at the White House, maybe its time to move it.

The local paper in Hilton Head SC calls for better lighting to improve safety for cyclists on the popular resort island.

 

International

Residents throughout Costa Rica are asking their elected officials to build promised bike paths that remain stuck on the drawing board.

A Canadian city is considering offering bike riders free bus rides up a steep hill to promote cycling and improve safety for riders.

Once again, authorities manage to keep a dangerous driver on the roads until she killed someone, as a Calgary driver was sentenced to 30 months for the distracted driving death of a cyclist. It’s not like her seven prior speeding and careless driving convictions might have been a red flag or anything.

Windsor, Ontario bike riders are up in arms after the city plans to use funds that were promised for bikeways for roadwork, instead.

A British bike rider suffered a broken pelvis when he was “rugby tackled” by a drunk 280 pound man as he rode by; unfortunately, the only description police have to go by is a six-foot tall man in a brown suit.

A pair of Brit cyclists are just days away from completing a record-setting tandem journey around the world.

Caught on video: A rider in a UK bike lane is lucky to get home in one piece after a painfully close pass.

Luxembourg installs two new bike counters in the capital city, bringing the total number in the city to thirteen.

An Indian man who was partially paralyzed by an electric shock was forced to ride a child’s toy tricycle in the hospital ward because he couldn’t afford a bribe to get a wheelchair.

A newspaper in Dhaka, Bangladesh says it’s time that the city embraced the bicycle, in hopes that a more bike-friendly approach could improve the quality of life in one of the world’s most unlivable cities.

The world may be going to hell, but at least Arnold is wearing a bike helmet as he pedals around Melbourne.

Justin Bieber is sort of one of us, riding through Auckland, New Zealand, in a pedal-powered rickshaw.

Bicycles donated by a nonprofit group are a passport to a better life for women in Nepal.

After weeks of victim blaming by the Malaysian media, the driver who killed eight teenage cyclists and injured eight others in a late night crash is expected to be charged with reckless driving.

 

Finally…

Enjoy that vanilla half-caf latte while you can. Anything that starts with a truck parked on a bike path isn’t likely to end well.

And riding your bike could give you the heart of a non-bike riding Amazonian tribesman.

But take good care of it, because he might need it later.

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: Backlash to Palisades road diet, shooting of unarmed Castaic man protested, and bike events

No surprise.

The proposal to install a road diet on Temescal Canyon Road, with a parking protected bike lane on the uphill side and a buffered lane downhill, ran into opposition at the Pacific Palisades Community Council last week. (“Proposal to Take Away Downhill Temescal Lane;” right column, bottom of first page)

People tend to be very defensive of their traffic lanes — almost as much as they are parking. And anything that promises to improve safety usually takes a back seat to fears of traffic congestion, warranted or not.

Hopefully, local residents will come around once the benefits of the project are actually explained.

………

A group of mostly African-American civil rights leaders is stepping up to protest the shooting of an unarmed bike rider by sheriff’s deputies in Castaic Tuesday night.

………

The Ovarian Psychos’ 5th annual Clitoral Mass ride rolls tomorrow for riders who identify as female.

The LACBC is teaming with Just Ride LA for this month’s Sunday Funday Ride in DTLA on Sunday, regardless of how you identify.

Also on Sunday, Finish the Ride and Velo Studio are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding.

West Hollywood will have a soft-launch of their new smart-bike bikeshare system on Tuesday.

Long Beach will celebrate the opening of a new parking protected bike lane on Artesia Blvd this Thursday.

And don’t forget the return of CicLAvia to iconic Wilshire Blvd next Sunday, albeit in a shorter version due to construction of the Purple Line.

………

Megan Guarnier has gone from doing risk assessment in nuclear plants to America’s best hope for cycling gold in Rio; she describes the road race as the hardest single-day course she’s seen, stray dogs and slick surfaces included.

Cycling Weekly looks at the favorites in the Olympic men’s road race, none of whom are American.

Australia’s Rohan Dennis was nearly out of the games before they started after crashing on a bad surface on the road course.

The good news is, there’s less doping in the women’s peloton than in the men’s; the bad news is, there’s doping in the women’s peloton.

………

Local

The LA Times looks at the popularity of fixies, saying they’ve gone from hipster status symbols to being found everywhere. Although I question whether the too-frequent stories of cyclists injured after recklessly blowing through stop signs in front of oncoming traffic results from the inability of beginning fixed-gear riders to safely stop their bikes.

Atwater Village residents demand the removal of flood control barriers along their stretch of the LA River bike path, after the barriers have been removed everywhere else.

CiclaValley concludes his list of the ten most essential climbs in the LA area.

 

State

A Santa Ana man told police he was shot in the chest when he struggled with an armed gang member trying to steal his bike. Once again, if there’s a weapon involved, just let your bike go. Your life is worth more.

A new UC Riverside study concludes that low income bicyclists who ride out of necessity are largely ignored by SoCal communities, where bike paths and policies favor recreational and upper-income riders.

Salinas ranks among the worst in the state for pedestrian and bike safety.

San Francisco’s mayor announces increased efforts to improve safety on the city’s streets in the wake of recent deaths and criticism by bike advocates.

 

National

A new premium Strava feature will tell your friends exactly where you are so they can meet up, or find you if you don’t get home on time.

An off-duty Oklahoma officer is credited with saving a bike rider from being shot by an admitted killer.

The family of a bike messenger who was killed by a Chicago tour bus have filed suit, alleging the driver blew through the red light.

A Staten Island mom uses Facebook to get her son’s stolen bike back.

The New York Times talks to the hero bicyclist who saved a young man from jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

A New Jersey mountain bike trail is the latest to be sabotaged by anti-bike terrorists who planted barbed wire, broken bottles and boards embedded with screws and nails along the path. The scumbags who did this deserve to have the book thrown at them. But probably won’t, since they’re only targeting people on bicycles.

A full 40% of people in Baton Rouge LA say they would consider riding to work if the city had dedicated bike paths.

 

International

A transportation consulting firm says the cyclists cities should target are the ones who don’t ride yet.

Vancouver’s new bikeshare system has proven more popular than expected just two weeks after its launch.

Bighearted Victoria, Canada police pitch in to ship a boy’s stolen bike back to Alberta after it was stolen while his family was visiting the city.

The mayor of Edmonton, Canada says the racist rants telling a black bike rider to get off the street demonstrates the need for better infrastructure. It also demonstrates the need for fewer racist drivers.

There’s a special place in hell for the Ontario, Canada jackass who dragged a dog behind an ebike; fortunately, the dog is okay, while the driver faces charges including DUI.

Toronto drivers didn’t even wait for a new bike lane to be finished to before they started parking in it.

An Ottawa, Canada woman filed an assault complaint with the police after a male rider slapped her ass for riding too slow. Seriously, let other people ride their own way. And keep your damn hands to yourself.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever stole the bike used by a British father to take his seriously ill five-year old daughter out for rides, and raise money to fight the disease that will eventually take her life.

The Guardian recounts the tale of bikeshare inventor Luud Schimmelpennink, and the failure of his hometown of Amsterdam to embrace the idea.

Romania wants to install new cycling routes to encourage bike tourism, including bike paths, public roads where cars are banned, and streets where traffic is limited to 18 mph.

Hyerabad, India will install a 300 station, 10,000 bike bikeshare system along the city’s railways.

The Israeli border guards caught on video confiscating a Palestinian girl’s bicycle and tossing it into the bushes say they did it to protect her. Sure, let’s go with that.

 

Finally…

Forget cornering or descending; the most important cycling skill you need is riding the right speed to catch Pokémon. Your next bikeshare helmet could be made of paper.

And a clunky looking bike bell promises to turn any bike into a smart bike; a smart rider is another matter.

 

Morning Links: OC Register writer shows ignorance on road diets, and a look at ghost bikes and bicycle safety

This is the final day of our first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive. And your last chance to get some great bike swag when you sign up or renew your membership with the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

We’re up to 29 members who’ve signed up as part of the drive. So we just need two more to make it one a day for the month of May, with 31 members by the end of the month. Or better yet, get your entire riding club to sign up today to help make our original goal of 100 new members by the end of this month.

So don’t wait. Join or renew now to help make this a more livable, bikeable city and county.

………

Let’s keep things short today — relatively, anyway — to kick off the week after a far too busy three day weekend. We’ll get back to our regular link-filled format tomorrow.

………

This is what happens when someone doesn’t have a clue what he’s writing about.

But doesn’t let that stop him.

Fifty-two years after Bob Dylan warned “don’t criticize what you don’t understand,” indignorant Orange County Register columnist Joel Kotkin attempts to create a public panic over road diets, without apparently bothering to understand what they are or how they’re used.

Kotkin warns that Governor Brown has a secret plan to reduce greenhouse gases by making traffic congestion so bad that it will force Californians out of their cars. And into a “high-density, transit-oriented future.”

And the tool to accomplish this “Soviet-style social engineering?”

Road diets.

That’s right, comrades. He’s onto us.

Never mind that road diets have absolutely nothing to do with reducing global warming or getting people to leave their supposedly non-polluting electric cars at home. (Note to Joel Kotkin: Electric cars cause pollution, too. That power has to come from somewhere, like coal and gas-fueled power plants in most cases.)

Despite his extremely off-base protestations, road diets are performed on streets with excess capacity in order to reduce speeding and improve safety. And in many, if not most cases, can actually improve traffic flow, while making the street safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and, yes, motorists. They can even increase property values by improving livability along the street.

In other words, everyone benefits. Even the bourgeois capitalists in their motor vehicles.

Making matters worse, Kotkin apparently thinks the state’s plan to encourage road diets will a) prevent the widening of freeways, and b) actually be used to narrow said freeways. Although it’s hard to tell with his jumbled, nearly incoherent mixing and mangling of unrelated subject matters.

So just to clarify, road diets are used on surface streets. Period.

They have absolutely nothing to do with freeway projects, nor do they in any way increase freeway congestion. Although they may reduce congestion in the surrounding area by providing people with viable alternatives to driving.

All of which he could have discovered with a simple 30-second Google search.

If he cared enough to actually understand what the hell he’s talking about.

Thanks to Mike Wilkerson for the heads-up.

………

Mike also forwards this piece about Southern California Ghost Bikes founder Danny Gamboa.

It tells the story of how Gamboa, a photographer and filmmaker, became involved in the ghost bike movement when his neighbor’s six-year old son was killed while riding his bike.

And how the purpose of the bikes is to call attention to the need to ride safely, and drive carefully around bike riders.

Vincent Chang, who started Bike San Gabriel Valley, remembers two ghost bikes he helped place in Pasadena.

“It’s to honor the individual who passed,” Chang said. “Also, there’s hope that it brings to light the need for safety improvements. They act as a reminder to vehicles that we have to share the road.”

Gamboa’s been asked if he has a morbid fixation. It’s a question he quickly shrugs off.

“Our goal is to be put out of business so we don’t ever have to do this again,” he answered.

………

The author of that story, Steve Scauzillo of the Los Angeles News Group, also wrote a piece about bicycling fatalities in Southern California, in which he quoted me extensively, along with Danny Gamboa and the LACBC’s Colin Bogart.

And got it right.

Despite the scary headline, he offers a fair and balanced piece, making it clear that while too many people die on our streets, the rate of bicycling deaths is actually going down as ridership goes up.

And that the odds of returning safely from a ride are overwhelmingly in your favor.

It’s worth noting that Scauzillo, a bike rider himself, spent over an hour on the phone with me to get the story straight. Unlike, say, his colleague above.

I spend a lot of time talking with reporters about bicycling and bike safety, on and off the record. And it’s nice when a reporter goes to the effort to make sure he quotes me accurately and in context.

So whether or not you like what I said, I said it. And meant it.

………

Hopefully it’s not a spoiler at this point. But if you still have the last few stages of the Giro or the Nats on your DVR, skip this section.

Still here?

It was a big upset in Friday’s stage 19, as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali won the stage — and eventually, the tour itself — after Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk, who seemed to have an insurmountable lead, hit a snow bank and wiped out in spectacular fashion.

Back on our shores, the US National road title was taken by virtually unknown 21-year old Greg Daniel. Megan Guarnier cemented her position as America’s leading women’s roadie by winning her second US road championship, and her third in five years.

And Taylor Phinney completed a nearly impossible comeback from a devastating crash caused by a race moto in the 2014 road championships by winning his second national crit title; doctors weren’t sure he would ever walk again, let alone ride a bike. Carmen Small won the women’s title.

………

Sad news from Spain, as former pro David Cañada died after colliding with another rider in a sportiv, just six years after retiring from racing.

And race motos cause yet another massive crash, as two lead motorcycles collided in a Belgium race, causing dozens of riders to go down and leading to the cancellation of the stage. At last report, Belgian rider Stig Broeckx was still in a coma after suffering a skull fracture in the crash; it was Broeckx’ second wreck involving a race moto just this year.

………

Over the weekend, my wife and I happened to stumble on another new bicycle-themed coffee shop when we stopped to check out a restaurant in West Hollywood.

The Black Bicycle Café opened two months ago on Havenhurst Drive and Santa Monica Blvd; the name comes from the idea that just like bicycles get you where you’re going, coffee fuels you to your destination.

Black Bicycle Cafe

Black Bicycle Cafe Interior

And they make a pretty good cup of joe.

Tell ‘em I said hi if you stop by.

……….

Finally…

Your next bike could be a blimp, if they can actually get it off the ground. Or maybe a lawnmower.

And it’s bad enough when a kangaroo knocks you off your bike; worse when it ruptures both your breast implants.

 

Morning Links: Bike lanes get blame in West Hills, East Side Riders profiled, and Bev Hills goes auto autonomous

Somehow bikes always seem to get the blame.

Even when they’re nowhere around.

In yet another horrible sacrifice to LA’s car culture, a woman and her adult daughter were killed, along with their dog, while attempting to cross Roscoe Blvd in West Hills Monday night.

Yet instead of blaming the dangerous drivers who residents say speed through the intersection, the Daily News points the finger at a recent road diet, saying westbound Roscoe was narrowed to provide a buffer for cyclists.

Except it wasn’t.

That road diet, like every other road diet, was done to slow those speeding drivers and improve safety for everyone. Bike lanes are just a tool to accomplish that; providing a buffer for people on bikes is just an added benefit.

Which means the problem isn’t the bike lanes.

It’s the culture that says it’s okay to drive 10 miles, or 20, or even 30, above the 40 mph speed limit, then cut over at the last second when the roadway narrows.

Police say the driver wasn’t intoxicated, and wasn’t talking on his cell phone. So the question is how fast was he going, why didn’t he see the two women and their Labrador retriever in a zebra crosswalk, and why he couldn’t stop in time.

And why in God’s name is a 40 mph speed limit allowed in a residential neighborhood to begin with.

There may be a lot of factors that led up to this tragedy.

But bike lanes isn’t one of them.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Bicycling Magazine offers a great interview with John Jones III, founder of the East Side Riders bike club, who is using bikes to change Watts for the better.

We have this thing we implemented with the police, the sheriff’s office, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, called Life Lanes. Basically, it means gang members know not to bother folks on bikes around Watts. We went out and talked to gang members and told them, “You’re gonna see people who don’t look like us riding through here, people from different ethnic groups—don’t mess with them.” And we told law enforcement, “You’re gonna see people from outside the community riding through here—protect them.” And everybody listened! …

Now we ride through some of the projects, and folks don’t bother us. Some of the people in our club are in gangs, but when we’re on bikes, they get a pass from other gangs because they know we’re doing something good for the community.

Nice to see one of LA’s unsung bike heroes get the attention he deserves.

………

Beverly Hills, which fought the Purple Line subway extension tooth-and-nail, is now planning an autonomous vehicle program to solve the first mile/last mile problem with a fleet of self-driving cars once it opens in 2026.

Never mind that they could solve a lot of that by just putting bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd.

Thanks to John Dammon for the link.

………

Cannondale pro cycling team leader Jonathan Vaughters discusses the future of pro cycling in the US.

CNN offers an extensive profile of Lance Armstrong and the movie The Program, calling him a tragic hero.

And see the grueling Paris-Roubaix from the cyclists’ perspective.

………

Local

Streetsblog says Metro bikeshare really is coming to DTLA. Meanwhile, West Hollywood wants to know where you’d put stations for their coming system.

Downtown News looks at plans for protected bike lanes on Spring and Main in Downtown LA.

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell is one of us, as she tweets about how she loves riding her bike along the beach.

St. Vincent Meals on Wheels is hosting their 21st annual Walk/Bike-A-Thon on Sunday the 24th, including a 10 mile ride along the beach to raise funds for Meals for Wheels. Maybe you’ll see Shay Mitchell there. Or maybe not.

 

State

Concern for equity reaches the state level, as bills in the state legislature would shift priority for transportation funding to disadvantaged communities to ensure everyone has access to safe walking, biking and transit infrastructure.

Streetsblog looks at how the San Diego Association of Governments falsely sold a package of highway expansions under the promise of improving the environment, while kicking bike and walking projects down the road.

The Voice of San Diego says a recent road diet on the Coast Highway in Oceanside marks the end of the road for the car-only highway. We can only hope.

A gofundme account has been established for a Bakersfield 6th grader who was seriously injured in a collision while riding to school on Monday.

Classic bicycle fans from 29 countries took part in last weekend’s three-day Eroica California bike fest in Paso Robles.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks if new paint and phased traffic signals are enough to keep bike riders safe on a dangerous intersection.

A Bay Area website recommends five stunning destinations you can ride to from San Francisco.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is looking for a part-time graphic designer.

 

National

The Atlantic says the absurd primacy of the automobile in American life is insane.

A new study from the University of Duh discovers drunk bike riders are more likely to be injured than sober ones. No, really, they needed a study to figure that out.

The next time you head to Ikea for a bookshelf, you can pick up a unisex, belt-drive bicycle, too. No word on whether you have to assemble it yourself.

Seattle’s Transit Blog tells drivers to relax about cyclists blowing through red lights.

Robin Leach, of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous fame, calls gambler Dan Bilzerian’s successful $1.2 million bet a “dangerous and nearly impossible ride” through the brutal Mojave desert. Even though countless other cyclists have done it for free.

A Chicago couple quit their jobs to travel 4,000 miles across the US on just $6,000.

Charleston cyclists call for a trial bike and pedestrian lane over a bridge to be made permanent since it’s the only safe and, so far, legal route over the river; the local paper says so far, so good.

Louisiana considers a vulnerable user law with real teeth, establishing a $2,000 fine and three months in jail for injuring a bicyclist, pedestrian or motorcyclist, and up to $5,000 and five years in prison for killing someone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

 

International

The Times recommends a three-day mountain bike, llama and rafting tour of Peru’s Sacred Valley.

Modacity’s Chris Bruntlett writes in praise of the upright bike.

A Toronto bike blog imagines how treating traffic collisions like we do aircraft or marine disasters, where human life has absolute priority, would change our driving culture. Thanks to Chuck Castillo for the tip.

A British opposition MP says there’s a real gap between the government’s words and their actual support for cycling.

A Brit woman says she was just driving alone minding her own business, giving a man walking his bike plenty of passing room, when he just randomly picked up his bike and threw it at her car for no apparent reason. Sure, that seems credible. Let’s go with that.

Now that’s refreshing. After a London cellist hits a woman riding her bike while on his way to rehearsal — in front of an Aussie actor and recording star, no less — he takes full responsibility and tells other drivers to slow down.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, this time stringing fishing line at neck level on a pathway popular with children.

A Brit bike rider says today’s focus on sportives, carbon frames and Rapha kits is sucking the life out of cycling.

All the world is a bikeway, and all the men and women merely cyclists marking the 400th anniversary of the Bards’ death.

A Malaysian writer says it’s hard to grow cycling in the country if there aren’t any races and little or no support at the club level.

An Aussie driver says the equivalent of a three-foot passing law wouldn’t be necessary if they weren’t such a bunch of Neanderthals behind the wheel. Maybe they should pass a law protecting cyclists from kangaroos, too.

A Chinese man is under arrest for allegedly riding his bike up to a car, taking his clothes off, and lying under it to pretend he’d been hit by the driver and demanding compensation. But can someone please tell me what being naked has to do with it?

The 82-year old founder of the world’s biggest bicycle maker is now the poster boy for Taiwanese bicycling; oddly, he didn’t take up bicycling himself until he was 73.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can draw a bike from memory, but you probably can’t ride it. If you’re going to ride off with an $11,400 bike from a bike shop, make sure it has pedals on it first.

And you’re not a bike rider, you’re a member of the Federali terrorist group.

 

Morning Links: Confronting LA’s diabetic drivers, and bike thief’s mom gives back bike her son stole

Let’s talk Diabetes.

Before I was diagnosed last year, I spent about a year trying to keep my sagging energy up with carbs and energy bars.

What was happening, unbeknownst to me, was that my blood sugar would spike after I ate something high in carbs — even the whole grains I thought were better for me — then crash, leaving me hypoglycemic and needing still more carbs to get back up.

In a very real sense, I was chasing the dragon, just like any other addict. Except my addition was to sugar and other carbohydrates.

I thought I could burn them off by riding my bike, even as I became sicker and sicker, my weight slipping from a muscular 190 pounds down to 160, before finally crashing to 145 shortly after I was diagnosed.

I was killing myself with every bite I took, even though I thought I knew what I was doing.

LA drivers are diabetics.

They’re addicted to ever-increasing road capacity every bit as much as I was addicted to carbs, demanding ever more and wider roads, despite the evidence that greater capacity just results in induced demand.

If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who drives the 405 if the $1 billion road widening project has made their commute any easier.

And they fight tooth-and-nail to preserve every traffic lane and parking spot, even from projects designed to improve safety while providing those who want it with alternatives to driving.

It’s not that they’re bad people. They just don’t know any better.

It’s our city officials that have failed them.

Common sense tells people that removing a traffic lane will only make their commutes worse. Even though it’s been shown repeatedly, in cities around the world, that it can actually improve traffic flow while increasing the odds that they, and those they share the road with, will get home to their families in one piece.

And it tells them that no one will actually ride a bike to work, despite those who do it every day right here in bike-unfriendly LA, and that bike commuting rates have gone up in other cities that have installed safe bike lanes and cycle tracks.

They simply can’t see their addiction is killing them and the city we all love, as LA’s streets, many of which are already at or above capacity for large portions of the day, continue to get more congested as we continue to follow the old failed approach.

Like me, they need an intervention.

In my case, it was my doctor telling me that my blood sugar levels were literally off the charts; so high, in fact, he was surprised I wasn’t already in a diabetic coma. Forcing me to rethink my entire approach to food, and give up those things I thought I needed.

In the case of LA drivers, we need our city officials, from the mayor down to our too-often weak kneed councilmembers, who insist on being led by their constituents rather than the other way around, to explain why the old ways no longer work. And show them how alternative approaches can actually work better, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first.

And that bike lanes, and the people who use them, aren’t the enemy.

They can’t leave it up to us, as they have in the past, to explain why things have to change. That only creates yet another us against them confrontation, as bicyclists fight with drivers and homeowners over our safety versus their fears of gridlock.

It will take our leaders actually leading for a change.

And sticking their necks out to do what’s right, because they already know it is.

………

Talk about an unexpected development.

Three weeks after a man pushed an 11-year old boy off the bike he’d just won during a Halloween celebration at Ted Watkins Park and rode off with it, the mother of the suspect identified by police has returned the bike to him.

Which means he now has two bikes, since the ESR Bike and Skate Shop had already replaced the stolen bike.

Nice to see mom step in and do the right thing.

………

Local

CiclaValley explains why drivers are the real threat, even to other drivers.

Thanks to the LACBC, the NoHo Red Line Station now has a short off-road bike path connecting the station to the popular Chandler Bike Path.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning Committee has approved the fair structure for LA’s coming bikeshare system. Meanwhile, Santa Monica’s Transit App now includes real-time information on the city’s Breeze bikeshare program.

In a totally unsolicited plug for a friend, Richard Risemberg’s Bicycle Fixation is offering merino wool bicycling tops on sale at just above cost.

Monrovia is the latest city in the San Gabriel Valley to develop a bike plan, as well as considering a bikeshare program.

Long Beach will crack down on unsafe drivers who put cyclists and pedestrians in danger on Thursday. But that doesn’t mean they’ll let law-breaking bicyclists off the hook.

 

State

The OC Register looks at the recent Orange County Honor Ride, which raised $40,000 for injured vets.

A Bakersfield school district gets a $100,000 grant to teach children to ride bikes safely during PE time. Although someone should explain to them that’s not what Vision Zero is, and that it can’t be accomplished in a year. Especially not without focusing on drivers instead of kids.

The three-day Eroica California returns to Paso Robles for the second annual vintage bike event next April.

The Santa Cruz paper looks at the city’s elevation to a gold-level Bike Friendly Community.

Noah Budnick, the Executive Directive of the San Francisco Bicycle Coaliton, has unexpectedly stepped down just under a year after he was hired.

The Sacramento-area’s Cycle Folsom is getting casual riders out onto the road and into spandex.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at that study showing a 14% transportation share by bikes in the world’s major cities could result in an 11% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

Bicycling encourages you to get out and celebrate Blacktop Friday the day after Thanksgiving instead of Black Friday.

Portland prosecutors ask for $250,000 bail for the self-proclaimed King of Bike Thieves.

If you can make it out to Tucson AZ this Saturday, you could ride with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

Researchers in my hometown found the air bike commuters breath basically sucks.

A Wichita cop goes way beyond the call of duty, giving his own bike to a veteran in need after his had been stolen.

Nebraska bike and pedestrian deaths reach their highest level since the turn of the century.

A Chicago hospital executive gets a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist while on his way home from a holiday party; the judge gave him just 100 days behind bars, even though state law calls for three to fourteen years for aggravated DUI.

Intriguing new bike coming from Boston’s Fortified Bicycle, which promises their Invincible urban bike will be theft proof, flat-resistant and virtually indestructible.

In a sign of what can happen when bike riders and local residents actually listen to each other instead of arguing back and forth, the two sides may be close to an agreement in a dispute over a Baton Rouge bike lane. If Paul Koretz or Gil Cedillo showed enough leadership to sponsor that kind of conversation, we might have had an agreement on Westwood Blvd and North Figueroa ages ago.

A South Florida ride combines bicycling and black jack to raise funds to give bikes to children who can’t afford them.

 

International

Ottawa plans a permanent memorial to fallen cyclists.

The new Cycling Revolution exhibit at London’s Design Museum celebrates bicycle engineering; it will be open through the end of June if you’re planning a trip across the pond.

British retailer Tesco is accused of dumping $6,000 worth of new bicycles, some still in boxes, in the trash rather than donating them to those in need.

Fast Company calls the coming 200-foot high Copenhagen bike bridge the craziest bike lane ever built, with elevators that will lift riders up to cross over the harbor.

India’s elite cyclists are attempting to rebuild the cycling team following the death of the team’s coach two years ago, although their training is limited by the country’s dangerous roads.

Motorcycle-riding Bangladeshi gunmen seriously wound an Italian priest as he rode his bike.

Over 3,000 Egyptian cyclists are expected to take part in Cairo’s fourth annual Orange Bike Day sponsored by the Dutch Embassy.

 

Finally…

If you’re holding large quantities of cash and illegal drugs, maybe you’re better off not riding a stolen bike. And if you’ve been very good this year, maybe Santa Claus or Hanukkah Harry will bring you a 62 mph carbon fiber hydrogen-fueled e-bike.

 

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