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.
And see the grueling Paris-Roubaix from the cyclists’ perspective.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
And you’re not a bike rider, you’re a member of the Federali terrorist group.