Tag Archive for safer streets

Morning Links: Battle over LA streets, bike events, e-scooter legislation, and new bike lanes in Beverly Hills

The battle for LA’s streets made it into the pages of Los Angeles Magazine.

Writer Andy Hermann examines the fight over road diets, or what traffic safety deniers describe as “lane theft.”

“It’s just created havoc,” says John Russo of KeepLAMoving, an organization that sued the city to remove the Playa del Rey bike lanes. That Venice Boulevard already had a bike lane (albeit an unprotected one) and hadn’t seen a cyclist death since 2010 has only added to the outrage. “I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a good explanation as for why Venice Boulevard needed a road diet,” says Selena Inouye of Restore Venice Blvd., a neighborhood group opposed to what it calls the L.A. Department of Transportation’s “lane theft.”

Which suggest that drivers do, in fact, own the roads. Or at least think they do.

However, there is another side to the argument.

In a region with the world’s worst traffic congestion (for six years running, according to transportation analytics firm INRIX), it’s hard to fault people who would rather drive than bike for being impatient. But it’s also hard to blame people who opt out of driving and choose to pedal. “Our streets are already built out,” says Rogers. “There’s no room to expand them. So the only way to guarantee the failure of our streets is to do nothing. If you keep doing exactly what we’re doing now, we will reach a dystopian future where our streets are so gridlocked that nobody can move at all.”

 

And yes, that’s me he’s quoting there.

It’s worth reading the full piece.

Then maybe get mad, and demand that the lives of human beings start taking priority over the convenience of selfish drivers.

And do something to save our lives, and our city, while we still can.

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Let’s catch up with a few upcoming events to add to your calendar.

Pure Cycles is hosting a Bike Metro Back to Basics bicycle education class at their Burbank headquarters tomorrow.

Also on Saturday, Metro Bike Share is hosting Pedals and Pitstops — Back to the Beach along the Venice canals and the Artists & Fleas LA on Abbot Kinney.

On Sunday, join with the Street Librarians Ride to replenish little street libraries in Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Metro presents the Pride of the Valley open streets event on September 16th in Baldwin Park and Irwindale.

The ultimate CicLAvia rolls on September 30th to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the LA Phil with a massive, eight-mile street party connecting Walt Disney Hall in DTLA with the Hollywood Bowl.

BikeSGV is hosting their annual Noche de las Luminarias awards bash on December 1st.

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A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature could make it considerably easier to use an e-scooter.

AB 2989 would still require a driver’s license to use a motorized scooter, but it would eliminate the requirement for a helmet for anyone over 18.

It would also allow scooters to be legally used on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph, or on higher limit streets that have bike lanes.

They’re currently limited to streets with bike lanes, or a speed limit of just 25 mph.

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It’s official. Hell has frozen over.

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A new study says not so fast on the bike helmets.

According to the study, four times as many drivers and five times as many pedestrians died of head injuries, compared to bike riders.

While head injuries accounted for 46% of bicycle deaths, 25% of drivers killed in traffic collisions died of head injuries, as did 42% of pedestrians.

Yes, studies have shown that bike helmets are effective in reducing the risk of head injuries.

But no one suggests that pedestrians should wear them, let alone people in cars, where they could theoretically save far more lives.

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Local

The East Side Bike Club is raising funds to provide bicycle safety eduction to kids in South LA.

Former LA pro Phil Gaiman offers his insights on seventeen pieces of awesome summer cycling gear in the latest Men’s Journal.

A 10-year old junior Jonathan Gold reviews Culver City’s new bike themed Super Domestic Coffee.

Pasadena bought new Complete Streets software to identify gaps in the street networks, and design solutions while keeping the public involved, in hopes of avoiding more disastrous meetings like the one that killed plans for a lane reduction on Orange Grove Blvd.

Long Beach gets nearly $1 million dollars in Caltrans grants to make zoning changes and create complete streets on the city’s north side.

 

State

After this year, you can be charged with hit-and-run if you leave the scene of a crash on an off-road bike path. Governor Brown signed AB 1755 last week, which removes any question of whether hit-and-run laws apply to bike riders on trails; the law takes effect Jan 1st.

CiclaValley explores California’s Central Coast by bike.

A 28-year old woman has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in Crockett on Tuesday.

If you live or ride in the East Bay Area, take a few minutes to sign a petition calling for the Major Taylor Bike Park and Velodrome in Richmond.

 

National

A new study that should surprise absolutely no one shows UberPool and Lyft Line are making traffic congestion worse, and helping to creat a hostile environment for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Portland’s famed Velo Cult bike shop is closing its doors, six years after moving from San Diego. The shop, which was unable to keep up with requirements to maintain it’s license to serve beer, will now focus exclusively on e-commerce, which does not require a local liquor license. Thanks to brer bear for the heads-up.

Nevada has its first official US Bicycle Route.

A Flagstaff AZ public radio reporter goes for a ride with a pair of experienced women’s mountain bikers who are mentoring the next generation of riders.

Houston PD is the latest big city police department to use an electronic device to measure precisely when drivers come too close to people on bicycles. Meanwhile, the LAPD doesn’t.

A 77-year old Texas man has put together his own guide on how bicyclists and motorists can share the road. Although it would help if you can read upside down if you want to know what it says.

Once again, a state department of transportation does the right thing once it’s too late, as Rhode Island officials study the lack of effective safety measures on a bike path after a six-year old boy was killed in a collision.

A bike path around DC’s National Zoo is closed for the next year after heavy rains cause the pathway to crumble and tumble into a creek.

If you know a diocese that’s looking for a killer bishop with a drinking problem — who apparently still refuses to take responsibility for her actions — former Baltimore Episcopal bishop Heather Cook has applied for work release from her well-deserved sentence for the drunken hit-and-run death of a bike rider in 2014.

This month’s Miami Critical Mass will be dedicated to Miami native Patrick Wanninkhof, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on an Oklahoma highway in 2015; his childhood friend Janna Belle says her latest music video was inspired by the crash.

 

International

Police in Hamilton, Ontario are looking for witnesses in a five year old murder case, where someone in a pickup chased down a bike rider before running him over.

Montreal bikeshare bikes will soon come equipped with lasers that project an image of a bicycle on the pavement ahead.

London announces plans to eliminate traffic deaths by 2041, after already reducing fatalities 50% over the past decade.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a British rider was clotheslined by a rope strung across a bike path at chest level.

Police in the UK are looking for two young mountain bikers who punched a driver after blocking his car. As usual, no word on what the driver might have done to encourage the assault. Which does not make it right in any way.

British schools are starting to prohibit parents from using motor vehicles to drop their kids off at school in the name of safety. Doing that here would not only improve safety, but the health of the students, while dramatically reducing morning traffic congestion and improving air quality.

An English woman was rescued by four strangers who lifted a car off her after the driver hit her bike.

The UK’s growth in cycling is being driven by experienced bicyclists riding more and further, rather than more people taking it up.

Never mind that ban on bicycles in Prague’s city center; a city court has overturned a law prohibiting bike riding in pedestrian zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling discusses what it’s like to drive a race moto in the Tour de France. Hopefully without putting any more cyclists in the hospital.

What it’s like to have someone grab your arm while leading the Tour.

Pro cyclists debate whether the super tuck position on descents should be banned.

The New York Times considers the Tour de France’s continued insistence on maintaining the sexist and outdated tradition of having podium girls.

 

Finally…

Canadians love separated bike lanes, as long as they’re in someone else’s neighborhood. And Lance wants your love.

 

Morning Links: South LA safer streets meeting moved to tomorrow, and this is who we share the roads with

On a personal note, today marks the 10th anniversary of BikinginLA, which started with a single blog post complaining about the sad state of bicycling in Los Angeles. 

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Thank you for ten years of reading, and allowing me to do what I love.

And what I can to help make biking in LA just a little safer and more enjoyable for all of us.

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That public meeting to discuss safer streets in South LA has been moved to tomorrow night, rather than tonight as we mentioned yesterday.

The change in date seem suspicious, since it’s now scheduled for the same time as the march and press conference to demand justice for fallen cyclist and hit-and-run victim Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

However, I’ve been assured by Councilmember Marqueece Harris- Dawson’s office that the original date was a typo, and the meeting was always scheduled for Thursday.

But still.

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This is who we share the roads with.

An unidentified Twitter user responded to getting cut off by a bike rider by pulling alongside the rider, and pushing him off his bike from a moving car.

He seems very proud of himself, pinning the tweet even though it’s evidence of a crime.

Hopefully this tweet will be removed by the time you read this, since it would appear to violate their terms of service.

Let alone an admission of guilt.

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Local

CiclaValley offers before and after video from a repaving project on Forest Lawn Drive, suggesting the new improvements left bicyclists worse off than before, with a bike lane that narrows to less than a foot in some place.

A webinar will be held to discuss the proposed Hollywood Community Plan, which includes proposed bikeways, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm tomorrow.

Also tomorrow, LA County Commissioner Hilda Solis will host a public meeting to discuss how to make Eastside streets more accessible for pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, and rail users.

The coming Taylor Yard bike and pedestrian bridge is up for an international design award at the World Architecture Festival.

Burbank state assemblywoman Laura Friedman discusses why safe speed limits matter.

 

State

A Fresno couple on a tandem were seriously injured when their wheel disintegrated after hitting a pothole while they were descending at 47 mph.

Lime makes its data-based case for why their e-scooters belong in San Francisco, noting that 60% of users said their ride replaced a car trip.

 

National

Vice offers a list of five things cities can do right now to reduce cyclist deaths. Make that four, since the bicycle-to-vehicle sensor systems they mentioned aren’t available yet.

Save this list of bike-friendly Tucson cafes for the next time you’re riding through town.

Heartbreaking story from Iowa, where a 79-year old woman walking on a bike path with her son was killed in a collision with a speeding bicyclist; the police declined to investigate, and the riders didn’t identify themselves. If that happened anywhere else, it would be considered a fatal hit-and-run.

Oops. Ohio police call off a search for a bike rider who was reportedly struck by a truck on a highway, knocked over a guardrail and into a waterway, when the bike’s owner came back and said the bike had merely fallen off his truck.

A Dallas magazine asks if the city will ever favor neighborhoods over freeways, saying it falls further behind world cities with every mile of asphalt.

Life is cheap in New York, where police refuse to pursue charges against a killer hit-and-run driver, who somehow claimed she had no idea she hit anyone — despite crashing into a mother and daughter with enough force to kill the little girl.

Bicycles ruled DC back in the ’90s. The 1890s.

New Orleans police throw the book at a lightless salmon cyclist who went out for a pack of cigarettes at 4 am, apparently writing up violations for everything they could think of and resulting in a whopping $920 in fines.

 

International

Mounties in British Columbia are on the lookout for a bike rider who sprayed a dog with a chemical irritant after arguing with the dog’s owner.

Police in Edmonton, Canada swarm an intersection to issue warnings when drivers can’t seem to figure out what No Right on Red signs next to bike lanes mean.

A Toronto newspaper spends an hour watching traffic bike and motor vehicle traffic at an intersection, observing 609 traffic infractions and noting that most went through incorrectly, on two wheels or four.

A new study shows that the Mini-Holland bikeways installed in London’s outer boroughs have succeeded in boosting bicycling and walking rates.

Manchester, England begins work on a $661 million plan to install 74 miles of Amsterdam-style segregated cycle lanes crisscrossing the city. Yet the Daily Mail can only envision traffic chaos.

A UK paper looks at British cycling champ Victoria Pendleton, and the bikes she’s designed for the Halfords retail chain.

Caught on video: A group of men described by the local newspaper as “thugs” chased down a pair of 12-year British bike riders, and stole a new mountain bike one of the boys had received as a birthday present just one day earlier.

This is why people continue to die in the UK, as a killer driver walks with just community service after running down a pedestrian while doing 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.

Police in Jerusalem can’t seem to decide if people can or can’t ride their bikes on a street that’s been closed to cars, some telling people they can ride on the sidewalk, and others saying they have to ride in the street. And ticketing riders for both.

An Aussie advocacy group complains about a report linking 15 bicycle and pedestrian deaths to headphone use, noting that studies have shown “bike riders using headphones at a reasonable volume hear much more outside noise than a car driver, even when that car driver has no music playing.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news, as German world sprint and Olympic champion Kristina Vogel is in intensive care after colliding with another rider while training at a velodrome.

 

Finally…

Maybe your bike really is a work of art. Evidently they couldn’t figure out how to install Swedes, so they settled for poles.

And a Los Angeles-based company claims to be the leader in incorporating AI technology into bicycles.

Which will inevitably lead to something like this.

 

Morning Links: Happy Bike to Work Day, #CrashCityHall tomorrow, and Rapha says sit on it

Happy Bike to Work Day.

You can ride Metro, Metrolink and many other transit systems free today with your bike, or in some cases, just a helmet.

And don’t forget about the LACBC’s Handlebar Happy Hour at Gulp Sushi Alehouse in DTLA, sponsored by BikinginLA title sponsors Pocrass and De Los Reyes.

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We’re just one day away from #CrashCityHall.

I hope you can join me, and other walkers and bike riders from throughout Los Angeles, as we crash tomorrow’s city council meeting to demand safer streets for all of us.

And urge our elected leaders to have the courage to do the right thing.

Be there at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, for the 10 am council meeting. And be sure to fill out a speaker card to get your one minute of speaking time at the microphone.

I’ll try to get there a little early to meet everyone outside; if not, you’ll find me at the back of the chamber as the meeting starts.

And come back this afternoon, when we’ll have two more open letters to the city council, from Amanda Gohl.

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Local

Streetsblog confirms the arrest in the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier, while noting that the LAPD has refused to return calls about the case.

CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino reports a bike rider was hospitalized after getting struck by a driver in Watts Tuesday evening.

More misleading stats about the Mar Vista Great Streets project from the “chief grassroots organizer” of traffic safety denying “road diet opposition group Restore Venice Blvd,” who concedes there was extensive outreach for the project before accusing the city of inadequate outreach for the project. Here’s my response to her equally misleading post on City Watch.

Curbed recommends four rides to explore Los Angeles on two wheels, including the Eastside Mural Ride, Ballona Creek, and riding to Dodger Stadium.

The Santa Monica Daily Press post their short list of Bike Week activities. Although someone should tell them to post it before most them are over.

Lifehacker says go ahead and get bike riding lessons for your kids, recommending classes from REI and the YMCA, as well as LA’s C.I.C.L.E and Bicycle Kitchen.

 

State

Calbike announces their endorsements for two ballot initiatives, lieutenant governor and a trio of SoCal legislative races.

The Press-Enterprise reports on the Rides of Silence in the Inland Empire.

The local newspaper profiles Folsom’s first family of bicycling.

Bike-riding volunteers deliver fresh burritos to San Francisco’s homeless people each month.

 

National

It turns out Millennials are driving and buying homes after all.

The usual suspects lead a new report of America’s most bikeable cities, with Minneapolis and Portland leading the way, followed by Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. It’s a list that bears little resemblance to People for Bikes’ recent rankings.

High on the list of laws that shouldn’t have to be passed, Albuquerque NM is moving to prohibit parking and driving in bike lanes.

The future of bicycling in Kansas City includes a protected and connected bike network.

A Houston writer says drivers have got to stop their victim-blaming excuses.

A Brooklyn website accuses New York of favoring rich ebike riders while thousands of delivery drivers suffer.

A New York bicyclist is suing the city after NYPD officers were caught on camera using their patrol car as a weapon to knock him off his bike, then lied that he resisted arrest, when the video shows him standing calming and submitting to handcuffs. And never mind the dope they claimed he had on him. Intentionally striking a bike rider with a police car is an illegal use of deadly force, posing a risk of serious, if not fatal, injuries even at slow speeds.

Writing in the New York Times, an architect and urban planner says there are better ways of getting around town than driving.

A Pennsylvania man hopes to someday ride a bike again, ten months after he was intentionally run down by the driver of an SUV who fled the scene, and still hasn’t been caught.

South Carolina residents are dusting off their bicycles after learning repairs to a bridge could take four weeks.

 

International

An automotive fleet website ranks the world’s ten best bike cities; New York and DC get an honorable mention.

Now you can sit on, and not just in, your Rapha.

Quebec bike riders can now ride through a red light on the walk signal after coming to a full stop and yielding to pedestrians, and don’t have to signal for a stop, which no one usually does anyway.

After two years of Vision Zero, Toronto bike and pedestrian deaths are still not coming down.

Not surprisingly, traffic injuries and deaths has dropped by half at London’s Bank Junction after banning all traffic other than buses and bicycles.

Taking a page from soccer, British cops hand out yellow cards to warn riders of bicycling violations. Does getting two yellow cards mean you get tossed off your bike? And if you’re not successful enough, could you get relegated to a lower town?

A writer for the Guardian explains why she moved her family to a nearly carfree city in the Netherlands. As if any explanation is necessary.

An Aussie newspaper disabuses readers of their anti-bike misconceptions, pointing out that’s it’s legal to ride abreast and bicyclists are not obstructing traffic just because they’re not driving.

Shenzhen, China’s Qianhai business district will get its own elevated walking and biking pathway, similar to New York’s successful High Line Park.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for bike racing fans. Amgen has renewed its sponsorship of the Tour of California for another two years.

American Brent Bookwalter was back for yesterday’s time trial in the Tour of California, eleven years after he nearly lost his leg karate kicking a light pole.

The winner of the time trial was a local favorite who jumped into the leader’s jersey, but may not win the war.

A Sacramento TV station offers a glossary of bike terms for any wheel suckers who may be turning in for the first time.

In today’s nearly spoiler-free Giro report, the man in the pink leader’s jersey says he’ll keep attacking leading up to Tuesday’s time trial.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine says this is how you celebrate a win.

https://twitter.com/AmgenTOC/status/996537221564907520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclist.co.uk%2Fnews%2F4762%2Fwatch-how-to-celebrate-a-victory-as-a-professional-cyclist

 

Finally…

Before you ride through an abandoned railroad tunnel, make sure it really is. Kiss your Dutch beer bike goodbye.

And happy 199th birthday to New York’s bicycling community. Scroll down after clicking the link.

No, further. Seriously, keep scrolling.

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Ramadan mubarak!

Guest Post: An open letter to the Los Angeles City Council #CrashCityHall

I’m fed up. And apparently, I’m not the only one. 

Recently, I announced that I intend to #CrashCityHall next Friday to demand safer streets.

And invited anyone who’s just as mad as I am about the needless risks bike riders and pedestrians face on our streets — and the lack of action from city leaders — to join me. And tell the mayor and city council to show have courage the courage to do the right thing. 

Since many people can’t attend a 10 am city council meeting, I’m accepting letters from people who can’t make it, but still want to have their opinions passed on to the council members at the meeting. 

Here’s the first of those #CrashCityHall letters, from Raquel Jorge. 

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To the City Council of Los Angeles and To whom it may concern:

My name is Raquel, I’m 44 years old and have been using a bike as a mean of transportation for the past 30 years. I have cycled in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, and had the opportunity to learn about urban transportation from Mumbai to Copenhagen, from Hanoi to Marrakesh, from New York to Sao Paulo.

While on the road I have faced harassment, had 3 bikes stolen, saw my life flashing in front of me more times than I could count and lost a few friends to traffic animosity.

But I’m not writing to talk about me. We are at a point where we must understand the importance of empathy. We need to be able to look beyond our little own problems and needs and see the bigger picture. It is no longer a question of what I think or you think. It is a question of what we know, with plenty of data to corroborate this knowledge.

Gridlocks and excess of cars in urban areas aren’t a local issue, but one that every big city in the world is facing. The problem goes behyond safety; it encompasses environmental destruction, increased air pollution, the use of limited natural resources, and health damage to all.

I understand that being able to commute by bike is not everyone’s reality. There are many people who simply cannot do it due to health limitations, distances, nature of work and so on. The way you choose to commute is entirely up to you and it is your right to go wherever you want safely. But it is also mine and that of those who choose to walk, to skate, to rollerblade, to scooter. Understand that owning a car does not give one ownership of the streets. They are there for everyone.

I’m not asking anyone to leave their car at home and ride a bike to work. All I’m asking is to be able to bike without having my life in constant threat. Your right to drive your car on the street is the same as mine to ride my bike.

Changing paradigms is always a hard and long process. Cities like Amsterdam have suffered the same obstacles before it became an example. If we want a better future we need to get out of our comfort zone and start thinking that what benefits the collective will, eventually, benefit the individual.

I’m an experienced rider and I can ride on the streets, no problem. But new riders may not. New riders as well as kids and the elderly won’t consider biking possibility due to fear. That is why a safer infrastructure is vital to ensure a better life in the urban areas. Not today, not tomorrow, but for the next generation. Because let’s face it — if it carries on as it is, it will be unbearable to live in LA and other cities in the very near future.

What world would you like to leave for your kids?

The whole world is desperately searching for solutions, such as investing in public transportation and safer streets for everyone.  Paris, London and New York are great examples of that.  So I find hard to believe that there are people who are against projects such as Vision Zero. Can’t they see beyond themselves?  Go ahead and read about it. See what is happening around the World (or do they really believe that Global Warming is a Chinese invention?). Safer streets are proven to improve the quality of life of communities…Local shops will benefit from more people on the roads…Parking will be less of a problem. Not to mention cyclists are, in general, happier than those stuck in traffic…So let’s keep them alive, shall we?

As far as traffic codes go, there is one that is paramount: “The bigger is responsible for the safety of the smaller.”  A truck is responsible for a car’s safety, a car for a cyclist’s, a cyclist’s for a pedestrian’s and a pedestrian’s for the dog’s. It’s as simple as that.

In the meantime, while we are here fighting for a more sensible infrastructure, there is something that we can start practicing right now — mutual respect. I respect your right to drive your car. Please respect mine to ride my bike. And we should all be able to get home to our families in one piece.

Sincerely,

Raquel Jorge

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If you can’t #CrashCityHall on Friday, email a letter demanding safer streets for bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else to ted at bikinginla dot com by this Wednesday.

I’ll print them out and include them with the packages we’re giving each councilmember and the mayor containing copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

A couple quick tips:

  • If you can, try to work in the theme of our protest by asking them to have the courage to do the right thing.
  • Mention what council districts you live, work or ride in.
  • Stress that safer streets benefit everyone, whether on bikes, on foot or in cars.
  • Feel free to (politely) express whatever anger or fear you may be feeling
  • Demand they take immediate action to protect us all

And let me know if it’s okay to share your letter on here. I’ll be happy to put it online as a guest post leading up to Friday’s council meeting.

Morning Links: Two hundred bike riders protest Frazier hit-and-run, and fundraiser for Bikes 4 Orphans

In a city where apathy is too often the norm, a group of angry and saddened bicyclists rode to LA city hall Friday night to call for safer streets.

And protest the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Franzier.

KABC-7 said several dozen bike riders turned out to honor Frazier, while KNBC-4 estimated the crowd of riders at around 200.

Writing for Curbed Los Angeles, Matt Tinoco captured the spirit of the ride.

We have to… make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians,” Edin Barrientos, who leads a popular Monday night group ride called Chief Lunes, told mourners. “The culture we have in LA, our car culture, it’s not promoting life. It’s not safe for anyone to be on the streets…”

“I’ve been doing this eight years, and not any of those years have I felt fear for my life as I do at this moment,” says Barrientos. “It’s becoming a norm, you know, losing people on the bike. We lost a teenager in Woodland Hills less than two weeks ago.

A crowdfunding campaign to help pay funeral expenses for Frazier has raised a little over $2,500 out of a $4,000 goal.

Meanwhile, another crowdfunding campaign to help pay the medical expenses of Quatrell Stallings, the bicyclist intentionally struck by a hit-and-run driver as he was helping people cross the street at Wednesday’s protest over Frazier’s death, has raised less than $300 of the $20,000 goal.

Let’s hope this is just the start of a grassroots effort to reclaim streets. And honor Frederick Frazier by ensuring no one else will ever have to suffer the same fate.

And don’t get me started on what the hell is wrong with a country where you have to raise funds online to bury one victim of a hit-and-run, and help the victim of another get the medical care he needs.

Photo by Matt Tinoco from Curbed LA website.

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On a related subject, Reddit has been going wild responding to a since deleted question asking why car culture is increasingly violent toward cyclists in Los Angeles?

Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the link.

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Nonprofit group Bikes 4 Orphans — which does exactly what the name implies — will be hosting a fundraising concert on May 3rd.

According to the group’s Twitter account,

The proceeds of the concert will help a orphanage with 110 girls between ages 8-18 who must walk 2 hours to get to school each day! During their commute, they are at risk for sexual harassments! Most girls stop going school because it’s NOT safe walking!

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As we noted awhile back, traffic in central London has decreased 44% since 1999, while bicycles have become the leading form of transportation.

Which benefits everyone through better public health, less traffic and reduced air pollution levels.

And if they can do that with London’s bad weather and narrow streets, imagine what we could do on the wide boulevards of sunny Los Angeles.

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Local

Rides on Metro buses and trains, as well as the Metro Bike bikeshare, will be free on Earth Day. Which just happens to be the same day as this Sunday’s Heart of the Foothills CicLAvia.

Eagle Rock school kids wrote city officials to demand Dutch-style bike paths 44 years ago. Needless to say, they still haven’t gotten them.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a ride with the mayor of Santa Monica and a handlebar happy hour on April 26th.

 

State

A 40-year old man was shot while riding in San Diego’s Logan Heights neighborhood early Saturday morning when he rode past a parked car, and the passenger jumped out and fired. If there’s still any question about how tough bike riders are, the victim rode to a nearby fast food stand for help after being shot twice in the butt and once in the leg. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

A Bakersfield bike rider was clipped by a flying dog after it darted out from a nearby house and got hit by a truck; both the dog and rider seemed to be okay afterwards.

A new BMX park has opened in San Jose.

 

National

The Atlantic describes how advances in women’s clothing had as much to do with their newfound freedoms in the 1890s as advances in bicycle design.

It’s an Atlantic doubleheader, as the magazine takes on the absurd primacy of the automobile in American life.

A Seattle writer says despite what opponents claim, a planned lane reduction in the city has undergone an extensive public process, while opponents have no stats or facts to back up their dubious claims against it. If that sounds familiar, it may be because one of LA’s leading traffic safety deniers has been advising the Seattle group fighting the plans.

Four years and hundreds of deaths after Phoenix adopted a complete streets policy, the city still doesn’t have a plan to make the streets safer.

Life is cheap in Colorado, where a distracted driver gets just 30 days for killing a man on a bike. And will probably serve that on work release.

J. Partick Lynch forwards news of a Detroit ATV rider who was killed when he was tased by police and crashed as a result. Which is the same thing that happens when they do it to someone on a bicycle.

A 17-year old Florida bike rider was killed when he was stuck by a state trooper while trying to cross the street after getting off a bus.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says after testing both, you should always choose an aero bike over a lightweight bike.

Caught on video: A Montreal man is justifiably pissed off after a city bus passes him with just inches to spare.

A Halifax, Canada bicyclist says police made him feel like a criminal when he rode without a helmet, despite Nova Scotia’s mandatory bike helmet law. He also got tickets for failing to ride to the right, and riding on the sidewalk when he stopped for the cops.

An attack on a British bicyclist raises fears of a serial killer in Manchester, after a stranger pushed him into a canal, then pushed him back in a second time as he tried to climb out; 17 people have died in the city’s waterways under unexplained circumstances in the past 10 years.

The war on bikes continues, as London’s former cycling commissioner was rammed off his bike by a road raging driver. And police are looking for whoever sabotaged a Welsh bike trail with nail traps.

A writer for Road.cc says Britain’s proposed dangerous cycling law is just a dangerous distraction from more important safety matters.

Clearly, hit-and-run is not just an American problem. An Irish florist rebuilds her life after her husband was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Ireland adopts a new one-meter passing law — the equivalent of our three-foot laws — as an Irish newspaper can’t seem to figure out how the law will work. As for their question about a cyclist splitting lanes at a red light, most similar laws require drivers to pass bicyclists with a minimum three-foot distance, not stay three feet away at all times.

Dutch casual cyclists are being forced off the bike paths by racing cyclists and high-speed ebikes.

Life is cheap in Spain, where an American tourist walks with a one-year suspended sentence for killing a British bike rider after drinking and using amphetamines.

Cape Town, South Africa is getting its first bike mayor.

An Australian doctor speaks out against what he calls a “reckless” campaign to repeal the country’s mandatory bike helmet law after surviving a bike crash himself.

You’ve got to be kidding. After an Aussie triathlete crashed into his riding partner while being threatened by a road raging driver, the driver wasn’t charged — but the rider was charged with reckless riding. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed, and the charge was dropped.

An Aussie bike mechanic finished his third Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 1000-mile frozen fat tire race through the Alaska wilderness, finishing eight days after the winner; the race follows the course of the famed Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spoiler alert: If you’re still planning to watch Sunday’s Amstel Gold classic, skip this section.

Danish cyclist Michael Valgren won Sunday’s Amstel Gold in a final sprint, while Dutch world champion Chantal Blaak won the women’s race. Proof that women and men can compete on equal terms when they’re allowed to.

After a competitor in the Commonwealth Games wrecked his bike in a crash, a fan loans him his own bike to finish the race.

Sri Lankan police threaten to file charges if anyone gets killed by a race moto during bike races in the country.

 

Finally…

You know you’re screwed when you get hit by a car, then the ambulance you’re riding in gets hit by another one. You know you’re in a bike-friendly community when even the ambulances have bike racks.

And the oldest person to ride around the world is a relatively young 56.

 

Morning Links: Surprising support for safer streets, a pro-car attack on open streets & Marathon Crash rides again

One quick note: Statistics show that traffic collisions spike after daylight savings begins, so be extra careful on the streets for the next few days.

Photo by Ted Faber

………

They get it.

An Op-Ed from Toronto college professor says pedestrian deaths won’t end until the city stops pandering to cars and drivers.

There’s no sugar-coating it: We can only make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists when road space is taken away from cars… Transformative infrastructure disrupts the dominance of the car while enabling people to safely switch from driving their cars to using bikes, transit or walking…

When cars slow down, not only are streets safer, but they become more enjoyable places to be. When good cycling infrastructure is present, people stop being “cyclists” and instead are just normal people going about ordinary, mundane activities. We need to stop thinking that bike lanes are only for “cyclists” and better sidewalks or more crossings are only for “pedestrians.” They are for everyone and they give people choices as to how they get around.

Then there’s this from a surprising source — the executive editor of The American Conservative, who notes that it’s become safer to drive and more dangerous to walk — and bike — in recent years.

And that the recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association didn’t go far enough in calling for safer streets.

Curiously, there is little attempt by the GHSA to grapple with the very obvious and long-term problem—the conflict that occurs when one attempts to combine pedestrian accessibility with roads that support highway speeds. Even with smartphones locked away and all drivers drug free, there are bound to be incidents in which the operator of a two-ton object barrelling down the road does incredible damage to a defenseless human being of one-tenth the weight. The only sure way to protect the vulnerable party in this situation is to slow vehicles to truly safe speeds wherever pedestrians are present. And the only way to guarantee slower speeds is to create streets—not the all-to-common suburban thoroughfares that accomodate highway speeds—that do not allow drivers to travel through neighborhoods at unsafe velocities.

Such a transformation of our built environment will require more than band-aid fixes, such as “pedestrian hybrid beacons” (special button-activated lights and crosswalks placed at midblock) and demeaningly-named “refuge islands” recommended by the GHSA report. Only a dramatic paradigm shift will cause drivers to ease off the pedal when they are off the interstate. Such a new approach would call for narrower streets that are not designed for highway speeds—or even what behind the wheel may seem relatively pokey rates of travel. At even 35 miles per hour, there is a 31 percent chance a vehicle will kill you, rising to 54 percent for seniors over 70 years old. In contrast, at 20 miles per hour, the risk of pedestrian death goes down to an average of 7 percent…

True sharing of the streets between all modes of mobility—including one’s own two feet—demands, as Cortright states so well, that walking and biking are no longer treated as a “second class form of transportation.” This transition will require recovering a rather older form of techne, a craft of building human-centered places, that does not need artificial intelligence or other “smart” devices to save us from the mechanical beasts we have allowed to dominate our streets.

………

On the other hand, some people just don’t get it at all.

A newspaper in Bend, Oregon says the city’s twice-a-year open streets events are “anti-car street parties” that only serve to alienate motorists.

Because no one who drives a car would ever actually get out and enjoy it themselves, apparently.

Rather than patting themselves on the back for supporting environmentally and socially commendable causes, city councilors should be asking themselves whether they’re using the public’s money effectively. Does it really make sense to spend $22,500 on an alternative-transportation event that preaches to the anti-car choir even as it subtly alienates the very people whose support the city really needs?

Those other people are the ones who drive cars and trucks, and they might think better of cyclists, pedestrians and so on if they weren’t treated as pariahs on their own streets and at their own expense. There’s an in-your-face quality to Open Streets that simply isn’t useful if the city’s goal is to encourage respectful coexistence by motorists, cyclists and others.

Evidently, it’s only coexistence when the roads belongs to cars, period.

………

It looks like the Marathon Crash Ride is back next Sunday after all.

………

Local

Bike the Vote LA has released their voter guide for the April 3rd primary election in California Assembly District 54, which is currently vacant following the resignation of Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.

Don’t plan on riding the new Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail anytime soon unless you enjoy dodging golf balls; the April 22nd opening has been cancelled until they can stop errant shots from escaping from a nearby driving range.

There will be a blessing of the bicycles and other mobility devices in Santa Monica on Sunday the 25th.

 

State

Calbike is urging you to speak with your state assembly member and senator during Advocacy Week, March 22-29, when the legislature is not in session.

Dockless bikeshare is coming to North San Diego County for a one-year trial.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a former Palm Springs councilmember aimed at derailing the CV Link bike and pedestrian trail surrounding the Coachella Valley. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Menlo Park website explains what all those markings on the street mean, including bike lanes, bike boxes and sharrows.

 

National

A group of veterans are riding from Florida to Los Angeles for Ride 2 Recovery, while a Navy vet is riding cross-country for raise funds for veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation.

A Seattle reporter takes a ride along a still under-construction bike lane and road diet connecting to the Amazon campus.

Nothing like an insurance company that doesn’t get the law. A Washington state firm tells a driver to go ahead and right hook a bike rider after passing him.

Colorado letter writers take up the great ebike debate, discussing whether they should be allowed on trails.

Fort Worth and Arlington TX hope to avoid the problems neighboring Dallas has with abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

Stop de Kindermoord comes to New York as residents demand an end to children being killed on the streets.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York will redesign a street where two small children were killed while walking with their mother after a driver ran a red light. Although I don’t know any design elements that will take a driver’s foot off the gas pedal.

WaPo offers advice on bike touring, with a little help from Adventure Cycling.

 

International

The year’s first edition of the World Naked Bike Ride took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday to call for safer streets. And no, the story’s not safe for work.

Vancouver residents rise up in anger over the thought of a bike path besmirching a public park. Never mind that it might actually allow more people to enjoy the park.

The way to encourage more bicycling in the UK is not to give bicyclists a safe passing law, then threaten them with a life sentence for killing a pedestrian.

An Irish writer says cyclists are just failed runners, but he’s now going to join the MAMILs for a mid-run snack.

Irish police are warning bicyclists to be careful using ride-tracking apps like Strava, which could lead thieves to your bike if you leave it on the default settings.

Sad news from South Africa, where two bicyclists have died during the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour, one from a heart attack and the other the result of a 20-rider pileup; police are investigating both deaths.

No bias here. A local government in Western Australia responds to the state’s new one-meter passing law by moving to ban bikes from narrow roadways, insisting there’s there’s no room for drivers to obey the law.

No bias here, either. A New Zealand writer complains about male cyclists who don’t have bells on their bikes, or want them. And somehow assumes that means they’re lawbreaking scofflaws who complain about the way drivers treat them.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Chinese website considers why there’s no culture of competitive cycling in the country, oddly placing the blame on a lack of cycle tracks and conflicts with drivers.

Keith Olberman talks with former pro Phil Gaimon about riding clean in the sport that’s become the poster child for doping.

 

Finally…

Cleaning your bike pedals the cute, furry natural way. When you absolutely, positively have to spend $165,000 for $27,000 worth of bike racks.

And Elon Musk now says his Boring tunnels will put bicyclists and pedestrians first.

Lucky  us.

 

Morning Links: CD1 race gets dirtier, bike rider assaulted on LA River path, and fixing streets is Vision Zero, too

As predicted, incumbent CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo is getting down and dirty as he fights to retain his seat in the face of a strong challenge from outsider Joe Bray-Ali.

Today’s attack from the city’s most anti-bike councilmember comes in the form of repeated accusations that Bray-Ali is just a Republican in Democrat clothing. And that he only switched parties to run for office — fighting words in the strongly Democratic and independent district.

Except he isn’t. And didn’t.

Bray-Ali is the first to admit he was, briefly, registered as a Republican several years ago as he searched for his place in the political landscape, before landing in the Democratic party after equally brief stints as a Green and an independent.

And never mind that Los Angeles local elections are supposed to be non-partisan, so whatever the hell party he belongs to shouldn’t matter in the slightest.

More amusing is Cedillo’s claim that he’s running a grassroots campaign.

Which is absurd coming from a career politician who gets the overwhelming majority of his donations from outside the district. And who has been in bed with mega donors like Chevron and Walmart for years, leading to questions whether their donations have influenced his votes.

After Saturday’s bizarre Lyin’ Joe episode, and today’s overblown tweetstorm attacks, it’s starting to look like Gil has been studying at Trump U.

And learning all the wrong lessons about how to conduct a campaign.

………

A bike rider reports he was the victim of an assault on the LA River bike path at the Los Feliz overpass when he was punched by one of two men partially blocking the pathway.

Fortunately, he was able to maintain control of his bike, and didn’t stick around to find out what they wanted.

While incidents like this are relatively rare, it’s a reminder to always remain alert and aware of your surroundings when you ride, especially on bike paths or anywhere else out of direct public view. He did the smart thing by getting out of harms way as quickly as possible before stopping to call the police.

He doesn’t give the date or time of the attack, but it makes me wonder if that’s why I saw a CHP cruiser turn onto the bike path as I passed by on Los Feliz Monday afternoon.

LA bicyclists have long called for regular police patrols on the bike paths in the city and county, to little effect; incidents like this sometimes result in an increase in patrols, which die down after awhile as other hotspots take precedence.

Thanks to Chris Klibowitz for the heads-up.

………

I may not have made myself clear the other day.

While I am a strong believer in the need to fund Vision Zero projects in Los Angeles, and feel that it should take precedence over repaving streets and filling potholes, that doesn’t mean the latter isn’t important, as well.

As yesterday’s tragic news reminded us, bad roads can be an expensive annoyance to people on four wheels. But they can be deadly to those of us on two.

Vision Zero should not attempt to improve safety at the expense of our streets, but in conjunction with repaving efforts to ensure a safe riding, driving and walking environment for everyone. We have to somehow find room in the budget to pay for both.

Because it doesn’t matter whether our streets are dangerous because of aggressive drivers, bad road design or crumbling street surfaces. The results are the same.

And human lives are at stake.

………

This is seriously one of the scariest close passes I’ve ever seen, as a driver for a British market buzzes within inches of a cyclist. But says it’s okay since he didn’t cross into the extremely narrow bike lane.

Just as scary is the response from the company, which was basically “We didn’t hit him, so who cares?”

Thanks to Jon for the link.

………

I’ve never had a lot of heroes.

Willie Mays when I was younger, Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King as I got older, though both were gone before I reached my teens. But there are a lot of people I’ve admired; a few I’ve tried to emulate.

And one of the best and brightest of those was killed in crash early Wednesday morning.

Steve Tilford was everything I wanted to be as a young rider. A passionate cyclist who was among the first wave of American riders to storm Europe and show that we could compete on equal terms with the best names in the sport, he made it all seem effortless, competing on the road and winning in mountain biking and cyclocross.

According to various press reports, Tilford was driving on I-70 just west of the Colorado – Utah border when his van crashed into an overturned semi. He and his passenger were standing outside of the van, injured but okay, when a second semi plowed into the overturned truck, striking Tilford.

He died a few hours later at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado.

His passenger, Vincent Davis, was injured, and the driver of the second truck was killed as well.

VeloNews sums up the reaction in the cycling world, while the BMC Racing Team’s Jim Ochowicz remembers him and offers his condolences to Tilford’s partner Trudi Rebsamen, a soigneur with the team.

And Bicycling revives a 1998 profile of Tilford, saying he is why we ride.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I have something in my eye.

 

………

Another of those young riders from the 80s, American cycling great Andy Hampsten, is happy to share his love of cycling with young riders in Sonoma County.

Scientists are trying to take the hell of riding cobbles out of the Hell of the North.

………

Local

The jury’s still out on the 2024 Olympics, but LA will be hosting the 2017 Police & Fire Games.

Sunday marks the return of the Brompton Urban Bike Challenge scavenger hunt in DTLA.

Bike SGV invites you to attend the opening of the Jeff Seymour Family Center on Monday.

Topanga Canyon Blvd will be closed this weekend to repair storm damage and remove that big rock blocking the roadway.

Speaking of big rocks, CiclaValley discovers Big Rock Canyon.

 

State

The OC Breeze estimates that 15,000 people attended Saturday’s Garden Grove open streets event.

San Clemente plans to provide a safer route to an elementary school by improving bike lanes and sidewalks on Avenida del Presidente.

Indio is looking for public input on plans to install sidewalks and bike lanes. That’s easy. Yes. Please.

Sad news from the San Joaquin Valley, as a man was killed riding his bike in Southeast Bakersfield.

A Visalia man is scheduled to spend the next 34 years behind bars for shooting a bike rider from his moving car.

Bay Area bike riders will finally be able to ride halfway across the Bay Bridge on weekdays. Then turn around and ride back, since it will be several years before the bikeway goes all the way across, if then.

A UC Berkeley architecture professor wants you to bike along the big, not-so-beautiful wall already standing on the Mexico border with the US.

Folsom is planning to complete the Johnny Cash Trail near the prison where he recorded the best selling live album of all time.

Chico police bust an ebike thief who broke in from the shop next door to steal a $3,000 bike from a local dealer.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says bike helmet laws do more harm than good, and the idea that they improve overall safety for cyclists isn’t backed up by the evidence.

Someone vandalized over 200 of Portland’s 1,000 bikeshare bikes.

Great read. When a reader asks why bicyclists don’t have to carry insurance, an Oregon columnist responds “don’t be that guy.”

Alaskan fat bike riders are risking their lives by riding through railroad tunnels to get to a near-wilderness area that’s closed for the winter.

Prosecutors offer an undisclosed plea deal to a road raging Arizona driver who allegedly murdered a bike rider earlier this year; he faces up to 25 years if he’s convicted.

Someone walked out with $8,000 worth of bike clothes from a trio of Dallas bike shops.

A bike-riding Florida cop struggles to find answers in the wake of a recent tragedy, saying ultimately we must learn to care about others on the road, and encourage them to care about us.

 

International

Caught on video: A Canadian thief demonstrates just how fast a poorly secured bike can be stolen.

Four of London’s most dangerous intersections are scheduled to get bike and pedestrian friendly improvements. Which is exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

The Guardian asks if London’s cycling czar is tough enough to take on critics and bike-haters. On the other hand, at least they have one, unlike some cities I could name.

Sometimes they do come home. Australian police recover an American man’s bicycle two years after it was stolen from a laundromat.

Designer and cyclist Paul Smith is creating cycling jerseys for a bike race to help raise funds to rebuild a Japanese town devastated by the 2011 tsunami.

Abandoned bikeshare bikes are crowding out humans in a Shenzhen, China park.

 

Finally…

No, popsicle bike is not a thing, but it should be. No, throwing your bike at an ex-friend who owes you money is not the correct way to use it.

And which of these things are you doing wrong in your cycling class?

That’s easy. Not riding a real bicycle outside, to start.

 

Morning Links: Cedillo condemns calls for safer streets, Coronado madness round 3, and more bighearted people

One person’s political gain is another’s plea for safer streets.

CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo sent an email saying it’s unacceptable to use the hit-and-run death of Irma Yolanda Espinoza-Lugo on North Figueroa for political gain.

Except that seems to be exactly what he’s doing.

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It’s sad that calling for safer streets in the wake of a needless tragedy is seen as a “political opportunity for personal gain.”

Especially since this wreck occurred on a stretch of North Figueroa that would have already undergone safety improvements if Cedillo hadn’t personally blocked them, despite overwhelming community support.

………

It just keeps getting nuttier down in Coronado.

After banning a beach bike path because it would attract bike riding tourists, and halting planned bike lanes because they would introduce vertigo-inducing visual blight, residents are now going after proposed traffic lights for fear they will cause gridlock, noise and pollution, and forever change the city’s quiet, calm atmosphere.

Because that’s what traffic lights do, evidently.

………

Bighearted people continue to make the news.

A Kansas cop brought a homeless man to tears by giving him a bicycle from the department’s stash of unclaimed bikes, so the man wouldn’t have to walk several hours a day to his job.

And an anonymous donor replaced the bike stolen from a British Columbia teen after his was taken when he stopped at a 7-11.

………

Business Insider offers a close-up look at Peter Sagan’s $9,250 world championship winning Specialized S-Works Tarmac. Note to TMZ: That’s a “super expensive” bike, not this.

An Austrian cyclist who took a frightening spill during the U23 road race blames a broken steerer damaged when his bike flew off a support car during the time trial.

Cycling Weekly looks at the six Brits who have won the worlds, including this year’s road race champ Lizzie Armistead.

And both drivers and cyclists say better education is the key to building on the success of the worlds to make Richmond VA a safer place to ride a bike.

………

Local

CiclaValley says Times’ columnist George Skelton’s call for a registration fee on bike riders is flat Earth thinking. Meanwhile, a Modesto rider says go ahead and bill him 60¢ for the wear and tear his bike causes on the roads.

The Los Ryderz bike club in Watts will ride for cancer awareness on Saturday, despite losing their tools and a pair of bikes in a break-in. This would be a good opportunity for some bighearted people right here in LA to step up and help replace them.

Friends have set up a gofundme page for a Long Beach bike rider who was seriously injured in a collision with a truck last week; the fund has raised $7,285 of the $10,000 goal in just five days. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Bike League webinar will feature Daniella Alcedo from the LACBC’s Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition and Maria Sipin of Multicultural Communities for Mobility this Thursday at 11 am.

Krosstoberfest comes to Long Beach this Saturday with the SoCalCross Prestige Series cyclocross races at El Dorado Park. I can almost hear the polka music and smell the muddy lederhosen already.

Celebrate Rideshare Week with a ride on the karaoke rickshaw October 5th through 9th.

 

State

A teenage bike rider was seriously injured in an Escondido collision after witnesses said he rode through a red light and into the path of an oncoming truck.

No bias here. A Banning newspaper says a Beaumont cyclist was injured after “driving” into a car, even though it says the driver didn’t see him. The driver must have left crossed the rider, since they were going in opposite directions on the same road.

Saturday’s Simi Valley Share the Road Ride will honor fallen cyclist Phil Hernandez, while calling attention to the need to make room for bicyclists; riders can choose courses from 25 to 100 miles.

The San Francisco Chronicle rejects the call for an Idaho stop law, saying road safety and established law trump the inconvenience of stopping for a stop sign. Meanwhile, after the city’s mayor threatened to veto the ordinance because he won’t trade safety for convenience, Streetsblog SF offers proof he does exactly that on a regular basis.

Bad enough that we have to worry about dangerous drivers; a Berkley bike rider was injured when a falling tree knocked down a power pole and he crashed into the fallen power line.

The bicyclist killed in a Yolo County time trial over the weekend was an experienced cyclist who worked as a consultant for Oracle. Police say both the victim and the driver appear to be at fault, since the driver passed unsafely while the victim wasn’t riding far to the right.

 

National

If you have a bike with disc brakes, there’s a good chance it may be on this recall list. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

A pair of filmmaking adventurers rescue an abandoned puppy while on a 900-mile bike trip to climb 45 towers in the Southwestern US.

There’s special place in hell for someone who would steal a pair of custom-made tricycles that provide mobility for a wheelchair-bound Portland woman.

City officials in Boulder CO vote to undo a road diet in the face of vitriolic criticism, even though it improved safety in the short amount of time it was allowed to exist; People for Bikes says it will be just the fourth protected bike lane removed anywhere in the US.

An Iowa man faces up to 25 years in prison for killing a bike rider taking part in a group ride; his BAC was nearly three times the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Opinions vary over a protected bike lane currently under construction in Chattanooga TN, even among bike riders. Instead of complaining about the loss of just 15 parking spaces, try installing a few bike racks to draw customers on two wheels.

A writer for the Wall Street Journal seems surprised he survived his first ride on one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bike.

Philadelphians call for car-free weekends in the city center after the papal visit shows how nice the city could be with fewer cars.

A North Carolina man seems to be on a one-person crusade to have ghost bikes removed.

A Florida legislator re-files a vulnerable user law that would require drivers to yield to bike riders and pedestrians when making a right turn that crosses sidewalks, bicycle lanes or bicycle paths.

A crawling burglar in the Sunshine State somehow managed to steal 40 bikes and equipment worth $104,000 after disabling a bike shop’s security system. So if you start seeing a bunch of brand new bikes on Craigslist at ridiculously low prices…

 

International

Interesting collision data from the UK; not surprisingly, Mondays and morning rush hour are the most dangerous times for London bicyclists

Once again, bike riders are the good guys, as a pair of British paramedics drop out of a charity ride to help a woman injured in a car crash.

An Irish cyclist has his bike stolen after it carried him over 18,000 miles around the world; he was the only one of four competitors to finish last year’s World Cycle Race.

Wired says the recent car-free day in Paris shows what our cities can be.

A Danish study looks at the behavior of road users to determine the ideal width for two-way cycle tracks, concluding after a number of complex calculations that the magic number is 7.38 feet if there’s no parking, and 7.7 feet if there’s parking alongside the bike lanes.

Australia’s Victoria state has promised key bike projects, but failed to deliver. Sounds familiar.

 

Finally…

You too, can learn to pop a wheelie in just 35 easy lessons. For anyone unclear on the subject, throwing it through a restaurant window is not the proper use of your bicycle.

And that’s what I call a foldie, e-bike or otherwise.

 

Morning Links: Fix the City sues to keep it broken, Seleta Reynolds talks Vision Zero, and still more kind people

As promised — or maybe threatened — the ironically named Fix the City has filed suit against the City of Los Angeles to keep it from doing exactly that.

The NIMBY non-profit is fighting the newly adopted Mobility Plan, which was created to improve safety and traffic flow by providing Angelenos with alternatives to using their cars.

Yet the group’s actions promise to keep the city’s streets just as dangerous and congested as they are now; apparently, making the city more bikeable, walkable and livable city isn’t their idea of fixing it if drivers can’t continue to careen carelessly through LA’s already congested streets.

According to the LA Times, the suit alleges the plan will increase tailpipe emissions as drivers spend more time idling in traffic due to reduced road capacity, a supposition based on the outdated worst-case projections contained in the plan.

And which the plan clearly identifies as such, despite the repeated failure of the press to press the group on their repeated misrepresentation of those projections.

The assumptions contained within the Mobility Plan make it clear that the predicted doubling of congested intersections will only occur if no one switches to alternative forms of transportation. Yet it also predicts that once the plan is built out in 2035, we’ll see a 170% increase in bicycling, a 38% increase in walking and a 56% boost in transit use, with a corresponding decrease in motor vehicles on the road.

Again, those are very conservative estimates; more likely, those numbers will be significantly higher as safer streets, more trains serving more areas, and faster bus routes induce more people to leave their cars at home.

The group also claims that safety will be sacrificed as emergency responders find themselves stuck in traffic. Even though the city’s commitment to Vision Zero, which is contained within the plan, means they should have significantly fewer emergencies to respond to.

It’s ironic that a spokeswoman for the group says that if this plan were put to a vote, the people of LA would toss it out in a New York second. Particularly since New York has already begun a similar transformation of their streets, and the sky has yet to fall.

In fact, an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers approve of the changes to the city’s streets, even though some groups had fought them tooth-and-nail, just as Fix the City is trying to do.

The best way to look at this suit is as the last desperate gasp of LA’s auto-centric past, pursued by people unable to envision a future in which cars no longer hold hegemony over the earth.

Hopefully, the courts will see it for what it is, and toss it in the dustbin of history along with the car culture that has so damaged so much of our city.

And give LA back to the people who live here, and not the cars they drive.

………

Sad news from Santa Monica, as a homeless man was found dead, apparently from natural causes, after riding his bike off the bike path and into the sand, before collapsing near Shutters on the Beach.

………

LADOT General Manger Seleta Reynolds and Leah Shahum of the Vision Zero Network will discuss what Vision Zero means for Los Angeles from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on September 24th in the City Council chambers at LA City Hall.

………

Still more news about kindhearted people this week, as a stranger donates a new bike to a Dallas girl, after her mother had put up a handwritten poster shaming the thief who stole hers.

And an Indiana woman saves the life of a young boy who got snagged on a moving train after he tried to go under it with his bike while the train was stopped.

………

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin stormed through Wednesday’s time trial to move into the lead in the Vuelta, while American rider Larry Warbasse feels pretty f—ed entering the race’s final week.

A 28-year old Brooklyn preschool teacher could be the first African American woman to go pro, after just two years of racing.

………

Local

Don’t hold your breath for that long-promised continuous bikeway along the newly extended Expo Line. BAC member Jonathon Weiss points the finger at understaffed city departments and old-fashioned CYA for delaying it, along with equally long-promised wayfinding signage and a Westwood Greenway on the Expo corridor.

Streetsblog puts last weekend’s opening of the East Side Riders Bike Club’s new bike co-op into perspective, as bicycling continues to flourish in long neglected parts of the city.

The Hollywood Reporter talks with Stephen Frears prior to the premier of his Lance Armstrong film The Program, which premiers in Toronto later this month.

The Daily News looks at the return of CicLAvia to the San Fernando Valley, as we mentioned earlier this week. Apparently CiclaValley likes the idea, though he may be surprised to learn he’s now a community organization.

Bike Walk Glendale offers a free bike-safety and skills workshop for kids this Saturday.

Northeast Los Angeles will host a Kidical Mass on the 19th, as part of a worldwide Kidical MASSive celebration of kids and bikes.

 

State

When I was a kid, I was happy to ride my bike around the neighborhood. Three brothers ranging from just nine to eleven years old will ride 100 miles from Irvine to San Diego in Saturday’s Amtrak Century, sponsored by the Orange County Wheelmen. Note to the OC Register: It’s a ride, not a race.

A San Diego cyclist was seriously injured Tuesday night when he apparently made a left turn in front of an oncoming car near Balboa Park.

Maybe Fix the City could change their name to Fix the State, and sue to undo the successful makeover of an Encinitas street.

A Thousand Oaks bike rider was injured when he was broadsided by a truck after reportedly running a red light. Police say alcohol played a part, but this time, it wasn’t the driver who was drunk. As the story points out, bicycling under the influence is a misdemeanor in California, with a fine up to $250.

A San Jose cyclist is suing city police for allegedly holding him at gunpoint and beating him senseless for no apparent reason after they stopped him for riding without a headlight. Something tells me there may be another side to this story.

The road-raging Marin County cyclist who beat up a driver after allegedly being clipped by his mirror gets off easy, with a sentence of just 90 days in county lockup along with another 90 days of possible home detention.

 

National

The popular Fly6 rear-facing bike cam and taillight combo is about to be joined by the Fly12 headlight and bike cam; at $349 it’s priced in the midrange of bike cameras that come sans lights.

Bikeshare is coming to Portland after a four year delay. Meanwhile, Baltimore cyclists hope the third time is the charm, as the city takes it’s third stab at a bikeshare system.

Police say a well-known Minnesota cyclist was doing nothing wrong when he was killed by a little old lady from Pasadena who veered onto the shoulder of the roadway.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who would steal a three-wheeled bike from a 16-year old Minnesota kid with hydrocephalus and epilepsy; he only got to ride the bike twice before it was stolen. Update: police recovered the bike on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the jerk who stole it is still out there.

Completing our Minnesota triptych is a nice story of a successful bike shop born of a man’s attempt to keep busy while recovering from an addiction to painkillers.

A Michigan man faces up to 15 years for the hit-and-run death of a nurse who was participating in a group ride across the state.

An Ohio driver was over the legal alcohol limit when he killed a cyclist three years ago; then again, so was his victim.

Here’s your chance to hear that anti-bike Boston columnist explain in his own words why bikes don’t belong on the city’s streets.

Someone has been booby trapping a Maryland trail with spike boards and fishing line strung across the trail since 2013; this week a mountain biker found razor blades sticking out of boards buried in the trail. Acts like this should be considered domestic terrorism cases, since it’s a deliberate attempt to cause harm and incite fear in order to run cyclists off the trail.

The Department of DIY strikes in Boston, as a cyclist used planters and orange cones to convert a buffered bike lane into a long-promised protected bike lane.

A Virginia driver wasn’t wearing his much-needed glasses when he rammed a cyclist from behind; he was already scheduled for arraignment on a previous hit-and-run next month.

A Florida weekly says the state is a cyclist’s worst nightmare.

 

International

Buses and bikes could save billions worldwide.

An Oregon man spent eight years traversing the world on a solo tandem ride; he met his wife when she hopped on the back in Argentina and never got off.

A British woman is charged with deliberately driving up on the sidewalk to ram a bike rider, apparently because she objected to a sign asking drivers to slow down. But bikes are the problem, right?

An Irish cyclist leaves a large dent in the back of a car when he slammed into it after the car stopped in front of him. Apparently, the driver wasn’t too concerned; then again, he didn’t get out to see the dent.

Four Philippine scouts plan to ride over 600 miles to distribute flashlights and promote disaster awareness.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A cyclist takes a vertigo-inducing ride straight down the face of a 200-foot dam, complete with splashdown at the end. A Czech woman performs a beautiful bike ballet on a brakeless fixie.

And a Portland woman makes the unlikely journey from bike mechanic to Jewish songstress.

………

I hope you’ll join me in thanking Mike Wilkinson, Christopher Meszler, Erik Griswold, Lois Rubin, and David Aretsky for the kindness and generosity they’ve shown in donating to support BikinginLA. It’s people like them who help make this site possible.

 

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