Tag Archive for San Fernando Valley

Morning Links: Another successful CicLAvia, Seleta and Sadik-Khan chat, and 15-to-life in fatal DUI hit-and-run

Another successful CicLAvia is in the books.

And according to everyone I spoke with, it was one of the most successful, and least spandexed, ones yet.

The LA Times offers an early report on the day, along with some great photos. The Daily News also reports on the Valley’s first open streets event — although I hope it was a typo when a police sergeant estimated the crowd at an absurdly low 20,000.

Even the New York Times discovered the Valley CicLAvia.

KABC-7 estimates the number in attendance at 50,000, which is about how many bikes were parked in front of Ventura beer and burger bar Stout. KNBC-4 says it could have been as high as 75,000, which still seems low by at least half.

KCBS-2 was worried about the effect on businesses, although from what I saw, many of the businesses that reached out to CicLAvia participants did well.

Some — especially food and drink purveyors — seemed far busier than they would be on a normal Sunday. Others wisely took the opportunity to promote their businesses in hopes the passing riders and walkers would come back another day; one pet shop may have a new customer after their sidewalk table caught my eye.

Then there were those who chose to close down for the day, effectively offering an FU to the countless thousands passing by.

Meanwhile, my favorite overheard comment was from the rider who was surprised to discover that the Valley is just like LA.

And that, more than anything else, is what I love about CicLAvia.

It gives us a chance to rediscover our own city, in a way we never could by car. And visit parts of this expansive city that some may have never seen before.

It also draws a crowd that looks like us. Perhaps the most ethnically diverse event in what may be the world’s most ethnically diverse city, allowing us to meet and interact with people we might never otherwise come in contact with.

You see, it’s not just that CicLAvia is changing our streets.

It’s changing our city.

And how we see ourselves.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting with their riders for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These two speed demons kept trying to pass me on my right, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

These two speed demons kept passing me on my right, and nearly dropping me, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn't be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn’t be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

And more bikes...

And more bikes…

...and still more bikes.

…and still more bikes.

Leave it to me to spot the lone Corgi in attendance.

Leave it to me to spot what may have been the lone Corgi in attendance.

There's no better sign of a successful event that a bunch of bored cops watching the crowds go by. Because that means they didn't have to respond to calls for help.

There’s no better sign of a successful event than bored bike cops watching the crowds, waiting patiently in case they were needed.


This looks like a great talk, as LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds chats with former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the Hammer Museum on Thursday.

The event is free — though tickets are required, and only available at the box office one hour before the talk — and bike parking is available at no charge. A live feed will be available online if you can’t make it in person.


Convicted hit-and-run driver William Donald Johnson gets 15 to life for second degree murder in the drunken head-on collision that took the life of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in December, 2013.

The judge also tacked on an additional three years for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an injury collision.



Streetsblog’s Joel Epstein says this is not your parent’s LADOT; nice to hear how much the department has changed, but we’re still waiting for those changes to show up on our streets.

LA Times readers react to the paper’s editorial calling for more study instead of a California bike helmet law. Meanwhile, Calbike pens an open letter to state Senator Carol Liu suggesting what she can do with her proposed bike helmet law. No, not that.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune explains what it’s like to ride a pedal-assist electric bike.



Speaking of Calbike, now you can own your very own shaft-drive bicycle company, lock, stock and trademark.

San Diego’s Mission Beach wants bike riders to slow down on the boardwalk.

A cyclist is seriously injured going over his handlebars after hitting a rock on a La Jolla roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to recover.

Morgan Hill gets its first complete street on a trial basis, which appears to be working despite misinformation in the community.

A San Francisco street will get special bike-only traffic signals to protect riders from right turning cars, the second street in the city to get that configuration. Which compares favorably to LA, having exactly zero.

The 25-year old Oakland bike rider who had his wallet stolen while he lay unconscious following a collision is finally awake from his coma and talking; a fund has raised $11,000 to help pay his medical expenses.



A review of medical journal articles shows what we already knew: bike lanes and bike share programs help fight obesity.

A Seattle thief was arrested after trying to sell the bike he stole back to its owner, who had posted a stolen bike notice on Craigslist.

Efforts are underway to make Anchorage AK a more bike-friendly city.

Cincinnati is rethinking a protected bike lane that no one can seem to figure out.

A New York man is suing the city’s bike share program for $3 million after a faulty fender caused him to face plant after flying over the handlebars.

Claiming New York’s bike lanes and pedestrian plazas cause environmental damage, a former New York Libertarian candidate files suit to stop them; a similar suit in San Francisco held up the city’s bike lanes for several years. Then again, maybe he’s got a point.

Former Olympic Bronze medalist and Tour de France stage winner Davis Phinney — father of pro cyclist Taylor Phinney — is honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work battling Parkinson’s Disease.

A Baltimore group designs and builds bikes for people with special needs.



Britain’s House of Commons will debate stricter sentences for dangerous drivers following the deaths of two cyclists. Maybe they should also consider tougher penalties for bar patrons, after one attacks a cyclist for riding on the sidewalk.

Scottish bike riders will soon see another 30 long distance bikeways totaling 500 miles.

German imams and rabbis will ride tandems together, accompanied by 1,000 Berlin residents, in a unity ride for tolerance. Maybe tandems could finally pave the way to peace.

Three-time RAAM champion Christoph Strasser sets a new 24-hour record, riding 556.856 miles in a single day at a former Berlin airport.

Turns out Bollywood megastar Salman Khan is one of us.

A Dutch traffic engineer calls on Aussie drivers to get a new attitude, while a cyclists’ political party aims to give riders more clout at the ballot box.

Singapore cyclists are accused of road hogging.



It takes a real schmuck to strong arm a five-year old kid by pushing him off his bike to steal it; big-hearted Sacramento cops and clergy pitch in to get him a new one. A Polish cyclist rode up all 3139 steps to the top of Taiwan’s 101 story Taipei 101 building, the world’s tallest building until just five years ago.

And former pro football player Kellen Winslow Jr. is determined to dominate pro cycling; he’ll need to ride a lot more than 60 miles a day, and weigh a lot less than 215 pounds, just to make the peloton. Let alone win.


Valley bike rider says he was threatened by road raging Metro bus driver

A San Fernando Valley bike rider reports being harassed by a Metro bus driver earlier this week.

The rider, whose name I’m withholding, was riding on westbound Burbank Blvd around 9:30 am Monday when he made a box turn onto southbound Valley Circle Blvd, first crossing Valley Circle, then waiting at the light to cross Burbank.

As he was crossing Burbank, the driver of a Metro Bus, which had also been waiting at the red light on Valley Circle, came up behind him and began honking. The driver continued honking as he pulled up within a few feet of his bike, illegally driving in the bike lane behind him for at least another 100 yards.

The rider says he pulled as far as he could to the right curb, leaving the bike lane in an effort to get out of the way of the threatening driver. The bus finally pulled into the traffic lane and went around him, continuing to honk until it had passed.

Despite being shaken up, he was able to get the route number of the bus — 645 — but not the number of the bus itself.

But it wasn’t over yet.

About a half block later, the bus pulled into the bike lane next to the parked cars to let some passengers off. The rider was about 200 yards behind the bus when he saw the doors close, but the bus didn’t move.

Not knowing how long the bus was going to sit there, he started to pass it on the left. But as soon as he approached the bus, the driver cut sharply left, in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to cut him off.

He’s filed a complaint with the police, as well as with Metro itself.

But without video or eyewitness testimony, there’s not likely to be much the police can do, unless they get the video off the bus itself. And then only if it clearly shows the driver acting in a dangerous or threatening manner.

Meanwhile, Metro considers complaints against their drivers private personnel matters, which means he’s unlikely to ever know if any action was taken against the driver internally. Or if they even took his complaint seriously.

This could make a good case under the city’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, but the bicyclist says he’s not interested in monetary damages. And besides, without witnesses or other evidence, it would be virtually impossible to make a case unless he could get the video from the bus, which would require a subpoena from a lawyer.

Unless someone who saw the events unfold on Monday — such as a passing motorist or pedestrian, or a passenger on the bus — sees this and happens to step forward.

Stranger things have happened.

But at the very least, this incident is now on record with the police. So if the driver does something like this again they will be able to use his complaint to establish a pattern of behavior.

And maybe get this bus driving jerk off the road before he kills someone.


The Times says Wilshire Blvd is no place for bikes, especially in Westwood; surprisingly, all the comments — so far, at least — have been pro bike.

Of course, what the paper fails to consider is that most of Wilshire is scheduled to get a shared bus/bike only lane. Except, of course, the section through the high-priced condos of Westwood where it is most needed.

And the reason cyclists dare the dangerous stretch of the boulevard beneath the 405 between Federal and Westwood is that they are prohibited from riding through the Los Angeles National Cemetery, which would provide the safest and most direct route from Westwood and UCLA to Brentwood and points west.

Until that changes, nothing else is likely to, either.


Matthew Gomez reports encountering preliminary markings for new bike lanes in East Pasadena, on California Blvd between Rosemead and Michilinda.


Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says Mayor Eric Garcetti needs to slay the zombie projects before he can be the mayor we voted for. Metro wants your help to update their bikeway map, while the next meeting of the Metro Bicycle Roundtable is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th from 5:30 to 7 pm. Not exactly bike related, but LA is finally going to consider moving its election date so more people might actually cast a vote for a change. Flying Pigeon considers the success of Portland’s bike corrals. Cyclelicious looks at LA bike advocate Nona Varnado and the LA bike trains. The Bird Wheel tests noseless bike saddles to protect delicate parts. Why bike parking could outnumber car spaces in some new — and not so new — developments. Hollywood races to get competing Lance Armstrong biopics on the screen; maybe they can film the finale on Spring Street now that the green lanes they love to hate are gone forever.

There will be a fundraiser next Sunday, as well as a Saturday bake sale, for fallen bike rider Angel Gonzalez; the 15-year old cyclist was killed in a collision with a Metrolink train last week. San Diego cyclist sues the city, county and state over inadequate bicycling facilities. Central Coast cyclists aren’t sold on Caltrans efforts to fix chip sealing on Highway 1. Menlo Park is the latest Bay Area town to consider an LA-style bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Will a rapping puppet, not puppy, dog get you to wear a helmet? A new smart wheel provides battery powered pedal assist, offering speeds of 20 mph for up to 30 miles. The Christian Science Monitor takes up the debate over use of the word cyclist; you can guess where I, a cyclist of long standing, stand on the matter. Bike lane rage erupts in Portland. The recent Colorado flooding means Boulder may not host a leg of next year’s Pro Challenge. It was a bad day for bike riders in my hometown. It takes a real jerk to steal a legally blind Colorado boy’s custom made bike a second time. Chicago Streetsblog says the city has a speeding epidemic; actually, pretty much every city does these days. Chicago’s mayor caught riding sans-helmet. The good news is, this innovative Memphis bike lane is being partially paid for by crowdsourcing; the bad news is that it has to be. Charts show New York’s Citi Bike program is taking over the city; now that’s what I call a healthy growth curve. A well-spent 14 minutes watching NYDOT’s Janette Sadik-Khan’s TED talk. Gotham’s Guardian Angels are patrolling three of the city’s parks following attacks on bike riders. Sharrows come to Waynesville NC. Turning a crunched classic frame into a new folding bike.

Why do cyclists shave their legs; I do it for the third reason, myself, having learned my painful lesson the hard way. Interactive map shows where London cyclists outnumber motorists. Groningen shows how bicycles can rule a city. In a chain reaction collision, an Aussie driver rubs his eyes, veers off course and hits a light pole, which falls on a cyclist, fatally throwing him onto the hood of the driver’s SUV. WaPo looks at the Kolkata — nee Calcutta — bike ban.

Finally, repeat after me. When you’re riding your bike through London carrying a concealed switchblade, marijuana and traces of meth, stop for the bloody red light, already.

Important LAPD meeting next week for anyone who lives or rides through the San Fernando Valley

Yesterday I received the following email from Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. 

Dear Valley Bicyclists:

At the request of LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, an important meeting with Valley bicyclists to discuss and improve the handling of:

  •       traffic enforcement to ensure cyclist safety
  •       hit and run collisions/crimes
  •       bicycle thefts
  •       improving safety on the Orange Line and other bicycle paths in the Valley
  •       safety education for motorists and cyclists
  •       and other topics of interest to bicyclists

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division will be participating and the County Sheriff (Metro Orange Line enforcement) has been invited as well.

You are cordially to invited to attend:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LAPD Van Nuys Division
6240 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

So that there is adequate seating and copies of handouts, please RSVP via email to glennbaileysfv@yahoo.com if you are attending OR may be attending. Also, if you have additional topics you wish to be considered for this or a subsequent meeting, please forward those as well.

I encourage you to forward this invitation to other interested Valley cyclists.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Having worked with both Bailey and Deputy Chief Villegas as part of the department’s bike task force, I can assure you this is one meeting that will definitely be worth your time.

Especially given the subject matter.

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