Tag Archive for Santa Monica Blvd

Morning Links: Beverly Hills approves SaMo Blvd bike lanes, Echo Park hit-and-run, and your new bike safety jam

It’s good news from Beverly Hills, for a change.

Several sources — including Better Bike’s Mark Elliot and the city’s mayor — tweeted late last night that the city council voted unanimously to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd as part of the current reconstruction of the iconic street.

Credit Elliot, who never gave up on the seemingly lost cause, despite years of rejection from the city.

Maybe it’s time to stop calling it the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Or maybe we should wait until there’s paint on the ground, just to be safe.

Update: Mark Elliot has written his story on the approval — including the news that the council voted to make the lanes hi-viz, which will piss off the film industry. Meanwhile, Joni Yung reported live from the meeting on Facebook.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

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Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving his victim writhing in pain.

KCAL-9 reports Michael Starr was not seriously injured in the crash caught on security camera on Alvarado Street near Sunset Blvd in Echo Park early Friday morning.

But Starr had no way of knowing that at the time. And neither did the driver who hit him.

The suspect is described as being about 30 years old, with olive skin and a dark goatee. His car appeared to be a 5 or 7 Series BMW with a license plate starting with WXP.

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People for Bikes unveils their new Bike Days of Summer campaign to get people out on their bikes, with one day each month dedicated to a specific theme.

Although we already missed the first one.

Besides, they’ll have a hard time topping this bike safety jam.

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Caught on video: A Mexico City cyclist goes on a hair-raising ride to rescue a runaway dog and return it to its owner.

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Federal prosecutors lay out why they’re picking on Lance Armstrong in their $100 million lawsuit, even though he wasn’t the only one on the US Postal team who doped. Odds are team leaders knew exactly what was going on, as well. But Lance makes a convenient, and high profile, scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers want Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreau to be prevented from testifying, and USADA decision than detailed his doping regimen barred from evidence.

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Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a look inside RAAM, calling it the toughest ultra-endurance race of all.

The Orange County Register reports on the June 11th Ladera Ranch Gran Prix, just a tad late.

VeloNews says LA’s own 24-year old cyclist Coryn Rivera is just getting started, despite 71 national titles.

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Local

Improvements are finally coming to the Ballona Creek bike path, which will be under construction — but not closed — for the next three weeks between Sepulveda and Lincoln Blvds.

An LA company is introducing a new e-cargo bike on Kickstarter; right now, you can pre-order yours for the low, low price of just $2,799.

The LA Times reviews Blood Road, the documentary about champion cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s bike tour along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to visit the remote site where her father died in the Vietnam War.

Caught on video: Someone broke a window at Burbank’s H&S bike shop, stealing a pair of Rocky Mountain bikes worth around $4,000 apiece; two other bikes have been stolen from them in recent weeks.

South Pasadena will hold the groundbreaking for the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail this Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Bike SGV discovers the first signs of incipient bikeshare coming to Pasadena.

The Malibu city council hears the recommendations of the PCH parking study, which really addresses safety on the deadly roadway through the lens of improving parking. However, no word on what they intend to do as a result.

Skip the traffic and ride your bike to Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts on the Pier, and take advantage of the bike valet. The same goes for this weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Sustainability Director Ellen Greenberg about changes in the state transportation agency.

Fullerton announces plans to create a two-mile bike boulevard along Wilshire Blvd, to be completed late next year. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets as the city calls them, exactly zero of which have been built. And probably won’t.

Once again, a dangerous driver manages to stay on the road until it’s too late, as a Menifee bike rider suffered severe, but not life-threatening, injuries when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver with a suspended license and history of DUIs.

If you were planning on mountain biking in Hemet’s Simpson Park any time soon, you might want to change your plans; it’s closed for the foreseeable future due to fire danger.

Bixby the Dog received the “bone to the city” in San Luis Obispo Tuesday; the rescue dog had been traveling the country by ebike with his owner to promote animal rescue until stopping in SLO to have some malignant growths removed.

 

National

An Alaska teenager competing in a mountain bike 5K trail race was killed by a black bear in a rare predatory attack after he veered off the trail and got lost; he had called his brother to say he was being chased by the bear. Despite what this story says, he was actually competing in a running race, not on a mountain bike. Which doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks to Mark for the correction.

Detroit hopes new bicycling infrastructure can help reverse an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

The murder of a young Muslim woman in Virginia wasn’t a hate crime, unless hatred of people walking and on bikes qualifies; the teenager was part of a group that got into a dispute with the road raging driver, who hit her with a baseball bat, then dumped her body in a pond. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the murderous jerk who killed her. Thanks once again to Megan Lynch.

 

International

David Suzuki writes that two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have.

A city in the Netherlands installs a 3D-printed concrete bike and pedestrian bridge at virtually no cost by using recycled materials along with the 3D-printing.

A German politician parks his cargo bike in the middle of a traffic lane to pop into a bakery to protest drivers who use the same excuse to park in a bike lane.

Hit-and-run is not just an American phenomenon. An Iraqi cyclist was the victim of a speeding driver who fled the scene after fatally striking him.

An Australian TV network looks at the partnership between the country’s Deacon University and America’s only remaining Tour de France winner to dramatically cut the cost of producing carbon fiber for a wide range of applications.

The competition among China’s dockless bikeshare companies claimed its first victim after 90% of the company’s bike were lost or stolen because, unlike its competitors, it neglected to install GPS on them.

 

Finally…

Bicycle touring is seldom boring, but now it’s a board game. Also not boring, your very own bicycle wall of death.

And you can see all kinds of things when you ride a bike. Like Irish people schtupping, for instance.

An open letter urging Beverly Hills to approve Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes

Yesterday we had a guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot discussing the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which is back for discussion before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

Stephen Collins wrote to the mayor and city council in response, urging them to approve the desperately needed lanes, which is the missing link between existing lanes in West Hollywood and Century City. He agreed to let me share his letter with you.

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Hello Mayor Bosse and Beverly Hills City Council Members,

As a resident of a neighboring community (Hollywood), an individual who makes an effort to bicycle commute whenever possible (for the environment we all share, in addition to my wellness), a visitor and patron to parks and businesses in Beverly Hills and surrounding communities, and an engineer with work experience in public infrastructure;

I write to urge your strong support of Bicycle Lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. I ride this route regularly, and there is a stark contrast between the safe, relaxed, and predictable riding I am able to do on this same street through nearby West Hollywood, and the dangerous, nerve-racking, and unpredictable riding I must choose if I stay my path into Beverly Hills.

A popular website for cyclists called Strava publishes an aggregate map of where their users ride. I would like to draw your attention to how important Santa Monica Blvd. is to the region in the image below, where I’ve approximately circled the segment through Beverly Hills.

Brighter lines indicate higher utilization. As you can clearly see, this is the most important East/West route for bicyclists North of the 10 Freeway. It’s utilization is on par with streets like Venice Blvd (complete bike lanes, with recent safety improvements in Mar Vista), San Vicente Blvd (complete bike lanes), Sunset Blvd through Echo Park/Silverlake (complete bike lanes) and even the Ballona Creek Bicycle Path, which is car-free. This is the most important stretch of road in the whole area which does not have complete bike lanes. You should have no worries that an investment in safe multi-modal transit for the future of Santa Monica Blvd will be underutilized.

[FYI – Strava is able to provide better data and analysis to city planners and decision makers directly through their Strava Metro program – I encourage you to check it out here: http://metro.strava.com/]

If you haven’t, I would also encourage you to take a single short ride along this segment of road one weekday morning or afternoon, in either direction. Cars and buses move swiftly in open sections of road, and completely jam forward progress when traffic gridlocks. Neither of these are nearly such a concern to cyclists in neighboring communities on this route.

The wide, green lanes in WeHo are a delight, but even the striped lanes on the other side through Century City are leaps and bounds more safe and comfortable to ride than the section through Beverly Hills.

This is a very important bicycle thoroughfare for the region, and Beverly Hills has an opportunity to step up to or even exceed the standards in safety and environmental consciousness set by its neighbors on the same road. It can also be used to encourage cyclists to visit your business district, and to allow community members safer access to their favorite shops in town.

Thanks for your consideration of this matter. I am sorry I am unable to attend your meeting tomorrow – thus my note.

Best,

Stephen M. Collins

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If you’d like to voice your support, you can attend attend the meeting at 7 pm in the council chambers at Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. If you can’t make it, email your support to mailto:mayorandcitycouncil@beverlyhills.org, and indicate whether you are a resident or work there.

 

Morning Links: Beverly Hills considers SaMo Blvd bike lanes, bikes as mobility aids, and not speeding fast enough

Don’t miss yesterday’s great guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot about the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills. After being rejected several times in recent years, they will be back before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

The anti-bike NIMBYs will undoubtedly be out in force once again. So turn out in person if you can; if not, email to voice your support for a desperately needed safe route through the city.

Here are the vital details from Elliot’s post.

Help us support bicycle lanes for Santa Monica Boulevard!

Please contact City Council by email with your support for high-visibility bicycle lanes. Reach Council at mayorandcitycouncil@beverlyhills.org. Your short statement should indicate whether you are a resident and/or if you work here. Those are important considerations for any councilmember.

Plan to attend the meting on Tuesday, June 20th in Council Chambers, City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. and the main act should hit the stage at 7:45 or so (please refer to the agenda).

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A British survey confirms that many disabled people use bicycles as a mobility aid, finding that traveling by bike is easier on them and healthier than other means.

Yet they are frequently required to dismount and walk their bikes, despite using them in the same way someone might use a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

Which is something else to consider in bike-unfriendly Los Angeles, where the city’s disconnected bike non-network could raise issues of compliance with the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act), if it prevents people with physical mobility issues from using their bikes to get around.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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A Canadian cyclist got pulled over by a cop, not because he was speeding on a descent, which he was. But because he was doing it in the traffic lane, which forced drivers who wanted to zoom even faster above the speed limit to change lanes to pass him.

Go ahead and think about that one for awhile.

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Italian cyclist Gianni Moscon is back to racing after a six-week suspension for making an alleged racist comment to another rider, which he kind of denies.

Hundreds of cyclists have competed in RAAM. But how many have done it without any legs? Then again, racing with one arm and a bum leg isn’t exactly easy, either.

The 25th annual Yukon to Alaska Kluane-Chilkat International Bike Relay will have to wait a year, after the race was cancelled due to a very late spring snow storm — except for the unicyclists, who decided to ride it anyway. And no, you won’t be getting your money back.

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Local

Transportation planner and UCLA faculty member Ryan Snyder says LA must be a bikeable city in order to be a world class city.

Apparently, Elon Musk thinks you’re going to want to walk or bike through his underground tunnels.

LA designer Phillip Lim was inspired to get into the movie business while on a bike ride along New York’s East river with a director friend.

CiclaValley explores the eastern portion of Angeles Crest Highway.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a community ride with the mayor of Santa Monica this Sunday.

 

State

Bicycling injuries have dropped for children and teens in California, while more bike riders over 55 are suffering injuries serious enough to visit the ER. The most obvious explanation is that fewer children and teens are riding bikes, while more people over 55 have taken up recreational riding.

A transient bicyclist was injured when he was hit by a car in Anaheim while ghost riding a second bicycle. Let’s hope police checked the ownership of the second bike; ghost riding is a common way to transport a freshly stolen bicycle.

People continue to be attacked by rock-throwing residents of homeless camps, for no apparent reason, along a popular bike path on the American River in Sacramento; one rider was seriously injured last week.

A mobile bike co-op helps keep Ukiah bicyclists on the road.

A pro skier is spending her summer selling homemade gourmet popsicles by bicycle in Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Deadspin offers a comprehensive guide to riding your bike, saying buy a goddam helmet and don’t buy that fixie; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link. Meanwhile, Bicycling explains everything you need to know about ebikes.

A Texas writer says yes, bicyclists have to obey the law, too. But we bear the brunt of collisions when drivers don’t.

After an Arkansas teenager set up a lemonade stand to try earn money for a bicycle, kindhearted strangers gave him two bikes, and bought more lemonade than he could make.

Austin TX residents have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a man who said he was just blowing off steam.

A writer for the New York Post seems to think she’s the victim after people take offense at her tweet that she’s nearly been run down by cars twice and by bikes 3,763,459 times, and that we should be grateful that the city has been transformed for bike riders. Maybe she could try looking up before she steps off the curb next time.

A New Jersey man gets 35 years for killing a bike-riding man who got caught in the crossfire of a shootout near his home. Now if they’d just take it that seriously when people use their cars as weapons.

A Philly writer takes offense when two cops refer to bicyclists as “hood ornaments” on Facebook. Although it’s more offensive that police officials didn’t.

 

International

In a report that should surprise no one, a Canadian newspaper concludes that drivers usually receive nothing more than a fine for hitting a bike rider. Which makes Canada pretty much like just about everywhere else.

After 14 months of sobriety, a Canadian man is riding over 5,100 miles across the country to raise awareness of addiction.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Quebec man is still riding 25 miles a day, and says crashing is just part of the sport. Except for the crashing part, that is.

A Montreal cyclist survives by hiding in a small hole after encountering a tornado on his ride.

Lululemon is getting into the “small” bicycling market by investing in a Canadian bikewear maker.

Bike riders in Canada’s Maritime Provinces call for more to be done to protect people on bicycles.

London’s new walking and cycling czar lays out plans for the future of bicycling in the city; the city’s new cycle superhighways and quietways have boosted bicycling rates 56%.

A British bicyclist nearly died when paramedics misdiagnosed a rare adrenal condition due to a benign tumor, assuming he was just a drunk tourist before sending him to the hospital. If anything ever happens to me, promise you’ll smack anyone who refers to me an “avid cyclist.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a tour of Fausto Pinarello’s personal bicycle collection.

The Italian soccer coach who promised his team he’d ride across the country if they avoided relegation to a lower league finishes his 800-mile journey in nine days.

Caught on video: A bike-raging Aussie cyclist lashes out at a woman driver after she pulls out of a parking space into his path, apparently without looking. Seriously, don’t throw a temper tantrum like that. And if you do, don’t be stupid enough to post it online.

A new survey says more women in Canberra, Australia are riding bikes — including BMX bikes. However, the opposite is true in the country’s New South Wales state, where cycling rates are dropping, especially among women. Which couldn’t possibly have anything to do with NSW’s draconian fines for cycling violations that went into effect last year.

 

Finally…

No, Fox News host Sean Hannity was not killed in a bike crash — and didn’t fake it to catch a terrorist, either. Hold your horses on getting that poop transplant.

And don’t chase bike riders in your creepy clown suit.

 

Morning Links: Busting on Beverly Hills and its San Diego soulmates, and a Chitown writer busts on bikes

Just too much to catch up on after yesterday’s breaking news.

So hold on to your handlebars, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Looks like everyone is condemning Beverly Hills for their shortsighted, misguided and wrong-headed refusal to put bike lanes on the soon-to-be-rebuilt Santa Monica Blvd; even a realty website is getting in on the act.

And its a 70’s era traffic planning blast from the past from their like-minded contemporaries in Carlsbad, as the local Planning Commission says roads are for cars, and they’re tired of hearing about bikes. Thanks to The Editors for the heads-up.

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Evidently desperate for click bait, a bike-hating Chicago writer calls people on bikes “reckless terrorists,” and “rude, vulgar and violently intimidating” “imbecile muff monkeys.” And says bicyclists should be forced to carry a special ID at all times, and face fines up to $1000 and a year in jail just for riding on the sidewalk.

No, really, that’s what he said.

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VeloNews lists five winners and losers from the just completed Tour de France. And Bicycling finishes their long, long five-part story on who punched the great Eddy Merckx. Did I say it was long?

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Local

Hats off to Streetsblog guest writer Michael Fleming, who calls out Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz for his hypocritical support for fighting climate change while blocking bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

The LACBC is hosting a feeder ride to the RevisitReseda Blvd celebration this Thursday.

Metro is holding a series of weekly contests asking people illustrate how you walk or bike instead.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Club is hosting a Bicycle Photo Scavenger Hunt next week.

 

State

Our old friend Rick Bernardi looks at the problem of cyclists getting buzzed by CHP officers, and cops who don’t know bike laws. Or care.

An El Cajon cyclist was seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash; police are looking for an older, grey 3-Series BMW.

A Las Vegas writer rides San Diego’s coastal North County.

A day after a Hollister boy was killed by a bus while riding his bike, local restaurants pitch in to raise funds for the victim’s family, and a Hollister councilwoman bemoans kids riding and skating without helmets — even though she has no idea if the victim was wearing one.

Evidently, getting dragged from your home and beaten by San Francisco police for the crime of biking on the sidewalk while black is only worth a $20,000 settlement.

San Francisco police ticket bike riders for squeezing past a several-block queue of backed-up cars on the left, even though there’s no valid alternative for it, and even though lane splitting is legal in California. In a brilliant move, cyclists plan to protest the police crackdown by riding legally en masse.

No bias here. A Bay Area website says a cyclist riding downhill was injured when he crashed into the windshield of a car.

A 61-year old Sacramento cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run.

A Chico man confronts bike thieves with his own vigilante bait bike program.

 

National

It’s the 30th anniversary of many people’s favorite bike movie. So here are 20 things you didn’t know about Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

The National Law Review considers one of the burning questions of jurisprudence: How often should your bike helmet be replaced.

A Portland bike shop employee spots a stolen track bike, wrestles it from the thief and the thief into submission, all before the police arrive.

Caught on video: A Seattle bike rider captures the hit-and-run driver who left crossed him on his helmet cam; not only did the driver flee the scene, but he was caught looking at his phone as he turned. A Minnesota writer responds by questionng if a safe bike ride is too much to ask. Thanks to @BrianMScott for the heads-up.

A dump truck driver from my hometown faces a vehicular homicide charge for attempting to pass a bike rider despite a double yellow line, then cutting back because of oncoming traffic, trapping the victim under his truck.

Boulder CO says not so fast on right-sizing those streets to make room for separated bike lanes; they want to see how the first one works out first.

San Antonio TX wants more hikers and bikers, and less motor vehicle traffic. Well, who doesn’t? Aside from Beverly Hills and Carlsbad, of course.

A Chicago woman is suing another bike rider for causing a three-bike pileup on a bike path. Proof you’re not always safe even when you’re protected from cars.

Anyone can tell you how to keep from getting hurt on your bike; an Indiana TV station offers tips on avoiding injuries after a long bike ride.

An Albany NY website says a new protected bike lane is for all kinds of people, and that the city’s first one shouldn’t be the last. They’re preaching to the choir.

A New York advocate says bike lanes should be a default feature of street designs under the city’s Vision Zero Plan. The same goes for LA’s Vision Zero, which is supposed to be officially announced next month.

This is why you never lock your bike to a tree, as a Brooklyn bike thief chopped down a 25-foot tree to get the bike chained to it. Not only did the cyclist lose his bike, but the rat bastard killed the damn tree in the process.

A Pennsylvania cyclist is behind bars pending trial for the crime of obstructing traffic by riding in the lane, and getting pissed off when impatient drivers tried to pass him. Since when are traffic violations a criminal offense? And unless he threatened or attacked motorists, swearing was protected by the First Amendment, last I heard.

Philadelphia plans to sweep away abandoned bikes so they won’t besmirch the streets when bike-riding Pope Francis comes to call. Meanwhile, a Philly lawyer offers a detailed look at the problems faced by bicyclists and pedestrians in the city, and what can be done about it short of papal intervention.

A new policy passed by hard-hearted city officials in Durham NC requires ghost bikes to be removed after just 45 days, or even sooner if someone complains; not surprisingly, friends and relatives of bicycling victims object.

Thanks to a law change, it’s legal to ride without holding on to your handlebars in Florida. Shouting “Look ma, no hands!” remains optional.

 

International

A new Canadian study confirms that traffic lanes 10 to 10.5 feet wide improve safety at intersections, while still allowing traffic to move efficiently.

No bias here, either. A Calgary website calls the victim of a hit-and-run a “pedestrian,” but the driver who may have killed her is a “person.”

Caught on video: A Toronto pedestrian kicks a cyclist’s bike and punches him in the face after the rider collided with him on a shared waterfront pathway.

Three Ontario sisters are stopped by police for riding their bikes topless; after pointing out that it’s legal in the province, the cop says he was really just doing a light and bell check. Right.

Evidently, life is cheap in the UK, as a British driver who killed a cyclist on the Isle of Man walks away — literally, perhaps — with a suspended sentence and a three-year driving ban. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A road raging Brit cop is accused of knocking a cyclist off his bike, then throwing him into a store window. Then again, it goes both ways, as London police are looking for the road raging bike rider who attacked a driver with a glass bottle; the victim appears to have survived getting whacked in the knee.

Caught on video: A motorcyclist catches a London woman somehow managing to drive while simultaneously talking on the phone and eating cereal.

The Dutch are riding further after getting a boost from their e-bikes.

New Zealand parents are rightfully upset after their six-year old son isn’t allowed to bring his bike onto an otherwise empty bus.

More proof cyclists are tough. An Aussie man rides his bike home after being stabbed by a woman.

 

Finally…

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. An Ohio man fled from the coppers on his bike after stealing two rolls of copper, and was caught after getting hit by a car making his escape. If you’re going to flee the scene on a bike you pulled out of the trunk of the stolen car you just crashed into a telephone pole, it helps if you’re sober enough to ride it.

And one last caught on video, as a Brazilian cyclist takes a car parked in a bike lane into his own hands. Literally.

 

Morning Links: Killer OC hit-and-run driver jailed, Westwood Blvd bike lanes threatened, and Beverly Hills lanes fail

Justice came too late for another fallen OC rider on Thursday.

Forty-four year old Daniella Palacios was riding in Anaheim last November when she was hit by a truck driven by Junior Rigoberto Lopez. Lopez fled the scene, leaving the mother of eight to die in an Orange County Hospital.

He tried to hide the damage by fleeing to Mexico, where he had the truck repaired before returning to the US six weeks later.

It didn’t work; he was arrested after police examined the truck and discovered the repair work.

Lopez was sentenced to three years.

With credit for time served, he should be out in less than two. Probably far less.

In fact, he’s already eligible for parole.

But to the judge’s credit, parole was denied; according to the according to KNBC-4, the judge called Lopez’ actions “outrageous and nearly unforgivable.”

What do you mean, nearly?

Junior Lopez sentence

Thanks to Ed Rubinstein and an anonymous source for the heads-up.

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Both the LA Times and KPCC look at the needless controversy over bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd, which have so far been halted by councilmember Paul Koretz at the demand wealthy homeowners.

The homeowners cite safety concerns, fearing for the poor riders who could face harm from increased bus traffic, despite having their own lane which would keep them out of the way of buses. Unlike now, when riders are forced to share the same congested lanes with them.

Why is it that people who oppose improving safety for bike riders always seem to stress how concerned they are about the safety of bicyclists, while doing absolutely nothing about it?

And seriously, don’t read the comments to either of those pieces unless you want to lose all hope for the future of humanity.

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Speaking of needless battles, the fight over re-opening long-closed Mt. Hollywood Drive to motor vehicles at the resumes tonight at the meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board.

Homeowners in the wealthy Beachwood Canyon neighborhood, who evidently didn’t notice the Hollywood Sign when they moved in, are trying to turn their community into a virtual private enclave to keep tourists from besmirching their streets in an attempt to get selfies in front of the sign.

And they want the park to open the popular biking and hiking street to cars so those tourists can have a much less attractive view of the sign, at the expense of everyone else who uses the park.

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Yet another failure of rationality in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot reports the city council voted not to include bike lanes on the soon-to-be-revamped Santa Monica Blvd.

This despite the fact that space for bike lanes will be available on almost the entire length of the boulevard, and require the loss of just a few feet of parkland in just one short section. And despite the fact that state law now calls for Complete Streets that meet the needs of all users, not just motor vehicles or over-privileged residents.

I’m old enough to remember a time when some towns still had signs warning minorities not to let the sun set on them inside the city limits.

That’s the same feeling I get from Beverly Hills.

They send a clear message that bikes, and their riders, are not welcome there, and they will do whatever it takes to run us out of town.

Although some of their elected leaders get it. Just not enough to make a difference.

Not surprising, Elliot also reports the city fails to address the safety of bicyclists in construction projects on the boulevard.

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Albertor Contador insists the Tour de France is not over, despite Chris Froome’s overwhelming dominance.

One rider who won’t be challenging Froome is Teejay van Garderen, who was forced to abandon the race due to illness after struggling in Wednesday’s stage; he says he just wants to disappear after dropping out while still in third place.

Despite doping controversies, viewership of the Tour de France is up except in France; America’s only remaining TdF champ gets a warm embrace after returning to the race as a broadcaster.

The owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team calls for a revolution in pro cycling.

Good news for Ivan Basso, whose successful surgery for testicular cancer means no further treatment is necessary.

And a Singapore cyclist competing in the South East Asian Games is under investigation for repeatedly slapping a teammate on a training ride.

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Local

Streetsblog looks at multiple motions regarding bikeshare at today’s Metro meeting; Santa Monica’s system is scheduled for a limited opening in August, while Long Beach should open next year.

The East Side Riders fulfill a longtime dream by opening a bike co-op in Watts.

The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of Brentwood bike thieves caught on camera stealing a bike from inside a building.

Bike LA’s battle with Hollywood over green bike lanes goes on… and on… as LA’s newly installed chief film liaison is working to find a compromise shade of green that will allow the city to finally put some paint on the streets; the city caved to filmmakers demands and stripped the paint off LA’s first green lane on Spring Street in DTLA.

 

State

Apparently having nothing better to do, the state legislature passes a bill requiring bike riders to pull over on narrow roads when five or more vehicles are following behind and unable to pass. Even though current law, which already applies to cyclists, already says exactly that.

BikeSD reports on a new study that concludes the cost of driving a car is six times the cost of riding a bike.

The next time someone says police never ticket bike riders, show them this: San Bernardino police ticketed 12 bicyclists and 31 pedestrians as part of a safety sting; not surprisingly, motorists still lead the way with 57 violations.

The weeklong Big Bear Cycling Festival kicks off this Saturday.

Sixty kids in Mecca — no, not the one in Saudi Arabia — get refurbished bikes, locks and helmets courtesy of a local transit agency.

A pair of East Palo Alto brothers, one on a bike and the other on a skateboard, help subdue a man accused of attacking an 89-year old priest.

San Francisco settles with a father who was choked by police for riding a bike with his 10-month old son in a baby carrier, but without a baby helmet. No, really.

Alameda cyclists will ride Sunday to remember a popular bike shop owner who lost his battle with cancer earlier this month.

The idiotic Orinda bike lane that places riders in the path of high speed traffic entering a freeway on double onramps is due for a safety makeover; the city’s chief engineer admits the current design is “not ideal.” A little green paint is not going to solve the problem, or encourage riders to risk their lives there.

The death of a bike rider in St. Helena last May is blamed on alcohol, even though the victim’s rental fixie had a substandard brake; the Ohio woman, who was celebrating her first anniversary, had a BAC of .18 when she rode into the side of a slow moving truck.

 

National

Outside Magazine sums up the HBO Real Sports look at the state of bicycling in the US, for those without premium cable.

AT&T offers their latest public service ad showing the devastating consequences of texting while driving.

Portland advocates say an increase in reported bike thefts means more people are trying to get them back instead of just giving up.

An Arizona driver gets nine years for killing a cyclist while high on synthetic marijuana; the victim’s friends complain the sentence wasn’t stiff enough. California cyclists are just happy to see DUI drivers get any jail time.

Colorado cyclists call a bizarrely designed bike lane a death trap. This is what happens when people who apparently don’t ride bikes design bicycling infrastructure.

Note to business owners fighting bike lanes — you’re shooting yourself in the foot. When Denver installed bike lanes on a pair of streets downtown, retail sales skyrocketed.

The Slow Roll movement spreads to Minneapolis, encouraging leisurely rides through neighborhoods where bicycling is less popular. Which is their overly polite way of saying lower-income and minority areas.

Vermont police somehow conclude a bike rider made an abrupt U-turn just to collide head-on with the wife of a cop, who was found not at fault even though she was driving drunk while high on Xanax.

A 560-pound man is riding across the country to lose weight; he’ll be getting a new donated bike after he was stranded in Rhode Island when his broke.

A bike rider is a hero after grabbing a woman’s ankle to keep her from jumping off New York’s George Washington Bridge. But bikes are the problem, right?

A seven-month pregnant woman was stabbed in the shoulder while riding her bike home from work in DC.

An Atlanta man wasn’t even safe from a hit-and-run driver while walking his bike on the damn sidewalk.

 

International

The family of a fallen Saskatchewan bike rider call her death senseless after her bike was clipped by a passing delivery truck. Actually, all traffic deaths are senseless; it’s long past time we stopped tolerating them.

Instead of fixing a dangerous railroad crossing, British authorities urge cyclists to be careful when riding near it.

More Brit women are taking up bicycling despite safety fears. Evidently, it’s okay to kill a cyclist there due to a momentary lapse in concentration.

Irish police are accused of misleading cyclists into thinking riders without helmets and hi-viz are subject to on-the-spot fines.

A Turkish adventurer has ridden through 19 countries on his bike, as well as a failed attempt to ride to the North Pole; however, authorities wouldn’t let him pedal up Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

A Michigan SUV driver somehow couldn’t avoid hitting a cyclist, or an elementary school. Drivers parking in a bike lane is one thing; placing a permanent bus stop in one is another.

And if you’re going to threaten to permanently injure the person who stole your bike, it helps if you spell it right.

………

Thanks to everyone who expressed concern about the Corgi.

Three days, two vet visits and several hundred dollars later, we learned that she has Giardia, most likely as a result of all the irresponsible dog owners who don’t clean up after their pets around here.

The good news is, she should be back to her feisty self in a week or so.

Sienna-Foot-Back

Morning Links: Suit filed in death of Granada Hills teenager; Biking Black Hole considers SaMo Blvd bike lanes

That was to be expected.

The father of Philomene Ragni, the 17-year old bike rider killed when he was hit by a DWP truck in Granada Hills earlier this year, has filed suit against DWP and the driver of the truck.

The suit states that Ragni had the right-of-way and was riding with due care when he was struck due to the careless actions of the driver; it also alleges the driver was traveling at an unsafe speed and was in violation of several DWP policies.

Of course, lawsuits, by their nature, paint the actions of their client in the best possible light. And the ones being sued in the worst.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

……..

Don’t forget the proposal for the much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills comes up before the city council one more time today.

And this time, perhaps for the first time, it might actually have a chance.

So if you can’t there, email the councilmembers at the link above to voice your support.

……..

Spain’s Rubén Plaza wins Monday’s stage 16 of the Tour de France as part of a 23-man breakaway; once again, Peter Sagan finishes second after a blazing descent. Today is a rest day.

Team Sky plans to release part of Chris Froome’s performance data to put to rest rumors of doping.

Wicked crash in Monday’s stage as Geraint Thomas gets bumped, misses a turn and crashes into a telephone pole before falling into a ditch. The rider who bumped him, Warren Barguil, blames Teejay van Garderen for knocking him off his line; naturally, Teejay disagrees.

Bicycling explains how TdF riders show up on a yellow bike the day after winning the yellow jersey. Doesn’t look like that’s likely to be a concern for the remainder of this one.

Interesting post on a physics website, as a writer wonders if Lance Armstrong has actually had a net positive effect on bicycling and society, and just how to measure that.

………

Local

Metro board directors Mike Bonin and Shiela Kuehl call on the agency to speed up the glacial implementation of LA’s long awaited bikeshare program. At this rate, it won’t get to Hollywood until I’m too old and feeble to use it.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler will participate in a webinar on Active Transportation and Equity at 10 this morning. Thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

The LACBC’s Valley Bike Ambassadors meeting will be held tonight. Along with the LACBC’s local chapters, the Neighborhood Bike Ambassador program is one of the best ways to get involved with bike advocacy and volunteer work in your own community.

CiclaValley offers their weekly update.

Bike SGV hosts a bike train and barbeque this Sunday.

 

State

Better Bike offers a detailed manual on how to read the results from California’s SWITRS collision database.

Calbike invites you on scenic 265-mile fundraising ride from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

An 11-year old Irvine girl appears to be okay despite getting hit by an SUV while riding her bike to summer school.

More private bikeshare in Orange County, as the Irvine Company teams up with Zagster to offer 60 bikes for residents and commercial tenants to use free of charge. That hardly seems enough for 9,000 potential users, though.

Santa Barbara companies are discovering that bikes are good for business. Funny how LA businesses didn’t seem to get the memo.

A San Francisco writer looks at the newly bike-friendly Caltrans, but says the agency still has a long way to go to put its auto-centric past behind it.

Bike thefts are up in Palo Alto. And pretty much everywhere else, as well. So be careful out there.

 

National

Another new study from the University of Duh shows that people who walk or bike to work have a lower body mass index; living in compact cities doesn’t seem to encourage more active commutes, though.

Largely unnoticed last week was Senate approval of a clause allowing parents to decide when their kids are old enough to walk or bike to school. Although the Popsugar website jumped the gun a tad since it still needs to be reconciled, and signed by the president.

People for Bikes is looking for a new Marketing and Communications Manager in their Boulder CO office.

A prominent Albuquerque homebuilder was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding his bike in a gated community. The driver, who police describe as a low-life drunk and despicable guy, was released on $100,000 bail. I wonder if the police would be as pissed off if it was just anyone on a bike.

Bad enough to drive drunk. Worse to rear end a pair of cyclists while doing it — especially if they’re North Dakota bike cops making a traffic stop. Fortunately, the officers are okay.

A couple on a tandem taking part in Iowa’s RAGBRAI ride were injured when a drunk driver ignored a cop’s instructions and drove through an intersection.

A Texas woman overcomes melanoma to set a masters world record in the 2K pursuit.

A writer for the Boston Globe says non-compete clauses are the wrong move for boutique bike builders, where one bike maker can spawn another.

Don’t try this at home. A 14-year old Massachusetts girl was texting while riding down a steep hill, blowing through a stop sign and turning into the path of an oncoming car. Seriously. Put the damn phone down and pay attention to the road in front of you.

New York’s environmental commissioner leaves office after biking across the state. Although it would have been better if he’d done it upon entering the office. 

A New York cyclist was dragged off his bike and beaten in an alleged hate crime; the Hispanic rider was attacked by two white men who called him a “fucking immigrant” and said he didn’t belong in this country. Doesn’t sound very “alleged” to me.

New Charleston bike lanes are delayed until next year; they’ll be part of a planned 140-mile citywide bikeway system.

Cyclists in New Orleans plan a die-in at Thursday’s city council meeting to protest too many bicycling deaths in the city.

 

International

Laguna Beach mountain bike champ Hans Rey goes biking at 10,000 feet through the Guatemalan Highlands; his Wheels 4 Life organization has donated 7,100 bikes to school kids in 200 developing countries.

Winnipeg drivers can’t seem to get the hang of a new bike lane; the story blames parking next to the bike lane for forcing drivers into it. Or they could, you know, just stay the hell out of it.

Nice. A UK man not only finds a stolen bike abandoned in a park, but fixes it and adds a kickstand before returning it to its owner.

Pashley and Brompton owners can take some credit, as sales and production of British bikes jump 70% in a single year. I still think Pashley should send me a Guv’nor to try out on a semi-permanent loan, right?

Stockholm is taking ciclovía a step further by turning the entire city center over to people, not cars, for a day.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: You seriously may not want to see this, as a Cuban track cyclist competing in the Pan Am Games gets one of the worst splinters in human history. When you’re already wanted on a $25,000 outstanding warrant, don’t ride salmon — and don’t get in a wreck.

And a father in the UK jumped from his van and beat the boy he said stole his son’s bike with a hammer — only to apologize after realizing it wasn’t even the same bike.

No, seriously.

……..

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions of any amount are deeply appreciated.

Weekend Links: NBPD quickly corrects misguided cop, hope for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes, and bike events

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a cop to get bike laws wrong, especially when it comes to our right to the lane.

What is unusual is getting the issue straightened out in such a prompt and positive manner.

Hats off to Newport Beach Deputy Chief David McGill for resolving this one the right way. And right away.

Thanks to topomodesto for the heads-up.

………

There may be unexpected light at the end of the Beverly Hills tunnel when it comes to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which appeared to be dead in the water earlier this year.

This comes from the LACBC:

LEgal-Progress-on-Santa-Monca-Blvd-Beverly-Hills-City-Council-this-Tuesday-1

………

You may still have time to join CICLE for the Ring Around the Lotus ride around Echo Park Lake area this morning.

The Bicycle Drive-In screening of Wizard of Oz planned for today in Downtown Long Beach has been rescheduled for next week due to the power outage affecting the area.

Pedaler’s Fork hosts their 10-Speed Grinder Ride this Sunday.

Also on Sunday, South Pas is hosting a Green Living Expo and Clean Air Car Show. Someone should tell them bikes are a lot greener than even the cleanest car.

Celebrate the new improvements on LA’s first Great Street, including the new parking protected bike lanes at [Re]visit Reseda Blvd on the 30th.

Streetsblog will host a fundraising Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village on August 8th.

………

Icebike.org offers what may be the ultimate infographic on the ultimate bike friendly city with a detailed look at Copenhagen.

………

Peter Sagan just misses victory in the 13th stage of the Tour de France, for his fourth second place finish of the Tour, as Greg van Avermaet takes the win. But at least Sagan has a firm grasp on the sprinter’s jersey.

An Irish rider in his first Tour leads the battle for the lanterne rouge, if lead is the right word for it.

A website says the TdF has never looked so horrifying, thanks to on-bike footage of a crash. And GoPro says live on-bike footage could be broadcast from every rider in the peloton in just two years.

VeloNews previews the second edition of the women’s La Course by Le Tour de France, which will be broadcast on live TV before the men’s finish on the Champs-Élysées. Bicycling offers photos of the recently completed Giro Rosa, proving women really can survive a seven day stage race; many of those same racers will compete in La Course.

The New York Times says Lance may be a pain for cycling, but could turn out to be a sympathetic figure. And drop these phrases in into you daily conversation to make people think you really understand the bike racing.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman puts the police shooting death of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino in context, saying streets can never be considered complete or livable when a large segment of the bike riding population has to ride in fear of the police.

Bike theft continues to rise in DTLA, as 11 bikes were stolen in a single week earlier this month; a $1,300 bike was ridden right out of Sports Chalet, while another was stolen when a Downtown security officer left it unattended.

The East Side Riders Bike Club has a new Gofundme page to raise $4,000 to help kids and the community through bicycling; thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.

 

State

A Santa Rosa theater group travels to their bilingual stage performances by bike.

Sadly, a 63-year old Palo Alto cyclist died of injuries he suffered in a Mountain View collision last week, while another rider was killed near Tracy on Thursday.

Surprisingly, San Francisco ranks worse than LA as one of the nation’s worst cities for drivers. Which makes bicycling an even better alternative, mais non?

San Francisco Streetsblog looks at plans to remove bike lanes and sharrows from one of the city’s streets without providing a safer alternative.

Tragically, a 12-year old boy has died of injuries he suffered in a bicycling collision on Monday. The news report notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, but fails to mention if he suffered a head injury, or if his injuries could have been survivable even with one.

 

National

If living near trees makes you feel younger, imagine how riding a bike through them would make you feel.

No press bias here. After an SUV driver flicks his cigarette in the face of a Vancouver WA bicyclist, he apparently run down her on purpose. And the local TV just calls it a hit-and-run.

A Denver thief entered through a doggie door to steal an expensive bike. Presumably, he didn’t leave the same way.

That’s more like it. A Nebraska man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a cyclist; two hours after the wreck, he was still twice the legal limit.

Big hearted strangers pitch in to buy a 79-year old Fargo woman a new three-wheeled bike after hers was stolen.

A Dallas paper asks if local texting bans really reduce traffic collisions; Texas is one of just six states that refuses to ban the practice statewide.

A Kentucky driver faces a long list of charges, including murder, for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he drove three miles with the dying rider in the bed of his pickup before police stopped him.

Cincinnati’s mayor says it’s time to scrap a bike lane because drivers can’t seem to figure it out.

A Rochester NY boy is under arrest for stealing 150 — yes, 150 — bikes from a community cycling group; some of the bikes were recovered, but were badly damaged. Big hearted community members donated over 400 bikes to replace them.

Boston’s Bikeyface asks who’s afraid of a little sweat.

 

International

Britain’s Prime Minister will consider banning big trucks from city centers at rush hour to protect bike riders.

A writer for the Guardian asks why the BBC is so anti-bicycling. Good question.

A UK triathlete is looking for the Good Samaritan who came to his aid after he passed out and woke up disoriented during the bicycling segment of a recent race.

Brit thieves steal the bicycle a woman rider used to raise the equivalent of over $17,000 for a hospice charity.

Cyclists aren’t even safe when they drive, as a 79-year old British bike club leader was stabbed to death by a road raging driver after a minor collision.

Police in The Netherlands have to borrow a bike to catch a bike thief.

Syrian refugees are bicycling 1,200 miles to Europe to escape their war-torn country.

A writer for the Guardian compares bicycling in The Netherlands with Australia to dispel the usual anti-bike arguments.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: Deadspin can’t stop watching those “crazy assholes” play indoor soccer on bikes, saying the video will blow your f***ing dick off. Evidently, viewing it will have no effect on women, though. Then again, Bike Portland says all sports are better when played on a bike.

And if you’re going to tell police you bought the stolen bike you’re riding at Walmart, make sure they sell that brand first.

 

Morning Links: New hope for North Fig and Santa Monica Blvd; bike rider attacked on San Gabriel River trail

Maybe bike lanes on North Figueroa aren’t dead after all.

According to the LACBC, discussions with Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s office have yielded a number of safety improvement options for a five block stretch of the roadway — including a possible road diet and bike lanes.

Of course, a five-block bike lane unconnected to a longer bikeway, let alone a network of lanes, won’t do anyone much good.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction, and it opens the possibility for further improvements.

That is, assuming the councilmember is sincere in working with bike riders, after giving cyclists the cold shoulder after taking office and accusing bike advocates of bullying in an open council session.

And leaving them feeling jerked around — if not stabbed in the back — during the process of needlessly examining, then killing, what was already a fully approved, funded and shovel-ready project.

………

Meanwhile, it looks like bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd survive for another day.

After a vocal turnout by bike riders at Tuesday’s city council session in the Biking Black Hole, the proposed Beverly Hills Greenway appears to have gained traction (pdf, scroll down).

As usual, local advocacy website Better Bike offers the most complete recap of the day’s events, as well as reviewing local coverage of the story — including a highly biased piece from the Beverly Hills Courier that should have been printed on yellow stock.

Or maybe toilet paper.

………

Allyson Vought forwards word of a bike rider who was assaulted by a pedestrian on the San Gabriel River bike path in Seal Beach earlier this month.

The man reportedly stepped into the pathway and punched the cyclist in the face hard enough to knock him off his bike, then proceeded to pummel him severely before casually walking away. The victim was discovered by another rider crawling up the rocky embankment leading to the river, bleeding from the face, head, arms and legs.

Disturbingly, police never showed up in response to the 911 call, even though riders followed the attacker for over 20 minutes.

………

Once again, you can win a ride with Laemmle Theaters president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle.

Just explain why you want to ride with Greg, and you could win free entry to the 2015 Climate Ride, and $2500 towards your fundraising requirements, along with an Unlimited Laemmle Movie Pass for the rest of this year.

Not a bad deal.

……..

When is it too muddy for cyclocross?

When parks officials in Austin TX, home of this year’s national championships, decide to postpone the final day’s events because of wet conditions; stunned riders who refused to leave the park were threatened with arrest.

Donations are being raised for competitors who hadn’t budgeted for the extra day.

……..

The New York Times looks at Baltimore’s allegedly drunken and texting hit-and-run Bishop; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

The Baltimore Sun reports she was charged with manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI, after blowing nearly three times the legal limit. As of Friday, she was in custody, being held on $2.5 million bond.

Meanwhile, a local letter writer says shock does not excuse the moral depravity of refusing to stop after hitting someone. Well put.

……..

Local

LA’s long promised bike share system could actually come to DTLA next year, with the first test stations opening as early as October of this year.

Santa Monica police are expanding patrols looking for violations that threaten the safety of cyclists, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers or bike riders.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition offers a questionnaire for candidates in the city’s mayoral race; they’re also participating in a forum for mayoral candidates on the 14th. The LACBC should have a questionnaire for candidates in LA’s council elections soon.

Milestone Rides hosts a session on Bike Touring 101 at Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia on Saturday the 17th.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition names Long Beach-based folding bike maker Tern as their Community Partner of the Year for the company’s support of the city’s CicloSDias open streets event.

San Diego’s bike share program is about to put 1,500 bikes on the streets.

Davis police recover 69 stolen bikes, but need to find the owners so they can press charges.

Sadly, a Folsom fireman is fighting for his life after being struck from behind by a bike rider while out running on a pathway.

 

National

The new Close Call Database tracks driver-on-cyclist hate. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of who sent me this link, so please accept my apologies and thanks.

A Portland cyclist says bicycling won’t change the symptoms of menopause, but it does make it more fun.

Bicycling contributes over $3.1 billion — that’s billion, with a b — to the economy of Washington state.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Oklahoma City councilman proposes a three-foot passing law — except this one requires cyclists to keep three feet from motor vehicles.

A Tulsa man dedicated the last two decades of his life to the belief that every kid should have a bike; sadly, he passed away last week.

A Chicago cyclist explains why bicycling tends to be less popular among African Americans. And how it helped rescue his own life.

Bad enough when a cyclist is killed in a collision; even more heartbreaking when a 74-year old PA man dies nine months after he was hit by a car.

The Washington Post offers a thoughtful examination of why cyclists break traffic laws, which basically boils down to trying to stay safe on roads that weren’t designed with us in mind. Thanks to LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.

 

International

A new rain-proof riding jacket will indicate your turns for you. And your bike can now keep you upright, no matter how clumsy or balance challenged you may be.

A Canadian study shows helmet use doesn’t impact your overall risk of injury while riding a bike, since they only protect against head injuries. The study, evidently conducted by Obvious University, concludes the biggest injury risk factor cyclists face is… wait for it… getting hit by a car.

A Brit cyclist is convicted of punching another rider in a fit of bike rage, then doing it again to someone else just nine months later.

Increasing cycling rates could save at least 80 lives a year in Stockholm.

The seat and handlebars vibrate on a new bike from the Netherlands when fast moving objects get to close; on most LA streets, that could make it a virtual mobile sex toy.

Firefighters pedal bikes to the blazes in Varanasi, India. But do they get to make siren noises when they ride to the rescue?

The debate over scofflaw cyclists rages on, even in the UAE.

New Zealand’s national women’s cycling championships was nearly decided by a poodle peloton pile-up.

 

Finally…

You can now buy a ridable bike for the equivalent of just $10, as long as you don’t mind if it’s made of cardboard. Nothing like a bike rack on the back of your Lamborghini.

And if you thought playing Jingle Bells on a bike was something special, how about a veritable bike orchestra?

………

Thanks to John Hall for a generous donation to support this website.

Your generosity is what allows me to keep doing this.

Morning Links: Finish the Ride gets bigger for 2015; support the revised Beverly Hills Greenway on Tuesday

This is going to be my last post for a few day.

I’m moving to a new apartment in Hollywood on Sunday, leaving behind the Westside neighborhood my wife and I have finally been priced out of after more than 20 years. And unfortunately, Internet service won’t be installed in our new home for a few days after that.

So enjoy this post. Take your time reading the news and exploring the links. And I’ll be back later this week.

………

Big news from Damian Kevitt and Finish the Ride, which not only offers the option of a more challenging route, but opens the event up to virtually everyone. Click on the images for a larger version. 

Finish the Ride Flyer for PRINT

Finish the Ride Flyer

………

The Beverly Hills City Council is scheduled to discuss the planned remake of Santa Monica Blvd at Tuesday’s 2:30 pm council session, including installing much needed bike lanes on the boulevard through the city to connect with lanes in West Hollywood and Century City.

Something leaders of the Biking Black Hole have rejected more than once. Even though it already ranks as the most dangerous city of its size in the entire state.

And even though their decisions impact the city’s and people around them.

However, a new plan is on the table for what is now being called the Beverly Hills Greenway, which addresses many of the complaints previously raised to argue against the bike lanes. Or at least, the more rational ones.

Developed by Better Bike and the LACBC in conjunction with other cycling advocates, the plan would straighten out the varying widths of the boulevard, resulting in no net loss of parkland alongside — while making it safer and more inviting for everyone, including the tourists the city depends on.

You can show your support by signing the petition or attending the council session on Tuesday. Or better yet, both.

………

Blame — or possibly thank, depending on your point of view — bicycling for the possible loss of Bono’s six string skills, as he says his new titanium elbow may prevent him from ever playing the guitar again.

Then again, as he points out, his band mates have reminded him that “neither they nor Western Civilization are depending on this.”

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

……….

Local

Caught on video: Flying Pigeon looks at the traffic hell that is North Figueroa during morning rush hour; notice the extreme lack of cars that makes bike lanes impossible. Or not.

LADOT is looking for a Community Affairs Advocate to serve as a liaison to the city council and other elected officials, as well as community groups.

Rick Risemberg explains why it takes so long to get bike racks installed in LA, let alone anything else bike related.

 

State

After a year of delays, San Diego’s long-promised bike share program is ready to roll this month, cross their hearts.

Turns out I’m not the only SoCal rider to have an unpleasant bee encounter.

San Jose introduces back-in diagonal parking to improve safety in advance of a planned bike lane.

As too often happens, an Anderson CA cyclist can’t remember the hit-and-run that sent him to the hospital with major injuries; evidently, according to the CHP, the victim was not wearing a flak jacket, hockey mask or other forms of safety equipment.

 

National

Next City asks why it isn’t against the law to kill a cyclist with a car. Damn good question.

Now that’s more like it. An alleged Wyoming drunk driver accused of killing one cyclist and critically injuring another faces a sentence of eight to ten years in prison, followed by ten years probation.

A Milwaukee writer looks at why drivers harass cyclists and pedestrians who aren’t even breaking the law.

A Connecticut writer complains about the $10 million cost to make a bridge safe for cyclists, but doesn’t seem to be concerned about the $33 million it will cost to rehabilitate it for cars.

Brooklyn’s Borough President says we need to embrace bicycling because cars are so old school, darn it.

 

International

Columbian pro Darwin Atapuma is recovering after being slashed by thieves attempting to steal his bike. Meanwhile, if you thought Lance wasn’t the only pro cyclist who doped, boy, were you right.

A year after a tooth-and-nail battle over a Vancouver bikeway that closed a street to motor vehicles, the plan has actually worked.

An English cyclist plans to break a seemingly unbreakable record by riding over 75,000 miles this year — over 200 miles a day, every day, for the entire year. Let’s hope he can avoid getting sick or hitting a pothole.

I love it. A UK cyclist hands out red cards to offending drivers; in this country, we’d need a whistle and a red flag.

The Irish Times takes a look at the 10 best international bicycling vacations, none of which are anywhere near the US.

The Economist looks at Sweden’s Vision Zero to reduce traffic deaths to, well, zero. Which is finally spreading to LA.

An escaped Greek hit man was busted while riding a bike.

Kiwi cyclists push to have the country’s helmet law repealed; someone should tell the country’s leaders it’s more effective to encourage helmet use without making it mandatory.

An Aussie cyclist is nabbed for biking under the influence on New Years Eve after blowing over five times the legal limit; on the other hand, I think we can all be glad he wasn’t driving.

 

Finally…

Instant karma caught on video: A drunk allegedly steals a bike, then loses several teeth crashing into a cement trashcan before getting arrested. A Brit woman whines about the mythical Cycling Widows Club instead of just getting on her bike and riding with her significant other.

And Bradley Wiggins reveals how pro riders stay warm on cold rides, and why their shorts may have a yellow tinge at the end.

Which is something I really didn’t want to know.

 

Morning Links: The last gasp for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes; is Gil Cedillo sandbagging his own safety meetings?

It may be the last gasp for much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC calls on everyone to attend today’s Beverly Hill’s City Council study session on the proposed bike lanes, or if you can’t make it, email councilmembers in support of the bike lanes largely unsupported by the council.

As usual, Better Bike provides an in-depth analysis of both the roadway and city politics, saying it looks like the fix is in. And not in a good way.

I wonder if the city can be sued for failing to consider the needs of all road users as required by Federal law and the state’s requirement for Complete Streets (pdf). Especially if state and/or Federal funds will be used in the planned reconstruction of the streets.

Now that’s one Kickstarter I’d pitch in for.

………

Local

A 27-year old bike rider was shot to death in South Los Angeles early Monday morning. Do we even need to mention what an incredible waste of human life that is?

A writer for City Watch says a less car-dependent Los Angeles is a fantasy. Then again, he’s probably right if we ignore alternatives and focus strictly on driving, even if the cars are driverless.

CD 1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo appears to sandbag his own street design public meetings for Northeast LA by failing to give sufficient public notice for anyone to actually attend.

 

State

A passer-by — or driver-by in this case — comes upon a Cypress bike collision, and is told the rider survived only because he or she wore a helmet — without noting what injuries the victim did or didn’t suffer, and whether a helmet could have actually made a difference. And never mind the inappropriate photo of a happy, helmet-clad kid.

Bicyclists ask for more space on Caltrain cars.

A Modesto letter writer says drivers have an obligation to stick around if they hit someone — although the driver who admitted hitting him on purpose actually did.

 

National

A new book looks at the history of Bicycles in American Highway Planning from 1969 to 1991, when an emphasis on motor vehicles marginalized bike infrastructure and set bicycling back 40 years.

The much loved Urban Velo succumbs to the times and ceases publication.

Bike friendly Portland encourages people to ride to the airport; if that was a viable option here, maybe we wouldn’t have such disastrous traffic tie-ups every holiday. We can dream, can’t we?

Nice. A non-profit organization founded by a Seattle man has given over 2,000 bicycles to survivors of human trafficking around the world.

Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist arrested for riding her bike in the traffic lane, has filed to run for Lt. Governor of the seemingly bicycling-challenged state.

 

International

We have met the enemy, and he is us. Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid illustrates how our paved roads — and yes, the cars on them — were begot by bicyclists.

Must have thin skinned police in Italy, as the cops who conducted the possibly flawed investigation into the death of cycling legend Marco Pantani threaten to sue the press for besmirching their reputations.

A new emphasis on cycling has helped change Rwanda’s international image.

Now that’s more like it. Singapore commits to becoming a bicycling nation by 2030, but a former official says it can be done in just six years.

 

Finally…

The perfect gift for your ultra-competitive toddler. A Korean company says it’s developed the first truly functional flat-proof bike tire.

And as if drivers didn’t have enough trouble seeing us, Russia’s Tinkoff-Saxo pro team unveils new camo training uniforms.

 

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