Tag Archive for Santa Monica

Morning Links: SaMo bicyclist injured in hit-and-run, more holiday bike giveaways, and stupid criminal tricks

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Santa Monica Spoke’s Cynthia Rose forwards a report that a bike rider was injured in a hit-and-run at 20th and California around 6:30 pm Wednesday evening.

The 30-something victim was taken to UCLA with head injuries and bleeding, but was reportedly conscious following the crash.

No word yet on a description of the suspect vehicle.

Anyone with information should contact the Santa Monica Police Department.

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‘Tis the season.

The Pasadena Rotary bought and donated 200 bicycles for underprivileged kids.

Dozens of children of service members at Edwards Air Force Base will receive bicycles after it was determined their families could use a little extra help for the holidays.

The San Luis Obispo sheriff’s department gave 600 bikes to underprivileged kids after they were refurbished by inmates at the SLO Honor Farm.

Tennessee’s Bike Elf is working to provide bicycles for 109 children who asked for them on a Wishing Tree.

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Local

The LA Times reviews a documentary about a man suffering from Friedreich’s ataxia, who put a team together to compete in the Race Across America on a tricycle along with another sufferer of the neuromuscular disease.

A man slashed another Expo Line passenger on the neck and face with a knife following an argument yesterday afternoon, then made his escape on a dark-colored cruiser bike.

CiclaValley offers tips for riding in the rain. Oddly, given the weather as I write this, build an ark does not seem to be one of them.

The wife of fallen cyclist and teacher Rod Bennett has established a college scholarship in his name for Santa Clarita students who want to study music or music education. It takes a big heart to try to find some good in a tragedy like this by helping others.

 

State

San Clemente is ready to open a half-mile extension of Camino del Rio, including buffered bike lanes. Then again, given the usual high OC speed limits, a retaining wall might be more appropriate.

San Diego residents call for a kids’ bicycle park in discussions over a largely undeveloped park in the Tijuana River Valley.

Santa Barbara receives a $7.1 million grant to create two bike lanes that will provide a continuous east-west route across the city. Meanwhile, Los Angeles can’t even manage to create a continuous route from Downtown to the coast.

Police in Morgan Hill are looking for the public’s help identifying a suspect in a burglary at the headquarters of Specialized.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition expressed concern about driverless cars sharing the road with bicycles after witnessing Uber’s autonomous cars make unsafe right turns that could have right hooked a rider. Then again, bikes could be self-driving soon, too.

 

National

NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth is one of us, as he talks cycling with Bicycle Magazine.

A Seattle jury awards a bike rider a whopping $38 million after he was severely injured by a driver for a valet company taking an illegal short cut across two lanes of traffic.

The Tacoma Wheelmen bike club decides it’s time to change their historic, but outdated, name.

Smart move. Colorado’s economic development office is inviting prospective business leaders and venture capitalists to come out for a bike ride to promote the state’s business interests.

A Gulfport MS man will spent his life behind bars after shooting his uncle over an argument about a kid riding a bicycle in the street.

Fort Lauderdale FL officials are concerned about how to protect bike riders when a new streetcar line opens in 2021.

Once again, the most important detail is buried in the last sentence, as Chicago DOT officials agree to review a DePaul University study calling for adoption of the Idaho Stop Law.

Fed up with seeing his friends hit by cars, a Philadelphia bike rider used traffic cones to build his own DIY protected bike lane, which has remained in place for two years.

A Florida bicyclist is suing for multiple broken bones after he was attacked, but not bitten, by a vicious dog. Although the real story is, before he was attacked, the 83-year old rider was training to be a competitive cyclist.

 

International

Vancouver reveals how the city intends to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2040 under its Vision Zero plan.

What do you call an unprotected protected bike lane in Halifax, Canada?

London approves a plan to ban cars and trucks from an intersection near the Bank of England during daylight hours.

A $4,100 ebike stolen from a DJ outside the BBC’s studios turns up nine months later in Lithuania.

Caught on video: Britain’s Transportation Secretary doors a bike rider, but leaves without providing the contact info required by law — then turns around and criticizes cyclists a few weeks later. Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

A Brit driver screams in fright as a multiple GoPro-equipped bicycle vigilante catches her taking a selfie behind the wheel. Then again, if I saw that outfit coming my way, I might scream, too.

A new study on how to achieve Vision Zero has won a prestigious international road safety award in the UK; the study concludes the goal of zero deaths is demonstrably realistic, rather than utopian.

October’s world championships in Qatar is credited with boosting interest in bicycling in the Middle East.

Ambitious plans to double the number of bike riders in an Australian state by 2020 are going the wrong way, as the total drops by 20,000 over the last five years.

Bangkok’s metropolitan government makes plans to scrap some of the city’s bike lanes to make life easier for all those poor, put-upon people in cars.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. If you finally manage to escape after getting locked in the building you’re trying to burglarize, don’t come back to get your bike. If you’re going to conduct a bird-themed graffiti spree, don’t ride your bike with can of freshly used spray paint in your hand.

And LA riders may have to deal with bored drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about wild boars.

Morning Links: New dismount gates on Expo Line bike path, and OC DUI driver hits cyclist hours after getting new car

Still no luck getting email notifications for new posts working again. But we’re working on it. Please keep coming back every day until we get it fixed.

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The Source reports that Santa Monica has installed a set of six staggered gates on the Expo Line bike path in order to slow bicyclists down before intersections.

Or maybe make them dismount entirely.

According to the press release, the locked gates are required by the California Public Utilities Commission to prevent conflicts with pedestrians at intersections at 19th, 20th and Stewart Streets.

However, while the stated purpose is to get riders to slow down, the signs on the gates clearly say “Cyclists Dismount” for no apparent reason.

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Gates might make sense there if the purpose was to keep drivers from inadvertently turning onto the bike path, or if they were somehow intended to keep riders from straying onto the railroad tracks when trains were coming.

Instead, they almost seem designed to defeat the purpose of the path by discouraging bike riders from using it. Especially if the absurd dismount requirement is actually enforced, rather than allowing riders to slowly weave around the barriers.

There is no requirement under state law that bicyclists must walk across intersections, anymore than drivers are required to get out of their cars and push them to the other side.

So it would be interesting to know just what the justification is for telling cyclists to dismount.

And whether that comes from the CPUC, Santa Monica, or somewhere else.

Thanks to John Hanson for the heads up.

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A bike rider suffered a possible broken leg when he was struck by a driver who took off without stopping in Costa Mesa Tuesday night.

The Orange County Register reports that, based on the rider’s description, police stopped a gray Mercedes with damage consistent with the collision. After failing a roadside sobriety check, the 22-year old driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run, both felonies.

It didn’t take long for Instagram users to put two and two together, and realize it was the same woman shown posing with pride next to a brand new Mercedes Benz, which has apparently been purchased just hours before the crash.

It also didn’t take long for the photo to be deleted after the negative comments started pouring in.

However, as we all know, once something appears online, it’s usually there forever.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-21-06-pm

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling, Brent Bigler, and David Huntsman for the tips.

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Gabourey Sidibe is one of us, as she rides an adult tricycle between sets on Empire.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, as he rides his kids to their New York school on a Dutch bike, complete with a wine crate for a basket. Maybe he’s been taking notes from LA Bike Dad. Or maybe Brooks saddles.

J.K. Simmons is one of us as well, as he tells Jimmy Kimmel about bicycling home from his LA gym in 100 degree weather. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Local

The LA city council approves a $3 million settlement for a bike-riding rabbi who suffered permanent brain injuries when he was struck by a car on Victory Blvd, just east of the 405 Freeway. The suit alleged that the posted bike route signs implied the dilapidated street was safe to ride, something most people who know the street would likely disagree with. Maybe it would be better if LA spent its money building the bikeways called for in the 2010 bike plan, instead of paying damages to injured bicyclists forced to ride on dangerous streets.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman pens a challenging essay asking readers to look beyond their own privilege and consider not just bikes, but the people on them.

Two men have been arrested in an Echo Park shooting believed to be gang related; at least one of the victims was on a bike.

 

State

A NorCal cyclist received minor injuries when he was hit head-on by the driver of a left-turning pickup; a CHP officer somehow sees that as a reason to remind people about the state’s three-foot passing law, which had nothing to do with it.

A writer recommends a serene 12-mile climb through spectacular scenery on your next bike vacation to Lake Tahoe.

 

National

PRI’s The World reports on the Dutch Reach — opening your car door with your right hand, instead of your left — which makes you look back for bike riders before you open the door.

The opening of a new Colorado bike path means cyclists can now ride a continuous 150 mile pathway along I-70 through the Rockies from Glenwood Springs to Denver.

The Chicago Tribune says the city’s evolution as a leading bike-friendly city is next to meaningless if it doesn’t become a bike-safe city, as well.

A Minnesota paper suggests banning cell phones from driving compartments of motor vehicles, and clarifying the definition of gross negligence after a judge acquits an accused distracted driver in the death of a cyclist.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. Just a month after a South Carolina man was arrested for killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene while under the influence, he was arrested once again for DUI. As soon as drivers are charged with drunk or stoned behind the wheel, their licenses should be suspended and their keys taken away pending trial; the right of others to be safe on the road outweighs their privilege to drive.

A New Orleans bike rider was doing everything right, yet still was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane.

 

International

Nice piece from the Guardian, as they look around the world to ask why people on bicycles are considered interlopers on the streets, and whether drivers will ever learn to share them with bicyclists.

An Edmonton, Canada paper recommends giving physically separated bike lanes a try, despite the city’s failed attempts at bike infrastructure; Calgary cyclists tell them they’ve been a tremendous success there.

A new European safety campaign uses Formula 1 drivers to tell kids to “Stay Bright” on their way to and from school.

A road raging British driver has been charged with chasing a bike rider and running him down, following an argument when she was reportedly driving distracted.

The mother of a fallen British bike rider is relieved that the truck driver who killed her daughter in a left hook was spared prison time, saying there are no winners when something like this happens.

A Paralympic champion had her specially adapted bike stolen just hours after she returned home to Great Britain.

Horrible story from the UK, as a road raging bicyclist is charged with manslaughter in the death of a retired man who was pushing his wife in a wheelchair; the victim somehow hit his head on the pavement as a result of the dispute. Once again, never resort to violence, no matter how justified you may feel at the time. This rider should face the same consequences we’d expect of a motorist under similar circumstances.

A DC website looks at how Barcelona gets bicycling right.

 

Finally…

Now you and your dog can both get a workout without ever leaving home. And there are no minor traffic collisions when you’re an assistant Ohio State football coach.

On the other hand, there are no major consequences, either.

 

Morning Links: Glendale brake-check driver charged, busy SaMo bike weekend, and just what is AAA saying?

Justice is served, for a change.

LAist reports the Glendale driver who was caught on video buzzing and brake checking a pair of cyclists — then lying about it on TV — has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and filing a false police report.

CiclaValley broke the original story, posting video that clearly shows driver Dennis Reed’s actions.

He also breaks down the story Reed told KNBC-4, finding it somewhat truth-challenged.

Despite Reed’s assertions that the cyclists rode dangerously and attacked him first before the posted video, I’ve seen the entire unedited 20 minute video, which is sure to be offered as evidence in court.

It clearly shows both men riding in a safe and legal manner, even stopping for stop signs and observing the right-of-way. And shows no interaction whatsoever with Reed or his car until he honked, buzzed them and slammed on the brakes after another driver had just passed them safely.

I’m glad to admit I was wrong when I said this would most likely be a case of he said/she said, and that Glendale police would probably wash their hands of the matter.

They deserve credit for taking this case seriously, along with the DA’s office for filing charges.

However, while I couldn’t have more respect for Don Ward, I think he’d be the first to tell LAist writer Matt Tinoco there’s a whole city full of bike advocates and activists working to make this a safer and more inviting place for all of us to ride our bikes.

And you should take your blood pressure medication before reading the comments, especially from this apologist for the driver.

Update: CiclaValley offers his thoughts on the case, and posts the full video. So see for yourself what really happened. 

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It’s a busy bike weekend in Santa Monica, starting with tomorrow’s Brompton Urban Challenge to benefit LACBC local chapter Santa Monica Spoke.

That’s followed with the collaborative community celebration Gear Up! to kick off Bike Month on Sunday, May 1st. Events include a bike swap, free helmets and bike repair, music, bike art and local food.

Thanks to Cynthia Rose for the reminder.

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At first glance, it just seems like an interesting, artful shot.

Westways

But after taking it in, you’ve got to wonder what message is AAA’s Westways Magazine, a publication for Orange county drivers, sending with a rusted out bike within easy crapping range of a pelican?

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Sometimes, it’s not.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the cover photo.

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Speaking of Mike, he also forwards this new promotional video from GoPro, the first in a new series called Beyond the Race – An Inside Look at Competitive Cycling.

We’ll let Mike offer his take on it.

The first GoPro produced “Beyond the Race” episode features a serious road biker taking off on a morning ride and imagining he’s engaged in a bar-banging sprint to the finish. The video alternates between his passionate ride along a beautiful coastline (Oregon?) and up-close and personal GoPro footage of some very real and very serious professional bike races.

Walter Mitty fantasies are no doubt enjoyed by many road bike enthusiasts, so GoPro’s first episode is sure to hook them. However, the 2:17 video was so short and so shallow that it almost felt like a tease. Even with its shortcomings, that tease is enough to make me to wait anxiously for the next episode, and it may entice others to do the same.

New videos are scheduled to be posted every other Thursday.

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Local

A writer for the Times says since she’s become a bike commuter, she’s noticed how frequently and needlessly drivers honk at her. And says don’t do it. Just… don’t.

UCLA’s bikeshare share system is expected to open this fall, and will be compatible with systems already open or planned for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. While the campus is bike friendly, what will happen when those riders venture out into Westwood Village and beyond, where Councilmember Paul Koretz has actively blocked bike safety improvments?

CiclaValley captures on video what it would be like if Griffith Park’s Mt. Hollywood Drive is ever opened to cars. Seriously, that’s three mentions of him in a single post; if you’re not checking out CiclaValley every morning, you should be. Okay, make that four. No, five.

Once again, Santa Monica is cracking down on violations that can affect bike and pedestrian safety, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers, bicyclists or pedestrians.

Long Beach isn’t just bike friendly, it’s also one of the most walkable cities in the US.

 

State

Instead of a bike corral, the Sawdust Art Festival hosts a colorful floral Bicycle Garden made up of Laguna Beach’s first sculptural bike racks.

A Murrieta man is nearing the end of his 18,000 mile journey by bicycle to return his father’s ashes to Southern China.

Ventura County’s largest charity ride, Cruisin’ the Conejo, is set to roll on Sunday the 7th.

Oakland gets its first protected bike lane on a newly slimmed down Telegraph Avenue.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is leading Bike to Work Day rides with eight of the city’s eleven supervisors. Yet here in LA, if any city councilmembers will be riding to work that day, they’ll be doing it on their own; we should have organized rides like that with our elected officials, too. And not just one day a year.

The bike polo scene in Sacramento and Davis is attracting some fiercely competitive women.

 

National

Female bike messengers across the US band together to support one another and fight harassment.

Lance asks the court to throw out the Feds’ $100 million lawsuit against him, a day after the US asked for a summary judgment against him. But then, that’s just the usual legal maneuvering and probably doesn’t mean anything.

Oahu HI installs new bike lanes to improve pedestrian safety. It’s often overlooked that bike lanes can improve safety for everyone, not just the people on two wheels.

Yet another bighearted cop, as a Michigan officer buys a new bike to replace one that was stolen from an 11-year old boy last week.

Like business owners almost everywhere, Chattanooga businesses oppose city plans for a road diet and bike lanes on a major street. And like virtually everywhere else, they’ll probably fight to keep it and the added customers and sales it will bring in.

Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere will be getting a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover.

New Orleans rises into the top 20 cities in the US for bike commuters. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

The Awl takes a look at Mississippi, the last state where it’s still legal to drink and drive.

The Department of DIY strikes again, as bike riders in Florida’s Siesta Key take it on themselves to improve bike safety in the tourist resort.

Florida police blame a bike rider for colliding with a patrol car that was blocking the sidewalk he was riding on, saying he just crashed into the car while trying to go around it. Sure, that’s credible.

 

International

Montreal has seen a dramatic spike in bicycling casualties, with deaths up 50% and serious injuries climbing 43%. And as usual, police are quick to blame the victims.

The Toronto Star says the city should finally put bike lanes on Bloor street after studying it for 25 years.

The Guardian offers advice on how to on how to ride in the rain. A problem we’re not likely to face very often since El Niño crapped out on us.

Bike Radar lists 25 pieces of riding advice for beginners. And for a change, they’re actually pretty good.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is using bicycling to make immigrants feel more at home in their new country.

Caught on video: When a Malta cyclist confronts a truck driver following a too close pass, the driver gets out of his cab and tries to kick him in the head; oddly, the same two people had another confrontation a few months earlier.

A teacher in Afghanistan turned his bicycle into a mobile library to bring books to children in isolated areas. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman fights for women’s rights by riding a bike across the country.

An Aussie cyclist attacks a car in a case of bike rage, for no apparent reason. Something tells me there’s another side to this story. But regardless, never resort to violence, ever. Period.

A Vietnam vet and his wife return to tour the country by bicycle, welcomed as friends despite being former enemies.

 

Finally…

Nice to see old school doping is still alive and well in this age of high-tech motor doping. If you’re going to crack a safe stolen from a preschool, a busy bike path in broad daylight probably isn’t the best time and place to do it.

And what the hell did Snapchat think would happen when they added an mph filter to their app?

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Thanks to everyone who proofread this site for me yesterday, and caught my colossal geographic blunder.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

 

Morning Links: Entrada Drive to get a little narrower, a call for safer driving, and your next bike may not need you

Are bicyclists about to lose their place on Entrada Drive?

Cyclist Guy Seay forwards notice of a plan to install a much needed sidewalk on Entrada Drive as it winds along the hillside between Santa Monica and Los Angeles on its way to the coast.

Entrada Notice

But as he points out, the plan calls for narrowing the roadway three feet, potentially taking up the excess space that keeps slow moving riders — as shown in this short video — from having to take the lane in front of drivers headed up the short, steep hill.

It couldn’t hurt to slow drivers down, going uphill and down; I’ve frequently had to dodge drivers who take the corner too fast. And narrowing the roadway could do that.

But lets hope they’ve taken the needs of the many bike riders who use that route to connect the bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd with PCH and the beachfront bike path into account, as well.

Update: A comment from Mark, who lives near Entrada, says he’s been involved in the planning process, and that there will be room for bikes in both directions after the project is finished. 

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Local

The wife of a South Bay cyclist asks drivers to remember that the bike rider in the lane ahead of them is someone’s husband, wife or child, and thanks an LAX cop for taking it on himself to keep riders safe.

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the new documentary about the Eastside’s own Ovarian Psychos Bicycle Brigade as it premiers at South by Southwest.

The LACBC wants you to nominate someone to join their diversity team as a supported rider for this year’s Climate Ride.

 

State

Local residents complain about the planned location of an Ojai bike park, citing the possibility of noise and yes, the loss of parking. Because cars are more important than giving kids a safe place to ride, right?

A San Francisco columnist crawls inside Lance Armstrong’s brain by moderating a conversation with America’s greatest ex-Tour de France winner, and says Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth had nothing on him.

A Marin columnist says the solution to Bay Area traffic congestion is to not give people any alternatives to driving, by voting against all regional measures, as well as politicians who support an admittedly expensive bikeway across the Bay Bridge.

Two Sausalito woman are under arrest for a drunken hit-and-run that injured a cyclist; they stopped their minivan a few miles away to switch seats in an apparent attempt to cover up who was behind the wheel, even though police say they were both under the influence.

When a writer says Portland should use it for a role model for bicycling, you know Davis is doing something right.

 

National

A writer with the Frontier Group says bicycling isn’t the answer to global warming, but it can be a tool for transformation to lead cities toward the next steps in de-carbonization.

Tucson cyclists are reporting near misses to collect data to improve safety.

So much for that bill requiring Iowa drivers to change lanes to pass bicyclists; it died in a legislative committee, even though 70% of Iowans support the measure.

A Philadelphia professor says it’s time for drivers to stop treating bicyclists like vehicles, and start treating them like they would pedestrians.

Will Smith is one of us, at least in his new movie shooting now in the Big Apple.

 

International

More anti-bike terrorism, as someone booby trapped an English bike path by stringing barbed wire at neck level.

Welshman Geraint Thomas is the winner of this year’s Paris-Nice stage race, beating Alberto Contador by just four seconds.

An 87-year old Spanish driver is under arrest for slamming his SUV into a group of cyclists without stopping, then driving on to a nearby restaurant where he finally reported the wreck.

An Australian bicycling group develops a code of etiquette to encourage cyclists to ride “impeccably” so they won’t piss off motorists and pedestrians. Which of course says nothing about drivers who can’t seem to see the rider in the lane directly in front of them, let alone what can be done about it.

Not even Superman uses a phone booth anymore. So Thailand is converting them to bike repair stations.

Bicycle tourism is bringing benefits to the people and economy of an Indonesian island.

 

Finally…

Apparently, a bicycle makes an effective getaway vehicle if you’re going to steal an electric guitar from a Chinatown music shop. So if bike counters are triggered by the metal of a passing bike, does that mean riders on carbon and bamboo bikes don’t count?

And who needs a bike rider when your e-bike can ride itself?

 

Morning Links: Water-blocked in a Santa Monica bike lane, and real sportsmanship in a Spanish bike race

Water keeps posing a risk to cyclists, and El Niño hasn’t even started yet.

Wes High wants to know why a Sparkletts truck has to park in a Santa Monica bike lane to make a delivery, when there’s plenty of parking just a couple spaces up the road.

Why indeed?

Then again, that’s nothing new in Santa Monica.

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Caught on video: When the third place rider in a Spanish race suffered a flat shortly before the finish, he picked up his bike and ran for the finish line. A competitor followed closely behind, refusing to pass even though it would have meant a podium finish.

Unfortunately, not all of the day’s bike racing news showed sportsmanship, as Olympic track cyclist and US national champ Bobby Lea gets a 16 month ban for doping; he claims it was an accident. Then again, so does everyone else who gets caught these days.

A Dubai cyclist gets a four year ban for doping.

And the official pro cycling team of India’s Uttar Pradesh state gets to share just one bicycle between all 21 cyclists on the team. On the other hand, the state government has distributed 4,500 bikes to the poor, though you’d think they could spare a few for their racing team.

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‘Tis the season.

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department donated 167 bicycles to children in need, while another 33 bikes went unclaimed.

Twenty kids get new bikes and helmets from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Police Athletic League.

Two hundred children in Pacheco, CA got new toys and bikes through Toys for Tots, thanks to the generosity of one woman.

An anonymous donor gave a St. Helena, CA girl a new trek mountain bike to replace one she lost in a fire; her two-year old sister got a new tricycle, too.

And a Maui car dealer gave away 250 bikes to kids from the local Boys and Girls Club.

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Local

The LA Planning Commission approves minor amendments to the Mobility Plan, which had been stripped from the approved plan a few weeks ago to address a lawsuit filed by the non-profit group Fix the City; more serious amendments to remove streets from the plan will be considered after the first of the year.

Speaking of Fix the City, they re-filed their lawsuit to address the city council’s action to address their initial lawsuit. Odd that a group named Fix the City is fighting LA’s efforts to do exactly that, attempting to use the courts to undo six years of public process.

The Bike League looks at the LACBC’s efforts to build bike equity in the cities of southeast LA County.

Bicycling profiles Boyle Heights’ Ovarian Psychos Cycles, sponsors of monthly Luna Rides and the annual Clitoral Mass.

CiclaValley offers advice on what to wear for those cold LA winter bike rides. Relatively speaking, of course.

 

State

San Diego attempts to fix a dangerously congested intersection by increasing capacity and changing signal light timing; the redesign will also include much needed bike lanes and sidewalks.

Santa Ana approves a citywide bike safety program, including workshops to teach bike safety skills, light and helmet distribution, and certifying new cycling instructors.

The San Jose paper discusses how drivers can politely toot on the horn to warn cyclists they’re approaching. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing; as one person notes, even a light tap can startle a rider and cause a dangerous fall.

San Francisco’s Market Street bike counter records its one millionth rider. Meanwhile, the city completed a road diet and added cycle tracks to improve safety on a dangerous street after two boys were hit by a drunk driver. People get hit by cars in LA all the time, but it seldom results in a significant safety improvement to the street where it happened.

Marin County “foot people” complain the county is catering to mountain bikers after cyclists are given access to just six of the 50 miles of trails in local preserves.

 

National

Lifehacker offers a practical guide to urban bicycling. Which actually offers some pretty decent advice, for a change; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

People for Bikes looks at America’s 10 best new bike lanes. You don’t need any fingers to count how many are in Los Angeles, but the new Harbor Drive cycle tracks in Redondo Beach check in at number nine.

Bicycling looks at what eight top bicycling cities have done to promote safer cycling. CicLAvia draws as more people in one day than Minneapolis drew all year with their eight Open Streets events.

Lincoln NE gets a two-way protected bikeway spanning 17 blocks through the downtown area. Which as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out, is 17 more than Beverly Hills has; then again, LA isn’t much better.

The DC-area AAA objects to an increase in fines targeting dangerous drivers, complaining that they don’t address law-breaking cyclists and pedestrians. Maybe because people on bikes and foot don’t pose the same risk to others that speeding and distracted drivers do.

 

International

E-bikes are becoming more popular, but at the loss of bicycling’s long time carbon neutrality. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is developing standards for e-bike helmets, which will be required in the country by 2017.

Bike lanes could be included on a new bridge spanning the international border between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

A Toronto website says “vigilante” cyclists posted a video showing the dangers riders face in designated bike lanes. “You keep using that word…”

A Zimbabwean cyclist sets a new record by riding the length of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town in just 38 days.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t throw your bike at a car that just barely missed you, and don’t punch the driver through the open window, no matter how much you think they deserve it. Don’t quit mountain biking when the snow falls; just replace your wheels with skis.

And you don’t have to worry about cold weather flats if your tires don’t have any air in them.

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In case you missed it yesterday, here’s a link to the second piece in our new Describe Your Ride series; we’ll have a third one on tap next week.

 

Describe Your Ride: Commuting to work on the beach path and tourist-lined streets of Santa Monica

Adra and Ellie at the beginning of their commute

Adra and Ellie at the beginning of their commute

Today we’re starting a new feature in which bike riders tell us about their ride — the good, the bad, the ugly, the everyday experience of riding a bike, wherever and however they ride.

First up, bike commuter Adra Graves describes her daily bike commute through Venice and Santa Monica, partly on the bike path, partly in bike lanes and partly on city streets.

If you’d like to share your ride with us, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page. It can be anything you want, from a few sentences to a detailed description, a rant, rave or anything in between. Or maybe you tell the story best visually, verbally or musically.

And no restrictions on location, where you ride here in LA, SoCal, or anywhere in the world.

Let’s get a conversation started.

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Bike path at Ocean Park

Bike path at Ocean Park

I may have one of the best commutes in LA county. At the very least, I have 75% of one.

Every morning around 9:30, I load my purse and laptop into my pannier, my dog into my front basket, and ride the half block to the Venice boardwalk, where I turn north and take the beach bike path a mile and a half up to Santa Monica. There are no stop lights, no cars, few pedestrians, and even the sun is at my back. I have to look out for the occasional sand puddle, which can make me skid out of control (it’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way), but for the most part, I can ride along and try to glimpse the waves across the sand to my left, with few distractions.

Company on the bike path, and Santa Monica Pier in the distance

Company on the bike path, and Santa Monica Pier in the distance

Just before the Santa Monica pier, I leave the bike path and make my way up to a small street called Appian Way. At this point, the nice part is over.

I ride towards the pier on Appian and make a right up a steep hill that will bring me up to Ocean Avenue. (If I’m feeling super energetic, I’ll take advantage of my bike’s gears and ride up in first gear, but more often than not I walk.) At the top, there’s no good way to immediately get to the northbound side of Ocean, so I ride along the sidewalk for a block (less than ideal: I would normally never advocate for a cyclist to do that, but this stretch doesn’t have any other palatable options) to the pier and cross Ocean at Colorado Avenue.

Up the hill at Appian Way, looking up at Tongva Park

Up the hill at Appian Way, looking up at Tongva Park

From here, I do my best to stay in the bike lane, but there are cars pulling in and out of the hotel, buses (sightseeing + regular) taking up the entirety of the lane at Broadway, and a nasty angled section (pictured) where I’m forced to dodge into traffic if there’s a car parked (entirely legally) there. This is part of why I cross where I do: a red light stops other northbound traffic and so I have a little more protection for if and when I need to ride outside the bike lane.

Worst case scenario (biking north on Ocean Avenue at Colorado)

Worst case scenario (biking north on Ocean Avenue at Colorado)

At Broadway, I make a right, and head inland for a mile or so. There’s a green bike path from 5th Street on, but west of there, we only have sharrows. If you’re on the westbound side of the road, as I am when heading home, there’s a bus lane that I usually ride in so as not to draw the ire of the cars making their way through the area. (This works great when there are no buses.)  Once across Lincoln, I’m at my destination.

My ride home is all downhill along Ocean Avenue (after it diverges from Neilson) if I so choose. During the summer, I don’t—there are too many cars searching for parking on that stretch—but in the winter, I’m often the only person there.

Sharrows are great and all but...

Sharrows are great and all but…

My fiancé is the one who pushed me to start riding to work five years ago, when I lived and worked in Santa Monica and had a mere mile and a half to go to work, almost entirely along streets with bike lanes. Aside from a short stint last summer when I was working in Culver City, I’ve biked to work almost every day since then. We chose our apartment in Venice partly because we love the area, and partly because it allows both of us to walk or bike to work. (He walks to work along Abbot Kinney, also an enviable commute.) While I consider myself lucky to have this setup, it wasn’t an accident, either. Our apartment search was a bit more difficult because of location constraints, but being able to bike to work is important to both of us.

From sharrows to bike lanes (yessssss)

From sharrows to bike lanes (yessssss)

Being able to bring my dog with me is the cherry on top. She’s small enough to fit in the bike basket, and well-behaved enough to stay there. Yes, it took some time to get her used to it—she immediately leapt out the first time I tried to put her in!—but she’s a pro now and knows what to expect. In cold weather, she wears a red hoodie to stay warm, and it is the cutest damn thing you’ve ever seen.

I have no idea what we’ll do when El Nino rears its head—with a dog, I don’t think the bus is an option—but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. (Probably in a raincoat.)

AG Bike Map

Morning Links: Bike traffic up in Santa Monica, and more bighearted people for the season of giving

Today we’re starting a new feature, Describe Your Ride, in which normal, everyday bike riders tell us how and where they ride, good, bad or otherwise.

So come back later this morning, when Santa Monica bike commuter Adra Graves will describe her usually pleasant, and in places, challenging ride to work.

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Big news from Santa Monica, as bike traffic continues to rise, up 4.4% from 2013, while bike crashes are down 10% over last year.

Bicycling now has a 5% mode share, far beyond any other city in the area, even that’s still just one third of the city’s goal of a 15% share by next year.

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‘Tis the season.

For the 20th year in a row, a Portland group gives bicycles to kids, along with a helmet and safety lesson; 300 kids were able to pick out their own bikes this year.

A Billings MT group donates 50 bikes to elementary school children, including 26 unclaimed bikes from the local police department.

Atlanta cyclists will dress up like Santa Claus to raise funds to fight leukemia and get a free beer.

And if anyone needs a stocking stuffer, GoPro has slashed the cost of their ice cube-sized Hero4 Session cam to just $199, less than half the original $399.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a draft regional transportation plan covering the next 24 years; the proposal includes regional greenway and bikeway networks, as well as a plan for continuous trails along the coast.

CiclaValley goes cyclocross racing in Griffith Park.

Santa Monica considers changing vehicular access to the pier, and converting the existing bridge to pedestrian and bike use as an extension of the coming Colorado Esplanade.

Santa Monicans freak out about parklets approved last week for Main Street, fearing that people using them will be sitting ducks for out of control cars. Because that’s been such a problem everywhere else they’ve been installed, right?

Multicultural Communities for Mobility hosts a year-end fundraiser this Friday; the suggested $25 donation includes vegan food and custom brews.

 

State

Just Another Cyclist’s Ross Del Duca expounds on the difference between pedaling and riding.

A Newport Beach bike shop suffered half a million dollars in damages in a Friday fire.

Not surprisingly, the proposed 50-mile bikeway circling the Coachella Valley will do little to improve air quality, though it could have lasting health benefits.

San Francisco’s proposed Idaho stop law passes it’s first committee test, even though members of the disability community somehow feel it would adversely affect them. However, the law would be strictly advisory, requesting that the SFPD make bicyclists rolling stops their lowest priority.

Megan Lynch sends word of a planned environmentally friendly grad school building in Berkeley, including 250 bike lockers, as well as showers and dressing rooms.

Caltrans big idea to improve safety for NorCal cyclists will require riders to push a beg button before crossing a narrow Fernbridge bridge, which will then cue flashing lights to warn drivers that there’s a bike on the bridge. How about making drivers get out and push a button before they’re allowed to cross, instead?

 

National

The best thing you can do for the environment is to leave your car at home.

People for Bikes says the latest trend in protected bikeways is getting them done fast. Let’s hope LA lives up to its trendy reputation, then.

Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows a positive relationship between exercise and moderate drinking. As W.C. Fields said, “A woman once drove me to drink, and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.” But I will thank Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

Only in Portland. A bike-riding, sweater-wearing hipster Santa with a man bun.

Seriously? After a bike-riding Seattle radio host nearly hits a ninja cyclist while driving to work, he says that drivers have the deck stacked against them and bike riders should have to pay for their share of the roads, just like drivers — except we already do, and drivers actually don’t, as an Austin TX writer patiently explains. Thanks to Steve Katz for the latter link.

Denver advocates form a Vision Zero coalition to help the city live up to its commitment to safer streets.

KC cyclists get a shiny new bike box.

A former critic of New York’s Citi bike bikeshare becomes a frequent-riding convert.

Most bike riders have trouble getting service at drive-through windows; a West Virginia man gets 60 years for robbing a bank on one.

Richmond VA’s person of the year isn’t one, as a local magazine proclaims this the year of the bicycle.

 

International

Must be nice. Bike friendly Vancouver plans for 12 new bike lanes over the next five years, which will require a substantial loss of on-street parking. That would make it a non-starter just about anywhere else.

Caught on video: An angry London motorist drives over a cyclist’s bike during last month’s Critical Mass, apparently on purpose, after honking and shouting abuse.

Bike Magazine asks if mountain bike tourism could aid in Nepal’s recovery from a devastating earthquake.

Manila reopens a limited bikeshare program, with just 40 mountain bikes that can only be used along established bike lanes.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, as a bike rider was killed just hours before his surprise 60th birthday party.

Aussie multi-hyphen actor-director-producer-screenwriter Joel Edgerton is one of us, going for a ride with his baseball cap and silver Schwinn.

An Aussie cyclist is riding 2,300 miles across the county to raise funds to fight motor neuron disease.

New Zealand opens a world class, magenta-hued bikeway along the Auckland coast through the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Just like most cyclists, GPS often exaggerates how far you ride. If you’re going to wave at the speed camera, maybe you should keep one hand on your handlebars, just in case.

And if you’re wondering how to park in a bike lane, don’t.

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Thanks to Alice Strong for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

And a semi-belated Happy Hanukkah to all.

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

A single donation could put you on Santa’s Good List, and keep the Krampus from your door this holiday season.

Morning Links: Curmudgeonly SaMo writers, LABAC meets tonight, and giving on Giving Tuesday

Apparently tired of telling kids to get off his lawn, a curmudgeonly SaMo writer complains about a whopping four — yes, four — Main Street parking spaces that are being converted into parklets, which will evidently prevent anyone from parking anywhere in the neighborhood ever again; he similarly bemoans the parklets and loss of traffic lanes on Broadway in DTLA.

As an aside, the story mentions that the Santa Monica Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday to consider the city’s bike and pedestrian plans, which he’s clearly not in favor of, either.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Cahn forwards this letter copied from the Santa Monica Observer, in which a driver is offended when his attempt to educate and/or enforce bike traffic laws from behind the wheel of his car is met with a predictable response.

TaylorLetterSMObserver

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LA’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for bicyclists, meets tonight in the LAPD Hollywood Division Community Room, 6501 Fountain Ave.

BAC-Agenda

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The story of popular Silver Lake Trader Joe’s parking lot attendant Egee Mabolis is picked up by LAist and the Eastsider, following the bicycling injury that left him with no feeling in his arms and legs.

A gofundme account to help defray his medical costs has raised 3/5 of the $25,000 goal.

After all, it is Giving Tuesday.

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Speaking of Giving Tuesday, you can bid on a Silca SuperPista Ultimate Bicycle Pump hand-painted by cycling scion Taylor Phinney, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the Davis Phinney Foundation to fight Parkinson’s Disease. Phinney — Taylor, not Davis — is putting off additional surgery on his badly injured left knee in hopes of competing in next year’s Rio Olympics.

And with a little luck, a $10 donation to the (RED) campaign to fight HIV/AIDS could get you ice cream and ride through Central Park with U2’s Bono.

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Take a few minutes out of your day for this must-read piece from CiclaValley, in which he surprises a driver by saying he was lucky he got in a collision, even with his kids in the car, and even if the red light-running driver who hit him seemed to think it was no big deal.

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Next City offers a much better take on the documentary Bikes vs. Cars than yesterday’s Daily Beast hatchet job; the film opens at the Laemmle NoHo 7 this Friday.

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Local

Bicycling takes a very brief look at LA artist cycling tour guide and bike salesman Adam K. Masters, and how he got hooked on track racing.

Former DC and Chicago DOT chief and current author Gabe Klein calls for creative solutions like protected bike lanes and bikeshare stations to improve transportation in LA, along with a switch to self-driving cars.

A new video from Metro explains how to use the Metro Bike Hub at El Monte Station, which promises to be just the first of several throughout the LA area.

Temple City will consider a proposed redesign of Las Tunas Drive into a more vibrant, safe and people-friendly business district at tonight’s city council meeting; supporters of a more livable, walkable and bikeable street are urged to attend to counter expected opposition.

 

State

Good read from a cyclist who offers seven lessons he learned from riding 673 miles from San Francisco to San Diego with no idea what he was doing.

Oceanside residents are calling for safety improvements to the city’s main drag following the death of 12-year old Logan Lipton while he was riding his bike to school last month.

The Coronado bike lane madness goes on, as a letter writer says the town doesn’t need bike lanes because they didn’t slow traffic on a street where average speeds were only 28 mph to begin with.

Two local businesses come to the rescue after a burglar steals 26 bikes from a San Francisco middle school.

A San Francisco bike deliveryman comes to the rescue after a women gives birth to a premature baby on the sidewalk.

Stockton is holding a number of public workshops to update their Bicycle Master Plan. Let’s hope they don’t have to deal with lawsuits and recalcitrant councilmembers trying to overturn the public process, like some cities we could name.

 

National

The Pew Charitable Trusts says bike tourism means business, as cities and states are warming to the economic benefits of bicycling.

Seriously? Oahu residents suggest ticketing bike rental shops when their customers break the law. Which makes no more sense than holding car rental firms accountable when their customers speed or run red lights.

Indianapolis drivers are apparently confused by the city’s first parking protected bike lane.

City Lab says laws prohibiting bicyclists from wearing headphones, like one under consideration in Massachusetts, miss the point. Several writers, including frequent contributor Megan Lynch, beg to differ.

Brooklyn bike riders call for a statewide Idaho stop law.

The Wall Street Journal belatedly discovers that retirees are getting on their bikes. Note to the Journal: 50 ain’t exactly old.

A Philadelphia conference calls for Vision Zero to protect the lives of bicyclists and pedestrians; Toronto discusses the idea, as well.

A Delaware driver faces up to seven years for killing his bike-riding friend in a drunken hit-and-run.

Interesting idea from Florida, as a proposed law would require in-ground safety lights where bike paths cross roadways to alert drivers to the presence of bicycles.

Bighearted Tampa police officers chip in to buy a five-year old a new tricycle after his brand-new birthday bike was stolen in a car burglary.

 

International

Vancouver, which has made a massive investment in protected bike lanes, is rated Canada’s safest major city in which to ride a bike.

The Yukon tourism board wants you to explore the Great White North by fat-tire bike.

Brit bike riders are being offered a better deal on car insurance because they’re better drivers. Thanks to joninsocal for the link.

‘Tis the season. A bighearted four-year old British girl donates her new birthday bike so someone else can wake up to a new bike Christmas morning.

UK cyclists are being criticized for excessive speeds after single rider is clocked on Strava approaching 30 mph.

It’s a dream come true. Bike riders in one Danish town can outfit their bikes with special RFID tags that turn traffic lights green as they approach so they never have to stop for red lights.

Aljazeera says carless cities are the future of Europe. Maybe the idea will cross over to this country before we’re all old and grey.

A South African cyclist says the way to deal with dangerous roads is to stay off them when you can, and ride facing traffic when you can’t. Which is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Life is cheap in Melbourne, as an Aussie driver is fined a lousy grand for a fatal dooring.

‘Tis the season, too. An Australian town responds to complaints that it has the world’s worst Christmas tree by creating one made out of bicycles.

 

Finally…

Fund-Drive-With-Type-2If you’re trying to make your getaway by bike with a meth pipe and stolen guitar, make sure you can ride with it first. Or if you’re going to steal a bike, make sure the owner isn’t still attached to it.

And here’s your chance to ensure the Star Wars fan in your life ride gets to ride with his or her very own R2D2 bike helmet.

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Thanks to Todd Munson for supporting this site by contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday fund Drive.

 

Morning Links: Bikeshare finally besmirches Santa Monica, and the disappearing American bike shop

Bikeshare is finally here.

No, really.

After years of promises, Santa Monica has officially won the race for Los Angeles County’s first bikeshare program, with seven test hubs hitting the street as a pilot program for the Breeze bikeshare system that will hopefully turn into a gale by the end of the year.

And unlike some city’s we could mention, SaMo actually put a full bike network in place to protect riders before planning to throw bike renters to the traffic wolves.

Meanwhile, LA’s long-promised bikeshare system could finally make an appearance next year, just in time to take riders to see LA’s long-promised pro football team make its — or their — debut at the Coliseum.

And yes, it really is starting to feel like bikeshare is popping up everywhere, much to the chagrin of some who dread the besmirching of their fair cities, to cite a classic.

No one appears to have risen up in opposition to bikeshare in Los Angeles yet.

But there’s still plenty of time.

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Red Kite Prayer explains why 38% of American bike shops have gone out of business in the last 15 years, despite the recent bike boom.

Meanwhile, a new bike maker has an interesting idea to help change that by charging more to buy direct than to buy the same bike from your local bike shop. They also promise to donate all their profits to bike advocacy programs.

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Good thing the doping era is over. An Italian rider for Team Katusha has been provisionally suspended for using EPO back in 2012. Don’t you love how cycling teams are always shocked! shocked! to discover one of their riders is cheating?

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Local

The Times’ Sandy Banks says that it’s up to us to hold city officials accountable for living up to the lofty promises of the Mobility Plan and Vision Zero.

The LA Explorers Club hosts their annual bike ride from the Garden of Eden to Devil’s Gate this Sunday, led by guest host Tom Carroll of the Tom Explores LA web series. The ride starts with New Belgium beers and ends with a stop at a brew pub, so this might be a good time to brush up on how alcohol affects your ride.

Nice interview with Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward, aka LA’s legendary Roadblock.

Metro wants to know your top priorities for improving walking and bicycling to train stations, bus stops and along regional bikeways or shared-use paths.

CicLAvia offers a photographic wrap-up of the recent Culver City to Venice event, where a good time was had by all.

 

State

Not surprisingly, a Camp Pendleton Navy man has pled not guilty in the hit-and-run death of cyclist Philip White.

San Diego’s Bike the Bay rolls through five bay-adjacent cities and across the Coronado Bay Bridge this Sunday.

Riverside considers replacing four-way stops with traffic circles, as well as building berms that will allow bike riders to bypass stop signs.

So much for the myth of scofflaw cyclists, as San Bernardino police write 95 tickets during a crackdown on bike and pedestrian safety, with just seven going to the people on two wheels, and 49 to those on two feet.

Palm Springs police go undercover to bust three thieves with a bait bike.

A Santa Barbara writer offers advice on essential tools for bike riders. I concur — especially about the cell phone, which can be a life saver in an emergency.

San Francisco unveils secure bike parking at the Civic Center BART station; users pay $5 for an access card and user verification, then just three cents an hour to park their bike. Can we pretty please get that down here? Please?

A Lodi bike summit aims to make the city a destination for bike tourism.

 

National

Biking to work is growing fastest among the richest Americans. Perhaps because the poorest have already been doing it.

Bicycling offers advice on how to take better pictures of your bike.

Portland distinguishes a bikeway from a sidewalk by painting the former green.

Santa Fe is planning a $3.8 million tunnel to allow cyclists and pedestrians to pass under a six-lane highway.

An Iowa driver had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he killed a cyclist during a Sunday morning ride. So instead of cracking down on drunk drivers, the city naturally goes after unpermitted group rides.

A Minnesota driver faces up to 10 years for allegedly killing a bike-riding mom while texting.

At least they take drunk driving seriously in Illinois. A driver from that state faces up to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing a cyclist while driving with a BAC 2.5 times the legal limit.

A full year after a New York bike rider was seriously injured in a hit-and-run, the NYPD still hasn’t spoken with the owner of the vehicle — and left it to the victim to track him down. Nice to know the police really don’t give a damn there.

 

International

This is why you never lock your bicycle to a street sign, as a Canadian rider returns to find thieves had unbolted the sign post to get his bike.

A British actress had to wait two hours for an ambulance after she was impaled on her own handlebars after a collision with another rider.

Floating bus stops designed to protect London bike riders could endanger blind and partially sighted people, according to one writer.

A London mayoral candidate insists riding a bike in the city is taking your life into your own hands, saying he doesn’t ride because he doesn’t want to leave his children without a father. No point in being overly dramatic or anything.

A writer for the UK’s Guardian explains why Manchester is a rubbish city for cycling.

A British cyclist saves the lives of several other people when his organs were donated, after he died from an apparent solo fall. I’ve signed my donor card just in case; if the worst ever happens, I want some good to come from it.

An Irish soccer player faces charges of drunk driving and hit-and-run after crashing into a bike rider, followed by driving into a gas pump.

Seriously? A test of the road race course for next year’s Rio Olympics is deemed a success, despite being rerouted for a protest and the mugging of photographers covering it. But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, the play was a huge success.

Singapore has plans to become Asia’s first bicycling city, with plans to add over 430 miles of bikeways, including shaded paths to compensate for the city’s hot temperatures.

 

Finally…

Shape offer 30 reasons why bicycles are better than boyfriends. When is a three-month suspension for punching a fellow member of your national cycling team not a suspension? When there are no races scheduled to compete in.

And repeat after me: When you’re riding with a gun and a small amount of drugs on your bike, don’t ride salmon, already.

 

Morning Links: The Feds look at road diets, including three LA area case studies, though LADOT’s stats falls flat

The Federal Highway Administration offers a fascinating series of road diet case studies from across the country — including three from the LA area.

  • Santa Monica’s Ocean Park Blvd road diet resulted in a remarkable 65% reduction in collisions, and a 60% reduction in injury crashes — without increasing congestion as measured by average speeds, or any measurable spillover in the surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Adding bike lanes to Pasadena’s Cordova Street increased bicycle traffic and reduced speeding by drivers, without reducing level of service for drivers or pedestrians; there was also a slight decrease in collisions and injuries.
  • On the other hand, the road diet on LA’s 7th Street highlights LADOT’s failure to keep statistics before or after making changes to the streets. They had to rely on the LACBC’s volunteer bike count to show bicycle traffic tripled along the corridor; they also received “positive feedback from users” and found “satisfactory” results from an analysis of traffic at key intersections.

It’s LADOT’s failure to keep any kind of traffic safety stats that allows councilmembers like Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz, as well as recently departed Tom LaBonge, to weasel out of much-needed safety and livability improvements in their districts, since no one can prove they’re really needed.

And the city can’t demonstrate the success of road changes that have already been made in other areas in any meaningful way.

Hopefully, that’s changing under new traffic maven Seleta Reynolds and Mayor Garcetti’s commitment to stat-based accountability.

But it can’t change soon enough.

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After getting the year off to a great start by winning the Giro, followed by a tough Tour, Alberto Contador calls it quits for the season. And he didn’t even do it on a 1970s chopper bike.

World cycling chief Brian Cookson is worried about hooliganism at the Tour de France after winner Chris Froome was insulted, spit on and splashed with urine. Seriously, it’s just a matter of time before a rider is seriously injured — or worse — by a crazed “fan,” to use that word loosely.

Cycling’s elite riders are coming to North America this summer, starting with the Tour of Utah next week and culminating in September’s world championships in Richmond VA.

But will any of them will be sampling the new EPO substitute that anyone can get online?

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Local

Streetsblog wants to know if LA is giving the wrong sign for blocked bike lanes.

KPCC looks at the winners of the mayor’s Great Streets grants; there appear to be more street parties in our future.

Speaking of Great Streets, Flying Pigeon thanks Councilmember José Huizar for the pedestrian oriented makeover of Broadway in DTLA. Nice to see someone on the city council who actually gets it, and is willing to make changes that benefit the public instead of blocking them.

Boyonabike says Pasadena’s newly resurfaced Sierra Madre Villa Blvd coulda, woulda, shoulda have bike lanes.

CORBA offers an updated page on off-road trail etiquette. Really, it doesn’t take much to avoid confrontations on the trails. And everyone wins when you make the effort.

Santa Monica bans private bike parking at their still-unbuilt bikeshare kiosks.

SaMo is holding a workshop next week on re-envisioning Lincoln Blvd south of I-10, which could use a lot of improvement. Back in the bad old days, the street was listed as a Class 3 bike route in an apparent attempt to thin the herd.

Walk Bike Burbank hosts the Midnight Ramble Ride on Saturday.

 

State

The OC Foothills Bikeways Collaborative wants your vote to prioritize bikeway improvements in the county.

Evidently bike theft is a family affair in Seal Beach, as a snatched bike leads to a brawl with the thief’s relatives.

No bias here. After a teenage fixie rider suffers severe head injuries in a collision, San Diego police say they don’t know who had the right-of-way. But blame the victim anyway.

The San Diego Association of Governments will build a bike and pedestrian bridge to connect the Escondido Transit Center with a shopping center anchored by Barnes & Noble. Apparently people who use transit, walk and bike still read books made from dead trees down there.

If you were planning to ride through Camp Pendleton on Saturday, forget it; a shuttle will be available for riders who have to cross the base.

San Francisco cyclists call for adoption of the Idaho Stop law in California, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs like yields; a supervisor for the city backs the law change. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the Idaho stop law has been shown to improve safety for bicyclists. And it would legalize what most bike riders — and most drivers, for that matter — already do.

Meanwhile, San Francisco bike riders show how following the letter of the law by coming to a full stop slows traffic for everyone; Streetsblog deems it an effective spectacle.

The 10,000 member San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, which has proven itself to be a potent force in influencing city elections, faces a dispute over the balance between member privacy and democratic board elections.

San Raphael is putting the final touches on a $1.6 million shared path through the downtown area.

 

National

Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez is one of us. So are the Green Bay Packers.

A cyclist files a $13.5 million suit against an Arizona county over a dangerous bike lane design that led to him being seriously injured in a collision.

Seems like other states take hit-and-run a lot more seriously than California does. A Montana man is being held on $350,000 bond for fleeing the scene after critically injuring a pedestrian and tampering with evidence.

A Kansas man faces a charge of second degree reckless murder in the death of a college professor participating in a time trial last month.

Tragic news from Oklahoma, as a Florida man riding cross country to raise funds for affordable housing was killed by a distracted driver; a second rider was airlifted with a leg injury.

The Minneapolis StarTribune looks at the intersection of camping and biking.

A Connecticut cop responds to a report of kids fighting, and ends up fixing a broken bike chain.

Gothamist asks if New York is leaving bike lanes and the people who ride them behind in their Vision Zero plans.

Florida bicyclists want a little space on Palm Beach bridges.

 

International

An Alberta paper says a recent dooring death shows the need to improve safety and infrastructure for bicyclists.

A Quebec writer says mandating bike helmets may not be a good idea; shockingly, a bike helmet maker backed the idea before backing off the next day.

Cycling Weekly asks if carbon soled bike shoes are really necessary. Considering the footwear of choice for bike riders in my neighborhood appears to canvas sneakers, I’m going to say no.

The Guardian looks at how Groningen in the Netherlands set the standard for bicycling cities back in the 1970s.

A London rider asks “what’s life without a little risk?” after recovering from a fall when he was cut off by an apparently self-driving Prius.

Portugal tells government employees to get out of their cars and on their bikes.

 

Finally…

Evidently, posh cyclists ride salmon in bike lanes while sipping espresso. A self-described bike guy learns to love cycling; presumably, he hated it before but rode anyway. Maybe you want to take a bike tour of North Korea before you get captured and killed. Or you might become a dictator’s best friend like Dennis Rodman.

And since when do bike riders take UV-busting fashion cues from Donald Sterling’s self-professed non-girlfriend?

No. Just… no.

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Let’s offer a round of thanks to BikinginLA sponsors Jim Pocrass and Josh Cohen; their support makes this site possible. 

And thank you to everyone who has contributed to support this site. You help keep it, and me, going.

 

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