Tag Archive for Seleta Reynolds

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

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This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

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If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

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The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

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Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: A little LADOT bike lane slight-of-hand, more Rowena fallout, and how bicycling makes lives better

Maybe they can be forgiven for missing their own goal.

But fudging the facts is another matter.

Writing on Twitter, BikeLA points out that LADOT fell far short of their self-stated goal of installing 40 miles of bike lanes last year, instead crediting themselves with just 22.2 miles.

Understandable, perhaps, since the department had been void of leadership for most of the year before Seleta Reynolds took over as GM late last year.

Except that 22.2 miles comes only after changing the way bike lanes have traditionally been measured, here in LA and throughout the country. Instead of measuring centerline miles — including both sides of the road as a single mile — they’re now measuring lane-miles, or crediting themselves with one mile for each side of the road.

Which means those 22.2 miles really account for just 11.1 miles of roadway.

As someone wrote to me in an email pointing out the change,

I noticed this via Twitter, so you may have seen as well, but did you see LADOT’s accounting of bike infrastructure for fiscal year 2014-2015?

Besides the fact that LADOT did not reach the 40 miles of bike lanes goal per year set by the bike plan, it seemed really misleading that they simply double-counted all of their upgrades by shifting from centerline miles to directional miles. Thus 11.1 miles become 22.2 miles. My understanding is that this is irregular for cities to use (for example, Long Beach uses centerline accounting). Using the new metric, the 17 mile long LA River bike path from Vernon to Long Beach just doubled to be 34 miles long.

Seemed really shady to me, and hadn’t seen anyone call it out beyond Twitter.

If the city is going to rely on a little accounting slight-of-hand, the same rule needs to apply to their goal of 40 miles of new bike lanes a year for five years.

So make that 80 miles of bike lanes they owe us each year, not 40. And 400 miles total for the five-year period

So they still fell 57.8 miles short last year.

Let’s hope they can make it up now that Reynolds is on board.

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The Times Steve Lopez, who has written favorably about bicycling in the past, and has been known to ride a bike himself, misses the mark with Wednesday’s column about the Rowena road diet. He looks at the non-controversy from a windshield perspective, without digging into rationale behind road diets and the benefits they bring. Beyond driving impatient motorists over the edge, that is.

LAist highlights the hero of Monday’s Rowena road diet town hall meeting, a precocious 11-year old kid.

Meanwhile, Flying Pigeon points out if drivers don’t want to deal with the road diet, there’s a giant freeway free of bikes and pedestrians just a block and a half away. Although describing WAZE as methadone for road hogs is absolutely brilliant.

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The Brits are looking for a few podiums at the worlds starting this weekend. And pro cyclists tell People for Bikes how bicycling makes their lives better.

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Local

If drivers are doing 70 mph on Sunset Blvd, the solution isn’t installing a beacon to warn them about a red light.

The Bike Talk podcast talks Vision Zero with Deborah Murphy, Malcolm Harris, Caroline Kewer, Brian Murray and Damien Kevitt.

The LADOT Bike Blog explains how Vision Zero will reduce the cost of traffic collisions we all have to bear; according to the site, the nearly 29,000 traffic-related injuries and deaths that occurred in Los Angeles in 2013 cost the city approximately $3.681 billion, or $367.36 per resident. The piece could use a little proofing, though; near the beginning it says roughly 200 people are severely injured or killed in traffic collisions in LA each year, while later it lists 1,591 in 2013 alone. Must have been a bad year.

A pair of cyclists want to share a beer with you to celebrate their return home from a 4,300 mile bike ride from New York to Long Beach on Friday.

 

State

Lost in the flurry of legislation passed in the state legislature’s final days last week was a bill clarifying the rules for e-bike riders; it now awaits Governor Brown’s signature. And based on past experience, God only knows what the hell he might do.

San Diego’s Vision Zero plan has been endorsed by the city council’s Infrastructure Committee.

San Jose residents refuse to sacrifice 26 free, on-street parking spots to make room for bike lanes.

 

National

A new report offers lessons in making bikeshare more equitable.

The owner of sock company Save Our Soles doubles down on the great Interbike sockgate blunder, without apologizing for the inappropriately sexist footwear. The best way to destroy your own business is to put your foot in your mouth while wearing your own socks.

The rich get richer. Already the nation’s fittest state, Colorado’s governor plans to invest $100 million over the next four years to make it the best state for bicycling. Your move, Gov. Brown.

A Colorado driver claims he couldn’t see the 4-year old boy riding a bike with his father that he hit while making a left turn because of landscaping on the median. So why turn if you can’t see where the heck you’re going? And why would any city let landscaping grow high enough to block the vision of turning drivers?

Nothing says bike racks have to be boring staples sticking out of the ground; Norman OK turns theirs into public art.

No irony here. Three British men cycling across the US installing ghost bikes and calling for an end to bicycling and running collisions were rear-ended by a pickup while riding through Missouri. Fortunately, they don’t seem to have been seriously injured; two have already been released from the hospital.

Caught on video: A University of Illinois cop reacts quickly and runs out into the street to stop a kid from riding in front of a bus. Despite the breathless headline, though, he doesn’t appear to risk his life; there isn’t any traffic other than the bus, which is on the other side of the street and never comes close to him. Unless the streets are so dangerous that just exiting your vehicle risks life and limb.

An Indiana writer explains why your hands get numb when you ride, and what to do about it.

New York police wrote 77,000 tickets for blocking bike lanes in the last fiscal year, even though they’re often the problem. Then again, they don’t seem to care about people driving on cycle tracks, either.

Richmond VA cyclists get a luxuriously wide buffered bike lane across a bridge, though getting on and off can still be a problem.

A North Carolina cyclist returns from riding the 750-mile Paris-Brest-Paris, and gets hit by a car twice in the same week. On the same road, no less.

Heartbreaking news from Charlotte NC, as a 73-year old man was killed riding his bike to the laundromat just months after ending years of homelessness following his service in the Gulf War; his bike was collateral damage in a collision between two vehicles.

 

International

A Taiwanese cyclist riding around the world made it over 3,100 miles before his bike was stolen in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Now that’s a great kid. After an 8-year old Ontario, Canada girl won a new bike, she gave it to another student because she already had one, saying she loved her bike and thought someone else would want one. She also recently donated her hair for cancer patients.

London’s bikeshare system is sampling the Blaze Laserlight that casts a laser image of a bike on the road ahead of the rider. Is it too much to ask for a laser light that measures out the three foot passing distance?

Nitrogen Dioxide kills 23,500 people in the UK every year, which means better bicycling infrastructure and increased ridership could save the lives of people who never set foot on pedal.

A British town wants to get rid of “arrogant and fast” bike riders who ignore traffic regulations and pose a threat to people walking.

A Brit letter writer says advanced stop lines for cyclists at intersections would be useless because most cyclists don’t stop anyway.

After a Scottish student goes on an extended 3 am Facebook rant when her bike was stolen, dozens of kindhearted people offer to replace it for her.

A Zambian bike rider killed a pedestrian while making a sharp left turn. Seriously, ride carefully around pedestrians, they’re the only ones more vulnerable on the streets than we are.

 

Finally…

Bad enough to be injured in a bicycling collision, let alone impaled in the groin by your handlebars. Motorists may complain about scofflaw cyclists, but scofflaw motorists, that’s just the way it is.

And maybe what drivers need are protected car lanes to make them feel safer.

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Still more thanks are in order, this time to Moore Rhys for his generous donation to support this site.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

Buses and bikes could save billions worldwide.

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

 

Hundreds turn out in Hollywood for Sunday’s Finish the Ride

Sometimes it’s better to let the pictures tell the story.

So here are a few images and random thoughts from the start of Sunday’s Finish the Ride.

Hundreds of people turned out to join the fight against hit-and-run.

Despite the early morning start, hundreds of people turned out in Hollywood to join the fight against the epidemic of hit-and-run.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers ran the 10k route in full uniform.

People of every description came together to ride, roll, walk or run; two LAPD officers even ran the 10k route in full uniform.

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: "You have a right to feel safe on the road."

State Assemblymember Richard Bloom: “You have a right to feel safe on the road.”

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman in the front row, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Nice to see new LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds and Executive Officer Bruce Gillman front row center, a sign that the city is finally taking hit-and-run seriously.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell: "Damien, you're changing the world."

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell: “Damien, you’re changing the world.”

Council members Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to create a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying the hit-and-run epidemic "is a huge moral problem."

Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Mitch Englander worked together to pass a standing reward program for hit-and-runs, saying hit-and-run “is a huge moral problem.”

Seleta Reynolds: "We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around."

LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds: “We should not accept hit-and-run as a natural consequence of just trying to get around.”

FTR Skaters

Surrounded by a sea of bikes, two women waited for their chance to skate the route.

Not all the participants were human. Because even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured or bleeding in the street is inhuman.

Not all the participants were human. Even a dog knows leaving someone lying injured and bleeding in the street — or worse — is inhuman.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and keeping the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

The ride marshals gathered before the start to discuss the routes and how to keep the participants safe on streets that were shared with cars.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt joins the assembled riders for the start of the 50-mile ride; it was only two years ago that he lost his leg in a horrific hit-and-run.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

Kevitt sets off to lead the ride, just as he has lead the fight against hit-and-run since recovering from his life-threatening injuries; the driver who fled the scene after dragging him onto a freeway onramp has never been found.

 

Weekend Links: Bicyclist voices heard in Griffith Park flap, but not in San Diego; Seattle driver doesn’t give a f***

They got the message, anyway.

The LA Weekly covers Thursday night’s meeting of the Griffith Park Advisory Board, which discussed the controversy over the ill-advised test project to turn Mount Hollywood Drive, which had previously been closed off to cars, into parking for tourists visiting the Hollywood Sign.

The predictable outcome was a promise to look into the matter, though it’s clear board members got the message from hikers, equestrians and bike riders that another solution has to be found. What, if anything, they’ll do about it after the project’s planned April 12th closing remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, an online petition asks the city to keep cars and trams off the road, but KTLA-5 says pity the poor tourists who just want to get a close-up view of the sign.

And CiclaValley offers video evidence of what all the fuss is about.

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Bike SD offers a report on Wednesday’s meeting to discuss planned bike lanes in the city’s Hillcrest neighborhood, where the Urban Planners group voted unanimously to protect parking spaces instead of human lives; the OB Rag says passionate pleas for safer streets fell on deaf ears.

Even though a new study shows complete streets not only result in improved safety for everyone, but also lead to increased sales, higher employment rates and greater property values.

But sure, keep fighting for those parking spaces while you chase potential new customers away.

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If, like me, you had to miss Thursday’s discussion between former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and our own LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds, you can watch it again for the first time. Thanks to Dennis Hindman for the link.

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Clearly, not all cyclists oppose the proposed law that would require all California cyclists to wear bike helmets, as well as reflective gear after dark. Even if Bike Snob calls anyone who supports a helmet law a traitor and a heretic.

A new temporary clear spray paint from Volvo could solve the reflective problem. Maybe if you just spray your head it will look like you have a helmet on, at least after dark.

……..

The Bike League is calling on you to contact your Senator to help preserve federal funding for biking and walking.

Meanwhile, over 120 organizations joined together to call for increased funding for active transportation in California.

………

A Seattle driver tells a bike rider she literally doesn’t give a fuck about anything he has to say after she parks in a supposedly parking-protected bike lane. And right next to a sign saying she can’t do it, no less.

Although, I think she meant figuratively, not literally, unless she was actually declining a free sexual encounter.

A writer for c|net asks if the rider, while right, might have been a tad sanctimonious.

See what you think.

………

More transportation clickbait, as Thrillist ranks the 10 best cities to get around without a car.

LA checks in at a surprising number nine, despite ranking lowest among the top 10 for bikeability, and second from the bottom for walkability.

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Local

A Los Angeles woman makes chandeliers out of used bike parts; her work can be seen at Sunset Plaza, as well as Neil Patrick Harris’ New York home, if he lets you in.

Big improvements are coming to North Broadway in DTLA.

A new Glendale greenway will connect three parks in the city via bike lanes and sharrows.

Join Metro, From Lot to Spot and CICLE on Saturday for the Hot SPOTS bike tour of formerly blighted lots that have been converted to urban green spaces.

 

State

A La Mesa cyclist was critically injured in a horrific wreck when he was hit by an armored car, which proceeded to run over him with both sets of tires.

A trio of Palm Springs thieves are arrested after apparently trading a possibly stolen bike for the SUV they’re accused of taking.

San Bernardino students get bikes for perfect attendance. If they’d done that when I was a kid, I might not have faked a fever so often.

A 32-year old bike rider becomes the year’s first, and hopefully last, traffic fatality in Salinas.

A Silicon Valley bicycling movement is powered by wine, women and chocolate. None of which my wife will let me have these days.

San Francisco police are once again accused of conducting a crappy investigation and unfairly blaming the victim of a bicycling fatality.

 

National

A new documentary examines the conflict between bikes and cars — or more precisely, the overdependence on the latter — including LA voices like Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Don Koeppel, founder of the Big Parade.

Smart move. To reduce costs and build better relations with the community, Albuquerque police plan to take officers off their inexpensive bikes and put them in expensive patrol cars, where they will be isolated from the public.

The Dallas Observer says a new bill to ban texting while driving will only give cops an excuse to pull drivers over; evidently, they expect people to stop texting behind the wheel on the honor system, which has clearly worked well so far.

A former Mad City mayor calls for a Wisconsin bike highway system.

A Pittsburgh bridge gets a road diet and bike lanes, even if a local carpenter calls them useless.

Showing a rare skill for making a bad situation worse, a Tampa Bay man faces a burglary charge for attempting to get his impounded bike back.

 

International

Welsh police needs at least four cops and a helicopter to arrest a wine drinking bike rider.

A new 700 space bike parking structure gives a whole new meaning to Stockholm syndrome; thanks to joninsocal for the heads-up.

A new documentary looks at Italian Jews who survived WWII and the goys gentiles who helped them, focusing on legendary cyclist Gino Bartali, who should be on a fast track to sainthood already.

A West Australia driver gets five years for killing a cyclist in a wreck he was too drunk to remember.

Thailand will build bike lanes leading to two international airports, while a 14 mile bike path circling another airport will get toilets, lights and security cameras provided by a local bank. We have a lot of banks in LA, right?

The mayor of Kuala Lumpur promises to build more bikeways if enough buildings turn their lights out for Earth Hour. So if they don’t, bike riders get screwed?

 

Finally…

A new women’s jersey is designed to carry your choice of concealed weapon while you ride. If you’re carrying three kilos of coke and heroin in the trunk of your car, don’t obscure the license plate with your bike rack.

And an Illinois town asks bike riders to please stop pooping on the bike path.

 

Morning Links: Automakers build in deadly distractions; CD15’s Buscaino multi-modals his way to work

It should come to no one’s surprise that a new study shows in-dash phone and computer systems are dangerously distracting to drivers (pdf).

And apparently, Apple’s Siri is the worst.

Automakers are rushing to keep drivers connected behind the wheel, from providing the turn-by-turn directions we’ve come to expect, to reading and dictating emails and text messages.

Never mind that, as the study above makes clear — and common sense suggests should been have readily apparent — the more distractions drivers face, the less aware they are of what is happening on the road around them. To the detriment of everyone with whom they share the road.

It’s bad enough we have to dodge texting drivers, without getting run down by a driver surfing for Chinese restaurants on the heads-up display.

The feds need to step in to prevent automakers from designing deadly distractions into the dashboards and center consoles of their cars.

Because vehicle manufacturers are clearly unable to resist the temptation themselves.

……..

Local

Streetsblog looks at plans for a new bike and pedestrian friendly Sixth Street Viaduct.

Caught on video: CD15 City Councilmember Joe Buscaino goes to work by bike, bus and train to discover what it’s like to be carless in LA. He’s turned out to be one of the most open-minded and supportive councilmembers when it comes to transportation alternatives, two-wheeled and otherwise.

An article reposted on City Watch examines new LADOT head Seleta Reynolds, who says LA is moving beyond auto-centrism. And that bikes are a big part of the solution.

 

State

Once again, a writer who just doesn’t get it calls for licensing cyclists and their bikes, and requiring riders to carry liability insurance. Never mind that most adult cyclists already have a drivers license and carry insurance through their auto policies, and that a license plate large enough to be easily read at a distance would be too large to fit on a bike.

Is it still hit-and-run if a drunk driver takes his victim with him? A San Francisco driver hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk and flees with his victim hanging out of the car’s sunroof, then attempts to cover up his drunken state by tossing booze out of the vehicle.

A woman is suing Sacramento for $3.5 million for allowing sidewalk riding after she’s hit by a cyclist while walking; thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.

 

National

A bike advocate says we should refocus on recreation, rather than biking to work, to get more people on bikes. How about if we just focus on making bike riding safer and more convenient for everyone, then let people decide for themselves how and where to ride?

The brother of fallen cyclocross champ Amy Dombroski is channeling his grief into creating more equity for female cyclists and empowering young women through cycling.

Seattle Bike Blog talks in depth with one of the countless survivors whose life has been dramatically changed by a collision with a driver who claimed she never saw him.

A Wyoming letter writer says yes, animal cruelty matters, but so do the lives of bicyclists.

A Chicago writer says bicyclists have rights too, even if some break the law. And no one notices the ones who don’t.

An Examiner writer says the unwarranted prosecution of Kentucky cyclist Cherokee Schill for riding — legally — in the traffic lane is bringing unwanted attention to a state with a backward reputation.

New York’s city council votes to lower the city’s default speed limit to 25 mph, something LA will need to address if it’s serious about the newfound commitment to Vision Zero.

 

International

Caught on video: The page may be in Spanish, but the message is clear, as a cyclist confronts a motorist for driving in the bike lane.

A Brit cyclist videos distracted drivers and turns them into the police. Meanwhile, a writer for the Telegraph says cycling vigilantes aren’t doing themselves any favors by capturing such videos of dangerous drivers, insisting that we’re more likely to break the law than motorists are.

UK police arrest a racist bike rider who assaulted a woman, verbally and otherwise. Jerk.

Authorities in the UK are also looking for rider who punched a woman in front of her children when she didn’t get out of his way. Ditto.

A Brit writer is heartbroken after giving up her favorite ride.

Looks like Formula One driver Fernando Alonso won’t be fielding a cycling team on the pro tour after all.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: If you drop your iPhone in traffic, let it go; or maybe, don’t ride like a maniac if you can’t see what’s in front of you. Streetsblog offers up a Neighborhood Council bike lane bingo card. And if you’re going to return a bike to the store, make sure you paid for it.

 

Morning Links: An open letter to the LA DA’s office; Streetsblog talks with LADOT head Seleta Reynolds

The fight for justice goes on.

Following up on DA Jackie Lacey’s non-response to the LACBC’s demand for justice in the Milt Olin case, cyclist Al Williams shares an email he sent to the DA’s office. And cites a similar case from Santa Clara County where the DA actually did give a damn.

Milt Olin was cycling in a designated, marked bike lane on a clear, sunny afternoon.

While it may be legal for a sheriff’s deputy to use his computer while driving, it is not legal for him to be inattentive while driving, which he most clearly was; and it is not legal for his car to enter a designated bike lane, as his car clearly did.

It is inconceivable to conclude that Andrew Wood was other than inattentive when he struck and killed Milt Olin on 8 Dec 2013.  Please correct this decision.  Please correct the finding of your office.  It is imperative that a message be sent that inattentiveness resulting in death will not be tolerated.

James Council, the Santa Clara County deputy sheriff who “fell asleep” while driving on duty, crossed the road, and killed Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson on March 9, 2008 was charged with vehicular manslaughter by the Santa Clara Count District Attorney, plead guilty and was convicted.  (http://abc7news.com/archive/6884991/)  The punishment was distressingly minor, but at least he was charged and convicted.  You should follow this precedent.  Failure to charge Deputy Wood is an outrage.

You can contact the DA’s office to express your own outrage any of the following ways, courtesy of the LACBC.

1. E-Mail :[email protected], bcc: [email protected]

2. Snail mail to:
District Attorney’s Office
County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000

Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210

3. Phone: (213) 974-3512

4. Twitter: @LADAoffice

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New Vuelta winner Alberto Contador rules out a trip to the world championships; Chris Froome finished second in the race.

Caught on video: A rider in the Tour of Britain loses it on a sharp curve and takes out several spectators.

Jeremy Powers and Katie effing Compton — no really, that’s her Twitter handle — capture the Boulder Cup cyclocross race.

……..

Local

The upstart LA Register says fat bikes are big business.

Two former USC students want to cover the world with free bicycles; profits come from ads on the bikes.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with new LADOT boss Seleta Reynolds; she may just be the world-class transportation leader LA has been begging for. And deserves.

 

State

The Orange County Register takes an in-depth look at the state’s new three-foot law, which goes into effect on Tuesday.

Seriously? A reader poll in the San Diego Union Tribune’s story on the three-foot law says bikes are bigger road hogs than cars. I kid you not.

Incensed motorists accuse San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow of being biased towards bicyclists; bike riders get their say the next day. Personally, I’ve always found the column fair and balanced in dealing with road issues. Then again, I’m one of the one’s he’s accused of favoring.

Hundreds of Marin County cyclists ride to remember fellow rider Robin Williams.

If you’re riding with a fake gun and police try to stop you for a traffic violation, don’t try to flee into an acquaintance’s home — especially if she has meth and hash inside. Oops.

 

National

Miss America contestants highlight their footwear; Miss Oregon gives a whole different meaning to bike shoes.

New York bicycling injuries drop despite an increase in ridership.

A Maryland writer is shocked by the irrational hatred directed towards cyclists by online commenters, saying riders just want to safely return to their loved ones.

A Virginia writer says the first step in solving traffic problems is treating bike riders and pedestrians as respected users of the public right-of-way.

 

International

An 18-year old UK cyclist is back to riding after technically dying four times — whatever that means — following a trackside heart attack.

After a frequently photographed bike is stolen from the Scottish barn it leaned against for at least four decades, a local photographer contributes a suitably rusty replacement.

Another look at Australia’s first hydrogen-powered bicycle.

 

Finally…

Biking to work can improve your romantic relationships — and your sex life. But you already knew that, right? An actual human cyclist pulls off a video game quality stunt; even I’m impressed.

And it seems like the entire world is in an uproar over the Columbia women’s cycling team’s highly unfortunate new uniforms; some with tongue apparently planted deep in cheek.

 

Morning Links: Welcome new LADOT GM, and German police ticket one-armed man for having just one brake

A round of applause for newly approved LADOT head Seleta Reynolds, following her confirmation by the full city council today.

Now, will she please get to work on getting bike lanes on Westwood, Lankershim and North Figueroa, as well as that long-promised Bicycle Friendly Street on 4th Street?

Pretty please?

……..

Local

This weekend’s LACBC Sunday Funday ride travels from City Hall to see Michael Parker’s The Unfinished.

Cyclists are gearing up for Wolfpack Hustle’s Civic Center Crit on July 12th.

A Santa Clarita cyclist say no other city can come close to their bike trail network. Meanwhile, a sixth suspect has been arrested in a string of armed robberies on those same bike paths.

 

State

Newport Beach unveils the city’s draft bicycle plan.

Huntington Beach police use Facebook to bust a thief caught on film stealing a bike.

A Marin woman swears she didn’t have anything to do with the theft of 130 bikes recently recovered by police.

 

National

Fox News ranks the five safest cities for cyclists. And is anyone shocked to learn Los Angeles is not on the list?

A new bike radar system promises to give you the speed and distance of vehicles approaching from the rear, while alerting drivers to your presence.

Oklahoma City will add 62 miles of new bike lanes, after installing 70 in 2012.

A Minnesota cyclist is killed by a cell phone-using driver while towing her children in a bike trailer; fortunately, the two girls were not seriously injured.

A New Orleans women’s bike collective will ride in protest of the dangers female riders face when traveling home alone at night, after several recent incidents.

 

International

A UK cyclist warns that bike trailers can be deadly to your dog.

A British rider is killed descending France’s famed Alpe D’Huez; oddly, the driver who hit him was a British tourist, as well.

A Fresno paper says this year’s Tour de France is controversial; no more than usual, really. Meanwhile, Colorado’s Peter Stetina hopes to help lead BMC’s Tejay van Garderen to victory.

And actually, this isn’t the first time women have competed in the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

German police apologize for ticketing a cyclist for only having one hand brake on his bike after realizing he only has one arm.

 

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