Tag Archive for Silver Lake

Morning Links: Fighting for the Rowena road diet, CiclaValley and Bike SGV honored, and reimagining Ventura Blvd

The fight goes on.

A group of Silver Lake residents have created a website to support the successful Rowena road diet in the face of continued opposition from some people who want it torn out, even though it has dramatically improved safety on the formerly dangerous street by cutting overall traffic injuries 22% and serious injuries and fatalities a whopping 75%.

The site includes a before and after analysis, safety research, and a page dispelling persistent myths about the road diet, including the false claim that installing bike lanes was the sole purpose for the reconfiguration.

They urge you to contact CD4 Councilmember David Ryu and tell him to keep Rowena the way it is, and sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of future action.

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Streetsblog officially announces the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

As expected, CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew won the award for Journalist/Writer of the Year, and Bike SGV won a well deserved award for Livable Streets Advocacy Group.

Other winners were

  • Elected Official of the Year: Tie between Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece-Harris Dawson and José Huizar
  • Civil Servant of the Year: Metro’s Phil Washington
  • Livable Streets-Friendly Business Award: Metro Bike’s Bicycle Transit Systems
  • Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy: Los Feliz Neighborhood Council president Luke Klipp

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If you live or ride in the Valley, don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to reimagine iconic Ventura Blvd. And hopefully make it safer and more inviting to bike riders, even if we got left out of the invitation.

And mark your calendar for the next Draft People for Bikes meetup at Burbank’s Pure Cycles on the 19th.

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A British para-cyclist champ calls the sudden announcement that the world championships will be held here in LA a joke; not because of the location, but because would-be competitors were given just seven weeks notice.

Good analysis from Cycling News, as they ask what, if anything, has been done to improve safety after pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed in a collision with a race moto last year.

Systematic doping is so endemic among Russian athletes that the leaders of 19 national anti-doping organizations say the country’s athletes should be banned from all international events.

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Local

LAist offers good advice for riding in the rain. I’ll add a little more: Most drivers can’t imagine anyone riding a bike in the rain, which means they won’t be looking for you. So be conspicuous in your lane positioning and at intersections. And use the best, brightest — and as many — lights as you can manage, and wrap them in plastic unless you know they’re waterproof.

Speaking of Mike Bonin, he earns the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA for the March 7th city council election in CD11.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is offering a $20 discount on annual memberships through this month.

SaMo’s Soft Pedalers will host a Black History Bike Ride on the 24th.

 

State

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is hosting their second annual Recovery Ride on the 29th, with routes around San Diego Bay ranging from 12 to 40 miles.

 

National

A new bike lock unveiled at the Las Vegas CES show combines traditional strength with an anti-theft motion detector and the ability to lock and unlock using an app on your phone.

Steamboat CO cyclists say it’s too early to judge the success of the ski resort town’s mountain biking trails, despite a survey showing summer bike tourism has declined over the last two years.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a driver walks with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist competing in an amateur time trial, despite attempting an unsafe pass and violating the state’s three-foot passing law; the victim was blamed for an alleged suicide swerve.

Must be nice. Iowa’s governor calls for better protections for cyclists and stiffer penalties for distracted and impaired drivers. Most California bicyclists have given up on ever hearing something like that from Jerry Brown.

Despite rising numbers of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers want to repeal the state’s hands-free cellphone law in the name of liberty. So why not just pass a law giving people the personal freedom to drive drunk, stoned or blindfolded? The same principle applies.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says as long as security for Donald Trump’s 5th Avenue apartment threatens to make the street a traffic nightmare, they should turn the street into a pedestrian plaza like Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare will test out laser lights that project the image of a bicycle 20 feet in front of the rider in an effort to improve safety.

The governor of New York announces plans to fill in the gaps between existing pathways to create a 750-mile biking and hiking trail through the state in just three years. Notice that no one has proposed anything like that here in California, despite an ideal climate for year-round riding. Present wet weather excepted.

A South Carolina man finds and restores the 55-year old bicycle his brother got for Christmas in 1961, and gives it to him again.

New Orleans breaks ground on a new bike and pedestrian path that will connect two existing paths to create a four-mile trail through beautiful oaks, cypress trees and lagoons.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains why cyclists ride side-by-side.

Britain’s transportation secretary says he didn’t give anyone his contact information after dooring a bicyclist because no one asked. No, seriously.

A Member of Britain’s Parliament confuses the solution with the problem, questioning whether the loss of blacktop for bike lanes is causing London’s traffic congestion. If he really wants to see congestion, try putting all those bike commuters back into motor vehicles.

Yes, you can ride your bike from London to Paris without dealing with traffic. Although it might get a tad damp if you miss the ferry.

Italy’s Pinarello unveils its new high-end Dogma 10 racing bike, even as it’s already facing the threat of a lawsuit.

Singapore’s transport minister tells parliament that bicycles and personal mobility devices are an essential part of the country’s efforts to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

Nothing like being injured in a crash directly outside a hospital — then taken to another one instead. Thank goodness you still have the freedom to shoot a whale from a moving bike or car in landlocked Tennessee.

And there are worse things than LA drivers, like trying to free a fat bike from an electric fence.

Morning Links: New website seeks to undo Rowena road diet, and more news about kindhearted people

The new Safe Streets for Silver Lake website calls for removal of the Rowena road diet. Even though it has cut injury collisions by half since it was installed, and brought average speeds down to the speed limit.

Which, sadly, is a rarity in Los Angeles.

The site blames the road diet for creating cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, However, that same video could have been shot on virtually any other street in LA, especially now that Waze directs drivers onto backstreets they might never have discovered otherwise, let alone driven.

And while cyclists have a reputation for blowing through stop signs, deserved or otherwise, most drivers do little more than genuflect in their general direction.

If that.

The solution isn’t to rip out proven safety measures. The answer is better traffic calming to slow drivers down and make it less convenient to cut through neighborhoods, along with better enforcement.

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is hosting town hall meeting to discuss the matter next Monday at the Ivanhoe Elementary School auditorium.

There will be plenty of voices calling for an end to the road diet. Let hope there are others to urge a more rational approach.

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More good news about kindhearted people this week.

After someone stole the therapy bike an autistic Long Beach boy used to ride with his parents, a Huntington Beach volleyball team pitched in to buy him a new one.

And an Idaho boy with cerebral palsy gave away the $4,300 bike he’d outgrown to a special needs girl who couldn’t afford one. And he donated his hair to Locks of Love. Just a reminder that no matter what problems you face in your own life, there’s always someone who could use your help.

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Cycling officials check bikes for signs of motor doping at the Vuelta, in response to a video showing a Movistar mechanic trying to hide a broken bike.

Tour de France winner Chris Froome will miss the worlds with a broken foot suffered in the Vuelta.

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Local

Great analysis of why there are so many dangerous intersections around USC, and what can be done to improve the situation. Thanks to Ikawe for the heads-up.

WeHoVille profiles the city’s young feminist mayor, who worked to improve bicycling in her first term on the city council.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is looking for a part-time wrench.

A Redondo Beach man is building custom beach bikes complete with a steering wheel instead of handlebars.

The monthly Spoke(n) Art ride rolls this Saturday. Which just happens to be the eighth anniversary of the infamous beachfront bee incident.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority is holding a roundtable meeting on Thursday on how to improve bicycling in the County’s foothill communities.

Specialized apologizes for the lack of road etiquette displayed by their employees on their lunch ride through Morgan Hill.

There’s something seriously wrong when fire officials would rather keep a street dangerous than improve safety, as they’re doing in Menlo Park.

The East Bay Express says Oakland is still stuck in the 20th Century when it comes to the city’s longstanding love affair with cars.

Just Another Cyclist says the supposedly non-violent bike rider arrested for bashing a car with his U-lock is the perfect stereotype for the Critical Mass cyclist gone amuck.

Sacramento officials debate where sidewalk cycling should be banned.

A Yuba City driver basically confesses to not paying attention after running down a bike rider he’d spotted some distance away.

 

National

A new taillight from Garmin detects the presence of cars coming from behind and flashes faster as they get closer; an optional head unit warns you of relative risk as cars approach. Although its $200 – $300 price tag will put it out of the reach of many riders.

The US Department of Transportation studies how to improve safety for cyclists in Seattle’s seaport area, concluding bikes and pedestrians should be separated from traffic whenever possible, and that signage and infrastructure should be improved to increase predictability.

An Ohio woman plans to bike to Corpus Christi TX to see her four-year old daughter. Maybe she should sign up for Ohio Valley AAA bicycle service before she goes. Ignore the damn zip code window and scroll down to the benefits; thanks to Steve Herbert for the link.

Someone finally said it. A Texas writer says there’s nothing cute about a college student driving a toy Barbie car to class after she was busted for DUI. Drunk driving is no accident, and it’s not a laughing matter. Period.

A Louisiana driver gets three years for the DUI death of a bike rider; the victim’s wife has forgiven him, saying her husband was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Although that might not have mattered if the driver had been sober.

A Memphis bicyclist is in critical condition after he was right hooked, but not hit, by a driver. Just because the car didn’t actually make contact doesn’t mean the driver didn’t cause his injuries.

Four cyclists have died on Vermont roads in the last six months; before this April, no bike rider had killed in the state since 2010.

A New York bike messenger faces a manslaughter charge after fighting with a building tenant; he rode off even though the man was clutching his chest and died of a heart attack.

Now that’s more like it. The Baltimore Episcopal bishop who fled the scene after a drunken collision that killed a bike rider accepts a plea bargain that will keep her behind bars for the next 10 years.

 

International

The mayor of car-crazed Caracas, Venezuela is attempting to carve out a little space for cyclists. Although the first attempt is just a short, three mile bike path that bypasses areas where most people live, and crosses a park that closes at 5 pm.

A new separated bike lane in Calgary is getting rave reviews from cyclists.

Britain’s Near Miss Project shows that bicycling must get safer, since commuter cyclists in the country have up to 60 “very scary” incidents a year. Especially since British cities of the future will be teeming with bicycles.

Someone sabotaged a Scottish bike ride by scattering nails and tacks on the roadway; at least 50 riders suffered flats. That sort of thing is not just a prank, and could result in serious injuries if riders lost control when their tires went flat.

A Swiss driver faces a voluntary homicide charge for the death of a cyclist, in addition to being charged with DUI and hit-and-run.

Sadly, the bicycle a Turkish soldier sent home to his son arrived the same day his family learned he’d been killed in a bombing.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to get busted for a series of burglaries, try not to get caught riding a bike belonging to the judge scheduled to arraign you. It’s a sure sign you don’t ride enough when nature tries to reclaim your bike.

And screw the health benefits; a Rhode Island doctor says older men shouldn’t ride their bikes fast because they’re annoying.

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Speaking of kindhearted people, let me offer a special thanks to James Lyle, Robs Muir, Harvey Woien, Bryan Jones, Margaret W, Glen Schmuetz, and Mark Jones for opening their hearts and wallets to help support this site. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

And I’ll repeat what I said yesterday. If everyone who visits here today donated just $10, it would fund the operation of this site for a full year.

 

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan battle isn’t over yet, new ARTCRANK website, and rear-end wrecks are most deadly

We may have won the battle, but the war is far from over.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the bikelash is spreading to some neighborhood councils, particularly in Silver Lake, which voted to reconsider its support for the new Mobility Plan 2035.

That same bikelash could also be reflected in the Silver Lake NC’s decision to hold a public meeting to discuss the Rowena Avenue road diet on Monday the 12th.

Rowena was the subject of a recent story in the LA Times, which showed it had significantly improved safety by cutting crashes over 50%. However, some people complained about increased congestion on the street and the surrounding neighborhood, even though average speeds were still equal to the posted speed limit or higher, depending on direction of travel.

That’s in addition to defending the Mobility Plan against motions by Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Curren Price to remove planned bikeways on Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the plan. Let alone anti-bike Gil Cedillo’s scorched-earth motion to remove his entire council district from it.

Apparently, he never got over not getting that shiny red Schwinn he wanted from Santa.

Newton says those motions will most likely rear their ugly heads in committee sometime next month. When they do, we’ll have to be prepared for all out war to save the Mobility Plan from piecemeal destruction.

Because if opponents see it’s possible to remove one street from the plan, we’ll end up having to defend nearly every street in it. And it will go from a unified, well-thought out network designed to improve safety and mobility for everyone, to the same fractured system of unconnected bike lanes and virtually unrideable routes we have now.

Clearly, the recent passage of the plan doesn’t mean the fight is over. We still face a lot of battles to defend it before any paint hits the street.

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Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

I’ve long been a fan of the annual ARTCRANK poster exhibitions, offering local artists a chance to sell their limited edition bike-related designs to fellow fans of two-wheeled travel.

But if you missed the show, as I did the last few times it came around, you were out of luck.

But now they’ve — finally — developed a website, allowing you to order original bike art from the comfort of your own home or office, whenever the mood strikes.

As the press release says,

The new online store will be structured similar to ARTCRANK’s live shows, offering 30 different poster designs by 30 different artists in limited edition runs of — you guessed it — 30 prints, all priced at $45. Posters will be sold on the site for 30 days or until they sell out, whichever comes first.

The biggest difference is that, where ARTCRANK’s events feature local artists exclusively, the new online poster shop will feature artists from all over the U.S. and beyond. And of course, buying posters won’t require being physically present at one-night pop-up show.

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Evidently, rear-end collisions are more dangerous than we’ve been lead to believe.

Research from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety shows 45% of bicycling fatalities were hit from behind, while 22% were the result of side impacts at intersections.

The report adds that currently existing technology could be modified to enable car anti-collision systems to identify cyclists and help prevent wrecks with bike riders.

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Dutch rider Danny van Poppel took stage 12 of the Vuelta in a sprint finish.

Turns out Tour de France champ Chris Froome had a good reason for cracking in Wednesday’s stage, as he withdrew Thursday with a broken foot. And American Larry Warbasse isn’t just looking for a stage victory in the Vuelta, he’s looking for a riding contract for next year.

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Local

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear says LA’s coming bikeshare program could end up being a leader by incorporating it into Metro’s transit system, as well as LA’s city bureaucracy.

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the documentary Bikes Vs Cars, which focuses in part on riding in LA.

The Spoke Bicycle Café located along the LA River bike path in Frogtown plans to add a full service restaurant, complete with coffee roaster and microbrewery. Go ahead and load up on coffee before you ride, but save the beer for the end.

Cynergy Cycles shares a favorite ride from Santa Monica to the Palos Verdes switchbacks.

A $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor has helped supply Glendale bike cops with twelve new police bikes.

 

State

Evidently, Santa Ana has never heard of a road diet, as the city approves an environmental impact statement for a roadway widening that will require the demolition of 37 residential and 15 commercial properties in order to install bike lanes and a third traffic lane in each direction.

An Encinitas man plans to walk a 10k this weekend, just nine months after he was critically injured in a bicycling collision.

A Fresno boy somehow jumped off his bike moments before it was crushed under a packed school bus.

Bicyclists offer their recommendations for the best bike rides in San Joaquin County.

A candidate for San Francisco supervisor says he supports bike lanes on Polk Street, despite consulting with the group suing to prevent them.

A San Francisco writer offers what he calls an honest guide to startup life in the city, which includes this misguided paragraph:

Those with a death wish cycle to work. It is easy to spot a cyclist. If you see a guy with one side of his jeans rolled up to the shin, he is a moron; if you see a guy on a bicycle, he is a cyclist.

 

National

The editorial editor of a Milwaukee paper says bike safety is a shared responsibility.

This could be a glimpse into LA’s future, as Minneapolis invests heavily in protected bikeways.

Bono says his chances of playing guitar again aren’t looking good following last year’s solo bike wreck in New York’s Central Park.

A Virginia bike rider receives a $300,000 jury award after colliding with a runner who turned around without warning on a shared path. I try to avoid similar situations by passing others with as much space as possible on shared paths, and always calling it out before I pass. Although if they’re wearing ear buds, chances are they won’t hear you anyway.

 

International

A British Columbia bike rider somehow survives a collision with a semi-truck when he grabs the truck’s brake line and holds on for dear life — literally.

The widow of a fallen cyclist calls for more dedicated bike lanes in London.

A writer gives a different perspective on what it’s like to be a female cyclist in London, saying the city is your oyster. Unless you’re allergic to shellfish, of course, or Vegan, in which case it’s your semi-firm tofu.

A British man thanks a recent fall from his bike for uncovering an aggressive malignant tumor that could have killed him.

A woman plans to ride solo across India to raise awareness for women’s safety; she’s raising funds on Indiegogo to pay for the trip.

 

Finally…

A news smartphone app not only reports any potholes you hit, it marks the offending pavement with paint to alert other riders. That new derailleur you’re lusting after is electric, so why not your sunglasses?

And there’s still a place for bike messengers in today’s e-world. As long as you’re willing to move to Jakarta.

 

Breaking news — cyclist fatally shot in Silver Lake Sunday Night

It’s happened again.

According to the Beverly Hills Courier, a man was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Silver Lake area around 9:15 Sunday night; The Eastsider LA puts the time at 9:30 pm.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of Hoover Street and Del Mar Avenue, when the rider was bumped and knocked to the ground by a car, then shot by one or more people in the vehicle.

The rider has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin; the only description currently available put him at 25 to 30 years old.

The LAPD is reportedly investigating the killing as a gang-related attack, even though the description makes it sound more like a road rage incident. If the plan was to kill a cyclist, it would seem to have been just as easy, if not easier, to shoot him without knocking him down first.

Then again, if the killers had just thought it out, they would have hit him a little harder with the car, told the police they just didn’t see him, and walked away with a slap on the wrist instead of a pending murder charge.

Breaking news — cyclist fatally shot in Silver Lake Sunday Night

It’s happened again.

According to the Beverly Hills Courier, a man was shot and killed while riding his bike in the Silver Lake area around 9:15 Sunday night; The Eastsider LA puts the time at 9:30 pm.

The shooting occurred near the intersection of Hoover Street and Del Mar Avenue, when the rider was bumped and knocked to the ground by a car, then shot by one or more people in the vehicle.

The rider has not been publicly identified pending notification of next of kin; the only description currently available put him at 25 to 30 years old.

The LAPD is reportedly investigating the killing as a gang-related attack, even though the description makes it sound more like a road rage incident. If the plan was to kill a cyclist, it would seem to have been just as easy, if not easier, to shoot him without knocking him down first.

Then again, if the killers had just thought it out, they would have hit him a little harder with the car, told the police they just didn’t see him, and walked away with a slap on the wrist instead of a pending murder charge.

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