Tag Archive for Spring Street

Morning Links: Biking to fight climate change crisis, how to bike Spring Street, and a musical view of CicLAvia

A new report warns that the Earth only has another eleven years to reverse climate change before suffering irreversible and catastrophic damage.

Not surprisingly, bicycling and walking more were among the mitigating tactics the researchers recommended to help fight climate change and keep the planet habitable.

Then again, that news is nothing new.

Although it may come as a shock to some members of the LA city council, where self-proclaimed environmentalists continue to block bike lanes and keep Angelenos dependent on their cars, despite acknowledging a climate emergency.

Maybe now they’ll finally get the message. And actually do something about it.

Though something tells me we may all turn blue from waiting.

Unless we die first from the effects of all those cars idling in traffic.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s takeaway from that climate change report is that we need to all switch to solar powered e-cars.

It’s almost like he has a stake in it or something.

Thanks to Jason Islas for the Musk heads-up.

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LADOT has advice for bike riders on how to use the new left hand, parking protected bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA.

Now if they could just come up with advice for drivers on how to avoid parking in it.

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LA County serves up a great video recap weaving a musical tapestry from last month’s Celebrate LA! CicLAvia.

Thanks to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas for the link.

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Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss continues his ascent to being one of the country’s leading bike advocates, this time taking on the self-described “avid cyclists” who stand in the way of bike safety.

Sort of like the Kiwi driver and self-described cyclist who got upset when he had to follow two chatting bike riders, calling them entitled, rude and careless for delaying him for a whole 21 seconds.

Meanwhile, a bike advocate respond to his video by saying “Revving your engine, overtaking on a blind corner, and yelling at people on bikes is a dick move.”

Something tells me Weiss would agree.

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Anyone have more information about this crash near Santa Monica Airport? That totally trashed bicycle doesn’t look good.

However, there’s nothing in the news about it. And usually, no news is good news.

Update: I saw the following email from Benjamin S after I posted this last night. 

Meanwhile, a comment below says it took police 12 hours to clear the crash scene, and that forensics was called to investigate, which is never a good sign. 

Let’s all take a moment to offer a prayer or good thoughts for the victim of this crash, and hope for the best.

Update 2: According to Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole, the victim was “severely, but not critically injured.” 

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Pro cyclist Ted King was on the receiving end of a punishment pass from a road raging driver.

Twitter user RS recognizes the location as Petaluma Road in Point Reyes.

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Nothing like endangering a kid in a baby carriage with an ill-advised pass.

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Today’s common theme is ebikes.

Lifehacker considers whether you should buy an ebike. Unfortunately, the first — and often, last — consideration for many people is whether they can actually afford it.

The New York Times questions whether ebikes are about to take over the city, now that Gotham has eased restrictions on ped-assist bikes.

Business Times argues that ebikes can make you fitter than a regular bike. Which is probably true if the regular bike stays in your garage.

And Wired examines how dockless bikeshare provider Jump designed a global ebike capable of serving the most people, in the most urban environments.

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Local

A ghost bike will be placed tonight for the victim of Sunday’s bike crash in Sun Valley.

 

State

The Challenged Athlete’s Foundation is hosting a 600-mile Million Dollar Challenge ride down the left coast from Monterey to San Diego next week.

The Orange County Bike Bells program to distribute bike bells to mountain bikers was honored with a Savvy Award for the best use of a promotional item from the national City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA).

A separated Class 1 bike path in Goleta has won the Bikeways and Trails Project of the Year Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Now this Oakland bikeway is what a protected bike lane — and a Complete Street — should look like.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer’s Levi’s GranFondo drew over 4,000 bicyclists to Sonoma County over the weekend.

Sacramento approved a change to the city’s food vending vehicles code to legalize food bikes, at the urging of a couple who found out their fresh Stroopwafel bike violated the city codes.

 

National

The author of the “safety in numbers” theory says that tiny vehicles, such as e-scooters, could be the best thing to happen to Vision Zero.

Bike Index talks with the owner of the 5,000th stolen bicycle recovered through the free bike registry.

Bicycling profiles what they call cycling’s cutest rider, a three-pound Schnoodle named Pippa.

It’s neighbor against neighbor on the streets of Denver, where residents are split on a series of mini traffic circles installed as part of a neighborhood bikeway giving priority to non-motorized users.

Cycling tackles one of Colorado’s most iconic passes.

A Colorado bike tour has left a trail of bounced checks and broken promises in its wake, including stiffing a high school marching band.

If drivers can’t even manage to avoid dooring the new Milwaukee street car, how the hell are they supposed to see us?

In a problem DTLA bike riders can relate to, a Chicago TV station reports that bike riders are being endangered by having to swerve around cars and buses parked in a bike lane.

Maine is trying to boost bike tourism by plotting a 320-mile extension to US Bike Route 1 through the northern part of the state.

New York is building a 750-mile escape route, uh, bike trail to Canada.

WaPo discovers ‘bents, saying today’s adult tricycles are low, sleek, speeding and growing in popularity.

 

International

In Vancouver, dooring isn’t considered a crash, because the car isn’t moving and bikes aren’t considered vehicles. And the fine is just $81.

Life is cheap in Manitoba, Canada, where an allegedly drunk hit-and-run driver got just two years for killing a bike riding father; he also lost his license for five years, but the court cut that in half to credit him with the time since the 2016 crash.

A candidate for the Windsor, Ontario city council is taking Bike the Vote seriously by doing his campaigning by bicycle.

A “radical” new proposal would pedestrianize half of the streets in London’s historic core, banning cars and trucks while lowering speed limits to just 15 mph.

A reporter follows BBC presenter Jeremy Vines as he rides his bike from his TV gig to his radio studio, and quotes Vines saying riding a bike is quicker than a Maserati in London.

Safety first. A British bike rider dressed all in black, including a balaclava, to murder a man in a bike-by shooting — but wore a hi-viz jacket over it. One paper suggests it could be an effort to hide in plain sight.

No surprise here. A new study from a British insurance company shows that bike riders make better drivers; bike riding drivers filed claims at less than half the rate of other motorists.

A UK city is posting “Share with Care” signs to remind bike riders and pedestrians to safely share formerly pedestrian streets that were recently opened to people on bicycles.

Police in a British city are stopping bicyclists for using a cellphone when they ride. Only problem is, that’s not illegal.

A Scottish woman is on track to shatter the record for the fastest women’s ride around the world.

Bicycling is booming in Russia, despite market conditions that limit the importation of better quality bikes.

International diplomats climb on their bikes to fight climate change in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Foreign workers in Dubai can’t get to their jobs after their bicycles were confiscated for violating the emirate’s law mandating bike helmets and hi-viz.

Kiwi bike riders say they’re sick of the anti-cyclist vitriol on social media.

The Korea Times takes a look back at the country’s first women bike riders, even though many of the first women’s bikes were ridden by men wearing traditional skirts.

Tragic news from Japan, where an 88-year old woman is in a coma after being knocked down by a 13-year old boy on a bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

An admittedly flawed Irish study shows a worrying increase in spinal injuries among competitive cyclists.

A writer for Outside says America’s most recent ex-Tour de France winner is seeking forgiveness by starting a new cycling team.

A new Chinese cycling team with a massive budget sets out to win the Tour de France by 2025.

 

Finally…

A cuter, fluffier way to sniff out dope cheats. Why change tires when you can just zip on a new tread?

And apparently, there’s nothing scarier than bike-riding teenagers in clown masks.

 

Morning Links: LA backslides on Spring Street bridge bike lanes, and NY crash shows why blocked bike lanes matter

Once again, the City of Angels is backsliding on commitments to build the bike lanes called for in the mobility plan.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, the Spring Street bridge was widened and rebuilt for the express purpose of installing bike lanes and improving sidewalks.

But now that the $50 million project is finished, the long-promised bike lanes aren’t there.

Instead, there’s a stripped-off area where the bike lanes would normally be, nominally directing riders into the traffic lane, where most riders would have to struggle uphill in front of speeding traffic.

The question of what happened to the missing lanes appears to come in the next to last sentence, where Linton mentions that the councilmember representing the project is our old bike-hating friend, Gil Cedillo.

Yes, the same Cedillo who has singlehandedly halted the much-needed, shovel-ready lane reduction on North Figueroa. As well as cancelling the planned Complete Streets project on Temple Street, in conjunction with neighboring Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who should know better.

It was also Cedillo who attempted to remove all the bike lanes in his district from the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, he’s just kept them from getting built.

Photo by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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If you’ve ever had someone tell you that blocking a bike lane in no big deal, this is why it matters.

A 23-year old Australian tourist was killed when an livery cab driver swerved into the New York bike lane she was riding in, forcing her out into traffic where she was hit by a dump truck.

It probably didn’t help any that the driver had been drinking.

The New York Times quoted the city’s mayor about the crash —

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who oversaw the creation of more than 66 miles of bike lanes last year under his Vision Zero plan, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities, visited the scene on Friday and said he was disgusted by what happened.

“This is another example, from my point of view, of the danger of reckless driving, and we’re going to make sure there’s a full investigation and we’re going to make sure that there are real consequences for anything that happened here that was illegal,” he added. “A 23-year-old, that’s very painful.”

Yet that same Mayor de Blasio has repeatedly said that he doesn’t think drivers should be ticketed for blocking bike lanes. And has done it himself more than once.

Maybe he’ll want to rethink that now.

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So-called experts insist bike riders have to wear hi-viz to make sure drivers see us.

On the other hand, 15 people riding side-by-side in the middle lane of a highway should be pretty damn easy to spot. Yet somehow, an Edmonton, Canada driver couldn’t manage that, either, injuring five riders after plowing into them from behind.

Meanwhile, the president of the bike club says don’t blame the victims, because the law requiring cyclists to ride single file doesn’t make sense.

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A new law proposed by the British government could mean that bike riders who kill a pedestrian or other riders could face up to 14 years behind bars.

The bill, which would create the crime of causing death by dangerous cycling, comes in response to the death of a woman earlier this year, when authorities struggled to find a crime to charge the reckless rider with.

On the other hand, it didn’t help when the country’s Conservative Party tweeted that the law would protect the “most vulnerable road users” from dangerous cyclists.

As if bike riders aren’t vulnerable road users themselves.

Or that 445 of the 448 pedestrians killed in the country in 2016 were killed by people in the big, dangerous machines, not the people on two wheels.

Needless to say, bicyclists were not pleased.

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Opponents of bike lanes will inevitably claim that they only benefit fit, able-bodied young people who can ride a bicycle.

Nothing is further from the truth. Especially given the popularity of ebikes, which virtually anyone can ride.

Case in point, Yusuf Çelebi, the head of the department for the disabled in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, who had this to say on the subject —

“The disabled also need bicycles, just like everybody else. They’re ideal for avoiding traffic jams and getting exercise,” Çelebi said.

“I ride my bike to show that we stand together with the disabled, not only in the home or office, but in every field.”

 

Its also worth mentioning that the bike he rides is a tandem, which his official driver uses to steer around the city’s traffic problems, since Çelebi is blind.

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Local

That study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu to reconsider the Rowena Ave road diet has finally been released. And as expected, three of the four options involved removing all or part of the bike lanes. Which is not surprising, since that seems to have been the whole point all along.

Lime says LA’s proposed 12 mph speed cap for e-scooters could increase the risk for users, noting that the slower speed could disrupt the flow of traffic in bike lanes. However, at 15 to 20 mph, they vastly overestimate the speed of an average bicyclist, who is more likely to travel at a relatively sedate 10 to 12 mph.

LA-based nonprofit Bikes4Orphans has just delivered four bicycles to an Indian orphanage; the group, which was founded by a high school student, uses bikes to help children get an education and lift themselves out of poverty.

The Long Beach Post looks at adventurous ways to escape the city by bike or on foot.

 

State

At least one person was critically injured when an out-of-control San Clemente pickup driver slammed into a light post, jumped the center divider and smashed into a pedestrian and a pair of bike riders before crashing into four parked cars. Police say it’s unclear if drugs or alcohol played a role, but it’s a safe bet excessive speed did.

A retired Alameda County sheriff’s deputy has finished a 68-day ride across the US to honor his partner, who was killed in a shooting in 1998.

An employee-owned San Francisco bike shop was cleaned out by burglars last week, losing 21 bicycles worth $60,000 as the thieves took every bike in the shop.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is demanding changes after a rash of bicycling deaths in recent weeks.

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a bike lane under construction in Seattle with fireworks; a group fighting the lanes denies doing it. Which doesn’t mean their supporters didn’t.

A South Dakota TV station says bike shops and riders could be in the bullseye for Trump’s next round of tariffs, with a proposed 10% increase on most bicycles, parts and accessories, to go along with a 25% tariff on ebikes that just went into effect.

When technology put an end to his bike courier business, a Minneapolis man switched gears to open a bike food delivery service.

Even the recent death of a bike rider doesn’t seem to be enough to get a protected bike lane built on the South Side of Chicago.

A Chicago woman decides not to report a crash to police, after the driver who crashed into her bike begged not to have her deported — which means she can’t collect payment for her injuries. A GoFundMe page has raised nearly $6,000 of the $10,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses.

A writer for Streetsblog captures New York pedestrians running in fear, cyclists blocked, and drivers fuming as they try to funnel into a too-small street near the Holland Tunnel.

This is who we share the streets with. A cab driver is accused of biting another driver in an ongoing Battle Royale that raged down a New York street

Streetsblog looks towards the death of a North Carolina man as a prime example of how lazy reporting obscures the dangers on our streets; the 80-year old victim was accused of running in front of oncoming traffic, and not wearing reflective clothing even though the crash occurred in daylight. Too many news outlets simply retype whatever the police say without question, regardless of whether it makes any sense.

 

International

A psychologist offers advice on how to overcome the fear of getting back on your bike after a crash.

In a bizarre Catch-22, a ban on cars in a Toronto Park is in jeopardy after it made the park more dangerous because too many drivers ignored the ban and drove there anyway.

Road signs intended to slow Toronto drivers down have been removed because they actually worked.

Caught on video: Three thousand young bike riders take over the streets of London to call for an end to knife crime.

A new app confirms that bicycling is the fastest way to get around London.

London’s Metro newspaper vows to be more careful when tweeting from now on, after initially blaming a bike rider who was nearly run over by the driver of a large truck in the British equivalent of a right hook.

A British driver was severely beaten following a dispute with two men on bicycles. No matter what started it, violence is never the answer. The riders can, and should, be prosecuted for the attack.

Edinburgh will celebrate Scotland’s first open streets events, making select streets carfree on the first Sunday of every month.

Five ways to find a bike on your next trip to the Netherlands.

They get it. A Ghanian website asks how safe is it to ride a bike in the country, while saying drivers should direct their anger at the authorities who failed to consider bicycles when designing roadways.

Speaking of the war on bikes, the Australian press has finally discovered the death threats and hate comments and emails that bike riders receive.

Evidently, foreign tourists aren’t any safer in Australia than they are in New York, as a Dutch tourist was killed by a car thief making his getaway as she rode her bike on a busy street; police are looking for the killer, who ran away after crashing into a pair of parked cars, saying he may have been on drugs.

A Malaysian letter writer says something must be done to stop the “mat lajak menace,” groups of reckless teen bicyclists who take over highways to perform stunts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Lars Ullrich continues his recent meltdown, as he was sent to a psychiatric facility after attacking a prostitute in his Berlin hotel room; he suffered a panic attack after he was released following his arrest for investigation for attempted manslaughter. That comes a week after he was arrested for fighting with a neighbor in Mallorca, Spain.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine talks with former world champion Johan Museeuw about his three Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders wins, his comeback from a shattered kneecap that nearly cost him his leg, and confessing to doping after he retired.

Former US mountain bike champ Sepp Kuss dominated last week’s Tour of Utah; the 23-year old rider finished second last year in the same race last year in just his second year as a pro road cyclist.

 

Finally…

Nothing like catching your mountain bike faceplant on your bike cam. Why push yourself on your bike when you can just shvitz your way to better health?

And this is how you define a Dad of the Year candidate.

 

Save the endangered San Pedro and Spring Street bike lanes; hit-and-runs involving bicyclists up in L.A.

I’m a little battered and bruised tonight.

Riding home from another wildly successful River Ride, I hit an open 8-inch mini-manhole cover somewhere along the transition from Silver Lake to Beverly Blvd. I somehow managed to stay upright, although how I have no idea, finding myself momentarily riding a wobbling and fully ballistic bike veering dangerously towards both the curb and the asphalt.

Falling down there would have meant going down hard and in front of traffic. It would have also meant my second fall of the day, as I misjudged a steep hill on my way there in the morning, and couldn’t clip out from pedals in time after a bad shift.

Which would have made it just my second fall in the past several years, as well.

Even so, I ended up with cuts and bruises where my legs smacked the frame. And everything from butt up feels like I was hit by a Mack truck.

Yes, everything.

Enough said.

Just a reminder that something most drivers wouldn’t even notice can be dangerous if you’re on a bike.

Even if you don’t hit the street.

So with that, let’s catch up on the news we missed as I tried to sleep off my bumps and bruises yesterday.

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Bad news from Redondo Beach, as a 48-year old triathlete Michael Giardano collapsed and died after the swimming leg of the Redondo Beach Triathlon. My condolences to all his loved ones.

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Buscaino FlyerIf you’re anywhere near San Pedro tonight, try to make it to the 6 pm meeting with Councilmember Joe Buscaino to defend the recent road diets and bike lanes in the area.

As we’ve discussed before, the primary complaints center on the road diet installed on Westmont Drive, which reportedly results in traffic congestion just 20 minutes each morning and afternoon as parents pick their children up at the local school.

Yet the bike lanes those parents complain about exist primarily to tame traffic and improve safety around that very school. Which means that instead of demanding that they be removed, parents should be thanking city officials for taking tangible steps to protect their children.

The mantra for this meeting should be it’s not about bicyclists, it’s about the safety of your children. And if local residents somehow think the convenience of a few drivers is more important that, something is seriously wrong in San Pedro.

With school ending for the year, they’ve got all summer to find a solution that works for everyone. And returning to the previous status quo ain’t it.

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Remember that vivid green paint that lasted about a week on Spring Street, which Hollywood location scouts claimed was impossible to avoid filming or remove in post-production and was used nowhere else in the known universe?

Yeah, right.

Mark your calendar for a Battle Royale this Friday when the issue comes before the full City Council. Every bike rider who can make it should be at City Hall at 10 am Friday to refute the lies and demand that the safety of our citizens should take precedence over the convenience of filmmakers — as if there’s not enough money in their bloated budgets to cover-up a little green paint on the street.

Tell you what.

Just give me a couple of hours and a box of gaffers tape, and I guarantee they won’t see an glimpse of green in the dailies.

Fortunately, not all Hollywood types are bike-unfriendly. Or have such small hearts.

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I haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet, but the long-awaited LAPD report on hit-and-runs has finally been released, and will be presented to the Police Commission at today’s meeting.

At first glance, it suggests that the city’s rate of hit-and-run, while not acceptable, is not out of line for comparable major cities, and hit-and-runs resulting in death or serious injuries to pedestrians is on the decline.

But if you think more drivers fleeing after killing or injuring bicyclists, you’re right.

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The “new” LADOT issues their annual report, and takes credit for more than doubling the number of bike lanes in the last eight years compared to the previous 32, with 150 miles installed during the eight-year Villaraigosa administration.

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A bike rider is shot in Santa Monica in an apparent gang driveby, which had absolutely nothing to do with last week’s shooting rampage, despite the Times unfortunate spin on the story. L.A. mayor-elect Eric Garcetti promises bike lanes and walkable communities. The Source names the bikiest guy in L.A. The upcoming Wilshire Blvd CicLAvia should be better for pedestrians; CicLAvia means open streets for everyone, not just bike riders. Another neighborhood council wants your take on bike lanes on North Figueroa; take a few minutes to respond, because the bike haters certainly will. Turns out handlebars aren’t the safest place to ride, but you knew that, right?

Laguna Beach sees an increase in bicycle collisions. If you hit another cyclist or a pedestrian, stick around until you know they’re okay, hit-and-run laws — and common human decency — apply to us, too; thanks to Allan for the heads-up. A Sacramento man faces a murder charge after deliberately running down a bike rider he’d argued with, then getting out and kicking him repeatedly. An 18-year old Pleasanton driver kills a woman cyclist and injures her husband; since she rear-ended both of them, it doesn’t really matter if one might have been outside the bike lane, does it? In what was clearly a horrible weekend for NorCal cyclists, a 25-year old bike rider is killed in Elk Grove, a San Jose cyclist is killed in a collision with a train and a Modesto man is killed in a hit-and-run. Once again, a San Francisco pedestrian is injured by a cyclist.

Your next bike could be a lot smarter than your last one; on the other hand, I’m not looking forward to a bike that can say “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Especially since my name’s not Dave. IsolateCyclist looks at the people who self-identify as cyclists in order to criticize other cyclists. Bicycling is catching on with the NBA. Members of my college fraternity will be riding cross-country to raise half a million dollars for people with disabilities. Lessons learned by a first-time bike commuter from my hometown. A Kansas man is electrocuted trying to steal copper wire, but props for riding a bike to do it. Chicago’s bike-specific traffic signals increase compliance by 161%. New York’s new bike share program currently reaches just 10% of the city’s population; the NY Times asks why the fuss over bikes in a city that can tolerate anything? Why conservatives should love bike share; then again, no one ever said embracing bike share would be easy. NYC bicyclists offer their wisdom on riding in the city in 10 words or less. A struggling rider finds advice on how to ride uphill. Even when one of their own editors is doored, the NY Daily News blames the victim; however, they agree cyclists aren’t the real danger, despite what the WSJ’s wicked witch says. Boston incorrectly blames bicyclists for most collisions. Bob Mionske relates how a local Tennessee political boss got away with murder — or vehicular homicide by intoxication, in this case — something I suspect occurs far more often than we’d like to admit. The wife of North Carolina’s Bicycle Man fills in during his illness.

A British PSA might just shock a few drivers into sobering up first; thanks to Day One for the heads-up. London’s bike czar says the city needs fewer testosterone-fueled cyclists and more careful female ones; nope, not a hint of reverse sexism there. A UK cyclist suffers a broken arm in a road rage assault. As usual, the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain offers a blog roundup that puts this one to shame. Bike safety devices designed to prevent collisions with trucks could make things worse. Guess which country has gone pazzo for bicycling? A South African driver flees the scene after plowing into three cyclists. An Australian woman is killed while riding with her husband the day before an appointment to find out if she was pregnant. Proof that bike riders aren’t always the good guys, as an Aussie cyclist shoots a sleeping transient with an arrow. A special New Zealand inquest rules mandatory hi-viz clothing won’t cut bicycling deaths. Chinese authorities apologize for beating a bike salesman. Well said: “If we meet out on the road or trail, let that be the start, not the totality, of a friendship.”

Finally, it’s seldom a good idea to celebrate your birthday by riding drunk and trying to strangle the cop who stops you. This is why it’s not a good idea to use people instead of traffic cones at bike races, with entirely predictable results. And someone should tell this 10-time loser that just because the sign says Highway 101, that’s not actually the speed limit; seriously, if you lose your license 10 times in four years, you shouldn’t even be on the damn highway. Or any other street, for that matter.

Too easy to get, too hard to lose, indeed.

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