Tag Archive for storm City Hall

Morning Links: Fundraising goals met, LA misses a top 30 bike friendly ranking, and upcoming bike events

We’ve met our fundraising goals to send a message to LA’s elected leaders, raising $400 in less than 48 hours to give them each a copy of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing.

I’ll be headed to city council meeting on the morning of Friday, May 18th to storm City Hall, and personally deliver them to demand safer streets.

I hope you’ll join me.

Thanks to everyone who donated!

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Hats off to my hometown, which ranked number one in People for Bikes’ latest rankings of the nation’s most bike friendly cities.

Santa Monica came in a surprising seventh, with San Diego, which has made huge strides in recent years, just two steps lower.

Do I really need to mention that Fort Collins and San Diego only became bike friendly after I left them? Maybe I should move away from Los Angeles, so it can finally become the bike paradise it can and should — or at least somewhat less auto-focused — be once I’m gone.

Speaking of which, you’ll find the City of Angels on the second page, at what would be number 33 if they were numbered, which I suspect is a lot higher than most bike riders would rank it.

And no city ranked higher than 3.5 on the organization’s five point scale, which means there’s a lot of room for improvement, even in the best cities.

Meanwhile, Bicycling examines the criteria used to determine the rankings, while Curbed looks at the possibilities for data-driven change on our streets.

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Let’s take a quick look at some of the upcoming events we haven’t mentioned yet. And one we have.

Arcadia is holding a free community bike ride tomorrow.

Bike SGV is holding free City Cycling classes in Montebello on Saturday, and again on May 19th.

Also this Saturday, the Wolfpack Hustle Forsyth Cup takes place at the Encino Velodrome, sponsored by BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth; fans can feast on free hot dogs, tacos and water as long as they last.

Metro is hosting a Pedals and Pit Stops Ride using Metro Bike bikeshares this Sunday, starting at Smorgasburg LA.

The international CycloFemme ride rolls on Mothers Day, May 13th, including the Los Angeles edition.

Ride free with your bike on Metrolink during Bike Week, May 14 through 18.

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The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, is celebrating Bike Month behind the Orange Curtain this May.

  • May 14-18: Bike to Work Week – National bike to work week encourages people to switch up their morning commutes by riding their bikes to work.
  • May 16: Ride of Silence – The Ride of Silence honors those who have lost their lives or have been seriously injured while bicycling. Groups will depart at dusk, around 7 p.m., from locations in Fullerton, Irvine and Orange.
  • May 17: OCTA Bike Rally – The sixth annual event and ride is planned from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. starting at the Orange Metrolink Station, 194 N. Atchison St. and ending at the OCTA Headquarters, 550 S. Main St. in Orange.
  • May 18: Bike to Work Day – National bike to work day is recognized throughout the U.S. and gives people the opportunity to try a different way to commute.

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Local

More evidence of LA’s toxic car culture, if any was needed, as violent street takeovers by drivers spread throughout the SoCal area. Thanks to Evan Burbridge for the link.

CiclaValley escapes to Camp 9, one of the most accessible rides from the San Fernando Valley.

A letter writer chooses parking over a two-way bike lane on Pasadena’s Union Street, but can’t seem to distinguish between Santa Monica parking garages and on-street parking.

The LACBC profiles James Chaves from the Montebello Bicycle Coalition for Bike Month.

South Bay letter writers rise up to insist Aviation Blvd is for cars, and they damn well like it that way. And those darn bike riders just break the law anyway.

 

State

A 79-year old Laguna Beach man is planning for his next 5k, despite a collision with a truck that coast him a leg, and a head-on crash with a bike rider that left him with a broken neck and mostly paralyzed from the neck down. Seriously, slow the hell down and ride carefully around pedestrians; they’re the only ones more vulnerable on the streets than we are.

San Diego’s Bike Month kicks off with new concerns about safety as dockless bikeshare brings unexperienced riders onto the roads.

The Riverside County sheriff offers tips for drivers and bike riders on how to avoid crashing into each other. Although the first two suggestions for bicyclists involve wearing a helmet, which does nothing to prevent a crash. Note to Sheriff Sniff — it’s dangerous enough for bike riders out there without inflating the number of bicyclists killed in 2015 by nearly 300.

Monterey gets it. The city is installing bike lanes and making pedestrian improvements on a fading commercial strip in hopes of spurring new businesses and development in the area. Studies have repeatedly shown that creating walkable, bikeable districts are good for business, as well as property values in the surrounding area.

San Francisco bicyclists staged another people-protected bike lane to call for safe spaces for active transportation. Something LA-area advocacy groups have yet to try. Hint, hint.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge will conduct a 10-day trial allowing bicyclists and pedestrians 24-hour access, which is currently restricted to 6 am to 9 pm.

The first of world champ Peter Sagan’s two California fondos hits the dirt in Truckee this weekend.

 

National

Forbes says the bicycling industry is betting on an ebike gold rush.

Tres shock! A Seattle study shows that dockless bikeshare is a success in the city, with an average of nearly one rider per bike per day. But ridership goes down in bad weather — just like it does anywhere else, for any kind of bike riding.

A nonprofit director at Houston’s Rice University explains why he’s afraid to walk in the auto-centric city, where motor vehicles are allowed to run amok.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A five-time DUI loser was acquitted on his latest charge after refusing to take a roadside sobriety test, and telling police to “go get real criminals.” Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Friends and family remember a Purdue University student who died after a collision with a pickup, allegedly caused when he ran a red light.

The driver who fled the scene after running down a cyclist on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway last year — perhaps intentionally — will plead guilty in a plea deal.

A new study from Penn State University reveals that most people overestimate the time it would take to ride a bike somewhere. Which means that bicycling is a more viable option than most people think.

Too true. A Pittsburgh bike commuter says “There is no amount of bad behavior by cyclists that can remotely compare with the callous disregard for life displayed by these motorists.”

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A New York woman is arraigned on a charge of involuntary manslaughter for killing two small children while having a seizure, after her doctors repeatedly told her she wasn’t safe to drive.

The NYPD has already busted 5,000 bike riders for running red lights this year. No word on how many scofflaw drivers have been ticketed for the same offense, or which one poses the greatest threat to others.

Baltimore’s repeat drunk driving Episcopal bishop asks if she can spend the rest of her sentence for killing a bike rider in a drunken 2014 hit-and-run in the comfort of her own home. The victim’s sister reasonably calls the request “unconscionable,” which pretty well sums up the whole damn thing.

 

International

Mexican and German authorities are looking for a German man who went missing in Chiapas while on a bike tour of the Americas.

English police are looking for the driver who smashed into two bike riders, seriously injuring one, then fled the scene leaving his car lodged in a brick wall.

An English woman discusses the difficulties of riding your bike across town while remaining stylish.

Oslo, Norway is rolling out the red carpet for bike riders in an attempt to reduce traffic congestion, after committing to ban cars from the city core by next year.

An Aussie paper looks at the wild ride of the company behind the popular Fly6 and Fly12 bike light/cam combos.

 

Competitive Cycling

The LA Times offers a photo essay on the Titan Desert 2018, a 385-mile mountain bike race through the Moroccan desert.

You won’t find today’s start of the Giro on American TV, but you can see a one hour preview of the Amgen Tour of California on NBCSN this Sunday.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a pleasant little 2,400-mile ride to catch a soccer match or two. Cab drivers are your friend; okay, maybe just one.

And if you’re going to heroically chase down a bike-riding mugger, you might as well dress the part.

 

Morning Links: Raising funds to storm city hall, great new DIY bike PSA, and getting dropped by an ebike

Just a quick update.

As of this writing, we’ve raised $310 — just $90 short of our $400 goal — to give copies of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing to the Mayor of Los Angeles and every member of the city council.

All to give them a not so subtle hint to show a little courage and do the right thing to protect the lives of everyone who walks, bikes or drives on the streets of Los Angeles.

You can donate through PayPal, or through the Zelle app using the email address you’ll find here.

And I hope you’ll join us in storming City Hall during Bike Week to demand safer and more livable streets for everyone.

Unfortunately, we have to change the original date, since the council won’t be in session on Bike to Work Day.

Instead, we’re in the process of selecting a new date, the morning of either Wednesday, May 16th before the Ride of Silence, or — more likely — Friday, May 18th before Bike Night at Union Station.

You can vote here if you have a preference.

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If this doesn’t put a smile on your face this morning, nothing will. Just in time for Bike Month, a new DIY PSA cobbled together from movie footage artfully makes the case for riding bikes instead of driving.

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It’s one thing to get dropped. It’s another to get passed by a ebike rider like you’re not even moving.

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Local

The Signal discusses upcoming events for May’s Bike Month.

Heat maps from the newly combined SaMo, WeHo, UCLA and Beverly Hills bikeshares show the desperate need for decent east-west bikeways on the Westside.

A pair of mountain biking groups have repaired the historic Gabrielino Trail in the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument above La Cañada.

The West Covina city council punts on an active transportation plan that would add over 50 miles of bike paths after they’re unable to reach a consensus; they’ll pick it up again on the 15th.

Good read from Peter Flax, who discovers what it’s like to be a fish out of water. Or more precisely, a life-long roadie in a Manhattan Beach SoulCycle.

 

State

The Sierra Club goes bike packing along the Southern California coast through San Diego and Orange Counties.

The Bay Area celebrates Bike to Work Day a week earlier than SoCal on May 10th; a Sonoma paper offers tips on how to make the most of it.

San Francisco bicyclists once again form a people-protected bike lane to call for better bike infrastructure. To the best of my knowledge, no one’s done that in Los Angeles yet, perhaps because they don’t trust LA drivers not to run over them anyway.

A bicycle-riding Santa Rosa doctor says bike commuting is the key to fitness.

In today’s edition of things that would never happen in LA, the Redding city council voted to close a little-used stretch of road entirely to make way for a new bike and pedestrian trail near downtown. Thanks to Casey Kerrigan for the link.

 

National

The new GOP-passed tax law includes plenty of tax breaks for corporations and the rich; bike riders, not so much.

Ten more bike companies have joined with Ford and Trek to develop a Bike to Vehicle (B2V) communication system, envisioning a world where you’ll have to ride with a sensor on your bike to avoid getting run down by self-driving cars. Rather than, say, just building cars that can actually see people on bikes.

Bike Snob takes on the myth that bikes are frivolous toys for Lycra-clad fitness freaks.

Outside offers advice for parents on how to get more girls riding bikes.

Nice piece from Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus, who calls on everyone to just chill and be a little more understanding of other people on bikes.

Denver bike riders are told to keep waiting for more protected bike lanes.

The family of a fallen Texas cyclist has filed suit against the driver that killed him, as well as a passenger in the car, after the driver walked with time served, without spending a day in prison, despite a two-year sentence for manslaughter. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

A pair of Walmart heirs are making Arkansas a fat-bike destination.

A Minnesota bike shop owner is running for the local city council on a platform of opposing bike lanes and traffic safety improvements, insisting that bike lanes aren’t used enough to justify their existence.

A Maryland town is installing 2,000 free bike lights to help reduce nighttime collisions.

 

International

Road.cc recommends their top eight front and rear daytime running lights. And yes, you should be using lights during the day.

Forget Copenhagen; traffic calming and an extensive bikeway network in Bogata, Columbia has resulted in 800,000 bike trips a day.

This is what we need. A new London bike map shows the safest routes, and where key interchanges are located.

A new British study suggests Google Street View can be used to estimate traffic patterns to help improve public health.

Ireland’s Transport Minister calls on drivers to pass bike riders safely, following a 50% jump in bicycling fatalities so far this year.

A pro cyclist explains why Croatia is a world-class mountain biking destination.

A New Zealand writer offers a surprisingly fair and insightful take on the divide between people on bikes and in cars, noting that “the cyclist you’re passing probably isn’t the same one who ran the red light in front of you the other day,” and the driver behind you probably isn’t the one who doored you last week.

Singapore says slow that e-scooter down already. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Wednesday’s stage one of the Redlands Classic was cancelled due to bad weather in Big Bear.

VeloNews reports on the 11th edition of the famed fixie fest Red Hook Classic.

A 20-year old cyclist has bounced back from a near-crippling crash at the Red Hook Classic to become one of the few African American Olympic hopefuls.

Great cause. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is using this year’s Giro d’Italia to raise funds to put 1,000 African women and girls on bikes over the next two months.

In advance of the Jerusalem start of the Giro, Israel has made legendary Italian cyclist Gino Bartali an honorary citizen of the country for his clandestine work saving Jews in World War II.

A Palestinian cyclist who lost a leg when he was shot by Israeli soldiers during a protest says he’s disgusted that the Giro will start in Israel.

 

Finally…

You might want to skip the keto diet if you want to go fast. Who needs dockless bikes in trees when you can leave a car dangling from a bridge?

And bloomers and bikes sparked the feminist movement of the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

 

Morning Links: Storm City Hall for safer streets on May 18th, and killer Kalamazoo driver convicted of murder

As the great prophet Howard Beale once said, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

And I’m willing to march on City Hall by myself if that’s what it takes.

I’ve spent the last several weeks trying, and failing, to get support from LA advocacy groups for a plan for bike riders and pedestrians to storm city hall on Bike to Work Day this month to demand safer streets.

While I understand their need for campaigns and strategic planning, too many people are dying right now. And too many city councilmembers are backing away from the promises we were made.

So if this isn’t the right time for action, when is?

As I struggled with my own anger over the recent rash of bicycling fatalities and fatal hit-and-runs, I kept coming back to the questions of if not me, then who? And if not now, when?

Do we wait until someone else dies? Or twenty more people?

Do we wait until the next road diet is cancelled by councilmembers caving to angry drivers and traffic safety deniers?

And when is the right time to demand demand safer streets? As the Chinese proverb famously says, the best time would have been 20 years ago.

The second best time is now.

It’s my intention to give the mayor and every member of the council a copy of Profiles in Courage and Do The Right Thing, and see if they get the message. If we can raise just $400 in the next week to cover the costs, I’ll do it.

Besides, we only need another $375, thanks to a donation from Douglas M to get things started.

But either way, I’m going to be there on May 18th, even if that means standing alone before the city council.

Because something needs to be done now.

I hope you’ll join me. And help spread the word, so we can get as many people as possible to show up that day.

And I hope you’ll consider making a contribution to help send a message to the council that it’s time to show a little courage and do the right thing.

Update: I’ve been reminded that the LA City Council doesn’t meet on Thursdays, so doing this on Bike to Work Day won’t work. 

The question is whether it’s better do storm city hall on Tuesday, May 15th after the Blessing of the Bicycles, Wednesday the 16th before the Ride of Silence, or Friday the 18th before Bike Night at Union Station.

So what works better for you? Let me know in the comments below.

Update 2: It looks like Friday, May 18th works for more people. So that’s the day we’re storming City Hall.

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Guilty.

In a verdict that shouldn’t surprise anyone, the driver responsible for the Kalamazoo massacre has been convicted on five counts of second degree murder for killing five bike riders in a drug-driven 2016 crash, and injuring another four.

Charles Pickett Jr. was also convicted of five counts of causing death while driving under the influence, after allegedly popping a handful of pain pills before getting behind the wheel. In addition, he had meth in his system as well as alcohol at the time of the crash.

Pickett now faces a possible life sentence when he’s sentenced next month.

A well-deserved one.

Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the heads-up.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, a writer looks at the devastating effects of a Texas hit-and-run.

Boston magazine offers an in-depth examination of the events leading up to the death of a brilliant surgeon when she was right hooked by a truck driver while riding to work. And the police investigation that went out of its way to blame the victim.

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Local

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined with other mayors around the world to issue a Commitment to Green and Healthy Streets, envisioning “a future where walking, cycling, and shared transport are how the majority of citizens move around our cities.” However, as Streetsblog points out, it takes more than lip service to be a climate mayor. It will be very hard for LA to live up to that commitment as long as city councilmembers are free to cancel safety and Complete Streets projects to appease angry drivers.

Streetsblog examines the dangers faced by many bike riders on the streets that go well beyond traffic safety. Like the 14-year old bike rider gunned down in a quiet Azusa neighborhood yesterday.

 

State

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) will relaunch their Go Human campaign throughout their six-county region for Bike Month.

Celebrate Bike Month with ten bike trails within ten miles of Morro Bay.

 

National

NACTO presents a nationwide study of bikeshare in the US; while docked bikes outnumber dockless bikes 56% to 44%, only 4% of the actual trips are taken by dockless bikeshare. Something that’s likely to change as dockless bikeshare matures in this country.

In an absolutely brilliant move — sarcasm intendedVista Outdoor responds to the recent boycott by bike retailers over the AR-15 rifles made by one of their subsidiaries by deciding to stop selling guns. And get those darn bike people off their backs by getting rid of their bicycling equipment divisions, as well.

You can now control your LED-lighted Lumos bike helmet with your Apple watch, assuming you have either one. Or buy them both at your friendly neighborhood Apple Store if you don’t.

NPR looks at the LaneSpotter app, which allows users to flag problems with bikeways in real time, like a WAZE for bike riders.

Building bamboo bikes in Oahu.

A Portland nonprofit intends to collect 1,000 bicycles in a single day to refurbish and donate to kids in need.

A Washington sheriff’s deputy says police have to actually observe a traffic violation, such as a violation of the three-foot passing law, in order to write a ticket. Unfortunately, the law is no different here in California.

A Seattle website says the ebike craze has become a verifiable movement in the city.

A Spokane WA bike commuter compares bicyclists to the NRA, and says some bike riders in the city are just jerks. Bicyclists are human, some humans are jerks. Therefore, some bicyclists will inevitably be jerks. Just like some drivers and pedestrians. 

Forget protein bars. Austin TX bike riders get free tacos for breakfast on Bike to Work Day.

Houston residents are calling for changes after two people are killed in the same spot while riding bikes in the last two years; a crowdfunding campaign raised $15,000 to send the latest victim’s body back to India.

Evanston IL city aldermen reject a call to remove a parking-protected bike lane, after a female alderman — alderperson? — calls them “an absolute disaster at rush hour.”

Speaking of Evanston, a local man discovers how it feels when his bike has a starring role in a police chase.

New York council members call on the mayor to stop the city’s ridiculous ebike ban, and talk with the food delivery riders who use them to develop new rules.

 

International

Cycling Industry News considers why the bike industry has such a hard time catching counterfeiters. Which is why you should always buy from a reputable source; any deal that seems too good to be true probably is.

An Ottawa TV station says people are taking to bicycles and ebikes to fight rising gas prices.

Cambridge, England council candidates consider calls to ban parents from driving their kids to school. Unlike the US, where schools attempt to ban kids from biking or walking to class.

One more to add to your bike bucket list — Spain’s sun-soaked Mallorca island.

Tel Aviv, Israel opens the first velodrome in the Middle East.

Around 50 Brisbane, Australia bicyclists stage a die-in to call for better bike safety, tying up traffic during the morning rush hour. While the technique can be effective, we don’t win any friends by inconveniencing people just trying to get to work.

 

Finally…

Ten ways to tell others on the road that an angel just got its wings. Call it a secure dockless bikeshare parking spot.

And the Foos are some of us, too.

Most of them, anyway.

 

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