Tag Archive for Streetsblog

Morning Links: Don’t blame bike lanes for bad pavement lawsuits, and a call to ban cars from Rose Bowl loop

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says not so fast.

Despite what Councilmember Mitch Englander asserted in his recent motion, Los Angeles hasn’t paid out tens of millions of dollars for injuries to bicyclists due to bad pavement in bike lanes.

In fact, only one of the seven recent bike-related settlements with the city was due to a crash that occurred in a bike lane.

The rest took place on the sort of infrastructure-free streets most LA bicyclists have to ride every day due to the lack of a even the most basic bicycle network in most of the city.

And on the same crappy streets you’ll find on most city streets.

The City Council Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee will discuss two motions mandating much-needed inspections, and possibly repairs, to pavement in the city’s bike lanes and bike paths at 1 pm today.

But let’s not confuse that with the real problem.

Which is the city’s failure to build out the 2010 bike plan as promised. And the failure to the maintain streets we all have to use.

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He gets it.

A writer for the Pasadena Star News says instead of adding stop signs to the Rose Bowl loop, which would effectively put a halt to the popular cycling, why not ban cars instead?

Why not, indeed.

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We’re less than a month away from the annual Oscar ceremony. Which brings up the annual question, will anyone bike to the red carpet in Hollywood?

Environmentalist and actor Ed Begley, Jr. has done it before. In a tux, and despite the rain.

But no word yet on whether anyone will do it this year.

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Local

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, a new report shows Los Angeles has the world’s worst traffic congestion for the sixth year in a row. And it will only get worse unless the city and county provide people with viable alternatives to driving.

Atwater Village residents say they don’t feel safe walking or riding on the LA River bike path due to homeless camps along the river.

Bike SGV will hold their first general meeting of 2018 tomorrow night.

 

State

California’s only emperor was one of us.

The 9th annual Jim Rogers Memorial Ride rolls in Nevada City this Sunday.

 

National

The art of mountain biking.

Bike friendly Boulder CO debates whether to allow ebikes on open space trails.

Ride Chicago’s bikeshare system ten times this month, and they’ll pin a medal on you and invite you to a party.

The NYPD puts out a wanted poster for a group of reckless teenage bike riders.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian discovers firsthand what it’s like to be doored.

You may never be a star of the English stage. But your bike might be.

A British city noticed that 68 near-identical bike-hating comments about a road closure came from a single computer. And 50 more came from just three additional IP addresses. In case you’ve ever wondered why there always seem to be so many public comments from people who hate bikes.

A Dublin paper asks if it’s time to give bicyclists and pedestrians a head start at red lights. That would be yes. And not just in Dublin.

Replacing delivery trucks with cargo bikes in Barcelona.

Workers for Dutch bike brand Van Moof track down a Bluetooth-equipped stolen bike, and discover a warehouse full of stolen bicycles from across Europe.

Docked bikeshare is expanding in India, while a free public bikeshare is opening at Hyderabad Metro stations.

A new Australian study shows that how you commute to work really does affect your body mass. And no, driving doesn’t make you any skinnier.

 

Competitive Cycling

Wolfpack Hustle is bringing back the Forsyth Cup at the Encino Velodrome in April, thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth.

Pro cycling’s Team Dimension Data plans to donate 5,000 bikes to an African charity this year.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to launch yourself off the roof with an antifreeze-fueled rocket attached to your bicycle. Now you can tow your new sailboat with your mountain bike.

And forget the bike park. Try riding the waterpark, instead.

Morning Links: Multi-tool bars Streetsblog editor from Metro meeting, and Lyft re-envisions Wilshire Blvd

Streetsblog editor Joe Linton was kept out of a Metro meeting to discuss the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Project until he agreed to throw his “dangerous” multi-tool and wrenches into the trash.

And was told he could fish them out after the meeting — after one of the security officers dumped coffee into it.

Just another sign of how bike riders are treated in this city.

Never mind how easy it would have been for someone, anyone, to agree to hold them for him until he came back out. Or just how stupid it is to talk about encouraging bicycling, while actively discouraging bicyclists.

And never mind the kneejerk opposition he found to including bikes in the project once he finally got inside the Metro meeting.

Photo from LA Streetsblog.

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Lyft envisions a redesigned Wilshire Blvd that reduces the street’s 10 spacious lanes down to just three narrow one, along with dedicated bus lanes, to show what life could be like in a world of shared, self-driving vehicles.

The plan also includes wider, park-like sidewalks and protected bike lanes.

The company says the narrowed street could accommodate twice as many road users and carry four times as many people as it currently does.

Wilshire capacity before redesign

Wilshire capacity after redesign. Charts from CNN

No word on whether the forces attempting to roll back road diets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey plan to recall the president of Lyft or file suit to stop the concept while it’s still in the vaporware stage.

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A report on KABC-790 radio says evacuees fleeing the La Tuna fire earlier this month were delayed due to traffic jams caused by the road diets on Foothill Blvd. Although it’s surprising they would have been so surprised by changes that were made five months ago.

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Three-time US Olympic track cyclist Sarah Hammer retired at age 34, ending a career that began with her first junior title 22 years ago.

Next year’s Giro d’Italia will start just a little outside the country in the ancient Roman suburb called Jerusalem.

It’s official. Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont rode around the world in less than 80 days, finishing in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes — smashing the previous record by 44 days.

A memorial was unveiled in the English hometown of fallen cyclist Tom Simpson to mark the 50th anniversary of his death on the slopes of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

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Local

An Op-Ed in the LA Times calls the cars the third rail of California politics, saying people will revolt if you slow them down or make driving more expensive. Which, as we’ve seen recently, is all too true.

Pasadena’s Art Center in planning a bikeway inspired by the historic California Cycleway to connect its separated campuses.

Parisian haute couture menswear brand Berluti has opened in Beverly Hills, with a made-to-order bespoke bicycle among the shop’s offerings.

Simon Cowell is one of us, as he goes bike riding with his family in the former Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, which is finally starting to show some promise.

Curbed calls the Marvin Braude Bike Path through Santa Monica LA’s most beautiful bike path, even though the Santa Monica section is actually in… wait for it… Santa Monica. I’ve heard the beachfront bike path called many things in my many years here, but never The Strand.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News looks at the controversy over Vista del Mar and the Playa del Rey lane reductions, albeit from a mostly windshield perspective.

Long Beach police are looking for a bike-riding scumbag who’s been exposing himself to underage girls.

 

State

UberEats will now be delivering some of their food orders by bicycle in San Diego.

This is why you shouldn’t chase a bike thief yourself. A pair of Visalia men nearly got shot by a bike thief after they chased him down when they saw him take a bike from their garage.

A Modesto Op-Ed calls for greater enforcement of bike safety laws, especially California’s too-often ignored three-foot passing law

The International Cycling Safety Conference in Davis will explore how smart city technology can help make urban areas more bicycle friendly.

A homeless Redding woman was stabbed by another homeless woman following an argument as the victim was riding along a canal.

Eureka police are looking for a fleeing DUI suspect who hijacked a woman’s bike at gunpoint, before trading down by jacking a car as he rode her bike through a mall parking lot.

 

National

Bicycling talks with cyclists who credit their helmets with saving their skulls.

Seattle permanently removed a traffic lane on a downtown street to make room for protected bike lanes. Despite mixed opinions, no politicians appear to have been recalled and no one’s filed suit to stop it yet, unlike a certain SoCal city we could name.

Bicycle Retailer says this week’s Interbike show in Las Vegas is still the best way for smaller brands to get noticed.

A popular Colorado man was found shot and killed three days after he disappeared while on a bike ride this past Thursday; police are treating the case as a homicide.

Counter protesters interrupted a press conference by a New York state legislator who wants to halt plans to install a protected bike lane on a deadly Queens boulevard.

 

International

A new study shows triathletes face twice the risk of dropping dead during a competition as marathon runners, with the greatest risk occurring during the swimming leg of the race.

Brakeless fixie-rider Charlie Alliston has been sentenced to 18 months after being convicted of wanton and furious driving for killing a London woman as she was crossing the street. Thanks to Allyson Vought and John McBrearty for the heads-up.

Caught on video: Nothing like a little no-hands dab and dance while riding on a British street.

British bike historian Carlton Reid examines why the country’s most bike-friendly urban design failed to encourage bicycling; short answer, they made it too easy to drive.

Bicycling deaths and serious injuries are down 20% since UK police began an undercover operation to catch drivers passing too close to bicyclists. Maybe that will convince the LAPD to finally give it a try.

Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, will receive the equivalent of nearly $30 million dollars to convert their city centers to bike-friendly mini-Hollands.

German police are looking for a cyclist who interfered with rescue personnel to film a dying motorcyclist, rather than offering assistance before paramedics arrived as the law requires. Seriously, WTF is wrong with some people?

An Australian news site looks at what happens in the aftermath of a bicycling collision, including the obvious observation that it’s always the person on the bike who loses.

Aussie authorities blame tourists using GPS devices for a crash that injured a bike rider. So naturally, social media blames the people on two wheels.

Caught on video two: A dog sits upright in the saddle behind a bike-riding girl in an undisclosed Asian country, with its paws wrapped around her waist like a child trying to hold on.

 

Finally…

Who needs motor doping when you can just fire up the afterburners. Or maybe just let hurricane-force winds give you a gentle little nudge.

And now you, too, can own your very own Beastie.

Unless you’d rather ride a bike made of whisky casks.

 

Morning Links: Bike-friendly Davis breaks the law a little, and something’s rotten in SoCal bike racing

Someone you know needs a new bicycle. Just click here to read about our first bike giveaway and nominate someone who deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net

And come back later today when another rider uses video to describe his ride.

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It looks like bike-friendly Davis is breaking the law. But only a little.

The platinum level Sacramento-area college town is reminding bike riders to renew their licenses, since any two-year bike license issued in 2013 has now expired.

Just two small problems with that.

First, they suggest that bicycles are registered with the state of California, which doesn’t license bikes. Instead, CVC 39002 allows local jurisdictions to license bikes at their discretion. Meanwhile, CVC 39003 (same link) makes it clear that the licenses must be issued by the city, county or some other agency they designate.

Not the state.

Second, they charge a modest $10 for a new two-year license, and just $5 to renew an existing license.

But both of those amounts are illegal and excessive.

According to CVC 39004 (ditto), those same jurisdictions are allowed to charge no more than $4 per year for a new license, and $2 a year for a renewal.

Which means Davis is overcharging bicyclists by a whopping 25%. Or a measly $1 or 50¢ a year, respectively, depending on how you want to look at it. Although that’s no small amount when multiplied by the tens of thousands of bikes in the city.

Either way, the program is in clear violation of state law.

Something to remember if your city or county has a bike licensing program, or is considering one.

On the other hand, the registration program is helping a number of UC Davis students get their bikes back, after Dixon police bust a pair of thieves with 31 hot bikes.

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Streetsblog LA named the winners of their annual Streetsie Awards, including LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino as Elected Official of the Year, Caltrans’ Dale Benson as Civil Servant of the Year, and the LACBC’s Tamika Butler and Mark Lopez of East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice in a tie for the Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy.

You can see the full list of winners here.

Meanwhile, California Streetsblog names Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom as Legislator of the Year.

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I’m not really tuned into the SoCal bike racing scene. But if David Huntsman and Seth Davidson both say there’s something wrong with the sport’s local governing body, then something is definitely rotten in our cycling state of Denmark.

Besides, if you can’t trust a couple of bike riding lawyers, who can you trust?

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Following up on yesterday’s tech news, Sony ups the ante to take on GoPro in the action cam market, while Nikon introduces a cam offering 360° views. Of course, the only way to make that work is to mount it on the outside of your handlebars or the very top of your helmet. And then sit up very straight.

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Local

CiclaValley offers tips for riding in the rain. Rick Risemberg recommends lights, capes, wool clothing and fenders, while Ciclelicious asks which fender. I’d suggest this one, but I doubt it would help.

Not surprisingly, the LA River bike path is closed due to the rains, along with most, if not all, of the other creek and riverside bikeways in the county. Meanwhile, plans are underway to improve the lower portion of the river.

Glendale will host a public meeting on Saturday to get input on a planned redesign of Ocean View Blvd, including bulb-outs and bike lanes.

 

State

Campbell cyclists raise $20,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation in a post-Christmas ride.

Beaver fever strikes on a Merced bike path.

Cupertino’s De Anza college adds three new e-bikes to their fleet of 56 bikes available to students free of charge for a full quarter.

 

National

Conspiracy theorists are still opposing bike and transit projects throughout the US, even though the Agenda 21 Chimera that fueled it is gone.

Bicycling lists seven people — okay, 219 — who could really use a good bike ride.

Next City says it’s time to bury the sharrow for good.

The newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of us.

Outside offers a profile on Ned Overend, who’s still kicking fat bike ass at age 60 — 26 years after his mountain bike world championship.

An interesting study from the University of Washington finds neighborhood density is the primary factor that encourages low and middle income residents to walk or bike; for wealthier people, the attractiveness of their neighborhood is key.

Seattle bike cops recover a $4,000 stolen bike using the Bike Index website. You can register your bike, report a stolen bike or check to see if a bike has been stolen using Bike Index right here on this site. And unlike the Davis program, it’s free.

It takes a real jerk to steal a motorized recumbent from an Iowa man battling stomach cancer who used it as his only form of transportation.

A Florida paper shows what a difference it can make when the press calls attention to bicycle safety instead of trolling bike riders.

Nothing like starting young. A pair of Florida boys, just seven and eight years old, are under arrest for an attempted strong-arm bike jacking. No one hates bike thieves more than I do, but handcuffing a seven-year old seems a tad extreme.

 

International

Bike Radar offers some good advice on buying a used bike online.

A Canadian writer offers lessons learned from 100,000 kilometers — 62,137 miles — on the seat of a bike.

A British site offers advice on how to make your bike commute more like the Tour de France, while Road.cc pipes in with some additional suggestions. Although getting someone to hurl abuse at you is no challenge in LA traffic.

A new study shows London bike riders are six times fitter than other commuters.

It takes a major jerk to punch a 62-year old British woman after shoving his bike into her, regardless of what she may have said to him.

Retiring former world track champ Martyn Irvine says he shamed dopers by beating them fair and square.

Drain a Paris canal built by Napoleon, and what do you find? Bicycles, naturally.

Bike riders are braving Delhi’s infamous traffic, despite conditions that make LA seem like a breeze; meanwhile an ad for an Indian hospital sums up the health benefits of bicycling.

A 24-year old biology student works to become the first professional cyclist from Burkina Faso. If there are any bike makers reading this, send this guy a new racing bike. Now.

An Australian chief traffic cop questions whether older drivers belong on the road. It’s a tough call; some older people retain the vision and reflexes they need to drive safely into their nineties, while others should have their keys taken away.

Toyota’s new robotics expert was inspired to build crash-proof cars by seeing the aftermath of a bicycling crash as a child.

An Aussie expat living in Ho Chi Minh City has set out to ride every road connecting north and south Vietnam.

 

Finally…

Nothing like banning a doper after he stops racing. It doesn’t do a lot of good to sue the Forest Service for failing to maintain an illegal bike trail.

And evidently, the fastest way to improve bike safety is to get the damn bike riders off the road.

 

Morning Links: More criticism of the GHSA bike safety report; register now for SoCal state highway safety summit

More responses to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s report on bicycle safety, which we discussed here yesterday.

Bike Portland digs deep into the stats to show the report just doesn’t add up. Streetsblog says despite what the report says, the bike boom has been fantastic for bike safety.

The Alliance for Biking and Walking says those scary numbers the report cited for California add up to just 6.3 deaths per 10,000 bike commuters in the state, and that the real scary data is how little states spend on bike and pedestrian safety.

The Bike League says the tone deaf press release doesn’t even mention speeding or driving behavior, and yes, bicycle safety is a national issue. And People for Bikes suggests that the safety in numbers effect means biking has been getting dramatically safer as Americans ride more.

On the other hand, KPCC’s Airtalk keeps it superficial in discussing the matter.

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The State of California is updating its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, described as a “holistic, statewide plan” that coordinates the efforts of a wide range of organizations to reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on the state’s roadways.

There are currently over 400 stakeholders participating in the process, from state and federal agencies to police departments, regional transportation agencies, tribal governments and private individuals.

As part of the update process, a Southern California summit will be held to collect public input on how to improve safety on the state’s roadways.

November 12, 2014
8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
California State University, Los Angeles
Golden Eagle Student Union
 

Advance registration is required no later than November 5th at

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1821831/California-SHSP-Development-Summits

Thanks to Alan for the heads-up.

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Local

Metro gets the ball rolling on South LA’s much needed Rail to River bikeway.

A writer for City Watch bizarrely asks if LA’s walkable streets and bike lanes are only for the creative class, before arguing that the streets will be incomplete if they don’t include street food vendors.

Writing for Streetsblog, former city council candidate Odysseus Bostick asks if Los Angeles can fix roads and sidewalks, invest in rail and bike share, and complete other needed infrastructure projects without raising taxes. Good question.

 

State

After five long years, Newport Beach unanimously approved the new Bicycle Master Plan. Maybe this will finally provide some much needed safety improvements down there.

San Diego plans to change the way residents get to work in the next 21 years.

A San Jose State University art exhibit documents a student’s bike tour down Highway 1.

 

National

Auto-centric magazine Road & Track surprisingly admits America is losing the war on distracted driving.

A cyclist rides a single speed from LA to Charleston SC in 27 days to raise awareness of human trafficking.

You can have Kevin Costner’s bike from American Flyers for a cool $40 grand. No offense, but for that price you can have damn near any bike you want.

Great idea, as the University of Louisville gives over 1,000 students $400 vouchers redeemable at local bike shops when they agree not to buy a campus parking permit for at least two years. Are you listening, parking-challenged UCLA?

A DC website asks if city residents will be willing to make the unpopular decisions necessary for Vision Zero to succeed. LA needs to ask itself the same question, now that it’s finally official policy here.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to ride in the rain, which is about as much winter as we ever get around here.

British employers should do more to ensure bike safety, as a significant proportion of road deaths and injuries are caused by work vehicles.

London’s Express offers ten, uh, make that six tips for safe winter riding.

Cycling Central argues that women riders don’t need their own Tour de France, but should have a pro tour of their own somewhere else. Probably because that would make it easier for TV and the press to ignore.

Bicycling is even booming in the land of Putin, as Russian cyclists bring bike culture to Moscow.

Life is cheap in Singapore, as a driver gets a whopping two weeks in jail for the death of a cyclist. But at least he won’t be driving — legally, anyway — for the next three years.

 

Finally…

No bikes involved, as Michigan man in a zombie costume tries to scare passing motorists, with predictable results; police are still looking for the driver. Speaking of which, you’ll need this bike for the coming zombie apocalypse.

And Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reports on the 2nd Annual South Bay Cycling Awards in his own inimitable style, tongue planted deeply in cheek.

 

Move along folks; nothing to see here

Not that I don’t have some things to say.

But this one time, I’ll be saying them on L.A.’s Streetsblog — the city’s best source for local and national transportation news, offering a unique perspective from the streets up.

I’m joining a long list of local activists, writers and bloggers — including Joe Linton, Stephen and Enci Box, Angela Serratore and Dan Koeppel — who’ve sacrificed a day or more of their time filling in for Damien Newton so he can spend some quality time with his newborn baby, wife and various assorted relatives. And there’s still more to come.

So today is my day.

Click on the link, and you’ll find coverage of last week’s panel discussion on bikes and livability with former Talking Head David Byrne, along with today’s headlines, and reports from around the Streetsblog network. And later in the day, you’ll find my wrap-up of last night’s meeting of the L.A. Bicycle Advisory Committee, and a rant about the lack of public involvement.

You’ll also find a photo of yours truly.

I’m the one on the left.

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