Tag Archive for the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills

An open letter urging Beverly Hills to approve Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes

Yesterday we had a guest post by Better Bike’s Mark Elliot discussing the return of the never-ending debate over bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which is back for discussion before the Beverly Hills City Council at 7 pm tonight.

Stephen Collins wrote to the mayor and city council in response, urging them to approve the desperately needed lanes, which is the missing link between existing lanes in West Hollywood and Century City. He agreed to let me share his letter with you.

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Hello Mayor Bosse and Beverly Hills City Council Members,

As a resident of a neighboring community (Hollywood), an individual who makes an effort to bicycle commute whenever possible (for the environment we all share, in addition to my wellness), a visitor and patron to parks and businesses in Beverly Hills and surrounding communities, and an engineer with work experience in public infrastructure;

I write to urge your strong support of Bicycle Lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. I ride this route regularly, and there is a stark contrast between the safe, relaxed, and predictable riding I am able to do on this same street through nearby West Hollywood, and the dangerous, nerve-racking, and unpredictable riding I must choose if I stay my path into Beverly Hills.

A popular website for cyclists called Strava publishes an aggregate map of where their users ride. I would like to draw your attention to how important Santa Monica Blvd. is to the region in the image below, where I’ve approximately circled the segment through Beverly Hills.

Brighter lines indicate higher utilization. As you can clearly see, this is the most important East/West route for bicyclists North of the 10 Freeway. It’s utilization is on par with streets like Venice Blvd (complete bike lanes, with recent safety improvements in Mar Vista), San Vicente Blvd (complete bike lanes), Sunset Blvd through Echo Park/Silverlake (complete bike lanes) and even the Ballona Creek Bicycle Path, which is car-free. This is the most important stretch of road in the whole area which does not have complete bike lanes. You should have no worries that an investment in safe multi-modal transit for the future of Santa Monica Blvd will be underutilized.

[FYI – Strava is able to provide better data and analysis to city planners and decision makers directly through their Strava Metro program – I encourage you to check it out here: http://metro.strava.com/]

If you haven’t, I would also encourage you to take a single short ride along this segment of road one weekday morning or afternoon, in either direction. Cars and buses move swiftly in open sections of road, and completely jam forward progress when traffic gridlocks. Neither of these are nearly such a concern to cyclists in neighboring communities on this route.

The wide, green lanes in WeHo are a delight, but even the striped lanes on the other side through Century City are leaps and bounds more safe and comfortable to ride than the section through Beverly Hills.

This is a very important bicycle thoroughfare for the region, and Beverly Hills has an opportunity to step up to or even exceed the standards in safety and environmental consciousness set by its neighbors on the same road. It can also be used to encourage cyclists to visit your business district, and to allow community members safer access to their favorite shops in town.

Thanks for your consideration of this matter. I am sorry I am unable to attend your meeting tomorrow – thus my note.

Best,

Stephen M. Collins

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If you’d like to voice your support, you can attend attend the meeting at 7 pm in the council chambers at Beverly Hills City Hall, 455 N. Rexford Drive. If you can’t make it, email your support to mailto:mayorandcitycouncil@beverlyhills.org, and indicate whether you are a resident or work there.

 

Morning Links: The real cost of traffic violence, bicycles promoting pastries, and a torturous new bike team

This is the cost of traffic violence.

In a heartbreaking story, the parents of eight-year old Brock McCann remember their son, who was killed in a collision with a garbage truck while riding his bike home from school in Newport Beach last week.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am this Saturday at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 600 St. Andrews Road in Newport Beach, just blocks from where he was killed.

Meanwhile, a fundraising page has drawn over $66,000 in donations in less than a week.

Ghost bike and memorial for Brock McCann; photo courtesy of Jeffrey Fylling

Ghost bike and memorial for Brock McCann; photo courtesy of Jeffrey Fylling

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Look what came in the mail the other day.

Cycling in the South Bay

I’m looking forward to adding this one to my reading list. Seth always has something interesting to say in his own inimitable style.

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You know we’re making progress when a new French patisserie in the Biking Black Hole promotes itself with a faux delivery bike.

SAMSUNG

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Bahrain’s Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa is expected to officially unveil his new Bahraini-based cycling team at next month’s Tour de France.

Although accusations of torture make you wonder what he’ll do to riders who don’t make the cut.

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Local

The new scramble crosswalk at Hollywood and Highland has helped turn one of LA’s most dangerous intersections into one of the safest. However, the map of Hollywood’s many dangerous streets included in the story points out the desperate need for the currently non-existent bike lanes the neighborhood.

CICLE’s Vanessa Gray offers suggestions on how to make Echo Park safer and more attractive for bicyclists.

Mind the letter of the law in Pasadena tomorrow, where the local constabulary will step up enforcement of violations that can cause collisions between motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists in key locations around town.

Suddenly, new open streets events are coming in rapid succession, as Santa Monica hosts Coast this Sunday, followed by Viva SGV! in El Monte and South El Monte a week later. And the 18-mile long 626 Golden Streets stretching from South Pasadena to Azusa takes place on the 26th.

 

State

The Palm Springs paper talks with a first-time AIDS/Lifecycle rider; 2,500 cyclists will depart from San Francisco on Sunday to raise awareness and funds for the fight against HIV/AIDS.

A popular Little Rock AR chef will take part in the 300-mile No Kid Hungry Chef’s Ride from Carmel to Santa Barbara at the end of this month.

Campbell police bust two bike thieves using a GPS-equipped bait bike. Note that the value of the bait bike is over the $1,000 threshold for felony theft; below that, the crime is just a misdemeanor, which means thieves go right back out on the streets to do it again. And again.

Oakland police are looking for help in solving the fatal shooting of a bike rider on his way home from a party.

 

National

Streetsblog offers graphic evidence why speed limits should be set at 20 mph on city streets. Especially since most LA drivers drive at least 10 miles over the limit anyway.

A new automatic Bluetooth bike lock currently raising funds on Kickstarter is designed to disable your rear wheel and sound a 110 dB alarm if anyone messes with your bike.

Seriously? A North Dakota man steals a $10,000 racing bicycle, and gets a whole 15 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The Guardian looks back on what could have been, as New York’s Gridlock Sam tried to ban cars from downtown Manhattan in the ’70s. Speaking of Sam Schwartz, his new book offers a great primer on how we got into this auto-centric traffic mess, and how we can get ourselves out.

Joe Jonas is one of us, as he rides what appears to be a fixie with his bikeshare pedaling date.

More bighearted cops, as police officers in New Jersey replace a bike that was stolen from a deaf and developmentally challenged adult.

A Pennsylvania drunk driver gets seven to 16 years for the death of a triathlete; the driver had at least five prior arrests for driving under the influence — and once for drunk boating — before he finally succeeded in killing someone. A perfect example of keeping dangerous drivers on the road, and taking traffic crime seriously only after it’s too late.

Video of the hour-long standoff between a Philadelphia bike rider and a city bus shows both the cyclist and the driver were at fault.

 

International

It turns out high-level endurance training isn’t bad for your heart after all.

A Canadian man rode 16,000 miles around the coasts of Canada and the US after he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Toronto police finally get serious about keeping parked cars out of bike lanes, ticketing over 100 drivers in just two days.

A British cyclist was killed when the bond between the fork crown and steerer tube on his bike failed; a recall notice on the bike he was riding didn’t go out until two months after his death.

A UK woman calls for cyclists to stop riding on the sidewalk after she was knocked down by a rider as she was training a guide dog for the blind.

A bipolar bike rider sets out on a 5,000 mile ride around the coast of Britain to raise awareness for mental health.

You’ve got to be kidding. A road raging Aussie driver is caught on video getting out of his car and threatening a cyclist with a knife. And gets off with a lousy $1,500 fine for carrying a weapon in public.

 

Finally…

At last, you can now get paid to ride your bike — as long as you don’t mind turning your bike into a wind-resistant rolling advertisement. No, really, the driver didn’t crash into the cyclist, they just crossed paths.

And when you’re riding on the edge of a cliff, it’s probably a good idea to remain upright.

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Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep bringing BikinginLA to you each morning.

And thanks to Jon Froman for fixing the header on this site, which had long resisted my best efforts, and those of others, to correct.

 

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