Tag Archive for the Biking Black Hole

Morning Links: Bad news isn’t the problem, a Breeze-y day in SaMo, and bikes aren’t a priority in Beverly Hills


Writing for Bicycling Retailer, Rick Vosper discusses what he says is a nationwide decline in bicycle sales, and places the blame in an unexpected place.

Press coverage of bicycling fatalities, which he says has driven down the rate of bicycling in this country by scaring people off their bikes.

Even though his own stats show bike sales increased 13% from 2000 to 2012.

His response is that, taking inflation into account, retail sales at bike shops actually dropped 9% over that same period when measured in constant dollars.

However, that fails to consider a little thing called the Internet, which became the go-to place for many shoppers over the same period. Just ask local book stores what effect online sales had on their business.

If you can find one.

It also fails to account for the Internet’s role in facilitating used bike sales, which have boomed over the same period.

And sales have been affected by the drop in prices for many items, as improved manufacturing techniques and overseas manufacturing have driven down the price of everything from carbon frames to high-powered bike lights, even as high-end bike prices have skyrocketed.

He goes on to argue that the perceived drop in sales is driven by a 37% decline in the number of bike riders in the US from 2000 to 2014, as 7.5 million Americans have stopped riding their bikes.

In fact, according to Vosper, just 11% of people in this country rode bikes in 2014, down from 15% in 2000, and 21% in 1995.

Except no one else seems to believe that.

In fact, by every appearance, ridership is booming in this country. And not just anecdotally.

The Statistica website traces a rise in bicycling from 47.16 million people who had ridden a bike in the previous 12 months in 2008, to 67.33 million in 2014, before dropping slightly to 66.72 this past spring.

Meanwhile, the 2012 National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors reported that 18% of Americans over the age of 16 rode a bike at least once that summer.

People for Bikes cites even higher numbers from a benchmarking survey taken last fall.

According to their study, over one-third of all Americans over the age of three rode a bike at least once in the previous year. That’s 100 million people.

Hardly a decline by any measure. So whatever forces may be limiting bike shop sales, it’s not due to a drop in ridership.

However, even if the numbers don’t support his conclusions, he still raises a point worth discussing.

When I started writing about bicycling fatalities in 2010, it was because no one else was doing it.

Too many times, the loss of a rider’s life wouldn’t merit more than a few lines in the local press, if that. And too many times, the victim was blamed when the circumstances pointed to a different conclusion.

So I set out to shine a light on these tragedies in order to memorialize the victim, shame the press into doing a better job, and hopefully force our governmental leaders to do something to stop the carnage on our roads.

It can be argued that those last two goals have been met, at least in part.

The press is finally paying attention. Maybe too much attention, by Vosper’s account. Most, though not all, fatal bicycling collisions are now reported in the press, though there’s still not enough focus on the person who was killed in the crash.

And with the commitment to Vision Zero currently spreading across the country — including right here in Los Angeles — our leaders are finally committing to ending the deaths, not just of people on bikes, but everyone who travels our roads.

So maybe we don’t have to shine that light anymore. Or at least, not as brightly.

I know these stories are hard to read. Trust me, they’re even harder to write.

It’s worth thinking about, and a discussion worth having as we move forward.


The Breeze finally blew into Santa Monica today, as the city’s new bikeshare system officially opened; Streetsblog offers some great pictures of the grand opening.

However, the LA Times notes that the system may not work seamlessly with Metro’s coming system, while Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says that doesn’t really matter.

And hopefully, users won’t ride them down a flight of stairs.


Just incredible.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot explains that after four years of failed promises, Beverly Hills has finally admitted that updating the Biking Black Hole’s nearly 40-year old bike plan just isn’t a priority.

Then again, it never has been, since none of it was never implemented.

It will be interesting to see what happens when scores of foreign tourists take to the city’s bike-unfriendly and largely infrastructure-less streets when the Santa Monica bikeshare system expands to the city.

It may be a good thing it’s just a straight shot down the road from Cedars Sinai.


You may need to rethink your riding plans for the weekend. Both Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road in the Angeles National Forest will be closed all weekend due to high winds.



Nice gesture from the East Side Riders new ESR Bike and Skate Shop, as they replaced the bike stolen from an 11-year old boy by a man who pushed him off the bike he’d just won in a raffle.

Good to see the LACBC’s blog make a comeback, with a detailed explanation of LA’s new Mobility Plan 2035 and what you can do to support it. Meanwhile, UCLA’s Daily Bruin takes an in-depth look at the current state of the plan. Although I’d expect better from former LA County Commissioner Zev Yaroslavsky, who says the plan was “cooked up in an ivory tower” and rushed through the political process; evidently, an over five-year public process wasn’t good enough for him.

KPCC looks at the new Go Human campaign that puts a human face on traffic safety.

Bicycle Retailer continues their tour of LA-area bike shops.

Santa Monica parents are pushing for crossing guards at dangerous intersections to protect children walking and biking to school.



A San Diego captain offers advice on how to prevent bike theft for the marina crowd.

A new Palo Alto bike and walking trail would form the spine of a Bay to Ridge Trail running through the Stanford campus.

Here’s your chance to get involved if you live in San Francisco, San Mateo or Santa Clara counties, as Caltrain is looking for bicyclist representatives for their advisory committee.

San Francisco messenger bag maker Timbuk2 offers a new line of bike bags for women.

Natomas cyclists now have a shiny new bike fix-it station.

Advice on how to safely share the road and pathways from the active transportation coordinator in Davis.



Amtrak expands bike service to the New York to New Orleans Crescent Line this week, even if it does bypass bike-friendly Anniston AL.

A Seattle-area paper argues that shifting to bikes would be a big benefit to the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change; a new study shows a shift to transportation cycling could save cities $25 trillion — that’s trillion, with a T — while reducing CO2 emissions 10% by 2050.

Kentucky senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul may enjoy riding his bike, but thinks federal funding for bike lanes belongs in the same category as turtle tunnels and squirrel sanctuaries. But at least he’s skilled at alliteration.

Maybe we’re making progress, as New Yorkers don’t complain about a proposal to remove a traffic lane and parking spaces to make room for a protected bike lane.

The Washington Post looks at why bike lanes have become heated symbols of gentrification, in the wake of a dispute over a planned bike lane in front of an African American church; leaders of the church have claimed it would violate their freedom of religion by removing parking. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the heads-up.



A British man who stabbed a bike rider to death in a random attack has been sentenced to an indefinite term in a psychiatric hospital for treatment of schizophrenia.

London’s Telegraph offers 11 rules for commuting by bike. It may be a sponsored post, but the first 10 tips aren’t bad.

An English driver has pled guilty to killing a cyclist during a road rage dispute.

Someone stole a Brit triathlete’s $17,000 Trek.

A Philippine professor says the way to reduce congestion in the country is to get people out of their cars and onto bikes and feet.

A Singapore taxi driver gets nine months, and a 10-year ban from driving, for the DUI death of a bike rider after falling asleep, crashing into a parked car, then backing into the cyclist.



Presenting the perfect bike lock for people who are all thumbs. The real winner of a British cycling sportive will be whoever figures out how to hold two versions of the same race at the same time in the same place.

And world road champ Peter Sagan got married in Slovakia over the weekend in a ceremony that involved a top hat, tight rope and a chainsaw.


Weekend Links: NBPD quickly corrects misguided cop, hope for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes, and bike events

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for a cop to get bike laws wrong, especially when it comes to our right to the lane.

What is unusual is getting the issue straightened out in such a prompt and positive manner.

Hats off to Newport Beach Deputy Chief David McGill for resolving this one the right way. And right away.

Thanks to topomodesto for the heads-up.


There may be unexpected light at the end of the Beverly Hills tunnel when it comes to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd, which appeared to be dead in the water earlier this year.

This comes from the LACBC:



You may still have time to join CICLE for the Ring Around the Lotus ride around Echo Park Lake area this morning.

The Bicycle Drive-In screening of Wizard of Oz planned for today in Downtown Long Beach has been rescheduled for next week due to the power outage affecting the area.

Pedaler’s Fork hosts their 10-Speed Grinder Ride this Sunday.

Also on Sunday, South Pas is hosting a Green Living Expo and Clean Air Car Show. Someone should tell them bikes are a lot greener than even the cleanest car.

Celebrate the new improvements on LA’s first Great Street, including the new parking protected bike lanes at [Re]visit Reseda Blvd on the 30th.

Streetsblog will host a fundraising Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village on August 8th.


Icebike.org offers what may be the ultimate infographic on the ultimate bike friendly city with a detailed look at Copenhagen.


Peter Sagan just misses victory in the 13th stage of the Tour de France, for his fourth second place finish of the Tour, as Greg van Avermaet takes the win. But at least Sagan has a firm grasp on the sprinter’s jersey.

An Irish rider in his first Tour leads the battle for the lanterne rouge, if lead is the right word for it.

A website says the TdF has never looked so horrifying, thanks to on-bike footage of a crash. And GoPro says live on-bike footage could be broadcast from every rider in the peloton in just two years.

VeloNews previews the second edition of the women’s La Course by Le Tour de France, which will be broadcast on live TV before the men’s finish on the Champs-Élysées. Bicycling offers photos of the recently completed Giro Rosa, proving women really can survive a seven day stage race; many of those same racers will compete in La Course.

The New York Times says Lance may be a pain for cycling, but could turn out to be a sympathetic figure. And drop these phrases in into you daily conversation to make people think you really understand the bike racing.



Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman puts the police shooting death of Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino in context, saying streets can never be considered complete or livable when a large segment of the bike riding population has to ride in fear of the police.

Bike theft continues to rise in DTLA, as 11 bikes were stolen in a single week earlier this month; a $1,300 bike was ridden right out of Sports Chalet, while another was stolen when a Downtown security officer left it unattended.

The East Side Riders Bike Club has a new Gofundme page to raise $4,000 to help kids and the community through bicycling; thanks to LA Streetsblog for the link.



A Santa Rosa theater group travels to their bilingual stage performances by bike.

Sadly, a 63-year old Palo Alto cyclist died of injuries he suffered in a Mountain View collision last week, while another rider was killed near Tracy on Thursday.

Surprisingly, San Francisco ranks worse than LA as one of the nation’s worst cities for drivers. Which makes bicycling an even better alternative, mais non?

San Francisco Streetsblog looks at plans to remove bike lanes and sharrows from one of the city’s streets without providing a safer alternative.

Tragically, a 12-year old boy has died of injuries he suffered in a bicycling collision on Monday. The news report notes the victim wasn’t wearing a helmet, but fails to mention if he suffered a head injury, or if his injuries could have been survivable even with one.



If living near trees makes you feel younger, imagine how riding a bike through them would make you feel.

No press bias here. After an SUV driver flicks his cigarette in the face of a Vancouver WA bicyclist, he apparently run down her on purpose. And the local TV just calls it a hit-and-run.

A Denver thief entered through a doggie door to steal an expensive bike. Presumably, he didn’t leave the same way.

That’s more like it. A Nebraska man gets 12 to 16 years for the DUI death of a cyclist; two hours after the wreck, he was still twice the legal limit.

Big hearted strangers pitch in to buy a 79-year old Fargo woman a new three-wheeled bike after hers was stolen.

A Dallas paper asks if local texting bans really reduce traffic collisions; Texas is one of just six states that refuses to ban the practice statewide.

A Kentucky driver faces a long list of charges, including murder, for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist; he drove three miles with the dying rider in the bed of his pickup before police stopped him.

Cincinnati’s mayor says it’s time to scrap a bike lane because drivers can’t seem to figure it out.

A Rochester NY boy is under arrest for stealing 150 — yes, 150 — bikes from a community cycling group; some of the bikes were recovered, but were badly damaged. Big hearted community members donated over 400 bikes to replace them.

Boston’s Bikeyface asks who’s afraid of a little sweat.



Britain’s Prime Minister will consider banning big trucks from city centers at rush hour to protect bike riders.

A writer for the Guardian asks why the BBC is so anti-bicycling. Good question.

A UK triathlete is looking for the Good Samaritan who came to his aid after he passed out and woke up disoriented during the bicycling segment of a recent race.

Brit thieves steal the bicycle a woman rider used to raise the equivalent of over $17,000 for a hospice charity.

Cyclists aren’t even safe when they drive, as a 79-year old British bike club leader was stabbed to death by a road raging driver after a minor collision.

Police in The Netherlands have to borrow a bike to catch a bike thief.

Syrian refugees are bicycling 1,200 miles to Europe to escape their war-torn country.

A writer for the Guardian compares bicycling in The Netherlands with Australia to dispel the usual anti-bike arguments.



Caught on video: Deadspin can’t stop watching those “crazy assholes” play indoor soccer on bikes, saying the video will blow your f***ing dick off. Evidently, viewing it will have no effect on women, though. Then again, Bike Portland says all sports are better when played on a bike.

And if you’re going to tell police you bought the stolen bike you’re riding at Walmart, make sure they sell that brand first.


Morning Links: New hope for North Fig and Santa Monica Blvd; bike rider attacked on San Gabriel River trail

Maybe bike lanes on North Figueroa aren’t dead after all.

According to the LACBC, discussions with Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s office have yielded a number of safety improvement options for a five block stretch of the roadway — including a possible road diet and bike lanes.

Of course, a five-block bike lane unconnected to a longer bikeway, let alone a network of lanes, won’t do anyone much good.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction, and it opens the possibility for further improvements.

That is, assuming the councilmember is sincere in working with bike riders, after giving cyclists the cold shoulder after taking office and accusing bike advocates of bullying in an open council session.

And leaving them feeling jerked around — if not stabbed in the back — during the process of needlessly examining, then killing, what was already a fully approved, funded and shovel-ready project.


Meanwhile, it looks like bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd survive for another day.

After a vocal turnout by bike riders at Tuesday’s city council session in the Biking Black Hole, the proposed Beverly Hills Greenway appears to have gained traction (pdf, scroll down).

As usual, local advocacy website Better Bike offers the most complete recap of the day’s events, as well as reviewing local coverage of the story — including a highly biased piece from the Beverly Hills Courier that should have been printed on yellow stock.

Or maybe toilet paper.


Allyson Vought forwards word of a bike rider who was assaulted by a pedestrian on the San Gabriel River bike path in Seal Beach earlier this month.

The man reportedly stepped into the pathway and punched the cyclist in the face hard enough to knock him off his bike, then proceeded to pummel him severely before casually walking away. The victim was discovered by another rider crawling up the rocky embankment leading to the river, bleeding from the face, head, arms and legs.

Disturbingly, police never showed up in response to the 911 call, even though riders followed the attacker for over 20 minutes.


Once again, you can win a ride with Laemmle Theaters president and LACBC board member Greg Laemmle.

Just explain why you want to ride with Greg, and you could win free entry to the 2015 Climate Ride, and $2500 towards your fundraising requirements, along with an Unlimited Laemmle Movie Pass for the rest of this year.

Not a bad deal.


When is it too muddy for cyclocross?

When parks officials in Austin TX, home of this year’s national championships, decide to postpone the final day’s events because of wet conditions; stunned riders who refused to leave the park were threatened with arrest.

Donations are being raised for competitors who hadn’t budgeted for the extra day.


The New York Times looks at Baltimore’s allegedly drunken and texting hit-and-run Bishop; thanks to George Wolfberg for the link.

The Baltimore Sun reports she was charged with manslaughter, hit-and-run and DUI, after blowing nearly three times the legal limit. As of Friday, she was in custody, being held on $2.5 million bond.

Meanwhile, a local letter writer says shock does not excuse the moral depravity of refusing to stop after hitting someone. Well put.



LA’s long promised bike share system could actually come to DTLA next year, with the first test stations opening as early as October of this year.

Santa Monica police are expanding patrols looking for violations that threaten the safety of cyclists, regardless of whether they’re committed by drivers or bike riders.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition offers a questionnaire for candidates in the city’s mayoral race; they’re also participating in a forum for mayoral candidates on the 14th. The LACBC should have a questionnaire for candidates in LA’s council elections soon.

Milestone Rides hosts a session on Bike Touring 101 at Stan’s Bike Shop in Monrovia on Saturday the 17th.



The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition names Long Beach-based folding bike maker Tern as their Community Partner of the Year for the company’s support of the city’s CicloSDias open streets event.

San Diego’s bike share program is about to put 1,500 bikes on the streets.

Davis police recover 69 stolen bikes, but need to find the owners so they can press charges.

Sadly, a Folsom fireman is fighting for his life after being struck from behind by a bike rider while out running on a pathway.



The new Close Call Database tracks driver-on-cyclist hate. I’m afraid I’ve lost track of who sent me this link, so please accept my apologies and thanks.

A Portland cyclist says bicycling won’t change the symptoms of menopause, but it does make it more fun.

Bicycling contributes over $3.1 billion — that’s billion, with a b — to the economy of Washington state.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Oklahoma City councilman proposes a three-foot passing law — except this one requires cyclists to keep three feet from motor vehicles.

A Tulsa man dedicated the last two decades of his life to the belief that every kid should have a bike; sadly, he passed away last week.

A Chicago cyclist explains why bicycling tends to be less popular among African Americans. And how it helped rescue his own life.

Bad enough when a cyclist is killed in a collision; even more heartbreaking when a 74-year old PA man dies nine months after he was hit by a car.

The Washington Post offers a thoughtful examination of why cyclists break traffic laws, which basically boils down to trying to stay safe on roads that weren’t designed with us in mind. Thanks to LACBC board member Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.



A new rain-proof riding jacket will indicate your turns for you. And your bike can now keep you upright, no matter how clumsy or balance challenged you may be.

A Canadian study shows helmet use doesn’t impact your overall risk of injury while riding a bike, since they only protect against head injuries. The study, evidently conducted by Obvious University, concludes the biggest injury risk factor cyclists face is… wait for it… getting hit by a car.

A Brit cyclist is convicted of punching another rider in a fit of bike rage, then doing it again to someone else just nine months later.

Increasing cycling rates could save at least 80 lives a year in Stockholm.

The seat and handlebars vibrate on a new bike from the Netherlands when fast moving objects get to close; on most LA streets, that could make it a virtual mobile sex toy.

Firefighters pedal bikes to the blazes in Varanasi, India. But do they get to make siren noises when they ride to the rescue?

The debate over scofflaw cyclists rages on, even in the UAE.

New Zealand’s national women’s cycling championships was nearly decided by a poodle peloton pile-up.



You can now buy a ridable bike for the equivalent of just $10, as long as you don’t mind if it’s made of cardboard. Nothing like a bike rack on the back of your Lamborghini.

And if you thought playing Jingle Bells on a bike was something special, how about a veritable bike orchestra?


Thanks to John Hall for a generous donation to support this website.

Your generosity is what allows me to keep doing this.

Morning Links: Finish the Ride gets bigger for 2015; support the revised Beverly Hills Greenway on Tuesday

This is going to be my last post for a few day.

I’m moving to a new apartment in Hollywood on Sunday, leaving behind the Westside neighborhood my wife and I have finally been priced out of after more than 20 years. And unfortunately, Internet service won’t be installed in our new home for a few days after that.

So enjoy this post. Take your time reading the news and exploring the links. And I’ll be back later this week.


Big news from Damian Kevitt and Finish the Ride, which not only offers the option of a more challenging route, but opens the event up to virtually everyone. Click on the images for a larger version. 

Finish the Ride Flyer for PRINT

Finish the Ride Flyer


The Beverly Hills City Council is scheduled to discuss the planned remake of Santa Monica Blvd at Tuesday’s 2:30 pm council session, including installing much needed bike lanes on the boulevard through the city to connect with lanes in West Hollywood and Century City.

Something leaders of the Biking Black Hole have rejected more than once. Even though it already ranks as the most dangerous city of its size in the entire state.

And even though their decisions impact the city’s and people around them.

However, a new plan is on the table for what is now being called the Beverly Hills Greenway, which addresses many of the complaints previously raised to argue against the bike lanes. Or at least, the more rational ones.

Developed by Better Bike and the LACBC in conjunction with other cycling advocates, the plan would straighten out the varying widths of the boulevard, resulting in no net loss of parkland alongside — while making it safer and more inviting for everyone, including the tourists the city depends on.

You can show your support by signing the petition or attending the council session on Tuesday. Or better yet, both.


Blame — or possibly thank, depending on your point of view — bicycling for the possible loss of Bono’s six string skills, as he says his new titanium elbow may prevent him from ever playing the guitar again.

Then again, as he points out, his band mates have reminded him that “neither they nor Western Civilization are depending on this.”

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.



Caught on video: Flying Pigeon looks at the traffic hell that is North Figueroa during morning rush hour; notice the extreme lack of cars that makes bike lanes impossible. Or not.

LADOT is looking for a Community Affairs Advocate to serve as a liaison to the city council and other elected officials, as well as community groups.

Rick Risemberg explains why it takes so long to get bike racks installed in LA, let alone anything else bike related.



After a year of delays, San Diego’s long-promised bike share program is ready to roll this month, cross their hearts.

Turns out I’m not the only SoCal rider to have an unpleasant bee encounter.

San Jose introduces back-in diagonal parking to improve safety in advance of a planned bike lane.

As too often happens, an Anderson CA cyclist can’t remember the hit-and-run that sent him to the hospital with major injuries; evidently, according to the CHP, the victim was not wearing a flak jacket, hockey mask or other forms of safety equipment.



Next City asks why it isn’t against the law to kill a cyclist with a car. Damn good question.

Now that’s more like it. An alleged Wyoming drunk driver accused of killing one cyclist and critically injuring another faces a sentence of eight to ten years in prison, followed by ten years probation.

A Milwaukee writer looks at why drivers harass cyclists and pedestrians who aren’t even breaking the law.

A Connecticut writer complains about the $10 million cost to make a bridge safe for cyclists, but doesn’t seem to be concerned about the $33 million it will cost to rehabilitate it for cars.

Brooklyn’s Borough President says we need to embrace bicycling because cars are so old school, darn it.



Columbian pro Darwin Atapuma is recovering after being slashed by thieves attempting to steal his bike. Meanwhile, if you thought Lance wasn’t the only pro cyclist who doped, boy, were you right.

A year after a tooth-and-nail battle over a Vancouver bikeway that closed a street to motor vehicles, the plan has actually worked.

An English cyclist plans to break a seemingly unbreakable record by riding over 75,000 miles this year — over 200 miles a day, every day, for the entire year. Let’s hope he can avoid getting sick or hitting a pothole.

I love it. A UK cyclist hands out red cards to offending drivers; in this country, we’d need a whistle and a red flag.

The Irish Times takes a look at the 10 best international bicycling vacations, none of which are anywhere near the US.

The Economist looks at Sweden’s Vision Zero to reduce traffic deaths to, well, zero. Which is finally spreading to LA.

An escaped Greek hit man was busted while riding a bike.

Kiwi cyclists push to have the country’s helmet law repealed; someone should tell the country’s leaders it’s more effective to encourage helmet use without making it mandatory.

An Aussie cyclist is nabbed for biking under the influence on New Years Eve after blowing over five times the legal limit; on the other hand, I think we can all be glad he wasn’t driving.



Instant karma caught on video: A drunk allegedly steals a bike, then loses several teeth crashing into a cement trashcan before getting arrested. A Brit woman whines about the mythical Cycling Widows Club instead of just getting on her bike and riding with her significant other.

And Bradley Wiggins reveals how pro riders stay warm on cold rides, and why their shorts may have a yellow tinge at the end.

Which is something I really didn’t want to know.


Morning Links: The last gasp for Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes; is Gil Cedillo sandbagging his own safety meetings?

It may be the last gasp for much-needed bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd in the Biking Black Hole.

The LACBC calls on everyone to attend today’s Beverly Hill’s City Council study session on the proposed bike lanes, or if you can’t make it, email councilmembers in support of the bike lanes largely unsupported by the council.

As usual, Better Bike provides an in-depth analysis of both the roadway and city politics, saying it looks like the fix is in. And not in a good way.

I wonder if the city can be sued for failing to consider the needs of all road users as required by Federal law and the state’s requirement for Complete Streets (pdf). Especially if state and/or Federal funds will be used in the planned reconstruction of the streets.

Now that’s one Kickstarter I’d pitch in for.



A 27-year old bike rider was shot to death in South Los Angeles early Monday morning. Do we even need to mention what an incredible waste of human life that is?

A writer for City Watch says a less car-dependent Los Angeles is a fantasy. Then again, he’s probably right if we ignore alternatives and focus strictly on driving, even if the cars are driverless.

CD 1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo appears to sandbag his own street design public meetings for Northeast LA by failing to give sufficient public notice for anyone to actually attend.



A passer-by — or driver-by in this case — comes upon a Cypress bike collision, and is told the rider survived only because he or she wore a helmet — without noting what injuries the victim did or didn’t suffer, and whether a helmet could have actually made a difference. And never mind the inappropriate photo of a happy, helmet-clad kid.

Bicyclists ask for more space on Caltrain cars.

A Modesto letter writer says drivers have an obligation to stick around if they hit someone — although the driver who admitted hitting him on purpose actually did.



A new book looks at the history of Bicycles in American Highway Planning from 1969 to 1991, when an emphasis on motor vehicles marginalized bike infrastructure and set bicycling back 40 years.

The much loved Urban Velo succumbs to the times and ceases publication.

Bike friendly Portland encourages people to ride to the airport; if that was a viable option here, maybe we wouldn’t have such disastrous traffic tie-ups every holiday. We can dream, can’t we?

Nice. A non-profit organization founded by a Seattle man has given over 2,000 bicycles to survivors of human trafficking around the world.

Cherokee Schill, the Kentucky cyclist arrested for riding her bike in the traffic lane, has filed to run for Lt. Governor of the seemingly bicycling-challenged state.



We have met the enemy, and he is us. Brit bike scribe Carlton Reid illustrates how our paved roads — and yes, the cars on them — were begot by bicyclists.

Must have thin skinned police in Italy, as the cops who conducted the possibly flawed investigation into the death of cycling legend Marco Pantani threaten to sue the press for besmirching their reputations.

A new emphasis on cycling has helped change Rwanda’s international image.

Now that’s more like it. Singapore commits to becoming a bicycling nation by 2030, but a former official says it can be done in just six years.



The perfect gift for your ultra-competitive toddler. A Korean company says it’s developed the first truly functional flat-proof bike tire.

And as if drivers didn’t have enough trouble seeing us, Russia’s Tinkoff-Saxo pro team unveils new camo training uniforms.


Don’t expect justice. Not on a bike, not for hit-and-run. And not in Beverly Hills.

Paul Livingston, back on his feet.

Paul Livingston, back on his feet. Photo by Brandon Lake.

Three days in jail for felony hit-and-run.

Exactly half the time her victim spent in a coma. And just a fraction of the seemingly endless days he spent in the hospital, let alone long months in rehab.

No wonder Paul Livingston is mad.

Maybe you remember the story.

Just over three years ago, June 12, 2011, to be exact, Livingston was riding his bike through the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills when he was rear-ended by a driver, who a witness described as weaving in and out of traffic “as if she was drunk.”

In fact, that same witness was dialing 911 to report the driver when she heard the sickening thud of the impact that nearly took Livingston’s life.

As Don Ward tells the story in LA Streetsblog,

Last summer Paul Livingston, an experienced cyclist of 15 years, was commuting along Santa Monica Blvd heading east through Beverly Hills. He began slowing as he approached a stale red light. Relaxed, it was about 6pm on a clear skied Sunday afternoon and his lane – the right lane – was clear. He was estimated to be moving at about 8 miles per hour. Suddenly his world changed forever. Witnesses describe an impatient and unpredictable driver racing in and out of pockets heading east towards the soon to be green light that Paul was approaching. Paul had no chance. He was smashed from behind and thrown. It was reported that the driver never braked but instead accelerated to get away after impact.

Even worse was the terrible toll caused by that collision.

The impact was so harsh that Paul suffered multiple spinal and pelvic fractures, severe internal bleeding and abdominal injuries. He spent 6 days in a coma and another month in the hospital. Doctors performed spinal fusion surgery to 5 levels of his vertebrae. Because of his disability he was let go from his job at SIR Hollywood, and as a result his medical insurance was terminated. With no ability to work he lost his apartment soon after. Paul’s hospital bills add up to well over $1 million dollars. The driver not only left Paul with a massive hospital bill, she stole a life’s joy from him as he lie broken in the street that day. Paul may never again ride a bicycle. None of the witnesses that stayed managed to get a plate, just a vehicle description.

In fact, it was far worse.

In a follow-up piece, Streetsblog’s Sara Bond wrote,

The last thing Paul remembers that day is being put on a stretcher before he woke up in a hospital bed six days later. He suffered spinal and pelvic fractures. His pelvic bone, broken in half and pushed upwards into his bladder had severed blood vessels causing him to bleed internally. When he was first admitted to the hospital he was hypotensive, which means his organs were shutting down with the lack of blood and his body was going into shock. Paul underwent three abdominal surgeries within the first two days just to stop the bleeding. On the fourth day, the doctors were able to fix his pelvis and then he went through spine surgery only to have pelvic surgery once again to get it back to its original position. Paul also suffered from post-operative infection from the abdominal surgeries. Finally, with his fever gone, he was healthy enough to have his spinal fusion – as a result, Paul is a bit shorter now.

Yet despite the severities of his injuries, he credits his helmet with saving his life, and the large bike bag he was carrying with cushioning the impact from the car and protecting him from even greater harm.

The driver, Victoria Chin, called police to turn herself in the next day — after she’d had time to sober up, if the witness was correct — claiming she didn’t stop because she couldn’t find a parking spot.

Well, okay then.

Or at least, that seemed to be the laissez faire — if not incompetent — attitude of the Beverly Hills police.

Rather than send a patrol officer out to see her — let alone make a badly needed arrest — the officer she spoke with told her she had to come to the station turn herself in, and to bring the car with her. Instead, she showed up the next day with no car and a lawyer in tow, refusing to say or do anything other than identify herself.

And that’s when things got strange.

Livingston's warped bike doesn't begin to capture the extent of his injuries.

Livingston’s badly warped bike doesn’t begin to capture the extent of his injuries.

As far as the BHPD was concerned, no harm, no foul — ignoring that her victim was in the ICU at Cedars Sinai in a medically induced coma at that very moment.

Because of the botched non-investigation, the DA initially declined to press charges. It wasn’t until Livingston’s own lawyer conducted his own investigation and handed them a gift-wrapped case on a silver platter that they even deemed it worth pursuing.

Not that they really seemed very interested, even then.

“I never got the feeling Marta (Miller, the prosecuting attorney) gave a shit about me or my case,” Livingston said when I spoke with him last week.

In fact, he had a bad feeling about it from the beginning.

Chin’s defense attorney, a former Los Angeles DA, boasted on his website about using his connections with the office to benefit his clients. And when Livingston asked about it, he was told that Miller had worked with him for over 10 years.

But no one else seemed to see a conflict of interest; his request for a new prosecutor never even received a response from the DA’s office.

Evidently, his intuition was on target.

At the final court hearing, Miller refused to even acknowledge his presence before the plea deal was announced. Livingston says he knew a deal had been made by the guilty expression on the face of the prosecutor who should have been fighting for society’s, if not his, interests.

Chin entered a plea of no contest to felony hit-and-run. Or rather, a plea was entered on her behalf; she had moved back to her family home in Pennsylvania, and after her initial hearing, didn’t attend any court sessions until she was ultimately sentenced.

That plea deal should have been good news. California sentencing guidelines for felony hit-and-run call for 16 months to three years in state prison, with a fine of $1,000 to $10,000. Severe bodily injury brings an additional one-year enhancement, while permanent injury or death calls for another two to four years.

You’d think titanium rods permanently embedded in your back just to hold your body together would qualify as permanent injury.

But you would be wrong.

As a result of an incredibly generous deal, and despite the felony conviction, Chin was sentenced this past April to just 120 days in jail.

County jail.

Not state prison.

And given the current overcrowding conditions in LA County lockup, Livingston was warned that she wasn’t likely to serve anything close to the full term.

But he was shocked to learn she’d been released after just two days behind bars.

Two days.

Combined with another day in jail following her arrest, her total incarceration adds up to just three days, compared with the minimum 26 months in state custody she should have received. And just half the time Livingston spent in a coma because of her actions.

On the other hand, she was ordered to pay $638,434 in restitution.

Not that he will ever see the money.

Livingston’s insurance company has a $468,000 lien on any judgment. Cedars has another for $150,000. And whatever is left when they’re done will go to St. Vincent Hospital.

And not like anyone realistically expects her to pay.

Like most California drivers, she had the minimum liability insurance coverage of just $15,000 required by California law; an amount that hasn’t been increased since it was established in the 1970s.

Which also means that, while he’s almost assured of winning his civil suit, Livingston probably won’t see a dime for his lost wages, pain or suffering. The only hope is that Chin may — key word, may — have been driving as part of her job that day; if that turns out to be the case, her employer could be on the hook for the full amount of what should be a multi-million dollar settlement on top of the restitution.

Let’s hope so.


Despite everything, Paul Livingston remains remarkably upbeat.

“I’m so lucky,” he says. “I got so lucky.”

Without the herculean efforts of the paramedics and ER staff, he probably wouldn’t have made it through the first night. Even after that, so much could have gone wrong that could have changed his life forever.

Yet today, he pronounces himself fully recovered, physically anyway. He’s jogging a couple of miles every other day, doing push-ups and pull-ups, even lifting weights.

And he’s back to work as a drummer in a reggae band.

On the other hand, as Streetsblog noted, he’s not back on his bike, and probably never will be.

“I’m not riding anymore and I miss it. But there’s absolutely no way I would get on a bike in traffic again, anywhere.”

He also has to bite his tongue when he sees someone else riding a bike on crowded city streets.

“I want to tell them, if you only knew the danger you’re in, not just of getting hurt, but of the person who hit you never being brought to justice…”

His voice tapers off, leaving the thought dangling in the air.

He’d never actually say it, of course.

He knows the sheer joy that comes from riding a bike, and wouldn’t want to take that away from someone else.

But for all his upbeat attitude, the pain and financial stress has taken its toll.

I’ve gotta be honest. I’ve been really bummed out about the medical liens, insurance bullshit, and the reality of possibly not getting anything financially for my pain, suffering and all the emotional stress. I’m a professional musician and I lost my studio in Hollywood, my apartment, my job, my medical insurance. It’s been just one gnarly fight after another.

I had to fight to stay alive, I had to fight to learn how to walk again, I had to fight to get disability payments, I had to fight to get the Beverly Hills DA’s office to press charges and it just keeps going.

The hell I went through is something anyone would go to great lengths to avoid and that’s what’s hard to explain to people.

Until you experience trauma like that, you just don’t know. Imagine not being able to sleep while in pain waiting for spine surgery wondering if you’re going to still be able to walk again, go to the bathroom by yourself, and have sex again.

The physical pain was absolutely brutal but the emotional trauma is something that still haunts me. And I have to live with titanium rods and screws in my back forever.

So yeah, she took a lot away from me and the fact that she only did 3 days in jail makes me want to pack my shit and move to Montana.

But I want to try and help change things here so that other people don’t have to go through the hell I went through.

Yet remarkably, Paul Livingstone is not a vengeful man.

If she had shown some sign of remorse; if she’d just come up to me one time to say she was sorry, I might have let the whole thing go.

But she never did.


Maybe I should let the story end there.

But as someone who has long argued for tougher hit-and-run laws, and applauded the efforts of Don Ward, Damian Kevitt, state Assemblymember Mike Gatto and others to pass hard-hitting legislation, I realize it doesn’t really matter.

This obscene epidemic will never end, and the physical, emotional and financial toll of hit-and-run will continue to build as long as police, prosecutors and the courts refuse to take it seriously.

This should have been an easy case for the police to investigate. But they didn’t care.

It should have been a clear-cut prosecution for the DA’s office. But they didn’t care.

It should have been a chance for the judge to send a message that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated in a civil society, and that there are serious consequences for running away like a coward and leaving another human being to bleed, and possibly die, in the street.

But he didn’t care.

Or if anyone did, not enough to actually do anything about it.

Until we change the attitude that traffic crime doesn’t matter and people don’t have to be held accountable for their actions, nothing will ever change.

Livingston is right. We can expect a lot of things when we ride.

But justice isn’t one of them.

Especially not in Beverly Hills.


Morning Links: New Santa Clarita bike safety campaign; Beverly Hills official calls you an organ donor wannabe

citys-bike-safety-campaign-raise-awareness-about-sharing-road-41943-2-288x322A new Santa Clarita bike safety campaign says Respect is a Two-Way Street.

But they lose me with the illustration of a bike crashing into a car. And the last line that seems to put responsibility on riders to avoid getting killed, rather than on drivers to avoid killing someone.

So what do you think?


This is what cyclists are up against in Beverly Hills.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot quotes Beverly Krasne, city council member and former mayor of the Biking Black Hole, in justifying her adamant opposition to bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd:

Cyclists are on a donor cycle mission – to give their organs to someone.

Somehow, though, her solution to our perceived recklessness is to keep the city as dangerous and anti-bike-friendly as possible.

Maybe someone should let her know most of us just want to get through her damn city without getting killed in the process.


Police are reviewing the $100 ticket a DC cyclist got for following too closely after he’s buzzed, then brake checked by an angry truck driver — despite riding on sharrows at the time — after bike cam video of the incident is released.

Something tells me the officer needs a little retraining. Or maybe a new job.

And the driver needs to be behind bars.


As long as we’re in DC, I somehow missed this one last week as the US Secretary of Labor says he just wants to ride his bike to work. And that the department is committed to making “cycling to work an affordable, easy and enjoyable option.”

Sounds good to me.



The Source says the new Metro bike map was released just in time for last week’s Bike Week.

The new Los Angeles Register looks at the Bike Kitchen.

The Bike League profiles LA’s own Miguel Ramos of Multicultural Communities for Mobility.

Free bike repairs and repair demos in Santa Monica on Saturday the 31st.

Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles is offering a discount on registration for the California Coast Classic Bicycle Tour benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. Which means I now have two medical conditions with their own benefit bike rides, and I’d like to stop there, thank you.

Long Beach’s monthly Kidical Mass continues to grow in popularity.



Ex-con Michael Reyes pleads guilty to killing Chula Vista bike rider Daniel Voigt while driving in a stolen car with a suspended license last month; he faces over 14 well-deserved years in prison when he’s sentenced in July.

San Diego considers building an enclosed bikeway under the Coronado Bridge, which currently bans bikes. I seriously want to ride that one.

Okay. The Tour de Cluck offers a bike tour of Davis-area chicken coops. Yes, chicken coops.



The problem with Same Roads, Same Rules is that neither was designed with bicyclists in mind. Amen, brother.

In an insightful piece, a rider says the bike industry shouldn’t forget the women who already ride in their efforts to reach the ones who don’t.

Ten reasons why Open Streets events like CicLAvia rock.

Only 1% of head injuries occur on bikes, while 48% occur in cars. But no one suggests helmets for automobile passengers. Or most business employees, for that matter.

Not surprisingly, Portland comes out on top in a new ranking of the best cities for bicycling; also not surprising is that LA is nowhere on the list.

My hometown bikes to work at 11 times the national rate. When I last lived there three decades back, it was pretty much just me.

Is anyone really surprised that a Nebraska football star won’t faces charges for stealing not one, not two, but seven bicycles? It’s long past time to stop coddling criminal athletes.

Evanston IL plans to encourage bicycling by banning bikes on some streets. Yeah, that’ll work.



Protected bike lanes are the best medicine for dangerous Winnipeg roads.

Great Britain honors the cyclists who lost their lives in World War I. That was the war so devastating it was supposed to end all wars. Despite their sacrifice, it didn’t.

Dover police knock a cyclist off his bike when he allegedly failed to respond to commands to dismount, then say he just fell off.

Bradley Wiggins wants to restore your faith in cycling. My faith in cycling is as strong as ever; my faith in pro cyclists, not so much.

IKEA is now offering an e-bike in some Austrian stores; no word on whether you have to build it yourself.

An Aussie writer debunks popular bicycling myths. And says yes, cyclists cause collisions but so does everyone else.

As China continues to re-enter the world, its citizens face the same dangers Westerners do, as a Chinese bike rider is kidnapped by Taliban militants in Pakistan.



A Cambridge, Massachusetts bike safety campaign uses the local vernacular as it urges riders to Be Wicked Smaaht. And a British driver who killed a teenage passenger in a 130 mph crash — in a 60 mph zone, no less — has his sentence cut in half because he’s sorry. Oh, well okay, then.


Bypassing busy traffic on 7th Street, notes from the LAPD bike task force, and Beverly Hills bike lanes redux

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a traffic lane allowing impatient drivers to bypass backed-up traffic for a whole block, shaving maybe a few seconds off the evening commute.


A few notes from last week’s meeting with the LAPD’s bike liaisons.

First off, Sgt. Lazlo Sandor has taken over as bike liaison for the West Traffic Division; you’ll find his email address on the Resources page.

As part of Chief Beck’s proclamation that this will be the year of traffic enforcement, the LAPD has transferred a number of officers to work the city’s four traffic divisions. The good news is, the city is now focused on cracking down on dangerous drivers — like the one in the video above, for instance. The bad news is, bike violations are considered traffic offenses as well, so be forewarned.

One of the biggest problems in fixing traffic problems has long been that no one has been tracking bicycling and pedestrians collisions, injuries and fatalities. Which meant no one had a clue just what and where those problems might be, let alone how to solve them. Fortunately, the LAPD is now keeping track of all of the above as part of their Compstat program, requiring traffic officers to appear four times a year to discuss problems in their areas. And the department is tracking the most dangerous intersections for all road users to determine what has to be done to improve safety for everyone.

Last week’s story that Houston police officers were conducting traffic stings to improve safety for the city’s cyclists made news around the world. Which may have come as a surprise to LA officers, who have been doing the same thing for some time without public notice. In fact, LA’s West Traffic Division has conducted nine such stings since the first of the year — eight to enforce bike lane issues and one for stop sign enforcement. A total of 53 people were cited, including both cyclists and drivers; LAPD policy does not allow for selective enforcement, so they’re required to write up any violations they see during a sting, regardless of who commits it.

Finally, they stressed the importance of getting permits in advance for events that will require police participation. When the recent Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race was cancelled at the last minute, the department cancelled the officers who had been scheduled to work the event. Then when it was rescheduled at the last minute as a ride, they had to scramble to get enough officers to work the event on such short notice, and ended up paying out over $10,000 in overtime. While they understood the situation with the Marathon Crash, they ask for a minimum of 28 days advance notice to avoid any issues if you’re planning some sort of event.

On the other hand, if you break the law, they’re happy to show up with little or no notice.


The subject of bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd through Beverly Hills is back on the council agenda this Tuesday. Except they’re not, but maybe they are. It’s a complicated subject explained well by Better Bike.

Meanwhile, a Beverly Hills homeowner’s association offers their reasons why bike lanes are a bad idea, few if any of which actually hold water.

For instance, someone should tell them that California law requires that drivers merge into bike lanes before making right turns, rather than turning across the lane as they suggest (#2). And surprisingly, blind spots exist on motor vehicles, which can hide the presence of bikes from careless drivers like themselves, whether or not bike lanes exist.


Finally, this just in as a friend of mine reports an assault while riding home on PCH in Orange County.

I was riding on the super dark stretch of PCH between the oilfield and 10,000 miles of ocean. An empty car was stopped, no blinkers, on the shoulder. With cars coming up behind me at 60mph, the only option is to stop and wait for them to pass, or hike over the shrubs on the slope to the right of the (red) curb.

I take a picture of the car, and an angry guy kicks the driver’s side door open, emerges, and comes at me barking, “What the fuck are you doing?”

I dismount in case I have to run for it and start backing away while he repeatedly demands the camera, which he ain’t gonna get.

Long story short, he ends up throwing me, my bike & my bag (containing the Coolpix he was so interested in, plus my MacBook Air & iPad) into the ice plant.

I’m not injured, but my glasses are still out there because I gave up looking for them when the damn sprinklers came on. Also, I called Hunny PD back, and arranged them to just meet me at work for the report. The officer arrived before me AND TOLD MY COWORKER I HAD BEEN HIT BY A CAR. Boy, was she relieved when I grumped up my boss’s porch stairs with bike on shoulder & no visible injuries.

Lesson: Assume even parked cars are full of ex-convicts who will be violently angry with you for nothing.

I’m scared to check my MacBook.

Beverly Hills tells bicyclists to drop dead; LAPD to focus — finally — on traffic violations this year

Screw bike riders.

That was the message sent last night by notoriously bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills in refusing to incorporate bike lanes in next year’s planned reconstruction of Santa Monica Blvd.

Even though the reconstruction gives the city a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix one of the region’s most congested and dysfunctionally incomplete streets.

And even though it could be done for pennies on the dollar during the massive reconstruction project.

And even though it would connect the bike lanes that currently exist on the boulevard on either side of the city, completing the gap that exists between bike lanes in West Hollywood and Century City.

And even though Beverly Hills traffic already makes it the most dangerous city of its size in the state of California.

Oddly, several of the city’s council members expressed their concern for the safety of cyclists before voting to ignore their needs.

We’ll let Better Bike’s Mark Elliot, who led the seemingly Sisyphean fight in this over-privileged Mayberry tell the whole disturbing and dystopian tale.

The question is, what can we do going forward?

Personally, I think it’s long past time for a worldwide boycott of the Biking Black Hole, where the dollars of those on bikes seem to be valued far below those who arrive in Bentleys and luxury SUVs.

Maybe they’ll wake up if they start seeing hotel cancellations, as domestic and foreign bike riders choose to spend their money somewhere else. Or when the annual Gran Fondo gets moved to out of Beverly Hills because cyclists refuse to support a city that refuses to support us.

Or maybe the answer is to take a page from their own playbook, where seemingly endless lawsuits have attempted to derail the planned subway-sort-of-to-the-sea.

I don’t know if there are legal grounds to sue Beverly Hills for its hard-hearted failure to find room for bike riders on the rebuilt street, even if it does seem to conflict with the state’s requirement to consider complete streets in any road construction project. Or to accommodate all road users on streets that belong to more than just motor vehicle operators.

Maybe there’s a lawyer out there who’d like answer those questions.

But if nothing else, a lawsuit might delay their plans just enough to make it easier to compromise with bike supporters than fight.

It wouldn’t be cheap.

But that’s one Kickstarter I’d be happy to contribute to.


More on last night’s breaking news that the extremely popular Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race has been cancelled, at least for this year.

And the way these things seem to go, possibly forever.

The finger is being pointed at a fear of liability in a notoriously risk-averse city. But as noted last night, I suspect there’s more going on behind the scenes than we may yet be aware of.

Like maybe a wealthy marathon operator upset about those damn bikes piggybacking on their event. Especially when they’re not getting the profits.

Meanwhile, word is some riders intend to crash the route anyway.


The LA City Council celebrated the city’s first Complete Streets Day on Wednesday.

Which seems odd, since so many council members seem to be actively opposing complete streets on Westwood Blvd, north and south Figueroa, and Lankershim Blvd, as well as a new and improved bike-friendly 4th Street.

I’m sure Councilmembers Koretz, Cedillo, Price and LaBonge wholeheartedly support complete streets.

As long as they’re in someone else’s district.


For years, bike and pedestrian advocates have called on police to increase enforcement of traffic laws in an attempt to rein in the wild west mentality on our streets, where too many drivers feel entitled to do anything they damn well please — too often to the detriment of those they share those streets with.

Finally, LAPD Chief Beck is in agreement, declaring this the “year of traffic” with stepped-up enforcement of traffic regulations, including a crackdown on hit-and-runs.

While that’s good news for cyclists who have share the road with dangerous drivers, remember the knife cuts both ways.

Representatives of the department have often said they are required to enforce the law equally. Which means if they see you go through a red light or stop sign, you’re likely to get a ticket, just like a driver would for the same offense.


Writing for Flying Pigeon, Rick Risemberg fears support for bicycling is backsliding under the Garcetti administration — echoing exactly what I’ve been thinking for the past several months.

Shockingly, the Weekly discovers a group of cyclists who like to get high and ride. Who could have ever imagined?

Bike safety is an issue around USC, as a cyclist is injured in a collision near campus.

Bikable streets spread further east as Pomona approves the city’s first bike and pedestrian plan.

The 84-year old Newport Beach driver who killed cyclist Debra Deem — claiming he just didn’t see her — entered a not guilty plea to a single count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence. If convicted, he faces just one year in jail; Deem’s sister doesn’t think that’s enough.

Plans call for extending an Orange County protected bikeway.

You can contribute to help Riverside cyclist Travis Freeman recover from a serious cycling injury.

This simple bar chart clearly illustrates the relative affordability of protected bike lanes. And as long as we’re talking charts, this one from the UK kind of puts the relative risk posed by cyclists in perspective.

You could own Pee-wee’s bike, some assembly required.

It’s sad to think a bike advocacy group is going out of business after 40 years when bicycling is finally on the rise.

In what seems like at least a minor miracle, Brooklyn police begin ticketing drivers who park in bike lanes.

A Florida man waves at a motorist, who responds by plowing into him and fleeing the scene.

In what may be one of the most intentionally offensive public safety spots I’ve seen, Britain’s Top Gear attempts to teach cyclists the difference between red and green. While we all need to observe traffic signals, very few cycling fatalities are the result of riders blowing through red lights; far more often, it’s a driver who fails to stop and kills an innocent victim. So for the boys at Top Gear — and I say this from the bottom of my heart — fuck you. No, seriously.

A UK bike rider is the victim of an anti-bike terrorist attack when someone strings a rope across a walkway at neck level. Oddly, despite Top Gear’s insistence, there is nothing to suggest that she ran a red light before nearly being decapitated.

Finally, South African cyclists face charges in the road rage attack against a van driver. No matter how angry you are or how justified you feel, always — always — resist the temptation to resort to violence, as hard as it may be sometimes.

Which is not to say I’m an angel; I’ve called drivers every name in the book, including some I’ve made up on the spot.

Then again, they aren’t always the problem.

One last chance to fight for Santa Monica bike lanes in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills

Please forgive the short notice; I’ve been a little under the weather today.

Okay, maybe a lot.

But there’s a meeting tonight that could make a huge difference for the safety of cyclists forced to ride through decidedly bike-unfriendly Beverly Hills. As well as encouraging more people to take to bikes and relieve the near 24/7 traffic congestion through the city.

If city officials actually care enough to listen, that is.

Tonight is the final meeting of the Santa Monica Boulevard Blue-Ribbon Committee, formed to weigh public input before making a recommendation on how to proceed with the planned reconstruction of the former famed Route 66 through the city. Including proposals for bike lanes, which have bizarrely been placed in opposition to a planted center median.

Even though, as Better Bike’s Mark Elliot makes clear, the roadway could easily accommodate both.

The inexplicable opposition to bike lanes was made clear when the consultant hired by the city dropped an unexpected “preferred option” that included widening the roadway to include a center divider and an ultra-wide 16″ right lane.

But no bike lanes, even though they could easily fit within the widened street.

As Elliot explains, that appears to be intentional. The design, an effort to discourage riders on the newly designed street by preventing them from legally taking the lane. And the timing, an effort to short circuit the public process and jam through a design that maintains automotive hegemony on a street that belongs to everyone.

Keeping bikes from besmirching their precious little enclave of the overly entitled.

So let’s make no mistake.

Bikes — and pedestrians — can easily be accommodated in the reconstructed roadway at little additional cost, providing a street that benefits everyone, safely and efficiently. And connects with bike lanes in Century City to the west and West Hollywood to the east to create a complete bikeway through most of the Westside.

The alternative is a short-sighted decision that discourages bike riding at a time when it is rapidly growing in popularity, and when alternatives to automotive transportation are desperately needed.

Especially in traffic-choked Beverly Hills.

They can make room for bikes, and take a modest step in improving the situation. Or be cursed by future leaders and city residents who will have no choice but pay the high price to correct their error at a later date.

And failure to include bikes on the street would only invite the sort of lawsuits city leaders have used themselves to fight other projects, including the planned Subway to the Sea. Particularly when it flies in the face California’s Complete Streets policies, as well as such overwhelming public support.

The meeting takes place this evening starting at 6 pm at Beverly Hills City Hall. Be there if you can, or fill out the online comment form.

As for me, I’ll be home nursing sick head.

But I plan to be at the Beverly Hills City Council session next month when the city formally decides on how to move forward. And whether to slide back into the Biking Black Hole they’ve only begun to tentatively step out of.


Speaking of Elliot, thanks for his recent call for donations to help support my work here at BikinginLA, among other deserving organizations. With the redesign of this site and the move to an advertising and sponsor-supported model taking much longer than anticipated, I can use all the help I can get.

If you do make a contribution based on his recommendation, consider giving part of it to support Better Bike. Mark Elliot has been relentless in fighting for your right to ride in a city that has been far less than welcoming to us.

Update: Thanks to Vanessa Gray and Danila Oder for the generous donations.

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