Tag Archive for traffic safety deniers

Morning Links: More Venice Blvd disinformation, study says road diets save lives, and East Side Riders video

Sometimes I don’t even know where to start.

In his latest column, the Mar Vista Community Council’s self-appointed traffic planner/dermatologist Kenneth Alpern says it’s time to stop all the lies and abuse on Venice Blvd.

Which I assume means he won’t be writing anymore.

Especially since he doesn’t seem to have a problem co-opting the #TimesUp movement for something that has nothing to do with sexual harassment.

Never mind that he’s the one who’s been dishing out abuse towards anyone who disagrees with him, particularly Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Then again, that comes with their jobs.

But it doesn’t — or at least shouldn’t — be part of the job description for LADOT Principal Project Coordinator Nat Gale, who has been subjected to repeated accusations and character assassination at Alpern’s hands.

Simply because, like the other traffic safety deniers who’ve been fighting the Mar Vista Great Streets project for the past year, Alpern chooses not to accept the established science behind road diets and protected bike lanes.

They also reject out-of-hand any stats that come from LADOT. Not because they have any credible evidence to refute them, but simply because the facts don’t align with their pre-established biases.

So let’s look at just a few of the inaccuracies in his latest screed.

Because it would be rude to call them lies, even though that’s what they are.

So …TIME’S UP! Enough of listening to the hundreds of taxpaying citizens, and overwhelming majority of the community, have their good will and patience and collective voice snuffed out because of a few activists who believe in crushing the voices, safety, and quality of life of that overwhelming majority (which includes the overwhelming number of bicyclists who do NOT support this project).

Seriously, show me one survey that supports his argument that the overwhelming majority of the community opposes the road diet on Venice Blvd. Especially since public opinion at his own community council meetings has been evenly split on the subject.

And never mind that he has absolutely zero basis to claim that most bicyclists, let alone an overwhelming majority, don’t support the project. I’ve personally heard from a few bike riders who oppose the project, compared to dozens who support it.

TIME’S UP! Enough of the false LIE that half of the community wants the Venice Blvd. Road Diet, when at best only 10-20% want it and everyone else hates it, and wants it reversed NOW.

To the best of my knowledge, there has been no survey of the general public to determine how many support or oppose the project. If he has any valid stats to back up his claim, let him produce it.

TIME’S UP! Enough of the constant and daily accidents and near-accidents that endanger motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, including and especially children!

Again, if he has valid stats to back up his claim, let’s see them. Otherwise, let’s wait until LADOT releases the actual, factual stats at the end of the full year of the pilot project, which concludes this week.

And I have to wonder just how many people have been killed or injured as a result of those constant near-accidents.

TIME’S UP! Enough of a reconfiguration that was not done in compliance with ADA/disability community laws and legal requirements!

If any of that is true, the city would be required to make any necessary changes to bring the project into compliance. And probably subject to numerous lawsuits already.

TIME’S UP! Enough of a reconfiguration that shredded over a decade of community input for what was supposed to be a beautification effort on Mar Vista, and which was (despite the LIES to the contrary) imposed in the dead of night without ANY true input or debate!

We’ll let Streetsblog’s Damien Newton refute that.

Bonin and a band of neighborhood and business advocates have used the Great Streets Plan for Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista (roughly between the 405 and Lincoln Boulevard) as a sort of Livable Streets master class to educate people about what a street can be if it is reimagined as something new. The presentation of the image boards showing the various Great Street options at both the “usual suspect” locations (Farmers’ Markets, the Mar Vista Community Council, and Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce) and high schools, libraries, coffee shops, and markets allowed a wider range of stakeholders to weigh in on the proposed changes.

That was written nearly three years ago. And a full 21 months before the road diet was installed.

You would think that a community council member like Alpern would know what’s going on in his own community. But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Then again, you’d also think Alpern would know what the hell is going on with his own community council, since LADOT lists 12 community events where the project was discussed prior to installation — including two years of attending the Mar Vista Community Council’s Great Streets Ad Hoc Committee meetings.

TIME’S UP! The number of bicyclists using the “protected” (but with lots of blind intersections) bike lane is very small, while both commuters and bicyclists avoiding Venice Blvd. in Downtown Mar Vista is very high, and stop pretending it’s otherwise!

So show us the bike counts. Or any other factual basis for this claim.

Then again, if commuters are avoiding the street, why do traffic safety deniers continue to claim it suffers from soul crushing congestion?

As Yogi Berra famously said, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

Of course, the question is why Alpern and Restore Venice Blvd’s Selena Inouye are using such false and unsupported claims to demand the removal of the road diet before the official stats for the project have even been released.

For some reason, they seem to be unable to wait a few more weeks for the stats to be compiled.

Possibly because they suspect the real statistics won’t support their claims. And want to poison the waters before LADOT can tell us what’s really going on.

So let me be clear.

If the facts back them up, and the road diet has actually made the street less safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, I will be the first to demand changes.

Even if that means acceding to their wishes, and restoring the boulevard to its original dangerous and destructive configuration.

But I suspect they won’t.

And I suspect they suspect that, too.

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A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety examines the rapid increase in pedestrian deaths in the US, which have gone up 40% more than other traffic deaths in recent years.

However, it’s unlikely that Ken Alpern or the rest of the Restore Venice Blvd/Keep LA Moving crowd will like their conclusions.

Pedestrian fatalities have increased precipitously since reaching their lowest point in 2009. To have the largest effect in halting the escalation in pedestrian fatalities, countermeasures should be implemented where the rise in fatalities has been greatest. Specifically, transportation agencies can concentrate efforts on improving urban arterials, which represented nearly two thirds of the increase in fatalities during 2009–2016 and on which about half of pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2016.

And…

Transportation agencies can improve urban arterials by investing in proven countermeasures, such as road diets, median crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, and automated speed enforcement. Better road lighting and vehicle headlights could improve pedestrian visibility at night.

Of course, that will only work if our council members have the courage to ignore the traffic safety deniers to make those changes.

And automated speed enforcement, aka speed cameras, are currently illegal in California. Which is something that has to change.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the heads-up.

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Great new video about how South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club is using bikes to make a positive difference in the community, and maybe even break the color barrier in Olympic and pro cycling.

And about founder John Jones III, who pays most of the expenses out of his own pocket.

Seriously, take a few minutes to watch it. It may be the best four minutes of your day.

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CiclaValley informs us that the new 7th Street semi-protected bike lanes are proving popular as parking spots for Uber drivers.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Parody Twitter account @realJohnBoehner forwards video of a British woman calmly removing a barricade, then driving through hundreds of runners taking part in a half marathon.

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Local

A Hispanic man in his 20s was shot and killed while riding his bike in South LA early yesterday morning; police said there was no initial indication the killing was gang related.

CicLAvia is hosting a community meeting in Panorama City tomorrow to discuss plans for the June 24th open streets event in the north San Fernando Valley.

Pasadena police will be cracking down on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians this Friday and Saturday, even if they only endanger themselves. You know the drill, ride to the letter of the law until you’re outside their jurisdiction. Thanks to Megan Lynch and The Preven Report for the tip.

Bike friendly Santa Monica continues to show Los Angeles how it’s done, as the city planning commission approves plans for a protected bike lane on 17th Street; their only complaint was that federal funding requirements mean it won’t be completed until 2021.

Now the Santa Clarita Cycling Bear sculpture makes a little more sense, as the local paper explains more about it. Although I’m very disappointed that the bear isn’t actually riding a bike.

 

State

San Diego is attempting to put a permanent stop to a DIY pump track in Ocean Beach by building housing on property that was originally deeded as a park for the children of San Diego.

San Luis Obispo County bicyclists celebrate the completion of a road safety project that began in 1974.

There’s a special place in hell for the driver who crashed into a four-year old girl as she rode her bicycle in Stockton last week, then drove off and left her bleeding in the street.

A Redding driver complains about closing a little-used street to improve safety for a bike path because it will inconvenience him personally, and because he seldom sees a bike rider using it. Remarkable how many drivers take the time to perform bike counts while they zoom by. And how rarely bike riders happen to go by at that exact moment.

 

National

Marketplace discusses whether Uber is disrupting itself by moving into bikeshare.

A governing website explains why Seattle paid $3.8 million to build a one-mile bike lane, while the city’s protected bike lanes will cost $12 million per mile — four times the national average. And it ain’t because they paid too much for paint.

Meanwhile, a Seattle website says the war on pedestrians is already underway, because ebikes are now allowed on sidewalks. Maybe they could cite the number of pedestrians killed by bicycles, electric or otherwise, and contrast that with the number killed by motor vehicles each year, and determine which one really poses a problem.

Streetsblog Denver wonders why the local alternative weekly is pedaling anti-bike propaganda.

A Houston sports writer offers ten tips for bicyclists and motorists on how to share the roads with each other, and pathways with pedestrians. Bizarrely, it’s apparently legal to park on a dedicated bike path in the Texas city.

A Texas writer says safer streets will result in more people on bikes.

Work on Detroit’s rapidly expanding bike lane network could go on hold as bike riders complain about poor design and a lack of maintenance on the city’s first protected bike lane.

The road raging driver caught on video deliberately running down a cyclist on Tennessee’s Natchez Trace Parkway has copped a plea to significantly reduced charges that will result in just 10 months behind bars and three years probation. The conviction is credited to the crash being caught on bike cam, which put the lie to the driver’s ever-changing excuses. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

Delaware bike riders complain about a lack of safety, even on back roads.

A Miami commissioner holds a “Dead Serious” meeting to reduce bicycling deaths.

 

International

Toronto residents are still waiting after a newspaper declared it the Year of the Bicycle. In 1975.

A study of 13 European cities reveals London is next to last in air quality, behind only Moscow, and is one of the most dangerous cities to walk or bike. The former may have a lot to do with the latter.

Sad news from the UK, where a bike rider who was killed in a collision with a truck was still setting records at 86 years old, and belonged to the same bike club he founded just after after WWII.

Horrifying story from Australia, where one of the country’s top masters racers died of ovarian cancer after falling under the influence of a self-described healer, who claimed to have cured cancer in hundreds of others.

Caught on video: A Kiwi bicyclist captures a bus driver, who didn’t know the law, nearly merging into him. Followed by another doing the same thing.

In a story that could have been written nearly anywhere, an Aussie writer bemoans the rise of the entitled motorist.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s split results for Britain’s Yates brothers, as Adam Yates missed the Amgen Tour of California podium by two seconds, while his twin brother Simon continues to lead the Giro. And no, that’s not a spoiler, since the Giro had a rest day on Monday.

Bicycling looks at a day in the life of a bike mechanic.

Outside profiles the incredible Marianne Vos, calling her the greatest cyclist you’ve never heard of. Unless of course you have, in which case she may just be a greatest cyclist, period.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could cost less than 2,000 rupees, which works out to around 30 bucks. Co-existance on the roads is easier when bicyclists follow the rules they’d follow as drivers, if only drivers actually followed them.

And this is why dogs should always wear helmets when they mountain bike.

Thanks to LA bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners for the link.

 

Morning Links: Driver arrested in South LA hit-and-run, and fake news from Venice Blvd traffic safety denier

Before we start, don’t miss Doug Moore’s open letter to the LA city council if you didn’t read it yesterday.

You’ll also find instructions at the end on how to submit your own letter to the council if you can’t join us to #CrashCityHall this Friday.

Or even if you can.

These are the gifts we’ll have for the mayor and city councilmembers on Friday. Think they’ll get the message?

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You can run, but you can’t always hide.

The Chief Lunes bike ride reports that the hit-and-run driver who killed Frederick “Woon” Frazier in South LA last month has finally been arrested.

In addition, charges are pending for her two passengers, who encouraged her to flee and helped in the coverup that followed.

We’ll let them tell the story.

Let’s hope his family gets the justice they deserve.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

Writing on City Watch, where facts go to die, Selena Inouye, the “chief grassroots organizer” for Restore Venice Blvd, calls the Mar Vista Great Streets project an “epic fail.”

She demands that Mayor Eric Garcetti and Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin keep their promise to remove the road diet if the data shows it’s not working after a year.

Even though that year won’t be up for another week. And the data for that full year probably hasn’t even been compiled, let alone released yet.

Not that any decent traffic safety denier would let an inconvenient little fact like that get in the way.

Instead, she relies on — and distorts — the stats released at the six-month point to make her case, noting that collisions and injury collisions both went up.

Although what she presents as a dramatic increase, the city says was statistically insignificant.

In fact, there were just two — yes, two — more minor injury collisions during the first six months of the trial period than in the same six months the year before.

And let’s not forget that the purpose of the often misconstrued Vision Zero is not to prevent collisions, but to keep those collisions from resulting in serious injuries or death.

Which, based strictly on the data she’s using, the Venice road diet seems have done pretty well.

Or that any major change, to any street, is likely to result in an increase in collisions until drivers get used to it.

Then there’s her bizarre — and demonstrably false — statement that the $91 million devoted to street safety improvements in the mayor’s budget will be spent on road diets.

While Garcetti had initially stated that the budget for Vision Zero would increase to $91 million, he later corrected himself to say that figure referred to the city’s entire street safety improvement program.

Improvements to Vision Zero’s High Injury Network would only get a boost to a relatively paltry $37 million. With none of that specifically budgeted for road diets.

And with the way the city council has been cowed by the angry drivers Restore Venice Blvd and Keep LA Moving purport to represent, there’s not much chance of any many road diets getting installed in the near future.

Then there’s her claim that reducing the number of traffic lanes by one-third on Venice has resulted in gridlock, reflected by a nearly one-third drop in vehicles per day.

Yes, according to her, a substantial drop in vehicle in vehicle usage somehow managed to cause the entire street to become so congested that movement in any direction is impossible.

Or maybe she just doesn’t understand what gridlock means.

Never mind that those same six month figures show that average driver speeds remained unchanged from before the road diet. Yet miraculously, drivers still managed to exceed the speed limit, despite being unable to move at all.

But why let a little thing like facts get in the way?

Although I’d seriously like to know what kind of a person quotes herself in her own opinion piece.

Clearly, when you want to get the quote right, you go right to the source.

Unless you are the source, then you can write whatever the hell you want.

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Caltrans is looking for applicants for its new California Walk and Bike Technical Advisory Committee to help guide staff decisions about walking and biking design and policies.

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the tip.

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Metro offers their take on Bike Week activities.

MetroLink is hosting a Twitter party in honor of Bike Week tonight.

Tomorrow night is the worldwide observance of the Ride of Silence, with local RoS rides in the San Fernando Valley, the Rose Bowl, the Conejo Valley, and Orange County. My goal is to one day have a Ride of Silence that goes straight down Wilshire Blvd from Santa Monica to DTLA.

And it turns out that this isn’t just Bike Week, it’s also Infrastructure Week. Or as Treehugger suggests, let’s make it Bike Infrastructure Week.

Please.

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Local

Los Angeles finally broke ground on the long-promised bike, foot and equestrian bridge over the LA River, connecting Atwater Village to Griffith Park and the LA River bike path.

Mar Vista bike co-op Bikerowave is hosting a bicycle travel meet-up on June 17th, along with bike maintenance workshops this Saturday and May 27th.

When marketing your lightweight German ebike, always include a photo from the Santa Monica Expo Line station.

Best wishes to Santa Monica Next editor Jason Islas, who is scooting off to work for Bird.

 

State

Two guided bike rides will be held Sunday in honor of Grossmont College political science professor Brian Jennings, who was killed in a collision with a sleeping driver last month.

A bicyclist was seriously injured in a collision in Palm Desert yesterday morning; as usual, no information is available.

VeloNews looks at how the Montecito cycling community is coping with loss following the recent fires and mudslides.

A local paper offers ten reasons why you should ride your bike in Sonoma.

 

National

Bicycling says hill yes!

Life is cheap in Oregon, where the local DA determines that a FedEx driver didn’t commit a crime when he killed a bike rider by failing to yield, because he wasn’t drunk or distracted at the time. So go ahead and turn in front of that person on the bike; the worst you’ll get is a traffic ticket.

The local paper says Spokane WA has come a long way in the last decade, but still has a long way to go to be safe and inviting for people on bikes.

Sadly, bike theft is nothing new, as this Arkansas story shows.

An Indiana endurance cyclist talks about how her riding season ended when an aggressive driver tried to pass her on the left as she and a riding companion were trying to make a left turn, after already claiming the left turn lane.

More proof bike riders just can’t win. A Massachusetts bus driver calls the police because a bike rider was tying up traffic trying to save a turtle in the roadway.

A Brooklyn driver gets three to nine years for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a teenager riding his bike; the driver was at twice the legal limit after drinking all day, and doing 80 miles an hour on a surface street when he hit the victim head on. You have to really fuck up to get nine years behind bars, and make it seem like it’s not enough.

A viral video shows a Philadelphia driver appearing to run down a cyclist from behind in a bike lane, apparently on purpose. Although the police question the validity of the video, in part because the rider doesn’t seem to have any hands.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Florida woman calls for an end to distracted driving after the March crash that killed her husband; remarkably, she asked that the driver not be prosecuted, because living with what he did was punishment enough.

The head of a Florida rehab facility calls for Complete Streets so his clinic will get fewer customers.

Continuing our Florida traffic safety trifecta, a woman wins her decade-plus fight for red light cameras in the state. Los Angeles cancelled its red light camera program, caving to drivers who claimed it increased the risk of collisions when drivers jammed on their brakes to stop. Because they couldn’t, you know, just drive at a safe speed that would allow them to stop for red lights, or anything.

 

International

The CBC offers six reasons to ride a bike.

Bicyclists hope that the century-old traffic laws in Nova Scotia, Canada, will be rewritten with them in mind, for once.

The BBC, with its keen grasp of the obvious, says cheap dockless bikeshare bikes are flooding the world. Although that’s not exactly how they say it, being British and all.

A Chinese website asks if the country’s polluted cities can leave the car behind.

 

Competitive Cycling

No bias here, either. A writer for the Press-Telegram says the Long Beach start of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday ruined Mother’s Day business for local restaurants. Or maybe some local restaurants. Or maybe having the race there was good for business after all. Seriously, there may be a good story about the effect the race had on local businesses, for better or worse, but this wasn’t it.

Cycling Weekly features highlights from stage one of the AToC, while the Long Beach Post offers photos of Sunday’s race. But sadly, none showing the countless mothers staying away from empty restaurants in droves.

Thousands turned out to see the riders off on yesterday’s Ventura start, which was won by a rookie rider on the WorldTour who may be destined for great things.

Now you, too, can own a bike ridden by the Rally Cycling team in the Tour of California, while you raise funds for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation.

And yes, there is still another race going on over in Italy.

 

Finally…

What kind of grownup attitude is saying if you break the law, I will too? So there. No, seriously, if you want safer streets, just stick a seat post up your ass.

And sometimes you just need the right motivation to set an even faster record.

Like making it to the royal wedding on time.

Morning Links: LA Times Op-Ed objects to O’Farrell tweet and compares traffic safety denying drivers to the NRA

Evidently, I may have started something.

A few weeks ago, I responded to Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s tweet about gun control by suggesting he focus on street safety instead, which he could actually do something about.

Especially since he had just announced he was killing plans for the long-planned Temple Street road diet.

I was surprised when O’Farrell responded.

And shocked when that response turned out to be “Nice try.”

And I wasn’t the only one, as dozens of people responded with varying degrees of disappointment and outrage at the cavalier attitude reflected in O’Farrell’s dismissive two-word answer.

Now Michael MacDonald, who you may be more familiar with as topomodesto, has written a hard-hitting Op-Ed for the LA Times, inspired by that exchange.

When it comes to standing up to the gun lobby, Los Angeles’ leaders are rightly all-in. Our city has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, and a recent bill by L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell would boycott companies that do business with the National Rifle Association. As the United States coalesces around the courageous teenage survivors of gun violence in Parkland, Chicago and Ferguson to challenge the NRA’s political clout, L.A.’s elected officials are uniting our city in solidarity.

When it comes to fighting traffic violence, however, these same leaders can’t seem to find the same political moxie.

He goes on to compare the actions of the small group of traffic safety deniers, which seem to have too many on the city council cowed in fear, with the actions of the NRA.

In both gun-violence and traffic-violence policy, the battleground is science and data. The NRA and its supporters oppose any efforts to study gun violence in a way that would inform policy making, blocking federal funding for gun violence research for over 20 years.

L.A.’s anti-traffic-safety lobby, meanwhile, vocally questions the accuracy of data collected on traffic injuries and deaths. One federally classified “proven safety countermeasure” in particular has become a target for their obfuscation: the street safety reconfigurations known as “road diets.”…

And yet — invoking a distinctly Trump-like paranoia and embrace of alternative facts — anti-safety activists routinely contend that these national studies are wrong: that road diets make streets more dangerous and are part of a nefarious plot of social engineering “meant to force citizens of L.A. into public transit under the guise of safety,” as one Playa del Rey resident declared on Twitter.

It’s well worth taking a few minutes to read, because MacDonald couldn’t have done a better job of identifying the problem. Or the solution.

And because Mitch O’Farrell is just the latest in what’s becoming a long list of LA councilmembers putting angry drivers ahead of human lives and livability.

You can find a more legible version of that tweet exchange at LA Streetsblog.

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Toronto removes speed signs intended slow drivers down after getting complaints that they slow drivers down.

Proof that Los Angeles isn’t the only city that tosses both logic and Vision Zero out the window when drivers object.

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Local

Now you, too, can become an LAPD bike cop.

Turmoil on the Westchester Neighborhood Council, as six members quit in a dispute over whether to boot two other members, including an opponent of the Playa del Rey road diets who hasn’t bothered to attend a meeting in the last six months.

You still have time to weigh in with your thoughts on how LA County should remake Rosemead Blvd into a complete street.

 

State

San Diego’s mayor drops plans for nine miles of curb-protected bike lanes, which would have caused years of delay and more than doubled the cost compared to using plastic bollards and parking-protected lanes.

Life is cheap in Bakersfield, where a wealthy vintner from a prominent family was sentenced to just 90 days in jail for killing a bike-riding mother of five while driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. Prosecutors blamed the victim for having drugs in her system, and not wearing bright clothing or riding in a crosswalk — neither of which are required for bicyclists. Thanks to Jefferey Fylling for the heads-up.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one earlier this year, as an Oregon man is the only person in the state with a disabled parking permit for a bicycle. Thanks to Eric Rogers for the link.

Outside asks what’s going on with Niner, which was recently acquired in bankruptcy by the owner of Huffy; the mountain bikes will continue to be made in my hometown, at least for now.

A Colorado legal expert examines the question of just how far to the right you should ride. Most of which applies here in California, although we still have the outdated requirement to ride as far to the right as practicable, rather than Colorado’s more progressive statute.

It takes a major lowlife to steal the bicycles residents of a San Antonio TX rehab center use to get to work; fortunately, kindhearted locals helped replace them.

A new study from the University of Arkansas confirms what you’ve already been told dozens of times — you need to drink before you’re thirsty when you ride.

This is why people keep dying on our streets: Illinois police arrest a drunk driver who passed out at a gas station with an open bottle of Crown Royal after trying to fill her car with kerosene; she has six previous DUIs in six states, and was driving without a license. Some people will never stop driving until we start taking cars from drunk and stoned drivers, instead of just their licenses. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

A Massachusetts Op-Ed says a cyclist killed in a collision with a truck was a safe and careful rider, and wouldn’t have swerved in front of a massive truck without signaling, despite what the local victim-blaming DA claims.

Toyota teams with New York’s Priority Bicycles to build what they call the world’s safest bicycle by incorporating safety sensors and other features found on a Camry.

As usual, a plan to improve safety on a Philadelphia bike lane brings out people who say it doesn’t go far enough, and others who think it goes too far.

This is the cost of traffic violence: Pro wrestling Hall of Famer “Luscious” Johnny Valiant was killed in a collision with a truck driver while crossing a Pennsylvania street.

The bike-riding woman who gained worldwide fame for flipping off President Trump’s motorcade explains why she’s suing after getting fired for doing it.

A Charleston SC newspaper wonders why it’s so hard to get a bike lane on the bridge across the Ashley River, a debate that’s gone on since at least 1933.

A local newspaper remembers the black bike shop owner who prospered in a small Alabama town in the first half of the last century, despite being the son of former slaves.

 

International

A group of Calgary students have developed a bizarre new triangular bike gearing system to keep your drive chain from freezing and corroding during winter riding.

Bicyclists in Quebec argue that a proposed dramatic increase in fines for bicycling violations will simply keep people from riding.

A London website wonders why there are so few black and Asian bike riders in the city.

Even in the Netherlands, kids need more practice riding their bikes to avoid being clumsy, unsafe cyclists.

Italian bike riders are fighting to reclaim their space on the street in a country with almost no infrastructure for bicycles.

Horrifying news from Majorca, Spain, as a Porsche driver plowed into a group of nine cyclists, critically injuring one rider; the driver failed a roadside drug test.

The Evening Standard says the booming growth of Chinese dockless bikeshare is emblematic of the rapidly changing Chinese economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay says you can have Tiger Woods and the Masters; he’ll be watching Paris-Roubaix this weekend, aka the Hell of the North.

Cycling Tips relates the sad tale of two-time Paris-Roubaix champ Charles Crupelandt, which reads like a Greek tragedy.

The LA Times profiles next month’s Amgen Tour of California, which starts in Long Beach May 13th — for the men, that is; the women have to settle for three stages in Central California.

Eleven things not to do on your first crit.

 

Finally…

Who needs a bike cam when you can just have your drone follow you everywhere? It may look like a bike, but you probably wouldn’t want to ride it.

And introducing five-time Tour de France champ Bernard Renault, the greatest cyclist you’ve never heard of.

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A special thanks to John H and an anonymous donor for their generous contributions to the unofficial BikinginLA dead computer replacement campaign

 

Morning Links: Pasadena’s Orange Grove complete street on hold, and chill out on dockless bikeshare already

So much for that.

Pasadena has responded to the vocal concerns of drivers and local residents by putting an indefinite hold on plans for a road diet on dangerous Orange Grove Blvd.

Even though that means ignoring the concerns of everyone who wants to live on a quieter, calmer street. Or doesn’t want to get run down by those same drivers.

Which marks yet another victory, albeit hopefully a temporary one, for the people behind the driver activist group Keep LA Moving, which organized the resistance to the bike lane.

As well as opposition to the recently shelved Temple Street road diet, and the failed road diets in Playa del Rey.

So far, only the Mar Vista Great Streets Project on Venice Blvd has survived their traffic safety denier onslaught.

Let’s hope Pasadena can do a better job of communicating the benefits of such projects than LADOT has up to this point. And that the Orange Grove project will come back more successfully at a later date.

Because right now, the people in the black hats and two-ton vehicles are winning.

And needless to say, Keep LA Moving’s allies at KFI radio cheering the decisions.

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A writer for San Diego’s City Beat suggests maybe it’s time to just chill out about dockless bikeshare.

As Matthew T. Hall, San Diego Union-Tribune editorial director, lamented on Twitter about the kits, “What kind of world are we leaving our children?”

Well, for one, apparently one where folks Spin’s age, edging toward 60 and above, think the appearance of bicycles in certain communities amounts to some apocalyptic hellscape of two-wheeling insurgents intent on demolishing mankind as we know it…

Never mind that not everyone can afford to buy a bike, nor the notion that perhaps a significant portion of the bikes that appear in Little Italy—or Mission Hills or Point Loma for that matter—might have actually brought someone to your popular neighborhood. Seems like short-sighted economics to drive that kind of business away…

Is it a perfect system? Hell no, but what is? But for this curmudgeon who this week turned 59, the bikes have offered—at a reasonable price—an opportunity to regain some semblance of a connection with my city and, by some miracle, my youth.

………

Horrifying video of a head-on collision as a driver turned directly into a bike rider waiting at a red light.

Needless to say, the driver claims she never saw him. Which should be seen as a confession rather than an excuse.

Note: This video shows exactly what it looks like to get hit head-on from the rider’s perspective. So consider that before deciding if you really want to hit play.

………

Bloomberg reports that Uber disconnected the collision avoidance system that comes standard in the Volvo SUV that stuck and killed Elaine Herzberg while she was crossing the street in Tempe Arizona, relying on their own failed self-driving technology instead.

Meanwhile, Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says instead of counting on self-driving cars to save us, we should build cities to marginalize motor vehicles.

………

Local

Metro wants your input on how to spend their budget for next year. Hint: Shift all the highway funds to build bikeways and sidewalks, instead.

Normally, this would be your warning that upcoming lane closures for a Culver City construction site would mean the closure of the eastbound bike lanes on Venice Blvd. But I’m told they’ve already been closed for weeks.

Bicycling takes a little floatation therapy in Santa Monica.

 

State

Here’s your chance to design a new image for a proposed bicycle-themed California license plate. I’ve already submitted my design, showing an angry driver yelling “Get on the sidewalk!” Thanks to Phil Gaimon for the link

The New York Times looks at California’s SB-827, which would encourage denser housing to reduce reliance on motor vehicles to cut greenhouse gasses.

An Agoura Hills writer says the weather is nice, so it’s time to ride a bike.

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield has developed their own stolen bike bulletin board.

These are the people we share the roads with. A San Francisco driver was arrested for plowing into a group of pedestrians, killing one and injuring four, before fleeing the scene. To make matters worse, the crash appear to have been intentional, coming after he shouted homophobic slurs and threatened the victims with an ax.

Former pro Peter Stetina will host a gran fondo during this year’s Interbike in Reno-Lake Tahoe.

 

National

Business Insider reviews bike helmets, and concludes the best option for most people is a $25 skid lid from Schwinn.

Peer-to-peer bikeshare firm Spinlister has announced they will be closing at the end of next month.

Bike Portland talks with a safe-driving advocate for a BMW magazine, who wants to put the focus for Vision Zero on the people behind the wheel.

For the next three weeks, you can explore Yellowstone National Park by bike, with no cars allowed.

Streetsblog makes the case for why a new bike trail-adjacent Chicago apartment building should only have 36 parking spaces for 124 units.

No bias here. No, Time Out, bicyclists in New York can’t legally run red lights. But they can start riding when pedestrians are legally allowed to go, which is a different matter entirely.

A New York cyclist makes the case for why bicyclists should support congestion pricing.

An American Idol contestant is teaming with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and a Nashville bike/walk advocacy group to discourage texting while driving, two years after he was run down by a distracted driver while riding his bike.

Philadelphia bike riders will honor a pastry chef killed in a bike crash last year with a pastry-filled bike scavenger hunt.

 

International

CNET says increasing regulation could, but probably won’t, stop the global spread of dockless bikeshare.

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to get more aero. Which probably won’t help on your cruiser bike.

A Canadian mountie won’t face charges after investigators conclude there isn’t enough evidence to prove he ran over a fleeing bike theft suspect, even though he probably did.

It takes a major schmuck to sue a 10-year old girl for not following the vehicle code to the letter after he crashed into the rear tire of her bicycle while running. Fortunately, the judge dismissed the case.

A new study shows one in four drivers in Australia’s Queensland state pass bicyclists too closely. Which should sound familiar to most bike riders just about anywhere else.

 

 

Finally…

If you’re going to punch the driver who just crashed into your friend’s bike, at least wait until the cops leave.

And yes, you can go mountain biking in Los Angeles.

………

Thanks to Zachary R for his generous donation to the unofficial BikinginLA Dead Computer Replacement Fund.

 

Morning Links: Venice Blvd open house tomorrow night, and study shows daytime running lights and hi-viz work

Tomorrow night we’ll find out how great the Venice Blvd Great Streets project really is.

And how far the traffic safety deniers are willing to go to fight it.

LADOT is holding an open house Wednesday night to discuss the project, which is intended to improve safety and create a small town downtown atmosphere in Mar Vista.

If you live, work or ride in the area, you owe it to yourself to attend, and get the real facts on how the project on Venice Blvd is working.

Because if the past is any indication, the people fighting to keep Venice Blvd an auto-centric nightmare will be quick with their own set of “facts” to deny it’s working. And demand the restoration of the traffic lanes that were removed to improve safety and livability on one of the Westside’s key corridors.

Photo of Venice Blvd protected bike lane by Joni Yung.

………

Evidently, visibility works.

A new study shows that daytime running lights cut your risk of a collision by nearly half, while wearing hi-viz lowers it by more than a third.

Mark Goodley took a deep dive into the question of daytime lights in a series of popular guest posts over the past several years.

………

Local

Neel Sodha reports that buffered bike lanes are now going in on Figueroa next to LA Live as part of the My Figueroa project.

A new bike shop has opened in the North Hollywood Arts District.

The next Metro BEST Ride will visit the Pasadena Arts Center on March 24th.

 

State

A state appellate court rules that the new law allowing you to cross the street while the walk signal is counting down applies retroactively, which means you might be able to get a refund if you got a ticket for crossing after the countdown began. Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up.

San Francisco is re-envisioning iconic Market Street as a complete street.

Interbike will team with the Northstar California Resort in Truckee for a massive bike festival preceding the annual bike trade show this September.

 

National

Apple Maps now shows bike share locations for 179 cities in 36 countries.

Dockless shared e-scooters looks to be the next mobility trend spreading across the US, including scooters from LimeBike and Santa Monica’s Bird scooters.

A new app allows you to find travel options across most cities, including participating bikeshare systems, ride-sharing and transit.

Colorado Public Radio looks at the debate over allowing ebikes on trails.

An Arkansas paper discovers gravel bikes.

After struggling through his first century ride, a Connecticut man decides he’s going to ride his age until he’s 100.

 

International

Business Insider looks at the movement to reduce the reliance on cars — or even ban them entirely — in cities around the world. Meanwhile, an Aussie Op-Ed calls for banning car ads, like cigarette ads.

Scandinavian countries are successfully building a bicycling future, despite long distances, cold winters and a lack of infrastructure. And yet, they tell us no one will ever commute by bike in sunny Los Angeles.

A German man is 20,000 miles into an around the world bike tour, after surviving skin cancer and a brain tumor, and realizing he could ride a bike easier than he could walk.

A third person has died during this year’s snake-bit Cape Town Cycle Tour in South Africa, with the death of a ride marshal; two of the deaths, including that one, are being investigated as culpable homicide, similar to a manslaughter charge in the US.

Kiwi bicyclists are planning a protest ride to demand the repeal of the country’s mandatory bike helmet law and allow adult riders to choose whether or not to wear one; clearly, not everyone agrees. A New Zealand mother is credited with the law, after her 12-year old son was paralyzed after being hit by a car.

Adelaide, Australia’s free public bikeshare system could come to an end, the victim of spreading dockless bikeshare systems, despite its remarkably low $60,000 annual cost.

Protected bike lanes have come to the Philippines. If you consider plastic posts protection.

 

Finally…

Is it the future of public transportation, or just street litter? And no, those aren’t bicycles those squirrels are riding.

 

Morning Links: $19 billion tab for LA traffic congestion, and the stupidest things people have said about cyclists

Somehow we missed this one last week.

CityLab reports that traffic congestion cost Los Angeles $19.2 billion — yes, with a b — in 2016. Which works out to an average cost of $2,828 per driver.

So sure.

Let’s just follow the lead of LA’s traffic safety deniers and do nothing to provide viable alternatives to driving, while dumping tens of thousands of new cars on the city streets every year.

That will somehow magically make everything better.

Right?

………

Another great piece from Peter Flax, as he builds an Anti-Bike-Crank Hall of Fame based on the 10 stupidest things people have said about cyclists.

………

Local

A UCLA professor will take part in a three-week, 1,000-mile bike ride along the California coast to talk climate change.

Curbed looks at how Los Angeles walking advocate Jessica Meaney gets around. Hint: It’s not by driving.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who examines whether you should consider getting a bakfiets, aka cargo bike. To answer the unasked question, you pronounce bakfiets like what I have to wipe off after the Corgi goes out in the rain, along with her front fiets.

 

State

LimeBike is bringing their dockless bikeshare to San Diego, undoubtedly to the chagrin of the beachfront bike rental owners who just got the city’s bikeshare docks removed from near their stores. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Streetsblog talks with a bike-riding San Francisco firefighter about Vision Zero and his department’s windshield perspective.

A Marin man has been ordered to stand trial on four felony hit-and-run charges for ramming four cyclists in last year’s Jensie Gran Fondo, apparently intentionally. Although he should also face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, with potential jail time of a lot more than just five years.

 

National

Despite improvements in automotive safety, US traffic deaths remained over 40,000 for the second year in a row.

Bicycling lists the commuter cycling gear you need this year. Apparently oblivious to the fact that many people seem to get to and from work just fine without any of it.

Seattle proves that it is in fact possible to add jobs while dramatically cutting traffic. Your move, Los Angeles.

If Utah adopts a version of the Idaho Stop law, it will be just the third state in the US to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields. Which means there’s just 47 more to go.

Colorado lawmakers block an attempt to ban red light and speed cameras in the state. Speed cameras are currently illegal in California, while red light cameras are prohibited in Los Angeles. Which makes the Rocky Mountain State smarter, and safer, than either one of them.

Laredo TX opened a new bike and ride plaza to allow people to safely store their bicycles when they take the bus.

Kansas and Missouri are working to have sections of the famed Route 66 designated as a US Bicycle Route.

A Memphis newspaper looks at the city’s plans to build out their existing bicycle network, six year’s after they were named America’s most improved bike city.

People in Charlotte NC love the dockless bikeshares that have appeared in the city under a trial program. Or hate them.

 

International

Your next bike mechanic could have an international certification.

The Economist says to improve cities, we need to focus on the 95% of the time when cars aren’t being used.

British Columbia bicyclists cheer plans to replace an 81-year old bridge, which has a shared bike and pedestrian lane so narrow that bikes coming from opposite directions can’t pass one another.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides end-to-end across Britain.

Caught on video: A British van driver inexplicably decides to hover next to a pair of bicyclists, less than an arm’s distance away.

A New Zealand man lost 220 pounds after his doctor gave him a bicycle; now he fixes bikes and gives them away to encourage others to ride. If more doctors would prescribe bicycling to their patients, we might have a much healthier and happy population.

Indian cyclists are giving up their desk jobs to open high-end bike shops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Turns out The Big Lebowski helped inspire ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ unlikely comeback as a purveyor of fine medical dope products.

A Morgan Hill columnist is getting hyped for the city’s turn to host a stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

No, pro cyclists are not welcoming Chris Froome back with open arms while a doping cloud hangs over his head, despite what he says.

 

Finally…

Upcycling classic bicycles is one thing; buying a second-hand Penny Farthing is another. Apparently, all the good bikes under three grand are on the radar.

And forget motor doping, mountain ebike racing will now be a thing.

 

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