Tag Archive for Venice Blvd

Morning Links: Bike lanes for gridlock, hijacking transportation in Mar Vista, and voting for danger on Fletcher Drive

Let’s end the week with a look at all the many and varied goings on in the wonderful world of LA traffic planning.

The apparently non-existent Richard Lee Abrams is back at it, blaming bike lanes as part of LA’s secret transportation plan to cause, not relieve, gridlock. No record of an LA attorney practicing by that name exists online or in the California Bar; however, another lawyer is registered with the Bar at the same Hollywood residential address, phone number and fax. Thanks to Evan G and Marc C for their sleuthing skills.

A board member of the Mar Vista Community Council says we can’t let LA transportation get hijacked by self-serving special interests, like beating up on motorists to squeeze in a protected bike lane on Venice Blvd at the expense of a third — yes, third — traffic lane in each direction. Because clearly, a city street just can’t be wide, fast or dangerous enough.

LADOT hosted the second of three meetings to discuss Vision Zero improvements to Fletcher Drive; when attendees were asked to vote on the proposal, a write-in option to do nothing was the preferred choice, as people questioned whether the deadly road was really dangerous. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2nd; hopefully sanity with prevail.

The My Figueroa project is slowly making progress along South Figueroa between USC and DTLA; Streetsblog notes that most of the bike lanes will be buffered, not the curb-protected lanes we were promised. And the promised connecting bike lanes on King Blvd appear to have fallen off the map.

Meanwhile, KFI’s rabidly anti-bike John and Ken profess to post maps of LA’s coming road diets. Except what they actually put online is various maps from the city’s mobility plan, most of which have nothing to do with lane reductions. Which is sort of like posting a photo of a haystack, and calling it a pile of needles.

And Erik Griswold shared a photo from Playa del Rey showing two bikes — including one with a child’s seat — in front of The Shack after taking advantage of the new bike lanes on Culver Blvd.

He also sent the one at the top of this page showing the lane reduction on Vista del Mar as it approaches Culver Blvd; note that a second lane northbound lane would have put the fog line somewhere in the bushes.

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A gambling website asks how hard the Tour de France really is, before concluding that it’s really, really hard.

A South African website considers how much cyclists get for finishing the Tour. Hint: You’re a lot better off winning than finishing on the fifth place team.

Nice piece on American cyclist Nate Brown, who wore the polka dot jersey for two days, a year after he dropped everything to be with his cyclist girlfriend as she battled a sudden, life-threatening heart condition.

Bicycling looks at the convoluted history leading up to the token two-day women’s La Course. Thursday’s first stage marked a remarkable comeback from last year’s Rio Olympics; the top 20 finishers will compete in a time trial on Saturday.

An Oregon bike race no longer offers equal prize money for men and women cyclists, blaming UCI guidelines for paying the women’s champ less than 10% of what the men’s winner will earn.

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Local

The LA Weekly looks at the 41 Thursday Crew, as hundreds of riders of all ages and backgrounds take to the darkened streets of Los Angeles on BMX bikes to celebrate riding in the city.

Walk Bike Burbank says the way to spot a bike-friendly business is look for all the bikes parked where a single car would be.

Pasadena Weekly looks at the kickoff of bikeshare in the Rose City.

West Covina police will assign two officers to bike patrol duty in city parks following complaints about homeless people and illegal activity. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Santa Monica’s Planning Commissioner says bicycling in the city needs to be 50,000 times safer and easier; residents respond that anything that slows traffic — like bikes, for instance — should be considered a crime against the people of LA County, if not humanity. Meanwhile, the city says it’s time to shift away from automobile-centric planning.

Join Bike Talk at the KPFK Summer Celebration at Pan Pacific Park this Saturday.

Bike SGV is teaming with Women on Wheels to host a Mariachi Music Funride next month.

 

State

Evidently, it runs in the family. A 20-year old San Diego woman gets four years for the speeding hit-and-run death of a teenage boy after drinking with her boyfriend; her sister is doing time for an alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter.

A San Diego man escaped by bicycle after stabbing another man during a fight; the victim suffered life-threatening injuries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Moreno Valley man faces 45 years to life for the drunken car crash that killed a grandmother and two young girls. He was driving on a suspended license while on probation for a previous DUI, and had already broken his probation three times. This is why we need to impound the cars of anyone convicted of driving under the influence, because too many keep driving anyway until they kill someone. And he should have been locked up the first time he broke probation.

Sad news from Goleta, where a man was killed in a collision with an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks. Never ride on railroad tracks for any distance; you have nowhere to go if a train comes along.

Where your bike is most likely to be stolen in San Francisco.

The widow of a UC Davis professor has filed suit against a waste management company after he was killed by the driver of a garbage truck while riding to work last year.

 

National

Treehugger says other activities are for more dangerous than bicycling, so why pick on bicyclists when it comes to helmets?

The Washington Post says bicyclists are worried Oregon’s bike tax could spread.

After a Colorado lawmaker proposes a bicycle tax, he backtracks after the backlash, saying he was just trying to start a conversation. Denver Streetsblog insists the last thing the state needs is a tax on bicycles.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider was critically injured after trying, and failing, to weave his way through an intersection against the light. Warning: The dash cam video is very hard to watch; use your judgment on whether you really want to click the link.

Sometimes the punishment fits the crime. The Alabama pickup driver and passenger caught on video screaming at a bicyclist have been ordered to take part in a public service announcement on the state’s three-foot passing law, as well as learning more about the cycling community.

A Florida man has been convicted of being the driver behind the wheel when his car ran down a bike rider, after convincing his girlfriend to take the blame; he now faces up to 30 years in prison, despite being acquitted on a DUI manslaughter count.

Fifteen Eastern Seaboard states are completing the mostly carfree 3,000 mile East Coast Greenway running from Florida to Maine. Meanwhile, we can’t even manage to build a bikeway across LA, let alone the West Coast.

 

International

Montreal is installing bicycle footrests in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, though some think the money could be better spent on improving safety instead.

London’s Regent’s University awarded a posthumous diploma to an Italian prince who was killed while riding his bike to class last October.

Caught on video too: A British hit-and-run is captured on security cam, as a driver backs up and leaves his bike-riding victim lying in the street; fortunately, her injuries were not life-threatening. Once again, use your judgment on whether you really want to see it.

A group of Saudi women are defying cultural norms to form the country’s first women’s cycling team.

A Miami man lied about his age to ride a bicycle on China’s Great Wall.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to egg a passing cyclist, make sure he’s not a cop on his lunch break. And who needs an ebike when you can just hop a passing Kenworth?

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One last note: Thank you to everyone who serves as unofficial proofreaders for this site. While I do my best to avoid any errors, I truly appreciate your help in catching and correcting the ones that slip past me.

 

Morning Links: New Mar Vista website, LADOT debuts micro-sweeper, and Caffe Luxxe hosts vintage bike exhibit

LADOT has put up a website to keep track of updates on the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

Which should come in handy both to explain what’s going on and why, and to keep up with what promises to be an endless series of public meetings defending the project.

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Speaking of LADOT, they unveiled their new micro-sweeper to remove debris from protected bike lanes, demonstrating it in the protected bike lane next to City Hall on Los Angeles Street.

Let’s just hope it’s powerful enough to suck up all the police cars that are usually parked in it.

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Just in time for the finale of the Tour de France, Santa Monica’s Caffe Luxxe is teaming with Helen’s Cycles to host an exhibition of rare vintage bikes starting today — July 20th, not January — through the end of September.

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LA County will host a safety training workshop for people walking and riding their bikes in the dangerous Florence-Firestone area this Wednesday.

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A writer for a Jewish magazine questions whether the legendary Italian racer Gino Bartali really saved Jews during WWII, despite his recognition as Righteous Among the Nations by the World Holocaust Remembrance Center’s Yad Vashem.

Michelle Sarfatti bases his refutation on Bartali’s famed reluctance to discuss his work during the war, and a problematic book written in the 1970s which was the first to claim Bartali had hidden forged identity papers in the frame of his bicycle to smuggle them past the Nazi’s.

Yet the Yad Vashem page cites Holocaust survivors whose identity papers were delivered by Bartali, and notes that he told his story to the daughter of the rabbi who founded the resistance network.

And the BBC reports that he told his story to his son in bits and pieces over the years, but made him promise not to tell anyone. A promise he kept until his father’s death.

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From ski jumper to Tour de France stage winner in just five years.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Warren Barguil will be the next French Tour winner — once Chris Froome gets tired of winning it, that is. Although Rigoberto Uran has shown himself to be Froome’s most dangerous challenger this year.

Bicycling looks at the science behind those WTF areo tucks.

If you haven’t seen it yet, this is what racing 100-plus miles every day for three weeks does to your legs.

It’s a start. Spain’s Vuelta has eliminated the obligatory kisses from podium girls, and will have podium boys — aka hosts and hostesses — as well.

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Local

Marketplace talks with the founder of LA-based Thousand, asking if a better looking helmet will keep people safer on their bikes. Short answer, probably not. Longer answer, only if it gets people who wouldn’t otherwise wear one to strap it on.

A professor at LA-based Concord Law School offer five steps to follow if you’re involved in a bicycle crash.

Cal Poly Pomona is finally fixing deadly Kellogg Drive to make it safer for people walking or riding bicycles, four years after student Ivan Aguillar was killed while riding his bike to campus, and 13 years after another student died walking in a crosswalk. Although the reason for fixing it has nothing to do with safety, of course.

The Montbello Bicycle Coalition is hosting a Thursday Night Ice Cream Ride tonight.

 

State

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting rides the Santa Ana River Trail, saying OC hikers and bike riders are giving up on it now that it’s become a linear homeless encampment.

La Palma is putting its cops back on bicycles, a decade after cutting the bike cop program due to budget cuts. Meanwhile, a police website explains why bike cops matter.

San Diego police are stepping up efforts to bust bike thieves using GPS-equipped bait bikes, making 109 arrests in three years — with 107 convictions. Yet the LAPD is still reluctant to give it a try, fearing accusations of entrapment.

An Escondido bike rider was injured, apparently seriously, when he was hit by a truck Wednesday morning.

In an effort to encourage bike tourism, Ventura has declared itself a Bicycle Friendly City, just two months after getting a bronze-level recognition from the Bike League.

A Bakersfield artist is holding an exhibition of artwork from a cyclist’s perspective.

Sad news from Oakland, where a 60-year old man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, and his companion injured; a third Bay Area bike rider was injured in another hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycle Times considers the etiquette of passing on a busy bike path.

A Seattle writer insists smoking dope makes him a better cyclist, and wonders if it will help with swimming. Probably not. On both counts.

That didn’t take long. Just days after Oregon passed the first country’s first bicycle tax, an anti-tax Colorado state senator proposes a similar bill. Because nothing encourages a healthy, non-polluting, non-destructive form of alternative transportation like taxing it.

A new Utah study says invest in bicycling and walking to improve the state’s economic and physical health.

A Missoula newspaper provides an obituary of Dennis Bernard Sparrow, a noted 1980’s frame builder and member of the 1960s proto-punk band The Missing Lynx.

Bad enough that thieves in a passing car mugged a Lincoln NE man and stole his BMX bike, along with his cellphone and cash; they also stole his puppy.

A Chicago writer questions whether the city’s Vision Zero plan has enough teeth to achieve its ambitious goals. Which is the same question many of us are asking about LA’s plan.

Minneapolis police are looking for a bike rider who may have witnessed officers attempting to resuscitate the unarmed Australian woman the cops shot after she had called 911 to report a sexual assault.

A Kentucky pickup driver is a hero after rescuing a man who wrecked his bicycle and taking him to the ER.

A Philadelphia man was sentenced to 29 to 62 years behind bars for gunning down a 16-year old kid as he rode his bike, following a dispute three months earlier. If he’d used a car instead of a gun, he might be looking at 62 weeks, instead. Or maybe days.

Talk about going the wrong way. Atlanta is the latest city to rip out an apparently success bike lane — in this case one built with the support of REI and People For Bikes — and replaced it with parking.

A Florida woman testifies that her boyfriend convinced her to take the blame after he ran down a bike rider while driving on a suspended license.

 

International

Bike Radar lists five cycling debates that just won’t die, from headphone and helmets to doing the wave.

Canadian bicyclists are calling for a change in the law in Nova Scotia, where dooring a bike rider remains perfectly legal.

A UK letter writer says enforcing the equivalent of a five-foot passing distance will cause gridlock on the streets. Which is pretty much the opposite effect of what it’s had anywhere else.

South African cyclists are planning a ride calling for enforcement of a safe passing distance, and the prosecution of drivers who crash into bike riders. Proving that bicyclists face the same problem exist everywhere.

Cyclists in Sydney, Australia are complaining about cars parked in a bike lane, putting children at risk from oncoming cars when they have to ride into traffic to get around them. Proving once again that the same problems exist everywhere.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist is lucky to escape when a driver zooms across his path at the last second.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bicycle, try not to take it from the local DA. Two drivers collided on a Minnesota bridge, so it’s the drunk bike rider’s fault.

And this pretty well sums up the absurdity of the great LA road diet debate.

Morning Links: Fletcher Drive and Venice Blvd meetings this week; Vision Zero improvements for Temple St

It’s a busy week for the LA bike world.

From Vision Zero and Great Streets, to the grand re-opening of a popular bikeway.

There’s a follow-up meeting to discuss the proposed Vision Zero improvements for Fletcher Drive this Wednesday, as local business groups post misleading information to oppose it. And count KTLA traffic reporter Ginger Chan in the anti camp, evidently.

The battle over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project goes on, with the next skirmish scheduled for an open house in Mar Vista this Saturday. And yes, the folks opposed to the changes are calling for a big turnout. Thanks to Lynn Ingram for the heads-up.

The LACBC posted photos of the proposed Vision Zero improvements for Temple Street, including bike lanes and a 2.3 mile lane reduction.

And the Coyote Creek bikeway is finally reopening tonight in Los Alamitos.

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The yellow jersey comes and goes, and comes back again, though Chris Froome nearly lost the day to a broken spoke on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Guardian features notes from the past week at the Tour de France.

Good question. A Cycling News Op-Ed offers a nuanced take on cycling’s hypocritical and uneven handling of past dopers, questioning why we pillory Tom Simpson, Lance or Jan Ullrich, while giving other riders from the doping era a pass.

A Scottish newspaper addresses the rampant sexism in pro cycling, where podium girls are more visible than women cyclists.

A 21-year old Zimbabwean cyclist has risen to become the nation’s road and mountain bike champ, despite not even owning his own bicycle. Someone get this man a sponsor, stat.

Nice gesture from the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, which gave a new bike, helmet and an autographed pro cycling team jersey to a six-year old Idaho girl suffering from hearing loss.

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Local

Bike riders continue to complain about homeless encampments encroaching on the Orange Line bike path between Sepulveda and Hazeltine, although local businesses say they’re beginning to see improvement as the city steps up enforcement efforts. Part of the problem is that the encampments are on private property, limiting what authorities can do to remove them.

Santa Monica police bust a thief who stole a $1,250 bike when the owner left it unlocked outside a restaurant. Which is sort of like leaving your laptop or smartphone on the sidewalk, and trusting it will be there when you get back.

 

State

Bad news from Laguna Nigel, where a man suffered severe head trauma after losing control of his bike and hitting a tree face first. Let’s hope he makes a full and fast recovery.

A letter writer calls for a walkable, bikeable Mariner’s Mile that will serve as a Main Street for Newport Beach, not a freeway that slashes across the community.

Tragic news from Vallejo, as the 16-year old boy who was hit by a pickup while riding with his father on Thursday has died three days after the crash. Something is seriously wrong when a boy can’t safely go for a ride with his dad.

A Chico letter writer calls on bike advocates to clean up the mess made by homeless camps on a bike path. You know, just like drivers pitch in to clean up the roads they use.

 

National

NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr. rides his bike to earn more beers.

A Nebraska judge tossed a case against an alleged meth dealer after a cop stopped him for riding in a crosswalk — which isn’t illegal in the state — making everything they found on him inadmissible.

The Nashville Tennessean says yes, cyclists and pedestrians need to pay attention, but if drivers aren’t willing to watch the road, they shouldn’t be on it. Meanwhile, the widow of a fallen rider says to pass bicyclists like you love them. Which is good advice for anyone, no matter who you’re passing or how.

A Central New York bike ride appears to have set a new record for the largest classic bicycle parade, with 158 people riding bikes built as far back as 1923.

 

International

Combine your love of bikes and food with eight culinary bike tours for from around the world. Or maybe you’d prefer a beautiful tour mixing bikes and trains.

This is why you don’t run red lights. Dash cam video captures a Ottawa, Canada bike rider going through a red light and riding directly into the path of an oncoming car; fortunately, the rider was not seriously injured.

A Canadian writer says there’s not a number on your back in a group ride, so don’t treat it like a race.

Not surprisingly, Manchester, England is having the same problems with dockless bikeshare bikes nearly every other city has. Including a London borough that ordered them removed.

After someone stole a British woman’s bicycle, she just stole it back. Even though this turned out okay, it’s always best to let the police handle it; there have been several cases that didn’t end as well.

Now that’s more like it. A British judge sentences a drunk hit-and-run driver who seriously injured a 16-year old bike rider to three years in jail, and revokes his license for more than eleven years, while calling for stiffer penalties for hit-and-run drivers.

A Scottish model is riding the length of the UK to raise funds for children in Cape Verde, but describes the ride as “horrific.”

New stamps from Germany, Switzerland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina commemorate the 200th anniversary of the bicycle, while French stamps honor the invention of concrete.

An Indian man rides his bike over 1,200 miles through the Sahara Desert in 28 days.

An editorial in an Aussie paper says the government should come to its senses and reverse oppressive fines on cycling and the removal of bikeways.

 

Finally…

How many people can say their bike lights are literally out of this world. If you’re going to use your smartphone while you ride, try to look up before crashing into a police car.

And if you think bicyclists are lunatics waging an idiotic war with anyone normal, while riding one yourself, what does that make you?

Just asking.

 

Weekend Links: Lawsuit madness in Playa del Rey, walking a bike through G20 riots, and Saturday bike videos

Amidst all the madness, we’re starting to see a few glimmers of sanity.

And more madness.

Wealthy Playa del Rey townhouse owners have filed the first of what may be the first of many lawsuits over the safety improvements in the area, claiming the city failed to file an Environmental Impact Report because they knew it would be unpopular.

Although their lawyer seems a tad confused, claiming the changes on Vista del Mar were made to benefit a handful recreational bike riders. Even though there are no bike lanes on Vista del Mar.

And the changes have made it worse, not better, for cyclists using the roadway.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Beach continues to threaten to sue, while apparently laboring under the same misconception that a bike lane was added on Vista del Mar.

The irony is that the city alleges the lack of advance notice before implementing the road reconfigurations violated the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But no one seems to consider the environmental damage done by the unsustainable commutes of countless solo drivers who insist on living in the wealthy beach community while working miles away in LA and Santa Monica.

And expect the people of Los Angeles to put up with it without complaint. Or concerns for their own safety.

Surprisingly, the sanity comes in two pieces written for City Watch, which is more often a home for the bike-hating trolls, or just the very strange.

A member of the Mar Vista Community Council says, despite his personal opposition to the Venice Great Streets Project, the uproar means they have to do their jobs, and find a solution that works for everyone.

And the former president of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council says it’s time for everyone to just calm down, and if you can’t abide the presence of another human being on the roadway, move to South Dakota already.

Although I suspect the people in South Dakota might just send them back.

Meanwhile, a Santa Monica writer belatedly discovers the Venice Great Streets project while somehow blaming CicLAvia for it, and suggests that its members can show up for meetings because they don’t have jobs.

Never mind that CicLAvia had absolutely nothing to do with the project other than hosting a pop-up demonstration, and bike riders who supported the project have jobs, too. Just like real people.

Seriously, though, you have to admire someone who’s not afraid to show he doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s writing about.

Do you see a bike lane here? Both photos by Joni Yung.

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Megan Lynch forwards an extraordinary series of photos taken by photographer Thomas Lohnes, which appear to show 60-year old historian Martin Bühler calmly walking his bike through the recent G20 protests in Hamburg, Germany as police fire water canons around him.

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CiclaValley shares a look at a driver who insisted on passing, even after being warned there was no room to do it safely. Which is something most of us have experienced far too often.

Although his choice of language is much milder than mine has been in similar situations.

However, no such language is needed in this video depicting a day in the life of an LA Brompton rider. My apologies are in order, though, since I’ve lost track of who sent this one to me. But thank you, anyway.

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The Tour de France is starting to get interesting, as Chris Froome is no longer looking invincible. America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says all is not well at Team Sky.

Alberto Contador overcame injuries to attack on Friday.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, was awarded the 2017 Transportation Planning Excellence Award for its Go Human campaign.

The next Draft: LA Meetup, sponsored by People For Bikes, will be held this Thursday at Pure Cycles in Burbank. But no, it will not last for 27 hours.

A Burbank letter writer says he always rides his bike as far to the right as safely possible, and gets irritated at bike riders who don’t when he’s behind the wheel. In other words, he turns into an angry driver when he sees bicyclists riding safely in the center of the lane, just like they’re supposed to, because that’s not the way he does it.

You can now use your Metro Bike membership in the Rose City, as Metro’s bikeshare system officially opens in Pasadena. Boyonabike welcomes the program to his hometown.

Santa Monica is now considering installing more physical barriers to create protected bike lanes.

This Sunday marks the Whittier Walk & Roll Open Streets event, a four hour, six mile carfree festival.

 

State

Irvine plans to close a 1.2 mile gap in the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, including a new bridge over the 5 Freeway.

An Op-Ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s bike commuting plan faces a bumpy road from reluctant commuters, and people who prefer parking to bike lanes. And seemingly expect bike traffic to somehow appear overnight when lanes are built.

A San Diego judge orders a competency hearing for a homeless man accused of striking several people in the back of the head while riding his bike, killing an 83-year old woman.

San Francisco is installing parking-protected bike lanes on two streets to provide a quick safety fix.

Oakland will celebrate bikes this weekend with the Jack London Square Pedalfest, including amphibious bike races.

Bad news from Vallejo, where a father and son were run down from behind by the driver of a pickup, leaving the teenager fighting for his life.

A Sacramento athlete is overcoming his cerebral palsy to compete in a triathlon this weekend.

 

National

NASCAR’s Ryan Newman doesn’t get the whole race driver cycling craze, preferring to work on his farm when he’s not driving.

Milwaukee moves forward with its first bike boulevards. Too bad you can’t say the same about Los Angeles.

Police are looking for a bike raging Chicago rider who put a rock through the window of a BMW after the driver accused him of scratching his car. As tempting as it can be sometimes, just don’t. Period.

A New York man makes his escape on a Citi Bike bikeshare bike after fatally shooting a man.

Residents of an Atlanta neighborhood are angry after the city ripped up a one-year old bike path for no apparent reason, after they’d fought for it for eight years.

A Florida letter writer gets it, telling drivers to calm down, put their phones down and pay attention when they see someone on a bike.

 

International

You think? Gizmodo says maybe dockless bikeshare isn’t a good idea, as abandoned bikes turn up everywhere.

Modacity looks at the insanity of licensing bicyclists, especially when it comes to kids.

Spend your next bike vacation touring Cuba.

The Calgary mountain biker who claimed to have been clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail says people have turned on him, questioning the legitimacy of his story — and his now-closed crowdfunding campaign.

Probably wasn’t the best idea. A British headmaster is looking for a new job after calling in sick so he could go on a charity bike ride in Cuba.

A Welsh cyclist got a medal for finishing a charity ride, despite getting lost and ending up riding with the pro cyclists. And so did his dog.

A South African cyclist is on trial for an alleged bike rage attack on two motorists; he claims the driver had “been impatient” with other bicyclists and made him fall off his bike. This is what happens when you can’t control your temper; instead of holding an impatient driver accountable, it’s the guy on the bike who’s facing jail time.

The New York Times examines why people on bicycles inspire such animosity in Australia. And pretty much anywhere else. Thanks to Victor Bank for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a fire truck. Or maybe a $10,000 eco-friendly wooden bike made with no-so-eco-friendly carbon fiber. Or just effing weird.

And new anti-lock bike brakes could promise an end to the endo.

 

Morning Links: Insights on the Venice Great Streets debate, and Complete Streets discussions in the South Bay

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Mar Vista Community Council debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

The quasi-governmental body defeated a motion to reject the Venice Great Streets project and return the street to its previous six-lane configuration, before voting 10-1 to support Vision Zero and a six-month reassessment of the project.

Two hours of public comment were roughly evenly divided, with nearly 60 speakers on each side.

Project proponents emphasized the need for safety in response to personal histories of collisions, injuries, and relatives’ traffic deaths. Speakers also brought up climate change, noise pollution, excessive space still dedicated to cars, and improved conditions for seniors and disabled. Proponents emphasized giving the recently opened project a chance to prove itself.

Project opponents raised issues of impacted commute times, emergency response delays, tsunami evacuation routes, disabled access, scofflaw cyclists, excessive Westside development, worsened air quality, and untrustworthy city data – questioning whether the project actually makes the street safer. Ironically, supporters held up orange paper signs stating “stop the unsafe streets project.” Opponent statements included “we want our lane back now,” “L.A. runs on four tires and an internal combustion engine” and “this is not Amsterdam, this is Mar Vista.”

After the meeting, one supporter offered these thoughts after finding himself surrounded by opponents of the Great Streets project, which provide some valuable insights going forward.

(I’m withholding his name due to the vitriol and anger displayed by some of the opponents, and have edited his comments slightly).

The anti crowd was for the most part older, and extremely entrenched in their viewpoints. Their perceptions, accurate or not, will supersede anything put forward by any of us, but especially those of Councilmember Bonin and the LADOT. It doesn’t matter that these perceptions were most likely forged while the project was under construction and therefore the most disruptive. I believe that the way forward is not through this crowd. They will not be moved regardless of how well the project proceeds. At best they’ll quietly subside over time.

Even before the meeting began I heard repeatedly that bicyclists are lawless, always running stop signs and red lights, have no regard for the rules of the road, and “if I hit one I’ll be to blame.” This sentiment was expressed in varying forms every time a professed bicyclist spoke to the council. Being a bicyclist in their minds somehow qualifies one as an activist and therefore not entitled to voicing an opinion. Never mind that pretty much everyone in attendance was an activist simply by attending.

Simply put, I believe the anti crowd feels they are the victims through all this. They see themselves as being overrun by an “elite” bent on making war with their entitled right of dominance of access. It’s almost impossible for them to fathom that a grown person would use a bicycle as anything other than recreation.

However, aside from a few disparaging remarks about victims of traffic, it was clear that the pedestrian safety component of the project transcends the divisions on the other issues. While I have my personal opinions about their concerns over safety, it was heartening to feel even a tiny bit of consensus.

Then again, those opposed to the Great Streets project might want to consider the results of this road diet in Orlando FL before making any rash decisions.

Because of this project, College Park’s main street has become a thriving corridor. Safety greatly improved after the project: total collisions dropped by 40 percent, injury rates declined 71 percent, and traffic counts briefly dropped 12 percent before returning to original levels. Pedestrian counts increased by 23 percent, bicycling activity by 30 percent, and on-street parking—which buffers the sidewalks from automobile traffic—by 41 percent.

In addition, the corridor has gained 77 new businesses and an additional 560 jobs since 2008.

The value of property adjacent to Edgewater and within a half mile of the corridor rose 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

That’s what Mar Vista residents have to look forward to, if they just have the patience to let it happen.

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Hermosa Beach will discuss the city’s Bicycle Transportation Network at a special city council meeting next Monday, as part of the PLAN Hermosa (scroll to bottom).

The same night, there will be a public workshop in Manhattan Beach to discuss Living Streets and Complete Streets in the South Bay.

Although you might ask them why complete, livable streets are okay for the South Bay, but not Playa del Rey.

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CNN takes a look at bicycling travel destinations around the world, starting with ten bicycling international routes that will take your breath away, including the Great Divide trail and a rail-to-trail conversion in Montana and Idaho. As well as the five best bike paths in Sydney, Australia.

And follow up by offering their own listing of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

None of which are named Los Angeles.

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No surprise who won the sprint finish in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, which Bike Snob says has outlived it’s usefulness.

Bike Radar writes about trained boxer turned cyclist Nacer Bouhanni throwing a punch during Tuesday’s 10th stage, but all they really seem to care about is his new bike.

Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang will continue in the Tour, despite suffering two small fractures in his left arm after colliding with a teammate on Wednesday; the San Francisco Chronicle responds to all the injuries this year by calling the race a full-contact sport.

A ceremony will be held today on the slopes of Mont Ventoux to honor fallen cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the ascent during the 1967 Tour de France; race leader Chris Froome plans to honor him during Thursday’s stage.

Former pro Danny Summerhill accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of jail for firing his gun into a hill between two Colorado homes because he was having a bad day on a training ride. Of course, the unanswered question is why he had a gun on his bike, and where he kept it.

Now that’s the right kind of podium girl. German cyclist Florenz Knauer got down on one knee on the podium to propose to his girlfriend after winning a British Columbia grand prix.

A writer for the Guardian says Philippa York can be the trailblazer who hauls cycling into the 21st Century, following her transition from Scottish cyclist and journalist Robert Millar.

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Local

The LA Weekly considers why there are no bike lanes in Skid Row, as residents call on the city to treat them fairly.

The SCV Bicycle Coalition is providing a free bike valet at Saturday’s Concert in the Park by an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band in Santa Clarita.

A dozen people learned mountain biking skills and etiquette at a free month clinic offered by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) at Malibu Creek State Park.

CiclaValley has a blast descending Old Topanga Canyon.

 

State

San Clemente has opened a new two-way cycle track along El Camino Real, along with a separate pedestrian walkway.

Former world champ and Olympic cyclist Amber Neben worked with special needs kids in Riverside to learn how to ride an adaptive bicycle.

Ventura County is planning to install three miles of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Thousand Oaks.

Caltrans proposes filling a gap in a Shasta bike trail in hopes of bringing more tourism to the town.

 

National

No surprise here, as a new study shows that people who live in areas with more transportation options have better health.

Strider has formed a non-profit to help distribute their balance bikes to children with mental, physical, or financial challenges.

A Gold Star mother and father stopped in Albuquerque on their four-month bike tour across the US to honor their sons, and all the military men and women killed since 9/11.

Sounds like fun. A Wichita KS bar hosts a show for “freak bikes” or “rat bikes” — aka any funky, weird or unusual bike.

A Wisconsin airman is back to serving as an MP, after two years of training fulltime as a cyclist as part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete program.

In a sign of just how seriously authorities don’t take traffic crimes, a Wisconsin man was held on a ridiculously low $1,500 bond after he was arrested for attempting to intentionally run over a bicyclist while driving drunk.

A Michigan driver lost control and rolled his car down an embankment. So naturally, the guy on the bike gets the blame.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway originally told police a man and a woman on the side of the road threw a bicycle at him.

City Lab looks at the battle over bike lanes in Baltimore, where the mayor had threatened to remove a protected bike lane before being stopped by a court order.

 

International

The crowdfunding campaign we mentioned yesterday for a Calgary cyclist clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail has been frozen after the victim closed the account; a police sweep of the trail found no safety issues. And yes, something smells very fishy.

There’s a special place in hell for the men who stole a nine-year old Winnipeg boy’s bicycle, then dragged him behind their pickup when he tried to stop them.

A Halifax randonneur became the first woman to complete a 621-mile Nova Scotia brevet in 74 hours or less, finishing with 10 hours to spare.

Singapore-based Obike becomes the first dockless bikeshare system to open in London, competing with the well-established Boris Bikes.

 

Finally…

Bicycling can make you a better surfer. No need to worry about road debris when you have your own leaf blower bike to blow it away.

And clearly, nothing has changed on LA streets in the past 96 years.

Morning Links: Mar Vista votes to keep road diet, and Manhattan Beach still not happy with Playa del Rey changes

Two up, two down.

Following the lead of the Venice Neighborhood Council, the Mar Vista Community Council voted Tuesday night to keep the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in place.

The board also called for continued study of the project, which removed one traffic lane in each direction on Venice Blvd, while adding parking-protected bike lanes on either side.

And as Rabi Abonour pointed out, even the opponents of the project professed their love for bikes, if not the people on them, before spouting their vehement opposition.

According to Councilmember Mike Bonin, the first round of data for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project will be presented in a public meeting on Saturday the 22nd.

Evidently, some of the media attended a different meeting, though.

Even though reports were that comments were evenly divided between supporters and opponents of the Great Streets project, KABC-7 apparently only heard — or cared — about the people up in arms over it, falsely reporting that Mar Vista residents strongly opposed it.

Fox-11 was a little more balanced in their reporting, however.

Meanwhile, KCBS-2 got the whole concept of Great Streets wrong, insisting that the plan was to conduct a road diet and add bike lanes and parking on one major thoroughfare in every council district throughout the city.

While there will be a Great Streets project in each district, it’s a community-driven process, and up to local residents to decide just what changes to make.

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Needless to say, Manhattan Beach isn’t satisfied with the change to the Play del Rey lane reconfigurations to reduce traffic congestion, preferring that LA rip out exactly the kind of road diets they use in their own city.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

The driver charged in the Tennessee hit-and-run caught on video over the weekend claims he never saw the victim, and didn’t even know he’d hit anyone until he got home and started receiving death threats.

Although given the force of that impact, you’d have to question whether the driver would have to have been in some sort of altered state to not even notice the crash.

Meanwhile, cyclists aren’t letting the incident stop them from riding the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway, where the wreck occurred.

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A great new British TV spot tries to encourage grown ups to get back on their bikes.

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A pair of British publications remember fallen cyclist Tom Simpson on the 50th anniversary of his death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says the hell with unwritten rules, cyclists should attack if anything happens to the race leader during a stage, or sponsors should demand their money back.

Peter Sagan got booted from the Tour de France for what may have been an inadvertent elbow thrown at Mark Cavendish, but France’s Nacer Bouhanni just got a lousy $216 fine for actually punching Kiwi cyclist Jack Bauer.

Afghan sisters Masouma and Zahra Alizada have joined a French cycling team. Not were bought, as the headline says; slavery remains illegal, even in cycling.

Atascadero’s Brian Lucido won the 2,800-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Race in 14 days, 23 hours.

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Local

KCET reports the recently approved $100 million in state funds completes a trifecta of funding for LA River improvements, much of which will go towards parks and completing the bike path.

Santa Clarita installs new wayfinding signs on local bike and pedestrian trails.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Santa Monica is spending nearly $500,000 to improve bike and pedestrian access on the main road leading through the Santa Monica airport, including new sidewalks and a two-way cycle track.

A Redondo Beach woman has taken it on herself to throw away the ghost bike and memorials to 13-year old fallen bike rider Ciara Smith, forcing friends to replace it twice — apparently because it was blocking a sign designating PCH as the Vietnam Memorial Highway.

 

State

California commute times are the longest in the nation. Which may be the best argument yet for riding a bike.

Parking in bike lanes poses a danger to more than just people on bikes. A San Diego man is dead after crashing his car into the back of a semi illegally parked in a bike lane and extending out into the traffic lane.

San Francisco votes to move forward with bike lanes on upper Market Street over the objections of a citizen watchdog who tried to halt them, citing concerns over fire safety.

San Francisco approves rules for dockless bikeshare systems.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss and adventurer Brendan Leonard will begin writing weekly columns for Outside Magazine.

Hawaii’s visually impaired Bike Man costumed superhero rides to the top of the 4,200-foot Mauna Kea volcano.

An Oregon bike shop owner says the state’s new bicycle tax will be bad for business, even if it only adds $15 to the cost of any bike over $200.

A South Korean bike tourist feels showered with support when Portland residents pitch in to help after his bike and all his gear was stolen in the city.

Seattle residents debate a hypothetical and highly impractical bicyclist licensing scheme.

A bike-riding Las Vegas thief wins the ingenuity award for using a pole to steal a woman’s purse off the kitchen counter through the doggie door.

Denver puts its money where its mouth is, announcing a $2 billion — with a B — Mobility Action Plan designed to get people out of their cars.

A Milwaukee report concludes poorer neighborhoods provide less access to bike trails. Pretty much like virtually every other large city. Including Los Angeles.

A St. Louis nonprofit is nearing 30 years of helping kids earn a free bike.

A Vermont bakery peddles — and pedals — its wares, towing fresh baked goods in bike trailers to hawk on the streets.

A Savannah GA writer says it’s important to remember that safe streets aren’t a luxury, and being able to ride a bike safely is a necessity for many people.

Nice story from Florida, where a group of cyclists pitch in to buy a new bike for a special needs man after his was stolen, even though he frequently clashed with them.

 

International

The Calgary mountain biker who was clotheslined by barbed wire strung at neck level over a riding trail has started a crowdfunding campaign to pay his medical expenses, as well as buy security cameras for the park he was riding in.

London’s Mirror gets it, writing that “using a phone behind the wheel is like doing a Rubik’s cube while juggling shotguns.” And adds that we forget cars are dangerous because we drive them all the time without incident.

Proving that it is in fact possible to enforce a three-foot passing law, a British truck driver was fined the equivalent of over $1,300 after being ticketed for a too-close pass.

A Glasgow mother used social media to track down the teen who stole her son’s bike, and gave him a life lecture and a hug when she posed as a buyer to reclaim it.

The Department of DIY strikes in Dublin, Ireland, where 17 people formed a human chain to keep drivers from parking in a bike lane.

A woman with Type 1 diabetes rode her bike over 11,000 miles from Italy to Singapore to encourage other diabetics to live their dreams.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to be attacked by a road raging driver, at least request the salted caramel. You could one day race a bike in space.

And yes, bicycling can enlarge your labia, for those of you who have one.

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Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep bringing you SoCal’s best bike news every morning.

 

Morning Links: Lawyer says mayor criminally liable for bike lanes, and meetings on Venice and Temple

Try to read this one without laughing.

I dare you.

A lawyer and regular contributor to City Watch insists that Mayor Garcetti could face criminal liability for a Mobility Plan that places bike lanes on city streets. Where riders are forced to suck in the air pollution from passing cars in what he describes as a violation of California’s CEQA laws.

He even says city officials may be held criminally liable for battery and homicide, comparing the situation to the tainted water in Flint, Michigan.

Which almost sounds sort-of semi-reasonable, until you consider just how far off base it really is.

Starting with the fact that it was the City Council, not Garcetti, which was responsible for the city’s Mobility Plan and the bike lanes proposed therein.

And that several studies have shown that the air inside motor vehicles is dirtier than the air bike riders breathe. Or that the health benefits of bicycling far outweigh the risk posed by bad air.

Not to mention that bike lanes are found on busy city streets in virtually every major city around the world, with no apparent mass die-off of bike riders gasping their last due to auto exhaust.

And never mind that Los Angeles already conducted an environmental review of the city’s bike plan following the debacle in San Francisco, where a single disgruntled man held up implantation of the city’s bike plan for years using a CEQA challenge, until a judge finally threw the case out.

Or that bike lanes were exempted from CEQA review four years ago when Governor Brown signed AB 417 as a result of that case.

Although you’d think a decent lawyer might have looked that up.

But if you ever need someone to file a writ ordering kids to get off your lawn, he may be your guy.

………

If you’re not completely burned out after tonight’s argument over friendly discussion of the Venice Great Streets project at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting, you can do it all over again tomorrow when the Palms Neighborhood Council takes up the subject.

And a public safety meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss a planned road diet on Temple Street in Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown; the Vision Zero project would reduce the street to one lane in each direction, with bike lanes and a center turn lane.

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The 2018 Giro d’Italia will start just slightly outside the county — in Jerusalem.

Only a handful of riders can still challenge Chris Froome in the Tour de France. And he denies barging into one of them.

Polish rider Rafal Majka abandoned the Tour de France after falling in Sunday’s ninth stage.

Italian cyclist Adriano Malori announced his retirement from racing on Monday, nearly two years after being placed in a medically coma following a crash in Argentina’s Tour de San Luis.

Cycling industry insiders set up a fake motor doping website to see who’d be interested; cycling team managers, industry publications and individual cyclists who wanted to cheat their fellow racers took the bait.

Scottish track cyclist Katie Ford set new records for the greatest distance covered in both six and eight hours, despite suffering from epilepsy.

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Local

LA County has agreed to settle the case of an unarmed man killed by sheriff’s deputies for $2.9 million; 23-year old Noel Aguilar was shot when he fled after deputies tried to stop him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

LA Downtown News looks at the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare program, noting it costs more than similar programs in other cities and doesn’t have a discount program for low-income users.

Architects present plans to revitalize the LA River.

 

State

Solano Beach will raise funds for bike lanes and pedestrian paths by adding a $15,714 fee to the cost of every new single-family home and $11,206 for each new apartment. Which means improving alternative transportation at the expense of desperately needed new affordable housing.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a BMX-riding booze shoplifter who punched a Rite Aid employee in the face to make his getaway.

Bakersfield police somehow mistake a 5’2”, 115 pound, 19-year old bike-riding black woman for a bald, 5’10”, 170 pound machete-wielding man. So they pulled a gun on her, punched her in the mouth and set a police dog on her.

Santa Cruz installs its first bike box to improve visibility and safety for bicyclists.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition opposes a proposed ordinance that would ban bike chop shops in an effort to reduce bicycle theft, saying it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. The roots of the problem are addiction and homelessness, which are much more difficult to solve. And neither of which are helped by looking the other way while addicts deal in stolen bicycles.

Sacramento is preparing to boot bikes off some sidewalks in the downtown area. But not all of them, since they don’t have money to build bike lanes. Which means, unless they post it on every block, people will have no idea whether or not they can legally ride on any given sidewalk.

The Lake Tahoe basin is transforming itself with 50 miles of existing shared-use trails and another 6.5 miles currently under construction, with plans for nearly 26 miles more over the next five years.

 

National

Ford patents a retractable bike rack that would actually be built into your vehicle. Or you could just forget the car and ride your bike.

A woman is riding from California to Maine to collect stories from inspiring women.

A group of cops and other first responders will ride 500 miles from Dallas to Baton Rouge to honor the eight officers killed in the two cities last year.

Caught on video: This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign; a thief simply removes the bolts holding a sign in place and lifts it up to steal an expensive ebike.

A candidate for governor of Massachusetts is one of us, suffering minor injuries when he was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole.

She gets it. A writer from Massachusetts says the car is not king, and instead of stenciling sidewalks to ban riding bikes, the city should improve bike lanes so people don’t feel compelled to use them.

New York bicyclists are banned from a popular bike path so electric cars can race, instead.

Virginia officials decide to squeeze a bike trail between an expanded freeway and a sound wall, since neighbors won’t allow the bikeway on their side of the wall.

 

International

A poignant story, as a bike-riding former Ottawa, Canada heroin addict who saved the lives of 130 drug overdose victims has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $12,000 to send him home to see his parents one last time.

Caught on video too: A pair of British riders are taken down by “yobs” who rolled an old bike into their path. Warning: You may have to sit through an interminable movie trailer to get to it.

A UK police inspector sticks up for officers who intentionally doored a bike-riding theft suspect to make an arrest, even though the helmetless rider could have been seriously injured.

 

Finally…

Either a Virginia newspaper is in desperate need of punctuation, or a bicyclist crashed into a disregarded stop sign. If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to pee on the cop who busts you for it.

And seriously, don’t try this at home, especially not at 62 mph.

In flip-flops.

 

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

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Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

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Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

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The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

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Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

Morning Links: Venice NC supports data-based decision, angry Playa del Rey Op-Ed, and war on bikes goes on

Chalk up one small victory for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

John Montgomery attended last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting, where a motion to immediately undo the recent lane reduction and installation of a parking protected bike lane was under discussion.

Here’s his report.

The Venice Neighborhood Council Parking and Transportation Committee met at Canal Club in Venice on Wednesday night and most of the evening was spent discussing the Great Streets project in Mar Vista. About 40 people attended, with approximately 15 residents of Venice taking part. Of the 15 Venice residents, at least seven turned out in support of the changes in Mar Vista in addition to several folks outside the area from various non-profits focused on pedestrian concerns. The rest were from Mar Vista, with some from the Playa area.

All-in-all the meeting was well run and controlled — and there was very little ugliness that often occurs at meetings where attendees are passionate about their views. I give committee chair Jim Murez credit for this — he was very quick to keep people focused and in line. I don’t agree with all of his views, but I do appreciate his effort to try to make it a positive meeting. Having served time on the Venice Neighborhood Committee, I know how difficult his job is.

The main discussion was a resolution apparently passed by the Mar Vista Transportation & Infrastructure Committee towards the end of June, which is very different from the motion listed in the Agenda (which is filed before the meeting). The very last paragraph of the motion demands that the changes be immediately reversed back to the previous three lanes in each direction.

Attendees discussed concerns about gridlock (20 to 30 minute travel times through the corridor), poor response times from first responders, the “incredibly unsafe” changes (such as not being able to see cyclists behind the cars in the buffer zone), and the fact that this “came out of nowhere.” The advocates, to a person, worked to dispel some of the myths that were brought up, focusing on the positive aspects about making a more livable Mar Vista “downtown,” as well as the fact that anecdotal evidence was not a way to make a sensible decision. They also brought up that this process was public since the middle of 2015 and numerous community outreach attempts were made…it was kinda hard to miss IMHO.

In my personal experience, travel times do increase during commute times (never as bad as 20 minutes) but at other points in the day traffic flows safely and normally — and I have GoPro video to document it. Several of us pointed out that the type of street changes implemented have almost unequivocally shown to increase safety when implemented in other areas, states, and countries. It is true that there is a learning curve with this type of implementation, but after the initial period the changes do end up being safer for everyone.

I was really impressed with the eloquence and thoughts of the cycling advocates (though I’m admittedly biased), who were incredibly positive about the changes while expressing empathy with some of the opponents’ perspective.  A main focus of advocates was to let this trial period play out and use actual data to back up decisions. LADOT’s Nat Gale spoke about all the data that was being collected, and that by the end of this week there would be a LADOT website about the project and the data being collected. He also announced that there would be an open house on Saturday, July 22nd (time and location to be determined) where the initial information would be shared and could be discussed with LADOT employees.

The only really ugly part of the night came when one of the residents opposed to the Great Streets project make a joke about a pedestrian being injured…which drew laughs/chuckles from a few in the audience. I’m sorry, but nothing is amusing about that. At all.

On the positive side, thanks to the advocates who turned out, the committee removed the last paragraph and instead replaced it with one requesting that the data be examined, that a meeting be held in Venice with Councilman Bonin, and that it not have a negative impact on the Venice community. The committee very much agreed that actual data should be used in such a decision and not simply anecdotal evidence.

I spoke with the committee after the meeting and thanked them — reminding them that almost half of the people who took the time to show up from Venice were in favor of the changes. After all, the committee is “Parking and Transportation,” so the deck is somewhat stacked against cycling advocates with the focus on parking. It was heartening to see my fellow Venice resident cyclists take the time out of their evening to show up and support a cause which I feel will benefit the community of Mar Vista. I especially appreciate their ability to separate the hype and anecdotes from fact.

Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting at the Canal Club; photos by John Montgomery

Venice residents who came out to support the Great Streets project

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Meanwhile, a trio of angry drivers take aim at Councilmember Mike Bonin over the safety improvements in an Op-Ed in The Argonaut.

Think the same sort of sputtering anger you hear from a road raging driver, but in print.

In last week’s issue of The Argonaut, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin justified his newly implemented “road diets” with an insulting diatribe about rich commuters from outside of our communities using our residential streets as highways. The truth is that Bonin’s “road diets” are wildly unpopular with his constituents and he refuses to admit it. He is replacing arterial lanes with bike lanes and parking on the premise that safety and commute times are mutually exclusive. Rather than objectively looking at facts, data and the numerous solutions that can truly make our streets safer, Bonin is misrepresenting details and using divisive rhetoric to force his personal ideals on us.

Note to angry Op-Ed writers: No need to put “road diet” in quotation marks; that’s what they’re called.

Of course, they then go on to compound their hyperbole with an un-objective look at the facts, data and solutions, reacting as only angry drivers can when they lose some of their precious road space in the name of safety.

Other than confusing the average of six collisions annually that result in serious injury or death with the 13 fender benders they site, they offer a collection of anecdotes with a complete and total lack of data to back it up.

And never mind that LADOT will study the results of the road diets, just as in the Mar Vista project cited above, and report back with actual stats and data on their effectiveness before any decision is made on whether to make them permanent.

It’s going to be a very long, angry summer.

You can show your support by signing the petition to keep Playa del Rey streets safe.

………

Today’s common theme is the war on bikes, which rages on.

A Seattle woman was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car while riding home with her husband. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Chicago man is under arrest for pulling a load gun on Critical Mass riders after some idiot sat on the hood of his car.

A FedEx driver in upstate New York faces a felony theft charge for taking a bicyclist’s phone after he tried to take photos of the driver during a dispute.

A Florida woman is accused of using her SUV to intentionally run down a bike rider she knew, then coming back to attack her again.

A road-raging Winnipeg, Canada driver repeatedly bumped a woman’s bike and shouted homophobic slurs, apparently for the crime of being in his way when he wanted to turn right at a red light.

A British bike rider was knocked off his bike, gouged in the eye and dragged by his dreadlocks after confronting a man over rumors he’d been insulting him.

Caught on video: A British truck driver drifts into a cyclist, who barely manages to stay upright after the truck sideswipes him and forces him off the road, then jumps out and starts screaming that the rider was at fault. Which he wasn’t, unless being in the same space the driver wanted to occupy is a crime.

On the other hand, police in the UK are looking for an “aggressive” cyclist accused of shouting abuse at parents as they pick up and drop off their kids at school. My guess is he’s just fed up with drivers cutting him off and blocking the roadway. Or maybe I’m just projecting from my own experiences with school-bound parents.

………

In today’s relatively spoiler-free racing news, the yellow jersey switched hands in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, while Italian champ Fabio Aru sent a message to the peloton. And American Andrew Talansky is off to an uneventful start in the Tour.

The debate over whether Peter Sagan should have been elbowed out of the Tour goes on, with almost universal disagreement with the decision; one track cyclist points the finger at Cavendish, instead.

Meanwhile, Ella Cycling Tips offers an update on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about comforting an injured woman who was hit by a driver, saying we don’t appreciate the vulnerability of pedestrians until it’s too late.

A Marina del Rey teenager raised $12,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation by riding from Mar Vista to Del Mar, stopping at several fire stations along the way.

 

State

An off-road rider was rescued by authorities above Ojai after apparently suffering heat exhaustion. A reminder to be careful riding in the extreme heat predicted for this weekend; bring plenty of water, and avoid riding in the heat of the day, if possible.

A moving new Salinas mural honors a fallen cyclist next to his ghost bike, three years after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was never caught.

San Jose will be installing several road diets and bike lanes over the summer. Which means San Jose bike advocates will get to have the same sort of fun we’re having with drivers enraged over losing a small amount of road space.

The San Jose Mercury News reviews Andy Samberg’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy, which airs this weekend on HBO.

Caught on video: A San Francisco driver gets out of his car to argue with a bike rider following a punishment pass. While the story correctly notes that police have to actually witness an infraction to write a ticket or make a misdemeanor arrest, the driver could have been charged with assault simply for getting out of his car to confront the rider. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the link.

Sacramento is building a three-quarter-mile long bike path along the American River, part of a planned bikeway leading to the Cal State Sacramento campus.

 

National

A new study examines the reasons people don’t use bikeshare; no surprise that the leading reason for all demographic groups was fear of traffic.

Another new study examines driver’s attitudes towards bicyclists, suggesting that the roadway is a battleground for social domination, rather than just a competition for space. Which explains the outrage over road diets.

An Op-Ed in a bicycle trade publication questions the lack of women in the bike industry, while noting the situation is poised to change.

Seattle is ready to make its third attempt at bikeshare, with as many as ten dockless bikeshare companies looking to enter the market; however, users are still required to have helmets, which may doom them all.

The massive Outdoor Retailer trade shows will be moving to Denver, in response to Utah officials support for downsizing the Bears Ears National Monument.

A Colorado man writes that he was hit by a speeding car while riding his bike, but instead of ticketing the driver, the cop lectured him about the wisdom of riding a skinny-tired bike on the street.

Nebraska will change the way it installs rumble strips to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

London’s former cycling czar accuses the new mayor of subverting plans for cycle superhighways, and maintaining capacity for motor vehicles even if it causes conflicts with cyclists.

An 18-year old British man has been sentenced to four years behind bars for killing a middle-aged man by scissor kicking him as he was riding his bike while walking his dog. Violence is never the answer, though the victim had provoked his attacker by repeatedly insulting him using racist terms.

Someone posted a handwritten sign urging drivers to slow down at an English intersection where a bike-riding father was killed, adding that it’s frightening to be passed by drivers going too fast and too close. And it is.

Caught on video: A bike-riding couple in the UK got dangerously buzzed by a speeding motorcyclist.

Better buy that $7,800 graphene-infused bike now; high-end British bike maker Dassi Limited was threatened with insolvency for failing to file required paperwork.

NPR looks at Copenhagen’s efforts to use technology to avoid bicycle traffic jams.

Get your bicycle tuned up. Hanoi, Vietnam has announced plans to ban motorcycles by 2030, the leading form of transportation in a country where few can afford cars.

 

Finally…

Looks like you can keep taking that EPO after all. Proof that there’s more than one way to lockup a bike; thanks again to Megan Lynch.

And some things are just too cute not to share.

………

Thanks to Joni Yung for today’s featured image of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Morning Links: Support Mar Vista road diet at Venice NC tonight, and Sagan gets the boot from Tour de France

The battle over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey lane reductions and bike lanes goes on.

And it’s just getting started, if the seemingly endless series of attacks from pissed off drivers in my Twitter feed over the long weekend is any indication.

Fortunately, you should have a chance to voice your opinion tonight at the Venice Neighborhood Council meeting at the Canal Club, 2025 Pacific Ave in Venice, starting at 7 pm.

Show up if you can make it. Because those angry drivers certainly will.

………

Just one day after sprinting to victory in the third stage of the Tour de France — despite an unclipped pedal — fan favorite Peter Sagan was unceremoniously kicked out of the race following a collision at the end of stage four that left Mark Cavendish with a broken shoulder. Even Greg LeMond thought the penalty was too harsh.

Caught on video: Australian cyclist Luke Durbridge takes a hard slide into the barricades on Saturday’s rain-slicked streets; he was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury.

Women competing in the Giro Rosa had to contend with unexpectedly challenging hills in the individual time trial.

Lance wants his former teammate and current arch-nemesis Floyd Landis to testify at his trial, one way or another.

………

Local

A writer for City Watch says if Los Angeles officials are serious about fighting climate change, they should get drivers out of their cars by expanding bikeshare, protected bike lanes and bike parking, and emulate bike networks in other bike-friendly cities.

Curbed looks at the Metro Bike Hub currently under construction at Union Station. Speaking of Metro, they’re celebrating the first birthday of the Metro Bike bikeshare tomorrow at the Wheelhouse in DTLA.

A Pacoima intersection may be named after Saul Lopez, after the 15-year old was the innocent victim of a wreck between two trucks as he rode to school last summer.

A Long Beach woman is riding cross-country from Long Beach CA to Long Beach NY to raise funds for eight different non-profits.

 

State

A 57-year old bike rider was seriously injured in a collision with the driver of a semi-truck in Santa Ana.

A 51-year old San Diego man credits mountain biking with changing his life.

A San Diego bike rider was seriously injured when he allegedly ran a red light and plowed into the side of a minivan. As always, the question is whether anyone other than the driver saw whether the light was red or green. But let this be a reminder to always observe the right-of-way, even if you don’t respect the traffic signals.

Riverside County bike cops are now patrolling in Jurupa Valley.

A San Francisco bike rider says tourists with selfie sticks and rental bikes have ruined the Golden Gate Bridge.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 87-year old San Francisco man used a fire extinguisher to fight off a bike thief rolling a bicycle out of his garage.

 

National

Even in bike-friendly Portland, NIMBY business owners turn out to fight a proposed road diet.

A Seattle writer says he supports the city’s new private bikeshare companies, even if he’s sure they’re going to fail.

A Chicago writer recognizes that motor vehicles can do far more harm than people on bikes, but asks if reckless driving and reckless biking are morally equivalent.

A new lawsuit alleges a dangerous New York intersection was responsible for a bike rider’s death last year, after 16 other bicyclists were injured at the same junction in the previous four years.

The family of a Swedish model killed in a collision with a bus while riding her bike in NYC has settled the case for half a million dollars.

J-Lo is one of use, as she goes for a ride with former New York Yankee A-Rod, who could stand to put a shirt on.

Who was that masked man? A hero New Jersey bicyclist pulled a man out of a burning car, then rode off into the sunset without giving his name.

 

International

A Canadian cycling site lists the reasons bike riders make great employees. Not to mention no one has to subsidize our parking, and we’re less likely to fall asleep in those endless 8 am meetings. Although we will eat all the donuts.

A Toronto cop has been charged for a January collision with a bike rider, but no word on what the charges are.

The war on bikes continues, part one. A London van driver tries to wrestle a bike rider into submission after being told he was being recorded while illegally using a handheld mobile phone.

A London bicyclist was the victim of a careless dog walker who allowed her charge to stretch the leash across path; the dog walker didn’t fare too well, either. Always watch out for dogs on retractable leashes when you ride on multi-use trails. Because their owners may not be watching out for you.

Taking a page from San Francisco’s playbook, Dublin bike advocates form their own human-protected bike lane to keep drivers from parking in it.

Demi Lovato is one of us too, as she goes for a 4th of July bike ride with friends in Berlin.

You can save these bicycling routes for your next trip to Moscow. No, not the one in Idaho.

There’s a special place in hell for the Russian bike rider who threw sulfuric acid into the faces of three girls in two separate attacks.

The war on bikes continues, part two. A Singapore driver faces charges after brake-checking a group of cyclists, then punching and dooring one who tried to ride past his car.

Bikes have always been non-polluting. But now they can actually remove smog from the air, thanks to a Chinese bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to paint a bike lane symbol by hand, find someone who can actually paint. Why register bikes when you can register pedestrians instead?

And the Mounties always get their girl. Even if she jumps into a river to avoid getting busted for stealing a bike.

 

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