Tag Archive for Venice Blvd

Morning Links: Venice Great Streets attacked, Bonin recall leader criticized, and LA cyclist sets Le Mans record

Clearly, the battle over the Venice Great Streets project is far from over.

Despite the recent vote by the Mar Vista Community Council to keep the project in place while requesting more data, opponents of the project are back at it again, demanding that the street be returned to its previous six lane configuration.

The latest attack comes tonight, when the MVCC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider two motions to reverse the lane reductions and protected bike lanes, under the false flag of improving safety for bicyclists. Along with motions to require all bike riders to wear a helmet and have “reflective night-lights” installed on their bikes.

Whatever that means.

Maybe someone should tell them that bikes are already required to have lights after dark. And nightlights are what you install in your kids’ bedroom so they won’t be afraid of the dark, or so grandma won’t trip in the bathroom at night.

Then again, they also want to see laws banning people from looking at their “mobile electronic devices” while crossing the street. Because everyone knows distracted pedestrians are the real problem, not all those texting drivers in their multi-ton SUVs.

Right.

Sound more like the leadership of the committee is suffering from a serious case of windshield bias, and can’t wait until they’re free to go zoom zoom down the boulevard once again.

And never mind that the paint used to create the current configuration costs roughly $50,000 a mile, plus the cost of the plastic bollards, while the permanent road reconfiguration and paved off-road bike paths they propose could add up to tens of millions of dollars, if not more.

I suppose they could have a bake sale to pay for it.

And if they think people are pissed off now, just wait until they try to take their parking spaces away.

This email, from someone who requested that her name not be used, sums it up nicely.

I live in Mar Vista & just got this agenda for the neighborhood council meeting tomorrow. It is chock-full of anti-bike motions, from getting rid of the Venice Blvd bike lanes immediately to supporting mandatory helmet & reflector laws and banning texting while crossing the street to discourage obstacles (er, “distracted pedestrians”) from entering the roadway.

They are trying to frame killing the Venice bike lanes as pro-safety by couching it within a seemingly thoughtful proposal to build out a bunch of off-road bikeways through the neighborhood on side streets, which is great except that probably won’t happen anytime soon and will definitely be less convenient/slower than what we have now. As far as I can tell the short term proposal is to restore 3 lanes of traffic on Venice and put the bike lanes next to the cars again.

Super-shady that they announce these things with 24 hours’ notice…. hope some other bikers in the neighborhood have time to make it.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 pm tonight at the Windward School, in room 1030 of Building C (by the baseball diamond), 11350 Palms Blvd.

Note: The meeting agenda says it’s scheduled for 7:30 pm to 9 pm, despite the email to community members linked to above that incorrectly says 6 pm. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks to rob kadota for the heads-up.

Be there if you can make it.

Because they’re counting on the short notice to pack the house with bike lane and road diet opponents tonight, and crowd out any support for the project.

And while you’re at it, contact CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, and tell him you support the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project to improve safety and increase livability in one of LA’s previously neglected neighborhoods.

Because he’s the one who will ultimately make the decision.

And your voice matters.

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Speaking of Bonin, a writer for Medium outs fellow progressive and self-described Berniecrat Alexis Edelstein as one of the leaders of the NIMBY-led effort to recall him.

Mike Bonin is one of the most progressive members of the council, and he has a track record of leading on the issues that matter most to the progressive movement. Bonin is the author of the $15 minimum wage, author of the most comprehensive clean money campaign-finance reform in the recent history of Los Angeles, author of the fracking moratorium and the effort to reach 100% clean energy and I am writing this to call out Alexis’ effort as nothing more than a NIMBY assault on a true progressive. Alexis, like most Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) activists got activated when something happened in his backyard — in this case a street safety measure (reduced lanes/added bike lanes) that the department of transportation installed with Bonin’s support and approval, which caused some additional traffic. Trying to make your community a safer place for pedestrians has never been more vilified than in this situation. Is this really grounds for a recall? Absolutely not!…

As he has sought to raise money for the recall effort, Alexis has started tapping into networks and groups that were established to continue moving forward the progressive agenda that was deeply ingrained within us during the presidential primary, the good ole’ days. I do not appreciate my movement being hijacked by someone who is so angry about an effort to save people from speeding cars in his neighborhood that he would call for a recall of a progressive Councilmember. Alexis’ actions distract elected officials and community activist from important matters that need to be address within the district. Alexis’ underhanded and misleading tactics need to be called out.

He goes on to decry a lack of transparency in the campaign, while adding what he sees as the real reason behind Edelstein’s efforts.

The recall has already allowed Alexis to frequent alt-right radio programs to promote and solicit funds for the recall, and every time he has gone on these shows to cozy up to racist shock jocks, he has made sure to use the social media accounts he set up for the recall to share his media appearances and promote himself. The voters of CD 11 made their voices heard loud and clear during March’s Election, but Alexis is behaving like a scheming opportunist who is blatantly rallying against Bonin because he thinks it will get him some press and boost his fledgling political career.

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Somehow, this one slipped under the radar.

So let’s all offer a belated congratulations to Evens Stievenart of LA’s Big Orange Cycling for successfully defending his championship in the solo category of the 24 Hours of LeMans Cycling last month.

A former race car driver, Stievenart set a new record by riding a whopping 593 miles in the 24 hour period.

You can read the original news story in French, or settle for a bad Google translation.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

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It’s more of the same in the Vuelta following Tuesday’s individual time trial; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights.

Andrew Talansky, one of America’s top cyclists for the past several years, has announced his retirement at the ripe old age of 28.

Nothing like having Jens Voigt show up to compete in your local club time trial. Twice.

Pro cycling’s infamous dope doctor gets a whole nine months behind bars after being convicted as the kingpin of a doping network that incited amateur athletes to cheat.

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Local

Self-described transportation justice advocate Monique López, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for the LACBC, describes what she thinks about when she rides her bike through the mean streets of LA.

A cyclist riding in Malibu’s Latigo Canyon was run down by a hit-and-run motorcyclist over the Labor Day Weekend (scroll down), suffering a shattered wrist and elbow; the moto rider stopped briefly to give a possibly fake name, and explain that he was trying to pass the bike rider on the right after hitting some gravel. Then again, it’s not the first time something like that has happened.

CiclaValley writes how the weekend’s massive La Tuna fire hit close to home in more ways than one.

 

State

San Diego’s struggling DecoBike bikeshare system will remove 16 popular docking stations from the boardwalks in beach communities at the urging of local residents and business owners. Which will make it more difficult for bikeshare users to ride to San Diego’s popular beaches, defeating the whole purpose of trying to get people out of their cars.

The pedestrian critically injured when a Hemet driver had a sneezing fit was a 16-year old girl walking with her bike-riding boyfriend; she remains in critical condition with major injuries following two emergency surgeries.

Riverside authorities are still looking for the hit-and-run van driver who killed Forrest Holmes as he rode his bike on Limonite Ave in Jurupa Valley one year ago today.

A 40-year Hollister cyclist says things have gotten a lot better for bicyclists in the area in recent years.

Mountain View parents say a road diet has made it nearly impossible to drop their kids off at school. Never mind that the project is still under construction. Or that maybe they could bike or walk to school with their kids once it’s finished.

 

National

Forbes says Oregon’s new $15 tax on bikes over $200 as part of a $5.3 billion transportation package could represent the future of infrastructure funding.

A pair for researchers are urging Seattle to force private bikeshare companies to provide helmets for riders, in an apparent attempt to kill bikeshare in the city a second time.

A section of a bike path through the University of Idaho will be renamed after three-time Olympic gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong.

A Philadelphia writer says the city’s first parking-protected bike lane isn’t good enough.

Kindhearted Orlando FL cops pitch in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was stolen off his porch.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump evidently prefer to do their cycling inside their DC home.

 

International

A Canadian father complains about parents who park in a bike lane to drop their kids off at school. More proof that bike riders everywhere face the same problems.

An arrest has finally been made in the hit-and-run death of the mother of British cycling legend Chris Boardman last year; a man and a woman have been charged in the death and subsequent cover-up. Meanwhile, Guardian readers react to his recent claim that Britain’s streets are too dangerous to ride.

Bicycle Dutch explains why there’s no such thing as jaywalking in the Netherlands.

A group of Malaysian endurance athletes have become the first to ride and carry their mountain bikes up Nepal’s 26,545 Annapurna, one of the world’s highest mountains.

 

Finally…

Bicycles, the choice of supermarket meat thieves everywhere. No, refusing to give your name after getting busted for bike rustling won’t keep you out of the slammer.

And once you start down the stairs, don’t hit the brakes.

Morning Links: Pico-Union hit-and-run, butt darts game threatens OC bicyclists, and dodging traffic — literally

The LAPD is looking for the heartless hit-and-run coward — my words, not theirs — who fled the scene after running down a bike rider in Pico-Union neighborhood last Tuesday.

The department reports the victim was riding west on Venice Blvd at Magnolia Ave when he was sideswiped by a passing driver and knocked into a parked car, suffering severe head injuries.

The driver kept going without stopping, or apparently even slowing down.

The suspect vehicle is described only as a tan-colored minivan; no description on the driver.

The city offers an automatic reward ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries depending on whether the injuries are permanent. Or $50,000 for a fatal hit-and-run.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD West Traffic Division Officer Juan Velasco at 213/473-0234. Anonymous tips can be given by calling LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800/222-TIPS (800/222-8477) or at lacrimestoppers.org

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The OC Register examines the asinine butt dart stunts in Orange County, in which moronic assholes in cars swerve at people on bicycles, point their fingers like guns, and yell “butt dart!”

The paper reports a law firm is considering filing a lawsuit against Chad Towersey, the Orange County Instagram star who started the dangerous fad.

“What we want is for (Towersey) to denounce this,” said Gven Sariol, a cycling safety advocate at the Sariol Legal firm in Santa Ana….

Towersey said he’s actually performing the stunt, and recording it, as a way to promote safe bicycling: “Please ride safe and obey the rules of the road — That is all we ask,” he wrote in a caption for an Instagram post.

Of course. Harassing, intimidating and assaulting people on bicycles — let alone scaring the crap out of them — is being done in the name of bike safety.

Bullshit.

All we have here is yet another jackass looking for more online hits at the expense of innocent people.

Never mind that startling or frightening people on bicycles can have disastrous consequences, as the riders can overreact and swerve into traffic, or off the roadway or into parked cars. Or lose control and fall off their bikes and into the path of oncoming traffic.

And what happens in the seemingly inevitable instance when one of these so-called pranksters pulls the stunt on bike rider who happens to be armed — and yes, there are people who carry weapons when they ride.

Would the same law enforcement officials who wrongly insist that harassing bicyclists isn’t a crime be willing to turn the same blind eye to someone who reacted in self-defense when they thought they were being attacked?

This crap will stop when authorities actually care enough to find a way to prosecute these jerks.

Hopefully before someone gets killed.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Speaking of jerks — or any of the other epithets from the previous section — consider the driver who nearly made CiclaValley Eclipse Day roadkill.

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The first Indian woman to qualify for Paris-Brest-Paris says foreigners will soon be drawn to the country’s ultra-distance cycling events.

CNN looks at the Vuelta’s decision to combine male and female podium hosts, rather than just eliminating podium girls. Note to CNN: When your headline refers to “podium girls — and men,” you’re still getting it wrong.

Outside offers advice on how to prepare for your first bike race.

A Santa Rosa woman won the prestigious Leadville 100 mountain bike race after she was given a late push by a piece of pizza.

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Local

LA Magazine offers a good look at the city’s Vision Zero program, which should be required reading for anyone opposed to road diets or other traffic safety programs.

Great piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker, who says residents of Jefferson Blvd are fed up with dangerous drivers, so they’re embracing road diets and implementing traffic safety improvements themselves, armed with a $6.3 million grant from Caltrans.

A Good Samaritan chased down the hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a woman as she was directing traffic on Los Feliz Blvd Saturday night.

Former LADOT artist-in-residence Alan Nakagawa will lead a bike tour of his Street Haiku project, including the scent of Hollywood in Springtime, from Mariachi Plaza on September 10th. Having smelled the actual Hollywood in springtime, it’s not a scent I would recommend.

Skid Row’s Union Rescue Mission has seen a 23% drop in charitable giving last year, despite a 23% increase in homelessness in LA County; it had faced a $5 million deficit last year until the head of the rescue mission rode his bike to Sacramento with his wife to raise funds.

 

State

The Guardian examines how bikeshare became a symbol of gentrification in San Francisco, seen as something for affluent white professionals, not locals.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 19-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

The Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association has spent the summer shoring up area trails and going after grants for more involved projects.

 

National

A writer for Strong Towns says narrow roads are better than crosswalks, and that road diets are “a far cheaper and more effective way to allow for safe pedestrian crossing.”

The Seattle Times says yes, drivers get ticketed for parking in bike lanes, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

An alternative weekly in Seattle says the consequences of the city’s mandatory bike helmet law falls disproportionately on black youths on the city’s south side, who have taken to using the new dockless bikeshare systems without them.

A Florida driver faces life in prison for killing a bike rider, after driving two miles with the man stuck in the rear window of his car, then dumping him still alive next to a dumpster.

 

International

Clean Technica says bicycles and autonomous vehicles are on a collision course, suggesting that getting the cars to recognize and respond to bicyclists is an unsolvable problem. Of course, every problem is unsolvable until someone does it; creating working car radios was considered unsolvable 90 years ago.

A London teenager suffered life-changing injuries in a horrific attack when he was sprayed in the face with acid by moped-riding thieves who stole his bicycle.

London’s Evening Standard offers the best bike shoes for autumn, apparently in case you don’t want to wear white on your bike after Labor Day.

Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily Rose is one of us, as the 18-year old model works on her bicycling skills in France with her mom, Vanessa Paradis.

A Singaporean appeals court affirmed the record $8.65 million awarded to a then-pregnant woman who was hit by falling cables at a construction site while riding past on her bicycle; even though she wasn’t badly injured, she developed what one of her doctors called one of the worst cases of PTSD he’d ever seen.

 

Finally…

When they say “Don’t try this at home,” this is exactly the sort of thing they’re talking about. Evidently, scofflaw cyclists are nothing new; thanks to Ted Faber for the link from his hometown.

And Kathy Kurutz forwards a little brighter note to end on today.

Morning Links: Laguna driver runs down cyclist and tries to hit another, stolen bikes, and Vision Zero news

Talk about getting the story wrong.

The Daily Pilot reported yesterday that a Laguna Beach driver had attempted to crash his car into a bicyclist who tried to stop him after he’d hit another rider.

But what they failed to mention was that the first crash was intentional, as well.

The Laguna Beach Police Department reported on their Facebook page that the driver fled after intentionally crashing into a man riding his bicycle, then trying to run over the second rider as he attempted to confront him.

Thankfully, he missed.

Fifty-three-year old Laguna Beach resident Kevin O’Neill was arrested on Saturday, after witnesses and victims picked his photo out of a lineup following the twin attacks Thursday morning at Bluebird Canyon Road and South Coast Highway.

No word on the condition of his victim.

Fortunately, this took place in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime seriously. We should expect a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, at the very least.

But let this serve as yet another reminder that it’s not worth your life to confront an angry driver.

Gather whatever information you can, from the make, model, color and license of the vehicle to a description of the driver, as well as any photos or video, if possible.

Then get hell out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Mug shot of Kevin O’Neill from Laguna Beach Police Department Facebook page.

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Let’s catch up with a couple of quick stolen bike announcements.

Bobby Close of LA’s popular Velo Club La Grange sent the following notice.

One of our members had his bike stolen recently in Ventura California, his name is Marc Thomas. His bike should be easy to spot as it’s a 66cm custom made Landshark bicycle YES Marc IS TALL!!! Marc is one of the great members we have in LaGrange as he is constantly teaching new and old cyclists in his world famous “ Drills for Skills” clinics. Along with being a key member of the club he was one of the many people instrumental in making the Brentwood Grand Prix happen for so many years.

Attached is a picture of the stolen bike. The bike should stand out as only NBA basketball players are tall enough to ride it.

I’ve asked for additional information on exactly when and where the bike was stolen, but haven’t heard back yet.

And Mina Moskol of the LACBC’s Santa Clarita Chapter forwards a flyer for a bicycle stolen from one of the competitors in the World Police and Fire Games staying at a Palmdale hotel last week.

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In the never-ending battle over the Playa del Rey traffic safety improvements, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa will debate a motion to approve a letter calling for a reversal of the all the Playa del Rey lane reductions at tonight’s meeting.

Despite what opponents of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project are saying, Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream in Mar Vista may be closing, but it has nothing to do with the lane reductions.

And a new online petition asks you to show your support for Vision Zero in the face of attacks from angry drivers and talk radio jocks.

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Forget the worst retirement ever; LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon ranks the top ten cookies in the United States.

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We’ll catch up with bike events later this week, but I can’t resist this one. Which could be the best idea for a kid’s bike safety workshop ever.

Correction: This event takes place on Saturday the 19th, not on the 21st. Thanks to the LACBC for the correction.

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Spoiler alert: If you haven’t the final stages of the Colorado Classic yet, skip this section.

And if you haven’t, what the hell are you waiting for?

Italy’s Manuel Senni and Romanian Serghei Tvetcov held off the peloton to win the inaugural Colorado Classic after a two-man breakaway in Saturday’s Stage 3, as Colorado’s Alex Howes lost the lead he gained on Stage 2.

Despite the accusations that her birth sex gave her an unfair advantage, trans cyclist Jillian Bearden finished in the middle of the women’s field, while 21-year old Canadian Sara Poidevin swept to victory.

The race introduced a number of young American cyclists to international competition. Or maybe the other way around.

Cycling Tips offers some great photos from the four stage race, as well as the women’s two-stage competition.

A Denver business site offers a look at the festival that accompanied, and helped pay for, the bike race.

Cycling News points out a number of problems with the race and accompanying festival, but the chairman of the Colorado Classic says based on feedback, the race will probably be back next year.

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Local

The Source offers photos from Sunday’s CicLAvia, while some local businesses in San Pedro complain about traffic and say they weren’t consulted. CicLAvia always puts a significant effort into outreach, for as long as a year prior to a new event; businesses that respond and cater to the people passing by are usually richly rewarded; those who don’t, aren’t.

The Expo Line bike path was abruptly closed for the next three months between Centinela and Stewart Street for undisclosed maintenance work on Monday; Santa Monica Next says the detour around the work zone could be made safer simply by moving a few parking spaces.

A new bike and pedestrian pathway and bridge along the Pacoima Wash should offer a significant cut in non-motorized travel times through the northern San Fernando Valley.

While LA is busy battling NIMBYs, Burbank is reinventing itself as a denser, more walkable and bikeable community.

The LACBC is offering a free indoor class on basic bicycling skills tonight.

CiclaValley offers video evidence that going down Mt. Baldy is a lot faster than going up.

 

State

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run scumbag who left a 29-year old woman in a medically induced coma after running her down in Encinitas on Friday.

A San Diego mountain biker was airlifted out of Sycamore Canyon suffering from head and neck pain.

In a horrific crime, San Francisco police are looking for a man on a bicycle who blinded a woman by pouring bleach on her after telling her to leave.

San Francisco bikeshare bikes are vandalized once again, as a local columnist says bikeshare is resented as a sign of gentrification.

A kindhearted San Francisco cop bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Nineteen bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes finish a 4,248-mile from New York to Napa County.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where yet another hit-and-run coward killed a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a roadway.

 

National

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends reforming the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows speeding drivers to dictate speed limits. Or better yet, just get rid of the damn thing entirely.

People for Bikes offers free photos and a detailed explanation of what makes an effective neighborhood greenway, formerly known as bicycle boulevards. AKA bicycle friendly streets here in LA, though no one seems to have any plans to actually build any anytime soon.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get police to take your bike cam video seriously. Which is a problem with most police departments — including here in LA.

Bike Snob says “on your left!” needs to die already, even though there’s no way to pass anyone on a trail without scaring the crap out of them. I’ve found that simply adding the word passing, as in “passing on your left,” in a polite, conversational tone solves the problem almost every time. But what the hell do I know?

Treehugger says cars really should wear hi-viz, their drivers should wear helmets, and car radios should be banned. The latter would have the added benefit of keeping radio shock jocks from fueling drivers’ anger and contributing to road rage.

A Washington bike rider was killed by a driver with a suspended license. Proving once again the difficulty of keeping dangerous drivers off the road unless their vehicles are impounded as well. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park invites you to bike the park on September 30th.

An Arkansas man finishes an extreme Alaska triathlon just within the cutoff time, despite losing a leg 32 years earlier.

The famed Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to get back to riding a bicycle. And why.

Despite testifying that he was simply riding safely by taking the lane, the Pennsylvania cyclist on trial for obstructing traffic was convicted last week; sentencing is in three months, even though he’s already served a full year in jail awaiting trial. It sounds like the real problem was that he was too militant about his rights as a bicyclist, refusing to move over even when traffic backed up behind him.

New York tells dockless bikeshare companies to get lost.

The NY Daily News says only in New York could a truck driver leave the scene after running down a bike rider, and not be charged. Obviously, they’ve never been to Los Angeles.

Speaking of Bike Snob, as we were earlier, his alter ego offers 15 unwritten rules of bicycling in New York City you’re probably breaking. Or maybe would be, if you actually rode there.

Delaware state police blame a rider for wearing dark clothes in low light conditions and taking the lane after he’s rear-ended by a driver. Correction: I originally criticized the police for bending over backwards to blame the rider after noting that the crash occurred two hours before sunset. However, as Andy S pointed out, the crash actually took place before sunrise, not sunset. I apologize for the confusion.

A Louisiana astronomer has been riding across the US for the last 450 days to educate Americans about next week’s solar eclipse, covering over 9,000 miles before his planned finish in Nashville on Monday.

 

International

A fifth of all bicycling deaths in Montreal are caused by collisions with trucks, usually when riders are right hooked and dragged under the truck. Something that could be avoided by requiring sideguards.

A London court is told a fixie rider could have avoided a fatal collision with a pedestrian if he hadn’t been riding brakeless; he blamed the woman for walking distracted, instead.

Bicycle Dutch reviews the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage.

Cycling Weekly lists seven rides in Italy to add to your bicycling bucket list.

An Aussie parliament member who opposes same sex marriage says he loves the guys he bikes with, but he doesn’t want to marry them. And apparently doesn’t get it, either.

An Australian study shows men are more likely to commit acts of violence on the road, but women drivers tend to be angrier.

 

Finally…

The problem isn’t potholes, it’s the fairies. Most bike riders only have to worry about dog bites, not two-foot long iguanas — or bears.

And just what every single cyclist needs, bicycle speed dating.

 

Morning Links: No Carmageddon on Venice Blvd, auto-centric capitalism, and four-wheeled scofflaw cyclists

Yesterday, I wasted far too much of my life.

Hours, in fact, that I will undoubtedly regret on my dying day, trying in vain to defend the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey lane reductions, both here and on Twitter.

And yes, I should know better.

But I’m a firm believer in engaging with people of all viewpoints, in hopes that I can correct inaccurate beliefs, and that I might learn something from them. And maybe, just maybe, we could come to some kind of a consensus.

Hopes that were quickly dashed on the rubble heaps of online discourse.

The best one, by far, was a comment from someone complaining that traffic backups caused by the Venice Blvd Great Streets project had pushed cut-through drivers onto the surrounding side streets. So he insisted that since the project included bike lanes, bike riders should be licensed and taxed to mitigate the problems caused by… drivers.

Uh, sure.

However, the primary argument cited by virtually everyone opposed to the projects was the accusation of soul crushing traffic congestion causing total gridlock and destroying the vehicular lifeblood of the communities.

But as the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

Yesterday, we included a bike cam video made by Jon Phillips as he rode on Culver Blvd through Play del Rey, showing almost no congestion during the evening rush hour. Though as we noted, that was just one trip, and another journey at another time might have shown something different.

John Montgomery thought of that.

The author of the excellent Digital Slurry website, he set out to explore traffic on Venice Blvd following the lane reductions, and made a point of riding at different times of day, and on multiple days, to get a feeling of what traffic is really like on the street.

What he found was similar to what Phillips found on Culver. Traffic did back up at times, but it started flowing again once the light changed. And at least part of the problem appeared to stem from poor synchronization of traffic lights.

But don’t take his word for it. Or mine.

Read his report and watch the videos, whether the full 14 minute version, or the three minute highlight reel.

And decide for yourself is this is really the return of Carmageddon.

Which turned out to be no big deal, either.

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Montgomery also forwarded this screen shot from the North Venice Beach Nextdoor, giving what may be the single most bizarrely auto-centric and capitalistic perspective ever on using a bicycle for transportation.

Meanwhile, the other argument used anytime the subject of bicycling comes up is the accusation that bike riders don’t deserve equal treatment on the streets because we all break the law anyway.

So he set out to record those scofflaw cyclists in action.

And this is what he found.

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Sad news from Iran, where a 19-year old member of the national women’s cycling team was killed in a car crash.

Next month’s Colorado Classic four-stage race is attempting to reinvent pro cycling by charging a fee to participate in a music festival and view the final two stages.

Cyclists participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will race backwards in pursuit of a total $21,500 purse.

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Local

LADOT has selected a new polymer color treatment for green bike lanes that was developed in conjunction with the film industry. Because Hollywood should always have the last word when it comes to traffic safety.

REI will open their first flagship store in LA County next month, taking over an old Sports Authority location in Burbank.

A Pasadena bike rider stole a 64-year old man’s backpack, then discarded it after rifling through it and stealing two beers. Let’s at least hope they were crappy beers.

West Covina is hosting a community open house – workshop tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Active Transportation Master Plan.

The Santa Monica Lookout talks with the rest of the SaMo city council about how they go carfree at least part of the time; the first part of the story appeared on Monday.

The rich get richer. Construction will begin on Monday on another east-west bike boulevard in bike friendly Long Beach.

 

State

Pink’s seven-month old son is one of us, too.

A Simi Valley bike tour operator could be out of business after thieves stole over $25,000 worth of high-end mountain bikes out of his garage.

San Diego is looking for people to adopt one of the city’s 54 largely abandoned bike and pedestrian counters.

Lompoc is experimenting with closing streets to cars for a weekly Friday evening market, while the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition gave dozens of kids refurbished bicycles to take advantage of it.

A DUI hit-and-run driver faces up to ten years in prison after pleading guilty in the death a Watsonville cyclist last year; she was also texting at the time of the crash, as well as driving with a suspended license.

San Francisco’s Public Works Department will enforce a proposed ban on bike chop shops, rather than the police. Because why would you want to arrest anyone for trafficking in stolen bikes and parts?

Dockless bikeshare is getting closer to LA, as Spin is moving into South San Francisco after colonizing Seattle.

No justice for the Sacramento running legend who was hit by a bicyclist on a river pathway, because prosecutors aren’t sure if California’s hit-and-run statutes apply to bikes ridden on trails instead of streets. Here’s a crazy idea: File charges and let a judge decide if the law applies. Because that’s what they do.

 

National

Most US students can legally drive a car before they’re old enough to legally ride a bikeshare bike, even though a bikeshare membership can be provided for a fraction of the cost of busing them to school. We should be encouraging students to ride any kind of bicycle rather than clogging the roads with more buses and cars. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson and David Drexler for the heads-up.

Streetsblog says autonomous cars should have to rely on their own sensors, rather than forcing bicyclists and pedestrians to wear sensors to avoid getting run over.

If you ride offroad, book your trip to Oregon now, where they’ve just opened a 668-mile singletrack course that covers the entire state.

A Colorado Republican legislator is shocked that anyone was shocked that he proposed taxing bicycles.

A generous Milwaukee man bought a stolen bike for $20 to return it to its owner after she posted the theft on Facebook.

A university website profiles MIT emeritus professor David Gordon Wilson, author of Bicycle Science, which they call the industry bible for bike design.

Talk about getting Vision Zero wrong. After a New York cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run, the NYPD responds by cracking down on bike riders, rather than the people in the big dangerous machines. Thanks again to Mike Wilkinson.

A proposed New York state law would require all bicyclists in New York City to wear bike helmets, including users of the Citi Bike bikeshare — even though there’s only been one fatality, and just 50 injuries requiring medical attention, in over 43 million Citi Bike rides. The real question is why the law would only apply to NYC; evidently, no one else in the state has heads worth protecting.

After a kindhearted South Carolina cop fails to recover a boy’s stolen bicycle, he buys him a new one.

A group of three boys and two girls in their early teens have been arrested for beating and stomping a 19-year old Orlando man, stealing his bike and sandals, and throwing away his groceries.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice for how to manage riding during your period. Assuming you have one, of course.

The war on bikes continues, as a Canadian jogger stepped on a nail-filled board concealed on a bike trail.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says that no matter what the safety issue, bike-hating commenters always shift the blame to cyclists. Which is exactly what’s happening in Mar Vista and Play del Rey, and pretty much everywhere else in Southern California; more proof that cyclists face the same issues virtually everywhere.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is shown riding through a red light as cars turn into his lane. No, seriously. Don’t do that.

After a 91-year old English man was killed in a collision while participating in a time trial, the proposed solution is banning bikes from divided highways, rather than expecting people to actually pay attention when they drive.

A 15-year old Irish boy received a twelve-month sentence for bashing another boy over the head with a board to steal his bicycle, on top of the eight-month sentence he’s currently serving for threatening to kill someone else. Along with his previous 24 convictions. Did I mention he’s only 15?

Caught on video too: An Irish cyclist gets doored; notice the driver not rushing to his aid.

World Bicycle Relief has distributed 78,000 bicycles in Zimbabwe after a 2010 New York Times story about a then 17-year old man who longed for a bike instead of walking nine miles to school.

The Guardian says cycling campaigns focusing on women and girls are changing the dynamics on African roads.

More Malaysian office workers are choosing to bike to work.

An Aussie writer says drivers in Western Australian can’t handle the concept of an Idaho Stop Law.

 

Finally…

No, Graeme Obree is not a fictional character. Now you, too can ride a modern take on a commie bike.

And now you won’t have to choose between a Bianchi and a Ferrari.

 

Morning Links: Playa del Rey non-traffic, 30-second delay on Venice Blvd, and more City Watch inanity

After all the horror stories, a rare moment of clarity in Playa del Rey.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve undoubtedly heard motorists ranting that the recent road diets in Playa del Rey have been an unmitigated disaster. Resulting, they swear, in endless traffic backups that have cost people their jobs and stolen time from their families.

Maybe not so fast.

It’s always possible that Jon Phillips happened to ride Culver Blvd through Playa del Rey on an exceptionally light traffic night. Or maybe those horrendous traffic backups had dissipated by the time he rode through at 6 pm.

But other than a brief backup caused by the traffic light at the transition from Jefferson to Culver, it’s nowhere to be seen on the bike cam video he captured Monday evening, as he rode from Jefferson and Lincoln to Vista del Mar on Culver Blvd.

………

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton attended Saturday’s workshop to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista, where LADOT revealed the changes to the road have increased evening peak travel times by just 30 seconds, and not at all in the morning.

Which, unsurprisingly, commenters to the story promptly called fake news.

It’s one of the major problems in American society these days that far too many people are willing to throw actual research and facts out the window, and refuse believe anything that contradicts their own prejudices.

And anyone who has ever driven a car — or ridden in one, apparently — seems to consider themselves experts in traffic planning.

………

The hack jobs go on at City Watch, where a pair of reading-for-comprehension challenged columnists take issue with the scoring system used by Vision Zero LA, which gives more weight to injuries and deaths of people on foot or bikes than in cars.

So why are traffic collisions involving vulnerable road users considered more important than motor vehicle crashes?

Because, according to Vision Zero, “They account for roughly 15% of all collisions, but approximately 50% of all deaths.” Or in other words, are a little more than three times as likely to be fatal.

Which is right in the second paragraph of the page these self-appointed transparency advocates link to that explains how the scoring system was used.

Evidently, they missed that part.

………

Business Insider says credit Chris Froome’s four Tour de France victories on his unique physiology, while a writer for the Irish Times says don’t count on him making it five.

A Canadian cycling magazine offers a post Tour wrap-up.

A sprinter loses his shot at victory in an Oregon bike race when the men’s field catches up to the women near the finish line, and he collides with another rider.

Bicycling looks at the rich history of the cycling jersey.

……….

Local

An urbanist website looks at the expansion of bikeshare and parking-protected bike lanes in DTLA.

The Better Bike Share partnership offers an exit interview with the LACBC’s outgoing Executive Director Tamika Butler. Speaking of which, you still have a few weeks to get your resume in to replace her.

Every superhero has an origin story. The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, tells how he really became a cyclist. And gives this site some of the blame credit for inspiring him.

The Pasadena Star-News suggests bike theft — or mangling a bike trying to steal it — is apparently just part of the problems on the Gold Line. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica city officials explain how they go carfree at least some of the time. Note to Santa Monica Lookout: If SaMo is boldly moving into the post WWII era, they’re only about 70 years too late.

Plans to revamp the failing South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach include better bicycle and pedestrian access.

The CEO of the Union Rescue Mission rode his bike from LA’s Skid Row to Sacramento to call attention to homelessness, despite losing a leg to flesh eating bacteria last year.

 

State

San Diego is dealing with the problem of bad data from cameras that are supposed to automatically count bike riders.

A Napa teenager arrived at the US – Mexico border, completing a 1,000-mile bike journey down the California coast to raise money for the families of fallen police officers.

The Ventura County Star urges local cities to follow Ventura and the county’s lead in making bicycling and bike lanes a priority.

Sad news from Salinas, where a 60-year old man died two months after he was hit by a car while riding his bike; he initially refused treatment, saying he wasn’t injured. This is why you always assume you’re hurt following any collision or serious fall; serious injuries — especially internal injuries — may not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of a crash.

Bad dog! A Riverside bike rider t-boned a pickup truck while trying to escape from the two-year old German shepherd that was chasing him; the victim suffered a compound leg fracture.

The East Bay parks district will allow ebikes on some recreational trails on a trial basis.

 

National

NPR says instead of getting self-driving cars to recognize bicyclists, bicycles may need to signal their existence to the cars.

Bicycling examines bike helmets, and what you get at every price point. For $300, the damn thing had better come with a full body flak jacket that drops down in the event of a collision. Or maybe a force field.

The next time you go mountain biking, try riding on wood, not just through woods.

The editor of Bike Portland shares his views on the new Oregon bike tax. Meanwhile, Portland may be the first US city to offer an adaptive bikeshare for people with disabilities.

A tech website compares Seattle’s new LimeBike and Spin dockless bikeshare systems, while a local newspaper looks at LimeBike’s entrance to Key Biscayne FL.

Thanks to Donald Trump, Utah’s Bear’s Ears National Monument is becoming a more popular mountain biking destination.

An Austin TX hotel and bar are both facing lawsuits for serving an intoxicated woman who then got in her car and critically injured a woman riding her bicycle. Unfortunately, under California law, bars and restaurants can’t be held responsible for serving drunks who go out and kill or injure someone here. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

A Texas man says he was the victim of a road raging bicyclist, who he says circled back to attack him after he slowed to wave at a friend. Which kind of stretches credibility, though it is possible the rider may have misinterpreted the gesture; either way, just don’t. Period.

Chicago’s elevated 606 Trail bikeway and green space turns one year old, while Dayton OH is considering an elevated rail-to-trail park and bikeway, even if the possible completion is years away.

Must have been a heavy bike. J. Patrick Lynch forwards news that an Illinois cop will receive lifetime disability benefits after injuring his back picking up a bicycle.

This is who we share the roads with. A road-raging 19-year old Michigan dirt bike rider was sentenced to up to 100 years in prison for beating a driver to death after arguing with him.

 

International

A Canadian researcher deconstructs the way the press reports on fatal crashes involving bicyclists, subtly shifting the blame away from the driver. Like in this one, for instance.

An Ottawa, Canada bike rider says keep your head up, so you don’t crash into other riders. Like her, for instance.

A Montreal man posted the bloodied end results of the hit-and-run involving his bike-riding mom, adding, “We would love to catch the dirt bag who thinks it’s OK to leave a bleeding woman they just hit on the street.” Which is pretty much how most of us feel about any hit-and-run.

Glasgow bike cops are caught riding on the sidewalk, even though bikes are banned on them. Sort of like the sidewalk-riding bicycling meter readers in downtown Beverly Hills.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Dublin teenager pled guilty to smashing the owner of a bicycle with a hammer when he tried to stop the teen from stealing his bike.

Speaking of Dublin, bike advocates are complaining about the local tram company’s video criticizing bicyclists, accusing it of covering up for calls to improve the safety of its tracks.

Police confiscated 225 bicycles for riding on the highway in Dubai, where it’s illegal to ride a bike on any road with a speed limit over 37 mph.

 

Finally…

Riding on railroad tracks is stupid; especially when there’s a train between them and your bike. Pro tip: If police bust you for carrying a concealed weapon on your bicycle, along with a backpack full of meth, hydrocodone, Clonazepam, morphine, needles and a scale, always claim you just found it a few blocks away.

And don’t run down the person you think stole your bike.

Especially if it’s not really your bike.

 

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.

………

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.

………

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?

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

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