Tag Archive for Venice Blvd

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

Sometimes I don’t even know where to start.

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

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

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

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

Then again, that comes with their jobs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So let me be clear.

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

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

But I suspect they won’t.

And I suspect they suspect that, too.

………

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

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

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

And…

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

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

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

Thanks to Peter Flax for the heads-up.

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

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

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

………

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

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This is who we share the roads with.

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Or even if you can.

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

………

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

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

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

We’ll let them tell the story.

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

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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No bias here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the tip.

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Metro offers their take on Bike Week activities.

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

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

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

Please.

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

Bicycling says hill yes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

The CBC offers six reasons to ride a bike.

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Like making it to the royal wedding on time.

Morning Links: More bike & community events, mixed results for Venice Great Street, and Mariposa bike ban trial

Let’s start by catching up on a few events we haven’t mentioned yet.

The LACBC is hosting a pre-St. Patrick’s Day ride through DTLA at noon today.

Pure Cycles is sponsoring a happy hour ride this evening through Griffith Park and ending with beer.

LA Streetsblog is celebrating their 10th Anniversary at the El Paseo Inn on Olvera Street this Wednesday.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis is hosting a Rosemead Blvd Complete Street Community Tour on April 7th to explore the changes coming to the boulevard.

………

Speaking of events, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton attended Wednesday’s Open House for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, and reported that results are inconclusive at the six month mark.

The project removed a single lane of traffic in each direction, while implementing parking-protected bike lanes and other safety improvements. And resulted in the expected howls of complaints from the Westside’s entitled drivers and traffic safety deniers.

The results so far show that while it hasn’t been the disaster the opponents have claimed, it hasn’t been a rousing success, either. According to Linton, “Overall crashes, injuries, travel times, and even speeding show very little change.”

However, it’s just halfway through the one-year pilot project, so things may continue to improve as people get used to the changes.

Meanwhile, a video from Los Angeles Forward suggests the project may be succeeding in its original goal of creating a small town downtown atmosphere in the long-neglected community.

………

The case against the Burbank man charged with violating the ban on bicycles on the Mariposa Bridge comes to trial at the Burbank Courthouse on March 28th.

He accuses the equestrians who pushed through the ban of being bullies, while insisting there has never been a case of a bike involved in an accident with a horse in the bridge’s 80-year history.

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Local

Glendale/Burbank state Assemblymember Laura Friedman explains the reasoning behind her bill AB2363, which would give cities more control over how they set speed limits.

Curbed looks at Pasadena’s threat to pull out of the Metro Bike bike share program.

Long Beach is expanding their own bikeshare program into the northern part of the city, approving the purchase of 500 more bikes.

 

State

A San Diego Op-Ed says adjusting to dockless bikeshare is a necessary step to increasing transportation options in the city.

A Del Mar street project will improve access and safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the southern part of the city.

 

National

Honolulu plans to sacrifice 70 parking spaces to build protected bike lanes. Unlike Los Angeles, no one appears to be going berserk over the lost car storage.

Bullhead City AZ is running a billboard campaign to call attention to the state’s three-foot passing law.

Unlike Honolulu, Aspen CO city leaders caved on plans to remove just 15 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes.

Fort Worth TX bike riders are getting physically protected bike lanes. Those planters prove you can beautify the street and improve safety at the same time.

A New Jersey cop is facing multiple charges for hitting a bicyclist with his patrol car while on duty, then trying to cover it up by giving the victim cash and buying him a new bike.

A New York man is creating a new data point by using traffic cameras and his computer to track how often bike lanes are blocked.

A solution to bike theft and expensive bike hubs could be in the offing, as a New Yorker has designed a modular bike-storage kiosk that can be placed anywhere at minimal expense.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. Fifty New Yorkers have amassed over 45 speeding and red light camera violations each, yet continue to drive, and pay just $50 per ticket. One driver received 65 tickets in just 19 months.

Plans for a bike and pedestrian bridge over a Charleston SC river were derailed when the application for a federal grant was denied; the local paper says demand for the bridge is high, so the city should find the money and build it anyway.

Atlanta has doubled its bikeway mileage in six years.

An ebike allows a Georgia man to keep riding after he suffered a heart attack.

 

International

Forbes discusses how to use Apple Maps’ new bikeshare data to find a bike to rent in countries around the world.

He gets it. An Edmonton, Canada city councilor says bike lanes are as much about economic development as they are transportation.

Nearly 10,000 people have complained about plans to ban bikes from a busy British highway.

Caught on video: A bike rider in the UK was seriously injured when a driver fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into him head-on; the dozing driver was sentenced to a year behind bars. Before you click on the link, make sure you really want to see something like that, because you can’t unsee it.

Caught on video too: A truck driver left the country to avoid justice for clipping a British bike rider.

South African police have recovered the bicycle and cellphone of a man who was stabbed to death in a robbery attempt while riding earlier this week; three men have been arrested for the crime.

An Aussie researcher says cities have to improve safety for slow cyclists who have to ride bikes for their jobs.

 

 

Finally…

Your next bike seat could be more hole than seat. And learning how to ride a bike is hard if you faint during your first class.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Venice Blvd protected bike lane by Joni Yung.

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Evidently, visibility works.

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

An Arkansas paper discovers gravel bikes.

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

 

Morning Links: SoCal bike deaths drop, green bike lanes coming to Mar Vista, and cycling won’t make you limp

Sixty-two.

That’s the number of people who died riding their bikes in Southern California last year.

Which is an improvement in some ways, because it represents a significant drop from the 73 people killed in the seven-county area last year. And an even bigger drop from the 86 people killed in 2014.

But it’s still 62 too many.

LA Curbed examines last year’s deaths, including the 26 people who died in Los Angeles County last year, including my fears of what’s behind the decline.

And be forewarned before you venture into the comments there, or on Reddit.

………

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin forwards word that the protected bike lanes that were installed on Venice Blvd as part of the Mar Vista Great Streets project will be getting green paint to make them more obvious to some of the more oblivious drivers and bike riders.

As we’ve noted here before, these bike lanes were installed as a one-year pilot project, with adjustments made as needed when issues arise, or opportunities for improvements become evident.

This sounds like a little of both.

………

Relax, guys.

A new study from UC San Francisco says riding a bike does not cause erectile dysfunction or infertility.

In fact, the study showed that not only does cycling not affect men’s sexual or urinary health, but that men who rode over 25 miles a day actually had better erectile function.

So you can spend all the time you want in the saddle and still get it up have kids.

………

Local

You can’t ride on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, but you may be able to ride in a park over it someday.

A West Hollywood study suggests a number of safety improvements that could reduce bicycle and pedestrian crashes on Fountain Ave by 25% to 55%. However, bike lanes don’t appear to be among the recommendations; the street currently has sharrows despite the heavy, often high-speed traffic.

 

State

The bicyclist who posted video of the massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail now wishes he’d been a little more sensitive.

Ebike maker Haibike is moving to Simi Valley after relocating to Denver just a year ago.

Santa Maria considers a makeover of its downtown to create a bicycle and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Although they may discover that a $300,000 grant doesn’t go very far.

Bike Bakersfield has a new executive director.

The mayor of Mountain View is one of us, riding his bike around town and taking his helmet with him into meetings.

An armored truck hit a tree in San Francisco after driving down a separated bike lane instead of the traffic lane.

It’s always polite to fist-bump the cop who manages to chase you down on your bike before busting you for possession.

 

National

Bicycling profiles Ben Serotta as he returns to framebuilding, and examines what fear does to your body when some jerk nearly runs you off the road.

HuffPo considers how bicyclists got screwed out of their measly $20 a month bike commuting benefit in the new GOP tax bill, while drivers got to keep a $255 monthly deduction.

The people who work behind the scenes keeping dockless bikeshare working are getting screwed by the outsourcing gig economy. Or at least the ones working for Ofo.

An Idaho self-help author turns his attention advising drivers on how to coexist with bicyclists, with surprisingly good results.

Talk about a bad business deal. A Montana man is busted after buying an $1,800 stolen bicycle for $600, then pawning it for $200 three days later.

A Minneapolis paper discovers the lack of women working in bike shops — which also leads to a lack of women shopping in them.

A New York advocacy group says congestion pricing is the only way to reach zero traffic fatalities in the city, by getting more cars off the street. Something that hasn’t even been discussed in Los Angeles, where drivers would probably riot if anyone actually tried to pry them out of their cars.

This is how it’s supposed to be done. A DC-area county will build protected bike lanes for bicyclists who won’t be able to use a popular bike path during construction for a light rail line.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a trailer from Florida’s Jack the Bike Man, who gives thousands of refurbished bikes to kids every Christmas.

 

International

If you build it, they will come. After Calgary built out a complete protected bike lane network in the downtown area, the percentage of women riders rose to 25%. Which is still far too low, but at least it’s headed in the right direction.

A Montreal writer pens an ode to orphan bikes, which are forced to spend the winter cold, alone and unloved.

A London art exhibit features miniature landscapes of bike routes the artist has traveled.

A woman in the UK writes about how she fell in love with riding a bike after getting on one for the first time in 40 years.

A Brit writer relates how he failed four basic safety lessons on his first day as an amateur bike rider. Which somehow implies the rest of us are getting paid for it.

British police are looking for a bike rider who pushed a 17-year old girl over as she was walking in a bike lane. Don’t do that. Ever. Period.

After an Aussie cyclist barely avoids getting sucked under a semi, she’s victimized again by abusive online comments.

The “menace” of joyriding Malaysian stunt bicyclists is spreading across the country, despite a crash last year that killed eight teenage riders, and another that killed two others last week.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new French book suggests that Lance was doping his bike as well as his blood.

USA Today looks at the debate over testosterone testing of transgender women, two of whom are hoping to make the US Olympic cycling team, on opposite sides of the debate.

Belgian cyclist Tim Wellens says inhaler use is wrong, despite pulling out of last year’s Tour de France with breathing problems.

Sad news from the UK, where a man who had been battling depression hung himself four days after he failed to finish a 24-hour bike race.

 

Finally…

How to pedal without ever leaving home or having to deal with other humans. Seriously, how big a bike pump will it take to inflate that thing?

And this is why you stop traffic before putting up the finish gate.

Morning Links: Father fighting for his life after La Tuna hit-and-run; NC member attacks “cycling zealots”

Earlier in the week, we mentioned the La Tuna Canyon hit-and-run that left a bicyclist in a coma.

Today the news media caught up, as KNBC-4 offered a report on the crash that has Keith Jackson fighting for his life; KTLA-5 had a similar report.

The father of three was riding with his son and daughter-in-law when the driver of a black Mazda plowed into him, then fled the scene without so much as slowing down. His son says the driver was veering all over the road, possibly driving distracted, before slamming into Jackson as he rode on the shoulder.

He remains unconscious in the ICU, four days after the crash.

A ride will be held this Sunday to finish the La Tuna Canyon ride Jackson started, but was unable to complete, departing from the LA Zoo parking lot at 8:30 am.

CiclaValley says the deadly street is slated to have bike lanes under the city’s mobility plan; however, that would be little protection against an out-of-control driver.

Meanwhile, the person who left him bleeding in the middle of La Tuna remains free. LA’s hit-and-run reward program means there’s an automatic $25,000 bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this heartless coward.

Let’s hope someone collects it soon.

………

Mar Vista’s self-appointed traffic expert is at it again.

Dermatologist and Mar Vista Community Council member Kenneth S. Alpern offers a remarkably biased attack on “cycling zealots” who “eschew scientific data,” while doing exactly the same thing himself.

There’s a reason or five why myself and others have decried the Venice Blvd. “road diet”.  Not only does it hurt motorists, it got in the way of a better, safer solution for both bicyclists and pedestrians and motorists, and safety problems have gone up, not down. (Ed. note: That does not appear to be true; the most recent stats from LADOT show just the opposite.)

Bicyclists want safety and respect, but reconfiguring roads in a way that purportedly help a few but tell the majority to go pound sand (the ones who are otherwise very pro-transit, and happy to pay for it) isn’t helpful.  That road diet interferes with Micro Transit, bus operations, and the ability for small businesses to thrive on what should be Great Streets.

However, the studies he conveniently ignores contradict his attacks.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), road diets have been shown to reduce crashes from 19% to 47%. Other studies have shown that bike lanes reduce injuries and deaths up to 40%, while protected bike lanes, like the ones on Venice, reduce injuries and deaths up to 90% — and not just for people on bikes.

In addition, projects like the one on Venice have been repeatedly shown in cities across the US to improve retail sales, reduce business vacancies, and increase property values in the surrounding neighborhood.

But who would want any of that, right?

It’s far better to pretend the science is on his side, and engage in character assassination of hard working and dedicated city employees.

As well as his fellow Angelenos who are simply fighting for safer, more vibrant and livable streets, and the basic human right to be able to travel safely, and get home to their families in one piece.

Regardless of how or where they choose to travel.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

‘Tis the season.

Caught on video: Bighearted LA Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth had a surprise for the students of Grape Street Elementary School in Watts when he showed up to award new bicycles to a few outstanding students — giving new bikes and helmets to each of the nearly 600 students in the school, which he paid for out of his own pocket. Watch the video below if you want to see a lot of really happy kids. And remind yourself what really matters.

A Michigan cop was honored for saving the life of a 12-year old girl who was being attacked by a dog; his department gave the girl a new bicycle and a gift card as early Christmas presents.

………

It’s Day 20 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Paul F for his generous contribution to help keep bringing you the best bike news and advocacy, from around the corner and around the world.

………

Local

The city council Transportation Committee will consider rules for dockless bikeshare today, proposing the establishment of a pilot program to develop regulations — even though at least three bikeshare providers are already on the city streets.

East Hollywood’s bike trailer-delivered Bicycle Coffee will open a second location in Little Tokyo next year.

The UCLA Bicycle Academy reviews the school’s new strategic plan, and likes the call for better civic engagement.

Curbed says Burbank is leading the way to a more affordable, walkable — and bikeable — future.

 

State

The Moreno Valley Unified School District is looking for volunteers to help contest-winning kids build the bicycle of their dreams.

Former pro cyclist Roy Knickman returned to his hometown as a Paso Robles firefighter to fight the ongoing fires in Ventura County; Knickman won bronze in team time trial in the ’84 Olympics, and had a long pro career before joining the fire department.

A kindhearted Sacramento bike rider is raising funds for a woman who lost her legs when she was hit by a driver after she pulled her car over to help another motorist.

 

National

A recent high school graduate has set out to talk to one veteran of WWII every day, beginning by riding his bike to retirement homes to talk to vets; he estimates it will take 10 years to complete the task. You can see his website here, and contribute to his efforts.

HuffPo offers 12 reasons why bicycling will continue to grow.

Forty-two bike shops in 23 states — and one in Russia — observed the first Bike Shop Day on Saturday.

A long-planned Oklahoma City bike lane somehow disappeared during a series of secret meetings, and no one seems to know who was responsible.

A Tucson running coach traded her car for an ebike for a month. And liked it.

Austin, Texas is transforming a major auto-centric roadway into a bike, pedestrian and transit focused corridor, leaving just one lane for motor vehicles in each direction. Hopefully, Texans will have better sense than to revolt over positive changes to the street, unlike overly entitled drivers in some SoCal cities we could name.

A Boston woman has dropped 55 pounds and quit drinking after taking up bicycling.

When a New York bike rider complained about a state senator’s limo blocking a bike lane, the politician responded by impersonating a cop and trying to pull the rider over. Then his driver floored it, driving on the wrong side of the road and running red lights to get away when bicyclist tried to take his photo.

A Brooklyn bicyclist is preparing to sue the NYPD for wrongful arrest after a judge threw out a ticket he received for arguing with the cop that nearly ran him over.

Florida residents complain that new bike lanes will mean they can’t park in front of their own homes; the state DOT responds saying they can park in their own driveways, and the space in front of their houses was never intended for parking anyway.

 

International

A Canadian ebike rider says sorry he’s not sorry for being happy.

A British driver tells the court he should have slowed down before hitting and killing a man on his bike. You think?

Yesterday we mentioned that a Brit bike rider was facing jail for crashing his bike into a couple of pedestrians; it turns out that the victims were his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, and the crash was anything but accidental.

A UK advocacy group says stop making it so hard to ride a bike to school.

Dublin bike riders protest new signs telling them to dismount at a rail line by doing exactly that. Meanwhile, a Dublin cyclist chases down and confronts a man he sees stealing a bike, causing the thief to drop the bike and run off.

Bike sales in Poland are shifting from mountain bikes to urban cycling, and bucking international trends by going from the internet back to brick-and-motor bike shops.

Australian police are looking for a road raging bicyclist who hit a woman’s car several times before reaching in and throwing her car keys down an embankment. And scaring her Down Syndrome daughter.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist riding in a crosswalk with the light is hit by a right-turning driver; fortunately, he appears to bounce back up. But even though the video clearly shows the red light stopping cross traffic, a Kiwi website blames him for ignoring the traffic signal. Maybe red means go Down Under.

It was a deadly year for bicyclists in New Zealand, as cycling traffic fatalities were triple last year’s total.

American cycling great Rebecca Rusch writes about bicycling the 1,200 mile Ho Chi Minh Trail in search of the place where her late father’s plane went down during the Vietnam war.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI announces the 18 teams that will compete on this year’s WorldTour.

The Giro may have to move the start of next year’s race from Jerusalem in light of the tension caused by Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to the city.

Transgender former cyclist Philippa York says cycling’s conservative culture suppresses LGTBQ issues, pointing out there’s not one openly gay cyclist in the men’s peloton.

 

Finally…

If you’re already out on bail while you appeal your conviction for hitting a bike rider while high, try not to get busted in an underage prostitution sting. At last, a cure for helmet hair, also known as a headband.

And it may not be the best idea to crash a holiday boat parade by riding your bike through the crowd and loudly asking if anyone wants to buy heroin.

………

Please accept my best wishes to all celebrating the Festival of Lights this week.

Chag Urim Sameach!

 

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

………

A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

………

We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

………

A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

………

An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

………

Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: The death of LA’s Vision Zero, safety improvements in Mar Vista, and more kindhearted people

Vision Zero, in any meaningful sense, is dead in Los Angeles.

We may see incremental improvements; a new crosswalk here, a bike lane there. But only if they don’t adversely affect anyone on four wheels.

Which is not what Vision Zero is about.

But any meaningful attempt to reduce traffic deaths to anywhere near zero in finished.

That’s because CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti jointly announced yesterday that they are caving in to the angry NIMBY and driver-led backlash, and ripping out the bike lanes and road diets in Playa del Rey.

Although that’s not the way they put it.

And in the process, throwing bicyclists and anyone else who fought for the changes under the bus. Perhaps literally.

They present it as a compromise, with a long list of pedestrian-focused improvements that won’t do crap to protect people on bikes, slow traffic or prevent crashes between motorists.

But let’s be honest.

This is a compromise like Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett compromised at the Alamo.

Those pedestrian improvements were already planned as the next phases of the community-driven process to improve safety in Playa del Rey — after the road diets, not in place of them.

So instead of improving safety and livability in the area, it will go back to being a virtual freeway for pass-through motorists.

Except now the city will be on the hook financially for every death and injury that occurs in the area, after removing the safety improvements designed to prevent them.

It’s a liability lawyer’s dream.

Worse, though, is the potentially fatal damage it’s done to Vision Zero in Los Angeles, as few, if any, councilmembers will be willing to subject themselves to the hate and vitriol Bonin and his staff have faced.

It’s a surprise they held out as long as they did.

Chances are, road diets are now off the table in this city. Perhaps permanently.

The same with installing the bike plan, which is no longer worth the silicon it’s printed on. Or any other substantive street changes that inconvenience motorists in any way, or makes NIMBY home and business owners sharpen their pitchforks and light the Tiki torches.

Even if they’re the ones who’ll benefit from it.

And even though Vision Zero was never about crosswalks or enforcement — or cutsie football videos — but about redesigning the roadways so that when people act like people do, their mistakes won’t be fatal. To them or anyone else.

Which is what these road diets were supposed to do.

But we’ll never know if they would have succeeded or not, because they were never given the chance.

I’ve long questioned whether LA’s leaders had the courage and conviction to make the tough choices Vision Zero would require, and withstand the inevitable criticism that would be directed their way.

They’ve answered with a resounding no.

The odd thing, though, is that Garcetti somehow got his name attached to the plan to restore traffic lanes — and got top billing, no less.

Even though he didn’t do a damn thing to implement or support the road diets. Or any of the other traffic safety improvements that have gone down to defeat under his tenure, from bike lanes on Westwood Blvd to sidewalks on the Hyperion-Glendale bridge.

He hasn’t shown up for a single public safety meeting since announcing Vision Zero to great fanfare two years ago. Or made a single public statement in support of Mike Bonin and the desperately needed safety changes in Playa or Mar Vista.

And yet, he gets full credit — if that’s the word you want to use — for restoring the Playa del Rey streets to their original dangerous condition, and thrusting a dagger through the heart of his own signature safety policy.

It’s been seven years since the late Bill Rosendahl stood before the city council and proclaimed that car culture ends today in the City of Angels.

He was wrong.

It’s clearly just getting started. And we will all pay the price.

………

In better news, The Argonaut reports on the figures released last week showing safety improvements and a reduction in speeding on Venice Blvd following the recent lane reductions.

However, traffic truthers refuse to accept the results; the leader of the Bonin recall effort tried to claim the street was actually more dangerous, because injuries went up on a per capita basis since there was a drop in traffic.

………

Today’s common theme, kindhearted people — mostly in blue.

An Ohio sheriff held back bicycles from a property auction, insisting that they be given to kids and adults who need them instead.

Tennessee cops pitch in to buy a man a new bicycle, after the one he relied on to get to work was stolen.

A Florida man bought a new bicycle for a boy who was run over by a distracted driver as he was riding to school; unfortunately, he’s too scared to ride it.

But Michigan cops got it backwards, buying a car for a woman who rode her bike or took a bus 13 miles to work for years.

………

Women’s racing takes a big step back, as the Tour de France cut’s the women’s La Course back to a single day.

Austrian cyclist Christoph Strasser set a new indoor 24-hour record at 585.25 miles, and vows to never ride on a track again; he’s a four-time winner of the Race Across America.

And SoCalCross offers a video recap of the year’s first cyclocross race at Irvine Lake.

………

Local

The city council’s Public Works and Gang Prevention Committee approved a motion to paint LA’s bike lanes a dull, non-reflective green, prioritizing the convenience of the film industry over the safety of bike riders. After all, it’s just so damn hard for film crews to cover-up a bike lane with some sort of mat, let alone fix it in post.

LADOT has installed what appears to be a very problematic bus loading platform in the bike lane on First Street in DTLA, which forces riders up a sharp ramp while creating a crowded conflict point when people board or get off; as passengers adjust to it, they will likely start to wait on the platform, blocking the bike lane.

UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup has been honored with the 2017 Distinguished Educator Award, the highest honor offered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning; Shoup’s work has changed the understanding of the hidden costs of parking around the world.

Musician Andrew Bird used the LA River as his muse, inspired by his bike rides along it.

CiclaValley M.A.S.H.s gears up the Bulldog.

 

State

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when a woman crashed into his bike in Pacific Beach.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 81-year old San Diego County man just finished a 4,300-mile ride across Canada.

Construction of a new bike path has Santa Barbara residents on edge, as road surface grinding is keeping them up at night.

If people in San Luis Obispo look depressed, it’s because they’re no longer the happiest city in the US. It’s probably no coincidence that every city in the top five is ranked silver or higher on the Bike League’s list of Bicycle Friendly Communities.

A San Francisco bike cop is in grave condition after he was run down by a suspect, who was arrested several hours after fleeing the scene.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to clean your dirty, dirty bike.

Rails-to-Trails recommends some haunted pathways for your pre-Halloween riding pleasure, including one with a ghost bike. No, literally.

No surprise here, as the Washington jerk bicyclist who injured a pedestrian after yelling “hot pizza,” expecting her to jump out of the way, is now facing a lawsuit; he uses the same excuse drivers do, saying 3 mph pedestrians shouldn’t mix with cyclists doing 15 mph.

What’s one way to jeopardize a football scholarship at Texas A&M? Stealing a bait bike is a good start.

Bike PGH meets up with carfree former Trojan and current Pittsburgh Steeler JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Now that’s more like it. A New York man was sentenced to five to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; more importantly, he received a lifetime revocation of his driver’s license. Which should be automatic for any driver in any hit-and-run.

DC has become a testing ground for dockless e-bikeshare.

 

International

A new documentary takes a look at MAMILs, following four men from the US, the UK and Australia. Which should be required viewing for anyone who makes fun of middle-aged people on bikes, spandexed or otherwise.

Road.cc explains how to stop the dreaded speed wobbles.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Cuba.

A Canadian newspaper talks with Danish bicyclist Ole Kassow, who created the Cycling Without Age program.

Ed Sheeran won’t be one of us for a while, after realizing the next day that he had fractured not one, but both arms when he was hit by driver while riding in London; he had to cancel his upcoming Asian tour.

Motorist and bicycling groups both condemn calls for British bicyclists to be required to carry numbered license plates.

A Turkish librarian operates his own personal book bike, towing books for children from village to village in a bike trailer.

An Aussie newspaper says kneejerk decisions to confine dockless bikeshare bikes to specified parking areas defeats the whole purpose.

 

Finally…

Maybe Bonin should have just used a coloring book. Evidently, we’re just sidewalk speeding cyclos.

And the left lane of the southbound 5 Freeway in Newhall Pass may not be the best place to walk your bike.

Especially before 6 am.

Thanks to kdbhiker for the photo.

Morning Links: Mar Vista Great Streets success, 6th Street safety open house, and road rage around the world

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

My hard drive cable failed just as I was finishing yesterday’s post. Fortunately, I was able to get it replaced, and recovered most, though not all, of what I had written.

As a result, today’s post includes news from both days. So grab your favorite beverage and settle in; we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

And come back tomorrow, when we’ll have even more bike and safety news we couldn’t squeeze into today’s post.

………

It’s working.

Despite the claims of road diet opponents, the three-month safety stats show the Venice Great Streets project in Mar Vista is working exactly as promised, with collisions, injuries and speeding down, while resulting in what should be an easily tolerable delay in rush hour traffic.

Which should put the debate to rest, but probably won’t.

Meanwhile, a new Toronto study shows what Mar Vista has to look forward to, as controversial separated bike lanes on a downtown Toronto street have significantly improved safety, while boosting business in the surrounding area.

Like Mar Vista’s Venice Blvd Great Streets Project, Toronto faced near-constant demands from drivers to remove the Bloor Street bike lanes, as well as merchants angry over the loss of parking spaces.

It’s been successful in Toronto.

And it will be in Mar Vista, if local leaders can fight off the demands to remove them.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for link to the Toronto study.

………

Speaking of traffic safety improvements, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house on Saturday, October 21st, to discuss the desperately needed changes to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

As we’ve noted before, even though the Mid City West Community Council has voted unanimously to support lane reductions on 6th, Ryu has dragged his feet on the project, despite his oft-stated promises to listen to the local community.

He has suggested an alternative that would keep two lanes in each direction, while adding left turn bays at several intersections and removing parking spaces near intersections.

This would actually have the opposite effect of the safety improvements the local community has been begging for, speeding the flow of traffic rather than slowing it, while increasing the risk to bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

It’s important that everyone who uses the street in any way, or cares about traffic safety, attend to if you can to demand a safer 6th Street.

………

Long Beach bike advocate and Pedal Love founder Melissa Balmer teamed with Minnesota writer and consultant Jay Walljasper to author a new study on the Surprising Promise of Bicycling to be released today.

The study focuses on the “untapped demographic potential, growth of bike share and infrastructure, the deepening influence of grass roots advocacy,” as well as the promise of ebikes.

………

Today’s common theme is road raging drivers.

And bike riders, too.

An Arkansas man faces charges for crashing into a man on a bike — evidently intentionally — then threatening him with a machete, apparently because the rider sprayed a couple dogs with a water bottle when they chased after him.

Witnesses say a driver appeared to intentionally cross over the yellow line to smash into Georgia teenager as the boy signaled for a left turn on his bike.

The Chicago bike rider who was hit with a drum by a road raging driver — after smashing the man’s rear window with his U-lock — has started a crowdfunding campaign to get his damaged teeth fixed.

An Ohio lawyer could face disbarment for brake-checking a bike rider and smashing his cellphone in a road rage incident.

Evidently, there’s no shortage of road rage in Asheville NC. Police are looking for a bicyclist who allegedly hit a driver several times with his helmet, kicked him, and stole his eyeglasses and $80. This comes just two weeks after a driver was caught on dashcam video punching a cyclist.

A London cab driver tells a bike rider to “go back to f***ing Poland” or wherever he’s from after the rider complains about the driver stopping in a bike box.

………

We’ll catch up with a long list of bike events tomorrow, but I want to mention just a couple today due to the tight timelines.

Bike SGV is hosting the BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tomorrow night, offering a free two-wheeled tour of the Pasadena art fest with stops at several venues.

And AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides starting at Balboa Park this Saturday, to officially start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast. You can choose from rides of 14 or 43.7 miles, with a free lunch provided for registered participants.

………

Local

In what’s just the latest multimillion dollar settlement due to the city’s dangerous streets, the LA city council voted to pay $15 million to a man who suffered permanent brain damage due to a substandard Hollywood crosswalk. That’s $15 million they could have used to fix several dangerous intersections, instead of paying for not fixing one.

Paramedics at LAX will now make their way through the terminals by bicycle.

Volunteers are needed for the tenth annual Long Beach bike count.

Sports Illustrated reviews the new book Draft Animals from LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon.

The SGV Connect podcast remembers Bike SGV staff member Brian Velez, who passed away unexpectedly last month. A memorial ride will be held in his honor this Sunday.

 

State

Governor Brown once again pulls out his veto pen to strike down a bike bill, negating a law that would have required the California Department of General Services to expand an employee bikeshare program it currently runs for staffers in Sacramento to other departments, and other areas of the state.

Goleta considers building a separated bike and pedestrian path through the city.

The very cool new Johnny Cash Art Trail officially opens in Folsom this Saturday.

San Francisco is preparing to issue permits to an e-bikeshare operator, portentially violating the non-compete agreement they have with Ford’s GoBike.

Oakland explores a new approach to fixing a dangerous intersection with paint and bollards, by adding bike lanes and a widened median for pedestrians, in just ten weeks for a mere $30,000. The result has been a 7% drop in speeding with no decrease in median speeds, and a whopping 86% increase in drivers stopping for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A seven-year old Oakland bike shop provides local youth with job training and affordable transportation.

A Marin writer questions the wisdom of reopening a closed-off tunnel for bike and pedestrian use.

A new study from UC Davis shows that many trips that could be made by foot, bike or transit are now being made by Uber and Lyft, adding to the congestion on our streets.

 

National

Doctors call for cities to do more to keep bike riders and pedestrians safe, as the US faces its biggest jump in traffic deaths in 50 years.

If you’ve spent much time walking or riding a bike, you may be surprised to learn that traffic engineers have an ethical duty to protect public safety, which they’ve too often ignored. Okay, maybe shocked is a better word.

Yes, it is possible to ride a bike from the airport in major cities around the US, including Los Angeles.

An article in Bicycle Times calls bicycling the ultimate social sport.

No irony here. A Nebraska bike rider was hit by a car on the way home from a bicycle safety meeting; needless to say, the driver wasn’t ticketed.

A retired Wisconsin legislator says the state’s governor is no friend to bicycling.

A pair of Detroit men have been arrested for at least three separate daylight abductions and sexual assaults of women as they rode their bicycles. Let’s hope they get thrown into a deep pit for a very long time.

An Indianapolis man entertains passing drivers by juggling and riding his bike backwards in a parking lot.

Massachusetts’ abolition-themed 1854 Cycling Company hires recently released inmates, giving them a second chance in life; the owner grew up in South Central LA.

New York police are targeting people on bikes, rather than focusing on the operators of more dangerous vehicles.

Lawyers are challenging a recent New York Vision Zero law making right-of-way violations a misdemeanor offense; three judges have found the law unconstitutional on the grounds that people can’t be held accountable for violations they don’t know they’re committing.

There’s a special place in hell for the guys who tried to jack a New York bikeshare bike from a 13-year old Hasidic boy; police are investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Delaware is now officially the second state to authorized the Idaho Stop law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields on two-lane streets.

Officials say a proposal to build a bikeway alongside a North Carolina freeway could reduce congestion while boosting the local economy.

There is something seriously wrong when a soldier can receive multiple Purple Hearts on four overseas deployments, only to be killed in a collision while riding a bicycle back to his Georgia base; he was an advocate for wounded vets through the Operation Enduring Warrior program.

 

International

This is what happens when people who ride bicycles get involved in the political process, as both major candidates in Montreal’s mayoral election court the bike vote. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where bicyclists should be a major political block, but aren’t.

A writer for a Canadian university says traffic laws apply to those cocky cyclists too, while apparently confusing the rate of fatalities caused by bicyclists with those caused by motorists.

An independent commission has urged London’s mayor to be bold in reducing congestion and air pollution, and create transportation system centered on walking, bicycling and transit.

A British bike rider has been jailed for three weeks for crashing into a four-year old kid while riding brakeless.

Britain’s Chris Boardman offers a ten-point plan to enjoy bicycling in your middle age. I can shorten that to two points: 1) get on your bike, and 2) ride it.

A councilmember in Bengaluru, India has demanded that the city fix the streets and make it pothole-free within 15 days. Let us know if it works; I know a few other cities that could use it.

A writer for the Nikkei Asian Review says a simple formula can reflect the affluence of a country by measuring those who ride a bike because they choose to, as compared to those who ride because they have no alternative.

 

Finally…

No, attaching a flashing light to your helmet will not ward off magpie attacks. Forget Pinarellas and Conalgos; if you really want to impress the guys on your club ride, show up on a gold-plated Giant.

And your new $4,000 BMW ebike would offer as much torque as a small car.

Okay, a very small car.

………

A special thank you to Linda Campbell for her generous contribution to help support this site. Or maybe to the BikinginLA computer repair fund.

 

Morning Links: An open letter to David Ryu, Mar Vista CC is at it again, and motion could remove LA bike lanes

Dear Councilmember Ryu,

As a resident of LA’s 4th Council District, I have long been concerned about the risks that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists face in our district.

One area of particular concern is 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea. As you are no doubt aware, 6th is a two-lane street west of Fairfax, then becomes four lanes between Fairfax and La Brea.

Once it widens to two lanes in each direction, the character of the street changes dramatically. Speeds increase while drivers jockey for position, often shifting lanes without warning to go around stalled traffic or turning vehicles.

As a motorist, it is an unpleasant street to drive, and one requiring constant concentration. As a pedestrian, it is a difficult, and at times dangerous, street to cross. And someone who used to bicycle to Downtown when I lived in West LA, it was easily the most dangerous part of my commute.

This is borne out by the two pedestrian deaths and hundreds of crashes that have been recorded on the street over the last several years, as well as statistics showing 6th Street is three times as dangerous as the average LA arterial.

Fortunately, there is a proposal from LADOT which would address these issues by removing a traffic lane in each direction and adding a center left turn lane, with bike lanes on each side from Fairfax to Cochran.

Lane reductions like this have been shown to improve safety up to 47%, with an average of 30% improvement in cities across the US. Those same results have held true with previous road diet projects here in Los Angeles, as well.

Further, this is a project that has the full support of the surrounding community. The Mid-City West Community Council voted unanimously to back this project over a year ago.

Before you were elected to office, you told the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that you start and end any decision with the community. In this case, the voice of the community is clear.

It is long past time to improve safety on this dangerous street. I urge you to immediately support this project as recommended by LADOT.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers, BikinginLA.com

If you want to write in support of the proposed 6th Street road diet, send your email to [email protected], and CC [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. You can find a brief sample email you can use as a template here (pdf).

………

Mar Vista Community Council’s bizarre bike “safety” motions and efforts to roll back the Venice Great Streets project will be back on the table when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meets tonight.

Among the motions under consideration are one that would require bike “night lights,” even though front and rear bike lights and side reflectors are already required under state law for any bike ridden at night.

It would also require mandatory bike helmet use for all riders, regardless of age, even though that would conflict with existing state law, which means the city has no authority to mandate their use.

Another motion calls for restoring the two traffic lanes that were removed from Venice Blvd as part of the Great Streets Project by removing the center median, or placing a center bike path there. Both of which show a clear lack of understanding of traffic calming, as well as bikeway design.

Center medians are used to slow traffic and prevent unsafe left and U-turns, as well as head-on collisions with speeding drivers who cross the center line.

Meanwhile, center bikeways create multiple conflict points at every intersection, dramatically increasing the risk of injury collisions. Which is why existing median bikeway on Culver Blvd failed.

As alternative, they suggest restoring the traffic lanes by removing street parking, and replacing it with parking garages every three blocks — with no hint of where to put them or how to pay for it.

A final motion simply calls for removal of the entire Venice Great Streets project in order to restore three lanes in both directions.

Clearly, someone on the committee has a fixation with doing everything in their power to keep Venice Blvd dangerous. And at the same time, allowing traffic to continue destroying the fabric of the Mar Vista community, reverting back to a virtual highway to keep peak hour traffic flowing, with excess capacity the rest of the day.

All of which suggests a complete and total ignorance of state bike laws and traffic safety planning, as well as the benefits of road diets. Which is what happens when you put people in charge who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Instead of the misguided, illegal and impractical motions on the agenda, maybe they should replace them with a single motion requiring every member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to actually learn something about the subject.

If you can make it there tonight night, maybe you can try to explain it to them.

Thanks to N.E. Farnham for the heads-up.

………

A new motion from the usually bike-friendly 12th CD Councilmember Mitch Englander (pdf) could potentially halt all new bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, as well as rip out many existing lanes.

The motion comes in response to the latest city settlement with an injured bicyclist, as the LA city council voted to pay $7.5 million to a man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a ridge of pavement that had been lifted four inches by a tree root. And which the city had previously been warned about, but done nothing to fix.

Never mind the 17 other lawsuits that have been filed against the city by injured bike riders, or the relatives of those killed, this year alone. Many, if not most of whom, weren’t riding in bike lanes when they were injured.

Englander’s motion, which was seconded by the 2nd District’s Paul Krekorian, would require that new bike lanes only be installed on streets with a pavement quality grade of A. Which sounds good, until you consider that LA’s streets average a C plus.

So basically, new bike lanes could only go on new pavement.

To make matters worse, the motion calls for closing or removing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade of B or lower. Which would mean most of the bike lanes in the City of Angels would be unceremoniously stripped off the pavement.

The practical result would be that people would still ride those same streets, and be subject to the same bad pavement, but without the separation from traffic that bike lanes provide. So any falls, or swerves to avoid cracks or potholes in the pavement, could be catastrophic.

And by removing a proven safety feature, the city’s exposure to liability could be exponentially higher when, not if, someone is injured on one of those streets.

The motion isn’t all bad, however.

The requirement that pavement quality on current bike lanes be inspected is something that should have been passed into law decades ago. As anyone who has ever ridden the 7th Street bike lanes leading to and in DTLA can attest.

And pavement quality should be considered before installing new bike lanes, rather than just slapping paint down on failing streets, as has been the practice in the past.

If the motion advances, which is not a given, it must be amended to so that only the bike lane would be required to have an A grade, which would allow just that portion of the roadway to be patched or repaved to bring it up to code, rather than the entire street.

Although that would give drivers one more reason to hate us.

And the misguided requirement that existing bike lanes be closed or removed should be stricken, period.

Thanks to T.J. Knight for the tip.

………

In what they describe as a win-win for everyone, the San Diego State University Police Department has teamed with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego County Bicycling Coalition and Cycle Quest Bicycle Store to fight bike theft.

The groups worked together to register 150 bicycles with the university’s bike registration program, which is open to students, faculty and staff. Everyone who registered their received a free Kryptonite lock and mount, as well as free bike repair, and bike lights and literature from the SDCBC.

Which is almost enough to make me want to go back to college.

Including these 150 bikes, the university has registered 476 bikes so far this year, ensuring that the information will be available if anything should happen to the bikes.

They report that 81 bikes have been reported stolen since the first of the year, most of which were secured by just a thin cable lock or locked to the rack by the front wheel alone.

And yes, they also instruct students on how to lock their bikes properly when they register them.

………

VeloNews considers how the Vuelta became cycling’s most dramatic grand tour.

Like father, like sons. A Lithuanian cyclist has been suspended following a positive drug test, 15 years after his father tested positive for EPO after finishing third in the 2002 Tour de France, and just months after his brother died as a result of suspected doping.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez got fired from the BMC team after his B sample confirmed his positive doping test prior to the Vuelta.  But really, the doping era is over, right?

………

Local

Everyone has an opinion about the proposed restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. Including an environmental advocate who says reversing the Playa del Rey road diets will mean more roadkill. Hopefully, she doesn’t mean us.

Manhattan Beach approves new bike route signs, buts holds off on sharrows over fears that they make bike riders “more assertive about occupying road space.” In other words, they’re worried about those uppity bike riders wanting to ride exactly where the markers on the road say they’re supposed to ride.

 

State

San Diego won’t be changing their sidewalk policies, even after a man was awarded $4.85 million when he was severely injured riding his bike on a tree-damaged sidewalk the city had known about, but failed to fix. Sound familiar?

Over 1,000 bicycles have been stolen in San Diego this year.

A Los Altos writer offers five rules to live by as a cyclist. Although he says not to ride three abreast, even though it’s perfectly legal on non-sharable lanes, as long as you stay within a single lane; however, you should always allow drivers to pass when it’s safe to do so.

San Francisco advocates discuss the status of Vision Zero in the city.

The North Bay Area’s new SMART trains are dealing with an unexpected crush of passengers boarding with bicycles. Which shows who the smart ones really are.

Someone please tell the Mountain View city council that removing a crosswalk is not a safety improvement.

Sacramento’s mayor tries out a new three-day pop-up parking protected bike lane.

 

National

A lifelong roadie turns to dirt jumping at the age of 44, as Bicycling asks if it’s too late him to catch big air. Easy answer: If you’re not dead, it’s not too late.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare reaches its 50 millionth ride.

 

International

A UK writer says it’s time to modernize the country’s traffic laws, but adding offenses for bicyclists is not the place to start.

A British cyclist urges others to get trained in CPR; he was revived after his heart had stopped for 30 minutes while riding.

A London journalist captured a month’s worth of close calls on his bike cam to show how dangerous riding in there can be.

 

Finally…

Who says you can’t eat or drink on a bike? If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on the spokes of your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, don’t use your knife to threaten a driver who honks at you. Or a hatchet.

Or better yet, just don’t. Period.

 

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