Tag Archive for Ventura Blvd

Morning Links: Fighting for the Rowena road diet, CiclaValley and Bike SGV honored, and reimagining Ventura Blvd

The fight goes on.

A group of Silver Lake residents have created a website to support the successful Rowena road diet in the face of continued opposition from some people who want it torn out, even though it has dramatically improved safety on the formerly dangerous street by cutting overall traffic injuries 22% and serious injuries and fatalities a whopping 75%.

The site includes a before and after analysis, safety research, and a page dispelling persistent myths about the road diet, including the false claim that installing bike lanes was the sole purpose for the reconfiguration.

They urge you to contact CD4 Councilmember David Ryu and tell him to keep Rowena the way it is, and sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of future action.

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Streetsblog officially announces the winners of this year’s Streetsie Awards.

As expected, CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew won the award for Journalist/Writer of the Year, and Bike SGV won a well deserved award for Livable Streets Advocacy Group.

Other winners were

  • Elected Official of the Year: Tie between Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece-Harris Dawson and José Huizar
  • Civil Servant of the Year: Metro’s Phil Washington
  • Livable Streets-Friendly Business Award: Metro Bike’s Bicycle Transit Systems
  • Deborah Murphy Award for Excellence in Advocacy: Los Feliz Neighborhood Council president Luke Klipp

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If you live or ride in the Valley, don’t forget tomorrow’s meeting to reimagine iconic Ventura Blvd. And hopefully make it safer and more inviting to bike riders, even if we got left out of the invitation.

And mark your calendar for the next Draft People for Bikes meetup at Burbank’s Pure Cycles on the 19th.

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A British para-cyclist champ calls the sudden announcement that the world championships will be held here in LA a joke; not because of the location, but because would-be competitors were given just seven weeks notice.

Good analysis from Cycling News, as they ask what, if anything, has been done to improve safety after pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié was killed in a collision with a race moto last year.

Systematic doping is so endemic among Russian athletes that the leaders of 19 national anti-doping organizations say the country’s athletes should be banned from all international events.

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Local

LAist offers good advice for riding in the rain. I’ll add a little more: Most drivers can’t imagine anyone riding a bike in the rain, which means they won’t be looking for you. So be conspicuous in your lane positioning and at intersections. And use the best, brightest — and as many — lights as you can manage, and wrap them in plastic unless you know they’re waterproof.

Speaking of Mike Bonin, he earns the endorsement of Bike the Vote LA for the March 7th city council election in CD11.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is offering a $20 discount on annual memberships through this month.

SaMo’s Soft Pedalers will host a Black History Bike Ride on the 24th.

 

State

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation is hosting their second annual Recovery Ride on the 29th, with routes around San Diego Bay ranging from 12 to 40 miles.

 

National

A new bike lock unveiled at the Las Vegas CES show combines traditional strength with an anti-theft motion detector and the ability to lock and unlock using an app on your phone.

Steamboat CO cyclists say it’s too early to judge the success of the ski resort town’s mountain biking trails, despite a survey showing summer bike tourism has declined over the last two years.

Life is cheap in Kansas, where a driver walks with a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist competing in an amateur time trial, despite attempting an unsafe pass and violating the state’s three-foot passing law; the victim was blamed for an alleged suicide swerve.

Must be nice. Iowa’s governor calls for better protections for cyclists and stiffer penalties for distracted and impaired drivers. Most California bicyclists have given up on ever hearing something like that from Jerry Brown.

Despite rising numbers of pedestrians and cyclists hit by cars, a group of New Hampshire lawmakers want to repeal the state’s hands-free cellphone law in the name of liberty. So why not just pass a law giving people the personal freedom to drive drunk, stoned or blindfolded? The same principle applies.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says as long as security for Donald Trump’s 5th Avenue apartment threatens to make the street a traffic nightmare, they should turn the street into a pedestrian plaza like Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare will test out laser lights that project the image of a bicycle 20 feet in front of the rider in an effort to improve safety.

The governor of New York announces plans to fill in the gaps between existing pathways to create a 750-mile biking and hiking trail through the state in just three years. Notice that no one has proposed anything like that here in California, despite an ideal climate for year-round riding. Present wet weather excepted.

A South Carolina man finds and restores the 55-year old bicycle his brother got for Christmas in 1961, and gives it to him again.

New Orleans breaks ground on a new bike and pedestrian path that will connect two existing paths to create a four-mile trail through beautiful oaks, cypress trees and lagoons.

 

International

Cycling Weekly explains why cyclists ride side-by-side.

Britain’s transportation secretary says he didn’t give anyone his contact information after dooring a bicyclist because no one asked. No, seriously.

A Member of Britain’s Parliament confuses the solution with the problem, questioning whether the loss of blacktop for bike lanes is causing London’s traffic congestion. If he really wants to see congestion, try putting all those bike commuters back into motor vehicles.

Yes, you can ride your bike from London to Paris without dealing with traffic. Although it might get a tad damp if you miss the ferry.

Italy’s Pinarello unveils its new high-end Dogma 10 racing bike, even as it’s already facing the threat of a lawsuit.

Singapore’s transport minister tells parliament that bicycles and personal mobility devices are an essential part of the country’s efforts to go car-lite.

 

Finally…

Nothing like being injured in a crash directly outside a hospital — then taken to another one instead. Thank goodness you still have the freedom to shoot a whale from a moving bike or car in landlocked Tennessee.

And there are worse things than LA drivers, like trying to free a fat bike from an electric fence.

Morning Links: Another successful CicLAvia, Seleta and Sadik-Khan chat, and 15-to-life in fatal DUI hit-and-run

Another successful CicLAvia is in the books.

And according to everyone I spoke with, it was one of the most successful, and least spandexed, ones yet.

The LA Times offers an early report on the day, along with some great photos. The Daily News also reports on the Valley’s first open streets event — although I hope it was a typo when a police sergeant estimated the crowd at an absurdly low 20,000.

Even the New York Times discovered the Valley CicLAvia.

KABC-7 estimates the number in attendance at 50,000, which is about how many bikes were parked in front of Ventura beer and burger bar Stout. KNBC-4 says it could have been as high as 75,000, which still seems low by at least half.

KCBS-2 was worried about the effect on businesses, although from what I saw, many of the businesses that reached out to CicLAvia participants did well.

Some — especially food and drink purveyors — seemed far busier than they would be on a normal Sunday. Others wisely took the opportunity to promote their businesses in hopes the passing riders and walkers would come back another day; one pet shop may have a new customer after their sidewalk table caught my eye.

Then there were those who chose to close down for the day, effectively offering an FU to the countless thousands passing by.

Meanwhile, my favorite overheard comment was from the rider who was surprised to discover that the Valley is just like LA.

And that, more than anything else, is what I love about CicLAvia.

It gives us a chance to rediscover our own city, in a way we never could by car. And visit parts of this expansive city that some may have never seen before.

It also draws a crowd that looks like us. Perhaps the most ethnically diverse event in what may be the world’s most ethnically diverse city, allowing us to meet and interact with people we might never otherwise come in contact with.

You see, it’s not just that CicLAvia is changing our streets.

It’s changing our city.

And how we see ourselves.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These awesomely customized bikes were waiting with their riders for an elevator at the NoHo Red Line station.

These two speed demons kept trying to pass me on my right, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

These two speed demons kept passing me on my right, and nearly dropping me, as their father ran behind trying to keep up.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn't be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

Many of the participants were children who wouldn’t be allowed to ride on the busy boulevard any other day.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

LAFD paramedics were riding to route to provide faster response if needed.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

Businesses that reached out to bike riders were rewarded with bikes on the sidewalk representing customers inside.

And more bikes...

And more bikes…

...and still more bikes.

…and still more bikes.

Leave it to me to spot the lone Corgi in attendance.

Leave it to me to spot what may have been the lone Corgi in attendance.

There's no better sign of a successful event that a bunch of bored cops watching the crowds go by. Because that means they didn't have to respond to calls for help.

There’s no better sign of a successful event than bored bike cops watching the crowds, waiting patiently in case they were needed.

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This looks like a great talk, as LADOT transportation maven Seleta Reynolds chats with former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at the Hammer Museum on Thursday.

The event is free — though tickets are required, and only available at the box office one hour before the talk — and bike parking is available at no charge. A live feed will be available online if you can’t make it in person.

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Convicted hit-and-run driver William Donald Johnson gets 15 to life for second degree murder in the drunken head-on collision that took the life of Beaumont cyclist Phillip Richards in December, 2013.

The judge also tacked on an additional three years for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an injury collision.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joel Epstein says this is not your parent’s LADOT; nice to hear how much the department has changed, but we’re still waiting for those changes to show up on our streets.

LA Times readers react to the paper’s editorial calling for more study instead of a California bike helmet law. Meanwhile, Calbike pens an open letter to state Senator Carol Liu suggesting what she can do with her proposed bike helmet law. No, not that.

A writer for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune explains what it’s like to ride a pedal-assist electric bike.

 

State

Speaking of Calbike, now you can own your very own shaft-drive bicycle company, lock, stock and trademark.

San Diego’s Mission Beach wants bike riders to slow down on the boardwalk.

A cyclist is seriously injured going over his handlebars after hitting a rock on a La Jolla roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to recover.

Morgan Hill gets its first complete street on a trial basis, which appears to be working despite misinformation in the community.

A San Francisco street will get special bike-only traffic signals to protect riders from right turning cars, the second street in the city to get that configuration. Which compares favorably to LA, having exactly zero.

The 25-year old Oakland bike rider who had his wallet stolen while he lay unconscious following a collision is finally awake from his coma and talking; a fund has raised $11,000 to help pay his medical expenses.

 

National

A review of medical journal articles shows what we already knew: bike lanes and bike share programs help fight obesity.

A Seattle thief was arrested after trying to sell the bike he stole back to its owner, who had posted a stolen bike notice on Craigslist.

Efforts are underway to make Anchorage AK a more bike-friendly city.

Cincinnati is rethinking a protected bike lane that no one can seem to figure out.

A New York man is suing the city’s bike share program for $3 million after a faulty fender caused him to face plant after flying over the handlebars.

Claiming New York’s bike lanes and pedestrian plazas cause environmental damage, a former New York Libertarian candidate files suit to stop them; a similar suit in San Francisco held up the city’s bike lanes for several years. Then again, maybe he’s got a point.

Former Olympic Bronze medalist and Tour de France stage winner Davis Phinney — father of pro cyclist Taylor Phinney — is honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his work battling Parkinson’s Disease.

A Baltimore group designs and builds bikes for people with special needs.

 

International

Britain’s House of Commons will debate stricter sentences for dangerous drivers following the deaths of two cyclists. Maybe they should also consider tougher penalties for bar patrons, after one attacks a cyclist for riding on the sidewalk.

Scottish bike riders will soon see another 30 long distance bikeways totaling 500 miles.

German imams and rabbis will ride tandems together, accompanied by 1,000 Berlin residents, in a unity ride for tolerance. Maybe tandems could finally pave the way to peace.

Three-time RAAM champion Christoph Strasser sets a new 24-hour record, riding 556.856 miles in a single day at a former Berlin airport.

Turns out Bollywood megastar Salman Khan is one of us.

A Dutch traffic engineer calls on Aussie drivers to get a new attitude, while a cyclists’ political party aims to give riders more clout at the ballot box.

Singapore cyclists are accused of road hogging.

 

Finally…

It takes a real schmuck to strong arm a five-year old kid by pushing him off his bike to steal it; big-hearted Sacramento cops and clergy pitch in to get him a new one. A Polish cyclist rode up all 3139 steps to the top of Taiwan’s 101 story Taipei 101 building, the world’s tallest building until just five years ago.

And former pro football player Kellen Winslow Jr. is determined to dominate pro cycling; he’ll need to ride a lot more than 60 miles a day, and weigh a lot less than 215 pounds, just to make the peloton. Let alone win.

 

Update: Cyclist describes brutal Sunday assault by road raging Ventura Blvd driver

A cyclist reports being brutally beaten by a driver in front of Mel’s Drive-In on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks on Sunday.

According to comments from someone claiming to be the victim, the assault took place after he stopped to confront the road raging driver who had angrily buzzed him moments earlier.

I was almost done with my ride, and on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. It is not the best street to ride on, but it has multiple lanes, and a car can pass around. I usually don’t ride on it during mid-day hours but the side street I was on had a fallen tree a little bit before and was closed which caused me to turn onto Ventura.

The guy in the pickup wanted to pass me (honking alot), and he wasn’t interested in changing lanes. With parked cars on one side there was no place for me to go. I had the right to use the lane and he could have gone into the left lane to pass. Instead he decided to pass me leaving about two inches of clearance. I didn’t yell or do anything, but I noticed the car and license plate. I eventually saw him pull over at the diner, I guess to eat lunch, so I stopped to let him know I didn’t appreciate what he did. I wasn’t picking a fight, but after about 1.5 seconds he came over to me, knocked me over and then started beating me mostly with kicks to the face. I’m glad my helmet stayed on. Once my skin broke blood was all over the place. I’m sure the witnesses would agree with my story. And people that know me know that I’m not a voilent (sic) person. I never got in a fight in my life.

The writer claims to have the full plate number of the Oregon driver’s truck, as well as his attacker’s phone, which was dropped at the scene. Yet he says that as of Tuesday, the detective assigned to the case hadn’t begun looking into the case.

The guy also dropped his cell phone on the scene, so that is another important piece of evidence. I called the LAPD detective yesterday, and he didn’t even start looking into the case yet. He also didn’t seem interested in tracking down the cell phone information (and there is a good chance is has phone numbers on it of places he may be staying in Los Angeles).

Really this guy could have been caught within 10 minutes of the incident since he has an easily recognizable car with out of state plates, if the police would have acted quickly after talking to the witnesses.

As a number of comments in the long, long thread made clear, stopping to confront an angry driver is never a good idea.

Even if that is something I do myself far more than I should.

You never know who you’re talking to. Or how short a fuse the driver or his or her companions may have.

And yes, I’ve been threatened by angry women almost as much as angry men. In fact, the driver who ran me down in a road rage assault was an otherwise pleasant — or so I’m told — middle-aged woman.

If you see someone who threatened you or drove dangerously around you, the best course of action is usually to let it pass, and just chalk it up to another unpleasant experience on the road. Or if you think it’s serious enough, call the police and let them handle it — bearing in mind that there’s usually not much they can do if they didn’t witness it themselves.

If you do stop, keep your bike between yourself and the person you’re talking to; it could give you just enough time to get away.

I’ve also found the quickest way to defuse an angry confrontation is to pull out your cell phone and snap a photo of the other person and their license plate.

Whatever you do, don’t throw the first punch. Or any punch, for that matter — especially if you were the one who started the confrontation.

If any time has passed between the initial encounter and when you stopped to talk to the driver, the police will consider it a separate event. Which makes you the aggressor, rather than the angry idiot who just tried to run you off the road.

Not fair, perhaps. But they would argue that you had a chance to avoid the confrontation, and didn’t do it.

Meanwhile, it’s a little scary to think a rider could give the police that much information, and nothing has been done two days later. Let alone an arrest made.

Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in.

Update: I’ve received word from a third party confirming that there were several witnesses to the beating in which the victim did in fact receive significant injuries, and that a police file has been opened; unfortunately, a heavy case load raises fears that the attacker may flee the state before police can get around to this case.

Don’t blame the cops this time. Blame the budget cutbacks that have left the department understaffed, and officers unable to do their jobs in a timely manner.

Thanks to Weshigh for the heads-up — and my apologies for failing to credit him sooner. 

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