Tag Archive for Vision Zero Alliance

Morning Links: An open letter on LA’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and OC hit-and-run victim needs your help

The Vision Zero Alliance has written an open letter to the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, which will consider the city’s proposed Vision Zero Action Plan at today’s meeting.

While they support the city’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths, the Alliance, described as “a coalition of over 20 community organizations dedicated to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries in Los Angeles,” takes issue with some parts of the plan.

The Action Plan serves as a critical step to ensuring that the Vision Zero initiative remains grounded in transparency, accountability, and evaluation. It also represents the City’s commitment to protecting the safety of all road users. The Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance applauds LADOT for its efforts in completing the Action Plan, which reflects extensive coordination among multiple agencies and organizations. We particularly appreciate the department’s ongoing commitment to engaging with and being accessible to the Vision Zero Alliance throughout the development of the Action Plan.

However, we remain unsatisfied with a number of elements of the plan. Our primary concerns relate to enforcement, data transparency, and community engagement. Additionally, we are worried by the lack of attention paid to speed and to the weak commitment in funding.

I’m particularly glad they share some of the concerns I’ve expressed, which are reflected in that last sentence.

We have additional concerns regarding speed and funding. Despite vehicle speed being a primary predictor of crash severity, the Action Plan lacks a bold and coherent strategy to manage it. We appreciate that the City intends to “consider legislation on automated speed enforcement” in 2017, but would like to see a more comprehensive set of actions to address local control of speed limits and the implementation of engineering projects specifically intended to slow traffic. We are also displeased with the low level of funding allocated to Vision Zero projects this year. A serious commitment to ending deaths and severe injuries on Los Angeles streets demands serious funding. Only with a realistic investment in robust engineering projects, education, engagement, and enforcement will Los Angeles ever realize Vision Zero.

It’s worth reading the full letter.

And demanding that the city adopt a plan that is fair for everyone, and will truly take the steps necessary to end the plague of traffic violence in out city.

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An Orange County bike rider needs your help.

The Orange County Register reports that Steve Schenkenberger, a father of five from San Juan Capistrano, was struck by a hit-and-run driver near Niguel Road and Ridgeway Avenue on Super Bowl Sunday.

Newport Beach Patch is more specific, placing the time of the crash at around 8:56 pm. There were no reported witnesses, he was found by passersby who called for help. Luckily, one of those was a paramedic and his wife, who cared for him until help arrived; she describes it in heartbreaking detail.

According to a fundraising website, Schenkenberger suffered injuries throughout the left side of his body, along with a severe brain injury resulting in emergency surgery. He’s reportedly improving, but remains unconscious and heavily sedated.

As of this writing, the fund had raised over $34,000 of the $100,000 goal to help pay what are sure to be massive medical expenses, as well as care for his family, for which he is the sole provider.

Clearly, they have a long way to go.

Anyone with information about the crash or driver is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Aliso Viejo.

Thanks to Rod Daryabigi and Lois for the heads-up.

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Frenchman Roger Walkowiak, the world’s oldest surviving Tour de France winner, passed away Tuesday at 89; the unheralded son of a Polish factory worker won the 1956 Tour with a solo breakaway on the famed Croix de Fer.

Cycling Weekly talks with 19-year old US junior cyclist Adrien Costa, calling him the next Greg LeMond. Sad that they had to go all the way back to the 1980s to find a scandal-free American cycling icon to compare him to.

VeloNews looks at the dangers of Tramadol, a less potent opioid painkiller that’s legal to race on under current doping rules.

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Local

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC is working on a beautification project to increase capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on the Trousdale Parkway entrance to the campus.

A sidewalk-raging Santa Clarita transient was arrested on suspicion of vandalism for throwing an object at a driver who had apparently cut him off as he existed a driveway.

 

State

A California sustainable transportation website launches a new series titled Bicyclists Are Human. Something that shouldn’t have to be said, but too often does.

Six California rides make the list of the nation’s 15 top Gran Fondos, including the Malibu Gran Fondo, and the one-year old Phil’s Cookie Fondo hosted by LA’s own former pro and cookie monster Phil Gaimon.

San Diego cyclists hope to repurpose a boarded up 1940s building next to a bike path as a bicycle center.

Ebikes are moving into Santa Cruz. And La Quinta, too.

A 56-year old bike rider in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district faces charges after allegedly punching a 20-year old woman and rifling through her pockets.

A San Francisco bike shop owner is crowdfunding a parklet he wants to build in front of his store.

An injured San Francisco bike rider offers a reminder that rain-filled puddles can disguise hidden dangers.

 

National

Here’s a chance to get technical, as VeloNews explains how differences in bicycle geometry affect how a bike rides and handles.

A British Columbia researcher says bicycle education in the US is in desperate need of an update, questioning whether bicyclists are really safer riding in the traffic lane.

Wired says ride your bike like a kid and make it fun again. Which is a great idea, except they get most of it wrong. Spandex clothing is actually designed to wick away sweat, while reducing wind resistance and chafing; flat pedals only allow you to apply force on the down stroke, reducing efficiency. And the health benefits of riding far outweigh any risk of heart damage from extreme training, which most people will never do anyway.

Colorado cyclists will have to keep stopping for stop signs, as a bill to approve the Idaho Stop Law in the state, legalizing what many bike riders already do, was killed in a legislative committee; a Durango paper blames Senate Republicans.

The Texas Medical Alliance gave away 400 bike helmets to four and five-year olds.

Wisconsin cycling icon Chris Kegel passed away from a rare form of liver cancer; the owner of a regional chain of bike shops had been on the founding boards of PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists.

A bike-riding Illinois reporter is suing the local police department for false arrest after they busted him for filming them. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in public, whether the actions of police or anyone else, as long as you don’t interfere with an officer in the conduct of his or her duties. And no, standing across the street recording an arrest is not interfering.

A cyclist in Illinois ask why bikes can’t evolve like cars have. Except pretty much all the improvements he calls for are available in one form or another, from disk brakes and belt drives to automatic gearing.

Bicycling rates continue to climb in New York despite slower growth in the city core, as riders respond to the continued expansion of the city’s bicycle network.

Why is it always Florida? A man in his late teens or early 20s exposed himself to a group of people by going naked from the waist down, then took a public poop before riding away on his bike.

 

International

Two brothers from Mexico are planning to ride the entire west coast of the US from Tijuana to Vancouver, in part to challenge stereotypes of Millennials as apathetic and superficial.

A Canadian city legalizes scofflaw cyclists by designating the raised roadways they’re already riding on as cycling facilities.

Caught on video: A bus driver with the official title of Britain’s Most Hated Cyclist catches a woman FaceTiming behind the wheel.

British police finally capture a bike-riding serial groper who allegedly attacked 24 women.

In yet another attack on bicyclists from London’s bike-hating Daily Mail, a writer asks if anywhere is safe from the Lycra louts. Cycling Weekly responds that it includes every anti-cycling cliché known to the human race, and some new ones, too.

A new Scottish safety campaign urges drivers to slow down.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 77-year old British man will ride the full route of this year’s Giro d’Italia, covering 2,100 miles across Italy.

A British writer rides through the tip of Africa on the first South African Eroica.

A 15-year old junior cyclist finds himself a man without a country after forfeiting his German passport, then getting booted out of a Malaysian school.

A Philippine website looks at the causes of road rage and what drivers can do about it. Which can apply to those of us on two wheels, too.

 

Finally…

Four words: speed dating on bikes. If you’re going to buy a hacksaw to cut a bike lock, don’t try to return it afterwards — and make sure it’s not a bait bike.

And make sure your damn shoe fits before you get behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero plan, call for killer driver to turn herself in, and OC man has 9 DUIs in 6 years

As we noted last week, the City of Los Angeles has finally released its Vision Zero Action Plan, explaining in detail how it plans to reduce traffic deaths by 20% this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025 — just eight years away.

Comments to the plan continue to roll in.

Today, Vision Zero Alliance member Bobby Peppey is sharing a letter he wrote in response to the plan.

Note: While Peppey is a member of the VZA, he want to make it clear that these are his opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the alliance. 

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There is a serious problem with LADOT’s Vision Zero Action Plan (VZAP) that wasn’t mentioned in LACBC’s excellent letter.

The lack of mention of lowering speed limits from the deadly 35/45mph to safer speed limits of 25/15 mph on Los Angeles HIN or other City streets in the VZAP.

Safer, slower top speed limits have been instituted by New York City, Seattle, Boston and in other North American cities.

Yes there is the California Speed Trap law and its 85 percentile rule that  supposedly forces City’s to raise limits as Joe Linton mentions in his article last spring. There are exceptions in the law to this rule that are manifest on all of the HIN streets that can easily be implemented to lower the speed limits on these streets.

On page 15 is the only mention of lowering speed limits in the plan, “A speed-limit reduction may be more appropriate on streets where children walk to school.” In my experience children walk on all sorts of streets and not only to get to school.

There is some amorphous language on page 36 as follows, “Vision Zero for Los Angeles will pursue local, state, and federal legislation that strengthens traffic safety policy…”, but the VZAP doesn’t go on to then state what policy changes will be pursued by the City.

More ominous in VZAP are the BENCHMARKS on page 37. The second row concerns finishing speed surveys conducted by LADOT but does not state what the results of these surveys will be.

In Joe Linton’s June 9th article in StreetsblogLA concerning the City Council Transportation Committee meeting of June 8th, he states that “LADOT General Manager Reynolds stressed that speed surveys and resultant speed limit increases are needed.”

Earlier at the same meeting Ms. Reynolds stated “IF WE COULD GET EVERYBODY IN THE CITY TO SLOW DOWN TO A SAFE SPEED, WE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES EVERY YEAR.” This quote is verbatim from the printed minutes of the meeting.

We live in a City (second largest in the US) that is now facing down the full brunt of the power of an arch-conservative unified federal government on the issue of immigrants rights, one of the most significant human rights battles of this century for our Country.

That the City of Los Angeles is not willing to deal with the same vigor towards Caltrans, and the State of California’s terribly inequitable Speed Trap Law; when our City is suffering from an epidemic of Kills and Serious Injury (KSI) of persons who walk, ride a bike or use transit on its sidewalks, crosswalks and streets is stunning.

Sincerely,

Bobby Peppey

Vision Zero Alliance member

Advisory and Policy Committee

Enforcement Committee

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Meanwhile, a governing website explains what Vision Zero is, and says the hardest part for cities is making the long-term commitment necessary to make it work.

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KCBS-2 reports that relatives of Agustin Rodriguez, the bike rider killed in a hit-and-run in Whittier Monday morning, call on the driver to turn herself in while describing her as a monster who murdered the father of three.

Considering that she dragged him the length of two football fields, they’re probably right. Anything less than a murder charge would be an abject failure of justice.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Orange County man was arrested for DUI on Sunday after crashing into a utility box in Placentia and attempting to run away.

Police quickly discovered that the driver, 52-year-old Derek Stacy Haskayne, was already on probation for a previous felony DUI conviction.

In fact, he’s had eight DUI convictions since 2011.

Read that again. Eight DUI convictions — not just arrests — in the last six years. And yet he somehow still manages to remain behind the wheel, placing every other human being on the roads at risk.

We can talk all we want about Vision Zero. But as long as people like this are allowed own, buy, rent or borrow a motor vehicle of any kind, innocent people will continue to die.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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The route was announced for this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California, as well as the separate but unequal four-stage Breakaway from Heart Disease women’s race. The last three stages will be set in SoCal, including a Mt. Baldy finish in stage 5, a Big Bear time trial, and a Pasadena finish for the final stage, while the women won’t get any closer than Sacramento.

Deadspin says if motor doping exists, the 60 Minutes report didn’t prove it. Of course it exists; the only question is whether it’s actually being used in the pro peloton.

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Local

A bike rider was one of three victims stabbed in an apparent random attack on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood before police shot the attacker inside a Jack in the Box.

A bike-riding homeless man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the unprovoked fatal stabbing of a AAA tow truck driver in Pico Rivera last year.

Los Angeles now has the largest bicycle paramedic corps in the US, allowing rescuers to quickly navigate crowded streets and sidewalks.

The East Side Riders Bike Club and Los Ryderz BC invite you to join them for the annual Ride for Love on February 12th.

Actress Bella Thorne is one of us, going for a beachfront bike ride in Santa Monica.

The former Governator goes for a bike ride in Venice after calling out Trump for making the US look stupid.

LA Downtown News looks at former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali and his uphill battle to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st Council District.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with BikeSD founder Sam Olinger, who’s helping to reshape San Diego into one of California’s safest city’s for bicyclists.

Bad enough an Escondido man got carjacked at knifepoint; they also got away with his bike.

Hop on your bike later this month for a tour of the doors of Palm Springs.

Santa Cruz police bust five bike thieves using a bait bike.

It looks like Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic will be around for awhile, after inking a contract extension with the Laguna Seca racetrack for the next 15 years.

A San Jose columnist defends a local road diet, calling it a proven safety measure even if some people don’t like it. Speaking of which, Streetsblog reports on Oakland’s successful Telegraph Avenue road diet, which cut all crashes by 40%.

 

National

A new study shows that physically active children are less likely to be depressed, just like teens and adults. Which is as good a reason as any to get them started riding a bicycle as early as possible.

Bicycling offers beginners tips on how to ride every day, and why you should.

Women’s Day tells drivers to use the Dutch Reach, aka opening a car door with your right hand to avoid dooring bicyclists.

The Denver Post calls on the state to pass the proposed Idaho Stop Law, while noting it’s probably a bill before its time. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman isn’t sure about the proposed law after she was seriously injured by a red light-running bike rider. Even though running a red light would remain illegal; the law would require riders to come to a full stop, then proceed only when it was safe to do so.

Nebraska introduces a new bike-themed license plate.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where killing a bike rider taking part in the state’s annual RAGBRAI ride only merits a misdemeanor charge.

A Houston writer looks at her great uncle’s bike tour of Europe in 1939, culminating in a photo of the Fuhrer as the continent geared up for war.

 

International

Once again, the bike rider wins in a race across a city, this time in London where a cyclist beat someone traveling by the tube by 17 minutes. Apparently driving was so hopeless it wasn’t even worth trying.

Kindhearted UK cops pitch in to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, not once, but twice as he travelled to see his sister at a children’s hospital.

A British writer says, contrary to what the country’s transportation secretary says, cyclists are not part of the problem.

A Brit driver faces charges for driving onto a pathway to run down a bike rider after hearing rumors the man may have been the one who stole his bike.

A British government inquiry hears that London’s bicyclists are being failed by the justice system, and vows to investigate the problem. Chances of that ever happening with the US Congress are somewhere south of zero.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver is fined the equivalent of just $471, after claiming he had no idea he hit a bike rider because his music was too loud. Or maybe he just turned it up so he couldn’t hear the screams of his victims.

Riding a bike in Johannesburg can be a matter of life and death — not from distracted drivers, but because of armed bikejackers.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. You should have a flasher on your bike, not be one. Actually, the biggest mistake you’re making at SoulCycle is not getting outside on a real bicycle.

And what’s next, mandatory ladder helmet laws?

 

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