Tag Archive for Vision Zero

Morning Links: Murder charge for OC hit-and-run, justice for Woon finally coming, and keep fighting Vision Zero

Once again, Orange County takes traffic crime seriously.

Garden Grove resident Victor Manuel Romero faces a single count of murder for the hit-and-run death of homeless bike rider Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach last weekend.

He’s being held on $1 million bond. Which either reflects the seriousness of the charge, or the depth of his bank account.

No word on whether he will also be charged with driving under the influence and hit-and-run. Although they may be waiting for toxicology tests to come back before deciding on DUI charges.

However, the seriousness of the charge suggests they suspect DUI this may not be his first offense; a DUI conviction in California requires signing a letter stating that killing someone while under the the influence can result in being charged with murder. Which presumably is what happened here.

Or it could just be that they’re finally starting to get it.

Meanwhile, MacDonald’s mother left a heartbreaking comment on this site, including the news that he was killed just hours after celebrating his birthday with her.

………

No official word yet, but the advocacy group Justice for Woon has revealed that charges will finally be filed against 23-year old Mariah Kandise Banks for the hit-and-run death of Frederick “Woon” Frazier.

Frazier was fatally run down as he rode his bike at Manchester and Normandie in South LA nearly a year ago.

Banks reportedly turned herself in last May as investigators were closing in, despite allegedly repainting her formerly white Porsche Cayenne to hide evidence of the crime.

Authorities may be waiting until the one-year anniversary of Frazier’s death on Wednesday to announce the charges.

Or they may be trying to go under the radar after last June’s farce, when charges against Banks were announced with great fanfare, then quietly withdrawn with no further word.

Read more from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

Just a day after we linked to a knee-jerk, anti-Vision Zero comment, we saw the real cost of that kind of attitude.

Two girls were run down by the driver of a big rig gravel truck as they were walking in a crosswalk with the light, on their way to school near Exposition Park.

The driver swears he never saw them as he was turning, even though they were directly in front of him. And kept driving until another driver flagged him down to say he was dragging them beneath his truck.

Now one of the girls, a 14-year old student at Clinton Middle School, has died, while her 12-year old sister clings to life.

But sure.

Let’s all keep dragging our feet on Vision Zero. And all you NIMBY traffic safety-denying drivers keep on fighting it, because a few moments of inconvenience is certainly more important than a human life.

And no need to redesign trucks to provide a 180 degree view from behind the wheel, so drivers could actually see what’s in the road directly in front of them. Or require sideguards so innocent bike riders and pedestrians don’t get dragged underneath them.

Seriously, it’s just a couple of kids.

No big deal, right?

Right?

………

If you’re looking for somewhere to ride on Saturday, you could do a lot worse than stopping for the spring Corgi Beach Day in Huntington Beach.

………

Local

Authorities can’t prove the injuries a drunk driver suffered were the result of an alleged beating by sheriff’s deputies — including one who was just reinstated after being fired for the incident — because the driver admitted head-butting a bicyclist just before he was stopped.

A writer for the Daily Breeze says after 34 years bicycling up and down the coast, he’s ready for his ‘bent phase. After his ElliptiGo phase, that is.

An Aussie writer takes advantage of a layover at LAX to go mountain biking in Topanga Canyon.

Despite the panicked reported from ER physicians, a study commissioned by Santa Monica-based Bird shows similar injury rates for e-scooters and bicycles.

Santa Clarita wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

State

Bike riders call for a protected bike lane on 30th Street in San Diego’s North Park, calling it a test of the city’s commitment to climate action.

The local community is rallying around the family of an 11-year old Fontana boy after he was killed when he touched wheels with another kid’s bike while riding around his apartment complex last weekend.

The Southern California Chapter of the Police Unity Tour will make a stop at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Sunday’s ride to honor Sgt. Ronald Helus, who was killed in the shooting, as well as the other 144 police officers who died in the line of duty in last year.

A 36-year old Morgan Hill man was shot in the leg while he was riding his bike Wednesday night.

A Streetsblog op-ed says 20 should be plenty under San Francisco’s Vision Zero plan.

More bike lanes are coming to San Jose, even if that means — gasp! — removing parking spaces.

Sad news from Stanislaus County, where a bike rider was killed in a crash yesterday morning; the driver faces charges for manslaughter and DUI.

National

Consumer Reports wants to know why traffic deaths remain so high when safety tech has made so many advances. Simple answer: Too many badly designed roads, too high speeds, and too many fallible human beings behind the wheel.

Curbed says open street festivals can help cities practice for congestion pricing by showing residents there are other ways to get around without driving.

Outside suggests that maybe a roof rack isn’t the best way to haul your bike.

People for Bikes has released their third annual Participation Survey, showing one-third of all Americans ride bikes, but half of adult Americans don’t even own a working bike.

The former police chief of Kauai, Hawaii is still recovering two months after he was seriously injured in a collision while participating in a time trial.

A Seattle website examines the reasoning behind the city’s recent retreat on proposed bike lanes.

They get it. A paper in Grand Junction CO tells drivers that with or without sharrows, bike riders have a right to be in the roadway, and we all have a right to feel safe. Let’s hope they pay attention, because my brother lives and rides there now.

A bike boulevard in Lawrence KS — actually, just an intersection — lasted just two weeks before officials scrubbed it off the streets when people complained.

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a drunk driver walked with just probation after killing a bike rider in a crash. Naturally, her lawyer blamed the victim, and claimed his client wasn’t really drunk at the time of the crash because the booze hadn’t hit her yet.

A Chicago weekly wonders what can be done about those damn scofflaw cyclists.

Neighbors of an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago are still keeping his bicycle for him.

Presidential candidate and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is one of us, after going on epic bike rides through the state with her newspaper reporter dad.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Ohio man is still riding at 92, though he recently switched from two wheels to a three-wheeled recumbent.

He’s got a point. A long-time New Orleans bicyclist says the No. 1 rule for riding in traffic is to ride with traffic. And the No. 2 rule is never ride against traffic.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Florida cop is off the hook for killing a 15-year old boy as he was crossing the street because speeding — even at a whopping 21 mph over the limit — isn’t enough to justify a manslaughter charge under Florida law.

International

Forget helmets. Now you need a wearable inflatable air bag.

A couple of Vancouver cops could face criminal charges after the bike rider they were tailing in an unmarked car suffered serious injuries falling off his bike.

Repeat after me — This is Saskatoon, not Amsterdam.

A writer for Forbes says Chinese dockless bikeshare has descended into a horrible game of chicken.

Finally…

Look at the new ebike Look. Nothing like listening to a bike-riding brass band.

And this is how Peter Sagan trains.

No, seriously, I want those little toy cyclists.

Morning Links: LA traffic deaths going the wrong way, chaos on the streets of LA, and birth of a Long Beach bike lane

Looks like LA’s Vision Zero efforts could use a little more vision.

Or maybe a lot more effort.

According to Curbed, at least 240 people were killed in traffic collisions last year — 57 more than 2015, when Mayor Eric Garcetti called for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths by 2017.

So much for that.

An executive directive issued by the mayor at that time called for a 20 percent reduction in deaths by 2017, with an emphasis on preventing “pedestrian fatalities involving older adults and children.” Traffic deaths rose 38 percent in 2016 and have fallen just 5 percent since then.

The transportation department’s initial count, which does not yet include the final two days of the year, also indicates that 127 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2018. That’s down slightly from the 135 pedestrian deaths recorded in 2017, but it’s the second-highest total in the last 15 years.

And nearly as many bike riders were killed in the City of Angels last year — 21 — as all the traffic deaths of any kind in San Francisco, where they actually take Vision Zero seriously.

The mayor’s office argues, contrary to the widespread perception that little or nothing has been done to implement Vision Zero, that the city has made over 1,000 safety improvements over the past three years.

Which works out to just 333 a year.

But even if we accept that total, 1,000 improvements in a city the size of Los Angeles makes a drop in the bucket look like a tidal wave.

And those improvements have represented a form of timid incrementalism. None have been the kind of bold, wholesale changes the city would need to meet that failed 2017 reduction of just 20%.

Let alone put the city on the road to actually eliminating traffic deaths by 2025.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

But still, it’s cute the city still pretends that zero traffic deaths by 2025 is possible, as if closing our eyes, crossing our fingers and wishing really hard will make it happen.

Actually ending traffic deaths will takes major changes to the streets to slow traffic, encourage active transportation and get people out of their cars.

Let alone the political courage to actually make it happen.

One other quick note on the piece.

I’m told new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman was quoted accurately in the piece, but misspoke.

Kaufman says building community support for road diets and other measures will take time, though he argues that making the city safer is about more than individual projects.

“Infrastructure doesn’t save lives; culture does,” he says, arguing that it’s important for people to consider the safety of others when moving around the city.

What he really meant to say, my sources tell me, was that infrastructure alone doesn’t save lives.

As the story notes, both Kaufman and the LACBC both remain firmly in the pro-infrastructure camp.

But he’s right.

If Vision Zero is ever going to have a significant impact in this city — let alone actually end traffic deaths — we have to change the culture that cars are king on the streets of Los Angeles.

And everyone else needs to get the hell out of the way.

Photo by Clifford Phillips.

………

A Canadian writer offers a somewhat happier perspective on LA traffic.

…Forget the “war on the car.” In Los Angeles, every conceivable form of transportation is competing against the other.

It’s chaotic. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. It’s brilliant. It is, in short, California.

Works for me.

………

Long Beach captures the birth of a bike lane.

Thanks to USC Cycling for the heads-up.

………

Local

Curbed offers what they term the ultimate guide to Dodgers Stadium, including advice to ditch the car and ride a bike.

Bicyclists confront the Pasadena city council, blaming the city manager for reconfiguring the long-time Rose Bowl loop and the injuries one rider suffered as a result.

Speaking of Pasadena, KCBS-2 lists the Rose City’s four best bike shops.

State

The 20th anniversary Sharon’s Ride rolls around San Diego’s Mission Bay this Sunday to raise funds for the Epilepsy Foundation.

An Indian Wells bicyclist is in critical condition after reportedly crashing into the rear of a stationary minivan; no word on how or why the crash happened. Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

Berkeley struggles to match its neighbor across the bay, as San Francisco moves forward with Vision Zero. Although San Francisco isn’t getting it exactly right, either.

Evidently, the local homeowner’s association isn’t a fan of the handmade bike jump track built by a 12-year old Danville boy.

A Sacramento pedestrian suffered major injuries in a crash with a rider on a motorized bicycle.

Los Angeles NIMBYs could take lessons from a Sacramento preservation group, which somehow opposes removing abandoned railroad tracks and a burned-out bridge to install a five mile bike path.

Vacaville police use Facebook to reunite a two-year old with her lost tricycle.

National

Outside looks at the best bike shops in the US. But can’t seem to find one in Southern California.

Peloton pinkie swears not to use any more songs without permission.

Your next tube could be lighter, stronger — and butyl.

An Oregon bill would make it clear that bike lanes continue through an intersection, whether or not it’s actually painted.

Seattle chooses parking over safety, rejecting long planned bike lanes on a dangerous street; a local TV station looks at the bitter politics of bike lanes and parking. That last story could run in just about any US city, including Los Angeles. Okay, especially Los Angeles.

A local radio station says despite being named America’s best bike city, Seattle will never be a bicycling city, because of too any hills and too much rain.

Spokane shows an uncommon degree of common sense, suspending the city’s bike helmet requirement for dockless bikeshare and e-scooter users, since few people walk around with helmets 24/7.

Utah legalizes lane filtering for motorcyclists, allowing riders to split lanes when traffic is stopped on roads with a speed limit of 45 mph or less. The story doesn’t mention whether that would extend to people on bicycles.

A Denver woman expands a popular bike and coffee shop into the space next door to open a tandem bike-themed bar.

A Colorado op-ed suggests when you’re the mayor, you can get away with hitting a bike rider after an illegal U-turn. Especially if the victim is homeless. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa woman will spend the next five years behind bars for intentionally ramming her car into a woman riding a bicycle, then getting out of her car and repeatedly punching her; she accused the woman of sleeping with her baby daddy.

Scary story from Texas, where a woman nearly lost a finger when the chain came off her ebike, and engine engaged while she was trying to put it back on; fortunately, a Good Samaritan came to her aid.

Baltimore prepares to approve new rules for dockless e-scooters, after removing a provision that called for jail time for rule breakers.

A kindhearted stranger reached out to buy a new bike for a mobility-challenged Louisiana man after his was stolen. But what will he do with it now that police have recovered his original bike from a scrap yard?

International

A new Canadian study confirms what we’ve already seen — people who live close to high-quality bike and pedestrian infrastructure are more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity, and to be in better health.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, riding through London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.

A British bicyclist is planning to ride 3,300 miles across the US to raise funds and awareness for the Diana Award, after bonding with Princes Harry and Andrew when he lost his own mother in a car crash at 17.

Unlike most cities, Paris actually does something about bike theft, installing a series of locked shelters throughout the city.

Competitive Cycling

Disturbing story from a British Paralympian who endured years of vulva pain and swelling from rubbing against poorly designed saddles when she rides.

An Argentine cyclist faces a four year ban for being just the latest to get busted for doping with EPO. Seriously, if the era of doping over, why do so many dopers keep getting caught?

Finally…

Even the Car Talk guys hated cars. Bikes hardly ever burst into flames, though ebike batteries are changing that.

And your next Colnago could run on batteries.

But hopefully, not burst into flames.

Morning Links: Help fund prize money for women cyclists, no Redhook Crit, and getting Vision Zero wrong

The USC Cycling Team needs your help to do the right thing.

The cycling team is hosting its first bike race in six years, and wants to offer equal prize money to both men and women.

Which is the way every race should be run. But usually isn’t.

As a result, they need your help to crowdfund just $1,500 to make up the difference in purses mandated by the sport’s arcane rules.

Here’s how they explain it.

Why are the women paid less? That is an existential question plaguing professional cycling, and it trickles down to amateur and collegiate cycling. There are fewer female riders, fewer female teams and promoters are less likely to provide big money for a race that can potentially only draw 12 women. At most races, if the number of registrants surpasses a given threshold, then the prize money doubles. This is how we first modeled our prize structure.

However, this traditional model misses the point. If women knew that equal prize money were up for grabs, teams would show up in full force.  But many racers, both men and women, often wait until the week before a race to register, especially if they are local and don’t have to plan travel. So, women are checking the registration page in the days leading up to a race, weighing the costs of registering against the possibility of their winnings. Field-contingent prize money holds many back from registering.

The event takes place the first weekend in March, with the Rosena Ranch Circuit Race for collegiate cycling teams on Saturday, March 2nd, and the first ever USC Brackett Grand Prix on Sunday the 3rd.

As of this writing, they’ve raised $271 of the modest $1,500 goal, leaving a gap of just over $1,200.

Which we should be able to help them raise without breaking a sweat. Or maybe someone with slightly deeper pockets would like to sponsor the women’s races.

Because frankly, they race just as hard as the men do.

And deserve every bit as much.

Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would require sporting events that take place on state-owned land to provide equal prize money for men and women.

About damn time.

………

You can cancel those plans for New York this year.

In a surprising announcement, the Red Hook Criterium has been cancelled for 2019 due to rising costs and insufficient sponsorship funding.

Organizers promise the popular fixed-gear race will be back next year after they reorganize.

Although past experience tells us not to hold our breath, as races that are cancelled over funding too often don’t come back.

Let’s hope that’s not the case this time.

………

Huh?

An Alexandria, Virginia woman says Vision Zero isn’t working in the US because people are choosing cars over public transportation.

Which has little, if anything, to do with reducing traffic deaths.

She cites as proof the factually incorrect, traffic safety-denying Wall Street Journal op-ed recently penned by a Los Angeles lawyer.

And dissected and discredited right here.

Meanwhile, the recent spate of op-eds and letters to the editor on the subject is starting to raise questions over whether this is concerted effort to spread misinformation about Vision Zero and road diets across the US.

And we can probably guess who’s behind it.

………

Local

Watts-based Grammy award winning rapper Jay Rock is one of us, saying he was supposed to perform on the awards show three years ago, but couldn’t because he was laid up in the hospital following a bike crash.

Long Beach says e-scooters are here to stay, as they decide to expand the pilot program while imposing new fees and regulations on scooter companies.

State

The Voice of San Diego says the city can’t meet its state transportation goals without an entirely new vision dictating major changes in transportation. The same goes for Los Angeles, which will have to make wholesale changes in how people get around as part of its LA version of a Green New Deal. But don’t count on it anytime soon.

That’s more like it. Encinitas voted to lower the speed limit on the northern section of the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders.

A 32-mile Santa Cruz rail-to-trail conversion that’s been in the works for decades finally got underway with work to widen a railway trestle to make room for a bikeway.

The victim of Sunday’s fatal bike crash in Stockton is described as a talented sushi chef who was riding his bike to work after loaning his car to a friend with a new baby; sadly, he never got there.

National

We already knew NASCAR favorite Jimmie Johnson is one of us, as he says he loves the suffering that’s part of long runs and bike rides.

Bicycling tells the heartbreaking tale of a woman who lost her fiancé when he was killed in 2015 competing in just his fifth mountain bike race. And restarted her life by moving to the Colorado town where he died, founding a company to help first responders deal with backcountry bike crashes like the one that took his life.

Riding a tandem can make your riding and your relationship stronger. Or it could end it. Or so I’m told.

More ridiculous jurisdictional issues in Colorado, where the state brings ebike classifications up to the national standards established in California, but leaves the actual regulations up to each community. Which one again means what’s legal in one city could be illegal across the street — without riders ever knowing that they had crossed into a different community, let alone one with different rules.

Common sense wins the day in North Dakota, where legislators overwhelmingly defeated a bill to require bike riders to wear reflective clothing at night. Not that wearing reflective gear is a bad idea, but mandating it is.

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists shows Oklahoma City is the deadliest city in the US for bike commuters.

Lime continues its retrenchment on bikeshare, turning what used to be a fleet of dockless bike into a pile of trash after pulling out of St. Louis.

A Michigan man confessed to the 70 mph, hit-and-run death of a bike rider, after police found his damaged car hidden in a field under a tarp and a sheet of snow.

Nashville is close to approving an ordinance that would lower speed limits from 30 to 25 mph.

A federal judge ruled that Trump’s call to execute the driver who killed eight people in a terrorist attack on a New York bike path did not taint the case, leaving the driver eligible for the death penalty.

DC considers building a three mile bike and pedestrian path along the Potomac.

A DC policy site considers how bikeshare can be made more family friendly.

International

The LA Times says love is in the air when you ride a bicycle in Santiago, Chile.

Canadian Cycling Magazine considers the pros and cons of traveling with your bike as opposed to renting one once you get there.

Nice guy. A Toronto letter writer says if you can afford a bicycle, you can afford to buy a license for it. And if you can’t, you can just walk.

Advocates call for more tolerance between Kiwi bicyclists and drivers; one rider says “just chill out and relax.”

The former world leader in dockless bikeshare continues its rapid decline, as Ofo gets the boot from Singapore after its license was suspended.

Competitive Cycling

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay joins in on a fat tire race through the snowy Rockies in Crested Butte CO, complete with a brief video. As always, the Journal’s usual paywall issues apply.

A top Scottish mountain biker was none too pleased when she had to borrow a bike to compete in Spain, blasting British Airways for losing hers.

Cycling Weekly looks back at the rollercoaster career of the late, great Marco Pantani.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won’t be prosecuted on corruption charges by Belgian authorities — not because he didn’t do it, but because the statute of limitations has expired.

Finally…

Finding true love, if not your stolen bikes. Your next ebike could come from General Motors — but only if you live in Europe.

And your next dockless bikeshare bike could have lasers.

But not the kind that will let you singe distracted, angry or aggressive drivers.

Damn it.

Morning Links: Mad as hell drivers and they’re not going to take it anymore, and BOLO Alert for CA bike thief

Talk about not getting it.

A self-described “avid cyclist” — and, ahem, president and CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association — just doesn’t get why the automobile has become a public enemy, arguing that a fundamentally American freedom is under attack.

You know, the freedom for drivers to spew smog into the air with your gas guzzling SUV, which is right up there with freedom of speech or religion.

Except virtually every argument he makes for why the state shouldn’t adopt California’s clean air standard works against him.

Maybe he’s never tried to breath Denver’s air during one of the city’s frequent winter temperature inversions. Let alone heard of climate change.

Then there’s this tired old myth.

Meanwhile, some cities have put their drivers on forced road diets. They are reducing lanes available to drivers on key arterial streets.

Part of the motivation is to increase bicycle and bus lanes. But again, this gift comes at a cost to drivers. The goal is to discourage driving by intentionally reducing capacity and creating traffic congestion by design. Backers say it’s more “people friendly” — at least for people who don’t need to drive.

The bottom line is they want to force more residents to use alternative transportation by making driving as unpleasant as possible.

Because those road diets couldn’t possibly be about slowing traffic and keeping those people in cars alive long enough to get back home.

Or reducing congestion so that people who need to drive, or simply choose to, can actually get where they’re going in a timely manner.

But maybe that’s what happens when you only see the world through the perspective of your own windshield while driving your bike hundreds of miles to that distant trailhead.

Not to mention when your own bank account depends on convincing other people to buy those bigass trucks and SUVs.

But hey, no bias there.

Right?

………

Then again, he’s not the only one.

A writer for a motorists’ website devoted to maintaining automobiles über alles says recreational roadies are okay, but those urban bike advocates are just Vision Zero zealots dedicated to forcing poor, innocent drivers like himself off the roads. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

And credit Peter Flax with uncovering gem from a guy who’s not going to let the sick tyranny of a small minority of anti-car extremists push him onto disease-filled public transit.

No, really.

………

Bike thief BOLO alert.

Fresno police are urging you to be on the lookout for 32-year old alleged bike thief Marlon Markham, who is wanted for buying bicycles with fraudulent credit cards under a variety of names throughout California.

He then reportedly sells the bikes online.

In addition to the Central Valley, he’s struck in the Bay Area, and in Burbank and Huntington Beach in SoCal.

Photo from Bicycle Retailer

………

Local

Metro Bike begins what so far is a very limited expansion into Koreatown.

State

Friends and family members gathered at the ghost bike for fallen Aliso Viejo bike rider Michael David Tomlinson for a candlelight vigil and to remember him, nearly a week after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Over 40 military veterans took part in the annual Soldier Ride in Del Mar over the weekend, sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Project.

Berkeley plans a Complete Streets makeover of a popular bicycling route to support and grow the city’s 8.5% bike rate. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Streetsblog notes that Oakland has finally gotten it right on protecting bike riders in a construction zone. On one block, anyway.

A Richmond paper examines how the city’s Rich City Rides co-op helps transform lives one bike at a time — exemplified by a 15-year old homeless boy who searches the city for kids without bikes to help them earn one.

Once again, an independent student newspaper at UC Davis mistakenly thinks that violence against bike riders is funny, publishing what they believe passes for satire about someone kicking bikeshare riders off their ebikes.

A Davis judge rules that a bike seat can be a deadly weapon, after a father and son were attacked by a man who threw his bike at them after removing the seat, then used the seat as weapon.

National

Singletracks offers tips on how to reduce your risk of injuries from mountain bike crashes. The most effective way is just don’t ride mountain bikes, but that kind of defeats the purpose.

City Lab says the micromobility gold rush is just beginning.

In a move that really shouldn’t surprise anyone, Utah’s legislature hit the brakes on a proposal to legalize the Idaho Stop in the state.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, an allegedly drunk San Antonio hit-and-run driver had a prior arrest for driving while intoxicated, but with no record of a trial or guilty plea; her victim was a local surgeon. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the tip.

A 72-year old Wisconsin driver faces a vehicular homicide charge for the death of a bike-riding pediatrician, claiming he couldn’t brake in time to prevent the crash — even though he rear-ended the victim while driving half off the road.

Someone should tell Bowling Green, Ohio that sharrows aren’t Complete Streets.

Two years later, Pittsburgh bike riders and pedestrians still feel safer sharing the road with self-driving vehicles than with human drivers, whether or not they’ve actually encountered one.

Bikeshare continues its spread across the US, as Portland — no, the one in Maine — moves towards establishing their own system.

DC moves to protect pedestrians and bicyclists by banning right turns on red lights at 100 intersections.

A University of Florida study shows that Strava really can be used to help city planners design better bikeways.

International

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to avoid back and shoulder pain caused by riding a bike.

Seriously? A Canadian judge acquits a truck driver, saying sure, he had to have seen the bike rider he killed before he right hooked her, but that doesn’t mean he actually, you know, noticed her. Oh, and that failure to signal or wait for the green turn arrow? No biggie.

Calgary’s winter bicyclists get new bike racks that are part bike parking, part public art. I’ll settle for anything that actually keeps my bike safe. Like maybe a fully operational tank.

A Hamilton, Ontario columnist misses the point, saying you can’t redesign roads to get rid of reflexive carelessness or stupidity. Even though that’s exactly the idea behind Vision Zero, to engineer roads so careless mistakes don’t lead to needless tragedies.

Life is cheap in Canada, where a careless driver who killed one bike rider and injured two others walks with a lousy $1,800 fine.

A British 14-time Paralympic gold medallist gets it, saying build bike lanes that are fit for everyone, and not just the brave.

The family of a fallen UK bike rider complain about the six-year sentence given to the driver who killed her while “extremely drunk” and high on coke.

An Irish driver will face charges for plowing into a club ride in 2017, killing one rider and critically injuring another.

Kiwi bicyclists complained about over 100 close passes by bus drivers last year. Although it’s not so easy to complain about getting knocked over when you can’t find out what bus company did it.

The Philippine legislature is considering the equivalent of a nearly five-foot passing law, with penalties starting at $95 for the first offense, and increasing with each additional violation.

Speaking of the Philippines, is anyone really in the mood to bike the full route of the infamous Bataan Death March? Didn’t think so.

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers their thoughts on the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, saying the men’s side will come down to Peter Sagan versus Fernando Gaviria, while the women will face their first hors categorie climb with the Mt. Baldy finish.

Former world champion mountain biker Hans Rey has helped provide more than 11,000 free bicycles to people in 30 countries through his Wheels4Life charity.

Finally…

Try taking your bike off the roof rack before going through a drive-thru next time. Sure, he may be an armed robber — and a Chargers fan — but anyone who makes his getaway by bike can’t be all bad.

And the SaMo PD posse was in full pursuit of a stolen car.

Morning Links: Super Bowl biking, Malibu road closures, Triple Crown Rider dies, and surprise! they’re cops

Rumor has it there’s a football game this weekend.

Which makes Sunday the perfect time to ride, if you can avoid those SoCal raindrops and get back before the drunks hit the road.

Maybe even before they start their beer runs.

Or join the LACBC — maybe even literally — for a historic spin around San Fernando and Pacoima before the game starts. Update: The ride has been cancelled due to threat of rain.

You should be home in plenty of time for the kickoff. Or the first commercials, if that’s what you’re into.

And in honor of the Super Bowl, let’s take another look at what may be the most innocuous, ineffectual Vision Zero ad in human history.

No offense to the Rams punter, who did his best with a crappy script and a weak concept.

Maybe someday Los Angeles will actually take Vision Zero seriously, and come up with a hard-hitting message targeting the city’s entitled drivers.

We can dream, can’t we?

………

If you’re planning to take advantage of a break in the storms to ride PCH or any of the canyons in the ‘Bu this weekend, watch out for road closures, mud flows and boulders in the roadway.

………

Sad news from the Inland Empire, where Cerritos cyclist John Clare was killed in a hiking accident.

The well-loved Triple Crown Cyclist — honoring riders who complete three century rides in a calendar year — was hiking in the San Bernardino National Forest when he lost his footing on an ice chute and fell 500 feet down a ravine.

A crowdfunding campaign to benefit his family has raised over $4,400, exceeding the $2,500 goal in just two days.

Thanks to Bill Clare (no relation) for the heads-up.

………

Sometimes it takes awhile to get to the punchline.

All week we’ve talking about the Aussie man who illegally drove on a bike path to scream abuse at the two bicyclists riding legally on the parallel roadway.

Today, we learned that the bike riders were off-duty cops.

Oops.

………

UC San Diego is celebrating the opening of a new bridge over I-5 linking the two sides of the campus, with sidewalks and bike lanes to cut commute times and improve safety for non-driving students and faculty.

Click here to RSVP.

Correction: I initially wrote San Diego State University when I meant UC San Diego. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip, and Charles for the correction.

………

OC bike lawyer Ed Rubinstein offers a correction to yesterday’s item saying you have two years to file a lawsuit if you’re injured in a crash.

According to a comment from Rubinstein,

The comment about the deadline to file a civil suit in California after a crash is accurate, but dangerously incomplete. The deadline to file a personal injury or property loss against a private person or entity is correctly stated as 2 years. However in California if a public government entity is involved (I.e., state or local government and any public entity e.g. CALTRANS, CHP, a public school or university) you must first file a claim within only 6 months (California Tort Claims Act Gov’t Code 810-996.6). So if a cyclist is hit by a school bus, public transit bus or a police car, the deadline is 6 months to first file a claim. Also the 6 months claim requirement applies if the crash involves a dangerous road condition.

………

Local

The state’s Active Transportation Program has awarded a $35 million grant to provide safe routes to schools around eight Los Angeles schools, as well as improving routes for seniors in five LA neighborhoods.

Los Angeles expects to receive $46 million in funding to convert 2.8-miles of Manchester Ave and Broadway in South Los Angeles into Complete Streets to improve safety and revitalize a blighted area.

A bike rider is lucky to be alive, after firefighters rescued him as he clung to a branch with his bike in the rain-swollen LA River near Griffith Park yesterday.

KCRW asks if car-loving Angelenos will say yes to congestion pricing.

Streetsblog reports that two new Metro Bike docking stations have been installed in Koreatown.

Downey officials celebrate the city’s new docked bikeshare system, available through the Zagster app at the Apple App Store, as well as Google Play.

State

Orange County plans to reduce the hazards on Hazard Ave by installing a parking-protected bike lane on a four-mile stretch of the street connecting Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster.

A pair of OC ebike shops are struggling to survive Trump’s tariffs imposed in his trade war with China.

The Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help prepare for its Operation Ride for the Red fundraiser in Ventura County this May. They’re also looking for participants.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole five custom-made motorized bicycles from a Bakersfield veteran’s garage after he died last week.

Caught on video. It takes a real schmuck to break in and steal a bicycle from a Stockton church-based co-op that repairs bicycles for the poor and gives free bikes to people in need.

Sacramento police busted a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 12-year old girl on a bicycle while driving with a suspended license; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

National

The erstwhile Captain Kirk — or TJ Hooker, if you prefer — talks to Ad Age about his new Pedego commercial and love of ebikes. While he was riding one, no less.

The alleged drunk driver who killed two Honolulu pedestrians and a bike rider, and injured four other people, faces up to 60 years behind bars on three counts of vehicular manslaughter; he’s being held on $1 million bond.

Utah moves closer to adopting the Idaho Stop Law, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and proceed through red lights after coming to a full stop — but only when there’s no conflicting traffic.

A Denver man explains why he commutes by bikeshare, instead of driving. Or owning a bicycle.

Someone’s been breaking into Chicago bike shops, and making their getaway on the bikes they steal.

An Illinois man will serve 59 years for the drive-by shooting that killed a 27-year old bike rider, with no chance of parole.

Yes, you can go Viking Biking in a polar vortex, even when it’s -20° Minneapolis.

Life is really cheap in Maine, where a driver walks with just a $1,000 fine and three-month license suspension for killing a respected doctor as she was riding her bike. He played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he couldn’t see her because the sun was in his eyes.

A new zero-waste Brooklyn grocery startup will deliver your order by bicycle, and pick up the reusable packaging when they deliver your next order.

Three Good Samaritans were honored for saving a man’s life when he suffered a heart attack during a New York state bike race.

Some people can’t see the highway for the cars. Somehow, motor vehicles are allowed in a Virginia wildlife sanctuary, but county officials think bicycles would have too great an impact on the environment.

International

Life is cheap in the UK, too. The allegedly distracted driver who killed the mother of bike advocate and former pro cyclist Chris Boardman got off with just 30 weeks behind bars and an 18-month ban on driving.

Police in a British town release a short video showing “anti-social cycling” by young bike riders.

Helsinki plans to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians by building a tunnel under a railway station for the equivalent of $26 million.

It will now cost Dutch bicyclists the equivalent of $110 if they’re caught using a cellphone while riding.

The Indian state of Goa rewards traffic vigilantes for informing police about scofflaw drivers. Can we do that here? Goa also has the best Indian food. Just saying.

Iraq, maybe. But you might not want to add North Korea to your bike bucket list yet.

A Kiwi columnist calls bicyclists the road users we all love to hate. But redeems herself by noting that every bike is one less car, and calling for improving safety for people on two wheels.

Competitive Cycling

Today’s racing news is all about the Amgen Tour of California.

Almost, anyway.

The full route for this year’s race was released yesterday; officials describe the 773-mile route as the longest and most challenging yet. But once again, women get the scraps, with just three stages totaling 177 miles.

Both the men’s and women’s races will finish with a lap around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Meanwhile, you’ll get a chance to ride the race’s Mount Baldy stage when the annual L’Etape California by Le Tour de France before racers take the road.

In non-AToC news, the sexist prick clearly didn’t fall far from the tree. After Belgian pro Iljo Keisse walked with a small fine for rubbing his genitals against an Argentine waitress while posing for a photo, his father claims that she was partly responsible for being “very suggestive with her ass.” Note to clueless pricks: It doesn’t matter what the fuck a woman does — or what you think she does. No one has a right to touch another human being in a sexual manner without their consent. Period.

Finally…

At last, an e-Ducati you can take on MTB trails. Why pedal when you can use a sail?

And yes, he may have been texting while driving a car with expired plates, was already wanted for evading police, and drove off down a one-way street when a bike cop tried to pull him over.

But at least he said he was sorry as he drove off.

Vision Zero is not a fad — and it’s not making our streets more deadly

A traffic safety denying op-ed in the Wall Street Journal claims both. And couldn’t be more wrong.

………

No Morning Links today.

I had planned to take Martin Luther King Jr. Day off, and post some inspirational words to remind us all to treat everyone like our own brothers and sisters, especially in these turbulent times.

But I felt it was necessary to address an op-ed that was inexplicably published in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, without the apparent benefit of senior editors or fact checkers.

We’ll be back tomorrow with a massive four days worth of links to the latest bike news stories from over the weekend.

Today we’re going to discuss Vision Zero, road diets and traffic safety deniers.

Because sometimes, these people just piss me off.

………

Awhile back, I coined the term traffic safety deniers to describe people who reject the well-established science of traffic safety.

Just like climate change deniers reject the established science behind climate change, for no other reason than they choose not to believe it, or the experts in the field, evidence be damned.

Like lawyer and writer Christopher D. LeGras, who penned a virtually fact free, alternative universe op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, claiming that Vision Zero is nothing but a “road diet fad.” And that it’s having the opposite effect of what is intended, by somehow magically increasing the death toll on our streets.

Or I should say former lawyer, since he apparently gave up his membership in the bar to write full time, resulting in a collection of short fiction published by the small LA-based imprint Rare Bird Books.

Unfortunately, his op-ed reads like a work of fiction, as well.

He starts innocently enough, telling the tale of a 65-year old woman who broke her leg falling on the sidewalk in Mar Vista, suffering a compound fracture. And says it took the fire department paramedics ten minutes to get there, even though the station was just five blocks away.

But in which direction, he doesn’t say.

Yet somehow extrapolates that to blame the road diet on Venice Blvd — and every road diet everywhere else — and Vision Zero in general.

Los Angeles, like cities nationwide, is transforming its streets. In July 2017 the city installed a “road diet” on a 0.8-mile stretch of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, reducing four lanes to two and adding bike lanes separated from traffic by parking buffers. The project is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city by 2025. Launched in 2015, Vision Zero is the most radical transformation of how people move through Los Angeles since the dawn of the freeway era 75 years ago.

By almost any metric it’s been a disaster. Pedestrian deaths have nearly doubled, from 74 in 2015 to 135 in 2017, the last year for which data are available. After years of improvement, Los Angeles again has the world’s worst traffic, according to the transportation research firm Inrix. Miles of vehicles idling in gridlock have reduced air quality to 1980s levels.

Well, it ain’t necessarily so

Problem is, the road diet on Venice was part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets program. A community driven project that had been in the works since 2015, and had nothing to do with LA’s Vision Zero, which was only announced in August of the same year.

In fact, Vision Zero in Los Angeles was just vaporware until the Vision Zero Action Plan was released in January, 2017 — two years after community groups began work on a Complete Streets makeover of Venice Blvd, and the same year the Mar Vista Great Streets project was installed.

Never mind that the road diet on Venice reduced it from a massive six lanes to a more manageable four, to reduce crossing distances to improve safety for pedestrians and increase livability.

Not two lanes, as LeGras inexplicably claimed.

Then there’s the claim that pedestrian deaths spiked in 2017, two years after Mayor Garcetti announced the Vision Zero program.

But somehow, before any significant work had been done on Vision Zero, because the action plan, and the High Injury Network it’s based upon, weren’t even released until that year.

Not to mention that none of those pedestrians were killed on streets where Vision Zero improvements had already been installed. So rather than being the fault of Vision Zero in some vague, unidentified way, they can be blamed on the dangerous, deadly LA streets that Vision Zero is intended to fix.

Which is about like blaming the vet because your cat got pregnant after he fixed your dog.

And don’t get me started on LeGras’ laughable implication that Vision Zero is somehow responsible for LA’s worsening traffic and air pollution.

Traffic is bad on streets throughout the LA area, including the other 85 or so other cities in LA County that don’t have Vision Zero programs. Let alone on the streets that haven’t seen any Vision Zero improvements at all. Which is most of them.

Oddly, traffic also sucks on most, if not all, LA-area freeways, which have yet to see a single bike lane or road diet.

The reason LA traffic is getting worse is a population that’s growing by an estimated 50,000 a year, with most of the new arrivals bringing cars with them, or buying one as soon as they get here.

Along with countless kids who receive or buy a car as soon as they’re old enough to drive, resulting in four or five cars cramming the driveways of many family homes. When they’re not out helping to cram the streets.

Combine all that with a record number of miles driven in the US last year, as lower gas prices encouraged more people to drive more. Something that’s reflected in dropping ridership on LA Metro, as more people switch from buses and trains to private vehicles — adding to the traffic LeGras complains about.

And no, LA air quality is nowhere near 1980 levels.

Then again, he also seems to confuse normal traffic congestion with gridlock — defined as a situation in which drivers are unable to move in any direction.

If you can get through a traffic light in two or three cycles, or turn in any direction to get out of it, it ain’t gridlock.

It’s traffic.

By my count, that’s six false statements in just two paragraphs. Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there.

Nothing succeeds like the successes of Vision Zero

Like the next paragraph, where he somehow concludes that light rail lines have anything to do with Vision Zero. (Hint: they don’t.)

Or the following one, where he implies that Vision Zero projects in the Big Apple have failed to make significant improvements. Even though, after five years of Vision Zero, and countless road diets and other safety projects, New York traffic fatalities are at their lowest level since motor vehicles took over the streets. And pedestrian deaths are at their lowest level since 1910.

While bicycling fatalities have gone up in New York, that’s more reflective of a massive 150% increase in ridership as more people feel safer on the streets.

And rather than leading to increased traffic congestion, the changes have actually improved traffic flow.

While individual firefighters may complain that bike lanes delay response in emergencies, as LaGras claims, the facts don’t bear that out.

In fact, more fire departments are realizing that safety improvements on the streets reduce the need for dangerous emergency responses. Which means fewer people they have to scrape up off the streets and try to patch back together.

Meanwhile, more enlightened cities are deciding that is better to build fire engines that fit the streets, rather than widen streets to fit the fire engines.

The myth of the Foothill Blvd evacuation disaster

Then there’s this.

During the 2017 La Tuna Fire, the biggest in Los Angeles in half a century, a road diet on Foothill Boulevard the in Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood bottlenecked evacuations. After the fire a neighborhood association voted to go off the road diet. The city ignored the request and instead added another one to La Tuna Canyon Road.

That’s a myth that has been circulating in the anti-road diet, traffic safety denier community for some time.

While the road diet on Foothill has unfairly gotten the blame, the real problem stemmed from the closure of the 210 Freeway further up the road. Traffic backed up from that closure down to, and through, Foothill Blvd — not from Foothill back.

Officials never considered it a serious enough problem to remove the bollards protecting the bike lanes, or to introduce other emergency measures, including contraflow lanes, on Foothill.

I’m told that an engineer involved in the evacuations said that people on Foothill were never in danger. And fire officials said they had no problem getting through.

With or without a road diet, relying on private motor vehicles to evacuate any population center will always be problematic, as cars break down and run out of gas, and fallible human drivers try to squeeze in and turn around without sufficient space to do so.

LeGras is correct, however, that a road diet was implemented on deadly La Tuna Canyon, following the near fatal crash that left Keith Jackson in a coma for three weeks.

One of the few things he got right.

But rather than reducing road space, it merely reduced the amount of traffic lanes in places — leaving exactly the same amount of space available in the event of an emergency as there was before.

He closes this way,

It’s noble to want to make America’s streets as safe as they can be. But government officials shouldn’t impose projects on communities that don’t work, inconvenience residents, hurt businesses and impede emergency responders in the process.

Had he bothered to do the slighted bit of research, he might have discovered that most people like the Complete Streets that result from the implementation of road diets and bike lanes.

And that road diets and bike lanes have proven good for businesses across the US. And Canada, too.

Emergency response times tell the real tale

As for impeding emergency responders, let’s go back to that 65-year old Mar Vista woman with the broken leg.

A ten minute response time in any emergency should be unacceptable. But countless things can take place to delay emergency responders that have nothing to do with road diets.

It took far longer than that for paramedics to arrive when my father-in-law suffered a fatal heart attack. And that was in a residential neighborhood, in the afternoon, before Vision Zero and road diets were a gleam in Eric Garcetti’s eye.

Responders can be delayed by the same sort of traffic congestion you’ll find on any other major street in Los Angeles, with or without road diets or any other form of traffic calming or safety improvements.

Never mind motorists who don’t have the sense to pull to the right like the law requires. Which seems to be the majority of LA drivers these days.

But if there was a significant problem, it would show up in the fire department’s response times. Yet the average response for Mar Vista’s Station 62 is just four seconds slower than the average EMS response for the city as a whole.

Four seconds.

I sincerely hope Renee Khoury’s mother Rebecca recovers completely from her broken leg.

As for Mr. LeGras, it’s probably a good thing he’s not practicing law anymore, if he built his cases on such flimsy, easily disproven evidence.

But I do hope he continues to write.

Judging from this op-ed, he should have a fine future in fiction.

Thanks to Alissa Walker and Felicia G for their help in researching this piece.

Morning Links: Hollywood development plan released, and discrimination and LA’s deadly streets

The streets of Hollywood could look at lot different in the next 20 years.

If we can all manage to survive that long.

The city has released the new Hollywood Model Development Report conducted by consultants Fehr + Peers to plan for development in the Hollywood area by 2040, including streets and mobility.

They operated on the assumption that nothing can be done to mitigate Hollywood traffic congestion, so the focus was providing alternatives to driving.

Like riding bikes.

In fact, the study calls for a number of lane reductions to make room for bike lanes, protected and otherwise — including protected bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and Melrose Ave.

Along with bicycle friendly streets as part of the Neighborhood Enhanced Network proposed in the 2010 bike plan.

The bad news is, the plan is based on LA’s Mobility Plan 2035, which is already gathering dust on the shelf.

And predicated on the support of Hollywood councilmembers who haven’t been elected yet.

Then again, that could be a good thing, since the ones we have now appertains to be too risk averse to make the major changes necessary to provide alternatives to driving and improve safety on our streets.

Let alone confront the angry drivers who seem to be setting the city’s transportation policy these days.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the heads-up.

………

Great Twitter thread from LA Bike Dad looking at the long-lasting effects of racial discrimination in Los Angeles. And how it lines up perfectly with LA’s most dangerous streets.

It’s definitely worth a click to read the full thread.

And here’s what LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds had to say in response.

………

As long as we’re visiting Twitter, Pedal Love discovered what may be the best ever bicycle sidecar.

………

Marin Facebook users seem thrilled to see a group of bicyclists stopped and ticketed by sheriff’s deputies.

If you have a strong stomach, it’s worth the click just to read the comments. Like this, for instance.

Funny how people often want to ban bicycles from narrow roads because they think it’s too dangerous for bikes. But it never occurs to them to ban the cars that make them that way, instead.

Never mind people, like the woman below, who think bicycling is too dangerous because of all the dangerous drivers on the roads. And somehow continue to believe the myth that if they innocently hit a lawbreaking bicyclist, they’ll be held responsible.

Most of the time, no one is. And in the rare case when police blame someone, it’s usually the victim.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Now you can be the proud owner of a classic 1989 Eddy Merckx team bike made for the late, great 7-Eleven team for the low, low price of just $6,700 US.

As long as you promise to let me ride it.

………

Local

Candidates are lining up to fill the seat of CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, who is walking away from the district he was elected to serve. We’ll have to wait see which of the candidates support safer streets, if any.

LADOT has released the environmental study for the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvements project to extend the existing bike lanes on Winnetka Ave.

After the recent disastrous proposal for a road diet on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd, the city is giving it another shot with a proposal for a lane reduction, bike lanes and improved crosswalks on Cordova Street; a public meeting will be held to discuss it on Tuesday. Rose City NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it, so anyone who lives, rides or works in the area should turn out to voice your support.

State

An op-ed on a San Jose website says the mayor’s recent bike crash was no accident, but blames bad road design instead of the inattentive driver. Only the other hand, the mayor says any head defects he may have were a pre-existing condition.

San Francisco Streetsblog says no, bike commuting rates did not drop 19.9% in San Francisco, and 25.8% in Oakland, as reported in last week’s USA Today article.

Oakland plans to speed up repairs on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, a week after a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was dragged three blocks by a hit-and-run driver.

Washoe County is continuing to build bike paths in the Truckee Meadows, despite a drop in ridership.

National

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of us, after surgery to repair an undisclosed broken bone suffered in an undisclosed bicycling fall and/or crash. Evidently, it’s on a need to know basis. And apparently we don’t.

A bike industry writer says e-scooters don’t appear to threaten the bright future of ebikes.

An ebike maker is used as a model for how to successfully raise prices without losing customers after they get hit with a 25% tariff increase for parts imported from China.

A Utah law firm concludes that downtown Salt Lake City and Provo are the state’s most dangerous places to ride a bike.

A New Mexico State legislator is riding her bike 300 miles to the state capital for the new legislative session.

Who needs employee parking? A Colorado company gave all of its 85 employees new $1,300 ebikes.

A Colorado man put thirteen old kids bikes along his fence for anyone to take. Only to find others continually adding bicycles to the line to replace any that get taken.

A 73-year old Michigan man has now ridden his bike across all seven continents after finishing a leisurely ride across Antarctica.

An Ohio driver pled guilty to aggravated assault for a road rage attack on a man and his wife. But he did write a letter saying he was really, really sorry.

An Irish boxer goes head-over-heels after hitting the skids on the streets of New York.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly DC is going to get three new protected bike lanes in the next three years.

A Florida man is being held on $10,000 bail after he was busted for riding a gas-powered bicycle, despite a suspended license for DUI.

International

Treehugger says drivers should thank bicyclists for modern roads, instead of complaining about us.

Maybe a hot bath doesn’t burn as many calories as riding your bike, after all.

Life is cheap in Calgary, where a bike rider was charged for killing a 75-year old man as he walked in a crosswalk — except he was only charged with failure to stop at a red light. We can’t complain about killer drivers getting off with a slap on the wrist, and not hold deadly bicyclists to the same standard.

A Toronto op-ed calls the modest bicycle one of humanity’s great emancipators.

Police are looking for a British bike rider who smashed a driver over the head with his bike lock after a crash. Seriously, there’s no better way to go from victim to criminal than trying to retaliate against a driver. Or anyone else.

A 20-year old English college student has set a new record for the youngest person to bike across the world, riding 18,000-mile through 14 countries in 159 days.

Bike advocates in the UK accused the country’s Highway Code of victim blaming for tweeting that bike riders should wear helmets and “appropriate clothing for cycling,” rather than calling for safer streets and better driver education.

Britain has been ignoring their own government agency’s advice to prioritize active transportation over driving every year since 2015.

A man in the Netherlands was killed after somehow getting stuck between a fence and the roof of an apartment building bike shed; authorities were unsure what he was doing there. Although considering that he got stuck around 3 am, we can probably make an educated guess.

Sure, let’s go with that. A Zambian man told a divorce court he used the used condoms his wife found in his pants to repair bike tires. No, seriously.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole and vandalized a ten-year old autistic New Zealand boy’s custom-made three-wheeled bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a cyclist has been stripped of his title after testing positive for a banned substance. Except this time, the doper is a 90-year old US track cycling champ.

How bicycling became entrenched in Eritrean culture, despite the difficulty obtaining bikes and parts. And led to the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France.

Last year was the most successful year yet for Rwanda’s nascent cycling programs.

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a police bike five minutes after you’re released from jail. Nothing like reading a six-mile long poem while you ride.

And seriously, who carries a shotgun on a bicycle — let alone uses it on their riding partner?

………

Thanks to Connie L for her generous donation to support this site. The holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Morning Links: Rampart Village NC considers Mobility Bill of Rights and banning Vision Zero tonight

It’s Day 19 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your support keeps SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Anything you can give helps, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

Donate in just moments via PayPal, or through Zelle using the banking app that’s already on your phone.

………

Call it the good, and the really, really ugly. 

The Rampart Village Neighborhood Council will consider a proposal at tonight’s meeting to embrace a revival of the moribund Cyclists Bill of Rights, now dubbed the Mobility Bill of Rights.  Which was sort-of adopted by the LA city council ten years ago at the behest of the late Bill Rosendahl, then promptly forgotten. 

“10. Discussion and possible Action on – the recommendation from the President to take a position on the Bike Writer’s Coalition (BWC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council claims & asserts the aspirational document known as “The Mobility Bill of Rights”; RVNC embraces the public space of our community & the City at-large by proclaiming that “Streets are for People!” “

That’s the good. 

The ugly is the following motion to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures — the few that have actually been installed, anyway — and return Los Angeles to its deadly, exclusively auto-centric recent past. 

“11. Discussion and/or Possible Action on – the recommendation from the Executive Committee to take a position on the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition (LANCC) motion that, Rampart Village Neighborhood Council demands that the city enforce the laws & within 30 days of our demand to start the process to remove all Vision Zero traffic calming measures, including but, not limited to the controversial road diets.”

Let’s hope enough people show up to halt this misleading and dangerous motion put forward by the traffic safety deniers behind groups like Keep LA Moving

Thanks to Stephen Box for the heads-up

………

David Drexler forwards a photo of a menorah bike, captured at Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade on the next to last might of Chanukah. 

………

Local

Midnight Ridazz host their annual All City Toy Ride this Friday

An LA Times op-ed says yes, you can have free public transit and traffic-free roads, thanks to the miracle of congestion pricing. 

Another Times op-ed takes LA Mayor Eric Garcetti to task for talking the talk on climate change, but failing to walk the walk by failing to acknowledge, let alone address, climbing driving rates. Yet oddly, the authors fail to even mention bicycling

Environmental groups complain about Metro’s exclusively auto-focused plans to mitigate traffic caused by the cancellation of the 710 Freeway extension, with bike and transit improvements left for discussion some unspecified time in the future. Or not

feeder ride will roll out from the Spoke Bicycle Café on Saturday in support of the March for Public Education at LA City Hall. 

date has been set for the next 626 Golden Streets open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley; the new route will pass through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel on May 19th. 

State

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist was nearly run down by a police officer using the bike lane he was in as a passing lane to zoom by slower traffic, sans lights and siren. 

This is who we share the roads with. Palo Alto police are looking for a driver who exposed himself to a woman as she rode her bike, masturbating behind the wheel as he stared at her. Let’s hope they find the jerk and lock him away for a long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link

Davis considers making changes to its “Claw” curbside trash pickup, which can result in bike lanes blocked with trash when homeowners put it out incorrectly.  

National

A writer for Men’s Health attempts to jump starts his brain to see if it will make him a better cyclist

Pink Bike writes an obituary for the loved and hated Interbike trade show.

NBC News suggests better clothes for active commuters

A Portland paper takes a deep dive into Oregon bike crashes, and ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bicyclists; bike-friendly Portland is number two. 

four-lane Chicago-area highway could go on a diet to make room for bicycles. 

Chicago’s dwindling bike messengers want the same access to commercial buildings that food delivery riders enjoy

Here’s one problem LA bike riders don’t have. Boston will remove flex posts separating a bike lane from car traffic to make it easier to salt and plow snow and ice on the bridge they’re on.

New York startup is placing expandable pods on a Manhattan street to provide bike riders with a safe and convenient place to park on a subscription basis. 

The New York Times discusses the lack of bikeshare options for people with disabilities; ebikes can help some would-be riders, but even those are in short supply. And adaptive bikes are virtually nonexistent. 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips discovers firsthand what it takes to ride a solo double century

A new report details the problem of police profiling in Toronto, including a black man who was arbitrarily stopped while riding in a bike lane.

UK bike writer Laura Laker questions whether cracking down on bicyclists will really improve safety, concluding that as long as the government listens to the most hysterical voices, rather than the evidence, nothing will change. 

Bighearted British bike riders deliver hundreds of teddy bears to the ICU unit of a local hospital. 

A Spanish carmaker most of us have never heard of promises their new radar system will detect the “telltale signature of bicycles travelling in the same direction” so their cars won’t run you over. 

An education news site looks at the growth of bicycling in BerlinAlthough the story appears to be so badly translated that it might be easier to read in the original German

Here’s a list of roads to avoid if your travels happen to take you to Dubai on Friday. Unless, of course, you plan to participate in what organizers call the biggest cycle challenge in the Middle East.

No bias here. The political editor of a New Zealand newspaper complains about spending tax money to build bikeways he says no one wants and few will ever ride. And that the need for safety for people on bikes pales in comparison to improving safety for the people in cars. No, really.

It’s time for more women to start riding, because Australia’s MAMILs are lonely. 

The King of Thailand led several thousand people in a nationwide Bike for Love and Warmth to celebrate the opening of a month-long fair. 

Competitive Cycling

The Guardian offers an obituary of the late bicycling broadcaster Paul Sherwen; a childhood in Kenya made him the only cyclist in the 70s pro peloton who could speak Swahili. 

Finally…

Riding the famous Chisholm Trail; no, the one in the UK. Maybe you can’t drive safely while on your phone after all. 

And you have a serious problem when your alibi for DUI is claiming you were merely texting, instead.

………

Thanks to Lisa G for her generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

………

How to build a DIY wooden bike.

………

A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

………

It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: Distracted driving crashes, CA fails on climate goals, and Reseda Blvd Vision Zero makeover

Welcome to Day Five of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your support helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning!

………

No surprise here.

A new study from Ohio State University shows that distracted driving crashes tend to be more severe than other crashes.

Which makes sense, since drivers seldom brake for what they don’t see.

According to the study, “distracted driving raises the odds that a crash will cause severe injury or death.” But roundabouts or other traffic calming measures can reduce that risk by forcing drivers to actually pay attention to the road in front of them.

Then again, better enforcement can also reduce the risk by encouraging people to actually hang up and drive.

Meanwhile, a study from Carnegie Mellon University released earlier this year shows that just listening to a cellphone, let alone talking or texting, is enough to reduce brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

Which explains why distracted drivers do so many stupid things.

………

A new report shows that no district in California is doing enough to meet climate change goals.

In fact, the amount of miles driven is going the wrong way, increasing instead of decreasing.

Surprisingly, LA’s climate change model of promising improvements to alternative transportation and safety, then repeatedly failing to deliver, somehow hasn’t managed to entice drivers out of their cars yet.

………

Speaking of which, maybe LA’s Vision Zero isn’t dead yet.

New plans for a $17 million makeover of deadly Reseda Blvd include protected bike lanes, improved crosswalks and pedestrian islands, and bus boarding islands.

As long as you can wait another five years for the work to be finished.

According to LADOT, 50 people have been killed or seriously injured on the street since 2009. Which is about 50 too many.

Now if they can just build another 100 or so streets like that, then manage to connect them into a real network, they might actually make some progress in reducing traffic deaths.

Let alone meeting the state’s climate goals.

………

There’s a lot more news about the Florida driver we mentioned yesterday who slammed into a group of 14 bicyclists, killing one woman and injuring six other riders.

The 33-year old driver admitted she was distracted by something in the car, but couldn’t remember what. And offers a tearful apology, saying she’d trade places with the victim if she could.

Police hope to examine the driver’s cellphone, which was severely damaged in the crash; she’s given them permission to download her usage data.

Two of the injured riders have been released from the hospital; another remains critical following emergency surgery.

And a Florida writer says distracted drivers are making the state’s dangerous streets even worse.

………

Maybe they’re planning a two-wheeled sequel to The Italian Job.

Between six to eight masked thieves drilled through a three-foot wall to break into a warehouse owned by Italian bicycle company 3T.

And walked out with 20 high-end bicycles — including one hand-painted by the late, great framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

Let’s all keep an eye on Rome Craigslist, just in case.

………

The LACBC’s Santa Clarita neighborhood chapter is teaming with Bicycle John’s to host a toy ride this Saturday.

Which sounds like a great way to celebrate the season, and warm up for Sunday’s CicLAvia in DTLA.

………

Local

This is who we share the roads with. A driver is under arrest for repeatedly attempting to run down a pair of Jewish pedestrians on La Brea Ave in the Fairfax District, after making anti-semitic remarks near a synagogue.

Writing for Los Angeles Magazine, a woman examines the pleasures and pains of walking in LA, including the unwanted joys of sexual harassment.

Fifteen years after the Gold Line arrived, Pasadena may build an overpass to improve traffic on California Blvd. But the city may screw bike riders and pedestrians in the process.

 

State

If you’re itching to tackle your first century, a uniquely named Redlands bike club will help you out with an 11-week course to get you ready.

A Cal Poly SLO student combines Continental-level pro cycling, mountain bike racing and cyclocross with slam poetry.

A San Luis Obispo man spent his Thanksgiving Everesting, climbing 1,300 feet outside Hearst Castle over 22 times.

 

National

A tech website says dockless ebikes and scooters are here to save the world — as long as cities actually design streets to accommodate them and the way people use them.

An opinion piece on NBC News says we should embrace scooters and dockless bikes, even if Elon Musk thinks they’re not cool.

A writer in Moab, Utah gives thanks for bicycles, calling them the original sports tech.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A Kansas woman faces charges — and stitches to her lip — after attempting to run down her ex-boyfriend on his bicycle, then swerving at her own brother before they retaliated in self defense. Needless to say, she blamed them for the whole thing.

The New York Times says more business travelers are riding their bikes to the airport instead of driving. The planned transportation makeover of LAX is supposed to include better bike and pedestrian access, as well as a new Metro station. Let’s hope they keep their word this time.

The Philadelphia Inquirer calls for revitalizing a declining street by banning parking, and using the space to make it more inviting for bike riders and pedestrians.

A DC woman complains about the failure of bike etiquette displayed by shoaling cyclists.

With winter unofficially here, DC commits to clearing snow from city bike lanes, as well as ADA sidewalk ramps.

West Palm Beach FL is planning to build 18 miles of separated bike lanes to go with the city’s 38 miles of bike boulevards, to provide riders with low stress way to get around the city.

A homeless Florida man who killed a bike rider four years ago will probably spend the rest of his life in a mental institution after pleading not guilty by reason of insanity; the victim was nearing the final leg of a ride down the East Coast to propose to his girlfriend.

 

International

A writer for Treehugger writes that bicycling is an important tool for the struggling lower and middle classes, and says “hating on” the people who ride them is classist.

Tragic news from Brazil, where a man was swept away in a flash flood after refusing to let go of his bicycle so he could be rescued. We’ve said it before — no bicycle is worth your life. You can always get another bike; another life, no so much.

Toronto can thank a bike-riding 1970’s mom who was kicked off a park boardwalk by a park warden for kickstarting what turned out to be a nearly 12-mile riverfront bikeway.

One more thing to watch for when you lock your bike. An English rider complains that his — or maybe her — bike was stolen from a new “secure” bike parking garage in Cambridge because the bike racks were improperly secured to the floor. Needless to say, the railway company operating the garage denied any responsibility.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a budding Brit pop star gets eight months behind bars for failing to look when she entered a roundabout, fatally running down a mother of five as she rode her bike.

A road raging British driver gets two and a half years for making a U-turn in an attempt to ram a bike rider who accidentally touched his mirror while complaining about a too-close pass.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands will invest the equivalent of $624 million to get even more people on their bikes.

Now that’s a close call. A bicyclist in the Netherlands barely avoids getting run down by a train after waiting for one to pass in the opposite direction. Seriously, always look for a train coming the other way before crossing any railroad tracks.

A writer for Forbes explains how an engineer for German auto electronics maker Bosch developed the system that led to the explosive growth of ped-assist ebikes.

A New Zealand columnist complains that the “cycling craze” is out of control and criticizes a plan to put bicycling instructors in every school, asking what’s wrong with a few skinned knees? Short answer, not much, if that was the only risk kids faced on the streets. Unfortunately, it’s not.

Life in cheap in Australia, too, where a distracted driver gets just nine months for killing a father of two as he rode his bike. She was attempting to change the music on her phone, which sure as hell isn’t worth leaving two kids without a father.

A British man working in Japan discovers it’s easier to get around by bicycle, as long as you comply with a long list of rules.

Seventy percent of Singapore drivers feel less safe on the roads because of bike riders. So imagine how the people on bicycles feel around all those cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Here’s your chance to buy a slightly used two-wheeled Aston Martin.

 

Finally…

You may be young, but you’ll never look better in Lycra. This is what a paper writes when they don’t know the difference between a recumbent and an adult tricycle.

And seriously. Call me a Silver Cycler, and you’d better be smiling.

Or running.

………

Thanks to Paul F, Fred D, Thomas K and Joseph R for opening their hearts and wallets to give to 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Your generosity helps ensure this site keeps coming your way every day!

%d bloggers like this: