Tag Archive for Vision Zero

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero funding, bike theft goes unpunished, and Merced driver topples nine riders

There’s more reaction to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s call to increase funding for Vision Zero, as advocates say it’s not enough.

The mayor’s proposal instead calls for using Measure M return funds to repave 60 lane miles of streets — just 30 actual miles — in the High Injury Network, while making safety improvements at the same time.

Meanwhile, his proposal to boost Vision Zero spending to $16.6 million would still represent just a small fraction of what New York spends each year to reduce traffic fatalities. Even though Los Angeles leads the nation in pedestrian deaths.

The LACBC’s Tamika Butler suggests tapping police and fire departments budgets to make up the difference.

Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said the city could find other ways of securing more money for Vision Zero. One option, she said, would be to tap police and fire department funding.

“When you’re looking at the important work these departments do, it’s all about saving lives,” Butler said. “Vision Zero is about saving lives, too.”

The LAPD is chronically understaffed, with the smallest police force per capita of any major American city, while struggling to protect one of the largest patrol areas. As it is now, police have more cases than they can handle, and relatively minor crimes — like stolen bikes — often don’t get investigated.

And the fire department is just recovering from the drastic staffing cuts during the last economic downturn that increased response times to unacceptable levels, putting traffic victims and others in need of emergency care at needless risk.

Yes, we need to find the money to fix our streets somewhere, as well as dramatically increasing spending on Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths.

But taking funding from the police and fire departments is the wrong way to go about it.

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Speaking of bicycle theft, an Op-Ed in the LA Times asks why cities are allowing bike theft to go virtually unpunished.

A big part of the problem has been changes in the law a few year back that reclassified any theft below $1,000 as a misdemeanor, while preventing people convicted of misdemeanors from receiving any real jail time.

And since most bikes fall under that threshold, police put less effort into investigating those thefts, since they know the thief will be back on the street in a few days even if they manage to get a conviction.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t still try to return bikes to their rightful owners when they can. In fact, a detective in the West LA division reported at last week’s meeting of the department’s bike liaison program that they had recovered three bikes in recent months using Bike Index.

Which is just one more reason to register your bike.

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An 81-year old Merced driver struck four cyclists with his mirror as he tried to slip past a group of riders without crossing the center line, taking down all nine riders in a chain reaction crash, while sending three to the hospital.

Investigators said the riders did nothing wrong, and the driver would likely be ticketed for unsafe passing. Although the CHP suggests being old may be the new Get Out of Jail Free card.

You can put this one directly on Governor Brown’s doorstep.

Unlike some other states, California’s three-foot passing law does not allow drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass people on bicycles, because Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill that would have permitted it.

The result is drivers who try to squeeze by bicyclists unsafely rather than risk a ticket for briefly having two wheels over the yellow line.

So it’s the people on bikes who pay the price, instead.

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Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding this newsreel view of Nazi occupied Paris in 1944, filmed in part using a camera hidden in a bike basket.

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The fourth of the five Monuments rolled on Sunday with the Liège-Bastogne-Liège classic, the ending of which should not shock anyone. Meanwhile, the first women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège ended in a solo breakaway.

The peloton paused before the race to pay tribute to Italian cyclist Michele Scarponi, who was killed in a collision with a van while on a training ride on Saturday. Vincenzo Nibali dedicated his victory in the Tour of Croatia to Scarponi, who he said was like a brother to him. And an Aussie rider wonders if it could be him next time.

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Local

The new Los Angeles State Historic Park finally opens after 14 years, offering walkways and bike paths in the shadow of Downtown LA and Chinatown.

KABC-7 talks with the architect working on a 12-mile long bike path along the LA River in the San Fernando Valley, part of plans to extend the existing bikeway the entire length of the river.

The Wave newspaper offers an even-handed look at last week’s CD1 debate between Gil Cedillo and Joe Bray-Ali. Speaking of Bray-Ali, the Times has reconsidered their endorsement of him, and concluded that yes, he is the right person for the job.

Burbank approves plans for two-way separated bike lanes on a 1/3 mile section of Leland Way.

Long Beach held a tricycle race at the city’s Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital to raise funds for pediatric cancer research and call attention to next month’s annual Tour of Long Beach.

 

State

Newport Beach pulls back on plans to widen the Coast Highway at Mariner’s Mile to three lanes in each direction, as residents call for revitalizing the street to make it more attractive to bike riders and pedestrians, instead.

They’re onto us, comrades. A San Diego letter writer insists the nefarious bike lobby is running the city government, indoctrinating fourth graders, and forcing poor, put-upon drivers to plod through potholes while we luxuriate in bike lanes. Although he doesn’t begin to compare with the Michigan woman who thinks having to obtain a license to park on the street is just as bad as the Holocaust.

San Franciscans are questioning why bicycles are banned from the city’s light rail trains after an injured woman is denied a ride to the hospital after falling on the tracks.

 

National

Twenty-two mountain bikers have been mauled by bears in the last 17 years, a surprisingly low rate given the number of riders in bear country and the speed they travel.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A skilled reconstructive hand surgeon and medical professor riding in a bike lane was killed in a collision with a bus in Las Vegas, while his wife is undergoing chemotherapy.

Denver police bust a serial bike burglar.

A Montana compromise will create an 80,000-acre wilderness area, in exchange for allowing mountain biking on 3,800 acres.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Texas cop is acquitted of criminally negligent homicide after running over and killing a man who was fleeing on his bicycle. Even though he moved his car and the victim, lied about what happened, and waited over eight minutes to call the paramedics while the man died.

A trio of Peoria IL priests are riding their bicycles 350 miles across the diocese to encourage more vocations to the priesthood.

After years of decreases, doorings increased fifty percent in Chicago in 2015.

Hundreds of people turn out to call for more bike lanes in Boston.

A North Carolina woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis wins her fight to ride a bicycle.

New Orleans passes ordinances that will require a safer passing distance, as well as prohibiting motorists from driving in bike lanes; the law also bans harassing bike riders or throwing anything at them.

 

International

A group of students is following the monarch butterfly migration on their 9,000 mile journey from Mexico to the US.

Ottawa, Canada residents are up in arms over plans to remove 97 parking spaces to make room for bike lanes. After all, who cares about improving safety if you have to walk a few steps from your parking space?

An artist depicts bicycling through London in a series of illustrations.

A man returns home to his English hometown seven years after he left on a 43,000-mile around the world bike tour that raised the equivalent of nearly $13,000 for charity.

As many as 10,000 people may have turned out in for this year’s Pedal on Parliament calling for safer streets for Scottish bike riders.

Caught on video: An Irish cyclist was nearly hit head-on by a speeding truck that crossed the center line.

An Irish government minister says he’s lucky to be alive after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle with his wife.

The Danes do know how to combine bikes and beer.

A new Australian bikeway will be built like a limited access freeway, making it difficult for local residents to use it.

Caught on video too: An Aussie cyclist sticks the landing when he’s hit by a driver, flipping in the air and coming to rest sitting on the roof of the car.

A local newspaper talks with the founder of Singapore’s only cycling instruction school, who says over half his students are adults.

Dockless bikeshare may still have a few kinks to work out, after a Chinese man was charged the equivalent of $60,000 for a 20-minute ride. And the founder of one of the bikeshare companies says yes, there’s a bikeshare bubble, but his company will survive.

Bicycling is growing in popularity in South Korea, where beautiful mountains and lakes are just a short ride from Seoul, and the roads have bike lanes.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an inflatable frame and fit in the trunk of a Ford. Probably not the best idea to push a baby carriage with a foldie.

And admit it. You’ve spent years perfecting your imitation of Charlie Chaplin hammering a sprint finish.

 

Morning Links: Blumenfield community ride, the fur is starting to fly in CD1, and interactive Vision Zero map

Bike-friendly LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s long-delayed community bike ride will finally roll this Saturday, after a rainout earlier this year.

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It’s starting to get rough in LA’s 1st Council District.

A columnist for Downtown News says it’s just a matter of time before the mud starts to fly in the CD1 council race. Although he confuses Gil Cedillo’s massive lead in fundraising with community support, since most of his money has come from outside the district.

Meanwhile, the LA Times raises questions about an endorsement agreement Cedillo’s challenger, Joe Bray-Ali, signed with former candidate Jesse Rosas, who lost in the primary election.

However, it appears to be much ado about nothing; agreements like this are made in virtually every runoff election to gain the support of a former rival. And the agreement not to build bike lanes on North Figueroa without community consensus is a non-issue, since there was community consensus in favor of the bike lanes before Cedillo pulled the plug.

Correction: I originally identified the former candidate as Jesse Rojas, not Rosas. Thanks to Walt! for the correction.

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A new Vision Zero LA interactive map allows you to explore where and how people were killed in traffic collisions in the city, and your neighborhood, in recent years.

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Don’t forget that bike lanes are on the agenda of tonight’s meeting of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council Transportation Committee, 6 pm at the Hollywood Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Avenue.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area — or would like to if it felt safer — you owe it to yourself to attend.

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Dutch cyclist Stephen Blom discusses the unexpected kidney failure that nearly cost him his life.

An 18-year old high school senior from Fayetteville AR with Type 1 diabetes is training with the Team Novo Nordisk junior team as he tries to break into the pro ranks.

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Local

It sounds like a response to Vision Zero, but it’s not. A traffic signal is being installed on Central Ave where Jorge Alvarez was killed in a hit-and-run last December; however, the light had been approved just days before Alvarez was killed.

The Source released renderings of the extensively named Airport Metro Connector 96th Street Transit Station, which will offer a people mover connection to LAX, along with a Bike Hub and street bicycle access.

Los Angeles is taking applications for new plazas and parklets to encourage bicycling and walking, calm traffic and improve safety and economic vitality.

The Glendale city council approves funding for the city’s first CicLAvia, just in time for June’s Glendale Meets Atwater event.

Bike SGV is looking for bicyclists who want to be featured on their blog to show the diversity of cycling in the San Gabriel Valley.

An Isla Vista pedestrian was robbed of his wallet by a fixie-riding gunman. Impressive observational skills; most people couldn’t tell a fixie from a geared bike, let alone under duress.

 

State

A man and his dog are passing through San Diego a second time in the midst of their record-setting ebike ride throughout the US; they’ve currently covered over 9,300 miles through 31 states, triple the old record.

An Isla Vista pedestrian was robbed of his wallet by a fixie-riding gunman. Impressive observational skills; most people couldn’t tell a fixie from a geared bike, let alone under duress.

The proposed U.S. Bicycle Route 85 would run from the Canadian border to Tecate, Mexico, and pass through Truckee as it roughly follows the Pacific Crest Trail.

 

National

A new study confirms what many bike riders already suspected: Most smartphone-equipped drivers use them virtually every time they drive.

The LA Times recommends riding a bicycle to see the lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano up close.

A Wyoming mayor opposes a bike lane in his city because he doesn’t know whether a right-turning driver or a cyclist would have the right-of-way at an intersection. Never mind that question has been settled for about as long as there has been a right-of-way.

A Wisconsin bike advocate and former cop is promoting the use of an ultrasound device that measures an exact three-foot passing distance, and records the results on a Go Pro camera for evidence in court.

The commitment of St. Paul MN to making itself a more bikeable, walkable city is being questioned after city officials nixed two bike and pedestrian-friendly traffic circles from a planned street makeover.

Nashville TN has opened a new protected bike lane in the downtown area, the first of 186 miles of new bike lanes planned for the next 20 years.

A Connecticut bike rider has become the latest bicyclist to be struck by a police car, as the officer was responding to a call with lights and siren. Meanwhile, another rider was struck by a private security officer in North Carolina.

Once again, the NYPD bends over backwards to blame the victim in a bicycling fatality. Never mind that the driver made what should have been an illegal left turn from the right lane.

Philadelphia remembers a literature critic, vampire expert and “warrior bicyclist” who passed away recently at 73.

Once again, they get it wrong. Rather than focusing on the people in the big, dangerous machines, Jacksonville FL cops will be cracking down on their potential victims, instead.

 

International

An adventurer from the Cayman Islands will tackle the Race Across America as a follow-up to climbing Denali and Mt. Everest.

Cornwall, England bike cops are getting helmet cams to help protect vulnerable road users.

An Aussie writer calls for legislation to end the war on cyclists after a 23-year old triathlete is sprayed with industrial lubricant from a passing car. Although the one-meter passing distance he calls for — the equivalent of our three-foot laws — would do little or nothing to prevent harassment like that.

 

Finally…

A new city never really feels like home until you ride naked through the streets. Testing bike lane bollards since people can’t seem to stop driving over them.

And nothing unusual here, just a bike-riding, 125 million-year old dinosaur-loving accused killer from the Planet Argon.

 

Morning Links: CA needs big bike boost to meet climate goals, screw the Rules, and riding on glass through NYC

It’s election day. Get out and bike the vote if you haven’t already.

And if you haven’t made a final decision in where to put your X, check out the voting guide from Bike the Vote LA.

I’m voting no on Measure S and yes on H. And wishing I was in CD1 to vote for Joe Bray-Ali, or still in CD5 to vote for Jesse Creed.

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California will require a nine-fold increase in the rate of bike ridership, along with dramatic increases in walking and transit use, to meet the state’s 2030 climate change according to the LA Times.

Not to mention a corresponding decrease in driving rates, and an increase in density — which would be blocked if Measure S passes.

But it will take more than denser neighborhoods to get people out on their bikes.

Like a real commitment to building out the bike lanes and bicycle friendly streets contained in the Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035. A commitment we’ve yet to see from our certain to be re-elected mayor or the city’s Department of Transportation.

And one that will have to be replicated in cities and towns up and down the state.

Not to mention a genuine commitment to LA’s Vision Zero Plan, which the people in charge of implementing it still see as “aspirational.”

That suggests they’re not willing to make the tough choices necessary to actually end traffic deaths, but will gladly settle for merely reducing them.

Which means people may still not feel safe on the streets unless they’re wrapped in a couple tons of steel and glass. And as long as they don’t feel safe, those lofty bike and walking goals won’t be met in the next 13 years.

Or maybe ever.

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Another great piece from former Bicycling editor in chief and current Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax, who says the Velominati’s Rules were funny at first, but it’s time to give them a rest.

Seriously. Just get out on your bike and ride. Everything else is just details. And if someone else doesn’t like it, that’s their problem.

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If you haven’t seen it yet, this may be the coolest video you’ll see all day. Or maybe all week.

Bored New Yorker magazine illustrator Christoph Niemann sketched a simple illustration of a bike rider on the inside of a car window as he rode in the backseat. And filmed it as the rider appears to magically come to life, riding alongside as they travel through the city.

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More news from around the world about the Para-cycling Track World Championships that took place in our own backyard. But which no one seems to know about, since the local news media hasn’t bothered to mention it.

The US won its first-ever gold in the men’s team sprint event as the meet came to a close, with American Joseph Berenyi claiming double gold in the sprint and scratch C1-C2-C3 events.

Britain dominated day three with six medals, including a sweep of the tandem time trial; Brit rider Jon Gildea won two golds and a silver.

Slovak cyclist Jozef Metelka defended his title in the individual time trial.

And after so much bad news from Malaysia lately, it’s nice to see the country’s athletes shine in LA, taking bronze in the 200 meter sprint.

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The US and the UK are finalizing plans for an every-other-year Olympic-style competition involving a half-dozen sports, including cycling; the first could take place in 2019.

After months of accusations of sexism and doping, Britain’s governing body for cycling has chosen a female soccer executive to head the organization.

Cycling Weekly hunts for the truth about the prevalence of asthma in the peloton, and the use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions to gain an unfair advantage over the competition.

You should be able to see the inaugural four-day Colorado Classic bike race, as NBC Sports has agreed to broadcast it and stream it live online.

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Local

KPCC reports on plans for parking-protected bike lanes on Spring and Main in DTLA. The streets will eventually get concrete islands and curbs to protect riders and pedestrians at intersections.

The Source offers great photos of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley. Streetsblog reports on the event and solicits comments from readers who attended it.

 

State

Helmet cam video from the Santa Ana River trail shows it’s becoming a homeless encampment for several hundred people, potentially putting riders at risk. This is a lose/lose for everyone involved. A bike path should be safe for the people who use it. And everyone should have the right to have a roof over their heads, something Measure H will help accomplish in LA County.

San Francisco’s bike coalition object to the sudden removal of protected bike lanes from plans to improve safety on Upper Market Street. Maybe city officials want to improve safety, just not that much.

The San Francisco Weekly questions whether a proposal to put an end to bike chop shops in the city targets the most vulnerable. So, they’re saying stealing bikes is okay if you’re poor?

A Berkeley ghost bike memorializes a 78-year old man who had been riding in the city since he was a child.

 

National

Popular Mechanics says gravel cycling is terrifying — and exhilarating.

Legislation was introduced by California Representative Tom McClintock that would end the blanket ban on bicycles in federal Wilderness areas. Since it’s sponsored by a Republican, it might actually have a chance of passing in the current GOP dominated Congress.

The official report has been released into the death of a Montana Forest Service officer who was mauled by a grizzly bear, after crashing his mountain bike into it while rounding a blind curve at high speed.

Billings MT is struggling to find a way to pay for the city’s bike and pedestrian plan as federal funding dries up.

Austin TX has embarked on a three-year plan to reduce traffic congestion by doubling the number of people on bikes.

Muhammad Ali started boxing after his bike was stolen in Louisville KY; if he was still around this summer, he could just take the city’s new bikeshare, instead.

Bike Portland looks at day one of the first National Bike Summit of the Trump era.

 

International

Good news and bad news when it comes to the effects of bicycling on your sex life.

To the shock of absolutely no one, Carlos Vives and Shakira say their song La Bicicleta wasn’t copied from a Cuban singer.

Winnipeg officially decides it’s up to you whether or not to wear a helmet.

Bizarre tragedy from great Britain, where a bike rider died days after suffering a broken leg when he fell on a descent.

A British driver gets eight months for a “catastrophic error of judgment” for passing a bicyclist at the wrong time, even though the rider was wearing more hi-viz clothing than is “normally necessary.” So just how much is necessary?

Odd posters of a faceless boy on a balance bike have got residents of an English town talking.

Berlin is the latest city to plan a network of bicycle superhighways. You’ll note that Los Angeles is not rushing to join them.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to fuck someone in the bushes, get off your bike first — and maybe don’t do it in full view of a passing bus. If you’re going to steal a bike, promising to return it later probably isn’t going to work.

And no, sneaking your gun past airport security hidden in your bicycle probably isn’t the smarted move, either.

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Thanks to Margaret for her generous donation to help support this site. And a special thanks to Pocrass & De Los Reyes for renewing their sponsorship for another year.

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

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LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

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Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

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As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

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VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

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Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

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Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Morning Links: Bike commute rates in LA area, Bike the Vote endorses Bray-Ali, and LACBC’s take on Vision Zero

Today is the last day for local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry to get deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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So much of the oft-cited figure that one percent of Angelenos commute by bicycle.

Instead, it clearly depends on where you are.

Bike wonk Dennis Hindman took a deep dive into the latest ACS data released by the Census Bureau last December to examine bike commuting by LA-area zip code.

What he discovered was that the rate of bike commuters ranged from a whopping 10% for DTLA and 9% for the USC area, to a lowly .8% for Wilmington. Meanwhile, bike-friendly Santa Monica checks in at 3.8%, while Culver City comes in at a surprising 2.2%.

He also notes that the heaviest rates of bike commuting follow the route of the Expo Line, which had a wait list for bike lockers a week after the new extension to Santa Monica opened.

And which once again demonstrates the need for safe bike lane connections to the Expo Line, especially on Westwood Blvd leading to the UCLA campus.

You can see his full examination of bike commuters per zip code here.

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To the shock of no one, Bike the Vote LA has endorsed community advocate and former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali for LA’s 1st council district over anti-bike incumbent and professional politician Gil Cedillo.

The only surprise is that a second candidate in the race, Giovany Hernandez, offered some very good responses to their candidate survey, while Jesse Rosas did not.

Meanwhile, incumbent Cedillo evidently decided it was more prudent to simply not respond to the survey, rather than lie about his support for bike lanes like he did last time around.

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The LACBC released their response to LA’s new Vision Zero Action Plan, saying while it’s a positive development, it “lacks a clear vision for making the streets safer for people who ride bicycles.”

The coalition also has concerns about the city’s commitment to unbiased policing and equity when it comes to enforcing traffic laws.

You can read their full response here.

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Apparently unhappy with being cut off by someone who actually belonged there while riding illegally in a San Francisco bike lane, a motorcyclist attempts to intimidate a bicyclist. And discovers he should work on his own riding skills first.

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More on the 60 Minutes motor doping report. Team Sky stands accused of having heavier bikes than normal during Tour de France time trials, which could be evidence of hidden motors. Or not.

A British sprinter won a race in Mallorca on Sunday, but was unable to avoid a photographer at the finish line who refused to get out of the way.

A Cat 3 rider in a Santa Barbara road race was lucky to avoid serious injury when he flipped over a retaining wall, and had to hang on for dear life to keep from slipping down a 30-foot drop; his bike was not so lucky. Thanks to CiclaValley for the video.

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Local

The new Riverside Drive Bridge officially opened today, with a protected bike lane offering a vital connection to the LA River bike path, as well as the city’s first modern roundabout. However, not everyone approves, particularly regarding the lost opportunity to use the old bridge as a High Line-style park.

The LAPD is looking for a Los Angeles man who allegedly stabbed a Sylmar man to death before fleeing on a bicycle.

Construction finally kicks off on the long-awaited My Figueroa project, with work starting on 11th Street next month, and moving to Figueroa itself in March.

No, this is not recommended bike behavior. A homeless man on a bicycle attacked a car with a machete at a Pasadena intersection. Seriously, there’s been times I’ve wanted to, but still. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who got a hearty “eff you, asshole” from the driver who gave him a dangerous punishment pass, telling him he belonged on the side of the road.

Nice move from Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Therapy Student Club, as they gave new adaptive tricycles to 14 special needs kids.

 

State

Anaheim is looking to add nine acres to the Anaheim Coves, including a new mile-long bike path.

The 62-year old victim of a Simi Valley hit-and-run last month remains bedridden following a coma, numerous injuries and three weeks in intensive care, but is gradually becoming more aware of her surroundings; the stoned driver faces felony DUI and hit-and-run charges.

The editor of San Francisco Streetsblog decides to take his own advice and put a camera on his bike.

Oakland’s parking-protected Telegraph Avenue bike lanes are a success, reducing speeding and cutting crashes overall crashes by 40% in the first year, even though bicycling is up 78% and walking has doubled.

A NorCal cyclist climbed one million feet in total elevation last year, according to his Strava records.

 

National

Wired discusses how to not screw up Trump’s proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. But doesn’t even mention bikeways until the last paragraph.

Bicycling offers advice on how to survive group ride mishaps.

A Boston bike rider says winter bicycling in like boiling a frog; if you ease into it slowly, you don’t notice how cold and wet you are until you’re in the middle of it.

Talk about a lack of perspective. An investigative story by a New York TV station reports that at least 2,330 Manhattan parking spaces have been taken away to make room for bike lanes and bikeshare stations. Except New York added nearly 10,000 spaces from 2006 to 2010, for a net gain — not loss — of over 7,000 spaces. And that’s just a fraction of the 3.4 to 4.4 million on-street parking spaces in the city.

A Philadelphia bike advocate makes the case against mandatory helmet laws.

A bike-riding Florida man faces kidnapping charges after demanding that a mother hand over her toddler.

 

International

Canada considers a National Cycling Strategy that would fund a nationwide expansion of bicycling infrastructure and support the bike industry, although not everyone seems happy about it.

Caught on video: A Brit teen driver on a five hour reckless driving rampage slams into a man on a bicycle, flipping him over the car. Fortunately, the victim recovered from his injuries, while the driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars and an eight and a half year ban on driving. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch.

Not surprisingly, a new German study says people are more accepting of bicycling under the influence than drunk driving.

A Canadian newspaper says bicycling through Cambodia offers an experience like no other.

Bike Shop Hub offers a fascinating history of how the bicycle won the Vietnam war.

 

Finally…

Bad enough we have to deal with LA drivers, at least we don’t have to worry about a ‘roo to the head; then again, we don’t have to worry about loose bulls on a bike path, either. Really, who doesn’t go for a bike ride carrying brass knuckles, bolt cutters, syringes and yes, bear spray?

And Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch goes for a Skittles bike ride in the other Houston. The one in Scotland.

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan released, bike riders behaving badly, and why our streets stay dangerous

Through the end of this month, BikinginLA is supporting local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry by offering deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

………

 

It was a surprise announcement.

And both heartening, and a little disappointing.

Word broke Thursday morning that LA’s Vision Zero Alliance had finally released its long-awaited Action Plan, explaining how the plan to reduce traffic fatalities by 20% by the end of this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025.

While the report hits all the appropriate notes, it’s a little short on specifics.

For instance, it talks about the need to reduce speeds to drive down LA’s worst in the nation traffic death rate, but doesn’t actually commit to reducing speed limits to 20 or 25 mph, as other major cities have done. And it discusses working to change laws at the state level, without stating whether they will fight to remove the deadly 85th percentile law that drives up speeds and destroys livability — not to mention survivability — on city streets.

However, there are a few specific actions we can follow to verify that the plan is on track:

Vision Zero means designing a street network that is safe for all modes. The City will:

Install live-saving improvements on the priority corridors and intersections along the High-Injury Network, such as optimizing four-hundred traffic signals and redesigning at least twelve miles of City streets every year to accommodate safe transportation for all.

Update 100 percent of the expired speed surveys on the priority corridors by the end of 2017.

Update all City street-design standards used by the Bureau of Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of City Planning to be consistent with the National Association of City

Unanswered is whether the city will address the chronic understaffing problems at LADOT so they actually have the capability to work on Vision Zero, without throwing the hard-fought Mobility Plan out the window.

Some of those bicycling deaths could be prevented simply by building out the low-stress network of Bicycle Friendly Streets called for in the plan, giving riders a safer and more comfortable alternative to riding busier streets.

Also unanswered is how they will solve the problem of recalcitrant councilmembers who attempt to block desperately needed safety improvements in their districts, as Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz have already done.

Not to mention LA’s rampant NIMBYism, which rises up to oppose virtually any changes on our streets, especially if there’s the slightest suspicion it might slow traffic down.

Which is pretty much the point.

Here’s what LA Curbed’s Alissa Walker and Streetsblog’s Joe Linton have to say on the subject.

………

Today’s common theme, bike riders behaving badly.

Probably not the best idea to park your bike in front of a Palo Alto police station with a can of Colt 45 instead of a water bottle.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo police are looking for a butt-slapping bike rider who assaulted two women on campus in less than a week. Chances are, it’s not the same jerk who’s been assaulting English women in the same fashion for the last month.

Canadian police are looking for a bike-riding man who tried, and failed, to break into a business with a rock.

The Austrian man who was busted for trying to ride naked into a hotel in eight degree weather says he was trying to impress a girl. Although getting fired from his job as a pastry chef at the hotel probably isn’t the way to do it. And someone should explain to him about shrinkage.

A Pennsylvania bike rider was apparently under the influence when he was killed by a 17-year old driver; the victim had a water bottle filled with booze, and a dope pipe in his pocket.

University of Florida students are unnerved by a man riding his bike around campus wearing a swastika. Sometimes bike riders are the bad guys. And sometimes they’re just assholes. But even assholes have a constitutional right to be one.

………

Life is cheap in North Carolina, where a distracted driver gets a whole 75 days in jail for killing a cyclist while apparently checking his email.

But not as cheap as Illinois, where a drunk driver cops a plea for killing a man who was riding his bike home from work, in exchange for a whopping ten days behind bars. Ten effing days. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

And a three-time Brit traffic serial killer gets his suspended license back three years early because it’s an inconvenience to his family. It was probably pretty inconvenient for the families of his victims, too.

And then we wonder why nothing ever seems to stop the carnage on our streets.

………

Nice to hear from Michael Wagner of CLR Effect, who offers news from LA County’s too often neglected Eastside.

Even if the news isn’t exactly what we want to hear.

Like the bad news that yet another local bike shop is going out of business, as the popular Coates Cyclery is closing is doors. And this time, it’s his LBS. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the first link.

He also sends word that there will be a clean-up day on Glendora Mountain Road Sunday, February 5th to pick up the trash left behind by the people who travel it. Not all of whom are in cars.

………

The 3rd annual Night on Broadway will take place this Saturday, with over 60,000 people expected to celebrate with free events and music on DTLA’s main street; there will be a bike valet, so you can leave your car at home.

Santa Monica Planning is hosting a ride with SaMo’s mayor this Sunday. LA mayor Eric Garcetti agreed to ride with bicyclists when he was running for office four years ago, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has bothered to ask him to do it. Which should be a big hint to the LACBC, the BAC, LADOT…

Also on Sunday, community coalition Si Se Mueve is holding a free community bike ride through Northeast LA.

Yet another Sunday event, as Walk Bike Glendale is sponsoring their first Women’s Ride of 2017.

Finishing up a very busy Sunday, Black Kids on Bikes is holding a free bike tune-up session, followed by a freedom ride.

And one last reminder about the LACBC’s rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion on Monday in DTLA. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the link.

………

A Welsh Olympic gold medalist says there’s still a lot of sexism in cycling, but it’s not blatantly obvious. And the fluffy music played at women’s races doesn’t help.

NPR talks with the filmmaker behind Icarus, an amateur cyclist who filmed himself doping, only to accidently uncover the Russian doping scandal.

US Cycling membership now includes legal benefits, including a free consultation, reduced legal fees, and priority consideration for pro bono legal representation. Although virtually any bike lawyer will offer a free consultation.

………

Local

The LA Times looks at bike trends for 2017, from comfort bikes and ebikes to lighted helmets and ultra bright headlights.

Speaking of the Times, they make the bizarre claim that ebikes may be the greenest form of transportation in human history. They’re a great alternative to driving, but it’s ridiculous to claim ebikes are greener than bicycling or walking.

If Elon Musk is building a tunnel in LA, can we ask him to put in a bike lane?

An editorial in USC’s Daily Trojan calls California’s ban on headphones for bike riders a new, overbearing law. Except the law only prohibits wearing headphones in or on both ears, rather than one. And it’s not new. Wearing headphones in both ears has been illegal for years, just as it is for drivers; all that changed with the new law was to eliminate loopholes to include any form of headphones or earpieces.

This Wednesday is the deadline for Santa Clarita high school seniors to apply for a college scholarship in honor of fallen cyclist, musician and teacher Rod Bennett.

Long Beach is looking for a Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officer. They had me right up to the healthy living part.

Let’s face it. CiclaValley is probably having more fun than the rest of us these days.

 

State

Momentum Magazine previews April’s Sea Otter Classic at the famed Laguna Seca raceway in Monterey, calling the world’s premier cycling festival.

San Jose’s Good Karma Bikes helps teens learn how to keep their bikes in good working order while teaching job skills.

Fresno puts off a vote on the city’s new Active Transportation Plan that would add 950 miles of bike lanes, routes and trails.

 

National

The founder of Justin’s nut butters is one of us, too.

Bicycling reviews the warmest clothes for winter riding. And they list six epic bike events you probably don’t know about, including two in California.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, as cyclists react to the hit-and-run death of a 19-year old racer; his own mother found his body and mangled bike after he didn’t come home from a ride. Thanks to Shannon for the tip.

A recent Rutgers University study concludes that concerns about racial profiling are a barrier to bicycling in communities of color. It’s not just their imagination; blacks are more likely to be stopped and ticketed by police in northern cities, as well as in the deep south. And from what I’ve heard, that goes for black and Latino riders in SoCal, too.

A New Jersey paper recommends renting a bike when you travel to Europe, rather than trying to take yours with you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Chattanooga national masters champ is doing back-to-back 75-mile rides to celebrate his 75th birthday.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists eight reasons you should talk your friends into bicycling. They also list six “essential” tips for losing weight by bicycling, all of which you could figure out on your own.

Seventy-one percent of people responding to an online poll in one Canadian town think winter bicycling should be banned; one bighearted driver thinks running over a cyclist could provide extra traction on icy streets.

Toronto ups the ante for the combination of a coffee shop and bike shop by throwing in an art gallery, too.

London’s police department is going to put undercover cops on bikes to bust drivers making dangerous passes; they want to send the message that anyone on a bike could be a cop. We’ve been trying to talk the LAPD into trying that for years, but without success so far.

Britain sets aside £300 million — the equivalent of $376 million — for bicycling, then spends it on other things.

An Irish cyclist tries to reassure local businesses that bike lanes and parking can coexist, and that bike riders shop, too.

In a truly bizarre case, Dutch police have filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice against a UN lawyer from Jamaica who claimed she had been brutalized by cops who arrested her when she got off her bike and walked it across a busy street.

Who needs a mountain when you’ve got a parking garage? Adelaide, Australia cyclists compete in their own indoor hill climb. Thanks to Adam Ginsberg for the news.

Bangladeshi bicyclists set a new world record for the longest single-file line of moving bicycle traveling together, with 1,186 riders. Even that’s probably not enough to convince some drivers it’s better to let cyclists ride abreast.

 

Finally…

If you have to ask a Tostitos bag if you’re too drunk to drive, you’re too drunk to drive. Better stick to IPAs; the beer you drink could say you’re likely to have your bike stolen.

And this is what happens when a town gets serious about promoting bicycling, without getting too serious.

………

Thanks to Todd Rowell for his generous donation to support this site. Donations are always welcome to help us bring you the best, freshest and most accurate bike news in this post-truth era of alternate facts and fake news.

Bike rider killed in Pacoima collision Wednesday night

The LAPD is reporting that a bike rider was killed in a collision in Pacoima late last night.

According to the press release, the victim was crossing Foothill Blvd mid-block between Van Nuys Blvd and Carl Street around 11:10 pm when a driver headed south on Foothill struck the back of his bike.

The rider, who has not been publicly identified, was thrown a considerable distance by the force of the impact, coming to rest in the center of the roadway. He was taken to Holy Cross Hospital with injuries to his head and upper torso, where he was pronounced dead at 11:36.

The Daily News reports police estimate he was 39 years old.

The driver remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators. The force of the impact would suggest the driver may have been traveling faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit.

There’s no word on whether the victim had lights and reflectors on his bicycle, which should have made him visible as he crossed the street.

Anyone with information is urged to call Valley Traffic Division Office Martinez at 818/644-8032 or Det. III Bustos at 818/644-8021.

This is the 65th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, the 26th in LA County and the eighth in the City of Los Angeles. He also the third bicyclist killed on Foothill Blvd in the last three years, which suggests a need for significant safety improvements.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his loved ones.

lapd-pacoima-bike-death

Morning Links: USDOT announces national Vision Zero, London bike lane hate, and bike lanes & gentrification

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

………

Now we’re getting somewhere.

The US Department of Transportation has announced their own Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities on the nation’s roads.

Although unlike most similar plans — including LA’s — with ambitious, if unrealistic deadlines, the USDOT proposes to eliminate deaths on our streets within 30 years. By which time enough changes may have occurred in our transportation system to make it possible, if not probable.

Even in the face of the apparent massive 10% jump in traffic deaths in the first six months of this year.

As usual, however, the feds are approaching it cautiously, budgeting just $1 million per year for the next three years to fund grant programs to explore the idea.

And even that could go out the window next year, depending on who wins the election.

Thanks to Michael of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

………

London’s Daily Mail goes off on an anti-bike tangent, calling the construction of bike lanes in the UK — including the city’s popular cycle superhighways — lunacy, while pointing out that they may be busy at peak hours, but are often empty at other times.

Sort of like roads, in other words.

Which are flooded with cars at rush hour, but encourage speeding and aggressive driving with their overbuilt capacity most of the day, and especially at night.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker takes exception, calling the Daily Mail story the latest example of the internet’s propensity for example-free, anecdote-driven, fringe activist memes migrating into the mainstream media.

And noting that London’s bike lanes, which take up just 3% of the city’s streets, have contributed to a 60% increase in bicycling rates, with bikes making up a whopping 70% of rush hour traffic on one busy street.

So if something is bringing London’s traffic to a halt, as the Daily Mail claims, maybe it’s just all those cars.

………

Speaking of the Guardian, which seems to be today’s voice of reason, they offer a good examination of whether bike lanes cause gentrification.

………

Local

The LA Times warns that Los Angeles County voters defeated a transportation tax measure in 2012, and they could do it again with Measure M, which needs a two-thirds vote to pass.

KPCC’s Take Two takes a look at what to wear when you’re riding a bike and spandex just won’t do, including LA’s own swrve.

Joe Linton previews this weekend’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

An overly modest CiclaValley offers some great bicycling photos.

West Hollywood has experienced a jump in bike thefts over the past few months; the sheriff’s department is still looking for the owners of five bikes recovered from an abandoned property last month.

Bike the Vote LA urges a no vote on Santa Monica’s anti-growth measure LV.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a bike thief caught on camera lurking under the pier before riding off with a locked bike. What’s shocking about this story isn’t the theft, it’s that Patch is somehow still in business.

San Diego is about to fail its first test for the city’s Climate Action Plan, as the first neighborhoods to prepare plans that fail to meet minimal standards for shifting commuters to biking, walking and transit.

Palo Alto police conclude that a 73-year old bike rider who was killed in an August collision blew through a stop sign before he was hit by a car. As usual, however, there’s no word on whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who killed him.

A Hayward bike rider was found dead next to a freeway onramp, at least five hours after he was the victim of a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine anoints Charleston, SC as the nation’s worst city for bicycling, a sharp fall from grace after making the top 30 in 2010; they also rank this year’s bicycling hall of shame.

Alternet ranks the 20 things most likely to kill you; as usual, the only advice on how to stay safe on a bicycle is to wear your helmet. Never mind that avoiding collisions through better infrastructure and learning to ride safely is far more likely to protect you than any helmet. Or that you’re over ten times more likely to die in a car.

Vogue likes the looks of a new collapsible bike helmet that just launched on Kickstarter.

Oregon farmers are fighting plans for a rail-to-trail conversion of an abandoned railway, fearing the presence of bikers and walkers could result in higher crime and complicate pesticide spaying. Which sounds like a great reason to switch to more sustainable farming methods.

Seattle looks into the dangers streetcar tracks pose to cyclists in the downtown area.

Horrifying story from Texas, as a 10-year old special needs boy was set on fire by another child while he was out for a bike ride; he’s currently on life support with first and second degree burns, as well as a lung infection.

An Illinois mayoral candidate says he never wanted to get rid of the requirement for bike lights, even though he proposed an ordinance to do exactly that.

Not surprisingly, the mother of a Chicago woman killed by a flatbed truck while riding her bike last week has filed a lawsuit; the only surprise is that it’s for just $100,000. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

A Boston bike commuter tells motorists I don’t want to die, and you don’t want to kill me.

 

International

Clearly, hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as drivers fled in 13% of Ottawa, Canada collisions.

A new survey shows the overwhelming majority of Toronto residents approve of bike lanes. Although a Toronto website says local bike shops need an attitude adjustment so getting a bike serviced isn’t an unpleasant ordeal for women.

Adweek picks up on the controversy over a British ad campaign that puts the onus for avoiding collisions on the people on two wheels, rather than the ones operating the big dangerous machines. Meanwhile, 87% of people on the street in a very non-scientific London survey say cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the roads. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

A British researcher is riding across the UK to find out why Brits voted to leave the European Union.

An English writer says every driver should have to spend an hour on a bicycle to qualify for a driver’s license.

Local governments are derailing Scotland’s plans to become more bike friendly and increase bicycling rates.

An Irish writer insists that bike riders need to pay their share for the roads if they want to be taken seriously. Except they already do, of course. And should be anyway, just like anyone else.

Google is employing a virtually army of bike riding women to help get women in rural Indian villages online for the first time. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

A South African business site says developing a culture of bicycling would counteract congestion in Cape Town, as the city begins work on developing a cycling strategy.

An Aussie lawyer bizarrely argues that a drugged-out hit-and-run driver should be spared jail because it would cause irreparable harm to her 15-month old son. Never mind the irreparable harm she caused the bike-riding mother of three she killed, along with her family.

Singapore has ticketed over 700 bicyclists, ebike riders and personal mobility device operators for reckless behavior since May.

 

Finally…

Chances are, bike riding isn’t doing permanent damage to your lady parts, assuming you have them. And Poland unveils a new bike lane apparently made of luminescent Smurfs.

 

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: Expanded mobile phone driving ban, Vision Zero speed limits, and scary bike-riding non-clowns

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

………

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation prohibiting drivers from holding and operating mobile phones for almost any reason, including changing a play list or using a GPS.

However, in a sign of just how seriously the state doesn’t take distracted driving, the fine for the first violation is a measly $20, rising to a whole $50 for subsequent violations.

Even though distracted driving is every bit as deadly as drunk driving.

And people will continue to die until we treat it that way.

………

Seattle votes to lower speed limits on city streets, from 25/30 mph to 20/25 mph as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Which is exactly what LA has to do if there’s any hope of reducing, let alone eliminating, traffic fatalities by 2025.

Yet here in the City of Angels, the case is complicated by streets with near-highway speeds as a result of the deadly 85% rule, which sets speed limits at the average speed of 85% of drivers on any given street.

In other words, the best way to make sure the speed limit goes up is to keep your foot firmly planted on the gas pedal. Which is kind of like putting bank robbers in charge of bank security.

Never mind that speed limits are unenforceable by radar guns on roughly 75% of the city’s streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct the required speed surveys.

And never mind that decades of flawed traffic planning has left Los Angeles with countless streets engineered to carry traffic at speeds far beyond the posted limits, and too many drivers more than happy to take advantage of that.

Angelenos have gotten used to driving that extra 10 to 15 mph above the speed limit, even on streets with posted limits of 45 mph or more.

We could see open rebellion and riots in the streets if the police started cracking down on speeders — or at least a number of recall threats and angry letters to the Times. Let alone if city officials found a way around the 85% law to lower limits to life-sparing levels.

But it has to be done.

Because until we do, Vision Zero will be nothing more than a couple of words.

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Maybe the national obsession with scary clowns is just a tad out of control.

Consider this report from Portland, Tennessee about the arrest of pranksters posing as clowns.

State and local police urge residents to call in all unusual behaviors to the nearest law enforcement agency. The warning comes in light of several incidences in Tennessee and beyond involving people disguised as clowns who have threatened and scared people and children…

Portland (TN) police received another call Tuesday morning reporting a clown was riding a bicycle near Highways 109 and 52. The report was false and police found a person riding a bike wearing a safety vest with flashing lights to warn traffic, Heavner said.

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Cycling scion Taylor Phinney jumps to the Boulder CO-based Cannondale-Drapac team for 2017, just two years removed from the crash that nearly ended his racing career; Cycling Tips offers a good profile of the 26-year old racer as he works to revitalize his career.

Atlas Obscura looks at the demise of America’s love affair with six-day track cycling competitions of the ‘20s and ‘30s.

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Local

Richard Risemberg argues the benefits of a road diet on 6th Street in the face of NIMBY opposition.

CiclaValley offers a recap of recent bike cam videos, including yesterday’s big bike lane dump in Griffith Park and a dump off his bike at the Griffith Observatory.

World Car-Free Day may be over, but Santa Monica gets into the act on October 7th.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Bike SGV wants your input if you walk or bike in the San Gabriel Valley.

Damien Newton talks with Wesley Reutimann about the rescheduled 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

 

State

San Diego’s Measure A would raise $18 billion for transportation infrastructure, but just $540 million would be set aside for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Chula Vista applies for funds to build a four-mile bike lane and make other bike and pedestrian safety improvements on a street where 33 bicyclists were involved in collisions over a four year period.

Three Redlands cyclists are riding 250 miles to Las Vegas to raise funds for underprivileged kids.

 

National

Cities around the US are using temporary, pop-up traffic installations to see if they work before making permanent changes. Which is a smart way of avoiding the inevitable panic that stops most projects before they ever start.

Students at the University of New Mexico pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a fellow student after his was stolen.

The nation’s best bike city, as anointed by Bicycle Magazine, has suffered six bicycling fatalities this year, all involving commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, a Chicago TV station finds the city’s bike lanes are often blocked by parked vehicles, despite a city ordinance prohibiting it.

A Michigan middle school student barely avoided becoming collateral damage when he jumped off his bike just before a van involved in a collision rolled over it.

Something is seriously wrong when a Western PA bike rider faces jail for taking the lane.

Boston’s bikeshare system really doesn’t want anyone riding their bikes on a busy highway.

New Yorkers are shaming drivers who block bike lanes on a new interactive website.

A Delaware cyclist says he’s giving up riding after he was rear-ended by a car, saying local roads are too dangerous and drivers don’t care.

Nice gesture, as Atlanta considers naming a one-block section of the Peachtree Street bike lane after the co-founder of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition after he died of a brain tumor.

 

International

Treehugger says Toronto has zero vision when it comes to Vision Zero.

A London supermarket will test one hour bicycle delivery.

A British cop stepped away from his duties protecting the US ambassador to save the life of a cyclist; the rider flew through the rear window of a parked car when he crashed into it on a training ride.

Scotland is in danger of missing their goal of having one in ten journeys made by bicycle by the year 2020, as ridership declined slightly last year.

A beautiful new 2/3-mile bike and pedestrian suspension bridge will be the longest bridge in Finland when it’s finished.

Turkey opens its first bike themed and bike friendly resort hotel.

A South African cyclist faces charges after he became enraged when a driver honked at him, attacking both her and a second rider who came to her defense, then throwing a cup of hot coffee at her husband when they spotted him at a bistro. Seriously, no matter what a driver does, violence is never the answer. Nor is losing control of yourself.

An Aussie cyclist takes silver in finishing her seventh triathlon, just three years after receiving a heart and double lung transplant.

A Chinese cyclist rode from China to Portugal, covering just under 1,000 miles in 87 days.

 

Finally…

When you’re on parole and carrying stolen credit cards and prescription drugs, it’s probably a good idea to obey local bike laws. If you’re carrying coke on your bike and have outstanding warrants, put a light on it — and don’t pass yourself off as your warrantless brother.

And the underwater mountain bike season is officially over.

 

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