Tag Archive for Vision Zero

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

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

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

Which is not what Vision Zero is about.

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

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

Although that’s not the way they put it.

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

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

But let’s be honest.

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

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

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

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

It’s a liability lawyer’s dream.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is what these road diets were supposed to do.

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

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

They’ve answered with a resounding no.

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

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

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

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

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

He was wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

Bicycles are making a comeback in Cuba.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Especially before 6 am.

Thanks to kdbhiker for the photo.

Morning Links: Bike SGV advocate Brian Velez passes away, new Vision Zero ad, and tips on videoing cops

More tragic news.

As if there wasn’t enough last week, the Los Angeles bicycling community suffered another big loss when one of the area’s leading advocates passed away unexpectedly.

Bike SGV reports that Brian Velez, outreach coordinator for the San Gabriel Valley advocacy group, died last Wednesday from an undiagnosed illness.

Velez also served as the co-host of Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast, as well as creating artwork for his blog.

He was just 33.

He is survived by his parents and his sister Diane, who worked with him as the Safe Routes coordinator for Bike SGV.

A scholarship fund is beingcreated in his name, and a memorial ride will be held in his honor on October 15th; you can find information on both on the Bike SGV website.

I hope you’ll join me in offering our deepest sympathy and prayers for Brian Velez, and all those who loved him.

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Vision Zero Los Angeles punts on its first TV spot, using LA Rams punter Johnny Hekker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to call on drivers to watch their speed and pay more attention to people walking and biking.

Not exactly the hard-hitting ad some of us were hoping for.

But as Streetsblog’s Damien Newton reminds us, maybe it will mark a turning point in steering the conversation back to safety.

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The LAPD offers tips reaffirming your 1st Amendment right to film and photograph police officers in public, and how to avoid getting into trouble in the process.

Which is not to say every officer has gotten the memo, or agrees with it. So you may want to copy print this out and carry it with you or commit it to memory.

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A couple items were inadvertently left out of last week’s listing of upcoming bike events.

Starting with the 2017 South Bay Cycling Awards, hosted by Cycling in the South Bay author and bike lawyer Seth Davidson. If you make it, say hi to everyone; a great group of people and some very dedicated advocates down there.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition is holding their 5th Annual Pumpkin Patch Pedal this Sunday.

And the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tomorrow night in Hollywood.

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Once again, today’s common theme is bikeshare.

Bikeshare has officially opened on the UCLA campus. Your move, USC.

A Venice writer tries out the area’s new Metro Bike bikeshare, and ends up loaning it to a stranger who tried to wrestle it away from her.

As bikeshare flourishes in DC, questions arise of whether the city has the infrastructure to support it.

A bikeshare bike stopped a teenage Australian boy who was terrorizing the public when a bystander threw it under the boy’s SUV, to keep him from running over people on the street.

An Australian professor explains how dockless bikeshare providers actually make money.

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Another case of motor doping has been uncovered, as a French amateur rider was caught using a motor hidden inside his bicycle.

Former world team time trial champ Carmen Small retired after suffering her third major concussion since 2006.

Retired Spanish cyclist Oscar Freire says pro racing was much harder back in his day. After which he yelled at the kids to get off his lawn.

Trek is credited with giving men and women equal prize money for a recent cyclocross cup, even though cycling’s international governing body doesn’t believe in equal pay for equal results.

Ventura officials see virtually unlimited potential in hosting next year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Malibu Times reports on last month’s Malibu Triathlon.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about her experience with the LACBC’s recent bike and pedestrian count in South LA.

LAist says Angelenos need to atone for routinely driving a half mile when they could walk, bike or take a bus.

New plans to restore the Ballona Wetlands include options that would remove the concrete and restore Ballona Creek to a more natural state, requiring a realignment of the bike path.

Funding for the $20 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge connecting Glendale and Griffith Park has been approved by the state legislature, and is sitting on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature.

South Pasadena will establish a Bicycle Friendly Business District (pdf) in the downtown area, as part of the Bike Friendly San Gabriel Valley program. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up and pdf.

Santa Clarita has installed a solar-powered bike counter along a commuter bike trail.

 

State

San Clemente proposes narrowing existing traffic lanes and installing eight-foot wide buffered bike lanes on Calle Saluda.

San Francisco announces another plan to clear the homeless off a popular bikeway known as the Hairball, after encampments made it nearly impossible to ride through.

Kindhearted Antioch cops teamed with a local bike shop to buy a new bicycle for a 10-year old hit-and-run victim.

A Marin hiker says he was beaten by a trio of mountain bikers who were illegally using a singletrack trail where bikes are prohibited. Seriously, never resort, or respond, to violence except to defend yourself or others.

Modesto plans to sell a $9,000 trained police dog to the family of his handler for just $1, after the officer was killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle.

 

National

Ford has patented a method to maintain stability on a bicycle and help keep the rider upright. Which in theory could allow countless people who aren’t comfortable balancing on two wheels to get out and ride.

Life is cheap in Idaho, where a truck driver who killed a bike rider was fined just $90 — yes, nine zero — for “inattentive driving;” the victim’s wife was not even allowed to tell the jury her husband had died as a result of the crash.

Country music star Luke Bryan is one of us, as he takes a tour of Austin TX with America’s most famous ex-Tour de France winner.

An Ohio woman rode 1,900 miles from Ohio to Arizona, recreating the route her son took before he died of Ewing’s sarcoma and acute myeloid leukemia.

A New Hampshire city appoints the country’s first bike mayor.

Buffalo NY bicyclists ride to raise funds and awareness for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

More New York bike couriers are mistakenly riding through the Lincoln tunnel, riding past the signs indicating no bikes in the process.

An 84-year old Virginia man faces charges after making a wide turn at high speed and crashing into a woman carrying three children on her bicycle. Once again bringing up the difficult question of how old is too old to safely drive. And how to get older people off the road once they’ve lost their ability to drive safely, which varies from one person to another.

 

International

A NASA astronaut will join a pair of scientists in bicycling 600 miles across the Amazon to document the effects of climate change.

City Lab reports that bicycles and parks were lifelines for people affected by last month’s Mexico City earthquake. A reminder that owning a bike with durable tires could be a lifesaver for those of us who live in earthquake country.

A hard-hitting piece by a Toronto columnist says the city’s streets are deadly by design. Not unlike the streets of Los Angeles, which some Westside and South Bay drivers are fighting to keep that way.

British bike advocates have mapped out every bicycling fatality in the UK from 2005 to 2016, discovering in the process that roundabouts are risky for bike riders.

Not a hint of eccentricity here. A Welshman is riding 5,000 miles to Africa to follow the swallows that live in his shed.

A UK cyclist calls out his fellow riders for leaving their trash behind on the road. He’s got a point; it always saddens me to see gel wrappers, blown tubes and spent CO2 cartridges littering popular riding routes.

A bicyclist from Malta says he started bike commuting because he wanted to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. And lost 30 pounds in the process.

Athletes in Turkmenistan gave the country’s president a golden bicycle, which inexplicably appears to be painted green. Although it’s hard to tell what the story’s really trying to say in its broken English.

Brilliant idea from a South African writer, who says drivers should be given an automatic 15-minute timeout on the side of the road when they get pulled over by police for bad driving. Although here in LA, that could result in a massive traffic jam of stopped cars on the side of the roads.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to do a good deed, at least keep an eye on your bike. Go to your next Halloween party as a self-driving car.

And congrats, roadies. Your spandex bike shorts are now fashion forward.

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Thanks to John Hall for his very generous donation to help support this site.

And let’s all take a moment to remember the victims of last night’s shootings in Las Vegas. And dedicate ourselves to keep things like this from happening again.

 

Morning Links: Indignorant anti-road diet columnist, bike riders on the wrong end of guns, and more traffic mayhem

So wrong, in so many ways.

A columnist for the LA Daily News goes out of her way to demonstrate her near total ignorance of traffic safety, Vision Zero and “dangerous” road diets in a column saying the latter belongs in a Museum of Stupid Ideas.

Never mind that road diets have been shown to increase safety up to 47%. But why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good rant?

Then there’s her screed about Vision Zero coming from — gasp! — Sweden.

Common sense would tell you that traffic solutions should be developed locally without guidance from irrelevant foreign capitals, and that’s why common sense is not in the museum.

During 2016, the first full year of Vision Zero’s implementation in Los Angeles, fatalities in traffic collisions were up a horrifying 43 percent over the previous year.

Although she might have mentioned that all LA did in 2016 was develop a plan for Vision Zero. And to the best of my knowledge, talking about reducing traffic deaths has never caused a single collision.

Or that the purpose of Vision Zero is not to prevent traffic collisions, but to keep people from dying in them, by recognizing that people will always make mistakes, but better roadway designs can keep those mistakes from killing someone.

And never mind that virtually every traffic solution currently in use in LA came from somewhere else. From traffic lights and stop signs, to the billion dollar HOV lanes on the 405.

About the only innovation we can claim is the right turn on red light. Which isn’t exactly a template for safety.

But the topper is this one, where she goes out of her way to have it both ways.

Although city officials consulted extensively with community groups before turning eight-tenths of a mile of Venice Boulevard into one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets,” the part of the plan that involved taking away a traffic lane in each direction wasn’t exactly displayed on street banners.

So she acknowledges that the city conducted extensive outreach. Then turns around and says it didn’t do enough outreach.

Maybe next time she should do a little basic research so she knows what the hell she’s talking about before flying off the handle.

Or wasting newsprint with uninformed drivel like this.

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Today’s common theme is bikes and guns.

There are still no suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular Colorado mountain biker as he was riding last week; his body was discovered days later next to a trail.

A Florida bike rider was shot by a driver in an apparent road rage incident; no word on the condition of the victim.

And compared to the previous two cases, a Pennsylvania bicyclist got off easy when an angry driver merely pointed his gun at him following an argument.

Of course, if the drivers had just used their cars instead, it would have been written off as just an accident.

And the bike riders would have been blamed for it.

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Today’s other common theme is the more traditional form of traffic violence.

A pair of Oklahoma men tried to cover-up a fatal hit-and-run collision by intentionally driving into a highway guard rail to hide the damage from hitting a bike rider.

A Missouri man was doing 93 in a 35 mph zone — and driving on a suspended license — when he slammed into a bicyclist last year; he now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

A Wisconsin man was turned in by his own wife following a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of man riding a bicycle.

An 83-year old Michigan man faces a misdemeanor charge after killing one bicyclist and injuring another in a rear-end collision last year. Older people may depend on their cars for mobility, but we’ve got to find a way to get them off the roads before it’s too late.

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Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten bounced back from her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics road cycling race to win world championship in the time trial yesterday.

If you’ve ever questioned how tough women cyclists really are, consider this video of British cyclist Lauren Dolan celebrating her 18th birthday by finishing the time trial despite a horrific leg injury suffered when she hit a manhole cover. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/JamieHaughey/status/909870748549943296/video/1

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Local

Letter writers in the Times say dark tinted windows on cars make it more dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians.

Los Angeles is planning for temporary walkways and bike paths in the recently purchased Taylor Yards railroad site, while plans are developed for a permanent park.

Curbed examines the future of bikeshare in the City of Angels.

Doris Day used to be one of us, riding her bicycle through Beverly Hills to rescue stray animals.

The Beach Reporter looks at Manhattan Beach resident Evens Stievenart’s new world record in the Le Mans Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling race

 

State

Nice story from San Diego, where a nearly blind 94-year old woman took her first bike ride in 15 years on the back of a tandem as part of a Dreams Do Come True program at an Escondido retirement community.

The new dockless bikeshare bikes in San Diego’s Imperial Beach are already getting trashed by users and vandals, less than two weeks after their introduction.

A three mile Wildomar bike lane project has been put on hold after all the bids came in over budget.

A Riverside columnist explain what those green patches in the bike lanes are all about.

Speaking in Oakland, a traffic engineer says protected bike lanes must be the new normal, and urban planners are still trying to undo the damage caused by vehicular cyclists in the 1970s and 80s.

Jens Voigt returns to Marin County to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin,

 

National

A new study shows teens are increasingly putting off drinking, driving and sex. Which makes sense, since the last one seldom happened without the first two, anyway.

No overreaction here, as TV’s Inside Edition says groups of crazed cyclists are causing “absolute mayhem in the streets.” Meanwhile, a group of young bike riders tried to prove them right by ignoring a ban on bikes to take over New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.

Houston residents are donating bicycles to help people who lost their cars in Hurricane Harvey.

Kellen Winslow II is one of us, as he tries to sell the home he bought in the Texas hills in hopes of becoming the first pro football player to turn pro cyclist.

A New York woman confirms that riding across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most difficult commutes, even if it was better than she expected.

Curbed talks with Philadelphia’s biggest bike advocate.

 

International

Edinburg, Scotland is waiting to give hometown hero Mark Beaumont the welcome he’s earned after a record-breaking 79-day bike ride around the world.

A British personal injury lawyer says the laws must be changed to clarify the rights and obligations of bicyclists, and protect riders who hit someone while riding in a bike lane.

A New Zealand cyclist calls for ripping out a new separated bike lane, after first assuring us he’s one of the good ones — not, he insists, a spandex clad rider on a $5,000 carbon fiber bike, or someone who insists on slowly taking the lane at rush hour.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you’re more dangerous than a truck. And everything you always wanted to know about bicycling in Bogotá but were afraid to ask.

Thanks to Dennis Eckhart for his generous donation to help support this site. Or maybe just help pay for that new hard drive.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero in reverse on Vista del Mar, and an indignorant self-pious anti-bike lane cyclist

This is not how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

Bowing to complaints from angry motorists, Los Angeles reversed the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey last week.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the reconfigured street is now a “desolate, 4-lane highway,” with nothing to keep drivers from exceeding the already too high 40 mph speed limit.

And exceed it, they will. And already are.

Which means it’s just a matter of time until the next death on a roadway that has already seen far too many.

Except this time, the inevitable lawsuit will settle for far more than the $9.5 million paid out by the city recently in the death of a 16-year old girl. Because they had a chance to fix the problem and not only didn’t do it, but undid the fix they made.

A cost that will be born, not by the South Bay drivers who use the roadway as their personal speedway, but by the people of Los Angeles.

Or the South Bay cities that believe in calming traffic, but only inside their own city limits, for that matter.

It’s too early to give up on Vision Zero.

But this is exactly the wrong thing to do. And for exactly the wrong reasons.

Photo of deconfigured Vista del Mar by Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

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Once again, the specter of an indignorant, self-pious cyclist raises its ugly head.

This time in the form of a San Luis Obispo columnist who says he obeys the law when he rides, but accuses the city council of appeasing those damn scofflaw bike zealots with a cycle track he insists no one else wants anyway.

Maybe someone should tell him that many law abiding bike riders desperately want safer places to ride their bikes, and better bikeways have been shown to reduce illegal bike behavior.

And no, drivers don’t pay all the taxes and fees for the construction and maintenance of our roads.

Or even most of them.

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BikinginLA sponsor Thomas Forsyth will team with Wolfpack Hustle to host the Forsyth Cup at the Encino Velodrome on September 16th.

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Team USA announced the women’s team for the coming world road championships, including 42-year old defending world time trial champ Amber Neben, Chloe Dygert, Megan Gaurnier and SoCal’s own Coryn Rivera.

The Colorado-based Cannondale Drapac cycling team — home to Taylor Phinney, Alex Howes and Rigoberto Uran — has reluctantly started a crowdfunding campaign to stay afloat after losing a key sponsor for next year; the Denver Post reports it’s already raised around $1.5 million.

Chris Froome shrugged off concerns that his Team Sky has an unfair financial advantage over the other teams, comparing efforts to level the playing field to communism. Which is easy to say when he’s guaranteed a job for next year.

Good thing the doping era is over. This year’s Dana Point Grand Prix winner Kayle LeoGrande was banned for a whopping eight years after a drug test revealed seven separate prohibited substances.

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Local

West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals celebrates its first anniversary tomorrow at Sal Guarriello Park at Santa Monica Blvd and Holloway from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. In case you’re wondering, the traditional gift for a one-year anniversary is paper; do with that what you will.

Pasadena’s planned two-way Union Street cycle track could start construction before the projected 2021 kickoff date.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement program tomorrow, ticketing people for behavior that can jeopardize the safety of either, regardless of who commits it. Which means ride to the letter of the law until you’re out of their jurisdiction, which extends beyond the city limits.

The Expo Line bike path continues to be closed for maintenance work between Centinela and Stewart Street in Santa Monica; SaMo is also conducting a bike technology demonstration project at the intersection of Pico and 11th this week.

 

State

The OC Register gives you the lowdown on California ebike laws.

Nearly 20 special needs kids in Ventura get new adaptive tricycles, thanks to a Los Angeles-based nonprofit.

A Fresno school bus driver apparently right hooked a teenage bike rider, and just kept going.

The victim of Sunday’s Guerneville hit-and-run that killed a bike rider as he checked his phone on the side of the road has been identified as the chief legal counsel for UC Berkeley; a 28-year old Rio Nido man has been named a person of interest in the case.

Sacramento State University students will be greeted with several new green bike lanes leading to campus, as well Sacramento’s first bike boxes and bicycle traffic signal on a dangerous corridor near the school.

A large landslide nine months ago will keep a popular Sacramento riverfront bike trail closed until at least next spring.

 

National

PlacesForBikes’ Michael Andersen says improving bicycling is as much about slowing traffic speeds as it is building bike lanes.

A Seattle woman celebrates bike riders of all sizes with stickers reading With These Thighs.

The war on bikes continues, as a 72-year old Arkansas bike rider was seriously injured when he ran into barbed wire that had been strung at chest level across a bike trail. Lets hope they catch the jerks who did it and lock them up for a very long time.

A Pittsburgh website says new bike lanes are a good first step, but more has to be done to ensure safety.

Boston cops have accepted an invitation from the founder of a Boston stunt-bike group to ride with them, after the riders were booted from a parade that banned bikes over the weekend.

The New York Times examines dockless bikeshare companies, which are currently banned from the city.

 

International

Montreal bike cops accidently bust one of the United States’ most wanted criminals.

Six-time Brit Olympic champ Sir Chris Hoy says pretty much anyone who weighs more than 112 pounds looks awful in Lycra, and looks ridiculous in fluorescent colors or a full team kit; he later issued an apology for some of his remarks. Although I do have to agree with him about white bike shorts, which don’t look good on anyone.

A paper in the UK offers advice on how to keep your bike from getting stolen.

Organizers of a British mountain bike race face charges for not doing enough to ensure the safety of spectators after a young woman was killed by an out-of-control bike in 2014.

After months of reports that self-driving cars can’t recognize bike and riders would have to wear some sort of transponder to improve safety, German auto parts maker Bosch is introducing a radar system designed to recognize and automatically respond to bicyclists even in heavy fog, as well as spotting riders coming from behind in order to prevent doorings.

A sharp decline in Australian imports of children’s bikes prompts fears that children are less active in the country. It could have something to do with the country’s dangerous, auto-centric streets, and a mandatory helmet law and draconian fines that discourage their parents from riding. Or it could have something to do with dangerous bikes, after an Aussie teenager was impaled by the gear shift on his bicycle.

 

Finally…

Your next foldie could weigh just 15 pounds. Who needs spin class when you can just pedal your desk?

And why let a little thing like a hurricane keep you from riding?

 

Morning Links: Laguna driver runs down cyclist and tries to hit another, stolen bikes, and Vision Zero news

Talk about getting the story wrong.

The Daily Pilot reported yesterday that a Laguna Beach driver had attempted to crash his car into a bicyclist who tried to stop him after he’d hit another rider.

But what they failed to mention was that the first crash was intentional, as well.

The Laguna Beach Police Department reported on their Facebook page that the driver fled after intentionally crashing into a man riding his bicycle, then trying to run over the second rider as he attempted to confront him.

Thankfully, he missed.

Fifty-three-year old Laguna Beach resident Kevin O’Neill was arrested on Saturday, after witnesses and victims picked his photo out of a lineup following the twin attacks Thursday morning at Bluebird Canyon Road and South Coast Highway.

No word on the condition of his victim.

Fortunately, this took place in Orange County, where the DA takes traffic crime seriously. We should expect a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, at the very least.

But let this serve as yet another reminder that it’s not worth your life to confront an angry driver.

Gather whatever information you can, from the make, model, color and license of the vehicle to a description of the driver, as well as any photos or video, if possible.

Then get hell out of the way and let the police deal with it.

Mug shot of Kevin O’Neill from Laguna Beach Police Department Facebook page.

………

Let’s catch up with a couple of quick stolen bike announcements.

Bobby Close of LA’s popular Velo Club La Grange sent the following notice.

One of our members had his bike stolen recently in Ventura California, his name is Marc Thomas. His bike should be easy to spot as it’s a 66cm custom made Landshark bicycle YES Marc IS TALL!!! Marc is one of the great members we have in LaGrange as he is constantly teaching new and old cyclists in his world famous “ Drills for Skills” clinics. Along with being a key member of the club he was one of the many people instrumental in making the Brentwood Grand Prix happen for so many years.

Attached is a picture of the stolen bike. The bike should stand out as only NBA basketball players are tall enough to ride it.

I’ve asked for additional information on exactly when and where the bike was stolen, but haven’t heard back yet.

And Mina Moskol of the LACBC’s Santa Clarita Chapter forwards a flyer for a bicycle stolen from one of the competitors in the World Police and Fire Games staying at a Palmdale hotel last week.

………

In the never-ending battle over the Playa del Rey traffic safety improvements, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa will debate a motion to approve a letter calling for a reversal of the all the Playa del Rey lane reductions at tonight’s meeting.

Despite what opponents of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project are saying, Sweet Lucie’s Ice Cream in Mar Vista may be closing, but it has nothing to do with the lane reductions.

And a new online petition asks you to show your support for Vision Zero in the face of attacks from angry drivers and talk radio jocks.

………

Forget the worst retirement ever; LA’s own former pro Phil Gaimon ranks the top ten cookies in the United States.

……….

We’ll catch up with bike events later this week, but I can’t resist this one. Which could be the best idea for a kid’s bike safety workshop ever.

Correction: This event takes place on Saturday the 19th, not on the 21st. Thanks to the LACBC for the correction.

……….

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t the final stages of the Colorado Classic yet, skip this section.

And if you haven’t, what the hell are you waiting for?

Italy’s Manuel Senni and Romanian Serghei Tvetcov held off the peloton to win the inaugural Colorado Classic after a two-man breakaway in Saturday’s Stage 3, as Colorado’s Alex Howes lost the lead he gained on Stage 2.

Despite the accusations that her birth sex gave her an unfair advantage, trans cyclist Jillian Bearden finished in the middle of the women’s field, while 21-year old Canadian Sara Poidevin swept to victory.

The race introduced a number of young American cyclists to international competition. Or maybe the other way around.

Cycling Tips offers some great photos from the four stage race, as well as the women’s two-stage competition.

A Denver business site offers a look at the festival that accompanied, and helped pay for, the bike race.

Cycling News points out a number of problems with the race and accompanying festival, but the chairman of the Colorado Classic says based on feedback, the race will probably be back next year.

……….

Local

The Source offers photos from Sunday’s CicLAvia, while some local businesses in San Pedro complain about traffic and say they weren’t consulted. CicLAvia always puts a significant effort into outreach, for as long as a year prior to a new event; businesses that respond and cater to the people passing by are usually richly rewarded; those who don’t, aren’t.

The Expo Line bike path was abruptly closed for the next three months between Centinela and Stewart Street for undisclosed maintenance work on Monday; Santa Monica Next says the detour around the work zone could be made safer simply by moving a few parking spaces.

A new bike and pedestrian pathway and bridge along the Pacoima Wash should offer a significant cut in non-motorized travel times through the northern San Fernando Valley.

While LA is busy battling NIMBYs, Burbank is reinventing itself as a denser, more walkable and bikeable community.

The LACBC is offering a free indoor class on basic bicycling skills tonight.

CiclaValley offers video evidence that going down Mt. Baldy is a lot faster than going up.

 

State

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run scumbag who left a 29-year old woman in a medically induced coma after running her down in Encinitas on Friday.

A San Diego mountain biker was airlifted out of Sycamore Canyon suffering from head and neck pain.

In a horrific crime, San Francisco police are looking for a man on a bicycle who blinded a woman by pouring bleach on her after telling her to leave.

San Francisco bikeshare bikes are vandalized once again, as a local columnist says bikeshare is resented as a sign of gentrification.

A kindhearted San Francisco cop bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen.

Nineteen bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes finish a 4,248-mile from New York to Napa County.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where yet another hit-and-run coward killed a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a roadway.

 

National

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends reforming the deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows speeding drivers to dictate speed limits. Or better yet, just get rid of the damn thing entirely.

People for Bikes offers free photos and a detailed explanation of what makes an effective neighborhood greenway, formerly known as bicycle boulevards. AKA bicycle friendly streets here in LA, though no one seems to have any plans to actually build any anytime soon.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get police to take your bike cam video seriously. Which is a problem with most police departments — including here in LA.

Bike Snob says “on your left!” needs to die already, even though there’s no way to pass anyone on a trail without scaring the crap out of them. I’ve found that simply adding the word passing, as in “passing on your left,” in a polite, conversational tone solves the problem almost every time. But what the hell do I know?

Treehugger says cars really should wear hi-viz, their drivers should wear helmets, and car radios should be banned. The latter would have the added benefit of keeping radio shock jocks from fueling drivers’ anger and contributing to road rage.

A Washington bike rider was killed by a driver with a suspended license. Proving once again the difficulty of keeping dangerous drivers off the road unless their vehicles are impounded as well. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park invites you to bike the park on September 30th.

An Arkansas man finishes an extreme Alaska triathlon just within the cutoff time, despite losing a leg 32 years earlier.

The famed Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to get back to riding a bicycle. And why.

Despite testifying that he was simply riding safely by taking the lane, the Pennsylvania cyclist on trial for obstructing traffic was convicted last week; sentencing is in three months, even though he’s already served a full year in jail awaiting trial. It sounds like the real problem was that he was too militant about his rights as a bicyclist, refusing to move over even when traffic backed up behind him.

New York tells dockless bikeshare companies to get lost.

The NY Daily News says only in New York could a truck driver leave the scene after running down a bike rider, and not be charged. Obviously, they’ve never been to Los Angeles.

Speaking of Bike Snob, as we were earlier, his alter ego offers 15 unwritten rules of bicycling in New York City you’re probably breaking. Or maybe would be, if you actually rode there.

Delaware state police blame a rider for wearing dark clothes in low light conditions and taking the lane after he’s rear-ended by a driver. Correction: I originally criticized the police for bending over backwards to blame the rider after noting that the crash occurred two hours before sunset. However, as Andy S pointed out, the crash actually took place before sunrise, not sunset. I apologize for the confusion.

A Louisiana astronomer has been riding across the US for the last 450 days to educate Americans about next week’s solar eclipse, covering over 9,000 miles before his planned finish in Nashville on Monday.

 

International

A fifth of all bicycling deaths in Montreal are caused by collisions with trucks, usually when riders are right hooked and dragged under the truck. Something that could be avoided by requiring sideguards.

A London court is told a fixie rider could have avoided a fatal collision with a pedestrian if he hadn’t been riding brakeless; he blamed the woman for walking distracted, instead.

Bicycle Dutch reviews the world’s biggest bicycle parking garage.

Cycling Weekly lists seven rides in Italy to add to your bicycling bucket list.

An Aussie parliament member who opposes same sex marriage says he loves the guys he bikes with, but he doesn’t want to marry them. And apparently doesn’t get it, either.

An Australian study shows men are more likely to commit acts of violence on the road, but women drivers tend to be angrier.

 

Finally…

The problem isn’t potholes, it’s the fairies. Most bike riders only have to worry about dog bites, not two-foot long iguanas — or bears.

And just what every single cyclist needs, bicycle speed dating.

 

Morning Links: August bike events, hard-hitting LA Vision Zero video, and more pellet gun attacks on bike riders

Let’s catch up on a few upcoming bike events.

Walk Bike Burbank is hosting their third annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will explore the South Bay beach cities with a pair of rides this Sunday.

Also this Sunday, API Forward Movement and Healthy Active Streets will team with Metro to host a Blue Line Summer Bike Ride and Interactive Pop-Up.

Mark your calendar for the 12th, when Public Bikes will begin a going out of business sale at their Santa Monica store. Thanks again to Erik Griswold.

LA’s favorite street party rolls next Sunday when the San Pedro meets Wilmington CicLAvia takes place from 9 am to 4 pm at the Los Angeles Harbor. Or leave your bike at home, and walk it.

On Saturday, August 26th, the Michael Ray Vega Memorial Ride will be held in Huntington Beach to remember the 5th anniversary of the rider’s death.

Bike SGV will hold their August Bike Train on Sunday the 27th.

………

Let’s take a few minutes and let Los Angeles explain Vision Zero with a hard-hitting video.

Show that to the next person who just doesn’t seem to get why human lives are worth a few moments of inconvenience.

I’ve criticized the city a lot for crappy communications over the years.

But this time, they got it right.

………

The war on bikes goes on, as bicyclists continue to report being shot with pellet guns.

A 34-year old Virginia man told police he’s been shot in the back with a pellet gun while riding his bike earlier this week, but didn’t want to pursue charges.

And a 73-year old Florida man was shot with a BB gun from a passing car while he was on a group ride; the group had been threatened earlier by someone who leaned out of a car and fired a Taser at them.

………

A Chinese website profiles the life of a 30-year old Tibetan professional cyclist, who’s been pursuing his passion since he was 16.

And nothing like a pony in the peloton. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/893133035029372928

……….

Local

A writer for the Fox & Hounds business and politics site says if LA wants to be successful in changing attitudes about our streets they need to show more respect for drivers and do a better job of communicating. He’s got a point. With the exception of the above video — not the pony, thank you — it’s hard to picture how LADOT could do a worse job of communicating the benefits of safety projects, too often leaving it up to advocates to sell projects to a skeptical public.

A JPL climate scientist offers advice on how you can fight climate change; naturally, he recommends riding a bicycle instead of driving, and using an ebike if pedaling isn’t an option.

Monrovia has begun implementing the city’s Bike Master Plan with sharrows and Share the Road signs on Magnolia Avenue. Someone should tell them Bikes May Use Full Lane signs are a lot more effective.

Eleven years before the Olympics are expected to come to LA, the World Police and Fire Games are coming to the city next week, with the cycling events to be held in the Santa Clarita Valley.

 

State

A Palm Springs writer opposes the planned CV Link multi-use trail through the Coachella Valley for fear it will turn into a homeless camp like the Santa Ana River Trail.

A Thousand Oaks planning commissioner wants to bring bikeshare to the Ventura County city.

A 12-year old Vacaville girl won her age group at the BMX World Championships in South Carolina.

A Healdsburg driver will face a vehicular manslaughter charge in the death of a cyclist, even though he never made contact with her; prosecutors allege he made an unsafe pass that caused two riders to crash into each trying to avoid him.

Sacramento installs its first two-way cycle track.

 

National

Now your touring bike can have its own sleeping compartment in your new tent.

A Spokane bike shop used social media to track down a stolen mountain bike after a customer failed to return from a test ride, finding it at a pawn shop just a few blocks away.

Interbike will abandon Las Vegas next year, and set up shop in surprise winner Reno-Tahoe. But at least you’ll still be able to gamble all night.

A Boulder CO cyclist opposes the Idaho Stop Law because he’s afraid it will confirm the windshield bias against bike riders.

Houston police have written less than 36 tickets in the last 30 months for violations of the city’s three-foot passing law. Which is about 36 more than most places.

The bicyclist injured in last month’s Natchez Trace hit-and run in Tennessee will be riding a new Cervelo when he competes in a triathlon this Sunday, after members of the cycling community pitch in to replace his damaged bike.

It takes a real pair of schmucks to steal a 12-year old Connecticut boy’s bicycle at gunpoint.

A group of artists created a pair of installations along a Boston bikeway to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Advocates claim a proposed New York state law that would require bike helmets only in New York City would make bicycling less safe, rather than better.

The Miami Herald examines the increase in road rage and aggressive driving. Best advice, just keep cool and ride, walk or drive away. Which is easy to say, much harder to do.

 

International

Now that’s a close call. A British bike rider catches a driver pulling out directly in front of him on his bike cam.

Even bike-friendly Amsterdam is taking issue with dockless commercially owned bikeshare bikes.

Sounds like fun. A five-day fully supported bike tour of fortified Romanian churches will promote the importance of reading; best of all, it only costs the equivalent of $133.

Aussie police team with the local Rotary Club to buy a new bicycle for a young boy whose bike was stolen just days after his father died.

 

Finally…

Now you don’t have to choose between pedaling and working on your term paper. Before you shoot a bike rider with a paint gun, make sure he doesn’t have a real one.

And nothing like discovering a haunted pet cemetery while riding your bike.

Morning Links: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek; LA Times criticizes selfish drivers fighting traffic safety

Cars aren’t the only threats people on bikes have to face.

One of the constant themes repeated by the people fighting bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey is that, in their humble opinion, bike riders would be better off riding away from traffic on the Ballona Creek bike path than risking getting hit by cars on the streets.

Never mind that Ballona Creek bypasses all the shopping and employment centers between Culver City and the beach. Or that limited access points makes it harder for people to get where they need to go.

Which makes it more practical for recreational riding than for people who need to get somewhere, in most cases.

But there’s another recurring problem with the Ballona Creek bike path.

The isolation the path, below public view, makes it an ideal hunting ground for criminals. Which has been a problem on the path since at least 1990.

Every few years, there seems to be another rider attacked on Ballona Creek. And every few years, calls go out for police patrols on the pathway.

But nothing ever happens. And no government agency ever seems to want to take responsibility for the path.

Which leads up to what happened two weeks ago, when Jesus David Orozco was riding home after attending to Mar Vista Community Council meeting to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Something has to be done to ensure safety for everyone on the Ballona Creek bike path.

And done quickly.

Because just like on the streets, people won’t use it if they don’t feel safe there.

Especially if they actually aren’t.

Update: I’m told that Orozco posted on Facebook that he has returned to work today, and that, thanks to the physicians that treated him, is feeling good and looking like himself again. 

I’m not sharing the post, since I haven’t requested his permission to use it.

But the only things that would make this news any better is if the police caught the people who did this, and the county and cities along the trail committed to improving safety so it doesn’t happen again.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the heads-up.

………

The LA Times really nails it this time.

In a surprising editorial, the paper calls on LA leaders to find the courage to fight back against “selfish” motorists opposed to street safety projects.

And let’s be clear. This is the official editorial voice of the publisher and paper, not merely an Op-Ed.

The paper complains about the callousness of too many commuters, and the risk that kneejerk opposition to change will override good policy. And possibly even reverse the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Vista del Mar wasn’t an official Vision Zero project – it didn’t go through the standard community outreach and input process that is an essential part of any road reconfiguration. Still, it quickly became the rallying cry for opponents of road diets and other projects that might slow traffic. It’s worth noting that some of the loudest critics of the Vista del Mar reconfiguration and another nearby Vision Zero project in Playa del Rey don’t live in the community; they commute through it to avoid 405 traffic.

The paper goes on to criticize Roadkill Gil Cedillo’s cynical effort to gain veto power over any road diet or lane reconfiguration in CD1, as well as Paul Krekorian’s backtracking on the Great Streets project proposed for Lankershim Blvd.

Typical City Hall. It’s easy for Garcetti and council members to tout their progressive credentials and sign off on ambitious policies to transform L.A. It’s much harder to implement those plans. Too often city leaders fold in the face of opposition. We’ve seen this with the city’s Bicycle Plan. We’ve seen it with homeless housing. And that’s why so many ambitious plans remain unfulfilled.

City leaders, and Garcetti in particular, have to continually make the case that Vision Zero is about making the streets safer for walkers, bike riders, motorcyclists and, yes, even drivers. The mayor has been far too quiet in defending his program and council members who face blowback when they support road safety efforts. Projects downtown and in Silver Lake have demonstrated that road diets can help reduce injuries without significant traffic delays. There is a learning curve, and over time as more Vision Zero projects are completed, residents will likely see that the benefits of safer streets outweigh the lane losses and any effect on traffic flow.

Not to mention the attitude they attribute to motorists at the start of the piece is no exaggeration. It’s exactly what I’ve been dealing with on social media and in the comments on this site.

………

In Orange County, they’re not actually attacking bike riders, just pretending to.

And likely, scaring the crap out of innocent people in the process, for the sake of a stupid prank.

An OC law firm reports that people in cars are zooming in close to bicyclists, then making a gun with their hands and yelling “Butt dart!” at the rider.

It’s just pure luck that someone hasn’t been startled or frightened into falling or crashing, with potentially serious consequences.

Thanks to F Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Someone needs to explain the meaning of sharrows to the driver of a San Diego pickup. And remind him that brake checking a pair of cyclists was what got Dr. Christopher Thompson five years behind bars.

………

LA’s own Coryn Rivera topped the women’s field to win the 2017 RideLondon Classique. More on the RideLondon festival in the International section below.

More proof that motor doping is a real thing, as an Italian masters rider was busted for having a concealed electric engine hidden in his bike.

More bad news on the ultra-endurance front, as endurance cyclist Frank Simons has been killed near the start of the European Transcontinental race, just 51 miles into the 2,500-mile race; he’s the third rider killed competing in an ultra-endurance race this year.

……….

Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the bike-riding jackass who sexually assaulted a woman in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Altadena Station rescued a mountain biker in Arroyo Canyon early Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Easy Reader posts great photos of kids participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

The Press-Telegram provides a full construction schedule for the new bike boulevard being built on 6th Street in Long Beach

 

State

Meet the Huntington Beach man who invented the beach cruiser in the 1970s.

Mazda helped build and donate 120 bicycles for foster families in Orange County.

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune wants to hear from readers about the city’s mythical war on cars.

A Fresno letter writer calls for greater enforcement of “maniac” drivers who put bicyclists at risk.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a train.

Chico proposes a dramatic new bike and pedestrian bridge over a wide, busy street.

 

National

No surprise here. A new federal study shows speed was a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities; the study recommends making the penalty for speeding equal to the penalties for drunk driving.

The Colorado legislator who called for an annual registration fee for bicyclists, then backed off after a massive backlash, now says maybe there needs to be a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists. And suggests it’s not fair if owners of ATVs, boats and snowmobiles to have to buy registration stickers, and bicyclists don’t. Never mind that all of those have motors; if they’re going to tax cyclists, maybe they should make hikers, skiers and pedestrians pay a fee, as well.

Someone is sabotaging ebikes in Aspen CO.

Touching story from Texas, where an entire family is wearing bike helmets in solidarity with their new baby, who has to wear a helmet to treat flat head syndrome.

Nebraska’s governor is riding 150 miles with a group of mental health professional to help end the stigma surrounding children’s mental health. It’s a kickoff event for Break the Cycle, a 5,000 mile ride from Seattle to DC to raise funds for child and adolescent mental health initiatives.

More victim blaming. Minnesota police say a cyclist ran a stop sign before she was hit by a van; her GPS shows she actually slowed to 1.1 mph before accelerating again.

Kindhearted Duluth MN cops pitch in to buy a new mountain bike for a man when his was destroyed in a crash, after they discovered he lived in an assisted living home and it was his only means of transportation.

Just two weeks after launching in South Bend, Indiana, bikes from the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare are already ending up in a local river.

Off-duty police officers will patrol multi-use trails in an Ohio town, as residents say they’d be more likely to use them if there was a police presence, even though there hasn’t been a crime problem. Which might be an answer for Ballona Creek, and other off-road paths in the LA area.

A Tennessee hit-and driver caught on bike cam ramming a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been indicted on federal charges of reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice; he could face a total of up to 37 years in federal prison. Apparently, they didn’t buy his excuse that someone on the side of the road had thrown a bicycle at his Volvo. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the link.

The New York Times says bicycling has become part of the city’s culture, with over 450,000 bike trips every day; the city has committed to building an additional 50 miles of bike lanes every year — including ten miles of protected lanes — after more than doubling the number of bike lanes over the past ten years. Thanks to Victor Bank for the tip.

 

International

The massive annual RideLondon cycling event was expected to draw 100,000 participants this past weekend, with 24,000 riders taking part in the century ride, a decrease of 3,000 riders over last year to improve safety.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist pulls an endo and just barely avoids falling in front of an oncoming car. Note to Daily Mail: Going over the handlebars isn’t caused by going too fast, but by squeezing the front brake hard before the back one, causing the front wheel to lock before halting the bike’s momentum.

Apparently “hordes” of Brit runners are taking up bicycling to protect their knees, including an Olympic 1,500 meters star.

The Guardian says swapping cars for bicycles will make a bigger difference in the fight against pollution than switching from diesel engines to electric.

Israel’s railway authority will be installing automated bike parking garages at heavily used stations across the country.

The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, as Sheikh Mohammed stops to rescue a woman rider with a twisted chain.

The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan is one of us too, as he leads 7,700 riders, including government officials, on a nine-mile route through the nation’s capital; cars were banned from most major Turkmen cities for the day.

The war on bikes continues, as someone has been pouring oil on bike paths in Melbourne, Australia, in an attempt to make riders slip and fall, which could result in serious injuries.

 

Finally…

Who needs a water bottle when you can weld a cup holder into your top tube. How to explain why you never forget how to ride a bike without really explaining anything.

And someone please tell the LA Times we have a Critical Mass down here, too.

 

Morning Links: Playa del Rey road reversal, Cedillo tries to gut Vision Zero, and zero speed for no hand driving

Evidently, the angry drivers in Playa del Rey have made themselves heard.

CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin took the unusual step of offering a public apology to people inconvenienced by the road diets in Playa del Rey, while announcing steps to alleviate their anger.

Hopefully, anyway.

Bonin announced an agreement with LA County Commissioner Janice Hahn that will allow “free or affordable” street parking in the county parking lot at Dockweiler Beach, enabling the city to eliminate street parking on Vista del Mar and restore the street to two lanes in each direction.

The city had moved parking to the beach side of the street after being warned by the City Attorney that it would face continued liability if people had to cross the busy roadway after parking on the opposite side, after paying out $9.5 million for the death of a 16-year old girl in 2015.

He also announced the formation of a Playa del Rey Road Safety Task Force, made up of both supporters and opponents of the lane reduction projects, charged with finding solutions to traffic safety problems in the area.

Maybe now the people opposed to the project will take a breath and calm down a little.

And while they’re at it, maybe the city can remove those nonexistent bike lanes that opponents keep insisting were the reason for the road diet on Vista del Mar.

………

While Bonin is focused on saving lives by implementing Vision Zero, CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo appears intent on keeping his nickname intact, and his district dangerous.

Cedillo filed a motion with the city council (scroll down) that would make a handful of pedestrian safety improvements, while gutting Vision Zero by halting all “road diets, lane removals and/or lane reductions” in his district without his personal stamp of approval.

This comes after his earlier failed attempt to get the council to remove all the bike lanes planned for his entire district from the city’s mobility plan.

The question is whether he really hates bike riders that much. Or if he just lacks Bonin’s courage to face up to angry drivers.

Or more likely, both.

Thanks to Bike the Vote LA for the heads-up.

………

A California appellate court rules that the basic speed law applies to conditions inside the vehicle as well as outside.

And that the appropriate speed when driving with a cigarette in one hand and a cellphone in the other, with no hands on the steering wheel, is zero.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the link.

………

Sad news, as former two-time European cycling champ Reg Arnold passed away at age 92.

An Op-Ed in Cycling Tips says when the press goes soft on doping, it only serves to normalize it.

Bicycling list seven sort-of-bold predictions for next year’s Tour de France.

……….

Local

Work is under way on a much-needed new community plan for Hollywood, including plans to make Hollywood Blvd, Edgemont Street, Finley Avenue, Rowena Avenue and Los Feliz Boulevard more bike and pedestrian friendly.

CiclaValley says Vancouver could be a model for Los Angeles.

An anti-growth columnist in Santa Monica says build more affordable housing — somewhere else. And uses kids, the disabled and the elderly as an excuse to maintain the city’s failed auto-centric policies. Never mind that kids, the disabled and older people benefit from walkable, bikeable streets as much as anyone, if not more. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

The Acorn profiles the Conejo Valley’s coed, all-level Stonehaus Cycling Club, established by the founder of what would become the Amgen Tour of California.

 

State

Laguna Beach unveils new stairs leading to the beach, complete with bike parking.

The bikelash has spread to San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, where merchants would rather have a few dozen parking spaces than business from customers who arrive by bike, and residents can’t figure out what those bicycle symbols on the street mean. Here’s a thought — if bike lanes and sharrows confuse you, either find out what the hell they are or park your car, and leave it there. Permanently.

The bike-riding San Diego man accused of murdering four homeless men has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.

The annual week-long Big Bear Cycling Festival begins this Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 69-year old Cambria cyclist has done a century ride every month for 100 months, and plans to keep it up until he’s 70.

A allegedly drunk Harley rider plowed into a group of up to 20 Fresno cyclists on a club ride Monday evening, sending three riders to the hospital with major injuries; the motorcyclist faces a pair of felony DUI charges. Hats off to the Fresno Bee for getting it right by reporting the victims were wearing helmets, but that those weren’t enough to keep them safe.

This is who we share the roads with. An 18-year old Fresno woman faces multiple felony counts for the fatal DUI crash that took the life of her sister, which she livestreamed as it happened.

A San Francisco ride will follow the route of the original, two-day AIDS Ride over 30 years ago.

 

National

Tillamook OR tries a bike lane protected by angled parking to give riders adequate road space. Although judging by the photo, there’s not much left after drivers nose over the limit line.

Washington state has banned handheld cellphones while driving, or even resting your hand on a phone at a red light. But doesn’t do anything about hands-free cellphone use, which studies show is just as dangerous.

Bicyclists in Colorado Springs CO have noticed an increase in angry and dangerous drivers in recent years.

No surprise here. A new Wisconsin study shows that investing in infrastructure and policies to encourage bicycling and walking results correlates with improved bike and pedestrian safety. And not doing it correlates to worse safety figures.

New Hampshire Public Radio discusses the state of cycling in the Granite State.

Boston unveils a new Vision Zero website that allows people to individually report safety concerns pinpointed on a crowdsourced map.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News says lay off ebikes — which are bizarrely banned in the city — and target reckless cars. But even when they get it right, they get it wrong — cars aren’t reckless, their drivers are.

 

International

Columbian pro golfer Camilo Villegas is one of us, taking advantage of his “obsessive cycling disorder” to deal with stress. So evidently, cycling is the new golf, and golf is the new cycling.

Kelly Ripa is one of us, running into a bear as she rides with her family in British Columbia.

A parking cop in Toronto takes to Twitter to embarrass people who park in bike lanes. And it works.

A Toronto Op-Ed says pedestrians take precedence in complete communities, and more young people are choosing to forgo driving in favor of walking, biking and transit.

Campaigns to get more British women bicycling have paid off, with nearly three-quarter of a million more women riding than in 2013.

A man in the UK rode his bicycle three days to attend a court hearing on a charge of riding his bike on a freeway, and pled guilty to avoid another three-day trip back for a trial. Pro tip: If police try to stop you for a traffic violation, probably best not to tell them to fuck off, and refer to them by a slang term for female genitalia.

An Aussie rider says you get what you give, so don’t be the jerk who runs a red light on his bike.

 

Finally…

One more reason you should do your cycling outside. If you’re going to steal a high-end racing bike, at least dress for the part.

And who needs a moving van when you’ve got a bicycle?

 

Morning Links: Playa del Rey non-traffic, 30-second delay on Venice Blvd, and more City Watch inanity

After all the horror stories, a rare moment of clarity in Playa del Rey.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve undoubtedly heard motorists ranting that the recent road diets in Playa del Rey have been an unmitigated disaster. Resulting, they swear, in endless traffic backups that have cost people their jobs and stolen time from their families.

Maybe not so fast.

It’s always possible that Jon Phillips happened to ride Culver Blvd through Playa del Rey on an exceptionally light traffic night. Or maybe those horrendous traffic backups had dissipated by the time he rode through at 6 pm.

But other than a brief backup caused by the traffic light at the transition from Jefferson to Culver, it’s nowhere to be seen on the bike cam video he captured Monday evening, as he rode from Jefferson and Lincoln to Vista del Mar on Culver Blvd.

………

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton attended Saturday’s workshop to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista, where LADOT revealed the changes to the road have increased evening peak travel times by just 30 seconds, and not at all in the morning.

Which, unsurprisingly, commenters to the story promptly called fake news.

It’s one of the major problems in American society these days that far too many people are willing to throw actual research and facts out the window, and refuse believe anything that contradicts their own prejudices.

And anyone who has ever driven a car — or ridden in one, apparently — seems to consider themselves experts in traffic planning.

………

The hack jobs go on at City Watch, where a pair of reading-for-comprehension challenged columnists take issue with the scoring system used by Vision Zero LA, which gives more weight to injuries and deaths of people on foot or bikes than in cars.

So why are traffic collisions involving vulnerable road users considered more important than motor vehicle crashes?

Because, according to Vision Zero, “They account for roughly 15% of all collisions, but approximately 50% of all deaths.” Or in other words, are a little more than three times as likely to be fatal.

Which is right in the second paragraph of the page these self-appointed transparency advocates link to that explains how the scoring system was used.

Evidently, they missed that part.

………

Business Insider says credit Chris Froome’s four Tour de France victories on his unique physiology, while a writer for the Irish Times says don’t count on him making it five.

A Canadian cycling magazine offers a post Tour wrap-up.

A sprinter loses his shot at victory in an Oregon bike race when the men’s field catches up to the women near the finish line, and he collides with another rider.

Bicycling looks at the rich history of the cycling jersey.

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Local

An urbanist website looks at the expansion of bikeshare and parking-protected bike lanes in DTLA.

The Better Bike Share partnership offers an exit interview with the LACBC’s outgoing Executive Director Tamika Butler. Speaking of which, you still have a few weeks to get your resume in to replace her.

Every superhero has an origin story. The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, tells how he really became a cyclist. And gives this site some of the blame credit for inspiring him.

The Pasadena Star-News suggests bike theft — or mangling a bike trying to steal it — is apparently just part of the problems on the Gold Line. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Santa Monica city officials explain how they go carfree at least some of the time. Note to Santa Monica Lookout: If SaMo is boldly moving into the post WWII era, they’re only about 70 years too late.

Plans to revamp the failing South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach include better bicycle and pedestrian access.

The CEO of the Union Rescue Mission rode his bike from LA’s Skid Row to Sacramento to call attention to homelessness, despite losing a leg to flesh eating bacteria last year.

 

State

San Diego is dealing with the problem of bad data from cameras that are supposed to automatically count bike riders.

A Napa teenager arrived at the US – Mexico border, completing a 1,000-mile bike journey down the California coast to raise money for the families of fallen police officers.

The Ventura County Star urges local cities to follow Ventura and the county’s lead in making bicycling and bike lanes a priority.

Sad news from Salinas, where a 60-year old man died two months after he was hit by a car while riding his bike; he initially refused treatment, saying he wasn’t injured. This is why you always assume you’re hurt following any collision or serious fall; serious injuries — especially internal injuries — may not be apparent in the immediate aftermath of a crash.

Bad dog! A Riverside bike rider t-boned a pickup truck while trying to escape from the two-year old German shepherd that was chasing him; the victim suffered a compound leg fracture.

The East Bay parks district will allow ebikes on some recreational trails on a trial basis.

 

National

NPR says instead of getting self-driving cars to recognize bicyclists, bicycles may need to signal their existence to the cars.

Bicycling examines bike helmets, and what you get at every price point. For $300, the damn thing had better come with a full body flak jacket that drops down in the event of a collision. Or maybe a force field.

The next time you go mountain biking, try riding on wood, not just through woods.

The editor of Bike Portland shares his views on the new Oregon bike tax. Meanwhile, Portland may be the first US city to offer an adaptive bikeshare for people with disabilities.

A tech website compares Seattle’s new LimeBike and Spin dockless bikeshare systems, while a local newspaper looks at LimeBike’s entrance to Key Biscayne FL.

Thanks to Donald Trump, Utah’s Bear’s Ears National Monument is becoming a more popular mountain biking destination.

An Austin TX hotel and bar are both facing lawsuits for serving an intoxicated woman who then got in her car and critically injured a woman riding her bicycle. Unfortunately, under California law, bars and restaurants can’t be held responsible for serving drunks who go out and kill or injure someone here. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

A Texas man says he was the victim of a road raging bicyclist, who he says circled back to attack him after he slowed to wave at a friend. Which kind of stretches credibility, though it is possible the rider may have misinterpreted the gesture; either way, just don’t. Period.

Chicago’s elevated 606 Trail bikeway and green space turns one year old, while Dayton OH is considering an elevated rail-to-trail park and bikeway, even if the possible completion is years away.

Must have been a heavy bike. J. Patrick Lynch forwards news that an Illinois cop will receive lifetime disability benefits after injuring his back picking up a bicycle.

This is who we share the roads with. A road-raging 19-year old Michigan dirt bike rider was sentenced to up to 100 years in prison for beating a driver to death after arguing with him.

 

International

A Canadian researcher deconstructs the way the press reports on fatal crashes involving bicyclists, subtly shifting the blame away from the driver. Like in this one, for instance.

An Ottawa, Canada bike rider says keep your head up, so you don’t crash into other riders. Like her, for instance.

A Montreal man posted the bloodied end results of the hit-and-run involving his bike-riding mom, adding, “We would love to catch the dirt bag who thinks it’s OK to leave a bleeding woman they just hit on the street.” Which is pretty much how most of us feel about any hit-and-run.

Glasgow bike cops are caught riding on the sidewalk, even though bikes are banned on them. Sort of like the sidewalk-riding bicycling meter readers in downtown Beverly Hills.

This is why you don’t confront bike thieves yourself. A Dublin teenager pled guilty to smashing the owner of a bicycle with a hammer when he tried to stop the teen from stealing his bike.

Speaking of Dublin, bike advocates are complaining about the local tram company’s video criticizing bicyclists, accusing it of covering up for calls to improve the safety of its tracks.

Police confiscated 225 bicycles for riding on the highway in Dubai, where it’s illegal to ride a bike on any road with a speed limit over 37 mph.

 

Finally…

Riding on railroad tracks is stupid; especially when there’s a train between them and your bike. Pro tip: If police bust you for carrying a concealed weapon on your bicycle, along with a backpack full of meth, hydrocodone, Clonazepam, morphine, needles and a scale, always claim you just found it a few blocks away.

And don’t run down the person you think stole your bike.

Especially if it’s not really your bike.

 

Morning Links: Bike lanes for gridlock, hijacking transportation in Mar Vista, and voting for danger on Fletcher Drive

Let’s end the week with a look at all the many and varied goings on in the wonderful world of LA traffic planning.

The apparently non-existent Richard Lee Abrams is back at it, blaming bike lanes as part of LA’s secret transportation plan to cause, not relieve, gridlock. No record of an LA attorney practicing by that name exists online or in the California Bar; however, another lawyer is registered with the Bar at the same Hollywood residential address, phone number and fax. Thanks to Evan G and Marc C for their sleuthing skills.

A board member of the Mar Vista Community Council says we can’t let LA transportation get hijacked by self-serving special interests, like beating up on motorists to squeeze in a protected bike lane on Venice Blvd at the expense of a third — yes, third — traffic lane in each direction. Because clearly, a city street just can’t be wide, fast or dangerous enough.

LADOT hosted the second of three meetings to discuss Vision Zero improvements to Fletcher Drive; when attendees were asked to vote on the proposal, a write-in option to do nothing was the preferred choice, as people questioned whether the deadly road was really dangerous. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2nd; hopefully sanity with prevail.

The My Figueroa project is slowly making progress along South Figueroa between USC and DTLA; Streetsblog notes that most of the bike lanes will be buffered, not the curb-protected lanes we were promised. And the promised connecting bike lanes on King Blvd appear to have fallen off the map.

Meanwhile, KFI’s rabidly anti-bike John and Ken profess to post maps of LA’s coming road diets. Except what they actually put online is various maps from the city’s mobility plan, most of which have nothing to do with lane reductions. Which is sort of like posting a photo of a haystack, and calling it a pile of needles.

And Erik Griswold shared a photo from Playa del Rey showing two bikes — including one with a child’s seat — in front of The Shack after taking advantage of the new bike lanes on Culver Blvd.

He also sent the one at the top of this page showing the lane reduction on Vista del Mar as it approaches Culver Blvd; note that a second lane northbound lane would have put the fog line somewhere in the bushes.

………

A gambling website asks how hard the Tour de France really is, before concluding that it’s really, really hard.

A South African website considers how much cyclists get for finishing the Tour. Hint: You’re a lot better off winning than finishing on the fifth place team.

Nice piece on American cyclist Nate Brown, who wore the polka dot jersey for two days, a year after he dropped everything to be with his cyclist girlfriend as she battled a sudden, life-threatening heart condition.

Bicycling looks at the convoluted history leading up to the token two-day women’s La Course. Thursday’s first stage marked a remarkable comeback from last year’s Rio Olympics; the top 20 finishers will compete in a time trial on Saturday.

An Oregon bike race no longer offers equal prize money for men and women cyclists, blaming UCI guidelines for paying the women’s champ less than 10% of what the men’s winner will earn.

………

Local

The LA Weekly looks at the 41 Thursday Crew, as hundreds of riders of all ages and backgrounds take to the darkened streets of Los Angeles on BMX bikes to celebrate riding in the city.

Walk Bike Burbank says the way to spot a bike-friendly business is look for all the bikes parked where a single car would be.

Pasadena Weekly looks at the kickoff of bikeshare in the Rose City.

West Covina police will assign two officers to bike patrol duty in city parks following complaints about homeless people and illegal activity. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Santa Monica’s Planning Commissioner says bicycling in the city needs to be 50,000 times safer and easier; residents respond that anything that slows traffic — like bikes, for instance — should be considered a crime against the people of LA County, if not humanity. Meanwhile, the city says it’s time to shift away from automobile-centric planning.

Join Bike Talk at the KPFK Summer Celebration at Pan Pacific Park this Saturday.

Bike SGV is teaming with Women on Wheels to host a Mariachi Music Funride next month.

 

State

Evidently, it runs in the family. A 20-year old San Diego woman gets four years for the speeding hit-and-run death of a teenage boy after drinking with her boyfriend; her sister is doing time for an alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter.

A San Diego man escaped by bicycle after stabbing another man during a fight; the victim suffered life-threatening injuries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Moreno Valley man faces 45 years to life for the drunken car crash that killed a grandmother and two young girls. He was driving on a suspended license while on probation for a previous DUI, and had already broken his probation three times. This is why we need to impound the cars of anyone convicted of driving under the influence, because too many keep driving anyway until they kill someone. And he should have been locked up the first time he broke probation.

Sad news from Goleta, where a man was killed in a collision with an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks. Never ride on railroad tracks for any distance; you have nowhere to go if a train comes along.

Where your bike is most likely to be stolen in San Francisco.

The widow of a UC Davis professor has filed suit against a waste management company after he was killed by the driver of a garbage truck while riding to work last year.

 

National

Treehugger says other activities are for more dangerous than bicycling, so why pick on bicyclists when it comes to helmets?

The Washington Post says bicyclists are worried Oregon’s bike tax could spread.

After a Colorado lawmaker proposes a bicycle tax, he backtracks after the backlash, saying he was just trying to start a conversation. Denver Streetsblog insists the last thing the state needs is a tax on bicycles.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider was critically injured after trying, and failing, to weave his way through an intersection against the light. Warning: The dash cam video is very hard to watch; use your judgment on whether you really want to click the link.

Sometimes the punishment fits the crime. The Alabama pickup driver and passenger caught on video screaming at a bicyclist have been ordered to take part in a public service announcement on the state’s three-foot passing law, as well as learning more about the cycling community.

A Florida man has been convicted of being the driver behind the wheel when his car ran down a bike rider, after convincing his girlfriend to take the blame; he now faces up to 30 years in prison, despite being acquitted on a DUI manslaughter count.

Fifteen Eastern Seaboard states are completing the mostly carfree 3,000 mile East Coast Greenway running from Florida to Maine. Meanwhile, we can’t even manage to build a bikeway across LA, let alone the West Coast.

 

International

Montreal is installing bicycle footrests in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, though some think the money could be better spent on improving safety instead.

London’s Regent’s University awarded a posthumous diploma to an Italian prince who was killed while riding his bike to class last October.

Caught on video too: A British hit-and-run is captured on security cam, as a driver backs up and leaves his bike-riding victim lying in the street; fortunately, her injuries were not life-threatening. Once again, use your judgment on whether you really want to see it.

A group of Saudi women are defying cultural norms to form the country’s first women’s cycling team.

A Miami man lied about his age to ride a bicycle on China’s Great Wall.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to egg a passing cyclist, make sure he’s not a cop on his lunch break. And who needs an ebike when you can just hop a passing Kenworth?

………

One last note: Thank you to everyone who serves as unofficial proofreaders for this site. While I do my best to avoid any errors, I truly appreciate your help in catching and correcting the ones that slip past me.

 

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