Tag Archive for Vista del Mar

Weekend Links: Lawsuit madness in Playa del Rey, walking a bike through G20 riots, and Saturday bike videos

Amidst all the madness, we’re starting to see a few glimmers of sanity.

And more madness.

Wealthy Playa del Rey townhouse owners have filed the first of what may be the first of many lawsuits over the safety improvements in the area, claiming the city failed to file an Environmental Impact Report because they knew it would be unpopular.

Although their lawyer seems a tad confused, claiming the changes on Vista del Mar were made to benefit a handful recreational bike riders. Even though there are no bike lanes on Vista del Mar.

And the changes have made it worse, not better, for cyclists using the roadway.

Meanwhile, Manhattan Beach continues to threaten to sue, while apparently laboring under the same misconception that a bike lane was added on Vista del Mar.

The irony is that the city alleges the lack of advance notice before implementing the road reconfigurations violated the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But no one seems to consider the environmental damage done by the unsustainable commutes of countless solo drivers who insist on living in the wealthy beach community while working miles away in LA and Santa Monica.

And expect the people of Los Angeles to put up with it without complaint. Or concerns for their own safety.

Surprisingly, the sanity comes in two pieces written for City Watch, which is more often a home for the bike-hating trolls, or just the very strange.

A member of the Mar Vista Community Council says, despite his personal opposition to the Venice Great Streets Project, the uproar means they have to do their jobs, and find a solution that works for everyone.

And the former president of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council says it’s time for everyone to just calm down, and if you can’t abide the presence of another human being on the roadway, move to South Dakota already.

Although I suspect the people in South Dakota might just send them back.

Meanwhile, a Santa Monica writer belatedly discovers the Venice Great Streets project while somehow blaming CicLAvia for it, and suggests that its members can show up for meetings because they don’t have jobs.

Never mind that CicLAvia had absolutely nothing to do with the project other than hosting a pop-up demonstration, and bike riders who supported the project have jobs, too. Just like real people.

Seriously, though, you have to admire someone who’s not afraid to show he doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s writing about.

Do you see a bike lane here? Both photos by Joni Yung.

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Megan Lynch forwards an extraordinary series of photos taken by photographer Thomas Lohnes, which appear to show 60-year old historian Martin Bühler calmly walking his bike through the recent G20 protests in Hamburg, Germany as police fire water canons around him.

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CiclaValley shares a look at a driver who insisted on passing, even after being warned there was no room to do it safely. Which is something most of us have experienced far too often.

Although his choice of language is much milder than mine has been in similar situations.

However, no such language is needed in this video depicting a day in the life of an LA Brompton rider. My apologies are in order, though, since I’ve lost track of who sent this one to me. But thank you, anyway.

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The Tour de France is starting to get interesting, as Chris Froome is no longer looking invincible. America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says all is not well at Team Sky.

Alberto Contador overcame injuries to attack on Friday.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, was awarded the 2017 Transportation Planning Excellence Award for its Go Human campaign.

The next Draft: LA Meetup, sponsored by People For Bikes, will be held this Thursday at Pure Cycles in Burbank. But no, it will not last for 27 hours.

A Burbank letter writer says he always rides his bike as far to the right as safely possible, and gets irritated at bike riders who don’t when he’s behind the wheel. In other words, he turns into an angry driver when he sees bicyclists riding safely in the center of the lane, just like they’re supposed to, because that’s not the way he does it.

You can now use your Metro Bike membership in the Rose City, as Metro’s bikeshare system officially opens in Pasadena. Boyonabike welcomes the program to his hometown.

Santa Monica is now considering installing more physical barriers to create protected bike lanes.

This Sunday marks the Whittier Walk & Roll Open Streets event, a four hour, six mile carfree festival.

 

State

Irvine plans to close a 1.2 mile gap in the Jeffrey Open Space Trail, including a new bridge over the 5 Freeway.

An Op-Ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s bike commuting plan faces a bumpy road from reluctant commuters, and people who prefer parking to bike lanes. And seemingly expect bike traffic to somehow appear overnight when lanes are built.

A San Diego judge orders a competency hearing for a homeless man accused of striking several people in the back of the head while riding his bike, killing an 83-year old woman.

San Francisco is installing parking-protected bike lanes on two streets to provide a quick safety fix.

Oakland will celebrate bikes this weekend with the Jack London Square Pedalfest, including amphibious bike races.

Bad news from Vallejo, where a father and son were run down from behind by the driver of a pickup, leaving the teenager fighting for his life.

A Sacramento athlete is overcoming his cerebral palsy to compete in a triathlon this weekend.

 

National

NASCAR’s Ryan Newman doesn’t get the whole race driver cycling craze, preferring to work on his farm when he’s not driving.

Milwaukee moves forward with its first bike boulevards. Too bad you can’t say the same about Los Angeles.

Police are looking for a bike raging Chicago rider who put a rock through the window of a BMW after the driver accused him of scratching his car. As tempting as it can be sometimes, just don’t. Period.

A New York man makes his escape on a Citi Bike bikeshare bike after fatally shooting a man.

Residents of an Atlanta neighborhood are angry after the city ripped up a one-year old bike path for no apparent reason, after they’d fought for it for eight years.

A Florida letter writer gets it, telling drivers to calm down, put their phones down and pay attention when they see someone on a bike.

 

International

You think? Gizmodo says maybe dockless bikeshare isn’t a good idea, as abandoned bikes turn up everywhere.

Modacity looks at the insanity of licensing bicyclists, especially when it comes to kids.

Spend your next bike vacation touring Cuba.

The Calgary mountain biker who claimed to have been clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail says people have turned on him, questioning the legitimacy of his story — and his now-closed crowdfunding campaign.

Probably wasn’t the best idea. A British headmaster is looking for a new job after calling in sick so he could go on a charity bike ride in Cuba.

A Welsh cyclist got a medal for finishing a charity ride, despite getting lost and ending up riding with the pro cyclists. And so did his dog.

A South African cyclist is on trial for an alleged bike rage attack on two motorists; he claims the driver had “been impatient” with other bicyclists and made him fall off his bike. This is what happens when you can’t control your temper; instead of holding an impatient driver accountable, it’s the guy on the bike who’s facing jail time.

The New York Times examines why people on bicycles inspire such animosity in Australia. And pretty much anywhere else. Thanks to Victor Bank for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a fire truck. Or maybe a $10,000 eco-friendly wooden bike made with no-so-eco-friendly carbon fiber. Or just effing weird.

And new anti-lock bike brakes could promise an end to the endo.

 

Morning Links: LACBC steps up for safer streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, and looks to replace Tamika Butler

The LACBC is joining the fight over streets in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Which is good news for everyone who’s been trying to hold their own against the onslaught of angry drivers in the fight for safer streets.

Especially the beleaguered Peter Flax, who has been leading the fight on Twitter and Facebook — at least until they blocked him — as well as in the opinion pages of the LA Times.

But it is the roll of the LACBC, aka Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, to step up and organize the opposition to the opposition, and help keep these much needed safety improvements in place.

Street safety projects on the Westside have come under attack. If opposition to safe streets succeeds in getting these projects removed, it could stifle similar projects across the city…

Some drivers using these corridors have grown impatient because they are unable to travel at the same unsafe high speeds as they previously could. However, LADOT continues working to improve the synchronization of signal lights to help improve traffic flow, while also keeping streets safe for all who use the corridor throughout their day, including drivers.

Despite the great public benefit, these projects unfortunately have come under attack amid a flurry of misinformation being circulated about the projects. There is some concern that they will be removed, but there are actions you can take to make sure that the streets are safer for the communities of Mar Vista and Playa Del Rey.

They share these tips for how you can get more involved.

Want to take action? 

Help make sure these street safety projects are a success and show your support by:

JOINING our Sunday Funday Ride on the Westside this Sunday, July 2nd at 9:30am. We’ll tour the safety improvements in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. The ride will roll-out at 10am and be approximately 14 miles at an easy-moderate pace. We’ll also make a stop at Mar Vista Farmers Market for a buy-in to show local support for businesses and share fact sheets.

SHARING on social media! Tweet and post photos of your ride through Venice, Jefferson, and Culver Boulevards, and Pershing Drive on the new bike lanes!

Use #SaferVeniceBlvd#SaferJeffersonBlvd#SaferCulverBlvd, and #SaferPershingDr to share your message with fellow safe streets advocates.

VOLUNTEERING for our LACBC phone bank on Wednesday, July 5th anytime between 4:00pm and 8:00pm at our Headquarters. We will be calling members and allies to take action in support of Vision Zero and the new safety improvements! RSVP by email to [email protected].

ATTENDING the Wednesday, July 5th Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC)meeting at the Canal Club at 7:00pm! The VNC Parking & Transportation Committee and Board of Directors Meeting will be discussing Venice Blvd, and there will be an opportunity to provide public comment and vote. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

ATTENDING the Tuesday, July 11th Mar Vista Community Council(MVCC) meeting at the Mar Vista Recreation Center at 7:00pm! The MVCC will be taking action on the bike lanes and it’s critical for us to show up and let them know these lanes are essential for safe Westside streets. If you plan to attend, please let us know by signing in here so we can keep you up to date and help prepare you for public comment. Don’t forget to share on social media if you show up!

SUPPORTING all of LACBC’s work on advocating for safer streets by becoming a memberrenewing your membership, or making a donation.

EMAILING the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council TODAY to show your support for street safety improvements on Venice Blvd.

You can find a sample email on the LACBC’s call to action (scroll down to the bottom).

Meanwhile, a Manhattan Beach resident says people from out of town who use Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard should have been consulted before any changes were made.

You know, just like they consulted LA before calming all those streets in Manhattan Beach.

And offering to pay the legal settlement the next time someone gets killed.

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Speaking of the LACBC, they’re looking for a new executive director to replace the irreplaceable Tamika Butler, who helped lift the organization onto the national stage, and into the debate over bikes and equity.

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How’s this for irony? Lance Armstrong lost his seven Tour de France title for doping with EPO. Now it turns out it probably didn’t do anything to boost his performance. And could give you a heart attack.

Belgian rider Jan Bakelants apologized for suggestive remarks about female hostesses — aka podium girls — at the Tour de France, saying he was just trying to be funny. And not really suggesting they were easy, and probably diseased, which is basically what he said.

No Autobahn here. German time trial specialist Tony Martin will ride a bike designed to pay homage to electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk in Saturday’s Dusseldorf TdF prologue.

Forget all that racing in the Tour de France, ABC would rather just talk about the specter of doping.

Three prominent Irish cycling figures have joined the protest over women racers competing in the country’s national championships being told to get the hell off the course to make way for the men before their race was over.

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Local

Metro Bike is celebrating its first birthday at the Wheelhouse next Thursday.

Maybe you should ride through Eagle Rock or Burbank instead. Glendale has ranked near the bottom of the list of America’s worst drivers for 12 years in a row; needless to say, city officials disagree.

West Covina is looking for input on a new Active Transportation Master Plan, aka Pedestrian and Bike Plan; you can respond through the online survey, or attend an open house workshop July 26th.

 

State

The town council in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood is seriously considering turning Bacon Street into a bicycle boulevard. Oddly, no one there seems to have any problem with the term bike boulevard, which bike advocates and DOTs are loath to use these days.

San Diego police are using bait bikes to combat bike thieves in Pacific Beach. Something we still haven’t been able to talk the LAPD into trying.

The Desert Sun offers a tutorial on the oddly controversial CV Link multi-use path through the Coachella Valley.

 

National

CNN looks at Mark Beaumont’s attempt to bike around the world in just 80 days, nine years after he set a record by doing it in 115 days more.

Bicycling crosses an advertorial line, posting what’s nothing more than an ad for Performance Bike in the guise of an article. Which could get them in serious trouble if they were compensated for it.

It should come as no surprise that traffic fatalities involving vulnerable road users ranks as the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the US.

A Seattle woman has filed a pair of $300,000 claims against the city and its transit agency after falling on trolley tracks, exactly one year to the day after another woman was killed in the same spot.

You may lose your ass inside a Las Vegas casino, but you can save half off the price of pedaling it to the next one on a bikeshare bike this summer.

A Utah man is alleging that a cop deliberately kneed him in the back, breaking his ribs and puncturing his lung, after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop on his bicycle; the officers say they initially tried to stop him because he was riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. Unless the law is different in Utah — which I doubt — sidewalks are considered bi-directional, so there is no wrong way. Which would mean there was no probable cause for the stop, or anything that followed.

A South Carolina man is visiting Las Cruces NM on a cross-country bike ride, 50 years after he saved a boy’s life on a similar trek. And met Clint Eastwood, too.

Good news from Austin TX, where kindhearted strangers have raised $13,000 for the Spanish-speaking bike rider who was shot in the face with a shotgun by a teenager in a passing car, who told police he was just looking to blow off some steam. Instead he nearly blew Alonso Solis’ face off, as well as the next several years of his own life. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

After making it big via Shark Tank, a Dallas entrepreneur is sharing the wealth by giving away custom bikes to pediatric cancer patients.

Chicago city trucks will be retrofitted with side guards to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from getting run over by the trucks’ rear wheels. Something that should be done here in LA. And everywhere else, for that matter.

You could be the proud owner of the 40-acre Minnesota estate currently owned by America’s last remaining Tour de France winner for just $5 million. Which is pretty much the price of a tear-down in Manhattan Beach.

If you’re going to pile all of your belongings on your van before hitting a New Hampshire highway, at least use a bike rack.

New York police are looking for a bike-riding jerk who punched a disabled man who was using a walker covered with LGBTQ stickers; they’re investigating the attack as a hate crime. Proof that people on bikes can be bigoted assholes, just like anyone else.

New York chef Daniel Humm is one of us, going from competitive Swiss cyclist to arguably the world’s best chef.

A Baton Rouge LA bike rider was murdered in an apparently random attack after being approached by the suspects as he was riding on the street.

 

International

Apparently, bike cams have been around since at least the ‘80s. No, the 1880s.

After a bike-riding Montreal purse thief snatched a handbag from a woman visiting a cemetery, she chased after him with her SUV, ending up with her car against a tree with the thief under it.

A London travel writer visits the German hometown of the bicycle on the 200th anniversary of the first Draisine, which was basically a wooden adult balance bike.

Before launching in soggy Manchester, England, a dockless bikeshare company tested their bikes in a Chinese river to make sure they could stand up to the weather.

Swansea soccer player Fernando Llorente is one of us, too, as he suffered a broken arm while riding his bike, and may not be ready for the August start of the Premier League season.

Caught on video: A British bike rider was taken down by a dog that lunged at him as he rode by, then tried to attack him as the dog’s owner tried to help.

Caught on video too: A “secret” cyclist in the UK offers evidence of just how badly bike riders are treated on the streets.

Ten years after an accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, a British man is using a handcycle to ride 2,250 miles around the coast of England and Wales.

A Rwandan writer gets it, calling for the country to promote bicycling as a sport, as well as a means of transportation, and a strategy for health intervention.

A South African newspaper offers advice for the fashion conscious cyclist. Which is really has nothing to do with fashion, and more to do with comfort and practicality.

Bicycling has become an integral part of women’s lives in Malaysia.

 

Finally…

No, your bike is not the proper tool to halt a pair of tools having sex in public. Repeat after me: If you’re going to use a bike as your bank robbing getaway vehicle, get your hair done first.

And if you’re riding your bike with dope, a stolen gun and outstanding warrants, signal your effing turns.

Thanks to Niall Huffman for the featured photo of the Mar Vista road diet on Venice Blvd.

Morning Links: The great Playa del Rey street debate, new safe zones at LAPD stations, and LA drivers officially suck

There doesn’t seem to be any letup in the great debate over the Playa del Rey lane reductions.

Or the masses of motorists armed with pitchforks and torches marching on LA City Hall.

Although yesterday injected a little sanity into the discussion, through an LA Times Op-Ed by magazine editor and Manhattan Beach resident Peter Flax, who calls out his fellow South Bay denizens for their hysterical reactions to the changes on LA streets.

All hell has broken out in my adopted hometown of Manhattan Beach. If you believe the hysteria, families are being torn apart, livelihoods are being threatened and businesses are in danger of collapse. All because in early June, Los Angeles slowed traffic on several roadways in Playa del Rey, including removing one lane on each side of Vista del Mar, the thoroughfare that runs along the ocean from El Segundo to Playa.

South Bay commuters are livid that rush hour traffic is worse. They claim workers will permanently lose five hours of family time a week (even though no formal traffic study has been conducted). Silicon Beach tech entrepreneurs and private equity guys are sounding the alarm on Twitter that new traffic jams will harm recruitment. At a town hall with Manhattan Beach’s mayor, real estate agents speculated that home values might sag (in a town where the average home costs $2.2 million). A GoFundMe page was launched to raise money for a lawsuit and the Manhattan Beach City Council unanimously directed city staff to support that effort.

Absent from this heated conversation, however, is honest talk about what is really at stake along Vista del Mar: Preventing people from dying.

He criticizes those angered by the changes to improve safety and livability on LA streets, even while Manhattan Beach has removed lanes from their streets to protect their residents and preserve the beach community feel. Including the south end of Vista del Mar, where it changes names and narrows to two lanes as it enters the wealthy beach community.

And he concludes,

Traffic engineering decisions can’t only be about optimizing a morning commute or maximizing the appeal of working in Silicon Beach. They also have to be about Jack Tarwardy, a beloved 74-year-old shop owner in Playa del Rey who was struck and killed by a car in a crosswalk on Culver Boulevard. And about Michael Lockridge and Bridgette Burdene, killed by hit-and-run drivers on Vista del Mar and Culver Boulevard, respectively. And about Naomi Larsen, the 16-year-old who tried to cross Vista del Mar and never made it.

When cars race through neighborhoods where people live, shop and play, speed kills. Taking steps that force us to slow down isn’t an outrage or a conspiracy, it’s making L.A. a better place to live.

It’s a good, and important read. One that deserves your full attention all the way through.

And needless to say, he takes a beating in the comments from self-appointed traffic planners who seem to think they understand traffic flow and safety far better than the people who get paid to do it for a living.

Not to mention the innumerable personal attacks accusing him of bias because he rides a bike. Though no one seems to notice the irony coming from those who suffer from a windshield bias.

I particularly like this one, from someone who blames bike lanes for a backup stemming from the 210 Freeway.

No, really.

 

And to address Mr. — or is it Ms? — bigred’s point, most studies show road diets not only don’t result in longer commute times, they can actually improve traffic flow, while at the same time reducing crashes up to 47%.

Although I must admit, I have never “stode” on a traffic island and watched the “enevedable” happen.

Meanwhile, a letter writer in the Times says Vision Zero is more like zero vision. Evidently, by his account, we’re supposed to keep letting people die on LA streets until Metro provides a viable alternate route to LAX in 2047.

After all, with an average of a little more than one person killed on Vista del Mar each year, that’s only another 30 or so dead mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers.

No big deal, right?

Then there are these comments, which were forwarded by someone who wisely wants to keep his name out of all this.

Because as we all know, nothing improves traffic safety more than taking a photo while driving.

Although maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see any traffic backup at all in that photo. And only one lonely person on a bike.

 

And yes, I think we can assume Mr. Beall does kiss his mother with that mouth.

So maybe this is a good time to let the unfairly reviled Councilmember Mike Bonin remind us why he approved this roadwork to begin with.

You can show your support — for Bonin, for the lane reductions, or even for Peter Flax — when the LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey this Sunday.

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Great idea.

The LAPD has opened safe exchange zones for online buyers and sellers at nine police stations and nearly a dozen Ralphs stores.

Which means you can feel a little safer the next time you try to sell your bike, or buy parts off Craigslist or other online services.

It might also cut down on bike chop shops, since it would take major chutzpah to walk into a police station with a stolen bike or parts.

Then again, no one ever said bike thieves are the sharpest tools in the shed.

Just tools.

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In news that should surprise no one who’s ever ridden a bicycle in Los Angeles, Los Angeles officially has some of the worst drivers in the US.

In fact, Allstate Insurance ranked the city 193rd out of 200, coming in just a few spots above bottom-ranked Boston.

And wipe that smile off your face, Glendale. Your drivers suck even more than LA.

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UCI introduces several safety improvements on the eve of the Tour de France, but still allows race motos in the peloton.

Britain’s Simon Yates will be back at this year’s Tour after serving a four month suspension for doping because his team screwed up his paperwork for an asthma inhaler.

LA’s Phil Gaimon criticizes former teammate Andre Cardoso following the latter’s suspension for doping, saying “…it just comes off like he doesn’t give a shit, which is frustrating.”

Fifty-five year old Cambria resident Sheri Baldwin took three medals at the masters national road championships.

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Local

The LA Weekly offers 20 suggestions on how to fix Los Angeles, most of which make a surprising amount of sense. Including turning LA’s existing bike lanes into protected lanes.

KPCC looks at Vision Zero from a South LA perspective, as Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson promotes safety amid fears of gentrification and increased policing.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility is hosting their annual Eastside Mural Ride this Saturday.

The URB-E electric scooter maker is sponsoring a new mobility hub near USC to help students beat traffic. Although from the description, it sounds more like a glorified scooter showroom.

The board of directors for Santa Monica’s Sunset Beach neighborhood says enough with all those bike and pedestrian plans, what the city really needs is a car plan for all those poor, neglected drivers. The best response came from a councilmember, who said “The reason we don’t have a ‘Motor Vehicle Plan’ is that for close to a hundred years, transportation in Southern California has BEEN a ‘Motor Vehicle Plan.”

The Daily Breeze looks forward to August’s CicLAvia in San Pedro and Wilmington, part of a busy summer in the harbor area. No, Daily Breeze, CicLAvia is a local, not global, movement, though it is a part of the global Open Streets movement, aka ciclovías.

 

State

La Jolla bike advocates call for riders to use bright lights, day or night. Credit Mark Goodley with starting that campaign with a series of posts on here, starting in 2012 after he barely survived a crash in Corona del Mar. Thanks to his efforts, I now ride with an ultra bright headlight and taillights even during the day — and it’s dramatically reduced the number of close calls I experience.

Fontana introduces a draft plan to improve bike and pedestrian safety.

Palo Alto approves plans for new bicycle boulevards, along with extending the bike network throughout the city.

San Francisco pulls the plug on funding the expansion of the Ford bikeshare system over fears of unfair competition with established bike rental companies, but the company goes forward with its official opening anyway; the expansion is part of Ford’s shift from building cars to providing mobility.

The intersection where a San Francisco bike rider was killed last week was on a list of the most dangerous ones in the city, but nothing had been done to improve it.

The kindhearted folks at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition refurbished 20 bikes to give to disadvantaged kids, then took them for a community ride.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, where a bike rider is fighting for his life after getting hit by driver when he allegedly rode through a red light. As always, the question is whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who hit him that saw what color the light was at the time of the crash.

Call it a national park ciclovía, as Yosemite’s Tioga Road opens for bikes and pedestrians a day before it opens to motor vehicles.

Someone slashed the tires of a bicycle parked at a Davis mosque; police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, after a torn-up Quran was tossed from a moving car the night before.

 

National

Try not to breathe on your next ride. Even “safe” levels of air pollution can shorten your life.

The ebike expansion goes on, with the introduction of a new $3,000, three-wheeled e-‘bent, and a new sub-$1,000 e-urban bike.

Interesting new study from Portland shows whether you ride a bike — and how you ride — affects how much empathy you have towards people on bikes. Evidently, those Manhattan Beach commuters must not ride at all.

A three-year old Las Vegas special needs boy has a new adaptive bike, courtesy of a local man who designs and builds them for free.

Denver may not be the most bikeable city, but evidently, it ain’t bad. Although you know we’re making progress when even cowboy-centric Cheyenne, Wyoming has a Bike Week.

You’ve got to be effing kidding. Life is dirt cheap in Idaho, where killing one bike rider and paralyzing another is only worth a lousy 60 days in jail — with work release, no less.

A Texas man calls for a bike safety plan after his cyclist son was killed in a collision; the driver faces charges of manslaughter and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, suggesting either intent or an extreme degree of carelessness.

Great idea. The recent Pedaler’s Jamboree is a 30-mile long music festival along Missouri’s Katy Trail bike path.

Massachusetts considers a ban on handheld cellphones while driving. What’s really needed is a law requiring phone makers to block all interactive services except 911 and GPS navigation in moving cars, since studies show the distraction from handheld mobile phones is as dangerous as drunk driving. And hands-free use is no better.

If you build it, they will come. Macon GA saw an 800% increase in cycling after striping a network of temporary bike lanes.

A South Florida writer suggests the area’s bike lanes are designed to kill and sharrows are just madness.

 

International

An Indian website questions whether the country’s prime minister will ever be able to ride the bicycle he received as a gift from the Dutch government, given how dangerous India’s roads are.

A Kiwi cyclist on a 2,400-mile journey through Australia’s New South Wales on his wife’s borrowed bike says forget wild animals, the biggest danger he encountered on his journey was from other humans — particularly the ones in motor vehicles.

A Kiwi driver gets off the hook for running down a woman on a bike after buying her a new one for $3,414, the equivalent of $2,500 US.

A Malaysian deli entrepreneur correctly calls bicycling a balm for the soul, and says people from the country should take it up. Cycling really must be the new golf, since that’s what he gave up to start riding.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying dope on your bike, put a light on it — and don’t tell the cop you were eating green Skittles after shoving it all in your mouth. Take a five week bicycling pub crawl through Europe, for the low, low price of just $9,427.

And yes, your new Porsche mountain bike is just like a racing 911.

Except for the engine, transmission, wheels, cockpit, and all that other car stuff.

 

Morning Links: Playa del Rey roadwork shows the worst in some people, and elite amateur cyclist dies in KC crit

Clearly, there are some very sick people out there.

As we pointed out over the weekend, the LA Times’ Laura Nelson wrote a very balanced piece on the road reconfigurations in Playa del Rey that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Times.

In it, she pointed out that the road diet on Vista del Mar was done in response to LA’s $9.5 million settlement with the parents of a 16-year old girl killed crossing the roadway in 2015.

To which she received the following response.

Yes. Someone actually thinks parents would send their kids out to get killed in order to cash in on the settlement. And more than one someone, apparently.

Something tells me Naomi Larsen’s parents would give back every penny of that $9.5 million just to have her back for one more day.

Then again, that letter writer isn’t the only one who thinks that way.

A Pennsylvania bike rider is on trial for taking the lane and forcing drivers to go around him to pass, which is exactly what cycling instructors teach their students to do. But the DA is alleging he’s just trying to get hit by a car so he can collect the insurance settlement.

Or maybe he’s doing it because he’s already been hit by a drunk driver once, and doesn’t want it to happen again.

Nelson also reports that opponents of the changes in Playa del Rey have resorted to what is, at best, an implied threat. If not an actual invitation to commit violence against a supporter of the changes.

Is this really what we’ve come to?

Is the simple act of trying improve safety on our roadways enough to let their anger twist people into some horrible, heartless semblance of a human being?

Apparently so.

Meanwhile, a writer for City Watch tries to see both sides, saying we all have rights and needs, and we need to find ways to accommodate both people on two wheels and on four.

Which seems perfectly reasonable. Until you consider that the lion’s share of every roadway is dedicated to motor vehicle travel, and bicyclists and pedestrians — and parents — are just asking for the opportunity to stay alive on them.

Which doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

But it seems to be, if it means some people get inconvenienced in their cars.

And anyone who sees an equivalency there has got a serious problem.

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Sad news from Kansas City, where a 30-year old elite amateur cyclist was killed when he crashed into a metal barrier during the Tour of KC crit.

………

Once again, women cyclists can spin their way to a pro racing contract. Which is how 37-year old Leah Thorvilson won a place on the Canyon-SRAM team last year.

Forget doping. American cyclist Andrew Talansky is preparing for the Tour de France by stimulating his brain.

So much for equal treatment. The Irish women’s national cycling championship was halted a lap early because they were riding too slow, and the men needed the course. If you want to send a signal to every bike-riding girl in Ireland that she just doesn’t matter, you couldn’t find a better way to do it.

………

Local

You’re more likely to see a cop on two wheels in DTLA now, as the LAPD nearly doubles the number of bike cops on the streets in response to an uptick in crime.

Yes, bike valets work. Bike SGV reports they parked over 300 bikes and scooters during last weekend’s Arroyo Seco Music Festival.

 

State

A San Diego man riding a motorized bike was seriously injured in a crash with an Uber driver in the Hillcrest neighborhood; a passenger on the bike jumped off when he saw the wreck unfolding.

San Diego Magazine takes a trip inside the city’s giant wind tunnel, where Kristin Armstrong perfected her gold medal-winning form.

A Riverside man was shot to death while putting air in his tires at a gas station.

A Santa Barbara traffic non-profit dedicated to sustainable transportation puts its money where its mouth is, trading driving for a cargo bike.

Multiple gold medal-winning swimmer Katie Ledecky was just another bike-riding student at Stanford.

Pleasanton is about to get a new bike corral.

A new program is taking Sacramento kids out of the inner city, and onto the 23-mile American River Parkway to get them away from traffic and violence, and teach them skills including bicycling and bike maintenance.

 

National

No, speeding really doesn’t get you there any faster.

Caught on video: A Tesla owner tries to run down his bike-riding friend to prove that Tesla’s Autopilot won’t kill bicyclists after all.

The only thing this new Bluetooth-enabled helmet doesn’t promise to do is actually protect your head.

A Seattle father and daughter are riding tandem across the US to save the orcas.

The victim in Saturday’s Alaska brown bear attack says it happened so fast there was nothing he could do to avoid it, and credits his riding companion with saving his life.

A little good news from Detroit, where the dog who was beaten after she was forced to run next to a bike until she collapsed is improving, though she has a long recovery ahead of her.

Speaking of Detroit, city officials spent $4.3 million to acquire 7.5 miles of rail-to-trail corridor to fill the largest remaining gap in a 26-mile greenway around the city.

Good idea. An Indianapolis-area city is encouraging people to ride to outdoor events by providing free lawn chairs once they get there.

Instant karma sucks. A Georgia woman was hit by a car as she crossed the road to check on the bicyclist she’d just hit with her car.

 

International

Michelin introduced a new ebike motor and battery that can be retrofitted to any bike.

A women’s website offers ten reasons to take up bicycling, calling it the next big thing in stylish travel.

A new Vancouver study shows fewer people are driving to the downtown area and more are riding and walking to stores, restaurants and cafes, and are more likely to have a friendly interaction with someone else when they do.

Ten more European rides to add to your bucket list.

An Indian paracyclist opens a training camp for injured military veterans to prepare them for competition, and a return to civilian life.

Aussie bicyclists will now be subject to an on-the-spot $475 fine if they’re caught using a mobile phone while riding, whether moving or stopped.

A Chinese man is riding over 900 miles across the country to compete with other transplant patients, nine years after he received a liver transplant.

 

Finally…

At least we don’t have to worry about air attacks. If you’re going to get busted riding away from a heroin buy, make sure you have 55 bucks to buy your way out of it.

And seriously, don’t bring a hammer to a machete fight.

 

Morning Links: Manhattan Beach declares war over LA roadwork; Better Bike celebrates SaMo Blvd bike lanes

Manhattan Beach has declared war on Los Angeles.

According to a Facebook post from the group fighting to reverse the changes on Vista del Mar, the Manhattan Beach city council voted to go to the mattresses in a battle with the City of Angels.

Remarkably, the comments to that post blame the free parking on the roadway — which has always existed — with an apparent increase in trash, which has always been there. But which they apparently never noticed before because it was hidden by parked cars.

Thanks to Peter Flax for the screen grab

Meanwhile, the Argonaut reports on the road rage over the road reconstruction on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, and four streets in Playa del Rey, including Vista del Mar. And illustrates it with a photo showing, not just no traffic backup on Venice, but virtually no motor vehicle traffic at all.

Rather than give these projects a chance, the motor maniacal NIMBYs want to rip them out right away. And if that’s not possible, they want to rip popular Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin out of the seat he was just overwhelmingly re-elected to.

On June 13 more than 100 residents of Mar Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester lambasted the changes during a boisterous Mar Vista Community Council meeting, many of them peppering Bonin mobility deputy Jesse Holzer and Great Streets senior project manager Carter Rubin with a mix of questions and insults.

“Will a recall petition affect the pilot project? How quickly can we get rid of this dumb idea?” asked Edwin Ortega.

Morgan Pietz, a civil litigator who lives in Ladera Heights and works in Century City, said he’s creating a political action committee to fundraise for a campaign not only to restore traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard, but also to oppose any future lane reductions elsewhere.

So rather than just reverse the beachside street projects he objects to, Pietz wants to halt all road diets and Complete Streets projects anywhere in the city, whether local residents want them or not.

And Vision Zero be damned.

But as the Manhattan Beach council vote illustrates, most of the people fighting these projects, particularly in Playa del Rey, live outside the City of Los Angeles, many in homes far beyond the reach of average Angelenos. And commute to their jobs miles away in Santa Monica or Century City, demanding the right to continue their unsustainable lifestyle, and expecting LA to pay the price — financially and environmentally, as well as in human lives.

Maybe instead of a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to fight the road projects, they could pitch in to pay the next massive legal judgment against the city the next time someone gets killed. And buy a little compassion while they’re at it.

It cost Los Angeles $9.5 million to settle the most recent lawsuit over the death of a 16-year old girl killed crossing Vista del Mar, in part because of the complete lack of crosswalks along the deadly street.

And it will cost the city many times that to settle the next one if nothing is done to improve safety, since the city clearly knows about the dangers on the street. Hence the urgency in making the changes.

Never mind that it’s the right thing to do to place the safety of human lives over the inconvenience of drivers, which will pass as people adjust to the changes.

Speaking of adjusting, any guesses how many of the people complaining about the horrendous traffic backups actually carpool to reduce congestion and their carbon footprint? You can probably count them on one finger. And yes, I’d suggest using that one.

Bonin explained his actions in a thoughtful, detailed and moving email yesterday, which should be required reading for anyone on either side of this debate. One demonstrating the political courage and decency that’s long been missing from most of LA’s elected leaders.

He promises to hold a community meeting in a month to discuss the changes, and to be there in person — in a city where officials usually hide from angry constituents.

By that time, LADOT should have actual statistics to show if the projects have been successful in reducing injury collisions, rather than the apocalyptic anecdotes thrown out by opponents.

And traffic congestion should have begun to dissipate as people adjust to the changes.

So hopefully, by then cooler heads will prevail and they’ll be able to discuss this like rational adults, instead of petulant children whose favorite toys have just been taken away.

Yeah, I know. As if.

Meanwhile, the LACBC’s next Sunday Funday ride on July 2nd invites you to explore the new street reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey that South Bay drivers seem to consider a sign of the end times.

………

This year’s Tour of California champ George Bennett is just the latest cyclist to be hit by a car while training; fortunately, he only suffered minor injuries.

A women’s cyclist discusses the things she doesn’t miss now that she’s retired from competition, along with a few things she does.

No, poop doping isn’t likely to be a thing anytime soon; a professor at UC Davis calls the story ridiculously irresponsible. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

When banned dopers Lance Armstrong and former US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel oppose the re-election of UCI chief Brian Cookson, it seems almost like an endorsement.

………

Local

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot takes a well deserved victory lap, reporting on the Beverly Hills City Council’s surprising unanimous vote to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. And the even more surprising vote to paint them a hi-visibility color, to the undoubted chagrin of the film industry.

Streetsblog reports the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes should be installed next year, while crediting a handful of advocates for keeping up the ultimately successful fight.

You can let Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse know just how happy you are with the council’s decision when she hosts a public bike ride on August 20th.

Long Beach improves the complicated five-way intersection of Walnut Avenue, East 20th Street and Alamitos Avenue to benefit pedestrian and bicycle safety, and pave the way for a planned bike network.

 

State

Del Mar is rolling out preliminary designs for a facelift of the downtown area, including new bike lanes on Camino del Mar and some side streets.

A Redlands minister discusses the cross-country bike ride he took last year to raise funds for a new playground at his church.

A Santa Cruz cyclist is suing just about everyone who had anything to do with developing a traffic circle where she fell and broke her hip, alleging there were no warning signs about the train tracks where she apparently caught a wheel.

It was a tragic day for bike riders in Central and Northern California yesterday, as three riders lost their lives in separate collisions.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious reports that Chinese bikeshare company Bluegogo has suspended their planned invasion of the Bay Area, and will be withdrawing from American shores.

 

National

A new research paper suggests there’s a one-to-one relationship between new highway lane capacity and traffic increases, yet planners fail to take induced demand into account when designing new projects. Hopefully there’s a one-to-one relationship with removing lane capacity, as well.

It’s been too long since we’ve heard from Elly Blue, who’s started a Kickstarter campaign to fund Bikequity, described as a feminist bicycle zine about class and social justice.

People for Bikes wants your help to choose a new name for Bike Boulevards. Los Angeles calls them Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan. But doesn’t seem to want to build any.

Instead of building a traditional street, Portland has built a 130-foot long street just for bicycles to connect three new buildings in the downtown area.

Don’t plan on going to Interbike in Las Vegas without a pass this year; the bicycle trade show has stopped allowing the public in on the final day of the show, as they have the past few years.

A New Zealand man is on his way back home after being seriously injured when he was hit by the driver of an SUV atop a Colorado pass while riding across the US; he’s now stuck with a $150,000 bill for medical expenses until a settlement can be reached.

An Iowa city has officially opened a new bike path segment, part of a 3,000 mile trail along the Mississippi River.

Relatives of a Chicago bike rider insist he was the victim of a hit-and-run driver, even though police say he just fell off his bike.

A new Minneapolis study shows there’s safety in numbers for pedestrians, as well. Unless this jackass happens to be around.

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, a Massachusetts man is devoting whatever time he has left to fixing up bicycles to give to local kids.

It really shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that riding a bike is at least as fast, if not faster, than taking a cab in New York City; researchers used data from cabs and the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to reach that conclusion.

A bighearted Virginia sheriff’s deputy buys a new bike for a four-year old girl after hers was stolen.

A New Orleans cyclist was stabbed in the arm and accused of stealing the bike he was riding, by a man who then stole the bike he was riding.

Awhile back, we mentioned the man who was riding his bicycle across the US to visit every major league baseball stadium; sadly, his journey ended when he was hit by a car in Alabama, suffering serious injuries. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

 

International

London’s mayor plans to make the entire city emissions-free by 2050, through a mix of zero-emission vehicles and increasing the mode share for bicycling, walking and transit to a whopping 80%, while cutting motor vehicle traffic by 3 million miles a day.

A London cyclist says hell is a city full of non-cyclists on bikeshare bikes.

There’s now a £2,000 reward — the equivalent of over $2,500 — to capture the British bike rider who was caught on video recently nearly getting smashed by a train when he climbed over the crossing barricades, after the near miss left the engineer with psychological trauma. Maybe it was the man shaking his fist at the train that nearly hit him that pushed the engineer over the edge.

So much for your GPS and Strava. A Dutch company has developed a new bike lock that blocks the cellular network for your mobile phone while you ride, releasing it once you lock your bike using the related app. Now if we can just require every driver to use one.

 

Finally…

How to achieve udder comfort on your bike. Now you, too, can own your very own old media publishing empire.

And if you’re going to fire a toy gun at a group of cyclists, make sure none of them are the king of a foreign country first.

 

Morning Links: Tamika Butler leaves LACBC, anti-bike NIMBYs sue LA, and Peter Flax nearly needs his own obit

When I was asked to join the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition in 2010, I set out a list of goals I wanted to accomplish as a board member.

Chief among those was extending the reach of the LACBC beyond its mostly white, mostly Westside base to serve the too often ignored communities south of the 10 Freeway, and east of the LA River.

Tamika Butler made that happen.

In her nearly three years heading the coalition, she brought a degree of professionalism that the mostly volunteer organization had never known, building a solid organizational structure and hiring an experienced professional staff to serve the bicyclists of LA County.

But more than that, she built upon efforts that had already been underway — some successful, some not — to make the LACBC a national leader in addressing equity in bicycling, and in using bikes as tools for social justice. And in the process, started a conversation on race and bias that has reverberated throughout the US.

Since stepping down from the board last year, I’ve watched as the stature of the bike coalition has continued to grow, not in her shadow, but on her shoulders.

And it had become obvious that she had outgrown her position with the LACBC, and would inevitably soon move on to a more prominent role.

That day has come.

The LACBC announced yesterday that Tamika Butler will be leaving her position as Executive Director as of July 14th. Streetsblog reports she’ll be moving on to head the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

They’ll be lucky to have her.

Normally, that would be their gain and the LACBC’s loss. But in this case, that doesn’t fit.

In her short time with the coalition, she has lifted it to heights no one could have predicted when the board voted unanimously to hire her. And left it positioned for even greater growth and success in the years to come.

I hate to see her go.

But it’s time to take her fight beyond the world of bicycling, where she can make a bigger impact on the greater society.

And help make this a better, fairer and more equitable city for all us.

You can read the messages of Tamika Butler and LACBC Board Chair Doug John announcing her departure here.

………

The City of Los Angeles is being sued by the guardians of LA past, who think it’s their self-appointed duty to stop any forward momentum in the City of Angeles.

Like the nearly completed Target store that’s been sitting vacant and unfinished at Sunset and Western for several years, keeping the neighborhood blighted, depressing local businesses and denying residents the jobs it would create.

Not because it violates city zoning rules, as they claim. But because they simply don’t want it in their neighborhood.

In other words, the worst kind of NIMBYs, willing to screw over an entire neighborhood — or city — in an attempt to maintain the status quo for the privileged few.

Now these same people are suing the city for — get this — exposing children to dangerous levels of smog by placing bike lanes on major streets.

Not that kids are likely to use those arterial commuter lanes. Or that they give a rat’s ass about kids with asthma.

And never mind that the studies they insist the mayor is refusing to conduct have been done repeatedly around the world, and show that the benefits of bicycling far outweigh any risk from auto exhaust or otherwise polluted air.

They just don’t want bikes besmirching their fair boulevards. Or to sacrifice one inch of pavement that could be devoted to their cars.

And they’re willing to rest their case on bogus fears about the dangers to kids to do it.

If they win, LA’s hard-fought bike plan will be out the window. Which has been their real intent all along.

Meaning that you’ll be forced onto side streets, if you choose to use what few bike lanes they deem appropriate, requiring longer, circuitous routes to get where you’re going. Or continue to mix it up with motor vehicles on streets that will remain dangerous in deference to LA’s automotive hegemony.

Let’s hope the courts see through this one and show them the door.

Preferably with a foot firmly attached to their collective ass.

You have to hand it to any attorney who would be willing to publicly display such a complete and total lack of understanding of bike lanes and road diets.

………

Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax writes his own obituary following a chilling close call with the driver of a Porsche on Olympic Blvd.

………

Manhattan Beach residents are going to war over the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, preparing to sue the city for their God-given right to drive from the South Bay to their offices in Santa Monica and Century City without setting wheels on a roadway actually designed for that purpose.

Because evidently, it’s worth killing a few strangers every year so they can keep commuting in their single-occupant SUVs from their multimillion dollar beachfront homes. And LA is supposed to just bend over and let them.

Regardless of the harm they do to the people and communities along their way.

You can see what those road diet opponents have to say on the subject by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

………

A British woman has started a petition to protect the roads — or rather, those poor, put-upon drivers — from dangerous cyclists who play chicken with cars and hurl abuse at the people in them.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be drivers who pass too close to bikes or do anything that might inspire that anger.

………

Britain’s governing body for sports either missed or willfully ignored problems with the cycling program.

Greg LeMond once again calls for banning race radios in the Tour de France to make the race more unpredictable and exciting. An idea I wholeheartedly endorse. Just put the riders on their bikes and let them race.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s public meeting to discuss changes to deadly Fletcher Drive though Atwater Village, which writer Joe Linton describes as a necessary route for bicyclists through the area, despite the dangers of high speed traffic. Needless to say, most drivers at the meeting seemed to prefer the option that didn’t include a road diet or bike lanes, and wouldn’t do much to improve safety for anyone.

Six streets in the San Fernando Valley are scheduled for Vision Zero safety improvements, including Sepulveda Blvd and Lankershim Blvd — where Councilmember Paul Krekorian has already decided to keep the street dangerous instead of installing a road diet with bike lanes. The misleading headline implies bike lanes are planned for all of the streets, which is contradicted by the story.

Bike SGV reports Pasadena is planning to make the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station more walkable and bikeable.

The new superintendent of the La Habra city school district rode a bicycle across the US when she was in her 20s. I like her already.

 

State

That bike-riding rhino replica will complete its tour of the left coast in San Diego this weekend.

A UC Riverside man will ride from LA to DC this summer to spread a message of diversity and tolerance.

It’s safe to get back on your bike again. The Sacramento man who was convicted of deliberately running down three bike riders is back behind bars after being released on a clerical error.

 

National

Wired looks at the movement of women’s bike makers to finally go beyond shrink it and pink it.

An Austin TX teenager says he was “just blowing off steam” when he shot a bike rider in the face with a shotgun, nearly killing him. Hopefully, he’ll be in prison long enough to permanently lose that smug look on his face; thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Must be something in the water. In another Austin case, a 26-year old man was arrested after trying to ride salmon on an Interstate highway in an effort to elude police.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News calls on the NYPD to stop automatically blaming bike riders for crashes where they weren’t at fault, and stop cracking down on people on bikes as a result. Like in the case of the Israeli man killed riding a New York bikeshare bike, who didn’t swerve into a bus after all.

Philadelphia steps up plans for Vision Zero after a longtime transportation advocate was killed when a driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk where he and another person were walking.

A Baltimore lawyer and the head of the city’s bike advocacy group explain why they successfully sued to prevent the mayor from ripping out a protected bike lane.

What the fuck is wrong with people? A Baltimore mother was murdered in a dispute over her son’s bike seat.

Jamie McMurray is one of us, part of the brigade of NASCAR drivers who’ve taken up bicycling, including a recent 102 mile ride up a South Carolina mountain.

 

International

Treehugger reviews Carlton Reid’s new book Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling. Which I hope to have in my own hot little hands in the near future.

The Guardian asks if you can pick out cities from just their naked bikeway networks. Even without looking at the multiple choice answers, Los Angeles is obvious from its disconnected non-network and over-reliance on river and beachfront bike paths.

Evidently, it’s perfectly okay to kill a bike-riding woman with your truck in the UK, then decide there’s no point hanging around once the paramedics arrive, and continue with your deliveries.

A Welsh website explains why participants in the World Naked Bike Ride aren’t likely to be arrested; apparently, public nudity is legal as long as you aren’t offensive. Which pretty much rules me out.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Record-setting, 105-year old Robert Marchand helps kick off a French cycling event he competed in several times in years past.

A Berlin bicyclist was fatally doored by a diplomat, apparently from the Saudi Arabian embassy. Thanks to again to Steve Katz.

Denmark focuses on building streets where children can bike to school alone, resulting in happier, healthier kids. And adults.

ZDNet looks at the smart internet-connected Estonian bike lock being installed in the Bay Area BART stations.

A 26-year old Indian man will spend the next three years bicycling around the country to share the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with school children. I want to be like him, too.

A bike group paints murals around Beirut, Lebanon to promote riding over driving.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to be invaded by Chinese dockless bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Your next bike light could help fill potholes. Bike racing comes to Beverly Hills; no, not that Beverly Hills.

And no, hurling it off a seven-story building is not the proper use of a bikeshare bike.

 

Morning Links: Angry drivers and bikelash in Playa del Mar, sinkhole on Angeles Crest, and Bike Life in DTLA

A little bikelash and road diet rage were to be expected.

This is LA, after all.

Which is why it should come as no surprise that drivers are angry they can no longer speed on deadly Vista del Mar, or use the beachfront street as a virtual highway on their cut-through commutes from South Bay cities.

Streetsblog examines Monday’s angry backlash over the changes designed to slow speeds and improve bike and pedestrian safety in Playa del Rey — including one bighearted person who shouted that people killed crossing the deadly street had it coming.

Just in case you wondered what kind of person would oppose desperately needed traffic safety improvements.

After all, who really cares about saving the lives of a few total strangers if it means your commute gets a few minutes longer? Although one person says traffic on his Vista del Mar commute is actually lighter than usual.

Once again, there are dueling petitions both opposing and supporting the changes. And once again, the nays are winning in a landslide.

Meanwhile, The Argonaut considers the resistance of some drivers to the road diet and bike lanes just completed on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista, where over 48 bicyclists and pedestrians have been injured since 2011.

Including one truly bizarre statement that it took someone 45 minutes to drive the half mile from Beethoven to Centinela. Which would only seem possible if s/he stopped for coffee and donuts along the way. And had to wait while they made them.

Because really, why wait a few weeks to see if the changes will actually work when you can just demand they rip ‘em out before the paint is even dry?

And yet people wonder why it’s so hard to change anything in LA.

………

If you were planning to ride Angeles Crest this weekend, start making other plans. Caltrans reports the highway is closed until further notice between Grassy Hollow and SR-39 due to a sinkhole in the roadway. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

………

Since you can’t ride Angeles Crest, head over to Grand Park this Saturday for a one-hour beer and taco-free gathering of the LA bicycling community.

………

Once again, a cyclist competing in an open course time trial has been killed in a collision with a motor vehicle; this time the victim was a 69-year old man in the UK.

More bad news, as a French cyclist was killed in a car crash, and another injured, shortly after taking first and third in a criterium last Thursday; both riders were veterans of the popular Red Hook Crit series.

The New York Times looks at the rise of Columbian cyclists, saying some compete for their county, and some in spite of it.

The Des Moines Register profiles a competitor in next week’s RAAM, saying don’t call her Wonder Woman.

………

Local

LA Times columnist Robin Abcarian celebrates how a chain reaction hit-and-run crash brought an unlikely group of Angelenos together. And a bike rider walked away thanks to the falling skills he learned riding a skateboard.

Helen’s Cycles will host their monthly mountain bike ride this Saturday.

Also on Saturday, learn how to advocate for Complete Streets at The Tripping Point, a free conference sponsored by Investing in Place, AARP California, Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition, Los Angeles Walks, Pacoima Beautiful and Tree People.

 

State

Anticipating an increase in funding, the California Active Transportation Program is looking for shovel-ready bike and pedestrian projects. Like LA’s North Figueroa and Lankershim Blvd road diets, and the bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, for instance. Oh, wait.

Newport Beach police will be focusing on bike and pedestrian safety enforcement this month, with extra officers on duty June 14th and 26th. You know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Riverside will host the Santa Ana River Trail Bike Ride & Festival this Sunday.

The Pleasanton city council votes unanimously to adopt a new bicycle and pedestrian master plan.

San Mateo plans to double the size of its bikeshare program, the only one in the Bay Area not part of Ford’s 7,000 bike system.

 

National

NACTO is sponsoring a year-long initiative to identify problems that “slow the implementation of transformative transportation projects in cities across the country.” I can save them the trouble: blame NIMBYs who value parking spaces and faster commutes over lives and livability.

Streetsblog says algorithms to improve dangerous intersections are great, but we already know what needs to be done to improve safety.

A new study shows even regular coffee drinkers can get a performance boost from caffeine.

Not surprisingly, Oregon bike retailers are trying to stop plans for a tax on bicycles over $500.

An online travel service ranks Denver the tenth most bike-friendly city for tourists. Not surprisingly, Minneapolis ranks number one; more surprising is Los Angeles getting a nod on the Most Improved list.

Texas finally gets around to banning texting while driving, six years after then governor and now US Energy Secretary Rick Perry vetoed it.

Kindhearted Arkansas cops take the time to help a kid fix his bike.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a driver charged with reckless homicide in the death of a 16-year old bike rider walks with nothing but probation following a plea deal. Seriously, whoever agreed to this should be ashamed.

After a Chicago boy’s bike was stolen while he was at work, his friends mowed lawns, did chores and donated their allowances to buy him a new one.

Michigan Live offers a complete wrap-up of their extensive coverage of the one-year anniversary of the drug-fueled Kalamazoo massacre.

Indiana police are looking for a road-raging bike rider, though they won’t say what happened or why.

Baltimore’s mayor pledges to look into charges from some residents that bike lanes would make some streets too narrow for fire equipment. Even though parking spaces already do.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers 15 reasons why you should ride your bike this summer. Or maybe ten, they’re not really sure.

A London advocacy group calls on the city to modify safety barriers that have been placed in bike lanes on three of the city’s bridges.

A Scottish newspaper says the silence was deafening during a minute of quiet to protest the death of a young woman on her bike.

A new Dublin study shows enormous health benefits to bicycling, while noting that the risk to male riders between 20 to 29 increases with every mile, and may outweigh the benefits for some.

Coke is turning to e-cargo bikes to make deliveries. In the Netherlands, naturally.

A cyclist on a French river cruise takes a bicycling tour of the historic city of Rouen, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

An Aussie judge calls a driver a moronic bogan — the rough equivalent of trailer trash in the US — after the man pled guilty to beating and demanding an apology from the bike rider he’d just crashed into. But still let him off with just a fine.

 

Finally…

Training bike cops for the coming zombie apocalypse. If you really want to encourage bike commuting, free donuts and bacon should do the trick.

And nothing like a phalanx of school kids on unicycles unexpectedly rolling past your window.

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