Tag Archive for Washington Blvd

Morning Links: Bikeshare safer than cycling, challenging LA’s stupidest bike lane, and re-striping Washington Blvd

It was a busy weekend in the bike world.

So get comfortable. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

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Evidently, bikeshare is safer than other forms of bicycling.

According to a new study, not one person has been killed while using a bikeshare bike anywhere in the US, with over 35 million rides in at least 94 systems.

And despite the overwhelming lack of helmet use.

That compares with an estimated fatality rate of 21 deaths per 100 million bicycling trips. Which means statistically, we could have expected at least seven bikeshare deaths so far. And there hasn’t been.

Among other factors, the study credits the heavy, slow bikes typical of bikeshare, and the fact that bikeshare trips are usually taken in urban areas where traffic tends to move slower.

Though there are exceptions.

My take is that in addition to being heavy, most bikeshare bikes are made with a step-through design, which makes them easy to jump off of in the event of danger or a fall.

Hopefully that track record will continue as bikeshare begins to spread through the LA area.

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Maybe we need a tape measure.

Streetsblog discovers a one-block long bike lane in Pleasanton that they say may be the shortest bike lane in California; a city official admits that yes, it’s short, but it’s a little better than nothing.

Don’t send the trophy up to the Bay Area yet, though.

It was just eight years ago when Slate declared a one-block long bike lane on Galey in Westwood the Stupidest Bike Lane in America.

A title it should hold on to, even if Pleasanton’s measures out a little shorter.

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My spies tell me the lane markers have all been stripped out on Washington Blvd between the Marina and Sepulveda Blvd, apparently so the lanes can be realigned, with the existing bike lanes extended all the way to Sepulveda.

Let’s hope the lanes are being moved to make room for a buffer. Or better yet, protected lanes.

After all, the new protected lanes on Venice look pretty comfy. Maybe once LA drivers get used to the ide, we can turn those bollards into planters.

Thanks to Margaret for the tip.

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bikesbelongposterIn a piece that should be mandatory reading for everyone in the bicycle industry, British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid says if bike makers and sellers want the bicycle market to grow, spending on advocacy is an investment, not an expense.

Many of the current crop of unpaid promoters of our products are burning the candle at both ends, working tirelessly in their free time to get more people on bicycles. With substantial financial and moral support these advocates could truly work wonders. It’s shocking, really, that the industry stays largely aloof from such a passionate and committed volunteer army. (Bikes Belong in the US, and the Cycling Industry Club initiative from the European Cyclists’ Federation are stand-out examples of how the worlds of advocacy and the industry can meet in the middle.)

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April Fools Day came and went. And as usual, it didn’t leave the bike world out.

Streetsblog says LA’s Great Streets will now be named after the councilmembers whose districts they’re in, which means Koretz and Cedillo will have their names permanently attached to failed streets they’ve made. We could only wish that one was true.

West Hollywood comes up with a brilliant name for their coming bikeshare system — Bikey McBikeface.

Cyclocross Magazine says the 19-year old Belgian motor-doper is making a comeback at the Sea Otter Classic’s e-mountain bike race.

How about a bike helmet that doubles as a pour-over coffee maker?

And Google launches a self-driving bicycle in the Netherlands. Although that may not be as much of a joke as they seem to think.

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Lots of news from the racing world this weekend.

Slovakian pro Peter Sagan won Belgian’s Tour of Flanders on Sunday, overcoming a string of second-place finishes to claim his first Monument.

Meanwhile, a team mechanic became the latest person to be struck by a race vehicle when he was run down by an Etixx-QuickStep team car; no word on whether he was injured.

A writer for the Guardian says the death of Belgian pro cyclist Antoine Demoitié in a collision with a race moto — 66 years after a French rider suffered the same fate — should be a wake-up call for pro cycling’s overly crowded races. This crap is going to continue until race vehicles are required to remain behind the peloton. If a rider suffers a mechanical, he — or she — can wait until the peloton has passed, or just fix himself like the great riders of the past.

British world champ Lizzie Armitstead won the women’s Tour of Flanders in a photo-finish sprint to claim her fourth major victory of the year.

Eleven-time British world champ Anna Meares still suffers pain, eight years after she went from a wheelchair to the Olympic podium in just eight months following a bad fall while competing in Los Angeles.

A Taiwanese amateur cyclist feels the need, the need for speed, while an Aussie woman prepares to compete in triathlon at the Rio Paralympics just 18 months after taking up the sport — and despite being born with just one hand.

And a London doctor claims that he helped dope 150 athletes, including unnamed top British Tour de France cyclists; the Telegraph says a 39-year old amateur cyclist rolled over on the doc to get a reduced sentence from doping authorities.

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Local

Councilmember David Ryu’s staff continues to study the Rowena Ave road diet.

Streetsblog suggest supporting the inaugural Los Angeles Bicycle Festival on Kickstarter, while Bike Talk talks with LABF founder Nona Varnardo, as well as our friend and frequent linkee Richard Risemberg.

No bias here. A Santa Monica paper says a cyclist was arrested riding salmon while carrying burglary tools in a hot spot for break-ins. Chances are, they would never refer to the alleged thief as a motorist or pedestrian in the headline under similar circumstances.

The blog post may have come out on April 1st, but it’s no joke that Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare is ready for the opening of the Expo Line and all the people it will bring looking for a way to explore the city or travel the last few blocks to their destination.

 

State

San Diego’s Downtown News looks at opposition to the city’s bike and pedestrian plan for the downtown area.

The 32nd annual Redlands Bicycle Classic starts this Wednesday, while fans of vintage bicycles will want to turn out for Paso Robles’ annual three-day Eroica California starting this Friday.

A self-righteous Clovis letter writer says cyclists have to stop being self-righteous and “assume responsibility for the proper use of their toys.” Yes, toys.

San Francisco’s People Behaving Badly reporter goes looking for bicyclists with earbuds in both ears. Nice to know they’ve solved all the other safety problems in Bagdad by the Bay.

A writer from New Jersey outs himself and his family as a few of those tourists on rental bikes that people in Sausalito claim are ruining their fair city; no such objections seem to have arisen from their ride through Yosemite, though.

Marin sheriff’s deputies will be lying in wait for the rogue one percent of mountain bikers who exceed the 15 mph speed limit on county trails.

A Fairfield driver faces DUI charges for running down a drunk salmon cyclist; he told police he’d supported his two-gram-a-day habit by using meth 30 times that day before getting behind the wheel.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to climb hills.

The Christian Science Monitor explains the benefits of bicycling attire, especially for long rides. Seriously, you don’t need spandex to enjoy your ride, but it does make a difference.

After high-stakes gambler Dan Bilzerian won his $1.2 million bet by riding from LA to Vegas in less than 48 hours, the New York post calls him the biggest jerk on Instagram. Judging by the little I’ve seen of his fascination for guns and boobs, you won’t get any argument from me.

Las Vegas police stopped the driver of an off-road vehicle but somehow let him go, just one hour before he killed a bicyclist while driving under the influence.

A Boulder CO company acts like a legal chop shop by breaking down bikes and selling the parts on eBay.

A Colorado city will vote Tuesday on whether to require bicyclists to ride single file through town, despite a state law allowing cyclists to ride two abreast.

In a horrifying hit-and-run reminiscent of the crash that nearly took the life of Finish the Ride founder Damian Kevitt, a Texas woman survives after being dragged several blocks under a truck as the driver fled the scene. But unlike the jerk who ran down Kevitt, this driver was found and arrested, held on a $100,000 bond and an immigration detainer. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Thanks to a Michigan company, your next bike may have a spring instead of a down tube.

Great piece from the Washington Post refuting five myths about bicycling. Although I’d quibble with the suggestion that it wouldn’t make much of a dent in congestion even if more people rode bikes.

A North Carolina cyclist thanks the driver who said her tire was flat, and drove home to get an air compressor to fix it.

 

International

Bike Radar lists seven rookie mistakes that could ruin your ride to work.

Chances are, you sit on something made by the most powerful woman in cycling every time you ride.

An anti-bike British lawyer says police are ignoring law-breaking cyclists, to which nearly everyone else says au contraire.

A new study says Brits support bike lanes across virtually all age and political groups, even if it means a longer commute.

Caught on video: A British bike rider tries to pass a bus. And fails.

Protected bike lanes come to Belfast, though drivers don’t seem to get it yet.

A new bike tour takes tourists on a post-midnight ride through the streets of Mumbai. Now that sounds like fun.

A Maltese cyclist says animals get more respect than bike riders; “No one honks at a horse, but cyclists are often harassed.”

An Australian website says the risk of riding in large cities is extremely low, while the individual and social benefits are high.

 

Finally…

When you crash your car while driving under the influence with a suspended license while carrying drug paraphernalia and prescription meds, “borrowing” a bike to make your getaway may not be the best idea. Now you can print your own parts for an ugly ass ebike.

And good luck selling this stolen bike.

 

Virginal new bike lanes on Washington, Rowena lanes are here to stay, and RIP to a 95-year old bike racer

Ran into a pleasant surprise on Monday’s ride. Or over it, more precisely.

I’ve been watching the repaving of eastbound San Vicente Blvd in Brentwood the last few weeks, anticipating the smooth asphalt and newly repainted bike lane that greeted me on my ride back from the South Bay.

What I wasn’t expecting was the new pavement I discovered when I left the Marina bike path on Washington Blvd, extending from Oxford on the west to Lincoln on the east. However, the real surprise was the virtually virginal new bike lane extending the whole way on both sides.

This on a street I ride on a regular basis, making my way a few blocks from the bike path to Abbot Kinney, as in the video below. And one where there was room to ride between the door zone and the traffic lane to the left — but which left me feeling at the mercy of speeding and/or drivers not content to share a lane that waas nearly wide enough for two cars.

Granted, I only rode it a short distance.

But for the first time ever, I didn’t feel like I had to fight for my space on the road. And riding on Washington felt, well, wonderful.

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The results are in on last week’s prematurely called community to discuss the results of the Rowena road diet and bike lanes, just 90 days after they were installed.

Despite the usual bike hate — some from the usual quarters — word from Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s office is the road diet is here to stay, though it may see some “improvements.”

As long as he doesn’t try to improve it like he did on Spring Street, where LaBonge helped lead the Hollywood attack on the green bike lanes.

Thanks to Patrick for the heads-up.

Update: Velobakery offers a great recap of the Rowena meeting — including the observation that only one person spoke out against bike riders, despite what the other stories might have implied. Thanks to grrlyrida for the link.

Update 2: I’ve received a new PDF from CM LaBonge’s office correcting his position on crosswalks with flashing lights, and replaced the link at the top of this section with the new PDF.

Meanwhile, things may be changing in Pasadena in the wake of the recent death of Phillip O’Neill. Boyonabike reports that a new coalition has been formed to push the city to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians, and work for complete streets.

Pasadena is already one of the area’s most livable cities. Except when it comes to its streets.

If they’re smart enough to listen to the people who live and work there, it could be, as he says, the next great walkable, bikeable sity in SoCal.

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If you haven’t read it yet, stop what you’re doing and read this viral blog advice to motorists, You’re Going to Kill Someone.

Do it now. I’ll wait.

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Is South LA about to become bike-friendlier? Downtown’s Broadway is about to undergo a massive road diet to make room for people. Newly elected Councilmember Mike Bonin will replace outgoing Councilmember Bill Rosendahl as chair of the Transportation Committee, which should bode well for the city’s cyclists and transit users. Better Bike looks at the former Biking Black Hole’s baby steps to become bike friendlier. Burbank riders will soon get a new bike path — not lane, thank you — connecting the Lake-Alameda bike path to the Burbank Metrolink station. The LACBC invites you to an all-ages Sunday Funday ride in Long Beach this weekend. A Murrieta man is riding 10,000 miles to carry his father’s ashes to China. A Fresno writer asks why police concluded investigations based solely on the testimony of the one with the most to lose. Fresno residents say we’re the ones not sharing the road.

Bicycling’s Bod Mionske offers advice on how to take — or start — a bike traffic school. Surly suggests some things you might not need on your next ride; I’d argue that gloves matter, as anyone who’s ever had road rash on their palms could attest. The Christian Science Monitor says there’s a bike boom going on, in great length and detail. They may be right, as even Sioux Falls holds a ciclavia. Denver cyclists try out a temporary protected bike lane. Lance can’t ride the Tour anymore, but he can ride RAGBRAI. In a horrifying collision, seven bike riders are injured — three seriously enough to require life flight — when a group of 13 bicyclists on their way to Santa Monica are rear-ended by an Arkansas motorist. Dallas police are being sued for running down and killing a bike rider for not wearing a helmet. Minnesota AAA is now offering roadside assistance for bicyclists; no word on whether they oppose bike safety legislation like ours does. After his tandem is stolen, a blind New York rider is deluged with bike offers. Panic in the streets of New York, as Gothamites discover they’re at the mercy of uninsured bike share riders — and helmetless ones, too. In an apparent attempt to troll for web hits, the NY Times calls for a dialogue on bicycling and those ugly bikes clogging the streets. Meanwhile, the Times declares an end to car culture; a Houston writer says it ain’t necessarily so. Steve Martin — yes, that Steve Martin — gets his wallet back after losing it while riding in Pennsylvania. DC area Black Women Bike group raises the profile of cycling. Three years for a hit-and-run Virginia driver who had been drinking the night he killed a bike rider. Clearly, you can carry anything on a bike, even a stolen air conditioner.

How not to fix your bike. British motorists want bike riders to wear helmets and pay for the road; in other news, the bear does shit in the woods. Two UK bicyclists are killed by a truck on a roadway riders are encouraged to avoid whenever possible; they were on the first day of a cross-county bike tour. Brit bike share users may soon be able to don paper helmets. An Irish rider is nearly decapitated by a rope strung across the roadway; less a prank than an anti-bike terrorist attack. Welshman Geraint Thomas rode 90 Tour de France miles with a cracked pelvis. Why women don’t ride the Tour de France; actually, there’s another race going on right now. Remarkably, the cab driver who killed Kiwi pro cyclist Burry Stander will not face charges.

Finally, rest in peace to Gordy Shields, the record-setting 95-year old San Diego bike racer who passed away on Sunday following complications from a recent surgery. He may not have died riding, but if anyone deserves a ghost bike, that man does.

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