Tag Archive for West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition

A little this, a little that — missing NY green lane, WeHo bike workshop, SaMo bike shooting suspect

Just a little light reading to get you through your Wednesday.

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Remember those vivid green bike lanes that Hollywood says don’t exist anywhere else and are impossible to remove in post-production?

Evidently, not a problem in New York.

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West Hollywood will host a workshop to help overhaul their bicycle and mobility plan this Saturday. The meeting takes place starting at 9 am at the WeHo library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd; the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition encourages anyone who rides or walks in the city to attend to help make the plan as powerful as possible,

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Sign the petition to keep the bike lanes on Westmont Drive in San Pedro; thanks to Jennifer Gill for the link.

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Santa Monica police have identified a suspect in the shooting of a bicyclist last Sunday. Oddly, they say it doesn’t appear to be related to the shooting of two men, one fatally, in the same area Tuesday morning — let alone the nearby shooting rampage on Friday.

You might want to avoid the area south of Pico Blvd in Santa Monica for awhile until things settle down.

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A 13-year old L.A. boy has been missing since he was last seen riding his bike on Sunday. Bicycle Fixation looks forward to CicLAvia on the Miracle Mile. Bike Nation is seeking a Fortune 500 company to sponsor their bike share program; I could use one of those myself. A sponsor, that is. The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee now has a Facebook page. It’s a busy bike weekend at Flying Pigeon, with a Streetsblog fundraiser on Friday, LACBC’s RideFigueroa Saturday, and a Get Sum Dim Sum ride on Sunday. A look at the World Naked Bike Ride, L.A. edition. The L.A. Sheriff’s Department is fixing unclaimed bikes — actually, the inmates are — to donate to kids throughout the county. The woman who helped put bike lanes in Rolling Hills Estates has passed away. A Sierra Madre cyclist suffers minor injuries when a motorist fails to yield; thanks to John Lloyd for the heads-up. How not to lock your bike.

More money for bike and pedestrian projects in the new state budget, but Safe Routes to School programs are at risk. Santa Ana will build two secure bike parking facilities holding a total of just 36 bikes; evidently, not many riders need secure parking down there. It seems the facts are however you spin them, as a San Francisco grand jury says the city must do more to prevent bicyclists’ deaths — but all a Bay Area website hears is a call to crackdown on scofflaw cyclists.

Nice read on being an unwitting role model for little girls. A new Tucson Walgreens didn’t eliminate a bike lane in front of the store after all. If you’re going to make your getaway by bike, try to steal one your own size. Traffic laws apply to cyclists, even in Idaho. The teams have been announced for this year’s USA Pro Challenge. Colorado man spots his stolen mountain bike on eBay, leading to the arrest of a serial bike thief. A lesson from Kansas for all drivers — don’t kill people with cars; damn good advice if you ask me. A new Cincinnati app allows cyclists to report harassment and collisions.

Brit drivers are more miserable than they’ve been in 25 years. If you really want to be seen, ride a Penny Farthing. An Irish writer demonizes cyclists — literally — in calling for greater courtesy around pedestrians. A look at bicycling in Paris. Johan Bruyneel, former sports director for Lance’s various cycling teams, denies being a demon or putting anyone’s health at risk.

Finally, a self-identifying cyclist criticizes a “small, tiny, sub-section of cyclists” — the cam-wearing, lycra-clad aggressively mentally ill subsection, evidently. Something tells me the conversation he relates may not have occurred exactly the way he tells it.

If it occurred at all.

West Hollywood needs your help — planned La Brea bike lanes could be replaced by sharrows

I’m not a big fan of sharrows.

Yes, they have their place, providing on-street wayfinding for riders and positioning them out of the door zone, while sending a clear signal to drivers that we have a right to ride in the traffic lane.

But they don’t give us any rights to road we don’t already have, or one inch of real estate we aren’t already entitled to. And they don’t move riders out of the way of heavy traffic and impatient drivers.

The strictly vehicular crowd will tell you that sharrows are better than badly designed bike lanes that put riders in the door zone. But they are never preferable to a well-designed bike lane that safely positions riders out of traffic and away from danger.

And unlike bike lanes, sharrows do little or nothing to encourage more timid riders to take to the road.

Yet West Hollywood has decided that sharrows make more sense on heavily travelled La Brea Avenue than the long-planned bike lanes that were supposed to be installed in the next few years. And which were supposed to connect with bike lanes that will be installed on the Los Angeles portions of the street under the current bike plan.

Apparently, they’ve concluded that a wide, landscaped median that would beautify the street is more important than bike lanes that would encourage bike riding, reduce congestion and improve safety for all road users.

LACBC regional chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is leading the fight to keep bike lanes on the redesigned street. So I’ll let them take up the story from here.

Did you know that the city of West Hollywood is planning a huge redesign of La Brea Avenue? It’s is an amazing opportunity to fix a street that currently suffers from some of the worst congestion and hazardous intersections in West Hollywood. Fortunately, La Brea also enjoys a high concentration of great destinations, diverse growth, and proximity to pleasant neighborhoods. A bike lane would be an easy, inexpensive way to capitalize on West Hollywood’s easternmost assets, and effectively reduce the inconveniences of a city that’s growing by leaps and bounds.

Sound the Alarm

WeHo’s Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration incorrectly claims that LA plans to paint sharrow stencils on La Brea. But the city of LA has proposed bike lanes — not sharrows — for La Brea Ave in its 2010 bike plan.

If West Hollywood’s portion of La Brea isn’t built with connectivity to LA’s future bike lanes, it could cost a lot of money to fix — and it could even cost lives.

Follow the Existing Guidelines

As luck would have it, the city of West Hollywood has already conducted a study that calls for bike lanes on La Brea. The recommendations of the Bicycle Task Force include the installation of Class II (that is, non-buffered) bike lanes on La Brea Ave. The report was unanimously approved by City Council in December of 2011.

La Brea bike lanes are also indicated by West Hollywood’s Climate Action Plan, the General Plan, and even the request for proposals for this very project.

Wouldn’t Bike Lanes Just Slow Traffic Down?

No. It might seem counter-intuitive at first, but when done correctly, bike lanes can help move traffic along faster.

How’s that? Well, bike lanes keep cyclists separated from faster-moving traffic, eliminating the need for cars to change lanes or suddenly slow down to pass bikes. They also reduce conflicts between bikes and cars at intersections. And dedicated lanes allow bikes to move safely forward through traffic, rather than swerving hazardously between stopped cars.

And of course, the biggest benefit of all: with more bike lanes, more people bike instead of drive, so there’s an overall reduction in traffic on the road.

Safety Over Aesthetics

What’s more important for La Brea: a giant landscaped median that simply looks nice, or bike lanes that can actually save residents’ lives?

There’s no argument that bike lanes will make La Brea safer for everyone — not just cyclists, but pedestrians and motorists, too.

When Long Beach installed bike lanes, bike accidents decreased by 80%, vehicle accidents decreased 44%, and sidewalk-riding decreased from 70% to 28%. LADOT’s own study showed that bike lanes can reduce accidents by 35%. That reduction isn’t just for cyclists — it also includes collisions between cars.

With numerous new pedestrian-oriented projects under construction on this already-busy street, bike lanes are an easy, cost-effective way to reduce accidents and injuries. If the street’s wide enough for a median, it’s wide enough for bike lanes.

So what can you do?

Contact the City of West Hollywood and let them know that we need bike lanes. The comment period for the Notice of Intent to Adopt a Negative Declaration closes very soon: 5pm on February 28.

Send your comments here:

Donn Uyeno, P.E.
Senior Civil Engineer
City of West Hollywood Department of Public Works
8300 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tel: 323-848-6457 | Fax: 323-848-6564 | Email: duyeno@weho.org

And of course, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and email newsletter to get updates on our progress with this and other projects.

West Hollywood has just one more week to get the redesigned La Brea Avenue right the first time. So take a moment to take a stand for a safer, complete bike network that would benefit everyone on what is currently one of the area’s busiest and most dangerous streets.

I’ll be emailing them before the week is over. And I hope you’ll join me.

One other brief note.

The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is one of the area’s most dedicated and effective groups fighting for better bicycling in the Los Angeles area. If you live or ride in West Hollywood, you owe it to yourself to get involved with them; if you’re an LACBC member, you automatically qualify for membership.

If not, what are you waiting for?

LAPD seeks yet another hit-and-run driver; West Hollywood is in the market for a bike plan consultant

Los Angeles police are looking for a driver who ran down a cyclist near USC and fled the scene, leaving him to bleed in the street.

The rider was hit by a small white car at the intersection of Vermont Ave and 36th Street around 1:30 Friday morning. The cyclist, described only as non-USC student in his 20s or 30s, suffered major non-life-threatening injuries.

Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2577.

It’s long past time to get heartless cowards like this off the streets and behind bars where they belong.

Thanks to Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

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The City of West Hollywood is looking for a firm to help update the city’s bike plan.

Let’s hope WeHo, self-proclaimed as The Creative City, will take a creative approach to carving out a significant chunk of street space to keep cyclists safe and encourage more people to ride. While the city has made some recent moves to accommodate bikes, it’s time to show cyclists the same welcome and tolerance they famously show everyone else.

You don’t have to do a lot of riding, walking or driving in West Hollywood to realize that the relatively compact, traffic-choked city could benefit greatly by providing more viable alternatives to driving. Aside from some steep climbs on the lower reaches of the Hollywood Hills, it is — or at least, should be — a near ideal location for promoting bicycling.

And maybe they could show the Biking Black Hole to their west how it’s done while they’re at it.

While it’s still early in the process, the best way to ensure your voice is heard in the new plan is to join the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, an LACBC affiliate chapter that does a great job of engaging civic leaders and fighting for the rights of bike riders.

Many thanks to Matt Baume for the tip. And hey, I’m more than willing to consult, if they’re willing to waive all those technical requirements and stuff.

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The first section of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk bike and pedestrian path is scheduled to open on December 12th. Richard Risemberg notes the new BMW of Beverly Hills bike shop. Everybody has a favorite bike shop, right? A Napa motorist faces up to one year in jail for killing a cyclist last August.

Looks like America’s only Tour de France winner is officially out of the bike business. Alta Bicycle Share is looking for a Portland-based Marketing Director. The Blackhawk CO bike ban heads to the Colorado Supreme Court. A Montana man says a local road diet was imposed by unelected D.C. bureaucrats, and implies cyclists belong on sidewalks. An Albany NY cyclist becomes collateral damage when he’s killed by a fleeing driver in a police chase. Jackson, Mississippi considers joining other local cities in requiring helmets for cyclists. An Arkansas father and minister is killed while riding in Georgia. Nice to know a Florida deputy didn’t run over a cyclist on purpose.

A fight for the leadership, and nature, of the Belize Cycling Association. Good to know Canadian drivers can kill a cyclist without doing anything wrong. UK bike scribe Carlton Reid points out that hatred of cyclists has a long, rich history. The Evening Standard asks how we can make London safe for cyclists. Seven tips for effective bike lobbying. Cyclists touring Bath, England will soon enjoy Europe’s longest cycling tunnel at over a mile long. An Edinburgh cyclist blames bad roads for a serious fall. Danish cyclists complain a new law requiring bike lights is unenforceable. How a single picture started the Cycle Chic movement. An Aussie cyclist suffers a broken collarbone when someone slaps her on the ass from a passing car.

Finally, a UK hospital receives well-deserved criticism for removing bike parking for a smoking area, even if it will result in a net increase in bike spaces. And it may not necessarily be bike related, but I love these haunting photos of Scotland in winter from my favorite Scottish novelist and bike blogger.

Evidence-hiding father Stephen Rush already out of jail; trade in your car for a bike in Woodland Hills

Dj Wheels offers a few legal updates, which I’ll try to catch up on in the next few days.

But one thing sure to get a lot of cyclists’ blood boiling is the news that Steven Rush, sentenced to a wrist-caressing 10 days in jail for helping his daughter Dominique hide evidence in the heartless hit-and-run death of 17-year old cyclist Alex Romero, is already out from behind bars.

According to Wheels, Rush was taken into custody around noon on March 6th, the day he and Dominique were both sentenced. And released less than two days later, at 6 am on March 8th.

Forty-two hours.

A virtually consequence-free Lindsey Lohan-ish spin through the judicial system.

Yeah, that will certainly send a message to anyone else considering hiding evidence of a crime.

As in go ahead. It’s no big deal. Just another dead cyclist lying in the road.

Shameful.

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I love this photo from UK bike blogger Karl McCracken, aka KarlOnSea, clearly demonstrating the harmful environmental effects of bicycling.

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Gas prices have you thinking about trading your car for a bike? Now you can.

Literally.

In a brilliant bit of guerilla marketing, Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery is partnering with a nearby car dealer to let you trade your car for a new bike. Just pick out your bike, and go across the street to have your vehicle evaluated for its trade-in value. Then pop back to the bike shop to finish the transaction and ride off on your new bike.

The offer is good next week, starting Monday the 18th and running through Sunday the 25th.

It will be interesting to see if anyone takes advantage of it. And if any of those are new to bicycling.

But either way, the shop deserves credit for using current market conditions to put their name on the map in a big way.

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Santa Monica Spoke reminds us of tonight’s Bikes – Ballads – Beers benefit for fellow LACBC affiliate chapter West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition at Little Bar. I won’t be able to make it, but it sounds like a damn fun — and very affordable — bike night.

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The USC Cycling Team invites you to join them for a benefit ride on Sunday, March 25th, offering your choice of three rides of increasing speed and difficulty, all starting at 9:30 am at Bike Effect, 910 W. Broadway in Santa Monica. The suggested $20 donation supports the 2012 USC Cycling race program.

Meanwhile, bike-friendly KCET looks at this weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race.

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American Cyclist offers a remarkably one-sided look at helmet use, relying on a largely discredited study citing an 85% reduction in head injuries for riders wearing helmets.

While I am a firm believer in helmet use, they are not magic devices that will miraculously protect the wearer against all harm. They’re most effective for relatively slow speed collisions, since their design standards only dictate protection at impact speeds up to 12.5 mph. And even the best helmet will do nothing to protect against injury to any other part of the body.

Don’t get me wrong.

In over 30 years of riding, I’ve only needed my helmet once. And in that case, I’m damn glad I had it.

But let’s be honest about their limitations, and not pretend they can perform miracles.

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The great VC debate continues, as former advocate for Vehicular Cycling Rick Risemberg says cyclists should at least operate like vehicles around other riders. The Department of DIY strikes again, as Except Bikes placards suddenly appear on No Parking signs. Gary Kavanagh becomes an official Streetblogger. LADOT offers initial results on wayfinding input, and wants your take on biking through the Sepulveda tunnel under LAX; personally, I don’t even like driving through it. A pink bike may be the key to a murder investigation. Beverly Hills moves forward with a bike route pilot program with no discussion, at least not yet. Cal State Northridge police bust a pair of juvenile bike thieves; they must have really sucked at it to even get noticed. Lincoln Heights bike shop owners consider building a Velodrome for Eastside fixie riders. Altadena gets a five-mile bike boulevard in the new county bike plan. Women on Bikes SoCal interviews Steven Rea, author of Hollywood Rides a Bike. Long Beach will celebrate April Fools Day with a bike scavenger hunt; the city also offers the nation’s largest city-wide discount program for cyclists. Happy 104th birthday to Long Beach’s Octavio Orduno, who may be the worlds oldest living cyclist. Claremont Cyclist looks at last weekend’s Bonelli Park Pro Triple Crown, the U.S. Cup of mountain bike racing. The popular San Gabriel River bike path is getting an upgrade.

Newport Beach police with celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a crackdown on bicyclists, pedestrians and vehicle operators to promote bike safety, followed by another on the 24th; I have no problem with it as long as they focus on all violators, and not just cyclists; thanks to David Huntsman for the tip. San Diego gets a new Bayshore Bikeway, and SD riders are encouraged to help rebuild a beloved children’s bike park. The first leg of the 2012 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series will take place next week at the Redlands Bicycle Classic; nice to see women riders finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. Work has begun on a new bike path to connect North and South Camarillo under the 101 Freeway. San Francisco police ignore witnesses and insist a cyclist intentionally crashed into the back of a road raging driver, evidently believing we bike riders are so insane we often crash into cars to get the driver in trouble; maybe this is how they see us. The field is announced for this year’s Amgen Tour of California.

The Atlantic Cities asks if the bikers’ rights movement is gaining momentum, quoting both L.A. attorney Ross Hirsch and former LADOT Bike Blogger Christopher Kidd. Bike lawyer Bob Mionske compares the lack of cycling support among U.S. officials with the newly found backing from UK MPs. Will Levi’s still be in the bikewear business in two years? A Scottsdale cyclist does everything right, and still gets killed by a possibly inattentive driver. Oregon loses a bike-friendly Republican legislator. Idaho considers a three-foot passing law, while banning two-abreast riding. The hazards of biking in the Chicago suburbs. Sports Illustrated looks at rising BMG cycling scion Taylor Phinney.

After a Canadian cyclist is apparently right hooked, police blame the rider for travelling too fast on the sidewalk and not wearing a helmet; good thing drivers don’t have to take any responsibility in the Great White North. An 85-year old cyclist is critically injured by an unmarked police cruiser in bike-unfriendly Toronto; any guess how long they will take to place all the blame on the rider? A 93-year old Scot driver is charged with killing a cyclist celebrating her first anniversary. Scottish cyclists plan a mass ride on Parliament April 28th. UK rabbis declare this the Big Green Jewish Year of the Bicycle, and in an ecumenical gesture, drop in on the Archbishop of Canterbury to say hi. The Guardian asks if British bikes are worth buying — aside from Bromptons and Pashleys, of course; thanks to Evan G for the heads-up. A British solicitor says the common drivers’ excuse that a cyclist came out of nowhere is unacceptable. Surprisingly even-handed advice on how to make the road safer for Australian cyclists. Proposed stickers would warn Aussie drivers to look out for cyclists when opening their doors.

Finally, Volvo introduces a new outside airbag to protect cyclists and pedestrians; it won’t stop a distracted driver from hitting you, but it may hurt a little less. Then again, it will probably only be the most careful drivers who buy it, anyway.

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