Tag Archive for Westwood Blvd bike lanes

Morning Links: Planning Comm says Westwood and Central are out; 626 Golden Streets postponed due to fires

Something stinks in City Hall.

As expected, the LA City Planning Commission gritted its teeth and went along with amendments to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, clearly against their better judgment.

This, after rumors have circulated that councilmembers have made an agreement to throw bike riders on those streets under the bus. Perhaps literally.

I’m told the commissioners seemed to get the absurdity arguments that the best way to deal with the dangers along those corridors is to keep them dangerous, while making an attempt at social engineering by trying to shunt cyclist onto side streets where they clearly don’t want to go.

Which is the best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway.

And that, of course, leads to the same old circular thinking that says “see, we gave cyclists a bike lane and they didn’t use it, so clearly bike lanes don’t work and there’s no reason to build any more.”

Fortunately, the commissioners had the sense to make sure the removal of these lanes from the Mobility Plan doesn’t preclude studying, and perhaps building, them at a later date.

Like when Paul Koretz is out of office, which can’t happen soon enough.

Now the amendments go back to city hall, where they will be rubber stamped by the council, though we can hope at least a few councilmember have the courage to vote no.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a great report from commission meeting.

……….

626 Golden StreetsDisappointing news, as the long-planned 626 Golden Streets open streets event scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed to due to smoke from a pair of fires in the San Gabriels, as well as the need to keep streets clear for firefighters.

The event, which would have been the longest ciclovía in the US, is expected be rescheduled for another date, although the logistics of working out a schedule with seven cities may make that challenging.

Sorry, Gabe.

………

Let’s catch up with some other upcoming events.

Dine for a great cause today, when Burbank’s Bob’s Big Boy is the site of a fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery; the restaurant will donate 20% of your meal ticket if you present the flyer you can pick up at the fundraiser booth outside. Fifteen-year old Michelle Morlock is raising $3,000 in donations to take part in next year’s ride, which helps veterans and active duty military personnel recover from emotional and physical wounds through bicycling. If you can’t make it, send ‘em a few bucks — or maybe a lot of bucks — at the address on the link.

This is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s time for LA Critical Mass, billed as the largest community bike ride in the US.

The LA Design Festival is teaming with Flying Pigeon LA for the eighth annual Design-n-Dim Sum bike ride this Sunday.

Helen’s Cycles is holding their Monthly Group Ride next Saturday, complete with an optional dirt section to kick off your 4th of July weekend.

Finish the Ride and Velo Studio are hosting the free community ride Tour de Griffith Park: An Introduction to Safe and Fun Riding on Sunday, July 3rd.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop will host the second annual Tour de Tacos on Saturday, July 16th; the 25-mile family friendly ride promises at least four taco breaks along the way.

Former LACBC board member and Laemmle Theaters president Greg Laemmle invites you to ride with him on the third annual Tour de Laemmle on Sunday, July 24th. Greg will ride 125 miles to visit all nine Laemmle Theaters in a single day; you can register to join him for all or part of the ride.

………

Yesterday we shared a photo of what was left after thieves pried open a U-lock securing a bicycle on my block; today, the other bike locked up on my block suffered the same fate.

This is all that was left.

SAMSUNG

………

Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter will represent the US for road cycling in the Olympic games, along with Megan Guarnier, Kristin Armstrong, Evelyn Stevens and Mara Abbott on the women’s side.

………

Local

Metro votes to put a transportation sales tax extension on the November ballot, which would including bicycling and walking projects along with transit and highway work.

East Long Beach is dealing with the same increase in homelessness being seen throughout Southern California; residents are warned to secure their bikes to protect them from chop shops popping up in the area.

 

State

Menlo Park backpedals on plans to install bike lanes and make other needed safety improvements on El Camino Real.

Facebook’s new Frank Gehry-designed Menlo Park headquarters will also include a bicycle bridge designed in Gehry’s typically asymmetrical style. Although it looks more like it was designed by Picasso. Or maybe just someone who has never ridden a bicycle before.

The mayor of San Francisco was outraged by Wednesday’s twin hit-and-runs that left two cyclists dead; however, the SF Bicycle Coalition called his words hollow. Meanwhile, there was a third fatal bike crash in the Bay Area on Thursday morning, this time in Pleasanton.

 

National

Lifehacker offers a beginners guide to picking the perfect first bike.

A new reflective, neon-colored bike safety triangle is now raising funds on Kickstarter. It will probably make you more visible, but shouldn’t the onus be on drivers to look where they’re going, rather than on cyclists to light themselves up with virtual neon signs to get their damn attention?

Denver cyclists were welcomed to that city’s Bike to Work Day with a series of blocked bike lanes.

Even though Ohio allows bicyclists to ride two abreast, a Cincinnati suburb considers requiring them to ride single file.

 

International

Bike Radar offers tips on how to convert your existing ride into an ebike.

New bike path surfaces could help you bounce back from a fall. No, literally.

A British Columbia letter writer says a tourist guide is right that bicyclists will be “challenged and amazed” riding on a local highway — challenged to stay on it in the heavy traffic, and amazed they survived the experience.

A writer in the UK says she used to be one of the good ones back when everyone obeyed the law, but now that she doesn’t ride a bike anymore, people on bicycles have somehow morphed into a horrifying menace that threatens all those poor, bike-afflicted motorists and pedestrians.

Life is cheap in Ireland. A speeding, unlicensed driver gets a whole two and a half years in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist he struck while attempting a four-wheel drift around a turn; the 27-year old driver, who never bothered to get a driver’s license, had been barred from driving three times in the previous five years, but still managed to stay behind the wheel until he killed someone.

China’s Xiaomi unveils a $450 folding ebike, which you can get there, but not here.

 

Finally…

Who needs a kite eating tree when Idaho has a bike eating one? Anyone can carry groceries home on a bike; try towing a sofa.

And make your getaway on the back of a bicycle after robbing a donut shop, and you could end up in the trash.

And then behind bars.

 

Morning Links: Homeowner opposition to Westwood bike lanes may be a lie, and the CHP gets it wrong again

As I write this, the LA City Planning Commission is just hours away from a vote that could lead to the removal of Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the city’s Mobility Plan, over the strenuous objections of virtually everyone who rides a bike on those streets.

Westwood resident Calla Wiemer has written a detailed, insightful and highly persuasive letter to the Commission arguing for keeping Westwood in the plan, which she has kindly agreed to let me share with you.

Regardless of how the commission votes, you should forward this to your councilmember before the city council takes up the matter in a few weeks.

Especially since only 42 of the roughly 3,000 homeowners in the area were concerned enough to oppose removing parking or traffic lanes to make room for bike lanes.

But those 42 are the only ones Paul Koretz seems to care about.

Dear LA CPC,

The proposed amendment to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility 2035 Plan and to replace it with a Gayley-Midvale route is ill-conceived. The argument in favor of such a change to the plan was articulated in a 6/22 email “Blast” from the Westwood South of Santa Monica (WSSM) Homeowners Association. The flaws in the case presented in this email Blast, however, are numerous. First, the claim that the alternative route “both maintains and respects the connectivity of the Bicycle Enhanced Network” is false. Westwood Blvd provides a through connection directly from UCLA to Westwood Station on the Expo Line and on to points south. Midvale, by contrast, truncates with a T-intersection at Santa Monica Blvd from which point riders moving in a north-south direction would need to make their way to or from Westwood Blvd to continue on course.

Second, the suggestion that a “growing presence of bicycle commuters on Westwood”, which will “slow traffic” and “create added conflicts”, can be averted by designating an inconvenient alternative route is a fantasy. A growing presence of bicycle riders on Westwood Blvd is the reality. Bike riders choose Westwood Blvd because it’s the most direct route to their destinations – destinations which are often located on Westwood Blvd for the many who shop, work, or live there. As much as non-cyclists might wish to impose an alternative route on those who ride, they simply do not have the authority to do so. The best way to avoid the conflicts the WSSM leadership is so concerned about is to provide accommodation for bike riders.

Third, the premise that “Most local residents do not feel comfortable riding through Westwood Village on Westwood Blvd” is true enough but serves better as an argument for bike lanes than against them. Westwood Blvd in its present form is a dangerous and scary place to ride a bike. Making it safer will raise the comfort level of local residents. Consider as well that most local residents similarly do not feel comfortable riding a bike on Midvale or Gayley as those streets are currently constituted. The concept in designating these alternative streets as bike routes would be to make them more inviting for bike riding. But we are better off applying such effort to Westwood Blvd which already has the cycling presence to justify it.

Fourth, continuing to speak for “most local residents” the WSSM leadership’s presumption that our ranks “have looked to our City’s planning and transportation experts to fashion” a biking alternative to Westwood Blvd is not borne out by the Association’s own survey research. The survey was conducted in June of 2014 and garnered 135 responses from the roughly 3000 homeowners in the neighborhood. Asked to express opposition to or support for “Removal of traffic or parking lanes on busy arterials for dedicated bike lanes”, only 42 respondents ticked opposition to the degree of “important” or “very important”. The number in support of removal was 18 while 59 declined to respond to such a broadly worded question and 16 others who opposed removal did not see the issue as “important” or “very important”. A more telling manifestation of local opinion on bike lanes for Westwood Blvd has been the consistently large turnout of advocates at public hearings conducted by government and civic organizations over the last few years. Of particular note, the Westwood Village Improvement Association (BID) held a series of three public hearings drawing packed houses of supporters and only a few opponents. As a result of that consultation with the community, the BID submitted a request to the city government and Councilmember Koretz that a study be conducted of bike lane designs for Westwood Blvd.

What in truth can be said about most local residents is that we are exasperated by the traffic, and yes, we look to the city’s planning and transportation experts to come up with strategies to mitigate it and to improve safety. Please let us not exclude Westwood Blvd from that process. If any street is in need of a re-envisioning, it is Westwood Blvd. Do let us keep it in the Bicycle Enhanced Network so that the planners can give us a vision of a street that works for people and businesses, not just one that is clogged with motor vehicles.

Respectfully,

Calla Wiemer

Homeowner, Westwood South of Santa Monica

………

Once again, the CHP gets bike law wrong when a San Luis Obispo driver asks for advice on whether to cross the yellow line or slow down to obey the three foot passing law, forgetting that drivers are allowed to pass closer than three feet as long as they slow down and pass safely.

And despite the officer’s assertions, there is no requirement under California law that cyclists have to ride single file — especially not in a bike lane.

Nor are they required to ride to the right in a bike lane under any circumstances, ever.

………

Not surprisingly, the Kalamazoo driver who ran down nine bicyclists has been charged with five counts of causing death while operating a motor vehicle under the influence, as well as four counts of causing serious injury while intoxicated; blood tests showed he was under the influence of an undisclosed substance.

Meanwhile, another survivor has been released from the hospital; two other victims remain hospitalized.

………

Now that’s a close pass. Credit the rider for staying upright rather than overreacting to it.

My apologies to whoever sent this to me; unfortunately, I’ve lost any record of who that was.

………

A driver of one of London’s famous black cabs records himself chasing down and apprehending a hit-and-run driver who knocked a cyclist off his bike. Although he must have scared the crap out of all the other riders as he cut in and out of a bike lane to catch up to the fleeing driver.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

………

Yesterday there was a bike attached to this lock on Hollywood Blvd; today there isn’t. A reminder to buy a quality lock, and lock your bike securely.

And register the damn thing, already.

SAMSUNG

………

Lael Wilcox smashes the women’s record to win the Trans Am race across the US. The Alaskan cyclist becomes the first woman and the first American to win the solo, unsupported 4,200 mile race, finishing in 18 days.

Not to be confused with the better known, fully supported RAAM, going on now.

………

Local

Organizers of Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets event say it may have to be postponed if unhealthy air quality caused by the San Gabriel Complex fire doesn’t improve. Let’s hope not; the logistics of arranging another date with seven separate cities could prove challenging.

Universal announces plans to reorient their production facilities, including making way for a park and the previously announced extension of the LA River bike path through their property.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says city council committee meetings are Dante’s tenth circle of hell; but in this case, a successful one, as the Rancho Palos Verdes Traffic Safety Committee votes to formulate a bike plan to improve safety and connect with other cities in the area.

LADOT reminds everyone to submit their rides and other activities to the department’s calendar of upcoming bike events. Come back tomorrow, when we’ll have our own list of bike events.

A British cyclist takes a “blockbuster” ride through the San Gabriels before making his way up Mt. Baldy.

 

State

Now that’s more like it. Orange police impound 16 high-end cars for street racing after a GoPro shows one that hit a bike rider was traveling at 50 mph, rather than 25 mph as the driver claimed. It’s also a reminder to always assume you’re injured following a collision; the cyclist initially said he wasn’t hurt, but later found out he had a broken clavicle and finger, as well as cuts and bruises all over his body.

A bighearted Tustin cop buys a new adult tricycle for a woman with cerebral palsy after hers was stolen last month.

San Clemente plans a number of changes to improve bike safety, including a two-way bikeway on El Camino Real, sharrows on the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route and buffered bike lanes on Avenida Pico.

Palm Springs police are trying to identify a thief who stole an $1,800 bicycle; fortunately, the bike was eventually recovered.

The family of Ventura teenager Jonathan Hernandez files a wrongful death suit against the tow truck driver who kept going after hitting him as he rode his bike last February, leaving him in the road to be struck by another driver, who also fled the scene. The Ventura County DA still hasn’t filed any charges against the driver, who has close business ties with city and county, and the Ventura PD. Leaving us to wonder once again if the DA is justice challenged when it comes to traffic victims.

Tragic news from San Francisco, as two bike riders were killed by hit-and-run drivers in separate incidents. A suspect was arrested in one crash in which a driver ran a red light before striking the rider, while a woman was killed by a speeding driver who hit her bike head-on in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog talks with the new executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

Davis approves 36 housing units to provide funding for a bike path, even though the city is having trouble negotiating a necessary easement.

A Sacramento paper offers suggestions on taking the train to ride Bay Area bike trails.

 

National

VeloNews looks at a form of arterial disease that is increasingly affecting cyclists, including pro racer Joe Dombrowsky.

HuffPo offers five tips for better bicycling.

Bicycling provides nine tips from readers on how to get your family and friends hooked on bike riding.

An Illinois teacher and her husband were killed when they were struck by a car driven by a 16-year old boy, who turned out to be one of her former students.

An unlicensed and uninsured Louisville KY driver faces two murder charges for running down three girls who were standing in a bike lane; he had a BAC two and a half times the legal limit following the crash.

It’s back to the drawing board for New York’s DOT, as the debate over bike lanes in the city’s Clinton Hill neighborhood was won by the side that yelled the most. And needless to say, it wasn’t the bike riders.

A $4,200 e-cargo bike races a New York subway.

A pair of medical professionals say a contentious bike lane on a Charleston SC bridge would enhance livability and health; evidently, you don’t have to convince local bicyclists.

 

International

A Montreal writer says vehicular cycling is dead, even if it isn’t.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine examines the research behind bike helmets, concluding that whether you wear one or not is up to you.

Australia’s Canberra region finally makes it illegal to throw things at bike riders. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone here.

An Aussie writer discovers bicycling can help with grief and depression after his own father died of cancer.

 

Finally…

Evidently, not even the dead are safe from bike thieves. Who needs wheels when your bike can have spider legs?

And no, Leonardo da Vinci did not invent the bicycle.

But he probably wishes he did.

 

Morning Links: Ventura DA gives form letter response, deadline to support candidates opposing Koretz and Cedillo

Evidently, the Ventura County District Attorney can’t be bothered to respond individually to complaints about how they do their job.

Or in this case, don’t do it.

Last week, we featured a heartbreaking guest post from Hailey Cushman, daughter of Jesse Cushman, who was one of the two people killed by an allegedly distracted driver in Moorpark last fall.

Several people were inspired to write the DA’s office to complain that the driver, Rachel Hill, was only charged with misdemeanors in their deaths, rather than the felony counts the CHP recommended. And isn’t expected to spend a single day behind bars.

On Tuesday, I heard from three separate people who received the exact same response from the DA’s office, identical in every word, space and comma.

And not only that, one that they couldn’t even be bothered to respond to personally; each was signed simply “Webmaster.”

RE: Ventura County District Attorney Contact: Refile People vs. Rachel Hill as a felony

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 21:03:47 +0000

DA Criminal <DA.Criminal@ventura.org>

Dear Ms. xxxxx

Thank you for contacting the District Attorney’s Office. While we appreciate your concerns regarding this case, we are required to make difficult decisions, which include filing only those criminal charges that we have legally sufficient, admissible evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court. The case was reviewed and filed by a veteran prosecutor in our Criminal Division. Please understand that the decision to file this case was not made lightly. The District Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough review of the investigation done by the California Highway Patrol and our conclusion is reflected in our filing decision.

Webmaster

Ventura County District Attorney

Nice to see they take complaints — let alone the lives of traffic victims — so seriously over there.

Maybe the good people of Ventura County should ask themselves if this is really what they want from their DA.

………

It’s time to put your money where your vote is.

Recently we reported that CD5’s Paul Koretz, who has taken it upon himself to singlehandedly set bicycling on the Westside back 20 years, will be facing a challenger in next year’s election.

Which means his opponent, Jesse Creed, already has my support before I even meet the guy.

However, the end of this month marks an important fundraising deadline for candidates for LA City Council.

So if you’re as pissed-off as I am about Koretz siding with wealthy homeowners at the expense of everyone else — let alone claiming to be an environmentalist while blocking bike lanes that would enable people to leave their cars at home — dig as deep as you can to make a contribution to his campaign.

And while you’re at it, send another one to Josef Bray-Ali; the owner of NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA bike shop is taking on Gil Cedillo in CD1, thanks in part to Cedillo’s ongoing efforts to keep North Figueroa dangerous.

Send your check to:

Bray-Ali for City Council 2017, 3346 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065. Be sure to include your name, address and employer, which is required in order for his campaign to legally accept the contribution.

………

Speaking of Koretz, the motions to remove Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the Mobility Plan come back before the Planning Commission at 8:30 am tomorrow, on the 10th floor of City Hall in Downtown LA.

It’s not looking good at this point. So we need everyone to attend if you can, or if not, reach out to the commission to demand a safer, and more rideable Los Angeles.

Maybe if we show overwhelming support for keeping them in the plan, the commission — and more importantly, the city council, which will consider it next — may actually listen.

………

If your plans for today included a ride along the upper reaches of the LA River Bike Path, you may want to reconsider.

The path will be closed from 8 am to 3 pm today between Glendale and Fletcher Blvds for major cleanup work following the removal of the flood control barriers.

………

Caught on video: A Philadelphia bike rider is run off the road and threatened by a driver who fled the scene, then can’t get the police to give a damn.

Thanks to Thread Riot for the heads-up.

………

The New Yorker offers photos from 75-years of bike racing. Which is not the same as cycling, despite the headline.

Six African riders are on track to compete in this year’s Tour de France, including Eritrea’s Daniel Teklehaimanot, who became the first black African to compete in the Tour last year.

A British amateur rider conquers the Tour de France’s famed Col du Tourmalet in just three and a half hours; even more impressive considering he’s just eight-years old.

If you want to hear Lance talk about cycling, skip his new podcast.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses plans for a half-cent transportation sales tax, while calling bicycling and walking “a vital part of the transportation infrastructure that has been too often overlooked.” Meanwhile, Metro’s CEO calls it an opportunity to be bold, while a pair of Inglewood and West Hollywood leaders say speed up completion of the north-south train lines.

Kill four people who were walking in a Redondo Beach crosswalk, admit to taking pain killers before getting behind the wheel, and get off with time served.

Damien Newton discusses Metro’s open streets program, as well as Sunday’s 19-mile 626 Golden Streets.

While everyone else is offering advice on how to ride in the heat, contrarian CiclaValley tells you what not to do while cycling in it.

 

State

Caltrans’ survey for their first-ever draft bicycling and walking plan will close at the end of this month.

San Diego unanimously approves plans for nine miles of protected bike lanes in the downtown area, along with five miles of wider sidewalks.

Three San Diego area mayors call for approval of that county’s proposed $18 billion sales tax measure to fund transportation projects, including bicycle and pedestrians projects.

Monterey considers installing its own bikeshare system.

A new line of smart bikes from the Bay Area will come complete with built-in lights, turn signals, brake lights and an electronic shifting system, along with an open OS that will allow developers to add additional features.

The executive director of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition hopes to have more time to ride his bike once he steps down at the end of this month.

 

National

People for Bikes considers how Kickstarter is kick-starting innovation in the bike industry.

Kryptonite increases the amount of optional anti-theft protection coverage they offer with their locks, while streamlining the registration process.

The Denver CO 2011 bike plan calls for investing $119 million to build an additional 270 miles of bike lanes; four years later, it had only spent $2.8 million to stripe 68 miles of new lanes. Sounds like another city I could name.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Austin TX makes safety improvements to an intersection just weeks after a 14-year old boy was killed riding his bike.

Houston adopts an ambitious new bike plan calling roughly 800 miles of new bike lanes within the next ten years.

The annual Remember the Removal ride will finish on Thursday, as members of the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians retrace the infamous Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

A Memphis woman is behind bars after threatening to shoot a bunch of kids in a dispute over a stolen bicycle. Seriously, no bike is worth dying for. And it’s sure as hell not worth killing anyone over, especially not a kid.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike network has expanded seamlessly into Northern Kentucky to form the country’s first multi-state bikeshare system.

Minneapolis makes plans to unseat Portland as America’s bicycling capitol.

Seriously? A Massachusetts driver is expected to be released on a whopping $1,000 bail after being charged with possession of heroin and cocaine, driving with an open container, driving to endanger and driving under the influence when he knocked a woman off her bike. Nice to see the court system taking DUI seriously. And yes, that is sarcasm, in case you weren’t sure.

More proof cyclists are tough. A New York man rode his bike home after getting shot in the stomach.

 

International

Caught on video 2: An Ottawa, Ontario bike rider’s rear-facing cam captures the driver who smashed into him from behind; fortunately, he walked away from the crash.

A bystander jumped into a London river to save the life of a 68-year old bike rider who had fallen in.

A British paper offers advice on how to ride in the rain. Which is not a problem we’re likely to have anytime soon.

A stoned driver in the UK gets seven years in prison — and a 10-year ban on driving — for killing a bicyclist after using heroin and prescription medication.

An Irish soccer fan rides nearly 375 miles to the Euro championships to raise money for cancer charities, only to get mugged on arrival in Paris; fortunately, women working at the Gare du Nord train station chased off the men who tried to steal his bike.

An Aussie cyclist says riding 2,600 miles across the continent in just 32 days can change your life, especially if you almost die twice, get bitten by a snake and caught in a cyclone.

A Singapore women’s non-profit group rode through Cambodia to raise awareness and funds for a hotel and restaurant training school trying to stop human trafficking.

Caught on video 3: A Chinese sidewalk cyclist barely avoids being run down by an out-of-control driver who smashed into a clothing shop.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle, maybe you should only steal one box of frozen chicken at a time. It’s not a bike helmet, it’s a speaker with a hockey puck on top.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a contraflow traffic lane, of course. Thanks to kdbhiker for the video.

Morning Links: Last stand for Westwood and Central Ave bike lanes, and Elly Blue comes to town

Mark your calendar.

The LA Planning Commission is scheduled to take up plans to remove the much-needed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave bike lanes from the Mobility Plan a week from Thursday.

Both at the whim of local councilmembers, without any studies or statistics to back up the decisions.

Even though that means shunting riders away from businesses that could benefit from their support, while keeping dangerous city streets riskier for everyone.

And even though the best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where bike riders don’t want to go.

Bicyclists have been fighting to keep these streets in the bike plan, with little or no support from city officials, elected or otherwise, other than the Planning Commission and its staff. This is likely to be our last stand, as the city council will either vote to accept or override the Commission’s decision, probably without any public discussion.

After all, why listen to us when they’ve already made up their minds?

The meeting is scheduled to start around 8:30am in the John Ferraro Council Chamber, Room 340, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street.

If you can’t attend in person, written comments can be submitted to the City Planning Commission, Room 532, City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or emailed to James Williams, james.k.williams@lacity.org.

Thanks to Danila for the heads-up.

………

Popular Portland bike writer and advocate Elly Blue is very busy these days.

First up, she’ll make a stop at the Wheelhouse in DTLA on Thursday to discuss her new book Bikenomics, sponsored by Metro.

That will be followed by a visit with the Santa Monica Spoke this Friday for Dinner & Bikes + Cupcakes, along with producer/director Joe Biel and vegan chef Joshua Ploeg.

And finally, she offers advice in Bicycling on how not to get your bike stolen.

………

That explains it.

Last week we linked to security video of a bike rider being run down by a hit-and-run driver, as an automotive website speculated that it appeared to be on purpose.

It was.

It turns out the driver was the man’s girlfriend, who had just found out he’s HIV-positive.

She now faces charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and leaving the scene of a collision.

………

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay visits Kalamazoo, and writes movingly about the crash that left five riders dead last week, and another four injured; the driver faces five counts of second degree murder.

The ghost bikes for the five victims are turning into beautiful flower sculptures as mourning community members cover them with love notes and mementos.

A Taiko drum group performed at the funeral of one of the victims, who was a member of the group.

………

Vavel previews the five stage women’s Tour of Britain.

Cycling News reminds us of some of the pioneers of women’s cycling, from a 16-year old world record holder in the 1890s to the first female vice president of UCI. And it turns out women can compete on equal terms with men — and did at the Giro d’Italia over 90 years ago.

Men’s Journal offers a brief history of the Race Across America, aka RAAM, which kicked off in Oceanside this morning.

A British whistleblower says doping is endemic in cycling.

Look for still more doping scandals, as a judge has ordered blood bags linked to Spanish doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes as part of the ten-year old Operation Puerto turned over to anti-doping authorities.

………

Local

Great news, as CiclaValley reports the LA River bike path has finally been reopened through Elysian Valley after being closed most of the winter and spring for flood control efforts that went unneeded when El Niño fizzled.

The LA Weekly visits The Cannibal, the new bike and meat centric restaurant in Culver City, where bicyclists get their second beer free. Am I the only one who never heard of a free second anything referred to as a kit, though? Or did the Weekly confuse it with what riders have to wear to get one?

 

State

A Medicare Advance program allows Seal Beach seniors to borrow a Pedego ebike every Tuesday for a free spin along the beach. Speaking of Pedego, they’re trying to set a world record for the most ebike riders in a parade when they move to a new headquarters in Fountain Valley.

San Diego’s Uptown District once again demonstrates they prefer parking to business from bike riders.

Oxnard police give new bicycles to two elementary school students with perfect attendance.

Merced authorities double down on the violent arrest of a bike rider that was caught on cell phone video, by charging the man with resisting arrest. They may be prosecuting in hopes that a plea deal will derail the inevitable civil suit.

Sad news from Modesto, as a bike rider has died after being hit by a train yesterday.

Specialized partners with Stanford researchers in hopes of demonstrating that bicycling provides a natural remedy for ADHD.

Mark Zuckerberg is one of us, as the Facebook CEO breaks his arm training for a triathlon in Menlo Park.

 

National

A 13-year old Utah girl rides a bike for the first time after being blinded in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.

A Wisconsin professor studies bike and pedestrian crashes in hopes of creating safer streets and reducing traffic fatalities to zero.

An Indiana city proposes requiring new buildings to have at least two covered bike parking spaces, and showers for the people who use them.

The NYPD cop who pulled a gun on a bike messenger and taunted him after cutting a group of cyclists off in a bike lane is a decorated 23-year veteran of the department; the rider, who was arrested on criminal mischief, weapons and menacing charges — despite being the apparent victim — considers it a case of Biking While Black and plans to file a civil suit.

Philadelphia cyclists call on the city to finally get started on a network of fully funded protected bike lanes.

Contrary to the bizarre claims of a pro-car Pennsylvania writer, speed cameras — which are not currently legal in California — reduce injury crashes up to 25 percent, while red light cameras cut injury crashes anywhere from 21 to 51 percent, according to stats from the NHTSA.

An Atlanta paper gives advice on how to ride safely with your dog in tow. Or better yet, just take it out for a hike after you get back.

 

International

CNN talks with Tim Bridgeman, the British cyclist who is continuing the round-the-world bike tour he started with his wife before she was killed in a collision while riding through Bolivia.

London’s new bicycle superhighways have brought a surge in ridership, boosting rates an average of 60%. Meanwhile, the city opened the first of seven planned Quietways running on pathways and quieter backstreets.

A British fashion site lists seven mistakes you don’t want to make if you’re a total newbie on a bike. Even though countless people do at least some of them, like riding in heels or using a bike basket, every day.

A Dubai-based travel consultant explains how to bike while fasting for Ramadan.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying a meth pipe and just broke into an elementary school, maybe you should ride in the bike lane — and on the right side of the street. If you’re going to steal a mountain bike from a local bike shop, take the shop sticker off it, and hide the meth.

And if you’re planning to empty your handgun into a fellow cyclist before riding away, probably best not to do it in broad daylight while wearing hi-viz.

 

Morning Links: Climate Riders still need help, ending the war on our streets, and more on the Mobility Plan debacle

We’ve stalled once again at 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

So take a few moments to add your voice to SoCal’s leading bike advocacy organization. Or if you’re already a member, encourage your family, friends and co-workers who ride, or who simply support bicycling, to sign up today. And get some great LACBC bike swag in the process.

And thanks to everyone who has joined already!

………

A couple of Climate Riders for Team LACBC still need a little help with donations to meet their commitment for the ride. Nicole Rostoker and Cesar Garcia only have until the end day today to collect another $500 and $200 respectively. So give them a boost if you can.

Meanwhile, a Climate Ride training ride will be held on Latigo Canyon Road on Saturday; the ride is open to anyone who needs a good workout, regardless of whether you’re participating in the Climate Ride.

………

Today’s must read comes from the Wall Street Journal’s bike riding sports columnist Jason Gay, who tells America that bike riders are not your enemy, and calls for an end to the ridiculous battle between cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.

Not to mention making what may be the first known reference to bird-flipping koalas.

………

UCLA’s Daily Bruin reports on Wednesday’s meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, which voted to remove Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan. Maybe someone should tell Paul Koretz that the solution to a dangerous street isn’t keeping it dangerous.

Meanwhile, LAist’s Matt Tinoco does a good job of explaining the whole convoluted process.

And the LACBC offers their take on the sordid mess as they continue to fight to keep the plan intact, saying the proposed removal demonstrates a lack of engagement with the community, as well as a commitment to build a complete transportation network that works for everyone.

………

We’ve got dual Bike Blessings in today’s news.

Katrina Bada forwards a reminder of Tuesday’s 2016 Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Samaritan Hospital, which will honor bike-friendly LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino, as well as featuring special guest Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The future mayor retrieves his bike at the 2005 Blessing of the Bicycles

The future mayor retrieves his bike at the 2005 Blessing of the Bicycles

Dr. Michael Cahn sends word that St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica will host their own Blessing of the Bicycles at 2 pm on Bike to Work Day next Thursday. Although they could have done a better job of promoting it.

In other Bike Week news, Santa Monica Spoke lists SaMo’s Bike to Work Day pit stops, as well as a Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hour next Thursday.

And the LACBC is hosting their own Bike from Work Handlebar Happy Hour at the Angel City Brewery in DTLA the same day.

………

Still more Bike Month news, as the Bay Area celebrated Bike to Work Day a week before LA County.

SFist says San Francisco officials only pretend to care about cycling on the city’s Bike to Work Day.

Napa shows a 25% to 30% increase in bike riders stopping at the city’s energizer stations compared to last year.

Bike to Work Day was probably the wrong day to try to flee the scene after hitting a San Francisco bike rider in front of a group of cyclists and other onlookers, who rushed to grab the driver’s keys and prevent her from leaving. Update: It looks like the wreck was an intentional assault with a deadly weapon. 

………

Caught on video: The owner of a Fresno bike shop throws in the towel after a series of smash and grab burglaries, vowing to reopen somewhere else, hopefully a little safer. Thanks to Cristina Rayas for the link.

………

Tom Dumoulin extends his lead in the Giro, while Lotto-Soudal rider Tim Wellens wins the sixth stage in a solo breakaway.

South Pasadena prepares to host the second stage of the Amgen Tour of California, while CiclaValley continues his run-up to the race with a look at the riders to watch.

Which can be summed up in two words: Peter Sagan. Thanks to Edward Rubinstein for the link.

………

Local

Too little, too late? A deadly stretch of North Figueroa gets a flashing traffic signal. Rather than the fully funded, shovel ready road diet that might actually have saved lives if it hadn’t been stopped by CM Gil Cedillo.

Richard Risemberg says it’s time to say goodbye to Cedillo, as three people announce their candidacy in an attempt to make him a one-term councilmember.

Streetsblog reports a that meeting was held last night to discuss a road diet and bike lanes proposed for Fletcher Drive in Atwater Village; the story says a similar project on nearby Verdugo Road is in the early stages of discussion.

A judge orders a pair of sheriff’s deputies to provide photos of their tattoos to show if they’re members of an LASD gang clique; the officers are being sued in the 2013 fatal shooting of Terry Laffite in South LA.

West Hollywood considers a new list of names for their coming bikeshare system; they also have better streets to ride them on. Personally, I liked the rejected WeHoGo.

The Source explains how to get to the new Expo Line stations, including options for bike share and bike parking; the line officially opens one week from today.

Santa Monica will hold yet another of their bike and pedestrian safety enforcements on Saturday. By now, you know the protocol: Obey the letter of the law until you get outside the SaMo city limits.

Long Beach ranks tenth on Zillow’s list of the ten most bike friendly cities in the US, while another website rates it the eighth most charming city of its size.

 

State

Three Santa Barbara women are being honored for bringing “the joy of bicycling to countless youth” and making cycling safer and more accessible for everyone.

The Fresno Bee looks at next week’s Ride of Silence; last year’s Clovis/Fresno ride was the largest in the state. If you missed it, CiclaValley offers a guest post on next Wednesday’s San Fernando Valley’s Ride of Silence.

A San Francisco public TV and radio station examines the role of data in improving safety for bicyclists.

Berkeley opens a new buffered — not protected, apparently — bike lane where a woman was nearly killed by a stoned driver while riding her bike earlier this year.

The National Park Service suggests reopening a trail that would give bike riders a safer route into Sausalito, while providing expansive views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Davis doctors call for greater bike helmet use, while Treehugger says helmets are the last thing we should be worrying about when it comes to bicycle safety. As we’ve discussed before, I never ride without mine. But helmets should always be considered a defense of last resort when all else fails.

 

National

A new infographic shows the overwhelming benefits of protected bike lanes, including spurring economic growth, improving safety for pedestrians and making driving less stressful. Someone should send this to Paul Koretz. Not that he’s likely to care, of course.

Strong Towns says the economic benefits of bicycling can’t be ignored. Although LA seems to be doing a pretty good job of it; maybe if LADOT did a better job of selling bikeways, local businesses and homeowners would be fighting to get theirs instead of fighting to stop them.

Chicago Magazine offers an insider’s guide to biking in the Windy City.

An X-Games cyclist shares his journey to mental health with Niagara NY area high school students.

A former bike racer walked away from Wall Street to make high-end sport bicycles.

Sad news, as a retired New Jersey cop has died of injuries he suffered on the first day of the Police Unity Tour to honor fallen police officers.

A 17-mile DC ride has already registered close to 6,000 riders with 10 days still to go.

An article in the Washington Post says bicycling is more dangerous than you think, while another site argues that bike commuting is good for you. Actually, your odds of surviving any given ride are over 6.3 million to one; try taking that to Vegas.

A Louisiana driver gets 25 years for the DUI death of a seven-year old girl as she was riding her bike home, although he could be out in as little as three years with time served.

 

International

A proposed revision to Quebec law would require drivers to change lanes to pass a bike rider.

A new police bicycle can read license plates and measure the speeds of passing cars. We need a Kickstarter to buy one for every bike cop on the LAPD. And me, too.

 

Finally…

So if a car exiting a freeway hit a bike rider, why does the headline say the cyclist collided with the car? If you’re going to get run down by a beer truck, try to make sure it’s a decent craft brew and not just hops-flavored water.

And a funeral home billboard drives home the message not to text behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan suffers setback, Militant Angeleno’s CicLAvia guide, and more Bike Week news

The May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive is slowly climbing, now up to 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — which means we’ve got just two and a half weeks to reach the goal of 100 new members by the end of May.

Few things are more important that adding your voice to Southern California’s leading bike advocacy organization. Because individually, we can’t accomplish much, but together, we can move mountains. And maybe even councilmembers.

So please, take a few moments to sign up now. Consider it a personal favor for me, you, and countless other bike riders in the LA area.

And a special thank you to everyone who has already signed up already!

………

Looks like the fix is in.

And Westwood and Central could be out.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to support a pair of anti-bike amendments to the city’s Mobility Plan.

After the Planning Commission voted to keep the city’s Mobility Plan intact earlier this year, rejecting proposals to remove bike lanes proposed for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, the plan came back to the Transportation Committee yesterday, where Councilmember Paul Koretz pulled a fast one.

Rather than arguing once again for removal of the streets from the plan, he proposed a quartet of alternate streets: Gayley Avenue and Midvale Avenue in Westwood, and Avalon Boulevard and San Pedro Street in South LA.

None of which provide direct routes, while shunting bike riders off commercial corridors and onto back streets — even though studies have repeatedly shown bike lanes are good for local businesses. And even though many riders, especially women, are less likely to ride routes out of public view after dark.

Not to mention that those streets would require extensive signalization and improved crossings, dramatically increasing costs.

Surprisingly, the usually bike friendly Jose Huizar joined Koretz and David Ryu in supporting the proposal, despite near unanimous calls from speakers to keep the plan intact. As a result, Koretz’ proposal will now go before the full council on Friday; if they vote to support it, it will go back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration.

But regardless of what the commission rules, the full council can, and possibly will, override their recommendations with a three-quarters vote.

Which is more likely than not in a city where councilmembers usually vote in lockstep out of a deathly fear of alienating one another. With the result that they rule as virtual kings in their own districts, with virtually no checks or balances on their decisions.

Not to mention an ostensibly bike-friendly mayor who professes to support safer streets, yet doesn’t seem willing to take on individual councilmembers to make it happen. Thus making LA’s weak mayor system that much weaker.

And demonstrating once again that the seven-year public process that went into developing the Mobility Plan means nothing compared to the whims of a councilman.

………

It’s here!

The Militant Angeleno has released his long-awaited, personally researched guide to Sunday’s CicLAvia through the cities of Southeast LA County.

His guides are always fascinating, so don’t ride without giving it a read first.

………

Still more news leading up to next week’s Bike Week.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during Bike Week.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Bike Week Camp Coffee Wednesday on the jetty at the end of Ballona Creek.

And Pasadena invites bicyclists to stop by city hall on Bike to Work Day next Thursday.

………

More sad news, as Canadian pro downhill champ Stevie Smith was killed in an enduro motorcycle crash on Tuesday.

Women’s pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo is back in her home state of Colorado as she continues to recover from a devastating head injury suffered in the San Dimas Stage Race; her memory is slowly returning after initially being unable to even recognize her own parents or teammates. A gofundme account has raised over $46,000 to help defray her medical expenses.

And seriously, what’s a little tow between friends?

………

Local

Just a tad late. The LA Times finally catches up with BMX pro Nigel Sylvester’s high speed, law defying tour of LA, a month after the video was featured here and on other media sites.

The LACBC talks with the bike-riding Gangsta Gardner of South LA.

Bikeshare has officially opened in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. That chill you feel is Hell freezing over.

Walk or ride your bike to the station when Metro opens the Expo line next week; otherwise it will cost you a whole $2 a day to park at the station.

The Canyon News looks forward to Santa Monica’s first open streets event next month.

The Glendale driver caught on video trying to run a cyclist off road, then lying about it to authorities, has pled not guilty to three misdemeanor counts.

A Santa Clarita mountain biker was airlifted to safety after falling and apparently dislocating his shoulder. Rescuers rescued his bike, as well.

A man who may have been riding a bicycle was shot to death in an alley in Bell Tuesday night; two bikes were found in the alley along with the victim after the shooter fled.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider was struck by a big rig truck on an onramp to the 805 Freeway Wednesday morning; the 62-year old victim escaped with a broken leg.

A columnist for the Riverside Press-Enterprise is back to riding after breaking his wrist in a mountain biking race.

A British man has been arrested hiding on bike path on the Central Coast after he allegedly killed his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Clovis, then fled on a stolen bicycle.

A San Jose paper looks at the growth in bicycling and efforts to improve safety and infrastructure in the Bay Area. Although the headline could use some improvement. Cyclists don’t “trump” cars; bicycles simply provide an alternative to driving, which benefits everyone.

Sacramento begins construction on bike lanes on a city street, six years after high school students produced a video demonstrating the need for them.

 

National

Some pastors are extending their parishes to bike lanes and the riders who use them, recognizing that cyclists know the risks of the roads and choose to ride anyway. Nothing like making bicycling seem more dangerous than it really is.

Nearly 500 US retailers are participating in the BikeExchange, an online marketplace for bikes and equipment.

Momentum Magazine makes the business case for public bikeshare systems.

A black teenage girl is suing a white police officer for a brutal assault when she tried to ride off after he stopped her and her brother as they biked through a Tacoma WA parking lot; security camera footage shows the cop repeatedly pushing her up against an SUV and throwing her to the ground before using his Taser on her, while later claiming that she had attacked him.

San Antonio residents get out their torches and pitchforks after sharrows unexpectedly appear on their street, successfully demanding their removal. Seriously people, they’re just sharrows; it’s not like they actually mean anything.

Chicago police allege a group of gangbangers in an SUV made a U-turn to deliberately run down a bike rider, dragging him for blocks in an apparent random attack; yet so far the driver only faces misdemeanor charges.

A writer for the New York Times says combining intense intervals with longer rides could offer the greatest health and fitness rewards.

New York’s mayor overrides objections from a local community board to build protected bike lanes on Queens’ Boulevard of Death. Which shows what can happen in a city where leaders have the political will to support bicycling.

A Virginia woman was killed in a hit-and-run after she and her boyfriend met with a young woman, assaulted her and stole her phone before the pair fled by bicycle.

Louisiana moves forward with a vulnerable user law to increase penalties for drivers who injure or kill bicyclists and pedestrians. How about just keeping them from hitting us in the first place?

 

International

A Canadian writer says he pities long distance hikers and cyclists; but once the pain wears off, the vivid memories remain and he wants to do it all again.

A philosophy professor asks why so few black people ride bikes in Toronto, while the local paper says the city needs the political will to make its bold bike plan happen. Sounds familiar.

A British man ditched his job to ride 35,000 miles through 44 countries, raising $7,700 for charity. Which works out to 22 cents a mile.

The Guardian offers advice on how to ride in a group, while Bike Radar provides good tips on safer city cycling.

Bicycling offers four reasons by Budapest is great for bicycling.

 

Finally…

Now all you thrash rocker fans can own your very own Slayer BMX bike. A British inventor wants to secure your bike with a big bang.

And give your fellow riders a wave. But only if you deem them worthy.

 

Morning Links: Koretz prevaricates on Westwood Blvd, possible 15 years in SD hit-and-run, and sing the joys of hi-viz

The UCLA Daily Bruin reports on last week’s City Planning Commission meeting, where commissioners voted to keep the Westwood Blvd bike lanes in the plan.

And they cite CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz as saying transportation policy for Westwood was developed without “consulting him or the community.”

Funny, that’s not the way I remember it.

I attended a number of meetings where the 2010 Bike Plan, and specifically Westwood Blvd, were discussed, dating back to when the initial plan was first unveiled in 2009.

All of which were attended by Koretz’s staff members, and at least some by Koretz himself. Including one highly contentious meeting that focused solely on Westwood, where supporters argued with angry residents and business owners protesting the possible removal of bike lanes and/or a traffic lane to in order to accommodate bike lanes.

Those complaints were heard loud and clear. The result was a revised plan creating a floating bike lane that would have retained all traffic lanes, and kept parking by flipping it from one side of the street to the other between the morning and evening rush.

However, business owners refused to consider it because it meant their customers would have to cross the street to get to their shops. Meanwhile neighboring homeowners, who were addressed directly, simply didn’t want bike lanes on “their” street.

Koretz responded to their complaints by halting a nearly-completed engineering study of bike lanes on the boulevard, followed by putting a permanent hold on installation of the bike lanes themselves at the behest of local residents. Even though I’m told the study would have showed the bike lanes would improve safety with no significant impact on traffic flow.

In response, traffic planner Ryan Snyder developed a plan that would have added bike lanes along most of Westwood, with sharrows in a small section where there was too narrow for bike lanes, while keeping all parking on both sides of the street and retaining existing traffic lanes.

Yet even the “Remove Nothing Plan” was rejected out of hand, this time out of supposed fear for the safety of cyclists on the busy street. Which never seemed to be a concern for opponents in any discussions prior to that point, making it seem that they were simply fishing for any argument to stop the plan.

And never mind countless outreach efforts by the LACBC and their bike ambassadors, and multiple presentations to neighborhood councils and homeowner groups.

So it wasn’t that there wasn’t any outreach, or effort to address the concerns of Koretz and local community members. It’s just that they insisted on sticking their fingers in their ears and stomping their feet like petulant two-year olds while shouting “No! No! No!”

To say neither he nor the community was consulted is disingenuous at best, if not an outright lie.

We deserve better from our elected officials.

………

Brace yourself, this one gets complicated.

San Diego’s NBC-7 reports that Jonathan Domingo Garcia, the 23-year old hit-and-run driver who killed adult tricycle-riding community leader Maruta Gardner as she was cleaning off graffiti in Mission Beach last week —

  • Was drinking 40-ounce beers with a friend just hours prior to the wreck
  • Spent the afternoon slashing tires and otherwise vandalizing cars with said friend
  • Got behind the wheel with alcohol, marijuana and another unnamed depressant in his system
  • Drove away after rear-ending another car
  • Later passed the same car on the right as the driver tried to stop him
  • Drove on the shoulder at twice the posted speed limit
  • Didn’t stop after hitting Gardner, but pulled over later in a parking lot to examine the damage to his car
  • Drove back to the crime scene, refusing to stop when a cop tried to flag him down
  • Hit another car trying to get away
  • Apparently couldn’t have cared less when told his victim was going to die, asking only if his car was damaged and when he could get it back

The station says he could get 15 years hard time if he’s convicted.

Somehow, that barely seems like enough.

………

Never mind getting drivers to pay attention. The key to safety is obsessive hi-viz, according to this 1978 bike safety vid dug up by British bike historian Carlton Reid.

………

Local

The LA Times is hosting a half-day conversation on the future of transportation in Southern California, including talks with Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, as well as discussions on self-driving cars, hyperloops and the next steps for LA. It appears to be free, but you have to apply for an invitation, which may or may not be granted.

A writer for the Pasadena Weekly says you are not a driving instructor, so keep your horn to yourself; it’s not intended to tell others how to drive, give them the audible equivalent of the bird, or tell slower traffic, including cyclists, to get the hell out of your way. Amen, sister.

CiclaValley offers some breathtaking bike photography from around the world.

 

State

A Fallbrook website offers photos of the recent 12 and 6 Hours of Temecula endurance mountain bike races.

Business owners on a Santa Barbara street complain that plans for a bike lane would violate California environmental laws by removing 100 parking spaces along the street; they swear they support bike lanes, just somewhere else where it would cost a lot more. No, seriously, they say removing parking spaces and giving people an alternative to driving would be worse for the environment.

Salinas bike lockers are going unused. If no one is using bike lockers, chances are they’re either in the wrong place, unsecure or people don’t feel safe riding there.

San Jose police arrest the driver who fled the scene and abandoned his car after running down a cyclist last week.

 

National

Once again, a new study upends your training diet by announcing fried foods are now good for you. Although a greasy meal before your next century could prove a little problematic.

A bike lawyer describes the risks of riding in the door zone, calling it a dangerous game of Russian roulette for cyclists.

In a long and wonky piece, People for Bikes says it looks like major changes are coming to the national street design committee that will make it friendlier to bicycling and walking.

Another example of women earning a fraction of what men do. After a Las Vegas gambler bets a woman gambler $10,000 she can’t ride her bike from Vegas to LA in 72 hours, he bets another guy $600,000 he can’t ride from LA to Vegas in 48.

Houston plans to make the notoriously auto-centric city more bike friendly, including a long-term proposal for 861 miles of “high-comfort” bikeways. Does that mean you have to ride them on a plush bike?

A Michigan cop told a cyclist to tell it to the judge when he was ticketed for impeding traffic by riding in the roadway, even though the rider insisted he was within his rights. So he did, and he won.

Big name, bike riding NASCAR and IndyCar racers team up with former pro cyclists on a 60-mile ride to the Daytona Speedway to promote bike safety.

 

International

Now that pro cycling is allegedly cleaning up its act, amateur cyclists represent the next frontier in doping. Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers say cycling was a cesspool back in his day, and only a fool would have believed it when he insisted he wasn’t doping. I guess that means there were a lot of fools back then, myself included, who truly wanted to believe.

Cycling Weekly says leave your bike at home when you travel, and rent one at your destination instead.

Evidently, the British press has run out of fresh scandals, and is resorting to replaying the greatest hits of recent bad bike behavior.

Yale looks at Germany’s new 62-mile bike superhighway.

An Indian cyclist hopes to win gold at the Rio Paralympics despite being born without hands.

If you see downed power lines, don’t ride over them; an Aussie rider learned that the hard way.

As bicycling gains in popularity, Singapore advocates hope to convince more people to commute by bike.

A travel website suggests bicycling is the best way to visit Bagan, Myanmar, which it describes as a temple-filled, real-life Narnia where bikes rent for $1 a day. You just have to walk through the right wardrobe to get there.

 

Finally…

It’s one thing to reject a bike lane to preserve parking, but voting to preserve illegal double-parking may set some sort of NIMBY record. Now you can wash your clothes while you pedal; if they can figure out how to put that on an actual bike so you’ll have clean clothes to wear at the end of your ride, I’m in.

And you know we’re making progress when even burglars are going multimodal. Thanks to Margaret for the heads-up.

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at February 18, 2016 5.31.50

Morning Links: Koretz aid promises Westwood bike lane removal, and the Bieb nearly takes out bikers in the ‘Bu

Don’t forget, there’s just four more days to nominate someone you know to win a new bicycle in our first-ever bike giveaway. So take a moment to tell us who you think deserves to win a free bike from Beachbikes.net today!

………

Do they know something we don’t?

A field deputy for Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz assured the Westwood Neighborhood Council that a bike lane slated for Westwood Blvd north of Wilshire Blvd in the Village will be removed from the new Mobility Plan.

Even though he doesn’t have the authority to do that. And even though a proposal to remove it, or any other bike lane, from the plan must first be approved by the city Planning Commission, then face a hearing by the city council Transportation and Planning and Land Use Management Committees, before being voted on by the full council.

To this point, there have been no public discussions of the matter by any of those bodies.

Any secret discussions or backroom deals attempting to bypass that process would be a violation of the state’s Brown Act, which requires that all meetings of official bodies be held in public. And would likely invalidate any decisions resulting from it.

So let’s hope that she just misspoke or was misquoted, and meant to say that Koretz will attempt to have the bike lane removed from the plan.

Because we all have a right to be heard before any decision is made.

Especially the wrong one.

………

CiclaValley catches up on the latest details of the LA River bike path closure. The good news is most of the barriers will be on the opposite side of the river from the bike path. However, he says the path will close for construction of the barriers between Riverside and Glendale Blvd for two weeks starting on the 26th; no word yet on whether it will reopen in full or in part once the work is finished.

Meanwhile, LADOT Bike Blog fills in the history and the background of the flood control efforts on LA’s concrete river.

………

Tres shock! A new study shows what we already knew — sharrows don’t improve safety, and they don’t seem to increase ridership, either.

Meanwhile, another study suggests that biking infrastructure and gentrification mirror one another, making it difficult to say which one causes the other.

………

Semi-reformed celeb bad boy Justin Bieber nearly takes out an entire cycling team that was training in the ‘Bu, inexplicably running out in front of the riders waving his arms while they cruised down PCH at 25 mph.

However, all was forgiven when he posed for selfies with the riders, who forgot to ask why he did it in the first place.

Maybe he just wanted their autographs.

Although one site seems to blame the guys in the tight shorts, saying they should have stuck with SoulCycle.

………

Local

The petition to remove bike lanes from York Blvd in Northeast LA has 304 supporters as of this writing; the petition to keep them has 454.

There’s now more hope on Hope Street, as the DTLA street gets a new parklet.

A UCLA alum is filming a documentary about the problems bike riders face, focusing on last year’s Emmy Ride; the film’s executive producer is former Ad Men producer Tom Smuts, who started the ride.

Another former UCLA student writes that she has continued to ride after graduating, commuting to work, leading rides and volunteering as an advocate for safer streets. And it all began with the school’s program to rent out commuter bikes to students for $45 a quarter.

That guy riding one of New York’s Citi Bikes across the US has now made it to Claremont; Santa Monica Spoke invites you to welcome him when he ends his journey at the end of Route 66 on the 23rd.

Long Beach firefighters rescue a woman who injured her head when she somehow fell off the San Gabriel River bike path.

Mark your calendar. BikeSGV lists the seven — count ‘em — open streets events scheduled for the LA area this year.

 

State

Three Leucadia coffee shops will soon get bike corrals in the North San Diego County community.

Sad news from the Bay Area, as an 80-year old Novato sidewalk cyclist was killed in a collision with a 16-year old driver who was making a left turn out of a parking lot.

Streetsblog talks with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s new interim ED.

Best wishes to one of last year’s AIDS Lifecycle riders, Sonoma-area winemaker Chuck Hovey, who is recovering from a massive stroke he suffered just a week after finishing the ride.

In a crime that appears to be getting more common, a Sacramento cyclist is bike-jacked at knifepoint. Expanding the city’s bait bike program won’t help with that kind of theft, even though it lead to around 60 busts last year.

 

National

Nice. An Albuquerque program gives bikes to the homeless to help them get back on their feet.

An Oklahoma driver will face a felony manslaughter charge for the distracted driving death of a cyclist, who was biking across the country building and repairing homes; the woman who was riding with him is still recovering from her injuries.

Even the sponsor of the Missouri bill which would require every bicycle to have a 15-foot orange fluorescent flag agrees that it’s ridiculous; he claims he just wanted to get people talking about bike safety. He previously co-sponsored a bill that would have banned bikes from state roads if there was a bike trail within two miles of the highway.

Chicago is ticketing more drivers for parking in bike lanes, while expanding its bikeshare into predominantly African American and low-to-moderate income communities.

A 50-mile Kentucky bike ride will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the bike-riding Buffalo Soldiers in 1896.

A Massachusetts eighth grader testifies in front of a state legislative committee in support of a pair of bike safety bills, after his father was nearly caught between a bus and a row of parked cars when it cut into the bike lane as they were riding together.

Boston’s Bikeface compares bikes to shoes to explain why you always seem to need one more.

You still have a chance to win a bike ride with Bono through New York’s Central Park, who is tempting fate by returning to the scene of his solo crash.

A Georgia nurse who just happened to by passing by saved the life of a bike rider when he collapsed from a heart attack in the middle of an intersection.

Despite doomsday predictions, there have been no bike crashes on a Florida bridge two years after a ban on bikes was lifted.

 

International

Caught on video: An angry Brit bike rider confronts a driver inside a supermarket after a dangerously close punishment pass.

Supporters of British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn raise funds to give him his dream bike, a sub-$700 Raleigh Criterium — even though a writer for the Telegraph criticized him for coveting such an “expensive” bike.

It took four cops to put an “arrogant” Irish bike rider in a squad car after he was busted for insisting on his “right to cycle in the manner in which he insisted he cycled;” during the incident, he called the Irish equivalent of 911 in an effort to report the police to the police.

So much for that friendly welcome to Europe. Norway is sending bike-riding Syrian refugees back to Russia the same way they came after they exploited a loophole banning anyone from walking or driving across the border.

The National continues its recent coverage of bicycling in the United Arab Emirates and beyond, this time offering a look at riding in Rwanda.

Dutch bank ING donates pedicabs to Philippine hurricane survivors to help lift them out of poverty.

 

Finally…

No matter how angry you get, don’t take it out on your bike. Speaking of tres shock!, LA bike thieves learn the hard way not to steal bikes. Or sit on them, anyway.

And it’s a common tactic for bike thieves to lock another bike to yours so they can come back later to take it. But what does it mean when someone ties a cute little dog up to your bike?

………

Thanks to John Hall for his generous donation to support this site. Contributions are always welcome in any amount, for any reason.

 

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan battle isn’t over yet, new ARTCRANK website, and rear-end wrecks are most deadly

We may have won the battle, but the war is far from over.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the bikelash is spreading to some neighborhood councils, particularly in Silver Lake, which voted to reconsider its support for the new Mobility Plan 2035.

That same bikelash could also be reflected in the Silver Lake NC’s decision to hold a public meeting to discuss the Rowena Avenue road diet on Monday the 12th.

Rowena was the subject of a recent story in the LA Times, which showed it had significantly improved safety by cutting crashes over 50%. However, some people complained about increased congestion on the street and the surrounding neighborhood, even though average speeds were still equal to the posted speed limit or higher, depending on direction of travel.

That’s in addition to defending the Mobility Plan against motions by Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Curren Price to remove planned bikeways on Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the plan. Let alone anti-bike Gil Cedillo’s scorched-earth motion to remove his entire council district from it.

Apparently, he never got over not getting that shiny red Schwinn he wanted from Santa.

Newton says those motions will most likely rear their ugly heads in committee sometime next month. When they do, we’ll have to be prepared for all out war to save the Mobility Plan from piecemeal destruction.

Because if opponents see it’s possible to remove one street from the plan, we’ll end up having to defend nearly every street in it. And it will go from a unified, well-thought out network designed to improve safety and mobility for everyone, to the same fractured system of unconnected bike lanes and virtually unrideable routes we have now.

Clearly, the recent passage of the plan doesn’t mean the fight is over. We still face a lot of battles to defend it before any paint hits the street.

………

Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

Straight to Hell by Amy Jo

I’ve long been a fan of the annual ARTCRANK poster exhibitions, offering local artists a chance to sell their limited edition bike-related designs to fellow fans of two-wheeled travel.

But if you missed the show, as I did the last few times it came around, you were out of luck.

But now they’ve — finally — developed a website, allowing you to order original bike art from the comfort of your own home or office, whenever the mood strikes.

As the press release says,

The new online store will be structured similar to ARTCRANK’s live shows, offering 30 different poster designs by 30 different artists in limited edition runs of — you guessed it — 30 prints, all priced at $45. Posters will be sold on the site for 30 days or until they sell out, whichever comes first.

The biggest difference is that, where ARTCRANK’s events feature local artists exclusively, the new online poster shop will feature artists from all over the U.S. and beyond. And of course, buying posters won’t require being physically present at one-night pop-up show.

……..

Evidently, rear-end collisions are more dangerous than we’ve been lead to believe.

Research from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety shows 45% of bicycling fatalities were hit from behind, while 22% were the result of side impacts at intersections.

The report adds that currently existing technology could be modified to enable car anti-collision systems to identify cyclists and help prevent wrecks with bike riders.

……..

Dutch rider Danny van Poppel took stage 12 of the Vuelta in a sprint finish.

Turns out Tour de France champ Chris Froome had a good reason for cracking in Wednesday’s stage, as he withdrew Thursday with a broken foot. And American Larry Warbasse isn’t just looking for a stage victory in the Vuelta, he’s looking for a riding contract for next year.

……..

Local

City Lab’s Sarah Goodyear says LA’s coming bikeshare program could end up being a leader by incorporating it into Metro’s transit system, as well as LA’s city bureaucracy.

The Hollywood Reporter reviews the documentary Bikes Vs Cars, which focuses in part on riding in LA.

The Spoke Bicycle Café located along the LA River bike path in Frogtown plans to add a full service restaurant, complete with coffee roaster and microbrewery. Go ahead and load up on coffee before you ride, but save the beer for the end.

Cynergy Cycles shares a favorite ride from Santa Monica to the Palos Verdes switchbacks.

A $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor has helped supply Glendale bike cops with twelve new police bikes.

 

State

Evidently, Santa Ana has never heard of a road diet, as the city approves an environmental impact statement for a roadway widening that will require the demolition of 37 residential and 15 commercial properties in order to install bike lanes and a third traffic lane in each direction.

An Encinitas man plans to walk a 10k this weekend, just nine months after he was critically injured in a bicycling collision.

A Fresno boy somehow jumped off his bike moments before it was crushed under a packed school bus.

Bicyclists offer their recommendations for the best bike rides in San Joaquin County.

A candidate for San Francisco supervisor says he supports bike lanes on Polk Street, despite consulting with the group suing to prevent them.

A San Francisco writer offers what he calls an honest guide to startup life in the city, which includes this misguided paragraph:

Those with a death wish cycle to work. It is easy to spot a cyclist. If you see a guy with one side of his jeans rolled up to the shin, he is a moron; if you see a guy on a bicycle, he is a cyclist.

 

National

The editorial editor of a Milwaukee paper says bike safety is a shared responsibility.

This could be a glimpse into LA’s future, as Minneapolis invests heavily in protected bikeways.

Bono says his chances of playing guitar again aren’t looking good following last year’s solo bike wreck in New York’s Central Park.

A Virginia bike rider receives a $300,000 jury award after colliding with a runner who turned around without warning on a shared path. I try to avoid similar situations by passing others with as much space as possible on shared paths, and always calling it out before I pass. Although if they’re wearing ear buds, chances are they won’t hear you anyway.

 

International

A British Columbia bike rider somehow survives a collision with a semi-truck when he grabs the truck’s brake line and holds on for dear life — literally.

The widow of a fallen cyclist calls for more dedicated bike lanes in London.

A writer gives a different perspective on what it’s like to be a female cyclist in London, saying the city is your oyster. Unless you’re allergic to shellfish, of course, or Vegan, in which case it’s your semi-firm tofu.

A British man thanks a recent fall from his bike for uncovering an aggressive malignant tumor that could have killed him.

A woman plans to ride solo across India to raise awareness for women’s safety; she’s raising funds on Indiegogo to pay for the trip.

 

Finally…

A news smartphone app not only reports any potholes you hit, it marks the offending pavement with paint to alert other riders. That new derailleur you’re lusting after is electric, so why not your sunglasses?

And there’s still a place for bike messengers in today’s e-world. As long as you’re willing to move to Jakarta.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan passes but defers battles, Tito’s Tacos owner battles Culver City over CicLAvia

Good news and bad news from Tuesday’s LA city council committee session.

As we discussed earlier, the council’s Transportation and PLUM committees held a joint session to discuss the plan for managing mobility in the city for the next 20 years.

After what the LACBC’s Eric Bruins described in an email as “quite contentious discussion of some the proposed amendments,” the plan was passed unanimously, with two primary amendments. One to prioritize equity during the implementation, and another to add the council as an implementing agency along with the mayor’s office and city departments.

What the last one means in the real world, I have no idea.

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog's Joe Linton

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog’s Joe Linton

Two other amendments aimed at derailing significant portions of the plan were tabled for the time being.

As expected, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz asked that planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd be stripped from the plan, saying the street is not suited for bicycling — even though hundreds of riders already use it every day. CiclaValley offers much better arguments against them than Koretz and his minions supporters.

Although it’s hard to top a claim that a mobility plan that aims to improve safety and reduce reliance on motor vehicles will somehow harm habitats and wetlands (see photo to right).

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz's Twitter feed

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz‘s Twitter feed

And needless to say, while NELA Councilmember Gill Cedillo claimed to support the plan, he also offered an amendment to gut it by removing some of the bike lanes in his district.

Or just about all of them.

The plan now goes to the full city council next week, leaving the bike portion of the plan, along with the city’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths within the next 10 years, intact for now.

However, the motions by Koretz and Cedillo will undoubtedly rear their ugly heads at a future date when they’re reconsidered in committee. And could still be passed by the council, stripping out key parts of the plan after we all turn our attention somewhere else.

Still, it’s considered a big victory by just about everyone.

With the exception of Flying Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg, that is, who takes a contrarian view by suggesting that the proposed amendments will gut the plan. And that councilmembers have no legal veto power over agency-approved projects, either individually or collectively.

Yet they do it anyway.

………

You already know CicLAvia is coming this Sunday, right?

Thankfully, it will bring changes from the hugely overcrowded 2013 CicLAvia to the Sea route, which saw massive bike traffic jams as riders limited to just one half of Venice Blvd backed up for blocks at red lights.

KNBC-4 calls it a come-as-you-are affair, though they recommend putting some sparkly handlebar streamers on your bike.

There are plenty of feeder rides to help get you there. And thankfully, the Militant Angeleno has created the latest in his indispensible guides to what to see, including the movie studio where my dad used to lay tile for movie sets and met Judy Garland.

However, the owner of popular Tito’s Tacos clearly doesn’t get it, threatening to sue Culver City for blocking motor vehicle access to the busy taco stand, which she claims is the only way her customers could possibly get there.

If she’d stop complaining and embrace the hundred of thousands of people who will be riding and walking past on sunday, she could end with lines around the block.

The Militant sums it up about as well as anyone can in his guide.

But seriously, Señora Davidson, you have no reason to fear CicLAvia this Sunday. Because we are coming. And you will get A LOT of business. And you can be rest assured that unlike your car-oriented customers, we won’t be crashing into your wall. [MIC DROP]

………

Teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge taking place in two weeks.

Eric Heiden, one of the first wave of American pro cyclists — and a five-time gold medal winning speed skater — is still active in the sport 30 years later as team physician for BMC. Laurens Ten Dam could have used his help, as the Dutch rider’s season may have come to an early end after he was hit by a car while training.

And in the story that never ends, the Feds want Lance’s medical records as part of their $100 million case against him.

………

Local

The latest Clitoral Mass drew hundreds of women and women-identified riders to reclaim the streets.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program is officially online.

A Burbank letter writer claims to be a bike advocate, as long as they ride slowly and don’t arrogantly compete with cars.

LA County has approved a bike path leading to an eventual Metro stop in Duarte.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition hosts a Bicycle Scavenger Hunt this weekend, and Streetsblog is holding a fundraiser Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village this Saturday.

 

State

Nice piece from former Long Beach Mobility Director and current Calbike board VP Charlie Gandy offering a brief history of the US bike movement, and saying if we really want to be the “all powerful bike lobby,” we need to be more like Gandhi.

The Newport Beach e-bike rider killed when he crashed into the back of a minivan on Sunday may have been distracted by his cell phone. Seriously, put the damn thing away when you ride; if you need to use it, pull over and stop first.

San Diego neighbors team together to catch a bike thief who has been plaguing their neighborhood.

Fresno sees a near 40% jump in bike commuting since 2009.

A Morgan Hill business owner says don’t believe the hype from opponents of a road diet; his business has gone up since it went in, and the street is calmer, quieter, safer and more active, with a more diverse group of users. But other than that, it’s a failure, right?

Lets hope there’s a good bike lawyer in the Bay Area, as San Francisco police ticket bicyclists for not putting a foot down when they stop — even though that’s not required under California law. Expecting cyclists to put a foot down is the equivalent of making drivers put their emergency brake on at every stop sign.

Once again, bike hate rears its ugly head in Marin County, as a road raging driver tries to run down a pair of cyclists, striking one from behind. Fortunately, both escaped serious injury, while the driver was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, landlocked Turlock is no better, as a driver uses his car as a weapon, intentionally sideswiping a bike rider following a dispute.

 

National

Scenic Jackson WY is the latest town to get bikeshare before LA, even if you can’t tour the Tetons on it.

A Kansas cyclist bizarrely says having to use lights on his bike after dark is an “absolute atrocity,” and the city council members are idiots for requiring it. Apparently, it’s just another government conspiracy to take away our God-given right to ride like ninjas.

After Texas thieves force a bike rider off the road with their car and steal his cellphone at gunpoint, he goes home and tracks it on his iPad before telling the police where they can find them.

It just keeps getting more bizarre. A Vermont woman married to a cop could lose her license — not because she killed a cyclist, or drove drunk while under the influence of three prescription drugs, but for failing to submit the proper form in time. At least she faces a misdemeanor DUI charge, even though it would probably be a felony for anyone else.

Bikeshare will continue to besmirch the sidewalk in front of New York’s iconic Plaza hotel, as the state supreme court upholds dismissal of the hotel’s lawsuit demanding its removal.

If a New York bus driver says you can’t bring your bike onboard, don’t whack him with it and threaten to kick his ass.

A Pennsylvania legislator is the latest to propose requiring bicyclists to wear reflective clothing, after a similar California proposal thankfully died on the vine earlier this year.

An apparent salmon cyclist was killed in a bike-on-bike collision on a Delaware highway. Or if he wasn’t riding the wrong way, the other guy was.

You know things are bad in Baton Rouge when a bike rider is hit by a car on his way home from a memorial for another rider.

A Miami area woman is under arrest for punching a seven-year old bike-riding boy in the face for making fun of her. She must be the poster child for anger management dropouts.

 

International

A new Brazilian action cam promises to simplify the process of uploading and automatically editing the highlights.

A Vancouver cop is convicted of punching a red-light running cyclist after he was cuffed for talking back.

Caught on video: A London cab driver narrowly avoids running over a cyclist after the rider is knocked off his bike by a driver’s car door. He didn’t just swerve to avoid it, despite what the headline says.

Unbelievable. A London cyclist requests security camera footage from the city that could show the hit-and-run driver who ran him down from behind, and is told he could only get it if he died.

The BBC offers twelve tips for first time bike commuters, while the Independent can only manage five.

The UK plans to use infrared sensors to count cyclists and measure riding activity to improve streets and communities. Can we get some? Pretty please?

Self-titled Brit lawyer “Mr. Loophole” urges motorists to turn the tables by recording cyclist who ride dangerously in order to goad motorists into attacking them so they can capture it on video. He’s onto us, comrades. Although I’d suggest he may be some other type of hole.

A UK truck driver was reaching across his cab to play a sermon on his mobile phone moments before running down a bike rider.

Australia will reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which is blamed — or credited, depending on your perspective — with helping the country bypass the bike boom.

An Aussie website offers nine tips on how to look good on your bike. All of which apply only to the spandex set, and most of which are totally full of crap. Except for the one about sleeveless jerseys, which don’t look good on anyone. No, not even you.

 

Finally…

At last, there’s a bike built for aspiring Bruce Waynes. The Onion offers their own take on car maker’s attempts to improve safety for cyclists, which makes more sense than some of the real ones. I’m looking at you, Volvo.

And next time you’re riding in the Bay Area, keep your eyes open for falling lampposts felled by urine.

 

%d bloggers like this: