Tag Archive for Westwood Blvd

Morning Links: Koretz calls for climate change mobilization but still no bike lanes, and Bikes4Orphans BBQ ride

No hypocrisy here.

Bike lane-blocking LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz joined with author Naomi Klein to call for a World War II style mobilization to fight climate change.

Los Angeles took on the needs of the entire United States and much of the world during World War II by embracing wartime mobilization. Its existing population and hundreds of thousands of new residents not only contributed massively to aircraft and ship manufacturing, they also volunteered to aid the Red Cross by the tens of thousands. I’m calling on all Angelenos to mobilize once again.  We need a World War II-scale mobilization in order to keep our City safe and our planet habitable and resilient. And we need to ensure that we do it in a way that honors frontline communities, ensures equity, and protects workers.  I’m asking the creative minds of Los Angeles to join with the grassroots activists in creating the City of the future, not some fictional Tomorrowland, but here, on the ground, in the City of Angels we all love.

Of course, one of the single best steps LA could take to fight climate change would be to get people out of their cars, and onto non-polluting sources of transportation.

Like bicycles, for instance.

But that would mean building the kind of on-street bikeways on arterial streets that Koretz has actively opposed since being elected to the LA City Council, after being termed out of the state legislature.

Let alone calling for an outright bike ban on the boulevard.

So we can only assume that Koretz has had a change of heart, and will now approve the shovel-ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and other Westside streets.

Or maybe he’s not serious about that WWII-style mobilization — or fighting climate change — after all.

Thanks to David Wolfburg for the heads-up.

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Bikes4Orphans will hold a fundraising BBQ ride on August 20th; the Pasadena-based non-profit sends bicycles to children around the world to help them stay in school.

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VeloNews looks at how the leader in the Tour de France gets a yellow bike to match his yellow jersey. Or not.

Britain’s Chris Froome is the overwhelming favorite to win this year’s Tour, which starts on Saturday in Dusseldorf.

A rider on Alberto Contador’s Trek-Segafredo team has been replaced for the Tour after testing positive for EPO. It’s refreshing to still see old school blood doping in this modern age of motor and poop doping.

Bicycling offers tips on how to watch the Tour de France without cable TV. The magazine also talks with newly crowned national champ Amber Neben about how she reclaimed the title at 42 years old.

Iowa’s Sarah Cooper talks with a local TV station following her RAAM victory.

A lawsuit against British Cycling seeks to have the country’s Olympic athletes declared employees before a claim of discrimination can be heard; they aren’t currently considered employees, despite signing a contract and receiving a monthly salary.

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Local

The innocent victim killed in a drive-by shooting as he rode his bike past people arguing after a traffic collision in South LA has been identified as a 17-year old Los Angeles man; a GoFundMe page set up to pay his funeral expenses has raised less than $1,000 of the $10,000 goal.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton points out the irony that the anti-safety group looking to reverse the lane reductions in Playa del Rey is stealing the Open Streets name from the popular carfree ciclovías spreading across the US. Also note in the comments that the changes to Vista del Mar have proven as unpopular with some cyclists as they have with drivers.

Los Angeles pledges $1 million to improve safety on the LA River bike path.

You know there’s something positive going on when a reporter for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune can ride his bike to a music festival next to the Rose Bowl.

The Metro Bike bikeshare will come to Culver City next year, with 600 bikes at stations throughout the city, as well as in Palms, Mar Vista, Del Rey and Playa Vista. However, the bikes will be incompatible with the bikeshare in neighboring Beverly Hills.

You can beat the traffic to Santa Monica’s free Twilight Concerts on the pier with a free bike valet or the city’s Breeze bikeshare. However, that’s “or”, not “and,” since the bike valet does not accept the bikeshare bikes.

 

State

A San Diego cyclist and former sheriff’s sergeant is fighting a severe form of brain cancer; a fund to help defray medical expenses has raised just under $35,000.

It might be the most dangerous intersection on San Diego’s El Cajon Blvd, but apparently, it’s not dangerous enough to fix.

Ford has pulled a controversial 24-hour pass for its new Bay Area bikeshare over fears it would destroy the local bike rental industry. However, they were beaten to the punch by a new dockless — and unpermitted — bikeshare that dropped 100 ebikes on the streets of San Francisco.

San Francisco Streetsblog questions why more isn’t done to protect bike riders during construction projects. Here in LA, riders are usually just thrown to the wolves during construction.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bicyclist documents the difficulty riding through the homeless camps that have taken over a popular bikeway.

 

National

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner has won again, getting a temporary restraining order against a pair of professional cybersquatters.

A Minneapolis paper looks at the 200-year history of the bicycle, noting it’s gone from being considered risky to healthy.

Detroit continues to be in the news, as a bike shop is closed until next week after an incident in which a black customer berated a black mechanic at the store using derogatory racial terms, then claimed on Facebook that he’d been jumped by the employees when they ask him to leave.

An 11-year old Ohio boy is rewarded with a new bicycle and helmet after using his own money to help pay for his great-grandmother’s funeral.

A Brooklyn man could face more serious charges for sucker punching a man as he rode past on his bicycle; his victim is still in a coma three weeks later.

Baltimore bike advocates reach a settlement with the city to keep a protected bike lane in place, after filing suit when the mayor threatened to rip it out.

 

International

A Toronto columnist says it’s crazy to suggest that lower speed limits could make the city’s streets more dangerous by increasing driver frustration and aggression. Although taking away a traffic lane certainly seems to push them over the edge.

A new play about the death of a London woman on her bike is crowdfunding money to stage a premier this fall.

A change in British law to give priority — aka right-of-way — to people going straight over people turning at intersections could improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, while reducing delays up to 38%. That’s also the law here, though it’s often ignored.

 

Finally…

How can it be a bicycle café if there aren’t any bicycles? It’s stretching it to call something that can do 60 mph an ebike — even if they make you promise not to go that fast on the street.

And no, don’t grab a tow from a backhoe.

 

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Creed calls for a safer Westwood, SaMo PD gets Share the Road wrong, and bike rap & Corgi bikes

Maybe there’s still hope.

Yesterday morning, Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Paul Kortetz in LA’s 5th Council District, announced that his one of his first actions as a councilmember will be to call for a safety study of Westwood Blvd, saying “a safer, better Westwood will the bedrock of a more vibrant Westwood Village.”

Photo by Eric Bruins

While it’s not an outright endorsement of the shovel-ready bike lanes Koretz singlehandedly killed at the behest of wealthy homeowners, it’s a huge step towards improving the dangerous street following its shameful removal from the city’s Mobility Plan.

It should be noted that a study of the proposed bike lanes was already underway when Koretz halted it, insisting that they would not be built no matter what the study showed. And even though I’ve been told by multiple sources that it would have shown the bike lanes would improve safety, with no significant impact on travel times or parking.

While Westwood is part of LA’s Great Streets program, it’s also part of the Vision Zero High Injury Network, indicating that it’s one of the city’s most dangerous streets — especially for pedestrians and the many bike riders who have no other viable route to get to Westwood Village from the Expo Line or other areas further south.

As Creed notes, despite the Great Streets designation, nothing has changed on the street under Koretz’ watch, unlike some of the others which have made great strides since receiving the designation. And despite the councilmember’s apparent belief that the best solution to a dangerous street is to keep it that way.

Creed seems to get that Westwood — or any other street, for that matter — can’t be a Great Street if it’s not safe and inviting for everyone who uses it, and that it needs to serve more than just a handful of local residents who claim it as their own.

You can see video of the full press conference on the Bike the Vote LA Facebook page.

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Santa Monica police revive a three-year old victim blaming bike safety spot that twists the meaning of Share the Road; the ad ran on yesterday’s KABC-7 evening news.

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Now get the bad taste that left you with out with a little nerdcore bike rap from Santa Monica’s Public Bikes.

And somehow, I’d forgotten about their Corgi-themed holiday video, which is still worth a watch even if the holidays are over.

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VeloNews profiles the slow and steady rise of Megan Guarnier, calling her America’s best cyclist, male or female.

A final verdict may never be reached in the Italian pay-to-race cycling scandal after lawyers and officials were driven from the hearing room by a broken heating system.

After taking up cycling to keep up her fitness in the offseason, a Canadian skier became the first from her country to compete at three different Olympics in three different sports; now she’s set her sights on becoming just the sixth person to medal at both the summer and winter games.

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Local

Evidently, LA had an ulterior motive in agreeing to host the world para-cycling championships at the last minute, hoping it would boost the city’s chances of winning the 2024 Olympics.

After experiencing the walkable streets and pedestrian plazas of New York, DTLA Rising’s Brigham Yen calls on LA to cut the backward bullshit and focus on road diets to create a more walkable — and by extension, bikeable — city.

The LACBC will host their rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion, featuring representatives from the LAPD, LA County Sheriff’s Department and the CHP, along with bike lawyer and BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, on the 30th of this month.

LA’s Groundwork Coffee opens in NoHo’s restored Historic Train Depot, offering a bike repair and accessories shop, and plenty of bike parking.

Pasadena will likely approve bikeshare next month, but the locations are still to be determined following public workshops.

Speaking of the City of Roses, the Brooklyn Bicycle Company offers a photo bike tour of the city. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

 

State

Despite projections of a budget shortfall, Governor Jerry Brown proposes increasing funding for active transportation by $1 billion over the next ten years; Calbike notes that the funds are prioritized for disadvantaged communities.

A New Jersey website recommends Orange County as a cyclist’s mecca for riders trying to escape the state’s cold winter.

The San Diego Union-Tribune wants your bike commuting stories. Actually, they want everyone’s commuting stories, which means they’ll need bicyclists and pedestrians to balance out all those people in cars.

Riverside plans to use a state grant to repair trails on Mt. Rubidoux, while installing benches, bike racks and a water fountain for cyclists along the Santa Ana River Trail in nearby Carlson Park.

 

National

New bike composites that blend polypropylene, polyethylene or steel with carbon fiber offer light weight and strength with less fragility.

Continuing their recent focus on clickbait, Bicycling recommends six ways to make sure you’re seen on the streets.

Like Ikea, modern furniture company Blu Dot is offering their own bicycle; the company will donate a bicycle to World Bicycle Relief for every one of the Handsome Cycles-made single speed bikes made by they sell.

It was nice while it lasted. Colorado Springs CO caves to NIMBY’s demanding they undo a road diet and remove buffered bike lanes on a formerly six lane street, even though it carried less than half the traffic it was designed for.

After failing to hire an engineer to oversee the city’s bike plan, Dallas spends $171,000 in bike lane funding to hire a consultant to design eight miles of bike lanes.

A new Minnesota study shows bikes are good for the economy and the people who ride them.

An Indiana couple who built a bike park in honor of their son after he was killed in Afghanistan receive an invitation to the presidential inauguration from bike-riding VP Elect Mike Pence.

Nice story from Cincinnati, where a cyclist spotted a familiar bike in unfamiliar hands, and assuming it was stolen, bought it from them and set out to find the real owner.

Nashville plans a low-stress bike network designed to make the city’s scary streets inviting to everyone.

A former soldier came back from serving in Kuwait with a back injury that kept him from riding a bike; now he runs a New York-based company building pedal-assist ebikes for others with disabilities.

A Canadian man depended on the kindness of strangers as he rode his bike from Montreal to Mexico, until one of those strangers stole his bike and all his belongings in Philadelphia.

Thrillist looks at New Orleans’ unique bike culture as the city takes steps to become more inviting for bike riders.

 

International

Road rage, yes; assault, yes; hit-and-run, only in the most literal sense, as Scottish police are looking for a cyclist who punched a driver through an open window following an altercation.

The UK’s Cyclist site offers advice on how to avoid solo crashes.

In a truly bizarre ruling, a British court gives a motorcyclist a year behind bars for speeding while fleeing from police, but only six months for actually killing another human being on a bicycle by riding carelessly in another case.

Indian politicians are battling over who gets to use the bicycle as a symbol of their support for the common people. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a driver is appealing his three-week sentence for killing a cyclist instead of thanking the judge for the gentle caress on the wrist.

 

Finally…

Police rescue a purloined bike cow. If police try to stop you for riding without a headlight, just stop already.

And your next bike computer could do everything but fix your flats for you.

 

Morning Links: Arrest made in beating of Beverly Hills doctor, and more on bike lanes removed from Mobility Plan

They got one of them, anyway.

KABC-7 reports a 19-year old Whittier man has been arrested for allegedly pistol whipping a prominent Beverly Hills doctor after demanding $150 dollars, and claiming he had somehow damaged his bicycle.

Jerome Ingram was booked on charges of attempted robbery, battery, assault, and false imprisonment by violence.

No word on whether police are closing in on the woman and another man suspected of involvement in the attack.

The Hollywood Reporter offers the definitive story on the assault.

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Both KPCC and Curbed report on last week’s city council vote to removed Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, shunting riders off onto problematic side streets.

The best way to guarantee the failure of any bikeway is to put it where others want people ride, instead of where the people on bikes want to.

Or already do.

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You’re invited to ride with East LA’s own four-time national road race champ “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez in the free Powered by Pink Taco Event this Sunday; Compton’s national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati will be there as well, along with LA native Justin Williams, a two-time national champ.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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Cycling Weekly offers five things they learned from this year’s Vuelta a España.

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Local

A great Op-Ed in the Times says traffic crashes disproportionately affect people walking or biking, and LA can no longer afford to prioritize the movement of vehicles at the expense of safety.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a return of their popular Ice Cream Ride on the 24th.

CicLAvia is hosting a Play Day in LA this Saturday to raise funds for the city’s iconic open streets event.

 

State

A bike riding San Francisco mugger grabbed a woman by the hair and dragged her before riding off with her cellphone and ID.

Streetsblog asks if San Francisco cyclists are guilty until proven innocent, after a bike rider is blamed for the crash that left him seriously injured, based strictly on the testimony of the motorists that hit him, even though that would have been physically impossible. In other words, just like cyclists everywhere else.

The rich get richer, as San Francisco is about to get still more protected bike lanes; meanwhile, Calbike reminds cities that protected lanes are not only legal, but actually encouraged.

 

National

Business Insider looks at 13 “amazing” bike accessories it says will make your ride smarter and safer. Amazing being a relative term, of course.

A Las Vegas cyclist was the victim of a drunk driver, even though he was riding on the sidewalk when the driver jumped the curb, fatally striking him before crashing through a wall and fleeing the scene on foot; the driver was taken into custody at his home, still showing signs of impairment.

Inspirational story, as a Denver lawyer has walked or biked up 58 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot high mountains and 47 peaks over 13,800 feet, as well as riding or walking from one climb to the next — despite being told as a teenager his severe asthma would confine him to an oxygen tank by the time he was 30.

A Chicago protected bike lane has helped improve the appeal of surrounding neighborhoods, leading to new construction that blocks the bike lane.

Chicago’s Streetsblog responds to the latest anti-bike diatribe from a Tribune columnist.

A Kentucky driver says the sun was in her eyes after plowing into five cyclists; fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

New York sets a new record by building 18 miles of fully protected bike lanes, beating the city’s goal of 15 miles.

The best part of the Wall Street Journal’s story about a 57-year old female bodybuilder who balances working out in the ring with long distance bike rides is the headline.

Actor Damian Lewis is one of us, as he rides his mountain bike through the streets of Gotham.

No bias here. A black Brooklyn bike rider says the road raging passenger of a passing car called him a racial slur and spat on him, before he was intentionally doored by the driver after catching up to the car, then repeatedly punched and his bike run over. Yet somehow he was the one who spent a night in jail.

Atlanta is building a 22 mile rail-to-trail bike and pedestrian beltline around the city.

 

International

The head of a Canadian truck association says trucks are bigger than bikes and should have the right-of-way, dammit. And bikes should be forced to stop prior to an intersection so we won’t interfere with turning trucks by making them run over us.

A Montreal website asks what it will take to make it bike friendly, saying they just want the city on their side so they can get to their destination safely. Which is pretty much what bike riders everywhere want, and seldom get.

A new line of women’s bikewear currently raising funds on Kickstarter includes reflective patches to improve visibility at night; they have just 17 days to raise another $14,000.

Visit London’s Bamboo Bicycle Club for your very own bespoke bamboo bicycle.

The UK’s Cyclist magazine offers advice on how to beat back pain caused by bicycling.

A British paper talks with the TV sports personality who nearly died after contracting malaria on a 3,000 mile bike ride to the Rio Olympics.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a fast woman. If you’re going to break a man’s glasses in a road rage altercation, don’t brag about it online.

And workers score a waterlogged bike along with the scum at Echo Park Lake.

 

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

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Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

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Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

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: 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: Planning Comm preserves Mobility Plan, PV bike lanes threatened, and register for River Ride

It looks like cooler and wiser heads prevailed.

Despite calls from representatives of three city councilmembers — Koretz, Price and Cedillo — for removing bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave from the LA Mobility Plan, the city Planning Commission voted against removing them Thursday morning.

Or as LAist put it, bike haters failed to stop bike lanes from coming to Westwood and South LA.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they will actually be built.

As the head of the commission explained, the plan is an “aspirational document,” and there will be many public processes that will have to be completed before anything is painted on the streets. Which means those bike haters will have plenty more opportunities to derail them, starting with a hearing before the city council, on a date to be determined, which will consider the same amendments voted down by the commission.

But it’s a big win. And one that could mean safer streets, and a more complete bike network.

Someday.

Meanwhile, a writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin came out strongly in favor of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, saying ignorance is unsafe, irresponsible and completely inappropriate when forming transportation policy in Los Angeles; the paper also asks students whether the street is safe for cyclists.

However, Councilmember Paul Koretz vowed the day before the meeting to keep on fighting against bike lanes on the boulevard, promising to move them to some other, undetermined safer street. Which, like OJ and the hunt for the real killers, he apparently still hasn’t been able to find, despite years of searching.

Councilmember Curren Price explained his opposition to bike lanes on Central Ave, even though people in South LA demanded he change his mind.

And BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen wrote a detailed and insightful letter calling on the Planning Commission to keep the Mobility Plan intact; even though the vote is over, it’s worth taking a few moments to read.

………

Next Tuesday, Rancho Palos Verdes will consider a request by the Terranea resort to replace the required bike lanes with sharrows.

The City Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 7 p.m. at Hesse Park Community Building, 29301 Hawthorne Boulevard, Rancho Palos Verdes, to consider Terranea’s request to amend the Council-adopted Conditions of Approval to:

1) Restripe the entry driveway to create two inbound lanes and one outbound lane by replacing the required bicycle lanes with sharrow lanes (shared vehicle and bicycle lane) with no modification to the required parking spaces along the outbound lane; and,

2) Replace the turf at the Meadow Lawn area (adjacent to the ballroom facilities) with permeable pavers to facilitate the current practice of installing temporary tents in this area in connection with the ballrooms.

Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

………

Registration is now open for this year’s 16th Annual LA River Ride, which remains one of the most popular rides in the LA area. The ride raises funds to support the LACBC, which in turn, benefits everyone who rides in LA County.

………

When you’re the stoker on a tandem — or maybe the Rear Admiral, of you prefer — you spend the whole ride staring at the butt ahead of you. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Evidently, that hasn’t been a problem for Melba and Aubrey Provost, though, since they’ve been riding together since 1959.

………

Pro riders says more invasive testing is warranted to detect motor-doping.

………

Local

An Eastside community activist says we need to know how the demographics of bike riders who commute on North Figueroa compare with the demographics of the neighborhood before making a decision on whether bike lanes belong on the street. Even though I’ve never heard of that being taken into account before any traffic lane gets built, anywhere.

CiclaValley says the Marathon Crash Ride is back once again this year before Sunday’s LA Marathon; a Facebook page says keep the pace at a slow cruise and watch out for cars, people and equipment on the course.

Hermosa Beach plans to install bollards to keep cars off the bike and pedestrian-only Strand, after discovering Google sometimes directs motorists onto it; however, they note the bollards may not be enough to keep drunk drivers off the walkway.

 

State

A father and son severely beat a Huntington Beach cop who tried to stop the younger man on suspicion of biking under the influence, and was ambushed by the father. Fortunately, the officer is okay; both father and son have had previous run-ins with the police.

San Diego police recover the Vietnamese pedicab that was stolen just before the lunar New Year.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against an accused drunk driver four years after he killed a neurosurgeon who was riding his bike in Indian Wells; prosecutors reportedly plan to refile the charges after they had been unable to amend them.

The recent road rage epidemic moves to the Bay Area, as a hit-and-run driver dragged a screaming cyclist down the street with the bike trapped under the car.

Advice on how to bike in the rain in San Francisco works just as well in LA. El Niño is still lurking out there somewhere, and this pseudo-summer weather won’t last forever.

Berkeley advocates call on the city to extend bike lanes another two blocks after a UC professor riding her bike was nearly killed by an allegedly stoned driver.

 

National

Turns out Millennials aren’t the only ones driving less.

People for Bikes looks at how bicycles fare in President Obama’s final proposed budget.

Bicycling says you probably don’t have to worry about the degenerative brain condition CTE, even if you’ve had multiple concussions. Which is good news for my beat-up skull and contents.

Bike Lawyer Bob Mionske looks at group ride etiquette, admonishing riders to behave lest they give further fuel to the anti-bike forces out there. South Bay bike lawyer Seth Davidson would seem to disagree, though it’s hard to tell with his understated prose.

The Weekly Standard says Oregon’s “bike obsessed” Congressman Earl Blumenauer wants to force local governments to consider the effects their transportation projects would have on greenhouse gas emissions; evidently, they think that’s a bad thing.

Speaking of Oregon, the state legislature considers a bill that would allow drivers to be charged with third degree assault if they injure a vulnerable user while negligently operating a motor vehicle.

A Seattle writer asks if it’s time for the city to ditch its helmet requirement for bike riders. Considering it never should have had one, that would probably be yes; see Canadian study below.

A Colorado mountain biker receives a $1 million settlement after she was attacked by two Great Pyrenees sheep dogs during a race.

Topeka KS one ups LA with a two-day ciclovía beginning with a glow ride, pub crawl and concerts the first night.

A New Hampshire driver complains that bicyclists have a disproportionate influence on city government, even though they appear to be on the losing side in this case. Funny how many drivers seem to think they really do own the streets, and that bike riders should have to pay even more than we already do just for the privilege of using them.

 

International

Today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. Even if it feels more like summer here in SoCal.

A new Canadian study shows mandatory bike helmet laws have no effect on hospitalization rates; if they worked, you would have lower rates in areas with them than those without, which isn’t the case.

A Vancouver realtor finds it’s easier to get around the city to show homes by bike.

Evidently, aluminum frames are nothing new; the first ones appeared in the 1890s, and a British site called it the frame of the future over 70 years ago.

A writer for London’s Telegraph asks why drivers get away with attempted murderWhy, indeed? Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A paper from the UK asks who’s at fault when a van left hooks a bicyclist riding in a marked bike lane— the equivalent of a right hook in this country.

A Brit cyclist offers seven things you learn when you ride around the world.

A Singapore writer compares bike riders to litterers and scofflaw gum chewers in calling for licensing cyclists because one might possibly hurt someone someday.

 

Finally…

Who needs hi-viz when your clothes light up? If your bike has been stolen six times in four months, maybe it’s time to buy an alarm. Or a dog.

And if you’ve ever felt like a crash test dummy while riding the streets, Toyota may have an opening for you.

 

An open letter to the LA Planning Commission about bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave

Dear Commissioners,

It was a little over five years ago that this commission rejected the city’s first attempt to update it’s bike plan, demanding a more robust network that would protect the safety of people riding bikes and encourage more people to get on their bicycles instead of driving.

That led to the city council’s unanimous adoption of the 2010 bike plan. A well-designed network that established three levels of bikeways to encourage and protect riders of all types, from families and recreational riders to bike commuters on their way to school or work — many of whom have no other viable means of transportation.

One that was again approved by the Planning Commission, and later the full city council, as part of LA’s Mobility Plan 2035.

Now you are being asked to weaken that plan.

The Mobility Plan that was adopted by the city is the result of at least six years of public process, including dozens of public meetings and countless comments and emails. The streets which were selected for bikeways weren’t chosen on whim, but because the public demanded them and city planners and engineers concluded they were the best routes to enable bike riders to travel to and from key locations in the city.

Yet you are being asked to remove the bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave without any public process whatsoever. Somehow, the desires of the relative few opposing bike lanes on these two streets are expected to outweigh the needs of all those who participated in developing these plans.

We’re told that the reason for removing these bike lanes from the plan is that the streets are too dangerous for bicycles. But you can’t improve safety by keeping them dangerous.

Numerous studies have shown that bike lanes both increase ridership, and improve safety for all road users — pedestrians and motorists, as well as people riding bicycles. Yet not one single study has been conducted to determine whether bike lanes on these streets would increase the danger to bicyclists or anyone else, as their opponents claim.

In other words, you’re being asked to remove these streets from the plan based on the suppositions and prejudices of a handful of people, with no factual basis to support them.

Studies also show that bike lanes are good for business, which would benefit the many commercial establishments along these corridors.

Westwood Blvd currently carries an average of 800 bike riders a day, a number that will only increase when the Expo Line extension opens in May, and the boulevard forms the first mile/last mile connection between the Westwood Expo Station, and the UCLA campus, VA and job centers along the Wilshire Corridor.

Meanwhile, Central Ave already carries approximately 60 bike riders per hour at peak times, despite a reputation as one of the city’s most dangerous streets. A bike lane there can only improve safety by giving people on bicycles a safe place to ride, while slowing traffic and reducing risk to pedestrians.

While alternate routes may eventually be identified that would be more enjoyable to recreational riders, they would not meet the demands of those who need to get to work or school.

Removing these streets from the Mobility Plan would continue to expose these people to needless risk, and continue the degradation of what should be two of the city’s finest and most livable streets.

I strongly urge you to support the recommendations of your staff, and the desires of the people of Los Angeles who participated in this process, and keep both Westwood Boulevard and Central Avenue in the Mobility Plan 2035.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

BikinginLA.com

All hands on deck! Planning Comm to consider anti-bike LA Mobility Plan amendments Feb. 11th

My apologies.

Due to health problems after attending an event last night, there won’t be a Morning Links today. I’ll try to pull it together and get the Weekend Links for you tomorrow.

However, one important item came through my inbox Thursday.

The Planning Commission meeting to consider amendments to LA’s recently adopted Mobility Plan 2035 will be held at City Hall on Thursday, Feb 11 at 8:30 am.

This is the one where opponents to the plan will try to remove key streets, such as Westwood Blvd and North Figueroa — as well as most of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s CD1 — from the Mobility Plan.

Which means it’s an all-hands on deck meeting for anyone who cares about bicycling and safe streets in the City of Angels. Let alone Vision Zero.

Which should be just about everyone who reads this in LA.

 

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