Tag Archive for who we share the roads with

Morning Links: Tagging bike lane blockers, who we share the roads with, and bad biking in the sand

Let’s catch up with a few recent emails.

Chris Buonomo suggests that Los Angeles needs a movement to start tagging cars belonging to drivers who block bike lanes, whether with an #iparkinbikelanes hashtag on social media, or attaching stickers reading the same thing directly on the cars.

Or maybe we just need to invite a few of LA’s more infamous taggers to spray the message on drivers’ cars and trucks who block bike lanes.

That might put a stop to it pretty fast.

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J. Patrick Lynch offers another example of who we share the roads with, as a big rig driver ignores restrictions against oversized trucks, contributing to a slow speed disaster.

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Who out there is old enough to remember the Shangri-Las, and their classic hit, Biking in the Sand?

For the rest of us, here’s the real original.

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This is who we share the roads with, too.

A road raging New York cab driver was caught on video beating an older Hasidic man in a crosswalk, before chasing after a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene.

The incident started when the driver became angry because the victim wasn’t crossing fast enough, and spiraled out of control when the Jewish man tapped on the driver’s window to confront him.

Or maybe it was an anti-semitic hate crime, as the victim alleged, but the police dismissed.

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Finally, Stephen Katz forwards news of a speeding truck driver on trial for the hit-and-run death of an Ottawa, Canada father as he was riding his bike; both the victim and his killer were captured on security cam video just seconds before the crash.

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Local

Turning its back on proven traffic engineering and best practices — as well as anyone who chooses not to drive — Pasadena officially pulls the plug on plans for a road diet and Complete Streets makeover of Orange Grove Blvd, caving in to the demands of an organized auto-centric pressure group modeled on, and organized by, Los Angeles traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving.

Bike SGV is offering one of their infrequent Traffic Skills 101 bike safety courses this Saturday.

Westside bike co-op Bikerowave is holding a Halloween party on the 27th.

 

State

Sad news from Redlands, where a 48-year old scooter rider was killed in a hit-and-run; this is at least the fourth fatality involving e-scooters since their recent spread across the US. Update: A reporter for the Souther California News Group has clarified that the victim was on a moped, not an e-scooter.

Santa Maria is finally attempting to get bike friendly, ten years after adopting the city’s bikeway master plan. So maybe there’s hope for Los Angeles and its 2010 bike plan yet.

San Francisco shows what can happen when civic leaders aren’t terrified of angry drivers and business owners, committing to remove lanes from two major downtown arteries to improve safety for everyone. Unlike a few SoCal cities we could name.

Streetsblog questions whether enough scooters have been allowed to return to San Francisco to make it a useful transportation service.

A Dallas writer describes bike touring through the Sonoma wine country, while a self-described Indian Mamil visits nearby Napa Valley by bike.

 

National

Bloomberg says cities will have to find a way to safely accommodate e-scooters, because the “promise of cheap, easily available, motorized personal transportation is too alluring to be legislated out of existence.”

Life is cheap in Oregon, where a FedEx driver was acquitted of a lousy misdemeanor charge for failing to yield to a rider in a bike lane after fatally right-hooking a bike rider, when his lawyer successfully argued that the bike lane didn’t continue across the intersection if it wasn’t actually painted on the street.

According to a local TV station, Seattle says no to e-scooters because they’re too dangerous, while nearby Tacoma says “Wheeeeee!Someone should give that headline writer a raise.

Streetsblog says New York is going backwards — “giving in to a backlash from the city’s car-owning minority” — while cities like Madrid move forward on traffic safety with a sub-20 mph speed limit. Sadly, they’re not the only ones.

New Orleans bicyclists face a long road to justice after being injured by hit-and-run drivers, thanks to a lack of police investigations and a court system that brushes them off. Unbelievably, the city refuses to get involved in hit-and-run cases as long as the driver has adequate insurance. That’s like saying it’s okay to rob a bank as long as you come back later to pay for any damages.

After a University of Alabama student was injured when his bike collided with a golf cart driven by a university employee, the student newspaper reminds everyone that the official policy is to walk your bike in pedestrian areas. Except the golf cart was traveling in a bike lane.

 

International

A 23-year old São Paulo woman is fighting to confront the supremacy of motor vehicles in Brazil’s largest city.

A Toronto paper asks if bike riders are next after drivers mow down the plastic bollards on a protected bike lane. Although it’s hard to call something protected when there’s nothing separating people on bikes from motor vehicles except a thin line of easily knocked down plastic posts.

A new Canadian study shows government subsidies for electric vehicles could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions at the public’s expense.

A study from King’s College London says children living in the first London borough to install a Mini-Holland bicycling network will live an average of six weeks longer as a result.

Heartbreaking news from London, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run on an unprotected street just hours after a tweet calling for more protected bike lanes.

An engineering website says this lightweight, flexible British bike lockavailable through Kickstarter — is the world’s best bike lock. Although it may not be available on this side of the pond.

You’ve got to be kidding. A 17-year old English boy somehow avoids jail, despite being caught on video hitting and kicking a man to steal his bike, and dragging him across the pavement. The judge says they had to dig deep to find any good in him, while his lawyer argued it would be unfair to single him out. Unlike, say, the innocent victim who took a beating trying to hold onto his bike.

The BBC talks with a woman who forgot how to speak English after crashing into another bike rider and suffering a serious injury when she landed head-first on the street.

A Dutch report says ebikes are no more dangerous than other bikes, but that older riders are are greater risk using them.

The LA Times recommends a $6,400 bike tour of Turkey’s ancient sites. Or add another $1,200 if you’re traveling alone.

Another one to add to your bike bucket list, as a pair of Indian architects take a bike tour of the Kashmir region. Or maybe you’d rather ride around Hanoi’s largest lake.

A Kenyon banker quit his job to work as a wrench and open his own bike shop.

Yes, bike riders in Queensland, Australia can get a nearly $400 ticket for distracted bike riding. But no, they can’t get points taken off their driver’s licenses.

 

Competitive Cycling

Conservative websites continue to object to transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon’s victory in the 35 to 44 bracket in the recent world masters track championship. A GOP website repeatedly calling her a man, while a Christian site implies it’s unfair for women to have to compete against the “opposite sex.” Even though the third place finisher in the race, who also complained, had beaten her in 11 of 13 previous races.

Phillippe Gilbert says he has no intention of hanging up his cleats, despite breaking his kneecap during the Tour de France.

A young Brit cyclist faces the possible end of his WorldTour career after breaking his collarbone during last weekend’s Il Lombardia; Rouleur says it shows the murky, cutthroat side of the sport.

 

Finally…

Is it a model of mountain bike or a strain of newly legal Canadian weed? Speaking of the latter, it might make you faster.

And honestly, who hasn’t taken a naked selfie next to a busy street in broad daylight?

Morning Links: LACBC responds to LA worst bike city nod, Englander bails, and who we share the roads with

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition offered a response yesterday to Los Angeles being named the worst bike city in America by Bicycling magazine.

Worst Bike City in America Another Mandate to Make LA’s Streets Safer

Reading Peter Flax’s article “Los Angeles is the worst bike city in America” is not a wake up call for LACBC, but we hope it serves as one for some of our leaders. For those that work, partner, and volunteer alongside us, we’re highly aware of the dangers of biking and walking in LA, and care deeply about making our streets safer for all road users. Since 1998, LACBC has steadily grown our advocacy and education efforts around safe streets, with a re-focused commitment to equity and inclusion for the most vulnerable road users over the past three years. And while Los Angeles has seen some progress over our two decade history, having to see our friends and neighbors continue to die on our streets while walking and biking is not something we take lightly.

The October 10 article in Bicycling Magazine makes some excellent points, and speaks to the urgency regarding the state of our county’s streets and sidewalks. Working to advocate for livable streets in all 88 cities in LA County is a difficult task, but one from which LACBC does not shy away. Our team is proud of the framework our Interim Executive Director Janet Schulman and our Board of Directors are providing to the organization, and looks forward to ever-increasing our presence in making Los Angeles a better place to bike. During this time of transition, staff continues to focus on critical mobility justice issues.

As a 501(c)3, the LA County Bicycle Coalition is dedicated to helping our community identify and implement complete street changes that would make our streets safer for people walking and biking. Much of our non-profit’s time is focused on base-building and advocating for policies and practices that encourage safer street design and improve the community engagement process. This is work that takes years to develop and grow, and the programs are transforming Los Angeles’s landscape into one that supports a culture of complete streets.

Like you, we take great pride in being an Angeleno, and we’ll never tire in trying to make tomorrow better than today. We invite you to become a part of the movement for safer streets in Los Angeles, and to volunteer with us in making our streets safer for those traveling around LA County.

It’s not exactly the hard-hitting response we might have wanted. But it may be the best we can hope for as the coalition struggles without permanent leadership after losing two executive directors in the space of a year.

Meanwhile, there’s still no hint of a response from the mayor’s office, or any member of the city council.

Today’s photo, like yesterday, represents the massive fail of being named America’s worst bike city. And the repeated failures on behalf of city leaders that brought us to this point.

Maybe we’ll just keep using it every day until they finally do something about it.

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Speaking of the city council, the only Republican on the panel, CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, announced he’s leaving the city council at the end of the year.

He becomes the second councilmember in recent years to blow off the people who elected him in favor of a higher paying job in the private sector.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A Florida man was driving 100 mph in a 40 mph zone when he plowed into another car and sent it into a man walking his dogs on the sidewalk.

And was so drunk he didn’t even realize he’d suffered a compound wrist fracture, with the fractured bone breaking through the skin.

Blood tests afterward showed he had an alcohol level of .28, three and a half times the legal limit.

He had two previous arrests for DUI in Florida, as well as four DUI convictions in a ten year period in Virginia, along with another three for driving with a suspended license, earning him a whopping one year of probation.

He’s now facing charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI causing serious bodily injury and reckless driving.

Just one more example of authorities going out of their way to keep a dangerous drunk driver on the roads until it’s too late.

And on the other side of the world, the passenger in a New Zealand contractor’s truck can be heard on video urging the driver to run over a bicyclist on the shoulder of the roadway.

The owner of the company responded by calling it “extremely embarrassing.”

Never mind how embarrassed he should be that his employees were stupid enough to post it online.

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Local

L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar officially opened the new left-side Spring Street parking protected bike lane with a ribbon cutting in DTLA.

The LA Daily News reports on the ghost bike installation for Roberto Perez, the victim in Sunday’s Sun Valley hit-and-run. Now if we can just find the heartless coward who left him to die in the street.

North Hollywood residents will have more time to weigh in on the planned widening of Magnolia Blvd through the NoHo Arts district after people questioned whether it meets LA’s Vision Zero goals; you now have until November 26th to comment.

CiclaValley looks back at the recent NACTO convention in Los Angeles.

 

State

Orange County rapper Innate followed up last year’s solo album with a 5,000-mile bike ride across the US.

The California Coastal Commission has given its blessing to plans for a lane reduction, bike lanes and Complete Streets makeover of the Coast Highway 101 through Leucadia.

San Francisco’s new mayor shows what can happen when the mayor isn’t running for president, moving to speed up work on a pair of safety projects on Market Street. Maybe LA’s mayor could take notes the next time he has a layover at LAX.

JUMP is looking to hire a Market Entry Project Manager in San Francisco.

 

National

Bicycling repeats what we’ve been talking about all week. If you want to fight climate change, leave your car in the garage and ride a bike.

Three bike riders tell Bicycling what Coming Out Day means to them, and why it matters. I’ve had a number of deeply closeted friends over the years, and have seen close up the damage living a double life can do. And the relief that comes with coming out.

Singletacks talks with the executive director of Little Bellas, an organization dedicated to mentoring young girls on mountain bikes.

Outside talks with the professional race car driver who helped Denise Mueller-Korenek shatter the land speed record for a human-powered bicycle.

An Oregon FedEx driver is going on trial for failing to yield in the death of a bike rider; the case hinges on whether a bike lane continues through an intersection. But it’s still just a traffic citation, rather than a criminal case.

A Seattle TV station questions whether it’s really the best bike city in the US. On the other hand, a Seattle weekly doesn’t mince words, saying Bicycling is dead wrong about the city’s first place finish.

My hometown is just one of four Colorado cities that made Bicycling’s list of the 50 best bike towns in the US.

A Denver TV reporter bikes to work live on camera, then learns from angry viewers that the state didn’t actually legalize the Idaho stop, they just made it so individual cities could if they want. And so far, Denver doesn’t.

Residents of an Ohio city are unhappy with plans to relocate a bike path in front of their homesEven though studies show it will make their property values go up.

Akron, Ohio is right sizing the city’s streets by removing lanes and installing bike lanes. And without the near riots that accompanied LA’s attempts to do the same thing on the Westside.

Support is growing for a two-way protected bike lane on New York’s Central Park West.

The NYPD responds to Streetblog’s Freedom of Information request on its decision to “close critical Manhattan bike lanes” during last month’s United Nations General Assembly by telling them, in effect, to mind their own business.

He gets it. A Maryland university professor says the cities of the future should be built for people on two wheels.

 

International

A Canadian writer explains that there are good reasons why you don’t need a license to ride a bike.

European bike makers, bicycle tourism companies and nonprofit organizations have banded together to form an organization representing 650,000 workers to “unite all the private sector voices in cycling, behind one vision, in one structure.”

If you build it, they will come. London opened three new quiet ways across the city, as newly released figures show bicycling in the UK capital increased 8% last year. Los Angeles has no idea how much bicycling went up or down last year because they’ve never bothered to measure it.

Britain’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents says traffic planners should consider the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children and older people to improve safety.

British bike hero Sir Chris Hoy says it’s time to end the “us versus them” attitude between drivers and bicyclists. No shit. Especially since most of the latter are also the former.

A writer from the UK suggests that the 30-mile Sellaronda in Italy’s Dolomites may be the most beautiful bike route in the world.

 

Finally…

Why mountain bikers should be glad summer is over. And the forgotten era of women’s bike racing in the ’90s.

No, the 1890s.

Morning Links: Arrest in Valbuena hit-and-run, adaptive bikes in the news, and who we share the roads with

Police have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run death of bike rider Jonathan Valbuena in Torrance last month.

Thirty-seven-year old Thomas Hudson was arrested at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes following a two week investigation.

He was being held on $50,000 bail.

Valbuena, who was described as homeless, was left to die in the street following the 5 am crash at Hawthorne Boulevard and 227th Street.

Let’s hope the DA’s office takes this case seriously, and don’t just write it off because the victim didn’t have a home. Or was on a bicycle.

And that our state legislators finally do something to stop this murderous epidemic.

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Today’s common theme is adaptive riding.

Bicycling profiles handcycle mountain biker Jeremy McGhee, who has developed a rating system for mountain bike trails accessible to adaptive riders. But then they don’t bother to, you know, link to it.

After losing the use of his own legs, a Colorado framebuilder switched his focus to building one-of-a-kind adaptive mountain bikes to bring wheelchair-bound riders back to the trails.

A Pittsburgh paraplegic is preparing to make an attempt to set a new record for the most miles traveled by handcycle in 24 hours.

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This is who we share the roads with.

An allegedly drunk, off-duty Lyft driver takes a wide, fast turn onto Sunset Blvd, and takes out a handful of people standing on the sidewalk outside the Whiskey a Go Go.

Then there’s this guy.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a British driver with eight previous convictions for distracted driving killed a bike rider moments after reading a text. And just weeks after magistrates agreed to let him keep his license.

Maybe those magistrates should be looking for a new line of work.

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Get your zen on with mesmerizing drone footage of bicyclists rounding a roundabout in bike-friendly Davis.

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Women on Wheels rides to brunch in the San Gabriel Valley on Sunday.

Maybe they’ll bring me back something from Donut Man. Not that I could actually eat it or anything.

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Damn.

This punishment pass from the UK is about the closest I’ve ever seen without actually hitting someone.

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Local

A motion by San Fernando Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield would revoke regulations that have officially taken 374 LA streets off the books, preventing some of them from getting repaved since 1934.

NIMBY pressure group Fix the City settled a lawsuit that had stopped plans for a Frank Geary designed complex on Sunset Blvd; the group had somehow sued to preserve a dangerous right turn slip lane at Sunset and Crescent Heights that puts pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers at needless risk.

Lyft is teaming with LADOT to sponsor a promotion to get you out of your car for 30 days. Shouldn’t be a problem; I haven’t driven mine for 285 days, give or take. Although if you’re just going to move to a ride hailing service, it doesn’t accomplish much.

Good news for South Bay bicyclists, as bike-friendly former Long Beach city councilmember Suja Lowenthal has taken over as city manager for Hermosa Beach.

 

State

The Folsom History Museum is offering new exhibits combining bicycles and beer. Or you could just ride your bike to your favorite microbrewery.

 

National

A City Lab Op-Ed proposes the concept of Universal Basic Mobility, based on the idea that everyone has a right to get around — for a price.

A business writer considers the inevitable conflicts between mountain bikers and trail runners as a metaphor for resolving business conflicts. Although from his description, I get the feeling he doesn’t know enough regular bike riders.

Gear Junkie looks at the latest ebikes on display at Reno’s recent Interbike show.

A Colorado letter writer makes the point that even when a bike lane is empty, it’s “reducing congestion and aggravation for transportation users of all kinds.”

Now that’s a ciclovía. Colorado Springs CO is closing the spectacularly beautiful Garden of the Gods Natural Landmark to motor vehicles this Sunday, replacing the usual bumper-to-bumper traffic with people on foot and bikes.

An Idaho man spends a late fall Sunday riding a little too fast past bears, elk and bison in Yellowstone Park.

Boston is working to improve its bike infrastructure, including a new two-way centerline bike lane, protected intersections and bicycle traffic signals.

No bias here. The NYPD continues to target immigrant delivery people riding banned throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than the restaurants they work for, despite the mayor’s promises and in violation of the city’s ordinance governing ebikes.

A bike-riding New York councilmember discusses her proposal to require crews to provide bike lane detours around construction sites. We could really use a similar law here in Los Angeles.

North Carolina bicyclists are warning each other to be careful after a bike rider was hit by an object thrown from a passing car.

A Louisiana parish responds to the collision that killed a bicycling Baton Rouge city councilmember by adopting an anti-bike “bike safety” law requiring bicyclists to wear flouro hi-viz and ride single file in groups of ten or less. None of which would have prevented the crash that killed him. Or likely the next one, for that matter.

 

International

Talk about not getting it. A Montreal letter writer says a ghost bike should be installed in front of city hall to remind politicians to “curb inappropriate cycling behavior to prevent hogging the road.” Which is not exactly what ghost bikes are for.

Bike riders and pedestrians will be included in a small class of vulnerable road users as Nova Scotia updates its traffic regulations for the first time since 1932.

No, removing bike parking from an English train station is not an “improvement.”

Scottish blogger Town Mouse gets a bad case of the speed wobbles.

Paris will now ban cars from the entire city center on the first Sunday of every month, starting this Sunday, to improve air quality and share public spaces.

The mayor of an Istanbul neighborhood is doing more than encouraging people to people get out of their cars and bike to work; he gave up his own official car and is using a bike to get to and from appointments.

An Indian cycling club will try to set a new record for the longest line of moving bicyclists; the current record of 1,186 bicyclists is held by Bangladesh.

A Sikh cyclist is challenging an Indian randonneuring ride’s requirement for all riders to wear a helmet, since that would mean removing the turban he’s required to wear by his faith.

Australian bicyclists are angry that two of the most popular riding routes have been bumped off plans for promised bike infrastructure, leaving thousands of bike riders on their own every day.

Australia’s eight-time world BMX champ Caroline Buchanan took time off from training in California to marry boyfriend Barry Nobles at Nevada’s Valley of Fire.

Japanese police explain how a wanted man was able to hide in plain sight by posing as a bike tourist in Osaka Prefecture for seven weeks.

 

Competitive Cycling

The barren dirt slopes of Afghanistan are witnessing the birth of an equal opportunity mountain biking movement; 40% of the cyclists in a recent race were women.

Women’s cycling will visit the UK’s north for the first time next year, with the three-day Tour of Scotland.

Hard-hitting piece from Canadian cyclist Devaney Collier, as she explains why she’s still afraid to leave her home for training rides, two years after her teammate Ellen Watters was killed in a collision.

 

Finally…

Why buy a bakfiets when you can just subscribe to one? Your wait for a gold-plated track bike is finally over.

And the best drink mix for every type of ride.

And no, margarita mix isn’t one of them.

 

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