What does defund the police mean on a state level?
And what role should bicycling play in the debate?
Calbike — aka the California Bicycle Coalition — released their proposal for how to shift funding and enforcement to address the Black Lives Matter movement, while reducing systemic racism in traffic enforcement.
In this report, CalBike makes six recommendations for state policy changes that will shift traffic enforcement in an anti-racist direction.
- Redirect funding from the CHP budget to street redesign
- Redirect funding from the CHP to automated enforcement
- Divert Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) funding from police departments to community efforts
- Decriminalize biking and walking
- Make public transportation, including bike and scooter share, free
- Implement income-adjusted traffic fines
There are some good proposals there, including the shift to automated enforcement. As well as the call to decriminalize common bicycling and walking behaviors.
If nothing else, it’s a good starting point.
And a reminder that this debate touches all of us in one way or another.
Today’s tongue-in-cheek image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay.
Meanwhile, over 650 members of the nation’s largest planning organization called for defunding the police, citing the connection between urban planning decisions and criminal justice outcomes.
And the need to actually do something about it.
“Historically, planners have been responsible for manifestations of institutional racism including redlining and the construction of freewaysand toxic industrial development in poor and Black and Brown neighborhoods, among many others,” reads the letter to the APA dated July 24. “These actions have had reverberating effects, including creating the preconditions for over-policing of communities of color and disinvestment in community health and safety (just as they created the conditions for safety, wellness, prosperity, and limited policing in predominantly white suburbs).”
One example they provide is Vision Zero initiatives, which aim to reduce or eliminate traffic fatalities. Despite their good intentions, the programs “rely on police-led enforcement and may inadvertently direct additional resources to police.” The letter also points to how transit planners have deployed transit police “who notoriously harass riders of color over fee evasion,” and housing planners who’ve ignored how policing contributes to gentrification despite pledged support for affordable housing.
Which is one reason why enforcement shouldn’t be key to Vision Zero, here in LA or anywhere else. And why the automated speed and red light cams Calbike calls for are a better option for improving safety and compliance with the law.
For once, Los Angeles added bike lanes after a street was resurfaced.
Proving they really can do it, after all.
No surprise here.
Caltrans was hard at work on fixing a Ventura County bike path.
Nothing like an own goal from an automaker, who didn’t see the obvious problem until everyone else did.
Which is exactly the problem.
How to turn your bike into a mobile ham radio setup.
Thanks to Bart Anderson, who’s examining bicycling in the Age of Covid-19, for the heads-up.
Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A New York man pulled off a string of burglaries while riding a stolen bike worth five grand.
Dockless scooter and bike companies got a three-month reprieve on stricter regulation in Los Angeles. If there are still any dockless bikeshare providers purveying their bicycles on the city’s streets, that is.
The editor of the LA Times editorial page reluctantly throws in the towel and buys his first car, after vowing to never own one in Los Angeles.
Ride to the letter of the law in Pasadena today, where the police are conducting another day of bike and pedestrian safety enforcement, targeting any violations that endanger those two groups regardless of who commits them; last week’s action resulted in tickets to 64 drivers, 28 bicyclists and 27 pedestrians. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.
Manhattan Beach’s annual Tour de Pier fundraising stationary bike ride goes virtual this year.
Heartbreaking story from Santa Ana, where a man was shot to death near the Santa Ana River by thieves who stole his bicycle; police have four suspects in custody, and are looking for a fifth. As we’ve said before, no bike is worth your life. Just give it up and walk away, and let the police deal with it. Thanks to Sindy for the link.
A San Diego judge is expected to reject a preliminary injunction that would block construction of the city’s 30th Street protected bike lanes.
Maybe you’re not crazy after all. A San Diego smart streetlight network installed to provide traffic data really has been spying on the public, with video going straight to the police.
Thousand Oaks is adding an expert trail to the city’s bike park.
He gets it. A San Francisco lawyer says regardless of the state’s three-foot minimum passing distance, if a driver thinks they’re too close when they pass a bike rider, they probably are.
Evidently, Stockton police are on the lookout for stragglers from the First Order, busting a bike rider who tried to flee a traffic stop while carrying a fake gun and an Emperor Palpatine mask.
Mountain Bike World Cup champ Kate Courtney shares her favorite NorCal mountain biking spots.
The low cost Rad Power line of ebikes got its start with a 15-year old kid building his own electric frankenbike in his parents Garberville garage. And no, I didn’t know where that is, either. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.
A $5 donation for mountain bike trails and advocacy could win you a $16,525 mountain bike.
Bicycling offers advice on how to advocate for bike lanes in your own city.
Apparently Bicycling doesn’t want you to read about their own fight for “meaningful and long-lasting change,” though, or a call for making the same commitment to anti-racism as you do to getting better on your bike, hiding both behind a paywall after making the rest of their racial justice coverage available to everyone.
There’s no end in sight for the bike boom-induced bicycle shortage as imports can’t keep up with current demand.
New Scientist considers how long a multi-rider bike can be and still be efficient, concluding it could carry at least five riders.
Vanity Fair offers tips on how women can ride in style this summer, starting with a new Linus bike and a bluetooth speaker to annoy everyone you pass with your taste in music. Or you could just ride a beach cruiser with bare feet and ripped jeans, or maybe copy J.Lo’s unexpectedly glam bike style.
Now you can subscribe to your very own e-scooter.
An Oregon teen did the right thing and returned a stolen bicycle to its original owner, after buying it to rebuild and sell.
An “avid cyclist” from Santa Cruz CA writes to thank drivers in Walla Walla, Washington for giving her a wide berth when she rides.
Kindhearted Texas cops buy a new bike for a young Walmart employee after his was stolen while he worked cleaning the parking lot.
Evident, Mellow Johnnie’s is too mellow for the local police. The Texas bike shop founded by Lance Armstrong broke a lucrative four-year contract by refusing to sell bikes the Austin Police Department, after a handful of employees complained about police bikes being against Back Lives Matter protesters.
Iowa Facebook users team up to bust a bike thief and help a little boy get his stolen bike back.
A Brooklyn website says bike traffic is up 20% on New York’s bridges, but the cash-strapped city can’t afford to make changes to support the increase.
A Florida drunk driver apologizes to the victim’s daughter for killing her 73-year old bike-riding father, before getting sentenced to five years behind bars. Which sets everything just as if he’d never gotten behind the wheel after drinking to begin with. Right?
Canada is investing $3.3 billion in building bike infrastructure, as well as measures to improve social distancing and increase safety for kids on their way to school.
This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Canadian woman who killed a man riding a bike after bragging about driving drunk on social media got just 18 months behind bars for yet another DUI, her third drunk driving conviction in just five years.
More evidence of just how extensive Britain’s bike boom has been, as a new survey suggests 83% of Brits got on their bikes again as a result of the coronavirus lockdown.
No bias here. A local columnist blames bike riders for a new Dutch-style roundabout in Cambridge, England, insisting that the real goal isn’t safety, but causing gridlock. Damn. They’re onto us, comrades.
A British writer says it will take more than the country’s new voucher scheme to spur a bicycling revolution — including safe, well-marked bikeways, and making it clear to everyone that bike riders are legitimate road users.
Irish parents are encouraged to ditch the car in favor of a cycle bus. Or what we in the US would call a bike train.
Dutch hackers show how to mess with the country’s traffic lights by using a basic internet connection to spoof nonexistent bicycles, tricking the signals into giving the fake bike a green light.
A pair of writers for Bloomberg argue that Italy’s 900 euro ebike rebate — the equivalent of $1,063 — only benefits people who have enough cash long around to pay off the balance.
When the pandemic hit, Barcelona’s bike plans were ready to go, allowing the city to roll out a complete bit lane network in just weeks. Contrast that with Los Angeles, where the bike plan continues to gather dust on the back of the deepest, darkest shelf at LADOT.
Add this one to your bike bucket list. Turkey has just opened a new, blue, 16-mile rail-protected bike path along the Mediterranean coast.
In a clear sign of the times, stock prices for Japanese bike gear maker Shimano are up, while Nissan stocks are down, with the bike company passing the car maker for the first time.
That feeling when you turn to Miss Manners for advice on how to respond to pedestrians blocking bike lanes. Or when your stolen bike inspires your next short film.
And your next ebike may be able to read your mind.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.