Your morning links: Neighborhood Council elections, and somewhat questionable bike editorials

Sometimes, what happens inside is as inspiring as the view outside.

Real bike power starts at the neighborhood council level. And too often, ends here.

It’s a lot easier to fight the power from the inside.

It’s become pretty clear in recent months that LA City Councilmembers are relying on local neighborhood councils for input on major proposed bike projects. Or maybe just political cover.

Either way, a successful Bike LA starts from the ground up. And that means electing more bike riders and supporters to their neighborhood councils.

And that’s where you come in.

The deadline to register as a candidate in some Eastside — and possibly other — races is today. Which means you’ve got to move fast.

Click here for election and registration dates in your area.

Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the heads-up.


The LA Times Opinion pages continues its weeklong wrap-up of their RoadshareLA series, to lesser or greater effect.

Mostly lesser, today.

The first complains about the traffic backups caused by the recent road diet in the 2nd Street tunnel that gave us the city’s first protected bike lanes. But concludes maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

That was followed by a much more problematic piece that takes “self-righteous” cyclists to task, while complaining about the new three-foot passing law. And characterizes a road raging driver knocking down a cyclist as just a nudge. One thing for sure — bike riders usually only look self-righteous when viewed through a windshield.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers some decidedly on-point criticisms, and asks for your thoughts.

And hey, welcome home, Joe.


Here’s your morning linkage.

Burbank wants feedback on a proposed bike and pedestrian path; a meeting will be held tonight (Wednesday) to discuss it.

That Facebook campaign conducted by the Huntington Beach Police Department led to the arrest of a suspected bike thief. But the not the return of the bike, at least not yet.

Santa Ana talks bike safety just two days after a rider is killed there, which oddly isn’t mentioned in the story.

Streetsblog takes a look at a raft of bike and livable streets-related bills before the state legislature. But a bike tax may not be the best idea.

Santa Barbara discovers fixies, and oddly doesn’t declare them a scourge in a surprisingly even-handed report.

A San Francisco cyclist uses her stolen smartphone to track her stolen bike, and gets both back in just 45 minutes — thanks to a beat cop that took the theft seriously, which doesn’t always happen in real life.

Bicycling lists six up-and-coming women’s riders now that women are finally getting a well-deserved place on the world stage. After all, you can’t tell the players without a program.

Don’t try to buy a bike with the credit card you just found in the street.

New UK product results in near-instant protected bike lanes. And they’re recycled, too. The barriers, not the bike lanes.

A British columnist examines the irresponsibility of failing to promote and/or mandate the wearing of bike helmets, with prototypically dry humor.

Brit bike rider follows his phone directional app onto a busy, bike-banned freeway.

At least we only have to worry about drunk, distracted and/or aggressive drivers, as a Swedish cyclist is killed by wild boars.

Call Sochi the bike-borne Winter Olympics.

Finally, no. Just… no. And a pro cyclist is felled by a flying mattress in the Tour of Oman.

Yes, a mattress.


  1. Michael MacDonald says:

    From the L.A. Times op-ed headline, “Some advice for cyclists: Being self-righteous can be dangerous,” I expected another chance for a person who never commutes by bike to naively lecture those that do on how to ride safely. But instead, we get a crappy gem of an article, and a near-perfect example of the lack of perspective that at least one L.A. driver thinks is reasonable. ‘Does it make sense to slow down to avoid killing someone?’ ‘Aren’t drivers partially justified for intentionally and cowardly assaulting others from the safety of their vehicle?’

    Great questions, L.A. Times.

  2. Ralph says:

    Having been on my local BPAC for 8 years and now on the planning commission I know full well that you need to be active to get results in your favor. Traffic planners have no idea how much use there really is. Some times they do surveys but the surveys done are very limited in scope. You have to advocate for what you want.

    If you want a road diet or bike lanes you have to let the elected officials know you have their back. It is hard to remove parking, really, even in residential areas where the standard is 4 spaces per house.

    Find out which paper posts the agendas of BPAC meetings, planning commission, city councils. Find where the information is kept on the city’s web site and bookmark the location. Here in CA they have to notify 72 hours in advance and have all materials available. Ours are on line and if you want you can get hard copies. If you want something done you have to start by asking. You may have to demand later.

    Find out who your local advocacy group is and get on their mailing list, donate the small amount for yearly membership, even if you do nothing, every member is counted as some one who is active and wants bike infrastructure improved.

    Here is another suggestion that might help with data collection for ridership, cycleship?. Sign up for Strava. It’s free, you can blur your start and work locations. Why? Strava keeps track of where you ride. Use it for your commute, record your miles for trips to the store. This adds number to the data base. Have your friends join and do the same.

    You can take sections of your ride and name the ride section and Strava will total up riders on that section. This can provide good information about the number of riders who have used that route. These are discrete riders, not number per day. It is a real number for use. I’ve added a couple of routes in my town to get a count. YOu want to sho usage on a stretch or road? Ride it, post it to Strava and see if it is a named section. IF not make the part you want to be counted and name it. It doesn’t take long for Starva to do a count of how many riders have used that section.

    The one section I just completed now has 84 riders, only Strava users, but it is a lot more than I’ve ever seen on the road. And that is only the Strava users and only once per rider.

    I think this can be a good tool along with the heat maps to show officials where and how many riders there are on the roads. It certainly won’t hurt when you are trying to push the needle in your direction. Even if you won’t ever be a KOM.

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