Weekend Links: Mayor Garcetti names new head for LADOT, LA River Ride rolls this Sunday & your is life worth $300

Big news today, as LA finally gets a new leader for the Department of Transportation.

After more than a year in office — and nearly 8 months after letting the previous department head go —  Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated Seleta Reynolds, leader of the Livable Streets subdivision of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to be General Manager of LADOT.

According to a press release from the mayor’s office, Reynolds is currently working to launch a pilot bike share program, as well as implementing safety projects to help the city reach its Vision Zero goals. Both will come in handy here, where the planned bike share program has failed to materialize, and no one in city government has had the courage to even mention Vision Zero up to now.

“Seleta is the right person at the right time. L.A. is poised to expand transportation choices, improve mobility and design safer, more vibrant streets, and Seleta brings the innovative vision and strategies needed to lead LADOT at this critical moment,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, principal at Bloomberg Associates and former NYC transportation commissioner. Sadik-Khan helped support the search for a general manager, advising and assisting Mayor Garcetti and L.A. officials throughout the extensive selection process. “L.A.’s streets are its most valuable resource, and Mayor Garcetti’s selection is a key step toward making them great streets for walking, biking, living, and business.”

In talking with LA Streetsblog, Reynolds promised to bring a fresh perspective to Los Angeles, and not try to impose Bay Area solutions on the city.

“We can’t do it in L.A. the way we did it in San Francisco,” she stressed that “we need to always fit the neighborhood and the context.” Though she says that L.A. and S.F. share many similar transportation issues, including “serious congestion,” one big difference is size. For Los Angeles, she stated “the canvas is bigger” and there are “huge opportunities to work at a neighborhood scale.”

LA has suffered from a lack of strong leadership at LADOT in recent months, as councilmembers have arbitrarily halted bikeways previously approved in the 2010 bike plan, including bike lanes on Westwood and Lankershim Blvds, and North Figueroa Street, as well as a Bicycle Friendly Street long planned for 4th Street.

Hopefully, she’ll go to bat for these much needed projects, as well as bringing a genuine commitment to complete streets and livability to the mayor’s Great Streets program.

Not to mention convince Garcetti to adopt a much needed Vision Zero plan for the City of Angeles.

Because the streets and drivers of this city are creating far too many new ones.

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Local

Turns out the proposed road diet on North Figueroa won’t affect traffic at Avenue 26 after all.

Metro honors bike rider Wesley High with their Bicycle Ambassador Award.

KNBC-4 looks forward to Sunday’s LA River Ride.

 

State

Previously bike unfriendly San Diego adds 39 miles of bike lanes in the past year.

Solving hit-and-runs isn’t enough. We need to prevent them in the first place.

The Indio police department faces a wrongful death suit in the 2013 shooting of a bike rider.

The state legislature waters down the proposed vulnerable user law, deciding your life is only worth $300.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian asks if the DA’s office is biased against bike riders after a jury acquits a rider who collided with a jaywalking pedestrian.

 

National

One third of the recent growth in bicycling has come from people over the age of 60; so much for the anti-bike crowd who say new bike lanes won’t benefit older riders.

Unbelievable. An Iowa driver is not expected to face charges despite hitting two cyclists from behind, killing one, in a failed attempt to pass. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the link.

A Swiss rider competing in the RAAM is slightly injured in a chain-reaction collision when her support vehicle is rear-ended by a semi.

The Louisville KY city council puts the brakes on new bike lanes until the city comes up with a bike plan backed by solid statistics.

A road-raging Georgia driver faces charges after getting out of his truck, attacking a cyclist and stomping his $10,000 bike. And of course, insists he did nothing wrong.

 

International

A Vancouver man goes for a drive after his bike is stolen, then spots the thief riding it.

Lovely Bicycle goes postal.

An Irish writer moans that cycling isn’t stylish anymore.

An Aussie paper, via a Kiwi website, ranks the 10 best bicycling movies of all time.

 

Finally…

When you’re high and carrying dope, don’t ride your bike in circles around a parking lot firing a stolen gun. And don’t ride an e-bike in Australia without a helmet while carrying your 16-month old equally helmetless nephew under your arm.

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