Morning Links: Dismal turnout but bike friendly results, and a new video says safer streets can make a big difference

Once again, a handful of Angelenos decide the future of the city, as less than 9% of registered voters bothered to cast a ballot on Tuesday.

Nine percent.

With a dismal turnout like that, bike riders could rule this city. Except most of us stayed home, too.

However, it looks like it will be bike friendly Carlolyn Ramsay vs David Ryu in a runoff to replace Tom LaBonge in CD4. Third place Tomas O’Grady, who finished just 61 votes behind Ryu, could still sneak in after outstanding ballots are counted.

And incumbent Jose Huizar rolls to an easy victory over Gloria “Where will we all park?” Molina.

……..

A new video from Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament illustrates how investing in safe spaces for bicycling can bring big changes for everyone.

Although the doctor who said Katie’s stick-thin father needs to lose weight should go back to medical school.

Thanks to my favorite Scottish blogger and bike advocate for the heads-up.

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LA bike advocate, bikewear maker and bike blogger Richard Risemberg has released the e-book version of his first novel, The Dust Will Answer, described as an urban noir mystery. It’s available at Amazon and Smashwords; use the code PZ82G on Smashwords through March 28th to get a $1 discount.

………

Local

Metro is expected to award a contract for LA’s long delayed bike share program in June, with the first bikes hitting the street a year later. Although for some reason, there won’t be any stations in Chinatown, the Fashion District or City West; no station on Skid Row makes a little more sense.

Just 2.8% of UCLA employees bike to the campus, a figure that could rise dramatically if they just had a safe way to get there.

Santa Monica’s California Incline connecting the city with PCH will close for one year for reconstruction beginning in April; the new ramp will include bike and pedestrian lanes for those willing to tackle the steep slope.

Helen’s Cycles host their monthly group ride for intermediate and advanced riders this Saturday.

The traditional Marathon Crash Ride looks like a go for Sunday, March 15th, though final approvals are still pending.

 

State

Streetsblog looks at bills affecting Livable Streets in the state legislature — including one stealth bill about bikeways.

The Oxnard Fire Department raises $34,000 to distribute new bike helmets to kids. That would be a far better approach than mandating them for adults, too.

Clearly, there’s more to this story than they’re telling us. Police investigate the case as an assault with a deadly weapon after a Porterville boy is struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Palo Alto approves the first two segments of the city’s new bike and pedestrian plan. Don’t hold your breath, though; it will take 30 years to build out the 24 planned projects.

Cupertino moves to improve bike safety near schools by restricting trucks and requiring early morning trash pickup.

A compromise plan is finally reached to place protected bike lanes on San Francisco’s Polk Street, though not to everyone’s satisfaction.

 

National

No surprise here, as fear of being hit by a vehicle is the biggest obstacle keeping Americans off their bikes.

A bill in the Oregon legislature would require cyclists to wear a reflective coat or vest after dark.

A DC writer explains why some bicyclists ride outside of the city’s bike lanes, such as the risk of being turned into a toad. He said it, not me.

 

International

CNN looks at London’s bike superhighway proposals — practical and otherwise — calling bicycles an old technology with a very bright future.

A UK TV station says every moment spent on a bike is a judgment call. And the consequences can be catastrophic when someone gets it wrong.

 

Finally…

Let’s hope it’s just a bad translation, as a Dutch cyclist on a stolen bike drove off after hitting a baby and her money; no really, that’s what it says. Levi’s finally gets around to making bikewear for women.

And it has nothing to do with bicycling, but this Kickstarter project for a film about African American cowboys in Compton looks too cool for words.

 

7 comments

  1. PatrickGSR94 says:

    That video disgusts me. It’s spreading false notions that cyclists are only safe with segregation. Pure rubbish. Videos like this actually keep more people off of bikes in areas that do not have such infrastructure, instead of educating people that cycling on normal roads can be perfectly safe. It also reinforce the false sense of safety that such infrastructure brings. They make people “feel” safe instead of actually being safe.

    • bikinginla says:

      One of the first lessons I learned in writing this site is that not everyone rides the way I do, or even wants to. While I am comfortable riding most streets with or without bike infrastructure, the overwhelming majority of people aren’t; surveys repeatedly find that most people would like to ride a bike, but don’t feel safe.

      If I put myself in the position of an eight-year old boy, or the parents of that child, I can easily understand why. And I still remember cringing at seeing an elderly rider struggling to hold the lane on a busy street as he creaked along with a row of angry drivers behind him.

      While you or I may not need segregated lanes, the simple fact is that most people won’t ride without them. And rather than videos like this keeping people off the roads, it merely reflects the attitudes many people have already developed while looking through the windshield of their cars; just go to any safety meeting and listen to the people who haven’t ridden a bike since childhood describe how dangerous they believe it is.

      As for the efficacy of protected lanes, the jury is no longer out. Studies have shown that protected bike lanes reduce injuries for all road users by up to 90%, while increasing usage.

      • PatrickGSR94 says:

        The problem is that when the general public sees this sort of propaganda, they think yep, we should get those bikes off the road. Roads are for cars. And so when any sort of infrastructure pops up, separated or not, especially deadly door zone bike lanes, motorists think we cyclists belong in those substandard facilities instead of in “their” lanes.

        These sorts of videos just continue to reinforce those thoughts among the general public. And people who want to cycle may think “yeah I would cycle if we only had that here” instead of educating themselves on proper and safe bike handling skills. Even the smallest of women have taken CyclingSavvy courses and now have the confidence to ride safely and predictably in traffic, anywhere they wish to go. It doesn’t take the “strong and fearless” type to be able to do that.

        And don’t even get me started on the dangerous conflicts created when cyclists are moved farther and farther away from motorists’ sight lines. Most collisions happen at intersections, and I have yet to see a convincing study that separated infra helps in that regard.

  2. I don’t see how Carolyn Ramsey could be called bike friendly. Current CD 4 councilmember Tom LaBonge voted for the 2010 bike plan, also the 5% set-aside for bicycles out of the local return of Measure R funds and he annually gave bicycle tours of his district. Does that make him bicycle friendly? Councilmember Paul Koretz also voted for the 2010 bicycle plan and when the measure to set aside 5% of the local Measure R for bicycles came up for vote before the full city council he proposed increasing it to 10% instead. Does that make him bicycle friendly also?

    If a candidate does not exhibit the courage, leadership or vision to put in bicycle infrastructure in the face of slight resistance, then they are not very bicycle friendly.

    Carolyn Ramsey stated on her LACBC questionnaire that she supported Vision Zero (who wouldn’t say that?). She went on to say that the city should focus on the most dangerous intersections (again, who wouldn’t say something like that?). She then stated that she would evaluate the possible solutions based on the predominant mode of travel in the area for the residents of that area. In other words, if the predominate mode of travel is by car then she probably would be against anything that would inhibit the speed of travel for that mode. Councilmember LaBonge supported bus only lanes along Wilshire Blvd during peak hours probably after he discovered that most of the people are traveling along that street by using transit in his district. Your sensei has taught you well grasshopper (Ramsey)to only make alterations to a mode of transportation if the majority uses another form of transportation. The majority of traveling along any street in CD 4 is not by bicycle and so therefore the message is don’t interfere with the majority–which is usually traveling in cars.

    Carolyn Ramsey also did not give an answer to the question of which of the following bike lane installations are you able to support at this time. At the CD 4 forum she stated that one of the reasons she is against bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd is that there are tons of pedestrians and tourists. That’s right, she essentially said there are too many pedestrians to put bike lanes in.

    Carolyn Ramsey stated at the CD 4 livable streets forum that the most important thing for bicycling would be a aggressive public information campaign for drivers to share the streets with bicyclists and letting drivers know what Sharrows are. That is not something that will get the masses bicycling on public streets. Tomas O’Grady answered that same question saying that he would not interfere with any implementation of the bike plan. That he wants his 15 year old daughter to be able to walk or cycle anywhere she wants across the city. He also stated that the only way we are going to get there is to do traffic calming and build out the bike lanes across the city.

    How in the world can Carolyn Ramsey be considered a equal consideration with Tomas O’Grady for CD 4 councilmember in terms of what would be done for bicycling. Carolyn Ramsey’s responses to questions seem to be just reiterating what Tom LaBonge believes and he is not only one of worst of the councilmembers for implementation of the bike plan, but also one of the worst for any substantial changes to the transportation system.

  3. Goldy says:

    The warehouse district makes sense but for these contracts not being paid by the mile, hour etc., municipally. Persing Square has a toilet that cost a fortune, is free, is usually being waited for, and requires fluid changes etc. frequently despite being sewered on the sidewalk and robotic.

    For those toilets in the deliberately blighted area cost savings from providing a ride to less segregated facilities like Grand Parks which featured warm water last time I visited would exceed the subsidy perhaps in toilet paper alone.

    So we disagree completely if your not only jesting snidely or not. you have covered the kid who got going giving electric bikes to jobseekers? all bike share hardware so far has been built for felons, not taxpayers domestically. GIVEN THAT, my money is on competition to hot wheels hitting the killing curbs first, and eventually banning pedaling across a buffer zone a few miles from the ocean altogether.

    Beverly Hills can not block access to the coast for those not most desired alone, a colllective stingyness must be bread or Venice will become affordable and body bags will expire in Detroit.

  4. Ralph says:

    I have a question about ‘reflective bits’. Since the standards for bikes and motor vehicles is white to teh front and red to the rear. Why are all the rear facing reflective bits on clothing back packs white? They should conform to the same standard of white front and red rear. This gives people a quick clue of direction the traveler is headed.

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