Morning Links: More bizarre Fix the City allegations, and even the LA Weekly supports the Mobility Plan

You didn’t really think we were done with the needless controversy over the new Mobility Plan, did you?

KPCC offers an exceptionally even-handed report on the lawsuit filed by the ironically named Fix the City, which includes this bizarre statement from their attorney:

Palmer also said that the L.A. city charter requires that any amendments to the mobility plan leading up to its August approval needed to go through the mayor’s office and the city planning commission — which didn’t happen, as the Council approved the plan outright.

Bizarre, since the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan last May. And the only amendments approved by the council were one to include equity in the implementation of the plan, and another to consider safety and community input before any paint hits the streets.

Neither of which changed the plan itself in any way.

It’s also interesting to note the suit is based on the assertion that removing traffic lanes will reduce Level of Service — that is, how many vehicles can travel through an intersection in a given amount of time — and lead to greater congestion, resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions.

But the state legislature addressed exactly those sort of specious challenges last year, following the fiasco in San Francisco, in which a single aggrieved litigant held expansion of the city’s planned bikeways at bay for several years by arguing that they would result in increased air pollution, until a judge finally tossed out the lawsuit.

Just like Fix the City is arguing.

And hopefully, with the same result.

AB 743, which was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, instructs the state’s Office of Planning & Research to draw up new regulations expressly prohibiting the consideration of traffic congestion and Level of Service in determining environmental impact.

Unfortunately, I’m told those rules have not been drawn up yet, so it’s questionable whether the law would apply to this suit. Although a good lawyer would certainly argue that the intent of the legislation was to prohibit lawsuits just like this.

And LA City Attorney Mike Feuer, who will most likely defend the suit, gives every indication of knowing what the hell he’s doing.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton and Joe Linton argue, as I have, that LA Mayor Eric Garcetti needs to stand up and be counted if he truly believes in safer streets and improving mobility. While he’s done a great job setting policies, like the city’s adoption of Vision Zero, he’s been noticeably absent from the street-level fights required to implement those plans.

LA Times readers react to the debate over the new Mobility Plan; one gets it, one doesn’t. Especially considering that businesses benefit by slowing traffic, which encourages drivers to stop at the shops and restaurants they pass.

And the biggest surprise may be that the LA Weekly’s notoriously bike-baiting Dennis Romero, who complained vociferously about the non-existent traffic jams caused by the 7th Street road diet, thinks the plan offers much needed vision for the city.

………

Nicholas Roche claims Thursday’s stage of the Vuelta, while Joaquim Rodríguez is running out of time to reclaim the leader’s jersey. Good news, as critically injured Belgian rider Kris Boeckmans is finally out of the medically induced coma he’d been in since crashing in stage eight.

Thirty-one-year old former skeleton racer Katie Uhlaender aims to win a spot on the US Cycling Team riding a 1991 Cannondale, with just four months racing experience.

Good news for ‘cross racers, who can now take a swig without getting disqualified.

And talk about Method acting. In order to portray disgraced doper Lance Armstrong in an upcoming movie, Ben Foster actually tried doping. Although if he really wanted to step into Lance’s cleats, he should have ruined someone’s career trying to cover it up.

………

Local

The Eastsider looks at Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena Ave road diet.

CiclaValley roams far from home to report on the grand opening of the East Side Riders bike co-op in South LA.

The Source explores Chicago’s bikeshare system, with an eye towards the coming Metro bikeshare in DTLA.

 

State

Laguna Beach opts for safety over cars in rebuilding Laguna Canyon Road, selecting plans to add bike lanes and pedestrian walkways over widening the road for more traffic lanes.

Police say a San Leandro boy did everything right, but was still hit by an SUV driven by an unlicensed driver while walking his bike across the street on his way to school. After watching paramedics cut off the boy’s clothes, police chipped in to buy him a new outfit. Seriously, though, a kid shouldn’t need a helmet just to walk in a damn crosswalk.

Like drivers everywhere, motorists in Redwood City are incensed that a road diet has added a few minutes to their commute, and want it ripped out before it’s even finished.

Up to 400 San Francisco 49er fans can ride to the stadium and leave their bicycles with a bike valet; the Denver Broncos will also offer a bike valet and hold your bikeshare bike for free during the game. No word yet on whether either of the planned LA area stadiums will even have safe bike access, let alone anywhere to park a bike.

A Sonoma Coast cyclist needed an air rescue after he rode off an embankment and dropped as much as 50 feet down to a creek.

A driver will face a charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the death of a Danville cyclist earlier this year.

The $10 million makeover of the highway through Donner Pass will include bike lanes and wider shoulders. Hopefully, that will keep bicyclists from getting trapped and having to eat their traveling companions.

 

National

House Democrats work to save bike and fed funding in the US transportation bill.

Everybody loves a great rack.

The owner of an IndyCar and NASCAR racing team is one of us; team owner Chip Ganassi broke his collarbone in a bicycling fall over the weekend.

A writer for Bicycling describes the harassment women receive just for having the audacity to ride a bike in public.

In a stroke of uncommon common sense, a Portland company now rides a bike instead of using a truck to remove graffiti on bike paths.

A Seattle radio host complains that temporarily closing 46 blocks for four whole hours for an open streets event is excessive and poorly thought out. And worries where all the cars will park.

A Las Vegas paper says drivers and cyclists need to share the burden of making roads safer, then places that burden squarely on the latter. Hey, Las Vegas Review-Journal — how many of those seven cyclists killed while not wearing a helmet actually suffered a fatal head injury? And how many of those wrecks could have been survivable, with or without a helmet?

The Brits aren’t the only ones with bike superhighways. Texas is building a 64-mile pathway connecting Dallas and Fort Worth. On the other hand, we can’t even manage a bike lane connecting WeHo with Century City.

An Austin TX woman commutes by bike with her two dogs, one in a backpack and the other on her rack.

A St. Louis Animal Cruelty Task Force patrols by bike to rescue animals in distress.

Minnesota drivers can’t seem to grasp the concept behind a new parking-protected bike lane.

Most people are happy to have some coffee after a ride. A New York firm wants to brew coffee while they ride.

A star NFL running back would rather ride his bike to work in Washington DC, and he even has his own private parking space. No bias from Fox Sports, though; they think he ditched his car for something worse.

A Virginia driver who killed a cyclist over the weekend had received numerous moving violations in the past few years, was facing charges for a previous hit-and-run, and being sued for a third wreck. Just the latest example of the authorities working together to keep dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone.

 

International

A Canadian cyclist’s bike has been ridden every day for the last 5,000 days, even if he needed a stand-in for a few months.

Former Pro David Millar plans to bring London’s Saville Row styling to bikewear.

Once again, a Brit driver faces charges for intentionally driving up on the sidewalk to hit a cyclist, this time in a dispute over an allegedly stolen bike.

Bad enough when some jerk steals a bike; worse when it’s a 1920s Pashley Butcher’s Bike pilfered from a UK oysterman.

Denmark’s Princess Mary doesn’t look or act like one as she pedals her kids around in a cargo bike.

A new Honda concept car was specially designed to carry bikes.

 

Finally…

If you’re driving drunk and wanted in LA for a 26-year old point blank gangland execution of a bike-riding rival gang member, make sure both of your headlights work. British police put out brightly colored bikes to let thieves know they’re watching, but evidently, not closely enough.

And a tiny Japanese robot may be able to ride a miniature bike, but can he carve a perfect corner with his knee nearly scraping the pavement?

I didn’t think so.

………

Thanks to Joseph Rozier and John Montgomery for their generous donations to support this site. I can’t begin to express my gratitude to the people who opened their hearts and wallets this week to help keep BikinginLA coming to you every day.

And thank you for reading.

 

2 comments

  1. KarenO says:

    Thanks so much for keeping us all informed.

    I’m thinking that we should start calling Fix the City “F the City” for shorthand and to be more accurate. Because that’s what they’re essentially advocating for — more sprawl, overcrowding, congestion, car-inflicted carnage, and climate change.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: