Morning Links: Civility rules at Rowena town hall, and big active transportation bucks could be coming to LA County

For once, rationality rules the day.

By all reports, Monday’s town hall meeting to discuss the Rowena road diet was calm and productive, for a change. And without the usual anti-bike hysteria.

While there was some very vocal opposition to the road diet — with one couple calling it a living nightmare — support ran about two-thirds in favor, according to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

Most people were more concerned with improving safety and reducing cut-through traffic than giving the street back to speeding motorists. And many of the comments focused on the need for increased traffic enforcement to stop drivers from blowing through stop signs.

Yes, they do it, too. And pose a lot more risk to others than when people on bicycles do.

………

Looks like good news for LA area bike and pedestrian projects.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that 23 projects throughout LA County have received staff approval for funding through the state’s 2015 Active Transportation Program.

The projects, totaling nearly $73 million in state funding, range from an LAUSD middle school bike safety program and Safe Routes to Schools to various bikeway and walkway improvements and the planned Alameda Esplanade at Union Station.

The report cautions that final approval is still needed. But we could be seeing some big improvements in the not-too-distant future.

The next to last column on the right reflects the total cost of the project, in thousands, while the right-hand column is the amount requested, also in thousands.

The next to last column on the right reflects the total cost of the project, in thousands, while the right-hand column is the amount requested.

………

Today’s common news theme: bikeshare.

The Baltimore Sun says the city’s new bikeshare program needs to get a lot bigger and cover more territory where reliable transit is needed most.

Philadelphia’s Indigo system is bringing affordable bikeshare to the masses.

Cincinnati’s Red Bike celebrates a successful first anniversary after surpassing projections.

Louisiana State University is the latest college to offer bikeshare to students and faculty; the system is free for the first two hours.

Bike Snob says New Yorkers are up in arms that a bikeshare station will be installed near a school play area, because who knows who it will attract. Like a somewhat less hairy Leonardo DiCaprio, for instance, who was caught riding with his entourage on blue Citi Bikes.

Amsterdam’s Yellow Backie, created by cycle hire company Yellow Bike, encourages locals to give tourists a lift on the bike’s luggage rack.

………

Local law enforcement is ready for this weekend’s road cycling world championships in Richmond VA. The bike race season isn’t really over after the worlds; it just moves to Abu Dhabi next month.

Outside magazine looks at Utah’s Red Bull Rampage, calling it the most dangerous bike competition on Earth.

And an Italian-American website gushingly anoints the great Fausto Coppi “the finest, most elegant cyclist in the history of the sport.” Although fans of the Cannibal, among others, may beg to differ; Lance Armstrong fans need not apply.

………

Local

A Santa Monica lawyer tries out the local VeloFix franchise offering mobile bike repair services. Although seriously, if you’re going to ride a bike, learn how to fix a flat.

Over 75 Glendale kids should be safer on their bicycles, thanks to a bike safety and skills workshop over the weekend.

An open house will be held Thursday evening to discuss the second phase of the Burbank Channel Bikeway.

Bike-riding former state assembly member Steve Bradford, who sponsored the first two attempts to create a three-foot passing law in California, lists some of the endorsements he’s received in his race for the state senate. Oddly, my name’s not on the list.

 

State

Nine cyclists set off from San Diego on a ride across the US to promote awareness of mental illness.

A bike-riding racist gets 13 years for beating an elderly Sikh man in Fresno, after apparently being unable to distinguish a Sikh from a Muslim. Either way, this is one bicyclist who won’t be missed.

Speaking of Cyclelicious, he offers heartbreaking images of the devastating Valley Fire that displaced 13,000 people from their homes as it swept through populated areas; the Northern California Red Cross is accepting donations, as is the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.

 

National

House Democrats stand firm in protecting US bike and pedestrian funding from cuts called for by the gas guzzling Koch brothers and their minions.

Streetsblog looks at how America came to accept such a staggering rate of traffic fatalities.

Great article from former Bicycling Editor in Chief Peter Flax, as he talks with the bike-riding stars of Breaking Away in advance of their appearance at Interbike.

Wired describes a new e-cargo bike from Xtracycle as the pickup truck of electric bikes.

Amtrak expands roll-on bike access, but only if you want to go from Chicago to DC, and pay a $20 fee.

Portlanders turn a bike ride into a call for peace in the community.

A Colorado writer who never takes his bike out of the garage somehow opposes a plan that would encourage others to take their bikes out of the garage; he fears slowing traffic and improving safety will kill the downtown area that drivers currently speed through.

San Antonio TX is the latest city to adopt a Vision Zero policy.

A bike racer is banged up after smashing into a truck that pulled onto the closed course for the Arkansas State Criterium Championship. Bystanders told the driver he couldn’t go around the barricades; he apparently proved them wrong.

A Chicago father pens an open letter to the My Little Pony bike he can’t seem to assemble for his daughter. One more reason to buy from your local bike shop; they’ll out it together for you.

Note to Vermont officials: It’s not really a complete street if you just narrow the traffic lanes to give bikes and pedestrians a whopping three feet of shared space on the side of the road.

New York’s alleycat races may attract sponsors, but they’re not exactly legal.

A Georgia writer insists that drivers are the real victims of those heartless, dangerous bike riders who force them to take their lives.

The prestigious Columbia Journalism Review looks at the efforts of the Fort Meyers News-Press to promote bike safety in the nation’s most dangerous state for bicyclists.

 

International

Toronto groups call for a vulnerable user law and making the streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians.

An English court upholds the one-year sentence for a BMX rider who killed a 73-year old woman while weaving his bike through pedestrians on a closed street.

Britain’s leading bike cam-wearing cyclist gets another driver fined, this time for using his phone while driving a bus; his videos have lead to the convictions of 70 motorists for traffic offenses.

A Welsh website offers tips on how to teach your kid to ride a bike in 10 easy steps. And no, wiping away tears and bandaging boo boos aren’t among them.

A Rwandan writer calls for more support for cycling in the country after a Team Rwanda rider wins gold at the All Africa Games.

A 22-year old reserve F1 driver won’t be racing for McLaren in Singapore this weekend after breaking his hand falling off a bike.

If you bought your Giro helmet from a Chinese website, it could be counterfeit; evidently, fake bike gear — or even high-end bikes — isn’t that unusual.

 

Finally…

Forget helmets, soon motorists will yell at you to wear your air bag-equipped flak jacket. Who needs hi-viz when you can have lights printed directly onto your clothes.

And smart glasses are coming to cycling. Wearing them, however, probably won’t make anyone a smarter rider.

………

Thanks to Vincent Busam for his generous donation to help support this site. Donations of any amount are always appreciated.

6 comments

  1. Joe Linton says:

    Yah… “living nightmare” seems to mean “it took me 5 minutes longer to commute today”

  2. B2H says:

    Regarding the F1 (reserve driver btw) driver breaking his hand it’s not the first time, Mark Weber broke his leg mtb’ing at his on charity event http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7743308.stm

    Actually a lot of F1 drivers bike as part of their fitness routines and as you may already know teams like McClaren & Ferrari make extreme custom bikes. Of course the price tags on those bikes are for the 1%

  3. David says:

    I have never seen so many motorists blow through already turned red traffic lights as here in Los Angeles.

    I stop, light is Red, car in lane next to me does not slow–just goes though it like it was green.

    The more expensive the car, the more likely the car will blow the red.

    Happens regularly and I am not on the roads all that much in the city.

    • B2H says:

      Kind of like this moron https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Pp8v7lgu8 from last Monday and yes that is a cop you see turning into the Orange Line Busway right before.

      • David says:

        Exactly!

        I see this all the time.

        I know that LAPD is very light on traffic enforcement because it takes them off the road to respond to calls for service. LAPD does not respond to non-injury or light injury accidents anymore to save money and keep the cruisers on the street to respond to crime calls.

        But I also see this regularly in Beverly Hills, especially wilshire, which is probably spill over from behavior in LA.

        When LAPD stopped responding to calls to file a report on traffic accidents a few years ago, it started a sea change in driving behavior in LA where a certain class of citizens feel free to drive with more bravado and arise from their cars with pre-planned announcements of how the accident was not their fault. Insurance companies have more and more difficulty assessing responsibility. Without the police to act as a neutral witness, these drivers repeat their behavior over and over making the streets more dangerous.

        LAPD stats on accidents cannot be relied upon any longer because they do not respond. Insurance company claims stats are more reliable.

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: