Morning Links: Coronado bike lane madness hits big time, Rowena redux, and OC deputy gets bike law wrong

The Coronado anti-bike lane madness is now officially the butt of jokes.

In a brilliant monologue, CBS Late Late Show host James Corden rips the rich old white ladies, as he calls them, who claim to get vertigo from the tattoo and graffiti-like white stripes besmirching their streets.

Seriously, watch it.

It could be the best four minutes and thirty-six seconds of your day not spent on a bike.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

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Meanwhile, the San Diego Bicycle Coalition responds to the madness in Coronado, asking city leaders to reconsider the decision to cancel the planned bike lanes.

And the insanity extends to the local police, as a Coronado cop refuses to believe the beach bike a sailor bought at the wasn’t stolen.

Because he’s a man, and it was pink.

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Maybe there’s something in the water down there by the border.

A new report finds a disconnect between the transportation plan developed by the San Diego Association of Government and the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan; San Diego calls for 50% of trips to be made by foot, bike or transit, while SANDAG settles for just 15%.

In fact, SANDAG envisions a future with more driving, not less. And one in which an increase in greenhouse gases is perfectly acceptable, as long people can continue to slog through traffic on an ever-increasing mass of freeways.

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Then again, it’s not just a West Coast problem.

In a prime example of just not getting it, a Staten Island website complains about bike lane fever gripping city officials.

SI Live argues that the evangelical zeal of bicyclists has transformed into an influential political movement that has found ardent acolytes at city hall, in the absence of “anything approaching broad, let alone overwhelming, public support.”

Odd.

Anywhere else, the 66% of New Yorkers who favor bike lanes would be considered overwhelming, let alone broad, support.

But whatever.

They also question the “dubious claim” that a road diet to add bike lanes serves to calm traffic, never mind that it can actually improve traffic flow.

Sure. As long as you consider a 19% to 47% reduction in overall crashes dubious. And think the Federal Highway Administration is a questionable source for those stats.

As for that other claim that road diets can improve traffic flow, it comes not from bike riders and their political acolytes, but the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Who should know.

And both the FHWA and NACTO also say that bike and pedestrian use tends to soar following a road diet, which is something else the SI Live editorial dismisses.

But why let the facts get in the way of a good uninformed rant?

Of course, there are those who will say the mad rantings of an NYC website don’t matter here on the Left Coast.

Except this is the same sort of misguided and barely informed thinking we see at work in Coronado, Beverly Hills, Silver Lake and on North Figueroa.

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Speaking of Silver Lake, Larry Mantle discusses the Rowena road diet with LADOT’s Tim Fremaux, while the Los Feliz Ledger offers a relatively one-sided look at the recent town hall meeting. And KABC-7 asks if the road diet is causing unnecessary traffic headaches.

Meanwhile, EGP News takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the issues surrounding North Figueroa, while KPCC discusses the street as ground zero in the debate over road diets.

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Honk my ass.

It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that newspaper column with such an auto-centric name would get a question about bicycling wrong.

The Honk column in the Orange County Register was asked whether it was legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk. And turned to an OC Sheriff’s traffic deputy for the answer.

Bad idea.

The officer responded that under state law, bicycles were forbidden to ride along a sidewalk. Which just goes to show, once again, a cop is the last person you should ask about bike law.

Because section 21206 of the California Vehicle Code leaves it up to the local jurisdictions to decide.

The result is a crazy patchwork of bike laws, where someone can legally ride on the sidewalk in LA, and be ticketed for exactly the same thing after crossing the street into Beverly Hills. And usually with no posted warnings, and often no indication you’ve gone from one city to another.

Down in OC, bikes are allowed on the sidewalk in Laguna Hills, and banned in Laguna Beach. And allowed everywhere but the central business district in Laguna Woods and Laguna Nigel.

So the real answer to the question is, it depends on where you happen to be at the moment.

As for why someone would ride on the sidewalk when there’s a perfectly good bike lane on the street right next to it, there can be a lot of reasons.

Especially in Orange County, where bike lanes are routinely found on streets with speed limits of 50 mph or more.

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Applications are now open for the bike industry’s 2016 Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarships; 16 scholarships will be offered for the first all-female class in professional repair and shop operation.

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And one more common theme before we move on.

Urban Adonia questions how Vision Zero will play out in communities of color, raising concerns over racial profiling and the predominance of Eurocentric thinking.

A new study reveals that disadvantaged people are more likely to die in traffic collisions than people who are well-off. And despite a declining rate of traffic fatalities nationwide, death rates are going up for people over 25 without a high school diploma.

Ebony magazine looks at Slow Roll Chicago, described as a community-based organization that uses bicycling to connect with underserved and unappreciated communities.

And the founders of DC’s Black Women Bike and Black Girls Do Bike explain why groups like theirs matter.

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Local

Not even bike cops are safe from the epidemic of hit-and-run drivers, as an LAPD officer’s bike was hit by a driver who sped away after the officer tried to flag him down; he was hospitalized in stable condition.

CiclaValley meets the orange-vested mystery man who keeps Mulholland clean.

Bicycling should get a little easier in the Mid-City area, thanks to a Metro grant for a pair of bicycle friendly streets. As long as we manage to wait until 2020, that is, when they’re finally scheduled to be finished.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out the rising rate of bicycling injuries in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills. And things are only going to get worse thanks to a decision to not include bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd — let alone any kind of accommodation for bikes during the construction phase.

Richard Risemberg suggests imbibing in a strong dose of optimism and see what’s being done in cities around the world at next week’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

 

State

It looks like next year’s Amgen Tour of California will have a Pasadena start.

Chico police are using GPS-enable bait bikes to bust bike thieves.

 

National

Nice piece from a 45+ year old mountain biker, who discusses the women who inspire her to ride. And it’s not the pretty young things with an insatiable Instagram account.

According to Gizmodo, science says driving is the most stressful way to get to work, while commuting by bicycling or walking makes you healthier and happier.

A Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for a bike lock built into the pedal. The makers promise an alarm will sound if a thief tries to cut what looks like an easily defeated cable. Then again, no one even pays attention to car alarms any more.

Oh please. A Seattle radio personality says the city’s volunteer bike count has already been decided before it even happens, because the local bike club anticipates asking for more funding based on the results. If she really wants to ensure an honest count, maybe she should sign up to help out herself. Or get the city and state to pay for something they should be doing anyway, instead of leaving it to a volunteer advocacy group.

A Boston radio station discusses the nation’s first protected intersection in Salt Lake City.

Boulder CO bicyclists ride to protest the dismantling of a road diet in that city.

A cyclist leads horse mounted state troopers on a wild west wrong way chase through the streets of Austin TX after running a stop sign.

Despite a broken collarbone, a quick thinking Chicago cyclist snapped a photo of the license plate belonging to the driver who fled after running him down, and got a sizable settlement as a result.

A Boston petition calls on the city to “improve safety” by removing all bike lanes and sharrows; it had received 33 signatures as of Tuesday, while a competing petition calling on the city to keep them had over five times as many.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Florida man is planning to ride 80 miles to celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday.

 

International

Mass-produce hydrogen cars are still a long way off. But the first hydrogen-powered e-bike is already here.

Two Canadian men are fined for building an illegal bike trail in a provincial park.

Now that she’s on top of the cycling world, 24-year old British World Cup and world road racing champ Lizzie Armistead is thinking about retiring after next year’s Rio Olympics.

An arrest has been made in the brutal, unprovoked attack on a 54-year old Edinburgh bicyclist as he rode on a bike path.

So much for helping those in need. Norway says Syrian refugees who used a legal loophole to bike across the border from Russia will now be sent back. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Caught on video: A rampaging magpie swoops down at an Aussie cyclist mutiple times, leaving him with a bloodied ear.

 

Finally…

Seriously? Even Costco is getting into the argument over whether bike riders should pay registration or user fees. Caught on video: Two French cyclists ride the word’s smallest velodrome.

And if you’re going to burglarize a couple of homes, make sure the homeowner doesn’t walk in on you. And don’t wear an easily recognizable shirt as you make your getaway by BMX bike.

 

2 comments

  1. Mark Elliot says:

    The increasing proportion of rider injuries in Beverly Hills crashes will only get worse once Santa Monica Boulevard construction begins. But I’ve had zero success getting our Traffic & Parking Commission or City Council to recognize, much less embrace, Caltrans-identified multimodal mitigations for this project.

    Read my most recent comment to the commissioners: http://betterbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Elliot-TPC-mitigation-measures.pdf

    City Council will decide mitigation measures for SM Blvd on 10/20 most likely. If you have a concern about riding this corridor once construction begins, tell City Council that you ride, and that the city should follow the Caltrans recommendations to keep you safe once construction begins. Read more about the project on our project page: http://betterbike.org/smblvd

  2. Megan Lynch says:

    If the map BikeSGV tweeted is correct, Amgen ToC will have its start in South Pasadena, which is a separate city from Pasadena. Looks like the start will be very convenient to the South Pasadena Metro Gold Line station.

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