Morning Links: Caltrans takes another step forward; CHP wants to improve bike safety, while cycling deaths up

Let’s start with bike news from a couple of state agencies.

Caltrans moves beyond its auto-centric past by launching a website for the upcoming California Bike and Pedestrian Plan, which promises to guide the department’s efforts for active transportation. Let’s hope this doesn’t turn out like that scorpion trying to hitch a ride across a river.

The CHP has received a federal grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety; the department plans to use it for education programs for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. They could start by improving bicycle education for their own officers, who frequently misinterpret bike law.

The CHP also reports bicycling fatalities are up 10.6% in the state this year. My records show a 12% decrease in Southern California compared to this time last year, but news from other parts of the state hasn’t been as good — if you can call 65 SoCal deaths good news. Thanks to Melissa Pamer for the heads-up.

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As Streetsblog notes, this Spanish spot promoting bike commuting doesn’t need subtitles to get its message across.

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Today’s news includes a couple of painful reminders to always ride carefully around pedestrians.

  • The University of Delaware student paper offers more details on the pedestrian critically injured in a collision with a bike rider on campus.
  • A 62-year old London woman has to have a hip replacement after she’s knocked down by a hit-and-run salmon cyclist.

As most bicyclists can attest, it’s not always the rider’s fault when a collision with a pedestrian occurs; people can be unpredictable and can step into the path of a bike without looking.

But it’s up to you to anticipate that behavior, and ride slowly, safely and defensively around other people, giving them the same space you’d expect from a driver.

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Local

KPCC reports that Union Station has received a state grant to remake its front entrance to be more bike and pedestrian friendly, including a new plaza and Bike Hub.

Three LA intersections make a list of the most dangerous intersections in the US: Eagle Rock Blvd and W Avenue 41, Olympic Blvd and S Bonnie Brae St, and W Temple St and N Beaudry Ave. Your best bet is to avoid them if possible; if not, use extra caution when riding through.

Advocacy group Multicultural Communities for Mobility is hiring a part-time Program and Policy Coordinator.

Members of Santa Monica Forward call on residents of the city to commit to Vision Zero.

 

State

A petition calls for a flashing crossing walk across a deadly street in Newport Beach.

San Diego becomes the latest city to adopt a Vision Zero; like LA, they’ll attempt to eliminate traffic deaths by focusing on the most dangerous traffic corridors first.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton examines San Diego’s new $200 million bike plan; meanwhile, CiclaValley makes some snap judgments about biking in the city.

New Orleans police have finally identified a suspect in the road rage beating of a La Jolla bicyclist who was visiting the city; friends say the department showed no interest in the case that left the man paralyzed from the shoulders down until they were pressured by California media.

A 12-year old Victorville boy was airlifted with a head injury after he hit a parked car when he was apparently buzzed by a truck. Naturally, the victim was blamed for coming too close to the truck, even though it’s the driver’s responsibility to pass safely.

The Davis newspaper looks at road and track cyclist Jane Eickhoff-Becker and 1930’s six-day race specialist Al Crossley prior to their introductions to the US Bicycling Hall of Fame.

 

National

Streetsblog calls the proposed federal transportation bill a step backwards, even if it does contain a nod to complete streets.

Nice piece about a Seattle handcyclist using his ‘bent to overcome disabilities following a serious riding wreck and major health issues.

Powerful protest from Boulder CO as cyclists object to the removal of bike lanes by placing bikes on the street splattered with red paint to resemble blood; naturally, they were deemed abandoned by officials and given to the police.

The fight is usually over removing parking to make way for bike lanes, but officials in Austin TX are considering plans to remove a bike lane to make room for parking.

Minnesota authorities plan to respond to the death of a cyclist by installing rumble strips along a highway shoulder, even though many riders say they increase the danger without providing a significant benefit; as one man put it, once a vehicle hits the rumble strip at 65 mph, it’s probably too late.

Formerly auto-centric Detroit now has the fastest-growing rate of bicycle commuting in the US. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t even make the top 10.

A popular 60-year old Akron, Ohio man was shot while riding his bike 22 years after his son was shot in the same area.

Heartbreaking story from Ohio as a competitive cyclist suffers a life-altering injury when a driver slammed into him while trying to beat a red light; she was fined just $130 for the wreck that put him in a wheelchair.

New York’s unofficial Department of Transformation is crowdfunding efforts to create their own better bikeways.

A Pennsylvania man faces a vehicular homicide charge for killing a cyclist when he fell asleep at the wheel; he said there was nothing he could do after waking up to loud noises and noticing a bicyclist in front of his car. Nice to see authorities taking this seriously and not treating it as just an accident.

Heather Cook, the former Baltimore Episcopal bishop who killed a cyclist in a drunken, distracted hit-and-run, will spend the next seven years in prison after being sentence to 20 years, with 13 suspended. Thanks to F3nugr33k for the link.

The University of Delaware is the latest college to introduce their own bikeshare program.

A New Orleans bike advocate says everyone deserves to be safe on the city’s streets.

 

International

Snowy Calgary plans to make clearing the city’s new cycle tracks a priority this winter.

The four leading candidates to replace Boris Johnson as London mayor have all said they would consider changing the law to allow cyclists to go through red lights.

The widow of a British cyclist told the driver who killed him that he should be ashamed of himself for driving a truck a day after his doctor told him not to drive due to sleep apnea.

A cyclist is fined the equivalent of $300 for doing 38 mph in a 20 mph zone in a London park, even though a park official says the speed limit doesn’t apply to bikes. But still, 38 mph in a park? Seriously

An Irish cycling website says a bike-riding, but cyclist hating, commentator should have proof before blaming the victims.

PRI talks to director Haifaa Al Mansour, who has turned her movie about a young girl who upends Saudi society by riding a bike into a novel for young girls.

 

 

Finally…

After a co-founder of Mozilla Firefox catches a confrontation between two cyclists on video, he writes a song about it, and sings it badly. Evidently, it’s not possible to ride bikes with a large group of other people without calling it a race, even if you’re a wounded vet.

And now you don’t have to choose between sleek furniture and a place to store your bike; a new line of Chilean furniture is made to hold it for you. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

bike-furniture

 

4 comments

  1. Regarding San Diego Vision Zero: You’ll recall my brother lives there. He tells me police enforcement has been focused almost entirely on pedestrian behavior. Get ride of the pedestrians and it’s much harder to kill them, right?

  2. D G Spencer Ludgate says:

    Now if we could only get the CHP to recommend the repeal of CVC 21202 and 21208 and quit forcing cyclists to the side and funneled through narrow facilities. Oh wait, they recommended these laws in the 70’s to get cyclists out of the way of motorists…

  3. Michele Chavez says:

    Something is seriously wrong with the survey on the California Bike and Pedestrian Plan page. On page 4 of hte survey, no matter what i put honestly for my selection as to how comfortable I am for any particular roadway condition, the survey doesn’t like my answer and removes the stars I chose. Even when I ended up trying to guess what it considered the “right” answer, that did not work, either. I tried working on that page 3 or 4 times. It would not let me proceed to the next page. I finally gave up. The developers need to fix this or they will never get accurate results for this survey.

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