Morning Links: Bike traffic up in Santa Monica, and more bighearted people for the season of giving

Today we’re starting a new feature, Describe Your Ride, in which normal, everyday bike riders tell us how and where they ride, good, bad or otherwise.

So come back later this morning, when Santa Monica bike commuter Adra Graves will describe her usually pleasant, and in places, challenging ride to work.

………

Big news from Santa Monica, as bike traffic continues to rise, up 4.4% from 2013, while bike crashes are down 10% over last year.

Bicycling now has a 5% mode share, far beyond any other city in the area, even that’s still just one third of the city’s goal of a 15% share by next year.

………

‘Tis the season.

For the 20th year in a row, a Portland group gives bicycles to kids, along with a helmet and safety lesson; 300 kids were able to pick out their own bikes this year.

A Billings MT group donates 50 bikes to elementary school children, including 26 unclaimed bikes from the local police department.

Atlanta cyclists will dress up like Santa Claus to raise funds to fight leukemia and get a free beer.

And if anyone needs a stocking stuffer, GoPro has slashed the cost of their ice cube-sized Hero4 Session cam to just $199, less than half the original $399.

………

Local

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) wants your input on a draft regional transportation plan covering the next 24 years; the proposal includes regional greenway and bikeway networks, as well as a plan for continuous trails along the coast.

CiclaValley goes cyclocross racing in Griffith Park.

Santa Monica considers changing vehicular access to the pier, and converting the existing bridge to pedestrian and bike use as an extension of the coming Colorado Esplanade.

Santa Monicans freak out about parklets approved last week for Main Street, fearing that people using them will be sitting ducks for out of control cars. Because that’s been such a problem everywhere else they’ve been installed, right?

Multicultural Communities for Mobility hosts a year-end fundraiser this Friday; the suggested $25 donation includes vegan food and custom brews.

 

State

Just Another Cyclist’s Ross Del Duca expounds on the difference between pedaling and riding.

A Newport Beach bike shop suffered half a million dollars in damages in a Friday fire.

Not surprisingly, the proposed 50-mile bikeway circling the Coachella Valley will do little to improve air quality, though it could have lasting health benefits.

San Francisco’s proposed Idaho stop law passes it’s first committee test, even though members of the disability community somehow feel it would adversely affect them. However, the law would be strictly advisory, requesting that the SFPD make bicyclists rolling stops their lowest priority.

Megan Lynch sends word of a planned environmentally friendly grad school building in Berkeley, including 250 bike lockers, as well as showers and dressing rooms.

Caltrans big idea to improve safety for NorCal cyclists will require riders to push a beg button before crossing a narrow Fernbridge bridge, which will then cue flashing lights to warn drivers that there’s a bike on the bridge. How about making drivers get out and push a button before they’re allowed to cross, instead?

 

National

The best thing you can do for the environment is to leave your car at home.

People for Bikes says the latest trend in protected bikeways is getting them done fast. Let’s hope LA lives up to its trendy reputation, then.

Go ahead and have that drink. A new study shows a positive relationship between exercise and moderate drinking. As W.C. Fields said, “A woman once drove me to drink, and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.” But I will thank Richard Risemberg for the heads-up.

Only in Portland. A bike-riding, sweater-wearing hipster Santa with a man bun.

Seriously? After a bike-riding Seattle radio host nearly hits a ninja cyclist while driving to work, he says that drivers have the deck stacked against them and bike riders should have to pay for their share of the roads, just like drivers — except we already do, and drivers actually don’t, as an Austin TX writer patiently explains. Thanks to Steve Katz for the latter link.

Denver advocates form a Vision Zero coalition to help the city live up to its commitment to safer streets.

KC cyclists get a shiny new bike box.

A former critic of New York’s Citi bike bikeshare becomes a frequent-riding convert.

Most bike riders have trouble getting service at drive-through windows; a West Virginia man gets 60 years for robbing a bank on one.

Richmond VA’s person of the year isn’t one, as a local magazine proclaims this the year of the bicycle.

 

International

Must be nice. Bike friendly Vancouver plans for 12 new bike lanes over the next five years, which will require a substantial loss of on-street parking. That would make it a non-starter just about anywhere else.

Caught on video: An angry London motorist drives over a cyclist’s bike during last month’s Critical Mass, apparently on purpose, after honking and shouting abuse.

Bike Magazine asks if mountain bike tourism could aid in Nepal’s recovery from a devastating earthquake.

Manila reopens a limited bikeshare program, with just 40 mountain bikes that can only be used along established bike lanes.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, as a bike rider was killed just hours before his surprise 60th birthday party.

Aussie multi-hyphen actor-director-producer-screenwriter Joel Edgerton is one of us, going for a ride with his baseball cap and silver Schwinn.

An Aussie cyclist is riding 2,300 miles across the county to raise funds to fight motor neuron disease.

New Zealand opens a world class, magenta-hued bikeway along the Auckland coast through the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Just like most cyclists, GPS often exaggerates how far you ride. If you’re going to wave at the speed camera, maybe you should keep one hand on your handlebars, just in case.

And if you’re wondering how to park in a bike lane, don’t.

………

Thanks to Alice Strong for contributing to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

And a semi-belated Happy Hanukkah to all.

Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

A single donation could put you on Santa’s Good List, and keep the Krampus from your door this holiday season.

One comment

  1. Mark Elliot says:

    Kudos to Santa Monica! Thankfully for Santa Monica residents, planner Susan Healey Keene only LIVES in their town. She WORKS in Beverly Hills, however, where, as director of the Community Development department, she’s been able to put the brakes on bike lanes. And now her transportation staff concedes there will be no update to our Bicycle Master Plan, which was penned in 1977. (No joke.)

    Presumably Ms. Healey Keene enjoys the great support her city provides for multimodal mobility. She’s safer for bike lanes, continental crosswalks, and special pedestrian crossing signals. She benefits from a General Plan circulation element that looks to cap car trips. And she’ll love that Colorado Blvd esplanade when it’s done. But she’s introduced NONE of those forward steps to Beverly Hills, where we’re driving like it’s 1950.

Leave a Reply

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

%d bloggers like this: