Morning Links: Turning Vision Zero into an unfunny joke, adventures in traffic blocking, and CicLAvia the Musical

No bikes involved this time.

But sadly, a 17-year old high school student was killed while walking in a crosswalk on North Figueroa yesterday, apparently unaware that classes had been cancelled due to a terrorism hoax.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on the street in the last six months, with three pedestrians and a cyclist losing their lives on a street that was supposed to have been made safer by now.

And would have been, if Councilmember Gil Cedillo hadn’t unilaterally killed a fully funded, shovel ready road diet for reasons he has yet to fully explain, instead bizarrely claiming he was halting the safety project in the name of safety. Yet as yesterday’s tragedy clearly shows, his inaction has merely helped keep a dangerous street deadly.

Unfortunately, we live in a city where councilmembers oversee virtual fiefdoms, thanks to the reluctance of their fellow councilmembers or the mayor to challenge them for fear of retaliation against projects in their own districts.

This has to change.

If Cedillo is unwilling to admit his mistake, someone in city leadership or LADOT has to find the courage to stand up to him to protect the lives of our fellow Angelenos.

Otherwise, people will continue to die needlessly.

And our much-vaunted and fought-for Vision Zero will be nothing more than a very unfunny joke.

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Today’s theme is bizarre court cases involving allegedly traffic-blocking bike riders.

A Louisville KY bike and pedestrian advocate rejected a plea deal on charges of blocking traffic and running a red light, insisting that bicyclists aren’t required to use bike lanes. Or stop at red lights, for that matter.

A Pennsylvania bike rider faces charges for repeatedly obstructing traffic by slowly riding his bike in the middle of the road; a prosecutor hints he may be trying to get hit after receiving a settlement from a drunk driver for a 2007 collision. Or he could just be taking the lane on a narrow street, like bike riders are instructed to do.

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‘Tis the season.

For the seventh year, the Burbank Bike Angels will donate over 120 refurbished bikes to children of local low-income families.

A Rochester NY bike shop donated 20 bikes to an organization serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, for the second year in a row.

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Local

Democratic legislators ask Obama for funding to start planning and design work for the restoration of the LA River, which could include extensions of the LA River bike path.

LADOT is looking for a Planning Assistant. Riding a bike should be an added requirement for the job, though.

CiclaValley offers 100 seconds of bike commuting from the Valley to DTLA.

 

State

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says anti-bicycle bigotry is growing, as local residents fight plans for long-promised bikeways.

San Diego approves a new climate action plan, including a commitment to cut car trips in key transportation zones by 50% within 20 years.

SF Gate says nice try on San Francisco’s first raised bike lane, but it doesn’t actually keep cars and trucks out.

 

National

Pro ‘cross racers offer advice on how to avoid high bike fees when you fly.

The Federal Highway Administration provides Case Studies in Delivering Safe, Comfortable and Connected Pedestrian and Bicycle Networks.

The family of a Portland driver accused of fleeing the scene after killing a cyclist while driving stoned says it was just an accident and he’s really an awesome person. Except when running down bike riders while too high to drive, evidently.

A New Mexico man is arrested for his seventh DUI, just three months after being released from prison for killing a bike rider in 2005 while driving at three times the legal limit. Yet somehow, despite repeatedly proving he’s incapable of resisting the temptation to drink and drive, he’s still allowed behind the wheel.

Forget skiing. If you’re looking for a little winter adventure, try fat tire cycling through the Minnesota snow.

The Wall Street Journal says New York safety advocates say more needs to be done even though traffic deaths are declining. After all, it’s Vision Zero, not Vision Slightly Better.

A Savannah writer nails it. “A legion of scofflaw cyclists cannot inflict the amount of pain, suffering and death as one young man driving a Dodge Durango.”

 

International

Unbelievable. A Costa Rican cab driver denies doing anything wrong after pulling out from the curb and hitting three lead riders of a bike race after police had cleared the route; fortunately, no one was badly hurt.

A road raging bus driver deals with a confrontation with a London cyclist by running over his bike.

A candidate for London mayor offers a six-point plan to make the city a “byword for cycling around the world.”

A British man gets life in prison for intentionally driving his car into his bike-riding romantic rival.

Police are looking for a Brit rider who threw a woman down a flight of stairs after becoming enraged because her dog was not on a leash.

An Indian paper calls speeding and luxury cars a killer combination. Meanwhile, 110 CEOs from all over the world will ride over 500 miles on a week-long expedition through the country, and a champion para-cyclist explains how he didn’t let losing a leg stop him.

Brisbane, Australia’s Green Party proposes a network of protected bike lanes, which would allow cyclists to ride in safety to within two blocks of any location in the downtown area.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and win the world championships, as the prestigious former British Medical Journal says the rainbow jersey isn’t cursed after all. What it’s like to ride a bike to your own wedding.

And presenting CicLAvia, the musical.

2 comments

  1. RE: “The Orange County Bicycle Coalition says anti-bicycle bigotry is growing, as local residents fight plans for long-promised bikeways.”

    The debate over a paved path through Peter’s Canyon Regional Park has been going on for several months. Oddly, I think bicyclists are a part of reason it hasn’t been built yet.

    Back in July ZippyThePinhead learned about a petition posted online by OCBike to support building the path. Zippy posted a link to the petition on the Southern California forum on BikeForums.net and asked other forum members to support it. However, the majority of bike riders who responded were OPPOSED to building the path. Their points were mainly that there are many good alternate bike routes in the area, and the park is small and would suffer from added visitors.

    I contacted OCBike by email and explained that the plan was in trouble if bike riders didn’t support it. I supplied a link to the BikeForums.net thread and suggested they try to rally some support.

    The response I received was… nothing.

    I never saw any response from OCBike on BikeForums.net. I never even got a response to my email.

    The only way that path will be built is if riders support it, and it seems to me that OCBike has not done what is needed to get that support.

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