Morning Links: Bike lane advice for the mayor, dueling Idaho Stop Op-Eds, and a Cannibal-themed beer in DTLA

So far, Mayor Eric Garcetti has talked a good game when it comes to bicycling.

But as a recent Op-Ed by Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald made clear, he’s failed to translate that talk into paint on the street.

Let alone protected bike lanes.

In fact, implementation of the city’s hard-fought bike plan has fallen precipitously since former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa left office four years ago, from a high of 251 lane miles — a single side of a roadway — to just 17 lane miles in the last fiscal year.

Although it should be pointed out that sharrows were included in Villaraigosa’s total.

Now Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is offering advice on what Garcetti can do to make LA bike friendly, with nearly 23 miles of bike lanes and road diets that could be implemented right away, along with another 30.8 miles that could be easily converted from bike lanes to protected lanes.

That’s if Garcetti is serious, of course.

I would have included Hollywood Blvd in that list, which desperately needs safety improvements to protect the millions of tourists who visit the Walk of Fame every year, as well as providing a much needed east-west route for local bike riders.

In fact, there’s not currently a single safe route in or out of Hollywood in any direction. A situation that will only get worse when the Metro Bike bikeshare arrives within a few years.

LA cyclists have long supported Eric Garcetti, both during his time on council, and in his run for mayor four years ago.

It’s time he returned the favor.

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While the LA Times has virtually ignored the subject, the Times-owned San Diego Union-Tribune has taken the lead on covering California’s consideration of the proposed Idaho Stop Law.

Today, they offer a pair of dueling Op-Eds on the matter.

The executive director of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition says it’s smart policy for California to adopt an Idaho Stop Law.

Meanwhile, a former Oceanside councilmember says it would be bad for kids who lack the judgment to make those quick decisions — and says it’s really about Strava users not wanting to stop, anyway.

She makes a valid point about kids. Although there’s nothing that says you can’t come to a full stop if you want, which might be a better option for kids under driving age.

But let’s be honest.

This law isn’t so much about the spandex-clad than it is the everyday riders who are faced with the prospect of choosing between dangerous traffic-clogged streets on their commutes or recreational rides, or taking side streets where they’re forced to stop every block or two.

And while riders would be allowed to treat stop signs as yields, they would still be required to slow down and observe the right of way, and yield to opposing traffic when appropriate.

In other words, pretty much what most drivers already do.

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DTLA’s Mumford Brewing now has a barrel-aged brew named after the legendary Eddy Merckx. Just because.

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Talk about a great looking poster. This is for Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament campaign, something we might want to seriously consider replicating here.

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Belgian’s one-day Dwars Door Vlaanderen cobble classic made its first appearance in the UCI WorldTour on Wednesday; American rider Kiel Reijnen appeared to avoid serious injury when the peloton squeezed him off the road and into a ditch.

A 55-year old British amateur cyclist was banned for doping, but at least he had an excuse.

Former pro Phil Gaimon suggests that podium girls be replaced with podium puppies. Now there’s an idea we can all get behind. And clean up after.

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Local

How to get your bike, or other possessions, back if you leave it on a Metro bus or train. Not that you would ever do that, of course.

The Argonaut says the future has two wheels, as it looks forward to Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, as well as efforts to make Mar Vista safer and more inviting to people walking and on bikes.

Pasadena will hold a meeting tonight to discuss the city’s proposed Climate Action Plan. Which should include a heavy reliance on walking and bicycling to help get people out of their cars.

 

State

An OC supervisor has a massive homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail removed. And judging by the riprap installed in its place, doesn’t want it to return, either.

An Arizona couple describe what its like to watch their cell phones, IDs, credit cards and cash go up in smoke when a newly purchased ebike caught fire on the sand in Newport Beach.

Carpenteria will host its first Open Streets festival on April Fools Day, closing over a mile of downtown streets to motor vehicles.

Santa Barbara is already getting started implementing their 2016 bike plan, with three new projects set to open by this summer. Unlike, say, a certain city to the south.

Still more bad news from up north. Fresno police are investigating Tuesday’s hit-and-run death of a bike rider as a homicide instead of a traffic collision, suggesting they have reason to believe the death may have been intentional.

The Mercury News looks at why people in San Jose are reluctant to bike to work. Spoiler alert: They’re afraid of cars.

An El Cerrito couple got more than they bargained for when they left a bike in their yard with a “free” sign, and retuned home to find the bike gone, a man in their backyard, and their home burglarized.

San Francisco moves to regulate app-based, Chinese-style bikeshare systems.

Oakland city commissioners are angry that bikeshare plans didn’t include bikes for people with disabilities.

A Napa Valley letter writer asks why the woman who right hooked him in a rush to get to church didn’t care enough to stop or find out if he was okay.

 

National

Now you, too, can ride dressed like the Simpsons.

Bicycling wants to help you master the art of the paceline. Which will undoubtedly come in handy for your next bike train commute.

Now that’s more like it. A Nevada man faces up to 40 years in prison following his conviction for fleeing the scene after crashing into an 11-year old girl who was riding her bike in a Reno trailer park; he was twice the legal limit when he was arrested. The same crime in California probably wouldn’t result in more than a few years, if that.

A bike-riding Denver letter writer reminds drivers that you’ll get home a lot later if you hit someone.

The University of Iowa profiles a bicycle-riding associate who’s using her fellowship to learn how bike safety research can influence public policy and improve rider safety.

Houston approves a new bike plan calling for nearly 1,800 miles of bikeways, adding to the current 500 miles of lanes and trails, half of which are separated from traffic in some way.

Grieving family members release balloons to honor a Little Rock AK man killed by a wrong way driver as he rode his bike last week. Nice gesture, but never release balloons — especially Mylar ones; stick with a ghost bike instead.

Two years after Memphis yanked bike lanes off the city’s Riverside Drive due to complaints from motorists, they’re planning to try again.

Pittsburgh bicyclists would rather share the road with a robot than with a human being behind the wheel. And who can blame them?

Ten young cyclists have been chosen to follow the infamous 950-mile Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.

Mississippi’s 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway will soon be getting Bikes May Use Full Lane signs, as well as signs telling drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders.

 

International

Tern isn’t just about foldies anymore.

A bike industry news site looks at ten cities around the world that are building bicycling into everyday life. None of which are Los Angeles. Or in North America, for that matter.

Nice gesture from the builder of LA’s StoopidTall Bike, who’s in Cuba with 30 pounds of bike parts to help a man’s quest to set a new record for the world’s tallest bicycle.

Don’t ride your bike in an anti-social manner in the UK.

Former Brit heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is one of us, riding a bike with his daughter in a child seat as he talks about making a comeback, after losing his titles following a failed drug test.

A British bike rider gets six years, eight months behind bars for slashing a man across the face with a box cutter when the victim asked him for a cigarette.

Chinese bikeshare is booming, and it’s headed your way. And so are efforts to scam users out of their money.

India and Bangladesh attempt to build peace through bicycles, with an 11 day joint military ride through both countries.

A San Francisco writer goes on a bicycle tour of New Zealand looking for an actual kiwi, and comes up empty. But discovers the journey was really the whole point.

Aussie riders call for new laws protecting bicyclists from having items thrown at them from passing cars, as well as prohibiting tacks and other items left on bikeways; as it is now, someone who leaves tacks on a bike path usually faces nothing more than a littering charge.

 

Finally…

Chances are, you can’t afford a two-wheeled Bugatti, either — or ride it around the block, for that matter. Who needs a bike lock when you’ve got a rattlesnake?

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle from a former Marine, don’t leave yours behind. And if you do, don’t come back for it.

 

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