Bicycling Magazine gets it.
The magazine that’s long been criticized for its focus on spandex-clad road cycling has dug deep into the safety crisis on our streets, for a June issue focused on the dangers riders face and the failure of the legal system to protect us.
They even got the headline right — This Has Got to Stop!
Their examination is highlighted by a survey of bike riders conducted on the magazine’s website, which includes the following key points:
- 32% have been hit by a motor vehicle (me too)
- 61% of urban riders have been doored (yep)
- 89% of respondents have been harassed by an aggressive driver (uh huh)
- 20% experienced being followed by an aggressive driver (ditto)
- 31% have had an object thrown at them on a ride (more than once)
- 29% report being coal rolled (cough)
- 52% of female cyclists have experienced aggressive driver behavior on at least some of their rides compared to 33% of men
In addition, you’ll find a number of articles that together sum up the current sorry state of bike safety in the US.
- An in-depth, first-person look at last year’s Kalamazoo massacre, in which five riders were killed and another four injured by a stoned driver
- A New York mother who channeled her grief over her son’s death into fighting for a bike lane on the street where he was hit
- A look at the state of Vision Zero in New York, Boston and Los Angeles, showing we have a long way to go
- The story of UCLA triathlete Nako Nakatsuka, who was run down by a driver while making a left turn off Santa Monica Blvd — then threatened with a lawsuit for damage to the driver’s car
- An examination of ghost bikes, focusing on Anthony Navarro and Danny Gamboa of SoCal Ghost Bikes
- The heartbreaking wait for justice after a Wyoming husband and father was killed by a drunk driver
- A New York rider who was run down in a hit-and-run and yet the police did nothing, even though witnesses identified the driver
- An Alaska man killed by a 17-year old drunk and stoned driver who was leaving a party, and did just 74 days behind bars
- The debate over the misleading term “accident” instead of crash
- The sad story of Kentucky teammates killed less than a year apart
- A statistical look at whether the punishment fits the crime (hint, it usually doesn’t)
- And a devastating listing of just over a third of the people killed riding their bicycles in the last two years
It’s not all bad news, though. The magazine also looks at some of the more positive aspects.
- The 13 safest cities for bicycling (my hometown is on the list; needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t)
- Designing the safer streets of the future
- Eight things you can do now to demand, and create, safer streets
As you read these stories — and read them, you should — you may recognize several of the cases as stories we’ve reported on here. And if you read carefully, you may find my name, as well as the name of this site, sprinkled in here and there.
It’s a demanding, heartrending and intense series of stories. And may very well be the best work the magazine has ever done.
Bike Month is starting to heat up.
Metro is celebrating with a free month of Metro Bike bikeshare if you sign up for a monthly membership.
The Joe Bray-Ali story has now made it around the world, as an Indian website picks up the story, apparently drawn by Bray-Ali’s Indian-Hungarian-Irish Jewish and Muslim heritage.
In addition to the risk of traffic violence, some bike riders face actual violence.
A 12-year old Cleveland girl was collateral damage in a car-to-car shooting, shot in the foot as she rode her bicycle.
A Florida man was shot in the ankle by another bike rider who attempted to rob him.
Caught on video: A man calls for help as he’s mugged by a gang of hooded youths who steal his bicycle in a London Park.
The legendary Marco Pantani still holds the hearts of Italian cycling fans, 13 years after his cocaine-fueled death.
African cycling suffered a big setback as Namibian cycling star Costa Seibeb was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning.
Caught on video, maybe: A stalled motorcycle caused a massive pileup near the starting line of New York’s annual Red Hook Crit. The video may or may not play; I’ve been looking for a working version of this for two days, after it was apparently removed from YouTube.
Streetsblog highlights the debate over Vision Zero funding in the Los Angeles transportation budget, which is quickly reaching a crisis point as traffic deaths continue to climb.
While approving a handful of bikeways, West Hollywood says forget about a road diet on Fountain, and chooses parking over safety on Santa Monica Blvd. Note to WeHo: You can’t connect to the bike lanes on Willoughby in Los Angeles, because there aren’t any.
Yo! Venice examines bike theft in Venice Beach, which is down after police cleared out a number of homeless encampments in the Ballona Wetlands; the LAPD still has a number of unclaimed bicycles they recovered from the homeless camps.
Ground was broken on a Newhall Ranch bridge project, including walkways on the bridge and a bikeway underneath.
No bias here. After a Santa Rosa cyclist was hit by a car as he attempted to cross the street, police note that he was not in a crosswalk. Even though bike riders are usually discouraged, though not forbidden, from using one.
Sad news from Northern California, where a bike rider was killed in a Half Moon Bay hit-and-run, and a Petaluma man died when he reportedly went over the handlebars after losing control of his bike.
An anti-bike Marin County columnist says bike riding is not a viable option for anyone except fit, young people, and the county isn’t going to become a bike-crazed Holland anytime soon. Which is exactly what they said in Holland before it became one. And countless older, out-of-shape adults ride bicycles every day.
Disabled veterans ride with the pros at an invitation-only mountain bike race in Grass Valley.
Chico gets promoted to gold-level bike-friendly status.
The Hawaii city council votes on whether to fork over $50,000 to pay the legal fees of a police officer who was apparently fired after killing a bike rider in a crash while on duty.
A Seattle man who lost both legs when he was hit by a Prague subway train hopes to be the first handcyclist to complete the Race Across America, which starts next month
Now that’s more like it. A stoned Washington driver gets seven and a half years for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle just minutes from his home.
A model arrives at New York’s Met Gala dressed for the red carpet after beating traffic with a pedicab ride through Central Park.
Caught on video too: An Alabama cyclist is the victim of a screaming tirade from two men in a truck, one of whom hangs out of the open passenger door to berate him.
Once again, a bike rider has been killed in a collision with a police officer, this time in Jacksonville FL. As usual, police say it was the bicyclist’s fault, even though the officer was responding to a call without lights or siren, saying the rider was reportedly swerving for no apparent reason and didn’t have any lights. Even though the crash occurred before sunset.
Ottawa bicycle advocates throw mud in the great debate over bike fenders.
Over 200 cyclists turn out to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall at a memorial service in his English hometown, a little over a month after he was killed in a collision while competing in an Australian race.
One in five Welsh adults have not ridden a bicycle in ten years. Which means 80% of Welsh adults have.
Caught on video three, or maybe four: A Scottish man is nearly crushed in the equivalent of a right hook, after taking up bicycling again for the first time in 20 years. While the driver clearly cut him off, he should have stopped when the truck first cut into him, rather than pulling alongside before the driver cut him off again.
Helsinki, Finland will get an expanded bikeshare system this summer, with 1,400 bikes at 140 stations, as well as another 100 bikes in a neighboring city.
And nothing like teaching your son the family business.
The bike theft business, that is.
Thanks to Eric from Boulder for his generous donation to support this site.
Which leads to our periodic reminder that if everyone who visits this site today contributed just $10, it would fund BikinginLA for a full year.
Then again, if just one person contributed a shitload of money, it would probably have the same effect.