Morning Links: Wasted CD1 traffic safety meeting, and Daily News columnist displays his indignorance

So much for that.

Recently, it was announced that CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo would host a town hall to discuss traffic safety in conjunction with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council.

Despite briefly raising hopes that Road Kill Gil had, like Scrooge on Christmas morning, turned over a new leaf after getting the message of the recent election he nearly lost, nothing appears to have changed.

And despite the promise of the flier promoting the event, bicycles weren’t even discussed.

Here’s what CD1 resident and BikinginLA contributor Harv had to say about the meeting.

Just move along, nothing to see here.

I attended the subject Town Hall meeting last night at Ramona Hall in Highland Park.

Absolutely nothing there of interest to us. The main speaker (from LADOT) even made it a point to say that bike infrastructure would not be discussed at all, because someone might object to the very idea of bikes on the road. So what ensued was a very general discussion of what Vision Zero was intended to be, although no specific plans were proffered. When asked by an attendee about the existing street safety designs for North Figueroa that were completed several years ago, the speaker acknowledged that project but offered no input as to updates or status.

Following were general discussions on how to safely use the Metro rail system and some pedestrian issues. Pedestrian infrastructure would include crosswalks, bulb-outs, and lights. No discussion of the real problem for peds; car drivers just don’t want to yield to them, regardless of lights, stripes, or signage.

A waste of time IMO. At least I had a very pleasant evening bike ride.

……….

Apparently, the angry have the full support of the uninformed when it comes to the recent road reconfigurations in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

Writing for the Daily News, KABC radio personality Doug McIntyre seems only too happy to demonstrate his near total lack of understanding of road diets, Vision Zero and traffic planning in defense of maintaining automotive hegemony on LA streets.

And the rights of angry commuters to keep speeding through the city, and putting innocent lives at risk.

(Councilmember) Bonin has embraced Mayor Garcetti’s utopian “Vision Zero” plan, purportedly to eliminate all traffic deaths in L.A. by 2025. At least that’s how it’s being spun. The real purpose is the elimination of the private automobile as a viable means of transportation in Los Angeles.

Traffic planners and the politicians who employ them have created some wonderfully Orwellian gibber-jabber to sell gridlock to commuters. Rather than “bottleneck” and “parking lot” they talk of “traffic calming” and “road diets,” assuming everyone in Los Angeles is a sucker for the latest diet.

Actually, the only thing necessary to eliminate the private automobile as a viable means of transportation is to continue on the same exclusively auto-centric path the city has pursued for the last 60-plus years.

Without viable alternatives, traffic will simply grind to a halt as the city’s population climbs and more vehicles compete for the same amount of space.

Installing safe bike lanes may not get people like McIntyre out of his car, but it could encourage other people to get out and ride when they can, taking more cars off the streets so he can zoom zoom to his heart’s content.

He goes on to spout more uninformed bile, while attempting to paint himself as less of an indignorant* and hopelessly auto-centric troglodyte than his own words make him seem.

Residents and commuters passing through Mar Vista and Vista del Mar are now sentenced to longer commutes, with more CO2 being released into the atmosphere and more on the way. “Vision Zero” is only one city plan to punish drivers and force them out of their cars and onto nonexistent public transportation. The “Great Street” initiative and “Mobility Plan 2035” will similarly remove lanes for automobiles to make driving so onerous, Angelinos will spring for Spandex and pedal 20 or 30 miles each way to work in 100 degree heat.

For the record, I am a passionate supporter of public transportation. I endorsed Measure M so the city of Los Angeles would have the funds to accelerate construction of a world-class light-rail system to give us a viable alternative to stuffing more cars onto our already over-stuffed roads. But what’s happening on Venice Boulevard, Pershing Drive and Culver in Mar Vista is a war on drivers who are simply trying to go to work and drop off their kids at school. They’re being treated like villains by the people elected to improve the quality of their lives, not harass them.

Before he wastes any more time attempting to misinform the public and arouse even more misplaced anger than is already out there, he could take a few minutes to find out what the hell he’s talking about first.

Or maybe we could find a few middle school kids to explain it to him.

Because right now, he doesn’t have a clue.

*Combination of indignant and ignorant. Which seems pretty apt in this case.

………

If you need an example of just how far windshield bias has penetrated our society, consider this response to a tweet calling for a bike valet at Dodger Stadium.

Never mind that you can fit a dozen bikes in the space it takes to park one car. Or that every person who bikes to the game represents a car that isn’t contributing to that congestion.

But Todd Munson answered it best, with a 2016 video showing just how easy and non-congesting it is to bike to Dodger Stadium.

Now if they’d just do something about that bike valet to encourage more people to try it.

………

If you still haven’t watched this weekend’s road national championships, skip the next part.

Still with us? Okay.

Larry Warbasse is your new men’s national road champ, while Joey Rosskopf won the time trial; Amber Neben swept the women’s title.

Atascadero’s Brian Lucido won this year’s edition of the 2,700-mile Tour Divide.

A first-time competitor from Iowa was the first woman across the finish line for RAAM, finishing eighth overall, while a pair of Indian physicians became the first solo riders from that country. You can find full results here.

Welsh cyclist Geraint Thomas says he’s ready for this weekend’s start of the Tour de France, after he was knocked out of the Giro in a crash with a police bike.

………

Local

Sad news from LA’s Florence neighborhood, where a man on a bike was the innocent victim of a fatal drive-by shooting apparently aimed at the occupants of two cars who were arguing following a crash.

Streetsblog reports Metro voted to replace the outdated Level of Service (LOS) metric with Vehicle Miles Traveled, or VMT, which measures other forms of transportation in addition to private cars, including buses and bicycles. And congrats to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton on a most alliterative headline.

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued a mountain biker who suffered a broken leg on a remote trail in the Santa Monica Mountains above Tarzana Sunday morning.

Boyonabike celebrates the long-needed road diet and bike lanes designed to improve safety on Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena.

 

State

San Diego cyclists are trading in their spandex for mountain bikes. One rider said mountain biking is the new golf, which would make it the new new golf, since road cycling was the old new golf.

The Newbury Park Bicycle Shop caught a bike thief red-handed on security cam. Or maybe red-headed, in this case. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

 

National

A writer for a Grand Junction, CO paper insists no one commutes by bicycle to annoy motorists. No, really, it’s just an added benefit.

After a Montana driver stops just long enough to scold the bike rider she hit and ask if he had any broken bones, a Good Samaritan drives him to school and takes his bike in to be fixed.

A Texas writer suggests the $14.5 million spent on a new bike bridge may have been wasted, because he only saw 12 bicyclists use it over a three hour period. Never mind that it just opened and most bike riders probably don’t even know it exists yet; if they judged newly opened highways by that standard, none would ever get built.

The victim of a Texas hit-and-run wants the driver who ran him down to face consequences. Pretty much like every hit-and-run victim, everywhere. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

Even in Iowa, bike riders are concerned with the dangers of distracted drivers.

The war on bikes goes on, as two Wisconsin teens were arrested for striking a passing bike rider in the face, apparently just for the hell of it.

A Minnesota writer says nothing can replace the intimate and meditative feeling he gets from biking.

Detroit bicyclists ride to raise funds for a Jewish community center in Krakow, Poland, and take a tour of Catholic churches in the city.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the walking human scum — and I use the term advisedly — who tied a dog to a bike and forced it to run, then beat it severely and left it to dead. I’d gladly volunteer to return the favor if they catch the people who did it. But I suspect it would be a very long line.

New York officials say Vision Zero is saving lives, but more needs to be done.

 

International

Winnipeg, Canada bicyclists say they need more than just room to breathe.

Toronto residents back controversial bike lanes on major street by 69%; meanwhile, 81% of people in the city support slower speed limits for safer streets.

The English city of Southampton will invest the equivalent of nearly $32 million in bicycling facilities, with the goal of increasing bicycle mode share to 15% by 2025.

A Scottish woman who’s been on a solo ride around the world for the last two years was mugged while riding in Brazil, losing her camera equipment.

A bighearted Scottish model will ride nearly 1,000 miles across the length of the UK to help send an optician and dentist to treat children in Cape Verde, Africa.

The Irish Times calls for a greater investment in bike infrastructure to protect bicyclists, but insists it’s up to riders to wear hi-viz and strictly observe the rules of the road.

A Kenyon newspaper talks with a triathlete whose life changed when he was hit by a car, paralyzing his right arm and dashing his Olympic dreams.

No bias here. According to an Aussie TV commentator we’re all mongrels who don’t pay registration fees, and should be banned from the roads entirely.

A Brisbane, Australia woman says riding a bike there is pretty much like riding in the US or UK, and worse than the Netherlands.

A Singapore paper talks to people who ride bikes to find out why the trend is picking up speed on the island nation.

 

Finally…

Now your ebike could shake just like your car’s brake pedal does when you brake hard. We may have to contend with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to dodge bear attacks. Or wild boars, for that matter.

And no, a six-year old boy riding with training wheels was not drunk when he was killed by a distracted driver. Despite what authorities claimed.

 

4 comments

  1. No link to that TX hit-and-run…

  2. Shawn says:

    As a 34-year resident of Playa Del Rey and Westchester, I think the changes made to Vista Del Mar and the surrounding streets have been needed for quite some time. The area has been a safety nightmare for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists alike. Interestingly enough, once Vista Del Mar crosses into Manhattan Beach heading south, the same sort of road diet is applied with two lanes reducing to one lane with business parking on each side. Why aren’t residents of the South Bay communities complaining to their city leaders for increasing their homeward commutes? Maybe because they appreciate the benefits in their own community? Nope, it’s all instant outrage at the city of Los Angeles and Mike Bonin for trying to give the same consideration and benefits to its own residents.

  3. James says:

    A type of anti-lock brakes has already been used on German bikes. It involved a sort of across cables mechanism that applies the front brake whenever the rider slams on the rear brake.
    Also newer German dynohub powered taillights have a brake light function. The solid light gets brighter and strobes whenever an internal sensor detects deceleration. A few years ago Mercedes tried to get something like that approved for cars but was denied by the government but it was approved for bicycle lights.

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