Morning Links: Bike lanes for gridlock, hijacking transportation in Mar Vista, and voting for danger on Fletcher Drive

Let’s end the week with a look at all the many and varied goings on in the wonderful world of LA traffic planning.

The apparently non-existent Richard Lee Abrams is back at it, blaming bike lanes as part of LA’s secret transportation plan to cause, not relieve, gridlock. No record of an LA attorney practicing by that name exists online or in the California Bar; however, another lawyer is registered with the Bar at the same Hollywood residential address, phone number and fax. Thanks to Evan G and Marc C for their sleuthing skills.

A board member of the Mar Vista Community Council says we can’t let LA transportation get hijacked by self-serving special interests, like beating up on motorists to squeeze in a protected bike lane on Venice Blvd at the expense of a third — yes, third — traffic lane in each direction. Because clearly, a city street just can’t be wide, fast or dangerous enough.

LADOT hosted the second of three meetings to discuss Vision Zero improvements to Fletcher Drive; when attendees were asked to vote on the proposal, a write-in option to do nothing was the preferred choice, as people questioned whether the deadly road was really dangerous. The next meeting is scheduled for August 2nd; hopefully sanity with prevail.

The My Figueroa project is slowly making progress along South Figueroa between USC and DTLA; Streetsblog notes that most of the bike lanes will be buffered, not the curb-protected lanes we were promised. And the promised connecting bike lanes on King Blvd appear to have fallen off the map.

Meanwhile, KFI’s rabidly anti-bike John and Ken profess to post maps of LA’s coming road diets. Except what they actually put online is various maps from the city’s mobility plan, most of which have nothing to do with lane reductions. Which is sort of like posting a photo of a haystack, and calling it a pile of needles.

And Erik Griswold shared a photo from Playa del Rey showing two bikes — including one with a child’s seat — in front of The Shack after taking advantage of the new bike lanes on Culver Blvd.

He also sent the one at the top of this page showing the lane reduction on Vista del Mar as it approaches Culver Blvd; note that a second lane northbound lane would have put the fog line somewhere in the bushes.

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A gambling website asks how hard the Tour de France really is, before concluding that it’s really, really hard.

A South African website considers how much cyclists get for finishing the Tour. Hint: You’re a lot better off winning than finishing on the fifth place team.

Nice piece on American cyclist Nate Brown, who wore the polka dot jersey for two days, a year after he dropped everything to be with his cyclist girlfriend as she battled a sudden, life-threatening heart condition.

Bicycling looks at the convoluted history leading up to the token two-day women’s La Course. Thursday’s first stage marked a remarkable comeback from last year’s Rio Olympics; the top 20 finishers will compete in a time trial on Saturday.

An Oregon bike race no longer offers equal prize money for men and women cyclists, blaming UCI guidelines for paying the women’s champ less than 10% of what the men’s winner will earn.

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Local

The LA Weekly looks at the 41 Thursday Crew, as hundreds of riders of all ages and backgrounds take to the darkened streets of Los Angeles on BMX bikes to celebrate riding in the city.

Walk Bike Burbank says the way to spot a bike-friendly business is look for all the bikes parked where a single car would be.

Pasadena Weekly looks at the kickoff of bikeshare in the Rose City.

West Covina police will assign two officers to bike patrol duty in city parks following complaints about homeless people and illegal activity. Thanks to Wesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Santa Monica’s Planning Commissioner says bicycling in the city needs to be 50,000 times safer and easier; residents respond that anything that slows traffic — like bikes, for instance — should be considered a crime against the people of LA County, if not humanity. Meanwhile, the city says it’s time to shift away from automobile-centric planning.

Join Bike Talk at the KPFK Summer Celebration at Pan Pacific Park this Saturday.

Bike SGV is teaming with Women on Wheels to host a Mariachi Music Funride next month.

 

State

Evidently, it runs in the family. A 20-year old San Diego woman gets four years for the speeding hit-and-run death of a teenage boy after drinking with her boyfriend; her sister is doing time for an alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter.

A San Diego man escaped by bicycle after stabbing another man during a fight; the victim suffered life-threatening injuries.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Moreno Valley man faces 45 years to life for the drunken car crash that killed a grandmother and two young girls. He was driving on a suspended license while on probation for a previous DUI, and had already broken his probation three times. This is why we need to impound the cars of anyone convicted of driving under the influence, because too many keep driving anyway until they kill someone. And he should have been locked up the first time he broke probation.

Sad news from Goleta, where a man was killed in a collision with an Amtrak train while riding on the tracks. Never ride on railroad tracks for any distance; you have nowhere to go if a train comes along.

Where your bike is most likely to be stolen in San Francisco.

The widow of a UC Davis professor has filed suit against a waste management company after he was killed by the driver of a garbage truck while riding to work last year.

 

National

Treehugger says other activities are for more dangerous than bicycling, so why pick on bicyclists when it comes to helmets?

The Washington Post says bicyclists are worried Oregon’s bike tax could spread.

After a Colorado lawmaker proposes a bicycle tax, he backtracks after the backlash, saying he was just trying to start a conversation. Denver Streetsblog insists the last thing the state needs is a tax on bicycles.

Caught on video: A Chicago bike rider was critically injured after trying, and failing, to weave his way through an intersection against the light. Warning: The dash cam video is very hard to watch; use your judgment on whether you really want to click the link.

Sometimes the punishment fits the crime. The Alabama pickup driver and passenger caught on video screaming at a bicyclist have been ordered to take part in a public service announcement on the state’s three-foot passing law, as well as learning more about the cycling community.

A Florida man has been convicted of being the driver behind the wheel when his car ran down a bike rider, after convincing his girlfriend to take the blame; he now faces up to 30 years in prison, despite being acquitted on a DUI manslaughter count.

Fifteen Eastern Seaboard states are completing the mostly carfree 3,000 mile East Coast Greenway running from Florida to Maine. Meanwhile, we can’t even manage to build a bikeway across LA, let alone the West Coast.

 

International

Montreal is installing bicycle footrests in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie borough, though some think the money could be better spent on improving safety instead.

London’s Regent’s University awarded a posthumous diploma to an Italian prince who was killed while riding his bike to class last October.

Caught on video too: A British hit-and-run is captured on security cam, as a driver backs up and leaves his bike-riding victim lying in the street; fortunately, her injuries were not life-threatening. Once again, use your judgment on whether you really want to see it.

A group of Saudi women are defying cultural norms to form the country’s first women’s cycling team.

A Miami man lied about his age to ride a bicycle on China’s Great Wall.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to egg a passing cyclist, make sure he’s not a cop on his lunch break. And who needs an ebike when you can just hop a passing Kenworth?

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One last note: Thank you to everyone who serves as unofficial proofreaders for this site. While I do my best to avoid any errors, I truly appreciate your help in catching and correcting the ones that slip past me.

 

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