Morning Links: KFI gets involved in Bonin recall effort, La Verne cyclist shot in BB drive-by, and more war on bikes

No surprise which side John and Ken are on.

The KFI shock jocks have done their best to drum up anger over the lane reductions in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey, coming down squarely on the side of keeping our streets dangerous.

Now they’re using the KFI website to support the misguided effort to recall Mike Bonin, one of the city’s best councilmembers. And one of the few with the guts to stand up to bullies like them.

Although I have to wonder if the national iHeartRadio chain, which owns KFI, knows what their employees are up to? And what they’d think about using the company website for partisan political purposes?

Then again, I also wonder if the people leading the recall effort are aware that anonymous political contributions totaling over $100 in a single calendar year are against the law. And that Los Angeles has a $700 limit on contributions to city council campaigns, which would undoubtedly apply to recall campaigns, as well.

Making the nearly $25,000 pledged to the recall so far tainted, and questionable as to whether it can be used for political purposes in the City of Los Angeles.

But then, that’s something for the city Ethics Commission to sort out.

What is clear is that this recall attempt — and especially John and Ken’s involvement in it — have little to do with Bonin.

It’s really about putting a stop to Vision Zero, and maintaining the deadly automotive hegemony on our streets at the expense of everyone else.

And sending a message to the rest of the council that they could be next.

Which should send a chill up the spine of anyone who cares about traffic safety. Or good government.

Note: Just to be clear, the term “bullies” was in regard to John and Ken. I did not refer to anyone opposed to the road projects in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey bullies, nor did I intend to.

Photo of Mike Bonin taken from CD11 website.

………

A woman was shot in the upper thigh with a BB gun from a passing car while riding in La Verne on Wednesday.

As the Claremont Cyclist commented, attacks like this should be classified as hate crimes.

If not terrorist attacks.

Update: A comment from Robs Muir indicates that this attack occurred near Benson and 7th Street in Upland, rather than La Verne. 

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

It’s been a bad week in the war on bikes. And yesterday was the worst yet.

A Sacramento bicyclist was shot with a stun gun by a teenager in a passing car.

A Houston mountain biker was left bloodied and scarred when someone strung a line thorny vines like a clothesline across a popular bike trail.

A Vermont man faces charges for running a bike rider off the road, then crashing his truck as he tried to flee, and running away from that crash.

A British bicyclist suffered head injuries when he was kicked off his bike by a passing motorcyclist.

Another British rider was apparently shot at from a passing car; fortunately, the bullet missed.

Of course, it sometimes it goes the other way. Concord CA police are looking for a bike-raging bicyclist who shot a driver with a flare gun following an argument. Yes, a flare gun.

………

David Drexler forwards security video, along with a wanted poster, of “crusty old men” stealing bicycles from a locked garage.

Which serves as yet another reminder that locked garages and storage rooms aren’t as secure as they may seem; the isolation gave these thieves over 15 minutes to cut the locks and make off with the bicycles without anyone noticing.

Store your bikes inside your home or apartment if you have the room; if not, lock them as securely as possible to an immovable object in a locked garage or storage room.

And make sure you register them.

………

These are the people we share the roads with, as road raging Highland Park driver is caught on video repeatedly ramming the car ahead of him.

……….

Local

LA Curbed offers a great interview with former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler about her efforts to expand the conversation about bicycling beyond just bikes during her time at the coalition.

CiclaValley discovers just how hard it is to ride up the third steepest hill in the US.

Seventy cyclists raised nearly $15,000 for the Agoura Hills chapter of the ALS Association at the inaugural Ride to Defeat ALS last month.

 

State

Under proposed regulations to combat racial profiling, police in California would be required to collect data on every traffic stop they make, including bicyclists and pedestrians.

As Laguna Beach debates the need for more parking, one councilmember suggests removing parking from PCH to widen sidewalks or install bike lanes. As the story notes, they can’t build enough parking spots to meet the demand from tourists and residents. So the obvious solution is to provide transportation alternatives to reduce the demand for parking.

A 60-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he lost control of his bicycle riding downhill and slid into a retaining wall.

Lake Elsinore will begin work on adding sidewalks and bike lanes on some of the city’s older streets.

The annual Tour de Big Bear rolls this Saturday with rides ranging from 25 to 100 miles.

Now there’s a good cause. Three Texas women stop in Santa Barbara on a 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to raise funds to care for young sex trafficking survivors.

A writer in San Luis Obispo complains that the bike lobby is forcing crazy ideas for a bicycle boulevard on unwilling residents — never mind that bike boulevards actually benefit the people who live on the street. And says Los Angeles had to “roll back many similar improvements” at great expense to the public. Um, no. LA is undoing a single road diet on Vista del Mar, which simply involves removing a little paint and restriping the roadway. And it’s not like we actually have bike boulevards to roll back.

A hairy Santa Rosa mountain biker goes riding in Annadel State Park.

Bicyclists are excited about plans to ban private cars from San Francisco’s iconic Market Street, but merchants are worried about the effect it will have on their businesses.

 

National

It’s not unusual for a blind bicyclist to ride a tandem. But a blind cyclist is riding coast-to-coast on his own bike to raise awareness for people with vision impairments, guided by a riding companion via two-way radio.

Oregon dedicates a new bicycle and pedestrian bridge connecting parks in the state capital.

Streetsblog Denver reminds the local constabulary that ticketing a man in a wheelchair after he gets hit by a car is not Vision Zero.

Colorado officials find a leg bone from a 70 million-year old duck-billed dinosaur while conducting a survey for a new bike trail.

Austin TX is installing 12 bicycle traffic lights around the city to give bike riders a few seconds head start at intersections.

New York plans to add more bike lanes to meet surging demand.

NY Streetsblog says the NYPD continues to slander victims by incorrectly blaming them for causing crashes, inflicting needless pain on their families.

An anti-bike Philadelphia columnist says put a referendum on the November ballot about bike lanes, and let the entire city vote on whether it wants them. Which won’t pass if people like this woman have anything to say about it.

 

International

Ped-assists have made their way to the foldie world, with new folding ebikes from Tern and Brompton.

This is why you always carry ID when you ride. Canadian authorities are still trying to identify a woman who was killed in a crash on Tuesday.

The Guardian asks if cyclists and autonomous cars can co-exist by 2035. Or ever.

A British bike rider wants to thank the hit-and-run driver who left him lying on the side of the road, because doctors found a brain tumor as they were treating him for head wounds.

A motorcyclist in the UK is being called a hero after he ditched his bike to avoid a head-on crash with a group of cyclists, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down. A crowdfunding campaign to buy him a new specialized wheelchair has raised nearly twice the original goal of £15,000, the equivalent of almost $20,000.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is taking a break from politics with a cycling vacation in Croatia, while royal-in-law Pippa Middleton is back on her bike to the delight of the paparazzi.

Bicycling is booming in Israel, as the country encourages riding as an alternative to driving, though not everyone is happy about it.

A Malaysian city moves to ban teenage bike riders from certain streets at night, in response to a crash earlier this year that killed eight young riders.

 

Finally…

No, don’t knock a bike rider off his bicycle and drag him by his dreadlocks, even if you think he’s a snitch. If you’re going to wrestle a bike from its owner, make sure it doesn’t have two flat tires first.

And you could buy a new car for the price of some bikes.

But then you’d have to drive it.

 

24 comments

  1. William Wickwire says:

    I think you will get farther if you stop saying that people opposed to lane reductions are opposed to safety. You yourself have refused to put any effort whatsoever into making the parallel bikeway on Ballona Creek safe.
    Instead, you continue to insist that lanes be removed, lanes that benefit 90% of people trying to get to work, so that the 1.2% who commute using bikes can have more of the traffic way. I doubt seriously you would get much fight if you considered actually widening the road to accommodate the existing traffic lanes AND bikeway. Even narrowing sidewalks could accomplish this.

    Today’s digest is full of stories of bicyclists who were harmed on the road way, and that would not of happened with the dedicated separate bikeway.

    Why don’t you work on removing the stigma attached to bike riding:
    • That bike riding is only for recreation.
    • That adults who ride their bike to work had a DUI.
    • that you have to be intense and wear stretchy tight pants or are you are a loser.

    I did not make these things up, but rather have heard them more than once from friends.

    Mike Bonnin only has guts if you support his point of view. Otherwise, he’s totalitarian and unilateral. You would not have so much opposition to him if he actually followed the process of consensus. People dislike him more than they dislike Donald Trump.

    • David Drexler says:

      I agree.

    • Your comments are very similar to those you have made over the past several days. The points you make deserve to be considered, and the author of this digest has already devoted considerable time to doing that.

      Instead of repeating the same points over and over again, and expecting the author of this digest to counterpoint over and over again, I suggest that you, and anyone else who is interested, look back at the comments sections for the past several days.

      • William Wickwire says:

        I have not actually made all the same points. The author of this journal doesn’t give a balanced view, as is his right. But comments are needed for balance. I also have better things to do. Perhaps the author could just provide balance or at least links to a balanced point of view. That’s better than a smackdown.

        • bikinginla says:

          I have striven to give a balanced view since the inception of this site, while presenting the facts to the best of my ability.

          That is why I’ve welcomed guest posts from people who hold opposing views, in recognition that I may not always be right, or see the issues from other, equally valid positions. I learn far more from people who disagree with me than those who don’t.

          You are more than welcome to write a guest post presenting your position and/or criticizing mine. The only restrictions are that you avoid personal attacks and are respectful of others, and that the focus be on some aspect of bicycling, or traffic safety as it relates to bikes.

          (Although for any marketers reading this, I do reject all SEO/Native Advertising posts. Sorry.)

          You’ll find my email address on the About BikinginLA page if you want to submit something.

    • A traffic engineer from the LADOT recently stated road diets are the most effective tool they have to reduce average roadway speeds. Lower speeds not only reduces the risk of serious injury or fatalities to people involved in a collision, it also reduces the likelihood of a collision occurring. The purpose of the road diet in Playa Del Rey was to reduce the odds of serious injury and fatalities while traveling along a roadway. The fact that bike lanes were installed was simply because there was room to install these after the safety upgrade was made from the road diet.

      You seem to believe that the LADOT should remove the most effective tool for reducing speeds from their tool box.

      Also, the LADOT is not allowed to use enforcement of speed with speed cameras or red light cameras. Putting traffic officers out on a street everyday will only pick off some of the most egregious violators, it will not force the average speed to be reduced over a 24-hr period of time.

      • William Wickwire says:

        Points made (again).
        I’m sorry. I do not believe the data. Speeds are NOT slower off peak, and they are much slower on-peak. That is common sense, from observation.
        Today on Culver Blvd. at 6:30am, traffic moved at 55mph in the 40mph zone. Woe be to the guy in the bike lane who gets hit. Those bollards won’t protect at all.
        I now start work at 7am on the westside so I am ahead of the other commuters. I am NOT advocating going 55mph, but I strongly dispute your data.
        I don’t believe it AT ALL, and people with common sense don’t.

        The data are obviously collected at odd times and skewed.

        I am glad to hear you state again that you are working on the Ballona Creek safety, because that is SUCH a luxurious bike superhighway, with controlled access and underpasses below all the dangerous intersections, that it is a shame not to use it. The new bikeways are not safe. They just end.

        Even the new Duquesne lanes in Culver City just end at Culver Blvd., and it is very dangerous between Venice Boulevard and Culver. I guess the point to be made is that some lanes are safer than none, but they did NOT do green markers where it crosses and gets unsafe.

        My point is that I don’t believe the data, and that there are obvious places that existing lanes can be made safer.

        Thanks for responding. I do not mean to be contrarian, but I think the safety advocates are using incorrect data.

        • bikinginla says:

          Just to be clear, the stats I’ve cited on road diets and protected bike lanes don’t come from LADOT, but from the Federal Highway Safety Administration, the New York Department of Transportation, and numerous university research studies.

      • Erik Griswold says:

        Sadly, due to State and Federal laws that favor motoring and speeding, it is the ONLY tool they have to slow traffic.

    • bikinginla says:

      Hey William — I told you before that I’ve been working with the LAPD, and other police agencies, for the past seven years to increase police patrols and try to make Ballona Creek safer. I’ve also used this site to call attention to the problem, and make riders aware of the situation, both for their safety, and so they can pressure government officials to make changes.

      Maybe you can tell me how that is “refused to put any effort whatsoever” into it. Seems to me I’ve been working on solving the problem, but what the hell do I know?

      As for your suggestions, maybe you’re new here. But that’s exactly what I’ve been doing since this site was founded over nine years ago. This site has a heavy focus on riding for transportation, as well as recreation. As for riding in spandex, maybe you missed this post, which makes a point I’ve repeated ad infinitum.

      As you point out, not everyone who is opposed to lane reductions is opposed to improving safety.However, they are attempting to remove the single most effective tool to do that, since lane reductions have been shown to improve safety for all road users up to 47%, and protected bike lanes up to 80%. So while they may not intend to oppose safety, their positions have exactly that effect.

      And whether or not you like or agree with Bonin, he’s one of the few city councilmembers who has the guts to make a tough decision in the public interest. Unlike most of his colleagues, who hide behind the need for consensus to avoid making any difficult choices, even when they know it’s the right thing to do.

      We have far too many of the latter, and far too few of the former.

  2. Eric Knight says:

    I am all for safer streets.

    The problem is the reducing the number of lanes has actually made it less safe (among other problems).

    Bonin has handled this very poorly….I don’t think he should be recalled….he just
    needs to start over and work with all interested parties before making drastic changes.

    I have enjoyed living in PDR for almost eight years. The last few months I have dreaded having to leave my apartment to go anywhere.

    • bikinginla says:

      Hey Eric. I’ve said all along that these lane reductions should be studied, and changes made if traffic and safety stats show there’s a problem. Usually things settle down after an initial period, and traffic returns to the level it was before or actually improves.

      If that doesn’t happen, they should be removed.

      Which, oddly, is exactly the position Bonin has publicly taken on a number of occasions.

      No one wants to make life worse for you, or anyone else who lives in the area, myself included. I hope things get better for you; if not, email me in a month or two and let me know.

      • JD says:

        I’m sure that the on-going construction on the 405 freeway north of Century has not helped the current Vista del Mar/Culver situation.
        I used to sneak around the airport to the west when I was a fleet driver over 30 years ago, going back as far as the pre-’84 Olympics time period. Even then the ocean, fishing boats, airliners, beachgoers, and filming of Baywatch provided much distraction, taking attention from driving duties. Cyclists were much fewer back then, even before the beach trail was there.

        • Erik Griswold says:

          A gentle reminder that the Vista Del Mar and Culver/Pershing/Jefferson projects were NOT bicycle lane projects.

  3. Robs Muir says:

    It is more lately reported that the BB gun incident occurred in Upland, not in La Verne as cited above. Near the corner of Benson and 7th Street, to be more precise…

  4. Hilarious. Pledges that are listed as anonymous is in regards to being published on site. Donations made to campaign which officially isn’t a campaign until we file are reported to city.
    Additionally there are no limits on recall elections.
    Do your homework!

    • bikinginla says:

      Thank you for doing it for me. The information I posted was the best I could come up with at three in the morning. I will look forward to your honest and ethical reports going forward.

      • calwatch says:

        Also thanks to Citizens United, there is no limit on independent expenditures as long as they are not coordinated with a candidate. In the case of a recall campaign, there is no candidate per se, it’s just an up and down vote on the targeted official.

        And John and Ken have engaged in partisan politics before, by trying to oust David Dreier over his lax position on immigration a dozen years ago. Dreier, as a congressman, complained to the Federal Elections Commission, which ruled that it was not an illegal in kind contribution to Dreier’s opponent, Cynthia Matthews. It is clear that, as long as they get ratings, they can do what they want.

  5. Robs Muir says:

    “Streetsblog Denver reminds the local constabulary that ticketing a man in a wheelchair after he gets hit by a car is not Vision Zero.”

    It’s called Zero Vision.

  6. Derek Jervowitz says:

    Given your comments in the KFI post I’m not sure how you can claim to be a balanced view. You call those of us who want Venice Blvd (CA-187, Boulevard II) to be 3 lanes of car traffic, “bullies.” You also claim that we want to keep streets dangerous. Neither of those things are true. First, we are not bullies but people who were lied to and told that this was “main street” Mar Vista and that whatever we didn’t “like” would be removed. This was never represented to be Vision Zero. Please don’t “bully” us by mislabeling what happened. Second, Venice Blvd is not safer for bicyclists (like myself). The bike lane is now hidden and there has been a substantial increase in bike accidents. We have 100’s of people documenting this with dates, times, pictures and when we can speak to the LAFD, the circumstances. Nearly all of the accidents have involved cars making turns across the “hidden” bike lane being t-boned by bikes. Note that the LADOT did not have any data on accidents at their 7/22 open house to preview all of the data they collected. Please stop with this propaganda nonsense which only serves to divide us.

    • bikinginla says:

      I did not call you bullies. I called John and Ken bullies, which from my perspective, is the gospel truth. The few times I’ve attempted to listen to them, I’ve turned them off after hearing how they mistreated their guests and misrepresented the facts. If you like them, fine; listen to them.

      And to the best of my knowledge, you were never lied to about Mar Vista. The plan all along was to keep it in place as a pilot project, with studies to be conducted at one month, three months and six months, and adjustments made as needed based on actual facts, not anecdotes.

      If studies show that the protected bike lane has in fact made it more dangerous, I will be the first to call for its removal.

    • Ben says:

      If bikes are t-boning cars then it is the motorist fault for being int he bike lane.

      Motorists need to look over their shoulders, be aware of their surroundings and not block the bike lane.

    • Erik Griswold says:

      Anecdotes are not data. Let the professionals study this and see if it works to reduce deaths. If it does not then by all means rip it out.

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