Morning Links: Indignorant anti-road diet columnist, bike riders on the wrong end of guns, and more traffic mayhem

So wrong, in so many ways.

A columnist for the LA Daily News goes out of her way to demonstrate her near total ignorance of traffic safety, Vision Zero and “dangerous” road diets in a column saying the latter belongs in a Museum of Stupid Ideas.

Never mind that road diets have been shown to increase safety up to 47%. But why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good rant?

Then there’s her screed about Vision Zero coming from — gasp! — Sweden.

Common sense would tell you that traffic solutions should be developed locally without guidance from irrelevant foreign capitals, and that’s why common sense is not in the museum.

During 2016, the first full year of Vision Zero’s implementation in Los Angeles, fatalities in traffic collisions were up a horrifying 43 percent over the previous year.

Although she might have mentioned that all LA did in 2016 was develop a plan for Vision Zero. And to the best of my knowledge, talking about reducing traffic deaths has never caused a single collision.

Or that the purpose of Vision Zero is not to prevent traffic collisions, but to keep people from dying in them, by recognizing that people will always make mistakes, but better roadway designs can keep those mistakes from killing someone.

And never mind that virtually every traffic solution currently in use in LA came from somewhere else. From traffic lights and stop signs, to the billion dollar HOV lanes on the 405.

About the only innovation we can claim is the right turn on red light. Which isn’t exactly a template for safety.

But the topper is this one, where she goes out of her way to have it both ways.

Although city officials consulted extensively with community groups before turning eight-tenths of a mile of Venice Boulevard into one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets,” the part of the plan that involved taking away a traffic lane in each direction wasn’t exactly displayed on street banners.

So she acknowledges that the city conducted extensive outreach. Then turns around and says it didn’t do enough outreach.

Maybe next time she should do a little basic research so she knows what the hell she’s talking about before flying off the handle.

Or wasting newsprint with uninformed drivel like this.

………

Today’s common theme is bikes and guns.

There are still no suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular Colorado mountain biker as he was riding last week; his body was discovered days later next to a trail.

A Florida bike rider was shot by a driver in an apparent road rage incident; no word on the condition of the victim.

And compared to the previous two cases, a Pennsylvania bicyclist got off easy when an angry driver merely pointed his gun at him following an argument.

Of course, if the drivers had just used their cars instead, it would have been written off as just an accident.

And the bike riders would have been blamed for it.

………

Today’s other common theme is the more traditional form of traffic violence.

A pair of Oklahoma men tried to cover-up a fatal hit-and-run collision by intentionally driving into a highway guard rail to hide the damage from hitting a bike rider.

A Missouri man was doing 93 in a 35 mph zone — and driving on a suspended license — when he slammed into a bicyclist last year; he now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

A Wisconsin man was turned in by his own wife following a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of man riding a bicycle.

An 83-year old Michigan man faces a misdemeanor charge after killing one bicyclist and injuring another in a rear-end collision last year. Older people may depend on their cars for mobility, but we’ve got to find a way to get them off the roads before it’s too late.

………

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten bounced back from her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics road cycling race to win world championship in the time trial yesterday.

If you’ve ever questioned how tough women cyclists really are, consider this video of British cyclist Lauren Dolan celebrating her 18th birthday by finishing the time trial despite a horrific leg injury suffered when she hit a manhole cover. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/JamieHaughey/status/909870748549943296/video/1

……….

Local

Letter writers in the Times say dark tinted windows on cars make it more dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians.

Los Angeles is planning for temporary walkways and bike paths in the recently purchased Taylor Yards railroad site, while plans are developed for a permanent park.

Curbed examines the future of bikeshare in the City of Angels.

Doris Day used to be one of us, riding her bicycle through Beverly Hills to rescue stray animals.

The Beach Reporter looks at Manhattan Beach resident Evens Stievenart’s new world record in the Le Mans Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling race

 

State

Nice story from San Diego, where a nearly blind 94-year old woman took her first bike ride in 15 years on the back of a tandem as part of a Dreams Do Come True program at an Escondido retirement community.

The new dockless bikeshare bikes in San Diego’s Imperial Beach are already getting trashed by users and vandals, less than two weeks after their introduction.

A three mile Wildomar bike lane project has been put on hold after all the bids came in over budget.

A Riverside columnist explain what those green patches in the bike lanes are all about.

Speaking in Oakland, a traffic engineer says protected bike lanes must be the new normal, and urban planners are still trying to undo the damage caused by vehicular cyclists in the 1970s and 80s.

Jens Voigt returns to Marin County to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin,

 

National

A new study shows teens are increasingly putting off drinking, driving and sex. Which makes sense, since the last one seldom happened without the first two, anyway.

No overreaction here, as TV’s Inside Edition says groups of crazed cyclists are causing “absolute mayhem in the streets.” Meanwhile, a group of young bike riders tried to prove them right by ignoring a ban on bikes to take over New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.

Houston residents are donating bicycles to help people who lost their cars in Hurricane Harvey.

Kellen Winslow II is one of us, as he tries to sell the home he bought in the Texas hills in hopes of becoming the first pro football player to turn pro cyclist.

A New York woman confirms that riding across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most difficult commutes, even if it was better than she expected.

Curbed talks with Philadelphia’s biggest bike advocate.

 

International

Edinburg, Scotland is waiting to give hometown hero Mark Beaumont the welcome he’s earned after a record-breaking 79-day bike ride around the world.

A British personal injury lawyer says the laws must be changed to clarify the rights and obligations of bicyclists, and protect riders who hit someone while riding in a bike lane.

A New Zealand cyclist calls for ripping out a new separated bike lane, after first assuring us he’s one of the good ones — not, he insists, a spandex clad rider on a $5,000 carbon fiber bike, or someone who insists on slowly taking the lane at rush hour.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you’re more dangerous than a truck. And everything you always wanted to know about bicycling in Bogotá but were afraid to ask.

Thanks to Dennis Eckhart for his generous donation to help support this site. Or maybe just help pay for that new hard drive.

 

5 comments

  1. mark panitz says:

    question after bike vs car crash an victim I taken to hospital
    what happen to the victim’s bike?

  2. Ben says:

    When I got hit by someone texting the lovely folks at LAFD loaded my broken bike into the Ambulance with me.

    The only photos in that LA Daily News are the OLD config of Vista Del Mar before they destroyed the parking. So shameful.

  3. wcoastbo says:

    The road diet on Venice Blvd saved me from serious injury and/or death just last week. At approximately 4:45 pm I was travelling westbound on Venice, I was crossing Grand View and had just entered the intersection, when I heard the distinct sound of tire on tarmac micro skids as a car’s ABS system activated.

    I looked to my left and back, at that instant a car came to a stop a mere 12 inches from my left leg. I could have reached out and touched the front hood. Without the extra width of the buffer space with pylons, and the bike path being on the other side of the parking lane (about 10-12 feet total?), I might have been the subject of a post on your blog or a hood ornament.

    Just before I heard the car’s tires on the tarmac, I thought I heard the sound of a car accelerating… I’m not 100% sure of this, it happened so fast. Could the driver have been on the gas for a G thrill around the apex of the turn? Had the driver accidentally pressed the wrong pedal before ultimately stepping on the brake? I wish I could tell you, but all this happened behind me and was out of my view. I could have certainly used eyes on the back of my head.

    I consider myself above average when it comes to handling a bike. I’ve successfully avoided many right hooks, doorings, and even several cars making illegal U-turns in front of me. On this particular occasion, there was nothing I could have done to maneuver myself out of the situation. I didn’t see it coming and by the time my sense of hearing detected the danger it was too late to react. That made me feel very helpless as a cyclist, I’ve never felt that before.

    I’m very thankful for the extra space that the Venice Blvd road diet gave me… I have another near miss story instead of serious injury.

    • bikinginla says:

      Glad it was nothing more than a close call. Be sure to send that to Mike Bonin and the Mar Vista Community Council — they really need to know that. I can get you the email addresses if you need.

  4. Mom of enough but not needing fewer says:

    Bikes versus riders is important, riders are like persons, so bad barrels even of them are not about good riders, or bikes in general:

    “I mean, you see the videos. Is it true? I’m not saying I’ve seen particular instances like that, but it’s better than the alternative. It’s better than people out here doing drugs, joining gangs and shooting each other. We’re just riding bikes,” Zack responded.”; emphasises this, and i agree, sully bikes if you wish instead of doing worse, the water will clear, the lack of levity over road use is bad driver caused, that mud is harder to clean, and mayhem frankly, mayhem of other kinds could help facilitate inmuddying by even!

    To be on road justly you need to be able to handle a joke especially so historically rarely encountered…. The power of huge groups is great, there safety in scale, ‘hard to all trivially catchness’,
    all good.

    Roads are not true protected constituntionally churches,mobs of cars gang on them all the time, blinding us to there barely checked _even now_ rampaging.

    People own public roads, can choose disobedience to hemogonists. “!!!There are people enjoying the road without cars together!!! 911″ is lame.

    At front is greatest fundamentalist cruelly venal dictum anti actually law–” lanes, all lanes possible forever”, more, never fewer, oil on dirt, maybe cemented dirt to oil and disgustingly dust up at rare best, but barren, never ample when rushed, just too costly, is zealots deafening to its actual shrillness harp cord.

    The premise of progress requiring all lanes be retained is self lampooning. We built too many, we preserve too many, to argue with that is ripe for ridicule since the printing press made speech cheap enough to so crap on facts amd reason with. Our unpoliced ability to briefly over fill roads is wrong, not other wrongs justifying but because bikes are missing COMPLETELY from millions of homes inexcusably utterly evil. To own a car without even a bike share membership is anarchous century long evidence of cancer yet but neglected.

    We choose to spare lives, right size roads. Finally, barely, but battle is at least on. Narrow roads require right vehicles, the correct solution. Wide roads store surplus cars in planet destroying motion but do not help society.

    Wide roads are for private owner’s to play with. Public ownership requires better then acreage, invested in infrastructure not raw land for industry to exploit for free.

    The public need not pay for trillions of track for sociopathic entities, to sell cheap junk for, that slaughters us on,however profitably. We can wakeup, wise up; are, barely AS BOOK JUST PUBLISHED NOTES DECADES AGO ALSO WHERE- maybe?

    Fewer safe lanes beats more dangerous lanes unless you sell to more then use them, use people dont help them. If you drive and note fewer lanes be grateful for the safety the reduced maintenance cost the congestion might be less not more
    do not assume otherwise as science disagrees. Too many free lanes just wastes, bankrupts, denies us what we really need to spend our lives better.

    Pbs news hour yesterday showed a guy goimg to college online via a cell phone powered by his truck. He ran engine to charge phone but not to provide power to his moms house…. such is poverty, car culture, driving far to work but spending fortunes on gasoline for mere data in driveway as well.

    Backwards and bizarre. Unbelievable. Trucks are for electricity as trains are for oil, moving it not generation. Knowledge by billboard is not to decry missing. Bumper sticker detail is no deep dive.

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