Morning Links: Meetings for 6th Street and new LA General Plan, and Burbank cops don’t care about a close pass

David Ryu, LA’s 4th district councilmember, is hosting a neighborhood meeting tomorrow to discuss safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

While it seems unlikely that Ryu will approve the road diet local residents have been demanding in the wake of the Playa del Rey fiasco, this is our chance to fight for safety on a street that poses needless risks to bike riders and pedestrians.

And just maybe Ryu might prove me wrong.

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The LA Department of City Planning is hosting a pair of public meetings to gather input for the city’s new General Plan, in South LA tomorrow morning and Hollywood Wednesday evening.

The Have A Go website reports that almost no bicyclists attended an earlier meeting, resulting in virtually no one to give a voice to visions of a more bikeable, walkable city not strangled by motor vehicles.

This is your chance to envision a more livable city, and maybe — just maybe — see it become a reality in your lifetime.

Or you could just sit back and complain about it later, insisting you never had a say in the matter.

Just like all those people who suddenly found themselves shocked to discover LA has a mobility plan, or that Vision Zero calls for safety improvements on the streets they like to zoom along.

You can also give your input in a short survey, instead.

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Bike SGV hosts their Spooky Night Bike Train tomorrow.

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A cargo bike rider complains to Burbank police officers about just watching while a driver passes within inches of him and his two-year old daughter, directly in front of their squad car.

Naturally, they respond with their best Sgt. Schultz imitation by saying they didn’t see a thing, and asking if he shouldn’t he be riding on the sidewalk, anyway.

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In an update to Sunday’s fatal bike crash on PCH in Santa Monica, a Good Samaritan who stopped to help the victim says the Santa Monica police aren’t being forthcoming with the full details.

And she reports that the driver fled the scene and was chased down by witnesses to the crash, rather than returning on his own as the police had said.

Thanks to Jorge Casuso for the heads-up.

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A new bill signed into law by the governor gives local governments the right to seize cars used by pimps or Johns for prostitution.

However, drivers who flee the scene of crashes or use their cars to deliberately threaten or harm bicyclists or pedestrians are more than welcome to keep theirs.

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The British team doctor who sent the suspicious package that has left a cloud over Bradley Wiggins has walked away from the organization without talking to doping authorities.

The head of the Movistar team says 13.5 miles of Paris – Roubaix cobblestones are too dangerous to include in next year’s Tour de France.

A British writer says we may have entered the age of post-truth, but cycling got there decades earlier.

Doping has reached the dog world, as sled dogs in Alaska’s famed Iditarod test positive for Tramadol, the same painkiller that’s legal for professional athletes under current doping rules, and widely used — or abused — in the pro peloton.

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Local

Another missive from self-proclaimed lawyer Richard Lee Abrams, who accuses the city of placing bike lanes on busy streets where smog harms kids on bicycles, as an excuse to install road diets in an attempt to intentionally turn traffic congestion into an unbearable nightmare and force people to use subways and fixed rail. Which might sort of almost make sense if the recent Playa del Rey road diets were anywhere near rail lines. I’m also told the reason Abrams isn’t listed in the California bar is that while Abrams is his real name, he’s listed in the bar under another name. Sure, let’s go with that.

Police are looking for a possible bike-riding arsonist who may be responsible for setting four separate trees on fire in North Hollywood.

A Playa Vista photographer transforms trash into art, inspired by a garbage bin he discovered on a Chicago bike ride.

Carson is now home to eight Starbucks and a Jersey Mikes, and it’s getting a bike path along the Dominguez Channel. It’s also the home of the new LA Chargers, but nobody’s perfect.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson pens a hard-hitting piece about the failure of the Playa del Rey road diets, and the pain advocates felt when the news broke. However, while his solution to confidently take the lane instead of fighting for bike lanes may work for some of us, it doesn’t address the 8 to 80 problem, or encourage the vast majority of people who might like to ride their bikes if they weren’t so afraid of traffic to get out and try it.

 

State

San Diego’s Bikes for Boobs has raised $23,000 for breast cancer prevention.

No, Bakersfield 23ABC News, bike lights and helmets might make bike riders safer, but they won’t do a damn thing to improve the streets.

A San Luis Obispo County rehabilitation nurse urges bicyclists to stop riding up and down the Nipono Mesa hills in the traffic lanes where they have every right to be, because unsuspecting drivers would never in their wildest dreams imagine that anyone might actually do that. So the problem isn’t clueless and careless drivers, but the people on bikes who might be in their way. Got it.

Speaking of SLO, a letter writer says drivers are fed up with road diets and sacrificing parking spots to make room for all those damn bike lanes, questioning whether that really helps the cause of bicycling.

San Francisco clears away the last of the homeless encampments blocking a popular bikeway, and a TV reporter discovers what may be the city’s most dangerous bike lane.

The Santa Rosa train may have been SMART, but riding in front of it with headphones and talking on a cellphone, not so much.

A bicyclist who lost his sight to diabetes will take part in this weekend’s Shasta Wheelmen Wildcat Granfondo in Redding, despite surviving a pair of double kidney transplants.

 

National

The best technical minds in America are hard at work answering the single most pressing issue regarding driverless cars: Who’s at fault when they crash?

A new device promises to let you carry your bike suspended across your back. Wouldn’t that just make it bang into every branch, bush, rock and signpost along the way? Not to mention any people you happen to pass.

A woman discusses what she learned on a 4,274-mile bike ride across the US from Virginia to Seattle.

A kid riding to school shouldn’t have to jump off his bikes and roll out of the way to avoid getting run over, like this boy in San Antonio TX.

Caught on video: A man steals a laptop from inside an Oklahoma hospital without ever getting off his bicycle.

A 16-year old Minnesota driver is accused of using Snapchat seconds before he plowed into a bike rider.

A Minnesota theater is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a bike riding actress, who was killed in a crash after the spirit first appeared, making the ID seem unlikely.

A writer in Albany NY explains how he became a bike person, and discovers that how we move around our community matters. And it’s really fun, too.

Former Olympic gold medal track cyclist Marty Nothstein announces his bid for Congress as a Republican in Pennsylvania’s 15th district.

In what sounds like the theater of the absurd, New York’s mayor announces plans to fine the employees of ebike delivery people; for reasons that escape most rational people, it’s illegal to use the nonpolluting bikes on Gotham streets. Better to make delivery people pedal for eight hours a day, or maybe just use a massive SUV like the mayor does.

The parents of a ten-year old New York girl credit her $40 bike helmet with saving her life after a nearly four-ton forklift rolled over her head as she was riding her bicycle.

A doubly bighearted Virginia deputy bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen. Then bought a second bike for another boy who didn’t have one.

 

International

Cycling Weekly lists the eight types of cyclists you see on every winter ride. Seriously, just get out and ride your bike, wherever and however makes you happy. And screw the labels.

A British woman is looking for the apparently drunk or stoned man who crashed his bike into her and her friends, then jumped up and started punching them, breaking her nose and knocking her friend out cold.

Caught on video too: An English bike rider get assaulted by a road raging driver, after flipping him off for a dangerously close pass on a blind curve.

A new Danish ebike is too fast to legally be used on the streets in the European Union.

An Egyptian woman is training to become the first woman to ride solo around the country.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia calls Singapore-based dockless bikeshare provider oBike a shadowy organization that has hurt the chances for other bikeshare providers.

 

Finally…

Maybe this explains why a Huffy rides like a sewing machine. Who knew a traffic light was the cure for the bicyclists God complex?

And apparently, it’s bad luck to steal a bicycle from a police station.

 

6 comments

  1. A. Bauer says:

    If I were riding with my kid in a cargo carrier, I would be riding on the side walk, no matter what the law says. Did not see any walks on the sidewalk which is the usual case.

    • Your idea about riding on the sidewalk is understandable, but I think that most safety experts would disagree. Search for it, and you’ll probably find that riding on the sidewalk is actually more dangerous.

      Drivers don’t expect bicyclists to be there, so they don’t see them until it’s too late. Bicyclists don’t have room to maneuver, if needed.

      • bikinginla says:

        Let’s not forget that reduced sight lines greatly increase the risk of getting hit by cars pulling out of driveways, and reduced visibility caused by parked cars increases the risk of getting hit by cars turning into them.

        Not to mention that sidewalks are bidirectional, putting people riding against traffic at greater risk from drivers looking in the opposite direction before turning onto the street.

        That said, there are times when sidewalk riding may be the safer alternative, such as over a busy bridge, or some other section of high-traffic roadway with a narrow righthand lane, featuring limited pedestrian traffic and few or no driveways.

        However, in any situation, pedestrians should always get the right-of-way on the sidewalk, and people should ride with extreme care around them.

  2. David says:

    Valley drivers are the worst! I lived in Santa Monica and there were bad drivers there too, but after living in the Valley, they’re way worse. I think it has to do with the amount of cyclists using the streets. In Santa Monica there are a lot of cyclists; drivers are accustomed to driving around them, but in the Valley there are almost no cyclists; so people don’t know how to drive around them. Also, there is no easy way to cross the 5 Freeway in Burbank. I’ve ridden it and it can be death defying…

    As for the cops… Here’s my story… A couple of months ago I contacted the North Hollywood Police bike liaison about drivers using the bike lanes as normal traffic lanes, which I see drivers do every time I ride. They use it as a right turn lane (many blocks a head of the broken lines), and also, just to get ahead of backed up traffic. I’ve had a couple of times where I was almost hit by drivers driving in the bike lane. The NH Police told me they patrol for people driving in the bike lanes; yet I’ve never seen them patrolling. The officer also implied that if they don’t see any cyclists using the bike lanes they don’t feel the need to stop drivers from using the bike lanes for travel. Even though it’s illegal for a driver to drive down the bike lane whether or not bikes are present. So, it seems the polices’ attitude is no harm no foul even if drivers are breaking the law and putting cyclists lives in danger.

    In Troy’s video the cops seam indifferent and maybe they know that bikes have the right to take a lane, but suggesting to ride on the sidewalk is just ridiculous. The Police should be even more aware of how people are driving around cyclists, but it’s just the opposite, and too many times when someone is hit they’re too quick to blame the cyclist for being careless…

  3. JD says:

    The sidewalk appears to be completely blocked by the Detour sign.

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