Morning Links: Union Station Bike Hub opens today, and LA wastes millions earmarked to fix crumbling streets

I hope you’ll forgive my unexcused absences for the past few days.

The good news is, my wife is doing well, and should be back home from the hospital before the week is over.

And my beleaguered laptop is up and running again, leaving me somewhat poorer, but back on the job. Let’s hope it stays that way.

We’ll just assume that nothing important happened while we were gone.

Right?

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LA’s biggest Bike Hub is opening today at Union Station. The new Metro site will offer secure parking for up to 200 bikes for $5 a week, or $60 a year.

Photo by Metro’s Julia Salinas, taken from The Source website.

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KCET examines the crumbling state of LA’s streets, and the risks it poses to people on two wheels.

Not to mention the needless expense to the city, as the Bureau of Street Services has returned tens of millions of dollars to the city, rather than making desperately needed street repairs, even as the city pays out millions in legal settlements to injured riders.

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It’s been a heartbreaking few days for elderly bike riders.

A 76-year old man was killed in a collision while riding his bike in Bakersfield; John Rous was a well-known and longtime member of the local riding community.

An 80-year old British bike rider was killed in a collision with Tesla, which may or may not have been driving itself.

An 83-year old man in the UK was killed when his bike apparently hit a pothole; new rules could mean that more British potholes won’t get fixed.

An 86-year old Indian man was killed in a collision with a truck as he was riding his bike to an outdoor gym.

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Rest easy, folks. Ed Sheeran is playing guitar again, and promises he’ll keep riding his bicycle, despite injuring both arm in a recent crash.

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Let’s catch up with a couple of stories we missed from last week.

Manhattan Beach voted to install sharrows and bike route signs throughout the city. Even though one councilmember is afraid they’ll just embolden cyclists to ride exactly where they’re supposed to.

UCLA students plan to form their own neighborhood council, and split with the “NIMBY and obstructionist” Westwood Neighborhood Council. While the story is about housing, the Westwood NC has also been active in blocking much needed bike lanes in the area.

Mobility advocates gathered in Leimert Park for Untokening California to discuss creating greater equity in transportation.

Next year’s CicLAvias will include a seven-and-a-half-mile route from Disney Hall to the Hollywood Bowl on September 30th, with performances by the LA Philharmonic orchestra along the way. And ending with a free performance by the orchestra at the Bowl.

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Local

A writer in the UCLA paper calls for an awareness campaign to get students to walk and bike more safely.

Bike SGV names Doug Strange their Community Advocate of the Year; the founder of the reborn La Verne Bicycle Coalition will be honored at their 2017 “Noche de las Luminarias” awards dinner next month.

Pasadena-area Rotarians will meet this weekend to assemble 300 bicycles for underprivileged children.

Santa Monica is moving forward with plans for a “radical” transformation of traffic-choked Lincoln Blvd into a more human-scale Complete Street.

 

State

Newport Beach police are looking for man riding a red cruiser bike who was seen following a San Bernardino County prosecutor before she was severely beaten while jogging in a park this past August.

A Riverside bike rider was shot in the leg as the result of an attempted robbery.

In a bizarre story, a Bakersfield man died in police custody shortly after using a fake gun to threaten a woman riding her horse on a bike path.

Sad news from the Sacramento area, where a 19-year old North Highlands man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike.

Sacramento State University is now a silver-level BFU. And no, that does not stand for Big Effing University.

A Marysville woman has been arrested in last week’s hit-and-run that left a bike rider seriously injured; she was taken into custody after calling the police to claim her car was stolen before the crash. An excuse that never seems to work in real life.

 

National

The GOP Senate wants to take away your measly $20 monthly benefit for riding your bike to work; the Bike League has more information on what you may be about to lose.

Architectural Digest examines how the threat of vehicular terrorism will change our cities in the wake of the New York bike path attack.

Bicycling offers tips on how to wash your bike.

A Seattle grandfather is suing after being left a paraplegic when he crashed into an unmarked bollard on a bike trail, which probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

An Iowa bicyclist says no, really, it’s much safer if she doesn’t give you any warning as she glides past on the sidewalk. That is what is technically known as a load of crap.

Evidently, flipping off the president pays. A Virginia woman who was fired from her job after her employers learned she was the bike rider who was photographed flipping off the presidential motorcade will receive at least $77,000 from a crowdfunding campaign. She says she did it because he wouldn’t have heard her through the glass.

 

International

A new crowdfunding campaign promises to turn your bike into an ebike for just $299, with an extra eight pounds of weight.

The Cuban record holder for the world’s tallest tall bike is working in tandem with the previous record holder, LA’s Richie Trimble, on a 20-foot tall tandem.

A Montreal website offers tips on how to stay safe and warm on your bike this winter. Which is especially good advice here in Los Angeles, where it sometimes gets down to a frigid 60 degrees.

Actor Robert Pattinson is one of us, as a gossip site freaks out when he’s spotted riding his bike in London without a helmet. Which is perfectly legal there, just as it is here.

A new UK survey shows 78% of people support protected bike lanes, even if the politicians don’t.

Three people were injured when a French driver with “psychiatric problems” deliberately plowed his car into a group of students.

Lithuanian students illustrate how much space cars take up, and how little bikes need.

A Mumbai website says everyone has a right to be safe when they ride a bike, from milkmen to champion cyclists.

………

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews reminisces about the great Bernard Hinault on his birthday.

Cyclist magazine explores why Chris Froome isn’t considered a legend.

Phil Gaimon released a statement about repeating the rumor that Fabian Cancellara was a known motor doper in his new book, after the Swiss rider’s lawyers demand the removal of the book.

 

Finally…

It’s a sad day when a dog has better form on an upright bike than I do — even if he does need training wheels. No matter how threatened you feel by drivers, riding with an AR-15 is probably not the answer; neither is claiming you just found it in the street and were taking it to the police station.

And if you’re going to ride your bike with a stolen Glock in your pants, put a damn light on it.

The bike, that is, not the gun.

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Thanks to John P. Lynch for his generous contribution to support this site, as well as his kind wishes for my wife and laptop.

 

10 comments

  1. Biked says:

    The hub has me wonder about better bike share model. Single user like bike share allows for standardised bikes that can be stored once a day much more efficiently but with user otherwise.

    So 1000 of them for same societal cost of just 196 podiums?

    $60 a year rate takes a lot of explaining when you can’t get it done for a month once full at that. No balancing, no dibs, just a guaranty of wheels waiting when you get to vending area.

    Scale counts. Scale allows stepthru etc. Choice. The fleet model of bikesshare… not just token racks empty a complete hub has bikes to go as well.

    Shared bikes you can take home affordably would better disrupt given such land.

    SBYCTHA

    • bikinginla says:

      Some cities, my hometown included, have bike library programs where you can check out a bike for an extended period. And some universities allow students to check out bikes for an entire semester.

      • Biked says:

        As far as i have noticed the bike share rates however do charge too much if you take it home.

        The real cost is getting your unique bike back by hand so a hybrid program that stored bikes efficiently as they did not have assignments makes union hub seem obsolete. In same space far more could be served. The cost of overnight unsharability of most bikes woukd be low to system. Technology allows free transactions, the check out and return daily, so each day can be insanely cheap costing only maintenance and a much reduced storage.

  2. Scott says:

    The Iowa cyclist is completely correct in her assessment of collision risk on a wide sidewalk. It’s not a load of crap. In the end if we vision zero this situation it has to be on the cyclist to ensure that no collision occurs in the same way that it has to be on the overtaking motorist to ensure that no collision occurs with a cyclist to include reducing speed to that of the one being overtaken. On your left calls are not required to do this just as horn taps aren’t required by motorists. Right? I think what you are calling BS on is the cyclist that puts the responsibility for the bike ped collision partly or wholly on the ped. No mention of this was made in the article.

    • bikinginla says:

      How on earth does calling crap on a cyclist feeling no obligation to warn people on the sidewalk about her presence put the responsibility on the pedestrian?

      My response it based on three things:

      1) Bike riders belong on the street, not the sidewalk. When safety or other factors require riding on the sidewalk, it is up to bike riders to ensure they ride in a safe and considerate manner that protects more vulnerable users, just as it is the obligation of drivers to drive safely around more vulnerable users on the road.

      2) It is the obligation of bike riders to alert people on the sidewalk to their presence, whether through a bike bell, softly saying “passing on your left,” — never simply “on your left,” which many people find rude and/or confusing — or offering a polite “excuse me.” There is no excuse, ever, for startling others, which inevitably contributes to a needlessly dangerous situation.

      3) If you are riding on the sidewalk, you should be riding at or near a walking pace, so you don’t startle people or risk crashing into others if they unexpectedly walk into your path, which is what people do on sidewalks.

      It is 100% up to the person on the bike to ensure they ride safely on the sidewalk, without posing any unnecessary risk to others.

      So yes, I’d say her letter is complete and unadulterated crap. Which is the most polite term I would use to describe it.

      • Biked says:

        I bet the rare collision mainly occurs when the bike had almost no pedestrians to pass but still passed Ms. Parrot dogmatically unsafely.

        As a general rule where even tedious courtesy is cheap to provide to maximum extent I so err. If on an hour ride coming to dismount as many times as possible is gonna take a minute at most longer it is a pleasure.

        Walking allows us to stop or evade in inches. SIMPLY Walk your bike on sidewalk if passing on only the wheels is unsafe!

  3. Scott says:

    I agree and once again I was unable to clearly communicate my thoughts in the initial comment. Hoping for next time.
    It seemed to me she was describing a multi use path even though she said sidewalk.

    • Biked says:

      Scott “If there are two people walking, one will inevitably go right and one will go left. A bell works somewhat better, but again, headphones.” can happen spontaneously (from our perspective) which is why if notice is not taken yes, extreme measures like emergency breaking or sharp turn away should be next step.

      We best ‘ask:’ [are you going to let me pass]? If no permission is given we stop them from causing a big problem period.

      Or we gamble if our speed is too high to do so, on multi use paths it might be. They tend to have demarcations however.

  4. Biked says:

    I bet the rare collision mainly occurs when the bike had almost no pedestrians to pass but still passed Ms.-Parrot-dogmatically unsafely.

    As a general rule where even tedious courtesy is cheap to provide to maximum extent I so err. If on an hour ride coming to dismount as many times as possible is gonna take a minute at most longer it is a pleasure.

    Walking allows us to stop or evade in inches. SIMPLY Walk your bike on sidewalk if passing on only the wheels is unsafe!

  5. Ralph says:

    Hmmm. you can install immovable steel posts in areas where there are cyclists but you can’t install those same posts where there are normally cars…..

    The bike space shown by the cage is pretty much the space that vehicles should give cyclists when on the road.

    The glock could be used as an auxiliary light in case your front light fails….
    https://www.crimsontrace.com/products/manufacturer/glock/01-6940

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