Morning Links: Open letter from Pure Cycles owner to LA Mayor, and LAPD searching for killers of bike rider

In today’s must read, the owner of Pure Cycles pens an open letter to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti calling for him to keep his promises to make the city’s streets safer.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and I own a business in Los Angeles that designs and distributes commuter and urban bicycles with a mission to “get more people on bikes.” I am embarrassed to live in a city that is called the “hit and run capital of the nation,” and that doesn’t make it a priority to keep our streets safe. I am embarrassed that I can’t even ride my bike to work without being called irresponsible by my wife and my parents, and who ask me if I want my one-year-old daughter to grow up without her dad. I am embarrassed that I advertise the benefits of bike riding to my customers and urge them to try to replace car rides with bike rides, even though my friends and family refuse to ride due to safety concerns. I can’t even explain the disappointment that I feel over the safety issues that bike riders and walkers have in Los Angeles, and it is clear that something must change immediately….

Over three years ago you signed an ambitious and exciting plan called the Vision Zero Initiative and declared that you were determined to bring the number of people killed while walking and biking to zero. Since then, we’ve lost over 500 Los Angelenos to the dangerous conditions of our city’s streets. I am asking you to stand up and recommit to Vision Zero, and request that City Council do the same.

We need you to lead and support our City Councilmembers in prioritizing the safety of their constituents. Please stand up for safe streets so that we can have in your words, “a well-run city… A prosperous city… A safe city… A city of opportunity.”

Seriously, take a few minutes to read it, then pass it on to everyone you know.

And demand an answer from the mayor.

Photo: Pure Cycle’s new head badge, taken from their Twitter account

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The LAPD is looking for the public’s help in solving the murder of 39-year old Jamal Lewis, who was fatally shot while riding is bike on West 11th Street last month.

Thanks to Matt Stewart for the heads-up.

Meanwhile, the Yuba County sheriff’s department has identified a bicyclist killed in a drive-by last week.

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The LA County Sheriff’s Department will be stepping up bike and pedestrian safety enforcement in the Malibu area today.

By now, you should know the drill; ride to the letter of the law until you’re out of the area.

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Local

Metro is kicking off Bike Month with a free screening of The Bicycle Revolution! in Pasadena on Thursday.

Santa Monica will observe National Bike to School Day with a full week of biking and walking.

The Manhattan Beach Class of 2018 is unveiling the city’s first Bike Fix-It station at the foot of the Manhattan Beach Pier on Saturday, with additional locations to come.

 

State

Over 1,100 bicyclists rode through Rancho Santa Margarita to raise funds for Rwanda over the weekend.

Brea is officially opening final segment of a four-mile bike and pedestrian trail; five other segments have been in use for months. The trail will also link with 66-mile OC Loop bikeway circling Orange County, which is about 66 miles longer than its LA County counterpart.

No wonder so many people hate bikes. Residents of San Diego’s Imperial Beach neighborhood are complaining after a new bike lane went in behind their houses, they received notices giving them just 30 days to clean up their back yards so they’ll look prettier for the people pedaling by.

Contra Costa County has identified the victim of a bicycle collision who was killed last week, allegedly after inexplicably swerving into the side of an SUV. After all, it couldn’t possibly have been the result of an unsafe and illegally close pass.

A Sacramento TV station reports that a new parking-protected bike lane in Sacramento is confusing drivers. Which isn’t too surprising, since it’s not even completed yet.

 

National

A new survey suggests that most people don’t see bicycling as transportation. Which could explain why so many drivers don’t think we belong on the roads.

Fox News looks at National Bike Month, which starts today, including various bike tours across the US, along with LA’s own Bike to Work Day on the 17th. Although I want to hold out for that Elvis Pilgrimage ride traveling between Tupelo, Memphis and Nashville.

Treehugger warns that Baby Boomers on ebikes may become a problem here in the US, after older Dutch ebike riders die in rising numbers.

A Spokane newspaper looks at the roadways of the future, where you probably won’t get killed if you have a cellphone in your pocket.

An Oregon driver has had his license permanently revoked for being an idiot, when a 76-year old Corvette driver challenged two other motorists to a street race; after they refused, he sped off and killed a man on a bike while doing 80 mph. He also got a well deserved two years in jail.

A Houston letter writer notes the risks posed by drivers and a lack of bike infrastructure in the city, then complains about people who ride their bikes on the sidewalk or filter to the front of the line at an intersection. Apparently failing to realize that the latter could be how bicyclists attempt to deal with the former.

Life is cheap in New Hampshire, where a hit-and-run bike rider walked with a lousy $100 fine for riding on the sidewalk, after he fell into a 91-year old woman who died a day later after she was found lying on the sidewalk. Seriously, there’s no more excuse for a bike rider who leaves the scene after crashing into someone than there is for a driver — especially if someone dies as a result.

Switzerland will pick up your tab for bikeshare this month, as long as you’re willing to move to New York or Boston.

A New York website says the city’s new ebike policy could still harm low income delivery workers.

Evidently, Wonder Woman is a cape-clad nine-year old Florida mountain biker.

 

International

Cyclist offers advice on how to stay safe on your bike.

A Toronto-based writer says it’s time to make protected bike lanes and sidewalks a part of every road design to protect against dangerous drivers, as well as motor vehicle attacks like the recent murderous assault in the city. As we’ve noted before, despite automotive terrorist attacks around the world, Los Angeles still hasn’t done anything to protect people on Hollywood Blvd, perhaps the city’s most vulnerable tourist site.

A Toronto safe streets advocate and mother of three is challenging the city’s mayor in an upcoming election.

Judges in the UK reject a hit-and-run driver’s complaint that he doesn’t deserve a six-year sentence for killing a bicyclist while “driving like an idiot.”

New road markings in an English town direct bicyclists head-on into oncoming traffic in an apparent attempt to thin the herd.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as British mountain bikers discover large shards of broken glass buried upright on a popular trail.

City Lab talks with Jan Gehl, the architect behind the transformation of Copenhagen into a livable and bikeable city.

Great idea. Belgian police are loaning bicycles to bike theft victims for up to a week to help minimize the disruption in their lives.

A European trademark court rules that Messi isn’t Massi.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a truck driver was fined just $1,500 in restitution for careless driving after running over a man riding in a bike lane in the equivalent of a right hook, then driving home, telling police he thought he’d hit a pothole. The victim’s unusually forgiving parents hugged the driver before his sentencing.

A group of 130 Kiwi doctors say people are becoming sick and dying as a result of the lack of safe bicycling infrastructure.

 

Competitive Cycling

Morgan Hill is planning a full week of bike events before the Amgen Tour of California arrives on the 16th.

Pro cyclists visited schools in Highland in advance of the Redlands Bicycle Classic, which starts today in Big Bear.

Philippa York, who gained fame as former pro cyclist Robert Millar, says bicycling’s macho culture prevents riders and support staff from coming out as gay. Tell that to all those drivers who assume anyone in spandex must be.

 

Finally…

When your sportive ride offers a chance to see the Loch Ness Monster. Why should drivers be the only ones with all-wheel drive?

And getting caught on Google Maps after falling off your bike wouldn’t be all that embarrassing if a newspaper didn’t make such a big deal over how embarrassing it is.

 

2 comments

  1. Michael Sullivan says:

    Today Bike to Work Day is May 18. Yesterday it was May 17. Which is it? LACBC has it listed as the 17th so I’m guessing that’s the right date.

    • bikinginla says:

      Thanks for the catch. National Bike to Work Day is on the 18th, but Los Angeles is observing it on the 17th. I got the dates confused when writing this, so I appreciate the correction.

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