Morning Links: City Atty says scrap Griffith Park Blvd bike lanes, and bike riders victim of London terrorist attack

LA City Attorney Mike Feuer has recommended removing the bike lanes on Griffith Park Blvd due to the crappy condition of the aging concrete pavement.

His recommendation comes after paying out a total of $700,000 following lawsuits from a pair of bike riders — only one of whom was actually injured on the section of Griffith Park that has bike lanes.

And even though it would increase the city’s liability the next time someone gets injured where the lanes used to be. Which is a given considering the condition of the street.

The obvious solution is to actually fix the crumbling pavement on Griffith Park, as the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee voted to recommend, which would solve the real problem.

That’s something we thought was in progress after the $200,000 settlement with Patrick Pascal, who was injured on the street beyond where the Griffith Park bike lanes end near Los Feliz Blvd, before they actually enter Griffith Park.

But they only fixed the section that took him down. And only after the city settled with him, despite countless calls to fix it prior to his injury.

Which is how it usually seems to work in the City of Angels.

In the photo, LA’s Bureau of Street Services repairs the section of pavement on Griffith Park Blvd where Patrick Pascal was injured. 

………

Once again, bike riders were the victims of a terrorist attack.

Last time it was New York, this time in London, where a man in his late 20s was arrested after driving into a group of bicyclists and pedestrians in what appeared to be a deliberate act.

Fortunately, no one was killed in the attack outside the British Houses of Parliament, though at least two people were injured, and a number of bikes mangled — a surprisingly good outcome considering the suspect drove an estimated 50 mph along the sidewalk for at least 130 feet.

And in typical British fashion, a bicyclist who chased the suspect until police intervened said “you just have a cup of tea and a biscuit and you carry on.”

………

Local

LAist offers a refresher on how to drive safely around kids headed back to school, including advice to watch for bicycles. And presumably, their riders. Speaking of which, remember that bike riders are required to stop for school buses, just like drivers, to avoid collisions with kids running across the road — or getting on or off the bus, if riders try to pass on the right. And yes, I’ve seen that.

The James Beard award-winning celebrity chef behind DTLA’s NoMad Hotel is one of us; Daniel Humm was a professional mountain biker before he won his first Michelin star at 24.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz wrote a letter to the LA Times explaining his call for a temporary ban on e-scooters in the name of pedestrian safety, something he never seemed to give a damn about before. A Streetsblog reader kindly fixed it for him to focus on the real threat.

Lime and Bird scooters were shut down yesterday in Santa Monica in advance of a protest that reportedly drew hundreds to SaMo city hall to call for the e-scooter providers to be allowed to remain in the city; a proposal under consideration would boot both in favor of new scooters from Uber and Lyft. You have two more days to voice your opinion before the city cuts off the comment period.

 

State

Police data reveals the most dangerous intersections in Mountain View.

San Francisco’s Masonic Ave remains a work in progress as safety measures are unveiled by the city, with the city’s new mayor promising protected bike lanes are on the way.

Bay Area bike advocates are calling on San Francisco to lift the restrictive caps that are preventing bikeshare from growing in the city. Meanwhile, the city apparently has no idea what to do about e-scooters, which are banned in the City by the Bay until it figures it out.

A Eureka physician displays a remarkable amount of windshield bias, saying bike riders don’t need to use a particular bike path if the wind blows because there are several others, even it they don’t go the same way. And that there are no reproducible studies showing bicycling prolongs life, or that road diets work (hint: there are, on both counts). The remarkable thing is how he can still treat patients when he can’t seem to see past his own dashboard.

A group of bicyclists stop in Humboldt County on a ride from Seattle to San Diego to promote the Dream Act.

 

National

A post on Bike Portland says sidewalk cycling can be a savior for family biking.

Public tips led to the arrest of a Washington man who left a grandmother dying in a ditch next to her crumpled bicycle.

A Boise ID woman says a speeding, spandexed bicyclist sent her to the hospital to have a one-pound blood clot removed after crashing into her on a park pathway.

As we mentioned yesterday, the driver who killed two German bike tourist in Kansas earlier this year won’t face charges; the county attorney explains that it’s because she wasn’t under the influence or otherwise operating the vehicle in a reckless or dangerous manner. Although you’d think running over two people directly in front of you would be prima facie evidence of the latter.

Caught on video: Onboard cameras catch an Austin TX bus driver sideswiping a bicyclist — and nearly running him over — as he rode in a bike lane. It’s hard to watch, so be sure you really want to see it before clicking on the link. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Two air conditioned teepees await bike tourists in an Arkansas city, as long as you’re willing to pay the price of a regular hotel room.

Chicago police double down on claims that a crackdown on bike riders in predominately black and Hispanic neighborhoods is an effective tool to prevent violence.

A New York councilmember responds to the death of a bike-riding Australian tourist by calling for a two-way protected bike lane on Central Park West. Meanwhile, a New York radio station asks listeners to imagine safer streets where bike riders are protected from things like that.

A Baltimore firefighter has been sentenced to one year probation after pleading guilty to an off-duty assault on a bike advocate at a community meeting to discuss bike lanes. At least we can be grateful that the bikelash over LA bike lanes haven’t turned violent. Yet.

A writer for the Washington Post tries, and fails, to understand the rights of bicyclists through his decidedly windshield perspective, before concluding that maybe bikes just don’t belong on the road.

 

International

A Canadian university professor says it’s odd that Toronto officials espouse the same 100-year old approach to bike and pedestrian safety that failed so spectacularly in the past.

The shooter who killed four people in Fredericton, New Brunswick last Friday is also one of us.

France’s first lady is one of us, too.

Now that’s bike friendly. A vote in Switzerland next month could enshrine bicycling in the nation’s constitution, committing the country to promoting bike transport and building suitable infrastructure.

An Indian website recommends riding a bike to pedal your blues away.

New Zealand police conclude that the truck that critically injured a champion triathlete doesn’t exist.

A Malaysian website says riding a bicycle is the healthiest form of urban transport.

 

Competitive Cycling

Santa Rosa native and defending Leadville 100 champ Larissa Connors arrives at this year’s race mourning the damage done to Trabuco Canyon by the devastating Holy Fire.

A writer for The Guardian complains that women’s cyclists will compete on a watered-down road course at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying it shows the Olympic motto of “faster, higher, stronger” only applies to men. Seriously, we should be long past the days when women were considered the weaker sex, especially in athletic competition.

Vincenzo Nibali says pro cycling has become a circus due to the aggressive behavior of racing fans, following his fan-caused crash in the Tour de France.

America’s most famous ex-Tour de France champ says he’ll do anything in his power to help former rival Jan Ullrich recover from his downward spiral.

 

Finally…

When your GPS may not have your best interests at heart. Evidently, there’s a backspace button for bike corrals.

And biking across the US is no joke, even for a former pro cyclist turned comedian.

And neither is fighting domestic abuse.

 

3 comments

  1. Andy Stow says:

    From the stupid Washington Post piece:

    “The average traffic lane in the District is about 11 feet wide. The average car is less than six feet wide. All a cyclist needs to do is move over a few feet, and a motorist could pass with plenty of room to spare.”

    A Miata is nearly six feet wide. A Honda Civic, not a particularly large car, is nearly 8 feet wide. Is this guy really a reporter?

    • Andy Stow says:

      I used Google Maps to measure three random lanes in DC. All were under 10 feet wide, average around 9.5 feet.

      Suddenly, by doing some actual investigation, “nearly 11 feet” minus “less than 6 feet” which would be plenty of room, becomes 9.5 feet minus 8 feet, or 1.5 feet of room which can magically hold a cyclist plus a safe passing distance.

  2. David says:

    It was reported today on 1070 radio news that 57% of streets in Los Angeles are in disrepair and need new pavement.

    It was also reported that only 3% of streets in Orange County are in disrepair and need new pavement.

    Orange County pays 2.5% less sales tax than Los Angeles.

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