Morning Links: Take action to preserve Rowena bike lanes, why drivers run from crashes, and more e-scooter news

It’s bad enough that we can’t get the Complete Streets we were promised.

Now we’re having to fight just to hold on to the ones we’ve got.

While there seems to be a temporary ceasefire in the fight over the parking protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, the highly successful lane reduction and bike lanes on Rowena Ave are imperiled, following a $50,000 study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu.

Residents blame the redesigned street for an increase in cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, even though pervious studies have shown that the street carries more motor vehicle traffic, more safely, now than it did before.

And even though the study showed no link between the cut-through traffic and the removal of excess capacity on Rowena.

A more likely culprit is the Waze app, which frequently directs drivers onto streets that aren’t intended to handle that kind of traffic.

The new study ends by suggesting four alternatives, only one of which would retain the current Complete Streets design; the other three appear to be included to give Ryu political cover should he decide to rip out the bike lanes and restore the street to it’s original unsafe capacity.

Local group Keep Rowena Safe offers their response to the study, and urges everyone to contact Ryu and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represent the surrounding area, to demand that the current design stay in place.

KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE

KEEP ROWENA SAFE

KEEP THE ROAD DIET

Please e-mail Councilmembers David Ryu and Mitch O’Farrell

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

And don’t forget to cc Mayor Garcetti and Assemblymember Laura Friedman

[email protected]

[email protected]

You can find a sample letter here.

………

Troubling piece from the Washington Post, as the paper’s transportation writer looks at the psychology behind America’s rising rate of hit-and-run crashes.

And concludes drivers flee because they’ve been drinking, because they panic, think it’s no big deal or they can’t cope with what just happened.

Or because they just lack good moral judgement.

Gee, you think?

………

Still more e-scooters in the news.

A writer for City Watch says e-scooters will never be a first mile/last mile solution for LA transit, in part because they don’t work on hills (actually, they do). And in part because LA and Metro failed to build the bike lanes and bike parking we’ve been promised.

The Have A Go website takes LA to task, saying the issues with scooters are a problem of the city’s own making, repeating the charge that the failure lies in the city’s failure to build out the bike lane networks contained in the 2010 bike plan.

West Hollywood’s semi-enforced ban on dockless scooters appears to be working, with complaints dropping to roughly two a week. Although that ban couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the recent increase in WeHo traffic congestion, as previous scooter users go back to Uber and Lyft.

Pasadena may invite scooter providers to the city, as long as they promise to play nice.

Santa Monica reminds everyone of the rules governing scooter use.

Graphic from the Santa Monica e-scooter website

The Louisville KY newspaper looks at the city’s experience with e-scooters after their first month on the streets, where only 100 are allowed under initial limits.

The Department of DIY strikes in Cincinnati, where a couple of people used a little paint to create their own scooter parking spaces, calling them “Bird Cages,” to show how easily the scooter parking problem can be solved.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wants to pull the brakes on e-scooters.

Streetsblog asks if it’s time to redefine the bike lane in the age of e-scooters and other mobility devices.

The Verge says scooter providers are trying to rehabilitate their image in the face of city crackdowns across the US; Lime is allowing users in three cities to donate to preselected charities through their app, while promising to fund new bike lanes.

………

Local

Bike rider Doug Weiskopf writes that he was bullied off the Mariposa Bridge by complaints from Burbank horse riders, who he says have appropriated the bridge and portions of Griffith Park as their own.

The LACBC is providing a new monthly recap of the projects they’re working on, ranging from Rowena to getting the promised bike lanes on the new Spring Street bridge.

 

State

An Op-Ed from the chair of the Santa Ana Bikeways and Walkability Committee credits Councilwoman Katrina Foley with creating the committee and passing the city’s first new bike plan since 2002, and urges her election as mayor.

San Clemente will allow bicycles and ebikes on the city’s Beach Trail. Except during the summer months, when most people would to want to use it.

San Diego police are looking for four men and a woman who chased down a bike rider in their car, then punched and stabbed him multiple times; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

Thousand Oaks is adding bike lanes on the north side of Moorpark Road, and replacing missing sidewalks, to improve safety for bicyclists tackling the Norwegian Grade climb.

The San Francisco Chronicle suggest ditching the car and exploring Sacramento by bike.

 

National

Bicycling offers five tips to use your bike to burn belly fat. The magazine also offers 30 of their favorite crazy bike videos, if you’re willing to click through 30-plus pages.

A Denver nonprofit has committed to giving 25,000 bicycles to second grade students over the next five years.

Police in Grand Junction CO bust seven bike thieves and recover a large cache of hot bikes after a bait bike leads to a bicycle chop shop. This is why the LAPD need to use bait bikes like other California police departments; it’s less about arresting a single thief than getting the ringleaders behind them.

A Colorado fundraiser serves up beer to raise funds to send bikes to Africa, averaging 20 bicycles a year to help change lives, one bike at a time.

A Wisconsin paper looks back on the efforts of a pair of bike-riding hippies in the 1970s that set the state on its bike friendly path.

Businesses along New York’s former Boulevard of Death say no one’s using the new bike lanes, and they’d rather have their parking spaces back, even if it means a return to the deadly street.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A road raging 87-year old North Carolina man faces charges after he attempted to make an unsafe pass around a group of bicyclists, then cut back in behind the lead rider and preceded to run her off the road in retaliation for his own crappy driving.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A South Carolina woman plans to celebrate her 80th birthday by riding 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway to raise $80,000 provide bikes to women in Tanzania.

 

International

Following a summer of road rage and bicycling deaths, a Toronto website discusses how bike riders can make peace with motorists. Mostly by wearing a helmet, keeping the tunes turned down and behaving yourself on the streets.

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth’s homeopathic physician has brought to light the bicycling deaths of four people in five years in a single London neighborhood — and the efforts of the city’s transportation department to block safety improvements under former Mayor Boris Johnson.

A six-year old English kid set a goal of riding his bike 25 miles this month to raise money for the homeless.

A Welsh website clarifies what is and isn’t allowed for people on bicycles in the UK’s Highway Code to clear up the confusion and conflicts with drivers.

A Danish city councilor calls for a ban on gas-powered motor scooters, not to protect bike riders, but to protect the air.

Legendary Italian framebuilder Dario Pegoretti died unexpectedly of a heart condition on Thursday. Bicycling profiled Pegoretti a few years ago.

Saudi women are wearing sports abayas that allow them to bicycle more comfortably.

Sometimes DIY traffic calming efforts can backfire, as the lead riders in a group of cyclists found out the hard way. They were injured when they hit a homemade speed bump intended to slow noisy traffic in an Australian national park; one rider will miss the masters world road championships he trained for the past year with a concussion, broken ribs and broken collarbone, as well as a broken bike.

Good question. A Kiwi bicyclist wants to know why so many people hate cyclists. From the conversations and comments I’ve seen, the main objection is lawbreaking bike riders — as if the majority of drivers don’t break traffic laws on a daily basis. But violations by bike riders are somehow seen as different.

A British website says the real cost of Chinese dockless bikeshare bikes isn’t what you pay, it’s the personal data and privacy you give up to use them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock’s lanterne rouge ride through the entire Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade has raised nearly $400,000 to repair and improve Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey last year.

A Russian cyclist was declared ineligible for the Asian Games at the last minute after several countries complained about her recent citizenship change to avoid sanctions on Russian athletes.

A Swedish scientist is working on a test to detect blood packing using an athlete’s own blood to stop one of the most common forms of cheating.

 

Finally…

Evidently, calling something “the worst cycling event ever” can have an impact, after all. What it’s like to wear bike shorts for a week, without coming in actual contact with a bicycle or anything.

And if you want to see the pope on the Emerald Isle, get on your bike.

Or maybe get on a plane or a boat first. It could be a wet ride otherwise.

 

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