Morning Links: Metro plans congestion pricing, CiclaValley gets right hooked, and Whoopi hates bike lanes

In a surprising revelation, Metro’s CEO says the transit agency will move forward with plans for congestion pricing on LA freeways.

The fees are intended to ease traffic and get cars off the roads, while providing funding to fast-track transit projects and subsidize free fares on buses and trains.

Although knowing LA drivers, it’s likely congestion pricing to just shift traffic onto already overcrowded surface streets unless steps are taken to mitigate it at the same time.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton lists the benefits of congestion pricing.

And New York Streetsblog says a New York columnist is wrong when he calls congestion pricing a scam.

Which is putting it mildly.

………

CiclaValley nearly gets right hooked from the left lane, and asks how many other “wrong things” the driver did.

On the other hand, it’s nice to note he’s not the only bike commuter out there, even in today’s rainy weather.

………

Evidently, Whoopi Goldberg is no fan of bike lanes.

She took New York’s Mayor de Blasio to task when he appeared on The View to discuss his recent proposals, including Vision Zero.

“It all sounds good, but you know what’s pissing me off?” said Goldberg…

“You built 83 miles of protected bike lanes, and I like people who ride, but I don’t think you understand the impact of taking something like Tenth Avenue, which is six lanes, down to two-and-a-half — particularly when you have a winter storm and you can’t move. None of that movable, so nothing flows,” added Goldberg, referring to the Tenth Avenue dedicated bike lane.

Although she might have been exaggerating slightly, as Gothamist points out.

It’s not clear if Goldberg was referring to the bike lane on Amsterdam Avenue between 72nd and 110th, which the DOT says has not meaningfully affected traffic flow, or the planned bike lane on 10th between 52nd and 72nd, which will only require repurposing one lane of traffic, and will delay traffic by five seconds. 

She was just getting started, though.

“And I am just saying you might want to take a look at all of this because you now have [Gov.] Cuomo coming in talking about congestion pricing and I kind of feel like it’s a set up,” said Goldberg, to loud applause from the audience. “I am upset that you love these bikes, but you don’t tell people to put helmets on,” she added. “We tell children to put helmets on.”

“We have nine-block-long trucks delivering, and they can’t make the turns,” she added. “What feasibility study did y’all do when you decided to put these in? I noticed they are not on Madison Avenue, and they are not on Park Avenue?”

Which sounds like a good argument to put them on Madison and Park Aves to me.

Never mind that she begins by trotting out the inevitable support for people who ride bicycles, as long as they don’t get in the way of her commute from her $2 million New Jersey home.

And don’t get me started on how bike helmets can prevent some head injuries, but aren’t magic talismans to somehow prevent crashes or injuries to any other part of the body.

Gothamist also has this to say about her complaints over congestion pricing.

Studies have shown that congestion pricing is a “scam” if you think charging predominately wealthier New Yorkers to travel into Manhattan is a scam—only 4 percent of New Yorkers who commute into Manhattan take a private car, and more than half of that group are “high income” individuals. Variety has reported that Whoopi Goldberg is paid around $5 to $6 million a year to appear on The View. 

The View tapes at 57 West 66th Street, steps from where cyclist Madison Jane Lyden was killed by a garbage truck driver last year, increasing demands for a two way bike lane along Central Park West. 

………

Local

Maybe someone can explain why Los Angeles, with its nearly perfect winter weather — present circumstances not withstanding — continues to ignore Winter Bike to Work Day, which is scheduled for Friday, February 8th.

Just heartbreaking. A speeding hit-and-run driver lost control on Hyperion before slamming into a building. And killed a mother of three who was sorting the trash looking for cans to help pay her daughter’s college tuition — then got out of his car to inspect the damage before driving off.

Things are changing already in Westwood after the breakup of the overly conservative Westwood Neighborhood Council, as the new North Westwood NC votes to support a plan to remove four parking spaces to create a parklet on Glendon Ave.

State

Ebike prices continue to drop, as former fixie maker Aventon introduces a $1,000 model at Del Mar’s CABDA West trade show.

Santa Clara is the latest city to attempt to shove the e-scooter genie back into the bottle, banning the devices until next December.

National

A new white paper from The City Fix suggests three ways cities can harness the benefits of the bikeshare revolution.

Safe Routes to Schools has released their 2019 guide to starting and growing a safe routes to schools program.

If you like to do your cycling inside — which is starting to look better and better here in SoCal — and don’t mind parting with $2,200, CNET says the Peloton Bike is a worthy splurge. Except for the water bottle holders.

After riding 14,000 miles across the US, Alaska, Ghana, Mexico and Cuba, a Washington woman takes a deep dive into the lost history of female bicycle explorers, and shares what she learned.

A cow made a mad dash for freedom from an Alaskan rodeo six months ago, and has continued to evade cowboys and fat bike riders in the frozen wilderness.

Evidently, Lance’s settlement with the feds left him with a few bucks, as Architectural Digest visits his art-filled Aspen home, complete with a new Banksy he bought online.

A Colorado man is back behind bars after making a break from county jail on a bicycle and facing additional charges for the escape; he would have been a free man in less than two weeks with a little more patience.

The University of Colorado offers tips to prevent the #1 crime on campus — bike theft.

Nice guy. After a judge orders a hit-and-run driver to apologize to the ten-year old upstate New York boy he sideswiped, the man responded with a snarky non-apology, saying he’s “very sorry that you rode into the side of the car I was driving.” The judge scheduled a hearing today to reconsider his decision to dismiss the case. Let’s hope that judge finds a deep hole to shove him into.

International

Good question. A Trinidad newspaper wants to know what’s going on with the investigations into three people who were killed while riding their bikes on the island in November and December.

Yet another pedestrian has been injured in a collision with a bike rider in the UK, as Scottish shopkeepers rushed to help a young man who suffered serious head injuries in the crash; no word on whether the rider stopped.

British police are looking for a mountain biker who punched a pedestrian in the face as he rode by, in what appears to be a random attack.

A short video from the BBC asks if popping wheelies can keep kids away from knife crime.

Spanish actor Dani Rovira was lucky to survive a horrifying crash with a distracted driver; the cameras were rolling as he and a companion were riding from Barcelona to Rome to raise awareness for Rett syndrome when the driver plowed into them. As always, be sure you really want to see the crash before you hit play, because you can’t unsee it once you do. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Who says you can’t carry things on a bike? After all his neighbors refused to help because she was from a lower caste, an Indian teenager carries the body of his dead mother up to two and a half miles on his bicycle to be cremated.

Six New Zealand men are proposing what would be an 80-mile mountain bike loop.

A group of bighearted Aussie bicyclists belonging to Bicycles for Humanity shipped forty donated bicycles to help impoverished people in Malawi.

Forget license plates for bicyclists. Shanghai is using facial recognition to bust scofflaw bike and scooter riders who stop in the crosswalk.

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist talks with a domestique about the life of pro cycling’s invisible men.

An American cycling journalist travels to Central America and discovers pura vida at the Vuelta Ciclista a Costa Rica.

British cyclist Jess Varnish lost her employment discrimination and whistle-blower case against British Cycling after she was dropped from the team; the court ruled that she wasn’t an employee in dismissing the case.

Finally…

Repeat after me — when you’ve got an outstanding warrant for assaulting a police officer, don’t ride your bike on the damn sidewalk. Now you, too, can have your very own $140,000, 3D-printed bicycle. Yes, $140,000.

And America’s president thinks if you bike too much, you’ll use up all your energy and drop dead.

No, really.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: