Morning Links: LADOT & Ryu keep Rowena safe, Monterey bike news, and back when LA was a bike town

Chalk one up for the good guys.

After years of protests from traffic safety deniers and what turned out to be a relative handful of local residents, LADOT has decided to keep the highly successful road diet on Rowena Ave in place.

And surprisingly, Councilmember David Ryu, who many feared wanted to unceremoniously rip out the Rowena road diet — myself included — apparently saw the light, and went along with LADOT’s recommendation.

According to the Los Feliz Ledger, the results of a $90,000 traffic safety study demanded by opponents show the effectiveness of the half-mile Complete Streets project.

Among LADOT’s findings are that the road diet has reduced collisions, from an average of 12.4 per year in the five years prior to the road diet’s installation, to an average of 7.8 in the five years after. 

The city agency also found that mid-day traffic speeds went from 39 miles-per-hour both east and westbound pre-road diet to 36 miles-per-hour eastbound and remained at 39 miles-per-hour westbound post-road diet. 

Traffic volume on the street has remained consistent both before and after the road diet, according to the LADOT’s report.

Additionally, the department found, “Adjacent residential streets Waverly Drive and Angus Street … experienced no discernible increase or decrease in collisions after the implementation of the road reconfiguration.”

Meanwhile, an email forwarded to me from Scott Gamzon notes that the study calls for making the bike lanes on Rowena even safer.

It also includes a recommendation for protected bike lanes on Rowena: Enhanced Bikewav: Installation of the Rowena reconfiguration was intended to improve safety for all road users. Based on the growth in bicycle use along Rowena, upgrading the existing striped bike lane to accommodate a wider Class II buffered bike lane, or Class IV separated bikeway may provide additional safety to people bicycling. The street width can accommodate this facility without additional changes.

Adding: Implementing bike lanes was not a primary motivating factor for the road diet. Nonetheless, LADOT also reviewed bicycle counts along Rowena Avenue and found an increase in bicycle use during peak periods from a high of 14 to an average of 71 bike trips after the reconfiguration.

And Terence Heuston, aka LA Bike Dad, offered some good stats and insights on the subject.

It’s worth clicking on one of the tweets to read Heuston’s full Rowena thread. Because he lays out an effective roadmap to victory in the seemingly endless battles with traffic safety deniers that have cropped up throughout the LA area.

And allowed an angry, vocal minority to put a stop to too many desperately needed safety improvements.

But fortunately, not this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.


In honor of the Sea Otter Classic, a Monterey County weekly took an in-depth look at bicycling in the area, with a series of articles in this week’s edition.


‘Nuff said.



KABC-7 catches on to LA’s hit-and-run epidemic.


Newport Beach considers waving minimum parking requirements for Balboa Village, with one business owner saying that people should be riding bicycles on the island, anyway.

A new community park provides San Diego’s first free public parkour area and bike pump track.

A 42-year old salmon cyclist suffered serious injuries when he was struck by the driver of a commercial truck while riding in a Kearny Mesa bike lane Thursday morning. Which is just one more reminder to never ride against traffic if you can avoid it. It may seem safer to see the cars and trucks coming, but it actually increases your risk.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a man died suddenly, a month after he suffered a severely broken leg in a hit-and-run collision; however, the actual cause of death is yet to be determined.

Thanks to a Silicon Valley company an a boutique bikemaker, your next ebike could come with a 3D-printed, unibody carbon fiber frame.


A writer for Bicycling praises the health benefits of eating nuts. But fails to mention that eating too many is one of the best ways to get kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A Microsoft employee in Redmond WA credits riding his bike to work for saving a toddler’s life, after the 20-month old boy survived falling six stories through an open window, when he landed on the roof of the car the Microsoft worker had left behind.

Evidently, that fatal shooting of a bike rider in Las Vegas last month wasn’t a random act after all; police announced the arrest of a suspect, saying he’d had an altercation with the victim prior to the shooting.

A Denver bike shop is making waves in the industry by selling certified, pre-owned bicycles at reduced prices, while guaranteeing to buy them back at predetermined prices after 6, 12 or 18 months.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here? The owner of a Cleveland blue-collar bar fears the arrival of a bike path in front of his business because it will mean the loss of 12 to 15 parking spaces that people use to stop in and down a few drinks on their way home from work.

A New York councilmember says if you want a better bike network, and want to speed up the implementation of new bike lanes, take approvals from community boards out of the process.

Atlanta bicyclists plan to slow roll a major street during today’s morning rush hour to protest traffic danger and call for Complete Streets. As tempting as it is sometimes, we don’t win any friends by making people late to work, or keeping them from getting home at night.

Wednesday was Bike to Work Day in the Big Easy. LA’s version will take place next month, though the city has seen declining interest in recent years.


Curbed looks at how cities around the world are rewarding people who ditch their car commutes.

That’s more like it. Bogotá police are responding to a series of violent muggings of bike riders by assigning 170 officers to patrol the city’s bike lanes, along with 800 security cameras and a roving helicopter during the evening commute.

He gets it. A writer for a Canadian driving website says building more roads never was, still isn’t and never will be a solution to gridlock, because induced demand will just fill them again.

The Conversation says Canada’s best urban bike maps are made by volunteers with open source data. Something that’s just as true on the other side of the border.

Despite being annoyed at the “uncivilized” and “ridiculous” response, Hamilton, Ontario officials decide to back off on their ridiculously dangerous plan to allow parking in bike lanes. This is one case where a little uncivilized ridicule is entirely appropriate.

A new English survey shows that bicycling outdoors is on the decline, while cycling indoors is growing more popular, apparently because of the country’s “toxic road environment.”

Hundreds of members of an Irish bike club formed a hi-viz, spandex-clad color guard to honor a founding member who died suddenly while riding home with friends from a charity ride.

A Dublin paper has today’s candidate for the world’s worst headline — “No helmet, no chance if you come a cropper on your bike.” As if everyone who comes off a bike without one will die, and everyone who has one will be perfectly fine. Like the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

A Kiwi columnist says it’s time for speeding bike riders to slow down.

An Australian advocacy group proposes paying people five dollars a day to bike to work. Which would probably be one of the most effective and least punitive ways to get people out of their cars.

Cycling Tips talks with the author of the Aussie study that shows bike lanes may be more dangerous than streets without them. However, before anyone starts demanding their removal, it’s important to consider that this study only examined how closely drivers pass riders in painted lanes, and not actual collision and injury rates. Other studies have shown that painted lanes improve safety by up to 50%.

Bike-hating former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says swapping his car for a bike during a year in Southeast Asia left him a broken man, but in far better shape. Sure, let’s go with that.

Competitive Cycling

Geraint Thomas and Michał Kwiatkowski were cleared to keep riding after a mass crash that took out much of the peloton on the Tour of the Basque Country; the jury is still out on Julian Alaphilippe,


Like cocaine, Peloton bikes are “God’s way of saying you have too much money.” If it has e-assist pedals and four wheels, is it still a bike?

And if you’re going to take a food delivery man’s bike, make sure you can ride it.

One comment

  1. David Erickson says:

    Excellent article at (linked from “best way to select the right bike is to leave out any thoughts of racing”). The Grant Petersen book “Just Ride”, which is quoted in the article, is also a wealth of excellent advice on bike riding. I agree with virtually everything in that book except for his opinion on taillights (he says taillights should be on in steady mode, but I think they should be in blinking mode).

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