Morning Links: Meager LADOT bike lanes output, Lee Iacocca pushed 1990s ebikes, and the war on bikes goes on

Happy 4th of July!

There’s no better way to get to the fireworks or other holiday events than riding your bike or walking. 

Just remember that drivers will be focused on finding parking spaces or a faster way out of traffic afterwards.

And won’t be looking for you. 

So ride accordingly. 

And just like any three or four-day weekend, remember that many people will start drinking or smoking early and often.

So assume any driver you see on the road is under the influence of something. Which means ride carefully and defensively — because the best protection is being prepared for anything, at any time.

And we want to see you back here again after the holiday. 

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This is nothing to be proud of.

When the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was passed, the city committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Honest-to-gosh, cross their hearts, pinkie swear.

Then they switched to measuring bike lanes in lane miles, rather than centerline miles, effectively cutting that commitment in half.

Then they decided that sharrows counted towards that commitment.

Hint: They don’t. Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Then our supposedly bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti took office, and the building of new bike lanes quickly ground to a virtual halt in the City of Angels.

Which leads us to this Monday, when LADOT proudly announced it had built or upgraded 13 miles of bike lanes in the last fiscal year.

And since that’s measured in lane miles, that means counting each side of the road as a separate bike lane.

So in reality, we’re talking about a lousy 6.5 miles of bike lanes, which is nothing to be proud of, protected or otherwise.

Pretty shameful, in fact.

Especially in a city with the largest street system in the United States.

So the next time you’re wondering why people keep dying on our streets, you know where to point the finger.

And which one to use.

Photo by lumpi from Pixabay.

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Megan Lynch reminds us that the late automaker Lee Iacocca was an early proponent of ebikes; he died yesterday at 94.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going, with no end in sight.

A Baltimore bike rider was knocked off his bike when he was intentionally rammed by a van driver, who then turned around and drove straight at him for no apparent reason; to make matters worse, both the police and paramedics failed to show up at the crash site.

A road raging English driver threatened a group of bike-riding kids with his car, then got out and pushed a 12-year old boy off his bike and into the path of an oncoming car.

A 63-year old British grandmother suffered a broken collarbone and rope burns on her neck when she ran into a rope someone had intentionally strung across a beachfront bike path at neck level.

Apparently tired of people riding bicycles on the sidewalk, a magazine editor recommends stringing razor wire across sidewalks at neck height to teach scofflaw sidewalk riders a lesson. Although it’s hard to learn much of anything when your head is in the gutter surrounded by “red slime and gore,” and looking for the rest of you.

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Local

LAist considers LA’s existential battle over bus-only lanes. Which serves as a reminder that bicyclists are allowed to ride in bus lanes in Los Angeles, even if some cops don’t get it. And as long as you don’t mind a 13-ton bus driving up your ass.

CiclaValley goes gravel bike riding in Sycamore Canyon.

Long Beach business owners are threatening to sue over the Broadway road diet, claiming sales are down as much as 70% due to limited parking and difficulty accessing the area by car; they also claim the road diet has made the street more dangerous, which is the opposite of what road diets usually do.

 

State

California Streetsblog takes a deep dive into why the state needs a Complete Streets law, as the state Assembly Transportation Committee prepares to take up S.B. 127 on Monday.

The state task force set up to study the effects of the deadly 85th Percentile Law that too often forces cities and counties to raise speed limits held its first meeting last week; it has until January to write a report with its recommendations. That’s easy. Just throw out the damn law and lower speed limits almost everywhere.

San Diego introduced strict new regulations in an attempt to tame the wild, wild world of e-scooters — including speed limits as low as 3 mph in select pedestrianized areas.

Chula Vista-based Juiced Bikes has introduced a 33 mph ebike, which is actually a moped under California law — and in many other states — requiring a driver’s license, vehicle license and helmet to be legally ridden on the roads, and is barred from being used on bike paths or protected bike lanes.

A Fresno bicyclist in his late 60s was injured by a pickup driver who couldn’t manage to stay out of the bike lane while passing another car on the right. And almost needless to say, couldn’t be bothered to stay at the scene.

Sad news from Rohnert Park, where a 66-year old man was killed in a collision with a commuter train last week, just one day after a woman was killed running across the tracks at the same crossing. Despite a great job of victim blaming by investigators — including accusing the victim of riding the wrong way on the sidewalk, which isn’t a thing — officials consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there might be a problem with the crossing. Gee, you think?

 

National

Now you, too, can own a replica of the bikes from Stranger Things. Or you could, if two of the three bikes weren’t already sold out, and the other wasn’t “temporarily unavailable.”

A missing Oregon triathlete was found dead in the Columbia River, five days after he went on a training ride; his bike was found two days later in a park along the river.

Arizona officials approved a controversial bike resort planned to be built across the street from Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

The Idaho Stop Law is gaining momentum, as Oregon passes a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, though not allowing riders to roll red lights, joining Idaho, Arkansas and Delaware with variations of the law; Colorado allows individual cities and counties to decide whether to adopt the Idaho Stop.

Life is cheap in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where investigators conclude the fatal dooring that took the life of a young woman was just a big “oopsie.”

A New York state senator blames built-in racism and classism for the death of a bike rider last week.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 14-year old boy succumbed to injuries he received when he was hit by a car while riding his bike three years ago.

A Manhattan community board chose safety over car storage, approving a proposal to remove 400 parking spaces to install a protected bike lane on a street where a bike-riding woman was fatally doored last year.

Presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio promises a crackdown on drivers who block bike lanes, in response to the city’s skyrocketing bicycling fatality rate. Problem is, it’s usually the police who are doing it.

 

International

Canada’s first bike mayor says mandatory bike helmet laws are a sign of a failed government.

Great piece from The Guardian’s Peter Walker, who effectively demolishes ten common myths about bike lanes, including many of the NIMBY greatest hits you’ll inevitably hear at any public meeting, or read in the comments on any story about bicycling.

They’re onto us, comrades. A British letter writer says dooring is no big deal, and it’s those ignorant bike riders who put themselves at risk, then try to take advantage of the poor, innocent drivers and their insurance companies.

Security camera video catches the crash that left a UK bike rider with a serious brain injury, as the driver gets off with a 20-month sentence — only half of which actually has to be served behind bars. As always, be sure you actually want to see someone get hit by a driver before clicking the play button on the video.

An Aussie bicyclist makes the case for why you should have cameras mounted on your bike. I ride with a helmet cam, and want to add a rear-facing bike cam when I can, if only to be able to prove I wasn’t the one who broke the law if I’m involved in a crash or get a ticket. And so it can speak for me if I can’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

This is so effing wrong. After Ukrainian cyclist Anna Solovey won gold in the European Games, she complained when the head of the Kyiv Cycling Federation got credit for her win. And was told her victory was an accident, and she could be kicked off the national team for opening her mouth.

Forget Alpe d’Huez. This year’s Tour de France competitors will have to survive the legendary Tourmalet.

Cycling News offers eight conclusions from this year’s US pro cycling nationals.

 

Finally…

Actually, it’s called skitching. And this is what I call a bike crash.

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I continue to be blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people who visit this site. 

Thanks to Howard V for his generous donation to help support BikinginLA. Along with his moving note, which helped lift my spirits on yet another difficult day dealing with the Corgi’s ongoing health problems.

As always, donations of any size, for any reason, are truly welcome and appreciated

He also forwarded a cute video showing him riding through the streets and bike paths of Venice and Santa Monica with his two dogs on his new e-cargo bike from LA’s own Cero

Which is something to remember the next time someone tries to tell you about all the things you can’t carry on a bicycle. 

 

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