Morning Links: Koretz wants scooter ban but goes for stickers instead, anti-bike bias in NYC, and faking cancer for charity

Maybe this makes sense to someone.

Or not.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has called on the city to place stickers reading No e-scooter riding on the sidewalk. It’s the law. on the sidewalks of his district.

I continue to be very concerned about the e-scooter explosion here in Los Angeles and decided to proactively alert riders of the illegality of riding on sidewalks for the safety of the pedestrians in my district,” said Koretz, whose Fifth District stretches from the Santa Monica Mountains to parts of Hollywood.

“In addition to my concern about riders on the sidewalks, I am equally worried about e-scooter riders’ own safety entering commercial traffic. In reality, there are few places where e-scooters can be ridden safely.

Not that scooter users aren’t already aware of that, since it’s clearly marked on every damn scooter currently available in Los Angeles.

And as he suggests, scooterists use the sidewalks because they don’t feel safe on city streets — thanks in part to Koretz own efforts to block bike lanes, and keep streets dangerous in his district.

But like Elizabeth Warren, he has a plan for that.

I would be thrilled to see e-scooters banned until we have an adequate bicycle/e-scooter lane infrastructure for them,” Koretz said. “In the meantime I am hoping these decals can alleviate some of the e-scooter danger occurring in my district.

So, the solution, in his typical auto-focused way, is to ban scooters until he’s out of office, and let someone else come in and build the bike lanes and safe streets he hasn’t. And won’t.

And in the meantime, he’ll just maintain the current level of automotive hegemony on our streets by keeping it too risky and uncomfortable to ride a scooter on the Westside.

Or a bike, for that matter.

Just another example of making it look like he’s doing something to improve safety without actually doing a damn thing.

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No bias here.

A New York writer says the reason bike riders keep dying in the city is we’re all a bunch of maniacs with no regard for the law or our own safety.

Okay, that may be paraphrasing just a tad.

But still.

He starts by complaining about the recent decision to let bike riders use the leading pedestrian interval signals to get a jump on traffic, and cross intersections — where most urban crashes occur — safely.

But then quickly moves on to make it clear his problem is with bikes and the people who ride them.

The city also plans to splurge another $58.4 million on more bike lanes. But nobody — not Mayor Bill de Blasio, not council Speaker Corey Johnson and not Transportation Alternatives, the bicycle-advocacy group that curiously holds dominion over our streets — is calling for mandatory training or demanding adherence to traffic laws.

Both moves are all too symptomatic of city politicians’ infatuation with the bicycle ideology and the elite interests that promote it — as well as their corresponding indifference to pedestrians…

The bike lobby’s utter silence on education and accountability is a cruel betrayal of all law-abiding, safety-conscious bicyclists — and undeniable evidence of its reckless ideological zeal.

He wastes a lot of ink defending New Yorker’s God-given right to own an automobile, and park it wherever the hell they want.

As if the overwhelming majority of the city’s streets aren’t already given over to the gasoline cult. The people who ride bicycles are just trying to scrape back a tiny portion to protect their own lives, and encourage more people to willingly leave their cars at home.

And actually succeeding, unlike some West Coast cities that unanimously approve hard-fought bike plans that just gather dust on the shelf while people die on our own streets.

Okay, maybe one city in particular.

Then there’s this.

Not only are bikes rendered impractical in bad weather, for many people, including the elderly, disabled and anyone who doesn’t want to show up at work smelling like an anchovy’s armpit, they aren’t a viable alternative to automobiles or public transportation.

Apparently, he’s never heard of ebikes. Or hand cycles. Or adult tricycles. Or any of the other ways the elderly, disabled and business commuters ride bikes every day.

Never mind that countless New Yorkers commute by bike year round, regardless of the weather. Because unlike witches and bike-hating writers, we don’t melt in the rain or snow.

Besides, anchovies don’t have armpits.

It goes on, and gets worse. But we’ll spare you the rest; you can click on the link yourself, or just bang your head against the wall for several minutes until you lose any sense of reality.

Either way, the effect will be the same.

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Speaking of New York, confused NYPD officers ticketed a grown man for not wearing a helmet — even though the state’s helmet law doesn’t apply to anyone over 14.

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The definition of a bike lane fail.

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I only wish this was unbelievable.

An Ohio man became a star fundraiser for a local charity ride to fight cancer after announcing he had stage 4 brain cancer.

But seven years later, he still showed no outward signs of the disease, and refused to give any details about his treatment.

When organizers confronted him, he confessed to faking the whole thing. As well as stealing a small portion of the money he raised.

And going so far as to hide the truth from his own partner of 17 years.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Chicago TV station says tensions remain high after a driver punched a bicyclist in a video we linked to last month; the road raging driver reportedly lost his job with a law firm after the video went viral.

An off-duty New York transportation department worker hits a bike rider with his car, then gets out and slaps the victim’s phone out of his hand and pushes him before driving away.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

New York police are on the lookout for a sexual assault suspect who faked a bike crash as an excuse to grab a woman’s breasts — then broke into her home and was standing over her bed when she woke up at 4:30 am. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough.

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Local

The LA Times says the city’s most controversial and divisive issue right now may be e-scooters, and scooter companies should be responsible for their users’ bad behavior. They’ve got a point. I watched yesterday as a Wheels user carefully parked his scooter and took a picture to prove to the company he’d done it correctly. Then walked off, leaving it parked directly in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking foot traffic from both directions.

Dodgers stadium is scheduled for a $100 million makeover before next season, including improved bicycle and pedestrian access. No word on whether that will include a secure bike valet, like their arch rivals in San Francisco.

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in Point Mugu State Park and Sycamore Canyon.

Pasadena will host a class tomorrow designed to help you become a more confident urban bicyclist, along with a ride on the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail.

Caltrans is beginning a $5.5 million pavement repair and slurry seal project they promise will result in a smoother ride for motorists and bicyclists on PCH above Santa Monica.

The Jewish Journal celebrates renaming the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for the late cycling king of Hermosa Beach. But no matter who they honor, sharrows are not and will never be a bike lane.

 

State

Better bike lanes are making it safer and easier for people on two wheels in downtown San Diego.

A San Diego writer says everyone has their NIMBY moments — his neighbors don’t want bike lanes to replace their on street parking, and he never wanted them and their massive SUVs as neighbors.

Speaking of San Diego NIMBYs, City Beat accuses a mayoral hopeful of going full NIMBY in calling for a complete ban on e-scooters, noting the search for someone else to blame is always successful. To paraphrase a movie from a few years back, everybody knows you never go full NIMBY.

Evidently, riding a bicycle to see a San Francisco Giants game makes you a security risk.

Lyft pulls their new ebikes from the streets of San Francisco after some of them spontaneously burst into flames. Because the alternative would be to require all users to wear asbestos bike shorts.

 

National

A Senate committee has passed a bi-partisan bike-friendly transportation bill favored by PeopleForBikes. Now the question is whether Mitch McConnell will even allow it to come up for a vote.

He gets it. An editor for automotive website Jalopnik says a big-ass truck doesn’t make you tough. Now if they could just make sure all the drivers of those massive trucks and SUVs read that before being allowed back on the streets with bike riders and pedestrians.

Outside offers advice on the right way to clean your bike, while GQ considers the best pants for your bike commute.

Rock band The Distillers has cancelled their American tour after the drummer was doored, resulting in a truly nasty cut on his hand that took 40 stitches to close.

A Seattle bike shop owner was caught on security cam attempting to fight off a bike thief with a wrench, crushing her fingers, as he walked off with a new bike after she returned the one he brought in for repair to its original owners.

An Arizona city learns the hard way that pulling over law-abiding drivers to give them fake tickets offering free drinks at Circle K is a bad idea, after someone points out that’s it’s against the law to stop drivers without probable cause. So they decide to just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead, evidently assuming the Constitution doesn’t apply to us.

Several hundred Denver bike riders came out to honor fallen bicyclists and call for safer streets. The Denver Post says motorists can honor those victims by pledging to be a better and safer driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $40,000 handicapped-accessible van from a Denver nonprofit, and used it to smash into a bike shop.

According to the local sheriff, an 81-year old Michigan man was killed when he tried to jump a curb with his adult tricycle, then tipped over and fell into the street, where he was run over by a semi. No, really, that doesn’t strain credibility at all — especially when getting right hooked by the truck driver seems a lot more likely.

One kindhearted person gave a bike to another. A Tennessee police chief gave one of the department’s extra bicycles to a young woman, after she gave hers to a coworker who needed it more.

A Knoxville TN law firm is looking for plaintiffs to sue bike helmet makers who don’t include MIPS or Wave Cel tech on every model.

Once again, wealthy New York condo owners have sued — and lost — in an attempt to block a new bike lane that would result in the loss of 400 parking spaces.

New Yorkers remember artist and yogi Em Samolewicz, the city’s 18th bicycling victim this year, as a gentle, kind soul and a magical creature; Gothamist says the city is doing basically nothing to keep riders like her from getting fatally doored.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may not have a chance in hell of becoming president, but we shouldn’t laugh off his call for a nationwide Vision Zero. Even if it doesn’t seem to be working so well in his own city right now.

A New Jersey bike rider learns the hard way to always secure your empty heroin packets before you pull out your ID for the cops.

The lawyer for a driver accused of killing a man and woman when he plowed into a group of nine bike riders near a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade will stipulate that he was driving drunk when he hit them, virtually guaranteeing his conviction on two counts of vehicular homicide and 14 other charges. But they dispute that his blood alcohol level was over .20, would could result in 60 years behind bars.

 

International

Bike experts say the city’s new network of bikeways explains why bicycling has increased London, despite dropping in the rest of England.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his favorite thing is his bike hemet, which he always keeps with him in case a sudden urge to ride should strike.

South African police have opened a murder investigation after a popular local character known as Santa on a Bicycle died after spending four days lying in a ditch.

A New Zealand website says it’s time to give the streets back to children and protect the most vulnerable road users.

Brisbane, Australia opens a new inner-city protected bike lane five years after a woman was killed riding her bike there. So once again, someone has to die before officials actually do something to improve safety.

An Australian study says the way to reduce car congestion and pollution is to eliminate parking spaces.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s not just the pros who are tough. A 19-year old Nebraska woman finished a triathlon in just over two hours, despite two broken arms suffered when she collided with another rider during the cycling portion of the race — then still had to ride the last ten miles, and run another three.

The future of American cycling may involve getting dirty on mountain bikes.

Cyclist looks at how much Egan Bernal was paid for winning the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Nothing amuses small minds and motorists like epic bike fails. Probably not the best idea to ride your bike over a cop who pulls you over for not having lights — or urge a cop to tase you when he stops to help after an apparent drunken bike crash.

Congratulations, we’re all superfluous now.

And if you’re going to have sex with your bike, bring plenty of lube so nothing gets stuck.

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Let me offer a belated but heartfelt thank you to Mark Jones for his generous donation to help keep BikinginLA coming your way, and to Matthew Robertson for his equally generous monthly contribution. 

Donations of any amount are always appreciated, whether to help support this site or defray the Corgi’s mounting medical bills.

Especially now.

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