In a surprising move, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been chosen to chair the C40 group of global mayors as they confront climate change.
Maybe the other 90-plus mayors haven’t taken a good look at what’s happening on our city streets lately.
Or more precisely, what’s not happening.
Garcetti was chosen to follow Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo as chair, who earned her bona fides by taking dramatic steps to cut auto use and emissions in the city, including closing down a major highway along the Seine, banning diesel cars from the entire metro area by 2025, and removing all gas-powered cars from the city’s streets five years later.
By comparison, Garcetti has talked about, but not implemented, Vision Zero and a citywide Green New Deal. And ripped out road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey because some people got mad.
He claims he’s going to make implementing a Global Green New Deal his top priority.
Maybe he could start by doing something about the sheer number of motor vehicles on the streets, and providing safe, convenient alternatives to driving. Something he’s failed at miserably in the six years he’s been mayor.
But maybe all those other mayors know something we don’t.
We can only hope.
Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers ten specific steps Garcetti could take to show he’s taking the climate emergency seriously — all of them good.
And the LA Times says fighting global climate change will take political courage at home. Something else Garcetti has failed at miserably so far.
Paris’ green revolution has been both wildly popular and incredibly controversial — in part because the transformation has been so swift. But the mayor has been unrelenting in her campaign, showing what is possible when a major city commits to fight climate change on the ground.
Garcetti could do something similar in Los Angeles. He could, for example, build bus-only lanes, protected bike lanes and safer streets. He could set a powerful example for the entire world by starting to transform a city famous for its cars (and the traffic and pollution and greenhouse gases they bring) into one that people can navigate without them.
But unless Eric Garcetti can rediscover the political leadership he showed as council president under former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, you can probably plan for a very hot future.
Photo of Eric Garcetti at C40 group taken from press announcement from the mayor’s office.
Let’s catch up on some upcoming bike events.
You’re invited to tomorrow’s slow roll and model-building workshop to envision a more bike-friendly Elysian Valley.
This Sunday Lyft and Santa Monica Spoke are sponsoring a Lyft Scooters Safety Event with free test rides, skills training, refreshments and helmet giveaways at the Santa Monica Bike Campus.
The California Bike Summit returns to Los Angeles this Tuesday through Thursday at the Center for Healthy Communities in DTLA, sponsored by Calbike.
Volunteers are still needed for the 12th Annual Bicycle and Pedestrian Count in Long Beach on October 17th and 20th.
Phil Gaimon’s Hillclimb World Championships will head up Santa Barbara’s famed Gibraltar Road on the 19th. Cookies will be had by all.
CicLAvia will team with Strava to present A CivSalon: Who Do LA Streets Serve? on October 22nd.
The San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event returns on the 26th of this month, with a route through El Monte and South El Monte.
San Diego’s CicloSDias open street event will walk, roll, skate and stroll the streets of our neighbor to the south on October 27th. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.
Peter Sagan’s Gran Fondo Roadie-Oh comes to San Diego November 8th through 10th.
Pasadena will host the 2nd Annual Pasadena Adaptive Sports Festival on November 9th, with eight adaptive sports including handcycling.
The San Diego Padres will host their 7th Annual Padres Pedal the Cause at Petco Park November 16th to raise money to fight cancer.
The last CicLAvia of the year will roll a straight route down Sherman Way in the San Fernando Valley on December 8th.
Less than half of all UCLA employees drive alone to the university, compared to just 23% of students. But just 3.5% of students and staff bike to campus, in a sign of how little Los Angeles has done to provide safe riding routes through Westwood.
South Bay letter writers say people on bicycles aren’t the problem, it’s the people in the big, dangerous machines.
New rules are reining in San Diego’s e-scooter Wild West.
The man who allegedly ran down a Ramona woman as she rode her bike to work last week pled not guilty to a charge of felony hit and run.
A Vallejo cop takes the fifth in a lawsuit over the shooting death of a man who was stopped for not having a light on his bike; he was also one of the cops who fatally shot a man who was sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell parking lot with a gun in his lap.
A new study shows wearing a bike helmet can reduce your risk of a facial injury by 40%, but does nothing to reduce the severity if you do suffer one; despite those results, the researchers recommend that bicyclists should wear the equivalent of a full-face motorcycle helmet.
The Verge offers tips on how to buy an ebike. Step 1: Find the bike you want. Step 2: Pay for it. Step 3: Enjoy!
If you can get past their paywall, the Wall Street Journal concludes that smart helmets are probably safer; you can now get the new Lumix Matrix smart helmet at the Apple Store.
Bicycling says its not just an Apple Watch that can call for help if you fall off your bike. And offers 15 great trails to add to your mountain bike bucket list.
Don’t count on a driverless Tesla to spot you. Or avoid you, for that matter.
Kindhearted Sioux Falls SD residents join with a local business to buy a new handcycle for a man suffering from a rare cancer after he had a leg amputated.
A Minneapolis man decides to honor his late brother with a “fantastical” diagonal ride across the US from Northwest Washington state to Key West, Florida.
Michigan bike advocates say put a bell on your bike.
Senior players on an Ohio high school football team pitched in to buy a new bicycle for a freshman teammate, after the one he used to ride to school was stolen.
Evidently, it’s not just the NYPD that insists on using a new bike lane as a parking lot.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us, relaxing after games by riding his beach cruiser home. But he’s willing to have the fans join him.
This is who we share the roads with. A white Florida man gets 20 years for fatally shooting a black man in a dispute over a lousy parking spot.
Trump says he’s aware of the wife of an American diplomat who claimed diplomatic immunity to avoid responsibility for the hit-and-run death of a British motorcyclist, but is noncommittal about sending her back to face charges, and puts the blame on Brits for driving on the wrong side. But his notes tell a different story, clearly stating that she will not be going back to the UK.
Dyson drops its plans to build an electric car. Which is too bad, because we could really use a car that vacuums the road at the same time.
Expect to pay an extra 30 rupee baggage fee to take your non-foldie bike onto a Bangalore Metro train — which works out to just 42¢.
A South African website offers advice on how bicyclists can stay safe on the roads. Which for once doesn’t start and finish with “wear a helmet.”
A plus-sized former rugby player worked with another Aussie man to build an unbreakable high-end road bike for heavier riders.
A sports website says riding in the Tour de France would be murder on your body, no matter how athletic you are.
Some of pro cycling’s better known names still aren’t under contract for next year, including American’s Taylor Phinney and Brent Bookwalter.
Some people think the answer to everything is found in the Bible, like whether to build a bike path. If you’re riding a stolen bicycle while carrying garden shears, brass knuckles and a shotgun, put a damn light on it, already.
And let’s end today with a couple minute mountain bike break.