Morning Links: Driving on Ballona Creek, SaMo sued over Lyft scooter trip-and-fall, and December die-in at City Hall

When is a bike path not a bike path?

When it unexpectedly turns into a roadway for lost drivers.

Josh Hamilton forwarded this photo he took Tuesday morning on the Ballona Creek Bike Path in Culver City, along with the following note.

Longtime reader and wanted to share something that happened this morning.

Turns out there is nothing preventing cars from entering the bike path at Sepulveda Blvd (and minimal signage) and 2 people in a car accidentally drove onto the Ballona Creek Bike Path. They were driving slowly when I stopped and spoke with them near the pedestrian bridge at the school next to the path.

I assume they were foreign tourists as they were in what seemed like a rental car with out of state plates and they didn’t speak English. They mistakenly had Google Maps set to bicycle directions. They were concerned and clearly meant no harm, but it’s clearly an issue if drivers can just enter the bike path on accident or on purpose.

Then again, it seems to be a problem other places, too.

Photo of the unprotected entrance to the Ballona Creek Bike Path from Google Maps; photo of car on bike path by Josh Hamilton.

………

Santa Monica voted to extend their e-scooter and bikeshare program another six months, until it can be replaced with a more comprehensive program.

Even though an 88-year old woman is suing Santa Monica, Lyft and the Santa Monica Community College District after suffering multiple hip, pelvis and elbow fractures when she tripped over a Lyft scooter that had been illegally left in a no scooter zone in front of the school.

It had been left on the sidewalk next to a passenger drop-off zone where the city had instituted a scooter “no deployment zone,” but allegedly failed to enforce it.

I’ve long supported micromobility to reduce the numbers of cars on the street and vehicle miles traveled.

Long being a relative term, since they first hit the streets just two years ago.

But inherent in that support is the need to use them responsibly. Which does not include leaving them where they block sidewalks or other places where people can trip on them.

A successful micromobility program demands safe places to ride the devices, as well as safe places to park them.

We need a complete, comprehensive network of bike lanes throughout every city in the LA area, along with secure, in-street bicycle, bikeshare and scooter parking on every block.

Whoever left that scooter there in violation of the rules, whether it was the last person to use it or someone who moved it there, is who’s really responsible for harming an elderly woman.

And they’re extremely lucky that’s all it was.

Instead, every resident of Santa Monica will be on the hook for that one person’s carelessness.

Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

………

This time they gave us plenty of notice.

So mark your calendar for December 3rd, when LA bike riders will hold a die-in on the steps of city hall.

Let’s there’s at least one person on the ground for each of the 28 people on bicycles killed in LA County so far this year — half of them in the City of Los Angeles.

And those numbers will continue to grow until Vision Zero finally becomes more than just a feel-good slogan for our elected leaders.

………

A woman was injured when she was left crossed by a motorist pulling into a driveway during last weekend’s Tour de Foothills in Upland.

No word yet on how serious her injuries are.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew and Erik Griswold for the video.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Alleged drunk driver Carlo Adrian Navarro has been charged with murder for the Halloween night crash that killed an entire family in Long Beach.

The 20-year old man faces up to life in prison for the crash that killed a mother, father and their three-year old son as they were trick-or-treating.

………

Thanks to the Beverly Hills PD for keeping the streets safe from people driving without a valid sofa license.

………

The Orange County Bicycle Coalition sends word that half the Seal Beach Blvd bike lanes will be closed for the next six weeks.

Speaking of which, Orange County didn’t quite turn out as promised.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Someone has been smearing shit under the handlebars of DC bikeshares.

A road raging London driver screamed at a bicyclist to get in the bike lane, apparently unaware that bike riders don’t have to use them in the UK. Or maybe he was just pissed off about having to pay for a tiny fraction of it.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Seriously, if you’re taking up more than one seat on the train, move your damn ass if someone else needs one.

………

Local

No surprise here. Uber is taking Los Angeles to court to prevent getting banned over their refusal to share use data with the city.

UCLA police are cracking down on scofflaw scooter users.

A USC editor talks about his bike commute, and says LA’s bikeability could use some improvements. Meanwhile, a writer for the school paper says distracted bicycling has to be banned on campus. Just wait until the New York Times tells him about distracted walking.

Bruce Willis is one of us, taking up bicycling after he sold his motorcycles and donated the profits to support active and retired soldiers. Although you can’t win with the British tabloids, who criticize people who don’t wear helmets and ridicule them if they do.

Get a ticket riding in the South Bay, and you could find yourself in bike traffic school.

It’s a tad too late for this month. But you might want to mark your calendar for next month’s full moon ride in Long Beach.

 

State

Cycling News offers photos from Peter Sagan’s three-day Sagan Roadie-Oh! in San Diego last weekend.

A board member with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition says criticism from a man who failed to get elected to the board was off base, because he simply failed to convince enough people to vote for him.

San Diego mountain biker Nate Marroquin will walk into med school next summer, despite breaking his back in a fall that left him paralyzed last year.

A bike-riding serial killer will face trial for attacking a number of mostly homeless people in San Diego, killing four and injuring several others.

A Ventura neighborhood will get new sidewalks and bike lanes.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a trailer from a Fresno bike club, along with the mountain and cross bikes inside.

A San Jose columnist says yes, green lanes are important.

Sad news from the Bay Area, where a San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bicycle. Let’s hope he pulls through, and makes a fast and full recovery.

San Francisco is making plans to lower the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on narrow residential streets, even though that requires changing or repealing the state’s deadly 85th Percentile Law.

Berkeley considers instituting a sort-of Idaho Stop Law by asking police to de-emphasize ticketing riders who treat stops as yields, and red light like stop signs.

 

National

RideApart considers what tools you should carry on your bike.

Liberal think tank Center for American Progress says all-of-the-above transportation strategies won’t work. And what has to go is the country’s over-reliance on motor vehicles.

That’s more like it. A Denver driver gets some real justice for right hooking a bike rider, when a judge sentenced her to 50 hours of community service — to be served with a bicycling organization.

The Chicago Tribune offers tips one how to choose the best foldie. Oddly, they recommend a Schwinn, which has got to be one of the few times that’s happened since the ’60s.

Streetsblog says don’t blame the victim after a woman was killed when she was right hooked by a garbage truck.

Call it the two-wheeled Indy 500. IndyCar racer Tony Kanaan is one of us, riding 500 miles in a typical week. He considers the 56-mile bike leg of a triathlon a light day.

Speaking of Indy, a student at Indiana University has started a petition to remake Breaking Away with a female cast; the movie is based on the university’s annual Little 500. I’m all for it if Dennis Christopher they let reprise his role; Dave Stohler would a hell of a bike coach. And yes, I signed the petition.

A Rhode Island construction company is threatening to build apartments on a new bike path, claiming the state doesn’t own the land it built it on.

The New York Times recommends ped-assist bikes to help new mountain bikes gain confidence and fitness.

The NY Times also piles on with the victim blaming by offering tips on how to stop your distracted walking. Unlike distracted driving, no one has ever been killed by a distracted pedestrian. And there are few, if any, stats to support the idea that there has been a rash of distracted walking deaths.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled adaptive bike a Pennsylvania special needs man used to get to work.

Bicycling checks in with ex-Tour de France winner and new Amish Country hemp mogul Floyd Landis.

Sure, that’s credible. A Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a man riding his bike claimed he didn’t know he hit anyone. And just happened to buy some spray paint and repaint his truck.

After someone stole the bicycle a retired cop and stroke survivor used as his only form of exercise, kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies pitched in to buy him a new one.

 

International

A new study confirms that helmet laws drive down bicycling rates — but also finds that helmet use corresponds with a higher rate of upper body injuries. Before you throw your helmet away, bear in mind that correlation does not equal causation. And a wrecked shoulder is better than a wrecked skull.

That’s more like it. A Calgary man could face up to life in prison for the meth-fueled hit-and-run that killed a 15-year old boy and seriously injured his friend as they were riding their bikes; prosecutors waived 11 other charges against the man, who was driving a stolen vehicle without a valid driver’s license.

Seriously? The British government is allowing thousands of wild duck eggs to be destroyed because they might, potentially, grow up and walk in front of a bike rider someday.

Meital Weiss is one of us, too. She’s a 12-year old Israeli girl paralyzed from the waist down since she was 10 months old, who will celebrate her bat mitzvah by trading her wheelchair for a handcycle and ride to raise funds for the rehab hospital that cared for her. And that makes her a celeb — and a hero — in my book.

Aussie researchers consider why people fail at riding a bicycle, and how we can learn to fail better. And how you can tell where someone is in their commitment to ride by where they keep their bikes.

A Hong Kong bikeshare firm suffers a timely system breakdown, which just happened to make free bikes available to students and protesters.

Your next Chinese-made ebike could cost $425 and fold down to the size of a very large sheet of paperAlthough that looks more like a scooter to me. And doesn’t have any pedals.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Australia, where five-time Paralympic medalist Kieran Modra was killed in a collision while he was riding to meet family members for a bike ride.

Eighty-three-year old French cycling great Raymond Poulidor passed away on Wednesday; he had eight Tour de France podiums in his 15-year career in the ’60s and early ’70s, but never wore the yellow jersey.

Cycling legend Eddy Merckx says he could have been a goner following his mid-October bike crash, if not a nurse who happened to be passing by.

 

Finally…

Forget that business degree; now you can major in bikes. You may never be a world champ mountain biker, but at least you can own his bike.

And riding your bike the wrong way on a freeway is not the recommended way to escape from the cops.

Even if it works.

 

3 comments

  1. Robs Muir says:

    “No word yet on how serious her injuries are.”

    Report on FB indicates a broken femur with a permanent pin.

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