Morning Links: Bike rider murdered on LA River path, Westwood NIMBYs rise again, and LA makes bad list of best bike cities

I’m not usually one to leave a job half done. 

But evidently, I’m okay with knocking off when it’s just two-thirds finished.

Especially when I don’t have any choice. 

I’ve been struggling with low blood sugar most of the night, ranging from dangerously low to just extremely nauseatingly low. 

Despite which, I’ve somehow managed to get this far with today’s post. But I can’t make it any further. 

At least not tonight. 

But don’t fret.

I promise to catch up on the rest tomorrow, when I’ll (hopefully) be feeling better.

………

Evidently, nowhere is safe for LA County bike riders.

The LA Times reports that a man was found shot to death next to his bicycle on the LA River bike path just before 11 pm Sunday night.

The vicim was discovered suffering from a single gunshot wound to the upper body on the pathway near Clara Street and River Road in Cudahy.

There are no known suspects.

Anyone with information is urged to call the LA County Sheriff’s Department at 323/890-5500.

Thanks to Eban Lehrer for the heads-up.

………

The decidedly bike-unfriendly Westwood Neighborhood Council is raising its ugly NIMBY head once again.

The group, which is dominated by wealthy homeowners in the area, is calling for a motion to block proposed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from just below Wilshire Blvd to the UCLA campus.

Even though the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, where the lanes would actually be located, overwhelmingly favors them.

And even though they could help revitalize the rapidly dying Westwood Village, while improving safety for UCLA students, staff and employees, along with what few shoppers, diners and movie goers remain.

New LA advocacy group Streets For All is calling for everyone to contact area Councilmember Paul Koretz. Though it’s questionable what good that will do, since Koretz is the one who singlehandedly blocked bike lanes along the lower portion of the street below Santa Monica Blvd at the behest of a handful of homeowners.

More effective could be their final suggestion.

3 – Show up at Westwood Neighborhood Council’s meeting – and encourage any friends that live in Westwood to join you. We will be passing out signs to hold up. Give public comment supporting Metro’s bike lanes on Westwood Bl. and opposing their interference in part of Westwood that isn’t even in their neighborhood council district.

When: Wednesday, December 11, 2019. 7pm.

Where: Belmont Village Senior Living, 10475 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024

………

I don’t want to frighten you.

But before you read this next item, you need to sit down.

Now set down your coffee, tea or whatever you’re drinking. You don’t want you to ruin your laptop, phone or any other device with an unplanned spit take.

Because what I’m about to say may come as a shock. Or maybe a laugh.

Or in my case, a damn good guffaw.

Because Los Angeles finally made a list of the most bike-friendly cities.

No, in the world.

Seriously.

Even though we can’t even make a list of the most bike-friendly cities in California. Or barely in LA County, for that matter.

Let alone with criteria like this.

For this edition of the ranking, we have evaluated and ranked over 60 cities from around the world using 7 factors including biking infrastructure, bike safety, roadside rentals, bike-share index, friendliness (designated bike lanes), road connectivity, and bicycle culture (the shops, routes, and attributes that make each city a great place to ride). These are the best cycling cities in the world. Did your city make the list?

Clearly, they didn’t deduct for LA’s angry, aggressive and distracted drivers. Or elected leaders who seem to like the way Vision Zero looks on LADOT’s website, as long as they don’t actually have to do anything.

Never mind the steadily rising toll of fallen bicyclists that disprove the city’s meager efforts to date.

But not only did LA make the list, we apparently made it twice.

Magazine placed Oslo in sixth on the list ahead of Bremen, and Antwerp. San Francisco and Helsinki round out the list at nine and ten, respectively. Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Portland, Boulder, and Seattle came out as the top five most bike-friendly cities in the United States.

CEO Magazine, which created this list, may or may not be legit.

But LA’s inclusion on it is total bull.

The Onion, on the other hand, get it right with a story saying Los Angeles is now adding lanes for bike riders to recover from getting hit by drivers.

………

Yesterday we posted video of a road raging Texas truck driver blocking both lanes of a narrow highway to tell off a group of bicyclists, which made it look like the riders may have been taking up both sides of the road.

Today we get additional video from another angle, making it clear they weren’t. And that she was going way too fast.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Four hundred Coachella Valley 4th graders got new bikes and helmets courtesy of Variety of the Desert.

Around a hundred volunteers pitched in to build 123 bikes for a Pennsylvania nonprofit, marking more than one thousand bikes the group has given away since 2008.

Even Fox News is getting in on the bike building act.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar has eco-friendly gift ideas for the bike rider in your life. Or maybe something for the bike-riding lesbian on your list.

And the New York Post has advice on gifts to avoid so you don’t end up like the Peloton husband.

………

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

A bike-riding Grinch made off with a San Jose family’s Christmas decorations.

An Illinois man was busted for pedaling his bike up behind a woman to steal her purse in a Walmart parking lot. Even if the headline suggests he was trying to sell his bike, instead.

………

It looked for awhile like Monday would be the first day with no donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

But appearances can be deceiving. 

So let me offer a heartfelt thank you to William S for coming through at the last minute with his generous donation help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day!

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s West Valley CicLAvia, while CiclaValley offers a video recap. And no, my fumble fingers never gotten used to typing CicLAvia and CiclaValley in the same sentence, and probably never will.

Yet another reminder that Los Angeles will close Hollywood Blvd at the drop of a hat for a movie premier. But somehow can’t create a pedestrian plaza to improve business and save human lives.

 

State

California planners are already telling LOS to get lost.

San Diego’s popular Rose Canyon bike path will be closed this week to pave the final segment.

San Francisco will close a section of Octavia Street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood to cars, and fling it open for people on bicycles. Permanently. Maybe Los Angeles can take the hint.

 

National

Bicycling lists the ten most popular Strava segments from across the US, with a heavy emphasis on the West Coast.

The magazine also looks at Utah’s shrinking Bears Ears National Monument, warning that oil wells could soon replace a bikepacking paradise.

A coalition of conservation groups have filed suit against new federal rules opening National Park trails to ebikes if other bikes are allowed. Evidently, the wilderness is only for the fit and able bodied, as far as they’re concerned.

Trek recalled their 2017-19 Super Commuter+ 8S ebikes because, as the Miami Herald points out, nobody expects the wheels to come of a $5,200 bike. Actually, no one expects the wheels to come off any bike, regardless of price.

A Colorado bike advocate is blown away by biking in Portland. Just imagine how blown away she’d be by Los Angeles, which scored 15 places higher on that list up above.

Life is cheap in Texas, where you can kill a seven-year old little girl in front of her school and walk without even a ticket.

With no apparent sense of irony, a Providence, Rhode Island letter writer says bike advocates should have a more inclusive vision for the city, while insisting there’s no room for bike lanes on the city’s streets.

Streetsblog accuses New York Mayor Bill De Blasio of hypocrisy for encouraging corporate ebike deliveries while banning ebike food deliveries. Meanwhile, the state’s governor is sitting on a bill that would legalize ebikes throughout the state because of an unrelated dispute with the bill’s sponsor.

New York doormen are worried about conflicts between customers and people on bicycles as bike lanes expand throughout the city. Or they could just assume that bike lanes are meant for people on bicycles. Not tourists with suitcases.

 

International

British six-time Olympic gold medalist Sir Chris Hoy offers tips on how to teach your child to ride a bike. Because everyone knows Olympic track cycling is the ideal background for the best sidewalk bike coaches.

Get your next H&M order delivered by bicycle. But only if you live in the Netherlands, of course.

 

Finally…

Now you can gravel grind and ride epic singletrack without ever leaving the comfort of your own home. It’s not a bicycle, it’s an artist’s brush.

And it’s one thing to attack the leader of Britain’s Labour Party. But making fun of his bike is going too damn far.

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