Please forgive my unexcused absence on Wednesday.
I’ve been dealing with high blood sugar for the past few weeks. When it finally came down, it crashed hard, taking me down like a shot. And kept me there for several hours.
One more reminder that diabetes sucks.
A writer for Strong Towns wants to know why Americans view Vision Zero as an impossible goal.
Even though Oslo, Norway has proven that it can be done.
And offers a recipe any city can follow to break America’s addiction to speed, and the cars that make it possible.
Although in most cities, the overwhelming number of cars and trucks make any kind of speed virtually unachievable for much of the day. Including right here in Los Angeles.
Or maybe especially in Los Angeles.
Never mind that the excess capacity that allows those cars to inch along at rush hour also allows drivers to blow well beyond what passes for speed limits the rest of the day. Putting the limbs and lives of everyone else on or near the roads at risk.
But here’s the path Oslo followed. And the one every other city could, and should, if human lives matter even a whit more than the convenience of people in cars.
Changing that basic fact is our challenge. It’s possible, but it’s going to require both institutional and far-reaching cultural changes, including but not limited to:
An emphasis on allowing (and rebuilding) complete neighborhoods where you can meet many needs within a 15-minute walk, and cars (where they’re present) move slowly and defer to people on foot.
Connecting those complete communities to each other by high-speed roads and/or public transit.
Creating alternatives to driving, and unlocking the strength in numbers that pedestrians enjoy when walking is a mainstream activity (29% of Oslo residents walk to work, just shy of the 34% who drive).
Recognizing that bike and pedestrian infrastructure comprises many of the highest-returning investments a local government can make.
Traffic calming to turn stroads into slow, safe urban streets.
Eliminate things like free parking in busy areas, which induces extra car trips.
Enforcement where needed to deal with the minority of true scofflaw speeders. (Oslo has markedly strict penalties for reckless driving.)
It’s a holistic strategy. It will take decades. The lesson from Oslo is that if we embark on this path, the potential rewards are great. We too could have cities where nobody fears losing their son or daughter or parent or best friend to a car crash.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.
When is a new two-way protected bike lane not a bike lane?
When the city forgets that we live here too, and it becomes a Hollywood backlot.
When you run into something like that, complain to FilmLA, LADOT and the local councilmember — in this case, Jose Huizar.
Maybe we can get Metro to give the LAPD a few TAP cards.
#OpTopDeck | We've gone viral with this video we released way back in 2018 showing how we used buses to catch motorists using their phones. The clip's surfaced again and has had 3.4m views in a few days. Loads of people are asking us about it, so here's a thread explaining all! pic.twitter.com/ckibHTJCrP
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) January 9, 2020
Show up for the bike safety course, stay for the free helmet and bike light.
We have a series of FREE #MetroBEST bike classes coming up in Santa Monica with our local chapter @SMSpoke! Attendees also get a free helmet and bike lights. Details and links to pre-register are here: https://t.co/h4ZUjTJk5W #bikeLA pic.twitter.com/K3TytGJ7pU
— Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (@lacbc) January 10, 2020
Evidently, work on the coming Red Car bike and pedestrian bridge over the LA River is coming along nicely.
The Red Car Pedestrian Bridge coming along.#LARiver @bikinginla @StreetsblogLA @TheEastsiderLA pic.twitter.com/L87xVwSGTh
— Zachary Rynew (@Ciclavalley) January 7, 2020
It’s not too early to start thinking about impressing that Valentines date with a little hand-drawn bike art. .
And here's my 2nd "Happy Valentine's Postcard" on @zazzle
– $1.25 per postcard + get 50% off w/this code today + volume discounts: ZAZZLEWEDO50: https://t.co/ibqCP4VQ7H – want a custom postcard? Let me know! pic.twitter.com/KSkTSktHNS
— Pedal Love (@PedalLove) January 7, 2020
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.
Nothing like getting attacked by an angry driver who’s blocking a San Francisco protected bike lane. And yes, that’s assault with a deadly weapon, and should be reported to the police.
Scary ride home, as this driver hit my bike (tg missed me) with a crowbar after I stopped to take a picture to report to @safebikelanes. Clearly wasn't his first rodeo, as he must've had had the weapon handy given how quick he responded. Right outside @EatPropChicken on Market pic.twitter.com/q0lzKVjFHB
— Ryder O'Byke (@BanCarsInCities) January 10, 2020
But sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Police in New York are looking for a bike-riding creep who approached a special needs student, then grabbed her ass when she tried to get away.
New Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets for All wants your help electing Sarah Kate Levy in CD4, and Loraine Lunquist in CD12; both are running against incumbents who are anything but friendly to safer streets.
CiclaValley offers up a video bike tour of Elysian Park, the second largest park in the City of LA. And takes a gravel bike ride in the snow.
CicLAvia is celebrating ten years of America’s most successful open streets events with a fundraising party on the 2nd of next month.
Pasadena Weekly profiles longtime bike advocate and Altadena Councilmember Dorothy Wong.
LongBeachize says with 29 people dead as a result of traffic violence in the city last year, including four bike riders and 17 pedestrians, it’s time to change the way we talk about it.
San Diego County has paid an injured woman half a million dollars after she suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was thrown from her bike by bad pavement on Highway 8. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.
Speaking of San Diego, Robert Leone forwards SANDAG’s winter progress report, with 16 miles of bikeways currently under construction and more on the way.
Finishing off our San Diego trifecta, business owners in the North Park neighborhood have proposed an alternative plan that would extend the protected bike lane planned for 30th Street, while allowing them to keep 100 of the 550 parking spaces scheduled to be removed.
Encinitas is closing a section of the coast highway for the first time ever for Sunday’s inaugural Cyclovia.
Heartbreaking news from Ramona, where 53-year old Michelle Scott remains unresponsive with minimal brain function more than three months after a hit-and-run crash while she was riding her bike to work; a crowdfunding page has raised just over $11,000 of the modest $15,000 goal to help pay her medical expenses. Let’s all say a prayer or send good wishes her way for a full recovery.
Apparently Robert Leone gets around; he’s also looking forward to San Jose’s Library to Library bike tour next Saturday.
The new bike path on the Richmond – San Raphael Bridge may be great, but getting on and off apparently leaves something to be desired; there’s already been a fatal fall when a bike rider crashed into a fence. Thanks to Al Williams for the link.
A new insurance industry report ranks the 20 most dangerous cities for bike riders; sadly, San Bernardino comes in 3rd and Chula Vista 6th; Bakersfield checks in at 11.
Streetsblog examines the real reasons e-scooter injuries are booming. Hint: scooter usage is, too.
No surprise here. A new study shows the US needs to invest a lot more in bicycling and walking infrastructure if they want active transportation rates to grow. On the other hand, if they just want our streets to become increasing clogged until no one can move, make our air unbreathable and our planet an oven, then carry on.
Lime is responding to continued losses by laying off 14% off its employees and pulling the plug in 12 markets, including San Diego; the company will continue serving Los Angeles, for now anyway.
Road.cc offers eight bike gadgets from this year’s CES tech trade show. And yes, that water bike really is a thing.
Ebike maker Blix has dropped its prices after moving to online distribution only.
Two men have already been arrested in the apparently random shooting of a bike-riding Texas teenager we mentioned just yesterday; still no word on a possible motive.
Evidently, biking while black or brown applies to people on foot, too. At least in New York.
In a remarkable outcome, a Philadelphia food delivery rider won’t spend a single day behind bars for fatally stabbing a wealthy real estate developer who reportedly threatened to “beat the black off” him. Michael White was acquitted on a number of charges after claiming self-defense, and sentenced to just two years probation for evidence tampering for throwing away the knife he had used.
A Maryland state legislator rode her bike 324 miles over a 13-month period to cover nearly every block of every street in her hometown.
A Virginia woman faces charges for the drunken hit-and-run that took the life of a bike-riding father, who was found dying in a ditch nearly an hour after the crash; the driver still had the victim’s hi-viz safety vest embedded in her windshield when she was busted.
A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been charged with 2nd degree murder for shooting a bike thief in the head as he attempted to make off with a bicycle from in front of a convenience store.
Now you, too, can own what may be the world’s most bicycle with a sticker price of £60,000 — the equivalent of over 78 grand in the US.
VeloNews examines the rise of Peter Sagan over the past decade, saying he became the most popular pro cyclist by making winning fun.
Probably not the best idea to Tase a bike-riding young man for popping a wheelie.
And it’s always been my belief that people drive the way they push a grocery cart.