Proposal for bike-friendly Hollywood Blvd, where to ban cars from LA streets, and a bigger Bird hits Los Angeles

CD13 City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell unveiled proposals for a much-needed head-to-toe makeover of Hollywood Blvd.

The plans calls for reducing or eliminating parking, widening and fixing the already wide sidewalks, and installing bike lanes on either side.

However, the plans don’t call for protected bike lanes, or closing the boulevard entirely to create a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood and Highland.

If approved — and it still has a long damn way to go — they could create the first east-west bike lanes in Hollywood.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

They could also improve safety for the tens of thousands of tourists who visit the street every day, while improving livability for the rapidly growing residential population in Hollywood.

O’Farrell reports that $4 million in funding has already been secured for the project, which could go a long way towards making it a reality.

Rendering by Gensler.

………

As we’ve discussed for the past few weeks, cars are now officially banned San Francisco’s formerly busy Market Street.

The LA Times throws down the gauntlet, saying if the Bay Area city can close one of its largest and most iconic streets to motor vehicles, Los Angeles can do it, too.

Streetsblog then picks it up, suggesting ten LA-area streets from Pasadena to Santa Monica that could use a similar treatment — including the afore mentioned Hollywood Blvd; we mentioned Curbed’s seven suggestions earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Car and Driver wants to know how far this carfree streets thing is going to spread, and Fast Company lists 11 additional cities where it already has.

………

Call it Big Bird.

C|net reports that Bird is introducing a heavier, more durable and hopefully, more vandalism resistant e-scooter they’ve dubbed Bird Two.

The vehicle comes with “autonomous damage sensors” that are designed to detect potentially dangerous maintenance issues. It has puncture-resistant tires, an anti-tipping kickstand and “enterprise level anti-theft encryption.” And its design minimizes exposed cables and screws.

“The absence of excessive exposed screws helps create a sleeker design while also reducing injuries and vandalism,” the company said in a statement. Bird said this feature will also help with safety (which makes sense considering some scooter haters like to cut brake cables).

The site says the company is introducing the scooters in San Francisco, then eventually rolling them out to other cities.

Evidently, they forget to tell that to their LA-area staff.

I spotted this one while walking the foster corgi in Hollywood; other Twitter users reported seeing them along the Figueroa corridor.

………

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

Long Island police are looking for a bike-riding man who stole $3,000 from an unlocked car. Then again, what kind of idiot leaves three grand in his car, and doesn’t bother to lock it?

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Local

A Larchmont newspaper profiles all four candidates in the CD4 race — incumbent David Ryu and challengers Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman, as well as write-in candidate Susan Collins; both Levy and Raman have been endorsed by Bike the Vote LA. And speaking of Levy, she’s asking transit and mobility fans to canvas for her this weekend.

Santa Monica could cut the number of dockless bike and e-scooter providers in the city by half under new rules approved by the city council.

 

State

Eroica California returns to Cambria this April, now with rides for modern and classic bikes on different days.

Tragic news from Galt, 27 miles south of Sacramento, where a 34-year old man riding a bike was killed in a collision with a motorist.

A Sebastopol writer talks with a zero-waste, locavore, electric vélomobile owner.

Plans for a median-protected bike lane move forward in Modesto, despite the inevitable complaints from local businesses that it would take space away from cars.

 

National

Streetsblog says the national transportation policy proposed by the Democrats in Congress has a lot to offer, even if it has little chance of becoming law.

A writer for Mashable tries out a $4,000 ebike for a year, and is surprised to learn it’s heavy, and can replace a car, but only in good weather. Never mind that lots of people ride ebikes and regular bikes year ’round, in all kinds of weather.

Ebike prices continue to drop, like this barely sub-$1,000 bike from Propella. And no, I’ve never heard of the brand, either.

A new active transportation advocacy group intends to make Spokane WA friendlier for people on bikes and on foot.

Once again demonstrating that the Bureau of Land Management has no respect for the land they’re supposed to manage, the BLM has put two parcels up for oil and gas drilling near Moab, Utah, even though it could result in irreversible damage to the famed Slickrock mountain bike trail.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Wisconsin, where a hit-and-run driver got a lousy three months behind bars for the drunken crash that injured a bike rider; he hit the victim as he was driving to another bar, and blew over twice the legal limit when he was arrested.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with the driver of a flatbed truck, becoming the first bicyclist killed in New York this year after the city suffered a nearly three times increase in bicycling deaths last year. As usual, the driver wasn’t ticketed or detained, despite being caught on video making an illegal U-turn. Warning — that last link clearly shows the victim getting hit, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking it. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

A North Carolina mother is under arrest after her four-year old son was found riding his tricycle naked at 12:30 am, in front of a bar, in 40° weather.

Nice gesture from a New Orleans Mardi Gras krewe, which is hosting a block party to call for bike and pedestrian safety at the site of the drunken crash that killed two bike riders and injured several others during last year’s Mardi Gras celebrations.

 

International

A young man from Matamoros, Mexico just graduated from a college in Brownsville, Texas, thanks in part thanks to the $40 flea market bicycle he rode across the border every day.

A London woman describes how she went a full year using only her feet or bicycle for transportation.

The mayor of Paris says if she’s re-elected, every street in the city will by bicycle-friendly by 2024.

SUVs should be banned from urban areas, according to a Brussels-based safety think tank, which called for urgent action to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

A Belgian ex-cyclist-turned-journalist makes, then deletes, then apologizes for a sexist joke about how little an Argentine reporter was wearing; apology not accepted, evidently, after she responded by calling him a brontosaurus.

Vienna is offering free admission to museums and concerts to people who leave their cars at home in an effort to cut traffic and pollution.

VeloNews goes to Germany to jerk their chains. And otherwise test 13 of the most popular bike chains.

A South African radio station says it could be the death of motoring, as Millennials and Gen Zers are falling out of love with cars.

It better be a damn big reward. Indonesian authorities want a volunteer to take a motorcycle tire from around a 13-foot crocodile’s neck.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado man looks back on a half-century as a cyclocross racer, starting long before most American cycling fans ever heard of the sport.

Still more sad news, as British cyclist Josephine Gilbert was killed last week when she was struck by a truck driver while riding in the UK; the 25-year old rider was called an inspiration by her teammates. She becomes just the latest in a long line of professional and amateur racers killed or seriously injured by drivers in recent years.

 

Finally…

It may be broken English, but “Abandoning boy to death” drives the point home better than the more pedestrian “hit-and-run.” If you want to keep passing as a blind beggar, leave the SUV at home.

And this is who we share the roads with. And yes, it’s pretty much the definition of an entitled driver.

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