LA skips worldwide Slow Streets movement, print your own Slow Street signs, and tackling Amazon in a cargo bike

Today’s common theme is the ongoing battle for Slow Streets and Open Streets — and what will follow post-pandemic — allowing people to safely get outside during the coronavirus crisis.

Something that seems to be sweeping the world. Except for Los Angeles, which is sweeping up the rear behind virtually everyone else.

As usual.

Mayor Robert Garcia wants Long Beach to repurpose some streets to provide more space for people. Funny how much more progressive Long Beach is when it comes public spaces and transportation than its ostensibly progressive neighbor to the north.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss wonders what happens when traffic comes back to our formerly quiet streets, warning we need to be prepared to hear a much-needed new normal is a luxury we can’t afford.

Houston’s chief transportation planner says coronavirus-quiet streets can’t just be for motor vehicle commuters. Could someone please give him LA Mayor Garcetti’s phone number?

It’s a sad commentary when the people of Bentonville Arkansas, the hometown of Walmart, get Slow Streets to provide safe space to exercise outdoors, and Los Angeles can’t.

Maine’s bike advocates think a more bike-centric culture could take hold in the state as a result of the pandemic. Unfortunately, that’s just wishful thinking unless steps are taken now to actively encourage bicycling while discouraging people from getting back into their cars.

Maybe someone should explain the concept of open streets to the NYPD, after the department sent 30 cops to shut one down in Brooklyn — despite an okay from New York’s Department of Transportation.

CNN says our cities may never look the same in a post-pandemic world, as they provide more space for biking and walking, and make other adaptations to adjust to the new reality.

A Vancouver newspaper suggests paying people to bike instead of driving to keep traffic from roaring back post pandemic. Which could be much more effective than congestion pricing, without the inevitable backlash.

No bias here. A London mayoral candidate says plans to encourage people to walk and bike to work are “madness,” and people shouldn’t have to choose between crowded trains and getting crushed by a truck on a bike. At least he’s got the last part right. But the solution is to tame traffic so we can encourage active transportation without posing a risk to human life.

After a Scottish columnist demanded that bike riders “do something” in return for pop-up bike lanes, the UK’s cycling organization wants to know why people on bikes have to meet some sort of special criteria just to be kept safe.

And these brilliant street signs from New York’s Transformation Dept gets the idea across better than just about anything else.

Maybe we should just print them out and start using them, instead of waiting for the city to finally get around to it.

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London’s Pedal Me e-cargo bike delivery service warns it’s coming for the world’s biggest retailer.

If they cross the Atlantic, I’m all in.

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Local

Assisted by a truck-driving stranger, a 17-year old South Pasadena boy tackled a bike thief as he tried riding away after snatching a bike out of the hands of the boy’s sister.

Long Beach is reopening parks and the beach bike and walking paths today, even as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue; however, face masks will not be required for “physically distanced exercise.”

Long Beach is partnering with bicycle community group Pedal Movement to offer virtual bike workshops, although you already missed the first one.

What it’s like to ride 55 miles on PCH from Long Beach to Crystal Cove along PCH in today’s Covid-19 world.

Yes, that could have been the former Governator’s oldest son you saw riding an elliptical bike through LA last week.

 

State

A 53-year old Spring Valley bike rider suffered major injuries when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver in a dark sedan.

A San Jose nonprofit is using bicycles to distribute vegetable plants to people in need.

Sad news from Chico, where a 65-year old man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a driver in a pickup. Note to CHP: When a bike rider gets run down by a motorist doing 55 mph, it doesn’t effing matter how fast the bike was going.

 

National

Take your dog with you on your next ride, with nine “unbiased” reviews on doggie bike trailers that just happen to link to Amazon pages where you can buy them. And only the Amazon pages.

A 68-year old lifelong bike rider says signs on Oregon mountain bike trails prohibiting ped-assist ebikes is just outright snobbery; meanwhile, Cycling Tips says ebikes are okay on gravel, but more fun in the company of other ebike riders.

The other Vancouver — no, the one in Washington— is forced to hit the pause button on a planned protected bike lane after stripping the city’s transportation budget due to the coronavirus crisis. Something we can look forward to just about everywhere in the days to come, including Los Angeles.

A 17-year old Colorado man is now a thriving triathlete, eight years after his mother made the heartrending decision to amputate his leg due to a congenital condition.

An Austin TX man faces charges for deliberately running down a man on a bike as the victim was attempting to escape following a domestic dispute.

Now that’s a real superhero. Chicago’s beer fairy is delivering craft beer by bicycle. And yes, with wings attached.

French BMX pro Matthias Dandois rides though an empty New York.

 

International

The Guardian offers ten reasons now is a great time to start riding a bike. All of which apply wherever you are.

He gets it. A writer for a sports and development website says bicycling should be considered a form of public transportation in a post Covid-19 world, once we finally get there.

Tragic news from Argentina, where soccer legend Tomás Carlovich died after slipping into a coma when he was mugged by a thief who stole his bicycle; Argentine great Maradona called Carlovich the greatest of all time, even though he never played for the national team, by choice.

A British Columbia city shows how easy it is to make a protected intersection.

Montreal residents are “desperate” for bicycles, as local shops sell out due to the coronavirus bike boom.

A London letter writer complains that “aggressive” cyclists should look out for pedestrians in bike lanes, not the other way around.

Madonna’s 19-year old son is one of us, going for a ride through London dressed like Oliver Twist.

A six-year old English girl raised £1,000 for Britain’s National Health Service — the equivalent of $1,234 — by riding 100 miles on her bike in ten days.

Britain’s government is encouraging people to get out on their bikes as the country begins lifting its coronavirus lockdown, including a surprise announcement that it is investing £2 billion — the equivalent of nearly $2.5 billion — to “put cycling and walking at the heart” of the country’s transportation policy.

A writer for The Guardian debates whether we’re entering a golden age of bicycling, or if it’s just another empty promise. And says riding a bike does more to help the UK’s National Health Service than clapping once a week.

Once again, a Brit medical worker has been targeted by a heartless bike thief, after an intensive care nurse got off work to find all three locks on her bike had been cut.

The coronavirus bike boom has cleared British bike shops of virtually all their available bicycles, with foldie maker Brompton seeing a five-time increase in online sales.

Thousands of Slovenian bike riders took over the streets of the capital city, Ljubljana, to protest allegations of coronavirus purchasing corruption; a smaller protest was held in Maribor, the country’s next-largest city.

Once again, an Indian migrant worker has been killed by a driver while bicycling over 700 miles back home during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Finally…

Otters help bring bike thieves to justice. How about a new Ferrari that weighs less than an unabridged dictionary?

And no. Just…no.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

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