Garcetti opens new DTLA bus and bike lanes, Cowell not injured on ebike, and Richmond advocate runs for council

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the opening of the new 5th and 6th Street bus lanes and protected bike lanes in Downtown LA yesterday.

Although he seemed to forget the work of Skid Row residents and advocates in fighting for safe bikeways through the crowded city corridor most Angelenos prefer to avoid.

As well as taking credit for street improvements that don’t seem to be happening anywhere else outside of DTLA.

But let’s hope he’s serious about LA’s Green New Deal, which promises to reshape how we get around the city, while dramatically reducing the average miles driven by Angelenos.

And that he actually follows through this time.

Or am I the only one who still remembers the city’s abortive Vision Zero program?

………

Forget those reports about Simon Cowell breaking his back riding an ebike.

Not to mention the breathless reports about the supposed dangers of electric bicycles.

Because this one wasn’t. Unless by ebike, you mean something just this side of a motorcycle.

Or maybe the fastest ebike on Earth, even.

Although anything that’s throttle controlled or travels faster than 28 mph requires a driver’s license, registration and a helmet under California law.

Meanwhile, Cowell took the time to thank the medical workers who cared for him, calling them “some of the nicest people I have ever met.”

And said maybe he should have read the manual first.

………

This one made me smile.

Najari Smith, the founder of Richmond’s nonprofit Rich City Rides bike co-op, made the announcement that he’s running for the local city council this fall.

Like LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club, Smith works through the co-op to aid local youths and uplift the community, as well as helping people get on bikes who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

And knows firsthand what it’s like to get unjustly busted for Biking While Black.

Now we just need to talk the East Side Riders John Jones III to do the same thing here in LA.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes keeps going on.

A Half Moon Bay bike rider was repeatedly stabbed in a case of sidewalk rage after getting in a dispute with a man about riding on the sidewalk; his attacker now faces a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Um, okay. An Iowa woman is under arrest for threatening to kill a bike rider and slapping an apparently unidentified “Hardee’s cup of liquid” out of her hand.

……..

Local

The Órale Boyle Heights podcast talks with the man behind Peatónito, Mexico’s legendary pedestrian rights superhero, now living in Los Angeles.

Another measure of how much LA traffic dropped during the coronavirus lockdown — road rage incidents were down, too.

Tafarai Bayne, chief strategist for CicLAvia, makes a pitch for the LA open streets event.

Gerrard Butler is one of us, looking good on his knobby tired ebike on a spin through the ‘Bu.

 

State

San Diego is promoting bicycling in the city with a new Better by Bike blog.

Bakersfield is starting work on a seven-mile extension of the city’s Kern River bike path, which will result in a nearly 40-mile bikeway.

 

National

They get it. NPR says now is the time to start riding a bike, while a suburban Chicago site says bicycling is one saving grace of Covid-19.

Writing for Business Insider, former Chicago and DC DOT Director Gabe Klein teams with Kay Cheng to make the case for making the country’s Covid-19 street closures permanent.

Self talks with a couple of experts to recommend the best bikes for women. Not that their experts don’t know what they’re talking about. But there are countless others — including more than just one woman — they could have spoken with who know as much or more about the particular needs of women riders.

A surprising report from Reader’s Digest visits 15 “visually stunning” pedestrian bridges across the US, many of which are open to bike riders, too. Actually, the real surprise is that Reader’s Digest is still around.

A Colorado site says gravel biking is showing real staying power.

Houston is finally getting around to banning blocking bike lanes, and allowing scofflaw drivers to have their vehicles towed.

A Kentucky newspaper trots out a long-discredited stat to argue for a mandatory bike helmet law, calling them “a cyclist’s best line of defense,” without distinguishing between adults and children. No, the best defense is avoiding crashes in the first place through safe riding techniques, defensive bicycling and better infrastructure; helmets should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails. And they’re only designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed impacts.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is backtracking on promises to put more ebikes on the streets, cutting the promised number from “thousands” to “hundreds.”

A frontline doctor treating Covid-19 patients in the Bronx says his daily bike rides have kept him sane, despite working 38 days straight.

Now that’s more like it. A new West Virginia insulation factory will give employees who commute by bike priority parking when it opens next year.

 

International

Bogotá, Columbia, has embarked on a bike lane building spree that could set the standard for Latin America, with 550 miles of bike lanes slated for completion within four years.

Coventry, England, is making an effort to return to its bicycling roots, despite its status as the UK’s Motor City equivalent,

London’s Evening Standard recommends all the gear you need to become a bicycle commuter. Or you could just get a bike and start riding.

Auto insurance claims for bike crashes have nearly doubled in the UK in recent months, presumably due to the increase in ridership due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Streetsblog questions whether it’s time for the US to adopt the Madrid Model of sandwiching bike lanes — or rather, slow vehicle lanes — between higher speed traffic lanes, saying it’s already showing safety improvements by moving riders from the edge of the roadway.

An Indian writer calls for a bicycle revolution to “drastically change the socio-economic and demographic distribution” of bicyclists, in a country where bike use is too often limited to the poorest households.

Singapore’s new pedestrian code of conduct calls for people on foot to use sidewalks and crosswalks instead of bikeways when they’re available. And not bury their faces in their phones.

An op-ed by a New Zealand physician says slowing speeds is a good start, but actually fixing the streets will make a bigger difference.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says Max Fennell, the first black pro triathlete, wants more black athletes to realize their potential in endurance sports.

Doctors continue to say Dutch pro Fabio Jakobsen could return to racing if he wants, while predicting a long and arduous path to recover from the injuries he suffered in the Tour of Poland; speaking and eating will be a challenge, along with “aesthetic damage” to his face.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can go bike touring while pulling your very own mini-camper trailer. And apparently, your regular bike clothes just won’t due for gravel grinding.

……

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

One comment

  1. I read the technical specs on the “e-bike” Cowell was riding and it was more than 6 times the allowable power for a moped, 20 times the allowable power for a US e-bike. And US e-bikes are considered massively overpowered in the rest of the world, most of which have outputs limited to 1/2 to 1/3 the US maximum. So, yeah, light electric motorcycle with auxiliary pedals, not e-bike.

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