State considers ebike rebates and stop as yield, and maybe now LA County will finally fix deadly Hawthorne Blvd

Things could be looking up in the state legislature.

Streetsblog takes a look at bike and traffic safety bills that have been introduced this session that could actually make a real difference on our streets.

AB 122 would finally legalize what most bike riders — and too many drivers — already do by allowing them to treat stop signs as yields; a similar law in Delaware resulted in a 23% reduction in bike crashes at intersections with stop signs.

AB 117 would allocate $10 million from the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide rebates for ebike buyers; combined with a proposed 30% rebate on ebikes from the federal government, it could finally make ebikes affordable for lower income buyers.

Permanent Slow Streets could become a fixture in neighborhood with limited access to parks and high air pollution risk if AB 773 passes both houses.

As currently written, AB 43, sponsored by new Assembly Transportation Committee chair Laura Friedman would only track bike and pedestrian crashes, but the Burbank assemblywoman hopes to rework it to compel cities to redesign streets to lower speeds.

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This is why people keep dying on our streets.

You couldn’t have turned on your TV yesterday without encountering wall-to-wall coverage of Tiger Woods’ high speed rollover crash on Hawthorne Blvd in tony Palos Verdes Estates.

Fortunately, he’s expected to survive, despite major injuries to both legs.

But it raises the question of why nothing has been done to improve safety on the deadly street, where a bike rider died in a hit-and-run a little further down the road a few years ago, and where residents say drivers routinely exceed the 45 mph speed limit.

It nearly took the life of one of the world’s greatest golfers.

The next person may not be so lucky.

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White Eyes, a 20-minute short film shortlisted for this year’s Live Action Short Oscar, questions who really owns a stolen bicycle, and the effect reclaiming it would have on the lives of those involved.

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People for Bikes takes a quick look at Black bike history.

https://twitter.com/peopleforbikes/status/1364314351990149120

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This is what a hit-and-run looks like.

The 48-year old English victim was lucky to escape with minor injuries, while questioning the humanity of the driver who left him lying in the street.

“You are not telling me you can’t see or feel a fully grown man on a bike coming in the roundabout. I’m sorry, but that’s just can’t be true.

“I’m really angry, sad and disappointed at the same time. I’m disappointed in the driver, as a human being. One thing is sure that had I done something like that, I would’ve been able to drive away.”

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One quick way to earn a bunch of one star reviews — park in a protected bike lane.

https://twitter.com/JamesNonchalant/status/1364132581810266115?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364132581810266115%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-23-february-2021-281119

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

A new bill put forward by GOP members in the Washington legislature would tax bicycle and transit riders, as well as Uber passengers, to maintain the roads and fix the damage caused by…cars and trucks.

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

Police in Elmira NY are looking for a bike-riding man who slashed another man in the arm in a dispute over who owned the bicycle; the victim mistakenly thought it was his.

A British man walked with probation and a fine for punching his neighbor and throwing a bicycle at him when the other man refused to turn down his music at 5 am.

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Local

LA pediatric neurologist Chris Giza explains to The Washington Post how a 21-mile fake commute along the beach can provide balance for people working from home during the pandemic.

Once an environmental makeover of the Ballona Wetlands is finished, you could be able to actually ride through it, rather than just speed past on the Ballona Creek bike path.

Culver City is holding a virtual meeting tomorrow to consider expanding and strengthening the city’s Slow Streets program, including making the existing Slow Streets permanent.

 

State

A pair of California college students rediscovered their faith in humanity by riding across the US; the two women spent three months traveling a meandering 4,200-mile route.

Some San Diego bike riders say roundabouts may improve safety, but they don’t feel safe using them.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette examines the ways insurance companies will try to deny a claim by arguing that you assumed the risk of injury when you got on your bicycle. Which is like saying a driver assumed the risk of a wreck by turning the ignition key.

A Santa Cruz scientist who fatally ran down a bike-riding teenage farm worker 25 years ago warns maskless protesters what it feels like to carry that guilt every day.

A new gap-closing bikeway should turn Monterey’s bike lane to nowhere into a connected bike network that actually leads somewhere, while bike riders wait for the completion of a 28-mile off-road bike path connecting key points throughout the city.

 

National

The Today Show profiles three Black founders who built inclusive fitness groups for everyone, including Black Girls Do Bike founder Monica Garrison.

An outdoor website questions whether the REI co-op has grown too much; it’s now a $3 billion business with 168 stores and 19 million members.

Three generations of a Hawaiian bike shop-owning family struggle to weather the ups and downs brought on by the pandemic bike boom.

Kindhearted Florida cops gave a five-year old boy a new bike after his was destroyed in a “horrific” crash that left him seriously injured.

 

International

Road.cc considers fourteen of the best touring bikes for when you finally decide to chuck it all and hit the road.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 92-year old Vancouver man is back on a bike, after a bike shop offered him a loaner ebike for 30 days in hopes his own stolen ebike somehow turns up. He’s also had a martini every day for the last 60 years.

Devastated family members plead for information on how a Scottish man died, after his body was found three years following his disappearance on a charity bike ride.

Tragic news from the UK, where a three-year old girl accidentally hung herself when she fell from a tree while wearing her unicorn bike helmet. Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen stories like this. It’s just another reminder that children’s bike helmets are for riding bikes, and can be dangerous under other circumstances.

An Irish girl who won the hearts of her countrymen when she opened up on TV about losing her leg to cancer has won them again, after learning how to ride a bike again using her prosthetic leg.

Sweden is reducing car usage and making cities more livable by replacing street parking with tables, benches and plants.

A Singapore ebike dealer will spend the next 13 weeks behind bars for forging government seals ensuring power-assist ebikes are safe to use, after repeated attempts to get official approvals failed.

A New Zealand ebike designer is calling for online retailers to fight bike theft by removing ebike chargers from their websites, and requiring proof of ownership before selling them.

Melbourne, Australia bike riders hope the fourth time is the charm, after three previous attempts at bikeshare failed.

You’ve got to be kidding. Melbourne police will use handheld speed guns to crack down on bicycle and e-scooter riders violating the 6 mph speed limit on a multi-use promenade. I have trouble riding that slow even in my lowest gears without falling over.

Australian authorities are offering a $250,000 reward for information on how a man ended up submerged in a sewage tank, after he was last seen riding his bicycle two years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips profiles 2019 junior world road and track champ Megan Jastrab, who won virtually every race she entered before Covid put juniors racing on hold, giving her an extra year to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

Your new Porsche could come with a built-in bike rack. Your next bike helmet could weigh less than a hamster, or maybe a half dozen Pop Tarts.

And when you want to feel like you’re riding Eddie Van Halen’s guitar.

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

3 comments

  1. Jim says:

    Ted, Hawthorne Blvd isn’t the problem, it’s automobile drivers. Hawthorne is a lovely, wide street with smooth pavement from the top of the hill to the bottom. Yes, it is 10% grade in some places, which can lead to drivers exceeding the speed limit…by a lot. Unfortunately, the posted 45 mph speed limit cannot be enforced due to the 85 percentile rule setting speed limits in the state. If local cities did the study required for enforcement, they would have to RAISE the speed limit.

  2. Elo says:

    Car culture is a major issue, in many different ways. It makes LA life needlessly noisy, dirty and thus more stressful, plus pollutes air noticeably. This goes to show how it’s not a ‘natural’ result, but rather a for profit entity’s original wish to have it this way, aka result of personal greed..

  3. Ralph says:

    The roundabouts and people don’t know how to use them. Drivers don’t seem to want to review how they are to be used either, so ignorance reigns. The rules here in Germany, and I believe most of Europe, are that the vehicle in the roundabout has right of way. When you come up to one you turn to the right to enter if it is clear of traffic. No signal is expected, since you have to turn right. (Discounting Great Britain and Ireland, they go left with the same rule) When you leave you signal your exit. If there are pedestrians drivers have to stop for them, both on entry and exit.

    It seems as if the CA DMV website has instructions that match here.

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