LA Times calls for permanent Slow Streets and no parking minimums near transit, and bike helmets as the last line of defense

They get it.

The LA Times calls for eliminating minimum parking requirements within a half mile of a major transit stop or transit corridor; according to the paper, AB 1401 would encourage much needed housing while reducing emissions from cars.

That follows their recent call to keep the “Slow Streets, parklets, temporary bike lanes and outdoor dining areas” in a post-pandemic America.

Like all those temporary, popup bike lanes that weren’t build in Los Angeles, for instance.

But at least we have a number of Slow Streets, which could be made permanent and expanded to form a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets.

Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels.

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Here we go again.

A Houston professor of pediatric medicine gets it wrong, saying the first rule of bicycle safety is to always wear a helmet, and don’t ride at night.

Yes, a bike helmet can cut your risk of a head injury if you come off your bike, though studies disagree on just how much.

But what helmet advocates seem to forget is that bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively slow speed falls. Not high speed collisions with a couple tons of semi-ballistic steel and glass.

They should always be seen as the last line of defense when all else fails, not the first; the key to bike safety is to ride defensively so you don’t get hit in the first place.

And telling people not to ride after dark makes no more sense than telling them not to walk or leave their house.

Then again, they do that, too.

While the period from 6 pm to 9 pm is the most dangerous time of day for bike riders, you can cut your risk dramatically just by putting bright lights and reflectors on your bike. And always riding like your life depends on it.

Because it does.

And yes, wear a helmet. Just don’t count on it to save your life.

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The University of Oregon is suing a fired campus cop to recoup the settlement the university had to pay out for his off-campus stop of a Latino bike rider.

The college settled with the family of the victim for $115,000 as a result of the 2018 case, when the cop briefly chased him in his patrol car, then bizarrely pulled his gun on him, despite a total lack of probable cause.

The university alleges the officer, Troy Phillips, lied about what happened, and hid the existence of video and audio recordings of the incident, accusing Phillips of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution and fabricating evidence.

And says he should be on the hook for the settlement, rather than the school.

In a tragic coda to the story, the victim, 40-year old Eliborio Rodrigues Jr. was shot and killed by a cop the following year, after refusing to show his ID and asking for a sergeant when he was stopped for taking a plastic bottle out of a recycling bin.

Yes, he was killed over a lousy piece of trash.

The shooting was inexplicably ruled justified, despite the flimsy probable cause, when the cop claimed Rodrigues reached for his taser.

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Nothing like criminalizing bike riding, and treating little kids like wanted terrorists or insurrectionists.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is one of us, riding his bike around New York as he pledges to fight climate change in a new campaign ad.

Even though Schumer’s wife, former New York DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall, led the fight against the bike lane in front of their home.

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So, if a heavy bollard can’t keep a car out of a building, how are those little plastic bendy posts LA uses to demarcate “protected” bike lanes supposed to do the job?

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A Toronto family insists that tall bikes will save the world, with video of their creations to back it up.

I’ll take the double-deck tandem with one rider perched above, not behind, the other.

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

A road raging British driver will have to pay the equivalent of nearly $1,250 for hiding in some bushes on the side of the road, and pushing a man off his bike as he rode by.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a bike rider who beat a man who was walking his dogs in an apparently unprovoked attack.

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Local

LA Magazine says Hollywood’s newly trendy Sycamore Ave, home to SiriusXM and the offices of Jay Z and Beyoncé, are due to get bike lanes soon. Even though they really belong one block west on busy La Brea Blvd.

Patch says two separate hikers had to be rescued in Pacific Palisades. Even if one of those hikers was traveling on a mountain bike instead of hiking boots.

 

State

For a change, there’s good news from the California legislature, where a bill to decriminalize jay walking passed passed the Assembly Transportation Committee by a ten vote margin. Put another way, AB 1238 would legalize crossing the damn street like a grownup.

San Diego considers a plan to slowly transform car-choked El Cajon Blvd into a series of people-friendly neighborhood hubs, along with a shared rapid bus and bike lane.

 

National

Cosmo wants you to pedal around in style this summer, pitching nine “cute” bike helmets to protect your noggin. Because really, the most important thing is how cute you look on your bike.

T3 offers a beginner’s guide to buying an ebike, including whether you should get one. Hint: yes.

Seattle is eliminating curbs to create people-friendly streets where vehicles are guests. Although not everyone likes the idea.

An Arkansas bike rider learned the hard way that drivers aren’t the only risk we face on the roads when he was attacked by a pack of angry dogs that came charging out of a couple’s yard; he was rushed to the hospital with a tourniquet on his leg. Never mind that the dogs should have been secured so they couldn’t rush out into the street like that, for their own safety, as well as others. 

A Wisconsin man is biking to Louisiana to raise awareness for living organ donations, a year after donating a kidney to a total stranger he met in a bar.

An Ohio man will spend the next eight months behind bars for stealing an 81-year old man’s bicycle. And pay a whopping $75 restitution to buy the victim a new bike.

A new poll conducted by PeopleForBikes shows Pittsburgh residents don’t hate bike lanes after all, with three-quarters agreeing that additional bike and pedestrian infrastructure would more it a more desirable place to live.

Philadelphia begins work on improving six bike lanes throughout the city to improve safety, just days after a woman was killed riding her bike. Why is it that cities always seem to only do the right thing after it’s too late?

A Florida driver belatedly turned himself in a year after killing an 18-year old bike rider in a hit-and-run.

 

International

Toronto bikeshare usage has surged during the pandemic, as people have turned to bikeshare in record numbers after shunning transit. Thanks to Donna Samoyloff for the tip.

It was a bad day for scofflaw Manchester drivers, as a cop in Manchester, England commandeered a bicycle from a passing rider to catch a car thief before he could flee on foot after crashing. And a pair of bike cops in a French district by the same name chased down and busted a Porsche driver for driving recklessly.

A British study shows planting the right shrubs along a roadway can cut pollution by 20%. And even more if there are bikes on that road instead of cars.

A UK air quality and emissions site examines whether the country’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods are the latest victims of the culture wars.

She gets it. A Brit letter writer says cars are destroying her town, while NIMBYs fight anything that would reduce car dependency.

Sadly, the hit-and-run pandemic has spread around the world, infecting Scotland and Japan.

Four of Singapore’s most scenic bike routes for your next trip to the island nation.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prominent German ski mountaineer Anton ‘Toni’ Palzer makes the unusual leap from pro skiing directly to pro cycling’s World Tour.

Bicycling Australia says Gen Z is taking its rightful place on the WorldTour podium.

 

Finally…

Popular bike route Topanga Canyon looked just a tad different a century ago. Presenting the world’s most polite recap of a bike protest.

And take a nine-minute trail break with a good bike, and a better dog.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

2 comments

  1. Joe Linton says:

    am curious how those Sycamore bike lanes would work – it’s a 36′ wide street with two car lanes and two parking lanes… probably would need to remove parking – or make it a one way street?

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