Metro to study Beautiful Blvd and 2nd plan in Eagle Rock, CicLAvia helps LA dine Al Fresco, and 250 pound SaMo ebikes

Before we start, I want to clarify Tuesday’s report on the death of cyclocross champ Laurence Malone in Lancaster CA on Monday.

As more information came in, it became clear that the initial reports that Malone was riding his bike were wrong; he was actually driving on Highway 138 when his car was hit head-on by the driver of a semi-truck.

I’ve rewritten my report on his death as a result, and am no longer counting his death among this year’s bicycling fatalities.

Today’s photo is a rendering of one section of the Beautiful Boulevard plan, from Eagle Rock Forward

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Metro voted to move forward with additional studies of the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, as well as another plan that with keep two traffic lanes and bike lanes, while reducing medians and parking.

The board followed the lead of CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, who called for additional public input on top of the numerous meetings that have already been held, and countless comments previously submitted.

Bike Talk posted the audio for the last 12 commenters discussing the proposals at yesterday’s virtual Metro meeting.

Meanwhile, the LA Times questioned why de León is trying to stall the transit and climate friendly plan for Eagle Rock.

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with more public discussion and analysis. But activists in Eagle Rock are understandably worried that the delay is an attempt to undermine the Beautiful Boulevard concept in favor of a car-centric view of the streets. That would be disappointing, considering how De León has touted his commitment to fighting climate change and his support for transit and safer streets.

There’s a long history of L.A. leaders proclaiming their climate leadership only to abandon climate-minded street design at the first cries of opposition.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles continues to kick the climate can down the road, leaving it to others to make the hard decisions our elected leaders lack the courage to make.

We have no choice but to provide safe, clean and efficient alternatives to driving, as an ever increasing number of cars slowly grind our streets to a halt, without destroying the livability of our communities.

The Beautiful Boulevard plan does just that, enhancing the community while providing safe space for transit, walking and riding a bike.

We have no choice but to move forward with plans like this throughout LA if we hope to save our city.

And ourselves.

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CicLAvia is leveraging its experience with open streets to guide Los Angeles in expanding the city’s COVID-19 Al Fresco outdoor dining program, and making it permanent.

“CicLAvia has been utilizing its open streets planning expertise in a new way by reaching out to smaller ‘mom and pop’ restaurants in communities most impacted by the pandemic,” said CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

“By offering free assistance to these ‘hidden gems’ via the L.A. Al Fresco program, CicLAvia helps these restaurants accommodate more customers so they can serve their neighborhoods safely and with greater capacity, stay open and continue to prosper.”

At the same time, CicLAvia is planning the return of the country’s largest and most successful open streets event, which was halted last year due to the pandemic.

A new route and date is expected to be announced soon.

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A Playa del Rey letter writer who identifies himself as a 63-year old cyclist complains about the presence of “250 pound E-bikes traveling at 20 mph or more” on the beachfront bike path, piloted by “clueless riders of all ages.”

He goes on to call for them to be banned from the popular pathway.

However, ebikes are already prohibited from the bike path in Santa Monica, and numerous bikes have ticketed and confiscated in the past.

Correction — Santa Monica now allows ebikes on the beach bike path; somehow I missed that. Thanks to Howard for the correction

And anything that can travel over 20 mph is barred by the state from being ridden on any bike path.

Never mind that even the heaviest ebikes check in at a little over 50 pounds, rather than 250, which very few riders would even be able to lift.

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This is who we share the road with.

God help us.

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

Campus police at Cal State Northridge are warning women to be on the lookout for a suspected serial groper; unfortunately, the only description is a man in a black hoodie on a black bicycle.

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Local

Metro will host a virtual meeting at 6pm today to discuss first mile/last mile bike and pedestrian connections near the Expo/Crenshaw Station; another meeting will be held Tuesday afternoon.

The Beverly Hills city council will review the environmental impact report and consider plan approvals for the massive One Beverly Hills project at 7pm tonight; Better Bike calls for the newly bike friendly city to insist on bike lanes to and through the project on the site of the former Robinson’s May department store.

 

State

A San Diego councilmember voices his support for building a bike and pedestrian bridge across the San Diego River in Mission Trails Regional Park in honor of a 21-year-old student who drowned at the crossing in January.

A Bay Area writer says the recent death of local legend of Joe Shami, known as the King of Mount Diablo, is a reminder for drivers to put their phones down and watch for bicyclists.

 

National

Cycling News explains why your ebike can’t recharge while you pedal or brake.

The Colorado lawyer representing the family of fallen national master’s road champ Gwen Inglis is calling for the charges against the allegedly stoned driver to be bumped up to 1st degree murder to reflect his extreme indifference to human life.

Colorado mountain resort Steamboat Springs approved permitting the state’s Safety Stop, aka Stop As Yield, in the town; unlike other states, Colorado allows individual cities to choose whether or nor to allow bike riders to roll stops after checking for oncoming traffic. And the sky has not fallen there, or any other state that allows it.

Iowa’s popular RAGBRAI bike ride across the state returns with coronavirus safety precautions in place this year, after being cancelled last year.

The pandemic has shown the need for more bike lanes and sidewalks in Connecticut, with up to a 50% jump in bicycling, and two to three times as many pedestrians.

A New Jersey bill would ban bike licenses across the state, after white cops in Perth Amboy recently confiscated the bikes of Black and brown teens for not having one.

Speaking of New Jersey, the state is considering a new law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle or give a four-foot passing distance; however, like California, it contains the same clause allowing drivers to ignore those requirements by slowing down and being prepared to stop, making it relatively toothless.

An enterprising 12-year old Philadelphia boy responded to the shutdown of bike shops during the pandemic by starting his own bike repair service.

A Pennsylvania bike co-op marked the Ride of Silence by placing 22 ghost bikes on the steps of the state capitol, in a powerful reminder of the 22 people who lost their lives riding in the state last year.

 

International

The popup bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge will be made permanent  after proving their worth during the pandemic. That’s not the case in Los Angeles, though, where no popup bike lanes will be made permanent because shortsighted city officials failed to install any.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Edinburgh councilmember is being investigated by an ethical standards watchdog, after responding to a story about barbed wire strung across a bike path by calling for those fighting popup bike and pedestrian spaces to take responsibility for their behavior.

Moscow traffic control cops are taking to their bicycles to keep drivers out of the city’s bike lanes.

Motorcycling great Troy Bayliss was seriously injured in a head-on collision with another bicycle rider; the three-time World Superbike champ returned to his Australian home to recover from a fractured vertebrae and spinal damage. Been there, done that. I fractured the same vertebrae in my 20s when a jack broke and dropped the car I was working on down on me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Mauro Schmid captured yesterday’s 11th stage of the Giro for his first win as a pro.

Remco Evenepoel could have used a virtual Jens Voigt in his ear, yelling “Shut up, legs!” Instead he lost two minutes to race leader Egan Bernal on the Giro’s gravel stage yesterday, complaining that his “legs felt empty.”

VeloNews looks at the “unsung hero” working to help keep Evenepoel at the front of the pack, although he might look slightly less heroic after yesterday.

 

Finally…

Presenting the ebike for people who aren’t ready to give up their cars. That feeling when you’re collateral damage in a police chase.

And the perfect bike for anyone who still wants to be a cowboy when they grow up.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

2 comments

  1. Howard says:

    Actually, Class I & II e-bikes are now allowed and legal on the Santa Monica beach bike path. See page 4 under regulations: https://www.santamonica.gov/Media/Default/Mobility/GoSaMo%20e-bike%20Buyers%20Guide.pdf

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