Stripe DTLA bike lanes when fixing streets, Pomona bike rider gravely injured, and new bill ends CA’s auto-centric past

Los Angeles is finally getting around to repaving the streets of DTLA that have been torn up for five years of construction on a new subway connector line.

The problem is, they’re busy restoring them to the same failing, incomplete streets they were before.

While LADOT has made great progress building bike lanes in Downtown Los Angeles — the only neighborhood in all of LA that can claim an actual bike network — they’re still stuck in 1990s thinking, falling far short of what they could, and should, be doing.

This is what the longstanding B.I.K.A.S. — aka Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — blog has to say on the subject.

After adding great new transit stations and new transit service – why restore streets back to the way they were in 2014? Why not upgrade them – adding first/last mile bike lanes to access the new stations?

Street restoration includes several wide streets with plenty of space for bike lanes: Flower Street, Hope Street, Alameda Street, and Temple Street. In addition, the city of L.A.’s Mobility Plan designates protected bike lanes on First Street and Second Street. Short new lanes on Third Street would connect a southbound Flower bike lane to its couplet partner northbound on Figueroa.

If Metro and the city of L.A. act now, they could implement numerous new bike lanes improving downtown’s already fairly good network of bikeways. Implementing them when post-construction streets are due for resurfacing saves the city time and money.

Make that pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to strip off the auto-centric painted lanes to add bike lanes at a later date.

Although no one has ever accused Los Angeles of thinking long term.

The blog calls for sending “respectful” emails to city officials, including our future ambassador to India, encouraging them to “implement a first/last mile Regional Connector bikeway network.”

Personally, I’d say demand, rather than encourage. But then, I’ve always been a pushy little son of a mother — especially when my safety and that of others who take to two wheels is concerned.

You’ll find a sample email there you can modify to make you own.

Or just use your own words.

But don’t let them get away with reverting to last century infrastructure in the only LA area where we’re actually making some real progress.

Map shows planned first/last mile bikeway network, from Metro Regional Connector street reconstruction page via B.I.K.A.S.

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Prayers or good thoughts may be called for, whatever you’re comfortable with, after a man was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Pomona Sunday night.

The victim was reportedly in grave condition after paramedics found him unresponsive fallowing the 9:31 pm crash near Fairplex Drive and Arroyo Avenue.

No ID was provided for the victim, and no explanation given for how the crash occurred. However, the driver remained at the scene, and was not considered to be under the influence.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Pomona PD Traffic Services Bureau at 909/802-7741.

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Now here’s a bill we should all be able to get behind.

Calbike is calling for your help to support AB 1147, from Burbank legislator Laura Friedman, which would finally move California out of its auto-centric past and present to a safer and more livable future for all of us.

Imagine a separated, limited access bikeway that gives you a frictionless ride across town or commute to work. That’s not science fiction or the fever dream of a Copenhagen urbanist. Bicycle highways and 15-minute neighborhoods, where most amenities and services are within a 15-minute bike ride, are just two of the forward-thinking concepts in AB 1147.

AB 1147 reorients transportation planning away from the car-choked past and towards a climate- and human-friendly future. It’s a visionary piece of legislation authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

The bill has passed the Assembly, but it faces a tougher fight in the Senate. It needs all the help it can get. Sign the petition to show your support

AB 1147 also envisions 15-minute neighborhoods, where shops and services are an easy bike ride from homes. Please sign now to help us pass this essential legislation.

I just signed it.

So what are your waiting for?

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A new campaign links Paris, New York and London in a data and persuasion driven effort to get their mayors to embrace car-reduction policies.

And renounce once and for all their auto-centric ways.

Car Free Megacities’s dashboard shows the striking similarities and also the differences between London, Paris and New York — the metrics the cities can use to learn rapidly from each other and take actions that will save lives, make streets healthier, pleasanter places and deliver critical progress toward urgent climate goals.

Maybe if we begged them pretty please we could get them to include a certain Left Coast megalopolis that desperately needs to renounce the error of its ways.

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Good Twitter thread from the estimable Peter Flax on the fallacies behind the usual calls for helmet laws and bike licenses, which once again raised their ugly head in NYC.

And coming soon to an anti-bike rant near you.

It’s worth clicking through on the tweets below to read the whole thing.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner, author of CLR Effect, who asks “When is a bike lane not one?”

Answer, “When it is transformed into a garbage collection lane. One of many similar instances we encountered during Saturday’s Ride Around Pomona.”

Sad to see that the blight of bike lane trash bins extends so far east of East LA.

And yes, it’s my fault we don’t hear from Michael more often, since he’s always got something worthwhile to say.

So check it out.

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Don’t count on securing your own Metro bike locker anytime soon.

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These days, we all feel like refugees on SoCal streets.

Thanks to David Drexler for the photo of a proposed Beverly Hills “refuge.”

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Phillip Young calls our attention to a free exhibit of Italian steel at La Jolla’s The Museum Of __, which is apparently still trying to define just who and what they are.

But as long as they want to talk bikes, I’m okay with that.

3 Italian Steel Bicycles

From the Collection of Ron Miriello
June 5, 2021 through July 17, 2021

The Museum Of__ is pleased to present an exhibition of vintage steel bicycles handcrafted and built throughout Italy between 1978 and 1986 from the personal collection of Ron Miriello, a San Diego-based graphic designer, artist, and Italophile. For decades, Italian steel bicycles have been synonymous with finely detailed craftsmanship and storied histories, from their hand-painted lettering and unique details etched in steel, to headtube badges and wool jerseys celebrating the pride of their cities and villages.

Though once there was a bicycle maker in most every Italian town, streamlined manufacturing has shifted the bicycle world’s ethos and desire for more advanced technologies. A globalized industry has challenged the future of these family-run operations in favor of mass-production, but their stories of dedication to the craft continue through a community of devoted collectors of these steel wonders around the globe.

The exhibition is open from 11 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, at 7655 Girard Ave in La Jolla.

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

New York police are looking for a man who repeatedly punched a man in the face as he rode a Flatbush train with his bike, after they had an argument on the train.

A road raging Pennsylvania driver beat a bike-riding man with a golf club after trying, and failing, several times to swerve into him.

A 30-year old Welsh woman justifiably told off a male driver for making sexual remarks as she was riding her bike. Which is just one of the many things that can drive women off their bikes. So stop it, already. 

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Local

Spectrum News 1 looks at the recent rankings from PeopleForBikes, which shows Los Angeles trailing far behind other large cities when it comes to bicycling.

The cable news site also examines the LACBC’s virtual LA Rivers Challenge, which is continuing throughout this month.

LA casual bikewear brand Swrve gets a well-deserved shoutout in the New York Times, as they examine the shorts staffers will be wearing in comfort this summer.

 

State

A La Jolla cardiologist probably saved his own life by promising to tell police he was injured in a mountain biking crash, rather than suffering a severe beating at the hands of his neighbor, who pled to 19-years behind bars.

That feeling when you freak out after spotting creepy cloaked men in the middle of the desert on Google Earth, including one with a bicycle. Only to discover it’s an art exhibit in the middle of Death Valley.

In a bizarre disconnect, a study from Oakland’s Department of Transportation confirms that protected bike lanes are the safest. But they want to rip out the successful protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue anyway.

 

National

Next City says Europe has taken great strides to reduce the dangers motor vehicles pose to bike riders and pedestrians, but automakers on this side of the Atlantic have yet to address America’s addiction to deadly SUVS, as well as their own insistence on making them bigger and deadlier with every passing model year.

The Manual recommends bicycling gifts for adventurous dads. But Road Bike Action thinks you’d rather have some colorful national park bike socks.

Survivors of the Kalamazoo Massacre reunite five years later to remember the five bike riders killed by an extremely intoxicated driver, who also injured four other bicyclists; Charles Pickett Jr. was eventually sentenced to 40-75 years bars for their deaths.

A three-year old Brooklyn nonprofit “builds, donates and rents adapted bikes to kids and adults with disabilities unable to use standard bikes.”

A New York state senator commuted to work by bike over the weekend — 164 miles from Queens to the state capitol in Albany.

 

International

Road.cc recommends 15 birthday presents for the bicyclist in your life, starting at the equivalent of $21. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

For people who can never spend too much on bikewear, Britain’s Rapha introduces their first mountain bike collection.

The Dutch Grand Prix is asking motorsports fans to bike, rather than drive, to watch the F1 race amid the country’s coastal dunes.

A 68-year old Nigerian man vows to keep riding the bicycle he bought 40 years ago for the equivalent of less than six dollars, saying only death can separate him from his beloved bike.

BTS fans call the new song Bicycle by band member RM that we linked to yesterday a masterpiece, as a website offers an English translation of the first verse and bike-friendly chorus. Then again, their fans would probably think it’s a masterpiece if he read a box of corn flakes.

Two Philippine men were killed by a bomb blast as they were riding their bikes past a mine site, which was targeted by a rebel group.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jumbo-Visma cyclists Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard came up short during the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, but sport director Grisha Niermann insists they’re on the right track for next month’s Tour de France.

VeloNews offers a middle-of-the-action photo essay from this past Saturday’s Gravel Unbound race in Kansas, formerly known as the Dirty Kanza.

 

Finally…

James Joyce as a mediocre bike racer. Probably not the best idea to flee from the police on your bicycle after pointing a pretty damn realistic cap gun at a driver.

And now you know why there’s so many typos on here. She’s a hard worker, but can’t type worth a damn.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

3 comments

  1. That K-zoo wreck was the beginning of the end for me as a bicycle safety advocate and blogger. Not too long after that I had to end my reporting on the subject.

  2. Ralph says:

    I have seen those statues just outside of Death Valley. Been about 10 years ago. We would go there just before Christmas for a week to ride around on our tandem. Great stories of epic rides in wind, rain and dust.

    In Europe many of the new US SUV are not allowed due to their front end shapes. They are also working out the detains for the front ends of tractor trailers. All here are cabover but they want more of a ship like bow to divert people to the side of the vehicle if there is a collision rather than under the vehicle. One of the sweeteners is some allowed extra length for the cab for the drivers.

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