Culver City considers unlocking gate to Ballona Creek path, and LA claims 51 miles of new bike lanes this fiscal year

Culver City could remove a barrier to bicycling in the city.

Literally.

A virtual city council meeting scheduled for 5:30 pm Monday will consider a proposal to finally unlock the gate blocking access to the Ballona Creek bike path at the east end of Jackson Ave.

Opening the entry to the La Ballona Creek Multi-Use Path (Path) at Jackson Avenue for use by the public is expected to increase usage of the Path, would provide an additional access point along the Path for emergency responders, and offer a less physically challenging entry/exit point at the same elevation as the path. The La Ballona Creek Multi-Use Path offers a protected route for students and parents, commuters, and visitors to travel within the City, assists in relieving heavily congested areas of traffic by providing a travel alternative, and facilitates an environmentally friendly method of traveling.

Of course, the question is why the entrance was blocked in the first place, which isn’t answered in the city’s press release.

Here’s how to comment and watch the meeting, although you have to register in advance to actually address the council during the meeting.

How to Submit a Written Public Comment Prior to a Meeting: Persons may submit comments BEFORE 4 PM on August 9, 2021. Find the active eComment link to the right of the agenda date, then add your comment to the agenda item you chooseWatch a video tutorial on How to make an eComment. Mail your comments to the attention of the City Clerk’s Office at 9770 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232, specifically identifying the meeting date.

How to Watch the Meeting: You can watch the meeting online, on the City’s YouTube channel or on the City cable channel.

How to Attend the Meeting Remotely: All attendees must Register to Attend on Webex, after which you will receive an email with directions and a link to join the meeting, once it has begun. Watch a video tutorial on how to register on WebEx.

NEW: For those who wish to speak during the meeting:  When registering to attend the meeting, you may identify the agenda item(s) on which you wish to speak by indicating the section of the agenda followed by the number (for example A-1, PH-2, C-3). For those in attendance who do not request to speak when registering, you may send a request to speak via the CHAT function by stating your name and the agenda item number. At the start of each agenda item, staff will read aloud the names of those who have requested to speak on an agenda item. Requests to speak that are received after the start of the public comment period for that agenda item will not be considered.

If an internet connection is not available, or you think you may have other issues joining the meeting, please call (310) 253-5851 in advance for assistance.

Needless to say, not everyone approves, as a group of residents who live in the surrounding area try to rally opposition.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up. Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Speaking of Linton, he writes that bike lane installation actually rose in Los Angeles during the past fiscal year, with the city claiming 51.5 miles of new and upgraded bikeways.

Although that includes 4.9 miles of new sharrows, which studies show are actually more dangerous than nothing.

It also includes nearly eight miles of upgraded bike lanes, further reducing the total of new lanes.

And that 51.5 miles — 46.6 if you remove the sharrows, please — are measured in lane miles, which means both sides of the street are counted separately. So it actually works out to around half that amount the way most of us would look at it.

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Two of this year’s most important transportation bills need your help.

California Streetsblog is reporting that AB 1238, known as the Freedom to Walk Act, is stuck in the Senate Appropriations Committee, and must pass by the end of the week in order to move forward.

The bill would remove the prohibition against jaywalking, allowing people to cross the street when and where it’s safe to do so.

Which raises the question of what the hell it has to do with appropriations, unless criminalizing crossing the damn street is inappropriately seen as a money maker for the state, which is yet another reason to get rid of it.

Prospects are better for AB 122, the so-called Safety Stop Bill, which has passed through all committees, and just needs approval from the full Senate.

That bill would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, which most people on bicycles do already. Then again, so do many drivers, in what’s infamously known throughout the US as the California Roll.

This would remove the requirement for bike riders to come to a full and complete stop at a stop sign, increasing efficiency and improving safety.

It would also remove one of the most common reasons police ticket bike riders and eliminate any confusion over what constitutes a stop; many riders have complained about getting tickets for slowing to a near stop or doing a track stand.

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Bike Talk announces their lineup for this evening’s show, which sounds like it adds up to a compelling hour of, well, bike talk.

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New York Streetsblog says “actor-influencer-dandy-gadfly-gadabout-hunk-trendsetter” George Hahn is the bike-riding man about town we need right now, after he went on an impromptu rant against cars and car culture.

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Here’s a reminder of what we could have, if our elected leaders ever got serious about providing real alternatives to driving.

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

A woman in Cheddar, England — yes, that Cheddar — was nearly pushed off her bike by the unruly visitors in town for a Christian festival, who forced the village into a virtual lockdown with their rude and aggressive behavior. Maybe instead of attending a festival, they should go back home and re-read the book it’s based on, because they seem to have missed something.

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

Police in San Diego are looking for the Taser-toting bandit who robbed a local smoke shop before making his getaway carrying cash and a small safe on a black mountain bike.

An English woman walking her blind dog complained to police about a pair of “aggressive” bike riders who took offense to her admonition that bikes aren’t allowed on the narrow foot path.

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Local

The first months of West Hollywood’s 18-month e-scooter pilot program shows people illegally riding and parking on the sidewalks, rather than using the city’s designated scooter parking spots.

 

State

San Francisco tops the latest list of the country’s most bike-friendly cities, with Oakland a surprising number four. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t on the list, although Irvine makes an equally surprising appearance at number nine.

State Bicycle Company is partnering with the National Park Service to release a series of national park-themed bicycles, clothing and accessories, including a roadie paying tribute to Southern California’s Joshua Tree NP.

 

National

Your next bike lane could be 3D printed and suspended under a bridge.

Colorado’s Glenwood Canyon bike path will be out of action for the foreseeable future after mudslides shut down I-70 through the canyon, which runs next to it, for several days.

Things got tense in San Antonio, Texas, where a man pulled out a machete and threatened a driver who had just killed the man’s girlfriend as they were riding together; a bystander with a permit for a concealed weapon pulled out his gun to “diffuse” the situation. Note to KSAT-TV — the word you’re looking for is defuse, not diffuse. And who the hell carries a machete on a bike ride?

Good luck visiting Minnesota’s state parks if you don’t drive a car.

A TV station looks back to the nine minutes that triggered the Crown Heights riot 30 years ago, which began when an Orthodox Jewish driver slammed his car into a seven-year old Black boy who was fixing his bike chain, pitting the two groups against each other for three days of violence.

The New York Times offers a beginner’s guide to bicycling in the city.

Rumors are flying around Channing Tatum and Zoë Kravitz after she hitched a ride on the back of his BMX bike.

Newly released security cam video shows an Atlantic City, New Jersey man riding his bike into an intersection with a green light, where he was run down and killed by a cop rushing to a call without bothering to use his lights or siren.

 

International

A London man is trying to find out what happened that left him with a brain bleed and concussion after riding his bike to work; whatever occurred left him with no memory of the incident.

A look at London’s thriving bike polo scene.

Around two hundred people staged a bicycle die-in to demand safer streets in an English town after a 53-year old woman was killed riding her bike earlier this month. Maybe someday we’ll see that kind of outrage here; previous Los Angeles die-ins have attracted a handful of people, at most.

An Irish writer says the country needs the equivalent of Ireland’s smoking ban to improve safety on the streets by slowing traffic.

New Zealand’s governing body for sports has announced an investigation into the alleged suicide of Rio Olympic track cyclist Olivia Podmore, who was left off this year’s team after reportedly being bullied by cycling officials into making false statements.

Life is a little less cheap in Singapore, where a driver will have to spend two weeks behind bars after an appeals court overturned her original sentence of probation for killing a bike rider.

 

Competitive Cycling

No surprise here, as two-time defending Vuelta a España champ Primož Roglič has slipped back into the race’s red leader’s jersey, with a 25-second lead he’s not likely to give up.

Cycling Tips offers a preview to the paracycling events at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Next time think before you comment online. Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome takes thoughtless sports fans to task for needlessly criticizing athletes, including your favorite — or least favorite — cyclists; reminding us that we’re talking about real people with real feelings, who may struggle with the pressure of competing at the highest levels. Considering he’s also won the Vuelta — twice — and the Giro, he might have some idea what he’s talking about. Or to put it another way, just don’t be a jerk, online or in what passes for real life these days.

 

Finally…

Now you can buy your Bird instead of renting, thanks to their new Van Moof knockoff. Someone please tell Michael Keaton that the only thing that’s like riding a bike is riding a bike.

And a reminder to pay attention to height limits when using a roof rack.

https://twitter.com/keithcolville/status/1428287386618847239

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

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