Malibu meeting on PCH widening tonight, LAPD whiffs on crosswalk law, and warning about scam bike websites

If you ride PCH — or want to — clear your schedule for tonight.

The Malibu Planning Commission will hold a virtual meeting this evening to consider a proposal to improve the median and widen the shoulders on a two-mile section of PCH, between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road.

As you may recall, we sounded the alarm about this proposal last month, which is described as a plan to improve safety for people on bicycles by providing more space to ride on the shoulder, while also providing additional curbside parking.

Put another way, the proposal appears to put bikes in the door zone, instead of providing protected bike lanes.

Or maybe not.

Someone who claimed to be involved in what he described as a decade-long process to develop the plan insisted I’d gotten it all wrong and the plan wouldn’t add a single parking spot — even though it said just the opposite.

And that it would be a big safety improvement for the deadly highway, especially for people on bicycles.

Although what PCH really needs is narrower traffic lanes and far slower speeds.

Admittedly, while I used to be involved with the PCH Task Force, I haven’t been able to keep up with it since the one-two punch of diabetes and neuropathy knocked me on my ass half decade ago.

So I can’t speak to just what this plan does or doesn’t do, other than what was in the description.

But if you ride PCH, you owe it to yourself to voice your concerns and tune into the meeting to see whether it would help tame LA County’s killer highway and keep you — and everyone else — safer as you ride through the ‘Bu.

Or if this one needs to go back to the drawing board.

Okay, so it’s not PCH. But this photo of a bike-riding surfer resting on his board is the only decent shot I’ve got of Malibu.

………

Nothing like cops doing the right thing, but getting the law wrong.

They’re right that drivers are required to stop for pedestrians in painted crosswalks.

But drivers are also required to yield to pedestrians at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, per CVC 21950. And every intersection is presumed to have a crosswalk, whether marked or not, unless signage prohibits crossing.

So bottom line, drivers have to yield to pedestrians at any crosswalk, painted or otherwise.

And don’t get me started on whether people on bikes are allowed to use the crosswalk.

But like I said, at least they’re doing the right thing.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tip.

………

Road.cc is warning about a sudden proliferation of fake websites designed to take advantage of the bike boom to scam you out of your money.

Or rather, the website is real. But the deals and companies offering them aren’t.

With bikes currently being in such strong demand globally, it has become increasingly difficult to get the bike you want when you want it, with lead times often running into several months – and in response, we’re hearing more reports of fake websites trying to part people from their cash for bicycles that don’t exist, apparently offering deals that seem to good to be true, because they are.

While that alone may set alarm bells ringing among many prospective purchasers who will quickly realise that they risk being scammed, what the operators of such sites are banking on is that human nature being what it is, others will place an order and never see the bike, or their money, again.

They also include this sage advice from Trek’s British website on how to spot scammers.

The deal is too good to be true

If an advertisement is telling you that the bike you want is now 70%-90% off, they are lying to you. Do not click on the ad. Do not give them your money or any personal information.

The contact information is suspicious

Trek and our retailers hold ourselves to a very high standard of customer service. If you cannot reach the person you are buying from, do not buy from them.

The site is relatively new

You can check to see how long a website has existed by entering it into archive.org. If the site is brand new and offering steep discounts, do not purchase anything from them.

The site does not ask you to pick a preferred retailer

All current model Trek bikes ordered online must be delivered to an authorised Trek retailer for assembly. If you are not asked to select a retailer to dispatch a bike to, do not buy from the site. Previous model year Trek bikes can be delivered directly to consumers, but only through an authorised retailer’s website or BikeExchange.com.

In other words, stick with sites you know. Or better yet, check with your local bike shop before you buy anything online.

And caveat emptor.

………

Let’s consider a few more stories to restore your faith in humanity.

A generous Texas business owner bought a young boy a new bike after his was stolen while he was playing near a church parking lot; that bicycle had replaced another one that was stolen just weeks earlier. Let’s hope they also bought him a decent lock this time.

After already giving away 80 bicycles to kids in need, a Michigan man hopes to donate another 20 bikes this weekend.

A bighearted Pennsylvania man gave a young girl a new bicycle after the bike she’d just received from a youth program was stolen days after she got it; police found the stolen bike heavily damaged in a local creek. However, you may have trouble getting past the paper’s paywall.

………

Local

Culver City Crossroads fills in the blanks on the long and tortured process that led to the city’s close decision to finally open the Jackson Ave gate to the Ballona Creek bike path.

Aussie actor Luke Hemsworth is one of us, as he goes for fat-tired ebike ride through the ‘Bu. Even if he is less famous than brothers Chris and Liam.

 

State

San Diego State University is finally lifting the school’s micromobility ban, allowing dockless bikes, e-scooters and other devices to be used and parked on campus.

The Santa Barbara Independent dives into bike life this week, with reports on the teenage Wheelie Generation, local resident and Trek CEO John Burke’s plans to save the world, and a local shop giving new life to unloved mountain bikes.

San Francisco celebrates new painted bike lanes on Anza Street, which quickly turned into a parking lot.

 

National

A new report on the economic benefits of bicycling investments recommends investing billions into bike projects to generate thousands of jobs while greening transportation in the US.

Another new study suggest bicycling can be a literal backbreaker, with a full 81% of sports-related spinal injuries among U.S. adults due to bicycle falls and crashes.

Popular Mechanics offers their picks for the best hitch-mounted bike racks. Just remember, any rack that obscures the license plate is illegal, although it’s one of those things where you’ll probably get away with it, until you don’t.

Have guitar, will travel. Colorado singer-songwriter Shanna In A Dress is touring the US by bicycle for a series of shows from Oregon to Massachusetts, while raising funds for the Pangea World Foundation.

A Salt Lake City woman with a long criminal record faces murder and gun charges for fatally shooting her girlfriend as she tried to get away, following an argument while they were riding their bikes together.

Life is cheap in South Dakota, where you can run down and kill an innocent person walking on the side of the roadway while driving home after drinking at a fundraiser, then just tell the police you thought it was a deer when they knock on your door, and end up walking away with a plea deal for a lousy misdemeanor traffic violation. Or at least you can if you’re the state attorney general.

That’s more like it. A new Illinois law requires the state to conduct a traffic study anytime a pedestrian is killed on a state roadway, including recommendations for possible design improvements, with the results to be publicly posted. Add people on bicycles to that, and that’s what should happen whenever someone is killed on any roadway.

A Rhode Island bike rider unexpectedly discovers signs for a useful, but forgotten, cross-city bike route that no one seems to know about anymore. Or care about, which could be worse.

A North Carolina paper looks back to three teenagers’ life-changing, five day, 425-mile ride through the state’s Outer Banks, which led one to devote his life to researching the region’s maritime history.

 

International

You could get a belt-drive urban ebike for just $1,300 — but only if you move fast.

CyclingTips considers that $28,000 Louis Vuitton bike with the bizarre backward suicide handbrakes. Which is a lot of money for something that will probably get you killed the first time you have to make a panic stop. Then again, if you can afford the bike, you can probably afford to pay someone to ride it for you. 

Take a tour of Colombia’s Boyacá region with native son Miguel Angel Lopez of the Movistar cycling team. Bonus points if you spell it “Colombia,” rather than “Columbia,” which I inevitably do before correcting myself.

Glasgow, Scotland has adopted a Vision Zero plan, with the goal of ending traffic fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2030. Although as we’ve learned the hard way here in Los Angeles, it’s meaningless without the political will to make the hard choices, which we clearly lack.

Life is still cheap in the UK. Earlier this week, we mentioned the English driver who was sentenced to three years and four months behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bike. But what was missing from the the original story was that the driver abandoned the borrowed car he was using, and calmly took a cab home without bothering to even mention the crash to anyone. No wonder people are calling the sentence a joke.

Industry insiders say God only knows when the Great Britain’s bike shortage will finally end.

new German-made, four-wheeled, self-propelled bike trailer promises you won’t have to work any harder to pull it, and it will easily follow your bike wherever you go, at speeds up to 19 mph. It might be just a bit pricy, though, available for rent for a tad under $600 a month.

Why let a little bad weather stop you, even if it means floating your mountain bike through neck-high Singapore flood waters.

 

Competitive Cycling

Defending champ Primož Roglič took Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Vuelta, reclaiming the red leader’s jersey by a whopping three seconds.

How to watch this week’s 2021 UCI mountain bike world championships.

Rouleur offers an early preview of next month’s 2021 Women’s Road Race World Championships in Flanders.

Elite British cyclist Clay Davies called out a culture of homophobia and a lack of support for LGBTQ riders in the sport, several years after he publicly came out following a near fatal collision.

The first cycling gold of the Tokyo Paralympic Games went to cyclist Paige Greco, while her fellow countrywoman Emily Petricola soon followed in the 3,000 meter individual pursuit, with American Shawn Morelli winning silver. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own your very own hydrogen powered ebike for the low, low price of just $11,700 — or $8,800 if you clip the coupon. At last, a lightweight wooden balance bike for your eco-conscious toddler weight weenie.

And at least someone is taking crosswalk safety seriously for a change.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

One comment

  1. Ralph says:

    The fancy bike. Just a ridiculous price but pretty much how these brands price themselves.
    Why do you think the brake handles are dangerous? They don’t stick out to hook on things. I had a pair like those on a bike converted to a fixie. Had no troubles. I have seen similar on vintage bikes.

    The hitch mounted bike carriers. All illegal. Blocking light and plate. Shame on Thule which makes a few legal ones for Europe.

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