US bike injuries spiked last year, Streets For All CD5 debate, and Republicans willing to bike more but not drive less

No real surprise here.

A new study shows that bike-related injuries doubled across the US during last year’s pandemic lockdowns, even though overall traffic injuries were down.

Bicycling injuries rose nearly 31% at an Orange County trauma center, while almost tripling in Portland.

Researchers explained the jump by noting the increase in bicycling rates resulting from the bike boom, as more people took to their bikes for exercise and to break the boredom of being stuck at home.

Although another problem, as we’ve noted before, is the increased severity of bike injuries as drivers took advantage of the emptier streets to put their foot down on the gas pedal.

The same study showed gun-related injuries jumped nearly 25% during the same period.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

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I missed Streets For All’s Mobility Debate among the candidates to replace pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz in CD5 while I was down for the count the past couple days.

Fortunately, LA’s one and only mobility PAC has posted the full debate online.

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Interesting take on the climate change debate, as 44% of Republicans express a willingness to walk and bike more, compared to just 39% who are willing to drive less.

Even though that equates to the same thing.

And even though two-thirds don’t want to hold fossil fuel providers accountable for the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, a study of seven European countries shows bike rider emit 84% less CO2 than drivers or public transport users.

And Seattle’s pilot project to replace delivery vans with e-cargo bikes for last-mile trips reduced CO2 emissions an average of 30% per package.

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Apparently, you can even move a museum by cargo bike.

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Yet another gentle reminder that free bicycle registration is your best hope of getting your bike back if anything happens to it.

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This is who we share the road with.

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

Police in Lubbock, Texas are looking for a hit-and-run driver who intentionally ran down a man on a bicycle, then got out of his car and repeatedly punched the victim, for no apparent reason.

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Local

Sadly, this is who we share the road with, too. A speeding 18-year old driver faces a possible murder count for slamming into a Van Nuys building that was hosting a popup Halloween event, killing one woman and injuring several others; the man was reportedly fleeing after police broke up a street takeover.

Pasadena police arrested a 37-year old woman for repeatedly bashing a man in the head with a bottle in a failed attempt to steal his bicycle in Washington Park.

Santa Monica celebrates the fifth anniversary of the new and improved California Incline, complete with a protected bike and pedestrian lane.

A lawsuit against a Metro bus driver and a contractor for the transportation agency goes to trial this week in the death of 13-year old Ciara Smith as she rode on a Redondo Beach sidewalk two years ago; she was killed when she rode off an angled curb cut that forced her bike out into the street.

Greg Camp, guitarist for ’90s rock stars Smash Mouth, was one of us, saying he wrote their first hit Walkin’ on the Sun about feeling afraid while riding his bike in the wake of the ’92 LA Riots.

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Carlsbad man completed an 11-year quest to ride the 24,901-mile circumference of the Earth, without ever leaving his own neighborhood. Although I probably wouldn’t mind leaving my neighborhood now and then.

A 53-year old Santa Barbara man died in his own bathroom, hours after he brushed against a fellow moped rider and fell into the street. While this involves a moped, which is capable of higher speeds than a traditional bike or ped-assist ebike, it’s a reminder to always get checked out by a doctor after a hard fall, because some injuries don’t become apparent until hours later.

Fremont is one of the all-too-rare examples of a city that has actually made Vision Zero work, reducing traffic deaths to an average of just 2.1 per 100,000 residents each year, compared to an average of 9.1 per 100,000 in California, and 11.0 in the US. That also compares to Los Angeles, where Vision Zero has become an afterthought, with city leaders too afraid of angering motoring voters to make the hard choices needed to save lives.

San Francisco began a belated effort to fix southbound Polk street and prepare it for a protected bike lane, five months after a woman was killed and a man seriously injured when a driver used the painted bike lane to bypass a line of stalled traffic, blowing through a red light at twice the speed limit; the other side of the street already has one of the city’s best protected lanes.

Sacramento officials announced a $12 million plan to improve the popular Lower American Parkway bike and pedestrian path, although there was no word on how that would impact the homeless encampments along the trail.

 

National

A writer for Next City complains that VanMoof’s new high-speed, car-replacing “hyperbike” ebikes aren’t really bicycles and don’t belong in bike lanes, and should be regulated more like mopeds or motorcycles.

Make your own very clumsy looking DIY ebike using a modified car alternator.

A pair of kindhearted Iowa cops dug into their own pockets to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, when they learned about the theft from the boy’s waitress mother.

A kindhearted Oklahoma cop gave a 17-year old boy a new bike after learning the teen was walking an hour and a half to work each way.

Advocates complain that New York’s plan to make a hard-won open street into a permanent, carfree linear park fails, because drivers could easily reclaim the space by simply driving over the painted diverters and car-tickler plastic bendy posts.

Security cam video captured a New York man fighting off a half dozen attackers who used sticks, bottles and knives in a failed attempt to steal his bicycle.

Pennsylvania police are looking for a man who was allegedly high on meth, coke and other drugs when he ran down and killed a 60-year old man riding a bicycle in May; he’s wanted on ten separate charges ranging from felony counts to traffic infractions.

DC’s mayor got an earful from both sides, as residents of an affluent neighborhood complained about sacrificing parking spaces to build a protected bike lane, even though only 40% of the city’s residents own cars. The question is how many have driveways or garages they could use instead of free street parking.

Police still haven’t found the killer of a North Carolina grandfather, who was repeatedly stabbed from behind and brutally beaten while riding his bicycle on a Raleigh bike path over a year ago.

 

International

Don’t plan on getting a deal on a new bike anytime soon, as Pink Bike explains  why bicycle prices will continue to rise over the next year.

Cycling Weekly complains about the biggest irritants of modern bicycle design.

Sounds like fun. A London website recommends bicycling a 10.25-mile route through an “amazingly pretty town” on the Scottish island of Cumbrae, otherwise known as the “Island of a Thousand Bicycles.”

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill called attention to climate change and the importance of renewable energy by riding his bike across the blades of a working wind turbine.

They get it. Wellington, New Zealand is proposing a new tunnel paralleling an existing automotive tunnel under the city’s Mt. Victoria. But only for walking and bicycling, with no additional automotive lanes.

An indigenous women’s group on a remote Australian island is in need of more bicycles, with more women wanting to ride than they have bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins apologizes for being such a jerk over the years, as the former Tour de France winner explains he just didn’t know how to handle fame and adulation. Here’s a suggestion — just don’t be an asshole.

VeloNews talks with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Greg LeMond lined up for his first gravel race.

L39ion of Los Angeles made a lot of news the past few days, starting with Rouleur’s interview with team founders Justin and Cory Williams about the team’s game-changing journey in its first few years.

VeloNews talks with Ian Garrison about his decision to step down from the WorldTour to race domestically with L39ion of Los Angeles; a spokesperson for the team says Garrison was “treated like a water bottle” by his former Deceuninck-QuickStep team.

And L39ion of LA is apparently trying to corner the market on bike racing siblings by signing yet another pair.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to seek YouTube stardom by impersonating a campus cop, including forcing a bike rider to undergo a series of sobriety checks. Who needs a car when you can get a ski rack on your cargo bike?

And how wasted do you have to be to crash into a bicycle in the middle of the roadway, yet somehow assume no one was riding it?

Although that is possible.

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

3 comments

  1. Fremont rider says:

    The only reason Fremont has gotten those stats is because no one (besides myself and few others) is brave enough to ride in this car infested hell hole. The green post protected bike lanes are OK, but do not connect everywhere. If there is on street parking, the bike lanes turn into door zone segregation zones. The morning school run congestion is insane with long lines of drivers dropping off their kids. The kids could get to school faster by getting out and walking. Then there is the extreme racer drivers going 60 on the arterials where the bike lanes are.

  2. Neel Tosh Kasliwal says:

    Just FYI, that Houston Truck Yard sign (tweet from Northline Lex) is a quote from the Onion

    https://www.theonion.com/study-90-of-bike-accidents-preventable-by-buying-car-1820403123

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