Fed ebike tax rebate cut again, DTLA flyover would raise risk for Figueroa riders, and South Pasadena Community Ride

The up and down, back and forth tug-of war continues on the federal ebike tax rebate program.

What started out as a $1,500 tax credit on the purchase of an ebike was cut to $750 in a House committee, before being restored to the original $1,500, or 30% of the purchase price.

It’s now back down to a maximum $900, or 30% of the purchase price of a ebike up $4,000, after being cut yet again in a House committee.

Never mind that the bills also provide tax benefits up to $12,500 for an electric car, providing yet more assistance to many of those who need it least, while continuing the country’s harmful over reliance on motor vehicles.

And proving yet again that our elected leaders just don’t get the crisis we’re in, both in terms of traffic safety and congestion, and the most effective solutions to the climate emergency facing our country, and the world.

Although on the plus side, the bill would increase the pre-tax commuter benefit for riding a bike to work from $20 per month to a slightly less paltry $81.

Of course, all of that is moot if the bills don’t manage to get through both the House and the Senate.

And their prospects are just as murky as the heavy fog blocking my view out the window right now.

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I had thought this disastrous Metro highway project had been put out of our misery when it first raised its ugly head a few years ago.

Evidently not.

https://twitter.com/rootsimple/status/1456089321522405377

As this thread notes, freeway projects disproportionately target poorer neighborhoods and people of color, and this one is no exception.

It’s also true that it makes no sense to keep building massive freeway projects during a climate emergency, when it’s vital that we shift people out of their cars in favor of transit, walking and biking.

Spending millions on a project that will merely result in yet more induced demand, while destroying a neighborhood and greatly increasing the risk to people on bicycles is like lighting a match to our future and community.

Never mind that, like the thread points out, the many millions to be spent on this ramp, and the millions of dollars that have already been spent on consultants, would be better spent improving transit service and making it free for everyone.

Instead of a wasteful project that will only benefit a relative handful of people in cars, while ultimately making traffic and the environment worse.

You would think Metro would have learned from their disastrous widening of the 405 through the Sepulveda pass, which wasted $1.1 billion to make traffic congestion even worse than it was before.

But evidently, you would be wrong.

https://twitter.com/rootsimple/status/1456089328698855428

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South Pasadena will host a community bike ride this Saturday with state Senator Anthony Portantino and Mayor Pro Tem Michael Cacciotti.

Thanks to Michael Siegel for the heads-up. 

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Here’s the equivalent of 3,000 words on problem with the concept of shared responsibility.

Because the potential for harm is anything but equal.

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It’s hard to believe people on bikes gain a lot of supporters by blocking intersections, especially from the people stuck in their cars.

But it does make us more visible.

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Needlessly close call, as an impatient driver in the UK nearly hits an oncoming car head-on while trying to pass a group of bike riders occupying a narrow lane.

The riders are lucky neither driver swerved their way to avoid the near crash, which could have resulted in multiple injuries.

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

A man described as a male “Karen” approached a trio of Black women filming a TikTok video in Seattle, ordering them to pick up their phone “real quick” before pushing over their bicycle for no apparent reason.

https://www.tiktok.com/@hollymichelle206/video/7025687282413849902?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailydot.com%2F&referer_video_id=7025687282413849902&refer=embed

Unbelievable. A Black man was racially targeted as he stopped briefly while riding a bike in his own Houston neighborhood, after a man told him he didn’t belong there and was making people nervous, then got out of his car and smashed the victim’s phone before brutally attacking him and slamming his head on the concrete. Yet his White attacker was arrested on a simple misdemeanor charge and released on a ridiculously insulting $100. More proof just how un-seriously authorities take attacks on people of color, and people on bicycles.

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Local

The LA Times’ Patt Morrison says, contrary to the gospel of Who Killed Roger Rabbit, we’re all responsible for the death of LA’s Red and Yellow car streetcar systems. Maybe we should take those billions Metro has budgeted for traffic-inducing highway projects and rebuild the streetcar system by taking a lane from every major street to lay down the tracks.

The LA City Council’s Public Safety Committee approved a motion calling for the city attorney to draft an ordinance banning bicycle chop shops on public property. Even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

A recent survey conducted in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Korean shows 91% of people in the Los Angeles area support revitalizing the Los Angeles River, regardless of ethnicity.

A bike rider was critically injured while riding on Sherman Way in North Hollywood early Wednesday morning; the victim was apparently riding without lights two hours before sunrise. And for a change, the driver stuck around afterwards.

 

State

KCBS-2 reports Orange County has seen a whopping 500% increase in ebike injuries compared to this time last year. But they fail to consider whether ebike sales and usage have increased a similar, or even greater, amount, while sounding the alarm about the bikes supposed dangers.

A local Pacific Beach newspaper looks forward to Sunday’s CiclaSDias open streets event in the San Diego neighborhood.

A Berkeley paper remembers local artist Claudia Hoffberg, who passed away this past August at the age of 62; Hoffberg was noted for yarn-bombing bike racks throughout the Bay Area.

Tragic news from the Bay Area, where Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan was killed by a driver while walking her dog across a street at an intersection called out in the Alameda Vision Zero plan for a high rate of injuries at the hands and bumpers of motorists.

NIMBYs seem to feel a constant need to remind us that this isn’t Copenhagen, or Amsterdam, or some other bike-friendly city. Now you can add smallish Davis to that list, where 20% of all non-recreational trips are taken by bike.

 

National

PeopleForBikes is teaming with battery recycler Call2Recycle to establish the first industry-wide ebike recycling program.

This is who we share the road with. Former Las Vegas Raiders receiver Henry Ruggs III had a BAC over twice the legal limit and was driving 156 mph just two seconds before he slammed into a car driven by 23-year old Tina O. Tintor, killing her and her dog in a fiery crash; Ruggs was released by the team hours later, and faces up to 20 years behind bars.

Denver voters approved a $63.3 million transportation initiative to expand sidewalks and bike lanes, as well as fund street projects.

Kindhearted Oklahoma cops came to the rescue when someone stole a young woman’s bike by raising funds to buy her a new one.

If you build it, they will come. Once again, a once controversial bike lane has become a resounding success, as a nearly two mile, two-way bike lane in New York’s Astoria district now averages two riders every minute at peak hours, with a high of 2,300 trips in a single day.

NPR rides with a New York delivery rider, discovering the risk of injury and theft the app-based workers face on a daily basis, along with clients who too often take problems with the food out on them.

Heartbreaking story from Athens, Georgia, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike, eight years after his mother met the same fate while walking along a roadway; neither driver has been caught.

 

International

Once again, an Apple Watch has come to the rescue. An English bike rider credits his with saving his life when it automatically called for help after he was struck by a driver. Which is about the only reason I would want one. And yes, I do.

A billionaire British phone tycoon decries what he calls the “barbarian” conditions in an Italian hospital, after a blown bike tire exploded during a descent, leaving him fighting for his life.

That’s more like it. Dublin, Ireland responds to an increase in ridership by contracting for a pair of secure, indoor bicycle parking facilities capable of holding up to 300 bikes.

Needless to say, not everyone agrees with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s commitment to build a 100% bikeable city, yet she won re-election anyway, despite the doubters. Although her campaign for president remains mired in the single digits.

More on the new Indian bike brand developed to preserve traditional crafts, with everything but the wheels, seat, front fork and drive train made from bamboo.

Aussie footballer Jordan De Goey is one of us, mountain biking with a friend somewhere in California as he faces charges for harassment and assault stemming from incident at a Manhattan nightclub.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI released the final rankings for the past racing season, dominated by Tadej Pogačar and Wout van Aert on the men’s side, and Annemiek van Vleuten and Elisa Longo-Borghini for the women. Meanwhile, the US is nowhere to be seen in the top five nations on either side.

Hungary will finally host the first three stages of the Giro, two years after the original plans were scrapped because of the pandemic.

Congratulations to 20-year old Lauren Lackman, a junior at Colorado Mesa University, on winning the women’s Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships.

 

Finally…

Who needs batteries? Your next (really weird looking) ebike could run on hydrogen. Your next foldie could have folding wheels, too.

And riding a bike provides infinite headroom.

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

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