Streets For All wants to make Los Angeles put its money where its mouth is.
Or maybe put its stripes where its pavement goes.
As we’ve repeatedly discussed, the LA city council unanimously passed the groundbreaking 2010 bike plan, which included three separate but interconnected bike networks to take riders across their own neighborhood or across the city.
That was subsumed into the equally groundbreaking 2035 Mobility Plan, along with LA’s Vision Zero plan, which promised to reshape how we get around the City of Angels. And which passed with just two negative votes — from bike-hating Gil Cedillo and self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, who apparently never met a car he didn’t like.
Then all three plans were immediately placed on the shelf, and promptly forgotten.
As a result, Streets For All is introducing a ballot measure that would require the city to implement the mobility plan whenever a street gets resurfaced, as some other cities have done.
Which, as we’ve all seen, isn’t often enough.
But here’s what the organization has to say about the initiative.
Announcing Healthy Streets LA – a ballot measure to change things once and for all.
We’re excited to share our ballot measure with you – and we need your help to get it on the ballot!
Despite passing a 2035 Mobility Plan containing over 1,500 miles of pedestrian safety improvements, bus lanes, and bike lanes, the City of Los Angeles has implemented less than 3% of their plan in seven years. One tragic result of this failure has been exploding traffic violence in Los Angeles, with an increasing number of people getting hurt and killed each year. We don’t have to live this way.
Healthy Streets LA is a ballot measure requiring the City to implement its own plan each time it repaves a street. Since a street has to be re-striped anyway after repaving, this will reduce the cost and dramatically speed up the implementation of the Mobility Plan on the hundreds of miles of streets the city repaves each year.
To qualify for the ballot, we need to turn in 65,000 qualified signatures by May 27th. If we can get it on the ballot, our polling shows it would easily pass. We are excited to partner with LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, Sunrise Movement LA, the West Valley Peoples Alliance, The Transit Coalition, and The River Project on this effort.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Sign up to volunteer and gather signatures in your area.
- Sign up to be an area director and manage volunteers in your area.
- Pledge to sign the petition – and get others to as well.
This is the most ambitious thing we’ve ever worked on, and together with your help and the help of our coalition, we can pull it off, and change our city forever.
This ballot measure would be a game changer for LA, and we need your help to qualify it by collecting 65,000 signatures in 100 days.
Sign up to volunteer here:https://t.co/zEGnAnbzbJ
You can also pledge to sign here:https://t.co/xSetc9WRSx
— Streets For All (@streetsforall) February 7, 2022
Hopefully this will get enough signatures to get on the ballot. I’ll be signing it the first chance I get.
Then we’ll see if our fellow Angelenos really support making the changes needed to address traffic congestion, street safety, smog and climate change.
Or like our elected officials, they’d rather just sit in their cars all day, and let someone else deal with it.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls on Caltrans to fix the 2 Freeway stub, where a bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run on Glendale Blvd last month.
Linton writes that the freeway was part of the infamous Beverly Hills Freeway, which was cancelled in the 1960s when residents of the “wealthier and whiter neighborhoods” it was supposed to go through rose up against it.
Unlike the less wealthy and white neighborhoods that were obliterated to build some of LA’s other freeways.
Today unfinished freeway merges with heavily travelled, high-speed Glendale Blvd, with its heavily travelled, high-speed slip lanes dangerously dumping freeway traffic onto the boulevard.
Naturally, Caltrans, Metro and the City of LA recognized the problem, and immediately set out to do what they do best.
For many years, Metro, Caltrans and LADOT worked to plan a State Route 2 Terminus Improvement Project. Streetsblog covered the meetings – with a telling 2009 headline that read LADOT Values Capacity over Community on Route 2/Glendale Blvd., Drags Metro along for the Ride. The process resulted in a 2009 Metro board approval of a so-called hybrid alternative that largely ignored the surrounding community’s push for less traffic and more green space.
Metro published fact sheets and broke the project up into phases, declaring that “this approach ensures delivery of the improvements as quickly as possible.” To make the wretched place not quite so hostile, these agencies had planned to add landscaping, ornamental street lights, and sidewalks – and to leave the deadly slip lane in place…
Then, like several other freeway stub-end reimaginings that even barely shift space away from driving, the Metro Highway Program and Caltrans quietly shelved the already-inadequate plans (after completing modest Phase 1A improvements). The project has been scrubbed from Metro’s website (find it at the Wayback Machine).
The city of L.A. approved protected bike lanes for this part of Glendale Boulevard in the city’s Mobility Plan. But, like the rest of the non-car features in that plan, the bikeway was never pursued.
Which takes us back to Streets For All’s ballot initiative we mention above, to force the city to build out the mobility plan.
And the need for Caltrans to live up to its newfound commitment to safer, more complete streets and roadways — if they really mean it this time.
If the victim of this crash had been more seriously injured, he would have been able to sue Caltrans and Los Angeles for failing to fix a situation they clearly knew was dangerous over a dozen years ago, but decided to just leave that way.
Fortunately for him, he escaped serious injury.
But because of that, there’s little chance of finding an attorney willing take the case, and force them to make the changes that are so desperately needed to improve safety for everyone.
Sometimes it takes people on bicycles to stand up to people in trucks.
— Claudia Kwan (@ckwanzaa) February 5, 2022
— Travis Prasad (@TravisPrasadCTV) February 5, 2022
Bike riders in Vancouver were able to block and delay, if not halt, a large truckers convoy protesting Canada’s vaccination requirements, one of several roiling the country.
Thanks to Megan Lynch for the links.
Speaking of Lynch, she calls on bike-friendly Davis to conduct drills for cargo bike owners to simulate bringing in relief supplies following a natural disaster.
Which wouldn’t be a bad idea down here, or wherever you are.
And toss in all those fat-tired ebikes while we’re at it.
Has Davis ever had a Disaster Relief Trial? Does anyone who's ever been involved in organizing one have advice? It seems to me this should be an annual thing for Davis. cc: @bikinginla https://t.co/laBvOMRkRT
— Megan Lynch (@may_gun) February 6, 2022
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. The British press goes berserk over a “feckless” bike rider “making mockery of the Highway Code” by taking a selfie while riding in the middle of the traffic lane, making it “impossible to pass.” Even though the cabbie filming him on dashcam didn’t seem to have any trouble passing him after just a few moments.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Pleasanton mountain bikers demand more access after more than a dozen riders were cited by park police, despite the fact the ticketed riders weren’t on a designated trail. Seriously, don’t complain if you’re not willing to play by the rules and protect the land.
Tulsa police fatally shot a man who allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband; he was accused fleeing on a bicycle after robbing a man outside a check cashing business.
Police in Kent, England are looking for a bike rider who allegedly attacked a young woman and threatened her following a collision. Look, adrenalin is born to be running high after something like that, but violence is never the answer. So just don’t.
Metro calls on everyone to mark Black History Month by supporting Black-owned businesses while using bikeshare and transit.
The NASCAR Foundation teamed with All Kids Bike to provide 50 Los Angeles area schools with fleets of 24 balance bikes, along with pedal-conversion kits, helmets, a teacher’s instruction bike and an eight-lesson curriculum to teach kids how to ride a bicycle.
Pasadena will consider the city’s new pedestrian plan, which will move to the city council soon following the end of public comment. Anything that improves safety for pedestrians should be good for people on bicycles, too.
A crowdfunding campaign for the Hermosa Beach bike rider rescued by his Apple Watch has raised nearly $22,000, despite confusion over whether he fell or was attacked from behind.
A new bill in the state legislature would permanently exempt from environmental review any projects designed to improve safety for walking or biking, improve bus speeds or modernize light rail stations; a current law that does just that will expire next year. Environmental regulations have long been abused by NIMBYs using tortured legal arguments to halt projects that would benefit the environment by encouraging alternative transportation.
This is who we share the road with. A 33-year old man was sentenced to 15 to life for the drunken hit-and-run that killed one man and seriously injured another in a 2018 Santa Ana crash; Jesus Segura Herrera was over three times the legal alcohol limit when he slammed into another car after drinking at a company party.
The Executive Director of San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will discuss the state of bicycling in San Diego County in a Zoom conference at high noon tomorrow.
If you build it, they will come. New San Diego bike counters show the city’s bike lanes are seeing an average of 2,000 riders a day, even in the middle of winter.
A Santa Barbara letter writer praises a new multi-use path along Las Positas and Modoc Roads, calling it “beautiful and well done,” while noting some bike riders may prefer to stay in the traffic lanes.
A Cal Berkeley student relates the lessons she learned riding down the California coast with a male companion. Including that nearly every man they met directed their questions to the guy, not her.
My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is celebrating National Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, complete with a free breakfast for anyone on a bicycle. Yet somehow, we can’t manage to mark the day here in Los Angeles, where the weather is perfect for it.
That’s more like it. Denver is more than doubling the cost of parking tickets for drivers who block a bike lane, sidewalk or crosswalk, raising the fee from a paltry $25 to $65. Maybe if we did that here in Los Angeles, we might actually stop people from parking in bike lanes. Of course, that would require the city to actually ticket them, which they seem reluctant to do.
Sad news from Brooklyn, where a woman was killed by a school bus driver in an apparent right hook; she’d been commuting by ebike to protect her family from Covid and lighten her environmental footprint.
Thirty years after a 61-year old New York man founded a bike messenger service, he’s traded his bicycle for a keyboard to pursue his passion for music, living off donations as a street busker.
Philadelphia decides to keep one of the city’s most dangerous streets that way by scrapping plans for a road diet, even though it was judged to be the safest option and had widespread support; they claimed they didn’t do enough outreach to underrepresented communities. Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where leaders have to scrounge for any excuse to not do the right thing.
Tragic news from Georgia, where the founder of the local chapter of the Bikes Up, Guns Down group to use bicycles, dirt bikes and ATVs to reduce gun violence was himself the victim of a fatal shooting.
Horrible news from West Palm Beach, Florida, where a woman was killed when she fell through a draw bridge as she was walking her bicycle across; she was just ten feet from safety when she fell through a gap in the roadway, falling up to six stories to her death.
London’s mayor warns of disastrous consequences for bicyclists if the city’s transportation department is forced to slash the equivalent of $678 million in spending, due to declining revenue resulting from people working from home or avoiding transit systems.
London firefighters issue a warning after a rash of apartment fires sparked by ebike batteries.
An English ebike rider was killed in a collision with a pedestrian, dispelling the myth that only pedestrians are at risk in such crashes. Unlike with motor vehicles, where pedestrians and people on bicycles face nearly 100% of the risk.
An English bike rider says he’s reported 300 dangerous drivers to the police, and taken five to court himself based on based on bike cam video, and claims he’ll keep going until drivers treat people on bicycles better. Yet another reminder that the law has to be changed in this country to allow drivers to be ticketed or charged with misdemeanors based on video or photo evidence, which is currently barred in most cases.
A volunteer with a UK mountain rescue team was called on to save an unconscious mountain biker, only to discover the victim was his own 42-year old son.
British bike cab company Pedal Me bizarrely cites safety concerns for prohibiting their riders from wearing bike helmets.
A Dublin paper considers whether the city can ever be made safe for bike riders, as former pro Nicolas Roche says even he feels like he’s risking his life there.
That’s more like it, too. The government of Australia’s New South Wales state has announced plans to more than double its current spending of $950 million for active transportation.
More awful news, as an alleged drunk driver in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was beaten to death after losing control on a speed bump and crashing into someone on a bicycle.
Dutch cyclist David Dekker was lucky to escape serious injury when he rode off the side of the road and into a ravine during last week’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Longtime Spanish pro Alejandro Valverde announced plans to call it a career at the end of the upcoming racing season after two decades as a pro cyclist.
The former captain of Afghanistan’s first women’s cycling team is now living in Roanoke, Virginia, where she’ll compete with the Blue Ridge Twenty24 in hopes of making it to Paris for the 2024 Olympics.
That feeling when you give accident-prone TV star a set of training wheels for his ebike. Bicycling as a tool to reduce inbreeding.
And folding bike, folding wheels.
Tuck Bike is a unique foldable bike that defies geometry pic.twitter.com/6iaCjZGi6d
— Mashable (@mashable) February 5, 2022
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.