Once again, Metro gets it wrong.
In its zeal to keep building highway projects in the midst of a climate emergency, the LA County transit agency is starting work on a new $26 million interchange where the 605 and Beverly Blvd meet.
But despite the agency’s professed commitment to Complete Streets, they’re not including bike lanes, even though the roadway will be wide enough to accommodate them at some distant, unspecified date.
Because evidently, they just can’t find a few extra bucks in that $26 million budget for a couple more cans of white paint.
Speaking of Metro, Streets For All takes the agency to task for their ever-expanding freeway spending.
As if they didn’t learn anything about induced demand from their failed $1 billion project to add express lanes to the 405 through Sepulveda Pass.
Which they probably didn’t.
This is was the email the group sent out yesterday.
Did you know Metro is planning on increasing their freeway budget by $142 million next year?
Metro’s 2023 draft budget will increase Freeway spending by 30%. This comes after last year’s 80% increase in freeway spending, and at the same time as transit expansion funding is being decreased in 2023.
Freeways continue to cause massive health and climate impacts among LA’s most vulnerable populations while making traffic worse.
Unfortunately, it’s too late to send an email. But you may still have time to call in your comment this morning.
Meanwhile, Metro will consider a pair of bikeway projects at today’s meeting that would connect the LA River bike path with Union Station in DTLA.
Help put the buena back in Buena Park. The OC city wants your input on a new Complete Streets project.
Good News! Buena Park is working on the design for a complete streets project on Dale Street and Whitaker Street and is asking for public input.
More info: https://t.co/oE0Jd3iwm0
— MikeOCBike (@mikeocbike) March 24, 2022
California Governor Gavin Newsom is once again throwing money around prior to an election.
But this time, it goes out to everyone but us.
At stake is the governor’s proposal for a $400 per car rebate for drivers, in lieu of freezing the gas tax as a sop to people complaining about rising gas taxes.
The money would go out to everyone with a car registered in California, for up to two vehicles, no matter how wealthy the owner, or how environmentally destructive the vehicle is.
Or if it even uses gas.
Meanwhile, transit riders would get a three month fare reprieve. And a relatively paltry $500 million would go towards active transportation projects in the state.
The gas tax is about 50 cents per gallon. A $400 rebate therefore subsidizes someone's tax payments on 800 gallons of gasoline. That's 19 barrels of gasoline per registered car. Those 19 barrels, or 800 gallons, weigh nearly 5,000 lbs. Imagine burning 5,000 lbs of gasoline. https://t.co/Lq58vtCtZR
— Shane Phillips (@ShaneDPhillips) March 24, 2022
– $9 billion in direct payments to car owners
– $2 billion in relief for public transit & to pause portion of diesel sales tax and increase to gas/diesel excise tax
– $500 million to support active transportation programs (such as walking, biking projects)
— Emily Hoeven (@emily_hoeven) March 23, 2022
This is an outrageous surrender to the car lobby. https://t.co/H7D7OUCuiZ
— Rick Cole (@urbanistcole) March 24, 2022
In other words, Newsom is doing everything in his power to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets, regardless of the environmental damage, rather than use the crisis as an opportunity to make a sea change in how people get around in our state.
And not one penny to the people who did the right thing, and made the sometimes difficult, but environmentally sound, decision to give up their cars.
Instead of rebates to car owners who don’t need them — and in many cases, should have purchased a less wasteful and destructive vehicle to begin with — Newsom should make all transit systems within the state free.
Not just for three months, but permanently.
He should also pay people a monthly stipend to walk or bike to work instead of driving — enough to actually get people out of their cars. Then use the remaining funds to build the infrastructure necessary to support it.
Instead, we’re just doubling down on the same problems that got us here in the first place.
And learning absolutely nothing from the last gas crisis, while just setting us up for the next one.
Unbelievable. A young Indian boy miraculously survives when his bike was crushed by a city bus after he darted out across the roadway on his bicycle and broadsided a motorcyclist, then skidded across the roadway just inches in front of the moving bus.
KANNUR BOY'S MIRACULOUS ESCAPE
— Mirror Now (@MirrorNow) March 24, 2022
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. A Santa Barbara letter writer and former “frequent bicyclist” complains about the “bike lobby” that has “gained outsized power in the city government,” while conflating off-street bike paths with on-street bike lanes, and complaining that few people who ride the bike paths are riding to work. And that people in cars, who are apparently far more important than bike riders, really, really need their parking spaces. Although someone should ask him why he stopped riding, and if it had anything to do with a lack of safe bikeways.
A Scottish city is being justifiably criticized for leaving a huge lamppost in the middle of a new bike lane, evidently preferring to risk the safety of people using the lane than pay to move it.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
An anonymous Portland writer complains about “asshole bicyclists” who ignore No Bikes Allowed On Trails signs to ride on walking trails in environmentally sensitive areas. Aside from making it clear he or she is as much of an a-hole as the people they’re complaining about, the writer has a point. Never ride where you could cause real harm to fragile landscapes.
Police in Ohio are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who slammed into the side of an SUV after running a stop sign, and took off on foot when the driver called the police.
Metro Bike returns to North Hollywood with new and improved bikeshare docking stations designed to accommodate any Metro Bike from anywhere in the city.
Culver City Patch reports on the 10th anniversary celebration of children’s bike advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers.
That feeling when your new Ducati bicycle isn’t made by Ducati, but comes as a tribute to the Italian motorbike brand from an Irvine-based ebike maker.
Danville is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s six-person Bicycle Advisory Commission.
A Sebastopol winemaker faces up to 12 years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunken crash that took the life of a bike-riding man, and cost the leg of a 12-year old boy who just happened to be riding near him; or he could walk with just time served. Ulises Valdez Jr. was nearly twice the legal blood alcohol limit following the collision.
Forbes offers their picks for the best bikes to ride anywhere, from the mountains to the bodega.
Bicycling offers a clickbait slideshow with their recommendations for the ten best women’s bike helmets for any kind of rider. Because why let someone just scroll to the one that suits them when you can get a few extra clicks? As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.
This is the cost of traffic violence. A speeding San Antonio, Texas mom lost control and rolled her car, killing an innocent 18-year old bike rider, while injuring herself and her baby. Anyone who drives like that with a baby in the car should have either the car or the baby taken away.
Houston police were quick to blame the victim after a bike rider was killed by a dump truck driver in a pre-dawn crash, accusing him of darting in front of the truck in what appears to be a single witness crash. Which seems somewhat unlikely, since most bike riders try to stay the hell away from massive trucks.
Completing our Texas trifecta, a Seguin, Texas man was extradited from Mexico for the fatal 2018 shooting of a man riding a bicycle; no explanation was given for why he allegedly murdered the victim, who was described as a good man who helped his neighbors.
A Kansas City public radio station profiles the city’s Black-led Major Taylor Cycling Club, saying they may not be the fastest, but make everyone feel welcome.
She gets it. A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer says you can support both small businesses and bike lanes, and that the two actually complement and benefit one another.
A New York morning newspaper says a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane brought a belated bike boom to the Brooklyn Bridge. Either they have an editor who loves alteration almost as much as I do, or they had an over-abundance of Bs they had to use before they went bad.
A Pittsburgh PA bike shop also hosts the world’s largest bicycle museum, with over 4,000 bicycles of every description.
Speaking of Pittsburgh, five of the eight cops involved have been fired for the fatal tasing of a man accused of riding a bicycle without permission; the victim was shocked repeatedly in a short period of time for the crime of taking the unattended bike for a test ride around the block.
To the surprise of no one, an arrest warrant has been issued for the woman who led a bike cop on a slow speed chase through a Florida airport while riding a self-propelled suitcase after she failed to appear for a court hearing.
They get it. A Halifax, Nova Scotia newspaper says SUVs are driving us to climate calamity, adding it will never be environmentally sound to use two tons of material to move roughly 200 pounds of human.
A self-described bicycling virgin shares their thoughts on riding in Manchester, England.
London’s mayor says the reputation of the city’s transportation department is at stake if bicyclists keep dying at a busy intersection.
A former British mayor and councilor accused bike riders ignoring a ban on bikes on a popular climb of being “an organized gang…who are up to no good.”
Luxembourg — the city, not the country, although the city is in the country — announced plans for seven new bike boulevards, joining three successful bike boulevards opened last year. Although someone should tell them that bikes and cobbles like the ones in the photo aren’t the best combination.
A new Italian bike light puts out a massive 5,000 lumens, yet weighs less than two ounces; it can be yours via Kickstarter starting around $138.
The women who founded Turkey’s annual Fancy Women Bike Ride have been honored with a special UN recognition for promoting bicycling; the ride has now spread around the world.
The US has finally removed the onerous 25% tariff on many Chinese bicycles, including kid’s bikes, ebikes and accessories.
That tariff change comes just in time for a Chinese company introducing a new wireless ebike charging system, which works like a charging pad for your cellphone.
Canadian Cycling Magazine looks at the surprisingly long list of active pro cyclists who died of heart attacks.
And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging ostrich escapees.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.