Metro votes on NoHo to Pasadena BRT plan today, bike & ped bill passes senate committee, and gun-toting Sac trail driver

Let’s start with a quick reminder about today’s Metro Board meeting.

The board will give a final hearing for the North Hollywood to Pasadena bus rapid transit line, which includes plans for lane reductions, protected bike lanes and a more livable street on currently car-centric Colorado Blvd, based on the Beautiful Boulevard plan developed by Eagle Rock residents. .

Streets For All offers these tips for making a comment during the 10 am meeting.

  • Use these Talking Points put together by the Beautiful Boulevard Coalition (some are specific to Eagle Rock)
  • In order to make comments by phone, you will need to call in using the number and code above. When the item comes up, click #2 (pound-two) to request to comment.
  • You will only have 1 minute for your comment. (It may be helpful to write your comment down and read it aloud to maximize use of your comment time)
  • If you are watching online, please note that the video feed is delayed by 30 seconds and that you will need to mute your video stream when you speak to avoid background noise.

If you can’t call in, they recommend using this email tool from the Beautiful Boulevard coalition to submit your comments to the Metro Board.

I have another commitment, so I’m counting on you to call in for me.

Meanwhile, a writer for the Boulevard Sentinel suggests that only a small group of advocates support the plan, which he says received no opposition because opponents didn’t know about it.

Evidently, they somehow missed all those public meetings where it was discussed, along with the website promoting it.

But other than that, it was a total secret.

………

Glendale state Senator Anthony Portantino’s bill requiring cities to bake bike and pedestrian safety into their community plans is headed to the senate floor after passing both the Transportation and Governance and Finance committees.

SB 932 would force cities to take action to improve safety on the most dangerous corridors; otherwise, anyone injured there would have the right to sue.

Never mind that Los Angeles hasn’t updated its community plan since Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

………

Megan Lynch forwards a horrifying story from Sacramento, where a former San Diego County sheriff’s deputy has allegedly been brandishing a gun while threatening homeless people.

Rich Eaton, who now operates a business in the city, was named by victims in three police reports, in one case reportedly growling “I should put a bullet in the back of your head.”

And he apparently doesn’t let a little thing like a bike trail stop him.

The same victim claimed he saw Eaton brandishing a gun at another homeless man a few days earlier.

“Richard was in his vehicle on the bike trail at the top of the levee and I could see him pointing a gun out of the vehicle window,” the report says.

The other victim said Eaton pointed the gun directly at him as he tried confronting Eaton about driving on a path intended for bikes and pedestrians.

“I could see him holding the guns in his hand with the barrel sticking out the window pointing at me,” the second victim said. “He pulled the gun back and said ‘pussy.’”

Eaton is suing the city for failure to enforce its own laws by allowing homeless people to remain on his property, claiming significant damage and a loss in property value.

Even though the writer for Newsbreak says the value of the property has increased $2.3 million in just the last five years.

According to the story, police dropped the investigation into the incidents, at the discretion of the sergeant.

Maybe they could at least tell him to keep his car the hell off bike and pedestrian paths.

Correction: In the first reference to Rich Eaton, I somehow wrote his last name as Williams, for reasons that will forever escape me. Thanks to Andy Stow for the catch.

………

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

No bias here. The headline on this story from San Diego’s CBS8 isn’t the least bit misleading, suggesting that the city apologized to Rancho Peñasquitos residents for the new bike lanes on Azuaga Street, when the San Diego director of transportation actually apologized for a lack of effective outreach before they were installed. And yes, that was sarcasm.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina announced a crackdown on aggressive young bike riders they accuse of wrecking havoc in the city by riding recklessly and endangering drivers and pedestrians; one is accused of punching a driver in the back of the head, and later shooting into his car, leaving the man paralyzed.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. Relatives of Monique Munoz, the  32-year-old woman killed by a 17-year old boy in West LA, who slammed into her car after running a red light at over 100 mph in his Lamborghini SUV, have settled a wrongful death lawsuit against his family for a whopping $18.8 million. Which barely seems like enough under the circumstances.

Los Angeles Magazine lists beach cruisers as one of the 60 ways the city has changed the world, placing them between The Beach Boys and breast implants; they were invented by in 1976 by a 21-year old mechanic in his dad’s bike shop. The bikes, that is, not The Beach Boys. Or the breast implants.

Beverly Hills is installing a network of green sharrows on South Santa Monica Boulevard, North Doheny Drive and South Beverly Drive. Apparently in an effort to thin the herd and help drivers improve their aim.

626 Golden Streets returns this weekend with five miles of carfree streets connecting the historic San Gabriel and South Pasadena Mission Districts with downtown Alhambra.

 

State 

Volunteers removed a half ton of overgrown weeds and dry brush from a La Jolla bike path.

The curator of a museum in San Diego’s University Height neighborhood says he doesn’t think it can survive plans for a parking protected bike lane and fewer parking spaces on Park Boulevard. Because evidently, people who ride bicycles never, ever visit museums. Especially not if they’re safer and easier to get to.

Caltrans will reduce PCH to a single lane between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road in Ventura County for road work today; bicyclists will be allowed to mix it up with cars in the single traffic lane, though you may have to wait for traffic moving in the other direction.

 

National

Is anyone really surprised that ebike sales are outpacing sales of electric cars in the US? Ebikes are booming, while sales of electric cars have been lagging. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Forbes rates their picks for the best bikes to ride anywhere for all kinds of riders. And for once, I can’t argue with their choices.

Charge your ebike while you ride with a hardshell backpack with a built-in solar panel.

Once again, authorities have managed to keep a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Utah man with four previous DUI convictions faces charges for killing a 13 year old boy when he right hooked the boy’s bike, before fleeing the scene with the kid’s bike still jammed under his truck; police said they could smell the alcohol on his breath when he was arrested at his home later. He should have lost his license permanently after the second conviction.

A new Utah mountain bike trail is bringing glamping to bike touring, with a series of six fully furnished huts capable of housing up to 14 people strategically located along the 190-mile path.

Smart move. An Illinois teacher uses bicycles as a reward for good work and to keep her students attentive and motivated; she hopes to send each one home with a new bike at the end of the year.

NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk writes that she took up road cycling during the pandemic, until a violent face plant resulting from a New Jersey pothole took her down hard. But she insists she’s not going to let that stop her.

 

International

Two new high tech, retro styled bike headlamps are raising funds on Kickstarter.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British taxi driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider after his lawyer argued that the victim’s lack of hi-viz and flashing lights made him hard to see — even though he had steady front and rear lights and reflectors on his bike.

An 18-year old Indian man has developed the country’s first artificial inteligence-powered bike counter, complete with AI-sensor camera and a machine learning-based algorithm

 

Competitive Cycling

The 13th Annual Redlands PossAbilities Para-cycle stage race rolled alongside the Redlands Classic last week, using the same courses for the four stage race; national paracycling time trial and road cycling champ national Owen Daniels dominated the series, finishing first in the paraplegic category.

  

Finally…

Now you can be the proud owner of Elliot’s milk crate-basket bicycle from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, although you’ll have to supply your own homesick alien. Maybe once you become mayor, you should stop punching teenage constituents in the back of the head.

Just a suggestion.

And you know you’re a bicyclist when you see a picture of a young Ann-Margret, and stare at her bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

4 comments

  1. Andy Stow says:

    “Rich Williams, who now operates a business in the city…”

    Rich Williams = Eaton?

    • Christian says:

      Think that’s a typo? Cuz the link leads you to original article w guy’s name and picture Rich Eaton.

      • bikinginla says:

        Andy is right. Somehow, I wrote his name as Williams in the first reference. I honestly have no idea how that happened, other than some sort of unexplained brain cramp. Thanks for the correction!

  2. Harv says:

    Beach cruisers invented in 1976? Nope. In 1947 my Dad and I went into a Sears store in New York city and selected a red and chrome “newsboy” bike. That style bike is still made today but it is now called a “beach cruiser”. Single speed, coaster brake, curved top tube, fenders, and fat tires. Only possible exception is the handlebar which was a flat pull-back bar in 1947, but the high-rise bar was available as an accessory.

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