Blaming deadly streets, LA council considers Healthy Streets plan, and stoned driver injures mother and child

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

I’m still dealing with what my doctors insist is a form of neurological migraine, even though it hasn’t responded to treatment.

Most nights I struggle to work through it; last Tuesday I couldn’t. My head had me down for the count, and every attempt to rally ended in failure.

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will, until they finally get this damn thing figured out.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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Let’s start with this piece from NPR.

The public radio network looks at the recent bike boom, and the unfortunate boom in bicycling deaths that accompanied it. Along with the role played by deadly streets designed for maximum automotive throughput.

Take this brief quote, for instance.

Improving urban transportation safety for all users starts with putting cyclists, pedestrians and those using scooters, e-bikes and other alternative mobility modes on a level playing field with car and truck drivers, says P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

“There is this lack of awareness about sharing the road between different modes, between motorists and bicyclists,” he says.

“The U.S. has this perception about modes other than automobiles being inferior and that needs to be addressed right from the get go,” Sriraj adds.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read the whole thing.

Thanks to Lionel Mares for the heads-up.

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It looks like the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is making an impact at city hall.

Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez has joined with four other council members to introduce a measure to implement the city’s long-ignored mobility plan while performing unrelated street resurfacing and slurry seal projects.

The proposal, also backed by councilmembers Monica Rodriguez, Kevin de León, Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, requires the city attorney to draft an ordinance based on the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

It’s just as notable, however, for who didn’t sign on, including pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, and Hollywood councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, among others.

While the ordinance would be a big step forward, it could be subject to change down the road, and likely could be overridden by a vote of the council, unlike the ballot measure.

Depending on how it’s written, it could also be weaker than the ballot measure, which would require implementation of the mobility plan, rather that just recommending it.

However, it would also avoid a long, difficult and expensive campaign for passage of the Healthy Streets proposal, with no guarantee it would win.

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What’s worse than an out of control elderly driver?

A stoned one.

A San Diego mother and her child learned that the hard way, when a 78-year old alleged drugged driver slammed into their bikes at 11th Street and Fern Ave Tuesday evening.

Fortunately, their injuries where not life-threatening. The mother was hospitalized with serious injuries, while the child, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries.

The unidentified driver was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And why can’t we manage to keep impaired drivers the hell off the road.

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Police believe Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the alleged killer of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, flew to Houston before catching a flight to New York.

Armstrong reportedly shot Wilson multiple times, believing she was involved with Armstrong’s boyfriend, cyclist Colin Strickland, who Wilson had briefly dated when the couple were on a break.

Armstrong is 5′ 8″ tall and weighs around 125 pounds. Anyone with information is urged to call the US Marshals Service at 1-800/336-0102.

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LADOT has made safety improvements to deadly Foothill Blvd.

Although I suspect most bike riders would prefer to see the bollards on the other side of the bike lane.

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The rich get richer.

Long Beach continues to lead the way in the LA area by building out an actual bike network.

Speaking of Los Beach, the city will host a Pride Ride tomorrow evening.

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Pico Rivera is getting a new bike lane, too.

Even if it is just a short strip of paint.

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As former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said, first they fight to stop it, then they fight to keep it.

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

No bias here. After a Macon, Georgia bike rider was right hooked by the driver of a logging truck, the local press blames him for riding into the truck’s rear tires.

After Welsh police sent a warning letter to a van driver about an overly close pass of a bike rider, the driver posted the letter on Facebook and bragged about getting away with it.

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Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violations that put bike riders or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Colorado Boulevard recaps the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event on the first of this month.

Santa Clarita’s Bike Week celebration took 400 car commuter days off the roads.

 

State 

San Diego advocates are calling on the mayor to improve safety by doubling funding for quick-build bikeways, while the mayor calls for “sexy streets,” a plan to repave 54 miles of major roadways while adding bike lanes and improved sidewalks.

No surprise here. San Diego spent over $68,000 to stripe advisory bike lanes on a Mira Mesa street, then rip them out just days later.

Intense has opened a new assembly plan in Temecula, allowing the mountain bikemaker to streamline operations while giving it greater flexibility.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Montecito, went for a bike ride with a friend from the old country, where he used to be a royal.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 73-year old man was killed by a driver while riding his bike in a crosswalk; Fresno bike riders say they fear for their safety after a recent string of fatal crashes.

Alameda will decide whether the safety of people on bicycles is more important than convenient parking spaces.

More sad news, this time from ostensibly bike-friendly Davis, where a UC Davis student was killed when she was struck by the driver of a garbage truck while riding her bike — even though the story doesn’t even mention that the truck had one. Megan Lynch, who came upon the crash scene shortly after the collision, says Davis “should NOT be Platinum level year after year without serious work on accessibility, and serious enforcement around car-centrist vandalism and car violence.”

 

National

Cycling News looks at the Memorial Day bike sales to help you find the best deal. But before you buy anything online or from a chain store, check with your local bike shop to see what they have to offer, including better service.

A new white paper from Portland State University considers how to make ebike incentive programs more effective.

Portland and Denver have halted wasteful freeway expansions. Let’s hope LA Metro follows their example at today’s board meeting.

A Denver TV station declares the great bicycle shortage is over, as bike shops are rebuilding their inventory, although prices are still up.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Days after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a new bike path next to an Iowa highway, killing one person and injuring two others, officials installed a temporary barrier to keep cars out while they decide on a permanent solution.

Guardian Bikes, a fast-growing startup backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is building a highly automated manufacturing plant in Seymour, Indiana to overcome supply chain problems inherent in Chinese manufacturing.

Pittsburgh is using complex metrics to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians exactly when and where they’re needed.

The best places to ride your bike on your next trip to Cape Cod.

A Boston college student has developed a one-pound backpack for bike riders that automatically inflates into an upper body airbag in the event of a crash.

 

International

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual World Bicycle Day one week from tomorrow.

No surprise here. A new European study confirmed that protected bike lanes help close the bicycling gender gap, with more women willing to ride on safer bike lanes. And no, that does not include bike lanes protected by LADOT’s flimsy plastic car ticklers.

Get a new ebike for less than the equivalent of $1,200 from German grocery chain Aldi this week. But not, sadly, in the US.

You can now borrow an e-cargo bike to transport bulky waste or reusable items to a Rotterdam environmental park.

The New York Times takes multi-day ride from Italy to Croatia.

An Aussie driver will spend the next four years behind bars for killing a respected Adelaide doctor as he was riding his bike; the driver was under the influence of a cocktail of illicit drugs, including meth, ecstasy, coke and weed.

 

Competitive Cycling

Still more bad news, as former pro cyclist Jaime Alberto Restrepo was shot and killed Monday in Antioquia, Colombia; the 25-year old Columbian was targeted by two men on a motorcycle, one of whom was arrested.

The Giro remains incredibly tight, with Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz maintaining a slim three second lead over Australian Jai Hindley with just four stages to go.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you need a massive $75,000 pickup with a three-quarter ton payload just to drive down the street for a cappuccino. When you’re carrying meth, coke and a crack pipe on your bike, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is, not the crack pipe.

And if you’re going to make your getaway from the cops on a bicycle, don’t choose an uphill route.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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