LA Times supports city’s adoption of Healthy Streets LA initiative, and another DIY crosswalk in Hollywood

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says the city could finally be getting serious about safer streets, following a city council proposal to copy the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative.

The proposed ballot measure would require the city to build out the already approved mobility plan whenever a street gets resurfaced, noting that only 3% of the plan has currently been built out.

Earlier this year, transportation and environmental activists frustrated by the slow pace of progress decided to take the matter into their own hands. The groups began collecting signatures for the Healthy Streets LAballot measure that would require the city to add the promised bus, bike and pedestrian improvements whenever streets are repaved. They expect to have enough signatures to qualify the measure for the 2024 ballot.

But Angelenos may not have to wait that long. City Council President Nury Martinez recently called for an ordinance that would do the same thing as the Healthy Streets LA measure. Martinez said with traffic deaths increasing, Angelenos shouldn’t have to wait. Her motion, backed by four council colleagues, would direct the city attorney to write an ordinance based on the ballot measure that would require that city departments add mobility plan improvements when streets are resurfaced.

Martinez’ motion goes further than the ballot initiative by establishing a unified project coordinator to ensure infrastructure projects incorporate crosswalks, bus shelters, streetlights, stormwater infrastructure, sidewalk repairs and street trees, as well as elements contained in the mobility plan.

But just as important is ensuring that the work gets funded, including hiring sufficient staff at LADOT to carry it out.

And, the paper warns, it could still come undone, depending on what approach the city takes.

Yes, it’s frustrating that residents had to organize a ballot measure campaign to prod city leaders to carry out their own mobility plan. And it’s not a done deal yet. The City Council has a choice — it can adopt its own ordinance, which could be watered down or undone by future city councils. Or, under the city’s initiative law, it could adopt the language of the Healthy Streets LA measure when it qualifies, most likely this summer, rather than send it to the ballot. That would mean any future amendments would have to go to voters.

Let’s hope they take the latter direction, which would achieve all the goals of the ballot measure without the expense and inherent risk that comes with taking it to the voters.

And let’s all keep on top of it to make sure the council follows through without watering it down.

Because we’ve already seen the city won’t keep their commitment to safer streets unless we make them.

……….

LA’s guerilla Crosswalk Collective has struck again, this time in my own neighborhood.

It really shouldn’t have taken do it yourself action to stripe much needed crosswalks in front of a school used by hundreds of little kids every day.

But sadly, that’s exactly where we are in Los Angeles these days.

Now let’s see the city try to explain it to their parents when they try to rip it out.

………

A Palm Springs man is being held on one million dollars bail on charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and vandalism.

Twenty-seven-year old Juaquin Mercer Moraga allegedly rammed his car into several vehicles, assaulted a driver and deliberately tried to run over a bike rider.

Thankfully, he missed.

………

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

No bias here. An Illinois Republican Congressional candidate accused his opponent of pork barrel spending for supporting a bike trail in their district, rather than focusing on high gas prices. Never mind that safe bikeways help their constituents avoid buying gas.

No bias here, either. An English town councilor calls a new two-way protected bike lane the biggest waste of money he’s ever seen, insisting no one asked for it or wanted it.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says LA’s permanent slow streets program seems to be doing just enough to look busy, “while avoiding any features that would actually prevent cars from speeding down neighborhood streets.” (Scroll down.)

Spectrum News 1 says street safety is on the ballot in LA’s CD1, where “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo faces a challenge from newcomer Eunisses Hernandez; initial results had Cedillo leading with 53.8% of the vote, compared to Hernandez 46.2%.

Mel Gibson navigates the mean streets of Los Angeles on a bicycle in his new film Last Looks, a comedy crime-thriller opening Friday.

 

State 

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is calling for area bike riders to support San Diego’s Quick-Build Bikeways Program, in advance of Monday’s city council meeting. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

An Imperial Beach mother says she just wants to see her kids, after she barely survived after getting run over by a stop sign-running driver in a massive pickup, while riding with her children two weeks ago.

A Davis bike advocate recommends exploring beautiful Yolo County by bicycle. After all, you only live…well, you know.

 

National

Planetizen examines the weaponization of bike racks to displace homeless people.

Bicycling deaths in Washington State have remained steady over the past three years, even while bicycle crashes dropped 30%. But an insurance spokesperson said the repeal of Seattle’s bike helmet law was one factor contributing to the deaths — even though it wasn’t repealed until this year, and only applied to the county surrounding Seattle.

A Colorado man was sentenced to eight years behind bars for the meth and booze-fueled death of popular 45-49 age-group national road race champ Gwen Inglis, who was run down while riding in a Denver-area bike lane with her husband.

A kindhearted Texas neighborhood watch group bought a new bicycle for a 63-year old Dairy Queen worker, after the bike he relied on to get to work was stolen.

Several witnesses chased down an alleged stoned hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider, boxing in her car and holding her until police arrived.

Kalamazoo, Michigan bike riders held a Ride of Silence last night to honor the five victims killed by a driver stoned on prescription pain killers when he slammed into members of a cycling club six years ago, and injured another four people; Charles Pickett Jr. was sentenced to serve a minimum of 45 years behind bars for the deaths.

Talk about missing the point. A Kentucky news channel says a local bike shop owner rides his bike to avoid high gas prices. Even though he’s been doing it for 34 years, starting when gas was a hell of a lot cheaper.

 

International

What to consider before your next bikepacking trip to Costa Rica.

He gets it, too. A 14-year old British Columbia bike rider says the only reason he rides on the sidewalk is because of the city’s horrible bike infrastructure.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Welsh driver got a lousy 12 weeks behind bars, and lost his license for a year, for the hit-and-run crash that left a. bike-riding man fighting for his life.

British drivers are reminded to look out for bike riders and give them more space when passing, following changes to the country’s Highway Code to protect vulnerable road users. Good advice anywhere, regardless of any changes to the law.

Dubliners consider how pedestrians and bicyclists can best share a road after it was permanently closed to cars.

A Danish music producer and DJ is collecting the sounds of Copenhagen from her cargo bike.

An Indian newspaper describes Delhi roads as a death trap for bicyclists, as bicycling deaths jump 36% over last year.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Lorena Wiebes won the second stage of the women’s Tour of Britain after out sprinting a pair of cyclists to win by several lengths.

Mark Cavendish and son were in the audience for the race.

Wout van Aert, who should know better, became the latest victim of premature celebration after assuming too soon he won Tuesday’s stage three of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

British transgender cyclist Emily Bridges revealed she suffered a vicious barrage of violent threats after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “biological males” shouldn’t compete in women’s sports.

 

Finally…

Forget foldies. Your next bike could transform into a chair and table. Your next roadie could be made from bamboo, and sell for less than $1,400.

And if you can afford to drop over 18 grand on an “Italian lifestyle” bike, chances are, you’re already doing pretty good.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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