LA approves ban on bike chop shops, and environmental groups pull support for awful Geary-designed LA River plan

As expected, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance to ban open air bike chop shops on public property.

The ordinance is intended to give police a tool to address the proliferation of chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles, often found in homeless encampments throughout the city.

Here’s how CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino described the ordinance.

He said the new law, which is modeled after a similar one in the city of Long Beach, would target people in possession of five or more bicycle parts, a bicycle frame with the gear cables or brake cables cut, two or more bicycles with missing parts, or three or more bicycles on public property.

It also is written to specifically exclude people with a valid business license, as well as someone fixing their own bicycle.

While bike theft and receiving stolen merchandise are already illegal, LAPD officers tell me it can be difficult to make a case, since most bikes are never reported stolen, and it’s almost impossible to identify a bicycle once it’s been dismantled.

Even if they can make a case, it’s usually just a misdemeanor, since it’s hard to prove the value of the stolen bikes are more than the $950 value for grand theft. Which means the suspects are usually back on the street doing business again within days.

Whether this will be successful in preventing bike thefts, or simply becomes a tool for harassing and criminalizing homeless people, remains to be seen.

………

Environmental groups have pulled their support of the proposed LA River master plan, accusing officials of ignoring their recommendations for the awful Frank Geary designed plan.

His designs would simply hide the river’s concrete channels under elevated parks, rather than return it to a more natural state.

Hopefully, it will never get built, even if it is approved.

But it will inevitably get tied up in court, and delay any real action on improving the river for years, if not decades.

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Local

He gets it. In an interview at LAX, Hanging with Mr. Cooper star Mark Curry says stop complaining about high gas prices and start riding a bike.

Active SGV led a toxic tour of Avocado Heights and City of Industry sites threatened by pollution, culminating with a stop at lead battery recycling plant Ecobat.

Long Beach plans to move forward with highway interchange improvement projects that would have been part of the now-cancelled 710 Freeway widening, including some protected bike lanes.

Lime is planning to test a new electric motor scooter with a top speed of 20 mph in Long Beach, deploying several hundred of the bikes in the city.

 

State 

Bills are starting to move forward in the state legislature again after it passed a budget framework, including one that would provide CEQA exemptions for sustainable transportation projects.

Yes, please. A San Francisco city supervisor wants to start holding public town halls after every traffic fatality. Although that might be just a tad impractical in Los Angeles.

 

National

Slate says traffic safety ads may be good at making puns, but they don’t change driver behavior to improve safety.

Colorado is preparing a $12 million statewide ebike rebate program, in the wake of Denver’s highly successful one. Meanwhile, California’s $10 million ebike rebate program remains in limbo, with no estimated start date.

A group of military vets are planning a 1,900 mile, 41 day ride to recreate the legendary ride of the Buffalo Soldiers, who rode from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis to prove bicycles could be a viable form of transportation for the military.

Heartbreaking news from South Dakota, where a 53-year old Canadian man was killed by a truck driver while on an 838-mile bike ride to raise awareness about kidney disease, and raise funds for a kidney transplant for his granddaughter; the crowdfunding campaign for her transplant has raised over $22,000, topping the $20,000 goal.

Over 200 people turned out for Boston’s first Pride bike ride.

ESPN’s ESPY award winner Jason McElwain was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike in Greece, New York; the autistic student manager of his high school basketball team, McElwain gained fame when the coach put him in near the end of the team’s final home game, and he responded by sinking seven three-point shots. He’s now a motivational speaker.

UPS is testing small battery-powered delivery trucks designed to operate in New York bike lanes. In other words, just one more obstacle putting bike riders at risk. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Hoboken, New Jersey could decide that 20 is plenty, as the city council considers a proposal to lower city streets to 20 mph.

Seriously? Police in Philadelphia are looking for a burglar who broke into a bike shop and stole a 1996 military prototype bicycle worth an estimated — wait for it — $100,000. For that price, it must be made from Unobtanium.

An artist painted a message of hope in a Pennsylvania town, after the man she had planned to paint it with was killed by a driver while riding his bike. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

International

Electrek asks if Urban Arrow’s new e-cargo bike is the luxury SUV of the ebike world.

POC’s newest bike helmet is made for sustainability, made of 50% recycled materials and designed to be easily disassembled and recycled at the end of its usefulness.

A man walking his dog stepped in to rescue an 82-year old English man after he was knocked off his bike and attacked by a frenzied cow; he used the man’s bicycle to fend off the one-ton animal until it turned to attack another man.

An Irish delivery rider has been acquitted of murder for stabbing a 16-year old boy to death, agreeing he acted in self-defense when he was attacked by a group of teenagers while trying to reclaim another delivery rider’s stolen bicycle.

The capital city of Estonia will give kids the equivalent of $105 to buy a bicycle to encourage them to start riding.

He gets it, too. The mayor of Bengaluru, India says the city’s bikeways can’t have a real impact until they’re connected in a viable network; the city plans to build 378 miles of bike lanes by 2035.

A secondhand ebike has helped a longtime New Zealand bike advocate fall back in love with bicycling on his 37-mile commute.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips explains how to follow the Race Across America, aka RAAM, which started yesterday.

Nice ad featuring L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams for Vuori.

 

Finally…

Evidently, bike polo is still a thing. If you’re already wanted by the cops for threatening a woman with a switchblade, maybe don’t ride an illegal motorized bike.

And bike riders are the new Atlas.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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