6th Street Viaduct bike lanes get failing grade from bicyclists, and LA mayor candidate Karen Bass rides CicLAvia

There were two big events in the Los Angeles bike world this weekend.

Although which will have a bigger impact in the long run remains to be seen.

First up is the official opening of the long awaited replacement for the crumbling, 1930’s 6th Street Viaduct.

The lengthy, multiple arched bridge stretching over the LA River, rail yards and highways received rave reviews from almost everyone, with outgoing LA Mayor Eric Garcetti calling it “our generation’s love letter to the city.”

With the exception of people on two wheels, that is, who questioned why a little more of the $588 million budget couldn’t have gone towards a better protected bike lane.

Something the LA Times just touched on.

“The layout is perfect,” Stevi Hardy said to her friends as she contemplated the design. “I wish the bike lane was more permanent. It would just be safer if there was a cement protection.”

The bike path is protected by plastic bollards with low rubber stoppers. A car had already rolled over one, according to a tweet.

Hardy and her husband are members of the Montebello Bicycle Coalition and trekked to the bridge with friends from various parts of Southeast Los Angeles County. Their son, Miller, who is 2, offered a thumbs-up from his shaded bicycle seat before doing his best Spider-Man impression, shooting a pretend web.

This complaints start at the beginning, which is oddly far from the start of the bridge, forcing riders to share the lane with impatient drivers for the first 200 feet.

The good news is there are some connections to the bridge from some existing bike lanes.

The bad, not enough. And not safe enough.

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1546160032344969222

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1546322536887005184

Then there’s the limited protected offered by the low curbs and chubby plastic bendy posts.

Which didn’t stand up to the very first vehicles on the very first day.

Top rendering from 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

………

Next up is the triumphant return of CicLAvia, which took over South LA’s Western Ave in the year’s first event.

CD8 Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson struck the right note in opening the day’s festivities.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass demonstrated she’s one us, as she rode Sunday’s CicLAvia along with her brother.

However, billionaire mall developer Rick Caruso, her competitor in the race, was apparently a no show, missing a golden opportunity to demonstrate a more human side and connect with thousands of LA voters.

Next up is a return of the popular Meet The Hollywoods CicLAvia through Hollywood and West Hollywood next month.

………

CLR Effect and Claremont Cyclist author Michael Wagner forwards a heartbreaking report about the installation of a ghost bike for Debbie Morgan-Alam, who was killed late last month by an alleged DUI driver.

Wagner reports her alleged 19-year old killer was driving with three times the legal alcohol limit, and with cannabis in her system.

Although the legal alcohol limit for underage drivers is zero.

Photos by Michael Wagner

Personally, I hate ghost bikes. I hope I never see another one.

But I will keep supporting them as long as people keep dying needlessly on our streets.

………

This is who we share the internet with.

And the answer is…

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

………

The president of Slovakia is one of us, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1546166517103984641

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Streets For All founder Michael Schneider visits New York, and discovers that outdoor dining and parking protected bike lanes can peacefully coexist.

https://twitter.com/schneider/status/1546259940704141313

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Everyone knows you need an SUV to ferry the kids, right?

Right?

And note she’s riding uphill, too.

………

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

Portland police have rearrested a man who allegedly attacked a bike-riding man and his young daughter in a racist attack based on their Japanese ancestry, after he failed to appear in court.

A bicyclist learns the hard way to stay out of the door zone, in a horrifying crash that remarkably appeared to end without major injuries.

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

A Cleveland woman faces neglect charges after a pizza shop worker spotted her recklessly riding a bike, with her two-month old diaper-wearing twins in a milk crate held to the handlebars with just a bungee cord.

A Grand Rapids, Michigan man was arrested after weaving a Lime ebike in and out of freeway traffic with a BAC of .19, well over twice the legal alcohol limit.

An Ohio man was busted for shoplifting despite a failed attempt to make a getaway on his Huffy.

Police in New York are looking for a man who rode off on a bikeshare bike after stabbing another man to death on a park bench.

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Local

He gets it. LA Times letters editor Paul Thornton says when it comes to the closure of Griffith Park Drive through Griffith Park, “Cyclists need this. Runners and walkers need this. Los Angeles needs this. And frankly, I need this.”

The Sierra Club calls the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal “a big step closer to safer LA streets.”

Shia LaBeouf is still one of us, taking his tattooed thighs for a ride through Pasadena.

 

State 

La Jolla’s Fay Ave bike path will get year-round volunteer cleanup efforts, along with re-naturalization with native plants.

San Diego police were quick to blame the victim when a woman was seriously injured after she allegedly swerved her bike into the traffic lane, and collided with a car driven by a 79-year old woman. Although it sounds a lot more like a likely violation of the three-foot passing law to me.

He gets it. A San Diego letter writer says bikeways are an important part of the city’s future, with separated bike lanes proven to reduce bike crashes by 80%.

A 16-year old Palo Alto girl was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when a man pushed her off her bike, and stole her cellphone and debit card.

San Francisco plans to add another 50 miles of bike lanes in an effort to tame some of the city’s most dangerous streets.

 

National

A writer for the Kansas City Star shares the lessons learned riding the 512-mile Bike Across Kansas.

A Wisconsin man was bike-jacked at gunpoint, a crime that’s far more common in other countries, such as South Africa.

This is who we share the road with. After a Chicago man exchanged words with a driver who nearly ran him down as he crossed the street, the woman’s passenger pulled out a gun and shot at him repeatedly; fortunately, the passenger’s aim sucked. These days you almost have to assume there’s a gun in any car. And don’t count on a gunman’s bad aim to save your ass. 

President Joe Biden was back in the saddle this weekend, albeit sans toe clips, a month after he fell off his bike when he got his foot caught in one.

 

International

Rising gas prices in the UK are leading to surging cargo bike sales.

A bike-riding British mail carrier was run down by one of his own colleagues, who drove another 15 miles before telling police he “may have hit something.”

A UK military veteran shares his thoughts on riding across the country despite losing a leg in Afghanistan.

The brutal invasion of Ukraine didn’t appear to put a damper on Moscow’s summer bicycle parade, with thousands of riders taking part.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. A new 25-mile bike path leads past four major temples in the ancient Madras, in eastern India.

Speaking of India, bike-born knife sharpeners are slowly fading away in Rawalpindi.

Severe gas shortages in Sri Lanka mean residents are leaving their cars in the garage, and taking to their bikes.

The Global Times says “fancy” foreign bikes costing up to $15,000 — from makers like Specialized, Trek and Brompton — are the latest must-have fad for China’s Gen Z.

Peddle ice cream while you peddle your new $1,500 solar-powered ebike from China’s Alibaba — or get two for just $200 more.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who had Bob Jungels 40-mile solo breakaway win on their Tour de France bingo card for Sunday’s ninth stage? The Luxembourger made a triumphant comeback after battling arterial endofibrosis for the past two years.

The formidable Ineos Grenadiers team cracked a little on Sunday when Colombian Dani Martínez did the same, leaving three team members remaining in the Tour’s top ten.

Tadej Pogačar leads the pack by more than a minute over 22-year old Jonas Vingegaard, with American Nielson Powless a surprising ninth at a minute and 55 seconds behind the leader.

Cycling Weekly complains about pro cycling’s failure to mention the war in Ukraine, raging just over a thousand miles from the Tour de France; Russian oligarch Igor Makarov remains on UCI’s management committee, despite heavy sanctions and pressure to remove him.

Fans crowding the race course claimed another casualty last week, when Italy’s Daniel Oss was forced to withdraw from the Tour with a broken neck after clipping one fan, then slamming into another who was leaning out onto the roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

The breakout star of this year’s Tour de France is French sprinter Hugo Hofstetter’s black and tan Rottweiler.

Olympic road champ Annemiek van Vleuten won her third Giro Donne title, after surviving a Friday fall.

Hope for all us diabetics, as Canada’s Sébastien Sasseville overcame type 1 to finish 12th in the recent Race Across America, aka RAAM, riding over 3,000 miles in 11 days, 22 hours and 25 minutes.

Cycling Utah offers a brief recap of Saturday’s Crusher in the Tushar gravel race; Keegan Swenson and Haley Smith topped 800 riders from 37 states and eight countries to win the men’s and women’s titles, respectively; Swenson won his in a decisive solo breakaway.

 

Finally…

If you’re planning to steal a police bike, maybe try not to do it right in front of them. That feeling when you get chased on your bike by a crazed fan.

And every bike rider knows how good it feels to get a new bicycle.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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