Ban cars to rewild urban streets, 6th Street Viaduct bike lane barriers made for cars, and Buena Park considers new bike lanes

An op-ed in The Guardian questions whether cars should be banned from city streets.

The aim, in the authors’ view, is to enable form of “urban rewilding” to return streets to a their former state as a complex social ecosystem.

But just as swathes of our countryside were repurposed for farming, over the past century our city streets have been optimised for one goal: to move people around as quickly as possible, unhindered by anyone using public space for other purposes. This has its benefits – who wouldn’t argue that it is useful to be able to get from one side of a city to another quickly and efficiently – but they have come at a cost. Our shared urban environment, which used to be for everyone, is by and large dominated by moving and parked cars…

Is there another way? Well, some cities are starting to “rewild”. Barcelona is democratising its public space to include urban patios and parks, reclaiming its streets from traffic. Cars will still be allowed, but they will constitute just one use of public space, not the main reason for its existence.

In the same spirit, Groningen, in the Netherlands, known for its progressive steps to reclaim streets for bikes, recently adopted a set of guidelines that state that moving about is just one thing that a street should facilitate, as well as, for example, better health, an awareness of cultural history, or the city’s ability to adapt to the climate emergency. Paris, meanwhile, has a 15-minute city plan that aims to create self-sufficient communities where everything you need is within a 15-minute walk or cycle.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Although my take is they’re asking the wrong question. Transit, walking and biking should be so robust that there’s no benefit to having a car.

And driving should be deprioritized to the point that other forms of transport will be more efficient and convenient.

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Evidently, those weak-ass barriers on the new 6th Street Viaduct were purposely designed to allow cars to travel over them.

You know, so cars can block the lanes bike riders rely on instead of the ones that would inconvenience drivers.

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Buena Park will consider adding new bike lanes at this evening’s council meeting.

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When I visited Paris a couple decades back, this was a busy, loud and smelly highway despoiling the Seine.

This is better.

https://twitter.com/fietsprofessor/status/1546562719859576840

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Gear Junkie offers a seven minute tutorial on how to jump your mountain bike.

Okay, make that how to jump using your mountain bike, not over it.

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

Once again, officials offer bike safety advice that begins and ends with wearing a helmet, although Spokane’s health department also suggests wearing sunscreen and drinking lots of water. Neither of which is likely to protect you from an inattentive driver. Then again, the helmet may not do a lot of good, either.

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

A 20-year old New York man faces a murder charge for allegedly jumping off a bikeshare bike to run up and punch a jeep passenger, then fatally shoot him as the driver ran for her life, in an attack caught on security cam.

English police are looking for a masked bike rider who rode up from behind and stabbed a woman in the back for no apparent reason.

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Local

Streetsblog offers photos and highlights from Sunday’s CicLAvia.

Termed-out councilmember and pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz took a step in the right direction by following the lead of a number of Bay Area cities with a proposal to ban new gas stations in Los Angeles. Although he could have done more to clean our air by approving more bike and bus lanes, instead of blocking them for more than a dozen years. 

A Redditor says there’s a bike parking app for Android users, which needs more reports on bicycle parking spots from LA riders.

 

State 

Streetsblog offers an update on transportation bills still alive in the state legislature, with most scheduled for consideration in the Senate and Assembly Appropriations committees next month.

A new cargo bike from Chino’s KBO Bikes promises to carry up to 400 pounds, while priced at just $1,600.

Sad news from Fresno County, where a man was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a semi driver at 3:45 am.

San Francisco celebrated its own open streets event Sunday, while raising questions of what happened to promised protected bike lanes on Valencia Street.

 

National

A new accessory allows you to hide an Apple AirTag under your water bottle cage; meanwhile, a new 85-decibel bike alarm promises to work with Apple’s Find My app.

Denver’s renewed ebike rebate program drew so much interest it overwhelmed the website shortly after opening; 2,000 rebate vouchers are available ranging from $400 to $1,200, with half reserved for low-income buyers.

Chicago plans to give out 5,000 free single-speed commuter bicycles, locks and helmets over the next four years, though this year will likely be limited to around 500 bikes for participants in a youth jobs programs.

A group of Indiana cops are riding nearly 1,000 miles in 13 days to honor officers who died last year.

Sad news from Indiana, where the managing editor of a TV newsroom died of a heart attack while riding his bike on a local trail; he was just 51.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. New York’s vehicular homicide laws are specifically written to shield killer drivers from criminal charges unless they’re under the influence. (Hint: Stop the page from loading before the paywall popup blocks it. And no, you didn’t see that here.)

New York’s housing authority is banning ebikes in public housing after 25 battery fires, three years after they were warned about the problem; however, food delivery workers are protesting the proposed ban.

 

International

London traffic deaths dropped 22% to a record low last year, even though serious injuries increased; pedestrians were nearly half of the deaths, while bicyclists and motorcyclists made up most of the rest.

Twenty is plenty in Wales, where the British country is lowering speed limits from 30 mph to to 20 mph, over the objections of drivers.

He gets it. An Irish bike rider was awarded the equivalent of just over $30,000 following a dooring, after the judge said “People are not entitled to suddenly open doors without first checking that all is clear.”

Swedish sports equipment maker POC is teaming with an automotive safety company to develop a bike helmet with a built-in airbag.

Seriously? A Philippine senator has introduced a bill outlining the rights and responsibilities of bike riders — although it only mentions a single right, with eight responsibilities.

BTS band leader RM is the proud new owner of a limited edition, $17,000 Tod’s branded Colnago.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a modest surprise, mandatory Covid tests administered on yesterday’s rest day for the Tour de France all turned up negative. Which means the race and its riders can all go on.

On the 30th anniversary of Andy Hampsten’s solo win atop Alpe d’Huez, a new book examines what made him one of the Tour’s best climbers.

A writer for Cycling Tips says maybe it’s time to stop fetishizing the pain of pro cyclists who push “their bodies and minds beyond imaginable limits.”

 

Finally…

If you’re already out on bail for stealing a dozen bicycles, maybe wait awhile before going out and stealing 13 more. Cross-country ride training should always include stops at nearly a dozen pubs on the final day.

And apparently, the Tour de France runs through Springfield this year.

https://twitter.com/TamauPogi/status/1546218919169589248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1546218919169589248%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-11-july-2022-294297

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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