Streets For All virtual happy hour tonight, SoCal’s killer highway getting bike lanes in OC, and Prime Day bike deals

Let’s start with a reminder that Streets For All is hosting their latest virtual happy hour this evening, featuring Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

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Southern California’s killer highway could be getting a little safer in Orange County.

According to the Daily Pilot, the stretch of PCH that runs through Huntington Beach is scheduled for a number of improvements, as part of a $14.8-million Caltrans project.

Among the scheduled improvements are rehabilitating the pavement — whatever that means — replacing traffic loop detectors and guardrails, and upgrading facilities to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

In addition, the plans call for adding Class II painted bike lanes, although they will be downgraded to a mere bike route in some areas, forcing riders to fight for road space with impatient drivers.

That could mean relying on the dreaded sharrows, which studies show could be worse than nothing. And which appear to exist only to help drivers improve their aim and thin the herd.

Additional plans call for $21.2 million to be spent on two projects in Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, including unspecified pedestrian and bicycle upgrades.

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Today’s common theme is Prime Day bike deals.

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A Twitter user responds to Governor Newsom’s call to sue gunmakers by suggesting we should be able to sue the makers of killer cars.

Especially since the news media insists on holding their drivers blameless.

Not just cars that kill, but cars, trucks and SUVs that are literally built to kill, with no thought to the survival of anyone outside the vehicle.

And which are too often sold in a way that actually encourages the most extreme and dangerous behavior.

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

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A new crowdsourced book says it’s not too late to stave off a carbon-fueled climate disaster.

Let’s hope they’r right.

Thanks to Pedal Love for the tip.

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A lifelong car enthusiast explains why he’s starting to hate cars, and why owning multiple cars is an insanely bad idea.

And “why car dependency is terrible and why car enthusiasts should care about reducing traffic fatalities.”

Took the words right out of my mouth.

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

There’s a special place in hell for whoever painted swastikas along a Rhode Island bike path.

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

Palo Alto police arrested a 34-year old Mountain View man for robbing a 16-year old bike-riding boy; he was arrested riding a bike while carrying meth and drug paraphernalia, as well as the knife he threatened the teenager with.

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Local

Streetsblog reports on last week’s groundbreaking for the Rail-to-Rail active transportation project through South LA and Inglewood.

Heartbreaking story from the LA Times about a young Black man who lived alone and worked remotely, whose body was found five days after he logged off from work, after apparently dying in his sleep from an undetected heart condition; among his possessions was a new bicycle with just four miles on the odometer.

 

State 

A pair of projects in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys have received grants from the Southern California Association of Governments, part of 26 grants up to $15,000 for active transportation projects in the six-county SCAG region.

More sad news from Northern California, where a Visalia bike rider was killed in a rear-end collision.

San Jose received a $10 million grant to install street lights and build out bike lanes on a nearly five-mile stretch of one of the city’s most dangerous roads.

The recent decision to permanently ban cars from a portion of JFK Drive through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park could go to the voters, after opponents turned in enough signatures to get the question on the November ballot. Or opponent, actually, as the signature gathering effort was funded entirely by an heiress to the Dow Chemical fortune, who’s family apparently hasn’t done enough environmental damage yet.

A speeding hit-and-run driver ran down a man riding a bicycle in San Francisco’s Mission District, driving off with the bike’s front wheel still stuck to their grill; fortunately, the victim is expected to survive. Although the driver may regret leaving the car’s license plate behind.

 

National

Muscle and Fitness recommends bicycling as a low-impact exercise in the great outdoors that provides something for everyone from elite athletes to people battling serious illnesses, focusing on a survivor of stage 4 pancreatic cancer who rides 50 to 100 miles a week.

Money Inc lists ten jobs that often require using a bicycle.

Peloton is outsourcing its stationary bike manufacturing, shutting down its bikemaking subsidiary and laying off 570 people; the layoffs follow more than 3,000 earlier job cuts.

Gear Junkie rates the year’s best mountain bike helmets.

Las Cruces, New Mexico is using special green paint to lower the surface temperature of bike lanes, while making them more visible to drivers.

A carfree Portland Millennial is spreading her “glorious bike propaganda” to her 16,000-plus Tik Tok followers.

Wisconsin’s 32 foot high fiberglass sculpture of an 1890’s man riding a Penny Farthing has been designated as the world’s biggest bicycling statue.

Unbelievable. A 40-year old Florida man faces vehicular homicide and hit-and-run charges for killing a 74-year old man who wasn’t even riding his bike at the time — or anywhere near the roadway; the speeding driver hit a mailbox on the wrong side of road before losing control, driving off the road and hitting the victim, then crashing into a building.

 

International

Streetsblog’s podcast The Brake talks with British environmental psychology expert Dr. Ian Walker about why high gas prices and other disincentives don’t get people out of their cars, and why even incentivizing other modes doesn’t always work.

British bike scribe and bicycling historian Carlton Reid examines how Milan, Italy tamed its streets with bikeways, ping pong and polka dot plazas, a move that proved so popular that the mayor was re-elected with nearly two-thirds of the vote — 20 points more than he received in 2016.

Electrek previews ebikes expected to make their debut at the Eurobike 2022 trade show, starting today in Frankfurt, Germany.

An Emirati website examines why Middle Eastern countries are lagging in the fight to reduce traffic deaths. Just wait until they see the US, which is going the wrong way entirely.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yesterday’s stage ten of the Tour de France came to a sudden and unexpected halt when a group of protesters blocked the roadway. A statement from the group Dernière Rénovation — aka Last Renovation — says they interrupted the stage to “stop the mad race towards the annihilation of our society,” adding they “can no longer remain spectators of the ongoing climate disaster.”

Former Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins, who won the race a decade ago, was criticized for calling the protesters imbeciles.

Yes, there was actually a race after the road was cleared of protesters, with Danish rider Magnus Cort winning in a mountain top finish; Germany’s Lennard Kämna missed taking the yellow jersey by just 11 seconds.

Covid reared its ugly face in the Tour after all, with two riders dismissed after testing positive and another allowed to continue, just 24 hours after the peloton had gotten a premature all clear.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a 20-foot long, two way bike lane, with arrows directing you to crash into a pole. That feeling when you’re still waiting for your bike and luggage to arrive, ten days into a two-week Icelandic bicycling vacation.

And that feeling when you run into your idol while riding your bike, then perform with him at a sold out concert.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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