Ebike buyers screwed in new climate bill, bike riders could be screwed in Hollywood, and Woody Allen helps kill NYC bike lane

Before we start, there’s a report that someone was killed in a collision involving a bicyclist in Azusa yesterday.

According to multiple sources, the crash occurred around 10:15 Thursday morning, at mile marker 24.19 on San Gabriel Canyon Road.

The California Highway Patrol confirms that at least one person was killed, but doesn’t identify the victim. And bizarrely doesn’t say whether it was the person on the bike, the driver or someone else.

Although chances are, we can figure that part out ourselves.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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It looks like we got screwed in the new climate and energy bill agree upon this week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and recalcitrant West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

After months of going back and forth on how much of a rebate ebike buyers would receive in last year’s failed Build Back Better bill, the two raised a new proposal out of its ashes.

But left out was any kind of ebike incentives. Or anything else that would get people out of their cars and onto two wheels.

Even though it revives rebates up to $7,500 for electric car buyers.

As People For Bikes points out, a pair of bike bills have already passed in the House.

The House-backed E-BIKE Act (check out PeopleForBikes’ coverage of the act here and ​​here), would offer many Americans a low-cost, emissionless, active transportation choice and show a serious commitment from the federal government to a mode shift towards a low-carbon, multimodal future. Also already approved in the House is the bipartisan Bicycle Commuter Act, which would put money back into commuters’ pockets for choosing to bike to work. Both policies are popular, simple and effective tools our nation could leverage for emissions reductions, but were deprioritized to make more room for cars.

But if they’re not included as part of the reconciliation package along with the Inflation Reduction Act, their chances of passage in divided Senate are something less than zero.

And without significantly reducing the number of cars on the road, electric or otherwise, the chances of staving off climate disaster are pretty much the same.

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Speaking of getting screwed, we may be about to get screwed once again courtesy of CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.

It was just four years ago when O’Farrell cancelled shovel-ready plans for a much-needed road diet and bike lanes on Temple Street, in conjunction with former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Now KNBC-4 reports that long-awaited work on improving Hollywood Blvd along the Hollywood Walk of Fame will begin next year.

But there’s no word on the protected bike lanes we’ve been promised.

According to the TV station, the $7.2 million project will include —

  • conversion of most of the parking lane on Hollywood Boulevard into an expanded pedestrian zone
  • street furnishing including tables and chairs
  • bus shelters, bicycle racks, and transit kiosks
  • planters and landscaping
  • bus boarding platforms
  • consolidated bus stops
  • space for activities like sidewalk vending, temporary art installations, and music and culture performances.

What it won’t include, apparently, are the bike lanes needed to tame traffic and improve safety on the dangerous corridor.

Let’s hope it’s just an oversight.

For his sake, too. Because it would be a bad move to screw LA’s bicycling community once again.

Especially in an election year.

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Blame Woody Allen.

Yes, that Woody Allen.

According to Patch, the former comedian and film auteur was responsible for killing a planned bike lane on New York’s Upper East Side where a bike-riding woman was killed by a truck driver this week.

Allen’s objection was that the bike couldn’t be installed in a “graceful way.”

No, really

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Walk ‘n Rollers is clearing out the cupboards, and holding a garage sale to raise funds and move out excess merch.

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Gravel Bike California wants to take you riding in Big Sur.

And what could possibly be wrong with that?

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Streets For All announced their next virtual happy hour on August 10th, feating Toks Omishakin, secretary of the California State Transportation Agency.

And that’s CalSTA, not Caltrans.

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At last, a bike bell for people who don’t want anything that looks like a bike bell. Or anything else, for that matter.

But at least it sounds pretty.

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

A Portland bike rider suffered significant arm and wrist injuries when he crashed into a barely visible chain someone had strung across a designated bike route.

No bias here. A Minnesota letter writer says maybe the city should focus more on crime than bike lanes, after his catalytic converter was stolen for the second time in three months. Never mind that police have nothing to do with striping streets.

A Mississippi VFW post replaced a Black teenager’s broken bike, after a driver posted video racist attack on a group of Black teens. Although someone should tell Action News 5 not to call a fully grown Black teenager a “boy.”

Unbelievable. Police in the UK blame a bike rider for a road raging driver, saying the rider’s shout of “watch out” contributed to the driver slamming on his brakes and backing towards the bicyclist — and running over a dog in the process. Schmuck.

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

Four recent fires in Spokane, Washington are blamed on a bike-riding arsonist.

An 18-year old British man will be tried on a charge of causing bodily harm through wanton or furious driving after injuring a pedestrian last November.

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Local

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee approved a proposal to provide an additional $706,000 to remove graffiti and provide other maintenance on the new Sixth Street Viaduct; that’s in addition to the nearly $600 million already spent to build it — almost none of which went towards protecting people on bicycles or slowing speeding drivers.

LA plans a new pedestrian bridge and bike path through the Pacoima Wash connecting Pacoima with San Fernando, five years after a teenaged boy was swept to his death when he fell into the Wash during a fierce rainstorm.

 

State 

Goleta is planning to build a new bike path connecting Calle Real to the Atascadero Creek Bikeway, including a new bike and pedestrian bridge over San Jose Creek.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 38-year old woman was killed when she was struck by a driver while riding her bike Monday evening.

A handful of Oakland streets are in line to get protected bike lanes and a new cycle track, while another will be shut down entirely for a pedestrian plaza.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Ruddick explains his bicycling injury last week, warning others about an unmarked, wheel-grabbing grate in Golden Gate Park

 

National

CNET recommends seven great deals on ebikes available on Amazon right now, although chances are, you’ve never heard of any of them. Meanwhile, Schwinn is still hanging in there after 125 years, and making a comeback with the ebike revolution.

CleanTechica says most ebike laws, like California’s, are largely unenforceable because they’re based on how fast the bike can go, rather than how fast someone rides them.

A Wyoming mayor and his wife were run down by a juvenile driver as they rode their bikes at 6 am; the couple were both conscious and coherent immediately following the crash.

No surprise here. San Antonio, Texas police are quick to blame the victim for running a stop sign, after a man on a bicycle crashes into the surprise of a police cruiser.

Chicago remains committed to hardening the city’s protected bike lanes with concrete barriers, though construction delays have held up work.

Chicago Streetsblog says it’s time for drivers to stop killing children, as the city sees its fifth child victim of traffic violence in the last month — three of them on bicycles.

A one-car Minnesota family finally makes the dog happy by buying a bucket-front cargo bike.

Christian music icon Amy Grant is one of us; the singer was hospitalized for a couple nights in Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital after suffering cuts and abrasions falling off her bicycle earlier this week. And yes, if it matters, she was wearing a helmet. Although it’s hard to believe she was kept overnight — let alone two nights — just to be treated for cuts and abrasions, no matter how good her insurance is. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Calls continue for a Jersey City councilwoman to step down after video circulates of her fleeing the scene, without bothering to stop or slow down, after crashing into a bike rider.

Protesters shut down DC’s Pennsylvania Ave to demand safer streets, saying bicyclists are sick of paying with their lives.

A Georgetown website recommends a self-guided bike tour for your next trip to DC.

 

International

The Guardian questions why so many bicycles end up in a watery grave, noting that more bicycles are found during the decennial draining of Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin than anything, other than wine bottles and mobile phones.

A British man is riding 2,400 miles from Italy to the Arctic Circle to raise funds for a mental health charity.

Flanders updates its infrastructure handbook to call for wider bike paths and more space for bicyclists, as bike commuting rates jump and people ride longer distances.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from France, where 25-year old Japanese triathlete and aspiring Olympian Tsudoi Miyazaki was killed in a collision when she was struck by a driver while training on her bike near Orléans; her death comes just days after she competed in Spain’s Pontevedra World Cup. Thanks to Christian for the tip.

The New York Times says there’s a long way to go for women cyclists to achieve parity with the men; not only is the Tour de France Femmes two weeks shorter than the Tour de France, with abbreviated stages, but the women will divide a little more than a tenth of the prize money enjoyed by the men.

Dutch pro Lorena Wiebes outsprinted world champion Elisa Balsamo and general classification leader Marianne Vos for the win on Thursday, while Rouleur questions whether the women really need emulate the Tour’s long, boring stages with a hectic sprint finish.

Nearly half the peloton hit the pavement in what Cycling Weekly termed an unnecessary crash on a long, straight and wide road.

Italy’s Barbara Malcotti was DQ’d for receiving mechanical assistance from her team car, apparently because she stopped at the front of her bunch, rather than dropping back to the rear.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new ebike has enough battery power to climb Mt. Everest, although probably not the traction. Congratulations to Los Angeles on making the list of top cities for naked bike riding.

And that feeling when you don’t crash until the easy part.

@mcwigglehips

#kidfails #funnykids #funnykidsvideos #waituntiltheend

♬ original sound – Adam Elliott

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. Ralph Durham says:

    The real solution to the e-bike classification mess is to do what Europe did. There is one standard. The powerful ones require a motorcycle helmet and a license.

    The current tiered system is a recipe for failure and overly confusing.

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