Taking Metro to task for wasting funds on highways, LA tanks on best bike cities list, and big Griffith Park announcement Friday

Let’s start with a new op-ed taking Metro to task for continuing to flush tens of billions of dollars down the highway toilet.

Writing in the LA Times, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argues that the county transportation agency’s highway construction plans more than negate any climate change improvements from new transit lines, while only serving to make traffic worse.

Hello, induced demand.

Climate change impact is measured in two ways: vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. For the billions that we will spend on new bus and rail service, as well as active transportation improvements, Metro estimates in a study it just published that by 2047 we will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 9.7 billion, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 million metric tons of CO2. These massive reductions would result in much cleaner air for us all, and go a long way toward meeting our climate goals.

However, just as Metro is spending tens of billions building rail and bus projects, it also plans to spend billions adding 363 miles of new highways and arterials. According to Metro’s own calculations based on state standards, this will increase vehicle miles traveled by up to 36.8 billion, and emit an additional 10.1 million metric tons of CO2.

Yes, you read that right — we are spending tens of billions of dollars to make climate change and traffic worse. The expansion of highways will do far more harm than the expansion of mass transit will avert.

Never mind that the money being wasted on highway expansion could be put to better use building bus and bike networks, as well as speeding the completion of the upcoming K Line (Crenshaw Line) to connect with the B Line (aka Red Line) at Hollywood & Highland.

That would create Metro’s first viable connector line, with connections to the B Line, D Line (Purple), E Line (Expo), and the C Line (Green), as well as connecting to LAX.

As Schneider says, it’s long past time Metro stopped sabotaging their climate-friendly projects, and instead spend the money we give them on projects that will reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions.

Wasting more money on highway projects is exactly what we don’t need now.

Or ever, for that matter.

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Surprising results, as a new survey ranks Utrecht in the Netherlands the world’s best bicycling city.

That’s followed by Munster, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium, before we get to the usual suspects in Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, Johannesburg, South Africa checks in as the worst city to ride a bike.

Not surprisingly, no American city made the top ten. You have to go all the way down to #39 to find San Francisco, followed by Portland at #41.

Los Angeles checks in at a deservedly low #57 out of 100 cities worldwide.

The only real question is why we ranked that high.

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The plot thickens, as both CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman and Finish the Ride, tease a big announcement on the future of Griffith Park this Friday.

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Nice. USA Cycling is looking to fast track entree to track cycling for kids from marginalized communities that have traditionally been ignored by cycling.

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The Bike League is recruiting more LCIs.

https://twitter.com/BikeLeague/status/1559276241106006017

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

An Oregon driver is charged with 2nd degree murder for intentionally backing his truck into a man on a bicycle following an argument between the two men, pinning the other man against a wall.

A London, Ontario bike rider is speaking out about the apparently intentional hit-and-run that left him with a broken collarbone, and injured another rider.

A London cabbie celebrates the removal of a bike lane by buzzing the unfortunate bike rider who happened to be there.

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

An equestrian in the UK blames a bike racing club for panicking her horse, which nearly spun her in front of an oncoming car. We’re only getting one side of the story here, but seriously, show some respect and courtesy to others on the road.

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Local

The LA Times offers tips on riding an ebike, saying they offer a different ride than regular bikes.

West Hollywood looks forward to Sunday’s CicLAvia—Meet the Hollywoods, which travels down Hollywood Blvd, Highland Ave and Santa Monica Blvd, and invites attendees to stick around afterwards for a free concert with M&M The Afro-Persian Experience at Plummer Park.

Compton is embedding Botts’ Dots in an intersection in an effort to halt street takeovers.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Long Beach is planning safety improvements at an intersection where a seven-year old boy was killed by a left-turning truck driver while crossing in a crosswalk with his dad, even though the intersection was considered up to code at the time of last month’s crash.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets University open streets event is set to return to the area around Cal State Long Beach next month, after a two-year hiatus.

 

State 

Governor Newsom has signed a new law charging the CHP with developing statewide safety standards for ebikes. Although they couldn’t have found a less bike-friendly organization, or one with more limited training on existing bike laws.

The family of fallen bicyclist Christine Hawk Embree is calling for safer streets after the 35-year old woman was killed in a Carlsbad collision while riding her ebike with her 16-month old daughter, who somehow survived unscathed.

Former Santa Monica city manager and Los Angeles deputy mayor Rick Cole says the death of respected Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez is a wake-up call for street safety; Ramirez was killed crossing an Oxnard street last week.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is hosting their 12th Annual Bike Summit in Millbrae tomorrow.

San Francisco has put plans for congestion pricing on hold until traffic returns to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, LA’s proposed congestion pricing plan is apparently being studied to death.

 

National

Road Bike Rider offers advice on how to survive the dreaded speed wobbles.

People For Bikes argues that bicycles and ebikes weren’t completely ignored in the recently signed Inflation Reduction Act, though you have to look pretty damn hard to find them.

Boston commuters are expected to take to their bikes to cope with a month-long train line shutdown.

Fire up your crocodile tears for all those New Yorkers who can’t find anywhere to park their cars, in the one American city where you’re least likely to need one.

A Virginia woman says now she needs to live for her friend after they were both run down by an 18-year old alleged drunk driver; only she survived, though she has a very long road to recovery.

 

International

Canadians are up in arms over a policy allowing ebikes in the country’s Banff National Park.

Road.cc remembers “slightly crazed” English bike designer Mike Burrows, saying we’ll “never see his like again;” Burrows died Monday at age 79.

That’s more like it. A 29-year old Scottish driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars, along with a 12 and a half year ban on driving, for killing a 16-year old boy riding his bike home from school, while he was driving at a whopping 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.

No bias here. Britain’s Transportation Secretary promises to get tough on bike riders, saying bicyclists should be insured, have license plates on their bikes, and be subject to the same speed limits as motorists.

The executive director of a UK bike advocacy organization says it’s a mistake to pitch ebikes as “enhanced bicycles,” arguing they should be considered the most energy efficient of all electric vehicles, instead.

A Toronto paper says Munich’s bicycling culture offers ideas on how to safely integrate bikes and cars, arguing that the city should prioritize safe infrastructure instead of cracking down on bike riders with ineffective policing.

She gets it. An op-ed writer for a Malta newspaper says a mandatory helmet law won’t make bicycling any safer; what’s needed is better infrastructure, safer vehicles and education.

A traffic safety organization in the Netherlands teamed with a bike advocacy group to call for a ban on ebike performance kits, which can double the allowed speed controls; a spokesperson says “If you install one on the electric bike, you are simply a racing monster.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome says he’s fully recovered from Covid, and ready to roll in Friday’s Vuelta a España, where he’ll co-lead the Israel-Premier Tech team with Michael Woods.

A new women and majority-minority owned cycling league is set to take off, with teams in Miami, Atlanta, Denver and Chicago.

 

Finally…

No, you can’t legally jam drivers’ cellphones, tempting though it may be. You — yes, you — can build your very own DIY ebike.

And Dustin Hoffman was one of us. On a foldie, no less.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. Lionel Mares says:

    I applaud the efforts of my dear friend Michael Schneider who has been working hard to make the streets of Los Angeles safer for everyone. I have volunteered my time to help the cause. I am proactive in my community and helping in what I can to make our streets SAFER for Bicyclists and Pedestrians alike.

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