LA Council considers Healthy Streets tomorrow, carfree living in LA ain’t so pretty, and Venice bike lane extension

As we mentioned yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition at Wednesday’s meeting.

After the proposition qualified for the ballot, it opened a 20 day window for the council to adopt it as written, or place it on the 2024 ballot for a vote by the city.

Aside from the usual opposition that comes with any proposed changes to LA streets, some advocates have come out against the measure because it doesn’t include a focus on equity or schedule for how the plan will be rolled out.

But that’s not the purpose of the proposal. It’s really a very simple measure — all it does is require Los Angeles to build out the city mobility plan, which they’ve already approved, whenever a street included in the plan is resurfaced.

That’s it.

It’s up to the city to determine when streets get resurfaced, and how to bring equity into the process.

So the best option is for the council to adopt the Healthy Streets LA proposition as written, then adopt a separate plan to fairly and equitably roll it out, especially in lower income communities that are too often ignored.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to make it. I’m still having major health problems that keep me close to home, especially at night in the mornings until my meds kick in.

But I’m begging you, if you can clear your schedule Wednesday morning, go make your voice heard to demand that the city keep its word, and give us the safe, livable streets they promised.

And if you can’t, then email your council member today, before the day is over. That’s what I’ll be doing.

Here is what Streets For All said about it in a recent email.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS WEDNESDAY AND WE NEED YOU TO COME IN PERSON!

After a year and a half, it all comes down to THIS WEDNESDAY. The City Council has item #20 on its agenda to consider adopting Healthy Streets LA now, or send it to the 2024 ballot.

The City Council no longer takes remote comments, and we need you to show up in person Wednesday at 10am at LA City Hall (200 N. Spring St. Room 340) and make public comment asking them to take Option #1, and adopt Healthy Streets LA. Here are some talking points you can use. We suggest timing yourself to make sure you can say everything you want to say in 1 minute.

We’re almost there, and we need all hands on deck. See you there!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

RSVP AND TELL US YOU’LL BE THERE

VIEW TALKING POINTS

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It’s not always pleasant to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.

Especially the view isn’t always pretty.

An Indian writer working with the LA Times on a journalism fellowship discovers just how difficult it is to survive in Los Angeles without a car, where the taxis are expensive and transit unreliable, and bike lanes start and stop with no coherent reason.

And you can’t even go through a Del Taco drive through without one, even when the walkup window is closed.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Florida driver killed five people in their late teens and early twenties when he drove the wrong way on a freeway at 4:30 am.

The 30-year old driver, who was the only one who survived the crash, hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since his was revoked after getting caught doing 109 mph.

Yet he continued to drive anyway, racking up traffic violations that include speeding, running red lights and failing to yield at an intersection, despite being described by a former girlfriend as psychotic and obsessive.

Just one more example of authorities allowing a dangerous driver to stay on the roads until he killed someone.

Or five someones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

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Streetsblog says work is underway to extend the parking protected bike lane on Venice Blvd.

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Buena Park has started work on what will be the longest bike lanes in the city when they’re finished.

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I’m not sure I’d call this a rickshaw. It seems more like a side-by-side tandem to me.

Although I did have to read the tweet to figure out that wasn’t Peter Pan sitting next to Peter Fonda.

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A YouTuber converted his old mountain bike to an ebike, in order to tow his solar-powered camper trailer complete with rechargeable battery.

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

A road raging pickup driver disrupted a Portland open streets event by driving onto the route, screaming obscenities at volunteers and participants, and even flashing a gun at one point. Police say they are investigating.

Once again, cops bend over backwards to exonerate one of their own, after a Lincoln, Nebraska cop right hooked a 15-year old kid crossing the street on his bike with the walk signal; the police insist the kid somehow crashed into the side of the police cruiser as the officer was turning. Something smells like bullshit here, which isn’t hard to find in Nebraska.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole” wants bike riders who kill pedestrians to face life imprisonment, even though drivers usually get off with a slap on the wrist, if that. And even though it hardly ever happens, while drivers kill people every day.

Cycling Weekly has more information about the Spanish driver who plowed into a group of eight bicyclists, killing a couple of 67 and 72-year old men and seriously injuring three others; the driver was captured ten hours after fleeing the crash. He’s under investigation for murder, after witnesses say he suddenly changed lanes and sped up before hitting the bike riders.

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for shooting and killing another man in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; he confessed to the killing when police arrested him, but swore he actually stole the bike from someone else.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LA Times takes a deep dive into deadly street takeovers and side shows, which authorities describe as a scene of lawlessness “bordering on a riot;” six people have already been killed in street takeovers this year.

The WeHo Times provides photos from Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, while My News LA offers a brief wrap-up.

The sheriff’s department will conduct a traffic safety operation in Santa Clarita from 2 pm to 8 pm today, focusing on violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. You know the drill. Ride to the letter of the law until you leave the area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

California is still trying to get its shit together regarding the fully funded ebike rebate program that was supposed to be up and running by now; the California Air Resources team will hold a virtual public workshop tomorrow to discuss issues like participant income eligibility, what types of ebikes should be covered by the program, and what kinds of retailers should participate.

San Diego’s popular Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, providing your annual opportunity to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bridge. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

KTLA-5 offers an update on the 14-year old boy who was run down by a 68-year old driver while riding bikes with a friend in the parking lot of the Camarillo Premium Outlets; his mother reports he suffered an extensive brain injury, as well as a collapsed lung, cracked sternum, fractured vertebrae and serious road rash. A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $20,000 of the $50,000 goal.

Thanks again to Robert Leone for catching us up on a couple stories we missed recently:

Richmond is planning to revive its moribund e-bikeshare system a month after Bolt bolted, and left hundreds of abandoned ebikes on the streets.

 

National

Runner’s World recommends the best bike helmets for “comfortable, breezy protection.”

Highway-choked Houston is slowly inching away from its auto-centric reputation with a series of multimodal infrastructure projects. Maybe they could show LA officials how to do it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a “priceless” bike that belonged to a Minnesota man who recently died of a brain tumor; before his death he passed the bike onto his son because he wanted the boy to enjoy riding like he did.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. Pioneering heart researcher Jeffrey Robbins, PhD was killed when a teenage driver attempted to pass him as he was making a left turn on his bike to enter an Ohio bike trail. But it’s okay, because the cops say it was just an “oopsie.”

Unbelievable. Indianapolis has removed concrete bollards along a protected bike lane, and replaced them with flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts, because it was just to hard to maintain the concrete barriers after drivers hit them. So better to let drivers crash into the soft people on bicycles instead, apparently.

Ebikes are getting more Maine residents out of their cars, and could help the state meet its climate goals. Which is a pretty good indication that their climate goals aren’t ambitious enough.

Boston residents are working together to cope with a month-long shutdown of a pair of commuter rail lines, including mapping bike routes and organizing bike buses for beginning riders.

DC installed a new traffic signal to address years of complaints about a dangerous intersection, nine days too late to save the life of a woman riding a bike who was right hooked by a garbage truck driver.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. An 11-year old Florida boy was killed when a pickup driver towing a boat swerved up on the sidewalk to avoid a crash, where the boy was riding his bike.

Sad commentary from a Florida website, which says ghost bikes are becoming all-too-familiar roadside memorials on Miami’s Rickebacker Causeway.

 

International

Yes, cars really are out to get us, one way or another. Vancouver bike riders are demanding a safe route after a bike path was closed when the roof of a parking lot collapsed, blocking the bikeway.

Calgary residents complain about new bike lanes intended to slow speeding drivers, as some worry they won’t be safe because…wait for it…scofflaw drivers will break the law.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for leaving a bike rider with a broken pelvis.

A British bike rider completed the grueling, 2,500-mile Transcontinental race across Europe riding a Brompton foldie.

That’s more like it. France will pay you up to the equivalent of nearly four grand to swap your smelly, polluting car for a clean running ebike, or $400 to buy an ebike without a car trade, and Paris will give up up to $500 to buy an ebike or foldie.

This is who we share the road with. A 20-year old American service member is under house arrest inside the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy after killing a 15-year old boy while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

Cycling Tips considers why Australian roads became proportionately more dangerous during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The real Vuelta starts today, when the peloton returns to Spain with a harrowing uphill finish.

Semi-retired LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon now owns the course record for Maine’s prestigious Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, while notching his fourth win in the event; San Jose’s Courtney Nelson also set a course record while winning the women’s event.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Congratulations, your kid is now some Tesla driver’s crash test dummy.

And this is how you avoid close passes.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. Eric W says:

    Small correction.

    The Mt Washington Road is in New Hampshire, not Maine. Used to work there. And I’m very please to hear that the last 22% section is now paved.

    Keeeeeeep on going up Phil!

  2. Lionel Mares says:

    I am very hopeful that the Los Angeles City Council will vote for and adopt the “HEALTHY STREETS LA” ordinance. I have been working with Michael Schneider and other bicyclist advocates on getting the City Council to support this. I have spoken with council members Mitch O’Farrel and Nithya Raman about supporting Bicycle SAFETY infrastructure and improvements to our streets. We want SAFER streets for everyone!

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