Venice bike lane Zoom meeting tonight, Ventura Blvd bike lane plan fails smell test, and cars “social and environmental curse”

We mentioned it yesterday.

But it’s worth repeating, as Kent Strumpell reminds us about tonight’s virtual meeting to discuss expanding the bus lanes and protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

Super important!  Virtual meeting for Venice Blvd. bikeway/busway expansion.  The Venice Blvd. Safety and Mobility Project, Wednesday 6:30. Zoom registration and link: https://ladot.lacity.org/venicersvp.

The city needs to see strong support to move this project forward.  It could be transformative, creating LA’s first crosstown protected bikeway.

The plan would expand the bike lanes from National Blvd in the east, to Lincoln Blvd in the west, and provide the Westside’s first safe bike commuter route.

You can learn more from Streetsblog’s report.

Meanwhile, a writer for Patch explains the need for the project, which would serve nearly 47,000 people who live within five minutes of the deadly street.

Venice Boulevard is a part of the City of Los Angeles’s High Injury Network due to a disproportionate number of traffic collisions, according to a statement from LADOT. From 2012 to 2022 there have been 1,203 collisions and 25% of them have involved pedestrians or bicyclists, which is higher than average for Los Angeles. In that same time frame, there have been 58 people who were killed or severely injured in collisions on Venice Boulevard, according to the statement.

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Maybe the news about bike lanes on Ventura Blvd isn’t as good as it seemed.

A couple comments from Lionel Mares and Joe Linton paint the changes in a different light, describing them parking improvements to encourage more driving, instead of safer bikeways to get people out of their cars.

Let’s hear from Mares first.

I am glad that Ventura Blvd in the San Fernando Valley is getting a ‘Bike Lane’, but the traffic road design by LADOT is awful! The bike lane should be moved closer to the curb (by the sidewalk), and NOT in-between moving cars and parked vehicles!! The LADOT rendering (design) is awful!!

Even Streets For All can agree to this!

I have advocated for and demanded city officials and to Michael Schneider that we need better representation in the San Fernando Valley! We want better and safer Bike Lanes!! I can’t take it anymore! The silence is complicit! We demand better and safer streets for all people including bicyclists!

Linton explains the situation further.

Reimagine Ventura (in CD3, Blumenfield) is a half-mile project that is about adding more car parking – it does a road diet then allocates former car travel lane space to diagonal car parking. It “includes bike lanes” but only in the sense that it just keeps existing unprotected bike lanes. It came out of a parking study that analyzed protected bike lanes, then recommended against them.

Clearly, this isn’t the kind of “improvement” we need.

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There may be hope yet.

A writer for The Guardian says we’ve reached peak car, and that private motor vehicles — and not just the gas-fueled ones — are thankfully on their way out.

Now if someone will just tell LA’s elected leaders.

The worldwide love affair with the car, which promised consumers convenience, status and freedom, is over. The reality from Hotan to Hull and Lagos to Lahore is that the car is now a social and environmental curse, disconnecting people, eroding public space, fracturing local economies, and generating sprawl and urban decay. With UK temperatures hitting highs of 40C this summer, this reality has become impossible to ignore. Instead of the prospect of speed and cheap mobility, consumers now get soaring costs, climate breakdown and air pollution, the devastation of nature, mounting debt, personal danger and ill health, and the most serious energy crisis in 30 years…

From here on, it looks like death by 1,000 breakdowns for the private car. Just as the coach and horse were pushed out by automobiles 120 years ago, so the car is being steadily evicted from world cities by the authorities or by public revulsion. As thousands of jubilee street parties showed, car-free streets are popular, and the surest and best way to save money, improve health and make cities quieter and more livable. A recent report from the Centre for London shows how low-traffic neighbourhoods, introduced widely during the pandemic to encourage walking and cycling, reduce car use and make roads safer. Wales has slashed the default speed limit on residential roads from 30mph to 20mph.

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Yes, there’s a smarter way to shop with a bike.

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The last time I checked, the willful destruction of private property was a crime.

Regardless of who does it, or why.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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

Vandals took a sledgehammer to bikeshare ebikes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, knocking ten percent of the bikeshare fleet out of commission.

Madison, Wisconsin bicyclists were warned someone is planting booby traps on a busy commuter bike path, after a 52-year old bike rider was clotheslined by an HDMI cable strung across the bikeway at neck height; the cord was replaced two more times after he removed it. This should be charged as attempted murder at the very least, if and when the jerk responsible is caught.

No bias here. A British driver complains about a “militant,” and “self-important” bike rider, because she did the right thing by taking to the center of the lane when she felt unsafe.

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

A 37-year old Visalia, California man was convicted of four counts of premeditated attempted murder for setting a fire at the home of his ex-girlfriend and their two children, as well as her new boyfriend; he rode his BMX bike both to and from the home to set the arson fire. 

Friends mourn the 44-year old Singapore immigrant who was killed in a collision with a hit-and-run bicyclist in New York earlier thus month.

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Local

Los Angeles County supervisors have ordered unspecified “immediate steps” to slow speeding drivers at La Brea and Slauson, nearly a month after a red light-running driver traveling at an estimated 90 mph killed five people, as well as an infant just two weeks from full term. The supervisors also called for changes in California law to allow automated speed cams, which they could have backed before the bills died in committee during the last two legislative sessions.

Smart Cities looks at the opportunity of LA residents to vote on the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal in 2024, after the city council declined to adopt it outright, and placed it on the ballot, instead.

A letter writer in The LA Times suggests connecting the Ballona Creek bikeway to the Los Angeles River bike path to create a network of bicycle superhighways, while another complains that cars don’t just go away when streets are closed. Actually, studies show they do, because traffic on nearby streets usually show only marginal increases when roadways or bridges are closed to cars.

 

State 

Sad news from Santa Rosa, where the 52-year old chef of a Mexican restaurant was killed when he crashed into a car-blocking bollard while on a casual bike ride with ten co-workers on a local bike path. Just one more example of a protective measure intended to keep people on bicycles safe actually putting them in greater danger.

Predictably, bicyclists in San Mateo County are complaining that recent road resurfacings using chip-seal are increasing the risk to bike riders, while making some rural roads virtually unridable.

Streetsblog calls on San Francisco voters to keep JFK Drive carfree, after city officials recently made the temporary pandemic closure permanent.

A 31-year old Fairfield man faces 15 to life after a Solano County jury found him guilty of second degree murder and hit-and-run causing injury or death for the drunken, high-speed crash that killed a 52-year-old man riding a bicycle last fall; Nadhir Muftah Ghuzi has been held without bail since his arrest.

UC Davis police are investigating the recent incidents of racist and anti-semitic banners being hung from a bike overpass on the campus.

 

National

Streetsblog considers how to design better cities for the “unseen” bicyclists.

British bike parking and infrastructure company Cyclehoop is launching in the US.

CNN likes the Rad Runner 2, calling it the e-utility bike for everyone.

A Utah thief was caught on security cam video smashing a vehicle through the front of a bike shop, and making off with 50 grand worth of ebikes.

Nice move from nonprofit group Operation Get Out, which gave a new bicycle to every elementary school kid in Uvalde, Texas; the group gave away 800 bicycles, along with helmets, locks, tubes and hundreds of stuffed animals.

Sad news from Chicago, where an unlicensed driver allegedly ran a stop sign, killing a 55-year old man riding a bicycle on Saturday. And yet people somehow complain about scofflaw bike riders, who usually don’t pose a risk to anyone but themselves.

Following the death of a State Department diplomat while riding her bike near DC last week, Fox News reports that two women who worked for the department were killed in collisions on their bikes in just over a month; both were in their 40s.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine writes about the absurd heights people go to so they can drive their massively oversized trucks, which threaten the lives of everyone else on the road.

You’ve got to be kidding. The BBC has spanked radio host Jeremy Vine for breaching the network’s impartiality rules by voicing his support for London’s Low Traffic Neighborhoods, the equivalent of American Slow Streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel dominated the individual time trial in Tuesday’s stage ten of the Vuelta, gaining another 48 seconds on three-time defending champ Primož Roglič, who looks like he won’t need to worry about defending again next year.

Britain’s Simon Yates was forced to abandon the race after getting infected with Covid-19, the first contender to withdraw due to the virus.

Everything you always wanted to know about the Vuelta a España’s red leader’s jersey but were afraid to ask, including that the maillot rojo was only adopted 12 years ago.

Bummer to take a wrong turn in the Vuelta time trial.

VeloNews reports on the global mourning over fallen Kenyon pro cyclist Suleiman “Sule” Kangangi, who died after a high speed fall during the Vermont Overland gravel race at just 33 years old; Kangangi was called a giant for blazing a trail for African cyclists.

Cycling Weekly looks at the newly formed National Cycling League, questioning whether the competitive crit teams represent the future of cycling, or just another gimmick. We’ll see if they actually begin racing next year, which remains questionable.

A paratriathlete relates how he took his cycling to the next level after losing a leg to cancer in college. For a change, you can read it on AOL if Bicycling blocks you. And yes, AOL is still a thing, evidently. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when your ebike is your favorite photography accessory. But who needs an ebike when you’ve got a jet-powered tricycle?

And that feeling when you tour the world on a tall bike with a rescue dog you just met along the way.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. Lionel Mares says:

    On August 31, at City Hall. I made my general public comment expressing my disappointment with L.A. City Council for not adopting the ‘Healthy Streets LA’ ordinance outright, but rather voted to send it to the 2024 ballot. Either we, we’ll keep fighting for safer streets.

    Thank You, for the updates, Ted! We appreciate the newsletter.

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