California tax credit for carless low-income residents, more on Venice Blvd protected bike lanes, and new Fullerton bike park

California wants to pay you not to own a car.

Maybe. And sort of.

SB 457 started out as a proposal to refund $2,500 to adult taxpayers who owned fewer cars than they had eligible drivers, rising to $5,000 for a carless couple.

But it was significantly pared back during negotiations in the state legislature, with the final bill giving just a $1,000 tax credit for single-filers earning up to $40,000, and joint-filers making up to $60,000, who live without personal cars.

By tying it to income, and requiring the entire household to be carfree, the legislature significantly weakened the bill, while dramatically reducing the number of eligible households.

Which was probably the point.

In effect, they changed it from a bill to encourage car owners to go carfree, to subsidizing transit use for people who already are; the $1,000 tax credit would nearly cover a full year of unlimited LA Metro passes.

And in this case, the restrictions hit close to home.

While my wife and I would qualify under the income restrictions, her car would keep us from receiving anything, even though I no longer drive.

Under the original bill, I would have qualified by not owning a car, while she wouldn’t have, netting us $2,500 that we won’t be seeing now.

Still, it’s a step in the right direction.

And maybe one day the state will actually incentivize going carfree, and encourage people to take their cars and trucks off our crowded streets, and adopting more healthful forms of transportation.

Both for the person using it, and our society as a whole.

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Streetsblog offers more details on planned improvements to Venice Blvd on LA’s Westside.

The project will create a continuous 5.1 mile protected bike lane extending east and west from the existing protected bike lanes in Mar Vista, along with a new 2.5 mile bus lane.

Work is projected to begin this November, after public comments and final design work.

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Orange County has received a $1.175 million grant to develop a new bike park at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. Family members may never know what really happed to a fallen bicyclist, after Denver police detectives didn’t bother to investigate or visit the crash site for five weeks after he was killed. Someone should be fired for that one. Although police unions are very good at keeping bad cops on the payroll these days.

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

The Hollywood Reporter questions whether a former writer/producer for Scrubs and Californication is Hollywood’s most prolific sexual predator, at times using his bicycle to stalk young women; Eric Weinberg is free on $3.25 million bail as he awaits trial on 20 charges of sexual assault, including rape. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough.

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Local

Bicycling catches up with Koreatown bike mechanic Jimmy Lizama, one of the founders of LA’s modern bicycling community. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation from 8 am to 10 pm today, cracking down on anyone who commits a violation that could endanger people on foot or two wheels, regardless of who commits it. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, so you’re not the one who gets caught.

The East Side Riders continue their exemplary social service this Saturday, providing a free bike repair, helmet distribution and safety class.

 

State 

An eight-year old boy was hospitalized with serious injuries when he was run down by the driver of a pickup as he was riding his bike in Coto de Caza.

San Onofre surfer, artist and board shaper Tyler Warren is starting a petition to ban ebikes from California state parks, somehow assuming that their riders are responsible for littering, while complaining about the “recreational integrity of surfing” being “hopeless degraded” by ebike-riding “kooks and their endless gear fetishes.” Maybe he needs to wear a helmet when he surfs.

 

National

Adventure Cycling is rolling out a dozen two to five day bike routes, each starting in metro areas and with GPS as your guide, for anyone who doesn’t have the time or inclination to tackle a major cross-country ride.

A writer for Slate says carmakers are rolling out electric pickups and SUVs that are just as deadly as their gas-powered counterparts, but there’s still time to change course — presumably before we all get killed.

Tourism site Lonely Planet recommends Seattle’s ten best bike trails, for your next trip to the Emerald City.

Washington state will now have to incorporate Complete Streets principles, and consider the needs of all road users — including pedestrians, bike riders and public transportation users — in any state roadway projects. Let’s hope that works better for them than a similar requirement here in California has so far. 

A Denver magazine offers a tongue-in-cheek beginner’s guide to joining the local bike community, for all the new ebike buyers taking advantage of the city’s rebate program.

A Denver man tracked his AirTag to locate his stolen ebike, and got it back when he interrupted an apparent negotiation over its sale.

A Wyoming woman celebrates road cycling, “where all the senses come into play.”

Bighearted staffers at a Missouri high school dug into their own pockets to buy a new bicycle for a sophomore boy who only made it three days into the school year before his bike was stolen.

That’s more like it. A Cincinnati TV station tells drivers to keep out of bike lanes, and always yield to people on bicycles because of the danger their vehicles pose to more vulnerable road users. I’ll even give them a pass on not bothering to invest the ten seconds it took to find out if their state has a three-foot passing law. Hint: it does.

New York is considering a ban on ebikes and scooters in city public housing projects, in response to a rash of fires from poorly made ebike batteries; Streetsblog says the city could establish a battery swap program to keep residents from charging batteries at home overnight.

You’ve got to be kidding. A New Jersey man had his 19-year conviction overturned for stealing a bicycle from a special needs man and vandalizing it, then swinging a hammer at the victim, because he was apparently too drunk to understand his Miranda rights.

 

International

Cycling Weekly recommends five simple upgrades to get that new bike feeling from a cheap secondhand bike.

We may have entered the post-bike boom period, as English bike ridership has dropped to its lowest level since the country started tracking it seven years ago, with just 2% making all their trips by bike; meanwhile, readers of The Guardian share how safety concerns have driven them off their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spanish pro Enric Mas says Remco Evenepoel shows no sign of cracking, despite crashing on Thursday’s 12th stage of the Vuelta.

Evenepoel continues to hold a lead of 2 minutes and 41 seconds over 2nd place Primož Roglič, with Mas in 3rd, after Thursday’s 12th stage.

Baltimore is hosting the one-day Maryland Cycling Classic this Sunday, complete with several WorldTour riders and teams.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a mountain bike crash provides creative inspiration for your new commercial project. Or when a one-block bike lane is enough to force a local recall election.

And that feeling when neighborhood NIMBYs somehow feel the need to call for the removal of a temporary bike lane.

Did I mention that it’s just temporary?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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