Flawed Metro bike map & bikeshare changes, parking reform house party, and odd non-endorsement of Newsom foe

We should be so past this crap by now.

A couple stories popped up this week that expose the sort of needless problems that shouldn’t even exist after decades of advocacy.

Not to mention Metro’s repeated lip service to supporting active transportation.

First up, Streets For All sent out a notice about proposed changes to the Metro Bike bikeshare program. Changes that have virtually everyone scratching their heads, trying to figure out what the hell it all means.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say on the subject.

THIS THURSDAY, Metro’s Operations, Safety, and Customer Experience Committee has an item on its agenda to consider a staff recommendation to mostly privatize Metro Bike Share.

While we’re not against this in principle, the fact is that Metro has treated its own bike share program as the odd man out, and not like a real transportation mode.

Regardless of which model the bike share program ultimately becomes, the next phase must include:

  1. A major expansion, based on equity, starting in our most underinvested neighborhoods
  2. The ability to put bike share stations at Metro train and bus stations (right now, Metro’s employee union blocks this)
  3. Treating bike share like a real transportation mode part of Metro’s bus/rail system, not an afterthought. This means real funding and integration into the rest of the system.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

CALL INTO METRO’S COMMITTEE MEETING THURDAY AT 12:30PM

EMAIL THE COMMITTEE IN ADVANCE

The second issue came up when Metro released the interactive map we linked to yesterday showing the agency’s Draft Prioritized Active Transportation Network, which purports to show bikeways, pedestrian districts and first-last-mile station improvements prioritized by the agency.

The problem is, they can’t even get the existing infrastructure right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton was the first to call out the problem, noting a number of errors in the following Twitter thread.

It raises obvious questions of how we can count on Metro to plan future bikeway and pedestrian improvements when they don’t even know what the hell we already have.

And combined with the Metro Bike changes, makes it clear active transportation continues to be an afterthought at the county transportation agency, and the lack of seriousness with which they consider it.

Let alone address it.

And by extension, the local governments that make up the Metro board, who certainly should know better by now.

Then again, why bother with a million dollar bikeway when they can keep flushing billions down the toilet with more induced demand-inducing highway projects in the midst of a climate emergency?

………

Another notice that popped up in my email yesterday was a reminder from Bike Talk’s Nick Richert about tomorrow’s parking reform house party, with special guest UCLA parking meister and The High Cost of Free Parking author Donald Shoup.

I’m reaching out to invite you to a fundraising house party for an organization that I believe is doing important work on an issue that doesn’t get enough attention … parking reform!

We’ll be gathering at the home of Lindsay Sturman, in Larchmont Village, LA on Thursday, October 20th. Drinks and Socializing at 7:00PM, with a short program at 7:30 PM

Car parking can be enormously  expensive – often costing upwards of $40K per stall to construct – and takes up so much space – an average parking space, including aisles, is 300 square feet. Because of outdated rules that ensure we’ll continue to over-build parking whether we need it or not, these costs are baked into our cities … and we are just beginning to pay the full tab.

The Parking Reform Network is a 501(c)3 non profit organization with a mission to accelerate the adoption of critical parking reforms through research, coalition-building, and direct advocacy.

Over the last two years, PRN has released a widely cited map of US cities that eliminated parking mandates, produced a how-to guide for advocates working to create new  parking benefit districts, worked with Congressman Blumenauer’s office to introduce federal legislation introducing a parking cash-out benefit (HR 8555), and built a membership of nearly 300 practitioners, activists, and academics worldwide.

This fundraiser will support:

  • Grants and organizational support to local reform campaigns
  • Developing presentations and training speakers to educate policymakers and stakeholders about parking reforms.
  • Creating materials to advise government agencies who are in the thick of parking reforms, and need technical and/or communication support to get their plans across the finish line.

Please RSVP via this web page, or email la-party@parkingreform.org, and also let us know if you’re planning to bring a +1.

On behalf of all our party co-hosts: Lindsay Sturman, Tony Gittelson, Terence Heuston, Jennifer Levin, Eduardo Mendoza, Gerhard Mayer, Thomas Small, Abundant Housing LA, Livable Communities Initiative, Hang Out Do Good, Culver City Forward, Bike Talk, Sunset4All, and Culver City Forward

We hope to see you there!

………

Um, okay.

An editorial from the Southern California News Group says nothing will change as long as Gavin Newsom is governor, citing among his many perceived flaws “diverting” funds collected for road maintenance to “perceived climate-friendlier projects such as bike lanes.”

Yet oddly, they don’t endorse the other guy running against him.

Never mind that anyone who doesn’t recognize that bike lanes are better for the climate than highway projects probably shouldn’t be writing editorials in the first place.

………

Enough said.

………

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

A Denver bike rider was intentionally run down by a road raging driver, for the crime of accidentally brushing the maniac’s mirror.

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

An apparent homeless man riding a baby blue beach cruiser was arrested for attacking a Catholic priest in La Jolla with a box cutter and half a pair of scissors when the pastor asked him to leave the Catholic school parking lot.

………

Local

Northridge-Chatsworth Patch reminds us that Cal State Northridge is hosting its first BikeFest this Sunday.

An op-ed in the Loyola Marymount University student newspaper says forget more parking, and build safe infrastructure to encourage more students to bike to campus, instead.

A Long Beach man pled not guilty in the September murder of a man outside a gay bar in the city, and the stabbing of his partner; 56-year old Michael Smalls allegedly rode up on a bicycle as the couple was trying to disarm a man with a Taser, and stabbed them both. He’s being held on $3 million bond.

 

State 

An op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune says closing the successful Diamond Street Slow Street in Pacific Beach would be a mistake, despite the calls from some residents.

San Diego and Caltrans are preparing to flush $39 million down the toilet by widening State Route 56 from four to six lanes, promising it will reduce congestion, even though both science and experience show it will just result in more induced demand. But at least the project includes a new bike bridge and extending an existing bike path.

A kindhearted Mountain View cop bought a new bicycle for a toddler who was struck by a driver, along with his father, outside the local library; fortunately, both father and son escaped with minor injuries.

A Streetsblog op-ed calls for a dedicated political action committee, aka PAC, for safe streets in San Francisco. They’ve got a point. Los Angeles street safety PAC Streets For All has made a huge difference in just a few short years.

 

National

Apparently, it’s not just the flesh and blood drivers you have to worry about.

Consumer Reports recommends their picks for the best foldies. But you’ll have to be a member if you want to see it.

A San Francisco site argues that while the city dithers on street design, Seattle is demonstrating that bikes drive local business. Meanwhile, Seattle is committing just $8.3 million to fund its Vision Zero program, despite the deadliest year for traffic deaths since 2006.

Nice move from my platinum level Bicycle Friendly Community hometown, which is raising funds to provide a free bicycle for every 2nd grade student in the local school system.

Speaking of Colorado, the state has renamed a classic bikeway as the Mestaa’Ėhehe Pass ride, replacing a racial slur for indigenous women.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, after a man on a ebike led a moose away from a Wyoming soccer pitch after it crashed a kids match.

The 67-year old person of interest in the gruesome murder and dismemberment of four Oklahoma friends who disappeared on a bike ride was arrested 1,200 miles away in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida; Joseph Kennedy is being held without bail on an unrelated charge pending extradition.

More on the white Milwaukee man seen on video grabbing a Black man by the neck while accusing the victim’s friends of stealing a bicycle from the white man’s friend; despite initial reports that the victim was a boy, he’s actually a 24-year old man.

In another tragic reminder to always carry ID when you ride, a missing Tennessee man’s family finally learned of his death two weeks after he was killed in a collision while riding his bike.

A compact-framed 1890’s direct-drive safety bicycle sold at auction in New York for $52,800, vastly exceeding initial estimates of $4,000 to $6,000.

A travel site highlights three “amazing” bike rides along the Great Allegheny Passage.

A Georgia teenager will spend the rest of his life behind bars for fatally shooting a 60-year old man at a bus stop, just to steal his bicycle. As we’ve said before, no bike is worth a human life.

 

International

Road.cc review’s Knog’s new bike alarm and tracker, designed to fit beneath your water bottle holder.

Cycling Weekly considers the difference between gravel and road bikes. Maybe I should start my own magazine for people who ride like I do these days; we could call it Cycling Weakly.

So much for that. A campaign by London’s mayor to keep drivers out of bike lanes has resulted in just 12 citations in three months.

A giant hedgehog on a bicycle, built with the help of local children, was crowned the winner of the national Tour of Britain’s land art competition.

Introducing a new French-made ebike apparently designed for people who really want to pretend they’re riding a motorcycle, instead. No word on whether it makes vroom! vroom! noises, or if you have to provide those yourself. 

Globalization in action, as Ukrainian ebike brand Delfast introduces their new U-frame Delfast California model; the bikemaker has managed to remain active despite the Russian invasion.

 

Competitive Cycling

A 78-year old former Santa Monica resident describes setting a record as the oldest person to complete the Kona Ironman competition.

A Welsh triathlete is being remembered as a “warrior princess” after she was killed in a crash while riding her bike last weekend.

 

Finally…

Maybe he should stick to driving spaceships. No one has ever had to draw from the strategic oil reserve to support bicycling.

And seriously, who doesn’t need pumpkin spiced, uh…chain lube?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

One comment

  1. J says:

    “right now, Metro’s employee union blocks this”

    Is something that you put in parentheses AS FOUND AND QUOTED instead of the subject HEADLINE of this today. The role of the Union in reducing productivity to maximize wages is becoming increasingly clear. Despite staff shortages they want to maximize need for staff which I guess would drive wages up. But since we’re not raising wages we should be able to stop wasting employee time or catering to demands so offensive they the demand litigation.

    The METRO e-comment feature is not enabled and I assume would be far better than emailing? ProPERly investigating stolen shared bikes is not happening. Growing this system is all important obviously as it can provide far more value for the cost. The subway tunneling costs far more than shared ebikes could ever cost. I do not defend the cost of expensive plumbing for Transit when it exceeds the cost of a fast safe luxurious e-bike PROGRAM. Privatization can help if it helps the entity compete with future subways and that absurd micro 10 passenger thing. THE KEY IS PUTTING THE BIKES WHERE THEY ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE USED AND FUNDING BASED UPON DEMAND WITHOUT LIMITS.

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