The cost of Hollywood traffic violence, protected bike lanes lower CO2 emissions, and Pasadena presents bike action plan

It’s a strange feeling when someone famous gets killed in your own neighborhood.

News broke late yesterday morning that diminutive comic actor and gay icon Leslie Jordan was killed in a single car crash into a building, just walking distance from my Hollywood home.

Okay, a long walk.

The 67-year old Will & Grace and American Horror Story star was reportedly on his way to film scenes for Call Me Kat on the Warner Brothers lot when he lost control of his BMW, and slammed into a building at Cahuenga and Romaine around 9:30 am Monday.

There is speculation that he may have suffered a medical emergency behind the wheel, although it’s also possible that he may have swerved into the building attempting to avoid someone or something in the roadway.

Either way, we’ve lost yet another shining light to the high cost of traffic violence.

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We already know protected bike lanes improve safety for all road users.

Now a new study of middle-income cities around the world offers the “first empirical evidence directly linking bicycle infrastructure to cutting carbon in middle-income cities.”

The report, from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, shows protected bike lane networks “reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower transport costs, and prevent premature fatalities in a highly cost-effective way.”

One highlight of the report is the conclusion that Bogota’s 368-mile protected bike lane network eliminates roughly 22,000 metric tons of CO2 every year, equivalent to the carbon capture potential of planting 300,000 to 400,000 new trees.

The ITDP will host a free webinar tomorrow morning to discuss the results.

Unfortunately, though, it’s at 6 am here in Los Angeles.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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The update to Pasadena’s 2015 Bicycle Transportation Action Plan is scheduled to go before the city council’s Municipal Services Committee today.

However, it’s just a presentation at this point, with no action expected by the committee during the virtual meeting.

According to Pasadena Now,

As outlined in 2015, the Bicycle Transportation Action Plan includes the designation of nine dedicated bicycle facilities along with several Roseways, which is a network of low-speed, low-traffic neighborhood streets that are ideal for comfortable bicycling.

The plan includes a pair of projects that are currently underway, the Union Street Cycletrack from Hill Ave to Arroyo Parkway, slated for completion in late spring, and the Cordova Street Enhancements, expected to begin construction  winter of 2023.

Proposed dedicated bicycle facilities and Roseways are:

  • Roadway reconfiguration and Class II bike lanes on Cordova Street from Arroyo Parkway to Hill Street
  • Roadway reconfiguration and Class II buffered bike lanes on Colorado Blvd East from Holliston Ave to the east city limit
  • Roadway reconfiguration and Class II bike lanes on Orange Grove Blvd
  • A two-way cycle track on Union Street from Arroyo Parkway to Hill Street
  • Bike boulevards with traffic calming enhancements on:
    • Wilson Ave Greenway
    • El Molino Ave Greenway
    • Craig Ave Greenway
    • Sierra Bonita Ave Greenway
    • Villa Street Greenway
  • Roseways are planned for:
    • Howard Street
    • Mountain Street
    • Villa Street
    • San Pasqual Street
    • Bellefontaine Street
    • Fillmore Street
    • Arden Road
    • Lombardy Road
    • Arroyo Blvd
    • Raymond Ave

However, just like in Los Angeles, where we quickly learned the unanimously approved bike plan was merely “aspirational,” inclusion in the plan doesn’t mean any planning or design has been done, or that anything will actually get built.

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Culver City continues to show Los Angeles how its done by eliminating parking minimums everywhere in the city.

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In not so breaking news, disgraced Los Angeles Councilmember Kevin de León is still insisting he won’t step down, despite rising opposition.

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Love this one.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1584600455081910272

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

The owner of a Berkeley organic deli says the city has declared war on “cars, street parking and small businesses” by planning for a two-way barrier and parking protected bike lane on the street in front of the business, apparently unaware that such projects usually result in higher retail sales. Or maybe they just prefer parking spaces to money.

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

Denver is reminding ebike riders that they can get a ticket for exceeding the 15 mph speed limit in city parks. Although it’s not that hard to do on a regular bike, either. 

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Local

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cal State Northridge held its inaugural BikeFest on Sunday, bookended by a pair of bike rides; no word on turnout for the free event.

Santa Monica students biked, walked and bused to school last week, as part of a district-wide Bike it! Walk it! Bus it! day.

 

State 

Construction starts this month on the new Santa Ana Gardens Channel Bikeway Extension Project. Which was apparently named after local officials learned there was no additional charge for extra words.

Sounds like fun. San Diego’s Rouleur Brewing North Park taproom is hosting its 2nd Annual Halloween Costume Bike Ride this Thursday. And no, your usual riding kit isn’t a costume.

The San Diego company behind the crowdfunded Babymaker ebike is back with a new carbon framed, ped-assist mountain bike.

A San Francisco park ranger ran a group of bike mechanics out of Golden Gate Park because they didn’t have a permit to offer free bike repairas a fundraiser for abortion rights, though he didn’t seem concerned about other groups in the park; the leader of the group was ticketed for refusing to show his ID, though it’s questionable whether park rangers actually have the authority to do that.

 

National

A new kind of non-flammable, graphene-based lithium-ion batteries promises to eliminate the risk of ebike battery fires.

VeloNews suggests a handful of tools to make working on your bike easier, while Men’s Health recommends the best early Black Friday bike sales.

Next City examines the rise of bicycle libraries in the US, reducing the barriers to begin bicycling or explore other types of riding.

A Portland volunteer group calling themselves the Sith Lord Vader Squadron Timberwolves are taking the search and recovery of stolen bikes into their own hands. The story says there’s a Los Angeles chapter; I’d like to hear from them if anyone wants to reach out to me.

A Tucson, Arizona group is giving out free first bikes to a racially diverse group of 500 underserved kids.

An Oklahoma man credits a worker at the local Carls Jr. with saving his life after the bikeshare bike he was riding apparently hit a curb a few blocks away.

Manhattan’s Borough president suggests parking online delivery trucks in garages or on piers, and making last-mile deliveries by e-cargo bikes.

An Alabama assistant DA is recovering after suffering life-threatening injuries when he was run down by a semi driver while participating in a fundraising ride — even though the intersection where he was hit was crawling with cops directing traffic.

Life is cheap in Florida, where loved ones of a Missouri doctor and National Guard captain decry the lack of justice, after the speeding driver who killed him as he took part in a bike race walks with a lousy traffic ticket.

An estimated 6,500 costumed people turned out for Key West’s annual zombie bike ride over the weekend.

 

International

A Toronto bike shop lost three bikes worth over $28,000 in a weekend burglary caught on security cam.

Two people were detained after the discovery of a possible bicycle bomb at a Toronto airport; the good news is the police detonated the suspected explosive device, but were apparently able to save the bike.

A second bike rider has been killed after a bollards were removed from a protected bike lane in Bolton, England for an Ironman race last year, and never replaced. No word on whether the driver was charged, but the officials responsible should be.

Apparently unable to learn from the above example, another British city recently ripped out a “substandard” bike lane, rather than fix it, enabling drivers to start parking on the sidewalk.

A kindhearted English man asked the court not to punish a homeless man for stealing his bicycle.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a killer hit-and-run driver walked without a day behind bars for leaving an innocent bike rider to die on the side of the road — on Christmas Day, no less — after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by saying he just didn’t see the victim.

Three months after bike-riding Boris Johnson was forced out of office, new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak inside without going anywhere, so he can eat more cookies.

Stokholm, Sweden is pioneering a low-cost ebike-based bikeshare service that charges the equivalent of just 98¢ a day — and doing it without public subsidies.

A United Methodist church in Florida donated 50 new bikes and bibles to help local ministers spread the word in Congo’s Tunda District.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain was the top winner in last week’s world paracycling track championship.

It was a cyclist’s worst nightmare, as a Canadian track cyclist got back from the recent world championships in Paris to discover that the airline had completely trashed her bike on the flight home.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to run across the finish line because your tire keeps falling off. A bikeshare app promises to help you fall in love with more than bikes.

And a ten-year old cargo bike passenger’s take on the new Taylor Swift album.

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May your celebrations be filled with peace and light.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. Andy Stow says:

    Oops, I averaged 16.5 MPH on one ride on the Cherry Creek Trail when I visited Denver recently, on one of the Lime ebikes. Lots of time at just over 20 MPH. I don’t know what speed those things assist up to, but I was definitely above it.

  2. Andy Stow says:

    Oh, and on the south Platte River Trail I did a slow ride (sub 10 MPH) with my wife on normal bikes, but there were a lot of people out on TT or Tri bikes going 20-ish. It wasn’t a big deal, everyone behaved.

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