New CA law threatens to kill bikeshare, new protected bike lane in South LA, and little protection on 6th Street Bridge

Somehow, we missed this story.

Lost in the recent flurry of bill signings by California Governor Gavin Newsom was AB 371, known by advocates as the Kill Bikeshare Bill.

The new law imposes a draconian requirement on providers of shared micromobility devices — like bikes, ebikes and e-scooters — to provide liability insurance covering the behavior of their users.

The requirement could force existing providers like Bird and Lyft to shut down their operations in the state. Or at the very least, raise their rates to unaffordable levels to cover the added insurance costs.

Exactly the opposite of what’s needed right now to shift people to cleaner forms of transportation in order to confront the rising climate emergency.

Let alone get people out of their cars to reduce crushing traffic congestion.

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Nice to see LADOT continuing to build new bike lanes in South LA.

Although as this photo shows, parking protected bike lanes aren’t very protected when no one is parking there.

Because those plastic posts aren’t going to stop anyone.

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A reminder that Los Angeles officials didn’t think it was worth protecting bike riders on the new 6th Street Bridge, choosing to protect pedestrians with a concrete barrier while leaving bike riders at risk.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide whether you could have survived this crash riding in the bike lane.

Because those plastic bollards and low rubber curbs clearly didn’t prevent it.

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Clear your schedule for December 3rd, when Walk ‘n Rollers will host a fundraising Donut Ride to mark my sister’s birthday.

What do you mean that’s not why they’re doing it?

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

No bias here. Ottawa, Canada’s new mayor rode to victory by opposing plans for bike lanes in the downtown area, successfully painting the popular incumbent as out of touch with the larger community because of them.

Three “thrill-seeking” children face charges for intentionally dooring a woman using a stolen car, one of at least three similar incidents targeting bike riders this week; the attacks called attention to the need for more protected bike lanes.

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

A 28-year old man was convicted of manslaughter for riding off on his bicycle after stabbing another man to death outside the Boston Medical Center following a dispute.

A 34-year old woman was critically injured when she was hit from behind by a man on a bicycle in New York’s Central Park. However, despite what the comments say, the bike rider isn’t necessarily at fault, though we all have an obligation to ride safely around pedestrians.

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Local

The LA Times invites you to mark Día de Muertos by making a digital ofrenda to remember loved ones — or bicyclists — who have passed away.

Pasadena Now complains that the bikeways included in the city’s 2015 Bicycle Transportation Action Plan still haven’t been built. Kind of like a nearby megalopolis we could name.

Metro funding has been approved for a 5.3 mile on-street bikeway through Rosemead, unincorporated South San Gabriel, Montebello and Monterey Park, although at least some of it will be just a class 3 bike route. In other words, sharrows. 

LA Taco recommends 13 haunted hikes to cheap you out in Los Angeles and Orange counties, many of which you should be able to do on a bike.

 

State 

The green bike lane markings on Santa Barbara’s State Street Promenade have been consigned to the dustbin of history; the city now hopes bike riders and pedestrians can somehow share the street, after walkers refused to stay out of the bikeway.

The sheriff’s department in San Luis Obispo County is asking for donations of new bicycles, new helmets, or money for replacement parts for their annual bike giveaway for kids in need.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick says it’s important to remember how far the city has come in terms of bike access and street safety, as residents prepare to vote on whether to keep JFK Drive closed to motor vehicles.

The Sonoma County coroner has confirmed the cause of death for a popular chef who died from hitting a bollard in the middle of a bike path while riding with friends.

Sad news from Humboldt County, where a 51-year old man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision with a pickup driver.

 

National

The New York Times Wirecutter recommends some surprisingly affordable gear for bike commuting. Although something tells me REI sells that Chrome rolltop backpack for just a tad more than $5. Or would if it was still available, anyway.

Bicycling profiles former pro cyclist turned professional chef Jess Cerra, whose homegrown gravel ride raises money to fund scholarships to provide post-secondary education for young women in her native Whitefish, Montana. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

New York bicyclists can now legally ride across the Cross Bay and Henry Hudson bridges, in response to a new law requiring bicycle access on all of the city’s seven bridges.

The New York Times examines California’s new Freedom to Walk act decriminalizing jaywalking, which follows the lead of similar laws in Nevada, Virginia and Kansas City.

Great idea. A New Orleans organization is hosting a “Bike N Vote” initiative, providing free bikes to help get young people of color to the polls for early voting.

 

International

Riding your bike could help protect you from the coronavirus this winter. But get your shot anyway, since a study shows regular exercise helps improve the vaccine’s effectiveness.

With shorter days and the upcoming time change, effective lighting becomes even more important. Road.cc recommends eight bike lights to fit the four most common rider requirements.

An Irish writer sings the praise of cargo bikes, but argues that we need to end the love affair between men and their cars if they’re going to catch on. I broke up with my car a couple years back after a nearly 20 year relationship. But like most relationships, it went on long after the love was gone.

Irish authorities still haven’t explained why a hit-and-run driver was behind the wheel when he killed a 23-year old bike rider 11 years ago; the man was was supposed to be behind bars serving three concurrent prison sentences, yet was never taken into custody.

Sadly, shootings, fatal and otherwise, occur on American bike paths so often I don’t even link to them in most cases; in Sweden, not so much, where a 16-year old boy died after he was shot on a bike path in the town of Sandviken. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Finnish F1 star Valtteri Bottas is one of us, racing on a gravel bike when he’s not in the cockpit of a high-powered race car.

Australian Geographic lists the top three bike rides in each of the country’s states and territories for your next trip Down Under.

 

Competitive Cycling

Current Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard says nothing is set in stone yet, but he’s looking forward to defending his title in 2023.

Cycling Weekly examines whether you’re better off competing on a team or on your own in gravel racing.

Like our own L39ion of Los Angeles, a Miami cycling team is out to cultivate a new generation of cyclists while calling attention to issues plaguing Black and brown communities, even though team members are more interested in getting podiums.

Sad news from the UK, where the first British cyclist to win a stage in the Tour de France has died; 91-year old Brian Robinson won stages in ’58 and ’59.

 

Finally…

When you’re a parolee carrying meth on your bike — and probably selling it — follow the damn traffic laws, already. Seriously, don’t do donuts in a graveyard on your ebike.

And that feeling when you’re accused of cheating in chess, and maybe weren’t the cycling prodigy you claim, either.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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