No Steve, it’s not a bike lane to nowhere; drivers yell at LA bike rider; and big Transportation Comm meeting tomorrow

No bias here.

The LA Times’ Steve Lopez writes about a $2 million bike lane to nowhere that the Los Angeles LGBT Center was forced to build by the city’s dysfunctional rules.

Except the short curb cut isn’t a bike lane, and probably never will be.

A short half-block long, it took about 18 months to complete and cost roughly $2 million, and yet it is not marked as a bike lane and does not connect to one.

“It’s a bike lane to nowhere,” said Stephen Burn, general manager of building services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which was required to complete and pay for the project as a condition of approval.

Burn apologized for calling it a stupid waste of time and money that delayed the opening of badly needed supportive housing and social services, but no apology was necessary. He said he honestly wanted to pull his hair out at times when dealing with various government agencies, and after he shared the details, I wanted to pull my hair out.

And needless to say, the story is already being used by bike lane opponents.

But longtime advocate Alissa Walker clarifies that, regardless of what Burn was told, the added space was created for cars as the result of a longstanding city policy.

So yes, as Lopez points out, it’s a perfect example of LA’s dysfunctional government in action. But seriously, it’s not our fault this time.

If only Lopez had looked at the lack of safe bike lanes leading up to the new 6th Street Bridge, instead.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

A Redditor complains about the dangers of riding on LA streets. And the anger they experience every time they ride.

I’ve been biking more to get out of the house, exercise, and just enjoy the city. But literally each time I’ve gone into the street a driver has yelled at me!

I try to avoid riding in the streets, but the bike lanes are few and far in between and aren’t that much better. You often have trash cans in the bike lanes, people leaving their car doors open, random debris, and when you don’t have to deal with that you still have cars speeding past you with the closest thing protecting you being a thin line of paint that couldn’t even stop an ant from crossing it! I don’t even have to get into how bumpy and packed the sidewalks can be.

So when I do get in the streets it’s because that is unfortunately the best route. Yet no matter how much I ride on the shoulder, check behind, in front, on the sides, above me, etc… I always have a driver either honking or yelling at me for going too slow.

I’m worried that someone might get really angry with me one day and try and run me off the road…

I’m just frustrated and wish biking in this city was safer. We have the perfect weather to bike in. Why isn’t L.A a bikeable city?

Why, indeed?

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for the heads-up.

………

Streets For All is asking you to support for several proposals at Tuesday’s meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee.

  • Sunset4All’s efforts to build a 2-way protected bike lane on Sunset Blvd;
  • A protected bike lane on Riverside Drive and Stadium Way;
  • Encouraging the newly-legal installation of cameras on Metro buses;
  • Expanding LADOT’s budget and staffing for the Slow Streets program.

Sunset4All explains how to participate in the meeting.

The Sunset4All item is back on the transportation agenda for this Tuesday (11/1) at 3 PM. If you haven’t voiced your support please write in and or attend the virtual meeting.

Item #3 (22-1072) – Sunset4All To call dial 669-254-5252, meeting code 161 750 5079, #, #, and then hit *9 to raise your hand. Here are Talking PointsIf you’re not able to call in, then use the links below to make public comment on the council file in advance at the buttons below.

Make Public Comment on the Council File

Send an Email to CD 13 to Support the Motion

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

………

When you cast your vote in CD5, maybe consider who actually cares enough to show up.

………

Horrible news from Ohio, where a popular local bicyclist lost a leg when she was mauled by dogs.

A reminder that you could end up with more than just a simple bite on the leg from that dog that chases you whenever you ride by.

………

A new amphibious ebike claims to be the future. Although I’m not sure how much latent demand there is for a combination ebike, boat and built-in camper.

………

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

Someone sabotaged a Seattle bike path by spreading screws across it. Although someone else came up with a brilliant way to clean up the mess.

A writer for Daily Kos complains “dumbasses working in public health and espousing concern for future generations fired me over bringing a bicycle into their national meeting” at a Tacoma, Washington convention center.

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

A rideout of up to a couple hundred teens on bikes took over the streets of Boston, before allegedly stealing $350 of merchandise from a 7-11.

Toronto police are looking for a bike-riding suspect who followed a young woman and sexually assaulted her twice after she got off a bus.

If you’re going to rudely shove a wheelie-popping bike rider out of your way, try not to follow the move with a faceplant.

………

Local

Save this one for future reference. Streets For All founder Michael Schneider lists the common complaints we’ve all heard from people opposed to bike lanes, and details effective arguments to overcome them.

Patch reports a bike rider was rushed to a trauma center after they were struck by the driver of an RV at PCH and Coastline Drive in Malibu Sunday afternoon.

This is who we share the courtrooms with. A woman received a more than $4 million judgement after she was struck by a driver while walking in a Santa Monica crosswalk four years ago, suffering permanent injuries; the defense shamefully argued she threw herself in front of the car in a suicide attempt — which might have been more credible if the driver was doing more than 25 mph. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

 

State 

Carlsbad is focusing on schools and collision hotspots to improve safety for standard bicycle and ebike riders after declaring a local emergency.

This is who we share the road with. A 68-year old woman is fighting for her life after she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while pushing her three-year old grandson in a San Jose crosswalk; the boy is recovering from his injuries. Thanks again to Victor Bale.

Sentencing was postponed for a Fairfield man who was convicted of second-degree murder and hit-and-run in the death of a 52-year-old man riding a bicycle last October; he faces 15 to life on the murder count, and two to four years for fleeing the scene.

Sonoma County is investing half a million in climate resilience funds in building new bikes.

Sad news from Sacramento County, where a woman riding a bike was killed in a collision in North Highlands early Sunday afternoon.

 

National

NBC News reports on the spreading use of speed cams, and the rise of road raging drivers who don’t like getting caught breaking the law.

A diabetic journalist says he lost 40 pounds and brought his blood sugar down to a sub-diabetic level within eight months after taking up bicycling — and has kept it off and under control for the four years since. If only it was that easy for all of us.

A Portland woman says stop telling her to be safe when she rides a bike, and learn how to drive safely around bike riders, instead.

A 68-year old Utah woman could face multiple charges after she ignored a flagger and crashed into two people competing in the cycling portion of the St. George Ironman triathlon, resulting in serious injuries to both; she failed a roadside drug test, and admitted using marijuana before the crash.

The new advisory bike lanes are now open in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown.

Sounds familiar. Oklahoma bike and walking advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to improve safety. Sort of like a certain megalopolis we could name.

A nine-year old Michigan boy is raising the alarm and warning his neighbors after his dream bike was stolen.

That’s more like it. A 65-year old Ohio man was sentenced to a mandatory 14 years behind bars, with the possibility of another four years, for the hit-and-run death of a 13-year old boy; he claimed the damage to his truck was from hitting a mailbox, and that he only ran over the boy’s bike after someone else knocked the kid off it.

NPR looks at the rising rate of ebike battery fires in New York, blaming the problem on the use of refurbished batteries and mismatched chargers.

Philly bike riders turned out for a Día de los Muertos, while calling for safer streets.

HuffPost says Pennsylvania Republicans are taking a bill to permit safer bike lanes hostage in an effort to strip Philadelphia’s progressive DA of his powers.

A Birmingham, Alabama man faces multiple charges for a one-man crime spree that included a fatal shooting, carjacking and a hit-and-run that killed someone on a bicycle — all in just one hour.

 

International

The bike boom isn’t over, even if it’s lost a little steam, as Shimano says demand is still above pre-pandemic levels despite signs things are cooling down.

Vancouver bike riders are calling on the city to reverse plans to remove a bike lane from a park and return the roadway to pass-through commuters, although a planned protest ride was called off due to an atmospheric river.

A London man was somehow able to get his bike back after it was stolen by three muggers in a London park, despite suffering head and face injuries in the attack.

A British cop who co-founded a program to place undercover cops on bikes to catch careless drivers who pass people on bikes too closely now rides to relieve arthritis pain that threatened his career.

A UK safety expect calls it “a bit daft” for bicyclists to ride in the middle of the traffic lane, despite recently changes to the country’s Highway Code allowing them to do just that, when there’s a perfectly good bike lane they could be using. Of course, the problem is that the “perfectly good” bike lane usually isn’t.

Paris may be making great strides in becoming a biking city, but someone should tell the local cops, who are stopping bike riders and insisting they should wear reflective clothing in anticipation of the fall time change.

Writing for Travel + Leisure, a woman suggests that biking through Sicily is the best way to discover small towns, delicious food and local culture.

The rise of bicycle taxis in eastern Zambia is creating business opportunities for young people, while allowing passengers to ride for a fraction of the cost of a regular taxi.

There’s a special place in hell for a Philippine man who faces a charge of “frustrated homicide,” after repeatedly stabbing a neighbor using a knife disguised as a ballpoint pen in a dispute that began with a bicycle blocking his path.

Melbourne, Australia bike riders were left feeling deflated when the local government passed a one-year pause on building bike lanes; The Guardian asks if it’s a bikelash, or just plain old NIMBYism.

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard won his second Tour de France of the year, outsprinting his competitors to win the Tour de France Singapore Criterium on Sunday, after winning the three-week Grand Tour earlier this year.

French magazine Vélo lists the finalists for the prestigious 2022 Vélo d’Or award, including, for the first time, a separate category for women cyclists. And no Americans made the short list, of course.

Former Paris-Roubaix champ Sonny Colbrelli is reluctantly calling it a career after he collapsed with a heart attack moments after finishing the opening stage of March’s Volta a Catalunya.

Cycling Tips looks back on the legacy of Brian Robinson, whose Tour de France stage wins set the stage for decades of British cycling success.

Dan Martin, the only Irish cyclist to win a stage in all three of Grand Tours, reflects on “crashing for a living, doping, retirement and writing a book through 100 hours of Whatsapp voicenotes.”

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have ABS brakes, for the low, low price of just eleven grand. When witches ride bikes instead of brooms.

And I think I’ve found my next bike.

Or at least the bikemaker, anyway.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the tip. 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. When I saw the witches on bicycles link I half expected to find a link to my blog Witch on a Bicycle, but no luck. I have a half-written story about witches on bicycles, told from the bicycle’s POV that I really need to finish, but I can’t write my way out of the initial conflict with The Bicycles and Their Witches and the Bad Guys represented by Sheik Yobuti and the CEOs of oil companies wanting to destroy bicycles because they represent transportation without burning oil or gas.

  2. Ralph says:

    Magnets are used at and around construction sites to pick up nails and the like. You can find many examples on Amazon. It is a smart solution since small items can escape visual detection.

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