WeHo approves Fountain protected bike lanes, debate over cyclist semantics, and running over bikes in bike-friendly Davis

Just two more days to one of the biggest, most momentous days of the year!

No, not Black Friday. It’s the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

We’ll be off tomorrow, so have a great Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with loved ones or alone on your bike. And find something to be thankful for. 

Besides, you know, this site. 

Then come back on Friday to witness me beg, plead, cajole and grovel for your support.  

And stay safe out there. I want to see you back here again when the weekend is over. 

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In a surprising decision, the West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously to install a pilot protected bike lane project on Fountain Ave, overcoming fierce opposition to the proposal.

Mayor Lauren Meister summed up her reason for voting yes, even though city staffers haven’t explained where the cars displaced from parking on the apartment-dense street are supposed to go.

“My goal is to make Fountain just safer, period — for pedestrians, making the sidewalks wider and and making it so that cars aren’t speeding through and going over the curves and actually going into people’s yards,” Meister said.

The proposal, which became a key issue in the city’s recent election campaign, would require the removal of a traffic lane in each direction, as well as reconstructing sidewalks along the street, which are not ADA compliant.

The street currently features some of the area’s most uncomfortable sharrows, which are seldom used by anyone but the most confident bicyclists in the face of frequently speeding traffic.

The unanimous approval bodes well for the pilot program withstanding efforts to overturn it when two new, more moderate, councilmembers take their seats in the coming weeks.

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A lengthy Twitter thread revives the debate over the word cyclist.

It’s something I try not to use, as you may have noticed, preferring bike riders, bicyclists or people on bicycles.

But only because so many people read into to it far more than the word actually conveys, which is merely someone who rides a bicycle.

To some, it means bike racers; to others, it’s anyone who wears spandex. And to others still, it refers to people on fixies, or some other bike world niche.

Then there are people don’t like the word because they feel it labels them in some way, when riding a bike is just something they do, rather than something they are.

I can see all of that, and none of it.

The simple fact is we are all cyclists when we ride a bike, and not once we get off. Just as someone is a driver when they’re behind the wheel, and a pedestrian when they get out; no one calls them drivers when they’re home or in the office.

So go ahead and use the word if you’re comfortable with it, or don’t if you aren’t.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

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Streets For All is hosting a fundraising holiday party next month.

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A Davis motorist drove through a line of picketing teaching assistants striking for higher pay and better conditions on UC campuses, driving off with a bicycle still stuck under their car.

Cops off Campus everyone. Good Lovely people!! from UCDavis

But to UC Davis grad student Megan Lynch, it’s yet another example of why the city isn’t the bike paradise its made out to be.

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Now you, too, can drive an even faster and more powerful high-end e-car, for the low, low price of a hundred bucks a month.

Yet somehow, your ebike remains capped by law at 20 or 28 mph, depending on class.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

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

Oxford, England makes an extremely wrongheaded choice to remove bike racks to make rood for a Christmas market, apparently assuming that no one would want to avoid traffic by biking there.

No bias here. Britain’s “eco-warrior” bike riders are facing threats from motorists, both online and on the streets.

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

An English woman in her 80s was seriously injured when she was struck by an apparent self-riding hit-and-run bicycle, since there’s no mention of anyone on it.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who assaulted an elderly walker-using woman in the UK, stealing her purse containing the equivalent of nearly $1,200 in cash.

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Local 

Politico says Councilmember Kevin de León is still standing, despite repeated demands for him to resign in the wake of a racist and otherwise offensive recording; he continues to draw his $218,000 salary despite not showing up to work since the outcry began.

SAFE, aka Streets Are For Everyone, wants to know what street safety campaigns and advocacy efforts are important to you.

About damn time. The Hollywood Reporter says it’s time to reopen the case in the 12-year old murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen, which was bizarrely pinned on a destitute, bike-riding Black man who allegedly killed himself as police attempted to take him into custody in a Hollywood flophouse; Beverly Hills police accused Harold Smith of shooting Chasen as she drove home from a premier.

South LA received a $60 million grant to fund bikeshare, and provide free Metro passes for students.

 

State 

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, wants to give you a ped-assist ebike in exchange for a commitment to ride a minimum of 100 miles a month. Or as I used to call that back when I could still do it, Tuesday.

A San Diego resident who “has spent a lot of time, energy and thought on transportation issues” apparently attempts to prove singer Harry Nilsson’s contention that a point in every direction is the same as no point at all, confusingly complaining about the cost and lack of use of expensive bikeway projects, while pointing out the limited safety of some and the lack of an effective network to make them viable.

Completing our San Diego trifecta, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Families for Safe Streets held a vigil for traffic victims, as the city’s mayor promised to prioritize safety over speed.

San Francisco proposes making a number of the city’s Slow Streets permanent.

 

National

Streetsblog wants to know why there are so many memorials to the victims of wars, but not for the ongoing battle on our streets.

Electrek insists that switching to an ebike means getting more exercise, not less.

Portland’s ebike-based bikeshare system set a new record with over half a million users this year, topping the previous record by more than 100,000.

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where a four-year old boy was killed by a driver while riding his bike just blocks from his home — and on a street with just a 10 mph speed limit.

This one hits a little too close to home, as an ebike rider in my bike-friendly Colorado hometown was seriously injured when he was left-crossed by the driver of an SUV — on the street that I grew up on, no less, just blocks from my childhood home.

That’s more like it. New York’s transportation commissioner says the city is moving towards a carfree future, and suggests thinking twice before getting a car.

A newspaper in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley examines why the area is a mecca for bicyclists.

DC is facing a lawsuit under the Americans With Disabilities Act, as two handicapped women allege that new protected bike lanes make it harder for them to find parking and safely exit their vehicles. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip. 

Speaking of DC, probably not the best idea for the newly elected head of a neighborhood commission to give the finger to bike lane opponents. Even if most of us may want to at times.

It takes a major schmuck to slam into a bike-riding, 12-year old Florida boy and flee the scene without even slowing down, leaving the kid lying in the street with serious injuries. There’s video of the crash after the link, but be warned that it’s hard to watch.

 

International

Treehugger offers a beginners tutorial on Vision Zero, which oddly only works when cities actually do something about it.

Montreal bike riders respond to a driver parking in a bike lane for “just two minutes” to get his lunch, by parking their bikes in the traffic lane for the same amount of time.

Now you, too, can work in the bike industry, as CEO of British Cycling, the country’s governing body for bike racing and all things bike.

A woman in the UK explains what it’s like to get hit by a speeding SUV, and why so many drivers, like the one who ran her down, don’t stop after a crash.

Tokyo allowed participants in a charity ride to ride their bikes on the city’s iconic Rainbow Bridge for the first time since it opened 29 years ago.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s looking like the 2024 Tour de France will kick off in Italy, home to the Giro d’Italia.

No surprise here, as the primary goal of two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar is winning it a third time, after this year’s second place finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your carbon frame bike is covered almost entirely in 24 karat gold. Or when beef-eating bicyclists are accused of being worse for the climate than cars.

And bemoaning blatant Belfast bike lane blocking.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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