LA is America’s 2nd most deadly city for peds, Valley legislators earn top mobility grades, and a fond goodbye to Mike Bonin

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Is anyone really surprised that the mean streets of Los Angeles claimed the nation’s second highest number of pedestrian lives over the past decade, second only to New York?

Which makes sense in a way, since Los Angeles also has the second largest population, behind only to New York.

The correlation ends there, though, as Phoenix comes in third, followed by Houston, Dallas and San Antonio; Chicago, the third largest city, ranks all the way down at 7th, which suggests they must be doing something right.

Although even one traffic death is one too many.

That information comes courtesy of online auto insurance firm Jerry, which correlated the rankings based on a decade’s worth of NHTSA data.

Other relevant facts include —

  • Pedestrian deaths increased every year over the past decade in the US, rising 65% from 2011 through 2021.
  • 2021 deaths were up 13% over the previous year.
  • People of color accounted for 2/3 of pedestrian deaths, despite being just 24% of the overall population.
  • Four out of five pedestrian deaths occurred in urban areas, which makes sense since that’s where the most people are. And the most cars.
  • People in cars continue to cause twice as many pedestrian deaths as those in SUVs, though the number of people killed by SUV drivers grew twice as fast over the past decade.
  • Largely rural New Mexico had the highest level of pedestrian deaths per capita, followed by Florida, which traditionally leads the nation in pedestrian and bicycling deaths; despite LA’s high ranking, California as a whole is only the ninth most deadly state on a per capita basis.
  • Nearly a third of pedestrians killed had a blood alcohol level of .08, while a quarter had a BAC of .15 — nearly twice the legal limit for motorists.

However, that last tidbit is meaningless without knowing whether a) they were responsible for the crash that killed them, and b) whether their intoxication contributed to their actions in some way.

It important to remember that it’s a hell of a lot easier to walk after drinking or using drugs than it is to operate a big, deadly machine that’s dangerous even under the best conditions.


Streets For All has adopted a tactic used by countless organizations on the national level, from the NRA to Planned Parenthood, by grading the mobility record of each member of the state legislature over the past year.

To no one’s surprise, Burbank’s Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman tops the rankings in the state Assembly, followed by San Mateo County’s Phillip Ting.

Sadly, no Republican appears in the rankings until Jordan Cunningham all the way down at 65; all 19 Republicans reside at that bottom of the chart, accompanied by just two Democrats.

An indication that the car-centric party has a long way to go to embrace the state’s desperately needed shift to transit, active transportation and Complete Streets.

The same holds true in the other chamber, where every Democrat grades out at a C or higher, led by the San Gabriel Valley’s Anthony Portantino and San Francisco’s Scott Weiner.

Meanwhile, every single Senate Republican gets an F.

Which, admittedly, could reflect the political biases of the group doing the grading. But more likely accurately reflects the failure of their votes on mobility issues.

If the GOP has any hope of regaining any kind of stature with state voters, they have to stop saying no to everything.

And start working with Democrats to make this a better state for all of us.

Meanwhile, NPR reports that Advocates for Highway and Traffic Safety has released its 20th Annual Roadmap to Safety report, detailing the deadly state of American roads and the need for better laws, as traffic deaths rose to a 16-year high last year.


LA’s Livable Communities Initiative was unanimously approved by the city council on Tuesday, enabling the development of lowrise, “gentle density” neighborhoods and walkable Complete Streets near transit hubs.


A new video looks at the legacy of outgoing CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, who leaves the council on his own terms after just two terms in office, to protect his own mental health and spend more time with his family.

Bonin was long the lone progressive voice on the council.

And the best friend the Los Angeles bike community had for most of his time in office, responsible for many, if not most, of the wins we’ve seen over the last nine years.

Just call him the anti-Koretz.


A new video from Grist considers the benefits of trading your car for an ebike.


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

A Portland bike rider says an encounter with a road raging driver has left her understandably shaken to the core, after the jerk behind the wheel threatened to shoot her. Although what’s missing from the story is any mention that this is a crime, and the police should have been called.

An Ohio man stabbed his neighbor in the arm with a butcher’s knife in a dispute over where she parked her bike.

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

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a 27-year old man will spend a whole 60 days behind bars, followed by two years probation and community service, after a judge suspended 120 days of his original sentence for the hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a man on a bicycle.

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a killer who rode a mountain bike to a Mississauga gas station, and murdered the 21-year old woman working there.





Streetsblog samples the new bike lanes on First Street in DTLA’s Little Tokyo/Arts District and Boyle Heights, and on Avenue 19 in Lincoln Heights and Cypress Park, which had been blocked by now former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

The man accused of using his car as a weapon to intentionally run down and kill a former co-worker at Mt. San Antonio College had engaged in a year-long tirade against the victim, accusing him of leading a campaign of microaggressions.

A homeless man was arrested after a brief bike chase following the robbery of a pair of Santa Monica sex shops.



This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Orange County will fast track the installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection where eight-year old Bradley Rofer was killed while riding a bike in a crosswalk at Oso Parkway and Coto de Caza Drive.

Irvine has opened the Venta Spur Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge over the 133 Freeway, fixing a missing link in the existing three-mile plus Venta Spur Trail.

San Jose is now the largest American city to eliminate parking minimums.

As we mentioned yesterday, San Francisco’s transportation agency voted to make the city’s slow streets permanent.

Safe streets advocates called for narrower streets in Oakland, while the city fire department was opposed; fortunately, the city sided with the advocates.



Streetsblog says the US could learn a thing or two from the global initiative to increase access to bicycles.

Bike Portland says it’s better to prepare to prevent bike theft than despair after your bike is gone.

New bike lanes get the blame for an increase in traffic congestion in Bellingham, Washington, as a key corridor transforms from a “vehicle-friendly thoroughfare to an urban village where pedestrians and bicyclists take priority.” Even though the root cause of traffic congestion is just too damn many cars. And it usually goes away after drivers adjust to the new conditions.

A local public media site says a Houston councilmember’s change of heart on a long-planned bike lane is unlikely to halt the project, since most of the funding is coming from the county.

Detroit-based ebike maker Vela is reshoring its manufacturing from China to Michigan bicycle manufacturer Detroit Bikes. But Bicycle Retailer says don’t get too excited, because there’s a natural limit to reshoring as long as components still have to be imported from outside North America.

Um, okay. An Illinois radio station somehow proclaims tiny Sparta, Michigan as the Bicycle Capital of America due to its many mountain bike trails. Just what America’s Bicycle Capital is probably debatable. But this sure as hell ain’t it.

DC has done what Metro apparently won’t, eliminating bus fares for everyone throughout the city.

Axios reports Atlanta is the latest city to consider offering ebike rebates.

A nearly 100-year old Tampa, Florida bike shop is closing after the owner’s wife decided to shutter it following his death last year.

A Florida driver says he fled the scene after hitting a bike rider because he was scared, turning himself in two days later. Which would have given him plenty of time to sober up. And chances are, the bike rider he hit was a hell of a lot more scared.



A zig-zagging Edinburgh bike lane gets the blame after a retired bike rider was injured hitting a low curb.

An English driver is one of us now, after he was banned from driving following a drunken hit-and-run that seriously injured a bike rider.

Cyclist remembers England’s now defunct Bicycle Academy, which recently closed after teaching framebuilding to hundreds of students over the last decade.

If you’re shivering in LA’s 60° weather, try Oulu, Finland, which bills itself as the “capital of winter cycling” despite its -13° temperatures.


Competitive Cycling                                  

A jury has awarded a whopping $353 million in the death of elite masters cyclist Gwen Inglis last year. The stoned and drunk driver who killed her was sentenced to eight years behind bars; he had two previous DUIs at the time of the crash. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

It’s not every bike race poster that features a wide, flat brimmed hat — and a pig.



Now you, too, can build your own DIY six-passenger, throttle controlled ebike for just $150. Your next bike could look like a rocket.

And your next SUV could be an e-cargo bike.


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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.



  1. Joe Linton says:

    Taking nothing away from Mike Bonin, who has been awesome – I would assert that Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson is also an important progressive on the council

  2. Joe Linton says:

    Taking nothing away from Mike Bonin, who has been awesome – I would assert that Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson is also an important progressive.

    Also that LAT article study is meaningless, because there is no per capita denominator. LA City and NY City have the most left handed people of all US cities, not because they are some kind hotbed of left handedness, but because they have the most people. The crash death totals need to be divided by population to get meaningful numbers.

    • bikinginla says:

      I didn’t mean to downplay Harris-Dawson. I didn’t realize he was in his second term already, so Bonin was the Lone Progressive Ranger for just two years. I thought it was longer.

      And I agree with you about the Times article. The fact that we’re number two should set our hair on fire, but it’s also to be expected given our population. But we should be much better.

  3. Ralph Durham says:

    The numbers of deaths for pedestrians looks really bad compared to NYC when you realize that NYC has over 2 times the population of LA yet only 100-200 more deaths in the 10 year period. NYC is doing something much better than LA.
    I will agree though, One death is too many.

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