LA city officials back off “aspirational” mobility plan, CD13’s Hugo Soto-Martinez talks bikes, and still more bike giveaways

Just nine days left in the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re on the cusp of the last full weekend of the fund drive, just slightly ahead of last year’s record pace. But we need your help to push it over the top, and best last year’s total for the 8th consecutive year!

So thanks to Matthew L and Tom C for their generous donations to keep all the latest bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Now it’s your turn, so donate today via PayPal or Zelle

Every contribution, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, and gets us that much closer to our goal.

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Before we get started, thanks to Paul Jamason for this tweet that took me by surprise yesterday. 

But that’s what I do, all day and every day, confronting misinformation and disinformation about bikes and the people who ride them. And working to shine a light on the problems we face just trying to get from here to there in one piece. 

So if you value that work, and have a few extra bucks to spare, ask yourself what it’s worth to you, and donate now to help keep this vital work going.

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Today’s must read comes from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, who calls out Los Angeles city officials for their mealymouthed support of the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, which we are once again told is merely “aspirational,” despite its overwhelming approval by the city council.

But what has been disturbing has been the city’s wholesale backing off of the Mobility Plan as a plan. Instead city staff – from the Planning Department, Chief Legislative Analyst, Department of Transportation, and others – are casting doubt on the city’s approved plan. This occurred repeatedly in an October 6 CLA memo and a November 30 City Council Public Works Committee meeting [audio] discussing the city council’s alternative version of HSLA.

CLA staff repeatedly characterized MP2035 as just “a policy foundation,” “a working guide,” “not an implementation tool with specific projects,” and “street segments indicated on the network concept maps represent potential opportunities.” (emphasis added).

He goes on to add this.

At the committee meeting, (Department of City Planning) Planner Emily Gable stated that MP2035 is “guidance” for a “general vision.” MP2035 network maps are “guides for decision-makers.” She called the plan “aspirational” and emphasized its “flexibility.”

It’s instructive to note the pernicious double standard of how the city is treating other aspects of the Mobility Plan.

Bus lanes? Guidance.

Bike lanes? Policy foundation.

Safe walking? Aspirational.

Car capacity? Build it exactly as the plan specifies.

Then again, that’s nothing new.

Just weeks after the 2010 Bike Plan was approved, which was later subsumed into the mobility plan, we were told by an LADOT official that it was merely, yes, aspirational.

But here’s the thing.

While the city may consider the mobility plan aspirational, people who ride bikes just aspire to do so without fear.

We aspire to have safe routes allowing us to ride across the city, and through our own neighborhoods.

We aspire to be treated as equals on the road.

We aspire to have secure places to park our bikes when we get to our destination.

And we aspire to have city officials who actually give a damn whether we live or die.

It’s a good piece. So take a few minutes to give it a read.

Then get mad as hell.

Because your safety and right to ride should never be just aspirational.

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If, like me, you missed Streets For All’s virtual happy hour with newly installed CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez on Wednesday, the transportation PAC has posted a recording online so we can all catch up.

This is how they describe it.

In this month’s happy hour we give an update on Venice Bl and our state efforts, talk about upcoming neighborhood council elections, and go over some wins and fails. Our special guest is Hugo Soto-Martinez, newly elected Councilmember for District 13, City of Los Angeles. We discussed many possible bike, bus, and pedestrian projects, including Fountain Ave, Santa Monica Bl, Hollywood Bl, Vermont, and capping the 101 freeway.

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Speaking of Streets For All, the group wants you to request a ballot for the Democratic Party’s ADEM representatives to help elect pro-transit delegates.

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‘Tis the season.

A religious group will donate a total of 500 bicycles to kids in need in Madera and Fresno, California this weekend.

A Bozeman, Montana bike shop is conducting their ninth annual children’s bike giveaway, hoping to donate at least 110 bikes to break last year’s record.

Kids in Sioux Falls, South Dakota will build a sense of pride and generosity by building 120 bicycles tomorrow, which will be given to less fortunate children as Christmas gifts.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the middle-aged British dog walker who chased down and attacked a teenage girl as she rode her bike, after shouting threats at her. Nothing justifies violence, whatever the reason for his anger.

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Local 

New CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez filed a motion instructing city officials to report back on the condition of the streets in her district, which had been neglected under former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, while directing that construction of bicycle infrastructure simultaneously coordinated with street repairs.

New LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath has been seated on the Metro board, giving it a fresh voice with a track record of supporting bikes, walking and transit.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, better known as the LACBC, announced their official name change to BikeLA.

 

State

San Francisco Streetsblog says the removal of traditional parking meters in the city means fewer places to park your bike. LADOT was supposed to conduct a study a few years ago about whether bikes could be safely locked up to parking meters here in Los Angeles, but as far as I know, the practice remains technically illegal, though seldom enforced. 

A Napa Valley paper examines the work of the Napa County Bicycle Coalition.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman was killed in a collision while riding her bike Thursday evening.

A Rancho Cordova man will be charged with murder after ambushing a 60-year old ebike rider with a machete, for no apparent reason.

 

National

Equitable Cities is conducting a survey of bicycling in the Black and Hispanic communities; you could be entered to win one of ten $200 gift cards for completing the survey.

The Bike League wants you to contact your Congress members to push for a return of the Bicycle Commuter Benefit in any year-end tax or spending legislation. Maybe they could also push for the ebike rebate the feds teased us with earlier this year.

Bicycling recommends eight “hilarious” Insta reel creators they say you have to follow. Even though you don’t. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Gear Junkie explains the myriad joys of the derailleur.

Red Bull considers whether you really want a BMX or a mountain bike.

There’s a special place in hell — and hopefully behind bars — for whoever sexually assaulted a 12-year old Virginia girl before stealing her bicycle.

A newly completed Complete Street in Sarasota, Florida, complete with a lane reduction and sort-of protected bike lanes, is part of the planned 336-mile Florida Gulf Coast Trail. But as usual, local business owners are complaining.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what to eat and drink before, during and after a long bike ride, which they define as lasting longer than three and a half hours.

Frightening story from Wales, where a 14-year old boy’s heart suddenly stopped while on a group ride with his stepdad, even though he was an experienced mountain biker; he survived, despite four days in a coma, because one member of the group performed CPR while others raced for a defibrillator.

Belgian ebike brand Cowboy is dealing with the problem of recycling ebike batteries by recycling the entire bike instead, refurbishing and reselling them at a reduced price.

The most popular electric vehicle in Deutschland isn’t a car, as Germans are 2.5 times more likely to ride an ebike than drive an EV.

 

Competitive Cycling

The nascent National Cycling League announced $7.5 million in startup funding from a diverse group of investors, including NBA All-Star Bradley Beal; the league will consist of teams made up of eight men and eight women, who will compete for a slice of the $1 million purse in closed course crits in cities across the US. Although it’s kind of sad that a relatively paltry $7.5 million reflects the largest ever investment in US bike racing, when it’s just a rounding error on Beal’s annual salary. 

Track cycling fans should head down to the Velo Sports Center in Carson for a full weekend of racing, starting tonight.

 

Finally…

Your bike can be an electric generator contributing to the power grid. And now you, too, can own newly Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s used $7,900 tri bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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