La Brea Ave bus/bike lanes on hold, new bill would mandate bikeways next to light rail, and more proof speed cams work

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

Seventy-two short hours to open your heart and wallet to help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming to your favorite screen every morning. 

The week before Christmas is always one of my most challenging times of year, as preparations for the holiday collide with the pressures of preparing the next day’s post every night. Add to that my wife’s insistence on cleaning every inch of our apartment before guests arrive for Christmas, while dealing with the effects of my varied and sundry health issues — all of which seem to spring from my diabetes in one way or another. 

Never mind coping with the inevitable tragedies made exponentially more tragic by the time of year. 

I always point to the coming holiday, if only for the opportunity it presents for a well-deserved collapse before we return after the first of the year.

But it’s your support that gets me there, lifting my spirits when I need it the most. Whether in the form of the donations that demonstrate appreciation for the work we do here, or the kind words that so often accompany them. 

So let’s thank Brandon H and Kirsten B for coming through late yesterday when it looked like no one would. And everyone else who has given from their hearts to keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Thank you, sincerely, from my heart to yours. 

If you have donated yet, take a moment to give right now via PayPal or Zelle. Every contribution, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

And needed.

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Metro put the installation of new bus lanes on La Brea Blvd on hold for the holidays; the work, which was supposed to begin last week, will now begin sometime after the first of the year.

Bicyclists are allowed to use bus lanes in Los Angeles County, as long as you don’t mind having a multi-ton vehicle run up your ass while you ride. Although the bus lanes are usually enforced only during rush hour, and open to cars and/or parking at other times.

However, some other areas interpret the law differently, and may ban bikes from bus lanes some or all of the time, so be sure to read the signs wherever you ride.

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A new Congressional light rail bill introduced in the House would mandate bikeways along most light rail lines, along with bikeshare and secure bike parking.

Although the current political divide make the chance of actual passage minimal, at best.

Thanks to Akber Khan for the heads-up.

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No surprise here, as New York demonstrates once again that speed cams are effective in reducing speeding by drivers.

And even more effective when they’re enforced 24/7.

Unfortunately, automated speed cams are currently illegal under California law; attempts to change that have gone nowhere in the legislature in recent years.

Because apparently, it’s just not fair to punish drivers for dangerously breaking the law.

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Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is also raising funds this holiday season; the organization helped lead the successful fight to close roads in LA’s Griffith Park in the wake of recent bicycling deaths.

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‘Tis the season.

More than 40 Texas kids got new bikes, courtesy of a College Station civic group.

A 77-year old North Carolina woman is gearing up for her last bike giveaway, with at least 1,000 bikes ready for local kids, nine years after she took over for her late husband.

A Georgia group has cleaned, repaired and donated over 400 bicycles for local kids.

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

No bias here. A writer of a car website travels the byways of the Boston area looking for bike riders on the legally mandated bike lanes, and is shocked when he fails to see many at the exact time and place when he happens to drive by. Never mind the disconnect that he was forced to use byroads because the highways were choked with rush hour traffic.

No bias here, either. A Nova Scotia letter writer trots out the standard bromide “We are not Amsterdam or Copenhagen” to argue against bike lanes, which they insist are never used. But without building more bike lanes, it never will be, either.

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

Police in Cambridge, Massachusetts are looking for a road raging bicyclist who circled back and deliberately rammed a woman who asked him to watch where he was going as she was crossing the street. The suspect was described as a man in his 50s, who certainly should have known better at his age.

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Local 

A British writer samples bikeshare systems in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and finds the City of Angels not at all to his liking, though he does have nice things to say about Metro Bike. Which is okay. Not everyone has to like LA just because we call it home. Although there’s a large enough British expat community here to show his complaints aren’t universally shared. 

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman digs in on LA Councilmember Kevin de León and his refusal to do the right thing and just resign, already.

 

State

Appropriately for the season, construction is ongoing on the Santa Claus Lane bike path, which will connect bike lanes in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria when its completed next year.

Bay Area bike riders will be able to ride from Berkeley to San Francisco by 2030, when a dedicated bike and pedestrian trail is expected to open on the Bay Bridge.

A 65-year old Sacramento bike rider was lucky to survive when he became collateral damage in a police chase, after the driver of a stolen car bailed from the vehicle and it rolled over the man, trapping him underneath; he was freed when police lifted the car off him with the help of bystanders.

 

National

A new study shows bicycling injuries have decreased over the last ten years, even as ridership — and deaths — have gone up. As usual, read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Wired reviews the new book Cyclettes by Tree Abraham, which recaps her “delicately composed biographical vignettes” through the lens of bicycling.

New Seattle DOT Director Greg Spotts went on a walking tour with members of a local transportation advocacy group; Spotts led LA’s Bureau of Street Services before he left to take the Seattle post.

Tragic news from Arizona, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by a Tucson ambulance driver; no word on whether the ambulance was on an emergency call or using red lights and siren. Then again, there’s also no mention at all that the ambulance even had a driver, although I think we can safely assume it. 

A Pueblo, Colorado teenager received a new bike just one day after his was stolen, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign and a partnership between the police and a local Walmart.

Chicago gave away 500 bicycles to local residents in the first year of a new program to increase affordable, climate-friendly mobility options; the city plans to give away a total of 5,000 bikes over the next five years.

Three Brooklyn council members demand that ebikes be allowed to return to Prospect Park; ebikes are banned from New York parks, even though they are legal on the streets outside them. Oddly, cars aren’t banned from most of the parks where ebikes are, even though one does much more harm than the other.

Advocates are holding back on their approval for New York’s planned human-scale redesign of iconic 5th Avenue, saying they’ve heard the promises before.  Sort of like Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians, who long ago stopped chasing after the latest shiny object elected officials dangled in front of us, without following through.

Maryland officials announced no criminal charges will be filed against the truck driver who killed US diplomat Sarah Langenkamp as she rode her bike last August, despite three traffic citations and a lawsuit filed by her husband alleging negligence by the driver, and the company he worked for. Just in case you were wondering why people keep dying on our streets.

An admitted serial killer was sentenced to life in prison after confessing to killing a Florida woman, who disappeared while riding her bike home from work in 1991.

 

International

Kindhearted members of a British Columbia coffee ride dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for an eight-year old girl, after noting her bike was too small for her, and being impressed that she was riding her bike in conditions they wouldn’t even brave.

A rider for Tom’s Guide rode a Brompton ebike foldie for a month, and liked it. Even if the bike was a tad heavy.

A new study from the UK shows contraflow bike lanes don’t increase crash rates, regardless of the direction of travel, and should be considered on all one-way streets to extend bicycling networks.

Two British men pled guilty to manslaughter in the death of a teenager who tried to stop them from stealing a bike; a third man, the stepfather of one of the men, was acquitted on the same charges.

 

Competitive Cycling

Florence, Italy will host the first three stages of the 2024 Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Your periodic reminder that bike seats are best used for sitting on while riding a bike, not wielding as a weapon. If you have an outstanding felony warrant, maybe don’t ride salmon.

And more proof you can carry anything on a bike.

couch and spare bike moving service from bikecommuting

 

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Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating today.

Chag Urim Sameach!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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