Wait a year to ride with the walk signal, bike rider critically injured in A Line crash, and new LA council committee announced

Let’s start with a quick correction to something we mentioned yesterday.

There have been a number of stories from a cross the state reporting that bike riders can now start off from a red light with the walk signal by taking advantage of the leading pedestrian interval, rather than waiting for the light to turn green.

While that head start can provide a significant safety upgrade for people on bicycles and other micromobility devices, the new law doesn’t actually take effect until January 1st of next year, as Andrew Goldstein and Bryan J. Blumberg pointed out to me.

Personally, I’d do it anyway if I thought the situation calls for it, and try to argue my case with the cop if I got caught.

But that’s just me.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

Speaking of yesterday’s post, I inadvertently left out the news that a man riding a bicycle was critically injured in a collision with a Metro train in Long Beach last weekend.

The victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was crossing the A Line, formerly Blue Line, tracks on East Spring Street near Del Mar Avenue when he was struck by the train around 11:16 Saturday morning, after allegedly riding around the crossing gates.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been an update since the initial reports, which means we’re unlikely to ever learn what happened to him.

So let’s just hope and pray he makes a full and fast recovery.

And let this be a reminder to never ride or walk around railroad crossing gates, regardless of whether you think you can make it.

Because chances are, you just might.

Until you don’t.

………

Committee assignments were announced for the upcoming city council session yesterday, which David Zahniser of the LA Times posted on Twitter.

The all-important Transportation Committee — at least for our purposes — will be helmed by interim CD10 Councilmember Heather Hutt, with newly elected CD11 Councilmember Traci Park servicing as vice chair.

New members Eunisses Hernandez (CD1) and Katy Yaroslavsky (CD5) fill out the roster, along with CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman.

We’ll have to wait to see what this will mean for active transportation in the City of Angels, but there’s reason for hope with the three progressive at large members onboard.

It’s also worth noting that the all-female committee roster comes just a few short years after the council raised countless red flags when no women were elected to the board.

Here’s the full list of committee assignments, courtesy of Zahniser.

………

Zahniser also reports that just two candidates have qualified for the special election to replace for Council President Nury Martinez in CD6.

Martinez resigned in the wake of the recording in which she was heard making racist and otherwise offensive comments, along with two other Latino councilmembers and a labor leader, who also resigned his post.

One of the councilmembers, CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo left the council at the end of his term after losing to Eunisses Hernandez, while CD14’s Kevin de León still refuses to do the right thing and resign.

Meanwhile, de León continues to pat himself on the back for securing a $47.5 million state active transportation grant for DTLA’s Skid Row, as if that makes up for his role in the offensive recording.

………

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

Mother Jones rates cars parked in bike lanes as one of the monsters of the past year, noting that drivers aren’t gods, they just own a Toyota.

No bias here. Over 5,000 motorists have signed a petition calling for the removal of new Maryland bike lanes “without delay,” claiming they make the road more dangerous, even though two bike riders were killed there in recent years; a petition supporting the changes has drawn nearly 900 signatures.

No bias here, either. After a motorcyclist ran into a retired British pedestrian, Twitter users naturally pile on to blame bicycle riders.

A right-wing UK academic and media personality comes out firmly against livable communities, if it means he can’t go zoom, zoom in his car wherever he wants.

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

Breitbart piles on with the many other conservative media sources accusing a “self-righteous” San Francisco bike rider of becoming unhinged because she complained about an ambulance needlessly blocking a bike lane, when they could have stopped in the buffer just to the left.

A Tulsa OK man faces charges after trying, and failing, to outrun the cops on the bike he just stole; police found multiple illegal drugs and paraphernalia on him, as well.

………

Local 

Streetsblog recommends the Schabarum Trail Peak, part of the nearly 30-mile Schabarum-Skyline Trail running from San Dimas to unincorporated Whittier, offering sweeping views of the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Planetizen argues that San Diego needs to improve its bike infrastructure if it wants to have any chance of meeting its climate goals. Oddly, the city seems to take such things seriously, rather than calling their goals merely “aspirational” like their larger neighbor to the north.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that drivers can park their vehicles on the street, so ebike buyers should be able to, as well.

Police in Concord continue to search for the pickup driver who fled the scene after running down a 57-year old man riding a bicycle last month, sending the victim to the hospital.

 

National

Travel & Leisure makes their picks for the best bike lock. And not surprisingly, chooses a Kryptonite as their overall favorite.

Road.cc looks at the best bicycling gadgets at this year’s CES Consumer Electronics Show, including airless metal bike tires and an all-in-one rear light, brake light and anti-theft alarm.

Intelligent Living offers three reasons to ride your bike to work. But fails to mention how much faster it can be than driving congested streets, and how much more fun you’ll have.

Cory Mortensen’s book The Buddha and the Bee, which recounts his unplanned and unsupported bike ride from Chaska, Minnesota to Truckee, California, won the 2022 Best Indie Book Award for non-fiction.

Portland’s bicycle and pedestrian advisory committees are raising red flags over a freeway widening and capping project that would compromise one of the city’s most heavily used bikeways, as well as increasing emissions and greenhouse gasses.

This is how it’s supposed to be done. Seattle is using orange cones to mark out temporary protected bike lanes on two streets, after one of two bridges with bike infrastructure was forced to close due to storm damage, requiring riders to use “hostile and deadly” streets to get to the other one.

A Colorado Springs CO paper profiles a carfree retired couple who use their three-wheeled ‘bents as their sole form of transportation.

Colorado’s governor is calling for a $120 million tax credit to encourage residents to buy electric cars and lawnmowers, as well as ebikes; the proposed program would offer a $500 tax rebate for ebike purchasers, rising to $1,000 for low income residents. Although the state could save a lot of money, and do more to improve air quality and fight climate change, if they designed the program to simply replace cars with ebikes, instead.

Massachusetts approved a new four-foot passing law, as well as a requirement to track collisions involving vulnerable road users.

She gets it. A Connecticut writer says the lack of Hoboken, New Jersey traffic deaths over the last four years shows that traffic violence isn’t inevitable.

A Virginia man is looking for a new lawyer after police arrested him with 327 pieces of allegedly stolen merchandise, including power tools and tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen bikes.

Atlanta is the latest city to consider offering rebates for ebike purchasers. Meanwhile, Los Angeles remains firmly among the vast majority of cities that haven’t even discussed an ebike rebate program, while potential California buyer continue to wait with baited breath for the state’s long-delayed ebike rebate program to finally roll out.

 

International

Bike advocates in Toronto are accusing the city of falling short on its promise to build 20 miles of bike lanes each year by opening just 8.1 miles last year, while failing to build “critical bikeways,” as well.

A website accuses European countries of misusing the equivalent of $2.12 billion in funding appropriated by the EU for bicycle infrastructure.

They get it. A Glasgow nonprofit says it’s never too late to learn to ride a bicycle.

Sad news from the UK, where the man who designed the iconic 1970’s Raleigh Chopper bicycle has died; 96-year old Tom Karen also designed the two-seat, three-wheeled Bond Bug car, and the popular Marble Run game.

More sad news, this time from Spain, where former Spanish and world master’s champ Agustín “Guti” Navarro was found dead on New Years Eve, apparently from natural causes; he was just 44.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nineteen-year-old pro Madis Mihkels suffered a deep cut to his back when he was run down by a driver while training near his Estonian hometown.

 

Finally…

No, bike paths aren’t car lanes, even if they’re frozen. The iconic Hollywood Sign is being moved — the one in Ireland, that is.

And seriously, who doesn’t jump rope while riding their bike in a Culver City protected bike lane?

That tweet translates to “You know you have good bike infrastructure when…”

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

2 comments

  1. Christian says:

    The new leading ped law is terrible idea, hope it is repealed. I can see benefits for ppl that have problems w mobility and take longer to cross. But for those who can cross easily is only inviting problems. 1) as driver and cyclist, I keep eye on red light thus ped doesn’t have right of way either this just brings on more confusion. 2) if enter earlier, the real danger is red light runners.

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