Yes, the streets just keep getting more dangerous.
Despite the spread of Vision Zero in cities throughout the US, the number of pedestrian deaths on American roadways continued to skyrocket in the first six months of last year, rising at nine times the rate of population growth.
According to the latest fatality estimates from the Governors Highway Safety Association, a total of 3,434 people were killed by drivers as they walked through June of last year, an average of 19 per day.
Estimates for the full year will be released later this spring. There’s no word yet on the number of bicyclists killed over the same period.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.
Speaking of pedestrians, frequent Coachella Valley contributor Victor Bale offered his own thoughts on a new bill that would issue a statewide ban on prohibiting sidewalk riding whenever there is a lack of bicycling infrastructure.
In addition to cycling, I walk. I walk a lot. I think nothing of walking 3 miles to my local coffee shop and another 3 miles back. In a typical week I walk over 30 miles. All this walking allows me to observe cyclists on sidewalks and here’s what I see much too often: Cyclists on cruiser type bikes with very wide handlebars, no lights, no bell, no helmet, going much too fast and often very distracted since autos are not a concern. And cyclists passing walkers without a verbal warning.
I’ve had close calls with cyclists passing me from behind. It’s dangerous for both of us because here in the IE many sidewalks are narrow and they don’t have a buffer between a walker and the curb. Cars are close enough and now add a cyclist passing from the rear and the danger to both of us has increased.
Adding a vehicle to a sidewalk where often families are strolling with young children and baby carriages is a very bad idea that endangers everyone.
As a frequent walker myself, I get his point.
I’m seldom happy about having to share a sidewalk with someone on a bike. And yes, they too often ride recklessly, which no one should ever do around pedestrians.
But I also recognize that there are times when I’m riding that the roadway just feels too dangerous, and I’ll briefly take to the sidewalk in an attempt to preserve my own life.
As has been said, no one rides on the sidewalk if they feel safe on the street.
So maybe there’s a compromise in there somewhere that would keep both bike riders and pedestrians safe .
While the motion to expand the LA County Board of Supervisors we mentioned yesterday failed, a motion to explore expanding it passed unanimously.
Currently, the five supervisors each represent around 2 million people — more than 2.5 times the size of a US Congressional district.
It matters because we’ve learned the hard way that nothing happens to support bicycling and traffic safety without political will. And the closer you are to your representatives, the better chance you have of making your voice heard.
And as we’ve seen with the Los Angeles City Council, too much power in too few hands invites corruption.
Following the turmoil at a number of bicycling websites — particularly the ones now under the Outside umbrella — some of the top bike reporters are founding Escape, a new membership cycling site launching this month.
It’s not clear yet if stories will be paywalled for nonmembers, but you can back their efforts by signing up for a $99 yearly membership on either link above.
And yes, I plan to when sign up I get a little more money in later this month, to help keep you informed.
The crowdfunding campaign for the victims in the Goodyear, Arizona crash that killed two people and injured 17 others has now raised more than $110,000 of the $120,000 goal.
Bicycling says a indigenous Guatemalan nongovernment organization is making ingenious use of pedal-powered machines to “simplify otherwise exhausting manual labor all while minimizing its carbon footprint and honoring its Mayan heritage.” As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. Newspaper readers in Aberdeen, Scotland are debating whether bike riders should be required to wear hi-viz. I’m okay with that, as long as drivers have to paint their cars high-intensity yellow with reflective trim.
A British bus driver faces charges for punching a man to the ground in a road rage attack, after becoming impatient following the man and his 11-year old son on their bikes.
No bias here, either. A very auto-centric petition in the UK would require the removal of Low Traffic Neighborhoods and “underused” bike lanes if they lack public support; LTNs are somehow blamed for “demonizing motorists” instead of just making space for everyone else.
Or here. Cops in Scotland have apparently decided it’s just not worth tracking down the impatient driver who knocked a man off his bike. My apologies to whoever sent this one to me for losing your name today, but thank you for doing it.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Look who’s back! It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from the Militant Angeleno, who reports on his — presumably masked — experiences at Sunday’s CicLAvia, including a visit to the home of Daniel LaRusso in the original Karate Kid.
Urbanize takes a look at the three options for a Complete Streets makeover of Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock when the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit lane goes in. Walk Eagle Rock recommends Option 2, with option 1 as a second choice.
California state legislators are exploring ways to heal neighborhoods severed by highway construction in the 50s and 60s, by finding a way to reconnect what were usually low income neighborhoods, predominantly filled with people of color. The easiest way is simply to tear down the damn freeways, and convert the space to parkways.
The CEO of the Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, defends the transportation agency against accusations that it’s too focused on highways at the expense of transit, bicycling and walking. Although he doesn’t address the last two, except in passing.
A small group of Cal Poly SLO students are putting their education to work designing and building their own bicycles.
Cycling Weekly also features a Zwift fan who’s unapologetically ridden 55,000 miles without leaving his basement.
Squeezing in one last story for Black History Month, Bicycling examines the Black bicyclists who paved the way for sport and culture. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else online, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.
Hawaii is starting their ebike rebate program today, offering up to 20% of the purchase price up to $500. Just one more ebike rebate starting before California’s long-delayed rebate program, which would have been the first in the country when it passed the legislature.
Now you, too, can ride your bike on a real Austin, Texas Circuit of the Americas race track. Making motor noises while pretending you’re a sports car is optional.
Great idea. A Catholic missionary is embarking on a planned 6,000-mile ride from New Orleans to the East Coast, then across the US to Seattle, and down to San Francisco, to raise funds to open a cafe to employ people with special needs.
Money well spent. Lidenhurst, New York is using a $7,500 grant to preserve two antique bicycles, an 1882 Penny Farthing and a 1900 direct-drive bike.
A Streetsblog op-ed writer says New York’s streets are so bad they should be illegal.
Sad news from Massachusetts, where a 19-year old man was found dead after he was last seen pushing his bicycle with a flat tire.
A couple dozen protestors temporarily blocked a Pittsburgh intersection to protest a crash that critically injured a bike rider 12 days earlier.
A Roanoke VA B&B owner explains how discovering bamboo bicycles changed her business model.
Bike Radar covers ten essential bike maintenance tips for beginning riders.
Condé Nast Traveler offers a guide to touring Vancouver’s indigenous heritage and natural beauty by bicycle.
The European Cyclists’ Federation has created a new online dashboard to determine how friendly various European cities are for cargo bikes.
Britain’s ill-considered breakup with the European Common Market, aka Brexit, is pushing a British children’s bikemaker into the red.
A new study from the UK shows e-scooter riders are less likely to wear a helmet and more likely to be seriously injured than bicyclists.
Swedish bike brand Balans is currently crowdfunding to build two bikes it claims will be the world’s most theft proof; the traditional 8-speed bike goes for around $1,671 while the ebike sells for about $2,732. including shipping to the US and Canada.
A new Spanish study analyzed the skid resistance on five types of bike lane surfaces, including asphalt pavement, concrete pavement, smooth and rough painted tiles, and cobble pavement, concluding that painted cobble and smooth painted tile pavements shouldn’t be used “due to their low and variable skid resistance, as well as the high vibrations they cause to users.”
Tragic news from India, where three boys were killed by a speeding driver as they rode a pair of bikes to school, with two boys sharing a single bicycle.
Fans of folding bikes set a new record for the largest Brompton gathering in Malaysia, with 631 of the bikes.
A Singaporean flight attendant is finally back on her bike, eight years after an unexpected turn on a mountain bike cost her most of her pancreas.
Pro cyclist Antonio Tiberi, from the tiny Republic of San Marino, was fined the equivalent of $4,240 and suspended from the Trek-Segafredo team for testing out his new air rifle on the neighbor’s cat. And his neighbor just happens to be the country’s minister of tourism. Once again, you can read the second link on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
Sad news from Bangladesh, where a young cycling medalist was killed when he was struck by a signal bar while taking a selfie on a running train; he was returning home after winning two silver medals and a bronze medal in a youth competition.
Hundreds of pro and amateur cyclists from around the world are expected to turn out for this weekend’s 38th annual, three stage Tucson Bicycle Classic.
VeloNews examines the bright prospects for Kenya’s Team Amani in the wake of team leader Sule Kangangi, one of the country’s best-known cyclists, who was focused on “growing a professional East African cycling culture by fighting for more opportunities to race against the world’s best.” Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. Which it probably will.
“Let’s ride to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys…” A new study from the University of Duh shows more people rode bikes during the pandemic bike boom.
And your next three-wheeled, egg-shaped car could be an ebike.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.