Overly entitled LA drivers, LA River bike path going to the dogs, and bike riders are the poster children for head injuries

Trust me, I get it. 

It’s not easy to find residential parking in Hollywood at night.

However, that doesn’t mean drivers can park on the damn sidewalk, just because they can’t find another spot nearby. Let alone blocking access for anyone with limited sight or using a wheelchair or mobility device.

But tell me again about all those entitled bicyclists. 

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We’ll let Streets For All sound the alarm over an unexpected threat to the LA River bike path through the San Fernando Valley.

City and county officials, as well as countless advocates, have been working for decades to create a continuous 51-mile bike path from the river’s Canoga Park headwaters to its mouth in Long Beach.

For years, the problem was the knot of small cities south of DTLA, each of whom had to give approval for the riverfront bike path.

But now that problem seems to have finally been resolved, only have another problem area arise in the West Valley.

Dogs.

Or more precisely, their owners, who are unwilling to sacrifice a tiny fraction of an existing dog park for the greater good.

We’ll let the transportation and street safety PAC take it from here.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for dog parks! But we disagree with those that claim dog parks and bike paths don’t mix. Unfortunately, that’s what is happening right now in the West San Fernando Valley.

LA has been working for 25 years to finish a bike path from Canoga Park to Long Beach, and the West Valley portion is key. The design has been approved by LA County Flood Control and the Army Corps of Engineers, and City Council adopted a mitigated negative declaration and approved the project in May of 2022. In short, this project is shovel ready!

Unfortunately some users of the dog park are up in arms about the space the bike path would take up — a total of 4,204 square feet out of the dog park’s total of 276,752 square feet (1.52%) and are trying to get city council to reconsider the project and go back to the drawing board. If that happened, this portion of the LA River bike path would be delayed for years and cost many millions more to complete.

It’s windshield bias to imagine people getting to a dog park only by car. The path has been thoughtfully designed to not cut down any trees nor be in the way of dog owners using the park. In short, there is no good reason for the city to revisit the plans.

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As a dog owner, I understand their frustration. Los Angeles doesn’t have anywhere near enough dog parks, and even fewer you’d actually want to take your dog to.

But a continuous pathway along the river is something that would benefit dog owners, by giving them a safe and enjoyable place to walk their dogs.

Not to mention it’s incredibly short sighted to stand in the way of something that would literally benefit the entire city, and several others along the way.

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Evidently, bicyclists are the poster child for head injuries, even though people in motor vehicles are more likely to suffer one.

But oddly, they aren’t encouraged to wear a helmet, let alone required.

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The war on cares may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.

Police in Yorkshire, England admit they blew it by blowing off a bike theft in broad daylight, despite a witnesses photo clearly showing the thieves in action.

British bicyclists blast narrow bike lanes that aren’t even as wide as most handlebars, as officials claim there isn’t any room to make them wider “without inconveniencing responsible motorists.” But apparently, inconveniencing the irresponsible ones is okay. 

Sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers a polite reminder that cemeteries may offer a safe and peaceful alternative to riding on more dangerous roadways, but bike riders are guests on cemetery grounds and need to show courtesy and respect, for the dead, and their mourners. Unlike one jerk who didn’t.

Police in Houston are looking for a bike rider who fatally shot a pickup driver after an argument in a business parking lot.

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Local 

Less than a week after Oscar Montoya was killed riding his bike in San Pedro, the Port of Los Angeles broke ground on a $10.3 million project to beautify Front Street, including a new bike and pedestrian path along the waterfront connecting San Pedro and Wilmington. Although whether that might have kept Montoya alive, we’ll never know. Thanks to Guy Paddock for the heads-up.

The CHP is accused of bias in the investigation of one of their own officers, who killed a man walking on Del Amo Blvd while traveling 30 mph over the speed limit on his department motorcycle; the officer was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter instead of a felony, after the CHP took over the investigation over the objections of the Long Beach Police Department.

Culver City-based Walk ‘N Rollers will celebrate 11 years of improving access and safety for kids on bikes with a festival next Saturday.

 

State

Encinitas will explore partnering with local schools to offer ebike safety training for kids. Or maybe just offer bike safety classes, regardless of whether they’re pedal powered, ped-assist or throttle controlled. It doesn’t make sense to try to protect kids on ebikes, while throwing everyone else to the wolves. 

San Luis Obispo gave final for a new bike boulevard, despite a price tag that nearly doubled over previous estimates to $6.1 million

SF Gate offers advice for visitors on how to see and explore San Francisco by bike.

A correspondent for the San Jose Mercury News examines the e-mountain bike revolution, as well as the disagreement over whether they should be allowed on trails.

 

National

The Verge examines Specialized’s efforts to resurrect the defunct Globe brand as a line of ebikes designed for maximum cargo-carrying capabilities.

No surprise here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says if you tried to save a few bucks by buying your kids a $13 bike helmet from Walmart, you should just throw it away because the Chinese manufacturer has refused to issue a safety recall.

A pair of Illinois neighbors plan to ride across the US to raise funds to buy bikes for kids; they’re aiming for just 100 bikes to start, but hope for more as they move forward.

Streetsblog points the finger for ebike fires at New York consumers who order free food deliveries from restaurants miles away, causing delivery riders to recharge their bikes more often.

A New Orleans woman faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a musical virtuoso, killed as he was riding his bike on his 75th birthday.

 

International

Fast Company makes the case for 15-minute cities, where everything you need for daily life is just 15 minutes away by foot or bike, despite bizarre rightwing conspiracy theories that they somehow will turn cities into a dystopian hellscape.

Road.cc recommends 27 new products, ranging from hoodies and backpacks to a foldie for the equivalent of $466.

No surprise here, either. A survey of over 5,000 people from 50 countries shows that 25% of bike riders have no idea how tubeless tires work. The only real surprise is that the number is so low. 

Instead of shrinking adult bikes down to children’s sizes, Britain’s Islabikes went the other way, basing their new bikes for petite adults on their successful children’s bikes.

Cyclist says the Algarve on Portugal’s southern coast is “the perfect place for sun, sea, sand and surprisingly strenuous cycling.”

Czech carmaker Škoda sings the praises of doing an ebike tour during the Tour de France.

Officials in Cape Town, South Africa, are exploring ways to increase the popularity of bicycling in the city’s oldest township, where bikes provide jobs as well as transportation.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, despite the victim being clearly visible on the driver’s dashcam for three seconds before that crash; he was fined $20,000 in reparations and lost his license for one lousy year.

The Aussie edition of GQ says bicycling became cool again after receiving a major style upgrade. Yeah, that’s the reason.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lotus is continuing their work with British Cycling to design and build the world’s fastest track bike.

Former Aussie world mountain bike champ Jared Graves suffered a shattered kneecap, broken foot and “a whole lot of stitches” when he was struck by a driver while riding his roadie.

Twenty-six-year old Dutch cyclist Loes Adegeest took a circuitous route to the women’s WorldTour, using bicycling to keep in shape for speed skating events.

VeloNews profiles Anna Yamauchi, who they call a rising new talent in American off-road cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re an urban Millennial cliche with a nose ring, bicycle and a Radiohead album. Or when your bike ride takes you past the huge new scoreboard for the rat bastards who stole the Dodgers shortstop. On the other hand, they also took Dodgers closer Craig Kimbel, so we can thank them for that.

And when your bike-riding kid joins you for a post race cooldown — even if he doesn’t hold his line.

 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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