Nearly killed by careless driver, fighting to keep MOVE Culver City, and $500 fine for failing to dismount in Redondo Beach

I came within inches of getting run down by a driver last night.

I was walking the dog across the street, at a red light, in a crosswalk, with the crossing light, and had waited until all the cars were stopped before walking into the street.

Then just as we stepped into the turn lane, an overly aggressive driver sped through the red light to make a left turn, barely missing us.

Seriously, I don’t know we’re supposed to keep people safe on our streets if none of that works to keep drivers from killing people.

On the other hand, at least he wasn’t driving like this.

Today’s image is the cover of the recent MOVE Culver City project, featuring a photo of op-ed author Yotala Oszkay Febres-Cordero, below.

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She gets it.

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, an economic and political sociologist, researcher and mom argues against a proposal to rip out the MOVE Culver City Complete Streets project.

The project is endangered by the newly conservative and seemingly auto-centric majority on the city council, despite being an overwhelming success.

As a Culver City resident, mom, cyclist and enthusiastic supporter of public transit in my private and professional life, my position on the mobility project is not detached. I’m one of the many people enjoying the benefits highlighted in Move Culver City’s mid-pilot report (literally — that’s me on the cover, the mom on the cargo bike with my daughter, her friend and their stuffed animal friend Marley).

Drivers complain that the bus and bike lanes slow down traffic on the street. But the lanes don’t do so by much: According to the report, during peak afternoon traffic, travel time in a car has increased by a maximum of two minutes compared with a 2019 baseline. Meanwhile, overall traffic on the corridor has diversified and increased, with marked gains in bus ridership, cycling and pedestrian activity. Also important, the bus and bike lanes protect bikers, pedestrians and even other drivers from traffic violence that occurs with increased speeds.

She goes on to argue that the project’s perceived flaws aren’t reasons to remove it, but make it better, instead.

A common argument coming from some council members and opponents of the project is that because bus service is currently inadequate, prioritizing buses over cars with a dedicated lane does not maximize use of the road. They argue the infrastructure lacks support and utilization because of our car-centric culture and low ridership.

Those are not reasons to remove bus and bike infrastructure — those are reasons to double down. Council members are the decision makers. If bus service is not up to par to maximize the protected lane, then it is on them to make it better. If the project lacks support, then they need to invest in the service frequency, reliability and connectivity to strengthen the ridership and thus the buy-in.

Take a few minutes to read the full thing.

Then do something about it. Because if they can remove this, no street improvements will ever be safe from reactionary motorheads.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1648361017196548100?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1648361017196548100%7Ctwgr%5Edf6b72bdb698acb88e950199c25eeb15bcd9ea59%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fbikinginla.com%2F2023%2F04%2F19%2Ffighting-bike-dismount-law-at-redondo-pier-active-transportation-lost-in-la-budget-and-free-earth-day-metro-bikes%2F

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Seamus Garrity tweeted that ticket is actually nearly $500 — about what it costs if a driver gets caught running a red light, which poses far more risk for everyone else around them.

Having ridden that path hundreds of times myself, I can attest that riding through there poses virtually no risk to anyone crossing from the parking lot to the pier, as long as you slow down and show a little basic courtesy to others.

I could possibly see a $50 fine, though I’d still object to getting one. But $485 is far out of proportion for the risk posed by such a minor violation.

https://twitter.com/seamusgarrity/status/1648748178584530944

 

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

The author of URBAN CYCLING: How to Get to Work, Save Money, and Use Your Bike for City Living was the victim of a drive-by shooting, for no other reason than she was riding her bike.

No bias here. An Aussie city councilor gleefully confesses to wanting to run over school kids, rather than protecting them.

https://twitter.com/BicycleNSW/status/1648211351108730880

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

Singaporean bicyclists cite a need for speed and lack of etiquette for crashes with other riders and pedestrians, after an ebike rider was seriously injured in a collision with a hit-and-run group ride.

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Local 

Sad news today as former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan died last night at 92-years old; the bike-riding owner of The Pantry in DTLA was the city’s last Republican mayor. And probably will be for the foreseeable future.

Santa Monica Lookout offers more information on the upcoming Vision Zero improvements to Wilshire Blvd in the city. Although if 89 percent of severe injuries to bicyclists and pedestrians happen at unsignalized intersections, and approximately one out of five collisions at those intersections occurs when drivers make a left turn or continue straight, that means 80% of crashes come from cross traffic or drivers turning right. So shouldn’t they be working on that?

 

State

Nearly 800 Oakland residents signed a petition calling for the city to take $20 million from the police budget to build safer streets.

A writer for the Cal Davis student newspaper argues for removing the rusting bones of abandoned bikes littering the campus. Especially since they can be fixed up and given to students and staff members who can’t afford one.

 

National

We already know SUVs are more dangerous to people on bicycles — and pedestrians; Axios examines why.

Government Technology examines whether bike registration programs really work, particularly in partnership with police departments. The LAPD is partnering with Bike Index for free lifetime bike registration.

Doug Gordon, co-founder of the popular War On Cars podcast, argues that parents should drive less to protect kids.

The Las Vegas Raiders are set to announce new bike paths and expanded bike parking at their nearly two-billion dollar new stadium.

Low-income residents of my bike-friendly Colorado hometown can apply to receive their choice of a free ebike or a three-year bikeshare pass. Hint: Take the ebike.

Michigan residents celebrate the local parks commission’s rejection of plans for a gravel bike path in a nature park, arguing that allowing people on bicycles would somehow destroy its integrity.

Minnesota lawmakers added ebike tax credits up to $1,500 to the proposed state budget, modeling the plan after Denver’s highly successful program.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music may have “whimsical” bike racks designed by famed former Talking Heads lead singer and folding bike rider David Byrne, but it’s still fighting plans for a nearby protected bike lane, citing vague concerns over safety. Apparently deciding it’s safer to leave the people who already use the busy bike lane unprotected, because something.

Residents of an Erie PA neighborhood are fighting plans for a bike path, preferring their God-given right to park their cars in front of their homes so they can have a chili cook off and fix their driveways. No, really.

DC has paused plans to install a protected bike lane on a major six-lane boulevard after pushback from local businesses and residents, who somehow prefer a car sewer and storage to quiet, non-polluting people on bikes who might actually stop at those businesses instead of just driving by.

A New Orleans bike advocacy group is challenging the city’s residents to get out of their cars and onto their bikes this month.

 

International

Police in an English city ticketed several motorists for passing too close to a cop riding a bicycle, in violation the country’s safe-passing law. Something the LAPD has never done, over extremely misguided fears of entrapment. 

A machete-wielding teenaged robber will spend the next six months behind bars, and another six months on probation for a series of violent bikejackings, including using a moped to knock British pro Alexandar Richardson off his bike and drag him the length of a football field before making off with his bike.

A devastating tree-killing disease forced the closure of a world-famous UK mountain bike park.

Fast Company talks with VanMoof e-bike developer Marjolein Deun about fighting climate change through his efforts with the Dutch e-bikemaker.

A science website celebrates the 80th anniversary of Bicycle Day, which marks the date Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann sampled the new drug he had developed before setting off for home on his bike — and experiencing the world’s first psychedelic LSD trip on the way.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new documentary about Greg LeMond’s comeback from a near fatal shotgun shooting to win the Tour de France will open in theaters this June. LeMond remains the only American to win the race, if you ignore the other two people who won it a combined eight times. 

Bicycling looks at the pro cyclists they’re most excited about watching this year, including Neilson Powless, Sepp Kuss and Garden Grove’s own Coryn Labecki. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Slovenian pro Tadej Pogačar continues his domination of the early spring classics; he’s won half of the races he’s started, from Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallonne to Paris-Nice and the Tour of Flanders.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could have a built-in two-way electronic communications. Why bicycle groupo names doesn’t make any sense.

And maybe this was you 50 years ago.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1648772867025149960

Here’s the full 12-minute video.

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Eid Mubarak!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. That Erie article is actually about Erie, PA not Erie, NY.