LA ties for deadliest city for US bike riders, Beach Streets and Watts CicLAmini this weekend, and speed cam bill moves on

Apparently, things are better than they seem here in the City of Angels for people on two wheels.

And worse.

According to the League of American Bicyclists, Los Angeles tied with Houston for the most bike deaths in the US in 2021. (Figure 3.4.6) 

They also report on pedestrian deaths, which we won’t get into here for lack of time and space. But suffice it to say Los Angeles doesn’t fare any better there, leading the nation with 142 walking deaths, compared to 115 for second place New York, despite Los Angeles having less than half the population of its East Coast counterpart. 

But the 12 bicycling deaths the Bike League shows is a huge improvement over the carnage of just five short years ago, when 21 people lost their lives riding their bikes on the mean streets of LA.

Then again, only five people were killed riding bikes in the city in 2005. “Only” being a relative term, since one death is one too many.

New York showed the biggest improvement, though, with just five deaths in 2021, compared to a whopping 24 people killed riding bikes in the city just two years earlier.

Meanwhile, average LA bicycling deaths showed a relatively modest 18% increase for the five-year period from 2017 to 2021, compared to 2012 to 2016. (Figure 3.4.7)

On the other hand, Long Beach saw a whopping 167% increase for the same period. Although that number shrinks in significance when you consider that it reflects an average of just one additional death per year, from 0.6 to 1.6.

However, both cities fared better than Colorado Springs, Colorado and Little Rock, Arkansas, which saw massive jumps of 700% and 600%, respectively.

The good news, if there is good news for a subject like this, is that Los Angeles saw the same relatively modest 18% increase when looking at bicycling deaths on a per capita basis over the same five year periods. (Figure 3.4.9)

Once again, though, the numbers for Long Beach jumped 169%, which reflects an average of just over two additional deaths per capita per year.

Finally, bicycling deaths were 5.2% of all traffic deaths in Los Angeles, and 4.8% in Long Beach. (Figure 3.4.10)

When those numbers get closer to zero, we’ll know we’re finally doing something right.

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Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson gives you a “shameless” invitation to attend Saturday’s Beach Streets open streets event in downtown Long Beach.

Nice to see the Militant Angeleno back with his epic CicLAvia tour for Sunday’s Watts CicLAmini, as he calls out highlights on or near the open streets route. He’s been doing this work for free for over ten years now, so toss him a few bucks if you’ve got some extra cash lying around. 

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We may actually have a chance to see speed cams on California streets, at least in a handful of test cities including Los Angeles and Long Beach.

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

Apparently having nothing better to do, police in Britain staged a special operation targeting bicycles illegally modified into ebikes, as one fleeing rider led them on a chase through the back alleys of town.

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Local 

Nonprofit group Investing in Place is out with LA’s first comprehensive list of every public right-of-way, from sidewalks to streets.

Streets For All punts on their endorsement for councilmember in the special election to replace disgraced Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6, saying either Imelda Padilla or Marisa Alcaraz “would be a positive step forward in building a safer CD6 for all road users.” You can read both women’s responses to the group’s candidate survey here.

Burbank state Senator Anthony Portantino introduced a resolution proclaiming May as National Bike Month in California. Which it already is, regardless. But still. 

Somehow, we missed ActiveSGV’s African American History bike ride, with NAACP Pasadena Chapter President Allen Edson highlighting the rich Black history of Pasadena last weekend.

Metro has extended the deadline to respond to their survey about the Redondo Beach Blvd Active Transportation Corridor Project; Redondo Beach resident Dr. Grace Peng offers her thoughts on how to complete the questionnaire.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. NBC-4 reports the suspected drunk driver driver who killed a mother and her two kids in a wrong-way freeway crash in Hesperia has an extensive record of driving under the influence in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Which means this would be at least his fifth DUI if he ends up being charged with driving under the influence, in addition to murder and other charges — just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Thousands of people took part in San Diego’s Bike Anywhere Day yesterday, with one hundred pit stops providing t-shirts, refreshments and snacks. Wait, aren’t snacks refreshments? And vice versa?

Victorville’s new $47 million Green Tree Bridge includes bike lanes in each direction, completing a nearly seven-mile bike loop connecting the Mojave Riverwalk to Hesperia Road and Seventh Street.

A Streetsblog op-ed from a soon-to-be former Berkeley resident questions why even the most progressive cities are failing their carfree residents. Looking at you, ostensibly progressive Los Angeles. 

Oakland bike riders took advantage of the city’s 30th annual Bike to Work/Wherever Day to create their own DIY crosswalk and road diet in front of a local high school, which has been the scene of numerous crashes and near misses.

 

National

The AP says the push for transit and walkable communities is growing across the US. The problem is drivers push back if it ends up inconveniencing them even a little bit. And they’re the ones most elected leaders listen to.

They get it. Ideastream Public Media says if you want to improve the planet and your health, ride a bike.

A writer for Outside argues that the true purpose of ebikes is to save the planet.

Bicycling insists the best bike is a step-through, saying the universal design allows anyone to ride one in almost any circumstance. But you have to pay if you want to read it. 

The mountain resort of Breckinridge, Colorado is placing 75 ebikes around town to encourage free, one-way travel between neighborhoods, businesses and other points of interest.

Seriously? A Houston doctor was hit by a driver while participating in a Ride of Silence organized by the group Houston Ghost Bike Wednesday night; fortunately, he was not seriously injured. The story also notes a bike rider in Austin, Texas was also struck by a driver during their Ride of Silence.

In an all-too common story, a 31-year old British man moved to the US, only to get killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike near his Chicago home; he declined medical treatment following the crash, only to suffer a fatal brain hemorrhage after he went home. A tragic reminder to always see a doctor if you hit your head in a crash or fall, even if you’re wearing a helmet. 

It may be illegal in other states, but feel free to ride a bike under the influence in Illinois.

An apparently English-challenged Chicopee MA TV station says “Massachusetts infrastructure continues to create bicycling in roadways safer.” Seriously, even AI generated text would be better than that. 

The attorney for the white woman seen trying to wrest a New York bikeshare bike from a Black teenager in a viral video says she’s been unfairly called a Karen, insisting the dispute had nothing to do with race, and that she had paid for the bike first. Meanwhile, London’s Independent says she claims the video was taken out of context, even if the story wasn’t written by Trent Crimm.

Researchers from the University of Alabama-Birmingham are developing an app that will interrupt whatever you’re listening to on your phone to warn you when you’re approaching an intersection where warning beacons have been installed. Because most people walk with their eyes closed, evidently.

A Tampa, Florida bike advocate considers the road to fear-free biking in the city.

A Florida state trooper gets it right, stating a bicyclist going straight in a bike lane has the right-of-way over a driver turning right. Then again, the bike rider would still have the right-of-way even without a bike lane.

 

International

Momentum Magazine considers the best bike gear for spring riding.

In the understatement of the year, a British Columbia bike rider thought to himself “This is not going to be good” as he took flight after crashing into a black bear that darted into the roadway in front of him.

A British railway engineer says vertical bike storage on trains is discriminatory and should be banned, because it wrecks expensive bikes and not everyone has the physical ability to use it.

Your next ebike could be a trike designed by German carmaker BMW, complete with a built-in fully covered kid carrier in the back. Or in my case, a corgi carrier. 

Ten thousand bike riders from across Korea will descend on the country’s capitol this weekend for the 2023 Seoul Bike Festival.

A New Zealand bike lane recognized as one of the worst on the planet is finally getting a makeover, with plans to build a protected biking and walking path separated from the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

German pro Nico Dent won Thursday’s 12th stage of the Giro, as Geraint Thomas defends the leader’s pink jersey, insisting that as someone from the Isle of Man, he’s used to bad weather. I recently learned the Isle of Man is my ancestral home, and my great, great grandfather on my father’s side did time for his role in a notorious bank collapse. Good times. 

You’ve got five more days to sign up for Colorado’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic, with both road and mountain bike races still available.

A new study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition says you’ll ride faster if you take a dump before the race. In other words, if you want to be number one, you gotta do number two first.

 

Finally…

Why fork over the big bucks for bike gear, when you’ve got effective substitutes just lying around your house? That feeling when you fly 5,600 miles to steal back your stolen bike — on your birthday, no less.

And nice to see at least someone is getting good use out of a stationary bike.

https://www.tiktok.com/@olliecuddless/video/7233897621587250474?embed_source=71223855%2C121331973%2C120811592%2C120810756%3Bnull%3Bembed_blank&refer=embed&referer_url=www.newsweek.com%2Fcat-napping-exercise-bike-internet-stitches-i-felt-that-1801238&referer_video_id=7233897621587250474

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

2 comments

  1. Ben Fulton says:

    Any good pictures of Victorville bike routes? The article makes it look like “Nightmare in Concrete”.

    • bikinginla says:

      Haven’t seen any, but I’ll be happy to share if anyone sends me some. But from what I’ve seen of Victorville, that sounds like a pretty apt description.