No bias here.
The editor of WeHoVille says he’s a bicyclist. And because he doesn’t need bike lanes, neither do you.
Then again, it’s always a red flag when someone feels the need to self-identify as a bicyclist before making their case.
True to form, Brandon Garcia writes that he’s more than happy to take back roads to get where he’s going, and thinks that the planned bike lanes on Fountain Ave and Santa Monica Blvd will be too disruptive to the city.
Never mind, he says, that the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica are usually blocked by buses or double-parked drivers. Although that would seem to be a reason to enforce the laws against blocking bike lanes, than oppose building them.
What the city wants to do with Fountain and Santa Monica will disrupt the lives of too many people who depend on those roads to get across town. Who depend on those parking spaces for their guests or their customers, or whose leases don’t include a parking spot.
Up to 37,000 cars travel down Fountain every day. At most, there are 145 bicycles that use it daily.
The city expects the removal of two lanes on Fountain to reduce traffic by 900 vehicles every hour. 600 of those will be diverted onto Santa Monica or Sunset. The drivers of 250 cars per hour will simply decide not to make the trip, the city oddly believes.
Never mind that, as others have noted before, you can’t judge the need for a bridge by how many people swim across the river. The fact that most bike riders don’t feel safe on Fountain is a far better argument for making it safer, rather than keeping it dangerous.
Meanwhile, numerous studies have shown that making driving more difficult results in a reduction in the number of cars on the road — not an odd belief, but simple traffic science.
And that reduction is absolutely necessary in the face of our current climate emergency, when the world is literally burning from over-reliance on fossil fuels.
The simple fact is, people on bicycles have places to go, just like people in cars, and need safe routes through the city to get there.
He may not need them, or want them.
But that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t.
Back when I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana about a hundred or so years ago, I had a friend who dealt with the city’s abusive and road raging drivers by riding with a .22 strapped to his bike.
By his account, it made most motorists give him a wide berth. And if anyone actually threatened him, just a tap or two on the holster was enough to defuse the situation.
Although I doubt many drivers actually saw it as they zoomed by. Never mind the fact that they came pre-armed with a multi-ton weapon of their own, should they choose to use it.
I mention that because a writer for Outside has written a response to the Armed Cyclist seen below, an influencer who calls for arming yourself — whether with a gun or some other weapon — for self-defense when you ride.
Driving home from vacay just now and see this dude riding in the shoulder of I-90 outside of Coeur d'Alene w an “Armed Cyclist” jersey, safe passing flags, dozens of taillights. Absolutely epic. pic.twitter.com/d2PAcWruqa
— Jonathan Maus (@Jonathan_Maus) August 1, 2023
His response was to first kick out a headlight, then hurl his U-lock, shattering the car’s rear windshield, before disappearing down a one-way street.
OK, back to my anecdote involving the hurled lock. Look, I wish I had the calm and mature demeanor to simply bite my upper lip and walk away from situations like the one I had a decade ago. I’ve been to therapy and I’m working on becoming an enlightened and self-actuated member of society. But I’m not there yet. I can still transform into a raging lunatic at times—specifically when some jerk driver messes with me on my bike. Had I been carrying a gun during my moment of rage years ago, I probably would have emptied the clip into the windshield, which means I’d likely be writing pithy takes from a cell in Rikers right now. And that ugly encounter is hardly the only one I’ve had with drivers. Over the years I’ve been sideswiped, t-boned, intimidated, and buzzed too many times to count. If I rode with a gun, I might be responsible for multiple crimes.
That’s precisely why I don’t own a gun.
I have a temper, which I manage to control most of the time. And I’m a firm believer in nonviolence.
But if I had a gun, there’s just too much chance I might use it.
And one weapon is one too many in most situations, even if most people just call it a car.
Read the story on Yahoo if Outside blocks you.
Remember this the next time someone tells you bike lanes are bad for handicapped people.
A New Zealand writer says she uses a wheelchair and bike lanes, rejecting the argument that people with disabilities need more car parking.
It is infuriating and painful to see people speak on behalf of disabled people when they are really only trying to protect their non-disabled car parks. Have you ever wondered where these people go when it’s time to fight for a building code that requires accessible universal design features like lifts, ramps and doorways of a decent width? Or why these same faces and names appear again to oppose the social housing initiatives in their neighbourhoods that would house disabled people? Or why they’re not advocating for more mobility parking at all?!
She goes on to write that many disabled people use bicycles, and consider their ebikes, scooters and trikes to be their mobility devices.
And need safe places to ride them.
Joni Yung loves the new bus and bike lanes on La Brea, even if they’re too often blocked with parked cars.
And impress the hell out of your friends while you’re at it.
Meanwhile, the site also looks at the fast-growing gravel fondo in my Colorado hometown.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
Seriously? A Vermont columnist responds to a self-admitted scofflaw bicyclist by saying consider how bad a driver would feel if they hit him with their car. Never mind how bad he might feel after bouncing off a couple tons of glass and steel.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
If you’re already on state-supervised probation with a lengthy rap sheep, maybe don’t rob a couple of stores, then ride your bike back to your apartment. And definitely ditch the bike and clothes before the cops find ’em.
LA County Sheriff’s deputies will conduct a bike and pedestrian safety operation in West Hollywood on Tuesday, ticketing anyone who commits a violation that could put either one at risk. So ride to the letter of the law until you’re safely back in LAPD or Beverly Hills PD jurisdictions. Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.
Pasadena will host the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Union Street protected bike lane on Saturday, September 9th in front of City Hall. That’s Pasadena City Hall, not Los Angeles or any of the other 86 cities in LA County.
An environmental law website says California policy makers are embracing ebikes, despite the New York Times wrongheaded take, but questions whether the state is falling behind.
Monterey County Weekly considers how fast is too fast on a bike path, with one local city setting a 12 mph speed limit that the writer considers far too low. My take is ride as fast as you want if you’re the only one on it, but slow down around slower bike riders and pedestrians. At least, that’s what I always did.
Sticking with Monterey County, a 14-year old junior track star ran down a purse-snatcher on a BMX, grabbing back the stolen handbag before the thief could get away.
Portland’s all-new MADE handmade bike show is making its debut this week; Cycling Weekly discusses three things they’re excited to see.
While potential ebike buyers continue to wait for California’s long-delayed rebate program, with the latest update nearly two month’s old, Boulder, Colorado is already gearing up for its second round of rebate vouchers.
Gravel bike tires could be growing, as Colorado-based Moots introduces the 750d standard, which Bike Radar says is comparable to a 29″ mountain bike tire.
This is who we share the road with. A Galveston, Texas bike rider was seriously injured when a driver swerved into oncoming traffic, hit the victim and carried them both over the seawall and onto the beach.
A convicted drunk driver has been sentenced to anywhere from three-and-a-half to 15 years behind bars for dragging a Michigan bike rider for one-and-a-half miles under his van as he fled from the crash site; he was nearly three times the legal limit after his arrest, with multiple bottles of booze rolling around in his van.
A Massachusetts artist is unveiling a new series of paintings inspired by a local bike path. And yes, it makes me want to ride it.
The rich get richer. New York is removing a traffic lane on the city’s Tenth Ave through Hell’s Kitchen and narrowing traffic lanes to make room for a spacious, ten-foot wide, two-way protected bike lane.
An Andover, Maryland study finds there wasn’t a single reported bicycle crash in a city square during the study period, despite a total lack of bike infrastructure — but also found most bike riders avoid it like the plague.
Momentum looks at “awe-inspiring” bicycle infrastructure from around the world. None of which is in LA, or anywhere else in the US.
A woman riding a bike was killed by a hit-and-run driver fleeing from police in Mississauga, Ontario; the victim was found lying in the grass an hour-and-a-half after the police chase, and half an hour after police found the abandoned car nearby.
A 69-year old Scottish truck driver will finally face charges for killing a 22-year old French woman as she rode her bike in Glasgow eight months ago, although there’s no word on what he’s charged with.
This is who we share the road with, too. An English driver was busted for doing a whopping 61 mph in a 30 mph zone, while passing just feet from a child riding a bicycle.
Life is cheap in the UK, where a woman was sentenced to just 14 months behind bars for the drunken hit-and-run that left a bike-riding man seriously injured.
NPR reports on the bankruptcy of Dutch ebike maker VanMoof, noting that it’s left owners of the bikes stranded with no way to repair the company’s nonstandard designs. And that owners of the bikes in the Netherlands have resorted to stealing other people’s VanMoof’s just to strip them for parts.
Transgender British cyclist Emily Bridges was named to an annual roundup of Britain’s 25 Powerhouse women by the country’s edition of Vogue Magazine; needless to say, the British tabloids took offense, if only to rile up readers to drive up readership. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
However, Out Sports reports Bridges has quit competitive cycling in the face of both British and UCI bans on trans women competing in women’s cycling.
American ultra-cyclist Nick DeHaan won the 758-mile Paris-Brest-Paris on Tuesday, finishing 48 minutes ahead of his nearest rival while setting a modern course record of 41 hours, 46 minutes and 30 seconds.
And don’t ride alone to the state fair when you can join a pedaling pastor and a public radio announcer.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin