LA 3rd worst for bike deaths as percentage of bike commuters, and Metro considers slashing open streets budget

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Photo by Darren Graves.

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Let’s start with today with yet another measure of how deadly streets are in the City of Angels, as Los Angeles ranks 3rd among large American cities in the number of bike riders killed as a proportion of bike commuters.

Although that measure fails to consider that many, if not most, LA victims may be riding for other reasons.

But still.

And it’s yet another good reason to sign the petition above, before that figure gets any higher.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn, aka Velocipedus, for the head’s up.

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The Metro board is considering a staff recommendation to cut funding for open streets events, including CicLAvia, 626 Golden Streets and Beach Streets, just as they are expanding in frequency throughout LA County, and needed more than ever.

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The 46th Annual LA Chinatown Firecracker festival is set to take place on February 24th and 25th, marking one of the largest and oldest Lunar New Year celebrations in the US.

But it’s the bike rides taking place on Saturday the 24th that’s of most interest here.

This is how organizers describe them.

20/50-Mile LA Chinatown Firecracker Bike Ride Highlights 

Participants receive:

  • Commemorative short sleeve t-shirt
  • Goodie Bag
  • Finisher Medal
  • Post-Event Carbo Load Dish and 1 Beer (21+)
20-MILE FUN RIDE

CHINATOWN, LOS ANGELES RIVER PATH

The short route takes advantage of the recently renovated LA River Bike Trail that is protected from vehicular traffic. It also starts in Chinatown and enters the restored Los Angeles River that has been transformed into a sanctuary for a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. View the architectural bridges, cafes and even a bike shop that has sprouted up along the river. This is an easy and relaxed route that is perfect for beginners and intermediate riders. There are multiple restrooms along the route and a large staffed and stocked rest stop with a picnic area will be waiting for you at the halfway point.

Check out the route map here.

50 MILE HALF-CENTURY – NEW FOR 2024

EAST SIDE & SAN GABRIEL VALLEY NEIGHBORHOODS

We collected feedback from riders of past events and designed a better route with improved rest stops that are more cyclist friendly. The new route goes through Downtown LA, The LA River, Glendale, Eagle Rock, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, South Pasadena, El Sereno and Lincoln Heights. We start in historic Chinatown with a backdrop of City Hall, ride past Los Angeles State Historic Park, Autry Museum, LA Zoo, Travel Town, LA Equestrian Center, Bette Davis Park, Verdugo Mountains, JPL/NASA, Christmas Tree Lane, Eaton Canyon and much more. This is a fantastic way to experience the sights, smells and diversity of Los Angeles County on two wheels with fellow cyclists, route signage, SAG support and 2 stocked/staffed rest stops. This is a mix of bike paths, bike lanes and urban streets. *2,200 ft climb

Check out the route map here.

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It’s now 34 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

No bias here. Rose City driver activist group Keep Pasadena Moving criticizes efforts to urge the city to use NACTO’s All Ages & Abilities design standards for upcoming greenways, describing the respected National Association of City Transportation Officials as a New York special interest group.

Two men riding bikes were seriously injured when they were run down by what appears to be the same driver in stolen car in Melbourne, Australia. No word on whether the attacks were deliberate, but it sounds a lot like similar attacks in Las Vegas and Huntington Beach, which may have stemmed from a TikTok challenge.

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

A 77-year old San Leandro, California woman was killed when she was struck by a 12-year old boy riding a bicycle as she stepped out of a store earlier this month; the boy put his foot down, but was unable to stop in time.

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Local 

Velo says it might not be a good idea to give Lyft an exclusive contract to operate the Metro Bike bikeshare system for the next 11 years, after the troubled bikeshare operator put itself up for sale; the proposal has been delayed after objections from LA bikeshare users and union members.

A February 4th bike ride will roll through the streets of Alhambra to call for a safe bike network in the city, as it prepares to roll out a new bike and pedestrian plan.

 

State

Calbike announced this year’s California Bicycle Summit will be held at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside on April 18-19.

A Bakersfield judge has postponed the preliminary hearing of a man charged with murder in the alleged drunken hit-and-run that killed a 30-year old woman riding a bike last year; 25-year old Caleb Nathaniel Rodriguez was already driving on a suspended license following a previous DUI conviction.

Nice Guy. The 24-year old driver who escaped charges for killing former NFL coach Greg Knapp as he rode his bike in San Ramon two years ago was arrested for assaulting his own father over the weekend.

Streetsblog examines new raised bike lanes on Oakland’s Frutivale Ave.

A 70-year old Modesto woman is lucky she wasn’t one of the 23 people killed walking or riding bicycles in Stanislaus County last year, after surviving a crash by a pickup driver.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 14-year old boy was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle.

 

National

The co-founder of the All Bodies on Bikes movement explains the techniques she used to make peace with hills, despite being a fat bicyclist. Her description, not mine. 

Here’s your chance to work in the bicycle industry, as Pink Bike lists 13 jobs that are open right now.

Thrillist says you’ll need a guide, a bicycle and cash to find the best tacos in Tucson, Arizona.

A Colorado bike law attorney examines plans for an offroad bike path replacing the deadly section of roadway between Boulder and Longmont where 17-year old US junior ‘cross champ Magnus White was killed last year.

A local TV station says Baltimore is slowly becoming safer for people walking and on bicycles.

A Miami bike rider wants to know whatever happened to Critical Mass. He’s welcome to come to Los Angeles this Friday, and the last Friday of every month to find out.

 

International

The European Cyclists Federation says markings on pavement are more than just paint, as bicycling infrastructure plays “an essential role in safer cycling by mitigating risks, enhancing visibility and overall enforcing a sense of safety for cyclists.” Although that last part can be problematic, considering it is just paint.

Velo considers the world’s five best bicycling hotels for your next two-wheeled vacation.

Road.cc rates the year’s ten best road bikes.

Oasis singer and songwriter Noel Gallagher is one of us, as he lost the equivalent of $25 million in his divorce settlement, but at least he got to keep his bicycle.

A London family was torn apart when a young mother was the victim of a speeding hit-and-run driver doing over twice the posted speed limit as she rode her bike home from work.

A Scottish columnist says it’s time for Edinburgh to take bicycle safety seriously.

Talk about the road trip from hell. A man attempting to ride from Scotland to India was killed when he fell off a cliff after eating a poisonous wild mushroom in Italy, following the theft of his bicycle and money in a robbery while riding through France.

Britain’s Brompton is now offering a 12-speed foldie.

Momentum says the Dutch are inspiring the world once again with their fancy solar bike paths.

 

Competitive Cycling

Pez Cycling News examines the health, or lack thereof, of pro cycling in North America.

Popular American pro Joe Dombrowski calls it a career after 11 years on the WorldTour.

The organizers of Belgium’s E3 Saxo Classic apologized for posting a cartoon widely seen as homophobic, which showed Wout van Aert finishing the the Cyclocross World Cup in Spain after losing his bike seat, with the caption “Wout van Aert crosses the finish line without a saddle. LGBTQ community blazing.”

 

Finally…

Your next car could be a “terrifying three-wheeled EV” with bike pedals. If you’re riding salmon, without lights or reflectors, with an active warrant and carrying meth on your bike, maybe leave the folding table on your handlebars at home.

And that feeling when Tadej drops you like freshman English.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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