Die-in at City Hall as LA 333 days from Vision Zero fail, San Diego prioritizes Vision Zero, and support soars for HLA

333 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So 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.

Now, we’ve got a lot to catch up on, after being down for two days, so strap in for a bumpy ride. 

Die-in photo by Joe Linton for Streetsblog

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, where at least one speaker clearly didn’t pull his words.

SAFE founder Damian Kevitt criticized the city’s Vision Zero program, intended to eliminate traffic deaths, as “an abysmal failure.”

“We aren’t even remotely doing [Vision Zero], so let’s stop trying to fool everyone by saying that we are.” He emphasized SAFE doesn’t oppose Vision Zero, but urges the city to step up and take its program more seriously.

“We need to yell and yell loud and don’t stop yelling… for safer roads” Kevitt urged, leading the assembled crowd in chanting, “Mayor Bass, where’s your plan?”

Maybe if we all sign the petition up at the top, we could do that yelling where she might actually hear us.

The speakers included state legislators and C-30 Congressional candidates Assemblymember Laura Friedman and State Senator Anthony Portantino, as well as Councilmember Nithya Raman.

A handful of elected officials joined the rally. Assemblymember Laura Friedman recounted her long struggles to pass much-needed legislation to allow cities to cap speed limits and to install automated speed enforcement. “Let’s slow people down,” Friedman urged, “let’s take back our streets!”

State Senator Anthony Portantino urged attendees to “turn tears… and pain… and tragedy… into action” for safer streets. L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman spoke about her success in implementing bikeways, funding for bus shelters, and more. Raman urged treating the “staggering rise in deaths” as the “public heath crisis that it is.”

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. Because far too many people are dying on our streets, and the city isn’t doing anywhere near enough to stop it.

But at least one councilmember gets it.

Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone gave Los Angeles an F grade for traffic safety in 2023.

Here’s what founder Damian Kevitt had to say.

I am starting this report with a question that anyone reading this must think about:

How many more Angelenos need to die before we, as a collective city, start treating traffic violence with the urgency it deserves?

 In January 2023, Streets Are For Everyone produced its first report, Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles, looking at traffic violence trends, the numbers behind them, and other statistics related to traffic violence in Los Angeles.

The numbers were disturbing. They showed that what was being done to address traffic violence was clearly not working and needed a significant change in action, level of funding, and dedication if our elected officials truly intended to save lives on the roads of Los Angeles. The report laid out four broad steps that needed to be taken. In short, these were:

  1. Cut the bureaucracy by declaring a state of emergency related to traffic violence. 
  2. Reestablish Vision Zero with accountability, transparency, and PURPOSE.
  3. Prioritize lives over the right to speed.
  4. Get real about the magnitude of the problem by funding road safety improvements at a level that might start to make a difference.

Guess how many of those items city leaders actually checked off? No, really, we’ll wait.

And once again, take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because we’re dying here. Too often literally.

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At least San Diego gets it.

https://twitter.com/TallDarknJewish/status/1752387993149858242

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The Los Angeles City Council punted when they had the chance to adopt the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure a year and a half ago.

But at least some of them want you to do it next month.

The ballot measure has also been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, the LA County Democratic Party, and — surprisingly — the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as a number of other organizations and Neighborhood Councils.

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A virtual town hall this evening will discuss plans to improve safety on the east end of Hollywood Blvd.

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Gravel Bike California takes on the LA Tourist Race.

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A Bay Area TV station reports on how triathletes who competed at the worlds won the battle to get their high-end racing bikes back, which had been impounded due to a dispute with the shipping company.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link. 

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A reminder that 94-year old actor Gene Hackman is one of us.

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It’s now 42 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 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.

You can smell the bullshit a mile away when bike lanes are rejected in the name of safety, as they were in one upstate New York town, although the real reason seems to be preserving parking spaces. Because we all know that human lives are less important than personal convenience.

Dublin bike riders describe the intimidation, aggression and bullying they receive from the city’s motorists.

Two young Frenchmen face up to five years behind bars for pushing at least a dozen bike riders into ditches over a period of several months.

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

They get it. A Slovakian newspaper argues that bike riders sometimes knowingly break the law, but do it for the safe of safely in the absence of safe infrastructure.

A Singapore bike rider hit a dog’s snout while riding a pedestrian walkway, then criticized the owner for not controlling the dog when it growled at him as a result.

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Local 

LAist declares 2023 the year of the pothole, and tells you how to report them.

A Los Angeles Times letter writer agrees with a proposal to place speed limitation devices on motor vehicles, arguing that cars have gotten too big and fast, but another writer blames the victims, calling for a campaign to teach “defensive walking” to pedestrians so they won’t get killed.

Metro will offer free rides on the county transit agency’s bus, rail and bike systems this Sunday for Transit Equity Day, and the birthday of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Speaking of Joe Linton, the Los Angeles Streetsblog editor visits the new bikeways of Beverly Hills, demonstrating that the overprivileged city is not longer the area’s biking black hole, as well as new curb-protected bike lanes in Long Beach.

Another Streetsblog writer examines the first segment of the new Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets project in El Monte. Because evidently, Linton can’t be everywhere. 

 

State

Streetsblog is now accepting applications for their California board of directors.

A pair of San Marcos kids suffered serious injuries when they were run down by a hit-and-run driver while sharing an ebike.

Bakersfield bicyclists will be able to bike a new 1.5-mile section of freeway before it opens to motor vehicles.

There’s a special place in hell for the anti-social asshole — and I choose my words carefully — who burglarized Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike shop and community advocacy group, forcing the shop to close after suffering at least $13,000 in losses.

Bad news from Lincoln, California, where cycling strength trainer, and health and wellness expert Derek Teel, owner of Dialed Health, suffered a severely broken pelvis, a broken femur and a collapsed lung, among other injuries, when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday afternoon.

 

National

A new report suggests that capping vehicle hood heights at 3.6 feet — instead of massive trucks and SUVs with high, flat grills literally designed to kill — could save 1,350 American lives a year, as a new calculator determines exactly how likely a vehicle is to kill you.

A new study shows cargo bikes really can replace cars, as people rated cargo bikes higher than motor vehicles in nearly every category.

A group of four Democrats have introduced a bill that would require states to direct a portion of their federal highway funding towards the creation of a Complete Streets Program.

Both sides of the Congressional aisle have finally agreed on a bipartisan ebike bill — but instead of offering a rebate, this one would create federal standards for ebike batteries.

Miss Manners confronts drama on the bike trail, as a man’s riding companions give him the cold shoulder for taking too long to chat with friends in another group, delaying their group ride.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A 32-year old man with 19 previous traffic citations agreed to plead guilty to killing 32-year old BMX champ Nathan “Nate” Miller, after prosecutors agreed to a sentence of probation or just one year in prison. Congratulations to Nevada officials on keeping him on the road until he actually killed someone, then letting him loose to do it again. 

The Salt Lake City man behind the Pedaled Piano project dreams of riding his bicycle and playing piano across Europe.

The allegedly stoned driver who killed two brothers riding with their kids in the annual Spring Tour of St. George bicycle ride escaped with a pair of third-degree vehicular homicide convictions when the jury returned a split verdict; the woman claimed she was shitting on herself as she drove, and didn’t notice the men riding their bikes on the side of the road.

Like Los Angeles, Colorado is seeing bicycle and pedestrian deaths rise, even as overall traffic deaths decline.

Hats off to a trio of University of Illinois engineering students, who designed a fully custom bike, complete with adaptive handlebars, gear hub and frame, to allow an eight-year old boy with a form of dwarfism to ride a bike for the first time.

An Illinois bike advocacy group launched a statewide campaign to call attention to the state’s rising rate of bicycling deaths.

Bike crashes are surging in Michigan, where bicycling deaths are up 64% over the past three years.

Nashville star Zach Bryan is one of us, riding a tandem with his girlfriend in Amsterdam while high on ‘shrooms and blasting the late Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money on endless repeat. I confess to two out of the three, though how much of that applies to you is entirely a matter of your own personal habits. 

New York Magazine considers MIPS helmets, and whether you need one. Unlike MIPS, regular bike helmets are designed to prevent fractures, not traumatic brain injuries. So the short answer is yes, if you’re going to wear one at all.

 

International

GCN considers the pros and cons of puncture-proof tires.

Momentum lists the most romantic bicycling cities on the planet, all of which are in Europe. And none of which is Los Angeles.

A Cycling Weekly opinion piece makes the case for not taking your local bike shop for granted.

Marketplace talks with London bike writer Laura Laker about the complications of navigating a city by bicycle, and how map apps can make things worse.

A London writer reports feeling bereft after her decades-old bicycle was stolen.

An English church is asking for permission to modify its fence, over fears people riding on the nearby bike path could be impaled on the fence’s spikes.

Residents of a British apartment complex blame construction of a nearby bike path for a recent rat infestation, after construction work blocked garbage trucks for three months.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The 68-year old founder of a UK arts and health charity was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a 19-year old driver; he was described as a gifted pianist, talented mathematician, bridge builder and visionary leader.

Three-time world record-breaking British cyclist Kate Strong will ride a bamboo bike 160 miles to deliver the game ball for Saturday’s Forest Green Rovers FC and Colchester United FC soccer match to call for greener support for the planet.

A five-day British fundraising ride will travel from the UK through Normandy to honor the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing. Or pedal Italy while you feed your face with a new bicycling tour of Sicily, hosted by two award-winning chefs.

Seriously? A 17-year old Aussie driver says he was frightened of the 62-year old man on a bicycle who flipped him off after the kid repeatedly honked at him for riding too slowly — so scared, in fact, that he got out of his car and challenged the older man to a fight, killing him with a punch.

 

Competitive Cycling

A four-year old Florida boy appears to eke out a victory racing his bike against the local garbage collector.

Cycling Weekly refutes Rigoberto Urán’s statement that he’s too old to race bikes at 37, citing other riders who competed well into relative old age.

On the opposite end of the cycling age spectrum, 22-year old German pro Michel Hessmann won’t face criminal doping charges, but could still be subject to a cycling ban from German authorities.

 

Finally…

How to give new life to your old bike parts. We may have to worry about vipers behind the wheel, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a deadly brown snake wrapped around your wheel.

And three ways to open a beer with your mountain bike.

You know, in case the first two don’t work.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

One comment

  1. I was slightly disappointed that the link to opening a beer with your bicycle wasn’t to Drunk Cyclist.

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