Major changes proposed for Hollywood Blvd, Parisians boost SUV parking fees, and Metro hasn’t changed its 710 stripes

330 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to 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. We’re up to 871 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000 this week!

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We could be looking at major changes on Hollywood Blvd.

Fingers crossed.

Thursday’s public meeting unveiled plans for one of the city’s first major lane reductions in the past several years for the east end of the boulevard, along with new protected bike lanes, providing a major safety improvement in addition to traffic calming.

Let’s just hope this moves beyond just talk and vaporware, for a change.

Click through on the links if the tweets disappear, which seems to be happening a lot lately.

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It’s not just the mayor.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has gotten a lot of the credit — or blame, depending on your perspective — for the recent changes making the city more climate friendly and livable, from new bike lanes to planning for a 15-minute city.

But clearly, Parisians are in her camp.

Not only did they re-elect her less than four years ago, but now residents of the city have approved her proposal to increase parking fees for SUVs.

And not by a small margin. Nearly 55% of voters agree to triple the cost to park an SUV on city streets, raising the cost for a private vehicle weighing over 1.6 tons — 3,200 pounds — to $20 an hour, in an effort to discourage their use in the city.

After all, few people will buy — let alone drive — oversized SUVs if they can’t afford to park them.

Your move, Los Angeles.

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Apparently, Metro’s cancellation of plans to widen the 710 Freeway really wasn’t a cancellation at all.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, a new proposal from the agency still includes plans to widen the freeway, and may require demolishing homes along the route, which led to the original cancellation.

And the much-promised improvements for transit, walking and biking along the corridor apparently don’t amount to much.

All of which goes to show just how little the agency has changed its stripes.

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GCN examines the all-important question of how much speed can you actually buy, as we’ve all heard — or yes, said — that you can buy speed, but you can’t buy skill.

You can, however, buy a $7,100 skinsuit.

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It’s now 46 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.

With friends like these, who needs enemies? An op-ed from a Boulder, Colorado bicyclist asserts that bicyclists needs to take responsibility for their behavior, because “Most bicycle accidents are caused by improper, sometimes illegal, cyclist behavior,” and adding “There is almost no excuse for a single-operator (bicycle) crash.” As if drivers and poor road conditions have nothing to do with it.

The count is now up to six teenagers facing charges for intentionally running down a pair of Australian bike riders with a stolen car, in separate attacks that left at least one victim with life-changing injuries; the kids range from just 13 to 16, with a 14-year old and a 16-year old suspected of doing the driving.

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Local 

The next time you need to get something across Long Beach in a hurry, you may have to take it yourself, after the city’s only bicycle messenger service abruptly shut down after nearly a decade.

 

State

San Diego Magazine recommends a trio of roads in the Anza Borrego desert east of the city to explore by mountain bike.

San Francisco’s almost universally maligned Valencia Street centerline bike lane could already be on its way out, even though sales tax figures show businesses along the street are actually doing better than surrounding areas, despite claims of a slowdown.

Bay Area transportation planners are considering a proposal to reopen the westbound shoulder of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle traffic, even though it’s currently a protected bike lane. Because really, who gives a damn about those darn people on bikes if there’s a driver somewhere who thinks they’re being inconvenienced?

 

National

A groundbreaking new study shows cities with high levels of bicycling are usually safer for all road users — including drivers. Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, but probably will. 

Colorado will host its Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, including in my bike-friendly hometown. Which is our annual reminder that Los Angeles still doesn’t have a Winter Bike to Work Day, despite having a much more inviting climate — this week excepted. Then again, we didn’t have much of a summer one last year, either. 

Chicago bicyclists disproved the myth that no one rides in the winter, as hundreds of people turned out for last month’s Critical Mass ride in 39 degrees and rain.

A Tennessee recumbent rider was killed, and two other bike riders were injured, when a driver jumped a curb and crashed into a group of bicyclists waiting on a Murfreesboro sidewalk for the light to change; the local bike club urged people not to jump to conclusions about who was at fault. Although it’s kind of hard not to when the victims were on the sidewalk, and so was the driver.

Men’s Health explains how the head chef of an elite, two Michelin-starred Brooklyn restaurant manages to be an elite bicyclist, too.

After a North Carolina driver killed a man riding a unicycle, the state Highway Patrol quickly blamed the victim for not having a headlight. Which raises the question of where they expected him to put it.

 

International

How to celebrate Valentines Day with a bicycle. I mean, not as your date or anything, because that would be weird. 

A British Columbia writer says yes, bike helmets are helpful, but if you really want to improve safety, make drivers wear them, too.

A pair of Edinburgh bicyclists were left shaken after they were attacked by hooded thieves who made off with their bikes, worth over $12,000.

Disappointing news, as one of England’s oldest bike shops shuttered after 134 years.

The UK’s national Bikeability children’s bicycle safety training program says fewer kids are riding to school, even though more are passing through the program.

Good question. A BBC radio show considers why bicyclists with bike-cams are considered snitches, while drivers with dash-cams are responsible citizens.

A European travel site says put Valencia, Spain on your bike bucket list.

Sad news from Bengaluru, India, where the man known as the Century Cyclist or the Cycle Yogi for his unbroken streak of 42 months of daily metric century rides — 62 miles — died of a heart attack just days after finishing the streak; he was just 45.

A London bike rider says spending a week riding on a cycle track through Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking Al Wathba desert changed his mind about bicycling, in a good way.

An Aussie ebike rider was seriously injured by a woman driving at nearly twice the county’s .05 legal blood alcohol limit, but the tabloids had a field day after learning she was wearing nothing but leather lingerie at the time of the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Estonia’s Madis Mihkels and Belgian pro Gerben Thijssen made a donation to their Intermarché–Wanty cycling team’s junior team, and were asked to make a presentation to the junior team members on the values of cycling after they were yanked from last year’s Chinese Tour of Guangxi for making a common anti-Asian racist gesture.

 

Finally…

Use wind-power to run your bike lights. Who needs Critical Mass when you can have a monthly bike rave, instead?

And seriously, how low can you go?

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0KYTXjv0Bg/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=33a07c8f-a11a-405f-aef2-962a6c6fb356

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

One comment

  1. Ralph Durham says:

    The link for the BBC article gives me Streetsblog LA instead.

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