Spring completion for LA River bike path work, Park prevaricates on Measure HLA, and Long Beach 7th most bikeable US city

Just 326 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 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 over 900 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000!

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Happy International Winter Bike to Work Day 2024!

Or as we call it here in Los Angeles, Friday.

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Let’s start with a question about construction work on the LA River bike path.

In a comment yesterday, E. Lehrer asked,

Would you please help us out with an update on the work on the LA River bike path between the Zoo Dr. exit and Riverside Dr.?

Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton’s provides near omniscience on subjects like this, writing last month that the work is scheduled to be finished this spring.

According to Linton, signage on site says it should be done by the end of this month. However, that’s likely to be delayed by this week’s rain, and could be delayed further by any future storms.

And that’s only if the city has its shit together, which is far from guaranteed.

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Public radio station LAist offers an overview of the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative in next month’s election, which has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, the LA Unified School District and a host of civic, social and worker organizations.

According to LAist,

This measure arrives after a year in which Los Angeles tallied more traffic deaths (337) than homicides (327). Moreover, critics say the city has ignored the law already on the books to make the streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists…

Currently, the city is not close to achieving (its Vision Zero) goal of reducing deaths through needed street improvements. Measure HLA requires the city to make progress on the city’s Mobility Plan and to document it for the public.

The story also explains why Measure HLA, which is how the initiative is identified on the ballot, is necessary — my word, not theirs.

Michael Schneider, CEO of Streets for All, said that the measure is needed to spur compliance with the Mobility Plan. Eight years into the city’s 20-year-plan to make the streets safer, it has only implemented 5% of the plan.

“So if you do the math, that’s not a 20-year plan, that’s a 160-year plan,” he said. “Meanwhile, pedestrian deaths and just deaths from car crashes in general keep going up.”

CD10 Councilmember Heather Hutt announced her endorsement of the HLA initiative in next month’s election on Twitter/X yesterday.

On the other hand, CD11 Councilmember Traci Park appears to oppose the measure, after calling for a detailed report on the financial and structural impacts of Measure HLA.

She’s also asking for detailed reports on the measure’s impact on street resurfacing schedules, potential traffic changes, community outreach plans, funding strategies, and compliance with safety codes, in what appears to be an attempt to prevent its implementation by burying it in paperwork, even if it passes.

Park also claims the city has already implemented much iof the Mobility Plan, including more than 300 miles of bicycle lanes and other mobility elements.

Which has not happened.

Streetsblog’s Linton has kept a detailed log of the city’s bike lane mileage, showing just 222.7 miles of new LA bike lanes in the nine years since the Mobility Plan 2035 was adopted in 2016.

Much of which was not part of the Mobility Plan, which remains 95% unbuilt.

The city also counts sharrows as bike lanes, which studies show can actually increase the danger for bike riders. And it measures its annual output in lane miles, meaning bike lanes on each side of the roadway are counted separately.

So the real total is closer to 111 miles of roadway — much of which is low quality, if not actually dangerous.

It should also be noted that what Park is objecting to is not Measure HLA, but the Mobility Plan that was overwhelming approved by the LA City Council just nine years ago. And which was scheduled to be completed by 2035.

That’s before we were told it was merely “aspirational,” of course.

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Redfin ranks the ten most bikeable cities in the US with a population over 200,000, none of which is Los Angeles.

Although Long Beach, with a population over 450,000, makes a surprising appearance at number seven, while San Francisco came in third behind Minneapolis and Portland.

Considering that Redfin is a real estate site, it’s worth noting that Minneapolis and Chicago are the most affordable cities on the list for home buyers, while Minneapolis and Portland are cheapest for renters.

So you can forward my mail to Minneapolis, when and if I ever hang up my hat.

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A UC Santa Barbara bicycle repair shop was named Best of the Year for Domestic Small Higher Education by Interior Design, which says the building doubles as a work of art.

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It’s now 50 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.

A road-raging St. Petersburg, Florida woman faces charges for intentionally running over a man riding a bicycle, after using her car as a weapon by attempting to swerve into him several times before finally succeeding; fortunately, the victim only suffered a broken ankle.

No bias here. Brompton’s plans for a new eco-friendly, carfree HQ and factory hit an unexpected snag when British regulators ordered them to consider the poor, unfortunate folks who have no choice but to drive. Because evidently, bikes and shuttle buses aren’t a thing.

A Canberra, Australia driver says he’s had his issues with “the lycra-clad,” but finds it hard to argue against better bike lanes after witnessing the peak hour terror of lead-foot drivers zooming down painted bike lanes to bypass traffic.

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Local 

Longbeachize explains the coming 51st Street Greenbelt in North Long Beach, which will include a bikeway connecting the L.A. River bike path and the Daisy Lane Bike Boulevard.

 

State

A San Diego man was seriously injured when he reportedly rode his mountain bike off a San Ysidro sidewalk, and was hit head-on by a 20-year old driver; the victim suffered an open fracture of his right femur, concussion, fractured hand, cut over his eye, and had two teeth knocked out.

Thousands of bicyclists will roll through the Coachella Valley this weekend for the 26th Annual Tour de Palm Springs fundraising ride.

A San Jose auto shop owner faces charges for his role in an international bike theft ring, allegedly fencing high-end bicycles stolen in daytime burglaries for resale in Mexico.

 

National

Velo continues their backward gaze for Black History Month with a recap of the early Black bicycling heroes of the late 19th Century.

Cycling Weekly says sex no longer sells in advertising to a new generation of bicyclists. I’d argue that it never did, but bike brands were slow to catch on. 

Bicycling recommends the 17 best Valentine’s Day gifts for bicyclists, ranging from a bicycle-themed pizza cutter to a portable tube with built-in flint lighter to stash your joint. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you. 

There’s a special place in hell for whoever used a pickaxe to steal an ebike a Minneapolis woman who planned to use it to help with her multiple sclerosis, before she even had a chance to.

An Ohio bike shop owner takes issue with Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss recent Outside column asserting that there’s no good reason to buy a carbon bike.

A Manhattan website says horse carriages are being squeezed out of Hells Kitchen by the newly widened 10th Street bike lanes, after numerous complaints from bicyclists about the carriage drivers using the bike lanes instead of the roadway.

The New York Fire Department shuttered a bike shop accused of assembling fire-prone “Frankenstein” ebike batteries.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the New Iberia, Louisiana driver who simply drove off after slamming into two people riding their bikes, killing one and critically injuring the other.

 

International

Cyclist offers advice and product recommendations to increase your average bicycling speed.

Bike Radar provides tips on bike commuting in cold and wet weather. Most of which applies here in LA, since it focuses on British rain instead of snow.

A UK petition calls for boosting the maximum assisted speed allowed on the country’s ebikes from 15.5 mph to 20 mph; the country currently follows the European Union regulations, despite leaving the EU four years ago.

That’s more like it. A 29-year old British driver was sentenced to 11 years behind bars, and banned from driving for a whopping 17 years, for the hit-and-run death of a young mother as she rode her bike while driving on the wrong side of the road at two and a half times the posted speed limit; he had multiple previous convictions, was driving without insurance and out on bail at the time of the crash. Just another example of officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Dutch police are rolling out new roadside mobile road test benches to determine if an ebike violates power and speed limitations.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside is screening Dear 39th Street online; the short film traces the rise of South Central LA native and L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams, who they say transcends cycling by leading his team to victory after victory.

Bicycling reports that 100-year old gold medal cyclist Charles Coste will carry the torch at the upcoming Paris Olympics. Once again, read it on AOL if the magazine blocks you.

Take it back, damn it! A writer for Velo says the Eddy Merckx bike line is relaunching, following two years away after the brand was purchased by the maker of Ridley bikes — then has the temerity to question whether anyone even remembers the legendary Cannibal.

A British cycling group has advised anyone participating in a time trial to observe the posted 20 mph speed limits wherever they apply. Which could result in a mass tie if organizers can’t manage to plan a course around them.

New Australian pro Rudy Porter became just the latest pro cyclist struck by a driver while on a training ride; the 23-year old cyclist was lucky to escape without serious injuries while riding on the southeastern coast of France.

 

Finally…

If you’re headed to the Bay Area for the big ride this weekend, don’t bother packing your clothes. Apparently, you’re not too old to be president if you can still ride a bike.

And Bicycling says bicycling doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt.

Except for their paywall, of course, which is one.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

3 comments

  1. Joe Linton says:

    My head is swelling from all the praise!!!

  2. Ralph says:

    20 mph is too fast for bike lanes and mixed use paths if other people are present. The trouble with having the ability to go fast leads to a number of people going to fast for conditions.

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