Firefighters campaign to keep streets deadly amid HLA disinformation campaign, and Feds single out better LA bikeway

Just 314 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 Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Only 28 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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One quick non-bike note before we get started. 

You may recall that my wife and I took in a corgi for a homeless man just before the pandemic to give him a chance to get back on his feet, in a story that was told beautifully by then Los Angeles Times City Beat Editor Nita Lelyveld.

For a time, they both thrived; Lelyveld’s followup piece seemed like the perfect Hollywood ending. 

But celluloid isn’t reality, and here in the real Hollywood, people and dogs don’t always live happily ever after. 

So yesterday, the Times published my op-ed detailing the tragic end of the story. You may want to have a tissue on hand before you read it.

Or maybe a box.

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Gotta admit, it’s pretty remarkable to see firefighters, of all people, arguing for keeping our streets deadly.

What’s next, ER docs telling people not to wear bike helmets?

Meanwhile, David Drexler offers a reminder that you can order HLA yard signs here. I would, if I only had a yard.

And retired LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin offered a thread about Measure HLA, aka the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, on Twitter/X that’s worth repeating here.

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Nice to see LA bike infrastructure used as a good example, for a change.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition is hosting a CicLAvia feeder ride this Sunday, assembling in front of the Hollywood & Highland Metro Station at 9 am, and departing at 9:15 am.

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Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is hosting an interactive community meeting on Saturday with County Supervisor Holly Mitchell to stop illegal street takeovers; advance registration required.

Speaking of SAFE, you only have through this Sunday to get advance registration for April’s Finish the Ride and Finish the Run in Griffith Park, prices go up after midnight.

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Los Angeles Walks is celebrating their 25th Anniversary with a Sidewalk Soirée fundraiser on Saturday, March 16th.

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GCN debunks the myths and misconceptions behind hi-viz clothing for bicyclists, saying if it really made you safe, the results would be obvious.

And they’re not.

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It’s now 62 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.

The San Diego Reader considers the love and hate for the city’s expanding bike network, including the many people illegally using and parking in the well-marked bike lanes.

No bias here. A Conservative member of the British Parliament is opposing plans to improve safety at a dangerous roundabout, because “the main cycling beneficiaries will be those out of borough looking to cycle in a straight line.” If only pass-through drivers were subject to the same standard. 

No bias here, either. Just a month after two Melbourne bicyclists were targeted in deliberate hit-and-runs, Aussie police warned bicyclists to stay off the roads when a TV news network runs a show asking “Are cyclists annoying us?”

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Local 

A 44-year old man living in Pico Rivera was shot to death while riding his bicycle on Rosemead Blvd shortly after midnight Saturday, though no one seems to have seen the shooter, or have a motive for the murder.

Santa Monica is looking for a Senior Transportation Planner for the city’s Bicycle Program, offering a great opportunity to make a difference in a city that seems to be committed to making a difference for people on bicycles. Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the link.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition makes the case that Complete Streets are an accessibility issue.

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety traffic enforcement operation tomorrow, targeting dangerous behavior that put vulnerable road users at risk. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line, so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

Walk Bike Glendale invites you to weigh in on a proposal to install bike lanes on a little over a half mile of Glenoaks Blvd between Brand and Geneva, either through an online survey or a public open house tomorrow evening; you can learn more about the proposal on the project website.

 

State

Calbike will host a free online panel discussion on the need for Complete Streets on Caltrans Corridors on March 6th, in advance of April’s California Bicycle Summit in San Diego, though advance registration is required. Unfortunately, it will be over before I usually get up.

Sad news from Palo Alto, where a woman in her 20s was killed when her bike was rear-ended as she waited for a left turn arrow, and knocked into the intersection where she was struck by two other drivers, neither of whom bothered to stop. And for once, we know exactly what happened because the entire crash was captured on the first driver’s dashcam.

A new report showing San Francisco’s controversial Valencia Street centerline bike lane improved safety received applause from some bicyclists, and a legal challenge from local merchants.

A Manteca bicyclist relates getting pulled over by a Nevada state cop while doing 44 on a steep descent in a 45 mph zone, as a reminder that bike riders can get speeding and other tickets, too. It’s been one of my lifetime goals to get stopped for speeding on a bicycle, but I never seem to be going that fast when there’s anyone around who gives a damn.

 

National

Electrek makes the case that ebike riders actually get more exercise than riders of traditional pedal bikes, because a) ebike riders generally ride longer, b) ebike riders tend to ride more often, and c) tough terrain is easier on an ebike. Remember, though, they’re talking generalities; your mileage may vary. Sometimes literally.

A new study from the University of Duh uncovers the shocking news that recreational downhill mountain bikers suffer a high rate of upper extremity fractures and soft tissue injuries. Which anyone who has ever done it, or ever spoken with anyone who has ever done it, can likely attest to.

Cycling Weekly offers advice on how to complete your first gravel race, courtesy of someone who’s finished dead last; meanwhile, the magazine questions whether the new “gravel race bike” category is just a con.

Velo recommends the six best bicycling weekend getaways for the whole family, without having to leave the friendly confines of the US.

Denver prepares for a new round of the city’s highly successful ebike voucher program, with simplified rules to make it easier to apply; since the program began in 2022, the city has funded over 8,000 ebike rebates. Which serves as a good reminder that California’s moribund and modestly funded ebike rebate program passed the legislature in 2021, and has yet to issue a single voucher. And most retailers who are supposed to participate don’t even know about it yet.

Contemporary Christian star Amy Grant says she had to learn how to sing again after suffering serious injuries falling off her bike in Nashville.

Columbia SC bicyclists complain about a new bike lane, arguing the lack of connecting lanes means a “perilous” journey just to get there. And contending with the risk of dooring from parked cars once you do.

A pair of kindhearted Tampa, Florida retirees have founded a church charity dedicated to refurbishing bikes to donate to homeless people.

 

International

If they build it, we will come. A new European study confirms what we already knew — bike lanes get more people on their bikes, and improve perceptions of public spaces. Because it’s easier to say the city sucks when you drive through it in your hermetically sealed vehicle, then when you are actively experiencing it on a bicycle.

Gangs of moped riders are pushing Londoners off their bicycles and making off with them. The bikes, that is, not the riders.

A semi-truck driver will spend the next four years and nine months behind bars for killing a doctor riding her bike to the London hospital she worked at, after failing to use his turn signal before making a “highly dangerous maneuver at a dangerous gyrator intersection.

British historian and bike scribe Carlton Reid describes his discovery of over 100 bikeways built in the 1930s hiding in plain site, many of which could be brought back to useful purpose.

Dublin, Ireland plans to double bicycling rates over the next four years, while developing a 15 minute city by diverting motor vehicles from traveling through the city center. Or centre, if you prefer.

 

Competitive Cycling

America’s greatest early Black bike hero — or perhaps America’s greatest early bike hero, period — is back in the news, with a new documentary about Marshall “Major” Taylor, and a new biographical novel about him by three-time Olympic cyclist John Howard and research scientist Rene Maurer.

British cyclist Emily Bridges will take her fight to compete in the Paris Olympics to the courts, after British Cycling banned transgender women from competing in female cycling events.

 

Finally…

Nothing like posting the full access benefits of your magazine — then hiding it behind a paywall so non-subscribers can’t even see it.

And that feeling when the lessons learned from a short dooring video don’t include “It hurts.”

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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