Urge SaMo council to expand bike network, LA’s bad drivers nowhere near worst, and Measure HLA tops the news

Just 308 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. Just 6 signatures to go to reach 1,000! 

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BikeLA Chapter Santa Monica Spoke is calling on you to reach out to the Santa Monica City Council before their meeting tonight, to urge them to support safer streets and Vision Zero.

Tuesday Feb 27th Santa Monica City Council will hear the City Manager Report – on the Bike Action Plan and a Vision Zero Update — Special Item 3B on the Agenda.

Please join us with an email to Council TODAY voicing your support for more protected bike lanes (support the Bike Action Plan Amendment) and to support our city’s commitment to Vision Zero — to protect vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking, with streets designed to be safer for everyone.

Easy one click email please do add your comments and personal stories if you can!

Or use this “copy and paste / template” send to:

Re: Item 3B City Manager Report – Bike Action Plan and Vision Zero Update.

Dear Santa Monica Mayor, City Council and City Manager:

I support the City’s commitment to safer streets and more protected bike lanes. Please prioritize improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure and Vision Zero. The City must continue the overwhelming community supported commitment to prioritize and protect vulnerable road users, like people walking and biking, with more protected bike lanes and streets designed to be safer for everyone.

Please support and prioritize safer streets!

Then if you’re not doing anything tonight, show up at the meeting to show your support.

Or if you are, even.

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Shockingly, Los Angeles barely makes the American Top 40 of the nation’s worst drivers, a list topped by Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Clearly, the experts at Forbes have never driven the streets of LA.

In fact, nowhere in California ranked near the top, despite the state’s notoriously bad drivers.

  • 22. Fresno
  • 34. Long Beach
  • 37. Los Angeles
  • 42. San Diego
  • 49. San Francisco

No, really.

Clearly, we all need to email them to demand a recount, or send in a fake slate of electors. Or something.

Because on any list of America’s worst drivers, Los Angeles should be #1 with a bullet.

Literally, sometimes.

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Measure HLA continues to dominate Los Angeles news, as LA Times Letter’s Editor Paul Thornton says the hysteria over bike lanes shows exactly why Measure HLA is needed.

But a letter writer in the Times insists that if you build it, they won’t come, because she somehow doesn’t see any bike riders or buses on the newly expanded Venice Blvd bus and bikeways.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles-based composer bizarrely urges a vote against HLA because it would “only” implement 300 miles of bus lanes, even though the mobility plan it’s based on features bus lanes on nearly every major street.

And a writer for LA Progressive insists HLA somehow won’t work because of US military spending in Ukraine and Gaza, and because HLA ignores connectivity — even though it’s based on LA’s nine-year old Mobility Plan 2035, which contains three separate but interconnected bike networks, which the city would be forced to build out as streets are resurfaced.

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I want to be like them when I grow up.

Used bike retailer The Pro’s Closet talks with soon-to-be 80-year old Wendy Skean, who raced wheel-to-wheel against much younger riders at the “outrageously cold and muddy” Old Man Winter Rally, where she finished 50th out of 237 women in the 50K event. And in her first-ever race, no less.

Cycling Weekly talks with 76-year old Brit Geoff Nelder, who still averages riding 100 miles a week in winter and 200 in summer, helping him overcome three coronary stents ten years ago.

Or maybe not, as a 73-year old man was killed while riding his bike in a Thai hit-and-run.

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It’s now 69 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.

Good question. Escape Collective takes up the burning question of how to get drivers to finally recognize that people on bicycles are human, too.

Someone working with the Department of DIY took matters into their own hands, and added traffic diverters to finally fulfill the New York mayor’s promise to finish work on the street.

A UK sociologist considers why so many people are so triggered by the simple act of riding a bicycle.

After a British bike rider reported a driver for using his cellphone behind the wheel, police took immediate action — threatening to charge the guy on the bicycle after incorrectly concluding the helmet cam video he submitted to them showed him riding on the wrong side of the road.

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

A Wisconsin petition calls off-trail mountain biking a threat to the red headed woodpecker population.

A New York thief took advantage of the added mobility of the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare to rob four people in Central Park in just under an hour, telling one victim “I rob people for a living.” I mean, you’d hate to see an amateur who doesn’t know what he’s doing attempting a feat like that.

Apparently, bike theft is just an “oopsie” now, after a Korean high school student admitted to “mistakenly” stealing a bicycle to support his siblings, after his mother’s illness.

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Local 

This is who we share the road with. Wealthy socialite and Grossman Burn Center co-founder Rebecca Grossman faces 34 to life after she was convicted of murder in the high-speed hit-and-run deaths of two young brothers crossing a Westlake Village street with their family in 2020.

LADOT is teaming with CicLAvia to highlight the new protected bike lanes and safety features on Reseda Blvd for four short hours on St. Paddy’s Day. And to prove just how well they work, they’ll still let drivers and their cars use the street.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers his typically great photos capturing the essence of Sunday’s Melrose CicLAvia.

 

State

More on Costa Mesa’s $7.9 million grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Complete Streets program, which will fund Class I bike trail, and two Class IV fully separated bike lanes. Thanks to Richard Duquette for the heads-up. 

San Diego belatedly begins work on a two-way protected bikeway on Balboa Park’s Pershing Drive, nearly three years after noted architect Laura Shinn was killed by a stoned driver.

The Toronto Star tours Santa Barbara’s American Riviera, where everything is a “quick walk, bike or public transit ride” away.

Bakersfield residents get new ebikes through the city’s loan-to-own ebike program.

Velo examines why everyone is freaking out about San Francisco’s center-running Valencia Street bike lane.

A Redwood City site compares university towns Davis and Palo Alto, proclaiming there can only be self-proclaimed California “Bicycle Capital.” Although fellow university city Long Beach would like to have a word.

 

National

A Portland man faces charges for the alleged DUI death of a homeless man on a bicycle; the driver ran away on foot, but was detained by community members after someone fired a shot.

Bicyclists in Goodyear, Arizona turned out for a rally to remember the victims of last year’s crash that killed two people and hospitalized 17 others when a pickup driver plowed into — or rather, through — a group ride; no charges have been filed after the local DA said it was just an “oopsie.”

Elderly Denver residents say a new protected bike lane is an accident waiting to happen, after an 82-year old man broke his hip tripping over a bike lane bumper getting out of a friend’s truck.

That’s more like it. Wichita, Kansas will host a bike ride for city council members to examine the condition of the city’s bikeways, after complaints they have become unrideable due to homeless encampments and broken glass.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole $5,000 worth of ebike and gear from an Oklahoma City bike nonprofit.

Just because you’re a disgraced, seven-times ex-Tour de France champ doesn’t mean you can’t get honored by a bikeway in your Austin, Texas hometown.

A Tallahassee, Florida man is back on his bike and filing suit against the city cop who hit him last year, leaving him with a broken femur and jaw, and multiple fractured ribs and vertebrae.

 

International

The Robb Report highlights luxury biking tours where you can ride alongside your favorite cycling stars. Before they drop you like Freshman English, that is.

A Vancouver Lime Bike only appears to roll on water.

That’s more like it. A British driver will spend the next 12 and a half years behind bars, after he was convicted of hitting a bike rider head-on while racing another driver.

Momentum offers a look at Europe’s best spring cycling destinations for nature-loving bicyclists. Which is not the same as naturist-loving bicyclists.

In other case of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, an unlicensed driver in Ghent, Belgium faces charges for the alleged drunken crash that killed two people riding their bikes and injured three others, when he plowed into a group riding together; the driver had the equivalent of 14 cocktails in his blood, despite two previous drunk driving bans.

The Netherlands has ordered a recall of Babboe cargo bikes, alleging the company has not provided the necessary safety information.

In a surprise to no one, China’s Xinhua says access to bicycles improves the lives of women and girls in rural Zambia.

The Philippines’ Bike Scouts are pushing the nation towards a bottom-up approach to natural disasters.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo says Jonas Vingegaard Hansen could win this year’s Tour de France, after the Danish two-time Tour champ added his wife’s surname, sans hyphen; Vingegaard swept all three stages of Spain’s O Gran Camino to win the GC.

The magazine also celebrates Butch Martin, who became the first Black American Olympic cyclist in both road cycling and track at the Tokyo and Mexico City Olympic Games.

In a Velo trifecta, the magazine relates the “most insane bike change in pro cycling history” when Aussie Michael Rogers swapped his bike for a fan’s nearly identical bike after his derailleur broke off midrace in the Tour Down Under.

US women’s cycling team Cynisca was suspended for illegally dressing a bike mechanic in the team kit to pose as a cyclist, because they didn’t have enough riders to complete in Belgium’s Argenta Classic last year.

Retired major league baseball All Star Carlos Gómez is on track to become the first indoor track cyclist to represent the Dominican Republic in the summer Olympics.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have no idea you just crashed a Belgian bike race. Or when a winter bike ride means coming home sheathed in ice.

And Finish the Ride is finally getting serious, adding a corgi-endorsed puppy run to April’s two-day Griffith Park event.

Our corg sez she’s all in, as long as there are treats involved. And she doesn’t actually have to, you know, run.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

One comment

  1. David says:

    Not surprised to see Tucson at the top of the list of the worst drivers. Try to avoid the streets there on a bicycle if possible–lots of angry peeps in PU Trucks I discovered one week testing out their 100 mile bike trails–a much better idea.

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