Happy Bike to Work/Bike Anywhere Day, Gov. Newsom says screw the planet and keep on driving, and Bike Talk talks racing

Just 229 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 all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We made it up another notch to 1,132 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

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Happy Bike to Work/Bike Anywhere Day! Or as it’s known in Los Angeles these days, Thursday.

But at least you can get free Metro and Metrolink rides with your bike today, along with free Metro Bike rides.

Meanwhile, San Diego expects to have at least 10,000 people participate in the city’s Bike Anywhere Day, while the local public radio station tells you how to make the most of it.

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Evidently, California Governor Gavin Newsom wasn’t serious about all that climate change stuff.

Newsom, who Politico described as fully embracing the role of climate governor, had this to say in a press release in 2022.

“Cleaning the air we breathe. Protecting our communities from the harmful impacts of the oil industry. Accelerating California’s clean energy future. Each of these actions on their own are monumental steps to tackling the climate crisis – but California isn’t waiting a minute longer to get them done. We’re taking all of these major actions now in the most aggressive push on climate this state has ever seen because later is too late. Together with the Legislature’s leadership, the progress we make on the climate crisis this year will be felt for generations – and the impact will spread far beyond our borders. California will continue blazing a trail for America and the rest of the world on the swift and meaningful actions necessary for cutting carbon pollution, protecting communities and leading the clean energy future.”

But just two years later, he is proposing a whopping $600 million cut to the state’s Active Transportation Program to address the state’s massive budget shortfall — which Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry describes as “the most climate, energy, and equity efficient program in the entire transportation budget.”

All because he doesn’t want to touch the state’s massive $21 billion highway fund, as spokesperson for the governor claims that diverting highway funds could “negatively impact the key work that Caltrans does to maintain the state highway system.”

In other words, appeasing motorists by building and widening highways and fixing freeway potholes is far more important than, say, saving the planet.

The mealy-mouth hypocrisy is astounding.

Or it would be if Newsom hadn’t long ago revealed just how shallow his commitment is when it conflict with political expediency.

This is how Calbike Policy Director Jared Sanchez addressed the issue in an email to supporters.

There is no deficit in California’s transportation budget. Thanks to federal funding streams, there’s no need for transportation cuts.

Yet, Governor Gavin Newsom cut almost $600 million from the Active Transportation Program (ATP) in his draft budget. The ATP funds projects that make biking and walking safer and more appealing, advancing the infrastructure changes needed to combat climate change.

Tell the Legislature to Restore Full ATP Funding

This cut amounts to eliminating an entire ATP funding cycle, significantly reducing funding for infrastructure that will reduce soaring pedestrian deaths and enable more people to get around safely by bicycle.

The Active Transportation Program needs more funding, not less.

  • The ATP already turned away many worthy biking and walking projects because of a lack of funding, even before this cut.
  • The governor’s budget doesn’t cut funding for climate-killing highways.
  • California can afford to fund the ATP. With rising climate chaos, we can’t afford not to spend money on active transportation.
  • This drastic cut will affect communities across California, forcing local governments to delay planned bikeways — maybe one near you.

Last year, the governor tried to cut the ATP, and the legislature restored the funding. Tell your representatives we need them to protect active transportation again.

Seriously. do it already.

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Megan Lynch offers a photo from last night’s Ride of Silence in Davis, with a promise of more to come. So check back with her later.

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Bike Talk talks with longtime bike scribe Joe Lindsey about this year’s racing season.

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It’s now 148 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 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 UK’s Conservative government passed a new law to address a problem that seldom happens, criminalizing causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling, with a maximum penalty of up to 14 years behind bars — seven years more than the penalty for doing the same thing with a car — as party leader Iain Duncan Smith insisted the anti-bicycling law isn’t anti-bicycling.  Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

I ain’t afraid of no ebike. Police in the UK are developing a Ghostbusters-style electromagnetic pulse, aka EMP, weapon to instantly stop scofflaw ebike or e-scooter riders in their tracks. And probably fry any electronic devices in the vicinity. Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

Bike riders in Ireland respond to “highly regrettable” new signs on Irish Rail banning bicyclists at peak times, calling it a step backwards eliminates the possibility of muti-modal commuting.

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

A woman hit by a bicyclist in London’s Regent Park earlier this month urged bike riders to slow down, as a British broadcast network clocked bicyclists riding up to 7 mph over the park’s 20 mph speed limit.

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Local 

A writer for Condé Nast Traveler rides along with The Mixed Race, a weekly high-speed, women-led public bicycling group zipping through the streets of Los Angeles every Thursday night.

A WeHo website continues its recent anti-bike lane screeds, arguing that building protected bike lanes will take a sizable investment in staffer time and money. Even though not building them could prove substantially more expensive in the long run, as the city will be required to pay out lawsuits for any bike riders killed or injured where they would have been built.

The South Bay beach cities are considering even tighter restriction on ebikes, following a confrontation between local residents and a group of ebike-riding hooligans. Even though the type of bikes they were riding had nothing to do with the incident. And never mind that they were riding throttle-controlled fat bikes that should be reclassified as mopeds or electric motor scooters. 

 

State

Outside challenges you to three days of bicycling bliss along Southern California’s epic bike trails, starting with the El Prieto trail in the mountains above Pasadena, followed by nearby Tapia Canyon, and the Connect G-Out, Sidewinder, Dogtag and Karl’s trails in the scrubland east of Santa Clarita. And that’s just Day 1.

Bakersfield has seen a 30% jump in reports of bicycling collisions in just the last two years.

 

National

A new report ranks which states are most interested in bicycling, based on the volume of internet searches for “different bike types,” “cycling safety,” and “learning to ride,” which may not exactly be the best way to determine it; Washington, Rhode Island and Vermont top the list, with California all the way down at number eight.

A Chicago public radio station discusses what the city is doing to protect bike riders, as it suffers an average of over 1,400 bicycle collisions each year. Hint: Not enough. 

Crashes between Massachusetts bike riders and pedestrians are flagged as an emerging threat as bike lanes expand in the state. As if pedestrians don’t have a responsibility to look both ways before stepping into a bike lane, and misbehaving bicyclists would be no less dangerous without them.

DC councilmembers are pushing to restore funding for a controversial lane reduction and bike lane project, after the mayor thought he had killed it.

Bicycle advocates in Baton Rouge and New Orleans join a public radio station to discuss how to improve bike infrastructure in the Bayou State.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Georgia man plans to ride 82 miles to celebrate his 82nd birthday, after riding his age every year since he turned 70.

 

International

An op-ed in the Evening Standard says London’s bike riders aren’t killers, and the bicycling community in the city’s Regent Park is “keen” to protect others.

London’s transportation department tells bike riders to improve their behavior around floating bus stops, even though only four people have been hit by bike riders in three years.

Good Net considers how the city’s bicycle revolution is rapidly transforming Paris, as the number of bike riders has overtaken the amount of motorists on the city’s rues.

A new Finnish study shows that people who received their bicycles through a workplace benefit program ride more than five times the miles of the average Finn.

Germany is conducting a study allowing s-pedelecs — ped-assist bikes capable of doing up to 28 mph — on a special high speed bike path to determine if they can safely share bike paths with slower riders.

A new petition in Hyderabad, India, calls on the city to do more to make it bike friendly and promote active mobility.

No surprise here, as the new 100% tariffs Joe Biden imposed on Chinese-made electric vehicles and batteries could double the price of ebike batteries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar maintained his two minute and forty second hold on the Giro’s pink leader’s jersey, as Italy’s Jonathan Milan survived a mass sprint to win the race’s 11th stage on Wednesday.

The formerly high-flying Visma-Lease a Bike cycling team is falling apart at the Giro, with the team down to just four riders with ten stages to go after both sprinter Olav Kooij and Cian Uijtdebroeks, who was fifth in the general classification, dropped out and Robert Gesink and Christophe Laporte both crashed out in the first week; team leaders Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard were already out following crashes earlier this year.

World champ Mathieu van der Poel will skip mountain biking at the Paris Olympics to focus on the Olympic road race, after competing in the Tour de France..

Olympic triathlete Taylor Knibb even stunned even herself by earning a second Olympic berth by winning the women’s time trial at the U.S. road cycling championships in Charlotte, West Virginia.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can star in an ebike commercial being shot in Orange County and Big Bear.

And if you’re going to deliver food orders, it might as well be from a Penny Farthing.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

One comment

  1. Steve says:

    As for the state legislature and Newsom and budget cuts we have a structural deficit for the foreseeable future. So expect more cuts. Oh and by the way no interest groups want cuts. Imagine that. We have a gold plated legislature. Hundreds of bills got canned this year due to the budget. I think its good thing. Free heathcare for non citizens and reparations also shelved. Imagine that.

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