3.9-mile Reseda protected bike lanes saved by 2009 outcry, and LA doesn’t suck as much in new bike rankings

Just 187 days left until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025. 

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Funny how things circle back around.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, completion of the Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets project means the boulevard now has the longest continuous protected bike lane in Southern California.

The newly complete bike lanes stretch nearly four miles, from Plummer Street to Victory Boulevard.

Just like you’ll see in the tweet below.

 

But it was just 15 years ago that we nearly lost them forever.

That’s when the news broke — courtesy of this site — that LADOT’s bike planning engineers had been told not to bother working on the bike lanes, because the West Department of Transportation was going to install Peak Hour Lanes on the boulevard instead, which would have turned the street into a virtually un-bikeable car sewer.

Similar lanes had gone in throughout the San Fernando Valley in the 1990s and 2000s, back in the bad old days when the highest priority of traffic engineers was maximizing vehicular throughput and level of service.

Fortunately, there was a huge reaction to the story, with countless people calling LADOT, councilmembers and other city officials to complain — resulting in the agency canceling plans for the peak hour lane less than 24 hours later.

And claiming, implausibly, that it was never actually their plan to install the peak hour lanes.

Yeah, right.

Linton called for an apology from the agency for deliberately misleading him, then-Streetsblog LA Editor Damien Newton, former Bicycle Advisory Committee Chair Glenn Bailey and myself. But also said he’d be willing to accept an apology in the form of actually building the bike lanes.

Which is what finally happened.

So thanks to everyone else who raised hell over it. If you were one of them, pat yourself on the back.

And thank you for your service.

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The rest of the world is catching up with the new City Rankings released by People For Bikes that we mentioned on Monday.

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Congratulations.

The California Public Utilities Commission has selected you to beta test driverless cabs from Waymo, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, whether you actually want to or not.

The commissioners reaffirmed its approval for the company to operate its autonomous, or self-driving, cabs on the streets of Los Angeles. Never mind the seemingly magnetic attraction they and their competitor Cruise have seemed to have for bicyclists and pedestrians in San Francisco.

But never fear.

You should be able to protect yourself by carrying an orange cone with you when you ride.

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Feel free to ride Benedict Canyon again.

https://twitter.com/LADOTofficial/status/1805722708660863180

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Gravel Bike California celebrates its fifth anniversary by highlighting the best gravel rides in the state.

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It’s now 189 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And three full years 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 Santa Rosa man suffered a badly broken leg when he was targeted and run down by a road-raging driver while riding his ebike to work early Saturday morning, after the driver yelled at him to “get the fuck off the road.

Police in Victoria, British Columbia were accused of repeatedly using their vehicles as weapons to intentionally hit people riding bikes or scooters, or on foot. That should constitute a deadly use of force, just like firing a gun to stop a fleeing suspect, since any collision or fall off a bicycle or scooter can be deadly.

This is what a punishment pass from a British camper van driver looks like.

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

A 32-year old Hasidic man who had a bag of dog shit thrown at his face by a bike-riding New York bigot predicted his attacker will receive a slap on the wrist if he’s ever arrested, and won’t spend a day behind bars. Sadly, he’s probably right.

A British bike rider was trapped in a literal shitstorm when a farmer covered him in manure after catching him with a tent on the man’s land without permission while on a bike tour.

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Local 

Congratulations to Streetsblog LA, after their SGV Connect was honored as Best Regular Podcast by the Los Angeles Press Club for their coverage of last year’s Arroyo Fest.

Los Angeles has launched the city’s Let’s Play Outside campaign, complete with a ten-point kid’s bill of rights for outdoor activities, including riding a bicycle.

Speaking of LADOT, the city transportation agency shared additional details about the Hollywood Boulevard Safety and Mobility Project, including mostly parking-protected bike lanes from Gower Street to Lyman Place, and eventually east to the six-way intersection at Sunset Blvd, Virgil Ave and Hillhurst Ave.

Culver City Walk ‘n Rollers totaled up the savings from students riding their bikes to school in the city, with students burning 65,770 calories and removing 1,452 pounds of carbon from the atmosphere by walking or biking 5061 trips.

 

State

San Marcos has a brand new bouncing baby bike park.

Kern County was scheduled to accept state and federal funding to build a north-south companion trail to go with the county’s 35-mile Kern River Parkway, which runs east-to-west. Or vice versa, if you prefer.

Sad news from Kern County, however, where a Bakersfield bike rider died after being struck by a driver while riding in a crosswalk; the county suffered six fatal collisions in just the last week.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has reached a turning point after moving from outsider status to getting a seat at the table with government contracts and the ear of top officials.

When Napa’s street sweeper’s couldn’t fit in the city’s new protected bike lanes, the local bicycle coalition bought a human-powered street sweeper that’s towed behind a bike to do the job, instead.

 

National

NPR show The Indicator from Planet Money examines how Bike Index founder Bryan Hance cracked the case of high-end purloined bikes unexpectedly popping up for sale at a bike shop in Mexico. And yes, you can register your bicycle(s) with Bike Index or report them stolen for free, right here on this site.

A group of Hawaii teenagers reached a settlement with the state over climate issues, with the governor agreeing to take bold action to address climate change, including providing safer options for green transportation — like bicycling — to reduce motor vehicle traffic.

Portland, Oregon is investing $20 million over the next five years to increase access to electric bicycles for moderate- to low-income residents

It was summer Bike to Work Day in Colorado yesterday, including in my bike-friendly hometown. Although some question the lack of recognition for those who bike to work every day.

A San Antonio, Texas man faces sentencing after pleading guilty to killing a woman riding a bicycle, while driving under the influence; prosecutors argued he had at least 11 drinks before getting behind the wheel.

A Central Texas mom says she cried like a baby after a total stranger replaced her eight-year old son’s stolen bicycle upon reading her social media post about the theft.

Ghost bikes are disappearing off the streets of Austin, Texas, apparently thanks to city maintenance workers who don’t know why they’re there.

Heartbreaking news from Michigan, where an 83-year old Florida man was killed while riding his bicycle, just after reaching a lifetime goal of riding 200,000 miles; he was leaving his son’s house to visit his daughter when a driver ran him down.

Just weeks after NY Governor Kathy Hochul cancelled plans for congestion pricing in Manhattan, a new study shows New York has the world’s worst traffic congestion, costing the city $9.1 billion a year in lost productivity; Los Angeles is #7 on the list.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence is one of us, looking “loved up” as she rides a bikeshare bike with her husband on the streets of New York.

 

International

Once again, life is cheap in the UK, where a teenaged driver who killed a bike rider, just weeks after passing his driving test, walked without a single day behind bars after he was sentenced to community service and a lousy £240 fine — the equivalent of just $303.

A Manx bicyclist — no, not that one — just finished a five-day bike ride across the French Alps on a foldie, raising the equivalent of over $7,500 for an Isle of Man hospice along the way.

France Today shared nine of the country’s best bike routes that anyone can bike.

A team from the Netherlands set a new world’s record for the world’s longest tandem bicycle at an incredible 55.35 meters — aka 181 feet 7 inches — perfect for when you really don’t get along with your stoker.

 

Competitive Cycling

This year’s Tour de France hasn’t even started yet, and it’s clear last year’s Vuelta winner, American Sepp Kuss, won’t make the podium in Paris next month, after withdrawing due to Covid.

Bicycling shares the North American cyclists still competing in the Tour, remembering that yes, Canada is part of North America. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you. 

 

Finally…

You can ride in just about any clothes, but maybe rethink the bell bottoms. Nothing like putting crocheted woolen boobs on your bike to fight breast cancer.

And your next car could be a three-wheeled California-made bike.

On second thought, no it can’t.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

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