Archive for bikinginla

Morning Links: Traffic survey for Hollywood Bowl, and Orange Grove Blvd complete street petition

Take a few minutes to fill out a new survey asking for your input on solutions for traffic problems at the Hollywood Bowl. Better access for bikes, and more and better bike parking at the Bowl are obvious answers.

Thanks to Cheryl Holland for the heads-up. Photo by Natmanso09 from Hollywood Bowl Wikipedia page.

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A Pasadena petition calls on the city to move forward with shovel-ready plans to remake Orange Grove Blvd into a bike and pedestrian friendly complete street.

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Local

Curbed’s Alissa Walker considers how a 15-year old ad for a defunct car brand makes the case for getting rid of cars.

The LA River bike path will be closed between Ocean Blvd and 7th Street in Long Beach next Tuesday and Wednesday.

 

State

Federal legislation currently under consideration would preclude California from taking any steps to regulate self-driving vehicles.

A Simi Valley writer suggests taking advantage of the warm winter weather, and taking up enduro, cyclocross or road racing. Although that warm weather seems to be past tense right now. 

A 77-year old Arroyo Grande man was critically injured when he allegedly swerved into the side of a passing car. Funny how often  people on bicycles seem to swerve into passing motor vehicles. Because no driver would ever pass too close to someone on a bicycle, or carelessly cross the line into a bike lane.

A San Luis Obispo writer accuses the city council of violating California’s Brown Act and caving in to a “small clique of bike advocates” after it reverses course, and votes to implement the original plan for a bike boulevard after approving a compromise plan two weeks earlier.

Staying on the SLO beat, the city is installing bicycle traffic signals at several locations around town to cut collisions involving bicyclists.

Wired says San Francisco’s Jump Bike e-bikeshare could be the potential Uber slayer.

 

National

Giro, Bell, Camelbak, CoPilot and other bike brands owned by Vista Outdoor are facing calls for a boycott after it was learned that the $3 billion company is one of the nation’s leading ammunition makers and a supporter of the NRA.

Honolulu is honoring a fallen cyclist by naming bike lanes in his honor; the 18-year old victim was killed in a hit-and-run in 2010.

Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph led staff members, players and their families in building 110 bikes in just 45 minutes to donate to kids at a Denver elementary school. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Michigan is trying to cut crashes involving people on bicycles by mandating better driver education on laws involving bikes, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

It’s a well-deserved 14-years behind bars for an Ohio driver who admitted using heroin before getting behind the wheel and killing 61-year old bicyclist; he told police he thought he’d hit a bird. The victim’s sister gave him a book on Alcoholics Anonymous at the sentencing, and told him to keep reading it in prison until it sinks in.

Massachusetts police arrested an 18-year old BMX rider after a group of 50 to 60 cyclists swarmed traffic and performed stunts; he was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, among other counts, after allegedly riding his bike into one of the cops in an attempt to get away.

 

International

Who needs skis to traverse snowbound Niagara trails when you’ve got a fat bike?

Taking a page from Donald Shoup, a Manchester, England website looks at the high cost of free parking, arguing that it discourages people from using transit or riding a bicycle.

British cops will be riding bikes in plain clothes to bust drivers violating the five-foot passing distance. Which is something the LAPD should start doing.

The first person beatified by the Catholic church in Ireland was one of us, leaving him one miracle short of sainthood. (Insert joke about surviving LA traffic here).

A French court ruling could force Paris to return cars to a popular, car-free promenade on the right bank of the river Seine.

Police traffic guards in Kolkata, India, will be stopping bicyclists for a few minutes to educate them on bike laws, after concluding that bike riders “break all traffic laws.” Apparently, all drivers in the city obey all the traffic laws, giving them plenty of time to focus on the people on bicycles.

Canberra, Australia will consider loosening the mandatory bike helmet laws in the country’s capital city under some slow-speed conditions in preparation for a new bike share program.

An Aussie bicyclist will ride 3,400 miles across the country to honor fallen endurance cyclist Mike Hall, who was killed in a collision during last year’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race.

Taiwanese bikeshare users will get free insurance when they ride, paying out the equivalent of up to $68,000 in the extremely unlikely event they kill someone.

 

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to crash into a motorcycle cop when you’re carrying drugs on your bike and/or riding stoned. Your next tri bike could look like something from another planet.

And this is what happens when the other woman is a bicycle.

 

Morning Links: Wasted time at HHWNC meeting, Glendale-Hyperion Bridge meeting, and Bob Blumenfield bike ride

So much for that.

I sat through three hours of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council last night, until they finally got around to discussing the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Then stormed out after chairwoman interrupted my comment to argue with me, denied she was arguing with, then told me my time was up. All before I barely said anything.

Which is the second time I’ve attended one of their meetings, and been denied a chance to speak.

Nice when your neighborhood representatives refuse to listen.

Although I did stay long enough to hear a Hollywood Hills homeowner on the council tell us that we don’t need a bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass when bicyclists can just take the Red Line from NoHo to Hollywood.

Which pretty much sums up windshield bias. And tells you what we’re up against.

Update: A much calmer India Brookover stayed after I left, and offers this recap of what happened.

I was at the council meeting tonight and wanted to let you know how they voted, which actually ended up being pretty interesting. Also wanted to highlight some clarifications that were made.
The subjects of the motion were really unclear. The addendum, particularly the “infeasible” part is actually language gathered from a letter from the Outpost Estates Homeowners Group of the 5th district, not Anastasia Mann’s words.
Suzanne Warren, chair of district 5 (where homeowners group was located) actually ended up questioning the language of determining the lanes as unfeasible and said there was no reason to preclude a feasibility study. The transportation chair introduced a motion to strike the language regarding infeasibility from the addendum and remarkably, it passed unanimously.
I hope I’m getting everything right (its been a long night) so please check the minutes when they are posted. I found that the meeting turned out surprisingly successful. I was happy to see we had some allies on the board who countered the car-centric ethos I was expecting to hear.
It’s not a gigantic win but its certainly notable.

Hopefully, this will lead to a more promising discussion of Hollywood bike lanes and lane reductions in the days to come.

And maybe I’ll actually get a chance to speak next time.

Apropos of nothing, a here’s nice, calming, pretty bike photo downloaded from Pexels.com that I intend to stare at until I calm down.

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There will be a meeting tonight to discuss progress on the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge Project, which is slated to get bike lanes on both sides, but a walkway on just one.

Also on the agenda is design options for the nearby Red Car Pedestrian Bridge.

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Third District LA City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield will host his 5th annual bike ride next month.

 

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Local

Los Angeles is adding more Leading Pedestrian Interval signals, giving people crossing the street a head start before motorists get the green light. Now they just need to change the law so bicyclists can go with the LPI signal, as well.

The LA City Council has voted to develop a plan to inspect and repair all the cracked and crumbling bike lanes in Los Angeles. Or you can read about it in a surprising good report from Chinese news agency Xinhua. Of course, developing a plan is not exactly the same as doing it.

Culver City is asking for input to help update their Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Plan.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast talks about the coming complete street project and protected bike lanes in Monterey Park.

LA County has approved a grant to develop an East San Gabriel Valley Active Transportation Plan.

 

State

There’s something seriously wrong when a six-year old Fullerton girl isn’t even safe from a drunk driver when she’s playing on the sidewalk.

A San Diego TV station asks if the Hillcrest neighborhood should have more parking or bike lanes. But somehow can’t seem to find a single bike rider to talk to.

Streetsblog looks at the creeping criminalization of walking, in the wake of Montclair’s idiotic law prohibiting pedestrians from using an electronic device or listening to headphones while crossing the street. Meanwhile, new motor vehicles come equipped with high-resolution touch screen displays, built-in WiFi and high-power sound systems.

 

National

A one cent increase in the gas tax would more than fund all federal spending for bike and pedestrian projects in the United States.

Cycling Tips offers photos from some of the great bikes at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Bicycling looks at the growing NASCAR bicycling community, asking if they could be cycling’s best safety advocates.

You might want to think twice before you buy a Giro or Bell helmet, or a Camelbak water bottle, unless you’re okay with your money going to a company that also makes AR15-style assault rifles.

Great idea. A nonprofit group donated 200 bicycles to help Las Vegas kids get to school.

A Salt Lake City Op-Ed says Utah’s proposed stop as yield law is all about safety.

A new Colorado bill would leave it up to individual cities to decide whether to implement an Idaho Stop Law, allowing riders to go treat stop signs and red lights as yields. The problem with that sort of local control is that what is legal in one town could be banned in the next, leaving riders subject to tickets if they unknowing cross city limit signs.

A fellow rider remembers his friend, fallen cyclist and author Andrew Tilin, who was collateral damage in a crash between two drivers as he knelt to fix a flat in Austin TX.

The Des Moines Register profiles the city’s new active transportation planner, one of 16 new positions created by a 12 cent property tax increase.

A Philly weekly dispels common myths about bicycling.

A writer in Savannah GA complains it’s been six long years since the city had built any bicycling infrastructure.

You know bikeshare is catching on when it comes to the Florida Keys.

 

International

Two Canadian cyclists had their bikes stolen just day’s after completing a 500-mile winter fundraising ride around Lake Ontario.

Caught on video: A 13-year old British girl with a helmet cam records a near head-on collision on a narrow country road when an impatient driver couldn’t wait a few more seconds to pass her. But sure, tell us again about those scofflaw cyclists.

An Irish website offers advice on beating bike thieves. And no, it’s not about what kind of club to use. Unfortunately.

Your next job could be bicycling and filming through Europe and West Africa for the next four months. Just don’t expect to get paid.

Al Arabiya offers a little more information about the horrific crash that killed four teenage Saudi cyclists on a club ride, and seriously injured six others; the murderous schmuck behind the wheel driver attempted to flee after smashing into them at more that 100 mph before crashing into another car. And four other members of the club were injured when their car was hit by a truck as they rushed to see their friends in the hospital.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Manx Missile, aka Mark Cavendish, suffered a concussion and whiplash after colliding with four other riders when a team car driver unexpectedly hit the brakes in front of them in the Abu Dhabi Tour.

 

Finally…

When your bike light maps potholes for you. A new crowdfunding campaign promises to give you eyes in the back of your helmet.

And who says mountain bikes can’t fly?

An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.

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To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

Morning Links: Hollywood Hills West NC considers call to reject bike lanes in proposed community plan tomorrow

This is what we’re up against.

In an interview on KABC radio — which doesn’t appear to be online, unfortunately — Anastasia Mann, President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, said road diets create safety problems. And people in favor of them need a reality check.

Then she added this.

The bicyclists are supposed to follow the same rules of the road that the rest of us are. I’ve had near misses, where bicyclists turn right in front of me, turn against the lights, run stop signs…. nothing against bicyclists, God help me if I have to say anything that sounds like that, but it’s just impractical. You’re going to have safety issues because you cannot get emergency vehicles through.

Got to give her credit for squeezing in virtually every anti-bike lane cliche in a few sentences.

But this is the windshield-perspective attitude Hollywood bike riders have had to face in one of LA’s busiest and fastest growing neighborhoods, with no safe way in or out by bike.

Or across, for that matter.

The matter will be up for discussion at tomorrow’s meeting of Mann’s neighborhood council, which will take up the proposed Hollywood Community Plan. As well as their proposed response to it, also written by Mann, and a more detailed addendum.

Along with calls to take most, if not all, of the bike lanes out of it.

Infeasible, is the term they use, echoing the original draft of the 2010 LA bike plan. Which the city planning commission wisely rejected after bicyclists rose up to oppose it, demanding the safer, and more detailed, hard-fought plan we eventually won.

That’s from a letter written from the Outpost Estates Homeowner’s group (scroll down), which seems to be far more concerned about the problems faced by the privileged few in the hills than the multitudes who live and work and travel down below.

The meeting is at 6 pm Wednesday, at the Will and Ariel Durant Library Branch, 7174 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area, you need to be there. To once again defend the bike lanes we fought for, before they ever even hit the pavement.

Just be prepared to listen to people who live in multi-million dollar homes complain about traffic and density until you’re ready to poke your ears out.

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Local

Boyonabike offers good advice for would-be bike commuters.

A 74-year old man was critically injured when he was hit by a driver in a left cross while riding his bike in San Gabriel on Sunday. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Santa Monica votes to continue their annual COAST open streets festival on the same route through 2020. Unbelievably, though, the story talks about LA County holding open street events “more often than any other place in the country,” without ever even mentioning CicLAvia.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

If you have a Specialized Allez, your bike may be subject to a recall due to a defective fork crown that could affect safety.

Wired says the dockless bikeshare wars are heating up after an infusion of funding. Thanks to Allan Margolin for the link.

Minneapolis approves a proposal to build protected bike lanes around the University of Minnesota campus. Which should also be done at both USC and UCLA. Not to mention every other university campus.

A writer for the Washington Post says yes, you can park your dockless bikeshare bike anywhere, but you shouldn’t.

The homeless man who fatally stabbed a man riding his bike from Connecticut to Florida to propose to his girlfriend was once again ruled incompetent to stand trial.

 

International

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine told a London government committee he sees 30 to 40 traffic violations by drivers every day as he rides his bike to and from work, and that roads have to be redesigned to “prevent ‘angry, dangerous drivers’ harming cyclists.” Which is a sentiment most bike riders would probably concur with.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is caught in the equivalent of a right hook by a driver turning into a police station. Hard to tell from the video, but it’s possible that the driver may have passed the rider just before left-hooking him. And it’s also possible the rider may have undertaken the turning vehicle after it stopped and signaled.

A Glasgow bicyclist says pedestrians have an obligation to help prevent crashes with bike riders, too.

Perth, Australia puts the law of unintended consequences to test by installing speed bumps on a shared pathway to slow speeding bicyclists. Never mind that even expected bumps can knock bike riders off balance — especially when riding fast — resulting in falls and crashes into other people on the pathway. And lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits.

Brisbane bike riders say it would be a big mistake to ban bikes from a new pedestrian bridge.

 

Competitive Cycling

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) will conduct a two-year study to determine if high school mountain biking is more dangerous than other sports, such as football

Tragic news, as four teenage members of a Saudi Arabian cycling were killed in a horrific crash when a driver lost control and slammed into them during a training ride; six others were injured.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a stupidly hard gravel race through somebody’s house. If bored teenagers are causing problems, just offer to fix their bicycles for them.

And the war on bikes cost West Australian insurers $60 million.

The mythical war on cars, not so much.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero motion held over to next week, LA Fountain Ave road rage assault caught on video

Good piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton on last week’s Vision Zero motion at the LA City Council Transportation Committee.

Despite the fears created by traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving, the anticipated ambush didn’t occur.

In fact, I was told by someone from committee Chair Mike Bonin’s office that the motion is a benign attempt to make people feel more comfortable with the data used for LA’s Vision Zero.

And no one seems to know why Keep LA Moving felt such urgency to support it.

Bonin wisely held the motion over to the next meeting on February 28th to give its authors a chance to review the language, and make sure there’s nothing in it that would reduce the effectiveness of Vision Zero.

My fear is that it may give Vision Zero opponents an excuse to challenge the data used for the program, possibly in court.

However, I’ve been told that it’s been reviewed by the City Attorney’s office, who didn’t find any problems with it.

Although it wouldn’t hurt to do it again.

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It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Wes High, who recently had the pleasure of a punishment pass, followed by getting deliberately doored while riding on Fountain Ave in Los Angeles.

While riding on the sharrows.

Hopefully, he’s reported this to the LAPD, since this is clear evidence of assault with a deadly weapon — in this case, a motor vehicle.

And it’s perfect evidence for a case under LA’s cyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

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A Facebook post is circulating asking for any witnesses to last week’s death of cyclist Mark Kristofferson in the Tour of Palm Springs to contact the Riverside County District Attorney’s office.

They’re particularly looking for anyone who saw the suspect vehicle before the crash, witnessed the actual crash or had contact with the suspect afterwards.

Especially if you have video footage of the any of the above.

The link includes instructions on how to handle the footage and who to send it to.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

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Local

Sounds like fun. Buried among the restaurant news is word of a Long Beach Ride & Dine to a local restaurant — and possible stops for ice cream and beer — tomorrow night.

 

State

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s goal of getting 22% of residents who live within half a mile of transit to walk, bike or take public transportation to work by 2020 is a fantasy.

San Diego opens another mile of the Bayshore Bikeway; 16 miles of the planned 24-mile route around San Diego Bay are now open.

No windshield bias here. Montclair decides to blame the victims by making it illegal to cross the street while texting, talking on your phone or listening to ear buds. And yes, that’s just as idiotic as it sounds.

 

National

The Adventure Cycling Association offers a not-so-brief history of fat bikes.

HuffPo examines the efforts to bring bike equity to bikeshare.

Streetsblog examines how Baltimore bike lane opponents used a 20-foot minimum standard street width for fire engines to block a planned protected bike lane network. Even though it’s never been a problem before, in a city where many streets don’t meet that standard.

Heartbreaking news from Austin TX, where writer Andrew Tillin was killed in a collateral damage bike crash, when two cars collided and slid into his as he was fixing a flat on the side of the road. He was a frequent contributor to Outside, and the author of The Doper Next Door.

 

International

Riding to Che’s hideout in the hills of Cuba.

An Ottawa, Canada columnist can’t imagine why anyone would object to a decision to ban bikes from the city’s new light rail line during rush hour. Apparently, he’s never heard that bikes offer a solution to the first mile/last mile problem, which helps get more people out of their cars.

Bicycling is the leading form of rush hour transportation in London, where all other forms of transportation have decreased 30%. Which goes to show what is possible when you build a safe bicycling network, as London did with their cycle superhighways. Especially in Los Angeles, where the weather is much better.

A trio of very cool looking cylindrical glass bike storage towers has made the short list in a competition to remake a London roundabout.

Caught on video: An elderly man in the UK was pushed off his bike by jerks in a passing car, who apparently thought it was funny.

Even in bike-unfriendly Mumbai, a bike barely loses a race across town.

Note to world: Not every group of people on bikes riding together is a race. Sometimes they just ride to raise funds, or call attention to a cause, or just for the hell of it. Even in Afghanistan.

Sydney, Australia is cutting parking spots and increasing bicycle facilities in an effort to reduce traffic congestion.

This is why you need a camera on your bike. An Aussie motorcyclist has lost his license for 18 months and will have to attend anger management classes after a close pass and road rage assault on a pair of cyclists.

Seriously? Bike tourists in New Zealand are told not to ride at night to avoid the summer heat because it puts those poor, vulnerable truck drivers at risk.

Dockless bikeshare has saved China $2.6 billion in reduced traffic costs in just two years.

A Swiss father and stepmom rode their bikes 10,000 miles to watch their son compete in the PyeongChang OlympicsBut Angelenos think people people won’t bike five miles to go to work.

 

Finally…

Bike shop by day, bands at night. A two-wheeled Malaysian quokka encounter.

And now you can own bike the Queen was too ashamed to let Princess Diana.

 

Morning Links: $19 billion tab for LA traffic congestion, and the stupidest things people have said about cyclists

Somehow we missed this one last week.

CityLab reports that traffic congestion cost Los Angeles $19.2 billion — yes, with a b — in 2016. Which works out to an average cost of $2,828 per driver.

So sure.

Let’s just follow the lead of LA’s traffic safety deniers and do nothing to provide viable alternatives to driving, while dumping tens of thousands of new cars on the city streets every year.

That will somehow magically make everything better.

Right?

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Another great piece from Peter Flax, as he builds an Anti-Bike-Crank Hall of Fame based on the 10 stupidest things people have said about cyclists.

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Local

A UCLA professor will take part in a three-week, 1,000-mile bike ride along the California coast to talk climate change.

Curbed looks at how Los Angeles walking advocate Jessica Meaney gets around. Hint: It’s not by driving.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from LA Bike Dad, who examines whether you should consider getting a bakfiets, aka cargo bike. To answer the unasked question, you pronounce bakfiets like what I have to wipe off after the Corgi goes out in the rain, along with her front fiets.

 

State

LimeBike is bringing their dockless bikeshare to San Diego, undoubtedly to the chagrin of the beachfront bike rental owners who just got the city’s bikeshare docks removed from near their stores. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

Streetsblog talks with a bike-riding San Francisco firefighter about Vision Zero and his department’s windshield perspective.

A Marin man has been ordered to stand trial on four felony hit-and-run charges for ramming four cyclists in last year’s Jensie Gran Fondo, apparently intentionally. Although he should also face charges of assault with a deadly weapon, with potential jail time of a lot more than just five years.

 

National

Despite improvements in automotive safety, US traffic deaths remained over 40,000 for the second year in a row.

Bicycling lists the commuter cycling gear you need this year. Apparently oblivious to the fact that many people seem to get to and from work just fine without any of it.

Seattle proves that it is in fact possible to add jobs while dramatically cutting traffic. Your move, Los Angeles.

If Utah adopts a version of the Idaho Stop law, it will be just the third state in the US to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields. Which means there’s just 47 more to go.

Colorado lawmakers block an attempt to ban red light and speed cameras in the state. Speed cameras are currently illegal in California, while red light cameras are prohibited in Los Angeles. Which makes the Rocky Mountain State smarter, and safer, than either one of them.

Laredo TX opened a new bike and ride plaza to allow people to safely store their bicycles when they take the bus.

Kansas and Missouri are working to have sections of the famed Route 66 designated as a US Bicycle Route.

A Memphis newspaper looks at the city’s plans to build out their existing bicycle network, six year’s after they were named America’s most improved bike city.

People in Charlotte NC love the dockless bikeshares that have appeared in the city under a trial program. Or hate them.

 

International

Your next bike mechanic could have an international certification.

The Economist says to improve cities, we need to focus on the 95% of the time when cars aren’t being used.

British Columbia bicyclists cheer plans to replace an 81-year old bridge, which has a shared bike and pedestrian lane so narrow that bikes coming from opposite directions can’t pass one another.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides end-to-end across Britain.

Caught on video: A British van driver inexplicably decides to hover next to a pair of bicyclists, less than an arm’s distance away.

A New Zealand man lost 220 pounds after his doctor gave him a bicycle; now he fixes bikes and gives them away to encourage others to ride. If more doctors would prescribe bicycling to their patients, we might have a much healthier and happy population.

Indian cyclists are giving up their desk jobs to open high-end bike shops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Turns out The Big Lebowski helped inspire ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ unlikely comeback as a purveyor of fine medical dope products.

A Morgan Hill columnist is getting hyped for the city’s turn to host a stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

No, pro cyclists are not welcoming Chris Froome back with open arms while a doping cloud hangs over his head, despite what he says.

 

Finally…

Upcycling classic bicycles is one thing; buying a second-hand Penny Farthing is another. Apparently, all the good bikes under three grand are on the radar.

And forget motor doping, mountain ebike racing will now be a thing.

 

Morning Links: Architect proposes bike/ped bridge at Marina del Rey inlet, and Vision Zero motion put on hold

The ride from Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach could get a lot shorter if a bike-riding architect has his way.

And LA could get an iconic new gateway to the city.

Curbed reports that Trevor Abramson, design principal at Abramson Teiger Architects, has proposed a woven-design bike and pedestrian bridge crossing Ballona Creek and the mouth of Marina del Rey to connect the Marvin Braude Bike Path on either side.

Which would keep riders from having to take a nearly four-mile detour around the Marina, as they have since the path was opened.

I’ve long wondered why a bridge couldn’t be built there, and repeatedly been told why it was impossible.

But maybe it’s not.

Although we could probably build out most of the bike plan for what it would cost.

Rendering by Abramson Teiger Architects from Curbed Los Angeles website.

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Streetsblog reports that Mike Bonin, chair of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, has put a hold on the motion we discussed yesterday that appeared to threaten the city’s Vision Zero.

I’m told that, despite what traffic safety truthers Keep LA Moving claimed, it would have little actual effect on the program.

However, Bonin wants to work with the authors to ensure that the motion would allow Vision Zero to continue to work as it does now.

And it will give everyone a chance to take a closer look at it, and make sure it be opponents something can later use to halt or delay the Vision Zero program.

Thanks to everyone who phoned, emailed and attended in person to argue against the motion yesterday.

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Local

A writer for The Source questions the benefits of paying people not to drive, in sort of a reverse congestion charge. I’ve long argued that paying a monthly benefit to people who agree to bike, walk or take transit to work could be an effective way to get cars off the streets.

Instead of waiting for the state to take action, Bike SGV has partnered with El Monte to create an ebike rebate program to help get people out of their cars.

Metro’s BEST program will sponsor a Culver City Tweed Ride on the 25th.

Santa Monica Spoke is hosting a Handlebar Happy Hour at Margo’s on Montana on the 28th.

Long Beach moves to ban bicycle chop shops by making it a crime to posses five or more bikes, or parts of bikes, on public spaces with the intent to sell or distribute. And that includes riverbeds, beaches and parks.

 

State

A Los Altos cyclist discusses the need to balance courtesy and common sense in following the state’s bike laws when riding outside the city.

A new Napa County sales tax intended for street maintenance could be used to help pay for bike and pedestrian pathways, as well.

 

National

An article in the Journal of Applied Mobilities argues that there’s a dangerous fixation on bike helmet use in the US that hampers efforts to actually improve safety.

People for Bikes says don’t let anyone tell you we don’t know how to rapidly increase bicycling rates in a city, after Calgary boosts bike rates nearly 50% virtually overnight by building a complete bicycling network all at once.

Oregon bicycling groups are taking advantage of the mild winter weather.

A Dallas writer says the 20,000 dockless bikeshare bikes that have invaded the city in recent months demonstrate the need for more bikeways. And more non-spandexed people to ride them.

New York will move a bikeshare dock in Red Hook to keep trucks from crashing into it; some drivers have been unable to negotiate the narrow corner and driven up on the sidewalk to make their turn.

A county outside of Baltimore MD will invest $8 million dollars to start building out a 2016 bike plan. Meanwhile, construction on protected bike lanes in Baltimore will be delayed another year as the city struggles to ensure enough room remains on the street for fire engines to get through.

 

International

A bike rider in Canada says go ahead and make bicyclists carry insurance, as long as they get the same benefits motorists do.

Montreal urges the provincial government to change the law to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, assuming they yield to any pedestrians first. They also want side guards to be required for trucks to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

After an English town proposes lifting a ban on bikes in shopping areas, a council member accuses them of wanting to allow “cycle-mad morons in to speed through busy shopping streets causing endless accidents and mayhem.”

A British coroner rules a teenage cyclist died of a heart attack in his sleep after pushing himself too hard following his selection for an elite training program.

The bicycling community in Jakarta, Indonesia, calls on the city to improve bike safety.

 

Competitive Cycling

There may not be any cycling events in the Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cyclists competing.

 

Finally…

No, Vision Zero doesn’t mean you can’t see where your bike is going. A blue bridge bike lane leaves bicyclists black and blue.

And why mountain bikers make the best dates.

Or maybe roadies.

 

Update: Bike rider killed in early morning crash with a truck driver in Pomona

A man has been killed in a collision with a truck while riding his bicycle in Pomona this morning.

Unfortunately, that’s about all we know right now.

According to KCBS-2, the victim, described only as a man in his 40s, was struck and killed by the driver of a semi-truck in the 2800 block of Pomona Boulevard, a block east of the 57 Freeway, at 4:22 am.

The driver reportedly remained at the scene of the crash and was cooperating with investigators.

No other information is available at this time.

A street view shows a wide two lane street with a center turn lane in an industrial area, and a wide parking lane that would probably have been empty at that hour.

Meanwhile, a brief video from KCBS-2 says the victim was thrown a significant distance from the crash site, suggesting that the driver may have been traveling at a relatively high rate of speed.

This is the eighth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third Los Angeles County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 49-year old Robert Evans; no hometown was given.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Robert Evans and all his loved ones.

Thanks to Henry Fung for the heads-up. 

Morning Links: Group plans Vision Zero ambush today, and Tour de Palm Springs killer had suspended license

Apparently, we’re about to be ambushed.

According to an alert from anti-safety, pro-traffic group Keep LA Moving, a seemingly innocuous motion being considered at today’s LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting is really a motion to redefine the city’s Vision Zero program.

Or more precisely, gut it.

The motion from CD2 Councilmember Paul Kerkorian and CD4’s David Ryu talks about refining the Vision Zero model “in order to serve the objective of more effectively increasing the safety of our streets.”

However, according to Keep LA Moving, it’s really about reducing the emphasis on bike and pedestrian deaths, since they only amount to 15% of the total collisions in the City of Los Angeles.

Tomorrow’s motion states that going forward, Vision Zero should “incorporate a data validation process to ensure that the High Injury Network supporting data was appropriate and reliable.”  Currently, data is heavily weighted in favor of pedestrians and cyclists, all but disregarding the safety of motorists. According to LADOT’s Vision Zero website: “We also give more weight to counts of Killed or Serious Injuries among people walking or biking, so deaths or serious injuries at all intersections are multiplied by three, while vehicle-vehicle deaths or serious injuries do not receive a multiplying factor. For example, if an intersection contains one fatal pedestrian collision, two severe bicycle injuries, and one fatal vehicle-vehicle, the score would be 10 (3 for the pedestrian, 6 for the two bicycles, and 1 for the vehicle-vehicle).”

In the Vision Zero Action Plan, released in 2017, the LADOT states that “people walking & biking account for roughly 15% of all collisions”. It’s not surprising then that  Vision Zero hasn’t reduced accidents and injuries since its inauguration in 2015 because the LADOT is only focusing on 15% of the problem! What’s more, the LADOT says “Vision Zero is an injury reduction strategy, not a collision reduction strategy.” And of course, collisions aren’t being reduced either. Vision Zero needs to concentrate on both reducing the severity of accidents and on the number of accidents that happen!

Never mind that Vision Zero has barely even been implemented up to this point.

Or that while bicyclists and pedestrians are only involved in 15% of LA collisions, they result in nearly half of all deaths and serious injuries.

Let that sink in.

Keep LA Moving says LADOT is focusing on just 15% of crashes. But Vision Zero isn’t about reducing crashes, it’s about eliminating deaths and serious injuries.

And drivers, surrounded by two tons of glass and steel, and protected by air bags, seat belts and crumple zones, face considerably less risk in a collision than people walking and riding bikes.

Which is the entire reasoning behind the multiplication factor, because bike riders and pedestrians are several times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision.

But Keep LA Moving thinks that doesn’t matter.

Or rather, that you don’t matter. Because the people in the other 85% of the crashes, who are less likely to be injured or killed, apparently matter more to them.

Then there’s their other major lie.

To date the LADOT has focused on “pet projects” in select districts that appease a vocal minority of residents — roads that were never flagged as needing such treatment.  Special interests and personal agendas have been allowed to drive decisions rather than actual concerns for public safety.

The road diet on Venice Blvd, in Mar Vista is a prime example. In the 11 years leading up to the Venice road diet, there was one fatality and seven severe injuries to people walking or biking along that 0.8 mile stretch. None of the contributing factors to these tragic accidents have been addressed by the road diet. Rather than analyze these accidents and implement real safety improvements fixing the problems, the LADOT chose instead to implement a road diet. They installed a road diet on a road with 45,000+ cars per day, in violation of their own standards. (The LA Complete Streets Design Guide states that road diets should only be used on streets with excess capacity and volume less than 20,000 cars.) The disastrous and wildly unpopular Playa del Rey road diets, defeated last Fall, had the same issues. In fact, in both PdR and Mar Vista, accidents and injuries increased after the implementation of road diets. Not only on the roads dieted, but on the residential side streets as well, as drivers searched for alternatives to the gridlocked boulevards.

But as they well know, the Venice Blvd project was never intended as part of Vision Zero.

Instead, it was developed by local residents as part of the mayor’s Great Streets project.

And rather than something sprung without warning on unsuspecting locals and businesses, it grew out of workshops sponsored by the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce dating back to 2014. With several public pop-up demonstrations, including a demonstration of the parking-protected bike lanes at the 2015 Venice CicLAvia.

I know, because I was there.

Let’s also bear in mind that the reference to a maximum 20,000 vehicle traffic volume for road diets refers to reducing four lane streets to three lanes, with two through lanes and a center turn lane. Not massive six lane thoroughfares like Venice Blvd, which never should have been built that wide to begin with.

But that doesn’t matter to them, since their real goal is to halt road diets anywhere in the city, willing to trade human lives — yours and mine — to avoid inconveniencing drivers.

They deny the proven efficacy of road diets, just as climate change deniers claim global warming is a myth.

All of which helps explain why the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has written to oppose the motion.

Let’s hope that Transportation Committee members Paul Kortez, Nury Martinez and Chair Mike Bonin can resist the pressure from this very vocal and well-financed driver activist group.

If you can make it on such short notice on Valentines Day — I can’t, unfortunately — you need to make your voice heard.

If not, take a few moments to urge them to reject this motion, and keep LA’s Vision Zero program intact.

And maybe tell Ryu and Krekorian what you think while you’re at it.

Credit Peter Flax with the heads-up.

………

Ronnie Huerta Jr., the driver who killed Mark Kristofferson during Saturday’s Tour de Palm Springs, was driving on a suspended license.

And suspended for good reason.

Huerta had been pulled over four times for speeding in the last two years, along with a host of other traffic violations.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until he kills someone.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

………

Local

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council could try to stop plans for desperately needed bus and bike lanes in Hollywood, and have already drafted a letter demanding that they be removed from the proposed Hollywood community plan. You can let them know what you think at their regular meeting on the 21st. And yes, I plan to be there.

 

State

Marin’s bike-unfriendly columnist says bicycle-riding tourists should just take the ferry and skip the town entirely. Maybe he should just stand outside the city and yell “Hey, you kids get off our lawn!”

 

National

Yet another study confirms the benefits of bike lanes, showing painted bike lanes reduce the risk of crashes by a minimum of 40%.

The Trump administration’s new proposed budget would be a disaster for bicycle infrastructure projects, while NACTO doesn’t think much of his infrastructure plan, either.

A Seattle writer tries the city’s new LimeBike dockless bikeshare ebikes, climbing a moderate hill with little effort, and living to tell the tale.

Utah moves forward with a bill that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, but still have to wait for red lights. Or maybe notA similar bill died in the California legislature earlier this year.

Seriously? The Houston Chronicle predicts an autonomous car nirvana, where the world will be free from traffic jams, parking tickets and auto mechanics, and no one will want to ride buses or bikes anymore because they’ll be so happy with their driverless cars.

Life is cheap in Minnesota, where a 16-year old distracted driver won’t spend a day behind bars for killing a bike-riding man while she was using her cellphone, after the DA pleads her case down to a misdemeanor.

An Ohio ultra-endurance rider prepares to take part in this year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM, as he rides to relieve PTSD from several combat tours in Afghanistan.

The Boston Globe talks with a local bike lawyer who went from a planned position as a prosecutor to getting justice for bicyclists.

Researchers at Virginia Tech University are doing comparison testing of bicycle helmets, with plans to release their results in April.

 

International

A Vancouver writer makes the case for diversity in the urbanist world, suggesting that if everyone you see on a bike or in a planning session looks like you, there’s a problem.

Just in time for Valentines Day, a bike-riding English couple have been married for 64 years, after meeting at their local bike club in 1953.

London officials call for tightly regulating and licensing dockless bikeshare systems.

A new survey from a British tire company claims bus drivers are the safest drivers on the road, and bicyclists and van drivers the most infuriating. Something tells me I’d like to see their methodology.

Nice piece from Patrick Brady, as he searches for serenity on a bike tour of Buddhist temples in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

You haven’t made it until you’ve had the honor of being blocked on Twitter by Chris Froome.

Once again, mountain bikers race through the hills, alleys and yes, stairways of Italy’s Valparaiso Cerro Abajo.

 

Finally…

What to ride when you need to carry craft beer kegs and a dog or two on your cargo bike. Be on the lookout for Sasquatch if you ride around Lake Arrowhead.

And if you really want to be safe, mount this turn-signal equipped seat bag sideways so the arrow points up at your butt.

Maybe then drivers will actually see you.

 

Morning Links: Looking forward to SGV CicLAvia, slowing traffic with lawn signs, and lock your bike, already

The Corgi reminds you what can happen if you don’t lock your bike up securely and completely.

And register it, already.

………

Local

Writing for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Southern California News Group’s Steve Scauzillo takes a great look at the upcoming San Gabriel Valley CicLAvia, saying it’s all about community and discovering your town close up. Nice to see he’s survived the latest round of layoffs at the SCGN to keep covering the SoCal transportation beat.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton talks with a representative of Zagster, with their Pace dockless bikeshare smart bikes poised to enter the city. Although if the bikes were really smart, they’d be ebikes.

A writer for Slate rides an ebike around Los Angeles, and concludes they’re meant for bigger things than just replacing bicycles.

 

State

A Ventura letter-writer considers the value of club cycling.

Pebble Beach blocks the road to bike riders, even though their public-use agreement with the Coastal Commission only allows them to block the road to motor vehicles.

Sacramento considers a lawn sign campaign asking drivers to slow down. Which should be about as effective as all the other signs asking drivers to slow down. In other words, just this side of not at all.

A Tahoe paper offers more details on Peter Sagan’s upcoming gravel fondo in Truckee this May.

A Chico man learns the hard way not to register a $2,700 bicycle the day after it was stolen from a local bike shop.

 

National

Wired suggests funding our streets by making every road a toll road. Which should also give a big boost to bicycling.

No bias here. A Seattle resident fights to save her neighborhood from the scourge of a parking protected bike lane and those sneaky, underhanded cyclists.

The Texas Department of Transportation is planning for more highways and traffic. And more traffic deaths as a result.

A bike law website says Delaware, where even honking at bicyclists is against the law, may have the best bike laws in the US.

You know bicycling is more than a trend when even Birmingham AL is getting bike-friendly.

 

International

Kindhearted Vancouver Twitter users help get a homeless man back in the saddle after his bike was stolen.

It’s two years behind bars for the British bike shop owner who led his very own bike theft ring.

If you have your bike locked up at the Cheltingham Spa Railway Station in Gloucestershire, England, you have two weeks to move it.

An English architecture firm proposes a trio of amazing looking cylindrical glass towers capable of storing hundreds of bicycles at the entrance to London’s tech city.

No irony here. Ex-Friends star and current Top Gear host Matt LeBlanc calls people on bicycles “frustrating,” and says he won’t ride a bike in London because “it just seems like a death sentence.” Probably because of impatient drivers like him.

red-faced, road-raging Irish driver is banned from driving for two years and gets the equivalent of a $1540 fine for repeatedly swerving into a group of bicyclists, before crashing into one. And not a single day behind bars.

The Guardian looks at how Copenhagen became Copenhagen, and what the rest of the world can learn from it. Like not listening to all those people who insist (insert city here) isn’t Copenhagen.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will start his 2018 racing season under a Salbutamol cloud in Spain tomorrow.

A number of top riders plan to compete on the cobbles of this year’s Paris-Roubaix, because they’ll see them again in the Tour de France.

The great Katie Compton is done for the season after a nasty cut down to the bone on her knee from a disc brake rotor during a Belgian cyclocross final.

VeloNews looks at how riders find a balance between religion and sport in pro cycling.

 

Finally…

Sometimes the slowest rider wins the race. We may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about dive-bombing owls.

And if you’re tempted to write “Bicycling advocates are wheelie excited” in a story for your college paper, maybe you should consider changing your major.

 

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