Archive for bikinginla

Today’s post called on account of illness

My apologies.

My wife was kind enough to share the illness she picked up at work with me over the weekend. I was hoping I’d be able to rally for today’s post, but writing about yesterday’s bicycling death in Palm Springs was all I can manage tonight.

I should be back tomorrow to catch up on anything we missed.

Update: Man killed riding bike Monday in early morning Palm Springs collision

A man was killed riding his bike in Palm Springs early Monday morning.

And nearly 20 hours later, we still don’t know any more than we did before.

According to multiple reports, the victim was struck by a motorist around 4:45 am at Ramon Road and Compadre Road. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

There’s no information at this time about the victim, or how the crash occurred. Police are still unsure if either the driver or victim were under the influence.

Video from the scene shows heavy damage to the center of the hood and windshield, suggesting the victim was struck directly with some force.

The driver was arrested on unrelated charges. He was not publicly identified.

The Palm Springs Post reports the victim was the fifth person killed riding a bike in the city in five years.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Traffic Division of the Palm Springs Police Department at 760/323-8125.

This is at least the tenth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second that I’m aware of in Riverside County.

Update: The victim has been identified as 58-year old Palm Springs resident Nelson Esteban. 

Still no word on how the crash occurred, or why the driver was arrested. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Nelson Esteban and his loved ones.

Overly entitled LA drivers, LA River bike path going to the dogs, and bike riders are the poster children for head injuries

Trust me, I get it. 

It’s not easy to find residential parking in Hollywood at night.

However, that doesn’t mean drivers can park on the damn sidewalk, just because they can’t find another spot nearby. Let alone blocking access for anyone with limited sight or using a wheelchair or mobility device.

But tell me again about all those entitled bicyclists. 

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We’ll let Streets For All sound the alarm over an unexpected threat to the LA River bike path through the San Fernando Valley.

City and county officials, as well as countless advocates, have been working for decades to create a continuous 51-mile bike path from the river’s Canoga Park headwaters to its mouth in Long Beach.

For years, the problem was the knot of small cities south of DTLA, each of whom had to give approval for the riverfront bike path.

But now that problem seems to have finally been resolved, only have another problem area arise in the West Valley.

Dogs.

Or more precisely, their owners, who are unwilling to sacrifice a tiny fraction of an existing dog park for the greater good.

We’ll let the transportation and street safety PAC take it from here.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for dog parks! But we disagree with those that claim dog parks and bike paths don’t mix. Unfortunately, that’s what is happening right now in the West San Fernando Valley.

LA has been working for 25 years to finish a bike path from Canoga Park to Long Beach, and the West Valley portion is key. The design has been approved by LA County Flood Control and the Army Corps of Engineers, and City Council adopted a mitigated negative declaration and approved the project in May of 2022. In short, this project is shovel ready!

Unfortunately some users of the dog park are up in arms about the space the bike path would take up — a total of 4,204 square feet out of the dog park’s total of 276,752 square feet (1.52%) and are trying to get city council to reconsider the project and go back to the drawing board. If that happened, this portion of the LA River bike path would be delayed for years and cost many millions more to complete.

It’s windshield bias to imagine people getting to a dog park only by car. The path has been thoughtfully designed to not cut down any trees nor be in the way of dog owners using the park. In short, there is no good reason for the city to revisit the plans.

EMAIL YOUR SUPPORT (fill in the bottom!)

As a dog owner, I understand their frustration. Los Angeles doesn’t have anywhere near enough dog parks, and even fewer you’d actually want to take your dog to.

But a continuous pathway along the river is something that would benefit dog owners, by giving them a safe and enjoyable place to walk their dogs.

Not to mention it’s incredibly short sighted to stand in the way of something that would literally benefit the entire city, and several others along the way.

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Evidently, bicyclists are the poster child for head injuries, even though people in motor vehicles are more likely to suffer one.

But oddly, they aren’t encouraged to wear a helmet, let alone required.

https://twitter.com/DrTaraGoddard/status/1634043873100963840

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The war on cares may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.

Police in Yorkshire, England admit they blew it by blowing off a bike theft in broad daylight, despite a witnesses photo clearly showing the thieves in action.

British bicyclists blast narrow bike lanes that aren’t even as wide as most handlebars, as officials claim there isn’t any room to make them wider “without inconveniencing responsible motorists.” But apparently, inconveniencing the irresponsible ones is okay. 

Sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers a polite reminder that cemeteries may offer a safe and peaceful alternative to riding on more dangerous roadways, but bike riders are guests on cemetery grounds and need to show courtesy and respect, for the dead, and their mourners. Unlike one jerk who didn’t.

Police in Houston are looking for a bike rider who fatally shot a pickup driver after an argument in a business parking lot.

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Local 

Less than a week after Oscar Montoya was killed riding his bike in San Pedro, the Port of Los Angeles broke ground on a $10.3 million project to beautify Front Street, including a new bike and pedestrian path along the waterfront connecting San Pedro and Wilmington. Although whether that might have kept Montoya alive, we’ll never know. Thanks to Guy Paddock for the heads-up.

The CHP is accused of bias in the investigation of one of their own officers, who killed a man walking on Del Amo Blvd while traveling 30 mph over the speed limit on his department motorcycle; the officer was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter instead of a felony, after the CHP took over the investigation over the objections of the Long Beach Police Department.

Culver City-based Walk ‘N Rollers will celebrate 11 years of improving access and safety for kids on bikes with a festival next Saturday.

 

State

Encinitas will explore partnering with local schools to offer ebike safety training for kids. Or maybe just offer bike safety classes, regardless of whether they’re pedal powered, ped-assist or throttle controlled. It doesn’t make sense to try to protect kids on ebikes, while throwing everyone else to the wolves. 

San Luis Obispo gave final for a new bike boulevard, despite a price tag that nearly doubled over previous estimates to $6.1 million

SF Gate offers advice for visitors on how to see and explore San Francisco by bike.

A correspondent for the San Jose Mercury News examines the e-mountain bike revolution, as well as the disagreement over whether they should be allowed on trails.

 

National

The Verge examines Specialized’s efforts to resurrect the defunct Globe brand as a line of ebikes designed for maximum cargo-carrying capabilities.

No surprise here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says if you tried to save a few bucks by buying your kids a $13 bike helmet from Walmart, you should just throw it away because the Chinese manufacturer has refused to issue a safety recall.

A pair of Illinois neighbors plan to ride across the US to raise funds to buy bikes for kids; they’re aiming for just 100 bikes to start, but hope for more as they move forward.

Streetsblog points the finger for ebike fires at New York consumers who order free food deliveries from restaurants miles away, causing delivery riders to recharge their bikes more often.

A New Orleans woman faces charges for the hit-and-run death of a musical virtuoso, killed as he was riding his bike on his 75th birthday.

 

International

Fast Company makes the case for 15-minute cities, where everything you need for daily life is just 15 minutes away by foot or bike, despite bizarre rightwing conspiracy theories that they somehow will turn cities into a dystopian hellscape.

Road.cc recommends 27 new products, ranging from hoodies and backpacks to a foldie for the equivalent of $466.

No surprise here, either. A survey of over 5,000 people from 50 countries shows that 25% of bike riders have no idea how tubeless tires work. The only real surprise is that the number is so low. 

Instead of shrinking adult bikes down to children’s sizes, Britain’s Islabikes went the other way, basing their new bikes for petite adults on their successful children’s bikes.

Cyclist says the Algarve on Portugal’s southern coast is “the perfect place for sun, sea, sand and surprisingly strenuous cycling.”

Czech carmaker Škoda sings the praises of doing an ebike tour during the Tour de France.

Officials in Cape Town, South Africa, are exploring ways to increase the popularity of bicycling in the city’s oldest township, where bikes provide jobs as well as transportation.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where a driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, despite the victim being clearly visible on the driver’s dashcam for three seconds before that crash; he was fined $20,000 in reparations and lost his license for one lousy year.

The Aussie edition of GQ says bicycling became cool again after receiving a major style upgrade. Yeah, that’s the reason.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lotus is continuing their work with British Cycling to design and build the world’s fastest track bike.

Former Aussie world mountain bike champ Jared Graves suffered a shattered kneecap, broken foot and “a whole lot of stitches” when he was struck by a driver while riding his roadie.

Twenty-six-year old Dutch cyclist Loes Adegeest took a circuitous route to the women’s WorldTour, using bicycling to keep in shape for speed skating events.

VeloNews profiles Anna Yamauchi, who they call a rising new talent in American off-road cycling.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re an urban Millennial cliche with a nose ring, bicycle and a Radiohead album. Or when your bike ride takes you past the huge new scoreboard for the rat bastards who stole the Dodgers shortstop. On the other hand, they also took Dodgers closer Craig Kimbel, so we can thank them for that.

And when your bike-riding kid joins you for a post race cooldown — even if he doesn’t hold his line.

 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA bike riders suck drivers crap, Buttigieg calls for safe streets for families, and college BMX team needs your help

No surprise here.

Back in the ’60s, musical satirist Tom Lehrer penned an ode to the pollution choking American cities, with the admonition “Don’t drink the water and don’t breathe the air!”

That warning is especially appropriate for anyone in Los Angeles who doesn’t spend their time safely ensconced in a hermetically sealed vehicle.

According to the Los Angeles Times, researchers from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy have concluded that LA’s wealthier — and whiter — communities export their pollution to the neighborhoods they drive through on their way from here to there.

Which, in most cases, means less wealthy, and less white, neighborhoods.

And that people who drive more are exposed to less pollution than those who don’t, and vice versa. Which means people who walk or bike end up sucking down the crap their vehicles spew.

That, my friends, means you and me. Just because we choose to walk or ride a bike.

Particularly if we’re sucking their particulates as we ride in or through urban communities.

Photo by Khunkorn Laowisit from Pexels.

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In an interview with Fatherly, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses making it easier to travel with your kids, including making sure families can sit together on airplanes without paying an extra fee, which appears to be the most urgent transportation issue in America today.

Fortunately, he goes on to discuss the need to be able to ride a bike or walk with your kids without getting killed.

And to your question, this goes beyond aviation. We really want to make sure that every form of transportation is easier and safer. That includes designs for roads that benefit safety, including safety for families that are walking or riding a bike together. It’s part of why we’re really promoting active transportation being safer. In our transit, one thing we’re doing for Americans with disabilities is funding the upgrade of old transit stations that are not yet ADA compliant. That’s the right thing to do for the disability community…

I want to make sure that they’re safe, of course, that they can, as they grow up, confidently and safely ride a bike or safely be a pedestrian wherever they go. And I want some of the things that we deal with routinely today to seem antiquated by the time they’re old enough to ask about it, including the rate of roadway deaths. That could eventually, I think, become almost like polio. One of these things parents tell their disbelieving kids or grandkids, that “we used to tolerate 40,000 people dying every year in car crashes. But thankfully, we did the right thing so that your generation sees nothing of the sort.”

It’s good to know he get it.

But we’ll need to keep the pressure on to ensure that commitment to families translates to safer cars and SUVs, as well as streets.

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If anyone has any extra cash or gear lying around, the Lindsey Wilson College Cycling Team needs you help, after someone stole their gear on the way to this weekend’s BMX Nationals in Bakersfield.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up. 

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Transportation PAC Streets For All has made their endorsement for next month’s special election to replace disgraced Councilmember Nury Martinez in CD6.

And they call it a draw.

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Portland artist Dr. Nik responded to criticism that his street art looked too much like ghost bikes by going full orange.

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A Missouri cop was suspended after crashing head-on into a stationary bike rider who was waiting to merge onto a rural highway, while the officer was “looking at” his phone.

Not texting, the cop was quick to clarify, as if that somehow made a difference.

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the tweet.

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This is what it looks like when a Texas driver slams into your live podcast.

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Sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Police in England are looking for a 40-something man who punched a teenage boy in the nose after narrowly avoiding crashing into him with his bike.

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Local 

Streetsblog says plans to reduce street racing in Angeleno Heights don’t go far enough; the neighborhood was the setting for the first few Fast & Furious movies, and continue to draw heavy-footed fans.

The South Bay Cities Council of Governments is introducing a network of streets designed for slower vehicles, like ebikes, with a maximum speed of 25 mph. And marked by a kind of funky green and blue turtle sign.

 

State

San Diego approved a $2.1 million settlement for a man who spent five days in intensive care after suffering facial fractures, a brain bleed and a seizure when he hit a massive debris-filled pothole while riding his bike on Torrey Pines Road, and wasn’t able to work for five months.

Registration is now open for August’s Tour de Big Bear. And with a little luck, the snow from last month’s blizzards should be almost gone by then.

A Dublin website raises concerns over ebike access to trails allowed by last year’s Omni-Bike Bill, even though it specifically excludes trails in state parks and local areas with their own policies.

Tragic news from Berkeley, where a 42-year old man died five days after setting himself on fire on the UC Berkeley campus, despite the efforts of bystanders who used their own clothes in an effort to put it out — and one man who threw his bicycle at the burning man, as if that could somehow extinguish the blaze.

 

National

Pink Bike offers advice on how to not feel stupid walking into a bike shop.

Forbes offer recommendations for the best lights to see and be seen on your bike. As we noted recently, ultra bright daytime lights are one of the best ways to protect yourself, without donning a hi-viz clown suit.

Bicycling looks at the causes of numb hands while you ride, and what you can do to prevent it. My best advice is to keep moving your hands into different positions, and relax your death grip on the handlebars. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

A Florida columnist offers advice on how to survive a bike ride in the state, which is the nation’s most dangerous state for people on two wheels.

 

International

An Ottawa, Canada jury has rejected a man’s claim that he slashed a neighbor’s throat in self defense in a dispute that began with allegations of a stolen bike. But he hasn’t been found guilty yet, after his defense team called for a psych assessment.

They get it. A UK advocacy group says bicycling must address its lack of diversity, arguing that “The male, white, cycling enthusiast niche has reached its natural limit.”

Life imitated art, as a British bike rider was photographed struggling to push his bike up a snow-covered hill, 50 years after a famed bread ad directed by a young Ridley Scott showed a boy pushing his bike up the same hill.

Aston Martin F1 driver Lance Stroll managed a 6th place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix, just weeks after breaking both wrists and a big toe in a bicycling crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar topped last year’s winner, Jonas Vingegaard, in a mountaintop finish in stage four of the Paris-Nice race.

Cycling Weekly says Dutch super-team SD Worx looks unbeatable in the early women’s classics.

Sadly, you’ve already missed your chance to own Tom Pidcock’s race bike, along with bikes belonging to Egan Bernal’s and Geraint Thomas.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own Audi’s new e-mountain bike — which has a sentence instead of a name — for the low, low price of just ten grand. That feeling when your ebike gets stolen, but you get it back — twice.

And if you’re already an ex-con, maybe leave the ghost gun at home on your next bike ride.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Four years for motorcyclist who killed bike rider while fleeing cops, and Carlsbad’s ebike state of emergency proves effective

Life is cheap right here in California, too.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that 29-year old Eric Monte Burns pled guilty to killing 68-year old Bradley “Brad” Allen Catcott as he fled from police in Carlsbad last year, agreeing to a four-year term behind bars.

Burns was attempting to evade a Carlsbad State Beach ranger while speeding along Carlsbad Blvd on his motorcycle last August, with a 22-year old woman on his bike, when he slammed into the victim’s bicycle as Catcott was merging into the turn lane from the bike lane.

Catcott died at the scene, while both people on the motorcycle suffered serious injuries.

With good behavior, Burns will be out in less than two years. Meanwhile, Catcott received the death penalty, and his loved ones have been sentenced to a lifetime without him.

A similar crime in some other states could result in a decade or more of hard time.

But California’s too lenient traffic laws too often allow killer drivers to escape with a relative slap on the wrist.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.

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In the same story, The Union-Tribune reports that ebike injuries have dropped considerably since Carlsbad declared a state of emergency last year, allowing city officials to “expedite increased attention and expenditures for enhanced enforcement efforts, new traffic safety measures and safe driving education programs.”

There were just two ebike-related injuries reported last month, compared with ten the previous February.

However, a 14-year old girl is recovering from serious injuries after she was struck by a turning driver on the first day of March.

The victim suffered a skull fracture, concussion and several broken teeth while riding her ebike on Carlsbad’s Tamarack Ave, near where Christine Embree was killed by a driver while riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter last August.

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LADOT installed a sign honoring Monique Muñoz, who was killed by a teenage driver in an overpowered Lamborghini SUV traveling at over 100 mph.

But as others have noted today, a far better memorial would be to fix the streets so drivers can’t travel at speeds that would be illegal on any highway in the state.

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The LAPD released security cam video showing the car that killed 51-year old Oscar Montoya in San Pedro shortly after midnight Saturday morning, although initial reports mistakenly located the collision several miles away in Venice.

Police describe it as a possible light-colored Toyota Scion, though it looks more like a Kia Soul to me.

The driver reportedly paused briefly after the crash before hitting the gas and disappearing out of view.

Meanwhile, Guy Piddock described the terror he feels riding the less than one-third mile gap in the bike lane on Pacific Ave where Montoya was killed.

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A video from Not Just Bikes calls for banning dangerously oversized SUVs larger than WWII tanks.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. A San Diego TV station reports that a new protected bike lane and dedicated bus lane on Park Blvd will improve safety and connectivity, while opening the street up to all road users. But all they seem to care about is the loss of hundreds of parking spaces.

No bias here, either. A Sonoma County man can’t believe the CHP didn’t even cite the reckless driver who rear-ended him on his bike; the cop mistakenly blamed him for not riding as close to the right edge as practicable, while ignoring the section of the law allowing riders to take the lane when it’s too narrow to safely share. Proving once again than no one understands bike law less than the CHP.

Or here. Seattle bike riders are getting the blame for the city’s plan to remove eight aging cherry trees near the iconic Pike Place Market, even though the project will downgrade bicycling facilities while increasing space for cars.

But sometimes, its the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Montana man faces charges for using his bicycle as a weapon to attack a truck driver, after allegedly crashing his bike into the truck, then striking the victim several time before slamming the bike over his head. Three witnesses reported the victim, who apparently has major anger management issues, crashed his bike into the side of the passing truck, even though it’s more likely the driver passed too close.

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Local 

Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, is working with LADOT to make the Angeleno Heights neighborhood safe from fans of the Fast & Furious franchise, who try to recreate racing scenes from the original movie while putting residents at risk.

 

State

Carlsbad fire officials suspect a lithium-ion ebike battery was the cause of a recent garage fire.

A 17-year old Ocean Beach boy calls on the hit-and-run driver who left him in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis to turn themselves in, saying the driver who fled after hitting his ebike “took everything from” him.

That’s more like it. A new mixed-use housing project in Imperial Beach will give you a free ebike and reduce your rent if you don’t have a car.

San Luis Obispo is preparing to break ground on a $6 million bike lane project, although, as usual, local residents decry the loss of parking.

Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick argues that a planned $200 million bike and pedestrian bridge connecting an 800-foot gap over an estuary between Oakland’s Jack London Square and Western Alameda is just too damn complicated; the plans call for a drawbridge mechanism to make room for passing boats, but Rudick says just build a higher bridge with elevator access.

 

National

Streetsblog reports the Biden administration has caved to Republican legislators, and removed the Fix-It-First requirement for using federal infrastructure funds to improve the safety and condition of existing roads before building new ones or expanding existing roads.

Ebike maker Velotric compiled a field guide to different types of bicycling infrastructure common in the US, from sharrows to bike paths and protected bike lanes.

A Boise public radio station examines the origin of the Idaho Stop Law, which has been rapidly spreading across the country in recent years. Except in California, where our governor vetoed it. 

Life is cheap in Missouri, where a convicted hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a 50-year old man riding a bicycle, after the judge gave him five years probation and a lousy $500 fine.

A Massachusetts judge has dismissed a lawsuit by opponents of a Cambridge bike lane demanding the return of parking spaces that were removed to make space for it; the dismissal also allows the city to move forward with additional bike lanes that had been in limbo because of the lawsuit.

Lawyers concluded their closing remarks in the death penalty trial of convicted Manhattan bike path terrorist Sayfullo Saipov; jurors will begin deliberating tomorrow whether he will be executed for killing eight people as he plowed down the bike lane in a rented truck, or spend the rest of his life in a high security prison.

New York is attempting to reduce ebike battery fires by banning the sale of ebikes without UL-listed batteries.

A New York op-ed argues that the city’s dangerous streets should be illegal.

Relatives of a fallen North Carolina bike rider worry that evidence against the alleged drunk driver who killed him could be thrown out of court, after the state trooper who collected the evidence was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. Although what one has to do with the other is beyond me.

Kindhearted Coral Gables cops gave a new BMX bike to a 13-year old boy from Honduras who crossed the Mexican border with his brother two years ago, before his mother was able to join them last year.

 

International

Cycling Weekly rates the best women’s road bikes, while noting that not every woman wants or needs a bike designed for feminine riders.

Cyclist explains how to select the right tire pressure for your bike.

Hundreds of people turned out to ride for safer streets for women in London, where they make up less than a third of bike riders. Meanwhile, Strava data shows British women are less likely to ride after dark. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

A London bike rider is attempting to overcome windshield bias by posting his bike cam videos online with a dashboard overlaid on it to make it look like it was filmed inside a car.

A woman in the UK has filed an appeal over her three-year sentence for knocking a 77-year woman off her bike and into traffic, where she was killed, for the crime of riding her bike on the sidewalk to avoid a dangerous street. But the British press is trying to paint her as the victim, stressing the dificulty she’ll have in prison while suffering from partial blindness, cerebral palsy and a deformed right foot — even though none of that kept her from pushing the victim off her bike.

British Cycling warned the country’s bike riders that bike helmets don’t prevent concussions, and urge riders to sit out for awhile after a substantial bang on the head.

A the overwhelming majority of UK residents support the concept of 15-minute neighborhoods, despite the bizarre conspiracy theories.

Bergen, Norway is preparing to open the world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel, stretching nearly two miles beneath the city’s Løvstakken mountain; it’s expected to take around ten minutes to bike through.

 

Competitive Cycling

Aussie cyclist Caleb Ewan’s Lotto Dstny team is demanding proof the sprinter lost Sunday’s GP Monseré in a photo finish, challenging the grainy image that awarded the win to Intermarché-Circus-Wanty’s Gerben Thijssen.

Ouch. Cycling great Tom Boonen says two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is being held back by Colnago, arguing that the UAE Team Emirates’ bike sponsor hasn’t mastered the “super-hyper-aero stuff yet.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when you take your last ride in a rainbow wicker coffin on a tricycle hearse. Probably not the best idea to ride your bike up to a lawyer while swilling wine and threaten to kill the judge that sent your dad to prison.

And that feeling when St. George is a sword-wielding girl on a BMX bike, slaying the dragon holding girls back.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Lower income people bike more than wealthier Americans, and city council committees consider transportation

A new US study disproves the widespread belief that only wealthy people ride bicycles, observing that lower income people tend to walk and bike more than wealthier Americans.

After controlling for a number of observed and unobserved factors, we find that individuals in low-income, car-owning households are associated with up to 14% more walking trips and 33% more cycling trips in a week compared to higher-income households, on average.

However, the authors note that higher-income households use active travel significantly more than low-income, car-owning households in urban areas, while the opposite holds for suburban and rural areas.

Their conclusion is that active travel is often driven by necessity and lack of other viable options.

We need to flip that script, and move to where people of all income levels choose active transportation because it’s the most convenient option, not because they don’t a choice.

Photo by cottonbro studios from Pexels

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Streets For All calls attention to measures being considered by LA council committees tomorrow.

The Transportation Committee will consider the installation of speed tables to minimize speeding, and reimagining the intersection of Ventura Blvd & Woodman Ave to improve safety at its 2 pm meeting.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Committee will meet at 3:30 pm to address sidewalk repairs while preserving street trees, among other matters.

The group offers a toolkit to help you call into the meetings, and submit public comments.

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About damn time.

Note the bike on the escalator in the background, too.

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This is what it looks like when an Aussie bicyclist gets left-hooked by a driver who just keeps going without slowing down.

https://twitter.com/Ravener85/status/1632833785321644032

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. The chair of a Brooklyn community board endorsed speeding in school zones, and blamed bike riders for “almost” killing someone every minute. Sure, let’s pretend the streets are littered with the bodies of people who were “almost” hit by someone on a bicycle. As opposed to the ones who were “almost” missed by drivers, but weren’t. 

No bias here, either. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina says you have to drive to the damn beach, banning bicycles of any kind all summer, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Or here. A British writer, who somehow seems to think it’s her job to enforce bike laws, says the recent conviction of a woman who pushed an elderly rider off her bike and into traffic, where she was killed, gives scofflaw bicyclists permission to illegally ride on sidewalks. And not that pedestrians should be more accepting of people who aren’t willing or able to ride on dangerous streets.

How to write a headline — and news story — through a strictly windshield perspective.

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Local 

Longtime SoCal civic leader Rick Cole writes about how to make Pasadena bike-friendly, instead of the state’s fifth most dangerous city its size for people on bicycles.

 

State

An East Bay Area letter writer argues that ebikes pose a danger to other trail users, while another says blame bad riders, not the bikes.

A newish bike rider celebrates the monthly East Bay Bike Party, which rolls this Friday; last month’s was marred by car occupants who targeted bike riders with intentional doorings.

 

National

Axios dumbs down the Biden administration’s push to reconnect communities divided by freeway construction in the 50s, 60s and 70s, usually low-income and predominately populated by people of color.

Bloomberg says don’t buy into the popular theory that Gen Z is turning against driving, arguing that generational preferences aren’t enough to overcome decades of auto-centric development.

Jalopnik explains why automakers are suddenly obsessed with making ebikes. That’s easy — money.

The newest iteration of Trek’s Verve+ ebike tops out at 28 mph. Which means it can only be ridden by someone over 16 and requires a helmet in California, and many other states that have adopted a version of the Golden State’s ebike regulations, and is banned from Class I and Class IV bike paths and cycle tracks. 

Hundreds of Honolulu bike riders turned out for an annual memorial ride to remember an 18-year old high school student killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike a decade ago.

The Seattle Times says bike helmet use remains high a year after the county repealed its helmet mandate, with 91% of the bike riders they observed donning a skid lid; the law as repealed due to uneven and inequitable enforcement that too often targeted the homeless and people of color.

That’s more like it. A New Mexico bill would require any town with 10,000 or more residents to install protected bike lanes when making other roadway improvements. Yet we can’t even get Los Angeles leaders to commit to installing the painted bike lanes in the already approved mobility plan during planned street work.

Family members say a 65-year old Houston driver who killed a bike rider — and drove home with the victim’s bike still jammed under his car — was partially paralyzed following a recent stroke, and thought he had a flat tire. Although if someone’s health makes them so dysfunctional they don’t even know they hit a grown man on a bicycle, maybe they shouldn’t be driving.

Security footage shows an unattended ebike battery burst into flames, leading to a fire that destroyed a New York grocery store and damaged adjacent buildings, injuring seven people.

The New York death penalty case agains convicted bike path terrorist Sayfullo Saipov is expected to go to the jury after closing arguments today.

 

International

Bike Radar writes about how to recover from a bicycling injury. Based on my own experience, the key to any recovery is patience.

Momentum jumps on the anti-sharrow bandwagon, writing that the painted chevron symbols made sense in theory, but are now useless and possibly dangerous in practice. You know my take on sharrows. They’re an effort by transportation officials to thin the bike herd, and the arrows are just there to help drivers improve their aim.

A confused British Columbia driver somehow ends up in a two-way curb-protected bike lane, and can’t figure out how to escape.

Havana, Cuba held a well-attended weekend bicycle festival to highlight the benefits of pedal power, including a “friendly and inclusive” Critical Mass ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a van driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a bike rider in a dangerously close pass, after the judge suspended the already too light four-month sentence.

Great idea. A German marketplace provides an opportunity to buy and sell refurbished “used approved” ebikes, bringing them within the reach of more buyers.

An Aussie website marks tomorrow’s International Women’s Day by examining three women who all ride bikes, but for different reasons.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Danish world champ Mads Pedersen donned the leader’s yellow jersey by winning a mad bunch sprint in the second stage of the week-long Paris-Nice stage race.

VeloNews says Tom Pidcock’s breakaway victory in the Strade Bianche was won on the descents, where he never looked back until the very end.

Now you, too, could ride in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, as USA Cycling is holding a series of track cycling tryouts looking for riders with the potential to compete at the highest levels, particularly athletes from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

 

Finally…

You can find a lot of things riding a bike — but hopefully not a murder victim. Even Bing’s AI chatbot says it’s time to go carfree.

And nothing like running a horse in a bike race.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Save Amestoy bridge over 101 Freeway, Denver ebike rebates huge success, and LA ends automatic street widening

I saw my first Waymo autonomous taxi in the wild as we passed through Beverly Hills over the weekend. 

I assume the name comes from costing you way mo’ than you think it should. Or maybe it’s just way mo’ dangerous.

And I’m happy to say the corgi is doing better, and was back to her old bad self after sleeping all day Friday. And so am I.

We’re still concerned about what caused it, but hopeful it’s nothing serious.

………

It was less than six months ago that Caltrans tore down a longstanding pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino, after deciding it was too low for today’s ever expanding vehicles.

Local residents were happy to see it go, complaining that it drew homeless people and pollution. And had no interest in a replacement since they could cross the freeway at Louise Avenue.

Which is fine, if you’re in a car. For people on foot or bikes, that means a long and dangerous walk to get to the nearest underpass, then braving speeding and distracted drivers to traverse busy on and off-ramps.

Now the agency is asking for feedback on a second bridge about a mile away at Amestoy Ave.

Since its construction in 1958, the Amestoy Avenue bridge has aged considerably and no longer meets certain standards. Aside from needing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades to the pedestrian ramps, the bridge railing and fencing have also rusted and are in need of replacement. In addition, certain aesthetic elements could be improved to better match the character of the surrounding community. Those could include upgrades to landscaping, lighting and fencing, among other options.

Caltrans seeks community input to determine whether to demolish the bridge permanently, keep it and instead provide upgrades, or neither demolish or upgrade the bridge. The Department is offering multiple ways to provide feedback, including an online survey and two in-person opportunities to talk with project team members.

Note the key word “demolish,” which once again would be a disaster for anyone who walks or bikes in the area, and needs to get to the other side of the freeway.

You can offer feedback online here, or in person at the Balboa Sports Center, 17015 Burbank Blvd, on March 18th from 10 am to noon.

So take a few minutes to fight the deadly automotive hegemony of the southern San Fernando Valley, and preserve a much-needed alternative to driving.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton accuses Metro and Caltrans of pulling a bait-and-switch on the 71 Freeway in Pomona.

The long-planned 2-mile long highway widening project was approved with the promise of a pedestrian overcrossing; however, Linton says the agencies have quietly scaled the project back to around 1.5 miles, with no pedestrian component anymore.

………

We’ve already seen the overwhelming popularity Denver’s ebike program, as new rebate vouchers have been snatched up within minutes of becoming available.

A new report from People For Bikes and the Rocky Mountain Institute, et al, shows just how successful it’s been in achieving the program’s goals of getting people out of their dirty cars, and onto clean and efficient two-wheeled transportation.

And even shows significant financial and environmental benefits over electric vehicles.

  •  Those surveyed rode their ebikes an average of 26 miles per week, replacing 3.4 round trip vehicle trips.
  • 71% of respondents reported using their gas vehicles less often after purchasing their ebike.
  • 29% of respondents indicated they were new bike riders.
  • 67% of the funding went to income qualified residents.
  • Income qualified residents were using their ebikes nearly 50% more than standard voucher recipients.
  • 65% of redeemers using Ride App were riding their ebike at least once daily, and 90% were riding weekly.
  • The average trip length of Ride App users was 3.3 miles, with 84% of trips less than 5 miles, and 65% of trips less than 3 miles.
  • During this time period, shared bike and scooter trips in Denver reached the highest ridership since the launch of shared micromobility, demonstrating the complementary nature of the two city-supported programs.
  • On a per-mile basis, ebikes cost 40% less to operate than EVs and nearly 75% less than ICEVs.
  • RMI found that, in terms of operational emissions, ebikes emit 3% of the CO2e emissions as EVs and 1% of the CO2e as ICE vehicles.
  • Denver’s ebike incentive program saved 0.94 lb 2 per dollar spent, for a total of 2,040 MT 2 avoided emissions per year.

In addition, another new study shows most Denver residents appreciate the city’s efforts to build out a bike network of protected bike lanes and neighborhood bikeways to create a safer and more enjoyable street experience, but don’t feel the city’s paint and plastic flex-posts have made them demonstrably safer.

As has been said by many others, paint ain’t protection. And neither is a flimsy car-tickler plastic post.

………

The LA City Council voted to end automatic street widening that has somehow been blamed on non-existent bike lanes.

………

Thanks to Ted Faber for forwarding news that the Ballona Creek bike path was closed west of Overland last week. Let me know if it’s still closed.

………

Rich City Rides is the East Bay Area equivalent of South LA’s Eastside Riders, a social nonprofit that uses bikes to benefit the greater community.

They have just five weeks to raise $6 million to buy the building they currently occupy, or face eviction and possible closure. And are currently just one percent of the way there.

So if you’ve got a few extra bucks laying around — or maybe a few million you don’t need — send them whatever you can so they can keep making a difference for their disadvantaged community.

And keep the community rolling.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Dr Grace Peng writes about the sheer financial folly of a proposal to rip out the Move Culver City bus and bike lanes through the downtown corridor, so impatient drivers can go zoom, zoom at the expense of everyone else, at least until they clog it up again. She also discusses how the transit lanes have helped a low-income teacher survive without a car.

No bias here. The head of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency fanned the flames of bike hate, stating a “rise in incivility is absolutely people on bikes who are behaving like arrogant, horrible people,” and agreeing with an audience member that bike riders don’t yield. Except for all of us who do, that is. And if you want to talk about arrogant, horrible people, maybe start with the ones who operate a big, deadly machine killing anyone they don’t like, or just don’t see.

Portland bike riders are under attack, as a local bar owner reported repeated attacks from motorists as he rode his bike home after closing, including getting shot with a pellet gun, and a driver who repeatedly tried to hit him in an attack that only ended when he got off his bike and hid in the bushes.

Someone sabotaged a bike lane in New York’s Prospect Park by strewing it with thumbtacks; Streetsblog accurately describes it as a terrorist attack, though police likely won’t. But should.

Edinburgh, Scotland is reinstalling bollards on a formerly protected bike lane, just weeks after they were removed over fears that bike riders might crash into them, after drivers took advantage of the lack of barriers to start driving in the bike lane and parking on the sidewalk.

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

You can’t get much lower than the guy who rode his bike up to steal a van belonging to a cat rescue group — with the cats inside. The good news is, a later tweet reports the van was recovered after being abandoned, with ten rescued feral cats still inside.

British broadcaster Jeremy Vine reports his first bicycling crash of the year — which implies he expects more — was caused when another bike rider ran a red light and crashed into him.

………

Local 

LAist looks at the seven official candidates and three write-in candidates for the CD6 council district seat vacated when Nury Martinez resigned last year in the wake of racist comments on a leaked recording. Meanwhile, the LA Times endorses homeless advocate Marco Santana for the post.

Work is beginning next Monday on the long-awaited Cordova Street bike lanes in Pasadena, with completion expected by the end of the year. Thanks to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition for the link. 

Speaking of Pasadena, a city council committee voted to move forward with a pilot ebike incentive program, overriding the city’s power company, which prefers a wait-and-see approach.

The newly rebranded BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, has restarted their membership dues program after allowing it to go dormant for the past few years, with an individual annual membership $45, and family membership $100 for up to four people.

The New York Times talks with Santa Monica-based long-distance cyclist and model Erick Cedeño, who followed the route of the famed Buffalo Soldiers on the US Army’s 1,900-mile ride on what was state-of-the-art fixed-gear bikes from Fort Missoula, Montana to St. Louis in 1897.

 

State

Calbike offers an overview of a long list of new bills in the state legislature, including pilot programs for speed cams and Stop As Yield — aka the Idaho Stop — along with bills to stop pretext stops and searches. But what once again remains missing is any effort to address the epidemic of hit-and-runs in the Golden State, where drivers flee in anywhere from a third to half of all crashes. 

A San Diego teenager faces a long, painful recovery after suffering a broken pelvis when he was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while waiting to make a left turn on his ebike in Point Loma Heights. Demonstrating once again that there is no lower form of scum than a heartless coward behind the wheel. Thanks to OB Cycler for the heads-up. 

That’s more like it. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to require builders in the Ramona area to offset car traffic caused by their projects by funding bike, pedestrian and transit infrastructure. The question isn’t why are they doing it, but why doesn’t state law already require it?

A Santa Barbara woman was lucky to escape with moderate injuries when she was struck by a train while riding next to the railroad tracks.

Oakland’s Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe is going down for the last time, after announcing plans to close at the end of this month; owners blamed the closing in part on a burglary, a flood and effects of the pandemic.

 

National

Here’s one way to get conservatives onboard for banning right on reds, as the Daily Mail describes it as a socialist innovation that gained popularity in the communist Eastern Block, but which confuses most European visitors to the US.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss explores bicycling’s political divide to explain why more “avid” bicyclists don’t become active in political advocacy. On second thought, don’t bother. His badly misguided take just isn’t worth it. 

Bicycling magazines Road Bike Action and Electric Bike Action bit the dust, after their publisher shuttered both titles.

If your kid has a Ouwoer Kids Bike Helmet purchased on Amazon, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges you to destroy it, then send a photo to the company for a full refund.

The family of the Arizona woman killed in the Goodyear AZ mass casualty crash, which injured 17 bike riders while killing two others, remember her as full of energy; her alleged killer was released from jail after the county attorney’s office sent the case back for further investigation. Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign for the victims has raised over $157,000 of the $200,000 goal in one week.

A Houston, Texas hit-and-run driver didn’t get away with killing a bike rider, after a witness spotted him driving with the victim’s bike still stuck under his car and followed him home.

The New Yorker points out that the world is still moving towards heavier vehicles, when it should be doing exactly the opposite. Meanwhile, a bill in the California legislature would increase registration fees for heavier vehicles like massive trucks and SUVs.

The Washington Post reports on the rapid increase in interest in the 15-minute city, in which everything you need can be found within 15 minutes of your home, along with the whackadoodle conspiracy theorists who insist it’s really an attempt to trap you in your neighborhood and deprive you of your freedom.

While we’re at it, WaPo also considers the ugly fights over ebike access on beautiful country trails. Then again, people are probably fighting over access to the ugly ones, too.

 

International

The Guardian reports the rapid increase in vehicle weight is resulting a huge jump in tire particulates, which now account for nearly 2,000 times the amount of particulates from motor vehicle exhaust.

Toronto is considering raising the fee for bikeshare bikes to keep e-delivery riders from hogging them.

They built it, and they came. After building out a network of bicycle superhighways and limiting motor vehicle access to the city center, bike traffic in London now exceeds that of motor vehicles. And yes, it’s good news when the bike box isn’t big enoughDemonstrating what can happen in Los Angeles, or any other city with the foresight and political will to reimagine their streets. Which, on second thought, would seem to count LA out.

Hundreds of people rode their bikes past London landmarks in a call to make bicycling safer for women, who make up only 31% of the city’s bicyclists.

A Glasgow driver pled guilty to killing a bike rider while driving on the wrong side of the road, with six different drugs in his system, including street Valium, Methadone and morphine. But other than that, he was in great shape to drive, right?

The British woman who knocked a 77-year old woman off her bike for the crime of riding on the sidewalk has been sentenced to three years behind bars; the victim was killed when she fell off her bike and into traffic, where she was struck by a motorist.

Someone should sic an angry leprechaun on whoever stole a Dublin city counselor’s e-cargo bike when she ducked into a store to buy supplies for a St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website highlights what they call the world’s five best cycling routes, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge Loop.

Sad news from India, where the deputy superintendent of police for Haryana state was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle; there’s no word on whether he was on or off duty at the time.

Uganda is drawing bicyclists to a nearly 1,000-mile offroad bike trail through the African plain, combining “breathtaking nature, extraordinary wildlife, and cultural immersion.”

A reminder that women bike riders face dangers most men don’t, as women in Melbourne complain that plans for a new 1.5 mile enclosed elevated tunnel wouldn’t have any escape routes for women in danger.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Tom Pidcock rode off in a solo breakaway to become the first British rider to win the Strade Bianche; Rouleur calls Pidcock’s “pure, instinctive” attack bike racing at its best.

France 24 says pro cycling’s tech wars are turning the sport into Formula 1.

The 70-year old founder of the Ineos cycling team could be the next owner of the storied Manchester United football soccer team, if he can outbid the Qatari royal family.

Five-time Czech Olympic mountain biker and cross-country skier Katerina Nash was able to avoid a four-year doping ban when she convinced investigators she failed a drug test because she dropped her dog’s medicine on her skin. No, really. 

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new sunglasses let you see behind you, too. Or when the pockets on your new bike shorts won’t even hold a candy bar.

And notice the advanced Reverse Superman position.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Update: Hit-and-run driver kills man on bicycle in early morning San Pedro collision, few details available

A nearly three-week streak without a bicycling death in Southern California ended early Saturday morning.

And once again, a hit-and-run driver was to blame.

According to My News LA, the victim was riding north on Pacific Avenue in Venice when he was run down from behind at 12:40 am.

The victim died at the scene.

The site puts the location at just south of Channel Street; however, that address doesn’t seem to exist. Those two streets actually meet in San Pedro, several miles south near Long Beach.

There is a Channel Pointe in Venice, but that doesn’t intersect with Pacific, so it’s unclear just where the crash occurred.

There was no ID or description given for the male victim.

According to police, the driver did not stop or identify themself before fleeing the scene. The only description of the suspect vehicle is a small, light-colored vehicle, which doesn’t give much to go on.

And as usual, the LAPD did not use either the city or state hit-and-run alert system to ask for the public’s help in finding and identifying the victim’s killer.

However, they did urge anyone with information to call the LAPD South Traffic Division Detectives Moreno and Flannery at 323/421-2500 between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday, or 1-877/527-3247 any other time.

Which is far from the same thing.

This is at least the ninth bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the third that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County; it also appears to be the first in the City of Los Angeles.

Four of those deaths have been hit-and-runs.

Update: The victim has been identified by the Daily Bulletin as 51-year old Oscar Montoya, no city of residence given. 

The paper also clarifies that the crash occurred on Pacific Avenue, just south of Channel Street, in San Pedro, not Venice. 

Update 2: The LAPD has provided security cam video from the scene, showing the suspect vehicle as the driver briefly paused before speeding away. The car is described only as a light colored vehicle, possibly a Toyota Scion, although it looks more like a Kia Soul to me. 

A Good Samaritan attempted to provide aid, but to no avail. 

This is how Montoya’s adult son described him. 

“He was a loving man. If you ask anybody, they’ll say he was this big teddy bear. He was, like, this big man that you could run up into and give him a big hug and he would embrace you with open arms,” Joshua told KTLA. “He was a family man, he was my father.”

Meanwhile, Twitter user Guy Paddock reports that he frequently rides that route, even though he finds the gap in the bike lane on Pacific terrifying.

Update 3: Police arrested 27-year old Anisha Marie Lockhart, accusing her of being the driver who killed Montoya. 

According to KCAL News

“On March 7 … citizens provided tips that led detectives to the suspect’s vehicle, a 2009 Scion XB, which was taken into custody,” police said. “On March 9 … South Traffic Division Detectives utilizing department
resources and other tips from citizens apprehended the driver, Anisha Lockhart.” 

She was reportedly under the influence at the time of the crash, and on her way to another bar when she slammed into Montoya, who was just picking up an order from a food truck. 

Lockhart was being held on $100,000 bond, on a charge of felony hit-and-run. 

Meanwhile, it’s likely that someone will receive the $50,000 reward if Lockhart is convicted. 

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Oscar Montoya and all his loved ones. 

Move along, nothing to see here — corgi edition

My apologies.

My work on today’s post was interrupted when our corgi became ill last night, and I ended up sitting up and holding her almost all night.

So no new post today, but we’ll be back on Monday to catch up on anything we missed.

Stay safe out there. And show your loved ones a little extra this weekend, whether they have two feet or four.

South LA has city’s most dangerous intersections, DTLA worst neighborhood; self-driving cars aren’t out to kill us — yet

No surprise here.

A new study by personal finance site MoneyGeek, straying just a tad outside their lane, confirms what we already knew.

The most dangerous intersections in Los Angeles are in South LA.

LA’s Vision Zero High-Injury Network has already revealed that many of the city’s deadliest corridors were located in South LA.

Now, after examining nearly 14,000 collision reports from 2020 to 2022, MoneyGeek has counted 86 Los Angeles intersections which have had ten or more deaths or serious injuries over the three-year period.

Four of the top five were in South LA — including three on deadly Manchester Blvd.

  1. S. Vermont Avenue and W. Florence Avenue (19 injury crashes)
  2. W. Manchester Avenue and S. Normandie Avenue (18 injury crashes)
  3. Victory Boulevard and Lindley Avenue (18 injury crashes)
  4. W. Manchester Avenue and S. Vermont Avenue (18 injury crashes)
  5. E. Manchester Avenue and Avalon Boulevard (18 injury crashes)

Map courtesy of MoneyGeek

The company also crunched the numbers on the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods, with DTLA coming out on top with over twice the number of intersection crashes of any other neighborhood.

Just more evidence of the failure of LA’s vastly underfunded and unimplemented Vision Zero program, which has just two years left to meet its goal of ending traffic deaths by 2025.

Which seems pretty damn unlikely, given last year’s record fatality count.

………

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey examines the tech industry’s insistence on beta testing of self-driving cars on American streets, using bike riders and pedestrians as unwitting guinea pigs. Or maybe crash test dummies.

Along with the lack of regulation that puts us all at risk.

An article of faith among proponents of autonomous vehicles is that the vast majority (94 percent is the figure often cited) of traffic crashes are caused by human error. Cyclists make up a relatively small portion of overall road deaths in the United States, but they’re killed at higher rates than vehicle occupants. Aside from a slight dip in 2020 when we drove less early in the pandemic, cyclist fatalities have risen for over a decade, and in 2021 the annual total jumped five percent to an all-time high of nearly 1,000, according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

He goes on to look at the death of Elaine Hertzberg, who was walking her bike across a Phoenix street when she was run down by one of Waymo’s autonomous vehicles.

Although blame for the crash was put on the human operator, who was distracted watching videos on her phone, rather than the road ahead.

Zoom out more, and the data tells a similar story. Uber’s ATG test fleet had driven more than two million autonomous miles before Herzberg’s death. Waymo claims that it has surpassed 20 million miles total. Altogether, autonomous vehicles in California drove more than four million miles in 2021. That’s tens of millions of miles driven over years of testing, with one death. That may sound impressive, but the most recent fatality statistic for human driving in the U.S. is 1.33 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Autonomy literally has a long drive before it can show that it can match, let alone exceed, human safety performance, even such as it is.

And outside of those sporadic data disclosures and California’s reporting system, there are few ways to monitor progress. Without federal regulation, there’s not even a widely accepted benchmark for how safe autonomous vehicles should be to use as a target. “I understand there’s a balance between innovation and regulation, but right now that oversight isn’t happening,” says Homendy, herself a cyclist. “It’s disappointing.”

One point in favor of autonomous vehicles, though, is the complete and total lack of road raging drivers.

So at least if one of those runs you down, you’ll know they probably weren’t aiming for you.

As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A British driver walked without a single day behind bars for chasing a 16-year old boy with her car, then intentionally knocking him off his bike, all because one of the boy’s friends accidentally clipped the wing mirror on her car.

A driver on the island of Jersey is demanding that charges against her for crashing into a teenage bike rider be dropped, arguing that it will be impossible to get a fair trial because prosecutors failed to turn over evidence in a timely manner.

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

A British teenager could face charges for assaulting a cop who tried to stop him, after leading police on a high speed bicycle chase through the streets of town.

………

Local 

Metro offers an update on Measure M projects, including closing the gaps in the LA River bike path in the Central Cities and San Fernando Valley.

Readers of the Los Angeles Times agree that LA drivers are getting worse, though one letter writer blames the paper for encouraging less enforcement of minor infractions.

 

State

Volunteers look back on five years of maintaining the La Jolla Bike Path. Which the city should do but doesn’t.

Builders in rural San Diego County could soon be required to fund bike lanes, sidewalks and transit as a condition for permitting.

An op-ed from a member of Fresno’s Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee argues that the city can reduce bicycling and pedestrian deaths, and Vision Zero is the way to do it.

Oakland’s Slow Streets program is making a comeback, after it was ended last year for a lack of funds.

Napa will get its first buffered bike lane later this year.

 

National

Amazon’s Woot outlet site is offering a one-day discount on mostly low-end ebikes, although there are a few midrange Schwinns in there, too.

PinkBike considers the relative benefits of buying your next bike from a bike shop versus buying online.

Forbes recommends what they consider essential gear for bike commuting, all of which would be helpful, and none actually essential. The only thing you really need to bike to work is a bike. 

Seattle’s “top-to-bottom” review of the city’s Vision Zero program received a lukewarm reception, as some advocates argued it lacks ambition and is short on details on how to actually fulfill the program’s mission to end traffic deaths.

A bill in the New Mexico legislature would require cities to consider adding space for bike riders when reworking roadways, and includes $5 million in funding for protected bike lanes. Wake me when they require bikeways, rather than just considering it. 

They get it. The Dallas Morning News calls for adopting the Idaho Stop Law in Texas, arguing that it would improve safety for bike riders, as well as drivers.

Texas is nearing completion of a 130-mile bike and pedestrian trail through the northeast section of the state, taking bicyclists within a short ride or a long walk of the Arkansas border.

Singletracks talks with an Arkansas man who uses his mountain bike to conduct outreach to homeless youths.

Christian singer Amy Grant says she leaned into her faith after suffering a significant traumatic brain injury going over her handlebars in a Nashville crash last year.

A Harvard Fulbright scholar sings the praises of foldies following his move to London.

A Saratoga, New York man describes surviving last weekend’s horrific Goodyear, Arizona crash that took the life of his friend; he avoided the crash by just feet as he attempted to reach the lead group.

New York is examining ways to bring peace to the drives in the city’s Central Park, as pedestrians, biker riders, runners and horse carriages compete for space.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says bikeshare ebikes are gaining popularity in Philadelphia’s low income communities of color, saying they’re not just for white guys in Lycra anymore.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is planning to add 65 miles of bike paths in the coming years, committing to include a bike path with every new roadway project. More proof that places where I’ve lived only get better after I leave.

Tampa, Florida will offer 180 vouchers good for up to two grand off the price of an ebike, with eligible recipients selected through a lottery.

 

International

A writer for the Prince George Post questions whether traffic fines in British Columbia should be tied to the driver’s income, suggesting that a European-style progressive punishment program could be fairer and more effective.

National Geographic recommends eight European cities to discover by bicycle, starting with Stockholm and ending in Helsinki.

The CEO of British foldie maker Brompton says the company is fighting a war of attrition against copycat rivals that mimic its designs.

Vice examines how Dutch bikemaker VanMoof made ebikes cool. Except a) not everyone thinks ebikes are cool, and b) VanMoof is just one of literally hundreds of ebike makers with varying degrees of coolness. 

 

Competitive Cycling

The new Denver Disruptors cycling team participating in the newly formed National Cycling League will make their professional debut in Tucson this weekend.

Netflix has dropped the trailer for its upcoming series focused on the Tour de France. Read this one on Aol if Bicycling blocks you

 

Finally…

Professor by day, cargo bike momma by night. And your next cargo bike could have room for five.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

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