Archive for bikinginla

74-year old Upland man dies in apparent solo fall on San Gabriel Canyon Road in Azusa; 50th SoCal bike death this year

Now we finally know what happened.

In Friday’s update, we mentioned multiple reports that someone was killed in a collision involving a bicyclist in Azusa Thursday morning.

Now we know that the previous reports were right.

And wrong.

According to My News LA, 74-year old Upland resident Stephen Naftilan was riding at mile marker 24.10 on San Gabriel Canyon Road around 10:15 Thursday morning, when he fell to the right and collapsed in the roadway.

Another bicyclist and a passerby witnessed his fall, and found he was unresponsive when they stopped to help.

He died at the scene.

Apparently, there was no one else involved.

Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP Baldwin Park Area office at 626/338-1164.

This is at least the 50th bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 18th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest prayers and sympathy for Stephen Naftilan and all his loved ones.

Ebike buyers screwed in new climate bill, bike riders could be screwed in Hollywood, and Woody Allen helps kill NYC bike lane

Before we start, there’s a report that someone was killed in a collision involving a bicyclist in Azusa yesterday.

According to multiple sources, the crash occurred around 10:15 Thursday morning, at mile marker 24.19 on San Gabriel Canyon Road.

The California Highway Patrol confirms that at least one person was killed, but doesn’t identify the victim. And bizarrely doesn’t say whether it was the person on the bike, the driver or someone else.

Although chances are, we can figure that part out ourselves.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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It looks like we got screwed in the new climate and energy bill agree upon this week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and recalcitrant West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

After months of going back and forth on how much of a rebate ebike buyers would receive in last year’s failed Build Back Better bill, the two raised a new proposal out of its ashes.

But left out was any kind of ebike incentives. Or anything else that would get people out of their cars and onto two wheels.

Even though it revives rebates up to $7,500 for electric car buyers.

As People For Bikes points out, a pair of bike bills have already passed in the House.

The House-backed E-BIKE Act (check out PeopleForBikes’ coverage of the act here and ​​here), would offer many Americans a low-cost, emissionless, active transportation choice and show a serious commitment from the federal government to a mode shift towards a low-carbon, multimodal future. Also already approved in the House is the bipartisan Bicycle Commuter Act, which would put money back into commuters’ pockets for choosing to bike to work. Both policies are popular, simple and effective tools our nation could leverage for emissions reductions, but were deprioritized to make more room for cars.

But if they’re not included as part of the reconciliation package along with the Inflation Reduction Act, their chances of passage in divided Senate are something less than zero.

And without significantly reducing the number of cars on the road, electric or otherwise, the chances of staving off climate disaster are pretty much the same.

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Speaking of getting screwed, we may be about to get screwed once again courtesy of CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.

It was just four years ago when O’Farrell cancelled shovel-ready plans for a much-needed road diet and bike lanes on Temple Street, in conjunction with former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Now KNBC-4 reports that long-awaited work on improving Hollywood Blvd along the Hollywood Walk of Fame will begin next year.

But there’s no word on the protected bike lanes we’ve been promised.

According to the TV station, the $7.2 million project will include —

  • conversion of most of the parking lane on Hollywood Boulevard into an expanded pedestrian zone
  • street furnishing including tables and chairs
  • bus shelters, bicycle racks, and transit kiosks
  • planters and landscaping
  • bus boarding platforms
  • consolidated bus stops
  • space for activities like sidewalk vending, temporary art installations, and music and culture performances.

What it won’t include, apparently, are the bike lanes needed to tame traffic and improve safety on the dangerous corridor.

Let’s hope it’s just an oversight.

For his sake, too. Because it would be a bad move to screw LA’s bicycling community once again.

Especially in an election year.

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Blame Woody Allen.

Yes, that Woody Allen.

According to Patch, the former comedian and film auteur was responsible for killing a planned bike lane on New York’s Upper East Side where a bike-riding woman was killed by a truck driver this week.

Allen’s objection was that the bike couldn’t be installed in a “graceful way.”

No, really

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Walk ‘n Rollers is clearing out the cupboards, and holding a garage sale to raise funds and move out excess merch.

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Gravel Bike California wants to take you riding in Big Sur.

And what could possibly be wrong with that?

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Streets For All announced their next virtual happy hour on August 10th, feating Toks Omishakin, secretary of the California State Transportation Agency.

And that’s CalSTA, not Caltrans.

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At last, a bike bell for people who don’t want anything that looks like a bike bell. Or anything else, for that matter.

But at least it sounds pretty.

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

A Portland bike rider suffered significant arm and wrist injuries when he crashed into a barely visible chain someone had strung across a designated bike route.

No bias here. A Minnesota letter writer says maybe the city should focus more on crime than bike lanes, after his catalytic converter was stolen for the second time in three months. Never mind that police have nothing to do with striping streets.

A Mississippi VFW post replaced a Black teenager’s broken bike, after a driver posted video racist attack on a group of Black teens. Although someone should tell Action News 5 not to call a fully grown Black teenager a “boy.”

Unbelievable. Police in the UK blame a bike rider for a road raging driver, saying the rider’s shout of “watch out” contributed to the driver slamming on his brakes and backing towards the bicyclist — and running over a dog in the process. Schmuck.

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

Four recent fires in Spokane, Washington are blamed on a bike-riding arsonist.

An 18-year old British man will be tried on a charge of causing bodily harm through wanton or furious driving after injuring a pedestrian last November.

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Local

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee approved a proposal to provide an additional $706,000 to remove graffiti and provide other maintenance on the new Sixth Street Viaduct; that’s in addition to the nearly $600 million already spent to build it — almost none of which went towards protecting people on bicycles or slowing speeding drivers.

LA plans a new pedestrian bridge and bike path through the Pacoima Wash connecting Pacoima with San Fernando, five years after a teenaged boy was swept to his death when he fell into the Wash during a fierce rainstorm.

 

State 

Goleta is planning to build a new bike path connecting Calle Real to the Atascadero Creek Bikeway, including a new bike and pedestrian bridge over San Jose Creek.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 38-year old woman was killed when she was struck by a driver while riding her bike Monday evening.

A handful of Oakland streets are in line to get protected bike lanes and a new cycle track, while another will be shut down entirely for a pedestrian plaza.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Ruddick explains his bicycling injury last week, warning others about an unmarked, wheel-grabbing grate in Golden Gate Park

 

National

CNET recommends seven great deals on ebikes available on Amazon right now, although chances are, you’ve never heard of any of them. Meanwhile, Schwinn is still hanging in there after 125 years, and making a comeback with the ebike revolution.

CleanTechica says most ebike laws, like California’s, are largely unenforceable because they’re based on how fast the bike can go, rather than how fast someone rides them.

A Wyoming mayor and his wife were run down by a juvenile driver as they rode their bikes at 6 am; the couple were both conscious and coherent immediately following the crash.

No surprise here. San Antonio, Texas police are quick to blame the victim for running a stop sign, after a man on a bicycle crashes into the surprise of a police cruiser.

Chicago remains committed to hardening the city’s protected bike lanes with concrete barriers, though construction delays have held up work.

Chicago Streetsblog says it’s time for drivers to stop killing children, as the city sees its fifth child victim of traffic violence in the last month — three of them on bicycles.

A one-car Minnesota family finally makes the dog happy by buying a bucket-front cargo bike.

Christian music icon Amy Grant is one of us; the singer was hospitalized for a couple nights in Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital after suffering cuts and abrasions falling off her bicycle earlier this week. And yes, if it matters, she was wearing a helmet. Although it’s hard to believe she was kept overnight — let alone two nights — just to be treated for cuts and abrasions, no matter how good her insurance is. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Calls continue for a Jersey City councilwoman to step down after video circulates of her fleeing the scene, without bothering to stop or slow down, after crashing into a bike rider.

Protesters shut down DC’s Pennsylvania Ave to demand safer streets, saying bicyclists are sick of paying with their lives.

A Georgetown website recommends a self-guided bike tour for your next trip to DC.

 

International

The Guardian questions why so many bicycles end up in a watery grave, noting that more bicycles are found during the decennial draining of Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin than anything, other than wine bottles and mobile phones.

A British man is riding 2,400 miles from Italy to the Arctic Circle to raise funds for a mental health charity.

Flanders updates its infrastructure handbook to call for wider bike paths and more space for bicyclists, as bike commuting rates jump and people ride longer distances.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from France, where 25-year old Japanese triathlete and aspiring Olympian Tsudoi Miyazaki was killed in a collision when she was struck by a driver while training on her bike near Orléans; her death comes just days after she competed in Spain’s Pontevedra World Cup. Thanks to Christian for the tip.

The New York Times says there’s a long way to go for women cyclists to achieve parity with the men; not only is the Tour de France Femmes two weeks shorter than the Tour de France, with abbreviated stages, but the women will divide a little more than a tenth of the prize money enjoyed by the men.

Dutch pro Lorena Wiebes outsprinted world champion Elisa Balsamo and general classification leader Marianne Vos for the win on Thursday, while Rouleur questions whether the women really need emulate the Tour’s long, boring stages with a hectic sprint finish.

Nearly half the peloton hit the pavement in what Cycling Weekly termed an unnecessary crash on a long, straight and wide road.

Italy’s Barbara Malcotti was DQ’d for receiving mechanical assistance from her team car, apparently because she stopped at the front of her bunch, rather than dropping back to the rear.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new ebike has enough battery power to climb Mt. Everest, although probably not the traction. Congratulations to Los Angeles on making the list of top cities for naked bike riding.

And that feeling when you don’t crash until the easy part.

@mcwigglehips

#kidfails #funnykids #funnykidsvideos #waituntiltheend

♬ original sound – Adam Elliott

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Getting the mythical war on cars all wrong, road rage rising on LA streets, and LA Streets chief Greg Spotts heads to Seattle

No bias here.

An economics professor and former deputy assistant secretary for research and technology at the US Department of Transportation gets it exactly wrong, saying the US shouldn’t follow Europe’s lead in the mythical war on cars.

Cities are being hollowed out by pedestrian precincts, with commerce for residents moving outside the centers of town, leaving the quaint city streets for tourists. Locals need not visit.

American transportation policy is mistakenly copying Europe, and it’s not only the higher gas prices and smaller planned electric vehicles. Bike lanes are proliferating and parking spaces vanishing. One example: the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., is planning to reconfigure Connecticut Avenue, one of the major arteries into the city, by removing two major lanes of traffic and replacing them with bike lanes. The plan doesn’t account for fire engines pulling out of their stations or existing right-turn lanes. Other bike lanes in Washington see minimal commuter traffic.

With regard to parking spaces, the motto among U.S. transportation planners seems to be “if you don’t build them, they won’t come.” A planned reconfiguration of Union Station in Washington, D.C., will result in the loss of hundreds of parking spaces. Restaurants are taking over valuable curbside spaces for dining.

She goes on to decry city centers filled with pedestrians and thriving merchants, as well as areas where driving is actively discouraged in favor of more beneficial forms of transportation.

Which is a good thing, actually.

And which makes it kind of frightening that someone like her was helping to form transportation policy in the Trump administration.

Then again, that explains a lot.

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No, it’s not just your imagination.

There really is more anger out there on the streets. And more people willing to act on it.

Too often, with guns.

Crosstown LA reports Los Angeles set a record in June with 90 reported incidents of road rage, topping the previous record set just one month earlier.

From Jan. 1–June 30 there were 459 reports of road rage in the city, according to publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data. That is a 32.7% increase over the same period last year, and almost 140 more incidents than were tallied in the first half of 2019.

Never mind that most road rage incidents never get reported to the police, making those record figures just the tip of the iceberg.

So be careful out there. Drivers don’t need a weapon when they’re already in one.

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In a surprise announcement, Seattle’s Department of Transportation reveled LA Street Services head Greg Spotts is taking over their new leader.

Damien gets it right.

Spotts is, or was, one of the few Los Angeles department heads who really seemed to get it, and will be sorely missed.

Besides, he’s one of us. And it made sense to have a bike rider in charge of LA streets for a change.

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The LAPD’s official Twitter account shares a great story, as their officers pitched in with other organizations for LA’s first Bike Safety Camp Day, including a new bike for 30 lucky kids.

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The popular Eastside Mural Ride returns a week from Saturday.

I’m told from people who’ve done it in previous years that this is one ride you don’t want to miss.

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The California Office of Traffic Safety presents the winner in the completion for a DIY traffic safety ad.

Maybe you’ll like it more than I do.

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

No bias here, either. After a Jersey City city councilwoman flees the scene after crashing her car into someone on a bicycle, a writer for a New Jersey website insists the real problem is irresponsible bike riders who blow through stop signs and red lights.

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

Police in Cleveland are looking for a bike-riding man who got into an argument a street vendor, then pulled out a gun and shot the victim several times when the argument got physical.

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Local

Road closures keep coming on the new 6th Street Viaduct as police struggle to halt bad driver behavior, with speed bumps likely coming to the new bridge. Which couldn’t be better proof of a bad road design.

The LA Times says just forget the whole thing, and close the 6th Street Bridge to cars and let the people on foot and two wheels take it over.

An artist in South LA was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was riding his ebike to finish a mural; the woman got out of her car to help him, but took off without identifying herself. A crowdfunding account to help pay his medical bills and replace the ebike he relied on for transportation has raised over $6,000 of the modest $10,000 goal.

This is who we share the road with. A woman driving with a bunny crashed into a Lyft driver, a utility box and a fire hydrant, knocking out power in DTLA.

This is who we share the road with, part two. A pickup driver injured 11 people in Pacoima when he struck three vehicles in a gas station, and knocked over one of the pumps. Oops.

 

State 

Police arrested a 39-year old suspect in the stabbing death of 26-year old Marcos Guzman Reyes, who was killed as he stood next to his bike on a Ventura bike path.

The director of Strategic Initiatives for COAST+SBBIKE writes to clear up misconceptions about a planned Santa Barbara bike path that’s been under attack, over fears it would lead to the removal of trees in a protected sanctuary.

 

National

CNN recommends accessories for your next bike trip.

Streetsblog examines why US cities are so bad at counting bike riders, and why it matters.

Great piece from The Radavist, about the bicycle nomad who rode 1,900 miles to retrace the route of the famed Buffalo Soldiers on the 125th anniversary of their bike ride from Missoula, Montana to St. Louis.

Sadly, it’s not even surprising anymore when the NYPD blames the bike-riding victim, insisting a woman was riding salmon when video of the fatal crash shows just the opposite.

New York bizarrely turns its speed cams off at night and on weekends when speeding is the worst, even though speeding is a leading cause of fatal crashes.

DC advocates rallied to protest the city’s 22 traffic deaths this year, including three cyclists and a pedestrian killed just this month.

 

International

After a London thief stole a kid’s dirt bike-style bicycle, he returned it the next day with a note of apology, explaining he was drunk and stupid.

British bicyclists can be fined the equivalent of up to $3,000 for riding dangerously, as well as other infractions.

 

Competitive Cycling

European time trial champ Marlen Reuser soloed to victory in Wednesday’s stage four of the Tour de France Femmes, winning by nearly a minute and a half.

Dutch great Marianne Vos held on to the yellow jersey after stage four, leading Silvia Persico  and Kasia Niewiadoma by 16 seconds.

SBS Sport captures five moments of chaos on the gravel of Wednesday’s stage, questioning whether including gravel sections in the race was a good idea.

Spanish champ Mavi García was taken out by her own team car as she tried to catch up to the peloton after a pair of flats.

F1 star Valtteri Bottas is taking some time off from the car racing circuit to assist his girlfriend, Australian cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, as she competes in the TdFF.

Paracyclist and Air Force vet Dustin Baker’s hopes of competing in next month’s Para-cycling Road World Championships were dashed when a driver read-ended his bike on a North Carolina training ride, leaving him with broken ribs, a damaged rotator cuff, a concussion and road rash. Not to mention a shattered bike.

Danish fans seemed kind of happy to see Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard in his first post-race appearance back home.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a visibly drunk hit-and-run driver is captured by a chef — and an emu. Your next ebike could look like a 1920s motorcycle, and do up to 40 mph, which is kind of illegal in most states.

And we’ll leave you with this today, marking the intersection of bicycling, feminism and motherhood a hundred years ago.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike lanes finally appear on DTLA’s North Spring Street Bridge, and scofflaw drivers force closure of new 6th Street Viaduct

The good news is I’m feeling a little better tonight, thanks to the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals.

The bad is that this helps happening far too often. That tells me there may be something more going on than just migraines, which really shouldn’t happen on a near daily basis.

Photo of North Spring Street Bridge by Joe Linton for Streetsblog.

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Streetsblog reports the long-stalled bike lanes were finally installed on the North Spring Street Bridge.

The new lanes come four years after they were arbitrarily blocked by former CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who was removed by voters in May.

Maybe now there’s finally hope for the lane reduction on North Figueroa, which Cedillo also killed.

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This is why we can’t have nice things.

Surprisingly, LAPD Chief Michael Moore put at least part of the blame on irresponsible carmakers.

Moore placed some of the blame on commercials for high-end cars which show spinouts that are not safe for a city street.

“I ask all of us, including manufacturers of high-end, high- performance vehicles to exercise corporate responsibility in how they go about their work and what they promote,” Moore said. “We see the antics of people trying to replicate this, resulting in serious injuries and deaths and violence.”

And yes, he’s talking to you, Dodge.

Although apparently, closed doesn’t always mean closed if you’re on two wheels.

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Turns out that AI image generator DALL-E is actually pretty good at designing livable streets.

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Nice to see a driver admit to going too fast on Stadium Way, and putting others at risk.

I was the idiot taking the curve too fast. Close call from IdiotsInCars

Thanks to Kevin for the heads-up, who says he forwarded the video to LADOT and new CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez.

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They get it. Now, anyway.

The Bike League is finally considering equity and accessibility in their Bicycle Friendly Community awards, with an emphasis on “building and connecting low-speed and low-stress bike networks.”

And while we’re on the subject, NACTO wants you to know that yes, disabled people ride bikes. And trikes, tandems and ‘bents, too.

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Imagine this on Broadway or Hollywood Blvd.

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What you get with the best bike you can buy at Walmart.

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a mountain bike trail. Top Irish ‘cross racer Seán Nolan was seriously injured when he crashed into a wire someone stretched across the trail for exactly that purpose. Nolan was lucky to escape with four broken ribs, two fractured vertebrae and partially collapsed lung, while noting it could have been much worse. Let’s be honest — sabotaging a trail like that is nothing less than anti-bike terrorism. And should be investigated and prosecuted that way.

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

A Rhode Island man will be eating meals through a straw for awhile, after breaking his jaw when his bike was hit head-on by someone riding an ebike on the wrong side of a bike path; the ebike rider gave police a false name, address and phone number.

Police in Charlotte NC arrested five bike riders ranging from 15 to 39-years old on a charge of reckless driving, and confiscated their bicycles, accusing them of being part of a group that disrupted traffic and allegedly punched a stranger.

A teenaged Irish boy walked for allegedly knocking a 17-year old girl off a train platform with his bike after a judge dismissed the charges, citing insufficient evidence.

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Local

More on the new and improved curb-protected bike lanes taking shape on Reseda Blvd.

It could be more comfortable to ride in Pacoima soon, where the city is topping surface streets with a reflective coating that can lower street temperatures as much as 10 degrees.

Pasadena is implementing the Safe System in an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries, which is basically Vision Zero by another name. But maybe they could say they give a damn about people on bicycles, too, who also make up a “disproportionate number” of traffic fatalities in the city. 

A man riding a “motorized scooter” was killed in a collision when he was cut off by a left-turning driver in Lancaster Sunday night.

 

State 

A webinar on Thursday, August 4th will discuss how building bike lanes is a matter of political will, and explain how to build and harness it.

A writer in a California town lets go of fear and learns how to ride a bike at 48-years old, after being discouraged by her mother as a child.

Bad news from San Diego County, where a 42-year old bike rider suffered life-threatening head injuries when he was struck by a driver early Monday morning.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Rudick may be out of commission for awhile, after he was injured in a crash while riding his bike.

 

National

Government Technology says even major car-dependent cities like Los Angeles and Houston are serious about auto traffic on highways. Although you’d be hard pressed to find any sign of it here.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. The 29-year old driver who killed a Utah man and injured his 17-year old daughter as they were riding bikes was allegedly high on heroin at the time of the crash, and had four previous drug convictions, as well as convictions for burglary, theft and forgery. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Adventure Journal goes chasing ghosts in Utah’s John’s Canyon.

The law enforcement-friendly US 5th Circuit Appellate Court tells Texas cops that simply being a Hispanic person on a bicycle is not probable cause for stopping a Hispanic person on a bicycle.

Unbelievable. A Chicago bike rider was awarded $2.25 million after he was the victim of a hit-and-run on-duty cop, who didn’t bother to stick around or report the crash to his supervisors. How the hell can we expect cops to do something about hit-and-run when they do it, too? Thanks to OC bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein for the link. 

He gets it. A writer for Chicago Streetsblog says education, infrastructure and driver accountability trump bike helmets for keeping bicyclists safe. And before anyone complains, I never ride without a helmet. But they should always be considered the last resort when all else fails, not the first. 

Finishing our Chicago trifecta, a Chicago bike ride will visit historical sites related to the 1919 Chicago Race Riots, including 38 glass bricks scattered through the city — one for each of the 38 people killed.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of us, although the team might wish he wasn’t, since he’ll be starting training camp on the injured list after falling off his bicycle.

New York is considering a bill that would use cameras to catch drivers illegally blocking bike lanes, although the measly $50 fine may not be enough to stop anyone.

Jersey City NJ Councilwoman Amy DeGise faces a hit-and-run charge for leaving the scene after hitting an alleged red light-running bike rider.

New Jersey’s Rutgers University is evaluating popup bike lanes using reality-capture technology, traffic cameras and lidar footage. Along with chalk and a pool noodle.

Vox calls out the deadliest road in America, particularly for pedestrians, on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers the best road bikes under the equivalent of two grand, concluding you won’t find carbon frames in that price range anymore; the magazine also looks at the best hybrid commuter bikes for under $600.

What happens when the Edmonton, Alberta edition of the World Naked Bike Ride runs headlong into a trucker’s Freedom Convoy.

The UK’s “cheeky” tandem-riding couple completed their naked ride down the full length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, despite getting hit by a driver who somehow couldn’t see two naked people on a bike directly in front of him. Then again, they could have just done it on a Brompton.

A Hamilton, Ontario city council candidate was the victim of a hit-and-run driver when she was forced to dive out of the way when the driver tried to squeeze past her bike.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a truck driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 19-year old Dublin bike rider.

Horrifying story from India, where 15-year old girl fatally slashed the throat of a 40-year old man on a bicycle, after he failed to move out of the way when she repeatedly honked the horn on her scooter — failing to realize the man was deaf.

The new 79-pound, Chinese-made Himiway Zebra ebike promises to carry up to 400 pounds, with an 80-mile range.

A New Zealand man built his own DIY wheelchair bike so he could take his 89-year old wife who suffers from dementia, for a ride.

He gets it, too. An Aussie urban design expert says cities should put bike lanes on the fast track, because “the benefits of more cycling infrastructure pedal themselves.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig took stage three of the Tour de France Femmes, one day after crashing in stage two.

The sport director for the Parkhotel Valkenburg team defended their decision to keep Nicole Frain in the race, after she allegedly cause the collision that knocked Marta Cavelli out of the race, saying criticism on social media brought Frain to tears; Australia’s Amanda Spratt was also forced to withdraw.

Race favorite Annemiek van Vleuten hasn’t made an impact in the TdFF yet, as the Dutch cyclist battles a stomach virus.

Bicycling is apparently more concerned with how women cyclists take a leak during the race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The Guardian offers photos from Europe’s grueling 2,500-mile Transcontinental Race, which kicked off Sunday in Flanders.

Former NBA great Reggie Miller says he’s committed to seeing how good he can be, in an effort to dominate the other racers in his age group.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have three wheels, front wheel drive and no pedals. Is it really a naked tandem ride if only the captain is bare?

And your bike mechanic might be willing install top shelf components on your Walmart bike if you ask nice.

But they won’t like it.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Move along, nothing to see here — migraine edition

My apologies. A sick migraine knocked me on my ass tonight; I haven’t been able to look at my computer screen all night.

I’ll be back tomorrow with anything we’ve missed, unless my head explodes. Which could happen.

Bicyclist says giving pedestrians right-of-way is “stupid,” and San Diego TV station blames homeless for rampant bike thefts

Seriously?

A Welsh bicyclist argues that changes to Great Britain’s Highway Code giving priority to pedestrians are just stupid, using many of the same arguments drivers use to complain about having to brake for people on bicycles.

Although he still wants drivers to give way to him.

What I’m not all for, is the decision to put pedestrians at the top of the hierarchy as the ‘road user’ everyone else has to give way to. For a start, this is the Highway Code – it should be about people who use the highway, and pedestrians just don’t. Ok – yes – they have to cross it – but that’s as far as their involvement goes. And, if you’re a pedestrian, you already know how to cross a road, like everyone does, because it was drummed into us all by the Green Cross Code man (or whatever the equivalent was for your generation). Look both ways, listen, and only cross when it’s safe to do so while continuing to look both ways. Ideally, that will be at a pedestrian crossing – and definitely not from a position between two parked cars – you know the drill, I’m sure.

What the Highway code ‘Hierarchy of Road Users’ changes have done, however, is kind of make like none of that common sense ever existed. Instead, it has been replaced by confusion and doubt. Drivers always knew they should give cyclists room – the ones who never did will probably carry on not doing. But I can’t argue with the decision to make all that a little clearer in the Highway Code. Drivers and cyclists, however, especially on urban roads, are often going not massively dissimilar speeds – and there’s a shared history there. Pedestrians, however, have always been separate, never sharing the same space as those on wheels, except to cross the road.

Now, they have been emboldened. Suddenly, they are no longer just kings and queens of the pavement, but the road too!

He goes on.

Of course he does, complaining about having to brake for pedestrians, when he’d rather just force them to jump back onto the curb and stay the hell out of his way.

So, we like to go fast. If we have to amble along so we’re able to stop on a 50p piece should a pedestrian decide to exercise their hierarchical right to randomly step out in front of us, then it just wouldn’t be road cycling. Drivers aren’t forced to travel at 5mph or less ‘just in case’ so why should we be forced to curtail our speed any more than the traffic laws and conditions on a particular road allow.

It paints a picture of a spoiled, entitled cyclist who can’t be bothered to help keep another person safe.

Just like all those spoiled, entitled drivers we’ve been dealing with for decades.

………

A San Diego TV station blames “rampant homelessness and a lucrative black market for stolen bikes,” with 9,200 bicycles reported stolen in the city in the last five years.

Although that number is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as many, if not most, bike thefts are never reported to the police.

And while they have certainly contributed to the problem, there was a thriving black market for hot bikes long before the recent rise in homelessness.

………

GCN offers tips on how to upgrade your first road bike.

………

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

No bias here. A Coral Springs, Florida website complains that the city insists on building more new bike lanes, whether or nor anyone is using them.

No bias here, either. A London bike cop watches a cab driver blow a red light and nearly hit someone on a bike, then denies seeing it — and blames scofflaw bike riders for his refusal to enforce the law.

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

A Madisonville, Tennessee man faces charges for an alleged random attack on a pedestrian, riding by on a bicycle and whacking the victim across the jaw with what appeared to be a jack handle.

After London bike rider installs an air horn to get pedestrians out of his way, one man he scared the shit out of responds with a punch and a kick.

Viral Twitter Video with a LOT of negative replies. Do you think videos like this hurt the perception of Bikers or highlight how difficult it can be to bike in car-centric cities? from fuckcars

………

Local

Planetizen is the latest to pile on to the failed bike lanes on the “much anticipated” new 6th Street Viaduct, calling them disappointing and leaving much to be desired.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies say they’re cracking down on bike theft, but lock your bike anyway.

 

State 

A Huntington Beach letter writer complains that including sharrows as part of a $14.8 million makeover of PCH through the community means the money will be “wasted on ‘freshening up’ a dangerous roadway rather than actually fixing it.”

A 26-year old Ventura man was murdered in broad daylight as he rode his bicycle on a Ventura bike path Saturday afternoon, when someone approached his bike and stabbed him multiple times.

A 31-year old woman has been charged with 2nd degree murder for the alleged drunken that killed a 60-year old man riding a bicycle in San Mateo County, before continuing on and hitting another car head-on. Thanks to Jim for the heads-up.

San Francisco continues to run urbanist laps around Los Angeles, building a 14-acre park topping a pair of freeway tunnels. LA has talked about capping the 101 Freeway through Hollywood, as well as other highways. But as usual, talk is as far as it’s gone.

Oakland has two new protected intersections. Which compares favorably to LA’s none.

The road up the Bay Area’s popular Mt. Diablo now has multiple bike turnouts to allow uphill riders to get out of the way of impatient drivers.

Marin County pro cyclist Laura King says she rode through both of her pregnancies, and she’d do it again.

No bias here. A Citrus Heights man was seriously injured when he was hit by a driver, yet the press insists on saying he “collided with a vehicle.” Because of course he did.

 

National

High gas prices may finally be driving a change in American’s driving habits. Or maybe just a switch to cheaper grades and fewer gas station candy bars.

Even Good Housekeeping is catching up with the trend of carfree families.

Organizers have cancelled this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show, citing a lack of support; however, a new handmade bike show will debut in Portland next year.

Popular Mechanics proves they’re still around, with their picks for the eight best ebikes under $1,800.

Horrifying news from Utah, where a father was killed and his 17-year old daughter was injured when a pickup driver plowed into them from behind as they rode they bikes on the shoulder of the roadway; witnesses say there was no sign the driver even tried to stop before hitting them.

A Colorado man was fined a measly $600 for illegally casting his wife’s ballot for Donald Trump in the 2020 election; Barry Morphew was previously charged with murdering his wife, who disappeared after going for a bike ride on Mother’s Day in 2020, but prosecutors were forced to drop the case for lack of evidence.

A San Antonio, Texas bike shop has been in business continuously for 102 years. And been in the family since 1933.

Wisconsin has dropped precipitously from the top ten bike friendly states — once ranking as high as second — and falling to 29th in just five years, after becoming the only US state to repeal its Complete Streets policy.

The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI, is back to full strength, with 18,000 riders setting off on Sunday — an increase of 3,000 over last year.

New York City’s Ghost Bike Project held its annual Memorial Ride through the Bronx on Sunday, home to five of the seven fatal bike crashes in New York this year.

More than 2,100 Philly bike riders took over a local highway for the annual Ben to the Shore Bike Tour, hoping to raise over $1.2 million to support families of fallen first responders.

Sad news from Philadelphia, though, where a 28-year old beatboxer and rapper was killed by a hit-and-run driver in a dually pickup as he rode a bike just blocks from his home.

DC is struggling to keep up with ghost bikes, as planned memorials for two fallen riders were interrupted by the death of another.

 

International

Women’s Wear Daily offers advice on how to ride in style, all the way down to your bike.

Sad news from France, where one girl is in a coma and several others injured when a group of Flemish scouts fell while on a ride through the country.

A Pakistani woman learns to ride a bicycle for the first time at 30-years old after moving to the Pacific Northwest from the conservative country, where women on bikes are frowned on. Or worse.

An Indian op-ed says every day should be World Bicycle Day.

Aussie bike riders are getting flat tires on a newly resurfaced bike lane, after the contractor apparently neglected to remove excess glass from the reflectorized surface.

 

Competitive Cycling

No major surprises in the final weekend of the Tour de France, as 25-year old Dane Jonas Vingegaard won his first grand tour, besting previous champs champ Tadej Pogačar and Geraint Thomas; Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen won Sunday’s final bunch sprint down the Champs-Élysées.

Race spectators dragged a handful of eco-protesters off the road after climate activists from the French group Dernière Rénovation — aka Last Renovation — attempted to block the route of the Tour’s Saturday’s time trial.

Dutch sprinter Lorena Wiebes topped the great Marianne Vos to win Sunday’s inaugural stage of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes on the streets of Paris.

Ouch. Cycling Weekly looks at the numbers behind the Tour de France Femmes, saying there’s a lot to be excited about. But prize money and riders’ pay, not so much.

Sports Illustrated calls the TdF Femmes a women’s sport triumph that was long in the making.

Twenty-eight-year old Colombian cyclist Miguel Ángel López was suspended by the Astana Qazaqstan team for ties to a doctor suspected of drug trafficking and money laundering. But the era of doping is over, right?

California’s Savilia Blunk won the women’s elite cross-country national mountain bike championship, while defending national champ Keegan Swenson took the men’s title.

L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams apologized for his part in a fight with Michael Hernandez of the Best Buddies team following a dustup on the last lap of the Salt Lake Criterium.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you try to stripe a bike lane, and it ends up looking like they were laid out by someone on acid. Or when you have to pedal a bike to power a stage at the famed Newport Folk Festival.

And this is what a great save looks like.

Although there’s no guarantee it wasn’t staged.

But still.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

$2 million for homeless man killed by police while holding bike part, and free Metro Bike ride through DTLA tomorrow

A federal jury awarded more than $2 million to the family of a homeless man who was fatally shot by an LAPD sergeant last year.

Thirty-one-year old Victor Valencia was erratically waving a bike part, which witnesses had mistaken for a gun. He was shot when he reportedly pointed the object at the officer.

However, a witness to the shooting claimed Valencia had his arms over his shoulders, and never pointed towards the cop.

Although I would have thought it was a gun, too, regardless of where it was pointed.

Then again, I’m not a cop. Or trained not to shoot unless a suspect is armed or someone’s life is actually in danger.

But we’ll all get to pay for it, anyway.

Photo from LAPD.

………

Metro Bike is hosting a free and easy three-mile ride through DTLA tomorrow.

………

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

Unbelievable. A Memphis man riding a bike was run down by a driver leaving a parking lot, then intentionally run down again as he tried to ride away — after he swung his bike at the driver’s car, who repeatedly gunned the engine and lurched the car at him. All of it caught on camera, in front of witnesses, yet somehow, no arrest has been made.

A Georgia man faces felony charges for intentionally running down a man on a bicycle, after buzzing the bike rider just minutes earlier; he then tried to fight a witness trying to calm him down as the two men argued afterwards. Note to The Newnan Times-Herald — No, the truck didn’t ram someone on a bike, the driver did. And never mind that “Dodge Ram” is a brand name, while “Dodge rams” is an action.

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

Police in Santa Rosa are looking for a bank robber who made his getaway by bike after sticking up a Chase branch; they later found the bicycle, but the thief is in the wind.

A New Hampshire man faces multiple charges after fleeing from a police traffic stop on his bicycle while carrying a backpack packed with a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol, packages of suspected crack and heroin, and over $2200 in cash. His prize for his 21st arrest is getting charged as a career criminal.

The Aussie bicyclist caught on video screaming obscenities at a single mother who cut him off in traffic has been outed as a “high-flying executive” at some of Australia’s biggest financial institutions.

………

Local

Recent bicycling convert CA state Sen. Anthony Portantino says this will be his last term in the state legislature, as he moves to Burbank and explores running for state superintendent of public instruction election in 2026.

Sad news from Pasadena, where ten-year City Councilmember John J. Kennedy died unexpectedly, just one month after winning reelection with nearly 60% of the vote.

 

State 

A San Clemente surfer becomes the talk of the town when he scores a retro, non-electric bicycle, in a tale told with tongue firmly in cheek.

Neighborhood activists in Santa Barbara are fighting a proposed 14-foot wide bike path that would run through the 25-acre Modoc Road Preserve, potentially removing up to 63 mature trees in a preserve that’s home to three species of hawks, hooded orioles, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, possum and raccoons. Although most of the trees scheduled for removal are invasive, non-native palm and eucalyptus trees.

 

National

People For Bikes says the US could fight inflation and lower transportation costs by investing in bike infrastructure and ebike subsidies.

Shocking story from a Quaker pastor in The Saturday Evening Post, who says talking his wife into letting him get an ebike is an uphill battle. The shocking part is that The Saturday Evening Post is still a thing.

Bicycling recommends the best bike trailer for your four-footed best friend. Unless maybe your best friend is a cat or ferret or something, in which case you’re on your own. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Everything you need to know if you’re planning to head to Portland for their edition of the World Naked Bike Ride.

A Colorado BMX champ could be coaching younger riders on foot for awhile, after someone cut the lock securing his custom-built bike in the middle of the night.

Friends have raised a $50,000 reward to find the Austin, Texas hit-and-run driver who killed a man who was riding across the US with a dozen other people; he was also one of just 400 people who have run a marathon on every continent.

St. Paul, Minnesota residents are fighting a proposed bike path, fearing it will result in the removal of majestic trees and change the character of the historic street — even though they haven’t see any plans yet. Apparently, all those cars haven’t changed the neighborhood’s historic character at all.

Police in Detroit are still looking for the shooter who killed an innocent 18-year old girl when she got caught in a crossfire while riding her bike last year.

A grieving mother demanded that DC do more to protect bike riders after her daughter, a 40-year old State Department worker, was killed by a truck driver this week — one of three people killed riding bikes in the city this month.

 

International

Vancouver becomes the latest area to require sideguards on large trucks, in response to the death of a 28-year old bike rider.

An angry Irish bicyclist says city leaders who oppose bike lanes should be required to visit the families of fallen bicyclists.

Vienna bikemaker VELLO introduces a ebike foldie that weighs under 22 pounds, recharges by braking and folds in just eight seconds, selling for around $3.600.

Proving that bike theft is a universal problem, Kiwi bicyclists are calling for more and better bike storage amid a jump in theft. Something tells me if they have bicycles on Europa or Ganymede or Tatooine, they have the same damn problem.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time defending champ Tadej Pogačar couldn’t catch Jonas Vingegaard on the final mountain stage of the Tour de France on Thursday, losing another minute in the standings as the peloton tackled the famed Hautacam; VeloNews offers video highlights of the stage.

Vingegaard was applauded for sportsmanship when he waited for Pogačar to catch up after taking a spill in loose gravel, after almost falling himself.

Former TdF champ Geraint Thomas says he’s glad to be done with the Pyrenees, because he’s has enough with constant attacks in the battle between Vingegaard and Pogačar.

Nielson Powless is the top American in the race, 45 minutes behind the leader in 14th place.

Raise your hand if you knew it was against the rules for a pro cyclist to get a boost by pushing off race moto. And if you know that, why the hell didn’t Nairo Quintana, who was penalized 10 seconds, 200 Swiss francs and four points for the stunt in Thursday’s stage.

New Zealand cyclist Jack Bauer was shaken and angry when he was caught between a team car and a media motorbike as he tried to make his was back to the peloton, and hit the car’s rear windshield when the driver braked to avoid a fallen rider as the motorcyclist closed off the gap he was aiming for.

NBC Sports will broadcast live coverage of all eight stages of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes on the free Peacock streaming service, with some stages rebroadcast later on CNBC.

Former world mountain biking champ Kate Courtney will be in Colorado this weekend competing in the nationals for the first time since she won in 2018.

 

Finally…

If you put a stolen license plate on your bicycle, there’s a good chance the cops won’t get the joke. No, calling a lawyer probably isn’t the first thing you should do if you get hit by a car; getting out of the street first might be a better idea.

And this wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t so true.

Thanks to Jon for the tweet.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Investing in Place fires at Healthy Streets LA, protected and crappy new bikeways, and more 6th Street Bridge misery

Call it friendly fire.

The well-respected advocacy group Investing in Place fired off the since-deleted tweet on the left, coming out against the Healthy Streets LA  ballot initiative.

While the organization praises the efforts of the proposal’s sponsors, they take issue with the initiative itself, which would require the city to build out the Mobility Plan 2035 any time a street included in it gets resurfaced.

As they note, it could result in a haphazard streetscape, given the city’s seemingly random resurfacing program, while taking decades to complete.

Which is still better than the mere 3% that has been built in the seven years since the plan was adopted by the city council.

Here’s how Investing in Place explains their opposition in a blog post.

But here is where we disagree, painting random disconnected blocks of bike lanes while our sidewalks remain cracked, our neighborhoods flood in the rain and wilt in the heat, and bus riders continue to lack seating and shelter will not get us the city that we are working toward.

If the City Council adopts the Healthy Streets L.A. Ballot Measure as written, it would be tying its mandate to the City’s resurfacing program – which is structurally flawed, unpredictable, and inequitable – meaning the ballot measure is unlikely to produce projects with the durable community and political support needed.

It also could pull attention and resources away from efforts to implement truly complete streets with shade, accessible sidewalks, bus shelters and benches, and lighting, none of which are delivered by resurfacing and restriping. We wrote about this last month, as well as a separate but related motion the LA City Council is currently working on. It’s on the latter that the city should be putting its time and effort.

Surprisingly, that appears to represent a fundamental misunderstanding of what the mobility plan entails.

It’s not just bike lanes, even though it subsumed the 2010 bike plan, including its innovative three-level bike network.

It also includes busways and pedestrian improvements, along with a new focus on Complete Streets. Or as the plan itself puts it, it represents a fundamental change in how future generations of Angelenos will interact with their streets.

If it ever gets built.

But while the Healthy Streets LA initiative only requires Los Angeles to implement the plan when streets are resurfaced, that is the minimal requirement.

There is nothing stopping the city from building out an entire bike lane or busway when the new law forces them to stripe a few blocks of it. Nor is there anything preventing local groups and residents from demanding that the city go beyond the mere requirements of the law to include things like trees, benches and human spaces.

Investing in Place also strangely raises the issue of equity.

Any policy developed must include the voices of those most impacted, especially when it comes to public access to public assets. And the best policy outcomes we’ve seen also include the perspective and insight of those working on implementing and doing this work for the public agencies. These are the very real issues that are addressed by the motion put forward by Council President Martinez and discussed at length at the Public Works and Transportation Committees, but left to chance by the ballot measure. As a result, we have deep reservations about the ballot measure…

Until impacted communities living with the historical disinvestment in streets and sidewalks in their neigborhoods are given seats at the table, it is critical to stay the course with the Council President’s motion. Included in the Council President’s motion, and absent from the Ballot measure, is the plan to address the long-standing need for a Capital Infrastructure Plan that coordinates and prioritizes public works and transportation projects with equity baked in from the start.

I say strangely, because the voices of those impacted by the mobility plan were baked in during its drafting, through years of public meetings throughout the Los Angeles area and a lengthy public comment period.

It also came before the Planning Commission, neighborhood councils, city council committees and finally, the full city council itself.

At every point, there was a focus on equity and serving those too often ignored.

Then there’s the extensive support received by the Healthy Streets LA plan, with a lengthy list of sponsors, many of whom share a focus on equity, as shown on the plan’s website.

Our coalition includes a broad range of climate, transportation, business and labor organizations: Streets For All, LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, MoveLA, CalBike, LAANE, Los Angeles Walks, The Eagle Rock Association, National Health Foundation, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, UNITE HERE Local 11, People For Mobility Justice, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, East Side Riders, East Valley Indivisibles, Pacoima Beautiful, BizFed, Coalition for Clean Air, FastLinkDTLA, LA Business Council, Sierra Club.

It also enjoys a long list of endorsements from neighborhood councils in virtually every region of the city.

The following Neighborhood Councils have passed letters of support: Arts District Little Tokyo, Atwater Village, Boyle Heights, CANNDU, Canoga Park, Central Hollywood, Coastal San Pedro, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley Riverside, Glassell Park, Granada Hills South, Harbor Gateway North, Harbor Gateway South, Hollywood Hills West, LA32, Los Feliz, MacArthur Park, Mid City, Mid City West, NoHo, NoHo West, North Area Development, North Hills West, North Westwood, Northridge East, Northwest San Pedro, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Rampart Village, Reseda, Silver Lake, Sun Valley, United Neighborhoods, Van Nuys, Voices, West Adams, West LA/Sawtelle.

That broad-based level of support is exemplified by this map showing the distribution of petition signers, reaching every corner of Los Angeles.

Here’s what Streets For All founder Michael Schneider had to say when I asked him to comment.

We respectfully disagree with Investing in Place’s take on Healthy Streets LA, a citizen-led ballot measure that has been supported by over 100,000 Angelenos across the entire city, 40 neighborhood councils, and a coalition of labor, business, climate, and safe streets advocacy organizations.

But here’s the real problem.

Once the signatures for the ballot initiative are verified and counted, it will be approved for a vote of the people. That should happen by the end of this month.

That will start a 20 day clock that will give the city council the option of approving the Healthy Streets LA proposal as written, or place it on the November ballot.

Investing in Place argues for another alternative, which would involve negotiations between backers of the proposal, city agencies, and other interested parties.

However, only the first approach would carry the force of law, which can only be changed by a vote of the people.

In other words, the concept of improving city streets and expanding who they serve would finally be carved in stone, forcing city leaders to build a more livable city for everyone.

The approach Investing in Place recommends, though, would have the city council adopt a modified version of the proposal that could be changed at anytime, for any reason, by a simple vote of the council.

So if a less favorable council is elected at some point in the future, the improvements to our streets could be halted overnight. Or some councilmember could decide they don’t want a certain project included in the mobility plan, and get the council to override it.

The first approach would force the city to do what it has already committed to.

The other would too, unless someone, somewhere disagrees. Which is guaranteed in a city where drivers have enjoyed unquestioned privilege and hegemony over our streets since the demise of the Red Cars.

And the rest of us have been forced to live with their scraps.

Here, again, is Streets For All’s Michael Schneider.

There is no conflict between city council adopting Healthy Streets LA as an ordinance when it reaches council (which would enshrine it into law versus be at the whim of a future city council vote), and us all working together under the great initiative by Council President Martinez to make sure the mobility plan is implemented with an equitable lens, the mobility plan is expanded beyond paint and bollards, departments are coordinated, and all of the other things in her motion, which we support.

It’s an approach that’s been proven successful in other cities that have tried it.

And which should prove just as successful here.

As long as our fellow advocates don’t sink us with friendly fire.

………

We have new protected bikeways in the local news today.

And real ones, this time. Unlike the the ones on the 6th Street Viaduct.

First up, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the long-promised curb-protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA are finally under construction.

The $18.7 million streetscape project stretches one mile, from San Pedro Street in the east to Figueroa Street in the west. The first few blocks leading to and from Figueroa were funded by the developers as a permitting condition for building the Wilshire Grand Center at 7th and Fig.

Linton reports the project will include “expanded sidewalks, pedestrian/cyclist-scale lighting, bus islands, and new trees,” in addition to LA’s first significant curb-protected bikeway

Next up is a new separated bike path along El Segundo Blvd, which I’m just learning about.

However, it seems like for every decent bikeway, we have to accept a crappy one.

Like this one in Echo Park, where slow moving riders crawling uphill have to mix it up with impatient drivers, while downhill riders who could likely keep up with cars get a regular bike lane.

Exactly the opposite of what common sense would dictate. Although anyone who expects to find common sense on LA streets is likely to have a long damn wait.

………

Continuing our seemingly endless discussion of the new 6th Street Viaduct, Curbed’s Alissa Walker describes its ostensibly protected bike lanes as “a bike lane built for a car crash.”

Meanwhile, KPCC’s Air Talk discusses bike safety and entirely predictable street takeovers on the viaduct.

And with everything else going on with the bridge, why the hell not?

………

Old Pasadena is hosting a ride this weekend.

And no, that’s not a reference to the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is doing a craft beer ride to the South Bay with Sierra Nevada this Saturday.

………

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

No bias here. A San Diego letter writer says just paint a line on the sidewalk and make people on bicycles ride there, so his car can keep going zoom zoom on the streets.

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A Seattle area woman made just a brief stop behind bars before being released, after running down a bike-riding woman while driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit — at ten in the morning.

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

There’s a special place in a hell for the schmuck who harassed a 22-year old Welsh college student as he followed her on his bike for ten minutes making inappropriate comments. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

………

Local

KTLA talks to an expert about what to look for in an ebike.

 

State 

There’s not a pit deep enough for the Adalanto man who attacked a 17-year old boy with a tire iron for no apparent reason as the kid was riding with his mom, leaving him unconscious and bleeding in the street.

Hats off to San Ramon’s Monte Vista High School mountain biking team, who’ve assigned themselves to remove invasive plants from Mt. Diablo.

Sad news from San Rafael, where a 67-year old man was killed in a fall when he rode his ebike off a steep ridgeline.

Bikeshare and e-scooters could be coming back to Davis.

 

National

How to clean your bike helmet.

The Bike League is asking for donations to their Drive Less, Bike More Matching Challenge; the organization is 33% of the way towards their $50,000 goal.

Road Bike Rider offers a plan for beginners to ride 100 miles a week.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will face trial in October after pleading not guilty to the murder of gravel cyclist Mariah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Some Chicago officials want to legalize speeding, with a proposal to toss out speed cam tickets for anyone going less than ten miles over the speed limit.

Bicycling and walking rates are up in Detroit, as residents cope with high gas prices.

This is who we share the road with. A Jersey City NJ councilwoman was cited for hit-and-run and failing to report a traffic collision, for driving off after hitting a bike rider, and leaving the victim with minor injuries; she claims she struck her head in the crash and reported it once she realized what happened. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s a sad comment when a man can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but can’t survive riding a bike on DC streets.

 

International

A writer for Wired discovers that you can, indeed, do a 70-mile London dirt ride on a Brompton foldie, although the bike fared better than he did.

A British op-ed says teaching bicycling in schools will help foster equity.

An off-duty paramedic in the UK will spend five years and four months behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, when he tried driving to a party after downing ten pints of Guinness.

An English writer learns firsthand what it’s like to ride France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez.

Bike riders in Düzce, Turkey lay down in the street to stop traffic and finally get noticed by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar outsprinted Tour de France leader Jonas Vingegaard to win Wednesday’s stage 17, but was unable to make a dent in Vingegaard’s more than two minute lead; Pogačar has one last mountain stage left to try to take the yellow jersey.

Former Tour de French champ Geraint Thomas is languishing in third place, over four minutes behind and unable to challenge the leaders.

Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen fared just a tad worse, giving everything he had just to make the time cut on Wednesday’s mountaintop finish.

Cycling Weekly says American cycling needs another Lemond — or God forbid, another Lance. But, you know, without the dope and stuff in the latter’s case. Or the shotgun pellets in the former.

 

Finally…

Your next bike can tell you when the air is too bad to breathe. And yes, there’s an online community for you when you just want to say “fuck cars.”

Because of course there is.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

A breakup letter with 6th Street Viaduct, CalBike ED moves to People For Bikes, and CA ebike rebates fail to launch

He gets it.

Well, of course he does.

Michael Schneider, founder of the transformational transportation Political Action Committee Streets For All, is the latest to accuse Caltrans and LADOT failing to protect bike riders on the new $588 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering, LADOT, and Caltrans have sent a “love letter” that is actually a breakup letter to people on bikes. Whether intentional or not, it signals that the city doesn’t really care about the safety for people on bikes (or they do, unless the space is needed for cars). Spending $600M of our taxpayer dollars on a substandard multi modal bridge in 2022 isn’t acceptable. The striping should be changed ASAP to accommodate broken down cars and emergency vehicles in the center while physically protecting people on bikes with concrete and extending the lane for the full length of the bridge.

We’ve already discussed that failure several times in recent days. So take a moment to read Schneider’s Medium piece.

Then get mad.

Damn mad.

Because as much as we want to love the new bridge, city and state officials have made it clear that your life and safety is worth less to them than a broken-down car.

And it should come as no surprise to anyone that drivers on the bridge are already behaving badly.

Rendering from From 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

………

CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder is leaving the statewide bicycle advocacy group.

Snyder has led the California Bicycle Coalition, better known as Calbike, nearly half of its existence, joining the 26-year old organization in 2010.

According to a press release posted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News,

Under Snyder’s leadership, CalBike’s tenacious, hardworking team has passed model e-bike legislation, pushed through Complete Streets reform at Caltrans, defeated a helmet mandate, legalized protected bike lanes, and gotten several bills passed to protect bicyclists, including the Three Feet for Safety Law requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing. They have gotten more funding for bicycling as well, securing an increase in state-level funding for biking and walking from around $100M to over $1 billion, and winning $10M for e-bike purchase incentives.

CalBike has helped to coordinate more than twenty local advocacy organizations with a combined membership of over 100,000, influencing elections for the California State Assembly and Senate and building support for ballot measures such as the successful defeat in 2018 of a proposed repeal of the gas tax.

He’s leaving to take a position as Senior Director of Local Innovation with Colorado-based People For Bikes.

He’ll be missed.

Current CalBike Operations Manager Kevin Claxton will step in as Interim Director while the group conducts a search for new leadership.

………

Streetsblog continues to stay on top of California’s continued failure to launch a promised and fully funded ebike rebate program.

Despite the overwhelming success of Denver’s ebike rebate program, California’s minimally funded $10 million program, which was supposed to launch this month, has been dead on arrival, apparently due to the state’s inability to select anyone to administer it.

Putting off a decision adds delay to an already slow-moving process, and could push the program start date out until after the end of the year. Other sources of e-bike incentives, including under the Clean Cars for All program being handled by regional air districts, have been just as slow to get going.

It almost feels as if CARB is more than reluctant to offer these incentives, even though it is increasingly clear that e-bikes can be excellent replacements for private cars. Their carbon footprints, costs, parking requirements, and the space they take up on roads is also considerably less than that of electric cars, and CARB doesn’t seem to have much trouble pushing EVs as a climate solution.

Never mind that California provides $425 million to purchasers of electric vehicles, which offer far fewer public benefits than electric bicycles.

You’d think that a cost of just 2.3% of the EV program while getting more cars off the road would be enough of an incentive for the state to get its shit together.

But apparently, you’d be wrong.

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Just 136,000 of the reasons I’m a fan of the East Side Riders.

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The LA area’s biggest bike race of the year is coming to the South Bay on Sunday.

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This is what can happen when a country’s leaders actually give a damn about ending traffic deaths.

Unlike a certain North American country we could name.

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

A Rhode Island man faces multiple charges for intentionally backing his car into a 12-year old boy’s bike, then following the kid and knocking him off his bike, all because he took offense at comments the boy made to his friends.

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Local

You see a lot of things riding a bike.  Like a cackling arsonist starting a brush fire, and a bike rider with a bleeding head injury who insists on riding off rather than waiting for paramedics. Seriously, if someone insists you need medical help, listen to them.

 

State 

Bad news from Oxnard, where a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a 19-year old van driver while riding his bike.

The writer of a Santa Barbara op-ed, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a Class 1 bike path and Class 2 bike lanes, opposes the former because it could mean the loss of trees on a street that already has the latter.

Santa Rosa bike riders are complaining about the unexpected closure of a bike path due to a small homeless encampment that officials said was “impeding safe public use of the trail.”

 

National

Bicycling offers expert advice on how to lead a group ride, in an article that’s exclusive to subscribers. And apparently anyone who has access to Yahoo.

A writer for The Oregonian suggests leaving your car at home, and taking your bike on an Amtrak train if you’re headed to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

Sheriff’s deputies in Pocatello, Idaho are increasing bike and foot patrols to cope with high gas prices.

A kindhearted stranger stepped up to buy a nine-year old Michigan boy a new bicycle, after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen the first night he had it.

Political pranksters have added a faux historical marker denoting Brandon Falls, the coastal Delaware location where Joe Biden fell off his bike last month; the name is a play on the “Let’s go Brandon” chant that stands in for a much cruder epithet. Meanwhile, the former Mayor Pete — now Transportation Secretary Pete — says he’s just “glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle.”

 

International

A British Columbia farm region is offering a free bicycle lending program, allowing local residents, refugees and migrant workers to simply take one when they need it and return in good working order it when they’re done.

South London is being plagued by knife-armed bike thieves on motorcycles.

London’s Independent tries out the Brompton’s nee $4,400 ebike foldie for a month, and likes it.

This is who we share the road with. An English police commissioner was caught speeding five times in just three months, after vowing to crack down on heavy-footed drivers.

UK bike riders argue that slowing down due to the country’s extreme heat leads to more aggressive passing from overheated and sleep deprived drivers; it was a record-setting 104° in London yesterday.

Swedish mobility company Vässla is switching to e-cargo bikes to deliver their mopeds through crushing Parisian traffic.

Taiwan is now allowing bicyclists and scooter riders to forgo their face masks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s Hugo Houle captured the biggest win of his career yesterday, topping the podium as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees for the final week of racing; Houle dedicated the win to his little brother, who was murdered by a hit-and-run driver ten years ago.

NBC offers a beginner’s guide to the Tour’s various leaders jerseys.

Twenty-four-year old Italian pro Marta Cavalli hopes to build on her second place finish in the Giro d’Italia Donne, as the inaugural eight-stage Tour de France Femmes prepares to rollout on Sunday.

L39ion of Los Angeles pulled its men’s and women’s teams out of Sunday’s Salt Lake Criterium after an incident of the final lap led to an exchange of blows following Saturday’s race; US pro crit champ Kendall Ryan says she’s astonished by the disrespect she gets as a member of the team.

 

Finally…

How to carry three on a tandem. Few things suck more than getting your new ebike stolen just an hour after you bought it.

And that feeling when you walk away from a promising cycling career to run the local post office.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More on unsafe 6th Street Viaduct bike lanes, missing South Bay bike lanes amid climate crisis, and the joy of bike riding

Hats off to LAist for exploring the “now you se ’em, now you don’t” bike lanes on the nifty new $600 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Okay, just a mere $588 million.

Which surely could have bought better bike lanes than these.

As you’ll recall, the bridge, which pays homage to the classic but crumbling 1930s original, was built with a safe, barrier-protected walkway. And unsafe, Class IV semi-protected bike lanes on the other side of the barrier, protected only by easy-to-drive-over rubber curbs with big, squishy white bollards on bendy posts that wouldn’t stop anything.

Apparently, that was intentional.

LADOT was tasked with striping the pavement on the bridge and also worked with the construction contractor on the design and installation of the bike lanes, according to spokesperson Colin Sweeney. He said the decision to place the bike lanes outside the concrete walls that protect the pedestrian walkways came from Caltrans.

“Since there are no shoulders on the viaduct, Caltrans requested that the bike lanes be ‘permeable’ to act as an emergency lane,” Sweeney told LAist, saying the bike lanes offer “the highest level of protection that could be accommodated by the width of the bridge while also allowing emergency vehicles to enter if needed.”

Never mind that it’s also permeable for out-of-control truckers and distracted drivers, who will only feel a little jolt before slamming into someone on a bicycle.

And never mind the east end of the bridge, where’s there’s no protection at all — forcing riders to mix it up with usually speeding, and too often uncaring motorists.

Let alone the lack of safe connections leading to or from the bridge.

To call it a fail from a bike rider’s perspective is a massive understatement. Like maybe a $588 million understatement.

But this quote from the story sums the sad situation up as well as anything else.

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Never mind the iffy bike lanes.

It was nice of Caltrans and the 6th Street Viaduct designers to include these nifty viewing grandstands for the inevitable burnouts and sideshows.

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What if they threw a climate crisis and nobody came?

Or cared.

Bad Mom, Good Mom takes a deep dive into the confluence of the ambitious South Bay Bicycle Master Plan and global atmospheric CO2 levels, which were 392 ppm when the plan was adopted in 2011.

And now stand 36 ppm higher.

Yet just like LA’s bike and mobility plans, the South Bay plan has been largely forgotten by the cities it was supposed to save, and has now been downgraded even further with a Local Traffic Network replacing the promised bike lanes, as CO2 levels — and the risk to bike riders — continue to climb.

Many of them children on their way to school, as the piece points out. Kids who should have had a safe route there by now.

But now won’t. And won’t have cleaner air to breathe.

Or a livable planet to do it on.

Go ahead and read the whole piece. We’ll wait.

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The best piece you’ll read today comes from a reporter for NPR, who manages to capture the sheer peace and joy of riding a bicycle better than I’ve ever done.

As well as the inherent contradiction of being a serious cyclist when riding is so much fun.

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

No bias here. Someone asks about a large group of bike riders in downtown Santa Barbara, and the online conversation quickly devolves into accusations of wealthy white recreational bike riders running stop signs. Sort of like any other online discussion of bikes.

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

The man who infamously rode his bicycle down the aisle to loot a San Francisco drug store has been arrested for shoplifting again, after serving just half of a 16 month sentence.

A 28-year old Toronto woman faces carjacking charges for allegedly riding up to a car on a bicycle, before pulling out the 70-year old woman driving and taking off with her car.

An Aussie bike rider is accused of repeatedly hitting a woman he says cut him off with her car; police say there’s nothing they can do without knowing who he is. Unfortunately, video of the incident doesn’t appear to work in this country.

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Local

CicLAvia is teaming with Motional to host a free panel discussion titled Talking Innovation and Safe Streets at the LA Cleantech Incubator tomorrow evening.

A bicyclist was hospitalized in unknown condition after being struck by a driver in Canyon Country Monday afternoon.

 

State 

San Diego’s Rouleur Brewing Company will donate all the proceeds from the sale of their new hazy New England-style IPA to the Moriah Wilson Foundation in honor of the late cyclist.

A pair of Twentynine Palms residents suffered serious injuries when the bicycle they were sharing was struck by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night.

 

National

Livestrong recommends their picks for the best bike mirrors, which aren’t just for old guys on ‘bents anymore.

Bicycling recommend the best rear bike lights you can buy on Amazon. Although these are pretty damn good for just 13 bucks and change, too. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Triathlete offers advice on how to make your pedals go round more efficiently.

Evidently, city officials in Pueblo, Colorado don’t think there’s room in the planned 20-foot wide sidewalks on each side of a redesigned street to make space for the existing 5-foot wide bike lanes.

Wyoming considers charging mountain bike user fees to fund essential trail work.

A Chico, California woman was the victim of a predatory attack by a food-conditioned grizzly bear last year along the banks of Montana’s Blackfoot River, made famous by A River Runs Through It.

An Iowa man will spend up to ten years behind bars for killing a bike rider in South Dakota while driving under the influence; he claims he never saw the victim, who was riding in broad daylight wearing high-vis with a flashing red taillight.

Spectrum News 1 discovers the volunteer-driven ghost bike project in Austin, Texas to memorialize people killed riding bicycles in Central Texas.

Thirteen fraternity members from my alma mater are riding 3,400 miles across the US to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. So far they’ve raised $96,000 of the $150,000 goal, according to the story, although their website shows just half of that.

Once again, a bicyclist on a cross-country tour has been killed. A rider with a group riding to California from Savannah, Georgia died in an apparent collision outside Norman, Oklahoma. Although the only mention of a driver was to say they weren’t at fault.

Lonely Planet recommends the seven best bike rides if you ever find yourself riding on Cape Cod.

 

International

An 80-year old Edmonton, Alberta man is riding his ebike over 8,000 miles from Alaska to Panama City, accompanied by his relatively youthful 69-year old friend.

Toronto bicyclists took over the city’s High Park, riding laps around the roadway to protest police targeting bike riders breaking the low 12 mph speed limit.

James Corden, host of The Late Late Show, was in a heated altercation with another London bike rider who cut across his path and caused Corden to come off his bike, narrowly avoiding falling in front of traffic. However, the other guy did apologize.

A London newspaper offers advice on riding in the city’s current 100° heatwave. All of which you could probably come up with yourself with a little thought.

Finishing our London trifecta, bicycling rates are up 25% in the city over pre-pandemic levels.

Students at a Kochi, India high school have formed a 150-member bicycle brigade to promote bicycling to city residents and cut traffic to the school.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Yves Lampaert was left fuming after losing a chunk of flesh from his leg when a dog wandered in front of the peloton during Friday’s 12th stage of the Tour de France; no word on whether the dog was injured.

Welsh cyclist Owain Doull hit the pavement after riding over a stray water bottle in Sunday’s 15th stage.

Cycling News looks back on how the Tour overcame man-eating bears and walls of snow to conquer the Pyrenees.

Rapha offers a short film examining the brother and sister duos anchoring the L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re looking for a big, heavy bike trailer with a hard to use brake. Uncool bicycling accessories due for a comeback.

And this is why the pros are in the Tour de France, and you’re not.

Although in my case, I’m just too damn old and falling apart.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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