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Guest Post: Open letter opposing Englander motion to halt dockless bikeshare and CSUN LimeBike system

Recently, Mike Kaiser reached out to me to oppose Councilmember Mitch Englander’s motion that would temporarily halt any further expansion of dockless bikeshare in Los Angeles.

And could jeopardize the new LimeBike system at Cal State Northridge.

The president and co-founder of the nonprofit group Bikecar 101, and a board member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, his comments were insightful enough that I asked him to write a guest post on the subject.

And as someone who works at CSUN, he offers a unique perspective we haven’t heard yet.


Re: Councilmember Mitch Englander’s Motion on LimeBike Bikshare in Northridge

Hello Everyone,

I am writing you today to discuss the addition of a new transportation mode in the Valley – around the campus of California State University at Northridge.  The program is a dockless bikeshare program offered by the company ‘LimeBike’ and has been a huge success. Obviously there are ‘growing pains’ with any new addition to a community.  Which is why we need your support – as the community to voice your support of a health promoting (stress reducing), traffic congestion reducing, and economy increasing program. Call Councilmember Mitch Englander or email and express your support for the program or sign a petition initiated by CSUN students, which can be found here.

That is my pitch, now let me back my pitch up with statistics and testimonials to show data contrary to the information produced in a motion by the councilmember for an emergency moritorium on bikeshare in the Northridge area.  First and foremost, I must state a disclaimer. I write to you as a RESIDENT of Northridge. I am also an employee at the university – CSUN – but not writing on behalf of the institution. I am a board member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council – but am not writing on their behalf either.  Last but not least, I am the president of Bikecar101 – a non-profit organization with a mission to educate and advocate for greater bicycle use on trains (Metrolink, Metro light rail, and Amtrak) in Southern California. Now that I have covered all of my basis for disclaimers, let me show statistics for the newly emerging and exciting LimeBike dockless bikeshare program.

In the following paragraphs, I would like to briefly state the benefits and a few testimonials regarding the new LimeBike program from my perspective.  As you will see, the statistics are showing positive momentum for active transportation. Incorporating a dockless bikeshare program into a community provides another mode of transportation which enhances the well-being of the community through health and economic gain.


LimeBike Statistics and Benefits

With the addition of 400 dockless LimeBikes delivered to the CSUN campus, the program has been a HUGE success among students and surrounding participates in the region.  Here are a few numbers from the use of students already:

  1. 7,000 subscriptions have already been completed.  This subscription makes future use easy by storing the user’s e-mail and credit card information.
  2. In just three and half weeks in use, the riders have travelled by bicycle (LimeBike dockless bikeshare) a total of 13,000 miles – Wow!
  3. LimeBike doubled their workforce to implement ‘sweeps’ at 7am and 7pm – which consists of driving around each day and collecting unused (or abandoned) bicycles while returning them to areas of greatest use (high demand).
  4. Students feel safer while riding a bicycle back to their house/apartment at night.
  5. As of last week, a total of 40,000 rides have been taken on LimeBikes in the Valley.

Now that I have stated the facts, let’s put them into perspective.  First and foremost is student safety. Students have shown up to Northridge East Neighborhood Council recently (a week ago) and gave statements about the positive attributes of LimeBike use — specifically personal safety at night.  Riding a bicycle back home provides a greater sense of safety. Are we as residents of the Valley going to revoke this new emerging (and growing) program? Student safety is on the backs of LimeBike’s opponents.

Next, the numbers of subscriptions and rides are impressive and exceed LimeBike’s expectations.  With 7,000 subscriptions, LimeBike users have traveled a total of 13,000 miles through 40,000 rides – Wow!  To put that number into perspective – 13,000 miles – the total distance traveled by LimeBikes in less than a month, a person could travel a total of 2 round trips from Northridge to New York City.  Another way to visualize 13,000 miles is to use ‘round trips to San Francisco’ as a metric. A person could travel a total of 17 round trips. Yes you read correctly, this means that LimeBike riders have traveled a total of 2 round trips from Northridge to New York City and back or 17 round trips from Northridge to San Francisco and back.  That is amazing in just under a month.

Last but not least, the rides taken on LimeBikes have reduced overall traffic congestion in the Northridge area.  LimeBikes are being used to access the Metrolink Train Station and the Metro Orange Line. This means that LimeBike is solving the ‘first and last mile’ to other transit modes.  This contributes to the growing momentum toward active transportation playing a greater role in the transportation solution in the future. Remember, these students will be the new professionals of tomorrow.  Their decisions around CSUN can positively impact future sustainable transportation decisions. Their experiences will influence their future ‘votes’!! With that in mind, local politicians should be jumping on board to promote diversified transportation options.  Lead rather than resist change. Change will be on the horizon regardless when these young professionals vote in politicians that suit their needs – promote health by reducing stress and traffic congestion.


LimeBikes staged for initial distribution at CSUN. Photo by Steve Spence.



The first testimonial is from myself as a resident living across Reseda Blvd from CSUN.  As a resident, one of the first observations I noticed upon launching the LimeBike program, was dockless bikes left in the path of travel on sidewalks.  This was an initial concern. I first noticed this at the bus stop near Reseda and Superior. As I was walking to school, I noticed a LimeBike in the middle of the sidewalk.  I decided to move the bicycle closer to the curb. Yes, as a resident, you too can help solve a problem. I wondered at that moment — when would that bicycle would be used next.  To my surprise, no sooner than I could push the traffic signal ‘walk button,’ did a passenger get off of the Metro Bus and stare at the LimeBike I had just moved. I walked up and tried to assist him in unlocking a bicycle.  He had already begun the process. The only question that I was able to ask in the brief time was: “Are you headed toward CSUN campus?” To which he responded, “No, I am headed a different way.” I walked off to work and stored this memorable memory about the newly launched program to share at a later date in time – the time has come.

The second testimonial which I would like to share is that of CSUN students showing up to the Northridge East Neighborhood Council last week to speak about the emerging LimeBike program.  All were enthusiastic about the release of 400 bicycles around campus. Each were impressed at the time saved while riding coupled to the obvious health benefits (lowers stress level). Additionally, each was especially thankful for the safety aspect that riding a LimeBike home after class.  I was unaware of this aspect provided by LimeBike. On the way home from the meeting, I asked my wife if she agreed with the testimonials given by the students. She did indeed agree that having the ability to escape via bicycle would give her a greater sense of safety. At the very least, she stated, she could envision ‘throwing’ the bicycle at an attacker to provide a ‘barrier’ between herself and them.  This is a strong aspect/benefit of a LimeBike which should not be discounted by opponents.


Community Concerns

Last but not least, I would like to share the overall feeling of a Northridge Vision meeting which I attended at Councilmember Mitch Englander’s office regarding the LimeBike program unveiling.  At the time, the program had been deployed just three weeks and was skyrocketing with success (and still is). The meeting was with various stakeholders (including neighborhood council presidents, and Northridge Beautification headed by Don Larson).  In light of resident’s concerns and the unexpected initial challenges with dockless bikeshare, LimeBike and CSUN representatives discussed potential solutions to bicycles being left on private property and blocking sidewalks. I should make clear that Councilmember Mitch Englander was not present at the meeting.

The LimeBike personnel introduced their product and gave statistics across the nation comparing the way CSUN embraced the dockless bikeshare program with other college towns.  LimeBike personnel answered all our questions. After LimeBike personnel introduced their product, Ken Rosenthal from CSUN gave introductions to other CSUN employees who are instrumental to outreach relations with the community: Austin Erickson, Francesca Vega, and Rafael DeLa Rosa.  CSUN employees were very vocal in their willingness to collect feedback and work with LimeBike to optimize the program.

Of greatest concern were bicycles blocking sidewalks and being abandoned.  Each bicycle is equipped with a GPS unit, therefore unused bicycles are flagged automatically.  Keep in mind, that LimeBike makes two rounds per day to collect these bicycles – one at 7 am and one at 7 pm.  LimeBike made clear to the audience that anyone can call 1-888-LIME-345 (1-888-546-3345) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and a crew will immediately come and collect a misplaced bike.  This phone number is displayed on each bicycle. Additionally, users who abandon bicycles in inappropriate locations can be identified. LimeBike is willing to contact the last user and impose a financial penalty.

The greatest discomfort with the new dockless bikeshare program is embedded in the ‘dockless’ aspect.  Ironically, the greatest discomfort contributes to the success of the program – ride a bicycle to your destination and lock the bicycle up without any further responsibility.  This locked bike is available for another prospective rider. Which means that a person who is looking for a bikeshare bicycle can look on their ‘app’ on their cell phone, instead of traveling to the nearest ‘hub’ where bicycles must be returned to.  The dockless nature of the bikeshare program contributes to the greater freedom of destination. LimeBike suggested that a geographical constraint is an option for the program, called geofencing, but in our view this would be a mistake.

When using Tower Bridge Bike Share in Sacramento over this past winter break, we experienced uncertainty and anxiety associated with riding along the American River.  Although the trail was wonderful and offered miles of protected riding, we realized that we had ventured outside the intended geofence of the program. We were unable to lock the bikes for fear of a $100 penalty and ended up calling the customer service to confirm the exact procedure that would avoid the fine.  The conclusion is that geofencing causes unnecessary fines and diminishes the utility of the bicycles for their intended purpose of enhancing mobility at a low price point ($0.50 per 30 minutes for those with email addresses, or $1 per 30 minutes for non-CSUN users).

I left the meeting thinking that these LimeBikes have definitely shown to be a mode of transportation which has benefited the community health and economy.  Of course, any new program has a certain amount of ‘growing pains’ associated with the implementation. This takes time. Which brings me to the last point. Councilmember Mitch Englander has not given the community enough time for the LimeBike program to grow into a beneficial program.


Councilmember Englander Aims to Shut Bikeshare Program Down

Recently, Councilmember Mitch Englander proposed a ‘Motion’ to impose an emergency moratorium on LimeBike to stop the program within the community of Northridge.  The councilmember further moves that the city council together with LADOT to write guidelines for substantial permitting process with penalties and revocation of permits if dockless bikeshare companies do not adhere to their guidelines.  The motion is shortsighted in my mind and is extremely premature, given that these regulations are yet to be written and have no timeline for completion — which could drag on indefinitely. Yet the LimeBike program will be immediately halted if Englender is allowed to move forward with this agenda.

The meeting at Councilmember Englander’s office was adjourned with steps which would be taken if LimeBike (and CSUN) could not correct or address neighborhood complaints with the initial implementation of the dockless bikeshare program.  Remember, Councilmember Englander was not present at that meeting. No indication of resident’s complaints were discussed at the Northridge Vision Meeting on Wednesday, February 14th. Only one resident spoke at the Northridge East Neighborhood council meeting on Wednesday, February 21st and he was upset about students running over cats with their cars (not a LimeBike issue specifically).  One resident asked how the LimeBikes would be monitored with respect to theft, which is not an issue since each bicycle is GPS-enabled.

Two days after that meeting, on Friday, February 23rd Councilmember Englander released his ‘motion’ to regulate transportation sharing programs, including bikes, electric scooters and cars.  Englander’s motion contains extreme measures which were not discussed at the meeting at his office. Councilmember Englander’s motion did not consider that the community would need time to naturally adjust to the infusion of LimeBikes.  Implementation of any new program is going to cause a shift in the limited space available for all road, parking lot and sidewalk users.

Already, in the two weeks since the councilman’s motion was filed, there have been fewer issues with abandoned bicycles and bikes blocking sidewalks.  Although it is unclear what factors have been responsible for this change in LimeBike user behavior, we celebrate that LimeBike users have grown more considerate with practice.  Admittedly, the month of January offered all users 10 free rides. With a decrease in incentives, there may be fewer casual users and more regular users who appreciate the freedom of the LimeBike program and exercise it responsibly.

Councilmember Mitch Englander is rushing to shut down the program at CSUN.  What this shows is that Councilmember Englander is not for active transportation.  Furthermore, Councilmember Englander does not support bicycles as a mode of transportation.  Although, I have heard him brag in the past about having the “highest density of bike lanes in his district.”  These two ideas are at odds with one another. I am disappointed in Councilmember Englander’s position. His motion shows that he is not a ‘forward thinker’ as he claims to be on a frequent basis.  He is stuck in a car culture mindset which is sad – since the rest of the world are starting to wake up and incorporate other modes of transportation into their respective communities.



In conclusion, we live in a democracy.  As a result, politicians such as Councilmember Englander are elected individuals.  Unfortunately, Councilmember Englander has decided to listen to a ‘few residents’ stuck in the car culture mindset and propose a motion to shut down the LimeBike dockless bikeshare system.  Since we live in a democracy, this affords us the opportunity to express our views through our votes. Furthermore, in between elections, we can express our views via avenues: social media, e-mail, phone calls, and letter mail.  I would ask each member of the region to reach out to Councilmember Mitch Englander’s office and express your concern about shutting down a great addition to the community.  Tell his staff or him (more importantly) that you support LimeBike dockless bikeshare program – Do Not Shut Down the LimeBike Bikeshare program!!!

Remember the safety aspect of the program aside from the economic gain for the community.  Let’s make our region a better place to travel within. Last but not least, CSUN is holding a petition which you can sign if you choose not to contact him yourself – click here.  Below is the contact information for Councilmember Mitch Englander:

Phone: (818) 882-1212

E-mail: [email protected]

Address: 9207 Oakdale Ave., Suite 200, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Thank you for you help.



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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ted Rogers


Morning Links: Leading climate change denier attacks bikes, and problems bicyclists face on the road & with police

He’s back.

The anti-bike writer in the Financial Post who called for banning bicycles last week, saying cities made a huge mistake in promoting bicycling, is back with a second screed even less informed than the first.

Fake news, indeed.

Lawrence Solomon, executive director of the Urban Renaissance Institute, is back to misstate and misinterpret bicycling crash statistics to suggest that bikes have made the streets more dangerous, going so far as to cite unnamed studies “not funded by bike-path proponents” that show bike infrastructure actually increases crashes.

Which is the exact opposite of every study I’ve ever seen, few, if any, of which have been funded by “bike path proponents.”

It’s the worst kind of drivel, taking unrelated data points to support his arguments, such as suggesting that the recent increase in overall traffic fatalities is somehow due to the increase in bicycling, and that bike riders are almost always the ones at fault in any crash.

The problem is, his baseless arguments have given cover to other writers to attack bikes and bike lanes, like a Staten Island columnist who asks if we’re watching the beginning of an anti-cycling bikelash, or the writer for an alt-right website who does little more than repost Solomon’s arguments.

However, few of those echoing his arguments have bothered to consider who it is who’s doing the writing — a leading climate change denier and anti-vaxxer funded by the oil and gas industry, posing as “one of Canada’s leading environmentalists.” Solomon has gone so far as to call the groundbreaking Kyoto Protocol “the single biggest threat to the global environment.”

Which would suggest that everything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.

If not an entire bag.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the alt-right link.


A writer for Outside captures succinctly the problems bike riders face on the roads.

Let that sink in: I was in a bike lane, wearing a bright orange helmet, sans earphones, when a car traveling over the speed limit and completely off the road struck me from behind—and the police tried to ticket me and let the driver go free. I realized that day that altercations between cars and bikes aren’t so much about the risk factors, like distracted driving, bike lanes, or mountain versus road. They’re about a car culture that devalues bikes.

Over the years, passing motorists have thrown and struck me with eggs, fountain drinks, and, once, a half-empty can of beer. I’ve been shouted at, flipped off, menaced, driven into the shoulder, and even chased on foot. My own father-in-law grouses regularly about cyclists on the road and likes to joke about “door-popping” them. If cyclists can’t even rely on our families or the police, it’s clear that we are on our own.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read.

If you’ve been hit by a driver, you may recognize yourself in the story. I certainly do; when I was run down by a road raging driver, the police officers who responded believed her story. And ended up threatening to arrest me for filing a false police report, leaving me to limp home with a broken arm and damaged bike.

If not, it’s fair warning that you may be blamed in a crash even if you didn’t do anything wrong.

It’s not right. But it’s the battle we have to fight far too often.

Note: I originally left out the link to this piece; thanks to Mike Wilkinson and J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.


BOLO Alert: A bike rider was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in La Tuna Canyon on Saturday; the victim was still unconscious after 20 hours in the ICU. The vehicle was described as a newer black Mazda SUV. Thanks to Mike Kim for the tip.


A reminder that if you haven’t signed it already, you can support one of LA’s most underserved communities by signing a petition calling for bike lanes in DTLA’s Skid Row.

We the undersigned residents of the City of Los Angeles, sign this petition calling on Council member Jose Huizar of the 14th District and the Department of Transportation to begin the process of creating Skid Row specific bike lanes on 5th street heading west and 6th street heading east. Skid Row has one of the largest bicycle riding populations in Los Angeles and because of this, we feel that we need bike lanes on these streets to improve public safety.

Thanks to Bobby Peppey for the heads-up.


‘Tis the season.

Over 400 Cathedral City students got new bikes for getting good grades.

One hundred ninety Clovis kids got new bikes and helmets thanks to a local nonprofit group.

Hundreds of Sonoma County fire victims got new bikes on Sunday.

Five hundred kids in Tucson got new bicycles thanks to a local community activist.

Eighty Aurora IL volunteers built 350 bicycles to donate to kids.

Roughly 100 San Antonio kids took home new bikes as part of an earn-a-bike program.

One hundred bikes were donated to children of law enforcement officers in College Station TX.

Around 35 Santas rode their bikes to raise $5,000 for a Green Bay, Wisconsin children’s hospital.

Around 90 people took part in a 1.2 mile bike ride through an underground cavern in Louisville KY, decorated with more than 2 million lights and past 850 holiday displays.

An Ulster NY bicycle club donated 30 bicycles and helmets to the local county children’s services.


It’s Day 18 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.



By all reports, Los Angeles enjoyed another successful CicLAvia yesterday; next year could see one in running through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont.

Metro Bike Share wants your feedback, whether or not you’ve ever used bikeshare.

David Wolfberg points out that even the LA Auto Show doesn’t recommend driving there.



Smoking dope will soon be banned in motor vehicles in California. But bikes aren’t considered motor vehicles under California law, so puff away. As long as you don’t do it in public or ride under the influence.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting looks at efforts to clear homeless camps off the Santa Ana River Trail, even though the people living in them have nowhere else to go.

UC Santa Barbara students are having to bike through smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire to get ready for finals.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a 60-year old driver gets 90 days behind bars for illegally crossing a double yellow line to pass another vehicle, and killing a bike rider in a head-on crash; he’s expected to actually serve just half of that. The driver is reportedly grief-stricken. Although likely not as much as the relatives of the victim.

A San Luis Obispo man responds to recent anti-bike columns by asking city officials to make it safer for people on bicycles, and for local residents to spare a few moments for the safety of cyclists.

Sad news from Fresno, where a bicyclist was killed by a suspect drunk hit-and-run driver.

A tragic find, as a bike rider discovered a young woman’s body in the water along a Sunnyvale bike trail.

Life is even cheaper in Napa, where a 77-year old woman got three years probation and had her license permanently revoked for the hit-and-run death of a popular cyclist.

A Boston website says Marin County’s West Ridgecrest road up Mt. Tamalpais may be one of the best bike rides in the US.

An Oak Park man in riding his bicycle around Sacramento, collecting garbage and scraps to turn into compost. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.



The Wall Street Journal says gadget obsessed cyclists need a data detox, while a writer for Slate complains that he doesn’t even know how turn off the tech and ride his bike for fun anymore. Seriously, turn everything off, and for the rest of this month, just ride for the fun of it. You might even remember why you love bicycling again.

NPR looks at automakers attempts to woo members of Gen Z, who have shown little interest in owning cars so far.

California Congressman Tom McClintock discusses his bill to allow bicycles back in wilderness areas.

A Denver weekly looks at how the murder of mountain biking legend Mike Rust was finally solved, seven years after he disappeared; his killer was found guilty of 1st degree murder last week, along with a host of other charges.

A Colorado newspaper applauds plans to make the town more walkable and bikeable, but worries about the loss of 162 downtown parking places. Because everyone knows people never walk or bike to go shopping. Right?

A group from my hometown is asking the public for another 75 bicycles so they can donate 400 bikes to kids for the holidays. And they can drop off those bikes at the shop where I bought my first bike, back when dinosaurs still walked the earth.

A Chicago letter writer suggests everyone walking on the river walk should wear a bike helmet, since city hall somehow ignored his letter demanding that bikes to be banned from the path.

Still no explanation for what drove a bike-riding doctor to attack his neighbor, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

The surgeon who treated Bono after his Central Park bicycling crash was found dead in his New York apartment with a knife plunged into his chest, the victim of an apparent suicide.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Georgia man is riding from Northern California to Atlanta.

Seriously? A Tallahassee FL writer welcomes dockless bikeshare to town, but worries where people will park their cars to use them.



A Canadian cycling magazine calls on the country to adopt a National Cycling Strategy. Something you’re not likely to ever see in the US.

The war on bikes continues, as someone vandalized a bike belonging to the mayor of Victoria, British Columbia for the second time; she doesn’t want to believe it has anything to do with her support for bike lanes.

Roughly 180,000 Quebec residents ride their bikes all through the winter, despite the cold and snow. Tell that to the next person who tells you Angelenos won’t ride their bikes to work year-round.

This is what happens when you install a temporary bike lane around a Toronto construction site, but don’t do anything to accommodate people on foot.

Ed Sheeran gets back on a bike in London for the first time since he broke both arms in a crash, even if it did have training wheels.

Shades of Children of the Corn. A British town is installing bollards designed to look like little children, and stare back at drivers to get their attention. Thanks again to David Wolfberg.

A Bulgarian expat has formed a volunteer crew to rescue damaged and abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes in Singapore; he may have his work cut out for him.

A Pakistani woman became the first woman to ride a bike up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

An Indian man is riding across the country to encourage people to ride to work.


Competitive Cycling

A freshly bearded cycling great Bradley Wiggins craps out in his attempt to make the British rowing team, after mistakenly lowering his oars in a “schoolboy error.”

The very busy Peter Flax has written a great profile of lifelong bike racer Bill Elliston, saying that Elliston, while never quite fast enough to make the pros, “represents much that is pure and good in the sport of bike racing.”



Kylo Ren is one of us. We may have to worry about distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have dodge zebras.

And Australia chose their bird of the year even though it attacks bicyclists.

Or maybe because of it.


Morning Links: Eric Garcetti fails street safety test, LA BMX pro fatally shot, and meet Cycling Without Age founder

A must read Op-Ed from Bike the Vote LA’s Michael MacDonald, who asks where Mayor Eric Garcetti is, as angry motorists torch the mayor’s signature traffic safety plans.

And Angelenos continue to die on the streets.

And yet, since the mayor’s 2015 directive, Los Angeles hasn’t just gotten more dangerous, it has become outright hostile to the concept of roadway safety. A small but vocal contingent of residents has taken an increasingly combative posture to any meaningful safety improvements that appear to interfere with their daily car commutes. City agencies have responded to this pushback by buckling — either canceling or watering down proposals to address dangerous speeding on North Figueroa StreetLankershim Boulevard, the Hyperion bridge and elsewhere. At the same time, we’ve seen a 43% increase in traffic fatalities in the first year after the adoption of Vision Zero, with the fatality rate trending to rise again in 2017.

Garcetti, meanwhile, has been inexplicably and unaccountably silent on the matter.

When Councilman Mike Bonin and Garcetti announced last week that they were removing a multi-street Vision Zero effort in Playa del Rey, it was in large part because Garcetti refused to insert himself in the debate around safety. As the drama escalated and some residents threatened a recall of Bonin over the safety upgrades, Garcetti never came to the councilman’s defense…

This is why I won’t support Eric Garcetti for any higher office, despite strongly supporting him in the past, first on the city council, then in two runs for mayor of Los Angeles.

The last straw came last week, when Garcetti appeared to take credit — if you want to call it that — for the decision to rip out the road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, even though at least one of those bike lanes was included in the 2010 bike plan.

He has done a great job of setting policy by calling for safer, more walkable and bikeable communities, and bringing Vision Zero to Los Angeles, along with LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds.

But then he disappeared, leaving it up to others to defend those policies, as he set off in search of other initiatives, like so many shiny new toys.

He had the potential to be a great mayor.

But that will never happen unless and until he decides that this is the job he actually wants to have.

And that means rolling up his sleeves and getting to work on the street level with the rest of us.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.


On a related subject, Curbed asks if LA’s road diets are in jeopardy due to the bikelash in Playa del Rey. That would be an unequivocal yes.

Speaking of which, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu has put a survey online asking about safety improvements on 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea; this is your chance to voice your opinion on whether to improve traffic flow on the deadly street (Option A), or slow traffic and improve safety through a lane reduction (Option B). Do I really have to tell you which one I prefer?

Meanwhile, community group Keep Rowena Safe offers proof that lane reductions, aka road diets, really work. Which isn’t to say that the Rowena road diet isn’t at risk of being ripped out by Ryu, despite its proven success.


Fast Company lists 50 reasons why everyone should want more walkable streets, virtually all of which apply to bikeable streets, as well.

And somehow we missed this one from earlier in the month, as an architecture critic for the Philadelphia Enquirer listed seven ways bike lanes benefit motorists and pedestrians. Commit these to memory for the next time an angry driver complains about bike lanes. Which will probably be the next time you go to any public meeting or onto any social media platform.


Tragic news from the Vermont Square neighborhood of Los Angeles, where BMX pro Gabe Brooks was found shot to death outside his home at 52nd and Western. Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the heads-up.


Here’s your chance to meet Ole Kassow, the founder of Cycling Without Age — the international program that’s changing lives by giving older people the chance to enjoy bicycling again, often for the first time in decades.

Kassow will hold a meet and greet at the Surf Food Stand on The Strand in Manhattan Beach, from Noon to 3 pm this Saturday.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the tip.



KPCC looks at the effects of the deadly 85th percentile law, which will force Los Angeles to raise speed limits on a number of streets, whether we want to or not.

If you think the LA streets you ride could use a good cleaning, there may be a reason for that.



San Diego State University is cracking down on students who don’t ride their bikes in designated bike lanes or routes. Even though that would appear to violate state law; under California law, bikes are legally allowed on any public surface street where motor vehicles are permitted.

Former motocross racer and current Pink husband Carey Hart catches hell on Instagram for the crime of letting his 10-month old son roll gently on a skateboard, sans helmet.

A San Francisco museum is attempting to halt an effort to close Golden Gate Park to cars on weekends year-round; the main road through the park is already closed on Sundays and half the year on Saturdays. On the other hand, if the street was closed, the museum wouldn’t have to worry about the parking spaces they lost when a cycle track went in.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Novato man has been charged with multiple felony hit-and-run counts, despite intentionally running down four bicyclists earlier this month; he faces a maximum of five years behind bars. He should be facing four counts of assault with a deadly weapon at the bare minimum.

A proposed new bridge over the Sacramento River could improve access for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as providing space for a possible future streetcar line.

The town of Paradise is rewarded with full bike racks at the town’s elementary school as new bike lanes near completion, part of a Safe Routes to Schools project.



Caught on video: A Chicago burglar discovers that a stolen bicycle can come in handy to cart off a freshly stolen snow blower. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

Not surprisingly, the family of a Michigan cyclist killed by an 83-year old driver want a change in the review process to keep dangerous drivers off the road. And they’re right.

JuJu got his bike back; someone turned the Pittsburgh Steeler and former USC star’s bike in to the police, claiming he’d bought it for $200 before recognizing it on TV. Sure, let’s go with that; no one would want to get rid of a stolen bike just because it got too hot.

New York Streetsblog calls for the state to give prosecutors the tools they need to go after hit-and-run drivers, and for prosecutors to be more willing to do it.

A road raging New Orleans driver tried to run a bike rider off the road after telling him to get onto the sidewalk, then got out of his car and physically attacked him.



Relatives of people killed by traffic violence in Toronto call for safer streets; the families want safer infrastructure and stiffer penalties for careless drivers.

A new survey shows that 87% of British cyclists think bike lights should be required day and night, 81% call for mandatory helmets, and over half would require mirrors and hi-viz. Which might be explained by the fact that the survey was conducted by a car rental company, of its own self-identified bicycling customers.

After a friend was badly injured riding his bike, a Bengaluru, India writer asks if it’s better to risk life and limb to be socially and environmentally responsible by taking to two wheels, or add to the city’s choking congestion by driving a private car.



Your next ped-assist ebike could have hydrofoils instead of wheels. Why wait for someone to give you bad bicycling advice when you can read it all here? Thanks to David Drexler for the link.

And this may be the best scary clown bike fast food burger commercial in human history.

Morning Links: Meetings for 6th Street and new LA General Plan, and Burbank cops don’t care about a close pass

David Ryu, LA’s 4th district councilmember, is hosting a neighborhood meeting tomorrow to discuss safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

While it seems unlikely that Ryu will approve the road diet local residents have been demanding in the wake of the Playa del Rey fiasco, this is our chance to fight for safety on a street that poses needless risks to bike riders and pedestrians.

And just maybe Ryu might prove me wrong.


The LA Department of City Planning is hosting a pair of public meetings to gather input for the city’s new General Plan, in South LA tomorrow morning and Hollywood Wednesday evening.

The Have A Go website reports that almost no bicyclists attended an earlier meeting, resulting in virtually no one to give a voice to visions of a more bikeable, walkable city not strangled by motor vehicles.

This is your chance to envision a more livable city, and maybe — just maybe — see it become a reality in your lifetime.

Or you could just sit back and complain about it later, insisting you never had a say in the matter.

Just like all those people who suddenly found themselves shocked to discover LA has a mobility plan, or that Vision Zero calls for safety improvements on the streets they like to zoom along.

You can also give your input in a short survey, instead.


Bike SGV hosts their Spooky Night Bike Train tomorrow.


A cargo bike rider complains to Burbank police officers about just watching while a driver passes within inches of him and his two-year old daughter, directly in front of their squad car.

Naturally, they respond with their best Sgt. Schultz imitation by saying they didn’t see a thing, and asking if he shouldn’t he be riding on the sidewalk, anyway.


In an update to Sunday’s fatal bike crash on PCH in Santa Monica, a Good Samaritan who stopped to help the victim says the Santa Monica police aren’t being forthcoming with the full details.

And she reports that the driver fled the scene and was chased down by witnesses to the crash, rather than returning on his own as the police had said.

Thanks to Jorge Casuso for the heads-up.


A new bill signed into law by the governor gives local governments the right to seize cars used by pimps or Johns for prostitution.

However, drivers who flee the scene of crashes or use their cars to deliberately threaten or harm bicyclists or pedestrians are more than welcome to keep theirs.


The British team doctor who sent the suspicious package that has left a cloud over Bradley Wiggins has walked away from the organization without talking to doping authorities.

The head of the Movistar team says 13.5 miles of Paris – Roubaix cobblestones are too dangerous to include in next year’s Tour de France.

A British writer says we may have entered the age of post-truth, but cycling got there decades earlier.

Doping has reached the dog world, as sled dogs in Alaska’s famed Iditarod test positive for Tramadol, the same painkiller that’s legal for professional athletes under current doping rules, and widely used — or abused — in the pro peloton.



Another missive from self-proclaimed lawyer Richard Lee Abrams, who accuses the city of placing bike lanes on busy streets where smog harms kids on bicycles, as an excuse to install road diets in an attempt to intentionally turn traffic congestion into an unbearable nightmare and force people to use subways and fixed rail. Which might sort of almost make sense if the recent Playa del Rey road diets were anywhere near rail lines. I’m also told the reason Abrams isn’t listed in the California bar is that while Abrams is his real name, he’s listed in the bar under another name. Sure, let’s go with that.

Police are looking for a possible bike-riding arsonist who may be responsible for setting four separate trees on fire in North Hollywood.

A Playa Vista photographer transforms trash into art, inspired by a garbage bin he discovered on a Chicago bike ride.

Carson is now home to eight Starbucks and a Jersey Mikes, and it’s getting a bike path along the Dominguez Channel. It’s also the home of the new LA Chargers, but nobody’s perfect.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson pens a hard-hitting piece about the failure of the Playa del Rey road diets, and the pain advocates felt when the news broke. However, while his solution to confidently take the lane instead of fighting for bike lanes may work for some of us, it doesn’t address the 8 to 80 problem, or encourage the vast majority of people who might like to ride their bikes if they weren’t so afraid of traffic to get out and try it.



San Diego’s Bikes for Boobs has raised $23,000 for breast cancer prevention.

No, Bakersfield 23ABC News, bike lights and helmets might make bike riders safer, but they won’t do a damn thing to improve the streets.

A San Luis Obispo County rehabilitation nurse urges bicyclists to stop riding up and down the Nipono Mesa hills in the traffic lanes where they have every right to be, because unsuspecting drivers would never in their wildest dreams imagine that anyone might actually do that. So the problem isn’t clueless and careless drivers, but the people on bikes who might be in their way. Got it.

Speaking of SLO, a letter writer says drivers are fed up with road diets and sacrificing parking spots to make room for all those damn bike lanes, questioning whether that really helps the cause of bicycling.

San Francisco clears away the last of the homeless encampments blocking a popular bikeway, and a TV reporter discovers what may be the city’s most dangerous bike lane.

The Santa Rosa train may have been SMART, but riding in front of it with headphones and talking on a cellphone, not so much.

A bicyclist who lost his sight to diabetes will take part in this weekend’s Shasta Wheelmen Wildcat Granfondo in Redding, despite surviving a pair of double kidney transplants.



The best technical minds in America are hard at work answering the single most pressing issue regarding driverless cars: Who’s at fault when they crash?

A new device promises to let you carry your bike suspended across your back. Wouldn’t that just make it bang into every branch, bush, rock and signpost along the way? Not to mention any people you happen to pass.

A woman discusses what she learned on a 4,274-mile bike ride across the US from Virginia to Seattle.

A kid riding to school shouldn’t have to jump off his bikes and roll out of the way to avoid getting run over, like this boy in San Antonio TX.

Caught on video: A man steals a laptop from inside an Oklahoma hospital without ever getting off his bicycle.

A 16-year old Minnesota driver is accused of using Snapchat seconds before he plowed into a bike rider.

A Minnesota theater is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a bike riding actress, who was killed in a crash after the spirit first appeared, making the ID seem unlikely.

A writer in Albany NY explains how he became a bike person, and discovers that how we move around our community matters. And it’s really fun, too.

Former Olympic gold medal track cyclist Marty Nothstein announces his bid for Congress as a Republican in Pennsylvania’s 15th district.

In what sounds like the theater of the absurd, New York’s mayor announces plans to fine the employees of ebike delivery people; for reasons that escape most rational people, it’s illegal to use the nonpolluting bikes on Gotham streets. Better to make delivery people pedal for eight hours a day, or maybe just use a massive SUV like the mayor does.

The parents of a ten-year old New York girl credit her $40 bike helmet with saving her life after a nearly four-ton forklift rolled over her head as she was riding her bicycle.

A doubly bighearted Virginia deputy bought a new bike for a ten-year old boy after his was stolen. Then bought a second bike for another boy who didn’t have one.



Cycling Weekly lists the eight types of cyclists you see on every winter ride. Seriously, just get out and ride your bike, wherever and however makes you happy. And screw the labels.

A British woman is looking for the apparently drunk or stoned man who crashed his bike into her and her friends, then jumped up and started punching them, breaking her nose and knocking her friend out cold.

Caught on video too: An English bike rider get assaulted by a road raging driver, after flipping him off for a dangerously close pass on a blind curve.

A new Danish ebike is too fast to legally be used on the streets in the European Union.

An Egyptian woman is training to become the first woman to ride solo around the country.

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia calls Singapore-based dockless bikeshare provider oBike a shadowy organization that has hurt the chances for other bikeshare providers.



Maybe this explains why a Huffy rides like a sewing machine. Who knew a traffic light was the cure for the bicyclists God complex?

And apparently, it’s bad luck to steal a bicycle from a police station.


Morning Links: Person behind fake advocacy group outed, and SCAG takes a deep dive into traffic safety data

Once again, Peter Flax has written a great piece, as he investigates the fake, Twitter-based advocacy group LA Westside Walkers.

And outs the person behind it as a Playa del Rey music video and documentary director Justin Purser, who lives steps from the initial Vista del Mar road diet.

Purser admits to being the person who started the account, although he bizarrely contends that he handed it off to a group of people he refuses to name after it was mentioned on this site, following his equally bizarre claim to have co-founded BikinginLA.

You can probably count the number of people who actually believe that on a closed fist, however.

Flax digs into the account, which continues its misleading, false-flag form of fake advocacy.

All the while, the barrage of strange tweets from the Westside Walkers account continues, a maddening mélange of dubious facts and falsely earnest advocacy, leveraging a completely faked identity to convince unsuspecting readers that measures meant to save lives are not working. It’s a total cesspool of bullshit distracting people from an actual life-and-death issue.

Meanwhile, someone from Playa del Rey forwarded screenshots in the upper left corner and below, showing comment by Purser from around the time the Westside Walkers account was started.

His point seems to be that the real goal of people who supported the road diets was to make the streets more dangerous, not less.

If that’s supposed to be a joke, it’s in very poor taste.

And says a lot more about the person who made it than it does anyone else.

Let’s hope his attitude really has changed, as Flax’s article suggests.


The Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG, has prepared an in-depth look at traffic safety conditions for the six-county region, as well as each of the individual counties.

Needless to say, it’s not a pretty picture.

A few graphic highlights —



As we mentioned yesterday, Bike SGV is hosting their BEST Ride: Bike Art Night Pasadena tonight. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

Meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow in La Puente and Montebello, respectively, to provide input on the SGV Regional Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (scroll down).

The October Slow Ride: Revive Gateway Park! will be held tomorrow, hosted by the Elysian Valley Slow Ride.

AIDS/LifeCycle is holding a pair of Kickoff AIDS/LifeCycle 2018 rides beginning at Balboa Park this Saturday to start training for next year’s 545-mile ride down the California Coast.

The South Bay Cycling Awards will be held in Torrance tomorrow; you can see a list of nominees here.

Bike SGV will hold a memorial ride on Sunday to honor staff member Brian Velez, who recently passed away unexpectedly.

Helen’s Cycles will hold a number of rides this weekend, as well as a women’s bike maintenance clinic this coming Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the LACBC will host a City Cycling Class to develop urban riding skills.

Helen’s Cycles in Arcadia is sponsoring a No Drop Group Ride next Saturday, October 21st.

Also on the 21st, CD4 Councilmember David Ryu is hosting an open house to discuss much needed safety improvements to 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea.

West Hollywood will be holding a WeHo Pedals Bike Share Basics workshop on October 26th.

Santa Monica’s Breeze Bike Share is celebrating its second birthday with a ride with the mayor on November 4th.

CicLAvia will hold their 2nd annual Play Day in LA fundraiser om November 5th.

The very busy Bike SGV will hold their annual “Noche de las Luminarias” awards ceremony on December 2nd.

And CicLAvia returns to iconic Wilshire Blvd on December 10th.



Long Beach bike advocates met with former LADOT Bicycle Coordinator Michele Mowery, now the city’s new mobility and healthy living programs officer.

The seven-day Pablove Across American fundraising ride will end in Malibu tomorrow; the ride raises money for pediatric cancer research.

Calabasas unveils a new and improved Las Virgenes Road, complete with two lanes in each direction, bike lanes and continuous sidewalks.



The bike lanes on El Toro Road will be closed for construction work Monday between Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 tollway.

Joshua Tree residents complain that new bike lanes installed by Caltrans in the downtown area don’t go anywhere.

Half Moon Bay drops plans for a bike bridge and pathways after giving up on funding from Caltrans.

After getting caught in a traffic jam caused by people escaping the Sonoma County wildfires, a Santa Rosa woman went back home and got her bicycle, carrying her 70-pound dog to safety in a duffel bag.

A drunk hit-and-run driver has been sentenced to five years for killing a Suisun City cyclist; he fled the scene on foot, abandoning his car after he crashed again while fleeing the scene.



Bicycling offers five GoPro hacks to make your videos worth watching. Most important: Install some editing software and learn how to use it. No one wants sit through five minutes of video to get to the 30 seconds where something actually happens.

Caught on video: A Seattle bicyclist was the victim of a punishment pass for having the audacity to ride outside the bike lane to pass another rider; the city’s former mayor calls it assault, even if the police don’t.

A writer for a Colorado company asks if employers should pay workers to leave their cars at home. California has a parking cash-out program designed to compensate employees who give up their parking spaces to bike, walk or take transit to work, but the program is so narrowly drawn it only applies to three percent of the state’s workers.

A Colorado writer says he’s never seen a bicyclist display animosity towards a motorist that wasn’t in response to the driver’s actions. And that drivers need to check their “vehicular privilege” at the door to their vehicle.

A New York man says getting run over by a dump truck while riding his bike was the last straw, and he’s officially done with the city. Getting run over by anything can have that effect on you.

Lobbyists descend on DC to convince lawmakers that bikeshare is bipartisan.

Baltimore’s bikeshare returns with a reduced fleet of bikes, now equipped with GPS, after it was shut down due to excessive thefts and maintenance backups.



A 72-year old writer says what cyclists over 60 really want is protected bike parking. Oddly, that’s exactly what cyclists under 60 want, too.

Caught on video too: A British driver has been fined the equivalent of $932 and lost his license for six months for forcing a bike rider off the road.

Caught on video three: A Scottish newspaper sees an out-of-control, brakeless bike rider barrel into a toddler; others may see a toddler suddenly dart in front of the bicyclist.

A Scottish writer wonders what can be done to get more women on bicycles, and concludes that better safety matters more than sweaty clothes or helmet hair.

Paris moves to ban all gas and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2030.

A new Swiss conversion kit promises to turn any bicycle into an ebike.

A Cape Town, South African cyclist was robbed of his bicycle, just days after armed thieves stole three bikes from a group of riders on the same roadway.

A 77-year old Australian man needed over a dozen stiches after he was the victim of a random attack by a man who stepped out from behind a tree, and beat the vicim’s face with a bottle as he was riding with his wife.



Your next bike could run on strings. Nothing like getting your stolen bike back, and getting it stolen again on the way home.

And apparently, Metro really doesn’t want your bike blocking the aisles.

Although I’m still waiting to see a superhero zap the people blocking the bike area so you don’t have to block the aisle with your bike.


Morning Links: An open letter to David Ryu, Mar Vista CC is at it again, and motion could remove LA bike lanes

Dear Councilmember Ryu,

As a resident of LA’s 4th Council District, I have long been concerned about the risks that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists face in our district.

One area of particular concern is 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea. As you are no doubt aware, 6th is a two-lane street west of Fairfax, then becomes four lanes between Fairfax and La Brea.

Once it widens to two lanes in each direction, the character of the street changes dramatically. Speeds increase while drivers jockey for position, often shifting lanes without warning to go around stalled traffic or turning vehicles.

As a motorist, it is an unpleasant street to drive, and one requiring constant concentration. As a pedestrian, it is a difficult, and at times dangerous, street to cross. And someone who used to bicycle to Downtown when I lived in West LA, it was easily the most dangerous part of my commute.

This is borne out by the two pedestrian deaths and hundreds of crashes that have been recorded on the street over the last several years, as well as statistics showing 6th Street is three times as dangerous as the average LA arterial.

Fortunately, there is a proposal from LADOT which would address these issues by removing a traffic lane in each direction and adding a center left turn lane, with bike lanes on each side from Fairfax to Cochran.

Lane reductions like this have been shown to improve safety up to 47%, with an average of 30% improvement in cities across the US. Those same results have held true with previous road diet projects here in Los Angeles, as well.

Further, this is a project that has the full support of the surrounding community. The Mid-City West Community Council voted unanimously to back this project over a year ago.

Before you were elected to office, you told the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition that you start and end any decision with the community. In this case, the voice of the community is clear.

It is long past time to improve safety on this dangerous street. I urge you to immediately support this project as recommended by LADOT.


Ted Rogers,

If you want to write in support of the proposed 6th Street road diet, send your email to [email protected], and CC [email protected][email protected], and [email protected]. You can find a brief sample email you can use as a template here (pdf).


Mar Vista Community Council’s bizarre bike “safety” motions and efforts to roll back the Venice Great Streets project will be back on the table when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meets tonight.

Among the motions under consideration are one that would require bike “night lights,” even though front and rear bike lights and side reflectors are already required under state law for any bike ridden at night.

It would also require mandatory bike helmet use for all riders, regardless of age, even though that would conflict with existing state law, which means the city has no authority to mandate their use.

Another motion calls for restoring the two traffic lanes that were removed from Venice Blvd as part of the Great Streets Project by removing the center median, or placing a center bike path there. Both of which show a clear lack of understanding of traffic calming, as well as bikeway design.

Center medians are used to slow traffic and prevent unsafe left and U-turns, as well as head-on collisions with speeding drivers who cross the center line.

Meanwhile, center bikeways create multiple conflict points at every intersection, dramatically increasing the risk of injury collisions. Which is why existing median bikeway on Culver Blvd failed.

As alternative, they suggest restoring the traffic lanes by removing street parking, and replacing it with parking garages every three blocks — with no hint of where to put them or how to pay for it.

A final motion simply calls for removal of the entire Venice Great Streets project in order to restore three lanes in both directions.

Clearly, someone on the committee has a fixation with doing everything in their power to keep Venice Blvd dangerous. And at the same time, allowing traffic to continue destroying the fabric of the Mar Vista community, reverting back to a virtual highway to keep peak hour traffic flowing, with excess capacity the rest of the day.

All of which suggests a complete and total ignorance of state bike laws and traffic safety planning, as well as the benefits of road diets. Which is what happens when you put people in charge who have no idea what they’re talking about.

Instead of the misguided, illegal and impractical motions on the agenda, maybe they should replace them with a single motion requiring every member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to actually learn something about the subject.

If you can make it there tonight night, maybe you can try to explain it to them.

Thanks to N.E. Farnham for the heads-up.


A new motion from the usually bike-friendly 12th CD Councilmember Mitch Englander (pdf) could potentially halt all new bike lanes in the city of Los Angeles, as well as rip out many existing lanes.

The motion comes in response to the latest city settlement with an injured bicyclist, as the LA city council voted to pay $7.5 million to a man who was left paralyzed from the neck down after hitting a ridge of pavement that had been lifted four inches by a tree root. And which the city had previously been warned about, but done nothing to fix.

Never mind the 17 other lawsuits that have been filed against the city by injured bike riders, or the relatives of those killed, this year alone. Many, if not most of whom, weren’t riding in bike lanes when they were injured.

Englander’s motion, which was seconded by the 2nd District’s Paul Krekorian, would require that new bike lanes only be installed on streets with a pavement quality grade of A. Which sounds good, until you consider that LA’s streets average a C plus.

So basically, new bike lanes could only go on new pavement.

To make matters worse, the motion calls for closing or removing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade of B or lower. Which would mean most of the bike lanes in the City of Angels would be unceremoniously stripped off the pavement.

The practical result would be that people would still ride those same streets, and be subject to the same bad pavement, but without the separation from traffic that bike lanes provide. So any falls, or swerves to avoid cracks or potholes in the pavement, could be catastrophic.

And by removing a proven safety feature, the city’s exposure to liability could be exponentially higher when, not if, someone is injured on one of those streets.

The motion isn’t all bad, however.

The requirement that pavement quality on current bike lanes be inspected is something that should have been passed into law decades ago. As anyone who has ever ridden the 7th Street bike lanes leading to and in DTLA can attest.

And pavement quality should be considered before installing new bike lanes, rather than just slapping paint down on failing streets, as has been the practice in the past.

If the motion advances, which is not a given, it must be amended to so that only the bike lane would be required to have an A grade, which would allow just that portion of the roadway to be patched or repaved to bring it up to code, rather than the entire street.

Although that would give drivers one more reason to hate us.

And the misguided requirement that existing bike lanes be closed or removed should be stricken, period.

Thanks to T.J. Knight for the tip.


In what they describe as a win-win for everyone, the San Diego State University Police Department has teamed with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego County Bicycling Coalition and Cycle Quest Bicycle Store to fight bike theft.

The groups worked together to register 150 bicycles with the university’s bike registration program, which is open to students, faculty and staff. Everyone who registered their received a free Kryptonite lock and mount, as well as free bike repair, and bike lights and literature from the SDCBC.

Which is almost enough to make me want to go back to college.

Including these 150 bikes, the university has registered 476 bikes so far this year, ensuring that the information will be available if anything should happen to the bikes.

They report that 81 bikes have been reported stolen since the first of the year, most of which were secured by just a thin cable lock or locked to the rack by the front wheel alone.

And yes, they also instruct students on how to lock their bikes properly when they register them.


VeloNews considers how the Vuelta became cycling’s most dramatic grand tour.

Like father, like sons. A Lithuanian cyclist has been suspended following a positive drug test, 15 years after his father tested positive for EPO after finishing third in the 2002 Tour de France, and just months after his brother died as a result of suspected doping.

Spain’s Samuel Sanchez got fired from the BMC team after his B sample confirmed his positive doping test prior to the Vuelta.  But really, the doping era is over, right?



Everyone has an opinion about the proposed restoration of the Ballona Wetlands. Including an environmental advocate who says reversing the Playa del Rey road diets will mean more roadkill. Hopefully, she doesn’t mean us.

Manhattan Beach approves new bike route signs, buts holds off on sharrows over fears that they make bike riders “more assertive about occupying road space.” In other words, they’re worried about those uppity bike riders wanting to ride exactly where the markers on the road say they’re supposed to ride.



San Diego won’t be changing their sidewalk policies, even after a man was awarded $4.85 million when he was severely injured riding his bike on a tree-damaged sidewalk the city had known about, but failed to fix. Sound familiar?

Over 1,000 bicycles have been stolen in San Diego this year.

A Los Altos writer offers five rules to live by as a cyclist. Although he says not to ride three abreast, even though it’s perfectly legal on non-sharable lanes, as long as you stay within a single lane; however, you should always allow drivers to pass when it’s safe to do so.

San Francisco advocates discuss the status of Vision Zero in the city.

The North Bay Area’s new SMART trains are dealing with an unexpected crush of passengers boarding with bicycles. Which shows who the smart ones really are.

Someone please tell the Mountain View city council that removing a crosswalk is not a safety improvement.

Sacramento’s mayor tries out a new three-day pop-up parking protected bike lane.



A lifelong roadie turns to dirt jumping at the age of 44, as Bicycling asks if it’s too late him to catch big air. Easy answer: If you’re not dead, it’s not too late.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare reaches its 50 millionth ride.



A UK writer says it’s time to modernize the country’s traffic laws, but adding offenses for bicyclists is not the place to start.

A British cyclist urges others to get trained in CPR; he was revived after his heart had stopped for 30 minutes while riding.

A London journalist captured a month’s worth of close calls on his bike cam to show how dangerous riding in there can be.



Who says you can’t eat or drink on a bike? If you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on the spokes of your bike, put a damn light on it — the bike, that is, not the gun.

And if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants, don’t use your knife to threaten a driver who honks at you. Or a hatchet.

Or better yet, just don’t. Period.


Still nothing to see here; Mar Vista motions threaten Venice Great Streets

Still no Morning Links due to continued computer problems. Hopefully we’ll get everything sorted out tomorrow.

One important note in the meantime, however.

The Mar Vista Comunity Council will consider two motions to reverse the Venice Blvd Great Streets project at tonight’s meeting.

It’s imperative that everyone who supports the safer street and protected bike lanes voice their support, either at the meeting or by email.

The meeting will begin at 7 pm at the Mar Vista Recreation Center Auditorium, 11430 Woodbine St.

Or email [email protected], and cc: [email protected]

This is the direct result of reversing the lane reductions on Vista del Mar, which has emboldened opponents of Vision Zero and the Great Streets program.

And if it fails in Bonin’s district, we’re unlikely to see many more councilmember’s with the courage to prioritize safety and livability over driver convenience.

Morning Links: Venice Great Streets attacked, Bonin recall leader criticized, and LA cyclist sets Le Mans record

Clearly, the battle over the Venice Great Streets project is far from over.

Despite the recent vote by the Mar Vista Community Council to keep the project in place while requesting more data, opponents of the project are back at it again, demanding that the street be returned to its previous six lane configuration.

The latest attack comes tonight, when the MVCC Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will consider two motions to reverse the lane reductions and protected bike lanes, under the false flag of improving safety for bicyclists. Along with motions to require all bike riders to wear a helmet and have “reflective night-lights” installed on their bikes.

Whatever that means.

Maybe someone should tell them that bikes are already required to have lights after dark. And nightlights are what you install in your kids’ bedroom so they won’t be afraid of the dark, or so grandma won’t trip in the bathroom at night.

Then again, they also want to see laws banning people from looking at their “mobile electronic devices” while crossing the street. Because everyone knows distracted pedestrians are the real problem, not all those texting drivers in their multi-ton SUVs.


Sound more like the leadership of the committee is suffering from a serious case of windshield bias, and can’t wait until they’re free to go zoom zoom down the boulevard once again.

And never mind that the paint used to create the current configuration costs roughly $50,000 a mile, plus the cost of the plastic bollards, while the permanent road reconfiguration and paved off-road bike paths they propose could add up to tens of millions of dollars, if not more.

I suppose they could have a bake sale to pay for it.

And if they think people are pissed off now, just wait until they try to take their parking spaces away.

This email, from someone who requested that her name not be used, sums it up nicely.

I live in Mar Vista & just got this agenda for the neighborhood council meeting tomorrow. It is chock-full of anti-bike motions, from getting rid of the Venice Blvd bike lanes immediately to supporting mandatory helmet & reflector laws and banning texting while crossing the street to discourage obstacles (er, “distracted pedestrians”) from entering the roadway.

They are trying to frame killing the Venice bike lanes as pro-safety by couching it within a seemingly thoughtful proposal to build out a bunch of off-road bikeways through the neighborhood on side streets, which is great except that probably won’t happen anytime soon and will definitely be less convenient/slower than what we have now. As far as I can tell the short term proposal is to restore 3 lanes of traffic on Venice and put the bike lanes next to the cars again.

Super-shady that they announce these things with 24 hours’ notice…. hope some other bikers in the neighborhood have time to make it.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 to 9 pm tonight at the Windward School, in room 1030 of Building C (by the baseball diamond), 11350 Palms Blvd.

Note: The meeting agenda says it’s scheduled for 7:30 pm to 9 pm, despite the email to community members linked to above that incorrectly says 6 pm. Sorry for any confusion. Thanks to rob kadota for the heads-up.

Be there if you can make it.

Because they’re counting on the short notice to pack the house with bike lane and road diet opponents tonight, and crowd out any support for the project.

And while you’re at it, contact CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, and tell him you support the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project to improve safety and increase livability in one of LA’s previously neglected neighborhoods.

Because he’s the one who will ultimately make the decision.

And your voice matters.


Speaking of Bonin, a writer for Medium outs fellow progressive and self-described Berniecrat Alexis Edelstein as one of the leaders of the NIMBY-led effort to recall him.

Mike Bonin is one of the most progressive members of the council, and he has a track record of leading on the issues that matter most to the progressive movement. Bonin is the author of the $15 minimum wage, author of the most comprehensive clean money campaign-finance reform in the recent history of Los Angeles, author of the fracking moratorium and the effort to reach 100% clean energy and I am writing this to call out Alexis’ effort as nothing more than a NIMBY assault on a true progressive. Alexis, like most Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) activists got activated when something happened in his backyard — in this case a street safety measure (reduced lanes/added bike lanes) that the department of transportation installed with Bonin’s support and approval, which caused some additional traffic. Trying to make your community a safer place for pedestrians has never been more vilified than in this situation. Is this really grounds for a recall? Absolutely not!…

As he has sought to raise money for the recall effort, Alexis has started tapping into networks and groups that were established to continue moving forward the progressive agenda that was deeply ingrained within us during the presidential primary, the good ole’ days. I do not appreciate my movement being hijacked by someone who is so angry about an effort to save people from speeding cars in his neighborhood that he would call for a recall of a progressive Councilmember. Alexis’ actions distract elected officials and community activist from important matters that need to be address within the district. Alexis’ underhanded and misleading tactics need to be called out.

He goes on to decry a lack of transparency in the campaign, while adding what he sees as the real reason behind Edelstein’s efforts.

The recall has already allowed Alexis to frequent alt-right radio programs to promote and solicit funds for the recall, and every time he has gone on these shows to cozy up to racist shock jocks, he has made sure to use the social media accounts he set up for the recall to share his media appearances and promote himself. The voters of CD 11 made their voices heard loud and clear during March’s Election, but Alexis is behaving like a scheming opportunist who is blatantly rallying against Bonin because he thinks it will get him some press and boost his fledgling political career.


Somehow, this one slipped under the radar.

So let’s all offer a belated congratulations to Evens Stievenart of LA’s Big Orange Cycling for successfully defending his championship in the solo category of the 24 Hours of LeMans Cycling last month.

A former race car driver, Stievenart set a new record by riding a whopping 593 miles in the 24 hour period.

You can read the original news story in French, or settle for a bad Google translation.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.


It’s more of the same in the Vuelta following Tuesday’s individual time trial; Cycling Weekly offers video highlights.

Andrew Talansky, one of America’s top cyclists for the past several years, has announced his retirement at the ripe old age of 28.

Nothing like having Jens Voigt show up to compete in your local club time trial. Twice.

Pro cycling’s infamous dope doctor gets a whole nine months behind bars after being convicted as the kingpin of a doping network that incited amateur athletes to cheat.



Self-described transportation justice advocate Monique López, Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy for the LACBC, describes what she thinks about when she rides her bike through the mean streets of LA.

A cyclist riding in Malibu’s Latigo Canyon was run down by a hit-and-run motorcyclist over the Labor Day Weekend (scroll down), suffering a shattered wrist and elbow; the moto rider stopped briefly to give a possibly fake name, and explain that he was trying to pass the bike rider on the right after hitting some gravel. Then again, it’s not the first time something like that has happened.

CiclaValley writes how the weekend’s massive La Tuna fire hit close to home in more ways than one.



San Diego’s struggling DecoBike bikeshare system will remove 16 popular docking stations from the boardwalks in beach communities at the urging of local residents and business owners. Which will make it more difficult for bikeshare users to ride to San Diego’s popular beaches, defeating the whole purpose of trying to get people out of their cars.

The pedestrian critically injured when a Hemet driver had a sneezing fit was a 16-year old girl walking with her bike-riding boyfriend; she remains in critical condition with major injuries following two emergency surgeries.

Riverside authorities are still looking for the hit-and-run van driver who killed Forrest Holmes as he rode his bike on Limonite Ave in Jurupa Valley one year ago today.

A 40-year Hollister cyclist says things have gotten a lot better for bicyclists in the area in recent years.

Mountain View parents say a road diet has made it nearly impossible to drop their kids off at school. Never mind that the project is still under construction. Or that maybe they could bike or walk to school with their kids once it’s finished.



Forbes says Oregon’s new $15 tax on bikes over $200 as part of a $5.3 billion transportation package could represent the future of infrastructure funding.

A pair for researchers are urging Seattle to force private bikeshare companies to provide helmets for riders, in an apparent attempt to kill bikeshare in the city a second time.

A section of a bike path through the University of Idaho will be renamed after three-time Olympic gold medal cyclist Kristin Armstrong.

A Philadelphia writer says the city’s first parking-protected bike lane isn’t good enough.

Kindhearted Orlando FL cops pitch in to buy a new bike for a young boy after his was stolen off his porch.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump evidently prefer to do their cycling inside their DC home.



A Canadian father complains about parents who park in a bike lane to drop their kids off at school. More proof that bike riders everywhere face the same problems.

An arrest has finally been made in the hit-and-run death of the mother of British cycling legend Chris Boardman last year; a man and a woman have been charged in the death and subsequent cover-up. Meanwhile, Guardian readers react to his recent claim that Britain’s streets are too dangerous to ride.

Bicycle Dutch explains why there’s no such thing as jaywalking in the Netherlands.

A group of Malaysian endurance athletes have become the first to ride and carry their mountain bikes up Nepal’s 26,545 Annapurna, one of the world’s highest mountains.



Bicycles, the choice of supermarket meat thieves everywhere. No, refusing to give your name after getting busted for bike rustling won’t keep you out of the slammer.

And once you start down the stairs, don’t hit the brakes.

Morning Links: Second lawsuit filed over Playa del Rey road diets, and bizarre racist traffic manifesto mailed

You knew it was coming.

In news that should surprise no one, a second lawsuit has been filed over the lane reductions on Vista del Mar and other streets in Playa del Rey.

This time, by the un-ironically named driver-activist group Keep LA Moving.

Which is fighting efforts to do just that in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, by demanding a continuation of the failed auto-centric planning that has harmed so many parts of our city, at the expense of everyone who isn’t currently in a car.

What is only a little surprising is the paranoid, tinfoil-hat wearing extremes to which they’ve taken their case.

According to a story in the Daily Breeze,

City officials have “engaged in a campaign of misinformation, name calling and race baiting, claiming that the aforementioned changes were made for ‘safety’ reasons, while the changes have made the affected roadways exponentially unsafe,” the lawsuit states.

Race baiting? Seriously?

In response to backlash, the lawsuit says, Bonin misleadingly used the stories of victims who were killed on the streets, failing to mention details that show lane reductions wouldn’t have prevented their deaths.

“In none of these cases was the unfortunate death caused by too many lanes on the road, or the lack of dedicated bicycle lanes,” the suit states.

Never mind that the victims might have survived the crashes if the traffic had been moving at a less deadly pace. Which was the expressed purpose of removing those lanes.

But here’s the best one.

It also accuses the city of failing to conduct adequate public outreach for the Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative, saying only 150 of Playa del Rey’s 12,000 residents were engaged in the process.

“LADOT thereafter populated neighborhood forums with outside, paid supporters to make it appear that local residents were overwhelmingly supporting the projects,” the suit states.

If you didn’t get your check, contact LADOT and demand payment. Because evidently, everyone else who supported the projects did.

And never mind that many, if not most, of those opposing the projects don’t even live in Los Angeles, let alone in Playa del Rey.

Keep L.A. Moving also alleges Bonin’s office has suppressed free speech by allegedly deleting critical comments and blocking users from his Facebook page.

Maybe they should give the 1st Amendment another read. Because I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Then finally, there’s this.

Keep L.A. Moving director Karla Mendelson said her group isn’t against safety, but wants to make elected officials think twice before implementing road diets.

No, they’re all for safety. As long as it doesn’t inconvenience them.

You can download a full copy of the lawsuit here.


Traffic safety advocates and neighborhood council members around Los Angeles have been receiving a very strange and offensive screed purporting to discuss traffic safety.

This bizarrely auto-centric piece, which is filled with bike hate and 180 degrees wrong on most traffic safety efforts, reads like the Unibomber’s manifesto, but without the intelligence.

Take this section on wide bike lanes. Please.

Even more frightening than the writer’s obvious glee at the fantasy of watching another human being die in the street, is the fact that these fliers have been mailed to people’s home addresses — an implied threat clearly saying “we know where you live.”

I’m told that at least one neighborhood council member has resigned as a result.

It’s horrifying to think that working to make this a more bikeable, walkable and livable city could put you in the crosshairs of people willing to threaten others to maintain their philosophy of autos über alles on the streets.

But that seems to be the world we live in.


The self-proclaimed “LA’s #1 walking and biking advocacy group” we mentioned yesterday —which calls Vision Zero “population control,” and falsely claimed to be part of the non-existent group behind this website — says it will hold a public meeting at Intelligencia Coffee in Venice on Saturday.

If you live in the area, maybe you should drop in and see if they really exist.

And if they’re really there, give them a nice, big WTF for me.

And maybe a restraining order.


The Colorado Classic aims to reimagine bike racing; the Denver Post gives the details on all four stages.

Here’s your spoiler-free result of the first stage.

A Denver TV station says the presence of the Rwandan cycling team at the Colorado Classic sends a message of inspiration and hope, even if they’re not expected to win any stages.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis says banning Lance’s podcast is just being petty, as he prepares to return to mountain bike racing at the Leadville 100 with his Floyd’s of Leadville medicinal dope partner Dave Zabriskie.

Cycling great Andre Greipel says he’s lost all his instincts on the bike.

The Guardian offers a beautiful photo essay examining the 2,400-mile Transcontinental bike race across Europe.



Maybe one day your summer bike rides could be a bit cooler, as Los Angeles experiments with changing the surface color of streets to reduce roadway temperatures.

Great profile of 16-year old Los Angeles public transit enthusiast Kenny Uong.

CiclaValley discovers the San Fernando Valley’s secret climb.

Helen’s Cycles is sponsoring a trio of rides throughout the LA area tomorrow.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson offers his own inimitable advice on commuting to work.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News credits the removal of the Herondo wall on the Hermosa border and widening the bike path with opening the entrance to Redondo Beach, leading to a boom in business along Harbor Drive. So much for bike lanes killing business, as the above lawsuit asserts, as well as the “fat bike lanes” in the manifesto.



Residents insist that traffic congestion is a nightmare in Lytle Creek, even without any road diets or bike lanes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bike rider is sent flying when he apparently hits a curb after swerving to avoid an SUV that left-crossed him.

A San Francisco website says there ain’t no party like an East Bay Bike Party.

A 74-year old Healdsburg man will face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge for an unsafe pass that apparently caused a women to fall off her bike during a charity ride.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a specialized bicycle from a Navy vet who was using it to recover from paralysis, after he was shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan.

Violent crime is increasing on a Sacramento bike path with one of the region’s highest concentrations of chronically homeless people; one rider reported getting punched in the jaw just for being there.



Streetsblog asks why cities shouldn’t fund student bikeshare passes like they do transit passes.

No surprise here. A new study showed that adult-supervised bike trains to and from school increased physical activity for kids, providing 35% of their daily recommended exercise.

Seattle discovers the most effective way to cut solo car commutes is charging for parking by the day, rather than by the month. Just imagine if they combined that with safer streets to encourage more walking and biking at the same time.

Speaking of Seattle, the city’s limited experiment with dockless bikeshare doubled to a total of 2,000 bikes this week, and could double again when two more suppliers hit the streets. My apologies to whoever sent this; unfortunately, I’ve lost track of where I got this story. But thank you anyway.

Caught on video too: A safety conscious Spokane burglar straps on a helmet before riding off with a homeowner’s bike, while ghost riding another.

Good idea. A Kalamazoo MI bike club printed and distributed 100 lawn signs to promote the city’s five-foot passing law.

The Pennsylvania bicyclist on trial for obstructing traffic testified that he was simply riding in the center of the lane to avoid debris on the right and prevent unsafe passing.

A tone-deaf Atlantic City editorial says bicyclists have to ride responsibly to protect themselves from distracted drivers. Which is probably true. But wearing a bike helmet isn’t likely to prevent a collision. And even the brightest hi-viz and lights won’t help if someone is looking at his or her lap instead of the road.

Emmy nominee Keri Russell is one of us, as a fellow bike rider strikes up a conversation about her show The Americans as she waited at a Brooklyn stop light. A) Conversations like that never happen when you’re in a car, and B) it’s proof that bicyclists really do stop for red lights.

Leonardo DiCaprio is still one of us, and still riding bikeshare bikes across New York. No word on whether he stopped for stop lights or paused to speak with any other bike riders, however.

A New York lawyer goes looking for video of the hit-and-run that put a bike rider in the hospital, and finds a city-owned truck with damage matching the one that hit her.



A 16-year old Calgary boy has raised $8,000 to fight cancer as part of a 124-mile charity ride, four years after an eye exam lead to the discovery of a baseball-sized tumor in his brain.

Edmonton, Canada is testing side guards on trucks to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

Toronto developers are starting to build carfree, bike-only condos.

The sister of a fallen teenage bike rider lashes out at young Brit riders who put their lives at risk by pulling stunts in front of cars. Although you’d think she’d blame the stoned driver who killed him, instead.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike mechanic tackles a bike thief who tried to make off with his bike after he leaned it against a wall for a few moments.

The mayor of Melbourne, Australia threatens to deal with the problem of abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes by banning them entirely.



Why bother biking to work or slogging through traffic when you can just swim. You could do worse than the Sneaky Cyclist Robber, as far as bank robber epithets go.

And a mountain biker tries to take a $149 Walmart bike down some steep singletrack, with predictable results.

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