The first shoe has dropped in the race for city council in CD5.
Typical of LA’s gerrymandered council districts, the sprawling Westside district stretches east from Sepulveda to nearly encircle Beverly Hills, before reaching north to the San Fernando Valley west of Sepulveda.
For the past eight years it’s been represented by career politician Paul Koretz, who moved into the district once he was termed out of the state assembly, after serving on the West Hollywood city council.
It was Koretz who single-handedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of a small group of wealthy homeowners, followed by inciting a council vote to remove the lanes from the city’s mobility plan. And stating there would be no bike lanes as part of the Great Streets program in Westwood Village.
Yet he oddly still claims to support bicycling.
His reasoning is that Westwood, which is included in LA’s High Injury Network under the Vision Zero plan, is too dangerous for bike riders. So his solution is to keep it dangerous, and shunt all those riders who currently use it as the most direct route between the Expo Line and the UCLA campus onto other less practical alternatives.
And with the exception of Motor Blvd, he has failed to implement any of the major bike lanes called for in the city’s Mobility Plan.
So it should come as no surprise that Bike the Vote LA has endorsed his challenger, Jesse Creed, in the March election over the incumbent Koretz.
You can read Creed’s responses to Bike the Vote’s candidate survey at the above link, and find Koretz’ responses here, along with that of a third candidate, Mark Herd.
Streetsblog’s Damien Newtown offers a good analysis of both the candidates, and Bike the Vote’s endorsement.
But the bottom line is that Koretz has had eight years to prove his support for bicycling is more than just talk. But his actions, particularly on Westwood Blvd, have proven otherwise.
Heartbreaking news, as there’s an unconfirmed report that the owner of Santa Monica’s Bicycle Ambulance shop was killed while riding to work recently. I’m working on getting official confirmation; if anyone has any information, please let me know.
Update: A comment from Chris, along with an email from Brian Nilsen, confirms that a GoFundMe page raising funds to defray funeral expenses has been set up by the son of Tony Barnes, the owner of Bicycle Ambulance. There is also a ghost bike in Barnes honor at South Centinela Ave and Jefferson Blvd in Playa Vista. I’ve reached to the LAPD for more information.
Thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the heads-up.
San Francisco is threatening legal action to stop a Chinese app-based bikeshare provider from “dumping” thousands of rental bikes on the city’s streets without the proper planning or permits.
In other words, doing exactly what Uber did in moving into new markets, by establishing their ride hailing service first and dealing with the paperwork later.
But then, Uber was cars. And wasn’t Chinese.
And wasn’t threatening to disrupt the city’s existing dock-based bikeshare.
On the other hand, the problem with China’s app-based bikeshare model is that people are abandoning the bikes, resulting in a 500-bike pile in the city of Shenzhen.
Calbike will host a webinar at 11 am today to discuss a grant program which could expand the use of ebikes to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
An LGBT website says trans cyclist Jillian Bearden is receiving both praise and uninformed criticism as she continues to break barriers.
Cycling Weekly says fewer, but bigger races could save cycling in France.
The LA Rams may need some help, but at least the new head coach rides his bike to work. Thanks to Josh for the link.
The LACBC is calling for bike riders to submit comments on a proposed redesign of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills by this Friday; the section under consideration currently has painted bike lanes, which the coalition would like to see upgraded to parking protected lanes.
Speaking of the LACBC, they’re in the market for a new Planning & Policy Director.
The latest Bike Talk features former bike shop owners Josef Bray-Ali and TJ Flexer discussing the demise of the local bike shop.
Westminster police are on the lookout for a bike-riding burglar.
A San Diego Navy vet got a new $3,000 bike for Christmas after his was totaled when he did a face plant last September. Then someone stole off his car it after his first ride.
San Diego has secured funding to begin design work on a crucial link between the Chollas Creek bike path and the planned 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway; the path would allow residents of lower-income areas to safely cross the I-5 and I-15 interchange and get to jobs in the downtown area.
No bias here. A Bakersfield bike rider gets hit by a drunk driver who flees the scene. Yet police still blame the victim for wearing dark clothing and not riding in a crosswalk — even though there was no reason for her to even be in crosswalk.
A Menlo Park cyclist says a new bike project would only benefit a small number of bike riders at the expense of most bicyclists and the rest of the city.
Caught on video: An East Bay cyclist leaves his bike cam going when he stops for mid-ride coffee, and catches a high-end bike thief red-handed.
Bicycling says riding inside doesn’t have to suck anymore. But it’s still inside, and the bikes still don’t move.
A Seattle website says the city owes residents an apology and their $1.4 million back after buying the city’s troubled bikeshare program, then unceremoniously killing it just before the long weekend. But there’s still a desire for bikeshare if it’s done right.
A French company rode their 3D-printed bike over 600 miles from Las Vegas to San Francisco to prove it works.
The war on bikes continues, as an Arizona bicyclist was shot repeatedly with BB guns by a man and woman in a passing car, with the couple’s child in the backseat. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for people like that.
A homeless man says refurbishing bikes at a Utah collective to give to others has given purpose to his life.
A Colorado letter writer says “stupid is as stupid does” in deciding whether to ride on the roadways with motor vehicle traffic, suggesting — or rather, outright stating — that bikes don’t belong on public streets. I’d apply that same aphorism to people who can’t resist the urge to share their particular anti-bike bias with the rest of the world; saying it’s not safe to share the roads with motor vehicles is really just saying that people are incapable of driving safely, which I refuse to believe.
Wisconsin police bust a pair of bike thieves and reclaim a stolen bike that was being sold on Craigslist; the victim had been given the bike by her grandmother.
Chicago bike riders continue to ride through the winter as part of a two-week challenge. Oddly, no one seem to consider doing something like that here in Southern California, where the weather is much more conducive to year-round riding.
Blocked bike lanes remain a big problem in Brooklyn and Manhattan. And pretty much everywhere else.
President-elect Trump’s traditional inaugural walk will be on a DC bike path.
Now that a Canadian reporter has recovered from a near-fatal bike crash, she says it was one of the best experiences of her life, because it changed her for the better. And yes, she plans to ride again.
Toronto is studying near-miss incidents, as well as actual collisions, before and after bike lanes were installed on a major street, in order to get a more complete look at how safety has changed.
London cabbies bring traffic to a standstill to protest plans to close a key junction to motor vehicles; cyclists argue that taxis are one of the biggest causes of congestion and drivers are just supporting “the right to poison Londoners.”
A self-described bike lane-skeptic member of the British parliament questions whether bike lanes are the reason London traffic congestion has gotten worse, and if they are causing an increase in pollution as a result.
Scotland promises a more ambitious and innovative approach to cycling, as council leaders promise to play a huge role in encouraging ridership; the country plans to have 10% of journeys made by bike by 2020.
Filming yourself riding a bike on a Buddhist temple is probably not the best way to win friends in a foreign country. And not even wheelie-popping former Super Bowl winners are safe on a bike.