Archive for Vision Zero

Morning Links: An open letter on LA’s Vision Zero Action Plan, and OC hit-and-run victim needs your help

The Vision Zero Alliance has written an open letter to the Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee, which will consider the city’s proposed Vision Zero Action Plan at today’s meeting.

While they support the city’s efforts to eliminate traffic deaths, the Alliance, described as “a coalition of over 20 community organizations dedicated to ending traffic deaths and serious injuries in Los Angeles,” takes issue with some parts of the plan.

The Action Plan serves as a critical step to ensuring that the Vision Zero initiative remains grounded in transparency, accountability, and evaluation. It also represents the City’s commitment to protecting the safety of all road users. The Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance applauds LADOT for its efforts in completing the Action Plan, which reflects extensive coordination among multiple agencies and organizations. We particularly appreciate the department’s ongoing commitment to engaging with and being accessible to the Vision Zero Alliance throughout the development of the Action Plan.

However, we remain unsatisfied with a number of elements of the plan. Our primary concerns relate to enforcement, data transparency, and community engagement. Additionally, we are worried by the lack of attention paid to speed and to the weak commitment in funding.

I’m particularly glad they share some of the concerns I’ve expressed, which are reflected in that last sentence.

We have additional concerns regarding speed and funding. Despite vehicle speed being a primary predictor of crash severity, the Action Plan lacks a bold and coherent strategy to manage it. We appreciate that the City intends to “consider legislation on automated speed enforcement” in 2017, but would like to see a more comprehensive set of actions to address local control of speed limits and the implementation of engineering projects specifically intended to slow traffic. We are also displeased with the low level of funding allocated to Vision Zero projects this year. A serious commitment to ending deaths and severe injuries on Los Angeles streets demands serious funding. Only with a realistic investment in robust engineering projects, education, engagement, and enforcement will Los Angeles ever realize Vision Zero.

It’s worth reading the full letter.

And demanding that the city adopt a plan that is fair for everyone, and will truly take the steps necessary to end the plague of traffic violence in out city.

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An Orange County bike rider needs your help.

The Orange County Register reports that Steve Schenkenberger, a father of five from San Juan Capistrano, was struck by a hit-and-run driver near Niguel Road and Ridgeway Avenue on Super Bowl Sunday.

Newport Beach Patch is more specific, placing the time of the crash at around 8:56 pm. There were no reported witnesses, he was found by passersby who called for help. Luckily, one of those was a paramedic and his wife, who cared for him until help arrived; she describes it in heartbreaking detail.

According to a fundraising website, Schenkenberger suffered injuries throughout the left side of his body, along with a severe brain injury resulting in emergency surgery. He’s reportedly improving, but remains unconscious and heavily sedated.

As of this writing, the fund had raised over $34,000 of the $100,000 goal to help pay what are sure to be massive medical expenses, as well as care for his family, for which he is the sole provider.

Clearly, they have a long way to go.

Anyone with information about the crash or driver is urged to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Aliso Viejo.

Thanks to Rod Daryabigi and Lois for the heads-up.

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Frenchman Roger Walkowiak, the world’s oldest surviving Tour de France winner, passed away Tuesday at 89; the unheralded son of a Polish factory worker won the 1956 Tour with a solo breakaway on the famed Croix de Fer.

Cycling Weekly talks with 19-year old US junior cyclist Adrien Costa, calling him the next Greg LeMond. Sad that they had to go all the way back to the 1980s to find a scandal-free American cycling icon to compare him to.

VeloNews looks at the dangers of Tramadol, a less potent opioid painkiller that’s legal to race on under current doping rules.

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Local

Traditionally bike-unfriendly USC is working on a beautification project to increase capacity for bicyclists and pedestrians on the Trousdale Parkway entrance to the campus.

A sidewalk-raging Santa Clarita transient was arrested on suspicion of vandalism for throwing an object at a driver who had apparently cut him off as he existed a driveway.

 

State

A California sustainable transportation website launches a new series titled Bicyclists Are Human. Something that shouldn’t have to be said, but too often does.

Six California rides make the list of the nation’s 15 top Gran Fondos, including the Malibu Gran Fondo, and the one-year old Phil’s Cookie Fondo hosted by LA’s own former pro and cookie monster Phil Gaimon.

San Diego cyclists hope to repurpose a boarded up 1940s building next to a bike path as a bicycle center.

Ebikes are moving into Santa Cruz. And La Quinta, too.

A 56-year old bike rider in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district faces charges after allegedly punching a 20-year old woman and rifling through her pockets.

A San Francisco bike shop owner is crowdfunding a parklet he wants to build in front of his store.

An injured San Francisco bike rider offers a reminder that rain-filled puddles can disguise hidden dangers.

 

National

Here’s a chance to get technical, as VeloNews explains how differences in bicycle geometry affect how a bike rides and handles.

A British Columbia researcher says bicycle education in the US is in desperate need of an update, questioning whether bicyclists are really safer riding in the traffic lane.

Wired says ride your bike like a kid and make it fun again. Which is a great idea, except they get most of it wrong. Spandex clothing is actually designed to wick away sweat, while reducing wind resistance and chafing; flat pedals only allow you to apply force on the down stroke, reducing efficiency. And the health benefits of riding far outweigh any risk of heart damage from extreme training, which most people will never do anyway.

Colorado cyclists will have to keep stopping for stop signs, as a bill to approve the Idaho Stop Law in the state, legalizing what many bike riders already do, was killed in a legislative committee; a Durango paper blames Senate Republicans.

The Texas Medical Alliance gave away 400 bike helmets to four and five-year olds.

Wisconsin cycling icon Chris Kegel passed away from a rare form of liver cancer; the owner of a regional chain of bike shops had been on the founding boards of PeopleForBikes and the League of American Bicyclists.

A bike-riding Illinois reporter is suing the local police department for false arrest after they busted him for filming them. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in public, whether the actions of police or anyone else, as long as you don’t interfere with an officer in the conduct of his or her duties. And no, standing across the street recording an arrest is not interfering.

A cyclist in Illinois ask why bikes can’t evolve like cars have. Except pretty much all the improvements he calls for are available in one form or another, from disk brakes and belt drives to automatic gearing.

Bicycling rates continue to climb in New York despite slower growth in the city core, as riders respond to the continued expansion of the city’s bicycle network.

Why is it always Florida? A man in his late teens or early 20s exposed himself to a group of people by going naked from the waist down, then took a public poop before riding away on his bike.

 

International

Two brothers from Mexico are planning to ride the entire west coast of the US from Tijuana to Vancouver, in part to challenge stereotypes of Millennials as apathetic and superficial.

A Canadian city legalizes scofflaw cyclists by designating the raised roadways they’re already riding on as cycling facilities.

Caught on video: A bus driver with the official title of Britain’s Most Hated Cyclist catches a woman FaceTiming behind the wheel.

British police finally capture a bike-riding serial groper who allegedly attacked 24 women.

In yet another attack on bicyclists from London’s bike-hating Daily Mail, a writer asks if anywhere is safe from the Lycra louts. Cycling Weekly responds that it includes every anti-cycling cliché known to the human race, and some new ones, too.

A new Scottish safety campaign urges drivers to slow down.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 77-year old British man will ride the full route of this year’s Giro d’Italia, covering 2,100 miles across Italy.

A British writer rides through the tip of Africa on the first South African Eroica.

A 15-year old junior cyclist finds himself a man without a country after forfeiting his German passport, then getting booted out of a Malaysian school.

A Philippine website looks at the causes of road rage and what drivers can do about it. Which can apply to those of us on two wheels, too.

 

Finally…

Four words: speed dating on bikes. If you’re going to buy a hacksaw to cut a bike lock, don’t try to return it afterwards — and make sure it’s not a bait bike.

And make sure your damn shoe fits before you get behind the wheel.

 

Morning Links: More on Vision Zero plan, call for killer driver to turn herself in, and OC man has 9 DUIs in 6 years

As we noted last week, the City of Los Angeles has finally released its Vision Zero Action Plan, explaining in detail how it plans to reduce traffic deaths by 20% this year, and eliminate them entirely by 2025 — just eight years away.

Comments to the plan continue to roll in.

Today, Vision Zero Alliance member Bobby Peppey is sharing a letter he wrote in response to the plan.

Note: While Peppey is a member of the VZA, he want to make it clear that these are his opinions, and do not necessarily reflect those of the alliance. 

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There is a serious problem with LADOT’s Vision Zero Action Plan (VZAP) that wasn’t mentioned in LACBC’s excellent letter.

The lack of mention of lowering speed limits from the deadly 35/45mph to safer speed limits of 25/15 mph on Los Angeles HIN or other City streets in the VZAP.

Safer, slower top speed limits have been instituted by New York City, Seattle, Boston and in other North American cities.

Yes there is the California Speed Trap law and its 85 percentile rule that  supposedly forces City’s to raise limits as Joe Linton mentions in his article last spring. There are exceptions in the law to this rule that are manifest on all of the HIN streets that can easily be implemented to lower the speed limits on these streets.

On page 15 is the only mention of lowering speed limits in the plan, “A speed-limit reduction may be more appropriate on streets where children walk to school.” In my experience children walk on all sorts of streets and not only to get to school.

There is some amorphous language on page 36 as follows, “Vision Zero for Los Angeles will pursue local, state, and federal legislation that strengthens traffic safety policy…”, but the VZAP doesn’t go on to then state what policy changes will be pursued by the City.

More ominous in VZAP are the BENCHMARKS on page 37. The second row concerns finishing speed surveys conducted by LADOT but does not state what the results of these surveys will be.

In Joe Linton’s June 9th article in StreetsblogLA concerning the City Council Transportation Committee meeting of June 8th, he states that “LADOT General Manager Reynolds stressed that speed surveys and resultant speed limit increases are needed.”

Earlier at the same meeting Ms. Reynolds stated “IF WE COULD GET EVERYBODY IN THE CITY TO SLOW DOWN TO A SAFE SPEED, WE COULD SAVE HUNDREDS OF LIVES EVERY YEAR.” This quote is verbatim from the printed minutes of the meeting.

We live in a City (second largest in the US) that is now facing down the full brunt of the power of an arch-conservative unified federal government on the issue of immigrants rights, one of the most significant human rights battles of this century for our Country.

That the City of Los Angeles is not willing to deal with the same vigor towards Caltrans, and the State of California’s terribly inequitable Speed Trap Law; when our City is suffering from an epidemic of Kills and Serious Injury (KSI) of persons who walk, ride a bike or use transit on its sidewalks, crosswalks and streets is stunning.

Sincerely,

Bobby Peppey

Vision Zero Alliance member

Advisory and Policy Committee

Enforcement Committee

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Meanwhile, a governing website explains what Vision Zero is, and says the hardest part for cities is making the long-term commitment necessary to make it work.

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KCBS-2 reports that relatives of Agustin Rodriguez, the bike rider killed in a hit-and-run in Whittier Monday morning, call on the driver to turn herself in while describing her as a monster who murdered the father of three.

Considering that she dragged him the length of two football fields, they’re probably right. Anything less than a murder charge would be an abject failure of justice.

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This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Orange County man was arrested for DUI on Sunday after crashing into a utility box in Placentia and attempting to run away.

Police quickly discovered that the driver, 52-year-old Derek Stacy Haskayne, was already on probation for a previous felony DUI conviction.

In fact, he’s had eight DUI convictions since 2011.

Read that again. Eight DUI convictions — not just arrests — in the last six years. And yet he somehow still manages to remain behind the wheel, placing every other human being on the roads at risk.

We can talk all we want about Vision Zero. But as long as people like this are allowed own, buy, rent or borrow a motor vehicle of any kind, innocent people will continue to die.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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The route was announced for this year’s edition of the Amgen Tour of California, as well as the separate but unequal four-stage Breakaway from Heart Disease women’s race. The last three stages will be set in SoCal, including a Mt. Baldy finish in stage 5, a Big Bear time trial, and a Pasadena finish for the final stage, while the women won’t get any closer than Sacramento.

Deadspin says if motor doping exists, the 60 Minutes report didn’t prove it. Of course it exists; the only question is whether it’s actually being used in the pro peloton.

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Local

A bike rider was one of three victims stabbed in an apparent random attack on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood before police shot the attacker inside a Jack in the Box.

A bike-riding homeless man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the unprovoked fatal stabbing of a AAA tow truck driver in Pico Rivera last year.

Los Angeles now has the largest bicycle paramedic corps in the US, allowing rescuers to quickly navigate crowded streets and sidewalks.

The East Side Riders Bike Club and Los Ryderz BC invite you to join them for the annual Ride for Love on February 12th.

Actress Bella Thorne is one of us, going for a beachfront bike ride in Santa Monica.

The former Governator goes for a bike ride in Venice after calling out Trump for making the US look stupid.

LA Downtown News looks at former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali and his uphill battle to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st Council District.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with BikeSD founder Sam Olinger, who’s helping to reshape San Diego into one of California’s safest city’s for bicyclists.

Bad enough an Escondido man got carjacked at knifepoint; they also got away with his bike.

Hop on your bike later this month for a tour of the doors of Palm Springs.

Santa Cruz police bust five bike thieves using a bait bike.

It looks like Monterey’s Sea Otter Classic will be around for awhile, after inking a contract extension with the Laguna Seca racetrack for the next 15 years.

A San Jose columnist defends a local road diet, calling it a proven safety measure even if some people don’t like it. Speaking of which, Streetsblog reports on Oakland’s successful Telegraph Avenue road diet, which cut all crashes by 40%.

 

National

A new study shows that physically active children are less likely to be depressed, just like teens and adults. Which is as good a reason as any to get them started riding a bicycle as early as possible.

Bicycling offers beginners tips on how to ride every day, and why you should.

Women’s Day tells drivers to use the Dutch Reach, aka opening a car door with your right hand to avoid dooring bicyclists.

The Denver Post calls on the state to pass the proposed Idaho Stop Law, while noting it’s probably a bill before its time. Meanwhile, a Colorado woman isn’t sure about the proposed law after she was seriously injured by a red light-running bike rider. Even though running a red light would remain illegal; the law would require riders to come to a full stop, then proceed only when it was safe to do so.

Nebraska introduces a new bike-themed license plate.

Life is cheap in Iowa, where killing a bike rider taking part in the state’s annual RAGBRAI ride only merits a misdemeanor charge.

A Houston writer looks at her great uncle’s bike tour of Europe in 1939, culminating in a photo of the Fuhrer as the continent geared up for war.

 

International

Once again, the bike rider wins in a race across a city, this time in London where a cyclist beat someone traveling by the tube by 17 minutes. Apparently driving was so hopeless it wasn’t even worth trying.

Kindhearted UK cops pitch in to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, not once, but twice as he travelled to see his sister at a children’s hospital.

A British writer says, contrary to what the country’s transportation secretary says, cyclists are not part of the problem.

A Brit driver faces charges for driving onto a pathway to run down a bike rider after hearing rumors the man may have been the one who stole his bike.

A British government inquiry hears that London’s bicyclists are being failed by the justice system, and vows to investigate the problem. Chances of that ever happening with the US Congress are somewhere south of zero.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver is fined the equivalent of just $471, after claiming he had no idea he hit a bike rider because his music was too loud. Or maybe he just turned it up so he couldn’t hear the screams of his victims.

Riding a bike in Johannesburg can be a matter of life and death — not from distracted drivers, but because of armed bikejackers.

 

Finally…

No, seriously. You should have a flasher on your bike, not be one. Actually, the biggest mistake you’re making at SoulCycle is not getting outside on a real bicycle.

And what’s next, mandatory ladder helmet laws?

 

Morning Links: Bike commute rates in LA area, Bike the Vote endorses Bray-Ali, and LACBC’s take on Vision Zero

Today is the last day for local bike shops and other small businesses in the bike industry to get deep discounts on our usual advertising rates. For more information, or to find out if your business qualifies, email the address on the Support and Advertising page.

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So much of the oft-cited figure that one percent of Angelenos commute by bicycle.

Instead, it clearly depends on where you are.

Bike wonk Dennis Hindman took a deep dive into the latest ACS data released by the Census Bureau last December to examine bike commuting by LA-area zip code.

What he discovered was that the rate of bike commuters ranged from a whopping 10% for DTLA and 9% for the USC area, to a lowly .8% for Wilmington. Meanwhile, bike-friendly Santa Monica checks in at 3.8%, while Culver City comes in at a surprising 2.2%.

He also notes that the heaviest rates of bike commuting follow the route of the Expo Line, which had a wait list for bike lockers a week after the new extension to Santa Monica opened.

And which once again demonstrates the need for safe bike lane connections to the Expo Line, especially on Westwood Blvd leading to the UCLA campus.

You can see his full examination of bike commuters per zip code here.

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To the shock of no one, Bike the Vote LA has endorsed community advocate and former bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali for LA’s 1st council district over anti-bike incumbent and professional politician Gil Cedillo.

The only surprise is that a second candidate in the race, Giovany Hernandez, offered some very good responses to their candidate survey, while Jesse Rosas did not.

Meanwhile, incumbent Cedillo evidently decided it was more prudent to simply not respond to the survey, rather than lie about his support for bike lanes like he did last time around.

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The LACBC released their response to LA’s new Vision Zero Action Plan, saying while it’s a positive development, it “lacks a clear vision for making the streets safer for people who ride bicycles.”

The coalition also has concerns about the city’s commitment to unbiased policing and equity when it comes to enforcing traffic laws.

You can read their full response here.

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Apparently unhappy with being cut off by someone who actually belonged there while riding illegally in a San Francisco bike lane, a motorcyclist attempts to intimidate a bicyclist. And discovers he should work on his own riding skills first.

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More on the 60 Minutes motor doping report. Team Sky stands accused of having heavier bikes than normal during Tour de France time trials, which could be evidence of hidden motors. Or not.

A British sprinter won a race in Mallorca on Sunday, but was unable to avoid a photographer at the finish line who refused to get out of the way.

A Cat 3 rider in a Santa Barbara road race was lucky to avoid serious injury when he flipped over a retaining wall, and had to hang on for dear life to keep from slipping down a 30-foot drop; his bike was not so lucky. Thanks to CiclaValley for the video.

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Local

The new Riverside Drive Bridge officially opened today, with a protected bike lane offering a vital connection to the LA River bike path, as well as the city’s first modern roundabout. However, not everyone approves, particularly regarding the lost opportunity to use the old bridge as a High Line-style park.

The LAPD is looking for a Los Angeles man who allegedly stabbed a Sylmar man to death before fleeing on a bicycle.

Construction finally kicks off on the long-awaited My Figueroa project, with work starting on 11th Street next month, and moving to Figueroa itself in March.

No, this is not recommended bike behavior. A homeless man on a bicycle attacked a car with a machete at a Pasadena intersection. Seriously, there’s been times I’ve wanted to, but still. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Boyonabike, who got a hearty “eff you, asshole” from the driver who gave him a dangerous punishment pass, telling him he belonged on the side of the road.

Nice move from Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Therapy Student Club, as they gave new adaptive tricycles to 14 special needs kids.

 

State

Anaheim is looking to add nine acres to the Anaheim Coves, including a new mile-long bike path.

The 62-year old victim of a Simi Valley hit-and-run last month remains bedridden following a coma, numerous injuries and three weeks in intensive care, but is gradually becoming more aware of her surroundings; the stoned driver faces felony DUI and hit-and-run charges.

The editor of San Francisco Streetsblog decides to take his own advice and put a camera on his bike.

Oakland’s parking-protected Telegraph Avenue bike lanes are a success, reducing speeding and cutting crashes overall crashes by 40% in the first year, even though bicycling is up 78% and walking has doubled.

A NorCal cyclist climbed one million feet in total elevation last year, according to his Strava records.

 

National

Wired discusses how to not screw up Trump’s proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure spending. But doesn’t even mention bikeways until the last paragraph.

Bicycling offers advice on how to survive group ride mishaps.

A Boston bike rider says winter bicycling in like boiling a frog; if you ease into it slowly, you don’t notice how cold and wet you are until you’re in the middle of it.

Talk about a lack of perspective. An investigative story by a New York TV station reports that at least 2,330 Manhattan parking spaces have been taken away to make room for bike lanes and bikeshare stations. Except New York added nearly 10,000 spaces from 2006 to 2010, for a net gain — not loss — of over 7,000 spaces. And that’s just a fraction of the 3.4 to 4.4 million on-street parking spaces in the city.

A Philadelphia bike advocate makes the case against mandatory helmet laws.

A bike-riding Florida man faces kidnapping charges after demanding that a mother hand over her toddler.

 

International

Canada considers a National Cycling Strategy that would fund a nationwide expansion of bicycling infrastructure and support the bike industry, although not everyone seems happy about it.

Caught on video: A Brit teen driver on a five hour reckless driving rampage slams into a man on a bicycle, flipping him over the car. Fortunately, the victim recovered from his injuries, while the driver got a well-deserved five years behind bars and an eight and a half year ban on driving. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch.

Not surprisingly, a new German study says people are more accepting of bicycling under the influence than drunk driving.

A Canadian newspaper says bicycling through Cambodia offers an experience like no other.

Bike Shop Hub offers a fascinating history of how the bicycle won the Vietnam war.

 

Finally…

Bad enough we have to deal with LA drivers, at least we don’t have to worry about a ‘roo to the head; then again, we don’t have to worry about loose bulls on a bike path, either. Really, who doesn’t go for a bike ride carrying brass knuckles, bolt cutters, syringes and yes, bear spray?

And Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch goes for a Skittles bike ride in the other Houston. The one in Scotland.

Morning Links: USDOT announces national Vision Zero, London bike lane hate, and bike lanes & gentrification

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

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Now we’re getting somewhere.

The US Department of Transportation has announced their own Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities on the nation’s roads.

Although unlike most similar plans — including LA’s — with ambitious, if unrealistic deadlines, the USDOT proposes to eliminate deaths on our streets within 30 years. By which time enough changes may have occurred in our transportation system to make it possible, if not probable.

Even in the face of the apparent massive 10% jump in traffic deaths in the first six months of this year.

As usual, however, the feds are approaching it cautiously, budgeting just $1 million per year for the next three years to fund grant programs to explore the idea.

And even that could go out the window next year, depending on who wins the election.

Thanks to Michael of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

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London’s Daily Mail goes off on an anti-bike tangent, calling the construction of bike lanes in the UK — including the city’s popular cycle superhighways — lunacy, while pointing out that they may be busy at peak hours, but are often empty at other times.

Sort of like roads, in other words.

Which are flooded with cars at rush hour, but encourage speeding and aggressive driving with their overbuilt capacity most of the day, and especially at night.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker takes exception, calling the Daily Mail story the latest example of the internet’s propensity for example-free, anecdote-driven, fringe activist memes migrating into the mainstream media.

And noting that London’s bike lanes, which take up just 3% of the city’s streets, have contributed to a 60% increase in bicycling rates, with bikes making up a whopping 70% of rush hour traffic on one busy street.

So if something is bringing London’s traffic to a halt, as the Daily Mail claims, maybe it’s just all those cars.

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Speaking of the Guardian, which seems to be today’s voice of reason, they offer a good examination of whether bike lanes cause gentrification.

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Local

The LA Times warns that Los Angeles County voters defeated a transportation tax measure in 2012, and they could do it again with Measure M, which needs a two-thirds vote to pass.

KPCC’s Take Two takes a look at what to wear when you’re riding a bike and spandex just won’t do, including LA’s own swrve.

Joe Linton previews this weekend’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

An overly modest CiclaValley offers some great bicycling photos.

West Hollywood has experienced a jump in bike thefts over the past few months; the sheriff’s department is still looking for the owners of five bikes recovered from an abandoned property last month.

Bike the Vote LA urges a no vote on Santa Monica’s anti-growth measure LV.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a bike thief caught on camera lurking under the pier before riding off with a locked bike. What’s shocking about this story isn’t the theft, it’s that Patch is somehow still in business.

San Diego is about to fail its first test for the city’s Climate Action Plan, as the first neighborhoods to prepare plans that fail to meet minimal standards for shifting commuters to biking, walking and transit.

Palo Alto police conclude that a 73-year old bike rider who was killed in an August collision blew through a stop sign before he was hit by a car. As usual, however, there’s no word on whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who killed him.

A Hayward bike rider was found dead next to a freeway onramp, at least five hours after he was the victim of a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine anoints Charleston, SC as the nation’s worst city for bicycling, a sharp fall from grace after making the top 30 in 2010; they also rank this year’s bicycling hall of shame.

Alternet ranks the 20 things most likely to kill you; as usual, the only advice on how to stay safe on a bicycle is to wear your helmet. Never mind that avoiding collisions through better infrastructure and learning to ride safely is far more likely to protect you than any helmet. Or that you’re over ten times more likely to die in a car.

Vogue likes the looks of a new collapsible bike helmet that just launched on Kickstarter.

Oregon farmers are fighting plans for a rail-to-trail conversion of an abandoned railway, fearing the presence of bikers and walkers could result in higher crime and complicate pesticide spaying. Which sounds like a great reason to switch to more sustainable farming methods.

Seattle looks into the dangers streetcar tracks pose to cyclists in the downtown area.

Horrifying story from Texas, as a 10-year old special needs boy was set on fire by another child while he was out for a bike ride; he’s currently on life support with first and second degree burns, as well as a lung infection.

An Illinois mayoral candidate says he never wanted to get rid of the requirement for bike lights, even though he proposed an ordinance to do exactly that.

Not surprisingly, the mother of a Chicago woman killed by a flatbed truck while riding her bike last week has filed a lawsuit; the only surprise is that it’s for just $100,000. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

A Boston bike commuter tells motorists I don’t want to die, and you don’t want to kill me.

 

International

Clearly, hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as drivers fled in 13% of Ottawa, Canada collisions.

A new survey shows the overwhelming majority of Toronto residents approve of bike lanes. Although a Toronto website says local bike shops need an attitude adjustment so getting a bike serviced isn’t an unpleasant ordeal for women.

Adweek picks up on the controversy over a British ad campaign that puts the onus for avoiding collisions on the people on two wheels, rather than the ones operating the big dangerous machines. Meanwhile, 87% of people on the street in a very non-scientific London survey say cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the roads. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

A British researcher is riding across the UK to find out why Brits voted to leave the European Union.

An English writer says every driver should have to spend an hour on a bicycle to qualify for a driver’s license.

Local governments are derailing Scotland’s plans to become more bike friendly and increase bicycling rates.

An Irish writer insists that bike riders need to pay their share for the roads if they want to be taken seriously. Except they already do, of course. And should be anyway, just like anyone else.

Google is employing a virtually army of bike riding women to help get women in rural Indian villages online for the first time. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

A South African business site says developing a culture of bicycling would counteract congestion in Cape Town, as the city begins work on developing a cycling strategy.

An Aussie lawyer bizarrely argues that a drugged-out hit-and-run driver should be spared jail because it would cause irreparable harm to her 15-month old son. Never mind the irreparable harm she caused the bike-riding mother of three she killed, along with her family.

Singapore has ticketed over 700 bicyclists, ebike riders and personal mobility device operators for reckless behavior since May.

 

Finally…

Chances are, bike riding isn’t doing permanent damage to your lady parts, assuming you have them. And Poland unveils a new bike lane apparently made of luminescent Smurfs.

 

Morning Links: Ten years for drunken Santa Clarita hit-and-run, and LA County approves Vision Zero Initiative

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

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Ten years.

That’s how long a sentence Lucas James Guidroz is expected to receive after pleading no contest in the drunken hit-and-run death of Rod Bennett in Santa Clarita earlier this year.

The popular math teacher, musician and band director was riding on Placerita Canyon Road on May 25th when Guidroz plowed his Lexus into Bennett’s bicycle from behind, then fled the scene as Bennett lay dying where he fell.

He turned himself in shortly after police found his car two days later.

The 28-year old Guidroz is expected to be sentenced on November 7th on charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Although the Santa Clarita Signal still can’t be bothered to get the name of the victim right.

………

LA County votes to implement a Vision Zero Initiative, without apparently understanding what that means.

Despite the press release from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office, Vision Zero is about improving safety with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities — not encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives to driving, as admirable as that may be.

And as always, the unanswered question is whether county leaders have to courage to make the tough choices required to save lives.

………

Maybe it takes awhile for news to make it past the Orange Curtain.

A full week after the Orange County Register reported on the drunken hit-and-run that may have left a bike rider with a broken leg, and a young woman facing charges just hours after posing with her new car, the broadcast media has finally caught up with the story.

LA’s KABC-7 offered a brief report on the arrest of 22-year old Laguna Beach resident Aya Ibish, while Sacramento’s Fox-40 went into more detail.

Maybe they picked up the story from the OC Weekly, which posted it on Monday.

Then again, if they can’t be bothered to read the Register, they could have learned about it right here days earlier.

Or they could have found out about it on YouTube, after the story got the Taiwanese TomoNews animation treatment, which is always good for a laugh or two.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the last link.

………

UCLA students discuss whether Westwood Blvd is safe for cyclists, in the wake of the much-needed Westwood bike lanes being removed from the LA Mobility Plan without a valid reason, other than some local homeowners and business owners apparently just didn’t want them.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Local

Writing for City Watch, Tim Deegan says it’s time to embrace New Urbanism, and suggests the New Urbanism Film Festival, which runs tomorrow through Sunday, as the perfect place to start.

The aptly-named Alissa Walker writes about why she’s trying to raise her daughter carfree in Los Angeles.

Richard Risemberg says the Expo Line bike path could have been a contender, but was done in by inadequate street crossings.

Thankfully, the victim of Monday’s Long Beach hit-and-run escaped with just a broken leg; the driver admitted to police he was fleeing a previous crash when he ran into the rider.

 

State

The Desert Sun urges Indian Wells voters to turn down a resolution that could halt construction of the planned CV Link bikeway through the city.

The Berkeley alumni association talks with law professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, a five-time amateur world champ in time trials and road racing who set the women’s hour record last year at age 43.

 

National

Streetsblog writes about the four biggest sins reporters commit when covering pedestrian deaths, all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

It’s time to apply for the fourth annual QBP Women’s Bike Mechanic Scholarship Program, to prepare for a career as a wrench.

A Tucson AZ veteran made enough money selling bicycle chain art to pay for surgery for his therapy dog.

Good news, as Robert Choi, the founder of Utah-based Volagi Cycles, is showing some improvement after suffering a head injury when he was rear-ended by a driver last week; he was found unconscious in his office after initially refusing medical treatment. Always get checked out by a doctor anytime your head hits the pavement, regardless of whether you’re wearing a helmet; even a small brain injury can have serious consequences.

A volunteer bike repair center is fixing up bikes to give to the homeless in my hometown.

Once again, a visitor to this country is unable to survive America’s mean streets, as an Australian man was killed when his bike was rear-ended while riding in Kansas.

Chicago readers offer their advice on how to make bicycling safer, from licensing and ticketing cyclists to making bicyclists ride salmon.

A New York court rules the city’s bike lanes can stay, after rejecting a lawsuit claiming they caused environmental harm by creating traffic congestion.

Common sense finally comes into play in Maryland, where a 15-year old girl who was slammed into a wall and pepper sprayed for refusing medical treatment following a bicycling collision won’t face charges after apologizing to the police.

 

International

A Canadian writer, who says he’s a bike rider himself, calls plans for a national bicycling strategy an ill-conceived boondoggle. Meanwhile, a Newfoundland counselor calls for turning his city’s bike lanes into parking spots.

London’s mayor calls for completion of a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the Thames by 2020.

Selfies kill. A British woman died after hitting her head in a solo fall, just moments after taking a selfie as she rode from her mother’s birthday dinner; her husband called for a mandatory helmet law as a result, saying she’d still be alive if she’d worn one.

The BBC talks with pro cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten about the Olympic crash that horrified the world; she argues that Britain’s Lizzie Armitstead shouldn’t have been allowed to compete after missing three drug tests.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blocking bikeways is nothing new. Bikes are great for transporting anything, including the loot you just stole from a home.

And you can see a lot of things when you ride hopefully a wild panther won’t be one of them.

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

Morning Links: Expanded mobile phone driving ban, Vision Zero speed limits, and scary bike-riding non-clowns

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

………

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation prohibiting drivers from holding and operating mobile phones for almost any reason, including changing a play list or using a GPS.

However, in a sign of just how seriously the state doesn’t take distracted driving, the fine for the first violation is a measly $20, rising to a whole $50 for subsequent violations.

Even though distracted driving is every bit as deadly as drunk driving.

And people will continue to die until we treat it that way.

………

Seattle votes to lower speed limits on city streets, from 25/30 mph to 20/25 mph as part of the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Which is exactly what LA has to do if there’s any hope of reducing, let alone eliminating, traffic fatalities by 2025.

Yet here in the City of Angels, the case is complicated by streets with near-highway speeds as a result of the deadly 85% rule, which sets speed limits at the average speed of 85% of drivers on any given street.

In other words, the best way to make sure the speed limit goes up is to keep your foot firmly planted on the gas pedal. Which is kind of like putting bank robbers in charge of bank security.

Never mind that speed limits are unenforceable by radar guns on roughly 75% of the city’s streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct the required speed surveys.

And never mind that decades of flawed traffic planning has left Los Angeles with countless streets engineered to carry traffic at speeds far beyond the posted limits, and too many drivers more than happy to take advantage of that.

Angelenos have gotten used to driving that extra 10 to 15 mph above the speed limit, even on streets with posted limits of 45 mph or more.

We could see open rebellion and riots in the streets if the police started cracking down on speeders — or at least a number of recall threats and angry letters to the Times. Let alone if city officials found a way around the 85% law to lower limits to life-sparing levels.

But it has to be done.

Because until we do, Vision Zero will be nothing more than a couple of words.

………

Maybe the national obsession with scary clowns is just a tad out of control.

Consider this report from Portland, Tennessee about the arrest of pranksters posing as clowns.

State and local police urge residents to call in all unusual behaviors to the nearest law enforcement agency. The warning comes in light of several incidences in Tennessee and beyond involving people disguised as clowns who have threatened and scared people and children…

Portland (TN) police received another call Tuesday morning reporting a clown was riding a bicycle near Highways 109 and 52. The report was false and police found a person riding a bike wearing a safety vest with flashing lights to warn traffic, Heavner said.

………

Cycling scion Taylor Phinney jumps to the Boulder CO-based Cannondale-Drapac team for 2017, just two years removed from the crash that nearly ended his racing career; Cycling Tips offers a good profile of the 26-year old racer as he works to revitalize his career.

Atlas Obscura looks at the demise of America’s love affair with six-day track cycling competitions of the ‘20s and ‘30s.

……….

Local

Richard Risemberg argues the benefits of a road diet on 6th Street in the face of NIMBY opposition.

CiclaValley offers a recap of recent bike cam videos, including yesterday’s big bike lane dump in Griffith Park and a dump off his bike at the Griffith Observatory.

World Car-Free Day may be over, but Santa Monica gets into the act on October 7th.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and Bike SGV wants your input if you walk or bike in the San Gabriel Valley.

Damien Newton talks with Wesley Reutimann about the rescheduled 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

 

State

San Diego’s Measure A would raise $18 billion for transportation infrastructure, but just $540 million would be set aside for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Chula Vista applies for funds to build a four-mile bike lane and make other bike and pedestrian safety improvements on a street where 33 bicyclists were involved in collisions over a four year period.

Three Redlands cyclists are riding 250 miles to Las Vegas to raise funds for underprivileged kids.

 

National

Cities around the US are using temporary, pop-up traffic installations to see if they work before making permanent changes. Which is a smart way of avoiding the inevitable panic that stops most projects before they ever start.

Students at the University of New Mexico pitch in to buy a new bicycle for a fellow student after his was stolen.

The nation’s best bike city, as anointed by Bicycle Magazine, has suffered six bicycling fatalities this year, all involving commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, a Chicago TV station finds the city’s bike lanes are often blocked by parked vehicles, despite a city ordinance prohibiting it.

A Michigan middle school student barely avoided becoming collateral damage when he jumped off his bike just before a van involved in a collision rolled over it.

Something is seriously wrong when a Western PA bike rider faces jail for taking the lane.

Boston’s bikeshare system really doesn’t want anyone riding their bikes on a busy highway.

New Yorkers are shaming drivers who block bike lanes on a new interactive website.

A Delaware cyclist says he’s giving up riding after he was rear-ended by a car, saying local roads are too dangerous and drivers don’t care.

Nice gesture, as Atlanta considers naming a one-block section of the Peachtree Street bike lane after the co-founder of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition after he died of a brain tumor.

 

International

Treehugger says Toronto has zero vision when it comes to Vision Zero.

A London supermarket will test one hour bicycle delivery.

A British cop stepped away from his duties protecting the US ambassador to save the life of a cyclist; the rider flew through the rear window of a parked car when he crashed into it on a training ride.

Scotland is in danger of missing their goal of having one in ten journeys made by bicycle by the year 2020, as ridership declined slightly last year.

A beautiful new 2/3-mile bike and pedestrian suspension bridge will be the longest bridge in Finland when it’s finished.

Turkey opens its first bike themed and bike friendly resort hotel.

A South African cyclist faces charges after he became enraged when a driver honked at him, attacking both her and a second rider who came to her defense, then throwing a cup of hot coffee at her husband when they spotted him at a bistro. Seriously, no matter what a driver does, violence is never the answer. Nor is losing control of yourself.

An Aussie cyclist takes silver in finishing her seventh triathlon, just three years after receiving a heart and double lung transplant.

A Chinese cyclist rode from China to Portugal, covering just under 1,000 miles in 87 days.

 

Finally…

When you’re on parole and carrying stolen credit cards and prescription drugs, it’s probably a good idea to obey local bike laws. If you’re carrying coke on your bike and have outstanding warrants, put a light on it — and don’t pass yourself off as your warrantless brother.

And the underwater mountain bike season is officially over.

 

Morning Links: Saving lives through sound — as in audible — design, and random bike attacks around the world

Achieving LA’s Vision Zero goals will take some out of the box thinking.

And LADOT’s recent hiring of a sound artist-in-residence certainly fits that description.

According to Gizmodo,

In his role as LADOT’s artist-in-residence, Alan Nakagawa will specifically focus on LA’s Vision Zero plan, an international movement to reduce traffic deaths to zero. An avid cyclist, Nakagawa has long been immersed in transportation culture as a studio artist who has worked with the public art department in LA’s transit agency, Metro, for over 25 years. His goal is to focus on the neighborhoods affected most by traffic deaths, and use a very targeted approach for every neighborhood that takes cultural nuances into consideration.

Whether it will result in fewer deaths on our streets is debatable.

But at least the department is thinking about something besides Level of Service and how to move more cars faster through our streets.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Today’s common theme is road raging drivers and apparently random attacks on bike riders around the world.

A Washington driver is under arrest for using her car to herd a cyclist back onto the roadway as he tried to get away from her, then intentionally rear-ending his bike. Naturally, when arrested, she was only concerned about the damage to her car.

A Denver cyclist believes the hit-and-run SUV driver who ran him down from behind did it on purpose.

An Indianapolis bicyclist has no idea why a driver shot him in the chest after stopping to ask him a couple questions; police wonder if it’s related to the shooting of another cyclist the same morning.

A German cyclist was gunned down in an apparently random attack; a passing motorist was shot at as well.

And it goes both ways, as London Critical Mass riders are caught on video attacking a van driver who bumped a cyclist after being blocked in at a red light.

………

Tour of California champ Megan Guarnier wins Sunday’s Philadelphia International Cycling Classic to increase her lead in the Women’s WorldTour; Eduard Prades takes the men’s title.

………

Local

Streetsblog discusses Santa Monica’s first open streets event, where a good time was reportedly had by all.

A former writer for the LA Times has died of cancer; not only did David Lamb cover the Vietnam and Persian Gulf Wars — including naming the infamous Hamburger Hill — he also wrote a book about his tobacco-fueled midlife bike tour across the US.

Cycling in the South Bay remembers another popular local cyclist who lost his life to cancer over the weekend. I fucking hate cancer; I’ve lost too many good people to that damn disease.

KTLA-5 did a ride-along to promote the LACBC’s River Ride on Monday, while CiclaValley offers tips for this Sunday’s ride. Tip #1: You can still get a discount if you register online.

West Hollywood will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Fairfax Ave bike lanes this Thursday.

 

State

A Miami cyclist discusses how a ride down the California coast in last year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride changed his life; this year’s edition is taking place this week.

Camarillo is joining the list of cities cracking down on traffic violations that endanger cyclists and pedestrians this month. So watch how you ride in the city, because they’ll be watching you.

Santa Barbara could get its first bike boulevard on the city’s westside, but not on the preferred street if one woman has her way. After all, who would want better safety and livability, as well as increased property values?

A fast-growing Sacramento maker of space-efficient bike racks has changed its name to better reflect what they do. Or maybe they just want to sound more like a private military security contractor.

 

National

Wired digs deep into physics to determine if $3,400 Zipp wheels are worth the money. And concludes it’s complicated.

A new bike OS allows your lights, gearing, bike computers and other electronic gear to work together and share a single control mechanism and battery. And presumably, control your hidden motor-doping engine, as well.

A Portland city council candidate proposes adding adaptive bicycles for people with disabilities to the city’s coming bikeshare system. Meanwhile, Portland’s largest bike advocacy group expands its focus to include transit and pedestrian issues, while forming a 501(c)4 wing to allow it to recruit and endorse political candidates.

Bikeshare company Zagster’s success leads to a bigger Boston headquarters.

Caught on video: A creative DC bike thief climbs on the back of his SUV to wrestle a locked bike off a sign post.

Atlanta invests a whopping $1 billion in bike and pedestrian projects over the next 25 years.

 

International

Winnipeg becomes the latest Canadian city to consider a mandatory bike helmet law.

Paris fights the city’s notorious pollution by banning cars built before 1997, while Norway considers banning gas-powered cars by 2025. Although the electric ones hurt just as much when they hit you. Or so I’m told.

A new truck cab design from Mercedes-Benz lowers the driver’s position and provides see-through doors to greatly reduce blind spots and improve visibility of people riding bikes and on foot.

 

Finally…

The next time you find yourself along side a Porsche at a red light, challenge ‘em to a race. If you want to change your life for the better, steal a former Congressman’s bike.

And if you’re going to throw your bike, at least do it with a little panache.

Morning Links: LA chosen Vision Zero Focus City, another Glendale cyclist threatened, and a special bike offer

Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten Focus Cities to lead the effort to eliminate traffic fatalities.

According to the Vision Zero Network,

Cities across the nation face similar challenges in ensuring safe mobility for all. The new Vision Zero Focus Cities program creates a collaborative network of early-adopter Vision Zero cities to build a common vision, and to develop and share winning strategies toward eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

Recognizing the importance of a stepped-up, multi-departmental, collaborative approach to advance Vision Zero, participants in the Focus Cities program will include representatives of each city’s Mayor’s Office, Transportation Department, Police Department, and Public Health Department. In addition, a concurrent track for collaboration will bring together Vision Zero community advocates from each of the Focus Cities.

Let’s hope this means a real commitment to Vision Zero here in Los Angeles, rather than allowing councilmembers to put riders at risk by arbitrarily carving streets out of the Mobility plan.

If Vision Zero is to work, it has to be the policy for all of LA, in every neighborhood and on every street.

Period.

………

Just days after video surfaced showing cyclists assaulted by a driver on a Glendale street, a Glendale teenager was cited for apparently threatening a bicyclist with a 10-inch knife from a passing van, after his mother had followed the rider honking her horn at him.

Why that didn’t merit the arrest of both the boy and his mother is beyond me.

Glendale police clearly need to do something to tame their streets before someone gets hurt. Or worse.

Meanwhile, LAist says the video shows that neither of the two Glendale cyclists who were assaulted by that brake-checking driver were remotely close to hitting the car. And they urge everyone to drive safely.

………

Maybe you’ve noticed.

The past few months, my curiosity has been piqued by a new bicycle from Fortified Bicycle, which promises to be virtually theft proof and indestructible, and built to survive the rough roads of an urban environment.

I’ve even linked to their Kickstarter a few times, both here and on my Twitter account.

Evidently, they noticed, because they contacted me yesterday with a special offer for the readers of BikinginLA.

I’ll let them explain.

Fortified 1THE ULTIMATE URBAN BIKE

Invincible is a sleek, bulletproof urban bike that is literally guaranteed against theft. Plus, Fortified Bicycle (the creators behind this project) have offered a special deal.

What makes Invincible a truly compelling urban bike? For one, every single component was selected for standing up to a rough urban environment. Parts that are commonly vulnerable to theft—lights, wheels, seat, handlebars—are secured with bolts that feature a proprietary drive geometry that opportunistic bike thieves will not be able to operate. But the biggest innovation here is their new cycle registration and theft protection service, Fortified Protect. Not only will Fortified send you a new bike if yours is stolen, they’ll also try and hunt down your stolen bike on third party seller marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. That’s just cray.

The folks from Fortified are cutting Everyday Messenger backers a special deal. If you pre-order Invincible on their current Kickstarter project, they’ll add a free Invincible Rear Bike Rack ($45 value) to your rewards.

How to redeem this offer:

  1. Back Invincible on Kickstarter. Choose a reward level of at least $399 or more.
  2. Send a direct message on Kickstarter to Fortified Bicycle (the Invincible creators). Include the code “BIKINGINLALOVE” in that message. They’ll take care of things from there.

Fortified 2

Sounds like a good offer to me. But hurry if you’re interested, because there’s just six days to go before their Kickstarter ends.

And no, just to be clear, I don’t have any relationship with the makers of this bike, financial or otherwise.

………

Women, here’s your chance to try out for a pro cycling team. Without ever having to get on a bike.

……..

Local

The LA Times says the plan to relieve traffic congestion in Griffith Park is a good idea, but doesn’t go far enough; the paper calls for improved transit and protected bike lanes leading to the park.

KCET talks with Flying Pigeon owner, Bike Oven founder and all-around good guy Josef Bray-Ali.

Dallas Mavericks teammates JaVale McGee and J.A. Barea are one, make that two of us, as they take a tandem ride along the beachfront bike path near the Santa Monica pier.

LA’s own Phil Gaimon says barring small Pro Continental cycling teams from WorldTour races might reduce injuries, but it would unfairly limit opportunities for riders.

 

State

Police have a person of interest in custody, but not yet charged, in the murder of bike rider Sidney Siemensma on an Irvine bike path earlier this month; they say this was not a random attack.

Newport Beach says not so fast about that legal settlement we mentioned yesterday requiring them to work towards fixing a deadly intersection on PCH.

A senior planner for Alta Planning + Design describes their efforts in orchestrating a pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign. Clearly, they still have some work to do.

Local bike shop owners and their supporters will ride to protest San Diego’s DecoBike bikeshare program, arguing that it’s hurting their bottom line.

Apparently, bicyclists are being banned from a Santa Rosa pathway because of a typo; Portland bike riders have a similar problem, but for a different reason.

St. Helena proposes removing on-street parking in favor of a bike lane, while the owner of a local retirement community says that’s a bad idea, preferring parked cars to moving bikes.

Platinum-level bike friendly city Davis is aiming to be the first American city to reach Diamond status. After that, the next level would be Unobtainium.

Evidently, if you want to steal a bike, feel free to do it in front of UC Davis students, but don’t try to make your getaway in front of the sheriff.

 

National

Fifty percent of teens admit crossing a street while distracted. And the other half probably lied about it.

A Portland workshop is helping women overcome their fear of bicycling by teaching them how to fall. Which follows this sage advice from a few decades back.

A 77-year old Dallas truck driver is charged with driving under the influence after hitting a nine-year old child riding his bike around a mobile home park; fortunately, the boy is now in stable condition.

A bike riding Missouri bank robber gets nearly five years after stealing $14,000 to support his heroin addiction. He was caught trying to walk away after ditching the bike; if he’d kept riding, he might still be a free man, albeit with a monkey on his back.

A bill in the Tennessee legislature to encourage teaching students the right way to wear a bike helmet somehow became a bill to ban school districts from collecting teachers dues; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

A fascinating set of graphs paint a picture of usage for New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system. Including the deeper the snow depth, the less bikes are rented.

Speaking of which, a New York bike messenger discusses what he learned riding during the recent blizzard.

Once again authorities choose safety for motorists over safety for cyclists on a popular riding route by installing rumble strips, this time in Florida.

 

International

A Montreal memorial uses white shoes as the equivalent of a ghost bike for a fallen pedestrian.

Mother Jones says the jury is still out on that British study saying wearing a bike helmet makes you take more chances.

Scot authorities vow to get tough on illegal dumping, aka fly tipping, after a dog is maimed by a rusting bike left along a busy pathway. The more I do this, the more I learn English, as in the in the county, as opposed to what passes for it here.

Self-governing British dependency Isle of Man proposes legislation protecting cyclists, including a safe passing law and some form of presumed liability.

A Scottish newspaper looks at the man they credit with inventing the bicycle. Actually, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Spanish cyclist Alberto Gallego gets suspended for steroid use, just three days after joining his new team.

A Kiwi mountain biker plans to compete in a seven day, 310 mile race, a year after a reaction to a bee sting left him legally blind.

 

Finally…

Yes, the correct place to put a sign promoting a meeting to discuss cycle tracks is directly in the bike lane. Probably not the best idea to get loaded and throw a kid’s bike through the rear window of a cop car. Although yelling “boom” is a nice touch.

And most of us would have a hard enough time keeping our bike upright while working a Rubic’s cube, let alone solving 111 of them in two hours.

 

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