Archive for Law Enforcement

Morning Links: BOLO alert for bicycling Hollywood robber, and celebrate the coming of bikeshare to DTLA on 7/7

The LAPD asks us to be on the lookout for a bike-riding robber victimizing Hollywood parking lot attendants.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

Hollywood: The Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood Area robbery detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information that will lead to the identification and arrest of an armed suspect that was involved in a series of parking lot robberies.

From June 11, 2016 through June 25, 2016, between the hours of 11:35 A.M. to 10:50 P.M., there have been multiple robberies in the Hollywood area involving parking lot attendants.

The suspect armed with a handgun confronted the victims and demanded money from each of them. The suspect then fled with the victims’ money on a mountain bike. The mountain bike is described red and/or black in color.

The suspect is described as a 40 to 60 year old male Black. He stands approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs between 130-150 pounds. He was seen wearing a ‘Flat Bill’ style baseball hat during the robberies. The suspect is to be considered armed and dangerous.

Hollywood Bicyclist Robber Sought

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Bikeshare officially comes to Downtown LA on July 7th.

For people who sign up in advance, anyway; walk-up users will have to wait until August to take advantage of the system.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, Metro is teaming up with the LACBC and Multicultural Communities for Mobility on a $100,000 program to make bikeshare services available to low-income riders, making it one of the first systems anywhere accessible to people with limited incomes and no credit cards.

Meanwhile, you’re invited to join Metro for a grand opening celebration and ride-off at Grand Park on the 7th. You can learn more and RSVP here.

Metro-Bike-Share-Launch-Celebration-1

But how long before we see our very own NIMBY bikeshare bikelash?

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Today’s common theme is bike helmets.

Consumer Reports rates bike helmets for adults, including some with the relatively new MIPS technology to help reduce the risk of concussions.

A New York public health professor credits a bike helmet with saving his son’s life, and extrapolates that to mean every bike rider, everywhere, should be required to wear one — even on bikeshare systems, which have yet to experience a single fatality in the US. Of course, by that logic, everyone should wear a bulletproof vest, too.

And a Canadian coroner concludes that a helmet could have saved a cyclist’s life, even though the victim was hit by a car with enough force to throw him over 50 feet through the air. He fails to mention that stopping for the stop sign the rider ran would have done a lot more good.*

*Just a reminder for new readers: I’m a firm believer in bike helmets, and never ride without one. But I also recognize that they are designed to protect against slow speed falls, not high speed collisions, and should be seen a last resort when everything else fails.

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A bike helmet probably wouldn’t have done a US Forrest Service officer any good, as the 38-year old mountain biker was attacked and killed by a grizzly bear; the victim and his riding companion surprised the bear while riding just outside Glacier National Park.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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The Fresno Bee looks at the contenders for this year’s Tour de France, which starts Saturday at Mont-Saint-Michel; the AP says Chris Froome may be on the cusp of greatness. Tejay van Garderen heads the diminished American contingent, as Taylor Phinney and Andrew Talansky skip the race, while Tyler Farrar and Ben King were left off their team rosters.

The Tour de France isn’t the only major race kicking off this weekend, as the last remaining Grand Tour in women’s racing, the Giro Rosa, starts on Friday.

Canadian pro Mike Woods talks about the journey that brought him to the threshold of the Tour de France and the Rio Olympics, starting when he had to give up his running career due to injuries and took up cycling just four years ago.

LA resident, Olympic medalist and seven-time national champ Dotsie Bausch credits bicycling with saving her life as she recovered from an eating disorder.

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Local

A nitrogen-based draft coffee bike is raising funds on Indiegogo with plans to hit the streets of LA this summer; donate three grand and get your own nitro coffee bike, uh, trike.

Angelyne may drive a pink Corvette, but her assistant is one of us.

The ICanBike program teaches handicapped individuals how to ride a bike in Pomona.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson reveals that underneath his curmudgeonly façade, he’s a begrudging optimist when it comes to making Palos Verdes Estates a better, safer, more enjoyable place to ride a bike.

Obey the letter of the law if you ride through Hawthorne today, as they become the latest SoCal city to target violations that put bicyclists and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them.

Long Beach cyclists are asked to try out temporary bike lanes in Bixby Knolls on Friday.

 

State

Shrink it, pink it and charge more for it. The so-called “pink tax” survives a challenge in the state legislature, allowing companies to continue overcharging charging women more for bicycles and other items that are virtually identical to less-expensive men’s models.

Legendary bike maker Masi will host screenings of Breaking Away in Carlsbad this weekend to celebrate its 90th anniversary.

An Arroyo Grande woman with a long history of drug and alcohol convictions gets 15 to life for killing a bike rider while under the influence; she had alcohol, meth and THC in her system, and was wearing an ankle monitor for a previous conviction at the time of the hit-and-run crash.

A San Francisco cyclist questions the safety of a buffered bike lane that resulted from a road diet on Golden Gate Avenue, as people continue to drive in it anyway. Such as the motorcyclist who punched him when told he didn’t belong in a bike lane.

San Francisco cyclists ride to remember the two women bicyclists killed in separate hit-and-runs last week; a witness to one of the wrecks writes a heartbreaking remembrance.

A columnist for the SF Chronicle calls for automated speed cameras, which are currently barred under California law, to improve safety on the streets.

 

National

Three women leave their husbands behind and tour Alaska’s Denali National Park by bicycle.

A Boulder CO drunk driver faces charges after fleeing from a fatal cycling collision; despite a witness’ assertion that she was laughing hysterically following the collision, she was actually hysterically freaking out. Or so her lawyer says, anyway.

Instead of bikeshare, Golden CO opens a bike library offering two styles of American-made Jamis bikes in various sizes for adults and children.

A Michigan driver tries riding a bike to get a better perspective on what cyclists experience, and gain some insight into how to avoid more tragedies.

A bighearted Louisiana sheriff’s deputy replaces a pair of stolen bicycles that were taken from two little kids in the same family.

 

International

A determined Toronto area mom rode her bicycle through two barriers of police tape to get to her daughter following a house explosion that killed one person.

A cranky Ottawa, Canada writer pens the bicycling equivalent of “get off my lawn,” while somehow concluding that cyclists are responsible for avoiding collisions, even when drivers are at fault.

A Canadian writer offers drivers advice on how to pass a bike without killing anyone or being a dick.

A man in the UK put in the winning bid on a bicycle listed on eBay. Then gave the seller’s address to the police, since it was his stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Russian cyclist looks away for a few seconds, and looks up just in time to plow into a pedestrian.

Police in Chennai, India are going back to bicycle patrols, which allows them to sneak up on miscreants at night.

Tragic news, as a South African cycling champ who finished fourth in the 1956 Olympics was tied up and shot in a home invasion robbery.

 

Finally…

Before you celebrate your victory, make sure the race is actually over. If you think roads are crappy now, wait until they pave them with pig shit.

And it is possible to ride a $180 Walmart Huffy down a double black diamond mountain bike trail. But barely.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

 

Morning Links: Alhambra police stop bike rider and search his belongings, for the $5 crime of riding in a crosswalk

It’s like playing Whack-A-Mole.

Once we deal with cops misapplying the law in one area, it pops up in another.

Longtime bike advocate Stephen Box, now Director of Government & Community Affairs for the Transit Coalition, witnessed Alhambra police stopping a bike rider on Saturday in what he calls “overkill for an infraction… that carries a maximum penalty of $5.”

This is how Box describes what he saw.

I watched the entire process, from Officer Alvarez chirping the cyclist and pulling him over to Officer Vega joining the stop to the officers searching the cyclist and his backpack and his bike. When it was over, the cyclist left and I asked the Officers what happened and found the explanation implausible. A westbound motorist (Officer Alvarez) in a stopped car can’t almost hit a northbound cyclist riding in the crosswalk.

Box stopped to talk with the two officers, then called their watch commander. But rather than getting a clear explanation of the officers’ actions, he discovered none of the three seemed to be clear on the Alhambra Municipal Code that laid the basis for the officer’s actions. So he looked it up himself.

Apparently it’s illegal to ride a bike on the sidewalks of Alhambra. (Alhambra Municipal Code 10.04.020) I looked it up and I have three comments:

  1. I’m not a fan of sidewalk cycling, I think it’s dangerous for the cyclist but I understand it
  2. I’m not a fan of local traffic laws that aren’t posted. In this case the public can hardly be expected to know of un-posted restrictions when law enforcement is also unclear on the specifics of the code
  3. If Alvarez pulled the cyclist over for riding in the crosswalk, wouldn’t the appropriate action have been information on safe cycling instead of the three-way search?

His research also led to a couple of discrepancies in the city’s municipal code.

While researching Alhambra’s unposted sidewalk cycling ban, I found two instances where the City of Alhambra appears to be in violation of the State of California’s Uniformity Code which states “no local authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance on the matters covered by this code unless expressly authorized herein.”

  1. Alhambra’s Bike Licensing Law (10.04.040)is a violation of CVC 21. The City of Alhambra does not have the authority to require bike licenses from non-resident cyclists.
  2. Alhambra’s “Five feet from the Curb” law (10.04.030)is a violation of CVC 21. The City of Alhambra does not have the authority to establish a specific distance from the right-side curb for cyclists. Further, the courts have held (Mauchle v. Panama-Pacific Int’l Expo. Co., 37 Cal. App. 715, 719 (1918)) that “The provisions of the law are elastic. They do not attempt to lay down a definite and rigid rule as to the distance which the slowly moving vehicle must keep from the curb.”

As you may have noticed, Stephen Box know his way around state and local traffic laws and enforcement, particularly as it pertains to bicycling.

He co-founded a number of bike advocacy groups, including the now-dormant Bikeside LA, the city’s first — and so far, only — bicycling nonprofit group registered with the IRS as 501(c)(4) to engage in political activity.

He also led the 2009 march on the LA city council that marked the unofficial start of the modern bike advocacy movement in Los Angeles. Setting in motion the events that would eventually lead to adoption of the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights (informally, and sadly forgotten), the Cyclists’ Anti-Harassment Ordinance, and the 2010 LA Bike Plan that’s now under attack in city hall as part of the Mobility Plan 2035.

And he was one of the original founders of the LAPD’s bike liaison program, helping to develop the department’s bicycle training module that was required viewing for every street-level officer.

Box followed-up his repeated, and apparently unsuccessful, phone conversations with the watch commander with an email to the Chief of Police for the Alhambra Police Department, asking for a review of the events he witnessed and the municipal code discrepancies he uncovered.

So, here is the formal request conclusion to this email:

  1. I request a review of the Fremont/Mission traffic stop of a male cyclist that took place on Sunday, June 18, 2016 at approximately 5pm by Officer Alvarez who was then backed up by Officer Vega. Specifically, was the search warranted (reading paperwork in the cyclist’s backpack can hardly be construed as a search for weapons due to safety concerns) for a minor traffic infraction or did it exceed the standard?
  2. I request a review of the Watch Commander’s instructions that I come to the station to file a complaint and that I come to the station to request a record (the field incident report taken by the officers at the traffic stop).
  3. I request a review of the two Alhambra City Municipal Codes (10.04.040 and 10.04.030) that are a direct violation of the State of California’s Uniformity Code.

There is little question from what he describes that the officers’ search exceeded what is legally allowed under the circumstances; the courts have repeatedly ruled that a simple traffic stop does not provide probable cause for an invasive search, whether you’re in a car, on foot or on a bike.

Even if they were legitimately searching the backpack for weapons, let’s not forget that the officers had the rider under their control, and presumably unable to access that backpack, whether for a weapon or anything else. If he could, they need some serious retraining.

And let’s not forget that you have the legal right to refuse an officer’s request to search your belongings.

Box concluded by thanking the chief for all he does to make the streets of Alhambra safe for everyone, “including motorists and pedestrians and transit passengers and cyclists.”

Which is a sentiment I share, having worked with police departments on various bicycling issues over the years, I truly appreciate the job they do to keep us all safe on the streets and in our homes.

But sometimes, as we’ve seen, they get it wrong.

And sometimes, local governments overstep their bounds.

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On the other hand, the Alhambra police deserve a round of thanks for recovering an apparently stolen or misplaced silver Condor bicycle. If it looks familiar, contact the department at 626/308-4875.

And either way, let that be a reminder to always register your bike, whether here through Bike Index, or with some other organization.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Twenty-two-year old Columbian Miguel Angel Lopez won the nine-day Tour of Switzerland; American’s Tejay van Garderen and Andrew Talansky finished fifth and eighth, respectively.

World champ Lizzie Armistead finished second in the final stage to win the women’s Aviva Tour.

British cyclist Simon Yates gets a four month ban for doping, but swears it was just an honest mistake.

British cycling great Chris Hoy trades two wheels for four, finishing 17th in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Local

Richard Risemberg offers advice on how to ride in today’s 100-plus degree weather.

Former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips is one of us. Or at least he was, since his bike just got stolen from a Burbank recording studio.

Santa Monica’s long, dark California Incline hell may soon be over. And with bike lanes.

 

State

A bike-commuting Tustin math teacher has a shot at making the US mountain biking team for the Rio Olympics.

Over 300 people rode to the new Pedego headquarters in Fountain Valley in an attempt to set a world record for the longest ebike parade.

Two dozen San Diego bicyclists ride to Tijuana to preserve a downtown mural.

The only form of human scum lower than the person who stole a disabled 10-year old San Diego girl’s handcycle is the jerk who took her wheelchair. And probably the same person.

A 64-year old Pt. Loma bicyclist was seriously injured when he was left-crossed by the driver of an SUV.

The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the monthly East Bay Bike Party.

Nice move from the East Bay park police, as they donate nearly three dozen unclaimed bicycles to an Oakland nonprofit to replace several dozen that were stolen.

A seven-year old Shasta Lake boy is a double bike-theft victim, as someone stole the bike he was given to replace his stolen bike.

 

National

Bike Radar says e-MTBs could ruin it for the rest of us.

A Portland writer says the rapid spread of bikeshare systems allow travelers to see more of a city at a lower cost.

Maybe it moved while we weren’t looking. Shinola’s bikes and watches may be Built in Detroit, but apparently are not made in America.

Thanks to a local Kiwanis club, an Ohio boy is able to ride a bike for the first time since he was severely injured in a car crash.

A Philadelphia cop completes a 3,000-mile journey from Venice to Atlantic City to raise funds after a fellow officer was shot and killed; so far, he’s brought in over three times his original $5,000 goal.

 

International

A Winnipeg thief hacked a cyclist with a hatchet to steal his bicycle; the thief was arrested with the bike 20 minutes later.

A UK court tells a bicyclist he should have a “completely clear conscience” after a fatal collision with an elderly pedestrian; the rider tried to hug her as they both fell to the pavement in an unsuccessful attempt to protect her from injury.

Former Boomtown Rats singer and sidewalk cyclist Bob Geldof doesn’t have anything good to say about London’s popular bicycle superhighways.

Grief is worldwide, as a Belfast bike club rides in honor of ‪Kalamazoo.

A Danish moped rider learned the hard way not to snatch a purse from a 75-year old woman on a bike, who chased him down – and into a car — to get it back.

Caught on video: A Malta cyclist was flipped off and nearly run into a rock wall for the crime of riding a bike on a narrow street.

A woman is suing an Aussie state after colliding with a cyclist after she unexpectedly found herself riding in the middle of a bike race.

 

Finally…

Every few years, someone invents a bike you pedal with your hands as well as your feet; why should this year be any different? It’s okay to bite your tongue when someone nearly doors you.

And bicyclists find a lot of things while riding their bikes. Fortunately, a badly decomposed body is hardly ever one of them.

 

Guest Post: Law Enforcement Needs to Understand Traffic Laws

Despite years of effort, we still have a long way to go in educating police officers on the rights of bicyclists. 

It seemed like we had solved the problem, in Los Angeles at least, five years ago when the LAPD worked with bike riders and the City Attorney to clarify the laws governing bicycling, and create a bicycle training module that all street level officers were required to complete.

Yet bicyclists still encounter officers who seem to have missed, or forgotten, that training. And as architect and bike commuter Michael MacDonald learned the hard way, we still haven’t made any progress with the Sheriff’s Department. 

lasd_interaction

By Michael MacDonald

I’m frequently the recipient of harassment, insults, and aggression from drivers who don’t understand that riding on the street is perfectly legal. Commuting by bike around Los Angeles — with little-to-no bike infrastructure within a 5-mile radius of my house, I’ve come to expect the regular rage-fueled driver. And yet as frustrating as this aggression is from the motoring public, it is even more demoralizing to receive similar harassment from law enforcement personnel. Too many officers in Los Angeles aren’t familiar with the fact that a person on a bike is perfectly within their rights to control a travel lane on almost all Los Angeles streets, and that cyclists take the lane for safety.

Before I started riding a bike in Los Angeles, I had thankfully had very few interactions with law enforcement. But then in 2013, I was detained in the back of a Sheriff’s Department squad car because 2 deputies thought that a person riding a bike on the street in Rosemead didn’t look right.

Over the last 2 weeks, motorcycle officers have twice stopped me – for riding in the street, legally.

The first incident was on returning from the wonderful CicLAvia Southeast Cities on May, 15 2016. On my way home by bike, still on a high note from the event, I took Central Avenue. Despite its lack of bike lanes, Central is a critical North/South connector within South L.A. Proposed bike lanes on Central are included in the City’s Mobility Plan 2035, have widespread community support, and are needed to address Central’s horrific safety record. But frustratingly, Councilmember Curren Price has blocked the bike lanes from being installed and is working with Councilmember Paul Koretz to try to get them removed from the Plan, so they won’t even be considered in the future.

While I was waiting at a red light in the rightmost travel lane on Central at 27th Street, an LAPD motorcycle officer approached at a rapid pace and stopped inches from me. He proceeded to aggressively explain, “This isn’t your lane – you can’t ride in the middle.” I have been riding long enough to have nearly memorized California Vehicle Code, not just CVC 21202(a)(3), but 21656, 21760, and 22400 too. I knew he was wrong. And yet his tone and demeanor made it clear this wasn’t a conversation. This was a stern demand with the threat of a ticket seconds away.

As he pulled off, I wasn’t even clear on how he expected me to ride since the lanes on Central are so narrow. I stopped and took some time to compose myself after this demoralizing experience of state-sponsored harassment. Then, I continued to ride in the middle of the lane: where it’s safest when bike lanes aren’t provided, and where California’s Vehicle Code says I have the right to ride.

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10 days later, I was again confronted with a similar situation – but this time I had my helmet camera rolling. During the Tuesday evening rush hour on May 24th, a Sheriff’s deputy pulled up alongside me as I rode in the Wilshire Blvd bus/bike lane through Koreatown (Wilshire & Kingsley). Just as before, the deputy clearly wasn’t familiar with relevant California traffic laws, but still felt the need to tell me what I was doing would not be permitted and that I would receive a ticket if I continued on.

First, as an aside, I will say that these Wilshire bus/bike lanes are so frequently filled with dangerous scofflaw drivers that it’s a tiny bit refreshing to see them actually being patrolled, and I commend Metro/the Sheriff’s Department for efforts to try to speed up the 20 & 720 buses on this route. But this deputy seems to be completely unaware that these lanes are also for the use of people on bikes, just as the lane’s signage says.

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

Photo of Los Angeles’ peak hour bus/bike lane signage, credit: Marc Caswell

He started by claiming that cyclists are not permitted to use the bus/bike lane whatsoever. After I pointed out the sign ahead saying, ‘Bikes OK,’ he said that cyclists must ride the curb edge, which is dangerous and without legal basis. Finally, he claimed that cyclists are required to get out of the way of buses. Of course, how people on bikes are supposed to accomplish this feat within this tightly sized lane with no turnouts is a mystery to me.

Just to state the obvious: this deputy is wrong on all counts. First, LADOT has designated these lanes for the use of bicycles and accordingly posted signs stating “Bikes OK.” Second, there is no requirement to ride along the curb as CVC 21202(a)(3) applies, since the lane is too narrow to for a bicycle to be safely be ridden side-by-side with a vehicle, let alone a bus. Metro’s own “Bike Guide” even instructs people on bikes to ride at the center of the lane when proceeding straight. Third, there is no requirement for bikes or slower vehicles to turn-out on a multi-lane roadway. CVC 21656, the law requiring vehicles to turn out, only applies on 2-lane highways – and even then, it only is triggered when there is a queue of 5 vehicles behind.

This isn’t the first time someone has been pulled over by LASD in a bus/bike lane in Los Angeles. In 2014, my friend, Marc Caswell, was wrongly ticketed by a Sheriff’s deputy for legally riding in a bus/bike lane on Sunset Blvd. In the end, the deputy failed to appear at the hearing, so the ticket was dismissed.

But it isn’t just being pulled over. Twice last year, I was aggressively instructed by Sheriff’s deputies to ride up onto the sidewalk to let a bus pass while in the Sunset Boulevard bus/bike lane. And when I called to report Tuesday’s incident on Wilshire, the LASD Watch Commander also appeared to be completely unfamiliar that bikes might be permitted to ride in bus/bike lanes or centered within a lane.

If I have been the recipient of these types of incidents three times in the last year, how many other Angelenos have received the same dangerous misinformation, been ticketed incorrectly, or had an unwarranted traffic stop trigger other policing problems? If we are to look to officers to enforce traffic laws, it seems only reasonable to expect that they would understand the law. And, certainly, we should not accept these officers instructing people to endanger themselves by riding in an unsafe way just to speed up motor vehicle traffic.

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It’s obvious to me at this point that LADOT, Metro & the Sheriff’s Department need to sit down and get on the same page about bus/bike lanes and the Vehicle Code. There is a simple fix: Sheriff’s Department deputies, who are acting on Metro’s behalf, need to understand the laws they are sworn to enforce. Since these patrols are funded by Metro, the Agency has the responsibility to ensure that these deputies are performing enforcement in compliance with Metro policies.

The bigger picture is that all L.A. law enforcement needs to step up their game on bikes. I am not suggesting special treatment, just that officers take some time to better understand the laws they enforce. Different departments have made some commendable strides, recognizing that cyclists belong on the street and don’t deserve extra scrutiny beyond that which is applied to motorists. But we are well past the point where any law enforcement officer patrolling L.A. streets has an excuse to not be familiar with the fact that people are allowed to ride bikes in the street and legally afforded options to maintain their own safety.

The City, County, and State all have ambitious goals to increase bicycle commuting to increase public health and reduce greenhouse emissions. To paraphrase a friend of mine: People are not going to be attracted to cycling as long as you need to be a traffic law expert – capable of citing Vehicle Code chapter, line, and verse – just to ride on L.A. streets.

We need law enforcement to get on board. And fast.

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South Los Angeles-based architect Michael MacDonald is a frequent bike commuter and a steering committee member of local advocacy group, Bike The Vote L.A. His architectural practice, Studio MMD, provided design for Street Beats, one of 8 project teams awarded by the Mayor’s Great Streets LA challenge grant program to re-envision Los Angeles streets.

Morning Links: Blatant anti-bike bias from a director of the LAPD police union; LAX cyclist gets jet washed

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive following the weekend.

So we need four more people to sign up today or renew your membership to just to make it 23 new members by the 23rd, let alone meet our seemingly out-of-reach goal of 100 by the end of this month.

You only have to read the item below to realize how desperately the LACBC, and your fellow bike riders, need your support

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If you ever wonder if cops are biased against bike riders, consider this from the director of the union representing LAPD officers.

Finally, if you ride a bike, you’re supposed to share the road, not own it. The bicycle lobby is small but loud. They have purposefully impeded our ability to enforce safe speed laws by blocking the City’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys. Without current and valid engineering and traffic surveys, speed-measuring devices cannot be utilized. Speed is the No. 1 cause of traffic collisions.

The bicycle lobby is doing this to force the City to add more bike lanes and to convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes. Putting aside the absolute traffic nightmare this would cause, their actions are making it more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. Our elected officials have allowed this special interest group to prevent the enforcement of safe speeds in our neighborhoods. Common sense must prevail here.

That comes from Officer Mark Cronin, a director of the LA Police Protective League, in a post on the union’s website.

Most of what he says elsewhere in the piece actually makes sense, as he explains that improving safety on our streets calls for greater stability in the leadership of the department’s traffic divisions, allowing traffic enforcement officers to crack down on unsafe drivers, and increasing the number of trained collision investigators in the department.

It’s just the part about bicycling that doesn’t make any sense.

Like his comments about bicyclists blocking the city’s ability to update its engineering and traffic surveys.

As near as I can figure out, he appears to be referring to the speed surveys of city streets required every seven years under the state’s 85 percentile rule, which mandates that speed limits be adjusted to the rate travelled by the average of 85% of traffic on a given street.

In other words, if 85% of drivers drive 50 mph in a 30 mph zone, the speed limit has to be adjusted to the higher level (although a recent change in the law allows cities to round down by 5 mph).

In effect, that puts speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits. Which is like putting burglars and safe crackers in charge of bank security.

Failing to do that means the police lose the right to use speed guns to enforce the law on that particular street, giving lead-footed motorists a free hand to travel virtually unimpeded at any speed they like, pushing average speeds up even higher and repeating the cycle.

So the boogeyman bicycle lobby has nothing to gain by stopping enforcement; the higher speeds go, the greater the risk to everyone on the roadway. Especially cyclists.

And to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have the ability to stop those surveys even if we wanted to, since they are required by state law.

On the other hand, I have, along with other bike riders, argued against raising speed limits on some streets as a result of those speed surveys. Just as countless pedestrians, homeowners, business owners, traffic safety advocates and neighborhood councils have.

And usually failed.

Yet no one seems to criticize the pedestrian, homeowner, business or safety lobbies.

Why he would single out the people on two wheels is confounding. Especially when we are natural allies in repealing the 85% rule, which is a dangerous and deadly relic of California’s recent auto-centric past.

In fact, it was a group of bicycle advocates who fought with then state legislator Paul Krekorian, now an LA city councilmember, in a failed attempt to repeal the law a few years ago in order to return speed limits to sensible levels and allow the police to effectively enforce them everywhere.

Yet somehow, in Cronin’s mind, we are doing this dastardly deed in order to force the city to put in bike lanes and convert traffic lanes into shared bike/car lanes.

Never mind that almost no one likes sharrows. And that under state law, bicyclists already have the right to use the full lane on any right-hand traffic lane that is too narrow to be safely shared by a car and bicycle traveling side-by-side — which is the case on almost all of the streets in Los Angeles, according to the LAPD.

Which he would know if he completed the LAPD’s bike training module, which every street-level officer was required to do in 2011.

As for those bike lanes, they aren’t being added due to “fringe politics.”

They are included in the city’s Mobility Plan precisely for the reasons he advocates for in the rest of this piece: to improve traffic safety and save lives.

Bike lanes are a traffic calming measure that has been repeatedly shown to slow speeding traffic and improve safety for all road users, not just bike riders. And in many cases, actually improves traffic flow, rather than causing the nightmare scenario he fears.

And they are absolutely necessary if the city is to ever reduce, let alone eliminate, traffic fatalities under Vision Zero.

I tried to explain that to him when he responded to a tweet from someone else Friday night, attempting to point out that we wanted to same thing and should work together to repeal the 85th percentile rule.

What I got was a series of terse, if not surly, one-word responses, before he tweeted I was “mistaken & above all else misinformed.”

About what, he refused to explain.

And by morning, he had deleted his side of the entire conversation.

It’s frustrating to see these kinds of attitudes still in existence within the department after more than six years of working with the LAPD’s bike liaison program to correct this kind of anti-bike bias among officers. Let alone when it comes from a union leader with sway over the rank-and-file, counteracting the ongoing efforts of the department’s leadership to improve relations with the bicycling community.

Officer Cronin is wrong about us, and about the objectives of people who ride bicycles in the City of Angeles.

We don’t think we own the road. And we don’t want to. We just want to get where we’re going in one piece.

And we need the help of the police — the officers he represents — to make that happen.

Note: For some reason, Officer Cronin included his contact information on his piece, most likely because he assumed no one outside the department would ever see it.

Feel free to express your anger here, but please don’t call him, or email to insult or threaten him. Let representatives of the so-called bike lobby at the LACBC , and his superiors at the LAPD, handle it.

Taking him on yourself will only harden his attitudes and make it worse for all of us.

………

As if LA’s drivers weren’t enough, now we have to worry about jet wash.

In a scene out of Top Gun, a bike rider heading home on last week’s Bike to Work Day was riding in the bike lanes on Aviation Blvd behind the runways at LAX, when he was knocked off his bicycle from the turbulence caused by an American Airlines jet taking off.

Fortunately, unlike Goose, there was no canopy to strike his head against upon ejecting, though he did get a good scare on his surgically repaired hip.

Maybe the airport should post some sort of warning for cyclists about the risk of riding there.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

Important advice in a must-read from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson, who says if you’re ever threatened by a driver — or worse — report it. Period.

………

After an overnight scare, LA’s best known bakfiets was back with owner Josef Bray-Ali of the Flying Pigeon bike shop following an overnight theft on Saturday; someone in the neighborhood found and returned it to the newly minted city council candidate the following day.

………

Katusha’s Alexander Kristoff outsprinted Peter Sagan for victory in Saturday’s Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Twenty-three-year old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe held on Sunday to become the youngest winner of the AToC by a slim 23-second margin; his victory was forged on the slopes of Gibraltar.

Dutch great Marianne Vos sprinted to victory in the third stage of the women’s Tour of California by half a bike length, while US road champ Megan Guarnier took the overall title the next day.

Emigrants from Eritrea turned out to cheer a rider from their home country when the tour visited Santa Rosa. And the race gave a marketing boost to Lake Tahoe, as it created an estimate 4.25 billion — that’s with a b — impressions worldwide in over 200 countries.

………

Local

An estimated 2,500 cyclists are expected to take part in next month’s annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to LA, which is on track to raise over $16 million to benefit HIV/AIDS services.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at last week’s Ride of Silence in Pasadena and North Hollywood. Thanks to BikeSGV for the link.

LA County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man on a bike who shot an officer in West Covina Friday night; fortunately, he’s recovering from his wounds and expected to survive.

The monthly Pedal Love podcast interviews Hollywood Reporter Features Editor and former Bicycling Magazine Editor in Chief — and author of an always entertaining Twitter account — Peter Flax.

 

State

A car meet was held in Downtown Ventura to remember the 14-year old boy killed in a double hit-and-run earlier this year; one driver has been identified but not charged, while the second is still missing.

A San Francisco bicyclist was the victim of a strong arm robbery, as four men knocked him off his bike as he rode on a recreation trail, kicked and punched him, then took his “property.” Whatever that means.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever would steal a custom tricycle from a 13-year old Sacramento boy with special needs.

A Yolo County driver will face trial on 19 charges — including assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run with injury, DUI and vehicle theft — for a five-day crime spree that culminated in deliberately running down three bike riders before fleeing the scene.

 

National

Felt has developed a revolutionary bike for the US women’s pursuit team at the Rio Olympics, with the pedals and chain on the left, instead of the right, to compensate for the banking of the track.

Business Insider says this seven-foot long, neon green cargo ebike could be your new car.

A cross-Oklahoma bike ride will pay homage to five Native American tribes by riding through the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations.

New York’s new bikeshare bicycles may be sleeker and faster, but the frames may be bending, cracking and warping.

Illegal parking evidently takes precedence over bike lanes and traffic safety on a New Orleans street.

 

International

How to cheat death mountain biking down Bolivia’s Death Road.

London’s Telegraph lists nine Italian climbs every cyclist must ride in their lifetime. None of which you, or anyone else, actually need to ride, as much as you might like to.

Taking bike theft to the extreme, a British thief pushed a mountain biker down a 20 foot drop to make off with his custom ride.

A Dublin bike advocacy group argues that lowing speed limits to just over 18 mph will save lives; naturally, the Irish equivalent of AAA begs to differ. Meanwhile, the city sees a record 11,000 daily bike commuters.

A blind bicyclist celebrated his 80th birthday while raising the equivalent of over $17,000 by riding 160 miles to Paris.

A Monaco exhibition is all about the fine art of bicycles.

Police in Australia’s New South Wales are doing their best to discourage bicycling by dramatically ramping up tickets following the state’s draconian jump in bicycling fines; penalties for riding without an approved skid lid totaled $350,262 for March and April, compared to just $50,000 last year.

 

Finally…

If a cyclist is wearing a helmet, is he really naked? If you’re going to steal a bike, make sure you lock it up afterwards.

And who says bike racing is just for humans?

 

Weekend Links: The CHP gets it wrong again, the LA Times gets it right, and North Fig safety dogs Cedillo

We’re still at 19 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive after yesterday’s unplanned absence.

So let’s get two more people to sign up or renew your membership now to make it 21 new members by the 21st.

Your fellow bike riders are depending on you to add your support to the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, and help make this a more bikeable, livable and equitable city.

Never mind the great LACBC gear you’ll get just for signing up.

………

Happy Bike to Shop Day.

………

Once again, the CHP gets it wrong.

Despite what a CHP officer told the OC Register’s traffic columnist, there is no law in California requiring cyclists to ride single file, on narrow roads or anywhere else.

Even though the department has been known to misapply CVC 21202, which requires bicyclists to ride as far to the right as practicable.

However, subsection 3 of the ride to right law exempts substandard lanes from that requirement, explicitly stating that the law does not apply on any lane that is too narrow for a bicycle to safely share with a motor vehicle. In most cases, that means any lane less than 14 feet wide, since bike riders are allowed to ride a safe distance from the curb, and drivers are required to give at least a three-foot passing distance.

That means, despite the officer’s assertions, that there is no legal justification for ticketing cyclists who ride abreast in a narrow lane, and no requirement under California law that they ride single file in the scene shown in the photo accompanying the column, where the lane is clearly too narrow for a cyclist to safely share with most cars, let alone a truck or SUV.

Yes, it is courteous to allow drivers to pass when safe to do so.

However, it is often safer for bicyclists to ride side-by-side on narrow roadways — not so they can chat, but to increase visibility and prevent unsafe passing.

As for whether it’s legal to cross a solid yellow line to pass a cyclist, that is allowed in most states with a three-foot or wider passing law. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed an earlier version of California’s three-foot passing law that would have allowed drivers to briefly cross the center line to pass a cyclist, but only when safe to do so.

It’s not the officer’s fault he doesn’t know the law in this case.

The CHP has long failed to adequately train their officers in bike law, forcing officers to rely on cheat sheets that don’t list the many exceptions to CVC 21202, or go into detail on any of the other laws governing the rights and responsibilities of bike riders.

But providing false information like that only puts bike riders at needless risk, and encourages driveway vigilantes to take out their frustrations on bicyclists who are riding safely and within their rights.

Let alone subjecting them to tickets that aren’t legally justified, but are often too difficult to fight.

………

Great opinion piece from Paul Thornton the LA Times, who says if LA really wants to encourage more bicycling, the city needs to fix the roads so they’re safe to ride.

He also calls out former councilmember Tom LaBonge and current member Paul Koretz for dangerous decisions that defeat the purpose of the city’s Mobility Plan.

………

The Eastsider examines the North Figueroa safety issues dogging CD1 Councilmember Gil Cedillo, as he claims to be working to improve safety, despite unilaterally cancelling a road diet designed to do exactly that.

And they talk with Flying Pigeon LA bike shop owner Josef Bray-Ali, who has thrown his hat into the race to challenge Cedillo in next year’s city elections.

………

Germany’s Andre Greipel wins his third sprint of the Giro d’Italia, then promptly quits the race. Andrey Amador takes the leader’s jersey from Bob Jungels after the 13th stage, becoming the first Costa Rican to lead a Grand Tour.

Cycling Weekly examines five talking points about the Giro as the race reaches the legendary Dolomites this weekend.

This has been one of the most democratic Amgen Tour of California’s in memory, as the race had yet another stage winner in Latvian pro Toms Skujins. Aussie Rohan Dennis won Friday’s time trial to leap into second place, 16 seconds behind leader Julian Alaphillppe.

Meanwhile, American Megan Guarnier won the first stage of the women’s tour in a last minute breakaway.

The AToC heads to Santa Rosa today, on the same day the city hosts their 122nd Rose Parade. Which is different from Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

………

Local

CiclaValley reacts to Thursday’s bicycling fatality in Panorama City, which occurred just hours after he returned from Wednesday’s Ride of Silence.

LA’s Fox-11 concludes it is in fact possible to go carfree in SoCal.

The newly opened Expo Line extension adds 130 bike racks and lockers at seven new stations.

The LAPD has put out a BOLO Alert for a bike thief in the Central LA area.

South LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino rode an ebike 25 miles to work at City Hall in observance of Bike to Work Day.

KPCC is the latest media site to talk with the Eastside’s Ovarian Cycles Bicycle Brigade, who host their monthly women-identified Luna Ride tonight.

A writer for the Daily Bruin tweets that the board of directors for Westwood Village has voted to spend $44,000 for two bikeshare hubs in the village this fall. Unfortunately, the lack of bike lanes means there won’t be any safe places to ride them.

The Santa Monica Spoke invites you on a multi-modal Expo Line ride on Sunday.

The LACBC talks with Antelope Valley cyclist and soap maker Sharon Murdock.

 

State

It takes a world champion schmuck to steal an adult tricycle from a 67-year old Anaheim woman with multiple sclerosis.

A Huntington Beach man gets seven years for beating a police officer who stopped him for an alcohol violation while riding his bike; the officer’s daughter was doing a ride along and witnessed the assault. Not that the sentence isn’t warranted, but why is it that motorists seldom get a fraction of that for actually killing a cyclist or a pedestrian?

Potential San Diego bike commuters want more than just bike lanes to get them to ride, like showers and more considerate drivers. They have a much better chance of getting the showers.

A Fresno cyclist says don’t count on laws to protect you from distracted drivers.

In a seriously disgusting assault, a white Rancho Murieta driver ran a black bike rider off the road before getting out and punching him, after telling the victim to “go back to the hood.”

 

National

Members of the bicycle industry finally bind together to promote bicycling in the US. Something should have been done decades ago — and with a much higher budget.

HuffPo says we’ve been brainwashed into calling crashes accidents.

Caught on video: A Seattle truck driver jumps the curb in an apparent attempt to run down a bike rider; the action starts after the 1:50 mark. Note to cyclists: when you’re posting video of drivers behaving badly, feel free to delete the extraneous footage leading up to it.

A Salt Lake cyclist says he’ll be happy to pay for his fair share of the roads, as long as drivers pay theirs.

Agenda 21 is just so passé; evidently the new global bad guys are AARP and the World Health Organization, forcing age-friendly complete streets down the throats of those fine, upstanding Vermonters.

Apparently, traffic violations that put bike riders at risk don’t violate the rules of New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

A DC bike commuter lists his pet peeves about riding to work, from cars that don’t signal to the traditional catcall to get on the sidewalk.

A bicycling Florida non-profit is redefining sharecropping, riding en masse to work organic gardens on land borrowed from homeowners; the model has already spread to Oakland and Uganda.

 

International

Brazil’s bike-riding president is running out of options to fight her ouster by impeachment.

A Toronto bike lane carries nearly as much bicycle traffic as the roadway next to it does cars.

Nothing like just now returning one of London’s Boris Bikes late after it was rented on New Years Day — in 2015.

London’s Telegraph asks if an increase in heavy truck traffic in the UK is responsible for an unexpected decrease in bike ridership. Not bloody likely, to use the vernacular.

More spending on bicycling would show Britain is serious about increasing ridership.

Two Afghan cyclists on a round the world journey stop in New York to tell UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon their country is tired of war and violence, before setting out across the US for Los Angeles.

An Aussie writer asks motorists to remember the driver who killed his 75-year old bike-riding uncle, showing rare understanding and sympathy for the inevitable impact it had on the man responsible.

 

Finally…

Forget self-driving cars; the next thing is Google’s interactive Levi bike jacket. Nothing like putting a billboard in the middle of a bike lane.

And the next time you’re in San Diego, a bronzed Bill Walton and his bike will be waiting to greet you on the shores of Mission Bay.

 

Morning Links: Cops behaving badly, Amgen Tour of California kicks off, and sign up for the LACBC today

We’re sill stuck on 14 new or renewing members of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in the first-ever May BikinginLA LACBC Membership Drive.

If we can’t get 100 new members this month, let’s at least get one a day for the rest of the month, starting today. So if you’re not a member yet, take a few minutes to sign up now. Or if you’re already a member, use this opportunity to renew your membership today.

It’s worth it just to get some new LACBC gear. And make a real difference on our streets.

………

Today’s theme is cops behaving badly.

When a Merced cop stops a young black man for riding on the sidewalk, it somehow escalates into a violent takedown by the police — including tackling the man filming it, in violation of his First Amendment rights.

Although needless to say, the police see it differently; thanks to Henry Fung for the link.

Next up, a careless San Francisco cop pulls out from the curb, apparently without checking his blind spot, and nails a bicyclist riding in the very obvious bike lane.

And an off-duty Charleston SC cop grabs a man’s backpack, throws him off his bike and tries to punch him following a wrong-way collision; the officer is now on well-deserved administrative leave without pay pending an internal investigation.

………

KABC-7 reports on Sunday’s Southeast Cities CicLAvia. Although they can’t seem to tell the difference between bikes that move and those that don’t.

………

Italian rider Gianluca Brambilla takes the leaders pink jersey off Tom Dumoulin’s back in the Giro d’Italia.

Edward Rubenstein offers a preview of the Amgen Tour of California, which kicked off Sunday in San Diego as Peter Sagan wins the first stage.

Team Novo Nordisk is less about winning and more about proving diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from riding. Nor, evidently, does hamburgers, soda and ding dongs. Although sprinters won’t have much of a chance to show their skills on this year’s vertical course.

Santa Clarita cycling fans gather to watch the opening stage of the ToC in anticipation of today’s finish of Stage 2, which starts in South Pasadena.

And motor doping once again rears its ugly head as three riders are disqualified in Indonesia’s Tour de Banyuwangi Ijen.

………

Local

As expected, the LA City Council voted 11 – 1 to send plans to provide separate but unequal alternatives to bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and Central Ave back to the Planning Commission. The best way to ensure the failure of any bikeway is to insist on putting it someplace where bicyclists don’t want to go.

The LACBC and Bike SGV get LA City Councilmember Mitch Englander on the record for some very bike-friendly positions as a candidate for LA County Supervisor in District 5. And speaking of Bike SGV, Damien Newton talks with Executive Director Wes Reutimann.

The Army Corps of Engineers is removing flood control barriers that closed a large portion of the LA River bike path; once the barriers are removed from each section, LADOT has to evaluate the condition of the path before it can be reopened.

A project to improve traffic flow onto the 110 Freeway in San Pedro is finished, including new bike lanes and sidewalks on John S. Gibson Blvd.

A man in his 20s was shot and killed while riding his bike in Compton Saturday evening.

Burbank is planning three pit stops for Bike to Work Day on Thursday.

Sixty-four La Puente kids have new bikes as a reward for academic achievement and perfect attendance, thanks to the Golden State Foods Foundation.

 

State

Laguna Beach holds a Bike Rodeo and Safety Expo as part of their ongoing efforts to improve safety for bicyclists.

Downtown San Diego bike riders are being victimized by bike thieves breaking into so-called secure bike rooms and parking garages.

Ebikes could be the answer the answer to bike commuting in San Bernardino’s hilly climate.

The 52nd annual Great Western Bicycle Rally comes to Paso Robles May 26th through 30th.

A Sunnyvale actor faces felony charges for allegedly running down a bike rider in Berkeley in February. If they can find him, that is.

Napa draws over 1,400 cyclists of all ages to its fifth annual Bike Fest.

 

National

The Federal Highway Administration finally gets around to throwing out eleven rules that prevented cities from building bikeable, walkable streets.

A moving piece on Facebook, as an Arizona cyclist comes face-to-face with the driver who nearly killed him two and a half years earlier. And surprises himself by forgiving him.

Another way bikes are good for business. Bike sales may be down nationwide, but not in my bike-friendly hometown. Evidently, making the city safe and inviting for bike riders actually encourages people to buy more bicycles.

Leonardo DiCaprio goes for a bikeshare ride through Gotham with his new girlfriend.

An anti-bike Philly columnist gloats over an apparent decline in bike commuting, that could simply be due to bad weather during the latest bike count.

Someone is attacking New Orleans bike riders with paintball guns.

 

International

There are lots of reason to take off on a bike tour. Like becoming the fastest woman to ride around the world because your boyfriend was killed by a crocodile. On the other hand, having a baby 12 weeks early is a good reason to stop one.

Plan your next European bike vacation. I’ll take the ride to Bruges, thank you.

A Calgary woman has built a business teaching immigrant women how to ride a bike.

A London hospital fights plans for a proposed floating bus stop next to a bike lane, fearing patients will get run down by bike riders. Better to let the cyclists get run down by cars, thus creating more business for the hospital.

A Croatian bike ride takes cyclists from sea level to the top of the highest peak in Dalmatia, gaining over one mile of elevation in just 20 miles.

Someone is booby trapping bikeways around Brisbane, Australia; a 17-year old bike rider was seriously injured when he was garroted by a rope strung across a bike path.

Over 5,000 yellow-clad Thai cyclists ride to mark the 70th anniversary of the king assuming the throne.

 

Finally…

Call it a case of he said/he said as both types of cyclists accuse one another of road rage. Who needs Bike to Work Day when you can have a full week of biking from work to craft breweries?

And seriously, if someone says bicycling is the new golf one more time, I’m going to start yelling “fore” every time I ride down the street.

 

Morning Links: CHP says oops about I-15 ticket but not cuffs, and Hollywood once again used to fight bike lanes

Oops.

It was exactly a month ago that we discussed the case of Jerry Counts, the 75-year old man who was handcuffed and ticketed for riding his bike on I-15 north of San Bernardino.

Even though that’s one of the sections of freeway where bikes are legally allowed.

And even though few, if any, motorists are ever pulled from their cars and cuffed for a simple traffic violation.

Now Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word from Caltrans that the CHP has agreed to rescind the ticket. Though apparently, not the indignity of being handcuffed on the side of the road in full view of hundreds, if not thousands, of passing motorists.

They also offer a map showing where you are legally allowed to ride on a freeway in Caltrans District 8, along with a list of freeways in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties where bike riding is prohibited (see below).

That list was sent to the CHP to distribute to all of their officers in the area in hopes of avoiding another fiasco like the Counts case.

Still, if you plan to ride in the area, you might want to print it out and take it with you to avoid riding where you shouldn’t.

And to show any officers who try to stop you where you can.

District-08--Prohibiting-Bicycles-on-Freeway---2-Counties

………

Once again, Hollywood is being used as an excuse to fight bike lanes.

In a case reminiscent of LA’s first green bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA, London city barristers have complained that planned bike lanes will make it impossible to film movies in a section of the city that has played host to productions like Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Silk.

Never mind that New York’s protected bike lanes and Citi Bike bikeshare docks seem to pop up in movies and TV shows with ever increasing frequency, without hurting filming in the city one bit.

In the LA case, Hollywood production companies successfully argued, over the objections of bicycling community, that the bright green paint initially used for the bike lanes on Spring would be impossible to remove in post production, and would forever ruin the street as a filming venue.

Even though it took a film editor all of 20 seconds to do it.

But in a city that places a higher value on pimping itself out as a movie set than on livability and the safety of its citizens, city leaders kowtowed to the studios and agreed to strip the paint off. A darker and less visible shade of green was then used to repaint it in sections, rather than the entire lane.

Not satisfied with their victory, filmmakers complained that even that would be a problem and argued for the complete removal of the bike lanes, more because it interfered with parking their trucks than the actual effect it had on the filmmaking process.

But as anyone who has ridden a bike in Downtown LA can attest, the bike lanes haven’t seemed to limit movie shoots in the slightest.

And haven’t kept studio trucks from parking in them, either.

………

Colorado pro cyclist Lauren De Crescenzo has lost her memory, as well as suffering numerous broken bones, following a major crash in the final sprint of the San Dimas Stage Race here in California.

According to her father, she barely remembers being a cyclist, let alone what she had for lunch.

A gofundme account to help with her medical expenses has raised nearly $40,000 of the $75,000 goal.

………

Local

LA considers traffic calming measures, including bike lanes and safer crosswalks, on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey.

CiclaValley and family experience a week of bad drivers. In other words, pretty much like any other week here in the big city.

LA Independent examines West Hollywood’s coming bikeshare system, which will be incompatible with the Metro system planned for DTLA, and eventually, next door in Hollywood.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton questions the value of this weekend’s mini-open streets events in Lawndale and Burbank. Both seem designed to provide the least possible inconvenience to anyone in a motor vehicle, without any significant benefit to the community.

A Santa Clarita cyclist thanks the man who witnessed someone steal his bike, then chased down the thief and got it back undamaged.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune looks at BikeSGV and their monthly family friendly bike trains through the valley, including Sunday’s Love Mother Nature Ride.

The Samaritan Center is hosting the 4th annual Ride for the Homeless in Simi Valley this Sunday, with rides ranging from five to 100 miles. Thanks to Project Hero Ventura for the heads-up.

 

State

A San Diego teacher and triathlete was surprised with a new beach cruiser as promotion for next month’s Amgen Tour of California.

Six hundred cyclists will ride into Santa Barbara Sunday on the final leg of the L’Etape California, following the 106-mile course planned for Stage 3 of the Tour of California.

A Stanford publication asks if the birthplace of mountain biking will become the worst place for mountain biking as Marin County continues to restrict offroad riding.

Bike and pedestrian projects would likely be included in a proposed $3.6 billion Sacramento transportation tax measure, though as much as 75% of the funds would be spent on road projects.

 

National

Men’s Journal says smarter bikeshare programs, including bike libraries and pedal-assist bikes, are coming to a town near you.

Unbelievable. A New York truck driver gets five summonses for various technical violations, but nothing for killing a cyclist earlier this week.

The country’s oldest bike race started in 1939 in New Jersey because the son of a local bike shop owner wanted to sleep in his own bed before a race.

A South New Jersey paper offers advice on how to teach a reluctant child to ride a bike.

Former San Francisco Giants star Barry Bonds rides his bike to work at his new job as batting coach for the Florida Marlins, and takes it with him when the team goes on the road.

 

International

Not surprisingly, anger is growing in Brazil over the Rio bikeway collapse that killed three people, as ties between the contractor and city officials emerged.

A British man is riding the entire length of South America unsupported to raise funds for people in Nepal; however, halfway through he’s raised just $425.

A UK writer wonders why more of his countrymen aren’t captivated by watching men in Lycra battle it out on the barely paved roads of Europe.

A bike-riding Brit serial groper gets a well-deserved four years in prison.

Liverpool, England will use thermal imagery to detect bicyclists at intersections to give the riders an advanced green light ahead of other traffic.

Yet another hero cyclist, as a bike rider in the UK wrestled down a man armed with a machete who was attacking a pregnant woman, and had threatened other people.

My favorite Scottish blogger and bike advocate measures the cycling support of the country’s political parties.

The Philadelphia Sun says Flanders is considered the cycling capital of Europe. Which may came as a surprise to the Dutch.

A 70-year old Aussie bike rider was stabbed by a young woman when he refused to let her use his phone.

 

Finally…

Everything you need to know about motor doping, except how to do it yourself. Evidently, cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings so they don’t follow a bikeway into a lamp post.

And who would have thought a column by a self-described bike-hating dyke would be the funniest thing I read today?

 

Morning Links: Police shoot at a K-Town bike rider, Prince was one of us, and bicycle heroes in the news

Now the police are shooting at bike riders.

In a somewhat bizarre story, the Eastsider reports LAPD officers opened fire after stopping a man riding a bicycle in Historic Filipinotown Wednesday night.

The website says it’s not clear why police attempted to detain the man, who fled on foot after the shooting, and no reason is given for why the police tried to shoot him.

Then again, if cops were shooting at me, I’d run like hell, too.

The man was taken into custody a few hours later after police cordoned off the area; as of Thursday morning he had not been booked, and there was no information on what charges he might face, if any.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

………

As everyone most likely knows by now, Prince was found dead in his Minneapolis home yesterday, just days after he got on his bicycle to show the world he was okay after a brief hospitalization for flu-like symptoms last week.

He also rode his bike to leave the stage between songs during his March solo concert in Oakland — not San Francisco, as I wrote earlier.

………

Today’s news features a few hero bicyclists.

After two Polish women steal another woman’s purse, a cyclist chases them down and crashes into them to recover it, while catching the pursuit on his bike cam.

Closer to home, an OC rider uses his bicycle to take down a thief who had just emptied the cash drawer in a Huntington Beach restaurant.

And a different kind of hero, thanks to the efforts of a USC student, 37 high school students in need will receive bicycles impounded by the university; she got the idea after her own bike was stolen. Thanks to Patrick Pascal for the link.

………

Episode 1Momentum Magazine says those overly graphic Phoenix bike safety graphic novels are gruesome and straight up appalling, while noting that the tone deaf AZ Department of Transportation inexplicably considers them a success.

If you can call frightening little kids off their bikes for life a success, that is; Streetsblog simply calls the brochures insane.

Meanwhile, prinzrob points out they’re not the first to use the scary graphic novel approach, as a 1972 comic book tells the tale of kid and his bicycle from hell — literally.

Although it does have a happy ending, since he learns to ride safely and grows up to be a hipster.

03

………

Local

LA City Councilmember Jose Huizar is working to create a more walkable, bikeable and livable Downtown. Contrast that with LA’s Westside and Northeast LA, where councilmembers have actively blocked any significant improvements in their districts.

CiclaValley takes a slide through Topanga State Park.

A person of interest in a rash of bike thefts at Cal State Long Beach has been temporarily banned from campus after police spotted him casing bike racks; he’s subject to arrest for trespassing if he’s even seen on campus before Monday.

Culver City Walk & Rollers hosts a seven-mile Family Sweet Streets Ride to visit bakeries and ice cream and sweets shops in the city.

 

State

The Dana Point Gran Prix returns to the city’s Lantern District at the end of this month, with two days of family bike activities before the pros hit the streets.

Competitive bike polo comes to Fresno.

In a brilliant display of police work, Clovis police fail to conduct a sobriety test after a driver fatally runs down a cyclist from behind, in a bike lane and without braking; police initially said the driver “accidently bumped into” the victim. Kind of makes you wonder how well they know the driver, doesn’t it?

A free training class for League Certified Cycling Instructors in Monterey County will likely be postponed for lack of interest.

Chico police are planning to install cameras on a dangerous bike path near the local university; so far, only $4,000 of the required $20,000 has been raised so far. Even in a small town like that, $20,000 should be little more than a rounding error in the city budget.

 

National

A new NACTO guide on siting bikeshare stations says they should be accessible and convenient, and located within a three to five minute walking distance of one another. Let’s hope LA Metro picks up a copy.

Bicycling Magazine offers safety pointers for urban bicyclists, as well as tips on how to prepare for your first bike ride; meanwhile the Oregonian suggests ways to get ready to bike to work.

Ohio pediatricians are teaming with the state DOT to distribute 10,000 free bike helmets to children. Hopefully they won’t include the Arizona bike safety brochures along with them.

Once again, the NYPD seems to be bending over backwards to exonerate a truck driver in the death of a bike rider; first they said the victim was hanging onto the truck, which was not supposed to be on the narrow residential street, then suggest that the non-existent “wind force” of the slow moving truck sucked the rider underneath.

The New York Daily News says the NYPD, and Chief Bill Bratton — former head of the LAPD — needs to get onboard with the mayor’s Vision Zero plan. As the above story shows, the department’s extreme windshield bias means drivers are seldom held accountable for collisions with cyclists and pedestrians, continuing to put both at needless risk.

Somehow I missed this story from the New York Times, which examines the problem of motor doping in the pro peloton; thanks to George Wolfberg for finding it.

A pair of New Orleans men fight bike theft one Facebook post at a time.

There’s a special place in hell for someone who’d steal a specialty handbike from a handicapped Tampa man.

 

International

Two people were killed when an elevated bike path built in advance of the Rio Olympics collapsed when it was it by a strong wave; a third person is missing while two others were rescued. ABC News says shoddy construction due to graft is an ongoing problem in the country, which could affect this summer’s games.

Montreal is working to improve safety for bike riders on 57 dangerous underpasses in the city, while Toronto’s war between cyclists and drivers seems to have ended.

A writer for the Telegraph says the UK could wipe out its national debt if they fined every driver who stopped in London’s bike boxes.

London cabbies team with cyclists to campaign for cleaner air.

Scotland expects a record turnout for the fifth Pedal on Parliament; last year’s ride drew 4,000 people calling for bike safety.

Caught on video: A London cop is enraged that a bicyclist chose to ride in the traffic lane rather than a crowded bike lane.

A new system in the Netherlands is designed to warn drivers that a bicyclist is approaching an intersection in order to help riders cross safely.

A writer for the Guardian looks at the war on bike riders in Australia’s New South Wales.

 

Finally…

Apparently, Americans aren’t too concerned about global warming because we like it. Is the shape of a bike-riding BBC presenter’s ass really more important than the ride she’s promoting to battle cancer?

And what if Chrissie Hynde was one of us, just a stranger on a bus?

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Thanks to Josh Cohen, aka Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney, for renewing his sponsorship for another year. Without the support of our sponsors, this site couldn’t exist in its present form.

And to all who observe Passover, Chag Sameach!

Morning Links: 75-year old cyclist cuffed and ticketed for riding legally on I-15; Specialized says they’re sorry

03-15-2016 Jerry ticket from CHPMaybe the cop didn’t get the memo.

Or maybe he was confused after losing an hour of sleep two Sunday’s ago when the nation switched to Daylight Savings Time.

Either way, Jerry Counts was well within his rights on March 13th to ride his bicycle along a section of I-15 north of San Bernardino, where bikes are legally allowed on the roadway.

Yet he was handcuffed and ticketed by a CHP officer for violating CVC 21960(a), using a non-motorized vehicle on the freeway.

Yes, they handcuffed a 75-year old man to write a traffic ticket.

An invalid one, at that.

When was the last time you heard of a 75-year old man being pulled from his car and cuffed for a simple traffic violation?

As Ginny Sullivan of the Adventure Cycling Association points out in an email, this section of the freeway is part of the ACA’s Bicycle Route 66, running south of Oak Hill Road between exits 138 and 129, where no viable alternate route exists.

The DMV puts it this way,

Of the more than 4,000 miles of freeways in California, about 1,000 miles are open to bicyclists. These open sections are usually in rural areas where there is no alternate route. California Vehicle Code Section 21960 says Caltrans and local agencies may prohibit bicyclists from traveling on freeways under their jurisdiction and that they must erect signs stating the prohibition. There are no signs permitting bicyclists on freeways. When a bicyclist is legally traveling on a freeway, he/she may be directed off the freeway at the next off-ramp by a sign that says “Bicycles Must Exit.” The freeway will be posted at the next on-ramp with a sign that says “Bicycles Prohibited.”

Exit 129 going North

Exit 129 going North

As the photos she pulled from Google Earth show, there are no signs at either entrance prohibiting pedal-powered bicycles from riding on the freeway.

I’d like to write this off as a simple mistake.

However, it fits a long pattern of CHP officers being unaware of the rights of cyclists, whether it’s riding on the freeway, or ticketing cyclists for riding two abreast or in the traffic lane. Which points to officers receiving inadequate training both at the academy and in the field.

Exit 138 going South

Exit 138 going South

Although the bigger question is why the officer felt the need to handcuff a man well past retirement age, for the simple crime of riding a bicycle.

Advocating on his behalf, Sullivan has contacted both the CHP and Caltrans District 8 asking that the ticket be dismissed, and that Caltrans provide the CHP with a letter stating that bicyclists are allowed on that section of the freeway. And that the CHP train its officers accordingly.

I’d take it a step further, and request a formal apology to Mr. Counts.

I’d also ask that the notoriously auto-centric CHP follow Caltrans lead, and accept that bikes are legally a part of the California traffic system, and we’re here to stay.

Because we shouldn’t have to know the laws regarding bicycling better than they do just to defend our right to the road.

………

Specialized apologizes for last week’s Playboy Bunny fiasco, claiming the models were hired by their German affiliate, without knowledge of its global marketing staff.

Which is kind of hard to believe, since they were hired to promote Specialized’s new Playboy-branded e-bike.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Glendale Mayor and Metro Boardmember Ara Najarian and Bike SGV Executive Director Wes Reutimann about Metro’s proposed transportation sales tax measure. And reminds us about Thursday’s celebration to benefit Streetsblog and Santa Monica Next.

Once again, Santa Monica police will step up enforcement of traffic violations that put pedestrians and bicyclists at risk this Saturday, regardless of who commits them. So straighten up and ride right, for one day at least.

The WeHo Bike Coalition announces that the West Hollywood city council has approved bike lanes on Fairfax Ave; when completed, they’ll join existing lanes in LA to create a continuous bike lane from Hollywood Blvd to Melrose.

The World Cycling League debuted in Carson over the weekend as teams from Pennsylvania and Mexico battled it out for the inaugural victory.

Bike Long Beach offers photos of last weekend’s successful Beach Streets Downtown.

 

State

Santa Barbara bike riders compete to see who can ride the slowest down a 50-foot course without putting a foot down or swerving out of their lane. Meanwhile, promise to ride slow yourself and you could win a new bike from People for Bikes.

A Salinas man is riding 40 miles a day for 40 days to raise funds for the homeless.

 

National

Yes, it is possible to ride cross­-country sans chamois or other bike gear.

BuzzFeed offers 19 things every cyclist needs. Most of which most cyclists could probably do without.

Former pro Alex Candelario is offering bike tours through usually off-limits back country on Hawaii’s Big Island.

A bighearted firefighter replaces a bike that was stolen recently from a 10-year old Spokane boy.

A teenage driver in my hometown will be sentenced to 100 hours of community service at a bike nonprofit, and a $1,500 donation to a nonprofit bicycle organization, as part of a new diversion program for killing a cyclist after falling asleep at the wheel.

CNN looks at Chicago’s Heritage Bicycles, which has made bikes for everyone from Beyonce and Jay Z to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Washington’s popular bike-riding running back departs for the hated Cowboys.

Once again, someone used a DC bike rack to jump the fence at the White House. Considering how often that keeps happening, wouldn’t it be prudent to move that rack just a little?

An Orlando doctor says yes, riding a bike really can help with Parkinson’s.

 

International

Despite numerous studies showing bikes are good for business, Vancouver business owners oppose a bike lane on a busy shopping and dining street, which the city says is needed for safety.

Saskatoon’s mayor questions the cost of clearing snow from a protected bike lane; then again, he opposed building it in the first place.

Toronto’s notorious crack-smoking, anti-bike former mayor Rob Ford has died at 46.

A Belgian bike race is expected to go on despite Tuesday’s terrorist attacks.

Indian police crack down on bicyclists riding without a helmet.

An Australian program is working with kids as young as 10 years old to develop the first aboriginal cycling star.

A road raging Aussie driver is fined a whopping $100 plus $169.10 in court costs after smashing a cyclist’s helmet cam in a fit of anger.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be grown and printed. Now you really can be replaced by a robot, even on your bike. But does it still have to wear a helmet if it’s under 18?

And any t-shirt that combines Corgis and bicycles can’t be all bad. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Weekend Links: South Bay 3-foot enforcement, bike safety is actually up not down, and more ‘Tis the season

Guess how many tickets have been written in LA’s South Bay cities for violating the state’s three-foot passing law in its first year.

No, seriously, take a guess.

That suggests drivers aren’t even being ticketed for driving too close if they actually hit someone.

Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

………

Despite an incredibly misleading headline, more pedestrians and cyclists aren’t actually being killed on US streets.

According to a recent GAO study, the rate of bicycling fatalities has increased only slightly, while ridership has gone up; in fact, bike commuting is up over 60% since 2005. As a result, the actual risk to riders has decreased significantly.

The same report adds that bad street design may explain why bike and pedestrian deaths haven’t dropped, even though motor vehicle deaths have.

………

‘Tis the season.

A Sacramento charity is raising funds to give homeless people patch kits, tools and air pumps to keep their bikes on the road.

An Illinois group raises funds and collects bicycles for a rescue mission. Although they probably don’t have much competition as “North America’s premiere professional fur-covered bicycle cycling team.”

Alabama third and fourth graders get bikes as a reward for being responsible, respectful and/or safe.

Belfast police dig into their own pockets to replace a bike stolen from a boy with Asperger’s syndrome.

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Help keep the Corgi in kibble this holiday season.

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A top amateur cyclocross racer was banned for one year for using coke, although presumably there’s no way to tell if was recreational or performance enhancing.

Speaking of ‘cross, a transgender racer who was born male has been barred from competing with the men this year because she identifies as female, even though she has been one of the top men’s finishers in previous years.

Forty-five-year old American cyclist Chris Horner has contracted an antibiotic-resistant superbug that could end his unusually long racing career.

And Ivan Basso looks back on a great career that ended with his successful treatment for testicular cancer

………

Local

Streetsblog asks for your tax-deductible donation to support LA’s most important site covering transportation and livability issues.

The LA Weekly lists the city’s most dangerous intersections, all but one of which are in the Valley or the Southside, and mostly in low-income areas. Not surprisingly, two of the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians are just a block apart on Hollywood Blvd; nothing like inviting tourists to visit LA, then throwing them to the wolves on our deadly streets.

Culver City installed bike Fixit stations along the “bike path” at Sepulveda and Culver Blvds and adjacent to Syd Kronenthal Park near Jefferson and National Blvds. It would be nice if they said which bike path, though; presumably, the first is on the bike path along Culver, while the other appears to be at the east end of the Ballona Creek path.

If you read this early, there may still be time to clean up trash on Mulholland with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon, and get a free cookie.

 

State

The OC Register talks with San Clemente bike/ped advocate Brenda Miller, who says things are looking up.

A San Diego cyclist suffered a serious leg injury when he was the victim of a hit-and-run; he allegedly ran a red light while riding downhill.

The madness continues in Coronado, where a letter writer complains about bikes and skateboards on the sidewalks. A problem that could have be solved if residents hadn’t risen up with torches and pitchforks to fight proposed “vertigo inducing” bike lanes.

The Santa Barbara planning commission approves a plan for bike lanes that will require the removal of 85 parking spaces on a busy street , over the vociferous objections of local residents.

Something’s seriously wrong in Mountain View, where bike collisions spiked 480% over the summer.

Caught on video: A driver appears to deliberately attack a San Francisco cyclist. Unfortunately, the beginning of the incident is cut off, so it’s hard to determine exactly what happened.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the history of what may be cycling’s hardest and coldest competition. Which runs along the same route where my soon-to-be formerly Alaska-based brother used to race sled dogs.

Seattle police are looking for a bike rider who left an 85-year old man with serious injuries in an October collision as he was walking for a flu shot. Like the recent case in Echo Park, the rider stayed to talk to paramedics, but left without giving her contact information; and despite the tone of the article, it’s entirely possible that it may not have been her fault.

Atlanta kills plans for bike lanes on the city’s iconic Peachtree Road in the face of heavy opposition, even though the planned road diet will go forward.

Now that’s more like it. DC dramatically increases fines for traffic offenses, including a ten-fold boost in the penalty for hitting a bicyclist; naturally, AAA calls the increases draconian and promises to fight them. Then again, it was only a fifty buck fine to hit a cyclist before, which some drivers probably considered worth it.

 

International

An Aussie cyclist plans to ride non-stop across Cuba in less than 55 hours. Lengthwise, I assume; crossing the width of the island would be little more than a century, at best.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Vancouver approves another 12 new bike lanes, mostly in the downtown area, even though that will mean the loss of up to 50% of parking spaces on some streets. However, Vancouver bike lanes aren’t just for bikes anymore.

Just five months after opening, ridership has doubled on Calgary’s network of protected bike lanes.

Evidently, bike riders are under attack in the UK. Welsh police are looking for the jerks who grabbed a teenage bike rider from a moving car and pulled him off his bike, while another rider crashed into a tree after being pushed from behind.

A 20-year old Indian track cyclist is the first woman from her country to be ranked fourth in the world, just eleven years after she survived the Indonesian tsunami by hiding in a tree.

 

Finally…

Make your own DIY bike-powered menorah, just in time for the last few days of Hanukkah. Challenge an auto-centric writer to bike commute for a week, and he may actually enjoy it.

And kids, don’t try this at home; it’s probably not the best idea to hold onto a truck with one hand with a full-size dog slung over your shoulder.

 

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