Archive for Morning Links

Many drivers blind to how badly drivers drive, British press demonizes bike riders, and building greater inclusion in bicycling

Just 225 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’ve made it up to 1,135 signatures, so don’t stop now! I’ll be forwarding the petition to the mayor’s office this week, so urge anyone who hasn’t already signed the petition to sign it now! 

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No bias here.

A British Columbia columnist wants you to imagine what would happen if drivers behaved like some bicyclists, saying there’s no gain if aggressive riding keeps others off the supposedly all-ages-and-abilities trails and lanes.

Passing at high speed without signalling verbally or with a bell. Passing at high speed without signalling on a blind curve. Passing someone else who’s passing at high speed on a blind curve. Passing within a hair’s breadth of a pedestrian at 40 km/h with no warning. Plunging through a pack of pedestrians, dogs and small children on the Selkirk Trestle at full speed.

Of course, vehicle drivers don’t typically behave this way because we have a robust system of vehicle licensing to ensure they know the rules of the road, and a somewhat less robust system of enforcement (less all the time, given the number of red-light runners observed of late.)

Yes, there is a sizable segment of bicyclists who ride in an aggressive manner, with little or no regard for how that affects others. Or how that makes people see us.

Yet it’s remarkable that so many people are blind to how motorists actually behave, as if bicyclists are the only ones who do dangerous and aggressive things out there — as if the people on two wheels somehow posed a greater risk to others than the ones in the big, dangerous machines.

Yes, scofflaw bike riders can be extremely annoying. I’ve been tempted more than once to clock some asshole who zoomed by on a narrow sidewalk, nearly hitting my wife or I, let alone our dog.

But the fact remains that even the worst bike riders pose the greatest risk to themselves, while aggressive drivers are a risk to everyone else on — or off — the roadway.

The number of people killed in collisions with bicyclists in the US each year can usually be counted on one hand, while you’d need more than 4,000 hands to count the people killed with motor vehicles, using every finger and thumb.

Especially that one.

The simple fact is, human nature dictates that some people will always be jackasses, regardless of how they choose to travel.

The only difference is which ones actually pose the real peril.

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The demonization of bike riders by the British press in the wake of an 82-year old woman killed in a collision with a speeding bicyclist in London’s Regent Park is still going on.

A London tabloid posted photographs of “reckless” cyclists still flouting the rules, just days after leaders of the UK’S Conservative Party proposed strict new rules, including 14-years behind bars for bike riders who kill — although I wouldn’t exactly call riding while holding a cellphone in your hand reckless.

The husband of a woman killed by a bicyclist seven years ago applauded the new restrictions, while suggesting he had to overcome a super-secret bike cabal “blob” somehow entrenched within the British government. Although no one ever seems to question whether the pedestrian may have been at fault, automatically blaming the person on the bike.

And a writer for The Spectator says a crackdown on bad bicyclists can’t come soon enough, as she dreams of the day when police can immobilize ebikes and electric scooters by zapping them with pulses fired from special backpack under development from a government defense lab.

On the other hand, British bike hero Chris Boardman decried as hate speech a recent article disparaging bicyclists, while it turns out that the article claiming a bike rider was clocked doing 52 mph in a 20 mile zone was in fact co-written by a BBC fact-checker, who failed to fact-check the physically impossible report.

Cycling Weekly says parity in punishment is no problem, but “death trap” journalism that capitalizes on misinformation is unforgivable, because we can’t pretend that creating more laws for cyclists will result in equality on the roads.

And London bicyclists say Members of Parliament are spinning out of control as they peddle fears of the dangers posed by scofflaw bicyclists.

Maybe someone should explain the concept of collective guilt to the members of the press so intent on painting bike riders as the bad guys.

Because there’s no surer sign of bias than pretending the actions of some members of a group should somehow condemn the others.

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Today’s other common thread reflects the need for inclusion in the bicycling community.

The new book Black Cyclists: The Race for Inclusion examines the mostly unknown history of Black cyclists, from Major Taylor to today’s riders.

Forbes talks with the founder of the Jafe Cycling Foundation, a group dedicated to exposing middle and high school students to the sport of cycling in order to increase Black ridership, at a time when Black cyclists make up less than 1% of the pro peloton.

Bike Radar says derogatory comments and actions — intentional and otherwise — reflecting the dominance of straight males are still prevalent on the trails, within the bike industry and in the race scene, fostering an environment that discourages many women from riding.

Speaking of which, the WeHo Bicycle Coalition is hosting a group ride next month to kick off Pride Month, riding from Hollywood and Highland to the West Hollywood Pride Fest.

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It’s not every day Saturday Night Live satirizes bike riders. Mostly because it only airs on Saturdays.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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It’s now 153 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

Bike lanes have become a division issue in the mayoral election in Mississauga, Ontario, as a local group is offering to support any candidate that will undo a plan for protected bike lanes passed by the city council last year.

The Magistrates Courthouse in Wimbledon, England — home to the famous tennis tournament — says don’t even think about bringing your bike onto the premises, even though they have plenty of room for parking cars.

Bicyclists slammed a proposed city ordinance in Zaragoza, Spain, which would impose a mandatory insurance requirement for everyone on a bicycle — including children — while urging motorists to dangerously overtake bike riders on the roads.

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

Police in New York are looking for a sidewalk-raging teenaged bike rider, who attacked and pummeled two young Jewish kids for blocking his way as he rode on the sidewalk; the cops are investigating the assault as a hate crime.

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Local 

The Signal offers photos from Saturday’s Hit the Trail self-guided community bike ride in Santa Clarita, even though the “community” all rode individually.

 

State

Grab your mountain bike and head to Orange County’s Silverado Canyon, where the sweeping canyons and lush wildflowers of the Red Rock Wilderness has just been opened to the public.

This is who we share the road with. A former Riverside craft brewer was sentenced to 20 years behind bars after accepting a plea deal for the drunken, high-speed hit-and-run that killed another motorist in Ontario, after prosecutors dropped a 2nd degree murder charge; Ryan Cavender Wicks earned the heavy sentence because of a previous DUI conviction.

A writer for the Fresno Bee says recent trip by city leaders to sister city Münster, Germany could offer lessons for making Fresno a safer place to ride a bike.

San Francisco bicyclists aren’t the only ones who want to feel safer on the popular route known as The Wiggle, as seniors who live along the route also risk getting hit by impatient drivers.

Frequent contributor Megan Lynch offers a Mastodon thread about her lengthy and ongoing fight for accessible bike racks at UC Davis, as campus officials can’t seem to grasp that equal accessibility is required under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

 

National

Bike shops nationwide are struggling in the face of excess inventory, as demand plummeted after manufacturers overbuilt, and bike shops overstocked, while overcompensating for the bike shortages of the pandemic.

Architecture Daily examines bike-riding urbanism pioneer Jane Jacobs, at a time when American car culture “has produced and normalized new forms of sociopathy,” and carmakers have adopted an angry-looking, “murdered-out” esthetic.

Another person riding a bicycle has been killed in police chase, when a domestic violence suspect in Phoenix fled from the cops and slammed into the bike rider as he tried to make his escape.

Here’s one for your beer bucket list, with a 25-mile bike tour of six breweries in and around Golden, Colorado, ranging from local craft brewers to the massive Coors complex.

 

International

Yes, a Mexican transit company really did put their drivers on stationary bikes to get buzzed by buses so they’d know how it feels to people on bicycles.

A British Columbia lawyer says cost savings for the province’s no-fault insurance program was made on the backs of victims like him, accusing it of shortchanging him after a bicycling crash left him a paraplegic. Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

London plans to install planter boxes and rumble strips along a popular Thames River multi-use path to slow speeding bike riders, while stressing that pedestrians should be given priority.

I want to be like her when I grow up. An 82-year old London woman rode through fog and hail to conquer the legendary Mount Ventoux, raising the equivalent of nearly $24,000 for the children of Gaza, and counting.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — okay, maybe just mine — with a list of the most beautiful bike routes in Ireland.

Momentum recommends Europe’s best spring bicycling destinations for nature lovers.

French bikemaker and sports retail giant Decathlon urged politicians to implement the European Union’s Cycling Declaration ahead of the European Parliament elections to make it easier for people to bike, while focusing on infrastructure and bike theft, and calling for more sustainable bicycle manufacturing.

A Chinese man is current riding through Africa on a bike tour that has led him through a dozen countries so far, despite loosing an arm and a leg when he was electrocuted as a teenager.

Seven-thousand people turned out in Seoul, South Korea for the 16th Seoul Bike Festival on Sunday, following a 13-mile course along the banks of the Han River.

Japanese bike riders are almost universally ignoring the country’s new mandatory helmet law, with just ten percent of bicyclists nationwide donning skid lids; meanwhile, new laws will allow police to crackdown on scofflaw bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

Kristen Faulkner and Sean Quinn are your new women’s and mens US National Road Cycling champs.

Tadej Pogačar entered the final rest day of the Giro by demolishing the field in yet another solo breakaway, extending his lead to a virtually insurmountable six minutes and 41 seconds.

At this point, the only thing that may derail Pogačar in the Giro is the virus that’s sweeping the peloton, with 21 riders abandoning so far.

A writer for Velo says Pogačar is a “risk-taker, an entertainer, a high-wire act” who’s the current King of the Hill, but won’t be forever.

Um, no. Cycling Weekly’s Dr. Hutch ponders the point where a long solo break ceases to be polite, and becomes a case of showboating.

 

Finally…

Tackle the local time trial with a ‘bent. That feeling when someone thinks $1599 is “pricey” for an ebike. Your next ebike could be a golden Porsche.

And who needs lights when your whole bike glows in the dark?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

SaMo approves bicycle anti-harassment ordinance, Brit press demonizes bicyclists, and Wilmington CicLAmini Sunday

Just 228 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’ve made it up to 1,134 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she agrees to meet with us! 

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It took awhile, but LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance is finally starting to spread elsewhere in Los Angeles County.

The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting harassment of bicyclists, while providing a private right of action for violations in civil court.

They also clarified that the law applies to both human-powered and ped-assist ebikes — but evidently, not throttle-controlled ebikes.

According to Santa Monica City Attorney Doug Sloan,

“Defining activities would prohibit physically assaulting or attempting to physically assault bicyclists because of their status of a bicyclist, threatening to physically injure a cyclist, threatening to physically injure, including by road, cyclists because of being a cyclist. intentionally distracting or attempting to distract a cyclist, intentionally forcing or attempting to enforce a bicyclist off the street or bike lane,” Sloan said.

“It’s important to note that these are purely civil remedies,” he said before clarifying that this does not require city resources to enforce this — it is not criminal. So an aggrieved individual can bring a civil action against the perpetrator. It can include if they’re liable for damages for three times heir actual damage for each violation or $1,000, whichever is greater. Moreover, they can recover attorney fees and potentially punitive damages.

“It expressly says it does not constitute a misdemeanor or infraction. And that’s essentially it,” he said.

That last part is important, because it means a cop doesn’t need to witness the violation, or ticket the driver or file charges.

However, the same problems that have limited the Los Angeles ordinance would likely limit this one, as well.

Unless you record the violation on a bike cam or cellphone, it’s difficult to gather witnesses or other evidence to offer proof of what happened.

And even with the provision for legal fees, it’s hard to find a lawyer who will take a case without the possibility of substantial damages, because the amount of work required doesn’t usually make it worth their time.

Still, it’s a move towards holding dangerous, aggressive and road-raging drivers accountable.

Let’s just hope it spreads to the other 86 cities in LA County.

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No bias here.

The British press continued its demonization of “killer bicyclists” in the wake of a new law imposing a sentence of up to 14 years for killing someone by dangerous, careless or inconsiderate bicycling.

Which is seven years more than motorists face for a similar crime.

The London Telegraph lifted their paywall to breathlessly share a story about “reckless” bicyclists chasing Strava coms — including one person reportedly riding 52 mph in a 20 mph zone, which would be a world record speed.

A columnist for Express says it’s about time London’s “Lycra-clad maniacs” were forced to abide by the rules of the road, including such “trivialities” as traffic lights and crosswalks. Never mind that British bike riders are already subject to most of the same rules drivers are.

However, former Olympic gold medalist, Hour Record holder, and current National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman puts it in perspective.

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Don’t miss Sunday’s CicLAmini open streets event in Wilmington this Sunday. The weather should be cool, dry and partly cloudy, so it should be comfortable whether you’re riding, skating or walking.

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GCN considers whether Classified’s new Powershift hub could spell the end of front derailleurs, after it was used by the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team during the Giro’s individual time trial.

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It’s now 149 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

Once again, a British bike rider has been pushed off his bike by some jackass in a passing car when the passenger in a BMW leaned out the window and knocked a man in his 40s off his bicycle, and suffered a broken shoulder, cuts and bruises.

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

A bike rider in Singapore was fined the equivalent of $163 for running a red light while a mother was in the crosswalk pushing her child in a stroller.

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Local 

A new Caltrans plan to rebuild and widen Lincoln Boulevard — otherwise known as PCH — where it crosses Ballona Creek will include new sidewalks and protected bike lanes, along with lighting, landscaping and signage.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition and city Arts and Culture staffers will host a Pasadena Public Art Bike Ride tomorrow morning.

 

State

He gets it. A writer for the Thousand Oaks Acorn says “Bicycling instead of driving is a great way to reduce traffic, cut pollution, and save energy while contributing to California’s climate goals.”

The Big Bear bike parks will be opening in the next few weeks, with Snow Valley Bike Park opening weekends beginning May 24th, and Summit Bike Park opening daily on June 7th.

Pleasanton seniors discuss bike safety, amid concerns that a lack of safe infrastructure will keep older people from biking.

Mission Local shares photos from San Francisco’s Ride of Silence.

San Francisco Mayor Breed promises protected bike lanes in front of City Hall, even if “some supervisors have to give up their parking spaces.”

No bias here, either. A pair of writers for El Tecolote complain about the San Francisco MTA’s approval a $1.5 million contract with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to provide bicycle education for the next five years — which works out to just $300,000 a year — saying it “frees the Bicycle Coalition to hire a phalanx of lobbyists to influence city policy with Supervisors, commissioners, and city staff in all departments.”

Sonoma County is being sued by a woman who suffered a broken neck when she hit a pothole on her bike, on the same street where another woman was seriously injured hitting another pothole ten years earlier.

 

National

If you missed yesterday’s Bike to Work/Bike to Wherever Day, you may still have time to catch it today in New York or Seattle.

Seriously? ABC network officials are reportedly mad that Good Morning America 3 host DeMarco Morgan posted an Instagram photo wearing “skin-tight bike shorts” that “doesn’t leave much to the imagination.” Except he’s actually wearing a very normal bike jersey and padded bike shorts that leave about as much to the imagination as any other spandex-clad bicyclist. 

A self-described “car guy” swapped his four wheeler for an e-cargo bike for a week, and ended up rethinking what cars are really for.

Boise, Idaho intends to become the next bicycle capital of America. Although they may have to get in line behind all the other cities with the same aspirations. 

Idaho bicyclists got donuts and French pastries for Bike to School and Work Day. Meanwhile, LA bike riders got squat.

If you build it, they will come. After going a bike lane building binge in recent years, Chicago has doubled the number of bike trips over the past five years, with the greatest increase on the city’s South Side.

 

International

Hundreds of people turned out for a two-wheeled rave through the streets of Victoria, British Columbia.

Tragic news from the UK, where a “fit and active” 80-year old man died after falling from his bike following an “incident” with a van, after he was forced to ride close to the roadway when debris in the bike path narrowed it to just two feet wide; an inspector looked at the path just weeks before his death, and said it looked just hunky dory.

An Irish advocacy group rightfully complains that less than 350 drivers were fined for parking in bike lanes throughout the entire country in one recent year.

Mobility Outlook talks with the Head of Brand for India’s Hero Cycles, which it says is helping reshape the evolving bicycling culture in India with their ebikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time former world champ Julian Alaphilippe won the 12th stage of the Giro on Thursday in a solo breakaway; leader Tadej Pogačar finished in the main pack to hold on to the pink jersey.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could pay tribute to Vincent van Van Gogh — cutting off your ear is optional. Your next super-ebike mountain bike could be a McLaren, yes, that McLaren.

And there’s a new AI sheriff in town to keep you from cheating on your KOMs.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Happy Bike to Work/Bike Anywhere Day, Gov. Newsom says screw the planet and keep on driving, and Bike Talk talks racing

Just 229 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We made it up another notch to 1,132 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

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Happy Bike to Work/Bike Anywhere Day! Or as it’s known in Los Angeles these days, Thursday.

But at least you can get free Metro and Metrolink rides with your bike today, along with free Metro Bike rides.

Meanwhile, San Diego expects to have at least 10,000 people participate in the city’s Bike Anywhere Day, while the local public radio station tells you how to make the most of it.

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Evidently, California Governor Gavin Newsom wasn’t serious about all that climate change stuff.

Newsom, who Politico described as fully embracing the role of climate governor, had this to say in a press release in 2022.

“Cleaning the air we breathe. Protecting our communities from the harmful impacts of the oil industry. Accelerating California’s clean energy future. Each of these actions on their own are monumental steps to tackling the climate crisis – but California isn’t waiting a minute longer to get them done. We’re taking all of these major actions now in the most aggressive push on climate this state has ever seen because later is too late. Together with the Legislature’s leadership, the progress we make on the climate crisis this year will be felt for generations – and the impact will spread far beyond our borders. California will continue blazing a trail for America and the rest of the world on the swift and meaningful actions necessary for cutting carbon pollution, protecting communities and leading the clean energy future.”

But just two years later, he is proposing a whopping $600 million cut to the state’s Active Transportation Program to address the state’s massive budget shortfall — which Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry describes as “the most climate, energy, and equity efficient program in the entire transportation budget.”

All because he doesn’t want to touch the state’s massive $21 billion highway fund, as spokesperson for the governor claims that diverting highway funds could “negatively impact the key work that Caltrans does to maintain the state highway system.”

In other words, appeasing motorists by building and widening highways and fixing freeway potholes is far more important than, say, saving the planet.

The mealy-mouth hypocrisy is astounding.

Or it would be if Newsom hadn’t long ago revealed just how shallow his commitment is when it conflict with political expediency.

This is how Calbike Policy Director Jared Sanchez addressed the issue in an email to supporters.

There is no deficit in California’s transportation budget. Thanks to federal funding streams, there’s no need for transportation cuts.

Yet, Governor Gavin Newsom cut almost $600 million from the Active Transportation Program (ATP) in his draft budget. The ATP funds projects that make biking and walking safer and more appealing, advancing the infrastructure changes needed to combat climate change.

Tell the Legislature to Restore Full ATP Funding

This cut amounts to eliminating an entire ATP funding cycle, significantly reducing funding for infrastructure that will reduce soaring pedestrian deaths and enable more people to get around safely by bicycle.

The Active Transportation Program needs more funding, not less.

  • The ATP already turned away many worthy biking and walking projects because of a lack of funding, even before this cut.
  • The governor’s budget doesn’t cut funding for climate-killing highways.
  • California can afford to fund the ATP. With rising climate chaos, we can’t afford not to spend money on active transportation.
  • This drastic cut will affect communities across California, forcing local governments to delay planned bikeways — maybe one near you.

Last year, the governor tried to cut the ATP, and the legislature restored the funding. Tell your representatives we need them to protect active transportation again.

Seriously. do it already.

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Megan Lynch offers a photo from last night’s Ride of Silence in Davis, with a promise of more to come. So check back with her later.

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Bike Talk talks with longtime bike scribe Joe Lindsey about this year’s racing season.

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It’s now 148 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

The UK’s Conservative government passed a new law to address a problem that seldom happens, criminalizing causing death or serious injury by dangerous or careless cycling, with a maximum penalty of up to 14 years behind bars — seven years more than the penalty for doing the same thing with a car — as party leader Iain Duncan Smith insisted the anti-bicycling law isn’t anti-bicycling.  Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

I ain’t afraid of no ebike. Police in the UK are developing a Ghostbusters-style electromagnetic pulse, aka EMP, weapon to instantly stop scofflaw ebike or e-scooter riders in their tracks. And probably fry any electronic devices in the vicinity. Thanks again to Megan Lynch. 

Bike riders in Ireland respond to “highly regrettable” new signs on Irish Rail banning bicyclists at peak times, calling it a step backwards eliminates the possibility of muti-modal commuting.

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

A woman hit by a bicyclist in London’s Regent Park earlier this month urged bike riders to slow down, as a British broadcast network clocked bicyclists riding up to 7 mph over the park’s 20 mph speed limit.

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Local 

A writer for Condé Nast Traveler rides along with The Mixed Race, a weekly high-speed, women-led public bicycling group zipping through the streets of Los Angeles every Thursday night.

A WeHo website continues its recent anti-bike lane screeds, arguing that building protected bike lanes will take a sizable investment in staffer time and money. Even though not building them could prove substantially more expensive in the long run, as the city will be required to pay out lawsuits for any bike riders killed or injured where they would have been built.

The South Bay beach cities are considering even tighter restriction on ebikes, following a confrontation between local residents and a group of ebike-riding hooligans. Even though the type of bikes they were riding had nothing to do with the incident. And never mind that they were riding throttle-controlled fat bikes that should be reclassified as mopeds or electric motor scooters. 

 

State

Outside challenges you to three days of bicycling bliss along Southern California’s epic bike trails, starting with the El Prieto trail in the mountains above Pasadena, followed by nearby Tapia Canyon, and the Connect G-Out, Sidewinder, Dogtag and Karl’s trails in the scrubland east of Santa Clarita. And that’s just Day 1.

Bakersfield has seen a 30% jump in reports of bicycling collisions in just the last two years.

 

National

A new report ranks which states are most interested in bicycling, based on the volume of internet searches for “different bike types,” “cycling safety,” and “learning to ride,” which may not exactly be the best way to determine it; Washington, Rhode Island and Vermont top the list, with California all the way down at number eight.

A Chicago public radio station discusses what the city is doing to protect bike riders, as it suffers an average of over 1,400 bicycle collisions each year. Hint: Not enough. 

Crashes between Massachusetts bike riders and pedestrians are flagged as an emerging threat as bike lanes expand in the state. As if pedestrians don’t have a responsibility to look both ways before stepping into a bike lane, and misbehaving bicyclists would be no less dangerous without them.

DC councilmembers are pushing to restore funding for a controversial lane reduction and bike lane project, after the mayor thought he had killed it.

Bicycle advocates in Baton Rouge and New Orleans join a public radio station to discuss how to improve bike infrastructure in the Bayou State.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Georgia man plans to ride 82 miles to celebrate his 82nd birthday, after riding his age every year since he turned 70.

 

International

An op-ed in the Evening Standard says London’s bike riders aren’t killers, and the bicycling community in the city’s Regent Park is “keen” to protect others.

London’s transportation department tells bike riders to improve their behavior around floating bus stops, even though only four people have been hit by bike riders in three years.

Good Net considers how the city’s bicycle revolution is rapidly transforming Paris, as the number of bike riders has overtaken the amount of motorists on the city’s rues.

A new Finnish study shows that people who received their bicycles through a workplace benefit program ride more than five times the miles of the average Finn.

Germany is conducting a study allowing s-pedelecs — ped-assist bikes capable of doing up to 28 mph — on a special high speed bike path to determine if they can safely share bike paths with slower riders.

A new petition in Hyderabad, India, calls on the city to do more to make it bike friendly and promote active mobility.

No surprise here, as the new 100% tariffs Joe Biden imposed on Chinese-made electric vehicles and batteries could double the price of ebike batteries.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar maintained his two minute and forty second hold on the Giro’s pink leader’s jersey, as Italy’s Jonathan Milan survived a mass sprint to win the race’s 11th stage on Wednesday.

The formerly high-flying Visma-Lease a Bike cycling team is falling apart at the Giro, with the team down to just four riders with ten stages to go after both sprinter Olav Kooij and Cian Uijtdebroeks, who was fifth in the general classification, dropped out and Robert Gesink and Christophe Laporte both crashed out in the first week; team leaders Wout van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard were already out following crashes earlier this year.

World champ Mathieu van der Poel will skip mountain biking at the Paris Olympics to focus on the Olympic road race, after competing in the Tour de France..

Olympic triathlete Taylor Knibb even stunned even herself by earning a second Olympic berth by winning the women’s time trial at the U.S. road cycling championships in Charlotte, West Virginia.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can star in an ebike commercial being shot in Orange County and Big Bear.

And if you’re going to deliver food orders, it might as well be from a Penny Farthing.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Proposed LA County budget zeroes Vision Zero funding, and Bike to Work/Bike to Anywhere Day heats up — except in LA

Just 232 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re still stuck on 1,131 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

Photo by Darren Graves.

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Seriously?

LA County is apparently planning to zero out funding for Vision Zero. But you’ll have to hurry, because the County Board of Supervisors is meeting at 9:30 today to discuss the proposed budget.

You can find all the details in the link.

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A handful of events will mark Bike to Work/Bike to Anywhere Day in parts of LA County today and tomorrow.

Or as it’s known in the City of LA this year, Wednesday. And Thursday.

Burbank is hosting a pre-Bike to Work Day event at Johnny Carson Park from 11 am to 2 pm today, with complimentary bike check-ups and refurbished bike sales from Burbank Bike Angels, as well as other reps from local bike shops and advocacy groups.

Playa Vista Compass is hosting an early Bike to Work Day pit stop from 8 to 10 am today.

In addition to tonight’s Ride of Silence at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, there will also be a Los Angeles Ride of Silence starting at Re:Ciclos in Koreatown.

West Hollywood is teaming with the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition to host a Bike to Work pit stop at 8743 Santa Monica Boulevard from 7 to 9 am tomorrow.

Santa Monica Next looks at the events, giveaways and an array of refreshment pit stops for Santa Monica’s Bike to Anywhere Day, nee Bike to Work Day, on Thursday.

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Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Well, you will, right?

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The famed Mayor Clinic offers quick tips on how to avoid common injuries while riding your bike.

My best advice is to keep it upright, and just try to stay on it.

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A pair of video hosts for GCN recall the dumb, painful and craziest things they’ve done on a bike.

………

It’s now 145 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

No bias here. KTLA-5 examines the stop sign cams operated by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, the public entity overseeing over 75,000 acres of Southern California parklands. But they do if from the perspective of an aggrieved father whose son rolled a stop sign and considers it an unfair money grab, rather than a program designed to save lives by keeping drivers from breaking one of the most basic traffic laws.

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

Evidently, a headline writer for the Daily Mail has never seen a bicycle — or just can’t shake that windshield perspective — writing that the husband of a woman who was mowed down by ‘anti social’ teen called for harsher sentences for reckless riders, after a “spate of accidents behind the wheel.”

………

Local 

This is who we share the road with. An alleged speeding drunk driver killed a home in Garden Grove. And the woman who was sleeping in it with her husband. Thanks to How the West Was Saved for the link.

The Santa Monica City Council considers a quintet of bike motions, including what would be LA County’s second bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, after Los Angeles passed a similar measure in 2011, as well as examining what improvements are necessary to make Neilson Way a “safer and more attractive place to walk or ride a bicycle.”

 

State

Sad news from Stockton, where a man was killed when he was rear-ended at 75 mph while inexplicably riding his bicycle in the left lane of the I-5 Freeway.

Tragic news from Hayward, where a student from India’s Telugu region studying for his master’s at Cal State East Bay is in extremely critical condition and not expected to survive after he was struck by a driver while riding his ebike to see his family; family members are trying to raise funds to send his body back to India.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get your money’s worth when you sell your bike. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

The Cycling Independent examines why nearly every major bikemaker is struggling right now, and what it could mean going forward. Thanks to Malcomb Watson for the heads-up. 

Nice gesture from the widow of a fallen Seattle bicyclist, who donated $20,000 raised in a crowdfunding campaign after his death to local safe streets organizations.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner shares his “unpopular opinions” as the BikeFarmer on YouTube, including that the best bike for most people is the one you already have.

Good idea. A Michigan advocacy group is pushing to reclassify killing or injuring someone on a bicycle as a felony, instead of leaving it up to prosecutors to decide whether to file as a felony or misdemeanor.

 

International

Momentum considers five bicycle-friendly cities for a memorable spring bike getaway. Needless to say, none of them is Los Angeles.

Colombian pro cyclist Javier Jamaica was the victim of violent thieves who knocked him off his bike, then beat him and tied him up, before taking off with his cell phone, helmet, sunglasses and bike shoes; the Venezuelan suspects reportedly laughed at police when they arrested them.

Strava responded to calls to remove a popular section of London’s Regent’s Park where a speeding bike rider killed an elderly pedestrian, urging bicyclists to prioritize everyone’s safety, instead.

London’s floating bus stops may live on, after a member of the city assembly backed them for saving lives, despite complaints of reckless bike riders plowing through lines of bus passengers blocking the bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Washington Post looks at Indiana University’s iconic Little 500, the “wacky, grueling bike race” that captivates Bloomington Indiana, and was made famous in Breaking Away.

Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas is getting frustrated over conditions in the Giro, insisting “We’re just clowns in a circus.”

Good question. Cycling Weekly wants to know why cyclists put up with dangerous driving in bike races, when we wouldn’t accept it in any other circumstance.

Defending US Men’s and Women’s National Road Cycling champs Chloé Dygert and Quinn Simmons won’t defend their titles at this weekend’s Nats in West Virginia, opting instead for automatic berths on the US team in the Paris Olympics.

Finnish F1 driver Valtteri Bottas is having better luck on bikes than cars this year, after recently finishing 11th in Norther California’s Grasshopper Adventure Series alongside his girlfriend, Aussie pro cyclist Tiffany Cromwell.

 

Finally…

Your old bike chains could have a new life as Pokémon sculptures. That feeling when even riding an ebike up the city’s steepest hill proves a challenge.

And who would win a race between a bicyclist and a longboarder down California’s Donner Pass?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

San Diego advocates call for fixing “Fatal 15” intersections, and LAist talks with the originator of the 15-minute city

Just 233 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re still stuck on 1,131 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

………

Advocates from Circulate San Diego, Families for Safe Streets San Diego and the San Diego Bicycle Coalition held a press conference yesterday calling for simple, inexpensive fixes to the city’s “Fatal 15” intersections.

Their suggestions are nothing new. They’ve been calling for the same solutions to the city’s deadliest intersections for the past year, but they were left out of the mayor’s budget for the coming year.

However, the mayor is scheduled to release an updated budget today, and they’re asking for the fixes — which would cost $100,000 per intersection, or just $1.5 million total — to be included in the revised budget.

According to Streetsblog’s Melanie Currie,

“This is a high-return, low-cost budget item,” said Will Moore, Policy Counsel for Circulate San Diego. “We understand that it is difficult to run a city. There are a lot of hard decisions – so it is even more important to get the easy ones right.”

Even though the city of San Diego “committed to” Vision Zero almost ten years ago, pedestrian deaths remain high; nearly fifty pedestrians and cyclists lose their lives in traffic crashes in San Diego every year.

Katie Gordon’s husband Jason was killed at one of the “Fatal 15″ intersections. Now a member of Families for Safe Streets San Diego, she spoke of her husband and their twin daughters at today’s gathering, and urged the city to budget for these fixes. “Small improvements make a big impact,” she said. “Please don’t let the ‘Fatal 15’ take another life.”

But if it comes down to a question of money, maybe someone could remind the mayor it would cost the city a hell of a lot more than that just to settle with the survivors of the next one.

………

LAist talks with Carlos Moreno, originator of the 15-minute city, about his simple plan to reduce traffic and improve the livability of cities by increasing density and placing everything you need for daily life within 15 minutes of your home.

…Picture living in a bustling neighborhood where all your friends, basic needs, and even your job are reachable by a quick walk or bike or bus ride. (Something many people experience, possibly for the first and last time, on college campuses.) In such a city, parking areas may have been reclaimed as urban greenways, chance encounters with neighbors might be more common, and small local businesses would proliferate and thrive.

This vision is sometimes referred to as “the 15-minute city,” a concept pioneered by Franco-Colombian scientist and mathematician Carlos Moreno. It means basically what it sounds like: Instead of expecting residents to get in their cars and drive long distances to work, run errands, and take part in social activities, cities should instead be designed to provide those kinds of opportunities in close proximity to where people live, reducing overdependence on cars and increasing local social cohesion.

Paris, Moreno’s home, was the first city to put this concept into practice — part of a larger strategy to reduce air pollution and the presence of cars in the city’s iconic downtown areas. Since 2011, the French capital has reportedly reduced car traffic by 45 percent and associated nitrogen oxide pollution by 40 percent.

Even if you’re familiar with the concept, it’s worth reading to get a full grasp of the plan, which conspiracy theorists are somehow twisting into unrecognizably bizarre abstractions.

Then again, it’s also worth contributing a few bucks to support the public news site, which is currently facing upcoming layoffs.

………

There’s still time to provide your input on the update for the LA County Bicycle Master Plan.

………

This PSA from Rovélo Creative effectively makes the point that it’s not the bicycles that make our streets dangerous.

………

It’s now 144 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

No bias here. A Michigan two-way bike lane is being blamed for a collision involving a bicyclist because drivers aren’t used to the idea, rather than blaming the drivers for not grasping such a simple concept.

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

Um, okay. “Keen” bicyclist and BBC Top Gear host James May suggested that Britain doesn’t need to impose further speed restrictions on bicyclists because most bike riders aren’t fit enough to go that fast, after a court ruled that speed limits don’t apply to bicycles.

………

Local 

Metrolink is marking Bike Week with fare-free rides through Friday, if you board with your bike; LA Metro will also provide free bus and train rides to bike riders on Thursday’s Bike to Work/Bike Anywhere Day, along with free Metro Bike rides.

The DA’s office removed the prosecutors who got a conviction against wealthy socialist Rebecca Grossman for the high-speed crash that killed two little kids just crossing the street with their family from the case, over a perceived conflict of interest that really isn’t, which could affect the case as she appeals her conviction. And understandably outraging the victim’s parents.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Glendale’s new quick-build North Brand Boulevard Complete Streets Demonstration Project, complete with painted curb extensions and barrier-protected bike lanes; unfortunately, it doesn’t extend south to the street’s busy commercial corridor.

Colorado Boulevard offers a reminder about tomorrow’s Ride of Silence at the Rose Bowl.

Urbanize looks at a coming Complete Streets makeover for Eastern Ave in El Sereno, using funding that had originally been directed to the cancelled 710 Freeway extension.

Streetsblog reminds us about this Sunday’s CicLAmini in Wilmington, a more compact edition of the popular CicLAvia open streets events.

Long Beach’s popular Beach Streets open streets event will return this fall, after Sunday’s original date was canceled due to Metro funding changes.

 

State

Caltrans explains how to be a Complete Streets ambassador to help get the legislature to pass SB 960, aka the Complete Streets Bill, which will require Caltrans to add infrastructure for people who bike, walk and take transit whenever it repaves a state roadway.

The Orange County Register says Governor Newsom should balance the state budget by slashing climate spending, instead of say, reducing the state’s massive highway fund. After all, it’s not like there’s a climate emergency or anything. 

San Francisco public television station KQED offers advice on what to do if your bike gets stolen, including registering it with Bike Index before that happens.

 

National

Common Edge takes a deep dive into legendary pioneering urbanist Jane Jacobs and her love of bicycling.

A new study shows that people who regularly ride bicycles have a lower rate of knee trouble later in life.

The get it. Denver is reducing the city’s EV charger rebate to $200 to fund more ebike vouchers for income-qualified residents, after a study found nearly 80% of the city’s ebike vouchers have gone to well-off white people.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune offers Bike Week tips for beginning bike commuters, which apply down here, too.

Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island bans throttle controlled ebikes, with one official describing them as basically an electric motorcycle, while making clear that ped-assist ebikes are still welcome.

Cincinnati is relaunching the city’s docked bikeshare program, despite shutting it down due to funding issues earlier in the year, after several organizations contributed nearly half a million dollars to fund it through the end of this year.

The New York Times has a new newsletter addressing the battle for space on the city’s streets and sidewalks. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see this one without a subscription, so let me know so I’ll know whether to include it going forward. 

Discussions are underway to include a bike lane on a new Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, which will replace the bridge that collapsed after it was struck by a massive freighter in March.

Sad news from Miami, where a trolley passenger was somehow run down and killed as he was he was attempting to remove his bicycle from the front rack.

 

International

London’s Royal Parks requested that Strava remove the Regent’s Park segment on the app to discourage high speed riding in the park, after an 81-year old woman was killed by a speeding rider on the wrong side of the road as he passed a slower driver. Although there has been no suggestion that the app had anything to do with the crash that killed her.

McDonald’s is launching a program to get the Philippines biking, while using the company’s drive-ins as refueling stations for bicyclists.

 

Competitive Cycling

A team car was caught on video running down a French rider in the U19 women’s Championnats de Cyclisme de l’Avenir. Amandine Muller and Célia Gery were leading the race when Gery dropped back to talk to the driver of her team car; the driver bumped into Muller’s wheel, causing her to go down, where she was hit by Gery, who also hit the pavement. Another reminder that motor vehicles do not belong in the peloton. 

Cyclist ranks every UCI WorldTour race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could be inspired by NASA tech, but without the boosters and stuff. And what has six wheels, e-assist pedals and can jackknife like a semi?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

The late Sam Rubin was one of us, state officials just tinker with PCH safety, and drivers want all of WeHo streets

Just 234 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re still stuck on 1,131 signatures, so don’t stop now! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

Photo from the Sam Rubin Wikipedia page.

………

My apologies for another unexcused absence. 

Caring for my wife and her broken shoulder 24/7, along with suddenly becoming the sole caretaker for the corgi — never mind dealing with my own ever-growing health problems — leaves me with a very small window to work each day. 

And writing about a pair of fallen bicyclists Thursday night, as important as that was, took up all the time I had available to work. 

I’d like to say it won’t happen again, but it probably will until we get all this crap sorted out.

………

Larry Kawalec forwards news that longtime KTLA-5 entertainment reporter Sam Rubin was one of us.

Rubin took pride in organizing the station’s team for the annual MS 150 Bay to Bay Bike Tour, which raises funds to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.

He died unexpectedly on Friday from a rumored cardiac arrest. Sam Rubin was 64.

………

State transportation officials unveiled a new traffic safety campaign for PCH in Malibu, urging drivers to “Go Safely.”

The Go Safely PCH initiative calls for increased traffic enforcement, enhanced infrastructure and a public awareness campaign, with California Transportation Secretary Toks Omishakin saying “it signifies a collective effort to ensure the safety of all travelers along this iconic corridor.”

Although that “enhanced infrastructure” is little more than paint, with the state applying $4.2 million worth of lane separators, crosswalk striping, more visible road striping, speed limit markings, more speed limit and curve warning signs, pavement upgrades, bike lanes and pedestrian access, reaching from the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica to the Ventura County line.

And as we all know, a little bit of paint and road signs urging people to drive safely is all it takes to bring bad driver behavior and traffic violence screeching to a halt.

Right?

While there may be some modest benefit to the program, it represents a continuation of the state’s policy of just tinkering at the edges, investing as little money and effort as possible to do something to improve safety without inconveniencing all those people cruising down the highway in their hermetically sealed vehicles.

When what’s actually needed is a wholesale re-imagination of the deadly corridor, which is currently engineered to encourage speeding, to turn it into Malibu’s commercial Main Street and beachfront byway, instead of a highway designed to maximize throughput and funnel as many cars through as quickly as possible.

Adding a little more paint, posting more speed limit signs and urging drivers to “Go Safely” is the least they can do.

Which, sadly, is the most they ever seem to do.

………

A West Hollywood website seems to blame the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for upcoming bike-friendly improvements to the city’s streets.

According the WeHo Online Community News, the city is moving forward with “highly controversial plans to install protected bicycle lanes on Fountain Avenue, Willoughby Avenue, Gardner Avenue and eventually Santa Monica Boulevard, at the cost of increased vehicle congestion and a loss of street parking.”

As if city officials had somehow just rubber stamped the coalition’s “wish list,” without determining whether the changes were actually needed or wanted.

Anyone who has tried to ride in or through the city is undoubtedly aware that cars and the people in them currently dominate the lion’s share of the city streets, with a few relatively minor and mostly unsafe exceptions.

Adding protected bike lanes and other safety improvements simply rebalances the equation to provide safe spaces for people outside of car, while improving safety for everyone on the street. Yet still largely maintaining the current automotive hegemony.

But evidently, they just want all the streets themselves, and the hell with anyone else.

………

A new report concludes that 8% of deaths among homeless people in Los Angeles was due to traffic violence.

The only real surprise is that the number is so low.

………

Burbank is planning a series of overnight road closures through June 3rd to build a new protected bike lane.

………

Gravel Bike California offers a video recap of the recent Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

………

It’s now 143 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

Meanwhile, Michigan Democrats included a modest $3 million in the state budget for ebike vouchers covering up to 90% of the purchase price, which Republicans somehow concluded is “off the rails.”

Residents of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard can get a rebate for up to 90% off the cost of an ebike.

Connecticut is considering a lottery for their next round of ebike vouchers, anticipating that demand for the vouchers will far outstrip supply. Which makes a hell of a lot more sense than California’s plan to start and stop the voucher program every two months to allow them to better mismanage it.

And in news that really shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s paying attention, a British Columbia study shows that ebike rebates really do reduce motor vehicle usage.

………

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

Sacramento bicyclists are complaining about drivers illegally using a ten-mile long bike path, in an apparent attempt to bypass traffic; local residents say they see an average of seven motorists using the path each day, including a recent truck driver.

No bias here. British actor Nigel Havers claimed that “no cars go through a red light,” while “every cyclist does.” A bizarre assertion that’s demonstrably false on both counts, apparently based on the extensive knowledge of traffic safety he gained starring in Chariots of Fire. 

Speaking of disgruntled British actors, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz star Simon Pegg posted a video that may or may not have been an attempt at humor, showing himself passing bike riders as he drives, while telling bicyclists to “fuck off,” “get out of the way,” “just because you can ride two-abreast, doesn’t mean you fucking have to”, and to “get out of the middle of the fucking road, dopey”. And to think I used to like that potty mouthed son of a mother. 

No bias here, either. The British press is on a rampage over the more than 30 pedestrians killed by bicyclists over the past decade, calling for a new law to criminalize dangerous bicycling, as if the current laws against it aren’t enough. Although calling people riding bicycles on the sidewalk “terrorists” just needlessly diminishes the meaning of the word, at a time when people are literally dying because of it. And just wait until someone tells them about the 17,052 people killed by drivers in the UK over the same period. 

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

A Quebec mother blames bike lanes and scofflaw bicyclists after her four-year old daughter was “assaulted” by a woman riding a bicycle, who apparently ignored the stop signs on a school bus, and slammed head on into the little girl as she crossed the bike lanes to get to her bus.

Then again, Londoners may have some reason for concern after all, after a dog walker in the city’s Regent Park suffered multiple skull fractures to her eye socket, jawbone and cheekbone, as well as musculoskeletal injuries, when she was struck by a speeding bicyclist who strayed onto the wrong side of the road to pass a car, at the same spot where another bike rider had killed an 81-year old woman.

The Daily Mail bizarrely asserts that all drivers observe the 20 mph speed limit, while bicyclists routinely ignore it; one bike rider was clocked doing 32 mph. Maybe British drivers are different, but the idea that all, or even most, drivers in the US routinely observe any speed limit would be laughable. 

Meanwhile, a British columnist insists that when he rides a bike, he does everything right, just like he does when he’s driving. But all those other bad, bad bike riders should have to wear numbered plates, and face a new law criminalizing scofflaw bicyclists, who he claims are “even more touchy as a group than almost any other I can think of.”

………

Local 

This is who we share the road with. Three young people were killed, and three others critically injured — and a vacant Pasadena building virtually demolished — when the driver lost control after running a red light and slammed into the building, while traveling at least twice the posted speed limit.

Santa Monica’s Sundays Cycles bike shop was vandalized because of the Israeli flag the owner hung in the window following the October 7th Hamas attack, as someone wrote “Free Palestine” across the window. Although I’d hesitate to call a little easy-to-remove graffiti “vandalism,” whether or not you disagree with the sentiment. 

A 35-year old Compton woman faces multiple charges for the alleged drunken Long Beach hit-and-run that killed a 17-year old boy riding a scooter on Orange Street and South Street.

 

State

Calbike condemns the governor’s draconian cuts to the state’s Active Transportation Program, arguing that, despite the state’s massive $40+ billion budget deficit, there is no deficit in the transportation budget. And never mind that Gov. Newsom could maintain programs aimed at reducing climate change, while actually furthering the state’s climate goals, by cutting highway funding, instead.  

Bakersfield bicyclists are forming an all-volunteer Kern River Bike Patrol, to “promote safety, offer an informed trail presence, trailside information, bike safety advice, flat tire assistance and simple bike repair, as well as first aid skills and other assistance” along the popular bike path on the river’s banks.

 

National

Consumer Reports recommends the best ebike-specific bike helmets.

People recaps the twists and turns of the unsolved murder of Colorado mom Suzanne Morphew, who disappeared four years ago after leaving on a Mother’s Day bike ride; her body was found in September, 50 miles from her home, with traces of an animal tranquilizer in her system.

This is your chance to bike New York’s famed Watkins Glen race track, with an all-too-brief two hour window this Wednesday.

The emotional husband of fallen bicyclist and foreign diplomat Sarah Debbink Langenkamp celebrated the passage of a new Maryland law passed in her memory, which imposes a fine up to $2,000 and two months behind bars for killing someone riding in a bike lane.

 

International

A columnist for Cycling Weekly says people who don’t ride bikes think there’s something wrong with us, and imagine we’re a strange breed, even to our close friends.

Life is cheap in Ontario, where a speeding driver walked with a lousy $2,000 fine and six month’s probation for killing an 81-year old man riding his bike to a weekly gathering with his family.

The UK’s transportation secretary is considering a ban on floating bus stops, which could preclude building segregated bike paths.

Belgian Royal Antwerp soccer star Eliot Matazo killed an 85-year old bike rider in a collision, after the victim allegedly ran a red light.

 

Competitive Cycling

After nine stages, Tadej Pogačar continues to lead the Giro, with a two minute 40 second margin, with Daniel Martinez second and Geraint Thomas a surprising third, after Olav Koolj of the Netherlands took the stage win.

Costa Rican pro Andrey Amador was lucky to escape with a broken ankle and foot when a truck driver ran over hit foot and destroyed his bike, after he slipped on gravel on a training ride in Spain.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to break into Drake’s home, don’t leave your bike behind — and if you do, don’t come back to get it later. Now you, too, can pedal a propeller to push you through the water like a human torpedo; thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

And that feeling when you have to wear a bike helmet to a tennis match to avoid getting bonked in the head with a water bottle.

Again.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Happy National Bike & Roll to School Day, and the LA Times calls for genuine action on city’s moribund Green New Deal

Just 237 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,131 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

………

Happy National Bike & Roll to School Day!

Or as it’s known here in Los Angeles, Wednesday.

………

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times writes that Los Angeles needs to take genuine action on the city’s moribund Green New Deal — there’s that word again — to reach its climate goals, not more excuses.

According to the paper, former mayor and current ambassador Eric Garcetti had the easy job of setting ambitious goals for the city, leaving it to his successor to actually carry them out.

You can guess how that worked out.

Plans for more than $40 billion in rail, highway and mobility projects that were supposed to be finished in time for the 2028 Olympics have been scaled back dramatically after Metro was unable to line up even half of the funds needed. A City Controller’s report last fall found that Garcetti’s Green New Deal plan has not accomplished much, lacks meaningful metrics of progress and doesn’t amount to a “comprehensive and actionable set of steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

It’s disappointing that these lofty efforts to make Los Angeles an environmental and transit model have yielded so little.

In the latest instance of lowered expectations, Metro’s staff has for the second time in a year tried to delay the transit agency’s 2030 deadline to convert its entire 2,000-bus fleet to emissions-free electric models, without so much as a vote. In the seven years since Metro adopted the zero-emission policy, it has managed to order only 145 battery-electric buses and get just 50 of them delivered.

A big part of what’s been forgotten in the brief 3+ years since Garcetti breathed the program into life has been any commitment to expanding the city’s bicycle network.

After Garcetti initially left bicycles out of his first draft of the Green New Deal, he followed up a month later by signing a new executive order calling for a “comprehensive citywide network of active transportation corridors, including protected bike lanes, paths along regional waterways and low-stress neighborhood bike improvements,” along with a host of other transportation and energy goals.

In fact, the city committed to expanding the percentage of all trips made by walking, biking and micro-mobility to at least 35% by next year, climbing up to 50% by 2035.

But Los Angeles won’t come close to meeting that goal, after failing to build more than a tiny fraction of the city’s ambitious mobility plan. And it’s not likely to meet the goal for 2035 unless someone lights a fire under city leaders, who so far have shown more interest in delaying, if not halting, any action on building out the plan.

Which is exactly what led to Measure HLA, committing them to building out the mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

Yet Mayor Bass and the city council have responded to HLA by proposing a cut in transportation funding and a hiring freeze for the already understaffed LADOT and LA Street Services. And slow walking the street resurfacing program to delay implementing the measure.

Ensuring that the city will fail to meet its Vision Zero and Green New Deal commitments for next year, and likely for years, if not decades, to come.

So if you ask me why I’m angry, and why we need to meet with the mayor, there’s your answer.

………

A hard-hitting Scottish traffic safety PSA tells drivers to give bike riders a 1.5 meter passing distance — the equivalent of nearly five feet —  “Because it’s not just a bike. It’s a person.”

………

It’s now 140 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

No bias here. After a man riding in a London bike lane was filmed being cut off by a driver turning into a No Entry roadway to make a U-turn, UK pro-driving traffic lawyer Mr. Loophole blamed the victim, insisting the bike rider should be prosecuted for the crash, while bike-riding BBC presenter Jeremy Vine said anyone who thinks the bike rider was at fault “should have their driving license rescinded” — a comment that got Vine labelled as “arrogant.”

No bias here, either. Local residents say the UK’s biggest bike lane is a waste of money because not enough bicyclists use it, and the space should be given back to motorists because “they’re the majority.” Meanwhile, bike riders say they don’t use it because it’s covered in twigs and stones, making it too dangerous to ride.

Welsh drivers claim that a new bike lane and walkway that gives more space for bicyclists and pedestrians than to drivers is “an attack on your right to drive a car,” and part of an “anti-car agenda.”

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

Police in Singapore busted a group of 20 bicyclists for violating the country’s draconian limit of no more than five people riding single file, or groups up to 10 riding two abreast; they were also charged with using “non-compliant active mobility devices,” whatever that means.

………

Local 

A Next City podcast discusses LA’s “mobility wallet,” which it describes as the biggest Universal Basic Mobility experiment ever attempted in the US; the program provides 1,000 South LA residents with $150 per month to spend on any form of transportation, from transit and micro-transit to bikeshare and ebikes.

West Hollywood will hold an informational open house in Plummer Park on Tuesday, May 21st, to discuss the planned bike-friendly Complete Streets makeover of Willoughby Ave, and Vista/Gardner and Kings streets.

LA County has approved a nearly $3.4 million settlement in the killing of Dijon Kizzee, who was shot by sheriff’s deputies as he tried to flee from a traffic stop for riding his bike on the wrong side of the road, in the Westmont neighborhood of South LA in 2020.

 

State

Calbike reports on what they hope is the last workgroup meeting for the California E-Bike Incentive Project before it finally launches. They hope.

Twenty-six-year old Christian Joshua Howard pled not guilty to a felony count of hit-and-run causing death for the St. Patrick’s Day death of 51-year old Oceanside postal worker Tracey Gross as she rode her bike home from work.

Sad news from San Jose, where a male bike rider was killed in front of a local high school when a speeding driver ran a red light, and slammed into the victim. But sure, tell me again about that bike rider you saw roll a stop sign.

 

National

Bicycling considers how long it takes to ride a century. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you. 

Electrify News says ebikes are the greatest form of green transportation, and now is the best time ever to buy one. Thanks to Malcomb Watson for the links.

Outside recommends the best bike accessories and tools for road and gravel riding.

A writer for Streetsblog says ebikes are the key for creating financially sustainable bikeshare programs.

Strong Towns considers five ways the National Bike to Work Day can miss the mark.

The White Line Foundation, which was founded in response to 17-year old US National Team cyclist Magnus White’s tragic death, will host the memorial “Ride for Magnus: Ride for Your Life” this August along the same Colorado road where he was killed last July.

California isn’t the only state considering requiring speed limiting devices; a New York state bill would require the devices on vehicles belonging to serial speeders, limiting them to no more than 5 mph over the limit, unlike the California bill, which would require the devices on all new vehicles while allowing a maximum of 10 mph over the posted speed limit. The New York approach sounds like a great complement to the California bill, which will take decades to replace every car now on the road. 

New York plans to permanently reroute the city’s First Avenue protected bike lane through an existing underground tunnel in time for September’s meeting of the UN General Assembly.

A Baltimore woman started selling ice cream from her bicycle ten years ago, founding a company that now brings in a quarter-million dollars a year.

 

International

Cycling News lists the best Giro d’Italia inspired bicycling bargains in both the US and the UK.

Momentum says bicyclists will have an unprecedented opportunity to ride through the iconic streets of Paris to the giant Grand Picnic des Champs on the Champs-Elysées at the end of this month.

An ex-pro paracycling champ has made the unusual transition from the New Zealand national team to owning the leading fence painting firm in Waikato, a district of half a million people.

An Australian study shows replacing parking spaces with bike lanes could improve city accessibility and livability without affecting business revenue, calling it a Robin Hood planning tactic

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-two-year old New York native Magnus Sheffield is making his Grand Tour debut in the Giro, as the youngest rider on the Ineos Grenadiers, he’s already won the 2022 De Brabantse Pijl, as well as finishing second overall in the Tours of Norway and Denmark.

Italian sprinter Jonathan Milan claimed stage four of the Giro with a “monstrous” effort in the final 200 yards; there was no change among the top three riders in the general classification.

Jonas Vingegaard took his first ride in over a month following a horrific mass crash in the Tour of the Basque Country, and said he’s aiming to make the start line for this summers Tour de France to compete for a third straight yellow jersey.

This year’s edition of America’s top international bike race, the Maryland Cycling Classic, has been sunk by complications from the Baltimore bridge collapse, after the city’s Francis Scott Key Bridge fell when it was struck by a massive freighter.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a triple Tour de France stage winner stops to fix your flat. Or when a four-year old girl pedals the bike while her dad rides in the basket.

And we may have to worry about a near miss with LA drivers, but at least we don’t often brake for a “deer miss.”

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Bass budget cuts safe streets funding; appeals court considers whether DEA agent can be tried for killing bike rider

Just 238 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,130 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

………

Somehow, I missed this one last week, as Streets For All called out Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ proposed new budget for the City of Angels.

Which doesn’t just fail to fund safer streets, but actually makes cuts to vital programs — include the city’s ability to roll out Measure HLA as streets are resurfaced, something required by the ballot measure that passed with overwhelming support.

StreetsLA’s Pavement Preservation Program — which is the primary mechanism for Measure HLA implementation, was cut by 21%. Even worse, despite the department now having to put in ADA compliant curb ramps every time they repave a street (maybe?), no new money was allocated for curb ramps. A budget reduced by 21% will actually repave even fewer streets because the money for curb ramps will have to come from the resurfacing budget. The net effect will be fewer streets repaved, meaning fewer Mobility Plan safety improvements implemented.

LADOT’s budget was cut by 1%, from $217M to $215M. However, this is worse than it seems on the surface, as there are zero new positions for LADOT to be able to keep up with StreetsLA’s (reduced) repaving, meaning the current plan at LADOT is status quo (ie. very slow implementation of the mobility plan). The net effect will be that LADOT will struggle to do even a fraction of what StreetsLA could repave in the next year on mobility plan corridors, further slowing down mobility plan implementation. You can read LADOT’s response to the budget here.

The mayor has made a billion dollar commitment to housing homeless people and preventing the needless deaths of the unhoused on LA’s mean streets.

But she has failed to show any concern for the record number of needless traffic deaths on our streets — including the 77 people who have already lost their lives in just the first quarter of this year.

Which is yet another reminder why we need to demand a meeting with her to listen to the risks we face just walking or biking on our streets.

Streets For All also criticizes the City Administrative Officer’s blatant, last minute attempt to sink Measure HLA prior to the election with a vastly overinflated cost estimate.

Perhaps most egregiously, the CAO claimed that HLA would cost $310M/year over 10 years, and told the City Council that, if passed by voters, “Council would need to make hard decisions immediately about how to pay for it.” While we called out his numbers as a political stunt at the time, this budget makes it very clear how much of a stunt it actually was, as the only money the budget actually allocates specifically to HLA is $102,000 to LADOT to create the measure’s mandated dashboard. That’s a difference of $309,898,000.

Fortunately, the people of Los Angeles saw through their attempt to put a heavy hand on the scale in an effort to sink HLA without openly opposing the measure.

Shameful doesn’t begin to describe it.

………

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments today on a case we’ve been following since last year, which will determine whether a DEA agent can be held accountable for killing a woman riding a bicycle in Salem, Oregon.

After the local press caught the police deliberately slow walking the investigation, county prosecutors finally charged Samuel T. Landis with criminally negligent homicide last September, after Landis admitted to running a stop sign and killing the victim.

However, his lawyers successfully argued that the case should be moved to federal court because he was part of an undercover team surveilling a major drug dealer at the time of the collision.

Which means he could escape accountability entirely, as the Salem Reporter explains.

The key dispute is over whether Landis should be prosecuted at all for Allen’s death. The agent can only seek immunity in federal court because that legal defense doesn’t exist under Oregon law.

Landis’ attorneys say that he only needed to claim that he might get immunity at the federal level to justify the shift to federal court. Landis could then argue for the case to be dismissed entirely by claiming immunity. Otherwise, prosecutors would then try the case in federal instead of state court.

The proceedings will be streamed live if you want watch it yourself.

………

David Drexler offers photos from the CicloIrvine open streets event in Irvine on Saturday.

According to Drexler, the cloudy skies and threatening weather may have limited the turnout, though he notes the extremely wide streets could have also contributed to a perception that there were fewer people than there actually were.

It’s also possible that the short route distance may have kept more bicyclists from attending, as well as the fact that it was a first time event with little advance publicity outside the city.

He also added this thought —

Irvine really put on a first-class event and I would have liked to see more of a cycling turnout.

But really in Irvine everyday is CicloIrvine because they have miles and miles of dedicated bike paths/tunnels/bridges all over the city where you can cycle without dealing with a car combined with their wide street bike lanes on almost every road.   I can take you on a 40+mile ride in Irvine, crossing back and forth, up and down and not even have to stop for a traffic light or car or even ride in the street with cars. (50+ miles if you combine it with Newport Beach into Back Bay.)  I think cycling infrastructure in Irvine is 2nd to no other non-beach front city.  But it’s a totally master planned city with modern road engineering.

All photos by David Drexler

………

It’s now 139 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

The San Francisco Fire Department was forced to apologize after they made up an imaginary traffic law requiring bicyclists to ride single file.

No bias here. After a New York council member insisted without evidence that a pair of new protected bike lanes made the streets more dangerous, the actual stats showed just the opposite.

Once again, someone has tried to sabotage a UK bikeway, tossing dozens of tacks on a 30-year old rail trail that forms a part of the country’s National Cycling Network, and is very popular with families riding with their kids, in an apparent effort to puncture their tires, which could result in serious injuries.

No bias here, either. A British writer says it’s time authorities caught up with the recklessness of ebike riders, who he accuses of “no regard for red lights, pedestrian crossings, one-way streets or right of way,” blaming everyone who rides one for the actions of a few.

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

A New Orleans woman may have stolen all the potted plants from in front of a market at four in the morning, but at least she used a bicycle to do it.

………

Local 

Streetsblog offers an update on bus and bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley, including a short, newly protected bike lane on Laurel Canyon Blvd.

This sounds like fun. A social-paced group ride on Saturday, May 25th will retrace the route of the abandoned 1890s California Cycleway, an elevated wooden bikeway stretching from Los Angeles to Pasadena that was only partially built before being scrapped.

A Pasadena Urban and Regional Planning professor calls for completely remaking the city’s ugly North Lake corridor with a comprehensive plan for a complete street, greenstreet, streetscape and beautification concept, rather that simply reversing an earlier street widening.

Santa Monica police will conduct yet another Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation today, ticketing any traffic violations that could cause a collision between motorists, pedestrians and/or bicyclists. As usual, ride to the lett of the law until you cross the city limits today, so you’re not the one who gets fined.

 

State

The former Governator says ride your bike or walk instead of driving, because we all have to work together to reduce pollution. Although he hasn’t look like that picture for a long damn time. 

Calbike says the recent California Bike Summit in San Diego offered inspiration, excitement and new ideas.

The Seal Beach Police Department offers tips on how to protect your bike from thieves. And actually gets it right.

It’s a mixed bag on whether you’re allowed to ride your bike through a Fresno pharmacy drive-thru.

Merchants along San Francisco’s Valencia Street are calling on the city to scrap the street’s contentious centerline protected bike lane, and convert it to a more conventional curbside protected lane.

That’s more like it. The Berkeley city council will vote on a proposal to hire a program manager for the city fire department, tasked with reducing injuries and deaths on city streets, while keeping roads clear for medics to reach crashes in time to save lives.

 

National

A new study shows Louisiana has the most aggressive and angriest drivers, followed by New Mexico and Montana. The only real surprise is that California didn’t even crack the top ten. 

Houston will celebrate the arts this Saturday with the city’s third annual Art Bike Parade, featuring hundreds of fancifully decorated bicycles.

The world’s most rural bikeshare station just opened in a tiny Nebraska town of only 2,600 people.

A Michigan police dog deserves extra treats tonight for flushing a hit-and-run driver out of the woods, where she had run to avoid arrest for running down a 73-year old woman riding a bicycle, leaving the victim hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries; she left a passenger in her car behind to falsely claim she had been the one driving.

Some New York bike riders are complaining that ebike riders were allowed to participate in the city’s 40-mile, carfree Five Boro Bike Tour, somehow diminishing the accomplishment for those who did the whole thing under their own power.

 

International

Fifty bicycles donated and refurbished in Chicago were ridden across the US-Mexico border to be given to people in need in Mexico, in a ride coordinated by the consulates of both countries.

A killer UK driver is finally behind bars, 24 years after he skipped bail before he could be sentenced for killing a pair of bike riders while driving dangerously; he was finally tracked down living in France under an assumed name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar leads the Giro after stage three with a 46-second lead over 2nd place Geraint Thomas, with Daniel Martinez in third just one second behind Thomas; Pogačar and Thomas nearly won Monday’s stage in a breakaway, before being reeled in by the peloton just before the finish.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you just want to give your kid a quiet post-royal birthday, and hope no one shows up with another bike. Your next vastly overpriced e-mountain bike could be an Audi.

And if you have to clear noxious plants from along a bikeway, don’t let them get your goat.

Or goats, even.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

77 LA traffic deaths in 1st quarter of 2024, arrest made in fatal Oceanside hit-and-run, and don’t count on CA ebike voucher

Just 239 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,130 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

Photo by Artyom Kulakov from Pexels.

………

Speaking of Vision Zero fails, Crosstown LA reports that traffic deaths are down for the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. But still significantly higher than the pre-pandemic years.

According to the site, 77 people have been killed on the mean streets of Los Angeles, seven fewer than last year.

And about 77 more than we should have seen in the penultimate year before LA traffic deaths are supposed to be down to zero.

Thirty-nine of the fatalities so far this year were pedestrians, along with three people riding bicycles; another 32 bicyclists suffered serious injuries.

Hit-and-run drivers accounted for 31 of the 77 deaths this year, putting the city on track to far exceed the 108 hit-and-run deaths in 2023, the highest year on record.

And already half of the 62 fatal hit-and-runs in all of 2019.

………

Oceanside police have arrested a suspect in the hit-and-run that killed an Oceanside postal worker earlier this year.

Twenty-six-year old Riverside resident Christian Howard was arrested Friday morning at his Corona job site for the March death of 52-year old Tracey Gross.

The 51-year old mother of two was found lying in the roadway badly injured, and died after being rushed to the hospital; her bike was found two mile away, apparently dragged by the killer’s car as he fled the scene.

Howard is being held on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death.

………

All of which brings us to our next topic, as Pasadena prepares for next week’s annual Rose Bowl Ride of Silence.

Here’s a recent press release for this important event.

THE PASADENA RIDE OF SILENCE INVITES THE PUBLIC TO ATTEND THE 22ND ANNUAL RIDE HONORING CYCLISTS KILLED
Pasadena and the world participate in a silent cycling procession, during National Bike Month, to honor injured and fallen cyclists and to advocate for safer streets for everyone. 

Doves realized at the 2023 Ride of Silence

PASADENA, CA, May 1, 2024 – The cycling community of Pasadena invites the public to join in for the annual Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 15th, at 6 p.m. This solemn event, now in its 22nd year, honors cyclists who have been injured or killed on public roadways and raises awareness about sharing the road safely.

  The Pasadena Ride of Silence will begin at the Rose Bowl in the north end of Lot K, with announcements beginning at 6 p.m. and white doves from White Dove Release will be sent off individually to honor the cyclists lost during the last year. At 7 p.m., a police escort will lead cyclists of all ages and abilities en masse on a slow and silent 9-mile route to Pasadena City Hall, where attendees will observe a moment of silence to honor friends and family lost to traffic violence. The ride will finish at the Rose Bowl with free tacos for all participants. 

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that 1,105 cyclists were killed by drivers of motor vehicles in 2022, the highest number ever recorded since the federal government started collecting data in 1975. Experts believe the increase in fatalities is due to several factors: inadequate street designs to include safe lanes for cycling, larger vehicles such as pickups and SUVs which are deadlier in size and shape, higher horsepower in vehicles that are more likely to speed, and distracted driving. 

As grim as the statistics are, there is hope for the future. Announced April 29, 2024, the NHTSA and the Biden Administration will require all new U.S. cars and trucks to be sold with automatic emergency braking (AEB) by September 2029. AEB are sensors that hit the brakes to avoid a collision if the driver does not. The new system will detect vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. 

“We ride to remember. We ride to advocate. We ride for change,” said Thomas Cassidy, Pasadena Ride of Silence organizer. “Everyone deserves to return home safely from a ride. The Ride of Silence serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of mutual respect and vigilance on our roadways.” 

Local bicycle shops, ambassadors from the cycling community, and safe street programs will be in attendance, including Dorothy Wong. Dorothy Wong is a member of Altadena Town Council, a community organizer specializing in bicycling advocacy and she was recently honored with the Woman of Distinction Award for the 41st Assembly District.

2023 Ride of Silence riders at Pasadena City Hall

………

It’s now 138 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

However, there finally seems to be some movement.

But not all for the good.

Streetsblog reports on the latest update, following the recent meeting of the California Air Resources Board ebike incentive workgroup.

On the plus side, the program administrators are considering — yes, just considering — requiring that any ebikes sold through the program be required to be UL or EN certified to reduce the risk of fires.

The proposed battery certification requirements were welcomed by many callers, and particularly those who worry about e-bike batteries catching fire while being charged. A bill currently wending through the legislature, A.B. 1271, could make the point moot anyway, as it would require all bikes sold in California to be either UL or EN certified for safety.

To make up for the higher cost of a certified ebike, the current plan is to allow up to $1,750 regardless of the type of ebike, or $2,000 for low income applicants.

On the other hand, your chances of actually getting on would seem be on the low side between slim and none.

And even if you do qualify, you may have a long wait.

The current plan is to offer rebates in a series of six windows, each of which will close after receiving just 2,500, with a two-month period in between to provide time to process the applications.

Yes, two months.

I guess hiring enough people to process the applications in a timely manner is out of the question.

The project website is supposed to have a place where applicants can get a jump start by setting up a user profile and log-in, but that doesn’t seem to be available yet. Keep checking back, because once the first launch window opens, it is very likely to close quickly – even immediately. The plan is to close it once 2,500 applications have been received, so as to avoid backlogging a waiting list until the next launch window.

Eligible applicants are California residents at least 18 years old with an annual household income at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. That means, for a household of one person, an applicant must make $45,180 or less; for a household of four, income must be $93,600 or less. People with incomes less than 225 percent of the federal Poverty level (so: $33,885 for one person household, $70,200 for a four-person household), or who live in a disadvantaged or low-income community as defined by law, are considered “priority applicants.” That doesn’t mean they get to jump ahead in line, though; about $5 million from the total available $31 million in the program has been set aside to make sure priority applicants get incentives. Priority applicants are also eligible for a slightly higher amount.

And never mind that the 2,500 application window means the program will only accept a maximum of 15,000 applications for the first year. That’s a total of just 15,000 for a state with 39 million people.

Which means that you’ll have a less that .04% chance of even applying for a voucher, let alone actually getting one.

And that assumes the people running the program actually get their shit together and somehow manage to stick to their painfully slow schedule.

Which seems like a very long bet at this point.

………

A new crowdfunding campaign is raising money to assist LA yoga instructor Peter Anderson, who was seriously injured in a bicycling crash a couple weeks ago.

It currently stands at nearly $2,200 of the relatively modest $10,000 goal.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

………

Bike Long Beach is hosting a Bike to Work group ride from Long Beach to DTLA on Friday, May 17th.

………

A well-done, if somewhat lengthy video, examines how Amsterdam settled on the “correct” 30 kilometer per hour speed limit, the equivalent of 18 mph.

Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the forward. 

………

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

Sometimes it’s not a matter of bikes versus cars, but bikes against…trees. Or at least, that’s how a Madison, Wisconsin alderman unfairly framed his decision to kill a long-planned North/South pathway through the Sauk Creek Greenway on the city’s far west side. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

A Minnesota driver was caught on bike cam video intentionally swerving head-on at a bike rider, apparently just for the hell of it.

A Member of the UK Parliament is calling for bicycles to be required to have numbered plates to curb anti-social behavior by their riders, allowing the them to be identified and prosecuted. Because that’s worked so well to stop bad behavior by motorists, apparently. Never mind that for the numbers to be legible at a distance, the plates would have to be so large as to be totally impractical on a bicycle.

The UK’s Conservative government demonstrated its pro-car bias, asking if the current fines for drivers caught using bike lanes are fair to the people who aren’t supposed to be there in the first place.

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

Charges were dismissed against a London man who killed an 81-year old woman in the city’s Regents Park while riding his bike 29 mph in a 20 mph zone, after the court ruled speed limits don’t apply to bicycles.

An English woman was punched in the face by a bicyclist as she walked on a bike path, after the man got off his bike to talk to her. Something tells me there may be another side to the story. But violence is never the answer, regardless of how justified you may feel in the moment.

………

Local 

A writer for LA Downtown News says there’s little danger to riding a bicycle in DTLA, if you know where and how to ride.

West Hollywood will team with the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition to host a pop-up Bike to Work Day pit stop on Santa Monica Blvd Thursday, May 16th.

 

State

Calbike calls for support for Burbank Assemblymember and likely future Congresswoman Laura Friedman’s Quicker and Better Bikeways Bill, arguing that California can’t afford not to build better bikeways, and do it quickly.

Oceanside bike lawyer and BikinginLA sponsor Richard Duquette forwards more information on Encinitas docked bikeshare provider BCycle’s decision to pull out of the city due to low usage rates.

A La Jolla op-ed writer wants to know how San Diego is supposed to encourage more biking and walking, when it can’t even manage to maintain the infrastructure it has.

An op-ed from a Santa Barbara physician questions whether the bicycle movement is failing the city, as injuries climb despite a decrease in ridership.

Hundreds of mostly young bike riders turned out for a San Francisco Cinco de Mayo Rideout.

 

National

Bicycling offers answers to cycling’s silent epidemic, as too many women quit riding due labial swelling and pain. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

A Colorado speech pathologist and brain injury specialist trainer says the state needs a mandatory bike helmet law to go along with its ebike voucher program. But gets it wrong when she says traditional bicycles are regulated as motor vehicles under federal law, while ebikes aren’t; actually, both are regulated under state law, but never as motor vehicles.

No bias here. A Massachusetts newspaper says the local community rallied to help three young boys after they were hit by a car while riding their bikes home from school, leaving two seriously injured and their bicycles destroyed — without ever mentioning that the car probably had a driver, who somehow managed to hit not one, not two, but all three at once.

Hundreds of bicyclists participated in the annual Blessing of the Bicycles at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine Saturday morning, one day before 32,000 bike riders took advantage of 40 miles of carfree streets for the city’s 46th annual Five Boro Bike Tour.

Meanwhile, riders participating in the Five Boro ride were none too happy over reports New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority threatened to charge organizers of the ride for lost tolls from the Verrazzano Bridge, which was closed to cars for the day.

The New York Times says BMX star Nigel Sylvester has used his corporate tie-ins and social media presence to become one of the most recognizable faces in the sport, as Sylvester says he wants to be “one of the greatest to ever touch a bicycle.”

 

International

GCN considers the latest trends in bike tech.

No bias here, either. The local press says residents of Bournemouth, England are angry about a new bike path costing the equivalent of $4.1 million a mile, insisting that there aren’t enough people using it to justify the high price. Never mind that it also includes new wider paths for pedestrians, bus stops with shelters featuring electronic information boards and upgraded traffic light signals. But sure, blame all the cost on the people on two wheels. 

Cycling Weekly examines why bicycling rates have stagnated in the UK, following what was supposed to be the “golden age” for bicycling during the pandemic.

A member of the Estonian Parliament is riding more than 1,000 miles from the country’s capital of Tallinn to Kyiv, to raise funds for the Ukrainian armed forces. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

A bike rider in India was lucky to escape being crushed by a water tanker driven by a distracted driver, jumping off his bicycle at the last second and breaking his leg in the process.

An Indian father and his adult son were arrested for allegedly beating a 55-year old neighbor to death, after the victim apparently complained about the son parking his bicycle inside the apartment building where all three lived.

 

Competitive Cycling

Now you, too, can learn how to gravel race from legendary mountain bike champ Rebecca Rusch.

Dutch cyclist Demi Vollering won the La Vuelta Femenina, aka the women’s Tour of Spain, claiming the final stage in a solo breakaway by nearly half a minute; Évita Muzic and Riejanne Markus rounded out the podium.

A columnist for Cycling Weekly says no matter how well organizers may plan — or how poorly — bike racers rarely crash where you think they will, due to their individual skills and the vagaries of the course. Then again, that’s true for the rest of us, too. 

 

Finally…

Who needs earbuds when you’ve got your very own gramophone horn on your bike? And that feeling when bike rack form completely overwhelms function.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Quality of Life rating reaches record low, more Bike Month events, and Orange Line bike path faces 3-year closure

Just 242 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we all face on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

We’re up to 1,129 signatures, so keep it going! Urge everyone you know to sign the petition, until she meets with us! 

Image by Wendy Corniquet from Pixabay.

………

No surprise here.

Satisfaction with the quality of life in Los Angeles is at a record low. Although that record only goes back for nine years, reflecting the length of time the survey has been taken.

LA residents blamed the high cost of living for their dissatisfaction, primarily excessive costs for housing and goods, as well as the quality of the city’s schools.

Residents also aren’t thrilled with transportation and traffic, which continues to deteriorate in the face of inaction by the city to provide any viable alternatives to driving.

With rare exceptions, Metro train lines don’t connect anywhere but downtown. Buses seldom run on time, and many people don’t feel safe using transit after recent high profile crimes.

And long-promised biking and walking improvements remain just that.

Promises.

Advocates are understandably jaded after a long line of broken promises by city leaders in recent years, from the unbuilt and largely ignored 2010 bike plan, through the unfunded and unfulfilled Vision Zero plan, and Eric Garcetti’s completely forgotten Green New Deal.

The recent passage of Measure HLA shows the overwhelming hunger of Angelenos for safer and more livable streets. But that will take decades to build out as streets slowly get resurfaced.

And that’s if city leaders don’t find a way to weasel out yet again.

Paris has shown how quickly a major city can transform itself, given a genuine commitment by the people in charge.

We need to see that same sort of commitment here. Key word being “genuine.”

Because we’ve seen far too much of the other kind.

………

More on Bike Month events throughout the LA area.

Metro will host an East Hollywood Art Ride tomorrow.

Santa Clarita’s city manager invites you to hit the trails and enjoy the city’s natural beauty as part of the Santa Clarita Bike Challenge.

Beverly Hills will mark National Bike Safe Month with yet another bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on May 21st.

Pasadena will mark Bike Month next weekend with a pair of rides examining significant landmarks of local African American History, as well as honoring the contributions of women to the city’s history and culture.

Yo! Venice lists Santa Monica’s Bike Month activities.

………

Bad news for anyone who rides the Orange Line bike path, which will be closed for construction work until 2027.

………

GCN recommends installing a tracking device to keep your bike from getting stolen. Although that’s actually more useful for getting it back after it’s stolen than keeping thieves from making off with it.

………

It’s now 135 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 35 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

………

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

Life is cheap in Washington state, where two University of Washington football players just face misdemeanor assault charges for attempting to run down a man riding a bicycle with their car, after yelling at him to get on the sidewalk, then getting out and beating the crap out of him when the victim responded by flipping the bird.

………

Local 

The San Fernando Valley’s Roscoe Blvd will get a ten-mile peak-hour bus lane, which means it will also be open to people on bicycles.

Inglewood is home to the LA area’s first pump track, which the LA Times describes as looking like a “modern sculpture emerging out of a grassy field.” Meanwhile, Mission Viejo has opened a temporary pump track in Orange County.

 

State

Streets For All, aka SAFE, lists their agenda for this year’s state legislative session.

Trek-owned BCycle is pulling out of Encinitas after two years as the city’s docked bikeshare provider, citing low usage rates.

This is who we share the road with. Three people were hospitalized when a distracted driver slammed into a previous collision scene in Hesperia, as police investigated after a pickup driver struck a bike rider, who was hospitalized with serious injuries.

The annual Tour de Big Bear is set for the first week in August.

 

National

Momentum considers what could be the worst bike lanes in the US. And yes, we’re talking to you, San Diego. And Irvine, too. 

Tragic news from Oregon, where an eight-year old boy died after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria falling off his bicycle.

Anchorage, Alaska will get its first protected bike lane this summer.

The US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs CO held its first-ever Bike to Work Day on Wednesday.

Kansas reminds both drivers and bicyclists that traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Because evidently, you have the same responsibility not to get killed as drivers have not to kill you with their big, dangerous machines.

Michigan state police are warning about an alarming increase in bicycling fatalities, which jumped 64% over the previous three-year period.

No tragic irony here. A 62-year old Massachusetts driver faces a vehicular homicide charge after hitting a pair of bike riders head on, killing a 76-year old man and critically injuring his 72-year old riding partner — while knocking down a sign warning drivers to watch out for bicycles.

 

International

The sister of an English teenager who died after he was struck by a driver and hit his head on a curb is calling for a mandatory bike helmet law in the country, saying she wants to make people who don’t wear one look like the stupid ones. Although a far better solution is designing safer streets so people don’t get hit by cars in the first place.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is the overwhelming favorite for his first attempt at the Giro.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to call the cops for help with a flat bike tire after you just killed someone. Why sit in traffic with all the other drivers when there’s a perfectly good bike lane just sitting there?

And that feeling when you turn a bikeshare bike into a gas-guzzling vehicle capable of up to 30 mph, for no apparent reason.

And pretty much defeating the whole purpose of the damn thing.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin