Archive for Morning Links

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left, despite failing to signal.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Info needed on fallen rider, a triple endorsement in CD7, and reforming CA ride-to-right rule

A family in pain needs your help.

Last September, a man was killed riding his bike on PCH in Malibu. Word has just now reached his family in Memphis, Tennessee, who lost touch with him after he left the city and apparently moved west to the Los Angeles area.

They’re hoping that anyone who knew Neville Williams will contact them to provide whatever information they can to give them a little closure.

You can find his full comment here, along with his email address.

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Bike the Vote LA strikes a three-way tie for their endorsement in race for LA’s 7th Council District between Monica Rodriguez, Fred Flores, and Jose Castillo.

You can see their responses to the Bike the Vote questionnaire, along with fellow candidate Connie Saunders, below.

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A new attempt is underway to eliminate the unsafe and confusing requirement that bike riders must ride as far right as practicable.

Which LA County sheriff’s deputies routinely misinterpret as meaning a) cyclists should ride on the shoulder instead of taking the traffic lane, and b) riding two abreast is not allowed, since the outside rider is not riding as close to the curb as practicable. Never mind the many exceptions to that rule under CVC 21202, or that the shoulder is not legally part of the roadway.

Under AB-694, the new rule would clarify matters by saying that bicyclists “shall ride in the right-hand lane or bicycle lane, if one is present,” unless the lane is wide enough to safely share with a motor vehicle.

And doesn’t change the fact that riding abreast is not prohibited, or even mentioned, under California law.

There was some concern that this bill would eliminate the exceptions allowing riders to leave a bike lane under current law; however, it would not change CVC 21208, which provides a number of circumstances where the requirement to use a bike lane does not apply.

Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

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More fallout from the Malaysian massacre, in which eight teenage bike riders were killed in a collision with an alleged speeding and distracted driver, and another eight injured.

A Malaysian paper follows-up on the deaths of eight teenagers riding bicycles modified to look like motorcycles, placing blame on a lack of safe places to ride.

The president of a parent-teacher association calls on the state to build a bike racing track where younger riders can blow off a little steam.

A state executive urges people to stop blaming the parents of the victims on social media, and leave the questioning to the police.

And a former government minister is accused of politicizing the tragedy.

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British cycling champ Chris Boardman calls three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome a statesman for rising above the country’s doping controversies.

Lance thumbs his nose at the government lawsuit over doping when he was with the US Postal squad by competing with his former fellow-doper teammates in the unsanctioned 24-Hour Old Pueblo mountain bike race in Tucson, finishing third.

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Local

A new study concludes Los Angeles is the world’s most congested city — although other studies would disagree. Building our way out of traffic has clearly failed; if Los Angeles is going to survive — let alone thrive — it has to offer safe, convenient alternatives to driving, while increasing density to reduce the need for long commutes.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Caltrans has not approved plans to add a right turn lane on PCH at Cross Creek Road in order to accommodate a planned shopping center, which would eliminate the shoulder used by thousands of cyclists every weekend.

 

State

The Register’s David Whiting considers the state of OC’s trails following the recent rains. The fire department airlifted an injured hiker from Runyon Canyon this past Sunday, a reminder that trails can remain unstable even days after the rains.

Sad news from Fresno, where a man on a bike was killed by an Amtrak train Monday afternoon after going around the crossing arms. As we’ve said before, never, ever go around the gates at a railroad crossing, even if it looks safe.

 

National

PeopleForBikes celebrates Presidents Day with photos of past presidents riding bicycles, including the only color photo of Abraham Lincoln on a mountain bike. That’s past presidents, since our current chief executive swears he hasn’t been on a bicycle since he was a child, and isn’t likely to anytime soon.

Bicycling offers a beginners guide to riding in traffic.

Utah’s plans to remove protection from a pair of national monuments has cost it a trade show for outdoor retailers, as well as a chance to host the Interbike trade show.

A Texas man has traveled over 8,000 miles through 31 states with his dog since 2013 to promote non-profit animal shelters and discourage puppy mills. I can relate. The Corgi overcame health and socialization problems from being shipped to a wholesaler when she was just six weeks old, and came to us through a non-profit rescue when her first owner couldn’t care for her anymore.

A 78-year old Minnesota woman has ridden her bike across the continent four times, as well as riding to Cheyenne WY for both her 50th and 60th high school reunions, despite not taking her first long-distance bike trip until she was 60.

Falling off her bike led to twin silver medals for an upstate NY woman with MS at last year’s Paralympic Games.

Big step forward for Pittsburgh bike icon Danny Chew, as he takes to hand cycling for the first time since he was paralyzed from the waist down in a September riding fall.

A self-described bike lane vigilante literally takes the law into his own hands, slapping homemade parking violation stickers on cars and trucks blocking Philadelphia bike lanes.

A DC bike columnist discusses whether hi-viz really does any good.

 

International

Bike Radar looks at 12 “madcap” cycling records that aren’t likely to get broken anytime soon.

Police in Manchester, England crack down on inconsiderate cyclists, ticketing 41 riders over a two week period. Even though they say drivers committed traffic violations at twice that rate.

Where to stay on your next bike tour of Scotland.

France is offering up to 700 euros towards the price of an ebike — the equivalent of $738 — as part of a two-year push to get people out of their cars. Although Dutch riders are discovering the downside of ebikes when they’re forced to pay an average of 500 euros for new batteries.

An Aussie writer says open season on bike riders is just insane, as the shooting of a 72-year old man riding on a bike trail appears to have been a random attack for no other reason than he was on a bike.

More turmoil from Malaysia, where a bike rider was arrested following a scuffle with police during a protest over the impounding of illegally parked bicycles, despite a shortage of bike parking; he faces up to two years behind bars if he’s convicted. Meanwhile, the city government admits damaging a delivery rider’s bike when they impounded it.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can take your bike on the subway; no, you’re not supposed to ride it. There’s more than one way to carry a dog on your bike. Or back.

And at last, cold-weather gloves for two-fingered bicyclists.

 

Morning Links: Eight teenage riders killed in horrifying Malaysian tragedy, and the war on bike riders continues

Heartbreaking news from the other side of the world, where eight Malaysian teenagers participating in a late night bike ride were killed and eight injured, two critically, when a 22-year old driver plowed into them, claiming she just couldn’t stop in time.

However, one of the survivors said they were stopped at the side of the road at the time of the crash, and that the driver had been speeding and using her mobile phone. Despite that, she was out on bail within hours of the crash, while police threated action against the victim’s parents.

The Malaysian National Cycling Federation said it was up to parents to ensure their kids ride safely, while other voices condemned the parents for allowing their children to be out on the streets at 3 am.

The prime minister expressed his condolences, while a member of parliament urged past and present leaders not to politicize the tragedy. The state education department promised to look into the group of riders like the one involved in the crash, but a government minister said they’d known about the problem for ten years, but hadn’t come up with a solution to the late night rides.

The state government will give the equivalent of $225 to the families of the eight injured riders.

Meanwhile, an editorial calls on the government not to stifle the creativity of students who modify their bikes to express their individuality, and accommodate them by closing certain roads late at night to give them a safe place to ride.

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The war on cars may be mythical, but the war on bike riders goes on.

San Jose police are investigating a pair of blow gun attacks, including one man who was struck as he was riding his bike.

Someone stretched plastic wrap across an Omaha NE trail in an apparent attempt to injure bike riders.

A British rider was pushed off his bike by a car passenger and beaten with a bat.

A British man was fined the equivalent of just $261 for punching a bike rider in the face after the rider pulled out in front of his girlfriend’s car.

A group Britain’s top riders say they were attacked by a driver they recognized as the co-owner of a Taiwanese wheelmaker, who allegedly brake checked one rider and deliberately swerved into the group of riders two times, striking one man.

Two South African cyclists believe they were deliberately targeted by a driver who crashed into them, then may have hit a third rider just a few minutes later.

A 74-year old Australian man was shot six times while riding on bike trail; he survived the shooting in serious, but stable condition.

But no, really, let’s talk about how bike lanes take away a few parking spaces.

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Retired Luxemburg pro Andy Schleck ties the knot, walking out with his new wife under a canopy of handheld bike wheels; Schleck backed into the 2010 Tour de France title when Alberto Contador was stripped of his win for doping.

Speaking of doping, legal or otherwise, former Team Sky pro Michael Barry discusses what he calls the team’s unethical use of the painkiller Tramadol.

Britain’s Cyclist Magazine looks at the 12 toughest men in cycling history, including America’s first Giro winner, Andy Hampsten. Except they left off Greg LeMond, who twice won the Tour de France with a body full of buckshot.

Pro cyclists are complaining that competitors are drafting behind race motorcycles.

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Local

A photo blogger reports on last week’s CD1 debate, which did not appear to go well for anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

CiclaValley reports there’s an open house this Wednesday for the Lankershim Great Street. This is your chance to correct the mistakes made when former Councilmember Tom LaBonge killed the bike lanes planned for the street, in an apparent attempt to keep it dangerous for everyone.

The Bikerowave bike co-op is hosting a movie night this Friday, showing Adaptation.

There’s just one week left to nominate someone for the LACBC’s Diversity Program for this year’s Climate Ride.

Speaking of the LACBC, they’re hosting a feeder ride to the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets open streets event on March 5th.

The Irwindale Lions Club is hosting a 75-mile Rooting for Kids Along Route 66 fundraising ride on March 11th.

Santa Clarita wants to know if you want a bikeshare system in the city. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

 

State

North San Diego County cities are working to make PCH safer and more welcoming for people on bikes, despite the inevitable auto-centric bikelash.

In an effort to cut traffic, Moreno Valley is buying ebikes for city employees to use for short errands instead of driving.

Exploring Ventura’s waterfront by bike.

A Fresno letter writer tells bike riders to stay in the city and keep off foothill roads with no bike lanes. Apparently local motorists are incapable of slowing down and driving safely on winding roads.

The battle over bike access in Marin County goes on, as the executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says mountain biking is here to stay, and saying no to every potential legal trail just won’t work any more.

A Sacramento bike rider is expected to survive after riding in front of a light rail train. Yet another reminder to always wait until the lights stop flashing before attempting to cross the tracks.

 

National

A writer for City Lab says the best thing about commuting by bike is the chance to go full caveman by screaming at offending drivers and righteously riding away. Um, no. Let’s hope this was intended as satire.

A heartless jerk faces a felony hit-and-run count for hitting a teenage bike rider in Las Vegas, then driving for two and a half miles with the bicycle still stuck under his truck before tossing it into a trash bin.

A Denver website looks back at the successful efforts of a local bike club to bring the national championships to town. In 1894.

A Texas writer discusses what it takes to ride 200 miles without stopping as he prepares for a RAAM qualifier.

A Minnesota man upcycles old bicycles by turning parts in jewelry and art.

The bicycle belonging to the late bike-riding fashion photographer Bill Cunningham has been donated to a New York historical society, along with his books and other items.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A North Carolina man killed a woman riding her bike, despite having his license permanently revoked ten years earlier. Clearly, taking away a license — even permanently — isn’t enough; we’ve got to find a way to keep the most dangerous drivers out of their cars and off the streets before they kill someone.

 

International

London’s new bike czar insists the city is safe for cyclists, allowing his own children to ride on the streets.

A new study from the UK shows that the earlier you teach your kids to ride a bike, the more likely they are to keep riding.

A unlicensed British driver gets five years for killing a 71-year old bicyclist while high on crack and fleeing from police.

Caught on video: UK readers blame a cyclist for slamming into a trailer when the driver cut him off, because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane that was blocked by parked cars. And never mind that the driver didn’t bother to stop.

Brit riders compete in the annual Penny Farthing championships.

A moving story from Liberia, where a 12-year old boy wants a bicycle. But first he had to get a new leg to replace the one he lost when he was shot as a baby.

South African police offer good advice for riders everywhere — keep an eye on your bike if you stop for something to eat or drink after your ride.

A former Kiwi criminal is helping young gang members turn their lives around by taking up mountain bike racing.

A Japanese teenager faces charges for taking a stolen bicycle on a 560-mile joy ride.

Better news from Malaysia, where one city is setting up a free bikeshare program; bikes can be checked out for 24 hours using a card issued by city hall.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want to get hit by a driver while riding your bike, don’t steal his truck. Sometimes it takes Mother Nature to build a protected bike lane.

And who says you can’t carry heavy things on a bike? Like an 82 pound stolen safe, for instance.

 

Morning Links: Bike Hub coming to Hollywood and Vine, bike events, and update on Redding road rage shooting

Just a quick visual reminder that an new Metro Bike Hub really is coming to Hollywood and Vine. And hopefully, soon.

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Let’s talk about some of the coming events we haven’t discussed yet.

Pasadena’s Trike Squadron is hosting their annual ride at the Rose Bowl tomorrow for recumbent users and those who love them. Or at least, don’t mind riding with them.

Bike SGV is hosting Bike the Gold Line 2017, a preview of the March 5th 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

El Monte residents will rally for safer streets this Tuesday as the city council considers adopting a Vision Zero plan. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Ride with the Santa Monica Spoke and the mayor of Santa Monica next Saturday when the city unveils a group of new and improved parks.

Celebrate the grand opening of Stan’s Bike Shop in their new Azusa location on March 5th.

The semi-official, more-or-less annual Marathon Crash Ride is back before the LA Marathon on March 19th. Thanks to BikinginLA sponsor Josh Cohen for the link.

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In an update on the fatal shooting of a bike rider in Redding Wednesday night, police now report that it wasn’t road rage, as initially reported; they now say it was an apparent case of self-defense. But they say that doesn’t mean the shooter has been cleared.

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For the first time, cycling’s governing body enforces the new safety rules designed to keep race motos from coming too close to riders in the peloton at the Tour of Oman.

The Tour of Turkey has been postponed from its planned April date to a date to be determined due to a crowded racing calendar. Admit it, you didn’t even know there was a Tour of Turkey. Or a Tour of Oman.

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Local

The Cycle Feed podcast talks with CD1 candidate Joe Bray-Ali about how he leveraged bicycling to run for office. By most accounts, Bray-Ali made a very good impression at last night’s CD1 candidate forum; incumbent Gil Cedillo, not so much.

Bike-friendly CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino says CicLAvia will be coming to San Pedro and Wilmington next year. The former LAPD cop is up for re-election this year; he’s been endorsed by Bike the Vote LAHe has my support, as well. Buscaino is one of the few councilmembers who’s shown the backbone to stand up to NIMBYs to defend safer streets.

The Electric Bike Expo will kick of its national tour in Long Beach next weekend.

 

State

The Santa Cruz paper profiles David Folch, the founder of DirtySixer, who makes hand built bikes for tall people, including Shaq.

A Fresno driver says it was just an accident when he fell asleep at the wheel and killed a man on his bike after being awake for at least 48 hours doing meth. The judge apparently agreed, giving him a whole 316 days in a treatment facility, even though the victim got the death penalty.

San Francisco Streetsblog looks at planning for this year’s Ride of Silence in the city, which, unlike previous years, won’t be able to visit all the sites of bicycling fatalities because there’s just too many, too far apart.

Residents in San Francisco’s Castro district are tired of seeing bike riders injured on their streets, and they want the city to do something about it.

 

National

Wired says texting while driving isn’t just a Millennial problem, and the solution may lay in engineering streets that make it too uncomfortable to multitask. Or just not driving.

Dirt Rag recounts the story of the Buffalo Soldiers who attempted to prove the military value of bicycles by riding 1900 miles from Montana to St. Louis in 1897; despite successfully completing the journey, the bicycle corps was eliminated a year later.

PeopleForBikes is teaming with Walgreens to present two four-day, “professional grade” bike tours to raise funds for the drugstore chain’s Red Nose Day to end child poverty.

A Maryland cyclist says it’s up to runners and riders be the primary advocates for safer streets.

A Baton Rouge LA bike advocacy group is asking for people to recount their own experiences riding in the city to dispel the image that it’s dangerous and difficult. It wasn’t a picnic when I lived there, but that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

 

International

Cycling Tips explains everything you need to know about daytime running lights.

The New Brunswick legislature is moving forward with the equivalent of a three-foot passing law with what one rider called “lightening speed.”

A Nova Scotia Gran Fondo has become a favorite with bike riding tourists in just two years.

London’s cycling czar wants to reduce driving in the city by 25% by eliminating unnecessary, short trips.

A British woman spent two months riding through Iran, and found the people “extraordinarily welcoming.”

The Netherlands continues to evolve the design of intersections to protect bicyclists from cars.

 

Finally…

Pedal your way to victory in the America’s Cup. Government bike mangling in Kuala Lumpur.

And sure, they can play in the Premier League, but can they ride a bike?

 

Morning Links: Happy 200th bike birthday, US traffic fatalities jump, and DMV says no parking in bike lanes

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss yesterday’s guest rant on why motorists hate bicyclists.

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Stop whatever you’re doing, and read this.

Hollywood Reporter editor Peter Flax has written a truly exceptional piece on the 200th birthday of the bicycle. Or the forerunner of the bicycle, if you prefer.

And the star-crossed German inventor who brought it into existence.

What is the soul of a bicycle? Is it a pedal-driven drivetrain? Or is it more elemental than that — a human-powered, two-wheeled machine that must be balanced and steered? These questions seem to underscore the doubts many cyclists have when they ponder Drais’ invention — or a modern e-bike. Is it actually a bike if it isn’t entirely powered by pedals?

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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If you thought American roads were getting worse, you’re right. After a decade-long downward trend, traffic deaths in the US jumped to an estimated 40,200 last year — the highest total in more than 20 years.

The news is no better here, as California traffic fatalities rose at more than double the rate of the US as a whole.

Authorities blame increased driving, prescription drugs and distracted driving.

Then again, there could just more people of color on the streets. According to a study from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, drivers are more likely to stop for a white person in a crosswalk than they are blacks.

Or if they’re rich, they’re less likely to stop, period.

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Came across this piece from the DMV while researching parking restrictions in bike lanes.

As it says, a bike lane is a dedicated traffic lane, and must be treated like any other traffic lane. That means parking in a bike lane is clearly prohibited, just like it is in an HOV lane, turn lane, or the #1, 2 or 3 lanes.

Remember that the next time you see someone parked in one. Although you might have to explain it to the local authorities.

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More endorsements for LA City Council from Bike the Vote LA, as they call for re-electing Mitch O’Farrell in CD13 and Bob Blumenfield in CD3.

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After most Russian athletes were tainted by charges of systematic doping, they’re recruiting Australian former world track champ Shane Perkins to ride for them.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine explains everything you need to know about Europe’s one-day classics.

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Local

After years of discussion, Metro approves a budget for a Bike Hub at Union Station.

CiclaValley goes riding in Griffith Park.

The Monterey Park Police Department is the latest to step up enforcement of violations that can lead to serious injuries to bike riders and pedestrians. Observe the usual protocol today; ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

A new survey says Agoura Hills residents like bike lanes, but they hate traffic.

Redondo Beach considers beautifying the bike path at the north entrance to town with drought-resistant plants, as well as widening it to accommodate more people on foot.

 

State

Even tiny Joshua Tree is about to get its first bike lane. Although putting it behind traditional angled parking is just asking for trouble; back-in angled parking would be much safer.

Santa Barbara police blame a bike rider for colliding with a car, saying he gained too much speed coming out of a driveway; fortunately, he seemed okay other than some road rash.

A Fresno rider calls for improving the relationship between motorists and cyclists.

San Jose’s traffic columnist explains what sharrows are, but misses the opportunity to explain what they mean.

More sad news from Northern California, where a 77-year old man riding a bike was murdered by a hit-and-run driver; it’s the second Sacramento bicycling death in two days. And a Napa man was found dead on the side of a highway in what appears to be a solo bike crash.

Davis police bust the bike-riding mosque bacon draper.

An Oroville man was reunited with the bike and trailer he abandoned on the side of the road when everyone downstream from the damaged dam was evacuated. Although you’d think a bike would have been the best way to get out.

Horrible news from Redding, as a bike rider was shot and killed by a motorist in a road rage dispute. But the man had a concealed carry permit, so that makes it okay, right?

 

National

US News & World Report says ditch your car if you want to save real money. Who even knew they were still around?

Ditching your car could also save your life; heart disease is expected to be a $1.1 trillion dollar problem by 2035, with 45% of Americans suffering from some form. Fortunately, the cure could be as simple as getting more people out of their cars and onto bicycles. Thanks to my brother Eric for the heads-up.

PeopleForBikes looks at my already very bike-friendly hometown, as it prepares to get even more so. Every place I’ve ever lived has made great changes to become bike-friendly only after I left. Maybe I need to leave Los Angeles so it can finally make some real improvements on the street.

Bicycling Magazine looks at the nation’s first glow-in-the-dark protected bike lane at Texas A&M.

West Virginia considers stronger penalties for hit-and-run by making it a felony with up to three years in prison; right now it’s just a misdemeanor.

Sad news from DC, as the founder of the Rails-to-Trails movement has died from acute myeloid leukemia; David Burwell was 69.

The Big Easy demos the city’s coming bikeshare system.

 

International

Life is cheap in Britain, where a star player for the Southampton soccer team faces just a driver’s education class after admitting to careless driving in a collision that left a bike rider with critical injuries; the victim got a equivalent of a $37 fine for going through a red light.

An Irish man with schizophrenia says he doesn’t remember punching a man in his 60s and knocking him off his bike, but he’s very, very sorry.

The Copenhagen-based makers of the Bullitt cargo bike hire an illustrator to turn their cargo boxes into works of art, too.

A Kiwi cyclist was knocked cold in a moped hit-and-run. A she was helmetless, after her bike and helmet were stolen last week.

Caught on video: A Jeep driver cuts off a sidewalk-riding Aussie bicyclist in the right-hand drive equivalent of a right hook. Despite what the story implies, there’s no question who is at fault. And it ain’t the guy on the bike.

 

Finally…

Forget scofflaw cyclists; Millennial drivers are the real road terrors. If you run over protesters, you’re the victim.

And don’t smash mirrors, dude.

 

Morning Links: Tell ‘em what you really think, and remembering recent victims of traffic violence

PeopleForBikes wants to know what you think about biking in Los Angeles, or wherever you ride.

They’re asking everyone to complete a brief, 10 minute survey with the goal of ranking every city in the US in terms of how safe and pleasant it is to ride.

Which means LA is bound to be one of the top rated cities, right?

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

You’re welcome to answer anonymously, or you can provide your name and email, and be entered for a chance to win a $1,500 Trek bike.

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Today’s common theme is a sad one.

Friends and family members remember Agustin Rodriguez, Jr., who was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Whittier last month. The woman who so needlessly took his life with her erratic and aggressive driving remains at large, though police say they do have some leads.

San Juan Capistrano father of five Steve Schenkenberger remains in a coma, ten days after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver; a crowdfunding site to help pay his medical expenses has raised nearly $86,000 of the $250,000 goal.

Friends remember Laguna Nigel school teacher and triathlete Scott Clark, who died two weeks after he was collateral damage in a collision between two drivers as he was crossing a street in a crosswalk; he was the second pedestrian killed in the city since the start of the year, along with the collision that critically injured Schenkenberger.

………

The pro cyclists union is trying to stop the current disk brake trial over safety concerns.

British racing great Chris Hoy says the future is bright, despite cycling’s “challenged’ reputation.

Cycling’s golden couple find a clever way to announce they’re expecting their first child, posting a photo of a kids bike next to theirs. He or she should have some good bike racing genes, since Laura and Jason Kenny have 10 Olympic gold medals between them.

A rider with the all-diabetic Team Novo Nordisk tells children with the disease that it doesn’t have to mean career death for elite athletes.

………

Local

Los Angeles Magazine says the long-delayed MyFigueroa Complete Streets project offers a glimpse into LA’s transportation future. Let’s hope that’s a glimpse at what our streets can be, not how long it will take.

626 Golden Streets lists the activities at the eight hubs along the 26-mile route through the San Gabriel Valley for the March 5th open streets event.

Laura Friedman, who represents La Cañada Flintridge in the state legislature, says collaboration is key to transportation projects, but fails to mention any form of alternative transportation.

Santa Monica will host Parks Day, Come Play! on the 25th of this month, featuring the grand opening or dedication of several parks, along with a bike ride with the mayor.

 

State

Apparently San Diego’s Bikeway Village project is hostile to hostels, as the Coastal Commission votes to go with a brewery on the site instead.

The bike-riding buddy of the San Bernardino terrorists will plead guilty to charges he illegally provided them with a pair of rifles.

More controversy over the inexplicably controversial plan to build a 50-mile bike path around the Coachella Valley, as residents of a seniors community express concerns that bike riders will peer into their bedrooms and break into their homes. Because peeping Toms and burglars never come by car.

Ventura police bust a bike-riding burglar.

It’s legal to ride a bike on the sidewalk in Cupertino, as long as you have child under 13 with you.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a middle school student was killed in a collision while riding his bike; a CHP spokesman said he died because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. No, he died because he was hit by a car.

 

National

Self Magazine considers what cycling, including the indoor kind, is doing to your vagina. For those who have one, of course.

Lifehacker offers advice on what to look for when you’re buying a used bike. First thing to look for: make sure it’s not stolen.

North Dakota voted down the bill that would have allowed drivers to run down anyone who was intentionally blocking traffic, without fear of prosecution. Which could have included cyclists taking the lane, if police concluded they didn’t belong there.

A bike-riding Houston editor says there’s no one simple answer to safer streets, and the city needs to put the same energy and ambition they demonstrated in hosting the Super Bowl behind making the city safer for everyone.

Kentucky considers a mandate for kids to wear bike helmets, but only if they’re 12 or younger. They’re also moving forward with a three-foot passing law that, unlike California, allows drivers to briefly cross a yellow line to pass a bike rider.

 

International

The Toronto paper explains right-of-way rules for bike lanes, stressing that drivers turning right have to yield to bicyclists.

An Ontario man was lucky to avoid jail for his third DUI offense. On an ebike. On the other hand, everyone who has to share the road with him, not so much.

British dog owners are looking for the man crashed into a small dog with his bike, then kept on going; the three-year old dog lost all but two of its teeth as a result. Seriously, it takes a heartless jerk to keep riding after injuring any animal; but it’s the owner’s responsibility to keep their dogs safe and out of harms way.

A new study shows the world’s most dangerously polluted cities, where the health risks of riding a bike outweigh the benefits, include Zabol, Iran, Allahabad and Gwalior, India, and Doha, Qatar.

A group of Tasmanian cycling legends in their 60s and 70s ride together every week; an 85-year old rider is still one of the fastest and fittest members of the group.

Now that’s performance art. A Zimbabwean history professor will be riding around Cape Town on a bicycle with bull horns and speakers, delivering lectures and spinning records.

 

Finally…

So what do you call the person who sits on the bottom of a bamboo tandem? Even government ministers get their bikes stolen.

And a man was fired for not pushing his bike across a plaza instead of riding it; then again, it’s hard to push a bike when you don’t have any arms.

 

Morning Links: Sorry Mr. Garcetti, no endorsement from Bike the Vote; and LA County releases collision study

Still more election news, as Bike the Vote LA released their endorsement for mayor in next month’s election.

Or rather, didn’t.

The group graded each of the mayoral candidates who responded to their questionnaire, but concluded that no one reached a sufficient level to earn their endorsement.

And yes, we’re looking at you, Mr. Mayor.

The first term of Mayor Eric Garcetti has been a surprising disappointment for livability advocates. Garcetti clearly understands the health, equity, quality of life, empowerment, and economic benefits to making city streets safer for all road users. But beyond splashy announcements and wonkish technical studies, there has been a frustrating lack of visible action to improve mobility options for those on foot and on bikes….

Like other major metropolitan mayors, Mayor Garcetti’s name is frequently floated as a future national political contender. So far on safe streets, he does not meet the standards set by mayors Michael Bloomberg of New York, Rahn Emanuel of Chicago, Michael Hancock of Denver, Betsy Hodges of Minneapolis, Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, or Charlie Hales of Portland. If Garcetti earns a second term as Mayor, Los Angeles residents deserve a more impassioned and resourceful effort on active transportation to build a healthier, more sustainable, and more livable city.

Here’s how they rated each of the candidates, with a link to the candidate’s response the questionnaire.

Although the F grade for government gadfly Zuma Dogg shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s spent much time around City Hall.

My take is that Eric Garcetti has done enough to earn a second chance. But he has to do a lot more in this next term to justify that faith in him.

………

LA County has released a study of traffic collisions in the county, for the period from January, 2011, to August 2016. These figures will be used to form the basis of the county’s Vision Zero program, due to be released in June of 2018.

A few of the more interesting points from the study:

  • Collisions resulting in death or serious injury are headed in the right direction, dropping from 309 in 2012 to 275 in 2015, although partial figures from 2016 suggest it may have gone up last year
  • Bicycles were involved in 5% of injury crashes, but accounted for 7% of deaths or serious injuries
  • Most serious bike collisions appear to be centralized around East LA, and the areas around Huntington Park/South Gate, Hawthorne/Gardena, La Mirada, and West Covina/City of Industry
  • The primary cause of serious collisions were unsafe speed, followed by improper turning, and driving under the influence
  • Approximately 25% of all collisions were hit-and-runs

It looks like a good start. The question is how this will influence the next steps, and whether they will come back with a more concrete Vision Zero plan than the city did.

………

Today’s common theme: bike thieves.

Santa Monica police bust a bike thief after the victim watched the thief make off with her bike; he was arrested while ghost riding the bike, and carrying meth and burglary tools.

A Bay Area bike thief gets busted when the bike’s owner spots it for sale on Craigslist.

A former around-the-world bike rider had all of his belongings, including his “entire life’s work” stolen when someone took his bike in London.

A group of bored kids are blamed for breaking into an Australian school for children with intellectual disabilities and stealing 15 bikes and helmets.

That’s a good boy. A bike thief is busted Down Under when a police dog tracks him down after he fled from police.

………

As long as you don’t mind moving to Gotham, New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare is looking to fill eight positions.

Or if you’re not doing anything this summer, Rapha is looking for someone to run their mobile clubhouse at events throughout Europe.

………

VeloNews asks if there’s a home field advantage in cycling. It certainly can’t hurt to be familiar with the local roads.

The Paralympic Movement offers a brief history of para cycling leading up to the world championships in LA next month.

Lance Armstrong’s seemingly endless legal battles continue, as a judge rules the feds’ $100 million case against him will go to trial. Cycling in the South Bay does not seem very sympathetic.

Evidently, a lifetime amounts to just 14 years in pro cycling, as former cyclist Tammy Thomas has her lifetime suspension for doping cut to time served.

………

Local

Los Angeles officials break ground on the Venice Blvd Great Street, which aims to transform a typically over-engineered, auto-centric roadway into a Complete Street that benefits everyone; it will eventually include a parking protected bike lane.

Evidently, Bella Thorne got her flat fixed. And this time, appears to have actually ventured off the sidewalk.

Los Angeles Magazine asks why we aren’t doing the Dutch Reach here.

Popular pub Tony’s Darts Away becomes the location for Burbank’s first bike corral.

Next month’s 26-mile 626 Golden Streets ciclovía/open streets event through the San Gabriel Valley now has it’s own app, available for Android and Apple devices.

An appeals court ruled that a judge was correct in releasing dash cam video of trigger-happy Gardena police shooting the unarmed brother of a bike theft victim; despite the mistaken identify and lack of a weapon, no one was ever held accountable for the shooting.

 

State

Redlands and Highland are working together to improve connectivity for bike riders, using a $3.6 million state grant to build a bike route between the two cities across the Santa Ana River.

Sad news from Visalia, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a semi-truck.

 

National

Seattle’s city council is pushing for bike lanes in the downtown area. Unlike, say, Los Angeles, where a trio of councilmembers demanded the removal of bike lanes from the city’s Mobility Plan.

My now bike-friendly hometown still has a pedestrian-unfriendly problem with narrow sidewalks.

Houston is moving towards approving an ambitious $500 million bike plan; as always, the problem is figuring out where the money will come from.

The first — and probably only — transgender mayor in Texas is one of us.

Chicago police blame the victim when an officer in an unmarked car hit a bike rider last month, but her lawyer suggests dash cam video may tell a different story; a witness says police stood around questioning her after the crash, rather than getting her medical attention.

 

International

Over 7,000 people demonstrate for safer streets in Costa Rica, and form a human graphic calling for respect.

A pair of British men get their father on a bike to save his life from complications from type 2 diabetes.

Not surprisingly, eight of Britain’s most dangerous locations for bike riders are in London, including a roundabout that’s the country’s worst spot.

A Russian triathlete has gone into hiding after beating his cyclist ex-wife in a dispute over child support. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for jerks like that.

Caught on video: An Aussie rider goes on a swearing rant at a driver who passed him with about a foot clearance; the uncomprehending driver says he slowed down and “left plenty of room.”

Shanghai, China is blocking kids from renting bikeshare bikes; the city bans children under twelve from riding on the streets.

 

Finally…

How to explain bicycling to your dog. If you’re going to steal a purse while riding double on a BMX, make sure your victim is not carrying hot coffee.

And don’t try this at home. Seriously.

………

Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there. And happy riding to everyone, regardless of your relationship status.

Morning Links: Political news and endorsements, Caltrans feints at engagement, and how to lose bike vote

Let’s talk election news before we move on to other subjects.

Starting with a handful of endorsements from Bike the Vote LA, as they rush to get them in before next month’s LA city election.

First up, they’ve endorsed CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino for re-election. Buscaino has been a strong supporter of bike lanes and safer streets in his district. And unlike most LA city councilmembers, had the backbone to stand up to San Pedro residents who demanded removal of a road diet intended to improve safety for students on their way to school.

While they’re not making an endorsement in CD9, currently represented by Curren Price, they shared this questionnaire response from opposition candidate Adriana Cabrera. Cabrera seems to grasp the importance of bikes in a community where many residents rely on them for transportation, calling for a return of the Central Avenue bike lanes Price had removed from the Mobility Plan.

And like the LACBC, Bike the Vote takes a strong stand against the anti-growth Measure S, portraying it as a ego project from Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which “will only make housing prices, traffic congestion, and social inequity worse.” Never mind that almost all the funding for the measure has come from AHF, instead of being spent for the benefit of patients and the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Although that’s not nearly as strong a stand as the LA Times took in rejecting the measure, describing it as a “childish middle finger to City Hall” that will worsen the city’s housing crisis and stifle economic development.

Finally, the LA Weekly asks if bike shop owner Joe Bray-Ali can defeat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in CD1, noting the historical difficulty in beating an incumbent councilmember in the City of Angels. It should also be noted that Cedillo’s stated opposition to bike lanes that benefit just a “small, tight-knit community of cyclists” flies in the face of his self-proclaimed support for immigrants, many of whom rely on a bicycle as their sole source of transportation.

………

Maybe they don’t really want to talk to us.

In an apparent effort to get public input on Caltrans’ new Bike and Pedestrian plan without really having to engage the public, Caltrans is holding exactly three public meetings — yes, 3 — to discuss the plan in a state of 38 million people.

That works out to 12.6 million people trying to squeeze into each room. Which means you should get there early if you want to attend the meeting in Santa Ana on March 6th.

Never mind that by not holding meetings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco or Sacramento, they are bypassing the state’s major population centers. And the overwhelming majority of people who walk or ride bikes.

But at least you can attend the meetings virtually, via webinar.

After all, we’re easier to ignore that way.

Which would seem to be the point. Because you don’t limit it to just three meetings for the entire state of California if you really want to hear from the people.

………

That’s one way to lose the bike vote.

A candidate for Claremont city council parked his car, which doubles as a campaign ad, in a Claremont bike lane. And left it there.

Which, as it turns out, appears to be semi-legal there, if you ignore the state prohibition against blocking bikeways.

However, it does guarantees that every rider who has to change lanes to go around it will notice the car, and most likely remember his name on election day.

When they cast their ballot for his opponent.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

People on bikes are heroes once again.

Or make that twice.

A San Antonio postal carrier can credit a bicycling nurse for saving her life, after she teamed with other riders to help after postal worker was shot in the leg.

And a British bicyclist saves a pair of swans from morning commuters by herding them off the road.

………

They’re one of us, too.

Actress Bella Thorne rides the sidewalks of LA with friends until she gets a flat. Maybe someone should tell her those can be fixed pretty easily.

New York celebrity chef Seamus Mullen lost 70 pounds by cutting out processed carbs and getting back on his bicycle.

And Lily Allen doesn’t just sing about riding her bike through London, she actually does it.

………

Brit Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins won’t be making any ski jumps for awhile.

Afghan and Pakistani cyclists compete in a 217-mile race through Pakistan’s militant-torn northwest province in an effort to bring the countries together and promote tourism.

………

Local

The Beverly Press attempts to explain LA’s Vision Zero plan to the general public.

Santa Monica’s dangerously auto-centric Lincoln Blvd could get a pedestrian-friendly makeover; while there are plans to improve bicycle crossings, there don’t appear to be any plans for bike lanes on the boulevard.

This is why you have to support your local bike shop. Pomona’s Coates Cyclery will be closing at the end of this month after 83 years in business; owner Corey McCroskey blames competition from online sites. Clearly, it’s not just a SoCal problem.

 

State

AAA says don’t raise gas taxes and vehicle fees to fix roads, just cut state transportation bureaucracy. But how do they expect to speed up bridge and highway repairs by firing the people who do the work?

An Orange County man gets 56 years behind bars for fatally stabbing another man, then riding away on a beach bike; it was his third strike after two previous violent crimes. And another OC man gets 15 years to life for a drunken, high-speed crash to that killed a man as he slept in his own home.

Mariner’s Mile on the West Coast Highway through Newport Beach will eventually be remade into three lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and no street parking. Hopefully, they’ll take steps to slow traffic and avoid making it into a high-speed throughway with just a lousy stripe of paint to protect people on their bikes.

Riverside is the latest city to stage enhanced enforcement of traffic offenses that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, today and again on the 27th.

Palm Springs police use a bait bike to bust a bike thief who was also carrying over an ounce of meth.

An alleged drunk hit-and-run driver says he fled the scene of a Bakersfield collision because he was scared. Imagine how his bike-riding victim felt.

Four Bay Area communities agree to cooperate on a regional bicycle network.

Famed cyclist Barry Bonds, who used to be a baseball player, crashes the San Francisco Giant’s annual fan fest on his bike.

Marin mountain bikers vow to defy the ban on riding most county trails to force them to open more space for bikes; an Op-Ed in the local paper calls the group “extreme,” and says bike access and conservation just aren’t compatible.

 

National

Forbes says cyclists may get the most benefit from self-driving cars, but could be the biggest challenge for them.

Oregon is connecting already existing mountain bike trails in five national forests to create a single 650-mile mountain bike trail traversing the entire state.

Two-thirds of Denver voters would support a sales tax increase to build out the city’s bicycle network, including a number of protected bike lanes, within the next five years. Although drivers and business owners don’t seem to like the latest one.

Houston cyclists call for safety improvements after two riders were killed in collisions with light-rail trains during Super Bowl weekend.

A Massachusetts naturopath builds a better e-velomobile. But don’t expect the world to beat a path to his door.

A Philadelphia Op-Ed says the now-cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic is good for the city. Meanwhile, the communications director for the Philadelphia bike coalition pens an Op-Ed of his own, skillfully dismantling the auto-centric arguments of a motorist fringe group.

 

International

A British Columbia cyclist says drivers have to be cruel to be kind, and stick to the right of way rather than waving bicyclists through intersections ahead of them.

Love this. Canadians tourists bring bicycles with them to explore Cuba, then leave them behind to help young cyclists when they go home.

A Canadian bike magazine talks with Michael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame.

Hundreds of Londoners stage yet another die-in to protest the dangers bike riders face on the city’s streets.

London police are looking for a bike rider who collided with a 72-year old man after the older man died two weeks later; the bicyclist stayed at the scene, but police didn’t record his name at the time.

A Scottish Paralympian with cerebral palsy is crowdfunding a new racing tricycle after hers was destroyed when thieves stole her car and crashed it into a gas station with the bike inside.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider shames a van driver into getting out and picking up his litter. I may have been known to pick trash up and return it to the offending person with a polite “I think you dropped this” in my more reckless days.

FedEx refuses to deal with a Brit cyclist who was terrorized by one of their road-raging drivers because his blog doesn’t have a high enough profile, and accidently sends him an email saying so. Which probably means I’m toast if a FedEx driver ever tries to run me down.

A British insurer has developed what may be the world’s first bicycle street gritting machine, designed to spread salt on frozen bike lanes to prevent injuries.

British drivers reject using the Dutch Reach to keep from dooring bike riders because it’s just too hard. Although officials illustrate it with a bizarre video showing drivers reaching through an open window to grab the door handle from the outside, rather than just opening the door with the opposite hand.

After she was dumped by the man who taught her to ride, a Philippines woman realizes that bicycling is her one true love.

 

Finally…

Seriously. If you’re riding your bike after dark while drunk, with dope, a bunch of concealed knives and an active warrant, put some damn lights on it. Nothing like learning the hard way that a crossing gate sensor doesn’t recognize carbon fiber — and getting stuck with the bill to fix it.

And Elon Musk is boring Los Angeles. No, literally.

 

Morning Links: Bike rider flees after injuring Glendale woman, and person of interest found in OC hit-and-run

Appalling news from Glendale, as police are looking for a hit-and-run cyclist who allegedly blew through a red light and crashed into a 64-year old woman as she was walking in the crosswalk.

The victim hit her head on the pavement, suffering “significant” but not life-threatening injuries. The man on the bike fled the scene, despite reportedly being fully aware of what happened.

He’s described only as a male wearing a dark jacket. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Glendale Police Department at 818/548-4911.

For anyone unclear on the concept, bike riders have exactly the same obligation to stop, render aid and exchange information that drivers do after a crash.

And are the same heartless cowards if they don’t.

To put it mildly.

………

Orange County sheriff’s deputies have identified a person of interest in the Sunday night hit-and-run that left a San Juan Capistrano father of five in a coma, and are no longer looking for suspects.

Which means they’re confident they’ve got the right person.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

………

John Montgomery shares a stomach-churning close shave on 4th Street in Venice, first getting cut off in a pass that feels way too close, then forced to make a heart-stopping panic stop when he gets brake-checked seconds later by the same driver.

………

The rescheduled Resolution Ride will take place tomorrow in Griffith Park.

Active Streets LA is hosting a community festival and mapping walk and ride on Saturday at MLK Jr. Park.

And don’t forget the 8th annual Ride for Love at Ted Watkins Memorial Park on Sunday, sponsored by the Eastside Riders.

………

Bicycling Magazine wants to know just how common abuse of power is in competitive cycling, regardless of gender.

………

Local

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition has come out strongly against Measure S, which would impose a minimum two-year moratorium on most major building projects in the City of Los Angeles.

Speaking of the LACBC, time is running out to get your 2017 LACBC kit; just click on the ad on the right to place your order.

Strong Towns profiles Josef Bray-Ali in his campaign to unseat anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo in LA’s CD1; Bike the Vote LA is looking for volunteers to phone bank for him tomorrow.

KNBC-4 provides renderings of the new $482 million Sixth Street Viaduct project. Just riding down those big swirling bike ramps will make it worth the price.

Manhattan Beach rejects a proposal to put a bike path through the city’s Polliwog Park to improve safety for middle school kids headed to and from school.

 

State

A coalition of 82 organizations join with Calbike to call for reforms in a state transportation funding package to invest more on active transportation.

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from the OC Register’s David Whiting, who talks with the Long Beach-based founder of Velomax bicycle wheels, now making and marketing the iWalk alternative to using crutches.

A Lakeside driver was shot at by someone riding a bicycle when he tried to chase “suspicious suspects” out of a mobile home park at 4:45 am.

BikeSD calls on the executive director of SANDAG to step down after inflating projections for last year’s failed, overly auto-centric transportation tax.

A killer Fresno drunk driver is asking a judge to allow him to rescind his no-contest plea that resulted in a 12-year prison sentence in the death of a seven-year old boy who was riding in a crosswalk with his family, blaming bad road design instead of his own high speed and drunken state. Sure, let’s go with that.

Modesto police bust a bike-riding groper accused of assaulting at least seven high school girls.

That was fast. A suspected Menlo Park bike thief gets one year in county jail, just eight days after he was arrested after fleeing from police.

Now that’s more like it. Rather than minimum parking requirements, San Francisco will now require developers to provide alternative transportation options in exchange for the permission to provide free parking spaces.

 

National

A new study from the University of Duh says less driving results in fewer traffic fatalities. However, the decade-long decline in vehicle miles traveled did not result in an increase in physical activity.

A habitually anti-bike Seattle radio host is convinced the city is throwing away millions spent on bikeways, as the bicycling commuter rate continues to drop. And yet it’s still at a level most cities would envy, including sunny Los Angeles.

The Radavist says Utah needs our help to stop a lease of BLM land and defend the Bear’s Ears National Monument. Thanks to CiclaValley for the link.

Unlike Los Angeles, DC appears to be serious about reducing speeds to save lives as part of the city’s Vision Zero; a proposal from the DCDOT would lower the default speed limit to 20 mph, with a 15 mph limit around schools, parks, senior and youth centers from 7 am to 11 pm.

 

International

A columnist for London’s Evening Standard says the city’s new cycling and walking commissioner has to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of getting drivers to behave.

Caught on video: A London bike rider falls after jamming on the brakes when a mother with two young kids steps out unexpectedly from between stalled traffic.

Caught on video too: A British cyclist is caught on security camera carving deep scratches into a couple’s minivan, causing the equivalent of $1,250 in damage; the victims had no idea why he chose their car, and questioned whether he targeted them by mistake. Let’s make this as clear as possible: No matter what they might have done, or how justified you might feel, vandalism is always wrong. Period.

A French website offers 10 reasons to visit the county for your next cycling vacation. But really, you only need one — it’s France.

Evidently, it’s not just hoverboards. An ebike battery started a fire that sent a German carport up in flames, causing over a half million dollars in damage. The story’s in German, but you can read a translation here. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

Iraqi women are riding for their freedom, in what began as one woman’s art project.

Women make up only 18% of bicycle traffic in Melbourne, Australia, where a lack of safe bikeways forces riders to mix with traffic.

 

Finally…

Yes, you can find lasting love on a bicycle. Okay, so maybe he can downhill slightly faster than the rest of us.

And she wasn’t driving dangerously when she ran over a bicyclist’s hand, just carelessly.

So it’s okay, then. Right?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s worth reading the full letter.

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

………

An Orange County bike rider needs your help.

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

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

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

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

Clearly, they have a long way to go.

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

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

………

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

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

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

………

Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

A new Scottish safety campaign urges drivers to slow down.

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

 

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