Archive for Morning Links

Bass elected LA mayor, catch and release in sheriff’s cadet crash, and WeHo considers Fountain bike lanes Monday

Congratulations to Congresswoman Karen Bass on being elected as LA’s new mayor.

The first woman to hold the post, and only the second Black Angeleno, Bass defeated billionaire mall developer Rick Caruso, despite being outspent 11 to 1 as he dropped well over $100 million on his own campaign.

The question for us is whether the new mayor’s professed focus on homelessness, crime and housing authority will preclude desperately needed efforts to transform our streets to improve safety and get Angelenos out of their cars.

Let’s hope Streets For All and BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, are already in contact with her office to set up a meeting.

Because after years of neglect under outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti, and successful efforts by various councilmembers to block progress in their districts, we don’t have any time to waste.

Meanwhile, Streetblog’s Joe Linton calls the recent election good news for livability and transportation, with the possible exception of CD11’s Tracy Park, who instantly becomes the most conservative member of the city council.

Park has professed support for multimodal transportation, yet drew much of her supporters from Westside NIMBYs who’ve fought bus and bike improvements.

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He was arrested for attempted murder.

Until he wasn’t.

Just one day after a wrong-way driver slammed into a phalanx of sheriff’s cadets, injuring 25 people, including five critically — and after reportedly turning the investigation over the the CHP — the LA Country Sheriff’s Department announced that Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez had been arrested on a charge of attempted murder on a peace officer.

Then turned around and announced he had been released without charges due to a lack of evidence.

No, really.

The premature arrest indicated the belief of investigators that Gutierrez had intentionally steered into the recruits, accelerating at he plowed through them, as we had surmised yesterday.

The only problem is a lack of evidence confirming intent. Outgoing Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stressed that the release is provisional, pending collection of more evidence confirming his actions were intentional.

Why they jumped the gun and arrested Gutierrez on a presumption of guilt, rather than basing the arrest on actual evidence, is an open question at this time.

As is why they have apparently reclaimed the investigation from the CHP, after relinquishing it just one day earlier.

But with Villanueva leaving in a couple of weeks, its likely to become incoming sheriff-elect Robert Luna’s problem.

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West Hollywood is scheduled to consider whether to add protected bike lanes on deadk=ly Fountain Ave at Monday’s council meeting, which would require a reduction to one lane in each direction as well as removing parking spaces; refer to agenda item 4.B.

The lanes would provide a safer east-west alternative to dangerous Santa Monica Blvd, after the existing painted bike lanes on Santa Monica end east of La Cienega.

However, it would also require the removal of at least 150 parking spaces; an alternative plan for painted bike lanes would require removing up to 40 spaces.

Which means opponents are likely to come out in force in an effort to block it.

Meanwhile, WeHo Mayor Lauren Meister is on track for re-election, while former Councilmember John Heilman enjoys a 246 vote lead over Chelsea Wright for the second and third spots; the top three finishers will be seated on the city council.

Former Councilmember John Duran, who made cancelling the bike lanes the centerpiece of his campaign, is currently languishing out of the running in fifth place.

However, with the exception of Meister, who is already on the council, they won’t be seated in time to effect Monday’s decision on Fountain.

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This puts the problem of LA drivers in perspective.

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

Police in Youngstown, Ohio are looking for a bike rider seen on video near the site of three stolen catalytic converters.

Police now believe the fatal shooting of a 21-year old Bronx basketball player by a man riding an ebike was a case of mistaken identity. Which somehow doesn’t seem to make it any better.

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Local

The newly rebranded BikeLA is hosting a class on the Essentials of Group Riding this evening, and a South LA Pan Dulce Ride on Sunday.

 

State 

A San Diego woman whose husband was killed by a wrong-way driver while riding his bike to the movies calls on the city’s mayor to mark Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence by doubling the budget for the city’s quick-build protected bike lane program, and lowering speed limits on the most dangerous Vision Zero corridors. Sounds reasonable to me.

Oxnard approved a $3 million plan for sidewalks and bike lanes in the city’s El Rio neighborhood.

Berkeley considers a proposal to offer its own instant ebike rebate program, which could be paired with the state’s ebike rebates, if they ever happen.

Bike co-op Rich City Rides is hosting a bike party and ride to celebrate the third anniversary of the protected bike lane on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

Damn good question. An updated edition of Jeff Speck’s book Walkable City asks why we don’t take traffic violence as seriously as terrorism, when you’re 568 times more likely to die in crash than at the hands of a terrorist.

The 22nd annual Cranksgiving bicycle food drive rolls in cities across the US tomorrow, including a return to downtown Los Angeles after a pandemic pause.

Portland bike advocates are suing the city under a 1971 state law that requires improving infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians any time a street is constructed, reconstructed or relocated. Unfortunately, California doesn’t have a similar law, although Los Angeles could if the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition passes in 2024. 

An abandoned railroad trestle across a Corpus Christy, Texas bay could become a unique rail-to-trail conversion.

Remember this the next time someone tells you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, as a 70-year old Iowa man is using a recumbent bike to continue riding as he recovers from a debilitating stroke.

Jake and Elwood Blues would be thrilled to know Joliet, Illinois could soon be expanding on the city’s two — yes, 2 — existing bike lanes.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tosses her security detail under the bus, blaming them for double-parking in a bike lane to get some donuts.

Curbed says don’t blame ebikes for the recent rash of New York battery fires; blame refurbished batteries and mismatched chargers.

Pennsylvania’s governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed curb and parking protected bike lanes in the state, after the legislature tacked on an unrelated provision to strip power from Philadelphia’s district attorney.

More than 1,300 people will ride to Congress tomorrow to demand safer streets, following the route a US diplomat was taking when she was killed by a truck driver while riding in a Bethesda, Maryland bike lane in August.

Seventy-one year old former astronaut Bill McArthur is one of us, one of 700 riders who recently completed a multi-day bike tour across South Carolina.

 

International

Bike Rumor recommends the best gifts for the wrench in your life.

Speaking of handicapped bike riders, a British Paralympian paralyzed from the waist down will attempt to become the first person to ride an adaptive bike across the Antarctic Plateau.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 13-year old British boy’s bike from his mother’s car after she rushed with him to the hospital when he fell off and broke his collarbone.

A bike advocacy group is urging Amsterdam officials to set a 12 mph speed limit for ebikes on the city’s bike paths, as faster ebikes continue to gain in popularity.

 

Competitive Cycling

A 25-year old Anchorage woman has parlayed her love of bikepacking into a new role as a champion bikepacking endurance cyclist.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a modern take on the classic Schwinn Stingray. Or maybe made from sustainable plywood. Everyone looks better on a lowrider bike.

And who needs a cargo bike when you can ride your bike with nine kids hanging on?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Romero guilty of murder in Huntington Beach DUI bike death, and wrong-way driver injures 25 LA sheriff’s cadets

Guilty.

An Orange County jury convicted 28-year old Victor Manuel Romero of second-degree murder and hit-and-run in the 2019 death of Raymond MacDonald as he rode his bike in Huntington Beach.

Romero faced the murder charge after signing a Watson notice following a 2012 conviction for DUI, specifying that he could be charged with the crime if he killed someone while under the influence anytime in the future.

And he did.

Romero started the deadly chain of events by crashing into a bar owner’s car as he left a parking lot, before smashing into MacDonald’s bike and speeding off without slowing down, then fleeing on foot after finally crashing his car into a tree.

He had been drinking at a pair of Huntington Beach bars, and got into a fight with someone in the parking garage next door, which his lawyer bizarrely argued meant Romero was not responsible for his actions after suffering a brain injury.

Fortunately, the jury didn’t buy it.

He now faces 15 to life when he is sentenced in February.

Adding to the tragedy, MacDonald had just finished celebrating his 33rd birthday, and was towing a bike trailer loaded with gifts across the street when Romero ran him down.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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This is who we share the road with.

A wrong-way SUV driver plowed into a group of LA County Sheriff’s cadets on a Whittier training run Wednesday morning, injuring 25 recruits — five critically.

One of the five is on a ventilator, while others suffered life-changing injuries, including lost limbs.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who lost his run for re-election this week, describe the scene as looking like an airplane crash, with “bodies scattered everywhere.”

And in case anyone still thinks hi-viz is the key to bike and pedestrian safety, all 75 recruits on the run were wearing reflective vests, in addition to running in four columns accompanied by two black-and-white patrol vehicles and eight road guards.

Yet the driver still smashed into them at an estimated 30 – 40 mph. Not only did the 22-year old driver fail to slow down, there are reports that he continued accelerating as he sliced through the cadets — which could suggest this was something other than just another “oopsie.”

Reports varied on whether driver appeared to be under the influence after the crash, though cannabis was found in his vehicle.

He was taken into custody by the cadets, and was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.

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No surprise here, unfortunately.

A year after acquiring Cycling Tips, Pink Bike and Trailforks, Outside has reportedly laid-off 12 percent of the workforce, with a focus on writing and editorial workers, including at sister publication VeloNews.

Needless to say, it was not well received by readers of the sites.

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Nice to see LA marking Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

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Georgia senatorial candidate Hershel Walker somehow derided his opponent, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, for “letting” President Joe Biden ride his bike.

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

A Brooklyn councilmember is demanding answers from the local police precinct commander, saying it’s deeply disturbing that a noted bike lawyer was hauled off in handcuffs for attempting to remove a piece of plastic illegally obscuring a driver’s license plate.

A Hoboken city councilmember called for more bike lanes, days after he was hit by a driver who yelled at him to use the bike lane before crashing into him; the driver in question says it was just an “oopsie,” not road rage.

No bias here. A Conservative Member of the British Parliament says lowering the speed limit in Wales to 20 mph is just a ploy to raise cash while attacking motorists — even if it is almost universally ignored.

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

A bike-riding British naval commander has been cleared of using racially abusive language in a heated roadside road rage incident with a Black motorist, who alleged the commander called him a “Black cunt,” while the sailor insisted he had merely referred to the driver’s black car.

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Local

In what could be good news for bike riders, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell conceded his re-election effort to challenger Hugo Soto-Martinez, who has promised to complete many of the bikeway projects O’Farrell had blocked until recently, along with pedestrianizing parts of Hollywood Blvd.

 

State 

Streetsblog talks with Bike East Bay Advocacy Director Dave Campbell, who is leaving the organization after 26 years of fighting for safer streets in the East San Francisco Bay Area.

Sad news from Modesto, where a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision Tuesday evening. He must have been the victim of a sentient self-driving car, however, since there’s no mention of a driver anywhere in the article.

 

National

Politico talks with former DC and Chicago DOT director Gabe Klein, who is now tasked with overseeing EV infrastructure for the Biden administration.

Gear Junkie recommends ten gifts for the bicyclist in your life. Even if the only bicyclist in your life is you.

A new study from Oregon State University shows bike boxes really do improve safety at intersections for people on bicycles.

The rich get richer. Just one day after we mentioned the ebike rebate program in Austin, Texas, the city announced it is more than doubling the amount available for rebates, from $600 to $1,300.

Chicago’s mayor was deservedly blasted online after an advocacy group posted video of her guards double-parked in a bike lane for a doughnut run.

‘Tis the season. An Ohio man is preparing for holiday bike giveaways, after spending the year collecting, fixing and donating bikes for kids who need them; he estimates he’s given away nearly double the 3,000 bikes from last year.

A Connecticut driver learns the hard way that it may not be the best idea to flee the scene after severely injuring the bike-riding brother of the state’s lieutenant governor.

New York considers a ban on secondhand and uncertified lithium-ion ebike and e-scooter batteries, which have been blamed for an increasing number of fires.

An 18-year old Virginia man now faces additional charges for the alleged drunken crash that killed one woman and seriously injured another as they were riding together this past August.

South Carolina advocates are calling on the legislature to repeal a ban on red light cameras, as a national study shows the traffic cams reduce fatalities by 20%. Hopefully, a new city council will reconsider LA’s ban on red light cams, too.

An Orlando bike cop was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was dragged by a fleeing driver following a traffic stop, and was still stuck on the vehicle when the driver crashed into a tree.

 

International

A new report shows it’s still not safe to travel through London if you’re not in a car.

Bicycling deaths are even spiking in bike-friendly Belgium, as fatalities hit a ten-year high for the first nine months of this year.

An Indian man has just 21 countries left in his around-the-world bike tour of 191-countries, which began four bikes and 18 years ago; one of the bikes was purchased by the Polish prime minister, after his previous bicycle was stolen while touring the country.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lachlan Morton, the Aussie cyclist who beat the Tour de France peloton to Paris in his own Alt Tour, has now set his sites on breaking the 78-day record for riding around the world set by Scottish long-distance cyclist Mark Beaumont in 2017.

World handbike champ Mitch Valize is working with a lab in the Netherlands to improve the high-tech materials and design of his handcycle, comparing it to the design of F1 race cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when science proves ebikes are more efficient and fun than regular bikes. If you’re going to burglarize vehicles, try to hide your wet bike tires from sharp-eyed cops.

And if the prices are too good to be true, you may have been conned by yet another fraudulent SRAM website.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

DA won’t prosecute deputies in Dijon Kizzee shooting, and drunken Huntington Beach hit-and-run death goes to jury

It looks like there won’t be any justice for Dijon Kizzee, after all.

The Los Angeles County DA’s office announced that a pair of sheriff’s deputies won’t be charged for killing 29-year old Dijon Kizzee in South LA in 2020, in what began as a traffic stop for the crime of riding salmon on his lowrider bike.

Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and was shot 16 times in the front and back as he ran away after picking up a gun he had dropped, suggesting the firing continued long after he was on the ground.

Never mind that Kizzee never pointed the gun at the deputies, or attempted to confront them with it.

His death came during the protests over the killing of George Floyd, which may have contributed to his decision to flee when the deputies tried to stop him.

His family has filed a $35 million claim against the county, which is a required precursor to filing a lawsuit. His family’s attorneys have called it a case of “biking while Black” in the largely Black and Hispanic neighborhood, where riding against traffic is a common response to dangerous streets.

Meanwhile, Knock LA insists there’s no evidence to support crucial details of the deputies stories.

Kizee’s shooting was just one of a number of questionable shootings by LA County sheriff’s deputies, which led to weeks of protests in the local community.

And like the other cases, no action by Los Angeles Count District Attorney George Gascón, who ran on a platform of holding police accountable for their actions.

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The trial of 28-year old alleged drunk driver Victor Manuel Romero has gone to the jury for a verdict, three years after the hit-and-run crash that killed 33-year-old Raymond MacDonald in Huntington Beach.

Romero was over twice the legal alcohol limit during a series of hit-and-runs, starting with crashing into the car belonging to the bar owner where he’d been drinking, and ending when he fled on foot after slamming his car into a tree.

Sandwiched between was MacDonald’s death as he rode his bike in a crosswalk on Beach Blvd at Adams Ave.

Romero’s public defender had bizarrely claimed that he wasn’t responsible for his actions, blaming a head injury sustained in a fight in the bar parking lot for his actions.

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People responded to yesterday’s call to turn out to oppose plans to remove bulb outs on Fair Oaks Ave in South Pasadena, would would make the street even more dangerous for anyone not in a motor vehicle.

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Orange County continues to make slow but steady progress on building new bike facilities, including new bike lanes in Buena Park.

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UC Davis grad student Megan Lynch continues to question why the campus enjoys its newly renewed status as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University.

Particularly after a bike-riding student was killed by the driver of a university truck, in a crash that still hasn’t been adequately explained.

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Yet another ebike rebate program is kicking in before dysfunctional California can get its fully funded ebike rebate act together.

This time in Austin, Texas.

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It’s the opposite of road rage, as a bike rider in the UK apologizes for crash into a van, and the driver says “don’t worry about it.”

@norfolkdashcam

The Van Driver was fine about the situation. No dramas. #Accident #Cyclist #Cycle #Van #Norfolk #NorfolkDashCam #UKRoads #DashCamFootage #DashCam #UKDashCam #CaughtOnCamera #Fail #CyclistsOfTiktok

♬ original sound – Norfolk Dash Cam

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Now that’s what I call an endorsement.

Averaging almost 14 mph for 34 hours on a heavy three-speed roadie isn’t bad, either.

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‘Tis the season.

Over 300 Odessa, Texas second graders got matching new bikes and helmets thanks to Occidental Petroleum and bike charity Wish for Wheels.

Kansas City’s first bicycle collective is celebrating 15 years of turning junk into transportation for the city’s most vulnerable residents.

A team of 200 volunteers are working to prepare 400 “gently used” bicycles to give to Atlanta kids in need this holiday season.

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

A Hoboken, New Jersey city councilmember says he was the victim of a road-raging driver, who intentionally plowed into his bikeshare bike.

A London man was lucky to get out of the way when an SUV driver accelerated at him as he attempted to block the vehicle with his bicycle, destroying his bike.

London bicyclists are subjected to “dehumanizing language” and abuse on social media, and fear that anger could translate to attacks on the roads.

No bias here. A leading Swiss economist says that people on bicycles can be up to four times more damaging to the environment than cars, accusing officials of using “creative accounting” and “official tricks” to hide the damage done by bikes — apparently because he somehow thinks all bike riders refuel with beef, and drivers evidently don’t. 

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

Police in New York are looking for a man on an ebike who shot and killed a promising 21-year old basketball player.

Hampshire, England police are on the lookout for a man on a bicycle who threatened and shoved a man riding a mobility scooter after he moved his scooter over to let the bike rider pass.

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Local

No surprise here, as the woman whose home was destroyed by actress Anne Heche in a drunken crash last August has filed a $2 million lawsuit against Heche’s estate; Heche later died from her injuries after falling into a coma once she was finally extracted from the fiery crash.

 

State 

He gets it. A Rancho Bernardo author says we must “recognize and respect that walkers and bicyclists have the right to safety on our roads.” And we can’t use the fact that there are “bad actors in every mode as an excuse to not address the reality of these tragic incidents.”

San Diego has announced the three finalists in a contest to name the city’s new mini electric street sweeper, designed to remove trash from bike lanes and other narrow spots, even as San Diego reduces the frequency of street sweeping in large swaths of the city.

Bakersfield officials held a public workshop to develop a package of traffic calming tools that can be used to tame the city’s notoriously deadly streets.

 

National

Bicycling rates the best early Black Friday ebike sales available right now. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Channing Tatum is one of us, as his relationship with Zoë Kravitz went public last year when a New York paparazzo spotted Tatum giving Kravitz a ride to her writing partner’s house on the back of his BMX bike.

A new accessible mountain bike trail built on the site of a former New Jersey wild animal park is designed to accommodate bike riders of all abilities

A local weekly ranks the top ten Philly bikeways for your next visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine goes riding on dirt roads through the interior of Mexico from Puerto Vallarta to Mexico City.

Bike shops holding out for big Black Friday sales may be disappointed, as new research shows UK shoppers are holding onto their money.

The Jerusalem Post says riding a bike is a great way to get to know your city better.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering a one-year bikeshare pilot program with 1,000 bikes — including 500 ebikes — available at 94 docking stations throughout the city

 

Competitive Cycling

After a pair of top ten finishes in the Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes, Italian classics specialist Silvia Persico thinks she has a real shot at winning the women’s Tour.

Some of the top pros are hanging up their bike shoes and pulling on running shoes to keep in shape during the off season.

 

Finally…

Your next bike seat could be made of environmentally friendly cork. Now you, too, can build your own DIY bike made entirely of nuts.

No, not the kind you eat.

And shockingly, painted stripes and car-tickler plastic bendy posts are no match for bigass trucks.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

South Pasadena plans car-centric remake of Fair Oaks Ave, and anti-growth email scandal in car-centric Redondo Beach

It looks like South Pasadena is going the wrong way.

The town of just 26,000 people sandwiched between Los Angeles and Pasadena is proposing a plan to remove bulb-outs on Fair Oaks Ave, optimizing the street for motor vehicles while making it less safe for everyone else — particularly bike riders and pedestrians.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say.

THIS TUESDAY (today), the City of South Pasadena’s Mobility and Transportation Infrastructure Commission has an item on its agenda(item #3 – staff report here) to consider how to implement over $11M in federal funds for road safety improvements. Unbelievably, city staff seem to think that removing pedestrian bulb outs are a safety improvement (for whom!?). Additionally, the vast majority goes to car infrastructure – new signals, new lanes, and new cameras to monitor congestion.

It’s 2022 and we know the cost of traffic violence all too well in the Los Angeles area. There is no room for 1990s thinking using 2022 dollars. Make your voice heard.

BEST: MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT LIVE 11.15 at 6:30PM

EMAIL PUBLIC COMMENT BEFORE NOON ON 11.15

Meanwhile, Dr. Grace Peng offered her thoughts, including sharing her open letter to the South Pasadena city council.

Dear South Pasadena Mobility and Transportation Infrastructure Commission –

I oppose your staff’s recommendation to use federal dollars to make Fair Oaks Ave less safe.

Fair Oaks is a very wide and busy street. Crossing it within the allotted pedestrian signal time is already difficult for the mobility-impaired. Bulb outs reduce the distance, and make vulnerable road users safer.

The proof is right in front of us. I looked up South Pasadena in the Transportation Injury Mapping System.

The bulb outs were installed around 2010. Between 2011 and 2021, Fair Oaks Ave has seen fewer pedestrian and cyclist injuries and deaths than the narrower Mission St. This is a good indication that traffic calming elements on Fair Oaks are working. Stay the course.

Since Covid, there has been an increase in injuries on Fair Oaks, and in the whole region.  Do not allow cars to pick up speed while making right turns. This only increases the severity of injury and the risk of death to pedestrians. 

I live in Redondo Beach, where the death of a 13 year old girl at an unsafe intersection cost our city $33 Million in a wrongful death lawsuit. No amount of money will make that family whole again. And our city coffers suffer as well due to sharply increased insurance premiums. As a mother and daughter (to a mobility-impaired senior), I am begging you to improve, not remove pedestrian safety infrastructure. 

The $11 M in Caltrans funding could pay for pedestrian scramble signal timing changes. This would temporally separate vulnerable road users and cars/trucks in the intersections.  This would facilitate vehicle turns and improve safety.  Do this instead.

Grace Peng, PhD

PS I concur with the Streets For All recommendations below:

The ~$11M is coming from the canceled 710 North project; instead, the funds should be used to improve transportation for all modes in South Pasadena.

The vast majority of funds are proposed to be spent on cars – new signals, new turn lanes, new traffic monitoring cameras – none of these expensive items will help the residents of South Pasadena get out of cars, which are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California!

Most egregiously, staff is proposing to REMOVE pedestrian bulb outs on Fair Oaks Ave – pedestrian bulb outs are a proven safety element that help save lives by enabling pedestrians to spend less time in the street when crossing. Removing them is contrary to every possible best safety practice.

I ask that you throw out these staff recommendations and start over. Build a true multi modal street. Add protected bike lanes (implement your own bike plan!) and more pedestrian improvements. Consider bus-only lanes in the city. With an average trip of only 3 miles, if you build safe alternatives to the car, many residents will use them, improving traffic, air quality, safety, and helping fight climate change.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

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At least it’s not as bad as the recently released recording of racist and otherwise offensive comments by three LA city councilmembers, two of whom still refuse to do the right thing and resign.

But emails between the mayor of Redondo Beach and various councilmembers and supporters sure as hell ain’t pretty.

The emails center on the majority-white city’s efforts to block housing projects, particularly those offering housing for low-income residents, as well as offensive racial “banter” in private conversations.

The emails were released as part of a freedom of information request filed by attorneys for a developer looking to redevelop the city’s pier, which was blocked by a public vote.

Redondo resident Dr. Peng says officials purposely undermine transit and active transportation projects to create anti-housing furor.

It’s also worth noting that local officials are insisting that ebike riders obey the law; drivers, not so much.

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Streets For All continues a strong run in this election cycle, as two more candidates endorsed by the transportation PAC claimed victory, including new LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath; a click on the lower right panel reveals 15 candidates and propositions who’ve won with their endorsements, with no losses — yet.

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

Ann Arbor, Michigan goes back to the drawing board after local residents insist on keeping their on-street parking instead of a new bike lane, even though the homes appear to have fully functional driveways. And bizarrely argue that street parking improves safety, while bike lanes don’t — exactly the opposite of the actual effects.

An English bike rider suffered a broken leg after he was knocked off his bike by a road raging pedestrian following an argument between the two men.

It was evidently a bad weekend for people on bikes in the UK, as a second bike rider was hospitalized with serious head injuries when he was viciously attacked by a road raging driver.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a pair of hooded teenagers who rode up on bikes before demanding money and belongings from two 17-year old boys, but ended up riding off empty handed.

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Local

No surprise here. The Los Angeles Daily News reports Metro’s proposal to “simplify” it’s fare structure, which masks a dramatic fare increase, came in for overwhelming criticism during yesterday’s problem-plagued virtual meeting.

Santa Monica collected over $5 million in Development Impact Fees in 2022, adding to a pot of $11.4 million set aside for transportation projects, including $3.4 million for bikeways in 2024; the city spent nearly $1 million of the fund for active transportation projects this year.

 

State 

Petaluma announced plans for a bicycle boulevard on the city’s west side.

San Francisco safe streets advocates celebrate after last week’s election resulted in a victory to keep JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park permanently carfree.

A Tulare County woman faces up to four years behind bars for the hit-and-run that killed a man walking his bicycle earlier this month; Shay Dejonge is being held without bail after entering a not guilty plea.

 

National

The Bike League is now offering an online Bicycle Friendly Drive Training course. Which most drivers will undoubtedly rush to take.

No surprise here, either. A new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health shows that bike lanes may be the most cost-effective way to improve public health.

Bicycling reports on the Bike League’s latest list of Bicycle Friendly Universities; congratulations to SoCal’s Santa Monica College, UC San Diego and the University of San Diego. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Wired reports that the pandemic bike boom is still going strong in cities that invested in bike infrastructure, but faltering in those that didn’t — like Los Angeles, for instance. Meanwhile, the magazine also recommends the best ebikes for elderly riders, only one of which is an adult tricycle.

Cycling Weekly says it’s been a rough year for Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes, after the company has faced lawsuits, layoffs and a recent recall.

A 67-year old Washington woman has set a Guinness world record as the oldest woman to ride across the US from coast-to-coast.

Three men face charges for recklessly riding their bikes in Salem, New Hampshire, after they were stopped as part of a rideout group weaving in and out of traffic.

The Guardian reports “everyone is scared” after ebike batteries are alleged to have caused 200 fires in New York, resulting in six deaths. Although other reports suggest that the problem stems from delivery riders using low-cost refurbished lithium ion batteries with mismatched chargers. 

New York could get another large pedestrian plaza before Los Angeles gets its first, as the city starts the process of removing cars from Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, after previously making Times Square carfree.

You can now ride your bike between Hoboken and Jersey City on a new curb and plastic bendy post-protected two-way bike lane.

 

International

A Vancouver writer calls on the city to keep the bike lanes through the city’s Stanley Park, which the city council recently voted to remove.

Tesla insists a crash that killed a Chinese motorcyclist and a high school student on a bicycle wasn’t its fault, despite data taken from the vehicle that failed to show the Model Y SUV applied its brakes before the crash.

Melbourne, Australia officials were urged to rip out a series of popup bike lanes, after an independent review found they either offered limited benefit, or actually increased the risk to bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to American Hannah Roberts, as the 21-year old Olympic silver medalist won her third consecutive BMX Freestyle world title.

A 31-year old former pro cyclist from the Isle of Man will spend four years behind bars after he was busted for dealing coke; Christopher Whorrall blamed his downfall on hitting rock-bottom after an injury ended his career.

 

Finally…

Apparently, its against the law to fix an illegally obscured license plate. When you’re already the most wanted man in town, put some damn lights on your bike.

And when is a bike lane not a bike lane? When horn-honking drivers use it to bypass traffic, while insisting people on bikes get the hell out of their way.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Deputies kill knife-wielding Cabazon salmon bicyclist, a call for banning right on red, and Metro fare meeting tonight

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a knife-wielding parolee after spotting the man riding salmon in Cabazon Saturday afternoon.

The victim was killed when he pulled a knife, which was found at the scene, while attempting to flee from the cops.

However, if the description is accurate, it’s questionable whether the victim actually posed a risk to the officers as he tried to escape.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

………

She gets it.

Los Angeles Times columnist Robin Abcarian calls for following Berkeley’s lead in banning right turns on red lights to protect pedestrians and people on bicycles.

“Permitting right turns on red has always been a dangerous idea, which is why, when the first traffic lights and traffic laws rolled out, it was not allowed,” Jessie Singer told me in an email Thursday. Singer literally wrote the book on how “accidents” happen in America. “It is no coincidence,” she continued, “that in New York City, the most pedestrian-dense city in the U.S., right on red has long and largely been disallowed.”

The practice is inherently dangerous to pedestrians because, as Singer puts it, it “leaves the sanctity of the crosswalk and the life of a pedestrian in the hands of a fallible driver.”

Drivers can wait a few extra seconds to make their turn. Even if they’d likely think its the end of the world.

Read it on Yahoo if the paper blocks you.

………

A reminder that Metro is hosting a virtual open meeting this evening to discuss a new “simplified” fare structure that could result in a dramatic increase for many users.

The new fare structure would eliminate weekly and monthly passes, instead charging a flat $2 per ride — a 25¢ increase over the current $1.75 fare.

It would also eliminate the current free transfers by charging the full fare for every ride, with a daily cap of $6.

So if your typical roundtrip involves a single transfer in each direction, you’d pay $2 for each outbound leg, for a total of $4, and $2 for both return legs after hitting the daily cap.

That compares to the current $1.75 each way with free transfers, for a total of $3.50 a day — an increase of $2.50, which would represent a steep jump for many users.

It would also have a weekly cap of $20, which would only benefit daily riders with at least one transfer.

To make matters worse, it would also automatically adjust for inflation every four years, further increasing the already too-high fares.

In other words, the “simplified” fare structure is little more than a dramatic fare increase — exactly the wrong decision at a time when we need to encourage more transit use to get people out of their cars.

Let alone the opposite of the free fare system they promised to study.

Streets For All says Metro should reconsider the proposed fare structure, while it’s also opposed by the Alliance for Community Transit, aka ACT-LA, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy.

I couldn’t agree more.

You can email Metro through this link. And click here to attend the Public Hearing at 5pm today.

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Walk Bike Glendale sends an alert that a highly flawed plan for a bike and walk path along the Verdugo Wash is headed to the city council for approval tomorrow.

The organization reports the current proposal doesn’t include plans to connect to Crescenta Valley Park north of the basin, because of a “small but loud group of opponents who don’t want to see ‘others’ coming into their neighborhood.”

Nope, nothing offensive about that.

The knee-jerk NIMBY reaction is reminiscent of the Trousdale Gap in the Expo Line bike path, which skipped the section along the railway behind the Cheviot Hills neighborhood after residents expressed fears ne’er-do-wells would ride their bikes up to peer in their windows and make off with their flatscreen TVs.

Because people in cars never, ever just drive up and burgle homes, apparently.

Now the gap is finally scheduled to be closed in 2025, at a cost of tens of millions of dollars more than if it had been built along with the rest of the pathway.

The same thing is likely to happen with the Verdugo Wash, as city leaders slowly discover the mistake they’re about to make.

And the highcost to fix it.

The group recommends attending the meeting if possible, or if not, emailing anajarian@glendaleca.gov, pdevine@glendaleca.gov, dbrotman@glendaleca.gov, easatryan@glendaleca.gov, akassakhian@glendaleca.gov.

………

The Ballona Creek bike path was closed at Sepulveda following last week’s rains.

Hopefully it’s dried out and open again now.

………

‘Tis the season.

An Aurora, Colorado man’s family plans to continue his life’s mission to fix up and donate used bikes after he passed away unexpectedly last week; the nonprofit Second Chance Bicycle Shop has donated over 4,500 bicycles to disadvantaged youth, veterans and people experiencing homelessness.

A Pittsburgh PA father is teaming with his two young kids to collect and refurbish unwanted bikes, and donate them to children in need.

A youth development program in Pennsylvania gave 40 bicycles to kids in need, with hopes of giving a similar number in the spring.

A kindhearted Alabama brother and sister gave their $3,000 ebike to a 51-year old Applebees worker with Asperger’s syndrome, after reading that he had to ride his bicycle two hours each way to get to and from work.

………

Maybe this remote controlled bike-riding skeleton and his ghostly canine companion would have gotten your attention on Halloween.

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A “real-life Mowgli” who fled his Sudanese village to live in the jungle after being bullied over his microcephaly can now ride a bicycle for the first time, after a documentary about him went viral.

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It only makes sense that Aaron Copeland, the dean of American composers and the author of Appalachian Spring and Fanfare for the Common Man, was one one of us.

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Too bad we can’t actually ride on clouds, where all we’d have to duck is birds, planes and alien spaceships.

………

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

No bias here, as a New York councilmember says the best way to encourage bike commuting is to discourage it by taxing, licensing and regulating riders.

No bias here, either. British bicyclists are urged to stop riding two-abreast and let drivers overtake them because nearly two-thirds of drivers don’t understand recent bike safety changes to the country’s Highway Code. Once again putting all the responsibility for safety solely on the people on two wheels, because of the ignorance of motorists.

………

Local

The New York Times takes a deep dive into plans to remake the concrete-lined Los Angeles River, including starchitect Frank Gehry’s misguided plan to cap the river and hide it under a series of overhead parks, rather than return the channel to it’s natural state.

This is who we share the road with. Six people were hospitalized when a man trying to escape from police drove through a street carnival in South LA before fleeing the scene; a 23-year old man was arrested on Sunday.

Congratulations to Santa Monica College on being renamed a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly University by the Bike League.

 

State 

A San Diego program that has provided 400 low-income residents with a free ebike is now going statewide; participants need to provide their own bike insurance, and will own their bikes after just two years.

Once again, parking protected bike lanes confuse easily disoriented drivers, this time in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Visalia plans to improve safety by upgrading existing bike lanes to Class IV buffered lanes, as well as improving intersections.

UC Davis students are calling for improvements after a massive 46% increase in bicycling crashes on campus this year — a problem UC grad student Megan Lynch has repeatedly called to our attention.

 

National

Your next ebike could have a sidecar.

Cycling Savvy offers a tutorial on how to choose the right bicycle lights.

Singletrack says these are the gifts mountain bikers really want; the magazine also posts a gallery of “drool worthy” custom bikes.

A new study concludes over 11,000 Americans were injured riding their bikes under the influence of drugs over a two-year period, with 36.4% on meth, 30.7% on weed and 18.5% using opioids, while close to a quarter also had alcohol in their system. Although that’s less than 5% of the estimated 260,000 bicycling injuries over the same period, never mind that drunk and stoned drivers are a much bigger problem

USA Today says ebikes are affordable, practical and good for the planet, even if America may not be ready for them.

The man and woman killed by a driver in a drunken, serial hit-and-run while riding mountain bikes in Las Vegas were a couple from Kansas, who had just moved to Vegas four months earlier after ten years together.

Kansas City celebrates its commitment to build a relatively modest 15 miles of bike lanes in each of the next two years. Which is still more than Los Angeles has built in some years.

A small Vermont company has introduced a plastic-free stainless steel water bottle, which they insist will deliver an adequate flow of water even if you can’t squeeze it.

The New York Times examines the problem of bike theft by focusing on the sometimes violent thieves of Burlington, Vermont.

 

International

Momentum considers some of the world’s worst bike lanes. Remarkably, without stopping in Los Angeles.

Who enforces the law against dooring a bike rider, when the offending driver is a cop? A Victoria, British Columbia police officer in a marked patrol car apparently opened his door without looking, sending a passing bicyclist to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Bicycling continues to be a risky activity in Trinidad and Tobago, where pleas for safer infrastructure go unanswered.

An Israeli man on an around-the-world bike tour became just the latest long-distance rider to have their bike stolen in the UK.

Dublin, Ireland’s oldest bike shop is shutting down due to rising costs after 105 years.

Yanko Design says the app-controlled Keyless O-Lock from Copenhagen-based LAAS is the smartest and easiest way to keep your bike safe. Even though it only disables the rear wheel, but does nothing to keep someone from carrying your bike off.

The AP recommends adding the Col de la Colombière in the French Alps to your bike bucket list, saying the picturesque towns and stunning scenery make it worth the effort.

A Munich museum is displaying 70 stand-out bicycle designs from two centuries of bicycling.

A 72-year old woman rode her bike from Sweden to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt to protest climate change at the COP27 climate conference underway now.

Women on bicycles are “greasing the wheels of change” on the streets of Khartoum, where women riding bikes violate the norms of the Sudanese city.

Australia will require sensors on large trucks to detect bike riders and pedestrians starting next year, eight years after a coroner investigating the death of a woman riding a bike recommended their use.

 

Competitive Cycling

A sports site ranks the world’s top professional men’s cyclists, with Tadej Pogačar unsurprisingly taking the top spot.

 

Finally…

Tossing a bicycle onto train tracks is not among the recommended uses for it. That feeling when a car fares worse than the bike it hit.

And you know you’re a NIMBY when a “giant ugly” bike hanger is more distressing than the big, ugly cars it replaced.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Hunt is on for road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist, and stoned Michigan driver to face charges in Make-A-Wish crash

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served our country! 

………

Before we get going, it’s time to start digging under your sofa cushions to save up for the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive later this month. 

The fund drive page is now live, which wasn’t hard to do since I never got around to taking down last year’s page, in case anyone feels an urgent need to contribute before we officially get going on the 25th. 

And I’m open to suggestions if you can recommend a good payment app, since there are always people who ask for an alternative to PayPal or Zelle each year.

………

We now have a photo of the road-raging Carlsbad bicyclist who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens.

The man reportedly responded to being yelled at by one of the kids by trying to open their car door and punching a window, before smashing their windshield. He then rode off, but allegedly lay in wait for them down the road.

As we have repeatedly said, there is never any excuse for violence, no matter how justified it may seem at the time.

Now instead of being the victim of an angry driver, a bike rider finds himself a wanted criminal who could face serious charges and be subject to damages once he’s found.

And he will be found.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up. 

………

A Michigan woman has been ordered to stand trial later this month in the drugged driving crash that killed two people participating in a Make-A-Wish fundraising ride.

Forty-two-year old Mandy Marie Benn was reportedly visibly impaired on a cocktail of drugs including Vicodin, Suboxone, and Lorazepam. She was also participating in a Facebook group chat while she drove, saying moments before the crash that she wanted to die.

Instead, she took two innocent lives.

She faces up to 15 years each on two felony counts of operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance causing death.

………

If you’re feeling more crowded on the roads, it’s because you are.

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

A Vancouver woman was seriously injured when she was pushed off her bike by a bystander acting on the orders of a fake cop, for the crime of riding too close to a man who claimed to be an off-duty police officer.

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

Authorities in Florida discovered “concerning manifestos” in the home of a bike-riding man who was seen shooting bullets into the ocean, then seen four hours later riding his bike near where a man was found shot to death under an overpass.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers updates on new bike lanes in DTLA, as well as plans for a quick-build bike lane on Anaheim Street in Wilmington.

Metro is hosting a community meeting on Wednesday, as well as a bike rodeo next month, to gather input on first mile/last mile connections for the Sepulveda G LIne, nee Orange Line, station.

Glendora is working with Active SGV to finalize plans for a new greenway trail along the San Dimas Wash.

Speaking of Streetsblog, the transportation news site is honoring LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell with their Streetsie Award for 2022 Elected Official of the Year at Mercado La Paloma on December 1st.

 

State 

The Contra Costa County district attorney has decided not to prosecute officers involved in a fatal shooting, who was killed by police after a passing bike rider noticed the victim dumping a woman’s body off the side of the road.

A woman suspected in a Tulare County hit-and-run has turned herself in, four days after the crash that killed a man walking his bicycle.

 

National

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses new infrastructure projects designed to make cities safer for bike riders and pedestrians, saying there are places where cars wouldn’t make any sense if you were starting from scratch.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride with your dogMy best tip is to get a tandem with an usually low stoker position, and let the dog do its own damn pedaling. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Seattle-based Rad Power is recalling 30,000 RadWagon 4 Electric Cargo Bikes due to a defective wheel strip that can allow tires and tubes to become damaged while in use.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a ghost bike for a 13-year old Washington boy who was killed by a driver who went through the crosswalk he was riding in; fortunately, the bike was returned when someone at a scrap yard recognized it and returned it to his family.

The news keeps getting worse from Las Vegas, where it turns out the two mountain bikers killed by an alleged drunk driver during a serial hit-and-run were a couple who had been dating for ten years.

Nevada state police officials are reporting a startling increase in bicycling deaths this year, with eleven people killed riding bikes so far this year — double the number this time last year.

A local group is giving away 500 bicycles, helmets, locks and a t-shirt to kids in need before Sunday’s El Tour de Tucson.

Utah has banned offroad ebike use in protected wildlife areas.

Boise, Idaho is redrawing plans for a protected bike lane after complaints that it would interfere with parents picking up their children from a Catholic school, apparently thinking the ability to drive up to the door is more important than allowing their kids to safely bike there.

That’s more like it. A 22-year old Michigan man will spend 20 to 40 years behind bars after he was sentenced for the hit-and-run death of a five year old boy who was riding his bike in a crosswalk with the rest of his family; his two younger siblings remain traumatized after witnessing the crash.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts judge expressed skepticism over new bendy post-protected bike lanes, saying in response to a lawsuit intended to stop them that the streets appear to be too narrow for them. Which isn’t a decision a judge with no traffic planning experience should be making.

The Boston Globe says a tandem is the perfect way to double your pleasure on the road.

A 12-year old Erie, Pennsylvania boy was severely beaten by two unknown attackers as he was riding his bike somewhere in the city; police were having trouble locating the site because the boy doesn’t speak English and was relying on a translator. No word on whether he was attacked for his bike, or for some other reason.

 

International

Amazon is being criticized for selling tuning kits that can override ebike speed restrictions, allowing the riders to exceed European limitations.

Bike commuters in Manchester, England complain that road signs blocking a bike lane and construction work on the roadway have turned the street into a “lethal mess.”

The death of a Berlin bike rider after climate protestors blocked a roadway, delaying the arrival of first responders, is provoking debate over the tactic even though a doctor insists his death wasn’t caused by the delay.

A delegate to the COP27 climate conference from the Côte d’Ivoire, aka Ivory Coast, has gained a reputation as Africa’s cycling ambassador as he attends every session wearing his hi-viz bike helmet.

A South African construction worker was found dead on the road after he was knocked off his bicycle by someone swinging a piece of wood, then stabbed in the neck; he was killed after winning a large sum of money at a local bar.

A New Zealand woman blames a moment’s inattention by a driver for the crash that left her with a badly broken arm. But at least the driver hit her bike just outside the emergency room at a local hospital.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist and former ski jumper Primož Roglič will be out of commission for another month following shoulder surgery, after dislocating it in a high-speed crash during stage 5 of the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Why take the blame for losing an MMA title fight when you can blame it on a “vicious” bike crash?

And that feeling when you’re chasing a bear, rather than the other way around.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Election bodes well for bikes, DUI hit-and-run driver on trial in Huntington Beach, and South LA CicLAvia route announced

Let’s start with a quick recap of Tuesday’s election.

The short version is, nobody won.

Yet.

The large number of mail-in ballots received on and dropped off on Election Day means it could be more than a week before we have final results.

However, as things currently stand, Rick Caruso and Karen Bass are in a virtual dead heat for mayor, with Caruso holding a slight lead.

Meanwhile, bike rider and corgi dad Kenneth Mejia holds a seemingly insurmountable lead over termed-out councilmember and career politician Paul Koretz to become city controller and the first person of Filipino ancestry to hold elective office in the City of Angeles.

Bike-friendly Katy Yaroslavsky, daughter-in-law of longtime LA office holder Zev Yaroslavsky, has an 11 point lead to replace Koretz in CD5, which should mark a sea change for active transportation on the Westside.

Tracy Park holds a nearly 11 point lead over bike-friendly Erin Darling to succeed retiring Councilmember Mike Bonin in CD11.

Hugo Soto-Martinez has a tighter five point lead over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13; if he can hold the lead, it could be a major win for active transportation in the district, where O’Farrell blocked nearly all bike projects, and only came around to support Sunset for All to gain support as he battled for re-election.

Tim McCosker has a seemingly insurmountable 30 point lead over progressive Daniel Sandoval to replace termed-out Joe Buscaino in CD15, following Sandoval’s wage theft scandal that effectively sank her prospects. I don’t have a feel for what McCosker’s expected victory will mean for bike and pedestrian projects in a district that stretches from San Pedro to Watts.

Career politician Bob Hertzberg holds a slim 1.5% lead over West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath for LA County Supervisor; a Hertzberg victory would represent a significant conservative shift compared outgoing Supervisor Shiela Kuehl.

Retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna leads incumbent Alex Villanueva for LA County Sheriff, whose department has long used pretext stops to target bicyclists for riding while Black or brown. Especially brown.

State Measure 30, which would have taxed millionaires to fund e-cars and prevent wildfires, went down to defeat by a 2-1 margin.

The next update isn’t expected until tomorrow. We’ll catch up on some of the smaller cities in LA County as official results are announced.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

A Huntington Beach man finally went on trial in the alleged drunken, hit-and-run death of 33-year old Raymond MacDonald as he rode his bike in the city in 2019.

The collision that killed MacDonald was just one of three crashes 28-year old Victor Manuel Romero stands accused of on that March night, after getting drunk and into a fight in a bar parking lot.

Despite assuring police he would call for a ride, he instead got behind the wheel of his BMW and tore out of the parking lot, hitting the bar owner’s Caddy on the way out.

He then slammed into MacDonald, driving so fast an Uber driver waiting at the intersection felt his car rock as Romero blew by; MacDonald was like dead by the time he hit the pavement.

He then hit another car after blowing through a red light, and was arrested back near the bar after fleeing on foot.

Unbelievably, his attorney tried to blame his actions, not on being drunk or merely an asshole, but by claiming he suffered a concussion from repeated blows to the head while on the losing end of the fight, which somehow affected his decision making.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

Granted, even the worst client has a right to a defense. And his attorney can’t be blamed for throwing whatever Hail Mary he can in the face of overwhelming evidence.

But maybe he could come up with something even slightly more credible.

………

In more enjoyable news, CicLAvia announced the route for the year’s last open streets event next month in South LA.

The South LA Expo Park to Watts CicLAvia will roll December 4th, on a route that will take it along Martin Luther King Blvd from Exposition Park to Historic South Central — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — then along Central Ave to Florence-Firestone and ending on 103rd Street in Watts, the home turf of the East Side Riders.

The late date means the event will be subject to the whims of what passes for winter weather in Los Angeles. However, many people who have attended previous South LA CicLAvias have ranked them among the best events in the 12-year history of CicLAvia.

And it certainly offers some of the best food you’ll find anywhere in Los Angeles.

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Nothing like getting right hooked on a protected bike lane.

………

San Francisco voted overwhelmingly to keep JFK Drive permanently carfree through Golden Gate Park, while overwhelmingly defeating a measure to reopen JFK and the Great Highway to cars.

State Senator Scott Wiener credits his SB288 with exempting the projects from CEQA review, forcing opponents to take it to a vote of the people, where it was resoundingly rejected,

………

Don’t worry. If a Tesla driver runs you down, they may not be texting.

They might just be on a Zoom call.

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for the heads-up.

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That feeling when the Twitter bird flees Elon Musk, and takes up residence in your bike wheel.

Which I suppose beats the hell out of a monkey in your spokes.

………

Everesting — climbing the height of Mt. Everest on a bicycle — is hard enough. Imagine doing it when you can’t breathe.

An inspiring new video tells the story of South African cyclist Jason van’t Slot, who broke the record for the fastest successful Everesting attempt by someone with cystic fibrosis.

………

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

No bias here. A San Diego letter writer says “Same road, same rules” cuts both ways, insisting that stops signs and red lights apply to people on bikes, too. Apparently, he’s never watched drivers at red lights and stop signs, either.

No bias here, either. A British Conservative politician responds to a viral clip of an oncoming driver refusing to pause for a five-year old kid on a bike by saying the child shouldn’t be riding on the street in the first place. Because there are so much better places for families to ride where they’re going, evidently. 

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A British driver walked without a single day behind bars for using his car as a weapon to ram into a man on a bike in reverse, after the man slapped his car when the driver yelled for him and another bike rider to get out of the road. Adding insult to injury, he’ll get his damn drivers license back after a lousy six-month suspension, when it should have been revoked for life.

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

Police in Carlsbad are looking for a road-raging bike rider who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens by trying to open their door and punching a window, before smashing the windshield, then allegedly lying in wait for them down the road; the altercation reportedly began when traffic bogged down as the rider was crossing the intersection, which “got him all spun up and (one of the teens) retaliated at him and got upset at him.” I assume that last quote means something, but we may need a teen-to-English translation before it makes any sense. As we’ve said many times before, though, violence is never the right answer, no matter how justified it may seem at the time. 

NYPD officers are looking for an armed “menace” riding a bikeshare bike who repeatedly pointed a gun at pedestrians, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

An experimental program developed by a UCLA professor is paying people to bikepool between the Eastside and Downtown; Civic Bicycle Commuting, aka CiBiC, allows participants to earn credits worth up to $300 a month.

A fire at the El Segundo Chevron plant inevitably means Southern California gas prices will be going up. To which bike commuters seem oddly unconcerned.

 

State 

California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, which was more than offset by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year, as miles driven rebounded to pre-pandemic levels; a full 40% of LA County’s greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicle tailpipes.

Santa Barbara county supervisors took the first step necessary to approve a proposed bike path along San Diego’s Modoc Road, helped in part by a large turnout by supporters.

Berkeley took the first step towards banning red turns on right at every intersection in the city.

The San Francisco Examiner explains California’s requirements for bike lights and reflectors. However, the law only applies if you’re riding after sunset or before sunrise, although police have been known to use daytime light checks as an illegal pretext stop.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bike was killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom lowrider frame worth eight grand made by students at a Sacramento high school.

Finishing our Sacramento trifecta, city officials are asking people to pick which crappy plastic bendy bollard they want to offer a false sense of protection on bike lanes.

 

National

Transport for America says education, enforcement and technology — the cornerstones of American Vision Zero programs — don’t make streets safer; what does is better roadway designs.

A piece from the Congress for the New Urbanism calls ebikes essential technology for the 15 minute city.

Your next ebike could come with an automatic transmission; meanwhile, a new regenerative-braking ebike conversion kit promises to turn your existing bike into an ebike in just 30 seconds, you can buy it now on Kickstarter for half the planned $599 retail price.

Men’s Journal offers tips on winter fat tire bike riding, as well as their favorite bikes for the job, while Gear Patrol has advice on how to make your first bikepacking trip a success.

Triathlete offers a temperature-based guide to choosing bikewear.

Giro joins the LED-lighted bike helmet club.

She gets it. An op-ed in The Seattle Times says in order to improve safety for pedestrians, we need to prioritize the people who aren’t in cars. Which goes for protecting bike riders, too.

More bad news from Las Vegas, where a second bike rider has died following a drunken, serial hit-and-run that has now killed two people and injured seven others, while damaging ten vehicles.

Now that’s singletrack. A mountain bike trail stretches 567 continuous miles through the Colorado backcountry from Denver to Durango.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will go on trial next June for the May murder of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Authorities in Chicago have apparently concluded that parking in bike lanes isn’t such a big deal, chopping the fine in half, from $500 to $250. Which is still more than in Los Angeles.

Residents of Provincetown, Rhode Island are just the latest to get ebike rebates before California’s long-delayed program goes into effect, with qualified buyers eligible for up to $1,200.

We could use a lot more people like this. Nearly 30 years after financial problems forced a New Jersey man to drop out of Howard University, he’s raised over $100,000 through an annual bike ride to help other students live out their educational dreams at Historic Black Colleges and Universities, aka HBCUs.

 

International

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid marks the 100th anniversary of drivers running pedestrians — and bike riders — off the road, when an engineering journal article by roadbuilder Edward J. Mehren called for a radical redesign of roadways to make them the exclusive domain of motor vehicles.

Road.cc recalls bygone bike tech we’re well rid of. Although if we completely get rid of wing nuts, we’ll have to find another term for all those assorted whack jobs. Oh.

Tragic news from Tijuana, where a longtime bike advocate and scholar was crushed to death by the driver of a cargo truck while riding in the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood.

A Vancouver couple were able to recover their stolen bike, along with five of their neighbors bikes, thanks to an Apple AirTag.

New wildcat posters instruct Toronto drivers to keep parking in bike lanes, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Nurses at a London hospital are using ebikes to make patient rounds in the neighboring community.

A London TikTok user shares video of a midnight bicycle magical mystery tour through the lights of the city.

Now you, too, can own your very own Irish e-bikemaker, as the country’s High Court has forced Modmo Technologies into liquidation after a recall due to a dangerously defective battery mount crippled its finances.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Try taking a bike tour along Italy’s 2,300-year old, 373-mile Roman Appian Way.

A new Spanish ebike foldie is made from plant resin, and promises to fold in just one second.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where an Aukland prison guard walked with community service for killing a 70-year old man riding his bike on a rural road

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist goes on the road with Tour de France mechanics.

Pro cyclist Rebecca Fahringer is crossing over to gravel racing, after suffering a series of concussions racing ‘cross.

Four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome says UCI’s points system needs an overhaul, calling the new relegation system a death sentence for many cycling teams.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made with artificial meteorites. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding felony warrant, maybe try riding with traffic, instead. Artistic cycling could be your next new thing.

And here’s a really nice bike themed song from Los Angeles artist Runner, not to be confused with the ’70s band.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Get out and Bike the Vote today, bike groups demand action at COP27, and more on LACBC rebranding as Bike LA

If you haven’t cast your ballot yet, Streets For All offers their endorsements for many of the races in Los Angeles County.

Meanwhile, the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition posts the responses to their candidate surveys. Or at least the candidates who bothered to respond.

Which should give you a pretty good suggestion of who to vote for. And who not to.

And ActiveSGV provides their choices on many of the state and local ballot proposals; as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, they can take a stand on initiatives, but are prohibited from endorsing or opposing individual candidates.

Metro buses, trains and bikeshare are all free today, along with a number of other local transit systems, to help you get to the polls.

So get out and bike the vote, already.

I mean, you are going to vote.

Right?

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

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The Partnership for Active Travel and Health, aka PATH, wants organizations to sign on to their letter to the COP27 climate conference going on now in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Here’s just a sample.

With COP27 being hosted in Africa, it is worth noting that across the continent walking is already the primary mode of transport for the majority of people. Up to 78% walk every day – often because they have no other choice. And they put their lives at risk the moment they step out of their homes due to roads dominated by speeding cars, missing sidewalks, makeshift crossings and high-polluting vehicles. By 2050, low and middle income countries will own over two-thirds of the world’s cars. With that comes an increasing urgency for even greater investment in safe walking and cycling infrastructure.

For all of these reasons, the Partnership for Active Travel and Health, together with the undersigned organisations, strongly appeal to national and city governments to commit to prioritising and investing in walking and cycling, through Nationally Determined Contributions and integrated and coherent strategies, including plans, funding and concrete actions for:

  • Infrastructure – to make walking and cycling safe, accessible and easy to do.
  • Campaigns – to support a shift in people’s mobility habits.
  • Land use planning – to ensure proximity and quality of access to everyday services on foot and by bike.
  • Integration with public transport – to underpin sustainable mobility for longer trips.
  • Capacity building – to enable the successful delivery of effective walking and cycling strategies that have measurable impact.

Organizations including UCI, Rails-to-Trails and World Bicycle Relief have already signed on.

It’s also been endorsed by yours truly, even though this organization is just me and a corgi.

Thanks to Colin Bogart for the heads-up.

………

Streetsblog talks with Eli Akira Kaufman, Executive Director of the newly renamed Bike LA, formerly LACBC, about the bike coalition’s rebranding.

Our staff and board of directors felt that the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) really did not capture who we are and our mission to support more Angelenos to Bike LA. Basically, the thinking is that LACBC sounds too much like the government agencies we work with (LADOT, LAUSD, LADWP) when we’re actually a community-based nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the rights of cyclists. It had become clear that we needed a name change that made it easier for bike-minded people to find and support our advocacy work much like our sister bike nonprofits Bike East Bay, Bike New York, Bike Austin, Bike Cleveland, Bike Portland, Bike Houston to name a few.

Bike LA is both more accessible and a call to action. We thank everyone for supporting LACBC for the past quarter century and for remaining committed to Bike LA for a Better LA!

Kaufman goes on to address some of the other issues facing the organization — and the rest of us — including the lack of safe infrastructure, seven years after the city adopted the mobility plan that was supposed to transform the way we get around the city.

Although as we’ve learned the hard way, a mobility plan doesn’t do a damn bit of good unless someone actually builds it.

It’s worth investing a few minutes to read the whole thing, because this is one of the leading groups representing you in the fight for safer and more equitable streets in Los Angeles.

………

Speaking of Bike LA, we featured this one when it first appeared online last year.

But it’s worth posting again, since filmmaker Yolanda Davis-Overstreet was one of the people honored by the group at Saturday’s Bike Fest.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for the tip.

………

A reminder to mark your calendar for the annual World Day of Remembrance for the victims of traffic violence later this month.

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

No bias here. A writer for London’s Telegraph lists ten ways MAMILS — Middle Aged Men in Lycra — have just totally ruined bicycling vacations, like replacing lazy lunches of red wine and thick slabs of focaccia with energy gels and protein shakes. As if you can’t just enjoy your holiday and let other people enjoy theirs.

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

An Indian man stabbed his own brother to death in a bizarre dispute over bicycle parking, after the victim left his brother’s bike outside his house.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman took a deep dive into that racist and otherwise offensive recording of three Hispanic Los Angeles councilmembers, focusing on the “seething anti-Blackness” of CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León; while former Council President Nury Martinez has resigned, de León and CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo still refuse to do the right thing.

South Pasadena’s bike bus was scheduled to return today with trips to two elementary schools, although today’s rain will likely throw a wrench in those plans.

 

State 

Sad news from Visalia, where a 25-year old man riding a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run; police are looking for a 31-year old woman who fled on foot when they knocked on her door.

You can find a lot of things when you ride a bike. Like the body a bike rider discovered while riding past a Tulare County orchard; sheriff’s deputies called the death “suspicious.”

 

National

Bicycling shares a four minute short film about a blind bike mechanic; Bike Shop: Reza the Blind Bicycle Mechanic premiered at this year’s Bicycle Film Festival in New York City and Amsterdam. As usual, you can watch it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A design magazine remembers the late designer and engineer Mike Burrows as the world’s greatest bicycle designer and the godfather of modern bicycle aerodynamics.

The oldest son of Little People, Big World stars Zach and Tori Roloff is now one of us, after his grandfather gave the diminutive five-year old a special bike small enough for him to ride.

A travel writer offers tips on how to ride a bike to Jenny Lake in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, which offers some of North America’s most spectacular scenery.

A Cleveland bike shop owner says he’s fed up with reckless drivers and dangerous streets after surviving a hit-and-run.

Now you, too, can win the mountain bike that stars in the new feature film 8600FT, which successfully climbed all 8,600 feet of Moab, Utah’s Whole Enchilada trail. Although the rider may have had something to do with it, too.

The New Yorker takes a deep dive into the murder of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas, contending the killing has exposed a lot of dirt in the sport.

Nice piece from NPR telling the tale of a New Jersey man who lost his pharmaceutical marketing job during the pandemic, but saw it as an opportunity to open a bike shop that quickly became a community hub.

 

International

Trek is partnering with World Bicycle Relief to raise $2.5 million to provide much-needed bicycles for people in Africa over the holiday season.

Cyclist considers the environmental impact of metal bike frames, concluding that steel beats other materials for protecting the planet.

A new book reports Britain’s King Charles nearly didn’t live long enough to ascend to the throne after he was hit by a bus while riding his bike in the 1960s.

Tragic news from the UK, where a 53-year old man apparently took his own life in a national park, nearly a year after suffering a head injury in a solo bicycling crash that changed his personality.

A British man got tired of getting fired, so he started his own business doing odd jobs using a tandem bike.

French bikemakers are jumping into the ebike field, challenging the dominance of Asian manufacturers.

This is what you can do when streets are safe. Over 1,200 kids participate in Barcelona’s Bicibús — or bicycle bus — program, taking more than 90 routes to ride their bikes to over 70 schools.

A New Zealand couple with two preschool kids takes part in an ebike trial program, and finds living without a car is a game-changer. In a good way.

An Italian ultra-cyclist aims to be the first person to ride a bike coast to coast across Antarctica, using a fat bike to cover over 1,200 miles in 60 days.

An Indian columnist says bicycles are the future of mobility.

A scandal is growing over Victoria, Australia Premier Dan Andrews 2013 crash that left a 15-year old bike rider seriously injured as his wife was driving the car; they blame the kid for T-boning their car with his bike, though damage to the car suggests otherwise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist and 2017 Giro champ Tom Dumoulin is finally relaxing after his retirement, revealing he hated cycling during a challenging 2020 season, despite a seventh place finish in the Tour de France.

Slovenia’s Matej Mohorič walks readers through his victory in this year’s Milan-San Remo, which Cycling Tips suggests may have been the biggest win of the year.

 

Finally…

Riding thousands of miles across Europe to draw a giant GPS bicycle across the continent. Presenting the transportation circle of life; thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

And we may have to deal with getting chased by angry dogs, but at least we hardly ever have to outrun a wolf.

Cyclist surprised by wolf in the Netherlands from Damnthatsinteresting

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA bike rider victim of BB gun driveby, LACBC rebrands as Bike LA, and East Side Riders Thanksgiving giveaway

Let’s hope you took advantage of that extra hour over the weekend to catch up on your sleep. 

Or maybe your bike just a little longer. 

Just remember that the time change seems to have a deleterious effect on people’s driving abilities. 

So ride defensively and with a little more caution for the next few days. And make sure you’ve got a set of lights with you if you plan on riding late in the day. 

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels.

………

Let’s start with a couple of recent Reddit posts.

First up is a rider who’s tired of fixing flats due to the ubiquitous broken glass coating LA bike lanes.

Rant: I think the constant glass on the road is really messing with my life from LosAngeles

Let’s deal with the obvious first.

If you’re still riding in LA without quality puncture-resistant tires, you should get some. I used to suffer flats three or four times a month before switching to Gatorskins, dropping to one or two a year afterwards.

Second, most streets in the City of Angels should be swept on a weekly basis. So if the streets you ride remain covered with glass and other tire threatening detritus — or the bike lanes never seem to get cleaned at all — use the 311 app to complain to the Bureau of Street Services.

More important, however, is this post forwarded by Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

Shot at on my bike path today from BikeLA

Once again, let’s start with the obvious.

This is a crime.

If this happens to you, you should immediately called the police and report it as a shooting. This is no less a driveby than if they had used a handgun, and should be prosecuted as such.

Even if prosecutors conclude there isn’t enough evidence to bring charges, it could establish a pattern of behavior in case they do it again. That’s what led to the conviction of Dr. Christopher Thompson in the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check case.

Second, this would make a strong case under LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows a claim of $1,000 or triple the actual damages, whichever is higher.

The law also allows for attorney’s fees, although you’d be hard-pressed to find one who will take such a small case.

But you can file it yourself in small claims court.

One way or another, the shooters shouldn’t be allowed to get away it, or they’ll just do it again to someone else.

And next time, the victim may not be so lucky.

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for forwarding the first post.

………

About damn time.

It’s been six long years since I served on the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

And one question that continually came up during board meetings was a proposal to rebrand the LACBC using the then popular hashtag #BikeLA. But there were always holdouts who weren’t sold on the idea, or thought it wasn’t the right time for one reason or another.

Evidently, support finally aligned in recent weeks, as the organization announced their new branding as Bike LA at Saturday’s Bike Fest.

Not only is it a simpler and more self-explanatory name, but it gives the group a much-needed opportunity for a fresh start after a few very difficult years.

Thanks to Ravener for the tip.

………

Another reminder, if we needed it, that the East Side Riders Bike Club is about a lot more than just bikes.

And do a hell of a lot of good in, and for, the community.

………

This is who we share the road with.

Every driver on the road is armed and dangerous, whether or not they have a weapon in the car.

Because their car is a weapon.

………

A new video attempts to answer the question of why does riding a bicycle feel so damn good?

Meanwhile, frequent contributor Victor Bale recommends this podcast about the introduction of the safety bicycle, if you’re looking for a good listen.

………

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

No bias here. British residents blasted their local leaders after a new bike lane opened — blocked by lampposts in both directions.

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

Georgia police busted a man who attempted to escape the cops by fleeing through a Taco Bell lot to avoid being arrested; they caught up to him when he crashed his bike into a curb.

………

Local

Good2Go Bikes, a joint project from Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and Pedal Movement, launched recently in the Rancho San Pedro public housing development to provide low-income residents with access to low-cost ebike and e-cargo bike rentals.

The Signal looks at SAFE founder Damian Kevitt and the Santa Clarita Finish The Ride and Finish The Run Halloween events to raise money for bike safety.

 

State 

A 79-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he somehow lost control and fell off his bike in Sorrento Valley.

 

National

A Las Vegas bike rider was killed, and another critically injured, in a drunken, serial hit-and-run that ultimately involved ten vehicles, and left another seven people injured — including four people from Alhambra.

Arkansas is planning a 500-mile bike path along the historic Butterfield Stage Route connecting Jefferson City, Missouri and Fort Smith, Arkansas.

New York bicyclists ride to the rescue to close the gaps in the city’s composting program by using teenage microhaulers to collect and transport refuse the city doesn’t; in ten years, just one such business diverted nearly a million pounds of food waste from landfills, turning it into 427,000 pounds of compost.

New York firefighters rescued a woman who was dangling outside a 20th floor window to escape a fire apparently started by an ebike battery.

No surprise here. DC business owners and a relative handful of residents have brought out the torches and pitchforks over a proposal for a 2.7-mile bike lane, apparently failing to grasp the concept that bike lanes are good for business, as well as property values. Thanks again to Victor Bale.

 

International

A pair of studies refute the accepted wisdom that micromobility doesn’t reduce car travel and emissions, showing that banning e-scooters after dark increased travel times, and that the most recent generation of e-scooters reduce emissions 70% over the lifetime of the scooters.

Bike Radar talks with four people who say their lives have been transformed by ebikes; the site also argues that ebikes could solve a number of problems, including car dependency and transport poverty, but only with “better infrastructure, updated attitudes and government backing.”

So why not hitch an e-trailer to your ebike?

A new Dutch company has opened new low-cost a London bicycle subscription service, identified by a single blue tire, complete with an antitheft guarantee.

A new 250-mile, coast-to-coast Scottish bike path scheduled to open next year promises to add millions of pounds to the local economy.

A hard-hitting piece from a British columnist, who says he prepares for war every time he rides his bike, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Although he could spend a lot less time insisting he’s not one of THOSE cyclists.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 74-year old driver got just two and a half years for killing one bike rider and seriously injuring another, while blaming the victims for failing to ride single file and “bumping” onto his car. He also failed to mention his recent stroke when renewing his license.

Unbelievable. An Irish railroad worker won an unfair dismissal claim for the equivalent of nearly $4,000 after the railroad fired him, claiming he couldn’t perform his duties — because he was in prison after plowing into a group of women bicyclists while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit, leaving two women with life-changing injuries. Thanks again to Victor Bale.

Two-hundred-fifty people turned out to honor a Berlin bike rider who was killed when she was run over by a truck driver.

Tens of thousands of bike riders enjoyed a carfree afternoon on a ten-lane Dubai freeway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard says he’s “just not bothered” by all the pressure and attention that comes with winning cycling’s premier event, and looks forward to defending his title next year.

 

Finally…

Racing Penny Farthings in Prague. That feeling when you steal a bike, but can’t remember where you left it.

And apparently, bike commuting on the marathon course is a no-no.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Why US traffic safety is behind the rest of the world, LA closes Chandler Bike Bath gap, and getting Inglewood kids on bikes

Before we get started, a quick reminder that Daylight Savings ends this weekend, and it’s time to set your clocks back on Sunday. 

Which means it will get dark earlier, and you could find yourself riding in it more.

So pack lights with you, even if you don’t plan to be out that light; I’ve found myself riding in the dark more than once because of a flat or some other mechanical. 

And don’t forget that even an extra hour of sleep is enough to throw drivers off their already negligible game. So ride defensively and use extra care for the next week or so.

I don’t want to write about you because some fool couldn’t manage to concentrate behind the wheel.

Photo from Pixabay

………

Writing for CityLab, Harvard visiting fellow David Zipper recounts that US Transportation Secretary Pete recently formed a new traffic safety program “to help countries around the world learn from our best practices in planning and modernizing transportation.”

As if we actually have any.

As Zipper points out,

The US underperformance in road safety is especially dramatical: 11.4 Americans per 100,000 died in crashes in 2020, a number that dwarfs countries including Spain (2.9), Israel (3.3) and New Zealand (6.3). And unlike most developed nations, US roadways have grown more deadly during the last two decades (including during the pandemic), especially for those outside of cars. Last year saw the most pedestrians killed in the US in 40 years, and deaths among those biking rose 44% from 2010 to 2020…

The closer you look, the clearer it becomes that the US traffic safety crisis is not a reflection of geography or culture. It is the result of policy decisions that elevated fast car travel and automaker profits over roadway safety. Other countries made different choices, and they’ve saved lives as a result.

He goes on to add that the US has fallen behind other countries to the point that we hit a 16-year high for traffic fatalities last year, at the same time Japan and Norway posted their lowest fatality rates since the 1940s, when both countries were recovering from the devastation of WWII.

Not surprisingly, there are some pretty obvious reasons for that.

Europe, for example, has created many more car-free and car-light urban neighborhoods than the US. Since motor vehicles play a role in virtually all roadway deaths, their removal from the urban core is a big boost for safety. Meanwhile, countries like Canada and France have embraced automatic traffic cameras — devices that are banned in many US states — to deter speeding and running red lights. Likewise, safe infrastructure enhancements like roundabouts and road diets have been adopted more enthusiastically in other countries.

A widening gap is also visible in car regulations, which have grown relatively stricter abroad. A case in point: The European Union added pedestrian safety tests to NCAP crash ratings over two decades ago, and Japan, China and Australia now conduct them as well. The US still does not.

He also notes that when famed urban planner Jan Gehl first proposed that Copenhagen remake its streets in favor of bicycles to reduce reliance on motor vehicles, he was told they were Danes, not Italians.

Sort of like we’re constantly told this isn’t Copenhagen. Or Amsterdam. Or any other bike-centric city local NIMBYs have vaguely heard of.

It’s worth a few minutes of your day to read the whole thing.

But if you’re short on time today, just commit every word of this to memory —

For the US, this may be the most important road safety lesson from abroad: Many of the best solutions are quite simple. Build slower streets. Penalize reckless drivers quickly and reliably. Use regulations and taxes — on vehicle weight as well as fuel — to nudge the car industry toward smaller, safer models.

Seriously.

Thanks to Molly Timmons for the heads-up.

………

We missed this one somehow.

Probably because we weren’t invited, which is apparently what happens when you’re critical of city leaders.

But still.

Los Angeles officials celebrated the completion of the long-planned Chandler Bicycle Connection yesterday, providing a low-stress, protected bikeway connecting the Orange Line Bike Path with Burbank’s popular Chandler Bike Path.

………

Former pro Elliot Jackson offers a progress report on the Grow Cycling Foundation, a two-year old program to “provide opportunities for underserved communities to experience all that the bike has to offer” — starting with offering bike training at Inglewood elementary schools and building an Inglewood pump track.

………

The LACBC is hosting a pair of Bicycling 101 classes covering Principles of Traffic Law and Riding With Traffic, as well as a short ride exploring landmarks in Downtown Los Angeles.

And don’t forget their Bike Fest fundraiser in DTLA tomorrow.

………

Gravel Bike California explores the unpaved side of the Inland Empire.

………

Of course Julia Roberts is one of us.

Which explains where she gets that famous smile.

………

Take a few minutes for a morning mountain bike break.

………

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

A Michigan TV station catches scofflaw motorists driving salmon on the westbound portion of a roadway, which is only supposed to be open to people on bicycles.

An Irish cabbie threatened to run over a bike rider if he ever touches his cab again, after the bicyclist tapped it to ask him not to park in the bike lane.

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

Sarah Jessica Parker jumped back to avoid a bike rider as she was filming the second season of And Just Like That… on the streets of New York, though it was unclear if the scofflaw rider was part of the show.

Tokyo police are continuing their crackdown on scofflaw bicyclists who get caught blow through traffic lights, ride salmon or ride too fast on sidewalks.

………

Local

The New York Times says Los Angeles pedestrians are looking forward to California’s new law decriminalizing jaywalking. Even though most Angelenos have probably never even heard of it yet.

Props to Walk ‘N Rollers founder Jim Shanman, who was named a Culver City Hero by the local edition of Patch. And deservedly so.

Streetsblog offers more on the overwhelming success of the Move Culver City project.

 

State 

Wealthy San Diego homeowners are suing the city over its plans to spend development mitigation funds equitably throughout the city, arguing that they should be spent right where the structures are built.

Ramona High School’s mountain bike team could see one of its former members on the US Olympic Team in 2024.

Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine is one of us, taking his young daughters for a family bike ride in Montecito.

 

National

In a surprising study apparently beamed back to us from the future, the January edition of Accident Analysis & Prevention reports a bicycle simulator lab at Oregon State University revealed bike boxes are the safest form of intersection treatment for bike riders, compared to mixing zones and bicycle signals.

Electrek says all the signs point to a new low-cost bike coming from Rad Power Bikes.

Portland officials respond to the death of a bike rider by routing truck traffic away from a dangerous intersection, after she was right hooked by a truck driver recently. Which is exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work, unlike in a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

They get it. Community leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico fight for equity and investment on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors, arguing that streets are for people, too.

Members of a bicycling group in Grand Rapids, Michigan, can’t understand who would shoot and kill an 18-year old man as he rode on a local bike path. Or why.

Streetsblog reports drivers crash into buildings an average of 100 times a day in the US, examining the case of a Richmond VA woman who has suffered over $100,000 in damages to her home as a result of five crashes in 15 years.

A second man has been arrested in the bludgeoning death of a 49-year old Florida man, who was beaten more than ten times with a tire iron as he rode his bike; the random attack was part of a crime spree using the same weapon on a number of cars and windows, as well as in the of beating an elderly man.

A suspected serial killer faces charges in the death of a 43-year old Florida woman, who disappeared 31 years ago while riding her cruiser bike.

 

International

Momentum examines the efforts of Montreal to make North America’s best bike city even better for people on two wheels.

Meet a 15-year old stunt biker from Kashmir. Although it would be nice if they’d included video of him in action.

That’s more like it. An Aussie driver gets a minimum of five years behind bars for the “despicable and cowardly” hit-and-run death of a 60-year old man riding a bike. Then again, every hit-and-run fits that description.

An Australian man is challenging the settlement he received in 2013, when he was struck while riding his bike when he was just 15 by the man who would become the premier of Australia’s Victoria state a year later; he claims he was ordered to stay quiet and never got a copy of the settlement.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at pro cycling’s annual game of musical chairs, otherwise known as the men’s WorldTour transfer market.

Cycling Tips discovers there is no cycling route so iconic that Google reviewers won’t trash it.

Bianchi got spanked by UCI, cycling’s governing body, who told them their new Oltre RC bike is okay but the Air Deflector wings designed to channel airflow around the head tube aren’t.

 

Finally…

Nothing like stopping by your favorite LBS for a few tubes and a couple skeins of yarn. Or your bike basket beagle biting your breakfast.

And that feeling when you design a 14 passenger bike, but don’t know if it has peddles or pedals.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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