Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

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A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

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We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

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A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

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An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

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Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: 6th Street meeting draws complaints, hit-and-run BOLO alert, and bike to the World Series

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s neighborhood meeting to discuss much-needed safety improvements on 6th Street.

Despite the unanimous support of the local neighborhood council, as well as other area councils and groups, Ryu appears to be dismissing calls for a 6th Street road diet to improve safety.

Instead, he has come back with his own plan, which would remove parking and add one or more left turn bays. Which would only increase the speeding local residents blame for the numerous crashes and multiple deaths on what should be a relatively quiet commuter street.

The people I’ve heard from have described the meeting as a waste of time, saying Ryu’s staffers seemed angry and tried to steer people towards his plan, rather than listening to area residents, as the councilmember has promised to do.

It’s hard to imagine Ryu approving any road diet after the disaster in Playa del Rey, on 6th Street or anywhere else.

But it’s also hard to imagine Vision Zero succeeding if he won’t listen to the concerns of the people in his district, and take concrete steps to improve safety for everyone.

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The LAPD has sent out an alert to be on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man riding his bicycle on Victory Blvd near Van Alden earlier this month.

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Yes, you can ride your bike to the World Series at Dodger Stadium.

Just don’t expect a bike valet when you get there.

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Adding insult to injury, Belgian pro cyclist Jan Bakelants was lifted to safety after tumbling over a guard rail and failing into a ditch during the Il Lombardia race earlier this month. Only to be run over by a race moped after they laid him down on the roadway.

Twenty-year old French cyclist Mathieu Riebel was killed in a head-on collision with an ambulance while competing in the Tour of New Caledonia last Friday.

Columbian Tour de France contender Rigoberto Uran says forget fame, he just loves racing his bike.

Cycling Tips looks at the whys behind China’s new WorldTour race, and what the future holds for the event.

Researchers try to quantify what it means to suffer while racing a bike.

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Local

The LAPD has arrested a woman suspected of being the bike-riding North Hollywood arsonist.

LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati, is raffling a Raleigh ebike worth $3,199. And no, a raffle is not the same as an auction.

The semi-regular Draft Meetup is back at Pure Cycles this Thursday, offering bike talk combined with free food and beer.

Pasadena’s Metro bikeshare has seen nearly 14,000 rides since it opened in July.

West Covina is holding a meeting tomorrow to unveil their draft Active Transportation Master Plan. Although they might have better luck if they rescheduled for a night that didn’t conflict with the World Series.

No surprise here. The parents of 13-year old Ciara Smith have filed a lawsuit against Metro, as well as the bus driver, Los Angeles County and Caltrans, after she was killed by a bus as she rode her bike along PCH in Redondo Beach last May.

 

State

The man charged with stabbing two people as they looked for a stolen bicycle in Coachella is still being held without bail, and will undergo a psych evaluation.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls for a strong statewide law prohibiting drivers from harassing bicyclists. As the story notes, Los Angeles has an anti-harassment ordinance that allows riders to sue in civil court, but it has proven to be difficult to use. And it’s no use if the incident occurs outside the city limits.

Danville police are looking for what may be a single hit-and-run driver who crashed into three bike riders in two separate incidents on the same road 40 minutes apart.

Napa is planning to widen the main road leading into town, but only intends to place a bike lane in one direction; the city says they need to wait until a bike and pedestrian bridge is built to accommodate riders, even though plans for the bridge haven’t even come up for a vote yet.

 

National

Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger, was famed for his BMX stunts.

Restock your bunker, and gird yourself for the coming bikeshare wars.

Bicycling tells you how to make a left turn.

Another candidate for the parent of the year award. A Montana woman could soon be staying at the same detention center where she works, after she intentionally chased down and ran over her boyfriend as he tried to escape on his bicycle after a fight, with her four young kids in the car watching the whole thing.

An 83-year old Michigan driver will avoid jail time in the death of one bike rider and injuring another, after he was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service and forbidden to ever drive again. Once again raising the issue of how to get older people off the road after they’ve lost the ability to drive safely. And before they kill someone.

A state senator says a pair of New York bikes lanes are continuing to cause crashes. After all, it couldn’t be the fault of careless or distracted drivers who can’t manage to follow the lines on the street banging their cars together.

A health columnist for the New York Times says riding a bike without a properly fitted helmet is stupid.

New York’s Prospect Park is going permanently carfree next year. I’d like to say maybe there’s hope for LA’s Griffith Park, but that would imply that Los Angeles would finally coming to grips with its automotive addiction, which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

Baltimore police are investigating a series of attacks by groups of teens who swarm bicyclists and steal their bikes.

 

International

A Montreal cop is on trial for fatally backing over a bike rider when he tried to stop the victim for riding the wrong way on a one-way street.

The BBC talks with LA’s own Phil Gaimon about his new book Draft Animals.

A British bicyclist suffered a massive hematoma on his hip after being knocked off his bike by a road raging driver. Actually, his hip looks pretty much like mine did following my run-in with the beachfront bike path bees.

The governor of a Nigerian state has ordered truck drivers who break traffic laws to see a shrink if they cause a crash. Maybe we could offer that here instead of traffic school.

Nothing crazy about a first-time unicyclist pledging to ride across New Zealand’s largest farm to raise funds for mental health issues.

Singapore is planning to fight congestion and smog by capping the number of vehicles on its streets. A solution that makes so much sense that we can rest assured it will never be tried here. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise nearly $4,000 to send the body of a world travelling bike rider back home to China after he was killed in an Argentine car crash. Thanks to The Bicycle Wars for the link.

Nothing like a little North Korean propaganda to start your day, revealing that women “is forbidden to ride a Bicycle” because a “skirt should always cover the knees, and wear pants ladies is impossible.” Though you’d think a piece authored by someone named Bill Cooke would demonstrate a somewhat better grasp of the English language.

 

Finally…

Just because you’re undead doesn’t mean you can’t ride a bike — or get attacked by a drunk tourist. You too can have your very own 3D-printed Slovakian e-mountain bike for the low, low price of just $24,000.

And this is why Kardashians shouldn’t bike after drinking.

 

Morning Links: A struggle for lights on the Orange Line bike path, and more Playa del Rey road diet madness

Maybe someone can find a solution to this one.

Last week I was forwarded an email from Robert Cable, asking for help solving a seemingly intractable problem getting help with a dark and dangerous section of the Orange Line bike path.

He gave me permission to share this in hopes that someone who reads it might be able to point him to some person, anyone, who could help get lights installed and make the Orange Line bikeway a safer and more practical alternative for people who commute after dark.

Especially in light of the many homeless encampments now dotting — and sometimes blocking — the San Fernando Valley’s longest and most important east-west bikeway.

And after getting bounced repeatedly between Metro, the city, the county, the local councilmember’s office, and back again.

My name is Robert Cable.  I had the good fortune to meet with several LAPD officers over the past two days.  They suggested I reach out to you after I told them how I tried to get some lighting installed on a short stretch of the Orange Line Bike Path but was completely shot down by my district reps.

Most of the path from Chandler to the 405, and then west of White Oak has lighting.  There is one area just west of the 405 at Haskell to Balboa (but mostly to Woodley) that is unlit and gets extremely dark at night.  The path is set back from Victory, rides thru areas of thick trees, has low visibility and feels unsafe for many reasons.  Additionally, along with the lack of lighting, lights from oncoming cars makes it even more difficult to see.

Originally, after reaching out to District 6 for help, Lauren Padick told me it was metro’s jurisdiction.  Metro responded that it was city.  After going back to Padick with that information, she immediately responded, and I am talking two minutes, with this,

Robert,

“There is no existing poles besides Metro’s. At this point, the City would be unable to install lighting.”

Since then, I learned that a colleague of mine who also commutes by bike, departs the bike path at that section and rides in the street.  Well it turns out that one night, he was hit by a car over there as a direct result of feeling unsafe on the path.

So, who can help me?  Who can I contact about this?  There is no reason that a small, less then half mile stretch of path shouldn’t have the same lighting as the rest of the run.  Coincidentally, I believe this to be the same area where the Rabbi whose family sued and settled a multi million dollar suit with the city, was hit.  Lastly, Hotchkiss thought that solar lights, like those installed in Glendale would be a good solution.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Best,

Robert Cable

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The LA Weekly looks at the insanity in Playa del Rey, where Mike Bonin announced Wednesday that Vista del Mar will be returned to two lanes in each direction.

KPCC’s Take Two talks with Bonin about traffic safety, and why the changes on Vista del Mar had to be made right away, in an unusually balanced report.

The Daily Breeze notes that this weekend’s planned meeting to discuss the lane reductions has been postponed until further notice.

And The Argonaut reports on KFI shock jocks John and Ken’s efforts to trim up anger over the road changes with a rally in Playa del Rey last week.

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Great news, as Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti has awakened from a medically induced coma and starting to recover from the near-fatal brain injury she suffered in a crash during the Giro Rosa earlier this month.

Chris Froome targets rare back-to-back titles, competing in next month’s Vuelta after winning the Tour de France for the fourth time.

Twenty years after winning the Tour, Jan Ullrich suggests cycling’s doping past is just that. Or maybe they’ve just gotten better at hiding it.

Next month’s inaugural Colorado Classic will feature second place Tour de France finisher Rigoberto Uran, Taylor Phinney and other top riders.

Cycling in the South Bay looks forward to Sunday’s 56th Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

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Local

This year’s AIDS/LifeCycle Ride brought in $15.1 million for the HIV/AIDS services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

LA Curbed looks at Gil Cedillo’s efforts to effectively ban road diets by any name in his district.

The LACBC provides a wrap-up on last year’s successful Operation Firefly light distribution program.

 

State

After an eight-year old boy was killed riding his bike in Newport Heights last year, residents chose sidewalk improvements over a bike lane, condemning 35 trees to death.

No bias here. It wasn’t a bicyclist who bit and attempt to rob a San Diego woman at gunpoint; it was a thief who happened to be riding a bike.

A San Diego review board rules sheriff’s deputies were justified in shooting an unarmed ex-con as he worked on his bicycle in his own garage, even though deputies gave three different versions of what happened.

An anonymous artist is decorating an abandoned bicycle in Northern San Luis Obispo County.

Former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler will be the keynote speaker at the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s annual Bike Summit next month.

Vallejo police arrested a man on a charge of vehicular manslaughter for killing a 16-year old boy as he and his dad were riding their bikes together two weeks ago.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to offer bicycling advice.

The Bike League looks at the many problems with the new Oregon bike tax.

A writer for the Chicago Tribune goes mountain biking in Moab, Utah.

A Colorado newspaper says maybe bikes should be taxed at $25 or $50 a year, with the funds dedicated to building and maintaining bikeways. Except an annual fee — especially that high — would only serve to discourage more people from bicycling, and result in more unused bikes remaining in garages.

A Houston driver describes the attack by a bicyclist who allegedly scratched the man’s car with his bike, then reached in and beat him through an open window. While violence is never the answer, something tells me there’s another side to this story; a violent attack on a totally innocent driver just doesn’t add up.

A trio of Texas brothers finish a 52-day, 3,500 mile ride across the US to raise funds for charity.

This is what heroes look like. A Chicago firefighter is retiring after 27 years on the job, and 25 years after starting a program that promised kids a refurbished bicycle if they came in with a report card showing good grades and perfect attendance — boosting attendance at a local school from 20% to 92% in a single year.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a recumbent tricycle from an Illinois teenager suffering from a degenerative muscular disorder.

After just 30 days of sobriety, a recovering Kentucky junkie is riding his bike 500 miles to DC with his mother to call for an end to the opioid epidemic.

A Rhode Island public service campaign suggests waving at others on the roads to improve safety. At least if they wave back, you know they’ve seen you. Unless they’re waving at someone behind you.

New York Streetsblog says ticketing bike riders after a man was killed riding his bike isn’t doing anything to fix the dangerous streets.

He gets it. Instead of just calling for more bike helmets, a New York chief of emergency medicine says the best way to prevent traumatic brain injuries is to slow traffic, as well as improving lighting, widening medians and building more bike lanes.

A financial writer goes for a New York bikeshare ride with non-obnoxious cyclist and hedge fund founder Mark Carhart, who spends his spare time riding tandems with blind bicyclists.

If you build it, they will come. When Macon GA installed a temporary eight-mile bike lane network, average ridership shot up over 800%.

 

International

A Canadian woman says riding solo around the world is seldom lonely.

London’s transportation department announced it will spend the equivalent of $112 million dollars on creating livable streets, with an emphasis on transportation cycling.

A British couple is celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, after choosing a wedding over buying a bicycle. Tough choice, but it seems to have worked out okay.

A new survey shows riding a bike on the sidewalk ranked number seven on a list of the top minor laws broken by people in the UK; riding through a red light only ranked 35th out of 40. Number one was singing Happy Birthday in a public restaurant.

The Washington Post goes for a birthday ride along the Danube.

 

Finally…

More proof you can use a bike to commute from work — even if your work is robbing banks. Evidently, bike theft is as old as bicycling.

And if you’re going to steal a bicycle, you might as well leave your old one in its place.

After all, it’s only polite.

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Photo of Orange Line bike path taken from the LADOT Bike Blog.

 

Morning Links: Insights on the Venice Great Streets debate, and Complete Streets discussions in the South Bay

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s Mar Vista Community Council debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

The quasi-governmental body defeated a motion to reject the Venice Great Streets project and return the street to its previous six-lane configuration, before voting 10-1 to support Vision Zero and a six-month reassessment of the project.

Two hours of public comment were roughly evenly divided, with nearly 60 speakers on each side.

Project proponents emphasized the need for safety in response to personal histories of collisions, injuries, and relatives’ traffic deaths. Speakers also brought up climate change, noise pollution, excessive space still dedicated to cars, and improved conditions for seniors and disabled. Proponents emphasized giving the recently opened project a chance to prove itself.

Project opponents raised issues of impacted commute times, emergency response delays, tsunami evacuation routes, disabled access, scofflaw cyclists, excessive Westside development, worsened air quality, and untrustworthy city data – questioning whether the project actually makes the street safer. Ironically, supporters held up orange paper signs stating “stop the unsafe streets project.” Opponent statements included “we want our lane back now,” “L.A. runs on four tires and an internal combustion engine” and “this is not Amsterdam, this is Mar Vista.”

After the meeting, one supporter offered these thoughts after finding himself surrounded by opponents of the Great Streets project, which provide some valuable insights going forward.

(I’m withholding his name due to the vitriol and anger displayed by some of the opponents, and have edited his comments slightly).

The anti crowd was for the most part older, and extremely entrenched in their viewpoints. Their perceptions, accurate or not, will supersede anything put forward by any of us, but especially those of Councilmember Bonin and the LADOT. It doesn’t matter that these perceptions were most likely forged while the project was under construction and therefore the most disruptive. I believe that the way forward is not through this crowd. They will not be moved regardless of how well the project proceeds. At best they’ll quietly subside over time.

Even before the meeting began I heard repeatedly that bicyclists are lawless, always running stop signs and red lights, have no regard for the rules of the road, and “if I hit one I’ll be to blame.” This sentiment was expressed in varying forms every time a professed bicyclist spoke to the council. Being a bicyclist in their minds somehow qualifies one as an activist and therefore not entitled to voicing an opinion. Never mind that pretty much everyone in attendance was an activist simply by attending.

Simply put, I believe the anti crowd feels they are the victims through all this. They see themselves as being overrun by an “elite” bent on making war with their entitled right of dominance of access. It’s almost impossible for them to fathom that a grown person would use a bicycle as anything other than recreation.

However, aside from a few disparaging remarks about victims of traffic, it was clear that the pedestrian safety component of the project transcends the divisions on the other issues. While I have my personal opinions about their concerns over safety, it was heartening to feel even a tiny bit of consensus.

Then again, those opposed to the Great Streets project might want to consider the results of this road diet in Orlando FL before making any rash decisions.

Because of this project, College Park’s main street has become a thriving corridor. Safety greatly improved after the project: total collisions dropped by 40 percent, injury rates declined 71 percent, and traffic counts briefly dropped 12 percent before returning to original levels. Pedestrian counts increased by 23 percent, bicycling activity by 30 percent, and on-street parking—which buffers the sidewalks from automobile traffic—by 41 percent.

In addition, the corridor has gained 77 new businesses and an additional 560 jobs since 2008.

The value of property adjacent to Edgewater and within a half mile of the corridor rose 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

That’s what Mar Vista residents have to look forward to, if they just have the patience to let it happen.

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Hermosa Beach will discuss the city’s Bicycle Transportation Network at a special city council meeting next Monday, as part of the PLAN Hermosa (scroll to bottom).

The same night, there will be a public workshop in Manhattan Beach to discuss Living Streets and Complete Streets in the South Bay.

Although you might ask them why complete, livable streets are okay for the South Bay, but not Playa del Rey.

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CNN takes a look at bicycling travel destinations around the world, starting with ten bicycling international routes that will take your breath away, including the Great Divide trail and a rail-to-trail conversion in Montana and Idaho. As well as the five best bike paths in Sydney, Australia.

And follow up by offering their own listing of the most bike friendly cities in the US.

None of which are named Los Angeles.

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No surprise who won the sprint finish in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, which Bike Snob says has outlived it’s usefulness.

Bike Radar writes about trained boxer turned cyclist Nacer Bouhanni throwing a punch during Tuesday’s 10th stage, but all they really seem to care about is his new bike.

Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang will continue in the Tour, despite suffering two small fractures in his left arm after colliding with a teammate on Wednesday; the San Francisco Chronicle responds to all the injuries this year by calling the race a full-contact sport.

A ceremony will be held today on the slopes of Mont Ventoux to honor fallen cyclist Tom Simpson, who died on the ascent during the 1967 Tour de France; race leader Chris Froome plans to honor him during Thursday’s stage.

Former pro Danny Summerhill accepted a plea deal that will keep him out of jail for firing his gun into a hill between two Colorado homes because he was having a bad day on a training ride. Of course, the unanswered question is why he had a gun on his bike, and where he kept it.

Now that’s the right kind of podium girl. German cyclist Florenz Knauer got down on one knee on the podium to propose to his girlfriend after winning a British Columbia grand prix.

A writer for the Guardian says Philippa York can be the trailblazer who hauls cycling into the 21st Century, following her transition from Scottish cyclist and journalist Robert Millar.

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Local

The LA Weekly considers why there are no bike lanes in Skid Row, as residents call on the city to treat them fairly.

The SCV Bicycle Coalition is providing a free bike valet at Saturday’s Concert in the Park by an Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band in Santa Clarita.

A dozen people learned mountain biking skills and etiquette at a free month clinic offered by the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association (CORBA) at Malibu Creek State Park.

CiclaValley has a blast descending Old Topanga Canyon.

 

State

San Clemente has opened a new two-way cycle track along El Camino Real, along with a separate pedestrian walkway.

Former world champ and Olympic cyclist Amber Neben worked with special needs kids in Riverside to learn how to ride an adaptive bicycle.

Ventura County is planning to install three miles of bike lanes along Potrero Road near Thousand Oaks.

Caltrans proposes filling a gap in a Shasta bike trail in hopes of bringing more tourism to the town.

 

National

No surprise here, as a new study shows that people who live in areas with more transportation options have better health.

Strider has formed a non-profit to help distribute their balance bikes to children with mental, physical, or financial challenges.

A Gold Star mother and father stopped in Albuquerque on their four-month bike tour across the US to honor their sons, and all the military men and women killed since 9/11.

Sounds like fun. A Wichita KS bar hosts a show for “freak bikes” or “rat bikes” — aka any funky, weird or unusual bike.

A Wisconsin airman is back to serving as an MP, after two years of training fulltime as a cyclist as part of the Air Force’s World Class Athlete program.

In a sign of just how seriously authorities don’t take traffic crimes, a Wisconsin man was held on a ridiculously low $1,500 bond after he was arrested for attempting to intentionally run over a bicyclist while driving drunk.

A Michigan driver lost control and rolled his car down an embankment. So naturally, the guy on the bike gets the blame.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway originally told police a man and a woman on the side of the road threw a bicycle at him.

City Lab looks at the battle over bike lanes in Baltimore, where the mayor had threatened to remove a protected bike lane before being stopped by a court order.

 

International

The crowdfunding campaign we mentioned yesterday for a Calgary cyclist clotheslined by barbed wire strung over a trail has been frozen after the victim closed the account; a police sweep of the trail found no safety issues. And yes, something smells very fishy.

There’s a special place in hell for the men who stole a nine-year old Winnipeg boy’s bicycle, then dragged him behind their pickup when he tried to stop them.

A Halifax randonneur became the first woman to complete a 621-mile Nova Scotia brevet in 74 hours or less, finishing with 10 hours to spare.

Singapore-based Obike becomes the first dockless bikeshare system to open in London, competing with the well-established Boris Bikes.

 

Finally…

Bicycling can make you a better surfer. No need to worry about road debris when you have your own leaf blower bike to blow it away.

And clearly, nothing has changed on LA streets in the past 96 years.

Morning Links: Lawyer says mayor criminally liable for bike lanes, and meetings on Venice and Temple

Try to read this one without laughing.

I dare you.

A lawyer and regular contributor to City Watch insists that Mayor Garcetti could face criminal liability for a Mobility Plan that places bike lanes on city streets. Where riders are forced to suck in the air pollution from passing cars in what he describes as a violation of California’s CEQA laws.

He even says city officials may be held criminally liable for battery and homicide, comparing the situation to the tainted water in Flint, Michigan.

Which almost sounds sort-of semi-reasonable, until you consider just how far off base it really is.

Starting with the fact that it was the City Council, not Garcetti, which was responsible for the city’s Mobility Plan and the bike lanes proposed therein.

And that several studies have shown that the air inside motor vehicles is dirtier than the air bike riders breathe. Or that the health benefits of bicycling far outweigh the risk posed by bad air.

Not to mention that bike lanes are found on busy city streets in virtually every major city around the world, with no apparent mass die-off of bike riders gasping their last due to auto exhaust.

And never mind that Los Angeles already conducted an environmental review of the city’s bike plan following the debacle in San Francisco, where a single disgruntled man held up implantation of the city’s bike plan for years using a CEQA challenge, until a judge finally threw the case out.

Or that bike lanes were exempted from CEQA review four years ago when Governor Brown signed AB 417 as a result of that case.

Although you’d think a decent lawyer might have looked that up.

But if you ever need someone to file a writ ordering kids to get off your lawn, he may be your guy.

………

If you’re not completely burned out after tonight’s argument over friendly discussion of the Venice Great Streets project at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting, you can do it all over again tomorrow when the Palms Neighborhood Council takes up the subject.

And a public safety meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss a planned road diet on Temple Street in Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown; the Vision Zero project would reduce the street to one lane in each direction, with bike lanes and a center turn lane.

………

The 2018 Giro d’Italia will start just slightly outside the county — in Jerusalem.

Only a handful of riders can still challenge Chris Froome in the Tour de France. And he denies barging into one of them.

Polish rider Rafal Majka abandoned the Tour de France after falling in Sunday’s ninth stage.

Italian cyclist Adriano Malori announced his retirement from racing on Monday, nearly two years after being placed in a medically coma following a crash in Argentina’s Tour de San Luis.

Cycling industry insiders set up a fake motor doping website to see who’d be interested; cycling team managers, industry publications and individual cyclists who wanted to cheat their fellow racers took the bait.

Scottish track cyclist Katie Ford set new records for the greatest distance covered in both six and eight hours, despite suffering from epilepsy.

………

Local

LA County has agreed to settle the case of an unarmed man killed by sheriff’s deputies for $2.9 million; 23-year old Noel Aguilar was shot when he fled after deputies tried to stop him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

LA Downtown News looks at the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare program, noting it costs more than similar programs in other cities and doesn’t have a discount program for low-income users.

Architects present plans to revitalize the LA River.

 

State

Solano Beach will raise funds for bike lanes and pedestrian paths by adding a $15,714 fee to the cost of every new single-family home and $11,206 for each new apartment. Which means improving alternative transportation at the expense of desperately needed new affordable housing.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a BMX-riding booze shoplifter who punched a Rite Aid employee in the face to make his getaway.

Bakersfield police somehow mistake a 5’2”, 115 pound, 19-year old bike-riding black woman for a bald, 5’10”, 170 pound machete-wielding man. So they pulled a gun on her, punched her in the mouth and set a police dog on her.

Santa Cruz installs its first bike box to improve visibility and safety for bicyclists.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition opposes a proposed ordinance that would ban bike chop shops in an effort to reduce bicycle theft, saying it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. The roots of the problem are addiction and homelessness, which are much more difficult to solve. And neither of which are helped by looking the other way while addicts deal in stolen bicycles.

Sacramento is preparing to boot bikes off some sidewalks in the downtown area. But not all of them, since they don’t have money to build bike lanes. Which means, unless they post it on every block, people will have no idea whether or not they can legally ride on any given sidewalk.

The Lake Tahoe basin is transforming itself with 50 miles of existing shared-use trails and another 6.5 miles currently under construction, with plans for nearly 26 miles more over the next five years.

 

National

Ford patents a retractable bike rack that would actually be built into your vehicle. Or you could just forget the car and ride your bike.

A woman is riding from California to Maine to collect stories from inspiring women.

A group of cops and other first responders will ride 500 miles from Dallas to Baton Rouge to honor the eight officers killed in the two cities last year.

Caught on video: This is why you don’t lock your bike to a street sign; a thief simply removes the bolts holding a sign in place and lifts it up to steal an expensive ebike.

A candidate for governor of Massachusetts is one of us, suffering minor injuries when he was thrown from his bike after hitting a pothole.

She gets it. A writer from Massachusetts says the car is not king, and instead of stenciling sidewalks to ban riding bikes, the city should improve bike lanes so people don’t feel compelled to use them.

New York bicyclists are banned from a popular bike path so electric cars can race, instead.

Virginia officials decide to squeeze a bike trail between an expanded freeway and a sound wall, since neighbors won’t allow the bikeway on their side of the wall.

 

International

A poignant story, as a bike-riding former Ottawa, Canada heroin addict who saved the lives of 130 drug overdose victims has been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $12,000 to send him home to see his parents one last time.

Caught on video too: A pair of British riders are taken down by “yobs” who rolled an old bike into their path. Warning: You may have to sit through an interminable movie trailer to get to it.

A UK police inspector sticks up for officers who intentionally doored a bike-riding theft suspect to make an arrest, even though the helmetless rider could have been seriously injured.

 

Finally…

Either a Virginia newspaper is in desperate need of punctuation, or a bicyclist crashed into a disregarded stop sign. If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to pee on the cop who busts you for it.

And seriously, don’t try this at home, especially not at 62 mph.

In flip-flops.

 

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

………

Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

………

Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

………

The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

………

Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

Morning Links: Venice NC supports data-based decision, angry Playa del Rey Op-Ed, and war on bikes goes on

Chalk up one small victory for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

John Montgomery attended last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting, where a motion to immediately undo the recent lane reduction and installation of a parking protected bike lane was under discussion.

Here’s his report.

The Venice Neighborhood Council Parking and Transportation Committee met at Canal Club in Venice on Wednesday night and most of the evening was spent discussing the Great Streets project in Mar Vista. About 40 people attended, with approximately 15 residents of Venice taking part. Of the 15 Venice residents, at least seven turned out in support of the changes in Mar Vista in addition to several folks outside the area from various non-profits focused on pedestrian concerns. The rest were from Mar Vista, with some from the Playa area.

All-in-all the meeting was well run and controlled — and there was very little ugliness that often occurs at meetings where attendees are passionate about their views. I give committee chair Jim Murez credit for this — he was very quick to keep people focused and in line. I don’t agree with all of his views, but I do appreciate his effort to try to make it a positive meeting. Having served time on the Venice Neighborhood Committee, I know how difficult his job is.

The main discussion was a resolution apparently passed by the Mar Vista Transportation & Infrastructure Committee towards the end of June, which is very different from the motion listed in the Agenda (which is filed before the meeting). The very last paragraph of the motion demands that the changes be immediately reversed back to the previous three lanes in each direction.

Attendees discussed concerns about gridlock (20 to 30 minute travel times through the corridor), poor response times from first responders, the “incredibly unsafe” changes (such as not being able to see cyclists behind the cars in the buffer zone), and the fact that this “came out of nowhere.” The advocates, to a person, worked to dispel some of the myths that were brought up, focusing on the positive aspects about making a more livable Mar Vista “downtown,” as well as the fact that anecdotal evidence was not a way to make a sensible decision. They also brought up that this process was public since the middle of 2015 and numerous community outreach attempts were made…it was kinda hard to miss IMHO.

In my personal experience, travel times do increase during commute times (never as bad as 20 minutes) but at other points in the day traffic flows safely and normally — and I have GoPro video to document it. Several of us pointed out that the type of street changes implemented have almost unequivocally shown to increase safety when implemented in other areas, states, and countries. It is true that there is a learning curve with this type of implementation, but after the initial period the changes do end up being safer for everyone.

I was really impressed with the eloquence and thoughts of the cycling advocates (though I’m admittedly biased), who were incredibly positive about the changes while expressing empathy with some of the opponents’ perspective.  A main focus of advocates was to let this trial period play out and use actual data to back up decisions. LADOT’s Nat Gale spoke about all the data that was being collected, and that by the end of this week there would be a LADOT website about the project and the data being collected. He also announced that there would be an open house on Saturday, July 22nd (time and location to be determined) where the initial information would be shared and could be discussed with LADOT employees.

The only really ugly part of the night came when one of the residents opposed to the Great Streets project make a joke about a pedestrian being injured…which drew laughs/chuckles from a few in the audience. I’m sorry, but nothing is amusing about that. At all.

On the positive side, thanks to the advocates who turned out, the committee removed the last paragraph and instead replaced it with one requesting that the data be examined, that a meeting be held in Venice with Councilman Bonin, and that it not have a negative impact on the Venice community. The committee very much agreed that actual data should be used in such a decision and not simply anecdotal evidence.

I spoke with the committee after the meeting and thanked them — reminding them that almost half of the people who took the time to show up from Venice were in favor of the changes. After all, the committee is “Parking and Transportation,” so the deck is somewhat stacked against cycling advocates with the focus on parking. It was heartening to see my fellow Venice resident cyclists take the time out of their evening to show up and support a cause which I feel will benefit the community of Mar Vista. I especially appreciate their ability to separate the hype and anecdotes from fact.

Venice Neighborhood Council Meeting at the Canal Club; photos by John Montgomery

Venice residents who came out to support the Great Streets project

………

Meanwhile, a trio of angry drivers take aim at Councilmember Mike Bonin over the safety improvements in an Op-Ed in The Argonaut.

Think the same sort of sputtering anger you hear from a road raging driver, but in print.

In last week’s issue of The Argonaut, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin justified his newly implemented “road diets” with an insulting diatribe about rich commuters from outside of our communities using our residential streets as highways. The truth is that Bonin’s “road diets” are wildly unpopular with his constituents and he refuses to admit it. He is replacing arterial lanes with bike lanes and parking on the premise that safety and commute times are mutually exclusive. Rather than objectively looking at facts, data and the numerous solutions that can truly make our streets safer, Bonin is misrepresenting details and using divisive rhetoric to force his personal ideals on us.

Note to angry Op-Ed writers: No need to put “road diet” in quotation marks; that’s what they’re called.

Of course, they then go on to compound their hyperbole with an un-objective look at the facts, data and solutions, reacting as only angry drivers can when they lose some of their precious road space in the name of safety.

Other than confusing the average of six collisions annually that result in serious injury or death with the 13 fender benders they site, they offer a collection of anecdotes with a complete and total lack of data to back it up.

And never mind that LADOT will study the results of the road diets, just as in the Mar Vista project cited above, and report back with actual stats and data on their effectiveness before any decision is made on whether to make them permanent.

It’s going to be a very long, angry summer.

You can show your support by signing the petition to keep Playa del Rey streets safe.

………

Today’s common theme is the war on bikes, which rages on.

A Seattle woman was shot with a pellet gun from a passing car while riding home with her husband. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A Chicago man is under arrest for pulling a load gun on Critical Mass riders after some idiot sat on the hood of his car.

A FedEx driver in upstate New York faces a felony theft charge for taking a bicyclist’s phone after he tried to take photos of the driver during a dispute.

A Florida woman is accused of using her SUV to intentionally run down a bike rider she knew, then coming back to attack her again.

A road-raging Winnipeg, Canada driver repeatedly bumped a woman’s bike and shouted homophobic slurs, apparently for the crime of being in his way when he wanted to turn right at a red light.

A British bike rider was knocked off his bike, gouged in the eye and dragged by his dreadlocks after confronting a man over rumors he’d been insulting him.

Caught on video: A British truck driver drifts into a cyclist, who barely manages to stay upright after the truck sideswipes him and forces him off the road, then jumps out and starts screaming that the rider was at fault. Which he wasn’t, unless being in the same space the driver wanted to occupy is a crime.

On the other hand, police in the UK are looking for an “aggressive” cyclist accused of shouting abuse at parents as they pick up and drop off their kids at school. My guess is he’s just fed up with drivers cutting him off and blocking the roadway. Or maybe I’m just projecting from my own experiences with school-bound parents.

………

In today’s relatively spoiler-free racing news, the yellow jersey switched hands in Wednesday’s stage of the Tour de France, while Italian champ Fabio Aru sent a message to the peloton. And American Andrew Talansky is off to an uneventful start in the Tour.

The debate over whether Peter Sagan should have been elbowed out of the Tour goes on, with almost universal disagreement with the decision; one track cyclist points the finger at Cavendish, instead.

Meanwhile, Ella Cycling Tips offers an update on stage 6 of the Giro Rosa.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman writes about comforting an injured woman who was hit by a driver, saying we don’t appreciate the vulnerability of pedestrians until it’s too late.

A Marina del Rey teenager raised $12,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation by riding from Mar Vista to Del Mar, stopping at several fire stations along the way.

 

State

An off-road rider was rescued by authorities above Ojai after apparently suffering heat exhaustion. A reminder to be careful riding in the extreme heat predicted for this weekend; bring plenty of water, and avoid riding in the heat of the day, if possible.

A moving new Salinas mural honors a fallen cyclist next to his ghost bike, three years after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver who was never caught.

San Jose will be installing several road diets and bike lanes over the summer. Which means San Jose bike advocates will get to have the same sort of fun we’re having with drivers enraged over losing a small amount of road space.

The San Jose Mercury News reviews Andy Samberg’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy, which airs this weekend on HBO.

Caught on video: A San Francisco driver gets out of his car to argue with a bike rider following a punishment pass. While the story correctly notes that police have to actually witness an infraction to write a ticket or make a misdemeanor arrest, the driver could have been charged with assault simply for getting out of his car to confront the rider. Thanks to Cyclist’s Rights for the link.

Sacramento is building a three-quarter-mile long bike path along the American River, part of a planned bikeway leading to the Cal State Sacramento campus.

 

National

A new study examines the reasons people don’t use bikeshare; no surprise that the leading reason for all demographic groups was fear of traffic.

Another new study examines driver’s attitudes towards bicyclists, suggesting that the roadway is a battleground for social domination, rather than just a competition for space. Which explains the outrage over road diets.

An Op-Ed in a bicycle trade publication questions the lack of women in the bike industry, while noting the situation is poised to change.

Seattle is ready to make its third attempt at bikeshare, with as many as ten dockless bikeshare companies looking to enter the market; however, users are still required to have helmets, which may doom them all.

The massive Outdoor Retailer trade shows will be moving to Denver, in response to Utah officials support for downsizing the Bears Ears National Monument.

A Colorado man writes that he was hit by a speeding car while riding his bike, but instead of ticketing the driver, the cop lectured him about the wisdom of riding a skinny-tired bike on the street.

Nebraska will change the way it installs rumble strips to improve safety for cyclists.

 

International

London’s former cycling czar accuses the new mayor of subverting plans for cycle superhighways, and maintaining capacity for motor vehicles even if it causes conflicts with cyclists.

An 18-year old British man has been sentenced to four years behind bars for killing a middle-aged man by scissor kicking him as he was riding his bike while walking his dog. Violence is never the answer, though the victim had provoked his attacker by repeatedly insulting him using racist terms.

Someone posted a handwritten sign urging drivers to slow down at an English intersection where a bike-riding father was killed, adding that it’s frightening to be passed by drivers going too fast and too close. And it is.

Caught on video: A bike-riding couple in the UK got dangerously buzzed by a speeding motorcyclist.

Better buy that $7,800 graphene-infused bike now; high-end British bike maker Dassi Limited was threatened with insolvency for failing to file required paperwork.

NPR looks at Copenhagen’s efforts to use technology to avoid bicycle traffic jams.

Get your bicycle tuned up. Hanoi, Vietnam has announced plans to ban motorcycles by 2030, the leading form of transportation in a country where few can afford cars.

 

Finally…

Looks like you can keep taking that EPO after all. Proof that there’s more than one way to lockup a bike; thanks again to Megan Lynch.

And some things are just too cute not to share.

………

Thanks to Joni Yung for today’s featured image of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Morning Links: Beverly Hills approves SaMo Blvd bike lanes, Echo Park hit-and-run, and your new bike safety jam

It’s good news from Beverly Hills, for a change.

Several sources — including Better Bike’s Mark Elliot and the city’s mayor — tweeted late last night that the city council voted unanimously to install bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd as part of the current reconstruction of the iconic street.

Credit Elliot, who never gave up on the seemingly lost cause, despite years of rejection from the city.

Maybe it’s time to stop calling it the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills.

Or maybe we should wait until there’s paint on the ground, just to be safe.

Update: Mark Elliot has written his story on the approval — including the news that the council voted to make the lanes hi-viz, which will piss off the film industry. Meanwhile, Joni Yung reported live from the meeting on Facebook.

Thanks to Joni for the heads-up.

………

Once again, a heartless coward has fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, leaving his victim writhing in pain.

KCAL-9 reports Michael Starr was not seriously injured in the crash caught on security camera on Alvarado Street near Sunset Blvd in Echo Park early Friday morning.

But Starr had no way of knowing that at the time. And neither did the driver who hit him.

The suspect is described as being about 30 years old, with olive skin and a dark goatee. His car appeared to be a 5 or 7 Series BMW with a license plate starting with WXP.

………

People for Bikes unveils their new Bike Days of Summer campaign to get people out on their bikes, with one day each month dedicated to a specific theme.

Although we already missed the first one.

Besides, they’ll have a hard time topping this bike safety jam.

………

Caught on video: A Mexico City cyclist goes on a hair-raising ride to rescue a runaway dog and return it to its owner.

………

Federal prosecutors lay out why they’re picking on Lance Armstrong in their $100 million lawsuit, even though he wasn’t the only one on the US Postal team who doped. Odds are team leaders knew exactly what was going on, as well. But Lance makes a convenient, and high profile, scapegoat.

Meanwhile, Lance’s lawyers want Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreau to be prevented from testifying, and USADA decision than detailed his doping regimen barred from evidence.

………

Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes a look inside RAAM, calling it the toughest ultra-endurance race of all.

The Orange County Register reports on the June 11th Ladera Ranch Gran Prix, just a tad late.

VeloNews says LA’s own 24-year old cyclist Coryn Rivera is just getting started, despite 71 national titles.

………

Local

Improvements are finally coming to the Ballona Creek bike path, which will be under construction — but not closed — for the next three weeks between Sepulveda and Lincoln Blvds.

An LA company is introducing a new e-cargo bike on Kickstarter; right now, you can pre-order yours for the low, low price of just $2,799.

The LA Times reviews Blood Road, the documentary about champion cyclist Rebecca Rusch’s bike tour along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to visit the remote site where her father died in the Vietnam War.

Caught on video: Someone broke a window at Burbank’s H&S bike shop, stealing a pair of Rocky Mountain bikes worth around $4,000 apiece; two other bikes have been stolen from them in recent weeks.

South Pasadena will hold the groundbreaking for the Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail this Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

Bike SGV discovers the first signs of incipient bikeshare coming to Pasadena.

The Malibu city council hears the recommendations of the PCH parking study, which really addresses safety on the deadly roadway through the lens of improving parking. However, no word on what they intend to do as a result.

Skip the traffic and ride your bike to Santa Monica’s Twilight Concerts on the Pier, and take advantage of the bike valet. The same goes for this weekend’s inaugural Arroyo Seco Weekend at the Rose Bowl.

 

State

Streetsblog talks with Caltrans Sustainability Director Ellen Greenberg about changes in the state transportation agency.

Fullerton announces plans to create a two-mile bike boulevard along Wilshire Blvd, to be completed late next year. LA’s bike plan calls for a network of Bicycle Friendly Streets as the city calls them, exactly zero of which have been built. And probably won’t.

Once again, a dangerous driver manages to stay on the road until it’s too late, as a Menifee bike rider suffered severe, but not life-threatening, injuries when he was hit by an alleged drunk driver with a suspended license and history of DUIs.

If you were planning on mountain biking in Hemet’s Simpson Park any time soon, you might want to change your plans; it’s closed for the foreseeable future due to fire danger.

Bixby the Dog received the “bone to the city” in San Luis Obispo Tuesday; the rescue dog had been traveling the country by ebike with his owner to promote animal rescue until stopping in SLO to have some malignant growths removed.

 

National

An Alaska teenager competing in a mountain bike 5K trail race was killed by a black bear in a rare predatory attack after he veered off the trail and got lost; he had called his brother to say he was being chased by the bear. Despite what this story says, he was actually competing in a running race, not on a mountain bike. Which doesn’t make it any less tragic. Thanks to Mark for the correction.

Detroit hopes new bicycling infrastructure can help reverse an increase in deaths and serious injuries.

The murder of a young Muslim woman in Virginia wasn’t a hate crime, unless hatred of people walking and on bikes qualifies; the teenager was part of a group that got into a dispute with the road raging driver, who hit her with a baseball bat, then dumped her body in a pond. There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the murderous jerk who killed her. Thanks once again to Megan Lynch.

 

International

David Suzuki writes that two centuries after their invention, bicycles are still the most efficient and beneficial form of transportation we have.

A city in the Netherlands installs a 3D-printed concrete bike and pedestrian bridge at virtually no cost by using recycled materials along with the 3D-printing.

A German politician parks his cargo bike in the middle of a traffic lane to pop into a bakery to protest drivers who use the same excuse to park in a bike lane.

Hit-and-run is not just an American phenomenon. An Iraqi cyclist was the victim of a speeding driver who fled the scene after fatally striking him.

An Australian TV network looks at the partnership between the country’s Deacon University and America’s only remaining Tour de France winner to dramatically cut the cost of producing carbon fiber for a wide range of applications.

The competition among China’s dockless bikeshare companies claimed its first victim after 90% of the company’s bike were lost or stolen because, unlike its competitors, it neglected to install GPS on them.

 

Finally…

Bicycle touring is seldom boring, but now it’s a board game. Also not boring, your very own bicycle wall of death.

And you can see all kinds of things when you ride a bike. Like Irish people schtupping, for instance.

Morning Links: New bike lanes coming to South LA, and lawyer gets sidewalk riding law wrong, at least in CA

Los Angeles continues to rediscover — or maybe just discover, as in for the first time — that there’s life south of the 10 Freeway.

After years of not-so-benign neglect of the city’s Southside, it’s become a focus of LA’s Vision Zero efforts.

And now LADOT has submitted plans four road diets and bike lanes on four major north-south streets in South LA.

………

Maybe the law’s different in Colorado.

A lawyer answers the question of who’s at fault when a driver pulls out of a driveway and hits a bike rider on the sidewalk, saying the rider could share some of the blame for a) riding on the sidewalk, and b) riding against traffic.

Except here in California, it’s legal to ride on the sidewalk in many cities, though seldom advised. And sidewalks are bi-directional; bicyclists aren’t required to ride with traffic anymore than people are expected to walk that way.

Despite a misguided and very outdated opinion by the then-state attorney general.

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Bicycling considers the crazy things that happen to a cyclist’s body while competing in the Race Across America. I remember one of the early RAAM competitor warning his crew about the dinosaurs along the roadway in Missouri.

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Local

The Eastsider looks at the new and improved Spoke Bicycle Café in Frogtown.

If Sunday’s CicLAvia is too tame for you, Helen’s Cycling is hosting a women-only mountain bike ride the same day.

The West Covina city council will consider the city’s possible participation in the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network tomorrow.

Police stats show bike theft is down in Long Beach, but that may not really be the case.

The Long Beach Bikes bikeshare is offering free ride time for Friday’s Moonlight Mash Long Beach Mad Max Ride.

 

State

A curmudgeonly San Diego sports columnist has taken to calling Kevin Faulconer the city’s Bicycle Mayor. Funny thing is, he seems to think it’s an insult.

The Fish and Wildlife Department is kicking mountain bikers off trails near Carlsbad, where riding was apparently always illegal but no one knew it.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition prepares for the next round in the fight for parking-protected bike lanes in the SoMa district.

 

National

Things could get a little safer on the streets, as Apple introduces a “do not disturb while driving” setting for the iPhone. But probably not a lot, since its use is voluntary.

Boing Boing offers a video look at how bicycles boosted the women’s rights movement. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

A new Kickstarter project promises to turn any bicycle into a cargo bike, complete with removable two-wheeled trolley.

It slowly dawned on a Seattle writer that he’s been riding less after moving to a part of town with less safe bike infrastructure. Something I can relate to after moving to Hollywood.

Now you’ll be able to ride at least a portion of the infamous Trail of Tears as it follows through Arkansas, tracing the steps of the Cherokee Nation on their forced march to Oklahoma.

A year after five bike riders were killed by an alleged drugged driver in Kalamazoo MI, his trial is still at least three months off. The family of one of the Kalamazoo victims says life is uncertain, so enjoy the ride.

Baltimore’s mayor scratches plans for a protected bike lane as it was being built, settling for a narrow two-way door zone bikeway to appease local NIMBYs.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 70-year old Florida man is tackling the 2,745-mile Tour Divide down the full length of the Rockies; it’s his third attempt after failing when he was 63, and succeeding four years later.

 

International

You’ve got to be kidding. A Canadian coroner blames a bike rider’s death on not wearing a helmet. Never mind that she wouldn’t have needed one if a massive truck hadn’t made an illegal right hook directly into her.

Canada’s automobile association says the cost of treating bike injuries is probably going up there, too. But they don’t really know.

Toronto bicyclists complain the city is spending too much money on building out the easy parts of the city’s new bike plan, rather than the ones that would make riders safe.

Speaking of Toronto, 75% of city residents support what had been a controversial protected bike lane, and want it to be made permanent.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a cab driver was fined the equivalent of $387 for allowing a passenger to fatally door a bike rider, plus another $845 in fines. Which he can pay off in low installments of less than $26 a week.

Not surprisingly, new security barriers installed in bike lanes to protect pedestrians on London bridges may increase the risk for bike riders.

No, Taiwan’s Giant bike maker is not being purchased by a Chinese bikeshare company.

 

Finally…

Not only we do we pay way, but bikes can help keep the tax rate down, too.

And seriously, don’t be that guy.

Just don’t.

 

Morning Links: Opponents call for removal of Venice Great Streets project; Ride the Colt next weekend

The paint is barely dry on the Venice Blvd Great Streets project in Mar Vista.

Yet already a petition is urging Councilmember Mike Bonin to rip it out, projecting — apparently based on nothing but their own fears — that it will exponentially increase traffic congestion, along with cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood.

And that it is already causing a calamitous decrease in business, as drivers who most likely seldom, if ever, stopped to shop in the area will now avoid it entirely.

Never mind that, as we noted yesterday, the people who actually study such things, based on genuine research rather than mere NIMBY supposition, say the living hell opponents fear is unlikely to actually come to pass.

In fact, a more likely outcome is that the road diet will have little or no effect on travel times, and may actually improve traffic flow, while a more walkable and bikeable street could have a positive effect on local businesses.

But why wait and give it a chance when you can just throw a massive online temper tantrum now?

After all, who cares about little things like greater safety, improved livability, higher property values, fewer commercial vacancies and increased retail sales if it means adding a few more seconds to your commute?

As of this writing, the petition has already seen 630 signatures in six days. A counter petition in support of the project has received 157 signatures since it went online two days ago.

How sad that it’s even necessary.

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If you can’t make it to CicLAvia a week from Sunday, consider riding the COLT in Chatsworth.

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Nice piece from Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson confirming that bike riders are indeed the best people.

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Local

Los Angeles is testing a reflective street surface in Canoga Park designed to reduce the heat island effect caused by traditional blacktop. Which could mean a more comfortable ride on hot days if it’s successful.

Stay alert when you ride: A woman was attacked by a knife-wielding man while jogging on the bike path along Burbank Blvd near Lake Balboa.

A man was in critical condition after he was shot in the neck yesterday morning while riding his bike near the Lincoln Heights Recreation Center.

Streetsblog reports the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is refusing to commit to funding active transportation, despite the efforts of an environmental justice group and the vulnerability of many of their lower-income residents.

Apparently, the California Coastal Commission would rather keep PCH dangerous than eliminate 675 Malibu parking spaces to improve safety.

A Manhattan Beach city councilman is complaining that Los Angeles should have consulted with his city before trying to save lives on deadly Vista del Mar. Because really, who cares if people die in LA as long as traffic flows smoothly in the South Bay?

Hats off to the South Bay’s Beach Cities Cycling Club for organizing bike safety classes at local grade schools. Although it shouldn’t be left up to bike clubs to do what the school district should already be doing.

Long Beach is set to embark on plans to re-envision the PCH corridor as the city’s new Main Street, including a Complete Streets makeover of the deadly highway.

 

State

Imperial County border town Calexico is working on the first update to its bicycle master plan since 2003.

Ford’s new GoBike bikeshare program is set to expand and replace the existing Bay Area Bike Share, with a 10x increase from 700 to 7,000 bikes, and over 500 docks throughout the area.

San Francisco police say if you see a bike theft in progress, don’t try to intervene, but call the police instead.

Streetsblog takes an anti-bike Marin columnist to task for wrongly asserting that bikes can’t play a roll in solving the county’s transportation issues.

 

National

A new UC San Francisco study shows medical costs from bicycling injuries were over $24.4 billion in 2013, and increasing at a rate of $789 million a year. Which Treehugger says is yet another reason to invest in safe bicycling infrastructure.

Bicycling offers advice on how to get the best deal on a used bike. Presumably without buying someone else’s stolen bike off Craigslist.

Despite international complaints, Orange Theory Fitness continues their orange ghost bike rip-off ad campaign, confusing and angering people in Bend OR.

This is who we share the roads with. A 20-year old Washington father is dead, and his friend injured, after the two Native American tribe members were intentionally run down by a pickup driver in what appears to be a hate attack

You’ve got to be kidding. Life really is cheap in Ohio, where a stoned driver got just 33 days in jail for killing a man on his bike, after pleading down from vehicular homicide and DUI charges. Naturally, he claimed it wasn’t his fault because the sun was in his eyes.

Massachusetts police blame the 78-year old victim in a bike crash for not wearing a helmet. Which wouldn’t have mattered if the speeding driver hadn’t hit him.

A town in Massachusetts installs a new sculpture celebrating cyclists.

Baltimore may halt work on a protected bikeway network after opponents of one bike lane complained that it made the street too narrow for fire trucks.

Nice story about an armless man riding a specially adapted bike and pulling a quadriplegic woman in a trailer behind him as they competed in a 50-mile Florida race.

Nearly 17,000 New Orleans bicyclists signed a petition demanding better protection from the police after a bike rider was nearly paralyzed when he was shot with a pellet gun; five other riders were shot with a paint gun in two separate incidents last month.

 

International

A new study found no link between the use of headphones or talking on a mobile phone and crashes by teenage bicyclists, though it did note a drop in the perception of sounds considered crucial for safe bicycling by riders of all ages.

A Toronto columnist says maybe he should pay more attention to angry drivers when he rides his bike, whether or not they’re right.

Another unintended Brexit consequence — British cyclists may lose their easy access to European bikeways.

Two hundred English cyclists rode 96 kilometers to raise funds in honor of the 96 soccer fans killed in the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster.

A nine-year old girl in the UK raised the equivalent of over $1,500 by riding 20 miles in memory of her little sister, who was born without a windpipe. Did I mention she’s just nine years old?

You’ve got to be kidding, part 2. A British judge told a man who stole a bait bike he just needed to get a job — despite 17 previous convictions, including one for bike theft.

The Bahrain-Merida pro cycling team had ten bikes stolen from the team truck parked outside of their hotel in the Netherlands.

A New Zealand bicyclist says overly courteous drivers are killing her with kindness. Almost literally.

Oddly, when you ride your bike drunk, with no lights or reflectors, and only a cowboy hat (scroll down) in violation of Australia’s mandatory helmet law, a judge may hold you responsible for whatever happens next. Even if your lawyer says cars are “a juggernaut of death.”

 

Finally…

Beware of bike cops if you plan to burgle stripper wear in your undies. If you’re going to break into someone’s home, take a shower, drink their milk and leave a load in their toilet, try not to leave your bicycle behind.

And it’s National Donut Day, which is as good a reason as any to stop for a snack on today’s ride.

 

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