Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: BOLO alert in SaMo, 2015 bike/ped count released, and construction on Marina bike path

Santa Monica police are asking for the public’s help in finding the cowardly jerk who ran down a woman as she walked Tuesday evening and left her lying in the street with serious head injuries.

Be on the lookout for a possible 2000-2006 silver, four-door Nissan Sentra, which could have damage to the bumper, hood and windshield on the right front.

Anyone with information is urged to call investigator Jason Olson at 310/458-8954 or the SMPD at 310/458-8491.

Thanks to Damien Newton for the heads-up.

………

The LACBC, in conjunction with AARP, released the findings of last year’s annual Los Angeles Bicycle and Pedestrian Count, which for the first time show a decrease in bike ridership as the city largely stopped building new bike lanes.

The report includes a number of key findings, including:

  • The most popular streets for walking and biking are also the most unsafe: All of the top 30 count locations for people walking are located on the High Injury Network, along with 24 of the top 30 locations for people biking. These top 30 locations accounted for 65% of all people walking who were counted and 55% of all people biking who were counted. All of these locations are located in high-density neighborhoods, near major destinations, or in low-income communities of color. Almost all of the top 30 locations were in neighborhoods with median household incomes below the rest of the city.
  • As bike lane installation has slowed, new ridership has decreased: In 2015, riders continued to gravitate towards bike lanes; however the count shows an overall 9% year-by-year decline in same location ridership from 2013 to 2015. In the last two years, bike lane installation has decreased significantly from a high of 101 miles in fiscal year 2013 to only 11 miles in fiscal year 2015. Many of these new lanes have been installations where bike lanes could be included in other road resurfacing or safety projects, rather than installations along high priority corridors identified in the Bicycle Plan. Of the initial 183 miles of bike lanes prioritized in the 5-year Bicycle Plan Implementation Strategy, only 45 miles (25%) have been installed. As a result, the bike network in Los Angeles remains fragmented with large gaps in bike lanes along most riders’ trips. This lack of connectivity continues to be the greatest barrier reported by many people who bike or would like to.
  • Women want safer biking options: In Los Angeles, women make up just 16% of cyclists overall, but the gender disparity is lowest on streets with quality bikeways (bike paths at 22% and bike lanes at 17%) and highest on streets with no bicycling infrastructure. Cities with safer streets for bicycling in general tend to have smaller gender disparities in bicycling, such as Portland, Oregon (35%), and Copenhagen, Denmark (50%).
  • Bike lanes have made streets safer, but more work needs to be done: On the new bike lanes studied, bike ridership increased by 62% after installation. After accounting for increases in bike ridership, new bike lanes reduced bicycle crash risk by an average of 42%.

la-bike-ped-count-16-sheet

The full report is available for download here.

………

Steve Herbert forwards news that the Marvin Braude bike path will soon be rerouted and improved where it currently twists awkwardly, and dangerously, through a parking lot around Pier 44 in Marina del Rey.

But riders will have to detour along Admiralty Way in the meantime.

Here’s what he had to say.

The Marvin Braude bike path snakes through Marina Del Rey connecting Ballona Creek & parts south to Washington Blvd. where cyclists can ride to Venice boardwalk or other parts of the region. Pier 44 is about to undergo renovation with the existing tenants, boats and trailers all cleared out. Pier 44 is at the end of Basin G of the marina which is bound by Bali Way on the north, Admiralty Way on the east and Mindanao Way on the south.

The bike path winds through this facility which is about to be closed and I asked Anthea Raymond, a Beaches and Harbors Department Commissioner I know, what plans there are to accommodate cyclists and the path while it’s under construction. Below are the answers and diagrams I got.

She didn’t provide any specific dates, but the pier is now a ghost town and I expect to see fencing and demolition equipment any day now just based on what I observe riding through the site as one of my commute routes.

And here is Ms. Raymond’s response.

Here’s what I learned about the Marina bike path, both during renovations on Pier 44 and going forward:

The Pier 44 project includes significant improvements to the bike path. Whereas the current bike bath snakes across the parcel, forcing riders to navigate around buildings and boat storage, the new bike path will have a straight alignment along the waterfront, next to the new 20’-wide pedestrian promenade.  Additionally, the project includes two public restrooms along the bike path, and bicycle racks that can accommodate 68 bikes.  This project also includes a WaterBus stop, because early on we wanted it to be a destination that people could visit by foot, by boat, by car, or by bike.  While the parcel is under construction, the bike path will temporarily be routed along the eastern portion of the parcel, adjacent to Admiralty Way.

Attached are site plans that show the existing and proposed paths.

Thanks for your concern.

Anthea

ps: While the parcel is under construction, the bike path will temporarily be routed along the eastern portion of the parcel, adjacent to Admiralty Way.

pier-44-current-conditions

pier-44-approved-plan

It looks to be a significant improvement to one of the worst sections of the popular beachfront bike path.

Let’s just hope the construction doesn’t take too long, and they provide an adequate alternative in the meantime.

………

It’s time to catch up with upcoming bike events.

BikeSGV is hosting a pet and family-friendly Pet-acular Bike Train tomorrow. But neither you or your pet are allowed to use training wheels.

Sunday marks the World Day of Remembrance to honor victims of traffic fatalities; 40 artists will participate in the event with LA Road Concerts in Downtown LA.

Malibu is hosting a community outreach meeting on November 29th to discuss the problems with parking along PCH; anyone who’s ridden the coast highway through the city knows the dangers poorly parked cars can pose.

Metro’s El Monte Bike Hub will host a Commute 101 Clinic on November 30th to help you get more comfortable riding your bike to work or school.

San Bernardino will hold 14-mile Inland Regional Center Memorial Ride on December 2nd, riding one kilometer for each of the 22 people injured in last December’s terrorist attack, which is equal to 14 miles for each person killed. A similar ride will start out from Redlands, with 22 turns to honor the wounded and 14 miles to remember those killed.

Milestone Rides is hosting their annual holiday toy ride to Camp Pendleton on December 3rd.

As noted yesterday, the LACBC will host their annual open house on December 7th.

Recently retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is teaming up with the LACBC for the second annual Mulholland Clean Up on December 10th.

Finish the Ride will hold their Ride, Run, Walk N’ Roll Holliday Challenge in Van Nuys on December 11th.

………

Members of Team Novo Nordisk discuss how to compete while managing your diabetes; each of the 18 riders has Type 1 diabetes.

Yes, you can win a national hill-climb championship on a bike assembled from parts purchased on eBay.

………

Local

Congratulations, Los Angeles. You win the prize for the most dangerous city for speed-related traffic fatalities.

The co-founder of Burbank based Pure Cycles — formerly Pure Fix — talks about what’s it’s like to found a business with his best friend.

Pasadena, Altadena and San Marino Rotary Clubs will team together to build and donate 200 bicycles for underprivileged children this holiday season. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

The LA Times says bike paths along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers offer a glimpse of what Pico Rivera looked like before LA’s eastward expansion steamrolled the area.

Santa Monica wants to know what you think about transportation options in the beach city, but only if you live or work there.

Long Beach creates a protected bike lane by installing green bollards on Studebaker Road, even though local residents call them distracting eyesores.

CiclaValley concludes his three-part Veteran’s Day journey with a family ride through Berkeley.

 

State

The afore mentioned Damien Newton discusses the effects of the recent election with Calbike’s Jeanie Ward-Waller.

UC San Diego officers remove over 700 apparently abandoned bicycles from campus; if they go unclaimed for 90 days, they’ll be donated to charity organizations.

Menlo Park considers a grade separation that would create a 1.6 mile bike boulevard along the Caltrain railroad tracks.

Alameda wants to build a 600 foot bike and pedestrian drawbridge connecting it with Oakland.

Nevada City middle school students — yes, middle school — learn frame building by building their own from scratch as part of a program that refurbishes bikes for homeless people.

 

National

Several bike-related businesses make Outside Magazine’s list of the top 100 places to work, including bike-friendly, employee owned New Belgium Brewery in my hometown. Do I really need to say that the town didn’t become bike friendly or open its first craft brewery until after I left?

Bicycling discusses the joys of riding at night.

Seattle’s failing bikeshare system gets a March 31st deadline to get its merde together.

Life is cheap in Oklahoma, where a distracted driver will serve just 10 months of a 15 year sentence for killing on cyclist riding across the country for Bike and Build, and critically injuring another; she’ll also have to speak publicly about what she did.

Apparently, not even Secret Service agents are safe on our streets. A uniformed agent was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver while riding near the White House.

In a remarkable move, a New York city is moving forward with plans to convert a parkway near Niagara Falls into a multi-use bike path.

 

International

A Toronto paper traces the 40-year fight for safety and acceptance of bicyclists through the life of a man who was photographed on the back of his father’s bike as a five-year old in 1976. Yet oddly, they don’t bother to show the photo.

British authorities arrest three teenage suspects for the murder of a recently released convict who was kicked off his bicycle by a group of young men last month.

A British town gets it, saying if close passes make people too afraid to ride a bike, it’s a police matter.

Now that’s more like it. Drivers in a North London borough could have their cars crushed if they’re caught passing bike riders too closely twice in a single year. And yes, bike cam video counts. Now if we could only get California to do that for hit-and-runs.

Like LA, advocates blame stalled bike path plans, as well as draconian fines, for a drop in the number of bicyclists in Sydney, Australia; last year the state government gave up on plans to double the rate of cycling.

 

Finally…

You can carry anything by bicycle; even lemonade, cookies and a polar bear.

And you’ll be happy to know that drinking beer is good for your cholesterol levels. So ride to your nearest bike-friendly microbrewery, and salute!

………

On a personal note, it was a pleasure to meet St. Louis-based Cycling Savvy instructor and BikinginLA contributor Karen Karabell and LA-based Cycling Savvy instructor Gary Cziko yesterday.

It’s great to talk with fellow advocates who don’t let differences in approaches to bicycle safety get in the way of finding common ground in their efforts to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for everyone who rides.

Not to mention just spending some time with a couple of very nice people.

First rule of photography: Never stand so your shadow falls on your subjects

First rule of photography: Never stand so your shadow falls on your subjects

Morning Links: Important LA River bike path meeting tonight, and hard-hitting Aussie road safety videos

Just a quick reminder before we start.

Chances are, if you rode your bike to work today, it’s going to be dark before you head back home. So make sure your lights are fully charged or have fresh batteries before you ride tonight.

And even if you never ride after dark, throw a set of inexpensive lights in your seat bag in case you get delayed by a flat or mechanical problem.

I’ve learned the hard way that unexpected things can happen to keep you out later than you planned. And it can be scary as hell trying to make it back home without lights surrounded by angry and aggressive drivers.

………

As CiclaValley reminds us, the Army Corps of Engineers is holding a meeting tonight to discuss the most recent closure of the LA River bike path, after apparently concluding that people in LA don’t ride bikes after Labor Day.

We need to let them know just how wrong that is.

The LA River trail is a vital link, not just for recreational riders, but for countless people riding to work and school. And closing a large section down for six months when the city is trying to encourage bike commuting makes no more sense than shutting down a major roadway.

The meeting starts at 6:30 this evening, ending at 8:30 pm, at the Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive.

………

Jeffrey Fylling forwards a series of road safety PSAs put together as part of a student competition sponsored by Australia’s Amy Gillett Foundation, named for a track cyclist killed in a collision while training in Germany eleven years ago.

I might question the last one, but there’s some damn good work here. Especially for students.

………

A former World Gravel Race champ and world traveler says let’s keep the golf out of cycling.

There have always been unwritten rules in regards to what to wear, how the colour of your bar tape has to match your seat and about what bike you ride. But at the end of the day, it really didn’t matter how much your bike was worth because the enjoyment of the sport, the company of your friends and the accomplishment through your legs overruled any blatant materialism.

But it seems, there is a new trend creeping in.

The capitalism-induced search for a new status symbol has changed the reason why people ride bikes. Cycling has become pretty, elitist, materialistic with a seemingly insurmountable wall to be climbed to be accepted into a group. Until then, you will be shamelessly ignored as a hubbard or fred.

That scares me.

It’s a great piece. So take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

………

Don’t forget to Bike the Vote when you cast your ballot tomorrow.

bike-the-vote

………

Local

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay takes a look at Gran Fondos, including Phil Gaimon’s Malibu Gran Cookie Dough yesterday, saying they’re as fun or as challenging as you want, and a great way for pro cyclists to connect with their fans. Although he was disappointed pro cycling’s retiring Cookie Monster only ate five cookies along the way.

Richard Risemberg talks multi-modal commuting.

Bike SGV is partnering with the Eastside Bike Club for a pet-friendly — or Pet-acular, as they call it — ride in conjunction with the SoCalCross cyclocross race at Legg Lake on the 19th.

 

State

An Oxnard man suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was shot while riding his bike early Saturday.

San Francisco installs speed humps in Golden Gate park where a woman was killed by a speeding hit-and-run driver while riding her bike earlier this year. Once again, too little too late. But maybe it will help prevent the next one.

Oakland’s mayor and California’s Lt. Governor get on their bikes to promote a local measure to fix the roads, upgrade public facilities and build affordable housing.

 

National

Your next tire may never go flat. And throw away your air pump while you’re at it.

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer urges you to bike the vote by riding to cast your ballot.

That didn’t take long. Seattle drivers are parking in a new bike lane before it’s even opened.

A New York man was badly injured in a collision with a hit-and-run bicyclist while he was crossing the street.

The Washington Post says Lance Armstrong is using his new podcast to turn his image around. He could start by working to improve safety on our streets where his voice could really make a difference.

New Orleans becomes the latest city to adopt a bikeshare system.

 

International

Experts argue that self-driving cars may eliminate the need for bicycling infrastructure, but cyclists and pedestrians may take advantage of all those poor cars once they learn the cars have to stop for them.

Bike Radar asks if you’re better off standing on your pedals or sitting when you ride up a hill. And concludes the answer is yes.

HuffPo writes in praise of the upright bike.

A British Columbia driver somehow slammed into a group of six cyclists, killing one and critically injuring another.

A Canadian writer explains why he rides a bicycle, which he calls mankind’s most civilized invention.

The Isle of Wright votes to lower speed limits to 20 mph in built-up areas in an effort to save lives.

It’s quicker to ride a bike than to drive on some sections of a London highway near Heathrow. Maybe they should allow bikes on the freeway so people could choose the more efficient option.

A Brit website looks at why getting more bicyclists on the road means fewer fatalities.

A British man admits to being a hypocrite by running red lights on his bicycle because he doesn’t want to wait, but rolling his eyes when he sees someone else do it while he’s driving.

Prague holds its annual Penny Farthing race.

An Indian couple discovers romance on wheels by riding together.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride behind a reporter doing a live broadcast, make sure you wheel is firmly attached. Irish police lock up a pair of bike chasing terrorist terriers.

And the next time someone says bike riders need to pay their fair share, give ‘em a nickel.

 

 

Weekend Links: Venice bike rider accidently shot by LAPD officer, and Westwood Greenway in the works

You’ve got to be kidding.

A woman was shot while riding her bicycle on the bike path in Venice beach because a cop forgot one of the most basic guidelines for use of force.

Make sure there are no innocent people in the line of fire.

According to multiple sources, LAPD mounted officers had approached a group of transients when one woman became angry, causing her pit bull to become agitated and bite one of the officers on the hand. He responded by shooting the dog, killing it.

Unfortunately, he failed to make sure there was no one else in the way. The bullet passed through the dog and struck a tourist in the calf as she passed by on her bike.

The good news is, she remained conscious and appeared to be okay as she was wheeled into an ambulance.

And she can expect a pretty big check from the city in the not too distant future.

………

A sign went up Friday announcing the coming of the Westwood Neighborhood Greenway, which will follow long-wasted space along the Expo Line between Westwood Blvd and Overland. When finished, it will include a bikeway and pedestrian walkway on the south side, with another walkway on the north side.

………

Local

LADOT unveiled their latest Venice bike corral on West Washington Blvd.

The first segment of the Rail to Rail/River trail connecting Inglewood with the LA River is scheduled to open in 2019.

The second location of Pittsburgh’s Banker Supply bike shop opens in Echo Park, designed to cater to people who ask “why am I driving?”

Pasadena will get bikeshare next summer; the question is whether the city will be ready for it.

Lucas Guidroz is expected to be sentenced to 10 year behind bars next week for the drunken hit-and-run death of cyclist, musician and math teacher Rod Bennett on Placerita Canyon in Santa Clarita.

The LACBC hosts their monthly Sunday Funday ride this Sunday, with an easy to moderate 16-mile loop from Highland Park to The Wheelhouse in DTLA. Thanks to Pedro Avalos for the heads-up.

 

State

Caltrans is asking for local bike and pedestrian count data to determine where improvements are needed.

Orange County’s Revolution Bike Fest kicked off yesterday, offering three days of bikes, music, beer, food and other spectator-friendly activities.

The nine-year old Murietta boy injured in yesterday’s hit-and-run is recovering after being knocked unconscious on the collision; he reportedly was released from the hospital with bumps and bruises.

The Camarillo Acorn talks with pro triathlete Jordan Rapp about his 51st place finish in Ironman World Championship, six years after he nearly died in a hit-and-run.

Bicycling collisions dropped by more than half in Hanford after police cracked down on bicyclists and visited schools to discuss bike safety; police in the wider Kings County area blame riders for eight of the nine collisions involving cyclists this year. Evidently, drivers there are nearly perfect, at least in the eyes of the local police.

Who was that flannelled man? A man in red flannel is credited with stopping someone from stealing a bike off a San Francisco bus.

A young man’s body was found buried on the campus of Sonoma State University recently, after he disappeared upon leaving his home for a bike ride last month.

Secure bike lockers will be available when the new Sonoma-Marin rail system begins operations next year, though bike advocates say it won’t be enough to meet demand.

Trial began on Friday for a Sacramento man facing 19 charges, including three counts of attempted murder, for running down three bike riders during an alleged meth-fueled rampage.

 

National

Protect your eyes. A new Johns Hopkins study shows female bike riders are more likely to suffer eye injuries than women participating in other sports.

Evidently accepting his inevitable defeat in Tuesday’s election, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson makes plans to ride in next year’s 2,745 mile Tour Divide.

Colorado puts its money where its mouth is, offering a total of $500,000 for ideas to stop the rise in bicycling and pedestrian deaths.

A Northwestern University professor is working on five bicycle dynamics projects, including eliminating the dreaded death wobble, and building a bike with rear wheel steering.

New York’s Mayor De Blasio says the city is fully funding Vision Zero efforts, but the numbers tell a different story.

Evidently, drivers in the Bronx are being terrorized by preteen bike riders.

 

International

CyclingTips looks at the rise of crowdfunding for bicycle projects, despite the cautionary tale of an Irish company that won’t ship its promised products or provide refunds.

A Toronto writer says drivers are horrible, but cyclists are the ones who scare her, and would it hurt you to wear orange and obey red lights?

The UK’s Trump-less version of The Apprentice tackles the crowdfunded bicycling industry.

Caught on video: A headphone-wearing British cyclist gets on the wrong busy expressway headed the wrong way, where bikes aren’t allowed anyway. So of course the kindhearted driver who says he was so worried about his safety tells him to just keep going.

A new British study finds that the handful of people willing to help a stranger after a fake bike accident are also more likely to help a stranger taking a survey. Apparently, though, the overwhelming majority of people just don’t give a damn.

Sorry Amsterdam scooter riders, your snorfietsen have been banned from the bike paths.

 

Finally…

All it takes is a little toilet paper to keep fresh tar off your tires. Your next track bike could be a steal at just $26,000.

And if you’re going to steal a bike, try not to take it from a champion cross country runner.

 

Morning Links: Jefferson Blvd Complete Streets in line for state funding, and LA pro Phil Gaimon calls it a career

Maybe we really will see some changes around here. Particularly in some of LA County’s less advantaged communities.

Richard Parks forwards news that the California Transportation Commission has recommended funding a number of active transportation projects in LA County.

Topping the list from his perspective is a much needed and hard fought effort to transform Jefferson Blvd into a Complete Street.

The California Transportation Commission has recommended $6 million in funding to make Jefferson Blvd. from Vermont Ave. west to Western Ave. a complete street. The plan calls for protected and buffered bike lanes, pedestrian lighting, sidewalk repairs, street trees and more. This project will link to USC’s Jefferson Blvd. Streetscape Plan which intersects with the MyFigueroa project. The CTC will ratify staff recommendations in December.

Other projects on the list include:

  • $3.4 million for the second phase of the West Santa Ana Branch Bikeway in Paramount
  • $1.8 million for bike and pedestrian enhancements on Atlantic Ave in Cudahy
  • $1 million for the first phase of the Pacoima Wash bike and pedestrian path in San Fernando
  • $1.5 million for intersection improvements at the Slauson Blue Line Station
  • $660,000 for the Garfield Avenue Complete Streets Corridor in South Gate
  • $1 million for a Huntington Park Safe Routes to School project
  • $1.1 million for the Southern California Disadvantaged Communities Planning Initiative
  • $5.3 million for Safe Routes to School pedestrian improvements in Lancaster
  • $2 million for a bike lane gap closure project on Spring Street in Signal Hill
  • $1.4 million for phase II of the DWP’s Los Nietos Safe Routes to School

………

LA’s own pro cyclist Phil Gaimon calls it a career after failing to find a WorldTour ride for next season. He says don’t call it retirement, though, in a great self-penned piece that reflects the struggles of most pro cyclists; meanwhile, his Malibu Gran Cookie Dough this Sunday will become his semi-official non-retirement party.

On the other hand, British pro Bradley Wiggins considers un-retiring.

And a 25-year old Spanish cyclist gets a four year ban for doping with a drug he denies ever taking.

………

Local

Venice Blvd now officially belongs to Los Angeles instead of being under the control of Caltrans, after the state pays LA to take it off their hands.

Metro is asking for input on the coming LAX Connector Line, which includes plans for a bike hub to make it easier to ride to the airport.

 

State

An unidentified bike rider was hospitalized with traumatic injuries after he or she was hit by a Garden Grove police officer. Thanks to Steve Herbert for the heads-up.

A Redlands thief plays Mission Impossible by lowering himself through the roof to steal $200 from a bike shop.

It’s been a rough few days in Fresno; just two days after a bike rider was killed in a collision, another rider suffered life-threatening injuries yesterday.

San Jose church members assemble 60 bicycles to donate to local children.

Palo Alto considers budget options for a new bike bridge after rejecting a previous design that came in over budget.

A Santa Rosa letter writer says the anti-bike residents along a local roadway remind him of Deliverance.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at why American trucks are so deadly for bicyclists and pedestrians, after London takes steps to ban dangerous trucks from the roads.

An Oregon TV station asks if it’s time to put bike lanes on a key bridge after a bike rider was killed by a driver with 31 previous traffic convictions. Bike lanes would be a good idea; keeping demonstrably dangerous drivers off the roads would be better.

Authorities say they know who sabotaged a Colorado bike trail, however, no charges have been filed yet in what the BLM calls an isolated incident.

Texas residents worry about property values plummeting if a proposed bike lane gets built. Never mind that bikeways have consistently been shown to increase property values.

A DC bicyclist dodged a bullet — literally — when a road raging driver took a shot at him; his rear bike tire wasn’t so lucky.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 90-year old Florida woman consistently holds her own on a 31-mile weekly group ride.

 

International

Riding a bicycle just five minutes a day can cut your risk of early death from heart disease. But it won’t get you very far.

Bicycle Times offers a guide to buying a bicycle.

Bike Radar recommends five bike action cams they like, all of which just happen to be made by GoPro or Garmin.

Who couldn’t use a few tips on dating a female competitive cyclist?

Anti-bike terrorists strike again, this time strewing tacks on an Ottawa bike lane.

Bodyguards ban British Foreign Secretary and former London Mayor Boris Johnson from bicycling over fears that riding a bike would make him a target. Just like it does the rest of us.

China’s maintenance-free, dock-less Mobike bikeshare system is expanding to Singapore, which appears to have won that skirmish in China’s bikeshare startup battle.

 

Finally…

Do Angelenos fear Scientology’s bike-riding security guards because they’re Scientologists, or because they’re on bicycles? Your next racing kit could have as much coffee inside as you do.

And it’s not unusual for a drunk driver to flee from the cops after nearly hitting a bike rider. Except when the driver is just 12-years old.

 

Morning Links: MyFig finally breaks ground, and another LA2050 bike proposal

Los Angeles city officials finally broke ground on the long-delayed MyFigueroa project on South Figueroa Street.

The three-mile long project connecting USC with Downtown LA will be the city’s first true Complete Street when it’s — hopefully — finished next summer.

………

LA Bike Trains has a project competing for a grant from LA2050 to map out safe riding routes and provide wayfinding signs; we mentioned the proposal from SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) yesterday.

Meanwhile, voting has been extended until Friday.

 

………

Local

Vision Zero LA is asking community groups to apply $25,000 grants to help spread the message on ten of the city’s most dangerous transportation corridors. Or as most people would call them, streets.

A writer for the LA Times says the response of LA voters to Measure M will determine whether Angelenos are still an automotive people.

A USC student writes about her trip down the central California coast with a friend following their high school graduation.

 

State

Stanton hit-and-run victim Deborah Gresham was remembered with a dedication at the end of Sunday’s Walking Dead season premier, as well as on the fan show Talking Dead; Gresham had founded and ran a 21,000-member Facebook page dedicated to the show.

A pair of middle-school cyclists from the Corona del Mar High School Mountain Bike Team gave up their Saturday morning to rebuild a trail in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

A San Diego writer urges a no vote on the county’s Measure A transportation tax, saying it doesn’t do enough for low-income communities reliant on bikes and walking, or to bring the transportation system into the 21st Century.

A 67-year old Sunnyvale woman is in critical condition following a hit-and-run while she was riding her bike.

San Francisco’s Department of DIY strikes again, building their own separated bike lane with $800 worth of safe-hit traffic bollards in an early morning raid.

 

National

A singletrack website lists the best beginner mountain bike trails in all 50 states; California’s is at Fort Ord.

A robotics engineer tells a Portland radio host that self-driving cars will make mass transit obsolete. Apparently forgetting that self-driving cars take up as much space on the roadways and do as much harm to the environment as any other cars.

In a rare burst of rationality, Tucson decides to lower speed limits on bike boulevards to 20 mph.

A Utah cyclist tells drivers a three-foot passing distance should be considered the bare minimum.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding thief who snatched an 89-year old Oklahoma war vet’s wallet out of his pants.

 

International

A review of 14 international studies show lower socioeconomic status, rural locations and riding mostly on sidewalks are the most common factors leading to bicycling injuries among children.

A New Brunswick landlord is sentenced to seven years for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he also faces charges for allegedly beating a young man to death, and the alleged beating of one of his tenants.

The UK’s Daily Mail stages a race between bike riders and motorists to show how bike lanes are causing congestion, but only manages to prove once again that bikes are the faster option to get around a city.

Scottish police are looking for a road raging bike rider with a black dog and a prosthetic leg accused of shouting racial abuse at a driver. For better or worse, language like that is protected under the 1st Amendment in the US, not so much in many other countries.

An Irish writer complains that cycling may be the new golf, but golfers don’t get in her way on weekends like cyclists do when they should be having sex with their wives or mistresses. Never mind her reference to “the latent homosexuality that pervades all male activity.” No, really.

A 17-year old Kiwi cyclist looks forward to riding with his idol, a four-time champ twice his age.

 

Finally…

No, you wouldn’t want to smash a carbon bike by stamping a license number on it. Evidently, bike-riding zombies are a thing.

And not even brick and mortar business are safe on our streets.

 

Morning Links: Caltrans meeting Tues, driver chases cyclist onto bike path, and plants close LA River bike path

Bobby Peppey sends news of a couple bike-related developments from Caltrans.

First up is a short survey — available in English and Spanish — regarding the state transportation department’s shift from a strictly motor vehicle-focused agency to planning for an “integrated multi-modal transportation network (including walking, biking, transit and driving) that meets the needs of all users.”

Next, he reminds us that Caltrans will host a public meeting and webinar tomorrow afternoon to discuss the latest developments on SoCal projects and gather public input.

He notes that the last meeting was filled with government bureaucrats who showed little sympathy for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users; in fact, he says he was the only person in the room who wasn’t paid to be there.

As he puts it,

I brought up the intransigence of Los Angeles City Councilmember’s towards building a safe, comfortable system of bicycle infrastructure in our City at the last meeting and hope to not be the only one doing so at the October 25 the meeting.

Let’s hope he’s not.

………

Speaking of Caltrans, Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards news that bikes will be barred from Camp Pendleton for the coming week, although riders will still be allowed on the 5 Freeway.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-1-42-12-am

………

A rider connecting with the Rio Hondo trail in Rosemead was literally chased onto the trail by a road raging pickup driver, who was only stopped by the bollards at the entrance to the path.

All, apparently, because the cyclist had the audacity to make a left turn into the crosswalk leading to the path by legally using the left turn lane, which did not delay the driver behind him by a fraction of a second.

The rider, identified only as Askeee, notes that he aggravated the situation by flipping off the driver after he honked at him, asking “since when is that an acceptable reason for vehicular assault?”

To which the answer would be, at least since police blamed me for the road raging driver who plowed into my rear wheel after I flipped her off when she angrily honked at me like that.

(Lesson #1: Never flip off the driver behind you.)

Even though that would never be considered an excuse for any other form of assault with a deadly weapon. No one would think it’s okay if someone pulled out a gun and shot the other person after being given the bird, yet the simple fact of being behind the wheel seems to make it okay.

Let’s hope he filed a police report. And that the police take it seriously this time.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

At least now we know why the LA River bike path will be closed until the Ides of March; the Army Corps of Engineers will be using it as a staging area to remove non-native vegetation from the river channel.

Which does not explain why no notice was given, or why no one seems to give a damn about the needs of bike riders who use it.

At least the Corps promises LADOT has installed a detour path and signage. Which, based on what they offered last year, will likely be just as confusing, circuitous and impractical as ever.

CiclaValley urges everyone to turnout for a public workshop with the Army Corps on November 7th to express your outrage and demand a better solution, as well as emailing them and Congressman Adam Schiff; the LACBC offers some key talking points.

………

Damian Kevitt, hit-and-run survivor and founder of both Finish the Ride and SAFE — Streets Are For Everyone — sends word that SAFE Support is up for one of this year’s LA2050 Challenge Grants.

You can cast your vote to support the project here.

………

Local

Jesse Creed’s upstart campaign to oust anti-bike lane incumbent city councilmember Paul Koretz in LA’s 5th District has gained the support of some big names in Hollywood.

A Metro committee approves funding for expansion of the DTLA Metro Bike bikeshare into Pasadena, Venice and the port cities of San Pedro and Wilmington. Although the Venice and port city expansions are most likely an attempt to stave off expansion of the Santa Monica and Long Beach bikeshare systems into those areas.

Richard Risemberg writes about the impending departure of Michelle Mowery from LADOT to work on the LA River bike path. Maybe she could start by convincing the Army Corps of Engineers to keep it open a little more often.

The Pasadena city council will receive a report on the city’s bike safety efforts up to this point, along with plans for the future at tonight’s meeting. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Megan Lynch also forwards news that a cyclist was air rescued after crashing on Glendora Mountain Road; no word on the condition of the rider.

A new master plan including roughly 100 miles of multi-use trails in the Castaic area will go before the LA County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday; the plan also includes three proposed bike skills park amenities. Whatever the hell that means.

Cycling in the South Bay posts the honorees from last weekend’s Fourth Annual South Bay Cycling Awards, and offers a truly devastating first-hand report from the survivor of a life-changing cycling collision.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that killing a Long Beach bike rider with a screwdriver is still murder, even if you kill the wrong person by mistake.

 

State

Kids, don’t try this at home. An off-duty federal agent tried to stop thieves from taking his bicycle by jumping into the back of their pickup, and went on an unwanted seven mile ride through San Diego; both suspects were captured as  they fled after crashing the truck.

A Redlands couple is nearing the end of a 10,000 mile tandem journey around the US.

Over 1,000 cyclists participate in Sunday’s Santa Barbara 100 cycling event to raise Cottage Children’s Medical Center Family Assistance Fund.

San Luis Obispo adopts a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities within 14 years.

Modesto police pitch in to buy a new bike for a junior high student after they were impressed by his detailed crime report.

San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Bike Trail finally opened Sunday, allowing bicyclists to ride from Emeryville to Yerba Buena Island. And back.

 

National

A pair of Minnesota cities are declaring their DIY bikeshare systems a success; the systems make refurbished bicycles available to anyone for free, no ID necessary; surprisingly, 85% of the bikes were returned last year.

New York Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss is one of us.

Gotham entrepreneurs are doing their best to cash in on the popularity of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare.

The driver of a stolen car was arrested after deliberately trying to run down a Philadelphia bike cop; fortunately, the officer was uninjured, though his bike appears to have seen better days.

Bighearted Alabama cops dig into their own wallets to buy a bike for a teenager after his was stolen.

Now that’s more like it. A Florida driver got ten years for a drunken hit-and-run that killed a bike rider.

 

International

A Vancouver bike shop worker was sentenced to 18 years for shooting his boss two years ago following a dispute over a rental agreement.

Bicyclists are under attack by anti-bike terrorists around the world, as someone has tossed tacks on the roadway leading to London’s Regent Park twice in the last week; the site is the planned route for one of the city’s cycle superhighways.

A British woman missed her own mother’s funeral after a truck driver forced her bike off the road and into a ditch, leaving her too injured to attend.

A member of Britain’s Parliament says not enough is being done to protect bicyclists from injury and intimidation. No shit.

A former Catholic church in Belgium is now a shrine to the Cannibal.

How about taking your next bike vacation in Tanzania?

An Aussie cyclist has been fined the equivalent of $115 for passing a stopped car on the left — which would be our right; it violated the law because the car was signaling for a left turn.

New Zealand opens a beautiful new sculptural underpass for cyclists in Christchurch.

Sad news for manga lovers, as popular manga artist Hiroyuki Shoji was found dead next to his bicycle in Japan last week.

 

Finally…

Your next bike may not need you to keep it stable. From wrestling champ to BMX podium, before the age of eight.

And the best seat for a bike race is directly above the course. Especially when you’re a black bear.

 

Morning Links: Goodbye and thank you to Michelle Mowery, and improvements and closures on LA River bike path

Bittersweet news from LADOT, as longtime bicycle and active transportation coordinator Michelle Mowery announced today that she is leaving for a position with the mayor’s office, focusing on the LA River Bike Path.

On  Monday, October 24th, I will be beginning a new assignment with Mayor Garcetti’s LA Riverworks Team to focus on the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path.  While I am excited about working full-time on the River; it will be very, very difficult to leave my home at LADOT.  I will miss working with all of you on projects that have, and continue, to make bicycling more accessible in the City of Los Angeles.

The last 22 years with the City have been the most exciting and fulfilling of my 39 years in public service.  I can’t tell you all how wonderful it has been to see cycling established a real means of transportation in Los Angeles.  I will miss many of you as I shift my focus in the City but expect to continue to see you in my efforts on behalf of the River.  It has been my greatest pleasure to serve the City as a transportation professional on two wheels.

Thank you all for your cooperation and support over the years.

When I first got involved in bike advocacy efforts in Los Angeles, I found myself loosely allied with a group of advocates who blamed Mowery for the city’s decades of failure to do anything to protect the safety of bicyclists, and who made it their not-so-secret goal to have her fired.

I resisted those efforts, to the point that I found myself ostracized and attacked because I questioned whether she was really to blame.

And openly wondered what she could do with the actual backing of the city, instead of the old school, auto-centric senior LADOT engineers, who have since retired or otherwise moved on, squashing her every effort.

I think the last several years have more than answered those questions.

Since bicycling first received the attention and backing of the mayor’s office during the Villaraigosa administration, Los Angeles has installed hundreds of miles of bike lanes, including the city’s first parking and curb protected bike lanes, as well as an actual bike network in Downtown LA.

Under her tenure, Los Angeles was named a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists for the first time in 2012. And made Bicycling Magazine’s biannual list of the country’s best cities for cycling, currently checking in at a lofty 24.

Which is not to say we don’t still have a long way to go. It only takes a few hours riding the mean streets of Los Angeles to realize just how inadequate LA’s bicycling infrastructure is for a car-centric city this size.

But it made huge leaps under Mowery’s guidance, once she was finally allowed to do her job.

We owe her a big round of thanks for sticking in there and doing the best she could when the job was impossible, and she was the focal point for every cyclist angry over everything that didn’t get done.

And showing us all what this city could be once she was given the chance.

………

The LA Weekly takes a surprisingly even-handed look at the call for banning bikes on the LA River Bike Path through Elysian Valley, in the wake of an elderly woman who was seriously injured in a crash with a bike rider.

Not to mention they have the good taste to quote yours truly.

The story notes that that someone placed an illegal, DIY sign at the entrance to the path reading “Bike Path Closed,” which was largely and justifiably ignored.

Meanwhile, LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell says the city will be making safety improvements to the path to notify riders to slow down or dismount in areas with a high level of pedestrians.

As well as increasing police presence on the path. Which is something bike riders, as well as pedestrians, have long called for.

Although the call to dismount is highly questionable. Especially since people somehow seem to manage sharing the path on the far more crowded beachfront bike path.

And it should be noted, as we mentioned here yesterday, that the rider stopped and cooperated with police following the crash.

Although none of it may really matter now, since the bike path is once again being closed for the winter, for reasons that have yet to be explained.

………

The LACBC’s Zachary Rynew, aka Mr. CiclaValley in his off-duty hours, sends word about the organization’s new team kit, which is available for preorder right now.

LACBC’s 2017 Kit is now for sale by preorder for a limited time until October 30th. To support the local cycling community, LACBC collaborated with L.A.-based collective superdomestik on design and California-based manufacturer Voler on production.

Go to LACBC’s Facebook Page to find out how you can win gear and go to the team store to purchase from the 2017 collection.

lacbcfsprosq

………

USA Cycling announces the Pro Road Tour racing schedule for next year. The tour comes to California just twice, in April and May, for the Dana Point Gran Prix and the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

………

Local

CD1 city council candidate Josef Bray-Ali writes about how to get the people who ride for fun to join forces with people who ride for transportation, and make the city more bike-friendly without additional funding.

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot and killed a man in San Fernando Thursday night.

The Santa Monica College student newspaper looks at last weekend’s CicLAvia in the Heart of Los Angeles.

Metro is sponsoring a free Bicycle 101 class at the El Monte bike Hub.

 

State

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a four-wheel, surrey-style bike from a school for autistic children in San Diego.

Authorities are looking for the heartless coward who hit a young child in Victorville as he was riding his bike and left him lying in the street; the boy may have suffered serious head trauma in the hit-and-run collision.

The new bikeway over half of the San Francisco Bay is finally expected to open this Sunday.

Chico approves a free citywide bike registration system, while a 93-year old Chico man remains in critical condition eleven days after he was hit by SUV while driving his bike.

 

National

CityLab urges you to ride with a boombox on your bike instead of headphones, so you can annoy more people with your excellent taste in music. However, it may take some practice to develop the retro skills required ride your bike with a massive boombox perched on one shoulder, ‘70s style.

Eyewear maker Bollé introduces a mountain bike helmet with features that actually make sense for a change, including a detachable visor, slots to store your glasses and space for an embedded tail light.

Anti-bike terrorists have struck again, sabotaging a Colorado mountain bike trail with spike-embedded boards buried in the dirt. If you question the use of that term, consider what would happen to a rider who suffers a blowout while zipping down a trail.

The Michigan senate responds to the Kalamazoo massacre by passing bill requiring a five-foot passing distance, and another requiring three hours of bike and motorcycle safety training in all driver’s ed courses.

New York bike messengers form a union to fight for better treatment from Uber and other delivery firms.

A Philadelphia cyclist correctly resists police efforts to make him stop recording an arrest and to hand over his phone as evidence. You have a 1st Amendment right to record anything that occurs in a public place, and police have no right to stop you as long as you don’t interfere with their actions. And they can’t seize your phone without probable cause, or delete any of the contents. Which does not mean they won’t try.

 

International

A new report from the United Nations Environment Program calls for countries around the world to spend at least twenty percent of their transportation budget for safe bike lanes and sidewalks, noting that people on foot and two wheels, with or without motors, make up nearly half of the 1.3 million people killed in crashes worldwide each year.

A London hospital spent the equivalent of $12,000 to fight a protected bike lane in an apparent attempt to drum up business; 315 bike riders were killed or injured on the roads approaching the hospital over the last ten years, including some directly in front of their entrance.

A British man has been jailed for 28 months following a racist attack on a bike rider; he was one of three men who swerved at the victim in their car, doored him and forced him off his bike, then violently attacked him while screaming racial epithets.

Winston Churchill’s grandson is one of us.

A six-year old Irish boy with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is able to ride a bike for the first time thanks to a new medication. Nice to finally see some hope for this cruel disease.

Caught on video: A British railway worker saves an apparently drunk bicyclist at the last minute after he had fallen on the tracks. Or maybe not.

The brother of a fallen cyclist begs a Dublin county council to reconsider its decision not to include safe routes to schools in their draft development plan.

Security camera footage shows thieves casually bicycling on their way to rob Kim Kardashian in Paris, then back again with her $10 million jewelry in tow.

Caught on video: An Aussie cyclist loses a piece of his ear when a Magpie swoops down and attacks without warning.

Justice and common sense prevailed in Australia, where a drugged-out driver will spend at least three years in jail for killing a bike rider, despite attempting to use her newborn baby as a Get Out of Jail Free card.

 

Finally…

Your next U-lock could raise a real stink. Does this bike really look like a Lamborghini to you?

And anyone can ride a bike the usual way. But how many can do it facing backwards?

 

Morning Links: An honor from the South Bay, People for Bikes endorses LA measures, and Lompoc shames LA

My apologies for the continued lack of email notifications for subscribers. We’re still working on it.

………

Look what came in the mail.

SAMSUNG

As honored as I am, it’s just this side of impossible for me to make it to the South Bay on a Saturday night.

On the other hand, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson has been killing this year in advocating for bike safety on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

I’m just saying.

………

People for Bikes made a couple of endorsements in November’s LA County election.

people-for-bikes-endorsement

………

Mike Wilkinson forwards photos from Lompoc, showing a complete, built-out, actual bikeway network connecting every part of town.

This is what he had to say.

Lompoc is a simple town of about 42,000 near Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California Central Coast. My wife and I were there on business a few weeks ago, and we stopped to admire the welcome sign near the city limits. I noticed there was a smaller sign to the left that had a map of the city’s bike routes.

welcome-to-lompoc

lompoc-bike-trail-sign

The map was impressive not because Lompoc has a vast array of bike paths, but because the paths they have make a lot of sense. There is a bike route every few blocks, and most of the routes are continuous, instead of the stop-and-starts routes I see near my home. They are elegant in their simplicity.

It amazes me that a small, somewhat rural town has managed to do a better job with bike routes than many of the big, busy cities in southern California. They may have been motivated by a steady stream of bike tourists traveling through their town on the way up or down the coast. Tourists and their dollars are a legitimate motivation, and the town has responded well. Nice!

………

This sign from Brisbane, Australia comes courtesy of B2 H, spelling out how to share a shared path, for those who can’t seem to figure it our for themselves.

brisbane-share-path-sign

………

German pro Tony Martin tied a record by winning his fourth world time-trial championship in Qatar. Twenty-two-year old Irishman Ryan Mullen finished fifth in his first worlds by preparing for the heat on a turbo-trainer in a sauna.

The 2019 road cycling world championships will be held in the Yorkshire region of by then non-European Britain.

The Giro is finalizing routes for what should be an epic 100th edition.

………

Local

Actress Lea Michele is one of us, keeping a bike on the set to ride around the Paramount lot during breaks in the filming of Scream Queens.

Richard Risemberg cites the unreasonable lack of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd as a key reason to support Jesse Creed in his bid to unseat anti-bike lane incumbent Paul Koretz.

Is this the bike rider who was injured in WeHo Tuesday? Seventeen-year old actress Joey King writes on Instagram that her older sister was injured in a collision with semi-truck while riding to work that morning, but thankfully is on the road to recovery.

A Pasadena city council committee voted unanimously to approve funding for the Union Street cycle track, while asking if the long timeline for construction could be speeded up.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune asks if the 17-mile Emerald Necklace bike trail connecting the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers can ever be built, as plans move slowly forward.

BikeSGV invites everyone to their Spooky Train night ride through some of San Gabriel Valley’s historic districts this Saturday.

A SaMo documentary maker credits a chance meeting with actor Eddie Albert while on a bike ride for his decision to become a filmmaker.

 

State

San Diego’s Bikes for Boobs rolls this weekend to raise funds to help fight breast cancer before it starts.

San Francisco’s DIY bike advocacy group continues to install their own bike lane bollards under the cover of darkness.

 

National

Apparently, sidewalks, parks and bike lanes are the keys to happiness in big cities. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the link.

An Arizona man builds his own DIY sidecar for his dog. Which is exactly what I need to take the Corgi to CicLAvia this Sunday.

People for Bikes is seeking a marketing coordinator to work in their Boulder CO office.

An Oklahoma man who fixes up bikes to donate to kids every Christmas needs fixing himself after he was rear-ended while riding his own bike.

After a New York truck driver injured a bike rider, the NYPD naturally responded by ticketing cyclists; the driver wasn’t ticketed, even though the truck appeared to be too large to legally use on the streets of the city.

 

International

A Canadian writer says it’s depressing to come home from bike-friendly Seville to a poorly thought-out bike lane non-network.

The Alberta, Canada health department has wisely taken down a webpage urging parents not to let their kids ride bicycles, even when they ride with them in a bike lane.

A Toronto report says the city’s cycling strategies must focus on women, who make up less than 30% of current riders. Meanwhile, a female bike shop employee says sexism is part of Toronto’s bike scene, saying bike shop workers didn’t take her seriously, and customers often don’t either. Like pretty much everywhere else, unfortunately.

A writer for the Guardian says London’s new mayor must avoid the mistakes made by former mayor Boris Johnson in building bikeways, and try harder to build a consensus to accommodate pedestrians and other road users, as well.

British TV personality Jeremy Vine records a driver cutting around another car at an intersection, then zooming around the corner directly in front of him. Yet people still justify the driver’s actions and accuse Vine of overreacting.

An Irish writer says cyclists have to be mindful of others, like all road users. Then cites the example of a reckless bike rider who only put himself at risk

Be grateful you live in semi-bike friendly LA, or wherever you may be, as a Critical Mass rider in Minsk is sentenced to two years behind bars on seemingly trumped-up charges.

Once again, Indian authorities humiliate a medal-winning paracyclist by forcing him to remove his leg before being allowed to board a flight.

Bicycles take over Tel Aviv as people leave their cars at home in observance of the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

An Aussie writer celebrates National Ride2Work Day by insisting bicycles don’t belong on the roads, and should be registered if they are, while deflecting legitimate criticism by dismissing it in advance.

 

Finally…

A badly injured bike rider gets the blame for a wreck — with a rabbit. This GoPro-equipped helmet looks oddly familiar.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a collision, maybe you shouldn’t leave your license plate imprinted on the other car.

 

Morning Links: USDOT announces national Vision Zero, London bike lane hate, and bike lanes & gentrification

Still working on fixing the problem with email notifications for subscribers to this site. My sincere apologies to everyone who may be inconvenienced.

………

Now we’re getting somewhere.

The US Department of Transportation has announced their own Vision Zero plan to end traffic fatalities on the nation’s roads.

Although unlike most similar plans — including LA’s — with ambitious, if unrealistic deadlines, the USDOT proposes to eliminate deaths on our streets within 30 years. By which time enough changes may have occurred in our transportation system to make it possible, if not probable.

Even in the face of the apparent massive 10% jump in traffic deaths in the first six months of this year.

As usual, however, the feds are approaching it cautiously, budgeting just $1 million per year for the next three years to fund grant programs to explore the idea.

And even that could go out the window next year, depending on who wins the election.

Thanks to Michael of Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

………

London’s Daily Mail goes off on an anti-bike tangent, calling the construction of bike lanes in the UK — including the city’s popular cycle superhighways — lunacy, while pointing out that they may be busy at peak hours, but are often empty at other times.

Sort of like roads, in other words.

Which are flooded with cars at rush hour, but encourage speeding and aggressive driving with their overbuilt capacity most of the day, and especially at night.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker takes exception, calling the Daily Mail story the latest example of the internet’s propensity for example-free, anecdote-driven, fringe activist memes migrating into the mainstream media.

And noting that London’s bike lanes, which take up just 3% of the city’s streets, have contributed to a 60% increase in bicycling rates, with bikes making up a whopping 70% of rush hour traffic on one busy street.

So if something is bringing London’s traffic to a halt, as the Daily Mail claims, maybe it’s just all those cars.

………

Speaking of the Guardian, which seems to be today’s voice of reason, they offer a good examination of whether bike lanes cause gentrification.

………

Local

The LA Times warns that Los Angeles County voters defeated a transportation tax measure in 2012, and they could do it again with Measure M, which needs a two-thirds vote to pass.

KPCC’s Take Two takes a look at what to wear when you’re riding a bike and spandex just won’t do, including LA’s own swrve.

Joe Linton previews this weekend’s New Urbanism Film Festival.

An overly modest CiclaValley offers some great bicycling photos.

West Hollywood has experienced a jump in bike thefts over the past few months; the sheriff’s department is still looking for the owners of five bikes recovered from an abandoned property last month.

Bike the Vote LA urges a no vote on Santa Monica’s anti-growth measure LV.

 

State

Huntington Beach police are looking for a bike thief caught on camera lurking under the pier before riding off with a locked bike. What’s shocking about this story isn’t the theft, it’s that Patch is somehow still in business.

San Diego is about to fail its first test for the city’s Climate Action Plan, as the first neighborhoods to prepare plans that fail to meet minimal standards for shifting commuters to biking, walking and transit.

Palo Alto police conclude that a 73-year old bike rider who was killed in an August collision blew through a stop sign before he was hit by a car. As usual, however, there’s no word on whether there were any witnesses other than the driver who killed him.

A Hayward bike rider was found dead next to a freeway onramp, at least five hours after he was the victim of a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling Magazine anoints Charleston, SC as the nation’s worst city for bicycling, a sharp fall from grace after making the top 30 in 2010; they also rank this year’s bicycling hall of shame.

Alternet ranks the 20 things most likely to kill you; as usual, the only advice on how to stay safe on a bicycle is to wear your helmet. Never mind that avoiding collisions through better infrastructure and learning to ride safely is far more likely to protect you than any helmet. Or that you’re over ten times more likely to die in a car.

Vogue likes the looks of a new collapsible bike helmet that just launched on Kickstarter.

Oregon farmers are fighting plans for a rail-to-trail conversion of an abandoned railway, fearing the presence of bikers and walkers could result in higher crime and complicate pesticide spaying. Which sounds like a great reason to switch to more sustainable farming methods.

Seattle looks into the dangers streetcar tracks pose to cyclists in the downtown area.

Horrifying story from Texas, as a 10-year old special needs boy was set on fire by another child while he was out for a bike ride; he’s currently on life support with first and second degree burns, as well as a lung infection.

An Illinois mayoral candidate says he never wanted to get rid of the requirement for bike lights, even though he proposed an ordinance to do exactly that.

Not surprisingly, the mother of a Chicago woman killed by a flatbed truck while riding her bike last week has filed a lawsuit; the only surprise is that it’s for just $100,000. Thanks to David Wolfberg for the link.

A Boston bike commuter tells motorists I don’t want to die, and you don’t want to kill me.

 

International

Clearly, hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, as drivers fled in 13% of Ottawa, Canada collisions.

A new survey shows the overwhelming majority of Toronto residents approve of bike lanes. Although a Toronto website says local bike shops need an attitude adjustment so getting a bike serviced isn’t an unpleasant ordeal for women.

Adweek picks up on the controversy over a British ad campaign that puts the onus for avoiding collisions on the people on two wheels, rather than the ones operating the big dangerous machines. Meanwhile, 87% of people on the street in a very non-scientific London survey say cyclists should have to pass a test before being allowed on the roads. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

A British researcher is riding across the UK to find out why Brits voted to leave the European Union.

An English writer says every driver should have to spend an hour on a bicycle to qualify for a driver’s license.

Local governments are derailing Scotland’s plans to become more bike friendly and increase bicycling rates.

An Irish writer insists that bike riders need to pay their share for the roads if they want to be taken seriously. Except they already do, of course. And should be anyway, just like anyone else.

Google is employing a virtually army of bike riding women to help get women in rural Indian villages online for the first time. Thanks again to Megan Lynch.

A South African business site says developing a culture of bicycling would counteract congestion in Cape Town, as the city begins work on developing a cycling strategy.

An Aussie lawyer bizarrely argues that a drugged-out hit-and-run driver should be spared jail because it would cause irreparable harm to her 15-month old son. Never mind the irreparable harm she caused the bike-riding mother of three she killed, along with her family.

Singapore has ticketed over 700 bicyclists, ebike riders and personal mobility device operators for reckless behavior since May.

 

Finally…

Chances are, bike riding isn’t doing permanent damage to your lady parts, assuming you have them. And Poland unveils a new bike lane apparently made of luminescent Smurfs.

 

Morning Links: Disappointment on 6th Street road diet, and new bikeways drop under new LADOT leadership

Hopefully, we’ve got the problem fixed, and subscribers received an email notification of this post. If not, we’ll take another shot at it tomorrow.

………

This is why Vision Zero will fail in Los Angeles.

It’s no secret that LA’s 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea is one of the most dangerous streets in Los Angeles.

And not just for bike riders, but for pedestrians, drivers and even residents of the street, given the number of drivers who lose control and smash into the buildings alongside it.

In fact, according to the Beverly Press, collision data shows it’s three times as dangerous as the average street in Los Angeles.

Yet even though there’s a shovel-ready plan to fix it, it’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

LADOT has proposed a road diet for the one-mile stretch of street, reducing it to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane, and much-needed bike lanes on either side. It’s a plan that’s won significant community support, including the backing of the Mid City West Community Council that represents the area.

And it’s a proven solution. According to the Federal Highway Administration, road diets have been shown to reduce collisions as much as 47%, while retuning road space back to the community.

The resulting benefits include a crash reduction of 19 to 47 percent, reduced vehicle speed differential, improved mobility and access by all road users, and integration of the roadway into surrounding uses that results in an enhanced quality of life. A key feature of a Road Diet is that it allows reclaimed space to be allocated for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping.

Although at every community meeting where the results of any study are mentioned, someone will inevitably ask if it was conducted in Los Angeles. As if there is something magically different about this city that makes water run uphill and two plus two equal five.

But this time, the answer is yes.

Because the latest research shows that the needlessly contentious Rowena road diet accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do.

Since the road diet was installed more than three years ago, LADOT has been collecting data on traffic patterns. An analysis of that data makes it clear that the project has worked as intended: Average speeds dropped from 39 mph to 35 mph, and safety has significantly increased on Rowena, with no effect on overall traffic volume.

Let’s repeat that.

Despite the claims of local residents that cut through drivers have run roughshod over their neighborhoods, Rowena post-road diet carries the same number of vehicles as it did before. But far more safely.

But that’s where the good news ends.

Because the Beverly Press reports CD4 Councilmember David Ryu, who represents the area, questions the benefits of the road diet, preferring incremental changes to improve safety.

Like bollards, for instance.

And he’s concerned about how a road diet would affect other local development projects, such as a joint Metro/Los Angeles project to encourage transit ridership, new jobs and development along the transit corridor formed by the planned La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega subway stations, which won’t open until 2023.

So instead of trusting the people the city pays to design safer streets, he prefers to overrule their judgement, and that of the local community, and drag his feet for months, if not years to come.

So a lot of people could be needlessly injured or killed on the street in the next seven years.

And that’s the problem.

Just as we’ve seen with Westwood Blvd, Central Ave, Lankershim and North Figueroa, a single LA councilmember has the power to stop much needed safety projects, sometimes based on nothing more than their own personal whims.

Which means that safety can improve dramatically in one council district, and grind to a halt in the next.

Vision Zero will be impossible to achieve if individual councilmembers are allowed to carve their districts out, and keep the streets dangerous at the behest of constituents fearful of any change to what they consider their streets.

Even if it’s change for the better.

And even though the streets belong to all of us.

We had high hopes for Ryu, who professed to support Vision Zero, as well as encouraging bicycling and walking when he ran for office.

But based on this decision, as well as his votes in support of removing Westwood and Central from the Mobility Plan, we may be disappointed.

………

If you thought bikeway construction had slowed down dramatically under Seleta Reynold’s stewardship at LADOT, you’re right.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton took at deep dive into the department’s recently released annual report, and found that the city installed only 17.1 miles of bikeways in the 2015-2016 fiscal year. And that’s using the new lane mile metric, which counts each direction of travel separately.

So that 17 miles of bikeways represents just 6.5 miles of roads and pathways.

That compares to 38 lane miles in Mayor Garcetti’s first year in office, when Reynolds was appointed several months into the year.

And 120 lane miles in Mayor Villaraigosa’s final year in office, far exceeding his commitment to build 40 miles of bike lanes — 80 lane miles — a year.

As Linton points out, LADOT has a number of projects in the works for the coming year.

If all goes according to plans, FY2016-17 looks like it should be better. LADOT is poised to implement plenty of quality bikeway mileage during the current fiscal year, with protected bike lanes anticipated on Figueroa Street (MyFig), Venice Boulevard, Spring Street, Main Street, Van Nuys Boulevard and (newly announced in the report) Highland Avenue.

But he adds,

LADOT has recent accomplishments to be proud of, but, given Reynolds, a committed walk and bike champion at the helm, it is falling short of expectations. Cyclists, communities and advocacy groups will need to continue to press LADOT and L.A. electeds to ensure that progress continues.

Let alone if we ever hope to see even a fraction of the hard-fought gains reflected in the 2010 Bike Plan, now part of the Mobility Plan 2035, on our streets.

Minus Westwood Blvd and Central Ave, of course.

………

Today’s common theme is ebikes.

An Escondido father tours Catalina Island on an ebike with his young daughter.

A British Columbia man takes a 1,553 mile ebike ride to next month’s Desert Trip classic rock festival in Indio.

Financial Review calls a new e-cargo bike the equivalent of a muscle car.

And if you like your ebikes to look like 1920’s motorcycles, this one’s for you. Then again, as Cyclelicious points out, America has a long history of making pseudo-motorcycle bicycles.

………

The head of the Tour de France says cycling is shedding its image as the black sheep of the sports world as it cleans up its act, while other sports are rocked with doping scandals.

Although Deadspin says trusting anyone in cycling is a loser’s game.

………

Local

The LA Times endorses Measure M to provide alternatives to LA’s soul-crushing traffic. However, a representative of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association urges a no vote, saying the plan isn’t perfect yet — in part because it doesn’t include a plan for parking. Which kind of misses the point of getting people out of their cars.

UCLA has established the area’s first online bike traffic school, allowing students to improve their knowledge of bicycle traffic regulations instead of having to pay a traffic ticket. Meanwhile, thirty years ago you could have ridden a pedicab through Westwood Village.

CiclaValley offers a video breakdown of the popular Nichols Ride.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot points out that the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills set a new record for injury collisions involving bicyclists or pedestrians in August, with six and ten respectively — over four times the average number of bicycling injuries for the previous seven months.

Cycling in the South Bay goes back to third grade dealing with anti-bike Palos Verdes NIMBYs at a pair of city safety meetings, while including his notes of the various NIMBY uninformed comments.

 

State

Governor Brown signed a bill requiring ignition interlock devices for anyone convicted of drunk driving, to keep them from operating their cars while under the influence. Not as good as impounding their vehicles until they get their licenses back, but it’s a start.

A bike path becomes a contentious issue in the Encinitas council election. Yes, a bike path.

Palm Springs uses bait bikes to bust two bike thieves.

A crowdfunding account has been established for the 88-year old grandfather who was killed riding his bike in Goleta last week.

A Monterey bicyclist jumps head-first into the great helmet debate, saying even hard-headed people should wear helmets while biking. Meanwhile, your next helmet could be made from a honeycomb of hollow neon green tubes.

 

National

A stoned Oregon driver gets six years and three months for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider while he was high on marijuana, which is legal in the state. However, driving under the influence isn’t.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would try to sell a Chicago ghost bike on Facebook.

Kindhearted North Chicago police buy a new bicycle for a seven-year old boy after his was destroyed in a collision.

A Minnesota writer reviews a new book that says Bike Lanes Are White Lanes, as bike advocacy too often leaves communities of color behind.

New York passes three laws guaranteeing bicycle access to commercial and residential buildings.

It takes a special kind of road raging jackass to pull a gun on anyone, let alone former pro and Lance lieutenant George Hincapie and his eight-year old son as they rode near their South Carolina home.

 

International

Momentum Magazine looks at three grassroots bicycle organizations shaking things up in cities around the world, including our own East Side Riders Bike Club.

Canada is creating a national task force to reduce injuries and fatalities to cyclists and pedestrians. That sound you hear is the silence of the US doing nothing.

Bicyclists in Edmonton, Canada already treat stop signs as yields, even without an Idaho Stop Law. As opposed to LA, where too many riders simply ignore them.

It’s official. The Right Bank of the Seine River through the heart of Paris will be taken back from cars and returned to the people.

Southern Germany features over 120 bike routes with 5,000 miles of dedicated pathways.

A Formula 1 driver wiped out while rounding a corner at nearly 30 mph on his bicycle when he ran over a Thai chicken.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bomb, it’s an inflatable bike helmet. The perfect bike for when you want to ride in a semi-Superman position, cape optional.

And your next bike tour could be led by a pair of porn stars.

 

%d bloggers like this: