Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Morning Links: New dismount gates on Expo Line bike path, and OC DUI driver hits cyclist hours after getting new car

Still no luck getting email notifications for new posts working again. But we’re working on it. Please keep coming back every day until we get it fixed.

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The Source reports that Santa Monica has installed a set of six staggered gates on the Expo Line bike path in order to slow bicyclists down before intersections.

Or maybe make them dismount entirely.

According to the press release, the locked gates are required by the California Public Utilities Commission to prevent conflicts with pedestrians at intersections at 19th, 20th and Stewart Streets.

However, while the stated purpose is to get riders to slow down, the signs on the gates clearly say “Cyclists Dismount” for no apparent reason.

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Photo from City of Santa Monica

Gates might make sense there if the purpose was to keep drivers from inadvertently turning onto the bike path, or if they were somehow intended to keep riders from straying onto the railroad tracks when trains were coming.

Instead, they almost seem designed to defeat the purpose of the path by discouraging bike riders from using it. Especially if the absurd dismount requirement is actually enforced, rather than allowing riders to slowly weave around the barriers.

There is no requirement under state law that bicyclists must walk across intersections, anymore than drivers are required to get out of their cars and push them to the other side.

So it would be interesting to know just what the justification is for telling cyclists to dismount.

And whether that comes from the CPUC, Santa Monica, or somewhere else.

Thanks to John Hanson for the heads up.

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A bike rider suffered a possible broken leg when he was struck by a driver who took off without stopping in Costa Mesa Tuesday night.

The Orange County Register reports that, based on the rider’s description, police stopped a gray Mercedes with damage consistent with the collision. After failing a roadside sobriety check, the 22-year old driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run, both felonies.

It didn’t take long for Instagram users to put two and two together, and realize it was the same woman shown posing with pride next to a brand new Mercedes Benz, which has apparently been purchased just hours before the crash.

It also didn’t take long for the photo to be deleted after the negative comments started pouring in.

However, as we all know, once something appears online, it’s usually there forever.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-11-21-06-pm

Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling, Brent Bigler, and David Huntsman for the tips.

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Gabourey Sidibe is one of us, as she rides an adult tricycle between sets on Empire.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, as he rides his kids to their New York school on a Dutch bike, complete with a wine crate for a basket. Maybe he’s been taking notes from LA Bike Dad. Or maybe Brooks saddles.

J.K. Simmons is one of us as well, as he tells Jimmy Kimmel about bicycling home from his LA gym in 100 degree weather. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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Local

The LA city council approves a $3 million settlement for a bike-riding rabbi who suffered permanent brain injuries when he was struck by a car on Victory Blvd, just east of the 405 Freeway. The suit alleged that the posted bike route signs implied the dilapidated street was safe to ride, something most people who know the street would likely disagree with. Maybe it would be better if LA spent its money building the bikeways called for in the 2010 bike plan, instead of paying damages to injured bicyclists forced to ride on dangerous streets.

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman pens a challenging essay asking readers to look beyond their own privilege and consider not just bikes, but the people on them.

Two men have been arrested in an Echo Park shooting believed to be gang related; at least one of the victims was on a bike.

 

State

A NorCal cyclist received minor injuries when he was hit head-on by the driver of a left-turning pickup; a CHP officer somehow sees that as a reason to remind people about the state’s three-foot passing law, which had nothing to do with it.

A writer recommends a serene 12-mile climb through spectacular scenery on your next bike vacation to Lake Tahoe.

 

National

PRI’s The World reports on the Dutch Reach — opening your car door with your right hand, instead of your left — which makes you look back for bike riders before you open the door.

The opening of a new Colorado bike path means cyclists can now ride a continuous 150 mile pathway along I-70 through the Rockies from Glenwood Springs to Denver.

The Chicago Tribune says the city’s evolution as a leading bike-friendly city is next to meaningless if it doesn’t become a bike-safe city, as well.

A Minnesota paper suggests banning cell phones from driving compartments of motor vehicles, and clarifying the definition of gross negligence after a judge acquits an accused distracted driver in the death of a cyclist.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. Just a month after a South Carolina man was arrested for killing a cyclist and fleeing the scene while under the influence, he was arrested once again for DUI. As soon as drivers are charged with drunk or stoned behind the wheel, their licenses should be suspended and their keys taken away pending trial; the right of others to be safe on the road outweighs their privilege to drive.

A New Orleans bike rider was doing everything right, yet still was the victim of a hit-and-run while riding in a bike lane.

 

International

Nice piece from the Guardian, as they look around the world to ask why people on bicycles are considered interlopers on the streets, and whether drivers will ever learn to share them with bicyclists.

An Edmonton, Canada paper recommends giving physically separated bike lanes a try, despite the city’s failed attempts at bike infrastructure; Calgary cyclists tell them they’ve been a tremendous success there.

A new European safety campaign uses Formula 1 drivers to tell kids to “Stay Bright” on their way to and from school.

A road raging British driver has been charged with chasing a bike rider and running him down, following an argument when she was reportedly driving distracted.

The mother of a fallen British bike rider is relieved that the truck driver who killed her daughter in a left hook was spared prison time, saying there are no winners when something like this happens.

A Paralympic champion had her specially adapted bike stolen just hours after she returned home to Great Britain.

Horrible story from the UK, as a road raging bicyclist is charged with manslaughter in the death of a retired man who was pushing his wife in a wheelchair; the victim somehow hit his head on the pavement as a result of the dispute. Once again, never resort to violence, no matter how justified you may feel at the time. This rider should face the same consequences we’d expect of a motorist under similar circumstances.

A DC website looks at how Barcelona gets bicycling right.

 

Finally…

Now you and your dog can both get a workout without ever leaving home. And there are no minor traffic collisions when you’re an assistant Ohio State football coach.

On the other hand, there are no major consequences, either.

 

Morning Links: Griffith Park bike lane blocked, misguided Brit bike safety ad, and real Lance talks with fake Lance

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now that the tech supports are back from their annual conference, maybe we can get it working again.

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CiclaValley shares video of a Griffith Park bike lane obliterated by a load of dirt.

Which basically makes it impossible to ride there, forcing riders out into unforgiving, often high speed traffic.

But no big deal, it’s only a bike lane. Right?

I wonder what the reaction would be if someone dumped a pile of dirt into the right traffic lane, making it impossible to use.

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A new British road safety ad offers a number of things your shouldn’t get caught between, including a truck and a left turn — or right turn, in this country.

Even if the truck is overtaking the cyclist and illegally left-hooking him, apparently.

Needless to say, the online community was not pleased with the apparent victim blaming.

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Somehow I missed this earlier this month, as Lance Armstrong talks with actor Ben Foster, who played Lance in the film The Program about the doping scandal.

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Local

Metro officially approves $4.14 million for 17 open streets events in LA County over the next two years.

The Grove and Americana at Brand developer Rick Caruso promises new crosswalks and bike lanes at his latest project at San Vicente and La Cienega — if it gets built. Let’s hope he plans to install much needed bike lanes on La Cienega, and fixes that dangerous and confusing three-way intersection at La Cienega, San Vicente and Burton Way that’s almost impossible to ride through safely.

LA’s own Pure Cycles offers some great tips on how to bike to campus. Although maybe their next photo shoot could use a little more diversity.

Bike SGV is the latest advocacy group to endorse Measure M to improve transportation option in LA County, including dedicated funding for active transportation.

Evidently, Caltrans efforts to transform itself into a modern Complete Streets transportation agency hasn’t filtered down to the local level yet.

 

State

Cathedral City moves forward with its section of the 50-mile CV Link, even as other cities are fighting the planned bikeway around the Coachella Valley.

Sad news from Santa Barbara, as an 88-year old man was killed when a driver took his eyes off the road, and drifted into the bike lane where he was riding. Cars are big, dangerous machines; there’s never any excuse for not paying attention behind the wheel. And as this tragedy shows, the consequences for even a moment’s inattention can be deadly.

San Francisco has a plan to reclaim streets from automobiles.

It’s Car-Free Month in Davis, as the city and UC Davis partner to offer events, prizes and giveaways designed to encourage residents and students to bike, walk, or use transit or car-share. Although the latter wouldn’t seem to do much to reduce the number of cars on the road.

 

National

Bike Index helps return more stolen bicycles to their owners, as an off-duty Portland cop helps nab a prolific high-end bike thief. You can register your bike or report a stolen bike for free with Bike Index through this site. And yes, LAPD officers now use it to find the owners of bikes they recover.

Around 90 Portland cyclists rode against hate on Sunday, in response to an ugly incident in which a cyclist pepper-sprayed a family with young kids while yelling racial slurs.

Las Vegas is opening a bikeshare system in the downtown area this Friday.

A Boston man rode a bikeshare bike through a highway tunnel, to the shock of motorists and the chagrin of the city’s bikeshare system.

ABC News producer Michael Koenigs continues his journey by bicycle to cover the American election cycle, riding to Monday’s debate at Hofstra University after traveling to both parties conventions.

Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins pitcher tragically killed in a boating wreck over the weekend, once rode his bicycle 600 miles a week to get back into shape during the offseason.

 

International

Good essay from City Metric, saying it’s time to rethink how the world’s great cities manage traffic, as urban residents are forced to bear the burden for today’s flawed policies.

The Guardian offers images of World Car-Free Day from cities around the world. Needless to say, here in LA, it was just another day of car-filled streets and freeways.

A Swedish Vision Zero expert says if Toronto wants to get serious about protecting cyclists and pedestrians, it needs to lower speed limits and think about road safety in a completely new way. The same goes for LA; we’ll never achieve Vision Zero without reducing speed limits. Let alone the near freeway speeds on some streets.

Life is cheap on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a driver was fined a whopping $100 for an unsafe turn that left a bike rider paralyzed from the waist down.

The UK’s Cyclist Magazine writes in praise of the cycling jersey.

The Guardian says wearing a bike helmet may reduce the very small risk of injury even further, but that’s no reason to make them mandatory. Meanwhile, a writer for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph says it’s time to scrap Australia’s mandatory helmet law so bicycling will become safer as more people get on bikes.

A New Zealand man has possibly become the first person to bike every road in Singapore, traveling roughly 6,800 miles on his Brompton.

China’s Uber-equivalent bets big on bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Who needs a golf cart when you’ve got a trike? If you’re ever tempted to punch a 14-year old boy after your bicycles collide, just don’t.

And it’s finally easier to drink, uh, eat a cup of coffee while you ride.

 

Morning Links: Study shows bike helmets work, every lane is a car lane, and possible knifepoint bike jacking

The good news is, we’ve figured out what caused the problem with email notifications for new posts. Now the problem is figuring out how to fix it. Hopefully we’ll have it working again soon.

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Yet another shot has been fired in the contentious helmet wars.

An Australian meta-analysis study finds that bike helmets reduce the risk of suffering a head injury by 50%, a serious head injury 69%, and the risk of a fatal head injury by 65%, without increasing the risk of neck injuries.

However, it seems like quite a stretch to suggest that other studies, which have not found helmets as effective, or that suggest they could cause neck or diffuse axonal brain injuries, are “crazy” junk science.

Or that there is some undefined “silent majority” that wants helmet laws, and only a “small and vocal minority group” oppose them.

And lets not forget that, effective or not, bike helmets should be considered a last resort when all else fails. It’s far better to avoid crashes than to count on your helmet to save you.

Meanwhile, Bike Radar looks at how to identify a concussion and what to do about it.

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CiclaValley posts a bike cam video proving, contrary to Metro’s message, that every lane is a car lane.

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I’ve received an unconfirmed report that a mountain biker had his bike stolen at knifepoint on the popular Fullerton Loop in the City of Fullerton on Monday evening, on the bridge where the train tracks and the trail cross under Harbor Boulevard.

Whether or not that turns out to be accurate, it’s a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings, and to take extra caution when riding through dark areas or when out of public view.

Thanks to Lois for the heads-up.

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Marvin Davis sends word of the upcoming 2016 Revolution Bike Fest at Orange County’s Irvine Lake November 4th through 6th.

The event is being held at Irvine Lake in the OC. There are several excellent rail accessible bicycle routes that lead to the bike fest. The Serrano Creek trail provides a dirt path through Lake Forest to MTB trails in Whiting Ranch, the Aliso trail provides both paved and dirt trails and there is also a mostly dirt route from San Juan Capistrano. The AMTRAK/MetroLink stations in both Irvine and San Juan Capistrano and also the MetroLink station in Laguna Niguel provide pretty good access to these routes. AMTRAK Pacific Surfliner requires advance reservation (impossible to get on weekends) for bicycles and allows only 6 bikes per train. No reservation required for MetroLink and no specified limit to number of bikes. Or for the more vigorous, just roll from home.

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Local

LADOT released their 2015-16 annual report, including discussions of bikeshare and Vision Zero; the report cites 1,190 miles of bikeways on the city’s 7,500 miles of streets. However, that includes nearly 300 miles of sharrows and bike routes that are of little benefit. And those totals reflect lane miles, which count each direction separately, rather than both directions on a single street as one mile.

LA councilmembers blame distracted drivers — and pedestrians — for traffic fatalities in a debate over whether to accept a half-million dollar grant to promote Vision Zero. CD1 CM Gil Cedillo points the finger at pedestrians wearing headphones and texting in crosswalks, even though those weren’t factors in any of the recent deaths in his district.

A nutritionist writing for the Daily News recommends commuting by bicycling, walking or taking transit, or at least getting out to ride or walk if you have to drive to work.

Kurt Russell used to be one of us; he tells GQ he went into acting as a child star so he could buy bicycles for his sister and himself.

 

State

Sad news from Forestville, as a cyclist was killed after he allegedly clipped a tractor-trailer while splitting lanes and weaving through traffic. He was the second bike rider killed in the Bay Area in 14 hours; another man was killed while riding in Fairfield Tuesday night.

The Department of DIY strikes again in San Francisco, as a group called SFMTrA is marking their own protected bike lanes with orange cones.

A writer for the Sacramento Bee calls a route out of Foresthill one of the best cycling rides in the country, and the best you’ve never done.

 

National

The long legal battle over New York’s Prospect Park West bike lanes is finally over, as wealthy opponents finally drop their legal battle after five needlessly long years.

Both people were seriously injured when New Jersey bicyclist crashed into a 16-year old boy as he was crossing the road. One more reminder to always ride carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as motorists accuse cyclists of being.

A Pittsburg area cyclist is back on his bike, despite being prohibited from riding as he awaits trial on eight criminal charges for riding in the middle of the traffic lane and harassing drivers who try to pass.

Moving piece from a woman in North Carolina, who finished the bike tour her partner had registered for before passing away unexpectedly, and credits training for the ride with saving her life.

A 28-year old Florida woman broke the 78-year old women’s mile record in just four months, averaging over 200 miles a day; a former U-23 racer, she got back on her bike after overcoming both a hole in her heart and a collision that left her with a broken back and a brain injury.

 

International

London cyclists get the blame for putting deer at risk by discarding their empty gel packs while racing in the city’s Richmond Park.

A British bike advocate calls for stronger laws against scofflaw cyclists after she was knocked out in a collision with a sidewalk rider. Seriously, pedestrians should always be given the right-of way on any sidewalk, where it may or may not be legal to ride. And you’re usually safer on the street, anyway.

Sweden slashes taxes on repairs of bicycles and other products in an attempt to encourage re-use and bring an end to today’s throw-away society.

A writer for an Aussie paper gets it, saying driving is a privilege and not a right, and that many older drivers are a danger to themselves and others, and shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

 

Finally…

When you’re carrying heroin in your wallet and have outstanding warrants for drug possession, don’t ride salmon. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about pythons on the side of the road.

And don’t be like this Austin TX councilmember’s alter ego and use bike lanes to get to work.

No, really.

Richard Mason notes that the councilman is a member of the local Tea Party, and once lectured a group of Hispanic Boy Scouts visiting the council about getting jobs and not relying on government handouts.

 

Weekend Links: A call for bold action on bikeways, and driver high-fives passenger after dooring bike rider

My apologies.

We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

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Nothing like reading an article, and finding one of your own comments cited to support the observations of one of your favorite writers.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker writes that it will take more than bike lanes to make bicycling safe, noting that while cities are “working hard to stripe streets with green lanes and helmeted stick-figure icons,” few have managed to build a continuous, protected and highly visible network of bike lanes.

She observes that US cities need to start with a grand gesture like the plan in Paris to turn a prominent riverfront highway into a grand boulevard for biking and walking, showing that biking is a “vital, valued part of Parisian street life.”

The best way to make biking safer is not to hide our bikes on a “quiet” side street, but to put them on display in the busiest part of the city—a vibrant, active, healthy city.

That’s something LA has yet to do, even though a complete network of bike lanes is called for on many of the city’s major boulevards under the new Mobility Plan.

Instead, we’ve moved the other way, removing major streets from the plan and shunting riders off onto those quieter side streets, where they won’t be seen or heard.

Or probably even ride, since that’s not where they want to go.

Which was what my comment was about.

For all the talk about LA moving past its auto-centric past into a more complete, multi-modal future, it remains just that.

Talk.

Let’s hope that the release of LA’s Vision Zero plan, which is due sometime this month, spurs some real commitment, let alone bold action, on the part of the city.

Because actions speak louder than words.

And right now, when it comes to bicycling, Los Angeles has its hands over its mouth, and fingers planted firmly in its ears.

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Caught on Video: A Chicago driver high-fives one of her passengers after dooring a bike rider, while the cop who responds threatens the victim with a ticket for not riding in the non-existent bike lane.

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Pro cyclist Tom Zirbel set a new American hour record in his final act before retiring, while finishing just short of Bradley Wiggins’ world mark.

A European sports site questions whether Alberto Contador can win another Grand Tour as he jumps to the Trek-Segafredo team; two-time Giro winner Ivan Basso follows him as part of the support staff.

A look at Day One of Mammoth Mountain’s Kamikaze Bike Games.

Cycling Industry News talks with mountain bike legend and bikemaker Gary Fisher.

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Local

Plans for a new and improved LAX include a network of bike lanes to provide safe access to the airport, which currently is extremely unwelcoming for cyclists.

Streetsblog looks at the new report calling for mobility sharing to help remove 100,000 vehicles from LA’s streets in just five years.

CiclaValley goes on a bike date with fellow bicycling parent LA Bike Dad.

The Border Grill’s Mary Sue Milliken writes about riding 300 miles in three days with 100 other chefs to help ensure no kid goes hungry.

Santa Monica Next asks six candidates for SaMo city council about the last time they walked or rode a bicycle.

A Pasadena councilmember asks LA Mayor Garcetti to help kill the much-hated 710 Freeway extension, saying the money would be better spent on a north-south boulevard, more bike lanes and widening other nearby north-south streets.

Bike SGV hosts a women-only bike ride to the Alhambra Farmer’s Market today.

Cycling in the South Bay discovers that most Palos Verdes Estates residents don’t actually hate cyclists, despite the impression given on unsocial media.

 

State

Construction begins on a four-year project to add bike lanes to the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

An Oakland driver took bike jacking to the extreme, running down a bike rider with his car, then driving off with his bicycle.

An Op-Ed in the UC Berkeley paper says the city must unite to support bike-friendly street designs.

A passing CHP bike cop helped save the life of a 30-year old Sacramento woman when she collapsed with a heart attack while playing kickball.

 

National

Bicycling explains how a pedal strike can, in fact, start a wildfire. Which is not that different from starting one with a careless swing of a titanium golf club.

An electric vehicle website finds what they consider the perfect bike rack for your new Tesla. Other than obscuring the license plate, which is illegal in most, if not all, states.

Las Vegas Magazine says there’s no shortage of great riding around the gambling mecca.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A state senator from Queens NY says the city should keep cyclists safe by installing traffic signals instead of bike lanes. Never mind that, despite his assertions, bike lanes have been studied and reviewed by the city, and proven to improve safety.

New York cyclists turn out in force to demand safer streets and increase police reforms under Vision Zero.

A Maryland bike thief traded up, breaking into a garage to take a Trek hybrid, and leaving a Huffy in its place.

 

International

Britain’s bike-riding countess is planning a 450-mile palace to palace ride.

An English physician says ebikes really are good for you and your wallet.

British police go undercover on bicycles to nab drivers making unsafe passes; motorists are given the choice of prosecution or a 15-minute lesson in how to pass a bicyclist safely. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Penalties are going up for drivers in the UK who use their phones behind the wheel.

A Scottish farmer was fined for camouflaging a pipe running across a roadway after a bike rider was injured when he crashed into it.

The lawyer for a meth-using Aussie driver says it wasn’t really her fault that she killed a cyclist, because she might have been taking a nap at the time.

 

Finally…

You, too, can operate your own pop-up pedal-based bike bar. Are you really a pro cyclist if you have to pay to join the team, let alone actually race?

And why rush your pregnant wife to the hospital in a speeding car when you can go by cargo bike?

 

Morning Links: Feds adopt bike/ped Vision Zero; Emerald Necklace Gateway opens; partial Ballona Creek closure

One quick note.

It’s come to my attention that the email notification informing subscribers about new posts on this site has stopped working for some reason. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll just keep coming back every day until we can get it fixed.

Thanks to Marvin Davis for the heads-up.

………

Big news from DC, as the Federal Highway Administration has adopted Vision Zero.

At least for people on foot or two wheels.

The FHWA’s new strategic plan calls for reducing bicycling and pedestrian deaths by 80% by 2031, and eliminating them entirely in the next 20 to 30 years.

It also calls for a 50% increase in trips under five miles for bicyclists and one mile for pedestrians by 2025.

All by promoting better design standards, better data collection and reducing traffic speeds on urban streets.

……….

Thursday marked the opening of the first phase of the Emerald Necklace Gateway.

The 1.1 mile bike path connects the Metro Duarte/City of Hope Gold Line station with the existing San Gabriel River Bike Trail to form a 28-mile long route linking the upper part of the San Gabriel Valley to Seal Beach.

However, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports the bikeway is only half finished, despite being in the works for more than a decade; the full path is not scheduled to be completed until 2021 at best.

Bike SGV offers photos from yesterday’s opening.

………

Speaking of bikeways, don’t plan on riding the eastern section of the Ballona Creek bike path during the day next week.

………

Today’s common theme is cross-country bike riding.

Hats off to Ivan Schmidt; the 16-year old Long Beach teen rode 1,800 miles from British Columbia to Tijuana, raising $2,500 to fight rheumatoid arthritis.

A 67-year old man rode 2,400 miles from Chicago to San Bernardino, after surviving two open heart surgeries, six bypasses and an aortic valve replacement.

A retired fighter pilot is riding from Maine to Key West to honor fallen and disabled service members and their families.

A Canadian cyclist has raised over $150,000 for cancer research, traveling more than 3,500 miles since beginning a trans-Canada ride in June.

And 41 cyclists set off on a 1,325-mile self-supported ride down the length of Sweden, beginning 200 miles above the Arctic Circle.

……….

VeloNews talks with cycling legend Eddy Merckx about bike design, his favorite riders and the evolving standards of cool in the bike world.

Wired looks at the dramatic evolution in handcycles used by Paralympic athletes, leading to today’s $10,000 carbon fiber bikes.

………

Local

According to the Census Bureau, bike commuting in LA County has finally reached a full 1%. Just imagine what it could be if we had safe places to ride.

CiclaValley can barely control his excitement over two Valley CicLAvias in 2017.

Santa Monica police will conduct another of their bicycle and pedestrian enforcement days today, followed a second one on Monday. Standard rules apply; obey the letter of the law while riding in the city so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Long Beach’s unnamed bikeshare program has seen 3,500 people ride 35,000 miles in its first six months; it will eventually have 500 bikes at 50 stations.

Cycling in the South Bay calls for cyclists to turn out in support of Bikes May Use Full Lane signs at the Palos Verdes Estates city council meeting on Sept. 27th, even though it may require a lot of sitting.

 

State

Pink’s five-year old daughter is one of us.

Work has begun on two bridge widening projects in Carpinteria required to widen Highway 101, which will eventually include two new coastal bike lanes. Isn’t it cute how officials pretend widening highways will actually solve their traffic problems?

Holy one-man crime wave, Batman! A Ventura man is under arrest after stealing two crucifixes from the San Buenaventura Mission, then using them as weapons to attack people, before busting the window of a thrift shop and stealing a bicycle.

Other football programs get in trouble with the NCAA because their players tool around in Escalades and sports cars someone bought for them; at Stanford, it was a $3,500 bicycle.

A San Francisco woman was beaten and robbed by three bike riders when she approached them at an intersection to talk. Seriously, 3:24 am is probably not the best time to engage strangers in conversation, whether or not they’re on bikes.

Pleasanton officials approve safety changes to an intersection where a 72-year old bike rider was killed in June.

Marin drivers break out the torches and pitchforks over fears a proposed road diet will snarl traffic, even though studies show they often improve traffic flow.

A Chico letter writer calls on local cycling clubs to take the lead on cleaning up a bike path and reclaiming it from homeless squatters.

 

National

Bicycling explains how to sneak in a midweek overnight bikepacking trip. And enjoy your new women on bikes emojis.

NPR looks at how tactical urbanism is making a difference with small, incremental DIY changes throughout the US.

Bike rooms are the latest must-have amenity for any well-turned out luxury apartment building or condos.

Portland Police are looking for a spandex-clad road cyclist who yelled racial slurs and pepper sprayed a family of black kids. There is simply no excuse for crap like that. Ever. Period.

A 74-year old resident of a Wyoming senior home made his escape by bicycle after shooting three people before taking his own life.

The Wall Street Journal says it can be a struggle to find a bikeshare bicycle in New York at rush hour, as people are often greeted with empty racks. Probably because they’re being used to practice operatic arias.

It takes a real lowlife to steal a Mobile AL bicycle coffee cart used to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking victims.

The distracted driver accused of killing a Georgia bike rider while high on prescription drugs had two other DUIs in the last three months, and had a severe drug dependency problem for at least four years. And yet she was allowed to keep driving until she actually killed someone.

 

International

What’s the point of building what may be the world’s tallest bicycle if you can’t get the bike chains you need to ride it through the Cuban embargo? At 33 feet, it’s 13 feet taller than the current record holder, LA’s STOOPIDTALLER, which is even taller than the famous STOOPIDTALL.

Bicycles donated through World Vision and World Bicycle Relief can be key to reducing teen pregnancy and keeping girls in school in Kenya.

A Masai elder is one of us, as he leads a group of bicyclists through Tanzania as part of the 7,500 mile Tour d’Afrique.

 

Finally…

Just because no one needs a VCR anymore, don’t stuff it in a briefcase and drop it off in front of a federal courthouse while riding your bike. Mooning rush hour traffic in China.

And if you already have an outstanding felony warrant on a weapons charge, don’t ride your bike with an open booze container.

And whatever you do, don’t tell the other inmates you were subdued by an 81-year old man.

 

Morning Links: Westwood & Central out of LA Mobility Plan, SD bike lanes are no sweat, and more family biking

No surprise here.

The LACBC reports the LA City Council passed amendments removing Westwood Blvd and Central Avenue from the city Mobility Plan adopted earlier this year, as expected.

Photo from LACBC

Photo from LACBC

Rumors have circulated for some time that the removal was assured, as a result of a backroom deal of the sort we’re assured doesn’t happen here.

The only surprise is that two councilmembers voted against it, as opposed to the council’s near-constant unanimous agreements, which would seem to be virtually impossible without some sort of deal making going on behind closed doors.

So now Westwood and South LA cyclists can take comfort in knowing that the dangerous streets they ride are assured of remaining that way, at least as long as their current councilmembers are in office.

And here in Los Angeles, Vision Zero is just two meaningless words.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

The San Diego Reader continues to post responses to their recent misguided Op-Ed calling for sacrificing planned bike lanes to continue the automotive hegemony on their streets.

Including this truly bizarre missive from Robert Burns of Ocean Beach, who should give one of the world’s great poets his name back.

I used to bike everywhere, and was known as “the bicycling barrister.” But, I eventually realized in my bicycling and in my representation of bicycling-accident victims, that it is unreasonably dangerous to bicycle with or without motor vehicles and that the workplace could not afford or appreciate generating profuse sweating.

In a colder climate like Great Britain or San Francisco, bicycling has a greater chance of factoring into the workplace, but definitely not in Southern California. This is a frivolity seemingly perpetuated by brainwashed true-believers.

So evidently, bike lanes are a bad idea because you might sweat.

Got it.

………

Good news from Riverside, as the 16-year old girl hit by a Dial-A-Ride bus remains in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

………

Today’s common theme is biking with your family.

LA Bike Dad discovers the joys of the LACMA Jazz Night, where adults can enjoy the music while kids look at the cement mixers.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton takes a family bike tour along the central coast, and offers advice on how to do the same yourself.

………

A challenging read from Surly’s Skip Bernet, who says he’s done riding his bike on the streets, where drivers have to be reminded that people on bikes are human, too. Thanks to Michael from Racers Who Ride for the heads-up.

………

When Laugh Out Loud says don’t touch my car, it’s clearly a joke. Even though the commenters seem a tad touchy themselves.

………

Local

Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren is one of us, riding 15 miles from his home in Pasadena to Dodger stadium before every home game.

The Ovarian Psychos will be honored with the Alex Baum Excellence in Advocacy Award at the LACBC’s Firefly Ball on October 27th. And speaking of the LACBC, Next City talks with the coalition’s Executive Director Tamika Butler.

A ride through Westlake Village reminds a writer to slow down and admire the Lantanas.

Southern California Bicyclist guides you on a 41 mile pier-to-pier ride from Santa Monica to Seal Beach.

Bike SGV invites you to ride to the LA County Fair tomorrow, with free tickets included.

 

State

The Advocacy Director of Bike East Bay says Berkeley’s draft bike plan may be good, but it’s not good enough.

Two San Francisco cyclists were the victims of brazen bike jackings, one a strong arm robbery and the other after being shown a gun.

People in Oakland’s Lake Merritt have been leaving tributes to a street salesman who disappeared without a trace in July and was feared dead; it turns out he was in a hospital after being beaten by two men who jumped him while he was riding his bike and stole his belongings.

A 67-year old bike rider was badly beaten when he asked a group of people to turn down their radio after he stopped to rest at Folsom’s Lake Natoma.

 

National

A real estate website looks at the next big-city meccas for cycling. None of which are Los Angeles, for reasons which should be painfully obvious given yesterday’s council vote.

An e-bike entrepreneur says once you get used to one, you won’t want to go back to a regular bicycle again.

A Portland bicyclist reports being attacked by a driver who got out of his car to punch him, yelling “I won’t have you impose your will on me with that fucking bike, I’m sick of you people.” Although how you can impose your will on someone in a car with your bike is a skill many of us would like to know.

An Idaho mountain biker learns he’s tougher than he thinks after competing in the 2,704 mile Tour Divide.

Denver plans to fill in the gaps on the city’s High Line Canal trail to create a bikeway 71 miles long through four counties.

A Cleveland bike lane is truncated to preserve parking for the downtown Hilton after being painted for the GOP convention.

A Florida letter writer insists Boston is, was and always shall be a city dominated by motor vehicles, and says he won’t “even touch on the pervasive arrogance and rule-bending of so many bicycle riders.” Which is, of course, is doing exactly that.

A New York cyclist says there are simply too many cars driven by stressed out, impatient drivers, putting cyclists in peril every time they push off from the curb.

A writer in the New York Times argues for keeping bikes out of wilderness areas, insisting that if they get in, it’s only a matter of time before ATV enthusiasts will push to let their motorized vehicles in. Even though there seems to be quite a difference between a human-powered bicycle and a gas-powered motor vehicle.

Evidently, bikes are a security risk when it comes to NYC presidential forums, but cars aren’t.

A Philadelphia writer says the best way to ensure you’re hated on every street in the city is to ride a bicycle, which seems to be personal affront to many drivers.

More anti-bike terrorism, as a Virginia university student was shot at close range with a BB gun by the passenger in a passing car as she was riding her bike home. Lets hope the police treat it like the crime it is, instead of writing it off as just a prank.

 

International

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider crashes into a road closure sign blocking a pathway with no warning.

Caught on video too: A Brit driver threatens to knock a bike rider off his effing bike after nearly doing exactly that.

The Telegraph travels Britain’s most beautiful bike route.

An Aussie-American TV producer quit her job to bike around Ireland, and wants a date to an Irish wedding.

It’s official. The world’s largest rideable bicycle is this 1.08 ton German behemoth.

 

Finally…

When you’re already awaiting sentencing on a previous burglary conviction, probably not the best idea to bust a bike lock with a hammer in public. If you’re going to crash your car while fleeing from the police after slapping a bike rider on the ass, at least try to dress more presentably.

And who needs backup musicians when you can perform Sia’s #1 hit on a bicycle?

No, literally on the bike.

Morning Links: KNBC jumps the gun with complaint over NELA safety project that hasn’t been built yet

You’ve got to be kidding.

KNBC-4 ran a story on Friday about the horrible, terrible, unbearable delays caused by a traffic calming project on Fletcher Road in Glassell Park.

Never mind that it hasn’t even been built yet.

Citing unnamed residents opposed to the project, they then proceed to talk to just one, who is up in arms — not over the project itself — but simply over the start of construction, claiming to have “road diet refugee post traumatic stress disorder”* after having fled from Rowena Avenue following that successful road diet.

Only to find that her drive to her kid’s school is now inhibited by the very start of a project designed to improve safety so maybe her kids won’t have to be driven to school.

This is how a local resident in the area, who prefers not to be named, explained the non-controversy to me.

The Fletcher Streetcape project (a plan first initiated in 2006, by then-Councilmember Garcetti) includes bike lanes, new crosswalks, new curb ramps, benches, 70 trees and a landscaped median in the one mile corridor. A woman who claims to have moved to Glassell Park/Mt. Washington, away from Silver Lake because of the road diet there, was angry when she noticed construction had begun on this project last week.

She posted a rant titled ‘road rage’ on social media site Next-Door about how she had only seen one cyclist in her ten years of driving there, how all cyclists on that street are just headed to the LA River, how she was a cyclist in NYC for 20 years but that she would never ride in LA… she even went so far as to say that the notorious Avenues gang is active in this area, and she worries the DOT didn’t take this into account.

Basically, she was able to incite lots of hate which prompted over 100 replies, some of which agreed with her and some which pointed out for all her complaints about supposed “congestion,” the goal is safety.

The irony is that she moved out of Silver Lake because of the road diet, but now drives back there daily to take her kid to school. And of course, she ignores the fact that the street she was using as a speedway is home to two schools.

KNBC is undoubtedly patting themselves on the back for getting this “controversy” out there, when they should be hanging their heads in shame for taking such a negative view of such a badly needed project to improve safety for everyone, not just people on bicycles.

Maybe next time they could wait until it’s finished before pushing any more complaints out onto the public.

*Not a recognized psychiatric disorder

………

If you were assaulted by an SUV driver while riding at the intersection of Lucille and Griffith Park Blvd, contact weshigh, who may have a photo of the vehicle; he says the same driver nearly ran over him and his wife as they walked in a crosswalk.

………

There’s a new leader in the Vuelta, as the Tour of Spain is now being led by a Spaniard. Riders competing in the race call it insanely hard, as the projected leaders fear showing their hand too soon.

Many riders may be more concerned about securing a contract for next year than winning the next stage.

And Frank Schleck won the equivalent of $2.23 million from his former team after he was dumped 11 months into a one year doping ban.

………

Local

The LACBC is hiring a full-time Development Director and an Organizing Director.

LA Bike Dad looks at the moments of serendipity that only come from riding a bicycle.

A Manhattan Beach author is riding cross-country to gather stories for a book exploring the emotional and psychological impact cancer has on a variety of people.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recommends daytime riding lights in his own inimitable style.

West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare has its official grand opening tomorrow.

Orange 20 welcomes the return of the New Urbanism Film Festival this October.

 

State

Over 3,500 San Diego cyclists take part in the annual Bike the Bay over the Coronado Bridge.

A San Marcos street in a former industrial area has been reborn as a 1/3 mile complete street with broad sidewalks, bike lanes, angled parking and new landscaping fronting the area’s new apartment buildings.

Santa Clara bike riders could lose a popular bike and pedestrian bridge originally built by Intel as a temporary bridge over a gully two decades ago.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a 92-year old bike rider was killed when he allegedly veered out of the bike lane; friends remember him as a fun loving, giving man who didn’t let his age get in the way of what he loved doing.

 

National

Access Magazine looks at how improving safety and providing better access for bike riders could encourage more people to ride.

The leading candidate to operate Seattle’s struggling bikeshare system proposes converting to an all-electric bike fleet to encourage riding in the hilly city.

Indiana cyclists have to contend with angry and impatient motorists. Then again, New Zealand is no bargain, either.

Brooklyn’s bicycling culture is not enough to protect cyclists on the streets of New York’s most bike-friendly borough.

There’s a special place in hell for the thief who stole a truck filled with $37,000 worth of bikes and parts from the Wounded Warrior Project in Pittsburgh.

Ann Holton, the wife of Virginia Senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, is one of us; she formed a bike club for neighborhood women called Mother Bikers. Then again, Kaine is one of us, too.

 

International

A new study shows moderate walking or biking can cut the risk of cardiac death by 50% for people over 65.

A Brit cyclist rides 65 miles a day to combat the effects of PTSD.

A Scottish writer says Great Britain’s domination of Olympic cycling is great, but won’t improve safety on the country’s roads.

An Edinburgh man circled the world in 12 months on a singlespeed bike; surprisingly, he found Iran the most welcoming country on his trip.

Be grateful you only have to take off your shoes to go through airport security. An Indian paracyclist says he was humiliated when he was forced to take off his prosthetic leg.

Caught on video: An Aussie cop knocks a 13-year old boy off his bike after the boy swore at the officers when they told him to get off the road.

Just days after a Japanese driver killed a pedestrian while playing Pokémon GO, a cyclist was killed as a driver was distracted by charging his cellphone after running the battery down playing the game.

 

Finally…

Most bicycles hardly ever burst into flames. Not only is bicycling the new golf, it’s the new real estate agent, as well.

And why bother with selfies and helmet cams when you can film your next offroad descent by drone?

 

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

………

Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

………

Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

Morning Links: The perils of cable locks, Rose City cycle track meeting, and how to greet a fellow bicyclist

David Drexler strikes a cautionary note in warning about the dangers of even the best cable locks. Even when firmly attached to your car in public spaces.

They almost had my bike yesterday.

Parked in the In-N-Out Burger on Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach for 30 min.  Parked right in front in a high traffic area at the entrance .

My hybrid bike was on the hitch rack with the tires and the downtube clamped in.  For added security I wrapped the pictured thickest Kryptonite cable through the tires and the rack frame.

DD Bike Cable

Hanging by a thread

In the time I was in the store, thieves unlatched the two tire clamps and cut the cable pictured, in one more minute they could have had the bike but something scared them off?

Brazen for them to be working in such a high profile visible location.

He added this in a follow-up email.

Sunday was a real wake up call—I let my guard down and left my hybrid bike on a rack unattended twice for more than 30 minutes each time with just a cable lock on it.  I would never do that if it was not on a car rack. I felt comfortable in Huntington Beach in a high profile parking space and cable locked. I did not believe that someone would approach my car with tools and attempt to take a bike in a busy parking lot with me close by inside.  The rack is new—just got it three weeks ago and I will adjust my security accordingly.  The bike will be both cable locked and u-locked on the rack if I need to leave the bike unattended–same as I do when locking it up around LA and the OC to go in stores.

Bike chained to car rack

Bike chained to car rack

What the thieves were after

What the thieves were after

 

It seems like overkill sometimes, but I try to keep my bike with me whenever I can.

If not, I field strip my bike, removing anything that can be easily stolen. Then take off my front wheel, and lock it to my rear wheel with a heavy U-lock through the frame, then wrap the whole thing with a cable lock.

And never, ever leave it unattended on a car.

It’s a pain in the ass, but it’s worked so far.

Knock on wood.

And don’t forget to register your bike, just in case.

………

Wesley Reutimann forwards word of an informational meeting to discuss the proposed Union Street Cycle Track in Pasadena next week.

Want to weigh in on the Union Ave Cycle Track project?  The City of Pasadena will be hosting two meetings on the same day Tuesday August 16th (one AM, one PM), following a request by the Pasadena Playhouse District Association.

Union Street Cycle Track Informational Meeting

Pasadena’s newly-adopted Bicycle Transportation Action Plan identifies a two-way cycle track along Union Street between Hill and Arroyo Parkway. Learn about project design, implementation, potential impacts, and funding at meetings hosted by the City of Pasadena.

  1. WHERE: Pasadena Presbyterian Church, Gamble Lounge, 585 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101
  2. WHEN: Tuesday, August 16, 2016
  3. TIMES: 8:30 – 9:30 am or 5 pm – 6 pm

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to participate in the process, please contact Rich Dilluvio, Pasadena Department of Transportation, at (626) 744-7254 or rdilluvio@cityofpasadena.net.

………

Thanks to Dave R for forwarding this video offering six ways to greet a fellow cyclist, which garnered nearly 60,000 views in its first day online. And is sure to bring a smile to even the most curmudgeonly rider.

I’m a master of the quick nod and handlebar hand raise, myself.

………

The head of UCI, bike racing’s governing body, says don’t blame us for the dangerous road course in Rio, blame all those injured bike riders for screwing up, although others may beg to differ. Then again, safe courses reduce the risk of rider error. Not to mention it couldn’t hurt to allow a few practice runs on the course without having to share the roads with vehicular traffic.

Good news from one of those injured cyclists, as Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten says she’ll be fine, despite suffering a concussion and three fractured vertebrae. Thank goodness she has some random guy on Twitter to tell her how to ride a bike properly.

Cycling Weekly questions whether Peter Sagan did the right thing in dropping out of Saturday’s road race. Greg Van Avermaet’s victory says no, while the injuries to van Vleuten, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali, et al, say yes.

Meanwhile, an Aussie track cyclist was hospitalized after her pursuit team crashed while training.

NBC previews tomorrow’s men’s time trial. Lets hope they do a better job covering the women’s time trial, also on Wednesday, than they did the women’s road race.

New York Magazine says doping is only going to get harder to detect, especially when gene splicing becomes a thing in the very near future. Although that sounds a lot better than dosing with whiskey, egg whites, and strychnine.

………

Local

CiclaValley takes a look at what cyclists lost in the recent Sand Fire.

Arizona’s Kimberly Lucie won the women’s pro race at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix on Sunday, while LA’s Justin Williams took the men’s title.

The San Diego Reader suggests biking along the beachfront bike path to visit Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach, which it calls LA’s last real beach towns.

Long Beach officially cuts the ribbon on the first segment of what will eventually be two miles of parking-protected bike lanes on the city’s North Side.

 

State

Orange County puts its money where its mouth is, approving nearly $20 million to fund 13 bicycle corridor projects in the county and six OC cities; an additional bicycle boulevard in Huntington Beach could be funded if they can keep the cost of the project below $488,000.

Anaheim’s draft bike plan calls for 120 miles of additional bikeways. Of course, as we’ve repeatedly seen in LA, any plan is only as good as the city’s commitment to it.

San Diego’s Bike the Bay rolls at the end of this month, allowing 3,500 participants a once-a-year opportunity to ride over the sweeping Coronado Bay Bridge. And arrive in the city where bike lanes make people dizzy.

A proposal would give Stockton Street in downtown San Francisco a bike and people friendly makeover, converting it “from yet another auto sewer into a car-free pedestrian-transit-bicycle mall.”

The Department of DIY strikes in the Bay Area, as San Francisco bicyclists take safety improvements into their own hands.

Forget making America great again. The new director of the UC Davis Bicycle Program wants to make riding a bike fun again. They also offer a smart program to store students’ bicycles for the summer, safe from thieves and out of the elements, for just $20.

 

National

Co-Exist says protected bike lanes and bikeshare systems are the key to making cities safer.

Bike riders on Hawaii’s Big Island are turning to bike cams for protection, in a story that reads like a press release for the Fly6 and Fly12 cams, which it probably is. Seriously, they could have at least mentioned any of the other numerous bike and helmet mountable action cams on the market. GoPro, anyone?

The Colorado State Patrol blames the victim in Sunday’s fatal Ironman crash, saying she swerved out of a lane blocked off for competitors and hit a truck in the next lane.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 77-year old Minnesota woman rides 660 miles to attend her 60th high school reunion in Cheyenne WY. Except I have no interest in attending a high school reunion. Or living in Minnesota.

A federal appeals court rules against a Michigan woman who sued Target for selling her a bike with defective brakes after she fell off and hurt her shoulder; the court said she’s entitled to a fair jury, but “not one that believes whatever she says.”

New York considers a proposal to add wider bike and pedestrian lanes to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Drivers using bike lanes as de facto passing lanes seems to be a universal problem, even in Greensboro NC.

No bias here. A Miami bike rider gets the blame for colliding with a police cruiser, even though the cops were making a U-turn in the middle of a causeway.

 

International

OMG! The Brit press freaks out when One Direction’s Harry Styles is caught riding without a bike helmet, which is perfectly legal in the country. And perfectly safe, as long as you manage to stay upright.

It’s better not to hit a bike rider than to try and save his life afterwards. Just a suggestion.

The UK’s Radio X lists the greatest songs about bicycling. Mark Ronson’s The Bike Song apparently didn’t make the cut.

A Dublin woman calls on the city to make immediate safety improvements after too many near-death experiences riding her bike to work. The photo illustrating the story of a rider squeezing between city buses is truly terrifying.

After carrying them nearly 25,000 miles around the world, an English couple’s bikes go missing at Ireland’s Shannon Airport, along with the rest of their belongings.

Bicycling offers nine lessons learned from riding in the Swiss Alps. Or you could take the road less travelled and explore the Tatra Mountains between Slovakia and Poland.

Caught on video: Copenhagen somehow manages to keep a bikeway open next to a construction site, despite a road crew lifting hundreds of pounds of dirt over riders’ heads. Maybe they could teach us something about being a less litigious society, as well as being more welcoming to bike riders. Because something like that would never fly here.

 

Finally…

Don’t Pokémon GO on the go in Taiwan. The Rio road course may have been dangerous, but at least there weren’t any wallabies.

And please, can we just give the whole “Be a Roll Model” thing a rest, already?

 

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