Archive for Streets and Infrastructure

Morning Links: Honked at for riding sharrows, Vision Zero lost in Mobility Plan fallout, and upcoming bike events

Digital Slurry offers video evidence of what we already know.

Many drivers just don’t get sharrows.

And don’t have a lot of patience when they find a bike riding legally in front of them, regardless of whether there’s a picture of a bike with an oversized pointy hat painted on the street.

His bike cam video was shot while riding in Venice. But anyone who has ridden on sharrows in Hollywood, or most anywhere else in LA, has probably had the same experience.

Meanwhile, On My Bike LA offers a video response to Bruce Feldman’s Op-ed in the LA Times complaining about the Mobility Plan.

………

The big news this week was the announcement of LA’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic fatalities in just the next 10 years.

Or at least, it should have been.

*crickets*

Instead, everyone still seems to be shocked! shocked! that LA would possibly consider removing traffic lanes in order to improve mobility. Let alone safety.

At least the LA Times has remained rational, turning the new Mobility Plan into a very cool interactive map that allows you explore the road changes proposed as part of the plan.

The Los Feliz Ledger, on the other hand, says everyone was taken by surprise by the passage of the plan, even though it had a four year public process — even longer of you count the 2010 bike plan, which was incorporated into it — along with a dedicated website and 20 public meetings.

Then again, 91.4% of Angelenos couldn’t even be bothered to vote in the last election, never mind actually get involved in a process that will shape our streets and city for the next 20 years.

Seriously, if you don’t get involved with your own local government, who’s fault is that?

………

Time to catch up on upcoming bike events.

Metro is offering more free bike safety classes throughout the LA region this weekend.

Join the Eastside Bike Club to walk or bike this Saturday to trace the footsteps of LA’s first settlers.

A memorial ride will be held in Huntington Beach this Saturday to remember fallen cyclist and hit-and-run victim Michael Vega.

Bike riders are invited to join the Inland Empire Biking Alliance and Caltrans to ride the Santa Ana River Trail on Saturday to show the need to finish the trail.

Bike SGV is hosting the last bike train of the summer this Sunday starting at Santa Fe Dam.

The LACBC’s September Sunday Funday Ride rolls through Long Beach, with a 25-mile guided tour of parks, lagoons and universities.

Metro’s new El Monte Bike Hub — the first of what will hopefully be many throughout the region — has its grand opening on September 14th.

Pedal for Parkinson’s will raise funds to support Parkinson’s research in Solano Beach on September 27th.

Bike SGV is hosting a family friendly ride back to the 1920s in El Monte on October 3rd.

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Johan Esteban Chaves took his second stage of the Vuelta on Thursday to move back into the leader’s jersey. After getting booted from the race for hanging onto a team car to rejoin the peloton, Vincenzo Nibali is barred from racing anywhere else until the Vuelta is over.

Meanwhile, Peter Sagan is taking aim at next month’s worlds in Richmond, Virginia once he’s done with the Vuelta, where every stage seems to have his name on it.

Domestic cycling teams complain about the strong-arm tactics of the WorldTour teams at the recent USA Pro Challenge.

And here’s someone to keep an eye on, as a Del Mar track cyclist wins four silver medals at the USA Cycling Elite and Junior Track National Championships.

Especially since she’s just a nine-year old fourth grader.

………

Local

A Santa Barbara podcast discusses itineraries for touring Los Angeles car-free by foot, bike and public transportation.

The LA Weekly looks at the Spoke Café along the LA River bike path in Frogtown, and its owners’ struggles to get city permits to sell their own food and beer.

 

State

Calbike offers their monthly update, including news that they have a fleet of shaft-drive bikes to sell, along with the company that made them. Anyone want to start a Kickstarter so I can buy a bike company? Didn’t think so.

Santa Ana is opening three Bike Huts to provide secure bicycle parking safe from thieves and the elements.

The San Diego Free Press says the region’s transportation plan is stuck in reverse.

In the wake of the San Diego “bike mob” that chased down an angry hit-and-run driver, BikeSD explains what sharrows are, and how to deal with a road raging driver. And no, shooting them in self defense is not an option.

Coronado’s apoplectic NIMBY attack on a proposed beach bike path goes on… and on. Seriously, people, it’s just a bike path.

UC Santa Barbara had to pay out of their own pockets through student fees to build a bike roundabout to improve a dangerous intersection.

No bias here. After a San Francisco bike rider suffers a life-threatening head injury in a right hook, a local TV station says he tried to overtake the car on the right.

Now this I want to see. Folsom, home to the prison made famous by Johnny Cash, is planning eight public art works honoring the legendary Man in Black along the bike path named for him.

An Auburn driver gets four years for the death of a bike rider while under the influence of Vicodin; he pled no contest after the original charge of murder was taken off the table.

 

National

Huffy recalls some of their bicycle shaped objects that have front disc brakes to replace the quick release.

Never a good idea to steal a bike from a gang called Satan Disciples; the theft by another gang led to the fatal shooting of a 17-year old in Chicago.

A Minnesota bike rider says it’s okay to go through a red light, even though it is illegal, if you scan the intersection for safety and go slowly if the way is clear.

Evidently, they take hit-and-run seriously in Michigan; a driver faces up to 15 years for failing to stop, after killing a nurse who was riding across the state as part of a group ride.

Ford says they want to be known as a mobility company, not a car maker, as they unveil their new e-bike in Louisville KY.

After the bike a 10-year old Connecticut girl got for her 10th birthday was stolen, the police dispatchers who took the call pitch in to replace it.

A bike riding writer for New York Magazine says the solution to the city’s rude, spandex-clad cyclists is to build more protected bike lanes.

Caught on video: A Philadelphia mom riding with her kids on a cargo bike is verbally harassed by a driver for going around a pickup parked in the bike lane. If the jerk was so concerned about her kids, maybe he shouldn’t have taught them so many four-letter words.

Removing a traffic lane from a Charleston bridge to make room for bike lanes could actually result in less delay, while allowing the bridge to function at acceptable levels for decades.

If New Orleans can become bike friendly, so can Shreveport.

 

International

Buenos Aires is banning most motor vehicle traffic from 100 blocks of the city’s downtown area.

A Canadian advocate explains why bike helmet laws don’t work.

Ontario drivers will now face fines of at least $490 for distracted driving, and $365 for dooring a bike rider, although cyclists will be fined $110 for riding without lights.

An Ottawa university professor files a $1 million lawsuit after being doored by someone in a car owned by the Japanese Embassy.

British bicyclists are being taken down by potholes and crumbling roads. Sort of like what LA bike riders deal with on a regular basis.

London’s Evening Standard looks at tech solutions to bike theft.

A Canadian writer takes a death-defying two-wheeled tour of Copenhagen while on a business trip,

 

Finally…

Wait. You mean that picture of a bike rider with an oversized pointy hat actually means something? Your could soon lock your bike to a rack made from a forest of flexible poles that won’t chip your paint, as long as you’re okay with having it stolen.

And if you really want to confuse one of Google’s self-driving cars, do a track stand. And if you want to confuse a writer for the Washington Post, point out that people on bikes with gears can do them. too. Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up.

 

Morning Links: More on Monday’s Vision Zero event, and a rider’s eye view of the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix

More on Monday’s Vision Zero announcement, as KNBC-4 says LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is determined to bring the city’s more than 200 yearly traffic fatalities down to zero.

Although LA Observed seems more interested in the desk Garcetti left behind after signing the order.

………

Somehow, this one flew under the radar earlier this summer, as David Wolfberg forwards a first-person riders-eye view of the last five laps of the Manhattan Grand Prix, courtesy of LA’s own former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati.

It’s a shame Bahati never got a chance to show what he could do on the international stage.

………

Alejandro Valverde announces his presence at the Vuelta by winning stage four. A rider with the IAM team describes the carnage of the race.

American rider Joe Dombrowski considers the race a rite of passage, while fellow American Ben King learned you have to watch out for bike thieves everywhere, after spectators try to make off with his Garmin, and possibly his bike, after a minor crash.

This is what it was like to ride in the inaugural women’s USA Pro Challenge.

And as it stands now, the seven-event national cyclo-cross competition won’t get any closer to Southern California than Reno.

………

Local

If LA gets the ’24 Olympics, we could see mountain biking events in Griffith Park and road racing down Hollywood Blvd. That’s a big if, however; Paris is the odds-on favorite to win the Games.

An apparel website recommends taking your bike or walking through the Fashion District for the next several days, as MTV takes over for their annual Video Music Awards,

LA Metro’s planned bikeshare system will extend to USC next spring; not surprisingly, it will probably be incompatible with the Santa Monica/West Hollywood system that will open on the UCLA campus.

CiclaValley explains what’s involved in becoming a League Cycling Instructor from a first-hand perspective. You can attend a bike safety class this weekend in Culver City to learn the same skills the LCIs were taught to teach.

 

State

Coronado residents fear a simple bike path on the beach will somehow turn it into Venice, drawing hordes of tourists to destroy their pristine community. Sure, that could happen.

San Bernardino County approves plans to extend the Santa Ana River bike trail another 3.8 miles from San Bernardino to Redlands.

A Hanford couple out for a ride on their BMX bikes were struck from behind by a speeding hit-and-run driver; the man was thrown 176 feet by the force of the impact, while thankfully, the pregnant woman rider was not seriously hurt.

Forget a bike bell; sometimes even an air horn isn’t enough to get people to make room for a bike on a shared San Jose path.

A Berkley man gets one of his two stolen bikes back, in part thanks to registering it with BikeIndex. That’s the same free bike registration and bike theft reporting service you’ll find at the top of this page.

A driver in Shasta Lake does the right thing the wrong way, driving off after driving an 11-year old boy home, after she crashed into his bike. That’s still considered hit-and-run, though, since she didn’t exchange ID and insurance information.

 

National

Caught on video: A Portland driver was ticketed for careless driving and unsafe passing after a high-speed close pass that nearly took out another rider coming in the opposite direction.

The rich get richer. Portland considers approving plans for five new neighborhood greenways, aka bicycle boulevards, as well as improving six additional bike routes.

Seriously, what kind of city would approve a road diet to widen bike lanes like they did in Boulder CO, without anticipating that some people would be pissed off about it?

So wait. Did the bike collide with the car in Omaha, or did the car collide with the bike? Or did they collide with each other?

This is why you should always just ride away. After a Mississippi cyclist kicked a Jeep during a road rage dispute, the driver pulled out a gun and shot him; fortunately, the rider didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries. I should talk; I’ve gotten into it verbally with a-hole drivers more times than I care to admit.

If you’re planning to be in Rhode Island any time soon, five pretty nice sounding bike paths await you.

New York police are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who left the scene after slamming into a toddler on a shared pathway.

City Lab says the threat by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and police chief — and former LA chief — Bill Bratton to tear out the hugely popular pedestrian plazas in Times Square shows a fundamental misunderstanding about the impact of public space. It’s also a ridiculous overreaction to a relatively minor problem — costumed characters and body-painted boobs — which calls the mayor’s judgment into question.

Atlanta’s rail system is installing bike repair kiosks at seven train stations.

 

International

Bicycling is the third most popular fitness activity worldwide, after walking and running. Evidently, sitting on your ass behind the wheel of a car is not considered a fitness activity.

A cool looking Kickstarter project promises to make your bike smarter, with directions, metrics, alarm, automatic headlight and text notifications. Another project promises you may never have to lube your chain again.

Caught on video: In a frightening assault, an angry pedestrian catches up to a bike rider and pushes her down in front of oncoming traffic; the jerk later turned himself in after police released the video.

A British couple get their stolen 76-year old Olympic style tandem back after they spotted it for sale on eBay.

Northern Ireland unveils a 25-year plan to turn the UK country into a cycling society.

NPR says riding a bike in India is a little different than in the US. Like fewer cows to bump into, and tune-ups cost a lot more.

Google plans to provide 1,000 internet-connected smart bikes to women in remote Indian villages.

The poor get poorer. Sydney, Australia is said to be decades behind other cities when it comes to providing for cyclists, even as the state roads minister moves to rip out a $5 million protected bike lane.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use your bike as a getaway vehicle after burglarizing a few houses, don’t leave it in a driveway where someone could back over it. We only have to watch out for LA drivers cutting us off; a Minnesota bike rider t-boned a deer that violated his right-of-way.

And whatever you do, never repeatedly punch a teenage boy — or anyone else, for that matter — in a bike rage assault after colliding in the rain.

 

Morning Links: Caltrans may remove dangerous Topanga Cyn reflectors; Vision Zero becomes official LA policy

Maybe there really is a new attitude at Caltrans.

A few years ago, if the state transportation agency installed something that increased the risk for cyclists on any given roadway, chances are, it would fall on deaf ears no matter how much we complained.

But this time may be different.

Anthony emailed on Monday to warn about newly installed reflectors on one of the area’s most popular riding routes.

At some point in the last couple of weeks, Caltrans installed raised reflectors on the both shoulder lines of Topanga Canyon Boulevard (SR-27) between the PCH and the town of Topanga. This was apparently part of a “safety enhancement project” for the steep, twisty section of road between the town and the coast—but, of course, the only safety being enhanced seems to be that of drivers!

The raised reflectors protrude about an inch above the road surface, and create quite a jolt if you ride over them—especially if you ride over them unexpectedly. This could cause crashes for unsuspecting cyclists.

More pressing: Upon riding the section of road today in both directions, because of the dense placement of the reflectors (every 4-5 feet) I found myself unable to easily move back and forth between the traffic lane and the shoulder—something that I’d come to take for granted on TCB, as it allows for overtaking car traffic to pass safely. I ended up occupying the traffic lane exclusively, which lead to a number of angry motorists passing me unsafely.

I’m guessing that Caltrans didn’t even think about the fact that TCB is heavily used by cyclists. It’d be great to figure out a way to get them to replace the raised reflectors or remove them!

And this on a road where drivers already complain about cyclists taking the lane to anyone who’ll listen.

But almost before I could respond, he forwarded an email exchange with a representative from Caltrans,* who gave the following response when asked if the reflectors could be removed or replaced with something a little safer.

According to our operations and construction engineers, the raised pavement markers will likely be removed very soon.

After further questioning, the Caltrans rep explained a little more.

The installation wasn’t made by mistake.  Occasionally, Caltrans engineering standards have flexibility for users, in this case cyclists.

However, when I commented about the reflectors on Twitter yesterday, Caltrans District 7 was quick to respond that they may be removed, but nothing had been promised.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed that this one goes away soon.

*It’s the policy of this site not to name people included in email threads without their express permission, which was not requested in this case.

………

As expected, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a new Vision Zero directive to reduce traffic deaths in the city by 20% in just two years, and eliminate traffic fatalities entirely by 2025.

What wasn’t expected is that it appears to have real teeth, requiring city agencies to work across departmental lines to study and fix streets where fatalities and injury collisions occur — something we’ve been calling for here since this site was founded over seven years ago.

The city’s Vision Zero website is already online.

And you can now add LA to the yes category.

………

Last week we featured an email from a rider who had passed out from heatstroke after running out of water on the San Gabriel River trail at the height of the recent heat wave.

Now Sam Kurutz forwards a photo of a sign thanking the person who came to her rescue.

Thanks to Sam Kurutz for the photo

Thanks to Sam Kurutz for the photo

Let that be a reminder to always carry enough water when you ride, especially with the temperatures predicted for the end of this week. And always check the forecast before you set out to avoid any surprises.

Thanks to Sam Kurutz for the photo.

………

Peter Sagan gets his first grand tour stage win of the year by capturing the third stage of the Vuelta in a mass sprint.

USA Pro Challenge champ Kristin Armstrong is letting the world know women’s cycling is the next big thing, although this could possibly be the last year for the race. Personally, I’d like to see the Pro Challenge merge with the Amgen Tour of California to create a truly epic two week race.

VeloNews looks at the best American rider not on a WorldTour team.

………

Local

Bikeshare may be coming to LA sooner than we thought, as WeHo’s planned network could have hubs at The Grove and Hollywood and Highland. Speaking of Vision Zero, better get bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd fast, before tourists try to navigate that dangerous street on two wheels.

Meanwhile, Global Green USA looks at the newly installed Santa Monica Breeze bikeshare system. Appropriate source, given the hue of the bikes.

Downtown News says LADOT’s DASH buses will soon be getting bike racks.

 

State

Even on a San Diego freeway, they find a way to blame a bike for a crash.

Police say a 72-year old Fresno driver was drunk when he fled the scene after allegedly killing a bike rider.

West Berkley residents tip police to the location of a bike thief who had fled earlier after police had tried to make an arrest.

Anonymous artists install cute little swing sets on San Francisco bike racks, but promise you can still lock your bike to them.

Support is growing in San Francisco for a Bike Yield Law, aka an Idaho Stop Law, which would allow people on bikes to treat stop signs as yields, although riders would still be required to observe the right-of-way.

Some schmuck has stolen the recumbent bike an elderly Modesto couple used for shopping and doctor visits; the bike was their only form of transportation.

The Marin paper says a new local bike park is a promise kept by county commissioners. And evidently, a place to get a few bumps and bruises.

 

National

The Feds say it’s time for state and local DOT’s to stop using them as an excuse for crappy infrastructure.

Bike Radar’s Angry Asian says the vocal warnings that are common courtesy among cyclists aren’t always understood or appreciated by non-riders, so use a bike bell. My take is just the opposite: A bell can only tell you a bike is present, or that an angel just got its wings. But a human voice can tell other path users where you are, where you’re going, suggest what they should do — politely or otherwise — and say please and thank you. Let’s see a damn bell do that.

A Seattle cyclist used his bike to block traffic and stood over an injured bike rider to protect her after she was hit by a car.

A 20-year old Colorado driver faces a long list of charges after killing a cyclist when he passed two vehicles on the wrong side of a double yellow line, around a blind curve, and with an open container of alcohol in his car. There’s a gofundme site to raise money for the victim’s family.

A writer in my hometown says we need to include all types of bike riders in the cycling community, even moms herding kids on bikes.

Un-effing-believable. An Austin DUI driver walks free after ending the productive life of a former firefighter. The driver was on Ambien when he plowed into the victim’s bike as he rode on the shoulder, but that information was kept from the jury due to an improper police search. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

The fastest bike mechanic in Texas won’t be riding anytime soon after he’s the victim of a hit-and-run.

An Ohio hit-and-run driver appeared highly intoxicated when he was arrested after running down a cyclist from behind; he lied twice about who was behind wheel, and claimed he thought the car hit a deer. And to top it off, he was driving on a suspended license.

The Motor City will soon become the latest bikeshare city.

Un-effing-believable too. Vermont police investigators never examined the car a DUI driver — who just happens to be married to a cop — was operating when she killed a bike-riding dentist; they missed parts of his bike shoes still embedded inside the hood.

New York’s mayor wants bikeshare on Staten Island, stat. Meanwhile, the days for former Mayor Bloomberg and ex-DOT Director Janet Sadik-Khan are clearly over, as the city’s DOT is now leaving gaps in bike networks rather than confront local community boards.

That’s more like it. A distracted Maryland driver got five years for killing a bike-riding father while she was texting.

 

International

Some vehicular cyclists are complaining about Calgary’s new system of cycle tracks. Proving there are all sorts of cyclists, and one solution seldom works for everyone.

People constantly say you can’t ride to work in a suit — even fashion magazines that should know better. But the family of a Northern Irish bike advocate is going to ride around the county wearing suits in honor of their father, who always wore one when he rode to work.

The anti-bike Roads Minister in Australia’s New South Wales has set out to dismantle Sydney’s system of protected bike lanes, over the objections of the mayor.

Bangladesh authorities file charges against 10 men who tortured and murdered a 13-year old boy for allegedly stealing a bike — which his family denies — then posted the video online.

 

Finally…

Now that’s what I call a fat tire e-bike. When you’re riding with an illegal drug 40 times more potent than heroin, don’t run a stop sign. Or get hit by a car.

And caught on video: The long predicted apocalypse has begun with a uniquely Down Under twist, as an Aussie bicyclist rides through a field of zombie kangaroos.

 

Morning Links: The Mobility Plan bikelash has begun, and I go off on an unintended rant

The bikelash has officially begun.

In an OpEd for the LA Times, the owner of a Santa Monica luxury gift business says the city’s plan for road diets on some streets is a terrible idea.

Bruce Feldman suggests that what works in Stockholm, where the “Swedes are smart and good looking,” won’t work in LA. Where evidently, the residents aren’t.

Instead, he suggests banning all parking along major thoroughfares to make more room for cars, and yes, bikes, while providing parking lots on every block in business areas — apparently, tearing down some of those businesses to make room for idle cars.

He also trots out the failed proposal made by former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, before he fell off his bike and saw the light, to transform Olympic and Pico Blvds into parallel one-way streets. An idea so bad it was one of the few things that could unite virtually everyone who lived, worked, shopped or owned a business anywhere near those streets in opposition.

And says that people move to LA to live in tidy sundrenched bungalows far from work and shopping. Which certainly explains why DTLA — and even Downtown Santa Monica — are thriving.

Meanwhile, LA Times’ readers say the death of a pedestrian on Rowena Ave is just an anomaly, and doesn’t justify changes to the roadway to improve safety if it means a slower drive. This is what we’re up against; people are so used to traffic violence that it’s accepted as the cost of driving.

All of this stems from the city’s remarkable failure to control the narrative surrounding the passage of the Mobility Plan.

Virtually every single news story and talk radio program both before and after the plan was passed focused on bike lanes, and the possibility of removing some traffic lanes to make room for them.

Even my own 15-minute interview with a local news station, in which I discussed the nuances of the Mobility Plan and the importance of Vision Zero, was edited down to “Bike lanes are great!”

Which is not what the plan is about.

It’s about improving safety for everyone, with a goal of eliminating traffic fatalities within the city by 2035. Not just for cyclists and pedestrians, but for all those who travel by any means.

It’s about improving traffic flow by creating a true multi-modal transportation network, where people can get from here to there conveniently — and yes, safely — by bus, train, car, bike or feet. Wherever here and there may be. And reducing congestion by allowing those who prefer not to drive to travel by other means, making more room on the streets for those who do.

It’s about increasing the livability of our city by creating more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods where people choose to live and work, and where businesses thrive, while reducing the blight caused by inducing drivers to blow through neighborhoods at excess speeds without stopping. Or even noticing what’s on the other side of the curb right next them.

It’s not about bike lanes. Or forcing anyone out of their cars.

In other words, what we have here, as the movie says, is a failure to communicate.

One that starts at the top, with a mayor who was missing in action when the plan was being debated in the city council. And missed his opportunity, not only to support the plan in the face of opposition from some councilmembers, but to properly position it in the minds of the public after it was passed.

Maybe we can discuss that with him on Monday.

And extending down through LADOT, whose spokesperson could only defend it meekly as “aspirational,” suggesting that much of it would never be built in the face of community opposition, rather than explaining why it needs to be.

In fact, the best explanation of the Mobility Plan came from the LACBC’s Tamika Butler, as KPCC’s Larry Mantle kept trying to switch the conversation back to bike lanes.

The new Mobility Plan is a sweeping roadmap to a far better City of Angels to come.

But one that is doomed to failure if the city leaves it to people like us to explain.

………

Better Bike offers their own response to Feldman’s OpEd, asking why would you double down on yesterday’s failed planning paradigm.

And the LACBC sends word the Highland Park Neighborhood Council will consider a motion to support the Mobility Plan as is at tonight’s meeting, opposing efforts by a handful of councilmembers to gut the plan.

Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council

Regular Meeting and Agenda

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Highland Park Senior Center 6152 N. Figueroa St.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Item #16 (15 mins): Motion to file a community impact statement (CF #15-0719) in support of “Mobility 2035” as proposed, and opposing all amendments to the plan as proposed by Councilmember Cedillo, Councilmember Koretz, and Councilmember Price. – H. Slater.

**The item will be discussed in the second half of the meeting.**

………

Sad news today, as Deb Hubsmith, founder of Safe Routes to Schools, passed away from acute myeloid leukemia.

………

Two days into the USA Pro Challenge, the BMC team has taken control behind stage 2 winner Brent Bookwalter and Rohan Dennis.*

It took an act of Congress to allow the second stage of the Pro Challenge to finish on Forrest Service land. A Denver TV station looks at the nine — or maybe eleven — types of cycling fans you’ll see at the Pro Challenge.

And this year’s race includes the first Israeli team to race in the US.

*Yes, stage 3 is already in the books, but the news stories seem to be running a day behind this year.

………

Local

A lawyer in the San Fernando Valley discusses the need for children to wear bike helmets. But neglects to mention they’re required for anyone under 18.

The Santa Monica police department is cracking down on violations that affect bike and pedestrian safety today and Saturday. Enforcement is targeted at any traffic violations, regardless of mode of travel, so stick to the letter of the law if you ride through the city.

South Pas rejects bike safety in favor of parking.

Richard Risemberg discovers the rumors of a Redondo Beach cycletrack really are true, and finds it much to his liking.

There’s a fundraiser tonight for Great Streets projects in South LA, Boyle Heights and Pacoima.

More free bike safety classes this weekend in West Covina, East Los Angeles, Cudahy, South Los Angeles and DTLA, courtesy of Metro and the LACBC.

Santa Monica is offering free bike repair, as well as fixing other items, this Saturday.

 

State

Pedal Love offers a podcast explaining Vision Zero with Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the Vision Zero Network for North America.

San Diego’s City Beat questions the city’s partnership with Miami-based DecoBike to provide bikeshare service.

BikeSD is planning to Bike to the Border on September 19th.

San Raphael opens a new multi-use pathway connecting downtown with a coming SMART Transit Center. Meanwhile, we can’t even get a bike lane connecting Westwood with the coming Expo Line.

A San Jose letter writer really doesn’t get it, complaining about a new road diet, despite years of reporting collisions on the street. As noted above, road diets aren’t done to install bike lanes; they’re done to slow speeding traffic and improve safety. And bike lanes are just one of the tools used to do that.

A Cottonwood bike rider suffered major injuries in a hit-and-run collision with a motorcyclist. Even in a small NorCal town, motorists don’t seem to feel a need to stick around after a wreck.

 

National

The CDC suggests treating traffic violence like a public health issue, with the cure consisting of slowing drivers and building better bike infrastructure. Sort of like LA’s new Mobility Plan.

A writer for Care2 offers up eight ways to make our cities bike-friendly. Never mind that by making cities more inviting for bike riders, they can also reduce congestion and improve safety for everyone.

A cyclist on a cross-country tour has his bike and gummy bears stolen in Portland.

Life is cheap in Alaska, where a teenage driver gets a whopping one year and 10 days for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist while driving drunk and on drugs.

Three months later, still no arrest in the apparently random shooting of a bicyclist near my Colorado hometown.

A “normal, decent guy” goes for a bike ride in Minnesota. And is surprised to learn bikes aren’t allowed to take the lane on a busy interstate highway.

The Kentucky State Fair is encouraging visitors to ride there instead of driving, but evidently can’t be bothered to provide secure bike parking.

An upstate New York letter writer says killing a cyclist should have consequences. Amend that to killing a human being, regardless of mode of travel, and I’m onboard.

Now that former mayor Michael Bloomberg is gone, New York cyclists are questioning Gotham’s commitment to improving bike safety.

A former Rockette discusses bicycling sans spandex in NYC, and that you don’t have to be a certain type of person to ride a bike.

 

International

Bicycling discusses how bikes are changing lives around the world — and in some cases, saving them.

An Ontario — no, the one further north — cyclist says we’re all just people, so drive like it around bicyclists.

A Quebec cop faces charges in the death of a salmon cyclist last year; the officer was trying to intercept him when he collided with the rider.

London’s black cab drivers are trying to scuttle the city’s plans for an East-West Cycle Superhighway, even though construction has already begun.

Sometimes you just can’t win. A Brit bike rider was clubbed over the head by a road raging driver when he slowed for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Too often drivers blame us when we break the law, then get pissed off when we don’t.

Welsh cyclists petition to save a key bikeway from closure due to budget cuts.

Italian stunt cyclist Vittorio Brumotti was brutally attacked by three men while riding.

An Aussie woman still traumatized by her previous experiences says it’s time to toughen up and join her family on two wheels.

 

Finally…

No matter what kind of gesture a taxi driver makes your way, don’t get off your bike and jump on the hood of his cab. Then again, don’t make a double-handed rude gesture after nearly knocking a cyclist off his bike if you want to keep your bus driving job.

And don’t Silly String a cyclist.

Period.

 

Morning Links: Newport hit-and-run driver turns himself in, and more fallout from the new LA Mobility Plan

More on the 14-year old girl who was critically injured when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding in Newport Beach Tuesday night.

Thirty-six-year old Anthony Michael George turned himself in to police at around 2 pm Wednesday, which would have given him plenty of time to sober up.

Assuming he had been drinking, of course, which only seems like a given.

That was after his badly damaged car was discovered by a sharp-eyed Newport resident out for a run.

His victim, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of other riders, was on vacation with her family from San Carlos; she’s now fighting for her life after she was hit head-on with enough force to shatter the car’s windshield.

She was not wearing a helmet, despite state law requiring them for anyone under the age of 18. Whether it could have made a difference, given the description of the collision, is questionable.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link about the car discovery.

………

The Daily News says the newly passed Mobility Plan offers promise, but questions whether the city is dictating new habits or anticipating them. Neither, actually. It’s aimed at improving safety while giving people the option of how they want to travel, rather than how they currently feel they have to.

LA Times readers offer surprisingly rational responses to yesterday’s story about the shift in LA transportation priorities.

KNBC-4 misses the point, saying community groups oppose taking travel lanes — not auto lanes, thank you — from streets like Westwood Blvd, even though current plan for Westwood don’t involve removing a single lane or parking spot. Which makes you wonder what the real reason for their opposition is, along with that of Councilmember Paul Koretz, who appears to be in the pocket of wealthy homeowners.

Larry Mantle discussed the passage of the Mobility Plan on KPCC’s Air Talk; the LACBC’s Tamika Butler made some good points by stressing it’s not just about bike lanes, although the remarks by motorhead Jay Beeber — and many of the comments — are infuriating.

Speaking of which, I’m told you should only read the comments on KFI’s Facebook page, home to the bike hating John and Ken, if you want to lose all hope for humanity.

And Bicycling wants to arm you with responses to the typical anti-bike comments you’ll find to any online story about bicycling.

Meanwhile, this is what the story looks like from an overseas perspective.

………

Brenda Miller of the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County writes to say they’re looking for vendors with experience in hosting bike rodeos.

Orange County will be holding bike rodeos the month of September, 2015, and is seeking bids from vendors experienced with such bicycle education events. Funding for the rodeos is provided by the non-profit, Alliance for a Healthy Orange County, as part of a community health grant received from the CDC. Contact info, details/specs, and a list of Q&A’s submitted by potential vendors is downloadable via Dropbox HERE.

………

Matt Brammeier, the cyclist injured in that horrific Tour of Utah crash, as been released from the hospital.

………

Local

Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office is preparing a pop-up Great Streets installation on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista early next year, including improved — and possibly protected — bike lanes.

Richard Risemberg says even if we get bike lanes, once the paint dries, we’re on our own.

Bike thefts continue in DTLA, as six people have their rides taken, four after the locks were cut; one man was arrested trying to take one.

There will be a pop-up community open house for the Cesar Chavez Great Street, which doesn’t appear to include anything to improve bike safety, this Saturday. Maybe you can point out the error of their ways.

 

State

San Francisco police back off their heavy-handed crackdown on scofflaw bike riders in the face of angry bicyclists, after 200 riders were ticketed for rolling stops, running lights and not stopping for pedestrians in just a two-day period. A petition protesting the crackdown drew over 19,000 signatures.

The Yolo County driver who intentionally ran down three cyclists in succession behind the wheel of a stolen car now faces attempted murder charges and a sanity hearing. That’s Yolo, not YOLO.

 

National

Bicycling talks to the people behind everyone’s favorite bike comic.

VeloNews asks what the rise of e-bikes means for the world of bicycling. Less pedaling, for one.

Bloomberg notes that crowdfunding is the latest way to get bikeways built, but questions just what the purpose of taxes is, then.

Not a bad idea. A new light attaches to your brake cable, giving you an automatic brake light for just $10.

If a judge agrees, an Anchorage teen could get less than three years in juvie for the DUI hit-and-run death of a bike rider. The collision came just eight days after she completed — and evidently failed — a drug abuse program; she was on Ecstasy, coke and marijuana at the time of the crash.

A car is a man’s — or woman’s — castle in Kansas; just reaching inside could entitle the driver to use deadly force. Good thing that personal space doesn’t extend to the air around it.

Caught on video: This is what a dangerously close pass by a Texas driver looks like.

A fifth Minneapolis bike rider has been attacked by a rock-throwing SUV driver; the latest victim suffered a broken clavicle.

The Cleveland Clinic offers advice on how to avoid neck pain caused by cycling. Or maybe you suffer from hay fever while riding, instead.

An Ohio driver gets a lousy three months in jail for sideswiping a cyclist with his trailer after following behind a group of riders for several hundred feet, honking and yelling at them out his window.

The athletic director at Middle Tennessee State University considers himself lucky after breaking two neck vertebrae and a wrist when he went off the road while riding his bike.

Bicycling casualties are raising red flags in Boston, where 13 people have been killed riding bikes in the city in the last five years. Nearly that many died in Los Angeles last year alone, with 11 bicycling deaths within the city limits in 2014.

A Florida man faces a manslaughter charge after killing another man with a single punch in a dispute over a stolen bike. Seriously, recovering your bike isn’t worth taking a life. Or spending the next several years behind bars.

 

International

Hundreds of cyclists formed a funeral procession for a popular British bike advocate who was killed in a road rage assault while driving his car.

Add this to the list of things you wouldn’t see while driving, as Town Mouse spots a very hidden young deer on her ride to town. And note that her definition of a busy road is spotting half a dozen vehicles in four miles.

The next time you’re in Amsterdam, look bikes with a yellow rack for a free ride on the back from an unofficial bike ambassador.

Australia’s Senate is told that mandatory helmet laws do more harm than good.

New Chinese augmented reality glasses currently raising funds on Indiegogo promise to give you a heads-up display while you ride. Because it just takes too much effort to look down at a Garmin.

Over 40,000 Thai cyclists have registered for a ride this Sunday to honor the country’s Queen on her 83rd birthday.

 

Finally…

Seriously, when a driver tells you to get off the road, just flip ‘em off if you have to respond, instead of causing $300 damage to the jerk’s car. If you’re riding a stolen bike armed with burglary tools and a stun gun, don’t ride on the damn sidewalk.

And caught on video: A Chinese bicyclist just barely avoids serious injury when he hops off his bike milliseconds before it’s hit by a driver making a dangerous U-turn in a busy intersection. Naturally, police conclude it wasn’t really the driver’s fault.

 

Morning Links: LA’s Mobility Plan 2035 passes the council, but the fight isn’t over yet; cyclist critically injured in OC

Fours years after the 2010 bike plan passed, the media seems to have finally discovered it when the Mobility Plan wins approval from the city council.

And does their best to panic easily frightened autocentric Angelenos into thinking we’re coming for their precious traffic lanes.

As predicted, the LA City Council passed the Mobility Plan, but not by the usual unanimous vote; in an unexpected move, Council President Herb Wesson allowed both debate and public comment before calling a vote.

That turned out to be 12 in favor and two against. Just enough to secure passage on the first reading, though several contentious amendments were deferred for later consideration.

Which means we may have won the day, but the key battles remain to be fought.

According to Streetsblog, still to be considered are motions to remove various bikeways, including:

  • Notoriously anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s motion to remove virtually every bike lane in his district from the plan;
  • Councilmember Curren Price’s request to remove a protected bike lane planned for Central Avenue, apparently because he thinks it doesn’t solve the 8 to 80 problem, even though it does;
  • And newly elected Councilmember David Ryu’s call for removal of the long-promised 4th Street bike friendly street — even though such bikeways have been shown to increase property values, reduce speeding and cut-through traffic, cut crime and improve safety and livability.

Yeah, who would want that?

Meanwhile, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz may have shot himself in the foot by pressing for a vote on his motion to remove Westwood Blvd from the plan, which promptly lost with just three votes in favor.

And you can probably guess which three votes those were.

In an interview with KABC-7 — which includes a highly truncated interview with yours truly — Koretz explains his opposition by saying there’s too much traffic, bus and otherwise, on Westwood for bicyclists to ride safely.

So instead of doing something to improve it, he opts to keep the street dangerous for everyone. Smart.

Most disappointing was Ryu’s support for removing Westwood and 4th Street from the plan.

While most bicyclists supported his opponent in the recent election, many had high hopes that he would turn out to be good second choice, and earn the support of the bicycling community. But if his actions Tuesday are any indication, it could be a very long four years for bike riders in his district.

And needless to say in overly litigious LA, opponents to the plan are already planning a legal challenge based on the worst-case projections that it might lead to increased congestion.

Never mind that it could actually relieve congestion by giving people an alternative to driving. Or that a key component of the plan is a Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic deaths by 2035, in part by slowing traffic.

Evidently, those opponents are willing to accept a little collateral damage if they can get to their jobs just a few seconds sooner.

And let’s not forget that even LADOT describes the plan as “aspirational,” meaning there’s no actual commitment to build any of it.

Meanwhile, Cedillo once again trotted out his argument that he has to represent his entire district, not just the 1% that ride bikes.

Even though that 1% figure only counts those who commute to work, and fails to consider anyone who rides to school, for errands or any other reason. As well as a number of immigrants for whom a bike is their only form of transportation — many of whom live in Cedillo’s district.

And it fails to consider the overwhelming proportion of people who say they would like to ride a bike if they had a safe place to do it.

BAC President Jeff Jacoberger put that 1% figure in perspective — and I’m told, brought tears to some who heard his comments — when he said that as a gay man, he used to be considered one of the 2%, but see how far we’ve come in such a short time.

Hopefully, this plan will overcome the challenges that still lie ahead, and in 20 years, we’ll all be able to look back and say the same thing.

See how far we’ve come.

………

The Times gets it, saying “the old vision of widening streets and accelerating car traffic isn’t possible or practical anymore.”

LA Curbed gets it, too, calling it a “big-time plan to make it easier for everyone to get around the city.”

Writing for HuffPo, Joel Epstein says it’s the opponents, not supporters of the plan, “who are putting up roadblocks to a Los Angeles that recognizes that every bike rider, pedestrian and transit rider is one less car on the road.”

And the LABC thanks everyone who wrote, called and attended council sessions in support of the Mobility Plan.

………

Sad news from Orange County, as a man from Bell isn’t expected to survive after he was struck by an SUV while riding his bike in Anaheim.

And a 14-year old girl was hit by a Mercedes while riding her bike in Newport Beach Tuesday night. The car may have been accompanied by two motorcycles, suggesting it might have been part of a motorcade, or the bikes could have been chasing the driver as he fled the scene.

Update: The girl, who was riding a beach cruiser with a group of friends, was apparently hit head-on by the driver of a silver or white Mercedes. The victim is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries; she was not wearing a helmet, though it’s unclear from the description whether that could have made a difference.

Thanks to Amy Senk for the heads-up.

………

Disc brakes are coming to the peloton for a two-month trial.

With the Vuelta and the USA Pro Challenge just days away, does anyone really care about the Eneco Tour? TdF winner Chris Froome apparently doesn’t, setting his sights on the Spanish tour.

Anyone can win the Tour de France; a new book looks at the riders who finished dead last.

………

Local

SaMo police bust a homeless man for bike theft after tracking a bait bike by GPS.

 

State

Pacific Beach planners are plenty peeved to find San Diego’s bikeshare on the boardwalk. Might as well leave it there; they’ll need something to do on Sundays after their football team moves to LA.

Still more San Diego bike lanes are under attack by misguided business owners who seem to think all customers arrive by car, even though studies repeatedly show bikes boost business.

Cars are now prevented from turning onto San Francisco’s Market Street, though police fear drivers will anyway because their GPS units tell them to.

Caught on video: A Bay Area B-baller makes a half-court shot while riding a bike. Allowing bikes on the court could make the NBA a lot more interesting.

Mountain View bicyclists get their first protected bike lane.

 

National

A new peer-reviewed study looks at how drag affects time trial performance. Though why anyone would dress in drag for a speed competition is beyond me. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

Eating your probiotics will lead to better gut bacteria diversity and make you a better bike rider.

Fodor’s ranks the nation’s top 10 urban bike paths. None of which are within 300 miles of Los Angeles.

Fortune says bikeshare is reshaping American cities, even if it’s not making any money.

Honolulu cyclists won’t have to hold their noses anymore as they ride past an illegal dump site.

A New York cyclist has a magical two-hour ride around the city after just setting out to get air in his tires. Things like that simply don’t happen when you drive.

 

International

Canadian bicyclists take to Facebook to fight bike theft.

Once again, a wire has been strung across Brit bike trail. And once again, a deliberate attempt to maim bike riders is inexplicably written off as a prank.

The BBC looks at how Paris allows cyclists to ride through red lights, but only where there is no crossroad.

Good news from the UK, as a 16-year old bike rider is miraculously brought back to life 30 minutes after suffering cardiac arrest during a cycling competition.

Bicycling asks if anyone really needs that Japanese Breathalyzer bike lock. That would be, no.

 

Finally…

No matter who you think had the right-of-way, don’t push another bike rider into an aqueduct. British police haven’t banned bike racing, just cancelled all the upcoming races.

And the Chicago Tribune is frightened by bicycles, and worried sick about where everyone will park.

 

Morning Links: It’s Video Tuesday, LA Mobility Plan back before city council, and one more CicLAvia wrap-up

Let’s make this a video Tuesday.

First up, bike rider Richard Bidmead barely makes it across an intersection thanks to someone with highly questionable driving skills.

Frequent contributor danger d gives us a hyperspeed timelapse ride through Sunday’s CicLAvia (more on that subject below).

He also questions whether a man who parked in the middle of the Balboa Park bike path to take a nap on a picnic table is tired or drunk. I vote for the latter, myself.

A great Brit video explains how to pass bike riders, and how not to. Too bad we can’t just flip the video and run it here.

And filmmakers are looking for funding for a documentary on enforcing three-foot and reckless driving laws; so far, they’ve raised just $530 of the $25,000 goal.

………

The LA Times casts a mostly unfavorable eye on LA’s new Mobility Plan, explaining at the end that maybe it won’t be as bad as they first make it look. Not surprisingly, Breitbart takes an even more conservative slant on the story.

And KPCC looks at the Vision Zero plan that underpins the Mobility Plan, which the Times failed to even mention.

The plan comes up before the full city council at 10 am today. The LACBC urges you to attend to support a safer transportation system in Los Angeles; if not, email your councilmember to express your support.

However, if the council follows its previous pattern, City Council President Herb Wesson may allow CMs Koretz and Cedillo will voice their support for the plan while urging the council to gut key parts of it in their districts.

Then the council will vote unanimously to adopt it, with little or no public comment, and reserving the more contentious issues for another date, since Wesson doesn’t seem to tolerate dissention in his house.

………

An LAPD spokesperson estimates over 20,000 people attended Sunday’s Culver City to Venice CicLAvia. Before 10 am, maybe; funny how the crowd estimates keep getting smaller as the events get more popular.

The Source provides some great photos, as does CiclaValley and the LA Times; CicLAvia provides their own page of photo highlights, along with video of the skateboard-riding granny who caught everyone’s eye. Meanwhile, Streetsblog asks what your favorite part of the day was.

Evidently, not everyone got the memo that it was car-free, though.

………

The women are racing in France once again, following their token appearance at the Tour de France. Meanwhile, the USA Pro Challenge announces the women’s teams competing in this year’s race, just 10 days before the tour starts. No point in giving them adequate time to prepare or anything.

A former Austrian pro gets a lifetime ban for pushing EPO and other performance-enhancing drugs to riders a few years back, while the Feds explain why they want Lance’s medical records. Which turns out to be exactly what everyone thought.

Taylor Phinney surprises everyone by being competitive in the Tour of Utah, after a 14-month recovery following a collision caused by a race moto at last year’s Nationals, while 24-year old Joe Dombrowski surprises everyone by winning the race.

And it’s happened once again, as MTN-Qhubeka rider Matt Brammeier is seriously injured in a collision with a support vehicle; two more riders collide with a race bike as he laid in the roadway.

………

Local

A Santa Monica bike shop owner spots someone riding the bike that was just stolen from his store while he’s driving to meet with police to discuss the break in. And follows the bike rustler until LAPD can make the bust.

If you didn’t get bitten by a rattlesnake on the Ballona or Marvin Bruade bike paths on the 31st, thank the Marina sheriff’s deputies and county animal control.

A Texas man rolls through Redondo Beach after riding 9,000 miles across the US with his dog to promote awareness for animal shelters.

After the cops give Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson a $350 ticket for blowing a stop sign at 40 mph, they come to his rescue when he’s harassed and threatened by a car full of punks.

 

State

After a 62-year old San Diego bike rider was seriously injured in a Mission Bay hit-and-run, another motorist followed the fleeing driver to get the license plate number.

Santa Barbara police are quick to ticket participants in an annual unsanctioned bike ride.

San Francisco accepts an F-grade level of service on redesigned Cesar Chavez Street to improve safety on the street, resulting in a 400% increase in bike traffic.

A Bay Area cyclist sets a new ascension record by climbing 95,622 feet in 48 hours.

A 14-year old Stockton boy suffers non-life threatening injuries when his bike is hit by a pickup. Why is it that reckless bike riders always seem to dart out in front of perfectly conscientious motorists?

No drama or close calls as Davis unveils a new bike-friendly Dutch intersection.

 

National

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise, so naturally, a government report blames texting walkers rather than texting drivers.

Planetizen says building a better city requires breaking down silos between disciplines and departments. Something that has proven difficult so far in the City of Angels.

Forty-thousand Portlanders get to preview a new car-free bridge.

An advocacy group from my hometown explains the rules for crossing a double yellow line to pass bike riders. That would have been legal here if it wasn’t for Jerry Brown’s hyperactive veto pen.

A Wyoming bike group asks the state legislature to invest in bikeways, while lawmakers would rather just study the issue.

Horrifying news from otherwise bike-friendly Minneapolis, as someone in a white Bronco is attacking bicyclists with cinder blocks; one rider was seriously injured.

Three out of four Rhode Island drivers like Christmas lights on bike wheels.

 

International

Road.cc lists 18 things that cyclists say.

A Canadian writer says that protecting bicyclists from collisions is a far better safety measure than requiring helmets; Britain’s Chris Boardman agrees, saying he won’t waste air time discussing the safety effects of helmets.

The father of a fallen Canadian rider calls for minimum sentences for hit-and-run drivers.

Ottawa paints “dooring zone” on the street in an attempt to keep cyclists out of it and drivers from doing it.

A teenage British bike rider helps rescue a woman from her overturned car. But bikes are the problem, right?

When you’re waiting for your girlfriend to join you on an around-the-world ride, it’s probably not the best idea to climb a mountain in India; an Israeli adventurer is severely injured in an avalanche doing just that.

Aussie authorities propose a floating bike lane to prevent deadly doorings in Melbourne. A similar plan was proposed for Westwood Blvd, but local residents and business owners evidently thought LA drivers were too dumb to figure it out.

 

Finally…

This is why you should never ride without a bra; a German woman was saved by her underwear’s underwire when a hunter’s bullet rebounded off a wild boar. A photographer shows why he prefers to shoot cyclists instead of moving motor vehicles.

And don’t try to flee by bike after bopping the mayor with a baseball bat because he was schtupping your wife.

Seriously.

 

Morning Links: Mobility Plan passes but defers battles, Tito’s Tacos owner battles Culver City over CicLAvia

Good news and bad news from Tuesday’s LA city council committee session.

As we discussed earlier, the council’s Transportation and PLUM committees held a joint session to discuss the plan for managing mobility in the city for the next 20 years.

After what the LACBC’s Eric Bruins described in an email as “quite contentious discussion of some the proposed amendments,” the plan was passed unanimously, with two primary amendments. One to prioritize equity during the implementation, and another to add the council as an implementing agency along with the mayor’s office and city departments.

What the last one means in the real world, I have no idea.

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog's Joe Linton

Photo courtesy of Streetsblog’s Joe Linton

Two other amendments aimed at derailing significant portions of the plan were tabled for the time being.

As expected, Westside Councilmember Paul Koretz asked that planned bike lanes on Westwood Blvd be stripped from the plan, saying the street is not suited for bicycling — even though hundreds of riders already use it every day. CiclaValley offers much better arguments against them than Koretz and his minions supporters.

Although it’s hard to top a claim that a mobility plan that aims to improve safety and reduce reliance on motor vehicles will somehow harm habitats and wetlands (see photo to right).

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz's Twitter feed

Photo shamelessly stolen from @Marccaz‘s Twitter feed

And needless to say, while NELA Councilmember Gill Cedillo claimed to support the plan, he also offered an amendment to gut it by removing some of the bike lanes in his district.

Or just about all of them.

The plan now goes to the full city council next week, leaving the bike portion of the plan, along with the city’s Vision Zero to eliminate traffic deaths within the next 10 years, intact for now.

However, the motions by Koretz and Cedillo will undoubtedly rear their ugly heads at a future date when they’re reconsidered in committee. And could still be passed by the council, stripping out key parts of the plan after we all turn our attention somewhere else.

Still, it’s considered a big victory by just about everyone.

With the exception of Flying Pigeon’s Rick Risemberg, that is, who takes a contrarian view by suggesting that the proposed amendments will gut the plan. And that councilmembers have no legal veto power over agency-approved projects, either individually or collectively.

Yet they do it anyway.

………

You already know CicLAvia is coming this Sunday, right?

Thankfully, it will bring changes from the hugely overcrowded 2013 CicLAvia to the Sea route, which saw massive bike traffic jams as riders limited to just one half of Venice Blvd backed up for blocks at red lights.

KNBC-4 calls it a come-as-you-are affair, though they recommend putting some sparkly handlebar streamers on your bike.

There are plenty of feeder rides to help get you there. And thankfully, the Militant Angeleno has created the latest in his indispensible guides to what to see, including the movie studio where my dad used to lay tile for movie sets and met Judy Garland.

However, the owner of popular Tito’s Tacos clearly doesn’t get it, threatening to sue Culver City for blocking motor vehicle access to the busy taco stand, which she claims is the only way her customers could possibly get there.

If she’d stop complaining and embrace the hundred of thousands of people who will be riding and walking past on sunday, she could end with lines around the block.

The Militant sums it up about as well as anyone can in his guide.

But seriously, Señora Davidson, you have no reason to fear CicLAvia this Sunday. Because we are coming. And you will get A LOT of business. And you can be rest assured that unlike your car-oriented customers, we won’t be crashing into your wall. [MIC DROP]

………

Teams are announced for Colorado’s USA Pro Challenge taking place in two weeks.

Eric Heiden, one of the first wave of American pro cyclists — and a five-time gold medal winning speed skater — is still active in the sport 30 years later as team physician for BMC. Laurens Ten Dam could have used his help, as the Dutch rider’s season may have come to an early end after he was hit by a car while training.

And in the story that never ends, the Feds want Lance’s medical records as part of their $100 million case against him.

………

Local

The latest Clitoral Mass drew hundreds of women and women-identified riders to reclaim the streets.

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare program is officially online.

A Burbank letter writer claims to be a bike advocate, as long as they ride slowly and don’t arrogantly compete with cars.

LA County has approved a bike path leading to an eventual Metro stop in Duarte.

The Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition hosts a Bicycle Scavenger Hunt this weekend, and Streetsblog is holding a fundraiser Summer Garden Party at Eco-Village this Saturday.

 

State

Nice piece from former Long Beach Mobility Director and current Calbike board VP Charlie Gandy offering a brief history of the US bike movement, and saying if we really want to be the “all powerful bike lobby,” we need to be more like Gandhi.

The Newport Beach e-bike rider killed when he crashed into the back of a minivan on Sunday may have been distracted by his cell phone. Seriously, put the damn thing away when you ride; if you need to use it, pull over and stop first.

San Diego neighbors team together to catch a bike thief who has been plaguing their neighborhood.

Fresno sees a near 40% jump in bike commuting since 2009.

A Morgan Hill business owner says don’t believe the hype from opponents of a road diet; his business has gone up since it went in, and the street is calmer, quieter, safer and more active, with a more diverse group of users. But other than that, it’s a failure, right?

Lets hope there’s a good bike lawyer in the Bay Area, as San Francisco police ticket bicyclists for not putting a foot down when they stop — even though that’s not required under California law. Expecting cyclists to put a foot down is the equivalent of making drivers put their emergency brake on at every stop sign.

Once again, bike hate rears its ugly head in Marin County, as a road raging driver tries to run down a pair of cyclists, striking one from behind. Fortunately, both escaped serious injury, while the driver was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Then again, landlocked Turlock is no better, as a driver uses his car as a weapon, intentionally sideswiping a bike rider following a dispute.

 

National

Scenic Jackson WY is the latest town to get bikeshare before LA, even if you can’t tour the Tetons on it.

A Kansas cyclist bizarrely says having to use lights on his bike after dark is an “absolute atrocity,” and the city council members are idiots for requiring it. Apparently, it’s just another government conspiracy to take away our God-given right to ride like ninjas.

After Texas thieves force a bike rider off the road with their car and steal his cellphone at gunpoint, he goes home and tracks it on his iPad before telling the police where they can find them.

It just keeps getting more bizarre. A Vermont woman married to a cop could lose her license — not because she killed a cyclist, or drove drunk while under the influence of three prescription drugs, but for failing to submit the proper form in time. At least she faces a misdemeanor DUI charge, even though it would probably be a felony for anyone else.

Bikeshare will continue to besmirch the sidewalk in front of New York’s iconic Plaza hotel, as the state supreme court upholds dismissal of the hotel’s lawsuit demanding its removal.

If a New York bus driver says you can’t bring your bike onboard, don’t whack him with it and threaten to kick his ass.

A Pennsylvania legislator is the latest to propose requiring bicyclists to wear reflective clothing, after a similar California proposal thankfully died on the vine earlier this year.

An apparent salmon cyclist was killed in a bike-on-bike collision on a Delaware highway. Or if he wasn’t riding the wrong way, the other guy was.

You know things are bad in Baton Rouge when a bike rider is hit by a car on his way home from a memorial for another rider.

A Miami area woman is under arrest for punching a seven-year old bike-riding boy in the face for making fun of her. She must be the poster child for anger management dropouts.

 

International

A new Brazilian action cam promises to simplify the process of uploading and automatically editing the highlights.

A Vancouver cop is convicted of punching a red-light running cyclist after he was cuffed for talking back.

Caught on video: A London cab driver narrowly avoids running over a cyclist after the rider is knocked off his bike by a driver’s car door. He didn’t just swerve to avoid it, despite what the headline says.

Unbelievable. A London cyclist requests security camera footage from the city that could show the hit-and-run driver who ran him down from behind, and is told he could only get it if he died.

The BBC offers twelve tips for first time bike commuters, while the Independent can only manage five.

The UK plans to use infrared sensors to count cyclists and measure riding activity to improve streets and communities. Can we get some? Pretty please?

Self-titled Brit lawyer “Mr. Loophole” urges motorists to turn the tables by recording cyclist who ride dangerously in order to goad motorists into attacking them so they can capture it on video. He’s onto us, comrades. Although I’d suggest he may be some other type of hole.

A UK truck driver was reaching across his cab to play a sermon on his mobile phone moments before running down a bike rider.

Australia will reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which is blamed — or credited, depending on your perspective — with helping the country bypass the bike boom.

An Aussie website offers nine tips on how to look good on your bike. All of which apply only to the spandex set, and most of which are totally full of crap. Except for the one about sleeveless jerseys, which don’t look good on anyone. No, not even you.

 

Finally…

At last, there’s a bike built for aspiring Bruce Waynes. The Onion offers their own take on car maker’s attempts to improve safety for cyclists, which makes more sense than some of the real ones. I’m looking at you, Volvo.

And next time you’re riding in the Bay Area, keep your eyes open for falling lampposts felled by urine.

 

Morning Links: OC truck driver goes on trial; Montebello hit-and-run reward; Metro bike workshops start tonight

The trial of truck driver Filemon Reynaga started on Monday in a Santa Ana courthouse.

And kicked off with one big revelation.

Reynaga is charged with felony hit-and-run and misdemeanor manslaughter for the 2013 death of 19-year old Manuel Morales Rodriguez.

According to the Orange County Register, Reynaga was shown on surveillance video pulling out of a store parking lot after an early morning delivery, and making a blind right turn without stopping. He ran directly into Rodriguez’ bike, dragging Rodriguez under his trailer as he made a second right onto Orangewood Ave.

A witness testified that Reynaga got out of his truck and walked back to look at Rodriguez, coming within five feet of his body. Then he got back in his truck and drove away, leaving his Rodriguez lying in the street, where he was struck again by another car moments later.

Why that doesn’t warrant a murder charge is beyond me, since he knowingly left his victim lying in harms way.

To make matters worse, his defense attorney argued that Reynaga isn’t at fault because Rodriguez might have been killed by the second driver, instead. Even though the other driver probably wouldn’t have hit him if Reynaga hadn’t left him there unprotected in the early morning darkness.

Then again, he also argued that Reynaga a) didn’t cause the collision, b) may not have even hit Rodriguez, and c) may not have known that he hit him if he did.

Let hope the jury will pick d) he’s guilty as hell.

………

Montebello is offering a $10,000 reward for the hit-and-run death of fallen cyclist Steven Vasquez Garcia last month.

Montebello Reward

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Metro is hosting a series of Open House Workshops to develop a  strategic plan for active transportation — including bikes and pedestrians — starting tonight in San Gabriel.

We want to hear from you! Metro is developing an Active Transportation Strategic Plan to identify needs, resources and strategies to improve and increase walking, bicycling and transit use in LA County, and your input will help create a meaningful, effective plan.

The workshops will:

  1. Gather input on improving first and last mile access to transit and improvements to the regional network of walking and bicycling facilities, including shared-use paths and on-street bikeways
  2. Explore opportunities for supporting local and regional partners to get these projects and programs implemented

The workshops are designed for planners, engineers, traffic safety professionals, public health and injury prevention professionals, advocates, transit riders, transit operators, non-profit organizations, decision-makers, and other interested stakeholders. Each workshop will include information about the overall plan and information specific to the sub-region. We encourage you to attend the workshop specific to your sub-region; however, staff will be available to answer questions and gather input at all workshops.

Click here for dates and locations.

………

The Tour of Utah brings big-time pro cycling to the Beehive State, with 10 riders to watch. However, two-time champ Tom Danielson won’t be one of them after failing a drug test; he could face a lifetime ban thanks to a previous six month suspension.

The best news in this year’s racing season is Taylor Phinney’s return to the peloton following last year’s horrific crash in the National Championships days after winning the time trial title. And better yet, he finished third in a breakaway in Monday’s stage.

Sunday’s competition in the Crested Butte Big Mountain Enduro race was cancelled after Will Olson was killed while competing in the off-road race on Saturday; competitors rode in his honor instead.

………

Local

A new study shows bikeshare really is an effective form of transit; LA’s upcoming system could take that a step further by offering transfers to and from other forms of transit.

LA’s Mobility Plan comes up for a vote before a joint meeting of the city council’s Transportation and Planning and Land Use committees at 2:30 today at City Hall. At least two of the councilmembers who have been working to scuttle the plan sit on those committees, so we have our work cut out for us.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee — the only official voice for bicyclists in our city government — holds their bi-monthly meeting tonight; the location has been changed to the Meeting Room at Pan Pacific Park.

 

State

Get your resume ready. Delaware-based Blue Bicycles is moving to Orange County by the end of the year; the company will release over 20 models for its 2016 line after being off the market for two years following an unsuccessful merger.

People in Santa Barbara support a well designed bike network, but question whether the one currently under consideration fits that description.

Cyclelicious says don’t bother uglifying your bike to deter thieves.

British bike scribe Carlton Reid says Davis set the standard for what a bike friendly American city could be, though it’s going to take work to return it to bike paradise it once was.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the 13 best bike rides in US national parks. And asks pro cyclists to tell us about their favorite places to ride.

People for Bikes says cities can’t prioritize vehicle speed and volume, just as turning up a hose too far causes more harm than good. It makes more sense when you read it.

An architecture website offers seven rules for safer cities.

A cyclist shares what he learned from riding across the country.

An Albuquerque thrift store sold a man’s $1,500, 1937 antique bike to another customer for $4.99 while he shopped. I’m going to have nightmares about that one.

An Iowa bike rider is grateful for the hit-and-run that broke his leg, mangled his arm and cost him his job; if he hadn’t been hurt, doctors might not have found the tumor that probably would have killed him.

A heartbreaking story, as a Minnesota man returns to the site of the hit-and-run that took his wife’s life and left him seriously injured as they returned home from a bike tour one year ago.

Not many 12-year old bike riders have sponsors. A Minnesota boy runs his own advertising service by selling ad space on his bicycle.

Vermont police conclude a cyclist was at fault in the collision that killed him, even though the driver blew a .123 alcohol level right after the wreck — well over the .08 legal limit — and had Xanax, Sertraline and Nortriptyline in her system. But it’s just a coincidence that the driver is married to a cop, right?

A Virginia bike rider is shot in an apparently random act of violence. And a VA hit-and-run victim wants to know what kind of person would slam into a bicyclist, then leave him sprawling in a ditch without stopping. I suspect we know the answer to that one.

A North Carolina driver tells a reporter he didn’t do it on purpose after killing a cyclist while driving under the influence. Oh, well okay, then.

 

International

A cyclist died after going 50 feet off a bridge at the site of the worst traffic fatality in British history. Maybe it’s time to fix the damn road, already.

A 15-year old boy from India takes gold twice in the Special Olympics time trial events, after just one month of training; he didn’t even have a racing bike when he qualified last year.

Is nowhere safe from bike thieves? A South African woman was bike-jacked while competing in a mountain bike race.

Bicycling rates are up in Western Australia, though the Aussie state faces the same gender gap everywhere else does.

Evidently, Japan isn’t quite up for Vision Zero yet, planning to cut traffic deaths by 50%. Maybe they call it Vision Less; thanks to an anonymous source for the heads-up.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride through floodwaters, make sure you know where the damn curb is. Maybe you find spandex too confining, but please wear something. Anything. Except unsightly calf-high bike socks.

Especially if you’re planning to use what’s basically an adult balance bike.

 

An open letter to the LA City Council in support of the Mobility Plan 2035

Dear Councilmember Ryu and Honorable Councilmembers,

As a resident of the 4th Council District, and someone who walks, bikes, drives and uses transit throughout the City of Los Angeles, I strongly urge you to support passage of the Mobility Plan 2035 to increase safety on our streets, while encouraging alternative transportation, increasing livability and creating a more sustainable future for our city.

It is vital that we have a well-connected bicycle network, including protected bike lanes, bike friendly streets and other safety enhancements, in all parts of the city to encourage people to leave their cars at home and embrace alternative transportation methods to improve the health of both our city and its residents. Bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to reduce injury collisions for all road users by as much as 50% — protected bike lanes by up to 90% — while improving the livability and health of neighborhoods and commercial corridors, resulting in increased property values, commercial occupancy and business receipts.

Our city’s current reliance on automotive transportation is clearly unsustainable. Our streets are already at or near capacity, with little or no room to expand; even where expansion is possible, increasing capacity will only increase demand. We have no choice but to provide safe, viable and inviting alternatives to help remove some of those cars from the roads. It only takes a small reduction in traffic volume to create a significant reduction in traffic congestion.

There are currently no safe bike routes in or out of my neighborhood in Hollywood west of La Brea, with few bike lanes and only sharrows on a handful of streets, most of which are too heavily travelled by motor vehicles to accommodate the overwhelming majority of people on bicycles, not to mention the 65% of people who say they would like to bike more if they had safer alternatives. We desperately need both the east/west and north/south bike lanes contained in the plan to encourage people to commute to work and school, as well as ride to shopping or family recreation. And I need them for my own personal safety; even as an experienced bicyclist, I must ride in fear anytime I leave my home on my bicycle, and take extraordinary steps to ensure I’m seen by motorists, even in broad daylight.

I am also concerned by the unprecedented recommendation to remove bike lanes on Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan — after they were unanimously approved by a vote of the city council as part of the 2010 Bike Plan, which has been subsumed into the Mobility Plan, and which was part of a long public process leading to its approval. Westwood is one of the city’s most dangerous streets for people riding bikes, with over eight times as many bike-involved collisions as on similar streets in Los Angeles. Westwood is already heavily used as a commuter route by UCLA students, faculty and employees, as well as people who work along the boulevard and on the Wilshire corridor; this will only increase, perhaps dramatically, once the Westwood Expo Line station opens early next year. In addition, bike lanes could help revive the long declining commercial corridor along Westwood Blvd and bring more life to commercially failing Westwood Village.

I urge you to vote to adopt the Mobility Plan 2035 as written to ensure greater safety and livability for everyone who uses our streets.

Thank you for your consideration,

Ted Rogers

bikinginla.com

 

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