Tag Archive for 20 is plenty

New book says accidents aren’t accidents, WeHo considers protected bike lanes, and keeping deadly drivers on the road

She gets it.

The New York Times’ Peter Coy talks with journalist Jessie Singer about her new book, which concludes that there are no accidents, just events that could have been prevented.

And that too often, it’s the marginalized members of society who pay the price.

On the other hand, Coy clearly doesn’t get it.

Coy: …Anyway, is it possible to go too far in preventing accidents? It wouldn’t make sense to limit cars to going 30 miles per hour.

Singer: It is our moral and ethical imperative to do everything in our power to protect human life. When people talk about the nanny state, what they’re doing is making excuses for deeply preventable, deeply racialized and class-divided causes of death.

If we look at places that do everything in their power to protect human life, from Sweden’s Vision Zero traffic safety policies to Portugal’s harm-reduction overdose prevention policies, we see that countless lives could be saved just by putting people first.

Never mind that cities across the world have successfully reduced the frequency and severity of collisions by cutting speed limits below 30 mph.

Let alone the worldwide 20 Is Plenty movement to reduce the risk of collisions as well as the risk of death or serious injury by slowing drivers to 20 mph in populated areas.

So yeah, it does make sense to lower speed limits to 30 mph, or less. Because the convenience of drivers should never outweigh the lives and safety of those around them.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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There may be hope for WeHo bike riders yet.

Streets For All reports that a pair of studies could result in protected bike lanes on Fountain and Santa Monica Blvd, respectively.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490794943794716674

Either one would be a game changer.

Together, they would provide the first safe bicycling route through the city, from La Brea in the east to Beverly Hills in the west.

Let’s just hope they both get the go ahead.

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Today’s common theme is the lenient courts and government officials who inexplicably keep dangerous drivers on the road until they kill someone.

Like the heartbreaking news from New York, where a 99-year old Holocaust survivor was killed by a reckless driver with a long record of speeding and red light violations.

Or the Florida hit-and-run driver who killed a 70-year old man riding a bicycle, and was somehow still on the road despite five previous DUIs; he was caught after two days, which presumably gave him plenty of time to sober up before he was busted.

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

No bias here. A candidate for San Diego city council says the city’s new bike lanes are death traps that go unused for weeks at a time.

A Florida city puts the entire obligation for safety on bike riders by requiring lights and bells on their bikes. But there’s not a bike bell made that will do a damn thing to stop aggressive, speeding and/or distracted drivers.

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Local

Work is proceeding on an $8.1 million, 2.8-mile extension of Pasadena’s Greenway Trail. Correction: Make that Whittier, not Pasadena. Thanks to Joe Linton for keeping me honest.

 

State

A new bill from bike-riding La Cañada Flintridge State Senator Anthony Portantino would require cities and counties to identify a High Injury Network of their most dangerous roads and intersections, and create a plan to correct them within 15 years. But do we really want to let them keep killing people for another 15 years? Cut the timeline to five years, and I’m all in.

Streetsblog offers more details on SB 922, which would permanently exempt bike lanes and other environmentally friendly transportation projects from lengthy environmental reviews. Which are too often abused to halt or delay bike, pedestrian and transit projects that would benefit the environment.

San Diego belatedly begins work on building a separated bikeway along Pershing Drive through Balboa Park, after a bike commuter and a scooter rider were killed on the existing bike lanes last year. Meanwhile, the family of noted architect Laura Shinn, who was killed by an allegedly stoned driver while riding her bike to work, have filed suit against the city. Considering the years-long delay in improving the bike lane, they might as well just back up the Brinks truck. Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

Bad news from Livermore, where a woman was killed when her bike was hit head-on by a driver after they both crossed the yellow line while rounding a curve from opposite directions.

A Pittsburgh CA man was sentenced to 28 years to life behind bars for fatally shooting man as he was stealing the victim’s bike; the shooter bizarrely claimed self-defense, claiming he felt threatened by the victim’s attempt to get his bike back. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

 

National

In a question that answers itself, Streetsblog asks if America needs a Mobility Bill of Rights, after a group of Washington nonprofits author one for their state. Los Angeles bike advocates created a Cyclists’ Bill of Rights over a dozen years ago, which was sort-of approved by the city council, until it wasn’t, and then promptly forgotten, which was probably the city’s intent all along.

Popular Science says don’t buy an ebike, just build one using the bike in your garage.

Cycling Utah talks with our own Peter Flax, who offers a “look at racial justice issues through the lens of his deep and nuanced understanding of the various facets of bike culture.”

The Boston Globe questions whether the city will keep up the pandemic momentum that spurred bike lane creation throughout the area. Unlike Los Angeles, which squandered the opportunity presented by light pandemic traffic by failing to build a single new bike lane that wasn’t already in the works.

A Brooklyn councilmember tries, and fails, to successfully navigate a street without leaving the bike lane, missing out on the $100 challenge due to an array of drivers blocking it.

DC intends to install another ten miles of protected bike lanes this year, adding to its existing 24-mile network, with another 20 miles coming by 2024.

 

International

Worst dad of the year award goes to British father stole his daughter’s bicycle from the trunk of her car to teach her a lesson.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a careless driver walked without a single day behind bars for killing a man riding his bicycle; she was sentenced to 280 hours of community service and lost her license for a lousy 14 months.

A study from Belgian ebike brand Cowboy confirms previous studies showing ebikes offer the same fitness benefits as regular bicycles.

Amsterdam wants to give you over $2,200 for ideas on how to improve bicycle safety in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

At last, some good news about two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal, who was released from the hospital two weeks after a training crash left him critically injured; however, he still faces a very long recovery.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could come wrapped in rice and potatoes. How about an ebike can actually fly?

And ebike riders of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

No, literally.

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

Metro commits to BRT on Colorado Blvd, Gonzalez kills speed cam bill in Assembly Committee, and 20 is plenty

Today is Bike Anywhere Day in LA County. So just get on your bike and do it, already.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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More on the battle for the heart and soul of Eagle Rock, as Metro commits to running the NoHo to Pasadena BRT — aka, bus rapid transit — line along Colorado Blvd.

However, as we noted yesterday, the configuration of the roadway is still undetermined, after CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León threw a wrench in the resident-driven Beautiful Blvd plan, which would remove a traffic lane in some places, while retaining bike lanes, landscaping, medians and most parking.

De León insisted on studying another option, and gathering still more public input, despite months of public meetings and comments already.

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San Diego Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez drove the final nail in the coffin of one of the two speed cam bills under consideration in the state legislature this session, blocking the pilot program in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after severely gutting it earlier.

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The UN Global Road Safety Week calls on policymakers to reduce speed limits  to 20 mph on streets where bicyclists and pedestrians mix with motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, a British town is scrapping its 20 mph speed limit because most drivers ignore it anyway.

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Good point.

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Local

Long Beach is officially opening a new bike path leading to Pier J along Harbor Scenic Drive this Sunday.

 

State

Bike rodeos are back, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department hosting one for kids in San Clemente on the 26th.

Menifee police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on the 24th, ticketing any violations that put either group at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law if you ride there on Monday.

Bakersfield is marking Bike to Work Day today, with bike shops and clubs offering refreshments on the Kern River Parkway throughout town, pandemic be damned.

A Clovis bike rider captures a closeup view of a hawk attacking his head on his helmet cam; the bird has a reputation for attacking people who come too close to its nest.

Danville opens a new bike and pedestrian bridge that cuts half a mile off the previous route through downtown, while allowing riders to bypass three busy intersections.

 

National

The latest bike helmet ratings are in from the testing lab at Virginia Tech, demonstrating once again that higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to better protection.

Jalopnik asked readers to share the close calls they’ve had on a bike. And boy, did they.

A new study shows ped-assist ebikes offer nearly the same health benefits as regular bicycles.

If you’re in the market for a Giant or Liv bicycle, Colorado used bike site The Pro’s Closet is now accepting trade-ins.

A bicycle resort in Colorado Springs CO is hosting a bike-themed art show this weekend.

Riding away from a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, a football player at the University of Texas El Paso gave up his final year of eligibility for a 650-mile ride across the state with his father and brother, to raise awareness of brain cancers after his uncle died of glioblastoma.

A Cape Cod town considers blocking a bike and pedestrian path leading to the beach, closing a public access route that’s existed for more than 200 years.

A bighearted Rhode Island teenager raised funds to donate 70 bicycles to the local Boys and Girls Clubs for kids in need.

The pandemic bike boom has hit the mountain bike trails, as well; the New York Times credits more trails, better bikes and the rise of high-school mountain biking, as well as the chance to get out in the fresh air with friends.

A North Carolina man will spend the next four years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a popular bike advocate, after being sentenced to a total of 20 years with 16 years suspended. His boss faces charges as an accessory after the fact for helping coverup the crime committed in a company truck.

Even the buildings are out to get us. A New Orleans bike rider was injured when high winds blew debris off an abandoned skyscraper.

Miami police released bodycam video of the aftermath of a drunken hit-and-run collision in which a former porn star is charged with running down an ebike-riding pastor.

A Florida man escaped with serious injuries when he became collateral damage in police chase while riding his bike, as officers chased five teens in a stolen SUV; he’s currently confined to a wheelchair after being thrown 15 feet into the air by the force of the impact.

More collateral damage in Florida, where two men were indicted on first degree murder charges for the accidental shooting of a bike rider, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the occupants of two cars; three other men will also face charges in the case.

 

International

An op-ed from an “avid cyclist” in Vancouver says the city’s bike lanes are unnecessary and wasteful, because they inconvenience people in cars and are primarily used during the morning and evening rush hours. You know, kind of like all those lanes drivers use. 

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next two years in juvenile detention for killing a bike courier after running a red light.

Sisters and Bollywood stars Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor warn a paparazzo to back off after he steps into their path to film them riding their bikes.

Manilla residents are taking to bicycles to escape the city’s notorious gridlock.

A Singapore e-scooter rider will spend 12 weeks behind bars for the death of a 64-year old woman on a bicycle after they crashed on a shared-use path; the victim’s family understandably calls the sentence too lenient.

A group of Aussie bicyclists get brake-checked by a trailer-towing pickup driver, who gets out and yells at them for having the audacity to ride on the road. You know, like they’re supposed to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian cyclist Gianluca Brambilla was booted off the podium in yesterday’s 12th stage of the Giro, relegated from third to fourth for veering wildly in front of George Bennett in a final sprint to the finish. Fellow Italian Andrea Vendrame won the stage in a breakaway with Australian Chris Hamilton.

A new gravel race will roll from Fruita, Colorado to Cisco, Utah tomorrow, with distances up to 185 miles, while the glitterati of the gravel world will be in Texas for the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Penny Farthing. Is there really such a thing as a popular freeway interchange?

And I can’t offer any better advice for Bike Anywhere Day than this.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Morning Links: More proof lower speed limit cuts casualties, and CA bill could allow lower limits on dangerous streets

One quick question before we start.

Does it count as Viking Biking in Los Angeles when there’s water falling from the sky?

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Evidently, 20 really is plenty.

Overall traffic injuries in Edinburgh, Scotland have dropped 24% since the city instituted a 20 mph speed limit. And fatalities and serious injuries dropped nearly a third.

More evidence that if Los Angeles is serious about Vision Zero — something that remains to be seen — it will have to get serious about lowing speed limits.

Which will be difficult to do under current state law.

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That effort could be aided a little by a new bill in the state legislature that would allow cities to lower speed limits on streets with a high crash rate.

The bill, AB 2363, sponsored by Glendale’s Laura Friedman, is a long way from repealing the state’s deadly 85th percentile law, which allows speeding drivers to set dangerously high speed limits.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction.

And one Los Angeles should support if we hope to make a dent in the city’s far-too-high fatality rate.

Then again, one death is one too many.

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Local

Ewan McGregor is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going for a bike ride with his daughter in LA.

 

State

A woman was seriously injured in San Diego County’s Imperial Beach when she was struck by a left-turning driver as she rode with two other people in a bike lane. Needless to say, the driver claims he never saw her — and somehow concludes, based on that total lack of knowledge, that she never saw him, either. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up. 

People for Bikes offers lessons learned from San Francisco’s “lightening-fast, dirt-cheap” protected bike lanes.

 

National

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, studies show that Uber and Lyft are adding to the congestion on our streets, rather than reducing it.

Hawaii bike riders complain that drivers give cyclists less space on the road than they’d give a dog.

A Wisconsin city is making efforts to become more bike-friendly, nearly two centuries after bicycles first came to town. Even if one of the two bike-friendly businesses is the local tackle shop.

Dozens of Illinois cyclists took a 40-mile winter bike ride to promote year-round bicycling, and raise funds to buy a new bicycle for the local police department.

A Detroit newspaper looks at calls to boycott the maker of Giro, Bell, Camelbak and Copilot bike gear, because their parent company also make guns and ammunition, and supports the NRA.

A 77-year old Pennsylvania woman has donated the funds needed to finish a $1 million bike and pedestrian bridge over a highway, which will be named after her surgeon husband, who passed away last year.

Bike riders in Atlanta are complaining about cars blocking bike lanes. In other words, just like drivers do virtually everywhere else.

 

International

Nice story, as a mother worries, and does the research, when her 5-year old daughter asks if she can ride to school by herself.

A Toronto newspaper sings the praises of bicycling in Mexico City, while noting it’s still far from a bike paradise.

An Ottawa, Canada newspaper complains that bikes were an afterthought in plans for a new train line, after commissioners reject plans to ban bikes from the trains at rush hour.

Ebike sales are surging in Europe, as they give older and disabled people the opportunity to ride, while others look to reduce their carbon footprint.

The war on bikes continues, as a road raging English driver tries to run a bike rider off the road, before getting out and pushing him off his bike.

An automotive website looks at the problem of introducing dockless bikeshare to Amsterdam, where most residents already own one or more bikes, and don’t welcome the new bikes cluttering their sidewalks.

A Spanish man tells the tale of how he spent 28 days in a coma after being struck by lightening, then recovered enough to win a bronze medal at last year’s paracycling world championships. Oddly, he was struck just days after getting a lightening bolt tattoo.

New Zealand bicyclists complain that moving a bike lane to the opposite side of the street to avoid conflicts with bus stops has actually made it more dangerous.

Auckland, New Zealand turns to polka dot streets in an effort to get drivers to slow down and protect bike riders and pedestrians.

Caught on video: A lane-splitting Aussie bike rider slams into an 80-year old man who was crossing mid-block between stalled cars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Locals fear Philadelphia’s 33-year old professional bike race is over for good, after being canceled for the second straight year.

VeloNews offers photo essays from the winter Omloop and Muur cycling classics.

 

Finally…

When you feel the need for a hard ride, but don’t actually want to go anywhere. That feeling when the hit-and-run driver who ran you over is a Nintendo character in a go-kart.

And why bother building more bikeways when you can just declare your city bike-friendly?