Tag Archive for 2010 L.A. bike plan

LA suggests un-Healthy Streets alternative, LADOT commits climate arson, and drivers back it up on Ventura Blvd

My apologies if you received an email with just the barest outline of a post earlier.

I seem to have had a twitchy publish button finger.

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Somehow, you knew this was going to happen.

A full year after the Los Angeles City Council rejected the proposed Healthy Streets LA ordinance, the city has finally come back with their long-awaited alternative version.

And suffice it to say it leaves a lot to be desired.

The original measure, which easily qualified for next year’s ballot, requires the city to build out the already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, which subsumed the 2010 Bike Plan, any time a street in the plan gets resurfaced or resealed with slurry.

The council had the option of approving it as written, or sending it to a vote of the people.

They chose the latter, while promising to come back within weeks with an even better, new and improved version of their own.

You can guess how that turned out.

According to an analysis of the proposal from Streets For All, who wrote the original ballot measure, the city changed the requirement from covering any resurfacing over 1/8 of a mile to 1/4 of a mile, which they say would exclude 80% of the projects in the Mobility Plan’s Neighborhood Enhanced Network, as well as removing slurry seals from the plan.

Correction: I originally wrote that the change to 1/4 mile would exclude 80% of the projects, which was a misreading of the text on my part. I have corrected the paragraph above to more accurately reflect the effect of the change.

Then there’s this.

When defining “standard elements” it was interesting that the City Attorney didn’t simply say “the improvements in the Mobility Plan” but said that it’s the improvements that the Board of Public Works, Director of City Planning and General Manager designate for inclusion in a Project.” In other words, if any of those entities don’t “designate” an improvement to be included in a Project, then it’s excluded, and a bike or bus lane is ignored. This is the first “out” the City has given itself, and it’s a big one.

But wait, there’s more, as they say in the world of informercials.

This next section is a doozy. It basically says that the General Manager of LADOT and Director of City Planning — in “consultation” with LAPD, LAFD, and the City Attorney (three entities often hostile to bike and bus lanes in the first place) — can “revise” Mobility Corridors. In other words, they’re usurping City Council’s authority over the Mobility Plan and taking it for themselves. It’s a dangerous precedent to set that City departments can change the City’s General Plan without Council, and especially dangerous to put it in the hands of LAPD, LAFD, and this City Attorney (who has implied the City shouldn’t be at fault for pedestrian deaths even if the City has failed to implement its own Vision Zero or Mobility Plan 2035 plans).

Read that again.

The city’s revised version would remove the requirement to include any street or project in the already-approved Mobility Plan, and replace with the judgement of city officials likely to be hostile to any changes.

The city version goes on to include a public outreach process, which has too often been gamed by city officials to kill projects they don’t like, or are afraid to implement.

Like shovel-ready lane reductions on Lankershim, North Figueroa and Temple Street, just to name a few.

Streets For All ends their insightful analysis this way.

So what is our overall take on the City’s version? It’s full of holes, exceptions, and bureaucracy, and is not an attempt to actually implement the Mobility Plan during repaving; it’s an attempt to look like it’s doing something, while actually continuing to mostly ignore the Mobility Plan. It also does not address any of the equity additions (former Council President Nury Martinez) had promised, nor does it establish a centralized office of coordination, or provide for a multi year funding plan.

In other words, it’s not nearly good enough. We have raised more than $2,000,000 to get our ballot measure across the finish line this spring. Our polling shows an overwhelming number of Angelenos are sick of the status quo — and will support Healthy Streets LA at the ballot box. If you’re ready for change, join us! You can stay up-to-date, volunteer, donate, and get involved on our website.

See you at the ballot box.

And in the meantime, contact your councilmember to let them know the city’s proposal is dead in the water.

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LADOT appears to be committed to committing climate arson.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports Los Angeles continues to widen streets throughout the city, calling out more than a dirty dozen streets that will soon have more room — and in most cases, more lanes — for motor vehicles.

In fact, Linton lists a full fifteen streets either currently being expanded or set for expansion, at a total cost of more than $218 million.

Although that’s barely a fifth of what the city is spending to give raises to the LAPD.

Some folks out there may be under the mistaken impression that Los Angeles is not really widening roads any more. Though widening roads is counterproductive in many ways, it has long been and continues to be an incessant L.A. City practice.

Streets for All founder Michael Schneider terms L.A. City road widening “the opposite of fighting climate change,” noting that “widening streets induces more driving, meaning more pollution burden locally and more greenhouse emissions further harming the climate.” Widening is expensive, and adversely impacts safety, health, climate, air, water, noise, housing, historic preservation, and more.

That money could make a sizable dent in the city’s bike plan, which could actually get some of those cars off the streets, rather than flushing more money down the toilet by funding still more induced demand.

This far into the 21st Century, it should be clear that we can’t build our way out of traffic congestion.

And that fighting climate change will require getting people out of their cars, and onto their feet or bikes, and into transit.

Widening streets is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

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Reverse angled parking is supposed to improve safety for people on bicycles by improving sightline for drivers pulling out of spaces.

But the new configuration on western Ventura Blvd isn’t exactly winning rave reviews, as bicyclists complain about drivers using the bike lanes to back into parking spaces, as well as double parking to wait for a space to open up, forcing riders out into unforgiving traffic.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1695998850182660507

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Santa Monica is improving safety on deadly Wilshire Blvd by making several cross streets right turn only.

https://twitter.com/santamonicacity/status/1695150351966466427

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CicLAvia’s North Hollywood CicLAmini along the Lankershim Blvd corridor is less than four weeks away.

The good news is you can just step off the B (Red) Line subway at the NoHo station and you’re there.

https://twitter.com/CicLAvia/status/1695487795165364512

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OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson forwards evidence of why you should always hesitate pulling out from a red light, until you know every driver in every direction is coming to a stop.

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If you build it, they will come.

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Remember this the next time someone questions why bike riders insist on riding in the street.

Or better yet, just send it to them.

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

Maybe starting the Vuelta in the Catalonia region wasn’t the best idea, as someone tried to sabotage the complicated second stage by tossing tacks and nails on the course, flattening the tires of around 15 cyclists.

An “arrogant” road-raging driver — and possible government employee — in the Philippines assaulted a man riding a bicycle, then pulled out a gun and aimed it at the victim before cooler heads apparently prevailed.

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Local 

Beverly Hills is looking for your input on the parking-protected bike lane pilot project on Roxbury Drive, as they consider making the bike lane permanent.

Police in Long Beach are looking for a pair of robbers who fired a gun as they struggled with a man to steal his bicycle along the Los Angeles River bike path Thursday night; the thieves eventually ran off without the bike.

 

State

Video from a TikTok user shows people in San Diego standing by and watching as a man steals a woman’s bike in broad daylight, calling it an example of the Bystander Effect. Then again, the person taking the video didn’t intervene, either. 

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

US colleges are beginning to ban ebikes due to a fear of fire risk as well as a risk to pedestrians. After all, it makes so much more sense to force students and faculty back into their cars, which evidently don’t pose a greater risk to anyone. Right?

The Better Business Bureau offers tips tips to help you pick the right ebike for your budget.

Bike Rumor offers their picks for Best in Show at Portland’s MADE handmade bike show; Velo offers their favorites, too.

Cycling Weekly visits MADE to examine the new Moots prototype spec’ed with 750D wheels, asking if we really need another wheel diameter standard.

A Seattle website profiles Seattle Bike Blog author Tom Fucoloro, who has a new book examining the city from behind the handlebars.

My hometown paper offers highlights from the massive turnout for the country’s last remaining Tour de Fat.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sixty-four-year old John Kezdy, the lead singer of the ’80s punk band The Effigies, died on Saturday, three days after he was critically injured crashing his bike into an Amazon van illegally parked in a Chicago bike lane. The inevitable lawsuit will be just the cost of business for the online shopping giant.

It’s apparently open season on bike riders at Indiana University, as three students who participated in the iconic Little 500 bike race were hit by drivers in three days last week; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left a 12-year old Boston-area boy bleeding alone in the streets. Or any other kid, for that matter. 

A writer for The New York Times says he improved his mental and physical health by ditching his car and walking to biking to run errands, though he suggests that anyone wanting to emulate him may not want to start with a trip to Costco. Thanks to Bike Talk’s Taylor Nichols, who suggests getting writer Andrew Leonard to appear on the show, for the heads-up.

A Long Island woman faces charges for slamming into a triathlete as he rode his bike in the middle of a race, after pulling out of a parking lot at a high rate of speed and onto the race course that had been closed to traffic.

The AP offers not necessarily safe for work video from the Philadelphia World Naked Bike Ride.

This is who we share the road with. A road-raging Philadelphia driver with a concealed carry permit pulled out a gun and began firing after his car was surrounded by dirt bike riders on an apparent rideout, shooting one man before he was wounded by return fire.

 

International

Evidently, you can kill a man on a fundraising bike ride while driving drunk, bury his body a shallow grave on a remote Scottish estate for three years, and get off with just 12 years behind bars — and could get out in as little as six. And get just five years and three months for helping your brother hide the body.

BBC host and bicycling advocate Jeremy Vine causes a stir in the UK by saying drivers should pull over and let bicyclists pass in urban centers, since people on bicycles can often travel faster than people in cars — and that drivers shouldn’t be allowed to pass bicyclists at all. Finally, a campaign platform I can get behind.  

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is one of us, after he posted video of going on a cargo bike ride with his twins while vacationing in Yorkshire, England. From the looks of it, the bike was almost as long as his name. 

GCN shares the “most bizarre and beautiful” bikes from last week’s Paris-Brest-Paris.

A Nigerian website says bicycling is a must if the country hopes to “be rid of hydra-headed transportation gridlock that often sends road users to nightmarish spasm.”

Giant Taiwanese bikemaker Giant warns customers that a scam website posing as the bike brand may be ripping off consumers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel said enough is enough and intentionally slowed the peloton after a crash by Primož Roglič in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Vuelta; Italy’s Andrea Piccolo took the leader’s red jersey as Denmark’s Andreas Kron won the day on a stage shortened by flooding near rate finish.

Britain’s William Bjegfelt just won the Paracycling World Championships after he was told he’d never walk or bike again following a head-on collision with a driver in 2015.

L39ION of Los Angeles cyclists Kendall Ryan and Ty Magner wons the elite women’s and men’s races, respectively, at the IU Momentum Health Indy Crit in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Cycling Weekly takes a look at the alternative, off-road race scene in the UK.

More bad news, in what has been an unbelievably tragic year for pro and amateur cyclists, as 22-year old Belgian rider Tijl De Decke was killed when he crashed into the back of a car on a training ride.

 

Finally…

You may have to blow up your next bike helmet. That feeling when the man accused of stealing your bicycle finally gets arrested — 38 years later.

And they get it.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA city officials back off “aspirational” mobility plan, CD13’s Hugo Soto-Martinez talks bikes, and still more bike giveaways

Just nine days left in the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

We’re on the cusp of the last full weekend of the fund drive, just slightly ahead of last year’s record pace. But we need your help to push it over the top, and best last year’s total for the 8th consecutive year!

So thanks to Matthew L and Tom C for their generous donations to keep all the latest bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Now it’s your turn, so donate today via PayPal or Zelle

Every contribution, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, and gets us that much closer to our goal.

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Before we get started, thanks to Paul Jamason for this tweet that took me by surprise yesterday. 

But that’s what I do, all day and every day, confronting misinformation and disinformation about bikes and the people who ride them. And working to shine a light on the problems we face just trying to get from here to there in one piece. 

So if you value that work, and have a few extra bucks to spare, ask yourself what it’s worth to you, and donate now to help keep this vital work going.

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Today’s must read comes from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, who calls out Los Angeles city officials for their mealymouthed support of the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, which we are once again told is merely “aspirational,” despite its overwhelming approval by the city council.

But what has been disturbing has been the city’s wholesale backing off of the Mobility Plan as a plan. Instead city staff – from the Planning Department, Chief Legislative Analyst, Department of Transportation, and others – are casting doubt on the city’s approved plan. This occurred repeatedly in an October 6 CLA memo and a November 30 City Council Public Works Committee meeting [audio] discussing the city council’s alternative version of HSLA.

CLA staff repeatedly characterized MP2035 as just “a policy foundation,” “a working guide,” “not an implementation tool with specific projects,” and “street segments indicated on the network concept maps represent potential opportunities.” (emphasis added).

He goes on to add this.

At the committee meeting, (Department of City Planning) Planner Emily Gable stated that MP2035 is “guidance” for a “general vision.” MP2035 network maps are “guides for decision-makers.” She called the plan “aspirational” and emphasized its “flexibility.”

It’s instructive to note the pernicious double standard of how the city is treating other aspects of the Mobility Plan.

Bus lanes? Guidance.

Bike lanes? Policy foundation.

Safe walking? Aspirational.

Car capacity? Build it exactly as the plan specifies.

Then again, that’s nothing new.

Just weeks after the 2010 Bike Plan was approved, which was later subsumed into the mobility plan, we were told by an LADOT official that it was merely, yes, aspirational.

But here’s the thing.

While the city may consider the mobility plan aspirational, people who ride bikes just aspire to do so without fear.

We aspire to have safe routes allowing us to ride across the city, and through our own neighborhoods.

We aspire to be treated as equals on the road.

We aspire to have secure places to park our bikes when we get to our destination.

And we aspire to have city officials who actually give a damn whether we live or die.

It’s a good piece. So take a few minutes to give it a read.

Then get mad as hell.

Because your safety and right to ride should never be just aspirational.

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If, like me, you missed Streets For All’s virtual happy hour with newly installed CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez on Wednesday, the transportation PAC has posted a recording online so we can all catch up.

This is how they describe it.

In this month’s happy hour we give an update on Venice Bl and our state efforts, talk about upcoming neighborhood council elections, and go over some wins and fails. Our special guest is Hugo Soto-Martinez, newly elected Councilmember for District 13, City of Los Angeles. We discussed many possible bike, bus, and pedestrian projects, including Fountain Ave, Santa Monica Bl, Hollywood Bl, Vermont, and capping the 101 freeway.

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Speaking of Streets For All, the group wants you to request a ballot for the Democratic Party’s ADEM representatives to help elect pro-transit delegates.

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‘Tis the season.

A religious group will donate a total of 500 bicycles to kids in need in Madera and Fresno, California this weekend.

A Bozeman, Montana bike shop is conducting their ninth annual children’s bike giveaway, hoping to donate at least 110 bikes to break last year’s record.

Kids in Sioux Falls, South Dakota will build a sense of pride and generosity by building 120 bicycles tomorrow, which will be given to less fortunate children as Christmas gifts.

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

There’s not a pit deep enough for the middle-aged British dog walker who chased down and attacked a teenage girl as she rode her bike, after shouting threats at her. Nothing justifies violence, whatever the reason for his anger.

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Local 

New CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez filed a motion instructing city officials to report back on the condition of the streets in her district, which had been neglected under former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, while directing that construction of bicycle infrastructure simultaneously coordinated with street repairs.

New LA County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath has been seated on the Metro board, giving it a fresh voice with a track record of supporting bikes, walking and transit.

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, better known as the LACBC, announced their official name change to BikeLA.

 

State

San Francisco Streetsblog says the removal of traditional parking meters in the city means fewer places to park your bike. LADOT was supposed to conduct a study a few years ago about whether bikes could be safely locked up to parking meters here in Los Angeles, but as far as I know, the practice remains technically illegal, though seldom enforced. 

A Napa Valley paper examines the work of the Napa County Bicycle Coalition.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman was killed in a collision while riding her bike Thursday evening.

A Rancho Cordova man will be charged with murder after ambushing a 60-year old ebike rider with a machete, for no apparent reason.

 

National

Equitable Cities is conducting a survey of bicycling in the Black and Hispanic communities; you could be entered to win one of ten $200 gift cards for completing the survey.

The Bike League wants you to contact your Congress members to push for a return of the Bicycle Commuter Benefit in any year-end tax or spending legislation. Maybe they could also push for the ebike rebate the feds teased us with earlier this year.

Bicycling recommends eight “hilarious” Insta reel creators they say you have to follow. Even though you don’t. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Gear Junkie explains the myriad joys of the derailleur.

Red Bull considers whether you really want a BMX or a mountain bike.

There’s a special place in hell — and hopefully behind bars — for whoever sexually assaulted a 12-year old Virginia girl before stealing her bicycle.

A newly completed Complete Street in Sarasota, Florida, complete with a lane reduction and sort-of protected bike lanes, is part of the planned 336-mile Florida Gulf Coast Trail. But as usual, local business owners are complaining.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers what to eat and drink before, during and after a long bike ride, which they define as lasting longer than three and a half hours.

Frightening story from Wales, where a 14-year old boy’s heart suddenly stopped while on a group ride with his stepdad, even though he was an experienced mountain biker; he survived, despite four days in a coma, because one member of the group performed CPR while others raced for a defibrillator.

Belgian ebike brand Cowboy is dealing with the problem of recycling ebike batteries by recycling the entire bike instead, refurbishing and reselling them at a reduced price.

The most popular electric vehicle in Deutschland isn’t a car, as Germans are 2.5 times more likely to ride an ebike than drive an EV.

 

Competitive Cycling

The nascent National Cycling League announced $7.5 million in startup funding from a diverse group of investors, including NBA All-Star Bradley Beal; the league will consist of teams made up of eight men and eight women, who will compete for a slice of the $1 million purse in closed course crits in cities across the US. Although it’s kind of sad that a relatively paltry $7.5 million reflects the largest ever investment in US bike racing, when it’s just a rounding error on Beal’s annual salary. 

Track cycling fans should head down to the Velo Sports Center in Carson for a full weekend of racing, starting tonight.

 

Finally…

Your bike can be an electric generator contributing to the power grid. And now you, too, can own newly Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s used $7,900 tri bike.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Volunteers needed for LA Mobility Plan initiative, and a call to fix dangerous 2 Freeway/Glendale Blvd stub

Streets For All wants to make Los Angeles put its money where its mouth is.

Or maybe put its stripes where its pavement goes.

As we’ve repeatedly discussed, the LA city council unanimously passed the groundbreaking 2010 bike plan, which included three separate but interconnected bike networks to take riders across their own neighborhood or across the city.

That was subsumed into the equally groundbreaking 2035 Mobility Plan, along with LA’s Vision Zero plan, which promised to reshape how we get around the City of Angels. And which passed with just two negative votes — from bike-hating Gil Cedillo and self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, who apparently never met a car he didn’t like.

Then all three plans were immediately placed on the shelf, and promptly forgotten.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490514757580775428

As a result, Streets For All is introducing a ballot measure that would require the city to implement the mobility plan whenever a street gets resurfaced, as some other cities have done.

Which, as we’ve all seen, isn’t often enough.

But here’s what the organization has to say about the initiative.

Announcing Healthy Streets LA – a ballot measure to change things once and for all.

We’re excited to share our ballot measure with you – and we need your help to get it on the ballot!

Despite passing a 2035 Mobility Plan containing over 1,500 miles of pedestrian safety improvements, bus lanes, and bike lanes, the City of Los Angeles has implemented less than 3% of their plan in seven years. One tragic result of this failure has been exploding traffic violence in Los Angeles, with an increasing number of people getting hurt and killed each year. We don’t have to live this way.

Healthy Streets LA is a ballot measure requiring the City to implement its own plan each time it repaves a street. Since a street has to be re-striped anyway after repaving, this will reduce the cost and dramatically speed up the implementation of the Mobility Plan on the hundreds of miles of streets the city repaves each year.

To qualify for the ballot, we need to turn in 65,000 qualified signatures by May 27th. If we can get it on the ballot, our polling shows it would easily pass. We are excited to partner with LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, Sunrise Movement LA, the West Valley Peoples Alliance, The Transit Coalition, and The River Project on this effort.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Sign up to volunteer and gather signatures in your area.
  2. Sign up to be an area director and manage volunteers in your area.
  3. Pledge to sign the petition – and get others to as well.

This is the most ambitious thing we’ve ever worked on, and together with your help and the help of our coalition, we can pull it off, and change our city forever.

Hopefully this will get enough signatures to get on the ballot. I’ll be signing it the first chance I get.

Then we’ll see if our fellow Angelenos really support making the changes needed to address traffic congestion, street safety, smog and climate change.

Or like our elected officials, they’d rather just sit in their cars all day, and let someone else deal with it.

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls on Caltrans to fix the 2 Freeway stub, where a bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run on Glendale Blvd last month.

Linton writes that the freeway was part of the infamous Beverly Hills Freeway, which was cancelled in the 1960s when residents of the “wealthier and whiter neighborhoods” it was supposed to go through rose up against it.

Unlike the less wealthy and white neighborhoods that were obliterated to build some of LA’s other freeways.

Today unfinished freeway merges with heavily travelled, high-speed Glendale Blvd, with its heavily travelled, high-speed slip lanes dangerously dumping freeway traffic onto the boulevard.

Naturally, Caltrans, Metro and the City of LA recognized the problem, and immediately set out to do what they do best.

Nothing.

For many years, Metro, Caltrans and LADOT worked to plan a State Route 2 Terminus Improvement Project. Streetsblog covered the meetings – with a telling 2009 headline that read LADOT Values Capacity over Community on Route 2/Glendale Blvd., Drags Metro along for the Ride. The process resulted in a 2009 Metro board approval of a so-called hybrid alternative that largely ignored the surrounding community’s push for less traffic and more green space.

Metro published fact sheets and broke the project up into phases, declaring that “this approach ensures delivery of the improvements as quickly as possible.” To make the wretched place not quite so hostile, these agencies had planned to add landscaping, ornamental street lights, and sidewalks – and to leave the deadly slip lane in place…

Then, like several other freeway stub-end reimaginings that even barely shift space away from driving, the Metro Highway Program and Caltrans quietly shelved the already-inadequate plans (after completing modest Phase 1A improvements). The project has been scrubbed from Metro’s website (find it at the Wayback Machine).

The city of L.A. approved protected bike lanes for this part of Glendale Boulevard in the city’s Mobility Plan. But, like the rest of the non-car features in that plan, the bikeway was never pursued.

Which takes us back to Streets For All’s ballot initiative we mention above, to force the city to build out the mobility plan.

And the need for Caltrans to live up to its newfound commitment to safer, more complete streets and roadways — if they really mean it this time.

If the victim of this crash had been more seriously injured, he would have been able to sue Caltrans and Los Angeles for failing to fix a situation they clearly knew was dangerous over a dozen years ago, but decided to just leave that way.

Fortunately for him, he escaped serious injury.

But because of that, there’s little chance of finding an attorney willing take the case, and force them to make the changes that are so desperately needed to improve safety for everyone.

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Sometimes it takes people on bicycles to stand up to people in trucks.

Bike riders in Vancouver were able to block and delay, if not halt, a large truckers convoy protesting Canada’s vaccination requirements, one of several roiling the country.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the links.

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Speaking of Lynch, she calls on bike-friendly Davis to conduct drills for cargo bike owners to simulate bringing in relief supplies following a natural disaster.

Which wouldn’t be a bad idea down here, or wherever you are.

And toss in all those fat-tired ebikes while we’re at it.

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

No bias here. The British press goes berserk over a “feckless” bike rider “making mockery of the Highway Code” by taking a selfie while riding in the middle of the traffic lane, making it “impossible to pass.” Even though the cabbie filming him on dashcam didn’t seem to have any trouble passing him after just a few moments.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

Pleasanton mountain bikers demand more access after more than a dozen riders were cited by park police, despite the fact the ticketed riders weren’t on a designated trail. Seriously, don’t complain if you’re not willing to play by the rules and protect the land.

Tulsa police fatally shot a man who allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband; he was accused fleeing on a bicycle after robbing a man outside a check cashing business.

Police in Kent, England are looking for a bike rider who allegedly attacked a young woman and threatened her following a collision. Look, adrenalin is born to be running high after something like that, but violence is never the answer. So just don’t.

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Local

Metro calls on everyone to mark Black History Month by supporting Black-owned businesses while using bikeshare and transit.

The NASCAR Foundation teamed with All Kids Bike to provide 50 Los Angeles area schools with fleets of 24 balance bikes, along with pedal-conversion kits, helmets, a teacher’s instruction bike and an eight-lesson curriculum to teach kids how to ride a bicycle.

Pasadena will consider the city’s new pedestrian plan, which will move to the city council soon following the end of public comment. Anything that improves safety for pedestrians should be good for people on bicycles, too.

A crowdfunding campaign for the Hermosa Beach bike rider rescued by his Apple Watch has raised nearly $22,000, despite confusion over whether he fell or was attacked from behind.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would permanently exempt from environmental review any projects designed to improve safety for walking or biking, improve bus speeds or modernize light rail stations; a current law that does just that will expire next year. Environmental regulations have long been abused by NIMBYs using tortured legal arguments to halt projects that would benefit the environment by encouraging alternative transportation.

This is who we share the road with. A 33-year old man was sentenced to 15 to life for the drunken hit-and-run that killed one man and seriously injured another in a 2018 Santa Ana crash; Jesus Segura Herrera was over three times the legal alcohol limit when he slammed into another car after drinking at a company party.

The Executive Director of San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will discuss the state of bicycling in San Diego County in a Zoom conference at high noon tomorrow.

If you build it, they will come. New San Diego bike counters show the city’s bike lanes are seeing an average of 2,000 riders a day, even in the middle of winter.

A Santa Barbara letter writer praises a new multi-use path along Las Positas and Modoc Roads, calling it “beautiful and well done,” while noting some bike riders may prefer to stay in the traffic lanes.

A Cal Berkeley student relates the lessons she learned riding down the California coast with a male companion. Including that nearly every man they met directed their questions to the guy, not her.

 

National

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is celebrating National Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, complete with a free breakfast for anyone on a bicycle. Yet somehow, we can’t manage to mark the day here in Los Angeles, where the weather is perfect for it.

That’s more like it. Denver is more than doubling the cost of parking tickets for drivers who block a bike lane, sidewalk or crosswalk, raising the fee from a paltry $25 to $65. Maybe if we did that here in Los Angeles, we might actually stop people from parking in bike lanes. Of course, that would require the city to actually ticket them, which they seem reluctant to do.

Sad news from Brooklyn, where a woman was killed by a school bus driver in an apparent right hook; she’d been commuting by ebike to protect her family from Covid and lighten her environmental footprint.

Thirty years after a 61-year old New York man founded a bike messenger service, he’s traded his bicycle for a keyboard to pursue his passion for music, living off donations as a street busker.

Philadelphia decides to keep one of the city’s most dangerous streets that way by scrapping plans for a road diet, even though it was judged to be the safest option and had widespread support; they claimed they didn’t do enough outreach to underrepresented communities. Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where leaders have to scrounge for any excuse to not do the right thing.

Tragic news from Georgia, where the founder of the local chapter of the Bikes Up, Guns Down group to use bicycles, dirt bikes and ATVs to reduce gun violence was himself the victim of a fatal shooting.

Horrible news from West Palm Beach, Florida, where a woman was killed when she fell through a draw bridge as she was walking her bicycle across; she was just ten feet from safety when she fell through a gap in the roadway, falling up to six stories to her death.

 

International

London’s mayor warns of disastrous consequences for bicyclists if the city’s transportation department is forced to slash the equivalent of $678 million in spending, due to declining revenue resulting from people working from home or avoiding transit systems.

London firefighters issue a warning after a rash of apartment fires sparked by ebike batteries.

An English ebike rider was killed in a collision with a pedestrian, dispelling the myth that only pedestrians are at risk in such crashes. Unlike with motor vehicles, where pedestrians and people on bicycles face nearly 100% of the risk.

An English bike rider says he’s reported 300 dangerous drivers to the police, and taken five to court himself based on based on bike cam video, and claims he’ll keep going until drivers treat people on bicycles better. Yet another reminder that the law has to be changed in this country to allow drivers to be ticketed or charged with misdemeanors based on video or photo evidence, which is currently barred in most cases.

A volunteer with a UK mountain rescue team was called on to save an unconscious mountain biker, only to discover the victim was his own 42-year old son.

British bike cab company Pedal Me bizarrely cites safety concerns for prohibiting their riders from wearing bike helmets.

A Dublin paper considers whether the city can ever be made safe for bike riders, as former pro Nicolas Roche says even he feels like he’s risking his life there.

That’s more like it, too. The government of Australia’s New South Wales state has announced plans to more than double its current spending of $950 million for active transportation.

More awful news, as an alleged drunk driver in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was beaten to death after losing control on a speed bump and crashing into someone on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist David Dekker was lucky to escape serious injury when he rode off the side of the road and into a ravine during last week’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Longtime Spanish pro Alejandro Valverde announced plans to call it a career at the end of the upcoming racing season after two decades as a pro cyclist.

The former captain of Afghanistan’s first women’s cycling team is now living in Roanoke, Virginia, where she’ll compete with the Blue Ridge Twenty24 in hopes of making it to Paris for the 2024 Olympics.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you give accident-prone TV star a set of training wheels for his ebike. Bicycling as a tool to reduce inbreeding.

And folding bike, folding wheels.

………

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

Low bike goals in new LADOT strategic plan, proposed retail bike registration requirement, and new Burbank bike path

LADOT has released their updated Strategic Plan for 2021.

I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. But at first glance, the section on bike planning and implementation could use some major improvement.

While it’s good news that the city is finally getting around to working on the Neighborhood Enhanced Network — one of three comprehensive bike networks in the city’s mobility plan — completing just one major active transportation project per year sets an extremely low and unambitious bar for the city.

Click to enlarge

 

At that rate, it could be decades before we’ll finally have a safe route across the city. Or through your own neighborhood, even.

And that vague term doesn’t even guarantee that the “major active transportation project” will include bikes at all.

To be fair, Los Angeles Department of Transportation continues to be dramatically understaffed and underfunded, a situation that’s not likely to improve anytime soon, given the city’s precarious financial state.

Meanwhile, biking and walking continues to take a backseat to funneling ever larger amounts of motor vehicles through our already overstrained streets.

And don’t even get me started on the largely forgotten Vision Zero program, which has been pushed so far back on the list of priorities it risks falling off entirely.

While the commitment to major active transportation projects vaguely resembles the long-promised Backbone Network of bikeways on major streets, there’s no mention of the Green Network promised in the 2010 Bike Plan, which was subsumed into the mobility plan.

The idea was to have one network leading into another, giving riders the ability to travel in their own neighborhood, through the local community, and across the city.

Instead we’re left with vague promises, as LADOT continues to set the bar so low they have to be careful not to trip over it on the way out every night.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

………

Saturday’s virtual meeting of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Coalition will include discussion of a proposal to require retail sellers of new and used bikes to register them for the buyer with Bike Index.

Although that would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

A better option would be to offer some sort of tax benefit to encourage bike shops to do what some are already doing — register their bikes when they take them into inventory, then transfer the registration to the buyer if the customer wants.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the tip.

………

Okay, so you may not get much of a workout. But who wants to be the first to ride it today?

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

………

Nice.

Pastor William S. Epps of South LA’s Second Baptist Church joined with over 50 bicyclists representing the Inner City Cycling Connection on Martin Luther King Day to pray for “healing in African American communities throughout Los Angeles.”

According to a statement issued by ICCC, the group’s members “cycle through a city where the neighborhoods have changed just like the terrain, we push and pedal towards the mountain top…we have our eyes set on the promise land and every muscle we burn, we are assured and filled with hope [that] the day of equality and justice are not just a dream. We pray for the courage to continue to stand up for justice, reconciliation and truth.”

………

 

This is the cost of traffic violence.

………

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

No bias here. A British city councilor says segregated bike lanes are shortsighted because they’ll get too crowded and put residents at risk, and e-scooters are dangerous to cars. No, really.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly. 

West Virginia police bust a bike-riding shoplifter after a circuitous chase. It seems like a straighter route would have made for a more efficient getaway. But that’s just me.

What a jerk. A bike rider in Brussels is accused of intentionally kneeing a five-year old little girl because she didn’t get the eff out of his way fast enough. And it looks even worse than it sounds.

………

Local

Congratulations to Arlo Day; the five-year old daughter of actors Leighton Meester and Adam Brody is one of us now, after her mother taught her to ride a bike.

 

State

Calbike is asking you to sign a petition calling for biking and walking to get a fair share of the federal transportation budget.

Bad news from San Diego County, where man riding in an El Cajon bike lane suffered a severe head injury when he was struck by a motorist turning into a driveway; no word yet on whether his injuries are life-threatening. Although someone should tell the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was the driver, rather than the car, who was responsible for the crash; it took them until the last paragraph to even mention that the car had one.

There’s something seriously wrong when a 14-year old Fresno boy can’t ride his bike with a friend without getting accosted and shot; fortunately, he’s expected to survive.

They get it. Pedestrian advocacy group Walk San Francisco says Slow Streets should be made permanent. And not just in San Francisco, please.

Some Modesto parents are complaining about what they consider a heavy handed response by police in crackdown on unruly teens participating in last weekend’s Ride Out.

 

National

Make your own DIY vibration-detecting bike wheel lights.

Who needs winter bike gloves when you have USB-chargeable, heated handlebar plugs?

Bicycling says hold off on that hot shower after a freezing bike ride. Read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall locks you out.

A Portland bike club was honored by USA Cycling as the nation’s Best Community Builder for 2020.

Utah’s version of the Idaho Stop law sailed through the state House, which voted overwhelming to allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields; the bill’s sponsor said allowing riders to treat red lights as stop signs was too controversial to include it in the bill.

Bike riding has become a favored family activity in pandemic era Houston.

America’s first Bike City, joining cities like Paris and Copenhagen in receiving the designation from international cycling’s governing body, is…Fayetteville, Arkansas?

Streetsblog wants to know how New York plans to install 10,000 bike racks in two years, when they haven’t been able to consistently meet the previous goal of just 1,500 a year.

 

International

Welcome to Vancouver, the bike theft capitol of Canada.

No surprise here. The American hit-and-run driver who fled the country after killing 19-year old London motorcyclist Harry Dunn, claiming diplomatic immunity, was working for an American intelligence agency at the time of the crash.

The British government sets a goal of half of all trips in cities and towns to be done by walking or bicycling by the end of this decade.

Someone please get these people some bikes. Despite the massive increase in bicycling driven by the coronavirus bike boom, Derry residents have the lowest access to a bicycle of anywhere in Northern Ireland.

If you build it, they will come. New figures from the Paris government show that six out of every ten people using the city’s popup bike lanes are new to bicycling. Yet another example of exactly what Los Angeles is missing out on by failing to install a single popup lane during the pandemic.

Ped-assist ebike fires doubled in Singapore last year, even as the overall rate of fires declined.

That’s more like it. An Aussie truck driver got four years behind bars for killing a bike rider after he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a collision; the judge rejected the driver’s claim that that he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, finding it “totally lacking in credibility.”

 

Competitive Cycling

The iconic, seven-day mountain bike BC Bike Race is launching a new five-day gravel race; the inaugural race of The Gravel Explorer, or BCBR Gravel, is set to roll at the end of September.

Cycling Weekly offers a comprehensive overview of the bikes being ridden on this year men’s and women’s WorldTour.

UCI will attempt to improve safety by requiring better finish line barriers, and assessing the safety of “super tuck” descents.

 

Finally…

That is one seriously funky looking ebike. Your next ebike could have a hydraulic drive instead of a chain.

And is that enough notice for you?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Slow Streets promised in LA bike plan but never built, tracking US bike deaths, and Pasadena offers free bike work

I had an interview yesterday about the sorry state of bicycling in Los Angeles.

And in the course of our discussion, it belatedly dawned on me that if LA had actually built out the 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, we wouldn’t need to beg the city for Slow Streets for social distancing

Because the Neighborhood Bikeway Network we were promised as part of the plan — one of three bike networks that would support everything from local family rides to crosstown commuting — would already give us exactly that, in every neighborhood in the city. 

Rich, poor and otherwise.

Just one more reason to demand that the city recommit to the Mobility Plan 2035 that they already committed to.

After all, we only have 15 years left to build out the transportation paradise they promised by 2035.

Unless maybe they had their fingers crossed.

Or it was all “aspirational.”

Photo by David Mark from Pixabay.

………

It looks like Outside is entering my world.

Yesterday, the magazine announced a new program to track every bicycling fatality in the US this year, saying you can’t stop something if you don’t see it happening.

Which is exactly why I started reporting on SoCal bicycling deaths a decade ago, to shine a light under the deadly rock city and state officials were hiding them under.

The magazine leads off with a hard-hitting infographic on bike deaths, including the frightening stat that California accounts for 18% of bicycling fatalities, tied with Florida.

As the nation’s most populous state, California has an explanation, but no effing excuse. Especially when state and local leaders talk about Vision Zero without doing a damn thing to actually save the lives of people, on bikes or on foot.

That’s followed by a trio of stories expounding on the subject.

First, former Bicycling editor Joe Lindsey examines how the bigass SUVs Americans love are killing us. Literally.

That’s followed by advice on what to do if you’re hit by a driver, and how to navigate the legal and medical minefields that follow. Although the headline continues the sloppy journalistic practice of putting the blame on the vehicle, rather than the person driving it.

And finally, a writer pens a missive to the hit-and-run driver who left him in the street to die.

They’re not easy reads.

But it’s vital to read them if we’re ever going to change the deadly culture on our streets.

I wish them luck.

Tracking bicycling deaths is very hard, depressing work. Something the Bike League learned the hard way when they tried documenting every bicyclist killed on American roadways several years ago.

And quit after one year.

But maybe, just maybe, it will go a little easier this time, as Covid-19 continues to keep many drivers, and their killing machines, of the roads.

We can hope.

………

Pasadena is partnering with ActiveSGV to provide free basic bike repairs and self-guided neighborhood tours.

Meanwhile, the advocacy group wants your support for ebikes in National Parks.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1257380723780091906

………

Enduro World Series pro Jesse Melamed explains how to break down a mountain bike trail.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton rebuts the silly argument that Angelenos don’t need Slow Streets because we have more sidewalks than any other US city. We also have more streets; that doesn’t mean those sidewalks are adequate even under normal circumstances.

Forty some odd years later, Dennis Quaid is still one of us, as the Breaking Away star goes for a Westside LA bike ride with his fiancé; Road.cc patiently explains just what the Daily Mail got wrong in writing about it.

Jason Statham is one of us, too.

Hoodline lists the top four affordable bike shops in Long Beach — or rather, their computer does. And the best in Santa Ana, too.

 

State

WTF? San Diego has approved a plan for Slow Streets promoted by bike advocates — and opposed by local business groups, who for some strange reason didn’t want people to exercise while social distancing in front of their closed shops.

I’ve long been a fan of Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike co-op, as well as founder Najari Smith; California Streetsblog looks at how the group is caring for the local community during the coronavirus crisis.

 

National

Maybe the software is getting better. After repeated reports that self-driving cars had trouble spotting people on bicycles, a Tesla driver says a new upgrade helped spot a bike rider who was hidden from view.

An urbanist website says Seattle’s densest neighborhoods need open streets, too.

The goalie for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche is one of us; Philipp Grubauer is using his downtime to ride “about 100 miles” a day.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive bicycle from a Minnesota special needs kid.

No bias here. A Connecticut man was killed when he crashed his bicycle into a stopped garbage truck. But no one mentions the likelihood that the truck may have stopped short as he followed it, like they often do.

Anne Hathaway is one of us, going for a ride with her husband along the beach near their Connecticut home.

A writer for New York Streetsblog says the city’s open streets need to lead to permanent changes limiting motor vehicle use.

Baltimore did what LA can’t, or won’t, opening several miles of streets for bike riders and pedestrians to practice social distancing.

It only took the injuries of two teenage bike riders to spur Maryland officials to install a buffered bike lane on the same road. Maybe someday we can actually get bike lanes installed before someone gets hit.

A New Orleans letter writer complains about scofflaw bike riders, and wonders how they’d react if he drove the same way. Apparently forgetting that he’s behind the wheel of a big dangerous machine, and they’re not.

 

International

Bikes are leading the way out of the lockdown in cities around the world.; even tourism websites are starting to notice.

Cycling Weekly examines how the bicycling industry is fighting the coronavirus.

FloBikes offers their picks for the year’s best bikes in several different categories.

No bias here, either. An Edinburgh columnist says bike riders need to start obeying the law in exchange for new pop-up bike lanes. Because no one ever builds a new roadway before drivers promise to stop speeding and put their phones away, or make pedestrians pinkie swear before installing a crosswalk.

Bicycling belatedly catches up with the French plan to give people the equivalent of up to $54.50 for bike repairs to encourage bike commuting after the country reopens; the 20 million euro plan will also pay for bicycling education and increased road space to make bikes “the little queen of de-confinement.”

If this photo doesn’t make you want to ride your bike through the mountains of Islamabad, nothing will.

 

Competitive Cycling

Maybe you missed this year’s edition of the Redlands Classic, which took place virtually on the wonderful world of Zwift.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t use a flare gun as a bike theft security alarm. Your next lock could track your bike through 100 countries if it gets stolen; then again, if the lock worked, it wouldn’t have to.

And apparently, the new AmazonBasics bike lock is as bad as you might think.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: Victorville bike rider critical after crash, LA bike lanes pay for themselves, and Clarkson says FU bikes

Let’s start with bad news from Victorville.

A man riding a bicycle suffered life-threatening injuries when he reportedly tried and failed to beat traffic on a busy highway.

The CHP reported it as a fatal crash; however, San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies were unable to confirm a fatal Victorville crash over the weekend.

We’ll let you know when and if we get more information.

………

Someone should remind our elected officials here in Los Angeles that spending on bicycling infrastructure makes sense.

And dollars.

Lots of dollars.

………

A letter writer in the Los Angeles Times says a Copenhagen-like level of bicycling may not be practical in the short term, but building a backbone network of bike lanes crossing the city would get many people out on their bikes.

Which, oddly, is exactly what the city’s bike plan calls for.

Meanwhile, another letter writer says Copenhagen is a great place for bicycling because it’s relatively flat.

Unlike Los Angeles, which is… uh, relatively flat.

………

As long as we’re on the subject of letters, an Oregon letter writer says —

  • Bicyclists need to take more responsibility.
  • There’s no proof bicycling infrastructure benefits anyone but people on bikes;
  • Bike riders use senior citizens as “wrinkly, silver-haired pylons on the imaginary racetrack of the handle-barbarians;”
  • Bicycling can never be made entirely safe, so riding on city streets will always be a gamble;
  • Oregon’s governor is rewarding the lawless behavior of bicyclists by allowing them to “wander through red lights, stop signs and ignore yield signs while challenging vehicles to the same space.”
  • Bike riders need to be taxed, tested and licensed. And ticketed.

Damn, that’s a lot to unpack.

But let’s give it a try.

First of all, yes, bike riders — and everyone else — need to assume more responsibility.

I myself recently assumed responsibility for disappearing Jimmy Hoffa, snatching the Lindberg baby, and trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Second, there is plenty of evidence that bike lanes improve safety for everyone.

Third, anyone who endangers pedestrians, especially older, younger or disabled pedestrians, is a complete and total jerk. And probably drives exactly the same way. Never mind that a lot of the people on bikes fit in that nebulous senior category themselves.

Fourth, saying the streets will never be safe for bike riders is just another way of saying motorists are incapable of driving safely. But yes, there are ways to improve safety, even in intersections.

Fifth, the version of the Idaho Stop Law that was recently approved in Oregon only allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, while still requiring bike riders to stop and wait at red lights. And it passed both houses of the legislature.

Finally, most bike riders already hold a drivers license, so they have been tested and licensed. And bike riders are subject to traffic fines, just like drivers, in every state of the union.

And as we’ve already seen, testing and licensing drivers hasn’t exactly inspired good behavior, either.

………

Talking with a driving website, Jeremy Clarkson, co-host of the Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour, and former host of Britain’s Top Gear, laced into bicycles and the people who ride them in an expletive-filled diatribe.

He particularly goes off on plans for a bike lane on the street next to where he’s sitting, insisting no one rides there, as numerous bike riders glide past behind him.

And he insists you’ll get a disease if you ride a bus.

No, really.

Although evidently, he’s including himself in that big FU to bikes and the people who ride them.

Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Lots of generous people in today’s news, starting right here at home.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have now. I’ve put in a request for more information, and will let you know if we learn more.

Meanwhile, thanks to the bighearted people the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities, 13 special needs kids and two adults now have new adaptive bicycles.

A Colorado Springs CO paramedic and firefighters teamed with a local nonprofit to give a boy a new bike after his was stolen.

Milwaukee residents help a little girl raise enough money in half an hour by selling lemonade to replace her mother’s stolen bike — including two people who paid $100 for their $1 drinks.

Kindhearted firefighters replaced a 10-year old Ohio girls’ bicycle and helmet, just two hours after her brand new bicycle was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

………

More proof that bikes can go where cars can’t.

https://twitter.com/HeartScotNews/status/1159196732279992321?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1159196732279992321&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2F265382-video-edinburgh-cyclist-rides-past-cars-stranded-deep-flood-water

………

This is who we share the roads with. Legally or otherwise.

………

Local

LA-based ex-pro Phil Gaimon goes on KCBS-2 to discuss his Phil’s Cookie Fondo coming this October in Malibu; the ride benefits Chef’s Cycle and No Kid Hungry to help ensure every child has something to eat.

Sixty-two-year old Claremont resident Sandra Marie Wicksted faces up to 17 years behind bars after pleading not guilty to murder for intentionally plowing her car into bike rider Leslie Pray, as well as four counts of attempted murder for trying to do it to other people, as well.

The Hoff is one of us, as David Hasselhoff goes mountain biking in Calabasas with his new Welsh wife.

 

State

A 55-year old San Diego man suffered a serious leg injury when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike, after allegedly failing to yield.

San Diego councilmember and candidate for mayor Barbara Bryophytes tries to stuff the genie back in the bottle, calling fo a moratorium, if not an outright ban, on e-scooters.

The Encinitas bikeshare system has been put on hold thanks to Trump’s trade war with China.

A young boy and his father were rescued from the base of a San Francisco cliff after the child somehow rode his bike off the edge and his father went down to help him.

Results of San Francisco’s pilot study on the city’s Valencia Street protected bike lane shows a dramatic reduction in risk to bike riders, including a 95% decrease in mid-block interactions with drivers, where dooring had previously posed a substantial risk.

Time says higher prices for Jump bikes and e-scooters are threatening the micromobility revolution in the Bay Area.

 

National

Far from being cheating, a new study shows ebike riders actually get more exercise than regular bike riders.

An Oregon appeals court says yes, bicyclists can legally pass vehicles on the right, after a bike rider was cited by a cop for unsafe passing after he was right hooked by a bus driver who’d just passed him.

More on the innovative new bike lights developed by students at the University of Colorado that bathe the user in rainbow-hued lights, as well as illuminating the road.

An ex-Denver radio host lists of a who’s who of local bike advocates as he complains about their “activist agenda,” while spouting his own anti-bike lane one. But he does claim that he’s polite to each and every one he meets, even “the obnoxious ones.”

Beyonce fans take a bike ride in Houston’s blistering heat to visit Queen Bey’s favorite haunts.

It was nice while it lasted. In the two years since St. Joseph MO opened a free bikeshare system with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all 40 bicycles have been stolen or destroyed.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a pair of donated adaptive bicycles from a couple of adopted, autistic Kentucky children.

Finishing our Kentucky trifecta, it’s good to be king. Or mayor, anyway. The former mayor of Somerset KY walks with a lousy $100 fine for clipping a 15-year old girl while she was riding in a crosswalk with the right-of-way — then driving off, claiming he didn’t realize he’d hit her bike.

Riding a bike across the country isn’t all that rare anymore. But riding a bike 3,000 miles across the US with serious vision and hearing problems due to a genetic condition, like this Kentucky teacher, is.

Vermont’s governor is one of us, taking to his bike to see what problems bicyclists face in one county, and what they’re working on. That exactly what we should expect of all elected officials.

A New Hampshire bike rider tells drivers not to be nice by waving bicyclists through intersections, and to be predictable, instead.

A Rhode Island chef is beating his addiction to alcohol with the help of his bicycle, riding 100 miles a week and losing 40 pounds in the process.

After a Connecticut bike rider was injured in a crash, police added insult to injury — literally — by giving the victim a stern warning for riding salmon.

A vehicular cyclist in upstate New York repeats the myth that bike lanes make bicyclists less visible and safe, when the fact is, bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to improve safety. And the better the bike lane, the greater the improvement.

Things just keep getting worse in the Big Apple, as the city suffered its 19th bicycling fatality this year when a 52-year old man was collateral damage when a teenage driver ran a red light and smashed into another vehicle. And yes, the crash was captured on video, and no, you don’t really want to see it. Trust me.

As we speculated last weekend, Atlanta appears to lead the nation in scooter deaths, with twice as many this year as any other major American city.

An angry Miami man exited a restaurant, stripped naked and hopped on his bicycle, riding in the buff to a nearby store where he grabbed a pair of shorts and walked out, telling the startled clerk he was paying with his bicycle. Needless to say, he didn’t have any ID on him. Although he does have some great thighs and a definite cyclist’s tan.

 

International

Automakers seem to think the future is in micromobility, as five companies — Volkswagen, Ford, Audi, BMW and GM — explore variations on e-scooters, while Peugeot goes back to its bikemaker roots with a line of ebikes. Just don’t plan to ride them on the medieval cobbles of Bruges.

Evidently, near total hegemony on the streets isn’t enough for some drivers, as one is captured on video driving on a busy bike path in a Vancouver park.

Vancouver brightens the city’s outlook for bicyclists with a series of colorful new bike racks.

After getting hit by someone on a bicycle, an Ontario man says bike riders are too comfortable breaking the law against riding on the sidewalk. The simple fact is, no one rides on the sidewalk if they feel comfortable on the street. So the best way to stop sidewalk riding is to demand safer streets.

No bias here. Police in the UK stopped a 13-year old black kid and demanded the receipt for his bike to prove it was actually his. Because we all carry the receipt for out bikes with us every time we ride. Right?

The mother of a fallen British bike rider calls for requiring bike lights on the sale of every new bicycle.

Trump ex-wife Marla Maples is one of us, riding a bike as she vacations in Spain.

Great photos from a Czech city, as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the country’s first bike race. Although the first caption, by way of the Chinese press, seems just a tad off.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women can’t compete with men? Twenty-four-year old medical student Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman to win the grueling Transcontinental Race, riding across the European continent in 10 days, two hours, and 48 minutes — beating her nearest rival by 11 hours.

A Philippine paper looks at SoCal’s Coryn Rivera and her efforts to make the US cycling team for the 2020 Olympics, even though she could compete as part of the Philippine national team.

If you couldn’t get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall to read Jason Gay’s profile of South LA’s back-to-back US crit champ Justin Williams and the League of Cycling, a Belizean website offers a synopsis of the piece in honoring the Belizean-American cyclist.

Lance may be officially barred from bike racing, bu that doesn’t mean he can’t gloat about “blowing the doors off” Vice President Mike Pence on a Nantucket bike path.

Forget doping, now you can just cheat on Zwift.

 

Finally…

Don’t just drink your expensive single-use coffee, ride it. Who needs a barber shop when you can just use a bikeshare bike.

And if you’re going to ride your bike carrying a loaded BB gun while high on crack, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the BB gun.

Or the crack.

 

Morning Links: Hollywood development plan released, and discrimination and LA’s deadly streets

The streets of Hollywood could look at lot different in the next 20 years.

If we can all manage to survive that long.

The city has released the new Hollywood Model Development Report conducted by consultants Fehr + Peers to plan for development in the Hollywood area by 2040, including streets and mobility.

They operated on the assumption that nothing can be done to mitigate Hollywood traffic congestion, so the focus was providing alternatives to driving.

Like riding bikes.

In fact, the study calls for a number of lane reductions to make room for bike lanes, protected and otherwise — including protected bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and Melrose Ave.

Along with bicycle friendly streets as part of the Neighborhood Enhanced Network proposed in the 2010 bike plan.

The bad news is, the plan is based on LA’s Mobility Plan 2035, which is already gathering dust on the shelf.

And predicated on the support of Hollywood councilmembers who haven’t been elected yet.

Then again, that could be a good thing, since the ones we have now appertains to be too risk averse to make the major changes necessary to provide alternatives to driving and improve safety on our streets.

Let alone confront the angry drivers who seem to be setting the city’s transportation policy these days.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the heads-up.

………

Great Twitter thread from LA Bike Dad looking at the long-lasting effects of racial discrimination in Los Angeles. And how it lines up perfectly with LA’s most dangerous streets.

It’s definitely worth a click to read the full thread.

And here’s what LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds had to say in response.

………

As long as we’re visiting Twitter, Pedal Love discovered what may be the best ever bicycle sidecar.

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Marin Facebook users seem thrilled to see a group of bicyclists stopped and ticketed by sheriff’s deputies.

If you have a strong stomach, it’s worth the click just to read the comments. Like this, for instance.

Funny how people often want to ban bicycles from narrow roads because they think it’s too dangerous for bikes. But it never occurs to them to ban the cars that make them that way, instead.

Never mind people, like the woman below, who think bicycling is too dangerous because of all the dangerous drivers on the roads. And somehow continue to believe the myth that if they innocently hit a lawbreaking bicyclist, they’ll be held responsible.

Most of the time, no one is. And in the rare case when police blame someone, it’s usually the victim.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Now you can be the proud owner of a classic 1989 Eddy Merckx team bike made for the late, great 7-Eleven team for the low, low price of just $6,700 US.

As long as you promise to let me ride it.

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Local

Candidates are lining up to fill the seat of CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, who is walking away from the district he was elected to serve. We’ll have to wait see which of the candidates support safer streets, if any.

LADOT has released the environmental study for the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvements project to extend the existing bike lanes on Winnetka Ave.

After the recent disastrous proposal for a road diet on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd, the city is giving it another shot with a proposal for a lane reduction, bike lanes and improved crosswalks on Cordova Street; a public meeting will be held to discuss it on Tuesday. Rose City NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it, so anyone who lives, rides or works in the area should turn out to voice your support.

State

An op-ed on a San Jose website says the mayor’s recent bike crash was no accident, but blames bad road design instead of the inattentive driver. Only the other hand, the mayor says any head defects he may have were a pre-existing condition.

San Francisco Streetsblog says no, bike commuting rates did not drop 19.9% in San Francisco, and 25.8% in Oakland, as reported in last week’s USA Today article.

Oakland plans to speed up repairs on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, a week after a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was dragged three blocks by a hit-and-run driver.

Washoe County is continuing to build bike paths in the Truckee Meadows, despite a drop in ridership.

National

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of us, after surgery to repair an undisclosed broken bone suffered in an undisclosed bicycling fall and/or crash. Evidently, it’s on a need to know basis. And apparently we don’t.

A bike industry writer says e-scooters don’t appear to threaten the bright future of ebikes.

An ebike maker is used as a model for how to successfully raise prices without losing customers after they get hit with a 25% tariff increase for parts imported from China.

A Utah law firm concludes that downtown Salt Lake City and Provo are the state’s most dangerous places to ride a bike.

A New Mexico State legislator is riding her bike 300 miles to the state capital for the new legislative session.

Who needs employee parking? A Colorado company gave all of its 85 employees new $1,300 ebikes.

A Colorado man put thirteen old kids bikes along his fence for anyone to take. Only to find others continually adding bicycles to the line to replace any that get taken.

A 73-year old Michigan man has now ridden his bike across all seven continents after finishing a leisurely ride across Antarctica.

An Ohio driver pled guilty to aggravated assault for a road rage attack on a man and his wife. But he did write a letter saying he was really, really sorry.

An Irish boxer goes head-over-heels after hitting the skids on the streets of New York.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly DC is going to get three new protected bike lanes in the next three years.

A Florida man is being held on $10,000 bail after he was busted for riding a gas-powered bicycle, despite a suspended license for DUI.

International

Treehugger says drivers should thank bicyclists for modern roads, instead of complaining about us.

Maybe a hot bath doesn’t burn as many calories as riding your bike, after all.

Life is cheap in Calgary, where a bike rider was charged for killing a 75-year old man as he walked in a crosswalk — except he was only charged with failure to stop at a red light. We can’t complain about killer drivers getting off with a slap on the wrist, and not hold deadly bicyclists to the same standard.

A Toronto op-ed calls the modest bicycle one of humanity’s great emancipators.

Police are looking for a British bike rider who smashed a driver over the head with his bike lock after a crash. Seriously, there’s no better way to go from victim to criminal than trying to retaliate against a driver. Or anyone else.

A 20-year old English college student has set a new record for the youngest person to bike across the world, riding 18,000-mile through 14 countries in 159 days.

Bike advocates in the UK accused the country’s Highway Code of victim blaming for tweeting that bike riders should wear helmets and “appropriate clothing for cycling,” rather than calling for safer streets and better driver education.

Britain has been ignoring their own government agency’s advice to prioritize active transportation over driving every year since 2015.

A man in the Netherlands was killed after somehow getting stuck between a fence and the roof of an apartment building bike shed; authorities were unsure what he was doing there. Although considering that he got stuck around 3 am, we can probably make an educated guess.

Sure, let’s go with that. A Zambian man told a divorce court he used the used condoms his wife found in his pants to repair bike tires. No, seriously.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole and vandalized a ten-year old autistic New Zealand boy’s custom-made three-wheeled bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a cyclist has been stripped of his title after testing positive for a banned substance. Except this time, the doper is a 90-year old US track cycling champ.

How bicycling became entrenched in Eritrean culture, despite the difficulty obtaining bikes and parts. And led to the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France.

Last year was the most successful year yet for Rwanda’s nascent cycling programs.

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a police bike five minutes after you’re released from jail. Nothing like reading a six-mile long poem while you ride.

And seriously, who carries a shotgun on a bicycle — let alone uses it on their riding partner?

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Thanks to Connie L for her generous donation to support this site. The holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Morning Links: Hollywood Hills West NC considers call to reject bike lanes in proposed community plan tomorrow

This is what we’re up against.

In an interview on KABC radio — which doesn’t appear to be online, unfortunately — Anastasia Mann, President of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, said road diets create safety problems. And people in favor of them need a reality check.

Then she added this.

The bicyclists are supposed to follow the same rules of the road that the rest of us are. I’ve had near misses, where bicyclists turn right in front of me, turn against the lights, run stop signs…. nothing against bicyclists, God help me if I have to say anything that sounds like that, but it’s just impractical. You’re going to have safety issues because you cannot get emergency vehicles through.

Got to give her credit for squeezing in virtually every anti-bike lane cliche in a few sentences.

But this is the windshield-perspective attitude Hollywood bike riders have had to face in one of LA’s busiest and fastest growing neighborhoods, with no safe way in or out by bike.

Or across, for that matter.

The matter will be up for discussion at tomorrow’s meeting of Mann’s neighborhood council, which will take up the proposed Hollywood Community Plan. As well as their proposed response to it, also written by Mann, and a more detailed addendum.

Along with calls to take most, if not all, of the bike lanes out of it.

Infeasible, is the term they use, echoing the original draft of the 2010 LA bike plan. Which the city planning commission wisely rejected after bicyclists rose up to oppose it, demanding the safer, and more detailed, hard-fought plan we eventually won.

That’s from a letter written from the Outpost Estates Homeowner’s group (scroll down), which seems to be far more concerned about the problems faced by the privileged few in the hills than the multitudes who live and work and travel down below.

The meeting is at 6 pm Wednesday, at the Will and Ariel Durant Library Branch, 7174 Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.

If you live, work or ride in the Hollywood area, you need to be there. To once again defend the bike lanes we fought for, before they ever even hit the pavement.

Just be prepared to listen to people who live in multi-million dollar homes complain about traffic and density until you’re ready to poke your ears out.

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Local

Boyonabike offers good advice for would-be bike commuters.

A 74-year old man was critically injured when he was hit by a driver in a left cross while riding his bike in San Gabriel on Sunday. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Santa Monica votes to continue their annual COAST open streets festival on the same route through 2020. Unbelievably, though, the story talks about LA County holding open street events “more often than any other place in the country,” without ever even mentioning CicLAvia.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

If you have a Specialized Allez, your bike may be subject to a recall due to a defective fork crown that could affect safety.

Wired says the dockless bikeshare wars are heating up after an infusion of funding. Thanks to Allan Margolin for the link.

Minneapolis approves a proposal to build protected bike lanes around the University of Minnesota campus. Which should also be done at both USC and UCLA. Not to mention every other university campus.

A writer for the Washington Post says yes, you can park your dockless bikeshare bike anywhere, but you shouldn’t.

The homeless man who fatally stabbed a man riding his bike from Connecticut to Florida to propose to his girlfriend was once again ruled incompetent to stand trial.

 

International

BBC presenter Jeremy Vine told a London government committee he sees 30 to 40 traffic violations by drivers every day as he rides his bike to and from work, and that roads have to be redesigned to “prevent ‘angry, dangerous drivers’ harming cyclists.” Which is a sentiment most bike riders would probably concur with.

Caught on video: A British bike rider is caught in the equivalent of a right hook by a driver turning into a police station. Hard to tell from the video, but it’s possible that the driver may have passed the rider just before left-hooking him. And it’s also possible the rider may have undertaken the turning vehicle after it stopped and signaled.

A Glasgow bicyclist says pedestrians have an obligation to help prevent crashes with bike riders, too.

Perth, Australia puts the law of unintended consequences to test by installing speed bumps on a shared pathway to slow speeding bicyclists. Never mind that even expected bumps can knock bike riders off balance — especially when riding fast — resulting in falls and crashes into other people on the pathway. And lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits.

Brisbane bike riders say it would be a big mistake to ban bikes from a new pedestrian bridge.

 

Competitive Cycling

The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) will conduct a two-year study to determine if high school mountain biking is more dangerous than other sports, such as football

Tragic news, as four teenage members of a Saudi Arabian cycling were killed in a horrific crash when a driver lost control and slammed into them during a training ride; six others were injured.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a stupidly hard gravel race through somebody’s house. If bored teenagers are causing problems, just offer to fix their bicycles for them.

And the war on bikes cost West Australian insurers $60 million.

The mythical war on cars, not so much.

 

Morning Links: LADOT releases three-year strategic plan, and GOP bill would require Vehicle Code on bike paths

LADOT released their strategic plan for the next three years.

The bicycling portion of the plan calls for filling in gaps in the bicycle network and a focus on first and last mile connections to transit, as well as improving connections to the LA River bike path, after the city installed just 26 miles of bike infrastructure last year.

LADOT shifted their measurements to lane miles a few years back, so in actuality, they only installed bikeways on 13 miles of roadway — far from the 40 miles a year we were promised in the 2010 bike plan. Those could also include sharrows and bike routes, further reducing their value.

And there’s no word on whether that 26 miles includes the bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were ripped out after angry drivers cowed city officials into backing down.

The city will continue to focus on Vision Zero and the High Injury Network, so we may see some additional improvements there.

But it looks like anyone hoping LADOT and the City of Los Angeles would actually move forward with the multiple bicycle networks we were promised in the hard-fought bike plan, now part of the city’s mobility plan, will be very disappointed.

Then again, most of us would be happy with a single bike network that actually went somewhere.

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Get ready to signal your turns and ride to the right on bike paths.

Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious forwards word that Republican members of the state assembly have submitted a bill that impose the same vehicle code statutes that drivers are required to follow on anyone who rides a bicycle on any publicly maintained trail, road or bikeway.

In other words, if a driver has to pass a bicycle with a three-foot passing distance, so would you. If a driver has to signal a lane change — not that many do — you would, too. And if you rode off after colliding with someone, you could be charged with hit-and-run.

Of course, you’d also have to turn on your lights and windshield wipers if it rained, have windshield and side mirrors, and only leave the door of your bicycle open long enough to get in and out.

In other words, it’s a stupid law that would have ridiculous and unpredictable consequences.

Masoner suggests it might merely be a placeholder to meet the legislature’s cutoff date for introducing new bills, with the intention that it would be gutted and replaced with something different at a later date.

Although he notes it also appears to be a response to this case from Sacramento, where a runner was seriously injured in a collision with a man on a bike, who just rode off afterwards. And the local DA couldn’t figure out if the hit-and-run statutes applied to a crash on a bike path.

However, if that’s the case, then the proper response would be to specify that hit-and-run is hit-and-run, no matter where or how it occurs.

A heavy handed, scattergun approach like this is the worst possible way to go about it.

On the other hand, the GOP’s minority status in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature means there’s almost no chance this bill will actually go anywhere.

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Today’s common theme is stolen bicycles.

The Davis police association teamed with a community church to buy a new recumbent tricycle for a local woman suffering from ALS, after hers was stolen Wednesday morning. And yes, there’s most certainly a special place in hell for whoever took her bike.

It takes a real jerk to steal an Aussie boy’s $2,000 mountain bike that he worked for two years to buy. On the other hand, his mom’s decision to leave it outside and unlocked while they went to diner wasn’t the brightest move, either.

And don’t even get me started on the kind of person who’d steal a vintage bike that an 88-year old British man had ridden since 1949.

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Local

Streetsblog is accepting votes for the advocate of the year through next Wednesday.

Doug Moore forwards the latest update on the MyFigueroa project, noting that work appears to have stalled out in recent weeks.

A passing mountain biker discovered a mobile home on fire in Castaic, where a woman’s body was found inside.

Santa Monica police will be running another bike and pedestrian safety operation today and Monday. Standard protocol applies: Ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits.

The LACBC’s popular Sunday Funday Ride rolls this Sunday with a mini food tour in Southeast LA.

 

State

Highway 101 could undergo a road diet in Carlsbad to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

WTF? A San Diego cop actually watches an elderly driver right hook a bike rider and then flee the scene, yet doesn’t bother to make an arrest. Seriously, why would anyone take hit-and-run seriously if the police don’t?

San Luis Obispo officials are debating which of two bike boulevard proposals to move forward with, while some residents prefer none of the above.

San Francisco officials and advocates discuss the city’s progress on Vision Zero.

A Bay Area paper lists nine unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade. As long as you’re very flexible on your definition of a bike.

A pair of Marin doctors got busted for illegally riding their bikes on prohibited trails, then trying to evade arrest; one of the men has a long history of riding outside the lines.

Sad news from Stockton, where a 60-year old bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to get a better bike butt.

Nothing like absolving a drunk of responsibility with passive language. An Oregon bicyclist is dead because a drunk driver “failed to negotiate a curve.”

Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhagenize fame says Portland is “completely overrated as a bike city.”

Life is cheap in Washington, where a driver was sentenced to just three months of house arrest. Or as most people would call it, a staycation.

A Dallas-Fort Worth TV station says abandoned LimeBike dockless bikeshare bikes are turning into a bike apocalypse. Evidently, they have a very low standard for the end of the world in Texas.

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Participants in a frozen Chicago New Year’s Day ride saved the life of an elderly man who had apparently wandered off from a nursing home without a hat, coat or gloves in subfreezing temperatures. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

Apparently, there’s nothing to stop drivers from taking a shortcut along a DC bike path.

A Florida DOT spokesman gets sharrows wrong, saying bike riders have the right to use the entire lane, but should ride to the right anyway. Sharrows actually indicate the proper lane positioning for people on bikes on lanes that are too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

 

International

The CBC talks to Canadian frostbikers to discover why they like to keep riding through the winter, and whether cars and bikes can coexist on snowy streets.

A 27-year old London woman is committing to riding a bicycle again for the first time in 13 years, even though she’s afraid of riding around cars.

Scottish advocates are calling for all motor vehicles to be fitted with Intelligent Speed Adaptation, which can be set to keep drivers from speeding, though it can be overridden with the push of a button.

WTF? After an Irish bicyclist records himself being “bumped” by a driver, but the police say it wasn’t a collision.

Evidently, the courts aren’t any tougher on killer drivers in Ireland than they are here.

Irish biking groups complain about a Twitter poll run by the local police that asked if it was more dangerous for bicyclists to run red lights or vehicles to park in bike lanes; needless to say, the driving public overwhelmingly blamed the people on bikes.

Finland considers offering consumer subsidies for ebikes to encourage their use.

The war on bikes goes on, as one Australian rider is forced off the road by an angry driver, and another pushed off his bike after the man stops to yell at him following a punishment pass.

 

Competitive Cycling

A new BBC documentary looks at why cycling is more than a sport in Colombia.

You may soon be able to invest in the Chinese parent company behind the Ironman and Tour de Suisse.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner says Chris Froome was a bad, bad boy and deserves to be punished.

Hundreds of cyclists turn out for a ride to honor Jason Lowndes; the rising young Australian was killed in collision while on a training ride just before Christmas.

Red Bull says cyclocross is the perfect winter biking pursuit.

 

Finally…

Lots of people try to steal their bikes back, just not from the police. Wayfinding is always more fun when it points the wrong way.

And now you, too, can ride in Patrick Swayze’s lightly worn cycling shorts.

 

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