Tag Archive for 6th Street Viaduct

Bike lanes finally appear on DTLA’s North Spring Street Bridge, and scofflaw drivers force closure of new 6th Street Viaduct

The good news is I’m feeling a little better tonight, thanks to the wonders of modern pharmaceuticals.

The bad is that this helps happening far too often. That tells me there may be something more going on than just migraines, which really shouldn’t happen on a near daily basis.

Photo of North Spring Street Bridge by Joe Linton for Streetsblog.

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Streetsblog reports the long-stalled bike lanes were finally installed on the North Spring Street Bridge.

The new lanes come four years after they were arbitrarily blocked by former CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who was removed by voters in May.

Maybe now there’s finally hope for the lane reduction on North Figueroa, which Cedillo also killed.

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This is why we can’t have nice things.

Surprisingly, LAPD Chief Michael Moore put at least part of the blame on irresponsible carmakers.

Moore placed some of the blame on commercials for high-end cars which show spinouts that are not safe for a city street.

“I ask all of us, including manufacturers of high-end, high- performance vehicles to exercise corporate responsibility in how they go about their work and what they promote,” Moore said. “We see the antics of people trying to replicate this, resulting in serious injuries and deaths and violence.”

And yes, he’s talking to you, Dodge.

Although apparently, closed doesn’t always mean closed if you’re on two wheels.

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Turns out that AI image generator DALL-E is actually pretty good at designing livable streets.

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Nice to see a driver admit to going too fast on Stadium Way, and putting others at risk.

I was the idiot taking the curve too fast. Close call from IdiotsInCars

Thanks to Kevin for the heads-up, who says he forwarded the video to LADOT and new CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez.

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They get it. Now, anyway.

The Bike League is finally considering equity and accessibility in their Bicycle Friendly Community awards, with an emphasis on “building and connecting low-speed and low-stress bike networks.”

And while we’re on the subject, NACTO wants you to know that yes, disabled people ride bikes. And trikes, tandems and ‘bents, too.

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Imagine this on Broadway or Hollywood Blvd.

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What you get with the best bike you can buy at Walmart.

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a mountain bike trail. Top Irish ‘cross racer Seán Nolan was seriously injured when he crashed into a wire someone stretched across the trail for exactly that purpose. Nolan was lucky to escape with four broken ribs, two fractured vertebrae and partially collapsed lung, while noting it could have been much worse. Let’s be honest — sabotaging a trail like that is nothing less than anti-bike terrorism. And should be investigated and prosecuted that way.

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

A Rhode Island man will be eating meals through a straw for awhile, after breaking his jaw when his bike was hit head-on by someone riding an ebike on the wrong side of a bike path; the ebike rider gave police a false name, address and phone number.

Police in Charlotte NC arrested five bike riders ranging from 15 to 39-years old on a charge of reckless driving, and confiscated their bicycles, accusing them of being part of a group that disrupted traffic and allegedly punched a stranger.

A teenaged Irish boy walked for allegedly knocking a 17-year old girl off a train platform with his bike after a judge dismissed the charges, citing insufficient evidence.

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Local

More on the new and improved curb-protected bike lanes taking shape on Reseda Blvd.

It could be more comfortable to ride in Pacoima soon, where the city is topping surface streets with a reflective coating that can lower street temperatures as much as 10 degrees.

Pasadena is implementing the Safe System in an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths and injuries, which is basically Vision Zero by another name. But maybe they could say they give a damn about people on bicycles, too, who also make up a “disproportionate number” of traffic fatalities in the city. 

A man riding a “motorized scooter” was killed in a collision when he was cut off by a left-turning driver in Lancaster Sunday night.

 

State 

A webinar on Thursday, August 4th will discuss how building bike lanes is a matter of political will, and explain how to build and harness it.

A writer in a California town lets go of fear and learns how to ride a bike at 48-years old, after being discouraged by her mother as a child.

Bad news from San Diego County, where a 42-year old bike rider suffered life-threatening head injuries when he was struck by a driver early Monday morning.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Rudick may be out of commission for awhile, after he was injured in a crash while riding his bike.

 

National

Government Technology says even major car-dependent cities like Los Angeles and Houston are serious about auto traffic on highways. Although you’d be hard pressed to find any sign of it here.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. The 29-year old driver who killed a Utah man and injured his 17-year old daughter as they were riding bikes was allegedly high on heroin at the time of the crash, and had four previous drug convictions, as well as convictions for burglary, theft and forgery. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late.

Adventure Journal goes chasing ghosts in Utah’s John’s Canyon.

The law enforcement-friendly US 5th Circuit Appellate Court tells Texas cops that simply being a Hispanic person on a bicycle is not probable cause for stopping a Hispanic person on a bicycle.

Unbelievable. A Chicago bike rider was awarded $2.25 million after he was the victim of a hit-and-run on-duty cop, who didn’t bother to stick around or report the crash to his supervisors. How the hell can we expect cops to do something about hit-and-run when they do it, too? Thanks to OC bike lawyer Edward Rubinstein for the link. 

He gets it. A writer for Chicago Streetsblog says education, infrastructure and driver accountability trump bike helmets for keeping bicyclists safe. And before anyone complains, I never ride without a helmet. But they should always be considered the last resort when all else fails, not the first. 

Finishing our Chicago trifecta, a Chicago bike ride will visit historical sites related to the 1919 Chicago Race Riots, including 38 glass bricks scattered through the city — one for each of the 38 people killed.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is one of us, although the team might wish he wasn’t, since he’ll be starting training camp on the injured list after falling off his bicycle.

New York is considering a bill that would use cameras to catch drivers illegally blocking bike lanes, although the measly $50 fine may not be enough to stop anyone.

Jersey City NJ Councilwoman Amy DeGise faces a hit-and-run charge for leaving the scene after hitting an alleged red light-running bike rider.

New Jersey’s Rutgers University is evaluating popup bike lanes using reality-capture technology, traffic cameras and lidar footage. Along with chalk and a pool noodle.

Vox calls out the deadliest road in America, particularly for pedestrians, on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

 

International

Cycling Weekly considers the best road bikes under the equivalent of two grand, concluding you won’t find carbon frames in that price range anymore; the magazine also looks at the best hybrid commuter bikes for under $600.

What happens when the Edmonton, Alberta edition of the World Naked Bike Ride runs headlong into a trucker’s Freedom Convoy.

The UK’s “cheeky” tandem-riding couple completed their naked ride down the full length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, despite getting hit by a driver who somehow couldn’t see two naked people on a bike directly in front of him. Then again, they could have just done it on a Brompton.

A Hamilton, Ontario city council candidate was the victim of a hit-and-run driver when she was forced to dive out of the way when the driver tried to squeeze past her bike.

Life is cheap in Ireland, where a truck driver walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 19-year old Dublin bike rider.

Horrifying story from India, where 15-year old girl fatally slashed the throat of a 40-year old man on a bicycle, after he failed to move out of the way when she repeatedly honked the horn on her scooter — failing to realize the man was deaf.

The new 79-pound, Chinese-made Himiway Zebra ebike promises to carry up to 400 pounds, with an 80-mile range.

A New Zealand man built his own DIY wheelchair bike so he could take his 89-year old wife who suffers from dementia, for a ride.

He gets it, too. An Aussie urban design expert says cities should put bike lanes on the fast track, because “the benefits of more cycling infrastructure pedal themselves.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Danish cyclist Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig took stage three of the Tour de France Femmes, one day after crashing in stage two.

The sport director for the Parkhotel Valkenburg team defended their decision to keep Nicole Frain in the race, after she allegedly cause the collision that knocked Marta Cavelli out of the race, saying criticism on social media brought Frain to tears; Australia’s Amanda Spratt was also forced to withdraw.

Race favorite Annemiek van Vleuten hasn’t made an impact in the TdFF yet, as the Dutch cyclist battles a stomach virus.

Bicycling is apparently more concerned with how women cyclists take a leak during the race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The Guardian offers photos from Europe’s grueling 2,500-mile Transcontinental Race, which kicked off Sunday in Flanders.

Former NBA great Reggie Miller says he’s committed to seeing how good he can be, in an effort to dominate the other racers in his age group.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have three wheels, front wheel drive and no pedals. Is it really a naked tandem ride if only the captain is bare?

And your bike mechanic might be willing install top shelf components on your Walmart bike if you ask nice.

But they won’t like it.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Investing in Place fires at Healthy Streets LA, protected and crappy new bikeways, and more 6th Street Bridge misery

Call it friendly fire.

The well-respected advocacy group Investing in Place fired off the since-deleted tweet on the left, coming out against the Healthy Streets LA  ballot initiative.

While the organization praises the efforts of the proposal’s sponsors, they take issue with the initiative itself, which would require the city to build out the Mobility Plan 2035 any time a street included in it gets resurfaced.

As they note, it could result in a haphazard streetscape, given the city’s seemingly random resurfacing program, while taking decades to complete.

Which is still better than the mere 3% that has been built in the seven years since the plan was adopted by the city council.

Here’s how Investing in Place explains their opposition in a blog post.

But here is where we disagree, painting random disconnected blocks of bike lanes while our sidewalks remain cracked, our neighborhoods flood in the rain and wilt in the heat, and bus riders continue to lack seating and shelter will not get us the city that we are working toward.

If the City Council adopts the Healthy Streets L.A. Ballot Measure as written, it would be tying its mandate to the City’s resurfacing program – which is structurally flawed, unpredictable, and inequitable – meaning the ballot measure is unlikely to produce projects with the durable community and political support needed.

It also could pull attention and resources away from efforts to implement truly complete streets with shade, accessible sidewalks, bus shelters and benches, and lighting, none of which are delivered by resurfacing and restriping. We wrote about this last month, as well as a separate but related motion the LA City Council is currently working on. It’s on the latter that the city should be putting its time and effort.

Surprisingly, that appears to represent a fundamental misunderstanding of what the mobility plan entails.

It’s not just bike lanes, even though it subsumed the 2010 bike plan, including its innovative three-level bike network.

It also includes busways and pedestrian improvements, along with a new focus on Complete Streets. Or as the plan itself puts it, it represents a fundamental change in how future generations of Angelenos will interact with their streets.

If it ever gets built.

But while the Healthy Streets LA initiative only requires Los Angeles to implement the plan when streets are resurfaced, that is the minimal requirement.

There is nothing stopping the city from building out an entire bike lane or busway when the new law forces them to stripe a few blocks of it. Nor is there anything preventing local groups and residents from demanding that the city go beyond the mere requirements of the law to include things like trees, benches and human spaces.

Investing in Place also strangely raises the issue of equity.

Any policy developed must include the voices of those most impacted, especially when it comes to public access to public assets. And the best policy outcomes we’ve seen also include the perspective and insight of those working on implementing and doing this work for the public agencies. These are the very real issues that are addressed by the motion put forward by Council President Martinez and discussed at length at the Public Works and Transportation Committees, but left to chance by the ballot measure. As a result, we have deep reservations about the ballot measure…

Until impacted communities living with the historical disinvestment in streets and sidewalks in their neigborhoods are given seats at the table, it is critical to stay the course with the Council President’s motion. Included in the Council President’s motion, and absent from the Ballot measure, is the plan to address the long-standing need for a Capital Infrastructure Plan that coordinates and prioritizes public works and transportation projects with equity baked in from the start.

I say strangely, because the voices of those impacted by the mobility plan were baked in during its drafting, through years of public meetings throughout the Los Angeles area and a lengthy public comment period.

It also came before the Planning Commission, neighborhood councils, city council committees and finally, the full city council itself.

At every point, there was a focus on equity and serving those too often ignored.

Then there’s the extensive support received by the Healthy Streets LA plan, with a lengthy list of sponsors, many of whom share a focus on equity, as shown on the plan’s website.

Our coalition includes a broad range of climate, transportation, business and labor organizations: Streets For All, LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, MoveLA, CalBike, LAANE, Los Angeles Walks, The Eagle Rock Association, National Health Foundation, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, UNITE HERE Local 11, People For Mobility Justice, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, East Side Riders, East Valley Indivisibles, Pacoima Beautiful, BizFed, Coalition for Clean Air, FastLinkDTLA, LA Business Council, Sierra Club.

It also enjoys a long list of endorsements from neighborhood councils in virtually every region of the city.

The following Neighborhood Councils have passed letters of support: Arts District Little Tokyo, Atwater Village, Boyle Heights, CANNDU, Canoga Park, Central Hollywood, Coastal San Pedro, Cypress Park, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley Riverside, Glassell Park, Granada Hills South, Harbor Gateway North, Harbor Gateway South, Hollywood Hills West, LA32, Los Feliz, MacArthur Park, Mid City, Mid City West, NoHo, NoHo West, North Area Development, North Hills West, North Westwood, Northridge East, Northwest San Pedro, Panorama City, Porter Ranch, Rampart Village, Reseda, Silver Lake, Sun Valley, United Neighborhoods, Van Nuys, Voices, West Adams, West LA/Sawtelle.

That broad-based level of support is exemplified by this map showing the distribution of petition signers, reaching every corner of Los Angeles.

Here’s what Streets For All founder Michael Schneider had to say when I asked him to comment.

We respectfully disagree with Investing in Place’s take on Healthy Streets LA, a citizen-led ballot measure that has been supported by over 100,000 Angelenos across the entire city, 40 neighborhood councils, and a coalition of labor, business, climate, and safe streets advocacy organizations.

But here’s the real problem.

Once the signatures for the ballot initiative are verified and counted, it will be approved for a vote of the people. That should happen by the end of this month.

That will start a 20 day clock that will give the city council the option of approving the Healthy Streets LA proposal as written, or place it on the November ballot.

Investing in Place argues for another alternative, which would involve negotiations between backers of the proposal, city agencies, and other interested parties.

However, only the first approach would carry the force of law, which can only be changed by a vote of the people.

In other words, the concept of improving city streets and expanding who they serve would finally be carved in stone, forcing city leaders to build a more livable city for everyone.

The approach Investing in Place recommends, though, would have the city council adopt a modified version of the proposal that could be changed at anytime, for any reason, by a simple vote of the council.

So if a less favorable council is elected at some point in the future, the improvements to our streets could be halted overnight. Or some councilmember could decide they don’t want a certain project included in the mobility plan, and get the council to override it.

The first approach would force the city to do what it has already committed to.

The other would too, unless someone, somewhere disagrees. Which is guaranteed in a city where drivers have enjoyed unquestioned privilege and hegemony over our streets since the demise of the Red Cars.

And the rest of us have been forced to live with their scraps.

Here, again, is Streets For All’s Michael Schneider.

There is no conflict between city council adopting Healthy Streets LA as an ordinance when it reaches council (which would enshrine it into law versus be at the whim of a future city council vote), and us all working together under the great initiative by Council President Martinez to make sure the mobility plan is implemented with an equitable lens, the mobility plan is expanded beyond paint and bollards, departments are coordinated, and all of the other things in her motion, which we support.

It’s an approach that’s been proven successful in other cities that have tried it.

And which should prove just as successful here.

As long as our fellow advocates don’t sink us with friendly fire.

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We have new protected bikeways in the local news today.

And real ones, this time. Unlike the the ones on the 6th Street Viaduct.

First up, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the long-promised curb-protected bike lanes on 7th Street in DTLA are finally under construction.

The $18.7 million streetscape project stretches one mile, from San Pedro Street in the east to Figueroa Street in the west. The first few blocks leading to and from Figueroa were funded by the developers as a permitting condition for building the Wilshire Grand Center at 7th and Fig.

Linton reports the project will include “expanded sidewalks, pedestrian/cyclist-scale lighting, bus islands, and new trees,” in addition to LA’s first significant curb-protected bikeway

Next up is a new separated bike path along El Segundo Blvd, which I’m just learning about.

However, it seems like for every decent bikeway, we have to accept a crappy one.

Like this one in Echo Park, where slow moving riders crawling uphill have to mix it up with impatient drivers, while downhill riders who could likely keep up with cars get a regular bike lane.

Exactly the opposite of what common sense would dictate. Although anyone who expects to find common sense on LA streets is likely to have a long damn wait.

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Continuing our seemingly endless discussion of the new 6th Street Viaduct, Curbed’s Alissa Walker describes its ostensibly protected bike lanes as “a bike lane built for a car crash.”

Meanwhile, KPCC’s Air Talk discusses bike safety and entirely predictable street takeovers on the viaduct.

And with everything else going on with the bridge, why the hell not?

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Old Pasadena is hosting a ride this weekend.

And no, that’s not a reference to the city’s residents.

Meanwhile, the LACBC is doing a craft beer ride to the South Bay with Sierra Nevada this Saturday.

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

No bias here. A San Diego letter writer says just paint a line on the sidewalk and make people on bicycles ride there, so his car can keep going zoom zoom on the streets.

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A Seattle area woman made just a brief stop behind bars before being released, after running down a bike-riding woman while driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit — at ten in the morning.

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

There’s a special place in a hell for the schmuck who harassed a 22-year old Welsh college student as he followed her on his bike for ten minutes making inappropriate comments. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

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Local

KTLA talks to an expert about what to look for in an ebike.

 

State 

There’s not a pit deep enough for the Adalanto man who attacked a 17-year old boy with a tire iron for no apparent reason as the kid was riding with his mom, leaving him unconscious and bleeding in the street.

Hats off to San Ramon’s Monte Vista High School mountain biking team, who’ve assigned themselves to remove invasive plants from Mt. Diablo.

Sad news from San Rafael, where a 67-year old man was killed in a fall when he rode his ebike off a steep ridgeline.

Bikeshare and e-scooters could be coming back to Davis.

 

National

How to clean your bike helmet.

The Bike League is asking for donations to their Drive Less, Bike More Matching Challenge; the organization is 33% of the way towards their $50,000 goal.

Road Bike Rider offers a plan for beginners to ride 100 miles a week.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will face trial in October after pleading not guilty to the murder of gravel cyclist Mariah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Some Chicago officials want to legalize speeding, with a proposal to toss out speed cam tickets for anyone going less than ten miles over the speed limit.

Bicycling and walking rates are up in Detroit, as residents cope with high gas prices.

This is who we share the road with. A Jersey City NJ councilwoman was cited for hit-and-run and failing to report a traffic collision, for driving off after hitting a bike rider, and leaving the victim with minor injuries; she claims she struck her head in the crash and reported it once she realized what happened. Sure, let’s go with that.

It’s a sad comment when a man can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but can’t survive riding a bike on DC streets.

 

International

A writer for Wired discovers that you can, indeed, do a 70-mile London dirt ride on a Brompton foldie, although the bike fared better than he did.

A British op-ed says teaching bicycling in schools will help foster equity.

An off-duty paramedic in the UK will spend five years and four months behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, when he tried driving to a party after downing ten pints of Guinness.

An English writer learns firsthand what it’s like to ride France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez.

Bike riders in Düzce, Turkey lay down in the street to stop traffic and finally get noticed by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tadej Pogačar outsprinted Tour de France leader Jonas Vingegaard to win Wednesday’s stage 17, but was unable to make a dent in Vingegaard’s more than two minute lead; Pogačar has one last mountain stage left to try to take the yellow jersey.

Former Tour de French champ Geraint Thomas is languishing in third place, over four minutes behind and unable to challenge the leaders.

Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen fared just a tad worse, giving everything he had just to make the time cut on Wednesday’s mountaintop finish.

Cycling Weekly says American cycling needs another Lemond — or God forbid, another Lance. But, you know, without the dope and stuff in the latter’s case. Or the shotgun pellets in the former.

 

Finally…

Your next bike can tell you when the air is too bad to breathe. And yes, there’s an online community for you when you just want to say “fuck cars.”

Because of course there is.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

A breakup letter with 6th Street Viaduct, CalBike ED moves to People For Bikes, and CA ebike rebates fail to launch

He gets it.

Well, of course he does.

Michael Schneider, founder of the transformational transportation Political Action Committee Streets For All, is the latest to accuse Caltrans and LADOT failing to protect bike riders on the new $588 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering, LADOT, and Caltrans have sent a “love letter” that is actually a breakup letter to people on bikes. Whether intentional or not, it signals that the city doesn’t really care about the safety for people on bikes (or they do, unless the space is needed for cars). Spending $600M of our taxpayer dollars on a substandard multi modal bridge in 2022 isn’t acceptable. The striping should be changed ASAP to accommodate broken down cars and emergency vehicles in the center while physically protecting people on bikes with concrete and extending the lane for the full length of the bridge.

We’ve already discussed that failure several times in recent days. So take a moment to read Schneider’s Medium piece.

Then get mad.

Damn mad.

Because as much as we want to love the new bridge, city and state officials have made it clear that your life and safety is worth less to them than a broken-down car.

And it should come as no surprise to anyone that drivers on the bridge are already behaving badly.

Rendering from From 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

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CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder is leaving the statewide bicycle advocacy group.

Snyder has led the California Bicycle Coalition, better known as Calbike, nearly half of its existence, joining the 26-year old organization in 2010.

According to a press release posted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News,

Under Snyder’s leadership, CalBike’s tenacious, hardworking team has passed model e-bike legislation, pushed through Complete Streets reform at Caltrans, defeated a helmet mandate, legalized protected bike lanes, and gotten several bills passed to protect bicyclists, including the Three Feet for Safety Law requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing. They have gotten more funding for bicycling as well, securing an increase in state-level funding for biking and walking from around $100M to over $1 billion, and winning $10M for e-bike purchase incentives.

CalBike has helped to coordinate more than twenty local advocacy organizations with a combined membership of over 100,000, influencing elections for the California State Assembly and Senate and building support for ballot measures such as the successful defeat in 2018 of a proposed repeal of the gas tax.

He’s leaving to take a position as Senior Director of Local Innovation with Colorado-based People For Bikes.

He’ll be missed.

Current CalBike Operations Manager Kevin Claxton will step in as Interim Director while the group conducts a search for new leadership.

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Streetsblog continues to stay on top of California’s continued failure to launch a promised and fully funded ebike rebate program.

Despite the overwhelming success of Denver’s ebike rebate program, California’s minimally funded $10 million program, which was supposed to launch this month, has been dead on arrival, apparently due to the state’s inability to select anyone to administer it.

Putting off a decision adds delay to an already slow-moving process, and could push the program start date out until after the end of the year. Other sources of e-bike incentives, including under the Clean Cars for All program being handled by regional air districts, have been just as slow to get going.

It almost feels as if CARB is more than reluctant to offer these incentives, even though it is increasingly clear that e-bikes can be excellent replacements for private cars. Their carbon footprints, costs, parking requirements, and the space they take up on roads is also considerably less than that of electric cars, and CARB doesn’t seem to have much trouble pushing EVs as a climate solution.

Never mind that California provides $425 million to purchasers of electric vehicles, which offer far fewer public benefits than electric bicycles.

You’d think that a cost of just 2.3% of the EV program while getting more cars off the road would be enough of an incentive for the state to get its shit together.

But apparently, you’d be wrong.

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Just 136,000 of the reasons I’m a fan of the East Side Riders.

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The LA area’s biggest bike race of the year is coming to the South Bay on Sunday.

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This is what can happen when a country’s leaders actually give a damn about ending traffic deaths.

Unlike a certain North American country we could name.

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

A Rhode Island man faces multiple charges for intentionally backing his car into a 12-year old boy’s bike, then following the kid and knocking him off his bike, all because he took offense at comments the boy made to his friends.

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Local

You see a lot of things riding a bike.  Like a cackling arsonist starting a brush fire, and a bike rider with a bleeding head injury who insists on riding off rather than waiting for paramedics. Seriously, if someone insists you need medical help, listen to them.

 

State 

Bad news from Oxnard, where a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a 19-year old van driver while riding his bike.

The writer of a Santa Barbara op-ed, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a Class 1 bike path and Class 2 bike lanes, opposes the former because it could mean the loss of trees on a street that already has the latter.

Santa Rosa bike riders are complaining about the unexpected closure of a bike path due to a small homeless encampment that officials said was “impeding safe public use of the trail.”

 

National

Bicycling offers expert advice on how to lead a group ride, in an article that’s exclusive to subscribers. And apparently anyone who has access to Yahoo.

A writer for The Oregonian suggests leaving your car at home, and taking your bike on an Amtrak train if you’re headed to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

Sheriff’s deputies in Pocatello, Idaho are increasing bike and foot patrols to cope with high gas prices.

A kindhearted stranger stepped up to buy a nine-year old Michigan boy a new bicycle, after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen the first night he had it.

Political pranksters have added a faux historical marker denoting Brandon Falls, the coastal Delaware location where Joe Biden fell off his bike last month; the name is a play on the “Let’s go Brandon” chant that stands in for a much cruder epithet. Meanwhile, the former Mayor Pete — now Transportation Secretary Pete — says he’s just “glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle.”

 

International

A British Columbia farm region is offering a free bicycle lending program, allowing local residents, refugees and migrant workers to simply take one when they need it and return in good working order it when they’re done.

South London is being plagued by knife-armed bike thieves on motorcycles.

London’s Independent tries out the Brompton’s nee $4,400 ebike foldie for a month, and likes it.

This is who we share the road with. An English police commissioner was caught speeding five times in just three months, after vowing to crack down on heavy-footed drivers.

UK bike riders argue that slowing down due to the country’s extreme heat leads to more aggressive passing from overheated and sleep deprived drivers; it was a record-setting 104° in London yesterday.

Swedish mobility company Vässla is switching to e-cargo bikes to deliver their mopeds through crushing Parisian traffic.

Taiwan is now allowing bicyclists and scooter riders to forgo their face masks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s Hugo Houle captured the biggest win of his career yesterday, topping the podium as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees for the final week of racing; Houle dedicated the win to his little brother, who was murdered by a hit-and-run driver ten years ago.

NBC offers a beginner’s guide to the Tour’s various leaders jerseys.

Twenty-four-year old Italian pro Marta Cavalli hopes to build on her second place finish in the Giro d’Italia Donne, as the inaugural eight-stage Tour de France Femmes prepares to rollout on Sunday.

L39ion of Los Angeles pulled its men’s and women’s teams out of Sunday’s Salt Lake Criterium after an incident of the final lap led to an exchange of blows following Saturday’s race; US pro crit champ Kendall Ryan says she’s astonished by the disrespect she gets as a member of the team.

 

Finally…

How to carry three on a tandem. Few things suck more than getting your new ebike stolen just an hour after you bought it.

And that feeling when you walk away from a promising cycling career to run the local post office.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

More on unsafe 6th Street Viaduct bike lanes, missing South Bay bike lanes amid climate crisis, and the joy of bike riding

Hats off to LAist for exploring the “now you se ’em, now you don’t” bike lanes on the nifty new $600 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Okay, just a mere $588 million.

Which surely could have bought better bike lanes than these.

As you’ll recall, the bridge, which pays homage to the classic but crumbling 1930s original, was built with a safe, barrier-protected walkway. And unsafe, Class IV semi-protected bike lanes on the other side of the barrier, protected only by easy-to-drive-over rubber curbs with big, squishy white bollards on bendy posts that wouldn’t stop anything.

Apparently, that was intentional.

LADOT was tasked with striping the pavement on the bridge and also worked with the construction contractor on the design and installation of the bike lanes, according to spokesperson Colin Sweeney. He said the decision to place the bike lanes outside the concrete walls that protect the pedestrian walkways came from Caltrans.

“Since there are no shoulders on the viaduct, Caltrans requested that the bike lanes be ‘permeable’ to act as an emergency lane,” Sweeney told LAist, saying the bike lanes offer “the highest level of protection that could be accommodated by the width of the bridge while also allowing emergency vehicles to enter if needed.”

Never mind that it’s also permeable for out-of-control truckers and distracted drivers, who will only feel a little jolt before slamming into someone on a bicycle.

And never mind the east end of the bridge, where’s there’s no protection at all — forcing riders to mix it up with usually speeding, and too often uncaring motorists.

Let alone the lack of safe connections leading to or from the bridge.

To call it a fail from a bike rider’s perspective is a massive understatement. Like maybe a $588 million understatement.

But this quote from the story sums the sad situation up as well as anything else.

………

Never mind the iffy bike lanes.

It was nice of Caltrans and the 6th Street Viaduct designers to include these nifty viewing grandstands for the inevitable burnouts and sideshows.

………

What if they threw a climate crisis and nobody came?

Or cared.

Bad Mom, Good Mom takes a deep dive into the confluence of the ambitious South Bay Bicycle Master Plan and global atmospheric CO2 levels, which were 392 ppm when the plan was adopted in 2011.

And now stand 36 ppm higher.

Yet just like LA’s bike and mobility plans, the South Bay plan has been largely forgotten by the cities it was supposed to save, and has now been downgraded even further with a Local Traffic Network replacing the promised bike lanes, as CO2 levels — and the risk to bike riders — continue to climb.

Many of them children on their way to school, as the piece points out. Kids who should have had a safe route there by now.

But now won’t. And won’t have cleaner air to breathe.

Or a livable planet to do it on.

Go ahead and read the whole piece. We’ll wait.

………

The best piece you’ll read today comes from a reporter for NPR, who manages to capture the sheer peace and joy of riding a bicycle better than I’ve ever done.

As well as the inherent contradiction of being a serious cyclist when riding is so much fun.

………

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

No bias here. Someone asks about a large group of bike riders in downtown Santa Barbara, and the online conversation quickly devolves into accusations of wealthy white recreational bike riders running stop signs. Sort of like any other online discussion of bikes.

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

The man who infamously rode his bicycle down the aisle to loot a San Francisco drug store has been arrested for shoplifting again, after serving just half of a 16 month sentence.

A 28-year old Toronto woman faces carjacking charges for allegedly riding up to a car on a bicycle, before pulling out the 70-year old woman driving and taking off with her car.

An Aussie bike rider is accused of repeatedly hitting a woman he says cut him off with her car; police say there’s nothing they can do without knowing who he is. Unfortunately, video of the incident doesn’t appear to work in this country.

………

Local

CicLAvia is teaming with Motional to host a free panel discussion titled Talking Innovation and Safe Streets at the LA Cleantech Incubator tomorrow evening.

A bicyclist was hospitalized in unknown condition after being struck by a driver in Canyon Country Monday afternoon.

 

State 

San Diego’s Rouleur Brewing Company will donate all the proceeds from the sale of their new hazy New England-style IPA to the Moriah Wilson Foundation in honor of the late cyclist.

A pair of Twentynine Palms residents suffered serious injuries when the bicycle they were sharing was struck by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night.

 

National

Livestrong recommends their picks for the best bike mirrors, which aren’t just for old guys on ‘bents anymore.

Bicycling recommend the best rear bike lights you can buy on Amazon. Although these are pretty damn good for just 13 bucks and change, too. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Triathlete offers advice on how to make your pedals go round more efficiently.

Evidently, city officials in Pueblo, Colorado don’t think there’s room in the planned 20-foot wide sidewalks on each side of a redesigned street to make space for the existing 5-foot wide bike lanes.

Wyoming considers charging mountain bike user fees to fund essential trail work.

A Chico, California woman was the victim of a predatory attack by a food-conditioned grizzly bear last year along the banks of Montana’s Blackfoot River, made famous by A River Runs Through It.

An Iowa man will spend up to ten years behind bars for killing a bike rider in South Dakota while driving under the influence; he claims he never saw the victim, who was riding in broad daylight wearing high-vis with a flashing red taillight.

Spectrum News 1 discovers the volunteer-driven ghost bike project in Austin, Texas to memorialize people killed riding bicycles in Central Texas.

Thirteen fraternity members from my alma mater are riding 3,400 miles across the US to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. So far they’ve raised $96,000 of the $150,000 goal, according to the story, although their website shows just half of that.

Once again, a bicyclist on a cross-country tour has been killed. A rider with a group riding to California from Savannah, Georgia died in an apparent collision outside Norman, Oklahoma. Although the only mention of a driver was to say they weren’t at fault.

Lonely Planet recommends the seven best bike rides if you ever find yourself riding on Cape Cod.

 

International

An 80-year old Edmonton, Alberta man is riding his ebike over 8,000 miles from Alaska to Panama City, accompanied by his relatively youthful 69-year old friend.

Toronto bicyclists took over the city’s High Park, riding laps around the roadway to protest police targeting bike riders breaking the low 12 mph speed limit.

James Corden, host of The Late Late Show, was in a heated altercation with another London bike rider who cut across his path and caused Corden to come off his bike, narrowly avoiding falling in front of traffic. However, the other guy did apologize.

A London newspaper offers advice on riding in the city’s current 100° heatwave. All of which you could probably come up with yourself with a little thought.

Finishing our London trifecta, bicycling rates are up 25% in the city over pre-pandemic levels.

Students at a Kochi, India high school have formed a 150-member bicycle brigade to promote bicycling to city residents and cut traffic to the school.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgium’s Yves Lampaert was left fuming after losing a chunk of flesh from his leg when a dog wandered in front of the peloton during Friday’s 12th stage of the Tour de France; no word on whether the dog was injured.

Welsh cyclist Owain Doull hit the pavement after riding over a stray water bottle in Sunday’s 15th stage.

Cycling News looks back on how the Tour overcame man-eating bears and walls of snow to conquer the Pyrenees.

Rapha offers a short film examining the brother and sister duos anchoring the L39ion of Los Angeles cycling team.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re looking for a big, heavy bike trailer with a hard to use brake. Uncool bicycling accessories due for a comeback.

And this is why the pros are in the Tour de France, and you’re not.

Although in my case, I’m just too damn old and falling apart.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Koretz gas ban called election gimmick, 6th Street Viaduct values cars above people, and Metro Bike wants your opinion

My apologies once again for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I’m still dealing with bouts of disabling dizziness and queasiness that can stop me in my tracks, as it did Wednesday night. 

My doctors continue to assure me that it’s a form of migraine. Even if it hasn’t responded to diet, medication or any of the other treatments they were just darn sure would work. 

Which means this probably won’t be the last time it happens. 

And the next time won’t, either. 

Photo by Harrison Haines from Pexels.

………

He gets it.

Rick Cole has lead a handful of SoCal cities, including Ventura and Santa Monica, as well as serving as a deputy mayor in Los Angeles.

Which is to say, he knows what he’s talking about. And can spot a cheap political stunt a mile away.

Sorry, Paul Koretz.

The tweet may be hidden behind a sensitive content warning, for reasons that will forever escape me. Just click the View link to display it, or you can read it here

………

More proof that the designers of the new 6th Street Viaduct put cars ahead of people.

Especially people on two wheels.

Speaking of which, the Bicycle Advisory Committee’s Planning and Bikeways Engineering Subcommittees will discuss the bridge’s “bikeway shortcomings” at Tuesday’s Virtual meeting.

The committees will also discuss the Northvale Gap on the Expo bike path, and bike safety in Griffith Park, among other issues.

………

Someone tell LADOT it would help if they put a link to the survey in their tweets.

………

Metro is teaming with Active SGV to host a ride in Pomona tomorrow.

………

Gravel Bike California takes a ride through the redwoods of Santa Cruz.

………

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

A naked Scottish couple riding a tandem were attacked by a driver, who made a U-turn to come back and hurl abuse at them — calling them prostitutes — before swerving his car into the couple; they’re continuing on their 837-mile fundraising ride despite suffering minor injuries.

British bike riders were quick to point out to a local police department why urging people to Cycle Like You Drive is a very, very bad idea.

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

Heartbreaking story from the UK, where a hit-and-run bicyclist will spend the next year behind bars for killing a 79-year old woman after rounding a corner while riding on the sidewalk.

………

Local

A writer for the LA Times recommends exploring Griffith Park on your bike, particularly since Griffith Park Drive has been closed to cars through Monday. And hopefully longer.

CicLAvia is hosting a CivSalon panel discussion on Wednesday to discuss how innovation can make our streets safer and more equitable.

 

State 

Calbike joins with 17 other agencies to call for and end to freeway expansion in the Golden State.

Streetsblog says Caltran’s Complete Streets Action plan is basically a list of specific actions the agency will take to encourage a shift towards equitable and safer transportation. Let’s hope so, anyway.

Call it a win-win. San Diego’s new 2.3-mile bike lane on Pershing Drive through Balboa Park will improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, as well as including a project to replace aging stormwater lines to prevent flooding and reduce water pollution.

A 58-year Rancho Bernardo man completed a 3,300-mile ride across the US, raising over $20,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to fight type 1 diabetes.

Berkeley’s new 12-block parking and barrier protected bike lane connects the north and south sections of the city’s downtown.

Sonoma Magazine offers the ultimate guide to riding in the wine country county.

 

National

They get it. A retail business website says retailers usually fight new bike lanes, arguing they will hurt their business — but usually end up with higher sales after they’re built.

A British man completed his 4,000-mile bike ride across the US, raising nearly $30,000 for charity in the process — including the equivalent of over $2,300 from Dame Judy Dench.

The Pro’s Closet and The Radavist’s John Watson have teamed up on a special-edition gravel bike inspired by a Toyota Land Cruiser; only eight will be made, selling for just under nine grand.

Walmart is recalling a bike helmet that was a replacement for a recalled bike helmet.

It’s the 125th anniversary of the legendary Buffalo Soldier’s 41-day, 1,900 mile bike ride, proving bicycles could efficiently move troops. Until those damn cars and trucks took their place.

Pay full freight for a bike from Colorado bikemaker Alchemy Bikes, and they’ll put you up in a Golden CO hotel, and spring for beer and a breakfast burrito.

Tragic news from Colorado, whee a six-year old boy died days after he was bitten by a rattlesnake while riding bikes with his family.

Cars are still banned from the Northern entrances to Yellowstone due to flooding damage, but bikes are being allowed in for short rides; bicyclists call the carefree carfree experience “magical.”

It’s illegal to stand on the pedals while you ride your bike in Indiana.

Sad news from Missouri, where a 44-year old man was killed when a sheriff’s deputy rear-ended his bicycle; no word on why the deputy couldn’t see a grown man on a bike directly in front of him.

The alleged DUI driver who hit three pedestrians standing on an Illinois bike path, killing two young men, saw half the charges against her dismissed, but will face trial on the seven remaining counts.

A self-described “avid cyclist” says there has to be a better use for St. Paul, Minnesota’s money than removing parking spaces to build a two-way bikeway. There are no more chilling words than those that begin with “I’m an avid cyclist, but…”

There’s a special place in hell for whoever attacked a popular New York restaurant worker to steal his ebike as the man ride home from work, putting him in a coma he never recovered from.

Once again, a driver ran down a bike rider, then got out of his car to remove the victim’s bicycle from underneath before fleeing the scene, this time in North Carolina. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Florida woman was lucky to survive after a driver hit her and a friend as they were riding their bikes, dragging the woman 50 feet beneath the car as the driver fled the scene; her friend escaped with just minor injuries.

 

International

London’s Evening Standard takes a look at the city’s bikeshare tribes, with tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Police in Britain’s New Forest urge drivers to slow down so they don’t crash into the donkeys. Or the people on bicycles .

That feeling when you fly to London, but your $16,500 bike and luggage fly to Naples.

Former pro cyclist and Rwandan genocide survivor Adrien Niyonshuti beat the pro peloton to the top of France’s legendary Alpe d’Huez, despite riding a 40 pound, single speed Qhubeka bike built for use in Africa.

Bike Radar looks at the best “weird and wonderful” tech from Germany’s Eurobike trade show.

The head of Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency reportedly is in intensive care after suffering multiple injuries falling off his bicycle; as usual, the country denies anything even happened. Although his injuries suggest something more serious than a simple fall off a bike.

A 36-year old Indian man has been riding throughout the country for the past three years to call attention to organic farming and the problem of single-use plastics.

CNN looks at how Abu Dhabi became the world’s hottest bicycling city. No, literally.

Hong Kong is considering requiring a helmet for anyone riding a bicycle, tricycle or multi-wheeled bike. Evidently, they have a lot of five, six and seven wheeled bikes. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Yellow jersey bearer Tadej Pogačar cracked on Wednesday’s 11th stage of the Tour de France, allowing Denmark’s Jonas Vingegaard to slip into the lead.

He wasn’t the only Slovenian to crack. Primož Roglič followed suit the next day after a series of attacks by his Jumbo-Visma team, in an effort to widen Vingegaard’s lead; Vingegaard ended the day 2:22 ahead of Pogačar, who was unable to successfully attack on Thursday’s ride up Alpe d’Huez.

Twenty-two-year old Brit Tom Piddock won Thursday’s stage, besting veteran Chris Froome on the mountain top finish.

The top American is now Sepp Kuss, nearly 25 minutes behind the leader in 17th place, and one notch above Nielson Powless in 18th. Meanwhile, 21-year old Tour rookie Quinn Simmons vows to keep attacking.

Atlas Obscura dives into the chaos of the Tour’s Fast and Furious Feed Zone.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be good for 125 miles. Why stop riding at the water’s edge?

And let your bike be your tent pole on your next bikepacking trip.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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