Tag Archive for 710 Freeway

Major changes proposed for Hollywood Blvd, Parisians boost SUV parking fees, and Metro hasn’t changed its 710 stripes

330 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. We’re up to 871 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000 this week!

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We could be looking at major changes on Hollywood Blvd.

Fingers crossed.

Thursday’s public meeting unveiled plans for one of the city’s first major lane reductions in the past several years for the east end of the boulevard, along with new protected bike lanes, providing a major safety improvement in addition to traffic calming.

Let’s just hope this moves beyond just talk and vaporware, for a change.

Click through on the links if the tweets disappear, which seems to be happening a lot lately.

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It’s not just the mayor.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has gotten a lot of the credit — or blame, depending on your perspective — for the recent changes making the city more climate friendly and livable, from new bike lanes to planning for a 15-minute city.

But clearly, Parisians are in her camp.

Not only did they re-elect her less than four years ago, but now residents of the city have approved her proposal to increase parking fees for SUVs.

And not by a small margin. Nearly 55% of voters agree to triple the cost to park an SUV on city streets, raising the cost for a private vehicle weighing over 1.6 tons — 3,200 pounds — to $20 an hour, in an effort to discourage their use in the city.

After all, few people will buy — let alone drive — oversized SUVs if they can’t afford to park them.

Your move, Los Angeles.

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Apparently, Metro’s cancellation of plans to widen the 710 Freeway really wasn’t a cancellation at all.

According to Streetsblog’s Joe Linton, a new proposal from the agency still includes plans to widen the freeway, and may require demolishing homes along the route, which led to the original cancellation.

And the much-promised improvements for transit, walking and biking along the corridor apparently don’t amount to much.

All of which goes to show just how little the agency has changed its stripes.

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GCN examines the all-important question of how much speed can you actually buy, as we’ve all heard — or yes, said — that you can buy speed, but you can’t buy skill.

You can, however, buy a $7,100 skinsuit.

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It’s now 46 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

With friends like these, who needs enemies? An op-ed from a Boulder, Colorado bicyclist asserts that bicyclists needs to take responsibility for their behavior, because “Most bicycle accidents are caused by improper, sometimes illegal, cyclist behavior,” and adding “There is almost no excuse for a single-operator (bicycle) crash.” As if drivers and poor road conditions have nothing to do with it.

The count is now up to six teenagers facing charges for intentionally running down a pair of Australian bike riders with a stolen car, in separate attacks that left at least one victim with life-changing injuries; the kids range from just 13 to 16, with a 14-year old and a 16-year old suspected of doing the driving.

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Local 

The next time you need to get something across Long Beach in a hurry, you may have to take it yourself, after the city’s only bicycle messenger service abruptly shut down after nearly a decade.

 

State

San Diego Magazine recommends a trio of roads in the Anza Borrego desert east of the city to explore by mountain bike.

San Francisco’s almost universally maligned Valencia Street centerline bike lane could already be on its way out, even though sales tax figures show businesses along the street are actually doing better than surrounding areas, despite claims of a slowdown.

Bay Area transportation planners are considering a proposal to reopen the westbound shoulder of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle traffic, even though it’s currently a protected bike lane. Because really, who gives a damn about those darn people on bikes if there’s a driver somewhere who thinks they’re being inconvenienced?

 

National

A groundbreaking new study shows cities with high levels of bicycling are usually safer for all road users — including drivers. Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, but probably will. 

Colorado will host its Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, including in my bike-friendly hometown. Which is our annual reminder that Los Angeles still doesn’t have a Winter Bike to Work Day, despite having a much more inviting climate — this week excepted. Then again, we didn’t have much of a summer one last year, either. 

Chicago bicyclists disproved the myth that no one rides in the winter, as hundreds of people turned out for last month’s Critical Mass ride in 39 degrees and rain.

A Tennessee recumbent rider was killed, and two other bike riders were injured, when a driver jumped a curb and crashed into a group of bicyclists waiting on a Murfreesboro sidewalk for the light to change; the local bike club urged people not to jump to conclusions about who was at fault. Although it’s kind of hard not to when the victims were on the sidewalk, and so was the driver.

Men’s Health explains how the head chef of an elite, two Michelin-starred Brooklyn restaurant manages to be an elite bicyclist, too.

After a North Carolina driver killed a man riding a unicycle, the state Highway Patrol quickly blamed the victim for not having a headlight. Which raises the question of where they expected him to put it.

 

International

How to celebrate Valentines Day with a bicycle. I mean, not as your date or anything, because that would be weird. 

A British Columbia writer says yes, bike helmets are helpful, but if you really want to improve safety, make drivers wear them, too.

A pair of Edinburgh bicyclists were left shaken after they were attacked by hooded thieves who made off with their bikes, worth over $12,000.

Disappointing news, as one of England’s oldest bike shops shuttered after 134 years.

The UK’s national Bikeability children’s bicycle safety training program says fewer kids are riding to school, even though more are passing through the program.

Good question. A BBC radio show considers why bicyclists with bike-cams are considered snitches, while drivers with dash-cams are responsible citizens.

A European travel site says put Valencia, Spain on your bike bucket list.

Sad news from Bengaluru, India, where the man known as the Century Cyclist or the Cycle Yogi for his unbroken streak of 42 months of daily metric century rides — 62 miles — died of a heart attack just days after finishing the streak; he was just 45.

A London bike rider says spending a week riding on a cycle track through Abu Dhabi’s breathtaking Al Wathba desert changed his mind about bicycling, in a good way.

An Aussie ebike rider was seriously injured by a woman driving at nearly twice the county’s .05 legal blood alcohol limit, but the tabloids had a field day after learning she was wearing nothing but leather lingerie at the time of the crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

Estonia’s Madis Mihkels and Belgian pro Gerben Thijssen made a donation to their Intermarché–Wanty cycling team’s junior team, and were asked to make a presentation to the junior team members on the values of cycling after they were yanked from last year’s Chinese Tour of Guangxi for making a common anti-Asian racist gesture.

 

Finally…

Use wind-power to run your bike lights. Who needs Critical Mass when you can have a monthly bike rave, instead?

And seriously, how low can you go?

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0KYTXjv0Bg/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=33a07c8f-a11a-405f-aef2-962a6c6fb356

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Best and worst of California biking, confusing Metro 710 bike mess, and you don’t have to bike inside after all

Today’s must read belatedly came to my attention, after a week lost in my spam folder.

Calbike took a look back at best and worst of California biking last year, from Glendora’s low-cost quick-build Complete Streets demo, to proof that traffic jams improve safety, as bike and pedestrian deaths went up even as traffic levels decreased during the pandemic.

A few other highlights —

  • A pair of San Diego area bikeway prove persistence pays off
  • The Eastside’s Roadkill Gil gets a nod for worst abuse of political power
  • The failed anti0bike recall of Nithya Raman
  • Calbike’s big win on California’s new ebike subsidy program
  • The LA Times investigation of biased bike stops by sheriff’s deputies

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It may the most entertaining and informative thing you’ll read all day.

Aside from what you’re reading now, anyway.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels.

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Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to make of something.

Especially when it involves widening a freeway in a soon-to-be-failed attempt at relieving traffic congestion, as if induced demand isn’t even a thing.

Not to mention make a complete mess of things when it comes to bicycling.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that’s the case with Metro’s recent presentation on the proposed widening of the 710 Freeway — excuse me, the multimodal transformation of the 710 corridor.

The $6 billion project was put on pause after decades of community complaints, cancellation by the EPA, pausing by Caltrans and suspension by the Metro board.

Which is one hell of a losing streak, if you ask me.

Now the project is once again rearing its ugly head, this time accompanied with references to rail and NextGen bus service.

And bike lanes. Well, sort of.

Or maybe not.

We’ll let Linton take it from here.

Metro’s video states that there is a “protected bike lane” along the L.A. River, when the river facility is actually a bike path. The presentation emphasizes that there is “a lack of designated bike routes,” though cyclists know that bike routes are typically meaningless. Metro’s “Bike Routes [sic]” map labels many bike paths as protected bikeways, and maps numerous protected bikeways in lots of places where they don’t exist: East L.A., Vernon, Carson, etc. (Hint for Metro’s intern: the only protected bikeways in the study area are in the city of Long Beach.)

I hesitated writing about this for over a week, thinking my feeble diabetes and drug addled brain just couldn’t make sense of it.

Then I finally realized it didn’t make sense to me because it just doesn’t make sense.

Like Metro somehow not knowing the difference between an imaginary protected bike lane and an actual riverfront bike path, albeit one with an eight-mile gap through DTLA.

Or that they would somehow invent a network of nonexistent protected bike lanes that would make vaporware look good.

I’d suggest Metro needs to get their shit together, but it looks like they already put their #2 staffer on it.

Pun intended.

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Let’s all shed a tear for Peloton’s CEO, who is no longer a billionaire after the company’s stock has dropped 85% since its pandemic peak.

Meanwhile, Alissa Walker reminds us that you don’t have to settle for riding a bike indoors.

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We may have to worry about aggressive LA drivers. But at least we don’t have to dodge angry wild turkeys just to get a ride in.

https://twitter.com/ABC7/status/1483627774459842561?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1483627774459842561%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Freal923la.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2022-01-20-bicyclist-gets-harassed-by-wild-turkeys%2F

Frequent contributor Megan Lynch can give thanks she had a much milder encounter with some skinnier and less aggressive toms.

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What could possibly go wrong with this?

Unless maybe you’re the bike rider waiting patiently for a little old lady to make it all the way to the other side, while an impatient driver runs up on your ass, horn blaring.

https://twitter.com/NYPD19Pct/status/1484180393498718208

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No wonder they called it the Great War.

Sure, they may have had to fight on an unforgiving front in a brutal war, but at least they got to ride bikes.

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

No bias here. English police don’t bother to do anything about a driver’s dangerously close pass on a blind curve, but give a warning for the bike rider’s bad language in response.

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

A Brit man on a mountain bike more than lived up to this section’s theme by punching a delivery driver in the eye after claiming he cut him off.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD is looking for a trio of hit-and-run drivers who injured one pedestrian and a person riding an e-scooter, and killed another pedestrian in three separate crashes the Jefferson Park neighborhood this month.

Riders on the LA River bike path may eventually have something besides a concrete river channel to look at when the path is finally extended from Elysian Park through DTLA to Maywood; the new infrastructure bill contains $28 million to restore 11 miles of the river to some semblance of a more natural state from Glendale to Downtown Los Angeles.

Get ready to rumble in Palmdale, where Caltrans is proposing removing street parking along a section of State Route 138 to make room for bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is sure to rile up the local citizenry and businesses.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where a man who had survived getting struck by a driver while riding a motorized bike last October died due to complications stemming from his injuries.

 

National

Bike Hacks offers a clickbait-friendly seven reasons why every college student should have a bicycle.

The driver who killed the wife of one of Tesla’s co-founders as she rode a bike outside of Reno is facing six years after pleading guilty to felony reckless driving.

Streetsblog considers whether Chicago speed cams are racist because they disproportionately ticket people of color, or if the real problem is racist road design in low-income neighborhoods that encourage people to speed.

The trial of a Black Illinois bike rider accused of fatally shooting a car passenger who he says called him a racial slur was nearly derailed when a witness said a defense paralegal had posed as a police officer to interrogate him at work.

Seriously? A Massachusetts letter writer complains that a new bike lane is dangerous and will get someone killed because drivers have to cross it to make a right turn, and have to watch out for people on bikes when leaving a parking space. You know, pretty much like virtually every other bike lane on the face of the earth, aside from Denmark and the Netherlands, of course.

A pair of Brown University students have created what they describe as “Waze for bikes” to help overcome the woes we usually face.

 

International

Brompton is introducing its first Ti frame, sub-17 pound foldie.

Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer is offering commuters free use of an ebike if their train is cancelled due to the ongoing disruptions caused by the Omicron variant.

Speaking of Denmark, it’s the bike-friendly country’s Year of the Bike, with the Tour de France scheduled to start in Copenhagen, and a commitment to spend $64 million on bike lanes this year — part of a whopping $458 million bicycling infrastructure plan. Then again, every year is the year of the bike for Danish residents.

Dutch bikemaker Van Moof introduces a twin engine “hyperbike” ebike — even though its 31 mph top speed makes it illegal in Europe and much of the US, including California.

Jerusalem residents are demanding bike lanes on congested Hebron Road, and getting the cold shoulder from city hall.

An Aussie urban designer explains how the country could become a world leader in bicycle friendly cities, starting with prioritizing bikes and pedestrians over cars. Which should be the starting point for all traffic laws everywhere. Especially right here in Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado hedge fund is taking a new approach to pro cycling’s failing business model by earmarking a percentage of their management proceeds to support USA Cycling and other cycling organizations.

 

Finally…

Remember to unplug your ebike before it explodes. Now you, too can look like your heroes from L39ion of Los Angeles.

And “If you’re in a four wheel drive, you can f**k off.”

Now that’s a lyric we can all relate to.

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