Tag Archive for 85th Percentile Law

LA cuts speed limits on less than 3% of streets, and San Francisco’s JFK Drive to stay carfree — so where’s LA equivalent?

Ambassador to India Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has signed an ordinance lowering the speed limit on 177 miles of streets.

By a whopping 5 mph.

Which isn’t going to make any real difference on LA’s mean streets, where speed limits often reach 45 or 50 mph. Let alone the other 6,323 miles of streets in the city.

But at least it’s a step in the right direction, reducing speeds on streets where they had recently been raised, thanks to a new state law amending the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

What’s really needed is a cut to 20 mph in business and residential areas, as has already been done in other cities around the world to reduce crashes and improve survivability.

Because a drop from 45 mph to 40 just ain’t gonna do that.

Like just about everything else, though, that will take another change in state law. Which isn’t likely to be coming anytime soon.

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In a big win for bike riders and pedestrians — or just people in general — a new report from San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department and the Municipal Transportation Agency recommends that JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park be kept carfree.

The street was shut down during the pandemic to provide a safe place for San Franciscans to walk and ride their bikes, and many residents like it that way.

And San Francisco’s mayor has come out strongly, if belatedly, in favor of it, apparently following when she should be leading.

Meanwhile, San Francisco filmmakers fight back against the false narrative that streets newly pedestrianized during the pandemic are for “elites.”

Just try to name any similar street in Los Angeles that has been pedestrianized in recent years — especially during the pandemic, when there was every opportunity and reason to do it.

Never mind banning private cars entirely from the city center, as Paris and other European cities are doing.

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A tweet from Entitled Cyclist shows a Maserati SUV driver demonstrating the equivalent of an Idaho Stop Law for overly entitled jerks drivers.

For some reason, this isn’t letting me embed tweets tonight, so you’ll have to click through to see this one, and the one below. But it’ll be worth it.

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In an example all too typical of Southern California bikeways, the Whittier Greenway Trail rail-to-trail conversion stops a frustrating half mile short of connecting to the Gabriel River Bike Trail — even though there appears to be abandoned rail right-of-way that could be used to extend the trail.

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

Most of us have experienced drivers who insisted on cutting in front of bikes, regardless of whether it’s safe. Like this British jerk, for instance.

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Local

Metro is marking Women’s History Month with a self-guided ride through DTLA highlighting important spaces for and by women.

Active SGV Programs Director Wesley Reutimann writes about the return of the 626 Golden Streets open streets event through historic San Gabriel and South Pasadena Mission Districts, and downtown Alhambra on May 1st.

A ten-year old boy was rushed to the hospital with traumatic injuries after a mountain bike fall while riding in Sylmar.

 

State 

California announces $296 million in state beautification grants, and evidently concludes that bike lanes and pedestrian projects are beautiful, too; the list includes dozens of projects in Southern California and the LA area.

Sad news from Idyllwild, where longtime bike shop owner David “Bud” Hunt Jr. passed away last month, surrounded by family; he was 93. Hunt had worked in the shop every day until he was 92.

Bad news from Bakersfield, where a woman was killed when her bike was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver early Monday morning.

 

National

Singletracks recommends mountain bikes for every budget, from a $500 Schwinn to a Santa Cruz for ten grand.

A staffer with PeopleForBikes writes that companies should make it a priority to boost employee bike riding through programs like employer-sponsored bike leasing. Or the $4 he gets from the advocacy group for every ride, up to $100 a month.

The founder of LVSportsBiz relates how he started the Las Vegas sports site after a distracted driver ran him down while he was riding his bike, which effectively ended his career as a Florida sportswriter. And needless to say, the driver wasn’t even ticketed.

Kindhearted Texas cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a middle school student whose bicycle was totaled when he was struck by a driver on his way to school. But the local Trek dealer wouldn’t take their money, donating a $1,000 bike and helmet instead.

A kindhearted St. Louis cop used his downtime while recovering from serious injuries after getting hit by a driver on the job to help get a girl a new bicycle after hearing she needed one.

Massachusett’s Bob the Bike Man is shifting gears from providing bicycles for people in need to sending supplies for Ukrainian refugees.

They get it. A DC website says it’s time to stop blaming the victims of traffic violence.

Horrible news from Daytona, Florida, where a married couple were stabbed to death while riding their bicycles; they were found dead in a quiet residential neighborhood, suffering from multiple stab wounds.

 

International

A viral meme on Twitter tells people to Fight Putin, Ride A Bike.

Momentum highlights six e-cargo bikes it says are perfect for families.

In a story after my own heart, Road.cc offers 11 reasons why group rides suck and you’re better off riding on your own.

The husband of a fallen English bike rider says bicyclists in Oxford gamble with their lives every day.

Italian bikemaker 3T wants you to wear your support for Ukraine on your frame.

 

Competitive Cycling

Mark your calendar for an eight hour Netflix Tour de France docu-series focusing on the Jumbo-Visma cycling team, which is expected to stream in May of next year.

 

Finally…

Get your GPS directions projected directly in the street in front of your bike — if you have an extra thousand bucks laying around. If your bike gets a flat, just steal another one.

And your next e-roadie could be a Ducati.

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

Los Angeles finally lowers speed limits on some streets, and “woke” repeal of Seattle bike helmet mandate

It might be time to check snow conditions in the underworld.

For the first time in memory, if not ever, Los Angeles officials overruled drivers right feet for setting speed limits, slightly lowering limits on 177 miles of LA streets.

And reversing, if ever so slightly, the ever-climbing speed limits forced on them by the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

The move came in response to legislation sponsored by Burbank state Assemblymember Laura Friedman, which allows cities to drop speed limits no more than five mph.

Which isn’t the legislation we need to repeal the 85th Percentile Law. But it’s a start.

Now we just have another 6,323 miles of streets to go.

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They get it.

https://twitter.com/NACTO/status/1496190934572273666

Not everyone does, though.

Curmudgeonly conservative Seattle shock jock Jason Rantz appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to complain that it’s just one more example of “everything is racist.”

Rantz accuses a “woke” professor of using a small sample size to show the law disproportionately ticketed people of color, while suggesting that some of those ticketed were probably just homeless people on stolen bicycles, anyway.

Schmuck.

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She gets it, too.

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A reminder about Walk ‘n Rollers upcoming 10th Anniversary celebration next month.

The Culver City-based organization deserves a lot of credit for teaching kids how to walk and ride safely.

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This may just be the coolest 100-year old bike I’ve ever seen.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1496194085618655232

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GCN considers whether a British company’s move to ban bike helmets for its delivery riders is science, or just plain stupid.

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

No bias here. An Italian bike rider was fined the equivalent of $380 after he was nearly doored by a careless cop, because bicyclists aren’t required to wear a Covid mask in the country, but pedestrians are — which he became when he got off his bike to argue the point with the cop.

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Local

Glendale police busted three men for attempting to steal bicycles from an underground parking facility at the Americana at Brand shopping center.

Norwalk has dropped the final draft of its proposed bicycle master plan.

 

State 

Calbike comes out agains AB 371, which would effectively end bikeshare and e-scooter rentals by imposing an “unprecedented insurance requirement,” after killing a similar proposal two years ago.

PeopleForBikes announces the schedule and speakers for next month’s Bicycle Leadership Conference in Dana Point.

Business owners in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood continue to complain about lost business due to the removal of parking spaces for a protected bike lane on 30th Street, even though a nearby parking structure remains underutilized. Which suggests the real problem isn’t the bike lane, but drivers who are unwilling to pay for parking.

A Folsom letter writer says it’s time to allow bicycles on an 11-mile local trail, since mountain bikers outnumber equestrians in the area.

 

National

As if the company didn’t have enough problems these days, Peloton users were faced with a major service outage yesterday.

That’s more like it. Denver traffic engineers and planners took up a wheelchair-bound woman’s challenge to walk with her to see what her daily experience on the streets was really like.

Colorado is considering a bill to legalize the full Idaho Stop Law, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and red lights like stop signs. The state currently has a confusing patchwork of local ordinances that allow riders to roll stops in one jurisdiction, while risking getting ticketed for the same thing in the next.

Bighearted students at an Iowa community college dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a cafeteria worker, after discovering his was worn out.

A Chicago chef feels vindicated after a jury awarded her over $212,000 for the dooring that left her seriously injured with a concussion, contusions and other injuries.

Get $900 off the provocatively named, Detroit-made Babymaker II ebike.

Bicycle Retailer says there’s still hope the dilapidated building that housed the Wright Brothers first bike shop could be saved, despite a Dayton, Ohio committee approving a permit to raze it.

Police in New York arrested an ambulance driver for the hit-and-run that killed a beloved teacher last year, while he was driving a Rolls-Royce that he may have rented; he also seriously injured a bike rider in another crash in 2017.

Kindhearted North Carolina sheriff’s deputies bought a nine-year old girl another bicycle, after one they bought for her following her involvement in a hostage situation was stolen.

There’s a special place in hell for an Alabama man who’s charged with sexually abusing a young child, two years after killing a bike rider in a collision.

 

International

Pink Bike examines why bike companies are changing hands like playing cards these days.

After discovering how essential bicycles are in Havana, a travel writer overcomes his childhood fears and learns to ride one to discover the other side of the Cuban city.

More on the move by Paris to install traffic cam-like noise sensors to detect and photograph loud vehicles in an effort to reduce noise levels, calling it a public health issue. Can we please have those here in Hollywood? Pretty please?

Aussie bicyclists are being urged to log their crashes and near misses on an app to provide data for researchers attempting to understand how and why collisions happen, and how to prevent them.

 

Competitive Cycling

About damn time. The 2022 Tour of Flanders will offer equal prize money to men and women, joining a worldwide movement to towards equal purses.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a stolen credit card to buy an $8,200 bike, don’t leave a paper trail stretching from New York to Pittsburgh and back. That feeling when a tree swallows your bike, and a myth grows along with it.

And I still want a damn Pashley Guv’nor, already.

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

Hit-and-run drivers critically injure bike riders in San Dimas and Carlsbad, LA begins process to lower some speed limits

Breaking news: The Citizen app is reporting that a man on a bicycle was killed by a driver in Highland Park. 

The crash occurred at South Ave 60 and the offramp to the 110 Freeway around 12:20 am. 

Hopefully we’ll get more news later. 

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LA County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man on a bicycle in San Dimas late last month.

The 37-year old victim, who hasn’t been publicly identified, was riding along the curb on Fifth Street west of Eucla Ave around 6:30 pm on January 27, when he was run down from behind by the driver of a dark colored Dodge Ram pickup.

The driver briefly stopped a short distance away before driving off, leaving his victim bleeding in the street.

Investigators ask anyone who lives in the area to check their surveillance cameras for any video that might show the crash or the suspect.

Something sheriff’s investigators should have done themselves in the first few days, if not hours, following the crash, before any video would be deleted or recorded over.

But maybe they were, like, busy or something.

Anyone with information is urged to call San Dimas Traffic Detective Christopher Bronowicki at 909/859-2818.

The video is difficult to watch, so make sure you really want to see the crash and its aftermath before you click play, because you can’t unsee it once you do. 

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A San Diego County family is looking for answers five days after a retired Los Angeles firefighter was found unconscious and badly injured next to his bike in the middle of El Camino Real in Carlsbad.

Seventy-four-year old John Burgan is in a coma in critical condition with internal injuries, as well as fractures all around his skull, face, ribs and right femur, after an apparent hit-and-run.

The location and condition of his undamaged bicycle suggest he may have been struck by the wing mirror of a driver’s vehicle while making his way to the left turn lane at Hosp Way.

Anyone with information is urged to call Carlsbad Police Officer Adam Bentley at 760/931-2288 or email adam.bentley@carlsbadca.gov.

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Finally, a little good news from LA City Hall.

Streetsblog is reporting that the City Council Transportation Committee has taken the unprecedented step of — wait for it — actually lowering speed limits in the City of Angels, in hopes of maybe making a fewer of them.

Angels, that is.

The city’s hands have long been tied by the deadly 85th Percentile Law, which worked in conjunction with speeding drivers to push limits ever higher, regardless of whether the new speeds were actually safe.

It took a new state law, sponsored by Burbank Assemblymember Laura Friedman, to reform, but not repeal, the 85th Percentile Law to allow the city to begin reducing speeds on city streets.

However, the committee’s action covers just 177 miles out of LA’s more than 6,500 miles of streets.

But it’s a start.

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It looks like New Yorkers overwhelmingly support safer streets, and using automated traffic cams to do it.

Even if their efforts are hindered by the state legislature, which should sound familiar to anyone in California.

New Yorkers want these changes to make streets safe. An Emerson College poll found that 68% of city residents support lowering the speed limit to 20 mph, and 72% want the city to have authority to set its own speed limits. A Siena College poll found that 85% of New York City voters, including 84% of car-owners, support red light enforcement cameras. More than three-quarters of New York City voters, including just about the same share of car owners, support automated speed safety cameras.

Not only are the speed and red light cams popular, they’re also effective.

As one example of the consequences, consider New York City’s speed safety camera program, which is currently only permitted by Albany to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. In effect, Albany forces cameras to be off for more than half of the hours in any given week. Speed safety cameras are wildly effective: A 55% drop in all traffic fatalities and a 72%decline in speeding followed the launch of the program. Speed safety cameras also avoid racial biases that may be present in armed police stops and avoid risks of stops turning violent or deadly. However, in 2020, nearly 40% of people killed in fatal traffic crashes died in speed safety camera zones, but when the cameras were forced to be off. Speeding doesn’t sleep, but state law forces our speed safety cameras to get plenty of shut-eye.

Let’s hope California legislators are paying attention.

Not to mention the LA City Council, which cancelled the city’s red light camera program, for reasons that mostly boiled down to angry drivers who didn’t like getting tickets for breaking the law.

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I wouldn’t count on plastic bollards to keep you safer. Even if these are better than the flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1494014664346259457

Personally, I consider anything marked by plastic bollards to be a separated bike lane, rather than a protected bike lane.

Because those little posts don’t protect anyone.

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Burbank police will be offering bicycle registration next Wednesday afternoon.

And cookies, too.

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A new movie documents a woman’s efforts to get back on her mountain bike after struggling with Crohn’s disease.

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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 Cincinnati op-ed calls bike lanes a “misappropriation of funds,” calling for the money to be spent fixing potholes rather than catering “to a small group of citizens that happen to bicycle.” Never mind that potholes are more dangerous for people on bikes than those safely ensconced in a couple tons of steel and glass.

You’ve got to be kidding. Residents of an Ontario, Canada city claim proposed bike lanes would violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person. Because the bike lanes will have to be built over their dead bodies, evidently.

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Local

A Metro committee approved a five-year, $6.1 million contract for new keyless bike lockers at a number of Metro stations, replacing the much derided keyed lockers currently in use.

Bicycling rides through Malibu Creek State Park with volunteers from the National Park Service’s Mountain Bike Unit, which helps introduce kids to mountain biking while making the trails more inclusive. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

 

State 

PeopleForBikes released the schedule for next months 2022 Bicycle Leadership Conference in Dana Point.

Riverside County prosecutors rejected a hit-and-run charge against a man who killed a 62-year old bike rider outside of Hemet last week, as well as a charge of driving without a license, sending the case against Carlos Arturo Acosta back to the CHP for further investigation.

Three San Luis Obispo men pled guilty to killing a man riding a bicycle in a 2019 gang shooting.

San Francisco Strava artist Lenny Maughan marked the Year of the Tiger by using his bike to sketch the prowling cat atop the city map, riding 90 miles in four days to create the intricate artwork.

 

National

A Seattle website calls for the repeal of the county’s bike helmet mandate, saying it leads to biased enforcement against the homeless and people of color, while a local public radio station considers the hopefully soon to be repealed law.

The owners of a Dolores, Colorado bike shop do the right thing, applying for state historical funds to restore the 116-year old building they call home in the town of less than 900 people.

A new report shows Austin, Texas leads the nation in building bike lanes, with nearly 100% of the spending devoted to protected bike lanes. That compares with Los Angeles, where less than 40% of our already paltry efforts goes to protected lanes.

After Chicago bike riders complained about the removal of a bike lane, the city painted sharrows on the sidewalk and said “ride there.”

A Long Island legal columnist offers advice on what to do if you’re struck by a driver while riding your bike. Although he gets the order wrong; contacting your insurance company can wait until you preserve the evidence and get your ass to a doctor.

Sad news from New York, where an ebike rider died nearly a month after he was doored by a taxi passenger; naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim, allowing the driver and his passenger to go their merry way.

 

International

Life is cheap in British Columbia, where a man got a lousy 30 months for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bicycle, then tried to blame an innocent co-worker for the crash. Never mind that it was the third time in six years he’d been accused of DUI. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

Popular BBC presenter Jeremy Vine was knocked unconscious when he hit a pothole while riding a Penny Farthing over the weekend, and was thrown over the handlebars; he was lucky to escape with just a black eye. And from that height, it’s long damn way down.

A 93-year old South African man got his stolen bike back after neighborhood watch members spotted a man walking it down the street; he was given the bike by his parents for his 21st birthday, and has ridden it for more than 70 years.

 

Competitive Cycling

Egan Bernal continues his recovery from a near-fatal training crash by riding a stationary bike for the first time since he was injured over three weeks ago in Colombia.

Belgian ‘cross star Toon Aerts professes his innocence after testing positive for a banned drug before his sixth place finish in the worlds. Although it’s kind of hard to explain why a healthy cyclist would have a breast cancer drug in his system if he wasn’t doping.

 

Finally…

How to ride a six-legged tandem. If you’re going to bust out a bike shop window to steal a $7,000 e-mountain bike, maybe try riding off instead of walking it down the street.

And maybe make sure the paint is dry first before riding through it.

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

Massachusetts kicks 85th Percentile Law to the curb, new LA protected bike lane, and underground Tesla traffic jams

That’s more like it.

Massachusetts becomes the first state to completely reject the 85th Percentile Law — and base new speed limits on what’s safe for the most vulnerable road users.

California has been nibbling at the edges of the deadly law, which requires cities to set speed limits at the 85% percentile of driver speeds. And allows drivers to boost speed limits on any given street merely by stepping on the gas.

Instead of repealing the rule, a new law sponsored by Burbank Assemblywoman Laura Friedman allows cities and counties to lower speed limits by 5 mph on high injury streets, as well as streets with a high number of bike riders and pedestrians.

It doesn’t begin to compare with what Massachusetts is doing.

But it’s a start.

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Ted Faber discovers new-to-him protected bike lanes on Airport Blvd near LAX.

Correction: I initially misplaced this bike lane as being on Airport Ave in Santa Monica, but it’s actually the new protected bike lanes on LA’s Airport Blvd, which were installed last year. Thanks to LADOT’s Tim Fremaux for the correction. 

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Evidently, Elon’s Musk’s vision for the future of urban transportation includes underground traffic jams.

And it looks like some things won’t change when our self-driving overlords take over.

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Country star Dierks Bentley is one of us, proclaiming it perfect whether for a bike ride as he pedals through Nashville’e freshly fallen snow.

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

The Orange County Register once again raises a panic over a “dramatic” rise in ebike injuries, suggesting that ebikes are somehow more dangerous than other kinds of bikes, without noting what should be an obvious corresponding increase in ebike use.  (Hint: Stop the page from loading before the subscription popup loads.) 

Life really is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver walked with a suspended sentence for intentionally running down a bike rider who’d slapped his car following a dangerously close pass. And kept his drivers license because the judge didn’t want him to lose his job.

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

A Florida man was shot in the neck by his girlfriend as he tried to pedal away on his bike with her belongings; she insists that she only meant to scare him.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. A pair of scofflaw diners used their car as a weapon to intentionally run down a Redondo Beach restaurant manager who confronted them for walking out on their check.

 

State

The allegedly stoned San Diego driver who killed a noted architect has been ordered to stand trial in the death of Laura Shinn; Adam David Milavetz was allegedly high on meth and fentanyl when he ran down Shinn’s bike, then tossed a bag of meth over a fence before police arrived.

The recent heavy rains in Northern California have had an unexpected benefit for bike riders by delaying plans for an emergency water pipeline that would have blocked bike access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

The American Business History Center offers a fascinating short history of the American bicycle industry, from the first bikes through Trek and Specialized, even if they’re not made in the US anymore.

He gets it. A writer for Slate says stop idealizing Dutch and Danish bikeways, and start explaining how and why something like that could work here.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a Denver-area driver who skipped a court date for the allegedly drunken crash where he dragged a boy and his bike under his SUV for a significant distance before bystanders flagged him down; they had to lift the SUV off the boy to get him out.

You’ve got to be kidding. South Dakota’s supreme court rules against a woman who was paralyzed when her bike wheel went through a poorly designed storm grate, even though the city was aware of the problem and failed to correct it.

A DC website says traffic may not be moving on the freeway, but yes, people really do ride their bikes in the winter.

A Florida distracted driver was focused on his phone for as much as 50 seconds before slamming into a bike rider and killing him; police say he is remorseful and fled the scene because “he got really scared.” Just imagine how the person he killed must have felt.

 

International

We Love Cycling magazine recommends the ten don’ts of e-mountain biking.

The Bicycle Film Festival has once again gone virtual, with over 40 short films available online for as little as $10.

SRAM’s CEO examines the supply chain disruptions that have created an imbalance between supply and demand in the bicycle industry, but says there really is light at the end of the tunnel.

Nice gesture from a group of English bike riders, who plan to escort the coffin of a man who died of a heart attack while on a group ride.

A British bike theft victim was victimized a second time when he found the bike being sold online and make arrangements with the men who mugged him to buy it, but the cops blew him off after promising to meet him to make the arrest and reclaim his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovakian cycling star Peter Sagan will miss the official unveiling of his new team and bike, after testing positive for Covid.

San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride will feature at least $30,000 in prize money when it rolls in April, with another $20,000 on the line for the four race series.

 

Finally…

Maybe someone should tell them it’s not a GoPro unless it’s a GoPro. When your Share the Road message is only slightly sillier than the competition you’re in.

And I’m not saying I’m old, but I remember this one from the first time around.

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

Bike and transportation bills pass in final days of legislature, ebikes as mobility devices, and unholy upside down lock job

You can stick a fork in this year’s state legislative session.

Amid the flurry of bills passed in the final days of the session were bills legalizing stop as yield for bike riders — aka the stop sign portion of the Idaho Stop Law — a bill legalizing jaywalking, and one that should allow local governments to lower some speed limits.

Another bill would allow cities to limit motor vehicle traffic by making Slow Streets permanent.

As always, however, the question is whether the governor will sign the bills once they reach his desk, assuming he survive’s today’s recall election.

Although he hasn’t shown any sign of wielding his veto pen like a sword to smite the legislature’s best efforts, unlike his predecessor in Sacramento.

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NIMBYs constantly remind us that not everyone can ride a bike, in order to justify their opposition to bikeways.

Never mind that virtually anyone can ride an ebike. And for many people, riding one is easier than walking.

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Ralph Durham briefly returns to California from his usual German haunts, just in time to discover this unholy upside down San Francisco locking job.

Photo by Ralph Durham

Then again, the owner did secure the front wheel and frame to the rack with a U-lock, with another locking the rear triangle and wheel, and a cable offering extra support.

It just looks strange.

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

An Ontario woman — no, the one in Canada — faces a handful of charges for a mini crime spree, including stabbing a bike tire, then throwing her knife at the bike’s rider while accusing the man of somehow cutting her off.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver can assault someone on a bicycle for riding two abreast, while still driving their car, and walk away with just an effing warning. No, seriously.

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Local

One more reason to end the deadly 85th Percentile Rule — nearly a third of the speed limit increases in the latest round were on streets with painted bike lanes, raising the risk for anyone who’s not encased in a few tons of glass and steel. Thanks to Roland Hannson for the heads-up.

Redditors discuss the viability of riding your bike to the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, concluding that you can ride there, but permanent bike parking could be in short supply. Thanks to TomG8090 for the tip.

It may just be a recall, but Metro is still offering free bus and bikeshare rides today for Election Day. Even if you voted weeks ago, like me.

Jennifer Garner is one of us, as is her nine-year old son Samuel, as they enjoyed a ride through LA’s Brentwood neighborhood.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man was lucky to escape injury when he lost control of his bike on a steep descent, and plunged 250 feet down the hill; he was rescued by sheriff’s deputies after local residents heard him calling for help.

Fifty-seven-year old NorCal bike shop chain Mike’s Bikes has been sold to Dutch conglomerate The Pon Group, parent company of Santa Cruz Bicycles, among other bike brands. But you may be out of luck if you ordered a Specialized bike from them, after the bikemaker abruptly pulled their account following the sale.

A 32-year old Davis man faces charges for walking down the street punching cars, then pushing a 15-year old girl off her bicycle and attacking her before he was stopped by bystanders.

 

National

PeopleForBikes applauds the $7.4 billion for bicycles in the proposed House infrastructure bill. Although the prospects of that passing the Senate unscathed aren’t looking good, with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin demanding that the $3.5 billion bill be pared down to a relatively paltry $1.5 billion.

Private land owners are blocking access to Colorado mountains in the wake of a 2019 appeals court ruling that upheld a ruling making the US Air Force Academy liable for a mountain biker who crashed after hitting a sinkhole on a washed out trail.

Missouri is considering a rule change that would expand access by allowing ebikes into state conservation areas.

New York bicycle delivery riders team up to take their safety into their own hands, after accepting they can’t count on the police for protection.

 

International

Police in Alberta, Canada crack down on bike thieves, busting four bike boosters by using bait bikes. Which serves as your periodic reminder that the LAPD still doesn’t use bait bikes to combat the ever-rising tide of bike theft, due to a flawed city attorney ruling that warned it might be seen as entrapment — even though bait bikes are successfully, and legally, used elsewhere in California.

Glasgow, Scotland drivers are up in arms demanding the removal of new bollards marking a bike lanes, insisting they have serious road safety concerns. Because the bollards apparently interfere with their God-given right to park in the bike lane, and they’re apparently unaware they can just drive over the plastic car tickler bendy posts, anyway.

Electrek considers the twenty coolest ebikes from this year’s Eurobike 2021 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, including a wave-riding ebike, and wheels that charge your bike with solar power while you ride.

Even the Smithsonian Magazine is onboard with the $1,062 German-made backpack that inflates to form an upper body airbag in a crash. Combine that with your $450 Hövding inflatable helmet, and you’ll be nearly impervious to injury for a mere $1,500.

Business is booming in Portugal’s “bike valley,” which produces a quarter of the ebikes in the European Union, despite having just 2% of the population.

A new Indian e-scooter startup pledges its new factory will be run and operated entirely by women, with its eventual 10,000-person staff making it the world’s largest women-only factory.

Bikeshare comes to the capital of Rwanda in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and the city’s automotive dependency.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines the steps pro cycling is — or isn’t — taking to prevent the next horrific crash. This one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo, so if Bicycling blocks you, you’re out of luck.

Trinidadian women’s cyclist Teniel Campbell took Monday’s sixth stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche on a borrowed bike, after thieves stole all her team’s bicycles prior to the previous stage; other teams pitched in to contribute their spare bikes to keep the team in the race.

Kiwi Continental team Global 6 Cycling rode with bright green wheels during the recent Tour of Britain in support of refugees.

Speaking of the Tour of Britain, The Scotsman offers photos from last week’s stage race won by Belgian cyclist Wout Van Aert.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline, there’s only one bicyclist in Columbia, Missouri, who keeps getting bigger.

And who needs all those boring college classes when you can get your degree in bicycle assembly and repair.

………

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

Motorists behaving badly, possible parking protected bike lane on San Vicente, and dealing a blow to 85th Percentile rule

A couple more notes from our anonymous correspondent.

In this week’s edition of Motorists Behaving Badly, accounting for the first thirty minutes after midnight Tuesday morning:

  • A driver rear-ended a CHP officer who’d made a traffic stop on the 105, injuring the officer and totaling a patrol vehicle.
  • On Normandie Ave, a hit-and-runner hospitalized a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk literally in front of Woon’s (fallen bicyclist Frederick “Woon” Frazier) mama’s home.
  • A driver smashed the guardrail at Carmelita Ave & Zaring St (house and occupants remained safe, because a guardrail was installed, probably in hindsight.)

………

Random tangent: My Favorite Lawyer™ Christien Francis Petersen (who got stabby with a reporter at a freedumb rally in HB last year, and then got arrested again for bringing a bunch of unregistered assault weapons to another freedumb rally last April) was arrested recently for hit-and-run (property damage) & DUI. Thrilled to know I’m sharing the road with him!

………

In personal news, my Surly was stolen Sunday morning. Probably not by someone late for church.

Also, while nothing major was lost in the Great MacBook Air Inferno of 2021, little scraps of lost info randomly irk me, like the names of the accomplices in the Chillandra Bell (hit-and-run vs ped) case, and the specifics of the altercation in the Victor Manuel Romero case. Aurgh. Also, I cannot find Andrea Dorothy Chan Reyes on the CA Department of Corrections site. I lost my inmate number file, but you don’t actually need one to locate an inmate, and she wasn’t (isn’t?) up for parole until next month.

Photo of driver behaving badly by Artem Podrez from Pexels.

………

Mark your calendar for the 18th, when you can sample a proposed parking protected bike lane on San Vicente Blvd.

………

This could be the first, long overdue, nail in the coffin of the deadly 85th percentile rule.

Assuming Governor Newsom signs it, the bill would allow local governments to actually lower speed limits starting in 2024, and take the safety of vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, in setting speed limits.

The bill has widespread support, passing the Senate with just five no’s and five abstentions.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1436102857510449158

………

Pink Bike says pump your way to faster trail speed.

………

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

No bias here. A Missouri town says a badly worded law bans bikes from the city’s parks, even if it was only intended to prohibit riding on structures; even little kids banned from riding in them.

No bias here, either. A professional driver and self-professed amateur cyclist says many London bike riders have to be protected against their own stupidly, claiming there’d be far more riders killed if it wasn’t for drivers like him. Just wait until someone tells him about the stupid things some drivers do.

A British truck driver will be lucky to keep his job after he was suspended for tweeting that he couldn’t wait to knock down one of those “spandex-wearing fuckers.”

A hit-and-run driver in Kuala Lumpur faces charges for driving off after intentionally crashing into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with minor injuries.

And call me crazy, but there just may be more to this story.

https://twitter.com/MikeyCycling/status/1435884147915075589?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1435884147915075589%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-september-2021-286197

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

WTF is wrong with some people? An Illinois college student reported a couple people on bicycles rode up and coughed on her, after claiming one had Covid.

A British Columbia letter writer complains about silent bike riders who whizz by on the sidewalks without warning. He’s got a point. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, give pedestrians the right-of-way and a wide berth, and always announce your presence before passing anyone from behind.

………

Local

Take a two-hour guided bike tour of urban art and graffiti in DTLA over the weekend for $19 a person.

Santa Clarita’s Trek Bike Park is adding a number of features to its advanced trail, including an “eight-foot Whale Tail, six-foot kicker ramp, four-foot kicker ramp, 90-degree berm turn and an eight-foot flat wall ride;” it’s expected to be completed by next Friday.

 

State

You’ve got to be kidding. An impasse between the governor and his fellow Democrats in the state legislature means California will miss out on $500 million in funding for active transportation projects, as well as another $1 billion for LA transportation projects for the 2028 Olympics.

LAist examines the recently passed AB 1238, the so-called Freedom to Walk Act, which would eliminate most fines for jaywalking, as well as walking on the wrong side of the street when there’s no sidewalk, noting that the current prohibition disproportionately cracks down on people of color; the bill is sitting on Newsom’s desk waiting for his signature.

Santa Clara is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

A short two-minute film from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism explains how to make the unprotected parts of Oakland’s Telegraph Ave safer for people on bicycles.

San Francisco Streetsblog argues that highways wrecked American cities, leveling some of the country’s greatest neighborhoods. And too often, flattening thriving neighborhoods devoted to people of color.

 

National

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager explains how to avoid common bicycling injuries before they knock you off your bike. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Medium says e-scooters shouldn’t be used, because it doesn’t do any good to go green if you break your neck in the process.

Austin, Texas is halfway through building out a 400-mile connected bicycle network in just ten years. Something Los Angeles could have done by now if it had kept Villaraigosa’s promise to build 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Another e-scooter maker is getting into the ebike business, with Texas-based GOTRAX introducing a $649 entry-level bike.

Illinois has removed the requirement for local matching funds for roadway projects, eliminating a barrier for building safer streets in poorer communities.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Skins and A Dog’s Prayer actress Kathryn Prescott is in a New York ICU after she was struck by a cement truck while crossing the street on Wednesday, narrowly avoiding paralysis after breaking her pelvis in two places, both her legs, her foot and her left hand, according to her twin sister.

It looks like New Yorkers can get their confiscated bicycles back, after city leaders said “oh no, you didn’t” to the NYPD, slapping the department for cutting the locks off non-abandoned bikes chained to traffic signs.

New York police busted a 21-year old man for assaulting and robbing a 68-year old man in a vicious attack as he was riding a bikeshare bike in Queens.

She gets it. A DC woman says it’s time to stop waging a block-by-block battle against safer streets in the era of global warming.

 

International

More on the international bike parts shortage, as Forbes says the wheels could come off the booming bike industry if it can’t keep up with demand.

Road.cc offers advice on how to build a better bike, with 23 upgrades for your roadie for under the equivalent of $68.

A new book shares the story of a researcher’s 10,201-mile journey by bicycle following the annual monarch butterfly migration from Mexico to Canada. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

An Ontario cop has been cleared of wrongdoing for using his patrol car to block a bike rider fleeing from police; the brakeless rider suffered a broken kneecap crashing into his car.

A British company has introduced combination head and tail lights and bike cams, similar to the popular Cycliq Fly 6 and Fly 12, for the equivalent of $138 for one, or $250 for both.

Bike and scooter riders get blamed for the City of Light’s mediocre walkability score, as a Parisian website argues “a Paris stroll has now become a hazardous balancing act for pedestrians trying to dodge screeching wheels and aggressive bicycle bells.”

Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar introduced plans for a three-wheeled e-cargo bike for delivery companies, although it’s really more of an oversized scooter.

Tragic news from South Africa, where a driver faces charges of culpable homicide, drunk driving and reckless and negligent driving for running down and killing two men in their 50s as they rode their bikes.

Malaysian social media users tracked down a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider faster than the cops could.

 

Competitive Cycling

Hats off to England’s William Bjergfelt, who at 42 became the second-oldest cyclist to compete in the Tour of Britain — and the first paracyclist, after he was told he would never ride a bike again when his shattered leg was reconstructed with three titanium plates following a head-on by a driver in 2015.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a bike-riding kitty in dark glasses. Is it trading down to leave a stolen bike behind to take a Jeep, instead?

And that feeling when they want to name a bike path after you, but you’d rather pass.

………

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

Calbike vetoes recall, urges support for Safety Stop; hidden history of LA bikes; and bikes & coffee go good together

Let’s start with a little news from Sacramento.

Starting with Calbike urging everyone to vote no on the election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Personally, I’m no fan of Newsom. But the place to challenge him is in next year’s general election, not a needless and wasteful recall that’s nothing more than an attempt to claim a prize the GOP couldn’t otherwise win in deep blue California.

Speaking of Calbike, the statewide bike advocacy group urges you to contact your state senator no later than tomorrow to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill.

The bill would introduce a partial Idaho Stop Law in California, allowing people on bicycles to treat stop signs as yields. However, it would not allow bike riders to treat red lights as stop signs, as the Idaho law does.

And finishing our Calbike trifecta, the organization is working with the California Air Resources Board to draft an ebike rebate program to go into effect next July. The $10 million program is already fully funded, so it’s just a matter of working out the details.

Meanwhile, Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman says we’re getting close to breaking the death grip of the 85% rule on California streets.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels.

………

Great twitter thread on the forgotten history of bicycles in the City of Angels.

All of which makes you wonder why most of it never showed up on our streets.

Or have LA leaders always suffered from a lack of political will, and the courage to stand up to angry NIMBYs?

………

Registration has opened for next year’s 44th Annual LA Chinatown Firecracker festival, celebrating the Year of the Tiger.

The event will mark the Lunar New Year with a series of run, walk, bicycling and dog walk events held over the weekend of February 19-20, 2022, including rides of 20 and 40 miles.

Photo courtesy of Firecracker LA.

Meanwhile, the annual Long Beach Marathon will return this October, along with a 20-mile bike tour before the race.

………

Bloomberg makes what may be one of the most inadvertently accurate — and unfortunate — word choices ever.

In a story discussing the difficulty of building self-driving cars, Waymo staffers says they’ve solved 99% of the problem.

But it turns out that last 1% has been a killer. Small disturbances like construction crews, bicyclists, left turns, and pedestrians remain headaches for computer drivers. Each city poses new, unique challenges, and right now, no driverless car from any company can gracefully handle rain, sleet, or snow. Until these last few details are worked out, widespread commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles is all but impossible.

Killer, indeed.

Especially after one of Uber’s self-driving cars ran down and killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg as she walked her bicycle across a Phoenix roadway two years ago.

So maybe the last 1% might be a tad more important than they think.

Correction: I originally wrote that Herzberg was killed by a Waymo car, but it was actually an Uber vehicle. Thanks to Andy Stow for catching the mistake.

………

Pull up another chair at the coffee shop.

In what may be the best news ages, it turns out bikes and coffee really do go together.

………

How to use your brakes to improve mountain biking speed.

………

Take an Andorran mountain bike ride with Peter Sagan.

………

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

A group of New Jersey bicyclists were threatened by a pickup driver and his passenger who buzzed them, then got out of the truck after blocking their path, and told them to get off “their” road or they would kill them.

No bias here. A British paper is up in arms over a spacious 11-foot wide bike lane next to 9.5-foot traffic lanes, failing to grasp the concept that narrow lanes improve safety by forcing drivers to slow down.

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

Probably not the best idea to tow a loaded shopping cart with one hand while riding your bike with the other.

………

Local

CicLAvia is looking for an event production assistant to help put on the country’s most successful open streets events.

Los Angeles considers improvements to Huntington Drive in Lincoln Heights, using funds originally earmarked for the cancelled 710 Freeway extension. Let’s hope they don’t try to sell us yet another incomplete street under the guise of Complete Streets.

Santa Monica is hosting a two-day open streets festival on Main Street this weekend.

Long Beach is moving forward with plans to actually reduce speed limits in Belmont Shores, one of the few times state-mandated speed studies have actually resulted in slower streets.

 

State

A bike-riding woman gets dangerously buzzed in a pair of punishment passes on San Francisco’s newly reopened Great Highway, which had been closed to cars during the pandemic. The video of the passes embedded in the story doesn’t work, but you can see it here

NorCal bike chain Mikes Bikes has been sold to the Dutch company behind Santa Cruz, Cervelo and Gazelle bikes.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly Davis is installing a new green bike lane and a two-way cycle track on the west side of the UC campus.

 

National

The Manual makes their picks for the best road bikes, most of which cost at least 11 grand — and go up from there.

Marin Bikes is recalling several mountain bike models to repair a defective bottom bracket that can break while riding.

At least some Las Vegas cops were disciplined for the death of a Black man, who was initially stopped for riding without a front light on his bike; like George Floyd, he repeatedly told police officers he couldn’t breath as one knelt on his back. Unfortunately, though, that could mean anything from a simple reprimand to dismissal from the force.

A Utah man will face the equivalent of a vehicular homicide charge for the alleged drunken and distracted crash that killed a man riding his bike last year.

A San Antonio, Texas CEO rode his ebike 9,500 miles through 30 states to visit all of his company’s offices and call attention to the need for senior care, while raising $100,000 to install grab bars in the homes of local seniors.

A Michigan town backs down on plans for bike lanes on a state roadway after local residents brought out the torches and pitchforks, opting to install parking on both sides of the street, instead.

Florida’s Sarasota Magazine explains what Everesting is and how to get started. Step 1, leave Florida for someplace a little less flat.

 

International

A Scottish bike shop lost over $42,000 worth of bicycles to a trio of late night burglars.

The Dutch city of Groningen is introducing a small fleet of hydrogen-powered ebikes available to various city departments, and fueled by “green hydrogen” produced by a nearby solar power plant.

How to buy and ride a bike in Denmark. Step 1, move to Denmark.

 

Competitive Cycling

Overhead video shows a massive crash at the Vuelta that took down half the peloton, resulting in a change in the leader’s jersey.

Three novice mountain bikers share the lessons they learned training for, and competing in, Colorado’s legendary Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Your next bike bag could be made from leftover Burleys. If you insist on skitching, try not to lose your grip.

And nothing like the ever-popular genre of loser bike rider advertising.

………

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

SD bike riders protest deadly streets, former WY senator dies from bike crash, and LA Times says slow speeding drivers

It looks like San Diego bike riders have finally had enough.

After a horrifying 12 bicycling deaths in San Diego County so far this year — roughly double what the county might experience in a typical year — dozens of local residents held a protest ride and press conference to demand safer streets.

That bloody toll includes five people who were killed on their bikes in just the past month.

“Grief makes you angry,” San Diego Bicycle Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw said. “If there’s not a dedicated path that’s seperate from the road, then we need a safer bike lane on the street, and your typical white stripe is not safe enough.”

Beloved bicyclist and San Diego State University administrator Laura Shinn was killed on Pershing Drive last Tuesday. Police said she was in the bike lane, wearing a helmet, when a driver hit her from behind.

Graphics by tomexploresla

“A lot of people are feeling hesitant,” bicyclist Elizabeth Mayer said. “They don’t want this freedom option of transportation taken from them because they’re afraid of cars.”

Although someone might want to tell NBC-7 that not everyone who rides a bicycle is an “athlete.”

………

Sad news from Wyoming, where former US Senator Mike Enzi has died following some sort of bicycling crash.

According to the local Gillette, Wyoming newspaper, the 77-year old politician was transported to a medical center near my Colorado hometown after he was involved in a “serious bicycle accident” Friday night.

He died of his injuries on Monday.

Newsweek reports that Enzi was found lying in the roadway next to his bicycle, about the same time his Apple Watch sent a distress call indicating a bad fall.

The magazine reports he had suffered a broken neck and broken ribs; there’s no word on whether he fell off his bike, or may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with his politics, he devoted his life to serving his state and his country.

And he was one of us.

………

They get it.

The Los Angeles Times says it’s time to stop letting drivers set speed limits with their right foot.

The Los Angeles City Council was recently forced to raise speed limits on sections of Olympic and Overland boulevards in West L.A. — where a woman was killed this year by a recklessly speeding driver.

Why? Because an outdated and absurd law essentially requires cities to set street limits based on how fast people are already driving on a stretch of road — not whether that speed is safe.

This law is based on a flawed methodology, according to a report released last year. It relies on the overly optimistic assumption that most drivers will drive at a safe and reasonable speed, and that it’s safer to set speed limits that reflect the “natural” flow of traffic.

The paper calls for passage of AB 43, which would modify the deadly 85th Percentile Law to allow cities and counties to lower speed limits by a modest 5 mph on streets with injury high rates of injuries, or heavy bike and pedestrian use.

What we really need is to repeal the 85th Percentile Law entirely.

But until we can get there, this is a start.

………

This is what it looks like to ride the new bike lane on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Just don’t count on riding it yourself for the next few months.

………

Local

Bird is rolling out their next generation e-scooters in Long Beach this week.

 

State

Clean Technica says California’s new ebike rebate program is a done deal. But securing the funding is not the same as approving the program.

Former San Luis Obispo councilmember Robert “Red” Davis passed away peacefully in his home over the weekend. The 76-year old bike advocate had served as president of the SLO Bike Club, as well as chairing the Morro Bay Citizens Bike Committee and the County Bicycle Advisory Committee; a local bikeway is named in his honor.

A San Francisco TV station tries out a $5,500 ebike intended to replace a car, and capable of carrying two passengers and up to 400 pounds at 30 mph. However, that top speed means you’d be required to wear a helmet, and prohibited from using bike paths and protected bike lanes.

San Francisco Streetsblog says a pilot speed cam program may be exactly what the city needs to meet its Vision Zero goals in the next three years. On the other hand, Los Angeles has virtually zero chance of meeting its goal of ending traffic deaths by 2025, by which time the mayor who committed to it will likely be serving as ambassador to India, anyway. 

Sacramento officials identify the 76-year old man who died a month after he was run down by a drunk motorist illegally driving on a bike path.

 

National

TikTok’s Mr. Barricade discusses the benefits and practicality of quick-build bike lanes.

The New Republic says car sales and usage are on the rise, crushing hopes of reclaiming streets for bike riders and pedestrians.

A pair of Navy vets discuss their 1,300-mile bike ride to visit sites marking the 9/11 attacks to honor those who died that day.

The kindhearted staff of a Wyoming co-op dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young girl, after someone stole her bicycle and tried to fix its flat tire at their shop.

Someone please tell San Antonio, Texas that a 35 mph speed limit does not a Slow Street make.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 75-year old Kansas man is planning to ride 75 miles to celebrate his birthday, while raising funds to help former inmates reenter society.

There’s a special place in hell for the person who jumped out of a car and shot a 12-year old St. Louis boy, just missing his 11-year old companion; fortunately, the boy is expected to survive.

Olympic silver medalist Brent Emery now devotes his efforts to building custom adaptive bicycles for kids with disabilities; Emery won his medal for team pursuit in the ’84 Los Angeles games.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A legend in local television was killed when a driver ran down a 77-year old former Florida TV executive in the fog on Saturday morning; Stephen McKenney Steck had ridden his bike every day for the last seven years.

Speaking of a special place in hell, that goes double for whoever viciously beat and robbed a 68-year old New York grandfather as he rode a bikeshare bike.

 

International

Raleigh wants to replace your car, too, for the low, low price of just $6,000. Apparently, “replace your car” is code for a cargo bike that costs as much as a used car.

Toronto bike riders are complaining after police ticketed dozens of bicyclists for speeding and blowing a stop sign in a local park, setting up a speed trap on a street where the limit was 20 mph for everyone. Although, as another story that was hidden behind a paywall wondered, is it really fair to ticket bike riders who don’t have a speedometer?

The world’s longest solar power-generating bike path is now open in the Netherlands, stretching over 1,000 feet.

Hats off to Mohammad Ashraf, who is completing a 2,300-mile ride across India, despite having to ride with just one leg after the other was paralyzed in a 2017 bicycling crash, which also limited use of his right hand.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock took gold in men’s Olympic mountain biking in his first Olympics, after barely qualifying as U-23 rider.

Mathieu van der Poel blames a missing wooden ramp for crashing out of the mountain bike race, saying it had been there during his practice rides.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s “gutted” after falsely claiming victory in the road race after losing track of Anna Kiesenhofer, who finished over a minute ahead of her to claim the gold.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a cross-state group ride crosses paths with a police chase. Nothing like being 300 miles into a 1,200 cross-country bike ride because you lost a bet.

And don’t count on riding BMW’s compact, folding ped-assist e-cargo bike anytime soon.

Or maybe ever.

………

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

Hit-and-run driver crashes twice in 15 minutes, Union Station virtual open house tonight, and a relic of 1930’s planning

This is who we share the road with.

A San Luis Obispo man faces charges for a hit-and-run crash that left a bike rider with a severely broken leg. He was arrested after getting into a second crash fifteen minutes later.

Thankfully, several people stopped to help the victim as he lay unconscious on the side of the road with a major gash in his leg.

There’s no word on why the driver crashed twice in such a short period of time.

But it certainly makes a damn good argument for why he should never be allowed behind the wheel again.

Then again, just running away from the first crash should do that.

Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

………

Metro will host a virtual open house this evening to discuss the planned transformation of Union Station.

If Los Angeles can resist watering down it down any more.

………

Grist looks at the deadly 85th Percentile Law, calling it a relic of 1930’s city planning that allows drivers to set their own speed limits.

………

A new collaboration between BMC and Formula One’s Red Bull Advanced Technologies promises that it’s going to change everything — if it works.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A pair of Newport Beach women are offering free masks to people who walk or bike by. Then again, they’d probably give one to people who drive, too.

It’s a happy ending for a change, as a San Diego woman tracks down the Surly she rode across the country in honor of her late boyfriend, after a woman stole it from her porch. And gets it back from a used bike dealer who’d already bought and resold it.

 

National

A pair of Tennessee men from different backgrounds and political beliefs rode across America to find something we can all agree on.

Maybe we can learn more about building better bike lanes from smaller American cities than large Northern European ones.

Uber still sees micromobility in its future, despite unloading its Jump dockless ebikes and e-scooters on Lime earlier this year.

Speaking of micromobility, Lyft reports ridership is still down 50% from pre-pandemic levels, though that’s an improvement from the original 75% drop-off.

Consumer Reports is out with their latest ratings of the best bike helmets.

A writer for Jalopnik decides to build his own wheels to upgrade his $150 Schwinn.

Austin, Texas is closing down its Healthy Streets program to provide safe, low-traffic areas for walking, running and bicycling during the coronavirus crisis. Apparently, the pandemic must be over down there, unlike everywhere else.

A 19-year old Arkansas man will spend the next 42 years behind bars after fatally shooting a police officer during a chase that began when the killer was on his bicycle.

Chicago will now allow three-wheeled e-cargo delivery bikes to pedal city streets.

An Illinois man has been arrested for the murder of a 15-year old girl, who disappeared after riding her bicycle to an ATM in 2014.

A drama student at a Tennessee Christian college lifts spirits by singing as he rides his bike through campus.

An entrepreneurial ten-year old Massachusetts boy has gone into business for himself making coronavirus face shields for bike helmets; you can get yours for fifteen bucks.

The New York Times examines the record numbers of women on bikes in the city, where women’s bicycling rates have jumped 147% over last year as the pandemic has removed dangerous traffic from the streets.

One reason for that is reflected in a 60% drop in Gotham’s vehicular traffic during the pandemic. But despite the slowdown — or maybe because of it — bicycling injuries are up in places with the worst infrastructure.

 

International

Good point. A Canadian letter writer complains that it’s apparently wrong to hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk, but perfectly okay if that person’s on a bike. And if the law is so confusing that even a cop gets it wrong, maybe it needs to be changed.

Maybe they should hold a bake sale. The Canadian capital says they know where they need to make safety improvements to protect bike riders, but don’t have the money to do it.

A British man wants to find the Good Samaritans who cared for him when he fractured his skull falling off his bike.

Bicycling says add Spain’s “Empty Mountains” to your bike bucket list for next year. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine’s paywall blocks you out.

A Philippine city is getting good reviews after installing bike lanes on two major streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Tom Pidcock is the new world men’s e-mountain bike champ. Who knew that was even a thing?

Cycling’s governing body has been asked to investigate the Giro crash that took out teammates Luca Wackermann and Etienne van Empel when downwash from a helicopter blew a course barrier across the roadway.

Who needs to watch hours of racing when you can catch up on yesterday’s stage of the Giro in just over two minutes?

 

Finally…

When is a bike not a bike? When it’s a dummy — and so is the booze. Yes, bikes are made up of a number of parts, and no, you won’t get a “quality” new one for three hundred bucks.

And that feeling when you’re an inadvertent fashion icon.

………

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

LA Times tells state to speed up slowing drivers down, Streets For All goes all in on ads, and 5 riders run down Down Under

I seem to be apologizing a lot this week.

Sorry for the downtime on this site yesterday morning, and thank you to everyone who notified me about the 502 error; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the backside of this site, either.

It turned out to be a large scale glitch that took down a number of sites across the internet. But everything’s back to normal now.

Hopefully, it will stay that way.

And let me apologize to everyone who sent me links the past few days. I’ve lost track of most of them, and I’m way too tired to track them all down now.

So allow me to just offer a general and generic thank you to everyone who contributed something for your help, which I genuinely appreciate.

………

They get it.

In recent years, the LA Times editorial board has taken strong stands in favor of safer streets and alternative transportation.

Yesterday was no exception, as the paper complained about the state slow-walking efforts to slow motor vehicle traffic. And called on California to finally get rid of the deadly 85th percentile state speed limit law, calling it “outdated, absurd and downright dangerous.”

The problem stems from a decades-old state law that essentially requires cities to set speed limits based on how fast people are already driving on that stretch of road, regardless of whether that speed is safe or whether the street has a history of wrecks. It was adopted more than 60 years agoto prevent cities from setting speed traps, or arbitrarily low speed limits aimed at sticking drivers with pricey tickets…

The more common and unintended consequence of the 85th percentile rule is what’s known as speed creep. Higher speed limits encourage motorists to drive faster, which in turn prompts higher speed limits. That’s what happened on Zelzah Avenue in L.A.

It’s not surprising, then, that the task force has recommended giving cities more flexibility to set lower speed limits, particularly on streets with lots of injury crashes or an abundance of pedestrians and cyclists. Research shows that speed limits do affect drivers’ behavior, and even modest reductions in speed can save lives. A pedestrian or cyclist hit by a vehicle traveling 35 miles per hour has a 68% chance of survival. A person hit by vehicle traveling at 40 mph — just 5 mph faster — has only a 35% chance of survival.

They conclude this way.

None of these steps will be easy; Californians have fiercely resisted safety-promoting reforms that might slow their commutes. But at the very least, lawmakers should get rid of a system that forces cities to give in to speeders before cracking down on them.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

………

Here’s something that’s been missing from Los Angeles for far too long.

LA nonprofit Streets For All has produced YouTube ads supporting safe streets candidates in the upcoming March 3rd election.

The short ads endorse CD4’s Sarah Kate Levy and Loraine Lundquist in CD12, while taking well-deserved shots at incumbents David Ryu and John Lee.

While there’s an argument to be made against independent groups getting involved in local political races, until campaign finance laws are reformed to remove outside influence and expenditures, it’s vital to get our side out there, too.

And yes, I’ll be casting my vote for Sarah Kate Levy during the early voting period next week.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA lists their endorsements in the coming election, including Levy and Lundquist, as well as Calbike’s endorsements for the state legislature.

………

Horrible news from Australia, where five bicyclists have been injured, two critically, when they were run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a clearly marked bike lane.

A 28-year old man has been arrested for the crime after police discovered his blood-splattered SUV.

He faces numerous charges, including multiple counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and failing to remain at the scene and render assistance.

The question is whether he was just too drunk and/or stoned to control his damn vehicle, or if this was a deliberate attempt to run down as many riders as he could.

………

A meeting will be held in NoHo this afternoon to discuss the ill-advised widening of Magnolia Blvd, which contradicts LA’s Vision Zero and climate action plans, and all that is holy.

………

A UK website questions whether police have given up on bike thefts, saying many riders are putting off buying expensive bikes for fear of having them stolen.

Case in point, a bike thief uses an axle grinder to slice through a lock, stealing a bike on a crowded street in broad daylight.

Then threatens a bystander with it when he objects.

………

The source of those nonstandard, and likely legally unenforceable, Dismount Bikes signs in the construction zones on Wilshire Blvd has been revealed.

In case you want to order some of your own. Maybe someone could convert them to Drivers Dismount, instead.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on. 

A road raging Miami-area driver was caught on video brake checking a bike-riding couple and trying to run them off the road, screaming that they aren’t allowed on the street; naturally, the local police don’t seem to care.

Sometimes, though, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Washington burglar was busted just five minutes after raiding a restaurant freezer while making his getaway by bike. Although it does make you wonder if maybe he was just hungry.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says just eight days into the mayor’s “Decade of Action” on climate change, the closure of the Jefferson Blvd bike lanes has left the city’s bike infrastructure worse off than it was last week.

Pasadena News Now allows the four candidates for the city’s mayor to make their case; all but one ignore transportation, except to complain about traffic. The fourth, Major Williams, gets points for wanting to get cars off the street — but what the hell are “motorized walkway paths?”

 

State

Bicycling says NBA Hall of Famer — and UCLA legend — Bill Walton is a huge cyclist, riding the streets of San Diego when he’s not broadcasting basketball games or engaged in multi-day tours.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s investigators are asking anyone with information or video regarding the allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of Mary Jane Becerra Corral and Adolfo Corral on a Goleta bike path to contact them; their accused killer, Eric Mauricio Ramirez-Aguilar, remains in custody on $1 million bond.

San Francisco’s mayor proposes congestion pricing and charging for metered parking on nights and weekends to reduce traffic in the congested downtown area.

An architecture and design site talks with the urban planner behind San Francisco’s newly carfree Market Street. Meanwhile, a San Jose columnist says closing streets there would have major benefits.

 

National

Seventy-seven-year old Harrison Ford is one of us. And wants you to know he doesn’t ride an ebike.

Peloton wants to swap your Flywheel in-home cycling bike for a “like new” Peloton, after the former lost a patent infringement suit to the latter. You might want to think twice about an Echelon stationary bike, too.

A Golden, Colorado bike thief made off from a bike shop with an $8,000 bicycle after leaving a stolen ID and credit card as security to take it on a test ride, and never came back.

After kids bike was stolen, a Colorado cop followed tracks in the snow to find it, along with another stolen kids bike, as well as the homeless addict who admitted taking them.

A Buffalo, Wyoming website tells the convoluted tale of why there were bike tire tracks in the snow one recent morning, after a rancher remembered he left his pickup in town following a late night visit to a “parts store.”

Nice piece from VeloNews, as a Marine lieutenant colonel describes how he started bicycling to recover after he was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan, and fell in love with the Dirty Kanza gravel race.

A Texas county commissioner pledged $7.4 million to build 3,000 acres of greenspace along Houston’s bayous, along with 150 miles of connected hiking and bicycling trails.

Cincinnati is moving forward with plans to create an additional 176 miles of bike lanes.

New York’s ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are back, after a redesign to prevent the brakes from locking and tossing riders over the handlebars.

New York City met its goal of 20 miles of protected bike lanes last year, and commits to 30 miles this year. That compares to LA’s firm commitment to maybe build a mile or two if it doesn’t, you know, inconvenience anyone.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says car crashes are an epidemic, but one we can solve. But autonomous cars aren’t the answer.

This is who we share the road with. A West Virginia woman admits to distracted driving after killing a man riding a bike, saying she never saw the victim until she heard the thud because she was too busy looking at her phone.

An 88-year old DC crossing guard is a hero, holding his ground against a speeding driver and sacrificing his own life to save two children. Thanks to Orange House for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Virginia firefighters started a crowdfunding page for a man with Down syndrome after the custom three-wheeled bike he relies on for transportation was stolen; the site has raised over $1,600 in two days.

The Department of DIY strikes in the Big Easy, as a carnival krewe posts their own handmade signs urging drivers to watch out for bike riders during the upcoming Mardi Gras season.

Over 500 people are expected to turn out for a 51-mile bike ride commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March of 1965.

 

International

A new report says e-scooters are just as safe as bicycles, and drivers are the real problem. But better regulation is necessary.

Cycling News considers the counterintuitive benefits of slapping wider tires on your skinny tire bike.

Now you, too, can own your very own badly named online bicycle accessory site.

A group of bicyclists ride 285 miles across Nicaragua in three days.

A proposal to require licenses and insurance for bicyclists in British Columbia is met with decidedly mixed reviews.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s bicycling superhighways, merchants in the city’s Holland Park district fear it will cost them business — once again mistaking passing cars for paying customers.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A 75-year old London rabbi offered to help a woman park her Jag, and somehow confused the brake and gas pedals, crashing into two pedestrians before plowing into a pharmacy. Yes, the news is two years old; British privacy rules prevent releasing details on cases like this before they go to trial.

A man in the UK was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit when he hit a traffic island. So naturally, he blamed a bike rider for the crash.

British rock group Glass Animals makes a comeback 18 months after drummer Joe Seaward suffered a serious head injury when he was hit by a truck driver while riding his bike in Dublin.

A South African “adventure enthusiast, businesswoman and entrepreneur” describes how taking up bicycling twelve years ago has opened up her world.

Now that’s a beautiful bike. A Japanese student designed and built a handcrafted bespoke bike, melding traditional kitsuregoshi woodwork with a modern bicycle.

A Christian group has kicked off a campaign to provide 2,500 bicycles to pastors in Asia at a cost of $110 apiece.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with American cycling legend Davis Phinney.

🎶 Hello muddah, hello faddah, busted for burglary, in Granada. 🎶 Former TdF stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado was arrested on suspicion of leading a violent burglary gang in Granada, Spain. Scroll way down, or read the original story en español. And anyone too young to get the musical reference can catch up here

 

Finally…

When you’re skipping school to ride your bike and carrying a little weed and a gun in your pants, make sure you have something in there to keep it in place. Your next ride could be on car tires.

And when you’re bunny hopping a canal, don’t miss.

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