Tag Archive for 85th Percentile Law

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.

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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.)

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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!

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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.

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

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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

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Pink Bike says pump your way to faster trail speed.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How to use your brakes to improve mountain biking speed.

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Take an Andorran mountain bike ride with Peter Sagan.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Breaking news — California report says deadly 85th Percentile Law has to go, and new UK study say hi-viz doesn’t help

The report is in.

And it’s not good news for heavy-footed drivers.

A statewide Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, created under Burbank State Assembly Woman Laura Friedman’s AB 2363, has examined the deadly 85th Percentile law, and determined it needs to go.

F-S1: Existing law does not provide enough flexibility in urban areas to set speed limits that are appropriate for these complex environments.

Current procedures for setting speeds limits in California rely mainly on the 85th percentile methodology, an approach developed decades ago for vehicles primarily on rural roads. Although California’s population, roads, and streets have changed significantly, reflecting different modes of transportation including bicycling and walking, the method for setting speed limits has not. While the way that speed limits are calculated has remained essentially static, vehicles and street uses have evolved over time. CalSTA’s vision is to transform the lives of all Californians through a safe, accessible, low-carbon, 21st-century multimodal transportation system. Yet the 85th percentile methodology relies on driver behavior. Greater flexibility in establishing speed limits would allow agencies an expanded toolbox to better combat rising traffic fatalities and injuries.

The report goes on to conclude that posted speed limits are effective in reducing traffic speeds without the time and expense required for infrastructure changes.

And that cities need more flexibility to adjust speeds without conducting traffic studies, to reflect current circumstances and save lives.

Especially when it comes to people not protected by a couple tons of glass and steel.

F-S5: There is consistent evidence that increased vehicle speed results in an increased probability of a fatality given a crash. Vulnerable road users are disproportionately impacted by the relationship between speed and crash survivability. State and local agencies would benefit from additional classes of locations eligible for prima facie speed limits which do not require an engineering and traffic survey.

Prima facie speed limits are those that are applicable on roadways when no posted speed limit is provided. They do not require an engineering and traffic survey to be enforceable. Current law defines two prima facie speed limits covering six classes of locations. The first speed limit is 25 mph and is applicable to business and residential areas, school zones and areas around senior facilities. The second speed limit is 15 mph and is applicable to railway crossings, uncontrolled intersections and alleyways. Some allowances are currently provided to reduce these speed limits further, for example, to 15 mph and 20 mph in school and senior zones. State and local agencies on the Task Force stated that additional classes of locations should be eligible for prima facie speed limits especially in areas that have high concentrations of vulnerable road users.

In addition, the report calls for legalization of automated traffic cameras to supplement, but not replace, the work of traffic cops in enforcing speed limits.

F-EF1: International and U.S. studies have shown that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to speeding that can have meaningful safety impacts.

Automated speed enforcement systems work by capturing data about a speed violation, including images and license plate information, which is then reviewed and processed at a later time to determine if a violation occurred. Currently, automated speed enforcement is used extensively internationally and in 142 communities in the U.S. Numerous studies and several federal entities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, have concluded that automated speed enforcement is an effective countermeasure to reduce speeding-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries.

F-EF2: Automated speed enforcement should supplement, not replace, traditional enforcement operations.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Speed Enforcement Camera Systems Operational Guidelines, automated speed enforcement is a supplement to, not a replacement for, traditional traffic law enforcement operations. Automated speed enforcement systems can effectively augment and support traditional enforcement operations in multiple ways. Automated speed enforcement systems serve as a “force multiplier” that allows limited law enforcement resources to focus on other public safety priorities. ASE can be operated in areas where in-person traffic stops would be impractical as well as on higher speed roadways where traffic calming devices may not be appropriate. While ASE does not provide an educational opportunity nor afford the exercise of judgment in issuing a citation that an officer would have from an in-person stop, it may also provide for more consistent and impartial enforcement. Examples of cities that have deployed automated speed enforcement programs without reducing law enforcement staffing levels include Seattle, Portland, and Washington, D.C.

In other words, the report takes 68 pages to sum up what bike and pedestrian advocates have been arguing for years.

The 85th Percentile method currently enshrined in state law allowing speeding drivers to set their own speed limits is outdated and dangerous.

And it’s got to go.

Now.

………

In news that should surprise absolutely no one, researchers in the UK have concluded that wearing hi-viz clothing doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Neither does wearing casual clothing, as opposed to a spandex kit, when it comes to how close drivers pass.

Contrary to the researchers’ expectations, there was no marked difference between ‘experienced rider’ kit, and a vest marked ‘Novice Cyclist’, nor between ordinary clothes and hi-viz kit.

Irrespective of any of the kit worn, 1-2 per cent of overtakes were within 50cm (Ed: roughly 20 inches), suggesting that nothing a rider wears makes any significant difference to the incidence of very close passes.

Unless that hi-viz happens to identify you as a police officer, that is. And even then, it’s only a gain of about two inches.

The researchers found that the only item of clothing that had a noticeable impact on passing distance was a high-vis vest that featured the word “POLICE” on the back. Those riders were also bearing a notice advising motorists that they were being filmed. These conditions increased the average passing distance by 5cm, to 122cm.

The researchers concluded that better infrastructure is a more effective means of improving rider safety than how you dress.

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

………

The rich get richer, as the Dutch continue to show the rest of us how it’s done.

………

The LACBC released a letter in support of keeping the protected bike lanes installed as part of the Reseda Great Streets project right where they are, for anyone attending tonight’s Streetsblog CD12 transportation forum.

………

The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition, a very active neighborhood chapter of the LACBC, is meeting tonight.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

After his son was killed in a traffic collision, an Oklahoma man got drunk and got behind the wheel of his pickup — then fled the scene after plowing into several members of a high school cross country team.

Two girls were killed. Four others were injured; at least one remains in critical condition.

There’s just no fucking excuse.

………

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

Davis police are looking for a man who fled the scene on a bicycle after coming up from behind and fondling a woman who was unloading her car.

Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana busted a bike-riding robber who chased a “mildly intoxicated” man before whacking him with a metal pipe and stealing $300 at knife point. Although the thief claims he was just trying to get back money the victim had stolen from him, but he doesn’t really remember because he was too stoned at the time.

………

Local

Streets For All reports the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council will discuss a motion to support protected bike lanes on Sunset Blvd at tonight’s meeting.

Streetsblog takes a look at LA’s newly opened Red Car Bike & Pedestrian Bridge over the LA River in Atwater Village.

A group of San Fernando Valley residents have pitched in to clean up a section of the LA River bike path in Reseda.

 

State

A Davis columnist insists that city, not Portland, is the bicycling capital of the US. Even if it can’t muster a quorum for the city’s Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission. At least they have one; Los Angeles just has a toothless Bicycling Advisory Committee, whose members are usually ignored by the councilmembers who appoint them. Creating an actual commission would give them the authority they currently lack. 

San Francisco supervisors rejected a demand for an environmental impact statement for a bikeway pilot project from a pair of notorious anti-bike crusaders, who blame it for the actions of angry drivers who can’t keep their hands off their damn horns.

 

National

An engineer digs into the data, and discovers that the panic over e-scooters may be overblown, concluding they don’t appear to be any more dangerous than riding a bicycle. Which is good news and bad news, when you think about it.

Kindhearted Utah cops dug into their own pockets to buy a nine-year old boy a new bike after the one he got in a Christmas donation was stolen.

Denver residents ignored the cold weather to ride to work after the city plowed a protected bike lane following a heavy snow. Meanwhile, Los Angeles NIMBYs continue to insist no one will ever commute by bike in the mild SoCal winter, where temperatures sometimes dip all the way into the 60s.

This is why you always carry ID on your bike. Texas police are appealing to the public to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike. A wallet helps, but can get lost or stolen following a crash. Better to actually carry some form of ID on you, or wear something like a Road ID with your name, emergency contacts and any medical conditions.

Hats off to a kindhearted Omaha, Nebraska Eagle Scout, who is collecting and refurbishing adult bicycles to donate to homeless people.

Chicago decided to make room for humans on the double-decker Lake Shore Drive, and convert one of the lower level lanes to a walkway and protected bike lanes. That’s got to be the only city in the US where it’s okay for drivers to be on LSD.

Great idea. Knoxville, Tennessee opened a new accessible bike trail specifically designed for people with disabilities riding adaptive bicycles.

A proposed New Hampshire bill to require helmets for everyone from bike riders to motorcyclists received overwhelming opposition, with 259 people lining up to speak against it and only four in favor.

New York advocates are up in arms over a secret plan to close part of the popular Hudson River Greenway to make long-delayed repairs resulting from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. New York prosecutors inexplicably let a killer driver off the hook for backing over an elderly woman last year — even though he continues to rack up tickets for speeding and red light violations.

DC finally gets around to banning parking in bike lanes, fining drivers $150 for blocking the flow of bicycle traffic. It’s illegal to park in bike lanes in Los Angeles, too. Which doesn’t seem to stop anyone, especially in DTLA.

New Orleans cops get a firsthand view of the streets from a bicyclist’s perspective, as officers ride with a group of cycling instructors through a variety of problematic locations. That would solve a lot of problems if we could convince every police and sheriff’s department to try that.

 

International

A 51-year old nursery school teacher was one of the victims of Sunday’s terrorist knifing attack in South London as she rode her bike home after meeting friends, saying she’s lucky to be alive.

A pair of British doctors set a new record for riding around the world on a tandem bike, traveling over 18,000 miles in 218 days and 22 hours.

The British government will ban all gas and diesel powered vehicles by 2035, moving the deadline forward by five years. Meanwhile, the US has committed to banning gas powered vehicles by, um, never.

Parisians are staying on their bikes, despite the winter weather, even after a major transportation strike ended; January ridership was up 131% over the same month last year.

An Indian university tells faculty members that bicycling isn’t just for students.

Failed Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Ofo switches gear and reinvents itself as a shopping platform — and decides to keep users deposits anyway. Scroll down past the obnoxious full screen ad to get to the story, when and if you can. 

A globe trotting Indian bike tourist says he’s not worried about coronavirus as he nears the end of his 16 year ride through 154 countries to promote HIV and AIDS awareness; his now in Beijing while riding through China, leaving 37 countries to go.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news for non-Californians. San Diego’s popular Belgian Waffle Ride, a mixed-surface, ultra-distance race, is branching out to Asheville, North Carolina and Cedar City, Utah this year.

Pro cyclists offer advice on how to beat jet lag. Personally, I’ve never been able to ride fast or far enough for that to be a problem.

Twenty-two-year old world mountain bike champ Kate Courtney is getting a little extra coaching to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics from her new riding partner, retired NBA player turned mountain bike aficionado Reggie Miller.

 

Finally…

Apparently, dropping your bong while fleeing police on your bike is a bad thing. If you’re carrying nearly three dozen pre-measured bags of meth on your bike, make sure it at least meets legal standards.

And presenting the perfect gift for bicyclists who drink their bourbon through a straw.

No, really.

 

Morning Links: New East Side Riders bike book, LA raising speed limits again, and begging to cross on MyFig

Let’s start with a new book from six young members of South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club.

Bikes Need Love Too is a collection of personification essays covering family, loyalty, abandonment, fun, and friendship from six amazing young authors who reside in Watts, CA, and who are members of the East Side Riders Bike Club (ESRBC) organization under the leadership of John Jones III. For seven weeks, the authors participated in a rigorous writing workshop which was facilitated by Publishing Hope and Branding A+ Behavior better known by its acronym, the PHABB 5 program. In these eye-opening and heartwarming essays, the student authors of ESRBC take readers on a fun, powerfully motivating ride. Bikes Need Love Too is engaging, sincere, and a brilliant approach to help encourage young readers to discover their voices.

It’s less than a month from Christmas, and only days from Chanukah. Which makes this the perfect gift for anyone who loves bikes.

Even if you give it to yourself.

………

Once again, Los Angeles is planning to raise speed limits beyond already dangerous levels on over 100 miles of streets, further endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.

The increase is required to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Rule, which allows drivers to set speed limits with their heavy right foot.

Sort of like putting bank robbers in charge of security.

Without the increases, the LAPD will be prohibited from using radar, LIDAR and other speed guns to enforce speed limits, as they have been for years on most LA streets.

Which explains why virtually no one in LA obeys them.

But increasing speed limits, even to improve enforcement, is the exact opposite of Vision Zero, making our streets more dangerous for everyone on them.

Instead of voting to endanger even more lives, city officials should be camped out at the state capital to demand an immediate repeal of the law.

And the ability to set speeds at safer, common sense levels.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

………

In more WTF news from the City of Angels, the universally despised beg buttons are back on the MyFigueroa bike lanes.

After countless complaints from bike riders when the MyFigueroa project first opened, LADOT adjusted the signals to give people walking and on bikes automatic green lights.

But evidently, it was just a show for the people attending the recent NACTO national convention in DTLA.

Now that the convention is over, anyone not in a car once again has to beg just to cross the damn street.

And good luck with that.

Just another auto-centric fail on what’s supposed to be LA’s showcase Complete Street. Let alone another Vision Zero fail.

And they wonder why we’re pissed off.

………

The Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclist — released their list of the most Bicycle Friendly Universities.

Congratulation to Santa Monica College, which moved up to a Silver rating on their fourth year on the list.

Among other SoCal schools, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara held their Gold rankings, while CSU Long Beach and UCLA are Silver.

Cal Poly SLO, CSU Bakersfield, Loyola Marymount and Pomona College ranked Bronze.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

LA-based comedian Bill Burr thinks Share the Road means we’re all supposed to get the fuck out of his way.

No, really.

Here’s that quote, in case you missed it.

…Oh and people who ride bikes in LA are morons, morons, they fucking dress up like they’re in a bike race and then they just drive out in the road. And they always yell ‘share the road’, it’s like well ’yeah, yeah you too, move over’ I allowed enough time to get there in a car, not follow you on your fucking bicycle Lance. I’m not saying it’s not a bad thing when they die, but it’s not shocking. *laughs*

In other words, just another indignorant, overly aggressive LA driver who thinks he does, in fact, own the road.

And that it’s somehow funny when someone gets killed.

Thanks to Steve S for the video.

………

How to build a DIY wooden bike.

………

A new video intended for motorcyclists explains how drivers can look right at you and never see you. Which applies to anyone on two wheels, with or without an engine.

………

It’s Day 8 of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Your generosity helps keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day, from around the corner and around the world.

Anything you can give helps. And is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

Local

A new proposal from architecture firm Woods Bagot calls for repurposing LA’s surface parking lots into housing, retail and open space; their More LA plan could reclaim enough space to house an additional three million people.

Bike SGV’s annual Noche de las Luminarias awards event takes place tomorrow night; as of Thursday, some tickets were still available.

The final CicLAvia of 2018 rolls, walks, skates and scoots through the streets of DTLA and Boyle Heights this Sunday; be sure to note the earlier 3 pm ending time.

 

State

The LA Times says California talks a good game on climate change, but fails to follow through on promises for building more walkable, bike-able, transit-friendly communities.

Encinitas’ Leucadia Cyclery is closing it’s doors after 30 years. Which makes me feel old, since it was new when I lived down there.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man was killed after walking his bike down a highway embankment, then attempting to ride across a freeway; he was hit by a car almost immediately.

San Francisco is moving forward with a pair of bike lanes to provide alternatives to deadly bike lanes on the Embarcadero, which aren’t due to be fixed until 2022.

Bay Area public radio station KQED discusses ten things to know about bike theft in San Francisco — all of which apply in Los Angeles, including the advice to register your bike. Except for the part about bike theft going down; the opposite is true in the City of Angels.

 

National

‘Tis the season. Momentum Magazine offers their 2018 gift holiday guide for city cyclists.

Lyft is now the owner of the biggest docked bikeshare provider in the US.

Ebike prices are slowly starting to come down, as Bicycling reviews a $1,649 foldie.

A Boise, Idaho bike co-op is training prison inmates to rebuild bicycles for Syrian refugees.

Colorado Springs CO residents debate bike lanes in the local newspaper’s letters column while trotting out just about every anti-bike trope, discredited and otherwise. But while they argue about whether drivers should have to give up a few feet to improve safety, the city is suffering its deadliest year ever on the streets.

The Chicago Tribune looks at those crazy people who bike in blizzards and surf Lake Michigan.

The widow of a fallen Chicago cyclist has filed suit against the parents of the 15-year old hit-and-run driver who took his life, alleging they should have kept their unlicensed, underage son from getting behind the wheel. Let alone driving on the sidewalk, where the victim may have been standing.

The one thing Michigan bike riders, pedestrians and roller skiers — yes, it’s a thinghave in common is disrespectful, dangerous drivers.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.  And spreads to the Big Apple, where someone sabotaged a popular parking protected bike lane in Queens with dozens thumb tacks; a city councilmember gets it right, calling it an criminal act of vigilantism.

An Op-Ed by the former head of the National Highway Safety Administration says if DC is serious about being a green city, it needs to encourage dockless scooters.

A Mississippi bike site says bicyclists deserve equal protection on the roads.

Florida police track down a woman who had been missing since Monday in a Fort Meyers hospital; she had been admitted as a Jane Doe following a crash while bicycling. Yet another reminder to always carry some form of ID when you ride.

 

International

Zwift is about to get some indoor cycling competition. Which should please Strava fans, where virtual group rides are more popular than the real thing.

An Ontario, Canada popup museum celebrates the area’s bicycling history.

Bike thieves force a British bike shop out of business, following the third break-in in just seven weeks.

Police bust an Edinburgh bike thief charged with stealing over 60 bicycles worth nearly $39,000.

A British writer recommends a trip to the Scottish Borders, saying the region has been transformed with some of the best bicycling trails and infrastructure in the country.

Malta proposes a new strategy to replace bike lanes with safer, bike-friendly streets and an app that directs riders to the safest route.

A Nepalese traffic engineer calls for making Kathmandu bike friendly, saying every government agency should see bicycles as a major mode of transportation.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as a writer explores Korea’s mostly flat, sea-to-sea Four Rivers Route, one of the world’s longest paved bike paths.

A former Miss Malaysia goes bikepacking from Cambodia’s 600-year old New City to Thailand’s festival of lights.

Life is cheap in Malaysia, where a dump truck driver received just four weeks behind bars for killing a 78-year old bike rider. He also lost his license for four years, which will cost him his job.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax tells the tale of a long-time domestique who finally came in first in his final race.

Cyclist profiles cycling scion and renaissance man Taylor Phinney.

Indiana’s Marian University has awarded what may be the first cycling team mechanic scholarship in the US.

 

Finally…

Try not to photobomb a couple’s surprise engagement, even if they are blocking the bridge. Presenting pro cycling’s Last Supper.

And now you, too, can own the coolest bike in the neighborhood, even if you missed it the first time around.

Morning Links: 85th Percentile Law is killing bike riders and pedestrians, and the war on bikes goes on

The deadly 85th Percentile Rule has gone mainstream.

Credit the LA Times’ Laura Nelson for interrupting the paper’s move to El Segundo with a front page story explaining how and why speeds are set at the speed of the 15th fastest driver on the street — the 85th percentile of drivers.

To update driver speeds, city engineers visit a street in the late morning or early afternoon, park along a stretch of road without stop signs or traffic lights, and use an electronic device to measure the speeds of 100 drivers.

They rank the speeds from fastest to slowest and identify the 85th percentile — that is, the speed just below the 15th-fastest driver. City engineers use that “critical speed” as a basis for establishing a new speed limit, typically rounded to the nearest 5 mph.

Which means drivers can set the speeds with their right foots. Which is kind of like putting bank robbers in charge of security at Wells Fargo.

Although that might be an improvement over their recent scandals, but still.

Failing to conduct those surveys, or raise speeds as a result, means police officers are prohibited from using speed guns or other electronic devices to stop speeders.

And drivers can go as fast as traffic and LA’s over-engineered streets will allow.

The restrictions on police using electronic devices has coincided with a 77% drop in the number of speeding tickets written annually by the Los Angeles Police Department, from 99,333 in 2010 to 22,783 last year.

Traffic officers have been particularly hamstrung in the San Fernando Valley, where the majority of the city’s speeding tickets are written and more than 130 miles of streets carry speed enforcement restrictions, according to a Times analysis of city data.

“People are driving like maniacs on city streets,” said Dennis Zine, a former city councilman in the Valley who worked as a traffic officer. “It’s costing people their lives.”

Particularly the lives of bike riders and pedestrians.

There have been numerous failed attempts to reform the 85th Percentile Law, each dying in the legislature over fears that speeding drivers will have to slow down or get the tickets they deserve.

Which is kind of the point.

Maybe this story will finally motivate homeowners to join with bicycle and pedestrian advocate, to demand that state legislators change the law that imposes highway speeds on city streets.

And leaves far too many bodies in its wake.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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

An Australian bike rider suffered a broken collarbone and fractured ribs when he was clotheslined by a garden hose stretched across a roadway.

A rider in South Africa blacked out — and was nearly decapitated — when he struck a fencing wire that had been strung across a bike trail at neck height; fortunately, the wire snapped, preventing serious injury.

Someone vandalized a pair of cyclist resting posts in Vernon, British Columbia, which position riders in the right spot to be recognized by traffic signals, and allow the rider to rest at the light without unclipping. Note: I originally wrote this as Vernon, California; thanks to Joe Linton for the correction.

And police in New York are continuing their decidedly non-bike friendly ways by ticketing bicyclists riding in a new privately developed park where planners somehow left out bike lanes on the wide, one way street.

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If you were planning to ride Topanga Canyon next weekend, you might want to start making other plans.

https://twitter.com/CaltransDist7/status/1020389661045227520

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Local

The newly affordable Metro Bike bikeshare is expanding onto the Westside towards the end of this year, and wants your input on where to put docking stations.

Los Angeles is installing intelligent traffic signal controllers throughout the city, in part to allow the installation of bike traffic signals.

Bike Talk talks with bike shop owner and advocate Carlos Morales.

The Hollywood Reporter says a backlash is brewing against e-scooters, which are being blamed for crashes and near-crashes with bicyclists and pedestrians.

A Michigan man who attempted to ride all of Route 66 in honor of his late son arrived in Santa Monica last week, raising $10,000 for pediatric cancer research.

 

State

Bike SD expresses concern that a bikeway is being held hostage by a neighborhood planning group.

A writer takes an epic carfree ride down Highway 1 where it was closed down by a Big Sur mud slide; the highway was just reopened to cars last week.

Now that’s more like it. A road in the Presidio will be closed to cars to improve safety for San Francisco cyclists and pedestrians.

A California appeals court has denied a plea from Marin cyclist Jeff Smock to overturn his road rage conviction for beating a truck driver senseless after the driver allegedly clipped him with the truck’s side mirror. He appealed despite receiving a slap on the wrist for the conviction.

Marin County vows to appeal a judge’s ruling blocking mountain bikes from using a single track trail that had recently been widened to make room for people on bikes, as well as on foot and horseback.

 

National

Bike Snob says kissing bike lanes is the new equivalent of politicians kissing babies, as support grows for bicycling. Except in Los Angeles, where elected leaders quake in fear of angry four-wheeled voters.

Bicycling rates the year’s fastest, funnest and most exciting ebikes. And more clickbait from the magazine, as they list their picks for the 30 greatest bike moments in pop culture.

Bicycle Times offers tips on how to smuggle documents like cycling legend Gino Bartali.

Mobility Lab shares a nice piece from 

Travel site Lonely Planet says you don’t have to drive to get your kicks on Route 66 anymore.

A self-described Spandex Mafia shows up in defense of an Oregon protected bike lane, after a city councilmember uses the term to disparage people on bikes.

Las Vegas bike riders get their own carfree open streets event when they’re allowed on a 25-mile segment of new freeway before its opened to cars next month.

Salt Lake City bicyclists ride to remember a 23-year old man who was killed in a collision with a train on a late night group ride; the crossing gates reportedly went up after train passed in one direction, then quickly came back down when a second train approached from the other, catching his bike on the tracks.

Horrible news from Houston, where a renowned cardiologist was shot and killed as he was riding his bicycle by a bicyclist who passed him, then turned around and fired; he had treated former President George H.W. Bush for a heart condition several years ago. No word on a suspect or what may have prompted the shooting. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the link.

Dallas bike riders say more has to be done to protect bicyclists, following the hit-and-run death of a rider who reportedly did everything right.

A new book describes the history of bicycling in the Windy City.

The World Naked Bike Ride strips down and rolls through St. Louis. But how can you tell when a bike-riding Wookie is naked?

St. Louis is renovating a velodrome popularly known as Mr. Bumpy Face because of the rough track.

The Indiana Business Journal gets it right, as an urban designer and university professor says the streets belong to all of us, even e-scooter users.

A South Carolina doctor decries the lack of support for healthy activities in the area after drivers succeeded in demanding the removal of a new lane reduction and bike lanes before the project was even finished.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on how to climb hills faster.

If you’re over 50, running or bicycling to work can cut your risk of a heart attack as much as a third.

Road.cc lists the UK’s best smartphone apps for bicycling, some of which should be available in the US.

A new 85-mile Calgary bike path connects 55 communities with over 400,000 people. And links to a 621-mile bike path network, the longest bike path network in the world.

Tragic news from Calgary, where a 75-year old man was killed in a collision with a bike rider as he was walking in a marked crosswalk; the rider allegedly ran the red light, but remained on the scene after the crash.

The local newspaper says someone is going to get killed on a bikeway bypass around a temporarily closed footbridge in Ottawa, Canada; a safer plan was nixed when people signed a petition preferring parking over preventing injuries to people on bikes.

The Department of DIY has struck once again, as Ottawa bicyclists build their own pop-up protected bike lanes using orange and black highway cones.

Louis Garneau — yes, that Louis Garneau — was seriously injured when he touched wheels with another rider on a Montreal group ride; the founder of the popular bikewear line suffered a concussion and punctured lung, but credited his helmet with saving his life.

No bias here. A Toronto newspaper portrays a conflict between people on bikes and residents of a hill country community as cyclists versus blue collar locals. Never mind that some of the riders live in the community, and many bike riders are decidedly blue collar.

The former bike-riding parking cop who gained fame on Twitter for ticketing bike lane blockers is now running for the Toronto city council.

A British man who was left paralyzed when he was struck by a distracted driver while riding his bike is demanding that phone makers automatically lock devices when a car is in motion.

Teenagers under 18 can now legally ride on sidewalks in Australia’s New South Wales state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouler looks at the classic Tour de France illustrations of Roger Blachon.

American cyclist Lawson Craddock explains how he’s surviving the Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade, completing all 15 stages so far after falling in the first stage. His suffering has raised nearly $130,000 for a Houston velodrome.

Dan Martin says when you’re bored, attack. On the other hand, punching another rider is apparently frowned on, as Team Sky’s Gianni Moscon learned the hard way.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Tour de France fans continue to get on Chris Froome, even though he was officially cleared of doping charges recently. However, the fans are reportedly getting out of control.

An Ontario writer recounts Canada’s contribution to the Tour de France.

Twenty-three-year old Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel has become the first rider to win national championships in cyclocross, road cycling and cross-country mountain biking.

A Spanish Continental rider offers the latest proof that the era of doping is not over.

 

Finally…

Your ebike could be rolling on automotive hand-me-downs. Spit your mouthwash out before riding into Peridot.

And you won’t want to miss the world’s cutest bike race, even though one of the competitors evidently did.

Morning Links: LA raises speed limits, Vision Zero holds course, and LA River Bike Path reopens in Long Beach

One quick note. Come back after 11:00 this morning for a guest post from Derrick Paul about the planned Vision Zero lane reduction and complete street project on Temple Street. 

And why it hasn’t happened.

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Los Angeles will be raising speed limits on nearly 100 miles of streets to comply with California’s deadly 85th Percentile Law, which allows drivers to set speed limits by applying their foot to the gas pedal.

Meanwhile, speed limits will decrease somewhat on a little more than 52 miles of streets.

The tradeoff is that police will now be able to use radar to enforce speeds, which they had been banned from doing on nearly 80% of LA streets.

Under the terms of the law, police can’t use radar to enforce the speed limit if a street hasn’t had a speed survey within the last seven years.

Once the survey is conducted, the speed limit must be set at the speed driven by the 15th fastest motorist driving unimpeded in non-rush hour traffic, although the city does have the option to round down slightly.

So in order to make our streets safer, we have to make them faster and more dangerous.

Or just repeal a stupid, outdated and deadly law.

Correction: In my haste last night, I mistakenly wrote that the 85th Percentile Law was based on the average speed of 85% of motorists, ignoring my gut feeling that I was wrong, but too tired to stop and look it up.

And I was right. That I was wrong, that is. 

The following email from Casey Kerrigan clarifies this complicated law better than any other explanation I’ve seen. 

When doing the speed survey the speed limit is based on the 85 percentile not on the average speed of 85% of the cars surveyed.  Note that speed surveys are conduced under the optimal conditions to speed, ie during the day, at a non rush hour time and only the speed of free flowing cars are measures. Free flowing are cars with no traffic ahead of them for at least 5 seconds on a straightaway and unmarked cars are used to house the speed measurement equipment.
This is from the Caltrans guidelines for how to set speed limits which you can find here.
This paragraph is taken from the Caltrans guidelines linked above on page 36.

3.2.6 Calculating 85th Percentile Speed

If 100 vehicle speeds are plotted, the 85th percentile speed is determined by looking at the speed of the 15th vehicle down from the top speed. Fifteen percent of the vehicles are travelling faster than this speed, and eighty five percent are travelling at or below this speed. If less than 100 vehicles are counted, the 85th percentile speed must be determined by calculating 85 percent of the number of vehicles counted and determining the vehicles’ 85th percentile speed. For example if 70 vehicles were counted, 0.85 x 70 = 59.5. The speed of vehicle 60 represents the 85th percentile. Examples are shown in Appendix A on the Speed Zone Survey Sheet examples.

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Speaking of which, Vision Zero Los Angeles has released their 2018 Action Plan & Progress Report.

The city plans to remain on course with the program, despite a sharp jump in pedestrian deaths, and badly missing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of a 20% reduction in traffic fatalities in 2017.

Of course, that was overly ambitious, since the program is just now gaining its footing and getting its first real funding.

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The LA River Bike Path has reopened in Long Beach, where it had been closed for construction work, now that a large construction crane has been removed.

However, work vehicles and flaggers will remain on the path, and riders may be required to slow down or walk their bikes through the construction zone.

Thanks to Long Beach Mobility and Healthy Living Programs Officers Michelle Mowery for the heads-up.

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Rent-a-cops driving on a Chicago bike path lose it when a bike rider complains that they don’t belong on the path. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bfub83XnlZo/

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Local

The victim’s missing head was finally found in an LA multi-modal murder.

A UCLA letter writer says scofflaw Bird scooter users are no worse than bike riders, who he can’t recall ever having seen “obey the traffic laws to the letter.” Unlike pedestrians and motorists, who evidently always obey the letter of the law in his eyes.

CiclaValley imagines what a re-imagined, bike-friendly Ventura Blvd could be.

The Pasadena Star News looks at the proposal to reconfigure Orange Grove Blvd into a complete street that welcomes everyone.

 

State

Seven proposed U.S. Bicycle Routes could soon be coming to, and through, California.

Encinitas-based cruiser bike-maker Electra Bicycle Company turns 25.

Cycling Without Age comes to Merced.

A pair of dueling Op-Eds in the Sacramento Bee say a bill to allow mountain bikes in wilderness areas would be good for the backcountry, while another calls it a Trojan horse that would put wheels over wilderness.

 

National

Bike Snob says enough with the helmet shaming, already.

Streetsblog says American cities aren’t making much progress on Vision Zero, except for New York and San Francisco. Although for some reason, they aren’t tracking Los Angeles on their chart.

A Seattle-area man had his bike stolen after he was hit on the head with a pipe. No word on whether he was wearing a helmet, which might have helped. Or not.

Washington is the latest state to approve an ebike classification bill based on the one pioneered in California.

Great idea, as a Washington bike school teams with a woodworking school to teach everything from wrenching to wood frame and wheel building.

Evidently, LA drivers aren’t the only ones who complain about removing traffic lanes from massive streets. Tempe AZ will restripe a roadway to remove bollards protecting a bike lane and add back a third traffic lane in response to motorist complaints.

You’ve got to be kidding. Just days after the Utah house approved an Idaho stop law, a bill that would allow drivers to also treat red lights as stop signs passed a legislative committee. After all, what difference could there possibly be between someone on a 15-pound bike and someone wrapped in two tons of high-speed glass and steel? I mean, other than the bodies the latter would likely leave behind?

Plans for a new bridge on I-10 in Mobile, Alabama will be required to include options for bicycle and pedestrian pathways.

 

International

Cycling Tips offers advice on how to use music to get the best out of your rides. They probably don’t mean singing Hank Williams out loud while you ride, as someone who looks a lot like me may or may not have done on occasion.

Toronto rejects a staff recommendation to remove lanes from a major street, and keep it six lanes and dangerous instead.

Caught on video: British police use bike cam video to prosecute a 50 mph punishment pass, resulting in the equivalent of a $365 fine. A much better punishment would be to make the driver stand in the roadway while someone else does it to him.

The Irish government will introduce a safe passing law mandating that drivers pass bicyclists with the rough equivalent of three feet on roads with a speed limit below 31 mph, and five feet above that.

Eat and bike your way across Italy with Top Chef contestants.

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war bikes is all too real, as Aussie bicyclists find thumbtacks spread across at least four popular riding routes. Far from a harmless prank, something like that can cause serious injuries — or worse — if a flat causes a rider to fall. And should be prosecuted as such.

The government of Queensland, Australia, has introduced a presumed liability bill, which would presume that the operator of the more dangerous vehicle has a greater responsibility to avoid crashes, and would be considered at fault in a collision; the head of the local auto club calls it a divisive bill that pits motorists against cyclists. Actually, motorists have done that themselves for decades.

 

Finally…

Your WiFi depends on a Hollywood bombshell who escaped Nazis and an unhappy marriage on a bicycle. It’s golf balls over bikes on the beach.

And can a serial burglar really be a bad guy if he rides a bike and leaves the homes neat and tidy?

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