Tag Archive for active transportation

Metro considers shifting highway funds to active transportation, and LA Walks calls for saving Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro wants to know what you think.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking for public input on a proposal that would divert funding currently earmarked for highways to support active transportation and Complete Streets projects.

Here’s how The Source, Metro’s in-house blog, explains it.

In June 2020, Metro’s Board of Directors directed staff to explore ways to modernize the agency’s Highway Program to better align it with policy goals of reducing vehicle miles traveled while exploring the expansion of eligible projects to include active transportation and “complete streets” improvements that focus on all forms of mobility rather than just vehicles.

The changes, if implemented, would open certain Measure R and Measure M funding that is now reserved only for traditional highway or roadway projects to new types of improvements. Those improvements include bikeways, sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements, bus prioritization and explicitly using reductions in vehicle miles traveled as a criterion for planning and designing projects.

The plan, which has already received input from local governments, has been split into two sections, here and here.

Email your comments to MMGuidelines@metro.net, or snail mail them to:

LA Metro
One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-23-3
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Attention: MR MM Guidelines Revisions

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Last week we learned about Caltrans plans to tear down an existing bike and pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino, while breaking their promise to replace it with a new and improved version.

Now an email from Los Angeles Walks is calling on them to reverse a bad decision.

Last week, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced their intention to permanently remove and not replace a pedestrian bridge connecting communities divided by the 101 Freeway.

While Caltrans suggested other alternatives for pedestrians, such as traffic signals and crosswalks, the removal of this bridge significantly limits the mobility of those walking or rolling. Currently, the Encino Ave. Pedestrian Bridge is located in at the intersection of Encino Ave. and Killion St (see arrow).

If removed, this reduces the number of options for residents in the area to cross the 101 freeway and places at risk a similar bridge on Amestoy Ave. about half a mile to the east. With both bridges gone local Angenelos would need to walk up to 2 miles to cross the 101 at White Oak Ave. or Balboa Blvd. Or they’ll have to walk up Louise Ave., a four lane road with scant pedestrian signage and infrastructure.

This bridge provides easy and safe access for those walking or rolling to go between the neighborhood and Burbank Ave., where you’ll find grocery stores, a pre-school, businesses, and other important community assets.

In 2019 alone, these local roads (displayed on the map) saw nearly 50 collisions. That same year the community experienced a horrific street racing crash along Burbank Blvd. that killed a 19 and 25 year old. If LA City is dedicated to its #VisionZero commitment (to reach 0 traffic deaths by 2025), tearing down a community-connecting pedestrian bridge over one of City’s largest and busiest freeways is the wrong way to go.

Our call to Action! 🚨

Let Caltrans know that the community, our seniors, our students need their pedestrian bridge. And we’ve made it easy for you!

Email Caltrans Now!

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This is no April fools joke, as a new study shows popup bike lanes really do increase bicycling rates.

This is what the New York Times had to say.

The research, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in cities where bike infrastructure was added, cycling had increased up to 48 percent more than in cities that did not add bike lanes.

Dense cities where public transit was already popular generally saw the largest increases. In cities with lower density, more cars per capita and higher traffic speeds, the increase in cycling was more modest. Paris, which implemented its bike lane program early and had the largest pop-up bike lane program of any of the cities in the study, had one of the largest increases in riders.

“It almost seems like a natural law that the more infrastructure you have, the more cycling you will have,” said Sebastian Kraus, the study’s lead author.

The increases held up even after taking weather and changes in public transit supply and demand into account.

Then there was this.

Bicycles, unlike cars, do not emit greenhouse gases. Matthew Raifman, a doctoral student in environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health, found in a separate study that investments in infrastructure for cycling and walking more than paid for themselves once the health benefits were taken into account.

“They increase our physical activity and reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, which all have impacts on health,” Mr. Raifman said.

Which is about as good an argument for transferring Metro highway funds to healthier and more efficient uses as you could make.

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The former Mayor Pete could have ridden in a chauffeured limo to his first cabinet meeting as US Transportation Secretary.

If he chose to ride a bike, it was to send a message.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Betty White was one of us.

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

Cycliq shared a pair of punishment passes, as a truck driver passes safely once, then dipped into a bike lane to apparently send a frightening message. And a driver on a country road can’t be bothered to slow down literally for a second or two so a car coming in the opposite direction can pass, and takes it out on the person on the bike, instead.

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

This one fits in both categories, as a Hermosa Beach letter writer calls on the city to remove the “silly” sharrows on Hermosa Ave, after someone on a bicycle hit his son while he was crossing the street. Seriously, slow the hell down and ride carefully around pedestrians, especially kids. But just wait until someone tells this guy about cars. And don’t get me started on sharrows, which exist primarily to help drivers improve their aim. 

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Local

Bike Talk posted the lengthy public comment portion of last night’s meeting to discuss remaking Eagle Rock’s Colorado Blvd to support the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line. And hopefully, make it a lot more livable and less car-centric.

Metro Bike’s ebikes will be free to unlock this month, although standard rates will apply after that.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is in the midst of a semi-virtual Pedal With Your Peeps scavenger hunt, including a self-guided tour with peep stops tomorrow. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Berkeley bike riders are being victimized by armed robbers who steal their bicycles while riding in the East Bay Hills; at least three people have been bike-jacked in the last week.

 

National

A writer for Electrek goes offroad riding on the $1099 RadMission ebike, and rates it “great.”

A Honolulu woman was the victim of a strange strong arm robbery when another woman repeatedly whacked her with a skateboard before making off with her bike — then bizarrely brought it back and walked away.

The rich get richer. Oregon bike riders will soon enjoy the benefits of a new $11.3 million program to build offroad bikeways around the the state. Much missed former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson heads the ambitious project.

A ghost bike for the five Las Vegas bicyclists killed by a meth-using truck driver was moved to a public school in downtown Summerlin; the plan is to rotate the memorial to different locations in the city raise awareness.

Colorado’s Tourism Office explains how to build a route through the high country wilderness by threading together by a series of scenic and historic byways. All of which are even better by bicycle. And say hi to my old stomping grounds on the Cache la Poudre River while you’re at it.

An Ohio girl became a published author while still in kindergarten, penning Bug on a Bike after getting inspired while riding with her father.

Streetsblog says yes, it’s illegal to ride your bike after smoking weed in New York, which just passed a bill legalizing recreational use. But not that illegal, since the state doesn’t have a specific statute banning biking under the influence, unlike California.

A series of weekend popup shops will bring high-end bike brands to New York that aren’t normally available in the US, including brands from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia and Italy. Someone needs to do this in Los Angeles, too.

An unlicensed driver living in the country illegally will serve up to 12 years behind bars for killing a Pennsylvania bike rider, then face deportation once he gets out. Although he couldn’t legally get a license in Pennsylvania, because he was in the country illegally.

 

International

Pink Bike collects the highlights of yesterday’s bike-related April fools pranks. I did kinda like the homeopathic mountain bike first aid kit.

Popular Science offers advice on how to get a bike during the worldwide bike shortage brought on by the pandemic-driven bike boom.

Cyclist examines the inside story of the perfect storm that resulted in an industry wide bike shortage.

A new report from Britain’s largest bike retailer suggests the bike boom is poised to continue post-pandemic.

No bias here. A London paper freaks out over a reality star’s video message encouraging people to get outside, recorded as he rode his bike “in the middle of the road.” Although they do approve of his helmet and uh, “bulging muscles.”

A UK website offers a head-to-pavement guide to gear for bike touring.

This one’s going on my own bike bucket list. A trio of British groups has developed a 2,000-mile bicycling route connecting all 42 Church of England cathedrals in England and Wales.

India’s abrupt lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of people to walk, bike or hitchhike back to their hometowns; for many, life may never be the same.

 

Competitive Cycling

Both the men’s and women’s Paris-Roubaix races have been postponed until October due to the pandemic.

VeloNews examines the technical aspects of how Irish cyclist Ronan McLaughlin became the latest in a long line of recent Everesting record holders, with a time of 6 hours, 40 minutes and 54 seconds, in part by focusing on shaving time on the descents; the solo attempt involves making multiple uphill climbs equivalent to the height of Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

Fixing flats with a water bottle. Offroad Viking biking on an Alaskan glacier.

And striking a blow for bike equality by riding up to the drive-through window to rob a bank.

Although maybe he should have picked one where they didn’t already know him.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Caltrans wants bike input on Active Transportation Plan, Secretary Pete talks bikes, and LACBC Women’s History Ride

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. Blame it on my diabetes, which took a sudden turn in a southerly direction Wednesday night.

And as I’ve learned the hard way, it’s damn near impossible to get anything done when you’re just this side of unconscious.

So grab some snacks and hunker down for a long haul, ’cause we’ve got a lot of miles to cover today. 

Adorable photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a call from Caltrans for more input on their Active Transportation Plan from people who ride bikes.

And yes, they specifically said in an email that they really want to hear from us, which is a nice change — and a good opportunity.

But only if we take advantage of it.

Caltrans Calls for Public Input on Active Transportation Plan Survey

LOS ANGELES — Caltrans is looking for public input on its active transportation planning process survey to identify locations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the state highway system. The public can play a critical role in shaping the plans by participating in this localized map-based survey.

“Today we must plan and build a transportation system that incorporates alternative means of transportation and that also considers equity,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares. “Public input on our Active Transportation Plan is crucial to the development of safe pedestrian, bicycle and public transit facilities on our highways.”

The public survey will allow residents to tell Caltrans where improvements could be made to facilitate bicycling and walking on or near the state highway system. Survey responses will provide specific data about the type and location of needed improvements, allowing Caltrans to evaluate these locations in developing future projects.

Caltrans wants to align the state’s bicycle and pedestrian network with the needs of local communities, with an emphasis on improving social equity, reconnecting communities, and improving access for all modes of transportation, including people who walk and bicycle. Caltrans will be actively engaging with partners and community members in areas where historic transportation decisions may have created barriers to adequate transportation.

To take the public survey using your computer, tablet or smartphone, please visit survey.catplan.org and click on District 7. This survey is also available in Spanish.

For more information about the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans, visit catplan.org/district-plans.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say about the survey.

Tell Caltrans to add bike lanes on major streets in LA!

Caltrans District 7 still owns many major streets in Los Angeles that are “state highways” including parts of Santa Monica Bl, Lincoln Bl, Venice Bl, and more. They just released a map and survey that allows you to pinpoint specific streets you feel unsafe biking/walking on. Please put pins on the map asking them to add protected bike lanes!

TELL CALTRANS WHERE TO ADD BIKE LANES

So what are you waiting for, already?

And while we’re on the subject of input, Metro wants yours on first mile – last mile connections to improve biking, walking and rolling access to and from the extension’s first three new Purple Line, aka D Line, stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.

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Looks like we have a Secretary of Transportation who gets it. And sees bikes as part of the solution, even if he hails from the heart of car country.

https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1367564417790070785

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The LACBC is out with a self-guided bike tour to celebrate Women’s History Month, including a real-life Rosie the Riveter.

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More proof that free lifetime registration with Bike Index really does work.

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Prop 22 may have rolled back protections for gig workers, but at least you get to ride an ebike all day.

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Um, okay.

A New York expat Zoomed into a community meeting from sunny Santa Barbara CA to complain about a proposed bike lane on the Big Apple’s Upper East Side, insisting no bike riders from Queens would ever spend money at the borough’s restaurants.

And was immediately refuted by a bike rider from Queens who was doing just that.

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A couple of notable bike notices, as Brompton recalls some of their ebike foldies due to a problem with the firmware.

And two models of Masi bicycles were recalled because a faulty fork steerer tube could lead to dangerous falls.

Meanwhile, Mavic warns that counterfeit wheels being sold under their name could lead to serious injury or death.

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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 Syracuse NY website blames a critically injured bicyclist for riding into the side of a car. Then just casually mentions at the end that the driver a) didn’t have a license, and b) fled the scene.

No bias here, either. The wife of a former advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the war on cars is backfiring, and Low-Traffic Neighborhoods only benefit drug dealers on scooters and wealthy bicyclists. Like herself, for instance. A wealthy bike rider, that is, not a drug dealer. 

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

Bike-riding convicted rapist and former pro football star Kellen Winslow II was sentenced to a well-deserved 14 years behind bars for a series of bizarre San Diego sexual assaults.

An emeritus professor at an Australian university conducts his own private study, and concludes that bike riders treat pedestrians far worse than drivers treat people on bicycles.

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Local

Despite the pandemic, funding has been approved for two dozen biking and walking projects in LA County, courtesy of Metro Measure M Active Transportation grants and California Transportation Commission Active Transportation Program grants.

CiclaValley says we’re finally getting closer to protected bike lanes on the Los Angeles section of Chandler Blvd, closing the gap with Burbank’s popular Chandler Bike Path.

Metro invites you to use the Metro Bike bikeshare to take a ride on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path. Especially if you use Metro Bike to do it.

Harrison Ford is one of us, stopping by the Santa Monica Helen’s to get his bike fixed. Twice.

 

State

A Lake Forest man tells the story of how his father’s disappearance drove him to drink, and his bicycle helped carry him back to sobriety. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Santa Barbara now has a green center bike lane to channel riders through the carfree State Street Promenade.

After a Santa Rosa newspaper wrote about the glut of refurbished kids bikes at a nonprofit bike shop, a bighearted donor gave $2,500 to give bikes to kids whose parents can’t afford them.

 

National

US House members heard last week that unsafe streets put residents of marginalized communities at risk of inequitable traffic enforcement, as well as dangerous drivers.

Bicycling explains how to build your own DIY pseudo Peloton setup. As usual, Yahoo has the story if Bicycling blocks you.

Why worry about finding a safe place to sleep on your next bike tour when you can just tow a camping trailer behind your bike?

An executive with Ohio-based Huffy says the bike boom still has some steam, and there’s plenty more sales ahead for the company’s bicycle-shaped objects.

A Massachusetts city discovers those orange bendy posts marking a protected bike lane made drivers slow down, then speed right back up after they were removed for the winter. The same held true after the plastic wands protecting a popup bike lane in the UK were removed, too.

Today’s best headline award goes to Streeetsblog NY, for this entry about a vanishing popup bike lane: Northern Boulevard Bike Lane Lost In Time Like Tears In Rain.

The Virginia legislature passed the state’s bike safety bill, legalizing treating stops as yields and riding two abreast; it now just needs the governor’s signature to become law. Anyone who questions the safety of stops as yields should recognize that it only legalizes what most people do anyway, on two wheels or four. 

The bighearted owners of a Valdosta, Georgia bike shop are working with the local police to refurbish used bikes and give them to people in need.

If you rode a tall bike to Key West last month, the local paper apparently approves.

Florida prosecutors agreed that a schizophrenic man was legally insane when he turned his car off the road and intentionally slammed into a man and his two sons riding bikes on a pedestrian pathway, killing the father and injuring both boys; if the court agrees, he could be sent to a longterm mental health facility.

 

International

Covid-19 cut global greenhouse gas emissions last year, but it will take further dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide to keep it going; more safe urban spaces for walking and cycling could help.

A Yucatán business council is all in on plans for bike lanes in the city of Mérida.

Make up your damn mind, already. Just months after Vancouver ripped out a bike lane so drivers could go zoom zoom and park in a park, the matter is coming to a head once again as people fight to get it back.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where a woman got a lousy one year of house vacation arrest for fleeing the scene after killing a Toronto-area man riding his bike, then lied about how her car was damaged to cover up the crime.

London bike riders continue to be at risk of near-miss terror from aggressive drivers who “treat cyclists like cockroaches.”

Contrary to perceptions, a new study shows London’s Low-traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of our Slow Streets — don’t disproportionately benefit more privileged communities.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine features the best deals on bike helmets in the US and UK.

Ebikes now make up 17% of all European bike sales, and growing.

Your next ebike could be a Porsche. Or you could just put all that excess money in a pile, build a straw man and set it on fire.

An Indian writer discovers their grandfather’s detailed diary of a nearly 1,000-mile bike trip from Kolkata to Kashmir in 1933.

A brief photo essay from Chinese news site Xinhua looks at a wheelchair-bound bike repairman in Palestine.

They get it. The next time you get a craving for coffee and donuts in the Philippines’ Quezon City, just make a detour through Dunkin’s first-ever bike-through lane.

Talk about a bad idea. An Aussie city installed speed bumps in a park to slow down speeding bike riders and reduce collisions with pedestrians. Never mind that the speed bumps are likely to increase injuries by knocking people off their bikes, as well as riders swerving to go around them.

Hollywood’s Thor is one of us, as Chris Hemsworth went for an ebike ride through Sydney, Australia with his wife, Spanish model and actress Elsa Pataky.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising 21-year old American cyclist Matteo Jorgenson is looking forward to tackling Paris-Nice this Sunday, as well as the Giro in May.

 

Finally…

Why face front when you can just ride your bike backwards? That feeling when you want your chain to look like it’s made of LEGO.

And apparently, LA streets may have changed just a tad in the last 126 years.

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Thanks to David A for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

As an aside, there’s no such thing as a small donation; I know as well as anyone just how hard it can be to donate to someone else when you’re struggling yourself, and couldn’t appreciate it more.

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

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

LADOT has released their updated Strategic Plan for 2021.

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

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

Click to enlarge

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

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

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

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

Thanks to Joe Linton for the tip.

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

Thanks to Chris Buonomo for the heads-up.

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Nice.

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

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

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

Make your own DIY vibration-detecting bike wheel lights.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

Welcome to Vancouver, the bike theft capitol of Canada.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And is that enough notice for you?

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

Tell Metro to fund active transportation not highways, victory for a safer Magnolia Blvd, and CicLAvia holiday shopping

Let’s start with a call to action.

If you live in the San Gabriel Vally or the South Bay, the LACBC is urging you to ask your local Council of Government representatives to support a proposal allowing Metro to repurpose highway funds for active transportation projects.

Instead of just flushing it down the toilet on more projects that will just induce more induced demand.

LA County Bicycle Coalition Logo

As we shared in our recent News Cycle, Metro has proposed a change that would open up the funding available for the highway program to be used by local jurisdictions for active transportation projects. We have been made aware that despite there being support from members of the Metro Board of Directors, they will not push to support this change so long as the Council of Governments, which represent the nine sub-regions, offer strong pushback.

If you live, work, or play in the San Gabriel Valley or the South Bay Cities, we are calling on you to take action now!

To show a groundswell of support for the motion, which would make funds more flexible and increase availability of funding for city active transportation projects, LACBC is asking you to reach out to your local COG representatives and share your support for the motion during each meeting’s public comment period.

This urgent action tomorrow could make all the difference in reducing pushback from COG leaders and help to make it possible for this change to be made.

Check out our Action Alert for more details: https://la-bike.org/2020/11/18/action-alert-modernize-the-highway-program/

We will have additional information for other COG meetings taking place in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your email or our social media to recieve those updates.

In solidarity,

Team LACBC

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Zachary Rynew, aka CiclaValley, declares victory in a long running battle to halt a dangerous street widening project on Magnolia Blvd.

In other words, the opposite of Vision Zero.

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CicLAvia reminds you to do your holiday shopping at their online store, where your money will go to support America’s most popular open streets festival.

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GCN answers the burning questions of whether you need to clean your bike after every ride, and how to peel a banana while riding.

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

You don’t have to speak the language to get just how dangerous this Costa Rican driver is.

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Local

The LAPD is looking for a hoodie-wearing bike rider who is accused of sexually assaulting at least 15 women by grabbing their breasts as he rides by.

 

State

Instead of legalizing speed cams, California is begging drivers to slow down and act like responsible adults.

Fresno police cited 14 bike riders and 51 pedestrians during a crackdown on the least dangerous people on the roads.

Alameda voted to approve a “hellscape” bike and pedestrian pathway in an exhaust-choked underground car tunnel, instead of a long-promised bike and pedestrian bridge.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips on how to clean your chain like a pro. You can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you. Seriously  is it just me, or is it a tad absurd for the magazine to hide their stories behind a paywall, while allowing another site to repost them with no restrictions?

CityFix says dockless bikesharing can be key to healthy, resilient urban mobility. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to exist in much of Los Angeles these days.

A Colorado boy’s bike was found in an abandoned trailer days after he disappeared on Sunday.

A missing Colorado mother who reportedly disappeared during a Mother’s Day bike ride is listed as presumed dead in her father’s obituary, who died of cancer following her disappearance.

Put this one on your mountain bike bucket list. A new Colorado trail offers 36 miles of riding, with an over 6,000 foot descent.

A Chicago area man was allegedly whacked out on alcohol, ecstasy, amphetamines and weed while speeding at 80 mph on surface streets, when he killed a man riding a bike and fled the scene.

Long Island lawmakers are considering proposals to crack down on reckless, wheelie-popping bike riders, but advocates argue the real risk on the streets comes from the big, dangerous machines.

A proposed DC amendment would allow ebike and e-scooter riders to collect damages following a collision; a quirk in current law makes that almost impossible.

Bicyclists in a Delaware town are accused of riding like it’s the Wild West by flouting traffic laws. Seriously, have they ever observed how people drive? It makes bike riders seem positively tame by comparison. And it’s not the people on two wheels who pose a real risk to others.

A Florida man is suing the local sheriff’s department after he was nearly killed by a speeding deputy in a crash caught on the patrol car’s dashcam; the deputy was doing 84 mph with no lights or siren, and no emergency call — and had been doing 103 just minutes before.

 

International

Road.cc offers a complete guide on how to buy a second hand bicycle.

Cycling News explains how to change a bike tire.

A former British Columbia coroner says bike riders deserve to have crashes investigated, after police failed to when she was struck by a driver.

Seventeen percent of British bike riders would consider an ebike if the government subsidized part of the cost.

Wired considers how Oslo got bike and pedestrian deaths down to zero. That’s easy. Just do the opposite of whatever Los Angeles is doing.

Philippine musicians are taking to their bicycles to deal with the stress of the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado gravel bike race is reserving 25 free starting spots to Black and Indigenous riders and People of Color, to help marginalized communities in bike racing.

 

Finally…

Your next gravel bike could be a Dutch-style step through. Your next foldie ebike could be self-charging, with a virtually unlimited range.

And that feeling when Vision Zero feels like zero vision.

Something LA bike riders can relate to.

………

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

Happy virtual Bike Week, Bike the Vote makes Culver City endorsements, and the time to reimagine public transport is now

Welcome to the long-delayed Bike Week for the Age of Covid-19, where not much is going on, and like everything else in this plague infested year, what does will be mostly virtual.

The one actual semi-activity to hit the streets will be tomorrow’s Ride A Bike Day, on what is otherwise known as Worldwide Car Free Day, in which you’re encouraged to ride your bike somewhere.

Or anywhere.

The Bike League simply calls it Bike There Day, wherever there happens to be.

So do what you’d probably do anyway, and get out on your bike to enjoy what passes for relatively smoke-free fall weather here in Southern California.

But give yourself a pat on the back for it.

Meanwhile, Ventura County has a number of eco-friendly activities to get you involved.

And enjoy this from Pedal Love.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

………

With the upcoming election is just over a month away, Bike the Vote LA is offering their endorsements in the Culver City race.

There are three out of five council seats on the ballot. Only one incumbent is running (Mayor Goran Erickson), as Bike The Vote L.A.-endorsed Meghan Sahli-Wells is termed out and bike-friendly Councilmember Thomas Small decided not to seek re-election. Five of the eight candidates running responded to Bike The Vote’s questionnaire. Each of the responses were promising, but Bike The Vote’s Cuvler City committee determined that these three candidates stood out as worthy of endorsements.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s BikeSD offers their own endorsements in local races.

And consider this my endorsement for Downey’s bike friendly Alexandria Contreras for city council in District One.

………

The NRDC says the moment to reimagine public transportation is right now.

The environmental organization lists three key themes, including —

  • Streets are not just for cars
  • Public transportation infrastructure needs and deserves investment
  • Access to safe, effective transit is very much a racial justice issue

That’s exactly what’s being done in cities around the world, particularly when it comes to bicycle access during the coronavirus pandemic.

And exactly what we need to do here in Los Angeles.

………

They get it.

Lyft has partnered with several New York advocacy groups to pen a white paper calling on New York City to create resilient streets for transit, biking and walking.

(You can find an edited version of the piece on New York Streetsblog if you’ve used up all your free Medium visits for the month.)

At the risk of repeating myself, that’s exactly what we need to do here in Los Angeles, where the need may be even greater than in Gotham.

And exactly what the city has been pledging, and failing, to do for the past decade.

………

Speaking of which, when is a bike lane not a bike lane?

………

Some people are seriously effed up.

Drivers in London’s upscale Hackney borough compare limited access Low Traffic Neighborhood with Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip — and the Holocaust.

………

Malaysian are aghast at the sight of a bike rider drafting a truck.

https://twitter.com/Aweeff/status/1307172043171872770

The tweet awkwardly translates to this, which appears to be saying that all bike riders get blamed for one rider’s actions.

Because a drop of tilapia spoils the milk of an orange. Deck because of a cyclist’s suicide act exhausted all cyclists are beaten equally.

Which, sadly, is all too true.

And seriously, kids. Don’t do that.

………

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

Canadian authorities are looking for a man who yelled at a pair of bike-riding women, then used a telescoping camera pole to knock them off their bicycles.

No bias here. When the Queensland, Australia Department of Transportation asked online about the minimum passing distance on a road with a 43 mph speed limit, readers insisted the bike rider shouldn’t be on the road to begin with.

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

A Philadelphia bike rider opened fire on three plainclothes cops when they slowed down to ask if he was okay; another man joined the firefight after the officers got out of their car to exchange fire. Fortunately, none of the cops were seriously injured.

A road raging Irish bike rider was bitten in the nose by a passenger in a car, after the passenger got out and attacked the bicyclist for shattering the car’s windshield with his bike; both men face well-deserved charges.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman offers a frame-by-frame analysis of the video the LA Sheriff’s Department says is proof that their deputies were justified in shooting Compton bike rider Dijon Kizzee, and says bullshit.

A Silver Lake gym owner and social justice advocate is riding his bike across the US, accompanied by a documentary crew, to explore American’s attitudes and show we’re stronger together than apart. Yahoo mirrored the story in case you can’t access the Times site

 

State

An ad hoc group of Bakersfield bicyclists are turning out for weekly half century rides on a local bike path to keep in shape during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

National

Former basketball player Damen Bell and professional skier Connor Ryan moved their Break the (Bi)cycle” ride from the left coast to the Rocky Mountain states after fires in Washington and Oregon forced them to change their route; they’re riding to call attention to mental health for Black and Indigenous men.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Montana man celebrated his 84th birthday by riding 84 miles along the Bitterroot Trail.

A former Michigan college student was reunited with her stolen bicycle when it unexpectedly turned up four years later. Which probably means it was taken by a fellow student.

They get it, too, Michigan’s Department of Transportation says most crashes aren’t accidents.

A New York bike commuter says the laws have to be changed to better protect people on bikes from road raging drivers.

The New York Times examines the anatomy of a protest, including the role of bike blockers to protect protesters.

Leftovers star Justine Theroux is one of us, taking an apparently chilly ride through New York, a day after speaking in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

New Orleans police release a video they say proves a bike rider ran a red light before being struck by the driver of a police cruiser. Except the video doesn’t show traffic signal, which could have changed before the rider went through.

A drunken hit-and-run driver in Florida faces charges for killing a bike rider, then driving another two and a half miles down the highway dragging the victim’s bike beneath his car before police pulled him over.

 

International

Yet another study shows that both drivers and bike riders break the law. But drivers do it to save time, while people on bicycles do it to save lives.

Cycling Weekly considers the best comfort hybrid bikes, and offers advice on how to buy a bike on a budget without needing an upgrade six months later.

A Montreal bikemaker uses recycled steel, ethical suppliers and local labor to build high-end bikes.

The New York Times asks whether Canada’s bike boom will last through the winter.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley set a new world’s record by riding the 516-mile North Coast 500 route through the Scottish Highlands in just 31 hours and 17 minutes, less than a year after he barely survived being struck by a Texas driver doing 70 mph while attempting to ride across the US.

Seventy-three-year old former Tour de France winner Joop Zoetemelk broke both his legs when a driver knocked him off his bike, 40 years after he wore the yellow jersey in Paris.

A European court ruled that Barcelona soccer star Messi clearly ain’t Spanish bikemaker Massi.

After news got out about an Indian boy who made a bicycle for his younger sister out of newspaper, a kindhearted local business owner gave him a real one.

Hundreds of Nairobi, Kenya residents rode to protest harassment of people on bicycles, after a bike rider was killed when the driver of a private minibus cut him off.

A group of Chinese bike riders are using their bikes for good, riding up to 1,200 miles to buy agricultural products to support poor villagers, and delivering food and milk to those in need.

Indonesian bike riders are now required to wear a helmet and ride a bicycle certified to meet the country’s safety standards.

Ebike sales are projected to surpass car sales in New Zealand in the next three years.

 

Competitive Cycling

The biggest surprise in this year’s Tour de France is that they actually made it to the finish in Paris in the midst of a pandemic. The second biggest surprise came in Saturday’s time trial, where 21-year-old Tadej Pogačar upset everyone to became the youngest winner of the Tour de France in 116 years, following an epic collapse by leader Primož Roglič.

Cycling News calls Tadej Pogačar a shark in sheep’s clothing, while Cycling Tips asks what do you say to someone who just lost the Tour de France.

Nice move from the pro peloton, which came together on Sunday’s final stage to condemn racism, after Kévin Reza, the only Black rider in this year’s Tour, was subjected to racist abuse from at least one rider.

More on Oneida Tribe member Neilson Powless, the only Native American to compete in this year’s Tour de France, or any other year for that matter — including a couple of near-podium finishes.

Business Insider ranks the bikes ridden in the Tour this year, giving the win to Astana’s Wilier Zero SLR, even if the team didn’t.

Bicycling recounts the biggest and craziest comeback victories in the Tour de France; here’s the Yahoo link for the firewall deprivedGreg LeMond certainly belongs there, although I’m not sure I’d include Floyd Landis’ pyrrhic victory.

The Tour of Luxembourg took place at the same time as the other, better known Tour.

Cycling Tips catches up with everything you missed in this year’s Giro Rosa — which is probably everything, since the most important stage race in women’s cycling was nowhere to be found on TV, as usual. Italy’s Longo Borghini got the win, her first after six previous top ten finishes.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could have an Apple logo. Or maybe be spokeless.

And forget a Covid mask. Just put your bike helmet on under this.

………

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

Vehicular cycling founder John Forester has died, toxic car culture, fighting for street space, and courteous CA drivers

Sad news from San Diego.

CABO President Jim Baross writes that John Forester, author of Effective Cycling and the father of America’s vehicular cycling movement, passed away last week.

Reported to me today by his son Jeff Forester

John died April 14, 2020 at 90 years of age

He was Born Oct. 1929

I have known John primarily related to bicycling and CABO. Some things I know about him off the cuff:

Author of Effective Cycling now in a 7th edition, former League of American Bicyclists Board member (was he board chair at one time?), instrumental in the formation of CABO, certainly the Father of the concepts and trainings of vehicular cycling, an early outspoken advocate for the rights of people to use bicycles on public roads, etc. etc.

Whatever your opinion of vehicular cycling, Forester was hugely influential in the ’70s and ’80s, and throughout the past 50 years. Both in affirming the place of bicyclists on our streets, and blocking the growth of separated bikeways.

He fought for what he believed right up to the end, long after most modern advocates and planners had left his philosophies behind.

But in his day, his work was a revelation, creating the framework most road cyclists employed through the last decades of the past century.

Myself included.

Thanks to Richard Masoner for the heads-up.

Cover image from MIT Press

………

Let’s talk about a great opinion piece from today’s LA Times.

Senior digital editor Matthew Fleischer writes that the coronavirus shutdowns are making it clear just how toxic car culture really is.

The coronavirus is making it abundantly clear that cars are their own kind of plague. And, in many ways, our lives are better when we don’t have to use them.

Some city leaders have come to this realization and are refusing to allow their automotive status quos to return after the lockdowns end. In Milan, Italy — one of the hardest-hit cities in the world by coronavirus — planners have already begun preparations to permanently transform 22 miles of streets for non-automobile use after witnessing reductions in air pollution of up to 70% during lockdowns.

Then there’s this.

Frankly, the idea that we can transport ourselves sustainably en masse in toxic 4,000-pound battering rams is just as delusional, entitled and self-destructive as the “liberate” protestors who are demanding a premature end to coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders…

There is no herd immunity from the damage caused by millions of personal automobiles roaming the streets at all hours.

Seriously, this will probably be the most insightful thing you read today. If not, it’s still a damn good way to spend the next few minutes.

Let’s hope Mayor Garcetti reads it.

Because he can let coronavirus derail his ambitious plans to reimagine our streets as part of an LA Green New Deal.

Or he can use this as a rare opportunity to actually make it happen.

………

Closing or narrowing streets for cars in response to Covid-19 continues to make news here in LA, across the US and around the world.

Los Angeles political advocacy group Streets For All has forged a powerful coalition of LA-area groups to lead the call to keep Angelenos physically and mentally healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

And expressed that call in a strongly worded letter to leaders of the City of Angels.

The road space in Los Angeles is now dramatically overbuilt for the current vehicle traffic volume, causing vehicles to travel at dangerous speeds – average speeds are up 30% on our wide open roads according to LADOT. At the same time, the average width of our sidewalks is 4.4’, too narrow to allow people to pass each other while maintaining 6’ of distance. As a result, people are forced to be in close proximity with each other, risking proliferating the virus or walking, running, scooting, or biking in the street next to speeding cars. This isn’t just a street safety issue, but a public health issue as well…

While the top priority is limiting COVID-19 spread and saving lives and livelihoods, there must be a long term plan to sustain the mental and physical well being of Angelenos. Isolation and inactivity can lead to increases in chronic health conditions like heart disease and obesity and pose other mental and physical health risks that we may pay for as a society for years to come.

Therefore, for the critical reasons of equity, mental health, safety, and the physical well-being of Angelenos, we ask you to authorize the creation of an emergency people street network – using cones or other temporary infrastructure – to create additional sidewalk and open space for people to walk, run, scoot, and bike in, while maintaining 6’ of distancing. ​On neighborhood streets, this could be as simple as a few cones and a “slow down” sign taking up some of the street, calming traffic but still allowing local and emergency vehicle access. On major arteries, this could be redistributing a parking lane and/or single vehicle traffic lane on each side of the street, while taking care not to interfere with bus stops​. These treatments may also advance the Mayor’s goals under L.A.’s Green New Deal to “Activate Streets” and “Prioritize Land Use and the Right-of-Way” in ​Executive Directive 25​. All of this can be accomplished inexpensively and without the need of distracting our police or fire departments with enforcement during this critical time.

It’s worth taking the time to read the full letter. And voice your own support.

Meanwhile, KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Curbed’s Alissa Walker about closing some roads to cars so people have more space to walk, run or bike.

Salt Lake City joins the growing movement to convert streets to bike and pedestrian use.

Berlin is the latest world capital to carve out more space on the streets for active transportation in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

And Paris trumps everyone by readying the equivalent of 400 miles of permanent and temporary bikeways for use when the city reawakens.

………

No surprise here.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says speeding is up around the country on streets emptied by the coronavirus crisis, which means crashes are more serious, too.

Case in point, the CHP reports that tickets for speeding in excess of 100 mph have jumped 87% over the past month.

Which can either mean that more drivers are speeding. Or that more are just getting caught.

Or maybe both.

………

New York City’s mayor demonstrates that he’s never been to California by bizarrely insisting that California drivers are so courteous, they stop on every block — even when they don’t have to.

https://twitter.com/laura_nelson/status/1252979892846645248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1252979892846645248&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fnyc.streetsblog.org%2F2020%2F04%2F22%2Fstill-defiant-now-mayor-de-blasio-wrongly-claims-california-can-have-open-space-because-its-drivers-are-better%2F

………

The LACBC and Sunset For All are teaming up tomorrow to show that bikes mean business.

………

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

A “furious” English man demands that bike riders be banned from a multi-use path along the coast for the alleged crime of failing to maintain social distancing.

………

Local

Khloé Kardashian’s two-year old daughter is one of us.

 

State

A San Diego columnist questions whether it’s time to reopen parts of the city, arguing that the fitness of residents helped it avoid the worst of the coronavirus.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of San Diego men up to 80 years old are still taking long rides along the SoCal coast. And the coast of Normandy.

After losing his job in a San Francisco restaurant, a Venezuelan chef turns to his native cuisine, and starts a new business delivering homemade arepas by bike. Which is literally what he named it.

Once again, a Bay Area bicyclist posts a nearly one-hour video of a ride through Oakland and San Leandro. And once again, an Oakland News blogger freaks out over his scofflaw behavior.

They get it. A pair of Sacramento mayors agree this is no time to back down on climate change, coronavirus or not.

 

National

PeopleForBikes aims to support bike shops by encouraging responsible riding during the Covid-19 crisis, along with virtual cycling.

How to turn your kid into a mini mountain bike shredder.

A pair of Idaho bike commuters are credited with helping the environment by trading gas pedals for bike pedals; one was inspired to get on her bike by attending CicLAvia when she was a student at USC.

Evidently, Texas trail users don’t like being told which way to go.

Wisconsin wrenches are raising old bikes from the dead at a record pace.

Security cam video shows a St. Louis hit-and-run driver plowing into a bike rider, hurling him into the air before flooring it and fleeing the scene; despite the head-on crash, the victim only suffered minor injuries. This video is just as disturbing as it sounds, so be sure you really want to see it before you click on the link.

Three friends from Maine end up driving 2,000 miles home when their fundraising cross-country bike trip ground to a halt in Texas after the coronavirus shut down much of the country.

After an MIT researcher blamed New York’s transit system for spreading Covid-19, a researcher from George Mason University reminds him that correlation isn’t causation, noting that restaurants and bikeshare showed the same curve — and points the finger for spreading the disease at motor vehicle use, instead.

Streetsblog says the empty streets have turned New York’s Third Ave into a dangerous speedway.

A writer for Rolling Stone takes a desolate and desultory ride through the city, feeling anger towards people flaunting social distancing rules and mourning places that may not return.

A Philly radio station says bicycle couriers have had to change their strategies to avoid spreading Covid-19. Or getting exposed to it.

 

International

She gets it. A writer for Forbes says our planet needs cities to prioritize people over cars, and this is the perfect time to do it.

The Pinkbike Podcast discusses why every new bike now seems to be a trail bike.

Cycling News says you can save time and money by learning to fit your own bike chain. Meanwhile, Bike Radar offers a beginner’s guide to road bike shifting.

Bike-riding British Columbia mounties stop a man for riding without a helmet, which is against the law there. And end up busting him for stealing the bike he was riding.

Dutch model Lilly Becker is one of us, too, going for a socially distant ride through London’s Wimbledon neighborhood.

Tragic news from the Netherlands, where an 18-year old man was stabbed to death in an apparent random attack while riding his bike; police arrested a “known troublemaker” immigrant with mental health problems.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault about his 50-mile solo breakaway through a brutal snowstorm to win the 1980 Liège-Bastogne-Liège

 

Finally…

Who needs a BMX track when you’ve got a Tribeca apartment with an awesome view of the waterfront? Why move over when you’ve got a six-foot social distancing stick?

And no, bikes aren’t “the new toilet paper.

You can actually get a bicycle.

………

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

Bonin promises actual implementation, biking & walking mean happy commuters, and expensive cars mean bigger jerks

This could be good news, for a change.

The LA City Council’s Transportation Committee approved a motion calling on LADOT to come up with a plan to implement the city’s Green New Deal and the mayor’s recent Climate Directive.

In addition to calling for a 30% improvement in bus speeds, it calls for the development of active transportation corridors for walking, bicycling and micromobility, with “at least one major regional project and one neighborhood-oriented network per year.”

It now goes before the full council, and if approved, will require LADOT to respond with an implementation plan this July.

So what we basically have is a motion for a plan.

And as we’ve learned the hard way, Los Angeles is very good at coming up with plans, but not so good at actually putting them on the pavement.

Like the 2010 bike plan. Or the more recent halfhearted non-embrace of Vision Zero.

Perhaps sensing the growing frustration, Transportation Chair Mike Bonin had this to say.

Let’s hope he means it.

………

In what may be one of the most telling surveys ever, a Utah university finds that, given the choice, three-quarters of drivers and car passengers would rather teleport to work, along with two-thirds of transit riders.

But only 35 percent of bike riders and 28 percent of people who walk to work concurred. Which tells you that the overwhelming majority of people who walk or bike to work actually like it.

As opposed to the overwhelming majority of people stuck in traffic who don’t.

………

Once again, science confirms what most of us have already figured out.

The more expensive a driver’s car is, the more likely he or she is to act like an entitled jerk behind the wheel.

………

Not only did a driver in Lincoln CA fail to stop after crashing into a man on a bike, he kept going for another quarter mile with the badly injured victim lodged on the roof of his SUV.

According to The Sacramento Bee, the 85-year old driver said he didn’t know he’d even hit anyone.

Which seems a little odd, given the crumpled hood and shattered windshield directly in front of his steering wheel.

………

A San Diego TV station tells the tale of how nine-year old Connor Stitt of San Marcos rocketed to internet fame when ESPN featured a video of his arial acrobatics.

We showed the clip back in December, but it’s worth seeing again.

And again.

………

Presenting the world’s lightest balance bike, for all those three and four-year old weight weenies in your life.

………

Local

The 13-mile Park to Playa Trail connecting Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area to Playa del Rey is nearly complete; all that’s missing is a soon-to-be-built bridge allowing people and small animals to cross busy La Cienega Blvd.

Curbed quizzes LA council candidates on the bike issues currently facing the city, including housing, homelessness and cars.

More on the near-fatal crash that sent renowned LA chef Walter Manzke of Republique fame to the ER with several broken bones; he was getting out of his car near his upcoming new bistro Bicyclette when he was run down by the driver, who stopped, for a change.

Bike the Vote LA endorses Trisha Keane in Pasadena’s 2nd Council District, while Streets For All reminds us they endorsed Sarah Kate Levy in CD4 and Loraine Lundquist in CD12. I cast my vote for SKL yesterday, in case you’re wondering. And it was so much fun, I’m thinking about going back and doing it again tomorrow. 

 

State

Pink Bike raves about a mountain biker’s perfectly sculpted jumps on a California trail. Call me crazy, but a split scrotum does not suggest a successful landing in my book.

A reminder to never leave your bike on a car rack. A would be Seal Beach bike thief was interrupted by the owner as he tried to make off with a $3,500 bicycle.

An Oceanside bike rider was severely injured when he was struck by an SUV driver after allegedly running a stop light.

A San Diego man is suing the city, claiming its new pump track is too dangerous because it allows bike riders and skateboarders to use it at the same time — even though the injuries he’s claiming came in a “brutal attack” by a boarder, rather than a crash.

Palo Alto is resuming work on building a network of bike boulevards, which was halted two years ago because some residents couldn’t figure out how a roundabout works.

No bias here. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, if you’re not white, male and earn $250,000, the city’s bike lanes aren’t for you. Except, of course, for the 75% of regular bike lane users who earn less than that, and the 33% that are female. Or who don’t otherwise fit with their highly skewed premise, based on notoriously unreliable census data.

A Bay Area woman got drunk, and apparently decided driving in the new barrier protected bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was the perfect way to bypass all that car traffic in the other lanes.

 

National

A writer for Gear Patrol explains why good bikes are so expensive. Except there are a lot of good bikes out there that aren’t.

Meanwhile, the apparently unrelated Gear Junkie offers tips on how to build up your own mountain bike.

A bike-riding Oregon teenager was very lucky to escape with just minor injuries when he was struck by a driver doing 55 mph.

A New Mexico City councilor doesn’t like the census, early childhood education, the state’s red flag law or the Democratic primary. But he does like bike lanes, so he can’t be all bad.

An eleven-year old South Dakota boy has ridden his bike to school every day for six years — nearly 1,000 days in a row, rain or shine. Or snow.

Kindhearted Kansas business owners gave a new top-of-the-line gravel bike to a woman battling colorectal cancer.

Got to give him points for persistence. A Brooklyn bike thief broke through the roof of a building to steal a bike, then walked it out the front door.

Anti-safety vigilantes are tying yellow ribbons around trees on New York’s Staten Island to warn drivers about speed enforcement cameras.

 

International

A British ebike rider faces charges for killing a pedestrian by plowing into her at 30 mph — ten miles faster than legally allowed.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is testing a system to electronically slow the fastest pedelec bikes down to the speed of regular bikes. Now try it on cars, please.

A Berlin firm is hosting the first-ever virtual world bicycle conference.

Mumbai is working to become bike-friendlier with bike mayors for each of the city’s 24 districts, along with two junior bike mayors. Which is about 26 more than you’ll find in Los Angeles.

An Australian city votes to spend $2 million to rip out part of an $8 million protected bike lane network that was only finished two year ago, claiming it’s causing too much traffic congestion. No, it’s all those cars causing that traffic; take more of those off the road and the congestion goes away.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four American women are working together to win three spots in the mountain biking events at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding your bike with a stolen handgun, a sock full of meth, ten fake or stolen IDs, a criminal record and an outstanding warrant, maybe try riding a little closer to the curb. Ramming your bike into a police car is not likely to hurt it — or help you get away.

And you only wish this was your commute.

Garcetti orders bold climate plan, couple killed by drunk driver on Goleta bike path, and Corona DIY hit-and-run investigation

Maybe he means it this time.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive directive yesterday to enhance portions of the city’s Green New Deal.

Which would be a big deal, if he actually follows through this time.

There’s a lot to like in the plan. Starting with a commitment to active transportation; according to My News LA, the plan would

— promote walking, bicycling and micro-mobility with a comprehensive citywide network of active transportation corridors, including protected bike lanes, paths along regional waterways and low-stress neighborhood bike improvements;

The order also calls for more cool streets and roofs, a congestion pricing pilot program, zero emission buses, and increasing transit speeds by 30% in the next ten years.

More importantly, it calls for reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled through expanded use of transit, walking, bicycling and micromobility.

And of special interest to many of us, more frequent open streets events.

But as always, the devil is in the details.

It remains to be seen whether that implementation plan for an active transportation network means we’ll finally get around to building out the hard-won 2010 Bike Plan that was unanimously passed by the city council when Garcetti was still council president.

Or if they intend to re-invent the wheel yet again, with or without our input.

Curbed reports the mayor at least struck the right sense of urgency.

“Can we make this happen?” Garcetti asked Monday, speaking broadly about the city’s sustainability goals. “We don’t have a choice.”

But they added —

It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to achieve one of the key goals laid out in the city’s Green New Deal: A nearly 50 percent reduction in the number of miles LA residents drive daily.

Although it’s not a bad sign that the NRDC is on board with it.

The problem, of course, is that we’ve been here before.

Any progress on the bike plan, or the mobility plan that subsumed it, ground to a near complete and total stop after Garcetti took office as mayor.

And any real progress on the mayor’s own Vision Zero plan came to a halt the first time drivers complained about a road diet.

The result that not only have bike and pedestrian deaths not declined by 20%, as the plan called for by this year, they’ve actually gone up.

So this could be the beginning of the groundbreaking, tide-turning movement to re-invent the City of Angels into the more livable — and survivable — city so many of us have fought for.

Or it could be just another bold plan that will soon by gathering dust on the shelf.

It’s all up to Mayor Garcetti.

And whether he’s suddenly found the political will to see it through.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Or in this case, a bike path.

Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk website reports that a married couple was killed in a collision while walking their dog on an offroad Goleta bike path Sunday evening.

The driver, later identified as 39-year old Eric Mauricio Ramirez Aguilar of Goleta, fled the scene on foot.

A writer for the site estimated that Aguilar had to have driven at least 100 yards on the bike path before coming to a stop, slamming into his victims somewhere along the way.

Police took the alleged drunk driver into custody three hours later in nearby Carpinteria. He was a passenger in a car, whose driver was returning from Ventura County after learning that Aguilar was a wanted man.

Authorities threw the book at him, and deservedly so.

According to the site,

Aguilar was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated causing injury, hit and run causing death or injury, fleeing the scene after committing manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated, with an enhancement for causing the deaths of more than one person.

He remained in custody Monday night, with bail set at $100,000.

Fortunately, the dog somehow survived the crash, and was turned over to a family member.

Let’s hope Aguilar gets the hard time a crime like this calls for.

But let’s face it.

As long as drunks continue to get behind the wheel, we’re not safe anywhere. And no amount of jail time can bring back the lives they take.

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This is who we share the roads with, too.

After a Corona mother was killed in a hit-and-run while riding her motorcycle last week, leaving behind eight kids, her husband made it his mission to track down her killer.

Remarkably, he found the car parked in a nearby apartment complex, with passenger side damage matching the details of the crash.

Police arrested the 85-year old driver, Tashiro Isa, on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

The LAPD is asking for your help to find the heartless coward who fled the scene after backing into a 92-year old man, leaving him bleeding in the street.

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Or as we call it here in balmy Los Angeles, Friday.

………

After a British truck driver knocked a bicyclist off his bike in a left hook, the equivalent of our right hook, the driver refused to admit he was behind the wheel — and walks with just a fine and points against his license.

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Take a quick break with mountain biker Greg Williamson doing “dusty laps” on a dry and dirty Kiwi singletrack trail.

I think Dusty Laps will be the name of my new cowboy alter ego, although Twitter user Mumen Rusto suggested that could be my porn name.

But no one wants to see that anymore.

………

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

An Aussie state department of transportation posts a simple question about bicycling rules online. And opens the floodgate for an avalanche of bike hate.

A Tokyo bicyclist catches a punishment pass and a brake check from a school bus driver on his bike cam — while riding in a bike lane, no less.

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

Sacramento police are looking for a man who fled on a bicycle after robbing a business and threatening the employees at gunpoint.

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Local

Streetsblog adds its voice to those calling out against plans to widen dangerous Magnolia Blvd, which is already on the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.

Bike riders aren’t the only ones being inconvenienced by the closure of the Arroyo Seco pathway; horse people are calling for the equestrian trail to be reopened, as well.

While Los Angeles talks about safer streets, Santa Monica is actually doing something, as the city announces plans to make over deadly Wilshire Blvd to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

Sad news, as longtime bike industry vet Jim Whitsett died of an apparent heart attack before South Bay Cycle, his new 2,100 square foot Manhattan Beach bike shop, could open this coming weekend.

 

State

My point exactly. A writer for California Streetsblog argues that the state is missing a significant opportunity to fight climate change by failing to offer the same sort of rebates for ebikes that they do for electric vehicles. Except we should go further, and offer them for any bicycle intended to replace at least one car trip a week.

They get it. An editorial in the Times of San Diego says driving like maniacs is the root cause of bike and pedestrian collisions.

Fifty-six-year old Julian resident Craig Wendell Nelson faces up to four years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the hit-and-run death of Kevin Wilson as he was riding his bike on a rural road east of El Cajon last month; police eventually found Nelson hiding under some bushes after abandoning his car.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike, like the one that was installed for fallen bicyclist Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime following the Palm Springs hit-and-run that took his life; the killer of the 30-year old father is still a large.

Palo Alto considers fixing a “terrifying” intersection used by around 4,000 cars and 20 bicycles per hour during the morning rush. Maybe more bike riders would use it if it wasn’t so scary.

San Francisco bike riders are calling for a concrete barrier along the Embarcadero bike lanes.

Uber says Sacramento ranks second in the world for shared rides, if you include bikeshare and e-scooters along with ride hailing.

 

National

VeloNews says 2020 is all about gravel and e-bikes and smart-bikes and materials and versatility.

Bicycling says blame a stiff neck for your numb hands.

New York bike riders can’t use the city’s bike lanes because they were built wide enough for street sweepers and snow plows, which makes them wide enough for people to drive and park in, too.

New York is finally getting around to questioning whether dangerous drivers should be taken off the road before they kill someone. Not after, like the woman with eight speeding and red light violations who killed a couple kids as they were walking in a crosswalk.

Florida bike riders are up in arms after an 18-year old bicyclist was cuffed and arrested after allegedly running a stop sign; the officer says he and another bike rider refused to stop when ordered to, while the riders say they just didn’t hear him. Advocates also want to know why the kid from Puerto Rico was the only one to get busted. Thanks to Victor Bale and J. Patrick Lynch for the links.

 

International

Canadian Cycling Magazine unveils the secrets bike mechanics don’t want you to know, like maybe you’re putting your bar tape on wrong.

The English city of Coventry just got Britain’s first bicycle mayor. Meanwhile Los Angeles, with ten times the population, is still waiting.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A French woman who may have been the world’s oldest person was still riding her bike as she approached 100.

The Netherlands ranks second in Europe for bicycling fatalities. Which isn’t too surprising, considering they also have one of the continent’s highest rates for bicycling.

An arrest warrant has been issued for an Aussie man who failed to show up for sentencing after pleading guilty to killing a bike rider; the victim frequently posted videos of close passes while calling for a safer passing distance.

Macau leaders shut down hiking trails and bike lanes to combat the novel coronavirus, telling everyone to just shut yourself in and exercise at home.

 

Competitive Cycling

Twenty-three-year old Tour de France champ Egan Bernal will lead the Ineos team in this week’s Tour of Columbia.

New Zealand’s Georgia Williams is making a comeback to the women’s pro cycling tour after being knocked off her bike by the increasingly common Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, aka RED-S, which prevented her from getting enough fuel for her body while making her bones more brittle.

 

Finally…

Your next bike helmet could fold up to fit in your briefcase or backpack; let’s hope it also protects your head. Now you, too, can compete in the world’s greatest bike races without risking all that road rash and broken bones and stuff.

And apparently, Los Angeles used to be a lot better for bicycling.

An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.

………

To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

Morning Links: Agenda 21 raises its ugly head in West Covina, and Complete Streets coming to East LA’s Soto St

They’re on to us, comrades.

With all the craziness in American politics these days, the Agenda 21 crowd had to show up to contest the growth in bike lanes and bicycling sooner or later.

Surprisingly, they popped up in West Covina, despite the highly contentious debate over bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey.

For the uninitiated, Agenda 21 was an obscure, voluntary plan developed by the United Nations to promote sustainable development.

But in the hands of the right wing conspiracy theorists, it somehow became a secret plan to undermine American sovereignty and force us out of their cars. Making any attempt at developing bike lanes or promoting transit part of a vast conspiracy for worldwide bike domination.

Take this video.

Please.

Apparently, West Covina’s current effort to develop an active transportation plan is just part of that vast conspiracy.

Which is why it’s so important to email your city councilmembers and county supervisors, and show up for meetings when you can.

Because these people are out there. And rational or not, their votes and voices count just as much as yours.

………

A public meeting will be held tonight to discuss a Complete Streets project on Soto Street in East LA.

………

The war on bikes goes on.

A 74-year old Kansas man is under arrest for attempting to run a bike rider off the road.

Police in the UK are looking for a passenger who got out of a car, pushed a man off his bicycle, then repeatedly punched him in the head.

And evidently, there’s a war on wheelchairs, too. A Denver man was ticketed after getting hit by a car for taking too long to wheel himself across the crosswalk.

………

Clearly, cheating is nothing new in cycling. And there are a lot more ways to do it than just doping.

A transgendered cyclist has won policy concessions from Cycling Canada and UCI to open the way for more participation by trans athletes.

BMC’s Brent Bookwalter should win the Scaramucci Award for the shortest time in the yellow jersey at the Tour of Utah.

……….

Local

A “serious cyclist” wrote a letter in the LA Times saying he’s glad Mar Vista reversed its decision to create “separate” bike lanes, calling the parking-protected bike lane one of the most dangerous he’s seen. Just one problem — the Vista del Mar road diet in Playa del Rey is being reversed; the protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista aren’t.

Sign up for a free one-month pass for the Pasadena Metro Bike bikeshare.

Expansion plans for the 710 Freeway in Long Beach pledge to improve access for bicyclists and pedestrians, though a writer for Streetsblog remains skeptical.

 

State

Streetsblog writes more about the state award to extend the Metro bikeshare to USC, South LA and the Expo Line.

New plans call for banning private cars from San Francisco’s Market Street in favor of taxis, buses and sidewalk-level bike lanes.

A Sacramento TV station confirms that yes, it’s illegal to ride salmon.

 

National

Bicycling talks with a bicycle courier who’s working to make bike touring more accessible for deaf cyclists.

Seattle’s new dockless bikeshare systems have proven popular, with both companies recording over 5,000 rides each in the first week, despite being limited to just 500 bikes each.

Distracted bicycling may be a bad idea, but it’s not illegal under a new Washington state law.

Get your resume ready. Advocacy group Bicycle Colorado is looking for a new Executive Director.

Iowa Public radio talks with the oldest female competitive BMX rider in the US.

Bike riders often spot things other people might miss. Like human remains on the side of an Austin TX bike trail, for instance.

Evidently, they take traffic crime seriously in Texas. A hit-and-run driver who killed a Corpus Christi bike rider was sentenced to 35 years — yes, years — in prison, and will have to serve at least half his sentence before being considered for parole. In California, drivers rarely get 35 months for a fatal hit-and-run.

A Chicago weekly allows bicyclists to vent their complaints about their fellow bike riders.

Residents in a Madison WI neighborhood are urging city officials to keep their hands off a popular bike path, and not turn it into a road for motor vehicles.

The Tennessee hit-and-run driver charged with intentionally running down a bike rider on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been released from federal custody on the condition that he not leave the area. Meanwhile, the cyclist who recorded the crash finally got back on his bike this past weekend.

Walking on water may be challenging, but biking across Vermont’s Lake Champlain is doable.

Thieves burglarize a New York ebike shop and steal $10,000 worth of ebikes and electric scooters, even though it’s illegal to ride them in the state.

A New York website accuses the NYPD of having a streak of sadism and doing the opposite of Vision Zero by targeting bike riders in response to crashes involving bicyclists.

Philadelphia begins construction on the city’s first one-way protected bike lane.

The 2.6 mile Laffite Greenway is becoming the heart of the burgeoning New Orleans cycling scene.

 

International

A writer for Bike Radar makes the case against bike bells, saying it can be more polite and helpful to actually say what you’re doing.

Canadian comic artist Kate Beaton is one of us. Thanks to Opus the Poet for the heads-up.

A Montreal mother says if you want to get women like her to ride a bike, the city needs more protected bike lanes, and sharrows just don’t cut it anymore.

A writer for The Guardian says it’s time for Britain to free itself from the chokehold cars have over the country. The same could be said for the US, as well. Or is that just more Agenda 21?

A condolence book for the Manchester bombing victims was carried to the city by bicycle from a town 45 miles away.

When a British man cycling with his wife suffered a heart attack outside a pub, he was saved with a portable defibrillator the patrons had purchased as a wedding present for the owner.

The Financial Times checks in with Mark Beaumont during the Scottish adventurer’s attempt to bike around the world in 80 days, including the dental work done by his performance manager after hitting a pothole near the Mongolian border.

Rihanna teams with Chinese bikeshare provider Ofo to donate bicycles to girls in Malawi to help them get to school. Although Ofo may have a little trademark problem back home.

 

Finally…

Why bother teaching your kids to ride a bike, when you can just pay someone to do it for you? Bad enough to be hit by someone on a bike; worse when it’s your bike.

And now you, too, can win a spot on a pro cycling team without actually riding anywhere.

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Thanks to John Hall for his generous contribution to help support this site.

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