Tag Archive for Alan Thompson

Morning Links: Ex-Angeleno Maria Sipin honored, closing LA River bike path gap in DTLA, and no drop in solo LA drivers

Just a quick note before we start.

I’m planning to post again tomorrow, despite the call for websites to go dark in observance of the Global Climate Strike.

While I support the goals of the strike, I expect to take a couple days off next week to spend time with my brother once he arrives on his 4,000-plus mile tour of the western US.

I’ll also be observing my birthday on Tuesday, even though it’s going to be a sad one without the Corgi.

I just don’t want to risk going three or four days in a row without posting anything. So call me a scab, but I’ll be crossing the virtual picket lines tomorrow.

And if you want to give me something for my birthday, I’m registered with Don’t Get Your Ass Run Over On A Bike.

Seriously, ride carefully out there. I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone else, unless it’s good news. 

Capisce?

Photo of Maria Sipin shamelessly stolen from Alice Awards website; see next item.

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Let’s start out today with a pair of my favorite ex-LA advocates.

Former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson sends word that former LACBC volunteer and current People for Mobility Justice board member Maria Sipin is being honored with the Emerging Leader Award at Oregon’s Alice Awards, presented by the Street Trust.

Here’s how they describe the awards.

The Alice Awards celebrate our transportation heroes who continue to fight for safe and convenient walking, biking, and transit.

And here’s what they had to say about Sipin.

Maria Sipin will receive the Emerging Leader award. She is a transportation planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).  In addition to her work at ODOT, Maria works for the community via several venues, and she participates in The Street Trust’s Women Bike Program.

Maria is in her fifth year as a board member for the non-profit People for Mobility Justice based in Southern California and is a certified cycling trainer by the League of American Bicyclists.

Maria is active in working for the community on transportation projects and activism supporting the needs and rights of low-income communities of color, teen health, and LGBTQ youth of color.

I’ll add that she’s also one of the nicest, most upbeat and indefatigable people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

So I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Maria Sipin.

She deserves this one.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up.

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We may finally get a bike path from Griffith Park to Long Beach.

As long as you’re willing to wait another six to eight years. And if Metro can find a spare $158 million or so under their cushions.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee approved moving forward with required environmental studies for three options to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Vernon and DTLA.

Which, if you’ve ever tried to ride it, is a major pain in the ass right now.

The good news is, Metro already has $365 million in Measure M funding to pay for it.

The bad news, depending on the option they choose, it could run as little as $329 million, or as much as $523 million.

And won’t be finished until 2026 at best.

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Is anyone really shocked that new census data shows single occupancy driving is down throughout the US — but not in auto-centric Los Angeles?

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It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Long Beach expats and professional bike tourists The Path Less Pedaled, who take bicycling and painting excursion to Washington’s San Juan Islands.

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You still have time to be entered to win free Cycliq bike cams just for reporting obstructed bike lanes.

And no, for those of us who live in Los Angeles, “all of them” is not acceptable.

I tried that already.

They also offer a page full of tips and reviews for buying a bike cam. Just in case you don’t win.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Physicians had to scrape a 67-year old British man’s elbow down to the bone to remove road debris after he was pushed off his bicycle by a masked passenger on a passing motorcycle. Yet remarkably, says he bears no malice towards his attacker.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Police are looking for masked gunman who rode a bike up to a Chicago woman, and shot her in broad daylight on a crowded sidewalk; fortunately, she’s expected to survive.

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Local

If you have a little extra cash lying around, give some serious thought to donating to the crowdfunding page for LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta Arrearan, who was killed in a collision that also injured a student on Monday; so far it’s raised just over $2,400 of the $15,000 goal in the first day.

CiclaValley takes a challenging ride up to the Hollywood Sign.

 

State

Police in Porterville are accused of using excessive force to arrest five bike riders in their early to mid teens, including throwing one boy off his bike; they were apparently participating in a ride-out with up to 100 other people. Naturally, the police denied they did anything wrong.

A letter writer in Half Moon Bay makes a call for bike bells to give a warning to pedestrians. Or at least put them on all the rental bikes.

Frequent contributor Robert Leone says he’ll be volunteering with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s bike rodeo at this Sunday’s Viva Calle San Jose open streets event in San Jose. If you go, try to find him and say hi for me.

Biking and walking advocates in San Francisco offer their suggestions on how to stop people in cars from killing people. They can start with reducing speed limits and installing speed cameras, as the story suggests, then block cellphone signals in moving cars — all of which would require changes to state law. Then move on to reducing the number of cars on the street.

Speaking of which, San Francisco is considering banning cars from some neighborhoods to address safety concerns. A similar proposal in Los Angeles would probably result in NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers rioting in the streets.

Concluding our San Francisco trifecta, bike advocates are applauding approvals of protected bikeways on both sides of the bay.

 

National

Men’s Health ranks the 100 fittest cities in the US. Shockingly, car-centric Los Angeles checks in at #16, while San Francisco tops the list, with San Diego and San Jose close behind.

No surprise here, as Streetsblog says federal transportation policy is undermining climate progress.

PeopleForBikes is giving away prizes for completing their 2019 Community Survey, including a bike from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

A writer for Gear Patrol says a $6,000 ebike doesn’t beat his motorcycle for commuting to work, but it’s a lot of fun, anyway.

San Antonio TX police bust a serial burglar who terrorized a downtown neighborhood by stealing high-end bicycles and tools.

Fascinating, yet gut wrenching story of a Minnesota renaissance man — named Genghis Muskox, no less — who rafted down the Mississippi, built his own bikes and rode across Europe. Then was brutally murdered by an Iraqi war vet and fellow alcoholic suffering from PTSD.

Officials in Dayton, Ohio may remove a requirement to have bike bells on bicycles, which has been described as burdensome and a “ticky-tack” excuse to make a police stop.

The rate of regular bike riding in New York appears to have dropped by 5% over the last two years, even though it’s increasing in Manhattan and bikeshare memberships are up. However, a lack of infrastructure in the outer boroughs and this year’s rash of bicycling deaths could be contributing factors.

New York’s Streetsblog refutes “the five stupidest things” that were said at a recent community meeting called to address the mythical war on cars.

Yes, adults can learn to ride a bicycle, even if they’ve never done it before. A DC man took an adult bike training class, and managed to stay up upright for the first time in his 38 years.

 

International

London’s buses will soon try out new safety systems to prevent driver fatigue and keep them from running over you.

A British man is happy to get his stolen bike back, even though he had to pay the equivalent of $45 to a man who claimed he bought it; several accessories were missing, but they did fix his flat tire.

After catching a close call on his cam with a driver drifting into the bike lane he was riding in, a bicyclist in the UK concludes that paint isn’t infrastructure.

An Aussie website says painting eyes on the back of your helmet or attaching cable ties won’t keep magpies from attacking you.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at why the punishing 3,000-mile Race Across America, aka RAAM, is cycling’s hardest race. I once met a competitor in several of the first races who said he started hallucinating by the time he got to Missouri, warning his support crew to watch out for dinosaurs on the freeway.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine considers how much the world championships have changed in the 37 years since they were last held in the UK.

Germany’s Tony Martin is bouncing back from a nasty crash in the Vuelta, and preparing to lead his country’s team in next week’s worlds, despite looking extremely worse for wear.

Probably not the best idea to tweet a photo of the broken bike that made a Swiss pro crash spectacularly (see below), since team bike sponsors usually don’t like things like that.

 

Finally…

Maybe it’s time for shower helmet shaming. Kids, don’t bring your handlebars to class or unless you want to put the school on lockdown.

And more proof you can do just about anything on a bike.

Morning Links: Bikemakers burned out in Camp Fire, Brit shrink calls bike riders narcissists, and Lake Wobegon drivers

It’s hard to find bigger hearts and more caring people than you’ll find in bicycling.

Like the two framebuilders who lost their homes and workshops in Northern California’s deadly and devastating Camp Fire.

Yet insist on helping others instead of themselves.

Custom bikemaker Alistair Spence moved to Paradise from Seattle earlier this year, and had just finished setting up his workshop a few months ago.

But even though he and his wife have lost everything, he’s only accepting $7,000 from the crowdfunding campaign to help him get back on his feet, and donating the rest to help other victims.

Meanwhile, former Portland resident Mitch Pryor also lost his home in the Camp Fire that has killed over 70 people. And like Spence, he’s only accepting $10,000 of the money raised for him on his GoFundMe page, and giving the rest to fire relief causes.

Between them, that’s over $6,000 that will go to victims of the Camp Fire thanks to their kindness and generosity.

Maybe we can do something to help push that total up a little.

Thanks to James Biffin for the heads-up. Photos of Mitch Pryor (top) and Alistair Spence from their respective GoFundMe pages.

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No bias here.

A British psychotherapist, who probably shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near actual patients, has somehow diagnosed all bicyclists as narcissists.

I wonder what she’d say about medical professionals who diagnose people they’ve never met from the comfort of their studio chairs?

Let alone allow their own windshield bias dictate how they respond.

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Call it the Lake Wobegon effect.

Like Garrison Keillor’s fictional town, where all the children were above average, British motorists seem to think they’re better than average, as well.

In fact, in a recent study, 91% of UK residents consider themselves good drivers — even though most also admit to speeding to get through yellow lights.

But not a hint of narcissism there.

Right?

The same study also shows that 77% of Brits would support an automatic driving ban for people convicted of causing death or serious injury.

And it suggests that bicyclists are 46 times more likely to be killed on UK roads than motorists on a per-mile basis.

Although the problem with that last stat is that bike trips tend to be far shorter than car trips; bike riders spend more time covering shorter distances.

So a more accurate measure would be comparing actual time spent on the road.

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Here’s your chance to bid on a one-of-a-kind Specialized Allez Sprint custom painted by Spanish artist Felipe Pantone, valued at $45,000, to benefit World Bicycle Relief.

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Best wishes to longtime SCAG Senior Transportation Planner Alan Thompson, who left his position with the Southern California Association of Governments last week to head up the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Bikeway’s Division.

While he’s somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight over the years, Thompson has been a forceful advocate for bicycling in Southern California, and will be very missed.

Oregon bicyclists will be lucky to have him.

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Local

Hats off to Santa Monica College, which was upgraded to a silver level bike friendly rating by the League of American Bicyclists, and remains the only community college in California to be named a Bicycle Friendly University.

Streetsblog takes a look at the Wilshire bus-only lane leading to the 405 in Westwood, which drivers have illegally co-opted for another traffic lane.

 

State

Uber has deployed 300 JUMP dockless ebikes on the streets of San Diego, as a writer questions how long they’ll last after other bikeshare providers have pulled out of the city.

Apple is planning to take a hike to improve iOS Maps directions for bicyclists and pedestrians, after a successful test in San Francisco.

Someone please tell San Francisco’s KPIX-TV that there’s a slight difference between a $3 million price tag to complete the bike and pedestrian path along the Bay Bridge, and the actual estimate of $300 million. But really, what’s $297 million between friends?

It’s environmentalists 1, mountain bikes 0, after Marin County agrees to a two-year delay before opening any more trails to bicycles.

 

National

A local news site posted photos of Saturday’s Tour de Tucson, where an estimated 7,000 riders took part.

It takes a major scumbag to steal or tamper with a memorial to a victim of traffic violence. Yet thefts and vandalism of ghost bikes are on the rise in Albuquerque NM.

An Austin TX man was injured after pushing his wife to safety when he was hit head-on by someone driving in the bike lane they were running in.

Chicago marked the annual World Day of Remembrance by placing 132 pairs of white-painted shoes around the Federal Plaza to represent the victims of traffic violence in the city over the past year.

A cyclist pens a love letter to a Minnesota velodrome, soon to be sacrificed for a parking lot.

Grand Rapids MI is succeeding at their Vision Zero efforts, with bicycling crashes dropping to the lowest level since 2008.

NIMBY New York residents rally to demand their unsafe street back; the oddly misnamed Queens Streets for All wants to take the street back from all users, and turn it back over a cars.

Ignoring studies showing that bikeable, walkable streets are good for business, New York business owners complain about a lane reduction and newly widened bike lane that took away 150 parking spaces; a DOT spokesperson says the real problem isn’t the bike lanes, it’s drivers double parking in the only remaining traffic lane.

Now that’s more like it. DC now has a dedicated work crew to clear snow and ice from bike lanes, as well as clearing curb cuts for wheelchair users.

 

International

Once again, a British bike rider has had to withdraw a claim that injuries he suffered from hitting a pothole left him too badly injured to ride, after social media posts showed him competing in the “best obstacle-packed course on the planet.”

A man died after falling off a Belfast bar bike; the 15 passenger rolling pedal-powered pubs are popular with tourists.

A hard-hitting column from a Pakistani writer points out the harassment women face in the country just for riding a bicycle — unless they happen to be Westerners, and white.

Bengaluru, India bike riders are embracing bikeshare, even if the government is struggling to keep up.

A Kenyon paster wowed the country after riding his bike 190 miles to look for work as a driver in Nairobi.

A Wellington, New Zealand writer says the city is on the right track thanks to the city council’s bicycling plans.

An Aussie architect asks when Sydney will finally take bicycling seriously.

Shanghai bikeshare users who break the rules or leave their bikes in the wrong places will now be placed on a blacklist.

Schadenfreude is also a dish best served cold. Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been arrested on fraud charges in Japan for under-reporting his salary; Ghosn had told CNBC in 2016 that bicyclists usually “don’t respect any rules.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Prince Harry’s friend Dean Stott has denied allegations of cheating in his record-breaking ride along the full length of South and North America, blaming disgruntled support staff for the accusations. He broke the existing record by 17 days in order to get home in time for the prince’s wedding.

Belgian cyclist Stig Broeckx is back on a bike, two years after suffering a severe brain injury in a crash with a race moto in the 2016 Tour of Belgium.

Relive Lance’s victory over Marco Pantani on Mount Ventoux in the 2000 Tour from the comfort of your theater seat.

 

Finally…

Maybe marathon isn’t the right word when  your country’s first-ever bike marathon only travels two miles. Ride your bike in the annual Macy’s parade; no, not that one.

And forget carbon, your next lightweight bike could be made of Super Magnesium.

Let’s just hope they’ve overcome that whole explosive/flammable magnesium thing.

 

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