Tag Archive for Beautiful Boulevard

Tell Metro don’t water down Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and Caltrans breaks promise to replace Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro still hasn’t gotten the message.

After the transit agency proposed a trio of auto-centric alternatives to accommodate a Bus Rapid Transit line on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, local residents took matters into their own hands.

And designed a beautiful, livable and much safer Complete Street that would accommodate everyone, while making the shopping street the envy of the LA area.

The design quickly won the support of County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who convinced Metro to go back to the drawing board.

Now word is they’re prepared to come back with watered-down alternatives to the Beautiful Blvd plan, which will no doubt range from drab to almost pretty, at best.

Now Streets For All is urging you to tell Metro that’s just not good enough.

Tell Metro you support bus and protected bike lanes on Colorado Blvd!

With our local partners on the ground, Streets For All has been supporting Beautiful Blvd – a well thought out plan to implement the NoHo to Pasadena BRT through Eagle Rock on Colorado Blvd. Thanks to our coalition’s efforts, Metro is now considering this option as THE option through Eagle Rock – and it has the public support of Supervisor Solis. But it’s not a done deal yet.

On Thursday, April 1 from 5-7pm, Metro will be hosting a community meeting and it’s critical that they overwhelmingly hear support for Beautiful Blvd. Here are some talking points.

VIEW TALKING POINTS + ZOOM INFO

Add the Metro meeting to your calendar

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It could soon get a lot harder and more dangerous to cross the Ventura Freeway in Encino.

Retired Caltrans District Bicycle-Ped Coordinator John Cinatl sends word that Caltrans is reneging on plans to replace the Encino Ave Pedestrian Overcrossing when the current bike/ped bridge is removed later this year.

Google street view of existing bridge over the 101 Freeway

Here’s how the state transportation agency explained their highly questionable decision.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) received comments, suggestions, and feedback from community members as well as elected officials regarding the US-101 Proposed Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Project. Most comments we received recommended or strongly suggested the permanent removal of the Overcrossing without reconstruction; Caltrans agrees. Caltrans will not replace the Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing (POC) after the proposed demolition. Caltrans is delaying the demolition and will further assess the need and financial feasibility of a range of alternative pedestrian improvements as suggested by community members, City of Los Angeles staff, as well as local and state elected officials.

This is what we could have had.

Without it, anyone who wants to cross the vast river of high speed traffic will be forced to share crowded bridges with impatient drivers navigating their way on and off the freeway — undoubtedly resulting in a seemingly inevitable jump in injury collisions involving bike riders and pedestrians.

Which LA officials and Caltrans are apparently just fine with.

In addition, a second nearby bike/ped bridge could be at risk.

Councilmember Paul Koretz, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and Senator Henry Stern offices suggested Caltrans also investigate the feasibility of permanently removing the US 101 Amestoy Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing, located ½ mile east from Encino Avenue POC. Caltrans will keep the community informed as this suggestion is further evaluated. Caltrans will work with City of Los Angeles on engineering studies, environmental reviews, and seek public comments.

It’s not surprising to see Koretz continue his strange fight to protect the environment by making it much more difficult to walk and bike.

Although maybe Gabriel and Stern could explain their inexplicable support, which seems to directly contradict Caltrans’ newfound commitment to Complete Streets, let alone common sense.

Because from here, it doesn’t make a damn bit of it.

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Active SGV wants your support to demand the public park Puente Hills was promised on the site of an old landfill.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1374560958731841541

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More evidence that the former Mayor Pete really gets it, as Keith Johnson forwards a screen grab of the following brief Twitter thread.

The question is whether his support will be enough to make a difference on our streets.

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Thanks to Austin Brown for pointing our attention to an endlessly fascinating Twitch stream disproving the myth of stop sign-running bicyclists.

Or rather, proving once and for all that we’re not the only ones.

https://www.tiktok.com/@jhbteam/video/6942363500756913413?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2F&referer_video_id=6942363500756913413&refer=embed

In fact, trackers following the stop sign stream point out that a whopping 98.73% drivers — just shy of 100% — don’t come to the full stop required by law.

And unlike people on bicycles, they’re the ones in the big, dangerous machines with limited visibility, and the potential to cause major harm if they’re not operated in a safe and legal manner.

Which these drivers clearly aren’t doing. Just like the ones on the corner of my block.

And probably most other corners, too.

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

No bias here. Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission is attempting to block plans for a bikeway on Sola Street, saying it would disrupt the virtual aesthetic of the city’s historic street grid. Because evidently, cars fit in just fine with their image of the early mission days.

No bias here, either. A Michigan radio personality comments on an early morning bike commuter she sees on her way to work every day, saying she doesn’t know “what this guy’s life situation is, but chances are he’s just a weirdo.”

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

Police in Flushing NY are looking for a bike-riding groper and flasher who assaulted two women in separate attacks.

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Local

Metro will consider a motion at their virtual meeting this Thursday that would allow highway funds from Measure M and Measure R to be spent on local streets and multi-modal improvements — including pedestrian and bike projects; email your comments by end of day today.

Streets For All forwards news that next Tuesday is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Elysian Valley Riverside and Atwater Village; anyone who lives, works, shops, prays, owns property, or have kids that go to school these areas is entitled to vote.

Sunset4All proposes reconfiguring the current narrow, dangerous door zone bike lanes on Sunset Blvd between Dodger Stadium and Fountain Avenue, as well as on nearby Santa Monica Blvd, replacing the virtually useless lanes with a two-way parking protected bike lane on the south side of the street.

A trio of UCLA professors hope to encourage more bike commuting by creating bicycle “flows” that produce real-time digital art exhibitions throughout the city.

The LA County Supervisors approved the DA’s call for a special prosecutor to look at past police shootings for evidence of misconduct, possibly including the fatal shooting of Ricardo Zeferino by Gardena police as the unarmed man helped look for his brother’s stolen bike.

A former participant in the 90 Day Fiancé reality show asked for prayers for her husband, who was at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after getting hit by a driver while riding his bike to work.

Rhianna is one of us, riding what looks like a rental bike on the Venice bike path.

 

State

Palmdale, Oakland and Kern County have been selected for a series of Vision Zero workshops dedicated to establishing an effective Speed Management Program. In other words, how they can finally get drivers to slow the hell down.

Berkeley police are getting on their bikes in an attempt to prevent attacks on Asian residents.

 

National

NPR says the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians, and even worse of people of color. They’re not so hot for people on bicycles, either.

Wheeltales Tours is resuming supported bike tours throughout the western US, ranging from Colorado to the West Coast, with appropriate Covid precautions in place.

Cycling News offers advice on where to find a bike in the middle of a pandemic-driven bicycle shortage.

Gear Patrol pens a love letter to Specialized’s new e-mountain bike, calling it their best yet.

A pair of kindhearted Las Vegas teens are staging a bicycle drive to help combat youth mental health struggles; the young women have already received pledges for twice their original goal of 200 bikes.

The staff of a Boulder, Colorado bike shop were shaken but safe following the mass shooting that killed 10 people in a grocery store near the shop; they were close enough to ear the shots ring out inside the store.

A Pittsburgh professor proposes a data-driven model to asses bicycle safety in cities, while calling bicycles “arguably the most sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transport.”

Customers remember the owner of Tampa, Florida’s eponymous Joe Haskins’ Bicycle Shop, who passed away after nearly five decades of serving the community, calling him someone who inspired great rides, yet would find time for free bike repairs for those who couldn’t afford it.

Once again, a driver in the country’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians has slammed into multiple people riding bicycles, killing one bike rider and seriously injuring another in Jupiter, Florida. There’s something seriously wrong when a driver can’t manage to see two grown adults on bicycles directly in front of their car.

One more from the Sunshine State, as police in Marion County, Florida are looking for the parents of a young boy, after stopping the frightened kid who was riding his bicycle on the freeway.

 

International

What to look for in road bike disc brakes.

A writer for Treehugger offers a second-year update on life with an ebike.

Irish actress Jessie Buckley is one of us, describing how she paid a bike mechanic to loosen the spokes and bolts on her bicycle because tightening them took away the bike’s character.

The French government has issued a warrant for a driver at the Russian embassy, who has apparently been supplementing his income by selling dozens of hot bikes with a combined value of up to nearly $120,000; the employee, who doesn’t have diplomatic immunity, has apparently fled back to Russia to avoid arrest.

Two women have been killed in right hook crashes while riding their bikes in Berlin in less than a week.

Add a tour of the Malaysian city of Kuching to your bike bucket list.

Apparently not understanding the meaning of “clipped,” an Aussie website asks who was at fault when a driver slams into a bicyclist riding across the street, sending him flying; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome says it’s impossible to say if he’ll ever be able to compete for a leader’s jersey again as he struggles to come back from major injuries, after bombing in the first two stages of the Volta a Catalunya.

 

Finally…

Your new tiny house could come with built-in ebikes. And a bike-riding woman learns the hard way what can happen when you’re more focused on live streaming than where you’re going.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

DIY Eagle Rock plan move forward with support from Solis, bike lanes blocked by trash bins, and bikes take over SF street

Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands.

After Metro unveiled three auto-centric alternatives for bus rapid transit in Eagle Rock, local residents responded by creating their own Beautiful Boulevard plan.

The DIY plan is designed to accommodate all users while retaining — and improving — the bike lanes Metro planned to eliminate, and boosting the business environment in the downtown area.

It’s already won the support of County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents the area on the Metro Board.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides a good in-depth examination of the plan, which should be a model for neighborhoods throughout the LA area.

Update: You can voice your support for this project by contacting your elected officials. Eagle Rock Forward has a sign-up form and sample email here

Rendering of Beautiful Boulevard plan from Eagle Rock Forward. An earlier version of this story mistakenly used a rendering from a different project.

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Over the years, we’ve repeatedly taken complaints about bike lanes blocked by trash bins to the LAPD, LADOT and various councilmembers.

But no matter how much we fight or who we talk to, nothing ever seems to change.

Bike lanes in LA… from BikeLA

Technically, every damn one of these trash cans can be ticketed, just like a vehicle double parked or blocking a bike lane.

The problem, I’m told, is establishing who they belong to and who put them there, since there’s no license or registration number, and it’s possible that someone other than the homeowner could have moved them there.

Although pretty damned unlikely.

So nothing gets done about it. And the problem will just keep going on until someone gets hurt

Or worse.

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Bike riders took over San Francisco’s iconic Market Street on Sunday.

Including one who uses his seat as foot rest.

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Don’t just read about women’s history next month.

Go ahead and color it in.

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Here’s a call for bicycling researchers.

https://twitter.com/Sidsel_Hjuler/status/1362752639516172289

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Who says bikes can’t fly?

Or how about a little fat biking in the snow?

And the expression is jump ship, not jump shit.

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

A British driver complains about children riding their bikes on the sidewalk, even though he’s breaking the law himself by using a handheld cellphone while driving. And speeding.

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

A Rosemead CA man lost part of a finger when the Asian American teacher’s aide was the victim of a vicious unprovoked attack by a man on a bicycle; a crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly double the $35,000 goal.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding man who nearly collided with a 76-year old woman as she jogged on a Toronto sidewalk, then turned around to knock her down from behind and kick her in the head before riding off.

A British man got six years behind bars for riding his bike up to mug a 77-year old woman, who managed to fight him off with her crutch.

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Local

Little Women star Florence Pugh is one of us. Or would be, if her bigass 73-pound fat-tired ebike hadn’t run out of juice.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. After a BMW driver intentionally drove into a group of Black Lives Matter protesters blocking a San Luis Obispo highway last summer, police portrayed the driver as the victim — and sat on drone video showing the incident for six months.

A petition calls for letting a Livermore man keep fixing bikes in his garage after the city shut his business down when a neighbor complained.

Police in San Raphael used a bait bike to take down a pair of bike thieves. Something the LAPD still can’t — or won’t — do for fear of entrapment allegations, thanks to bad advice from the city attorney’s office.

 

National

Go ahead and ride a little more. A new study suggests the more you exercise, the better it is for your heart.

If someone visits your bike shop claiming to be from bike frame protection company invisiFRAME, it’s a scam.

Bike riding rates are up in Maui, even if bike tourism is nearly nonexistent.

Washington moves forward with a bill to eliminate state sales taxes on ebikes and accessories.

After the employees of a Colorado bike shop asked a man using a walker to leave because he refused to wear a mask, they discovered he’d shoplifted a thousand bucks worth of bike computers, speed sensors and bikewear.

A Colorado county will teach every kindergartener how to ride a bike this year. Which is exactly what should be done everywhere.

Apparently, just driving away after killing another person while driving distracted is no big deal in South Dakota — if you’re the state’s attorney general.

Schwinn is partnering with Brooklyn’s Good Company Bike Club to promote diversity in bicycling.

A pair of Philadelphia twins are pedaling their way to success, after founding the first Black-owned food delivery service exclusively serving Black-owned restaurants.

Delaware bike riders may have to start stopping for stop signs again, after a 60-month test of the Idaho Stop Law expires later this year; data from the state police shows intersection crashes involving bicyclists dropped 20% during that period.

Sad news from Georgia, where Jerry Colley, a co-founder of the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, the Georgia BikeFest and Bike Florida died of leukemia at the age of 76.

 

International

Even in Yucatan, business owners say they support bike lanes, as long as the city puts them somewhere else.

A new study shows that after Toronto installed 15 miles of popup bike lanes during the pandemic, it increased access to 100,000 jobs, while boosting low stress routes to work and shopping by up to 20%. Which is yet another example of what Los Angeles has missed out on by not providing a single popup lane anywhere in the city.

Evidently, it’s not just bike racers doping. A traffic marshal at the 2019 Road Worlds in Britain got two years for dealing coke and ketamine to spectators.

A UK man explains how bike riding helped him get over the loss of his beloved dog, after riding with his dog had helped him get through the pandemic.

After a Scottish cycling champ lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, the local community got together to give him one last ride to the funeral parlor, as hundreds of townspeople lined the route.

The island of Jersey considers joining most of the European Union in adopting presumed liability, which automatically assigns fault for a collision to the operator of the less vulnerable vehicle by assuming they have a greater responsibility to avoid a crash, unless they can prove the other party was at fault. Something we desperately need here, where the blame usually falls on the most vulnerable party, rather than the least.

The president of Zambia responds to a request for bicycles from village leaders with a gift of hundreds of bikes bearing his picture — and warns he’ll take them right back if they’re used to support the opposition.

If a Samoan startup has its way, you’ll be riding on foam instead of air, and flats will be a bad memory.

Somehow, a pair of Singapore bike riders got the blame when a pack of feral dogs knocked them off their bikes, with one rider injured falling into a drain.

A Philippine city paints a picture of equality for women on bikes by making a few feminine adjustments to the standard bike lane symbol.

 

Competitive Cycling

Don’t hold your breath. Belgian cycling prodigy Remco Evenepoel is asking for an apology from UCI president David Lappartient, after an investigation cleared him of accusations his team director tried to hide something when Evenepoel crashed over a bridge during last summer’s Il Lombardia.

After suffering years of criticism for his earlier defense of Lance Armstrong, cycling announcer Phil Liggett now says he’s glad officials got him on doping charges.

A pair of cyclists get into it following a crash in London Olympic road race. The 1948 London Olympics.

 

Finally…

That time an Aussie football team tried bicycling for training, and discovered why forming a peloton might be a problem. Nothing like having your bicycling spill off a sidewalk captured for posterity on Google’s street view.

And a look at bikes of the past, from the past.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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

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