Tag Archive for bicycle funding

Justice for Woon — Banks pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run, and LA active transport woefully understaffed and underfunded

The good news is, my migraines finally let up after about eleventy-seven hours of sleep the past few days. 

The bad news is, they haven’t gone far. 

It’s been more than a month since one of my many doctors decided the health problems I’ve been suffering since last fall were the result of vestibular migraines, necessitating a complete upending of my diet. 

No caffeine. No chocolate. No artificial sweeteners — not a good thing for a diabetic. No aged cheeses or dried fruits. Or even a number of fresh ones, along with a very long list of other newly verboten foods.

Basically, if I like it, or used it to control my diabetes, I can’t have it. 

But after five weeks of slowly adjusting the new diet, I’m feeling even worse than when I started. 

But let’s try to plow through this anyway, and see how much we can catch up on today. 

And a belated happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

It looks like we’ll finally see justice for fallen bicyclist Frederick Frazier, who was run down by a speeding driver in a Mercedes SUV on a South LA street over four long years ago.

And nearly four years since Mariah Kandise Banks was arrested for killing the young man known to everyone as Woon, and injuring Quatrell Stallings, as they rode their bikes near Manchester and Normandie in 2018.

This is what our anonymous courtroom correspondent emailed me Friday afternoon.

On a beautiful sunny day over four years ago, Mariah Kandise Banks ran down Frederick Frazier and left him to die in the arms of a stranger just a few blocks from his home. She was later apprehended and charged with hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.

This afternoon, another gloriously sunny spring day, Banks accepted a plea deal from the DA.

The count of 20001(b)(2), hit and run involving great bodily injury or death, was dropped.

With tears, Banks pleaded no contest to one count of 192(c)(1), vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

For this charge, she was sentenced to four years in state prison, restitution, fines, and three years of parole upon release from incarceration.

She had requested a surrender date in September due to significant childcare obligations, which was denied.

Sentencing will be on August 19th. Woon’s family is expected to present their impact statements on that date.

RIP Woon. Ride in peace.

Banks could have received up to six years, with another four for the felony hit-and-run count that was dropped.

Peter Flax offered this heartbreaking account of Woon’s death, and the impact his loss had on his grieving mother, fiancé and infant son, who was born months after he was killed; he didn’t know yet that he was going to be a dad. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Four years doesn’t begin to seem like enough for the heartless crime and attempted coverup.

But it will have to do.

………

I’m not always a fan of CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who singlehandedly halted the fully funded and shovel-ready lane reductions and bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd through North Hollywood’s Arts District.

But he’s absolutely right in calling the chronic underfunding and understaffing at LADOT “a threat to public safety.”

Well, no shit.

As LAist points out, despite the adoption of Vision Zero seven years ago,

At the same time, the death toll on L.A. streets continues to rise. Within the first 15 weeks of 2022, 95 people were killed in crashes, according to preliminary city data. In the same period last year, the toll was 87.

The number of pedestrians killed by drivers is especially grim — up 53% citywide compared with the same period last year. The greatest share of those victims is in South L.A., where pedestrian deaths more than doubled from this time last year.

And last year was bad; 2021 marked the highest annual death toll in nearly two decades, with nearly 300 people killed in collisions. Roughly half of those victims were killed by drivers while walking or biking. Nearly 1,500 other people were seriously injured in crashes.

Yet shockingly, but unsurprising to any of us who have been paying attention, LADOT is currently working with a 21% vacancy rate — with a whopping 50% in the active transportation and Vision Zero programs.

Not to mention nearly two dozen additional positions that need to be added to meet LA’s active transportation goals.

The agency tried to address those needs by requesting 18 new active transportation positions, as well as two new Vision Zero hires.

Yet Mayor Garcetti, whose dreams of an India ambassadorship have largely gone up in smoke, responded by cutting LA’s transportation budget, while funding just the two Vision Zero hires.

That’s just two more people for a city of nearly 4 million, with 8,500 miles of streets and a rising toll from traffic violence.

Sure. That’ll fix it it.

Although, as the story notes, Vision Zero spending is up slightly over last year, if you squint hard and juggle the numbers just right.

But no matter how you slice it, it’s still just a fraction of the $80 million LADOT GM Seleta Reynolds said five years ago would be necessary to cut traffic deaths a modest 20%.

And a pittance compared to the $270 million New York invested in Vision Zero in 2019 alone.

As others have said, if you want to know a city’s priorities, look at its budget.

And ours says LA just doesn’t care.

………

Today is the last day to tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it’s long past time to consider the safety of those outside of cars and trucks in their new vehicle safety tests.

………

California’s bicycle omnibus bill — which would allow speed-limited, ped assist ebikes on bike paths statewide, permit bike riders to use leading pedestrian intervals, require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and ban bike licensing requirements — has cleared the state assembly and is moving on to the senate.

………

We’ve never had a single ride with the mayor of Los Angeles. But at least you can ride with the mayor of Glendale next Saturday.

Or ride SaMo to Venice with Metro.

………

Long Beach offers a very full calendar of Bike Month events.

Meanwhile, Metro offers other events around the LA area.

………

They’ve got a point.

………

Who needs a drivetrain when you can build your own DIY propeller-driven bicycle?

………

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

No bias here. Carlsbad CA uses Bike Month to actively discriminate against bicycle, ebike and e-scooter users, banning riders from sidewalks, ditches, sports courts or gyms, as well as requiring them dismount on any trails narrower than five feet or within 50 feet of a pedestrian or someone on horseback.

No bias here, either. Australia’s Daily Mail unleashed a recap of online motorist drivel and dreck, including “calling for cyclists to carry licences, criticising those on bikes for taking up ‘car lanes,’ and claiming that cyclists are ‘more dangerous’ than 4×4 drivers.”

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

Police are looking for a bike-riding gunman who shot a man in DTLA, after riding up to him as he walked on the sidewalk, before riding away.

When a road raging Glasgow driver got out of his car looking for a fight with a man on a bike, he probably wasn’t expecting the whooping he got.

………

Local

Streetsblog looks at the installation of a permanent rainbow memorial for Venice hit-and-run victim Prynsess Brazzle, who was killed while riding her bike at the intersection of Pacific and Rose Aves last year. Of course, this being Los Angeles, permanent usually means until it breaks or someone gets tired of it.

Metrolink is offering free rides to anyone with a bicycle during next week’s Bike to Work Week, along with an ebike and rail pass contest package worth $2,500.

 

State 

Newton’s third law of motion applies to politics, too. As Caltrans commits to getting out of the freeway business and refocusing on Complete Streets, the state’s massive 450,000 member building and construction workers union is pushing back.

Sad news from Paso Robles, where a 68-year old man was killed when he rode his bike off the road and ran into a culvert, throwing him off his bike.

 

National

Seriously, who wouldn’t want a solar-powered combination ebike, camper and electric boat? Perfect for riding those flooded freeways if it ever rains here again. 

Barry Morphew, the Colorado man who recently saw murder charges over his missing wife dismissed, says he just wants her to be found. Suzanne Morphew was last seen riding her bike on Mother’s Day two years ago; authorities dropped the charges after claiming they are close to finding her body. Meanwhile, Fox News examines where the case stands now.

Former Olympic gold medalist and world champ Scott Hamilton finished a 444-mile ride to raise funds to fight cancer, 25 years after his last treatment for testicular cancer.

New York is already up to 75 traffic deaths this year, after an NYU student was killed by the driver of a private waste truck.

Bloomberg says ebikes are transforming New York’s transportation future. Which could be happening here in Los Angeles, too, if the city had just bothered to fund active transportation and Vision Zero.

A feel good story turned painful when a Louisiana man was struck by a speeding truck driver, just one day after he been given a new ebike purchased through a crowdfunding campaign.

 

International

Road.cc says the promised benefits of the ebike-replacing SuperWheel sound great, but defy the laws of physics.

A Canadian man lovingly restored his brother’s rusted BMX bicycle, over 35 years after the 15-year old boy was killed in an avalanche.

This deaf, bike-riding London cat is breaking the internet.

A new study from an insurance website ranks the UK’s safest and most dangerous cities for bicycling.

An Afghan man rejected an offer of free plane tickets to ride his bike from Karachi to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage, a distance of over 2,800 miles by car.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Tanzania is now allowing bike riders to ascend Africa’s fifth highest mountain, the nearly 15,000-foot Mount Meru in Arusha National Park.

Sad news from Namibia, where 60-year old rugby legend Gerhard Mans was killed by the driver of an unlicensed BMW while he was riding his bike with a group; he was captain of the country’s first national team after gaining independence.

The closure of Beijing’s subway system due to a Covid surge is leading to a revival of the city’s legendary Bicycle Kingdom.

Authorities in New Zealand are looking for the eco-jerk who destroyed slow growing, 100-year old palms and other native trees to carve an illegal mountain bike trail through a park. Seriously, don’t do that. Ever. Period.

 

Competitive Cycling

A familiar face took the Giro’s 3rd stage on Sunday, as Mark Cavendish claimed his 16th stage win in the Italian Grand Tour, although he has a way to go to catch up with Cipollini’s 42 Giro stage wins; Mathieu van der Poel kept his grip on the leader’s pink jersey.

Yes, this is what pro cycling is like every day. Four-legged fans at the Junior Peace Race in the Czech Republic kicked up their hooves ahead of the advancing peloton, apparently preparing the young riders for spectators on the WorldTour, who often behave like animals.

  

Finally…

How many miles per gallon of gas could your bike get, if by gas you meant beer? Your next bike could cost forty grand and shatter in a crash — if you can find one.

And don’t try to tell us you’ve got bike skills if you can’t do it, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1523014821964247041

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Calls for investigation into biased sheriff’s bike stops, multiple charges in Texas coal roll crash, and more fed bike funding

Let’s hope they take it seriously this time.

Los Angeles County leaders have called for an investigation into last week’s LA Times investigative report on the harassment bike riders face at the hands of sheriff’s deputies and the back seats of their patrol cars.

And Latino riders in particular.

The paper found that out of 44,000 bicycle stops conducted by LA County sheriff’s deputies, seven out of ten people stopped were Latino, and 85% of bike riders stopped were searched.

According to the paper, they found illegal items in just 8% of the searches — less than one half of one percent.

Never mind the highly questionable legality of those searches.

This is how a sheriff’s spokesperson explained it.

Riding a bike allows criminals “to traverse a neighborhood unnoticed, faster and safer than on foot, and additionally makes it easier to avoid police contact. We are not conducting traffic stops of persons obviously engaged in the use of a bicycle for exercise or amusement,” department spokeswoman Lt. Lorena Rodriguez said in September.

Apparently, no one wearing spandex has ever been up to no good.

Not to mention that bicycles allow perfectly law-abiding people to get to work, school and the market.

And for many, it’s the only form of transportation they have. But apparently, just riding a bike somehow makes people of color suspicious in the eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

Thankfully, LA County officials pushed back on Monday, with two county supervisors — Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis — calling for the legalization of sidewalk riding in unincorporated areas, which was used as a pretext for traffic stops in eight percent of the cases.

At the same time, members of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission asked the department’s inspector general to conduct an investigation into the report, and racial disparities in traffic stops in general. And to look into whether the agency should be conducting traffic stops to begin with.

All of which sounds good.

However, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is notorious for ignoring efforts by members of the Board of Supervisors, the Oversight Commission and the Inspector General to look into his activities, or that of the department he leads, since his upset election three years ago — to the point of refusing to comply with legitimate subpoenas for information and testimony.

And so far, they’ve been unable, or unwilling, to force him to comply.

The excuse Villanueva has given is that he isn’t subject to their authority, having been elected directly by the people. Even though both county and state law allows for an oversight commission with direct authority over the sheriff.

So don’t hold your breath.

An investigation is definitely called for. But whether it will go anywhere remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, remember that you are under no obligation to let police or sheriff’s deputies search your belongings without a warrant. And they’re not likely to get one based on a simple traffic stop.

They have the right to ask you for identification, although there’s nothing in the law that says you need a driver’s license just to ride a bike.

But whether or not you consent to a search of your bike, pockets, bags or backpack is entirely up to you.

………

About damn time.

The district attorney in Waller County, Texas is finally getting around to filing charges, over six weeks after a teenage pickup driver ran down six bicyclists while attempting to blow exhaust smoke into their faces, a violent act known as rolling coal.

The 16-year old driver, who has not been publicly named, is expected to face six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — one count for each victim, four of whom were hospitalized.

The charge carries a penalty of anywhere from two to 20 years for each count in Texas. However, as a juvenile, he is likely to face far less, unless he is tried as an adult.

Waller police came under intense criticism for failing to initially arrest, or at least ticket, the driver; as the investigation moved forward, it became clear the boy’s parents were influential in the community.

Meanwhile, Texas pickup drivers astutely note that rolling coal is for idiots.

………

More on the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is currently awaiting Biden’s signature, as we continue to learn just what’s in it.

Bicycling Retailer reports that, in addition to the $11 billion in federal transportation safety funding we previously mentioned, the bill includes additional benefits for people who ride bikes, including Complete Streets and a big boost in the funding pool for bike projects.

The infrastructure bill includes:

  • An increase in funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program by 60%, with subsequent annual increases. The program is the largest source of federal dollars for bike projects like protected bike lanes, trails, and multi-use paths. The funding is currently limited to $850 million annually, and the bill would increase the program to $1.38 billion in 2022 and up to $1.48 billion in 2026.
  • A requirement for all states to develop standards for Complete Streets, a policy and design approach to ensure users of all ages and abilities have safe and convenient access.
  • A vulnerable road user assessment to determine how dangerous roads are for people outside of cars.
  • Inclusion of the model three-class e-bike definitions.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog lists several other “small victories” contained in the bill, including,

  • A new competitive grant program that will provide another $200 million a year to connect active transportation infrastructure to plug gaps in existing networks sand improve access to essential destinations
  • Another $200 million a year for the new Safe Streets for All program, which will fund Vision Zero projects throughout the U.S.
  • A further $200 million a year for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will address the damages caused to BIPOC and low-income communities by the interstate highway system in a number of ways, including projects that promote active modes like pedestrian bridges and highway removals
  • A new requirement for states to devote 15 percent of their Highway Safety Improvement Program dollars to saving vulnerable road users’ lives if vulnerable road users make up 15 percent of their roadway deaths or more — a move that will impact nearly all coastal communities and a handful of upper midwestern states, too
  • A revision of federal crash reporting standards to better capture the causes of the pedestrian death crisis, including new provisions to better incorporate hospital data into federal stats, rather than just police data

………

San Diego County’s annual Udo Heinz Memorial Ride will roll out from Carlsbad on November 20th — a week from this coming Saturday.

This year’s ride will honor all fallen bicyclists, which the county has seen far too many of this year.

The ride was founded seven years ago in memory of Heinz, who was killed by an allegedly distracted bus driver while riding in Camp Pendleton in 2013.

Thanks to our latest sponsor, San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette, for the link. 

………

As we mentioned last week, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to advance a proposal to ban bicycle chop shops on public property, even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

This photo by David Drexler, of a homeless encampment at Venice and Grandview in Mar Vista, shows why it may matter, although it’s not clear from the photo whether that’s on a property belonging to the city.

If your bike disappeared in the area recently, you may be able to find it there.

Or part of it, anyway.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding.

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

Police in Michigan busted a bike-riding bank robber as he made his getaway after allegedly hitting two banks in a single day.

………

Local

A Cheviot Hills website looks back to the earliest days of bicycling in West Los Angeles over a century ago, as the first generation of two wheelers gave way to more familiar names to Angeleno bicyclists, including local legends Alex Baum and Raymond Fouquet. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Long Beach could soon green light a $1.4 million project to improve traffic signals on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal, including installation of new detectors for vehicles and bicycles. A good start, but what the street really needs is a road diet and protected bike lanes in both directions.

Authorities have identified the man killed by a gunman in Long Beach last week as a 31-year old father, who was riding his bike home from his studies to become a dental assistance; police believe the shooting was gang related.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 13-year old Hemet boy went missing after he ran away from home on his bike two days before Halloween; he was eventually found as a John Doe in a local hospital, after he was struck by a driver just half an hour after leaving home.

A driver plowed into several bike riders near Los Olivos on Sunday, leaving one rider with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. San Jose bike cops will patrol a newly opened section of the Coyote Creek Trail ten hours a day, seven days a week. Something that should be done on at least a frequent basis on every bike trail, everywhere. Especially here in LA. 

Sad news from Stockton, where a 62-year old man was killed in a late night collision while riding his bike.

 

National

Bicycling says it’s time to switch to dry lube, already. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The New York Times says the popularity of electric bikes doesn’t show any sign of fading, with ebike sales jumping 145% last year, and now outselling all-electric cars by more than two to one.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the revised edition of the MUTCD merely enshrines dangerous policies into law.

Alaska is experiencing a serious shortage of fat bikes and parts.

A Colorado bike rider shares what he learned tackling his first century ride.

Good idea. Link will cut the maximum speed in half for first-time e-scooter users in Hartford, Connecticut to improve safety until they get the hang of it.

Bike ridership on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge nearly doubled over last year after a new two-way protected bike lane opened on the bridge in September.

 

International

Trek puts its money where its mouth is, pledging to match donations to World Bicycle Relief up to $500,000 through the end of the year; the nonprofit works to change lives by donating bicycles to people in need in developing areas.

Road.cc shares “affordable, high-quality” gadgets for bike riders for less than $135.

Interesting idea. A new light developed by a London designer shines a buffer grid onto the street around you, and automatically sends your location to a crowdsourced stress map when drivers get too close anyway.

Birmingham, England is finally getting around to installing bike lanes at an intersection where a young doctor was killed riding her bike four years ago.

British Transport Police are looking for a pair thieves who threatened a man with a weapon and wrested his bicycle away from while on board a train near Glasgow.

A 42-year old mother in the UK will spend the next five years behind bars for fleeing the scene following a drunk and stoned crash that killed a 61-year old man riding a bike; she told police the damage to her car was from hitting a fox. Although there may be a slight difference in size between a little fox and a grown man on a bicycle. 

An Aussie bike rider shares what it’s like to be dive-bombed by a swooping magpie.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fumiyuki Beppu, the first Japanese cyclist to reach racing’s highest level, called it a career after two full decades on the WorldTour.

 

Finally…

An ebike for people who like to pretend they’re on a modern motorcycle. When rumble strips protect the cars, not the other way around.

And that feeling when there’s an SUV parked on your singletrack trail.

https://twitter.com/SarahJ_Berry/status/1457115150583013380?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1457115150583013380%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-november-2021-287627

………

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

New Broadway protected bike lane could be final Santa Monica bike project; DTLA 7th ST protected bike lane moves forward

A special thanks to Los Angeles Bicycle Attorneys Josh and Paul Cohen of Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship for the coming year. 

They join title sponsors Pocrass & De Los Reyes in renewing their support, despite these troubling economic times. 

It’s their sponsorship that allows me to do what I do, and bring you the latest and best bike news on a daily basis. 

Without their support — and yes, yours — this site would not be possible, at least in its present form. 

Now saddle up, because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

……..

Let’s start in Santa Monica, where good things are happening.

And not so good.

On the plus side, David Drexler sends word that the city has taken advantage of the slow traffic during the coronavirus shutdown to install parking protected bike lanes on a short section of Broadway.

Look at this, a gift to cyclists from Santa Monica. They took advantage of the low corona traffic to redo Broadway thus far from 20th Street west a few blocks. They moved the parking away from the curb and replaced it with a very protected bike lane on both sides. These photos were a taken at 19th and Broadway. Not sure how far they will extend it. It goes from 20th to the Santa Monica food coop right now, then the old green lane picks up there.

The picture of the G on the ground is probably where they will pain green.

It makes cycling much safer in those lanes than the ones next to traffic, I feel. Hope they do more.

On the other side of the ledger, Santa Monica is planning to make drastic cuts to city funding in response to the loss of sales tax revenue due to the lockdown.

Advocacy group Santa Monica Spoke joins with other organizations to warn that excessive cuts to the transportation department could imperil the safety of vulnerable road users, as well as any post-pandemic economic recovery.

Santa Monica’s economy depends on a functioning transportation network that safely moves people, goods and services. Current proposed budget cuts will be destructive to transportation work, will disable basic functions, and slow our safe recovery from this pandemic. Transportation staff, infrastructure and services are classified as essential government functions* and perform vital functions that literally keep our community running safely. These cuts will damage safety and the very fabric of services and programs that we depend on living in Santa Monica…

These essential life saving functions are under threat with extreme plans to cut over half of the City Transportation and Mobility Division compared to 20-40% across other departments. While we can only imagine the stress and burden of decisions weighing on City Council, this level of cuts would severely impact basic public safety and infrastructure operation functions, wounding our city’s ability to rebound fiscally from the COVID-19 crisis. It is imperative to be strategic. We must consider the holistic dynamic relationships, dependencies and functions that contribute to safety, economic stability and regrowth. While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Council needs to take time to cut costs strategically, while maintaining essential staff that would facilitate a safe and secure path to economic recovery and resilience.

As part of the cutbacks, Santa Monica plans to cut all bike, pedestrian and Vision Zero funding for the next year.

Which means those Broadway protected bike lanes may be the last we’ll see for awhile.

The Santa Monica City Council will hold a virtual council meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposed budget cuts.

Santa Monica Spoke urges you to contact the councilmembers to demand continued funding of the Transportation Department, and ongoing support for bicycle, pedestrian and Vision Zero projects.

Because lives depend on it.

And the proposed cuts are more than just a scratch.

………

Evidently, Vision Zero isn’t completely dead in the City of Angels.

Just badly wounded.

The program is rising from a premature grave, as LADOT invites you to attend a free public workshop to discuss plans to fix 7th Street in DTLA.

And about damn time, since the existing bike lane is largely unrideable much of the time, and usually serves as nothing more than free parking in front of the Bloc shopping mall.

And the only rule governing traffic on 7th seems to be to aim for the soft, squishy people instead of the cold, hard cars.

You can learn more about the project here.

Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.

………

Meanwhile, Streets For All offers a glimpse of what could be if LA actually remembers it has an already-approved Mobility Plan.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1256351201462870017

You can see a larger, interactive version of the above map here.

And here’s the link to the petition, since the link in the tweet is broken.

………

Bike Angeles examines some unexpected improvements along a two-mile stretch of Vineland Ave in North Hollywood.

………

This is why we can’t have nice things.

………

When a bike rider hits a pedestrian, it usually end badly for both parties.

Which is exactly what happened in Berkeley on Saturday, where a 55-year old man on a bike crashed into a 60-year old woman, leaving both victims in critical condition.

Although it’s not clear how it happened, since police say he was riding in the street and she was standing on the sidewalk; a witness says the man on the bike must have had “mental issues.”

The same thing happened in Minneapolis, where a pedestrian is in critical condition and a bicyclist seriously injured following a crash.

Anyone who’s ridden for awhile can tell you it’s not always the bike rider’s fault in a situation like that; people are unpredictable, and can step out into the street without looking for someone on a bicycle.

But it’s always our obligation to ride carefully around pedestrians, because they’re the only ones more vulnerable than we are. And be prepared to stop or swerve to avoid crashing into someone.

Especially if you’re riding on a sidewalk.

………

This working from home thing might just catch on after all.

https://twitter.com/cycling_woman/status/1255909638907846659

Thanks to W Corylus for the link.

………

Maybe it’s not the best idea to draft a dump truck in heavy traffic.

………

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

Nashville police are looking for a goateed, bike-riding miscreant who smashed a jewelry store window with a cinderblock and made off with over 200 rings. Although as someone who spent a decade in the jewelry business, I’d question why the window wasn’t shatterproof glass, and the rings in a safe after hours.

A Scottish thief made off on his bike after taking over 100 wedding rings worth more that $124,000 in a grab and run.

………

Local

Streetsblog examines the massive failure of LA city officials in cancelling a Slow Streets social distancing program in the Del Rey neighborhood, just hours after it was announced.

The LA Times says city officials think closing streets for social distancing just too risky, even though other cities throughout North America are doing exactly that. Evidently, they think we’re calling for CicLAvia-style street closures that would draw people from across the city, rather than closing a few streets in every neighborhood to allow people to get outside without risking their health and safety.

Dylan McDermott is one of us, as the Hollywood star went for a bike ride through Pacific Palisades with his family.

Santa Monica residents join the chorus of voices demanding safe space on the streets for social distancing.

 

State

A Chula Vista bike rider suffered a leg injury when he or she was was right hooked while riding in a crosswalk by a truck driver, who never bothered to look the direction he was turning.

Britney Spears is one of us, posting a photo showing her riding her bike with her boyfriend near her Thousand Oaks home in happier, pre-pandemic days.

A Santa Barbara bike rider is in critical condition after he was run down by what must have been a self-driving car, since the story does’t even mention a driver.

Bay Area bike shops can’t keep up with the demand as business booms during the coronavirus pandemic.

It takes a major schmuck to steal bikes and tools from a nonprofit San Jose bike co-op as they were preparing to reopen next week.

This is why you shouldn’t try to reclaim a stolen bike by yourself. A Santa Rosa man is recovering from stab wounds to his hand after he approached a man who was riding his stolen bike.

Sacramento will block or limit motor vehicle traffic on some streets to make more room for social distancing. On the other hand, San Jose says don’t hold your breath.

 

National

Yes, May is Bike Month, even if everything has been cancelled and too many cities won’t give an inch on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic. Including Los Angeles.

Zwift wants you to ride or walk in place to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.

Bike Snob says road cycling isn’t dead after all, even if gravel is all the rage.

An eight-year old Honolulu boy got his stolen bike back after conservation officers spotted it outside a state park.

You don’t mess with an angry dog — or a grandfather. Reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter is offering a $1,000 reward for the “scum” who stole his granddaughter’s bike from the family garage in Hawaii.

A New York nurse continues to bike to work, even after she was hit by a driver.

We already know NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. But apparently supporters of his new team are just figuring it out, as fans are shocked by his “absurd” 74-mile Florida ride.

 

International

People around the world are being encouraged to see bikes as a post coronavirus commuting option — when they’re not getting stopped by the cops for doing exactly that.

Bike historian Carlton Reid offers a warning from history despite the boom in bicycling during the Covid-19 lockdown. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Bike Radar explains what muscles are used to ride a bike, and offers advice on what to wear when you ride one. Never mind that you can ride in anything from T-shirt and shorts to a three-piece suit. But the right clothes can make it a hell of a lot more comfortable.

Road.cc says you’re not a pro, so you don’t have to ride like one.

A nine-year old Ontario boy has set out on a 621-mile bike ride to raise funds for a local health foundation, riding roughly six miles a day.

When a Nova Scotia nursing home worker went to pick up her bike after having it repaired, the shop surprised her with a new bicycle to thank her for her work on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle.

Speaking of rising from a near grave, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns from his extended absence due to Covid-19, and calls on the country’s mayors to take action to encourage bicycling and walking, and keep cars out of city centers.

Noel Gallagher is one of us, as the former Oasis singer and guitarist rode his bike near his English home, despite the country’s lockdown.

British band Glass Animals talks about the 2018 bicycling crash that nearly took the life of the band’s drummer and left him unable to walk, talk, eat, read or write for a time.

Members of a Scottish cycling club honored one of their own, lining the street with their bikes and club kits to show respect for a member who died of Covid-19.

A Catholic priest in the UK had to deliver his daily podcast and evening prayers as he walked home, after going out for a bike ride and suffering successive flats.

Just call it Strassenverkehrsordnungnovelle. Germany announced a raft of changes to traffic laws, including banning parking in bike lanes, allowing people to ride two abreast, and prohibiting drivers from passing bike riders or motorcycles in narrow areas.

Over 3,500 Slovenians rode their bikes in defiance of the lockdown to protest a ban on bike riding, as well as government interference in procuring protective gear and ventilators.

Tragic news from India, where a couple were killed in a collision along with two other people, after a kindhearted truck driver offered them a lift after riding 250 miles because they couldn’t find any other form of transportation.

An Indian op-ed calls for more space on the roads for people walking or biking, arguing that the biggest hurdle in making making it more popular in the country is a lack of necessary infrastructure.

Tokyo commuters are taking to their bikes to avoid the risk of infection on the city’s packed trains.

 

Competitive Cycling

A UK paper looks back at what they call the toughest bike race ever ridden, a snowy seven-stage, 1,300-mile race through the battlefields of the just-ended Great War, as well as in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Apparently assuming Covid-19 will blow over by then, officials tell pro cyclists to be ready for an August 29th start for the Tour de France.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says the race can work without spectators, but isn’t sure organizers can keep them away.

June’s mountain bike worlds was just the latest race to fall victim to the coronavirus, while September’s European road championships were put off until next year.

A British man raised the equivalent of $16,000 by riding the length of the Tour de France without ever leaving his apartment.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a seatless Penny Farthing. Or long enough to let you maintain social distance from your tandem partner.

And when you’re drunk, riding salmon, and carrying an open container, at least put some damn lights on your bike.

And don’t fight with the cops that try to stop you.

………

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

Morning Links: Clueless think tankers get bike funding wrong, and LA TranspoComm votes to screw cyclists

How does someone get a job at a think tank when they’re this clueless?

The San Diego Reader talks with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randall O’Toole, who goes to great lengths to stress that he is, in fact, a cyclist himself, in discussing the city’s planned downtown bikeway network.

When I spoke with O’Toole, he wanted to make sure that he wouldn’t be construed as anti-bicycle or anti-public transportation. His stance is that the best form of transit is the one that pays for itself, which leads, he says, to vital questions: Why should the government subsidize non-automotive transportation, and if said modes can’t make it on their own, why should they be preferred? O’Toole urges governmental neutrality when it comes to how Americans choose to travel, adding, “That neutrality should extend to financing. There should be no subsidies to any form of travel.”

Never mind that the automobile is the most heavily subsidized form of surface transportation in the US.

So sure, let’s level the playing field.

Let’s stop subsidizing freeways and road expansions, traffic signals, traffic enforcement, pothole fixing and the whole auto-industrial complex that is funded, not out of gas taxes, but out of the same general fund everyone pays into.

Bike riders included.

You’d think even someone with a Koch Brothers funded think tank would know that.

And we’ll see how long it takes for drivers to rise up in revolt when they suddenly have to pay the full cost of the roads they use, and every other associated service, out of their own pockets.

Then there’s Baruch Feigenbaum of the libertarian-leaning Reason Institute, who also gets it wrong when it comes to who pays for the road.

And a lot more.

If the streets are underused and there’s room for the bicycle lanes, I have no problem with San Diego putting them in. They’re relatively cheap to install, assuming all you’re doing is re-painting lines or painting the bicycle lane green. That’s fine. The challenge is that when you have a lot of car traffic in that area, the bike lane will make congestion worse. Since car traffic seems to be dominant in San Diego, motorists are the folks we should actually be building the infrastructure for. There is a subsidy for automobiles, but it’s typically much smaller than the ones for other forms of transportation. Cyclists don’t pay for the use of the infrastructure they’re utilizing; there’s no ‘bicycle tire tax’ or anything like that. But we should be planning for the way people actually commute, not the way we’d like them to commute. Since most San Diego residents are driving, I’m hesitant to take away lanes for cars and allocate them for bike use unless there’s excess capacity.

Never mind that taking those lanes away can improve safety, livability and air quality, along with a host of other benefits to the general community.

And never mind that studies consistently show that up to two-thirds of the American people would like to ride a bike if they felt safe doing it.

Or that with many of our streets already at or over capacity, the only way to improve traffic congestion is to get people out of their cars by providing them with viable alternatives to driving.

Which is exactly what San Diego is doing. And what LA desperately needs to.

You’d think someone with a high-paying job at a prestigious think tank would get that.

But evidently, you’d be wrong.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

No surprise here.

Streetsblog reports the LA City Council’s Transportation Committee voted to adopt the anti-bike amendments to the Mobility Plan, stripping bike lanes planned for Westwood Blvd and Central Ave out of the plan.

Especially since Paul Koretz, who has led the fight against the Westwood bike lanes on behalf of a small group of entitled homeowners, sits on the committee.

Although it’s disappointing to see CD4 Councilmember David Ryu vote to support Koretz’ ill-advised motion to keep continue to depress business and keep Westwood Blvd dangerous.

Now all that’s left is for the full council to rubber-stamp the decision in a week or two; as we’ve noted before, the fix is in, and has been for some time.

………

Vuelta officials apologize for a bollard near the finish of Wednesday’s course that left Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk with a broken collarbone; Chris Froome narrowly avoided the crash.

………

Local

A website talks with Manny Silva, owner of Manny’s Bike Shop in Compton, who claims to have invented the lowrider bicycle.

Westwood officially became the only section of the city where it’s legal to lock a bicycle to a parking meter, as LADOT installed hoop racks on the meters. However, the law against locking up to parking meters is rarely enforced.

The LACBC is now looking at families who ride together with the new LACBC Family page, leading to a family bike ride next month; the site profiles LA Bike Dad Terence Heuston, who we met here last week.

LA’s Eco-Village is planning to develop a Koreatown lot currently containing an auto repair shop into a four story, carfree mixed use building.

Evidently, Haley Joel Osment is one of us, as the paparazzi catch him going into a Burbank bike shop.

The nation’s first Raleigh store opened on Main Street in Santa Monica over the weekend.

The LACBC is hosting their Beach Cities Sunday Funday ride on Memorial Day weekend.

The inimitable Seth Davidson will host the fourth annual South Bay Cycling Wanky Awards on October 22nd. I’d probably need a hankie if I won a Wanky.

And mark your calendar for the return of Long Beach’s Beach Streets open streets event on November 12th.

 

State

An Encinitas cyclist is recovering from a hit-and-run that nearly left him paralyzed earlier this month, but the driver remains at large; a gofundme account has raised over $5,000 for a reward.

Coronado, where bike lanes make local residents dizzy, has installed a pair of city-owned bike repair stations. Which means residents are probably sharpening their pitchforks and prepping their torches for the next city council meeting.

A Ramona cyclist raised nearly $29,000 for Alzheimer’s research on a 9-1/2 week ride across the US to honor his late wife.

Two years later, opinions are still split on a Riverside road diet, even though crashes are down 29%; bike crashes increased from two to four after the bike lanes were put in, perhaps because ridership also doubled.

Katy Perry is one of us, too, as she admits to singing while riding her bike on the way to a Santa Barbara studio to record her new album.

A Redding driver, who says he’s a cyclist himself, says bike riders need to share the road too. Even though he seems to think that means we should get the hell out of his way.

 

National

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says go ahead and keep using that cellphone while you drive.

Co.Exist lists 50 reasons why everyone should want walkable streets. Virtually all of which apply to bicycling, as well.

Bicycling, the magazine, adapts Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to bicycling, the sport/transportation mode.

A Kickstarter project is funding a locking wall bike mount that could secure your bike in your home, garage or office.

Portland proposes considering all road users, including bike riders and pedestrians, in setting speed limits, which could result in slashing limits on several streets. A similar interpretation of the deadly 85th percentile rule could improve livability and save untold lives here in Los Angeles.

A Seattle area blogger says he’s quit bike commuting due to the terrible state of bike infrastructure on the east side of the city.

A Utah truck driver, who apparently doesn’t have brakes on his rig, warns cyclists not to ride abreast and to get the hell out of his way when he honks because he doesn’t want to kill them.

A Wisconsin bike shop owner says you don’t have to be a pro to get out on your bicycle.

A Wisconsin woman gets just 60 days for fleeing the scene after crashing into a nine-year old boy, despite trying to cover-up the crime by removing her hubcaps and dying her hair.

The mother of a fallen Chicago bicyclist calls on the Catholic school her younger kids attend to lift its ban on biking to school. Meanwhile, a Chicago advocacy group starts a public campaign to stop people from blocking the bike lanes.

A newly re-configured New York protected bike lane appears to be protecting cars instead of bike riders.

Philadelphia police are on the lookout for a bike-riding serial groper who sexually assaults women in dresses.

 

International

Great ad campaign from the Whistler Mountain Bike Park in the Canadian Rockies says if you’re not riding, you’re not really awake.

An Ottawa man now walks wearing a t-shirt reading “Use your bell” after getting knocked down by a bike rider. I find saying “passing on your left” works better than a bell, since it tells people exactly where you’re going, and usually get thanked for it. Although Bike Snob somehow finds that rude.

A Toronto personal trainer offers tips on how to mitigate the negative effects of cycling on your body.

A coalition of British cycling groups says drivers should have to interact with cyclists as part of their driving test. So who wants to volunteer to be the driving test crash test dummies?

A new Swedish apartment building is the country’s first built around the needs of bicycle and cargo bike riders, with no motor vehicle parking.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo is committed to giving Parisians back the space cars have stolen from them.

A writer for the Guardian asks if Sydney, Australia’s draconian anti-bike laws have gone too far, as a rider gets $531 in fines — including a $106 fine for not having a bell — and bike riders will soon be required to carry ID at all times. Gee, you think?

 

Finally…

No, seriously. Don’t ride up to a driver, punch him in the face and steal his sunglasses. Just don’t. Call it the Swiss Army Knife of Kickstarter smart bike gadgets.

And your next Brooks product could go on the other end.

 

%d bloggers like this: