Tag Archive for bicycle safety

Questions raised about PCH door zone warning, and driver crashes into home built by Lincoln’s great-grandfather

Evidently, I’ve ruined everything.

Yesterday, a series of tweets were directed my way to tell me I got it all wrong about the proposed changes to PCH that would seem to put bike riders in the door zone.

Those were quickly followed by a comment on here, and a series of increasingly rude and insulting private messages blaming me for somehow ruining 20 year of bicycle advocacy by repeating what was said in a news story from a Malibu paper.

Which I was apparently supposed to somehow be able to deduce had made some yet-to-be confirmed error in reporting the story.

Then again, I was also accused in those private messages of somehow plagiarizing that same story by someone who had apparently never read it, and clearly has no idea what plagiarism means.

Seriously, feel free to do a side-by-side comparison, and see for yourself if I copied anything.

While I wasn’t involved in this project, and had no idea it was even in the works before this week, I have long fought for bike safety on PCH in Malibu. And worked with and supported Eric Bruins in his surprisingly successful campaign to turn the city from extremely anti-bike to a newfound commitment to welcoming people on two wheels.

And this project was definitely not what I remember asking for.

I also don’t remember meeting Mr. Laetz during all those years that I represented the LACBC on the PCH Task Force, before illness forced me to step down.

Which doesn’t mean he wasn’t there, or wasn’t working for bike safety in other ways. With all the meds I’m on these days, I have trouble remembering last week, let alone what happened a decade or so ago.

But maybe he’s right.

My reaction to this project was based entirely on Wednesday’s story in the Malibu Surfside News, which said this in the very first paragraph —

A stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that’s seen several bicycle collisions in as many years is being looked at for changes that will make it safer for bicyclists while adding motor vehicle parking.

Note that last phrase, “adding motor vehicle parking.”

The writer of that piece, Scott Steepleton, the editor of the Malibu Surfside News, cited a Malibu Planning Commission document as his source.

According to the July 19 meeting staff report by Jessica Thompson, associate planner, the changes “will provide increased travel space on the right shoulder for a combination of bicycle use and on-street parking, thereby improving safety on this segment of PCH.”

I never hid the fact that this was my source, and linked back to the story in my original post. I also sent the link to Mr. Laetz when he objected to my story to confirm where the information came from.

Yet he continued to attack me, both publicly and privately. Right up to the point I told him what he could do with himself, and blocked him from my personal Twitter account.

But again, that doesn’t make him wrong.

This is how he describes the project in a comment Mr. Laetz left on here.

WAIT A MINUTE, The city’s plan is to WIDEN the shoulder, by narrowing the median and shifting the traffic lanes to the center, No parking will be added, none will be eliminated. Te (sic) plan will leave shoulders that are in excess of 14 feet wide. It will also add marked bike lanes at the traffic lights. The Coastal Commission will not allow the city to add parking (reducing coastal access to bicyclists) or decrease parking (reducing parking access for people in vehicles). This plan is parking neutral. It will eliminate much of the wide, unused median. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.

Despite repeated requests, he never sent me a link to any source to back up his description of the project, though he did reference a story he claimed to have written for the Malibu Times, which I haven’t been able to find on their website.

However, assuming the shoulder will in fact be a minimum of 14 feet wide, while that may be enough room to safely pass an average parked car, it would leave only a sliver of space outside the door zone of today’s massive pickups and SUVs.

And that’s if the driver pulls all the way to the right, which hardly ever happens the real world.

It also raises the question of whether that space could be better used to provide a parking protected bike lane that would keep riders safely out of the door zone, as well as away from drivers cutting over to park their cars or pull out of a parking space.

And why maintain those plush eleven-foot traffic lanes, which encourage higher speeds, when they could easily be narrowed a foot to help slow traffic, and provide more space to work with on either side?

As I tried to point out to Mr. Laetz, even if this project would be wholly beneficial for people on bicycles, the worst thing that resulted from calling it out is that hundreds of bike riders are newly aware of it, and prepared to give it the scrutiny any bike project should have.

So go ahead and email your comments and concerns by Sunday night, if you haven’t already. And attend Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission to learn more about it if you can.

Full disclosure, I won’t be able to make it Monday evening. Somehow, I suspect my wife’s birthday has to take priority if I don’t want to see a permanent change my sleeping arrangements.

I’ve also offered to let Mr. Laetz write a guest post for this site to clarify anything he thinks we got wrong.

So far, he hasn’t responded.

I’ll let you know if he does.

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I do my best to be as truthful and accurate as possible in everything you read on this site.

If I get something wrong, I’m more than happy to correct it, which I’ve done more times than I can count. Just reach out to me, either in the comments below, at the email address on the About page, or on Twitter @BikinginLA.

Just be able to back it up. And don’t be a jerk about it.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Massachusetts driver slammed her SUV through the side of a 371-year old house built by the great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, after swerving to avoid an early-rising squirrel.

Yes, that Abraham Lincoln.

Although it may have been the house’s fault, since the owners say there have been a number of near-misses since they moved in.

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Apparently, pedicabs are nothing new.

Though seldom quite this cool.

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A Utah TV station wins the award for best attempt to remove any agency for an injury collision, with a headline that suggests some unidentified “person” was injured when a car without a driver somehow collided with a bicycle without a rider.

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Call a happy bike surprise.

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

After a Denver man attempted to stop a woman from stealing his neighbor’s $5,000 mountain bike, she returned in a beat-up SUV and smashed into another car while attempting to run him down. But even after they tracked the attacker to a nearby homeless camp, the police have refused to go in and do anything about it.

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

Must have been in a hurry. A New York “transit menace” snatched a bikeshare bike out of the hands of the person who rented it, rode it to the subway station, the jumped the turnstile to catch his train.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. Bicycling talks with a 77-year old Lake Forest man who still rides a bike every day, despite two serious heart surgeries. Or maybe because of them. I mean, without all the heart problems and stuff. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

San Diego letter writers continue to beat a dead bike lane horse, still complaining about the new protected bike lanes on 30th Street in North Park that are already under construction.

Police in Salinas are asking for the public’s help identifying a thief caught on camera stealing a mountain bike.

 

National

CyclingTips examines the custom Trek Domane Richard Branson pretended to ride to Sunday’s space launch, in what they accurately describe as part of a billionaire “dick-measuring competition.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

A culture website suggests four exciting US cities to ride a bike in. If you really want excitement, though, it’s hard to top mixing it up with LA drivers. Although it may not be the kind of excitement you want.

Nearly a hundred Portland-area kids now have newly refurbished bikes, thanks to an organization dedicated to giving kids free bikes who might not be able to get one otherwise.

No surprise here. Las Vegas is being sued by the family of a Black man who died in police custody in 2019 with a cop’s knee planted firmly in his back; Byron Williams was recorded saying 24 times that he couldn’t breathe, after getting stopped for the capital crime of not having a light on his bike. The family is being represented by the same lawyer who filed suit in the George Floyd case.

Montana’s first shuttle mountain bike park is now open near the Flathead Lake resort area, incorporating a shuttle service to carry riders from the end of one gravity trail to the start of another.

Heartbreaking news from Chicago, where an off-duty cop in a jacked-up truck ran over a little boy and dragged him to his death; nine-year old Hershel Weinberger was riding his bike in a crosswalk when the driver reportedly ran the stop sign, even if the local union head swears he stopped and looked both ways. But investigators failed to hold the off-duty officer accountable after he played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, by claiming he just didn’t see the boy. Although chance are, just flashing his badge was probably enough.

Life is cheap in Michigan, where a driver faces a single year behind bars for killing a 16-year old boy riding a bike, after prosecutors allowed him to plead to a misdemeanor moving violation. Sad to know that’s all a kid’s life is worth to them.

A new study suggests 30% of DC crashes involving a bike rider or pedestrian go unreported, reducing the reliability of the data Vision Zero relies on.

 

International

Talk about flash photography. A British woman snapping a selfie captured the exact moment she and her brother and sister were struck by lightening as they were sheltering under a tree, after getting caught in a thunderstorm while riding their bikes to see their aunt; fortunately, they were all okay after being treated for burns.

The final stage of the Tour de France is just the start of festivities as Paris bounces back from the pandemic lockdowns, as only Paris can.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with the stars of Thursday’s final hors catégorie climb, which was pretty much Wednesday on repeat.

Here we go again. CyclingNews is reporting that French authorities raided the hotel and team bus of the Bahrain Victorious cycling team before Thursday’s stage of the Tour de France, as prosecutors open a preliminary investigation into doping allegations. But we all know the doping era is over, right?

Road Bike Action wants to help you build the perfect bike for Sunday’s Belgian Waffle Ride.

 

Finally…

Why pro cyclists dance with their bikes. Your next (really weird looking) touring bike could come with a built-in chair and day bed.

And if you have to ask…

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

 

Man injured in Show Low vehicular attack dies, and Phil Gaimon and fiancé threatened by road raging LA driver

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where one of the victims of last month’s vehicular assault on a senior’s bike race has died.

Fifty-eight-year old Jeremy Barrett took a turn for the worse after initially showing improvement following the crash, and passed away on Saturday.

Barrett had been flown to a hospital in Flagstaff suffering from internal injuries, and was due to be transferred to a hospital in Tucson before suffering a stroke and deteriorating in the days that followed.

He was described by friends as someone who went out of his way to help others, and frequently hosted touring bicyclists in his home.

A police spokesperson says that additional charges are likely to be filed in the wake of Barrett’s death, on top of the 20 felony counts already faced by 36-year old driver Shawn Michael Chock for the alleged intentional attack.

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You really hate to see this.

Everyone’s favorite retired pro cyclist and his fiancé had an ugly run-in with a road raging driver, who apparently couldn’t be bothered to slow his Porsche down on his way to the golf course.

While Phil Gaimon and Emily may not be able to make a case for assault with a deadly weapon, the driver could and should be charged with battery after allegedly shoving the petite woman confronting him.

It’s also a textbook case for LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance, which allows for a civil case with an award of three times the actual monetary damages or $1,000, whichever is higher.

And the driver could be required to pay any attorney’s fees they may incur while preparing the case.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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West Hollywood offers advice on how bike riders and pedestrians can avoid getting run over by motorists.

But sadly, not one word for drivers on how to avoid running over anyone.

Overall, though, their tips for people on bikes aren’t bad.

Although someone should remind them that signaling while stopping isn’t a great idea for people with hand brakes. And you should stop signaling before starting a turn so you can have both hands on the handlebars.

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UCLA’s Chris Giza talks with KNX-1070 radio about the benefits of turning a fake pandemic commute into the real thing.

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After failing to be named to this year’s Tour de France roster, Aussie Lachlan Morton took it on himself to ride the entire race route, alone and unsupported, and try to beat the peloton into Paris.

Yesterday he got there, beating the riders competing in the race by nearly a full week.

And still got the traditional champagne at the finish.

https://twitter.com/EFprocycling/status/1414792643163435010

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

A Las Vegas man faces a murder charge for intentionally running over a homeless man riding a bicycle, after exchanging words in a parking lot. However, this wasn’t a random incident; the two men knew one another, and had once been roommates.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with California Streets Initiative board member and CD5 city council candidate Jonathan Weiss.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sheriff’s deputies are looking for the hit-and-run driver who ran down and killed a 72-year old Diamond Bar man as he was walking in a crosswalk; his niece says Bruce Bodel preferred to walk or bike rather than driving.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom happy hour from 5 to 6 pm this evening with UCLA parking maestro and professor emeritus Don Shoup.

The Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop bring you the return of the popular Tour De Taco ride this Saturday. Say hi to my friend Carlos Morales if you go.

 

State

Bay Area firefighters are preparing to ride across the country to Brooklyn for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

 

National

Maybe they finally get it. The new federal infrastructure plan includes a focus on smart infrastructure and Vision Zero to maybe actually build and fix roads so they don’t kill people, along with $20 billion specifically earmarked to improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians. Now let’s hope it can somehow get through our hopelessly divided and dysfunctional Congress.

The Wall Street Journal examines the cycling fans who hoard hundreds of team jerseys. Although, as usual, half their story is hidden behind a paywall.

Tech Radar rates the year’s best bike locks, ranking Kryptonite one, two and three.

Mountain bike legend Tinker Juarez offers advice the Singletracks podcast on how to get and stay fast on the mountain.

This one’s going on the top of my bike bucket list. A Navajo-owned Dzil Ta’ah Adventures is offering overnight bikepacking and half-day tours of the spectacular Southwestern US Navajo Nation, combining unspoiled wilderness with tribal creation stories.

Hundreds of retired and active duty police officers will ride nearly 1,000 miles around Indiana, visiting twelve cities across the state to honor fallen officers and law enforcement survivors.

 

International

Germany’s version of the Auto Club is now offering roadside assistance to bike riders in Berlin and Brandenburg, with plans to expand the service throughout the country. AAA offers similar services in someparts of the US, but not in Southern California, where the group prefers to pretend that its members don’t ride bicycles.

Researchers at Australia’s Monash University will work with experts in machine learning to develop new technologies to capture data on dangerous interactions between bike riders and motorists, in order to map where bicyclists are most at risk.

 

Competitive Cycling

After a record-setting run of stage wins in this year’s Tour de France, Britain’s Mark Cavendish has no plans to retire anytime soon.

With the yellow jersey seemingly wrapped up already, Bicycling considers what else there is to look forward to in the final week of the Tour. Cavendish, anyone? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Rouleur considers the youngest and oldest riders in this year’s Tour, and how they rank in the race’s history; at 41, Alejandro Valverde would be the oldest stage winner ever if he claims one this year, while 22-year old Brit cyclist Fred Wright is the youngest rider in the peloton.

Cyclist goes straight to the top, talking with the French woman who runs the company that owns the Tour de France.

Bicycling asks how high Colorado’s Sepp Kuss can climb after winning his first stage in the Tour, suggesting he could win a Grand Tour one day — if he really wants it. Although the Yahoo version of the story has a much better headline, in case Bicycling blocks you. Thanks to our friend Richard Duquette for the link. 

Bicycling questions the legitimacy of the obscure crypto currency company that’s now the new co-sponsor of the Africa-based Qhubeka cycling team, which will be Qhubeka-NextHash starting next year. Once again, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A writer for Bicycling says the racers turned out for an outstanding Giro Donne stage race won by Anna van der Breggen, even if women cyclists deserve “far more than pathetic payouts and embarrassingly bad livestream coverage.” Here’s the Yahoo link if…well, you know.

Three-time world road champ Peter Sagan is in danger of missing the Tokyo Olympics following surgery to treat an infection caused when he gashed his knee on the chainring in a crash during the Tour.

 

Finally…

So that’s where Luca got his rusty, old bike. Tom Hanks is one of us, thanks in part to wife Rita Wilson.

And that feeling when you’re riding your bike on a haunted highway, and find a head dumped by a mafia hitman.

Good times.

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

 

Study calls for more and better bike helmet testing, bike/ped safety ratings for trucks and SUVs, and how to live carfree

We’ve said it many times before.

Bike helmets can help in a crash, but not as much as they could.

Or should.

Now Bicycling reports a new study confirms the same thing, saying more rigorous testing is needed to improve them.

  • Bike helmets are designed to protect you against a traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet testing them in a way that mimics real-world falls and collisions has been lacking, a new study suggests.
  • Current manufacturer methods tend to test helmets with falls from right angles, which is how you’d land if the bike was stationary.
  • The research describes a new method of helmet testing where crash test dummies hit the ground at an angle as they were moving—basically, the way you’d actually fall off a bike.
  • However, previous research indicates helmets still significantly reduce the risk of skull fractures and other TBIs, so it’s important to wear one while riding.

That last point is important.

I probably wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t been wearing mine during the infamous beachfront bee incident — which is exactly the kind of relatively slow speed fall bike helmets are designed to protect against.

Not the high speed collisions most drivers seem to think.

But even with one, I still spent a night in intensive care, and the better part of a week in the hospital.

That’s also the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding.

But I’m damn glad I had it on.

As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

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Interesting idea.

A bill in the New York legislature would impose a safety rating system on trucks and SUVs to rank the danger they pose to bike riders and pedestrians.

But then what?

Studies have previously shown that the flat grills, high hoods and high road clearance of today’s trucks and SUVS — let alone their ever-increasing size — are a key factor in the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US.

And while it might be helpful to know which vehicles pose the greatest risk, it’s pretty meaningless if that’s as far as it goes.

There needs to be additional action to force improvements for the lowest rated vehicles, such as fines that increase with each drop in safety ratings.

Or better yet, force the SUVs and trucks with the worst safety rating off the road. Then give the next lowest tier five years to improve their safety before removing that one from the road, too.

And keep going until every truck and SUV qualifies for the highest safety rating — which, chances are, none do now.

Yes, safety ratings are a good idea.

But ratings without action will just mean more needless deaths on our streets.

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They get it.

NACTO, aka the National Association of City Transportation Officials, came out against the proposed transportation bill introduced in the US Senate, arguing it “largely maintains the status quo that made American transportation so inequitable, unsustainable, and unsafe to begin with.”

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The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is hosting a webinar tonight to discuss how to live your life carfree.

 

Then again, all you really need is three simple steps.

Step 1: Sell your car.

Step 2: Buy a bike.

Step 3: Ride it. Everywhere.

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail in the UK, planting upright spikes on a Scottish mountain bike path where they were most likely to trap, and possibly seriously injure, unsuspecting riders. And once again, this should be treated as the serious crime it is, not just a mere prank.

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

Florida police arrested a 39-year old ebike-riding man for tossing a cooler full of human shit outside a Jewish school in a Miami suburb, two days after he shouted anti-Semitic slurs and threw a bag of shit at the temple nextdoor.

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Local

Micromobility providers are ready to roll out again as America reawakens from its coronavirus slumber, including Santa Monica-based Bird and West Hollywood’s Wheels.

Nick Jonas credits his wife Priyanka Chopra with helping him recover from a broken rib he suffered falling off his bike while filming an undisclosed project with his brothers.

 

State

A 64-year old San Diego man suffered serious injuries when he was cut off by a driver pulling out an alley in the North Park neighborhood, and slammed his ebike into the side of the car; the victim suffered a broken ankle, in addition to other non-life threatening injuries.

The Santa Rosa bicyclist who died last week after he and another bike rider were hit by an alleged drunk driver was a skilled winemaker with the Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg; the 12-year old boy who was also injured was not related to him, and just happened to be riding in the same area.

A Sonoma County writer asks how safe it is to ride a bike in the county, then fails to answer the question.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with Little Bellas to encourage more “Black, Indigenous, Girls of Color” to start riding with Little Bellas, which is dedicated to encouraging girls to ride bikes, then to continue riding with the Black Girls Do Bike community once they outgrow the Little Bellas program.

In case you need a refresher, the Southern Nevada Bike Coalition explains how to correctly wear a bike helmet. First step, make sure it’s not on backward, which I’ve somehow seen too many times.

A Las Vegas man was killed when he crashed into a small dog while riding a motorized bicycle; sadly, the dog didn’t make it, either.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee is reintroducing The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, which would allow local managers to decide whether and how to allow bicycles in wilderness areas; the original bill expired in the previous congressional session before any action was taken.

Arkansas is hosting a statewide bike summit to talk road safety this month.

A Chicago writer says the city’s new bikeshare ebikes are a game changer — so stop tossing them into Lake Michigan.

Peloton is responding to last year’s shortages created by increased demand during the pandemic by building their first US factory in Ohio.

Charges have finally been filed against a Pennsylvania man who killed a man riding a bike back in 2019, while allegedly stoned on methadone, Klonopin and Xanax. The only question is what the hell took so long?

 

International

Road.cc rates the 15 best chain lubes, while examining the eternal question of wet vs dry.

A street-racing Liverpool man was sentenced to two years behind bars and banned for driving for four years for slamming into a man on a bicycle, leaving the victim with lasting brain damage after languishing in a coma for a full month; the 28-year old future inmate recently suffered a stroke, which he describes as “karma.” The other driver was sentenced to 13 months.

A London police commissioner called for a ban on e-scooters before their wide rollout in the city next month, warning that more people will be hurt. So wouldn’t it make sense to ban cars instead, since they hurt far more people, more seriously?

London should provide more cargo bike parking and make market deliveries by cargo bike, according to a new report from a sustainability think tank.

No bias here. A former Scottish deputy police chief says the bike boom means traffic laws have to be enforced — especially against the people on two wheels.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 76-year old man got just two and a half years behind bars for running over a ten-year old boy on a bike, then backing up and running over him again — as the boy’s father and others watched in horror — while driving at over twice the legal alcohol limit. Fortunately, the kid survived, but with major injuries.

An Irish man faces charges for a strong-arm robbery in which he pushed a woman off her bike as she was riding to work, then punched her in the face as she lay on the ground before making off with her bike, all while “extremely intoxicated” on booze and Xanax.

Cycling Tips highlights six unique brands from the Australian Handmade Bicycle Show, including one that makes wooden handlebars, and another that makes a tail light designed to illuminate the rider’s legs, rather than the roadway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tour de France winner Egan Bernal tightened his grip on the pink leader’s jersey by winning Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro, which was shortened by nearly 40 miles and two mountain passes due to rain and snow.

 

Finally…

No, you probably can’t get this much air on a mountain bike. And sometimes, two wheels are faster than four.

Especially when it’s this four.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Tres shock! LA misses safest bike city list, famed ped superhero at UCLA, and San Diego builds bike lane laps around LA

Is anyone shocked that Los Angeles didn’t make the latest list of America’s safest cities for people on bicycles?

I didn’t think so.

But congratulations to Davis, Chico and Santa Barbara, the three California cities that did.

Maybe in another decade or two we might finally have a shot.

We can dream, right?

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Curbed’s Alissa Walker profiles Mexico City pedestrian superhero Peatónito, who is finishing a master’s degree in urban and regional planning at UCLA.

And wants to have pedestrian defenders in every LA neighborhood when he leaves.

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San Diego continues to build laps around Los Angeles, as they work to build out a full network of curb protected bike lanes.

Unlike a certain megalopolis to the north.

But while Los Angeles continues to rest on its non-laurels as America’s worst bike city, Glendale is installing a new curb protected lane on Los Feliz.

Even if it is just for a block.

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Gravel Bike California gets a visit from Road Bike Action’s Troy and David to discover Gold Creek, a hidden gem between Big and Little Tujunga Canyons.

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The LACBC is offering a discount for their virtual bike challenge taking place this month.

Here’s what they have to say.

Inviting you to join us in June at LACBC’s new virtual LA Rivers Challenge:  Ride, Walk or Run LA’s Historic Waterways!  A flexible and fun way to ride, walk or run our beautiful L.A. County waterways, at your own pace on days, routes and mileage of your choice.  Suggested routes will be posted on the LARiversChallenge.com website.

Please use this special Friends & Family code “FRIEND5” to register at LARiversChallenge.com and receive a cool neck gaiter/mask, coaching/encouragement emails, routes and information about the historic L.A. County waterways.  Bonus Fun: An optional personalized fundraising webpage can be set up where riders can share progress on their ride(s) online and also raise money to support LACBC’s year-round advocacy on behalf of active transportation in L.A. County.  Rewards and prizes can be earned for meeting fundraising goals too!

Thank you.

The 2021 LA River Challenge – Good for You and Good for LA! For more information and to register for the L.A. Rivers Challenge, visit LARiversChallenge.com.

Challenge Video: https://vimeo.com/545718226

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/274494824189732

Twitter: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (@LACBC)

Instagram: @lacbc

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Bicycling author Richard Fox is back with the latest update to his comprehensive guide to SoCal bike routes.

I’m happy to announce the release of the 3rd Edition of my guidebook “enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides.”  It contains 200+ scenic ride options at SoCal’s beaches, deserts, mountains, wine country, harbors, & historic city centers from San Diego to Cambria to Palm Springs, perfect for casual cyclists who enjoy beautiful scenery while avoiding car traffic and major hill climbs. The pandemic bike boom created many new casual cyclists who bought up 2017’s 2nd Edition a year earlier than anticipated. I revisited many of the rides with a Class I ebike, and added notes on how they impact rides, and where to rent or buy them near the rides. The book’s info was updated, more detail was added to many of the maps, and several new rides were added, including an option for a La La Land Griffith Park adventure on closed roads that was too hilly without an ebike for the casual cyclist before.  Other new fabulous rides were added for all in Irvine and Lake Perris, and options in other areas with new infrastructure like Santa Barbara and San Diego. The Coachella Valley, where I spent much of the pandemic lockdown cycling and working on the book update, ended up with a ton of new info and routes, including incorporation of the new CV Link regional path, now in various stages of construction. enCYCLEpedia.net contains additional rides, downloadable maps, features and updates for book owners.  The price of this edition is going up because of higher production costs in the USA vs Asia, but has started on Amazon at a lower price, available here:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1638485380.

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The Oklahoma legislature has sent a bill legalizing the Idaho Stop to the governor for his signature.

And for a change, it’s the full version, allowing bike riders to treat red lights like stop signs, and treat stop signs as yields.

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This.

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Somehow we missed this one last month, as Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss offers a tutorial on how to politely shred on your fixie.

Meanwhile, Road.cc sings fixies praises, too.

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

Police busted a bike riding thief who robbed two women at gunpoint in New York’s Central Park.

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Local

Bikeshare is officially back on LA’s Westside, with 54 docking stations ready to go, and another 13 in the works.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department is looking for a 32-year old Paramount man who was last seen April 14th; the 5’7″, 230 pound Hispanic man frequently rides his bike through the area, though it’s unclear if he was on his bike when he disappeared.

 

State

Good news, as California’s proposal for a modified Idaho Stop Law allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields continues to move through the state legislature.

A 13-year old boy suffered moderate injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike in Seal Beach.

A bike-riding man suffered serious, but non-life-threatening injuries when he was hit by two drivers in San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood in the midst of Wednesday’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations; he was left crossed by a driver trying to make a three-point turn, then hit by another when he was knocked off his bicycle.

A new survey shows Poway residents want more options to ride their bikes, among other concerns.

A crowdfunding campaign is raising funds for a Bakersfield bike rider seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver this past Saturday; another rider escaped the crash without serious injuries. The campaign has raised just $1,700 out of a goal of $5,000 in three days.

Nice gesture from the Chowchilla bicycling community, which turned out in force to accompany the body of a 45-year old man killed in a hit-and-run; the driver faces a murder charge after telling police he wanted to kill someone. Sadly, the disabled man, who rode a bike as his only form of transportation, had the misfortune of crossing the alleged killer’s path.

 

National

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Bike Kitchen may be closed during the pandemic, but that didn’t stop them from refurbishing over 200 bicycles and donating them to kids in need.

A crowdfunding campaign for a 13-year old boy killed while riding his bike by a Moline, Illinois cop responding to an emergency call has raised more than $14,000 in just 24 hours, easily topping the original $10,000 goal.

Kansas City moved to legalize jaywalking and cancel bicycle inspections, along with other local laws too often used to target people of color.

Next City suggests Fayetteville, Arkansas could be America’s next great bike city.

Now that’s more like it. A Michigan man could spend up to 80 years behind bars for the reckless, hit-and-run deaths of two women riding their bikes; he’ll have to serve a minimum of 18 years before he’s eligible for parole, and pay $250,000 restitution. None of which will bring either of the victims back, though.

New York’s Worksman Cycles traces its history back over 100 years, to the first three-wheeled bikes developed for the Good Humor Ice Cream Company.

A New York bike shop owner received $32,000 in fines for selling ped-assist ebikes, even though they were perfectly legal under city rules; fortunately, he didn’t end up paying a penny of it.

A DC clinic is helping people who’ve lost a limb regain the confidence to ride a bicycle.

 

International

A new bendable tail light raising funds on Kickstarter promises to mark off a safe passing distance; right now you can preorder one for just $35. No word on whether it will extend to a full three-foot passing distance, though.

Bikes really did boom in the UK last year, as 5 million people were “inspired” to buy a bicycle during the pandemic.

Thanks to the efforts of a Dutch fan, LEGO may finally introduce a bike lane set, complete with bikes, bike racks and people to use them.

The Namibian bicycling community is mourning the death of a Canadian man who made a difference in the lives of countless people by talking his family and friends to helping him ship bicycles to the country, before eventually founding a nonprofit to ship and sell them to create jobs, and fund more bikes.

The former model who starred in David Bowie’s China Girl video is now a Kiwi restaurant manager who’s fighting a new protected bike lane, arguing that it will block her deliveries and no one will use it, anyway. Never mind that the first photo in the story shows a delivery driver unloading his truck next to the bike lane directly behind her.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero. Grateful Aussie parents are looking for the man who jumped off his bike and leapt into a chilly lake without hesitation to rescue a three-year old boy, who accidentally rode his scooter into a Canberra lake; he then slipped away quietly after saving the boy’s life. No truth to the rumor that he left a silver bullet behind. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rouleur previews the Giro, which kicks off tomorrow in Turin.

Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen says he’ll be under a microscope in the Giro, as he makes his comeback from a suspension for causing the crash that severely injured Fabio Jakobsen at last year’s Tour de Pologne.

Never mind the stolen election and deteriorating conditions in Belarus, the European track cycling championships are staying put in Minsk, despite offers from other cities and countries to host them.

Mark your calendar for the Balance Bike World Championships this August. It’s being held in the UK, so your little competitor may need a passport.

 

Finally…

Before you can bomb down the bike trails, you’ve got to get your bike up there. No, a bike lane isn’t a good nap spot.

And next time you want to participate in a Zoom meeting while driving, maybe lose the shoulder belt first.

Thanks to Todd Munson for the heads-up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

California slightly less dangerous for bike riders, Bonin runs for return to city council, and sabotage on a Scottish bike trail

Maybe we’re not quite so bad, after all.

A new report from transportation data analytics firm StreetLight Data creates their own ranking of the safest and dangerous states to ride a bike.

The report uses additional data points to scramble the rankings prepared by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).

Top 10 Riskiest States for Bicyclists
  1. Delaware (#2 on FARS* per capita report)
  2. South Carolina (#4 on FARS)
  3. Florida (#1 on FARS)
  4. Louisiana (#3 on FARS)
  5. New Mexico (#5 on FARS)
  6. Oklahoma (#9 on FARS)
  7. Mississippi (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. West Virginia (Not in the FARS top 10)
  9. Arizona (#7 on FARS)
  10. California (#6 on FARS)
Top 10 Safest States for Bicyclists
  1. Massachusetts (#1 on FARS per capita report)
  2. New York (Not in the FARS top 10)
  3. Illinois (#7 on FARS)
  4. Pennsylvania (#4 on FARS)
  5. Utah (#8 on FARS)
  6. Tennessee (#2 on FARS)
  7. Minnesota (Not in the FARS top 10)
  8. Missouri (#5 on FARS)
  9. Arkansas (#3 on FARS)
  10. Washington (Not in the FARS top 10)

Which means we have just slightly less work to do to make our streets safe and inviting for everyone.

………

Councilmember Mike Bonin is tossing his hat in the ring for a third and final term representing coastal Los Angeles on the council.

One of LA’s most progressive councilmembers, Bonin, who used to bike commute to city hall when he was the top aide to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, has been one of the leading bike supporters on the council in recent years.

Which isn’t saying much.

But it was Bonin who was behind the simultaneous rollout of three much-needed lane reductions and bike lanes in Playa del Rey in 2017.

And who stood firm in the face of massive motorist opposition until he was undercut by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who disregarded his own Vision Zero program.

Not for the last time, either.

Maybe Bonin can use his last few years on the council to have as big an impact on our streets as his late mentor and predecessor.

………

Formerly staid Santa Barbara has taken a surprising turn towards becoming more bike and pedestrian friendly in recent years.

Here’s your chance to learn how, from some of the people making it happen.

………

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

This is who we share the parks with. When a Scottish man confronted a retired couple who had just placed a large log on a park bike trail, they confessed they were intentionally trying sabotage it to injure bike riders so they wouldn’t come there anymore.

………

Local

Supporters of Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Boulevard plan are asking you to reach out to Councilmember Kevin de León, and urge him to join County Supervisor Hilda Solis and other local leaders in supporting the plan to re-envision Colorado Blvd when a new Bus Rapid Transit line goes in.

Santa Clarita is challenging residents to go green by bike commuting next week.

 

State

Credit the CHP with calling on drivers to operate their vehicles safely around people on bicycles — and not considering bike helmets the beginning and end of bicycle safety. Although the idea of shared responsibility on the streets doesn’t exactly hold true when comparing a two-ton semi-ballistic weapon with a few hundred pounds of flesh and bone. Or less. 

They get it. The Orange County Transportation Authority calls on everyone to “stay active and get outdoors to safely travel by bicycle” during May’s Bike Everywhere month in the county.

’70s alto sax legend Sonny Simmons was down and out in San Francisco, busking on the streets for spare change, when a local jazz promoter happened by on his bicycle and revived his career with a sold-out gig opening for Branford Marsalis; Simmons died last month, six years after a fall left him partially paralyzed and ended his playing career. If he’d been in a car, he probably never would have heard Simmons, and that career revival might never have come.

 

National

Enough with the light bikes. Pink Bike contemplates what’s the heaviest mountain bike their could build for ten grand.

NACTO follows up on last year’s street design grants to ten cities across the US; Long Beach used theirs to create a parklet program to support restaurants in underserved communities.

Gear Junkie examines whether Apple’s new AirTag is the best anti-bike theft device, allowing you to track your bike down if anyone takes it. On the other hand, AirTag also makes it easier for someone to stalk you.

Speaking of Apple, a new iOS update will allow you to use Siri to report traffic hazards to Apple Maps, where they can be seen by other users. Although it’s questionable what it can do when the hazard is “all these damn cars and the people driving them.”

An Arizona website explains how to tour Zion National Park, Snow Canyon State Park and other hidden Utah gems by bicycle.

A Salt Lake City alternative paper considers the best bike bags for riding around the city.

About damn time. A Colorado man has been arrested for 1st degree murder following the disappearance of wife last year, who set out on a Mother’s Day bike ride and was never seen again; countless searches have failed to discover her body.

A retired ranger says banning bikes from Yellowstone’s south entrance until the park opens to cars is like telling people on bicycles to wait until it’s too dangerous to ride there.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Hartford, Connecticut is reducing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes and better medians on a street where a bike rider was killed last year.

Connecticut is showing California how it’s done, as a proposal to place speed cams in a limited number of school, hospital and work zones around the state sailed through a second legislative committee with bipartisan support; the bill would also prohibit dooring, among other safety provisions. A similar bill to place speed cams in school zones was gutted by California Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lena Gonzalez of Long Beach.

Buffalo NY is marking Bike Month with a number of pop-up Complete Streets in the city’s Fillmore District. Meanwhile, Los Angeles isn’t.

 

International

London’s Independent considers the best cycling shorts for women.

Yorkshire’s historic Bolton Abbey denies using security guards to turn away people on bicycles, despite bike riders saying that’s exactly what happened over the weekend; the estate claims they were just explaining voluntary pandemic safety measures. Sure, let’s go with that. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson went for a bike ride with the mayor of Stourbridge on the eve of the country’s local elections, with both looking surprisingly unsteady on their bikeshare bikes. Especially since London’s bikeshare system was popularly known as Boris Bikes when the experienced bike rider was mayor of the city.

Cycling legend Gino Bartali was honored with a Roman Catholic service on he 21st anniversary of his death; the Italian rider helped save over 800 Jews from the Nazis by smuggling papers in the frame of his bike during WWII.

A Slovenian composites company says they can build a road bike for everyday use that weighs less than nine pounds. Even if cycling’s governing body limits bikes to 15 pounds or more.

Hyderabad, India’s bicycle mayor is leading a group of volunteers fighting the country’s horrific Covid-19 crisis by using their bikes to deliver badly needed medicines to the elderly, as well as searching for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators and plasma donors.

 

Competitive Cycling

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal says his performance in the upcoming Giro depends on how his balky back responds.

Amber Neben proves you’re never too old to go for the gold, competing against women half her age for a spot on the U.S. women’s Olympic road team at 46 years old.

The world road cycling championships will be hosted by an African nation for the first time, going to Rwanda in 2025.

 

Finally…

Your next bike might have a steering tube — or a front fork. Nothing like a tall bike to make you stand out in any field.

And now you, too, can compete in Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 bike race, without the inconvenience of attending the university.

Or leaving your home, for that matter.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

……..

Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

………

LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

………

What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

………

If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

………

When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

………

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

………

Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Boing Boing doesn’t get bike helmets, California exempts bike lanes from CEQA, and racism on the South Bay bike path

How to write about bike helmets, and make it clear in the first two sentences that you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

Nobody thinks they’re going to get into an accident, which is half the reason why bicycle riders often sneer at wearing a helmet. The other half of the reason is obvious — helmets usually make you look incredibly dorky.

Who knows, the rest of the article may be brilliant.

But that’s where I stopped reading.

Because from my experience, most people are painfully aware of the risks we assume every time we get on a bike.

And I’ve never known anyone who made the very nuanced choice of whether or not to wear one based on how they make you look.

As I’ve noted before, I never ride my bike without a helmet. And I credit mine with potentially saving my life during the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident.

But that’s the only time I’ve needed one in four decades of riding a bike.

The simple fact is, bike helmets are designed to protect against relatively low speed falls, not high speed impacts like car crashes.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body, which is why it’s often meaningless when police or the press report on whether or not a crash victim was wearing one, without indicating whether the crash would have been survivable either way.

And unless you spring for a MIPS or WaveCel model, they do absolutely nothing to prevent against traumatic brain injuries.

Which is why I got to spend a night in Intensive Care, and a couple more under observation, after getting my bell rung like a carillon in the aforementioned incident.

Some argue that bike helmets have other downsides, from encouraging risky behavior and closer passes, to making bike riding appear far more dangerous than it actually is.

Especially since no one seems to call for helmets in the shower, when climbing ladders or riding in cars, all of which have a significant rate of head injuries.

I know where I come down in the debate — and yes, there is one, despite all the overly simplistic “no brainer” comments.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s a cheap form of insurance, on the off chance I ever need it. I’d much rather ride with one I’ll never need, than need one and not have it.

Besides, it gives me a good place to mount my bike cam without hogging handlebar space.

So use your own judgement.

But chances are, no one bases their decision on whether it makes them look dorky, or messes up their hair.

Except maybe Boing Boing readers.

………

The California state legislature has passed a bill exempting bike lanes from air quality restrictions for the next ten years — cutting red tape and eliminating a tool opponents have long used to halt any changes to the streets, no matter how beneficial.

………

Sadly, this is who we share the South Bay bike path with.

………

Why let a little thing like a bike lane — or a playground — get in the way?

https://twitter.com/mobimaw/status/1300110780692680710

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How to give your bike a bath.

GCN also answers the eternal question of whether a gravel bike can keep up offroad.

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

Someone is boobytrapping bike and pedestrian trails in Victoria, British Columbia, stringing nearly transparent finishing line where it could trip someone walking or riding a bike.

An Irish man was pulled off his bicycle and repeatedly punched in the face by three other men while riding on a bike path, for no apparent reason.

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

A Texas man was stabbed in the stomach by a homeless man as he was riding home from a bar, and got into a dispute with the other man riding in the opposite direction.

Horrible story from New York, where a 15-year old boy was slashed in the face by a bike-riding man using a razor blade attacked to a pole, in an apparently random attack in Times Square.

No bias here. A Singapore driver offers a windshield perspective of a bike rider cutting in front of his car without looking, then inexplicably going ballistic over a gentle tap on the driver’s horn. Although something tells me there’s more leading up to this that got left on the cutting room floor.

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Local

Streetsblog says LA’s “already driver-permissive” Slow Streets program is being watered down even more, in the city where cars continue to come before people.

The next time you take your bike on a bus or train in LA County, the trip could be free, as Metro’s CEO wants to eliminate fares next year.

 

State

San Diego authorities have identified a pair of suspects in the hit-and-run crash that left a bike-riding man with life-threatening injuries; the couple got out of their SUV to look at the victim, then casually removed his bike from underneath the vehicle before driving away.

No bias here. According to the local paper, a Chino bike rider somehow struck a moving pickup, while somehow riding distracted. Which makes this a story that is somehow totally useless.

A 74-year old Victorville man was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver who abandoned his car after his passenger moved it, and both fled in another vehicle.

Fremont will invest $750,000 to protect ten miles of existing bike lanes.

Good question. An Orinda hit-and-run victim wants to know why police don’t enforce laws to protect bicyclists.

A Tahoe-area paper looks back to the first crossing of the Sierras by bicycle.

 

National

Outside offers a few considerations to take into account before replacing those car trips with an e-cargo bike.

Figures. A new mystery thriller revolves around a man on his way to a cycling competition. Except he turns up dead in the first few pages.

Schwinn is shifting marketing gears to ride the crest of the bike boom.

Singletrack lists 12 things mountain bike magazines need to stop doing. Including making lists like that.

Probably not the best idea to assault a cop in an Arizona ER, then ride your bike into Walmart and steal a bottle of booze after crashing into the display.

Now that’s more like it. A Nebraska man was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a Colorado bike rider. In California, that likely would have gotten a measly four-year sentence — if prosecutors didn’t bargain it down just to get a conviction.

A group of Wisconsin men dedicated the first 4.3 miles of a group ride to Chadwick Boseman, and call attention to health risks facing Black men.

Milwaukee firefighters rode 183 miles to honor a fallen compatriot.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customize adaptive bike from a Michigan boy with cerebral palsy.

Kindhearted Ohio cops bought a new bike for an eight-year old boy after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen.

A Massachusetts bike charity gave 200 bicycles to help children in need.

The bike boom is claiming a victim in the Philadelphia area, as an 85-year old family-owned bike shop is shutting its doors because they can’t get the bikes and parts they need to stay in business.

A Virginia nonprofit donated 23 custom-built adaptive bicycles to children with disabilities; the organization was founded by a disabled vet who personally learned the difference an adaptive bike could make in his life.

Over 130 bike riders turned out to honor a 57-year old North Carolina man who was murdered in an apparently random attack as he rode his bike on a local bike path.

No bias here, either. A New Orleans man was killed when an on-duty cop crashed into his bike with his patrol car; as always, the cops blame the victim for somehow coming into the officer’s lane.

 

International

International financial services giant Deloitte predicts the rate of bicycle commuting will double around the world over the next three years, as technological changes make riding faster, easier and safer.

One unexpected effect of the coronavirus bike boom — bike thefts in an English town are up as secondhand bike prices spike.

The Guardian offers tips on how to keep your bike from being stolen. Or maybe just how to keep your bike, period.

A British man uses himself as proof that heavier people can ride bikes, too.

Frightening story from the UK, where a man’s bike and cycling shoes were stolen after he was rammed with a van.

The bike boom has come to Finland, too

It’s not often that a story can be heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. A two-year old Polish boy rode a trike for the first time after losing both feet to sepsis when he was just an infant; he was initially given just a 0.1% chance of survival.

An Indian paper says unlike European cities, bike commuting in Delhi is fraught with danger for the poor. Meanwhile, Bengaluru is crowdsourcing routes to create the city’s first European-style cycling district.

More people are riding bicycles in Singapore, although one rider describes biking in the city as “a pain.”

 

Competitive Cycling

Since the Tour de France is available to nearly everyone on cable TV, we’re going back to our usual spoiler-free recaps, in case anyone is letting the race stagnate in their viewing queue.

Stage one of the Tour delivered a surprise winner in a rainy, crash-filled stage. Or at least it was a surprise to everyone but the eventual winner.

Sunday’s stage winner out-sprinted the peloton to claim the race, and dedicated the race to his late father, who passed away in June. Philippe Gilbert and John Degenkolb are already out, and a number of riders started the second stage banged up.

Monday’s stage three should be a day for the sprinters.

A 23-year old California man became the first Native American to take part in the Tour de France, and one of just three Americans in this year’s race.

CNN looks at the problems of staging what they call the world’s toughest bike race in the middle of a pandemic.

The men get 21 stages in the Tour de France, but the women get just one. Britain’s Lizzie Deignan out sprinted defending champion Marianne Vos to win La Course, a one-day, 60-mile circuit race.

In the latest cycling scandal, Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Davide Bramati was caught on camera removing something from the pocket of injured cyclist Remco Evenepoel and covertly slipping it into his own pocket, after Evenepoel crashed in Il Lombardia.

 

Finally…

If your girlfriend rejects your proposal, it may not be the best idea to respond by whacking her with your bike. Just what every bicyclist needs — a combination stationary bike, back scratcher and cookie dispenser.

And bike racing has been around longer than the talkies.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

……

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

LA slowly gets Slow Streets, 7th Street protected bike lanes looking good, and Westwood homeowners up to old tricks

About damn time.

Los Angeles finally got around to implementing Slow Streets this weekend to allow residents to get outside while maintaining social distancing.

Only two months after the coronavirus lockdown began in mid-March. And long after other cities in the US and around the world demonstrated it could be done safely, to the benefit of local residents.

But naturally, LA has to do it the hard way.

Instead of just installing them on appropriate streets throughout the city — or even following the already-approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets in the city’s mobility plan — someone has to apply for them.

Correction, some sort of group or organization has to apply, not an individual.

And only one application will be accepted per neighborhood council district.

So, maybe you’ll get one somewhere near you. But probably not.

Never mind that the city has already threatened to shut down any Slow Street that turns out to be too popular.

Meanwhile, Sacramento is following LA’s lead — and bad timing — by asking residents to nominate streets for their Slow Streets program. Thanks to Martin Rose for the link.

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Evidently, LADOT can move fast when they put their minds to it, after all.

Patrick Pascal says this is what it looked like just two days earlier.

7th Street bike protected bike lane; photo by Patrick Pascal.

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Westwood homeowners and the Westwood Neighborhood council are up to their old tricks, incorrectly claiming that every organization in the Westwood area opposes bike lanes on Westwood Blvd in Westwood Village.

And drastically exaggerate both what is planned, and the effect it would have.

Which is a polite way of not calling them liars.

Except the North Westwood Neighborhood Council, which represents the area north of Wilshire Blvd, where the proposed bike lanes would be located, are actually in favor of it.

https://twitter.com/graysonapeters/status/1261016593347211264

But that first link implies, this is nothing new.

The area’s wealthy homeowners have claimed ownership of the Village for decades, going so far as to have dancing — yes, dancing — banned.

Maybe they staged the Footloose remake in the wrong town.

It’s this kind of ham-fisted misrepresentation of the area that caused the NWNC to break off from the Westwood NC a few years ago, and finally give Westwood Village its own representation.

Before the homeowners succeed in completely killing it.

Because they will, if they have their way.

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No, seriously.

If they’re stupid enough to do the crime, they’re probably stupid enough to get caught.

Richard Rosenthal forwards news of a group of four Long Beach teens who mugged a man riding his bike on the San Gabriel River Trail, stealing his phone and wallet after hitting and kicking him, then tossed his bike onto the rocks along the river.

And posted a video online boasting about the crime.

Long Beach police think there were other people who witnessed the crime, or knew about the video, and kept silent.

Anyone with information is urged to call LBPD Robbery Detective Fermin Gonzalez at 562/570-7068.

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Some things are just too cute not to include here.

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Here’s a suggestion for the next time you want to hit a little gravel.

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Evidently, Mr. Las Vegas is one of us, too.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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

Police are looking for a murder suspect who fled the scene on a bicycle, after stabbing a man to death on LA’s Venice boardwalk.

Police in Seattle are looking for a bike-riding thief wanted for a string of armed robberies. Odd that no one tries to steal his bike when he leaves it unlocked like that when he goes in to rob a store.

British police are looking for a pair of bicyclists who collided with a six-year old scooter-riding boy, leaving him with a broken leg.

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Local

Even though collisions are down 38% in Los Angeles since the Covid-19 lockdown began, traffic fatalities are up 15% — with pedestrian deaths jumping 33% — thanks to speeding drivers.

Los Angeles came as close as it probably ever will to being a traffic-free city on the last Monday in March.

KPCC and LAist producer Leo Duran tries to uncover why no bicycles are allowed on the beach bike path in LA County, and doesn’t get anywhere. But he does have the good taste to quote yours truly.

Santa Monica is extending the city’s shared mobility pilot program for another year.

Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago is one of us, spending his lockdown time with his kids and girlfriend when he’s not riding his bike through the streets of Los Angeles. Maybe he’ll run into Tobey Maguire riding his bike while he’s out there.

 

State

Seal Beach is planning to reopen a section of the San Gabriel River Bike Trail through the Orange County city in the coming days, though the exact timing isn’t clear.

Encinitas considers lowering speed limits on the coast highway to improve safety for bike riders, while trying to accommodate all kinds of bicyclists.

Sad news, as longtime Riverside civic advocate and volunteer high school mountain bike coach Bob Stockton was killed when he was struck by a van driver while jogging last week. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

An Isla Vista bike rider was seriously injured when he allegedly rode out of a driveway in front of an oncoming car.

Lompoc wants your input on the city’s proposed Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan.

Bad news from Bakersfield, where a bike rider suffered major injuries when he or she was run down by the driver of a gardening truck, who fled the scene.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is looking for volunteers to help distribute seedlings throughout the area. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Berkeley is going beyond Slow Streets by closing major streets entirely to provide physically distant restaurant seating.

As LA’s Slow Streets gets off to a slow start, San Francisco is preparing to expand its program to 13 new corridors.

 

National

Phillip Young forwards news of the most dangerous cities in the US for bike riders. For once, we can be glad Los Angeles didn’t make the list; San Bernardino, not so much.

The Atlantic warns about the dangers of a backlash against walkable, bikeable cities in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

NPR catches up to the coronavirus bike boom, noting bike sales are up 50% over last year; Canada is running out of bicycles, too.

A new study shows that bike commuting really does increase after bikeshare rolls into town.

The Bike League wants your help to design and build a better bike lane barrier.

Bicycling rates the ten best women’s mountain bikes.

Portland cops bust a homeless camp bike chop shop, recovering at least 15 hot bikes, including a Cannondale worth four grand as well as various bike parts and power tools.

Still no trace of the Colorado woman who reportedly disappeared on a Mother’s Day bike ride; her family is offering a $200,000 reward for her return, with no questions asked. Police say they haven’t ruled out foul play.

Well if that’s all it takes. A pair of Texas priests rode through the Rio Grande Valley to pray for rain — and the next day it poured. Then again, I used to have a gift for bringing rain when I rode, too, despite praying it would hold off until I got home.

No bias here. A New York TV station questions whether all those new temporary bike lanes are really needed, because bikeshare use is down during the coronavirus pandemic. Never mind that many people are far more comfortable riding their own bikes, rather than a shared bike, right now.

No surprise here, as New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Tour was cancelled for this year, just three days before it was scheduled to be run.

The Cherokee Nation has cancelled the annual Remember the Removal Bike Ride tracing the route of the infamous Trail of Tears through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma; the nine young riders chosen for this year’s tour will have a chance to ride next year, instead.

A group of Savannah, Georgia bike riders are creating their own self-guided tour of the city’s historic neighborhoods, writing their guide in sidewalk chalk.

 

International

The Guardian’s Peter Walker says ebikes could be the answer to our post-lockdown commuter problems, while the Christian Science Monitor says the world’s two-wheeled future is so bright it has to wear…well, you get it.

T3 argues that you can get a really good road bike for less than the equivalent of $1,200.

Bike Radar offers a guide to developing an effective cadence.

Does it really count as the World Naked Bike Ride if you’re just riding naked on your indoor trainer?

A Vancouver Island man was lucky to get his bike back after it was recovered in a police raid, three years after he reported it stolen. Which is exactly why you need to register your bike now, and report it to the police if it ever gets stolen.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is one of us, taking to his bike with an apparent tennis racket slung across his back.

It ain’t necessarily so. A London legend tells of a woods haunted by the ghost of a boy murdered by an axeman while walking or riding his bicycle in the early 1700s. Problem is, that’s about a hundred years before the first forerunner of the bicycle was invented.

A writer in London explains how she overcame her fear and started riding her bike.

Sad news from the UK, as Phil May, lead singer for the British ’60s R&B/psychedelic rock band Pretty Things, died following surgery for a broken hip suffered when he fell off his bike.

Up to five million Brits are expected to bike to work following the coronavirus crisis, a significant chunk of the country’s 32 million residents.

Chef Gordon Ramsey continues to demonstrate how to win friends and influence people, telling his Welsh neighbors not to get their knickers in a twist as he settles for riding indoors this time, after flaunting his lockdown-breaking bike rides the last few weeks.

Chris Boardman says the UK has a chance to change the country’s transportation forever.

Red Bull recommends nine French climbs that will chew you up and spit you out, while giving you a sense of accomplishment — if you actually make the summit.

A woman from the UK says she learned to live in the moment while riding along the Rhine and Danube rivers to Istanbul, “turning the pedals and waiting for the world to unfold.”

Sad news from India, where an American expat working in Hyderabad, India was killed in a mountain biking fall.

A migrant worker in India stole a bicycle to make the 150-mile journey home. But he left a very nice note saying he had to take it to get back to his special needs son.

An Afghan man is riding his bike door-to-door through Nangarhar province to spread awareness of Covid-19.

We take a lot of things for granted in this country — like an ambulance will be there when we need it. Residents of a remote Ugandan village were excited to receive a modified bicycle ambulance to transport expectant mothers and sick patients to medical care when an ambulance isn’t available.

South African bicyclists are urged to wear masks when they ride. Los Angeles bike riders are required to wear masks under the latest rules, while riders in LA County are only required to wear masks when others are around.

A reporter is riding his bike across Japan to see firsthand the effects of Covid-19 in the island nation.

 

Competitive Cycling

That didn’t take long. Just four days after LA’s Phil Gaimon shattered the world record for Everesting, US cross-country mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson shaved 12 minutes off Gaimon’s record.

On the other hand, Everesting on a fixie, not so much.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t use WD40 to lube your chain. If your city won’t paint bike lanes, just do it yourself. Your next bike lock could double as a light — or part of your frame.

And your new cargo bike is waiting. If you can outbid Zach.

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

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

The report is in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it’s got to go.

Now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So go ahead and wear whatever feels right for you.

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

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

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

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This is who we share the roads with.

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

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

There’s just no fucking excuse.

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

No, really.

 

Morning Links: Protected bike lanes save lives even where they aren’t, and New York kind-of goes after macho drivers

Just eight days left in the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

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Yet another benefit from protected bike lanes.

A new Toronto study shows that not only did protected bike lanes increase ridership 2.57 times on the streets they’re located on, they also reduced collisions between motorists and bike riders 38% on those streets.

But surprisingly, they reduced collisions between motorists and bike riders by 35% on nearby streets up to 1,800 feet away, as well.

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New York officials say macho men in SUVs and pickups are killing people on bikes and foot, so they’re introducing a new ad campaign to shame them.

Although most drivers probably won’t be.

Not to mention when I look at the ad, his expression and dress doesn’t exactly say “macho” to me.

Meanwhile, the SUV reference is so subtle, it’s barely there. And could be literally any other type of vehicle without changing anything.

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In what looks like a case of out-of-control cops, Seattle bike cops appear to ram pedestrians on a sidewalk from behind with their bikes, apparently without warning, then bust them for obstruction and resisting arrest.

Although remember, we’re not seeing what came before this, which may or may not be relevant.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

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‘Tis the Season.

A pair of players for the San Diego Padres teamed with the Bikes for Kids nonprofit group to give 141 bikes to 2nd and 3rd graders at a local elementary school.

Over 300 Pleasanton CA volunteers turned out to build 800 bikes for East Bay kids. And recycle the boxes they came in.

Power company PG&E worked with the Bay Area Bike Project and a Chico CA sports store to provide 40 bicycles for kids affected by last year’s devastating Camp Fire.

A South Dakota bike charity built 171 bicycles for kids in need.

Ninety-two Missouri kids now have new bikes courtesy of the Boys and Girls Clubs.

Over 100 bike-borne Santas, elves and reindeer invaded Mad City, Wisconsin over the weekend.

Three hundred kids in upstate New York will get new bicycles thanks to the employees of the county garbage collector.

A Pennsylvania urgent care center donated 110 balance bikes to local schools to help kindergarten kids learn to ride a bike.

The owner of the New Orleans Saints gave 50 new bikes to needy kids belonging to a Louisiana Native American tribe.

A Mississippi bike club is teaming with the local sheriff’s department to give 120 bicycles to area kids.

Kindhearted cops in Orlando FL gave away 100 bike and helmets to area students.

But by far the best story comes from Scotland, where a kindhearted young boy asked Santa to bring him a new bicycle, and give the one he’d outgrown to a homeless shelter.

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It’s not just the last full week of the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive, it’s the last eight days of the late Corgi’s tenure as spokesdog.

Let me offer my sincere thanks to Beverly L and Harold and Karen K for their generous donations to support this site. And help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day

So what are are you waiting for, already?

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Local

A New York couple relates how they quit their jobs and moved to Southern California by bicycle, riding 2,500 miles in 44 days while looking for work and freelancing along the way.

 

State

An Irvine bike rider was hit by an apparent drunk driver shortly after midnight Sunday morning, despite having lights and reflectors, and riding in a crosswalk near a bike path.

San Francisco police have finally gotten around to responding to bicyclists’ complaints about drivers blocking the bike lanes on Valencia Street, where citations are up 41% over last year.

Inexcusable. The chair of the Oakland Bicyclist and Pedestrian Commission was held at gunpoint by private security guards for the crime of taking pictures of yarn-bombed bike racks on a public sidewalk. But it couldn’t have anything to do with him being black, right?

An op-ed in a Marin newspaper says the new bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is part of efforts to remove obstacles to bicycling. Apparently, it’s working, since the bridge is averaging 660 bike trips every day in its first two weeks.

Santa Rosa police busted four homeless people for stealing a bait bike.

Sacramento is the latest California city to adopt a Complete Streets policy. Let’s hope they have more luck with it than a certain SoCal metropolis has.

 

National

Peloton isn’t the only game in town for stay at home bicyclists; the others range from less expensive to a lot less expensive. Although just getting outside can help you live longer.

DHL has been ordered to pay over $9 million to a Canadian couple who were run down while riding single file on on the shoulder an Oregon highway. The driver said it wasn’t his fault, claiming they were actually in the traffic lane and he couldn’t avoid them; one victim nearly lost his leg as a result of the crash.

Colorado bicyclists are making a last ditch effort to roundup investors to rescue a Northern Colorado velodrome before another buyer tears it down.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. An off-duty Michigan cop could walk with probation for the hit-and-run that left a bike rider with a broken elbow. Then coming back and directing traffic — without telling anyone he was the one who hit him.

New York councilmember tell the cops to knock off harassing and ticketing ebike delivery riders. Good luck with that. Harassing bike riders appears to be what the NYPD does best.

Louisiana State University, home to the new Heisman Trophy winner, will be getting new bike lanes to improve bike safety on campus. Which is a big change from when I lived in Baton Rouge, and could count on getting a beer or two thrown at me just for daring to ride past the campus.

 

International

Despite the complaints of some disgruntled drivers, over two-thirds of Vancouver residents like the city’s new network of protected bike lanes.

A Calgary letter writer says scofflaw bicyclists are getting with murder — and the editor of the local paper evidently agrees with him. Never mind that its the people on four wheels who are actually killing people, and disproportionately the ones on two wheels or feet getting killed.

Apparently, some drivers really can’t see us. After an English driver critically injured a woman on a bicycle, she failed an eye test the next day.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of us, through his election likely means his days as an everyday bike rider are probably numbered. But he should still be a friend to bicycling while in office.

A UK truck driver was convicted despite playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in his eye. Possibly because he was high on coke at the time of the crash.

An Irish court awarded an injured bike rider the equivalent of over $22,000 after a driver ran over his foot — even though he allegedly ran a red light, ruling he was 60% responsible for the crash.

A Danish website suggests ebikes are becoming the country’s new car.

An Indian city has asked municipal employees to walk or bike to work once a week to help curb pollution.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is one of us, touring the Red Sea city of Sharm el Shiekh before opening the World Youth Forum later that day.

 

Competitive Cycling

A mass crash in a Brisbane, Australia track cycling race took out 12 of the 21 World Cup cyclists competing in the Omnium.

Cycling Tips offers tips on how to design a bike race course.

Twenty-two-year old Gage Hecht is your new men’s US national ‘cross champ.

 

Finally…

Former Doors frontman Jim Morrison is still one of us, evidently. Who says you can’t ride on solid ice?

And that feeling when your loose dog is faster than most of the peloton.

https://twitter.com/FulSpeed/status/1206215964754432001?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1206215964754432001&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyclingweekly.com%2Fnews%2Fracing%2Fwatch-dog-causes-havoc-getting-course-cyclocross-race-445156

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