Tag Archive for bicycling studies

Huizar calls for carfree Broadway in DTLA, Arroyo Seco Bike Path finally open, and studies support bus and bike lanes

Breaking news: KNBC-4 reported that a bike rider was critically injured last night in a collision at Hollywood Blvd and McCadden Place. However, video from the scene appears to show the victim may have been seated on a Wheels scooter rather than a bicycle.

Unfortunately, nothing has been posted online yet.

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Outgoing CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar responds to the question of whether other California cities will close streets to cars — or rather, open them up to people — in the wake of San Francisco’s closure of Market Street.

Huizar called yesterday for the possibility of a complete closure of historic Broadway in DTLA to motor vehicles between 1st and 12th Streets, with the exception of buses.

This comes after years of efforts to revitalize the corridor, including a road diet that cut the number of traffic lanes in half, and reopening or repurposing many of the street’s grand theaters.

Note to KCBS-2: Despite the headline in the above link, the proposed ban is on cars and trucks, not feet. 

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The Arroyo Seco Bike Path is officially open, after being closed for a year to repair damage caused by last year’s rains.

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No surprise here.

A new Portland study shows bike riders are safer sharing a bus only lane with transit vehicles than sharing regular traffic lanes with everyone else.

And if you build it, they will come. A new British government reports shows that investing in bicycling pays, as building bike lanes encourages people to bike more and drive less.

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Former New York DOT Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan teams with another writer to examine the real global health crisis —

Deaths caused by motor vehicles and the people who drive them.

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Some things are universal. And definitely worth 35 seconds out of your day.

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

It’s a well-deserved three and a half years behind bars for a road raging New Mexico driver who put his car in reverse, floored it and slammed into a group of senior Santa Fe bicyclists; he’ll have to serve at lest 85% of his sentence — and attend anger management sessions. Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the link.

A Kenyan driver takes a punishment pass to the extreme, sideswiping a pair of bike riders and speeding away without stopping.

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Local

The Daily News provides a look at the race for LA city councilmember in CD4 as three candidates vie to unseat David Ryu.

More on Santa Monica’s plan to give Wilshire Blvd a safety makeover to protect bicyclists and pedestrians, including a ban on left turns onto the boulevard from cross streets.

The Savage Hearts Love Ride 2020 will roll from Marina del Rey tomorrow to provide care packages and love to those in need.

 

State

The community turned out to show their support for fallen bicyclist Kevin Wilson as the hit-and-run driver who killed the beloved postal worker near El Cajon was sentenced; the victim’s wife said his killer got less than four years behind bars, but she got a “life sentence without the love of my life.”

Indio is investing $1.25 million to build four miles of new art and music-enhanced bike lanes.

After a video circulated of a Turlock special needs boy getting assaulted and robbed by three other kids, a Good Samaritan stepped in to replace his shoes and bicycle.

San Jose puts its money where its mouth is, providing $7 million upfront to fund their new Vision Zero plan, as well as forming a task force to curb traffic deaths.

After three Marin County men were charged with building an illegal offroad trail, a Marin paper calls on everyone to work together to create legal multiuse ones.

Healdsburg is installing wayfinding signs to help bike riders navigate the Sonoma County city.

Ten years after a Nevada City bike rider was killed by a distracted driver, the memorial ride and run held in his honor is still going strong, with up to 300 riders participating.

 

National

A must-read from Curbed, which argues that public meetings are broken and offers advice for how to fix them. Anyone who’s been shouted down by traffic safety deniers and NIMBYs in recent years knows just how broken the current system is.

A supercar designer introduces a new autonomous electric car so cute, that will probably be your last thought as it runs you over. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says recent Los Angeles transplant LeBron James is the new hero of bikeshare and bike lanes, saying children need access to bikes and safe places to ride them. Rumor has it he also plays basketball here in LA. LeBron, that is, not Weiss.

They get it. Boulder CO bike commuters say every day is Winter Bike to Work Day; the official international Winter Bike to Work Day is this Friday. Except in Los Angeles, where the weather would be perfect for it. 

A new Pueblo CO bike bank is fixing up bicycles and giving them to homeless people.

A Colorado CEO plans to ride a bike barefoot across the US, from Disneyland in Anaheim to Disney World in Orlando, to call attention to human trafficking; it’s the first known attempt by anyone to pedal barefoot across the country.

A Texas writer explores Fort Worth by bikeshare, and discovers it’s a lot easier and more fun than he could imagine.

An Iowa bill that would require bike riders to wear high-viz and have both front and rear lights is moving forward in the state legislature, even though no groups support it.

New York learns the hard way what happens when a protected bike lane isn’t protected enough.

New York preschoolers are learning to recycle cans to buy a new bicycle for their school gym.

A DC adjacent Maryland county is considering a proposal to make bike registration voluntary, instead of the current mandatory, but usually ignored, requirement.

A DC site says the city can learn from Oslo and Helsinki when it comes to Vision Zero, both of which didn’t have a single bike or pedestrian death last year. Then again, so can every other city.

A Virginia transit system has spent five years and $3.8 million to build two secure bike corrals, and they’re still not done. Give me a million dollars and a few tools, and I’ll build the damn things myself. Seriously. 

Florida may be the nation’s deadliest state for people on bicycles, but one Central Florida county hasn’t had a bicycling death in two years.

 

International

Four intrepid travelers recount lessons learned from riding fat bikes around St. James Bay in Antarctica. Here’s one more tip: Go in the summer next time.

This is who we share the roads with. A Calgary prosecutor says a driver high on meth chuckled when he learned he’d killed a 15-year old boy riding a bike and injured his companion.

Forget a bike bridge. Local officials are considering opening a bike ferry across the Saint Lawrence River to connect an upstate New York city with another in Ontario, Canada.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says forget that 350 million pounds he promised for active transportation projects in England; he really meant £1 billion for biking and walking.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a man in the UK discovers three barely living lobsters on the side of the road that had apparently fallen off a truck, and carries them back to the sea on his bike to set them free.

An Irish writer says she still gets flashbacks from getting hit by a driver while riding her bike. And that just going for a bike ride shouldn’t feel like going to war.

The Netherlands has fined over 21,000 bike riders for using a handheld phone while riding in the first six months the ban has been in effect. That compares to 98,000 California drivers in all of 2017, with over twice the population.

A new Ai Wei Wei sculpture in Abu Dhabi continues his celebration of pedal power, made from 720 carefully stacked bicycles.

Your next bike could be handmade from bamboo in Kathmandu with seating for three. Or a lot more, judging by the last photo.

Pink Bike looks at the potential impact of the novel coronavirus, aka Covid-19, on the bicycle industry, at a time when most bikes and parts come from the Middle Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Actor and bicyclist Patrick Dempsey will serve as the honorary captain of the US Olympic Cycling Team at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The nation’s largest fat bike beach bike race will be held in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina next month.

Who needs a mountain for downhill mountain bike racing when you’ve got a perfectly good city?

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have skis instead of wheels, but it only goes downhill. Your next saddle could have a rat on it; no, not you.

And sometimes you just have to bust out of preschool and ride your bike.

 

Morning Links: New laws are much ado about nothing, bad bicyclist behavior, and ride faster and save your sperm

Welcome back.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover in the next few weeks, including more people describing their rides, and an in-depth look at bike collision stats.

And come back later today when we’ll announce BikinginLA’s first-ever free bicycle giveaway, courtesy of Hermosa Beach’s Beachbikes.net.

Now make yourself comfortable. We’ve got a lot of news to catch up on.

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Much ado about nothing.

Several recent news stories have focused changes in the laws affecting bike riders, particularly a ban on headphones and a requirement for bicyclists to pull over when they’re blocking traffic.

Except neither one is really new.

It was already illegal for bike riders, as well as drivers, to use headphones or earpieces in both ears; the new law only removes some loopholes by prohibiting any kind of earpiece on or in both ears, whether or not they’re actually in use.

Similarly, bikes were already covered under the existing requirement for slow moving vehicles to pull over to allow others to pass. The only change is explicitly adding the word bicycles to the law.

(Or maybe not; see correction below.)

However, the law only applies on two-lane roadways when five or more vehicles are trapped behind and unable to pass; if cars can safely go around, the law doesn’t apply. And you’re not required to pull over until it’s safe to do so.

You also don’t have to move over for speeding drivers if you’re riding at or near the speed limit.

The problem is most of the news stories fail to give adequate context or explain the limitations of the law, or point out that nothing has changed other than adding bicycles to the wording.

Which means we’re likely to see a jump in angry drivers demanding that bike riders get the hell out of their way, regardless of how many lanes there are or whether they can actually go around.

Correction: Serge Issakov, board member and secretary for the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, writes to correct the information about bicycle’s being added to the turnout law. 

According to Serge, not only has the story been blown out of proportion, it isn’t even a story to begin with. And he should know, since he provided the wording that was adopted, without changes, by the legislature.

See if you can spot it anywhere in the revised law. 

21656.

On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, any vehicle proceeding upon the highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at that time,  behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed.

I apologize for my error. Unfortunately, with all the madness over the holidays, personal and otherwise, I’m not sure where I got the information I used; regardless, it’s my fault for relying on a single source rather than verifying what I was told. 

But a better question might be why the CHP is blatantly misrepresenting the the law.

Thanks to Serge for the correction. 

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In other law changes, e-bikes are officially legal and allowed on bike paths; so are hoverboards.

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A Hermosa Beach bike rider is looking for the hit-and-run driver who left him with a broken arm in Rolling Hills Estates on Christmas Eve; unfortunately, there’s not much of a description to go on.

Then again, not even ghost bikes are safe from hit-and-run drivers; this one was at the site where Reynaldo Barajas was killed in Oxnard.

Photo courtesy of Danny Gamboa

Photos courtesy of Danny Gamboa

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While we were gone, the Internet blew up over this video of bicyclists behaving badly on the popular Nichols Canyon Ride.

Cycling in the South Bay says behavior like this has to change because it’s better to attend post-ride coffee than a post-ride funeral. And Bike Newport Beach says this isn’t what we should be teaching young riders.

If you want my take, just don’t ride like a jerk. Ever.

Period.

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Ride faster. A new British study shows that slower bicyclists are more likely to be in a collision; people who ride at eight mph or less are three times more likely to get hit by a car than those who ride 12 mph or faster.

And in what may be the most important cycling study ever, German researchers have determined that saffron supplements can help prevent sperm damage caused by bicycling.

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A powerful Australian ad uses a purposely misaligned bicycle as a metaphor to demonstrate what it’s like to have MS.

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Local

The LA Times’ Christopher Hawkins calls for converting the end of the 2 Freeway into an elevated park and solar arrays, along with a bikeway offering spectacular views. Meanwhile, an OpEd in the Times calls for closing a stretch of Hollywood Blvd at Hollywood and Highland to cars to create a much needed pedestrian plaza. Yes, to both.

Boyonabike looks at the best of bike and alternative transit news in 2015 and his hopes for the year to come, while CiclaValley looks back at the year in pictures.

There’s still one day left to vote for this year’s Streetsie Awards, including Advocacy Group, Advocate, Journalist/Writer, Civil Servant, and Livable Streets-Friendly Business of the year. Evidently, I’m a nominee emeritus.

Local residents pitch in to buy gifts and a new bicycle for a Redondo Beach family that lost their home in a fire just before Christmas.

 

State

Caltrans issues design guidelines for cycle tracks, while Calbike reports on their accomplishments for the past year.

A San Diego man had his bike stolen when he was beaten by a half dozen men at a trolley station.

A San Antonio website offers an in-depth analysis of the road conditions that led to a $5.8 million judgment the death of an Indian Wells bicyclist, concluding that 94% of traffic fatalities in the city are due to poor road design. And says the solution is slower speeds resulting from narrowing lanes and building more intersections.

The Jewish Journal takes an “epic” 29-mile bike ride from Ventura to Santa Barbara. Epic being a relative term; your epic ride might be someone else’s easy day. Or vice versa.

Sad news from San Jose, as a man became the state’s first bicycling fatality of 2016 in a collision between two cars on Saturday.

Also from San Jose, a man calls for bikes to be banned on a local highway; cyclists say they aren’t the problem, while a columnist fails to grasp that we all pay for the roads, whether or not we drive a car.

A Sacramento cyclist gets his stolen cargo bike back a week after it disappeared, after another rider spotted the distinctive bicycle across the river.

A bighearted Napa man sets out “karma kits” with tubes, air pump, energy bars and trash bags along popular riding trails for cyclists in need.

 

National

City Lab lists 10 traffic myths that should have gone away in 2015, but didn’t, including that bikeways slow traffic and drivers pay for the roads. See San Jose above.

The NFL is discovering what we already know. If you really want to get in shape, ride a bike; evidently, it works for the other kind of football, too.

Okay, it’s a little late for New Year’s, but it still helps to know how to ride with a hangover. Which is one of those key cycling skills every imbibing bike rider should master.

A noncom officer with the Oregon National Guard during the week, rising pro cyclist on the weekend.

A new protected bike lane in Lincoln NE is popular with bike riders, as well as the drivers it’s supposed to keep out.

Bicycling talks with former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan on how she transformed Gotham into a bike and pedestrian friendly city, even if not every driver gets it. Let’s hope LADOT gets it; we’re all still waiting to see similar changes on our own streets.

Massachusetts is considering a series of bike friendly bills, including a ban on parking in bike lanes and requiring side guards on trucks.

A historian puts the dispute over DC bike lanes in the context of the gentrification of a traditionally African American neighborhood.

North Carolina considers a series of anti-bike regulations, including forbidding cyclists from taking the lane, and requiring permits for large informal group rides.

Florida considers requiring solar-powered lights on any new bike paths.

 

International

Evidently, streets are no-fun zones limited to transport only, so bicyclists need to ride sedately. And after a whopping 125 London cyclists are convicted of blowing stops — in a city of 8.5 million — the same paper calls it a crackdown on “bully boys on bikes.” No, seriously.

A woman from the UK sets out to set a new women’s year record.

Caught on video: A London paper is inspired by a dog clinging to his bike-riding owner’s back. Of course, if that was a child they’d be after the cyclist’s head.

The BBC traces the British bike boom back to the 2005 London subway bombing; over two million people in the country ride at least once a week.

Once again, someone has sabotaged an English bike path; a man riding with his toddler in a trailer was nearly garroted by a wire strung at neck height across the trail. Acts like this aren’t pranks — they’re deliberate attempts to seriously injure or intimidate riders to frighten them off trails they’re legally entitled to use.

Now that’s a bicycling superhighway. Germany has approved plans for a 62 mile bikeway connecting ten cities and four universities; the first five kilometer stretch has already opened.

Cycling is more popular than soccer among Spaniards.

Cyclists in Malta say drivers have to be held accountable, and call for adoption of a presumed liability law; the tiny island nation is one of just five countries in the European Union that hasn’t adopted some form of the law.

The best way to promote bicycling in Abu Dhabi — or anywhere else, for that matter — is to teach it in schools and instill a passion for riding in families.

Try not to fall off your bike while riding Down Under when you’re four sheets to the wind, or over six times the legal limit. And try to keep breathing, while you’re at it.

A Thai nurse gave up her vacation to save the life of a German bike tourist who suffered a heart attack.

 

Finally…

Who needs an e-bike when your car’s rear wheel can convert to an electric unicycle? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em; if someone steals your bike for the third time, just go out and steal a replacement.

And despite what the press says, having an erection in public while wearing spandex makes you an exhibitionist, not a cyclist. But maybe he really did have a banana in his pocket.

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Thanks to Mark Jones for making 2015’s last donation to BikinginLA. While the Holiday Fund Drive is over, you can still contribute anytime.

 

Lies, damned lies and statistics

As Twain – or was it Disraeli? — suggested, statistics can be used to support virtually any argument, valid or not.

And often, both sides of the same argument.

For instance, numerous New York publications and organizations have used a recent Hunter College study to support their contention that cyclists in the city are a bunch of dangerous, out-of-control scofflaws.

They cite statistics showing that 37% of New York cyclists didn’t stop at red lights, while another 28.7% stopped briefly before going through the light. And that 13% rode the wrong way, against the flow of traffic.

Sounds pretty damning.

But look at it another way, and it shows that 63% of cyclists did stop at red lights, and less than half of those continued through after determining it was safe to proceed. And an overwhelming 87% of cyclists did not ride the wrong way, despite the city’s numerous one-way streets.

Statistics.

I relied on them on the AirTalk program the other day to rebut the popular contention that all cyclists run red lights — citing the Hunter College study, as well as studies from London and Melbourne that each showed a compliance rate of well over 80%.

Other studies allowed me to show that cyclists aren’t the only ones who break the law, such as over a third of drivers routinely run stop signs in residential areas and seven out of 10 drivers exceed the speed limit.

Of course, the validity of the statistics depends on the quality of the research. And like Schroedinger’s Cat, the results can depend on the observer.

For instance, a study by the California Highway Patrol showed that cyclists were at fault in 60% of collisions, while research by a Toronto professor said cyclists were at fault less than 10% of the time. Cyclists would argue that the CHP study offers proof of bias in investigating bicycling accidents; drivers would contend that the Toronto professor’s interpretation of the data was biased because he is a cyclist himself.

I’ve often struggled to find valid statistics for cycling in Los Angeles — like how many people in L.A. ride bikes, what routes are most popular, where they would ride if more people felt safer on the streets, what percentage observe stop signals, and how much cyclists contribute to the local economy.

With over 40 universities in Los Angeles County — including a number of world-class research institutes — it should be easy for the LACBC or the LADOT to find one willing to help design and conduct a study that would answer those questions, and countless more. And give us a detailed picture of where we are now and where we need to go.

Of course, some baby steps have been taken. Earlier this year, the LACBC called on volunteers to conduct the city’s first bike count, establishing a baseline we can use to measure further growth in ridership.

Local cyclists are anxiously awaiting the results — some with rapidly diminishing patience, if my emails are any indication.

Now Alexis Lantz, a Master’s student in UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning — and an intern with the LACBC — is conducting a cycling survey on behalf of the Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative.

It may not give us all the answers we want. But it could provide a good snapshot of how and why we ride.

You can find it by clicking here. Participation is limited to Los Angeles residents over the age of 18, and the deadline is December 15th.

So why not take few moments to complete the survey?

I just did.

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Westwood is about to get its own Neighborhood Council; could a bikeway through the LA Country Club be far behind? Westwood is also home to a new student bike group, the UCLA Bicycle Coalition. SoCal’s wayfaring bike couple pedal through Yosemite — and they have the breathtaking photos to prove it. Speaking of photos, who knew a Missouri sky could look so good? Now that the Gold Line extension is open, you’ll need a place to park your bike. Maybe you missed Mr. and Mrs. Cindy Crawford riding along the beach last weekend. A Cupertino cyclist is killed in an apparent right hook or left cross. San Francisco wants to know where you ride, and they’ve got just the app to do it. Would stricter penalties help protect vulnerable road users? If you’re riding with an Easton EA30 stem, get off the bike and stop riding now; then again, if you’re riding now, you shouldn’t be reading this. For a change, the Feds want to increase bike and pedestrian funding. Coming soon: your very own I Pay Road Tax jersey. Finally, the most stirring eight minutes of bicycling video you’re likely to see today. And the music’s not bad, either.

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