Thank you everyone for the kind comments. I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me.
I’d like to say I’m better now, but my blood sugar is still more reminiscent of a ballistic missile than a placid stream. And my mental state is still swirling around the drain, in part due to my health issues, and in part due too many stories like the ones below.
The former should get a boost when I see my doctor this week, and impress on her the need for more urgent and aggressive action; the latter should improve once the former does.
On the other hand, I wouldn’t count on the health of our streets getting better anytime soon. Or our society, for that matter.
Now let’s catch up on a little news.
I’ve lost track of who sent me what over the last week, so let me just apologize in advance and thank everyone who sent me something.
And I’ll try to do better next time.
This is who we share the road with.
On Saturday, an alleged rightwing extremist stepped out of a car in Allen, Texas armed with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing eight people and injuring at least seven others, before he was killed by a police officer.
The next day, a speeding driver plowed into a crowd of migrants standing outside a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Texas, killing eight people and injuring at least eleven others, in a crash witnesses allege was intentional.
If there is a difference between these two events, it appears to be one without distinction.
The body count is remarkably similar; the only difference is the choice of weapon, and the only question is one of intent. Which something tells me matters not one wit to the victims or their loved ones.
We will continue to fail as a nation, and a society, until we take comprehensive action to rein in guns and cars, and the out-of-control people in possession of both.
I received an email from a friend who lives in the Pacific Palisades area while I was out of commission last week.
She writes that a new park in Potrero Canyon has been named after our mutual friend George Wolfberg, a lifelong civic advocate and volunteer who fought for better beach bike paths, bike lanes and other safety facilities to help Angelenos bike more and drive less, both for cleaner air and to combat climate change, and just for the sheer joy of riding a bike.
George worked on what will now be known as George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon for over 30 years, part of his larger vision of an interconnected Los Angeles.
What he envisioned was a park that would be open to all of the public, an oasis for recreation and beauty, in a fully sustainable environment of coastal native plants, while a restored riparian water capture system would protect the canyon.
Sadly, though, George didn’t live to see the park he worked for decades to build, passing away three years ago at age 82.
And taking nearly eight decades of civic pride and advocacy with him.
But more than just a park, George envisioned a bikeway that would safely allow average people to ride from downtown Pacific Palisades, through the park and across a bridge to the beach, as well as connecting to the bike path to take riders south to the Metro Expo (E) Line in Santa Monica, or even further to Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Palos Verdes.
The final step seemed to be when Senator Ben Allen and others earmarked $11 million for the bridge and bikeway,
But as we’ve seen too often in the past, someone always seems to step in at the last minute to throw a wrench in the whole thing.
In this case, it’s a group of wealthy NIMBY homeowners who bizarrely don’t want bikes of any kind to besmirch a park honoring a lifelong bike advocate.
Here’s how she described it.
HOWEVER, there is a group of homeowners in the Palisades with homes on or near the rim of the park who have been very vocal about not wanting any bicycles or any type or e-bikes to be allowed in the park (which goes against what the community came to agreement upon years ago). They are making a lot of noise and asking to return the funds and cancel the bridge.
- Even though the Coastal Development Permit for the Potrero Canyon Park requires access to the beach;
- The Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners’ approval for the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon envisions a bridge access across PCH to the beach parking lot;
- A bridge would provide safe passage across PCH rather than the danger of people trying to cross through the traffic on foot;
- The bridge is also something that Caltrans supports (and it does not support adding a crosswalk or light at that location).
Yes, they want to cancel an already funded, and potentially life-saving, bike project.
Where have we heard that before?
But here’s the problem.
Because it was assumed that this was moving forward and funds were set aside, elected officials are only hearing from people opposed to the project, and not from anyone advocating FOR the bridge.
To complicate matters, supporters of the project only learned about the opposition last Wednesday, while the vote is set for this Wednesday, May 10.
Which means if you want a bike path and connectivity to the beach via a safe bridge over PCH, you need to speak up now.
Email your support to the following California state senators today —
I’m counting on you.
Because banishing bikes from a park named for one of their biggest advocates would be this city’s ultimate bike fail.
Speaking of NIMBYs, a group of motorists are once again raising their anti-bike heads to demand the removal of a SoCal bikeway, this time Santa Monica’s new 17th Street bikeway project.
And once again, they are arguing that a Complete Streets project designed to improve safety for everyone somehow makes them less safe for people in motor vehicles.
Which is just a socially acceptable way of saying they don’t want to be inconvenienced, and are willing to risk sacrificing human lives for their God-given right to go zoom! zoom! to their hearts content.
You can sign a free petition thanking the Santa Monica City Council and Mobility Division for the project, and expressing your appreciation for their work to make our streets safer.
Meanwhile, a new video explains how Santa Monica is turning into Amsterdam. And as you’d expect, drawing more people on bikes.
Streetsblog spots new and improved bike infrastructure in Silver Lake, after motorists managed to destructively dismantle the previous effort.
Yay – thanks @LADOTofficial & @HugoForCD13!! #VisionZero improvements at Silver Lake Blvd & Temple St are back – and even improved. (Crosswalk re-striping on the way) pic.twitter.com/JHFTemsgnI
— StreetsblogLA (@StreetsblogLA) May 2, 2023
Streets For All will host a virtual happy hour with special guest CD1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez on Wednesday.
After all, anyone who could get “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo off the city council deserves all the support she can get.
Mark your calendars for SoCal’s largest Pride ride on June 3rd.
Speaking of Culver City, drop in for a Bike Month Handlebar Happy Hour this Friday.
Meanwhile, LA’s Bike Week is next week, while Bike Day — formerly known as Bike to Work Day — will be Thursday, May 18th; Streetsblog offers an overview of Bike Month in Los Angeles and Long Beach.
And Santa Clarita is hosting its annual Bike to Work Challenge next week, as well.
Gravel Bike California grinds it out in the Cleveland National Forest. Which, oddly, is nowhere near Cleveland, thankfully.
Biking up to Black Star during golden hour in the Cleveland National Forest.#ocgravel @OCbike @bikinginla https://t.co/7zMXZ4yqQW
— Zachary Rynew (@Ciclavalley) May 3, 2023
Count on former Talking Heads frontman and bike advocate David Byrne to make a statement in white at the Met Gala.
— Yo Geissler (@yolkster) May 2, 2023
God only knows how many times I’ve been tempted to do exactly this.
Who needs bike shorts, when you can just ride naked like Aquaman star Jason Momoa?
Although most bike riders don’t have that little bottle to follow us around.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
Good question. A Montana writer wants to know when bicycle safety became a partisan issue.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
There’s a special place in hell for the British hit-and-run bicyclist who left a two-year old boy lying in the street, after hitting him hard enough to knock the kid out of his shoes.
A Nairobi man faces charges after he was stopped while riding the bicycle he allegedly stole during a violent robbery of the bike’s original owner; his alleged accomplices are still at large.
LA Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton writes about the whiplash of Culver City caving to car culture, while other cities, like Alhambra, are resisting it; he also said Culver City’s ill-advised move made it a horrible week for ‘climate friendly’ cities.
LAist explains how you can get involved in reshaping the size and structure of the Los Angeles City Council.
Calbike is asking you to email the California State Senate and the Senate Budget Committee to demand that California policymakers to “divest from regressive road-building” and invest $10 billion in Complete Streets and California’s transportation future. Works for me.
California saw a whopping 10% increase in pedestrian deaths last year, with a pedestrian fatality rate of 1.29 deaths per 100,000 people — a full 25% above the national average.
This is who we share the road with, too. A Corona man was found guilty of killing three teenagers, and critically injuring three others, when he ran their car off the road and into a tree, for the crime of playing Ding Dong Ditch and speeding off after mooning him.
The executive director of Bike SD says San Diego’s decision to widen SR-56 simply prioritizes short-term convenience over long-term sustainability.
San Diego’s Vision Zero is going the wrong way, as bicycling and pedestrian deaths spike on the city’s streets.
Arguello Boulevard in San Francisco’s Presidio will get a protected bike lane, after world masters champ Ethan Boyes was killed there last month. Although as usual, the decision to improve a dangerous street only came after it was too late.
Hundreds of people rode their bikes in the annual Davis Loopalooza, as residents tried to reclaim their city in the wake of a serial stabber who killed two people, including one who was killed as he rode his bike through a local park.
If your favorite cyclist or bike advocate now has a blue check on Twitter, there’s a good chance they didn’t ask for it, let alone want it.
American men are three times more likely to ride a bike as American women, unlike many other countries.
Pinkbike’s editors explain what bike saddles they use on their own bikes and why.
A Spokane, Washington woman is — allegedly — a two-time hit-and-run loser, charged with killing two people after getting drunk and falling asleep behind the wheel, a decade after she was convicted of fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider. Which is precisely why drivers should lose their license for life after a single hit-and-run, because they’ve shown themselves to be unwilling to obey even the most basic requirement for driving. Let alone human decency.
The definition of chutzpah. An Arizona driver, apparently dissatisfied with the gentle caress on the wrist he received for the hit-and-run crash that killed a bike rider, appealed his conviction and sentence of less than six months behind bars and five years probation; thankfully, the appeals court politely told him to pipe down and do his time.
A Salt Lake City TV station takes advantage of Yellowstone’s annual carfree soft-opening for a bike ride through the snowy Wyoming national park.
A Pittsburgh columnist argues the city should commit to zero traffic deaths by 2035. Although as we’ve learned the hard way, it’s one thing to commit to no traffic deaths, but it’s another to get elected leaders to actually invest the money and make the hard choices to make it happen.
If you build it they will come. No surprise here, as a controversial Staten Island lane reduction and bike lanes is seeing more two-wheel traffic as the weather warms.
There’s something wrong when a longtime advocate for bikes and improving New York’s deadly streets becomes a victim of them.
New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour brought 32,000 bike riders out for a 40-mile carfree ride through the city.
This is why people keep dying on our streets. The Washington Post looks at DC’s failure to rein in dangerous drivers, as one motorist manages to run up $186,000 in unpaid traffic fines. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until its too late.
WaPo also examines the dirty underbelly of “clean” electric vehicles, and explains why free street parking could cost you thousands more in rent.
Tragic news from the UK, where former track champ and Tour of Britain director Tony Doyle died after a brief battle with cancer; he was just 64.
An Irish columnist feels unsafe on the street after arriving at her office, then returns to find her bike missing.
They get it. France will spend the equivalent of $2.21 billion to boost bicycle use over the next five years.
More proof you can carry anything on a bicycle, as a Pakistani photographer catches a street vendor with his bike overloaded with garlic.
That’s more like it. A Johannesburg taxi driver has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for the drunken crash that killed a bike rider, after driving nearly one thousand feet — more than three football fields — with the victim trapped under his van.
The home side was victorious in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Giro, as Italy’s Jonathan Milan took the day, and reigning world champ Remco Evenepoel held onto the leader’s jersey.
Dutch cyclist Martijn Tusveld survived a dramatic crash late in Sunday’s stage 2, but his bike didn’t, snapping in two when he was sent flying into a roadside barrier.
Cycling Weekly profiles four-time world champ Annemiek van Vleuten, saying Remco Evenepoel isn’t the only former soccer player to win the cycling worlds.
Conservative media was up in arms over a “biological man” winning the women’s Tour of the Gila, saying it renewed calls to ban trans women from competitive cycling. Which would only seem to matter if you ignore all the other times a trans woman didn’t win.
An Ohio woman finished the 2022 Race Across America, aka RAAM, in 11 months and seven days, completing the final 262 miles ten months after a crash into a wooden bridge left her with a broken hip.
That feeling when you visit a Marin bike museum, and find your mother’s seatless bike on display. Your next bike could have brake levers poking out of the handlebars, even before you crash it.
And fortunately, this helped mitigate the trauma caused when Britain’s new figurehead not only failed to include a regiment of royal corgis in the coronation parade, but didn’t even his loyal four-foot soldiers a shoutout.
https://t.co/eVnISQLK8h does it for me without sound even! OR failing for me an oldy so maybe not seen too recently?
[The AI pics are insensitive this is real woman and dog! (if marketing )]https://t.co/qwuTTzOt7d
— jim S (@blueoverc) May 4, 2023
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.