Tag Archive for bike boulevards

Morning Links: Eliminating car culture amid Vision Zero fail, and bike greenways at tonight’s Pasadena council meeting

Good essay by James Ramsey for Gothamist, questioning whether New York City should completely eliminate car culture.

It’s debatable whether New York City is a car town. On one hand, it’s obviously not — the majority of us take public transportation to work, cycling is at an all-time high, and there are people walking around at all hours of the day and night.

But the recent death of Jose Alzorriz, a 52-year-old cyclist from Park Slope, highlights a different reality about how the city is designed, and for whom…

But as economist and longtime cyclist Charles Komanoff wrote this week in an op-ed for Gothamist, the individual decisions of reckless drivers are merely the “proximate causes” of these tragedies.

“The wellspring of cycle fatalities lies deeper, in driving’s culture and sheer volume,” Komanoff writes.

Which is why he’s joining several prominent officials, most notably City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, in saying we need to “break the car culture.” That means making it far more expensive to drive in the city; less placating of reactionary community boards (see the cases of the 14th Street busway, or the Central Park West bike lane); and taking away huge chunks of space currently devoted to free or cheap parking.

Komanoff goes on to add that ending car culture also means “placing public transit, biking, and walking at the center of all city planning decisions.”

Incrementalism isn’t enough, he argues. Adding a few bike lanes won’t “change the cultural assumption that cars reign supreme” in New York.

The same holds true for Los Angeles.

When the city was looking for public input on Vision Zero, several of us argued for the urgent need to break attitude that LA streets are for cars and the people in them.

And that Vision Zero would never succeed as long as the city’s longtime philosophy of autos über alles was allowed to continue.

Which was quickly agreed with. And then, like most bold steps in the City of Angels, promptly forgotten.

Instead, we got a weak-kneed call for drivers to watch their speed from the punter for the Rams.

Evidently, the city concluded the best way to change driver attitudes was to bore them to death, and start over with the next generation.

Like New York, we’re long past the point where incremental changes will make a damn bit of difference.

It’s time for bold action and real change from a mayor and council who seem afraid of both. Or more accurately, afraid of angry windshield-biased NIMBY voters.

That’s where genuine leadership and political courage must come in. Elected leaders willing to stand up and take the heat for changes the city must make if we’re going to survive the coming decades.

And that’s exactly what the city lacks right now.

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If you live or ride in the Pasadena area, drop whatever you were planning to do tonight and head to the meeting of the Pasadena city council, where officials will discuss proposals for four bicycle greenways, aka bike boulevards.

  • El Molino Ave between Atchison Street and Bonita Drive
  • Wilson Ave between Washington Blvd and California Blvd
  • Sierra Bonita Ave between Washington Blvd and Colorado Blvd
  • Craig Ave between Orange Grove Blvd and Del Mar Blvd

Unless you were already planning to be at the meeting.

In which case, carry on.

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Over a hundred people turned out for yesterday’s march to demand safer streets in response to a hit-and-run that has left a 15-year old bike rider hospitalized for the past three weeks.

At least it now looks like he’s going to survive.

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Not only is former NBA star Reggie Miller one of us, he got a new gravel grinder for his birthday.

View this post on Instagram

YAASSSSSS it’s my Birthday, thanks @santacruzbicycles for the best gift EVER, my Stigmata CC.. Here on my new Santa Cruz Stigmata I’m rocking the new Sram Red AXS with the power meter integration into the front chainrings and a Kogel bottom bracket to keep it spinning. The gearing is 46/33 in the front and 10/33 for the cassette to get me climbing up the hills. Now to keep me rolling I’m on the Santa Cruz Reserve carbon rims laced to some Industry Nine torch hubs. For the tires I’m using the @vittoriatires 700x37c Terreno Zeroes and orange sealant to keep me from getting flats. For the cockpit I have some Easton bars and stem to keep me upright, to allow me to go the distance I have my Selle SMP Dynamic seat with carbon rails. Thanks @dropdeadzep for being the best Producer/Director of this video and @browncastle for the best bike fit and acting cameo.. Big ups to @nitrothomas and @incyclebicycles for fine tuning my new everyday machine.. Watch whole video on my IGTV.. 🎶 @wizkhalifa #BlackAndYellow #NewBikeDay

A post shared by Reggie Miller (@reggiemillertnt) on

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

Toronto bicyclists are turning to civil courts to confront road raging drivers after the criminal court system lets them down.

Three British teenagers have been charged with murder for ramming a popular, 18-year old taekwondo star and role model as he rode his bike in southwest London, then getting out and beating him as he lay on the ground.

Two Irish thieves rammed a rider to knock off his bicycle and into a ditch, then got out of their car and mugged him before taking off with his bike.

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Local

The number of e-scooter riders ticketed by the LAPD is soaring, mostly for riding on the sidewalk — even before the Paul Koretz-inspired crackdown on sidewalk scooter riders began.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies ticketed 74 people during their recent crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bicyclists and pedestrians, half of which were for distracted driving.

When Pomona police officers tried to return a young boy’s cellphone after it was stolen by older kids as he walked to school, they learned he was afraid to walk to class anymore. So the kindhearted cops surprised him a new bicycle, helmet and lock so he could ride to school, instead.

Active SGV considers LA County’s plans for protected bike lanes.

 

State

Yes, those cars with dark tinted windows are illegal in California. Which doesn’t mean they’re not out there threatening your life and safety on a daily basis.

Police are investigating a crash between a bicyclist and a motorcyclist in Rancho Santa Margarita that left one man dead; for a change, it was the man with the motor. Which does not make it any less tragic.

Sadly, a 48-year old San Diego man suffered life-threatening injuries when he crashed his motorized bicycle into the side of a car while attempting to ride across a street; no word on whether he was on an ebike or one with a gasoline engine.

A Clovis woman apparently broke both arms and legs when she allegedly ran a red light and was struck by a driver.

The San Francisco Chronicle accuses Caltrans of trying to steamroll SB127, the Complete Streets bill that would force the state agency to consider the needs of all street users.

 

National

After the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed claiming “new left urbanists” want to use infrastructure to “make the masses conform to one vision of how to live — which unfortunately is hidden behind their paywall — a writer for Jalopnik responds that he never knew an op-ed could be so stupid.

A writer for the LA Times takes an ebike-aided bike tour of the Oregon Cascades. Which just happens to be where my brother is now on his solo bike tour across the west, except he’s currently on the coast.

Police, fire and EMS personnel rode 650 miles across Texas in eight days to honor fallen first responders.

After a homeless man stole a $10,000 road bike off a car rack, Tulsa OK police quickly mobilized to track him down, busting him a few hours later riding the purloined bike while carrying bolt cutters.

A Michigan man with muscular dystrophy will have to start over after his coast-to-coast fundraising bike ride to fight the disease was interrupted when a careless driver slammed into him and his riding partner with just 800 miles to go, leaving both with several broken bones; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming he just didn’t see them. Which should be seen as a confession rather than an excuse, but seldom is.

A Maine man is suing Ford for $1 million over a crash when he was riding his bike with his son. Not over the gardening truck that passed them, but for the the 50-year old Ford lawn mower in the back whose blade came off and nearly severed his leg.

If you’re riding a bike in Boston with a loaded gun in your pocket, try not to act so damn suspicious.

Hundreds of New Yorkers rode to honor a fallen rider and demand safer streets. And called for the city’s mayor to stop running for president and come back to deal with the recent rash of bicycling deaths.

A Philadelphia op-ed says taking steps to hold drivers accountable signals a change in the city’s pervasive car culture.

Philly goes all out for the city’s annual naked bike ride, and they’ve got the photos to prove it.

A Palm Beach FL columnist inadvertently shows how windshield bias can determine who gets blamed for bike and motorcycle crashes, pointing out that drivers get most of the blame in one county, and people on two wheels in the next. Even though studies show drivers are to blame in the majority of crashes.

A Florida woman is under arrest after slamming into a bike rider during her morning commute, then driving to work to begin her shift; she called her husband and asked him to return to the crash scene for her, but never bothered to call the police.

Seriously? After an older person complained about bikes in a Florida park, a city department ordered signs from — from Amazon, no less — banning bicycles in the park, knowing they weren’t official and couldn’t be enforced.

 

International

A pair of British Columbia bike thieves broke into a parking garage and made off with an $11,000 Yeti mountain bike, as well as another as-yet unidentified bicycle.

A 73-year old Victoria BC letter writer says he just rode in a new bike lane, and contrary to the usual hysterical reports, didn’t crash into any pedestrians, get hit by wobbly bike riders or run over by cars coming from a parking lot.

After a drunk, half-naked man got tossed out of an English supermarket, he grabbed a bicycle and tried to smash his way back in through the glass.

A British couple are riding over 3,700 miles to draw a bicycle across the face of Europe to call attention to the environmental impact of traveling by motor vehicle.

The breathless UK media freaks out over a man riding his bicycle on a “busy” street carrying a baby in one arm. For a change, they’ve got a point; a kid should always be in a child’s seat or some other type of safe child carrier on a bike.

An Irish government committee calls on the country to legalize e-scooters. Which means you could soon take a Bird to the Blarney Stone, or a Lime to Limerick.

Cargo bikes are becoming status symbols in Deutschland, as Germans turn away from electric cars in the switch to greener transport.

A Taipei, Taiwan committee calls on the transport ministry to prevent bike crashes, which they mostly blame on the people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News lists ten cyclists to keep your eye on in this year’s Vuelta, which kicked off on Saturday — including a rising young American rider for a change.

Twenty-two-year old American cyclist Chloe Dygert-Owen dominated the inaugural women’s Colorado Classic, winning all four stages, as her husband was 5,000 miles away in Spain competing in his first Grand Tour.

 

Finally…

Anyone can go biking on a mountain, but try riding a third of a mile under one. Are you a biker or a cyclist — or just someone who rides a bicycle?

And why ebikes burn like Jimi Hendrix’ guitar.

Morning Links: Good news on East LA bike boulevard, wasted bike racks, and a relaxing Dutch bike ride

There’s surprisingly good news about that badly worn East LA bike boulevard we mentioned last week.

As you’ll recall, Aurelio Jose Barrera submitted a photo showing the markings on the one-year old bike boulevard at Hubbard and Simmons were so badly worn that there was virtually nothing to indicate it was a bikeway of any kind.

Let alone a vital link in the Safe Routes to Schools program. Or one of the few decent pieces of bike infrastructure in a long-neglected part of the community.

But late Friday, I received the following statement from the office of County Supervisor Hilda Solis and LA County Public Works.

Wheels of progress turning in East LA 

The streets of iconic East Los Angeles are under construction with miles of roadway improvements underway, including new bike routes and traffic safety features.

At Hubbard Street and Simmons Avenue, where bikeway pavement markings had begun to show excessive wear, LA County Public Works crews have scoured the roadway to make way for a smoother road surface for motorists and cyclists. Once road reconstruction is complete, new thermoplastic street markings will be reapplied to clearly indicate East LA’s rapidly growing bike network.

“Biking is a win/win that provides tremendous physical and benefits for the rider while improving neighborhood air quality and reducing traffic congestion,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said. “I am committed to installing, expanding, and maintaining high-quality and safe bike lanes where appropriate. Currently, our neighborhood streets in East Los Angeles are under construction with roadway improvements that include maintenance and new bike routes that improve safety for all commuters. These enhancements include smoother riding surfaces and clear sustainable markings. When complete, I’m excited to see even more East LA residents take advantage of these new bike paths!”

Among the many other projects underway to promote connectivity to mass transit for pedestrians and cyclists is the Eastside Light Rail Bike Interface, which broke ground in January and will yield an additional six miles of new bikeway. The Gold Line Eastside Access Phase II project will bring another three miles of bikeway improvements along 1st Street, Ford Boulevard 4th Street and Via Corona Street. The $4.7 million project is expected to be completed in fall 2020.

It’s nice to know someone in local government is actually listening.

And more importantly, doing something about it.

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This is what it looks like when you have to install bike racks, but don’t want anyone to actually use them.

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This is what a morning bike ride to the doctor’s office looks like in the Netherlands.

Unlike the mad frenzy of American streets, just watching this is nearly as calming as watching a fish tank.

Except for the burning envy of wishing we could have streets and bikeways like that here.

Thanks to William Robinson for the heads-up.

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Local

There was an unconfirmed report of a robbery attempt on the Ballona Creek bike path yesterday. Please contact me if anyone has additional information.

Metro is sponsoring another bike safety class in the Altadena/Pasadena area on July 1st.

 

State

Snow Valley Mountain Resort has opened its ski lifts and downhill trails to mountain bikers.

A Stockton deacon has erected the city’s first ghost bike, in honor of a man killed by a hit-and-run driver last year; four bike riders have been killed in the city already this year.

Streetsblog says Sacramento is warming up to bicycles, as state legislators discover the joys of dockless ebikes.

 

National

Now you can have your very own classic 1917 Harley-Davidson, as long as you’re willing to pedal it. And pay for it.

Sad news from Chicago, where a 76-year old Elizabeth Brackett died in an apparent fall from her bike while training for a triathlon; the former PBS journalist was a world champion triathlete in her age group.

Talking in Louisville KY, former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan warns about making the same mistakes with autonomous cars that we just recovered from, with car-oriented development instead of people-oriented development. Except too many cities are still caught up in the former and hoping to make the leap directly into self-driving cars — Los Angeles included.

Worst excuse ever. A Kentucky driver says he killed one bicyclist — the golf coach at Western Kentucky University — and injured three other riders, because he rear-ended them before he could check his mirrors to go around them. Evidently, he was driving the automotive equivalent of a brakeless fixie, and had no idea how to stop his car without crashing into something. Or someone.

Even in Akron, Ohio, bike riders are complaining that drivers are getting more aggressive and careless.

For a change, the New York Times recommends five relatively affordable add-ons to make your bike commute more enjoyable.

A writer for the NY Times apparently attempts to prove it’s possible to write 1,000 words without saying anything, other than insulting lycra-clad bike riders and complaining about concrete barriers on a bike path.

A British travel writer says a bike is the best way to visit New York’s hippest borough, suggesting five of the best Brooklyn bike routes.

 

International

Now this is how you encourage bike commuting. The Great-West Life Assurance Company has built an 1,800-square foot bicycle pavilion for their Canada headquarters, complete with two-tiered parking for 162 bicycles, a tune-up station and repair tools.

Ottawa, Canada residents decide they’d rather preserve parking than give kids a safe route to school while a bike and pedestrian bridge is rebuilt; the local paper calls it the opposite of Vision Zero.

Quebec is still struggling to figure out whether to classify mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs as pedestrians or bicycles, or something else altogether.

A Toronto newspaper examines the four elements that make up a bike-friendly protected intersection, while calling for a boost in the city’s Vision Zero budget.

A competing Toronto paper complains that the fight to save lives on the city streets amounts to a war on cars, and that while any deaths are regrettable, it’s a price they seem willing to pay to avoid making any significant concessions to traffic safety.

No surprise here. A new survey of Londoners has found that bike riders are the happiest commuters.

Sixteen thousand British riders took part in a 54-mile London to Brighton charity ride to fight heart disease.

A UK automotive website looks at the best cars for bike riders, most of which aren’t available in the US. Actually, the best cars for bike riders would combine automatic braking systems with foam hoods and bumpers for when the former fails.

A new British ebike lets you mine cryptocurrency with every pedal stroke.

A 37-mile Irish singles ride gives speed dating a whole new meaning.

Good idea. Finnish speeding tickets are linked to your income, so a wealthy driver pays more than someone just scraping by.

A pair of Brits made it to Volgograd, Russia just in time for yesterday’s World Cup match between England and Tunisia, traveling 2,400 miles through six countries in just over three weeks.

Trek is promoting randonneuring in India.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rwanda claims to be taking the next step towards becoming a cycling powerhouse by waiving a 25% import tax on racing bicycles, assuming a lower cost will encourage more people to take up the sport.

Bike racing still has a drug problem, as nearly five percent of pro riders tested positive for Tramadol, which is still legal for reasons no one can seem to explain.

Twenty cyclists were injured when a mother with three kids in her car suddenly made a U-turn during a Belgian bike race, on an apparently open course; after the crash, her partner went back to their home and returned with a baseball bat to threaten the victims.

Rouleur looks at Ryan Eastman’s transition from rising pro cyclist to paramedic, after his racing career was ended by a crash with a deer  while descending at 55 mph on a training ride.

 

Finally…

If you want to get away with hit-and-run, remember to remove the bicycle from under your car. Now you can ride your bike without missing a moment of the World Cup.

And don’t ride your ‘bent on the autobahn.

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Thanks to David E for his generous contribution to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

 

Morning Links: Progress on yesterday’s fading East LA bike blvd, and kind-hearted people give bikes for kids

Just a quick update on yesterday’s photo of the badly faded barrio bike boulevard markings at Hubbard and Simmons in East LA.

According to Aurelio Jose Barrera, who took the photo, he got a response from County Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office that the report is being passed on to the LA County Department of Public Works.

Hopefully we’ll have some good news soon.

And I’m told you can report any problems on county roads yourself using LA County’s The Work’s app.

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More there are still some bighearted people in the world.

A group of San Diego-area kids donated 23 bicycles for disadvantaged children in Haiti.

The Ashley Furniture company donated 42 bicycles, helmets and locks for kids in Wisconsin.

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Local

Way to bury the lead. DTLA bike shop pop-up Tokyobike now has a permanent location in the former American Apparel building in the Fashion District.

Santa Monica passes an e-scooter and ebike sharing pilot program, without the hard caps on the number of bikes and scooters that was originally proposed, although it retains the $20,000 annual fee and a charge of $130 per device.

Somehow we missed this one earlier in the week, as Gary Kavanagh write on Medium that e-scooters are good, and we should cap the number of cars in Santa Monica instead.

Curbed looks at the SaMo e-scooter debate, and says it’s time cities learned the value of the curb.

CiclaValley once again proves the value of a bike, as he rides through the downfall and leaves all the cars far behind.

 

State

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies busted three bike burglars who stole $30,000 worth of bicycles from a Newbury Park bike shop.

No bias here. The local paper says Palo Alto residents criticize a new roundabout and plans for a bicycle boulevard. Then mention that half the people who spoke at a meeting opposed it — which suggests that half didn’t.

Just like everywhere else, the debate over bike lanes on a Los Altos street comes down to safety versus the convenience of motorists.

San Francisco is open to closing JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park to cars. Which means opening it up to everyone else.

The City by the Bay adopts a litter of “adorable” little protected bike lane sweepers.

Former pro Levi Leipheimer has teamed with the Russian River Brewing Co to raise $400,000 to replace homes destroyed in last year’s fires.

Yosemite re-opens the fabled Mariposa Grove after a three-year ecological restoration. But don’t try to ride your bike there; bicycles are banned from the road in favor of the much more ecological, smog-spewing tour buses. Sarcasm intended.

Much respect to a pair of Nevada City kids, who responded to the racial harassment they receive while riding their bikes by organizing a Ride Against Racism this weekend.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss continues his transition from pundit to hard-hitting advocate, as he says bikeshare can save our cities if we let it.

Fortune looks back at how we got to peak e-scooter mania. Something tells me we’re nowhere near peak anything yet, mania or otherwise.

Bicycling suggests eight hills you have to ride before you die, one of which is in California. Which apparently means that if you only ride seven, you’ll live forever.

Your next carbon-fiber bike could be 3D printed. And cheaper.

Thanks to Ford, your next bike jacket could tell you where to go. And tell everyone else that you are.

If you have to break in and steal a couple of bikes, maybe it’s not the best idea to take them from a Hawaiian police station.

Bike riders Glenwood Springs CO are noticing a wave of driver courtesy and safe driving. Unlike, say, virtually everywhere else.

A Denver weekly maps the best bike routes through the biggest neighborhoods.

A Michigan man is leaving Friday on a 2,500-mile ride along Route 66 to raise funds to fight pediatric cancer in honor of his son, who died five years ago after battling pediatric cancer and neuroblastoma.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as someone sabotaged a Boston bike lane with thumbtacks arranged point up. How about sentencing the perp to work with the victims of bike crashes caused by assholes like him — or her?

The NYPD is on the lookout for a bike-riding bandit who swoops in to snatch cellphones from unsuspecting New Yorkers.

 

International

An Ontario driver solves the problem of masses of bicyclists clogging the highways on group rides — just send them off in packs of ten, riding single file, ten minutes apart. Which means it would take about one and a half days just to start a typical 2,000 rider charity ride. Let alone finish.

Ottawa commuters are furious over parking tickets they got when they drove partway to work, parked all day in a local park, then biked the rest of the way.

Toronto’s former chief planner says it’s time to declare a state of emergency, as bike and pedestrian deaths continue to climb in the city, despite the two-year old Vision Zero. Advocates respond by demanding a reduction in speed limits.

Caught on video: An impatient Brit driver gets out of her car to accuse a bike rider of hogging the road after she drives over a traffic island. Although judging by the dents in her car, she’s just a crappy driver.

Sorry Pashley-riding English posties, you’ll have to show your support for The Three Lions on your own time.

Fred Davis forwards news of a German pedal-powered knitting machine that can make a knit hat while you wait.

Scotland is investing the equivalent of nearly $2 million dollars to provide interest-free loans of up to $4,000 to ebike buyers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Flax relates the story of the first family of American cycling. And no, probably it’s not who you think it is.

Deadspin says the great Marco Pantini may have been the victim of a doctored blood test when he got kicked out of the ’99 Giro, and began the downward spiral that cost him his life. Even though he probably raced his entire career on EPO, like most of the peloton in those days.

Forget doping. The real scandal in pro cycling is sock length.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want a wet bike ride, maybe you shouldn’t call it the Water Carnival. Put those playing cards back in your spokes.

And no, ringing your bell doesn’t give you the right-of-way.

 

Morning Links: Bonin addresses traffic in Playa del Rey, bike boulevard coming to East LA, and upcoming bike events

Playa del Rey’s angry drivers are claiming victory today for bending Councilmember Mike Bonin to their will.

Even though Bonin did exactly what he said he would all along.

Bonin announced Thursday that he’s instructing LADOT to add a second eastbound lane on Culver Blvd in Playa del Rey to alleviate the morning traffic backups, while keeping the new bike lanes in place.

I committed to you that I would listen to what you had to say, seek out the data to inform us about what we could do to improve the situation, and continue to ask for your input on what needed to be done. I heard from thousands of neighbors who called, emailed or completed the online survey we created to gather input, and your feedback has been informative and enormously helpful.

Based on your input and the feedback of other neighbors in Playa del Rey, and on the recommendation of our traffic engineers who have vetted and analyzed the traffic data, LADOT is making an immediate change to the project that will address two of the biggest problems you have reported to us: gridlock on eastbound Culver Boulevard during the morning commute; and the abrupt and difficult transition from Nicholson Street onto Culver, which is causing additional congestion on Pershing Drive.

In order to address those issues, LADOT will restore a second eastbound lane on Culver Boulevard between Nicholson Street and Jefferson Boulevard, while keeping the new bike/walk lanes that run along the road. The additional lane will ease the morning commute, which is far more concentrated than the evening commute, and will make it easier and smoother to merge from Nicholson onto Culver. LADOT crews will restripe the lanes, and add bollards to both sides of the street to separate the driving lanes from the bike/walk lanes.

Bonin has said all along that the projects would be evaluated at regular periods, and adjustments would be made as needed to improve safety and keep traffic flowing. Something that seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

Which is why advocates have been urging outraged drivers to take a deep breath, and give things time to settle in, rather than demanding that the desperately needed safety improvements be ripped out at the first sign of problems.

Then there’s this from LA Curbed’s Allissa Walker, which sums up the situation in Playa del Rey better than any other explanation I’ve seen. Or written, for that matter.

A group now known as Open Streets PDR is being promoted by several prominent members of the tech community who want to eliminate the changes, many of whom are passing through Playa del Rey from their homes in Manhattan Beach to jobs in Playa Vista, Venice, and Santa Monica. The supporters are proposing plenty of tech-based solutions—streaming camerassocial media campaignsdata studies—but not to make streets safer, to help them move more quickly through them.

A high-profile crowdfunding effort for Open Streets PDR that has been shared by many tech leaders on social media has now raised over $18,000 to “fight LA gridlock.”

But until the people sitting alone in their cars tapping away at their apps realize that they are the gridlock, nothing will change.

Because the only way these tech leaders could truly solve LA’s traffic problems—including reducing LA’s traffic deathsand tackling climate change—is by helping as many people as possible take public transit. Or feel safer riding bikes. Or, on a larger scale, live closer to work.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton offers a follow-up on last night’s Venice Neighborhood Council meeting. He calls for civil discourse in the debate over the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, noting that he has never seen so much anger in his time on the Mar Vista Community Council. Yeah, good luck with that. Hell hath no fury like a driver scorned.

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Lost in all the back-and-forth over the Mar Vista and Playa del Rey safety this week has been news that long-ignored East LA is getting a bike boulevard.

Aurelio Jose Barrera forwards news that LA County is installing the bikeway on Hubbard Street, along with a bike route on 6th Street as part of the county’s Safe Routes to Schools program.

Which begs the question, if the county can do it, why can’t Los Angeles seem to be able to build any of the euphemistically named Bicycle Friendly Streets contained in the city’s mobility plan?

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Santa Monica will host a Kidical Mass Ride tomorrow, followed by a ride with the city’s mayor the following weekend.

A public meeting will be held on Monday to discuss plans to Re-Imagine Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills.

You can voice your support for the Venice Blvd Great Streets project, including parking-protected bike lanes through Mar Vista, at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting on Tuesday.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition is hosting the Guided Sunset Strand History Tour in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach on Wednesday, July 12th.

Helen’s Cycles has a number of rides on tap for the next two weeks, including a women’s only mountain bike ride on the 15th.

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The big excitement in Thursday’s stage 6 of the Tour de France came from a wayward umbrella.

No surprise here. Peter Sagan’s appeal of his DQ from the Tour has been officially denied by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ella Cycling Tips reports on stage 7 of the Giro Rosa, with four stages left to go. However, 21-year old Italian cyclist Claudia Cretti was seriously injured after hitting her head on a guard rail at around 56 mph (scroll up).

More reviews of HBO’s cycling and doping sendup Tour de Pharmacy from Outside Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter and VeloNews.

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Local

Metro celebrates the first anniversary of the Metro Bike bikeshare as it prepares to launch in Pasadena; the system has logged 182,482 trips covering 452,840 miles.

Temporary plans are unveiled for the former Taylor Yards Union-Pacific Railroad site, which will eventually be the crown jewel in LA’s plans to restore the LA River, including plans for elevated walkways, trails and bike paths.

 

State

San Diego police are looking for a BMX bike-riding serial butt slapper after a college student was assaulted Thursday, the second such attack in the last two days.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a 64-year old man has died after falling off his bike in front of a garbage truck.

A Fresno hit-and-run driver was sentenced to three years probation and 400 hours of community service for critically injuring a local doctor as he rode his bike, after the victim urged leniency and restorative justice.

A homeless Fresno man has been sentenced to 11 years behind bars for killing a bike-riding man with a single punch following an argument.

A Morgan Hill Honda dealer joined with a local advocacy group to give 35 bicycles and helmets to needy children.

A Napa County grand jury says the county’s current plans, including new bike lanes, are inadequate to alleviate traffic congestion.

The 16-year old son of a Napa cop is leaving today on a 1,000-mile long bike ride along the left coast to raise funds for the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.

 

National

Alaska’s biggest bike race could be losing popularity.

A South Korean man’s dream of bicycling from Canada to Argentina was cut short when someone stole his bike and touring gear in Portland, just 35 days into his journey. However, the local community is raising funds and donating equipment to get him back on his way.

Oregon has become the first state to impose a tax on new bicycle sales; children’s bikes are exempt from the $15 fee, as are bikes costing less than $200. The token fee isn’t high enough to discourage anyone from buying a bike, but it won’t raise a significant amount for bike and pedestrian projects, either.

Who says Trump supporters don’t ride bikes? A Connecticut man was caught on security cam vandalizing a local playground with anti-Trump threats in an attempt to embarrass liberals; he agreed it was really stupid once he saw his face on the news. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

New York bike advocates call on the city to pick up the pace of installing protected bike lanes after four people were killed riding their bikes in recent weeks.

A New York professor is recruiting bicyclists to measure smog in an attempt to determine the point at which the effects of bad air outweigh the benefits of bike riding; unsurprisingly, people riding in parking-protected bike lanes breathe in a lot less pollution than people in door zone bike lanes.

A kindhearted Florida cop bought two new tires for a man after seeing him ride his bike with just one functioning tire.

 

International

More news from the frontlines of the war on bikes, as someone booby trapped a British mountain bike trail with coiled barbed wire; fortunately, the rusted wire wrapped around a rider’s wheel instead of his legs.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a stripped-down performance Brompton designed by former Scottish pro cyclist David Millar, here’s your chance.

Speaking of former Scottish cyclists named Millar, ’80s cycling star Robert Millar is now Phillipa York, after the retired cyclist came out as a woman. Correction: I originally confused Robert and David Millar, who are clearly not the same person, as dodojojo pointed out. My apologies for the error.

Tune up your bike. France has announced plans to ban all gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A German court sends a case back for resentencing after two street-racing drivers received suspended sentences for killing a young woman riding in a bike lane. Too bad we can’t appeal similar sentences here in the US.

A German aristocrat with a family pedigree dating back to the middle ages faces a charge of riding an unregistered motorized bicycle at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

Auckland, New Zealand’s Te Ara I Whiti Lightpath bikeway has been honored at the 47th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. Which goes to show what can be done when you care enough to do it right.

 

Finally…

Who needs an elevator when you can pedal your way up a building? Your next riding glasses could have a quad core processor and 32 gigs of storage.

And who needs a mountain bike course when you’ve got an indoor shopping mall?

 

Selling bike safety, culture and infrastructure to a suspicious public

The single most powerful political manifesto I’ve ever read was written by Dale Carnegie.

I don’t think he intended to write a revolutionary treatise. But over the years, I’ve found the suggestions contained in his 70-year old book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, are more effective in creating political and societal change than any sit-in, march or demonstration.

One in particular has been proven over and over to be a brilliant political tool: “Always talk in terms of the other man’s interest.” That is, look at it from their perspective, and think about they’re interested in, rather than what’s in it for you.

I been thinking about that since I attended a session on advanced bike traffic planning tools, hosted by Ryan Snyder of Ryan Snyder Associates, at the L.A. Bike Summit on Saturday. He talked about a number of innovative bike traffic solutions, from sharrows and bike boxes, to painted bike lanes and improved signage.

But what really caught my attention were two things:

First was the concept of Road Diets. Simply put, it’s the idea that traffic flow and neighborhoods can both be improved by reducing the number of lanes.

For instance, a typical four-lane street that carries 20,000 vehicles or less a day can often be reconfigured into two through lanes, with a center left turn lane so that turning cars don’t block traffic, while leaving room for bike lanes on either side. This reduction can actually improve vehicle flow, while calming traffic speeds and permitting a dramatic increase in bike usage — and improve safety for both drivers and riders, while revitalizing the surrounding neighborhood.

The other one was the idea of Bike Boulevards — something a number of local riders have advocated lately.

At its most basic, a bike boulevard is a street, often parallel to a major thoroughfare, that has been optimized to encourage bike traffic. At the same time, it employs various barriers, roundabouts and signal changes to discourage vehicle through traffic.

You don’t have to sell cyclists on the concept of a bike boulevard. Build it, and we will come.

But as Ryan pointed out, the problem for both of these ideas — especially bike boulevards — comes when it’s time to sell local residents and business owners on the idea. With today’s over-congested traffic, very few people are open to the idea of actually reducing traffic lanes.

And no one wants to live on a bike boulevard.

People who live there tend to envision a thundering horde of two-wheeled thugs invading their street, reducing their property values and making them second-class citizens in their own neighborhoods.

Yet the reality is just the opposite. By eliminating through traffic, a bike boulevard will dramatically reduce vehicle traffic, making their street quieter, more peaceful and significantly safer, while local traffic is still able move in and out with ease.

Streets become more walkable, as well as bike-able, encouraging residents to get out and meet their neighbors. And the enhanced landscaping and beautification projects that often are part of a bike boulevard project — in part to get buy-in from the locals — results in a more attractive streetscape.

All that adds up to a better, more livable neighborhood. And means that property values could actually go up, not down.

The same holds true for a business district. Reduced traffic flow means less through traffic, resulting in quieter streets less congestion and easier access for drivers who do want to stop and shop. Parking can be improved and streets beautified, creating a neighborhood ideal for strolling or sidewalk cafes, while the extra bike traffic could actually bring more customers to the area.

Everyone wins.

So we have to do a much better job of marketing — whatever we’re selling. Because the key to getting bike boulevards and the other biking infrastructure, safety improvements, better educated, less biased and more effective police, and acceptance of bike culture, is not to demand our rights, but to look at it from their perspective.

We have to show local authorities, as well as home and business owners, exactly how and why it works to their benefit.

And let them demand it, instead.

***

Streetsblog offers some great biking links this morning, as well as a good overview of the keynote speakers at the Bike Summit. Gary, Brayj and Drew also offer reviews, though in the latter case, I fear I have once again failed to make a good impression. Will offers links to photos, as well as photos and video of his close encounter with Lance following the Summit. Los Angeles Rides quotes from a New York Times article about riding in the city, and how we make ourselves look bad — and not just by wearing spandex. Bicycle Fixation demonstrates that once again, cycling offers better stress relief than any prescription drug. The Biking Lawyer relates the history of the Stop As Yield Law. And Los Angeles Cyclist offers parts 3, 4 & 5 in his five part story of the Ridiculous Pink Fixie.

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