Tag Archive for bike lanes

Morning Links: Los Angeles bike lane fail, take a NIMBY Pasadena traffic survey, and road rage on San Diego golf course

Um, no.

Spectrum News 1 reports on Sunday’s CicLAvia, and leads off with the surprising news that Los Angeles has installed 600 miles of bike lanes on LA streets since the bike plan was passed in 2010.

Except it ain’t necessarily so.

There is a case to be made that the city has built 600 miles of bikeways over the past nine years.

But only if you include bike paths and sharrows in that total.

And only if you measure part of that in lane miles — which counts each side of the road separately, effectively doubling the total.

A more easily understandable figure is center lane miles, which measures both sides of the roadway at once.

In truth, Los Angeles had only painted 250.82 miles of bike lanes when adjusted for lane miles, as of the 2015-16 fiscal year. Along with 19.95 miles of bike paths, and 90.44 miles of basically useless sharrows.

In the three years since then, the city’s anemic output has resulted in just 33.25 center lane miles of any kind — a miserable average of just 11.08 miles a year.

And this with a progressive mayor who supposedly supports bicycling, and one of the nation’s most respected planning heads in LADOT’s Seleta Reynolds.

The word pathetic comes to mind.

So a more accurate figure, measured the way most people would understand it, comes out to less than 400 miles of bikeways of any kind built in Los Angeles since 2010.

394.46, to be exact.

And only 284.04 miles of those are on-street bike lanes – assuming all the bikeways built after the 2013-2014 fiscal year are bike lanes, and not sharrows.

Or looking at it another way, only 120.61 miles of bikeways of any kind have been built since Eric Garcetti became mayor in 2013, for an average of just 17.23 center lane miles per year.

And yes, that includes sharrows.

To make matters worse, half of those were built during his first year in office, so they were already under way when he came in.

Which means in reality, Garcetti and Reynolds should only be credited with just 60.85 center lane miles of any kind.

An average of just 10.14 miles per year after his first year.

Just in case you wondered why Vision Zero is failing in Los Angeles.

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Seriously, stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few minutes to respond to this very slanted survey from NIMBY traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving’s Pasadena franchise.

It would be a real shame if the responses to the survey reflected a desire for safe streets and increased density, instead their desire to keep zoom, zooming on bike and pedestrian unfriendly Rose City streets only a car could love.

And while the survey says you can only respond once, that’s once per device.

I also may have *accidently* discovered that you can respond as many times as you want if you keep deleting the two Survey Monkey cookies on your computer.

Not that anyone would do that. of course.

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CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew is none too pleased with a UPS driver.

For good reason.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A road raging San Diego man drove onto a golf course to chase two bike-riding teens after they allegedly through food onto his car, first running down one boy with his car, then getting out and repeatedly punching him. Note to crazy man: just get your damn car washed next time.

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

Or at least we can assume it was someone who rides a bike who once again hacked a Brooklyn NY traffic sign to spread anti-car messages. Seriously, I’m not laughing. You’re laughing.

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Local

Nice piece from Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman about a South LA man who hit the scrapyard to build a custom lowrider-style fat tire bike for a friend. And ended up inking a deal with a bike maker.

 

State

They get it. Encinitas decides to split the baby, converting existing bike lanes along the Coast Highway to protected lanes, and painting sharrows on the right lane of the highway so the spandexed crowd doesn’t have to slow down or compete for space with slower riders.

A Palm Springs magazine talks with Tom Kirk, the man behind the planned 50-mile bike path slowly taking shape around the Coachella Valley.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s deputies are trying out new police vehicles with a battery and two wheels, and a Trek decal on the frame.

Streetsblog SF says you may not be able to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, but at least something could be done about employees of transit agencies.

The victim in Thursday’s fatal dooring in Oakland has been identified as a 24-year old Oakland man. Just a reminder, since the Bay Area media insists on saying the victim ran into the open door — drivers are always responsible for dooring a bike rider as long as the victim obeying the law and riding on the right side of the street.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says there’s nothing controversial about bike lanes, and it’s time for the media to catch up. Tell that to Keep LA Moving and their associates.

You can forget autonomous cars saving us anytime soon. A study by AAA shows cars with supposed pedestrian-detection systems can’t recognize people in the roadway under several circumstances, including after dark and when traveling over 25 mph.

The New York Times says bikes and bears don’t mix, with recreational mountain biking leading to dangerous conditions for humans, as well as for bears and other wildlife. Mountain biking may have sustainability issues, too. Thanks to George Wolfberg for the first link.

Forget bears, rainbow crosswalks are the real danger.

Hundreds of Lime bikes and scooters were burned in a Seattle warehouse fire, apparently sparked by exploding batteries.

A Colorado velodrome is facing demolition unless they can find an alternate buyer in the next few months.

A Cleveland man faces 16 charges, including kidnapping and aggravated robbery, for carjacking a vehicle with a toddler inside and killing a man riding a bicycle while fleeing from police. Which brings up the obvious question of why, apparently, wasn’t he charged with 2nd degree murder?

An MS-13 gang member got 23 to life behind bars for hacking a 15-year old New York State boy to death with a machete after he went out for a bike ride.

Apparently, things are no different in Hoboken as they are anywhere else, as local NIMBYs swear their support for bike lanes and Vision Zero, just not where the city wants to put them.

Charges were reduced for an Uber bike delivery rider in the stabbing death of a Philadelphia man, from 2nd degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reducing the maximum sentence from 40 to 20 years. The defense claims the white victim used racist language while arguing with the black bike rider.

Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a bank robber who may have fled the scene in a white van. Or maybe an SUV. Or a mountain bike.

Bethesda, Maryland bike riders get their first protected intersection. Which outnumbers similar intersections in Los Angeles by a factor of 1 – 0.

Heartbreaking news from Alabama, where a preteen boy shot a 12-year old boy in the back of the head when he refused to hand over his bicycle.

 

International

A British Lord has a long history of vehemently opposing bicycles and the people who ride them. But all that will be forgotten if you sign up for his charity bike ride in Spain (scroll down). Forgotten by you, that is; he’ll undoubtedly continue criticizing bikes while taking your money.

Road.cc explains why UK bike riders may not use the “perfectly good bike lanes” drivers often complain about.

The Guardian asks if we should ban SUVs from our cities. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely.

Apparently, suffering a severe brain injury isn’t good for your marriage. The wife of British adventurer James Cracknell explains why the couple split up after 17 years of marriage, saying the extreme brain injury he suffered when he was struck by a truck driver while riding across the US in 2010 left him with a different personality.

Amsterdam is slowly moving to cut cars out of the picture, one street at a time.

Break the rules for riding a bicycle in Abu Dhabi, and you may not have one anymore.

Tragic news from Singapore, as a 53-year old man died five days after he was hit by someone on a bicycle; to make matters worse, his sister stumbled on the scene as paramedics were tending to her brother.

Speaking of Singapore, e-scooters may be on their way out in the law-and-order city-state.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a pro cyclist has been seriously injured in a crash with a motor vehicle during a race. Dutch rider Edo Maas suffered neck, back and facial fractures when he collided with a car whose driver had wandered onto the closed course during a rapid descent in the Piccolo Lombardia race; the 19-year old cyclist was riding on the Giro’s Madonna del Ghisallo bike path, named after the patron saint of bicyclists.

Deadspin walks readers through the “hilarious” Zwift cheating scandal. Despite the scandal, Zwift is aiming to make it into the Olympic Games. Nothing like winning gold for riding a bicycle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Bike Radar says Lance just won’t go away. Although they might have said it a tad more politely. But still.

 

Finally…

Sometimes, you just can’t win; even when a bike-riding burglar put lights and reflectors on his bike, it just makes him easier to spot. Today’s lesson — don’t pee around machete-carrying bike riders.

And if mountain bikes are too expensive, just make your own, using a front fork for the rear suspension.

 

Morning Links: A friendly talk with the father of vehicular cycling, gap closure on SaMo Blvd, and Popeye Doyle is one of us

Sorry about that. 

My brother Eric decided to spend a few more days than expected to rest up on his bike tour of the Western US. And after 74 days and 3,500 miles, with at least another 1,000 mile to go, he certainly had the right. 

But now that he’s safely on the road again, we’ve got a lot to catch up on. 

So grab you coffee and settle in. You may need a refill before we’re done. 

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Bike scribe Peter Flax sat down for a surprisingly friendly conversation with John Forester, honored and derided as the father of vehicular cycling.

It’s a good read, presenting the human side of a man often seen as dogmatic and cantankerous.

PF: Well, as someone who presently lives and rides in Los Angeles, I’m curious what it was like to ride a bike in LA in the 50s and 60s

JF: Well, when I was with Los Angeles Wheelmen, we published a newsletter that got posted in bike shops, and some rides would start at a corner of Venice Boulevard somewhere in West LA. Or else they would car start — go in a car to a certain location and unload your bike and go off for the ride. Even then we knew that Los Angeles was just too damn big — if you wanted to get out of town, about the only way you could do it was on the coast highway. On any other route it a long, long time to get out of town, other than the mountains just behind Los Angeles. And the same sort of mix took place in Northern California — some rides starting at a local place, but for Marin rides I’d go up by car.

PF: So talk to me about this period, you’ll probably know the exact start of it better than I do, the late 60s and early 70s, when this bike boom finally came to the US.

JF: What I noticed toward the end of the 60s — I was still in Los Angeles in this time — was that there were road people, meaning Americans who drove sports cars, showing up with bicycles aboard. Good bicycles — I mean semi-racing or racing bikes. I’d upgraded my equipment by that time, too. I ordered a Holdsworth bicycle and parts to make up an all-Campy bike, and I switched to tubulars because they rolled easier. So I saw more people coming in cycling and they were not poor people, they did it because they enjoyed doing things on the road — driving cars and riding bikes.

Yet Forrester is someone who has probably had a greater influence on bicycling infrastructure, or the lack thereof, and how we’ve ridden for the past 50 years than anyone else.

And continues to defend his perspective.

PF: They put in a protected bike lane on Venice Boulevard for a mile a couple years ago, and I ride that stretch often. And what I perceive as a rider is that probably more than before I have to be more attentive when I get to intersections, but when I’m on the mid-block portion, I feel more relaxed because I feel protected. Perhaps it’s rearranged the risk, but my perception is that when you look at both the US and abroad, the data indicates that there are fewer fatal crashes when that kind of infrastructure is put in. That there are instances — like just a couple months ago in San Francisco where a young woman who works in the tech industry had someone open a car door in front of her and she swerved to avoid the door and got hit by a delivery truck. People see those kinds of incidents happening and then when protected lanes go in, they feel like that particular kind of risk has been erased for that kind of rider.

JF: Well, in the first place, don’t ride in the door zone. That’s one of the early rules of the game. And also, what you’re reading is people killed; you don’t read about broken ankles, concussed brains, cracked ribs, they don’t make the news. Only 2% of car-bike collisions are fatal; you’re making the tail wag the dog. And not only are just 2% of car-bike collisions fatal — they’re much more likely to occur during darkness and on rural roads than other car-bike collisions. Furthermore, as I’ve said only 5 percent of car-bike collisions are caused by same-direction motor traffic; 95 percent by turning and crossing movements. In other words, the people who you are quoting are making the tail wag the dog. And doing that because they are more frightened of traffic from behind than they are of anything else. That’s their phobia; it is a phobia because it is an unrealistic fear contrary to scientific knowledge.

It’s a long read.

But worth it to understand how we got where we are today.

For better or worse.

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The good news is Los Angeles has finally closed the gap between the Santa Monica Blvd bike lanes that previously ended in Century City, and the relatively new bike lanes through Beverly Hills.

The bad news should be pretty obvious.

Meanwhile, West Hollywood leaders showed a little more political courage, voting to remove parking on one side of Santa Monica Blvd to connect their long-time bike lanes with the ones in Beverly Hills.

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Gene Hackman is one of us.

Patrick Dempsey is one of us, too. But you knew that, right?

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A writer for the Orange County Register considers why almost no one wears a bike helmet in the Netherlands.

But like most who tackle the topic, he neglects to consider the benefits of a step-through frame on a typical Dutch bike, which allows riders to simply step off in the event of a fall.

Sort of like this.

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‘Nuff said.

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Call me crazy, but maybe they’re taking this “shrink it and pink it” thing for women’s bikes a little too far.

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

The road-raging Singaporean truck driver caught on video squabbling with a bicyclist swears he only swerved his truck at the man to avoid a taxi. Because when you’re faced with a crash with something hard, like a taxi, always aim for something soft. Like a person.

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

Police in Santa Clara are looking for the vicious jerk who attacked a 91-year old man with a rock while he was visiting his wife’s grave, then made off on a bicycle with the victim’s belongings.

Police are looking for a bike rider who smashed the drive-through window on a Bronx Burger King with a bike chain when they refused to serve him because he wasn’t in a car.

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Local

CD4 Councilmember David Ryu unveils a new HAWK beacon — short for High-intensity Activated crossWalK — to protect pedestrians on 6th Street, where local residents fought to have a life-saving road diet installed instead. And lost.

UCLA looks forward to this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia, which celebrates the 100th birthday of the university in its former Downtown location.

CiclaValley is a fan of the new Euro-style raised crosswalks in Beverly Hills.

Santa Monica has begun a project to improve the beachfront Marvin Braude Bike Trail from Muscle Beach to the city limit north of the Annenberg Beach House to widen the current path and build a separate walkway; bicyclists will be required to get off their bikes and walk them along a temporary trail through the construction zones.

Brooks McKinney talks with Frank Ching, Metro’s head of alternative mobility and transportation demand management programs.

 

State

A newspaper in Santa Clarita recommends what they call the great eight California bike trails, including LA County’s Marvin Braude Bike Trail, as well as bike paths in Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Tragic news from Orange, where a man died from multiple stab wounds after falling off his bicycle; he was apparently riding his bike to get help when he collapsed.

The Coast Highway in Encinitas will soon get buffered bike lanes. Unfortunately, it comes several years too late to save the life of Encino randonneur Jim Swartzman.

More bad news, as a 28-year old man was killed in a drive-by shooting while walking his bike in San Diego’s Mountain View neighborhood, after exchanging words with the men in the car.

A Victorville man was hospitalized in grave condition after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike. Although judging by the headline, what really mattered was the road closure that followed.

It was a bad week in Fresno County. A bike-riding man from India was killed in Selma by a 19-year old woman who was allegedly driving without a valid license, and reportedly has other undisclosed traffic crimes on her record. Three days later, a 76-year old man was killed in nearby Reedley when he reportedly rode out of an orchard into the path of another 19-year old driver.

Things weren’t much better in neighboring Merced County, where a man was killed when his bike was right hooked by a truck driver.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an entire truckload of donated bicycles intended for a class of Alameda 4th graders.

Megan Lynch forwards more on Cal Poly’s successful effort to set a new collegiate human-powered vehicle record, with a former Davis High grad manning the pedals.

 

National

CBS looks at the great scooter backlash.

CityLab celebrated my birthday with a ranking of the best and worst places to live carfree. Not surprisingly, San Francisco topped the list; shockingly, the LA metro area checked in at number ten. On the flip side, better keep your car if you live in San Bernardino or Riverside counties.

CityLab also says yes, a mass switch to electric vehicles could help bring down planet-killing emissions, but the real solution is for Americans to cut back on their driving right now. And Sacramento is ground zero in the fight.

A Seattle woman wants to know what happened to her ten years ago, when she was found next to her bike on the side of the road with a burst spleen and 22 broken bones, and no memory of what happened. Naturally, police blamed a fall caused by bad pavement, instead the far more likely possibility of a hit-and-run.

A Washington woman proves the old axiom, if you want to place high in a half-marathon, cheat by riding a bike.

Apparently order in the courtroom doesn’t extend to the streets, as a New Mexico judge slammed her car into a pair of bicyclists, killing one person and injuring the other.

A formerly homeless man in my hometown lifted himself off the streets, and turned his hard luck into a nonprofit dedicated to providing bicycles to those in need. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

A Kansas man is suing the police for unlawful arrest after he refused to give his birthdate when he was stopped for riding on the sidewalk without a headlight. He served three months of a 17-month sentence when police found meth on his bike after the arrest; his conviction was later thrown out on appeal when the court ruled he was under no obligation to tell them, and that it’s against the law to arrest anyone suspected of committing a traffic violation.

In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Wisconsin driver faces charges for killing a 43-year old bike-riding teacher while driving at nearly three-times the legal alcohol limit; it was his third DUI in just three years.

Chicago police are writing fewer tickets to bike riders. But most are still going to people in predominantly black neighborhoods.

A Kentucky cop flipped his police cruiser during a chase. So naturally, someone on a bike gets the blame.

Authorities in Long Island continue their assault on teenage ride outs, monitoring social media to crack down on planned rides, impounding kids’ bikes and fining their parents up to $100 to get them back; advocates describe the ride outs as an effort to escape poverty and drugs, while opponents call it the most dangerous subculture on two wheels.

A Brooklyn town hall called by a bike lane opponent devolved into angry pushing and shoving, accompanied by a lot of shouting. Proof that LA public bike lane meetings can get worse. But not much. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

A New York driver faces life in prison for allegedly murdering a bike rider by running him down with his SUV after the man allegedly tried to break into his SUV, then cut a woman with a screwdriver.

Apparently, a call to kill people on bicycles is what passes for satire at Penn State. Unfortunately, it’s an independent publication, so the unfunny schmuck who wrote it can’t get the F he so richly deserves.

The speeding driver who killed longtime DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh while attempting to evade police last April has been sentenced to eight and a half years behind bars in a plea bargain; he had faced up to 30 years if the case had gone to trial.

Video from Florida shows why you should always inspect a dockless bike or scooter before riding, as a man is seen tampering with two scooters in Fort Lauderdale.

This is who we share the roads with. A Florida man looks almost overjoyed to get his fifth DUI and 12th ticket for driving with a suspended license. Seriously, this is why people keep dying on the streets. Just taking away someone’s license doesn’t do a damn bit of good if they keep driving anyway. We need to impound their cars, and send the drivers to jail for repeat violations. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link. 

 

International

A 12-year old Montreal boy has a new bicycle thanks to Canadian pro cyclist James Piccoli, who replaced his stolen bike after reading the boy’s angry social media post.

They get it. A UK organization for disabled bicyclists introduces a campaign to promote bicycles as mobility solutions. Which should be required viewing for everyone who claims handicapped people can’t ride bikes, and bike lanes are a barrier for them. Because it ain’t necessarily so.

A British designer insists this is a bicycle. Something tells me you might not want to ride it, though.

No bias here. An English writer accuses “ultra-slick, leg-shaved, aerodynamic-obsessed Lycra louts” of being “yobs in tight shorts” who keep other people from riding bikes with their bad behavior.

Dubliners question why it should cost more to park a bike than it does to park a car. Or why it should cost anything, period.

Sexual harassment on the streets is one reason only one in 250 teenage girls bike to school in Ireland.

The prime minister of the Netherlands explains why he rides his bike to work.

Belgian bike riders can now get back to nature on a circular elevated bike path through the woods. Thanks to Fred Davis for the tip.

Horrifying story as a woman on a bicycle was dragged by a German train at 75 mph after she got her hand stuck in the door helping someone else board; remarkably, she only suffered cuts and bruises.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a ride through Italy’s Tuscan countryside from Florence to Siena.

Residents of the former Indian principality of Gondal needed a license to ride a bicycle. And continued to renew their licenses for a decade after the law and principality came to an end with Indian independence in 1948.

More proof that some drivers think they own every inch of the road, as a road raging Brisbane driver screamed at a bike rider to get out of his way — while he was illegally driving in the bike lane.

An Aussie opposition leader trots out the ultimate insult, saying an underground highway project will turn Sydney’s west communities into a “Little Los Angeles.” Even though Los Angeles doesn’t have any buried highway junctions like that; all our misery-inducing freeway intersections stand proudly above ground.

 

Competitive Cycling

The women’s worlds were a Dutch affair, as Annemiek van Vleuten finished first in a 65-mile breakaway, while her fellow countrywoman Anna van der Breggen finished second, a little over two minutes later.

American Chloe Dygert prevented total Dutch women’s world domination, winning the rainbow jersey in the individual time trial, and beating van Der Breggen by over a minute to become the youngest ever women’s world champ at just 22 years old.

Twenty-three-year old Dane Mads Pedersen became the youngest men’s world champ in 20 years, when the favorites floundered after a soggy six and a half hours riding in the rain.

An 18-year old Columbian cyclist broke down in tears on the side of the road after losing a tire, as any hope of winning evaporated when the team car couldn’t get to him. Meanwhile, the drama continued as the apparent winner of the men’s U23 race was disqualified for drafting a team car while fighting his way back to the peloton after suffering a mechanical.

The era of doping may be officially over, but someone forgot to tell the Columbian cyclists.

An African website considers the story of legendary cyclist Major Taylor, who became America’s first black sports hero.

 

Finally…

Maybe a fish needs a bicycle after all. If you’re going to ride a bike topless after shoplifting a pair of flip flops, always take the lane.

And if there’s a bear in your way, just jump it.

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L’Shanah Tovah Umetukah to everyone observing Rosh Hashanah today.

 

Morning Links: Koretz blocks bike lanes while planet burns, LA Vision Zero gone, and Pico Rivera bikeway meeting tonight

Good piece from Curbed, as they ask whether e-scooters are too dangerous for Los Angeles streets.

Short answer, it’s not the scooters that are dangerous.

But CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz insists the streets — and sidewalks — are just too dangerous for scooter riders, saying they need the kind of bike infrastructure he’s blocked in his district because “political realities” make it too difficult.

Evidently, Koretz thinks he was only elected to do easy, convenient and popular things, and leave the hard stuff to whoever follows him once he’s termed out.

Or maybe just ignore the environment Koretz swears he’s committed to saving, and let cars keep killing us all until they finally kill the planet, too.

Evidently, he didn’t read that copy of Profiles in Courage we gave him last year.

Or watch Do the Right Thing, for that matter.

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I guess our lives don’t matter, after all.

Los Angeles has taken down its Vision Zero website, and replaced it with LADOT’s Great Streets site.

So you may still die, but at least you’ll do it on a nicer street.

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Active SGV is asking bike riders to turn out for a Pico Rivera regional bikeway design meeting tonight.

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The LACBC will be hosting another round of BEST bike safety classes in conjunction with Metro next month.

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If you’re fond o’ Peter Sagan, here’s your chance to meet and ride with him in Sagan’s new San Diego fondo.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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Local

CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew teamed with volunteer Michelle Paravicini to upgrade and redecorate a ghost bike for 15-year old bicyclist Sebastian Montero, who was killed by a speeding driver on Easter Sunday last year. A rededication ceremony will be held this Sunday.

Tyler the Creator is one of us, going for a fashionable ride in Los Angeles on a BMX from Long Beach bikemaker SE Bikes.

As usual, there will be a bike valet at this weekend’s annual Fiesta Hermosa in Hermosa Beach. So do everyone a favor and leave the car at home.

A handful of hecklers opposed to the recent road diet on the Broadway corridor tried to shout down a couple of Long Beach councilmembers at a monthly public Q&A session. So evidently, it’s not just LA and Pasadena NIMBYs that do that.

 

State

La Jolla follows Santa Monica’s lead and tries to corral e-scooters with painted, on-street scooter parking areas.

Fountain Valley’s newly rebuilt Slater Ave bridge will finally reopen today, complete with better sidewalks and bike lanes.

Where you can walk, hike and bike without leaving Riverside.

Petaluma-based premium bikewear brand Kitsbow is pulling up stakes, and moving across the US to North Carolina.

More bad news from NorCal, as a 28-year old Fremont bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who later returned to the scene after driving to work with the victim’s bicycle still embedded in his windshield; just one of those danged “unfortunate accidents” according to police. Meanwhile, San Francisco’s CBS outlet blames the victim for wearing dark clothes, while questioning whether he would hav survived if the driver hadn’t waited to call 911.

Sunnyvale joined the Vision Zero club, though advocates say the city isn’t doing enough to prevent bike and pedestrian deaths. Kind of like virtually every American city — including one SoCal metropolis in particular (see above).

San Francisco-based celebrity chef Chris Cosentino finds his balance by returning to his mountain bike.

 

National

CityLab says apps that automatically report problem drivers and blocked bike lanes to authorities — and save the information online — are troubling. Although I’d gladly take one designed to work in the LA area, driver privacy be damned. And let’s change the law so drivers can be ticketed based on photographic or video evidence.

Bicycling offers tips to get rid of that pain in your back. No, from riding, not the one you work for. Sorry.

Peloton says Bontrager’s new WaveCel helmet beats MIPS helmets at preventing concussions. Which matters because other helmets don’t do a damn thing to prevent TBIs, as I’ve learned the hard way. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Bike Portland considers the consequences when bike and e-scooter riders collide.

If anyone has seen Bill Walton’s bicycle that was stolen 42 years ago at an Oregon championship parade, be sure to let the former NBA star know. Although I wouldn’t try to confront anyone tall enough to ride that thing.

The Department of DIY struck in Boulder CO, where someone used toilet plungers to make their own protected bike lane; unfortunately, it didn’t last long before city workers removed them all.

It’s been a month since Arkansas’ version of the Idaho Stop Law went into effect, and the world hasn’t come crashing to an end. Although many people still don’t understand the law that allows bike riders to treat stop signs as yields.

After a Kentucky boy’s bicycle was stolen on his birthday, kindhearted firefighters took up a collection to buy him a new one.

You’ve got to be kidding. After a 76-year old Indiana bike rider was run down from behind by an unlicensed drunk driver, the local sheriff reminds bike riders to obey the law and wear a helmet. How about reminding people not to drive their damn cars after they’ve been drinking. And stay the hell off the roads if you don’t have a license.

A visiting German journalist tries bike commuting in Cleveland, and quickly learns the English word for pothole.

Life is cheap in New York state, where an 85-year old former cop walks with probation for a hit-and-run that severely injured a man riding bicycle, after claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone. He also got a ridiculous six-month driving ban; anyone who can hit someone hard enough to cause major injuries without even knowing it should never be allowed behind the wheel again.

New York experts say either fix a frequently blocked bike lane, or rip it out and start over.

A New York “mob” of young men and women beat a sleeping man with a cane and bottle before stealing his bicycle and wallet, then beat and robbed a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene. Note to NY Daily News — if someone who has a bicycle is sleeping on the sidewalk, “bicyclist” is probably not the best descriptor.

Life is cheap in Georgia, too, where a man walked with probation for killing a bike-riding woman; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card, claiming the sun was in his eyes.

A Florida kid starts his own nonprofit to give bike helmets to other kids at his school.

Miami first responders are riding 150 miles to Key West to raise funds for a local cancer charity.

 

International

Bicycling looks at Britain’s Rough Stuff Fellowship, the world’s oldest offroad bike club, and dedicated to extreme riding. Like biking to an Everest base camp.

Former Tour de France champ and banned doper Jan Ulrich was fined the equivalent of nearly $8,000 for attempting to strangle an escort while drunk and stoned in a German hotel room.

Great idea. A German politician says bicyclists should get an extra day of vacation because they’re healthier and use less sick time. Unless maybe we come down with a bad case of the bike flu, and have to call in sick to go for a bike ride.

At least there’s justice in Australia, where a drunk and stoned driver got a well-deserved ten years behind bars for killing a motorcycle cop who was escorting a charity bike ride; the schmuck had to have a friend blow into the interlock device on his car to get it to start. Which is what I’d call a really lousy friend.

 

Competitive Cycling

The fifth stage of the Vuelta finished in a brief breakaway and a change in leadership. Do we really need to be spoiler-free for the Vuelta, since hardly anyone can actually watch it in this county?

A Belgian court hears that fallen cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht lost control of his bicycle when he hit a roadside reflector during the Tour of Poland earlier this month.

 

Finally…

Repeat after me. If you’re stoned and carrying synthetic weed and meth on your bike, put a damn light on it already. No, bicycles haven’t returned to America’s streets; they were never gone.

And if your bike taillight is shaped like red testicles, take them off right now and go stand in the corner until we say you can come out.

Which may be never.

 

Morning Links: Bike lanes may create illusion of safety, a tropical criminal tri, and bike lanes on reimagined Crenshaw

A hard-hitting piece on the Governing website says new bike infrastructure creates the illusion of safety, encouraging more women to get on their bikes.

And the result is more women dying on them.

The solution, according to the writer, is separating bike lanes behind a physical barrier, while lowering speed limits for cars and trucks.

Long Beach bike lanes photo by Richard Rosenthal.

………

Call it a tropical criminal triathlon.

When police tried to stop a Hawaiian woman who appeared to be riding a stolen bicycle, she sped off on the bike, leading a slow speed chase across Hilo to the beach, where she ran to the water and swam off.

Police later found her on a nearby island, and pulled her out of the water when she tried to swim off again.

Then to top things off, it wasn’t even the bike their were looking for.

………

A 73-year old Indian driver suffered the ultimate distraction when he died of a heart attack behind the wheel and rammed into a 72-year old bike rider, causing “grievous” injuries.

Making the case even more bizarre, police booked the driver on posthumous criminal charges for causing the crash. Which presumably means, if convicted, he could face eternity behind bars.

Unfortunately, the Indian press frequently uses the same terms for bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles, so we have no way of knowing what the victim was actually riding.

………

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A Vancouver bike rider demonstrates why you shouldn’t fly off a sidewalk and try to beat oncoming traffic.

https://twitter.com/village_whisper/status/1163212325920186368

Seriously, don’t try this at home.

Or anywhere else.

………

Local

CD8 City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson is calling for new design standards for Crenshaw Blvd that call for an increase in density, and appear to include plans for much-needed bike lanes.

A new official Los Angeles art project will place up 100 rainbow halos to honor traffic victims. While it’s important to remember victims of traffic violence, wouldn’t it be better to fix the damn streets so we don’t need the halos in the first place?

A photographer offers some great views of last Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia.

 

State

San Diego now projects a nearly $2 billion shortfall in street infrastructure funding over the next five years.

The SF Weekly wonders what it will take to get San Francisco’s Vision Zero back on track, saying the goal to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2024 seems farther away than ever.

 

National

Outside observes that bike riders who’ve been frightened off the roads are migrating to the dirt, and going where drivers can’t. I wish I could call that hyperbole, but I’ve heard from far too many people who now only ride gravel or mountain bikes because they don’t feel safe on the streets. 

The upscale Robb Report recommends seven “stylish and powerful” ebikes you’ll actually want to ride. And ranging from a mere $4,499 to $16,500.

This is who we share the roads with. A Portland driver was arrested after fleeing on foot following a multi-block serial crash that injured a man on a bike and wrecked a total of five parked cars.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton is one of us, as he prepares to ride with Portland Trailblazer fans this weekend.

A Colorado woman has started the online #itcouldbeme campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to change the us vs. them mentality and put a face to the dangers bike riders face on the roads. Thanks to Penny Sputh for the heads-up.

Heartbreaking news from Detroit, where a nine-year old little girl was attacked and killed by three dogs as she was riding her bike near her home.

A kindhearted Michigan cop worked with a police nonprofit organization to replace the bike a boy uses to ride to school after it was stolen overnight.

Two bystanders are credited with saving the life of a Cincinnati man after he suffered a heart attack while returning home from a bike ride; a couple of cops also jumped in with an automatic defibrillator until paramedics arrived.

An Indianapolis bike rider says he appreciates the city’s new bicycle network, but he’s had it with people driving in bike lanes. Not to mention drivers who start on the green bike signal, rather than the regular traffic light.

Overprivileged residents of New York’s Central Park West went to court yesterday, suing to preserve their God-given right to street parking instead of protecting the lives of innocent people — even though a woman was killed riding her bike there last year.

A writer for Jalopnik says Vision Zero is the wrong goal; instead of responding to traffic deaths, New York should focus on “unleashing the joy of riding a bike to make a better place to live, not fighting the fear that riding a bike may entail.”

In an op-ed for the New York Times, a woman describes how her new ebike changed her life, getting her riding again in her 60s.

A DC website lists eight ways the law incentivizes driving.

A WaPo writer goes for a ride on the city’s new Vespa-style dockless e-mopeds.

A Georgia woman worries about the lack of children riding bikes, but admits she only rides on quiet Sunday mornings to avoid traffic.

 

International

London skyscrapers are blamed for creating dangerous wind tunnels that can knock bicyclists off their bikes, so the city is creating new planning rules that will require developers to study how to minimize the wind effect of any new building.

Britain’s Office of Communications received over 300 complaints following a controversial TV show asking if bicyclists are the scourge of the streets; the show promised an “unfiltered look” at the hostility between drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, but bike advocates called it nothing but “dressed up prejudice.”

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Copenhagen opens a beautiful curving bike and pedestrian bridge across the city’s Inner Harbor. Forget Greenland, Trump should try buying that and moving it over here instead.

Beijing’s city-center Tongzhou district plans to upgrade 40 roads over the next three years to build a better network for non-motorized transportation, with separate lanes for bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Weekly previews the Vuelta a España kicking of this weekend. Surprisingly, four Americans are expected to contend for the title. South Americans, that is.

A woman survives the death of her pro cyclist husband in a racing crash, only to find love with another cyclist; Astrid Collinge married Belgian cyclist Louis Vervaeke this year, three years after her then-husband Antoine Demoitié was killed by a race moto during the 2016 Gent-Wevelgem.

Road.cc offers a video look back at what happens when pro cyclists get mad.

 

Finally…

It’s not a bakfiets, it’s a three-wheeled, pedal-powered preschool school bus. Five years behind bars for assault with a deadly bicycle.

And nothing like having your wedding pictures photobombed by naked people on bicycles.

 

Morning Links: Victorville bike rider critical after crash, LA bike lanes pay for themselves, and Clarkson says FU bikes

Let’s start with bad news from Victorville.

A man riding a bicycle suffered life-threatening injuries when he reportedly tried and failed to beat traffic on a busy highway.

The CHP reported it as a fatal crash; however, San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies were unable to confirm a fatal Victorville crash over the weekend.

We’ll let you know when and if we get more information.

………

Someone should remind our elected officials here in Los Angeles that spending on bicycling infrastructure makes sense.

And dollars.

Lots of dollars.

………

A letter writer in the Los Angeles Times says a Copenhagen-like level of bicycling may not be practical in the short term, but building a backbone network of bike lanes crossing the city would get many people out on their bikes.

Which, oddly, is exactly what the city’s bike plan calls for.

Meanwhile, another letter writer says Copenhagen is a great place for bicycling because it’s relatively flat.

Unlike Los Angeles, which is… uh, relatively flat.

………

As long as we’re on the subject of letters, an Oregon letter writer says —

  • Bicyclists need to take more responsibility.
  • There’s no proof bicycling infrastructure benefits anyone but people on bikes;
  • Bike riders use senior citizens as “wrinkly, silver-haired pylons on the imaginary racetrack of the handle-barbarians;”
  • Bicycling can never be made entirely safe, so riding on city streets will always be a gamble;
  • Oregon’s governor is rewarding the lawless behavior of bicyclists by allowing them to “wander through red lights, stop signs and ignore yield signs while challenging vehicles to the same space.”
  • Bike riders need to be taxed, tested and licensed. And ticketed.

Damn, that’s a lot to unpack.

But let’s give it a try.

First of all, yes, bike riders — and everyone else — need to assume more responsibility.

I myself recently assumed responsibility for disappearing Jimmy Hoffa, snatching the Lindberg baby, and trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Second, there is plenty of evidence that bike lanes improve safety for everyone.

Third, anyone who endangers pedestrians, especially older, younger or disabled pedestrians, is a complete and total jerk. And probably drives exactly the same way. Never mind that a lot of the people on bikes fit in that nebulous senior category themselves.

Fourth, saying the streets will never be safe for bike riders is just another way of saying motorists are incapable of driving safely. But yes, there are ways to improve safety, even in intersections.

Fifth, the version of the Idaho Stop Law that was recently approved in Oregon only allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, while still requiring bike riders to stop and wait at red lights. And it passed both houses of the legislature.

Finally, most bike riders already hold a drivers license, so they have been tested and licensed. And bike riders are subject to traffic fines, just like drivers, in every state of the union.

And as we’ve already seen, testing and licensing drivers hasn’t exactly inspired good behavior, either.

………

Talking with a driving website, Jeremy Clarkson, co-host of the Amazon Prime series The Grand Tour, and former host of Britain’s Top Gear, laced into bicycles and the people who ride them in an expletive-filled diatribe.

He particularly goes off on plans for a bike lane on the street next to where he’s sitting, insisting no one rides there, as numerous bike riders glide past behind him.

And he insists you’ll get a disease if you ride a bus.

No, really.

Although evidently, he’s including himself in that big FU to bikes and the people who ride them.

Thanks to F. Lehnerz for the heads-up.

………

Lots of generous people in today’s news, starting right here at home.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have now. I’ve put in a request for more information, and will let you know if we learn more.

Meanwhile, thanks to the bighearted people the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities, 13 special needs kids and two adults now have new adaptive bicycles.

A Colorado Springs CO paramedic and firefighters teamed with a local nonprofit to give a boy a new bike after his was stolen.

Milwaukee residents help a little girl raise enough money in half an hour by selling lemonade to replace her mother’s stolen bike — including two people who paid $100 for their $1 drinks.

Kindhearted firefighters replaced a 10-year old Ohio girls’ bicycle and helmet, just two hours after her brand new bicycle was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

………

More proof that bikes can go where cars can’t.

https://twitter.com/HeartScotNews/status/1159196732279992321?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1159196732279992321&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2F265382-video-edinburgh-cyclist-rides-past-cars-stranded-deep-flood-water

………

This is who we share the roads with. Legally or otherwise.

………

Local

LA-based ex-pro Phil Gaimon goes on KCBS-2 to discuss his Phil’s Cookie Fondo coming this October in Malibu; the ride benefits Chef’s Cycle and No Kid Hungry to help ensure every child has something to eat.

Sixty-two-year old Claremont resident Sandra Marie Wicksted faces up to 17 years behind bars after pleading not guilty to murder for intentionally plowing her car into bike rider Leslie Pray, as well as four counts of attempted murder for trying to do it to other people, as well.

The Hoff is one of us, as David Hasselhoff goes mountain biking in Calabasas with his new Welsh wife.

 

State

A 55-year old San Diego man suffered a serious leg injury when he was hit by a driver while riding his bike, after allegedly failing to yield.

San Diego councilmember and candidate for mayor Barbara Bryophytes tries to stuff the genie back in the bottle, calling fo a moratorium, if not an outright ban, on e-scooters.

The Encinitas bikeshare system has been put on hold thanks to Trump’s trade war with China.

A young boy and his father were rescued from the base of a San Francisco cliff after the child somehow rode his bike off the edge and his father went down to help him.

Results of San Francisco’s pilot study on the city’s Valencia Street protected bike lane shows a dramatic reduction in risk to bike riders, including a 95% decrease in mid-block interactions with drivers, where dooring had previously posed a substantial risk.

Time says higher prices for Jump bikes and e-scooters are threatening the micromobility revolution in the Bay Area.

 

National

Far from being cheating, a new study shows ebike riders actually get more exercise than regular bike riders.

An Oregon appeals court says yes, bicyclists can legally pass vehicles on the right, after a bike rider was cited by a cop for unsafe passing after he was right hooked by a bus driver who’d just passed him.

More on the innovative new bike lights developed by students at the University of Colorado that bathe the user in rainbow-hued lights, as well as illuminating the road.

An ex-Denver radio host lists of a who’s who of local bike advocates as he complains about their “activist agenda,” while spouting his own anti-bike lane one. But he does claim that he’s polite to each and every one he meets, even “the obnoxious ones.”

Beyonce fans take a bike ride in Houston’s blistering heat to visit Queen Bey’s favorite haunts.

It was nice while it lasted. In the two years since St. Joseph MO opened a free bikeshare system with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all 40 bicycles have been stolen or destroyed.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a pair of donated adaptive bicycles from a couple of adopted, autistic Kentucky children.

Finishing our Kentucky trifecta, it’s good to be king. Or mayor, anyway. The former mayor of Somerset KY walks with a lousy $100 fine for clipping a 15-year old girl while she was riding in a crosswalk with the right-of-way — then driving off, claiming he didn’t realize he’d hit her bike.

Riding a bike across the country isn’t all that rare anymore. But riding a bike 3,000 miles across the US with serious vision and hearing problems due to a genetic condition, like this Kentucky teacher, is.

Vermont’s governor is one of us, taking to his bike to see what problems bicyclists face in one county, and what they’re working on. That exactly what we should expect of all elected officials.

A New Hampshire bike rider tells drivers not to be nice by waving bicyclists through intersections, and to be predictable, instead.

A Rhode Island chef is beating his addiction to alcohol with the help of his bicycle, riding 100 miles a week and losing 40 pounds in the process.

After a Connecticut bike rider was injured in a crash, police added insult to injury — literally — by giving the victim a stern warning for riding salmon.

A vehicular cyclist in upstate New York repeats the myth that bike lanes make bicyclists less visible and safe, when the fact is, bike lanes have been repeatedly shown to improve safety. And the better the bike lane, the greater the improvement.

Things just keep getting worse in the Big Apple, as the city suffered its 19th bicycling fatality this year when a 52-year old man was collateral damage when a teenage driver ran a red light and smashed into another vehicle. And yes, the crash was captured on video, and no, you don’t really want to see it. Trust me.

As we speculated last weekend, Atlanta appears to lead the nation in scooter deaths, with twice as many this year as any other major American city.

An angry Miami man exited a restaurant, stripped naked and hopped on his bicycle, riding in the buff to a nearby store where he grabbed a pair of shorts and walked out, telling the startled clerk he was paying with his bicycle. Needless to say, he didn’t have any ID on him. Although he does have some great thighs and a definite cyclist’s tan.

 

International

Automakers seem to think the future is in micromobility, as five companies — Volkswagen, Ford, Audi, BMW and GM — explore variations on e-scooters, while Peugeot goes back to its bikemaker roots with a line of ebikes. Just don’t plan to ride them on the medieval cobbles of Bruges.

Evidently, near total hegemony on the streets isn’t enough for some drivers, as one is captured on video driving on a busy bike path in a Vancouver park.

Vancouver brightens the city’s outlook for bicyclists with a series of colorful new bike racks.

After getting hit by someone on a bicycle, an Ontario man says bike riders are too comfortable breaking the law against riding on the sidewalk. The simple fact is, no one rides on the sidewalk if they feel comfortable on the street. So the best way to stop sidewalk riding is to demand safer streets.

No bias here. Police in the UK stopped a 13-year old black kid and demanded the receipt for his bike to prove it was actually his. Because we all carry the receipt for out bikes with us every time we ride. Right?

The mother of a fallen British bike rider calls for requiring bike lights on the sale of every new bicycle.

Trump ex-wife Marla Maples is one of us, riding a bike as she vacations in Spain.

Great photos from a Czech city, as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the country’s first bike race. Although the first caption, by way of the Chinese press, seems just a tad off.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says women can’t compete with men? Twenty-four-year old medical student Fiona Kolbinger became the first woman to win the grueling Transcontinental Race, riding across the European continent in 10 days, two hours, and 48 minutes — beating her nearest rival by 11 hours.

A Philippine paper looks at SoCal’s Coryn Rivera and her efforts to make the US cycling team for the 2020 Olympics, even though she could compete as part of the Philippine national team.

If you couldn’t get past the Wall Street Journal’s paywall to read Jason Gay’s profile of South LA’s back-to-back US crit champ Justin Williams and the League of Cycling, a Belizean website offers a synopsis of the piece in honoring the Belizean-American cyclist.

Lance may be officially barred from bike racing, bu that doesn’t mean he can’t gloat about “blowing the doors off” Vice President Mike Pence on a Nantucket bike path.

Forget doping, now you can just cheat on Zwift.

 

Finally…

Don’t just drink your expensive single-use coffee, ride it. Who needs a barber shop when you can just use a bikeshare bike.

And if you’re going to ride your bike carrying a loaded BB gun while high on crack, put a damn light on it.

The bike, not the BB gun.

Or the crack.

 

Morning Links: Tough bike riders, how dangerous rumors start, and tell Fletcher Dr. shops road diets are good for them

Who says bike riders aren’t tough?

When a Cuban Paralympian’s titanium leg fell off during a race in my hometown, he finished the race with just one leg.

Friends say Damian Alfonso Lopez never lost his love of bicycling — or life — despite losing both arms and half his face when he tried to rescue a kite stuck in power lines as a child; he lost one of his legs two years ago when he was hit by a bus.

And a British Columbia mountain bike describes fighting off an attacking grizzly bear with a pocket knife.

Photo by jdaypix from Pixabay.

………

This is how dangerous rumors start. A Colorado Facebook user posts video of a skitching bike rider, along with a thirdhand rumor that someone was doing hanging onto cars like that to follow the drivers and rob them with a knife.

The local police respond by saying if someone is doing that, it’s news to them.

………

Vancouver’s former chief planner makes an important point about bike lanes:

While business owners often fight them at first, they usually fight to keep them after they’ve been there awhile.

Someone might want to tell that to the Atwater Village Chamber of Commerce, which opposes plans for much needed lane reductions on Fletcher Drive.

Evidently, they’d rather let drivers continue to zoom past than improve safety on the deadly street.

Not to mention making it more appealing to shoppers. Especially the ones who don’t come by car.

………

A new study from the University of Duh concludes what most of us already knew — signs that read Bikes May Use Full Lane are more effective than sharrows and Share The Road signs.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Utah bike rider is filing a lawsuit against a cop he claims ran him down with his patrol car when the officer mistook his friendly wave for giving him the finger; the 14-year police veteran says the victim just hit a curb and fell over. Naturally, there’s no body cam, bike cam or other video of the alleged crash.

A Texas man had to bail from his bike when his ex-girlfriend tried to run him down with her car at full speed; she only succeeded in killing his bike and leaving him with a deep cut. He might want to try avoiding her until she cools off just a bit.

………

Local

Metro announces the Metro Bike bikeshare system will come to North Hollywood this week; maybe someday they’ll drop the “north” and come to that other Hollywood on the other side of the Cahuenga pass. Thanks to Streetsblog and NoHo Arts District for picking up the ball I dropped by failing to mention this last week.

Speaking of Metro, they’re offering their BEST bicycle education safety training class en español next Sunday.

Los Angeles could get a new pedestrian plaza, as officials consider converting Stanley Ave to a carfree people spot above Melrose.

A writer for Strong Towns visits Los Angeles, and discovers it’s possible to spend a carfree week in LA.

The Los Angeles Times says maybe that e-scooter isn’t as green as you think it is. Meanwhile, no surprise here, as LA Times letter writers really don’t like scooters.

If you missed last month’s Which Way LACBC workshop, you can still offer your suggestions on what you want from the organization.

 

State

Irvine plans to join other Orange County cities in developing a climate action planSan Diego’s climate plan has been the driving force in that city’s recent transformation into a more bike and pedestrian friendly community, while LA’s plan is nothing more than a few vague promises from the mayor, and councilmembers who say we need to declare a climate emergency, while continuing to block bike lanes.

A Bakersfield bike rider suffered what was described as major injuries to his legs when he was hit by a train Friday night. Seriously, trains are the easiest crashes to avoid, because you know where they’ll be and usually have to illegally cross warning gates to reach them.

A scholastic mountain bike team in inner-city Richmond is changing lives one bike at a time. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

Not even bike-friendly Davis is immune from officials caving to a bikelash from angry drivers, following a road diet to provide kids with a safe route to school.

 

National

Seattle’s bicycling community gets its freak on with the Dead Baby Bikes Downhill, described by one of its leaders as “gleeful mayhem on freak bikes.”

After a rash of Colorado bicycling deaths, the Boulder Camera’s editorial advisory board offers four different takes on bike safety, from calls for better infrastructure to the usual windshield bias.

An unbanked, DIY grass velodrome built on the Kansas prairie could provide a low-cost model for developing track cycling in other communities. If riders can get used to the bumps. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

A Texas bike rider is suing Specialized and a local bike shop after the Specialized wheel he bought cracked during a race just six months later.

A reporter for CNN goes riding across Iowa with the popular RAGBRAI ride for the first time. And uses the tall corn for a bike rack.

He gets it. A Wisconsin writer says drivers aren’t looking for us, so we have to look for them — and ride defensively. Evidently he means drivers like this Milwaukee man who plowed into an anti-violence protest march; fortunately, no one was injured.

There’s not a pit deep enough for a Minnesota man who faces well-deserved charges for allegedly grabbing a little girl off her bicycle and attempting to force her into his car, then placing her hand on his crotch; fortunately, a witness yelled and scared the creep off.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an Ohio special needs girl’s three-wheeled adaptive bike.

Connecticut authorities throw the book at an alleged hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after hitting a red light-running bike rider. He was captured after a short chase, saying he got scared because cops had shot at him before when he was the driver in a shootout with police; meanwhile, the victim just got up and rode away while police were otherwise occupied.

A self-described Staten Island old guy rails against the “small majority” of scofflaw bike riders — especially the ones with earbuds.

Good question. A Long Island bike theft became a racial issue when people questioned why police took so long to file charges against a 36-year old white man wrestled a bicycle from a 15-year old black young man in front of witnesses and on camera, and why it wasn’t charged as a hate crime.

Gothamist examines why trucks and their drivers have become the biggest offenders of New York’s Vision Zero.

A New York rider films what he describes as a death-defying journey on six bicycling corridors, finding numerous blocked bike lanes and dangerous drivers.

She gets it. A writer for the New York Times says bike riders have been blamed for crashes with drivers since the 1880s, but maybe it’s time for drivers to face more serious consequences.

A Louisiana driver told police yes, she hit someone on a bike, but drove off because someone had apparently taken the victim away — except he was still trapped under her car as she dragged him the length of a football field as she fled the scene. Needless to say, police suspected she was under the influence when they caught up to her shortly afterwards.

A bike rider was killed when he was hit by a pickup driver during a 62-mile Mississippi charity ride.

Kindhearted Alabama cops buy a new bike for a seven-year old boy after they found the bike his grandparents bought him, but the guy who stole and chopped it couldn’t figure out how to put it back together again.

When you’re carrying meth, pipes, beer, vodka and shoplifted clothes on your bike, try not to call attention to yourself by nearly getting killed by Georgia drivers.

Over 100 bicyclists turned out to ride in honor of a former Orlando FL Marine who was killed when a truck driver swerved into the bike lane he was riding in.

 

International

It takes a major schmuck to steal a ghost bike for a British Columbia man killed by a drunk driver. Not to mention one of the prettier ones I’ve seen.

A local activist group gets aroused by the Edmonton, Canada edition of the World Naked Bike Ride, demanding that police enforce their morals and protect their innocent eyes by busting any bike rider who dares to go bare.

Thousands of Londoners took part in the city’s annual two-day, 100-mile, carfree bike fest.

A writer for the Independent says former London Mayor and newly seated British Prime Minister Boris Johnson might be an effective leader after all, based on the job he did getting popularly named Boris Bikes on the streets of the city.

The owner of a UK trucking firm says the county government will have blood on its hands if one of his drivers kills someone riding on the new bike lane in front of his yards, claiming truck designs and a tall hedge will keep the drivers from seeing them. Because evidently, it’s impossible to trim a hedge or buy trucks offering greater visibility.

A British animal rights protester will need a new foldie after stopping his bike in front of a sheep truck, whose driver proceeded to crunch it; fortunately, he jumped off his bike before it went under the truck.

Forbes considers how Ireland has managed to cut traffic deaths by 31% since 2010, including morning roadside stops to catch drivers who are still drunk from the night before.

An Aussie father and daughter ride through a narrow dust devil and come out the safely on the other side.

 

Competitive Cycling

San Diego’s Jennifer Valente took gold in the women’s omnium at Peru’s Pan American Games, winning three of the four events.

A couple of British medical professionals discover that it is possible to work full-time and still train for the grueling Race Across America, aka RAAM.

Like father, like daughter. A Colorado Springs CO man will take part in his 25th Leadville 100 mountain bike race, dating back to the first one in 1994, while his 22-year old daughter will ride her first.

It’s one thing to ride the Tour de France ona racing bike. But let’s see the pros race a Brompton around Buckingham Palace.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the handlebars come off your Kmart bike — while you’re riding it. If you’re too drunk to walk, you’re too drunk to ride.

And it’s hard to get hit by a train; even harder to hit one.

 

Morning Links: Seattle jock attacks bike zealots, CD4 candidate offers hope, and LAPD ignores drivers to ticket bike rider

No bias here.

A Seattle radio jock says “bike zealots” are trying to force the city’s traffic problems on the the Bellevue area, apparently by calling for a road diet and bike lanes.

He also claims only 25 bike riders a day currently use the street in question, and doubts the number is likely to increase once the bike lanes go in.

Maybe someone should tell him you can’t judge the need for a bridge by how many people swim across the river.

Or if a new road is needed by how many people currently drive across the fields.

Then again, maybe he could learn something from the bikeway on Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge, which many motorists called an unnecessary failure on a road few bicyclists used when it opened ten years ago.

And now may be the busiest bike lane in North America.

All those bike riders must have been busy swimming against the tide a decade ago.

………

CiclaValley offers a painful reminder that once upon a time, we actually had the mayor’s support for safer streets and hope for the future of our city.

Even if it does seem like a fairy tale now.

On the other hand, the following response to that tweet is exactly the attitude we need from our elected officials. And why Sarah Kate Levy has my personal support for LA’s 4th Council District set currently held by David Ryu.

Even if she isn’t one of us.

Yet.

………

An LAPD cop ignored drivers rolling a red light, and ticketed the guy on two wheels for jumping the light by a few seconds.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Someone booby trapped a Colorado bike trail, stringing potentially deadly wires across the path at neck level; one bike rider was lucky to escape with a bloody nose.

Someone painted “No Bikes” on a Tulsa OK bike lane — and bizarrely, “Kayaks Only.”

Then again, the people on two wheels aren’t always the good guys. 

A man is under arrest for attacking a woman after colliding with her as he was riding on an Irvine bike trail; a Good Samaritan intervened to stop the assault and hold him for police.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Calbike’s Dave Snyder says the Complete Streets bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would benefit bike riders and pedestrians.  Everyone else, too. One way or another.

No bias here, either. The story says very clearly that police in San Diego conducted a safety operation “focused on enforcing safety laws involving motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.” Too bad the headline is all about a crackdown on bicyclists and pedestrians.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a woman has died nearly a week after her bike was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

Now that’s more like it. A new San Francisco program provides a variety of hand-cycles, side-by-side tandem bikes and adult tricycles for people with mobility-related disabilities during carfree Sundays in Golden Gate Park.

Streetsblog San Francisco calls for regulating killer trucks. Trucks don’t kill, drivers do. But no truck should ever be allowed on the roads with massive blindspots that can prevent drivers from seeing bike riders and pedestrians, or without sideguards to keep people from getting swept underneath.

Hats off to a Santa Rosa bike shop for giving a Utah triathlete a new $5,000 bike after her’s was stolen the day before the race.

Marin County sheriff’s investigator have released the name of a suspect who allegedly stole $25,000 worth of bicycles from a bike shop earlier this month; they’ve recovered the bikes from a storage shed, and have a warrant out for his arrest.

 

National

A new study shows falls at home are the leading cause of nonfatal head injuries in American kids. Which is why your kids should wear BikinginLA’s patented new HomeHelmet™ from the day they’re born until they turn 21.

Anyone who wants a 20 mph e-cargo bike for just $1,500 raise your hand. Sorry, I may be typing one-handed for awhile.

Evidently, bikes as props are a thing for scantily-clad models this year. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Anne de Paula rides a bike in some exotic-looking beach location while wearing a “cheeky” one-piece swimsuit. Which may be a BikinginLA record for most hyphens in a single sentence.

Twitter erupted with predictable outrage after Arizona police announced plans to give good drivers faux tickets containing coupons for Circle K; the cops backed off after realizing the plan was of “questionable legality,” deciding they’d just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead. But if it’s questionable to pull over drivers who aren’t breaking the law, why wouldn’t the same thing apply to people walking or riding bikes? Or do civil rights only apply to people in cars?

Why bother breaking in to a Denver-area bike shop, when you can just drive a bus through the front door?

The death toll continues to climb in New York, where a 30-year old art teacher was killed when she was doored while riding her bike and knocked into the path of a semi for the city’s 18th bicycling death so far this year; New York Mayor de Blasio reminded drivers that it’s against the law to open a car door into the path of a bicyclist.

South Brooklyn community boards tell de Blasio where he can put his plan to expand protected bike lanes; apparently they don’t care how many bike riders die on the streets.

They get it. A Charleston SC newspaper says it takes a special kind of logic to reject a safety project over fears it would be unsafe, and that ignoring bike and pedestrian safety won’t fix anything.

For one brief instant, it seemed like we had reason to be excited, and maybe there was actually hope for Los Angeles. Except the new Complete Streets project is on the wrong Hollywood Blvd, in the wrong Hollywood, in the wrong state, on the wrong side of the country. 

This is why you always need to maintain your bike. A Florida man is dead after he threw the chain on his bike and fell into the street, where he was struck by a driver.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Jacksonville FL man will face charges for the hit-and-run deaths of two women as they rode their bikes, after police found “biological material” in his shattered windshield; he has been charged with at least six other moving violations dating back to 1999.

 

International

A Vancouver man gets his bike back less than a day after it was stolen — and with a better front wheel — when a bike courier spotted someone riding it and negotiated its return for $60.

She gets it too. A Vancouver letter writer says “Maybe it’s time to end the debate of cyclist vs vehicle driver and just ask your city to provide safe infrastructure for both.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a paraplegic’s custom adaptive bike from a Calgary hotel parking lot; the theft victim had continued to ride despite losing the use of his legs in a mountain biking accident three years ago.

Toronto newspaper readers go ballistic when a columnist suggests bicycles don’t pose the same threat to pedestrians that drivers do. The simple fact is, someone on foot is far less likely to be killed in a collision with a bicyclist than with a driver, for reasons that should be obvious. But it can and does happen. So it’s your responsibility to ride safely and carefully around pedestrians, who can be every bit as unpredictable as drivers think we are.

Huh? A British columnist bizarrely spends most of his column talking about smoking, vaping, coffee drinking and otherwise distracted drivers. But then says we should pity the drivers who get blamed for the sins of modern bike riders if they actually hit one. Personally, I’d rather pity the person who gets hit. 

So much for that. It only took 60 seconds to steal Dutch bikemaker VanMoof’s $3,000 theft-proof ebike.

The US has a long way to go to catch up with Poland’s glowing bike path.

Four people were seriously injured when a driver crossed over the center line and plowed into their bicycles in a Japanese tunnel; four other people were injured when a second driver crashed into his car, including a two-month old baby who suffered major injuries.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Sacramento Bee says the future of French cycling looks bright, even if the country had its Tour de France dreams dashed once again.

The Independent talks with a man who mentored new Tour de France champ Egan Bernal in his teens, and talked him out of giving up the sport.

The Washington Post examines 2016 Olympic cycling silver medalist Kelly Catlin and the massive hole left in the lives of her family and friends after she took her own life following a series of injuries, and the untreated depression that may have resulted from a concussion suffered during a bike race.

 

Finally…

We may have hit-and-run drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about hit-and-run deer. If you’re going to break into a garage and steal a bike, try not to leave a scent for the police dogs to follow.

And this is why country music is called three chords and the truth. Just hang up and drive already.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for that last video.

Morning Links: Meager LADOT bike lanes output, Lee Iacocca pushed 1990s ebikes, and the war on bikes goes on

Happy 4th of July!

There’s no better way to get to the fireworks or other holiday events than riding your bike or walking. 

Just remember that drivers will be focused on finding parking spaces or a faster way out of traffic afterwards.

And won’t be looking for you. 

So ride accordingly. 

And just like any three or four-day weekend, remember that many people will start drinking or smoking early and often.

So assume any driver you see on the road is under the influence of something. Which means ride carefully and defensively — because the best protection is being prepared for anything, at any time.

And we want to see you back here again after the holiday. 

………

This is nothing to be proud of.

When the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan was passed, the city committed to building 40 miles of bike lanes every year.

Honest-to-gosh, cross their hearts, pinkie swear.

Then they switched to measuring bike lanes in lane miles, rather than centerline miles, effectively cutting that commitment in half.

Then they decided that sharrows counted towards that commitment.

Hint: They don’t. Or shouldn’t, anyway.

Then our supposedly bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti took office, and the building of new bike lanes quickly ground to a virtual halt in the City of Angels.

Which leads us to this Monday, when LADOT proudly announced it had built or upgraded 13 miles of bike lanes in the last fiscal year.

And since that’s measured in lane miles, that means counting each side of the road as a separate bike lane.

So in reality, we’re talking about a lousy 6.5 miles of bike lanes, which is nothing to be proud of, protected or otherwise.

Pretty shameful, in fact.

Especially in a city with the largest street system in the United States.

So the next time you’re wondering why people keep dying on our streets, you know where to point the finger.

And which one to use.

Photo by lumpi from Pixabay.

………

Megan Lynch reminds us that the late automaker Lee Iacocca was an early proponent of ebikes; he died yesterday at 94.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going, with no end in sight.

A Baltimore bike rider was knocked off his bike when he was intentionally rammed by a van driver, who then turned around and drove straight at him for no apparent reason; to make matters worse, both the police and paramedics failed to show up at the crash site.

A road raging English driver threatened a group of bike-riding kids with his car, then got out and pushed a 12-year old boy off his bike and into the path of an oncoming car.

A 63-year old British grandmother suffered a broken collarbone and rope burns on her neck when she ran into a rope someone had intentionally strung across a beachfront bike path at neck level.

Apparently tired of people riding bicycles on the sidewalk, a magazine editor recommends stringing razor wire across sidewalks at neck height to teach scofflaw sidewalk riders a lesson. Although it’s hard to learn much of anything when your head is in the gutter surrounded by “red slime and gore,” and looking for the rest of you.

………

Local

LAist considers LA’s existential battle over bus-only lanes. Which serves as a reminder that bicyclists are allowed to ride in bus lanes in Los Angeles, even if some cops don’t get it. And as long as you don’t mind a 13-ton bus driving up your ass.

CiclaValley goes gravel bike riding in Sycamore Canyon.

Long Beach business owners are threatening to sue over the Broadway road diet, claiming sales are down as much as 70% due to limited parking and difficulty accessing the area by car; they also claim the road diet has made the street more dangerous, which is the opposite of what road diets usually do.

 

State

California Streetsblog takes a deep dive into why the state needs a Complete Streets law, as the state Assembly Transportation Committee prepares to take up S.B. 127 on Monday.

The state task force set up to study the effects of the deadly 85th Percentile Law that too often forces cities and counties to raise speed limits held its first meeting last week; it has until January to write a report with its recommendations. That’s easy. Just throw out the damn law and lower speed limits almost everywhere.

San Diego introduced strict new regulations in an attempt to tame the wild, wild world of e-scooters — including speed limits as low as 3 mph in select pedestrianized areas.

Chula Vista-based Juiced Bikes has introduced a 33 mph ebike, which is actually a moped under California law — and in many other states — requiring a driver’s license, vehicle license and helmet to be legally ridden on the roads, and is barred from being used on bike paths or protected bike lanes.

A Fresno bicyclist in his late 60s was injured by a pickup driver who couldn’t manage to stay out of the bike lane while passing another car on the right. And almost needless to say, couldn’t be bothered to stay at the scene.

Sad news from Rohnert Park, where a 66-year old man was killed in a collision with a commuter train last week, just one day after a woman was killed running across the tracks at the same crossing. Despite a great job of victim blaming by investigators — including accusing the victim of riding the wrong way on the sidewalk, which isn’t a thing — officials consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there might be a problem with the crossing. Gee, you think?

 

National

Now you, too, can own a replica of the bikes from Stranger Things. Or you could, if two of the three bikes weren’t already sold out, and the other wasn’t “temporarily unavailable.”

A missing Oregon triathlete was found dead in the Columbia River, five days after he went on a training ride; his bike was found two days later in a park along the river.

Arizona officials approved a controversial bike resort planned to be built across the street from Saguaro National Park near Tucson.

The Idaho Stop Law is gaining momentum, as Oregon passes a bill allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, though not allowing riders to roll red lights, joining Idaho, Arkansas and Delaware with variations of the law; Colorado allows individual cities and counties to decide whether to adopt the Idaho Stop.

Life is cheap in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where investigators conclude the fatal dooring that took the life of a young woman was just a big “oopsie.”

A New York state senator blames built-in racism and classism for the death of a bike rider last week.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a 14-year old boy succumbed to injuries he received when he was hit by a car while riding his bike three years ago.

A Manhattan community board chose safety over car storage, approving a proposal to remove 400 parking spaces to install a protected bike lane on a street where a bike-riding woman was fatally doored last year.

Presidential candidate and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio promises a crackdown on drivers who block bike lanes, in response to the city’s skyrocketing bicycling fatality rate. Problem is, it’s usually the police who are doing it.

 

International

Canada’s first bike mayor says mandatory bike helmet laws are a sign of a failed government.

Great piece from The Guardian’s Peter Walker, who effectively demolishes ten common myths about bike lanes, including many of the NIMBY greatest hits you’ll inevitably hear at any public meeting, or read in the comments on any story about bicycling.

They’re onto us, comrades. A British letter writer says dooring is no big deal, and it’s those ignorant bike riders who put themselves at risk, then try to take advantage of the poor, innocent drivers and their insurance companies.

Security camera video catches the crash that left a UK bike rider with a serious brain injury, as the driver gets off with a 20-month sentence — only half of which actually has to be served behind bars. As always, be sure you actually want to see someone get hit by a driver before clicking the play button on the video.

An Aussie bicyclist makes the case for why you should have cameras mounted on your bike. I ride with a helmet cam, and want to add a rear-facing bike cam when I can, if only to be able to prove I wasn’t the one who broke the law if I’m involved in a crash or get a ticket. And so it can speak for me if I can’t.

 

Competitive Cycling

This is so effing wrong. After Ukrainian cyclist Anna Solovey won gold in the European Games, she complained when the head of the Kyiv Cycling Federation got credit for her win. And was told her victory was an accident, and she could be kicked off the national team for opening her mouth.

Forget Alpe d’Huez. This year’s Tour de France competitors will have to survive the legendary Tourmalet.

Cycling News offers eight conclusions from this year’s US pro cycling nationals.

 

Finally…

Actually, it’s called skitching. And this is what I call a bike crash.

………

I continue to be blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people who visit this site. 

Thanks to Howard V for his generous donation to help support BikinginLA. Along with his moving note, which helped lift my spirits on yet another difficult day dealing with the Corgi’s ongoing health problems.

As always, donations of any size, for any reason, are truly welcome and appreciated

He also forwarded a cute video showing him riding through the streets and bike paths of Venice and Santa Monica with his two dogs on his new e-cargo bike from LA’s own Cero

Which is something to remember the next time someone tries to tell you about all the things you can’t carry on a bicycle. 

 

Morning Links: DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh killed, DTLA cycle tracks starts work, and Metro Bikes free today

I lost a follower on Twitter last weekend. 

Which is nothing new.

Except this time it happened the worst possible way. 

Like a number of other people, I’ve followed Dave Salovesh, aka @darsal, for some time. And vice versa, for reasons only he knew.

The extremely popular DC bike advocate has been an outspoken supporter of protected bike lanes and safer streets, as well as taking action now to fight climate change. I’ve enjoyed his humor and insights, and learned a lot from him over the years.

Sadly, we won’t be following each other anymore.

Salovesh was killed Friday morning when the speeding driver of a stolen van ran a red light, crashed into a car and slammed into his bicycle before crashing into a tree.

It could be argued that he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, collateral damage to someone else’s crime.

Except he was riding on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, where Salovesh had been fighting to get a protected bike lane.

Whether that would have been enough to save him, we’ll never know.  

Meanwhile, a bicycle columnist for a DC weekly remembers Salovesh as his good friend, confessing to raw emotions while adding that bike advocacy will go on, but it will be far less meaningful without him.

Over two hundred bike riders held a vigil and ghost bike ceremony in his honor on Sunday, starting and ending at the spot where the speeding car thief took his life. 

DC TV station calls his death a cruel irony, while bike riders attending the vigil demand for safer streets for all bicyclists

And the city announced, just a little too late, that it would increase enforcement against drivers who stop or park in bike lanes.  

Which is another of the issues Salovesh had long fought for.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost an ally and a friend, albeit one Ive never met. 

And now, never will.

Photo of Dave Salovesh’s ghost bike and the spot where the driver’s car came to rest by Ryan Keefe

………

LADOT is beginning work next weekend to convert the bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets in DTLA to two-way protected cycle tracks. 

Now let’s just hope they also do something to keep drivers the hell out of them. 

………

Metro, Metrolink and other SoCal transit systems are offering free rides today in honor of Earth Day.

They’re also providing free rides on the Metro Bike bikeshare system. 

Or you can just ride your own bike, which is always free, with or without a code. 

Meanwhile, Metro celebrates Earth Day by beginning a three-year detour of the Expo Line bike path next to Jefferson Blvd today

………

LA’s hit-and-run epidemic struck close to home last week, when a man was murdered by a hit-and-run driver on Sunset Blvd just walking distance from our apartment.

Even with the cane I’m currently confined to.

Compounding the tragedy, the victim was an Australian man who had been released from prison 12 years after he was wrongly convicted of murder.

……….

Pinkbike celebrated the weekend with videos of epic mountain bike fails. 

On the other hand, at least these people were out there riding, so there’s that.

………

Local

Westwood Village applies for grants to improve the appearance and walkability of Westwood Blvd, as well as install bike racks. But apparently forgets to improve the actual streets and add bike lanes so people might actually use them. 

A writer for the USC paper says the future of LA sustainability begins with students, urging them to get involved at every level of planning and policy, including supporting more bike lanes. 

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday Ride rolls May 5th, offering a preview of June’s popular LA River Ride

Claremont police ticketed bike riders and drivers in a crosswalk crackdown for rolling through the crosswalk instead of stopping for pedestrians, as the law requires. 

Food delivery drivers will get their own dedicated parking spaces in front of two restaurants in downtown Santa Monica for a three-month trial to keep them from double-parking in the bike lane. Now maybe they can do something about the FedEx and UPS drivers who park in the bike lanes on Ocean and San Vicente on a daily basis

 

State

Turns out the thief who stole a $5,000 bike from the Cyclist bike shop in Santa Ana just wanted to ride it, and cut off the ends of the handlebars because he’s a Phil Gaimon fan.

A San Diego community planning board voted to approve plans for a new cycle track in Point Loma

A bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries following a crash with a hit-and-run driver near the University of San Diego. 

A “gypsy family” of pedicab drivers stops in Coachella to provide rides at the music festival, one of several they serve as they make their way around the country. 

A San Jose newspaper says the popular road up Mt. Diablo needs more bike turnouts allowing drivers to pass bike riders without crossing the center line, and hopefully avoid the next crash. 

In a horrifying story, the CHP is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Merced woman to die on the side of the road after crashing into her bicycle; her body was found at 1 pm, hours after she was struck the previous evening. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if she would have survived if she had been found sooner. Or if the coward who hit her had stopped to get help. 

 

National

Seattle bicyclists rode to all 27 public library branches in the city in an 11-hour, 70-mile ride to support investing in the city’s library system.

Speaking of Seattle, the city is bucking the trend by maintaining a fleet of dockless bikeshare bikes, even as providers pull dockless bicycles in favor of e-scooters. 

Talk about not getting it. A Texas man will spend the next ten years behind bars after repeatedly violating the terms of his probation for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he had originally gotten out after serving just 17 days of a two-year sentence thanks to a loophole in the law. You’d think someone would have enough sense to keep their nose clean after a gift like that. But apparently  you’d be wrong

She gets it. A Chicago letter writer says make safer bike lanes the norm

A Michigan outdoor campaign is putting a face on distracted driving by plastering photos of the victims of distracted drivers on billboards.

A Rhode Island man has spent the past nine years looking for a pair of nurses to thank them for saving his life after his front wheel locked up on a bike path.

A 74-year old New York man says he was attacked by a lawless gang of teenage bicyclists swarming down a riverfront path. 

The head of New York’s TransAlt advocacy group says the NYPD has to stop going out of its way to blame the victims

DC bike cops bust a prodigious bike thief, but aren’t able to find any of the bicycles he allegedly stole. 

Kindhearted Virginia deputies pitched in to buy a physically and emotionally impaired man a new bicycle when his was stolen, after they learned he had overcome the odds by learning to walk again following a crash left him in a coma.  

A South Carolina newspaper says not every street in the state has to be a Complete Street, but there are some where it’s necessary.   

 

International

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children and young adults

London’s formerly bike-friendly Sunday Times now says a reported drop in bicycling levels in the UK is a victory for motorists “in their long-running battle with cyclists.”

A writer for The Guardian says cars are ruining our lives and triggering environmental disasters, and must be phased out within ten years

Dutch bike maker VanMoof has sold 11,000 ebikes worth a cool $33 million and change

Afghan women are demanding that their rights be preserved in any peace talks, including the hard-won ability to ride a bicycle. 

South African police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene on foot after plowing into a 10 bicyclists, killing one and injuring seven others.

In a case of keeping an elderly driver on the road until it’s too late, an 86-year Australian man faces charges for dragging a food delivery rider under his car the length of a football field before fleeing the scene; the 23-year old woman he hit suffered extensive injuries, including severe burns. 

In yet another case of an elderly driver who shouldn’t be, a Japanese man crashed his car into a group of people waiting at an intersection, killing a mother and daughter who were sharing a bicycle and injuring eight others. Police suspect the 87-year old driver hit the gas pedal instead of the brake

Taiwan’s Penghu archipelago, made up of more than 90 islands and islets, is promoting bicycling tourism, saying it’s the best way for tourists to explore the area

Beijing is opening a four-mile, bicycle-only roadway with one lane in each direction, along with a reversible lane in the middle. 

 

Competitive Cycling

USA Cycling will field a national team at the Amgen Tour of California, naming ten young riders the team will be chosen from, including one who competes for an LA team. 

Belgium is mourning the death of track cycling great Patrick Sercu, considered one of the greatest of all time.

 

Finally…

Banned from riding your bike in a not-so-public public park. When you decide anyone who doesn’t ride like you do and go out of their way to ride in a bike lane is a selfish, entitled jerk.  

And if you’re carrying a number of controlled substances on your bike, don’t break any bylaws.

Whatever that means. 

Morning Links: LA traffic deaths going the wrong way, chaos on the streets of LA, and birth of a Long Beach bike lane

Looks like LA’s Vision Zero efforts could use a little more vision.

Or maybe a lot more effort.

According to Curbed, at least 240 people were killed in traffic collisions last year — 57 more than 2015, when Mayor Eric Garcetti called for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths by 2017.

So much for that.

An executive directive issued by the mayor at that time called for a 20 percent reduction in deaths by 2017, with an emphasis on preventing “pedestrian fatalities involving older adults and children.” Traffic deaths rose 38 percent in 2016 and have fallen just 5 percent since then.

The transportation department’s initial count, which does not yet include the final two days of the year, also indicates that 127 pedestrians were killed in crashes in 2018. That’s down slightly from the 135 pedestrian deaths recorded in 2017, but it’s the second-highest total in the last 15 years.

And nearly as many bike riders were killed in the City of Angels last year — 21 — as all the traffic deaths of any kind in San Francisco, where they actually take Vision Zero seriously.

The mayor’s office argues, contrary to the widespread perception that little or nothing has been done to implement Vision Zero, that the city has made over 1,000 safety improvements over the past three years.

Which works out to just 333 a year.

But even if we accept that total, 1,000 improvements in a city the size of Los Angeles makes a drop in the bucket look like a tidal wave.

And those improvements have represented a form of timid incrementalism. None have been the kind of bold, wholesale changes the city would need to meet that failed 2017 reduction of just 20%.

Let alone put the city on the road to actually eliminating traffic deaths by 2025.

Which ain’t gonna happen.

But still, it’s cute the city still pretends that zero traffic deaths by 2025 is possible, as if closing our eyes, crossing our fingers and wishing really hard will make it happen.

Actually ending traffic deaths will takes major changes to the streets to slow traffic, encourage active transportation and get people out of their cars.

Let alone the political courage to actually make it happen.

One other quick note on the piece.

I’m told new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman was quoted accurately in the piece, but misspoke.

Kaufman says building community support for road diets and other measures will take time, though he argues that making the city safer is about more than individual projects.

“Infrastructure doesn’t save lives; culture does,” he says, arguing that it’s important for people to consider the safety of others when moving around the city.

What he really meant to say, my sources tell me, was that infrastructure alone doesn’t save lives.

As the story notes, both Kaufman and the LACBC both remain firmly in the pro-infrastructure camp.

But he’s right.

If Vision Zero is ever going to have a significant impact in this city — let alone actually end traffic deaths — we have to change the culture that cars are king on the streets of Los Angeles.

And everyone else needs to get the hell out of the way.

Photo by Clifford Phillips.

………

A Canadian writer offers a somewhat happier perspective on LA traffic.

…Forget the “war on the car.” In Los Angeles, every conceivable form of transportation is competing against the other.

It’s chaotic. It’s messy. It’s beautiful. It’s brilliant. It is, in short, California.

Works for me.

………

Long Beach captures the birth of a bike lane.

Thanks to USC Cycling for the heads-up.

………

Local

Curbed offers what they term the ultimate guide to Dodgers Stadium, including advice to ditch the car and ride a bike.

Bicyclists confront the Pasadena city council, blaming the city manager for reconfiguring the long-time Rose Bowl loop and the injuries one rider suffered as a result.

Speaking of Pasadena, KCBS-2 lists the Rose City’s four best bike shops.

State

The 20th anniversary Sharon’s Ride rolls around San Diego’s Mission Bay this Sunday to raise funds for the Epilepsy Foundation.

An Indian Wells bicyclist is in critical condition after reportedly crashing into the rear of a stationary minivan; no word on how or why the crash happened. Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

Berkeley struggles to match its neighbor across the bay, as San Francisco moves forward with Vision Zero. Although San Francisco isn’t getting it exactly right, either.

Evidently, the local homeowner’s association isn’t a fan of the handmade bike jump track built by a 12-year old Danville boy.

A Sacramento pedestrian suffered major injuries in a crash with a rider on a motorized bicycle.

Los Angeles NIMBYs could take lessons from a Sacramento preservation group, which somehow opposes removing abandoned railroad tracks and a burned-out bridge to install a five mile bike path.

Vacaville police use Facebook to reunite a two-year old with her lost tricycle.

National

Outside looks at the best bike shops in the US. But can’t seem to find one in Southern California.

Peloton pinkie swears not to use any more songs without permission.

Your next tube could be lighter, stronger — and butyl.

An Oregon bill would make it clear that bike lanes continue through an intersection, whether or not it’s actually painted.

Seattle chooses parking over safety, rejecting long planned bike lanes on a dangerous street; a local TV station looks at the bitter politics of bike lanes and parking. That last story could run in just about any US city, including Los Angeles. Okay, especially Los Angeles.

A local radio station says despite being named America’s best bike city, Seattle will never be a bicycling city, because of too any hills and too much rain.

Spokane shows an uncommon degree of common sense, suspending the city’s bike helmet requirement for dockless bikeshare and e-scooter users, since few people walk around with helmets 24/7.

Utah legalizes lane filtering for motorcyclists, allowing riders to split lanes when traffic is stopped on roads with a speed limit of 45 mph or less. The story doesn’t mention whether that would extend to people on bicycles.

A Denver woman expands a popular bike and coffee shop into the space next door to open a tandem bike-themed bar.

A Colorado op-ed suggests when you’re the mayor, you can get away with hitting a bike rider after an illegal U-turn. Especially if the victim is homeless. Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the link.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa woman will spend the next five years behind bars for intentionally ramming her car into a woman riding a bicycle, then getting out of her car and repeatedly punching her; she accused the woman of sleeping with her baby daddy.

Scary story from Texas, where a woman nearly lost a finger when the chain came off her ebike, and engine engaged while she was trying to put it back on; fortunately, a Good Samaritan came to her aid.

Baltimore prepares to approve new rules for dockless e-scooters, after removing a provision that called for jail time for rule breakers.

A kindhearted stranger reached out to buy a new bike for a mobility-challenged Louisiana man after his was stolen. But what will he do with it now that police have recovered his original bike from a scrap yard?

International

A new Canadian study confirms what we’ve already seen — people who live close to high-quality bike and pedestrian infrastructure are more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity, and to be in better health.

Eddie Redmayne is one of us, riding through London’s Notting Hill neighborhood.

A British bicyclist is planning to ride 3,300 miles across the US to raise funds and awareness for the Diana Award, after bonding with Princes Harry and Andrew when he lost his own mother in a car crash at 17.

Unlike most cities, Paris actually does something about bike theft, installing a series of locked shelters throughout the city.

Competitive Cycling

Disturbing story from a British Paralympian who endured years of vulva pain and swelling from rubbing against poorly designed saddles when she rides.

An Argentine cyclist faces a four year ban for being just the latest to get busted for doping with EPO. Seriously, if the era of doping over, why do so many dopers keep getting caught?

Finally…

Even the Car Talk guys hated cars. Bikes hardly ever burst into flames, though ebike batteries are changing that.

And your next Colnago could run on batteries.

But hopefully, not burst into flames.

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