Tag Archive for bike lanes

New bikeways coming to LA’s CD4, murder trial in DUI death of 12-year old boy, and civilizing British streets — or not

At least one LA councilmember is living up to campaign promises when it comes to safe streets.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is reporting that CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman is moving forward with plans for seven new bikeways, though her efforts are hampered by short staffing at LADOT.

Linton blames the staffing shortages on the feared budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, which failed to materialize thanks to federal COVID recovery funds.

However, the department has been understaffed for years, particularly in regards to bicycling and walking infrastructure, which has severely hampered the department’s ability to make much-needed changes to our streets.

The bikeways are currently being planned or implemented in Los Feliz and the San Fernando Valley, including —

  • Replacing sharrows on Riverside Drive south of Griffith Park with a lane removal and parking protected bike lane, the first in the 4th Council District, due to be complete in the next few months.
  • Adding protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive north of Griffith Park, in cooperation with Glendale and Burbank.
  • New bike lanes on Hyperion Blvd from Griffith Park Blvd to Rowena Ave to connect current bike lanes on Rowena and Griffith Park Blvd, as well as bike lanes promised for the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.
  • Closing an existing half-mile gap in the bike lanes on Burbank Blvd between Hazeltine Ave and Van Nuys Blvd, part of the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network.
  • Adding protected bike lanes leading from the G Line — nee Orange Line — bike path to the North Hollywood Metro Station and the Chandler bike path.

Raman is also assuming shared responsibility for portions of projects already underway in what was formerly other council districts, which were moved into her district under the recently redistricting.

  • A new three-mile long segment of L.A. River Greenway from Vanalden Ave to Balboa Blvd, which will nearly complete the river path west of the Sepulveda Basin, shared with 3rd District Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
  • The 3-mile long Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project currently  under construction from Victory Boulevard to Parthenia Street, shared with Blumenfield and CD12’s John Lee.

Unfortunately, she no longer has responsibility for much of Hollywood, Mid-City and Hancock Park, so any hope for changes there will depend on who replaces Paul Koretz in CD5, and whether Mitch O’Farrell remains in office in CD13.

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Suspected stoned driver Richard David Lavalle is set to go on trial this week for killing a 12-year old boy near a Costa Mesa park.

The 59-year old Long Beach resident faces a single murder count for running down Noel Bascon as he was riding a bike with his father near Tewinkle Park a little over a year ago.

Lavalle was driving a rented moving truck when he allegedly ran a stop sign, and slammed into the boy as he rode in a crosswalk on Arlington Drive.

He was previously convicted of DUI in San Diego County in 2013, which justifies the murder count for a second violation under California law, and was on parole at the time of the crash.

He faces up to 30 years behind bars if he’s convicted.

………

He gets it.

A columnist for The Spectator says the UK’s updated Traffic Code will civilize the streets entitled motorists have ruled for far too long.

Without digging into the details, the main point of the changes is to give greater priority to vulnerable road users. Or put another way, unlike 007, they’re taking away drivers licenses to kill.

One they apparently issued themselves.

No one set out to turn our towns, cities, villages and rural roads into dangerous hellholes. It just happened as motorists assumed the right to highways which were never designed for motor traffic. It was the exercise of raw power: drivers of motor vehicles lording it over the rest of us because they could.

It’s worth a few minutes to give it a read.

On the other hand, there are people who don’t get it at all. Take this gasoline-addled automotive troglodyte.

Please.

Under cover of Covid, they have turned our city centres into crazy golf courses, intended to frustrate freedom of movement by giving priority to Lycra-clad lunatics on racing bikes and suicide jockeys on e-scooters.

Transport policy has been captured by single-issue, anti-car fanatics, hell-bent on bankrupting businesses and causing the maximum possible inconvenience to the traveling public…

Our other major cities have suffered from pollution-spewing traffic jams created by Town Hall Guardianista polar-bear huggers in thrall to the cult of the great god cycling.

Maybe that should read ‘Cyclops’, since the pushbike lobby are terminally myopic when it comes to seeing any point of view other than their own warped ideology.

Nope.

No bias there.

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When is a Culver City protected bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s a parking spot.

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Good question.

What does Rancho Palos Verdes have against kids riding bikes at the park?

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It looks like San Gabriel Valley state Senator Anthony Portantino is one of us.

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

Someone is sabotaging a pilot bike lane on a Boston bridge installed to test plans for a more permanent lane, tossing orange cones marking the lane into the Charles River, not just once, but twice over the last weekend.

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Local

LADOT will host a virtual community meeting at 7 pm today to discuss the Lincoln Fast Forward project, which includes pedestrians improvements and rush hour bus lanes, but no bike lanes; however, bike riders are allowed to use the bus lanes, as long as you don’t mind an impatient bus driver running up your ass. You can register here.

A man was shot in a driveby while riding his bike at Whites Canyon Road and Delight Street in Santa Clarita; there’s no word on his condition, or if the shooting was gang-related or a road rage attack.

 

State

Singletracks looks at the California Mountain Biking Coalition, calling it a “squeaky wheel for trail advocacy.”

The Safe Transportation Research and Education Center at UC Berkeley, aka SafeTREC, is opening applications for the next round of its Community Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Training program.

Oakland completes a previously missing bikeway gap on Telegraph Avenue, albeit with just painted bike lanes, rather than the protected lanes found on other segments.

 

National

Peloton is forced to explain once again that their indoor cycling bikes really aren’t dangerous, after a character on Billions suffers a heart-attack following a session on the bike; needless to say, the company was none too pleased.

Here’s your chance to break into the glamorous bike biz, as PinkBike lists 19 open jobs available right now.

Home improvement guy Bob Vila has a seven-point plan to change a bike tire for you.

New York’s Daily News says the city’s new mayor is right to prioritize safe streets, after mixed Vision Zero results under the previous mayor.

Miami reopens iconic Ocean Drive to cars after two years, but with a new two-way bike lane facing the beach.

 

International

Road.cc looks forward to eleven big bike launches expected to be unveiled in the coming year.

Unbelievable. A sheriff’s deputy found a British Columbia driver smoking heroin shortly after he ran down a 67-year old man riding a bike and kept going, even though he knew he hit something but was too scared to stop.

Bicycle holding company Pon.Bike announced plans to return bikemaking to Europe with a Lithuanian production facility capable of building up to 600,000 bicycles a year; they are the parent company of Gazelle, Cervélo, FOCUS, Santa Cruz and other bike brands.

Your next Japanese foldie ebike could come with just 57 low-maintenance parts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bad news from Colombia, where former Tour de France and current Giro champ Egan Bernal was seriously injured in a collision with a parked bus while training with teammates in his hometown of Zipaquira; Bernal suffered a broken femur and kneecap, requiring surgery to reconstruct his right leg, as well as to stabilize a spinal fracture and traumatic disc herniation.

Former national and Pan-American ‘cross champ Stephen Hyde is calling it a career after ten years on the pro circuit.

 

Finally…

Crashing bicycles, houseflies and infinite series mathematics. Why waste energy pedaling when you could just power your bike with an electric drill?

And seriously, who hasn’t jumped a bike off a hovering helicopter?

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

A bike rider’s rant about bad drivers, rethinking traffic enforcement, and Bonin signs on to LA’s 25×25

Let’s start with an email I received earlier this week, which succinctly  captures what too many of us are feeling these days.

Here’s what Steven had to say.

Pardon my rant, but it’s just infuriating out there! While I agree with you that being seen is VITALLY important. Every “encounter” I have had with a car or truck has been with someone that definitely saw me or had no excuse for not seeing me! I am paranoidedly cautious doing my best to anticipate possible situations. I have lights, steady and blinking, I wear bright, colorful clothes, I ride the bike lane where I can and fully take the lane when there is no bike lane.  I have been ‘right hooked’ so many times I can’t count! So far the worst result of a right hook has been some minor scrapes to my bike and some minor ‘road rash’. (However, I did dent the passenger door of a car once!)  There have been a few that I have yelled at and they responded — the most common was “You were going faster than I thought” or just “Sorry” and one woman unbelievably said “Didn’t you see my turn indicator?” The only time I got sent to the hospital was when I was clipped by a side mirror and thanks be to God, released the same day with some major hematoma! The guy, to his credit, did stop. But he did say that “I thought I had enough room” AND THAT IS ON THE POLICE REPORT!!!! It’s getting to the point that I feel like I should start randomly swing a baseball bat and justify it by saying “Well, I didn’t hit anybody”

And just for completeness, I have been left hooked, brake checked, purposely cut off (both from the left and the right!), and have had things thrown at me. The urge to physically fight back is almost overwhelming!

I know that feeling all too well, when the urge to smash someone’s windshield — if not their face — becomes overwhelming.

It’s a natural, and perfectly understandable, reaction to having your life needlessly threatened.

But not exactly helpful.

I have a mantra I save for such situations, repeating over and over The world will not conform to my expectations, until the rage finally passes.

Because, too often, it won’t.

People will continue drive dangerously, despite my expectations that they should drive in a safe and responsible manner. Yet they will somehow blame me for almost getting killed. Or just for being on the road.

Or maybe the planet.

Meanwhile, bad street designs and poor maintenance can be aggravating at best, life threatening at worst. And too often the latter.

And I can’t do a damn thing about any of that.

All I can do is try to control my own reaction to it, and not let the jerks of the world ruin a good ride.

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Cal Berkeley grad student Ethan Ebinger was honored by the university for his paper on rethinking traffic enforcement, offering a number of interesting proposals challenging current orthodoxy, including —

  • Decriminalize violations unrelated to traffic safety
  • Ban stops of non-vehicular road users
  • Rely on automated technologies
  • Improve data collection of crashes and stops, test for disparities
  • Balance downstream effects
  • Reframe traffic enforcement within Vision Zero
  • Move traffic enforcement operations to the transportation department

Whether or not you agree with him, it’s worth taking a few minutes to read the full paper to challenge your own beliefs, and maybe even start to see it in a whole new way.

https://twitter.com/BerkeleyITS/status/1481730718321446915

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Two down, 13 to go.

Although you can probably add whoever gets elected in CD5, where all of the announced candidates have endorsed the LA 25×25 plan.

LA 25×25 is an “aspirational yet actionable vision” to return 25% of LA’s street space to human uses, rather than motor vehicles, by 2025, and endorsed by a wide range of advocacy and public service groups .

Not surprisingly, while many progressive challengers have signed on to support it, most of the sitting councilmembers up for re-election this year have failed to respond, as have most of the leading candidates for mayor.

CD3’s Bob Blumenfield is a no, as is current city attorney and mayoral candidate Michael Feuer.

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Bike lanes are coming to Yosemite Drive in Eagle Rock.

https://twitter.com/walkeaglerock/status/1479694058087870468

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It looks like the host of SiriusXM’s The Stephanie Miller Show is one of us.

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That feeling when riding a bike is a bad idea because of all the other people out there who don’t.

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Local

Leah Shahum, the founder and executive director of the Vision Zero Network, writes to the LA Times to say Los Angeles, and the entire nation, needs to move past the outdated “Five E’s” approach to Vision Zero, and have the political will to create an effective and equitable Vision Zero effort built on proactive strategies such as designing streets and managing speeds for safety. Let’s hope the mayor reads it while he’s packing for India. Or the new interim mayor, anyway. 

The good news is, Metro Bike is expanding their docked bikeshare system in North Hollywood. The bad, they’ll be shutting NoHo Metro Bike locations down during the upgrade work, starting Monday.

Santa Monica has unveiled new bollard-protected bike lanes on 23rd Street. And for a change, they’re the kind of substantial bollards that might actually keep someone out, as opposed to the flimsy, car-tickler plastic bendy posts usually used in LA.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. The Fresno Bee remembers the much-loved, 61-year old retired high school English teacher who was killed by a truck driver while riding his recumbent Wednesday afternoon.

A San Francisco paper says the debate over the city’s Slow Streets and street closures have become a political minefield.

 

National

Denver demonstrates what a city can do with a little commitment, as they reach the halfway point in a five year, 125-mile bike lane building program, with 73% of city residents now within a quarter mile of a protected bike lane.

A writer for D Magazine applauds the new Vision Zero plan for Dallas, Texas, but questions whether it will actually save lives. Only if the city’s leaders have the political courage to make substantial changes to the streets, unlike the spineless wonders in charge of a certain Left Coast megalopolis we could name.

Northwest Arkansas is upping their offer to recruit tech workers to move to the area, providing recruits with a new bicycle and $10,000 in Bitcoin. Which will probably be $6,000 before you can get around to spending it.

What the hell is wrong with some people? A pair of Chicago gang members face murder charges for fatally shooting a mentally disabled man as he rode his bicycle last May, for no apparent reason; a third man was allegedly involved, but not charged.

 

International

Strava will now show points of interest within the app, including local landmarks, bike shops, cafes, start points and photo spots, as well as to get fresh water or a toilet break.

Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter discusses how to dress for winter ebike rides. You know, for people who live in places where that matters.

Good question. Cycling Weekly writes that 1,100 bicycles are stolen in the UK every day, so why isn’t bike theft a higher priority? I’d like to hear an answer to that one here, as well.

On a related note, a new bike sculpture was installed outside a London train station, made with parts from 45 different bicycles — the average number of bikes stolen in the country every hour.

A judge told a 76-year old Scottish driver to expect a “substantial” prison sentence next month, after he was convicted of killing a popular primary school teacher while attempting to pass two large vehicles at once, hitting the teacher’s bike head-on. Let’s just hope the judge meant what he said.

A news site names a 29-year old woman as the best mountain bike mechanic Lesotho, in case you find your self in need in the mountainous South African country.

 

Finally…

Now we’ll have to worry about getting buzzed by drivers from above, too. More evidence ‘cross is really hard.

And that feeling when your bicycle apparently goes out into the street of its own volition, and gets struck by a car that doesn’t seem to have a driver.

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

San Diego bike rider gravely injured, waking the two-wheeled giant of LA politics, and biking to school in the rain

It’s the last ten days of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael W and Dan W — no relation — for their generous donations to help keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

I often ask you to support other people and causes throughout the year. But this is the only time all year I actively ask for your financial support for this site. 

So take a moment now to give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

It’s okay, we’ll wait. 

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Bad news from San Diego.

A 51-year old man suffered life-threatening injuries when a driver rear-ended his bicycle, after he allegedly left a bike lane and veered into traffic, although it’s possible he may have been trying to make a left turn.

The crash occurred around 5 pm Monday in the 5900 block of University Ave in the Redwood Village neighborhood.

Sadly, police said the victim is not expected to survive.

Let’s hope they’re wrong.

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As Streetsblog’s Joe Linton makes clear, Southern California “rarely misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to bike lanes.”

Including bike lanes already been approved by Metro, Los Angeles and/or Caltrans, but never installed.

Even when the cost is nothing more than a few cans of paint.

Recently, there has been a frustratingly continuous drumbeat of planned bikeways being left off of large-scale southern California construction projects.

There are a host of reasons for the omissions. Numerous agencies are involved, though it’s mostly Metro, Caltrans, and L.A. City Public Works Department bureaus. The effect is the same: missed opportunities for interconnected facilities that would move the southland closer to becoming a safe and convenient place to get around by bike.

He goes on to cite a long list of recent projects where previously approved bike lanes were either downgraded or omitted entirely.

From the infamous Northvale Gap in the E Line — nee Expo — bike path, to the upcoming Van Nuys Blvd light rail project, which was supposed to include nine-miles of bike lanes along the rail route, but will now preserve that road space for cars.

And that doesn’t include countless other bike lanes that government officials have already committed to, but which have been unceremoniously shelved, often with little or no fanfare.

Here’s Linton again.

What is exasperating is that agencies already have approved bike plans – often the result of a great deal of advocacy pressure from cyclists. L.A. City adopted its Mobility Plan in 2015. Metro approved its Complete Streets Policy in 2014 (and received national recognition for it.) That policy builds on Metro’s 2014 First/Last Mile Strategic Plan. Even Caltrans recently released its own Statewide Complete Streets Policy.

Bike riders press to get bikeway facilities included during project planning processes, often to be told that there just isn’t space or funding or staffing or something-or-other for bikeways. Then, even when agencies (often reluctantly) approve bikeways as part of larger plans, they are dropped in full or in part during construction – as if bicycling is just not a valid way to get around, and as if the safety of bicyclists just isn’t quite worth following through on.

The bottom line, though, is that crap like this only happens because we let them get away with it.

As I’ve stressed before, the bicycling community is the sleeping giant of Los Angeles politics.

Don’t believe me?

In the 2010 bike plan that was unanimously approved by the city council, the city estimated that 434,161 Angelenos ride their bikes at least once a month.

From the 2010 Los Angeles bike plan

That’s more than the entire 407,147 votes cast in the last mayoral election, which put Eric Garcetti back in office for his final term.

Never mind the estimated 786,918 people who ride every summer, or the 1,356,754 who ride sometimes. Let alone the overwhelming majority of people in Los Angeles who say they’d like to ride a bike more, if they only felt safer on the streets.

So let’s wake that sleeping Giant.

We have the perfect opportunity to be heard, and to make a real difference in this city with the upcoming 2022 elections — the first time since 2013 we will be electing someone other than the disappointing, and soon to be disappearing, Garcetti. Not to mention half of the city council, including a number of open and contested seats.

It’s up to us to make enough noise that we can’t be ignored.

And then hold their feet to the fire once they get elected.

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As George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

Which applies perfectly to all those drivers who insist you can’t ride a bike in the rain. Let alone drop off your kids at school.

And to which Streets For All founder Michael Schneider responds with actions, not words.

Okay, so he explains with words, too.

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There’s a bike path in there somewhere. Let’s see how long it takes the county to clear it this time.

Since they didn’t do so great before.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Here’s your chance to ask for bike lanes in Larchmont.

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Good to hear from our old friend Opus the Poet, even if the news he shared wasn’t.

There was a YouTube creator hit on an e-bike in a hit and run.
Suspect vehicle was a black SUV of unknown make, model, and year. Victim’s insulin pump was destroyed in the wreck, to give an idea of how violent the wreck was.

It starts around the one minute mark. Unfortunately, while Hartford lives in California, she doesn’t say where the crash happened.

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

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick discovers that some Sprouts security guards didn’t get the memo when it comes to letting shoppers into the store with a bicycle. Adding insult to injury, one even told him to get a car.

A British Columbia man got 21 months behind bars for deliberately running down a bike-riding neighbor he’d been quarreling with, leaving the other man with serious injuries.

A British petition to force bike riders to use bike lanes and wear numbered bibs has drawn 10,000 signatures, which will require a government response.

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

A man in Mad City, Wisconsin fled on his bicycle after attacking another man with a baseball bat following an argument in a convenience store. Although there’s no explanation for why he had a baseball bat with him on his bike in the first place.

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Local

Spectrum News 1 offers five things you need to know about illegal street racing and takeovers, like the tidbit that street racing collisions have tripled in Los Angeles this year — including the death of a USC student killed by street racers this past weekend.

 

State

A San Clemente mountain biker was the victim of an off-road hit-and-run when he was knocked down on a trail by a man riding an electric motorcycle, who fled the scene.

The founder of Bike Index says OfferUp refuses to do anything to curb scammers, after a man ran off with a San Marcos man’s bike in response to an OfferUp ad, after handing him a bag supposedly full of cash to buy it.

 

National

A new report from the Coalition for a Prosperous America says the US must build back bike manufacturing in this country if we want the pandemic-induced bike boom to continue; over 97% of bikes sold in the US come from outside the country, with over 86% coming from China alone. Just like virtually every other American industry these days. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

A green business site calls ebikes the “uncelebrated heroes” of last-mile delivery.

Seattle attorneys are filing suit against the city and a local railroad over injuries to several bike riders resulting from a 1.4-mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail, as local business owners and trucking companies fight plans to close it. Maybe if we did that here, we might not have such a problem with all those disappearing bike lanes.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes announced plans to raise prices across the board on all their ebikes in response to the ongoing supply chain issues.

The woman who killed a prominent San Antonio surgeon in a drunken crash as he was riding his bike has been sentenced to a well-deserved 15 years behind bars.

A Massachusetts man who raised over $70,000 for cancer research, as well as raising funds for an Israeli charity for people with disabilities, now needs help with his own disability after September crash while riding his bike left him a paraplegic; a crowdfunding page has raised over $103,000 of the $250,000 goal.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Florida man has ridden 3,500 miles on his bike this year.

 

International

Momentum reports cities around the world are sacrificing parking spaces to make room for people on the streets. Including people on two wheels. Unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis we could name.

A new combo bike cam promises a 80 lumen tail light, combined with a camera capable of recording 9.5 hours of 1080p video and audio; it’ll set you back $182 on Kickstarter right now.

No bias here. Politico says Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has lost the love of Parisians in her efforts to transform the city into a “green cyclist’s utopia.” Even though she was just re-elected last year after already setting much of the changes in motion.

A German court is set rule on whether an alleged bike-riding Russian hit man killed a former Chechen commander in a Berlin park on orders from Moscow.

Over 3,000 people have signed a petition calling on Lisbon, Portugal to keep a bike lane until another safe alternative can be found, while more than 1,000 turned out for a demonstration demanding it stay in place.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews offers a series of photos from the 2021 Cyclocross National Championships in Chicago, as a where a first lap breakaway led to six riders spending the rest of the race chasing eventual winner Eric Brunner.

 

Finally…

Who knew Best Buy sells ebikes — or that we’re a day late and $500 short. That feeling when you’ve spent your career torturing bikes and the people who make them.

And maybe consider adding an air horn or two for extra safety and entertainment on your bike.

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

Times op-ed says LA can’t keep pushing bikes and buses aside, and 330-mile NorCal rail trail threatened by coal plans

Just 11 days left to give to the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Thanks to Michael B and Phillip Y for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

This is the only time all year we actively ask — okay, beg — for your money. 

So take a moment to open your heart and wallet. And give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated.

………

He gets it.

In a hard-hitting LA Times op-ed, Streets For All founder Michael Schneider says Los Angeles can no longer afford to push buses and bicycles to the side.

Or worse, actively block implementation of safe bus and bike lanes.

Paul Koretz kills a bike lane on Melrose and fights a bus lane on Wilshire. Gil Cedillo and Mitch O’Farrell work together to kill a bike lane on Temple. Paul Krekorian kills a bike lane on Lankershim. David Ryu kills a bike lane on 6th Street. John Lee fought a bus lane on Nordhoff. All of these real events over the last few years have something in common: members of the Los Angeles City Council actively ignoring the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, part of the general plan passed by the council in 2016.

He goes on to explain that there’s no way to get drivers out of their cars without more efficient transit and bikeways.

And that there is no way to prioritize alternative modes of transport without sacrificing some driver convenience and space on the street.

Then there’s this.

Another issue in Los Angeles is that we tend to build bike lanes in small segments based on the city’s repaving schedule. The problem here is that just like car lanes, bike (and bus) lanes really work well only as a network. Imagine if the 101 almost connected to the 405, and the 405 almost connected to the 10, and in the gaps, drivers faced a dirt road with potholes. How many cars would drive on those roads? Yet we ask the same of people on bikes today. Unless someone can get to where they need to go and feel safe for the entire journey, many won’t bother. That requires a network of protected bike lanes that connect to other protected bike lanes, criss-crossing the city.

Not surprisingly, he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the solutions.

We need all candidates running for mayor and City Council in 2022 to be leaders on this issue. The mayor especially must lead by action, not just talk, as it is today. Individual council members should not be allowed to block road changes prescribed in the Mobility Plan. We need citywide implementation, across district lines; the average Angeleno has no idea where one district ends and one begins, and those boundaries should not determine where a bike or bus lane mysteriously stops or starts.

We have elected far too many hypocrites and spineless “leaders” with their finger to the wind, bending whichever way people scream the loudest.

That needs to change.

Now.

We have to elect genuine leaders committed to their principles, who know what needs to be done and have the political courage to do it.

Because this city may not survive otherwise.

At least not in any form we’d want to live in.

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Gravel Bike California is sounding the alarm about plans to use an abandoned railway to ship coal to California’s North Coast, where it would be loaded onto ships and transported overseas.

Not only would the plan be like setting a torch to the growing climate emergency, it would expose everyone living along the rail line to the dangers of highly carcinogenic coal dust.

And it would mean the death of plans to convert the defunct North Coast rail line into the Great Redwood Trail, taking riders through ancient redwood forests and along roaring rivers.

You can sign a petition to oppose the plans here.

Because there’s no benefit to anyone to shipping coal through the redwoods.

Except for the people whose pockets it would line.

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Throw in some donuts, and we’ll all show up.

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Take a Welsh mountain biking break if you’ve got 24 minutes to spare.

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‘Tis the season.

All 55 third graders at a Lakewood, California elementary school got new bikes for the holidays, after initially being told just two students would win one.

A Good Samaritan bought a new bike for a popular Milwaukee pizza shop employee after his was stolen, giving it to the police to pass along anonymously.

A Newport RI bike club donated 100 rebuilt bicycles to students at a local elementary school.

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

A Montreal bike rider was the victim of a pepper spray attack by a road raging motorcyclist, who thought the victim should have been riding in the nonexistent bike lane.

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

Police in Miami are looking for a shooting suspect who fled on a red BMX bike. No, the one in Oklahoma.

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Local

Los Angeles will break with longstanding tradition, and take advantage of a new state law to actually lower speed limits on some streets next year.

This is who we share the road with. A 21-year old USC student was killed by a pair of street racing drivers as he walked in a crosswalk near campus; surprisingly, both drivers stopped following the crash.

 

State

This is who we share the road with, part two. Once again, an elderly driver has been kept on the road until it’s too late, as an 87-year old Desert Hot Springs man faces vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run charges for crashing his Caddy into the back of a school bus, then plowing into a group of kids as he tried to flee, killing a nine-year old girl and injuring three other children. Whoever kept renewing his license should face charges, too.

No surprise here, as a Salinas paper says whether you’re safe on a bicycle depends on where you are. In other words, just like anywhere else.

With just over two weeks left in the year, San Jose traffic deaths are approaching record levels, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

 

National

Yes, you can bring your Christmas tree home by bicycle.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske writes about the need for bright lights on your bike, both to stay safe and and limit liability in a collision. I suggest going even further by riding with multiple bright lights day or night to increase your visibility. And note to Mionske: Isn’t time to stop using that outdated and inaccurate term “accident?” A crash isn’t an oopsie. 

Cycling Tips offers four great bicycling photos from the previous two centuries and the stories behind them. Like a stunt cyclist upside down on a loop-the-loop, and riding down a steep flight of stairs on a Penny Farthing.

A Washington writer says bike riders should just go around people who walk in the bike lane when there’s no sidewalk, because “running into a pedestrian is fundamentally unsafe.” Well, yeah. He’s got a point. 

Heartbreaking story from a Flagstaff AZ writer, who struggles to process her emotions in the wake of witnessing a woman killed, and several others injured, when a tow truck driver blew a red light and plowed into them during the city’s May Bike Party.

The couple responsible for putting up ghost bikes in Houston are looking for volunteers to help replace stolen bikes. Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for anyone who’d steal a ghost bike.

It defies logic, but apparently, it’s possible to hit and kill a 12-year old bike-riding Texas girl with your pickup without doing anything wrong.

New York bike riders are demanding a downtown civic group replace their sleek-looking bike racks, which they say only a thief could love.

Yesterday we linked to video of a nine-year old DC boy run down on his bike by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding home from school with his mother; today he’s speaking out to call for safer streets. My kind of kid.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana is finally recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community. And only 40 years too late for me, after risking my life to ride there. And don’t get me started on beer-chucking LSU frat boys. 

 

International

Yanko Design looks at the year’s best new bicycle innovations, including airless bike tires, zip-on bike tire treads, and a compact air pump — for car tires.

The Guardian’s Peter Walker digs into a pair of rapidly spreading London myths — that the city is the most congested in the world, and the reason is bike lanes. Neither one of which he says is true.

It only took four hours to fully crowdfund new bike lights from Northern Ireland’s See.Sense, promising 575 lumens from the front light, and 350 in the rear, which brightens as you slow down. And if you hurry, a set will set you back as little as $118.

UK authorities are urged to close a loophole in traffic law that allows killer motorists to keep driving if taking their license away would cause an extreme hardship. Imagine the hardship it causes the people they kill.

A 26-year old British man is riding over 5,100 miles from Bristol, England to Beijing, despite being diagnosed with cancer.

If you’re an Aussie football star, maybe don’t get drunk and attempt bike stunts. And fail.

 

Competitive Cycling

New Zealand could struggle to compete internationally in the future, with the short-sighted closure of four of the country’s cycling development centers.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you need a better excuse than simply not remembering that you stole a bike. You could have been the proud owner of a $7,500 handmade El Polo Loco lowrider bike if you’d just moved a little faster.

And who says self-driving tech is just for the people on four wheels?

………

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

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

………

A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

………

The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

………

As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

………

The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

………

Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

………

Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

………

One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

………

If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

………

More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

………

Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

………

It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

………

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

………

Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

………

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

LAX opens massive climate-destroying parking garage, “immoral” painted bike lanes, and $1000 Prada bike shorts

While the world is literally burning, Los Angeles opens a massive new parking garage to encourage more people to drive to LAX.

Yes, Los Angeles will open a people mover to finally connect the airport to the city’s rail system in another two years.

Something that should have happened nearly two decades ago when the Green Line, now called the C Line, inexplicably bypassed the airport. Note: I originally misidentified this as the Blue Line; thanks to John for the correction.

The $5.5 billions plan to improve non-automotive access to the airport also promises to make it easier to bike to there. But exactly what that means, and when we’ll finally see it on the streets, remains unclear.

But as this massive car storage facility makes clear, the city is planning for driving to remain the primary way to access the airport for the foreseeable future — if not actively encouraging it through induced demand.

Climate emergency be damned.

Here’s another view.

Thanks to Ted Faber and Schroedinger for the heads-up.

Photo of smoke-shrouded sky by Cole Keister from Pexels.

………

Frightening video from the Bay Area earlier this month, when a small group of bicyclists were nearly run down by a driver who fell asleep and crossed over onto the wrong side of the road.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick offers it as evidence that painted bike lanes are immoral, leaving vulnerable road users in mortal danger.

Although it’s hard to imagine that most protected bike lanes would prevent something like this, either.

Rudick notes that only a curb-protected bike lane or a parking protected lane would have kept this driver out.

And even those are questionable, since there’s a good chance the snoozing driver could have jumped a curb, while parking protected lanes depend on whether anyone is actually parked there at the time.

Never mind any of the more common bollard protected lanes, whether the fat plastic bollards or the car-tickler plastic bendie posts that are euphemistically termed protection.

The gold standard for protection remains heavy, albeit ugly, k-rails, or planters that are anchored to the pavement.

But plastic is less expensive. And paint is even cheaper.

Which should tell you what officials think our lives are worth.

………

Southern California Families for Safe Streets is hosting their monthly brunch to fight traffic violence this Saturday.

………

One of the big question marks in traffic safety is the shifting perceptions on the roll law enforcement should play.

………

This is what could happen here if we had safer streets.

………

This is who we share the road with.

………

That feeling when you get kicked out of Prada with your $40 bike shorts.

………

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

Life is cheap in London, where a driver walked with a year of community service for intentionally running down a bike rider, who turned out to be the city’s former bicycling czar.

………

Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, received a $1.25 million state grant for its award-winning Go Human campaign.

Santa Monica is in the process of adding a protected bike lane and protected intersections on 17th Street, as well as other safety projects on streets surrounding the 17th Street/SMC Metro Station.

Sit-down e-scooter provider Wheels settled a consumer protection lawsuit with Santa Monica for $300,000, after the city accused it of operating without a permit.

Eternals actress Malin Akerman is one of us, after she was spotted riding the streets of Los Feliz with her eight-year old son on the back of a fat tire ebike.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

The Bike League is looking for a temporary Advocacy and Outreach Assistant to help prepare for next year’s National Bike Summit.

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for reducing inequities in our cities through better management of the streets.

Singletracks offers a beginner’s guide to truing your mountain bike wheels.

A record-setting ebike rider is making a 6,500-mile loop around the US on a custom-built solar-powered electric bike, although he’s skipping the Deep South for some reason.

A 60-year old Portland woman has been frightened off her bike after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk. Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, but says the fear has deprived her of an important mobility tool. Simply put, we will never make a serious dent in car usage until average people of all ages feel safe on our streets without one.

San Antonio is the latest city converting its entire bikeshare system to ebikes.

Salem, Massachusetts is considering lifting a ban on ebikes, which are technically illegal under a state law intending to ban mopeds.

No surprise here, as New York’s only safe streets PAC has endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams over Republican nominee and avowed bike lane hater Curtis Sliwa, who wants to remove any bike lanes that aren’t actively used.

Gothamist asks if New York is about to get its first bike mayor, after presumptive winner Adams pledges to regularly ride his bike to and from City Hall, adding “I think if people start seeing their mayor on a bike, they’d be more encouraged to know that the streets are safe to ride their bikes.” Although an actual bike mayor is something entirely different

A 72-year old Virginia woman has completed the last leg of her record-setting cross-country bike ride, using her route to draw a peace sign across the US in honor of her brother, who was killed when his plane went down in Laos when she was 20 years old.

Brian Laundrie may be one of us, after the reputed prime suspect in the killing of killing of Gabby Petito was reportedly seen riding a bicycle a few hours north of his Florida home. Then again, he’s also reportedly been seen all over the state, and as far north as the Appalachian Trail.

 

International

A new survey shows 40 percent of British people would consider buying an ebike, a jump of 11 percent since before the pandemic.

Pink Bike says clipless Crocs are a thing now, developed by a three-time French bike polo champ.

A Spanish firm has released the final designs for a wooden bike you can download and build yourself for around $500. Or maybe you’d rather buy a completed bespoke wooden bike for the equivalent of around $5,400.

Hungary plans to install eight luminescent, glow-in-the bike lanes by the end of the year.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Turkish man has ridden a bicycle almost every day for 71 years, and still rides 12 miles a day, when he’s not caring for sick or injured animals.

More proof bicycling pays, as bikes contribute a massive $6.3 billion to the Australian economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten is already back on her bicycle, just two weeks after breaking her pelvis and shoulder in the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Buy this unique mountain bike for $2,500 and get the patent for it free. Maybe it’s not the best idea to steal a bike from behind the police station since it probably belongs to a cop.

And that feeling when bikes power the show.

………

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

Metro Bike expands to Hollywood, O’Farrell claims to support bikes, and L39ION of LA quits USA Crit series

Metro has officially gone Hollywood.

A few weeks after we spotted the new Metro Bike hub on the southwest corner of Fuller and Franklin avenues, just a couple blocks from the entrance to Runyon Canyon, Metro has officially unveiled their new bikeshare expansion into Hollywood.

The new hubs make it easier to connect with existing Metro Bike hubs in East Hollywood, Los Feliz and Silver Lake, part of the 220 hubs docking stations in DTLA, Central L.A., Exposition Park and North Hollywood.

The new network opens with a dozen stations centered primarily around Hollywood Blvd, extending down to Sunset and Santa Monica blvds.

  • Franklin and Fuller avenues
  • Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue
  • Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard
  • Hawthorne Avenue and Orange Drive
  • McCadden Place and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Cherokee Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Whitley Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Ivar Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard
  • Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street
  • Fountain Avenue and Vine Street
  • Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue
  • McCadden Place and Santa Monica Boulevard

The Hollywood bikeshare system should prove popular with tourists, providing an alternative to walking the Walk of Fame, as well as connecting with other popular tourist attractions.

Unfortunately, it comes with a near total lack of bicycling infrastructure in the area, forcing people who don’t know the area to contend with heavy LA traffic.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that goes better than I think it will.

………

Meanwhile, a number of people took issue with a Saturday tweet from CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell claiming to support bike infrastructure in his Hollywood-based district.

Like this one from a challenger to O’Farrell in next year’s election.

Then there’s this.

Maybe O’Farrell should try listing some of the bike lanes he claims to have supported in his district, since no one seems to know about them.

Or better yet, he could try moving forward with some of the ones he’s killed before next year’s election, if he wants to get the bike vote.

Like moving those Hollywood Blvd protected bike plans off the master plan and onto the streets, before someone gets killed out there.

And approving the shovel-ready lane reduction on deadly West Temple Street that he killed three years ago, claiming a lack of community engagement, despite overwhelming support for the project.

………

Installing bike lanes when streets are repaved should be the rule, not the exception.

Unfortunately, these only cover a fifth of a mile before dumping riders off onto sharrows.

LADOT should be required to build out bike lanes when any street in the bike plan is repaved, as some other major cities have committed to doing.

Instead, it’s common practice in Los Angeles to repave streets with little or no consideration to people on two wheels, regardless of whether the street is included in the bike plan.

But then, as we were reminded by an LADOT official shortly after the 2010 bike plan was unanimously passed by the city council, it remains merely “aspirational.”

………

This Vision Zero webinar should be interesting.

And here’s a better description.

You’ve seen it before. Commercials with cars doing donuts down dense city streets. PSAs telling pedestrians it’s on them, not drivers, to avoid being hit in a crash. Car culture shows no signs of slowing down, and has a firm grip on how the safe streets movement appears in mainstream media and marketing. Join this panel to hear from experts on just how pervasive this grip is, how we begin to relinquish it, and how to successfully frame and move the needle on Vision Zero through the media and marketing.

It’s part of the virtual 2021 Vision Zero Cities conference beginning Wednesday, intended to explore “the most pressing issues on our streets today. From street design to traffic enforcement, hear from experts and advocates devoted to safe streets and livable cities.”

………

Congratulations to everyone who participated in Saturday’s LAPD Back the Blue Ride. Nice to see the department encouraging officers to ride their bikes.

………

Megan Lynch offers a thread on the sad state of bollards that are supposed to protect people on bicycles in ostensibly bike-friendly Davis.

………

This is what bike lane enforcement looks like in a city that actually cares about safety.

To answer the question, yes, I can imagine it.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

It would be easy enough for Los Angeles to put parking enforcement officers on bikes, and charge them with enforcing illegal parking in bike lanes, like this video from Toronto.

Instead, drivers feel free to park in bike lanes throughout the city, with little risk getting a ticket — let alone towed.

And cops are often the worst offenders, especially Downtown.

Thanks to Glenn for the heads-up.

………

A new British ad makes the case that bikes are best for short journeys. And that when more people bike, everyone wins.

………

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

The debate over whether to allow cars on San Francisco’s Great Highway has devolved into vandalism and threats, as someone keeps vandalizing sensors intended to count road users, while local residents hold signs demanding bike riders get out of their neighborhood. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A small group of New York residents protested against the city’s Open Streets program — aka Slow Streets — complaining about dangerous bike riders, and apparently feeling they would be safer contending with cars instead.

No bias here. A writer for a car website says the new 18 mph speed limit in Paris is just part of the war on cars, designed to force people out of them.

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

A bike-riding, 44-year old man is under arrest for stabbing a pair of men on New York’s Williamsburg Bridge and a nearby park after arguing with them in separate incidents; both victims are in critical condition.

Police are on the lookout for a Florida man who made his escape by bicycle after dashing out of a smoke shop with $178 worth of purloined cigars and cigarettes.

………

Local

This is the cost of traffic violence. Heartbreaking news from North Hills, where an 18-month old toddler was collateral damage in a hit-and-run collision when one of the cars slammed into a group of people standing by a food cart, where the boy was waiting in a stroller with his grandparents; one other woman was seriously injured. The heartless coward in the other car fled the scene after the crash. Seriously, when the hell will we finally get fed up with sacrificing our kids at the altar of the almighty motor vehicle, and demand safer streets for everyone? It’s long past time for an American Stop de Kindermoord movement. 

Crosstown LA looks at the rise in road road in post-pandemic Los Angeles, too often involving a gun.

Long Beach is looking for volunteers to conduct the city’s bike and pedestrian count. Assuming you can get past the paper’s paywall, anyway.

 

State

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. San Diego’s KPBS public radio discusses how the city is ramping up bike infrastructure in response to the dramatic increase in bicycling deaths this year.

Sad news from Merced, where someone riding a bicycle was somehow killed by a driver in some sort of truck, who may or may not have remained at the scene.

A new study from San Jose State University examines attitudes towards bike helmet use and the effects of a possible mandatory helmet law in the state. And yes, you may have answered a survey for this one awhile back.

Bay Area transportation leaders will talk bike safety on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

She gets it. A bike-riding Sonoma County columnist asks if it’s really that hard to be considerate to bike riders, while noting that the real objection to the recently vetoed Stop as Yield Law is the way bike riders are too often seen as “others,” and somehow less than human.

 

National

Parade Magazine’s Marilyn vos Savant, the columnist with the record-setting IQ, proves she really is a genius by confirming that it’s safer to ride a bicycle with traffic. Although she could have mentioned that it’s also the law everywhere in the US.

A writer for the Atlantic makes the case that the simplest way to make roads safer while reducing police violence is to reduce the amount of cars on the road, while taking traffic enforcement away from cops.

Heartbreaking news from Arizona, where yet another cross-country bike rider was killed when a Portland husband and father was run down by a driver while riding through a remote section of the state. A crowdfunding campaign for his family has raised nearly $64,000 of the updated $75,000 goal. Seriously, people should be able to ride their bikes across the US without taking their lives in their hands.

Tragic news from Iowa, where the body of an 11-year old boy was found in a cornfield, five months after he disappeared while riding his bike; police consider the case “suspicious.”

The Boston Globe examines the debate over expanding bikeways in Providence, Rhode Island, pitting the environment and infrastructure against public safety and traffic concerns, while noting a similar debate over a bike path built in 1983 that’s now wildly popular.

Awful case from New York, where a man walking his bike through a crosswalk was killed by a hit-and-run driver while his wife looked on in horror, just one more death in what is turning out to be a very deadly year for people on bicycles.

More bad news from New York, where a 51-year old man was stabbed to death  by a thief who stole his bicycle; he was apparently a delivery rider for Grubhub.

The New York Post’s decidedly anti-bike columnist continues yelling at kids to get off his lawn, insisting that rerouting the city’s 5th Avenue before the holidays to install bike lanes is madness.

He gets it, too. A New York State bike advocate says bicycles can be part of the state’s green future.

 

International

A travel website recommends eleven “enchanting” places where cars aren’t allowed, including three in the US.

A 14-year old Indian girl was a finalist for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize to inspire innovative idea to fight climate change, with her design for a solar-powered, bike-based mobile ironing cart to press wrinkles out of clothes, to replace the estimated 10 million ironing carts that each burn an average of about 11 pounds of charcoal per day.

The senseless violence continues in South Africa, where a man was shot and killed by a group of robbers who stole his bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a surprising move, L39ION of Los Angeles has pulled out of the USA Crits series, after the director of the race series was suspended, and implicated in a decade old child pornography case.

L39ION of LA’s announcement was quickly followed by the withdrawal of the Aevolo Cycling team, along with the Boise Twilight Criterium and Tulsa Tough, which announced they would no longer be associated with the series.

USA CRITS Managing Director Scott Morris was “temporarily suspended” by the organization for some sort of unannounced misconduct; Morris had reportedly been arrested for possession of child pornography in Virginia and Georgia in 2007 and 2008, but he apparently bargained the case down to a conviction for theft of computer services.

Conviction or not, there should be no time limit on child pornography, if it can be established that he really possessed it. One strike and you’re out. 

Period.

 

Finally…

Join the Aussie army so you, too, can ride a 50 mph ebike. When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s just road markings.

And lots of people carry their dogs on their bikes.

A cat on a fixie, not so much.

………

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

Biking Where Black, candidates to replace Koretz in CD5 back bikes, and Ford fan site blames aggressive drivers

No surprise here.

A new study from Chicago’s South Side shows a correlation between the lack of bike lanes in majority Black communities, and excessive ticketing for bicycling violations by police.

It’s no surprise then that, according to a study by University of California Davis professor Jesus Barajas, tickets for riding on the sidewalk were issued eight times more often per capita in Chicago’s majority-Black communities than majority-white neighborhoods, which tend to have far more miles of marked and protected bike lanes on arterial roads.

In addition, the Chicago Police Department has been fairly upfront about the fact that it uses zero-tolerance traffic enforcement as a strategy to enable searches for guns and drugs in high-crime neighborhoods. “When we have communities experiencing levels of violence, we do increase traffic enforcement,” Glen Brooks, the department’s director of public engagement, said on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” show in 2018. “Part of that includes bicycles.”

Just more evidence of the excessive burden placed on people of color for biking while Black or Brown.

Simply put, these are our brothers and sisters, who deserve better. And the support of the entire bicycling community.

Today’s photo shows a new Metro Bike dock that appeared without warning in Hollywood, just two blocks from the entrance to Runyon Canyon.

………

This is who we could have representing LA’s 5th Council District, replacing pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, who was happy to support bicycling as long as it didn’t inconvenience cars or the people in them in any way.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

………

Speaking of CD5, Katy Young Yaroslavsky — longtime LA politician Zev Yaroslavsky’s daughter-in-law — has tossed her hat in the ring for next year’s election to replace termed-out Paul Koretz.

And the senior environment and arts policy deputy for County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former environmental land-use attorney is already saying the right things when it comes to supporting safer and more livable streets.

Yaroslavsky also said she would have supported Uplift Melrose, a proposal to bring more pedestrian space and fewer traffic lanes to the Melrose area. That proposal was not supported by Koretz because he said it would have created more traffic congestion in surrounding areas. Yaroslavsky said she is open to pursuing options like Uplift Melrose and also supports more bicycle lanes, particularly lanes connecting to locations that are centers of employment.

“I think that we need to create opportunities for people to get out of their cars,” Yaroslavsky said. “Bike lanes need to connect to each other and they need to get people where they need to go.”

We have a long way to go before May’s primary election.

But it looks like we’re off to a good start.

………

He gets it.

A writer for a Ford aficionado site takes a surprising stand in the case of a Colorado bike rider killed last week by a 19-year old mechanic test driving a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup.

And concludes that most crashes involving bicyclists result from aggressive and distracted driving.

Meanwhile, a Denver TV station refutes claims of scofflaw bicyclists by looking back at a grounding breaking study from a University of Colorado Denver professor who found that drivers and bike riders break the law at about the same rate.

But that people on bicycles do it for better safety, while drivers do it for convenience.

………

Looks like fun.

London bicyclists turned out in force for a mobile rave in a tunnel.

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

Oh hell no. Police are looking for a road raging Brazilian driver who backed his car over a man and his five-year old son for the crime of allowing the boy to ride his bicycle in the street; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

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

A 66-year old English woman needed an urgent hip replacement after she was knocked to the ground by a bike rider pulling a trailer at an outdoor market, who simply shouted “sorry” as he rode away without stopping to see if she was okay.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Metro’s revised proposals for bus rapid transit on Eagle Rock’s Colorado Blvd provides a litmus test for CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León as he runs for mayor next year.

 

State

What does it say when a new fat tire ebike from a California company inspired by the car that won the ’79 Le Mans comes complete with a built-in fire extinguisher?

Davis is hosting a zombie bike ride on Halloween Day. That’s in contrast to the zombie drivers we have to contend with every day.

 

National

Bicycling examines how ebikes are getting people back on their bikes and back into their communities. As usually, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine unveiled Specialized’s $5,000 Aethos Comp Rival as their bike of the year for 2021. Once again, read on Yahoo if you can’t access Bicycling’s site.

A kindhearted El Paso deputy bought a new bike for a homeless man he befriended, after noticing the man was riding a “ratchety” bicycle.

Austin, Texas is more than halfway to building out a 400-mile bicycle network by 2025, at a pace of slightly less than 50 miles a year. Just in case you need proof it can be done. And yes, I’m talking to you, Los Angeles.

A Wisconsin man is riding 1,600-miles from Martha’s Vineyard back to his home state to raise awareness about kidney disease and the opportunity to be a living donor, just one year after he gave one of his to a stranger.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal an adaptive bicycle from someone with special needs. Like the schmuck who made off with the customized three-wheeled bike a Toledo, Ohio man with cerebral palsy relied on for transportation.

Vogue takes a look at what they call New York’s most meaningful and stylish fundraising ride.

 

International

Cycling News considers the best bike bells for any kind of riding, while Livestrong proves they’re still around with a list of their own.

A new book highlights the weird, wonderful and sometimes ludicrous world of early bicycles.

Bike thefts in Scotland are up nearly 20% since the beginning of the pandemic, with the jump in thefts due to increased demand from the worldwide bike boom.

London plans to introduce a life-saving, citywide 15 mph speed limit next year. Proving once again that is can be done. Still looking at you, Los Angeles.

An English driver could stand trial for gross negligence manslaughter for killing a bike-riding 15-year old boy, who then kept going to see a woman he met on a dating app, after a coroner’s inquest uncovered additional evidence three years after the driver had walked when a previous case collapsed in court.

Probably not the best idea for a drug-abusing British man to steal a doctor’s bicycle while awaiting sentencing as a serial bike thief; he ended up getting two years for his crimes.

Apparently, the bike boom doesn’t extend to kids riding to school in the UK, even while average bike mileage has more than doubled in the last 19 years.

Proof that comedians aren’t always such keen observers of life, as British comic Rob Beckett claims he’s never seen someone on a bicycle smile.

An Irish man gets two and a half years for attacking a 50-year-old woman riding to her job cleaning a shopping mall and stealing her bike.

German startup Dance continues to pull in investments for their ebike subscription service, raising nearly $20 million in new funding.

A 28-year old bike-riding Italian priest was beatified by the Catholic Church, 77-years after he was brutally beaten to death when he attempted to bury at least 770 civilians massacred by the Nazis in WWII; his bicycle was one of the holy relics presented at the ceremony.

A self-described Latino American magazine calls Barcelona, Spain a bicycling paradise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Annemiek van Vleuten turned on her fellow Dutch teammates for failing to effectively support Marianne Vos in the women’s road world championships, accusing them of not working hard enough in the race.

VeloNews considers how 43-year old Czech mountain biker and ‘cross champ Kateřina Nash keeps winning after 20 years as a pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire was bitten by a rabid fox. Ebike weight weenies of the world rejoice — you have nothing to lose but your $22,000.

And I want to be like him when I grow up.

No, not just still riding at that age, but an 11 term congressman, too.

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Thanks to Alan C for his unexpected donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

Donations are always welcome and appreciated, regardless of the size, season or reason. 

………

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

Scarpa trial Monday for killing Costa Mesa fire captain, wrist slap for killer SD AG, and Malibu postpones PCH meeting

The allegedly stoned driver who killed a popular Costa Mesa fire captain will finally face justice next week.

The Daily Pilot reports that 27-year old Stephen Taylor Scarpa will go on trial for murder on Monday for fatally running down 44-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita resident Mike Kreza as he was training for a triathlon in 2018.

According to the paper,

Kreza was off duty and riding his bike in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3 when a van driven by Scarpa drove off the roadway at Alicia Parkway and traveled 8 feet across the curb line, a sidewalk and an embankment, striking Kreza.

Police found Scarpa sitting on a curb following the crash, apparently intoxicated. He admitted to investigators he had shot up a combination of methamphetamine and fentanyl while at a party, along with taking an anxiety medication.

Kreza died two days later, leaving behind his wife and three young children.

The murder charge suggests this wasn’t Scarpa’s first DUI arrest, and that he had probably signed a Watson advisement indicating he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while intoxicated, following a previous conviction.

The paper reports Scarpa has remained in county jail for 1,032 days since his arrest — nearly three years — by the time he goes on trial Monday.

Chance are, he’ll end up serving a lot more than that.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

………

If you want to get away with killing someone, use a car.

Or better yet, get elected attorney general.

South Dakota AG Jason Ravnsborg was sentenced Thursday for a fatal hit-and-run crash. And walked without a single day behind bars.

The judge gave Ravnsborg a gentle caress on the wrist, allowing him to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts for a total of $1,000 in fines.

Which is apparently what a human life goes for in South Dakota these days.

Even an order to do some sort of public service to mark the anniversary of the victim’s death was put on hold, when Ravnsborg’s attorney argued it wasn’t allowed under the statute.

Authorities allowed Ravnsborg to claim he kept driving because he thought he hit a deer, rather than a man walking along the roadway. Even though the victim did a face plant in the AG’s windshield, leaving his glasses in the car where investigators found them the next day.

You’d think most people would have recognized a human face staring back at them through the windshield. Or at the very least, stopped to see what they hit.

But apparently, that kind of logic isn’t required for elected office in the state.

By continuing home, Ravnsborg may also have escaped a DUI count by delaying a blood alcohol test until 15 hours after the crash, by which time any alcohol consumed at the political fundraiser he attended would have been safely out of his system.

And it was.

Ravnsborg capped it off his extremely minimal sentence with a very self-serving statement.

The state’s governor and at least some legislators are calling for Ravnsborg to be impeached, since he refuses to step down.

We can hope, anyway.

Thanks to Pat Benson for the heads-up.

………

To be continued.

Malibu pulled the plug on last night’s planned discussion on widening the shoulder on a two-mile segment of PCH, rescheduling the meeting for next month.

Supporters describe the proposed project as improving safety for people on bicycles. But others fear it would just move us into the door zone, instead.

I’m told that the wider shoulders will allow plenty of room for both bikes and parked cars, without posing a risk to the people on two wheels.

But let’s get serious.

That would require at least seven to eight feet to the right of the roadway and the left of parked cars. Anything less would be in the door zone.

So if there’s that much space already built into this plan, why don’t they just install bike lanes, instead?

Or better yet, a parking protected bike lane.

………

CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León wants to know what you want to see on Huntington Drive.

You know what to tell him.

………

Good news for anyone who walks. Or crosses the street.

https://twitter.com/LosAngelesWalks/status/1430988640298012672

On the other hand, the legislature killed AB 1401, which was murdered died in committee; the bill would have allowed cities to reduce parking minimums for new buildings near transit stations.

………

This is what you call expert level trolling.

………

A brilliant solution for locking your bike.

Unless the thief has a chain tool.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for forwarding the tweet.

………

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

Two British men have been charged with murder, and a third with assisting them, for intentionally running down a man as he and a woman were riding bicycles; the men allegedly abandoned and burned the car they used in an attempt to coverup the crime.

An Australian man faces charges for deliberately ramming three people on bicycles in three separate incidents just minutes apart as they were riding in a bike lane earlier this month; fortunately, none of the victims was seriously injured.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton politely takes LADOT and the LA Bureau of Engineering to task for a number of missed opportunities to install bike lanes, or protect the ones they did install.

Climate Resolve considers Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan to remake Colorado Blvd into a green, safe and vibrant street, calling it an opportunity for climate action.

The Los Angeles Times suggests 13 parking hacks they say every driver should know. Although the best hack is to just take transit. Or ride a bike.

LA firefighters have made it to the halfway point in St. Louis on their cross-country ride to the former site of the World Trade Center to honor the victims of the 9/11 attack.

 

State

A tandem-riding San Diego couple are fed up with the trash lining the city’s Kearny Villa Road, saying nothing has been done despite repeated complaints to the city. On the other hand, when Phil Gaimon got tired of seeing all the trash and litter on Mulholland in the Hollywood Hills, he organized his own volunteer clean-up operation.

A Monterey County writer makes an impassioned defense of an unfinished “bike path to nowhere,” insisting it will be worth it once it’s completed and connects to other bikeways.

A Chico man got his bicycle back six months after it was stolen when police noticed it in a homeless camp, because he had recorded the bike’s serial number and reported it to the police. Although an even better option is to register your bike now so you have all the information before anything happens to it.

 

National

Cycling Tip’s Caley Fretz wants to know where his stolen bike was for the past three years, after it suddenly showed up locked to a Boulder, Colorado fence, mostly intact, not far from where he lived when it was taken.

Boise, Idaho will host a “wonderfully weird” pedal-powered party to celebrate the removal of the dreaded bike tire-puncturing Goathead plants.

How to explore Kansas City by bicycle on your next BBQ pilgrimage.

Continuing with this week’s theme of restoring our faith in humanity, a firefighter foundation in Wausau, Wisconsin bought a new bike for a teenage boy after the bicycle he used to deliver newspapers and care for lawns was trashed in a collision.

Someone is targeting Chicago bikeshare riders by stealing their bikes at implied gunpoint after they unlock them.

A Cleveland website says the only risks you face on Michigan’s carfree Mackinac Island are horse poop, bike traffic and distracted pedestrians.

Speaking of Cleveland, a 58-year old man had to relearn how to walk after shattering his leg in a motorcycle crash, and celebrated his recovery by riding a bicycle 3814 miles through 14 states.

New York is moving forward with plans for congestion pricing, after reaching an agreement with the Biden administration to conduct an environmental review of charging drivers a toll to enter central Manhattan; it would be the first such fee in the US. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials are doing what they do best, conducting a study of Metro’s congestion pricing proposal. Which usually results in studying it to death.

 

International

Bicycling can be a pain in the back, literally. So read this Cycling Weekly story about the causes of lower back pain, and how to prevent it.

Toronto bicyclists demand immediate improvements after an 18-year old man was killed by the driver of a dump truck, after he was forced to ride through a construction zone when a bike lane ended and dumped him into busy traffic; a bike advocate had warned something like that was likely to happen just two days before it actually did.

Treehugger responds to the same Toronto death by arguing that it’s time for the construction industry to prioritize the safety of people who walk or bike.

Los Angeles becomes the poster child for bad scooter behavior, as a Dublin letter writer uses it as a bad example of what he hopes the Irish city won’t become.

Paris continues to make huge strides towards safety and livability, by reducing speed limits on most streets to just 18 mph.

A former Afghan government minister is happy just to have a job, working as a bicycle delivery rider after moving to Germany in hope of a better future.

Cycling News reports on efforts to get women cyclists out of Afghanistan over fears they will be targeted by the Taliban for breaking traditional taboos.

Dozens of bicyclists took to the streets of Yemen’s capital to call for peace in the war torn country.

One hundred people faced road rage charges in Japan last year, with 24 tagged for brake checks and 20 sudden lane changes; four of the cases were blamed on bike riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Surprisingly, two-time defending Vuelta champ Primož Roglič lost more time in Thursday’s stage 12, now standing almost two minutes behind oddly named leader Odd Christian Eiking of Norway.

LA-based Continental cycling team L39ION of Los Angeles lived up to their usual winning ways in the team’s first-ever stage race, taking both the men’s and women’s races in the opening stage of the Fayetteville, Arkansas Joe Martin Stage Race.

VeloNews dives head first into the debate over whether there should be separate categories for elite women gravel racers.

 

Finally…

Think of it as a fondo where you reduce your time by eating donuts. That feeling when your winning breakaway is suddenly halted by a car fire.

And it turns out Dutch kids aren’t born on bikes, after all.

https://twitter.com/NLinSF/status/1430600351028191235

………

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

Arraignment set for pickup driver charged with murder, Culver City opens Jackson gate, and San Diego debates bike safety

My News LA reports Sergio Reynaldo Gutierrez is scheduled to be arraigned on September 2nd for using his truck as a weapon to murder a bike rider last month.

As we reported over the weekend, Gutierrez allegedly made a U-turn in his massive Ford pickup and deliberately slammed into Benedicto Solanga on July 29th, in an apparent road rage attack.

Solanga died three days later, while it took nearly three weeks for authorities to conclude Gutierrez had been behind the wheel, after finding his truck hours after the crash.

Gutierrez is expected to be charged with murder, along with a sentencing enhancement for using his truck as a deadly weapon.

He remains in custody on $1 million bail.

………

Chalk this one up as a win for people on two wheels or feet.

For anyone who’s wondered why one of the easiest and most convenient entrances to Ballona Creek has long been closed to everyone but maintenance workers, the Culver City Council just voted to change that last night.

And better yet, to keep it open.

Meanwhile, the city also voted to support extending the Ballona Creek bike path the full length of the creek from where it emerges from underground.

………

The San Diego Union-Tribune explores the ongoing debate over bike lanes in a series of op-eds, saying the city is experiencing unintended consequences in the quest to get more people on bicycles.

Not everyone is in favor of the city’s move to expand bike lanes and get more people on bicycles, however.

Just wait until someone tells that last guy what it costs to keep building more traffic lanes.

………

CicLAvia has officially unveiled the route for October’s return to the Heart of LA, running from MacArthur Park to Chinatown, and east to Mariachi Plaza.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

 

The perfect bike for when you’re ready to live your dream to chuck your job and become the neighborhood fruit vendor.

………

Today’s mountain biking break is a first-person view of a “beyond black diamond” bike trail from Canadian mountain biker Dave Herr.

Unless maybe you’d prefer a first impression of the new Killington, Vermont Bike Park.

………

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

Heartbreaking news from the UK, where a Black teenage taekwondo star was killed when a driver slammed into his bicycle as he was trying to escape a group of alleged drug dealers armed with large knives.

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

A Washington man faces charges for allegedly chucking rocks at a road crew when they asked him to move his bicycle, before he escalated to shooting arrows at them.

………

Local

The New York Times takes a look at the effect of pandemic era street dining and Slow Streets in the Los Angeles area, saying it’s chipping away at Southern California’s notorious deference to cars.

Speaking of which, hundreds turned out for Santa Monica’s first carfree weekend on Main Street this year, with two more planned for September and October.

 

State

A homeless man has been convicted of second degree murder for fatally stabbing another homeless man outside an Escondido Burger King, because he thought the man was trying to steal his bicycle.

Fremont is using plastic pylons to buck the trend of rising bike and pedestrian deaths, with a 45% reduction in major traffic crashes involving death or severe injury in the three years since they adopted Vision Zero, and a 23% drop in major crashes involving bike riders.

 

National

After concluding that Amazon was a driving force behind the problem, a company in the Pacific Northwest pulled their bike parts off the platform, taking a hit in sales to directly supply bike shops affected by the pandemic-driven shortage of bikes and parts.

Reno bike riders are staying inside as smoke from the massive California wildfires forces them off the streets.

Phoenix officials shoot down longstanding plans to install bike lanes on a major street, instead telling bike riders to be happy they’ll get new sharrows on an existing bike boulevard.

A writer for Singletracks tries racing a then top-of-the-line 1990’s mountain bike, surprisingly finding that it held its own against more modern bikes. And ends up selling it to a collector who promised to give it a good home.

A Pittsburgh children’s charity is devoted to letting kids be kids, while giving them more independence by providing them with adaptive bicycles. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

International

Treehugger offers a review of the new longtail e-cargo bike from Blix, which sells for a relatively reasonable $1,999 for the twin battery version.

A Canadian man is finishing his summer-long bike tour to visit all 18 of the country’s residential schools in an effort to reconcile with Indigenous students.

Another Canadian man rode 745 miles on his recumbent bike, despite a broken collarbone, to benefit a nine-year old Alabama boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumor, four decades after beating the disease himself.

Officials in Dorset, England are defending a road makeover that narrowed traffic lanes while installing a spacious 11-foot bike lane, saying the bike lane has to accommodate wobbly riders traveling in both directions, while the traffic lanes are more than wide enough if drivers just obey the speed limit.

Forget the Hound of the Baskervilles. An English mountain biker encountered the apocryphal big cat of Cornwall.

In a bizarre tragedy, a British search and rescue team stumbled on the body of a mountain biker who had apparently crashed his bike while they were on an unrelated call to rescue a teenaged old boy suffering from hypothermia.

A UK driver got three years and four months behind bars for the speeding, hit-and-run death of a 15-year old boy riding a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News peers into its crystal ball, and predicts the Vuelta is Primož Roglič’s to lose.

VeloNews credit’s Jennifer Valente’s physical and intellectual gifts for her gold medal in the women’s Omnium at the Tokyo Olympics, along with a lifelong background in track cycling.

World ‘cross champ Mathieu van der Poel pulled out of this week’s mountain bike worlds due to lingering back pain stemming from a crash in the Tokyo Olympics, though he still hopes to ride in next month’s road championships.

 

Finally…

That feeling when proper bike lanes are too “ideological” for LEGO. Who needs gas when you can buy a cool used bike for the same price?

And when building a shed for your bike would create to much “visual clutter.”

………

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

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