Tag Archive for bike lanes

Ryu motion to make Slow Streets permanent, Legion of LA founder Justin Williams, and popup bike lanes spreading

Once again, LA civic leaders attempt to reinvent the wheel.

That’s because a new city council motion is calling for a study of what it would take to make the city’s Slow Streets program permanent.

Except that study was already conducted ten years ago, when the city studies, and unanimously adopted, an entire network of Slow Streets, then called Bicycle Friendly Streets, as part of the 2010 bike plan.

A plan whose entire existence seems to be forgotten these days.

It’s also worth noting that the Slow Streets motion comes from CD4 councilmember David Ryu, who has suddenly become a champion of safer streets as he faces a major challenge from safe streets champion Nithya Raman for his seat.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Great story from KCBS2/KCAL9, as they interview South LA’s own Justin Williams, founder of the diversity-based League of Los Angeles cycling team.

This is how they describe the story.

He’s the 2-time defending national champ in a sport you may not be familiar with. From South Central LA, Justin Williams is the best Criterium Cyclist in the country and one of the only African-American riders. Now, he’s using his platform to grow his sport and support the current protests in a push for equality everywhere.

Note: If the video doesn’t show up on your browser, just click the link above.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.
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Major cities around the world are taking advantage of the pandemic slowdowns to install popup and permanent bikeways and pedestrian improvements.

Except Los Angeles, of course.

Chicago proves it is possible to move forward with Vision Zero during the pandemic, including new curb-protected bike lanes and other safety improvements to tame dangerous Michigan Avenue and make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as drivers.

The New York Times takes a deep dive into how cities around the world are trying to prevent gridlock as the pandemic lockdowns end, including reclaiming the streets for people riding bikes and walking.

A pair of neighboring Ontario cities are closing curb lanes on a number of streets to install temporary bike lanes.

The BBC asks if Britain’s popup bike lanes will be enough to keep people riding

Munich, Germany is getting popup bike lanes at least through October, assuming Covid-19 is under control by then. Which seems highly unlikely.

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Around one hundred people rolled and rode for Black Lives Matter and Breonna Taylor; over twice that many took part in a Pedal for Justice ride the next day.

A couple hundred Cleveland women came out to ride against injustice and support Black Lives Matter.

Hundreds of Boston bike riders turned out for a Ride for Black Lives on Saturday.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of us.

Then again, so was Gandhi.

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

A 13-year old British teen was pulled off his bike and tackled by police in a case of mistaken identity — while he was taking part in a charity ride with his father.

A road raging British driver has been arrested after getting out of his car to confront, and kick, a small group of bike riders.

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

Pasadena police busted a bike-riding armed robber after recognizing the description given by the victim as a local transient; officers recovered some of the money, as well as the bike he was riding. Which is cop talk for saying that was probably stolen, too.

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Local

The new North Atwater bike and pedestrian bridge doesn’t appear to be working out so well for equestrians, who have their own separated lane across the bridge.

BikinginLA sponsor Cohen Law Partners looks at what Los Angeles can learn from bike-friendly cities that are doing safety right. Hint: Just about everything.

 

State

An Anaheim man describes losing 300 pound in a single year after maxing out the scale at 599 plus, in part by switching to riding a mountain bike after Covid-19 shut the gym down.

All summer events have been cancelled in Aliso Viejo, including next weekend’s planned fireworks and bike ride.

Riverside has cancelled their fourth of July fireworks due to the coronavirus and replaced it with food and backpack drives, as well as a community bike ride, which hopefully won’t spread it, either.

Fresno police are looking for the heartless coward who ran down a bike rider on June 20th, and left the victim dying in the street.

The CHP has busted a hit-and-run driver who seriously injured two bike riders in Sacramento’s Natomas neighborhood in April.

A Lodi bike rider was critically injured in a collision with an apparent driverless car, since the local TV station didn’t bother to mention whether it had one.

 

National

Business Insider examines the rise and fall of the Jump bike, and how Uber drove what was supposed to be the future of the company into the ground in just two short years.

A writer for Vogue concludes there’s no such thing as a cool, chic or fashionable bike helmet, but some look better than others.

NPR offers a guide to exercising in a mask when you run or bike outdoors.

Flux says an ebike is a must-have for your next trip.

An Omaha, Nebraska newspaper recommends bicycle camping for a Covid-friendly excursion.

Kindhearted Texas cops got a local mission to donate a new bicycle to a 61-year old man after someone stole the bike he used to get to work at Walmart; they tried to buy one for him, but there weren’t any bikes available due to the bike boom.

The bighearted owner of a Flint, Michigan diner gave away 1,400 bicycles to local kids this year, for a total of around 6,000 bikes in the last eight years; unfortunately, this is the last year of the program.

A Harvard ornithology professor is riding his bike across the US in support of Black birders and Black Lives Matter. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

New York Streetsblog says restaurants are stealing bike lanes to expand their outdoor seating. Expanded seating is a great idea, but they should be required to install temporary protected bike lanes to go around it.

A New York father is looking forward to getting back on his bike, two years after a misdiagnosed heart condition interrupted his life.

Quartz asks if Covid-19 will finally turn New York from a city of straphangers to a city of bike riders.

Jalopnik says the NYPD is so bad at traffic enforcement, people want them out of the job. It’s not just New York; the same demands have been made in Los Angeles, too.

Chattanooga TN mountain bikemaker Ocoee is getting a name change to avoid any unintended confusion with a 1920 racial massacre by a white mob in Ocoee, Florida, which resulted in the deaths of over 30 Black residents; the company was actually named after the mountain biking trails around Tennessee’s Ocoee River.

Baltimore is telling everyone to Look Alive to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in a new public service campaign.

A Virginia paper spells out the advantages of ebike compared to cars, as well as standard bicycles.

A Miami cop killed one bike rider and injured another in an on-duty collision.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to turn your bike into an ebike.

A report from Reuters says car crashes are deadlier in the US and the UK, as drivers can’t manage to keep their damn feet off the gas during the coronavirus lockdowns.

Police in Calgary, Alberta are teaming with Bike Index to help return more stolen bikes to their owners. Until Los Angeles shows a similar level of enlightenment, you can register your bike for free right here.

Newly released sales figures show the UK’s bike boom resulted in explosive growth, with April bike sales doubling over the year before; however, formerly booming ebike sales are down.

An Irish columnist says the bike boom has been one of the unforeseen consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, but questions how safe bicycling will be as regulations ease and traffic increases.

More on the five-year old English boy planning to ride 100 miles in five days to raise funds for a charity that “helps sick, disabled or disadvantaged children experience a magical day out.”

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo won reelection, establishing clear support for her plans to revamp the city’s streets to boost bicycling and walking. Meanwhile, she’s speeding up work on a green makeover of the city’s car-clogged inner beltway.

No surprise here, as Belgium’s King Philippe is one of us, along with his entire family.

Car clogged Mumbai is getting 24 bicycle councilors, one for each of the city’s 24 districts, with a goal of making the city the bicycling capital of the world by 2030.

An inexperienced Melbourne bike rider just barely lost a crosstown commuting challenge through the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Admitted doper Nicki Sorensen says he’s embarrassed by what he did as a pro cyclist, but insists he belongs as a team sports director so he can tell younger riders what not to do.

A writer for The Guardian pens a love letter to the Tour de France, saying the race will be missed this summer. The rescheduled race is set to begin in late August, but don’t hold your breath.

Cycling Weekly looks back 65 years to Great Britain’s first all-British Tour de France team.

As cycling prepares to return, we’re reminded that it’s impossible to ride in a peloton without riding in other riders’ snot. Which is pretty much the best reason to avoid group rides right now.

 

Finally…

Presenting the clopless bike pedal. Don’t crash into women carrying water on their heads, or the could ban bikes for everyone.

And it may be easier to remove free parking from Monopoly than on city streets.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Bike-friendly Councilmember Jose Huizar busted for bribery, Olive Street gets bike lanes, and Brits get £50 for bike repair

The other shoe finally dropped.

Two years after FBI agents raided the home and office of DTLA Councilmember Jose Huizar, he was charged yesterday with accepting bribes from a Chinese developer.

It had become clear in recent months that the Feds had Huizar in their sights, after a string of lower-level aides and go-betweens copped pleas that clearly implicated him.

Huizar, who was largely responsible for the bike-friendly Complete Streets makeover of Downtown Los Angeles in recent years, was charged under the RICO act for running a corrupt enterprise.

His arrest, along with the conviction of former San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, raises questions of whether anyone else was involved, and who else the Feds could be looking at.

Englander’s replacement, Councilmember John Lee, is believed to have been implicated in Englander’s bribery scheme, according to court documents, but hasn’t stepped down.

A number of other city officials and staffers, including South LA Councilmember Curren Price, have been subjects of search warrants.

Which means the question is whether Huizar’s alleged corruption marks the end of the investigation. Or just the tip of the iceberg.

And it serves as a reminder that those who support us don’t always deserve our support.

Although the sexual harassment case against Huizar, allegedly settled with funds from the bribery scheme, should have been a fucking clue.

The remaining city councilmembers voted unanimously to suspend Huizar from the council after his arrest; he was urged to resign before his term ends at the end of the year so Councilmember-elect Kevin de Leon can take over the seat.

Let’s hope de Leon turns out to be as much of a supporter of bicycles and Complete Streets as Huizar has been.

But less corrupt.

Allegedly.

Photo from josehuizar.com.

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Speaking of DTLA, it looks like Olive Street is about to get an upgrade.

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You might want to avoid Laguna Niguel’s Camino Capistrano for awhile.

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Great idea.

The UK is ready to roll with a voucher plan offering every resident the equivalent of $62 to get their bikes repaired,

The idea is to help get more people on bikes and support the bike industry, while giving a boost to the economy.

All of which we could use right here. And right now.

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

Retired motorcycle champ Miguel Duhamel is recovering after he was shot in the head with a BB gun from passing car while riding his bike in Red Rock, Nevada.

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

Police in Indianapolis are asking for the public’s help in identifying the bike-riding jerk who pushed another man off his bicycle, resulting in a severe concussion.

An off-duty NYPD cop was in a shootout with someone on a bicycle after a dispute with a group of men, who allegedly flashed gang signs; over a dozen shots were fired, but no one was hit.

A Tokyo bike rider was busted for allegedly damaging a driver’s car in a case of bike rage, even though that technically isn’t illegal until the end of this month.

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Local

Streetsblog says it will take more than a few sandwich boards to make LA’s 4th Street Slow Street friendlier for bicyclists and walkers.

The LAPD busted one of the bike and skateboard-riding Venice/Mar Vista gropers, and is looking for the other one, as well as any other women who may have been assaulted.

A pair of former competitive cyclists in Long Beach formed a messenger service to deliver just about anything by bike.

Gerard Butler is one of us, riding his bike to Venice for an evening ride along the beach.

 

State

Coronado plans to take over a pair of state highways from Caltrans, which could lead to more bike lanes in the city where residents find them dizzying and akin to having your daughters totally tatted. And led to James Corden’s all-time best monologue.  

Santa Barbara is politely asking bike riders to dismount on a new temporary plaza formed by closing a downtown street.

San Franciscans discover the unexpected delights of bicycling while they shelter at home.

Fremont shows other Bay Area cities how protected bikeways are done. Los Angeles could take a few notes, too.

 

National

He gets it. An infectious disease physician and bicyclist says he doesn’t wear a mask because he’s scared, he wears one out of respect for others.

Go ahead and order the fries. Bicycling says saturated fat isn’t bad for your heart after all.

Ouch. Vice examines how Uber turned a promising bikeshare company into literal garbage.

Gear Patrol suggests ten bike storage racks they promise will blend seamlessly into your home.

Portlanders are encouraged to get out and ride naked, by themselves, for a solo edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this weekend. Which could get you arrested just about anywhere else.

The Seattle Times talks with a former Caltrans and Los Angeles planner, currently working in Oakland, about how transportation planners can better serve people of color.

A Chicago woman is fighting for her life after she was right hooked by the driver of a city-owned dump truck. Crashes like that could be prevented by requiring sideguards on all large trucks, and cabs offering minimum 180° views.

A security guard in a bulletproof vest reportedly tackled a Black teenaged girl riding a Jump bike in Providence, Rhode Island, after Uber hired guards to recover their stolen bikes; naturally, the company denies it ever happened.

Sienna Miller is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride through New York.

Rayshard Brooks, the Black man who was recently shot by an Atlanta cop, was one of us, riding his bike to work when he lived in Ohio.

 

International

Road.cc picks the best front and rear daytime bike lights, and considers whether you should use them. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes. I’ve had far fewer close calls since I started riding with them at the urging of Mark Goodley.

Road.cc also suggests the best commuting upgrades for your bike. And for you.

Pez Cycling News picks the three best bike movies of all time, starting with everyone’s favorite. Okay, maybe just mine. And theirs.

Nothing strange here. A Northern Irish boy is missing after falling off his bike and striking his head, then taking off his all clothes and riding a little more, before abandoning his bike and walking away naked.

Tennis star Andy Murray is one of us, biking the famed Box hill climb while he shelters in Surrey, England.

Add the French Riviera to your bike bucket list. Assuming we can all travel again someday, and the Europeans let us back in.

A new Belgian study says bike riders in the country face no more risk than drivers do. On the other hand, Luxembourg is lagging badly.

Italy is enjoying a bike boom, too. Meanwhile, the European Public Health Alliance says the country can’t drive its way out of the coronavirus crisis with polluting vehicles.

A high ranking Manilla cop tell drivers to stay the hell out of the new bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Retired Belarusian pro Kanstantsin Siutsou got a four year ban for doping; the former Giro stage winner failed a test for EPO two years ago. Like that ban will really sting since he doesn’t compete anymore; it’s like firing someone two years after he quit. But hey, the doping era is over, right?

VeloNews spends a day with California-based women’s pro cyclist Tayler Wiles before the racing season theoretically gears back up.

 

Finally…

How to race halfway across the US without leaving Down Under. This is what a “suboptimal” bike lane looks like.

And your next roadie could set you back nearly $8,500.

But damn is it pretty.

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I continue to be surprised by the unexpected donations that have been coming in to support this site lately. Thanks to Carlos A and Bernard B for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

And note to Bernard — You’re welcome!

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

High speed Silver Lake crash kills scooter rider, LAPD seeks sexual assault suspects, and parking in DTLA bike lanes

This is who we share the roads with.

A scooter rider was killed by a speeding driver in Silver Lake yesterday, just before the driver lost control of his SUV and slammed into a restaurant.

Fortunately, it hadn’t opened yet.

The driver was reportedly traveling at least 75 mph — over twice the legal speed limit — while swerving around cars and onto the wrong side of the roadway in the moments leading up to the crash, and just missing a woman riding her bike.

The scooter rider, who has not been publicly identified, wasn’t so lucky; two other people were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Fortunately, the newly reopened restaurant hadn’t begun its lunch service yet, or the situation could have been much worse.

This is exactly the problem many people have been warning against for weeks, myself included, as Los Angeles has failed to take any significant action to slow traffic on streets lightened by the coronavirus pandemic.

While traffic has seen a significant uptick in recent weeks, there still aren’t enough vehicles on the streets to slow people who can’t seem to keep their foot off the gas pedal.

Other cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic to reduce road capacity, carving out additional space to walk or ride bikes in an effort to slow traffic and provide safe alternatives to driving.

Yet LA has done nothing more significant than change the timing of some traffic lights.

Now an innocent person is dead because of it.

Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

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Speaking of who we share the roads with, an Eagle Rock driver can’t seem to grasp the concept of Slow Streets.

Or maybe just that they don’t belong to people in cars.

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The LAPD is on the lookout for a pair of serial gropers who have been sexually assaulting women walking or jogging alone in Venice and Mar Vista, sometimes making their escape by bicycle.

They may be responsible for similar attacks in Culver City and Marina del Rey.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Sexual Assault Section at LAPD’s Operation West Bureau, 213/473-0447.

Because no one should have to put up with this crap.

Period.

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Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Patrick Pascal forwards a series of photos showing that the more things change, the more they stay the same on DTLA’s 7th Street, where the newly protected and buffered bike lanes are still nothing more than parking lanes for Downtown’s entitled drivers.

Photos by Patrick Pascal.

 

He also notes that the cop shown here spends a lot of time on the street. But never seems to ticket anyone on four wheels.

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A new video prepared for the NACTO’s Bike Share and Cities for Cycling Roundtable talks with disabled people to show they ride bikes, too — and need to be taken into account when infrastructure plans are considered.

Frequent BikinginLA contributor Megan Lynch is one of the riders they talk with; you’ll find her around the three-minute mark.

She stresses that, in addition to her comments in the video, bike parking needs to accommodate less traditional bicycle designs used by handicapped riders, including recumbents, ebikes and adaptive bikes.

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Gravel Bike California offers a video guide to one of the best climbs in Los Angeles.

Thanks to CiclaValley’s Zachary Rynew for the link.

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There will be a bike ride celebrating tomorrow’s Juneteenth starting in DLTA Friday evening.

The unofficial holiday marks the date the last remaining slaves in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and their newfound freedom.

In light of this year’s protests over police killings and the fight for racial justice, the celebration should be bigger than ever.

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

A Florida man faces charges for pulling his truck up next to a bike rider, and shooting him in the head with a crossbow for no apparent reason; fortunately, the victim was not seriously injured.

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Local

The Santa Monica Daily Press talks with a pickup driver who had his wallet stolen and his truck damaged when he came to the aid of a bike-riding woman who was being attacked by looters, armed with just a hockey stick.

A Santa Monica letter writer really doesn’t like plans for expanded outdoor dining on Main Street, concerned that a passing bicyclist could sneeze on his guacamole.

E-cargo bikes could play a significant role, as Santa Monica looks to create the first zero-emission delivery zone in the US.

Santa Monica-based Bird is teaming with an Israeli company to provide turn-by-turn navigation to guide scooter riders through bike lane networks; the app will launch in Paris and Tel Aviv. Which makes sense, since we don’t even have a bike lane network in Los Angeles.

KABC-7 looks at how Long Beach ebike shop Propel Bikes is fairing during the coronavirus bike boom.

Stranger Things actor Joe Keery is one of us, going for a semi-casual ride through LA in a t-shirt and bibs.

 

State

Would someone please tell the Fountain Valley Fire Department that a bike helmet isn’t the best way to prevent head injuries and death? It’s a lot better to ride safely and defensively, and avoid crashes in the first place; helmets should always been seen as the last resort when all else fails. Not the first.

Ventura is closing down a five block stretch of Main Street in the downtown area for the next month to encourage people to get out to shop or dine while maintaining social distancing; meanwhile, the LA Times describes a similar street closure in Santa Barbara as “so popular it’s scary.”

Seriously, it takes a major schmuck to steal $20,000 worth of bikes from a San Jose bike co-op. Again.

 

National

Bicycling looks at the role of bicycles in the fight against racism.

Newsy examines the risk of catching Covid-19 while on a bike ride with friends, and concludes you don’t have much to worry about. Although it’s still best to limit it to a small group.

This is who we share the roads with, part two. A Portland man faces charges after driving into a group of protesters early Wednesday morning, injuring three people, then attempting to flee while driving recklessly at a high rate of speed.

A disabled Las Vegas vet turns to a ‘bent to help get his life back on track.

A coalition of Connecticut organizations, businesses and individuals have called the state’s electric car rebate program inequitable because it only applies to electric cars, arguing it should offer rebates on more affordable ebikes, as well.

A regional planning group is calling for a 425-mile bicycle network connecting all of New York’s five boroughs. Which might be the only thing that could prevent crippling gridlock due to a surge in post-coronavirus driving.

Police in New Jersey’s Long Beach remind residents and visitors that traffic safety is a shared responsibility. Which is true, unfortunately, since no one can seem to get the people in the big, deadly machines to behave.

A Florida woman got her stolen $8,000 racing bike back after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a homeless man with it. But then somehow had to search for the owner, even though she’d filed a police report.

 

International

Good advice from Road.cc on eight things on your bike you should check before every ride.

Bike Radar suggests Father’s Day gifts for your bike riding dad. Or just buy them for yourself, and pretend they’re from your kids.

The CBC looks at Calgary through the eyes of bicycle riders newly minted by the coronavirus bike boom.

A London TV presenter is encouraged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proclamation of a golden age of cycling and decides to give it a try, but finds the experience terrifying.

London’s Independent says the pandemic has shown that a green urban utopia is within our grasp.

The Guardian examines one of the UK’s toughest bike rides, the 79-year old Cape Wrath Challenge, on eleven miles of single track through Scotland’s windswept moors to a craggy Victorian lighthouse.

 

Competitive Cycling

You can get Major Taylor’s autobiography The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World for less than twenty bucks on Amazon. The legendary cyclist had to fight racism and prejudice throughout his short life and career, making it surprisingly appropriate for our time, too.

The Ventura County Star profiles 27-year old Kendal Ryan, who recently made the long list for the US women’s track cycling team for the 2020 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

A German website looks back at the Cannibal, as the legendary Eddy Merckx turns 75.

Peter Sagan announces he’ll skip the rescheduled classics to race back-to-back in the Tour de France and the Giro this summer on just two weeks rest.

 

Finally…

If you’re already on parole for theft, it’s probably not the best idea to make off with a kid’s bike because you’re tired of walking. How to ride across the US without leaving your car dealership.

And it turns out riding topless is perfectly legal in Minnesota.

Even for women.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

LADOT drops DTLA bike lanes in favor of parking, Pomona thinks bike lanes are for kids, and LAFD on bikes

One quick note.

I renewed my annual membership in the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition last night.

With the LACBC facing financial difficulties stemming from the coronavirus crisis, as well as major financial mismanagement by the previous executive director, who shall forevermore go unnamed here, it’s more important than ever to join or renew your membership

Or just make a donation to keep the LACBC fighting for your right to ride safely on our streets. 

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I have a confession to make.

Ever since the company my wife works for — correction, worked for — shut down for the coronavirus lockdown, never to return, I haven’t been able to dig into the details on bike projects the way I’d like.

As much as I enjoy having her around, I miss those nine hours or so to myself everyday to gets things done.

Fortunately, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton is here to take up the slack.

Because one of those projects, which I mentioned here last week, would install bus lanes, along with left-side protected bike lanes, on one-way 5th and 6th Streets in DTLA.

But what I didn’t realize was that those bike lanes are only planned for just over half of the 1.3 mile project.

As Joe explains it,

Overall this is a good project. It’s a worthwhile improvement over what is out there today.

I did get a little frustrated about bike lanes on these streets. The city is adding left-side bike lanes (a one-way street best practice – like bike lanes on Spring and Main Streets) but only on about 0.7-mile of the overall 1.3-mile project – just over half the project. The issue is parking – there are two blocks of on-street parking that would need to be removed. While I personally would favor removing that parking, I understand it’s not easy politically.

I am still frustrated though that the city is basically throwing out 7 blocks of bike lanes because just 2 blocks are difficult. I wrote a letter to try to get the city to do the remaining 5 easy blocks of bike lane – which would connect Pershing Square with the downtown library.

That’s right.

LADOT, which is supposedly tasked with implementing the mobility plan, bike plan, Vision Zero, and the mayor’s Green New Deal plan to dramatically reduce driving in the city, is skipping a full seven blocks of bike lanes in favor of two lousy blocks of car parking.

In Downtown Los Angeles, no less, which UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup describes as having more parking per acre than any other city.

No, anywhere.

Which pretty much tells you where people on bicycles rate in the city’s transportation hierarchy these days.

Like several steps below cars. And maybe a step or two above road kill.

Fortunately, Joe’s not one to soft pedal something like this.

He suggests emailing city officials to politely request that they install additional bike lanes, at least on the five blocks where it doesn’t require the removal of parking spaces, and wouldn’t inconvenience anyone.

And he even provides a sample letter, while stressing that you should put it in your own words.

Email addresses:

  • councilmember.huizar@lacity.org
  • mayor.helpdesk@lacity.org
  • seleta.reynolds@lacity.org
  • and bcc Joe Linton at linton.joe@gmail.com)

Sample letter:

Honorable Councilmember Huizar, Mayor Garcetti, and General Manager Reynolds –

I write to you in support of adding bus and bike lanes to the greatest extent possible on 5th and 6th Streets downtown.

BSS is repaving these streets starting June 15th. LADOT announced that bus lanes will be added from Figueroa to Central, and left-side bike lanes will be added from Spring to Central.

Thank you all for your role in bringing much needed bus lanes, which will improve transit, air quality, equity, and quality of life for Angelenos.

Thank you all for the needed bike lanes, which will improve safety and health. I urge you though to extend the bike lanes further than the current announced length. It appears that LADOT is skipping seven blocks (Figueroa to Spring) of bike lanes to preserve two blocks (Hill to Spring) of parking.

At a minimum, the city should install a left-side bike lane for the missing five blocks – from Hill to Figueroa – where there is sufficient space and no parking removal necessary. Adding this bike lane would keep cyclists safer, as well as keeping us out of the bus lane, making the bus lane more effective.

Sincerely,

[name]
[street address]

I’ll send my email later today. And I hope you will, too.

Because there’s no reason our safety should take a backseat to a parked car.

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Apparently, bike lanes are for kids in Pomona. Or at least, they now come under the Youth Services budget.

Thanks to Eric Griswold for the heads-up.

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Who needs a firetruck or paramedic unit when you’ve got bicycles?

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Bike Angeles takes a hi-def bike tour of the UCLA campus.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the link.

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This is exactly what Los Angeles isn’t doing right now.

But should be.

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Austrian mountain bikers Fabio Wibmer & Vali Höll are finally back to shredding after the country ended its lockdown and reopened the trails.

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Local

LA-based former pro Phil Gaimon shares his eating habits with Bicycling. And no, it isn’t just cookies.

A Santa Clarita bike rider was sent to the hospital after getting hit by a driver at Newhall Ranch Road and Santa Clarita Parkway on Monday; no word on the victim’s condition. Although it would be nice if story mentioned that the car even had a driver.

Creed star and Black Panther antagonist Michael B. Jordan is one of us, going for an “invigorating” LA mountain bike ride on Sunday, one week after his impassioned speech at a Black Lives Matter protest.

 

State

Advocacy group Bike Bakersfield is back in business 16 hours a week after shutting down for the coronavirus lockdown.

Calbike considers the planned Central Valley Bikeways Project, intended to connect several Central Valley cities with California’s high speed rail. Assuming the rail project actually gets built, that is.

The Sonoma bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run a couple weeks ago has been identified as a 35-year old Romanian entrepreneur, who was killed when a passing pickup driver struck him in the head with the truck’s wing mirror; the damaged truck was found a few miles away, but the driver still hasn’t been arrested.

 

National

The Associated Press catches up with the worldwide bike boom, saying Target and Walmart have been cleaned out of bicycles.

Thanks to kindhearted community members, a seven-year old Missouri girl with limited mobility in her legs can ride along with her dad in a custom-built sidecar attached to his bike.

This is why you don’t try to recover a stolen bike yourself. A Wisconsin man is lucky to be alive, and may still lose his arm, after he was shot while trying to reclaim his stepson’s stolen bicycle; a 17-year old teenager has been charged with the crime.

A new bike and pedestrian path has opened along a Tarrytown NY bridge, providing an iconic view made famous by the 18th Century Hudson River School of artists, as well as a grate view of the river 102 feet below. And no, that’s not a typo.

Fortune says bikes will have a new place in city life in New York, and around the world, as life rebounds from the coronavirus crisis.

 

International

Cycling News looks at the pros and cons of buying a gravel bike.

The Share the Road Cycling Coalition and The Centre for Active Transportation have posted a recording of their webinar Making Space: Biking out of the pandemic online. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

A Toronto man is biking 46 kilometers — the equivalent of 28.5 miles — or running 4.6 kilometers every day for 46 days to honor George Floyd, who was 46-years old when he was killed by a Minneapolis cop. Or ex-cop, now.

A British Parliamentary advisory group has concluded that e-scooters are inherently unsafe, while a European group says the risk is no greater than riding a bicycle.

According to an English author, one bright spot in the Covid-19 pandemic is the rise of bicycles, and the role they play in art and society.

A former bike shop owner, soon to be prime minister, negotiated a huge increase in active transportation spending, committing 10% of the country’s transportation budget on bicycling and another 10% on walking; two-thirds of the remaining 80% will go to public transit.

Bikes continue to boom in Kolkata as an alternative to mass transit in the age of Covid-19.

Chinese tech giant Tencent is building a carfree city of the future on reclaimed land in Shenzhen, centered on a green corridor for buses, bikes and autonomous vehicles

Taiwanese bikemakers and parts suppliers — including Giant, the world’s largest bikemaker — are pedaling faster than ever to catch up with the booming worldwide demand.

Seoul, Korea is planning to build another 14 miles of bikeways within the next year as the city plans a bike path network to “cut congestion, fight pollution and reduce energy use.”

People caught violating Japan’s strict new bike laws just twice in three years will have to take a traffic safety course, or pay the equivalent of a $460 fine.

Jakarta, Indonesia is bringing back their weekly Car Free Day, but limiting it to bike riding and walking, with no food services or other vendors.

Horrifying Twitter thread from Australia, where an aboriginal man was allegedly beaten by police for the crime of riding without a helmet and bike lights.

 

Competitive Cycling

After beating cancer twice and surviving getting hit by a truck while riding across the US, 40-year old endurance cyclist James Golding insists he’s going to win the Race Across America, even if he has to wait another year, after this year’s RAAM was canceled.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to jack a truck, don’t leave your bike in the back once you dump it. Your next e-mountain bike could take a selfie.

And doesn’t everyone take their pet chicken riding with them?

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Thanks to Scott R for his generous donation to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcomed, especially now.

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

LA cuts budget for failing Vision Zero, fight for more space on coronavirus slowed streets, and a 7-year old gets bike safety

Los Angeles has failed on Vision Zero.

The program remains a vastly underfunded afterthought, both on LA streets and in the halls of power.

If they bother to think about it at all, that is.

Which is why it took shutting the city down for Covid-19 to make any impact on the rate of fatal traffic collisions. And which are bound to rebound as soon as the lockdown ends.

So what is the obvious next step for the City of Angels?

Cut the Vision Zero budget, of course.

LADOT says we won’t notice the 5% reduction for next year.

Which is probably true, because LA’s Vision Zero efforts haven’t been very noticeable, anyway.

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Once again, today’s common theme is the fight for more space on the streets.

San Francisco follows Oakland’s lead and announces plans to open parts of eleven streetsor maybe twelve streets — so residents have more room to get out and walk. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

New York’s city council is looking at what other cities are doing to develop their own plan.

The Miami Herald wants to know why local governments are balking at closing streets to make room for social distancing.

London’s Guardian says the need for physical distancing means space in cities and town must be shared in new ways.

And Cycling Industry News says the case is clearly building for government intervention.

………

Nothing like developing good safety habits at a young age.

Let’s all give a round of applause to Evangelina Gatto, better known as Evie to her friends and family, for her outstanding creative skills and love of bicycling.

Her dad’s kind of a big deal, too.

………

We’ve given the Governors Highway Safety Association their share of criticism over the years.

But they get it right this time.

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This is what a typical weekend riding bikes in San Diego looked like, pre-coronavirus.

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Apparently, drivers are trying to get a jump on things now, and crash into bicycles before they even leave the shop.

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

Someone sabotaged a Sheffield, England downhill mountain bike track, ripping out a number of berms and jumps.

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

Police in Wales are looking for four total jerks who buzzed an elderly woman on their bikes and spat at her, then laughed at her.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the schmuck who rode off on a bike after stealing a dog belonging to a Concord ER nurse fighting COVID-19. If you live in the Bay Area, keep an eye out for this a-hole.

………

Local

Sad news today, as Lewis MacAdams, the man who helped start the fight to restore the Los Angeles River, died yesterday of complications from Parkinson’s at age 75.

The deputy director of Climate Resolve writes that we shouldn’t squander the opportunity to reimagine LA streets provided by the coronavirus shutdown.

If you’re a fan of spring wildflowers, this is the time to ride past the Ballona wetlands on the Ballona Creek bike path. But take your hay fever medication first. Trust me.

Walk ‘n Rollers has free bicycles for kids in need during the coronavirus crisis. They can also use some kids bikes to refurbish if you have any extra lying around. Or cash helps, too.

Billions star Malin Åkerman is one of us — and no, that thing over the A isn’t a mark on your screen — as she rode through Los Feliz with her seven-year old son.

Owen Wilson was spotted riding through the streets of Venice with a friend.

Ben Affleck may not be one of us, but his eight-year old son is.

 

State

Santa Ana’s Bicycle Tree bike co-op is back in business, at least for now. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

Bike sales are booming in San Diego. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Speaking of San Diego, the city is reopening all its open space parks and trails, with the exception of Cowles Mountain and the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail.

Ventura is reopening parks and trails, as long as you maintain social distancing.

 

National

Red Bull recommends 16 of the best downloadable mountain biking apps.

Pink Bike takes a video look at whether buying a used mountain bike is worth it, concluding yes. And no.

PeopleForBikes thinks we could all use a little good news right now.

VeloNews looks at Bill Walton’s virtual group ride Bike For Humanity this Saturday.

Specialized is giving you the opportunity to buy a new bike for an essential worker. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

Tucson bike shops are starting to sell out of bicycles.

El Paso is opening up its trails, as Texas prepares to reopen from the Covid-19 shutdown.

The popular RAGBRAI ride across Iowa was cancelled due to coronavirus.

A Massachusetts woman with a huge heart bought a new bike for a man battling leukemia to honor her son, who died of the disease.

A bike-commuting registered physician’s assistant at New York’s Bellvue Hospital tells the mayor she risks her life every day at work, and shouldn’t have to do it on the streets, as well.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. Witnesses saw a Pennsylvania driver toss a beer after running down a kid on a bike, his car smelled of weed, and he had seven convictions for driving without a license. And hadn’t had one since 2001.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 82-year old Pennsylvania man is riding laps around a parking lot to raise funds for a local food bank.

Kindhearted Florida firefighters drive up with red lights and sirens to give a boy a new bike after his was stolen.

 

International

The World Health Organization says get on your damn bicycle, already.

Canadian Cycling offers their complete guide to bicycling during Covid-19. Most of which applies wherever you ride.

Road.cc offers tips on how to carry almost anything on your bike, from using your pockets to riding a cargo bike.

Toronto bike couriers say they’re risking their lives to deliver food to wealthy people.

A London bike rider offers more proof you can carry anything on a bikelike a sofa, for instance.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike a Manchester, England drag queen was using as physical therapy under the lockdown.

Gordon Ramsey is one of us. And getting on his neighbors nerves, as he flouts the UK’s lockdown by riding his S-Works 22 miles through Cornwall, after apparently driving to get there first.

The UK is being sued over its £28.8 billion plan road expansion plan — the equivalent of over $35 billion — for violating the country’s commitment under the Paris Agreement; the same people halted a planned expansion of London’s Heathrow airport using a similar argument.

The new and improved — and significantly cheaper — ebike from Dutch bikemaker VanMoof looks like a big hit, with positive reviews from The Verge, The Next Web, and Forbes, with prices starting a couple notches below two grand.

A movie reviewer says you’ve been getting the message of the Italian classic Bicycle Thieves all wrong.

Milan is making plans to cut car use when the city reopens from Italy’s coronavirus quarantine. Which is something every other city should be doing, or we’ll be right back in the same unworkable mess.

Madrid’s bikeshare system will reopen today, as the country slowly comes back to life.

Tragic news from Nepal, where a pair of Indian laborers died after they rode off a ravine trying to bicycle back home after they got caught in the Covid-19 lockdown.

Cycling Tips profiles the Bike Scouts, a group of volunteer bike messengers in the Philippines who ride to the rescue when disaster strikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Tour de Suisse is the latest pro stage race to go virtual.

A wrong turn in the Iditarod Trail Invitational left ultra-endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch in a life-or-death situation.

 

Finally…

Next time you ride a bike to the market, try getting off before you go in. Why waste a good ride, when you can mow your lawn at the same time?

And nothing like promoting your new fundraising face mask by riding on a Covid-19 closed beachfront bike path.

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Thanks to Dennis E for his generous donation to help support this site. I’m truly blown away that someone would dip into their own funds to help out during the current financial crisis. 

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

But don’t dump it on the damn street when you’re done.

Metro bus layover blocks San Fernando Valley bike lane, three easy steps to safer streets, and biking through the pandemic

What good is a bike lane when it doubles as a layover space for Metro buses?

That’s the question Steven Hallett asked in an email to CD12 Councilmember John Lee.

With more and more bicycles on the road, clear, safe, unobstructed bicycle lanes are vital. While there are several I would like to point out, I will address only one at this time. Just east of Porter Ranch Dr on Rinaldi St in Porter Ranch There is a bus layover zone that blocks the bike lane. It is just around a curve and is blocked by bushes, so when I am on my on a bike, I cannot see it until I get very close forcing me to either use the traffic lane or stop and wait for the traffic lane to clear. To be clear, I am not talking about a bus stop (pick-up / drop off), but a layover where one, two, and sometimes three buses are parked for an extended periods of time waiting for their run to start. On top of that, the bike lane where the buses park is very damaged —sunken and very cracked (bus stops usually have a concrete pad, this lay over zone does not!). I have been on the MTA web site to try and find out what “Rule 2.15” is that allows (illegally!) buses to park in the bike lane with no success. I certainly couldn’t park my truck there just because I wanted to! I have also emailed various departments at the MTA with no response what-so-ever, not even a polite response. I am including pictures showing the blocked bike lane, the No Parking Anytime (NO PARKING ANYTIME) sign, and the MTA sign with the reference to ‘Rule 2.15.  It is your responsibility to make our community safe!

We’ll see if he gets a response from Lee, who isn’t exactly known for his concern for anyone who doesn’t get around by car.

Especially since he hasn’t gotten anywhere with Metro.

Never mind that Lee’s got his hands full after being deeply implicated in the bribery scandal that took down his predecessor, Mitch Englander.

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Robert Leone forwards a trio of reasonable and easy steps from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on how to make streets safer for people on bikes and on foot.

Too bad LA’s city leaders aren’t on their mailing list.

Publicize a reduced speed advisory to 15 mph for residential streets to keep everyone walking and biking safe. More people are walking and biking in their neighborhoods to get exercise and travel to essential services nearby. With less car traffic, people are speeding down roads, endangering those walking and biking. A reduced speed advisory publicized by the city and local police would help raise awareness and lead to fewer crashes and injuries among people and less burden on the healthcare system.

  • An additional step would be to adjust signal timing to slow vehicle speeds and ensure safety

More space for the increased number of people walking and biking. Our biking and walking networks are insufficient to meet the needs of people getting exercise outdoors and traveling while maintaining six feet of social distance. We recommend identifying streets where bikeways and sidewalks could be expanded, creating quick build or pilot bikeways and sidewalks on streets that have excess vehicle lanes. SVBC is ready to help identify streets and rally volunteers to install signs and barricades to make it work. (Oakland announced April 10 that they would be closing 74 miles/10% of streets to carssee plan).

Switch the pedestrian phase of traffic signals to be automatic and ensurethat bicycles are captured at traffic signals. Adjusting pedestrian signals so pushing a button is no longer needed to cross the street limits the amount of surfaces a person must touch, helping curb the spread of COVID-19. This is simpler for some cities than others depending on how their traffic signal system operates (either a central operating space or having to go out to individual signals). Thank you to San José and Redwood City for already doing this!

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Calbike offers resources to help get you through the coronavirus crisis, including FAQs on riding through the pandemic, tips for new or returning bike riders, and Bike Match programs throughout the state.

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

Angry English villagers stop just short of getting out the pitchforks and torches, ripping the sheets off someone’s bed to demand that bicyclists stop “panting” in their village and just stay away. They’re assuming that it’s the people on bikes who may be infected with the virus, when it’s just as likely the people on two wheels risk of catching it from the villagers. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

A proposal to allow New Zealand bike riders to use the sidewalk at speeds less than 10 mph is somehow deemed an attack on pedestrians.

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Local

Great move from South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club, who gave back to the local community by serving hundreds of free pancake breakfasts in Watts this week.

Isla Fisher is one of us, taking a bike ride through her Los Angeles neighborhood wearing a helmet and mask.

Chris Pine is one of us, too, as he took a bike ride through the streets of LA with English actress Annabelle Wallis.

 

State

A pair of pro cyclists have set up a unique contact-free food drive in Encinitas to benefit Feeding San Diego.

Bicyclists in San Diego’s North County are struggling to balance the right to ride while respecting state and local health restrictions.

 

National

City Lab suggests cities should stop charging fees to e-scooter companies and start subsidizing them to ensure their survival after the coronavirus crisis.

Apple introduces a handlebar mount for your iPhone.

Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards news about the arrest of a killer hit-and-run driver, who says she thought she’d just hit a traffic cone instead of the bike rider she left dying on the side of the road. And swears she only had one drink that night. Sure. Let’s got with that.

A Colorado bike rider says stop bending the rules to ride in groups or drive to distant trailheads, and maybe do your riding inside, like she is.

A Massachusetts driver faces multiple charges including vehicular homicide for running down an entire bike-riding family while texting last month, killing the father and critically injuring the mother and adult son.

A Brooklyn urban planner says don’t overthink it because closing streets to allow exercising while social distancing is easy.

Sad news from New York, where Covid-19 has taken the life of a 55-year old man known as the best bike mechanic in Queens, just one of the 13,000 New Yorkers killed by the virus to date.

Like here in Los Angeles, New York drivers are putting the pedal to the metal on the city’s newly empty streets, with speeding tickets up 100%.

 

International

Road.cc says you can actually get a decent road bike for less that the equivalent of $375.

Cycling Tips uses Strava data to rank the 20 fastest road bikes.

Evidently, you can’t drive away from justice. After a Toronto woman repeatedly flipped off a person for filming her blocking a bike lane, she drove off before police could give her a ticket. But it will be coming in the mail, anyway.

The CBC considers just how safe it is to run or ride a bike these days.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a former English Marine leaped off his bike and into action to save the life of a van driver who went off the road after losing consciousness.

Bicycling talks with the British women who beat the Covid-19 pandemic by days to set an around the world tandem record.

A writer for Bike Radar says his new Surly fixie is keeping him sane during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown. Something most people who ride bikes can probably relate to.

An Edinburgh bike shop is donating free bikes, helmets, locks and lights to key workers for six months during the coronavirus pandemic, while a new map shows locations with similar programs throughout the UK.

Inspecting bikes in 1960s Britain.

Ebike prices continue to drop, with Dutch brand Van Moof introducing their latest model for under $2,000 — roughly half the price of its current bike.

Dutch pro cyclist Dylan Groenewegen is using his time under the lockdown to deliver groceries to homebound people in Netherlands by bike while wearing his full team kit. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the link.

German bike shops are scheduled to rise from their enforced coronavirus slumber next week.

An Indian man is riding his bike throughout the city of Hyderabad to call attention to the need for masks and social distancing.

Palestinian women are using bicycles to bring crafts, toys and books to children shut inside by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nice guy. The head of an Aussie civil rights organization says being told to only walk counterclockwise around a lake for social distancing is an attack on freedom. And he’s just sorry the bike rider who killed his dog in a crash didn’t die, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

A public health expert says allowing the rescheduled Tour de France to go off as planned this July is a recipe for disaster, especially if fans are allowed to attend the race.

 

Finally…

Nothing like slipping out for a casual bike ride, and ending up with a fashion review. When you’re trying to escape from the cops on you bike, watch out for the old sign post through the spokes trick.

And call it an inflatable pool noodle to make drivers maintain a little social distancing.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Taking streets back from cars, petition to implement Mobility Plan during LA street work, and traffic is a virus

A couple quick notes.

First, thanks to everyone for the kind words after yesterday’s meltdown. I love what I do, but sometimes it can be a lot to handle. Especially now.

Second, I ran out of time to dip into my inbox tonight. So if you sent me something this week, I’ll try to catch up tomorrow. 

And finally, my apologies if I failed to credit anyone in today’s post. I’ve lost track of who sent me what over the past couple days, but I truly appreciate your help. Even if I do have mush for brains sometimes.

Photo by Mario Cuadros from Pexels.

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Today’s common theme is cities taking streets back from cars during the coronavirus crisis. And maybe keeping it, by making the changes permanent.

The Pasadena Star-News calls on the Rose City and the rest of the San Gabriel Valley to open up the streets, saying they’re experiencing a pandemic of walking.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is pushing for more space on the streets, while Palo Alto may ban cars entirely from some surface streets.

Streetsblog takes a look at Oakland’s new network of slow streets.

Salt Lake City is considering opening some streets to bike riders and pedestrians.

Denver may have banned cars from some streets, but others stay just as dangerous and auto-centric.

No surprise here, as bike-friendly Mad City is closing traffic lanes to make room for people.

Pressure is growing on DC to give more space for walkers, joggers and bike riders.

Toronto’s mayor won’t close streets for fear of creating induced demand among bike riders and pedestrians.

Dublin, Ireland residents are pressuring city leaders to reallocate road space to people on bikes and on foot.

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Except in Los Angeles, of course.

Even though LA Councilmember Mike Bonin has called for opening up streets for bike riders and pedestrians during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a new petition from Streets for All calls on Los Angeles to implement the city’s Mobility Plan 2035, as the city speeds up road repairs and resurfacing most drivers are stuck at home and traffic is Covid-19 light.

Yes, I signed it. And hope you will, too.

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Maybe Covid-19 makes you cranky.

Infected CNN host Chris Cuomo, brother of the New York governor, lashed out at a bike rider who criticized Cuomo’s lack of social distancing from his family and another woman at his Long Island estate.

The man followed up by filing a police report on Wednesday; the cops initially weren’t interested until the story started gaining traction.

But maybe he had a point, since Cuomo’s wife has now been diagnosed with the disease.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

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It shouldn’t really surprise anyone to learn that traffic spreads just like a virus.

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Putting race numbers to good use fighting coronavirus after coronavirus cancels the races.

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A Thai zoo sparks outrage among animal rights advocates by making a chimpanzee ride a bike while wearing a mask and spraying disinfectant (the chimp comes on around 1:05).

But that chimp’s no chump. Everyone knows how much fun it is to ride a bike.

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

A British woman complains that she and her kids were verbally abused by a farmer while out for a family bike ride in the country, because he didn’t think they should be riding bikes during the country’s lockdown.

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

Horrible story from Santa Ana, where a man faces arson and attempted murder charges for dousing a homeless man with some sort of flammable liquid and setting him on fire, before riding off on his bicycle; the victim is in critical condition with first, second and third degree burns. Thanks to John Damman for the link. 

There’s a special place in hell for the road-raging New Jersey bike rider who allegedly punched and spat on an EMT, after nearly getting hit by allegedly riding his bike in front of the ambulance.

A British nurse says she was verbally abused and spat on by a bike rider; unfortunately, there’s no word on what led up to it. Clearly, there’s another side to that story, though.

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Local

Metro offers tips on how to ride safely for health and essential travel.

A masked dad and kid take a family bike riding on the LA River bike path in the age of coronavirus. You probably don’t have to wear a mask when you run or bike. But it couldn’t hurt.

Streetsblog says LA-area bikeshares run the gamut of coronavirus responses, from a full shutdown to business as usual.

Despite the coronavirus lockdown, construction is moving forward on the Taylor Yard pedestrian and bike bridge.

Former NBA great and current SoCal resident Reggie Miller is doing his social distancing by riding inside and learning to Zwift.

 

State

An Apple Valley bike rider had to be airlifted to a hospital after he was critically injured in a crash with a pickup driver on Tuesday.

A Bakersfield bike rider says no to grooving on the bike path. And put down your damn phone.

A Petaluma woman was arrested on suspicion of biking under the influence — and yes, that’s a thing — after attempting to ride her bike across busy Highway 101, directly in front of a CHP officer.

A Bay Area bike rider captured a moody view from Mt. Diablo over the weekend.

San Francisco advocates are working to help get bikes to essential workers.

Apparently, that European bike-riding dinosaur has a relative in Santa Rosa.

Someone in Napa Valley is selling a new Rad Cargo bike that’s never been “rode.” Maybe you can get a bad grammar discount.

A Davis bike rider spells out the benefits of biking during the pandemic.

 

National

Cannondale’s newest ebike comes complete with a built-in rear radar system.

Good grief. An Oregon bike shop owner says he’s really sorry he offended anyone with the racist, anti-Asian things he wrote on the store’s chalkboard. Which isn’t exactly the same as being sorry for posting them.

Speaking of Oregon, the state has sent the deadly, antiquated and auto-centric 85th Percentile Law to the scrapheap of history, where it belongs. Now maybe California can learn from their example.

A Washington man got his mountain bike back six months after it was stolen, when he spotted it on Facebook and met the seller with police in tow.

Reports indicate rattlesnakes aren’t social distancing on Arizona trails.

A Boulder CO book store is surviving the pandemic by making bicycle deliveries of mystery bags filled with handpicked books and tea or coffee.

The Boston Globe catches up with former UCLA and NBA star Bill Walton’s virtual Bike for Humanity solo group ride on the 25th of this month.

After a Massachusetts grocery store staffer’s bicycle was stolen while he was working, a kindhearted customer stepped up to give him another one.

New York’s bike-riding Joker comedian is back with a new episode.

Once again, a hit-and-run driver has carried the victim home with him. A North Carolina pickup driver fled the scene after hitting a bike rider, who landed in the back of his truck; the driver’s girlfriend found the victim an hour after the crash, seriously injured with multiple broken bones and no idea how he got there.

Horrible news from North Carolina, where two teenage boys sharing a bicycle were killed when they were struck by a driver; police were quick to blame the victims for wearing dark clothing and not having lights or reflectors on their bike. Evidently, the car must not have had headlights, either.

Finishing out our North Carolina trifecta, a father surprised his son by using a crane to hoist a new bike outside the boy’s hospital window, where he was spending his tenth birthday being treated for leukemia.

 

International

Cyclist recommends the 12 best bicycling documentaries.

London World Naked Bike riders will have to keep their clothes on this year, after the annual June event was cancelled. Although that doesn’t seem to have stopped everyone.

A British neighborhood plays pandemic bingo, as a man rides his bike through the streets calling out numbers. Thanks again to Jeff Vaughn.

Horrible freak accident in the UK, where a mountain biker was impaled with a tree branch through the neck after falling off a short cliff.

Bike thieves continue to target medical workers during the coronavirus pandemic, snatching the bike a Glasgow physiotherapist’s father had given her while she was busy treating Covid-19 patients in the ICU. And British bike hero Sir Chris Boardman offered to replace a $2,000 bicycle stolen from a London doctor while he was working.

Good idea. A new quick-release seatpost designed by an Italian cyclist allows you to remove your seat to prevent theft, then easily reposition it when you return.

Bad news from Down Under, where two bicyclists were critically injured when an SUV driver turned into a driveway in front of a group of riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling talks with pro cyclists about how the coronavirus and the ensuing lockdown have affected their relationship with the sport.

Bad timing. Bianchi has been named the official bicycle of the postponed, if not cancelled, Giro d’Italia.

As we noted Tuesday, this year’s Tour de France has been postponed for the first time since 1946, while organizers released the updated stage list.

Spanish cyclist Enric Mas says the riding may be virtual, but the sunburn is all too real. And looks like the Danish flag.

Pez Cycling News talks with Brent Emery, the American track cyclist behind the design for the world’s first super bike at the ’84 LA Olympics.

 

Finally…

Nothing like biking naked after getting tased while fighting with police. Or riding cyclocross through your own garden.

And here’s the soundtrack for anyone who wants to get naughty on their bike.

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Thanks to John Hall for his very generous, very timely, and very appreciated contribution to help keep this site coming your way every day, which helped lift my spirits after a very rough few days.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Small low-income bike shops on the brink, rain breaks Arroyo Seco path again, and no LA streets closed for social distancing

It ain’t necessarily so.

At least not here in Los Angeles. Or parts of it, anyway.

Despite all the talk about a coronavirus bike boom keeping bike shops across the country busy, Peter Flax writes in Bicycling that smaller shops in some of LA’s less prosperous neighborhoods are really hurting.

And yes, that means the predominantly black, Hispanic and immigrant neighborhoods mostly south of the 10 Freeway, along with other area in East LA and the San Fernando Valley.

It is the first Friday of April, 15 days after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other large cities in California—as well as in many other states—bike shops have been classified as essential businesses, a move that has been celebrated by some and derided by others. Some critics have argued that bike shops primarily cater to privileged fitness-oriented hobbyists and that putting shop staff in harm’s way (and risking community spread of disease) to serve recreational riders is unwise. But that assumption renders invisible the thousands of neighborhood shops in cities across the country that serve customers who mostly rely on bicycles to facilitate their livelihoods, customers from some of the most economically vulnerable communities in the U.S.

In LA, for example, Paisano’s and other shops in neighborhoods like Compton and South Los Angeles provide a vital service to people who depend on bicycles to get to and from work. These small businesses are perhaps 15 miles and universe away from LA’s affluent coastal suburbs where bike shops are typically stocked with $300 bib shorts and $10,000 road bikes.

Shops that many of us are familiar with, or at least heard of.

Like the aforementioned Paisano’s, subject of a Steve Lopez column in the LA Times.

And Compton’s Manny’s Bike Shop, home of the legendary Manny Silva, known as the godfather of lowrider bikes.

Along with others you may not know, like Linares Bike Shop, and Filipe’s #2 in Pico Union.

Shops where new bicycles sell for as little as $200, purchased on layaway. And where essential takes on a whole new meaning for people who have no other way to get to work.

Census data indicates that one in eight households in the city of Los Angeles don’t have a car. That figure is considerably higher in a low-income community like South LA.

Consider the neighborhood known as South Park—where Paisano’s is located, as well as another popular shop called Linares. Here the community is 79 percent Latino, 19 percent black, and zero percent white. According to data compiled by the real estate brand Trulia, households in this zip code have only 0.37 vehicles per capita, roughly half the median in LA. And according to an analysis published by the Los Angeles Times, the median household income in South Park is $29,518.

Many customers rely on their neighborhood shops because they don’t have the luxury of doing repair work themselves. “If you have a bad cut, you go to a doctor,” says Tejeda, who notes that most of his customers lack even the most basic tools like pumps and levers. “People bring their bikes here. It’s a trade for a reason.”

According to Flax, though, the owners are scared.

Scared of a virus that could come in undetected, carried in by a careless customer or some other visitor. And perhaps even more scared of losing their employees and businesses to a prolonged economic slump.

When asked how things are really going, Linares looks at his feet for a minute and bites his lower lip. “I’ve started closing the shop earlier now. I’m worried a lot about the business,” he says, pointing to the register. “What we make today is what me and the employees have for the day.”

And this.

When asked how business is going, Ambrosia gets animated as he responds in Spanish. “He says business has gone down a lot because people have no money, no jobs,” Mendoza says, translating before he adds his own commentary. “He is scared to work in the shop now, but he has no choice. He needs money for his house.”

Bike shops like these are the backbone of these neighborhoods and our communities, and need to be saved.

But the question is how.

The people in the local communities can’t do it. Too many are on the bottom rungs of society as it is, and the ones most hurt by the shutdown of so many businesses.

A crowdfunding campaign might make sense. But it would be hard to bring in enough donations to make a difference, and harder still to distribute it equitably to the many shops that so desperately need help right now.

If these businesses were more sophisticated, we could just visit their webpages and buy something, anything. Maybe pay off those layaways, or buy one of those sub-$200 bikes and give it to someone who needs one.

But few even have a website, and fewer still are set up for e-commerce.

As in, none.

So the best solution may be to take your bike in for service if you can, and maybe pick up something while you’re there.

Will that be enough to save these shops, and the countless other small local bike shops that are struggling to survive in these desperate days?

Probably not.

Maybe someone smarter than me has the answer.

Because you might never visit one of these shops. But we’re all going to miss them when they’re gone.

Whether we know it or not.

………

So much for that.

Only two short months after the Arroyo Seco bike path was finally reopened, 13 months after it was damaged by heavy rains, it’s happened again.

Let’s hope they can get it fixed a little faster this time.

………

The Guardian says cities from Berlin to Bogotá are opening new sidewalks, bike paths and bike lanes to provide safer commutes for essential workers, and allow people to exercise while maintaining social distancing.

Case in point, Oakland closed a whopping 74-miles of streets to motor vehicles; things apparently started slowly, but picked up speed as the weekend went on.

And Massachusetts is closing parts of three parkways to expand access for bicyclists and pedestrians.

On the other hand, Los Angeles is closing paths, parks and trails, and just telling bike riders and pedestrians to stay home, while allowing motor vehicles to maintain their near-exclusive hegemony over the newly nearly empty streets.

Streets for All and the LACBC are working to get street closures here. Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

America’s mostly empty highways meant a team competing in this year’s edition of the very illegal Cannonball run set a new record, making the trip from New York to Los Angeles in less than 27 hours.

At speeds averaging over 100 mph — and topping out at nearly twice that.

Which means that any collision would have been instantly fatal, both to themselves and anyone they had the misfortune of slamming into.

Never mind that the likelihood of a crash increases exponentially with each tick of the speedometer.

Needless to say, the states they pass through don’t look very kindly on the scofflaw race.

………

Today’s theme is babies and bikes.

An Indian man tried to carry his pregnant wife six miles to the hospital on his bicycle after she went into labor; unfortunately, the baby wanted out after three.

Meanwhile, an Indian doctor delivered a baby in more ways than one, rushing the newborn by bike to a nearby hospital after it developed breathing problems following a C-section.

………

Social distancing may mean staying at least six feet away from other people. But no one says you can’t go vertical, rather than horizontal.

………

In case you missed it over the weekend, Saturday Night Live offered a trio of sequestered MasterClasses, including a parody of Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin teaching bicycling.

And denying she killed her husband.

………

Local

The LACBC is maintaining a list of LA-area bike shops that are remaining open during the Covid-19 shutdown. And they’ve started a Bike Match program to connect people with extra or unused bicycles with essential workers who need safe, reliable transportation.

If you’re a lucky winner, you could get your next weed order delivered on a bicycle by Tommy “Tiny” Lister, famous for playing Deebo in the Friday movies.

No, you don’t need a mask to ride your bike in Los Angeles. And neither does your dog.

Five Feet Apart star Cole Sprouse is one of us, riding his bike through the Hollywood Hills, sans mask and skid lid.

Santa Clarita urges everyone to maintain social distancing on the city’s trails, whether you’re walking, running or riding a bike.

 

State

You can keep your vintage bike on ice over the summer, because the Eroica California has been postponed until September.

A 20-year old Delhi man faces felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter charges for allegedly killing Patterson resident Frankie Sanchez as he was riding his bike in Stanislaus County.

 

National

Consumer Reports offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike when cars aren’t the only danger you face. And takes a look at how your car’s bike rack affects your gas mileage.

Bicycle Retailer questions whether the current mini bike boom will last; Specialized’s founder says yes.

A Wisconsin public radio station offers tips on how to get your bike ready to ride and what to take with you.

Chicago’s mayor says she’s not reopening the city’s lakefront bike path, even if is used by essential workers to get to their jobs.

A 13-year old Boston boy got his stolen bike back after police busted another boy with a long rap sheet riding it.

A pair of North Carolina siblings are pedaling homemade bagels to raise funds for local charities; they deliver the bagels by bike after baking them fresh every morning.

A North Carolina man made it as far as Texas on his planned cross-country ride, blissfully unaware of the coronavirus that would eventually force him to fly back home once he found out.

Former Deadliest Catch star Jerod Sechrist is one of us, attempting to make his getaway by bicycling after allegedly stealing over a thousand bucks worth of electronics from a Florida Ikea — the fifth time he had allegedly stolen from the same store. And yes, they carry electronics. Who knew?

 

International

Road.cc says unless you’re planning on road racing, a gravel bike might be the only bike you’ll need. And they take a look at 21 of the best lightweight, high-performance bike helmets. But don’t recommend which one to buy.

Bike Radar says keep riding your bike to maintain your sanity during the lockdown.

Pink Bike proves once again that pets and bikes just naturally go together.

Everton soccer manager Carlo Ancelotti is taking advantage of the English Premier League shutdown by getting on his bike to rehab his knee and get back in shape.

An English nurse is grateful to the local police, who gave her a spare bike after hers was stolen while she was working, and busted the men who allegedly took it.

Scottish mountain bikers are up in arms after the country’s top medical official tells them to stay home during the pandemic.

A British jerk on a dirt bike taunted an ebike-riding cop who was trying to stop him for violating the country’s lockdown guidelines.

Bicycling says add a trip to Mallorca to your bike bucket list.

An HIV+ Ugandan soccer coach rented a bicycle to deliver HIV and AIDS medication after the country shut down public transportation.

A Canadian cyclist finds himself on lockdown in Nepal, rather than racing in Spain as he’d planned.

 

Competitive Cycling

Just in time for the worldwide pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of virtually everything in the world of bike racing, USA Cycling is putting a new emphasis on wellness.

The Olympic Channel questions whether three-time world champ Peter Sagan can win Olympic gold in 2020That would be no, since the games have been postponed until next year, as the story makes clear.

2018 Tour de France champ Geraint Thomas wants this year’s race to go on as planned, while 2019 champ Egan Bernal is just trying not to think about it. Meanwhile, four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome is taking advantage of the coronavirus shutdown to completely recover from the crash that almost ended his cycling career.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says just call off the 2020 Tour de France now, and use the time before next year’s race to create a true women’s Tour de France.

Italy’s pro cyclists remain shutdown by the country’s coronavirus lockdown until May 3rd. Although Italian pro Davide Martinelli found a way to ride and give back at the same time by delivering food and medicine to elderly people in his home village.

Riders for the Deceuninck – Quick-Step team offer their insights on the 124-year old Paris-Roubaix race. None of which will matter until next year, at the very least.

Speaking of Paris-Roubaix, GCN wonders if a gravel bike would do better on the cobbles.

 

Finally…

If you can’t bring people to the church, get on your bike and bring the church to the people. What’s more Easter than a big bunny on a blinged-out BMX bike — unless it’s Easter Bunny stealing a cargo bike?

And seriously, if you’re riding your bike with two outstanding warrants and nearly an ounce of weed, put a damn light on it.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

LA blames Vision Zero fail on texting drivers, anti-bike bias on Bay Area bridge, and Arroyo Seco repairs underway

The Los Angeles Times pretty well sums up LA’s Vision Zero failure in two short paragraphs.

Last year, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets, a decrease of 0.8% compared to 2018, according to preliminary figures from the city. The victims included 134 people who were walking and 19 people biking.

The data may change slightly with additional analysis, officials said. But the early figures suggest another year of lackluster progress for Vision Zero, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiative to eliminate traffic deaths on city streets by 2025.

That’s two more bicycling deaths than I showed in my records. Which isn’t too surprising, since too many fatal crashes never make the news.

But instead of placing blame on the city’s insistence at nibbling on the edges of traffic safety, rather than making the wholesale changes to LA streets that define a true Vision Zero program, the city insists on pointing the finger at texting drivers.

Which is a major problem, of course.

But Vision Zero is supposed to be about accepting that people will always make mistakes behind the wheel — like texting, for instance. And designing roadways in such a way that those mistakes don’t become fatalities.

According to the story,

The Transportation Department made more changes to streets in L.A. in 2019 than in the prior two years combined, said spokeswoman Connie Llanos. Those 1,529 modifications to crosswalks, traffic signals, intersections and other elements of the street are designed to improve the safety of the street.

Yet none of those modifications included a single road diet or protected intersection.

Or, to the best of my recollection, a single new protected bike lane.

Rather than making simple changes to intersections, the city needs to take aim at changing the city’s car culture, said John Yi, the executive director of Los Angeles Walks, a pedestrian advocacy group.

If zero deaths is really the city’s goal, “we need to have a visionary plan that matches the scope of that goal,” Yi said. “We have failed to do that.”

There is every argument for making those kinds of wholesale changes to the streets, from saving lives to reducing traffic congestion and fighting climate change.

And only one reason not to — city leadership that fears angry voters, and lacks the political will to do what they know must be done if this city, and the people in it, are to survive and prosper.

As exemplified in the mayor’s action in unceremoniously ripping out the Playa del Rey road diets and bikes lanes less than a month after they went in, before they had a chance to prove themselves and drivers could adjust to the changes.

Yet they were elected, not to follow the will of those who scream the loudest, but to actually lead their constituents by making the hard choices to do the right thing, and build a city that works for all of us.

Not just impatient drivers. Or wealthy homeowners.

And not one that continues to kill too many of it’s most vulnerable road users.

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels.

………

Just in case anyone wants to argue that Vision Zero doesn’t work, Helsinki, Finland didn’t have single pedestrian death last year, following a slow decline from a high of 60 in 1970.

………

He gets it.

Then again, Peter Flax always does.

This time, the former editor-in-chief of Bicycling and near-daily bike commuter goes on a polite rant over a recent highly biased article blaming bike lanes on the Bay Area’s Richmond–San Raphael Bridge for making poor, suffering teachers late for work.

Not, say, all those other drivers on the bridge.

This is how efforts to build safe and convenient places for cyclists are demonized—as something that screws up the lives of motorists struggling to get somewhere important. This is how American car culture operates in 2020, when record numbers of cyclists are killed by drivers and efforts to do something about it are viewed as impractical and an attack on the driving public’s way of life.

Swan’s story is better reported than its clickbait headline might suggest, but upon close examination it reads like inadvertent propaganda. Though she name-checks the real problems plaguing miserable commuters, the central premise of her piece lends credibility to the absurd idea that the basic needs of embattled, working-class commuters are being trampled upon by people riding bikes…

He goes on to point the finger where it really belongs.

Let’s be frank. The congestion on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (and roadways in every U.S. city) can really suck. But it doesn’t suck because of cyclists or bike lanes. The traffic sucks because of sprawl and cheap gas and Americans’ love of cars. The traffic sucks because cities and states don’t put enough effort into housing, carpooling, telecommuting, micromobility, and financial tools like congestion pricing (in which motorists pay a modest surcharge to use roads at busy times, a tactic that has decreased traffic in European cities). These systemic problems—less suited to cranky populist headlines—are the real cause of traffic.

As with anything Flax writes, it’s a good read.

But more to the point, it’s an important one. Because we face this same sort of seemingly innocuous bias on a daily basis, with drivers failing to the real traffic problem is facing them back in the mirror.

And it’s not caused by bikes, bike lanes, or the people who use them.

………

Repairs are finally underway on a storm damaged section of the Arroyo Seco Bike Path.

………

The LA Daily News is hosting another candidate forum in CD12 on the 17th.

………

The 2020 Regional Bike Summit kicks off today, hosted by the San Diego Bike Coalition. The mayor of Encinitas, in North San Diego County, will be taking part.

Then again, so should every other mayor in the area.

………

A beautiful handmade lowrider bike takes first place in a bent wood competition.

………

Sometimes, though, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Edinburgh, Scotland police are looking for a sidewalk-riding “bike thug” who got off his bike and beat a total stranger for no apparent reason, sending him to the hospital with facial injuries.

………

Local

Congratulations to Sunset For All, after the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council voted to support protected bike lanes on dangerous Sunset Blvd.

Voice your opposition to plans to widen deadly Magnolia Blvd — one of the city’s Vision Zero High Injury Network streets — next Monday at the North Hollywood Neighborhood Council meeting

 

State

Uber’s self-driving cars are on their way back to California, three years after the company got its hand slapped by the DMV for unleashing them in San Francisco without permits.

As we noted earlier, San Diego’s popular Ocean Beach bike path will be closed for construction work for the remainder of this month.

Nice gesture by a Santa Maria man, who returned a Kobe Bryant jersey that belonged to a fallen teenage bike rider to the boy’s mother nearly 13 years after he was killed in a collision; the boy had left it at the man’s apartment shortly before his death.

The Vallejo police union blames the victim after a cop is cleared in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager who fled a traffic stop.

A new San Francisco report contradicts the usual narrative from motorists, finding that drivers were responsible for two-thirds of collisions with pedestrians in the city last year.

Lime Bike wants to make a comeback in the Bay Area, despite pulling out of other cities in favor of e-scooter rentals.

Plans are underway to link 15 towns in Sierra, Plumas, Lassen and Butte County with more than 300 miles of new motorized and non-motorized trail bike trails in the Lost Sierra region.

 

National

The New York Times says new digital data streams are driving new approaches to transportation, using LA’s data-sharing requirement for e-scooters and dockless bikeshare as a prime example.

On the topic of bikes going nowhere, Flywheel cops to ripping off Peloton’s patented streaming technology.

Specialized has a new e-mountain bike for you, if you’re willing to fork out $6,500 — or $16,500 for the carbon model.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a man walked with time served after copping a plea to vehicular homicide for fatally right-hooking a 75-year old bike rider while driving stoned, despite a commitment to never drive after using medical cannabis for a bad neck. Evidently, DUI and homicide is just no big deal up there.

This is why I love the bicycling community. When the owner of a Cincinnati mom-and-pop bike shop had to go to the hospital, ten bike mechanics from other shops offered to fill in for him. And a crowdfunding page raised over $9,000 since Sunday night — nearly double the modest $5,000 goal.

Chicago Streetsblog says the city needs a Rapid Response Team, arguing that inaction in the wake of tragic crashes is unacceptable. Which is exactly what I argued for before and after Los Angeles announced its Vision Zero program; every death should be immediately investigated by a multi-disciplinary team to determine contributory causes and prevent another one.

Speaking of the Windy City, the Department of DIY struck once again, spray painting bike lane markings at a Chicago intersection where a woman was killed, after the city failed to maintain them.

New York City could soon require side guards on large trucks to prevent bike riders and pedestrians from being pulled underneath. These should be mandatory everywhere, for reasons that should be obvious.

Pennsylvania votes to allow protected bike and pedestrian lanes on state roadways.

A DC website questions whether “war on cars” is a useful term, after a WaPo reporter insists the district is waging one. Probably not, considering only one side is dying, and it ain’t the people in motor vehicles.

A local website discovers that some people actually like an Alexandrian VA road diet that’s being maligned by very vocal opponents.

 

International

Treehugger confronts the recurring myth that fuel for a bike rider causes as much CO2 emissions as someone in car. Short answer, no. Longer answer, hell no.

They get it. A column in Cycling Industry News says if the bike industry wants to draw new customers, people need to feel safe riding their bikes. Which is the best argument for why bikemakers and bike shops should get involved in local advocacy. But few do.

Even the Cayman Islands need better bike lanes.

Bicycling offers five tips from the world’s coldest bike ride, Canada’s Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra, to help keep you warm here in frigid Southern California.

Saskatoon, Canada, could soon remove a requirement for bicyclists to ride in bike lanes, arguing that faster riders should be allowed to ride in traffic lanes if they feel more comfortable.

Great Britain is debating whether to allow e-scooters in the country, where they are currently banned; a Swedish professor argues that cities should embrace them.

One place you can cross off your bike bucket list — the mean streets of Gaborone, Botswana, where bicycles are unwanted and unwelcome, along with the people who ride them.

A teenage Aussie driver faces multiple charges for killing two men out for their usual early morning bike ride while driving on the wrong side of the road.

 

Competitive Cycling

The San Diego Union-Tribune says USA Cycling CEO Rob DeMartini is taking the organization in bold new directions after years as an afterthought, as the sport went its own way without its help or oversight.

VeloNews says they already miss the Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled this year after a 14-year run.

 

Finally…

If one shade of bikeshare doesn’t work, just keep going through the colors until one catches on. If you’re going to steal a bikeshare bike, at least be casual about it.

And world famous bike rider LeBron James wants to get you on a bicycle; rumor has it he also plays basketball or something.

 

Proposal for bike-friendly Hollywood Blvd, where to ban cars from LA streets, and a bigger Bird hits Los Angeles

CD13 City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell unveiled proposals for a much-needed head-to-toe makeover of Hollywood Blvd.

The plans calls for reducing or eliminating parking, widening and fixing the already wide sidewalks, and installing bike lanes on either side.

However, the plans don’t call for protected bike lanes, or closing the boulevard entirely to create a pedestrian plaza at Hollywood and Highland.

If approved — and it still has a long damn way to go — they could create the first east-west bike lanes in Hollywood.

And no, sharrows don’t count.

They could also improve safety for the tens of thousands of tourists who visit the street every day, while improving livability for the rapidly growing residential population in Hollywood.

O’Farrell reports that $4 million in funding has already been secured for the project, which could go a long way towards making it a reality.

Rendering by Gensler.

………

As we’ve discussed for the past few weeks, cars are now officially banned San Francisco’s formerly busy Market Street.

The LA Times throws down the gauntlet, saying if the Bay Area city can close one of its largest and most iconic streets to motor vehicles, Los Angeles can do it, too.

Streetsblog then picks it up, suggesting ten LA-area streets from Pasadena to Santa Monica that could use a similar treatment — including the afore mentioned Hollywood Blvd; we mentioned Curbed’s seven suggestions earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Car and Driver wants to know how far this carfree streets thing is going to spread, and Fast Company lists 11 additional cities where it already has.

………

Call it Big Bird.

C|net reports that Bird is introducing a heavier, more durable and hopefully, more vandalism resistant e-scooter they’ve dubbed Bird Two.

The vehicle comes with “autonomous damage sensors” that are designed to detect potentially dangerous maintenance issues. It has puncture-resistant tires, an anti-tipping kickstand and “enterprise level anti-theft encryption.” And its design minimizes exposed cables and screws.

“The absence of excessive exposed screws helps create a sleeker design while also reducing injuries and vandalism,” the company said in a statement. Bird said this feature will also help with safety (which makes sense considering some scooter haters like to cut brake cables).

The site says the company is introducing the scooters in San Francisco, then eventually rolling them out to other cities.

Evidently, they forget to tell that to their LA-area staff.

I spotted this one while walking the foster corgi in Hollywood; other Twitter users reported seeing them along the Figueroa corridor.

………

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

Long Island police are looking for a bike-riding man who stole $3,000 from an unlocked car. Then again, what kind of idiot leaves three grand in his car, and doesn’t bother to lock it?

………

Local

A Larchmont newspaper profiles all four candidates in the CD4 race — incumbent David Ryu and challengers Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman, as well as write-in candidate Susan Collins; both Levy and Raman have been endorsed by Bike the Vote LA. And speaking of Levy, she’s asking transit and mobility fans to canvas for her this weekend.

Santa Monica could cut the number of dockless bike and e-scooter providers in the city by half under new rules approved by the city council.

 

State

Eroica California returns to Cambria this April, now with rides for modern and classic bikes on different days.

Tragic news from Galt, 27 miles south of Sacramento, where a 34-year old man riding a bike was killed in a collision with a motorist.

A Sebastopol writer talks with a zero-waste, locavore, electric vélomobile owner.

Plans for a median-protected bike lane move forward in Modesto, despite the inevitable complaints from local businesses that it would take space away from cars.

 

National

Streetsblog says the national transportation policy proposed by the Democrats in Congress has a lot to offer, even if it has little chance of becoming law.

A writer for Mashable tries out a $4,000 ebike for a year, and is surprised to learn it’s heavy, and can replace a car, but only in good weather. Never mind that lots of people ride ebikes and regular bikes year ’round, in all kinds of weather.

Ebike prices continue to drop, like this barely sub-$1,000 bike from Propella. And no, I’ve never heard of the brand, either.

A new active transportation advocacy group intends to make Spokane WA friendlier for people on bikes and on foot.

Once again demonstrating that the Bureau of Land Management has no respect for the land they’re supposed to manage, the BLM has put two parcels up for oil and gas drilling near Moab, Utah, even though it could result in irreversible damage to the famed Slickrock mountain bike trail.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is really cheap in Wisconsin, where a hit-and-run driver got a lousy three months behind bars for the drunken crash that injured a bike rider; he hit the victim as he was driving to another bar, and blew over twice the legal limit when he was arrested.

Tragic news from Brooklyn, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with the driver of a flatbed truck, becoming the first bicyclist killed in New York this year after the city suffered a nearly three times increase in bicycling deaths last year. As usual, the driver wasn’t ticketed or detained, despite being caught on video making an illegal U-turn. Warning — that last link clearly shows the victim getting hit, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking it. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

A North Carolina mother is under arrest after her four-year old son was found riding his tricycle naked at 12:30 am, in front of a bar, in 40° weather.

Nice gesture from a New Orleans Mardi Gras krewe, which is hosting a block party to call for bike and pedestrian safety at the site of the drunken crash that killed two bike riders and injured several others during last year’s Mardi Gras celebrations.

 

International

A young man from Matamoros, Mexico just graduated from a college in Brownsville, Texas, thanks in part thanks to the $40 flea market bicycle he rode across the border every day.

A London woman describes how she went a full year using only her feet or bicycle for transportation.

The mayor of Paris says if she’s re-elected, every street in the city will by bicycle-friendly by 2024.

SUVs should be banned from urban areas, according to a Brussels-based safety think tank, which called for urgent action to protect bike riders and pedestrians.

A Belgian ex-cyclist-turned-journalist makes, then deletes, then apologizes for a sexist joke about how little an Argentine reporter was wearing; apology not accepted, evidently, after she responded by calling him a brontosaurus.

Vienna is offering free admission to museums and concerts to people who leave their cars at home in an effort to cut traffic and pollution.

VeloNews goes to Germany to jerk their chains. And otherwise test 13 of the most popular bike chains.

A South African radio station says it could be the death of motoring, as Millennials and Gen Zers are falling out of love with cars.

It better be a damn big reward. Indonesian authorities want a volunteer to take a motorcycle tire from around a 13-foot crocodile’s neck.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado man looks back on a half-century as a cyclocross racer, starting long before most American cycling fans ever heard of the sport.

Still more sad news, as British cyclist Josephine Gilbert was killed last week when she was struck by a truck driver while riding in the UK; the 25-year old rider was called an inspiration by her teammates. She becomes just the latest in a long line of professional and amateur racers killed or seriously injured by drivers in recent years.

 

Finally…

It may be broken English, but “Abandoning boy to death” drives the point home better than the more pedestrian “hit-and-run.” If you want to keep passing as a blind beggar, leave the SUV at home.

And this is who we share the roads with. And yes, it’s pretty much the definition of an entitled driver.

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