Tag Archive for bike path closures

South Bay settles for sharrows, another closure on LA River Path, and carjacker busted in horrific DTLA hit-and-run

We’re taking a little different format today, after dealing with last night’s breaking news left too little time for the usual links.

But with far too much news to ignore. 

Meanwhile, Friday means we’re finally on the cusp of the summer’s first three-day weekend. 

So assuming you’re still here reading this, remember that holidays typically mean more drunks on the road, as people barrel into their cars after outdoor gatherings, or to make another drunken beer run. 

So get out and enjoy the great weather. And by all means, ride your bike. 

Just ride defensively, and assume ever driver you see after noon today has had a few. Or more than a few. 

Chances are, you won’t be too far off. 

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Call it much ado about nothing.

Or how to look like you’re doing something to improve bike and micromobility safety, while actually doing as little as possible.

And maybe even making things worse.

According to a presentation by the South Bay Council of Governments, the regional body plans to install a network consisting of 243 miles of sharrows throughout the region, for no apparent reason.

As we’ve pointed out before, sharrows serve little or no actual purpose, failing to grant riders a single right or inch of pavement to which they weren’t already entitled.

People on bicycles are already legally allowed to ride in the full lane in any substandard lane. Which means any that isn’t wide enough for a bike rider to safely share the lane with a motor vehicle, while remaining outside the door zone.

A definition that applies to most right lanes in Southern California.

At best, sharrows remind riders to position themselves in the center of the lane, while providing wayfinding and directing riders to presumably safer streets.

At worst — which is usually how they work — they merely position unsuspecting people directly in the path of angry drivers who fail to comprehend what the strange chevron-shaped symbols are for, while the little arrows simply serve to help them improve their aim.

In this case, the sharrows appear to be an attempt to shunt bike riders and micromobility users onto quieter side streets, and get them out of the way of entitled motorists on larger arterials, while providing more space for parking.

Yes, they want us out of the way so they can store more of the cars they aren’t using.

South Bay COG even pats themselves on the back, saying the network is likely to win an award of innovation.

Apparently forgetting that sharrows ain’t infrastructure, and don’t improve safety.

In fact, studies show that streets with sharrows do little or nothing to improve safety, and can actually increase the risk to people on bicycles.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton forwards news that a resolution calling for creation of the network was approved at last night’s board meeting of the South Bay COG.

But the already weak network was weakened even further when representatives from Torrance and other cities were assured that participation in the plan was strictly voluntary.

You can see maps of the proposed Local Traffic Network here.

Seriously, it’s nice that they are trying to do something, even if their motives are highly questionable.

But in this case, it seems like it really is the least they could do.

Illustration from South Bay COG.

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Speaking of Linton, he forwards news that long-suffering users of the LA River bike path will have to keep on suffering.

After years of closures due to flood control measures by the Army Corps of Engineers — and the damage they caused — as well as multiple bridge construction projects, the pathway north of the LA Zoo is closed once again.

The section from Victory to Zoo Drive will be shut down until future notice to repair damage and deterioration to the path.

Which is apparently engineer speak for “don’t hold your breath.”

According to an email from LADOT, the agency must first find funding for the project before a timeline can be announced.

Let’s just hope the work can be finished before next winter’s rains cause further damage, or put a halt to construction work.

Assuming we get any rain, which is far from guaranteed.

In the meantime, LADOT will once again be putting up signs to mark yet another detour.

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Phillip Young forwards news that an arrest has finally been made in the heartbreaking hit-and-run death of 46-year-old Branden Finley in Downtown Los Angeles earlier this year.

Finley was on his way to join the Ride For Black Lives on January 16th of this year, when he became the victim of a horrific careening crash as a speeding carjacker tried to make his escape through DTLA.

Following the collision, the thief simply walked away, bizarrely carrying the truck’s steering wheel, as the popular father of two lay dying in the street.

Now LAPD investigators have used DNA evidence to identify 36-year old Ronald Earl Kenebrew Jr. as the suspect, charging him with murder for Finley’s death.

They didn’t have to look far to find Kenebrew once they got a hit on DNA collected from the truck; he’s been in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department since February on suspicion of robbery.

He was also identified from security videos of the suspect as he walked away.

Normally, I say something like let’s hope they lock him up for a long time.

But that seems pretty assured in this case.

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This is who we share the road with.

Ted Faber forwards news of an anti-tax auto-borne terrorist who slammed her car through a Marysville, Tennessee vaccination site.

Thirty-six-year old Virginia Christine Lewis Brown was arrested after speeding through a through a vaccine tent in a mall parking lot, yelling “No vaccine!” as workers dove out of her way.

Witnesses described her as driving at a high rate of speed, while she somehow claimed she was only doing a sedate 5 mph.

If convicted on all counts and sentenced to the max — which is unlikely — she could face up to 105 years behind bars.

Which somehow seems slightly worse than getting a little jab in the arm.

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Just a couple more quick items.

A Pennsylvania man was busted after he hopped on his bike and pedaled toward’s his daughter’s house with a rifle in hand, after a drunken threat to kill blow his son-in-law’s head off.

Although he told police he was just “varmint hunting.” Which is an odd way to describe your daughter’s husband.

He faces charges of “simple assault, making terroristic threats and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as with the summary offenses of public drunkenness, harassment, criminal mischief and hunting without a license.”

I think we all know what he was hunting.

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Bike racing fan Peter Flax recommends Indiana University’s iconic Little 500 — the race made famous in Breaking Away — if you just can get enough.

And yes, that’s still the best damn bike movie ever made.

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Gravel Bike California gets a tour of gravel riding trails in California’s Great Not-So-White North.

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And finally, our last item of the day comes from Erik Griswold, who says don’t be like Kevin.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Morning Links: Unannounced Orange Line bike path closure, Go Human in the wild, and still more legal cases

Grab some java and get comfortable. We’ve got a lot to catch up on today.

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Your tax dollars at work.

Frequent contributor danger d sends word that the Orange Line bike path has been closed with no advance warning. And at one of the most inconvenient, if not dangerous, points.

Here’s the complaint he filed with the county, which seems to be responsible for the unannounced closure, since Metro denied having anything to do with it.

The bike path on Victory Blvd. From Woodley Ave to the 405 is fenced off. There was no notice of closure and traffic is rerouted to the street. Very Unsafe. NOT VISION ZERO. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY UNDER THE 405 FREEWAY THAT IS OFF STREET.

When will this reopen? Why is this path closed?

He hasn’t gotten a response yet; we’ll let you know if he does. And there’s no mention of it on the county map of bike path closures as of Sunday night.

Then again, there’s no mention of any of the other closures shown on their map, either.

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We mentioned recently that SCAG, aka the Southern California Association of Governments, has developed a new ad campaign urging people to Go Human.

Now Spencer forwards a first look at one of the ads in the wild, with a message we can hope drivers take to heart.

Go Human Bus End

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Seems like we just can’t get away from court cases.

Twenty-four-year old Neil Storm Stephany will go on trial for murder Tuesday in the hit-and-run death of Shaun Eagleson last October.

According to the Orange County Register, the self-described drug counselor was high on heroin when he plowed his truck into Eagleson as he rode in a Newport Beach bike lane. Stephany hit a guard rail as attempted to flee the scene, before being arrested later that day.

Following a previous DUI in 2011, Stephany had signed a legal advisement stating that he understood he could face a murder charge if he killed someone while driving under the influence any time in the future.

Which, sadly, is exactly what happened just three years later.

He also amassed an extensive criminal record in his 24 years, including convictions for felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to sell. In addition, he is also facing a separate domestic violence charge.

Stephany faces 15 years to life if he’s convicted.

A source in Orange County tells me he has grown his hair just long enough to cover the “fuck the police” tattoo on his forehead and the swastika tattooed on the back of his head, most likely on the advice of his lawyer.

I’m also told Eagleson was a regular reader of this site.

Let’s hope his family gets the justice they deserve. And that we can get a dangerous driver off the road for a very long time.

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In an exceptionally generous offer, the judge in the case of fallen OC cyclist John Colvin offered hit-and-run driver Dylan Thomas Randluby a reduced one-year sentence in county jail; remarkably, his attorney wants to think it over.

If the case goes to trial, he faces four years in state prison.

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Evidently, life is cheap in the Bay Area.

Even though he had already been convicted and sentenced for felony hit-and-run, an Alameda County judge retroactively reduced all the charges against the driver who killed a bike-riding Chinese tourist to misdemeanors, and sentenced him to just 30 days in jail, calling it an unfortunate accident.

Since when is driving drunk and fleeing the scene of a fatal collision an accident? Judges who refuse to take traffic crimes seriously are why people continue to die on our streets. Let’s hope voters remember this case when he’s up for re-election.

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Two-time Olympic gold medalist Craig Buck is fighting for his life at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after suffering severe head trauma in a Santa Barbara bicycling collision.

CHP investigators blame him for riding on the wrong side of the road, even though the truck that hit him has allegedly been used in a prior road rage incident involving cyclists.

Facebook page has been established to give him a thumbs-up.

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Here’s an interesting new Kickstarter project.

The TurnCycle gesture-controlled wireless bike light promises to follow your hand gestures, and convert them to LED signals to indicate turns or stops; MSN picked it as one of the best Kickstarter inventions of the month.

It has a long way to go in the next 16 days for funding, however.

Thanks to John Jancsek for the heads-up.

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Several of the top women’s cyclists have teamed together to launch Strongher, The Stage for Women Who Ride, a website and app to connect women riders with one another.

And when a pro team director went to pick up an injured cyclist at an Abu Dhabi hospital, they sent him to a psychiatrist. Although the story’s really about the kindness shown the rider by those who helped him get back to his team.

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Local

Sign up for a free 30-minute tour of the LA Times’ historic Globe Lobby during Sunday’s CicLAvia.

There is a special place in hell for someone who would punch a Pasadena nine-year old in the face to rob him as he rode his bike to school. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Huh? A Hermosa Beach resident opposes a bike lane on Monterey Blvd because he’s sick of fiestas and volleyball tournaments, as well as bars and their patrons. And besides, most of the people who ride bikes in the city don’t live there, in his estimation. Which is kind of like saying don’t build a freeway because people who’ll drive on it are just passing through.

 

State

Santa Ana continues to become one of Orange County’s most bike and pedestrian friendly cities; all three of the active transportation projects approved for state funding in the county were in the city, out of 55 applications. Thanks to Nick Gerda for the heads-up.

The Examiner finally notices that former Corona del Mar bike advocate Frank Peters has moved to Portland, and meets with him to discuss his reasons for moving. They could have found out six months earlier by reading this site.

Firefighters rescued a mountain biker suffering from unspecified injuries from OC’s Barton Canyon on Sunday afternoon.

The San Diego Association of Governments has approved a $200 billion transportation plan that promises to continue the region’s reliance on cars.

San Diego will host Calbike’s annual California Bike Summit at the end of this month.

A woman rode 100 miles on Saturday as part of Oceanside’s sixth annual Bike the Coast just two years after having a heart transplant.

The Desert Sun endorses an environmental review of multiple routes for the Coachella Valley’s proposed 50-mile CV Link bike and pedestrian pathway. And says if Rancho Mirage still isn’t on board when the path is ready to build, then build it right up to the city’s borders on either side. I like the way they think.

Palo Alto is installing cameras to get an accurate count of how many kids are biking and walking to school.

More senseless tragedy, as a Richmond bicyclist was killed in a collision with a train after slipping through the crossing arms. And a San Francisco cyclist died after somehow getting caught between two Muni buses.

 

National

A new instagraphic from People for Bikes rebuts seven top myths about people who ride bikes. Memorize this one. It’ll come in handy when the bike haters bust out the torches and pitchforks at the next public meeting.

One sign bikes are gaining greater acceptance: There are now over 1,050 bike-friendly businesses in the US.

Bicycling offers advice on what to do when you crash your bike.

GQ provides suggestions on how to dial in your bike fit and ride the right way, as well as tips on how to get a six pack by riding your bike. Actually, that one’s easy. Step one, get on our bike. Step two, ride to the market. Step three, buy a six pack. Step four, ride home and drink it.

Seattle radio hosts say it’s pointless for the city to take over the nonprofit bikeshare system because the city is hilly. And it rains.

A Denver columnist says the city’s plan to make bicycling safer is vehicle-hostile, while laying sole claim to the streets for those on four wheels.

Chicago reaches 100 miles of protected bike lanes — or maybe not. Meanwhile, advocates call for more and better bike lanes in the city.

Memphis’ bicycle and pedestrian program manager will be honored by the White House as part of the Champions of Change program; crashes are down and ridership is up with 200 miles of bikeways in the city, and another 130 miles of bike paths on the way.

Maine cyclists call for greater enforcement of traffic laws, including ticketing other cyclists. Because it’s always other cyclists who break the law, right?

Vermont police continue to blame the victim in the death of bicycling physician, saying he was under the influence of three different antidepressants — even though police claim the driver, who was drunk and on Xanax, was passing the cyclist safely on the wrong side of the road when he suddenly made a U-turn directly in front of her. Sure, that sounds credible.

A Connecticut cyclist takes on the hills. And a green Lamborghini.

Hoboken NJ becomes the latest city to get bikeshare before Los Angeles. Yes, Hoboken.

There’s something wrong when even a Charlotte NC ghost bike isn’t safe from a reckless driver.

Nice story, as a Florida cyclist tracks down the pregnant army reservist who saved his life after a hit-and-run.

 

International

Bike Radar offers five reasons to bike to work.

A Canadian columnist is appalled by the loss of 48 rarely used parking spaces to make way for bike lanes.

Vancouver votes to move forward with what may be North America’s first bike lift. Meanwhile, more evidence there’s two sides to every story, as a Vancouver cyclist accused of a road rage assault on a pregnant woman says he was just trying to talk to her.

Caught on video: A Calgary driver honks at the cyclist ahead of him for a full 40 seconds, just for the crime of waiting for the light to change. People get pissed off when cyclists don’t stop at red lights, and more pissed off when we do.

A profile of London’s bike riding, very conservative and self-effacing mayor, who may be angling to be the next prime minister.

About 150 Amnesty International supporters rode around Brussels to protest the death penalty, visiting the embassies of the handful of countries that still allow it, including the USA.

A Helsinki driver gets four and a half years for intentionally brake-checking a cyclist in front of multiple witnesses; the rider was killed when he flew over his handlebars after hitting the back of the car, landing head-first on the pavement.

You know the bike boom is a worldwide phenomenon when the prime minister of Swaziland is calling for more bike lanes.

A South African farmer is under arrest for shooting a man on a bicycle following an argument over a first aid kit, a pillow, cap and shoe allegedly stolen from his home. Yes, he killed a man over a shoe and a pillow.

A South Korean cyclist won a 1 million won judgment against a woman after he was injured falling off his bike to avoid her dog in a bike lane. Which sounds impressive until you realize that’s the equivalent of $871.

 

Finally…

Caught on video, partly: Don’t slap a pedestrian standing in the street as you pass by on your bike, or he may get in his car and run you down. Bad enough Florida cyclists have to deal with drunk drivers, worse when the driver’s dog can’t manage to keep the car on the road.

And now you, too, can make your bike sound like a trotting horse.

But why stop there?