Tag Archive for bikeway networks

Morning Links: Warning tourists about bad LA bike lanes, slow roll to Major Taylor’s bike, and celebrate Eagle Rock bike lanes

Seriously.

How sad is it that the Fodor’s Travel site feels the need to warn tourist against LA’s slow buses, distracted drivers and virtually nonexistent bike lanes?

While we’re on the subject of size, let’s talk about how to get around. You have a lot of options, so choose wisely. You can rent a car, ride a bus, take the metro, hail a taxi, use a ride-sharing app, or scoot (ugh). Lesson 1. Never ride the bus. It takes too long to get anywhere. Lesson 2. The metro doesn’t go everywhere, so pick your routes carefully. Lesson 3. Ride-sharing apps are infinitely cheaper than taxis (download Uber and/or Lyft). Lesson 4. If you must, scoot. The newest transport kids on the block are Lime and Byrd, electric scooters that make it easy to get around individual neighborhoods. Just be careful because bike lanes are scarce and L.A. drivers don’t look (read: they’re on their phones).

Photo by Sergij from Pexels.

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Sounds like fun.

You’re invited to take a slow roll from Leimert Park to Pasadena on Novenber 16th to see the actual bike ridden by turn of the century African-American cycling legend Major Taylor, recently purchased by the owner of Velo Pasadena for his own bicycling museum.

That’s the turn of the previous century, not the last one.

As in the 1890s.

Which makes Taylor just the second black world champion in any sport. Even if he was riding on wooden rims.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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Or maybe you’d rather come out this Saturday to celebrate Eagle Rock’s bike lanes, and plan for more Complete Streets to come.

Thanks to Felicia G for the tip.

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Who needs a mountain to mountain bike?

Unless you speak German, feel free to skip the first 1:30 or so.

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

A road raging British driver was fined the equivalent of $5,800 for grabbing a teenage bike rider by the collar and twice spitting in his face, after the boy flipped him off when the driver honked at him.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels who are the problem.

Sacramento police are looking for the bike-riding jerk who slapped a woman on the ass, then came back several minutes later and did it again.

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Local

Bike Talk talks Metro Culture, and the death of a four-year old girl crossing the street with her mother in Koreatown last week.

Congratulations to UCLA on being named a gold-level Bicycle Friendly University, the first school in LA County to achieve that status.

Actor Christian Bale is one of us, as he rides his cruiser bike to Venice with his five-year old son in tow.

Long Beach is mourning the death of artist and graphic designer Katie Phillips, who was also one of the founders of the city’s Kidical Mass; described as a “beautiful soul,” she passed away over the weekend.

 

State

You can now pre-order the recently adopted California Bicycle Special License Plate for your car or truck; the state is required to get 7,500 pre-orders before it can go into production. Or you could skip the license, sell your car and get a new bike or ebike instead. Just saying.

Tickets for distracted driving have dropped in San Diego. Which is less likely to be the result of drivers putting their phone away than police giving up in the face of overwhelming numbers.

Watsonville bike riders are getting shiny new green bike lanes today.

A reminder that Los Angeles police still don’t have a bait bike program despite rampant bike thefts, as police in Danville bust a man who cut the lock and tried to ride off on their GPS-equipped bike.

 

National

Dockless mopeds are soon headed to a street near you.

Your next ebike could be a Harley Rude Boy.

NPR examines the struggle by the National Parks Service to develop policies on whether or not to allow ebikes in each individual park, and how.

Oregon state police have released the full 38-minute body cam video of the arrest of a young black woman for the crime of riding salmon on the campus of Oregon State University, which has been criticized for excessive force.

Denver’s mayor agrees to study lowering default speed limits to 20 mph, but cuts funding for the study nearly in half.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, where a man sacrificed his own life to save his fiancé, pushing her off her bike as they were riding together just before he was struck by a motorist.

Queens bicyclists protest the 500 days since they were promised a protected bike lane along the city’s “Boulevard of Death,” which hasn’t even been started yet.

The author of a history of bicycling in NYC says things are better than they used to be, but bikes will probably always be “somewhat marginalized.”

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York public meetings are getting meaner and less truthful in the Trump era. A phenomenon we’ve unfortunately seen here in SoCal, too.

This is why people keep dying on the streets, as authorities manage to keep yet another dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Pennsylvania man with a history of blackouts and seizures behind the wheel faces a vehicular homicide charge for blowing a stop sign and plowing into a man on a bike; he’s had at least three other seizure related crashes.

Bicycling deaths are up nearly 30% over last year in South Carolina.

Atlanta installed a temporary pop-up bike lane connecting two other bike lanes for the next week to give everyone a chance to see how it works before they complain.

The admittedly drunk driver who plowed through a group of bike riders during a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade pled guilty to 14 counts, but will still go trial next week on two remaining counts of vehicular homicide; how much time be spends behind bars will be determined by whether a judge rules his BAC was above .20 at the time of the crash.

There’s a special place in hell for the Florida couple that held a 12-year old boy at knife point and took his bicycle, locking it inside their home.

 

International

Forget carbon. Your next ebike could be made from injection-molded thermoplastic.

A London man is on trial for killing a pedestrian while he was riding an ebike, which was allegedly traveling faster than the law allows.

An English security cam video shows just how fast a bike thief can make off with an unlocked bike. Hint: How long does it take to hop on one and pedal away?

A British town is offering an amnesty to get people to return stolen bikeshare bikes.

The UK will reconsider the rules governing diplomatic immunity, after admitting government officials knew the wife of an American diplomat responsible for the hit-and-run death of a young motorcycle rider was going to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

An Indian regional leader multi-modaled his way to the voting booth, traveling by train and pedicab, and finishing the journey by bicycle.

 

Finally…

Undying for a good time. What good is a new bike path if it’s under water most of the year?

And why run for president when you can go by bike?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or watch Do the Right Thing, for that matter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

Which may be never.

 

Weekend Links: A call for bold action on bikeways, and driver high-fives passenger after dooring bike rider

My apologies.

We haven’t been able to correct the problem with email notifications yet. So if you’re not getting emails when new posts go up, we’re working on it.

And just keep coming back each day until we get it corrected.

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Nothing like reading an article, and finding one of your own comments cited to support the observations of one of your favorite writers.

Curbed’s Alissa Walker writes that it will take more than bike lanes to make bicycling safe, noting that while cities are “working hard to stripe streets with green lanes and helmeted stick-figure icons,” few have managed to build a continuous, protected and highly visible network of bike lanes.

She observes that US cities need to start with a grand gesture like the plan in Paris to turn a prominent riverfront highway into a grand boulevard for biking and walking, showing that biking is a “vital, valued part of Parisian street life.”

The best way to make biking safer is not to hide our bikes on a “quiet” side street, but to put them on display in the busiest part of the city—a vibrant, active, healthy city.

That’s something LA has yet to do, even though a complete network of bike lanes is called for on many of the city’s major boulevards under the new Mobility Plan.

Instead, we’ve moved the other way, removing major streets from the plan and shunting riders off onto those quieter side streets, where they won’t be seen or heard.

Or probably even ride, since that’s not where they want to go.

Which was what my comment was about.

For all the talk about LA moving past its auto-centric past into a more complete, multi-modal future, it remains just that.

Talk.

Let’s hope that the release of LA’s Vision Zero plan, which is due sometime this month, spurs some real commitment, let alone bold action, on the part of the city.

Because actions speak louder than words.

And right now, when it comes to bicycling, Los Angeles has its hands over its mouth, and fingers planted firmly in its ears.

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Caught on Video: A Chicago driver high-fives one of her passengers after dooring a bike rider, while the cop who responds threatens the victim with a ticket for not riding in the non-existent bike lane.

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Pro cyclist Tom Zirbel set a new American hour record in his final act before retiring, while finishing just short of Bradley Wiggins’ world mark.

A European sports site questions whether Alberto Contador can win another Grand Tour as he jumps to the Trek-Segafredo team; two-time Giro winner Ivan Basso follows him as part of the support staff.

A look at Day One of Mammoth Mountain’s Kamikaze Bike Games.

Cycling Industry News talks with mountain bike legend and bikemaker Gary Fisher.

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Local

Plans for a new and improved LAX include a network of bike lanes to provide safe access to the airport, which currently is extremely unwelcoming for cyclists.

Streetsblog looks at the new report calling for mobility sharing to help remove 100,000 vehicles from LA’s streets in just five years.

CiclaValley goes on a bike date with fellow bicycling parent LA Bike Dad.

The Border Grill’s Mary Sue Milliken writes about riding 300 miles in three days with 100 other chefs to help ensure no kid goes hungry.

Santa Monica Next asks six candidates for SaMo city council about the last time they walked or rode a bicycle.

A Pasadena councilmember asks LA Mayor Garcetti to help kill the much-hated 710 Freeway extension, saying the money would be better spent on a north-south boulevard, more bike lanes and widening other nearby north-south streets.

Bike SGV hosts a women-only bike ride to the Alhambra Farmer’s Market today.

Cycling in the South Bay discovers that most Palos Verdes Estates residents don’t actually hate cyclists, despite the impression given on unsocial media.

 

State

Construction begins on a four-year project to add bike lanes to the Bay Area’s Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

An Oakland driver took bike jacking to the extreme, running down a bike rider with his car, then driving off with his bicycle.

An Op-Ed in the UC Berkeley paper says the city must unite to support bike-friendly street designs.

A passing CHP bike cop helped save the life of a 30-year old Sacramento woman when she collapsed with a heart attack while playing kickball.

 

National

Bicycling explains how a pedal strike can, in fact, start a wildfire. Which is not that different from starting one with a careless swing of a titanium golf club.

An electric vehicle website finds what they consider the perfect bike rack for your new Tesla. Other than obscuring the license plate, which is illegal in most, if not all, states.

Las Vegas Magazine says there’s no shortage of great riding around the gambling mecca.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A state senator from Queens NY says the city should keep cyclists safe by installing traffic signals instead of bike lanes. Never mind that, despite his assertions, bike lanes have been studied and reviewed by the city, and proven to improve safety.

New York cyclists turn out in force to demand safer streets and increase police reforms under Vision Zero.

A Maryland bike thief traded up, breaking into a garage to take a Trek hybrid, and leaving a Huffy in its place.

 

International

Britain’s bike-riding countess is planning a 450-mile palace to palace ride.

An English physician says ebikes really are good for you and your wallet.

British police go undercover on bicycles to nab drivers making unsafe passes; motorists are given the choice of prosecution or a 15-minute lesson in how to pass a bicyclist safely. Thanks to Ed Ryder for the heads-up.

Penalties are going up for drivers in the UK who use their phones behind the wheel.

A Scottish farmer was fined for camouflaging a pipe running across a roadway after a bike rider was injured when he crashed into it.

The lawyer for a meth-using Aussie driver says it wasn’t really her fault that she killed a cyclist, because she might have been taking a nap at the time.

 

Finally…

You, too, can operate your own pop-up pedal-based bike bar. Are you really a pro cyclist if you have to pay to join the team, let alone actually race?

And why rush your pregnant wife to the hospital in a speeding car when you can go by cargo bike?

 

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