Tag Archive for biking while black

Morning Links: Smith vindicated for BWB, Beverly Hills Complete Streets meeting, and more e-scooter news

Good news.

The Alameda County DA’s office has dropped the charges against Najari Smith, founder of the Richmond, CA bike co-op Rich City Rides.

Smith was arrested by Oakland police on August 3rd while leading a weekly social bike ride, ostensibly for illegally playing amplified music.

However, witnesses at the scene were convinced he was busted for Biking While Black.

A statement released by the Oakland Police Department in response to the public outcry over the arrest said Smith was “impeding traffic” and “refused to provide identification or any information that would assist the officers in identifying him.”

Even though Smith says he cooperated with the officers and provided them with two forms of ID.

Fortunately, he won’t face any serious consequences for the misguided arrest. Although no one can give him back the two days he spent locked behind bars before making bail.

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Beverly Hills will hold a workshop to discuss Complete Streets in the former Biking Black Hole tomorrow night.

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Long Beach’s first evening Beach Streets event takes place this Saturday. Let’s hope CicLAvia follows their lead and schedules a few evening or nighttime events.

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Today’s common theme is yet another return to the e-scooter debate.

After a Cleveland woman was killed by a DUI driver while she was riding a scooter, the focus was on the dangers of scooters, rather than the dangers of drivers who admit snorting heroin before getting behind the wheel.

Streetsblog gets it, saying scooters aren’t a public safety hazard, but streets designed only for cars are.

He gets it, too. A Portland writer says if it makes sense to charge for scooters to use city streets, then it also makes sense to charge proportionately for cars to use them.

No bias here. The Philadelphia Inquirer says the e-scooter sky is falling, and it’s time for panic before they besmirch the city’s streets.

BuzzFeed says people with broken bones and missing teeth are turning up in ERs around the nation as a result of scooter crashes, although no hard data is available.

Bloomberg may have the smartest take, saying scooters pose a serious challenge to the reign of cars by providing convenient first and last mile solutions, as well as transportation for quick errands.

And Santa Monica is dealing with the problem of haphazardly parked scooters by providing designated scooter parking on the sidewalk. Although a better solution would be to replace a car parking spot with parking for the more efficient scooters.

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Local

Streetsblog offers a review of Sunday’s sparsely attended open streets event in Huntington Park and Vernon, which could have benefited from better promotion.

CiclaValley previews Bike Walk Burbank’s 4th Annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

Still no word on who is behind the rash of shootings at Malibu Creek State Park, or whether bike riders, hikers and campers are safe there after a camper was murdered earlier this year.

 

State

The California Sun lists seven must-see California destinations operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

The 11th Annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday across the iconic San Diego Coronado Bridge and around the San Diego Bay.

Stockton residents have installed a ghost bike for a rider who was killed in an unsolved 2016 hit-and-run.

This is who we share the roads with. A San Jose woman called the police after she got home at 2 am, and discovered a dead pedestrian lodged under her truck; she was not arrested, despite driving with a suspended license and an outstanding warrant for theft.

 

National

The Seattle Times applauds nearby Bellevue for a pilot bike lane project that uses a variety of separators, from bollards to planters, to determine what works best and how it’s accepted by the public and business owners.

An Albuquerque man offers an impassioned Op-Ed calling for drivers who hit bike riders to face justice and for the city to do more to protect bicyclists, after his friend who refused to own a car was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Texas Senator John Cornyn welcomes riders to this week’s Hotter’n Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, after helping out as a volunteer last year.

An Iowa bicyclist offers advice on how to avoid killing someone on a shared use path. Because someone recently did.

A Catholic monk stops in Oklahoma on an unsupported cross-country ride to promote religious unity; his indirect route has taken him over 4,000 miles to get just halfway across the US.

Video has been released of the crash involving the hit-and-run Kentucky mayor that sent a 16-year old girl to the hospital. It’s hard to see, but it appears to show the mayor’s SUV hit the girl’s bike without knocking her down, supporting his contention that she rode off without stopping.

A Detroit website examines the Motor City’s use of road diets to successfully remake its streets.

Pacific Standard magazine looks at ghost bikes, including a moving ghost bike prayer written by Pittsburgh minister.

New ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are the alternative transportation alternative for New Yorkers stranded by the shutdown of a major subway line. Not surprisingly, the mayor didn’t show up for his own widely promoted ride to promote them.

Oops. A New York cop admits on video that his supervisor ordered officers not to ticket people who park in bike lanes.

Pennsylvania police crack down on groups of teens who block traffic with their bikes and shout obscenities at drivers.

Now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike, because Ofo may be no more in DC, but a local bike co-op is selling off some of their bikes for the low, low price of $100.

 

International

A writer for the New Republic says the modern automobile must die in order to fight climate change.

The Mother Nature Network provides photos of 18 spectacular pedestrian and bike bridges around the world.

A European website looks at Complete Streets design in Vancouver, where they’re busy doing it right.

A Toronto writer recommends having your bike tattooed with a registration number from Britain’s Bike Registry to prevent theft and help recover it if it is stolen. I recommend the free Bike Index registration, but whatever you do, register your bike somewhere. Now.

WTF? A Toronto newspaper asks if bikeshare users give “real” cyclists a bad name. Unless your bicycle is imaginary, you’re a real cyclist until the moment you step off it.

A Hamilton, Ontario website calls a newly resurfaced road design “deranged” after the city blocks off space where a curbside bike lane could go, then paints sharrows in the traffic lane.

An Irish mayor has turned his own reserved parking space into a bike corral.

A bill in the Israeli Knesset would require all ebike riders to wear a helmet any time they’re on their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling tells you how to watch the Vuelta, if you’re willing to fork out the bucks; the race starts this Saturday, but won’t be carried on American TV. Let’s all send a big FU to NBC, which has decided to charge to stream the races they used to carry on cable.

No wonder women’s cycling is so exciting. A new study shows female cyclists race at a greater intensity than their male counterparts, who sustain more load and volume over longer courses.

Pro cyclist Lauren Hall retired after winning the final stage of the Colorado Classic, ending a career that included three national track cycling championships, and two second place finishes in the US road cycling championships.

The pros are going with snub nosed saddles.

 

Finally…

When your on-camera bike ride is only for the cameras. This is who we share the roads with, too; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

And always try to look up from your phone before hitting a parked car.

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Eid Mubarak to all observing Eid al-Adha today.

 

Morning Links: They Drive Among Us part deux, and Marina del Rey rider stopped for biking while black

How disappointing.

Last week we looked at the angry anti-bike rants of a self-described former Disney executive, as he vented his spleen over the cyclists who ruined his three week motorized trip through the late, great Golden State.

And how what he termed “nasty, radical bike Nazis” and “selfish bicycle jackasses” were ruining it for everyone with their war on cars.

Never mind that if there really is such a war, the cars are winning.

I was actually looking forward to the promised second part of Greg Crosby’s rant, the same way some people used to pay to see train wrecks.

Sadly, though, he reveals himself to be just another conspiracy nut, convinced there’s a secret plot to use bicycles to turn America into a third world country.

As proof, he offers the bios of the staff of the California Bicycle Coalition, who are well respected in Sacramento. But not, sadly, by our esteemed Mr. Crosby, who faults them all as “proud radicals” and “social justice activists.”

And what do those crazed radicals want? To triple the amount of bicycling by building bikeways — paid for, in his estimation, with your hard-earned gas taxes and registration fees.

Never mind that most bicyclists also drive and pay those same taxes and fees. Or that the general public subsidizes the roads he drives, since those fees cover only a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining the roads.

And never mind the free on-street parking that most drivers seem to feel is a God-given right.

He goes on to complain about being unable to pass cyclists with at least three feet distance, as the law now requires, as if the requirement to pass a bike rider safely was something new. Drivers were always expected to pass at a safe distance; the three foot law merely codifies what that distance is, unlike the six inches some motorists seem to find acceptable.

And he closes with a hint at conspiracy, noting that cities like Burbank have been narrowing streets by building center islands and extending sidewalks. Not to improve safety, in his apparent estimation, but just to frustrate drivers like himself by making it impossible to pass a cyclist.

Oh, the humanity!

Just imagine, all those drivers forced to endlessly idle behind slow-moving bikes, unable to ever get home to their families because of a vast leftwing conspiracy to bring America to its knees.

In all, his rumblings were a disappointment.

Just the self-deluded babble of an angry, indignorant* man so desperate to find someone to blame he creates an enemy in his own mind, rather than taking a few moments to try to understand the world from someone else’s perspective.

How sad.

Then again, he may have relatives overseas, as one British Lord blames bike lanes for London’s traffic congestion, which evidently didn’t exist before they were put in. And another suggests cycling has done more harm to the city than anything since the Germans relentlessly bombed the city.

*Indignorant, an expression coined by my friend Will Campbell to describe someone who is both indignant and ignorant, usually willfully so.

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A celebrity chef is justifiably outraged after he was pulled over by police — most likely sheriff’s deputies — in Marina del Rey for biking while black.

According to his video statement, he was stopped for “going too fast,” and asked if he was running from something; the officer also implied that his pale blue t-shirt might be some sort of gang attire.

Just to be clear, unless he was riding faster than the posted speed limit, or somehow going too fast for conditions, which was highly unlikely, he wasn’t going to fast.

Period.

We should be long past this sort of harassment. Let’s hope he got a badge number and files a complaint.

And that someone in the department actually cares.

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Sometimes zoning and planning regulations can seem a little arcane, at best. But this PSA from Ottawa, Canada clearly explains in just 90 seconds the harm minimum parking requirements can do, and how getting rid of them can make room for bike lanes and transit.

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Call it Strickland’s Law.

Bicycling Magazine’s Editor in Chief Bill Strickland nails it when it comes to any discussion involving bike helmets:

“Anything written or shown anywhere about cycling with or without a helmet can devolve into a helmet debate — and with enough time all will.”

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Local

CapoVelo looks at South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club and the work they do to keep kids out of gangs and off drugs.

The LACBC looks at last weekend’s effort to Clean Up Mulholland with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Bike Walk Glendale invites you to light up your bike for the holidays with a Holiday Bike Ride this Sunday.

The Eastside Bike Club — not to be mistaken with the East Side Riders — hosts their annual Christmas Bike Ride to Downtown LA next Tuesday.

 

State

The Fresno Bee asks if a $150 million allocation will solve California’s transportation woes.

Merced may have to abandon plans to extend a bike path because the route infringes on raptor habitat.

It was a bad day in the Bay Area. A 26-year old man is under arrest for allegedly killing a cyclist while speeding and driving on the wrong side of the road. And a San Jose woman was killed while riding her bike near a park at eight in the morning.

A Chico woman will spend her summer riding across the US to build affordable housing with Bike and Build.

 

National

The president of the American Public Works Assoc says the new $305 billion federal transportation bill lacks “targeted funding for bike and pedestrian projects that promote physical and social health, decrease emissions, and ease congestion.”

Now that’s what I call an e-bike.

A Portland cyclist was killed by an allegedly stoned hit-and-run driver at a spot where a writer had warned of danger just the day before.

A writer in my hometown offers 10 reasons why cars are in decline. None of which Mr. Crosby would probably agree with.

A writer for the Louisville KY paper calls for a three-foot passing law in the bike-unfriendly state, which is rated 49th out of the 50 states.

The entire bicycle committee of Salem MA resigned at once to protest their concerns being ignored. Good for them; let’s hope the city takes the hint.

Nice gesture, as Buffalo NY police give a new bike to the family of a four-year old boy who survived on milk and maple syrup for two days after his mother died unexpectedly.

Under the first 10 months of New York’s Vision Zero plan, crashes are up 1%, while traffic fatalities are down 12, and injuries have decreased 2.5% — even if some drivers don’t like the new lower speed limits.

 

International

The Calgary paper says it takes a special kind of creep to steal a bike from a special needs kid. No argument here.

A London cyclist urges people to look out for each other on the roads, after surviving a crash with a stoned driver.

A British driver who deliberately slammed into a cyclist last June has confessed to murder most foul.

A London bike advocate discovers the loudest voices aren’t always the majority, as most local residents support a plan to turn their neighborhood into a bike-friendly Mini Holland.

Former Lance Armstrong team sponsor Discovery Channel could be the new owner of the Giro d’Italia.

A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates is encouraging cyclists to participate in the paper’s own ride to work day next month.

An Aussie woman’s post went viral after saying she wanted to give a bike to someone whose kids really needed it, not someone “who wastes money on cigarettes;” she finally settled on a family whose daughter spent six weeks in the hospital after nearly drowning.

 

Finally…

If you don’t want a ticket, make sure you understand the local dialect. Evidently, one of the best states for bicycling in Australia is France.

And go ahead and proudly wear that bike cap, even if it makes you look like a dork.

 

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