A special thanks to Los Angeles Bicycle Attorneys Josh and Paul Cohen of Cohen Law Partners for renewing their sponsorship for the coming year.
They join title sponsors Pocrass & De Los Reyes in renewing their support, despite these troubling economic times.
It’s their sponsorship that allows me to do what I do, and bring you the latest and best bike news on a daily basis.
Without their support — and yes, yours — this site would not be possible, at least in its present form.
Now saddle up, because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.
Let’s start in Santa Monica, where good things are happening.
And not so good.
On the plus side, David Drexler sends word that the city has taken advantage of the slow traffic during the coronavirus shutdown to install parking protected bike lanes on a short section of Broadway.
Look at this, a gift to cyclists from Santa Monica. They took advantage of the low corona traffic to redo Broadway thus far from 20th Street west a few blocks. They moved the parking away from the curb and replaced it with a very protected bike lane on both sides. These photos were a taken at 19th and Broadway. Not sure how far they will extend it. It goes from 20th to the Santa Monica food coop right now, then the old green lane picks up there.
The picture of the G on the ground is probably where they will pain green.
It makes cycling much safer in those lanes than the ones next to traffic, I feel. Hope they do more.
On the other side of the ledger, Santa Monica is planning to make drastic cuts to city funding in response to the loss of sales tax revenue due to the lockdown.
Advocacy group Santa Monica Spoke joins with other organizations to warn that excessive cuts to the transportation department could imperil the safety of vulnerable road users, as well as any post-pandemic economic recovery.
Santa Monica’s economy depends on a functioning transportation network that safely moves people, goods and services. Current proposed budget cuts will be destructive to transportation work, will disable basic functions, and slow our safe recovery from this pandemic. Transportation staff, infrastructure and services are classified as essential government functions* and perform vital functions that literally keep our community running safely. These cuts will damage safety and the very fabric of services and programs that we depend on living in Santa Monica…
These essential life saving functions are under threat with extreme plans to cut over half of the City Transportation and Mobility Division compared to 20-40% across other departments. While we can only imagine the stress and burden of decisions weighing on City Council, this level of cuts would severely impact basic public safety and infrastructure operation functions, wounding our city’s ability to rebound fiscally from the COVID-19 crisis. It is imperative to be strategic. We must consider the holistic dynamic relationships, dependencies and functions that contribute to safety, economic stability and regrowth. While the City suffers catastrophic shortfalls, we should not use a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed to balance new budgets. Council needs to take time to cut costs strategically, while maintaining essential staff that would facilitate a safe and secure path to economic recovery and resilience.
As part of the cutbacks, Santa Monica plans to cut all bike, pedestrian and Vision Zero funding for the next year.
Which means those Broadway protected bike lanes may be the last we’ll see for awhile.
In the 12 months pre-pandemic (3/19 – 3/20), 24% of public safety calls (SMPD and SMFD) were automobile related.
We could handle many of these incidents more efficiently (cost-wise) with prevention instead of reaction. But Santa Monica plans to cut all the preventive programs. https://t.co/1O5N96CRZW
— Steven White (@StevenMWhite) May 4, 2020
The Santa Monica City Council will hold a virtual council meeting tomorrow to discuss the proposed budget cuts.
Santa Monica Spoke urges you to contact the councilmembers to demand continued funding of the Transportation Department, and ongoing support for bicycle, pedestrian and Vision Zero projects.
Because lives depend on it.
And the proposed cuts are more than just a scratch.
Evidently, Vision Zero isn’t completely dead in the City of Angels.
Just badly wounded.
7th street is getting some new and exciting safety and mobility improvements. Come learn more at a virtual workshop on May 6 at 5:30 pm. Register here: https://t.co/J0AFy1URcq pic.twitter.com/oRun0D1gbJ
— LADOT Livable Streets (@LADOTlivable) May 2, 2020
The program is rising from a premature grave, as LADOT invites you to attend a free public workshop to discuss plans to fix 7th Street in DTLA.
And about damn time, since the existing bike lane is largely unrideable much of the time, and usually serves as nothing more than free parking in front of the Bloc shopping mall.
And the only rule governing traffic on 7th seems to be to aim for the soft, squishy people instead of the cold, hard cars.
You can learn more about the project here.
Thanks to Kent Strumpell for the heads-up.
Meanwhile, Streets For All offers a glimpse of what could be if LA actually remembers it has an already-approved Mobility Plan.
You can see a larger, interactive version of the above map here.
And here’s the link to the petition, since the link in the tweet is broken.
Bike Angeles examines some unexpected improvements along a two-mile stretch of Vineland Ave in North Hollywood.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Sigh… this is not how social distancing works. Please don't spoil it for the rest of us. https://t.co/3x6c75Io2a pic.twitter.com/ywt7JfQ8vB
— /r/BikeLA redditors (@BikeLAredditors) May 2, 2020
When a bike rider hits a pedestrian, it usually end badly for both parties.
Which is exactly what happened in Berkeley on Saturday, where a 55-year old man on a bike crashed into a 60-year old woman, leaving both victims in critical condition.
Although it’s not clear how it happened, since police say he was riding in the street and she was standing on the sidewalk; a witness says the man on the bike must have had “mental issues.”
The same thing happened in Minneapolis, where a pedestrian is in critical condition and a bicyclist seriously injured following a crash.
Anyone who’s ridden for awhile can tell you it’s not always the bike rider’s fault in a situation like that; people are unpredictable, and can step out into the street without looking for someone on a bicycle.
But it’s always our obligation to ride carefully around pedestrians, because they’re the only ones more vulnerable than we are. And be prepared to stop or swerve to avoid crashing into someone.
Especially if you’re riding on a sidewalk.
This working from home thing might just catch on after all.
Thanks to W Corylus for the link.
Maybe it’s not the best idea to draft a dump truck in heavy traffic.
Sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Nashville police are looking for a goateed, bike-riding miscreant who smashed a jewelry store window with a cinderblock and made off with over 200 rings. Although as someone who spent a decade in the jewelry business, I’d question why the window wasn’t shatterproof glass, and the rings in a safe after hours.
A Scottish thief made off on his bike after taking over 100 wedding rings worth more that $124,000 in a grab and run.
Streetsblog examines the massive failure of LA city officials in cancelling a Slow Streets social distancing program in the Del Rey neighborhood, just hours after it was announced.
The LA Times says city officials think closing streets for social distancing just too risky, even though other cities throughout North America are doing exactly that. Evidently, they think we’re calling for CicLAvia-style street closures that would draw people from across the city, rather than closing a few streets in every neighborhood to allow people to get outside without risking their health and safety.
Dylan McDermott is one of us, as the Hollywood star went for a bike ride through Pacific Palisades with his family.
Santa Monica residents join the chorus of voices demanding safe space on the streets for social distancing.
A Chula Vista bike rider suffered a leg injury when he or she was was right hooked while riding in a crosswalk by a truck driver, who never bothered to look the direction he was turning.
Britney Spears is one of us, posting a photo showing her riding her bike with her boyfriend near her Thousand Oaks home in happier, pre-pandemic days.
A Santa Barbara bike rider is in critical condition after he was run down by what must have been a self-driving car, since the story does’t even mention a driver.
Bay Area bike shops can’t keep up with the demand as business booms during the coronavirus pandemic.
It takes a major schmuck to steal bikes and tools from a nonprofit San Jose bike co-op as they were preparing to reopen next week.
This is why you shouldn’t try to reclaim a stolen bike by yourself. A Santa Rosa man is recovering from stab wounds to his hand after he approached a man who was riding his stolen bike.
Sacramento will block or limit motor vehicle traffic on some streets to make more room for social distancing. On the other hand, San Jose says don’t hold your breath.
Yes, May is Bike Month, even if everything has been cancelled and too many cities won’t give an inch on the streets during the coronavirus pandemic. Including Los Angeles.
Zwift wants you to ride or walk in place to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders.
Bike Snob says road cycling isn’t dead after all, even if gravel is all the rage.
An eight-year old Honolulu boy got his stolen bike back after conservation officers spotted it outside a state park.
You don’t mess with an angry dog — or a grandfather. Reality TV star Dog the Bounty Hunter is offering a $1,000 reward for the “scum” who stole his granddaughter’s bike from the family garage in Hawaii.
A New York nurse continues to bike to work, even after she was hit by a driver.
We already know NFL quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. But apparently supporters of his new team are just figuring it out, as fans are shocked by his “absurd” 74-mile Florida ride.
People around the world are being encouraged to see bikes as a post coronavirus commuting option — when they’re not getting stopped by the cops for doing exactly that.
Bike historian Carlton Reid offers a warning from history despite the boom in bicycling during the Covid-19 lockdown. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.
Bike Radar explains what muscles are used to ride a bike, and offers advice on what to wear when you ride one. Never mind that you can ride in anything from T-shirt and shorts to a three-piece suit. But the right clothes can make it a hell of a lot more comfortable.
Road.cc says you’re not a pro, so you don’t have to ride like one.
A nine-year old Ontario boy has set out on a 621-mile bike ride to raise funds for a local health foundation, riding roughly six miles a day.
When a Nova Scotia nursing home worker went to pick up her bike after having it repaired, the shop surprised her with a new bicycle to thank her for her work on the frontlines of the Covid-19 battle.
Speaking of rising from a near grave, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns from his extended absence due to Covid-19, and calls on the country’s mayors to take action to encourage bicycling and walking, and keep cars out of city centers.
Noel Gallagher is one of us, as the former Oasis singer and guitarist rode his bike near his English home, despite the country’s lockdown.
British band Glass Animals talks about the 2018 bicycling crash that nearly took the life of the band’s drummer and left him unable to walk, talk, eat, read or write for a time.
Members of a Scottish cycling club honored one of their own, lining the street with their bikes and club kits to show respect for a member who died of Covid-19.
A Catholic priest in the UK had to deliver his daily podcast and evening prayers as he walked home, after going out for a bike ride and suffering successive flats.
Just call it Strassenverkehrsordnungnovelle. Germany announced a raft of changes to traffic laws, including banning parking in bike lanes, allowing people to ride two abreast, and prohibiting drivers from passing bike riders or motorcycles in narrow areas.
Over 3,500 Slovenians rode their bikes in defiance of the lockdown to protest a ban on bike riding, as well as government interference in procuring protective gear and ventilators.
Tragic news from India, where a couple were killed in a collision along with two other people, after a kindhearted truck driver offered them a lift after riding 250 miles because they couldn’t find any other form of transportation.
An Indian op-ed calls for more space on the roads for people walking or biking, arguing that the biggest hurdle in making making it more popular in the country is a lack of necessary infrastructure.
Tokyo commuters are taking to their bikes to avoid the risk of infection on the city’s packed trains.
A UK paper looks back at what they call the toughest bike race ever ridden, a snowy seven-stage, 1,300-mile race through the battlefields of the just-ended Great War, as well as in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic.
Apparently assuming Covid-19 will blow over by then, officials tell pro cyclists to be ready for an August 29th start for the Tour de France.
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome says the race can work without spectators, but isn’t sure organizers can keep them away.
June’s mountain bike worlds was just the latest race to fall victim to the coronavirus, while September’s European road championships were put off until next year.
A British man raised the equivalent of $16,000 by riding the length of the Tour de France without ever leaving his apartment.
Your next bike could be a seatless Penny Farthing. Or long enough to let you maintain social distance from your tandem partner.
And when you’re drunk, riding salmon, and carrying an open container, at least put some damn lights on your bike.
And don’t fight with the cops that try to stop you.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.