Tag Archive for budget priorities

New Broadway protected bike lane could be final Santa Monica bike project; DTLA 7th ST protected bike lane moves forward

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.

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.

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.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1256351201462870017

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.

………

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.

https://twitter.com/cycling_woman/status/1255909638907846659

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.

………

Local

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.

 

State

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.

 

National

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.

 

International

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.

 

Competitive Cycling

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.

 

Finally…

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. 

Morning Links: Not so fast for Vision Zero funding, Union Street protected bike lane, and Blumenfield bike ride

So much for the $91 million we were promised for Vision Zero.

Just days after LA Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he was proposing that amount for Vision Zero in next year’s budget, it turns to be yet another disappointment.

Instead, the newly released budget contains $90 million for all street safety improvements, which includes Vision Zero and any other street improvements. And while it’s a significant increase, that’s up from $78 million for street improvements in last years budget, not the $27 million that was budgeted for Vision Zero, as we were led to believe.

As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Meanwhile, the budget does call for $71 million to repave LA’s broken streets, and another $41 million for sidewalk repairs.

………

The bruising battle for safer streets goes on in Pasadena, with a public workshop schedule for May 9th to consider plans for a protect bike lane on Union Street.

Greg Gunther of the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition has put together this practically perfect primer for the project:

Protected bike lanes (PBL) are a simple concept with powerful benefits.

  • In essence, they’re like sidewalks for bikes
  • They put a protective buffer between drivers and bike riders
  • They make it pleasant for anyone to bike – just as sidewalks make it pleasant for anyone to walk
What are the benefits?
  • Increase safety 
    • 89% fewer bicyclist injuries 
    • Reduce driving stress by bringing predictability to the street 
    • Less sidewalk riding reduces pedestrian injuries
  • Promote economic vitality
    • Business revenue increases along PBL routes (NYC DOT, Measuring the Street, New Metrics for 21st Century Streets)
    • Bicycle lanes increase the value of nearby property

Why do PBLs Matter?

  • With increased safety, comes increased ridership (Do you think that biking in Pasadena feels unsafe?  You’re not alone… )
    • Most surveyed expressed an interest in riding a bike more often, but resist because it feels unsafe (2012 – Jennifer Dill)
    • Safe places to ride increase ridership – protected bike lanes have shown to create a proven spike in bicycle traffic (2014 – Monsere, et al)
  • With increased ridership, comes universal benefits
Why on Union Street?
  • Union Street is a major east-west corridor in Pasadena’s Central District – when combined with the proposed Bike Boulevard on Holliston Avenue we will have a network that connects Caltech, Pasadena City College with the Playhouse District, the Civic Center, Old Pasadena and the Gold Line
    • Current traffic volumes are far below the street’s capacity
    • Current plans for the street also include multiple pedestrian enhancements to make the entire street segment safer for everyone 
  • In the future, there are also plans under discussion that would create a “link” restoring historic connections between the Central District and the Arroyo – after that, watch out!
    • The Arroyo Seco Bike Path already provides more than 2 miles of protected bikeway from South Pasadena through Highland Park to Mt. Washington
    • Future improvements are slated to connect downstream to the Los Angeles River – bringing Downtown L.A. within biking reach across comfortable and safe protected lanes
What can I do to help make sure this happens?
  • Make sure you weigh in to voice your preferences
    1.  At minimum, Visit the project website and share your thoughts http://bit.ly/UnionStProtectedBikeLanes
    2.  Even more help:  Send an e-mail that registers your support to Rich Dilluvio [ RDilluvio@cityofpasadena.net ]
    3.  First Prize:  Attend the City’s Community Workshop
      • Wednesday, May 9th – 6:30 to 8:30pm 
      • Pasadena Presbyterian Church – 585 Colorado Blvd (@ Madison) – Gamble Lounge

“The best thing about a bike-friendly city isn’t the bikes – it’s the city!”

………

David Drexler took part in the rescheduled Blumenfield Bike Ride through Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s 3rd Council District in the San Fernando Valley on Saturday.

According to Drexler,

It was a great ride with all streets closed by LADP for us so we did not have to stop. I highly recommend it — lots of bike advocates were there and it was very well run.

He also reports the councilman’s wife and two kids were along for the ride, and Blumenfield told him they regularly ride as a family.

There may be hope for this city yet.

Councilman Blumenfield addresses the crowd

A good sized group gathers as Blumanfield prepares to lead the ride

It always helps to have a police escort

………

Richard Fox sends word of a new Facebook group for casual SoCal bicyclists.

A new Facebook group has been created for casual cyclists to share favorite rides, announce events, and develop ideas to improve cycling facilities throughout SoCal. Casual cyclists are those who prefer to ride at slow to moderate speeds on trails and low-traffic roads with bike lanes, or even sidewalks when roads seem dangerous to ride on. Most public cycling organizations and bike clubs are composed of road cyclists, racers, and commuters that lobby for safer roadways. We also want safer roadways, but we prefer riding on bike trails away from traffic altogether. This group joins together all the SoCal regions so that we can share experiences beyond our boundaries and help each other in our lobbying efforts. Follow or join at: www.facebook.com/groups/430036694076594/.

………

Local

Great piece from LA Times columnist Steve Lopez, who spends a day at a South LA bike shop to get a feel for the city’s spandex-free bike culture. Thanks to Alan Ginsberg for the heads-up.

A fundraiser organized by an LAPD officer raised over $5,000 for the family of fallen teenage cyclist Sebastian Montero; police are looking for his bike that was stolen two months before his death so they can return it to his mother.

The AP offers a brief report on Sunday’s CicLAvia.

Somehow we missed this one last week, as Wolfpack Hustle’s Don Ward and Bikes Belong founder and former Long Beach Bicycle Czar Charlie Gandy talk bike politics and environmentalism on Bike Talk.

 

State

It’s a well-deserved seven years behind bars for the 18-year old driver who killed a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student as he rode his bike to class in a drunken hit-and-run. Cases like this are doubly tragic; not only is one life needlessly ended and another ruined; but two families shattered.

 

National

c|net provides your guide to dockless e-scooters.

A new documentary about the faith and determination required to compete in the Race Across America will screen in theaters across the US on May 22nd.

Arizona’s Pima County offers a $2.1 million settlement to a bicyclist who was seriously injured on a bike lane described as a death trap.

The Illinois legislature is considering bills that would require drivers to learn the Dutch Reach, add bike questions to the driver’s test, and teach bike safety to school children.

A Massachusetts paper says the best way to celebrate spring is from behind the handlebars. Something we can probably all agree on.

A Brooklyn letter writer gets it, saying you don’t have to ride a bike to know that carving two blocks of police parking out of a protected bike lane is a mistake.

The same day the LA area celebrated its latest CicLAvia, New York opened up 30 blocks of the Great White Way to bikes and pedestrians for a two-mile carfree open streets event.

If they can do it there, we can do it anywhere. New York finally gives the boot to cars in Central Park. Raising hopes that maybe one day we can see cars banished from Los Angeles city parks, including Griffith Park. Because parks are for people, not cars.

 

International

A 60-year old Canadian woman is riding solo through 5,000 miles of the US and Canada.

No irony here. A British bus driver spent the day training to share the road with bicyclists, then got hit by a bus while riding his bike back home; police say the cell phone in his back pocket may have saved him from paralysis.

Nice video from the UK, where a man surprised his 88-year old father, a former cycling champ, with an ebike and swiftly got him back to racing form.

A 77-year old Scottish man spent three weeks shoveling dirt and debris from three miles of roadway to make it safe for bike riders, after being told the local government wouldn’t get around to it until summer.

Who says politicians are useless? A member of the Scottish parliament rescued an 81-year old bike rider who accidentally rode into a canal.

A Bollywood actress complains that five-star hotels don’t accept bicycles. But rides her single speed bike to them anyway.

Police in New Zealand are taking to their bikes after recognizing what the rest of us already knew — that bikes give you a better view of what motorists are really doing in their cars.

Tragic story from New Zealand, where a mountain biker has spent the last two months in a hospital paralyzed from the neck down except for a little movement in her arms after she was struck by careless trail rider, and calls for better bike rider behavior.

The killer hit-and-run epidemic has spread to law-abiding Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

Spoiler alert: Skip this section if you’re still planning to watch yesterday’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Cycling Weekly provides five talking points from Liège-Bastogne-Liège to impress everyone around the water cooler, who probably never heard of it.

Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels won the men’s race, while Michael Woods became the first Canadian to podium in Liège-Bastogne-Liège; Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen won the women’s race for the second year in a row.

Italy’s Alberto Bettiol will miss the Giro after breaking his left clavicle and a rib in the race, while women’s great Marianne Vos suffered a broken collarbone in a collision with another cyclist.

A semi-pro New Zealand cyclist is showing signs of improvement after being roused from a drug-induced coma following a collision that shattered his upper body.

Everything you always wanted to know about Lance Armstrong but probably didn’t care enough to ask.

 

Finally…

Be vewy, vewy quiet, we’re hunting KOMs. Why buy an ebike when you can just build one yourself?

And if you’re going to ride a bike naked in the middle of a thunderstorm, fasten balloons securely to protect your modesty.

Although if you actually had any, you probably wouldn’t be doing it to begin with.

 

Help make bicycling a priority in Santa Monica’s next budget

Santa Monica Spoke sends out a reminder that tonight’s Santa Monica City Council meeting will address budget priorities for the next two years at tonight’s meeting. Cyclists are encouraged to attend to ensure that bike projects receive the attention they deserve — especially in a city that ranks highest in it’s category for bike and pedestrian collisions.

When: Tuesday, February 8th 6:00 pm
Where: Santa Monica City Hall, Council Chambers (2nd Floor)
1685 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-9975 ‎

Personally, while I support the Spoke, it doesn’t look like I’ll speaking there or anywhere else for the next few days since I lost my voice following Sunday’s bike ride.

%d bloggers like this: