Tag Archive for CA gas tax

Metro forgets Complete Streets promises, help put the buena back in Buena Park, and Newsom to bike riders: drop dead

Once again, Metro gets it wrong.

In its zeal to keep building highway projects in the midst of a climate emergency, the LA County transit agency is starting work on a new $26 million interchange where the 605 and Beverly Blvd meet.

But despite the agency’s professed commitment to Complete Streets, they’re not including bike lanes, even though the roadway will be wide enough to accommodate them at some distant, unspecified date.

Because evidently, they just can’t find a few extra bucks in that $26 million budget for a couple more cans of white paint.

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Speaking of Metro, Streets For All takes the agency to task for their ever-expanding freeway spending.

As if they didn’t learn anything about induced demand from their failed $1 billion project to add express lanes to the 405 through Sepulveda Pass.

Which they probably didn’t.

This is was the email the group sent out yesterday.

Did you know Metro is planning on increasing their freeway budget by $142 million next year?

Metro’s 2023 draft budget will increase Freeway spending by 30%. This comes after last year’s 80% increase in freeway spending, and at the same time as transit expansion funding is being decreased in 2023.

Freeways continue to cause massive health and climate impacts among LA’s most vulnerable populations while making traffic worse.

Tell the metro board not to increase freeway spending by calling in to the Metro Board meeting tomorrow at 10am (most impactful) or emailing public comment before 5pm TODAY.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to send an email. But you may still have time to call in your comment this morning.

Meanwhile, Metro will consider a pair of bikeway projects at today’s meeting that would connect the LA River bike path with Union Station in DTLA.

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Help put the buena back in Buena Park. The OC city wants your input on a new Complete Streets project.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom is once again throwing money around prior to an election.

But this time, it goes out to everyone but us.

At stake is the governor’s proposal for a $400 per car rebate for drivers, in lieu of freezing the gas tax as a sop to people complaining about rising gas taxes.

The money would go out to everyone with a car registered in California, for up to two vehicles, no matter how wealthy the owner, or how environmentally destructive the vehicle is.

Or if it even uses gas.

Meanwhile, transit riders would get a three month fare reprieve. And a relatively paltry $500 million would go towards active transportation projects in the state.

In other words, Newsom is doing everything in his power to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets, regardless of the environmental damage, rather than use the crisis as an opportunity to make a sea change in how people get around in our state.

And not one penny to the people who did the right thing, and made the sometimes difficult, but environmentally sound, decision to give up their cars.

Instead of rebates to car owners who don’t need them — and in many cases, should have purchased a less wasteful and destructive vehicle to begin with — Newsom should make all transit systems within the state free.

Not just for three months, but permanently.

He should also pay people a monthly stipend to walk or bike to work instead of driving — enough to actually get people out of their cars. Then use the remaining funds to build the infrastructure necessary to support it.

Instead, we’re just doubling down on the same problems that got us here in the first place.

And learning absolutely nothing from the last gas crisis, while just setting us up for the next one.

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Unbelievable. A young Indian boy miraculously survives when his bike was crushed by a city bus after he darted out across the roadway on his bicycle and broadsided a motorcyclist, then skidded across the roadway just inches in front of the moving bus.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

No bias here. A Santa Barbara letter writer and former “frequent bicyclist” complains about the “bike lobby” that has “gained outsized power in the city government,” while conflating off-street bike paths with on-street bike lanes, and complaining that few people who ride the bike paths are riding to work. And that people in cars, who are apparently far more important than bike riders, really, really need their parking spaces. Although someone should ask him why he stopped riding, and if it had anything to do with a lack of safe bikeways.

A Scottish city is being justifiably criticized for leaving a huge lamppost in the middle of a new bike lane, evidently preferring to risk the safety of people using the lane than pay to move it.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

An anonymous Portland writer complains about “asshole bicyclists” who ignore No Bikes Allowed On Trails signs to ride on walking trails in environmentally sensitive areas. Aside from making it clear he or she is as much of an a-hole as the people they’re complaining about, the writer has a point. Never ride where you could cause real harm to fragile landscapes.

Police in Ohio are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who slammed into the side of an SUV after running a stop sign, and took off on foot when the driver called the police.

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Local

Metro Bike returns to North Hollywood with new and improved bikeshare docking stations designed to accommodate any Metro Bike from anywhere in the city.

Culver City Patch reports on the 10th anniversary celebration of children’s bike advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers.

 

State 

That feeling when your new Ducati bicycle isn’t made by Ducati, but comes as a tribute to the Italian motorbike brand from an Irvine-based ebike maker.

Danville is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s six-person Bicycle Advisory Commission.

A Sebastopol winemaker faces up to 12 years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunken crash that took the life of a bike-riding man, and cost the leg of a 12-year old boy who just happened to be riding near him; or he could walk with just time served. Ulises Valdez Jr. was nearly twice the legal blood alcohol limit following the collision.

 

National

Forbes offers their picks for the best bikes to ride anywhere, from the mountains to the bodega.

Bicycling offers a clickbait slideshow with their recommendations for the ten best women’s bike helmets for any kind of rider. Because why let someone just scroll to the one that suits them when you can get a few extra clicks? As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

This is the cost of traffic violence. A speeding San Antonio, Texas mom lost control and rolled her car, killing an innocent 18-year old bike rider, while injuring herself and her baby. Anyone who drives like that with a baby in the car should have either the car or the baby taken away.

Houston police were quick to blame the victim after a bike rider was killed by a  dump truck driver in a pre-dawn crash, accusing him of darting in front of the truck in what appears to be a single witness crash. Which seems somewhat unlikely, since most bike riders try to stay the hell away from massive trucks.

Completing our Texas trifecta, a Seguin, Texas man was extradited from Mexico for the fatal 2018 shooting of a man riding a bicycle; no explanation was given for why he allegedly murdered the victim, who was described as a good man who helped his neighbors.

A Kansas City public radio station profiles the city’s Black-led Major Taylor Cycling Club, saying they may not be the fastest, but make everyone feel welcome.

She gets it. A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer says you can support both small businesses and bike lanes, and that the two actually complement and benefit one another.

A New York morning newspaper says a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane brought a belated bike boom to the Brooklyn Bridge. Either they have an editor who loves alteration almost as much as I do, or they had an over-abundance of Bs they had to use before they went bad.

A Pittsburgh PA bike shop also hosts the world’s largest bicycle museum, with over 4,000 bicycles of every description.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, five of the eight cops involved have been fired for the fatal tasing of a man accused of riding a bicycle without permission; the victim was shocked repeatedly in a short period of time for the crime of taking the unattended bike for a test ride around the block.

To the surprise of no one, an arrest warrant has been issued for the woman who led a bike cop on a slow speed chase through a Florida airport while riding a self-propelled suitcase after she failed to appear for a court hearing.

 

International

They get it. A Halifax, Nova Scotia newspaper says SUVs are driving us to climate calamity, adding it will never be environmentally sound to use two tons of material to move roughly 200 pounds of human.

A self-described bicycling virgin shares their thoughts on riding in Manchester, England.

London’s mayor says the reputation of the city’s transportation department is at stake if bicyclists keep dying at a busy intersection.

A former British mayor and councilor accused bike riders ignoring a ban on bikes on a popular climb of being “an organized gang…who are up to no good.”

Luxembourg — the city, not the country, although the city is in the country — announced plans for seven new bike boulevards, joining three successful bike boulevards opened last year. Although someone should tell them that bikes and cobbles like the ones in the photo aren’t the best combination.

A new Italian bike light puts out a massive 5,000 lumens, yet weighs less than two ounces; it can be yours via Kickstarter starting around $138.

The women who founded Turkey’s annual Fancy Women Bike Ride have been honored with a special UN recognition for promoting bicycling; the ride has now spread around the world.

The US has finally removed the onerous 25% tariff on many Chinese bicycles, including kid’s bikes, ebikes and accessories.

That tariff change comes just in time for a Chinese company introducing a new wireless ebike charging system, which works like a charging pad for your cellphone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Magazine looks at the surprisingly long list of active pro cyclists who died of heart attacks.

 

Finally…

Your toddler may get a magnesium-framed Bentley before you do, if you do. Your dog may get a Burley before your kid does.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging ostrich escapees.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Gas rebate plan excludes non-drivers, arrest in Otay Mesa hit-and-run murder, and bike helmet blamed for Ukraine war

Let’s start with a look at the soaring price of gas in the Golden State.

With the state average now well over $5 a gallon — and approaching $7 in some areas — Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a tax rebate to refund some of that pain at the pump.

The advantage of a rebate, rather than suspending the state gas tax, is that it won’t affect critical funding for road repair and improvements, according to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

However, a rebate targeting only people who own motor vehicles will miss everyone who choses not to contribute to the problem, by riding transit, riding a bike or walking. Even though everyone pays higher gas prices in the form of climbing prices for food, and everything else that’s transported by truck.

Particularly when LA Metro just made drastic cuts in bus and train service.

A tweet from David Weiskopf offers the best suggestion, recommending that the rebate take the form of a general transportation credit, which can be applied to transit, bicycles, ebikes, bikeshare, electric vehicles or just “pissed away on gasoline.”

As he suggests, it would be interesting to see just what people actually choose. And getting people out of their cars would reduce some of the demand forcing prices up.

Although I want to see who people blame for high gas prices when oil companies start reporting record profits in a few months.

Meanwhile, blame once again falls on LA’s failed leadership, or the lack thereof.

Los Angeles has had a full decade to build out the city’s bike and mobility plans, which should have been 40% complete by now if city leaders plan on meeting their self-imposed deadline of 2035.

Instead, both plans are gathering dust in some dark corner of the city servers, instead of providing the safe, convenient alternatives to driving that Angelenos were promised a decade ago.

So if you or your loved ones feel like you don’t have any practical alternative to driving, despite the rising prices, you know who to thank.

Evidently trees are out to get us, too, with today’s photo of fallen tree limbs attacking the Metro Bike dock at Runyon Canyon. And a dog, too.

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Maybe Octavio Mendoza will see justice, after all.

The 40-year old father was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Otay Mesa this past November, in an attack that police investigators believe was intentional.

Now 51-year-old Fernando Salazar faces a murder charge, after he was arrested for the killing while coming back into the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on Monday.

It’s not yet clear whether this was a random case of road rage, or if the men knew one another.

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Apparently, if Obama hadn’t worn a bike helmet, Ukraine might not be under attack today.

BoingBoing looks back to the good old days of 2014, when Fox News blamed the then-president for Putin’s invasion of Crimea and the Donbas by insisting his bike helmet made him look weak.

No, really.

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For some reason, I still can’t embed tweets on here, so we’ll have to settle for a few semi-decent descriptions.

First up, Dr. Grace Peng asks us to join her in requesting that the Redondo Beach Police not to lump mopeds and high-powered ebikes capable of traveling over 25 mph in with other bikes and ebikes, after a huge jump in bicycle citations due to bike riders exceeding the 25 mph speed limit on residential streets.

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A Denver bike owner got their stolen bicycle back when bike shop workers checked Bike Index when someone tried to sell it to them.

Yet another reminder to register your bike, for free.

Now.

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Really disappointing that we can’t embed this one, since it features a really cool short video of a 1956 handcycle, with the hand crank awkwardly mounted on the crossbar of a standard bicycle frame.

More modern handcycles are a tad more practical, however.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Continuing this week’s theme of dangerous drivers from across the pond, a British motorist deliberately swerved into a bike rider after shouting abuse for not riding in a bike lane.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

Mountain View police are looking for a suspect who slapped a pair of women on the butt as he rode past them on his bike, while making suggestive comments. And for anyone unclear on the concept, that’s not flirting, it’s not a prank, and it’s definitely not funny. It’s sexual assault. Period.

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Local

Streetsblog officially endorsed the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which would require the city to build out the mobility plan when streets in the plan get resurfaced.

The Mid City West neighborhood council is hosting a CD5 virtual candidate forum at 7 pm tonight; click here for the zoom link.

Streets For All is hosting a mobility debate on March 28th with at least four of the candidates to replace the resigning Mike Bonin in CD11.

British TV star Michelle Keegan is one of us, taking a bike ride on Venice Beach with her husband.

Your next ride along the San Gabriel River Trail could be a lot more pleasant, after the US Army Corps of Engineers removed 128 tons of trash and debris from the riverbed.

 

State 

Someone stole a teenage boy’s ebike in a strong-arm robbery on a La Jolla bike path, shoving the victim off his bike and taking off with it; police are looking for multiple high school-aged kids, including the primary suspect who rode off on the victim’s bike wearing a full motorcycle helmet and moto goggles.

 

National

Cycling Tips‘ James Huang says the new line of carbon fiber ebikes from America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks intriguing, but he has a lot of questions. Like why the website is short on photos and specs just four months out from the projected delivery date.

Wired talks with the woman who was behind the wheel, but allegedly watching videos on her phone, when a self-driving car prototype killed a bike-riding woman in Tempe, Arizona four years ago.

Seriously disappointing news from Denver, where my former LBS is going out of business after 51 years; Turin Bike Shop was a victim of rising rents and supply chain problems, as well as the owner’s pending retirement.

A Kansas City columnist reacts to news of a 60-something couple riding a tandem across the US by suggesting that too much togetherness means a “bicycle built for doom.” There’s no better test for the strength of any relationship than riding a tandem. Let alone across the country.

Texas officials are asking for the public’s help to rename and brand a more than 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting Fort Worth and Dallas. How about the Better Than Anything Here In Southern California Trail.

Cambridge, Massachusetts will intentionally miss a deadline to build out quick-build separated bike lanes by May 1st, saying they need more time to engage local stakeholders. Evidently, they don’t understand the concept of “quick-build.” And somehow couldn’t manage to engage those stakeholders in the six years since a bike rider was killed there. 

A group of 25 people riding from Florida to Texas stopped in Hammond, Louisiana to help repair homes damaged in Hurricane Ida.

Police in Daytona, Florida are searching for a person of interest in the horrific murder of a married couple, whose throats were cut while they were out riding their bikes last weekend.

 

International

Momentum offers a beginners guide to learning to ride a bike after middle age.

Next City profiles World Bicycle Relief and their work to provide inexpensive, reliable transportation for thousands of people around the world every year, calling bicycles one of the cheapest and easiest ways to lift people out of poverty. They have the same effect in this country, too.

Someone called out Oxford, England for a pair of recent bicycling deaths, crossing out “Cycling City” on the city’s welcome sign and writing in “One month, two dead cyclists.”

The British government wisely rejected a call for bike riders to be required to use a bell when they ride, saying there are other ways foe people on bicycles to make their presence known.

After thieves stole $153,000 worth of bikes and frames from a family-owned Irish bike shop, the owner has been overwhelmed by the support from the local community.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips examines the greatest rivalries in the modern women’s peloton.

In an all-too familiar story, the Colorado Classic women’s stage race is on life support, unless a sponsor steps up with $3 million to keep the race alive; otherwise, it will follow the late, lamented Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge into the “ever-growing graveyard of American pro cycling races.”

 

Finally…

Always use a coaster brake when riding at the beach, even if your bike doesn’t have one. Your next bike could have all-wheel drive, no hubs, a minimalist frame and wheels that run the full length of the bike.

And maybe there’s a loophole in the bicycle ban on LA’s Runyon Canyon.

Like just use one wheel instead of two.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Bike shops threatened by coronavirus, and Solvang Century organizer spreads false coronavirus conspiracy theory

Before we dig into today’s news, let’s consider one group that’s been ignored among all the fears for businesses and workers harmed by the coronavirus crisis.

Virtually every independent bike shop is already on the edge financially; most are lucky to eke out enough to keep the doors open each month. And too many already don’t.

Whether they’re forced to shut down, as they have been in the Bay Area, or simply are empty because people heed the calls to stay home, losing two week’s business could threaten the continued existence of your friendly neighborhood local bike shop; losing two months could lead to a mass LBS extinction.

I don’t have a solution.

Normally, I’d tell you to go into your favorite bike shop and buy something, anything. Or go in for the service you’ve been putting off too long already.

But that advice contradicts the advice of health experts to self isolate.

So if they have a retail website, maybe you can use it to order something. Or find some other way to throw them some business in their time of need.

Or at the very least, commit to going in and spending some money once this is all over, whenever that may be.

Because we all need to do something to help out now if we want them to still be here for us later.

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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Evidently, there was a bizarre dustup in the California bike world over the weekend.

Last week, questions began to be raised over whether the Solvang Century scheduled for this past Saturday would be cancelled, after repeated calls from government officials to limit exposure to large crowds due to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Yet despite the concerns, the ride director of the Solvang Century emailed that the event would go on as planned.

At least one person responded, calling the decision irresponsible.

Then Thursday night, Santa Barbara County health officials pulled the permit for the ride, as did city officials in Buellton and Solvang, over the “strong objections” of ride organizers.

Logically, that’s where it would have ended. Just another disappointment, in a weekend full of them, as the entire country braced for the pandemic.

But when he responded to someone asking about the cancellation, the ride director included an article about an MIT Ph.D who claimed the coronavirus is a deep state fraud intended to manipulate the world’s economies.

Then again, the researcher in question also claims to have invented email as a New Jersey high school student in the late 1970s, even though it was already in use nearly a decade earlier.

Unfortunately, the only link I can find to the original article included in the email appears to be corrupted.

But the same story appears on another site, with a slightly different headline. And includes the following tweet, which pretty much sums it all up.

If it is a deep state fraud, that means the CDC and World Health Organization are in on it. As are the governments of China, Italy and Spain.

And never mind the more that 182,000 people who claim to have gotten the disease around the world. Or the over 7,100 people who have died from it.

Let alone Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Idris Elba and Bond girl Olga Kurylenko, a handful of professional athletes in the US and Europe, and the wife of Canada’s prime minister.

You would think a massive worldwide fraud like that would be impossible to pull off.

And you’d be right.

Fox News doesn’t even buy that crap anymore.

As the entire world mobilizes to fight what is likely to be the worst pandemic since the 1919 Spanish flu outbreak, it doesn’t help anyone to spread false conspiracy theories, regardless of your politics.

Especially when it comes as temper tantrum because a bike ride got cancelled at the last minute to keep a killer disease from spreading uncontrollably.

Thanks to John Murphy for the tip.

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No bias here.

A Fresno op-ed writer agues that California Governor Newsom is misappropriating funds from the state’s increased gas taxes by allowing them to be used for things like bike lanes and road diets.

Never mind that the law simply requires that the funds be used for transportation projects. Not just highway repairs, as he seems to insist.

Evidently, he doesn’t think bikes are a form of transportation. Or that safer streets benefit everyone who uses them.

Yes, even people in cars.

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The LACBC becomes just the latest organization to close their office and cancel organized activities due to the threat from the coronavirus.

However, the San Diego County Bike Coalition wasn’t far behind. Unless maybe they did it first.

And Adventure Cycling has pulled the plug on organized tours nationwide through next month.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the last two links.

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Late notice, but the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals is hosting a webinar starting at noon today to discuss how Edmonton and Bellingham quickly and successfully implemented bicycling infrastructure; the cost is $85 for nonmembers.

Maybe we can get Eric Garcetti and the good folks at LADOT to sit in on this one.

Thanks to Marvin D for the heads-up.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. 

A British bike rider complains that a teenage driver used his car as a weapon to deliberately sideswipe him while one of the car’s passengers filmed the attack.

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Local

Due to coronavirus concerns, the LAPD now wants you to report most nonviolent crimes online. And yes, that includes bike theft.

Bike cam video shows bars were packed in West Hollywood on Sunday, just hours before they were shut down to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. And long after people were told to remain at least six feet apart. Although that’s clearly Santa Monica Blvd at San Vicente, rather than on San Vicente, as the story says.

 

State

Calbike wants you to write a letter supporting a bill that would require the DMV to include the Dutch Reach in their training manuals.

Bad news from Santa Maria, where a male bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Sunday night.

More bad news, this time from Central CA, where a 70-year old Madera man was killed riding his bike when he was struck by two drivers yesterday morning.

 

National

The Bike League is cooperating with Uber to train their drivers to protect bike riders, and train scooter users to protect themselves.

Road Bike Action Magazine compares three bike helmets under $150. And not surprisingly, finds the more they cost, the better they like ’em.

Horrifying news from Idaho, where a woman was found dead in a ravine, three days after she was apparently struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike. Unfortunately, we don’t know how long she clung to life after the crash, or if her injuries would have been survivable if she’d gotten help right away. Which is why hit-and-run drivers should face a murder charge for making a conscious decision to let their victims die rather than calling for help.

Kanye is one of us, as he goes for a ride on his $14 million Wyoming ranch. Although that is so not a mountain bike, despite what the story says.

After researching the issue, a group of North Dakota second graders are calling on the state to require helmets for bike riders under 18. Because everyone knows grade schoolers make the best independent researchers.

It only took a deadly pandemic to get New York’s mayor to finally halt the crackdown on throttle-controlled ebikes used by bicycle delivery workers, saying they’re performing a service as people are being asked to remain at home.

The son of Georgia Congressman Tom Graves is beginning the long, hard road to recovery after suffering severe head trauma when he crashed in a crit while competing as a member of the Georgia Tech cycling team.

 

International

Cycling News rates the best shoes for gravel biking. Not all of which cost an arm and a leg. 

A pair of independent English book shops are shutting down due to the pandemic, but offering free bicycle delivery service to keep their sales going.

Apparently, big chains aren’t doing so great, either. The UK’s largest bike chain is shutting down its performance bike stores, putting over two hundred jobs at risk.

A British inquest hears how a woman was killed when an ebike battery exploded inside their mobile home two years ago.

The Guardian examines how Oslo and Helsinki cut traffic deaths to zero last year.

Spanish riders risk fines up to the equivalent of over $3,300 for violating the country’s coronavirus ban on being outside, while an Italian bicyclist denies the country’s laws even apply to him.

 

Competitive Cycling

Four-time US mountain biking champ Sonya Looney continued to ride all through her pregnancy, posting a video of her rocking the rollers at a British Columbia bike park just days before giving birth.

 

Finally…

Note to world — if it doesn’t have any pedals, it’s a scooter. That feeling when you spot your stolen bike for sale online, and the cops tell you to just buy it back.

And your old tubes could have a sexy new life on someone’s legs.

 

Morning Links: Taking traffic safety deniers seriously, walking bikes on the Troutdale bridge, and Bruce Lee was one of us

Good to see you back after the long holiday weekend. 

Now grab your coffee and buckle in. We’ve got a lot of territory to cover, and a lot to catch up on.

Today’s photo captures an e-bakfiets used as an expensive marketing gimmick for a perfume pop-up at the Grove, photobombed by a hot and tired corgi.

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Call it a major misfire on this one.

A Sacramento-based reporter for the LA Times appears to take traffic safety deniers at face value, giving them a platform to complain about gas tax funds being used for active transportation.

Two years after state lawmakers boosted the gas tax with a promise to improve California streets, some cities have raised the ire of drivers by spending millions of the new dollars on “road diet” projects that reduce the number and size of lanes for motor vehicles.

Projects have touched off a debate as taxpayer advocates and motorists complain that the higher gas taxes they are paying for smoother trips will actually fund projects that increase traffic congestion.

Especially if those funds go towards reducing excess road capacity for motor vehicles, which increasing overall capacity by installing bike lanes.

Also known as the dreaded — to them — road diet.

Not to mention knee-jerk opposition from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn, which never met a tax they liked.

Gas tax money can legally go to such projects, but that does not mean it should, said David Wolfe, legislative director for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., which opposed the original gas tax increase and supported an unsuccessful statewide ballot measure last year to repeal it.It has since continued to watch and criticize how state and local governments are spending the money.

“When Proposition 6 was on the ballot, all voters heard was money would go to road repair and maintenance,” Wolfe said. “They want roads to be repaired. They don’t want roads to be taken away with their taxpayer dollars.”

Never mind that road diets have been shown to reduce overall crashes by 19% in the Golden State, and as much as 47% elsewhere.

So they’re complaining about using gas tax funds to save their own lives and repair bills.

Smart. Real smart.

Never mind also that $2.27 billion of the gas tax increase went to repair and maintain roads, while $750 million a year was set aside for transit projects.

And a paltry $100 million went to bike and pedestrian projects. Most of which benefit drivers, as well.

But try telling that to angry motorists and traffic safety deniers while they light their torches and sharpen their pitchforks.

“It’s creating gridlock on Venice Boulevard, which is then causing cut-through traffic into our neighborhoods,” said Selena Inouye, board president of the Westside Los Angeles Neighbors Network, a group formed in response to the project…

Inouye, a retired social worker, said having motorists pay higher gas taxes so the money can be used to reduce the capacity of roads is contradictory.

She and her husband are paying more than $4 a gallon for gas at her local service station, she said, a price that has been increased by the state gas tax.

“The money should be used to help with congestion overall, and I don’t think that road diets help congestion. I think they cause congestion,” Inouye said.

Even though no one else seems to be able to find that gridlock they keep complaining about. Or that only 12 cents of that $4-plus for a gallon of gas is due to the gas tax increase.

But those are just facts.

And facts just get in the way when you’re insisting on having yours.

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Malibu Hills resident Chris Willig forwards his observations on the absurd, and possibly illegal, attempts by LA County to force bike riders to walk over the newly reopened Troutdale bridge.

Mulholland Highway had been closed in Cornell for about 6-months since the Woolsey Fire which caused the Troutdale Bridge to melt. The catastrophe has vexed cyclists. They’ve been forced to use a detour of about 6 miles on Kanan Road to go around the closure.  And that route is plagued by increased traffic particularly 1,000’s of heavy debris laden trucks hauling the remains of burned out houses.

A temporary one-lane bridge opened Wednesday afternoon, but the celebration from the cycling community has been short lived. Cyclists have been banned from the main road bed with LA County officials trying to force people to walk their bikes on a pedestrian sidepath. This strange traffic configuration can been seen in the photo (viewing north from the south bank of Triunfo Creek) with all of the signage required to direct traffic. It seems ridiculous since the crossing is now controlled by a traffic light system to allow only oneway passage at a posted 10 MPH. As cyclists using this route are normally in road shoes, walking the 230 feet required seems dangerous. More importantly, if many cyclists take the detour trudging across the bridge as instructed, it is clear traffic will be interrupted by all the dismounting and remounting in the street, especially at the south terminus (pictured).

The safest and most convenient routing for road cyclists would be using exactly the same rules for auto traffic. Ironically, the only change from pre-fire norm would be we’d have to cut our speed in half to accommodate the cars slowed by the new speed limit.

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A ghost bike will be installed for fallen Valencia bicyclist Kori Sue Powers tonight.

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Bruce Lee was one of us.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

And this time, the other side is armed.

A Boyle Heights bike rider was shot in the arm in an apparent gang shooting Friday night.

San Diego’s boardwalk turned into a shooting gallery when an emotionally troubled man pulled out a rifle after getting into an argument with a bike rider, shooting at him several times — and missing, thankfully. Then tried to order an Uber to make his escape.

After someone in a passing Mercedes shot an Oakland woman in the ass with a pellet gun as she was riding her bike, she waited on the side of the road for the police to show up. Then gave up and went home, and waited another 12 hours before they finally bothered to stop by to take a report.

An Iowa bike rider was lucky to remain upright when a driver internationally swerved onto the shoulder of the roadway to sideswipe him, as a passenger leaned out the window to scream insults. And he’s got the video and a hole in his glove to prove it.

After someone shot an Arkansas bike rider in the leg, he refused to go to the hospital because he was afraid someone would take his antique bike.

A road raging Florida driver is under arrest for shooting a man riding a bicycle — for the crime of riding in the traffic lane, just like he’s supposed to.

A road raging Aussie man was busted for apparently following a bike rider home after a collision, pulling out a rifle and shooting at the rider’s home. Then leaving and coming back to do it again. And again.

Then again, not all the drivers used guns.

Some used weapons weighing a couple tons or more.

A Winnipeg bike rider watched as a semi driver flattened his bike, running over it in a road rage incident; fortunately, the victim had already gotten off to confront the angry driver.

A road raging Australian driver got mad after following a group of bicyclists, then cut in front and brake-checked them before turning into a driveway.

………

Then again, it’s not like people on bikes are automatic candidates for sainthood.

A Massachusetts man rode up to a convenience store on his bike, robbed it with a meat clever, and rode away again.

New York police are on the lookout for a bike-riding Bronx thief snatching smartphones from women.

You know we’re making progress when even an Irish mob hitman makes his getaway by bike.

And French authorities are searching for a bike-riding man who planted a nail-filled parcel bomb in Lyon, injuring 13 people.

………

Local

No surprise here, as The Eastsider says bridge construction has turned the LA River bike path into an obstacle course.

The LA Times looks at the latest gear and bikes for bikepacking, and examines the utter bliss of bikepacking in the backcountry.

CiclaValley concludes his Best Bike Weekend Ever trilogy with a look back at the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event.

A Bakersfield man visits LA for the recent Culver City to Venice CicLAvia, and discovers the best part of traveling is the people and animals you meet, while learning that his pug really likes riding a bike.

The LAPD is introducing sand-riding fat tire ebikes and ATVs to Venice Beach in an attempt to stop running over any more people sunbathing on the beach.

Chris Pratt’s six-year old son is one of us, as the actor and fiancé Katherine Schwarzenegger bought him a fat tire bike in Santa Monica.

If you’re a fan of riding a bike without actually going anywhere, head to the Santa Monica pier on Sunday for the annual Pedal on the Pier fundraiser.

Fans of the long-running British soap East Enders will be happy to learn that Patsy Palmer is one of us, as the actress went for a bike ride with her husband in the ‘Bu.

 

State

Three cities in North San Diego County — Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar — will team together for a 500-bike docked e-bikeshare system.

Sad news from Santa Cruz, where a 66-year old man was killed when he was struck by three separate cars while riding his bike on the coast highway.

Great op-ed in the New York Times from a Berkeley man, who considers the “inconvenience” posed by a lifetime of riding bikes as a one-armed black man.

A San Francisco man live-streamed his confrontation with a bike thief who was using a loud power tool to cut a lock and snatch a bike in broad daylight; the thief gave up and walked away after being challenged.

 

National

People for Bikes says inclusiveness is the way to grow the bicycling community.

Your next MIPS helmet could be full of fluid. Or you could wear one that looks like a baseball cap and folds to the size of a water bottle. Meanwhile, Forbes points out the obvious, noting that bike helmets don’t do a lot to protect your face.

Your next fat tire ebike could have three wheels — with two tandem tires in front.

A former Seattle cop and bike rider gets it almost entirely wrong, arguing that motorists automatically have the right-of-way on sharrows. And insisting that road diets and efforts to get more people on bikes are just a leftist plot. Never mind that there’s a pretty good conservative argument for bikes, too.

Great idea. A Seattle program gives bicyclists discounts at over 150 businesses in the city after buying a $5 sticker to put on their helmets.

It takes a major schmuck to steal an adaptive adult tricycle a Phoenix man used as his only form of transportation following a pair of strokes.

The architect behind the proposed Tucson AZ bike ranch across from the entrance to Saguaro National Park explains his plan in the face of local opposition. 

Police have issued an arrest warrant for an Austin TX woman who left the scene after running down a bike rider earlier this year after the victim picked her out of a lineup; apparently thinking she was getting hit on in a singles bar, she gave the victim a fake phone number before driving off. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the heads-up.

Kansas will install a beautiful permanent memorial to honor a fallen bicyclist who was killed in a collision while participating in the annual Trans-Am cross-country bike race last year.

A Kansas teen jumped into swollen flood waters to save the life of a 12-year old boy who was swept away while riding his bicycle.

Five hundred Detroit second graders got new bicycles, thanks to Chevrolet and the NHL’s Red Wings.

A new community garden will honor the victims of the Mardi Gras parade crash in New Orleans, where a drunk driver killed two bike riders and injured seven other people.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole 10-year old autistic Florida boy’s $5,500 adaptive tricycle — and just the opposite for the Good Samaritans who replaced it.

 

International

Mark your calendar for Monday’s World Bicycle Day.

How to be a good citizen of the bike lane.

Bicycling looks back on how bicycles helped defeat the Kaiser and win the war to end all wars. Which sadly didn’t.

A new Canadian study suggests your best protection could be a high-vis vest with a left-pointing arrow to tell drivers to move over to pass. Although that doesn’t replace the need for safe infrastructure.

Canadian advice for anyone thinking about dating a hardcore cyclist. Or maybe it’s a warning.

A Canadian man got his hot bike back after someone bought it for $60, not realizing it was stolen; the original owner used it to traverse the length and breadth of Canada. No, literally.

They get it. A Vancouver paper says “no civic bureaucrat or politician should approve a bike lane they wouldn’t feel safe taking their kids for a ride on themselves.”

A Montreal op-ed explains how bike lanes benefit everyone.

While we were busy observing Memorial Day yesterday, Londoners celebrated their first-ever Bike to Work Day.

London is moving to protect bike riders and pedestrians by dropping the speed limit in the central financial district known as the Square Mile to just 15 mph. Your move, LA Mayor Garcetti.

Participants in an organized English ride complain about routing the ride onto a roadway with speed bumps on a steep descent and no warning signs — with predictable results.

Uber wants Brits to Jump.

After a Glasgow woman is killed riding her bike, a man does some soul searching, wondering whether bicycling is worth the risk. And concluding he may keep riding, but can’t recommend it to a friend.

A couple hundred people turned out for an interfaith bike ride to remember the victims of the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attacks, led at the start by one of the victims, who also lost his wife, in his new wheelchair.

I sort of want to be like him when I grow up. A Michigan man gave up his comfy retirement to ride his bike across the US, and in countries around the world. And spent New Years Day riding a fat tire bike on the ice and snow of Antarctica. No offense to our southernmost continent, but I’d prefer a more temperate climate. Which Antartica will probably be in a few years, if we all keep burning fossil fuels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Primoz Roglic considers himself lucky to have lost just 40 seconds to Giro race leader Richard Carapaz, despite Sunday’s debacle when he crashed on a too-small bike borrowed from a teammate, because he just happened to have a mechanical when the team race director was relieving himself.

You, too, can be a hard man or woman, and ride the routes of the cobbled spring classics.

Big mistake. The largest promoter in bike racing is slowly backing away from supporting women’s cycling.

Lance says he did what he had to do to win, and he wouldn’t change a thing. Except, you know, maybe like getting caught and all that.

Cycling Tips talks with the inimitable Peter Sagan.

Cycling Weekly remembers the legendary Fausto Coppi, calling him a cycling icon like no other.

And seriously, don’t try to snatch a pro cyclist’s water bottle out of his face, no matter how much you want a souvenir.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride a stolen bike to the courthouse to be sentenced for stealing another bike. The next driver to run you off the road might do it from above.

And we may have to worry about LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about bears.

Or, uh…Bigfoot.

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