Today’s must read belatedly came to my attention, after a week lost in my spam folder.
Calbike took a look back at best and worst of California biking last year, from Glendora’s low-cost quick-build Complete Streets demo, to proof that traffic jams improve safety, as bike and pedestrian deaths went up even as traffic levels decreased during the pandemic.
A few other highlights —
- A pair of San Diego area bikeway prove persistence pays off
- The Eastside’s Roadkill Gil gets a nod for worst abuse of political power
- The failed anti0bike recall of Nithya Raman
- Calbike’s big win on California’s new ebike subsidy program
- The LA Times investigation of biased bike stops by sheriff’s deputies
Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It may the most entertaining and informative thing you’ll read all day.
Aside from what you’re reading now, anyway.
Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to make of something.
Especially when it involves widening a freeway in a soon-to-be-failed attempt at relieving traffic congestion, as if induced demand isn’t even a thing.
Not to mention make a complete mess of things when it comes to bicycling.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that’s the case with Metro’s recent presentation on the proposed widening of the 710 Freeway — excuse me, the multimodal transformation of the 710 corridor.
The $6 billion project was put on pause after decades of community complaints, cancellation by the EPA, pausing by Caltrans and suspension by the Metro board.
Which is one hell of a losing streak, if you ask me.
Now the project is once again rearing its ugly head, this time accompanied with references to rail and NextGen bus service.
And bike lanes. Well, sort of.
Or maybe not.
We’ll let Linton take it from here.
Metro’s video states that there is a “protected bike lane” along the L.A. River, when the river facility is actually a bike path. The presentation emphasizes that there is “a lack of designated bike routes,” though cyclists know that bike routes are typically meaningless. Metro’s “Bike Routes [sic]” map labels many bike paths as protected bikeways, and maps numerous protected bikeways in lots of places where they don’t exist: East L.A., Vernon, Carson, etc. (Hint for Metro’s intern: the only protected bikeways in the study area are in the city of Long Beach.)
I hesitated writing about this for over a week, thinking my feeble diabetes and drug addled brain just couldn’t make sense of it.
Then I finally realized it didn’t make sense to me because it just doesn’t make sense.
Like Metro somehow not knowing the difference between an imaginary protected bike lane and an actual riverfront bike path, albeit one with an eight-mile gap through DTLA.
Or that they would somehow invent a network of nonexistent protected bike lanes that would make vaporware look good.
I’d suggest Metro needs to get their shit together, but it looks like they already put their #2 staffer on it.
Let’s all shed a tear for Peloton’s CEO, who is no longer a billionaire after the company’s stock has dropped 85% since its pandemic peak.
Meanwhile, Alissa Walker reminds us that you don’t have to settle for riding a bike indoors.
Now that Peloton’s going away it’s a good time to remind everyone about some other cool ways to ride bikes pic.twitter.com/zCbGXJK6Gj
— Alissa Walker (@awalkerinLA) January 21, 2022
We may have to worry about aggressive LA drivers. But at least we don’t have to dodge angry wild turkeys just to get a ride in.
Video shows a bicyclist being harassed by wild turkeys on California's Central Coast. 😂 The man was just trying to get on his bike outside the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when the turkeys started chasing him! 🚴🏻♂🦃💨 pic.twitter.com/2Tt3DIHByg
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) January 19, 2022
Frequent contributor Megan Lynch can give thanks she had a much milder encounter with some skinnier and less aggressive toms.
I got out on a quadricycle ride just before sunset so it wasn't a good time for "pretty" photos. The level of focus that's okay for documenting inaccessible and/or car-centric infrastructure isn't good enough for pretty.
But have some Tom turkeys. pic.twitter.com/5vsioGdz4B
— Megan Lynch (@may_gun) January 21, 2022
What could possibly go wrong with this?
Unless maybe you’re the bike rider waiting patiently for a little old lady to make it all the way to the other side, while an impatient driver runs up on your ass, horn blaring.
Drivers & cyclists MUST now stop, rather than yield, for pedestrians in intersections where traffic controls🚦🛑 are not in place.
Drivers & cyclists must remain stopped until such pedestrians cross the roadway. pic.twitter.com/iPQ072HY7K
— NYPD 19th Precinct (@NYPD19Pct) January 20, 2022
No wonder they called it the Great War.
Sure, they may have had to fight on an unforgiving front in a brutal war, but at least they got to ride bikes.
Soldats Indiens sur le front de la Somme (1917).
✏️ Royston Leonard pic.twitter.com/rJaQGdcF1U
— David Guénel (@davidguenel) January 20, 2022
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. English police don’t bother to do anything about a driver’s dangerously close pass on a blind curve, but give a warning for the bike rider’s bad language in response.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A Brit man on a mountain bike more than lived up to this section’s theme by punching a delivery driver in the eye after claiming he cut him off.
This is who we share the road with. The LAPD is looking for a trio of hit-and-run drivers who injured one pedestrian and a person riding an e-scooter, and killed another pedestrian in three separate crashes the Jefferson Park neighborhood this month.
Riders on the LA River bike path may eventually have something besides a concrete river channel to look at when the path is finally extended from Elysian Park through DTLA to Maywood; the new infrastructure bill contains $28 million to restore 11 miles of the river to some semblance of a more natural state from Glendale to Downtown Los Angeles.
Get ready to rumble in Palmdale, where Caltrans is proposing removing street parking along a section of State Route 138 to make room for bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is sure to rile up the local citizenry and businesses.
Sad news from San Jose, where a man who had survived getting struck by a driver while riding a motorized bike last October died due to complications stemming from his injuries.
Bike Hacks offers a clickbait-friendly seven reasons why every college student should have a bicycle.
The driver who killed the wife of one of Tesla’s co-founders as she rode a bike outside of Reno is facing six years after pleading guilty to felony reckless driving.
Streetsblog considers whether Chicago speed cams are racist because they disproportionately ticket people of color, or if the real problem is racist road design in low-income neighborhoods that encourage people to speed.
The trial of a Black Illinois bike rider accused of fatally shooting a car passenger who he says called him a racial slur was nearly derailed when a witness said a defense paralegal had posed as a police officer to interrogate him at work.
Seriously? A Massachusetts letter writer complains that a new bike lane is dangerous and will get someone killed because drivers have to cross it to make a right turn, and have to watch out for people on bikes when leaving a parking space. You know, pretty much like virtually every other bike lane on the face of the earth, aside from Denmark and the Netherlands, of course.
A pair of Brown University students have created what they describe as “Waze for bikes” to help overcome the woes we usually face.
Brompton is introducing its first Ti frame, sub-17 pound foldie.
Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer is offering commuters free use of an ebike if their train is cancelled due to the ongoing disruptions caused by the Omicron variant.
Speaking of Denmark, it’s the bike-friendly country’s Year of the Bike, with the Tour de France scheduled to start in Copenhagen, and a commitment to spend $64 million on bike lanes this year — part of a whopping $458 million bicycling infrastructure plan. Then again, every year is the year of the bike for Danish residents.
Dutch bikemaker Van Moof introduces a twin engine “hyperbike” ebike — even though its 31 mph top speed makes it illegal in Europe and much of the US, including California.
Jerusalem residents are demanding bike lanes on congested Hebron Road, and getting the cold shoulder from city hall.
An Aussie urban designer explains how the country could become a world leader in bicycle friendly cities, starting with prioritizing bikes and pedestrians over cars. Which should be the starting point for all traffic laws everywhere. Especially right here in Los Angeles.
A Colorado hedge fund is taking a new approach to pro cycling’s failing business model by earmarking a percentage of their management proceeds to support USA Cycling and other cycling organizations.
And “If you’re in a four wheel drive, you can f**k off.”
Now that’s a lyric we can all relate to.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.