Tag Archive for California State Legislature

LA Times columnist takes on dangerous drivers and politicians, and transportation bills advance in the state legislature

Trust the Los Angeles Times’ Steve Lopez to take on LA’s dangerous drivers, and the streets that encourage that behavior.

He says that Angelenos — or at least his readers — have had it with speeding drivers in the wake of last week’s crash that killed five people, as well as an unborn baby just two weeks from full term.

They want more enforcement, stiffer penalties for offenders and better street design, and they want to know why — even as we move toward electric vehicles to save the planet — the auto industry produces gas-guzzling behemoths that easily go twice the highest speed limits, and why the media culture celebrates velocity.

While he addresses safety concerns throughout the city, what especially stands out is a group of Angelino Heights residents who are fighting to stop filming for the latest movie in the Fast & Furious franchise, over fears it will encourage still more dangerously aggressive drivers to seek out the neighborhood.

“We will not stand for them filming here,” says a letter that was emailed to City Hall, arguing that the moviemakers “do nothing to dissuade their macho fans from endangering people’s lives on public streets in Los Angeles…”

“I am sick and tired of these knucklehead street racers speeding and doing doughnuts in our neighborhood,” said Echo Park resident Alan Lee, who lives near a market featured in one of the “Fast & Furious” movies. The market draws speeders and stunt drivers, Lee said, and he saw one lose control and plow into a neighbor’s car.

Michele McKinnon said tenants in her Echo Park apartment building complain of stunt driving and the smell of burned rubber, a familiar scent on weekend evenings. The “Fast & Furious” franchise has made billions glorifying “deadly street racing,” McKinnon said in an email to city officials, promising to disrupt filming “all day and night” in honor of those who have lost their lives to reckless driving.

Speed Racer wannabe see, Speed Racer wanna be do.

Lopez also isn’t afraid to take state legislators to task for failing to earn their pay.

Some legislators have tried to do something, but several bills to control speeding have failed. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that whereas national Republican lawmakers have failed to support sensible gun control proposals despite the ongoing firearm carnage, the Democrats who dominate the California Legislature have been missing in action when it comes to cracking down on drivers who use vehicles as weapons.

Amen, brother.

Still, there’s good news on the legislative front, as we’ll see in the next section.

Artwork by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.

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It was a good day from transportation bills in the state legislature yesterday.

First up, Assembly Member Laura Friedman’s bill to tie state transpiration projects to California’s Climate Action Plan passed out of committee.

Streets For All notes that several transportation bills passed out of the Appropriations Committee, where good bills too often go to die.

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GCN examines five descent positions so dangerous their were banned.

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

A dermatologist and self-annointed expert on urbanism honors the founder of City Watch after Ken Draper’s death, yet devolves into complaining about “bike nazis” while adding “you know who you are.”

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

A San Francisco man will avoid anti-Asian hate crime charges after he was arrested for jumping off his bike and attacking former San Francisco commissioner-at-large Greg Chew.

A 44-year-old New York man was critically injured by a hit-and-run bike rider, who was part of a larger group of bicyclists riding through Manhattan.

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Local

LA Times readers weigh in on whether kids should be riding ebikes, after the parents of a Pacific Palisades girl files suit against Rad Power Bikes for her death.

Anne Heche was reportedly high on coke at the time of her fiery crash into a Mar Vista home; the actress suffered a catastrophic brain injury, and isn’t expected to survive.

StreetsLA has partnered with CAKE electric motorcycles to inspect 1,100 miles of bike lanes in the city.

 

State 

The San Diego community mourns Christine Hawk Embree, the mother killed riding her ebike in Carlsbad on Sunday.

East San Jose has received a $10 million grant to improve safety around Senter Road, including new street lights, bike lanes and other protective measures.

A San Francisco music club threatens that they’ll have to close if a new bike lane running in front of the venue goes in, apparently thinking their survival depends on a handful of free parking spaces, rather than happy customers.

 

National

The Biden administration released the first round of funding for federal RAISE grants — Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity — which were formerly known as BUILD grants, which were themselves formerly known as TIGER grants, releasing roughly $2.2 billion to fund 166 initiatives in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

California Representative Mike Thompson has sent a letter to the USPS urging the Postal Service to use more ebikes.

Mother Jones talks with author Jessie Singer, who says when drivers kill — not cars, thank you — it’s not an accident.

A group of volunteers is building a 5,000-mile mountain bike trail stretching from Washington state to Baja California.

Strong Towns Program Director Rachel Quednau discusses opening an ebike shop with her husband.

Bicycling considers all the best bike locks — or at least the best bike locks you can get on Amazon. Meanwhile, ZDNet says you need two locks to secure your ebike, recommending a pair of Kryptonite’s.

Check the bikeability of your next neighborhood on Zillow before you move.

Police in Vail, Colorado busted a suspected serial bike thief.

A writer for Lonely Planet explains how he rode 468 miles across Iowa for RAGBRAI with 18,000 close friends.

Chicago is installing a trio of speed cameras to calm dangerous intersections near where two bike riders were recently killed. Yet they bizarrely remain illegal here in California, where speeding evidently isn’t a problem.

An Ohio grand jury indicted a driver who fled on foot after crashing into a family riding their bicycles, killing a three-year old girl.

New York is backsliding on open streets, as residents lost 63 miles of open streets over the past year.

A Florida state attorney — the equivalent of a DA — has rescinded a policy put in place by her predecessor to address the problem of police stops that disproportionately targeted Black people, aka Biking While Black.

 

International

F1 great Lewis Hamilton expands on his recent statement that he finds driving outside of the track very stressful. Thanks to Ralph Durham for the heads-up.

Cycling Weekly examines whether expensive sunglasses perform any better than the cheap ones.

Um, no. A British bike delivery startup prohibits its workers from wearing bike helmets, fearing helmet use will somehow make them more aggressive.

A bike rider in the UK complains the the country’s legal system “is not fit for purpose,” recounting his struggle for justice after he was hit by a driver 18 months earlier.

Police in Graz, Austria are cracking down on drunk bicyclists, after residents respond to drunk driving laws by taking to their bikes. I still say that’s counterproductive; I’d much rather see a drunk on a bike than in a car, where they could do far more harm.

 

Competitive Cycling

Marianne Vos has made it three for three in the Tour of Scandinavia, notching stage wins in the first three stages to build a modest 22 second lead going into today’s stage.

Twenty-six-year old Flanders pro Laurens De Plus tells drivers to think twice or wait five seconds after he was knocked off his bike in a collision on a training ride.

Maybe the era of doping isn’t really over, after all, as weekend crit warrior Jackson ‘Huntley’ Nash received a lifetime ban for multiple anti-doping violations, while 23-year-old Italian pro Michele Gazzoli got a one-year ban for using a prohibited stimulant.

 

Finally…

A Portland bike rider explains how to make your next move by bike. Yes, you can get a new sofa home by bike.

And now we know what inspired Far from the Madding Crowd.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Arrest warrant issued in Mo Wilson love triangle murder, and bike & pedestrian bills move forward in CA legislature

Before we start, I’ve received a number of reports that someone on a bicycle was killed while riding in Claremont on Friday. 

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any confirmation yet. 

I’ll let you know if I learn more.

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It’s one of the oldest stories in Hollywood.

But this isn’t Hollywood. And this time, it’s not just some filmmaker’s fantasy.

Because it turns out the murder of rising gravel cyclist and mountain biker Moriah “Mo” Wilson was the result of an old fashioned love triangle.

Wilson was shot multiple times and killed August 11th while in Austin, Texas to prepare for the Gravel Locos race.

After investigating, police have issued a first degree murder warrant for 34-year old Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the business partner, and off-and-on romantic partner, of pro gravel cyclist Colin Strickland, who operates a vintage trailer restoration business.

Strickland said he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson last fall, before reconciling with Armstrong.

Apparently, they were on a “break” at the time.

Wilson and Strickland had gone swimming together that afternoon, before he dropped her off at the apartment of a friend she was staying with.

According to The New York Times, police had taken Armstrong into custody a day after the shooting, but let her go hours later.

The day after Ms. Wilson was found dead, the police took Ms. Armstrong into custody on an unspecified misdemeanor warrant but were then informed that the warrant was not valid and told Ms. Armstrong she could leave if she wanted to, the affidavit said…

The affidavit said the police had received a tip from an anonymous caller. The caller said Ms. Armstrong had said in January that she wanted to kill Ms. Wilson after learning that Mr. Strickland was in a romantic relationship with Ms. Wilson while he was dating Ms. Armstrong.

Now they have no idea where she is.

A Boston website reports Strickland originally lied about his own whereabouts the day of the shooting in an effort to hide his involvement with Wilson.

He also bought two guns last winter, for himself and Armstrong — including the weapon apparently used to kill Wilson.

The murder has left the Austin bicycling community in shock.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding page to “help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about” has raised over $60,000 of the $100,000 goal.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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Streetsblog notes that most bike, pedestrian and transit bills in the state legislature are moving forward.

That included the Bicycle Omnibus Bill and another attempt at getting the Stop As Yield bill, aka the Idaho Stop, past the governor’s desk.

However, it also includes a bill requiring bikeshare and e-scooter companies to insure their riders, which would likely put them all out of business.

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Mark your calendar to help make biking better in Orange County.

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An Indian man and his son can’t contain their joy over buying a used bike.

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

Seriously? After bike-riding Miami couple were killed by a fatigued driver who may have been sleeping at the wheel, the local police respond by reminding bike riders and drivers to obey the law, saying safety is a shared responsibility. Even though the victims didn’t do a damn thing wrong, except share the road with a driver without enough sense to pull over when he was too tired to drive.

Two London bike riders were attacked by a driver who pulled up next to them before tossing thumbtacks in their path.

After a British truck driver was caught on video buzzing a bike-riding cop in hi-viz, angry drivers tried to defend the close pass by insisting the driver stayed in his lane.

A member of Britain’s national cycling team was lucky to escape serious injury when he was intentionally rear-ended by a road raging hit-and-run driver.

More proof drivers are the same everywhere, as a road raging Parisian driver ends an argument with a bike rider by driving over his bike, and dragging it under his car as he tried to drive off without stopping.

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

After Fresno’s mayor posts a video suggesting he rode his ebike to work for Bike to Work Day, it turned out he didn’t really ride, and doesn’t even own the bike he was riding.

A Houston robbery victim ran over the thief’s bicycle getting away after the robber had shot him.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton examines Metro’s annual tradition of lying to justify their ever-expanding highway widening budget, which jumped 33% this year, on top of an 80% increase last year — despite promising to switch to a more multimodal approach. Never mind that they’re burning money while helping to set our world on fire in the midst of an ever-worsening climate emergency.

The BBC takes a look at my friend and bike shop owner Carlos Morales and the Eastside Bike Club he founded in 2008.

 

State 

Menifee is building a new six acre bike park.

Sad news from Fremont, where a seven-year old chid was killed when they were struck by a driver while riding a bicycle. Even if a San Francisco website can’t decide if the kid was riding a bike or walking.

 

National

Best Products says cheap ebikes are taking over the streets, while apparently defining cheap as under two grand.

An 82-year old writer for CleanTechnica shares the lessons he’s learned in eight years of ebike ownership and maintenance.

This is who we share the bike path with. An Iowa driver faces DUI and reckless homicide charges for killing one person and injuring two others as they were walking on a multi-use path at two in the morning, after driving nearly the entire length of the pathway.

 

International

A London, Ontario writer reminds pedestrians they don’t belong in bike lanes.

A new Canadian study shows women are more concerned about drivers, and bullying and abuse, than they are about infrastructure.

You’ve got to be kidding. After Scotland’s transport minister says ebikes are the future, a Lycra-clad neanderthal columnist insists ebike riders are cheating.

Half of British women would like to ride their bikes more, but don’t feel safe on the roads and worry about a lack of infrastructure.

A kindhearted teenage Ukrainian refugee in the UK gave his new bike to a fellow refugee so she wouldn’t have to go without one; he was rewarded with an even better bike a few days later.

Companies in Brussels, Belgium are rethinking deliveries, and trading delivery vans for “more environmentally friendly, and often faster, cargo bikes.

New research from the Netherlands suggests that roundabouts are less safe for bike riders than traditional intersections.

Bike sales are surging in Beijing as the city closes parts of its transit system to combat Covid.

An aide to a Malaysian elected official was killed when he fell off his bike on a descent.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, where a Good Samaritan was stabbed to death by a 15-year old boy, after he tried to stop the teenager who had just stolen a bike from a younger boy; the 15-year old was arrested, but has yet to be charged.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Simon Yates took the win in Saturday’s 14th stage, while Ecuadorean pro Richard Carapaz slipped on the pink leader’s jersey.

All the action took place on Saturday, as an exhausted peloton eased into today’s rest day on Sunday’s stage 15, with Carapaz retaining his newly won leader’s jersey despite an early fall.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin threw in the towel on Saturday’s 14th stage, dropping out early in the race, explaining that his “body is worn out;” meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde dropped out of contention after losing eight minutes following a flat.

Former pro Robbie McEwen was forced to apologize for inadvertently using a homophobic slur during a Giro stage 10 broadcast.

 

Finally…

Maybe Obsessive Cycling Disorder isn’t the best name for a bike shop if you don’t want to piss off the OCD community. That feeling when you’ve been visited by the bike fairy.

And it looks like Trevor Noah is one of us. At least when he’s in The Netherlands.

Thanks to Glenn Crider for the link.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Signing the Healthy Streets LA petition, LA asks for $197 million to finish LA River path, and working for safer Hyperion

That’s a picture of me signing the petition to get the Healthy Streets LA measure on the ballot at Pan Pacific Park yesterday, with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

With my four-footed intern somehow managing to upstage us both.

As we’ve mentioned a few times before, the ballot measure is a pretty simple proposition.

It would require Los Angeles to build out the city’s mobility plan, which is currently collecting dust on the city’s servers, whenever a street gets repaved. Which isn’t often enough, as anyone who’s had to fix a pothole flat can attest.

That’s it. If the street is included in the mobility plan — whether it calls for a bike or a bus lane — the city would be obligated to to stripe it.

The beauty of this approach is that the costs are minimal, since the street would have to be restriped anyway.

And every bus lane, bike lane and bicycle friendly street in the plan has already been formally blessed by the LA Planning Commission and the Los Angeles City Council, so it’s pretty damn hard to argue against.

But before that can happen, it has to qualify for the ballot, which will take around 93,000 signatures.

Let’s make yours one of them.

Mine already is.

Thanks to Michael, August and everyone volunteering their time to collect signatures on this vital transportation and traffic safety measure. 

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Los Angeles is working on getting state funding to finally finish the full LA River bike path in time for the 2028 Olympics.

Burbank-Glendale state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, says she’s on board.

Yes, $197 million is a lot of money.

But it pales in comparison to the $1.6 billion flushed down the toilet to install HOV lanes on the 405 Freeway through LA’s Sepulveda Pass, which only resulted in more congestion and slower travel times.

And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the state’s $31 billion budget surplus.

At the very least, it would provide a healthy alternative to driving for those who can use it for a commuter corridor, as well as a safe place to ride recreationally.

I included a link to the Daily News story from Friedman’s tweet, but it’s up to you to find a way around the paper’s paywall. 

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Here’s your chance to work for a safer street for bike riders and pedestrians on Hyperion.

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Horrifying thread from a New York bike rider, who was chased down and attacked by a driver and their passenger — for the crime of touching their car to get by after the driver illegally parked in a bike lane.

It’s worth a click to read the whole thing.

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The future of foldies, five decades ago.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1500365563889020932

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a homicidal driver got the equivalent of a lousy $1,321 fine after trying to intentionally ram a man on a bicycle at least six times, by my count.

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

An allegedly stoned 50-year old New York ebike rider faces charges for crashing into two women crossing the street, leaving one in critical condition with a head injury.

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Local

An e-scooter rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver in LA’s Koreatown early Saturday. He was struck by a minivan driver, then run over and dragged nearly 20 yards by a second driver as he lay in the street; the first driver stayed followed the crash, but the second driver, who likely did the most harm, fled the scene.

Despite the impending climate emergency, climate change is taking a back seat to policing and homelessness — or more often, policing the homeless — in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.

At least Los Angeles ranks high on the list of the best cities to walk a dog, coming in at sixth.

LA County firefighters hoisted an injured mountain biker out of a remote area in the Santa Monica Mountains above Brentwood.

 

State 

The nation’s highest gas prices are kicking ebike sales up another gear for San Diego bike shops, on top of the previous pandemic bike boom.

Dozens of Riverside bike riders turned out to honor 15-year old fallen bicyclist Javier Gonzalez., who was killed in a hit-and-run last week. Although someone should tell KNBC-4 that some of those “teens” look like they haven’t seen their teens for awhile now.

Residents along Shannon Road in Los Gatos say they support a proposal to add bike lanes and sidewalks, they just want to make them less safe, inviting and comfortable to “preserve the rural feel” of the community. Although they do have a point about adding trees along the route. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

San Francisco is planning ahead, considering three options for bikeshare after its current contract with Lyft expires in five years.

Bad news from San Francisco, where a woman is still fighting for her life, three weeks after she suffered a fractured skull and broken jaw and ribs when she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from her bartending job.

 

National

Cycling Savvy explains cadence.

Always wear a bike helmet in case you get assaulted by men with sticks and bats, like this New York delivery rider who was saved by his helmet when he was assaulted by eight men, apparently just for the hell of it. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

An Iowa man was convicted of homicide after running a series of red lights while driving drunk, and killing a 40-year old man riding a bike, before fleeing the scene.

It takes a major schmuck to steal the seat off a three-wheeled bike a Marshall University student with spinal bifida needs to get to class.

Speaking of which, an Alabama TV station examines how an adaptive bike can change the life of someone with a disability.

 

International

A British Columbia writer says yes, he supports more bike lanes to create safe streets and alternatives to driving, but maybe Amsterdam isn’t the best model for North American cities.

A new Canadian ebike employs motorcycle-like parts to promise speeds up to 40 mph. Which would make it illegal in California, and most of the US. 

Evidently, bike theft is no better on the other side of the Atlantic, where a bicycle gets stolen in London ever 16 minutes, with only a two percent chance of ever seeing it again.

London has expanded its Ultra-Low Emission Zone to cover any older, smog-emitting vehicles in the entire city; anyone with a gas-powered car built before 2005, or a diesel-powered car or truck built before 2014 will have to pay the equivalent of $16.70 per day. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, which consistently ranks among the smoggiest cities in the US, continues to do not one damn thing.

Twenty-five year old former world mountain bike champ Reece Wilson is the new face of tourism in Scotland’s Borders region.

Brussels has seen a 50% drop in traffic deaths since implementing an 18 mph speed limit a year ago, while bicycling rates continue to ride. LA drivers would probably riot if anyone tried to slow them down that much. Or just ignore the new limits, like they do now.

Eight-year old US/Ukrainian ebike startup Delfast continues to operate under impossible conditions in the Eastern European country, despite the Russian invasion.

A New Zealand coroner says a bike-riding man is dead because a contractor just forgot to change the road markings after a roundabout was repaved.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cycling star Tadej Pogačar claimed victory in Saturday’s Strade Bianche classic, with 41-year old Alejandro Valverde overjoyed just to finish second; high winds caused a massive crash that took down dozens of riders early in the race, including both Pogačar and Valverde.

Thirty-year old French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will take on South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic, considered the world’s premier mountain bike stage race; she has won world titles in four disciplines, including road cycling and cyclocross.

Rather than banning time trial bikes, British TT specialist Alex Dowsett calls for rule changes to raise the height of handlebars to eliminate the head-down riding position and improve safety

That’s one way to avoid sanctions on Russian riders. Russian cyclist Pavel Sivakov is now officially French, after UCI gave him permission to change his nationality.

Sad news from the UK, where former English Tour de France and Olympic cyclist, bike shop owner and club president Colin Lewis died after a short bout with cancer; he was 79.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your banana yellow, submarine-shaped ‘bent causes causes an uproar. When you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And now we know what caused that big crash in the Strade Bianche.

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

Bike and transportation bills pass in final days of legislature, ebikes as mobility devices, and unholy upside down lock job

You can stick a fork in this year’s state legislative session.

Amid the flurry of bills passed in the final days of the session were bills legalizing stop as yield for bike riders — aka the stop sign portion of the Idaho Stop Law — a bill legalizing jaywalking, and one that should allow local governments to lower some speed limits.

Another bill would allow cities to limit motor vehicle traffic by making Slow Streets permanent.

As always, however, the question is whether the governor will sign the bills once they reach his desk, assuming he survive’s today’s recall election.

Although he hasn’t shown any sign of wielding his veto pen like a sword to smite the legislature’s best efforts, unlike his predecessor in Sacramento.

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NIMBYs constantly remind us that not everyone can ride a bike, in order to justify their opposition to bikeways.

Never mind that virtually anyone can ride an ebike. And for many people, riding one is easier than walking.

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Ralph Durham briefly returns to California from his usual German haunts, just in time to discover this unholy upside down San Francisco locking job.

Photo by Ralph Durham

Then again, the owner did secure the front wheel and frame to the rack with a U-lock, with another locking the rear triangle and wheel, and a cable offering extra support.

It just looks strange.

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

An Ontario woman — no, the one in Canada — faces a handful of charges for a mini crime spree, including stabbing a bike tire, then throwing her knife at the bike’s rider while accusing the man of somehow cutting her off.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a driver can assault someone on a bicycle for riding two abreast, while still driving their car, and walk away with just an effing warning. No, seriously.

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Local

One more reason to end the deadly 85th Percentile Rule — nearly a third of the speed limit increases in the latest round were on streets with painted bike lanes, raising the risk for anyone who’s not encased in a few tons of glass and steel. Thanks to Roland Hannson for the heads-up.

Redditors discuss the viability of riding your bike to the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, concluding that you can ride there, but permanent bike parking could be in short supply. Thanks to TomG8090 for the tip.

It may just be a recall, but Metro is still offering free bus and bikeshare rides today for Election Day. Even if you voted weeks ago, like me.

Jennifer Garner is one of us, as is her nine-year old son Samuel, as they enjoyed a ride through LA’s Brentwood neighborhood.

 

State

A Santa Cruz man was lucky to escape injury when he lost control of his bike on a steep descent, and plunged 250 feet down the hill; he was rescued by sheriff’s deputies after local residents heard him calling for help.

Fifty-seven-year old NorCal bike shop chain Mike’s Bikes has been sold to Dutch conglomerate The Pon Group, parent company of Santa Cruz Bicycles, among other bike brands. But you may be out of luck if you ordered a Specialized bike from them, after the bikemaker abruptly pulled their account following the sale.

A 32-year old Davis man faces charges for walking down the street punching cars, then pushing a 15-year old girl off her bicycle and attacking her before he was stopped by bystanders.

 

National

PeopleForBikes applauds the $7.4 billion for bicycles in the proposed House infrastructure bill. Although the prospects of that passing the Senate unscathed aren’t looking good, with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin demanding that the $3.5 billion bill be pared down to a relatively paltry $1.5 billion.

Private land owners are blocking access to Colorado mountains in the wake of a 2019 appeals court ruling that upheld a ruling making the US Air Force Academy liable for a mountain biker who crashed after hitting a sinkhole on a washed out trail.

Missouri is considering a rule change that would expand access by allowing ebikes into state conservation areas.

New York bicycle delivery riders team up to take their safety into their own hands, after accepting they can’t count on the police for protection.

 

International

Police in Alberta, Canada crack down on bike thieves, busting four bike boosters by using bait bikes. Which serves as your periodic reminder that the LAPD still doesn’t use bait bikes to combat the ever-rising tide of bike theft, due to a flawed city attorney ruling that warned it might be seen as entrapment — even though bait bikes are successfully, and legally, used elsewhere in California.

Glasgow, Scotland drivers are up in arms demanding the removal of new bollards marking a bike lanes, insisting they have serious road safety concerns. Because the bollards apparently interfere with their God-given right to park in the bike lane, and they’re apparently unaware they can just drive over the plastic car tickler bendy posts, anyway.

Electrek considers the twenty coolest ebikes from this year’s Eurobike 2021 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, including a wave-riding ebike, and wheels that charge your bike with solar power while you ride.

Even the Smithsonian Magazine is onboard with the $1,062 German-made backpack that inflates to form an upper body airbag in a crash. Combine that with your $450 Hövding inflatable helmet, and you’ll be nearly impervious to injury for a mere $1,500.

Business is booming in Portugal’s “bike valley,” which produces a quarter of the ebikes in the European Union, despite having just 2% of the population.

A new Indian e-scooter startup pledges its new factory will be run and operated entirely by women, with its eventual 10,000-person staff making it the world’s largest women-only factory.

Bikeshare comes to the capital of Rwanda in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and the city’s automotive dependency.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling examines the steps pro cycling is — or isn’t — taking to prevent the next horrific crash. This one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo, so if Bicycling blocks you, you’re out of luck.

Trinidadian women’s cyclist Teniel Campbell took Monday’s sixth stage of the Tour de l’Ardeche on a borrowed bike, after thieves stole all her team’s bicycles prior to the previous stage; other teams pitched in to contribute their spare bikes to keep the team in the race.

Kiwi Continental team Global 6 Cycling rode with bright green wheels during the recent Tour of Britain in support of refugees.

Speaking of the Tour of Britain, The Scotsman offers photos from last week’s stage race won by Belgian cyclist Wout Van Aert.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline, there’s only one bicyclist in Columbia, Missouri, who keeps getting bigger.

And who needs all those boring college classes when you can get your degree in bicycle assembly and repair.

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

Stop as yield bill passes state senate, Sunset4All meets public/private funding goal, and LA’s bike lane parking lot

Now it’s up to the governor.

Or maybe not.

Reports indicate that AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, passed the California State Senate yesterday, after passing the assembly in April.

The bill would allow a modified version of the Idaho Stop Law in the state, following the lead of several other states that have passed it in recent years.

It allows someone on a bicycle to treat a stop sign as a yield, preceding through the intersection only when it is safe to do so after yielding to other traffic and pedestrians.

In other words, it legalizes the way most people on bicycles already ride. However, it does not allow the rider to roll a stop when someone else has the right of way.

It also does not allow bike riders to go through red lights, as the full Idaho Stop does, by treating them as stop signs.

You will still be legally required to come to a full stop behind the stop line until the light turns green, just as you would in a car; failure to do so can result in a ticket, whether on two wheels or four.

The bill was also modified in the Senate to clarify that it does not change a driver’s liability in the event of a collision. Which as I read it, means drivers won’t be able to claim they’re not at fault in a crash because someone on a bicycle legally rolled the stop.

However, that minor change to the text — along with revisions to the existing law changing “which” to the grammatically correct “that” in the absence of a comma — likely means it will have to go back to the state assembly for what should be a pro forma vote for final approval.

And it’s important to note that the law contains a sunset provision, which means it would cease to be in effect as of January 1, 2028, unless it’s extended by the legislature.

Let’s hope they move quickly, so Newsom can sign the bill before the recall vote on September 14th, in case he’s removed from office.

Correction: Even if Newsom is recalled, he’d have 38 days after the election to sign the bill before his replacement can take office. Thanks to Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch for the correction. 

Here’s how the legislative council’s digest describes the bill, as it was passed.

This bill would, until January 1, 2028, require a person riding a bicycle, when approaching a stop sign at the entrance of an intersection, to yield the right-of-way to any vehicles that have either stopped at or entered the intersection, or that are approaching on the intersecting highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and to pedestrians, as specified, and continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles and pedestrians until reasonably safe to proceed. The bill would require other vehicles to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle that, having yielded as prescribed, has entered the intersection. The bill would state that these provisions do not affect the liability of a driver of a motor vehicle as a result of the driver’s negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of a motor vehicle.

The bill would also require the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol to submit a report to the Legislature, as specified, regarding the effects of this bill.

So it’s a big win.

But we still need to get it over the finish line.

………

Congratulations to Sunset4All on meeting their $25,000 goal to fund LA’s first public/private partnership to improve safety and livability on our streets.

Better yet, that total will be matched by angel donors, for a total of $50,000.

Which definitely calls for a celebration.

https://twitter.com/SunsetForAll/status/1432524536679854080

 

………

I’m sure the owner is a lovely person, though.

………

It may be touching.

But doesn’t driving alongside your kid while he rides his bike to school kind of defeat the purpose?

https://www.tiktok.com/@thenewtonfamily/video/6995613307377929477?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdk79lclgtez2i.cloudfront.net%2F&referer_video_id=6995613307377929477&refer=embed

………

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

A San Diego letter writer suggests he’s afraid to ride a bicycle, so we should all just stick to our cars.

No bias here. A Massachusetts letter writer says a new bike lane confuses him, so people should just ride their bikes on the sidewalks, since no one uses them anyway. And get rid of parking meters while you’re at it.

A Glasgow, Scotland writer says everyone has a role to play in making the city safe for people on bicycles, after a bus driver deliberately cut into her to pull into a bus stop as she rode in a bike lane, rather than simply wait patiently for her to move ahead.

………

Local

When is a bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s completely blocked with a massive amount of truck, forcing anyone on a bicycle out into speeding traffic.

 

State

Stephen Taylor Scarpa went on trial for murder Monday in the allegedly stoned death of Costa Mesa fire captain Mike Kreza as he was riding his bike in Mission Viejo three years ago; Scarpa reportedly had meth, fentanyl and several prescription medications in his system at the time of the crash.

Renée Zellweger and Ant Anstead are each one of us, as the celeb couple went for a ride through Laguna Beach on their matching Pedego fat tire ebikes.

San Francisco Streetsblog complains that politicians may talk about climate change, but inevitably revert to that status quo when push comes to shove, using the reopening of the city’s Great Highway to cars while the world is on fire as the case in point. Sadly, LA’s leaders appear to be cut from exactly the same cloth.

 

National

A new survey says walking has bizarrely become part of the culture wars, with liberals wanting walkable communities while conservatives want to drive everywhere.

That’s more like it. The new electric Cadillac Lyric will come standard with a bicycle warning system to alert the driver if there’s someone on a bike in their blind spot.

Outside’s Joe Lindsey offers advice on how to choose a bike for the gravel-curious.

A new Portland study confirms what we already know — speed kills. An analysis of crash data shows that speeding drivers are the leading cause of pedestrian deaths in the city.

This is who we share the road with. An Oregon man got seven well-deserved years behind bars for running a red light while speeding, and killing an 11-year old boy walking in a crosswalk on his way to school, while stoned on “central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers.” Better yet, he will permanently lose the right to drive in the state.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a deaf father of seven was killed in a collision when he was struck by a driver while lying on the roadway, after somehow coming off his bicycle; he leaves behind a fiancé pregnant with twins.

Cincinnati has put the removal of a successful bike path on hold pending a vote by the city council after a petition was started to save the on-street pathway, which has resulted in a 40% drop in speeding drivers. And that’s probably why they don’t like it.

This is who we share the road with, part 2. A New York man was busted for DUI with a BAC nearly three times the legal limit while driving his riding lawnmower on city streets.

 

International

London skate brand Palace is teaming up with Cannondale to create their first signature hybrid city bike.

An environmentally minded Irish father finds his plans on hold when the new cargo bike he intended to use to ferry his kids to school was backordered; the lack of a viable bus system means he had to rely on the kindness of neighbors to drive the kids to class. Something too many carfree Los Angeles residents can probably relate to.

A Kiwi company says forget aluminum and carbon fiber, your next handlebars should be bamboo. Although what that has to do with Forrest Gump I have no idea.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once and future mountain bike champ Nino Schurter won his ninth world title, becoming the oldest men’s world champ at 35, after the Swiss rider was the youngest when he won his first at 22.

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar says he’s just a bike rider, not a pop star.

 

Finally…

Yes, it’s still bike theft if you’re just trading up. That feeling when your bougie handlebars are replaced with a sickle and hammer.

And Megan Lynch calls this the best recumbent fairing ever.

So who am I to argue?

………

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

Help East Side Riders fix hit-and-run damaged van, help get six critical bills passed, and CHP may have your hot bike

Let’s start with a little bad news from one of LA’s best bike clubs.

Because if you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around, Watts’ East Side Riders could use your help.

The group does invaluable work, using bicycles as a starting point to uplift and feed the community. And they give back far more than they receive.

But that work will be on hold for a least a few days, after someone crashed into their van, pushing it up the street. Best case, it was a hit-and-run driver; worst, someone vandalized their van on purpose.

They haven’t asked for help yet, but they can clearly use it. So give ’em a hand if you can. You can donate directly to them right here.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

And yes, I gave a little, too.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the East Side Riders Bike Club website.

………

Streets For All is once again asking for your help to get a half-dozen bills across the finish line in the final days of this year’s state legislative session.

We need your help to get 6 critical bills to the governor’s desk

The legislative session is about to end do it’s all-hands-on-deck for getting these final bills passed.

We need you to reach out to your state senator because time is running out.

Here are the bills that need to get to Newsom:

  • AB 917 – Cameras on buses to enforce bus-only lanes
  • AB 122 – Bicycle safety stop
  • AB 339 – Requiring local governments to have a teleconferencing option for public comment
  • AB 1238 – Decriminalize jaywalking
  • AB 1147 – Active transportation program for regional agencies
  • AB 43 – Allows cities the ability to lower hundreds of miles of speed limits

AB 43 is important for racial justice as a disproportionate amount of pedestrians killed are in black and brown neighborhoods

Here’s how you can help in 2 easy steps:
1) Email a comment to your state senator as soon as possible!!

If you do not know who you state senator is, don’t worry!

You can easily find out right here.

Use our email template below, but for maximum impact, personalize your message.

CLICK HERE to email your senator

2) Add your name to the I MADE A DIFFERENCE LIST

This helps us keep track of the outreach we have made and where we need to focus our efforts.

CLICK HERE to add your name

………

The good news is the CHP may have recovered your stolen bikes.

The bad news is they apparently weren’t registered or reported stolen, so the state police don’t know who they belong to.

And it’s yet another reminder that registering your bike now, before something happens to it, is your best hope of getting it back if anything does.

………

Kittie Knox was also one of the first women to join the League of American Wheelmen, today’s League of American Bicyclists, aka the Bike League.

She joined just a year before it changed the bylaws to Whites Only, but since the rule was not made retroactive, Knox was grandfathered in and allowed to remain.

And went on to become a trailblazer for Black women on bikes, and all women.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the heads-up.

………

We’ve often linked to stories from British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid, as well as his internationally bike touring son.

But this one hit him close to home, as his son’s girlfriend totaled her bike, but was lucky to escape with minor injuries, when she hit a massive pothole hidden by standing water.

Which is another reminder not to ride through puddles, because you never know what is — or isn’t — underneath. Like pavement, maybe.

………

Today’s common theme is celebrities and their kids on bikes. And one little girl who should be one.

Credit a bike ride with the success of Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum Thriller album. The gloved one took a ride on a borrowed bike to ride to a Los Angeles schoolyard to watch the kids play after concluding the recording was “crap,” then returned to the studio with a clear head to remix and fix it.

Ben Affleck’s nine-year old son Samuel is one of us, after dad upgraded him to a new Co-Op bike from REI.

Ava Fouts is one of us, too. The ten-year old Tucson girl has done over 200 rides totaling more than 2,500 miles, despite a surgically repaired congenital heart defect. Seriously, if you need a good smile, read this one.

Orlando Bloom has been one of us for a long time, as the British actor posts a photo of himself riding a bike while wearing a back brace after a dangerous fall in his 20s. Oddly, I did exactly the same thing by riding my bike wearing a back brace back in the day. But my broken back resulted from a cracked car jack.

Evidently, British paparazzi never give up, turning out to capture former comedian Lee Evans riding an ebike, seven years after he walked away from his comedy career to spend time with his family.

Luxury car marque Rolls-Royce was founded by one of us; Charles Stewart Rolls started his career as a racing cyclist at Cambridge in the 1890s. Too bad he didn’t just stick to bikes and build a luxury bicycle, instead.

………

GCN has advice on how to ge the most out of riding with your family.

………

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

No bias here. A Kansas City man got the blame for crashing his bike into a van, even though the driver clearly violated his right-of-way by left-crossing him. Never mind that the story doesn’t mention the driver.

No bias here, either. The New York Post somehow thinks maintaining a smoggy, dangerous and traffic-choked boulevard on 5th Avenue is good for business, and returning the street to a more human scale means declaring war on cars. Right. If LA’s elected and appointed leaders had half the courage and imagination of their New York counterparts, we’d already see this on Wilshire Blvd, and a half dozen other major corridors, as well. 

A Welsh driver was fined the equivalent of over $500 for a dangerously close pass of a group of bike riders, which appeared to clear them by a matter of inches.

A British bike rider unwittingly and painfully demonstrated the dangers of overly close passes, when he suffered serious injuries after a driver ran him off the road, and head first into a set of wrought-iron gates.

………

Local

West Hollywood’s massive Melrose Triangle project promised to “coordinate” designated ride share and passenger loading areas with the existing bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd. Let’s hope that works better than it sounds, because it sounds like a nightmare.

Something must be in the water in Culver City, where another massive 1800-word NIMBY screed decries plans to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians at the three-way intersection of Overland, Kelmore and Ranch, fearing that a planned refuge island for bicyclists and pedestrians would require dangerous mixing of the two, and that the best solution is just to put up a sign banning street crossings entirely.

 

State

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a man was killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bicycle early Saturday; police are looking for the driver of a possibly red, late model small to mid-sized SUV. Although it would have been nice if the Bakersfield Californian, which should know better, even mentioned that the car had a driver.

Speaking of Bakersfield, you can thank the local golf course and a funding shortfall for killing a “whimsical” proposal to extend the Kern River Bike Path.

A San Francisco writer decries the city’s “inability to address madness and criminality on public transit and on the streets.” And complains about what she calls “whimsical” plans to put bike lanes on the Bay Bridge, saying most would only “undertake the slog” as a last resort, while insisting that biking is a non-starter for small children, seniors, and others with mobility challenges. Clearly, she’s never heard of ebikes. Or met many older bike riders or paracyclists. And what’s with that whimsical word all of the sudden?

 

National

It was a big weekend for naked people on bicycles and chaste camera views, as the World Naked Bike Ride was marked in Mad City, Philly and even Amsterdam.

A kindhearted cop raised funds to buy a new bike and helmet for a Gloucester, Massachusetts teenager, after he was unable to recover the boy’s stolen bicycle.

Three people were injured when their bikes collided at a bottleneck in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour, which was limited to “just” 20,000 riders as a pandemic precaution.

It takes a major schmuck to push a 74-year old Pennsylvania man down after threatening to steal his bicycle, and only making off with the man’s water bottle.

A group of Baltimore volunteers are delivering meals by bicycle to families in need during the coronavirus crisis.

A man on a cross-country bike tour tries to outrun a hurricane, scurrying just days ahead of Ida’s landfall in Louisiana on Sunday.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A man in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is celebrating his 80th birthday by riding his bicycle 80 miles a day for 10 days straight, for a total of 800 miles. Although he might have to take a break for a day or two until Hurricane Ida blows itself out.

Seriously? A Florida man faces felony charges for stealing $2.67 worth of soup and some crackers after crashing his bicycle into a patrol car while trying to flee from police; the petty theft was escalated to a felony due to his previous theft convictions. Anyone who steals something like that does it because he’s hungry, not for financial gain, regardless of his record.

 

International

Treehugger takes a look at surprising ways e-cargo bikes are being used for low-carbon commerce.

Cycling News recommends the best bidons, otherwise known as water bottles for us plain folk.

After a bighearted Saskatchewan boy got a new bike to replace his stolen bicycle, he passed it on to another kid whose bike was stolen, when a Good Samaritan found his purloined bike and returned it.

She gets it. A London physician says she should be able to ride her bike to work without worry, but that we will continue to see more people killed as long as we continue to prioritize the people in the big, dangerous machines. 

Never mind the cars, England’s Countess Sophie got a scare from big-horned stags on a tandem ride with a blind stoker.

A university lecturer in the UK asks if ebikes are ruining mountain biking.

The Dutch may ride at home, but Great Britain’s Dutch ambassador set off a firestorm by saying he doesn’t dare ride in London.

An Aussie business professor puts his expertise to work opening a bicycle-themed hotel in the heart of Belgium’s Flanders region, where “bicycling is practically a religion.”

Calcutta regresses into an auto-centric past by banning bicycles from major streets; an Indian magazine calls it a “warped idea of planning and an antipathy towards the working classes.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Pink Bike considers what’s next for Afghanistan’s growing mountain bike community, over fears of a crackdown by the Taliban; one rider complains he feels like they’ve been dragged into a black hole.

Road.cc says ongoing Covid lockdowns in Asia continue to adversely affect bicycle supplies in Europe.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s standings, as Rafal Majka rode a 56-mile breakaway to victory in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Vuelta.

Twenty-four-year old Evie Richards became British woman to claim the mountain bike cross-county world championship on Saturday in Val di Sole, Italy.

Openly gay Canadian cyclist Kate O’Brien took silver in the 500 meter time trial in the Paralympic Games, just five years after competing in the Rio Olympics, and four years after she was nearly killed crashing into a race moto.

Aussie cyclist Caroline Buchanan became the first woman to land a mountain bike front flip onto a dirt surface.

 

Finally…

Sharpen your pocket knife while you sharpen your riding skills. Your next bike light could be powered by the wind.

And watch out for cars when you stick your imaginary landing.

I would’ve made it if the car wasn’t there :/ from GrandTheftAutoV

………

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

Morning Links: Calbike ranks LA area state legislators, and no charges in the Texas death of a San Diego cyclist

Great chart from Calbike showing the voting records of LA area legislators on bicycle issues in the recent legislative session.

I’m pleased to see my Assembly Member has a 100% rating.

……….

Sad news from Texas, as a San Diego man on a cross-country ride to bring awareness to homeless vets was killed in a collision last week.

Stephen Michael Clift was riding eastbound on I-40 near Groom, Texas, when he was rear-ended by a driver who admitted looking away and never seeing Clift’s bike before he ran him down.

Apparently, that’s a good enough excuse for drivers in the Lone Star State, since police announced he won’t face charges. Evidently Texas drivers have no responsibility to pay attention while operating multi-ton machines, let alone avoid killing innocent people.

The former participant in the Occupy movement had reportedly given up everything he owned to take part in the March Across America for Homeless Veterans bike tour.

………

Local

A video from Metro flies viewers through the plans for an improved Union Station, including a bikeshare station scheduled for next year, and a new Bike Hub due in two years.

CiclaValley details the first part of his journey from LA to San Diego by bike for the recent Calbike Bicycle Summit.

The Santa Monica Spoke offers details on the official launch of the Breeze bikeshare program a week from tomorrow in front of SaMo City Hall.

The Long Beach city council considers improving access to the LA River bike path, including a traffic signal opposed by some residents.

Former Long Beachers The Path Less Pedaled are headed back down to SoCal for a visit.

 

State

A student at Fullerton College explains why she is afraid to ride a bike to campus. Although she’s mistaken about one thing; bicyclists are allowed to ride in the full lane on any street where the right lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle.

San Diego responds to the death of a 15-year old boy by looking into safety improvements on the street, including bike lanes.

The San Diego Union-Tribune offers advice for runners and riders on how to stay safe after dark, including a warning to watch out for wild animals.

Still more news from San Diego, as the suspected bike thief who stabbed a cop trying to stop him pleads not guilty to four counts, including attempted murder of a police officer.

Sad news from Palo Alto, as well, as a bike rider was killed while riding on a popular bike route Tuesday morning.

The mother of a fallen San Francisco cyclist calls for safer streets in the wake of his death; police say he was thrown into the path of a bus after his bike got caught in streetcar tracks.

Napa County gets its first green bike lanes in St. Helena.

A Napa bicyclist suffered serious injuries after she allegedly went through a stop sign and was hit by a car. Once again, reports that she actually blew the stop should be taken with a grain of salt unless it can be confirmed by independent witnesses.

 

National

The Daily Beast looks at what it call the inevitable event when a self-driving car kills someone on a bike.

The next time you need a royalty-free photo of someone riding in a bike lane, People for Bikes has you covered.

Since Washington state legalized marijuana use, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes with THC in their systems has nearly doubled.

Gizmodo explains how a former video game designer helped create Salt Lake City’s first-in-the-nation protected intersection.

An Aspen CO man is arrested for DUI twice in just three hours.

The cyclist killed in the Colorado Springs Halloween Day shooting spree was an Iraq veteran and a father of two. Sadly, it might have been prevented; a woman called police to report a disturbed-looking man walking down the street with an assault rifle prior to the shooting, only to be told they couldn’t do anything because the city has an open carry law.

Now that’s taking traffic crime seriously. A Michigan woman will spend the next 25 to 50 years behind bars for the DUI hit-and-run death of an eight-year old boy while he was riding his bike; she had heroin, cocaine and Xanax in her system at the time of the crash.

The Orlando paper offers a reminder not to buy a big box store bicycle-shaped object for the holidays, and suggests getting a clearance bike from your local bike shop for close to the same price instead.

 

International

Unbelievable. Not one day behind bars for a Vancouver cop convicted of punching a bicyclist in the head — while handcuffing him for running a red light. He also gets to keep his job, although he does have to pay a whopping $100 restitution.

Evidently, Edmonton’s bike corrals have to hibernate for the winter.

The Guardian looks askance at the crowdfunded proposal to build a floating bikeway through the heart of London on the Thames River. The people behind pseudo-visionary projects like this miss the point; one of the joys of bicycling is the ability to immerse yourself in the city and go wherever you want, rather than be totally isolated from it. Although it might be fun to ride on the famed river once or twice.

Scottish police are looking for a cyclist who pushed a 72-year old bike rider off his bike and punched him repeatedly while riding on a bike path. Sad to see the road rage that has become far too common among motorists spreading to the bike world.

PRI looks deeper into why some refugees are riding bikes across the border between Russia and Norway.

Olso, Norway is investing the equivalent of half a billion dollars in bicycle infrastructure.

A Turkish cyclist explains why he’s traveling the world by bicycle; he hopes to finish his journey by 2020.

 

Finally…

If you swerve your truck to crash into your bike-riding friend because he took it the night before and owes you money, you’re probably not really friends. Evidently, an e-bike has to look cool before commuters will use it.

And TV’s Supergirl not only rides a bike, she has one tattooed on her ankle. Like they couldn’t have found a photo of it?

………

Come back later this morning, when we’ll have a great guest post from LA BAC member Jonathan Weiss explaining your rights to ride two or more abreast in California, reposted from the Velo Club La Grange newsletter.

 

A polite response to a very wrong safety campaign, and blocking the bikeway in Manhattan Beach

Don’t get me wrong.

It’s nice when government agencies try to bring a little peace to our streets. Let alone when they respond to the demands of bike riders to do something — anything — to improve safety when too damn many people are dying just for riding a bike.

But it would be even nicer if they actually made things better instead worse.

Take Scotland’s new Nice Way Code, which tells drivers to think of bike riders like horses — without the requisite crap on the roadway, hopefully — and blames every bike rider for the actions of others.

Not so nice, actually.

That’s why a group of well-mannered Scot bike riders have written a very polite response asking the Scottish government to pull the campaign and put it where the sun don’t shine.

Okay, so I might have added that last part.

The Nice Way Code is failing in its own terms

At the launch of the Nice Way Code, Transport Minister Keith Brown said, “The Nice Way Code campaign seeks to build a culture of tolerance and patience between cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and all other road users across Scotland.” However, everything that has come out of this campaign – which was paid for out of the active travel budget – seems likely instead to create conflict, reinforcing divisions between people based merely on their mode of transport. One advert encourages cyclists not to run red lights simply in order not to give other cyclists a bad name (and not because it’s dangerous and discourteous, not least to pedestrians) – lumping all cyclists together and implying bad behaviour by a tiny minority justifies hostility to everyone who chooses to ride a bike.

As cyclists we are used to hearing from a few uninformed drivers that ‘all’ cyclists run red lights, ride on the pavement, hold up traffic and generally deserve to be treated like obstacles on the road. But we never expected our own government to run adverts saying the same thing. As nine cyclists have died on Scotland’s roads already this year, it’s unsurprising that this campaign seems to have angered almost everyone who regularly rides a bike.

Safer roads will not come from lecturing people and pandering to stereotypes. We believe they will come from rethinking our current emphasis on designing roads purely for motor traffic and redesigning them to remove the sort of conflicts these adverts reflect. Pending that, it’s clear that many people who don’t ride bikes themselves are unaware of the needs of cyclists on the road. A campaign that really aimed to build a culture of patience and tolerance could have helped to educate them about these things, and to get cyclists, drivers and pedestrians to see things from each others’ point of view. Calling cyclists names is not it.

We urge the Scottish government to recognise that it has made a mistake and to pull this campaign before it ramps up tensions on the road even further. We suggest that it takes this opportunity to start a real dialogue between road users about how we can recognise that we are all people, and behave accordingly.

The letter was signed by over 85 people.

If I lived in Scotland, or thought I might find myself riding there anytime soon, you’d find my name on that list, as well.

………

Photo by Don Hayashi

Photo by Don Hayashi

Don Hayashi emailed this photo of an apparently legally blocked Marvin Braude bike path in Manhattan Beach, writing:

I’ve always wondered what the criteria was for forcing the bicyclist to walk their bikes at the pier was.

In this case a Manhattan Beach camp employee has set up the barrier so that his charges can cross safely during their lunch break. He said his boss told him he could.

Funny thing he only set up the barrier on one side of the pier. So bikes were still riding from the other direction. I guess it was to inconvenient to set up the other sign.

The municipal code actually says that a public safety officer has to make the decision.

Apparently legal, that is, under CVC 21211(b):

21211.   (a) No person may stop, stand, sit, or loiter upon any class I bikeway, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 890.4 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other public or private bicycle path or trail, if the stopping, standing, sitting, or loitering impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist.

(b) No person may place or park any bicycle, vehicle, or any other object upon any bikeway or bicycle path or trail, as specified in subdivision (a), which impedes or blocks the normal and reasonable movement of any bicyclist unless the placement or parking is necessary for safe operation or is otherwise in compliance with the law.

It’s that damned “safe operation” clause that gets you, which seems to give local governments the authority to shut down bikeways anytime they think it’s appropriate.

As well as write local ordinances like the one linked to above.

………

Cyclelicious offers a detailed update on all the bike-related bills before the California legislature, including the state’s third attempt to get a three-foot passing law past our bike-unfriendly governor’s veto pen.

………

Amelie Le Moullac, the 24-year old bike rider killed in a San Francisco right hook yesterday, was a 2011 graduate of USC. CicLAvia unveils the official route for October’s Heart of LA event. The LACBC needs your help for this years bike and pedestrian count; scroll up for a chance to win a free trip to San Diego’s Tour de Fat when you become a member or renew your membership. A bank of full bike racks at one of the city’s leading hospitals is a good problem to have. Helen’s Cycles is inaugurating a no-drop, womens-only ride this Saturday. Streetsblog’s new SaMo edition goes online Monday. Santa Monica hosts a meeting to discuss the proposed Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greeway this Saturday. San Marino talks bikeways at Monday’s meeting of the Traffic Advisory Commission. The SoCal Cross Prestige Series announces their fall and winter racing schedule.

A 45-year old Costa Mesa bike rider was injured when she allegedly ran a red light; unfortunately, the details are hidden behind the Register’s paywall. A young Temecula city employee is given a bike to commute to work. A 68-year old Oxnard rider was seriously injured in a SWSS when he reportedly drifted out of a bike lane. I Bike Kern offers a graphic look at a 100-year tradition of bicycling. San Jose readers argue over whether bikes belong on local roadways. A 56-year old Freemont cyclist remains in a coma in critical condition a week after he was injured in a hit-and-run. After a blind Los Altos man invents a high-tech bike for sightless riders, some colossal jerk steals it. An 18-year old Pleasanton driver faces a murder charge for killing a cyclist after tweeting about going on a death ride; thanks to murphstahoe for the heads-up. San Francisco cyclist Chris Bucchere was formerly sentenced to three years probation and 1000 hours of community service for the death of a pedestrian. Get to know the co-founder of Public Bikes. San Francisco police are shaming bike thieves on Twitter. How to ride safely around trucks and buses. Should bikes be treated like cars, pedestrians or something in between? Grist calls MonkeyLectric the world’s coolest lights for bike wheels; might be fun to have those cartoon dogs light up the night.

A Las Vegas man with cerebral palsy is still riding his bike 45 years after doctors said he was going to be six foot under. Greg LeMond, now America’s only Tour de France winner, talks bikes and doping in Portland. A new Seattle road diet and bike lanes helped boost business 400%, or at least didn’t hurt it. Boulder CO is becoming a living bike lab. My hometown considers adopting a stop as yield law for bike riders. An Evansville firefighter is handcuffed and threatened with a stun gun after waving at a cop while riding through a stop sign. Michigan State University opens new secure bike parking facilities; I’m looking at you, USC. Long planned Jersey City bike lanes are still coming, cross their heart. New York police continue their crackdown on all those dangerous bicyclists, including writing tickets for supposed infractions they didn’t actually observe. The NY Times considers the problem of keeping the city’s bikeshare racks in balance. A DC church fights a long-planned cross-city separated bike lane, claiming “the slaves who built the church were not thinking about bike lanes;” then again, they probably weren’t thinking about cars speeding past every day, either.

After saying no one should jump to quick conclusions, a Canadian paper does exactly that by calling for a mandatory helmet law for adults. In a completely wrong-headed approach to traffic congestion, a UK city fines cyclists for violating a ban on bikes in the city center. Brit cyclists and drivers fight it out over Twitter. This is why you never ride with your head down, as a British rider competing in a time trial dies after rear-ending a stopped trailer. Evidently, hit-and-run isn’t just an LA problem, or even an American one, as two Irish riders are lucky to be alive when a driver flees the scene after running them down.

Finally, there’s a fatal loophole in an Aussie territory’s hit-and-run law, as it turns out drivers are free to flee if they actually kill their victims instead of merely injuring them.

Then again, in LA you just have to be a celebrity.

AB 766 — An open letter to the California State Assembly

As you may recall, I recently wrote about the need to pass the Safe Streets Bill AB 766.

As part of that, I encouraged everyone — and yes, that includes you — write a letter in support of the bill, and email it to SafeStreets@BikeWritersCollective.com for presentation at a committee hearing next week.

Here is my letter, which I have just emailed to the Bike Writers Collective — the group behind the recently passed Cyclists’ Bill of Rights. Feel free to copy any portion of this to use as the basis for your letter, or write your own in your own words.

But please, write something.

Dear Assembly Member,

The highest responsibility of state government is the protection of its citizens, as well as the countless neighborhoods that make up our state.

Sadly, California is failing in that duty.

Currently, state law allows local governments to use radar to control speed limits; however, in exchange for that privilege, they are required conduct a study of average traffic speeds every seven years. If most drivers exceed the speed limit, which most drivers in California do, they have no choice but to raise the speed limit — whether or not that’s a good idea, and regardless of the harm it may cause to the local community.

The result is that the lives of local residents are needlessly placed at risk, as pedestrians and bicyclists must contend with traffic moving at ever higher speeds, while collisions between vehicles are likely to be far more dangerous and destructive. At the same time, higher speeds encourage through-traffic, as opposed to local destination traffic, contributing to the declines suffered by business districts and residential neighborhoods along the way.

AB 766, the Safe Streets Bill, would rectify that situation by giving the local community a voice in deciding whether or not to raise the limits, without requiring that they give up a valuable enforcement tool in exchange.

I urge you to support this vital measure, and cast your vote to return control of our streets to the people who know them best, and will be most impacted by any increase in speed limits — and allow the people of this state to protect their own lives and communities.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers, BikingInLA.com

Enci Box discusses her upcoming trip in support of AB 766 in her own compelling way, while Damien Newton notes a wave of support for the legislation. And on a related subject, L.A. Council President Eric Garcetti wants to know how you want to spend the city’s stimulus funds. Can you say, bicycling infrastructure? Sure you can.

 

A great video showing British MPs learning about cycling from the Dutch, courtesy of my favorite Welsh slow-biking blogger — now if we could only get the Metro board to take the same tour. Also from across the pond, proof that bad cycling signage isn’t just an American problem. Meanwhile, LAist discusses what L.A. could learn from Tokyo Bike Culture, as does the Time’s Steve Lopez. Yes, that Tokyo. Bicycle Fixation observes the increase in fixie-riding bike commuters. Central Illinois cyclists prepare to participate in an international cycling memorial ride later this month. And finally, The Denver Post says cyclists need to know the rules of the road, too; don’t miss the comments, which capture the full range of the cyclists vs. drivers conflict — and evidently, someone out there takes safety tips from yours truly.  Glad I could help.

The ugly side of an ugly incident

It was a shocking, disturbing and hideous case of road rage that sent two local cyclists to the Emergency Room — one made worse by the realization it could just as easily have happened to any of us.

But surprisingly, some good has come out of the good doctor’s Mandeville Canyon brake test. The Cyclist’s Bill of Rights has gained some traction as a result, in the hope that we can keep things like this from happening in the future. A real dialogue has finally begun between cyclists and Canyon residents. And for the first time, we saw an overwhelming response from our new-found biking community.

Unfortunately, we also saw how ugly that community can be.

As you may have noticed, I go out of my way not to name of the doctor who cause the injuries to those riders — and who reportedly refused to offer any medical assistance afterwards.

There’s a reason for that.

It’s not like it’s hard to find his name online. And as outraged as I was when I read about the incident, I was just as  sickened to read on LAist’s followup to the incident: *Note: There are other Dr. (name deleted)s in the Los Angeles area who work in medicine and unfortunately some are being wrongly threatened.

And this from the moderator of the Socal Bike Forum’s thread on the Mandeville Incident:

Just to clarify on the “name” issue. We all know who the guy is now, where he lives and where he works… but there is no good reason for posting his personal information on a public board. On another bike site, his name and phone number was displayed and some yokels thought it would be fun to start systematic harassment. Turns out, they posted the number of the wrong guy. (EDIT: LAist just closed their “Comments” feature because a number of men with the same name have been threatened.) Similarly, the hospital where the doctor works undoubtedly has more pressing issues than dealing with phone calls from a bunch of angry cyclists. That is why we do not want such information posted. The two riders have asked that no one take matters into their own hands, and to let the police do their job…

As my friend, and author of the excellent Altadena Blog that covers life in Pasadena’s less pretentious northern neighbor, put it, “…but it’s OK the threaten the RIGHT one? Anonymous phone calls to HIS mailbox are OK? I’m with the bikers on this one, but…let the cops do the threatening! That’s what they’re paid for!”

I wonder what the doctors who were mistakenly threatened think about cyclists now? Our public perception is bad enough in this town without going around threatening innocent people.

If you’ve been following the story online, like I have, you’ve undoubtedly seen countless comments threatening the doctor, or vowing retaliation against other drivers — just as there have been comments that the riders had it coming. And countless others vowing mass traffic disruptions if the charges are dropped, or if the good doctor should somehow be acquitted.

This isn’t the time for violence — as if there ever is a right time — or aggressive civil disobedience. That would only undo the progress our community has made over the past two weeks.

No, this is a time for action.

Contact the mayor’s office and your local council member to support passage of the Cyclist’s Bill of Rights, and demand prosecution of all violent acts against cyclists, as well as an end to police bias in favor of motorists. Contact the governor’s office, as well as your local representatives in the state legislature, and ask them to take real action to protect cyclists and encourage safe cycling everywhere in California.

And while you’re at it, remind them that you bike.

And you vote.

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