Tag Archive for Caltrans

Red alert for climate change, ebikes now welcome in Santa Monica Mountains, and PCH bike lane closure tomorrow

Before we start, I’m aware of the death of a well-known Upland man who was struck by a speeding motorcyclist while riding his bike last week. 

I’ve reached out for official confirmation, and just trying to avoid getting ahead of the story before family members are all notified. 

We should know more later today. 

Thanks to Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner of CLR Effect for the heads-up. 

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The United Nations has issued a red alert on climate change.

A new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world is facing environmental disaster, with humankind unable to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace of change.

This is what the New York Times had to say.

The report also carries a stark warning: If temperatures keep rising, many parts of the world could soon face limits in how much they can adapt to a changing environment. If nations don’t act quickly to slash fossil fuel emissions and halt global warming, more and more people will suffer unavoidable loss or be forced to flee their homes, creating dislocation on a global scale…

Many leaders, including President Biden, have vowed to limit total global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels. That’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic climate impacts increases significantly.

But achieving that goal would require nations to all but eliminate their fossil-fuel emissions by 2050, and most are far off-track. The world is currently on pace to warm somewhere between 2 degrees and 3 degrees Celsius this century, experts have estimated.

That alone should be the only argument we need to ensure pedestrians, bicycles and transit are given priority, not on some streets, but on every street.

And yes, that includes removing parking to build bike lanes.

Because whether or not that inconveniences someone today, it’s a lot better than watching the world go up in flames tomorrow.

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It’s now legal to ride an ebike on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, which will be allowed for the next year on a trial basis.

Thanks to mountain bike advocacy group CORBA for the tip.

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Caltrans is planning to close the bike lanes in both directions on PCH tomorrow and Thursday, between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road west of Malibu.

The roadway will be reduced to a single lane in both directions to restore the retaining wall between supporting the roadway over the ocean.

Bike riders are urged to avoid the area for the next two days.

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Sign the petition to get the Healthy Streets LA measure on the ballot for the November general election on the UCLA campus tomorrow, from 2 pm to 4 pm on the Bruin Walk.

The ballot measure will improve traffic congestion and safety, while fighting climate change, by requiring Los Angeles to build out the city’s groundbreaking mobility plan whenever streets are repaved.

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Streetsblog takes a look at the nascent progress on the new protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive near Griffith Park.

Credit goes to CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman for pushing the project through.

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If you’re in the Bay Area, here’s your chance to start your bike advocacy modeling career.

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Once you’ve experienced the peloton, a war zone is nothing.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1498385440008667139

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Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is the face of a new ad for bike tourism in Slovenia.

Best advice — turn off the sound and ignore the captions so you can just take in the spectacular views.

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

Someone is sabotaging bike lanes on a Mesa, Arizona highway by covering them with caltrops — small, multi-spiked metal tacks designed so one of the spikes always points up to puncture tires — which could cause a dangerous crash, especially if the rider fell into the roadway.

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

A 19-year old British man is on trial for the horrific murder of a 17-year old Black man, after chasing the victim into a store to stab him repeatedly with a “Rambo-style knife,” apparently at random; the entire attack took just minutes, with the accused killer leaving home on his bicycle and returning just 18 minutes later.

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Local

Streetsblog offers more information on the abrupt departure of Metro Senior Executive Officer for Construction and Engineering Abdollah Ansari, who apparently never met a freeway project he didn’t like; Ansari leaving Metro could mean less pressure to widen and extend freeways, and more emphasis on biking, walking and transit.

Gabe the Sasquatch could be making a post-pandemic comeback as the mascot of the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets, as the popular open streets event returns on May 1st with a five-mile Mission to Mission route stretching from San Gabriel through Alhambra to South Pasadena.

 

State 

Bad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was in stable condition after suffering life-threatening injuries in a collision with a driver Saturday night.

Berkeley is considering permanently banning cars from Telegraph Avenue, converting the iconic street into a pedestrian, bike, and transit-only plaza.

A Bay Area website recommends four relatively short wine tours you can do by bike. Just remember it can be a lot harder to make the pedals go round after sampling a few vintages. Or maybe that’s just me. 

 

National

Momentum Magazine talks with Black Girls Do Bike executive director Monica Garrison about the phenomenal growth of the the nationwide organization, which she founded as a Facebook page a decade ago looking for riding companions.

A bighearted Indianapolis coach driver is giving out free bike lights to passengers who need them, after seeing a bike rider struck and killed by a driver while getting off a bus.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper says local restaurants were already suffering long before the bike lanes went in that they blame for a slowdown in business. Similar to LA’s Venice Blvd, where protected bike lanes were blamed for every nearby business failure, regardless of whether the businesses were struggling before they were built.

A DC writer beat the cost and hassle of an Uber ride to the airport by investing all of $3.85 for a seven-mile bikeshare ride.

The Tampa, Florida state attorney is addressing the problem of Biking While Black by declining to prosecute bike riders arrested for non-violent acts.

 

International

An English town extends a ban on bikes in the city center during a contentious council meeting, despite a majority of the speakers wanting it removed.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says if you think bike helmets and hi-viz are the answer to bicycle safety, you’re asking the wrong question.

An Egyptian man rode over 700 miles across the country to encourage the return of tourism.

 

Competitive Cycling

The racing season is off to a fast start, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and Canadian Michael Woods taking the top two podium spots at the four-stage Gran Camiño.

The International Olympic Committee, aka IOC, urges cycling’s governing body and other International sports federations to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine.

A writer for Outside recommends Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 1928 autobiography, The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.

 

Finally…

How to get banned and unbanned for cheating on Zwift. Now you, too, can build your very own pedal-free prop-driven snow bike.

And of course the president of Ukraine is one of us.

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

More proof bike lanes reduce traffic congestion, and Caltrans commits to non-Vision Zero Vision Zero by 2050

A new study confirms what we already knew.

Bike lanes reduce congestion.

The Carnegie Mellon University study demonstrates how increasing bicycle and micromobility use can lead to a notable decrease in traffic congestion.

But only if there is sufficient infrastructure in place to support increased ridership.

Meanwhile, a study from the Urban Institute suggests that protected and buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and offroad paths offer a far better solution than painted bike lanes, let alone sharrows.

Your move, Los Angeles.

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Caltrans has finally, semi-officially committed to Vision Zero, even if they very carefully avoided using the term.

And even if they gave themselves nearly 30 years to get there, which effective absolves the agency of the need to take immediate action, giving them every opportunity to kick the can down the road.

But it’s a start.

Maybe someday, someone will actually do more than just start.

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No irony here.

KTown For All co-founder Jane Nguyen was struck by a driver as she was walking in a Koreatown crosswalk (scroll down), while on her way to gather signatures for the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure.

The initiative would improve street safety and transportation by requiring the city to build out the mobility plan as streets are repaved, rather than the current policy of just pretending the plan doesn’t exist.

Nguyen was rushed to the ER by bike rider and corgi owner Kenneth Mejia, who’s running for city controller and has been endorsed by this site.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured.

And no, I didn’t endorse Mejia just because he rides a bike and has a couple corgis. But it didn’t hurt.

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If you know, or are, a Pasadena public school student, here’s your chance to learn how to fix a bike. And maybe even win a new one.

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Today is the last day to apply for the inaugural Los Angeles City Youth Council. Because it wouldn’t hurt to ensure we have a bike-friendly voices on there.

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But people on bicycles are entitled.

Right?

https://twitter.com/runolgarun/status/1498169046734295040

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Just in case anyone thinks you can’t defend your homeland with a bicycle.

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

A pair of homeless men face charges for beating a Kansas man to death with a metal pipe; at least one of the men was arrested as he rode away on a bicycle afterwards.

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Local

No news it good news, right?

 

State 

San Diego opened a pair of bikeways on Fourth and Fifth Avenues through the Bankers Hill and Hillcrest neighborhoods. Which would have allowed me to safely ride to work when I lived down there. But they only came about three decades too late.

A KPBS roundtable discussion considers what effect the debate over bike lanes will have on San Diego’s climate action plan.

Travel & Leisure recommends REI’s three-day, 113-mile supported bike tour through Joshua Tree National Park, for the low, low price of $1,099 for members. Or for the same price, just get your bike fixed-up, buy a tent and camping gear, and do it yourself.

A writer for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition calls for improving street safety before anyone else gets killed, after a San Francisco pastor was run down from behind while training for a bike ride to Long Beach.

Lodi considers converting an unused railway right-of-way to a rail-to-trail project.

 

National

Road Bike Action wants to talk about your varicose veins. Mine came courtesy of a road raging driver who intentionally slammed into my bike, driving the front cog into my calf.

A new reverse-tricycle ebike from an Oregon bikemaker offers pedal-by-wire, with no direct mechanical connection to the three independent electric motors that power each wheel; the bike also has as a tilting design that allows it to corner like a two-wheeled bike.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes considers lowering prices on its most popular models, just months after increasing them due in part to the international bike part shortage.

A Las Vegas bike rider was killed when a bus driver failed to notice the victim was riding to the right of the bus, forcing the rider to cling to the side of the moving bus until he or she lost their grip, and fell into it.

Business owners in Columbus, Ohio and Cambridge, Massachusetts insist on shooting themselves in the foot by fighting plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes, even though studies show bike riders spend more than drivers on a monthly basis, and that bike lanes encourage shopping while increasing local sales.

Streetsblog accuses New York officials of a literal coverup after the city did a “fast and shoddy repair” to caved-in pavement on a city street, following the death of a 77-year old man who fell from his bike after hitting the broken pavement; the city had ignored complaints about the problem for nearly three years. Which means the inevitable lawsuit should be a slam dunk.

Kindhearted cops in Coral Springs, Florida gave a young boy a new bicycle, replacing the one he was riding when he was struck by a driver and pinned under the car while on his way to school. Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured.

Yet another Florida bike rider has been caught on an open draw bridge, as video came to light of a man clinging to the bridge for dear life last November; the news comes after a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a similar incident earlier this month.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from plants.

Brazen bike thieves attempted to use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle in broad daylight on a busy Edinburgh street; fortunately, they were interrupted by people passing by, who guarded it until the owner returned.

Good idea. An Edinburg bike advocacy group has issued an election manifesto calling for creation of a comprehensive network of protected bike lanes and a 30 percent reduction in motor vehicle traffic.

Brompton wants to build a new $134 million factory on an English wetlands, which the company says it will convert to a nature preserve; the factory would employ 1,500 people within five years.

More on the 80-year old British truck driver who killed a 66-year old man who was riding an ebike; court testimony shows he didn’t even brake or take evasive action before slamming into the victim. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive, let alone operate a work truck.

A journalist describes his usual bike route as a “Russian Death Valley” after Ukrainian forces beat back an attack by invading forces.

A Turkish paper describes bicycling as a way of life in the country’s central province of Konya, which is home to 351 miles of bike paths.

Around 400 bike riders hit the streets of Hyderabad, India armed with placards calling on drivers to pay more attentions around people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. After winning the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race on Sunday, Dutch cyclist Fabio Jacobsen notes that while young men were fighting to win a bike race, other young men were fighting for their country and their lives against overwhelming odds in Ukraine.

Italian pro Matteo Trentin rejected Chris Froome’s call to ban time trial bikes, saying the problem isn’t the type of bicycle being ridden, but the amount of people in cars.

Spanish motorcycle racer Aleix Espargaró says he nearly joined a pro cycling team after taking up the sport following a bad motorbike crash, calling bicycling the worst drug in the world because “the more you go, the more you want.” Although some of us would say that’s why it’s the best drug.

Two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange will be out of commission for awhile, after the German triathlete suffered a joint injury in a training fall.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your very own Wu-Tang Clan fixie. If you’re riding your bike with a half gram of fentanyl hidden in your bra, put a damn light on it — the bike that is, not the bra.

And evidently, there’s more than one way to ride around the world — and without breaking a sweatThanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

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

Volunteers needed for LA Mobility Plan initiative, and a call to fix dangerous 2 Freeway/Glendale Blvd stub

Streets For All wants to make Los Angeles put its money where its mouth is.

Or maybe put its stripes where its pavement goes.

As we’ve repeatedly discussed, the LA city council unanimously passed the groundbreaking 2010 bike plan, which included three separate but interconnected bike networks to take riders across their own neighborhood or across the city.

That was subsumed into the equally groundbreaking 2035 Mobility Plan, along with LA’s Vision Zero plan, which promised to reshape how we get around the City of Angels. And which passed with just two negative votes — from bike-hating Gil Cedillo and self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz, who apparently never met a car he didn’t like.

Then all three plans were immediately placed on the shelf, and promptly forgotten.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1490514757580775428

As a result, Streets For All is introducing a ballot measure that would require the city to implement the mobility plan whenever a street gets resurfaced, as some other cities have done.

Which, as we’ve all seen, isn’t often enough.

But here’s what the organization has to say about the initiative.

Announcing Healthy Streets LA – a ballot measure to change things once and for all.

We’re excited to share our ballot measure with you – and we need your help to get it on the ballot!

Despite passing a 2035 Mobility Plan containing over 1,500 miles of pedestrian safety improvements, bus lanes, and bike lanes, the City of Los Angeles has implemented less than 3% of their plan in seven years. One tragic result of this failure has been exploding traffic violence in Los Angeles, with an increasing number of people getting hurt and killed each year. We don’t have to live this way.

Healthy Streets LA is a ballot measure requiring the City to implement its own plan each time it repaves a street. Since a street has to be re-striped anyway after repaving, this will reduce the cost and dramatically speed up the implementation of the Mobility Plan on the hundreds of miles of streets the city repaves each year.

To qualify for the ballot, we need to turn in 65,000 qualified signatures by May 27th. If we can get it on the ballot, our polling shows it would easily pass. We are excited to partner with LACBC, Climate Resolve, Streets Are For Everyone, Sunrise Movement LA, the West Valley Peoples Alliance, The Transit Coalition, and The River Project on this effort.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

  1. Sign up to volunteer and gather signatures in your area.
  2. Sign up to be an area director and manage volunteers in your area.
  3. Pledge to sign the petition – and get others to as well.

This is the most ambitious thing we’ve ever worked on, and together with your help and the help of our coalition, we can pull it off, and change our city forever.

Hopefully this will get enough signatures to get on the ballot. I’ll be signing it the first chance I get.

Then we’ll see if our fellow Angelenos really support making the changes needed to address traffic congestion, street safety, smog and climate change.

Or like our elected officials, they’d rather just sit in their cars all day, and let someone else deal with it.

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton calls on Caltrans to fix the 2 Freeway stub, where a bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run on Glendale Blvd last month.

Linton writes that the freeway was part of the infamous Beverly Hills Freeway, which was cancelled in the 1960s when residents of the “wealthier and whiter neighborhoods” it was supposed to go through rose up against it.

Unlike the less wealthy and white neighborhoods that were obliterated to build some of LA’s other freeways.

Today unfinished freeway merges with heavily travelled, high-speed Glendale Blvd, with its heavily travelled, high-speed slip lanes dangerously dumping freeway traffic onto the boulevard.

Naturally, Caltrans, Metro and the City of LA recognized the problem, and immediately set out to do what they do best.

Nothing.

For many years, Metro, Caltrans and LADOT worked to plan a State Route 2 Terminus Improvement Project. Streetsblog covered the meetings – with a telling 2009 headline that read LADOT Values Capacity over Community on Route 2/Glendale Blvd., Drags Metro along for the Ride. The process resulted in a 2009 Metro board approval of a so-called hybrid alternative that largely ignored the surrounding community’s push for less traffic and more green space.

Metro published fact sheets and broke the project up into phases, declaring that “this approach ensures delivery of the improvements as quickly as possible.” To make the wretched place not quite so hostile, these agencies had planned to add landscaping, ornamental street lights, and sidewalks – and to leave the deadly slip lane in place…

Then, like several other freeway stub-end reimaginings that even barely shift space away from driving, the Metro Highway Program and Caltrans quietly shelved the already-inadequate plans (after completing modest Phase 1A improvements). The project has been scrubbed from Metro’s website (find it at the Wayback Machine).

The city of L.A. approved protected bike lanes for this part of Glendale Boulevard in the city’s Mobility Plan. But, like the rest of the non-car features in that plan, the bikeway was never pursued.

Which takes us back to Streets For All’s ballot initiative we mention above, to force the city to build out the mobility plan.

And the need for Caltrans to live up to its newfound commitment to safer, more complete streets and roadways — if they really mean it this time.

If the victim of this crash had been more seriously injured, he would have been able to sue Caltrans and Los Angeles for failing to fix a situation they clearly knew was dangerous over a dozen years ago, but decided to just leave that way.

Fortunately for him, he escaped serious injury.

But because of that, there’s little chance of finding an attorney willing take the case, and force them to make the changes that are so desperately needed to improve safety for everyone.

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Sometimes it takes people on bicycles to stand up to people in trucks.

Bike riders in Vancouver were able to block and delay, if not halt, a large truckers convoy protesting Canada’s vaccination requirements, one of several roiling the country.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the links.

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Speaking of Lynch, she calls on bike-friendly Davis to conduct drills for cargo bike owners to simulate bringing in relief supplies following a natural disaster.

Which wouldn’t be a bad idea down here, or wherever you are.

And toss in all those fat-tired ebikes while we’re at it.

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

No bias here. The British press goes berserk over a “feckless” bike rider “making mockery of the Highway Code” by taking a selfie while riding in the middle of the traffic lane, making it “impossible to pass.” Even though the cabbie filming him on dashcam didn’t seem to have any trouble passing him after just a few moments.

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

Pleasanton mountain bikers demand more access after more than a dozen riders were cited by park police, despite the fact the ticketed riders weren’t on a designated trail. Seriously, don’t complain if you’re not willing to play by the rules and protect the land.

Tulsa police fatally shot a man who allegedly pulled a gun from his waistband; he was accused fleeing on a bicycle after robbing a man outside a check cashing business.

Police in Kent, England are looking for a bike rider who allegedly attacked a young woman and threatened her following a collision. Look, adrenalin is born to be running high after something like that, but violence is never the answer. So just don’t.

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Local

Metro calls on everyone to mark Black History Month by supporting Black-owned businesses while using bikeshare and transit.

The NASCAR Foundation teamed with All Kids Bike to provide 50 Los Angeles area schools with fleets of 24 balance bikes, along with pedal-conversion kits, helmets, a teacher’s instruction bike and an eight-lesson curriculum to teach kids how to ride a bicycle.

Pasadena will consider the city’s new pedestrian plan, which will move to the city council soon following the end of public comment. Anything that improves safety for pedestrians should be good for people on bicycles, too.

A crowdfunding campaign for the Hermosa Beach bike rider rescued by his Apple Watch has raised nearly $22,000, despite confusion over whether he fell or was attacked from behind.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would permanently exempt from environmental review any projects designed to improve safety for walking or biking, improve bus speeds or modernize light rail stations; a current law that does just that will expire next year. Environmental regulations have long been abused by NIMBYs using tortured legal arguments to halt projects that would benefit the environment by encouraging alternative transportation.

This is who we share the road with. A 33-year old man was sentenced to 15 to life for the drunken hit-and-run that killed one man and seriously injured another in a 2018 Santa Ana crash; Jesus Segura Herrera was over three times the legal alcohol limit when he slammed into another car after drinking at a company party.

The Executive Director of San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will discuss the state of bicycling in San Diego County in a Zoom conference at high noon tomorrow.

If you build it, they will come. New San Diego bike counters show the city’s bike lanes are seeing an average of 2,000 riders a day, even in the middle of winter.

A Santa Barbara letter writer praises a new multi-use path along Las Positas and Modoc Roads, calling it “beautiful and well done,” while noting some bike riders may prefer to stay in the traffic lanes.

A Cal Berkeley student relates the lessons she learned riding down the California coast with a male companion. Including that nearly every man they met directed their questions to the guy, not her.

 

National

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is celebrating National Winter Bike to Work Day this Friday, complete with a free breakfast for anyone on a bicycle. Yet somehow, we can’t manage to mark the day here in Los Angeles, where the weather is perfect for it.

That’s more like it. Denver is more than doubling the cost of parking tickets for drivers who block a bike lane, sidewalk or crosswalk, raising the fee from a paltry $25 to $65. Maybe if we did that here in Los Angeles, we might actually stop people from parking in bike lanes. Of course, that would require the city to actually ticket them, which they seem reluctant to do.

Sad news from Brooklyn, where a woman was killed by a school bus driver in an apparent right hook; she’d been commuting by ebike to protect her family from Covid and lighten her environmental footprint.

Thirty years after a 61-year old New York man founded a bike messenger service, he’s traded his bicycle for a keyboard to pursue his passion for music, living off donations as a street busker.

Philadelphia decides to keep one of the city’s most dangerous streets that way by scrapping plans for a road diet, even though it was judged to be the safest option and had widespread support; they claimed they didn’t do enough outreach to underrepresented communities. Evidently, Los Angeles isn’t the only city where leaders have to scrounge for any excuse to not do the right thing.

Tragic news from Georgia, where the founder of the local chapter of the Bikes Up, Guns Down group to use bicycles, dirt bikes and ATVs to reduce gun violence was himself the victim of a fatal shooting.

Horrible news from West Palm Beach, Florida, where a woman was killed when she fell through a draw bridge as she was walking her bicycle across; she was just ten feet from safety when she fell through a gap in the roadway, falling up to six stories to her death.

 

International

London’s mayor warns of disastrous consequences for bicyclists if the city’s transportation department is forced to slash the equivalent of $678 million in spending, due to declining revenue resulting from people working from home or avoiding transit systems.

London firefighters issue a warning after a rash of apartment fires sparked by ebike batteries.

An English ebike rider was killed in a collision with a pedestrian, dispelling the myth that only pedestrians are at risk in such crashes. Unlike with motor vehicles, where pedestrians and people on bicycles face nearly 100% of the risk.

An English bike rider says he’s reported 300 dangerous drivers to the police, and taken five to court himself based on based on bike cam video, and claims he’ll keep going until drivers treat people on bicycles better. Yet another reminder that the law has to be changed in this country to allow drivers to be ticketed or charged with misdemeanors based on video or photo evidence, which is currently barred in most cases.

A volunteer with a UK mountain rescue team was called on to save an unconscious mountain biker, only to discover the victim was his own 42-year old son.

British bike cab company Pedal Me bizarrely cites safety concerns for prohibiting their riders from wearing bike helmets.

A Dublin paper considers whether the city can ever be made safe for bike riders, as former pro Nicolas Roche says even he feels like he’s risking his life there.

That’s more like it, too. The government of Australia’s New South Wales state has announced plans to more than double its current spending of $950 million for active transportation.

More awful news, as an alleged drunk driver in India’s Uttar Pradesh state was beaten to death after losing control on a speed bump and crashing into someone on a bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist David Dekker was lucky to escape serious injury when he rode off the side of the road and into a ravine during last week’s Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Longtime Spanish pro Alejandro Valverde announced plans to call it a career at the end of the upcoming racing season after two decades as a pro cyclist.

The former captain of Afghanistan’s first women’s cycling team is now living in Roanoke, Virginia, where she’ll compete with the Blue Ridge Twenty24 in hopes of making it to Paris for the 2024 Olympics.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you give accident-prone TV star a set of training wheels for his ebike. Bicycling as a tool to reduce inbreeding.

And folding bike, folding wheels.

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

Caltrans commits to Complete Streets — no, really, Raman wants your street requests, and Dierks does it again

It’s the penultimate day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just two more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Sarah S and Castell C for their generous donations to help keep all the best, brightest and freshest bike news coming to your way every day.

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

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Maybe they’re finally done making excuses.

Streetsblog reports Caltrans has finally and formally embraced Complete Streets, supplanting an earlier policy that was seen as weak-kneed and too easy to weasel out of, which they usually did.

This time, it seems to have teeth.

The policy, signed by director Toks Omishakin on December 7, states that “Caltrans recognizes that streets are not only used for transportation but are also valuable community spaces. Accordingly, in locations with current and/or future pedestrian, bicycle, or transit needs, all transportation projects funded or overseen by Caltrans will provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities for people walking, biking, and taking transit or passenger rail unless an exception is documented and approved. When decisions are made not to include complete streets elements in capital and maintenance projects, the justification will be documented with final approval by the responsible District Director.”

It says all the right things.

We’ll see if they actually live up to it.

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If, like me, you still live in LA’s 4th Council District, which lost 2/3 of its previous residents in redistricting, it looks like Councilmember Nithya Raman is actually asking for help identifying needed changes on the streets.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1473777941440049157

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Country start Dierks Bentley, who was apparently born during a vowel surplus, learns a lesson about filming while fat biking in the snow. But at least he didn’t break a hip this time.

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Local

No surprise here. LAist says how long it takes to make safety improvements to a street depends on who represents your neighborhood on the city council. Or as we’ve learned the hard way, whether it gets done at all.

Speaking of which, South LA’s deadly Adams Blvd is finally getting a makeover under the city’s Vision Zero program, despite not currently having a representative on the city council after Mark Ridley-Thomas stepped back in the wake of bribery charges; the street saw nine traffic deaths in just three years, including a bike rider who remains officially unnamed two years later.

US Representative Judy Chu met with Glendora officials and Active SGV Executive Director David Diaz to tour the city’s Greenway Network, and tout the benefits of the new federal bipartisan infrastructure law.

 

State

Streets For All is joining Calbike in calling on the state to commit $2 billion of the record $31 billion budget surplus to active transportation projects; the money would fund 80 shovel-ready biking and walking projects throughout the state, including 17 in Los Angeles County.

 

National

Forbes recommends seven bike storage options to help get your whips squared away.

NBA all-star Kevin Love is one of us, telling a reporter the hardest workout he’s ever done was his annual ride up Utah’s 8.250-foot Mount Timpanogos.

Denver is reducing speed limits in residential neighborhoods to 20 mph. Which would be a good idea for Los Angeles, except the current 25 mph speed limit is already universally ignored by drivers.

A Michigan man can credit a wrong turn with saving his life, after an off-duty nurse spotted him writhing in a bike lane after she turned on the the wrong street on a freezing morning; without her help, the man could have bled out or frozen to death after apparently crashing his bike — or maybe getting knocked off it.

There’s a special place in hell for the man who stole a kids bike to make his escape as he fled a collision where he had just killed a woman while driving a stolen truck.

Nice. New York’s newly appointed transportation commissioner commits to replacing half of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts that pass for protection on too many of the city’s 198 miles of protected bike lanes, with something more solid and actually protective in his first 100 days in office.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare was knocked offline at the height of rush hour yesterday when Amazon’s internet servers went down again.

A 21-year old Florida man faces multiple charges for the alleged drunken and stoned crash that killed a father out for his daily bike ride. But his lawyer thinks he should get credit for sticking around and trying to help the man, who wouldn’t have needed it if he hadn’t been driving.

 

International

Momentum questions whether ebikes are suited for cold North American winters, noting that they don’t perform well in temperatures below 0° Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik examines the problem of lithium mines needed to fuel the world’s conversion to electric cars — a problem shared by ebikes, albeit to a lesser degree.

Speaking of a special place in hell, whoever stole a Vancouver man’s mountain bike as he lay in the hospital recovering from a ruptured spleen certainly deserves it; remarkably, police recovered the man’s bike days later after spotting it during a walkthrough of an SRO hotel.

An 85-year old Frenchman got back the bike his father built from spare parts in 1946 when he was ten years old, after it was recovered by a junk dealer in good, rideable condition.

An Aussie man got his stolen $15,000 Cervelo back after spotting an ad on Facebook selling just the wheels for $1,000; police charged a woman with possessing stolen property.

 

Competitive Cycling

Will the last bike race to leave the US please turn off the lights? The Tour of Utah became just the latest in a long list of major bike races to bite the dust, joining the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and too many others, in going out of business.

PEZ Cycling News considers history’s best comebacks in the pro peloton, including the problematic Mr. Armstrong.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to set a playground on fire, don’t leave your bike there afterwards — and don’t try to tell the police someone stole it. That feeling when the cops apparently stole a bike corral, because parking.

And celebrate the holidays with a mountain biker’s entertaining take on the season’s most interminable carol.

………

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

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

………

Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

………

CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

………

Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

………

More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

………

Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

https://twitter.com/grescoe/status/1450864913396781063

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

………

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

………

Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

………

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

Arrest made in fatal Vista Del Mar hit-and-run, PCH shoulder closing near Point Mugu, and feds cut ebike tax rebate

It looks like the LAPD got their man.

Police arrested 39-year old Darwin Dantzler for the hit-and-run death of a mother as she carried her three-year old son across Vista Del Mar last weekend.

Wendy Galdamez Palma was attempting to make her way from the beach to her car parked on the other side of the deadly roadway. She reportedly turned away from the onrushing car, sacrificing herself to save her child.

Palma would not have had to cross the street if city leaders had the courage to keep a road diet in place that shifted parking to the west side of the street to protect beachgoers, after a 16-year old girl was killed crossing the street several years ago.

The city settled a lawsuit over that crash for $9.5 million.

Palma’s death will likely cost Los Angeles a lot more, after city leaders caved in to demands from angry pass-through drivers used to using the street as a free-flowing  freeway bypass, ripping out the road diet and returning Vista Del Mar to its previous dangerous state.

And making another death virtually inevitable.

Authorities showed just how seriously they don’t take traffic crime in California, releasing Dantzler on a remarkably low $50,000 bail, given the seriousness of his crime.

Then again, he faces a maximum of just four years behind bars for felony hit-and-run. And if he’s convicted, he’ll likely serve less than half of that with good behavior.

Meanwhile, Wendy Galdamez Palma was — allegedly — given the death penalty at Dantzler’s hands.

And her husband and kids will have to somehow find a way to go on without her.

………

Caltrans will be closing a section of shoulder on southbound PCH in Ventura County for several months to repair damaged retaining walls.

If you ride through that area, you can expect to share the right lane with motorists.

But at least they’ll be dramatically lowering the speed limit through the construction zone. Let’s just hope drivers obey it.

Especially when someone on a bike is in front of them.

………

PeopleForBikes is urging everyone to voice your support for a proposed federal ebike tax credit and bike commuter benefit.

Although Treehugger argues, correctly, that ebike incentives are laughable compared to those for electric cars — especially after the House Ways and Means Committee cut the proposed benefit in half to just 15% of the purchase price, with a max of a lousy $750.

But at least that’s $750 we wouldn’t get otherwise.

Meanwhile, Calbike wants you to email Governor Newsom and urge him to sign AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which will allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of us already do anyway.

AAA and the CHP had an outsized influence on our last governor. Hopefully they won’t oppose this bill. Or if they do, let’s hope Newsom listens to more enlightened voices and signs it anyway

And congratulate him on keeping his job while you’re at it.

It never hurts to suck up a little.

………

Valley Blvd is well on its way to getting shiny new curb-protected bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/boyonabike62/status/1438329554058186753

………

More proof, as if you need it, that Bike Index works.

So what are you still waiting for? Get free lifetime registration now, before you need it.

………

This could be huge.

………

Evidently, the new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge pass inspection.

………

Milan is reclaiming space from cars, and giving it back to people.

So what the hell are we waiting for?

https://twitter.com/_dmoser/status/1438388469785575431

………

We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about avian dive bombers.

https://twitter.com/gplama/status/1437311200002408451

………

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

I don’t even know what to say about this one, as a cop tells someone on a bicycle that it’s not safe to ride in a bike lane, because of all the cars in it. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

Be on the lookout for bike-riding Santa Monica cello thieves.

Dallas police are looking for a shirtless, purple-pantsed, pistol-packing bike rider who fired a shot into a vehicle Wednesday afternoon.

………

Local

Metro Bike bikeshare is now brought to you by Doordash.

Los Angeles approved plans to make street improvements, such as bulbouts, speed humps and traffic circles, to deter street racing, which should improve safety for everyone by slowing all traffic.

CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León will host an open house to discus plans for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit through Eagle Rock on October 2nd; if you live, work or ride in the area — or want to — show up to support the Beautiful Boulevard Complete Streets plan.

 

State

Caltrans offered an update on $100 million in funding for Complete Streets projects on state roadways, including three projects in Los Angeles County, as well as others in Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

Yuba Bicycles is moving its HQ to San Juan Capistrano, with a couple new jobs in the front office.

Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing is working with a number of bike brands to give away a couple of custom bicycles, to raise funds and awareness for a pair of nonprofits working to repair severe damage to trail systems due to flooding and wildfires in Northern California and North Carolina.

 

National

Bicycling offers tips for better trail etiquette on your next off-road expedition. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

A Streetsblog op-ed offers advice on how to take on the NIMBYs, and beat opponents of street safety.

A physicians website argues that riding a bicycle to work can make you a better doctor.

Cycling News takes a deep dive into the “unique sizing, geometry and design of gravel bikes.”

Your next bike helmet could filter the air you breathe while you ride.

A new app promises to help you get your bike fit right.

Scary news from Alaska, where a doctor is urging everyone to leave their bikes at home because all the hospitals are full of Covid patients, and they may not be able to treat you if you get hurt.

You’d think it would be hard to go belly up in the middle of a worldwide bike boom, but a Denver bike shop would beg to differ.

An Oklahoma driver had his manslaughter conviction and 19-year sentence for killing a 12-year old, bike-riding Cherokee boy overturned, after the state Supreme Court ruled it had no jurisdiction on Indian lands.

A 74-year old Wisconsin man pled guilty to the hit-and-run death of a teenage boy riding a bicycle on the eve of his trial; he allegedly drove off after the crash, then returned to slowly drive by the crash site before fleeing again, leaving the boy to die in a ditch on the side of the road.

Shades of Vista Del Mar, as a Chicago bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver on a street where parking protected bike lanes were ripped out eight years ago, just because homeowners wanted to park next to the curb.

NatGeo sings the praises of Minneapolis as a bicycling city and a leader in the urban bicycling movement.

This one will put a smile on your face, as an Indianapolis paper profiles a 72-year old woman who’s famous locally for riding her pink bicycle everywhere she goes in her neighborhood.

A DC writer argues that every block matters in the fight for safer streets and a better climate.

Nice story from South Carolina, where a young boy riding an old bike crashed into a stranger’s car because he didn’t have any brakes, so instead of screaming at the boy, the man bought him a new bicycle, presumably with brakes that work.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers a beginner’s guide to shifting.

A woman riding through Mexico discovers firsthand what it’s like to run out of water in the middle of the desert; fortunately, she stumbled on total strangers who saved her.

Britain’s ex-health secretary is one of us, as he was spotted riding a Lime ebike through Trafalgar Square after being forced out of the government over an affair, while leaving his wife to suffer through long Covid alone. Schmuck.

Paris continues to free itself from the tyranny of motor vehicles, as Slate talks with David Belliard, the city’s adjunct mayor for transportation and public space.

Time is running out for Afghanistan’s women’s cycling community following the Taliban takeover of the country; a campaign to evacuate and resettle 28 bicyclists and their families has raised nearly $100,000 of the $250,000 goal.

 

Competitive Cycling

L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams is attempting to jumpstart the moribund heart of American cycling with a one-day, $100,000 crit in Sacramento next month, including equal payouts for men and women.

Of course, the way they’ve performed this season, there’s a good chance L39ion will just win all of that money back.

 

Finally…

One sure sign you’ve got too much money — paying $65 for an ounce and a half of chain lube; then again, what else would you use on your $12,700 ebike? Your next bike could come complete with a retractable plastic roof.

And always ride with a friend.

………

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

Metro considers shifting highway funds to active transportation, and LA Walks calls for saving Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro wants to know what you think.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking for public input on a proposal that would divert funding currently earmarked for highways to support active transportation and Complete Streets projects.

Here’s how The Source, Metro’s in-house blog, explains it.

In June 2020, Metro’s Board of Directors directed staff to explore ways to modernize the agency’s Highway Program to better align it with policy goals of reducing vehicle miles traveled while exploring the expansion of eligible projects to include active transportation and “complete streets” improvements that focus on all forms of mobility rather than just vehicles.

The changes, if implemented, would open certain Measure R and Measure M funding that is now reserved only for traditional highway or roadway projects to new types of improvements. Those improvements include bikeways, sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements, bus prioritization and explicitly using reductions in vehicle miles traveled as a criterion for planning and designing projects.

The plan, which has already received input from local governments, has been split into two sections, here and here.

Email your comments to MMGuidelines@metro.net, or snail mail them to:

LA Metro
One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-23-3
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Attention: MR MM Guidelines Revisions

………

Last week we learned about Caltrans plans to tear down an existing bike and pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino, while breaking their promise to replace it with a new and improved version.

Now an email from Los Angeles Walks is calling on them to reverse a bad decision.

Last week, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced their intention to permanently remove and not replace a pedestrian bridge connecting communities divided by the 101 Freeway.

While Caltrans suggested other alternatives for pedestrians, such as traffic signals and crosswalks, the removal of this bridge significantly limits the mobility of those walking or rolling. Currently, the Encino Ave. Pedestrian Bridge is located in at the intersection of Encino Ave. and Killion St (see arrow).

If removed, this reduces the number of options for residents in the area to cross the 101 freeway and places at risk a similar bridge on Amestoy Ave. about half a mile to the east. With both bridges gone local Angenelos would need to walk up to 2 miles to cross the 101 at White Oak Ave. or Balboa Blvd. Or they’ll have to walk up Louise Ave., a four lane road with scant pedestrian signage and infrastructure.

This bridge provides easy and safe access for those walking or rolling to go between the neighborhood and Burbank Ave., where you’ll find grocery stores, a pre-school, businesses, and other important community assets.

In 2019 alone, these local roads (displayed on the map) saw nearly 50 collisions. That same year the community experienced a horrific street racing crash along Burbank Blvd. that killed a 19 and 25 year old. If LA City is dedicated to its #VisionZero commitment (to reach 0 traffic deaths by 2025), tearing down a community-connecting pedestrian bridge over one of City’s largest and busiest freeways is the wrong way to go.

Our call to Action! 🚨

Let Caltrans know that the community, our seniors, our students need their pedestrian bridge. And we’ve made it easy for you!

Email Caltrans Now!

………

This is no April fools joke, as a new study shows popup bike lanes really do increase bicycling rates.

This is what the New York Times had to say.

The research, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in cities where bike infrastructure was added, cycling had increased up to 48 percent more than in cities that did not add bike lanes.

Dense cities where public transit was already popular generally saw the largest increases. In cities with lower density, more cars per capita and higher traffic speeds, the increase in cycling was more modest. Paris, which implemented its bike lane program early and had the largest pop-up bike lane program of any of the cities in the study, had one of the largest increases in riders.

“It almost seems like a natural law that the more infrastructure you have, the more cycling you will have,” said Sebastian Kraus, the study’s lead author.

The increases held up even after taking weather and changes in public transit supply and demand into account.

Then there was this.

Bicycles, unlike cars, do not emit greenhouse gases. Matthew Raifman, a doctoral student in environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health, found in a separate study that investments in infrastructure for cycling and walking more than paid for themselves once the health benefits were taken into account.

“They increase our physical activity and reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, which all have impacts on health,” Mr. Raifman said.

Which is about as good an argument for transferring Metro highway funds to healthier and more efficient uses as you could make.

………

The former Mayor Pete could have ridden in a chauffeured limo to his first cabinet meeting as US Transportation Secretary.

If he chose to ride a bike, it was to send a message.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

………

Betty White was one of us.

………

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

Cycliq shared a pair of punishment passes, as a truck driver passes safely once, then dipped into a bike lane to apparently send a frightening message. And a driver on a country road can’t be bothered to slow down literally for a second or two so a car coming in the opposite direction can pass, and takes it out on the person on the bike, instead.

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

This one fits in both categories, as a Hermosa Beach letter writer calls on the city to remove the “silly” sharrows on Hermosa Ave, after someone on a bicycle hit his son while he was crossing the street. Seriously, slow the hell down and ride carefully around pedestrians, especially kids. But just wait until someone tells this guy about cars. And don’t get me started on sharrows, which exist primarily to help drivers improve their aim. 

………

Local

Bike Talk posted the lengthy public comment portion of last night’s meeting to discuss remaking Eagle Rock’s Colorado Blvd to support the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line. And hopefully, make it a lot more livable and less car-centric.

Metro Bike’s ebikes will be free to unlock this month, although standard rates will apply after that.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is in the midst of a semi-virtual Pedal With Your Peeps scavenger hunt, including a self-guided tour with peep stops tomorrow. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Berkeley bike riders are being victimized by armed robbers who steal their bicycles while riding in the East Bay Hills; at least three people have been bike-jacked in the last week.

 

National

A writer for Electrek goes offroad riding on the $1099 RadMission ebike, and rates it “great.”

A Honolulu woman was the victim of a strange strong arm robbery when another woman repeatedly whacked her with a skateboard before making off with her bike — then bizarrely brought it back and walked away.

The rich get richer. Oregon bike riders will soon enjoy the benefits of a new $11.3 million program to build offroad bikeways around the the state. Much missed former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson heads the ambitious project.

A ghost bike for the five Las Vegas bicyclists killed by a meth-using truck driver was moved to a public school in downtown Summerlin; the plan is to rotate the memorial to different locations in the city raise awareness.

Colorado’s Tourism Office explains how to build a route through the high country wilderness by threading together by a series of scenic and historic byways. All of which are even better by bicycle. And say hi to my old stomping grounds on the Cache la Poudre River while you’re at it.

An Ohio girl became a published author while still in kindergarten, penning Bug on a Bike after getting inspired while riding with her father.

Streetsblog says yes, it’s illegal to ride your bike after smoking weed in New York, which just passed a bill legalizing recreational use. But not that illegal, since the state doesn’t have a specific statute banning biking under the influence, unlike California.

A series of weekend popup shops will bring high-end bike brands to New York that aren’t normally available in the US, including brands from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia and Italy. Someone needs to do this in Los Angeles, too.

An unlicensed driver living in the country illegally will serve up to 12 years behind bars for killing a Pennsylvania bike rider, then face deportation once he gets out. Although he couldn’t legally get a license in Pennsylvania, because he was in the country illegally.

 

International

Pink Bike collects the highlights of yesterday’s bike-related April fools pranks. I did kinda like the homeopathic mountain bike first aid kit.

Popular Science offers advice on how to get a bike during the worldwide bike shortage brought on by the pandemic-driven bike boom.

Cyclist examines the inside story of the perfect storm that resulted in an industry wide bike shortage.

A new report from Britain’s largest bike retailer suggests the bike boom is poised to continue post-pandemic.

No bias here. A London paper freaks out over a reality star’s video message encouraging people to get outside, recorded as he rode his bike “in the middle of the road.” Although they do approve of his helmet and uh, “bulging muscles.”

A UK website offers a head-to-pavement guide to gear for bike touring.

This one’s going on my own bike bucket list. A trio of British groups has developed a 2,000-mile bicycling route connecting all 42 Church of England cathedrals in England and Wales.

India’s abrupt lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of people to walk, bike or hitchhike back to their hometowns; for many, life may never be the same.

 

Competitive Cycling

Both the men’s and women’s Paris-Roubaix races have been postponed until October due to the pandemic.

VeloNews examines the technical aspects of how Irish cyclist Ronan McLaughlin became the latest in a long line of recent Everesting record holders, with a time of 6 hours, 40 minutes and 54 seconds, in part by focusing on shaving time on the descents; the solo attempt involves making multiple uphill climbs equivalent to the height of Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

Fixing flats with a water bottle. Offroad Viking biking on an Alaskan glacier.

And striking a blow for bike equality by riding up to the drive-through window to rob a bank.

Although maybe he should have picked one where they didn’t already know him.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Tell Metro don’t water down Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and Caltrans breaks promise to replace Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro still hasn’t gotten the message.

After the transit agency proposed a trio of auto-centric alternatives to accommodate a Bus Rapid Transit line on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, local residents took matters into their own hands.

And designed a beautiful, livable and much safer Complete Street that would accommodate everyone, while making the shopping street the envy of the LA area.

The design quickly won the support of County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who convinced Metro to go back to the drawing board.

Now word is they’re prepared to come back with watered-down alternatives to the Beautiful Blvd plan, which will no doubt range from drab to almost pretty, at best.

Now Streets For All is urging you to tell Metro that’s just not good enough.

Tell Metro you support bus and protected bike lanes on Colorado Blvd!

With our local partners on the ground, Streets For All has been supporting Beautiful Blvd – a well thought out plan to implement the NoHo to Pasadena BRT through Eagle Rock on Colorado Blvd. Thanks to our coalition’s efforts, Metro is now considering this option as THE option through Eagle Rock – and it has the public support of Supervisor Solis. But it’s not a done deal yet.

On Thursday, April 1 from 5-7pm, Metro will be hosting a community meeting and it’s critical that they overwhelmingly hear support for Beautiful Blvd. Here are some talking points.

VIEW TALKING POINTS + ZOOM INFO

Add the Metro meeting to your calendar

Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Outlook.com Yahoo

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It could soon get a lot harder and more dangerous to cross the Ventura Freeway in Encino.

Retired Caltrans District Bicycle-Ped Coordinator John Cinatl sends word that Caltrans is reneging on plans to replace the Encino Ave Pedestrian Overcrossing when the current bike/ped bridge is removed later this year.

Google street view of existing bridge over the 101 Freeway

Here’s how the state transportation agency explained their highly questionable decision.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) received comments, suggestions, and feedback from community members as well as elected officials regarding the US-101 Proposed Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Project. Most comments we received recommended or strongly suggested the permanent removal of the Overcrossing without reconstruction; Caltrans agrees. Caltrans will not replace the Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing (POC) after the proposed demolition. Caltrans is delaying the demolition and will further assess the need and financial feasibility of a range of alternative pedestrian improvements as suggested by community members, City of Los Angeles staff, as well as local and state elected officials.

This is what we could have had.

Without it, anyone who wants to cross the vast river of high speed traffic will be forced to share crowded bridges with impatient drivers navigating their way on and off the freeway — undoubtedly resulting in a seemingly inevitable jump in injury collisions involving bike riders and pedestrians.

Which LA officials and Caltrans are apparently just fine with.

In addition, a second nearby bike/ped bridge could be at risk.

Councilmember Paul Koretz, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and Senator Henry Stern offices suggested Caltrans also investigate the feasibility of permanently removing the US 101 Amestoy Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing, located ½ mile east from Encino Avenue POC. Caltrans will keep the community informed as this suggestion is further evaluated. Caltrans will work with City of Los Angeles on engineering studies, environmental reviews, and seek public comments.

It’s not surprising to see Koretz continue his strange fight to protect the environment by making it much more difficult to walk and bike.

Although maybe Gabriel and Stern could explain their inexplicable support, which seems to directly contradict Caltrans’ newfound commitment to Complete Streets, let alone common sense.

Because from here, it doesn’t make a damn bit of it.

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Active SGV wants your support to demand the public park Puente Hills was promised on the site of an old landfill.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1374560958731841541

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More evidence that the former Mayor Pete really gets it, as Keith Johnson forwards a screen grab of the following brief Twitter thread.

The question is whether his support will be enough to make a difference on our streets.

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Thanks to Austin Brown for pointing our attention to an endlessly fascinating Twitch stream disproving the myth of stop sign-running bicyclists.

Or rather, proving once and for all that we’re not the only ones.

https://www.tiktok.com/@jhbteam/video/6942363500756913413?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2F&referer_video_id=6942363500756913413&refer=embed

In fact, trackers following the stop sign stream point out that a whopping 98.73% drivers — just shy of 100% — don’t come to the full stop required by law.

And unlike people on bicycles, they’re the ones in the big, dangerous machines with limited visibility, and the potential to cause major harm if they’re not operated in a safe and legal manner.

Which these drivers clearly aren’t doing. Just like the ones on the corner of my block.

And probably most other corners, too.

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

No bias here. Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission is attempting to block plans for a bikeway on Sola Street, saying it would disrupt the virtual aesthetic of the city’s historic street grid. Because evidently, cars fit in just fine with their image of the early mission days.

No bias here, either. A Michigan radio personality comments on an early morning bike commuter she sees on her way to work every day, saying she doesn’t know “what this guy’s life situation is, but chances are he’s just a weirdo.”

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

Police in Flushing NY are looking for a bike-riding groper and flasher who assaulted two women in separate attacks.

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Local

Metro will consider a motion at their virtual meeting this Thursday that would allow highway funds from Measure M and Measure R to be spent on local streets and multi-modal improvements — including pedestrian and bike projects; email your comments by end of day today.

Streets For All forwards news that next Tuesday is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Elysian Valley Riverside and Atwater Village; anyone who lives, works, shops, prays, owns property, or have kids that go to school these areas is entitled to vote.

Sunset4All proposes reconfiguring the current narrow, dangerous door zone bike lanes on Sunset Blvd between Dodger Stadium and Fountain Avenue, as well as on nearby Santa Monica Blvd, replacing the virtually useless lanes with a two-way parking protected bike lane on the south side of the street.

A trio of UCLA professors hope to encourage more bike commuting by creating bicycle “flows” that produce real-time digital art exhibitions throughout the city.

The LA County Supervisors approved the DA’s call for a special prosecutor to look at past police shootings for evidence of misconduct, possibly including the fatal shooting of Ricardo Zeferino by Gardena police as the unarmed man helped look for his brother’s stolen bike.

A former participant in the 90 Day Fiancé reality show asked for prayers for her husband, who was at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after getting hit by a driver while riding his bike to work.

Rhianna is one of us, riding what looks like a rental bike on the Venice bike path.

 

State

Palmdale, Oakland and Kern County have been selected for a series of Vision Zero workshops dedicated to establishing an effective Speed Management Program. In other words, how they can finally get drivers to slow the hell down.

Berkeley police are getting on their bikes in an attempt to prevent attacks on Asian residents.

 

National

NPR says the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians, and even worse of people of color. They’re not so hot for people on bicycles, either.

Wheeltales Tours is resuming supported bike tours throughout the western US, ranging from Colorado to the West Coast, with appropriate Covid precautions in place.

Cycling News offers advice on where to find a bike in the middle of a pandemic-driven bicycle shortage.

Gear Patrol pens a love letter to Specialized’s new e-mountain bike, calling it their best yet.

A pair of kindhearted Las Vegas teens are staging a bicycle drive to help combat youth mental health struggles; the young women have already received pledges for twice their original goal of 200 bikes.

The staff of a Boulder, Colorado bike shop were shaken but safe following the mass shooting that killed 10 people in a grocery store near the shop; they were close enough to ear the shots ring out inside the store.

A Pittsburgh professor proposes a data-driven model to asses bicycle safety in cities, while calling bicycles “arguably the most sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transport.”

Customers remember the owner of Tampa, Florida’s eponymous Joe Haskins’ Bicycle Shop, who passed away after nearly five decades of serving the community, calling him someone who inspired great rides, yet would find time for free bike repairs for those who couldn’t afford it.

Once again, a driver in the country’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians has slammed into multiple people riding bicycles, killing one bike rider and seriously injuring another in Jupiter, Florida. There’s something seriously wrong when a driver can’t manage to see two grown adults on bicycles directly in front of their car.

One more from the Sunshine State, as police in Marion County, Florida are looking for the parents of a young boy, after stopping the frightened kid who was riding his bicycle on the freeway.

 

International

What to look for in road bike disc brakes.

A writer for Treehugger offers a second-year update on life with an ebike.

Irish actress Jessie Buckley is one of us, describing how she paid a bike mechanic to loosen the spokes and bolts on her bicycle because tightening them took away the bike’s character.

The French government has issued a warrant for a driver at the Russian embassy, who has apparently been supplementing his income by selling dozens of hot bikes with a combined value of up to nearly $120,000; the employee, who doesn’t have diplomatic immunity, has apparently fled back to Russia to avoid arrest.

Two women have been killed in right hook crashes while riding their bikes in Berlin in less than a week.

Add a tour of the Malaysian city of Kuching to your bike bucket list.

Apparently not understanding the meaning of “clipped,” an Aussie website asks who was at fault when a driver slams into a bicyclist riding across the street, sending him flying; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome says it’s impossible to say if he’ll ever be able to compete for a leader’s jersey again as he struggles to come back from major injuries, after bombing in the first two stages of the Volta a Catalunya.

 

Finally…

Your new tiny house could come with built-in ebikes. And a bike-riding woman learns the hard way what can happen when you’re more focused on live streaming than where you’re going.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Caltrans wants bike input on Active Transportation Plan, Secretary Pete talks bikes, and LACBC Women’s History Ride

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. Blame it on my diabetes, which took a sudden turn in a southerly direction Wednesday night.

And as I’ve learned the hard way, it’s damn near impossible to get anything done when you’re just this side of unconscious.

So grab some snacks and hunker down for a long haul, ’cause we’ve got a lot of miles to cover today. 

Adorable photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels.

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Let’s start with a call from Caltrans for more input on their Active Transportation Plan from people who ride bikes.

And yes, they specifically said in an email that they really want to hear from us, which is a nice change — and a good opportunity.

But only if we take advantage of it.

Caltrans Calls for Public Input on Active Transportation Plan Survey

LOS ANGELES — Caltrans is looking for public input on its active transportation planning process survey to identify locations for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on the state highway system. The public can play a critical role in shaping the plans by participating in this localized map-based survey.

“Today we must plan and build a transportation system that incorporates alternative means of transportation and that also considers equity,” said Caltrans District 7 Director Tony Tavares. “Public input on our Active Transportation Plan is crucial to the development of safe pedestrian, bicycle and public transit facilities on our highways.”

The public survey will allow residents to tell Caltrans where improvements could be made to facilitate bicycling and walking on or near the state highway system. Survey responses will provide specific data about the type and location of needed improvements, allowing Caltrans to evaluate these locations in developing future projects.

Caltrans wants to align the state’s bicycle and pedestrian network with the needs of local communities, with an emphasis on improving social equity, reconnecting communities, and improving access for all modes of transportation, including people who walk and bicycle. Caltrans will be actively engaging with partners and community members in areas where historic transportation decisions may have created barriers to adequate transportation.

To take the public survey using your computer, tablet or smartphone, please visit survey.catplan.org and click on District 7. This survey is also available in Spanish.

For more information about the Caltrans Active Transportation Plans, visit catplan.org/district-plans.

Here’s what Streets For All had to say about the survey.

Tell Caltrans to add bike lanes on major streets in LA!

Caltrans District 7 still owns many major streets in Los Angeles that are “state highways” including parts of Santa Monica Bl, Lincoln Bl, Venice Bl, and more. They just released a map and survey that allows you to pinpoint specific streets you feel unsafe biking/walking on. Please put pins on the map asking them to add protected bike lanes!

TELL CALTRANS WHERE TO ADD BIKE LANES

So what are you waiting for, already?

And while we’re on the subject of input, Metro wants yours on first mile – last mile connections to improve biking, walking and rolling access to and from the extension’s first three new Purple Line, aka D Line, stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.

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Looks like we have a Secretary of Transportation who gets it. And sees bikes as part of the solution, even if he hails from the heart of car country.

https://twitter.com/SecretaryPete/status/1367564417790070785

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The LACBC is out with a self-guided bike tour to celebrate Women’s History Month, including a real-life Rosie the Riveter.

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More proof that free lifetime registration with Bike Index really does work.

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Prop 22 may have rolled back protections for gig workers, but at least you get to ride an ebike all day.

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Um, okay.

A New York expat Zoomed into a community meeting from sunny Santa Barbara CA to complain about a proposed bike lane on the Big Apple’s Upper East Side, insisting no bike riders from Queens would ever spend money at the borough’s restaurants.

And was immediately refuted by a bike rider from Queens who was doing just that.

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A couple of notable bike notices, as Brompton recalls some of their ebike foldies due to a problem with the firmware.

And two models of Masi bicycles were recalled because a faulty fork steerer tube could lead to dangerous falls.

Meanwhile, Mavic warns that counterfeit wheels being sold under their name could lead to serious injury or death.

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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 Syracuse NY website blames a critically injured bicyclist for riding into the side of a car. Then just casually mentions at the end that the driver a) didn’t have a license, and b) fled the scene.

No bias here, either. The wife of a former advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the war on cars is backfiring, and Low-Traffic Neighborhoods only benefit drug dealers on scooters and wealthy bicyclists. Like herself, for instance. A wealthy bike rider, that is, not a drug dealer. 

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

Bike-riding convicted rapist and former pro football star Kellen Winslow II was sentenced to a well-deserved 14 years behind bars for a series of bizarre San Diego sexual assaults.

An emeritus professor at an Australian university conducts his own private study, and concludes that bike riders treat pedestrians far worse than drivers treat people on bicycles.

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Local

Despite the pandemic, funding has been approved for two dozen biking and walking projects in LA County, courtesy of Metro Measure M Active Transportation grants and California Transportation Commission Active Transportation Program grants.

CiclaValley says we’re finally getting closer to protected bike lanes on the Los Angeles section of Chandler Blvd, closing the gap with Burbank’s popular Chandler Bike Path.

Metro invites you to use the Metro Bike bikeshare to take a ride on the Westside’s Ballona Creek bike path. Especially if you use Metro Bike to do it.

Harrison Ford is one of us, stopping by the Santa Monica Helen’s to get his bike fixed. Twice.

 

State

A Lake Forest man tells the story of how his father’s disappearance drove him to drink, and his bicycle helped carry him back to sobriety. And yes, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Santa Barbara now has a green center bike lane to channel riders through the carfree State Street Promenade.

After a Santa Rosa newspaper wrote about the glut of refurbished kids bikes at a nonprofit bike shop, a bighearted donor gave $2,500 to give bikes to kids whose parents can’t afford them.

 

National

US House members heard last week that unsafe streets put residents of marginalized communities at risk of inequitable traffic enforcement, as well as dangerous drivers.

Bicycling explains how to build your own DIY pseudo Peloton setup. As usual, Yahoo has the story if Bicycling blocks you.

Why worry about finding a safe place to sleep on your next bike tour when you can just tow a camping trailer behind your bike?

An executive with Ohio-based Huffy says the bike boom still has some steam, and there’s plenty more sales ahead for the company’s bicycle-shaped objects.

A Massachusetts city discovers those orange bendy posts marking a protected bike lane made drivers slow down, then speed right back up after they were removed for the winter. The same held true after the plastic wands protecting a popup bike lane in the UK were removed, too.

Today’s best headline award goes to Streeetsblog NY, for this entry about a vanishing popup bike lane: Northern Boulevard Bike Lane Lost In Time Like Tears In Rain.

The Virginia legislature passed the state’s bike safety bill, legalizing treating stops as yields and riding two abreast; it now just needs the governor’s signature to become law. Anyone who questions the safety of stops as yields should recognize that it only legalizes what most people do anyway, on two wheels or four. 

The bighearted owners of a Valdosta, Georgia bike shop are working with the local police to refurbish used bikes and give them to people in need.

If you rode a tall bike to Key West last month, the local paper apparently approves.

Florida prosecutors agreed that a schizophrenic man was legally insane when he turned his car off the road and intentionally slammed into a man and his two sons riding bikes on a pedestrian pathway, killing the father and injuring both boys; if the court agrees, he could be sent to a longterm mental health facility.

 

International

Covid-19 cut global greenhouse gas emissions last year, but it will take further dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide to keep it going; more safe urban spaces for walking and cycling could help.

A Yucatán business council is all in on plans for bike lanes in the city of Mérida.

Make up your damn mind, already. Just months after Vancouver ripped out a bike lane so drivers could go zoom zoom and park in a park, the matter is coming to a head once again as people fight to get it back.

Life is cheap in Ontario, Canada, where a woman got a lousy one year of house vacation arrest for fleeing the scene after killing a Toronto-area man riding his bike, then lied about how her car was damaged to cover up the crime.

London bike riders continue to be at risk of near-miss terror from aggressive drivers who “treat cyclists like cockroaches.”

Contrary to perceptions, a new study shows London’s Low-traffic Neighborhoods — the equivalent of our Slow Streets — don’t disproportionately benefit more privileged communities.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine features the best deals on bike helmets in the US and UK.

Ebikes now make up 17% of all European bike sales, and growing.

Your next ebike could be a Porsche. Or you could just put all that excess money in a pile, build a straw man and set it on fire.

An Indian writer discovers their grandfather’s detailed diary of a nearly 1,000-mile bike trip from Kolkata to Kashmir in 1933.

A brief photo essay from Chinese news site Xinhua looks at a wheelchair-bound bike repairman in Palestine.

They get it. The next time you get a craving for coffee and donuts in the Philippines’ Quezon City, just make a detour through Dunkin’s first-ever bike-through lane.

Talk about a bad idea. An Aussie city installed speed bumps in a park to slow down speeding bike riders and reduce collisions with pedestrians. Never mind that the speed bumps are likely to increase injuries by knocking people off their bikes, as well as riders swerving to go around them.

Hollywood’s Thor is one of us, as Chris Hemsworth went for an ebike ride through Sydney, Australia with his wife, Spanish model and actress Elsa Pataky.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising 21-year old American cyclist Matteo Jorgenson is looking forward to tackling Paris-Nice this Sunday, as well as the Giro in May.

 

Finally…

Why face front when you can just ride your bike backwards? That feeling when you want your chain to look like it’s made of LEGO.

And apparently, LA streets may have changed just a tad in the last 126 years.

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Thanks to David A for his generous donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day. 

As an aside, there’s no such thing as a small donation; I know as well as anyone just how hard it can be to donate to someone else when you’re struggling yourself, and couldn’t appreciate it more.

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Dangerous hazard on LA River path, harrowing account of Portland rampage, and Santa Monica Mtns gravel guide

Robert Karwasky forwards a photo of a dangerous situation on the LA River bike path, just north of the Colorado Street overpass, as a collapsing fence post juts out over the pathway.

Here’s how he describes the problem —

It poses a risk for very serious injury and when traveling south on the path at dusk or night, in blends in with the tunnel and is very difficult to see.

The problem comes in figuring out just who’s responsible for fixing it.

It could be the City of Los Angeles, or maybe Glendale; it could be LA County or Caltrans. Or whoever the property owner is whose fence is collapsing.

If anyone knows, let me know so we can get this fixed before someone gets hurt.

Or if you know someone who already got hurt there, I know some damn good lawyers over there on the right.

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A Portland delivery rider offers a firsthand account of the harrowing vehicular rampage that left an elderly woman dead and injured another ten people, mostly on foot or riding bikes.

Sixty-four-year old Paul Rivas pled not guilty to 14 felony counts in the 15-block rampage, while offering an ever-shifting array of motivations.

Needless to say, police suspect some form of intoxication or illness, physical or otherwise.

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Gravel Bike California is back with the ultimate Santa Monica Mountains gravel guide.

Who knew I was a trend setter back in the day, when I rode gravel farm roads through eastern Colorado on my inappropriately skinny-tired bike.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

………

Caltrans wants to know what intersections need help.

And while “every intersection” is indeed the correct answer, it’s probably not the one they’re looking for.

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Spend 14 minutes bikepacking in the Sierras through Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks (scroll down), and exploring the devastation after a wildfire.

Or you could spend less than half that time with Danny MacAskill’s latest insane bike video.

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

A car passenger in Yorkshire, England pushed a 70-year old man off his bicycle. Then added insult to injury — literally — by getting out and stealing the man’s bike as he lay incapacitated on the street.

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Local

The LA Times says yes, you can do bike — and hiking — tours on the cheap.

 

State

A San Clemente writer and longtime ebike rider gets a positive response to a column promoting ebikes, but reminds riders to stop for stop signs and red lights. Even if teen girls laugh at you.

An op-ed from a former San Diego bike commuter says bicycling rates are remaining flat, despite the city’s investment in a quality bike network. And offers suggestions on how to change that, including a call to subsidize ebikes for commuters.

Who knew? Former Vice President Spiro Agnew was one of us, taking to his bike to ride through the Coachella Valley after resigning in disgrace in 1973.

 

National

Bike Portland clarifies that AAA’s shift away from calling crashes accidents that we mentioned yesterday was actually from a large group of member organizations, rather than the national AAA itself.

Now that’s more like it. An Iowa man got a well-deserved eleven years behind bars for killing a man riding a bicycle, while driving drunk and texting.

The Chicago Tribune offers advice on how to bike in the snow. A skill you’re not likely to need here in Southern California; how to ride with pontoons may be more appropriate today.

The mother of a New York State teenager is suing the owner of the car that killed her daughter, alleging he loaned it to the drunk driver who swerved into a bike lane and struck the girl as she rode her bicycle; the driver was sentenced to a well-deserved five to fifteen years behind bars.

In a huge victory for Brooklyn bike riders, the city’s eponymous bridge will finally get curb protected bike lanes on both sides of the iconic span; the somewhat less famous Queensboro Bridge will get a pair, as well.

In addition to the new bridge bike lanes, New York Mayor de Blasio pledged to build new bicycle boulevards in each of the city’s seven boroughs, calling them the key to an equitable Covid recovery. That deafening silence you hear is LA Mayor Garcetti in response.

Call it an inside job. A pair of New York bike thieves enter an apartment building with bolt cutters, and take the elevator up to steal an ebike used by food delivery rider that was locked in the hallway. Which suggests they somehow knew exactly where to find it.

A member of Gotham’s Major Taylor Iron Riders bike club celebrates the namesake that inspired similar clubs across the US.

A Florida advocacy group is highlighting 21 bike-riding women for their commitment and dedication to bicycling to serve as role models for women interested in riding.

 

International

No surprise here, as a British bike advocacy group says removing bike lanes hits young riders the hardest. Sometimes literally.

An Indian man proves you don’t have to be able to see to compete in an ultra climbing bike race.

A Singapore bikeshare rider learns the hard way that it’s probably not the best idea to bribe an enforcement officer so he won’t seize your illegally parked bike. Or maybe just offer more next time.

 

Competitive Cycling

The French bicycling calendar kicks off this weekend with the Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise. And no, you probably can’t see it here.

Peloton remembers the late, great Raymond Poulidor, who made the Tour de France podium eight times in 14 appearances in the ’60s and ’70s.

 

Finally…

You know you’ve finally made the big time when there’s a sand truck named after you. Youth must be served, as a toddler kicks ass on a pump track with a pacifier in his mouth.

And this driver should be charged with bicycle cruelty.

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Apropos of nothing, here’s a little corgi action from my personal Twitter account to get you through the weekend, until we meet again.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

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