Tag Archive for CD 1

New bike lane appears on North Figueroa, 16-year old critical after SaMo hit-and-run, and upper Ballona Creek bike path closure

Maybe we should check the weather forecast.

Because hell appears to have frozen over.

Streetsblog reports that a new painted bike lane has been installed on a .8 mile section of North Figueroa in Cypress Park.

Which wouldn’t be major news, except it’s located in the 1st Council District, where Councilmember Gil Cedillo has worked to block bike lanes since taking office nine long years ago, while keeping North Figueroa one of the deadliest corridors in Los Angeles.

Cedillo has gone so far as to ask the council to remove all proposed bike lanes in CD1 from the city’s mobility plan, arguing that the people in his district don’t ride bikes. And evidently forgetting that many people in the immigrant-rich district rely on bikes as their primary, if not only, form of transportation.

It’s not clear why the councilmember, whose opposition to safety projects earned him the moniker Roadkill Gill, had an apparent change of heart.

One clue comes from LADOT spokesperson Colin Sweeney, who notes that the new bike lanes wouldn’t inconvenience the people in cars.

L.A. City Transportation Department (LADOT) spokesperson Colin Sweeney wrote that “StreetsLA recently completed resurfacing on Figueroa after which LADOT restriped the street to bring it up to current standards. In this instance, restriping created space to add a bike lane to the existing configuration without impacting other road users (no impact on parking or number of travel lanes).” North Figueroa was repaved between Pasadena Avenue and the 110 Freeway.

Although neighborhood advocate Felicia G. has another, equally plausible explanation.

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Another day, another SoCal hit-and-run.

The Santa Monica Lookout reports a 16-year old girl is in critical condition, and a 29-year old man is behind bars following yet another hit-and-run collision.

The victim was injured around 2 a.m. Sunday, when Maximiliano Ramos Santiago allegedly slammed into her bike at Chelsea Ave and Santa Monica Blvd in Santa Monica.

Santiago was arrested at his home yesterday, and booked on charges of felony hit-and-run and driving without a license.

Which would have given him plenty of time to sober up, assuming he had been drinking, which is highly likely given the time of the crash.

Let’s hope she makes a full and fast recovery.

And that the driver who did this is held fully accountable for leaving a young woman bleeding in the street.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Santa Monica Police Investigator Evan Raleigh at 310/458-8954, or call the watch commander at 310/458-8426.

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It looks like the upper section of the Ballona Creek bike path will be out of commission for the next four and a half months.

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Local

A letter writer takes the LA Times’ Robin Abcarian to task for questioning the value of Vision Zero when, she said, eliminating traffic deaths is doomed to fail. Although that name of that letter writer seems sort of familiar.

 

State

Getting flowers by bike in San Diego.

Solano Beach has rejected a $10 million claim from the family of 75-year-old Allen Hunter II, who was killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding in a painted bike lane on Highway 101 in the city last summer; filing a formal claim is the first step before filing a lawsuit, and usually gets rejected pro forma.

A letter from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider argues that Rancho Mirage can, and should, make convert Highway 111 into a real street that meets the needs of all users, rather than just the ones in cars. Exactly the same arguments apply to PCH in Malibu, as well, which should be the city’s Main Street, instead of a sewer for pass-through drivers and their cars.

Residents of a San Mateo neighborhood overwhelming oppose plans for a bike lane network, preferring preserving street parking over the safety of people on bicycles; however, people in the rest of the city support the project.

Santa Rosa police are looking for a suspected bike thief who used a fraudulent ID and credit card as security to take a $7,000 mountain bike out for a test ride, and never came back.

 

National

Streetsblog invites you to vote on the worst kind of bicycle infrastructure; among the choices are Orange County favorite painted bike lanes next to high speed roadways, and sharrows, which only exist to help drivers improve their aim and thin the herd.

The New York Times says pedestrian fatalities are spiking, due in part to a surge in reckless driving. Although it’s possible that the jump in reckless driving might just have a tiny bit to do with carmakers ads showing that’s exactly how you’re supposed to drive their damn cars.

Electrek marked Valentines Day with a look at the best ebikes designed to carry two people.

A new $15 steerer tube cap promises to secure an Apple AirTag out of sight to locate your bike if its ever stolen.

Fast Company says Peloton should have seen it coming.

Writer Mitch Albom, author of The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Stranger In the Lifeboat is one of us, making a call for people in Detroit to donate their underused bicycles for people who can’t afford a car.

A new documentary follows seven Boston women who ride their bikes through the city at night.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Pennsylvania man is still riding at 90 years old, although the area’s hills mean he does most of his riding inside. Which makes him an ideal candidate for a ped-assist ebike to get back on the road. 

Police in Virginia are looking for a 74-year old diabetic man who went missing Sunday morning while riding his bike to a friend’s house around eight miles away; his daughter says he may be in the early stages of dementia.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says friends don’t let friends buy bikes that seem too good to be true. And probably are.

Thieves cleaned out a Welsh family’s entire collection of nearly $30,000 worth of mountain bikes.

Now you, too, can ride the legendary cobbles of Flanders.

 

Competitive Cycling

A trio of pro cyclists explain how they keep their relationships from going off the rails while living a bike-centered life. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

If you can’t get it out, dissolve it. What it’s really like to be a pro cycling race photographer.

And I’ll take any excuse to see Sophia Loren on a bicycle, even if she is facing the wrong way.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1493299001520803843

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

Morning Links: CD1 City Council Member tries to trade North Figueroa bike lanes for sharrows

While workshop participants imagine what North Figueroa could be, CD1 City Council Member Gil Cedillois backing off from the already approved, funded and shovel ready bike lanes planned for the street.

Instead, he suggests replacing them with a complicated — and virtually worthless — network of sharrows that would do absolutely nothing to tame traffic on the street. Or encourage traffic-averse bike riders and potential riders to take to a street that would be only marginally safer than before. Let alone more comfortable to ride.

If you can make next Thursday’s community meeting, show up and tell him no.

Make that hell no.

Maybe there’s a reason Cedillo didn’t complete the LACBC’s candidate survey in last year’s election.

Meanwhile, he has also come out against a plan to turn the old Riverside-Figueroa Bridge into an elevated bike and pedestrian park over the LA River.

Mayor Garcetti wants to turn Figueroa into one of the city’s first Great Streets. But that will be hard to do if our elected officials are standing in the way.

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Lexington KY police cite a bike commuting woman for reckless driving — not once, but three times — because she insisted on riding in the traffic lane for her own safety, as she had every right to do.

Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed. Even though she wasn’t scheduled for trial until August, a judge ruled in her favor this week.

Thanks to Bob Young for the heads-up.

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If you’re looking for a good cause, you can’t do much better than this.

After a bike advocate struggling with cancer is forced to sell her bike to pay medical bills, a group of cyclists are raising funds to buy her a new one.

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Local

Flying Pigeon asks which approach is a more efficient use of space — Downtown LA’s massive parking lots or Portland’s downtown bike parking?

Help clean up the LA River this Saturday, then bike over to Golden Road Brewing to celebrate over some of LA’s best beers. Or if you’re closer to the coast, help reimagine what Santa Monica could be.

Sweet Ride USA invites you to join in on their next ride,which will roll along the beachfront bike path this Sunday.

Wrap up Bike Week Pasadena with a bike-in movie on Friday, May 16th.

More on Saturday’s sixth annual Long Beach Bike Fest; the free event sounds like a lot of fun. Meanwhile, it may be the most bike-friendly city in SoCal — though Santa Monica is giving it a run for it’s money — but Long Beach still has some work to do.

 

State

A shirtless bike rider uses the center divider of I-80 through San Francisco as his own personal bike lane.

New OC bike safety campaign tells riders to “Bike Smart. Bike Safe.” And for parents to teach their children to do the same. Now how about telling drivers not to run us over.

Google donates a cool $1 million to Mountain View for bike projects. Now that they’ve got a major center in Venice, maybe they could spread a little of that bike love our way.

 

National

Big step forward as an experimental medical process enabled a group of men with disabling leg injuries to grow new muscles, improving enough to walk or ride a bike for the first time in years.

Treehugger looks at the disparity between bike and ped funding, mode share and funding. And it ain’t pretty. The site also points out that a warmer climate doesn’t result in higher ridership levels.

Intoxicated Oahu driver deliberately rams a group of bicyclists on a metric century ride to honor an advocate for safer cycling. Oddly, only three riders were hit, but five people were injured.

Evidently, there’s only one acceptable form of transportation in Oregon, as the Oregon Humane Society refuses to let a bike riding woman take her adopted cat home because she wasn’t driving a car.

Meet the Boulder CO woman behind CycloFemme, sponsors of the CycloFemme LA Mother’s Day Ride and hundreds of others around the world.

Colorado’s AAA will now offer roadside assistance for cyclists. But they won’t fix your flat.

Bad headline, good story as a Florida bicyclist looks at why the state is so dangerous for people on bikes.

 

International

Hats off to Ontario, Canada man who bought an apparently stolen bike off the street for $10, then set out to return it to its rightful owner.

A new reports says a diabetic Ontario driver suffering from low blood sugar should never have been behind the wheel when he killed three people in 2009, including an 81-year old bike rider — then was allowed to keep his license for another 18 months. It recommends a series of steps to keep dangerously diabetic drivers off the road.

Evidently, the bike boom is in decline in the UK.

Looks like a 12-year doping ban isn’t enough to keep former pro rider Riccardo Ricco from buying EPO. Lots of EPO.

 

Finally…

For the second year in a row, Tour de Fat will bypass LA. And a Brit tandem cyclist rides with a bony stoker even skinnier than I am these days.

 

Two years for a fatal SD hit-and-run, and kneejerk NIMBYism rises in opposition to Westwood bike lanes

Two years in prison for Jin Hyuk Byun for the fatal hit-and-run collision that took the life of 18-year Angel Bojorquez in Rancho Santa Fe last year.

Police say Bojorquez was wearing reflective clothing and should have been highly visible as he rode his bike home from work for the first time, while Byun initially claimed his badly damaged truck hadn’t been driven recently, then claimed he thought he’d hit a mailbox, a deer or a dog.

Yeah, no point in stopping to find out, right?

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Kneejerk NIMBYism strikes again, as anti-bike forces are urged to attend tonight’s Westwood Neighborhood Council meeting to fight proposed bike lanes on Westwood.

We love cycling and want to create a bike network on the Westside, but anyone who walks or drives down Westwood between Pico and Santa Monica knows that taking out lanes, or parking, or creating a bus/bike transit lane (that was vigorously opposed on Wilshire) will necessarily reduce lanes, and motorists will “peel off” onto the residential streets to find the path of least resistance.  This will not work for the community, for the businesses, or for the safety of cyclists.

In short, Westwood Blvd. simply can’t handle this proposal, and even the local cyclists find the proposal unworkable.

Actually, this local cyclist — and virtually every other rider I’ve discussed it with — finds the project not only workable, but necessary in anticipation of the coming Westwood Blvd Expo Line station.

Much of Westwood is already unworkable — and pretty much unrideable — in its current configuration, with a high level of congestion through most of the day. The only real solution is to provide a safe, workable alternative to encourage drivers to leave their leave their cars behind for short trips, as well as offering a much needed connection between the Expo Line and UCLA.

If you don’t have other obligations — and frankly, I don’t understand the logic of anyone hosting an important meeting on Valentines Day, forcing them to choose between their relationship and their safety on the streets — maybe you can stop by and argue against the insanity of maintaining the status quo.

Especially if you were one of the 150+ riders who took part in last weekend’s Ride Westwood.

Thanks to the Culver City Times for the heads-up.

Update: Flying Pigeon‘s Josef Bray-Ali makes the point that no traffic or parking lanes are actually being removed; they’re being repurposed from automotive to bicycle use, since bikes are still a form of transportation. 

The key is that streets serve to move people, not motor vehicles.

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I’ve heard from people accusing current State Senator and CD 1 council candidate Gil Cedillo of lying at Sunday’s candidate forum co-sponsored by the LACBC.

Cedillo is accused of misrepresenting his ties to Chevron, as well as why he failed to vote for landmark legislation regulating pollution that causes global warming.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton has done his typically great job of looking at all sides of the issue, including talking to the candidate himself. If you live in CD 1, you owe it to yourself to read the story, and decide for yourself if Cedillo whether being honest with you.

I don’t know where the truth lies in this case.

But the last thing L.A. needs is another truth-challenged city leader.

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The LACBC is hiring a new Initiative Coordinator for Active Streets LA. If you’ve got a passion for bikes, plus organization and communication skills, maybe you should look into it.

If there wasn’t an inherent conflict of interest, I might do it myself.

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LADOT plans to add over 20 miles of sharrows, mostly on the Westside – including Ohio Ave from Westwood to Bundy; preliminary markings on Ohio appear to go several blocks east of that. Celebrate Valentines Day by encouraging your heartthrob to express your mutual commitment to biking infrastructure, if not each other, in Downtown and Central L.A. tonight. Rick Risemberg says biking families are proof we’re getting there. Gary returns to Streetsblog with an overview of the current state of bike projects in Santa Monica. Senior cyclists are finding a home at the Santa Monica Bike Center. Boyonabike visits the Caltech Bike Lab. A Long Beach man is critically injured when he’s shot while riding his bike. San Francisco’s mayor refuses to live up to his promise to support cycling.

Traffic violence isn’t an accident, it’s the nation’s biggest mass tort. Floyd Landis compares pro cycling to organized crime; he should know, right? My objection to Landis isn’t that he doped, it’s that he lied to about it to get cyclists to assist in his cover-up. Bicycling offers advice on cornering. Did a Las Vegas cyclist die because of ringing in his ear? How businesses can attract cyclists; beer usually works in my book, and donuts. A new study from Portland State University will consider the impact of protected bike lanes. The Idaho stop law slowly spreads through Colorado cities; could Denver be next? Candidates to replace New York’s bike-friendly Mayor Bloomberg threaten to rip out the overwhelmingly popular bike lanes his administration has installed; thanks to Stanley E. Goldich for the link. (Note to L.A. mayoral candidates — if Gotham’s new mayor is stupid enough to fire NYDOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, we’re going to need a new one after the upcoming election. I’m just saying.) Unbelievably, the Virginia legislature refuses to make dooring illegal. A New York writer explains Bike Commuting 101, but fails to explain how to bike commute with your dog. Evidently, packs of rabid cyclists are running South Carolina drivers off the road; in my experience, a couple tons of human flesh will still lose to a ton or two of motor vehicle every time. After nearly running a cyclist over, a Florida driver returns to tell him bicyclists need to respect other people on the road — then intentionally doors him. No, really.

Should the safety of cyclists come before the convenience of parking? A London cyclist debates the merits of helmet use, and lands somewhere in the middle; I personally recommend wearing a helmet for every ride, but it is — and should be — your choice. New helmets will have built-in cameras. A 17-year old UK cyclist admits to killing a renowned cancer surgeon with a single punch after the other man got out of his car to argue about the rider’s lack of lights. Manchester cyclist wages war against potholes. A New Zealand coroner says it should be mandatory for all cyclists to wear hi-viz clothing, even though it didn’t seem to help the cycling cop whose death led to his conclusion.

Finally, a writer for the BBC says evolution drives drivers to hate cyclists because we break the moral order of the streets; I know I try. Just Another Cyclist lists the cast of characters who inevitably show up in threads for such stories. Meanwhile, others reverse the dynamic by converting cars to bikes.

Happy Valentines Day to one and all. May you always know real love in your life.