Tag Archive for CD13

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

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The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

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Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

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The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

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Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

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This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

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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 regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

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Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

WeHo merchant calls for licensing cyclists, racist Palo Alto road rage attack, and Hugo calls for carfree Hollywood Blvd

No bias here.

The owner of West Hollywood’s gay-forward novelty boutique Block Party says forget bike lanes and install EV chargers instead, while trotting out all the old cliches about licensing bike riders.

Fast forward to 2022, a debate about removing the parking lanes on Fountain and to install bike lanes in their place, eliminating two for cars to drive. Those bike lane people are ferocious in their arguments. If you had to drive a bike and cars whipped past you it might cause a sense of anger that you deserve a safe space too. But perhaps bike riders who choose to use the road should also be licensed. Maybe they should pass a written test to travel 40 miles down the road. Perhaps they can pay a license fee to help offset the cost of these installations. As a partially sighted part-time driver I can say that it is difficult to drive past the bikes who often show little respect for the road weaving in lanes. But that is another story.

Because apparently, our tax money doesn’t count — even though it pays for the roads he drives, whether we use them or not.

Never mind that studies have repeatedly shown that a licensing program for bicyclists would cost more than it would bring in, while dramatically reducing ridership exactly when we need more people on bikes. Or that bike riders pose a lot less risk to others than people in cars do.

Especially people with bad eyesight.

Besides, are you really going to tell a six-year old she can’t ride her bike because her license expired?

So maybe the next time you’re in WeHo, stop in and tell him why you’ll be spending your money somewhere else.

Besides, not many of us can really pull off the spangled banana hammock look.

Not that our significant others would actually want us to try.

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Crap like this really pisses me off.

A Black Palo Alto man was the victim of a racist road rage attack and hit-and-run last week, for the crime of riding his bike in the traffic lane.

In other words, exactly where he should have been.

The victim had moved into the lane to pass a driver who was attempting to park. Yet when he stopped at the next stop light, he was accosted by a white pickup driver for “riding in the middle of the road.”

The two men began arguing, at which point the truck driver called the cyclist, who is Black, a racial epithet. The victim reported to police that the driver spat on him, reached out to grab his arm, and then drove the truck into the side of the bicycle. The cyclist fell to the ground.

The cyclist said the truck drove over his bicycle, and the driver turned north on Webster Street and then east on Lytton Avenue. The cyclist later saw the truck turn back onto University Avenue heading east and continue driving. The cyclist’s leg had a small laceration, which paramedics treated at the scene. His bicycle was damaged but remained rideable, police stated.

It’s possible that the victim could have moved into the lane suddenly, without signaling or checking behind him, and cut off the driver. Or not.

None of which justifies violence, let alone racism.

The local police are investigating it as a hate crime, as well as an assault with a deadly weapon and injury hit-and-run.

Which is good, because there’s just no excuse for this. Ever.

Period.

And no pit deep enough for someone who could do something like this.

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Things could finally be looking up in Hollywood.

While CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell has called for a much needed Complete Streets makeover of Hollywood Blvd, challenger Hugo Soto-Martinez has raised the ante with a call for pedestrianizing sections of the iconic tourist attraction.

Meanwhile, Los Angeleno examines the race between O’Farrell and Soto-Martinez; while O’Farrell has been justly criticized for blocking bike and traffic safety plans until recently, Soto-Martinez is calling for more bike lanes in the district.

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Finish the Ride and the LACBC hosted a Clean Air Ride over the weekend.

Speaking of which, Metro will offer free bus, train and bikeshare rides tomorrow for California Clean Air Day.

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Someone did an impressive job trolling St. Louis officials by installing old bike helmets and an official looking public notice calling on pedestrians to use them crossing the street.

All to call attention to the city’s unacceptably high death rate.

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Evidently, ebikes have been around a lot longer than you may think.

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

Horrible story from the UK, where police are looking for four men who chased down a 21-year old bike rider with their car, then got out and stabbed him to death, apparently because the driver had crashed into the victim.

No bias here, either. A victim-blaming road sign in England’s Hertfordshire county instructs bike riders to “Please consider other road users.” Because anti-social bike riders kill so many motorists, evidently.

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Local

Streetsblog eyes the new bike lanes on 1st, 3rd and 7th Streets in DTLA.

Your next bike could have a “Los Angeles” frame with a camo finish. Although that color choice may not be the best option if you actually want drivers to see you.

Santa Monica announced a crackdown on scofflaw drivers who park on the city’s sidewalks and parkways starting next month, urging people to “stop parking like a jerk.” Now tell them to do bike lanes, where the city has allowed delivery drivers to park for decades with no repercussions.

 

State 

Streets For All offers a full recap on transportation-related bills signed or vetoed by Governor Newsom, as well as bills that died in the state legislature. Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers a similar roundup of active transportation, transit and climate bills.

LAist takes a deep dive into California’s new Freedom to Walk Act, which doesn’t actually legalize jaywalking after all; it’s still technically illegal to cross the street in the middle of a block, but police are now directed not to cite it unless crossing poses an imminent danger. However, California’s restriction against jaywalking only applies to blocks with a traffic signal on each end, so it’s already completely legal anywhere else.

The CHP has received a $1.2 million federal grant to “promote the importance of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians looking out for one another so that everyone can safely share the road.” Maybe they could put the money to better use by giving their officers more training in bike law and bicycle crash investigations.

The victim in Sunday’s fatal head-on crash in Fresno County has been identified as a 51-year old Anthropology professor at Clovis Community College; the driver of the Acura supercar who needlessly took her life as she rode her bike has been identified as a 47-year old Clovis man. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

 

National

Streetsblog talks with Elizabeth Creely, of the San Francisco-based grassroots advocacy organization Safe Street Rebel, on how to start a grassroots safe streets movement in your city. Or you could ask Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who’s done a helluva job in just a few short years.

Singletracks revisits their most popular mountain bike product reviews.

Great idea. Bentonville, Arkansas will host the first-ever bike festival for deaf bicyclists next week.

Eleven scenic Hudson Valley bike rides for your next trip to the Empire State.

Philadelphia is investing $23 million in the city’s Vision Zero budget for next year, $6 million more than originally proposed. That compares with $38.5 million in Los Angeles, which has a population 2.5 times higher; LA would have to spend another $20 million to match Philly’s per capita spending.

Mississippi’s Gulf Islands National Seashore has reopened with the first phase of a new bike and pedestrian pathway, with the second phase due in two years.

 

International

The fourth annual Ebike Future Conference will be held virtually next week, including a virtual expo that will run automatically for the next 22 days.

Bike Radar examines why people and businesses are swapping cars for bikes, transforming their lives and operations by taking to two wheels.

Forget micromobility. The latest trend is minimobility, with three and four wheeled vehicles designed to carry one or two people and fill the gap between bicycles and motor vehicles. Which is a pretty damn big gap, if you ask me.

While bicycling fatalities continue to climb in the US, British bike deaths dropped 21% last year.

Brussels is the latest major European city learning to love the bicycle; the Belgian capital has already come a long way from its car-centric past.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as two riders explore archeological relics and forested parks — and the local hospitality — by biking Jordan’s ancient trade route.

No, an Indonesian bike shop isn’t giving away free ebikes in response to a government gas price hike.

Former Italian pro Omar Di Felice announced plans for a record bike ride across Antarctica, riding to the South Pole and across the continent to the base of the Leverett Glacier and back.

 

Competitive Cycling

Once again, the pro peloton is justifiably complaining about race conditions, saying “UCI doesn’t care about our safety,” after complaints about dangerous conditions in the CRO Race were ignored by officials.

Pinarello unveiled the world’s fastest 3D-printed bike, allowing maximum customization for Filippo Ganna in his attempt to set a new hour record.

Red Bull looks at L39ion of Los Angeles founder and multiple national crit champ Justin Williams, and his mission to change bike racing for the better.

 

Finally…

Get a Covid shot, get a shot at winning a bicycle. Apparently, bike surfing is an effective way to make sure drivers see you at night.

And few people realize that sharrow is a portmanteau of arrow and sheep.

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G’mar chatima tova to all observing Yom Kippur tonight. 

Thanks to Matthew Robertson for his latest monthly donation to help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. Any donation, no matter how large or small, is always deeply appreciated. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Ebike buyers screwed in new climate bill, bike riders could be screwed in Hollywood, and Woody Allen helps kill NYC bike lane

Before we start, there’s a report that someone was killed in a collision involving a bicyclist in Azusa yesterday.

According to multiple sources, the crash occurred around 10:15 Thursday morning, at mile marker 24.19 on San Gabriel Canyon Road.

The California Highway Patrol confirms that at least one person was killed, but doesn’t identify the victim. And bizarrely doesn’t say whether it was the person on the bike, the driver or someone else.

Although chances are, we can figure that part out ourselves.

Hopefully we’ll get more information later today.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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It looks like we got screwed in the new climate and energy bill agree upon this week by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and recalcitrant West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

After months of going back and forth on how much of a rebate ebike buyers would receive in last year’s failed Build Back Better bill, the two raised a new proposal out of its ashes.

But left out was any kind of ebike incentives. Or anything else that would get people out of their cars and onto two wheels.

Even though it revives rebates up to $7,500 for electric car buyers.

As People For Bikes points out, a pair of bike bills have already passed in the House.

The House-backed E-BIKE Act (check out PeopleForBikes’ coverage of the act here and ​​here), would offer many Americans a low-cost, emissionless, active transportation choice and show a serious commitment from the federal government to a mode shift towards a low-carbon, multimodal future. Also already approved in the House is the bipartisan Bicycle Commuter Act, which would put money back into commuters’ pockets for choosing to bike to work. Both policies are popular, simple and effective tools our nation could leverage for emissions reductions, but were deprioritized to make more room for cars.

But if they’re not included as part of the reconciliation package along with the Inflation Reduction Act, their chances of passage in divided Senate are something less than zero.

And without significantly reducing the number of cars on the road, electric or otherwise, the chances of staving off climate disaster are pretty much the same.

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Speaking of getting screwed, we may be about to get screwed once again courtesy of CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.

It was just four years ago when O’Farrell cancelled shovel-ready plans for a much-needed road diet and bike lanes on Temple Street, in conjunction with former Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Now KNBC-4 reports that long-awaited work on improving Hollywood Blvd along the Hollywood Walk of Fame will begin next year.

But there’s no word on the protected bike lanes we’ve been promised.

According to the TV station, the $7.2 million project will include —

  • conversion of most of the parking lane on Hollywood Boulevard into an expanded pedestrian zone
  • street furnishing including tables and chairs
  • bus shelters, bicycle racks, and transit kiosks
  • planters and landscaping
  • bus boarding platforms
  • consolidated bus stops
  • space for activities like sidewalk vending, temporary art installations, and music and culture performances.

What it won’t include, apparently, are the bike lanes needed to tame traffic and improve safety on the dangerous corridor.

Let’s hope it’s just an oversight.

For his sake, too. Because it would be a bad move to screw LA’s bicycling community once again.

Especially in an election year.

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Blame Woody Allen.

Yes, that Woody Allen.

According to Patch, the former comedian and film auteur was responsible for killing a planned bike lane on New York’s Upper East Side where a bike-riding woman was killed by a truck driver this week.

Allen’s objection was that the bike couldn’t be installed in a “graceful way.”

No, really

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Walk ‘n Rollers is clearing out the cupboards, and holding a garage sale to raise funds and move out excess merch.

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Gravel Bike California wants to take you riding in Big Sur.

And what could possibly be wrong with that?

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Streets For All announced their next virtual happy hour on August 10th, feating Toks Omishakin, secretary of the California State Transportation Agency.

And that’s CalSTA, not Caltrans.

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At last, a bike bell for people who don’t want anything that looks like a bike bell. Or anything else, for that matter.

But at least it sounds pretty.

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

A Portland bike rider suffered significant arm and wrist injuries when he crashed into a barely visible chain someone had strung across a designated bike route.

No bias here. A Minnesota letter writer says maybe the city should focus more on crime than bike lanes, after his catalytic converter was stolen for the second time in three months. Never mind that police have nothing to do with striping streets.

A Mississippi VFW post replaced a Black teenager’s broken bike, after a driver posted video racist attack on a group of Black teens. Although someone should tell Action News 5 not to call a fully grown Black teenager a “boy.”

Unbelievable. Police in the UK blame a bike rider for a road raging driver, saying the rider’s shout of “watch out” contributed to the driver slamming on his brakes and backing towards the bicyclist — and running over a dog in the process. Schmuck.

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

Four recent fires in Spokane, Washington are blamed on a bike-riding arsonist.

An 18-year old British man will be tried on a charge of causing bodily harm through wanton or furious driving after injuring a pedestrian last November.

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Local

The Los Angeles City Council Public Works Committee approved a proposal to provide an additional $706,000 to remove graffiti and provide other maintenance on the new Sixth Street Viaduct; that’s in addition to the nearly $600 million already spent to build it — almost none of which went towards protecting people on bicycles or slowing speeding drivers.

LA plans a new pedestrian bridge and bike path through the Pacoima Wash connecting Pacoima with San Fernando, five years after a teenaged boy was swept to his death when he fell into the Wash during a fierce rainstorm.

 

State 

Goleta is planning to build a new bike path connecting Calle Real to the Atascadero Creek Bikeway, including a new bike and pedestrian bridge over San Jose Creek.

Sad news from Santa Maria, where a 38-year old woman was killed when she was struck by a driver while riding her bike Monday evening.

A handful of Oakland streets are in line to get protected bike lanes and a new cycle track, while another will be shut down entirely for a pedestrian plaza.

San Francisco Streetsblog editor Roger Ruddick explains his bicycling injury last week, warning others about an unmarked, wheel-grabbing grate in Golden Gate Park

 

National

CNET recommends seven great deals on ebikes available on Amazon right now, although chances are, you’ve never heard of any of them. Meanwhile, Schwinn is still hanging in there after 125 years, and making a comeback with the ebike revolution.

CleanTechica says most ebike laws, like California’s, are largely unenforceable because they’re based on how fast the bike can go, rather than how fast someone rides them.

A Wyoming mayor and his wife were run down by a juvenile driver as they rode their bikes at 6 am; the couple were both conscious and coherent immediately following the crash.

No surprise here. San Antonio, Texas police are quick to blame the victim for running a stop sign, after a man on a bicycle crashes into the surprise of a police cruiser.

Chicago remains committed to hardening the city’s protected bike lanes with concrete barriers, though construction delays have held up work.

Chicago Streetsblog says it’s time for drivers to stop killing children, as the city sees its fifth child victim of traffic violence in the last month — three of them on bicycles.

A one-car Minnesota family finally makes the dog happy by buying a bucket-front cargo bike.

Christian music icon Amy Grant is one of us; the singer was hospitalized for a couple nights in Nashville’s Vanderbilt Hospital after suffering cuts and abrasions falling off her bicycle earlier this week. And yes, if it matters, she was wearing a helmet. Although it’s hard to believe she was kept overnight — let alone two nights — just to be treated for cuts and abrasions, no matter how good her insurance is. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Calls continue for a Jersey City councilwoman to step down after video circulates of her fleeing the scene, without bothering to stop or slow down, after crashing into a bike rider.

Protesters shut down DC’s Pennsylvania Ave to demand safer streets, saying bicyclists are sick of paying with their lives.

A Georgetown website recommends a self-guided bike tour for your next trip to DC.

 

International

The Guardian questions why so many bicycles end up in a watery grave, noting that more bicycles are found during the decennial draining of Paris’ Canal Saint-Martin than anything, other than wine bottles and mobile phones.

A British man is riding 2,400 miles from Italy to the Arctic Circle to raise funds for a mental health charity.

Flanders updates its infrastructure handbook to call for wider bike paths and more space for bicyclists, as bike commuting rates jump and people ride longer distances.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from France, where 25-year old Japanese triathlete and aspiring Olympian Tsudoi Miyazaki was killed in a collision when she was struck by a driver while training on her bike near Orléans; her death comes just days after she competed in Spain’s Pontevedra World Cup. Thanks to Christian for the tip.

The New York Times says there’s a long way to go for women cyclists to achieve parity with the men; not only is the Tour de France Femmes two weeks shorter than the Tour de France, with abbreviated stages, but the women will divide a little more than a tenth of the prize money enjoyed by the men.

Dutch pro Lorena Wiebes outsprinted world champion Elisa Balsamo and general classification leader Marianne Vos for the win on Thursday, while Rouleur questions whether the women really need emulate the Tour’s long, boring stages with a hectic sprint finish.

Nearly half the peloton hit the pavement in what Cycling Weekly termed an unnecessary crash on a long, straight and wide road.

Italy’s Barbara Malcotti was DQ’d for receiving mechanical assistance from her team car, apparently because she stopped at the front of her bunch, rather than dropping back to the rear.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new ebike has enough battery power to climb Mt. Everest, although probably not the traction. Congratulations to Los Angeles on making the list of top cities for naked bike riding.

And that feeling when you don’t crash until the easy part.

@mcwigglehips

#kidfails #funnykids #funnykidsvideos #waituntiltheend

♬ original sound – Adam Elliott

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Feds say bike with a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you, new Bike League report, and CD13 mobility debate

Evidently, the feds want you to wear a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you.

The recently passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a provision intended to speed up the use of beacons to help autonomous vehicles identify people walking and biking, which has presented problems for their developers.

Here’s what Carlton Reid has to say about it.

An easy to miss part of the Act also formalizes the acceptance of so-called “vehicle to everything” (V2X) technology that, on the face of it, promises enhanced safety on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists…

This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

While it might improve safety from autonomous vehicles, those “vehicle to everything” beacons really just shift carmaker’s responsibility for designing and building safe vehicles onto literally everyone else.

It also continues the current automotive hegemony, in which everyone else has to live in fear of the big, dangerous machines. And indefinitely delays the desperately needed transition to transit and active transportation.

But no big deal, right? It’s only the future of our cities and the planet we’re talking about.

The only way I might be willing to wear a beacon when I ride is if, and only if, every car on the road is required to have a compatible warning sensor.

Even if every last one has to be recalled and retrofit.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels.

Will even little kids like him have to be beaconize just so carmakers won’t have to program their damn killer cars to see them?

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Meanwhile, Streetsblog takes a look at what’s in the infrastructure bill.

And what’s not.

Like Biden’s promise to fix existing streets and highways before building new ones.

Politico also reported that the bill shelved the “fix-it first” promises that President Biden made when he ran for the White House.

“The House-passed surface transportation bill would have prioritized this kind of ‘fix it first,’ and also would have made states measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the outlet reported. “But the House bill got sidelined in favor of the more bipartisan Senate version over the summer.”

The bill continues the decades-old focus on highway funding, with $300 million to be allocated to the states for pretty much whatever the hell they want to do with it.

Which in most cases means more induced-demand inducing highways and interchanges.

The bill also includes a modest $39 million in transit funding, though the article notes more transit funding is included in the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better bill currently stalled in the House — when and if it ever passes.

California is in line for an extra $5.8 billion in highway funds over the next five years, but will have to compete with other states for a share of the $11 billion in safety funds for bicycling and walking budgeted in the bill.

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For the first time in eight years, the Bike League has issued a new report on the current state of bicycling.

The new report from the League of American Bicyclists, titled Reconnecting to the New Majority, is intended to reflect the changing demographics surrounding bikes, to “ensure that all people – particularly Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) – have access to safe bicycling, and further progress actions that promote equity in bicycling.”

Among the key findings,

  • More people of Latin heritage are riding bicycles, while fewer Black people are;
  • Bicycling deaths have increased significantly since the 2013 report, disproportionately affecting people of color;
  • Potential interactions with police are a deterrent to bicycling for people of color and younger people.

And as with virtually every other report on the subject, it shows that more people would be willing to ride if they had better infrastructure and safer places to park their bikes, along with better bicycle training.

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Streets For All is hosting a mobility-focused debate for the candidates vying for Mitch O’Farrell’s seat in CD13 next week.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

If a roadway is so wide that you need a sign telling drivers it’s not a traffic lane, it’s more than wide enough for a road diet. And protected bike lanes.

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While Los Angeles has forgotten all about the groundbreaking mobility plan that was supposed to transform the city, Barcelona is busy forging ahead with a post-car future.

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Clearly, Scottish bike rider care about the climate and the future of our earth.

Maybe someday, we can get LA’s bike community to care that much about anything.

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Madame Curry was one of us, along with her husband.

More proof that she really was a genius.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457211209069912071

And maybe it’s just me, but this looks a lot like the original railing at Palisades Park, overlooking the 101 and the Santa Monica pier.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457435610659139590

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Here’s one good deed for the day.

A Brazilian man on a bike stopped traffic so an elderly woman could get across the street safely.

https://twitter.com/GoodNewsMoveme3/status/1454151785023778823?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1454151785023778823%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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A billionaire Conservative British Parliament Member may be a “keen cyclist” who just bought a new bike, but he’s no fan of popup bike lanes. Especially making them permanent.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1456322436031467523?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456322436031467523%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

………

You don’t have to understand German to get this one, as a driver wants to fight a group of bike riders, apparently just for being.

………

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A witness followed an alleged drunk driver in Santa Cruz, who admitted to fleeing the scene after intentionally running down a bike rider. But they can’t press hit-and-run or vehicular assault charges because they don’t have victim, because he left the scene, too.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail, after an apparent anti-bike terrorist planted 60 sharpened metal spikes on a Tahoe multi-use offroad trail. When and if they find the person responsible, they should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; spikes could seriously injure or kill a bike rider or hiker who falls on one, or has a tire blow out while riding downhill.

A Greeley, Colorado letter writer argues that the city’s bike lanes are under utilized, because they’re not swarming with people on bikes at the exact times he happens to drive by.

Ugly confrontation on a DC street, as a bike rider taps on the trunk of a car parked in a bike lane, and also blocking the wheelchair curb cut at the intersection, and asks them to move, to which the driver and his passenger take no end of offense for having the audacity to touch his car.

No irony here. A British city councilor who threatened to paint over a set of bike lanes herself is furious when someone painted them back themselves.

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

Culver City police are looking for a bike-riding robber who stole a man’s bicycle at gunpoint while he was riding on Sawtelle Blvd near Braddock Drive last month, claiming the bike belonged to the gunman’s friend.

………

Local

Metro is moving forward with plans to finally extend to LA River bike path roughly eight miles south, from Elysian Valley through Downtown Los Angeles to the City of Maywood; the agency will hold a pair of virtual public meetings on November 13th and November 17th to talk about it. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

LADOT’s Connect the Green program is intended to calm traffic and create safe connections along neighborhood streets designed to help people bike and walk safely, with less stress. Which sounds a lot like reinventing the wheel just to come up with the already approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets mapped that were out in the 2010 bike plan.

Metro presents a self-guided bike tour of Little Tokyo and the Arts District, as well as offering discounted Metro Bike passes to anyone with a Golden State Advantage card (EBT).

Evidently, Eagle Rock isn’t the only place fighting over the NoHo to Burbank bus rapid transit line, as Burbank debates removing parking spaces to make room for it on their end.

 

State

Calbike offers a recap of this year’s wins and losses at the state legislature, while taking Governor Newsom to task for vetoing the stop as yield bill, as well as the bill that would have legalized crossing the damn street, due to a lack of vision and relying on false information.

Colleagues remember Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, saying her legacy will be tremendous; Chan was killed in a collision while trying to walk her dog across one of Alameda’s most dangerous corridors. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

San Francisco debates what to do after the cops bust a pair of bike thieves with 20 previous arrests between them, as the city’s DA pursues criminal justice reform. I’m all for criminal justice reform. But just how how many second chances should career criminals get?

A judge rules that felony charges are merited against a Davis bike thief who snatched a bait bike valued at $1,700, well over the $950 threshold for felony theft. Yet the LAPD still can’t use them, thanks to a City Attorney opinion that bait bikes could be seen as entrapment.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time for America to get serious about bike parking, noting that a key part of the $290 million plan to make the city 100% bikeable is a commitment to build 130,000 new places for bicyclists to store their bikes at the end of their ride.

USA Today recommends renting an ebike or taking a guided ebike tour on your next vacation, while the Wall Street Journal recommends buying a light one you can actually carry — if you can actually get past their paywall to read it.

Bicycling recommends the 20 best gifts for bike riders that will “truly enhance” their rides. After all, who doesn’t want to find chamois butt cream in their stocking? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Bicycling also rates 22 road bikes you can buy right now. And for a change, prices starting at less than $500. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

CityLab reports on VanMoof’s stolen bike hunters, who fulfill the company’s promise to find or replace any of their ebikes that get stolen in the first three years after purchase — as long as you pay their $398 fee.

An Oregon man was found dead after apparently crashing his bicycle into a traffic sign placed in the roadway. Which is exactly why temporary signs should never be placed in bike lanes, on highway shoulders or on the right side of the traffic lane.

A Washington man used his Apple AirTag to find his stolen ebike, and snatched it back from the dozing thief himself after the cops failed to show up.

Hats off to this 80-year old Illinois man, who has fought the effects of Parkinson’s for the past 45 years by riding a bike, even if he has to do it indoors.

An Ohio columnist calls on a hit-and-run driver to turn himself in, after the primary suspect insists he hit a deer, rather than killing an 18-year old man riding a bike.

A Boston woman faces charges for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike while she was driving distracted, allegedly blowing through a stop sign while she was FaceTiming with someone as her kid was crying in the backseat. Although the kid wouldn’t have been that big a distraction if she had actually been paying attention to what she was doing.

The New York Times rides every inch of the state’s new 750-mile bike route stretching from Manhattan to the Canadian border.

A New Orleans woman can look forward to spending the next 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a young father riding a bicycle, along with a handful of drug charges.

A Louisiana appeals court tossed the 90-year sentence given a convicted drunk, speeding driver who ran down a group of bike riders attending a Mardi Gras parade, killing two people; the court sent the case back for a new sentencing hearing because the judge didn’t give a reason for imposing the maximum sentence.

 

International

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is one of us, which we learned the hard way after he needed surgery on his lips following a fall of his bike; Shapps credits his helmet with preventing a more serious injury.

Nothing like watching a bike thief use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle outside a UK shopping mall in broad daylight. And simply ignoring it when challenged about it.

A Jewish military hero’s grave was reconsecrated after he was mistakenly buried as a Catholic; the Austrian native served as an interpreter and bike messenger for the British in WWII, riding his bike under heavy fire to get a medical team for an ambushed commando unit, then persuading an entire company of Nazi soldiers to surrender.

After a Russian spy somehow fell — or was pushed — to his death in Berlin, his case is tied to the murder of a former Georgian rebel commander, whose killer used an ebike and e-scooter in an elaborate escape plan.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as Road.cc recommends exploring the natural beauty of Montenegro’s Balkan Black Mountain state.

Around 32,750 people took park in Dubai’s annual open streets event, enjoying a few precious carfree hours on a ten-lane, skyscraper-lined superhighway.

Over 130 bike riders from multiple countries raised $30,000 for Cambodian orphans.

An Aussie driver has been fined for driving with one hand while ghost riding a bicycle alongside the car with the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary 7-11 cycling team nearly missed out on its first Tour de France in 1986 when Ronald Reagan’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi threatened to derail their entire season.

 

Finally…

When you think e-foldies, the first name that comes to mind is…Honeywell? That feeling when a four-year old rides a unicycle and a balance bike better than I do on two wheels.

And here’s one way to get drivers to slow down.

https://twitter.com/BikeThisCity/status/1457158982347284480

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

Morning Links: Blessing of the Bicycles returns, support for bikes in CD13, and choosing the right donut for your ride

My favorite Bike Week event is back for another year. So mark your calendar for the 14th Annual Blessing of the Bicycles at Good Sam, just west of DTLA.

………

In today’s political news, CiclaValley calls Measure S fear and fake news.

And nice to see five candidates for LA’s 13th council district come out in favor of walking, bicycling and bike lanes, including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

………

Local

Caught on video: A Burbank bike rider was injured in a hit-and-run when he was right hooked as he rode off the sidewalk into an intersection.

626 Golden Streets offers a list of feeder routes to Sunday’s 18-mile open streets event in the San Gabriel Valley.

Santa Monica’s first open streets event was such a hit, it could be back in the fall. And every fall after that.

 

State

A trio of Orange County men will be riding up Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro on mountain bikes to raise money for a home for orphans and abandoned children at the base of the mountain.

San Diego’s KPBS considers how private corporations can encourage alternative transportation to help the city meet its mobility goals.

Caltrans proposes installing bike lanes and diagonal parking along Twentynine Palms Highway in downtown Joshua Tree.

A Stanford researcher is recruiting volunteers to determine if improvements in bike design have reduced risks of long hours in the saddle.

Three Foster city kids were hit by cars in three separate collisions on the same morning as they rode to a middle school in desperate need of a Safe Routes to School program; that’s half the bicycling collisions in the city for all of last year.

A Sacramento comedian has turned the severe concussion he got when he went through the windshield of a car into a one-man show; he’s back on his bike even though he still has aftereffects from the injury.

Sacramento’s American River bike trail is mostly open after workers cleared mud and debris from the recent flooding.

 

National

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer has introduced legislation to help cities establish Vision Zero policies and treat traffic deaths as a public health crisis. Given the current political climate, you’re more likely to win the lottery this weekend than see this bill move out of committee, let alone become law.

Portland agreed to pay a bike rider over half a million dollars after he was injured by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a poorly marked, substandard bike lane; however, that’s just a fraction of his medical expenses.

Spokane County has finally settled with the family of a 15-year old bike rider after years of denying a deputy’s speeding patrol car had made contact with his bike; terms of the settlement were not announced. Never mind that even if the car hadn’t hit him, a close call could have been enough to make him fall.

Even Wichita KS is becoming more bike friendly as the city builds out its ten year bike plan.

A New York letter writer says the way to improve relations between the NYPD and bike riders is to give free rides on the city’s blue Citi Bikes to the men and women in blue.

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is one of us, as he spent Thursday riding ovals at North Carolina’s Wilkesboro Speedway with fellow drivers Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth.

A 12-year old South Carolina boy will be riding from Santa Monica back to Charleston SC to raise money for clean water. At that age, I was happy just to ride to the playground and back.

The solution to boosting bike ridership in Miami? Turn it into another Copenhagen.

 

International

A writer for the Guardian describes the lifelong pain of killing a pedestrian in a collision.

Caught on video too: Bikepacking the Inca Trail through the Andes.

A Winnipeg, Canada study determines that the keys to keeping bike riders safe are safety devices like lights and helmets, along with infrastructure that separates riders from motor vehicles.

Edmonton police are looking for a bike-riding serial purse snatcher.

Heartbreaking story from Australia, where a wife has to fight for a disability pension for her husband, who suffered major brain damage in a crash with a bush turkey.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have an infinite number of gears. If you want a new bike, just leave your garage unlocked.

And forget energy gels, how to choose the right donut for the ride.

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