Tag Archive for CD5

Biking Where Black, candidates to replace Koretz in CD5 back bikes, and Ford fan site blames aggressive drivers

No surprise here.

A new study from Chicago’s South Side shows a correlation between the lack of bike lanes in majority Black communities, and excessive ticketing for bicycling violations by police.

It’s no surprise then that, according to a study by University of California Davis professor Jesus Barajas, tickets for riding on the sidewalk were issued eight times more often per capita in Chicago’s majority-Black communities than majority-white neighborhoods, which tend to have far more miles of marked and protected bike lanes on arterial roads.

In addition, the Chicago Police Department has been fairly upfront about the fact that it uses zero-tolerance traffic enforcement as a strategy to enable searches for guns and drugs in high-crime neighborhoods. “When we have communities experiencing levels of violence, we do increase traffic enforcement,” Glen Brooks, the department’s director of public engagement, said on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” show in 2018. “Part of that includes bicycles.”

Just more evidence of the excessive burden placed on people of color for biking while Black or Brown.

Simply put, these are our brothers and sisters, who deserve better. And the support of the entire bicycling community.

Today’s photo shows a new Metro Bike dock that appeared without warning in Hollywood, just two blocks from the entrance to Runyon Canyon.

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This is who we could have representing LA’s 5th Council District, replacing pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, who was happy to support bicycling as long as it didn’t inconvenience cars or the people in them in any way.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

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Speaking of CD5, Katy Young Yaroslavsky — longtime LA politician Zev Yaroslavsky’s daughter-in-law — has tossed her hat in the ring for next year’s election to replace termed-out Paul Koretz.

And the senior environment and arts policy deputy for County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and former environmental land-use attorney is already saying the right things when it comes to supporting safer and more livable streets.

Yaroslavsky also said she would have supported Uplift Melrose, a proposal to bring more pedestrian space and fewer traffic lanes to the Melrose area. That proposal was not supported by Koretz because he said it would have created more traffic congestion in surrounding areas. Yaroslavsky said she is open to pursuing options like Uplift Melrose and also supports more bicycle lanes, particularly lanes connecting to locations that are centers of employment.

“I think that we need to create opportunities for people to get out of their cars,” Yaroslavsky said. “Bike lanes need to connect to each other and they need to get people where they need to go.”

We have a long way to go before May’s primary election.

But it looks like we’re off to a good start.

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He gets it.

A writer for a Ford aficionado site takes a surprising stand in the case of a Colorado bike rider killed last week by a 19-year old mechanic test driving a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup.

And concludes that most crashes involving bicyclists result from aggressive and distracted driving.

Meanwhile, a Denver TV station refutes claims of scofflaw bicyclists by looking back at a grounding breaking study from a University of Colorado Denver professor who found that drivers and bike riders break the law at about the same rate.

But that people on bicycles do it for better safety, while drivers do it for convenience.

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Looks like fun.

London bicyclists turned out in force for a mobile rave in a tunnel.

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

Oh hell no. Police are looking for a road raging Brazilian driver who backed his car over a man and his five-year old son for the crime of allowing the boy to ride his bicycle in the street; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

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

A 66-year old English woman needed an urgent hip replacement after she was knocked to the ground by a bike rider pulling a trailer at an outdoor market, who simply shouted “sorry” as he rode away without stopping to see if she was okay.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton says Metro’s revised proposals for bus rapid transit on Eagle Rock’s Colorado Blvd provides a litmus test for CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León as he runs for mayor next year.

 

State

What does it say when a new fat tire ebike from a California company inspired by the car that won the ’79 Le Mans comes complete with a built-in fire extinguisher?

Davis is hosting a zombie bike ride on Halloween Day. That’s in contrast to the zombie drivers we have to contend with every day.

 

National

Bicycling examines how ebikes are getting people back on their bikes and back into their communities. As usually, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine unveiled Specialized’s $5,000 Aethos Comp Rival as their bike of the year for 2021. Once again, read on Yahoo if you can’t access Bicycling’s site.

A kindhearted El Paso deputy bought a new bike for a homeless man he befriended, after noticing the man was riding a “ratchety” bicycle.

Austin, Texas is more than halfway to building out a 400-mile bicycle network by 2025, at a pace of slightly less than 50 miles a year. Just in case you need proof it can be done. And yes, I’m talking to you, Los Angeles.

A Wisconsin man is riding 1,600-miles from Martha’s Vineyard back to his home state to raise awareness about kidney disease and the opportunity to be a living donor, just one year after he gave one of his to a stranger.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal an adaptive bicycle from someone with special needs. Like the schmuck who made off with the customized three-wheeled bike a Toledo, Ohio man with cerebral palsy relied on for transportation.

Vogue takes a look at what they call New York’s most meaningful and stylish fundraising ride.

 

International

Cycling News considers the best bike bells for any kind of riding, while Livestrong proves they’re still around with a list of their own.

A new book highlights the weird, wonderful and sometimes ludicrous world of early bicycles.

Bike thefts in Scotland are up nearly 20% since the beginning of the pandemic, with the jump in thefts due to increased demand from the worldwide bike boom.

London plans to introduce a life-saving, citywide 15 mph speed limit next year. Proving once again that is can be done. Still looking at you, Los Angeles.

An English driver could stand trial for gross negligence manslaughter for killing a bike-riding 15-year old boy, who then kept going to see a woman he met on a dating app, after a coroner’s inquest uncovered additional evidence three years after the driver had walked when a previous case collapsed in court.

Probably not the best idea for a drug-abusing British man to steal a doctor’s bicycle while awaiting sentencing as a serial bike thief; he ended up getting two years for his crimes.

Apparently, the bike boom doesn’t extend to kids riding to school in the UK, even while average bike mileage has more than doubled in the last 19 years.

Proof that comedians aren’t always such keen observers of life, as British comic Rob Beckett claims he’s never seen someone on a bicycle smile.

An Irish man gets two and a half years for attacking a 50-year-old woman riding to her job cleaning a shopping mall and stealing her bike.

German startup Dance continues to pull in investments for their ebike subscription service, raising nearly $20 million in new funding.

A 28-year old bike-riding Italian priest was beatified by the Catholic Church, 77-years after he was brutally beaten to death when he attempted to bury at least 770 civilians massacred by the Nazis in WWII; his bicycle was one of the holy relics presented at the ceremony.

A self-described Latino American magazine calls Barcelona, Spain a bicycling paradise.

 

Competitive Cycling

Annemiek van Vleuten turned on her fellow Dutch teammates for failing to effectively support Marianne Vos in the women’s road world championships, accusing them of not working hard enough in the race.

VeloNews considers how 43-year old Czech mountain biker and ‘cross champ Kateřina Nash keeps winning after 20 years as a pro cyclist.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike tire was bitten by a rabid fox. Ebike weight weenies of the world rejoice — you have nothing to lose but your $22,000.

And I want to be like him when I grow up.

No, not just still riding at that age, but an 11 term congressman, too.

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

Donations are always welcome and appreciated, regardless of the size, season or reason. 

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

Your help needed for precedent-setting legal case, Epstein enters CD5 council race, and reward for hit-and-run drivers

This has been a rough year for all of us.

And riding a bike hasn’t always been enough to get through it, emotionally or otherwise. 

So take some time to find something you can truly be thankful for, and give your heart and mind a break for a few days. 

And stay safe out there. I want to see you back here bright and early when we return to our regular programming on Monday.

Meanwhile, Friday will mark the launch of this year’s 6th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

The corgi puppy is already hard at work preparing for her debut as our new spokesdog. 

But feel free if you want to get a jump on donating and beat the holiday rush. 

Update: Thanks to Arthur B for kicking the fund drive off!

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Today I learned what depublishing means — and what we can do about it.

Recently, we mentioned a legal ruling from a California appeals court that held Sonoma County responsible for injuries a woman suffered when her bike hit a pothole at 25 mph, setting a precedent that would make it easier for other injured riders to hold local governments accountable for bad roads, and their failure to maintain them.

But now lawyers for the county are asking the California Supreme Court to depublish the ruling, which means it couldn’t be used as a precedent for other cases, claiming she was engaged in an “extreme sport.”

This is how the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition described the case.

The argument put forth by appeals attorney Nadia Sarkis, representing the County, focused on the length, speed, and purpose of Williams’ ride, claiming that as she was engaged in an “extreme sport” and was not an “ordinary user” of the road, she assumed the “inherent risk of the sport.”  In other words, she should have known she could get hurt riding a bike and that County liability for poor road condition therefore does not apply to her.

The Justices’ line of questioning really hammered on this idea that the County’s liability varies based on the speed and purpose of a cyclist’s ride on a given day. One Justice gave Sarkis some hypotheticals and asked in which cases the County has duty. They included a woman riding at the same speed and distance but to work; a teenager riding the same speed but on her way to soccer practice; a 65-year-old woman riding the same speed on an electric bike she bought after having a knee replacement. They all seemed somewhat incredulous only Williams’ incident, but not the rest of these situations, should release the County from liability for the cyclist’s injuries and questioned the whole idea of defining “ordinary” versus “extreme” bicycling.

(Sarkis had quoted a study on “average” speed and distance for recreational versus transportational cyclists and implied that anything above “average” was “extreme.”  The speed and distance of Dr. Williams’ ride were certainly those of a fit and serious rider, but nowhere near what any of us would consider “extreme.”)

Which is ridiculous, of course. And has nothing to do with the failure to ensure a safe riding surface.

Which is where you come in.

Alan Charles Dell’Ario, the plaintiff’s attorney, is asking for letters from bicyclists to forward the Supreme Court within to oppose depublishing the ruling, and keep it as a precedent that could prove invaluable to other injured riders.

You can email your letter to him at Charles@dellario.org.

San Diego bike lawyer Richard L. Duquette, a longtime friend of this site, has shared his own letter to serve as a guide.

Just hurry, because it’s due at the Supreme Court by the end of next week.

Update: Mr. Dell’Ario sends word that your letter must follow the format below to be forwarded to the court.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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This year’s city council election ended less than a month ago. But the campaign to replace termed out Paul Koretz in CD5 is just getting started, as Scott Epstein tossed his cycling cap into the ring.

Epstein is a life-long bike rider and advocate for safer streets, and a long-time leader with both the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee and the Mid City West Community Council.

I’ve known him for over a decade, and it’s hard to imagine a better replacement for the pseudo-environmentalist Koretz, who has opposed virtually every bike project in his district.

Epstein has my unqualified support. And you can find a long list of other endorsements by clicking on the thread above.

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This is who we share the road with.

The LAPD is looking for a motorcyclist and two drivers who ran down a South LA man in a deadly triple hit-and-run.

Fifty-year old Jose Fuentes was crossing Central Ave near 78th Street when the motorcycle rider slammed into him, followed by both drivers running over him, one after the other, as he lay in the roadway.

And not one had the basic human decency to stick around afterwards, let alone call for help or render aid.

Meanwhile, 76-year old Kuen Ham died several hours after she was run down by yet another hit-and-run driver as she was crossing Miramar Street at Union Ave in the Westlake District, dragging her several feet as they fled the scene.

As always, there is standing $50,000 reward offered by the City of Los Angeles for information leading to an arrest and conviction in any fatal hit-and-run, which applies in both these cases.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the Fuentes heads-up.

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Four people find the balance between mountain biking and skiing.

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

A road-raging Pittsburgh man faces a raft of charges including attempted murder for allegedly shooting a man riding a bicycle in a dispute that following a collision.

Someone has been sabotaging a rail-to-trail bike path in the UK by strewing large branches on the pavement, as well as throwing sticks at passing riders.

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

Lincoln, Nebraska police are on the lookout for a pair of bike-riding teens who confronted a family jogging on a bike trail, and flashed a gun when they were asked to move out of the way.

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Local

Metro is offering Black Friday deals on bikeshare passes this weekend.

 

State

San Luis Obispo released the city’s new active transportation plan for public review.

A Santa Cruz man faces a murder charge after telling police his girlfriend was killed falling off her bike, even though neighbors reported her screams for help.

Tragic news from San Leandro, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a van driver, who remained at the scene. Police are looking for a second driver who left the scene and may have been involved, as well.

Davis police are looking for whoever is responsible for a series of bike shop burglaries targeting high-end bicycles. And it’s not just bike shops falling victim, either.

 

National

Bicycling recommends the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for bike riders, along with ten cutting-edge gifts for tech-loving bicyclistsUnfortunately, these don’t seem to be available on Yahoo yet.

Gear Junkie recommends the best mountain bikes for under a grand.

The NYPD has finally done the right thing, and cancelled dozens of outstanding ebike tickets after the city belatedly got around to legalizing them; the department’s crackdown fell primarily on immigrant delivery riders who could least afford it.

New York’s Department of Transportation overrules a community board to build a cargo bike corral near a Manhattan Whole Foods.

Outgoing New York Mayor de Blasio says it will be up to the next mayor to finish Vision Zero, even though the city has barely made a dent in it.

 

International

Cyclist looks at the relatively brief history of Cervélo, as the cutting-edge brand reaches the quarter century mark.

The Guardian considers how to stay safe running or biking after dark this winter.

Wired looks at the surge in bike lanes in cities around the world, as they react to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic. Needless to say, Los Angeles isn’t one of them.

The CBC profiles London, Ontario residents who plan to keep riding through the frigid Canadian winter.

Bike Radar has the best Black Friday bike deals from the UK, as well as a few from the US.

Cycling Weekly examines how London’s Pearson, reportedly the world’s oldest bike shop, launched its online business in the middle of the pandemic.

Brazen London thieves used an angle grinder to steal a locked ebike in front of witnesses in broad daylight.

British residents say a local bike rider might not have been killed if completion of a half-finished bikeway hadn’t been pushed back to 2027.

That’s more like it. An Irish man has until the end of the year to pay a nearly $24,000 fine for seriously injuring two bicyclists while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit, after an appeals court ruled his original 18-month sentence was too lenient.

A Borneo op-ed says it’s time to consider installing bike lanes on the Malaysian island.

Australia’s food delivery riders complain about dangerous conditions after five riders were killed in just two months.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen is back on his bike, three months after a horrific crash during the final sprint in stage one of the Tour de Pologne.

Pez Cycling looks forward to five things they want to see in road cycling next year.

 

Finally…

Not all bike riders are saints, but at least one bike riding priest is one his way. And when the shooting of America’s only remaining Tour de France champ didn’t even make the local paper (Scroll down. No, seriously, keep scrolling.).

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

Morning Links: Koretz wants scooter ban but goes for stickers instead, anti-bike bias in NYC, and faking cancer for charity

Maybe this makes sense to someone.

Or not.

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has called on the city to place stickers reading No e-scooter riding on the sidewalk. It’s the law. on the sidewalks of his district.

I continue to be very concerned about the e-scooter explosion here in Los Angeles and decided to proactively alert riders of the illegality of riding on sidewalks for the safety of the pedestrians in my district,” said Koretz, whose Fifth District stretches from the Santa Monica Mountains to parts of Hollywood.

“In addition to my concern about riders on the sidewalks, I am equally worried about e-scooter riders’ own safety entering commercial traffic. In reality, there are few places where e-scooters can be ridden safely.

Not that scooter users aren’t already aware of that, since it’s clearly marked on every damn scooter currently available in Los Angeles.

And as he suggests, scooterists use the sidewalks because they don’t feel safe on city streets — thanks in part to Koretz own efforts to block bike lanes, and keep streets dangerous in his district.

But like Elizabeth Warren, he has a plan for that.

I would be thrilled to see e-scooters banned until we have an adequate bicycle/e-scooter lane infrastructure for them,” Koretz said. “In the meantime I am hoping these decals can alleviate some of the e-scooter danger occurring in my district.

So, the solution, in his typical auto-focused way, is to ban scooters until he’s out of office, and let someone else come in and build the bike lanes and safe streets he hasn’t. And won’t.

And in the meantime, he’ll just maintain the current level of automotive hegemony on our streets by keeping it too risky and uncomfortable to ride a scooter on the Westside.

Or a bike, for that matter.

Just another example of making it look like he’s doing something to improve safety without actually doing a damn thing.

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No bias here.

A New York writer says the reason bike riders keep dying in the city is we’re all a bunch of maniacs with no regard for the law or our own safety.

Okay, that may be paraphrasing just a tad.

But still.

He starts by complaining about the recent decision to let bike riders use the leading pedestrian interval signals to get a jump on traffic, and cross intersections — where most urban crashes occur — safely.

But then quickly moves on to make it clear his problem is with bikes and the people who ride them.

The city also plans to splurge another $58.4 million on more bike lanes. But nobody — not Mayor Bill de Blasio, not council Speaker Corey Johnson and not Transportation Alternatives, the bicycle-advocacy group that curiously holds dominion over our streets — is calling for mandatory training or demanding adherence to traffic laws.

Both moves are all too symptomatic of city politicians’ infatuation with the bicycle ideology and the elite interests that promote it — as well as their corresponding indifference to pedestrians…

The bike lobby’s utter silence on education and accountability is a cruel betrayal of all law-abiding, safety-conscious bicyclists — and undeniable evidence of its reckless ideological zeal.

He wastes a lot of ink defending New Yorker’s God-given right to own an automobile, and park it wherever the hell they want.

As if the overwhelming majority of the city’s streets aren’t already given over to the gasoline cult. The people who ride bicycles are just trying to scrape back a tiny portion to protect their own lives, and encourage more people to willingly leave their cars at home.

And actually succeeding, unlike some West Coast cities that unanimously approve hard-fought bike plans that just gather dust on the shelf while people die on our own streets.

Okay, maybe one city in particular.

Then there’s this.

Not only are bikes rendered impractical in bad weather, for many people, including the elderly, disabled and anyone who doesn’t want to show up at work smelling like an anchovy’s armpit, they aren’t a viable alternative to automobiles or public transportation.

Apparently, he’s never heard of ebikes. Or hand cycles. Or adult tricycles. Or any of the other ways the elderly, disabled and business commuters ride bikes every day.

Never mind that countless New Yorkers commute by bike year round, regardless of the weather. Because unlike witches and bike-hating writers, we don’t melt in the rain or snow.

Besides, anchovies don’t have armpits.

It goes on, and gets worse. But we’ll spare you the rest; you can click on the link yourself, or just bang your head against the wall for several minutes until you lose any sense of reality.

Either way, the effect will be the same.

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Speaking of New York, confused NYPD officers ticketed a grown man for not wearing a helmet — even though the state’s helmet law doesn’t apply to anyone over 14.

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The definition of a bike lane fail.

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I only wish this was unbelievable.

An Ohio man became a star fundraiser for a local charity ride to fight cancer after announcing he had stage 4 brain cancer.

But seven years later, he still showed no outward signs of the disease, and refused to give any details about his treatment.

When organizers confronted him, he confessed to faking the whole thing. As well as stealing a small portion of the money he raised.

And going so far as to hide the truth from his own partner of 17 years.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Chicago TV station says tensions remain high after a driver punched a bicyclist in a video we linked to last month; the road raging driver reportedly lost his job with a law firm after the video went viral.

An off-duty New York transportation department worker hits a bike rider with his car, then gets out and slaps the victim’s phone out of his hand and pushes him before driving away.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

New York police are on the lookout for a sexual assault suspect who faked a bike crash as an excuse to grab a woman’s breasts — then broke into her home and was standing over her bed when she woke up at 4:30 am. Seriously, there’s not a pit deep enough.

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Local

The LA Times says the city’s most controversial and divisive issue right now may be e-scooters, and scooter companies should be responsible for their users’ bad behavior. They’ve got a point. I watched yesterday as a Wheels user carefully parked his scooter and took a picture to prove to the company he’d done it correctly. Then walked off, leaving it parked directly in the middle of the sidewalk, blocking foot traffic from both directions.

Dodgers stadium is scheduled for a $100 million makeover before next season, including improved bicycle and pedestrian access. No word on whether that will include a secure bike valet, like their arch rivals in San Francisco.

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in Point Mugu State Park and Sycamore Canyon.

Pasadena will host a class tomorrow designed to help you become a more confident urban bicyclist, along with a ride on the Arroyo Seco Bike Trail.

Caltrans is beginning a $5.5 million pavement repair and slurry seal project they promise will result in a smoother ride for motorists and bicyclists on PCH above Santa Monica.

The Jewish Journal celebrates renaming the sharrows on Hermosa Ave for the late cycling king of Hermosa Beach. But no matter who they honor, sharrows are not and will never be a bike lane.

 

State

Better bike lanes are making it safer and easier for people on two wheels in downtown San Diego.

A San Diego writer says everyone has their NIMBY moments — his neighbors don’t want bike lanes to replace their on street parking, and he never wanted them and their massive SUVs as neighbors.

Speaking of San Diego NIMBYs, City Beat accuses a mayoral hopeful of going full NIMBY in calling for a complete ban on e-scooters, noting the search for someone else to blame is always successful. To paraphrase a movie from a few years back, everybody knows you never go full NIMBY.

Evidently, riding a bicycle to see a San Francisco Giants game makes you a security risk.

Lyft pulls their new ebikes from the streets of San Francisco after some of them spontaneously burst into flames. Because the alternative would be to require all users to wear asbestos bike shorts.

 

National

A Senate committee has passed a bi-partisan bike-friendly transportation bill favored by PeopleForBikes. Now the question is whether Mitch McConnell will even allow it to come up for a vote.

He gets it. An editor for automotive website Jalopnik says a big-ass truck doesn’t make you tough. Now if they could just make sure all the drivers of those massive trucks and SUVs read that before being allowed back on the streets with bike riders and pedestrians.

Outside offers advice on the right way to clean your bike, while GQ considers the best pants for your bike commute.

Rock band The Distillers has cancelled their American tour after the drummer was doored, resulting in a truly nasty cut on his hand that took 40 stitches to close.

A Seattle bike shop owner was caught on security cam attempting to fight off a bike thief with a wrench, crushing her fingers, as he walked off with a new bike after she returned the one he brought in for repair to its original owners.

An Arizona city learns the hard way that pulling over law-abiding drivers to give them fake tickets offering free drinks at Circle K is a bad idea, after someone points out that’s it’s against the law to stop drivers without probable cause. So they decide to just stop bike riders and pedestrians instead, evidently assuming the Constitution doesn’t apply to us.

Several hundred Denver bike riders came out to honor fallen bicyclists and call for safer streets. The Denver Post says motorists can honor those victims by pledging to be a better and safer driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a $40,000 handicapped-accessible van from a Denver nonprofit, and used it to smash into a bike shop.

According to the local sheriff, an 81-year old Michigan man was killed when he tried to jump a curb with his adult tricycle, then tipped over and fell into the street, where he was run over by a semi. No, really, that doesn’t strain credibility at all — especially when getting right hooked by the truck driver seems a lot more likely.

One kindhearted person gave a bike to another. A Tennessee police chief gave one of the department’s extra bicycles to a young woman, after she gave hers to a coworker who needed it more.

A Knoxville TN law firm is looking for plaintiffs to sue bike helmet makers who don’t include MIPS or Wave Cel tech on every model.

Once again, wealthy New York condo owners have sued — and lost — in an attempt to block a new bike lane that would result in the loss of 400 parking spaces.

New Yorkers remember artist and yogi Em Samolewicz, the city’s 18th bicycling victim this year, as a gentle, kind soul and a magical creature; Gothamist says the city is doing basically nothing to keep riders like her from getting fatally doored.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may not have a chance in hell of becoming president, but we shouldn’t laugh off his call for a nationwide Vision Zero. Even if it doesn’t seem to be working so well in his own city right now.

A New Jersey bike rider learns the hard way to always secure your empty heroin packets before you pull out your ID for the cops.

The lawyer for a driver accused of killing a man and woman when he plowed into a group of nine bike riders near a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade will stipulate that he was driving drunk when he hit them, virtually guaranteeing his conviction on two counts of vehicular homicide and 14 other charges. But they dispute that his blood alcohol level was over .20, would could result in 60 years behind bars.

 

International

Bike experts say the city’s new network of bikeways explains why bicycling has increased London, despite dropping in the rest of England.

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his favorite thing is his bike hemet, which he always keeps with him in case a sudden urge to ride should strike.

South African police have opened a murder investigation after a popular local character known as Santa on a Bicycle died after spending four days lying in a ditch.

A New Zealand website says it’s time to give the streets back to children and protect the most vulnerable road users.

Brisbane, Australia opens a new inner-city protected bike lane five years after a woman was killed riding her bike there. So once again, someone has to die before officials actually do something to improve safety.

An Australian study says the way to reduce car congestion and pollution is to eliminate parking spaces.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s not just the pros who are tough. A 19-year old Nebraska woman finished a triathlon in just over two hours, despite two broken arms suffered when she collided with another rider during the cycling portion of the race — then still had to ride the last ten miles, and run another three.

The future of American cycling may involve getting dirty on mountain bikes.

Cyclist looks at how much Egan Bernal was paid for winning the Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Nothing amuses small minds and motorists like epic bike fails. Probably not the best idea to ride your bike over a cop who pulls you over for not having lights — or urge a cop to tase you when he stops to help after an apparent drunken bike crash.

Congratulations, we’re all superfluous now.

And if you’re going to have sex with your bike, bring plenty of lube so nothing gets stuck.

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Let me offer a belated but heartfelt thank you to Mark Jones for his generous donation to help keep BikinginLA coming your way, and to Matthew Robertson for his equally generous monthly contribution. 

Donations of any amount are always appreciated, whether to help support this site or defray the Corgi’s mounting medical bills.

Especially now.

Morning Links: Koretz calls for banning bikes from Westwood, and protected bike lanes are coming to Lankershim

Yes, he really said that.

Speaking at a candidate forum Tuesday night, incumbent CD5 city councilmember Paul Koretz called for banning bicycles from Westwood Blvd.

Never mind actually building the bike lanes he’s personally blocked from being installed on the boulevard.

And never mind that it’s against state law to ban bikes from any public street where cars are allowed. Which he should know, as a former state Assembly member.

But then, nothing seems to get in the way of his apparent desire to keep Westwood dangerous, and filled with failing businesses and empty storefronts, as he strives to maintain automotive hegemony over the street.

Which could be, but isn’t, why the LA Daily News endorsed his opponent Jesse Creed over career politician Koretz. Although you’d think they might have mentioned the obvious hypocrisy of blocking bike lanes while claiming to be an environmentalist.

You can do something about it by joining Bike the Vote LA in their get out the vote effort from 12 to 4 pm this Sunday, at 109 S Robertson Blvd, between 3rd Street and Alden Drive.

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Local

Great news, as Los Angeles will undo a small portion of the damage wrought by former Councilmember Tom LaBonge by installing 2.2 miles of protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, from Magnolia to Vanowen; like Kortez, LaBonge had blocked a previous shovel-ready plan for bike lanes on the boulevard in an apparent attempt to keep the street dangerously auto-focused.

CiclaValley writes about Monday’s North Hollywood death of a bike rider identified, as Stanley Martin Digerose, who was killed when he stopped to retrieve a ball that had rolled into the street from a nearby park.

Loyola Marymount will open a free bikeshare system on campus; the center will eventually offer seminars teaching students how to fix, tune, and repair their bikes, as well.

Pasadena installs a combination bike repair and hydration station near the rose Bowl.

 

State

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to improve safety on state highways that run through urban areas and neighborhoods by installing safer sidewalks, crosswalks and bike infrastructure — and more importantly, by providing the funding to pay for it. Streetsblog says it would force Caltrans to follow its own Complete Streets guidelines.

Needless to say, reaction to a proposed bill to allow the Idaho Stop Law in California hasn’t been entirely positive.

Speaking of Idaho Stops, the Union-Tribune shows where bike riders are most likely to get a ticket for stop sign violations. Thanks to Frank Shunkan for the heads-up.

San Diego’s already bad roads are getting worse after the winter rains, leading to lawsuits from drivers and injured bicyclists. Potholes and cracks may be an expensive annoyance to drivers, but can be dangerous for bike riders.

 

National

A new study of male athletes suggests riding too long and hard could affect your sex drive and fertility. Previous studies have shown a similar affect on women.

A bicycling website ranks the top ten bike-friendly cities in the US. Guess which one isn’t on the list?

Lifehacker offers advice on how to buy a bike off eBay without getting hosed.

Your next fat bike could be half scooter.

A Washington high school offers a bike academy to train students for jobs in the bicycle industry.

A popular Tucson bike path is closed down for construction without adequate notice or a detour around the project site. Not that there’s anything unusual about that.

An Op-Ed in the Denver Post says Colorado faces a $2 billion transportation shortfall, and the state must invest in multimodal transportation, including bicycling, instead of building more roads.

The hit-and-run driver who dragged a Las Vegas teenager’s bike under his truck for two and a half miles before tossing it in a dumpster is a convicted felon, though the story doesn’t say what he was convicted of; thankfully, his victim is slowly recovering from his injuries.

A new Chicago plan calls for wetlands and bike bridges leading to a massive industrial area.

No, seriously. Who could have possible imagined that a killer drunk driver would lie to a Chicago courtroom to save his own skin? Thanks to Matt Ruscigno for the link.

Teenage Staten Island bike riders get busted for performing stunts while weaving in and out of traffic and riding salmon. So in their infinite wisdom, authorities filed criminal charges against them. Seriously. For riding bikes.

A Virginia deputy isn’t angry at the 19-year old girl who stole his bike to get home after she was stranded following the Super Bowl. Especially since she brought it back the next day with a note asking for forgiveness.

It’s the cover-up that gets you caught. A Florida woman is caught using a bike to cover her tracks after skipping 1.5 miles of a Ft. Lauderdale half marathon.

 

International

Now you can get Strava on your iWatch, assuming you have one. Or want one.

Toronto considers new rules to keep bike lanes from being used as parking and loading zones for construction sites.

London is the latest city to get the subway-style bike map treatment. Which would just show a bunch of disconnected lines if they tried it here.

Caught on video: This is why drivers have to give a safe passing distance, as a Brit cyclist is clipped by a passing driver who apparently didn’t see him, despite his hi-viz. Or maybe just didn’t care.

A UK paper is shocked and appalled that someone would ride in a bike lane with no hands and no helmet. Although he does seem to have his bike under control, even making a hands-free left — and signaling, though I initially missed that.

After video of a woman bike rider ripping off the wing mirror of a van goes viral, the Guardian says the race for clicks is undermining the credibility of the press. Although a HuffPo writer says she wishes she had the courage to do it.

Irish drivers could face a the equivalent of an $84 fine for passing a bike rider with less than five feet distance on roads with a speed limit over 31 mph, and 3 feet on streets with lower speeds, under a “radical” plan under consideration.

Nice story of an Indian man who rode his bike 7,000 miles to Sweden in the 1970s to be with the woman he loved; they’ve now been married 40 years.

One of China’s app-based bikeshare systems is about to drop 500 bicycles on the streets of Cambridge, England.

A lawyer says the Malaysian driver who killed eight teenage bike riders in a collision over the weekend deserves the blame for hitting them from behind, not her victims or their parents.

 

Finally…

If you get pulled over for DUI, probably best not to do cartwheels when the cop asks you to walk a straight line. What to say to those foul-mouthed, bell-happy cyclists when you innocently park in their bike lane.

And someone really needs to give this dog a dope test. Seriously.

Morning Links: Creed calls for a safer Westwood, SaMo PD gets Share the Road wrong, and bike rap & Corgi bikes

Maybe there’s still hope.

Yesterday morning, Jesse Creed, who’s running against incumbent Paul Kortetz in LA’s 5th Council District, announced that his one of his first actions as a councilmember will be to call for a safety study of Westwood Blvd, saying “a safer, better Westwood will the bedrock of a more vibrant Westwood Village.”

Photo by Eric Bruins

While it’s not an outright endorsement of the shovel-ready bike lanes Koretz singlehandedly killed at the behest of wealthy homeowners, it’s a huge step towards improving the dangerous street following its shameful removal from the city’s Mobility Plan.

It should be noted that a study of the proposed bike lanes was already underway when Koretz halted it, insisting that they would not be built no matter what the study showed. And even though I’ve been told by multiple sources that it would have shown the bike lanes would improve safety, with no significant impact on travel times or parking.

While Westwood is part of LA’s Great Streets program, it’s also part of the Vision Zero High Injury Network, indicating that it’s one of the city’s most dangerous streets — especially for pedestrians and the many bike riders who have no other viable route to get to Westwood Village from the Expo Line or other areas further south.

As Creed notes, despite the Great Streets designation, nothing has changed on the street under Koretz’ watch, unlike some of the others which have made great strides since receiving the designation. And despite the councilmember’s apparent belief that the best solution to a dangerous street is to keep it that way.

Creed seems to get that Westwood — or any other street, for that matter — can’t be a Great Street if it’s not safe and inviting for everyone who uses it, and that it needs to serve more than just a handful of local residents who claim it as their own.

You can see video of the full press conference on the Bike the Vote LA Facebook page.

………

Santa Monica police revive a three-year old victim blaming bike safety spot that twists the meaning of Share the Road; the ad ran on yesterday’s KABC-7 evening news.

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Now get the bad taste that left you with out with a little nerdcore bike rap from Santa Monica’s Public Bikes.

And somehow, I’d forgotten about their Corgi-themed holiday video, which is still worth a watch even if the holidays are over.

………

VeloNews profiles the slow and steady rise of Megan Guarnier, calling her America’s best cyclist, male or female.

A final verdict may never be reached in the Italian pay-to-race cycling scandal after lawyers and officials were driven from the hearing room by a broken heating system.

After taking up cycling to keep up her fitness in the offseason, a Canadian skier became the first from her country to compete at three different Olympics in three different sports; now she’s set her sights on becoming just the sixth person to medal at both the summer and winter games.

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Local

Evidently, LA had an ulterior motive in agreeing to host the world para-cycling championships at the last minute, hoping it would boost the city’s chances of winning the 2024 Olympics.

After experiencing the walkable streets and pedestrian plazas of New York, DTLA Rising’s Brigham Yen calls on LA to cut the backward bullshit and focus on road diets to create a more walkable — and by extension, bikeable — city.

The LACBC will host their rescheduled Ask An Officer panel discussion, featuring representatives from the LAPD, LA County Sheriff’s Department and the CHP, along with bike lawyer and BikinginLA title sponsor Jim Pocrass, on the 30th of this month.

LA’s Groundwork Coffee opens in NoHo’s restored Historic Train Depot, offering a bike repair and accessories shop, and plenty of bike parking.

Pasadena will likely approve bikeshare next month, but the locations are still to be determined following public workshops.

Speaking of the City of Roses, the Brooklyn Bicycle Company offers a photo bike tour of the city. Thanks to Vesley Reutimann for the heads-up.

 

State

Despite projections of a budget shortfall, Governor Jerry Brown proposes increasing funding for active transportation by $1 billion over the next ten years; Calbike notes that the funds are prioritized for disadvantaged communities.

A New Jersey website recommends Orange County as a cyclist’s mecca for riders trying to escape the state’s cold winter.

The San Diego Union-Tribune wants your bike commuting stories. Actually, they want everyone’s commuting stories, which means they’ll need bicyclists and pedestrians to balance out all those people in cars.

Riverside plans to use a state grant to repair trails on Mt. Rubidoux, while installing benches, bike racks and a water fountain for cyclists along the Santa Ana River Trail in nearby Carlson Park.

 

National

New bike composites that blend polypropylene, polyethylene or steel with carbon fiber offer light weight and strength with less fragility.

Continuing their recent focus on clickbait, Bicycling recommends six ways to make sure you’re seen on the streets.

Like Ikea, modern furniture company Blu Dot is offering their own bicycle; the company will donate a bicycle to World Bicycle Relief for every one of the Handsome Cycles-made single speed bikes made by they sell.

It was nice while it lasted. Colorado Springs CO caves to NIMBY’s demanding they undo a road diet and remove buffered bike lanes on a formerly six lane street, even though it carried less than half the traffic it was designed for.

After failing to hire an engineer to oversee the city’s bike plan, Dallas spends $171,000 in bike lane funding to hire a consultant to design eight miles of bike lanes.

A new Minnesota study shows bikes are good for the economy and the people who ride them.

An Indiana couple who built a bike park in honor of their son after he was killed in Afghanistan receive an invitation to the presidential inauguration from bike-riding VP Elect Mike Pence.

Nice story from Cincinnati, where a cyclist spotted a familiar bike in unfamiliar hands, and assuming it was stolen, bought it from them and set out to find the real owner.

Nashville plans a low-stress bike network designed to make the city’s scary streets inviting to everyone.

A former soldier came back from serving in Kuwait with a back injury that kept him from riding a bike; now he runs a New York-based company building pedal-assist ebikes for others with disabilities.

A Canadian man depended on the kindness of strangers as he rode his bike from Montreal to Mexico, until one of those strangers stole his bike and all his belongings in Philadelphia.

Thrillist looks at New Orleans’ unique bike culture as the city takes steps to become more inviting for bike riders.

 

International

Road rage, yes; assault, yes; hit-and-run, only in the most literal sense, as Scottish police are looking for a cyclist who punched a driver through an open window following an altercation.

The UK’s Cyclist site offers advice on how to avoid solo crashes.

In a truly bizarre ruling, a British court gives a motorcyclist a year behind bars for speeding while fleeing from police, but only six months for actually killing another human being on a bicycle by riding carelessly in another case.

Indian politicians are battling over who gets to use the bicycle as a symbol of their support for the common people. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a driver is appealing his three-week sentence for killing a cyclist instead of thanking the judge for the gentle caress on the wrist.

 

Finally…

Police rescue a purloined bike cow. If police try to stop you for riding without a headlight, just stop already.

And your next bike computer could do everything but fix your flats for you.

 

Morning Links: Two favorite LA bike shops on the block, and Jesse Creed tackles Complete Street failures in CD5

Here’s your chance to get into the bike business.

Because two of LA’s favorite bike shops are now for sale, allowing buyers to step into already existing and successful businesses.

NELA’s Flying Pigeon LA is on the block thanks to owner Josef Bray-Ali’s bid to unseat LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo in LA’s 1st council district.

Meanwhile, Orange 20 owner TJ Flexer is looking for someone to take over Orange 20 Bikes, the iconic shop anchoring East Hollywood’s Hel-Mel district, as he moves on to other opportunities.

It would be a shame to lose either of these shops. Let’s hope someone steps up to save them.

………

Speaking of city council candidates, Jesse Creed has written a must-read Op-Ed in the LA Daily News calling for Complete Streets.

Creed, who’s taking on incumbent Paul Koretz in CD5, criticizes Koretz’ failure to ensure safe streets, sidewalks and bikeways following construction of the Expo Line.

Never mind Koretz’ ongoing efforts to keep Westwood Blvd dangerous by single-handedly blocking the bike lanes that would have calmed traffic and improved safety for everyone.

………

‘Tis the season.

A Rams fan donates eight bicycles to the CHiPs for Kids toy drive in honor of Luis Sanchez, the five-year old boy killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into his home as he was writing a letter to Santa asking for a bike.

A Victorville non-profit is giving 170 bicycles to kids who show a need and perform well in school.

The Fresno Hell’s Angels — yes, those Hell’s Angels — buy and assemble 800 bicycles for local kids.

A Boise, Idaho organization is calling for bicycle donations, as they’re currently 100 bikes short of their goal of giving 415 bicycles to kids who’ve never had one before.

A Texas company builds 100 bikes to give to children of first responders; last year they gave bikes to children of local soldiers.

An Oklahoma car dealer helps collect over 350 bicycles for distribution to children who need them.

An Iowa car dealer is collecting 400 bicycles to donate to children in a four county area.

Terre Haute, Indiana’s Bikes for Tykes program is giving over 400 bicycles to area kids.

Volunteers in Manitoba, Canada work 24 hours straight to build 334 bikes to give to kids.

Great idea from a British town, as bikes refurbished by homeless residents go on sale to local studentsI’d love to see a program like that here in Los Angeles.

And two LA cops play Santa Claus after a bike rider spots a duffel bag full of packages that had apparently been lost or stolen.

………

Spanish pro Joaquim “Purito” Rodriguez calls it a career after 17 years and 14 Grand Tour stage victories.

Sad news from France, as a rising young cyclist died in a fall while hiking.

Ella Cycling Tips takes a deep dive into the story of transgendered bike racer Jillian Bearden.

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Local

Metro is lowering its walkup price for Downtown’s Metro Bike bikeshare to just one dollar for the first half hour from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.

CiclaValley says a new traffic light on Riverside Drive is a recipe for disaster, with the light almost invisible as it’s hidden behind trees.

Kanye is one of us, as he rides his BMX on the streets of Los Angeles in a full-face helmet. So actually, it might have been anyone in there.

Bike SGV is selling refurbished bike for the holidays through 12-23, with most under $100.

A Santa Clarita radio station looks at Sunday’s Finish the Ride Holiday Challenge.

 

State

Caught on video: A La Mesa man is lucky to have his bike after security footage show a man pulling bolt cutters from under a blanket and cutting the lock on his mountain bike; evidently, the thief was frightened away before he could take it.

San Diego police release photos of a suspect vehicle in last month’s hit-and-run that injured a bike rider in Linda Vista; police blame the victim for running a stop sign.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs moves next door in 2018.

A 33-year old driver was allegedly stoned when she fled the scene after running down a woman riding her bicycle in a marked Moorpark bike lane; she faces charges of DUI and felony hit-and-run, while her 62-year old victim was hospitalized with major injuries.

A Berkeley website recounts the miraculous recovery of a new mother run down by a stoned driver as she biked home from work last February; she recently ran a 5k, just 10 months after a wreck no one expected her to survive.

A 23-year old Stockton driver is under arrest for allegedly fleeing the scene following a crash that killed a bike rider, as well as two passengers in his car.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a cowardly hit-and-run driver left a bike rider to die in the street following an early morning collision.

 

National

Bicycling says there’s never been a better time to be a bicycle entrepreneur.

Here’s your chance to be a test pilot for a new heads-up display for cyclists made by a company that specializes in displays for fighter pilots. Saying “zoom, zoom!” when you ride is purely optional.

A Seattle bike co-op is helping to reduce the recidivism rate for juvenile offenders by teaching kids how to fix a bicycle.

A Washington cyclist thanks drivers for the courtesy, but urges them not to wave him through intersections when they have the right-of-way.

An Albuquerque NM cop received a hero’s award from the mayor for digging into his own pocket to buy a bike for a 12-year old boy after his was stolen on his birthday.

An ex-cop in South Dakota has seen positive results for his Parkinson’s Disease from using medical marijuana, allowing him to attempt a 300-mile bike ride across the state.

Mason City IA is trying to buy an elevated rail line through the city to create a five-mile High Line bikeway.

A Wisconsin woman faces charges after drunkenly driving her car on a bike path and getting stuck on a bike bridge. Although that can happen here in the City of Angels, as well.

Ohio could be the next state to adopt a three-foot passing law, after the legislature sent a bill to the governor’s desk.

A writer for the New Yorker offers a tongue-in-cheek list of all the reasons he’ll never ride a bike in the city.

An Op-Ed in the New York Times says forget Times Square, it’s time to banish cars from all of Broadway.

A Georgia driver was under the influence of six different drugs and reaching for her cellphone when she crossed the center line and struck three cyclists, killing one.

 

International

Bloomberg says looking good is easier than ever, as the competition is beginning to catch up to Rapha.

The New York Times looks at Costa Rica’s La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, calling it the world’s toughest mountain bike. And which may or may not involve crocodiles.

Madonna’s son is one of us, as he starts a job as a London bicycle delivery rider.

A British couple adopt a dog that adopted them as they rode their bikes back to their hotel in Greece.

Cyclists in the UK face the same problem riders do in this country — drivers who think they know the laws regarding bicycling, but don’t.

Cycling Tips stumbles on a Frenchman with a remarkable bicycle collection at this year’s Tour de France.

One more reason to hate Adolph Hitler — the biggest bike theft in Danish history. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

No bias here. Australian police are looking for a road raging cyclist who allegedly punched a car passenger in the face for no apparent reason. As we’ve said before, there’s never any excuse for violence; however, the story doesn’t make the slightest mention of what led up to the incident.

 

Finally…

Once again, a bike gets the blame for causing a crash — except this time, no one was on it. Always a good idea to toss your bottle of cheap booze before the police get there

And you’ve got to do something when it snows in Portland.

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Morning Links: Bike lane blocking LA CM cuts WeHo ribbon; MI takes fatal crash seriously, Ventura DA doesn’t

No hypocrisy here.

Twitter user fig4all attended the ribbon cutting for the new Fairfax Blvd bike lanes in West Hollywood on Thursday. And was surprised to see LA’s 5th District Councilmember Paul Koretz participating, since the bike lanes connect to existing lanes in his district.

Particularly since Koretz has single-handedly blocked badly needed bike lanes on Westwood Blvd at the behest of wealthy homeowners, while leading the fight to have them removed from the Mobility Plan.

Fairfax Ribbon Cutting

Is it just me, to does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

Is it just me, or does Paul Koretz looks a little pissed off?

On the other hand, let’s give credit to the West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition for working to get the new Fairfax bike lanes on the street, regardless of who shows up to cut the ribbon.

………

Kalamazoo bike riders say Tuesday’s tragedy is a wake-up call for cyclists to always be aware of their surroundings on the road, while others decry the news coverage focused on telling cyclists how to protect themselves from two ton ballistic missiles, rather than telling drivers not to kill innocent people on bicycles.

Over 700 members of the local community came together to pray for the victims.

Prosecutors have shown they’re taking the case seriously, filing five second degree murder charges against the driver, along with four counts of reckless driving. However, police have still not given a reason for the crash.

The mother of driver Charles E. Pickett, Jr. insists her son is not a murderer and would never crash into anyone on purpose, although his Facebook page doesn’t exactly instill confidence. Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the Facebook link.

Meanwhile, Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson says another Ride of Silence isn’t going to change anything; we need to stop being silent, start filing police reports and demand changes from our local leaders if crap like this is ever going to stop.

………

Contrast the Kalamazoo case with last year’s Moorpark massacre, in which a distracted driver plowed into a cyclist, then overcorrected to hit a motorcycle rider head-on, killing both men.

Yet somehow, the Ventura County DA’s office inexplicably filed misdemeanor manslaughter charges, rather than the felony charges recommended by the CHP. Guaranteeing that the driver, 26-year old Rachel Hill of Ventura, will receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist, at best.

And eliminating whatever leverage the DA may have had to negotiate a guilty plea requiring any real jail time before the case even starts.

Needless to say, the widows of Maciek Malish and Jesse Cushman are outraged.

As any rational person would be.

KABC-7 reports Hill’s lawyer denies she was using her phone at the time of the collision; they admit she had used it a few minutes prior to the crash, but swear she’d stopped before the wreck occurred. Which fails to explain why she couldn’t manage to see the first victim or avoid either one.

So maybe she crashed into them just for the hell of it.

The charges in the Kalamazoo case shows what happens when authorities take traffic crime seriously. And this case shows what happens when they don’t.

Hopefully, the justifiable outrage to the misdemeanor counts will convince Ventura County DA Gregory D. Totten to re-file the case as a felony.

If not, maybe Ventura County voters should consider whether he belongs in the job.

Come back next week when we’ll have a guest post from the daughter of one of the victims.

………

If you wonder why LA drivers speed with abandon, it’s because police can’t legally use speed guns on 75% of LA streets, thanks to the city’s failure to conduct speed surveys in compliance with California’s murderous 85th percentile law, which requires that speed limits be set to the rate 85% of drivers speed travel.

Yet conducting the surveys means limits will most likely have to be raised in order to be enforced.

Putting speeding drivers in charge of setting speed limits is like leaving armed robbers in charge of bank security. Contact your state legislators and demand a change.

………

The CyclingTips website asks if professional cycling’s WorldTour is really so desperate for sponsors that it needs a team owned by a Bahraini prince with a dossier thick with human rights abuses and torture allegations; activists threaten to block next year’s Tour de France if the team participates.

Turns out a British extreme cyclist didn’t go missing on the unsupported cross-country Trans-Am Bike Race after all; he was just the victim of dehydration and a broken GPS.

………

Local

Twitter user captainandstoker offers a bike cam view of the new curb-protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street. Meanwhile, groundbreaking is finally scheduled to take place on the long-promised MyFigueroa project this summer.

Richard Risemberg calls for volunteers to help out with Flying Pigeon owner Joseph Bray-Ali’s run for city council against anti-bike incumbent Gil Cedillo.

The Eastsider talks with Bicycle Kitchen founder Jimmy Lizama.

LA Eater examines a quartet of area coffee shops where cycling and caffeine collide.

Forget hi-viz. If you really want to be seen, join the LA edition of the World Naked Bike Ride tomorrow, at a location to be announced later today.

Don’t get that confused with Sunday’s non-clothing-optional LA River Ride, though, with routes ranging from a 15-mile family ride to a century ride around Long Beach and back.

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton talks with Bike SGV Programs Director David Diaz about this weekend’s Viva SGV open streets event.

 

State

The annual AIDS/Lifecycle Ride will pass through Ventura and Malibu before ending at LA’s Fairfax High School on Saturday.

A 13-year old eighth grader becomes the youngest person to graduate from Moorpark College; like the genius he is, he enjoys riding a bike when he’s not studying.

A Vacaville man has been selected as the Solano County Bike Commuter of the Year.

NorCal AAA is using ebikes to rescue drivers in San Francisco’s Embarcadero area.

 

National

Elly Blue is back to suggest that the best bike trips start on a train.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After a bike rider was killed in a collision, Tucson considers how to improve the intersection so it won’t happen again.

You don’t have to see to ride a bike, as a group of Missouri tandem riders volunteer their time and bikes to take blind people bicycling on local trails.

 

International

The Winnipeg Free Press calls the city’s proposed bike helmet law well-intentioned but misguided.

Caught on video: A British cyclist records a number of too-close passes, including one so close you can almost taste the hay bales on a passing truck.

A South African writer complains about “arrogant” cyclists who insist on using the sidewalk — albeit legally — to get around dangerous road construction work. If you’re going to ride on the sidewalk, show some courtesy to other people using it.

A Kiwi website looks at the bike-mounted device developed by the Chattanooga police department to accurately measure a three-foot passing distance. Something the LAPD needs to get its hands on so they can start enforcing the passing law here, even if they can’t use speed guns.

An Aussie writer says your safety on the streets depends on wearing fluorescent hi-viz during the day and reflectorized clothing at night. Because expecting drivers to actually pay attention to what’s on the road ahead of them is just too much to ask.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a blowtorch to cut a bike lock on a public beach in broad daylight, leave the controlled substances and drug paraphernalia at home. No, cyclists aren’t safer riding against traffic, and militant bike riders hardly ever interfere with traffic on purpose.

And this is what happens when you try to ride a bike through a presidential motorcade.

 

Morning Links: CD5’s Paul Koretz’ credibility questioned; CABO president calls bike lane advocates Uncle Toms

Westside councilmember Paul Koretz seems to be catching it from all sides lately.

Just days after many bicyclists — yours truly included — reacted negatively to his call for slashing greenhouse gases after killing bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, the UCLA Bicycling Academy falls just short of calling the councilmember a liar.

Consulting Economist Calla Wiemer writes that Koretz appeared before the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association recently to explain his decision to kill the bike lanes, after promising the same group last year that the city would study them.

The Councilmember offered two justifications for the cancellation. One was that he realized that incorporating bike lanes into Westwood Boulevard would only make the situation more dangerous. The other was that he recognized an “overwhelming consensus of the community” in opposition. In light of these considerations, he determined that regardless of any LADOT findings, he would not approve bike lanes for Westwood Boulevard. There was thus no point wasting time with a study.

Yet as Wiemer explains, the bike lanes would have improved safety on one of the city’s most dangerous streets for bike riders, while moving riders out of the way of impatient motorists.

In fact, I’m told the safety portion of the study Koretz cancelled was virtually complete when he pulled the plug, and would have shown that the proposal would have no negative impact on safety — something he undoubtedly knew, despite proclaiming just the opposite as a justification for killing the project.

Which could explain his timing in killing the study last year before the results could be released.

As for his other excuse,

Koretz’s second justification for canceling the LADOT study was an ostensible “overwhelming consensus of the community” in opposition. The hundreds of riders who brave Westwood Boulevard daily on bikes would surely be surprised to discover the ease with which their interests can be overwhelmed in the view of the Councilmember. Moreover, those in favor of bike lanes extend well beyond the cycling community, or even the would-be cycling community taken to encompass those who would like to ride Westwood Boulevard but are deterred by present conditions. All who drive Westwood Boulevard regularly have the experience of getting stuck behind cyclists and wishing them out of the way. For motorists too, then, bike lanes are the answer….

With support of bike lanes for Westwood Boulevard so much in evidence, an “overwhelming consensus” in opposition would require a counterforce of a scale difficult to imagine. UCLA is, after all, the largest employer in Los Angeles after government and contributes $12.7 billion a year to the local economy. To understand the influences at work on the Councilmember, a group of UCLA students filed a public records request for all communications of the District 5 Council office pertaining to bike lanes. Covering the period February 24, 2010 to November 22, 2013, the file runs to 1035 pages. It is tough to read through all this material let alone infer any consensus from it. Views are presented on both sides of the issue with a relatively small number of people dominating the input. The most vocal opposition comes from the leadership of the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Association.

One problem with this whole scenario is that the few who run the WSSM HOA carry such disproportionate weight in the Councilmember’s assessment of public opinion. Another problem is that a group constituted on the basis of homeownership in a diverse neighborhood of single family homes and condominiums, young and old, cyclists and non-cyclists would take such a strident position on bike lanes. As a member of this homeowners association myself, I am an indication of the range of opinion that exists in the neighborhood with regard to bike lanes.

It should be deeply troubling to anyone that a single councilmember can, let alone would, derail the democratic process to satisfy an unelected homeowner’s group — not even the Neighborhood Council elected to represent all those who live, work and shop in the area, rather than just the privileged few who can afford homes in the area.

The late Dale Carnegie once wrote that there are two reasons for anything a person says or does — a reason that sounds good, and the real reason.

Koretz has given us two reasons that sound good, but don’t stand up to even the most basic scrutiny.

Which leaves us to wonder just what his real reason is.

………

Recently we discussed CABO’s opposition to AB 1193, a popular bill before the state legislature that would legalize protected bike lanes in California, which are currently prohibited under restrictive state law.

Jim Baross, president of the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, wrote in response that the group didn’t oppose the lanes, but simply wanted to maintain standards that he said would ensure their safety.

Yet the following comment from Baross, left on the Cycling in the South Bay blog in response to a story about harassment from motorists on PCH, doesn’t sound like someone who supports bike lanes, protected or otherwise.

It is so similar it’s difficult not to menton (sic) the similarity to racists’ treatment of those they consider not to belong – though nothing nearly as pervasive or violent; bicyclists are not lynched, but we are certainly being discouraged from exercising our rights – equal or less than equal. Disturbing to me is the Uncle-Tom response seeking, in effect, separate and usually inferior facilities – the back of the bus may be safer and using shoulder space may be more comfortable, bit (sic) it shouldn’t be forced on anyone by harrasment (sic) or misapplication of laws.

He’s got a valid point that no one’s choice of where to ride should be forced on them at the end of a bumper.

But to call anyone who wants safe infrastructure that doesn’t require us to share the lane with motorists an Uncle Tom couldn’t be more offensive.

Whether to bicycling advocates who disagree with his apparent opposition to anything but the same vehicular cycling approach that has stymied the growth of bicycling for the past 40 years, or to those who have suffered from real racism for the last 300.

Jim, you’ve got some serious explaining to do.

Thanks to Bike SD’sSam Ollinger for finding the comment.

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Local

The Cypress Park Neighborhood Council meets tonight to discuss the already approved, funded and shovel-ready North Figueroa road diet and bike lanes, inexplicably halted by CD1 Councilmember — and apparent Koretz emulator — Gil Cedillo.

It only took two years, but a dangerous intersection on the Expo Bikeway has finally been fixed.

Yet another stolen bike, this time in Echo Park.

This is what an unsafe pass looks like captured from behind; thanks to topomodesto for the link.

More on LA Streetsblog’s winning night at the SoCal press awards.

 

State

A Federal court jury awarded $1.9 million to the parents of a cyclist shot by Indio police. No surprise, as this case stunk from the beginning.

A Petaluma bike building project helps steer kids from a life of crime.

A St. Helena columnist questions whether society is best served by sentencing a driver convicted of killing a cyclist in a left cross to prison. I can’t answer that question; I just know that people will continue to die on our streets until we start taking traffic crime seriously.

 

National

Bicycling says you need to lube more than just your chain.

A new national association of bicycling educators has been formed; thanks to Karen Karabell for the heads-up.

New rechargeable bike light allows you to light the road and recharge your cell at the same time.

Ninety-four percent of Oregon cyclists stop for red lights, compared to up to 77% of drivers who break the speed limit.

It’s been a bad year for cyclists in central Wyoming, as a rider from New York is killed while turning left across a highway. A letter writer suggests the solution is to let cyclists ride salmon; uh, no.

A Wisconsin writer says go ahead and ride to work, but buy a waterproof messenger bag first. And never try to race the rain.

A group of bystanders lift a taxi off an elderly New York bike rider.

 

International

A heartless UK thief steals a bike that was left to a woman after her father was killed in a plane crash.

Most Brits think the county’s roads are too risky for bicyclists; thanks to Jim Pettipher for the heads-up.

Scot pro David Millar is booted from his team for this year’s Tour de France.

Belgium’s soccer team prepares to lose to play the US in the World Cup by going for a leisurely bike ride.

 

Finally…

When you’re on parole and carrying meth, ammunition and a practice mortar round on your bike, don’t give police an excuse to stop you.

And guess who doesn’t think the doping investigation that brought down Lance Armstrong was good for cycling? That’s right, Lance.

 

Breaking news: Councilmember Koretz abandons safety, cyclists and his word on Westwood Boulevard

Evidently, the lives and safety of bike riders don’t matter when wealthy homeowners raise their voices in opposition.

At least, that the message CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz seems to be sending.

According to LA Streetsblog, Koretz has come out in opposition to bike lanes in any form on Westwood Blvd between National and Santa Monica Boulevards — despite an earlier promise to study the feasibility of such lanes, which is currently ongoing.

Evidently, he doesn’t want any facts to get in the way of making up his mind.

As Damien Newton, author of the Streetsblog story points out, any kind of bike lane on that section of Westwood has been adamantly opposed by a small group of local homeowners represented by the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowner’s Group, as well as business owners along the boulevard who fear a loss of parking spaces.

It is wildly unlikely that the city will move forward with a bicycle lane project without at least tacit support from the Council office, which is bowing to pressure from homeowner groups that have been hostile to transportation options outside of the automobile….

Local opposition to the lane publicly centered around an LADOT study of a bus lane (bikes allowed) which would have removed travel lanes and parking.  That plan was DOA.  Instead, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition proposed a “floating” bicycle lane where the parked-car adjacent bike lane would be moved to the curb during rush hour so that the road could continue to have a peak hour lane.  After the public meeting, the LADOT began a study of the floating bike lane (which they had only briefly introduced as an “idea” at the public hearing), but that was put on hold by the Councilmember.

It should be noted that the floating bike lane would not have resulted in the loss of a single traffic lane or parking space; the greatest handicap anyone would face would be crossing the street from one side to the other as the parking lane flipped sides.

Now, the floating bike lane plan has been rejected by the Councilmember before he has allowed the formal study to be was completed.  In response, today, the LACBC released an action alert calling on Koretz to move forward with a full study of the lanes that includes all stakeholders.

In that alert, the Bike Coalition calls attention to the councilmember’s broken promise.

Word on the street is that Councilmember Paul Koretz is reneging on his commitment to study bike lanes on Westwood Boulevard, connecting the future Expo Line Station to UCLA and Palms.  Earlier this year Koretz wrote, “I am an advocate of bike paths so long as we implement them intelligently and with the input of local stakeholders.”  With that in mind, LACBC respected local opposition to the City’s proposed bus-bike lanes and developed an alternative that still provides safety benefits without the traffic impact that upset some stakeholders. We then requested to work with the Councilmember to:

  • Study alternatives for Westwood with less traffic impact
  • Create an inclusive engagement process that is fact-based and respectful of divergent opinions

After agreeing to the above, Koretz stalled.  He did not set up an open and transparent process and instructed LADOT to stop the study.  Instead of seeking input from all stakeholders, he has listened to one small insular group of homeowners that have repeatedly put out inaccurate information to rally opposition to even studying the project.  At LACBC, we firmly believe that studying options is the first step in making decisions “intelligently.”

Koretz opposition also flies in the face of support for the lanes from his own appointee to the city’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, CD5 representative Jonathan Weiss, as quoted by Streetsblog.

Weiss argues that the road width is actually wide enough to put in lanes without removing parking or mixed-use lanes if lanes are narrowed.

“There is ample room for bike lanes without losing car lanes or parking,” Weiss writes in a letter to Koretz. “Providing bike lanes would actually free up traffic by separating bikes from cars.  And safety concerns will continue to keep risk-averse people from riding – exacerbating, rather than relieving, automobile traffic to UCLA and keeping buses stuck in traffic.  (Biking is actually faster than the bus during the evening commute.)  UCLA has done a great job in cutting its carbon footprint, but this bottleneck on its doorstep hinders its ongoing efforts in that regard.”

It’s short notice, I know.

But the LACBC is calling on everyone who rides Westwood — or would like to — to attend a meeting this evening to discuss the next steps in light of Koretz firmly planting a knife in the back of the Westside cycling community.

Come to our meeting TONIGHT (Thursday) at 6:30 p.m. to plan next steps for RideWestwood and find out about upcoming actions:

UCLA – Public Affairs Building – Faculty Lounge (Room 5391)
337 Charles E. Young Dr. East (near Wyton and Hilgard).

If you can’t make the meeting — or even if you can — the coalition asks that you email Koretz’ office to demand he reconsider bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

Sample email:

to: paul.koretz@lacity.org 
cc: joan.pelico@lacity.org, jay.greenstein@lacity.org 
bcc: info@la-bike.org 

subj: Study Westwood Bike Lanes

Dear Councilmember Koretz,

Westwood Boulevard is currently one of the most popular routes for people riding bikes in your district.  It is also one of the least safe.  You’ve said before that, “I do not vote for things that kill people.”  I hope that you’ll at least study how to fix a dangerous situation that has already killed and will likely again if it is not improved.  As a community leader, it’s your responsibility to convene people with differing views, seek out accurate information and make informed decisions that respect all stakeholders.  I ask that you take this commitment seriously by studying alternatives for bike lanes along Westwood Boulevard and hosting an open and inclusive process to discuss the merits of the project.

Sincerely,

your name
your neighborhood 

And while you’re at it, you might remind him of his own support for bicycling, as he stated right here when he was first running for office.

When I was the Mayor of West Hollywood, I requested input from the bicycle community on how to implement bike lanes on part of Santa Monica Boulevard. I think Los Angeles needs to adopt a regional public transportation approach that not only addresses improving traffic flow, and mass transit, but also how we can improve options and the quality of life for bicyclists.

In general, we need to focus on the creation of an effective bicycle infrastructure. Los Angeles, with over 330 sunny days a year, should be the world leader in bicycle commuting. We need to start the work of building many more miles of safe bikeways and adequate secure parking for commuters. These two steps will be a good beginning in our efforts to alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow.

Odd that someone who fought for bike lanes on the even more congested Santa Monica Blvd through West Hollywood would oppose them on Westwood.

Or was he just saying what he thought we wanted to hear to win an election?

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