Tag Archive for City Hall

Die-in at City Hall as LA 333 days from Vision Zero fail, San Diego prioritizes Vision Zero, and support soars for HLA

333 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Now, we’ve got a lot to catch up on, after being down for two days, so strap in for a bumpy ride. 

Die-in photo by Joe Linton for Streetsblog

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Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s die-in at City Hall, where at least one speaker clearly didn’t pull his words.

SAFE founder Damian Kevitt criticized the city’s Vision Zero program, intended to eliminate traffic deaths, as “an abysmal failure.”

“We aren’t even remotely doing [Vision Zero], so let’s stop trying to fool everyone by saying that we are.” He emphasized SAFE doesn’t oppose Vision Zero, but urges the city to step up and take its program more seriously.

“We need to yell and yell loud and don’t stop yelling… for safer roads” Kevitt urged, leading the assembled crowd in chanting, “Mayor Bass, where’s your plan?”

Maybe if we all sign the petition up at the top, we could do that yelling where she might actually hear us.

The speakers included state legislators and C-30 Congressional candidates Assemblymember Laura Friedman and State Senator Anthony Portantino, as well as Councilmember Nithya Raman.

A handful of elected officials joined the rally. Assemblymember Laura Friedman recounted her long struggles to pass much-needed legislation to allow cities to cap speed limits and to install automated speed enforcement. “Let’s slow people down,” Friedman urged, “let’s take back our streets!”

State Senator Anthony Portantino urged attendees to “turn tears… and pain… and tragedy… into action” for safer streets. L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman spoke about her success in implementing bikeways, funding for bus shelters, and more. Raman urged treating the “staggering rise in deaths” as the “public heath crisis that it is.”

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. Because far too many people are dying on our streets, and the city isn’t doing anywhere near enough to stop it.

But at least one councilmember gets it.

Meanwhile, Streets Are For Everyone gave Los Angeles an F grade for traffic safety in 2023.

Here’s what founder Damian Kevitt had to say.

I am starting this report with a question that anyone reading this must think about:

How many more Angelenos need to die before we, as a collective city, start treating traffic violence with the urgency it deserves?

 In January 2023, Streets Are For Everyone produced its first report, Dying on the Streets of Los Angeles, looking at traffic violence trends, the numbers behind them, and other statistics related to traffic violence in Los Angeles.

The numbers were disturbing. They showed that what was being done to address traffic violence was clearly not working and needed a significant change in action, level of funding, and dedication if our elected officials truly intended to save lives on the roads of Los Angeles. The report laid out four broad steps that needed to be taken. In short, these were:

  1. Cut the bureaucracy by declaring a state of emergency related to traffic violence. 
  2. Reestablish Vision Zero with accountability, transparency, and PURPOSE.
  3. Prioritize lives over the right to speed.
  4. Get real about the magnitude of the problem by funding road safety improvements at a level that might start to make a difference.

Guess how many of those items city leaders actually checked off? No, really, we’ll wait.

And once again, take a few minutes to read the whole thing.

Because we’re dying here. Too often literally.

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At least San Diego gets it.

https://twitter.com/TallDarknJewish/status/1752387993149858242

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The Los Angeles City Council punted when they had the chance to adopt the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure a year and a half ago.

But at least some of them want you to do it next month.

The ballot measure has also been endorsed by the Los Angeles Times, the LA County Democratic Party, and — surprisingly — the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as a number of other organizations and Neighborhood Councils.

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A virtual town hall this evening will discuss plans to improve safety on the east end of Hollywood Blvd.

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Gravel Bike California takes on the LA Tourist Race.

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A Bay Area TV station reports on how triathletes who competed at the worlds won the battle to get their high-end racing bikes back, which had been impounded due to a dispute with the shipping company.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link. 

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A reminder that 94-year old actor Gene Hackman is one of us.

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It’s now 42 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

You can smell the bullshit a mile away when bike lanes are rejected in the name of safety, as they were in one upstate New York town, although the real reason seems to be preserving parking spaces. Because we all know that human lives are less important than personal convenience.

Dublin bike riders describe the intimidation, aggression and bullying they receive from the city’s motorists.

Two young Frenchmen face up to five years behind bars for pushing at least a dozen bike riders into ditches over a period of several months.

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

They get it. A Slovakian newspaper argues that bike riders sometimes knowingly break the law, but do it for the safe of safely in the absence of safe infrastructure.

A Singapore bike rider hit a dog’s snout while riding a pedestrian walkway, then criticized the owner for not controlling the dog when it growled at him as a result.

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Local 

LAist declares 2023 the year of the pothole, and tells you how to report them.

A Los Angeles Times letter writer agrees with a proposal to place speed limitation devices on motor vehicles, arguing that cars have gotten too big and fast, but another writer blames the victims, calling for a campaign to teach “defensive walking” to pedestrians so they won’t get killed.

Metro will offer free rides on the county transit agency’s bus, rail and bike systems this Sunday for Transit Equity Day, and the birthday of civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Speaking of Joe Linton, the Los Angeles Streetsblog editor visits the new bikeways of Beverly Hills, demonstrating that the overprivileged city is not longer the area’s biking black hole, as well as new curb-protected bike lanes in Long Beach.

Another Streetsblog writer examines the first segment of the new Rosemead Blvd Complete Streets project in El Monte. Because evidently, Linton can’t be everywhere. 

 

State

Streetsblog is now accepting applications for their California board of directors.

A pair of San Marcos kids suffered serious injuries when they were run down by a hit-and-run driver while sharing an ebike.

Bakersfield bicyclists will be able to bike a new 1.5-mile section of freeway before it opens to motor vehicles.

There’s a special place in hell for the anti-social asshole — and I choose my words carefully — who burglarized Richmond’s Rich City Rides bike shop and community advocacy group, forcing the shop to close after suffering at least $13,000 in losses.

Bad news from Lincoln, California, where cycling strength trainer, and health and wellness expert Derek Teel, owner of Dialed Health, suffered a severely broken pelvis, a broken femur and a collapsed lung, among other injuries, when he was run down by a hit-and-run driver Tuesday afternoon.

 

National

A new report suggests that capping vehicle hood heights at 3.6 feet — instead of massive trucks and SUVs with high, flat grills literally designed to kill — could save 1,350 American lives a year, as a new calculator determines exactly how likely a vehicle is to kill you.

A new study shows cargo bikes really can replace cars, as people rated cargo bikes higher than motor vehicles in nearly every category.

A group of four Democrats have introduced a bill that would require states to direct a portion of their federal highway funding towards the creation of a Complete Streets Program.

Both sides of the Congressional aisle have finally agreed on a bipartisan ebike bill — but instead of offering a rebate, this one would create federal standards for ebike batteries.

Miss Manners confronts drama on the bike trail, as a man’s riding companions give him the cold shoulder for taking too long to chat with friends in another group, delaying their group ride.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A 32-year old man with 19 previous traffic citations agreed to plead guilty to killing 32-year old BMX champ Nathan “Nate” Miller, after prosecutors agreed to a sentence of probation or just one year in prison. Congratulations to Nevada officials on keeping him on the road until he actually killed someone, then letting him loose to do it again. 

The Salt Lake City man behind the Pedaled Piano project dreams of riding his bicycle and playing piano across Europe.

The allegedly stoned driver who killed two brothers riding with their kids in the annual Spring Tour of St. George bicycle ride escaped with a pair of third-degree vehicular homicide convictions when the jury returned a split verdict; the woman claimed she was shitting on herself as she drove, and didn’t notice the men riding their bikes on the side of the road.

Like Los Angeles, Colorado is seeing bicycle and pedestrian deaths rise, even as overall traffic deaths decline.

Hats off to a trio of University of Illinois engineering students, who designed a fully custom bike, complete with adaptive handlebars, gear hub and frame, to allow an eight-year old boy with a form of dwarfism to ride a bike for the first time.

An Illinois bike advocacy group launched a statewide campaign to call attention to the state’s rising rate of bicycling deaths.

Bike crashes are surging in Michigan, where bicycling deaths are up 64% over the past three years.

Nashville star Zach Bryan is one of us, riding a tandem with his girlfriend in Amsterdam while high on ‘shrooms and blasting the late Warren Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money on endless repeat. I confess to two out of the three, though how much of that applies to you is entirely a matter of your own personal habits. 

New York Magazine considers MIPS helmets, and whether you need one. Unlike MIPS, regular bike helmets are designed to prevent fractures, not traumatic brain injuries. So the short answer is yes, if you’re going to wear one at all.

 

International

GCN considers the pros and cons of puncture-proof tires.

Momentum lists the most romantic bicycling cities on the planet, all of which are in Europe. And none of which is Los Angeles.

A Cycling Weekly opinion piece makes the case for not taking your local bike shop for granted.

Marketplace talks with London bike writer Laura Laker about the complications of navigating a city by bicycle, and how map apps can make things worse.

A London writer reports feeling bereft after her decades-old bicycle was stolen.

An English church is asking for permission to modify its fence, over fears people riding on the nearby bike path could be impaled on the fence’s spikes.

Residents of a British apartment complex blame construction of a nearby bike path for a recent rat infestation, after construction work blocked garbage trucks for three months.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The 68-year old founder of a UK arts and health charity was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a 19-year old driver; he was described as a gifted pianist, talented mathematician, bridge builder and visionary leader.

Three-time world record-breaking British cyclist Kate Strong will ride a bamboo bike 160 miles to deliver the game ball for Saturday’s Forest Green Rovers FC and Colchester United FC soccer match to call for greener support for the planet.

A five-day British fundraising ride will travel from the UK through Normandy to honor the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing. Or pedal Italy while you feed your face with a new bicycling tour of Sicily, hosted by two award-winning chefs.

Seriously? A 17-year old Aussie driver says he was frightened of the 62-year old man on a bicycle who flipped him off after the kid repeatedly honked at him for riding too slowly — so scared, in fact, that he got out of his car and challenged the older man to a fight, killing him with a punch.

 

Competitive Cycling

A four-year old Florida boy appears to eke out a victory racing his bike against the local garbage collector.

Cycling Weekly refutes Rigoberto Urán’s statement that he’s too old to race bikes at 37, citing other riders who competed well into relative old age.

On the opposite end of the cycling age spectrum, 22-year old German pro Michel Hessmann won’t face criminal doping charges, but could still be subject to a cycling ban from German authorities.

 

Finally…

How to give new life to your old bike parts. We may have to worry about vipers behind the wheel, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting a deadly brown snake wrapped around your wheel.

And three ways to open a beer with your mountain bike.

You know, in case the first two don’t work.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Times talks traffic deaths, die-in and Healthy Streets LA; rightwing jock trashes HSLA, speed governors and Sen. Weiner

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

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Los Angeles Times reporters Rachael Uranga and Libor Jany examined the recent news that traffic deaths outnumbered murders in the City of Angels last year.

In all, 336 people died in crashes in 2023 — more than half of them, 179, were pedestrians. That’s the highest number since the city started keeping statistics more than two decades ago.

Graphics by tomexploresla

Meanwhile, “just” 327 people were murdered in the city last year, a decrease of 17% over 2022.

“This is a deadly city and it’s not being treated with urgency,” said Damian Kevitt, executive director of the advocacy group Streets Are For Everyone. “We need to declare a state of emergency on traffic violence and treat it as the public health crisis that it is…”

Enforcement has fallen and the city’s interest in making streets safer has waned, Kevitt says, adding that then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Vision Zero plan that was supposed to eliminate fatalities by 2025 has been largely abandoned.

They go on to mention efforts to pressure city officials to do more to improve traffic safety in Los Angeles.

On Saturday, Kevitt’s group is planning a “die-in” on the steps of City Hall asking officials to take swift action on safety measures such as implementing speed cameras that were approved by the state Legislature last year. A March ballot measure proposed by another advocacy group would force the city to build more protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks.

Here’s the information on tomorrow’s die-in at City Hall. The link in the graphic below isn’t live, but you can learn more and register to attend here.

It’s also a damn good reason to go back up and sign the petition.

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Speaking of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, an op-ed from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider stresses why it’s so desperately needed.

When I first started doing this work via Streets for All in 2019, we used to somberly state that a pedestrian is killed once every three days in Los Angeles. Today, that has increased to a pedestrian being killed every two days. Compared with 2015, when 88 pedestrians were killed on L.A. streets, 176 pedestrians were killed last year. Pedestrian deaths have doubled in just eight years, when they’re supposed to be on the decline.

The nation as a whole has seen a rise in recklessness on the road since the pandemic began in 2020, including driving under the influence, distracted driving, excessive speed and road rage. In that time, Los Angeles has become the most dangerous city in the nation in which to walk. Back in 2022, only New York City had deadlier streets for pedestrians. As of the end of 2023, Los Angeles has now eclipsed New York City, and by a lot (176 deaths versus 114). For the first week of 2024, the city experienced nine fatalities from car crashes, including five pedestrians. That means that more than one Angeleno was dying every day because of traffic violence during the first week of January.

He goes on to point out that the city paid out more in liability settlements for people harmed by traffic violence stemming from our deadly streets than it did to prevent it.

Which is something the HSLA measure would change, though far more Vision Zero funding is needed, as well. Let alone Garcetti’s Green New Deal program.

Schneider ends his piece this way.

If a serial killer were on the loose killing more than 300 Angelenos every year, we would launch a citywide hunt to end the spree. With car crashes among the top causes of death for kids in Los Angeles, and with a decades-high number of pedestrians dying, shouldn’t we treat road safety with the same sense of urgency?

It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to read the whole thing.

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Then there’s this steaming pile of windshield biased, reactionary claptrap.

John Kobylt, yet another angry, indignorant shock jock host for rightwing radio KFI, spouted off for a couple hours about SB 961, the new state bill from San Francisco Senator Scott Weiner.

Or as schoolyard bully Kobylt called Weiner, “that emaciated little worm…trying to destroy the automobile industry and destroy our freedom…”

By limiting cars to allowing drivers to break the law by just ten miles an hour, instead of the usual 20, 50 or even 100 mph, in violation of every speed law in every city and state in the Union?

Seriously?

Yeah, that’s definitely taking our freedom away. Next thing you know, they’ll pass a law against killing people with your car.

Oh wait, they already did.

I only made it a few minutes into the program, when he introduced someone from driver activist group Keep LA Moving to trash LA’s already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, and the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative that would require merely require the city to keep their damn word.

But if your stomach is stronger than mine, feel free to give it a listen.

Or better yet, just don’t. Your brain will thank you.

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Orange County bike advocate and longtime tandem pilot Mike Wilkerson forwards news of an informal group bike ride in Fullerton on the last Friday of every month.

Which is, like, tonight.

Everyone is invited to a fun ride this Friday evening in Fullerton.

The ride starts at 6:00 pm from the Fullerton Downtown Plaza at 125 E Wilshire Ave. It will be about 16 miles long, all on public streets, some with hills.

This will be a no-drop ride, so come as you are on what ever you ride.

It will be an night time ride. Please bring front and rear lights and wear a helmet.

This ride goes on the last Friday of most months. Put it on your calendar, and enjoy the company of fellow riders along some of Fullerton’s bike-friendly streets!

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It’s now 36 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

Former Tour de France and world champ Cadel Evans called out the “bad attitudes” of Aussie drivers towards bicyclists, after two men riding bikes were seriously injured in deliberate hit-and-runs that were filmed and uploaded to social media.

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Local 

No surprise here, as Streetblog’s Joe Linton calls out Metro for once again ignoring Los Angeles city standards by implementing wider traffic lanes at the forthcoming Wilshire and La Brea Metro station than the city allows, which encourages speeding and otherwise dangerous driving.

Streetsblog also reports a virtual town hall will take place on Thursday to discuss plans to install bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd between Gower Street and Fountain Ave.

A Larchmont paper looks forward to the 50th CicLAvia, scheduled for February 25th on a four-mile stretch of Melrose Ave. However, future open streets events could come less often if Metro cuts funding, as staffers are recommending.

Culver City approved funding to rip out the successful Move Culver City protected bikes lanes and require bike riders to share a lane with public buses, although there is an ongoing CEQA lawsuit to halt the project; the city council also approved plans to install new bike lanes on Culver Blvd and Robertson Blvd.

Burbank police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run that critically injured a 77-year old man riding a bicycle last week; 23-year old Sherman Oaks resident Alexander Saenz reportedly admitted to being behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.

 

State

The Acorn reports on the hundreds of bike riders who turned out in Thousand Oaks to demand the release of the Israeli hostages, on the 100th day the Israel-Hamas war.

An Oildale bike rider was lucky to escape with minor injuries when he was struck by an on-duty Kern County Sheriff’s deputy in a marked patrol car.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man died this week, seven months after he was struck by a driver while riding his bike last June.

Tomorrow night, San Franciscans can enjoy the city’s 3rd Annual Light Up the Night Bike Parade, featuring “hundreds of bicyclists taking a leisurely 2-mile, family-friendly bike ride along JFK Promenade, all aglow with colorful bike lights and fun costumes.”

 

National

A Colorado man says he was lucky to escape with just a few broken vertebrae, along with a broken hip and shoulder, when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver who saw him on the ground in tears, begging for help, and chose to drive off anyway.

 

International

Even the usually auto-centric Daily Mail has a problem with a “daft” motorist blithely driving down a Glasgow bike lane, ignoring all the little bike symbols along the way.

In a bizarre case, a couple men got into a fist fight in an English courtroom after one of the two was convicted of murder for fatally stabbing a man to steal his ebike, while the other man was found guilty of manslaughter and robbery; a third defendant apparently had enough sense to stay out of it.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website offers advice on how to keep riding your ebike through the cold and snowy winter months. Or as we call that in LA, somewhere else.

An Indian website lists the best bikes for women in pink. Because all women prefer pink and only like girly bikes, evidently. 

Let’s hope something was lost in translation, as an Indian website reports a young man was killed as he returned home on a bicycle after the birth of his wife.

Here’s one for your bike bucket list, with the 46th edition of the world’s largest timed bike tour taking place in Cape Town, South Africa in March.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News says pro cycling needs to take a page from Formula 1, and design bikes specifically for speed, with the tech eventually trickling down to the rest of us. You know, like how car alarms and cup holders eventually made their way down from F1 to the rest of us.

The season opening race of Northern California’s 27-year old Grasshopper series will feature a unique mentorship program by professional women’s cyclists for U19 girls.

 

Finally…

The addiction to obese cars. Your next e-cargo bike could be hand-built in Will Shakespeare’s hometown.

And now you, too, can own bikes ridden by Tour de France champ Jonas Vingegaard, Wout van Aert and Marianne Vos.

Though probably not the one Vingegaard rode in the Tour, dammit.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Die-in on the steps of LA City Hall Saturday to mark 337 traffic deaths in Los Angeles last year — including 24 bicyclists

Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to hear the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can.

Note: I’ve lost track of who created the image up there on the left, along with the Spanish-language version below. So if anyone knows, hit me up.

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Let’s start with Saturday’s die-in at Los Angeles City Hall to protest our ever-rising rates of traffic violence.

As I mentioned last week, I have another commitment that morning I can’t get out of, so I won’t be able to make it this year. But if you have the morning free, I urge you to attend, and add your voice and body to demand safer streets in the City of Angeles.

I’ll let Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, take it from here. And give it a close read, because there’s a lot of vital information there about just how bad things are on our streets.

Dying-In LA 2024:
Advocates Needed For A Die-In At City Hall, January 27th, 9 am.

Sign up here https://mobilize.us/s/0JnZmq to join Streets Are For Everyone, Streets For All, Street Racing Kills, Santa Monica Spoke, and many more to demand that our elected officials prioritize safer streets in 2024. Why? 2023 was a grim year for traffic fatalities, and we need to let City Hall know we have the political will to continue fighting for safe streets. That means starting the year strong by building our movement through community organizing

2023 was a rough year for Los Angeles. 330 victims died from traffic violence in the city, marking a 9% increase over 2022 and a 14% increase since 2021. This is the highest number of traffic fatalities in over 20 years. In addition to that disheartening number, there were increases in injuries and fatalities across multiple categories, including:

  • 176 pedestrians killed in 2023 – a 15% increase since 2022 and a 35% increase since 2021.
  • 24 cyclists killed in 2023 – a 20% increase since 2022 and a 41% increase since 2021.
  • 29 people killed in DUI-related car crashes in 2023 – a 32% increase since 2022 and a 38% increase since 2021. 
  • 105 people killed in hit-and-run crashes in 2023 – a 30% increase since 2022 and a 38% increase since 2021.

The surge in these statistics can be attributed to various factors, including:

  • Faster, quieter, and larger vehicles are killing more pedestrians. 
  • There is a sharp increase in the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs (both legal and illegal) while driving. 
  • Distracted driving in various forms – cell phones being one of the largest sources but also an increase in the prevalence of smart “infotainment” systems in cars. (Instead of using tactile touch for basic functions like adjusting the radio station or temperature, drivers often fiddle with screens, diverting their attention from the road.)
  • A decrease in the enforcement of driving laws for various reasons (worth its own article) results in more people driving recklessly, knowing they are less likely to get caught.

While there is no single solution to all these issues, the fact remains that too many of our elected officials continue to ignore this worsening public health crisis.  

Join us for a crucial call to action as we unite in this collective effort. Real change only occurs when we amplify our voices and make them resoundingly heard.

  • Date: Saturday, 27 Jan 2024
  • Location: Steps of Los Angeles City Hall, 232 N. Spring Street
  • Set-up Time: 9:30 AM (Coffee will be provided)
  • Press Conference: 10 AM to 10:45 AM

Volunteers needed: 330 people are required for part of the die-in visual – one for each person who lost their life in 2023. Please feel free to bring bicycles and skateboards. Volunteers are also needed to stand behind the speakers, holding handmade protest signs demanding safer streets.

Parking: You should ride, walk, or take Metro Line B (exit Civic Center/Grand Park Station) to City Hall as parking is limited.  

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Unfortunately, as bad as those numbers are, they don’t tell the whole story.

According to Crosstown, the actual number of deaths due to traffic violence in Los Angeles last year was 337, as fatalities rose for the third year in a row, climbing 7.3% over 2022.

And the 24 bicyclists killed in the city last year is one more than I was aware of.

It’s also a reminder that Los Angeles is the hit-and-run capital of California, which is the hit-and-run capital of the US.

So maybe reconsider signing that petition, if you haven’t already.

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The latest episode of Bike Talk is now available online.

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I’ve always believed in leaving this world better than you find it. But cleaning the bike lane behind you takes that to a whole new level.

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Nothing like watching someone jerk off a bicycle, in a clear case of taking things just a tad too far in the name of creativity.

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32 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 30 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

Anyone want to bet on whether they’ll make it to the three year mark?

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

Residents of Coventry, England express concerns that a new bike lane will make bicyclists sitting ducks when drivers back into their driveways in front of bikes doing 30 mph — vastly overestimating the speed of most bike riders, while underestimating drivers ability to check their damn mirrors. Unless maybe their real objection is just having a bike lane on “their” street. 

Don’t bother riding your bike to the ‘cross World Cup in Costa Blanca, Spain, but feel free to drive there.

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

A group of male bicyclists were roundly criticized for hogging space with their bikes on a Malaysian women-only train car.

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Local 

A British woman believes riding a bicycle can change the direction of young people’s lives, after her husband, BAFTA-winning film director and Cat 1 racer Jonathan Gales, was killed by an alleged wrong-way drunk driver while crossing the street on a work trip in Los Angeles in 2022.

 

State

If you only found a front wheel when you went to unlock your lime green Diamondback recently, Irvine cops could have your bike.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding the latest construction update on San Diego’s Pershing Bikeway project, which appears to be nearing completion.

A 46-year-old Simi Valley woman was arrested for the hit-and-run that seriously injured a second Simi Valley woman as she walked her bike across a street on January 4th of this year.

A 20-year old Bakersfield man walked with just eight hours of community service after pleading no contest to resisting arrest during a during a bike takeover involving hundreds of bicyclists.

Sad news from Visalia, where a 17-year old girl was killed by a driver while riding salmon on a local street.

A Fresno columnist warns bike riders and pedestrians that your life is only worth a slap on the wrist if a driver runs you down. Which is sadly the same wherever you are in California. 

 

National

Even CNN is asking whether it’s time to get rid of right-on-red.

A writer for Medium celebrates the history and diversity of bicycles. But apparently has no idea what they look like, since all the photos illustrating the story are of motorcycles. 

New York tells bike riders to “Slow your roll, respect the stroll,” in a public service campaign to respect the safety of pedestrians. And here I thought that referred to rolling your eyes at the campaign. Seriously, they couldn’t have given any of the city’s 1,200 ad agencies a crack at it first?

Gothamist looks back on the tenth anniversary of New York’s Vision Zero, and says “the program was indisputably a success — at least in areas where it won the support of elected officials.”

A Wyoming man climbs atop a bicycle mounted on top of an endangered grain elevator, sending a message to “ride the day like a bull.”

 

International

Black Grape singer Shaun Ryder is one of us, telling The Guardian that he’d “be out on my bike right now” if he wasn’t busy talking to them. And no, I’ve never heard of him, either.

Clip-on ebike drive-maker Skarper claims they’ve “condensed an entire ebike into the palm of your hand.” Assuming you have a really, really big hand, anyway.

Road.cc offers “all the tips you need” to keep riding in your 60s and beyond.

New government stats show that seven out of ten people in England never ride a bicycle, as safer roads are seen as key to growing participation, not more bike lanes.

A British coroner says a 41-year old driver was “selfish beyond comprehension” when he killed a 15-year old boy riding a bike, while rushing to meet a woman from a dating app after downing three beers and two glasses of wine.

An Irish cop is finally back on the job, after he was suspended for three years for giving an unclaimed bicycle to an isolated elderly man early in the pandemic. For which he should have gotten a commendation, instead.

A half-dozen bikeable bakeries for your next visit to Shanghai.

A “keen” Kiwi/Aussie bicyclist offers advice on winter bike riding in frigid South Korea. Which probably translates to wherever you ride outside of Southern California this winter. And I’ll take “keen” over “avid” any day. 

A New Zealand landowner donated a section of his property to build a rest area for bike riders traveling the country’s Tasman’s Great Taste Cycle Trail, complete with wifi, ice cream, drinks, coffee, fresh water, sunscreen and bug spray.

 

Competitive Cycling

Welshman Stevie Williams won the general classification title at the Tour Down Under, clinching the final stage in decided fashion by winning a five-rider sprint.

Sad news from the UK, where “cycling legend” Mick Ives has died after a series of heart attacks; the former Moulton draftsman won 81 British Championship Titles and 8 World Masters Cycling Titles, including the World Cup Time Trial Champion at age 65; he was 84.

The Sun looks at the salaries of the highest paid cyclists in the pro peloton. Never mind that the average riders don’t make nearly that much.

 

Finally…

If the bike won’t fit in the cab, just leave it sticking out the open door. Nothing like a little python hunting on your ebike.

And while I’m not a fan of this kind of humor, there is some major schadenfreude to be had from watching someone pull the string on bike thieves.

Literally.

Thanks to Mike Burk for the heads-up. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

People For Bikes says sharrows suck, former CM Jose Huizar pleads to racketeering, and City Hall die-in tomorrow

If you’ve been reading this site for awhile, you probably know I’m not a fan of sharrows.

I’ve described them in the past as an attempt by city officials to thin the bicyclist herd, with the arrows there simply to help drivers improve their aim.

The only benefits I can ascribe to the damn things are a) they show bike riders where to position themselves to control the lane — if they’re positioned correctly — and b) as a wayfinding device to help guide people on bicycles to a given location.

But in terms of safety and protecting bicyclists’ right to the road, they’re less than worthless.

But don’t take my word for it. A 2016 study showed that sharrows are more dangerous than no bike infrastructure at all.

Now it looks like national advocacy group People For Bikes agrees.

Dave Snyder, PeopleForBikes’ senior director for infrastructure — and the former executive director of both Calbike and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition — writes that, like many of us, he fought for sharrows when they first came out.

But he became disillusioned when he saw how they worked — or rather, didn’t work — in practice.

I was wrong.

It turns out that motorists really don’t like to wait behind someone on a bike, regardless of the paint on the street. Even Oakland’s experiment with the so-called “super sharrow,” where the bicycle path of travel is painted solid green, isn’t enough to get people on bikes to comfortably “take the lane.” Sharrow or no sharrow, most people on bikes dangerously hug the edge of the roadway, squeezing themselves into the door zone to avoid blocking car traffic.

Simply put, sharrows don’t do what we hoped they would. Studies back up that claim.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the while thing.

Because maybe now we can finally drive a stake through the bike infrastructure from hell.

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After more than four years of loudly protesting his innocence, former CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar has agreed to plead guilty to racketeering and tax evasion.

The LA Times reports Huizar is admitting to extorting at least $1.5 million in bribes from developers. He has agreed to a sentence of between nine and 13 years behind bars.

Huizar was a driving force behind many of the bike and safety improvements in Downtown Los Angeles, and was a favorite of the bicycling community before his downfall after his offices were raided by FBI agents in 2018.

The raid also caused his wife Richelle to drop out of the race to replace him once he was termed out of office in 2020.

In a sad irony, Huizar was replaced by Kevin de León, who is facing his own calls to resign after being caught participating in a racist and otherwise offensive recording.

But at least de León hasn’t been indicted.

Not yet, anyway.

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Don’t forget tomorrow’s die-in at City Hall! We need as many people as possible to make an impact and fight for an end to traffic violence.

And maybe protest the city’s penchant for corrupt and racist leaders while we’re at it.

No promises, but I’m going to do my best to be there.

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Nice to see the new CD13 councilmember taking traffic violence in the City of Angels seriously.

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A lousy parking permit is a small price to pay for the freedom of bike commuting.

https://twitter.com/UCLACommute/status/1616231749968711680

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Norwalk Unides and the Happy City Coalition are hosting their first community bike ride tomorrow.

And the 11 am start means you can still get there after the die-in at LA City Hall.

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Italian filmmaking great Federico Fellini was one of us.

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

A Michigan website reports that a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision with a motor home, which apparently didn’t have a driver since they don’t bother to mention one.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where an off-duty cop who killed a man riding a bike in a drunken crash was sentenced to a nine-month vacation at home home detention. Although the website seems to think her real punishment will be a lifetime of shame and humiliation. Uh, sure. Let’s go with that.

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

Hermosa Beach plans barricades to force bike riders to walk near the pier, as speed data shows that people ignore the ridiculously low 8 mph speed limit on The Strand, riding at an average speed of 11 mph. I can attest that it’s difficult to ride that slowly through there on a road bike. And how do they expect people to obey the law if they don’t have speedometers on their bikes?

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Local 

More on West Hollywood’s proposal to extend the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd and make at least a portion of them protected. Which would be a huge improvement over the painted car-double parking lanes we have now.

 

State

Streetsblog offers more details from Calbike on the status of California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program. Eligibility will be limited to 300% of the federal poverty level, which is based on taxable income; however, the ebike rebates appear to be based on gross income, instead.

Your new Ti touring bike from California’s District Vision could set you back a cool 30 grand. Yes, that’s $30,000.

Road Bike Action Magazine looks at the tragedy behind the 15-year old Mike Nosco Memorial Ride through the Santa Monica Mountains.

 

National

Ebike maker Velotric used WalkScore data to identify bikeable neighborhoods in not-so-bikeable US cities, including San Diego’s Gaslight District.

Bicycling asks if certified pre-owned bikes are worth the extra cost. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. Which it probably will unless you’re a subscriber.

Cycling News offers tips to make traveling with your bike cheaper and easier. Although the cheapest and easiest way to travel with a bike is still just to ride it.

Great idea. Chicago’s RideReel encourages bicyclists to submit video of close calls and hostile infrastructure, in hopes that weekly reports to city officials will bring about real change.

Inspired by motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, a then 13-year Indianapolis boy managed to set a new record by jumping ten trash cans on his balloon-tired bicycle in 1976; he’d be a 60-year old man now.

New York is also hosting a die-in this morning at the site where a young woman was killed by a truck driver while riding her bike last week, on a street that should have been fixed by now.

 

International

Road.cc takes a look at the iconic yet bizarre Flying Gate bike frame, with its upright stay post and severed seat post; the British-made steel frame has been in continuous production for nearly 90 years.

A new study from the UK shows the rising popularity of e-mountain bikes; nine out of ten people said cost was the primary barrier to participation.

Who needs pedals? A British bikemaker is introducing a road bike that you row, instead of pedal, even though the country’s Shark Tank equivalent passed on it.

An Irish website tests how long it takes for a locked-up midrange ebike to be stolen on the streets of Dublin. Short answer, about an hour.

Parisians are taking advantage of the city’s new bicycling network to bypass crippling transit strikes. Hopefully a sizable percentage will discover they like bike commuting and stick with it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australian Michael Matthews and American Magnus Sheffield cleared the air following a “finish-line flareup” at the end of Thursday’s second stage, after jostling in the peloton caused the Aussie to drop his chain.

Australian Rohan Dennis’ brief stay as overall leader came to a quick end when his derailleur stopped working 21 miles from the end of Friday’s third stage, which ended before you got up this morning.

Australian ultracycling pro Jack Thompson set a record for riding the elevation of Mt. Everest once a week for 52 straight weeks, topping the old record of 42 successful efforts in a calendar year.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can turn an old bicycle into a 75 mph e-motorbike. When you’re riding with a semiautomatic handgun, large quantities of meth and fentanyl, and ten grand in cash on your bike in broad daylight, maybe try obeying the damn vehicle code, already.

And oddly, this is still just as true 83 years later.

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Happy Lunar New Year, whatever language you celebrate in!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.