Tag Archive for City Hall

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.

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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.

 

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