Tag Archive for climate emergency

Prosecutors throw book at killer Show Low AZ driver, Streets For All blasts Garcetti, and Culver City to open mobility lane

My apologies for yesterday’s server outage that knocked us offline all day. You can catch up on everything you missed here

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More mass casualty bike crashes in the news, as an Arizona website offers an update on the case against Shawn Michael Chock.

Chock is accused of deliberately slamming his massive pickup into a group of up to 50 competitors in a master’s bike race in Show Low, Arizona last June.

He ended up killing one man and injuring six other people when he smashed into the group, then backed his truck up and attempted to make another pass.

Prosecutors allege Chock huffed computer cleaning fluid before getting behind the wheel, whether that motivated the attack or simply gave him the courage to carry it out.

He was shot by police after fleeing the scene and engaging in a standoff with cops behind a local hardware store, and was arrested on his release from the hospital.

He continues to be held on a half million dollars bond, facing decades behind bars on charges including 2nd degree murder, aggravated assault against a peace officer and eight other counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a collision involving death or serious injury, and unlawful flight from a law enforcement vehicle.

His next court hearing is on the 29th of this month. Hopefully in a courtroom full of bike riders.

The website adds that Chock is presumed by court to be innocent until proven guilty.

Thankfully, we’re under no such obligation.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

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Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Garcetti spoke with Spectrum News 1 about his climate goals following COP26. Although as we’ve seen too many times, the mayor is great at talking, not so good at following through.

Meanwhile, bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid takes the COP26 climate conference to task for inexplicably ignoring the quickest and most efficient way to decarbonize.

Bicycles.

That was the same message contained in a letter from over 80 bicycle organizations around the world, who argued that “government leaders must commit to boosting cycling levels to reduce carbon emissions and reach global climate goals quickly and effectively.”

Cycling represents one of humanity’s greatest hopes for a shift towards a zero-carbon future. New research shows that life-cycle CO₂ emissions drop by 14% per additional cycling trip and by 62% for each avoided car trip. Switching from a car to a bicycle saves 150g of CO₂ per kilometre. E-cargo bikes cut carbon emissions by 90%compared with diesel vans. Swapping the car in cities for walking and cycling even just one day a week can reduce your carbon footprint by about half a tonne of CO₂ over a year. Building synergies with other travel modes such as public transport can critically enhance this potential.

Our world is on fire. We must urgently leverage the solutions that cycling offers by radically scaling up its use. What we need now is for governments to politically and financially commit to more, safer and integrated cycling that is equitable for everyone living in our countries, cities and regions…

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Culver City is opening the city’s first mobility lane designed for scooters, bikes and ebikes on November 20th.

https://twitter.com/CulverCityBus/status/1455594901454741504

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Both San Diego and San Jose are celebrating open streets events this Sunday, with San Jose hosting Viva CalleSJ.

And the San Diego Bike Coalition co-hosting CicloSDias on the streets of Pacific Beach.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up. 

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Leone also reminds us to take extra precautions as Daylight Savings ends this Sunday.

Make sure you have lights on your bike if you’ll be riding after dark, with the sun setting around 5 pm next week; I also carry lights with me anytime I ride in the late afternoon, in case a flat or mechanical problem delays my return.

And ride defensively, especially for the first few days next week, because the initial days after Daylight Savings ends are always among the worst days for traffic collisions.

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Damn, that really is a close call. If the guy on the bike hadn’t been a cop, the driver probably would have gotten away with it.

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

San Diego police are looking for a man riding a blue mountain bike with black rims and silver spokes, who is described as a person of interest after a woman was sexually assaulted in a Mission Bay restroom.

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Local

LADOT is planning to extend the bike lanes on Riverside Drive in Los Feliz from Glendale Blvd to Los Feliz Drive, after the street is resurfaced over the next year; the work will also include upgraded paint and crosswalks.

A writer for the Financial Times laments LA’s unrealized potential as a bicycling city. As do we all.

Santa Monica-based Bird is planning to go public despite a history of financial losses, merging with a Dallas-based special purpose acquisition company in hopes of raising $384 million in capital.

Opening arguments began in the civil trial against a Metro contractor for the 2017 death of 13-year old Ciara Smith on PCH in Redondo Beach; her attorney blamed poor training of the driver, while the defense placed the blame on bad road design.

A 31-year old man was fatally shot while riding a bike in Long Beach on Friday.

 

State

Santa Barbara County will take its ebike demo to Santa Maria for five days this month, allowing people to try them out and even take one home overnight.

Sad news from Oakland, where an e-scooter rider was killed by a wrong-way driver who allegedly ran a red light; Streetsblog argues that the paint on the street was insufficient to protect her, or anyone else.

More in the Santa Rosa woman who was seriously injured in Saturday’s mass casualty bike collision in Liberty County, Texas; 59-year-old Barbara Anne Ferrell was one of three bicyclists struck by the driver while on a cross-country ride.

 

National

They get it. Fast Company compares the $12,500 tax incentive to buy an electric car contained in the stalled Build Back Better bill with the relatively paltry $1,500 tax break for buying an ebike, charging that the bill continues the harmful automotive dominance in our cities.

This is who we share the road with. Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III faces up to 20 years behind bars for the fiery, high-speed crash that killed an innocent woman and her equally innocent dog; he was released from the team hours after his arrest on felony DUI and reckless driving charges. You know you’re toxic when even the Raiders won’t touch you.

The bike theft scourge has infected the entire country, even in small Midwestern towns like Iowa City.

Hundreds of people turned out to honor a fallen Chicago man at a ghost bike ceremony yesterday, while a crowdfunding campaign for the popular amateur cyclist has raised more tha $164,000 in just four days.

 

International

Canadian mountain biker Magnus Manson has started the Conquer Your Challenge crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for aspiring Canadian cyclists, as he battles stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; he’s already topped the $10,000 goal bu raising over twelve grand.

A Toronto op-ed accuses the city of falling short on efforts to stop pedestrian traffic deaths, despite its Vision Zero program.

A Scottish legal columnist explains the defense of automatism — where someone isn’t in control of their actions through no fault of their own and have no knowledge of what happened — after a driver was acquitted of killing a man on a bike because she claimed she had no memory of the crash.

A website in Scotland recommends banning cars from schools and building a walking culture in kids to improve safety and cut climate-damaging emissions. Although they should also add riding their bikes to school to that.

A South African musician is scaling up the country’s first ebike delivery service.

 

Competitive Cycling

British cyclist Alex Dowsett is in Mexico City, attempting to retake the hour record he first set in 2015.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to steal a bike, at least have the decency to leave your old one in its place. Who needs carbon fiber when you can build your own bike out of wood?

And why carry a tent on your bike when you can build your very own self-powered wooden e-camper van bike?

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

Driver flees on foot after hitting salmon scooter rider in DTLA, and Long Beach teen rideout marred by shoplifting

LA’s hit-and-run plague just keeps on going.

The LAPD is looking for a shirtless driver who ran off on foot after crashing into a woman riding an e-scooter in DTLA.

The victim was riding against traffic when she was struck, which means the driver probably wouldn’t have faced any consequences if he’d just stuck around.

Instead, he abandoned his car and fled on the sidewalk, for reasons known only to him at this point. It could be that he was drunk or stoned, the car was stolen, or possibly he was in the country illegally and feared deportation.

Or any one of a number of other possible explanations.

Meanwhile, the victim was hospitalized with a head wound, which means there is an automatic $25,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

https://twitter.com/LAPDCTD24/status/1453466605518614530

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Police ordered a group of 200 to 300 mostly teenage bike riders to disperse Sunday afternoon after they were accused of stealing $300 to $400 worth of alcohol and other items from a Signal Hill Food 4 Less.

The teens were taking part in an organized rideout captured in a pair of videos.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to embed them for some reason, so you’ll have to click through to YouTube to see them. 

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Maybe this will finally get the message across.

Of course, first you need a decent protected bike lane to print it on.

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A writer for Pink Bike attempts to ride every mountain bike trail at British Columbia’s Sun Peaks Bike Park in a single weekend.

Although the bike park may have some competition from a new one in Arkansas next year.

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

An English woman is questioning whether it’s worth it to keep riding her bike after a passenger in a passing car attempted to push her off her bicycle.

A Singapore driver was fined the equivalent of over $2,000 for punching a woman riding a bicycle with her three-year old son, after she slapped his car when he nearly ran them over by forcing his way into the lane she was in.

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

A Louisiana man was busted after he robbed a business at gunpoint, then made a failed attempt at a bicycle getaway.

Police in Mad City, Wisconsin are investigating after a woman on a group ride was punched in the face by an angry man on a bike, who was apparently enraged to find the group on the trail, even though they politely moved right to give him room to pass.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers suggestions on how to improve the new Hollywood Metro Bike bikeshare, including more safe spaces to ride them and stop hiding the docks in unobtrusive locations.

The worldwide plague of armed bike theft reared its ugly head in Culver City, where a man on a bicycle accused another man of riding a bike that belonged to his friend, then threatened to shoot him if he didn’t give up his bike and walk away.

A man in his 30s was fatally shot while either riding or walking his bicycle in Long Beach, in what police suspect was a gang shooting.

Artist Sandra de la Loza will lead an art workshop and Dias de Los Muertos bike caravan on Saturday, November 6th (scroll down).

Floyd Mayweather is one of us, as the 44-year old boxing great took to his bicycle on the Venice bike path Tuesday evening.

 

State

San Diego announced a $2.5 million program to fix streets in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood that were damaged by 2007’s Witch Creek Fire, where rutted pavement and potholes posed a particular danger to bike riders and pedestrians.

Now that’s more like it. Santa Cruz is offering rebates up to $400 and zero-interest loans for downtown workers who buy ebikes, as part of a program to encourage alternative modes of transportation to the area.

The director of Berkeley’s transportation department was lucky to escape with a sprained wrist when he was struck head-on by an SUV driver; Farid Javandel was stopped at a stop sign on his bike when the left-turning driver cut the corner and crashed into him.

 

National

Forbes picks their favorite bicycle child seats.

Somehow we missed this one last week, as a new induced demand calculator will help determine just how much traffic will increase when roadways are expanded.

Portland, Oregon is installing painted bicycle crossings at non-signalized intersections, backed by a university study showing the crosswalk-style crossing encourage more drivers to yield to bikes.

An Arizona driver who ran a red light and slammed into a Flagstaff bike parade last March, killing one woman and injuring several other people, now faces multiple felony charges for kiddie porn after police discovered thousands of images on his phone when they got a search warrant to determine whether he was distracted at the time of the crash.

The Waller County, Texas DA promises he’ll make a decision by November 8th whether to charge the coal-rolling teenage driver who ran down six bicyclists who were training for a triathlon last month.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Minnesota man whose license had been revoked faces a charge of criminal vehicular homicide after killing a 73-year old Catholic priest who was riding his bike on the shoulder of a highway; the 26-year old driver has 10 previous convictions for driving with a revoked license in just the last three and a half years. Just one more example of keeping a dangerous driver on the roads until it’s too late. He should have been jailed and his car confiscated after the second offense. 

More proof that bike lanes work, as the latest round of data from New York’s Department of Transportation shows painted bike lanes reduce the risk of injury to bike riders by nearly a third, while increasing ridership an average of 50%; protected bike lanes reduced injuries as much as 60%.

Talk about a rough year. A celebrity chef has filed suit against the NYPD alleging he was brutally beaten for violating a curfew when he attempted to deliver a pizza for a bicycle delivery service, after losing his restaurant when he caught Covid-19.

A suspect has been taken into custody after a body was discovered in the New Jersey headquarters of Jamis Bikes; no word yet on who was killed or how it happened.

No bias here. After a Louisiana bike rider was injured in a collision, police bent over backward to blame the victim, while the story fails to mention that the pickup that hit him even had a driver.

 

International

No surprise here, as data from around the world shows that bikeshare usage goes up with warmer temperatures until it gets too hot, and wet weather discourages people from riding. In other news, water is wet, the pope is Catholic, and bears defecate in wooded areas.

Vancouver cops are looking for a brazen bike thief who raided an apartment building bike locker by using suction cups to remove the glass door, then used bolt cutters to make off with several high-end bikes.

A 16-year old climate activist is riding a cargo bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow for the COP26 conference, to call attention to the climate emergency.

A Welsh man complains about the overly lenient sentence given the driver who killed his bike-riding father, saying she belongs in jail, rather than walking with a suspended sentence after she played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card by claiming the sun was in her eyes.

A new Tokyo study proposes an algorithm to rebalance bikeshare docks more efficiently, preventing the problem of too many bikes at some docks and not enough at others.

 

Competitive Cycling

American cyclist Marianne Martin will be formally inducted into the US Bicycling Hall of Fame next week, 37 years after she won the inaugural, short lived women’s Tour de France; the race will return next year in an abbreviated eight stage format.

Cyclist profiles German ultra cyclist Ulrich ‘Uba’ Bartholmoes, who won the first two ultra cycling races he entered two years ago, and has kept winning ever since.

VeloNews talks with the owner of the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team about the daring cloak-and-dagger rescue operation he set in motion to help Afghan cyclists escape the country.

 

Finally…

Maybe antagonizing bike riders isn’t the best way to get their business. If you think you’ve may have an outstanding warrant and could be carrying weed on your bike, put a damn light on it — and try not to crash into a briar patch.

And it’s probably not the best idea to install a bikeshare station where bikes are banned.

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

US bike injuries spiked last year, Streets For All CD5 debate, and Republicans willing to bike more but not drive less

No real surprise here.

A new study shows that bike-related injuries doubled across the US during last year’s pandemic lockdowns, even though overall traffic injuries were down.

Bicycling injuries rose nearly 31% at an Orange County trauma center, while almost tripling in Portland.

Researchers explained the jump by noting the increase in bicycling rates resulting from the bike boom, as more people took to their bikes for exercise and to break the boredom of being stuck at home.

Although another problem, as we’ve noted before, is the increased severity of bike injuries as drivers took advantage of the emptier streets to put their foot down on the gas pedal.

The same study showed gun-related injuries jumped nearly 25% during the same period.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

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I missed Streets For All’s Mobility Debate among the candidates to replace pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz in CD5 while I was down for the count the past couple days.

Fortunately, LA’s one and only mobility PAC has posted the full debate online.

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Interesting take on the climate change debate, as 44% of Republicans express a willingness to walk and bike more, compared to just 39% who are willing to drive less.

Even though that equates to the same thing.

And even though two-thirds don’t want to hold fossil fuel providers accountable for the climate crisis.

Meanwhile, a study of seven European countries shows bike rider emit 84% less CO2 than drivers or public transport users.

And Seattle’s pilot project to replace delivery vans with e-cargo bikes for last-mile trips reduced CO2 emissions an average of 30% per package.

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Apparently, you can even move a museum by cargo bike.

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Yet another gentle reminder that free bicycle registration is your best hope of getting your bike back if anything happens to it.

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This is who we share the road with.

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

Police in Lubbock, Texas are looking for a hit-and-run driver who intentionally ran down a man on a bicycle, then got out of his car and repeatedly punched the victim, for no apparent reason.

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Local

Sadly, this is who we share the road with, too. A speeding 18-year old driver faces a possible murder count for slamming into a Van Nuys building that was hosting a popup Halloween event, killing one woman and injuring several others; the man was reportedly fleeing after police broke up a street takeover.

Pasadena police arrested a 37-year old woman for repeatedly bashing a man in the head with a bottle in a failed attempt to steal his bicycle in Washington Park.

Santa Monica celebrates the fifth anniversary of the new and improved California Incline, complete with a protected bike and pedestrian lane.

A lawsuit against a Metro bus driver and a contractor for the transportation agency goes to trial this week in the death of 13-year old Ciara Smith as she rode on a Redondo Beach sidewalk two years ago; she was killed when she rode off an angled curb cut that forced her bike out into the street.

Greg Camp, guitarist for ’90s rock stars Smash Mouth, was one of us, saying he wrote their first hit Walkin’ on the Sun about feeling afraid while riding his bike in the wake of the ’92 LA Riots.

 

State

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 83-year old Carlsbad man completed an 11-year quest to ride the 24,901-mile circumference of the Earth, without ever leaving his own neighborhood. Although I probably wouldn’t mind leaving my neighborhood now and then.

A 53-year old Santa Barbara man died in his own bathroom, hours after he brushed against a fellow moped rider and fell into the street. While this involves a moped, which is capable of higher speeds than a traditional bike or ped-assist ebike, it’s a reminder to always get checked out by a doctor after a hard fall, because some injuries don’t become apparent until hours later.

Fremont is one of the all-too-rare examples of a city that has actually made Vision Zero work, reducing traffic deaths to an average of just 2.1 per 100,000 residents each year, compared to an average of 9.1 per 100,000 in California, and 11.0 in the US. That also compares to Los Angeles, where Vision Zero has become an afterthought, with city leaders too afraid of angering motoring voters to make the hard choices needed to save lives.

San Francisco began a belated effort to fix southbound Polk street and prepare it for a protected bike lane, five months after a woman was killed and a man seriously injured when a driver used the painted bike lane to bypass a line of stalled traffic, blowing through a red light at twice the speed limit; the other side of the street already has one of the city’s best protected lanes.

Sacramento officials announced a $12 million plan to improve the popular Lower American Parkway bike and pedestrian path, although there was no word on how that would impact the homeless encampments along the trail.

 

National

A writer for Next City complains that VanMoof’s new high-speed, car-replacing “hyperbike” ebikes aren’t really bicycles and don’t belong in bike lanes, and should be regulated more like mopeds or motorcycles.

Make your own very clumsy looking DIY ebike using a modified car alternator.

A pair of kindhearted Iowa cops dug into their own pockets to buy a boy a new bike after his was stolen, when they learned about the theft from the boy’s waitress mother.

A kindhearted Oklahoma cop gave a 17-year old boy a new bike after learning the teen was walking an hour and a half to work each way.

Advocates complain that New York’s plan to make a hard-won open street into a permanent, carfree linear park fails, because drivers could easily reclaim the space by simply driving over the painted diverters and car-tickler plastic bendy posts.

Security cam video captured a New York man fighting off a half dozen attackers who used sticks, bottles and knives in a failed attempt to steal his bicycle.

Pennsylvania police are looking for a man who was allegedly high on meth, coke and other drugs when he ran down and killed a 60-year old man riding a bicycle in May; he’s wanted on ten separate charges ranging from felony counts to traffic infractions.

DC’s mayor got an earful from both sides, as residents of an affluent neighborhood complained about sacrificing parking spaces to build a protected bike lane, even though only 40% of the city’s residents own cars. The question is how many have driveways or garages they could use instead of free street parking.

Police still haven’t found the killer of a North Carolina grandfather, who was repeatedly stabbed from behind and brutally beaten while riding his bicycle on a Raleigh bike path over a year ago.

 

International

Don’t plan on getting a deal on a new bike anytime soon, as Pink Bike explains  why bicycle prices will continue to rise over the next year.

Cycling Weekly complains about the biggest irritants of modern bicycle design.

Sounds like fun. A London website recommends bicycling a 10.25-mile route through an “amazingly pretty town” on the Scottish island of Cumbrae, otherwise known as the “Island of a Thousand Bicycles.”

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill called attention to climate change and the importance of renewable energy by riding his bike across the blades of a working wind turbine.

They get it. Wellington, New Zealand is proposing a new tunnel paralleling an existing automotive tunnel under the city’s Mt. Victoria. But only for walking and bicycling, with no additional automotive lanes.

An indigenous women’s group on a remote Australian island is in need of more bicycles, with more women wanting to ride than they have bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins apologizes for being such a jerk over the years, as the former Tour de France winner explains he just didn’t know how to handle fame and adulation. Here’s a suggestion — just don’t be an asshole.

VeloNews talks with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner, as Greg LeMond lined up for his first gravel race.

L39ion of Los Angeles made a lot of news the past few days, starting with Rouleur’s interview with team founders Justin and Cory Williams about the team’s game-changing journey in its first few years.

VeloNews talks with Ian Garrison about his decision to step down from the WorldTour to race domestically with L39ion of Los Angeles; a spokesperson for the team says Garrison was “treated like a water bottle” by his former Deceuninck-QuickStep team.

And L39ion of LA is apparently trying to corner the market on bike racing siblings by signing yet another pair.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to seek YouTube stardom by impersonating a campus cop, including forcing a bike rider to undergo a series of sobriety checks. Who needs a car when you can get a ski rack on your cargo bike?

And how wasted do you have to be to crash into a bicycle in the middle of the roadway, yet somehow assume no one was riding it?

Although that is possible.

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

Metro bikewashes 605 freeway expansion, LA council considers safety measures, and CicLAvia heads to South LA

Sometimes, the explanation stinks as much as the project.

And the location.

Anyone who ever drove the 605 Freeway through Baldwin Park and the City of Industry in years past noticed the stench of the duck farm long before it came into sight.

And it lingered long after, making you wonder if the odor was still wafting through the air, or burned into your olfactory nerve.

It’s been 20 years since work began to turn the poultry farm into a park. Although you have to wonder if even that is long enough to get the stink off the land.

But now the stench is wafting from the Metro boardroom, instead.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports the board Planning Committee unanimously approved a $35 million project to widen the freeway interchange at the 605 and Valley Blvd. And is greenwashing it with supposed benefits to bike riders and pedestrians.

What’s depressing is how inexorably these small freeway expansion projects continue to advance. And the Metro gaslighting that now promotes polluting auto-focused freeway expansion as good for equity and for active transportation.

He goes on to note that Caltrans bizarrely certified that the project would have no negative environmental impact.

Because apparently, induced demand isn’t a thing anymore.

The 605/Valley Blvd project was environmentally cleared via a negative declaration (asserting the project has no adverse environmental impacts) approved by Caltrans in May 2021. The environmental documents use discredited Level of Service metrics to show that widening roadways would “reduce congestion on Valley Boulevard” and “alleviate mobility constraints.” The project would widen roads, increasing car congestion and concomitant pollution burdens on the surrounding communities.

Equally bizarre, though, is Metro’s attempts at greenwashing the project by touting its extremely limited benefits to alternative transpiration.

Again, from Linton’s Streetsblog piece —

Caltrans and Metro tout the project as benefiting alternative transportation. The environmental documents assert that the project would “enhance bicyclist and pedestrian safety” and “help reduce GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions” by supporting alternative modes of transportation: biking and walking.

All of the non-car features of the project are:

  • Adding a sidewalk where it is currently missing on the north side of Valley Boulevard – including ADA-mandated features such as wheelchair ramps.
  • Adding “a widened shoulder to provide a future bike lane along Eastbound Valley Boulevard up to the northbound loop on-ramp.” Installing this 1,400-feet length of bike lanes does not appear to be actually included in the project, but the margin for potential future bike lanes is nonetheless noted as helping reduce GHG emissions.
  • Reducing the curve radius of the northbound loop on-ramp from eastbound Valley Boulevard; this “would be reduced to slow entering traffic to enhance safety for bicyclists and pedestrians and support use of these alternative modes.” Note that the reason the turning radius is being narrowed is to accommodate a second lane on the current one-lane on-ramp (without taking out the business next door). Caltrans asserts that an upcoming curve radius would slow Southern California drivers entering the on-ramp, and that this would encourage bicycling. Really.

All the extra bike riding this project would inspire wouldn’t begin to offset the environmental and climate damage it would cause.

Then again, it’s hard to offset anything when the bike and pedestrian side of the equation is virtually nil.

Unless you think a possible, noncommittal quarter-mile bike lane that may never be built is enough to offset what would undoubtedly be a major increase in traffic and emissions.

Or that safety for people on foot and bicycles can really be enhanced by adding a second onramp lane.

Admittedly, I’m not lawyer. But it seems like it wouldn’t take a very big cannon to shoot holes in the environmental report for this project.

Or a water pistol, for that matter.

So let’s be honest.

Every member of the Planning Committee who voted in favor of this project — which is all of them — should be ashamed.

Because whatever benefits this freeway widening project may or may not offer, their efforts to bikewash it with negligible benefits to bike riders and pedestrians stinks every bit as much as the duck farm did.

And it will take years to wash that stench off them, too.

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Nice to see an effort by LA Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Krekorian and Paul Koretz to use newly signed state laws to improve safety on our streets.

Then again, Koretz has always been in favor of safety improvements, as long as they’re in someone else’s district.

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CicLAvia has released details on December’s 5.3 mile open streets festival in South LA, connecting the neighborhoods of South Central, Exposition Park, Leimert Park and Crenshaw.

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Today’s must read comes from an Associated Press story that only tangentially involves bicycles.

Instead, it’s about kids as young as six years old being handcuffed and arrested by police — including brutal use-of-force incidents — the overwhelming majority of whom are Black, brown or other people of color.

Here’s just one example they cite.

About 165 miles due south, in the rural hamlet of Paris, Illinois, 15-year-old Skyler Davis was riding his bike near his house when he ran afoul of a local ordinance that prohibited biking and skateboarding in the business district — a law that was rarely enforced, if ever.

But on that day, according to Skyler’s father, Aaron Davis, police officers followed his mentally disabled son in their squad car and chased his bike up over a curb and across the grass.

Officers pursued Skyler into his house and threw him to the floor, handcuffing him and slamming him against a wall, his father said. Davis arrived to see police pulling Skyler — 5 feet tall and barely 80 pounds, with a “pure look of terror” on his face — toward the squad car.

“He’s just a happy kid, riding his bike down the road,” Davis said, “And 30 to 45 seconds later, you see him basically pedaling for his life.”

Seriously, there’s no damn excuse for targeting kids like this, unless they somehow pose a direct threat.

And that’s pretty hard to imagine for a six-year old.

Or an unarmed 15-year old just out for a bike ride.

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More evidence that motor vehicle exhaust lowers intelligence, as a Texas driver rolls coal into a Whataburger dining room.

@jaysonmanzanares0

Only in Texas #fypシ #smoke #funny #stupid #dumbass #viral #popular #outtaline #whataburger @Whataburger

♬ original sound – Jayson Manzanares

While it may seem like an obnoxious prank, it should be treated as an assault with a deadly weapon, which could have severe consequences for anyone with allergies or breathing problems.

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Who needs a bike car in the train when you’ve got one in front of it?

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the forward.

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

No bias here. Instead of improving safety, Korea’s leading steel maker is banning bicycles from its mills.

Singapore is banning bicyclists from riding in groups of more than ten people riding abreast, or five riding single file.

 

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

Calabasas sheriff’s deputies are looking for a bike-riding cosmetics shoplifter who raided the local Sephora and Ulta Beauty stores on at least four separate occasions.

Police in my Colorado hometown are looking for a peeping Tom who fled by bicycle after he was spotted, firing several shots at a group of people who tried to confront him.

A bike-riding Florida teenager says he was trying to kill himself to avoid going back to jail when he fatally shot a cop he was wrestling with, who was trying to arrest him for attempting to break into several cars.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

The New York Times explains why Newsom vetoed a handful of bills, including California’s proposed Stop As Yield law and one legalizing jaywalking. Meanwhile, SF Gate questions why Newsom vetoed the jaywalking bill, since everyone does it.

Here’s a chance to make some money while you ride your bike. Caltrans wants to pay you up to $250 a day to clean up trash along California highways.

Santa Barbara is hosting a pair of public meetings, virtual and otherwise, to discuss a possible bike/ped bridge over the 101 Freeway.

A Santa Cruz charity ride raised over $200,000 for local nonprofits. And no, it’s not named for conservative KFI shock jocks Jon and Ken.

Good news and bad news. Bay Area bike riders are happy to learn the hard-won bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael Bridge won’t have to be closed for construction of a proposed water pipeline. But the approach leading to the bridge will be.

 

National

Seriously, who doesn’t need a limited edition Ozzy Osbourne bike jersey?

A climate website looks at the delivery riders on the front lines of the shakeup in sustainable transportation, and the price they pay with their own lives and bodies. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Outside offers advice on how to avoid low bone density, which has been linked to extensive bicycling.

Road Bike Action offers tips on how to be your own wrench.

Consumer Reports provides advice on how to keep your ebike running longer, while warning about the dangers of ebike battery fires.

A trio of Seattle physicians call on officials to reconsider a proposal to revoke the county’s mandatory bike helmet law, which has been used to unfairly target people of color.

Kindhearted Texas residents pitched in to buy a new ebike for a formerly homeless vet, after his homemade shoeshine cart and the jury-rigged ebike he built were stolen; he recovered the shoeshine cart, but his bike remains missing.

Hats off to a group of Rhode Island mountain bikers, who pitched in to scrub Nazi graffiti off state lands.

A former mountain biker from Seattle is in New York, replicating the Shadowman figures of 1980s street artist Richard Hambleton.

An op-ed from three New York teens calls on the city to develop The NYC Tube, a proposed inter-borough bicycle highway. We need something like that here in Los Angeles to connect at least some of the 88 cities in LA County. Let alone one crossing the City of LA itself.

Momentum Magazine talks with a stunt rider who calls himself Obloxkz, or O, about the Red Bull documentary NYC Bike Life and the ride-outs that continue to traumatize Long Island drivers.

Florida police are checking an abandoned bike for fingerprints, which may or may not have been the bike ridden by someone who may or may not have been Brian Laundrie, who may or may not be suspected in the death of Gabby Petito. Meanwhile, investigators are examining human remains found in a Florida nature reserve, which may or may not be Laundrie’s.

 

International

Intenet users teamed up to find a handicapped Vancouver man’s stolen handcycle, just 17 minutes after he posted a notice of the theft online.

An Italian ultracyclist is riding over 1,200 miles from Milan to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to spread the word about bicycling.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as India’s Relief Riders earn a nomination for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to deliver food and medicine to elderly, disabled and people isolating during the worst of the country’s pandemic.

An Indian man insists he loves his wife, despite running her down with his car as she rode her bicycle to work, then hacking her to death before attempting to cut her head off. Which makes you wonder what he would have done if he didn’t love her.

Malaysia threatens to jail people for up to three months for the crime of riding an e-scooter on public streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seems appropriate. Rising Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel will take part in the Kansas edition of the Belgian Waffle Ride, along with his Deceueninck-QuickStep teammate Mattia Cattaneo.

Seventeen top women’s teams have confirmed for next week’s inaugural Lion’s Den race in Sacramento, with a star-studded field including US Olympians Lily Williams and SoCal’s own Coryn Labecki, who was formerly known as Coryn Rivera before her recent marriage.

Cyclist looks forward to next year’s women’s Tour de France, calling it a week of brutal climbs and gravel.

A diabetes website talks with former Team Novo Nordisk cyclist Ezra Ward-Packard about the joys of competing with Type 1 diabetes. Thanks again to Keith Johnson. 

Cannondale is teaming with travel and language company EF Education First to sponsor new college cycling teams at one HBCU and two tribal colleges, with enough funding for three years.

Forty-seven-year old Natalie van Gogh is calling it a career after 15 years in the pro peloton, insisting she’s just Natalie, “not Natalie the transgender cyclist.”

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to ride your e-scooter on a highway, weaving in and out of traffic at up to 60 mph. Now you, too, can get your next bike from a haunted REI co-op.

And maybe it’s time we demanded a mandatory helmet law for deer.

Pretty impressive handspring as it tumbles offscreen, too.

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

LAX opens massive climate-destroying parking garage, “immoral” painted bike lanes, and $1000 Prada bike shorts

While the world is literally burning, Los Angeles opens a massive new parking garage to encourage more people to drive to LAX.

Yes, Los Angeles will open a people mover to finally connect the airport to the city’s rail system in another two years.

Something that should have happened nearly two decades ago when the Green Line, now called the C Line, inexplicably bypassed the airport. Note: I originally misidentified this as the Blue Line; thanks to John for the correction.

The $5.5 billions plan to improve non-automotive access to the airport also promises to make it easier to bike to there. But exactly what that means, and when we’ll finally see it on the streets, remains unclear.

But as this massive car storage facility makes clear, the city is planning for driving to remain the primary way to access the airport for the foreseeable future — if not actively encouraging it through induced demand.

Climate emergency be damned.

Here’s another view.

Thanks to Ted Faber and Schroedinger for the heads-up.

Photo of smoke-shrouded sky by Cole Keister from Pexels.

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Frightening video from the Bay Area earlier this month, when a small group of bicyclists were nearly run down by a driver who fell asleep and crossed over onto the wrong side of the road.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick offers it as evidence that painted bike lanes are immoral, leaving vulnerable road users in mortal danger.

Although it’s hard to imagine that most protected bike lanes would prevent something like this, either.

Rudick notes that only a curb-protected bike lane or a parking protected lane would have kept this driver out.

And even those are questionable, since there’s a good chance the snoozing driver could have jumped a curb, while parking protected lanes depend on whether anyone is actually parked there at the time.

Never mind any of the more common bollard protected lanes, whether the fat plastic bollards or the car-tickler plastic bendie posts that are euphemistically termed protection.

The gold standard for protection remains heavy, albeit ugly, k-rails, or planters that are anchored to the pavement.

But plastic is less expensive. And paint is even cheaper.

Which should tell you what officials think our lives are worth.

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Southern California Families for Safe Streets is hosting their monthly brunch to fight traffic violence this Saturday.

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One of the big question marks in traffic safety is the shifting perceptions on the roll law enforcement should play.

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This is what could happen here if we had safer streets.

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This is who we share the road with.

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That feeling when you get kicked out of Prada with your $40 bike shorts.

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

Life is cheap in London, where a driver walked with a year of community service for intentionally running down a bike rider, who turned out to be the city’s former bicycling czar.

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Local

The Southern California Association of Governments, aka SCAG, received a $1.25 million state grant for its award-winning Go Human campaign.

Santa Monica is in the process of adding a protected bike lane and protected intersections on 17th Street, as well as other safety projects on streets surrounding the 17th Street/SMC Metro Station.

Sit-down e-scooter provider Wheels settled a consumer protection lawsuit with Santa Monica for $300,000, after the city accused it of operating without a permit.

Eternals actress Malin Akerman is one of us, after she was spotted riding the streets of Los Feliz with her eight-year old son on the back of a fat tire ebike.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

The Bike League is looking for a temporary Advocacy and Outreach Assistant to help prepare for next year’s National Bike Summit.

A Streetsblog op-ed makes the case for reducing inequities in our cities through better management of the streets.

Singletracks offers a beginner’s guide to truing your mountain bike wheels.

A record-setting ebike rider is making a 6,500-mile loop around the US on a custom-built solar-powered electric bike, although he’s skipping the Deep South for some reason.

A 60-year old Portland woman has been frightened off her bike after she was left-crossed by a driver while riding in a crosswalk. Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured, but says the fear has deprived her of an important mobility tool. Simply put, we will never make a serious dent in car usage until average people of all ages feel safe on our streets without one.

San Antonio is the latest city converting its entire bikeshare system to ebikes.

Salem, Massachusetts is considering lifting a ban on ebikes, which are technically illegal under a state law intending to ban mopeds.

No surprise here, as New York’s only safe streets PAC has endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams over Republican nominee and avowed bike lane hater Curtis Sliwa, who wants to remove any bike lanes that aren’t actively used.

Gothamist asks if New York is about to get its first bike mayor, after presumptive winner Adams pledges to regularly ride his bike to and from City Hall, adding “I think if people start seeing their mayor on a bike, they’d be more encouraged to know that the streets are safe to ride their bikes.” Although an actual bike mayor is something entirely different

A 72-year old Virginia woman has completed the last leg of her record-setting cross-country bike ride, using her route to draw a peace sign across the US in honor of her brother, who was killed when his plane went down in Laos when she was 20 years old.

Brian Laundrie may be one of us, after the reputed prime suspect in the killing of killing of Gabby Petito was reportedly seen riding a bicycle a few hours north of his Florida home. Then again, he’s also reportedly been seen all over the state, and as far north as the Appalachian Trail.

 

International

A new survey shows 40 percent of British people would consider buying an ebike, a jump of 11 percent since before the pandemic.

Pink Bike says clipless Crocs are a thing now, developed by a three-time French bike polo champ.

A Spanish firm has released the final designs for a wooden bike you can download and build yourself for around $500. Or maybe you’d rather buy a completed bespoke wooden bike for the equivalent of around $5,400.

Hungary plans to install eight luminescent, glow-in-the bike lanes by the end of the year.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-year old Turkish man has ridden a bicycle almost every day for 71 years, and still rides 12 miles a day, when he’s not caring for sick or injured animals.

More proof bicycling pays, as bikes contribute a massive $6.3 billion to the Australian economy.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who says cyclists aren’t tough? Dutch pro Annemiek van Vleuten is already back on her bicycle, just two weeks after breaking her pelvis and shoulder in the inaugural women’s Paris-Roubaix.

 

Finally…

Buy this unique mountain bike for $2,500 and get the patent for it free. Maybe it’s not the best idea to steal a bike from behind the police station since it probably belongs to a cop.

And that feeling when bikes power the show.

………

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

Morning Links: No charges in NorCal triple hit-and-run, Koretz calls climate crisis, and LA on Amazon shortlist

File this under you’ve got to be kidding.

Authorities in Contra Costa County have decided not to file charges against an 83-year old man who kept driving after rear-ending a woman riding a bike last October.

He then returned 40 minutes later, and rear-ended two men riding their bikes in the opposite direction.

But despite being arrested two days later on suspicion of three counts of felony hit-and-run, prosecutors concluded they couldn’t prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

So why even try, right?

Which means that a dangerous driver is once again allowed to remain on the roads.

And drivers are once again reminded that the authorities don’t take hit-and-run any more seriously than they do.

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CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz teams with fellow Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to introduce a motion calling for a climate emergency response in spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “fierce urgency of now,” in response to the recent fires and mudslides.

Which means he will undoubtedly reverse his position and approve bike lanes on Westwood Blvd and elsewhere on LA’s Westside, to provide a safe alternative to driving and reduce greenhouse gasses.

Right?

Don’t hold your breath.

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Los Angeles has somehow made it onto Amazon’s not-so-short shortlist of cities under consideration for their second headquarters.

However, given that one of their primary requirements is that the chosen city must have a good bicycle network, LA can probably look forward to getting a participation trophy.

Thanks to David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

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Peter Flax sends news that the new bike path bypassing construction in Marina del Rey opens today.

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Local

Chicago Streetsblog writer Steve Vance visits Los Angeles, and says it’s easy to get around by transit and bikeshare.

Curbed editor Alissa Walker lives kid-friendly and carfree in LA.

No irony here. Mar Vista’s dermatologist, neighborhood council member and self-appointed planner says LA needs to approach planning as engineers, rather than social justice warriors. Except when the engineers at LADOT do exactly that, neighborhood NIMBYs and pass-through drivers reject it because it’s not the kind of social engineering they want.

Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany is one of us.

The Pasadena Star-News looks at Monterey Park’s approval of a protected bike lane on Monterey Pass Road; as one resident pointed out, it could be the first step in revitalizing the street and getting people out of their cars.

Sheriff’s deputies issued 69 citations for bike and pedestrian safety violations in Santa Clarita on Wednesday, all of which went to motorists. And 46 of which were for distracted driving.

Long Beach restaurant owners are worried about the effect of the Amgen Tour of California’s shoreline start on their Mother’s Day business.

 

State

A former California resident is re-releasing the book she wrote following her round-the-world bike tour 30 years ago.

This is pretty much the definition of NIMBY. Five Encinitas residents are suing the city to block officials from opening a park gate to give kids a safe route to their elementary schools; they complain that it will be used by people who don’t live in their neighborhood to enter the park.

A Denver poet is delivering handwritten “dreams” by bicycle to subscribers in San Diego.

Visually impaired people from across the US are in Chula Vista for a para triathlete training camp to learn how to be guided by a sighted triathlon partner.

An allegedly drunk Apple Valley bike rider refused medical treatment after dodging a car in one direction, then getting hit by one headed in the other.

A Morgan Hill columnist says hosting a stage of the Amgen Tour of California could put the city on the map.

Bike East Bay is hiring a fulltime outreach coordinator and a trio of part-time interns.

Sad news from Danville, where a 73-year old ebike rider was killed after hitting a speed bump.

 

National

People for Bikes explains all about ebikes.

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to avoid bicycling burnout.

Bicycling talks to badass winter bike commuters from five cities with tough winters. Although they somehow left out Los Angeles, where riders are sometimes forced to endure partly cloudy days and temperatures in the 60s.

No, this is badass. A man who lost part of his skull years ago in a bike crash is overcoming his fears and finding hope by riding his bike across the US to get on a waiting list for treatment at a San Diego clinic.

A writer for Britain’s Cyclist magazine takes on the world’s toughest climb on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Portland calls their adaptive bikeshare trial a success. Let’s hope Metro Bike is paying attention; a lot of nontraditional riders could benefit from a program like that.

Caught on video: A writer takes a low-tech bike ride in the Las Vegas rain looking for the latest bike tech.

A Dallas photographer depicts the bike carnage he found looking for dockless bikeshare bikes in the city, while Dallas tells the companies to clean up their act, or else.

 

International

A woman who wears a size 18 offers advice for other plus-sized bicyclists, or as she calls it, biking while fat.

A Canadian letter-writer says money spent building a bike boulevard would have been better spent providing education for the bike-riding public. Which would do little to protect them from dangerous drivers.

London’s transportation department says reports of a slash in the bicycling budget are wrong, but don’t expect more of the city’s cycling superhighways anytime soon.

Royal-in-law Pippa Middleton looks fashionably annoyed by the London paparazzi as she rides her bike in the cold.

A London HuffPo writer says what shocked her most about taking up bicycling was the support she received from bike-riding strangers.

A travel writer for the Washington Post rides the length of Great Britain, from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The 125-year old Dutch bike maker Gazelle rolled out its 15 millionth bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Philippine website Rappler — which has been ordered shut down by the country’s increasingly authoritative government — profiles SoCal’s Filipina-American cycling champ Coryn Rivera.

Australia’s extreme heat is causing organizers of the Tour Down Under to shorten race routes.

The head of cycling’s governing body tells Lance Armstrong to stay the hell out of Flanders, not that he can stop him. Meanwhile, coming clean about being dirty has cost Lance $100 million and counting.

 

Finally…

Just what every bicyclist needs: a high-tech toilet. Getting hit by a car seems like an extreme way to get out of a murder trial.

And you know it’s a strong wind when you can’t even hold onto your bike.

 

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