My apologies if you received an email with just the barest outline of a post earlier.
I seem to have had a twitchy publish button finger.
Somehow, you knew this was going to happen.
A full year after the Los Angeles City Council rejected the proposed Healthy Streets LA ordinance, the city has finally come back with their long-awaited alternative version.
And suffice it to say it leaves a lot to be desired.
The original measure, which easily qualified for next year’s ballot, requires the city to build out the already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, which subsumed the 2010 Bike Plan, any time a street in the plan gets resurfaced or resealed with slurry.
The council had the option of approving it as written, or sending it to a vote of the people.
They chose the latter, while promising to come back within weeks with an even better, new and improved version of their own.
You can guess how that turned out.
In June of 2022, Council asked the City Attorney to draft their own version of @healthystreetla within 15 days.
14 MONTHS later, the draft ordinance just released is severely deficient.
We sent this letter to the city today.
— Streets For All (@streetsforall) August 25, 2023
According to an analysis of the proposal from Streets For All, who wrote the original ballot measure, the city changed the requirement from covering any resurfacing over 1/8 of a mile to 1/4 of a mile, which they say would exclude 80% of the projects in the Mobility Plan’s Neighborhood Enhanced Network, as well as removing slurry seals from the plan.
Correction: I originally wrote that the change to 1/4 mile would exclude 80% of the projects, which was a misreading of the text on my part. I have corrected the paragraph above to more accurately reflect the effect of the change.
Then there’s this.
When defining “standard elements” it was interesting that the City Attorney didn’t simply say “the improvements in the Mobility Plan” but said that it’s the improvements that the Board of Public Works, Director of City Planning and General Manager designate for inclusion in a Project.” In other words, if any of those entities don’t “designate” an improvement to be included in a Project, then it’s excluded, and a bike or bus lane is ignored. This is the first “out” the City has given itself, and it’s a big one.
But wait, there’s more, as they say in the world of informercials.
This next section is a doozy. It basically says that the General Manager of LADOT and Director of City Planning — in “consultation” with LAPD, LAFD, and the City Attorney (three entities often hostile to bike and bus lanes in the first place) — can “revise” Mobility Corridors. In other words, they’re usurping City Council’s authority over the Mobility Plan and taking it for themselves. It’s a dangerous precedent to set that City departments can change the City’s General Plan without Council, and especially dangerous to put it in the hands of LAPD, LAFD, and this City Attorney (who has implied the City shouldn’t be at fault for pedestrian deaths even if the City has failed to implement its own Vision Zero or Mobility Plan 2035 plans).
Read that again.
The city’s revised version would remove the requirement to include any street or project in the already-approved Mobility Plan, and replace with the judgement of city officials likely to be hostile to any changes.
The city version goes on to include a public outreach process, which has too often been gamed by city officials to kill projects they don’t like, or are afraid to implement.
Like shovel-ready lane reductions on Lankershim, North Figueroa and Temple Street, just to name a few.
Streets For All ends their insightful analysis this way.
So what is our overall take on the City’s version? It’s full of holes, exceptions, and bureaucracy, and is not an attempt to actually implement the Mobility Plan during repaving; it’s an attempt to look like it’s doing something, while actually continuing to mostly ignore the Mobility Plan. It also does not address any of the equity additions (former Council President Nury Martinez) had promised, nor does it establish a centralized office of coordination, or provide for a multi year funding plan.
In other words, it’s not nearly good enough. We have raised more than $2,000,000 to get our ballot measure across the finish line this spring. Our polling shows an overwhelming number of Angelenos are sick of the status quo — and will support Healthy Streets LA at the ballot box. If you’re ready for change, join us! You can stay up-to-date, volunteer, donate, and get involved on our website.
See you at the ballot box.
And in the meantime, contact your councilmember to let them know the city’s proposal is dead in the water.
LADOT appears to be committed to committing climate arson.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports Los Angeles continues to widen streets throughout the city, calling out more than a dirty dozen streets that will soon have more room — and in most cases, more lanes — for motor vehicles.
In fact, Linton lists a full fifteen streets either currently being expanded or set for expansion, at a total cost of more than $218 million.
Although that’s barely a fifth of what the city is spending to give raises to the LAPD.
Some folks out there may be under the mistaken impression that Los Angeles is not really widening roads any more. Though widening roads is counterproductive in many ways, it has long been and continues to be an incessant L.A. City practice.
Streets for All founder Michael Schneider terms L.A. City road widening “the opposite of fighting climate change,” noting that “widening streets induces more driving, meaning more pollution burden locally and more greenhouse emissions further harming the climate.” Widening is expensive, and adversely impacts safety, health, climate, air, water, noise, housing, historic preservation, and more.
That money could make a sizable dent in the city’s bike plan, which could actually get some of those cars off the streets, rather than flushing more money down the toilet by funding still more induced demand.
This far into the 21st Century, it should be clear that we can’t build our way out of traffic congestion.
And that fighting climate change will require getting people out of their cars, and onto their feet or bikes, and into transit.
Widening streets is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.
Reverse angled parking is supposed to improve safety for people on bicycles by improving sightline for drivers pulling out of spaces.
But the new configuration on western Ventura Blvd isn’t exactly winning rave reviews, as bicyclists complain about drivers using the bike lanes to back into parking spaces, as well as double parking to wait for a space to open up, forcing riders out into unforgiving traffic.
To all L.A. local leaders, I beg you – please fix this. This is putting cars ahead of people. Again. @PaulKrekorian @SupJaniceHahn @LADOTofficial @LADOTlivable @kathrynbarger @cd4losangeles @HildaSolis @MayorOfLA @KatyForLA https://t.co/cChrB6pLBg
— Phil Obaza (@philobaza) August 27, 2023
Here it is. The bike lane gives cars a buffer to use so they can back in easier. Bike lanes should not be used or seen as a buffer for cars.
— ʎ u u ɐ p 🚲⚾️ (@gatodejazz) August 28, 2023
Santa Monica is improving safety on deadly Wilshire Blvd by making several cross streets right turn only.
CicLAvia’s North Hollywood CicLAmini along the Lankershim Blvd corridor is less than four weeks away.
The good news is you can just step off the B (Red) Line subway at the NoHo station and you’re there.
CicLAmini—North Hollywood is less than a month away 😱 What's the best way to stay up to date? ✨ Subscribe to our newsletter here: https://t.co/34CCJ9aCgK (it takes less than 2 minutes). #CicLAvia #OpenStreets pic.twitter.com/JO0lgWhyr8
— CicLAvia (@CicLAvia) August 26, 2023
OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson forwards evidence of why you should always hesitate pulling out from a red light, until you know every driver in every direction is coming to a stop.
If you build it, they will come.
Bicycle parking at, of all places, the Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix. Urban planning that preferences cycling even works for the most hardened petrol heads. pic.twitter.com/2l9owZsYtb
— Simon Kuestenmacher (@simongerman600) August 27, 2023
Remember this the next time someone questions why bike riders insist on riding in the street.
Or better yet, just send it to them.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
Maybe starting the Vuelta in the Catalonia region wasn’t the best idea, as someone tried to sabotage the complicated second stage by tossing tacks and nails on the course, flattening the tires of around 15 cyclists.
An “arrogant” road-raging driver — and possible government employee — in the Philippines assaulted a man riding a bicycle, then pulled out a gun and aimed it at the victim before cooler heads apparently prevailed.
Beverly Hills is looking for your input on the parking-protected bike lane pilot project on Roxbury Drive, as they consider making the bike lane permanent.
Police in Long Beach are looking for a pair of robbers who fired a gun as they struggled with a man to steal his bicycle along the Los Angeles River bike path Thursday night; the thieves eventually ran off without the bike.
Video from a TikTok user shows people in San Diego standing by and watching as a man steals a woman’s bike in broad daylight, calling it an example of the Bystander Effect. Then again, the person taking the video didn’t intervene, either.
Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.
US colleges are beginning to ban ebikes due to a fear of fire risk as well as a risk to pedestrians. After all, it makes so much more sense to force students and faculty back into their cars, which evidently don’t pose a greater risk to anyone. Right?
The Better Business Bureau offers tips tips to help you pick the right ebike for your budget.
Cycling Weekly visits MADE to examine the new Moots prototype spec’ed with 750D wheels, asking if we really need another wheel diameter standard.
My hometown paper offers highlights from the massive turnout for the country’s last remaining Tour de Fat.
This is the cost of traffic violence. Sixty-four-year old John Kezdy, the lead singer of the ’80s punk band The Effigies, died on Saturday, three days after he was critically injured crashing his bike into an Amazon van illegally parked in a Chicago bike lane. The inevitable lawsuit will be just the cost of business for the online shopping giant.
It’s apparently open season on bike riders at Indiana University, as three students who participated in the iconic Little 500 bike race were hit by drivers in three days last week; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.
There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left a 12-year old Boston-area boy bleeding alone in the streets. Or any other kid, for that matter.
A writer for The New York Times says he improved his mental and physical health by ditching his car and walking to biking to run errands, though he suggests that anyone wanting to emulate him may not want to start with a trip to Costco. Thanks to Bike Talk’s Taylor Nichols, who suggests getting writer Andrew Leonard to appear on the show, for the heads-up.
A Long Island woman faces charges for slamming into a triathlete as he rode his bike in the middle of a race, after pulling out of a parking lot at a high rate of speed and onto the race course that had been closed to traffic.
The AP offers not necessarily safe for work video from the Philadelphia World Naked Bike Ride.
This is who we share the road with. A road-raging Philadelphia driver with a concealed carry permit pulled out a gun and began firing after his car was surrounded by dirt bike riders on an apparent rideout, shooting one man before he was wounded by return fire.
Evidently, you can kill a man on a fundraising bike ride while driving drunk, bury his body a shallow grave on a remote Scottish estate for three years, and get off with just 12 years behind bars — and could get out in as little as six. And get just five years and three months for helping your brother hide the body.
BBC host and bicycling advocate Jeremy Vine causes a stir in the UK by saying drivers should pull over and let bicyclists pass in urban centers, since people on bicycles can often travel faster than people in cars — and that drivers shouldn’t be allowed to pass bicyclists at all. Finally, a campaign platform I can get behind.
Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is one of us, after he posted video of going on a cargo bike ride with his twins while vacationing in Yorkshire, England. From the looks of it, the bike was almost as long as his name.
A Nigerian website says bicycling is a must if the country hopes to “be rid of hydra-headed transportation gridlock that often sends road users to nightmarish spasm.”
Giant Taiwanese bikemaker Giant warns customers that a scam website posing as the bike brand may be ripping off consumers.
Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel said enough is enough and intentionally slowed the peloton after a crash by Primož Roglič in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Vuelta; Italy’s Andrea Piccolo took the leader’s red jersey as Denmark’s Andreas Kron won the day on a stage shortened by flooding near rate finish.
Britain’s William Bjegfelt just won the Paracycling World Championships after he was told he’d never walk or bike again following a head-on collision with a driver in 2015.
L39ION of Los Angeles cyclists Kendall Ryan and Ty Magner wons the elite women’s and men’s races, respectively, at the IU Momentum Health Indy Crit in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Cycling Weekly takes a look at the alternative, off-road race scene in the UK.
More bad news, in what has been an unbelievably tragic year for pro and amateur cyclists, as 22-year old Belgian rider Tijl De Decke was killed when he crashed into the back of a car on a training ride.
And they get it.
We believe streets should be designed so Elmo can safely bike at whatever speed Elmo feels most comfortable! https://t.co/RwnbNskoO3
— NACTO (@NACTO) August 25, 2023
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin