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Yesterday we shared a photo depicting the aftermath of a Friday bike crash in Marina del Rey, which I later learned was taken by Ian Dutton.
Then last night I came across a story from an Australian news site reporting that a beloved college teacher had been killed riding along an unidentified California beach.
And later still, I saw a comment from Libby Starling, who identified herself as the victim’s sister-in-law, reporting that the victim in the Marina crash, Manhattan Beach resident Leland Dutcher, didn’t make it.
Yet I somehow failed to initially make the connection that it was the same person.
Somehow, posting that photo makes it feel personal to me, perhaps because I inherited my dad’s extra empathy gene.
I keep telling myself that it’s not about me.
What I do is about serving the victims of these crashes, and their families, and the greater bicycling community.
But it hurts, damn it.
We’ve linked to a number of stories about the bikelash in Cambridge, Massachusetts recently, where some drivers are up in arms over the profusion of new bike lanes on city streets.
But according to Velo, a new report from city officials shows the city’s first-in-the-nation mandate to building protected bike lanes has been an overwhelming success.
According to the report, since the policy was implemented four years ago,
- 80 percent more protected bike lanes from cars than in 2004.
- 9 percent of Cambridge residents bike to work, and 37 percent of residents walk or bike.
- 25 percent of people visiting the business district arrive by bicycle.
- 34 percent more people commute by bike since 2019, while 15 percent more people commute via sidewalks since 2019.
- The number of children on bikes, in trailers, or cargo bikes has increased by 3.5 times.
- Up to 80 percent fewer cyclists ride on sidewalks, resulting in fewer accidents between pedestrians and cyclists.
- Bike lanes in the area have cut accidents between bikes and cars by 50 percent since 2012.
- The proportion of crashes that did not result in injury is three times lower now than it was from 2004 to 2012. Incapacitating injuries are down by 84 percent in the same time frame.
All of which sounds like a pretty convincing argument to keep building them there.
They get it.
Because while the state is great at setting Complete Streets and climate change policies, it continues to waste billions on traffic and emission inducing highway projects.
LA in a Minute examines why white plastic bollards are popping up all over Los Angeles.
All over Los Angeles pylons/bollards are popping up in streets, changing lanes, blocking certain directions and slowing down traffic.
So what is the purpose – why is the City doing this?!?
Let’s get into it! pic.twitter.com/4Q4NwAbJxN
— L.A. in a Minute (@LaInaMinute) December 12, 2023
The mayor of Escondido has declared war on bike lanes, introducing an ordinance to prohibit future bike and transit improvements in the city.
Well, of course he was one of us.
— Cool Bike Art (@CoolBikeArt1) December 12, 2021
Megan Lynch forwards video of George Clooney and Jimmie Kimmel discussing what kids wanted from a bike back in the day.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
No bias here. Bay Area bike advocates were justifiably up in arms over a story from the San Francisco Standard we linked to yesterday, which trotted out the usual bike-hating bile, including “People hate bike lanes, at least in part, because people hate cyclists. And in fairness, many cyclists give non-cyclists more than a few things to hate.” Because we all know all drivers operate their vehicles perfectly, and never, ever do anything that would give bike riders or pedestrians something to hate.
New York’s bike-hating, rightwing councilwoman demonstrates how to say you have no idea what you’re talking about without saying you have no idea what you’re talking about, while somehow assuming we’re all a group of millionaire cultists.
The hobby of a group of millionaires on their way to a $50k/year elementary school in Manhattan is not a viable transportation plan for the rest of the city.
That they want you to somehow believe otherwise shows how radically out of touch the bike cultists are.
With that said,… https://t.co/6Ck08lAv17
— Councilwoman Vickie Paladino (@VickieforNYC) December 7, 2023
But sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
Bakersfield police arrested 12 people riding bicycles, 11 of them juveniles, for an undisclosed incident that happened at the city’s Valley Plaza Mall; a police sergeant said the group, which was organized through social media, was “causing road hazards, and not following the rules of the road.” Except that sounds more like a traffic violation, rather than a crime subject to arrest. And full disclosure, I used to write advertising for that mall.
A bike-riding Massachusetts man faces an animal cruelty charge for allegedly beating a dog and knocking its 69-year old owner to the ground, after using his bike to separate his two dogs from the victim’s dog when they got into a fight. Using his bike to separate them was smart; beating the other dog afterwards, not so much. Or forgivable.
No news is good news, right?
Encinitas is responding to the death of a 15-year old ebike rider in June by considering a slate of bike and pedestrian safety improvements on city streets, including left turn bike boxes.
San Diego adopted a new Complete Streets policy aimed at making local streets safer and more equitable. But as we’ve seen in Los Angeles, a policy without an enforcement mechanism can be pretty useless.
A Santa Barbara writer tries to explain what’s going on with the traffic diverters on Sola Street, as the city attempts to create a crosstown bikeway without removing parking spaces to install a bike lane.
Kindhearted Clovis, California cops bought a new bike for a local teenager after someone stole his locked bike while he was at school.
A nearly $125,000 bequest from the man known as the Legend of Mt. Diablo for his daily rides up the Bay Area climb is helping to fund a campaign to build safety turnouts on his favorite ride, two years after he was killed by a driver while riding his bike.
Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says most bike reviews are useless, so just get out there and ride them yourself.
Clean Technica says ebikes are radically more efficient than electric cars, while a writer for Electrek relates the lessons his wife learned from her first 100 miles commuting to work by ebike.
Oregon will now allow drivers to pass bike riding “obstructions” in No Passing Zones, as long as the person on the bicycle is riding at less than half the posted speed limit.
Great idea. The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is visiting nearly 100 bike shops across the state to kick off their “support your local bike shop week.” Because if we don’t support them, they may not be there when you need them.
Kindhearted cops in Boston replaced a nine-year old boy’s bicycle after someone stole his bike from his backyard.
Sad news from Syracuse NY, where a man riding a bikeshare ebike was killed when a cop somehow turned his patrol car into him; the officer is now on administrative leave while the crash is investigated.
Tragic news from North Carolina, where a man was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bicycle, just hours after his father was killed in a collision, leaving their family to plan two funerals.
‘Tis the Season. Nearly 100 volunteer “elves” refurbished nearly 530 donated bicycles for a Georgia charity to give to local kids in need.
Momentum says the Dutch Reach is the simple solution to help stop dooring incidents. The only problem is actually getting drivers and passengers to use it.
A British motorcyclist got three and a half years behind bars for crashing into a bike-riding woman while riding stoned, without a license or insurance, and with fake plates on his motorcycle; the victim ended up having her leg amputated.
The UK’s largest chain of bike shops is ridiculed for building bikes wrong, putting on all the right parts, “but not necessarily in the right places.”
The Jerusalem Post recommends the best helmets for your bicycle or motorbike riding dog — including a hard shell propeller beanie.
Fox News continues its war on trans cyclists, quoting commentator Riley Gaines condemning a third place finisher as a “traitor to women” after she came to the defense of the trans women who finished ahead of her.
And nothing like finding a useless bike rack at the end of your ride.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin