Tag Archive for Colorado Blvd

Record setting 109-year old French bicyclist Robert Marchand dies, and Stupid Driver Tricks on the bike paths

We can’t be too sad for someone who leaves this world after an exceptionally long, eventful — and record setting — life.

That’s the case with the news that French cyclist Robert Marchand left us at the remarkable age of 109.

The former truck driver, lumberjack and firefighter didn’t take up bicycling until he was 68, never realizing that he would ride for another 40 years. And set a number of age group records along the way.

This comes from his obituary in the Washington Post.

(Marchand) cycled from Paris to Moscow in 1992 and set the 100-kilometer (62.14-mile) record for cyclists past the age of 100.

In January 2017, he set a world record in the 105-plus age category — created especially for him — by riding 22.54 kilometers (14 miles) in one hour on the boards of the Vélodrome National near Paris.

I’m now waiting for a rival,” he said at the time.

Three years earlier, Mr. Marchand had covered 26.92 kilometers (16.73 miles) in one hour to better his own world record in the over-100s category.

After a life like that, we should mourn, not for him, but for those of us who are left behind, and will miss Marchand dearly.

And wish him a safe and speedy ride home.

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels.

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The full Metro Board will vote Thursday on whether to approve running the planned North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line along Colorado Blvd through Eagle Rock, which forms the basis of the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan.

Comments for the 10 am meeting can only be submitted over the phone.

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Evidently, it was Drive on the Bike Path Day over the weekend.

Todd Seelie sends a Nextdoor screenshot showing a driver stuck trying to access the LA River bike path.

And here’s one from UC Davis, courtesy of frequent contributor Megan Lynch.

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Lynch also forwards this video of Oakland bike riders enjoying a beautiful day.

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Everyone knows bikes and brews naturally go together. Especially now, when tipping one back can help support the LACBC.

And it doesn’t hurt that Highland Park Brewery made this short list of the city’s best microbreweries.

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It was a bike giveaway weekend.

The YMCA in Longmont, Colorado gave around 200 bikes to kids in need.

Eighty-eight Michigan kids with special needs got custom adaptive bicycles, after waiting two years for the giveaway when Covid-19 cancelled last year’s event.

Nearly 500 children and adults received donated bikes courtesy of a Toledo, Ohio rescue mission.

And Metro will start working with community-based organizations to give some of the 400 to 500 bicycles abandoned on LA buses and trains every month to needy residents or the homeless.

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

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the ebike-riding man who yelled antisemitic slurs outside a Florida synagog, then returned to leave a bag of human shit in front of the entrance.

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Local

CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz and LADOT presented plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap in the Expo Line bike path, with construction scheduled to be completed by 2025 — 13 years after the Expo Line opened. More evidence that Koretz supports bikes — as long as they don’t inconvenience drivers in any way.

A photo essay from the LA Times looks at the rebirth of the 6th Street Bridge, which will include bike ramps to help riders reach the elevated span.

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition makes the case for why Pasadena is the perfect fit for bikes — and what it will take to get there.

 

State

San Diego driver Jamison Connor faces at least 30 years behind bars after being convicted on seven counts for the 2019 hit-and-run death of Kevin Lentz.

San Diego letter writers call on the city to rethink how people get around, and for drivers to give bike riders and pedestrians some space.

Bakersfield equestrians call on the city to ban ebikes from the city’s dirt trails.

Sad news from Sebastopol, where a 52-year old man died nearly two weeks after he and a 12-year old boy were severely injured by an alleged drunk driver while riding their bikes; no word on the child’s condition.

El Dorado County says if you want to open a Dollar General store, you’ve got to build a bike path, too.

 

National

Travel website TripSavvy lists America’s 15 best destinations to explore by bicycle; West Coast cities Seattle, Portland and San Francisco made the cut. And needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t.

Over 25,000 people commented on the proposed update to the MUTCD — the bible of traffic engineering. Four hundred of those came from NACTO, including calls to end the deadly 85th percentile law, and make ending traffic deaths a guiding principle of the document.

Bike Snob’s Eben Wiese says electronic shifting works perfectly, but he’d rather go old school and do it himself, anyway.

No, an eight-year old kid probably wasn’t killed riding his bike into the side of a turning truck in Las Vegas; it’s far more likely the driver turned into his path.

Dozens of Denver bike riders held a die-in to protest the city’s unsafe streets after three people on bicycles were killed in the past week.

More proof that you can’t please everyone, as a hundred or so New Yorkers marched down the city’s most successful Open Street, demanding the right to drive on the same street they were able to march on because no one’s allowed to drive on it.

Bike Life is taking off in New York, where young bike riders are swarming drivers and commandeering roadways in a celebration of life on two wheels.

You know a street is too damn dangerous when a woman is killed trying to cross it, just two blocks from where her husband was killed trying to cross the same street four years earlier.

 

International

A new study from Ford shows listening to music on headphones slows reaction time by an average of four seconds for both drivers and bike riders.

A British Columbia letter writer says bike lanes are for the 99% of people who aren’t “avid” cyclists.

The former leader of Britain’s Labour Party is one of us, despite not learning to ride a bike until he was 50. And he calls for a much-needed two wheeled revolution in the country’s transportation system.

The Irish Times says riding an ebike can speed your commute and reduce sweat while still giving you a workout, and Tech Radar calls them a good value and a great investment.

Life is cheap in Spain, where a 32-year old woman is expected to spend less than four years behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunk driving deaths of three triathletes on a training ride, and critically injuring two others; with time served, she’ll likely be released in just six months — despite a failed drug test and a BAC nearly four times the legal limit.

A New Zealand court denies a driver’s effort to get out of her sentence for the meth and weed-fueled crash that killed a man riding a bike, despite already having her sentence cut from nearly two years behind bars to a cushy 10 months of home detention. And despite the fact that another man is in prison the drunken crash that killed her own son.

 

Competitive Cycling

Belgian cyclist Victor Campenaerts took his first Grand Tour stage win in Sunday’s 15th stage of the Giro, while Egan Bernal continued to look pretty in pink.

Cycling Weekly offers five talking points from Sunday’s stage, from the rainy crash-filled start to a competitive finish.

Budding Belgian superstar Remco Evenepoel has gone from contending for the pink leader’s jersey to hoping for a top ten finish, conceding his form is not what he had hoped for.

Who had Laurens ten Dam holding off Colin Strickland to win the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos on your fantasy gravel racing card?

Bicycling explains everything you need too know about this year’s crit season. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

 

Finally…

Lots of women ride their bikes while they’re pregnant. Not many ride to deliver the baby, though.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Metro commits to BRT on Colorado Blvd, Gonzalez kills speed cam bill in Assembly Committee, and 20 is plenty

Today is Bike Anywhere Day in LA County. So just get on your bike and do it, already.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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More on the battle for the heart and soul of Eagle Rock, as Metro commits to running the NoHo to Pasadena BRT — aka, bus rapid transit — line along Colorado Blvd.

However, as we noted yesterday, the configuration of the roadway is still undetermined, after CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León threw a wrench in the resident-driven Beautiful Blvd plan, which would remove a traffic lane in some places, while retaining bike lanes, landscaping, medians and most parking.

De León insisted on studying another option, and gathering still more public input, despite months of public meetings and comments already.

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San Diego Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez drove the final nail in the coffin of one of the two speed cam bills under consideration in the state legislature this session, blocking the pilot program in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after severely gutting it earlier.

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The UN Global Road Safety Week calls on policymakers to reduce speed limits  to 20 mph on streets where bicyclists and pedestrians mix with motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, a British town is scrapping its 20 mph speed limit because most drivers ignore it anyway.

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Good point.

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Local

Long Beach is officially opening a new bike path leading to Pier J along Harbor Scenic Drive this Sunday.

 

State

Bike rodeos are back, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department hosting one for kids in San Clemente on the 26th.

Menifee police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on the 24th, ticketing any violations that put either group at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law if you ride there on Monday.

Bakersfield is marking Bike to Work Day today, with bike shops and clubs offering refreshments on the Kern River Parkway throughout town, pandemic be damned.

A Clovis bike rider captures a closeup view of a hawk attacking his head on his helmet cam; the bird has a reputation for attacking people who come too close to its nest.

Danville opens a new bike and pedestrian bridge that cuts half a mile off the previous route through downtown, while allowing riders to bypass three busy intersections.

 

National

The latest bike helmet ratings are in from the testing lab at Virginia Tech, demonstrating once again that higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to better protection.

Jalopnik asked readers to share the close calls they’ve had on a bike. And boy, did they.

A new study shows ped-assist ebikes offer nearly the same health benefits as regular bicycles.

If you’re in the market for a Giant or Liv bicycle, Colorado used bike site The Pro’s Closet is now accepting trade-ins.

A bicycle resort in Colorado Springs CO is hosting a bike-themed art show this weekend.

Riding away from a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, a football player at the University of Texas El Paso gave up his final year of eligibility for a 650-mile ride across the state with his father and brother, to raise awareness of brain cancers after his uncle died of glioblastoma.

A Cape Cod town considers blocking a bike and pedestrian path leading to the beach, closing a public access route that’s existed for more than 200 years.

A bighearted Rhode Island teenager raised funds to donate 70 bicycles to the local Boys and Girls Clubs for kids in need.

The pandemic bike boom has hit the mountain bike trails, as well; the New York Times credits more trails, better bikes and the rise of high-school mountain biking, as well as the chance to get out in the fresh air with friends.

A North Carolina man will spend the next four years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a popular bike advocate, after being sentenced to a total of 20 years with 16 years suspended. His boss faces charges as an accessory after the fact for helping coverup the crime committed in a company truck.

Even the buildings are out to get us. A New Orleans bike rider was injured when high winds blew debris off an abandoned skyscraper.

Miami police released bodycam video of the aftermath of a drunken hit-and-run collision in which a former porn star is charged with running down an ebike-riding pastor.

A Florida man escaped with serious injuries when he became collateral damage in police chase while riding his bike, as officers chased five teens in a stolen SUV; he’s currently confined to a wheelchair after being thrown 15 feet into the air by the force of the impact.

More collateral damage in Florida, where two men were indicted on first degree murder charges for the accidental shooting of a bike rider, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the occupants of two cars; three other men will also face charges in the case.

 

International

An op-ed from an “avid cyclist” in Vancouver says the city’s bike lanes are unnecessary and wasteful, because they inconvenience people in cars and are primarily used during the morning and evening rush hours. You know, kind of like all those lanes drivers use. 

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next two years in juvenile detention for killing a bike courier after running a red light.

Sisters and Bollywood stars Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor warn a paparazzo to back off after he steps into their path to film them riding their bikes.

Manilla residents are taking to bicycles to escape the city’s notorious gridlock.

A Singapore e-scooter rider will spend 12 weeks behind bars for the death of a 64-year old woman on a bicycle after they crashed on a shared-use path; the victim’s family understandably calls the sentence too lenient.

A group of Aussie bicyclists get brake-checked by a trailer-towing pickup driver, who gets out and yells at them for having the audacity to ride on the road. You know, like they’re supposed to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian cyclist Gianluca Brambilla was booted off the podium in yesterday’s 12th stage of the Giro, relegated from third to fourth for veering wildly in front of George Bennett in a final sprint to the finish. Fellow Italian Andrea Vendrame won the stage in a breakaway with Australian Chris Hamilton.

A new gravel race will roll from Fruita, Colorado to Cisco, Utah tomorrow, with distances up to 185 miles, while the glitterati of the gravel world will be in Texas for the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Penny Farthing. Is there really such a thing as a popular freeway interchange?

And I can’t offer any better advice for Bike Anywhere Day than this.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Bike rider critical after South LA hit-and-run, de Leόn opposes Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and cargo bikes of old

It’s happened again.

A heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent person on a bicycle seriously injured in the street.

Police are looking for the driver of a maroon Kia Optima, who was turning right onto Flower Street from Florence Ave in South LA, when he or she right hooked the victim, who was crossing Flower in the crosswalk around 6:55 Monday evening.

The driver fled south on Flower.

Paramedics transported the victim to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ramirez of the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500, or call 877/527-3247 after hours or on weekends.

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Disappointing news, as CD14 Councilmember Kevin de Leόn comes out against the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, choosing cars over people and livability.

Meanwhile, the Eagle Rock Association has taken the opposite stance by endorsing the plan.

Maybe de Leόn is just trying to avoid angering anyone by allowing the removal of a traffic lane before his widely expected run for mayor next year.

But he could be making the same miscalculation too many others on the council have made, mistaking the loudest and angriest voices for that of the majority — many of whom prefer safe and livable streets to sucking in exhaust fumes and playing Frogger with speeding drivers.

Former CD4 Councilmember David Ryu learned that lesson too late to save his seat.

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Apparently, there’s nothing new about cargo bikes.

Yes, bike riders have always been cool.

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CD7 Councilmember Monica Rodriguez calls for public participation to re-envision deadly Foothill Blvd in Lakeview Terrace.

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

A Redwood City man faces charges for attacking a woman riding on a beach bike path in Half Moon Bay, pushing her down a rocky slope before throwing her bicycle on top of her, then threatening a witness who tried to help.

No bias here. After New York’s outgoing mayor says he’s open to license plates on bicycles, a local news station gleefully points out all the scofflaw bike riders they can find. Never mind the ones who don’t break the law, or all those drivers who do. Or that it just doesn’t work

Unbelievable. A road raging British man will spend the next year behind bars for getting out of a car and repeatedly punching and choking a man on a bike, who had apparently offended him by swerving to avoid a cat — but then shook the victim’s hand and apologized, using his own shirt to clean up the man’s blood, when he realized a recording of the incident would be sent to the police. And later friended the frightened man on Facebook.

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Local

No surprise here. As Los Angeles heads back to the streets and driving rates rise to pre-pandemic levels, road rage is making a big comeback, too.

LADOT will host a virtual meeting this coming Wednesday to discuss plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Line bike path; expect the same entitled NIMBY opposition from homeowners as we’ve seen from the beginning.

UCLA’s Transportation department calls for biking your way to better health. It makes for healthier cities, too. And universities.

West Hollywood’s carfree weekend closure of Robertson Blvd got off to a slow start on Mother’s Day weekend. Although it might help if the city got the date right.

Racism has raised its ugly head in Santa Monica, where anti-Semitic graffiti had to be painted over on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path; similar offensive messages were painted on Abbott Kinney Blvd in recent weeks, as well.

Life is cheap in Long Beach, where a speeding drunk driver who lost control of his car, killing a young woman riding with him and injuring another driver, got a lousy 50 days of community service, 18 months of DUI classes and three years probation. He also lost his license for three years, which doesn’t actually seem to stop anyone.

 

State

A planned 1,230-mile bike trail stretching from Oregon to Mexico is around 70% complete; the pathway stitches together existing bikeways to make up the longer trail.

San Diego has taken a page out of LA’s book, as the city has become even deadlier, five years after adopting Vision Zero, although deaths there have gone down the past two years.

A group of Berkeley high school students spent the past year carving an unpermitted mountain jump course into the hills above the city; now they’re fighting to keep the city from bulldozing it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A 12-year old boy and a 50-something man in Sebastopol suffered major injuries when an alleged speeding drunk driver slammed into their bikes, before smashing into a tree and suffering major injuries himself.

 

National

Far from killing business as opponents predicted, Yelp data from five cities, ranging from Boston to Burbank, shows that interest in restaurants along newly carfree streets went up.

Lifestyle website Inside Hook says between gas shortages, fuel prices, climate change and the resurgent pandemic, there’s never been a better time to ditch your car for a bike. Permanently.

Pez Cycling News offers tips for beginning bicyclists to help new riders get out on the road, while Cycling News considers the things you should think about before riding an ebike for the first time, but probably haven’t.

Seriously, you shouldn’t have to remind anyone that cemeteries are sacred ground, and not the place to train on your bike. In Portland, or anywhere else.

Kansas City adopted a Vision Zero plan, pledging to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles has. Then again, it would be hard to do less. 

 

International

A new study of bicycling rates in 17 countries confirms what we already knew — women are the strongest indicator of a healthy bicycling environment. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

Cycling Weekly pays tribute to the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper album with a cover collage of 130 people who changed bicycling. Hopefully for the better, because we’ve had more than enough of the other kind.

Trek does the right thing, and offers a free bicycle to a British Columbia nurse after hers was stolen while she was busy giving Covid-19 shots. Seriously, it takes a real schmuck to steal a bike from someone working to save lives.

No bias here, either. After an Ontario, Canada man was hit by a cop while riding his bike, the local paper bends over backward to shift blame from the cop to an apparently sentient patrol car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 15-year old English paperboy’s bicycle while he was making his rounds.

A British man is calling for a change in the law to require that collisions involving bike riders are treated like crashes involving drivers, five years after his wife was killed in a collision with someone on a bicycle. Actually, they already are; in either case, the person on the bicycle almost always gets the blame.

In a European study conducted by Ford, people wearing headphones were four seconds slower to identify road hazards than those without them, whether traveling on two wheels or four.

A Kiwi bike rider narrowly escaped disaster when a shortcut across a New Zealand airport runway nearly led to him being cut in half by a glider tow cable.

Amazing bike cam video, as a trio of Aussie bicyclists were lucky to escape injury when a bolt of lightening struck the roadway just behind their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Giro got its third leader in four days, as Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder won his first Grand Tour stage in Thursday’s 6th stage.

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin is back from his six-month non-retirement to reconsider his future, apparently deciding it will include next month’s Tour de Suisse.

VeloNews profiles Mavi Garcia, the double-Spanish national champ and top 10 finisher, who often flies under the radar on the women’s pro tour.

More evidence that motor vehicles don’t belong in bike races, whether race motor or team support cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new bike hub used to be a brothel. Politicians can’t catch a break when they bike.

And nothing like hopping around on your pogo bike.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Tell Metro don’t water down Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and Caltrans breaks promise to replace Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro still hasn’t gotten the message.

After the transit agency proposed a trio of auto-centric alternatives to accommodate a Bus Rapid Transit line on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, local residents took matters into their own hands.

And designed a beautiful, livable and much safer Complete Street that would accommodate everyone, while making the shopping street the envy of the LA area.

The design quickly won the support of County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who convinced Metro to go back to the drawing board.

Now word is they’re prepared to come back with watered-down alternatives to the Beautiful Blvd plan, which will no doubt range from drab to almost pretty, at best.

Now Streets For All is urging you to tell Metro that’s just not good enough.

Tell Metro you support bus and protected bike lanes on Colorado Blvd!

With our local partners on the ground, Streets For All has been supporting Beautiful Blvd – a well thought out plan to implement the NoHo to Pasadena BRT through Eagle Rock on Colorado Blvd. Thanks to our coalition’s efforts, Metro is now considering this option as THE option through Eagle Rock – and it has the public support of Supervisor Solis. But it’s not a done deal yet.

On Thursday, April 1 from 5-7pm, Metro will be hosting a community meeting and it’s critical that they overwhelmingly hear support for Beautiful Blvd. Here are some talking points.

VIEW TALKING POINTS + ZOOM INFO

Add the Metro meeting to your calendar

Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Outlook.com Yahoo

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It could soon get a lot harder and more dangerous to cross the Ventura Freeway in Encino.

Retired Caltrans District Bicycle-Ped Coordinator John Cinatl sends word that Caltrans is reneging on plans to replace the Encino Ave Pedestrian Overcrossing when the current bike/ped bridge is removed later this year.

Google street view of existing bridge over the 101 Freeway

Here’s how the state transportation agency explained their highly questionable decision.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) received comments, suggestions, and feedback from community members as well as elected officials regarding the US-101 Proposed Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Project. Most comments we received recommended or strongly suggested the permanent removal of the Overcrossing without reconstruction; Caltrans agrees. Caltrans will not replace the Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing (POC) after the proposed demolition. Caltrans is delaying the demolition and will further assess the need and financial feasibility of a range of alternative pedestrian improvements as suggested by community members, City of Los Angeles staff, as well as local and state elected officials.

This is what we could have had.

Without it, anyone who wants to cross the vast river of high speed traffic will be forced to share crowded bridges with impatient drivers navigating their way on and off the freeway — undoubtedly resulting in a seemingly inevitable jump in injury collisions involving bike riders and pedestrians.

Which LA officials and Caltrans are apparently just fine with.

In addition, a second nearby bike/ped bridge could be at risk.

Councilmember Paul Koretz, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and Senator Henry Stern offices suggested Caltrans also investigate the feasibility of permanently removing the US 101 Amestoy Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing, located ½ mile east from Encino Avenue POC. Caltrans will keep the community informed as this suggestion is further evaluated. Caltrans will work with City of Los Angeles on engineering studies, environmental reviews, and seek public comments.

It’s not surprising to see Koretz continue his strange fight to protect the environment by making it much more difficult to walk and bike.

Although maybe Gabriel and Stern could explain their inexplicable support, which seems to directly contradict Caltrans’ newfound commitment to Complete Streets, let alone common sense.

Because from here, it doesn’t make a damn bit of it.

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Active SGV wants your support to demand the public park Puente Hills was promised on the site of an old landfill.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1374560958731841541

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More evidence that the former Mayor Pete really gets it, as Keith Johnson forwards a screen grab of the following brief Twitter thread.

The question is whether his support will be enough to make a difference on our streets.

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Thanks to Austin Brown for pointing our attention to an endlessly fascinating Twitch stream disproving the myth of stop sign-running bicyclists.

Or rather, proving once and for all that we’re not the only ones.

https://www.tiktok.com/@jhbteam/video/6942363500756913413?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2F&referer_video_id=6942363500756913413&refer=embed

In fact, trackers following the stop sign stream point out that a whopping 98.73% drivers — just shy of 100% — don’t come to the full stop required by law.

And unlike people on bicycles, they’re the ones in the big, dangerous machines with limited visibility, and the potential to cause major harm if they’re not operated in a safe and legal manner.

Which these drivers clearly aren’t doing. Just like the ones on the corner of my block.

And probably most other corners, too.

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

No bias here. Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission is attempting to block plans for a bikeway on Sola Street, saying it would disrupt the virtual aesthetic of the city’s historic street grid. Because evidently, cars fit in just fine with their image of the early mission days.

No bias here, either. A Michigan radio personality comments on an early morning bike commuter she sees on her way to work every day, saying she doesn’t know “what this guy’s life situation is, but chances are he’s just a weirdo.”

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

Police in Flushing NY are looking for a bike-riding groper and flasher who assaulted two women in separate attacks.

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Local

Metro will consider a motion at their virtual meeting this Thursday that would allow highway funds from Measure M and Measure R to be spent on local streets and multi-modal improvements — including pedestrian and bike projects; email your comments by end of day today.

Streets For All forwards news that next Tuesday is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Elysian Valley Riverside and Atwater Village; anyone who lives, works, shops, prays, owns property, or have kids that go to school these areas is entitled to vote.

Sunset4All proposes reconfiguring the current narrow, dangerous door zone bike lanes on Sunset Blvd between Dodger Stadium and Fountain Avenue, as well as on nearby Santa Monica Blvd, replacing the virtually useless lanes with a two-way parking protected bike lane on the south side of the street.

A trio of UCLA professors hope to encourage more bike commuting by creating bicycle “flows” that produce real-time digital art exhibitions throughout the city.

The LA County Supervisors approved the DA’s call for a special prosecutor to look at past police shootings for evidence of misconduct, possibly including the fatal shooting of Ricardo Zeferino by Gardena police as the unarmed man helped look for his brother’s stolen bike.

A former participant in the 90 Day Fiancé reality show asked for prayers for her husband, who was at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after getting hit by a driver while riding his bike to work.

Rhianna is one of us, riding what looks like a rental bike on the Venice bike path.

 

State

Palmdale, Oakland and Kern County have been selected for a series of Vision Zero workshops dedicated to establishing an effective Speed Management Program. In other words, how they can finally get drivers to slow the hell down.

Berkeley police are getting on their bikes in an attempt to prevent attacks on Asian residents.

 

National

NPR says the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians, and even worse of people of color. They’re not so hot for people on bicycles, either.

Wheeltales Tours is resuming supported bike tours throughout the western US, ranging from Colorado to the West Coast, with appropriate Covid precautions in place.

Cycling News offers advice on where to find a bike in the middle of a pandemic-driven bicycle shortage.

Gear Patrol pens a love letter to Specialized’s new e-mountain bike, calling it their best yet.

A pair of kindhearted Las Vegas teens are staging a bicycle drive to help combat youth mental health struggles; the young women have already received pledges for twice their original goal of 200 bikes.

The staff of a Boulder, Colorado bike shop were shaken but safe following the mass shooting that killed 10 people in a grocery store near the shop; they were close enough to ear the shots ring out inside the store.

A Pittsburgh professor proposes a data-driven model to asses bicycle safety in cities, while calling bicycles “arguably the most sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transport.”

Customers remember the owner of Tampa, Florida’s eponymous Joe Haskins’ Bicycle Shop, who passed away after nearly five decades of serving the community, calling him someone who inspired great rides, yet would find time for free bike repairs for those who couldn’t afford it.

Once again, a driver in the country’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians has slammed into multiple people riding bicycles, killing one bike rider and seriously injuring another in Jupiter, Florida. There’s something seriously wrong when a driver can’t manage to see two grown adults on bicycles directly in front of their car.

One more from the Sunshine State, as police in Marion County, Florida are looking for the parents of a young boy, after stopping the frightened kid who was riding his bicycle on the freeway.

 

International

What to look for in road bike disc brakes.

A writer for Treehugger offers a second-year update on life with an ebike.

Irish actress Jessie Buckley is one of us, describing how she paid a bike mechanic to loosen the spokes and bolts on her bicycle because tightening them took away the bike’s character.

The French government has issued a warrant for a driver at the Russian embassy, who has apparently been supplementing his income by selling dozens of hot bikes with a combined value of up to nearly $120,000; the employee, who doesn’t have diplomatic immunity, has apparently fled back to Russia to avoid arrest.

Two women have been killed in right hook crashes while riding their bikes in Berlin in less than a week.

Add a tour of the Malaysian city of Kuching to your bike bucket list.

Apparently not understanding the meaning of “clipped,” an Aussie website asks who was at fault when a driver slams into a bicyclist riding across the street, sending him flying; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome says it’s impossible to say if he’ll ever be able to compete for a leader’s jersey again as he struggles to come back from major injuries, after bombing in the first two stages of the Volta a Catalunya.

 

Finally…

Your new tiny house could come with built-in ebikes. And a bike-riding woman learns the hard way what can happen when you’re more focused on live streaming than where you’re going.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Metro BRT could remove Eagle Rock bike lanes, reaction to Wicksted sentence, and carmakers really are trying to kill us

Metro will host a second virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss alternatives for a proposed North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line.

Options include removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd, while many bike advocates call for improving them and removing a traffic lane, instead.

The project has brought Eagle Rock NIMBYs out in force, who bizarrely insist that no one would ever take the bus to shop or dine at local businesses.

Meanwhile, Metro makes the unintended case for why bikes belong in their own lane next to, rather than in, busways.

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Earlier this week, we mentioned the plea agreement that gave Sandra Marie Wicksted just 16 years behind bars for intentionally running down Leslie Pray, killing the Claremont woman as she was riding her bike, and attempting to kill two other bike riders.

A couple of comments to that story are worth elevating and sharing here.

It’s hard to call 16 years in state prison a slap on the wrist. But this one feels wrong for a couple reasons.

If Wicksted really was suffering from psychiatric problems, she need treatment, not jail; too often we warehouse the mentally ill in jail, which doesn’t benefit anyone.

If not, a 16-year sentence for what amounts to first degree murder is ridiculously low. She could easily be out in half that time, or possibly less under current circumstances.

Either way, it’s yet another example of the outgoing DA’s repeated failure to take traffic crimes seriously.

Let alone do the right thing.

………

Yes, carmakers really are trying to kill you.

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GCN thinks you need to improve your bike handling skills.

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

No bias here. A London paper celebrates drivers surreptitiously removing bollards from bike lanes, describing it as fighting back against the above mentioned mythical war on cars.

Meanwhile, another British tabloid is up in arms over Prime Minister Boris Johnson approving the equivalent of $206 million for new bikeways to satisfy “the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel.”

………

Local

Whittier will install a memorial mural to honor a local man who rode his bicycle across country twice to lobby Congress to honor Vietnam vets.

 

State

A Bakersfield woman faces up to 40 years behind bars after she was convicted of murdering a man who tried to reclaim his bike after she had stolen it.

Bay Area officials discuss how to get more people walking and biking.

Sonoma County residents voted to extend a quarter-cent sales tax intended to fund road improvements, bike paths, transit and transportation projects.

 

National

Salsa is recalling some of their Cutthroat bicycles due to a possible fork failure; the recall affects 600 bikes sold in the US between September of last year and September this year, as well as another 100 sold in Canada.

A 49-year old mother of two remains missing six months after she reportedly rode her bike away from her Southern Colorado home last Mother’s Day, despite massive search efforts.

After a Kansas appeals court threw out his original two-year sentence as too lenient, a driver convicted of using his car to murder a bike-riding man following an argument between the two was resentenced to a still too low ten years and a month behind bars.

Tennessee officials are struggling to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle on Wednesday. One more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you that’s not likely to be stolen after a crash.

A New York delivery person was killed when he was right hooked by the driver of a massive beer truck, while apparently riding an e-scooter in what passes for a protected bike lane. So naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim.

New York’s Vespertine NYC creates fashionable, reflective bikewear designed to keep you safe without looking like a clown.

A South Carolina man lost a whopping 460 pounds after starting a diet and getting on his bike less than two years earlier. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

 

International

Cyclist says ebikes are changing the world.

An Aussie paper explains how an Argentine bicyclist ended up covered with literally thousands of cactus quills.

They’re not looking forward to any Viking biking in Thunder Bay, Ontario; the city on the shore of Lake Superior plans to shut down all its bike lanes for the winter on Sunday, and open them up for parking.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Toronto-area man got a slap on the wrist for jumping the curb and killing a woman as she rode her bike on the sidewalk, while he was allegedly street racing with another driver who fled the scene; the judge said he hoped the paltry 26-month sentence would serve as a deterrent. Not bloody likely. 

Paris’ plan to remake itself into a 15-minute city — where everything you need is within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride — is spreading worldwide and becoming the new utopia for urban planners. Let’s hope it spreads to Los Angeles, too. 

Barcelona tries to one-up Paris in the walk and bikeability department, announcing plans to convert every third street in the city center to pedestrian-first zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nineteen-year old former junior world road race champ Quinn Simmons’ suspension for using a dark-skinned emoji in a tweet has been lifted; the apparently chastened American rider will return to his Trek-Segafredo team for next season.

 

Finally…

Move to the Ozarks for ten grand and a new bike. That feeling when your $20,000 custom bike is trashed by a careless driver less than a mile into your first ride.

And nothing like getting dropped by a 12-year old girl with a pro contract and her own YouTube channel.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Sheriff’s deputies kill Black bike rider in South LA, driver rams LA bike protest, and Metro nixes Eagle Rock bike lanes

Biking While Black has long been treated like a crime.

But it’s not supposed to carry the death penalty.

Yet that’s what appears to be what happened Monday afternoon when a pair of LA County Sheriff’s deputies spotted a Black man riding a bicycle on Budlong Avenue in the Westmont neighborhood of South LA.

They attempted to stop him for some unspecified traffic code violation, which could have been anything from riding the wrong way to riding a cruiser bike with raised handlebars.

Or it could have just been a pretext to stop and search, despite a lack of probable cause.

Twenty-nine-year old Dijon Kizzee attempted to flee on foot, and allegedly punched one of the deputies when they caught up to him a block later.

He dropped a bundle of clothing he was carrying; the deputies opened fire when they reportedly spotted a semi-automatic handgun in the bundle — making Kizzee just the latest in a long line of Black and brown men and women killed by police under questionable circumstances.

But LA Congresswoman Karen Bass asks the same questions I have. Especially why did the deputes shoot after Kizzee dropped his weapon?

A day later, the Sheriff’s Department attempted to clarify, saying Kizzee had made a motion towards the weapon.

Which, again, can mean absolutely anything, from lunging towards it to merely pointing in that direction.

But what’s painfully clear is that he was not holding it or threatening them with it when both deputies shot him multiple times.

And continued firing after he was on the ground.

One witness insists he never had a gun, and what the deputies saw was his cellphone; however, authorities say a gun was recovered from the scene.

Another indicated that Kizzee had his hands in the air at the time of the shooting.

Sadly, I have no confidence in the Sheriff’s Department to conduct a full, fair and honest investigation of the shooting. Especially under the leadership of a sheriff who seems more interested in getting fired deputies back on the force than in protecting the people of LA County.

And one who continually denies the existence of tattooed gangs within the department, including a clique called The Executioners operating out of South LA.

The mere name of which raises questions anytime they fire a gun.

We need to wait for more information before drawing any conclusions about what actually happened, because initial reports are often wrong.

And we may never know what really happened, since the LASD doesn’t require body cameras on its deputies, although thankfully, that may soon change.

Yes, there’s an argument to be made Kizzee shouldn’t have run, and shouldn’t have fought with the deputies. Let alone carried a concealed weapon.

Although some of that could have been caused, or exacerbated, by Kizzee’s ADHD.

But nothing he did appears to have called for a summary execution without trial on the streets of LA County.

One thing is clear, though. 

It’s long past time to stop needlessly killing Black and brown people.

And no one should ever be executed merely for riding a bike with the wrong skin tone.

………

Somehow, this didn’t make the news here in Los Angeles.

A driver rammed through a crowd of bike riders, apparently part of a rolling Black Lives Matter protest, at Melrose and La Brea on Sunday afternoon.

And may have deliberately tried to run down a 14-year old boy.

………

Metro proposes taking a big step backward by removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and replacing them with bus lanes that bike riders can use.

As long as they don’t mind having a speeding bus run up their ass.

………

The candidates for LA City Council in CD4 will hold a virtual debate tonight.

https://twitter.com/bikethevote/status/1300636096330563584

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In what’s definitely the best story of the day, after discovering a boy riding his bike in his driveway, a man responded by taking some chalk and drawing a racetrack for the kid.

………

Today’s common theme is an incredible string of violent assaults involving a question of bicycles, and who owns them.

A 19-year old New Mexico man faces a murder charge for fatally shooting another man in a dispute over the victim’s bicycle.

A Wisconsin man was arrested for using a knife to fight with another man, armed only with a belt, in the middle of a street over who owned a bicycle.

Police in New Jersey arrested two men for attempting to steal a bicycle, and swinging a bottle at the victim’s head.

An English man was knocked off his bike and punched in the face by a group of teenage boys, who then made off with his bicycle.

A 17-year old Irish boy faces a murder charge for allegedly stabbing an 18-year old man five times in a dispute over a possible stolen bicycle.

………

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

No bias here. A London paper blames a jump in rural bicycling injuries and deaths on weekend warriors chasing KOMs, without a single mention of the people in the big, dangerous machines.

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

A pair of Fresno men were injured when they were shot by someone on a bicycle, several minutes after first coming in contact with him.

An Arcata CA bike rider is under arrest for throwing several large rocks in a road rage incident, shattering a store window at a local shopping center.

Someone on a bicycle attacked a New York City judge, punching her in the jaw as she was walking to the courthouse Monday morning; it’s not clear whether she was the victim of a random attack, or if someone deliberately targeted her. Thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

A New Jersey bike rider faces a sex charge for allegedly fondling a woman after circling back to assault her.

Apparently, it’s possible to have a drive-by shooting without a car, after a bike rider fired several shots at an Alabama home.

………

Local

Apparently, LA bicycle advocates have gone “way beyond the pale of being pro-mobility” and are somehow tied to crooked developers. In that case, I want to know who’s getting my take, cause I’m sure as hell not getting it.

The Harvard Park intersection of Slauson and Western Aves ranks as the most dangerous in Los Angeles, in terms of the number of collisions.

LADOT wants your input on creating safe, stress-free connections on neighborhood streets. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the tip.

Metro is celebrating a long-delayed Bike Month in September.  Uh, yay?

Pasadena police wrote 82 tickets during a seven-hour crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; 67 tickets went to drivers, while 11 pedestrians were ticketed, along with just four bike riders.

Pasadena is extending their free Project Wheelie low-income bike repair program.

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies are holding their own bike and pedestrian safety crackdown today. As always, ride to the letter of the law until you get outside their jurisdiction.

 

State

The California legislature passed SB 288, which streamlines CEQA approval for environmentally friendly transportation projects such as bike lanes, light rail and bus lanes; now it goes to the governors desk for approval.

The rich get richer. Oakland has extended the parking protected bike lanes on iconic Telegraph Avenue.

Newly rebranded Jump dockless ebikes will return to the streets of Sacramento, after Lime bought the brand from Uber.

 

National

Yahoo names America’s most bike friendly cities, led by Portland and Minneapolis; California is represented by San Francisco and Oakland, ranking fifth and twelfth, respectively, as well as a surprising Irvine at 24th. Needless to say, Los Angeles is nowhere to be seen.

SGV Media talks with new PeopleforBikes CEO Jenn Dice.

An Oregon man will spend this month riding down the Left Coast from Canada to Mexico to call attention to suicide awareness.

Unbelievable. After a Reno bike rider gets left crossed by a driver, a local  TV station blames the victim for hitting the car.

A Wisconsin family drove across the US to deliver 50 refurbished bicycles to a Lutheran mission in Texas, to donate to underprivileged children in El Paso and across the border in Juarez, Mexico.

New York responds to a jump in traffic deaths by lowering the speed limit on nine major streets. Which compares to Los Angeles, where speed limits only seem to go in one direction. And it ain’t down.

New York won’t be upgrading the bike network in the Bronx, despite four bicycling deaths in just three months; instead, the city will respond with heavier police enforcement, even though that didn’t help when they tried it earlier this summer.

New York Magazine offers advice on everything you need to start mountain biking, from the bike up.

A Christian radio host claims a bike rider harassed him as he was leaving the White House last week, while denying he tried to punch the other man, despite video appearing to show exactly that.

A North Carolina company is literally reinventing the wheel, creating a new bike wheel with carbon spokes half the weight of metal spokes.

A kindhearted Georgia cop bought a new bike for a Walmart employee, after a bike theif forced him to walk to work.

Kindhearted Florida sheriff’s deputies got a new bike for a 13-year old boy after his was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

International

Road.cc offers advice on crosstown bike commutes.

Another reminder to slow down and ride carefully on bike paths — and always carry ID — after an unidentified Windsor, Ontario man suffered life threatening injuries in a collision with another bike rider.

Scotland will invest $100 million a year for the next five years to improve conditions for bicycling and walking, along with reallocating more road space from cars to bikes.

A new study shows that closing central Madrid boosted retail spending nearly 10%. Thanks to W. Corylus for the link.

Sad news from Australia, where 26-year old BMX legend Charlie Gumley apparently drowned while on a kayaking trip.

 

Competitive Cycling

In today’s spoiler-free Tour de France update, that guy with the unpronounceable name won the race’s first mountaintop finish

Sunweb cyclist Tiesj Benoot escaped without any major injuries after crashing over a guard rail in Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Tour. But his bike wasn’t so lucky.

Bicycling looks ahead to today’s stage five.

The BBC talks with South LA’s Williams brothers about their efforts to diversify cycling and create bike racing superstars.

This is what is looks like when photographers don’t get the hell out of the way.

 

Finally…

This is what you get when bikemakers consider getting into the e-car business. Seriously, don’t touch the horses when you zoom by on your ebike.

And that feeling when you’ve got a big truck tire to move, and your cargo bike must be in the shop.

……

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

Morning Links: Warning tourists about bad LA bike lanes, slow roll to Major Taylor’s bike, and celebrate Eagle Rock bike lanes

Seriously.

How sad is it that the Fodor’s Travel site feels the need to warn tourist against LA’s slow buses, distracted drivers and virtually nonexistent bike lanes?

While we’re on the subject of size, let’s talk about how to get around. You have a lot of options, so choose wisely. You can rent a car, ride a bus, take the metro, hail a taxi, use a ride-sharing app, or scoot (ugh). Lesson 1. Never ride the bus. It takes too long to get anywhere. Lesson 2. The metro doesn’t go everywhere, so pick your routes carefully. Lesson 3. Ride-sharing apps are infinitely cheaper than taxis (download Uber and/or Lyft). Lesson 4. If you must, scoot. The newest transport kids on the block are Lime and Byrd, electric scooters that make it easy to get around individual neighborhoods. Just be careful because bike lanes are scarce and L.A. drivers don’t look (read: they’re on their phones).

Photo by Sergij from Pexels.

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Sounds like fun.

You’re invited to take a slow roll from Leimert Park to Pasadena on Novenber 16th to see the actual bike ridden by turn of the century African-American cycling legend Major Taylor, recently purchased by the owner of Velo Pasadena for his own bicycling museum.

That’s the turn of the previous century, not the last one.

As in the 1890s.

Which makes Taylor just the second black world champion in any sport. Even if he was riding on wooden rims.

Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

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Or maybe you’d rather come out this Saturday to celebrate Eagle Rock’s bike lanes, and plan for more Complete Streets to come.

Thanks to Felicia G for the tip.

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Who needs a mountain to mountain bike?

Unless you speak German, feel free to skip the first 1:30 or so.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A road raging British driver was fined the equivalent of $5,800 for grabbing a teenage bike rider by the collar and twice spitting in his face, after the boy flipped him off when the driver honked at him.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels who are the problem.

Sacramento police are looking for the bike-riding jerk who slapped a woman on the ass, then came back several minutes later and did it again.

………

Local

Bike Talk talks Metro Culture, and the death of a four-year old girl crossing the street with her mother in Koreatown last week.

Congratulations to UCLA on being named a gold-level Bicycle Friendly University, the first school in LA County to achieve that status.

Actor Christian Bale is one of us, as he rides his cruiser bike to Venice with his five-year old son in tow.

Long Beach is mourning the death of artist and graphic designer Katie Phillips, who was also one of the founders of the city’s Kidical Mass; described as a “beautiful soul,” she passed away over the weekend.

 

State

You can now pre-order the recently adopted California Bicycle Special License Plate for your car or truck; the state is required to get 7,500 pre-orders before it can go into production. Or you could skip the license, sell your car and get a new bike or ebike instead. Just saying.

Tickets for distracted driving have dropped in San Diego. Which is less likely to be the result of drivers putting their phone away than police giving up in the face of overwhelming numbers.

Watsonville bike riders are getting shiny new green bike lanes today.

A reminder that Los Angeles police still don’t have a bait bike program despite rampant bike thefts, as police in Danville bust a man who cut the lock and tried to ride off on their GPS-equipped bike.

 

National

Dockless mopeds are soon headed to a street near you.

Your next ebike could be a Harley Rude Boy.

NPR examines the struggle by the National Parks Service to develop policies on whether or not to allow ebikes in each individual park, and how.

Oregon state police have released the full 38-minute body cam video of the arrest of a young black woman for the crime of riding salmon on the campus of Oregon State University, which has been criticized for excessive force.

Denver’s mayor agrees to study lowering default speed limits to 20 mph, but cuts funding for the study nearly in half.

Heartbreaking story from Texas, where a man sacrificed his own life to save his fiancé, pushing her off her bike as they were riding together just before he was struck by a motorist.

Queens bicyclists protest the 500 days since they were promised a protected bike lane along the city’s “Boulevard of Death,” which hasn’t even been started yet.

The author of a history of bicycling in NYC says things are better than they used to be, but bikes will probably always be “somewhat marginalized.”

A Streetsblog op-ed says New York public meetings are getting meaner and less truthful in the Trump era. A phenomenon we’ve unfortunately seen here in SoCal, too.

This is why people keep dying on the streets, as authorities manage to keep yet another dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. A Pennsylvania man with a history of blackouts and seizures behind the wheel faces a vehicular homicide charge for blowing a stop sign and plowing into a man on a bike; he’s had at least three other seizure related crashes.

Bicycling deaths are up nearly 30% over last year in South Carolina.

Atlanta installed a temporary pop-up bike lane connecting two other bike lanes for the next week to give everyone a chance to see how it works before they complain.

The admittedly drunk driver who plowed through a group of bike riders during a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade pled guilty to 14 counts, but will still go trial next week on two remaining counts of vehicular homicide; how much time be spends behind bars will be determined by whether a judge rules his BAC was above .20 at the time of the crash.

There’s a special place in hell for the Florida couple that held a 12-year old boy at knife point and took his bicycle, locking it inside their home.

 

International

Forget carbon. Your next ebike could be made from injection-molded thermoplastic.

A London man is on trial for killing a pedestrian while he was riding an ebike, which was allegedly traveling faster than the law allows.

An English security cam video shows just how fast a bike thief can make off with an unlocked bike. Hint: How long does it take to hop on one and pedal away?

A British town is offering an amnesty to get people to return stolen bikeshare bikes.

The UK will reconsider the rules governing diplomatic immunity, after admitting government officials knew the wife of an American diplomat responsible for the hit-and-run death of a young motorcycle rider was going to flee the country to avoid prosecution.

An Indian regional leader multi-modaled his way to the voting booth, traveling by train and pedicab, and finishing the journey by bicycle.

 

Finally…

Undying for a good time. What good is a new bike path if it’s under water most of the year?

And why run for president when you can go by bike?

Morning Links: $4.5 million settlement in broken street death, new laws aren’t helping OC, and windshield bias in CD7

LA’s poorly maintained streets and lack of safe bicycling infrastructure will cost taxpayers $4.5 million dollars.

And cost a bike rider his life.

The city council agreed to a settlement in the 2014 case of Edgardo Gabat, who struck a two-inch ridge of concrete on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, and was thrown over his handlebars.

Sadly, the city knew about the problem after other riders had been injured there, but failed to fix it. Yet continued to list Colorado as a bicycle-friendly street, despite a lack of any bicycling infrastructure or warning signs.

As the LA Times points out, this settlement comes as Los Angeles debates whether to invest Measure M local return funds in fixing the streets or supporting Vision Zero projects.

Clearly, both are necessary. Because sometimes, it’s the same thing.

And as large as this settlement is, I have a feeling Gabat’s family would gladly give it all back just to have him with them again.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from David Whiting of the Orange County Register, who says new laws and thousands of dollars spent improving safety haven’t cut the county’s bicycling death toll, averaging one rider a month killed in traffic collisions.

Yes, he stresses the need for bike riders to be polite and obey the law. And he’s not wrong about that, although no one ever seems to suggest that every driver has to obey all the laws and be ambassadors for motoring.

But he does point the finger where it belongs, at distracted drivers and dangerously close passes that violate the state’s three-foot law. And notes that fines for littering exceed the penalty for nearly killing another human being with just inches to spare.

The kicker to the story, which ends with a call for Wednesday’s Ride of Silence, is that his own wife returned home from a ride as he was writing it, and reported that a man in a truck yelled an obscenity at her.

Which really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unfortunately.

………

Streetsblog considers the new protected bike lanes on Foothill Blvd in Sunland-Tujunga, which were installed as a Vision Zero measure in response to the death of bike rider Jeff Knopp. And how they entered the debate between CD7 council candidates Karo Torossian and Monica Rodriguez, as the formerly bike-friendly Torossian offered a windshield-perspective comment about bike lanes being “rammed down our throats.”

Meanwhile, the Eastsider repeats questions for the candidates for CD1, and once again, gets crickets from incumbent Gil Cedillo.

For all the problems that have surfaced recently with Joe Bray-Ali, it’s hard to imagine he could be any less responsive or more out-of-touch with the district than Cedillo has been.

………

This is why you don’t retaliate against drivers, no matter what they do or how pissed off you are.

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced to 188 days behind bars for throwing a bottle at a car after the driver apparently cut him off as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

………

CNN visits the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel above Lake Como in Italy and its shrine to cycling and the Giro d’Italia.

A major crash took down 50 riders in the Giro, sending a number of riders out of the race and into the hospital. Meanwhile, Vincenzo Nibali’s homecoming was ruined when one of his teammates got the cycling equivalent of a red card for shoving another rider off the road.

The Modesto Bee previews the Amgen Tour of California, which starts this weekend, and says keep an eye on Peter Sagan. French rider Julian Alaphilippe won’t be defending his title, or competing in the Tour de France, for that matter, after knee surgery knocks him out for at least four weeks.

Southern California’s Coryn Rivera returns to compete in the four-stage women’s Tour of California after becoming the first American the Tour of Flanders; full rosters were released for the women’s teams.

The course for this summer’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix will go backwards.

………

Local

Metro invites you to attend the grand opening of the long-awaited Hollywood Bike Hub on Friday the 19th at 9 am.

CiclaValley looks at last weekend’s NBA Reunion and BMX Bike Show, which oddly had nothing to do with basketball.

The LACBC will be hosting a pair of bike safety classes in Inglewood this afternoon and this evening.

The Bikerowave bike co-op invites you to bring your bike in on Saturday to get ready for Bike to Work Day, and score some swag from Metro.

Santa Monica gets serious about reducing traffic fatalities, including hiring a Vision Zero Czar, increasing funding, improving infrastructure, updating the bike action plan, and addressing the city’s speeding problem. Maybe LA could take a few hints from them.

The year’s first Redondo Beach TEDx talk addresses the city’s transportation issues, like how to reduce driving and where more bike lanes are needed; sadly, the discussion came just two days before a 13-year old girl was killed riding her bike along PCH.

Speaking of the young victim in that case, the Easy Reader News offers the most complete account yet of what happened that tragic night, and the heartbreaking impact Ciara Smith’s death has had on the community. If the story doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Long Beach approved plans for a new 2.5 mile bicycle boulevard in the southeast part of the city. Thus demonstrating to its much larger neighbor that it is in fact possible to build the things that are included in a city’s bike plan.

 

State

Good question. The Human Streets website asks if it’s possible to get the data needed to pass the Idaho Stop Law in California without actually trying it first.

An injured mountain biker was airlifted after falling off his bike at the top of Coyote Run Trail in Wood Canyons Wilderness Park near Laguna Nigel.

Laguna Beach is looking for more input to create a more inviting entrance to the city, including a multi-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.

Cal State Fullerton police are looking for a bike-riding man who threatened to kill a woman who rejected his sexual comments.

Newport Beach boldly backs out of plans to improve safety on Bayside Drive, canceling plans for a roundabout, as well as an alternate plan for a road diet. Because obviously, you don’t want to do anything to save lives if it might possibly inconvenience someone.

Sixteen bike repair stations will be installed at fire stations throughout Ventura County over the next year; a 10-mile family friendly ride will be held on Monday to celebrate the first one.

Bakersfield police are still investigating a member of a prominent local farming family in the January hit-and-run death of a woman riding her bike; police found an empty vodka bottle in the SUV of the driver, who has at least one previous DUI.

A Bay Area TV station offers advise on what you need to start cycling, albeit from a strict roadie perspective.

 

National

A new study shows increasing bicycling infrastructure can reduce fatalities and severe injuries as much as 75%. It includes Los Angeles as an example, even though LA has drastically cut back on building bikeways, and largely forgotten its 2010 bike plan.

People for Bikes says living plants make great diverters and traffic calming measures while doubling as on-street storm drainage.

Oregon considers a new 4% – 5% excise tax on the sale of new bicycles to fund transportation projects; while bike advocates may not like the idea, they’re not going to the mattresses.

Chicago is about to get its first contraflow bike lane, on a road where people frequently ride salmon to avoid busier streets.

As we mentioned awhile back, Pittsburgh-based ultracycling legend Danny Chew is back on track towards his goal of riding one million miles in his lifetime, now using a handcycle after a crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Hundreds of police officers are riding from New Jersey to DC for the annual Police Unity Tour to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

The homeless man who stabbed a Connecticut man to death as he neared the end of a ride to Miami to propose to his girlfriend won’t stand trial after being declared incompetent by the judge.

 

International

A writer for Cycling Tips says there’s no such thing as “just” a concussion, and every brain injury has to be taken seriously. I concur, from experience.

London’s Telegraph shares ten cycling routes you should tackle on your next trip to the UK.

After former three-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome was intentionally hit by a car while training in France, the BBC asks how safe the roads in the UK really are for people on bikes.

The Guardian says police have to crack down on vicious drivers, because bike riders don’t deserve to be killed by bike-hating motorists for jumping lights or hopping curbs.

Caught on video: Yesterday we mentioned the road raging London mother-to-be who will be having her baby behind bars after running a bike rider off the road and into a tree; today, horrifying security cam video of the crash was released. Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

A Dutch art student left her bike in an English town when she returned home, with a note encouraging people to use it and return it for others to use.

The Paris Velib bikeshare goes electric with a new operator, ebikes and a new parking scheme that doubles dock capacity.

 

Finally…

The best way to lose a race — and get laughed at — is to celebrate your victory a lap early. Unless it’s nearly getting run over by the peloton posing for your Instagram pics.

And if you’re going to flee the scene after a drunken crash, make sure the cyclist you hit wasn’t a bike cop.

They take that shit seriously.

 

An open letter to cyclists from the Rock Store photographer, and a warning about a dangerous NELA bike lane

Cyclists tackle The Snake on Muholland; photo by Paul Herold

Cyclists tackle The Snake on Muholland; photo by Paul Herold

Sometimes, my posts get written for me.

Not that I’m complaining.

This is one of those occasions, with an open letter to cyclists from a well-known motor sports photographer. A couple of videos. A request for witnesses from an LA bike lawyer.

And a friend who played an unwanted game of bumper bike near Westside Pavilion on Pico Blvd.

……….

First up is that open letter to cyclists who ride the famed Snake on Mulholland, aka the Rock Store ride, from Paul Herold, known around the world for his photos of the cyclists, motorcyclists and high-end sports car drivers who test their skills there.

I can’t say I agree with everything he’s written. On the other hand, I don’t ride there; some cyclists who do tell me his advice is spot on.

Either way, it’s worth a read.

Dear Velonauts,

Rumour has it that Amgen’s 2014 Tour of California will be returning to The Snake (the Rock Store climb) this May with the same circuit format we all enjoyed so much back in 2010. While I can find no confirmation on the TOC web site, I see ample support for the rumour in the faces of scores of new visitors I am seeing every weekend. Enthusiasm is not the only thing I am seeing in those new faces though….fear, horror, dread, anger frustration and rage are there too, mixed in with the usual fatigue and desperation. I can’t help much with fatigue. But perhaps I can help ease some of the fear, dread, loathing and rage.

And there's the problem; photo by Paul Herold

And there’s the problem; photo by Paul Herold

After sitting on The Snake camera in hand for seven years of weekends and holidays, I have some ideas to help make your ascent or descent of the Rock Store more enjoyable and safer. First, some perspective.

The Snake is one of the greatest 2.3 mile stretches of tantalizingly twisty tarmac on the West Coast. Located on Mulholland Highway north west Los Angeles County, the road is accessible to millions of car enthusiasts, motorcycle riders and cyclists. And it ain’t no secret. Crash videos from The Snake on YouTube are viewed by tens of millions viewers world wide. Visitors from South America, Europe and Asia are on the hill every weekend to witness the spectacle in person. Unsurprisingly, the top sweeper known as Edward’s Corner, is probably as famous and recognizable as any street curve in the world.

Local car clubs regularly include The Snake on their weekend cruises. National car clubs run The Snake for their national events. Individuals in everything from tricked out Civics to convertible Bugatti Veyrons run The Snake on a normal weekend. And the vehicles Jay Leno brings are sweet enough to ruin your diet.

Photo by Paul Herold

Rider down; photo by Paul Herold

Motorcyclists from all over the USA ride The Snake too. For some, it is a jumping off point for hundreds of miles of canyon and coastal riding. For many, many others, it is an end destination.  I have seen individual riders pass me over 50 times in the course of a day, up and down, again and again loving every minute. The mix of motorcycles is split between crotch rockets, sport tourers and cruisers.

So…how do you stay safe on your bicycle, amidst the mechanized din? Here are my suggestions.

  • Please ride single file. Don’t force overtaking traffic into oncoming lanes. If you are riding with two friends or twenty please respect the rights of the traffic behind you.
  • Lose the ear buds. It is unlawful and dangerous. Not every motorcycle or car has loud pipes.
  • Ride early….or late. The mechanized madness peaks between 10am and 3pm.
  • Hug the white line. I read many years ago that if you can’t keep your road bike on the line, you shouldn’t be on the street. The white line is your friend. Hug it robustly.
  • Generally, the higher the RPM of the vehicle approaching you, the less skilled the operator. Stay alert.
  • Don’t stop and sightsee in turns. Step over the guardrails if you must, unless a wheelchair sounds like fun.
  • Another rider down; photo by Paul Herold

    Another rider down; photo by Paul Herold

    Imagine an out of control car or bike heading your way from the other side of every blind apex…and pick your line accordingly. If a driver or biker is going to lose control, it will usually be at the exit of a turn.

  • While climbing, courteous riders vacate the apex post haste. There is only one ‘best line through’ any turn. If you don’t need that line, don’t hog it
  • If you didn’t climb it, don’t descend with abandon, because you don’t know what road hazards may await…oil, wet patches, gravel….
  • Ride with a GoPro or dash cam. If you complain to me about a car or motorcycle, I can’t educate/mediate/excoriate unless I know who it was.
  • Prepare your body. Out of shape climbers rock to and fro enough to move themselves around within their lane.
  • Prepare your mind. This is not an abandoned country road. You are going to get ‘buzzed’. You are going to hear a horn or two. And you will certainly hear some throaty exhausts.
  • Prepare your bicycle. The Snake is not where you want to discover a slow leak or frayed cable.
  • I keep water, velo tools, tubes (thank you Ashton Johnson of Franco) and air in my truck at all times. So if you are in need, find me on the hill.
  • This is what you may see coming from behind; photo by Paul Herold

    This is what you may see coming from behind; photo by Paul Herold

    STAY OFF THE YELLOW PAINT! It is slick as bal… er, uh… ice. If you try and corner on the yellow lines, you will go down.

  • Be especially vigilant on the first Sunday of each month. A well attended Valley automobile event gets a lot of motors running, usually between 9am and noon.
  • Be prepared for anything. A group from Helen’s on a break neck descent came around a fast curve only to confront an armada of three radio controlled cars screaming towards them in the wrong lane. Semis, garbage trucks and longboarders are also sighted frequently.
  • Road shoulders at the exit of any turn are not the place for repairs. Cross the road or get well off to the side.
  • The better the weather, the more mechanized company you will have.
  • RIDE SINGLE FILE!

In these past few years, I have taken over I million photos on The Snake. In that time, I am aware of only three incidents in which a cyclist was hospitalized, and know of only five incidents involving motor vehicles vs. cyclists. The catalog of close calls and WTF’s could fill a reservoir, but the safety record still isn’t bad.  I’d guess that despite the frenetic nature of a sunny Sunday prime time on The Snake, you are still safer here than you would be on PCH…or in Kabul. ;).

Major speed differential creates danger among the various road users; photo by Paul Herold

Major speed differential creates danger among the various road users; photo by Paul Herold

And there is no real enmity among the motorcyclist towards the cyclists. The moto riders’ #1 complaint is when cyclist ride two or more wide. Conversely, the number one complaint I hear from cyclists is that they were buzzed by a motorcycle. Seems to me that if fewer cyclist rode in social formation, there would be fewer incidents of ‘buzzing’.

My experiences, observations and suggestions are limited specifically to weekend conditions on The Snake, but may have general applicability to narrow canyons throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. As May approaches, there will be more and more riders heading for the Rock Store climb, as our heroes will be doing in the 2014 Amgen Tour of California. The purpose of this letter has been to give you some perspective about The Snake and offer some suggestions that will keep you and everyone else safe.

Come. Ride. Enjoy. Buy pictures! And remember….You Will Never Ride Alone.

Ride safe,

Paul Herold
RockStorePhotos.com
 

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Next up, Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney Josh Cohen offers a warning about a dangerous stretch of bike lane on westbound Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock. And he’s looking for witnesses familiar with that hazard for a case he’s handling representing an injured bike rider.

A serious injury has been reported due to a dangerous condition in the center of the westbound bicycle lane on Colorado Boulevard, between Vincent Avenue and Mount Royal Drive, in Eagle Rock. The condition is a deviation in the center of the lane that runs for several yards parallel to and directly between the lines that delineate the bicycle lane. It consists of an undulating ledge that has formed where the asphalt of the roadway dips into a shallow trench where it meets the concrete that forms the gutter and sidewalk. Cracks also exist between traffic side lane line of the bicycle path and the number two vehicular lane (and bus lane). There is also a bus stop just west of and adjacent to the hazard, which makes navigating this section of roadway even more treacherous. Cyclists riding along this section of lane should use extreme caution and be especially mindful, as following the arrow at Vincent Drive that directly them into the bicycle lane on Colorado forces them into having to choose between avoiding a series of cracks on the left side, the ledge on the right, and possibly a bus that may be merging across their path.

Anyone with first-hand information or experience with this situation is urged to call him at 323/937-7105 or email josh@paulfcohenlaw.com.

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Okay, so it’s not LA. Or even Southern California.

Or the US, for that matter.

But I was forwarded this short video from Vancouver Cycle Chic about a veteran Vancouver politician, the man who loves him and their mutual love for bicycling. And liked it enough to share with you.

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I’ve long considered Streetsblog’s Damien Newton a friend, sometimes collaborator, occasional employer and always, editor of the best transportation website in the city.

On Wednesday, we can add dooring victim to that list.

Damien was riding his bike east on Pico Blvd between Overland and Beverly Glen Blvds — a busy stretch of roadway which inexplicably used to be considered a Class 3 bike route and isn’t anymore, for good reason — when he was dangerously buzzed by passing driver who nearly didn’t.

Riding my bicycle on Pico Blvd. going east between Overland and the really hilly section a driver buzzed so close to me (note: the lane to his left was empty) that I veered right…right into an opening car door that was opened inches in front of me. As I struggled to maintain balance, another car buzzed me and this time I toppled over onto my right side into an empty parking space directly in front of the Beverly Hills Bike Shop.

I probably terrified the woman in the car. To be fair, I doubt she was at fault. I came at her at a funky angle after reacting to the “Jerry Browning.” Frustrated, scared and filling up with adrenaline I took my helmet off and slammed it into the ground as Gunpowder clattered itself on the asphalt and I walked to the sidewalk. A 6’2 guy acting erratically after a high-stress incident probably seemed like something from another planet to this elderly woman who was gripping her steering wheel and staring at me.

Thank goodness he was able to limp away.

It could have been so much worse.

……….

Broadway make-over; photo by Patrick Pascal

Broadway make-over; photo by Patrick Pascal

Downtown’s Broadway has long lost the luster that made it the heart of pre-war LA. Now it looks like it could once again become the heart of a revitalized Downtown, as the city gives it a pedestrian, if not bike, friendly makeover.

Frequent bike commuter Patrick Pascal shares a photo showing the work has already begun.

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One of yesterday’s links was to the story of a Bermuda Dunes bike rider who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run. Now more information has come out.

And as too often happens, the truth is worse than anything most of us may have imagined.

According to MyDesert.com, 20-year old Liliana Avalos was talking on her cell phone as she drove down Country Club Drive at a high rate of speed, weaving through traffic and passing vehicles in the left turn lanes and right shoulder. She was attempting to pass yet another car on the right when she entered the shoulder and struck the 28-year old victim from behind before speeding off.

And in a sign of just how seriously the courts don’t take traffic crime, she was released within hours on a mere $25,000 bond.

No, really.

And we wonder why so many people don’t take traffic laws seriously.

Thanks to Danny Gamboa for the heads-up.

……….

Finally, music videos featuring the LA bike scene are becoming a very crowded sub-genre these days.

The latest is from Nashville-based indie-rock band And the Giraffe, who rigged a camera onto the front of a bike with some strapping tape, and rode around greater LA from PCH to the high desert, capturing a number of recognizable vistas.

The whole thing cost them about $200 to make; I’ve seen far worse for a comma and two or three zeros more. They talked about it with KPCC.

Not a bad song, either.

Update: Bike lanes approved for Figueroa and Colorado Blvds in NELA. Or not.

LADOT has just announced that road diets and bike lanes have been approved for Figueroa and Colorado Blvds in Northeast L.A., over the objections of a small but very vocal minority.

This is a huge victory for supporters who have been battling for the lanes, including Flying Pigeon’s Josef Bray-Ali, Fig4All and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

I’m guest editing LA Streetsblog once again tomorrow, so look for a full report there. You can read a PDF of the full General Manager’s determination on link below.

LADOT LOD 053013

Update: So much for that. Just moments after I got my story online at Streetsblog, the city sent out a notice that yesterday’s announcement was merely procedural, and that no final decision has been made.

Not only is the war not over yet, it seems the battle has barely begun.

At least you can console yourself with a mostly bike-centric look at today’s headlines.

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