Tag Archive for Complete Streets

Morning Links: 405 induced demand failure, it’s National Bike to School Day, and Beverly Hills Complete Streets plan

In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, traffic congestion on the 405 Freeway over the Sepulveda Pass has only gotten worse since Metro spent over $1 billion to widen it.

Because apparently, their engineers have never heard of induced demand. Or like typical auto-centric traffic safety deniers, simply chose to ignore it, hoping it wouldn’t apply this time.

Right.

Never mind that billion bucks would have paid for the entire LA bike plan, which might actually have done something to reduce traffic.

Speaking of which, Metro wants your input on their budget for the 2020 fiscal year starting July 1st.

Tell them not to waste any more of it on highway projects.

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If you see more kids than usual on bicycles today — or any, in my neighborhood — it’s because it’s National Bike to School Day.

Let’s hope drivers are paying attention. And they all get back home safely.

Meanwhile, Northern California holds their Bike to Work Day on Thursday, while OCTA offers a limited slate of Orange County Bike Month events.

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Today’s common theme is road rage, from drivers and bike riders, both of whom should really know better.

The Minneapolis school bus basher strikes again, as the same road raging rider who broke windows on a bus with his U-lock for parking in a bike lane on Friday returned to the scene of the crime to whack a second bus for the same reason on Monday.

Also in Minneapolis, a bike rider was beaten up, had iced dumped on him and his bicycle stolen when he complained about a limo double-parked in the bike lane outside a strip club. And naturally, the cops didn’t do anything, even though it was caught on video.

Florida police busted a road raging motorcyclist who intentionally swerved into a group of bike riders last week, sending one to the hospital with severe injuries.

Police in New Zealand are looking for a road raging bike rider who broke the jaw of a 73-year old driver during a dispute that followed a collision.

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Folding bikemaker Tern is giving their popular GSD folding e-cargo bikes to deserving nonprofit organizations.

Which raises the obvious question of whether my lack of income qualifies me.

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Beverly Hills has released its draft Complete Streets Plan, which, if adopted, would represent a dramatic turnaround for one of the area’s most incomplete cities.

There will be a public meeting to discuss it at 6 pm this evening at Beverly Hills City Hall.

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Joni Yung, aka @ayogist, offers a firsthand report on DTLA’s new two-way protected bike lanes.

View this post on Instagram

i had some time on my hands the other day, so i biked the redesigned TWO-WAY #springstreet #bikelane from its southern end at 9th to its northern end at 3rd. note that i was moving northbound; vehicular traffic is one-way southbound and so was the bike lane before the change. so while cars can only travel south, bikes can now go BOTH north and south. because we're special that way! ↔️🚲🚲🚲↔️ . @lacbc @losangelesbikelanes @cohenlawpartners @cabikelaw @ladotbikeprog @ciclavalley @cicleorg @bikemetro photo captions: 1. bollards mark the southern end of the bike lane on spring. the lane merges into main street, so s/b cyclists have to either merge right to continue on main southbound or make a left u-turn to take main northbound. the reverse approach applies to n/b cyclists. 2. the new bike signal lights for the new northbound bike traffic. 3. lane markings that hopefully make it clear to motorists when they're crossing the bike lane. note the left turn box for cyclists. 4. the bike lane as it approaches 3rd street. 5. the north end of the two-way bike lane. note how southbound bikes cross diagonally from the other side of the street, while northbound bikes must turn right (remember, it's a one-way street for vehicles). 6. the new protected bike lane on 3rd street!! 7. bikes cross main, then turn left to continue northbound. the box at the bottom of the photo is where cyclists wait for the light to cross 3rd. . a similar treatment is or will be on main. i'll have to return to report on that!🚲🚲🚲🚲🚲

A post shared by joni (@ayogist) on

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Local

The LACBC will team with Metro and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s office to host a BEST Class: Bicycling 101 bike safety training in Reseda tomorrow.

Thursday also marks the annual Streetsblog awards dinner and fundraiser, at El Paseo Inn on Olvera Street in DTLA.

This week’s SGV Connects podcast talks protected bike lanes in Pasadena.

The Santa Monica Mirror considers the city’s embrace of e-scooters in the wake of the LA area’s first motorized scooter death — even though that was a man riding a private electric mobility device, which has nothing to do with dockless scooters, except what they’re called and what powers them.

Meanwhile, a new Texas study has reaffirmed the results of a UCLA study of Santa Monica scooter users, with one third of injured riders suffering broken bones, and up to half suffering head injuries.

 

State

Encinitas will open the new Cardiff Coastal Rail Trail this Friday, part of a planned 44-mile bike path from Oceanside to Downtown San Diego. 

A San Diego writer visits a downtown bike chop shop in search of stolen bikes and parts.

A bighearted Santa Ynez teenager is hosting her own bike ride to raise funds to buy bicycles, air pumps, locks and tools for girls in Cambodia to help them get to school safely, and avoid child marriage and sex slavery.

San Jose traffic fatalities have jumped 37% over the past decade, promoting bike and pedestrian advocates to demand a Vision Zero program. But as LA advocates have learned the hard way, if it doesn’t have real teeth, Vision Zero is meaningless.

A San Francisco girls soccer team is calling for safer streets after one of their teammates was killed by a 91-year old woman while walking in a marked crosswalk; the driver said she couldn’t see because the sun was in her eyes. Yet another example of why older drivers need to be tested on a regular basis to ensure they can drive safely. Never mind that the correct response to being blinded by the sun is to slow down or stop until you can see there’s nothing in your way. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

One more reason to be jealous of the Bay Area. An Oakland developer paid for a protected bike lane with enough bollards to actually keep drivers out of it, as mitigation to get approval for a building.

Talk about off-off-off-off-off-Broadway. A Davis theater company is performing a bike-themed musical to teach bike safety to school kids.

 

National

Sad news, as Frank Peter Brilando, the designer and engineer who helped develop the classic Sting Ray, Varsity and Continental bikes for Schwinn has passed away; he was 93.

Consumer Reports recommends the best bike helmets to reduce your risk of a concussion.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss calls for banning right turns on red lights.

Don’t piss off a Washington mom by stealing her son’s bike.

Washington sheriff’s deputies discovered the body of a man who disappeared nine months ago while riding with his son after the two got separated; he apparently lost control and hit a sign, then fell into the field where his body was found.

Caught on video: A Las Vegas boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries when a sleeping driver jumped the curb in his car, and smashed into the boy at 35 mph as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

The University of Texas responds to a lawsuit over the death of a bike-riding woman by trying to get all riders not affiliated with the university banned from its campus and declared trespassers on university streets.

Something is seriously wrong when an 83-year old Iowa man can’t ride his bike without getting run down from behind. Apparently, Midwestern minivans don’t have brakes, since the woman behind the wheel was forced to hit him because there were cars in the other lane. No, really.

Great idea. Dallas will build a bike hostel with up to 40 beds to attract bike tourists to the city.

Over one hundred Oklahoma City bike riders rallied for safer streets, thanking people for giving a damn and calling BS on the notion that streets are for cars.

A seven-year old Michigan girl is holding a bike-a-thon to fight MS for the third consecutive year, which means she started when she was just five years old; this is the first time she’ll ride it without training wheels.

Evidently, a Boston protected bike lane is just another shortcut to drive your car to a parking lot.

As if they didn’t have enough to worry about, New York delivery riders are being targeted by a pair of ebike thieves — which means turning for help to the same NYPD officers who ticket them just for doing their jobs.

New York advocates demand action to improve the city’s Vision Zero program as traffic fatalities rise for the first four months of the year, following several years of steady declines.

Police in an upstate New York city are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who smacked into a pedestrian while illegally riding on the sidewalk.

Now that’s more like it. The mayor of New Orleans calls for creating a low-stress bike network by building new protected bike lanes and adding barriers to 125 miles of existing bike lanes, doubling the city’s bikeshare network, and requiring bike parking in private buildings.

Louisiana 8th graders are learning how to repair bikes by reconditioning donated bicycles to give to people who need, but can’t afford, one.

Calling herself the Crazy Bike Lady, a 44-year old Tampa FL women is saving money and getting in the best shape of her life by biking everywhere instead of driving.

 

International

More proof bikes are good for you. Welsh doctors will now be able to prescribe bikeshare for their patients.

Edinburgh, Scotland hosted its first open streets event, which will repeat every Sunday through the summer.

Scottish police will conduct plainclothes sting operations to enforce the country’s equivalent of a three-foot passing distance, including the use of a special mat to show drivers just what that looks like. Something we’ve been told is somehow impossible to do on this side of the Atlantic; thanks to Megan Lynch and John McBrearty for the links. 

Caught on video, too: An English bike rider learns the hard way to always stop for emergency vehicles.

A British man is surprised to learn that the American made, 1800s mini Penny Farthing he bought for £200 is worth £2,000 — the equivalent of $2,670.

New regulations will require improved visibility for drivers in all large trucks beginning next year. Meanwhile, here in the US… <crickets>.

A jump in Aussie bike riders over 45 has led to a soaring number of hospitalizations and deaths for older riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says this year’s Giro d’Italia will be “ferocious;” the first of the three Grand Tours rolls on Saturday. Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, the Amgen Tour of California kicks off a day later.

A European website looks back at the great Italian cyclist Gino Bartali, who helped save the lives of hundreds of Jews during WWII, in addition to back-to-back wins in the Giro and winning the Tour de France the following year.

 

Finally…

Even e-cars are going dockless now. If you pass an unlocked mail van while riding your bike, don’t steal a package — steal the whole damn truck.

And when you’re riding your bike while drunk off your ass, with a half bottle of booze and a pellet gun tucked in your waistband, and weed and more booze in your pocket, just…don’t.

Period.

 

Morning Links: 92% of LA hit-and-runs unsolved, 8 hurt in Sunnyvale assault, and Complete Streets in Beverly Hills

Don’t county on the LAPD to catch any driver who runs you down.

According to the LA Daily News, only eight percent of reported hit-and-runs were solved by police in the City of Angels in 2017 — a one third drop from the year before.

Police blame a new statistical formula for the drop from the already far too low total.

Which is why it’s better to stop hit-and-runs before they happen, rather than try to catch fleeing drivers afterwards.

If only our elected leaders cared enough to actually do something about it.

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Horrible news from Sunnyvale, where a speeding driver slammed into a group of people, allegedly on purpose, sending eight victims to the hospital.

The police are saying they were all pedestrians, however, photos from the scene show a number of backpacks and bicycles strewn about the crash site.

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It must be getting pretty chilly in hell these days.

Better Bike’s Mark Elliot is asking for your input on the Beverly Hills Complete Streets draft plan.

Yes, Complete Streets in the former Biking Black Hole.

The newly bike-friendly, though decidedly anti-scooter, city is even proposing enhancements to its nascent bicycle, pedestrian and transit networks.

Which is something no one who participated in bike plan talks ten years ago would have expected, when city leaders effectively blew off anyone who showed up for meetings on two wheels.

And scheduled those meetings for times when bike riders who wanted to participate couldn’t.

Things have changed.

But as we’ve seen in Los Angeles, it only takes a new election cycle or a handful of angry drivers to lose that newfound support for active transportation.

So add your comments to the plan.

And keep up the fight until the lines on the map turn into paint on the street.

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I don’t even know what to say here.

In a truly bizarre ruling, the US 6th District Court of Appeals concluded that marking the tires of a car to track how long it’s been parked constitutes an “unreasonable search,” and lacks probable cause.

Even though it’s just marking the outside of the vehicle, which is open and in full view of the public.

It doesn’t seem likely stand up on appeal. And only applies to the 6th District, which is made up of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

But it’s one more example of the privilege drivers enjoy.

Thanks to David Drexler for the heads-up.

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Pasadena will promote the upcoming Amgen Tour of California by forming a human bicycle sculpture at the Rose Bowl Friday afternoon.

Reservations are required if you want to take part. And the first 100 people to confirm will receive free VIP passes to the Final Friday Foodtruck Festival,

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Bike Culver City discovers fresh Kermit on Overland Ave.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the link.

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The crowdfunding page for Frederick “Woon” Frazier is now up to nearly $9,000, just short of the $10,000 goal.

Hopefully some very generous and kindhearted people will push it over the top soon.

And yes, I’ve done my small part to help.

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Local

There will be a community meeting in Compton tonight to discuss the future of the LA River, hopefully including plans for completing a 51-mile bike path along its banks.

Santa Monica-based Bird is working to make their e-scooters more sustainable. And more durable, so they don’t fall apart while you’re riding them.

A Santa Clarita woman is calling for more bike lanes in the city after her mother was killed when she was rear-ended while riding her bike last month.

 

State

San Diego police release a sketch of the — alleged — perv who tried to lure a bike-riding nine-year old girl into his van next month.

Dockless bikeshare could be moving into San Diego’s North County this summer.

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding news of a new study from UC San Diego confirming that “talking on a cellphone while driving quadruples the risk of a crash even when a driver is using a hands-free device,” while texting results in an eight-times higher risk.

As San Jose’s Better Bikeway San Jose project nears completion, not everyone is on board. On two wheels or four.

 

National

Just a tad bit of roadie bias here. Women Fitness offers “must-have tips for girls who love bicycling.” Although it may come as a shock to them that many women somehow manage to ride a bike without spandex and clipless pedals.

A new study shows Americans are still sitting too much. Blame me for skewing the results; I’m still spending most of the day flat on my ass when I’m not rehabbing my new knee.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske says states are finally coming around to Stop as Yield Laws — aka the Idaho Stop Law. And that’s a good thing. Maybe if enough states adopt it, we can finally stop hearing the tired refrain that California is not Idaho. Because evidently, they don’t think we know that.

Curbed considers how five American cities are expanding bikeshare to underserved areas.

JFK Jr was one of us.

A Colorado paper says Denver’s 20-year transportation plan will solve traffic congestion — if drivers don’t rise up against it. Then again, that’s what they said about LA’s mobility plan, which is gathering dust after the city backed down in the face of angry drivers.

An Illinois man faces up to 12 years in prison for the drunken hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a bike rider; he told police he knew he hit the man, but panicked and drove home instead of stopping. Sure, let’s go with that. Because no one would just try to sleep it off, then turn himself in once he sobered up, right?

Oops. Just days after the NYPD ticketed bike riders for not having a bell — and confiscated their bikes in some cases — Gothamist posts photos showing New York’s police commissioner doesn’t have one on his bike, either.

Great idea. The University of Kentucky offers its students $400 vouchers for a new bike, as long as they promise not to drive for two years. Make it enough for an e-cargo bike, and I’ll promise never to drive again.

A North Carolina man was injured when his bike was rear-ended by a speeding driver who had been weaving through traffic. Since he was deaf, he couldn’t hear the driver approaching and had no chance to get out of the way.

You’ve got to be kidding. A plainclothes Miami-Dade FL cop is being investigated by internal affairs after swearing at a bike-riding mom and her two kids to get out of the road, insisting — incorrectly — that it’s against the law for them to ride their bikes in the street. Then the cop intentionally doored her 14-year old son, knocking him off his bike.

 

International

Road.cc offers money saving tips for bike riders, including patch your own tubes and don’t be such a weight weenie.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of Canadian men spotted a duck in distress while on a bike ride, and rescued her eight ducklings from certain death by fishing them out of a storm drain.

A Canadian city and its bikeshare provider defend their decision to junk dozens of outdated bikes, saying they were no longer road worthy.

English police found the body of a 78-year old flautist, a month after she went missing while on a bike ride.

More on that Scottish bus service that ferries mountain bikers nearly 40 miles from Edinburgh to trailheads in the Highlands, eliminating numerous car trips.

A Scottish suicide survivor’s sixth attempt to ride his bike around the world was cut short after it was stolen before he could even cross the British Channel. You know what they say. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again.

About damn time. Welsh police are setting up a special road rage unit to investigate video evidence of assaults on bicyclists and pedestrians.

A 23-year old Zimbabwe bike rider pled guilty to negligence after hitting and killing a pedestrian while riding 21 mph; he had been facing a charge of culpable homicide.

A pair of Philadelphia-area women are riding over 6,000 miles from Thailand to Spain to raise funds for street children in Nepal; they’ve made it as far as Turkey after 406 days on the road.

 

Finally…

Nothing like finding a pair of 500-pound safes on the side of a bike path that were stolen 772 miles away. That feeling when you let your guard down, and your bike stolen gets along with several others at a cobbled sportive.

And probably not the best idea to knock London’s first bike mayor off his.

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A special thanks to Steve S for getting me back online after software issues locked me out of this site for over an hour last night. Without his help, you wouldn’t be reading this today. 

Although I’d probably be sleeping instead of writing right now.

Morning Links: New bill requires Complete Streets on state roads, and SD man suffers life threatening injuries

A new bill in the state legislature would require Caltrans to make changes to improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians whenever they maintain or improve any state highways.

And that includes requiring Complete Streets on state-owned surface streets such as LA’s Sepulveda and Santa Monica Blvd, and Pacific Coast Highway in the ‘Bu.

SB 127, sponsored by San Francisco State Senator Scott Weiner, would shift the focus of California’s transportation department to serving all road users, not just the ones in the big, dangerous machines. Unlike what it has done throughout its existence.

It would also require state transportation funding programs to prioritize pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

According to Streetsblog California,

Senator Wiener said his goals with S.B.127 are threefold: to increase safety, to help people live healthier lives by encouraging more use of active transportation modes, and to create better climate outcomes by giving people the option to use environmentally friendly travel modes. “That can only happen if it’s safe to do so,” he said.

“Caltrans has historically treated these surface streets as if they were the same as a major traditional highway,” said Senator Wiener, “and they’re not. We need to make sure these streets are safe for all users.”

The bill will undoubtedly meet opposition from entrenched motorist interests, just like any other recent Complete Streets bill that seems to threaten the automotive hegemony on our streets.

But it could make a real, and lasting, difference in the way Californians get around.

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Sad news from San Diego, where a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a collision while riding his bike in the Linda Vista neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a message from a police watch commander makes it clear he’s not expected to survive.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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That hardly ever happens in real life.

After a very close call, a truck driver pulled over to apologize to the bike rider he nearly ran down.

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There’s a reason why bike racers ride instead of rapping.

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Local

Santa Monica provides a three-month update on the city’s Shared Mobility Pilot Program, including 52 bike and scooter parking zones throughout the city, with plans for up to 50 more. That compares favorably with LA’s zero.

A Dallas magazine says Santa Monica-based Bird has quietly backed off plans to give cities money to build more bike lanes, after apparently running out of venture capital cash.

State

San Jose’s mayor is back at work following his New Year’s Day bike crash.

A San Francisco-based company is using cellphone data to measure bicycle and pedestrian traffic to improve traffic planning.

San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Rudick takes local officials to task, correctly noting that Vision Zero requires a total commitment to safety and responsibility. Someone please tell our mayor and city council that. And LADOT. And the LAPD. And LA Vision Zero.

National

If you own a 2017 or later Specialized with Specialized’s Future Shock front road suspension feature, you should stop riding it immediately and take it back to a dealer for repairs under a recall.

Business Insider lists their picks for the best bike helmets in five different categories.

Bicycling says doing any kind of physical activity for just 30 minutes a day will help you live longer. Like bicycling, for instance.

Police in Everett WA are trying to identify a man seen riding a bicycle in the area, after he was found dead in a local park.

A Washington man says if a BMX rider is wearing a mask or a bandana, police should assume they’re criminals and violate their constitutional rights. And let ’em sue if they don’t like it.

Writing in Bicycle Retailer, a staff member from Bike Utah says better infrastructure in the answer to growth in ridership and the bike industry.

Unbelievable. A road raging Illinois driver repeatedly slammed into a bike rider, then ran over him, breaking his arm, leg and pelvis, before she was arrested driving away with his bike still stuck under her SUV. Then was acquitted of attempted murder and six other felony counts a year later by reason of insanity. By that standard, there are a lot of crazy people behind the wheel. Thanks again to Phillip Young.

Chicago and New York both held extensive public meetings on how and where to expand their public bikeshare systems — and promptly ignored the results.

A Massachusetts magazine calls for a “radical rethinking” of Boston’s major streets, describing them as “grotesquely overbuilt, inequitably allocating nearly all their space to single-occupant motor vehicles.”

Apparently having missed the memo that bikes are good for business, New York business owners are demanding that the city rip out new bike lanes that were installed as part of a now-cancelled plan to shut down a subway for maintenance. Because parking.

A Philly bike cop sues the department, alleging bias against Italian-Americans.

A Virginia newspaper remembers a local icon known for decades as Bicycle Charlie due to his ever-present bicycle. Except his name was Floyd.

International

The European Union is considering a plan that would require ebike riders to carry liability insurance — which is not required for any other type of bicycles — in an apparent attempt to kill the market for them.

A 12-year old London boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries after riding into the path of a bus as he tried to escape from older boys who were chasing him.

Irish police bust a suspect bike thief, and recover five hot bikes and a stash of coke and weed.

An Aussie rider’s high-end Pinarello road bike is now a melted carbon mess after his add-on ebike hub caught fire — and couldn’t be approached to put it out because the CO2 canisters in his seat bag started exploding.

Three Australian bicyclists suffered minor injuries in a rare bike on bike on bike crash.

No bias here. An Aussie motorcycling group has called for bicyclists to be forced to wear unique numbers somewhere on their body, so they can be charged for violating traffic laws. Never mind that unlike motorcyclists and drivers, bicyclists pose minimal risk to others.

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cyclist Jani Brajkovic got off with just a ten-month ban for failing a doping test, after he convinced officials he ingested it accidentally as part of a supplement.

The former team physician for Team Sky and British Cycling faces doping related criminal charges.

Great story about a Cat 2 bike racer from Arkansas, who lost his leg as a result of a crash while playing bike polo — then won a national championship in individual pursuit, along with another silver and a bronze, at the recent Paralympic National Championships.

A 15-year old British boy is the first champion of the five-day E-Bike Desert Challenge through the sands of the Moroccan desert.

Finally…

If you want to lose weight, get a job as a bicycle courier. More proof bike shorts look ridiculous in the absence of a bicycle, no matter what decade you’re in.

And if you’re riding your bike while drunk as a skunk and tossing the empties, half empties and full cans into your bike trailer, put a damn light on it already.

And don’t threaten the cops that pull you over.

Seriously.

Morning Links: New hope for Temple Street, more dangerous drivers, and Bird & SoCal cities sued over scooters

There may be hope for Temple Street yet.

Eight months after Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell pulled the plug on the long planned and badly needed Complete Streets makeover of Temple in the wake of the Playa del Rey disaster — and even longer after anti-bike Councilmember Gil Cedillo killed his part of the project — local residents haven’t given up the fight.

A pair of meetings will be held tonight and tomorrow to discuss what can be done on the dangerous arterial. And possibly even resurrect the Temple Street Compete Streets project.

If you live, work, ride or walk anywhere near Temple, you owe it to yourself to attend at least one of them.

Cedillo may be a lost cause, but it could still be possible to convince O’Farrel to change his mind if we make enough noise.

Thanks to Derrick Paul for the heads-up and the photo.

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What the hell is wrong with people?

Just a day after Claremont’s Leslie Pray was allegedly murdered by a driver who internationally ran into her, a road raging San Antonio TX driver tried to do the same thing, using his car as a weapon in an attempt to run down three bike riders he’d been arguing with.

Fortunately, he only hit a fire hydrant.

But now faces three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And a long vacation in a Texas prison.

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Apparently, it’s not enough for some people to just run down one bike rider.

Florida residents want speed limits lowered and a traffic signal installed on the street where four bicyclists were critically injured by a 91-year old driver; two victims remain in serious to critical condition.

And a South African hit-and-run driver crashed into one bike rider on a club ride, sending him falling into the others and ended up injuring five bicyclists.

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Australia’s bike community is in morning after a leading bike advocate was killed in a collision with an SUV driver.

Cam Frewer had helped introduce Queensland’s equivalent of the three-foot passing law and fought for the rights of riders.

Frewer had been the subject of numerous death threats for his advocacy work raises a question of whether the crash was an accident.

Meanwhile, an anti-bike drivers group says it’s not their fault if some bike rider gets himself killed.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the tip.

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More e-scooters in the news.

First Bird sued Beverly Hills for banning scooters, now a wheelchair-bound woman is suing Bird, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Santa Monica in a proposed class action, claiming the scooters block sidewalks and endanger handicapped people — even though they can’t be legally used in Beverly Hills.

There’s no love for scooters in the City of Brotherly Love, as Philadelphia gives Lime and Bird the bird after discovering motorized scooters are not street legal in Pennsylvania.

Last but not least, Greensboro SC gets on the scooter banning bandwagon.

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Local

Forget the Olympics; Los Angeles beat out Budapest as host of the first ever World Urban Games next September, with events including BMX freestyle cycling; if the city doesn’t fall on its face, LA could host the 2021 games, as well.

An Op-Ed in the LA Times says what’s lacking on Los Angeles streets is manners. Thanks to Chris Giza for the link.

Over 100 people turned out for the ghost bike ceremony honoring alleged murder victim Leslie Pray in Claremont last night; her partner called Pray the kindest and most gentle person she’d ever known.

CiclaValley rides with around 50 other cyclists in honor of bicyclist Dedrick Kon, who died recently of complications from a car crash while driving at the beginning of the year.

 

State

Hard-hitting piece from the OC Register’s David Whiting, who says maybe the death of Costa Mesa fire fighter Mike Kreza will serve as a wakeup call to end SoCal’s culture of distracted driving. Although there’s been no report that the allegedly stoned driver was distracted, as well.

Work has begun to close a gap in the Bay Area’s Bay Trail between Berkeley and Albany; when completed, the trail will extend 350 mile around the San Francisco Bay, with another 150 miles to go. Nothing like that exists in SoCal; the closest thing would be the LA River bike path, which will extend 57 miles when and if it’s ever finished; San Diego is finishing work on a 27-mile path around the bay. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

A GM fan site belatedly discovers that bike riders weren’t great fans of the recent GMC truck commercial suggesting bike riders should get a real truck.

A Mesa AZ driver says he nearly killed someone on a bike because the rider didn’t have any lights or reflectors.

A new bike lane was designed to keep bike riders and drivers from crossing paths on a busy Chicago street. But doesn’t work because drivers won’t stop driving in the bike lane and bicyclists won’t stop for the stop sign. Yet another reminder that traffic planners need to keep human nature in mind when designing anything — which is the very definition of Vision Zero.

A Chicago weekly offers advice for men on how not to be a total jerk to women walking, biking or using transit.

New Hampshire residents say a new bollard-protected bike lane has made a once-safe street more dangerous. As well as heartbreakingly unaesthetic, according to one woman.

New York’s refusal to install a long-sought protected bike lane on one street leads some people to call plans for a painted bike lane a death trap.

 

International

Tech Radar looks at the next generation of bike tech.

According to an Ottawa, Canada defense lawyer, his dump truck driver client wasn’t negligent, even though he failed to signal before fatally right-hooking a woman on a bike.

A new film follows a Montreal DJ who bought a bike on a whim, and set off on an attempt to set a new world record for the longest continuous fixie ride, over 11,000 miles through the Canadian arctic.

Life is cheap and getting cheaper in the UK, where a driver saw his sentence for slamming into three bike riders cut from 45 months to just three years.

A five-day Israeli fundraising ride brought in a record $3.5 million for a pediatric children’s hospital; Madonna, Cher, Michael Bublé and Kathleen Turner saw the riders off, one third of whom came from the US.

South African bicyclists ride in honor of a 68-year old rider who was robbed and fatally stabbed by thieves who took his bike and cellphone. Proof that dangerous drivers aren’t the only risk that riders face in some places.

An Aukland, New Zealand bike advocate says the city is turning into a bicycling city, and riders need a seat at the top table.

A group of Australian riders are retracing the route of a bike-riding Aussie infantry troop across Europe’s Western Front during World War 1.

A writer for London’s Evening Standard takes a bikepacking tour from Phnom Penh to Laos.

 

Competitive Cycling

Alejandro Valverde insists he never tested positive for doping, despite serving a two-year ban for his connections to the Spain’s Operation Puerto investigation.

Bradley Wiggins says he would have had more rights if he was on trial for murder, instead of under investigation for suspected doping before being cleared.

A Saskatoon, Canada cyclist smashed the record for the 24 Hour World Time Trial Championships held in the California desert by riding 456 miles, beating the existing record by nearly 25 miles; she said afterwards she didn’t know how far she could go.

 

Finally…

Traffic calming beats deploying your middle finger. Mountain biking while very high in Kathmandu.

And few things go better with bicycling than LA’s best donuts.

 

Morning Links: Take action to preserve Rowena bike lanes, why drivers run from crashes, and more e-scooter news

It’s bad enough that we can’t get the Complete Streets we were promised.

Now we’re having to fight just to hold on to the ones we’ve got.

While there seems to be a temporary ceasefire in the fight over the parking protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, the highly successful lane reduction and bike lanes on Rowena Ave are imperiled, following a $50,000 study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu.

Residents blame the redesigned street for an increase in cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, even though pervious studies have shown that the street carries more motor vehicle traffic, more safely, now than it did before.

And even though the study showed no link between the cut-through traffic and the removal of excess capacity on Rowena.

A more likely culprit is the Waze app, which frequently directs drivers onto streets that aren’t intended to handle that kind of traffic.

The new study ends by suggesting four alternatives, only one of which would retain the current Complete Streets design; the other three appear to be included to give Ryu political cover should he decide to rip out the bike lanes and restore the street to it’s original unsafe capacity.

Local group Keep Rowena Safe offers their response to the study, and urges everyone to contact Ryu and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represent the surrounding area, to demand that the current design stay in place.

KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE

KEEP ROWENA SAFE

KEEP THE ROAD DIET

Please e-mail Councilmembers David Ryu and Mitch O’Farrell

david.ryu@lacity.org

cd4.issues@lacity.org

councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org

And don’t forget to cc Mayor Garcetti and Assemblymember Laura Friedman

mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

assemblymember.friedman@assembly.ca.gov

You can find a sample letter here.

………

Troubling piece from the Washington Post, as the paper’s transportation writer looks at the psychology behind America’s rising rate of hit-and-run crashes.

And concludes drivers flee because they’ve been drinking, because they panic, think it’s no big deal or they can’t cope with what just happened.

Or because they just lack good moral judgement.

Gee, you think?

………

Still more e-scooters in the news.

A writer for City Watch says e-scooters will never be a first mile/last mile solution for LA transit, in part because they don’t work on hills (actually, they do). And in part because LA and Metro failed to build the bike lanes and bike parking we’ve been promised.

The Have A Go website takes LA to task, saying the issues with scooters are a problem of the city’s own making, repeating the charge that the failure lies in the city’s failure to build out the bike lane networks contained in the 2010 bike plan.

West Hollywood’s semi-enforced ban on dockless scooters appears to be working, with complaints dropping to roughly two a week. Although that ban couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the recent increase in WeHo traffic congestion, as previous scooter users go back to Uber and Lyft.

Pasadena may invite scooter providers to the city, as long as they promise to play nice.

Santa Monica reminds everyone of the rules governing scooter use.

Graphic from the Santa Monica e-scooter website

The Louisville KY newspaper looks at the city’s experience with e-scooters after their first month on the streets, where only 100 are allowed under initial limits.

The Department of DIY strikes in Cincinnati, where a couple of people used a little paint to create their own scooter parking spaces, calling them “Bird Cages,” to show how easily the scooter parking problem can be solved.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wants to pull the brakes on e-scooters.

Streetsblog asks if it’s time to redefine the bike lane in the age of e-scooters and other mobility devices.

The Verge says scooter providers are trying to rehabilitate their image in the face of city crackdowns across the US; Lime is allowing users in three cities to donate to preselected charities through their app, while promising to fund new bike lanes.

………

Local

Bike rider Doug Weiskopf writes that he was bullied off the Mariposa Bridge by complaints from Burbank horse riders, who he says have appropriated the bridge and portions of Griffith Park as their own.

The LACBC is providing a new monthly recap of the projects they’re working on, ranging from Rowena to getting the promised bike lanes on the new Spring Street bridge.

 

State

An Op-Ed from the chair of the Santa Ana Bikeways and Walkability Committee credits Councilwoman Katrina Foley with creating the committee and passing the city’s first new bike plan since 2002, and urges her election as mayor.

San Clemente will allow bicycles and ebikes on the city’s Beach Trail. Except during the summer months, when most people would to want to use it.

San Diego police are looking for four men and a woman who chased down a bike rider in their car, then punched and stabbed him multiple times; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

Thousand Oaks is adding bike lanes on the north side of Moorpark Road, and replacing missing sidewalks, to improve safety for bicyclists tackling the Norwegian Grade climb.

The San Francisco Chronicle suggest ditching the car and exploring Sacramento by bike.

 

National

Bicycling offers five tips to use your bike to burn belly fat. The magazine also offers 30 of their favorite crazy bike videos, if you’re willing to click through 30-plus pages.

A Denver nonprofit has committed to giving 25,000 bicycles to second grade students over the next five years.

Police in Grand Junction CO bust seven bike thieves and recover a large cache of hot bikes after a bait bike leads to a bicycle chop shop. This is why the LAPD need to use bait bikes like other California police departments; it’s less about arresting a single thief than getting the ringleaders behind them.

A Colorado fundraiser serves up beer to raise funds to send bikes to Africa, averaging 20 bicycles a year to help change lives, one bike at a time.

A Wisconsin paper looks back on the efforts of a pair of bike-riding hippies in the 1970s that set the state on its bike friendly path.

Businesses along New York’s former Boulevard of Death say no one’s using the new bike lanes, and they’d rather have their parking spaces back, even if it means a return to the deadly street.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A road raging 87-year old North Carolina man faces charges after he attempted to make an unsafe pass around a group of bicyclists, then cut back in behind the lead rider and preceded to run her off the road in retaliation for his own crappy driving.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A South Carolina woman plans to celebrate her 80th birthday by riding 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway to raise $80,000 provide bikes to women in Tanzania.

 

International

Following a summer of road rage and bicycling deaths, a Toronto website discusses how bike riders can make peace with motorists. Mostly by wearing a helmet, keeping the tunes turned down and behaving yourself on the streets.

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth’s homeopathic physician has brought to light the bicycling deaths of four people in five years in a single London neighborhood — and the efforts of the city’s transportation department to block safety improvements under former Mayor Boris Johnson.

A six-year old English kid set a goal of riding his bike 25 miles this month to raise money for the homeless.

A Welsh website clarifies what is and isn’t allowed for people on bicycles in the UK’s Highway Code to clear up the confusion and conflicts with drivers.

A Danish city councilor calls for a ban on gas-powered motor scooters, not to protect bike riders, but to protect the air.

Legendary Italian framebuilder Dario Pegoretti died unexpectedly of a heart condition on Thursday. Bicycling profiled Pegoretti a few years ago.

Saudi women are wearing sports abayas that allow them to bicycle more comfortably.

Sometimes DIY traffic calming efforts can backfire, as the lead riders in a group of cyclists found out the hard way. They were injured when they hit a homemade speed bump intended to slow noisy traffic in an Australian national park; one rider will miss the masters world road championships he trained for the past year with a concussion, broken ribs and broken collarbone, as well as a broken bike.

Good question. A Kiwi bicyclist wants to know why so many people hate cyclists. From the conversations and comments I’ve seen, the main objection is lawbreaking bike riders — as if the majority of drivers don’t break traffic laws on a daily basis. But violations by bike riders are somehow seen as different.

A British website says the real cost of Chinese dockless bikeshare bikes isn’t what you pay, it’s the personal data and privacy you give up to use them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock’s lanterne rouge ride through the entire Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade has raised nearly $400,000 to repair and improve Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey last year.

A Russian cyclist was declared ineligible for the Asian Games at the last minute after several countries complained about her recent citizenship change to avoid sanctions on Russian athletes.

A Swedish scientist is working on a test to detect blood packing using an athlete’s own blood to stop one of the most common forms of cheating.

 

Finally…

Evidently, calling something “the worst cycling event ever” can have an impact, after all. What it’s like to wear bike shorts for a week, without coming in actual contact with a bicycle or anything.

And if you want to see the pope on the Emerald Isle, get on your bike.

Or maybe get on a plane or a boat first. It could be a wet ride otherwise.

 

Morning Links: Smith vindicated for BWB, Beverly Hills Complete Streets meeting, and more e-scooter news

Good news.

The Alameda County DA’s office has dropped the charges against Najari Smith, founder of the Richmond, CA bike co-op Rich City Rides.

Smith was arrested by Oakland police on August 3rd while leading a weekly social bike ride, ostensibly for illegally playing amplified music.

However, witnesses at the scene were convinced he was busted for Biking While Black.

A statement released by the Oakland Police Department in response to the public outcry over the arrest said Smith was “impeding traffic” and “refused to provide identification or any information that would assist the officers in identifying him.”

Even though Smith says he cooperated with the officers and provided them with two forms of ID.

Fortunately, he won’t face any serious consequences for the misguided arrest. Although no one can give him back the two days he spent locked behind bars before making bail.

………

Beverly Hills will hold a workshop to discuss Complete Streets in the former Biking Black Hole tomorrow night.

………

Long Beach’s first evening Beach Streets event takes place this Saturday. Let’s hope CicLAvia follows their lead and schedules a few evening or nighttime events.

………

Today’s common theme is yet another return to the e-scooter debate.

After a Cleveland woman was killed by a DUI driver while she was riding a scooter, the focus was on the dangers of scooters, rather than the dangers of drivers who admit snorting heroin before getting behind the wheel.

Streetsblog gets it, saying scooters aren’t a public safety hazard, but streets designed only for cars are.

He gets it, too. A Portland writer says if it makes sense to charge for scooters to use city streets, then it also makes sense to charge proportionately for cars to use them.

No bias here. The Philadelphia Inquirer says the e-scooter sky is falling, and it’s time for panic before they besmirch the city’s streets.

BuzzFeed says people with broken bones and missing teeth are turning up in ERs around the nation as a result of scooter crashes, although no hard data is available.

Bloomberg may have the smartest take, saying scooters pose a serious challenge to the reign of cars by providing convenient first and last mile solutions, as well as transportation for quick errands.

And Santa Monica is dealing with the problem of haphazardly parked scooters by providing designated scooter parking on the sidewalk. Although a better solution would be to replace a car parking spot with parking for the more efficient scooters.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers a review of Sunday’s sparsely attended open streets event in Huntington Park and Vernon, which could have benefited from better promotion.

CiclaValley previews Bike Walk Burbank’s 4th Annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

Still no word on who is behind the rash of shootings at Malibu Creek State Park, or whether bike riders, hikers and campers are safe there after a camper was murdered earlier this year.

 

State

The California Sun lists seven must-see California destinations operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

The 11th Annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday across the iconic San Diego Coronado Bridge and around the San Diego Bay.

Stockton residents have installed a ghost bike for a rider who was killed in an unsolved 2016 hit-and-run.

This is who we share the roads with. A San Jose woman called the police after she got home at 2 am, and discovered a dead pedestrian lodged under her truck; she was not arrested, despite driving with a suspended license and an outstanding warrant for theft.

 

National

The Seattle Times applauds nearby Bellevue for a pilot bike lane project that uses a variety of separators, from bollards to planters, to determine what works best and how it’s accepted by the public and business owners.

An Albuquerque man offers an impassioned Op-Ed calling for drivers who hit bike riders to face justice and for the city to do more to protect bicyclists, after his friend who refused to own a car was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Texas Senator John Cornyn welcomes riders to this week’s Hotter’n Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, after helping out as a volunteer last year.

An Iowa bicyclist offers advice on how to avoid killing someone on a shared use path. Because someone recently did.

A Catholic monk stops in Oklahoma on an unsupported cross-country ride to promote religious unity; his indirect route has taken him over 4,000 miles to get just halfway across the US.

Video has been released of the crash involving the hit-and-run Kentucky mayor that sent a 16-year old girl to the hospital. It’s hard to see, but it appears to show the mayor’s SUV hit the girl’s bike without knocking her down, supporting his contention that she rode off without stopping.

A Detroit website examines the Motor City’s use of road diets to successfully remake its streets.

Pacific Standard magazine looks at ghost bikes, including a moving ghost bike prayer written by Pittsburgh minister.

New ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are the alternative transportation alternative for New Yorkers stranded by the shutdown of a major subway line. Not surprisingly, the mayor didn’t show up for his own widely promoted ride to promote them.

Oops. A New York cop admits on video that his supervisor ordered officers not to ticket people who park in bike lanes.

Pennsylvania police crack down on groups of teens who block traffic with their bikes and shout obscenities at drivers.

Now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike, because Ofo may be no more in DC, but a local bike co-op is selling off some of their bikes for the low, low price of $100.

 

International

A writer for the New Republic says the modern automobile must die in order to fight climate change.

The Mother Nature Network provides photos of 18 spectacular pedestrian and bike bridges around the world.

A European website looks at Complete Streets design in Vancouver, where they’re busy doing it right.

A Toronto writer recommends having your bike tattooed with a registration number from Britain’s Bike Registry to prevent theft and help recover it if it is stolen. I recommend the free Bike Index registration, but whatever you do, register your bike somewhere. Now.

WTF? A Toronto newspaper asks if bikeshare users give “real” cyclists a bad name. Unless your bicycle is imaginary, you’re a real cyclist until the moment you step off it.

A Hamilton, Ontario website calls a newly resurfaced road design “deranged” after the city blocks off space where a curbside bike lane could go, then paints sharrows in the traffic lane.

An Irish mayor has turned his own reserved parking space into a bike corral.

A bill in the Israeli Knesset would require all ebike riders to wear a helmet any time they’re on their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling tells you how to watch the Vuelta, if you’re willing to fork out the bucks; the race starts this Saturday, but won’t be carried on American TV. Let’s all send a big FU to NBC, which has decided to charge to stream the races they used to carry on cable.

No wonder women’s cycling is so exciting. A new study shows female cyclists race at a greater intensity than their male counterparts, who sustain more load and volume over longer courses.

Pro cyclist Lauren Hall retired after winning the final stage of the Colorado Classic, ending a career that included three national track cycling championships, and two second place finishes in the US road cycling championships.

The pros are going with snub nosed saddles.

 

Finally…

When your on-camera bike ride is only for the cameras. This is who we share the roads with, too; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

And always try to look up from your phone before hitting a parked car.

………

Eid Mubarak to all observing Eid al-Adha today.

 

Morning Links: Surprising support for safer streets, a pro-car attack on open streets & Marathon Crash rides again

One quick note: Statistics show that traffic collisions spike after daylight savings begins, so be extra careful on the streets for the next few days.

Photo by Ted Faber

………

They get it.

An Op-Ed from Toronto college professor says pedestrian deaths won’t end until the city stops pandering to cars and drivers.

There’s no sugar-coating it: We can only make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists when road space is taken away from cars… Transformative infrastructure disrupts the dominance of the car while enabling people to safely switch from driving their cars to using bikes, transit or walking…

When cars slow down, not only are streets safer, but they become more enjoyable places to be. When good cycling infrastructure is present, people stop being “cyclists” and instead are just normal people going about ordinary, mundane activities. We need to stop thinking that bike lanes are only for “cyclists” and better sidewalks or more crossings are only for “pedestrians.” They are for everyone and they give people choices as to how they get around.

Then there’s this from a surprising source — the executive editor of The American Conservative, who notes that it’s become safer to drive and more dangerous to walk — and bike — in recent years.

And that the recent report from the Governors Highway Safety Association didn’t go far enough in calling for safer streets.

Curiously, there is little attempt by the GHSA to grapple with the very obvious and long-term problem—the conflict that occurs when one attempts to combine pedestrian accessibility with roads that support highway speeds. Even with smartphones locked away and all drivers drug free, there are bound to be incidents in which the operator of a two-ton object barrelling down the road does incredible damage to a defenseless human being of one-tenth the weight. The only sure way to protect the vulnerable party in this situation is to slow vehicles to truly safe speeds wherever pedestrians are present. And the only way to guarantee slower speeds is to create streets—not the all-to-common suburban thoroughfares that accomodate highway speeds—that do not allow drivers to travel through neighborhoods at unsafe velocities.

Such a transformation of our built environment will require more than band-aid fixes, such as “pedestrian hybrid beacons” (special button-activated lights and crosswalks placed at midblock) and demeaningly-named “refuge islands” recommended by the GHSA report. Only a dramatic paradigm shift will cause drivers to ease off the pedal when they are off the interstate. Such a new approach would call for narrower streets that are not designed for highway speeds—or even what behind the wheel may seem relatively pokey rates of travel. At even 35 miles per hour, there is a 31 percent chance a vehicle will kill you, rising to 54 percent for seniors over 70 years old. In contrast, at 20 miles per hour, the risk of pedestrian death goes down to an average of 7 percent…

True sharing of the streets between all modes of mobility—including one’s own two feet—demands, as Cortright states so well, that walking and biking are no longer treated as a “second class form of transportation.” This transition will require recovering a rather older form of techne, a craft of building human-centered places, that does not need artificial intelligence or other “smart” devices to save us from the mechanical beasts we have allowed to dominate our streets.

………

On the other hand, some people just don’t get it at all.

A newspaper in Bend, Oregon says the city’s twice-a-year open streets events are “anti-car street parties” that only serve to alienate motorists.

Because no one who drives a car would ever actually get out and enjoy it themselves, apparently.

Rather than patting themselves on the back for supporting environmentally and socially commendable causes, city councilors should be asking themselves whether they’re using the public’s money effectively. Does it really make sense to spend $22,500 on an alternative-transportation event that preaches to the anti-car choir even as it subtly alienates the very people whose support the city really needs?

Those other people are the ones who drive cars and trucks, and they might think better of cyclists, pedestrians and so on if they weren’t treated as pariahs on their own streets and at their own expense. There’s an in-your-face quality to Open Streets that simply isn’t useful if the city’s goal is to encourage respectful coexistence by motorists, cyclists and others.

Evidently, it’s only coexistence when the roads belongs to cars, period.

………

It looks like the Marathon Crash Ride is back next Sunday after all.

………

Local

Bike the Vote LA has released their voter guide for the April 3rd primary election in California Assembly District 54, which is currently vacant following the resignation of Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.

Don’t plan on riding the new Arroyo Seco Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail anytime soon unless you enjoy dodging golf balls; the April 22nd opening has been cancelled until they can stop errant shots from escaping from a nearby driving range.

There will be a blessing of the bicycles and other mobility devices in Santa Monica on Sunday the 25th.

 

State

Calbike is urging you to speak with your state assembly member and senator during Advocacy Week, March 22-29, when the legislature is not in session.

Dockless bikeshare is coming to North San Diego County for a one-year trial.

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a former Palm Springs councilmember aimed at derailing the CV Link bike and pedestrian trail surrounding the Coachella Valley. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

A Menlo Park website explains what all those markings on the street mean, including bike lanes, bike boxes and sharrows.

 

National

A group of veterans are riding from Florida to Los Angeles for Ride 2 Recovery, while a Navy vet is riding cross-country for raise funds for veterans through the Gary Sinise Foundation.

A Seattle reporter takes a ride along a still under-construction bike lane and road diet connecting to the Amazon campus.

Nothing like an insurance company that doesn’t get the law. A Washington state firm tells a driver to go ahead and right hook a bike rider after passing him.

Colorado letter writers take up the great ebike debate, discussing whether they should be allowed on trails.

Fort Worth and Arlington TX hope to avoid the problems neighboring Dallas has with abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes.

Stop de Kindermoord comes to New York as residents demand an end to children being killed on the streets.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. New York will redesign a street where two small children were killed while walking with their mother after a driver ran a red light. Although I don’t know any design elements that will take a driver’s foot off the gas pedal.

WaPo offers advice on bike touring, with a little help from Adventure Cycling.

 

International

The year’s first edition of the World Naked Bike Ride took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday to call for safer streets. And no, the story’s not safe for work.

Vancouver residents rise up in anger over the thought of a bike path besmirching a public park. Never mind that it might actually allow more people to enjoy the park.

The way to encourage more bicycling in the UK is not to give bicyclists a safe passing law, then threaten them with a life sentence for killing a pedestrian.

An Irish writer says cyclists are just failed runners, but he’s now going to join the MAMILs for a mid-run snack.

Irish police are warning bicyclists to be careful using ride-tracking apps like Strava, which could lead thieves to your bike if you leave it on the default settings.

Sad news from South Africa, where two bicyclists have died during the annual Cape Town Cycle Tour, one from a heart attack and the other the result of a 20-rider pileup; police are investigating both deaths.

No bias here. A local government in Western Australia responds to the state’s new one-meter passing law by moving to ban bikes from narrow roadways, insisting there’s there’s no room for drivers to obey the law.

No bias here, either. A New Zealand writer complains about male cyclists who don’t have bells on their bikes, or want them. And somehow assumes that means they’re lawbreaking scofflaws who complain about the way drivers treat them.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Chinese website considers why there’s no culture of competitive cycling in the country, oddly placing the blame on a lack of cycle tracks and conflicts with drivers.

Keith Olberman talks with former pro Phil Gaimon about riding clean in the sport that’s become the poster child for doping.

 

Finally…

Cleaning your bike pedals the cute, furry natural way. When you absolutely, positively have to spend $165,000 for $27,000 worth of bike racks.

And Elon Musk now says his Boring tunnels will put bicyclists and pedestrians first.

Lucky  us.

 

Morning Links: Englander proposes temporary dockless bikeshare ban, and BOLO Alert in El Monte hit-and-run

Not everyone is welcoming dockless bikeshare to Los Angeles.

CD12 Councilmember Mictch Englander has introduced a motion that would ban any dockless bikeshare programs in the city, with the exception of pilot projects sponsored by various councilmembers.

The motion calls on the city to develop guidelines for any future dockless programs, as well as penalties for providers who fail to live up to those standards.

This would allow existing programs from LimeBike and Ofo to continue in the port cities and Griffith Park, respectively, but could prohibit the LimeBikes at Cal State Northridge from being taken off campus.

While the motion seems a little heavy-handed, the experiences in other cities make it clear that unregulated dockless programs invite problems, along with the inevitable bikelash from people who find the bikes on their lawns or blocking the sidewalk.

Let alone in their trees or swimming pools.

Hopefully Englander and the council can find a way to develop effective regulations without stifling the growth of what could be a very effective way to reduce motor vehicle traffic.

Thanks to TJ Knight for the heads-up.

………

Police in El Monte are asking the public to be on the alert to help find a hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike rider.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

………

There will be a pair of public meetings next month to discuss a proposal to convert Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd into a complete street.

………

A man riding a bicycle was injured in a collision near the Calgrove onramp to the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita; no word on his condition.

Nina Moskol, chairperson of the Santa Clarita Bicycle Coalition, had this to say afterwards.

The location of this crash is a known bike corridor. The County has proposed bikeways plans to improve this area. The Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition has been discussing this area at every opportunity with LA County, Cal Trans, and City transportation officials.

To date, we have had no word as to what proposed improvements for safety will be implemented, when, or where exactly. What we do know is that this freeway/County road interchange is complex and under heavy use because of ongoing construction on the I-5 to complete pavement restoration (and possible HOV lanes). We encourage everyone to ride safely and carefully.

………

Local

Curbed says the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge will feature protected bike lanes on both sides, which would be a change from the painted bike lanes called for in the original plans, but it would still have just one sidewalk on the north side.

Somehow we missed this one, as Metro’s BEST program hosted a tweed ride in Culver City yesterday.

Clear your schedule next Sunday for Los Angeles Walk’s annual fundraiser and free block party

 

State

The LA Times reports on Montclair’s ridiculous law banning pedestrians from crossing the street while using any electronic device, including headphones or earbuds.

Officials opened the first section of the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley. Or it would be 50 miles, if Rancho Mirage was willing to let it besmirch their fair city.

Protected bike lanes could be coming to Oakland’s Lake Merritt.

Marin’s anti-bike lane crank columnist ridicules comments of a mode shift on a Bay Area bridge, saying 235 bike crossings a day pale in comparison to 71,000 motor vehicles. He’s got a point, although the question is whether there are any safe connections on either side of the bridge that encourage people to ride across.

 

National

Good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says we need to get more kids on bikes.

Some Portland bike shops are beginning to shun brands owned by Vista Outdoor, which has been linked to a maker of ammunition and AR-15-type weapons.

A Wisconsin nonprofit intends to refurbish 1,000 bicycles to donate to local kids next month.

Heartwarming story from Milwaukee, where motorcycle maker Harley Davidson helped design a custom adaptive tricycle for a four-year old boy born without legs and forearms. And no, the story doesn’t explain how he’s going to pedal it.

Two Indiana men face up to 30 months in prison for building an illegal singletrack trail through an Indiana nature preserve.

A Philadelphia councilwoman proposes requiring city council approval for any bike lane that could affect the flow of traffic. Never mind that people on bikes are traffic, too.

 

International

A Caribbean-based physiotherapist explains how to avoid minor injuries when you start riding.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver who threw oven cleaner on a bike rider — with her two kids in the car, no less — and leaving the victim with severe chemical burns, walked with a 12-month suspended sentence.

A British soldier has gotten six years for fatally slamming his car into a man riding his bike, after he was shown on video downing five beers and three shots in a pub.

Road.cc looks at presumed liability, which is the norm in most of Europe, and whether it would make streets safer for cyclists in the UK. If we ever want to end car culture and the automotive hegemony on our streets, we’ll have to adopt some form of presumed liability, which assumes the operator of the larger vehicle is at fault in any crash, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid a collision due to their greater ability to cause harm.

A Scottish newspaper makes the case for a 20 mph speed limit, saying initial opposition has died down nearly a year after it was implemented.

CNBC has discovered Copenhagen, where officials say traffic would come to a standstill if 15% to 20% of bicyclists switched to motor vehicles. Which suggest that getting 15% to 20% of Angelenos on bikes might get traffic moving again.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Gobee has pulled out of Paris without warning, after quitting other European cities due to extensive vandalism.

Evidently, bike riders are second-class citizens in Kolkata, where they’re required to get off and walk their bikes across major streets.

A Canberra, Australia newspaper says there’s no reason for the country’s Capital Territory to reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which it calls a proven lifesaver. Even though multiple studies have questioned whether the health benefits of bicycling outweigh the benefits of bike helmet laws, which have depressed bicycling rates in Australia.

Japan is considering plans to build a suspended bikeway under a bridge connecting Shikoku and Awajishima islands. Or you can ride a 44-mile route connecting six islands in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea right now.

 

Competitive Cycling

ESPN considers how Cal Berkeley law school dean Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the 12-year old hour record in 2014.

Yes, the cycling season is underway already, as Spain’s Alejandro Valverde takes the Abu Dhabi Tour, and Dylan Groenewegen wins on the frozen cobbles of Belgium’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

 

Finally…

The best way to get over a bad breakup? Ride across the US. When the real Tour de France leads leads to fictional romance.

And now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike to leave anywhere you want.

 

Morning Links: LA Council committee considers bikeway pavement, and including everyone in Complete Streets

Maybe it’s good news. Or maybe not.

The LA City Council’s bizarrely combined Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee will take up two motions regarding the safety and maintenance of bike lane pavement this Wednesday.

The first, #17-1142-S1, would require the city to inspect and repair the pavement on any existing bike lanes, and certify that the pavement is in good condition before any new bike lanes are installed.

The second, #15-0719-S17, requires city inspectors to examine the pavement on every mile of bike paths and bike lanes in the city, and develop a plan to bring them up to appropriate safety standards.

Which is something that should have been done a long time ago.

However, it appears to be a significant change from the original version of this motion, which would have prohibited installing any new bike lanes on streets with anything less than an A grade. And required the removal of existing bike lanes from any street with a pavement grade lower than that.

Which would require ripping out most bike lanes in the city. Even though most of the crashes involving bad pavement that inspired these motions didn’t happen in bike lanes to begin with.

So let’s be clear.

Inspecting bike lanes and bike paths is a good thing. Fixing the pavement is even better.

But using bad pavement as an excuse to block or remove bike lanes could bring what little progress Los Angeles has made towards safer streets crashing to a halt.

Which means it could be worth your time to show up for the committee meeting tomorrow at 1p at City Hall if you can make it.

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Our old friend Karen Karabell forwards this piece by longtime bike commuter and League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Martin Pion, arguing that real Complete Streets would accommodate inexperienced riders, as well as more experienced vehicular cyclists.

You won’t get any argument from me.

I’m a strong supporter of safe bike lanes and Complete Streets that can be safely used by anyone from 8 to 80, and get more people out on bikes.

But I also support the repeal of restrictive ride-to-the-right and must-use laws that are too often misinterpreted to require riders to hug the curb or use unsafe bikeways.

People should be able to ride wherever and however they feel safest, whether thats a protected bike lane or mixing with motor vehicles in the traffic lane.

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Local

No, a coastal ferry will not solve the Westside’s traffic problems, but it could provide a way to get your bike from Santa Monica to Malibu without having to ride PCH.

Mobile bike repair shop Beeline Bikes is expanding to Los Angeles.

A letter writer in the LA Times says if London and Copenhagen can get people out of their cars, Los Angeles can, too.

The San Gabriel Vally Tribune offers a nice profile of Eastside Bike Club founder and Stan’s Bike Shop owner Carlos Morales, one of the stars of the new documentary MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra), which premiers on the 21st. He’s also one of the nicest people you’re likely to meet.

 

State

Bay Area bicyclists complain that plans for new Caltrain bike cars that separate riders from their bikes is an invitation to theft.

Sad news from San Francisco, where a 69-year old man was killed when he rode his bicycle into a parked car.

A Sonoma paper says the market is surging for folding and electric bikes — and folding ebikes — in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Streetsblog says the Marin Independent Journal is continuing to push to convert plans for a new bike and pedestrian pathway on the upper deck of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to motor vehicle use, in the mistaken belief it will somehow solve their traffic problems. Apparently, they’ve never heard of induced demand.

 

National

Treehugger writes in praise of riding slowly through the city.

No, you don’t need a fat bike to ride on snow, as long as you’re willing to go downhill.

Forbes says belt-drive Priority Bicycles are being ridden by the cool kids all across New York City.

Former 1984 Olympic cycling gold medalist Alexi Grewal, who recently married a woman from Punjab, India, says Punjabi youths could shine in international cycling with enough institutional support from the government.

 

International

Four Canadian men are riding over 600 miles around Lake Ontario in the dead of winter to raise funds for charity and to encourage young people to be more active. Then again, they’ve already ridden to the North and South Poles.

A new British group is pushing to get the Labour Party to commit to more bike-friendly policies.

Bike advocacy groups in the UK criticize members of the House of Lords for insisting that bike lanes cause congestion and increase pollution, without having any evidence to back it up.

Britain won’t develop any new standards for dockless bikeshare because it’s too busy trying to kiss Europe goodbye.

A local website looks at the state of eco-friendly bicycling in Bangshal, Bangladesh, where newly married couples used to be given bicycles, until Hondas became more popular.

A letter writer in Islamabad complains that ebike riders don’t get any health benefits, apparently unaware that ped-assist ebikes help the rider, but don’t do all the work.

Demand for ebikes is still high in Japan, 25 years after Yamaha introduced the first one.

A 19-year old Singaporean fixie rider gets nine weeks behind bars for killing a 73-year old pedestrian in a collision while riding brakeless.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome will compete in the five-day Ruta del Sol in Andalucia, Spain, despite the doping cloud hanging over his head.

Mark Cavendish wants to go faster, while sticking to two wheels.

 

Finally…

Why just sell bikes, when you can steal them, too? Now this is how you promote a bike race.

And who says there’s no such thing as fixie rap?

Morning Links: Monterey Park votes for Complete Street, Griffith Park study released, and ebikes are trending

Monterey Park, Complete Streets

Bike SGV reports that Monterey Park approved plans for a 1.6 mile Complete Streets project and protected bike lanes along Monterey Pass Road.

This will be the first project to be implemented from the city’s 2014 bike plan.

Hopefully many more will follow. And other area cities will take the hint.

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CD4 Councilmember David Ryu released a study on access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign, which could result in either more or less access to the park, depending on which proposals are implemented.

Not to mention a second Hollywood sign.

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CNN says ebikes are emerging as a hot trend in the US. Except in New York, that is, where they are banned for reasons no one can seem to explain.

However, sales have nose-dived in Malta, dropping 90% after the country required ebikes to be registered. Which should be seen as a warning of what could happen if bicycle registration laws are passed in the US.

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As if we didn’t have enough bikeshare news yesterday, there’s still more today.

A West Hollywood site offers more on the city council’s discussion of the WeHo Pedals bikeshare system, and the possibility of making it free for city residents.

Santa Cruz proposes removing 28 parking spaces to make room for bikeshare stations, featuring ped-assist ebikes.

Scottsdale AZ officials are less than thrilled with the results of a dockless bikeshare pilot program, which has led to blocked sidewalks and art installations being used as bike racks.

Oak Park IL is pulling the plug on its participation in Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare, saying for the cost of the program, they could buy every kid in town a new bicycle every other year. But they probably won’t.

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Local

CiclaValley takes you on a ride along the historic Old Ridge Route.

South Pasadena is looking at ways to fix commuter traffic, after the long-fought 710 Freeway was finally killed; councilmembers asked that projects in the city’s 2011 bicycle master plan be included after a consultant gave them a low priority.

El Monte police increase enforcement of traffic laws after a pair of fatal collisions involving older pedestrians.

Manhattan Beach approves the installation of three bike Fix-It stations around the city.

Long Beach approves plans for up to 120 new oil wells in exchange for restoration of wetlands on a depleted oil field, including installation of walking and bike paths.

 

State

Work began today to add buffered bike lanes and other safety improvements along San Diego’s Torrey Pines Road.

Bike Index co-stars with a group of DIY crime fighters to battle Bay Area bike theft. Which provides another chance to remind you to register your bike for free before anything happens to it. And report it to the nationwide Bike Index stolen bike database if anything does.

A Marin paper says it makes sense to remove a bike and pedestrian lane from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to make more room for more cars, instead of offering a safe alternative so people don’t have to drive.

A wanted felon doesn’t get far trying to outrun police on his bicycle in Humboldt County.

 

National

Why settle for a folding bike when you can have folding wheels, too?

Nissan wants drivers to control their cars with their minds. Too many people don’t seem to think behind the wheel now, so what makes them think wearing a funny hat will change that?

People for Bikes lists a dozen bucket list rides for 2018, including a Big Wheel spin around the City by the Bay.

A Honolulu woman faces charges for pointing a gun at a bus driver in a dispute over the fare, then stealing a passenger’s bicycle off the front rack.

These are the people we share the roads with. Police say an Oregon woman drove off after killing a bike rider while driving drunk last month. Then returned to the scene to yell at the victim’s companions.

The federal Bureau of Land Management will expand the nationally recognized Phil’s World singletrack network in southwestern Colorado, while protecting a nearby golden eagle nest.

They get it. A Wyoming task force calls for a police training curriculum for bicycling and walking enforcement, as well as testing a high-powered air-blower to clear debris off highway shoulders that could pose a hazard to bicyclists.

Burlington VT drivers are feeling squeezed by new protected bike lanes. Although the real problem seems to be parked cars and inadequate snow removal. But sure, it’s always easier to blame the bikes.

She gets it, too. A Massachusetts letter writer says building a safe bicycle network is like building another transit system.

New York City responds to fatal bike crashes with a plan for a pair of protected bike lanes crossing Manhattan. Unfortunately, changes like this usually only happen after it’s already too late.

The New York bike path terrorist who killed eight people on Halloween is reportedly asking for a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

Evidently, hit-and-run just isn’t a crime anymore. South Carolina authorities decline to charge a driver who left the scene of a fatal crash. If police don’t take hit-and-run seriously, why should drivers?

 

International

Mexico City is encouraging bicycling as more riders take to the city’s crowded streets, though safety risks remain.

Caught on video: A British bus driver is caught on a bicyclist’s helmet cam texting at the wheel.

Kindhearted Brits have started a crowdfunding campaign to replace a bicycle stolen from a midwife who used it to get to and from work.

Wired examines the physics of the bizarre 69-degree UK intersection that blinds drivers to the presence of bicyclists.

The 21-year old heir to a Florentine noble family was killed in a London collision while riding a brakeless fixie, though that doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the crash.

Record-setting Scottish round-the-world cyclist Mark Beaumont is planning to set a new hour record — on a penny farthing.

A new Barcelona study shows expanding bicycle networks across Europe could prevent 10,000 premature deaths a year on the continent.

A five-year old New Zealand program encourages truck drivers to ride a bicycle to learn how it feels on the other side of the street.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Kiwi cyclist is still winning races at 83-years old, and doesn’t plan to quit.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at retired cyclist Iris Slappendel and her efforts to form a union for women cyclists.

Pro cyclist Nicholas Dlamini became the first black South African to wear a leader’s jersey in a World Tour race, leading the chase for the King of the Mountains at the Tour Down Under.

The Press-Telegram says it’s anyone’s guess how many people will actually show up for the Amgen Tour of California when it visits the city next May, after concluding that the official estimate of up to 225,000 who attended the event in 2007 was only off by around 190,000.

 

Finally…

It’s not every day a bike race is halted for a pending volcanic eruption. Probably not the best idea to participate in a triathlon five weeks after filing a claim for “incapacitating injuries.”

And forget exercise, chocolate and naps are the key to a long life.

 

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