Tag Archive for Complete Streets

LA considers Complete Streets makeover of Valley Blvd, US House hearing on traffic deaths, and Ballona Creek path closed

Los Angeles is taking the first tentative steps towards a Complete Streets makeover of Valley Blvd, from Mission Road to Soto Street

Proposals for the four-mile stretch of Valley Blvd include bus lanes and a possible sidewalk level, two-way cycle track, while sinking railroad tracks to reduce crossings and improve safety.

But don’t hold your breath.

Actual construction is at least five to ten years off. And what gets built will depend on a series of public meetings, which gives the usual NIMBYs a chance to derail everything.

Photo courtesy of the City of Los Angeles, via The Eastsider.

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About damn time.

The US House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee held a hearing yesterday to consider the country’s rising rate of traffic deaths, especially among pedestrians and bike riders.

Then again, it’s one thing to conduct a hearing. It’s another to actually do something about it.

Which hasn’t exactly been Congress’ strong suit in recent years.

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A section of the Ballona Creek bike path between National Blvd and Duquesne Ave in Culver City will be closed through this month.

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Sunset For All hosts another coffee walk to spread the word about plans for a more human-focused boulevard.

https://twitter.com/SunsetForAll/status/1534319644634497025

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

An Idaho man faces up to 15 years behind bars after accepting a plea bargain for driving through a public park trying to run down a boy riding a bicycle; fortunately, the kid was able to jump off before the man ran over his bike.

Police in the UK are looking for the passenger of a pickup who shouted out the window and squirted an “unknown liquid” in the face of pair of bicyclists as the truck passed them. Far from a harmless prank, something like that can startle the victim and cause a dangerous fail — regardless of whether the substance itself was actually harmful.

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Local

A Long Beach bike rider is in stable condition after he suffered injuries to his upper body when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver in the California Heights neighborhood.

 

State 

Victorville will close a portion of Green Tree Blvd for three months as part of a street makeover, including adding bike lanes along the roadway to create a seven-mile bike loop.

Zebra sightings continue in Santa Barbara, including one that chased a bike rider on Sunday; locals suggest it could be a free-roaming domesticated animal who has gone on several previous walkabouts.

San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow says he’s surprised the Bike League rated California as the country’s fourth most bicycle-friendly state, even as bike and pedestrian deaths continue to rise. He should see how surprised the rest of us are.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a therapy bike belonging to an 11-year old Sacramento boy with cerebral palsy; fortunately, kindhearted community members have raised more than $3,000 to replace it.

 

National

Outdoor offers their favorite outdoor love stories shared by the magazine’s readers, including a California couple’s mountain biking meetup that sparked their relationship.

Consumer Reports warns against buying or using the Tony Hawk Silver Signature Series helmet after it failed a safety test; the manufacturer had offered the helmet as a replacement for the recalled Dimensions Bluetooth Speaker multipurpose helmet, which also failed the magazine’s safety tests.

Bicycling recommends their picks for the best saddle bags. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Dallas is the latest major city to adopt a Vision Zero program, agreeing to halt traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they show more commitment than Los Angeles and other cities have, where it’s failing for lack of effort and investment.

A Chicago public radio station considers what the city can do to improve safety for bicyclists, after three riders have died on city streets this year. Meanwhile, Los Angeles has suffered over twice as many deaths, and no one has even batted an eye. 

Prosecutors charged an Indianapolis man with murder for the fatal hit-and-run that killed his ex-girlfriend as she was riding her bike; she identified her killer by giving police his license number before she died.

A writer from Streetsblog says New York can have nice things, but only after they get rid of cars — like blocking vehicles from the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

That’s more like it. DC is considering a plan to charge owners of large trucks and SUVs more to register their vehicles in an attempt to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, with an extra $175 for vehicles weighing between 3,500 and 6,000 pounds, and $500 for anything over that.

 

International

Digital Journal suggests smart helmets could be the future of bicycle safety.

British police are relying on bike cam and dashcam video to enforce traffic laws, after cutbacks in traffic cops. Unfortunately, that’s illegal in most, if not all, US states, where traffic infraction have to actually be witnessed by a cop.

A 49-year old father of three from the UK shares how bicycling helped him recover from a brain tumor, calling it as important to his recovery as his medications.

Your next custom-fitted Italian steel bike frame could come complete with gold-plated lugs and stays.

A 42-year old Dutch woman has been charged with attempted manslaughter for grabbing the arm of the country’s former legal protection minister as he rode his bike at a high rate of speed, causing him to fall heavily and break several ribs, as well as his pelvis and collarbone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former world ‘cross champ Thalita de Jong is finally back in the women’s WorldTour, five years after a knee injury knocked the Belgian cyclist out of the sport’s top levels.

The Sportsman says seven-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome is in the toughest fight of his career as he fights just to make the Israel–Premier Tech team for the Tour de France.

The coach of India’s international cycling team has been accused of sexual harassment and trying to force himself on one of the country’s top women’s cyclists.

The Spanish cycling community mourned the death of 87-year old Julio Jiménez, one of international cycling’s best climbers of the ’60s, after he was killed when the driver of the car he was in crashed into a wall.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little 65 mph bike ride through the California desert. Your next bike could be the self-proclaimed Ferrari of ebikes, for the low, low price of just 18 grand.

And that feeling when jousting on bicycles with boat oars ends up pretty much the way you’d expect.

Jousting with oars on bicycles from WinStupidPrizes

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Metro forgets Complete Streets promises, help put the buena back in Buena Park, and Newsom to bike riders: drop dead

Once again, Metro gets it wrong.

In its zeal to keep building highway projects in the midst of a climate emergency, the LA County transit agency is starting work on a new $26 million interchange where the 605 and Beverly Blvd meet.

But despite the agency’s professed commitment to Complete Streets, they’re not including bike lanes, even though the roadway will be wide enough to accommodate them at some distant, unspecified date.

Because evidently, they just can’t find a few extra bucks in that $26 million budget for a couple more cans of white paint.

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Speaking of Metro, Streets For All takes the agency to task for their ever-expanding freeway spending.

As if they didn’t learn anything about induced demand from their failed $1 billion project to add express lanes to the 405 through Sepulveda Pass.

Which they probably didn’t.

This is was the email the group sent out yesterday.

Did you know Metro is planning on increasing their freeway budget by $142 million next year?

Metro’s 2023 draft budget will increase Freeway spending by 30%. This comes after last year’s 80% increase in freeway spending, and at the same time as transit expansion funding is being decreased in 2023.

Freeways continue to cause massive health and climate impacts among LA’s most vulnerable populations while making traffic worse.

Tell the metro board not to increase freeway spending by calling in to the Metro Board meeting tomorrow at 10am (most impactful) or emailing public comment before 5pm TODAY.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to send an email. But you may still have time to call in your comment this morning.

Meanwhile, Metro will consider a pair of bikeway projects at today’s meeting that would connect the LA River bike path with Union Station in DTLA.

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Help put the buena back in Buena Park. The OC city wants your input on a new Complete Streets project.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom is once again throwing money around prior to an election.

But this time, it goes out to everyone but us.

At stake is the governor’s proposal for a $400 per car rebate for drivers, in lieu of freezing the gas tax as a sop to people complaining about rising gas taxes.

The money would go out to everyone with a car registered in California, for up to two vehicles, no matter how wealthy the owner, or how environmentally destructive the vehicle is.

Or if it even uses gas.

Meanwhile, transit riders would get a three month fare reprieve. And a relatively paltry $500 million would go towards active transportation projects in the state.

In other words, Newsom is doing everything in his power to maintain the automotive hegemony on our streets, regardless of the environmental damage, rather than use the crisis as an opportunity to make a sea change in how people get around in our state.

And not one penny to the people who did the right thing, and made the sometimes difficult, but environmentally sound, decision to give up their cars.

Instead of rebates to car owners who don’t need them — and in many cases, should have purchased a less wasteful and destructive vehicle to begin with — Newsom should make all transit systems within the state free.

Not just for three months, but permanently.

He should also pay people a monthly stipend to walk or bike to work instead of driving — enough to actually get people out of their cars. Then use the remaining funds to build the infrastructure necessary to support it.

Instead, we’re just doubling down on the same problems that got us here in the first place.

And learning absolutely nothing from the last gas crisis, while just setting us up for the next one.

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Unbelievable. A young Indian boy miraculously survives when his bike was crushed by a city bus after he darted out across the roadway on his bicycle and broadsided a motorcyclist, then skidded across the roadway just inches in front of the moving bus.

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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 Santa Barbara letter writer and former “frequent bicyclist” complains about the “bike lobby” that has “gained outsized power in the city government,” while conflating off-street bike paths with on-street bike lanes, and complaining that few people who ride the bike paths are riding to work. And that people in cars, who are apparently far more important than bike riders, really, really need their parking spaces. Although someone should ask him why he stopped riding, and if it had anything to do with a lack of safe bikeways.

A Scottish city is being justifiably criticized for leaving a huge lamppost in the middle of a new bike lane, evidently preferring to risk the safety of people using the lane than pay to move it.

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

An anonymous Portland writer complains about “asshole bicyclists” who ignore No Bikes Allowed On Trails signs to ride on walking trails in environmentally sensitive areas. Aside from making it clear he or she is as much of an a-hole as the people they’re complaining about, the writer has a point. Never ride where you could cause real harm to fragile landscapes.

Police in Ohio are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who slammed into the side of an SUV after running a stop sign, and took off on foot when the driver called the police.

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Local

Metro Bike returns to North Hollywood with new and improved bikeshare docking stations designed to accommodate any Metro Bike from anywhere in the city.

Culver City Patch reports on the 10th anniversary celebration of children’s bike advocacy group Walk ‘N Rollers.

 

State 

That feeling when your new Ducati bicycle isn’t made by Ducati, but comes as a tribute to the Italian motorbike brand from an Irvine-based ebike maker.

Danville is looking for volunteers to serve on the city’s six-person Bicycle Advisory Commission.

A Sebastopol winemaker faces up to 12 years and eight months behind bars after pleading guilty to the drunken crash that took the life of a bike-riding man, and cost the leg of a 12-year old boy who just happened to be riding near him; or he could walk with just time served. Ulises Valdez Jr. was nearly twice the legal blood alcohol limit following the collision.

 

National

Forbes offers their picks for the best bikes to ride anywhere, from the mountains to the bodega.

Bicycling offers a clickbait slideshow with their recommendations for the ten best women’s bike helmets for any kind of rider. Because why let someone just scroll to the one that suits them when you can get a few extra clicks? As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

This is the cost of traffic violence. A speeding San Antonio, Texas mom lost control and rolled her car, killing an innocent 18-year old bike rider, while injuring herself and her baby. Anyone who drives like that with a baby in the car should have either the car or the baby taken away.

Houston police were quick to blame the victim after a bike rider was killed by a  dump truck driver in a pre-dawn crash, accusing him of darting in front of the truck in what appears to be a single witness crash. Which seems somewhat unlikely, since most bike riders try to stay the hell away from massive trucks.

Completing our Texas trifecta, a Seguin, Texas man was extradited from Mexico for the fatal 2018 shooting of a man riding a bicycle; no explanation was given for why he allegedly murdered the victim, who was described as a good man who helped his neighbors.

A Kansas City public radio station profiles the city’s Black-led Major Taylor Cycling Club, saying they may not be the fastest, but make everyone feel welcome.

She gets it. A Cambridge, Massachusetts letter writer says you can support both small businesses and bike lanes, and that the two actually complement and benefit one another.

A New York morning newspaper says a two-way, barrier-protected bike lane brought a belated bike boom to the Brooklyn Bridge. Either they have an editor who loves alteration almost as much as I do, or they had an over-abundance of Bs they had to use before they went bad.

A Pittsburgh PA bike shop also hosts the world’s largest bicycle museum, with over 4,000 bicycles of every description.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, five of the eight cops involved have been fired for the fatal tasing of a man accused of riding a bicycle without permission; the victim was shocked repeatedly in a short period of time for the crime of taking the unattended bike for a test ride around the block.

To the surprise of no one, an arrest warrant has been issued for the woman who led a bike cop on a slow speed chase through a Florida airport while riding a self-propelled suitcase after she failed to appear for a court hearing.

 

International

They get it. A Halifax, Nova Scotia newspaper says SUVs are driving us to climate calamity, adding it will never be environmentally sound to use two tons of material to move roughly 200 pounds of human.

A self-described bicycling virgin shares their thoughts on riding in Manchester, England.

London’s mayor says the reputation of the city’s transportation department is at stake if bicyclists keep dying at a busy intersection.

A former British mayor and councilor accused bike riders ignoring a ban on bikes on a popular climb of being “an organized gang…who are up to no good.”

Luxembourg — the city, not the country, although the city is in the country — announced plans for seven new bike boulevards, joining three successful bike boulevards opened last year. Although someone should tell them that bikes and cobbles like the ones in the photo aren’t the best combination.

A new Italian bike light puts out a massive 5,000 lumens, yet weighs less than two ounces; it can be yours via Kickstarter starting around $138.

The women who founded Turkey’s annual Fancy Women Bike Ride have been honored with a special UN recognition for promoting bicycling; the ride has now spread around the world.

The US has finally removed the onerous 25% tariff on many Chinese bicycles, including kid’s bikes, ebikes and accessories.

That tariff change comes just in time for a Chinese company introducing a new wireless ebike charging system, which works like a charging pad for your cellphone.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canadian Cycling Magazine looks at the surprisingly long list of active pro cyclists who died of heart attacks.

 

Finally…

Your toddler may get a magnesium-framed Bentley before you do, if you do. Your dog may get a Burley before your kid does.

And we may have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging ostrich escapees.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

US bicycling deaths up over 9% in 2020, Feds commit to Complete Streets, and remembering a fallen bike rider

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the final traffic fatality stats for 2020.

And the news was as bad as we expected.

A whopping 38,824 people were killed on American roads, the worst since 2007, and a nearly 7% jump over 2019.

That also represents a 21% increase over the previous year in deaths per vehicle miles traveled (VMT). So it’s not just due to more people on the roads; in fact, 2020 was marked by a dramatic decrease in driving due to the pandemic.

The one bit of good news is that traffic injuries dropped 17% in 2020, while crashes declined 22%.

So we’re talking fewer, but far more deadly, crashes, with pedestrians and bicyclists accounting for one in five of those killed.

Like the overall trends, it was a mixed bag for bike riders, with 938 people killed while riding their bikes in 2020, a 9.2% increase over the year before, while injuries dropped 21%, to 10,171.

Meanwhile, we’re off to a horrible start to this year, with 22 people killed riding their bikes in Southern California in just the first two months of 2022 — a rate of one person killed less than every three days.

Which has got to stop.

Now.

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Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration submitted their first report to Congress detailing their “commitment to advance widespread implementation” of Complete Streets, as required by last year’s infrastructure bill.

Which they define like this.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law defines Complete Streets standards or policies as those which “ensure the safe and adequate accommodation of all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users, children, older individuals, individuals with disabilities, motorists, and freight vehicles.”

The law requires that a relatively paltry 2.5% of planning funding has to go towards Complete Streets, or bicycling, walking or transit projects.

Then again, that’s 2.5% more than was required before.

Although their idea of a Complete Street may leave something to be desired.

The infrastructure bill also contains a provision that will prevent states from setting traffic safety goals that allow an increase in traffic deaths each year.

And they’ll have to take steps to protect the safety of bike riders and pedestrians in order to keep receiving federal funds.

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Nice piece from a longtime reporter with the Daily Bulletin, who remembers former five-term Upland Councilmember Tom Thomas, who died Saturday after he was struck by a motorcyclist while riding his bike in Montclair.

David Allen recalls him as a friend, as well as a local leader, along with his three-decade love of bicycling. He talks about Thomas as being too nice for today’s rough-and-tumble civic politics.

A few paragraphs stand out, though. Like this from when Thomas was first elected to the city council in 1990.

Riding defensively is his approach and expecting the worst his philosophy when biking on city streets. Clueless motorists frequently make turns across the path of bike riders or nearly knock them over when zooming by.

Then there’s this, as Allen spoke with Thomas’ wife after his death.

I ask her about Tom’s bike riding. He’d head out Tuesday, Thursday and either Saturday or Sunday for 20 to 35 miles at a time. The 6-foot-1 senior was, enviably, at his college weight of 210. And he took every precaution on the road.

“This man was the safest cyclist you could have,” Ann says. “He wore the neon yellow windbreaker. If it was even dusk, he would turn on his lights, front and back. He always wore a helmet. He would curse people who didn’t wear one. He broke three helmets over the years” — starting with that 1990 accident.

Sadly, it wasn’t enough to keep him safe.

Another reminder that you can do everything right. Yet your safety still depends on those we share the road with.

We have no choice but to trust them with our lives, in the most literal sense.

Even if they don’t deserve it.

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REI is now offering members a 20% discount on bike repairs, as well as free flat fixing. Which should more than pay for your lifetime membership fee the first time you use it.

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Now this is a bike ad.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1499111168232800265

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

A Bowling Green, Kentucky bike rider was threatened by a pair of men in separate pickups, after the first driver bumped his bike, and the second stopped behind him and threw his bike off the roadway.

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

A man riding on a Placer County, CA bike path struck a woman with his bike, apologized, then pulled a knife and robbed her as he helped her up.

Houston, Texas police are looking for an armed robber who rode up to couple as they were getting into their car outside a shopping mall, pointed a gun at them and demanded their wallets and cellphone.

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Local

CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian wisely cancelled the ill-advised proposal to widen Burbank Blvd in North Hollywood, opting to widen sidewalks and improve safety for pedestrians instead.

A writer for City Watch questions whether CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has the integrity to serve as city controller, after violating city ethics rules by attending a fundraiser at the home of a DWP commissioner, while suggesting Koretz should know better after 55 long years in politics.

USC’s Annenberg Media discusses the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal, which would require Los Angeles to build out the mobility plan when streets get repaved.

A new e-scooter company has taken root in Santa Monica, with Chicago-based micromobility company Veo expecting to hire 300 people to staff its West Coast HQ.

 

State 

Costa Mesa will rename a segment of the 55 Freeway for fire captain and fallen bike rider Mike Kreza, who was killed by a stoned driver while riding in Mission Viejo in 2018; Stephen Taylor Scarpa was sentenced to 15 to life after his conviction for killing Kreza last year.

Bikemaker Yuba Bicycles used their own cargo bikes to move their headquarters from San Juan Capistrano to new offices in Lake Forest.

The San Diego Bike Coalition highlights the city’s new @SDCrashBot to track collisions involving bike riders and pedestrians, based on Streets For All’s Vision Zero Alerts, which has provided a similar service for the LA area for a little over a year. Thanks to Phillip Young for the link.

Oakland’s 14th Street is due to get a Complete Streets makeover, with a 4-to-2 lane reduction, shortened crosswalks and curb-protected bike lanes on both sides.

No bias here. After an SUV slammed into an Anderson, California preschool, sending 14 little kids to the hospital, the LA Times doesn’t even mention that it had a driver until story’s penultimate paragraph. But at least they didn’t call it an accident.

 

National

If you’ve always dreamed of working in the glamorous field of bicycle journalism, Bikerumor is looking for freelance writers for remote work.

Houston will install a popup bike lane this Sunday to allow fans to ride safely to the rodeo.

An autistic Michigan man spreads joy through his community by riding his bike while wearing extravagant holiday-themed suits, showing how special people with autism can be.

A new documentary from a Boston bike advocate highlights several women who enjoy riding their bikes after dark.

 

International

The Guardian profiles Twitter user @cybergibbons, who polices the social media site to confront anti-bike trolls. I’ve been known to do the same thing, but with about 30,000 fewer followers. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

Road.cc offers tips on how to keep your bike from being a pain in the butt. Or anywhere else.

A Toronto bicyclist films himself unexpectedly, and painfully, wiping out on the city’s streetcar tracks.

Welsh math teacher during the week, record-setting cyclist on weekends.

The truck driver who killed an English woman as she rode her bike through a deadly intersection faces charges of driving while stoned and without a license; she was the eighth bike rider killed there in recent years.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a former Oxfordshire mayor walked with a suspended sentence for killing a 75-year old man riding a bicycle.

A new study from London’s Hackney neighborhood shows the British equivalent of Slow Streets encouraged 30% of residents to drive less, and ride their bikes more.

Two additional men have been charged in the violent home-invasion robbery of pro cyclist Mark Cavendish; a third man is already awaiting trial.

Irish academics say a focus on driver safety has made roads less safe for bike riders and pedestrians, and driven human interactions off the streets.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sad news from Australia, where three-time world champ Alex Woods died from cancer at just 55-years old; he also won championships as a junior, as well as winning gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals.

More sad news, as Ukrainian national cycling coach Alexander Kulyk was killed in a Russian attack while trying to help people evacuate from Kyiv; his son, former pro cyclist Andriy Kulyk demands that UCI ban Russian and Belarusian cyclists.

Russian cyclist Aleksandr Vlasov says he feels sorry for everyone who is suffering because of his country’s invasion of Ukraine, and says he just wants peace like most Russians.

Russian ex-cycling team boss Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team, also came out against the war, calling it “unthinkable and unacceptable.”

VeloNews looks forward to Saturday’s Paris-Nice race, saying the eight-stage race has the strongest field so far this season. Meanwhile, the magazine asks if anyone can beat Tadej Pogačar in the one-day Strade Bianche, which also runs tomorrow.

A 21-year old British trans woman says she just wants to be competitive again, after previously setting national records as a junior male; Emily Bridges will compete as a woman for the first time this year, after lowering her testosterone levels since publicly transitioning in 2020.

How to cut corners by cutting corners to cheat in bike racing.

 

Finally…

That feeling when winning a time trial scores you a box of sex toys. Your next bike could be all wheels and chain, with no frame.

And that feeling when your toddler needs a $1,200 titanium balance bike.

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

Best and worst of California biking, confusing Metro 710 bike mess, and you don’t have to bike inside after all

Today’s must read belatedly came to my attention, after a week lost in my spam folder.

Calbike took a look back at best and worst of California biking last year, from Glendora’s low-cost quick-build Complete Streets demo, to proof that traffic jams improve safety, as bike and pedestrian deaths went up even as traffic levels decreased during the pandemic.

A few other highlights —

  • A pair of San Diego area bikeway prove persistence pays off
  • The Eastside’s Roadkill Gil gets a nod for worst abuse of political power
  • The failed anti0bike recall of Nithya Raman
  • Calbike’s big win on California’s new ebike subsidy program
  • The LA Times investigation of biased bike stops by sheriff’s deputies

Take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It may the most entertaining and informative thing you’ll read all day.

Aside from what you’re reading now, anyway.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels.

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Sometimes I don’t know what the hell to make of something.

Especially when it involves widening a freeway in a soon-to-be-failed attempt at relieving traffic congestion, as if induced demand isn’t even a thing.

Not to mention make a complete mess of things when it comes to bicycling.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports that’s the case with Metro’s recent presentation on the proposed widening of the 710 Freeway — excuse me, the multimodal transformation of the 710 corridor.

The $6 billion project was put on pause after decades of community complaints, cancellation by the EPA, pausing by Caltrans and suspension by the Metro board.

Which is one hell of a losing streak, if you ask me.

Now the project is once again rearing its ugly head, this time accompanied with references to rail and NextGen bus service.

And bike lanes. Well, sort of.

Or maybe not.

We’ll let Linton take it from here.

Metro’s video states that there is a “protected bike lane” along the L.A. River, when the river facility is actually a bike path. The presentation emphasizes that there is “a lack of designated bike routes,” though cyclists know that bike routes are typically meaningless. Metro’s “Bike Routes [sic]” map labels many bike paths as protected bikeways, and maps numerous protected bikeways in lots of places where they don’t exist: East L.A., Vernon, Carson, etc. (Hint for Metro’s intern: the only protected bikeways in the study area are in the city of Long Beach.)

I hesitated writing about this for over a week, thinking my feeble diabetes and drug addled brain just couldn’t make sense of it.

Then I finally realized it didn’t make sense to me because it just doesn’t make sense.

Like Metro somehow not knowing the difference between an imaginary protected bike lane and an actual riverfront bike path, albeit one with an eight-mile gap through DTLA.

Or that they would somehow invent a network of nonexistent protected bike lanes that would make vaporware look good.

I’d suggest Metro needs to get their shit together, but it looks like they already put their #2 staffer on it.

Pun intended.

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Let’s all shed a tear for Peloton’s CEO, who is no longer a billionaire after the company’s stock has dropped 85% since its pandemic peak.

Meanwhile, Alissa Walker reminds us that you don’t have to settle for riding a bike indoors.

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We may have to worry about aggressive LA drivers. But at least we don’t have to dodge angry wild turkeys just to get a ride in.

https://twitter.com/ABC7/status/1483627774459842561?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1483627774459842561%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Freal923la.iheart.com%2Fcontent%2F2022-01-20-bicyclist-gets-harassed-by-wild-turkeys%2F

Frequent contributor Megan Lynch can give thanks she had a much milder encounter with some skinnier and less aggressive toms.

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What could possibly go wrong with this?

Unless maybe you’re the bike rider waiting patiently for a little old lady to make it all the way to the other side, while an impatient driver runs up on your ass, horn blaring.

https://twitter.com/NYPD19Pct/status/1484180393498718208

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No wonder they called it the Great War.

Sure, they may have had to fight on an unforgiving front in a brutal war, but at least they got to ride bikes.

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

No bias here. English police don’t bother to do anything about a driver’s dangerously close pass on a blind curve, but give a warning for the bike rider’s bad language in response.

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

A Brit man on a mountain bike more than lived up to this section’s theme by punching a delivery driver in the eye after claiming he cut him off.

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Local

This is who we share the road with. The LAPD is looking for a trio of hit-and-run drivers who injured one pedestrian and a person riding an e-scooter, and killed another pedestrian in three separate crashes the Jefferson Park neighborhood this month.

Riders on the LA River bike path may eventually have something besides a concrete river channel to look at when the path is finally extended from Elysian Park through DTLA to Maywood; the new infrastructure bill contains $28 million to restore 11 miles of the river to some semblance of a more natural state from Glendale to Downtown Los Angeles.

Get ready to rumble in Palmdale, where Caltrans is proposing removing street parking along a section of State Route 138 to make room for bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is sure to rile up the local citizenry and businesses.

 

State

Sad news from San Jose, where a man who had survived getting struck by a driver while riding a motorized bike last October died due to complications stemming from his injuries.

 

National

Bike Hacks offers a clickbait-friendly seven reasons why every college student should have a bicycle.

The driver who killed the wife of one of Tesla’s co-founders as she rode a bike outside of Reno is facing six years after pleading guilty to felony reckless driving.

Streetsblog considers whether Chicago speed cams are racist because they disproportionately ticket people of color, or if the real problem is racist road design in low-income neighborhoods that encourage people to speed.

The trial of a Black Illinois bike rider accused of fatally shooting a car passenger who he says called him a racial slur was nearly derailed when a witness said a defense paralegal had posed as a police officer to interrogate him at work.

Seriously? A Massachusetts letter writer complains that a new bike lane is dangerous and will get someone killed because drivers have to cross it to make a right turn, and have to watch out for people on bikes when leaving a parking space. You know, pretty much like virtually every other bike lane on the face of the earth, aside from Denmark and the Netherlands, of course.

A pair of Brown University students have created what they describe as “Waze for bikes” to help overcome the woes we usually face.

 

International

Brompton is introducing its first Ti frame, sub-17 pound foldie.

Britain’s biggest bicycle retailer is offering commuters free use of an ebike if their train is cancelled due to the ongoing disruptions caused by the Omicron variant.

Speaking of Denmark, it’s the bike-friendly country’s Year of the Bike, with the Tour de France scheduled to start in Copenhagen, and a commitment to spend $64 million on bike lanes this year — part of a whopping $458 million bicycling infrastructure plan. Then again, every year is the year of the bike for Danish residents.

Dutch bikemaker Van Moof introduces a twin engine “hyperbike” ebike — even though its 31 mph top speed makes it illegal in Europe and much of the US, including California.

Jerusalem residents are demanding bike lanes on congested Hebron Road, and getting the cold shoulder from city hall.

An Aussie urban designer explains how the country could become a world leader in bicycle friendly cities, starting with prioritizing bikes and pedestrians over cars. Which should be the starting point for all traffic laws everywhere. Especially right here in Los Angeles.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Colorado hedge fund is taking a new approach to pro cycling’s failing business model by earmarking a percentage of their management proceeds to support USA Cycling and other cycling organizations.

 

Finally…

Remember to unplug your ebike before it explodes. Now you, too can look like your heroes from L39ion of Los Angeles.

And “If you’re in a four wheel drive, you can f**k off.”

Now that’s a lyric we can all relate to.

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

Caltrans commits to Complete Streets — no, really, Raman wants your street requests, and Dierks does it again

It’s the penultimate day of the 7th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Just two more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy!

Thanks to Sarah S and Castell C for their generous donations to help keep all the best, brightest and freshest bike news coming to your way every day.

So don’t wait. Stop what you’re doing and give now via PayPal, or with Zelle to ted @ bikinginla.com.

Any amount, no matter how large or small, is truly and deeply appreciated, more than I could begin to say.

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Maybe they’re finally done making excuses.

Streetsblog reports Caltrans has finally and formally embraced Complete Streets, supplanting an earlier policy that was seen as weak-kneed and too easy to weasel out of, which they usually did.

This time, it seems to have teeth.

The policy, signed by director Toks Omishakin on December 7, states that “Caltrans recognizes that streets are not only used for transportation but are also valuable community spaces. Accordingly, in locations with current and/or future pedestrian, bicycle, or transit needs, all transportation projects funded or overseen by Caltrans will provide comfortable, convenient, and connected complete streets facilities for people walking, biking, and taking transit or passenger rail unless an exception is documented and approved. When decisions are made not to include complete streets elements in capital and maintenance projects, the justification will be documented with final approval by the responsible District Director.”

It says all the right things.

We’ll see if they actually live up to it.

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If, like me, you still live in LA’s 4th Council District, which lost 2/3 of its previous residents in redistricting, it looks like Councilmember Nithya Raman is actually asking for help identifying needed changes on the streets.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1473777941440049157

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Country start Dierks Bentley, who was apparently born during a vowel surplus, learns a lesson about filming while fat biking in the snow. But at least he didn’t break a hip this time.

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Local

No surprise here. LAist says how long it takes to make safety improvements to a street depends on who represents your neighborhood on the city council. Or as we’ve learned the hard way, whether it gets done at all.

Speaking of which, South LA’s deadly Adams Blvd is finally getting a makeover under the city’s Vision Zero program, despite not currently having a representative on the city council after Mark Ridley-Thomas stepped back in the wake of bribery charges; the street saw nine traffic deaths in just three years, including a bike rider who remains officially unnamed two years later.

US Representative Judy Chu met with Glendora officials and Active SGV Executive Director David Diaz to tour the city’s Greenway Network, and tout the benefits of the new federal bipartisan infrastructure law.

 

State

Streets For All is joining Calbike in calling on the state to commit $2 billion of the record $31 billion budget surplus to active transportation projects; the money would fund 80 shovel-ready biking and walking projects throughout the state, including 17 in Los Angeles County.

 

National

Forbes recommends seven bike storage options to help get your whips squared away.

NBA all-star Kevin Love is one of us, telling a reporter the hardest workout he’s ever done was his annual ride up Utah’s 8.250-foot Mount Timpanogos.

Denver is reducing speed limits in residential neighborhoods to 20 mph. Which would be a good idea for Los Angeles, except the current 25 mph speed limit is already universally ignored by drivers.

A Michigan man can credit a wrong turn with saving his life, after an off-duty nurse spotted him writhing in a bike lane after she turned on the the wrong street on a freezing morning; without her help, the man could have bled out or frozen to death after apparently crashing his bike — or maybe getting knocked off it.

There’s a special place in hell for the man who stole a kids bike to make his escape as he fled a collision where he had just killed a woman while driving a stolen truck.

Nice. New York’s newly appointed transportation commissioner commits to replacing half of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts that pass for protection on too many of the city’s 198 miles of protected bike lanes, with something more solid and actually protective in his first 100 days in office.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare was knocked offline at the height of rush hour yesterday when Amazon’s internet servers went down again.

A 21-year old Florida man faces multiple charges for the alleged drunken and stoned crash that killed a father out for his daily bike ride. But his lawyer thinks he should get credit for sticking around and trying to help the man, who wouldn’t have needed it if he hadn’t been driving.

 

International

Momentum questions whether ebikes are suited for cold North American winters, noting that they don’t perform well in temperatures below 0° Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, Jalopnik examines the problem of lithium mines needed to fuel the world’s conversion to electric cars — a problem shared by ebikes, albeit to a lesser degree.

Speaking of a special place in hell, whoever stole a Vancouver man’s mountain bike as he lay in the hospital recovering from a ruptured spleen certainly deserves it; remarkably, police recovered the man’s bike days later after spotting it during a walkthrough of an SRO hotel.

An 85-year old Frenchman got back the bike his father built from spare parts in 1946 when he was ten years old, after it was recovered by a junk dealer in good, rideable condition.

An Aussie man got his stolen $15,000 Cervelo back after spotting an ad on Facebook selling just the wheels for $1,000; police charged a woman with possessing stolen property.

 

Competitive Cycling

Will the last bike race to leave the US please turn off the lights? The Tour of Utah became just the latest in a long list of major bike races to bite the dust, joining the Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and too many others, in going out of business.

PEZ Cycling News considers history’s best comebacks in the pro peloton, including the problematic Mr. Armstrong.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to set a playground on fire, don’t leave your bike there afterwards — and don’t try to tell the police someone stole it. That feeling when the cops apparently stole a bike corral, because parking.

And celebrate the holidays with a mountain biker’s entertaining take on the season’s most interminable carol.

………

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

25×25 plan to reshape LA’s public spaces, man killed in Texas mass casualty bike crash, and Zuckerberg’s bad bike fit

Before we get started, there’s news of a 24-year old man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike in Santa Ana early Friday morning.

However, I haven’t been able to find official confirmation of the crash, or any further details.

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

………

Streets For All announced a bold plan to reshape the streets of Los Angeles on Monday.

The group’s 25×25 plan calls for devoting 25% of the city’s public space back to the people, instead of cars.

Consider this manifesto from the opening page of the 25×25 website.

For over a century, the people of Los Angeles have been forced to accept a “normal” on our streets that is anything but:

  • It is not normal for a whole city to be crippled by traffic.
  • It is not normal to breathe poisonous air.
  • It is not normal for children to lack space to play.
  • It is not normal for jobs to be rendered inaccessible, especially for low-income communities and communities of color.
  • It is not normal for sidewalks to be impassable and broken.
  • It is not normal for bus service to be unreliable and late.
  • It is not normal to fear death and serious injury when crossing the street or riding a bike.

Streets For All envisions a city where the bus is never stuck in traffic. Where children can bike themselves to school. Where green space dots every corner of the city. Where everyone can get where they’re going quickly, with dignity and joy.

Streets For All is asking candidates in next years city elections to sign on to the 25×25 plan, with half of the candidates for city offices already endorsing it.

So far, more than 50% of viable candidates running in 2022 have already signed on:

Mayor: Jessica Lall
Controller: David Vahedi, Kenneth Mejia
City Attorney: Kevin James, Marina Torres
CD1: Eunisses Hernandez
CD3: Yasmine Pomeroy
CD5: Molly Basler, Jimmy Biblarz, Sam Yebri, Scott Epstein, Katy Yaroslavsky
CD9: Curren Price, Dulce Vasquez
CD13: Al Corado, Dylan Kendall, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Kate Pynoos
CD15: Bryant Odega

It’s worth noting that one candidate for city controller hasn’t signed on.

Then again, it’s no surprise that bike-unfriendly pseudo-environmentalist career politician Paul Koretz would oppose it.

However, it’s hard to imagine LA’s glacial bureaucracy moving fast enough to build out the plan’s long list of measures in just the next four years.

  • 1,550 miles of additional Slow Streets
  • 60,000 safer crossings at all intersections
  • 615 miles of dedicated bus lanes on Tier 1 Metro bus routes
  • 30.5 million square feet of public plazas and open space for people
  • 26.1 million square feet of wider sidewalks
  • 600 miles of new protected bike lanes
  • 200,000 additional trees
  • 6,000 new bus shelters
  • 2,500 new public restrooms
  • 10,000 new benches
  • 20,000 new trash cans
  • 7,500 additional Al Fresco outdoor dining implementations
  • 10,000 new loading zones

Meanwhile, this is what they say the plan would achieve, if implemented.

  • Likely reach zero annual traffic deaths on city streets (achieve “Vision Zero”)
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a park or plaza from 65% → 100%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live within a 10 minute walk from a bus-only lane from 11% → 55%
  • Increase the number of Angelenos that live a 10 minute walk from a protected bike lane from 10% → 65%
  • Ensure every school and park is directly connected to a neighborhood greenway or slow street
  • Reduce VMT in LA by at least 13% per the LA Green New Deal
  • Increase the percentage of all trips made by walking, biking, or transit 35% per the LA Green New Deal

Of course, the key to all of that is the phrase, if implemented.

Which is always the problem in Los Angeles, where it’s one thing to get a plan passed, and another for city officials to actually carry it out.

But it has the potential to be truly transformational.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Photo from LA25x25.com.

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Sad news from Texas, where a man has died after a driver slammed into a group six bike riders in Liberty County, northeast of Houston.

And as usual, the speeding driver has been released without so much as a ticket.

The victim was identified as 51-year-old Kent Joshua Wosepka from South Hamilton, Massachusetts, one of six riders participating in an annual cross-country ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida.

He was a talented artist, who chaired the board of trustees for Boston’s Montserrat College of Art.

A 54-year old woman, also from South Hamilton, and a 59-year old woman from Santa Rosa were also hospitalized in serious condition; the other three riders were uninjured.

Investigators allowed the 66-year old driver to walk without charges, despite police concluding he “failed to maintain his speed.”

At least this time the investigation is being conducted by the state police, rather than the local sheriff, as was the case in nearby Waller County in late September, when a teenaged driver plowed into another six riders while attempting to envelop them in a cloud of exhaust fumes, known as rolling coal.

Let’s hope the drivers are held accountable in both cases. But I wouldn’t count on it.

It’s Texas, after all.

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Maybe we can talk KCBS/KCAL9 bike riding news anchor Jeff Vaughn into trade his news desk for a bicycle seat.

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That feeling when you’ve got $69 billion, but can’t manage to get a decent bike fit.

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

A Houston-area bike rider was severely beaten by a neighbor, who ordered him to leave the corner he was stopped at because he was “making everyone nervous,” apparently just for being a Black man on a bicycle.

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Local

The LA school district is participating in a pilot project for the All Kids Bike program, ensuring every kindergarten kid at two elementary schools will have a chance to learn how to ride a bike during PE classes.

A Koreatown website examines Bicycle Meals, the volunteer group delivering food to homeless people by bicycle three times a week.

CD11 Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair Mike Bonin is asking for public endorsements as he faces re-election next year, as well as a right-wing recall attempt; Bonin has long been one of the most bike and pedestrian friendly members on the council.

This is who we share the road with. A 27-year old Long Beach man faces charges for an allegedly deliberate hit-and-run attack in which he drove onto a crowded sidewalk outside a Halloween party early Sunday morning, injuring six people, following what was described as a domestic violence incident.

 

State

Phillip Young forwards news of a support group for people who have been injured in bicycle crashes, courtesy of the San Diego County Bike Coalition. (Scroll down. No, keep scrolling.)

Police in Pacifica are looking for a hit-and-run driver who ran down a bike rider from behind, leaving him or her with serious injuries.

Legendary Sausalito bike shop owner Anthony “Tony” Tom died last week; he was around 65-years old.

A Davis letter writer says the city is no more the nation’s bicycle capital than any other college town, and that a bicycle capital “should do more than rest on its laurels for establishing bike lanes in the 1960s.” Ouch.

 

National

Seattle introduces a simplified plan to close a 1.4-mile gap in the city’s Burke-Gilman Trail, which has defied solutions for over two decades.

In an unusual twist, gambling giant Ceasar’s Entertainment may shoot down plans for a bike lane through Downtown Reno, because it doesn’t go in front of their casinos.

You’ve got to be kidding. Life is cheap in Ohio, where a hit-and-run driver who nearly killed a bike-riding mother of three walked without a single day behind bars when she was sentenced to one lousy year of probation, and lost her driver’s license for a whole six months. Anyone who leaves the scene of a crash without stopping should lose their license for life, at a bare minimum.

A New York State man faces up to seven years behind bars for killing a bike-riding woman while he was high on weed, which is legal in the state — but not for drivers.

 

International

Cycling Weekly looks forward to the best Black Friday deals on kids bikes and balance bikes, both in the UK and the US.

A group of English pediatricians and other health professionals rode their bikes 800 miles to the COP26 climate summit to call attention to the dangers of pollution and climate change for kids.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a terrified 10-year old British boy’s bicycle at knifepoint.

An Indian man launches the first bike brand in Chhattisgarh state, employing traditional art and craft forms to make a handcrafted bamboo bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

American ultracyclist Amanda Coker shattered the women’s 24-hour record, becoming the first woman to ride more than 500 miles in a single day.

Oleg Tinkov, the former owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo cycling team, has been convicted of tax fraud in the US and fined $500 million — less than a quarter of his estimated wealth — on top of a one-year suspended sentence.

 

Finally…

Seriously, what kind of lowlife steals an ice cream bike from a gelato shop? If you have to steal a bike, don’t visit grandma until she turns off her security cam.

And I would have thought Daniel Boone was more of a horse guy, myself.

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Thanks once again for Matthew R’s generous monthly donation to help support this site, and keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day. 

Meanwhile, our seventh annual Holiday Fund Drive is coming at the end of this month. So start saving your spare change. 

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

Unidentified bike rider in Torrance crash, Reseda Blvd Complete Streets moves forward, and Colin Powell was one of us

Yet another tragic reminder to always carry ID when you ride.

LA County health officials are asking for help identifying a man who was injured in a collision while riding his bike in Torrance Thursday morning.

The victim is described as a man in his 50s or 60s, possibly Asian, 5’3″ and 150 pounds.

He has a muscular build, with short salt and pepper hair, possibly balding in the front, and was riding a bicycle spray-painted in a variety of colors.

While no information was given on his condition, he’s most likely unconscious and unable to identify himself.

Anyone with information is urged to call the hospital at 424/306-6310.

We’ve said it many times before.

Always carry some form of ID with you when you ride a bike, and preferably not something that’s likely to be stolen if you’re incapacitated.

And yes, that happens more than you might think.

I always wear a Road ID when I’m on my bike, and any other time I leave home, since it doubles as my diabetic alert bracelet.

I also carry a slip of paper in my seat pack with my name and emergency contact information, just in case.

Because emergency personnel need to know who you are to access your medical records.

And your loved ones deserve to know where you are if anything happens.

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

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Here’s something to look forward to.

LADOT offers a progress report on the $19.5 million Reseda Boulevard Complete Streets Project between Parthenia St and Victory Blvd, which remains a year and a half from completion.

Progress Report 

Over the past few months, City of LA crews have been actively working on the east side of the street starting at Victory Blvd. and moving north, reconstructing portions of the sidewalk and driveways in greatest need of repair, rebuilding corner curb ramps to meet current accessibility standards, and rebuilding broken curbs and gutters. The result will be safer, smoother surfaces for people walking, rolling, and driving on Reseda Blvd.

As of October 2021, crews have completed these elements between Victory Blvd and Sherman Way, and have started on the segment between Sherman Way and Wyandotte St. Crews will return to these segments in 2022-2023 to install the other project elements such as signals, bus boarding islands, and trees. Note that at intersections where changes to the traffic signals are planned, corner curb ramps will be upgraded later, at the same time that the signal work is completed.

What’s Next?

Sidewalk construction activity on Reseda Blvd will continue progressing northward toward Parthenia St, on the east side of the street, through Fall 2022. You can continue to expect intermittent sidewalk and driveway closures and temporary parking restrictions in this area.

Please be mindful of the work crews as you travel – we appreciate your patience as we work to improve this street!

Questions or Concerns?

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There may be a reason. But there’s no effing excuse.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

The San Francisco Bike Index account was restricted on Twitter, apparently for somehow violating their rules by helping people recover their stolen bicycles.

………

Always carry a spare bike in case you get a flat.

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

No bias here. A Canadian letter writer wonders when the madness will end, insisting there’s no reason to clear snow from a bike lane because no one in their right mind would ride a bike in the snow. Which is exactly why they need to clear the snow from the bike lanes, so no one has to.

Protesters vandalized planters blocking the street for one of London’s Limited Traffic Neighborhoods, or LTNs, the country’s equivalent of Slow Streets on this side of the Atlantic.

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

The New York bike rider who went on a stabbing spree on and around the Williamsburg Bridge has been charged with attempted murder, as well as assault, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance; he could face additional charges for his second victim.

Tragic news from Florida, where a Hollywood police officer was shot and killed by a bike-riding car burglar; police arrested the 18-year old suspect.

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Local

Streets Are For Everyone is hosting a Halloween Finish The Ride & Run in Santa Clarita on the 31st.

An editor for the Loyola Marymount student newspaper says it’s time to get rid of the ban on e-scooters on campus, saying it only serves to encourage more driving.

 

State

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, wants your input to develop an updated county transportation plan.

The San Diego Association of Governments, better known as SANDAG, is offering grants up to $3,000 for “programs or projects that promote biking through outreach and education” during next year’s May Bike Month. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the man who assaulted an 11-year old boy as he rode his bike to school, standing in front of his bike and grabbing the boy’s wrists to keep him from leaving.

Patagonia examines the bakers behind San Luis Obispo’s Bread Bike, who deliver freshly baked loaves by bicycle, while making new friends by pedaling their way into the community. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the link.

In a Bay Area takeoff on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, a San Francisco comic is hosting the new web series Comedians On Bicycles Getting Bobs, a local doughnut shop.

 

National

CityLab looks at the growing trend of city-owned ebike lending libraries.

Best Reviews gets a jump on the holiday season by recommending the best gifts for bike riders, which also doubles as an ad for Amazon.

A writer for Cycling Tips offers his wish list for the bike industry, including better quality control and backward compatibility, as well as a return to “rad” alloy frames.

Bicycling says light exercise in the days after a concussion may help shorten recovery time. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

You’ve got to be kidding. A Utah man was killed when a woman “accidentally” right hooked him — then drove over him after hitting him a second time, before backing up and over him again, and finally pulling forward a third time and running over his bicycle; needless to say, no charges were filed. Although anyone that confused after a crash should never be allowed to drive again.

Evidently, people are tough in Montana, where a bike rider bounced back up after a pickup driver blew through the crosswalk he was riding in and slammed into his bike. Be sure you want to watch the video in the first link; even though the rider appears to be okay, it’s still hard to watch.

The chief of the Waller Police Department in Texas admitted that his agency screwed up mishandled the investigation into the six bicyclists who were run down by 16-year old pickup driver attempting to roll coal, and failing badly. Well, no shit.

Nice story from St. Joseph, Missouri, where fellow students pitched in to buy a high school senior a new bike after his was trashed in a collision.

A student at New York State’s University of Rochester filed a lawsuit alleging she was arrested while riding her bike back to campus following a protest for Black lives, and mistakenly labelled an outside agitator by the mayor and police chief.

New York firefighters issued a warning after a rash of fires caused by lithium-ion ebike batteries.

The National Park Service will work with the DC Department of Transportation to install a two-way protected bike lane along the National Mall.

 

International

Police in Toronto are looking for the owners of an unleashed hit-and-run dog after a man was seriously injured when he collided with it while riding his bike along the beach; no word on the dog’s condition after the crash.

London’s Evening Standard examines how bicyclists became the latest targets of the city’s violent, machete-wielding gangs on mo-peds.

A Streetsblog op-ed considers Britain’s School Streets program to reduce car traffic in front of schools, while improving safety and air quality.

A bike rider in the UK was hospitalized when he fell off his bike and was impaled by his handlebars — something that happens more often than you might suspect, particularly with kids.

While we have to struggle just to get paint on the street, Brussels will improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians by building carfree underpasses at the city’s busiest canal crossings.

Your next bike could be a Mercedes-AMG — if you have a spare 16 grand laying around.

Dubai will employ artificial intelligence to detect people riding their bikes without helmets, which are mandatory in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News offers more details on the decision of the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team to take a stand by withdrawing from the USA Crits series they dominated this year, after the race director was suspended by the US Center for SafeSport for undisclosed reasons; news also broke of his previous arrests for possession of kiddie porn in 2007 and 2008.

Twenty-one-year old Belgian cyclist Remco Evenepoel intends to challenge for next year’s Grand Tours, but realizes he still has a way to go before he can effectively take on riders like Tadej Pogačar, Egan Bernal and Primož Roglič.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have to ride the last ten miles to the bike shop clenching your broken saddle between your butt cheeks. If you’re going for a bike ride, maybe leave the loaded shotgun at home — along with the heroin and coke.

And Colin Powell was one of us, too.

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

Hit-and-run driver severely injures e-scooter rider, support Eagle Rock One Lane plan, and Nobel laureate on a bike

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left-crossed a man on an e-scooter in Huntington Park, then fled the scene dragging the dangling rear bumper of her car behind her.

As always, there is a $25,000 standing reward in the City of Los Angeles for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injury.

But be warned before you click on the video.

It clearly shows the crash from multiple angles, and could be very hard to watch.

And you can’t unsee it if you do.

Handcuff photo by Kindel Media from Pexels. Let’s help fit this driver for a pair. 

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Eagle Rock Forward needs your help to make one last push to get Metro to adopt the livable, Complete Streets option for bus rapid transit on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

Metro’s “One Lane” option is an evolution of the Beautiful Boulevard plan. It is the ONLY option that:

  • Provides a green street by preserving & enhance existing landscaped medians
  • Supports local businesses by maintaining on-street parking & space for Al Fresco dining
  • Protects school kids by providing additional & safer crosswalks
  • Makes a safer street by reducing speeding on Colorado Boulevard
  • Reduces cut-through driving on residential streets by maintaining space on Colorado for pick-up & drop-off zones
  • Upgrades existing bike lanes to be family-friendly protected bike lanes
  • Provides transit service for Eagle Rock that is attractive and dependable to support existing bus riders and attract new transit riders

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If I found out a Nobel laureate read this site, I’d probably promote the hell out of it, too.

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GCN considers how it’s possible for every new bike to be the lightest, stiffest, fastest or most aero.

Or not.

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

No bias here. A proposal before the Massachusetts legislature would “improve” bike safety by fining bike riders as much as motorists for traffic violations, even though bicycles pose a fraction of the risk to others.

No bias here, either. DC’s conservative newspaper suggests the bike lobby is running the city, and forcing anti-car tactics on the unsuspecting driving public by reducing speed limits and improving safety on high risk corridors. And insists some crashes are caused by medical emergencies rather than reckless drivers, and sometimes bike riders might even be at fault. But unlike drivers, reckless bike riders hardly ever kill anyone.

A road-raging farmer in the UK was convicted of attacking a bike rider who followed him home to confront him after a punishment pass, because the man on the bike was riding in the roadway instead of on a separated bike path next to it; he was fined the equivalent of a whopping $146I know as well as anyone how tempting it is to follow a driver who threatens your safety. But seriously, don’t. Just let it go and get on with your life.

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

London bike riders are caught on dashcam video “recklessly” jumping a red light, even though there wasn’t any cross street, and after waiting for pedestrians to cross.

………

Local

LA Times columnist George Skelton’s windshield bias is showing, as he says Gov. Newsom was right to veto bills that would have legalized jaywalking and stop as yield, calling them nutty bills that would allow people to harass drivers. Nothing like demonstrating you don’t understand the problem before criticizing the solution.

 

State

Santa Maria unveiled a new $900,000 road diet project with protected bike lanes, complete with curbs and car tickler plastic bendie posts.

Bike theft continues to be a major problem at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where students have lost faith in relying on the police for help.

Tragic news from Santa Rosa, where a 47-year old man faces a slim chance of survival after he was hit head-on by an allegedly stoned driver while riding his bicycle outside town; he was already considered disabled from a previous collision 25 year earlier.

Campus police at Chico State University caught a bike thief in action and busted him as he tried to ride away, then returned the purloined bicycle to its owner. Meanwhile, a “super bike cop officer” with the Chico Police Department is on a mission to recover stolen bikes.

 

National

Great idea. An Albuquerque microbrewery is collecting bike parts for a local community bike shop by offering a discount for each part you bring in — or a free draft for a complete bike.

Several bike companies in New Mexico have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind bicycle that will be raffled off to benefit an organization that supports transgender rights.

A Colorado bike rider describes a driver making an unsafe pass on the wrong side of the road, nearly hitting him head-on, and well within the state’s three-foot passing distance. And tells the driver to never do that again, because “We don’t need more Ghost Bikes…”

The current owner of a San Antonio, Texas bike shop once owned by a fallen bicyclist struggles to accept the slap on the wrist given the drunk driver who killed him. Cases like this send a clear message that driving drunk and killing another human being is really no big deal. And the lives of people on bicycles don’t matter.

A Dallas writer tries out an Italian robotic bike fit machine, and concludes that a real human can do a much better job.

The New York Daily News takes the outgoing mayor to task for the carnage on the streets and the failure of the city’s Vision Zero, as traffic deaths have risen to the highest level since the program was adopted in 2014.

Frank Ocean is one of us, proudly riding his Van Moof ebike through the streets of New York.

A alleged Pittsburgh bike thief died after police tased him at least five times because he kept getting up to plead that he didn’t do anything. There’s no excuse for stealing a bike. But it shouldn’t call for the death penalty.

A kindhearted Florida cop gave a 13-year old boy his first bicycle, after learning the kid had to walk miles every day to get to and from school. And his mother walked twice as far after walking each way with him, and returning home on her own.

 

International

Cycling News explains the different types of bikes, and offers advice on how to pick the right one for you.

An English man was the victim of a violent bike theft when a group of young thieves attacked him with a metal pipe as he rode along a towpath, stealing his $4,800 Trek mountain bike and leaving him with multiple injuries to his arm, wrist and back.

You’ve got to be kidding. A court in the UK absolved a driver with a long history of speeding tickets of her latest speeding charge, after accepting her claim that she had no choice but to speed to pass a nearly invisible bike rider, whose helmet was the only thing she could see. Because evidently, slowing down until it was safe to pass just wasn’t an option. Never mind waiting until you can actually see who you’re trying to pass. 

A 60-year old British man pled guilty to killing two men riding their bikes when he plowed into them on a straight road with a 60 mph speed limit; the victims owned a company that put on sportives and charity rides.

A writer in Brussels takes advantage of the pandemic to overcome his fears and start riding a bike after 20 years in the city.

 

Competitive Cycling

Prosecutors call for a slap in the wrist for the woman who allegedly caused a mass crash by holding up a sign in the first stage of the Tour de France, asking the court for just a four month suspended sentence.

Podium Cafe looks back to when legendary chanteuse Josephine Baker “sprinkled her stardust” on the pre-war Tour de France. Baker also acted as an Allied spy during the Nazi occupation of France.

Thirty-year old Katie Keough unexpectedly called it a career after more than a dozen years as a pro ‘cross cyclist, most recently competing as a guest rider for LA-based L39ION of Los Angeles.

The first-ever edition of L39ION of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams’ new Into the Lion’s Den cycling race, scheduled for Sacramento at the end of this month, will feature a new format with teams competing for their home cities.

 

Finally…

Nothing like helping a stranger fix his handlebars, only to realize it’s your own stolen bike. How to make your own DIY airless bike tires.

And that feeling when you get in over your head — almost literally — and lose your bike in the process.

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

Special prosecutor appointed in Texas coal roll crash, and inquest into fatal deputy shooting of South LA bike rider

There may be hope for Texas justice after all.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the DA in Waller County, where six bike riders were run down by a 16-year old kid in a bigass pickup attempting to roll coal says just the act of blowing exhaust fumes onto innocent victims is assault.

“They are causing their vehicle to ‘spit’ on a living, breathing, human being that is worthy of dignity and not having his or her person violated,” Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis wrote in a Facebook post. “That simple assault is easily elevated to a jail eligible offense if bodily injury occurs, which can be caused by entry of toxic particles into mouth, nose and eyes.”

Never mind that the kid actually slammed into the victims after belching exhaust on another rider.

Naturally, though, the boy’s lawyer insists it was just an oopsie.

Rick DeToto, a Houston lawyer hired by the teen’s family, called the boy “inexperienced” and characterized the crash as serious but not prompted by someone out to commit mayhem.

“The police did an investigation at the scene.,” DeToto said in an email. “This included speaking with eyewitnesses… After their investigation they decided not to charge my client and did not issue him a traffic citation. Clearly, they decided a crime had not occurred.”

A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the case, adding to suspicion that the boy’s parents may be prominent residents of the area, or that he wasn’t initially arrested due to some other conflict of interest.

Photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

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Maybe there will be justice for Dijon Kizzee, too.

Though I wouldn’t bet on it.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to direct the county coroner to hold an inquest into Kizzee’s death at the hands — or guns — of LA County sheriff’s deputies, along with two other men who were fatally shot by deputies last year.

Kizzee was riding a bicycle in South LA last August when a pair of deputies attempted to stop him for riding on the wrong side of the road, a common practice in the area that’s usually ignored by law enforcement.

According to the deputies, Kizzee attempted to flee on foot and struggled with deputies when they tried to stop him, and was shot 16 times after he dropped a gun, then allegedly picked it up and pointed it at them.

However, witness reports and security video suggested that Kizzee was running away from them when he was shot repeatedly in the back, deputies continuing to fire even after he lay helpless on the street.

Kizzee’s father has filed suit, alleging that the case raises questions of excessive force, as well as the existence of gangs within the department that celebrate and reward officer shootings.

However, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has stonewalled other investigations, refusing to respond to subpoenas from civilian authorities. And deputies involved in other shootings have failed to participate in coroner’s investigations, resulting in failed inquests that offered little or no insight into the shootings.

There’s no reason to believe it will be any different this time.

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The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition needs your help to get a Complete Street on North Lake Avenue over the finish line.

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They get it. The San Francisco 49ers Levi Stadium welcomes bike-riding fans with a safe and secure bike valet.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1442570750242672648

Maybe SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles, could learn something from our neighbors to the north.

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Streets for All announced their next virtual happy hour next month, featuring Santa Monica City Councilmember Gleam Davis.

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Local

Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman announced $15 million in state funding for a pair of projects connecting her Glendale hometown with the LA River bike path — even though she helped block a $7.5 billion green transportation bill in the legislature, which included a whopping $500 million for active transportation projects statewide.

Turns out the wall of bicycles we showed you the other day is an installation created by a homeless artist in Koreatown. There’s no word on where he got all the bikes, though, so you might want to take a close look if yours went missing lately. 

Agoura Hills will participate with the LA County Sheriff’s Department next month on a new campaign to encourage people to drive safely around bicyclists.

 

State

Bay Area bike advocates make a new push to improve safety on the Golden Gate Bridge, where a person on a bicycle is 21 times more likely to suffer an injury than someone in a car.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss guides us through the six stages of bicycling enlightenment.

Good question. A Washington radio station asks what kind of person would steal the bicycle a little kid used to ride to school.

A Wyoming couple is riding down the full length of the Mississippi on their ebikes one section at a time, even though the husband is 78-years old and dependent on oxygen.

A Good Samaritan came to the rescue of an Omaha bike rider after finding him bleeding in the street with what turned out to be a fractured skull — and left him an anonymous gift card to get a new bike helmet.

Once again, a teenage driver has slammed into a group ride, as a two bicyclists were seriously injured when a 17-year old girl plowed into them near Joplin, Missouri.

Now that’s impressive. Michigan is working on a 2,000-mile pathway running through 48 counties extending the full length of the state, with separate paths for biking and hiking.

A four-year old DC boy couldn’t wait to get back on his bike, despite getting hit by an SUV driver while riding in a crosswalk.

Mississippi’s Soul City Cycling is working to change the complexion of bicycling in the state, where the overwhelming majority of bike riders are white.

This is what the theft of a $13,500 bicycle from a Florida bike shop looks like.

 

International

A writer for Road.cc celebrates the joys of having places on your favorite riding route where you can take a leak.

Oops. A London driver clipped a bike rider with his wing mirror during a too close pass. Except the guy on the bike turned out to be a plain clothes cop conducting a sting operation to catch drivers violating the equivalent of a three-foot passing law.

Life may not begin at 40, but a London writer discovers she can still get an ebike and teach herself to ride it after avoiding bicycles for the first four decades of her life.

German bikemaker Cube has licensed the rights to BMW’s three-wheeled concept cargo bike designed to improve stability by leaning into corners; no word on when it might hit the market.

Two-thirds of Dutch drivers admit to checking their phones behind the wheel, even though 84% say the messages aren’t important.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist looks forward to this Sunday’s Paris-Robaix classic, and who you should keep an eye on in the race.

 

Finally…

Science says bicycling does not effectively work your abs. Forget the pro crit, the real action was in the bikeshare race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you out.

And that feeling when you lose a bike versus car race, but feel like you came out ahead because you weren’t stuck in a car.

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

Road rage driver intentionally runs down Oceanside rider, TransComm approves Incomplete Streets, and Bike the Vote on hiatus

Forget hit-and-run. Call it attempted murder.

Police in Oceanside are looking for the road raging driver who intentionally ran down former semi-pro cyclist Adam Atkinson Saturday morning.

The unknown driver followed Atkinson for about a mile after exchanging words with him, before slamming into his bike from behind on eastbound on Vista Way.

The impact flung Atkinson through the air as the driver continued down Vista Way, leaving him with a pelvis broken in two places, as well as broken bones in his elbow, collar bone and shoulder blade.

Police are looking for a black four-door BMW with front end damage and a missing passenger side mirror, driven by a man in his mid-20s. He’s wanted for assault with a deadly weapon.

Hopefully, that will be upgraded to reflect the seriousness of the crime, which could have easily killed Atkinson.

And was probably meant to.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

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Streetsblog reports the City Council Transportation Committee gave their blessing to a trio of incomplete Complete Streets projects on Highland, Culver and La Brea at yesterday’s meeting.

In other words, LADOT somehow envisions these as among the few Complete Streets projects that can somehow be implemented without changing the roadway.

So either the streets are already complete and capable of safely and effectively serving the needs of all road users, which means the projects aren’t necessary.

Or LADOT has no intention of actually making them complete, and just wants to call them something that sounds good and allows them to check a box when applying for funding.

I’d put my money on the latter.

Committee Chair Mike Bonin at least asked LADOT to work with the local councilmember’s office to implement the mobility plan.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Especially after the committee approved the projects as written, while politely asking them to think about doing the right thing when it comes to bus and bike lanes.

Here’s how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton summed up the whole sad affair in his story.

Streets for All had urged its followers to press the committee to implement the La Brea bus-only lanes already approved in the city’s Mobility Plan. Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz questioned why the planned bus facilities had not been included in La Brea’s preliminary designs. LADOT staff responded that the department tries to “balance the needs” and “our corridors are width-challenged.” This portion of La Brea is at least 75-feet wide throughout. The DOT representative stated that a bus lane would “compromise the objective” of this project, but could proceed independently.

Bonin encouraged LADOT to work with the local council office to implement the bus lane, stating that it is a Metro priority and important for equity. Sadly, the directive to work with the local councilmember is tacit acknowledgement that each councilmember has (and frequently uses) veto powers to get in the way of street improvements needed to save lives, and improve transit, health, and quality of life.

Nice to know that adding a bus lane to make La Brea even somewhat complete would somehow compromise the objective of a Complete Street.

You can click on any of the tweets above to read the whole thread, and the link above to read Linton’s story.

Although this exchange pretty well sums it up.

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Disappointing, but totally understanding decision from Bike the Vote, which will be sitting out next year’s elections.

Having done that job myself, both on behalf of this site and as a board member of the LACBC, I can attest to just how draining it can be. And Bike the Vote went far beyond anything I tried to do.

Hopefully, someone will step up and fill the vote before next year, when we’ll elect a new mayor, city attorney, city controller and half the city council.

Because the only voice the bike community has comes from our perceived ability to influence elections. And if candidates don’t think our vote matters, they won’t even ask for our support, let alone support policies to make our streets safer and more welcoming to people on bicycles.

Otherwise, we can look forward to more Orwellian fiascos like we saw yesterday.

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In better news, Zachary Rynew calls our attention to newly striped bike lanes in the San Fernando Valley.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Metro bikeshare dock is no match for a street racing jerk driver. But at least no one was using it at the time.

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

No bias here. Despite admitting that most ebike riders obey the law, a San Diego TV station paints a picture of young scofflaw riders flaunting both the law and safety, while failing to distinguish between ped-assist ebikes, mopeds and electric motorbikes. And goes on to frighten parents over kids riding their ebikes to school. Better to just shove them into the family SUV and drive them like normal parents, right?

No bias here, either. A Florida driver walks with probation for racially profiling a teenage bike rider, and illegally detaining him for allegedly breaking into cars — which he wasn’t.

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Local

CicLAvia estimates just 4,000 people turned out for LA’s first open streets event in two years, belying the pent-up demand expected after the pandemic.

Be prepared to turn off your flashers in the future, as the LA City Council began the process of banning strobe lights at demonstrations, despite worries that it could criminalize flashing bike lights.

If you’re missing a bicycle in the Venice area, you might want to check with the LAPD, after they busted a “prolific” bike thief who now faces seven counts of grand theft.

You may want to find another route through the ‘Bu this weekend, when the annual Malibu Triathlon will take place on PCH.

 

State

San Diego’s annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, the only time bicycles are legally allowed on the iconic San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

That’s more like it. Alameda forgoes the plastic bendy posts that too often pass for protection, and installs concrete “chonky curbs” anchored with rebar to keep drivers out of a two-way protected bike lane.

 

National

They get it. Smart City says electric cars won’t save our cities, but ebikes might.

Seattle took advantage of the pandemic to go on a bike lane building “binge,” installing seven miles of protected bike lanes. Bearing in mind that Paris installed 31 miles of segregated bike lanes in a matter of months.

The nine-year old diabetic boy riding cross-country with his dad to see the Statue of Liberty got his wish, rolling into New York after 18 weeks and 3,300 miles.

Bizarre crime from Salt Lake City, where a woman was arrested for fatally shooting her girlfriend during an argument while riding their bicycles.

That’s more like it. A 21-year old Wisconsin man faces up to 25 years behind bars after pleading no contest to the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle. Even I think that’s just a tad excessive.

After she was struck by a distracted driver, a Connecticut safe streets advocate examines why bike riders always get blamed for a crash, even by their own friends and family. Just going by my own experience, she’s right.

The New York Times’ Wirecutter makes their picks for the best commuter bike helmet., while Consumer Reports reminds you even the best helmets only last around five years. The best bike helmet is the one you’ll actually wear, commuter or otherwise.

 

International

Momentum says belt-drive bikes could be a game changer for commuters.

A Vancouver writer takes us back to the earliest days of traffic violence and driver privilege, as a London woman became the first known traffic fatality 125 years ago yesterday, after the new driver of one of just 20 cars in the city yelled at her to get out of his way.

That’s more like it, too. Dublin planners have rejected plans for a 428-unit apartment building because it didn’t include adequate bike parking.

More proof that NIMBYs are the same everywhere, as business owners in Belfast, Northern Ireland complain about plans for a bikeway that would reduce on-street parking by 25%. Even though studies have repeatedly shown that bike lanes are good for business, more than making up for any loss of parking.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a speeding driver got just three years behind bars for seriously injuring a six-year old kid out for a bike ride with his dad, while stoned on a cocktail of weed, coke and ketamine.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list — riding 300 miles from Paris to London on a series of cycle tracks. And a ferry, of course.

You think you can ride mountains? A Pakistani mountain biker has become the country’s first woman to ride to the base camp on the world’s second-highest mountain by bicycle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen caps a remarkable comeback by winning Tuesday’s 4th stage of the Vuelta, just over a year after he was lying in an induced coma fighting for his life following a horrific crash in the Tour of Poland.

Rouleur looks at the history of the maillot rojo — or red jersey — worn by the leader of the Vuelta’s general classification; the red color is a relatively recent addition to the race, which began in 1935, but has only been run annually for the past 66 years.

Next week’s Deutschland Tour will feature a star-studded cast of riders who skipped the ongoing Vuelta for the four-stage German race.

Team USA presents a guide to the cycling events at the upcoming Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Olympic road cycling gold medalist Anna Kiesenhofer says the one thing she’s sure of after her surprise win is that she won’t be turning pro, due to a fear of what can happen in the peloton.

Tragic news from Colorado, where a mountain biker died while competing in the Leadville Trail 100 race; details are scant, but other riders suggested he may have fallen during a high speed descent or suffered a medical issue.

 

Finally…

We may have to deal with distracted drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about rampaging elephants. Instead of worrying about bike thieves when you park your bike, you might be visited by the Bike Fairy.

And let’s hope the new “cyclist’s paradise” doesn’t retain a faint whiff of its previous existence.

………

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

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