Tag Archive for Complete Streets

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.

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

The world is on fire, and LA is lighting the match — demand the bike and bus lanes they promised us this afternoon!

Let’s go back to yesterday’s lead item.

As you’ll recall, we directed your attention to this afternoon’s 3 pm meeting of the LA City Council Transportation Committee, which will take up proposals for so-called Complete Street makeovers on Highland, La Brea and Culver.

Or rather, make that Incomplete Streets.

Because according to Streets For All’s Michael Schneider, there are currently no plans for bike lanes in any of the plans, despite what was promised in the 2010 bike plan, which was then downgraded, but still retained, in the city’s mobility plan.

Instead, the references to “bikeway striping” contained in the Highland Ave and La Brea Blvd plans probably just means sharrows, at most.

In other words, another attempt by city officials to thin the herd, with arrows conveniently painted on the street to help drivers improve their aim when they come up behind us.

In the 2010 bike plan, both Highland and La Brea were key components of the vaunted Backbone Network, designed to provide people on bicycles with the same sort of convenient and efficient cross-city routes drivers have long come to expect.

But in the mobility plan, which we were told would directly incorporate the already approved bike plan, they were instead downgraded to Tier 3 bike lanes, meaning they’re not likely to be built before the plan expires in 2035.

Or ever, in all likelihood.

The truth is, the city never had any intention of actually building them, now or in the foreseeable future. Despite adopting them by a unanimous vote of the city council.

Just another example of city officials lying to the second most vulnerable group of people on our streets.

And absolutely shameful at a time when California and our world is literally on fire, and despite the future ambassador to India mayor proposed Green New Deal to save the planet.

Yeah, good luck with that.

Because if we don’t have the political will to stripe a slightly inconvenient bike lane, we’re sure all hell not going to make the tough choices needed to make a significant dent in LA’s carbon footprint.

To make matters worse, the proposed La Brea Complete Street was supposed to include a dedicated bus lane. But city staffers have proposed removing that, apparently because they don’t want to inconvenience the people in the highly inefficient, planet destroying cars.

The future — and all of us — be damned.

We need to let the council that sharrows aren’t good enough, and we want the damn bike lanes they promised us. Along with a dedicated bus lane on La Brea’s busy transit corridor.

And every other major transit corridor, for that matter.

And we want them now. Not some far off hazy date in the future when no one is likely to object, which will probably never come.

Because we can no longer afford to surrender our streets, our world, and our lives at the altar of the motor vehicle.

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Speaking of Streets For All, Schneider has forwarded instructions on how to comment this afternoon, along with a comment template to put into your own words.

Although personally, while I agree with comment below, I think it’s much too mild. I’m mad as hell, and I plan to let the councilmembers know that.

And I plan to demand action on the Highland bike lane, as well as a bus lane on La Brea, which could be shared by anyone on a bike brave enough to let a bus driver run up his or her ass.

Because it’s long past time to stop accepting their mealy-mouthed environmental promises, and demand that they start living up to them.

Starting right effing now.

Motion: build a “Complete Street” on La Brea by ignoring the Mobility Plan’s bus lane

Committee: Transportation

If you can call in and make public comment live, the meeting is on Tuesday, August 17 at 3pm. Call 1 669 254 5252, use Meeting ID No. 161 750 5079#. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak.

You are commenting on Item 11 (La Brea bus lane) – talking points below

If you can’t call in live -> 

Public comment link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=17-0950-S2

Template (please customize in your own words and be sure to enter your city and zip code at the end):

Dear City Council,

I am very discouraged that in 2021, with the UN telling us that we are facing a climate catastrophe, my City Council is building what they call complete streets that don’t include facilities for buses or bikes. We cannot meet our climate goals without including realistic alternatives to the car – and electric vehicles are neither a silver bullet, nor will they come quickly enough to dramatically reduce emissions.

Specifically as to the “complete street” you are considering building on La Brea, you mention in the report that the street has a bus lane per the 2035 Mobility Plan. However, you then go on to say that you are suggesting we ignore our own plan, and rebuild the street without the bus lane. I do not want my tax dollars to only go to car infrastructure, it is time we think about multi modality. I ask that if you proceed with the La Brea project, that you build the bus lane as is intended in the City’s own Mobility Plan, and further that you instruct the Bureau of Engineering to follow the mobility plan going forward. It is no longer an option to ignore it. Our planet is counting on your leadership.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CITY AND ZIP CODE]

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Streets For All has also provided instructions and templates to comment on proposals to curb illegal street racing and exhaust noise at tomorrow’s Public Safety Committee meeting.

Motion: to re-design streets to prevent illegal street racing

Motion: to crack down on illegal exhaust noise.

Committee: Public Safety

If you can call in and make public comment live, the meeting is on Wednesday, August 18 at 330pm. Call 1 669 254 5252, use Meeting ID No. 161 586 7607#. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak.

You are commenting on Item 8 (re-design streets to prevent illegal street racing) and Item 10 (crack down on illegal exhaust noise) – talking points below.

If you can’t call in live ->

Street racing issue:

Public comment link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=21-0870

Template (please customize in your own words and be sure to enter your city and zip code at the end):

Dear City Council,

Our streets in Los Angeles are designed like highways – they are extremely wide, and when drivers feel like they have a wide open road, they tend to drive faster. Street racing has become a particular problem in the city, taking advantage of our street design. I am highly supportive of the City re-designing streets to discourage bad behavior by drivers – including street racing. Specifically, I encourage the city to narrow lanes, add bus and bike lanes (these interventions can also calm speeding cars down), and add other things like speed tables and speed bumps, chicanes, and the timing of traffic lights that doesn’t allow for uninterrupted speeding traffic.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CITY AND ZIP CODE]

Cracking down on illegal exhaust noise:

Public comment link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/publiccomment/?cfnumber=20-1267

Template (please customize in your own words and be sure to enter your city and zip code at the end):

Dear City Council,

In my part of Los Angeles, I am kept awake by illegally loud exhaust noise. While I enjoy being in an urban environment, I didn’t sign up for living on a racetrack. California law limits motorcycles and vehicles to 80 decibels, and yet I often hear cars and motorcycles well beyond that. People seem to drive with these illegally modified exhaust systems with impunity. While I do not wish to see more armed police officers doing traffic enforcement, I ask that the city clamp down on the shops performing these illegal exhaust modifications. Solving this problem will create a more livable city.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CITY AND ZIP CODE]

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We’ll be back on Wednesday with our usual Morning Links to catch up on anything we missed today.

I wanted to make sure you got this in time to take action this afternoon. Because a couple dozen comments will be easily ignored.

A couple hundred won’t be.

Council committee vote on semi-Complete Streets, bike stabbings in San Diego, and remembrance for victims of traffic violence

About damn time.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Transportation Committee will vote tomorrow to transform Culver Blvd and Highland Ave — and to a lessor degree, La Brea Ave — into the Complete Streets.

In other words, turn them into the somewhat less auto-centric streets they should have been to begin with, but aren’t.

All three would get desperately needed pedestrian and accessibility improvements, but only Culver and Highland would get the bike lanes they all need.

Which would still leave La Brea a somewhat safer, but still incomplete Complete Street.

But it’s a start.

Streets For All points out the La Brea proposal also leaves out the bus lane called for on the corridor in the 2035 Mobility Plan, which would be an exceptionally shortsighted surrender to private cars.

Never mind that bike riders would be allowed to use the bus lanes, if they exist.

Streets For All also directs our attention to proposals to redesign streets to prevent street racing, and reduce illegal eardrum-shattering exhaust noise.

Yes, please.

Update: According to Streets For All’s Michael Schneider, there are currently no plans for bike lanes in the so-called Complete Streets plan, and that the references to “bikeway striping” may simply be a reference to sharrows.

And as we all know, sharrows are nothing more than an attempt to thin the herd, with arrows to help drivers improve their aim. 

Both Highland and La Brea are scheduled for bike lanes in the 2010 bike plan, although they’re reduced to Tier 3 in the mobility plan, which means they’re less likely to be built by 2035. 

Meanwhile, Culver Blvd calls for a bike path, which is apparently a reference to the existing, not-so-safe pathway that runs down the median. 

Maybe we need to let the council know tomorrow that sharrows aren’t good enough, and we want the bike lanes they promised us by unanimous vote. 

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San Diego police are looking for a heavyset White man with a shaved head who allegedly stabbed a homeless man in a dispute over a bicycle in the city’s Midway district.

Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening.

No word on what exactly they were arguing about.

Meanwhile, another man was repeatedly stabbed by a pair of attackers in the city’s Logan Heights neighborhood; he was also expected to survive.

No reason was given for that attack.

We’ve said it many times before, but it’s worth saying again — No bicycle is ever worth a human life.

Just give it up before risking your life, if that’s what it takes. Or before risking anyone else’s.

Thanks to Phillip Young for the heads-up.

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Faith for Safer Street and Streets Are For Everyone will host a memorial for the victims of traffic violence in South LA at the end of this month; RSVP here.

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Now that’s more like it.

A little good news from NextDoor, for a change, as a Good Samaritan offers up her own bicycle to a stranger in need.

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Nothing like photobombing a couple’s wedding photos in the middle of a bike race.

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Local

CicLAvia made a comeback on historic Avalon Blvd in Wilmington on Sunday, after missing all of last year due to the pandemic.

 

State

Calbike urges you to email your state senator to support AB 122, aka the Bicycle Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which most of bike riders safely do anyway, legal or not.

San Diego’s National City plans to convert an existing overpass into a protected bike lane and place for people to hang out. But whether it’s a good idea to expose bike riders and pedestrians to the exhaust and noise of an overhead freeway remains to be seen.

San Diego will pay out $1.75 million to a man who was seriously injured when his bicycle hit a patch of buckled pavement in Carmel Valley; he’ll also get additional settlements from a landscape contractor and a tree contractor, for a total of $2.8 million.

You’ve got to be kidding. A proposed extension of Bakersfield’s Kern River bike path could be sent back to the drawing board because it’s “incompatible” with the golf course it’s supposed to go around, since bike riders might get hit by balls or sneak onto the course. Evidently, they’ve never heard of fences in the San Joaquin Valley.

Speaking of Bakersfield, there’s a special place in hell for whoever fled the scene after crashing into a ten-year old kid riding his bike.

Sad news from San Luis Obispo, where a bike-riding, 23-year old Cal Poly grad student died six days after a 17-year old hit-and-run driver left him bleeding in the street

She gets it. The editor of a Monterey weekly says yes, cars occupy a unique place in American culture. But the reality is they’re bad for us.

 

National

A new study refutes the popular belief that bike lanes lead to displacement and gentrification.

Popular Science recommends their picks for the best bike helmets for any age rider.

Rapha’s Lael Wilcox is attempting to break the record for the Tour Divide by riding the 2,745-mile offroad route from Canada to Mexico in less than 14 days to beat the existing time of 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes. My brother is currently riding the same route, after turning south Saturday after riding up to the Canadian border. Although he expects to take just a tad longer. (Update: Wilcox posted on Instagram that she is abandoning the attempt due to poor air quality from all the wildfires; thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.) 

Sad news from Arkansas, where a man was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver after moving his bike over to make way for a truck, and his riding companion injured in an apparent attempt to bail out of the way.

A nine-year old Colorado girl finished a 4,000-mile ride across the US riding stoker on the back of a tandem with her father upfront, finishing in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Chicago speed cams brought in $11 million in fines in just the first two months after they were readjusted to ticket any driver doing more than six miles over the speed limit, resulting in 300,000 speeding tickets. And yet, these proven traffic cameras remain illegal in California, where they are somehow seen as unfair to people needlessly breaking the law.

A writer for New York Streetsblog argues it’s time for muscle car makers to stop marketing them as vehicles for mayhem. And yes, he’s looking at you, Dodge. Although these days, virtually every carmaker is selling virtually every car as a high performance vehicle, and showing them being driven the same way.

 

International

NPR explores the history of Mexico City by canoe and bicycle.

The husband of the deputy chief of staff to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is fighting for his life after he was struck by a truck driver while riding his bike in London’s Primrose Hill.

A Welsh university student shattered the women’s Everesting record, making 72 ascents up an 18% grade to equal the mountain’s 29,029 feet of climbing; 21-year old Illi Gardner beat the existing record by nearly 20 minutes.

Here’s a few more rides to add to your bike bucket list, with a handful of scenic on and offroad trails in Wales. Unless maybe you’d prefer a vacation to the “coastal cycling paradise” of Japan’s Setouchi district.

A pair of English cops are credited with rushing to the rescue of a bike rider who collapsed in the middle of the road, and potentially saving his life with a chocolate bar and orange juice after realizing he was having a diabetic episode.

After two bikes were stolen from a British man, he went to Facebook to find a replacement — and found his own bikes for sale; a 31-year old man is now in custody for the thefts.

It turns out there was a second rider who finished the Tour de France route on his own this year, as Australia’s Jack Thompson rode the entire route averaging two stages per day. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

You probably haven’t ridden your bike often enough if a Japanese bird makes its home in the basket.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovokia’s Primož Roglič put on the Vuelta’s red leader’s jersey on Saturday, and held on to it by a scant four seconds over Alex Aranburu by narrowly avoiding a mass crash in Sunday’s sprint finish.

Cycling News offers a full-length interview with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome following his dramatic comeback from a nearly career-ending crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten took control of the four-stage Ladies Tour of Norway with a powerful ride on Saturday, claiming the title a day later.

Recently retired American cyclist Tejay van Garderen will take the helm of the EF Education-Nippo cycling team as sports director next year.

South Africa’s Willie Smit offers uncensored, inside views of the pro peloton.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your modernistic new ebike looks like the Mark of Zorro. Or when your tea is worth its weight in bike balls.

And meet the future militants of the bike brigades.

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

Death of DC bike advocate reveals LA safety failures, LADOT bike count up 22%, and arrested for Biking While Black

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words following my surgery earlier this month. 

My fumble fingers are finally functional again, even though the swollen new Frankenhand they’re attached to is still almost, sort of, not really, kind of back to normal.

But it’ll get there. And nearly two weeks after surgery, the pain is already better than it was before, so there’s that.

Meanwhile, we have a lot to catch up on.

It will take a few days to catch up on all the bike news we missed, but I’ll make sure we don’t miss out on anything important. 

So let’s get started on the first installment. 

And my apologies for the near-total lack of credits today; with one exception forwarded by multiple people yesterday, I lost track of who sent what to my attention during my extended downtime, which is going to be a problem until we get caught up. 

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels.

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Heartbreaking news from DC, where a longtime bike advocate was killed in a collision, just hours after tweeting about the dangers on the city’s streets.

Here’s how the Washington Post described it.

(Jim) Pagels was struck in a horrific chain-reaction crash along Massachusetts Avenue NW, about a mile from his home on Capitol Hill, his family said. The avid rider and self-described urbanist who was in his second year of a doctorate program in economics, died at a hospital.

Pagels’s sister, Laura Menendez, described her brother as funny, smart and passionate about many things — pursuing his postgraduate studies, playing tennis and board games, and traveling by bike.

“He had a good heart,” Menendez said. “And he was such a huge advocate for bike safety.”

The paper also quotes a friend of Pagels.

“He was so excited about working in that urban space,” said Finn Vigeland, a close friend who met Pagels while the two worked on the Columbia Daily Spectator. “He was well aware of the dangers of cycling . . . but he loved biking, and he wanted everyone to bike. He wanted everyone to feel like this was the best way to get around D.C…

I hope our city leaders hear about Jim and understand the life that was so senselessly taken away on Friday. He cared so deeply about the injustices that led to his death, and he would want us to be furious about it,” Vigeland said. “I hope that knowing that this was something Jim was working so hard to change might prompt people to take bolder action.”

Let’s hope city leaders get the message here, too.

Before it’s too late for someone else.

Meanwhile, a writer for the LA Times took the death of his friend and former college classmate personally.

And used the tragedy as a springboard to call for safer streets, and talk with Michael Schneider, founder of LA street safety PAC Streets For All.

It doesn’t take long for their conversation to get to the heart of the problems on our streets.

ME: Six years ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti set a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by 2025, part of the global Vision Zero initiative. So far, we’re not on track to meet that goal. My colleague Steve Lopez recently reported that 238 people died in car crashes in Los Angeles last year — only a tiny decrease from 2019 despite significantly reduced traffic due to COVID-19, and just 8% less than the first full year Garcetti’s policy was in effect. What is going on?

SCHNEIDER: Our city is very good at plans and goals and not very good at implementation. Can you imagine if you were a heart surgeon and people were coming in for heart surgery, and no one would let you operate? Vision Zero is a laudable goal, but until we have a City Council and a mayor who will spend the political capital to make the tough decisions and deal with NIMBY blowback to make changes to our streets, it’s never going to happen…

ME: Where has Mayor Garcetti been on safe streets?

SCHNEIDER: Absent. He says all the right stuff, and he hires great people, like Seleta Reynolds. He will never risk his neck at all for a bike lane or a bus lane.

But I think we’re on the cusp of some exciting changes, especially because the city of Los Angeles has now aligned their elections with federal elections, and the turnout is so much larger and so much more progressive. I think we are on the cusp of truly having different political leadership, where a guy like Paul Koretz, who’s termed out, couldn’t win in 2022 and beyond. And where someone like Nithya Raman, who had making the city more bikeable in her campaign messaging, can defeat an incumbent.

Then there was this about the recent failed attempt to make iconic Melrose Ave safer and more livable for everyone.

ME: Talking about blowback, I read the post you wrote about the proposed “Uplift Melrose” project, which would have added protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and shaded seating areas along a 1.3-mile stretch of Melrose Avenue. There was broad support from local businesses, but City Councilmember Paul Koretz effectively killed the proposal. Why is it so difficult politically to get changes like these approved?

SCHNEIDER: Opponents typically say the following: If you remove parking or reduce car capacity in any way, how are people going to shop or get to businesses? You’re going to kill business. They also ask, “Why would we invest in this when no one uses the bike lanes anyway?” People cite anecdotes of driving by bike lanes and seeing them empty.

If we had a beautiful six-lane paved highway that only went for one mile and then became a dirt road with potholes, how many cars would take that road? That is the equivalent of what we ask people to do when they bike around Los Angeles. If we had a network of protected bike lanes, you would see a ton of people using them. One piece of evidence is CicLAvia. Those events bring out tens of thousands of people to ride their bikes on closed streets.

What happened to Uplift Melrose was egregious even by L.A. standards. Koretz basically became a puppet for mostly white, wealthy homeowners who couldn’t see themselves riding a bike or a bus.

Pagels’ death serves as a tragic reminder of what can happen to anyone on the streets — even though the risk to any one of us at any particular time is infinitesimally small.

But if anything ever happens to me when I’m riding a bicycle, I want you to politicize the hell out of it.

Take what’s left of my body to the city council and dump it on the dais, if you have to.

Metaphorically speaking, of course. Or literally, for that matter.

And if it happens on a street marked for safety improvements in city’s mobility plan, I hope those lawyers up there on the right will join together to sue the hell out of the city for failing to keep their commitment to safer streets.

Or maybe just sue over LA’s failed and forgotten Vision Zero plan to force the cowards we foolishly elected to lead us to the changes we so desperately need on our streets.

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LADOT has finally release the results of the city’s biennial walk and bike count, which for years has been done on a volunteer basis by the LACBC and later, LA Walks.

Which is something they should have been doing all along.

The result was a 22% increase in bicycle rates from the last count — in 2017.

And yes, they are just now releasing data collected that was collected two years ago, for reasons known only to them.

It also shows how easy it is to boost bicycling with a little decent infrastructure, with a 73% jump in ridership as a result of the protected and separated bike lanes on the MyFigueroa project.

MyFig also resulted the city’s most heavily-trafficked pedestrian corridor, even above the tourist-clogged sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd.

And it points to how Los Angeles can increase the far too low rate of women riding bikes on city streets.

While the report found that women make up 40 percent of pedestrians on weekdays and 44 percent on weekends, women made up just 14 percent of cyclists.  However, the report also indicated a 120 percent increase in female riders on streets improved with dedicated bike paths.

In other words, all they have to do is what the city already committed to in the 2010 bike plan, and the mobility plan that subsumed it.

Not to mention LA’s nearly forgotten Vision Zero and the mayor’s Green New Deal.

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What the hell.

I’m not sure where this video is from; I can’t make out the the police patches or or the name on the patrol cars.

But something looks seriously wrong about a bunch of while cops taking a young black man into custody for the crime of…wait for it…

…riding a bicycle without lights or licenses.

In the middle of the day, no less.

And while some cities require bikes to be registered, I don’t know any place where police have the authority to seize private property over a handful of minor infractions.

Which would be illegal as hell if they tried to seize someone’s car for an expired license or failing to signal a turn.

Let alone not having their headlights on in broad daylight.

Unfortunately, there’s a term for crap like this — Biking While Black.

And regardless of their motivation, it makes the cops look racist AF.

Thanks to Jon, Megan Lynch and Stacey Kline for the heads-up. 

And if anyone knows where this happened, let me know so I’ll never make the mistake of going there.

Update: Thanks to Al Williams for identifying this as Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Which I will make a point of never visiting. 

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If you live or ride in Beverly Hills, the city needs to hear from you at today’s city council meeting, where councilmembers will consider the city’s proposed Complete Streets plan.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free parking for a tire shop.

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

A Texas bike rider bike rider was hospitalized with a brain bleed and facial fractures when he was run down by a drunk driver — while riding on an ostensibly carfree bike path.

Singaporean actor Tay Ping Hui says he’s got nothing against bicyclists, despite complaining when a small group of riders merged onto the roadway ahead of him. Because apparently, it’s asking too much to slow down or change lanes to drive safely around them.

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

No bias here, either. A Singapore motorcyclist calls for banning bicycles from the roads after watching one — count ’em, one — scofflaw bicyclist weaving through traffic. Meanwhile, the website somehow feels the need to point out that 34 bike riders were ticketed for breaking the law over the weekend. Makes you wonder how many motorcyclists got tickets the same weekend. Let alone drivers. But sure, blame everyone on bicycles.

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Local

LA Magazine highlights “cool” bike accessories to keep you riding in style. Too bad they forgot to feature that mirrored helmet in the main photo. Because who wouldn’t want to look like a human disco ball?

LA Taco takes a look at nine kinds of bad drivers you’ll meet on the streets of Los Angeles — and they include kids on scooters in that.

Keep an extra eye open if you’re riding the Arroyo Bike Path through Arroyo Seco Park, where a man walking on the pathway was shot several times by couple men who approached him around dusk Sunday evening.

A proposal for protected bike lanes on Pasadena’s North Lake Ave would keep 98% of the current parking on the street.

LA County Sheriff’s Deputies made a spectacular rescue of a mountain biker who went off the side of the road on Mt. Wilson; the victim was hanging head-first over a sheer cliff, clinging to the rock face like a cat, suspended by a thin cord around his ankle.

Former Lakers star Kobe Bryant was one of us, starting his bike rides at 4:30 am and not coming home until the sun was at its peak.

 

State

A bill currently under consideration in the state legislature would increase the penalties for a fatal hit-and-run from 2 to 4 years to 3 to 6. It’s already been watered down from the original proposal, which would have doubled the penalties for hit-and-run that result in death or permanent serious injury.

Calbike wants your support for the proposed Safety Stop Bill, which would allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields. Which is exactly what many riders safely do right now. And far too many drivers do unsafely.

AB117, the bill that would create a $10 million fund to help lower income Californians buy ebikes, passed its first test in the Assembly Transportation Committee.

Meanwhile, AB 43 unanimously passed the Assembly Transportation Committee with no opposition; the bill would retain the deadly 85th Percentile Law, but allow cities to consider factors other than drivers’ right feet in setting speed limits, such as the location as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety.

California is joining a nationwide movement to prioritize safety over speed. The question is whether the shift is real, or if the legislature will simply pass a few feel good bills before forgetting all about it and moving on to other matters, as too often happens.

Credit old school police work. Riverside police finally busted the hit-and-run driver who killed 52-year old Brian Sabel two years ago, arresting 34-year old Menifee resident Steven Allen Watson Jr. for the crime, despite the apparent lack of any witnesses or evidence at the time of the crash.

Bay Area bike riders may want to ride with a partner or group around Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the hills above Berkeley, where a number of solo riders have been robbed by armed bike jackers; at least five riders have been run off the road and robbed at gunpoint or knifepoint since late March.

A San Francisco ER physician calls for keeping the city’s Safe Streets, saying they’ve helped empty his emergency room.

A San Francisco woman celebrates seven years of living carfree after switching to an ebike when her car was totaled by an uninsured driver; she claims she’s saved over $50,000 over that period.

 

National

Of course she gets it. Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan teams with her Streetfight co-auther to call for cities to hold onto the street space reclaimed for people during the pandemic, saying surrendering our cities to cars would be a historic blunder.

My hometown university has now joined the Vision Zero club. Which isn’t too surprising, considering it’s surrounded by one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities. Even though it didn’t get that way until long after I left, of course.

Apparently writing with all seriousness, a New Hampshire medical worker and self-described cyclist says he worked with a state legislator on a bill that would require bicyclists to ride salmon, but the bill died when he couldn’t get time off work to attend the hearing. Because evidently, riding a bike in New Hampshire just isn’t dangerous enough already.

A Massachusetts man got his fat tire bike back two months after it was stolen, when he recognized it being ridden by a burglary suspect on a TV news story about a break-in.

The Big Apple is getting a belated start on the micromobility revolution, as the city finally gets its first e-scooters.

 

International

In a story that’s scary as hell, a writer for Bike Radar examines whether lane-keeping technology poses a risk to bike riders, after he had to wrestle a car for control to avoid running down a bike rider sharing the same lane.

T3 considers what you get with a high-end road bike that you don’t with a cheap one. Or put another way, is an expensive bike really worth 20 times more than a low-end bike?

A pair of Vancouver business owners are taking their case to the British Columbia Supreme Court to fight the re-installation of a protected bike lane through a park, arguing the decision to swap a traffic lane for a bikeway wasn’t “reasonable, rational or logical.” Seriously. It’s in a park.

There’s a special place in hell for the jerk who stole an ebike from a disabled 13-year old English girl.

A pregnant British driver will spend the next 30 months behind bars for killing an 80-year old triathlete while chatting with her sister on WhatsApp; no word on whether her baby will spend the first years of its life in prison with her.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 26-year old driver got a lousy 35 months in jail for intentionally running down a 13-year old boy riding his bike after getting into an argument with the kid in a park, and following him for 20 minutes before using his car as a weapon to attack him.

Scottish cyclist Josh Quigley is on his second day of a world record attempt for the greatest distance ridden on a bicycle in a single week, attempting to ride 320 miles a day in an 80-mile loop through the Scottish countryside; he’s aiming for Aussie pro Jack Thompson’s record of 2,177 miles, despite suffering multiple broken bones in a crash three months ago.

France is now allowing drivers to trade their old, smog-belching cars for a nearly $3,000 grant to buy a new ebike.

Last year was even a bad year for bike riders in the Netherlands, with the highest number of bicycling deaths in the past 25 years.

This is who we share the road with. A Kiwi driver is filmed blissfully driving on the right side of the road — which is the wrong side Down Under adjacent — until confronted head-on by a large truck. If your first thought was that it was probably just an American tourist confused about what side to drive on, join the club.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch legend Marianne Vos outsprinted the competition to win the one-day Amstel Gold Race on Sunday; Belgian Wout van Aert took the men’s race by a nose in a photo finish.

More proof cycling hasn’t kicked its doping habit yet, after 52-year old California masters racer Vahe Aivazian was banned for four years for testing positive for not one, not two, but ten different banned drugs. But the era of doping is over, right?

 

Finally…

That feeling when your personal traffic bypass bridge turns out to be a pedestrian walkway. That feeling when you’re an elected official with no idea what Bicycle Day is all about.

And who needs to pick a bike lock when you can just blow it up with a hand grenade?

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Commission approves Wolfberg park, NIMBYs fight Culver City Complete Streets, and racist road rage murder

Let’s start with a followup to yesterday’s proposal to name the new Potrero Canyon Park for longtime bike and community advocate George Wolfberg, who fought for its creation before his death last year.

This update came from his son, David Wolfberg, who followed in his father’s footsteps as a bike advocate and longtime member of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, in a comment to yesterday’s post.

Thank you Ted for the highlight. It appears to be a go for the park naming. The Parks Commission was wonderful and importantly now includes one of the city’s greatest bike and community advocates, Tarafai Bayne. Many people and agencies have contributed mightily to the development of the park, notably David Card of the Pacific Palisades Community Council and the Bureau of Engineering. Commissioner Nicole Chase expressed a desire for the parks named after engaged citizens like my father George to have detailed reliefs that tell us more about that community member. All of L.A.’s parks are accessible via bicycle though some require more effort than others. My father envisioned connecting the park to the historic Marvin Braude bike path via a bridge over PCH. That is a big spend and they are working to locate funding for it. In the meantime I’ve suggested waypoint signs and/or safety warnings as we definitely don’t want to see anyone trying to cross PCH to get to the park. There are two tunnels south of the park and a crossing signal at Temescal for safe crossing. They are aiming for a park opening in 2021.

He also added this note about the TikTok video of the Peloton instructor that concluded yesterday’s post.

Regarding the hilarious and disturbing Peloton instructor, that is Caitlin Reilly who also recently lost her father, actor John Reilly of General Hospital. Caitlin has several characters developed in lockdown who are poignantly funny reminders of the time in which we’re living. She is an incisive observer and many of these clips are unmistakably “L.A.” https://www.tiktok.com/@itscaitlinhello?

George Wolfberg photo from Pacific Palisades Community Council.

………

That didn’t take long.

Just days after Culver City’s new Complete Streets plan went online, some people are already gearing up to fight against livable streets and a healthier business community.

In other words, exactly the same sort of streets people fly to other cities to enjoy, but fight like hell to keep out of their own neighborhoods.

But if they bothered to get informed, like the flier calls for, it would only take a simple Google search to learn that bikeable, walkable Complete Streets can reduce congestion by getting people out of their cars, significantly boost retail and restaurant sales, and bring new life to car-choked streets.

And that any increase in traffic to neighborhoods can be easily mitigated with simple traffic control measures.

They might also learn that once a project like this goes in, the same people who once fought it will often fight to keep it.

Instead, Culver City is seeing the same knee-jerk opposition to change that we’ve seen repeated throughout the LA area, with varying degrees of success.

Which mans it’s probably only a matter of time before we see a new Keep Culver City Moving chapter.

Flier photo courtesy of Zennon Ulyate-Crow.

This is who we share the road with.

A Boston area man was killed in a racially charged road rage attack when the Black and Latino victim and his white attacker got out of their cars to argue.

Then the killer got back in his car and deliberately slammed into the victim.

And yes, the accused killer driver, 54-year old Dean Kapsalis, was arrested after turning himself in half an hour later.

Although the current charges don’t begin the meet the seriousness of the crime, because anything less than second degree murder would be a travesty.

As if the racist murder wasn’t bad enough, though, Henry Tapia, better known as Henny, a 35-year old father of three, was also one of us.

In a reflection if just how tragic this death is, that crowdfunding page mentioned above has raised nearly $75,000 in just the first day, far exceeding the modest $10,000 goal.

But no matter how much money it raises, it won’t bring Henny back.

And in yet another example of government officials keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, the killer had an extensive record of crashes and traffic violations.

It’s just too bad drivers don’t have to pass a test to root out racism before we trust them multi-ton weapons.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

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Sadly, this tweet from Oklahoma speaks for itself.

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More proof that bikes are good for business.

It’s worth the click to read the brief thread about how an interest in bicycles helped turn around a dying business.

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

No bias here. A San Clemente ebike rider says the city needs to clamp down on everyone else, insisting ebike-riding “kids and elders” are going to kill someone.

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

The New York SUV driver who was terrorized by a group of teen bicyclists after allegedly brake checking one of them — intentionally or otherwise — says nothing has been done by the city and he’s still too afraid to drive his car, despite charges against one of the boys.

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Local

According to the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, Northwest Pasadena deserves better than the recently released proposal to remake North Lake Avenue, which the organization says would remain an incomplete street that violates the city’s commitment to Vision Zero.

 

State

Momentum is finally building for a 24-acre bike park in Alpine in East San Diego County.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A Bakersfield man was allowed to plead no contest to a single hit-and-run charge in the death of a bike rider, despite driving with a suspended license — and despite changing his appearance and pushing his SUV into a ravine to cover up the crime.

Sad news from Merced, where a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run Monday night; police busted the driver after tracking down his heavily damaged car.

He gets it. A bike-riding Manteca columnist says instead of calling wheelie-popping teen bicyclists hoodlums who a terrorizing the populace, be glad they’re taking up bicycling and burning off a little energy.

 

National

Yet another kit promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike.

A Minnesota town proposes a road diet and roundabouts to improve safety, but after a 13-year old boy was killed riding his bike to school last year. Maybe cities could make safety changes they know are necessary before it’s too late for a change.

Seriously? A Cape Cod community wants to make sure they don’t sacrifice the town’s character to Complete Streets. Because apparently, its character is somehow tied to car-clogged streets.

A secret government report shows New York never had any intention to put bike lanes on the Verrazzano Bridge, despite holding several public meetings, and only floated an expensive, impracticable plan in order to kill it.

In an effort to become one of the safest states for bicycling, Virginia moves forward with a bill that would require drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle, allow bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and let bicyclists ride two abreast.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The family of a North Carolina man killed in a hit-and-run while riding his bike last year say the arrest of the driver brings them little comfort because it can’t bring the victim back.

A North Carolina school bus driver could use remedial training after nearly hitting an SUV head on while passing a bike rider with full load of kids.

 

International

Just weeks after officials tore out a protected bike lane in London’s tony Kensington and Chelsea boroughs, a bike rider was injured hitting one car in an effort to avoid another.

The UK’s rash of violent strong-arm bike thefts goes on, after an 18-year old bike rider was knocked off his bicycle by a thief who rode off with his bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. Longtime pro André Greipel says he feels privileged to race in the middle of a pandemic, and the other riders in the pro peloton should, too.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a little blood and guts to get your kid to wear a helmet. Always look under your saddle before you ride.

And this has got to be the best bikeshare ad ever.

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We have another person who prefers to remain anonymous to thank for yet another generous donation to help bring SoCal’s best bike news and advocacy to your screen every morning. And yes, even though our annual fund drive is over, donations are always welcome and appreciated!

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

Meet CD4 candidate Nithya Raman tonight, fire closes LA County roads, and misogyny alive and well in bike industry

Meet CD4 candidate Nithya Raman virtually tonight, as she discusses her race against incumbent Councilmember David Ryu.

And listen to her stances on transportation in the the City of Angels, and the 4th Council District in particular, including bicycles.

As we’ve mentioned before, Raman has earned the endorsement of both Bike the Vote LA and Streets For All. And has my unqualified support, as well.

She’s already made a difference in the district, as Ryu has co-opted many of her urbanist and safe streets policies after opposing them for most of his first term.

RSVP for the Zoom conference here.

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Road closures remain in effect from the weekend’s Ranch 2 Fire.

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Gravel Bike California rides through SoCal’s abandoned Cold War-era tunnels to nowhere.

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A Pasadena survey is heavily weighted towards parking. But take a few minute to answer it anyway.

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How to change an inner tube without tire levers.

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

It takes a major schmuck to destroy an artistic fence made of bicycles surrounding a Dayton, Ohio nonprofit.

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

San Diego police arrested a stabbing suspect as he fled by bicycle following a knifing in a Pacific Beach public restroom Sunday night.

A pair of Texas men are under arrest after hitting a passing bike rider with a baseball bat in a failed attempt to steal his bike.

Then there’s this, from mountain bikewear Where The Trail Begins, proving misogyny is alive and well in the bike industry. Even if the company only seems to have two lousy products.

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Local

Great idea. A new petition calls for a protected bike lane on Franklin Ave between Highland and Los Feliz, which would be the first safe east-west bike route across Hollywood. Or any other direction, for that matter. And yes, I signed it.

 

State

Former Santa Ana Councilmember and SCAG President Michele Martinez is replacing OC real estate developer and sprawl advocate Lucy Dunn on the California Transportation Commission; Martinez is credited as a driving force behind SCAG’s popular Go Human campaign.

A Bakersfield columnist describes how his father-in-law just decided to take up bicycling and bought a new bike — his 92-year old father-in-law.

More tragic news from Northern California, where sheriff’s deputies in Cupertino discovered the body of an apparent hit-and-run victim lying next to his bike early Sunday morning.

Smart idea, as the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition teamed with a local water district to document Valley Water signs along roads and trails. Which beats the hell out of sending staffers out in trucks to look for them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Black Girls Do Bike is teaming with USA Cycling to make bicycling more accessible to women of color.

A tech site says the boom, bust and boom cycles resulting from the coronavirus have tossed bikeshare systems proven rebalancing algorithms over the handlebars.

A writer for the Daily Beast says ebikes are wondrous machines that can take you further than you ought to go if anything goes wrong.

A Las Vegas paper gets it, editorializing that higher speeds and heavier vehicles are literally killing us.

Bicycling belatedly catches up with the decision of the Lance Armstrong-founded Mellow Johnny’s bike shop to stop selling bikes to the Austin, Texas police department, in support of the Black Lives Matter protests. Which we mentioned here a couple weeks ago.

A Chicago writer offers a primer on trail riding courtesy.

An op-ed in the New York Daily News calls on the city to recommit to creating streets that benefit all of us.

A bighearted eight-year old Baltimore boy just learned how to ride a bike after the pandemic hit. But he’s already planning a 50-mile ride to raise funds to help pave sections of the C&O Canal Towpath; as of this writing, he was just $124 short of his $2,500 goal.

Police in Virginia are looking for a driver who allegedly smashed into three police bikes while attempting to run down the officers on them.

Now that’s a good kid. When a bighearted 10-year old boy in Monroe, Louisiana learned a handicapped man wished he had a bike after his truck was stolen and his home caught fire, he insisted on giving the man the new bike he had saved up to buy for himself.

 

International

Cyclist considers the best e-cargo bikes.

London’s conservative Sunday Times says the reason fewer bike riders are getting ticketed in the city is because bicyclists are getting away with breaking the law. Not, say, the well-established principle that better bike infrastructure encourages better behavior.

Surprisingly, there’s no historic marker in the English town where John Kemp Starley developed the Rover Safety bicycle, revolutionizing the world of big wheeled, direct-drive bikes and making it possible for anyone to ride a bicycle.

Heartbreaking story from Rwanda, where a teenage member of the country’s women’s national cycling team says she was raped and impregnated by a team coach; she’s still waiting for justice eight months after the body of her baby was exhumed, after he died under mysterious circumstances just days after birth.

Not even the world’s biggest bike maker in Taiwan can build their way out of the current bike boom-inspired bicycle shortage.

 

Competitive Cycling

SB Nation posted video of the crash that seriously injured 20-year old Belgian pro Remco Evenepoel, as he went over a bridge while descending in the Il Lombardia stage race; he’ll be off his bike for the next two months. The video is hard to watch, and lingers a little too much on Evenepoel as he writhes in pain at the bottom of a ravine. So be sure that’s something you really want to see before clicking through. 

Pot, meet kettle. Former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel, who headed it when ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, and most of the other team members, were winning by loading up on EPO, now says UCI isn’t doing anything about doping because all they care about is money.

 

Finally…

When you’re already wanted for a probation violation, as well as a fugitive from another state, maybe riding erratically all over the highway isn’t the best idea.

And that feeling when you’re about to be attacked by a sea creature on dry land.

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

Climate mayors call for 15 minute cities, thief ransacks Anaheim bike room, and trade your privacy for Road ID discount

A report from the C40 Cities group promotes the new Paris model of putting all necessities within a 15 minute biking or walking distance.

The climate group, currently led by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, encourages the model as a response to municipal budgets ravaged by Covid-19.

Which makes it worth noting that the “world’s climate mayor” is doing nothing of the sort in his own city, except for encouraging greater density.

Which is problematic in itself, after a number of current and former city officials have been implicated in a bribery scheme to approve building projects.

As we’ve noted before, cities around the world have taken advantage of the lighter traffic brought on by the pandemic to make temporary, and sometimes permanent, changes to encourage more biking and walking.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, has done absolutely nothing outside of the Downtown area, where Councilmember Jose Huizar has been a driving force behind a move to Complete Streets.

He is also charged with being the ringleader behind the bribery scheme.

Which pretty much sums up the current state of the city.

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A bike thief was caught on video ransacking an Anaheim building’s bike room. Which is exactly why I don’t recommend using them.

Bike rooms give the illusion of security while providing an enticing target for thieves. Better to find space in your home to keep your bikes inside.

And register your damn bike already.

https://twitter.com/lemusss29/status/1287897963927281664

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Road ID is offering half off to VIP members starting tomorrow — if you’re willing to sacrifice your privacy to become one by signing up for texts.

I wear mine every time I ride my bike. And any other time I leave home.

But I also prefer to maintain a little privacy, and not get spammed with commercial messages every time I look at my phone.

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Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley is one of us.

Orlando Bloom is one of us, too.

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

No surprise here, as Oregon bike riders report a rising tide of road rage incidents in recent months. Everyone is stressed because of the coronavirus and the resulting restrictions, which means too many drivers will end up taking it out on us.

Seriously? A moonlighting Arizona cop says he felt his life was threatened by a mountain biker who ignored no trespassing signs at a golf course while looking for a formerly accessible trailhead — so he tackled the rider off his bike and pulled a loaded gun on him during the scuffle, while insisting the victim somehow lunged off his bike at him.

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

Chicago police appear stumped about why a man on a bike shot and killed a Rastafarian community activist, though conservatives are quick to blame his surprising support for Donald Trump for his murder.

A New York bike rider went on a racist and homophobic obscenity-laced rant after an Asian driver honked at him, then faked an injury claiming the driver hit his “$11,000 bike.”

View this post on Instagram

“Kevin” in Brooklyn having a racist meltdown towards a Asian man #New York In the end “He brought the entire fire department and ambulance out because he was "injured" and then when they came, he proceeded to say that he was fine but wanted me arrested. To be very honest, I've never seen so many authorities roll their eyes all at once”. “Furthermore, he kept trying to harass Asian residents of 7th & 8th Ave., who came out to see what the commotion was about and were recording the entire thing in case he lied (which he did). While speaking with them, I also discovered that he apparently has a long history of doing this exact same thing to other Asian community members-unfortunately, many of his previous victims have been older Asian immigrants, unable to understand his racist language or DEFEND themselves due to the language barrier.” @kaiz4ne | | | | #pavelpaulinich #karensgoingwild #karen #kevin #racist #maga #racism #trump #equality #protest #protest #school #viral #viralpost #trending #asian #blm #karens #staywoke #car #roadrage #bike #bikers #asianamerican #usa #nyc #nycblogger #brooklyn #brooklynbridge #bikelife

A post shared by Pavel Paulinich News (@karensgoingwilds) on

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Local

Metro Bike is offering a bikeshare relief program through this month, with discounted passes ranging from a single $1 ride or 24-hour pass, to a $100 pass for a full year.

LA-area streets are being reimagined as outdoor dining spaces; the question is whether it will last post-pandemic. Actually, the real question is why we can find street space for restaurant patrons, but we can’t manage to find any for bike lanes.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks with Lex Roman, author of a guide to where to vote and how government works, about how you can become a more civically engaged Angeleno. Because most of us need to.

 

State

Encinitas has finished work on protected bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements, including mosaic art panels designed by local students and artists

Groups of wheelie-popping teens are ignoring the dismount signs on Santa Barbara’s newly pedestrianized State Street.

The Bay Area’s East Bay Times recommends more than a dozen “great, scenic bike trails” crisscrossing the region.

Yreka’s Leslie Burley-Cobb has been nominated for the BMX Hall of Fame; she was one of the first women in the sport in the late ’70s, collecting 268 trophies before she retired in 1985. Raise your hand if you knew there even was a BMX Hall of Fame. And yes, mine are firmly in my pockets. 

 

National

A Harvard professor is nearing the end of his cross-country bike ride to call attention to Black Lives Matter and Black Birders Week.

A writer for Gizmodo says riding an ebike has changed her entire perspective on how we get around.

Yahoo Life! says you don’t need bike shorts or clip-in shoes for these “cute” commuter bikes. Then again, you don’t need them for any other bikes, either.

“Beloved” international security expert and self-defense trainer Dave Acosta was killed in a Utah mountain biking crash last week.

Beloit, Wisconsin’s Bike Elves program has refurbished and given away 5,380 bicycles over the last nine years, after being founded by a man suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s.

An Illinois driver is being held on $1 million bail for reckless homicide after killing one bike rider and critically injuring another while fleeing from police.

Minnesota has found a used for abandoned mine pits by converting them to 30 miles of mountain bike trails.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A well-known Memphis minister died after being taken off life support following a bicycling collision last week.

The worldwide bike boom continues, as Boston bike shops are running out of bicycles.

Now that’s more like it. The New York Times offers tips on how to stay safe on mass transit — and includes bikeshare as a recommended alternative.

Drive-in movies are popping up all over New York; bike-in movies, not so much.

A New York novelist says riding through the pandemic has changed her perspective of the city.

 

International

Road.cc previews the bike tech trends for next year.

Rapha was justifiably criticized for water bottles printed with a message that could lead to eating disorders if anyone actually followed it.

After a London cabbie posted photos of Dutch parents riding their kids to school on cargo bikes, sarcastically asking if that’s really the kind of morning school run people want to see, the public responded with a resounding “Yes.”

A Croatian expat living in London says helmets, Lycra and flashing lights have become part of his new reality exploring the city by bike in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown.

Five Northern England bicycle trails to add to your bike bucket list. Unless maybe you’d rather combine beer and bikes on five trails surrounding Prague in the Czech Republic. I’ll take both, thank you. And they make some pretty decent beer in the UK, too.

The Irish Times recounts 12 reasons to start riding a bike, almost all of which apply equally well on this side of the Atlantic.

Take a nearly 1,250 mile ride over trees and beneath the water on the trails of the Belgian home of stinky cheese.

Bicyclists have been unofficially banned from the highways of Jalandhar, India, even though it’s legal to ride there; despite the law, riders are being told to stay off the roads following the death of a bike rider.

A Philippines foundation is changing lives one bicycle at a time by donating mountain bikes to people struggling to hold onto their jobs in the face of the pandemic.

Red Bull Australia picks their ten favorite gravel bike shoes, as well as eleven cycling jerseys that apparently don’t care where you wear them.

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cyclist Ellen Van Dijk won the Strade Bianche gravel race on a bike borrowed from a teammate, after her Trek-Segafredo team was struck by thieves the night before the race. Meanwhile, Wout van Aert won on the men’s side.

Former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali suffered an injured hand in the Strade Bianche, just one of the 124 cyclists who abandoned the race in 104° temperatures out of the 166 who started; only 45 cyclists finished the women’s race.

 

Finally…

High-end bike options for people who have more dollars than sense, and are willing to part with a lot of the former.

And don’t dare ride a whole six miles below the speed limit after lunch with you mom.

………

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

That viral Covid-19 exercise study isn’t, LA approves Avalon Blvd Complete Street, and current Camp Pendleton closures

Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says take that viral Belgian-Dutch Covid-19 study about social distancing while exercising outside with a grain of salt.

Or maybe a bag.

Because it’s not a study, after all.

It’s super easy to get freaked out when you’re now learning that you need to stay upwards of 32 feet away from a runner and 65 feet away from a cyclist in front of you. In some areas, this is not even possible. But take a deep, socially-distanced breath. This paper is not a vetted study nor a study on disease transmission. And it’s important to take both of those factors seriously right now before potentially spreading what could be misinformation.

She goes on to explain that it’s just a white paper, rather than a peer-reviewed  study, based on the computer simulations like the ones used to explore wind resistance and drafting.

And while airborne transmission of Covid-19 is theoretically possible, a Chinese study of more than 75,000 cases did not find a single instance of the virus spreading that way.

So while group rides are out for now, it should still be okay to take a quick solo ride. With the proper precautions, of course.

In the end, the advice still stands: Stay home as much as you can. Wash your hands often. Ride and run solo, striving for as much physical distance as you can from others—but definitely at least six feet. Wear a buff or bandana if you’re going to be in highly trafficked areas. If you feel at all sick stay home.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.

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The LA city council has signed off on a Complete Streets plan for a 2.2-mile segment of Avalon Blvd in South LA, along with road diet adding an additional 6.4 miles of protected or buffered bike lanes.

………

Thanks to Robert Leone for forwarding news of the latest road closures in Camp Pendleton.

Please see the following closure updates as of April 9, 2020:

  1. Stuart Mesa Road – Northbound and Southbound lanes CLOSED from Las Flores (41 Area) to Las Pulgas Road.  *Open for Emergency Traffic only. Bike route remains closed.
  2. Beach Club Road –  Closed. *No Emergency traffic.
  3. Vandegrift Blvd – OPEN to the public in both directions.  *Right-hand eastbound lane CLOSED in Box Canyon.
  4. Del Mar Gate – CLOSED inbound and outbound until further. *No Emergency Traffic. CLOSURE DUE TO COVID-19

Please check Facebook for updates.

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Philly can rest easy, at least as far as coronavirus is concerned, after a handlebar surfing masked man sprayed the streets with Lysol.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-vGZNYJIXU/?utm_source=ig_embed

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Local

Spectrum News 1 says LA bike riders are taking notice of the lighter traffic and cleaner air. Just don’t count on it staying that way.

The LA Times lists what’s open and closed in Southern California this weekend; just assume all parks and recreation areas will be closed to prevent overcrowding over the Easter weekend.

A pair of Dutch bike riders are forced to end their round-the-world bucket list trip in Los Angeles, after they’re denied entry to Japan due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Burbank is joining Los Angeles in eliminating beg buttons to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections.

CiclaValley goes gravel grinding on the Backbone Trail — before the coronavirus shut everything down.

 

State

Bikes are booming in Bakersfield, too.

 

National

Bicycling examines how bikewear companies and bike and accessory makers have made a sharp pivot to making personal protective gear for healthcare and essential workers engaged in the battle with Covid-19.

Trek’s John Burke says he thinks the bike industry’s best days are still ahead because the pandemic has shown just how important bicycles are.

Gear Patrol says this could be the ideal time to buy a new bike, while some shops and bike brands are offering coronavirus deals. Just be sure to check with your local bike shop before buying anything online; they need the business, and may match or beat whatever deals you might find.

Flagstaff AZ has cancelled all the events associated with next month’s Bike Week. That shouldn’t be a problem in Los Angeles, since nothing’s been announced for LA’s bike week, anyway.

You can now ride your ebike on paved natural area trails in my hometown, after a one-year pilot program didn’t uncover any problems.

Talk about a bad week. An Illinois woman was fired from both of her jobs because of the coronavirus shutdown, then had her bike and purse stolen when she went to apply for another one. But her luck turned when a cop recovered her bike and bag, and a kindhearted stranger gave her a check for $1,000.

This is who we share the roads with. A serial hit-and-run Ohio driver is under arrest after injuring four people in three separate crashes, each on different days and apparently intentionally, as they were walking on the sidewalk. But at least police say the victims’ dogs are okay.

Syracuse NY police have arrested one of the hit-and-run drivers who killed a popular musician as he was riding his bike. But they absolved the second driver, claiming she didn’t know she’d hit anyone.

Emptier streets result in a jump in New York traffic fatalities, as rush hour speeds are up as much as 288%.

A writer for Streetsblog complains about bike lane victim blaming in the New York Times.

New York’s Bike Match program has expanded to DC, allowing people with extra bikes to be matched with essential workers who need them.

Maryland bike riders are joining walkers and runners on the streets in the age of coronavirus, even if they are doing it alone.

 

International

A writer for Canadian Cycling Magazine says riding outside is great, but he feels far safer doing his riding inside these days.

Vancouver bike riders join the call from other North American cities to expand temporary bike lanes to accommodate people switching to bikes to avoid coronavirus.

A London writer says he’s glad to be back in the saddle again after 15 years, taking advantage of the lighter traffic to rediscover the joy of riding a bike.

London’s Evening Standard makes the case that speeding drivers are putting the safety of essential workers at risk; police have stopped drivers zooming up to 142 mph.

A UK bicyclist questions how long a ride is too long under the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

The head of Brompton explains how he plans to keep the iconic British foldie brand afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

Even in the Netherlands, bicyclists are being urged to stay home this weekend to avoid injuries that could impact already overloaded hospitals.

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI, aka the International Cycling Union, is officially broke after everything was cancelled this spring and the Olympics were postponed until next year; the organization has cut executive salaries and all staff members are on full or partial furlough.

Newly crowned Tour de France champ Egan Bernal is responding to the coronavirus crisis by auctioning off his bike, along with white and yellow jerseys from the race, to raise funds for a Columbian children’s charity.

One of the first American cyclists to ride in Europe looks back at the cancelled Paris-Roubaix race, calling it “brutal and magical and the stuff of myth,” and insisting you can’t really understand it until you ride it.

 

Finally…

What it’s like to ride a tiny $261 Chinese ebike. Never let a little flood stop your ride.

And taking indoor cycling to the extreme.

https://twitter.com/MLorenaGonzalez/status/1248393806925287424

………

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

Covid-19 halts bike world, bicycle parking that comes to you, and Burbank Complete Streets plan moves to council

It’s a light day on the bike news front, as the Covid-19 coronavirus sucked all the air out of the room on Thursday.

CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield has indefinitely postponed his annual Blumenfield Bike Ride scheduled for next weekend.

San Francisco Streetsblog considers how the pandemic affects Bay Area bike and pedestrian advocacy and events.

San Francisco bike riders will have to keep their clothes on for another year, as organizers pull the plug on the city’s edition of the World Naked Bike Ride scheduled for tomorrow.

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus considers cycling in the age of Covid-19.

Stats from New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare show the city really is experiencing a bike boom as commuters turn from crowded trains to riding a bike.

The annual London Bike Show originally scheduled for this month has been postponed until July.

British physicians offer advice on bike riding and self-isolation in the age of coronavirus.

Britain’s Cyclist offers a running account of pro teams pulling out and races canceled., while Cycling News provides a dispiriting timeline.

Road.cc considers how Italian bicyclists and bike brands are coping in the locked down country, in what could be a taste of things to come for the rest of us.

Japan’s prime minister — an Olympic medalist himself — immediately shot down Donald Trump’s suggestion of postponing the Olympic Games for a year.

And cancel those plans to check out track cycling at the Carson velodrome this month. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

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That’s more like it. Secure bike parking that comes to you.

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Professional mountain biker Thomas Vanderham finds the balance between riding and being a dad.

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Local

Burbank’s draft Complete Streets plan is headed to the city council on Tuesday for review, before moving on to the city’s Infrastructure Oversight Board on March 26th.

 

State

Need a job? The CHP is looking for a pedestrian and bicycle safety grant coordinator in their Sacramento office. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

 

National

AutoBlog considers whether the MonkeyLetric LED wheel lights are worth the price, and concludes with a resounding yes. As the proud owner of an early pre-graphics version of the lights, I concur.

A New Mexico county judge somehow avoided charges for killing a bike rider, even though she was seen driving erratically and investigators say she made no attempt to stop prior to the impact. She also failed to inform the police she had a second cellphone with her at the time of the crash, in addition to the one she handed over to the police.

A number of organizations in my home state are working to get more girls and young women on bikes.

Four different kinds of Dallas bike riders you’ll meet on the road.

Gravel grinding has moved down to the high school level in Walmart’s hometown, with the country’s first high school gravel racing team in Bentonville AR.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An off-duty Pittsburgh police officer cops a plea to hit-and-run involving a bike rider while falling down drunk. And gets sentenced to a whopping two to four days behind bars. Yes, days.

No bias here. A Maryland letter writer says it’s no surprise a bike rider got killed and two others injured on a local roadway, since “hordes” of “strident ‘bicycle rights’ activists” seem to enjoy holding up traffic. Even though the victims were riding single file on the right edge of the roadway, and were hit by an SUV driver on the wrong side of the road.

 

International

Bike Radar explains how to measure a bike frame to determine sizing, which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

A British Columbia city is expanding its bike network, including closing a roadway to turn it into a greenway.

An English bike rider captures the moment she broadsided a car when the driver cut across a roadway without checking if anyone was in the bike lane.

Yesterday’s panicked headlines all focused on the greater risk facing bike commuters in a British study, but New Scientist says the real story is confirmation that the health benefits of bike commuting outweigh the risks.

Hacking an ebike to boost the speed beyond legal limits in France will now cost you the equivalent of $34,000, and up to one year in jail.

It takes a special kind of schmuck to rip out native trees in a critically endangered New Zealand snail habitat to make way for an illegal mountain biking trail.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Paris-Nice bike race goes on, as Italian Niccolo Bonifazio calls his victory in stage five a gift to his country, which is on lockdown due to the coronavirus.

With at least the early cycling season likely to be cancelled, Canadian Michael Woods should have plenty of time to recover from a broken leg suffered in a stage five crash at Paris-Nice.

American Tejay van Garderen quit the race rather than being separated from his family because of the new European travel restrictions (scroll up).

 

Finally

If someone steals your lover’s heart, don’t respond by stealing their bike. And who says you can’t bike to school with your kid?

https://twitter.com/AwesomeCycling/status/1238042227068358659?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1238042227068358659&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2F271883-driver-almost-hits-cyclist-then-crashes-car-paris-nice-highlights-cav-and-g

New hope for Venice Blvd, entitled drivers and anti-bike bias, and an antidote for overly aggressive car ads

There may be hope for Venice Blvd yet.

Recently formed political advocacy group Streets For All has unveiled a new website to promote — or maybe fight for — a Complete Street plan that goes far beyond the limited lane reduction and parking protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

The group is demanding that the city live up to the promises it made in approving the city’s mobility plan, Vision Zero and Green New Deal Sustainability Plan, and implement dedicated bus lanes, protected mobility lanes and pedestrian improvements to create a safer, cleaner, and more livable Venice Blvd for everyone.

It’s a worthwhile goal.

Venice is one of the few streets that runs from DTLA all the way to the coast, making it a prime thoroughfare for anyone needing to cross the city.

It also cuts through countless neighborhoods along the way that could experience new life and improved safety for the people living nearby.

And it could — and should — provide safe and affordable mobility options for people who don’t own cars, or who choose not to drive. for whatever reasons.

But the most important thing is, all they’re asking for is what the city already promised to do.

Isn’t it time we held our elected leaders to their word?

………

No bias here.

An entitled Antioch driver says his car should somehow have priority over all those entitled bicyclists who ruined his recreational drive along the coast.

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No bias here, either.

A Missouri writer complains that the traffic statistics bike advocates cite are just lies, and that the Complete Streets that don’t even exist in his little town cause road rage.

No, seriously.

And he goes on to blame people on bicycles for causing the injuries suffered by pedestrians.

But then concludes this way.

I hope that I’ve dispelled some concerns and encouraged others to give bicycle riding a try. Perhaps we’ll meet soon. I’ll ring my bell!

Um, sure.

I feel much better now.

………

And definitely no bias here.

A writer for a right wing Central California site goes on a tirade about bike lanes and Compete Streets, saying gas tax money is being “stolen” for bike and transit projects.

Even though that’s exactly what the state said they’d be used for.

And accusing governor Newsom of using road diets to force “California residents to reach back to the 19th Century when bicycles and trains were the only transportation, other than horses and wagons.”

Damn. That sounds wonderful.

She’s on to us, comrades.

………

That’s more like it. Or maybe not.

A Belgian bike thief got a well deserved three year sentence after a judge ruled the theft was an ecological crime, because it forced the victim to use a less-clean form of transportation.

But don’t expect him to serve that sentence anytime soon.

He’s already been sentenced to a total of nine years for a massive rap sheet that includes 44 arrests with 17 convictions.

But he hasn’t spent a single day behind bars.

Yet.

………

Curbed’s Alissa Walker takes car makers to task for relying on ads that portray their cars, trucks and SUVs being driven recklessly on the same streets where people keep dying.

But here’s an antidote to those heavy footed, over aggressive Super Bowl ads.

………

Blink and you’ll miss it.

Hidden in plain sight in Jeep’s Groundhog Day Super Bowl ad was the official reveal of their upcoming 750-watt ebike. Or maybe it’s actually twice that powerful, capable of literally ripping a bike chain to shreds.

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Can’t find the carbon fiber mountain bike frame you want? Just build your own.

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

An Iowa woman got a whopping 40 years behind bars — yes, four zero — for killing a man riding a bicycle in a Cedar Rapids parking lot while driving at twice the legal blood alcohol level; she claimed she was only trying to run over his bicycle, but he just happened to be on it at the time.

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

A New Mexico man was busted after riding his bike up to an undercover cop posing as a prostitute, then asking if he could pay her later because he wouldn’t have the money until Friday. Then finally agreed to pay her with the hamburger he was carrying.

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Local

Curbed says the proposed makeover of Hollywood Blvd would be a big improvement, but hardly radical compared to San Francisco closing Market Street to cars.

Selena Gomez used to be one of us, but now she’s unloading the bikes she used to ride with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.

A writer for the New Yorker apparently thinks you can see the air in LA most days, and just breathing here feels like smoking three cigarettes — let alone riding a bike. Maybe I’ve been privileged living on the Westside most of my time in LA, but in 30 year as an Angeleno, I can count the times I’ve experienced that on one hand with most most of the fingers closed, not counting nearby wildfires. 

Burbank is making traffic improvements around three schools to create safe routes for students who walk or bike to school. Unfortunately, though, those improvements don’t appear to include bike lanes.

 

State

San Diego’s Ocean Beach Bike Path will be closed for construction work most of this month, starting today.

The owner of The Bikesmith in San Diego’s Pacific Beach neighborhood has been wrenching bikes for 50 years, earning the sobriquet Bikesmith Bob. Correction: Somehow Pacific was autocorrected to Pacificas last night. This bike shop is in Pacific Beach, as Robert Leone pointed out.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs rolls this Sunday, bringing riders from 46 states and four countries to the roads of the Coachella Valley.

Speaking of the Coachella Valley, the planned CV Link bike path around the valley continues to move forward, thanks to a $29 million state grant; however, the once 50-mile trail has shrunk to just 40.

Streetsblog says San Francisco’s 28-year old Critical Mass movement deserves credit for banning cars from Market Street, with one of the founders saying the rides made it possible for the “tepid, wimpy bike coalition people to do their thing.” Ouch. Especially considering the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is one of the country’s most successful and progressive advocacy groups.

 

National

CNN suggests Lyft should be doing well, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Life is cheap in Washington, where a possibly impaired driver walks with a ridiculous two days behind bars after copping a plea to vehicular homicide in the death of a 75-year old bike rider — about 14 months and 28 days less than the typical minimum sentence. He claimed he didn’t know his medication could cause impairment, despite being on it for the past four years.

Denver officially shutters its docked bikeshare system after ten years, but looks forward to exploring other forms of micromobility.

A solo bike crash last year left a nationally recognized spinal surgeon in Houston a quadriplegic, after he caught his front wheel while riding in a park and went over the handlebars. It’s a sad commentary on our society that even someone like him needs to crowdfund money for the things not covered by insurance.

A Good Samaritan bought new bikes for two Texas boys after theirs were stolen outside their school; the local police also pitched in some new locks.

Illustrating the difficulty in keeping dangerous drivers off the roads, a Milwaukee driver confessed to the hit-and-run death of a bike rider — even though he’s never held a driver’s license.

No bike helmet requirement for Indiana kids, after a state legislator backed off on his proposal because his peers in the legislature considered it too intrusive.

Data from Atlanta’s pop-up protected bike lane experiment confirms that sharing road space benefits everyone.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a backpack from a Baton Rouge bike rider after he was killed by a pair of street racing brothers.

A New Orleans carnival krewe teams with a local neighborhood to call attention to bike and pedestrians safety, eleven months after an extremely drunk driver plowed into a group of bike riders near a Mardi Gras parade at 80 mph, killing two; Tashoni Toney will serve 90 years hard labor after pleading guilty in the crash.

This is why you don’t just toss old tires away. A Florida manatee has been spotted once again after having a bicycle tire stuck around him for at least a month.

 

International

A Toronto writer goes on an anti-Vision Zero rampage, insisting it was created by leftists to drive traffic down to turtle-like speeds and force drivers out of their cars.

A former British soldier set a new Paralympic hour record nine years after losing a leg when he was run over by a tank.

A driver in the UK got eight weeks behind bars for calling a bicyclist wearing a pink jersey “gay boy” and spitting on him; that was his big mistake since authorities traced his DNA through the sample he deposited on the victim. Unfortunately, the original article is hidden behind a paywall, so scroll down Road.cc’s page for the story.

A writer for the Guardian predicts an epic disaster if Great Britain allows e-scooters to infest the country, both for pedestrians and the people riding them. The scooters, not the pedestrians.

You might want to rethink that dream of bicycling the Emerald Isle. Bicycling fatalities have risen an average of 8% a year over the last decade, four times the rate of the next-worse European countries, France and the Netherlands.

Paris provides a prime lesson in what a real climate mayor would do to reinvent a city before it hosts the Olympic Games. Or even just let it live up to its potential.

How about a family bike tour along the Danube from Vienna to Budapest?

 

Competitive Cycling

Those proclamations that the era of doping is over might be just a tad premature. Danish and Norwegian media are reporting that Jakob Fuglsang, the world’s number two ranked cyclist, has been spotted training with Lance’s alleged doping doc Michele Ferrari, who has been banned for life from working with athletes due to his involvement in Armstrong’s US Postal Service team doping scandal.

Bicycling offers five takeaways from this year’s Cyclocross World Championships — including a surprising medal for the US in the women’s U-23 race.

Spanish cyclist Mikel Landa became just the latest pro to have a run-in with a car bumper while training, after he and a riding parter were both run down by a hit-and-run driver last week; fortunately, neither was seriously injured.

Three time men’s ‘cross champ Mathieiu van der Poel faces a tough choice between mountain biking and competing in the Grand Tours.

Columbian cyclist Egan Bernal is going to have some nasty road rash after wiping out rounding a bend on a high-speed descent during the country’s national championships.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying meth and a pipe on your bike and riding with an outstanding warrant, put some damn reflectors on it, at least. Same goes for carrying heroin and a loaded gun, with a warrant from another state.

And your next ebike could look like a vintage motorcycle.

But why would you want it to?

………

Ride safe out there. If this wind gets any stronger, we may have to change the name of this site to BikinginOz.

And I don’t mean Australia.

 

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