Tag Archive for Complete Streets

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

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

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

A few other highlights —

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

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

Aside from what you’re reading now, anyway.

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And bike lanes. Well, sort of.

Or maybe not.

We’ll let Linton take it from here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pun intended.

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

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

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

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

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What could possibly go wrong with this?

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

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No wonder they called it the Great War.

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Maybe they’re finally done making excuses.

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

This time, it seems to have teeth.

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

It says all the right things.

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hopefully we’ll learn more soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it has the potential to be truly transformational.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Photo from LA25x25.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Texas, after all.

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ve said it many times before.

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

And yes, that happens more than you might think.

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

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

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

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

Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels.

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Here’s something to look forward to.

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

Progress Report 

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

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

What’s Next?

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

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

Questions or Concerns?

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

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You’ve got to be kidding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

 

Finally…

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

And Colin Powell was one of us, too.

………

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

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

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

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

But be warned before you click on the video.

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

And you can’t unsee it if you do.

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

………

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

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

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

………

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

………

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

Or not.

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

 

State

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

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

There may be hope for Texas justice after all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

………

Maybe there will be justice for Dijon Kizzee, too.

Though I wouldn’t bet on it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

………

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

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

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

………

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

………

Local

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

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

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And was probably meant to.

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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

………

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.

………

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.

………

Local

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

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

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

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

 

State

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

………

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

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.

………

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]

………

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]

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

……..

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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?

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

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