It’s the last four days of the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!
Last year, it took a real Chrismukah miracle to top the previous year, with more than 25 donations in the last five days.
We’ll need at least that many this time around just to catch up — let alone set a new record for the 9th year in a row.
So thanks to Steven H and Joshua H (no relation) for their generous support for SoCal’s best source bike news and advocacy.
But time is rapidly running out for this year’s fund drive.
So don’t wait.
Stop what you’re doing, and give now!
Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program this fall as promised: 0
Seriously, is anyone really surprised that the California Air Resources Board missed their latest self-imposed deadline once again?
If you haven’t already, sign the petition demanding a public meeting with LA Mayor Karen Bass to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the streets of LA, and city’s ongoing failure to build the safer, more livable transportation system they promised.
Then share it with everyone you know, on every platform you can.
Even reporters for the Los Angeles Times question whether Caltrans meager safety “improvements” on PCH will be enough to make a difference.
Writing about Monday’s performative press conference to announce a lousy $4.2 million in safety work for the 21 miles of PCH that snakes along the Pacific Coast — which works out to just $200,000 a mile — they almost immediately called the announcement into question.
While there is a process each project will have to undergo, “this is not a ‘business as usual’ approach,” Omishakin said as cars whizzed past.
After several deadly pedestrian crashes that roiled Malibu and sparked calls for change, business as usual won’t be enough, transportation activists said. Damian Kevitt, founder of Streets Are for Everyone, told The Times the “design of PCH through Malibu is simply and clearly deadly.”
“It needs to be a transformed from a highway where people can do 60 to 80 to even 100 mph through residential [areas] and businesses, with families and cyclists, unprotected, just a couple feet away,” Kevitt said.
Hopefully, Caltrans can demonstrate a little more urgency than the $34.6 million project currently underway to sync red lights along the highway, presumably to make speeding drivers stop for red while the typically non-existent non-speeding drivers on the highway will see greens.
The project was approved seven years ago, but because the highway is under California Department of Transportation jurisdiction, it had to be reviewed by the state.
“The Caltrans review process, while undoubtedly necessary for ensuring regulatory compliance and safety standards, proved to be more cumbersome than anticipated,” said Matt Myerhoff, Malibu’s public information officer.
Gee, you think?
Although red lights are typically synced to smooth traffic flow, rather than control speeds.
Meanwhile, Caltrans pledged to study PCH to determine if it can be designated as a safety corridor, in which fines for speeding can be doubled.
But f the mounting death toll on the highway isn’t prima facie proof of the problem, I don’t know what yet another study will accomplish. Then again, you could quadruple the fines, and it won’t matter if the drivers don’t get caught.
Which points to the sheer stupidity of California’s speed cam pilot program only being allowed in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, along with three NorCal cities, while completely ignoring the state’s deadliest corridors.
Members of Seetoo’s Fix PCH Action Team, including Kevitt, say the seven years it took Caltrans to allow Malibu to begin the signal synchronization project “doesn’t indicate that Caltrans is prioritizing safety at all.”
Collecting and studying the data could mean “years and years more delay before they even decide if they can slow down this highway that is known to be deadly,” Kevitt said.
Chris Wizner, another action team member, told The Times he wondered how many more deaths it would take for Caltrans to slow down PCH.
The formula has always been N+1.
It will take one more death than we’ve already suffered, no matter how many there have already been.
A Santa Barbara cop takes a turn at demonstrating he knows nothing about riding in a peloton, without saying it, as a group of Santa Barbara bicyclists got delayed tickets in the mail for following one another too closely, after one rider went down and took several other riders down with him.
Insult to injury rant:
Group ride Santa Barbara to Ventura & back Nov. 21, a cyclist in the peloton front crashed & took down several of us. EMTs came & took me for a brain scan. I'm fine. Cop pretended to help me as he asked my name etc.
I just got a ticket for "following too… pic.twitter.com/qzDoFs9dfa
— Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer) December 20, 2023
Here’s the full text of the tweet.
Insult to injury rant: Group ride Santa Barbara to Ventura & back Nov. 21, a cyclist in the peloton front crashed & took down several of us. EMTs came & took me for a brain scan. I’m fine. Cop pretended to help me as he asked my name etc.
I just got a ticket for “following too close”. In a peloton. Seriously. $235 or contest it in court.
I’m tempted on principle. Would love to confront this cop & ask why he didn’t give me the ticket then & there (others also got tickets in the mail). He probably knows we would have pitched a fit.
Disgraceful. I’m lying there on the ground in paid, bloody & nauseous & this MF cop is writing me up for a traffic violation. No wonder people don’t trust the police. “Protect & Serve”. Bullshit.
Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.
Somehow this one slipped under the radar, as Robert Leone forwards the results of the Universal Postal Union’s 2023 letter writing competition.
Okay, maybe I know why this one slipped under the radar.
Regardless, the UPU asked children to write on the following topic:
“Imagine you are a super hero and your mission is to make all roads around the world safer for children. Write a letter to someone explaining which super powers you would need to achieve your mission.”
The winner, a 13-year old girl from Kenya, requests a simple super power — the ability to write posters that will make drivers slow down, because children are the most helpless road users.
Thanks to Megan Lynch for forwarding the following video, which includes these key points:
- Soul-crushing car traffic makes the Yosemite experience very frustrating
- That frustration gets unloaded on retail workers there
- You should definitely ride a bike in Yosemite
- But don’t leave anything on your bike because even in Yosemite thieves will strip it to the frame
‘Tis the season.
A San Diego group is continuing a five decade tradition of giving, by working to build 150 bikes to give to kids on Christmas Day.
A Cedar Rapids, Iowa bike shop turned into Santa’s workshop as volunteers joined staffers to refurbish 50 bikes for kids in need.
The work of Florida’s legendary Jack the Bike Man lives on, as the charity he founded gave 100 bicycles to people in need, despite his death earlier this year.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
Eureka scrapped plans for a buffered bike lane on Myrtle Street, caving to angry residents who prefer convenient parking to protecting human lives, as long as those lives get around on two wheels instead of four.
No surprise here, as compromises forced on a Brooklyn protected bike lane by people loathe to sacrifice parking or traffic lanes resulted in a project that virtually no one is happy with.
No bias here. A New York councilmember calls for mandatory licensing and registration of ebikes, rhetorically asking “How many actual ebikes do you see stopping at a red light or observing traffic laws?” Just wait until someone tells him about cars and their drivers, which are already registered and licensed, and regularly break traffic laws anyway.
Evidently, verbally abusing and repeatedly swerving a car into a woman riding a bike isn’t illegal anymore, after police in the UK “mistakenly” close the books on a road raging driver.
Streetsblog’s Joe Linton applauds yesterday’s deep dive on dooring in the Los Angeles Times.
Metro will offer free bus and train rides on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, along with free Metro Bike Share for the first half hour from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.
A man was arrested in Santa Ana Saturday after walking out of an Irvine Walmart with a new beach cruiser. Seriously, if you’re going to steal a bike, at least steal a better one.
Streetsblog zeros in on San Diego’s new Complete Streets policy, examining how advocates pushed for and won a better approach to street design.
A local San Francisco website says sales data doesn’t back up claims from merchants along Valencia Street that the new centerline bike lane has killed their business, showing just a 6% drop in retail sales during construction of the bike lanes. Although to be fair, a 6% drop can mean the difference between profit and loss for some businesses, but it’s a far cry from what they claimed.
At the same time, San Francisco website Underscore_SF says the controversial centerline bike lane was never going to work, and San Francisco should move the bike lanes to a more traditional curbside configuration.
GCN offers six top tips for descending on a road bike.
REI’s second-gen e-cargo bike is on sale for its lowest price ever; CNN called it the year’s best ebike, cargo or otherwise. At less than $1140, you could easily buy one with California’s ebike voucher program, and have change left over — if the voucher program ever actually launches.
More churn in the ebike world, as Harley-Davidson sold its Serial 1 ebike division to Florida ebike maker LEV Manufacturing.
A pair of alleged bike burglars face charges for breaking into Lance Armstrong’s storage unit — yes, that Lance Armstrong — and stealing four complete bicycles and a couple frames valued at $105,000; it’s not clear if any of the bikes were recovered.
A Texas man will face two counts of criminally negligent homicide for killing a married couple as they rode their bikes this past June; he was allegedly texting when he hit their bikes, which explains why he says he never saw them.
More on the bizarre ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court that says cities aren’t liable for injuries to bike riders due to bad pavement because streets without bike lanes aren’t intended for bicycles.
Inmates in a New Hampshire county jail are learning to repair bicycles, working towards their master bike technician certification while serving their time. Which should provide a nice incentive to commit another crime if they get released before earning their certification.
A Long Island woman faces a host of charges, including 2nd degree assault and disabling an Interlock device, for speeding through a parking lot where a triathlon was being held and slamming into a competitor riding his bike, leaving the victim with a traumatic brain injury and cervical spine fracture.
Toronto’s paramedic’s union said a controversial protected bike lane cost an ambulance crew 30 seconds getting through an intersection because drivers couldn’t get out of their way. Maybe someone should tell them those little car-tickler plastic posts are designed to bend, so you can drive right over them.
Sad news from the UK, where popular industry pro Nils Amelinckx died after a lengthy battle with stage four bowel cancer; Amelinckx founded the nonprofit Rider Resilience to promote the use of bicycles as medicine, as well as the bicycling wing of gear maker Lyon Equipment. He was just 36.
Grieving British parents called for mandatory speed limiters on all motor vehicles, after a speeding driver climbed the curbed and killed their 14-year old daughter as she rode in a separated bike lane.
The BBC examines how the Finnish coastal city of Oulu became the winter bicycling capital of the world, despite its location just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle.
The Vuelta released its course for next year, starting and ending with time trials, and “savage” climbing in between.
🇪🇸 2024 VUELTA A ESPAÑA (17/8 – 8/9) | #LaVuelta24
🖼️ All stage profiles in 1 pic pic.twitter.com/3VnaBJIwUx
— ammattipyöräily (@ammattipyoraily) December 19, 2023
And your next e-cargo bike could haul a baby grand piano.
Or a grown-up one, even.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin