Tag Archive for Councilmember Jose Huizar

Bike-friendly Councilmember Jose Huizar busted for bribery, Olive Street gets bike lanes, and Brits get £50 for bike repair

The other shoe finally dropped.

Two years after FBI agents raided the home and office of DTLA Councilmember Jose Huizar, he was charged yesterday with accepting bribes from a Chinese developer.

It had become clear in recent months that the Feds had Huizar in their sights, after a string of lower-level aides and go-betweens copped pleas that clearly implicated him.

Huizar, who was largely responsible for the bike-friendly Complete Streets makeover of Downtown Los Angeles in recent years, was charged under the RICO act for running a corrupt enterprise.

His arrest, along with the conviction of former San Fernando Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander, raises questions of whether anyone else was involved, and who else the Feds could be looking at.

Englander’s replacement, Councilmember John Lee, is believed to have been implicated in Englander’s bribery scheme, according to court documents, but hasn’t stepped down.

A number of other city officials and staffers, including South LA Councilmember Curren Price, have been subjects of search warrants.

Which means the question is whether Huizar’s alleged corruption marks the end of the investigation. Or just the tip of the iceberg.

And it serves as a reminder that those who support us don’t always deserve our support.

Although the sexual harassment case against Huizar, allegedly settled with funds from the bribery scheme, should have been a fucking clue.

The remaining city councilmembers voted unanimously to suspend Huizar from the council after his arrest; he was urged to resign before his term ends at the end of the year so Councilmember-elect Kevin de Leon can take over the seat.

Let’s hope de Leon turns out to be as much of a supporter of bicycles and Complete Streets as Huizar has been.

But less corrupt.

Allegedly.

Photo from josehuizar.com.

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Speaking of DTLA, it looks like Olive Street is about to get an upgrade.

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You might want to avoid Laguna Niguel’s Camino Capistrano for awhile.

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Great idea.

The UK is ready to roll with a voucher plan offering every resident the equivalent of $62 to get their bikes repaired,

The idea is to help get more people on bikes and support the bike industry, while giving a boost to the economy.

All of which we could use right here. And right now.

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

Retired motorcycle champ Miguel Duhamel is recovering after he was shot in the head with a BB gun from passing car while riding his bike in Red Rock, Nevada.

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

Police in Indianapolis are asking for the public’s help in identifying the bike-riding jerk who pushed another man off his bicycle, resulting in a severe concussion.

An off-duty NYPD cop was in a shootout with someone on a bicycle after a dispute with a group of men, who allegedly flashed gang signs; over a dozen shots were fired, but no one was hit.

A Tokyo bike rider was busted for allegedly damaging a driver’s car in a case of bike rage, even though that technically isn’t illegal until the end of this month.

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Local

Streetsblog says it will take more than a few sandwich boards to make LA’s 4th Street Slow Street friendlier for bicyclists and walkers.

The LAPD busted one of the bike and skateboard-riding Venice/Mar Vista gropers, and is looking for the other one, as well as any other women who may have been assaulted.

A pair of former competitive cyclists in Long Beach formed a messenger service to deliver just about anything by bike.

Gerard Butler is one of us, riding his bike to Venice for an evening ride along the beach.

 

State

Coronado plans to take over a pair of state highways from Caltrans, which could lead to more bike lanes in the city where residents find them dizzying and akin to having your daughters totally tatted. And led to James Corden’s all-time best monologue.  

Santa Barbara is politely asking bike riders to dismount on a new temporary plaza formed by closing a downtown street.

San Franciscans discover the unexpected delights of bicycling while they shelter at home.

Fremont shows other Bay Area cities how protected bikeways are done. Los Angeles could take a few notes, too.

 

National

He gets it. An infectious disease physician and bicyclist says he doesn’t wear a mask because he’s scared, he wears one out of respect for others.

Go ahead and order the fries. Bicycling says saturated fat isn’t bad for your heart after all.

Ouch. Vice examines how Uber turned a promising bikeshare company into literal garbage.

Gear Patrol suggests ten bike storage racks they promise will blend seamlessly into your home.

Portlanders are encouraged to get out and ride naked, by themselves, for a solo edition of the World Naked Bike Ride this weekend. Which could get you arrested just about anywhere else.

The Seattle Times talks with a former Caltrans and Los Angeles planner, currently working in Oakland, about how transportation planners can better serve people of color.

A Chicago woman is fighting for her life after she was right hooked by the driver of a city-owned dump truck. Crashes like that could be prevented by requiring sideguards on all large trucks, and cabs offering minimum 180° views.

A security guard in a bulletproof vest reportedly tackled a Black teenaged girl riding a Jump bike in Providence, Rhode Island, after Uber hired guards to recover their stolen bikes; naturally, the company denies it ever happened.

Sienna Miller is one of us, too, as she goes for a bike ride through New York.

Rayshard Brooks, the Black man who was recently shot by an Atlanta cop, was one of us, riding his bike to work when he lived in Ohio.

 

International

Road.cc picks the best front and rear daytime bike lights, and considers whether you should use them. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, hell yes. I’ve had far fewer close calls since I started riding with them at the urging of Mark Goodley.

Road.cc also suggests the best commuting upgrades for your bike. And for you.

Pez Cycling News picks the three best bike movies of all time, starting with everyone’s favorite. Okay, maybe just mine. And theirs.

Nothing strange here. A Northern Irish boy is missing after falling off his bike and striking his head, then taking off his all clothes and riding a little more, before abandoning his bike and walking away naked.

Tennis star Andy Murray is one of us, biking the famed Box hill climb while he shelters in Surrey, England.

Add the French Riviera to your bike bucket list. Assuming we can all travel again someday, and the Europeans let us back in.

A new Belgian study says bike riders in the country face no more risk than drivers do. On the other hand, Luxembourg is lagging badly.

Italy is enjoying a bike boom, too. Meanwhile, the European Public Health Alliance says the country can’t drive its way out of the coronavirus crisis with polluting vehicles.

A high ranking Manilla cop tell drivers to stay the hell out of the new bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Retired Belarusian pro Kanstantsin Siutsou got a four year ban for doping; the former Giro stage winner failed a test for EPO two years ago. Like that ban will really sting since he doesn’t compete anymore; it’s like firing someone two years after he quit. But hey, the doping era is over, right?

VeloNews spends a day with California-based women’s pro cyclist Tayler Wiles before the racing season theoretically gears back up.

 

Finally…

How to race halfway across the US without leaving Down Under. This is what a “suboptimal” bike lane looks like.

And your next roadie could set you back nearly $8,500.

But damn is it pretty.

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I continue to be surprised by the unexpected donations that have been coming in to support this site lately. Thanks to Carlos A and Bernard B for their generous donations to keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way every day.

And note to Bernard — You’re welcome!

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

Huizar calls for carfree Broadway in DTLA, Arroyo Seco Bike Path finally open, and studies support bus and bike lanes

Breaking news: KNBC-4 reported that a bike rider was critically injured last night in a collision at Hollywood Blvd and McCadden Place. However, video from the scene appears to show the victim may have been seated on a Wheels scooter rather than a bicycle.

Unfortunately, nothing has been posted online yet.

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Outgoing CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar responds to the question of whether other California cities will close streets to cars — or rather, open them up to people — in the wake of San Francisco’s closure of Market Street.

Huizar called yesterday for the possibility of a complete closure of historic Broadway in DTLA to motor vehicles between 1st and 12th Streets, with the exception of buses.

This comes after years of efforts to revitalize the corridor, including a road diet that cut the number of traffic lanes in half, and reopening or repurposing many of the street’s grand theaters.

Note to KCBS-2: Despite the headline in the above link, the proposed ban is on cars and trucks, not feet. 

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The Arroyo Seco Bike Path is officially open, after being closed for a year to repair damage caused by last year’s rains.

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No surprise here.

A new Portland study shows bike riders are safer sharing a bus only lane with transit vehicles than sharing regular traffic lanes with everyone else.

And if you build it, they will come. A new British government reports shows that investing in bicycling pays, as building bike lanes encourages people to bike more and drive less.

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Former New York DOT Commissioner Janet Sadik-Khan teams with another writer to examine the real global health crisis —

Deaths caused by motor vehicles and the people who drive them.

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Some things are universal. And definitely worth 35 seconds out of your day.

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

It’s a well-deserved three and a half years behind bars for a road raging New Mexico driver who put his car in reverse, floored it and slammed into a group of senior Santa Fe bicyclists; he’ll have to serve at lest 85% of his sentence — and attend anger management sessions. Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the link.

A Kenyan driver takes a punishment pass to the extreme, sideswiping a pair of bike riders and speeding away without stopping.

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Local

The Daily News provides a look at the race for LA city councilmember in CD4 as three candidates vie to unseat David Ryu.

More on Santa Monica’s plan to give Wilshire Blvd a safety makeover to protect bicyclists and pedestrians, including a ban on left turns onto the boulevard from cross streets.

The Savage Hearts Love Ride 2020 will roll from Marina del Rey tomorrow to provide care packages and love to those in need.

 

State

The community turned out to show their support for fallen bicyclist Kevin Wilson as the hit-and-run driver who killed the beloved postal worker near El Cajon was sentenced; the victim’s wife said his killer got less than four years behind bars, but she got a “life sentence without the love of my life.”

Indio is investing $1.25 million to build four miles of new art and music-enhanced bike lanes.

After a video circulated of a Turlock special needs boy getting assaulted and robbed by three other kids, a Good Samaritan stepped in to replace his shoes and bicycle.

San Jose puts its money where its mouth is, providing $7 million upfront to fund their new Vision Zero plan, as well as forming a task force to curb traffic deaths.

After three Marin County men were charged with building an illegal offroad trail, a Marin paper calls on everyone to work together to create legal multiuse ones.

Healdsburg is installing wayfinding signs to help bike riders navigate the Sonoma County city.

Ten years after a Nevada City bike rider was killed by a distracted driver, the memorial ride and run held in his honor is still going strong, with up to 300 riders participating.

 

National

A must-read from Curbed, which argues that public meetings are broken and offers advice for how to fix them. Anyone who’s been shouted down by traffic safety deniers and NIMBYs in recent years knows just how broken the current system is.

A supercar designer introduces a new autonomous electric car so cute, that will probably be your last thought as it runs you over. Thanks to Mike Cane for the heads-up.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says recent Los Angeles transplant LeBron James is the new hero of bikeshare and bike lanes, saying children need access to bikes and safe places to ride them. Rumor has it he also plays basketball here in LA. LeBron, that is, not Weiss.

They get it. Boulder CO bike commuters say every day is Winter Bike to Work Day; the official international Winter Bike to Work Day is this Friday. Except in Los Angeles, where the weather would be perfect for it. 

A new Pueblo CO bike bank is fixing up bicycles and giving them to homeless people.

A Colorado CEO plans to ride a bike barefoot across the US, from Disneyland in Anaheim to Disney World in Orlando, to call attention to human trafficking; it’s the first known attempt by anyone to pedal barefoot across the country.

A Texas writer explores Fort Worth by bikeshare, and discovers it’s a lot easier and more fun than he could imagine.

An Iowa bill that would require bike riders to wear high-viz and have both front and rear lights is moving forward in the state legislature, even though no groups support it.

New York learns the hard way what happens when a protected bike lane isn’t protected enough.

New York preschoolers are learning to recycle cans to buy a new bicycle for their school gym.

A DC adjacent Maryland county is considering a proposal to make bike registration voluntary, instead of the current mandatory, but usually ignored, requirement.

A DC site says the city can learn from Oslo and Helsinki when it comes to Vision Zero, both of which didn’t have a single bike or pedestrian death last year. Then again, so can every other city.

A Virginia transit system has spent five years and $3.8 million to build two secure bike corrals, and they’re still not done. Give me a million dollars and a few tools, and I’ll build the damn things myself. Seriously. 

Florida may be the nation’s deadliest state for people on bicycles, but one Central Florida county hasn’t had a bicycling death in two years.

 

International

Four intrepid travelers recount lessons learned from riding fat bikes around St. James Bay in Antarctica. Here’s one more tip: Go in the summer next time.

This is who we share the roads with. A Calgary prosecutor says a driver high on meth chuckled when he learned he’d killed a 15-year old boy riding a bike and injured his companion.

Forget a bike bridge. Local officials are considering opening a bike ferry across the Saint Lawrence River to connect an upstate New York city with another in Ontario, Canada.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says forget that 350 million pounds he promised for active transportation projects in England; he really meant £1 billion for biking and walking.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a man in the UK discovers three barely living lobsters on the side of the road that had apparently fallen off a truck, and carries them back to the sea on his bike to set them free.

An Irish writer says she still gets flashbacks from getting hit by a driver while riding her bike. And that just going for a bike ride shouldn’t feel like going to war.

The Netherlands has fined over 21,000 bike riders for using a handheld phone while riding in the first six months the ban has been in effect. That compares to 98,000 California drivers in all of 2017, with over twice the population.

A new Ai Wei Wei sculpture in Abu Dhabi continues his celebration of pedal power, made from 720 carefully stacked bicycles.

Your next bike could be handmade from bamboo in Kathmandu with seating for three. Or a lot more, judging by the last photo.

Pink Bike looks at the potential impact of the novel coronavirus, aka Covid-19, on the bicycle industry, at a time when most bikes and parts come from the Middle Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Actor and bicyclist Patrick Dempsey will serve as the honorary captain of the US Olympic Cycling Team at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The nation’s largest fat bike beach bike race will be held in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina next month.

Who needs a mountain for downhill mountain bike racing when you’ve got a perfectly good city?

 

Finally…

Your next bike could have skis instead of wheels, but it only goes downhill. Your next saddle could have a rat on it; no, not you.

And sometimes you just have to bust out of preschool and ride your bike.

 

Morning Links: Teacher arrested in Silver Lake hit-and-run, Main Street bike lane opens, and LA promises zero emissions

One quick note before we get going. 

This has been a very hard year for me.

But I have a lot to be grateful for, starting with a self-made job I truly love. And the readers who make it possible. 

Because without you, all this would just be empty words in cyberspace. 

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Have a warm and loving Thanksgiving, whether you spend it with family, friends or on your own this year. And ride safely, because I want to see you back here when we return next week. 

Although you’re more than welcome to return over the weekend, when we kick off the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

And the last one that will feature the late, great Corgi as our official spokesdog.

Photo by Nikita Lyamkin from Pexels.

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Let’s start with some good news today.

The LAPD announced yesterday they’ve made an arrest in the Silver Lake hit-and-run that left a homeless bike rider severely injured last month.

Fifty-two-year old Silver Lake resident Molly Jane Hoene was taken into custody at a relative’s home in Palm Springs around 8 am Tuesday.

Meanwhile, her victim remains hospitalized in stable condition after enduring multiple surgeries.

No word on who, if anyone, will get the $25,000 reward.

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Los Angeles officials celebrated the official opening of the 1.5-mile Main Street protected bike lane, a near twin of the Spring Street bike lane one block away.

The two-way lane is positioned on the left side of the roadway to avoid conflicts with bus stops and parked cars.

Although whether it will become another parking magnet for movie production trucks and delivery vans, like the lanes on Spring Street, remains to be determined.

KNX radio reporter Margaret Carrero offered a brief look at the new lane.

Although not everyone was pleased, as our anonymous correspondent makes clear.

A couple thoughts on the bike lane.

On Saturday, before the Art Crash ride, I gave the new lanes a spin, heading north.

First. The signals. The #¢&ing signals. The bike signals are short, and you will sit there, staring agog at a green pedestrian signal, while the red bike signal mocks you. The fury will be interrupted only by the terror of close left turns by motorists.

Just north of 6th Street, I paused to reflect upon my unplanned nap (and accompanying skull fracture) at the exact location that is now the buffered zone of the new bike lane.

In the northbound Main Street lane at 5th Street, as I sat at an unnecessarily long red, thinking unkind thoughts about our traffic engineers, a left-turning motorist rolled by within inches of my front wheel. Had there been a bollard there, I imagine she would’ve scraped it, and then blamed me.

Halfway to 4th Street, I parked at the curb to drag a scooter away from its repose in the northbound bike lane. The heavy, ungrateful thing beeped angrily for having its slumber disturbed.

Upon reaching 3rd Street, I whipped left, and hit the brakes, because there’s only one bike lane, and it’s contraflow! There’s no warning about this. No “NO LEFT TURN” or bike-lane specific “ONE WAY ONLY” signage. How does design this dangerous pass review?

So, once you reach 3rd, and you wish to continue westbound, you have to either share the westbound #1 lane with cars, or cross over to the #3 lane, which has a sharrow.

AAAAUUUUGHHHH. It’s like LADOT gave their interns a couple gallons of paint, a couple gallons of whiskey, and free rein.

I want an apology.

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LA has announced a clean transportation plan designed to reduce the number of cars on the streets.

The Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap 2.0 aims to drastically cut emissions and traffic in time for the 2028 LA Olympics, through a shift to electric cars and buses, micromobility, and yes, bicycles.

L.A. has a reputation as a car-dependent city. But the city also now has the country’s most ambitious plan for cutting emissions from transportation. In less than a decade, it wants the majority of new cars to be electric and all city buses to be electric—and it wants 20% of trips that currently happen in single-occupancy cars to shift to public transportation or active transportation like biking.

Good luck with that.

According to the plan, in just nine years, Los Angeles will have a complete fleet of electric buses, and 30% of the cars on the street will be electric.

Then there’s this.

Expanding micromobility can also help; a recent report in Santa Monica found that 49% of the trips that people were taking on electric scooters and shared bikes were replacing short trips that otherwise would have happened in cars. Some projects now are working to expand access to micromobility in neighborhoods that don’t have many options. Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, for example, is running a pilot with a nonprofit building a solar-powered e-bike share project in the community of Huntington Park. (Other pilot projects are expanding access to electric car sharing in low-income neighborhoods; if residents use that option instead of owning cars themselves, they also may be likely to drive less.) Designing streets to make it safer to ride a bike—such as a two-way protected bike lane that was installed in downtown L.A. earlier this year—is also a key part of helping people shift away from cars.

As usual, the question is whether there will be any follow through this time.

Unlike, say, the city’s stagnant Vision Zero plan. Or the dust-ridden 2010 bike plan, or the equally ignored Mobility Plan 2035 it was subsumed into.

Or any number of other plans that were announced with great fanfare, and quickly forgotten because our elected leaders lacked the political will to actually implement them.

So we’ll see.

But considering they only have nine years to accomplish this massive transformation of the city’s streets, they’d damn well better get started.

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The Bike League issued their biennial ranking of the nation’s most bicycle friendly states — with California coming in a surprising 4th, behind Washington, Oregon and Minnesota.

Although it’s clear from the state’s individual report card that there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Starting with convincing Gavin Newsom to sign the next Complete Streets bill that crosses his desk, after vetoing it this year.

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Now that’s more like it.

Australia’s New South Wales state gets serious about distracted driving by installing new high-def cameras to catch cellphone using drivers in the act; violators will be subject to a $344 fine and five points against their license.

We desperately need these in California, where the view from a bike seat makes it seem like every other driver is holding their phones.

I was briefly in touch with the company behind these cameras, before losing their emails during my drug-addled post-surgical state earlier this year, who said they’re working to bring them to the state.

It was founded by a friend of James Rapley, the Australian man tragically killed by a stoned driver while riding a rented bike on Temescal Canyon just days before Christmas in 2013.

Personally, I can’t think of a better memorial to Rapley than legalizing them in the state where he died.

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This is what a dooring looks like.

Watch the right side of the street just two seconds in.

To make matters worse, the police apparently ticketed the victim because he wasn’t riding in the bike lane, even though he was barely conscious.

And even though drivers or their passengers are usually at fault for dooring anyone, because they’re required to only open a car door when it’s safe to do so and doesn’t interfere anyone, and only leave it open as long as necessary to exit the vehicle.

Which this driver clearly failed to do.

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Yes, handicapped people can ride bikes. Despite what angry NIMBYs insist at bike lane public meetings.

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A Chinese bike rider was very lucky to survive when he was struck in the head by an overturning truck in an extremely cringe-inducing crash.

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‘Tis the Season.

Every student at a St. Louis elementary school got a new bicycle and helmet, thanks to two men who had visited earlier in the year for a safety fair.

A pair of Florida Good Samaritans bought a new bicycle for the son of a Florida firefighter after the one he rode every day was stolen.

Lime announced they will match all donations made through their Lime Hero program between Thanksgiving and next week’s Giving Tuesday.

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Local

South Pasadena passed its $204,000 citywide bicycle parking plan.

 

State

Caltrans admits its current policies aren’t working, and commits to determining how much additional traffic new projects will generate.

Apparently, gang violence even happens in small towns, as a bike rider was the victim of a drive-by shooting in rural Sanger. And no, I didn’t know where that is, either.

Work off those Thanksgiving carbs and calories with a turkey-shaped bike route around San Francisco.

Streetsblog SF shines a light on a trench that turns into a booby trap for bike riders whenever it rains.

A Sonoma County man riding his bike with five outstanding arrest warrants learned the hard way that he can’t outrun a police dog.

 

National

He gets it. A writer for the libertarian website Reason says even though he was in a wreck while riding an e-scooter, he doesn’t want them banned, because the real danger is people in cars.

Singletracks goes behind the scenes with mountain biking Sketchy Trails artist Kristina Wayte.

A researcher says Denver kids don’t walk or bike to school because the city’s streets are so dangerous no one wants to walk or bike in them in the first place.

A self-described lifelong bicyclist in Austin TX wonders if it’s time to require licenses for bike riders. Short answer, no — for a very long list of reasons.

A bike-riding Kansas City photographer uses her Instagram account to encourage other women to take off on solo adventures.

The Second City gets New York’s seconds, as hundreds of Big Apple bikeshare ebikes were stripped of the defective electric components that caused them to randomly burst into flames, then converted to regular bikes and shipped to Chicago for their bikeshare system; both programs are operated by Lyft.

The Daily News looks at New York Mayor De Blasio’s call for bike and pedestrian mayors, otherwise known as an Office of Pedestrians and an Office of Active Transportation; Streetsblog explains why they’re necessary.

A Georgia city goes beyond state law by passing a vulnerable users ordinance that increases penalties for drivers who hit or threaten bike riders or pedestrians. Or skate boarders, motorcyclists or scooter riders, for that matter.

 

International

Mark your calendar for International Bike Shop Day on December 7th. If any SoCal bike shops are participating, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to mention it.

Bike Radar examines the best bike saddles for the coming year.

Your next handlebars could warn you when drivers are sneaking up from behind. Or barelling straight at you.

A Canadian mountain biker describes how he celebrated his 45th birthday by fighting off a grizzly bear with nothing but his bike and a tiny Buck knife.

Business is booming at Vancouver bike shops, as commuters look for alternatives in preparation for today’s transit strike.

Once again the Mounties get their man. Or men, as they bust a pair of prolific British Columbia bike thieves.

Treehugger says Toronto offers a lesson in how not to do Vision Zero. To which Los Angeles replies, hold my beer.

Business owners on a Montreal street complain about a bike lane pilot project that replaced 275 parking spaces over the summer, saying their business was down $5,000 a month, although they don’t say if that was an average of all the businesses or collectively. Instead of complaining, maybe they should do something to entice the 800 riders who pass by on the bike lanes each day to stop and come in.

British police are cleared of wrongdoing for the death of a bike rider during a high-speed pursuit after the burglar being chased backed into a 75-year old man.

The Irish Times says ebikes are still a workout and not an effortless romp.

No trademark issues here. An Aussie startup wants to get delivery workers out of their cars and onto the company’s Bolt Bikes rental ebikes. Not to be confused with Usain Bolt’s bright yellow Bolt scooters, which got here first.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News asks the burning question of whether WorldTour cyclists should use dropper seatposts to reduce the risk from high speed descents.

America’s last remaining Tour de France winner says receiving a Congressional Gold Medal is the biggest honor of his career.

Transgender cyclist Philippa York insists the idea that trans people are going to take over women’s sport is absolutely ridiculous.

 

Finally…

Always wear your bike helmet when you rob a bank. If you never learned to ride a bike in 84 years, a stationary cycling challenge is probably for the best.

And spreading kindness and carbs with free bike-borne bread deliveries.

 

Morning Links: Huizar, Price under corruption cloud, bike rider kills Davis cop, and driver attacks Fresno bicyclist

A couple quick notes — If anyone is still using the old bikinginla@mindspring.com email address to contact me, that account has now been closed; please use the address you’ll find on the About page.

And use extra caution if you’re riding in the rain today, or any day this week. Most drivers can’t imagine anyone would ride in wet weather, and aren’t likely to be looking for you. At all.

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The FBI could be preparing to take down one of bicycling’s biggest supporters on the city council.

And one who’s not.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that DTLA Councilmember Jose Huizar is a subject of a wide-ranging investigation into possible “bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering involving 13 people” in the Los Angeles city government.

Also among those 13 is South LA Councilmember Curren Price, and a senior aide to Council President Herb Wesson.

Huizar has overseen the rapid expansion of bicycling networks in DTLA, while Price was responsible for killing plans for a desperately needed bike lane on historic Central Ave and removing it from the city’s mobility plan.

But supporter or not, there’s no excuse, ever, for corruption.

Period.

If any or all of those under investigation are indicted, let alone convicted, they should leave the council immediately — and have a nice, long sentence to reconsider their crimes.

It just hurts a little more when it’s a trusted ally like Huizar who’s done so much good for the community.

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Very sad news from bike-friendly Davis, where an apparently disturbed gunman rode his bicycle up behind a young cop as she was investigating a traffic collision, and shot her multiple times, before reloading and shooting wildly around him.

She died at the scene.

He then rode his bike back home, locked himself in his apartment, and fatally shot himself as police tried to get in.

He left behind a letter claiming the police had been assaulting him for years with “ultrasonic waves” meant to keep dogs from barking.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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

After a Fresno woman was sideswiped as she was taking the lane in Clovis, the road raging driver lunged his car at her when she complained, then got out and physically attacked her.

Although here’s a hint: If you don’t want the occupants of a car to assault you, don’t use pepper spray on them — regardless of how much they may deserve it.

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The next generation of e-scooters is about the hit the streets of Austin TX, courtesy of an Oxnard company. The scooters are designed for street use, with seats and wider platforms and tires for greater stability.

Maybe that will help reduce the e-scooter conflicts on the sidewalks.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County is attempting to shove the genie back into the bottle, as it considers a policy that would ask companies to pretty please not to deploy their scooters in unincorporated areas.

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The Wall Street Journal has prepared a 20 minute video about Denise Mueller-Korenek’s successful attempt to set a new bicycle speed record of 184 mph.

Thanks to George Wolfberg for the tip.

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Not only is this guy better on a bike than you — or me, for that matter —  he’s only eight years old.

Okay, especially me.

Seriously, when I was eight years old, I was still trying to master a controlled skid on the gravel playground across the street.

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Local

Los Angeles is proposing a nearly one-mile bike lane on deadly Winnetka Ave, connecting the Orange Line to the LA River bike path.

Streetsblog offers a short interview with new LACBC Executive Director Eli Kaufman.

KABC-7 profiles Manny Silva, the Mexican-born owner of Compton’s Manny’s Bike Shop, builder of some of the world’s best chromed-out, custom low-rider bicycles.

If you prefer to do your riding inside, especially in this weather, Peloton has opened a new Pasadena showroom.

A new 185-acre, 450-home residential development in Santa Clarita will include an 11-acre park with 10 miles of shared-use pathways.

Santa Monica is finally taking steps to improve safety on deadly Wilshire Blvd as part of the city’s Vision Zero program; unfortunately, no lane reductions or bike lanes are planned.

State

A UC Irvine student was seriously injured when his bike was struck by a rideshare driver leaving a parking structure Friday morning.

A group of bighearted Laguna Beach middle school students built bicycles for children at the Orange County Rescue Mission as part of their annual Christmas toy drive.

Spectrum News 1 considers Riverside’s Bikes for Vets program, where veterans refurbish confiscated bicycles for people in need.

The Coachella Valley bicycling community turned out on Sunday to remember fallen bike rider Will Campbell, who was killed by a speeding driver exactly one month earlier. Thanks to Victor Bale for the link.

A couple takes an ebike ride along the Monterey Peninsula’s famed 17 Mile Drive. And discovers bike riders don’t have to pay the $10.25 toll.

A bike riding Bay Area architect switched to rowing after surgery for a brain tumor left him blind; he says he’s now even better at his job.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever broke into a Stockton ministry that built and refurbished bicycles to donate to people in need, forcing it to close after it was broken into for the fourth time.

National

Americans are now more likely to die of an opioid overdose than in a traffic collision. Which is not actually good news.

The Bike League offers five tips on how to build a more bike friendly business.

Your next helmet could take you from bicycling to snowboarding, complete with built-in speakers and microphone, impact sensor and turn signals. Which would no doubt come real handy on the slopes. Especially the turn signals.

Writer and artist Anna Brones is one of us.

A former addict is riding his recumbent through 48 states to raise awareness of addiction.

Bicycling says the death of bike commuting has been greatly exaggerated, noting that commuting rates are still way up from just ten years ago. Meanwhile, the magazine looks at the best bike tech from the CES trade show in Las Vegas.

New Mexico state legislator Angelica Rubio finished her six day, 350-mile bike ride from Las Cruces to Santa Fe for the new legislative session.

Nice story from a small — okay, minuscule — Kentucky town, where a tree-cutting crew pitched in to buy a new bike for a man who came to watch them work every day, after his was stolen.

Liev Schreiber is one of us, as he goes for a cold weather ride in NYC.

My new hero. Bike-riding New York Rangers hockey player Sean Avery is picking fights with people who park in bike lanes.

He gets it. A New Jersey letter writer says streets aren’t just for car owners.

International

Road.cc ranks their top ten commuter bikes for under $1,300. Note to Road.cc — if you’re doing a piece on commuter bikes, try not to picture most of the people riding in spandex.

Vancouver bicyclists aren’t thrilled bikes have to share a lane with buses. And neither are the bus drivers.

He gets it. A Toronto columnist says the city’s bike lanes prove transportation solutions can be cheap and effective.

No surprise here, as London’s attempts to reclaim the streets to fight pollution have been met with hate and anger from some drivers.

Brit bike hero Chris Boardman says he knows how to turn auto-centric Manchester, England into a bicycling city, setting an example for other cities to follow.

The Guardian says British bike shops are closing because Millennials think bicycling is too scary. Seriously, is there anything Millennials don’t get blamed for these days?

Interesting idea. A German company has developed a city bike that converts to a cargo bike and back in just seconds. It’s set to sell for around $2,000 when it hits the ground this summer.

Luxembourg is now the first country to make all transit free.

The Guardian asks why is Australia failing its bicyclists. Which is a question we should be asking here, too.

Japan is moving forward with plans for mandatory liability insurance for bicyclists.

Caught on video: A Singapore bicyclist is lucky to escape with a few scrapes after falling trying to move away from a bus during a far too close pass.

The South China Morning Post asks who gets the blame credit for fashion’s current bike shorts craze.

Competitive Cycling

Australia’s Caleb Ewan held off Peter Sagan to win his home country’s Tour Down Under, beating last year’s champ by a bike length.

Wired examines the insane numbers behind the hour record, calling it bicycling’s most masochistic race.

Bicycling profiles 2016 Trans Am champ Lael Wilcox, calling her the fastest untraendurance racer in the world. And questioning why anyone else even bothers.

Forget racing in the SoCal sun. If you really want to impress everyone, try racing on snow and ice in the dead of the Alaskan winter, with a wind chill of -11° Fahrenheit. And leave those skinny tires at home while you’re at it.

Finally…

No, ebikes don’t pedal themselves. If Strava crashes, did your ride really happen?

And if motorcycles don’t need riders anymore, how long before your bicycle can do a century while you sleep on the couch?

………

Thanks to John H for his generous donation to support this site. Donations of any size are always welcome.

Morning Links: Gloria Molina wonders where all the poor cars will park, and KFI’s John and Ken go on the attack

It’s going to be a very interesting election year.

While my attention has been focused on the race to replace outgoing councilmember Tom LaBonge in CD4, bike-friendly councilmember Jose Huizar has been fighting for his political future in the face of a challenge from termed-out county commissioner Gloria “Where are we all going to park?” Molina.

That was her response to a recent debate question over development replacing parking lots in Downtown LA — even though DTLA already has more parking spaces per hectare than the downtown of any other major city on earth, according to UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup.

Oh, the poor cars.

While Huizar stood on his record as a champion of complete streets, Molina criticized his support of bike lanes, saying the community hadn’t been adequately consulted. That despite the extensive public meetings held in the multi-year process that lead to the adoption of the city’s 2010 bike plan.

Simply put, if anyone feels they weren’t adequately consulted, it’s because they didn’t care enough to get involved.

Evidently going after the afraid of change demographic, Molina complained about the increased density that has finally brought DTLA back to life after decades of decline. And has previously called for completion of the unneeded and largely unwanted 710 Freeway — which she later recanted after the forum, apparently after realizing most of the voters in the district oppose the project.

In effect, it was a debate over Huizar’s efforts to move forward to a more livable city based on complete streets, and Molina’s desire to turn back the clock to LA’s auto-centric past.

You can probably guess where I stand on the matter.

And yet the Times has inexplicably endorsed Molina; DTLA Rising’s Brigham Yen endorses Huizar.

Molina has also been endorsed by CD1 Council Member Gil Cedillo, singlehandedly responsible for killing the long planned, full funded and much needed road diet on North Figueroa.

Which should be the final nail in Molina’s coffin.

At least it is for me.

So if there’s any doubt, let me make it perfectly clear. Huizar has been one of the most effective members of the city council in recent years. And with the possible exception of Joe Buscaino, has done more to improve the quality of life in his district than any other councilmember.

Which is exactly what his constituents elected him for. And why he has my unqualified support in next month’s election.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA has released a complete slate of endorsements for multiple candidates in races throughout the county.

And yes, Huizar is on the list, along with Nadine Diaz, who is also running in the district.

……..

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton somehow managed to keep his cool when KFI shock jerks — excuse me, jocks — John and Ken repeatedly misrepresented the facts on bicycling and bike advocacy in LA. Then kept interrupting Newton to insist he was lying when he tried in vain to correct them.

You can listen to it here if you have the stomach for it.

Personally, I couldn’t take more than a few minutes; frankly, I have better things to do than listen to that kind of crap.

The problem is too many people don’t. Presumably, they believe the kind of kneejerk anti-bike, auto-centric misinformation — to put it kindly — John and Ken were trying to shove down Newton’s throat.

Joe Linton politely took them to task afterwards for incorrectly insisting that half of the roadway on some unnamed streets in Downtown LA had been given over to bicycles.

Of course, the thing to remember is that John and Ken, and other blowhard TV and radio hosts like them, are entertainers, not journalists.

Their job is to draw listeners and increase ratings for the station. And any controversy, real or imaged, helps do exactly that.

The truth has nothing to do with it.

……..

More reaction to SB 192, the proposed legislation from Glendale State Senator Carol Liu that would make California the first state to require helmets for all bike riders, as well as requiring reflective high visibility clothing after dark.

CiclaValley says the law would place a financial burden onto bikes but only have a trace impact on safety, while Boyonabike says it’s not the bikes, the helmets or the hi-viz, it’s the cars, stupid.

San Francisco’s SFGate says a mandatory helmet law would deflect attention from more pressing road dangers, like all those dangerous streets and drivers.

And the Fresno Bee tries to have it both ways, saying Liu should look at incentives to encourage, rather than requiring, helmet use. But that cyclists need to clean up their act or a helmet law may be necessary, as if being forced to wear a helmet is somehow punishment for bad behavior.

……..

Mark your calendar for May 15th to meet retired Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Robert Friend as part of a fundraiser for Ride 2 Recovery.

If you’re not familiar with them, the Tuskegee Airmen were not only among the greatest heroes of World War II, but paved the way for the Civil Rights Era by proving they were as good, if not better, than anyone else in the air. On either side.

My dad, who fought in both Europe and the Pacific, always wanted to meet one of them so he could thank him for the job they did in the face of incredible racial injustice.

If I get the chance on May 15th, I’m going to do it for him.

……..

Local

Caught on Video: The previously mentioned LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino works with the LACBC to distribute bike lights through Operation Firefly.

Metro’s presentation from the recent Bicycle Roundtable is now available online; CiclaValley offers the condensed version — including coming arrival of Bike Hubs, along with Complete Streets and the long-desired triple bike racks on buses.

Tres shock! Police in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills are filming a bike safety video; a clip posted online shows an impatient driver harassing a cyclist. And no, not to encourage that sort of behavior. I think it was Helen’s Cycles Dan Weinberg who sent that to me; please forgive me if I got that one wrong.

Cycling in the South Bay has a great suggestion on what to do with that unused mountain bike gathering dust in your garage — a bikeless South LA high school mountain bike team needs it if you don’t.

The next Women Bike, Women Lead event sponsored by Multicultural Communities for Mobility will be a ride from Downtown to South LA.

Ride or walk for a great cause, with the 2nd Annual Bike-A-Thon and Hike-A-Thon to raise funds for Bikes4Orphans.

Bust out your woolens, CICLE is hosting their annual Tweed, Moxie and Mustaches Ride on Sunday, March 1st.

 

State

Newport Beach’s popular Back Bay Drive will be closed for resurfacing through the end of the month.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to our neighbor to the south, as 23 San Diegans lost their lives to drivers who fled the scene last year. Thanks to sponsor Michael Rubinstein for the heads up.

A San Diego writer says you can save $12,000 a year just by kicking your car to the curb.

Palm Desert cyclists ride to remember handcyclist Rose Peters, who lost her life earlier this year.

If you’re selling a bike, Santa Barbara police say don’t accept a set of keys as security for a test ride.

Unbelievable, or at least I wish it was. An Antioch driver is under arrest for getting out of his vehicle and stabbing a bicyclist in a road rage incident; fortunately, the victim’s injuries were not life-threatening.

A writer for the Modesto Bee says cyclists need a share of the road, and not just in the form of ghost bikes.

 

National

I don’t think this is what Springsteen had in mind when he wrote Blinded by the Light, as a Washington driver plays the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card after running down a bike rider.

Seattle is trading parking spaces for bus and bike lanes. And needless to say, not everyone is happy about it.

A Michigan group wants your help to provide adaptive bikes to special needs kids. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Maybe you recall the case of the asthmatic Chattanooga cyclist who was harassed, nearly run off the road, and pepper sprayed by a group of teenagers in a truck, then threatened with arrest himself after he reported the crime. Now he’s filing suit against the teens and their parents, as well as the local sheriff’s department and the cop who tried to coerce him into dropping the charges.

A Baltimore letter writer says bike riders should share the costs, responsibilities and accountabilities of motorists, conveniently forgetting we’re not the ones in the big dangerous machines that kill people, damage the roadways and harm the environment.

 

International

Yet another way cyclists are vulnerable on the streets, as a Manchester, UK rider is subjected to racist abuse, knocked off his bike and punched in the head as he made his way to work.

Women’s pro cycling continues to gain a foothold in the Grand Tours, with a women’s race scheduled before the final leg of the Vuelta. Although it would be nice if they were given more than a single token race at any given tour.

Syrian women fight to stay on their bikes in the war torn county.

Tasmanian cyclists get the equivalent of a three-foot law on roads with speed limits up 37 mph, increasing to nearly five feet at higher speeds.

 

Finally…

Caught on video: A Brit motorist defends her actions after being caught reading a book while driving. The Desert Sun says the Tour de Palm Springs is not a race, then calls it exactly that in the caption.

And this is so not the way to promote women’s cycling.

 

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