Tag Archive for Councilmember Jose Huizar

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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