Tag Archive for Crosstown LA

Bike theft season in LA, burning more money on freeway expansion, and shifting power balance with “do-nothing” council

Apparently, it’s bike theft season.

Crosstown LA examined the trends, and discovered bicycle thefts tend to spike in Los Angeles during September and October.

According to the site, bike theft has surged in the fall since at least 2015, peaking in October from 2015 to 2019, and September for the past two years.

Bike theft numbers are likely artificially low, as publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data only counts thefts actually reported. Many people may not call police for a missing two-wheeler, either because of time constraints, or because they do not expect doing so will help with recovery.

Still, the annual fall rise in thefts indicates that the increase may be tied to the resumption of school, in particular the return of college students. From Jan. 1, 2015–Aug. 15, 2022, a total of 2,062 bicycles were reported stolen in University Park, where the USC campus is located and where many of its students reside. That is the highest count of any neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles.

The second-highest number of thefts occurred in dense Downtown, followed by Venice, a well-known cycling hub. The fourth-most victimized community in that period was Sawtelle, where many UCLA students live.

It’s worth giving it a quick read to learn how to protect your bike.

Like this, for instance.

Sometimes, the best way to thwart a theft is prevention. Ted Rogers, the editor of the blog BikinginLA and a former board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said he takes measures to keep his bike safe.

“I’ve been known to walk my bike into stores just so I don’t have to lock it up,” he said. “Never lock your bike to a sign because signs can be unbolted and taken away. Never lock your bike to a small tree because those have been known to be pulled out of the ground.”

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A Streetsblog Twitter thread explains plans by Metro and Caltrans to widen a section of the 405 Freeway through Carson.

We’ve already seen how they might as well just flush the money down the toilet, as other expansion projects — like the $1 billion effort to install HOV lanes through the Sepulveda Pass — have only served to make traffic worse through induced demand.

The money would be far better spent to improve transit, as well as bikeways, to reduce congestion by providing people with viable alternatives to driving.

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A writer for City Watch considers how the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal alters the balance of power for the “do-nothing” city council.

The Mobility Initiative alters the balance of power.  Now the City Council is not in complete control.  Now it must work with the Initiative’s sponsors.  The City Council and the sponsors both need to consider the voters who will have the opportunity to accept or reject the Mobility Initiative or any other alternative measure cooked up by the City Council.

One of the issues that needs to be addressed is how to pay for the Mobility Plan and the $5 billion needed to repair our streets and sidewalks.  Will this require an increase in our sales tax or a new parcel tax?

Although it should be noted that the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal requires no additional investment, since it only requires the city to stripe infrastructure called for in the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, when they would need to be re-striped anyway.

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Finish the Ride wants you to come celebrate Halloween with them in Santa Clarita.

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

More anti-bike sabotage, as someone built a cinderblock wall across a Portland, Oregon bike path, which someone else quickly knocked down.

A Joliet, Illinois man faces charges for a seemingly random attack on a woman riding bikes with her two children, striking her with a plastic pole and repeatedly hitting her after yelling at them to be quiet.

What could possibly go wrong? A seemingly endless line of porta-potties have been installed in an Edinburg, Scotland bike lane to serve people waiting in line to see the queen lying in state. Which puts riders at risk of an entirely different kind of dooring.

More proof that bicyclists face the same risks the world over, as bike riders in Ghana worry about hostile attitudes from drivers, which could “continue to cause fatalities among cyclists and further discourage young people.”

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

Toronto bike cops are called on the carpet for riding through stop signs, setting a bad example for the rest of us.

Police in Glasgow, Scotland are looking for an ebike rider who seriously injured a 55-year old bike rider in a collision; both stopped following the crash, but the ebike rider may have ridden off before learning how seriously the other man was injured.

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Local

A Venice bicyclist pulling a trailer was stopped by another man who insisted the bike was his in an altercation caught on security cam; the second man took the bike after appearing to whack the bike rider with a stick.

Pasadena police will conduct yet another in the seemingly endless series of bicycle and pedestrian safety operations this Friday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed. 

LA County is investing $15 million in a series of new bike lanes and other street improvements in South Whittier, La Mirada, and Santa Fe Springs

 

State 

A 34-year old repeat offender was arrested by Cal State Fullerton university police for the seventh time on bike theft charges, after they saw through his attempt to disguise himself as a student.

Apparently assuming they’re the only ones who need to get anywhere, residents near San Diego State University’s new Snapdragon Stadium are protesting plans to reduce traffic lanes along portions of Mission Village Drive in order to install protected bike lanes.

Streetsblog looks at the bike treatments currently taking shape in downtown San Jose.

An Oakland website looks at ten road projects underway in the city, including protected bike lanes and road diets.

 

National

Don’t think twice about that odor emanating from your body after a hard ride; NPR says it’s good for you. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

More evidence we’re failing the nation’s bicyclists, as The Guardian cites a number of American bike riders who say they are giving up bicycling because they just don’t feel safe on the streets.

Oregon elected officials get out and ride their bikes at Portland’s annual Bike Town Hall. Something we should definitely try to replicate here.

Bikemakers continue to offer seriously overpowered ebikes, as Colorado-based Optibike introduces a bike with the world’s highest power-to-weight ration, and a top speed of 36 mph.

Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid pled guilty to the speeding, DUI crash that left a five-year old girl with severe brain injuries, as well as injuring another child; he faces a maximum of four years behind bars.

Sounds familiar. A Kansas City public radio station says the city’s worst intersection is all of them, with too many problematic intersections to fix at once.

Cincinnati bike riders and pedestrians will get a new bridge later this month, connecting multiple trails for the first time.

A Chicago cop could face discipline for running a stop sign and plowing into a bike rider, while traveling without lights and siren.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The head basketball coach of Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Community College was killed in a collision while on a group ride, after police say he lost control of his bike and swerved in front of the driver of an oncoming pickup; he still holds the school record for assists at Coppin State University, where he played in the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on bicycling while pregnant

Bike Biz examines how bike shops can be more inclusive for disabled bike riders.

Another unexpected consequence of the queen’s death, as the introduction of ebikes to London’s bikeshare system — the former Boris Bikes — has been postponed during the mourning period.

Bike riders in Norwich, England are confused by signs closing bike racks during the mourning period, which wouldn’t seem to have anything to do with the queen’s death.

That’s more like it. The UK government has approved a traffic control device allowing Bike Bus chaperones to control traffic signals to improve safety for kids riding their bikes to and from school.

One of South Africa’s largest bicycling organizations is urging riders to wear neon colors during the day, and reflective gear at night. None of which will protect riders from the country’s notorious bike-robbing criminal gangs, however.

Premium bikes are gaining popularity with urban residents in China’s resurgent bicycle kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

The owner of the Israel-Premier Tech cycling team is threatening to take UCI to court as his team faces relegation, with two lower-level teams preparing to move up to the WorldTour, while six teams are in danger of moving down.

A San Francisco website looks back at the five-day Mission Crit held in the Mission District September 3rd, billed as “the last great American bike race.”

 

Finally…

In honor of the queen, everyone is expected to drive. That feeling when your gran fondo runs out of food.

And always remember to make eye contact with drivers, even though they may not be able to see you, anyway.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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