Tag Archive for Curren D. Price Jr.

The bike-sized loophole in US crosswalk laws, MLK Blvd Complete Streets meeting, and Black Friday bike deals

Can’t you just feel the excitement?

We’re now just four days from the official kickoff of the Ninth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive — and we’ve already got our first donations before the campaign even starts!

So let’s give a special thanks to Jim L and David R for their generous donations to help keep all the best bike news coming your way every day. 

Be sure to come back here on Friday when the fund drive starts for real, because this is your chance to support SoCal’s bike source for bike news and advocacy.

And help keep the corgi in new shoes. 

So let’s get to it before this migraine makes my head explode all over the inside of your screen. 

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The Des Moines Register considers what they call the glaring loophole posed by American crosswalk laws.

According to the paper, most crosswalk laws protect pedestrians, but do nothing to protect people riding bicycles, as well as wheelchairs, scooters or any other personal conveyance.

However, California is the exception, sort of.

The state amended its crosswalk law a few years ago to make it clear that bicyclists are allowed to ride along crosswalks — but neglected to clarify whether “along” means in or next to.

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Despite being under indictment for embezzlement, CD9 Councilmember Curren Price, Jr. continues to work towards a bike and pedestrian friendly makeover of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, with a public meeting next Tuesday.

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They had me at donuts.

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‘Tis the season.

Bicycling offers a list of all the best Black Friday bike deals, along with the best sales on ebikes. As usual, you can read the first story on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you, but the ebike story doesn’t seem to be available anywhere else.

Momentum offers Black Friday bike deals, heavy on ebikes.

And Road.cc provides a high-end bicycling holiday gift guide for when money is no object.

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

No bias here. After a Houston bike rider was critically injured by a hit-and-run driver, a local TV station can’t resist framing the headline to blame the victim, while making it sound like he could fly like Superman.

No bias here, either, as a New York Councilmember forgets that some of her constituents are bike riders, and that people who ride bicycles vote, too.

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

The San Clemente City Council voted unanimously to consider an ordinance banning people from riding bicycles on the city golf course, after ebike riders damaged some of the greens and landscaping.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run New York delivery rider who took off after blowing through a red light on his ebike and crashing into a toddler being pushed on a stroller in the crosswalk.

A multitasking Florida man faces charges for allegedly shooting his shot while riding his bike, after a woman reported seeing him pleasuring himself while pedaling during a 5 am bike ride.

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Local 

LAist considers the negative effect that parking minimums have on the climate by encouraging people to drive everywhere.

The LA Fire Department airlifted a 31-year old man from Tujunga’s remote Haines Canyon, after he suffered severe injuries while mountain biking in the area.

 

State

Ebikes are currently allowed on all University of California campuses, but banned at California State University schools, including CSU Los Angeles, CSU Northridge and CSU Long Beach, as well as both Cal Poly campuses.

The San Diego Association of Governments introduced a new interactive map allowing you to indicate areas in need of pedestrian or bicycle safety improvements, which will be considered in the upcoming county Active Transportation Plan.

A Santa Cruz high school student won a full-ride scholarship to any college he wants for creating a nonprofit to refurbish and distribute bicycles, giving away 70 bikes to people in need so far.

A San Francisco letter writer takes issue with a recent news story saying the Valencia Street centerline protected bike lane is killing local businesses, arguing that it is slowing traffic down and improving safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

National

The founder of traffic safety nonprofit It Could Be Me writes about her own bicycling collision and the windshield bias that followed, from the driver who hit her to the cops that investigated, and the media that reported the story without ever getting her side.

REI staffers have filed 80 labor complaints across the US alleging the co-op has failed to negotiate in good faith with their union; however, the only unionized locations on the Left Coast appear to be in Berkeley and Bellingham, Washington.

A Fort Lauderdale, Florida law firm considers liability regarding bikeshare collisions — but bizarrely illustrates the story with a crashed motorcycle.

Men’s Journal says these are not your dad’s panniers. Which is definitely true in my case, since my dad didn’t have any. 

Speaking of windshield bias, police in Louisville, Kentucky report a man riding a bicycle was killed in an apparent SWSS — Single Witness Suicide Swerve — after allegedly swerving in front of an oncoming driver for no apparent reason. Yes, it’s possible the victim really did swerve in front of the car. But it’s more likely the driver drifted to the right and was startled to suddenly see a bike rider directly in front of them, and assumed the rider swerved, with no witnesses to contradict it.

A Boston TV station examines the dangers bike riders face from car doors and the careless people who fling them open without looking.

Speaking of Boston, Streetsblog explores a new parking and plastic car-tickler bendie post protected bike lane through the Back Bay Area.

Build it and they will come. After the city invested heavily in new bike lanes, The Daily News reports New Yorkers are riding bicycles at record levels for the second year in a row. The same can’t be said for Los Angeles, which hasn’t. Read it on Yahoo to get past the paper’s paywall. 

 

International

EF Pro Cycling explains how to lube your chain like a pro. That’s easy — just have someone else do it, just like they do. 

The Havana Times photo of the day depicts a fisherman riding his bicycle along the shore.

A new survey shows London bike riders are changing their riding habits in response to rising rates of violent bikejackings, leaving them overwhelmed with fear.

Students at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College are walking and biking less than they did before the pandemic, with bicycling rates down a whopping 59%. But at least they’re using public transport rather than driving.

Dutch e-bikemaker VanMoof could be back in business soon, as McLaren Applied-backed new owner Lavoie is working to simplify service and resume retail sales after buying the company out of bankruptcy.

New guided bicycle tours are revolutionizing cultural tourism in Istanbul.

Queensland state officials sought to reassure bike riders that a “draconian” new law against reckless riding won’t criminalize everyday riding activities, like drinking from a water bottle.

 

Competitive Cycling

Peter Sagan might be rethinking his decision to focus on mountain biking after eating dirt in a recent race.

Pez Cycling News looks back on the careers of Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, calling them two of Britain’s greatest ever cyclists. Although fans of Beryl Burton might beg to differ.

 

Finally…

Honda’s new throttle-controlled scooter is also the box it comes in. Your next Italian gravel bike could be a woodie.

And this is what a Chilean bike park looks like.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

More corruption at LA City Hall, more Metro money for induced demand, and SaMo suffers premature evaluation

Is anyone really surprised to find still more corruption on the Los Angeles city council?

The LA Times is reporting that CD9 Councilmember Curren Price, a ten year veteran of the council, was charged with ten counts of embezzlement, perjury and conflict of interest yesterday.

Price, a 10-year veteran of the City Council, is accused of having a financial interest in development projects that he voted on, and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in medical benefits from the city for his now wife while he was still married to another woman, according to a statement issued by the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

He was charged with five counts of grand theft by embezzlement, three counts of perjury and two counts of conflict of interest, according to a criminal complaint made public Tuesday.

The Times says Price, who resigned his position in the state legislature to run for the council seat, should do the right thing and resign.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

City Council President Paul Krekorian says he’ll move to suspend Price, just the latest in a long line of councilmembers to face criminal charges or resign under a cloud.

Maybe we’d have better luck getting safer streets if we slipped bag of cash to a few councilmembers under the table.

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Metro’s board will vote today on a proposal to seek grant funds and shift yet more money to a $100 million plus project to widen the 405 Freeway between Artesia Boulevard and the 105 Freeway.

Demonstrating that they have learned absolutely nothing from the failed $1 billion project to widen the highway through the Sepulveda Pass, which actually resulted in more congestion and longer rush hour commute times.

Metro, meet induced demand.

Meanwhile, Streets For All wants you to tell Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee at this morning’s meeting not to flush another $26 million down the toilet on freeway projects.

They accuse Metro of greenwashing highway expansion by putting “multimodal” in the name of highway projects including a “widening project right in front of a middle school in Whittier, and laying the groundwork for the i-605 Hot Spots program which may destroy homes.”

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Streetsblog’s Damien Newton reports that Santa Monica councilmembers RE asking for a premature report on the still-unfinished 17th Street protected bike lane and pedestrian improvements, which could shade results showing the eventual usage and effectiveness of the project.

Streets For All urges you to contact the council to object to the slightly disguised effort to rollback progress in the city.

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Boy George is one of us.

So was the original voice of Jiminy Cricket. Although playing his uke while riding with no hands might be more impressive if there wasn’t a rack holding the bike in place.

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

A proposal to rip out a bike lane in Kingston, Ontario is rattling local bicyclists, who fear a change in the ostensibly bike-friendly city.

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Local 

The Metro Bike bikeshare system will be free all weekend, along with all Metro buses, trains and Metro Micro, to celebrate the opening of the Regional Connector line in DTLA.

 

State

In case you missed it, a bike-riding mom was apparently collateral damage when an out-of-control driver ricocheted across the roadway in a Lake Forest crash on Sunday.

Four Santa Barbara women have set off on a 930-mile ride from California to Colorado to raise funds to encourage more young girls to ride a bike.

A Fresno County man faces a murder charge for the drunken hit-and-run that killed a Clovis bike rider last month; he was driving at nearly three times the legal alcohol limit at the time of the crash, and had signed a Watson advisement after a previous DUI conviction, informing him he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving drunk again.

You’ve got to be kidding. Business owners in Burlingame are stressing over plans to install a bike lane, fearing the loss of a whole 12 parking spaces — yes, twelve — will somehow negatively affect their business. Never mind that studies show bike lanes usually improve sales at local businesses.

A child was hospitalized with leg injuries after they were right hooked by a commercial truck driver while riding a bike in a Concord crosswalk.

 

National

Streetsblog discusses more effective ways to conduct driver education beyond “pedestrian-shaming PSAs, flimsy driver’s ed courses and lame signs on the side of the road.”

Alpecin Cycling advises how to boost your balance on your bike.

BikeRumor discusses the year’s best bike helmets, and how to get the best bike upgrade bang for the least amount of money.

A health website considers four weird things bicycling does to your body, like causing saddle sores and numbness “down there.”

An Alaska bicyclist complains about a proposed Anchorage vulnerable road user law, calling it “an exercise in virtue signaling” that wouldn’t do anything to protect bike riders.

No bias here. An Oregon driver got 19 years behind bars for intentionally running down a bike-riding man after getting into a physical fight with the victim, copping a plea to a reduced charge of manslaughter. Yet the local TV station somehow insists on describing him merely as a hit-and-run driver, as if the violent attack was just an “oopsie’ he drove away from.

The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, aka RAGBRAI, has cancelled plans to attempt a world record for the longest parade of bicyclists during the ride’s Ames to Des Moines stage, saying rule changes from Guinness have made it impossible too do. Meanwhile, the paper has sent a cease and desist order to a former ride official who posted an alternate route for the stage, fearing RAGBRAI could compromise safety by having too many riders on the route.

A bike rider was apparently collateral damage in a Houston police chase when she was run down by a driver who may have been distracted by the car chase zooming by on surface streets at speeds up to 100 mph.

New York has established a nearly $18 an hour minimum wage for food delivery workers, most of whom use bikes and ebikes for their work. Yet Tech Crunch says no one seems to be happy about it.

 

International

A pair of university researchers explain how bike helmets and safety vests make bike riders look less human to other road users. Then again, even riding naked doesn’t seem to get a better result. 

This is who we share the road with. A pair of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan cops chasing a suspected bike thief somehow managed to crash their patrol cars together, as well as hitting a parked car, allowing the suspect to slip away.

An angry London pub owner demands an explanation after his outdoor seating was replaced with bike racks with no advance warning.

Two Welsh cops were served with gross misconduct notices for closely following, if not chasing, two boys riding an ebike just before they both were killed falling off the bike — which means the cops are under investigation, but it apparently has the legal impact of a slap with a wet noodle.

A Scottish newspaper recommends the “splendid isolation” of riding your bike through the secluded Borders region.

He gets it. Britain’s top road safety cop urges the media to stop wasting time talking about putting license plates on bicycles, and focus on the real causes of traffic deaths. Which ain’t bikes.

The subject of mandatory bike helmets once again raises its ugly head, as an Irish children’s hospital consultant called for helmets to be required for all bike riders, children and adults. Never mind that helmet laws have been shown to reduce bicycling rates, at a time when the climate crisis demands putting more people on bikes. 

The Financial Times talks with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is rapidly remaking the city with much less emphasis on motor vehicles. We could have that here in Los Angeles, if our elected leaders actually had the vision and political courage they profess. 

A Streetsblog op-ed examines how Copenhagen constantly measures the true costs of driving and crafts policies to reduce them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling reports that if you want to watch the nine stage Giro Donne — aka the women’s Giro d’Italia — which starts on June 30th, you’ll need a subscription to GCN+. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

The Guardian profiles endurance cyclist Leah Goldstein, as she sets out to win a second consecutive RAAM — aka Race Across America — after dropping her male competitors like freshman English in last year’s race.

Belgian veteran pro Thomas De Gendt has pulled himself out of the Tour de France, but invites you to join him on his own 12-day tour from Flanders to the Costa Blanca, with the mountains of Andorra thrown in along the way.

A Milwaukee website offers tips on how to ride your bike to, but not in, all 11 stages of the Tour of America’s Dairyland.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your local bike lane only works part-time. Probably not the best idea to try to steal a bicycle from the police parking lot.

And try not to ride your ebike when you’re falling down drunk.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

A new LA councilmember develops memory problems; GiveMe3 and hit-and-run bills move forward

Sometimes I have to wonder if politics causes memory problems.

Plans have been under way for the past few years to transform Figueroa Blvd between Downtown and South LA. The four mile My Figueroa project would narrow and remove some mixed-use traffic lanes, along with some parking, in exchange for transit-only lanes and the city’s first protected bike lanes.

However, Streetsblog reports that the conditions of the funding for the project require that construction has to start by the end of this year, and be completed before 2015.

Now newly elected City Councilmember Curren Price may have thrown a wrench in the works by expressing concerns that could kill LA’s first Complete Streets project by delaying it past the required starting point.

According to Downtown News, Price has straddled both sides of the fence, voicing support for the project while expressing concerns at a recent meeting.

“It’s a promising project. Let’s not rush through it. Let’s make it a good deal for everybody,” (Price) said, adding, “Major stakeholders have lingering concerns.”

Those stakeholders reportedly include the often anti-bike AAA, which has its regional headquarters on Figueroa, as well as the owner of eight car dealerships in the area, who evidently doesn’t offer any parking onsite and can’t conceive of anyone biking in and driving out with a new car.

And never mind all those recent studies showing bikes are good for business.

The website also reports that Price filed a motion asking the city Planning Department and LADOT to provide an in-depth analysis of how they plan to mitigate traffic congestion caused by the removal of auto lanes on the street.

Never mind that the street was chosen for the project, in part, because it would not significantly affect traffic flow on the under-utilized corridor. Or that any delay at this point could kill the project.

And never mind that Price, elected to the state Senate just four years ago before leaving for the higher paying city council seat, claimed to be a supporter of bicycling, and, “among other things, the role that it plays in improving air quality, health, traffic congestion and the overall environmental quality of life in the 26th Senate District.”

In a campaign statement for this site before the 2009 election that took him from the state Assembly to the Senate, he wrote:

A lack of investment in mass transit, infrastructure and Class One BikeWays, coupled with the “love affair” that Angelenos have with their cars and a jobs housing imbalance which has residents commuting on average between 15-20 miles roundtrip each day has contributed to the district’s inability to realize higher air quality standards. These reasons, among others, is why transit, transportation and air quality are at the top of my environmental agenda, why I have earned the endorsement of the California League of Conservation Voters and why I will continue to support increased investment in mass transit as well as alternatives such as cycling, full enforcement of the Clean Air Act, incentives for cleaner technologies and penalties for gross polluters.

He went on to add…

Young people who can’t cycle or exercise outdoors are not only likely to have higher rates of asthma and obesity but to underperform in school.

And…

Whether one cycles for business, for pleasure or for the environment, cyclists and, more correctly, support for cyclists plays a crucial role in creating a more livable 26th Senate District. Improvements and expansion of Class One Bikeways via increased public/private partnership funding and incentives for those who build bike-friendly developments supported by ancillary City street improvements are among the priorities I would have in developing a cycling/environmental agenda.

Then he closed, in part, with this:

I grew up riding my bike in the 26th District in South LA, Leimert Park and the Crenshaw District. I did it for pleasure. As state Senator, I would like to support a climate which allows cyclists to choose their own reason and create an environment which makes it possible.

But not as a council member, perhaps.

Maybe it’s just me. But that doesn’t sound like someone who would halt a major project at the last minute in a fight to preserve parking and under-used traffic lanes.

Or has Price forgotten those high-minded ideals now that he’s not running for office and powerful people with deeper pockets are demanding his attention?

Maybe we need to remind him.

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According to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious, California’s latest attempt at passing a three-foot passing law landed on Governor Brown’s desk Monday afternoon.

I’m told he has 12 days to sign the bill, so we should have an answer — good or bad — by Saturday the 21st. You have less than that to urge him to sign it.

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Legislation to address LA’s hit-and-run epidemic has advanced to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk.

AB 184, sponsored by Glendale-area Assembly Member Mike Gatto, was originally written to add an additional one year to the statue of limitations after a suspect is identified in hit-and-run cases. However, the law was significantly amended to double the current three-year statute of limitations, instead.

The bill proved remarkably popular, winning final approval by a unanimous vote of both houses. The LA Weekly says Brown will have 10 days to sign the bill if he gets it by Thursday; otherwise, he’ll have until October 13th.

Don’t ask me why.

Meanwhile, Florida cyclists are backing proposed legislation that would impose a minimum three-year sentence for leaving the scene of a collision resulting in injuries.

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Speaking of Florida, sentencing has been delayed in the case of Carlos Bertanotti, the Miami musician who killed a cyclist in a drunken 2010 hit-and-run; he dragged the victim’s bike under his car for over two miles before police stopped him.

Family and friends begged the court to show him mercy; not that he showed his victim any. Bertanotti, with 46 violations on his driving record — although his brother claims 12 of those are actually his — faces between 11.56 and 37 years in prison.

And hopefully, a lifetime ban on driving once he gets out.

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Tuesday was the first day of LA’s 2013 bike and pedestrian count, as volunteers with the LACBC and Los Angeles Walks counted non-motorized travellers during the morning and evening commute times. The count will continue this Saturday to track weekend riders and walkers.

The remarkable thing is that two members of the LA City Council participated in the count along with their staffs; Westside CM Mike Bonin and Valley CM Bob Blumenfield deserve thanks for joining in. Which just goes to show how mainstream bicycling and walking have become when even council members become volunteers.

Maybe there’s hope for this city yet.

Especially if Bonin’s new motion to have the city share such statistics passes the Council.

On the other hand, as great a job as they’ve done, it shouldn’t be up to a pair of non-profit organizations to do the city’s job for it.

New York City can prove the benefits of their efforts to transform the city streets with detailed before and after stats showing traffic, collisions, and injuries or death.

It’s long past time Los Angeles did the same.

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Alan Stephen ghost bike

Alan Stephen ghost bike

A Central Coast driver pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter and DUI, just nine days after running down two bicyclists in Morro Bay on Memorial Day.

She tried to do the right thing by taking the train back home after a night of drinking. Unfortunately, she still had a BAC of .07 an hour after killing one rider and seriously injuring the other while driving to work at 11 am.

But at least she did the right thing by taking responsibility for her actions. And doing it right away, rather than dragging out the process in order to get a better plea deal.

When was the last time you saw that happen?

Thanks to Patti Andre — who still hasn’t seen justice for the collateral-damage death of her bike riding brother — for the heads-up.

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Virgil Avenue could be the latest Los Angeles Street to get a road diet, complete with five-foot bike lanes and wider, more walkable sidewalks.

And San Marino will discuss that city’s first bike lanes on Wednesday.

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You’re invited to attend next week’s meeting of the Advocacy and Education Subcommittee of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee, the city’s only official voice for cyclists. The meeting, with a very full agenda, takes place at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 18, at the IMAN Cultural Center, 3376 Motor Ave.

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Streetsblog offers a nice look at the work of HOLA, or Heart of LA, a non-profit bringing youth art to city bus benches.

What the story doesn’t mention, though, is that one of the members of their Board of Directors is Glenn Gritzner, who pleaded no-contest for the hit-and-run collision that left LA bike advocate Don Ward, aka Roadblock, lying injured in the street.

That was the case in which Ward famously tracked down the driver himself when the police were slow to take action.

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Looks like you’re not going to get back that money you spent on Lance Armstrong’s book.

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I’m told that Tuesday was the 130th anniversary of LA’s first organized bike race, as five riders took to a one-mile dirt track on their Penny-farthings in what is now Exposition Park on September 10th, 1883.

Twitter-er Walt Arrrrr kindly forwards photos of a couple of slightly more recent races.

I wonder what they would have thought about last weekend’s Wolfpack Hustle Drag Race?

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Finally, get out that old catcher’s uniform, as Calgary researchers say a mere helmet isn’t protection enough; you now need body armor. And LA’s Fox 11 (KTTV-11) goes trolling for bike hate, asking their Facebook followers what they think about sharing the road with cyclists; thanks to Michael McVerry for the link.

Senate District 26 Update: Maybe they just don’t want our votes

As I wrote last week, I emailed each of the eight candidates in the primary for California Senate District 26 to ask for their comments about bicycling and transportation issues, just as I did for the recent city council election.

You’d think that a group of relatively unknown candidates would jump at the chance to reach local voters — especially when they can do it for free. And as we’ve seen, it doesn’t take much to influence a local race with so many candidates.

Yet as of today, I haven’t received a single response.

As a result, I’ve emailed each of them again today; you can read the full text of the email below. But it does raise an interesting question:

If they won’t respond to us now when they need our votes, just how responsive will they be once one of them gets into office?

 

Dear (Candidate),

You may recall that I contacted you last week to offer you an opportunity to discuss bicycling and transportation issues with voters in the 26th District.

As you may be aware, there are nearly 379,000 registered voters in this district. Of these, statistics suggest that at least 46,996 — and possibly as many as 144,000 — ride bikes.

Many of these cyclists are very concerned about current state laws and regulations that put the safety of riders at risk and needlessly inhibit riding levels. These riders are highly motivated to vote in the upcoming election — and they are looking for a reason to vote for you.

As I indicated before, I write a popular blog about bicycling in Los Angeles, and I am offering you, as well as the other candidates in the race, an opportunity to address these voters directly — at no cost to your campaign — by turning this forum over to your campaign for one day.

You can discuss anything you want, from reforming state law to mandate a minimum safe passing distance, or revising California Government Code Section 831.4 to protect cyclists and pedestrians from known hazards on off-road (Class 1) trails. Or you could discuss the role bicycles can play in reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality and reducing the high level of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, or any other subject you think will be of interest to the cycling community.

I will publish whatever you send — unedited and without comment — in the order that it’s received. All I ask is that you send a statement in the body of your email or as a Word attachment. You may also submit a small photo or campaign logo to appear along with your comments.

It may only be seen by a few hundred voters; yet in a race with eight candidates and an expected low turnout, that alone could be enough to determine the outcome. More likely, however, your statement will be linked to by other sites and forwarded to countless readers, with the potential to be seen by thousands of local voters.

Of course, nothing says you have to participate; as cyclists, we’re used to be ignored by politicians and our elected officials. But we care about this election, and most of us are still uncommitted, even though this election is less than one week away.

All I’m asking is that you give us a reason to vote for you.

Sincerely, 

Here we go again — An open letter to the candidates in California Senate District 26

Even though we just finished one election last week, we have another one coming up in two weeks to fill the state Senate seat recently held by Mark Ridley-Thomas — a district that covers most of Los Angeles and Culver City.

As I’ve said before, we need to become more involved in the political process if we want things to get any better for cyclists in this city or this state. So today I emailed each of the candidates in the March 24 primary election, based on the list provided by the League of Women Voters, to offer them each an opportunity to use this blog to speak directly to the biking community.

Just as I did for the recent 5th Council District election, I will post their statements in the order I receive them, without edits or comments. It will be interesting to see which, if any, of the candidates respond — especially considering that we may have provided David Vahedi’s margin of victory in the council primary.

 

Dear Mr. or (Ms.) …

As you are aware, the election for California Senate District 26 is less than two weeks away, Yet many voters have only recently become aware of this election — let alone the candidates or their positions.

That gives you a unique opportunity to reach countless uncommitted voters; however, the concerns of one highly motivated voting group have largely been ignored up to this point.

Thousands, of not tens of thousands, of registered voters in this district also ride bikes. Some, such as myself, ride for recreation and fitness. Others ride for social or environmental reasons, while for still others, cycling is their primary means of transportation.

Whatever their reason, virtually all are concerned with such vital issues as safe streets and improved infrastructure, clean air and fair, unbiased enforcement of traffic laws, along with meaningful reform of state laws to encourage greater participation in cycling and ensure our safety.

I am offering you, as well as the other candidates in the race, an opportunity to address a highly motivated, yet largely ignored, voter group — at no cost to your campaign.

As an active voter in this district, I also operate a popular blog about bicycling in Los Angeles. I will turn this forum over to your campaign for one day, in order to speak directly to the cycling community.

You are free to discuss anything you want, from the role bicycles can play in reducing traffic congestion, to seemingly unrelated issues such as crime rates or responsiveness to your future constituents. If you are an active cyclist, tell us. Or if you want to confront cyclists in some way, feel free. I will publish whatever you send — unedited and without comment — in the order that it’s received.

All I ask is that you send your statement to me in the body of your email or as a Word attachment, with a maximum of 1,000 words (although less is usually better online). You may also submit a small photo or campaign logo to appear along with your comments.

Of course, you’re under no obligation to participate; however, if some of the other campaigns submit a statement and you don’t, it could speak volumes to the biking community.

Besides, it’s free. So what do you have to lose?

PS — I recently made the same offer to the candidates in March 3rd primary for Los Angeles 5th City Council district; four of the six candidates, and two of the top three finishers, participated, including David Vahedi, who won by a margin of just 60 votes.

 

Gary points out that cycling is neither a Democratic or Republican issue; try telling that to Rush Limbaugh, who appears to have a different take on the matter. And even people who support cycling may not support cycling everywhere. Now Nevada is taking up a bicycle safety bill. Will points out that when bikeways are closed for construction, we should take the promised re-opening date with a grain — or possibly, a bag — of salt. Thanks to Streetsblog’s Ben Fried for tipping us to a great cartoon addressing the issue of cars stopping in the bikelane, while Damien asks if we’ll really see the city’s Bike Master Plan next month. And finally, Anonymous Cyclist offers a great explanation of what to do if you’re in a cycling accident.

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