Anyone who has tried to walk or bike Alameda Street south of Union Station in DTLA knows it’s just this side of a traffic choked living hell.
As I found out the hard way recently.
Now Metro is presenting three options to make the street safer and more inviting for humans between 1st and Cesar Chavez, as part of plans for a new esplanade leading to the station.
The options range from closing or moving offramps and widening sidewalks, to converting Arcadia Street to a pedestrian walkway and capping the 101 Freeway to create a new park.
Let’s hope our officials have the courage and foresight to make the choice that will most dramatically remake Downtown Los Angeles.
They can use some of that money they have budgeted to flush down the toilet on freeway widening projects.
Map from Metro Alameda Mobility Project website.
This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of Finish The Ride, which began when Damian Kevitt invited the public to join him in finishing the Griffith Park ride that was interrupted by a hit-and-run driver, who has never been caught.
More than 2,000 “cyclists, runners, walkers, challenged athletes, veterans, first responders, civic and community leaders, and safe streets advocates from across Southern California” are expected to turn out to demand safer streets for everyone.
This year’s event has been divided into two parts, with Finish The Run on Saturday, and Finish The Ride on Sunday.
I’ll let the folks at Finish The Ride take it from here.
Finish The Ride (www.FinishTheRide.org) was founded in the aftermath of a vicious hit-and-run crime in 2013 that saw cyclist Damian Kevitt lose his leg after being dragged under a car from the streets of Griffith Park onto and down Interstate 5 for nearly a quarter mile. A year later, Kevitt was accompanied by hundreds of cyclists, street safety advocates, and community leaders as part of a campaign to raise awareness of an epidemic of hit-and-run crimes in Los Angeles.
Last year participants in Finish The Ride and Finish The Run demanded that Griffith Park be made safer for the tens of thousands who use it weekly for recreation and exercise. As a result, only a couple of months later, a section of Griffith Park Drive was transformed from a road into a closed pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian path, and 4 million dollars of funding was approved for additional safety renovations across the park.
According to a report by the non-profit Streets Are For Everyone (known as SAFE), the City of Los Angeles saw a record 312 fatalities last year, most of them pedestrians, and tens of thousands more seriously injured. The primary factor in all these collisions was reckless speeding. SAFE has been involved in a massive state-wide campaign to educate about and advocate for the need to reign in reckless speeding to save lives. Part of this campaign has demanded that legislators pass AB 645, a pilot program that would allow the limited use of speed safety cameras in school zones and on the most dangerous roads in 6 cities across the state. Over 1800 have signed a petition to demand that legislators support AB 645. As a result of this campaign, AB 645 just passed the Assembly with overwhelming support (58 to 7).
This year’s Finish The Ride and Finish The Run event brings together people from all walks to continue the call to demand that roads be made safer and reckless speeding be addressed as the public health crisis that it is.
Finish The Ride and Finish The Run is now in its 10th year and will be held over two days – runners and walkers on Saturday and cyclists on Sunday. On Saturday, there will be the usual 5K/10K run/walk and half-marathon run. On Sunday will be the usual 15-mile, 25-mile, 35-mile, and 50 miles rides. New additions to this year’s event are the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council 1K Kids Run and a Puppy Run on Saturday and the Bahati Foundation Metric Century on Sunday.
Saturday, 10 June 2023 – Finish The Run
- (1200 runners and walkers expected)
- Time: 7:30 AM Griffith Park Half-Marathon starts
- 8 AM Finish the Run Opening Ceremony with Civic Leaders and other Victims of Traffic Violence speaking (All other events depart following the opening ceremony)
- Where: Griffith Park, Crystal Springs Area
- 4663 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Who: Asm Laura Friedman
- Councilmember Nithya Raman
- Damian Kevitt, Founder of Finish The Ride/Finish The Run and Streets Are For Everyone
- Cindi Enamorado, sister of Raymond Olivares, who lost his life in February 2023 at the hands of a driver engaged in street racing.
Sunday, 11 June 2023 – Finish The Ride
- (800 cyclists expected)
- Time: 7 AM Olympic Silver Medalist Nelson Nails leads the Bahati Foundation Metric Century and Andrew Jelmert Half Century Ride
- 8 AM Finish the Ride Opening Ceremony with Civic Leaders and other Victims of Traffic Violence speaking (All other events depart following the opening ceremony)
- Where: Griffith Park, Crystal Springs Area
- 4663 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
- Who: Senator Anthony Portantino
- Damian Kevitt, Founder of Finish The Ride and Streets Are For Everyone
- Curtis Townsend Sr., who lost his wife, Trina Newman-Townsend, in a hit-and-run on Christmas Eve in 2022.
Seen on the street: A WGA writer bikes the strike.
Meanwhile, striking writers took part in a 27-mile “Bike Strike” protest ride from Radford Studio to Amazon, with stops at Warners and Disney, then over the hill Netflix, with a stop for lunch at Swingers.
David Drexler shares video showing the full length of the new Mark Bixby bike/ped path on the International Gateway Bridge, taken on last month’s opening day.
Gravel Bike California accepts the challenge of biking the Desert X biennial art installation across the “vast & sandy” Coachella Valley in a single day.
A UC Davis bike rider is on the hunt for a hit-and-run e-cart driver.
And yes, it’s legally hit-and-run if you just cause someone to fall, even without making contact.
Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
No bias here. A South Bay writer decries plans to build a bike path on Flagler Alley connecting Redondo Beach and Torrance, which was recently blocked by the latter city. And repeats the myth that the $1.8 million price tag would cost more than building a mile of freeway. Actually, the Federal Highway Administration says it costs $2.8 million for a single lane-mile of freeway on flat, rural terrain, and $62.4 million in urban environments.
Violent assaults from passing cars continue in Oakland, where a bike rider was smacked on the head by a car passenger; that comes just months after at least 14 East Bay bike riders were intentionally doored in February.
Ocean City, New Jersey tabled plans to ban ebikes from the city’s boardwalk, instead creating a committee to study the issue. If they’re anything like Los Angeles, having a committee study something means no one will ever hear about it again.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
When you’re carrying a loaded gun and meth on your bike, and already wanted on outstanding warrants, try not to end a police chase on your bike at a Redding cemetery.
A Minnesota man wanted on drug and gun charges tried to make his getaway from police on a stolen bicycle. And failed.
The Transportation Committee of the Los Angeles City Council held its first post-pandemic community meeting at the Michelle and Barack Obama Sports Complex in Baldwin Hills to discuss bicycling, bicycle safety and bike equity.
No surprise here, as LA Times readers are divided on the possibility of congestion pricing, with responses ranging from exuberant support to an “unambiguous ‘F— NO.'”
Pasadena is launching its own ebike rebate program on July 1st, with rebates up to $1,000 for city residents. Meanwhile, Los Angeles hasn’t even discussed any program to get motor vehicles off the streets, with ebikes or otherwise.
A Santa Clarita woman explains how her love of bicycling led to a bike tour of Japan with her 13-year old daughter.
LA County Mobility PAC Streets For All celebrates their wins in the state legislature, where all of the bills they sponsored are still alive at the halfway point.
Laguna Beach is requiring students to complete an ebike safety course in exchange for a permit to park their bike on campus. Which is a great way to discourage bike commuting, and force people without permits back into cars.
She gets it. A San Jose writer says automated speed cams could save lives.
Treehugger says it’s time for government officials to stop ignoring ebikes, as a new report on EVs barely acknowledges their existence.
The New Mexico-based, federally funded Center for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety is using AI in an effort to combat rising traffic fatalities.
Colorado officially announced their new program to provide ebike rebates for residents earning less than 80% to 100% of their county’s median income. Just the latest city, state or province to provide ebike rebates before California’s vastly underfunded, fomerly-first-in-the-nation program gets off the ground — which should finally happen soon.
A suicidal teenager credits the kindness of Oklahoma strangers with saving his life after he set out of Chicago on a bicycle he pulled out of the trash.
Huh? A Columbus, Ohio TV station says many people are priced out of bicycling by the high cost of bikes, even while mentioning a nonprofit shop that sells refurbished bikes for around a hundred bucks. Seriously, cost should never be a barrier to bicycling, when there are countless options for low cost bikes. Or even free ones like the one above.
An Indiana woman learns the hard way that sometimes that bump in the road is a bike rider, not a pothole.
After watching a man walk past their station on his way to work for nearly two years, kindhearted cops in an Ohio city gave him a new bicycles.
Good idea. A new Pittsburgh proposal would provide automatic bikeshare memberships to all city employees.
Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss returns to bike commuting in the Big Apple after 14 years, and notices just a few changes.
Raleigh, North Carolina will offer residents 150 ebike vouchers ranging from $500 to $1,500 in exchange for sharing data on their usage.
A New Orleans website considers clothing options for the clothing optional World Naked Bike Ride, including the classic Crown Royal bag to carry your, uh, marbles. Personally, I don’t care what you wear, as long as you cover the seat on any borrowed, rented or bikeshare bikes.
Sad news from Antigua, where a 35-year old man has passed away in a Houston hospital, 13 months after he was run down by a driver, along with three other bicyclists.
A free website tells you whether it’s safe to walk, bike or run in the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. A far simpler rule of thumb is if you can smell smoke, stay home. Your lungs and sinuses will thank you.
No surprise here, as a Vancouver bike rider claims the removal of a popular bike lane in the city’s Stanley Park has resulted in harassment and speeding drivers.
A London writer argues that bike theft has been effectively decriminalized in the city.
Police in Northern Ireland are taking to the road on unmarked bicycles to enforce laws against unsafe passing. The LAPD has repeatedly been urged to do the same thing, but have refused over fears of being accused of entrapment.
Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website looks at what bicycling means to people around the world. Including those in the exotic land called USA.
America’s last remaining Tour de France winner is feeling better after turning the corner in his battle with leukemia, which he traces to the shotgun blast that nearly killed him after winning his first Tour.
Bicycling says the Tour de France will require cycling teams to mask up and remain in a team bubble to avoid spreading Covid, unlike the recent Giro. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.
Speaking of Bicycling, they say you can watch the Tour and the eight-stage Tour de France Femmes with a subscription to Peacock. Read it on AOL of the magazine blocks you.
Outside says Netflix’ new series Tour de France: Unchained will turn you into a cycling fan. Unless you already are, of course.
Scottish endurance cyclist Christina Mackenzie has qualified for a spot in the world road cycling championships, nine months after she was seriously injured and left for dead by a hit-and-run driver.
And seriously, many drivers are happy to do it for free.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.