Tag Archive for Dave Snyder

People For Bikes says sharrows suck, former CM Jose Huizar pleads to racketeering, and City Hall die-in tomorrow

If you’ve been reading this site for awhile, you probably know I’m not a fan of sharrows.

I’ve described them in the past as an attempt by city officials to thin the bicyclist herd, with the arrows there simply to help drivers improve their aim.

The only benefits I can ascribe to the damn things are a) they show bike riders where to position themselves to control the lane — if they’re positioned correctly — and b) as a wayfinding device to help guide people on bicycles to a given location.

But in terms of safety and protecting bicyclists’ right to the road, they’re less than worthless.

But don’t take my word for it. A 2016 study showed that sharrows are more dangerous than no bike infrastructure at all.

Now it looks like national advocacy group People For Bikes agrees.

Dave Snyder, PeopleForBikes’ senior director for infrastructure — and the former executive director of both Calbike and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition — writes that, like many of us, he fought for sharrows when they first came out.

But he became disillusioned when he saw how they worked — or rather, didn’t work — in practice.

I was wrong.

It turns out that motorists really don’t like to wait behind someone on a bike, regardless of the paint on the street. Even Oakland’s experiment with the so-called “super sharrow,” where the bicycle path of travel is painted solid green, isn’t enough to get people on bikes to comfortably “take the lane.” Sharrow or no sharrow, most people on bikes dangerously hug the edge of the roadway, squeezing themselves into the door zone to avoid blocking car traffic.

Simply put, sharrows don’t do what we hoped they would. Studies back up that claim.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to read the while thing.

Because maybe now we can finally drive a stake through the bike infrastructure from hell.

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After more than four years of loudly protesting his innocence, former CD14 Councilmember Jose Huizar has agreed to plead guilty to racketeering and tax evasion.

The LA Times reports Huizar is admitting to extorting at least $1.5 million in bribes from developers. He has agreed to a sentence of between nine and 13 years behind bars.

Huizar was a driving force behind many of the bike and safety improvements in Downtown Los Angeles, and was a favorite of the bicycling community before his downfall after his offices were raided by FBI agents in 2018.

The raid also caused his wife Richelle to drop out of the race to replace him once he was termed out of office in 2020.

In a sad irony, Huizar was replaced by Kevin de León, who is facing his own calls to resign after being caught participating in a racist and otherwise offensive recording.

But at least de León hasn’t been indicted.

Not yet, anyway.

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Don’t forget tomorrow’s die-in at City Hall! We need as many people as possible to make an impact and fight for an end to traffic violence.

And maybe protest the city’s penchant for corrupt and racist leaders while we’re at it.

No promises, but I’m going to do my best to be there.

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Nice to see the new CD13 councilmember taking traffic violence in the City of Angels seriously.

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A lousy parking permit is a small price to pay for the freedom of bike commuting.

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Norwalk Unides and the Happy City Coalition are hosting their first community bike ride tomorrow.

And the 11 am start means you can still get there after the die-in at LA City Hall.

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Italian filmmaking great Federico Fellini was one of us.

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

A Michigan website reports that a man riding a bicycle was killed in a collision with a motor home, which apparently didn’t have a driver since they don’t bother to mention one.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where an off-duty cop who killed a man riding a bike in a drunken crash was sentenced to a nine-month vacation at home home detention. Although the website seems to think her real punishment will be a lifetime of shame and humiliation. Uh, sure. Let’s go with that.

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

Hermosa Beach plans barricades to force bike riders to walk near the pier, as speed data shows that people ignore the ridiculously low 8 mph speed limit on The Strand, riding at an average speed of 11 mph. I can attest that it’s difficult to ride that slowly through there on a road bike. And how do they expect people to obey the law if they don’t have speedometers on their bikes?

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Local 

More on West Hollywood’s proposal to extend the bike lanes on Santa Monica Blvd and make at least a portion of them protected. Which would be a huge improvement over the painted car-double parking lanes we have now.

 

State

Streetsblog offers more details from Calbike on the status of California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program. Eligibility will be limited to 300% of the federal poverty level, which is based on taxable income; however, the ebike rebates appear to be based on gross income, instead.

Your new Ti touring bike from California’s District Vision could set you back a cool 30 grand. Yes, that’s $30,000.

Road Bike Action Magazine looks at the tragedy behind the 15-year old Mike Nosco Memorial Ride through the Santa Monica Mountains.

 

National

Ebike maker Velotric used WalkScore data to identify bikeable neighborhoods in not-so-bikeable US cities, including San Diego’s Gaslight District.

Bicycling asks if certified pre-owned bikes are worth the extra cost. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. Which it probably will unless you’re a subscriber.

Cycling News offers tips to make traveling with your bike cheaper and easier. Although the cheapest and easiest way to travel with a bike is still just to ride it.

Great idea. Chicago’s RideReel encourages bicyclists to submit video of close calls and hostile infrastructure, in hopes that weekly reports to city officials will bring about real change.

Inspired by motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, a then 13-year Indianapolis boy managed to set a new record by jumping ten trash cans on his balloon-tired bicycle in 1976; he’d be a 60-year old man now.

New York is also hosting a die-in this morning at the site where a young woman was killed by a truck driver while riding her bike last week, on a street that should have been fixed by now.

 

International

Road.cc takes a look at the iconic yet bizarre Flying Gate bike frame, with its upright stay post and severed seat post; the British-made steel frame has been in continuous production for nearly 90 years.

A new study from the UK shows the rising popularity of e-mountain bikes; nine out of ten people said cost was the primary barrier to participation.

Who needs pedals? A British bikemaker is introducing a road bike that you row, instead of pedal, even though the country’s Shark Tank equivalent passed on it.

An Irish website tests how long it takes for a locked-up midrange ebike to be stolen on the streets of Dublin. Short answer, about an hour.

Parisians are taking advantage of the city’s new bicycling network to bypass crippling transit strikes. Hopefully a sizable percentage will discover they like bike commuting and stick with it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Australian Michael Matthews and American Magnus Sheffield cleared the air following a “finish-line flareup” at the end of Thursday’s second stage, after jostling in the peloton caused the Aussie to drop his chain.

Australian Rohan Dennis’ brief stay as overall leader came to a quick end when his derailleur stopped working 21 miles from the end of Friday’s third stage, which ended before you got up this morning.

Australian ultracycling pro Jack Thompson set a record for riding the elevation of Mt. Everest once a week for 52 straight weeks, topping the old record of 42 successful efforts in a calendar year.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can turn an old bicycle into a 75 mph e-motorbike. When you’re riding with a semiautomatic handgun, large quantities of meth and fentanyl, and ten grand in cash on your bike in broad daylight, maybe try obeying the damn vehicle code, already.

And oddly, this is still just as true 83 years later.

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Happy Lunar New Year, whatever language you celebrate in!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

A breakup letter with 6th Street Viaduct, CalBike ED moves to People For Bikes, and CA ebike rebates fail to launch

He gets it.

Well, of course he does.

Michael Schneider, founder of the transformational transportation Political Action Committee Streets For All, is the latest to accuse Caltrans and LADOT failing to protect bike riders on the new $588 million 6th Street Viaduct.

Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering, LADOT, and Caltrans have sent a “love letter” that is actually a breakup letter to people on bikes. Whether intentional or not, it signals that the city doesn’t really care about the safety for people on bikes (or they do, unless the space is needed for cars). Spending $600M of our taxpayer dollars on a substandard multi modal bridge in 2022 isn’t acceptable. The striping should be changed ASAP to accommodate broken down cars and emergency vehicles in the center while physically protecting people on bikes with concrete and extending the lane for the full length of the bridge.

We’ve already discussed that failure several times in recent days. So take a moment to read Schneider’s Medium piece.

Then get mad.

Damn mad.

Because as much as we want to love the new bridge, city and state officials have made it clear that your life and safety is worth less to them than a broken-down car.

And it should come as no surprise to anyone that drivers on the bridge are already behaving badly.

Rendering from From 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

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CalBike Executive Director Dave Snyder is leaving the statewide bicycle advocacy group.

Snyder has led the California Bicycle Coalition, better known as Calbike, nearly half of its existence, joining the 26-year old organization in 2010.

According to a press release posted by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News,

Under Snyder’s leadership, CalBike’s tenacious, hardworking team has passed model e-bike legislation, pushed through Complete Streets reform at Caltrans, defeated a helmet mandate, legalized protected bike lanes, and gotten several bills passed to protect bicyclists, including the Three Feet for Safety Law requiring motorists to give bicyclists 3 feet of space when passing. They have gotten more funding for bicycling as well, securing an increase in state-level funding for biking and walking from around $100M to over $1 billion, and winning $10M for e-bike purchase incentives.

CalBike has helped to coordinate more than twenty local advocacy organizations with a combined membership of over 100,000, influencing elections for the California State Assembly and Senate and building support for ballot measures such as the successful defeat in 2018 of a proposed repeal of the gas tax.

He’s leaving to take a position as Senior Director of Local Innovation with Colorado-based People For Bikes.

He’ll be missed.

Current CalBike Operations Manager Kevin Claxton will step in as Interim Director while the group conducts a search for new leadership.

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Streetsblog continues to stay on top of California’s continued failure to launch a promised and fully funded ebike rebate program.

Despite the overwhelming success of Denver’s ebike rebate program, California’s minimally funded $10 million program, which was supposed to launch this month, has been dead on arrival, apparently due to the state’s inability to select anyone to administer it.

Putting off a decision adds delay to an already slow-moving process, and could push the program start date out until after the end of the year. Other sources of e-bike incentives, including under the Clean Cars for All program being handled by regional air districts, have been just as slow to get going.

It almost feels as if CARB is more than reluctant to offer these incentives, even though it is increasingly clear that e-bikes can be excellent replacements for private cars. Their carbon footprints, costs, parking requirements, and the space they take up on roads is also considerably less than that of electric cars, and CARB doesn’t seem to have much trouble pushing EVs as a climate solution.

Never mind that California provides $425 million to purchasers of electric vehicles, which offer far fewer public benefits than electric bicycles.

You’d think that a cost of just 2.3% of the EV program while getting more cars off the road would be enough of an incentive for the state to get its shit together.

But apparently, you’d be wrong.

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Just 136,000 of the reasons I’m a fan of the East Side Riders.

https://twitter.com/LA2050/status/1549488034445496320

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The LA area’s biggest bike race of the year is coming to the South Bay on Sunday.

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This is what can happen when a country’s leaders actually give a damn about ending traffic deaths.

Unlike a certain North American country we could name.

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

A Rhode Island man faces multiple charges for intentionally backing his car into a 12-year old boy’s bike, then following the kid and knocking him off his bike, all because he took offense at comments the boy made to his friends.

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Local

You see a lot of things riding a bike.  Like a cackling arsonist starting a brush fire, and a bike rider with a bleeding head injury who insists on riding off rather than waiting for paramedics. Seriously, if someone insists you need medical help, listen to them.

 

State 

Bad news from Oxnard, where a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a 19-year old van driver while riding his bike.

The writer of a Santa Barbara op-ed, who apparently doesn’t know the difference between a Class 1 bike path and Class 2 bike lanes, opposes the former because it could mean the loss of trees on a street that already has the latter.

Santa Rosa bike riders are complaining about the unexpected closure of a bike path due to a small homeless encampment that officials said was “impeding safe public use of the trail.”

 

National

Bicycling offers expert advice on how to lead a group ride, in an article that’s exclusive to subscribers. And apparently anyone who has access to Yahoo.

A writer for The Oregonian suggests leaving your car at home, and taking your bike on an Amtrak train if you’re headed to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene.

Sheriff’s deputies in Pocatello, Idaho are increasing bike and foot patrols to cope with high gas prices.

A kindhearted stranger stepped up to buy a nine-year old Michigan boy a new bicycle, after the bike he got for his birthday was stolen the first night he had it.

Political pranksters have added a faux historical marker denoting Brandon Falls, the coastal Delaware location where Joe Biden fell off his bike last month; the name is a play on the “Let’s go Brandon” chant that stands in for a much cruder epithet. Meanwhile, the former Mayor Pete — now Transportation Secretary Pete — says he’s just “glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle.”

 

International

A British Columbia farm region is offering a free bicycle lending program, allowing local residents, refugees and migrant workers to simply take one when they need it and return in good working order it when they’re done.

South London is being plagued by knife-armed bike thieves on motorcycles.

London’s Independent tries out the Brompton’s nee $4,400 ebike foldie for a month, and likes it.

This is who we share the road with. An English police commissioner was caught speeding five times in just three months, after vowing to crack down on heavy-footed drivers.

UK bike riders argue that slowing down due to the country’s extreme heat leads to more aggressive passing from overheated and sleep deprived drivers; it was a record-setting 104° in London yesterday.

Swedish mobility company Vässla is switching to e-cargo bikes to deliver their mopeds through crushing Parisian traffic.

Taiwan is now allowing bicyclists and scooter riders to forgo their face masks.

 

Competitive Cycling

Canada’s Hugo Houle captured the biggest win of his career yesterday, topping the podium as the Tour de France entered the Pyrenees for the final week of racing; Houle dedicated the win to his little brother, who was murdered by a hit-and-run driver ten years ago.

NBC offers a beginner’s guide to the Tour’s various leaders jerseys.

Twenty-four-year old Italian pro Marta Cavalli hopes to build on her second place finish in the Giro d’Italia Donne, as the inaugural eight-stage Tour de France Femmes prepares to rollout on Sunday.

L39ion of Los Angeles pulled its men’s and women’s teams out of Sunday’s Salt Lake Criterium after an incident of the final lap led to an exchange of blows following Saturday’s race; US pro crit champ Kendall Ryan says she’s astonished by the disrespect she gets as a member of the team.

 

Finally…

How to carry three on a tandem. Few things suck more than getting your new ebike stolen just an hour after you bought it.

And that feeling when you walk away from a promising cycling career to run the local post office.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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