Tag Archive for David Ryu

LA Times tells state to speed up slowing drivers down, Streets For All goes all in on ads, and 5 riders run down Down Under

I seem to be apologizing a lot this week.

Sorry for the downtime on this site yesterday morning, and thank you to everyone who notified me about the 502 error; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the backside of this site, either.

It turned out to be a large scale glitch that took down a number of sites across the internet. But everything’s back to normal now.

Hopefully, it will stay that way.

And let me apologize to everyone who sent me links the past few days. I’ve lost track of most of them, and I’m way too tired to track them all down now.

So allow me to just offer a general and generic thank you to everyone who contributed something for your help, which I genuinely appreciate.

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They get it.

In recent years, the LA Times editorial board has taken strong stands in favor of safer streets and alternative transportation.

Yesterday was no exception, as the paper complained about the state slow-walking efforts to slow motor vehicle traffic. And called on California to finally get rid of the deadly 85th percentile state speed limit law, calling it “outdated, absurd and downright dangerous.”

The problem stems from a decades-old state law that essentially requires cities to set speed limits based on how fast people are already driving on that stretch of road, regardless of whether that speed is safe or whether the street has a history of wrecks. It was adopted more than 60 years agoto prevent cities from setting speed traps, or arbitrarily low speed limits aimed at sticking drivers with pricey tickets…

The more common and unintended consequence of the 85th percentile rule is what’s known as speed creep. Higher speed limits encourage motorists to drive faster, which in turn prompts higher speed limits. That’s what happened on Zelzah Avenue in L.A.

It’s not surprising, then, that the task force has recommended giving cities more flexibility to set lower speed limits, particularly on streets with lots of injury crashes or an abundance of pedestrians and cyclists. Research shows that speed limits do affect drivers’ behavior, and even modest reductions in speed can save lives. A pedestrian or cyclist hit by a vehicle traveling 35 miles per hour has a 68% chance of survival. A person hit by vehicle traveling at 40 mph — just 5 mph faster — has only a 35% chance of survival.

They conclude this way.

None of these steps will be easy; Californians have fiercely resisted safety-promoting reforms that might slow their commutes. But at the very least, lawmakers should get rid of a system that forces cities to give in to speeders before cracking down on them.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

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Here’s something that’s been missing from Los Angeles for far too long.

LA nonprofit Streets For All has produced YouTube ads supporting safe streets candidates in the upcoming March 3rd election.

The short ads endorse CD4’s Sarah Kate Levy and Loraine Lundquist in CD12, while taking well-deserved shots at incumbents David Ryu and John Lee.

While there’s an argument to be made against independent groups getting involved in local political races, until campaign finance laws are reformed to remove outside influence and expenditures, it’s vital to get our side out there, too.

And yes, I’ll be casting my vote for Sarah Kate Levy during the early voting period next week.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA lists their endorsements in the coming election, including Levy and Lundquist, as well as Calbike’s endorsements for the state legislature.

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Horrible news from Australia, where five bicyclists have been injured, two critically, when they were run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a clearly marked bike lane.

A 28-year old man has been arrested for the crime after police discovered his blood-splattered SUV.

He faces numerous charges, including multiple counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and failing to remain at the scene and render assistance.

The question is whether he was just too drunk and/or stoned to control his damn vehicle, or if this was a deliberate attempt to run down as many riders as he could.

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A meeting will be held in NoHo this afternoon to discuss the ill-advised widening of Magnolia Blvd, which contradicts LA’s Vision Zero and climate action plans, and all that is holy.

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A UK website questions whether police have given up on bike thefts, saying many riders are putting off buying expensive bikes for fear of having them stolen.

Case in point, a bike thief uses an axle grinder to slice through a lock, stealing a bike on a crowded street in broad daylight.

Then threatens a bystander with it when he objects.

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The source of those nonstandard, and likely legally unenforceable, Dismount Bikes signs in the construction zones on Wilshire Blvd has been revealed.

In case you want to order some of your own. Maybe someone could convert them to Drivers Dismount, instead.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on. 

A road raging Miami-area driver was caught on video brake checking a bike-riding couple and trying to run them off the road, screaming that they aren’t allowed on the street; naturally, the local police don’t seem to care.

Sometimes, though, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Washington burglar was busted just five minutes after raiding a restaurant freezer while making his getaway by bike. Although it does make you wonder if maybe he was just hungry.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says just eight days into the mayor’s “Decade of Action” on climate change, the closure of the Jefferson Blvd bike lanes has left the city’s bike infrastructure worse off than it was last week.

Pasadena News Now allows the four candidates for the city’s mayor to make their case; all but one ignore transportation, except to complain about traffic. The fourth, Major Williams, gets points for wanting to get cars off the street — but what the hell are “motorized walkway paths?”

 

State

Bicycling says NBA Hall of Famer — and UCLA legend — Bill Walton is a huge cyclist, riding the streets of San Diego when he’s not broadcasting basketball games or engaged in multi-day tours.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s investigators are asking anyone with information or video regarding the allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of Mary Jane Becerra Corral and Adolfo Corral on a Goleta bike path to contact them; their accused killer, Eric Mauricio Ramirez-Aguilar, remains in custody on $1 million bond.

San Francisco’s mayor proposes congestion pricing and charging for metered parking on nights and weekends to reduce traffic in the congested downtown area.

An architecture and design site talks with the urban planner behind San Francisco’s newly carfree Market Street. Meanwhile, a San Jose columnist says closing streets there would have major benefits.

 

National

Seventy-seven-year old Harrison Ford is one of us. And wants you to know he doesn’t ride an ebike.

Peloton wants to swap your Flywheel in-home cycling bike for a “like new” Peloton, after the former lost a patent infringement suit to the latter. You might want to think twice about an Echelon stationary bike, too.

A Golden, Colorado bike thief made off from a bike shop with an $8,000 bicycle after leaving a stolen ID and credit card as security to take it on a test ride, and never came back.

After kids bike was stolen, a Colorado cop followed tracks in the snow to find it, along with another stolen kids bike, as well as the homeless addict who admitted taking them.

A Buffalo, Wyoming website tells the convoluted tale of why there were bike tire tracks in the snow one recent morning, after a rancher remembered he left his pickup in town following a late night visit to a “parts store.”

Nice piece from VeloNews, as a Marine lieutenant colonel describes how he started bicycling to recover after he was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan, and fell in love with the Dirty Kanza gravel race.

A Texas county commissioner pledged $7.4 million to build 3,000 acres of greenspace along Houston’s bayous, along with 150 miles of connected hiking and bicycling trails.

Cincinnati is moving forward with plans to create an additional 176 miles of bike lanes.

New York’s ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are back, after a redesign to prevent the brakes from locking and tossing riders over the handlebars.

New York City met its goal of 20 miles of protected bike lanes last year, and commits to 30 miles this year. That compares to LA’s firm commitment to maybe build a mile or two if it doesn’t, you know, inconvenience anyone.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says car crashes are an epidemic, but one we can solve. But autonomous cars aren’t the answer.

This is who we share the road with. A West Virginia woman admits to distracted driving after killing a man riding a bike, saying she never saw the victim until she heard the thud because she was too busy looking at her phone.

An 88-year old DC crossing guard is a hero, holding his ground against a speeding driver and sacrificing his own life to save two children. Thanks to Orange House for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Virginia firefighters started a crowdfunding page for a man with Down syndrome after the custom three-wheeled bike he relies on for transportation was stolen; the site has raised over $1,600 in two days.

The Department of DIY strikes in the Big Easy, as a carnival krewe posts their own handmade signs urging drivers to watch out for bike riders during the upcoming Mardi Gras season.

Over 500 people are expected to turn out for a 51-mile bike ride commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March of 1965.

 

International

A new report says e-scooters are just as safe as bicycles, and drivers are the real problem. But better regulation is necessary.

Cycling News considers the counterintuitive benefits of slapping wider tires on your skinny tire bike.

Now you, too, can own your very own badly named online bicycle accessory site.

A group of bicyclists ride 285 miles across Nicaragua in three days.

A proposal to require licenses and insurance for bicyclists in British Columbia is met with decidedly mixed reviews.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s bicycling superhighways, merchants in the city’s Holland Park district fear it will cost them business — once again mistaking passing cars for paying customers.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A 75-year old London rabbi offered to help a woman park her Jag, and somehow confused the brake and gas pedals, crashing into two pedestrians before plowing into a pharmacy. Yes, the news is two years old; British privacy rules prevent releasing details on cases like this before they go to trial.

A man in the UK was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit when he hit a traffic island. So naturally, he blamed a bike rider for the crash.

British rock group Glass Animals makes a comeback 18 months after drummer Joe Seaward suffered a serious head injury when he was hit by a truck driver while riding his bike in Dublin.

A South African “adventure enthusiast, businesswoman and entrepreneur” describes how taking up bicycling twelve years ago has opened up her world.

Now that’s a beautiful bike. A Japanese student designed and built a handcrafted bespoke bike, melding traditional kitsuregoshi woodwork with a modern bicycle.

A Christian group has kicked off a campaign to provide 2,500 bicycles to pastors in Asia at a cost of $110 apiece.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with American cycling legend Davis Phinney.

🎶 Hello muddah, hello faddah, busted for burglary, in Granada. 🎶 Former TdF stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado was arrested on suspicion of leading a violent burglary gang in Granada, Spain. Scroll way down, or read the original story en español. And anyone too young to get the musical reference can catch up here

 

Finally…

When you’re skipping school to ride your bike and carrying a little weed and a gun in your pants, make sure you have something in there to keep it in place. Your next ride could be on car tires.

And when you’re bunny hopping a canal, don’t miss.

91-year old actor killed on Venice Blvd, LA Times endorses Ryu in CD4, trash cans in bike lanes, and bike videos

Is this really the Los Angeles traffic safety deniers want?

According to the LA Times, 91-year old actor Orson Bean was killed crossing dangerous Venice Blvd near the Pacific Resident Theatre Friday night when he was struck by first one, then another, driver.

The longtime television star was crossing to the theater, where his wife was volunteering as an usher.

“Many of us do this, including the audience,” (theater publicist Judith) Borne said. “The crosswalk is out of the way. Many people … just cross” the lanes.

And there’s the problem.

The street is designed to maximize traffic flow, with pedestrians expected to walk at least a full block in either direction to use a crosswalk to cross the wide, four-lane street.

Except people usually won’t do that.

Most people tend to take the most direct and convenient route. Which in Bean’s case, meant crossing without a crosswalk.

And no, that’s not jaywalking.

Under California law, every intersection has a crosswalk, whether or not it’s marked on the pavement.

Which is often what it means when the police say, as they did in this case, that someone was crossing outside a marked crosswalk.

However, it’s also perfectly legal to cross in the middle of the block, as long as it’s not controlled by a traffic signal on both ends; in this case, the only traffic signal is on Oakwood Ave on the east end of the block.

What’s missing from the street are the safe, convenient crosswalks, and narrowed streets at intersections to slow speeds and reduce crossing distances, that advocates have long been calling for.

And which are exactly the sort of safety improvements that groups like Keep LA Moving and Restore Venice Blvd have been fighting, in an attempt to prioritize the convenience of drivers over the lives and safety of human beings.

If something like this had been in place on every block, rather than just some parallel painted lines where they pose the least inconvenience to drivers, Orson Bean might have lived to see his 92nd birthday.

And if that’s not a tragic waste, I don’t know what is.

Bean deserved better. So do the rest of us.

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The LA Times endorsed incumbent David Ryu for re-election in my council district, despite the presence of two candidates with better safety and planning credentials in Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman.

Even though, like our current president, Ryu apparently likes to take credit for work done by the previous office holder.

He is also responsible for blocking a desperately needed, shovel-ready road diet and bike lanes on 6th Street between Fairfax and La Brea, despite the support of the local neighborhood council, because it would have inconvenienced drivers who use the narrow street as a bypass for busy Wilshire Blvd.

Both Levy and Raman have been endorsed by Bike the Vote LA. And either would be a better choice in next month’s election.

However, the Times did at least endorse Loraine Lundquist in CD12.

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If you have any questions about your vote in the March 3rd election, Bike the Vote LA will help answer them tonight.

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Yes, placing trash cans in a bike lane is illegal under state law. But good luck trying to find someone to enforce it.

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Let’s hope LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, the new world climate mayor, understands French.

Then again, you don’t need to read it to get this one from the current Paris mayor and previous climate mayor.

https://twitter.com/Anne_Hidalgo/status/1225776654213144577

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Like Volvo’s misguided glow-in-the-dark spray paint, Ford thinks we’ll all be better off with happy face emojis and turn signals on our jackets. Instead of, say, building safer trucks and SUVs that aren’t designed to kill on impact.

https://twitter.com/FordEu/status/1225364514289352704

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How about a little music for your next ride?

And yes, the lyrics seem to sum it up pretty well. Just don’t wear earbuds in both ears.

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Looks like someone is fed up with cops parking in bike lanes.

Although, while I appreciate the anger, the wording on that one seems to go a little too.

Thanks to Erik Griswold and W Corylus for the heads-up.

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As Horace Greeley might have said, “go left, young man.”

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A new video suggests maybe Los Angeles doesn’t suck for cycling, after all.

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

Police in the UK are looking for a driver who intentionally knocked a teenage boy off his bike. Note to Southern Daily Echo: The car didn’t “nudge” the victim’s tire, the driver did using his car as a weapon.

Sometimes, though, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

After leading a Washington deputy on a slow speed chase when he refused to pull over for a traffic stop, a Minnesota man threw his bicycle at the officer, took a fighting stance, and said he was baddest man in the world and was going to beat the cop up, then threatened to burn the cop’s home down and kill him after the deputy tased him. But other than that, he seems like a perfect ambassador for the sport, right?

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Local

The San Francisco bike rider who was convicted for killing a pedestrian in a crosswalk while allegedly racing through the streets trying to claim a Strava KOM is now running attack ads against George Gascón, the DA who charged him, as Gascón runs for the same post in Los Angeles. Which seems like a damn good reason to vote for Gascón, if you ask me.

LAist examines the push to reform the deadly 85th Percentile Law and lower speed limits to safer levels in the City of Angels. Although maybe the City of Angeles could just stop making so many of them.

CicLAvia points out some of the high points on historic Central Avenue through South Central, Florence-Firestone and Watts, site of the next CicLAvia on February 23rd. Meanwhile, an op-ed in the Times discusses the importance of the area once known as the Eastside to the black community. Which explains how the East Side Riders got their name, even though they’re nowhere near East LA.

Classy move by Duarte, which renamed a bike and pedestrian path in the city for the San Gabriel Valley’s first African American council member and mayor, and his wife.

Tonight’s Malibu City Council meeting will include discussion of proposed bike and pedestrian paths to improve safety on Civic Center Way, along with the possibility of adding a traffic lane.

 

State

Baby steps. The first state bill in response to a recent study criticizing the outdated and deadly 85th Percentile Law would merely extend the time between required traffic surveys, while creating a statewide traffic safety program to monitor pedestrian and bicycle crashes. Meanwhile, speed surveys have finally been completed on all LA streets, allowing full speed enforcement for the first time in several years.

Evidently, Cleveland isn’t the only place where rivers catch on fire; Riverside firefighters were mopping up the remains of a 64-acre blaze that ignited on the Santa Ana River bottom, forcing the closure of the bike path that parallels the river.

The thoroughly discredited concept of bike licenses and registration once again rears its ugly head in San Francisco, thanks to a candidate for city supervisor. Most people who call for it are really far less interested in licensing than they are in just getting bikes off the streets.

It only took one day for bike ridership to boom on San Francisco’s newly carfree Market Street.

A Bay Area bike rider describes how he gladly broke the law by riding an ebike on a trail through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

A trio of Marin mountain bikers face prosecution for building an illegal trail though an open space reserve, allegedly causing $72,000 in damage.

 

National

Harley Davidson’s new $30,000 electric motorcycle could face unexpected competition from more modest ebikes.

Finally, someone gets around to the really important stuff, as the Chicago Tribune examines what to look for in a dog bike trailer and offers their picks.

The VP of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy says America will need bicycling and walking included to pass a major transportation bill.

Tragic news, as the president of the Utah-based Children’s Miracle Network of hospitals was killed in a bicycling crash; unfortunately, there’s no word on where or how the crash occurred.

A British tabloid gets it right, saying the breathtaking views of Colorado’s Crested Butte is best seen from the seat of a mountain bike.

A kindhearted Colorado man is using his spare time to turn “junk into jewels’ by refurbishing bicycles to give to homeless people.

An Iowa woman wants to know why her husband was killed in a violent fall when the experienced bicyclist was wearing a helmet and riding uphill. And why police discount evidence that he may have been clipped by a passing driver.

Actress Selma Blair bought a $2,000 mobility bike for a Massachusetts stroke victim when the woman couldn’t afford to get it herself.

An Alabama man lay dying in a ditch for over an hour after his bike was struck by a hit-and-run driver who didn’t call 911. And neither did a state legislator or the local police chief, who both knew about the crash but didn’t bother to call for medical help.

The Montgomery, Alabama Bicycle Club will host a bike ride from Selma-to-Montgomery later this month, following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King on his historic march.

Nothing to worry about in this Orlando, Florida neighborhood, where an eleven-year old neighborhood watch captain patrols the streets by bicycle.

Newly released bodycam video shows a Florida cop tasing a teenage bike rider for the crime of popping wheelies last year; the cop was censured for his actions.

 

International

They’re some of us, too. The Spanish language edition of GQ looks at the bikes preferred by Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Jude Law, Justin Timberlake and Matt Damon; the first two were also Oscar winners last night.

In a case of life sort of imitating art, an unidentified Reddit user says she stopped speaking to her fiancé when he bought her a Peloton bike, after pleading with him not to get her one.

A Kiwi woman is bicycling 1,250 miles across the length of Mexico, accompanied by a man riding from Alaska to Argentina.

A British Columbia lawyer warns that a switch to no-fault insurance in the province could harm bike riders involved in crashes.

Saskatoon, Canada considers axing a must-use requirement for bike lanes, allowing bicyclists to ride in traffic lanes and make left turns, almost like real people.

An Englishman offers advice on how to ride a unicycle 21,000 miles around the world in three years, which is exactly how he did it. Step one: Don’t fall off.

It takes a real schmuck to steal a Scottish doctor’s bicycle as she was making a house call to visit an elderly patient.

Who says bike riders aren’t tough? A 72-year old British man got back on his bike and rode nine miles home after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver — despite suffering four broken ribs, a fractured hip and a head injury.

A Tunisian woman rode her bike to the Saudi Arabian holy city of Mecca, becoming the first woman to make the pilgrimage by bike; she was allowed into the city, even though she wasn’t accompanied by a male guardian on the 53-day journey, as required by Saudi law.

The former chief-of-staff for Guyana’s defense forces was arrested for a crash that killed a well-known bicyclist; the retired rear admiral failed a roadside Breathalyzer test.

 

Competitive Cycling

Riders in the Netherlands pick an appropriate time to hold the Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships, with no drop bars allowed, as Winter Storm Ciara pummels Europe.

VeloNews discusses why American bike racing needed the late, great Amgen Tour of California; the race is on the sort of one-year hiatus from which most bike races and other events never seem to return.

 

Finally…

If you insist on riding inside, skip the two-grand Peloton and build your own DIY version. Your next Lyft driver could be a 15-time Grammy winner.

And if dinosaurs had just worn helmets and hi-viz, they might still be here today.

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Thanks to Domus Press for a very generous and unexpected donation to help keep this site coming your way every day. Donations are always welcome, in any amount and for any reason. 

 

Morning Links: Challenger Sarah Kate Levy gets big endorsement in CD4, bike cops in the news, and a video Tuesday

LA’s city elections are still more than nine months away.

Yet the action is heating up in the city’s 4th Council District, where challenger Sarah Kate Levy has already won the endorsement of popular first-term Congresswoman Katie Hill.

It’s unusual for an elected official to endorse a challenger facing an incumbent councilmember from his or her own party.

Especially in Los Angeles.

And especially this early in the race.

Yet Hill announced yesterday she’s throwing in with the rookie city council candidate.

Sarah Kate Levy also received an early endorsement from Bike the Vote LA, who said she stood out far above the scrum of candidates, including Ryu.

Or maybe especially Ryu.

Levy summed up her position on Twitter in response to another user.

Which is something we should have heard from incumbent David Ryu years ago.

Photo from Sara Kate Levy’s website.

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Today’s common theme is bike cops.

When a pair of Seattle bike cops tried to stop a man for carrying a knife, he fought with the officers — probably because of his two outstanding warrants and the coke in his backpack.

Boston bike cops got into a shootout with a fleeing man after responding to a report of shots fired; the officers were uninjured, while the suspect was killed.

Two Ottawa, Canada bike cops were exonerated of breaking a belligerent drunk’s wrist after the man confronted them and challenged one to a fight; investigators concluded he could have broken his wrist in a fight before the police arrested him, or while punching his cell wall afterwards.

And you could always make the tales of a teenaged Maine bike cop part of your summer reading.

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Heartbreaking news from New York, where hundreds of fed-up bike riders rallied to protest the death of yet another person on a bicycle, coupled with the usual inaction by the NYPD.

The victim, a 20-year old bike racer, was hit by the driver of a semi-truck shortly after moving to the city from Virginia.

Needless to say, the driver kept going, returning to the scene claiming he didn’t know he’d hit anyone, after witnesses chased him down.

The victim, Robyn Hightman, had recently been named one of 10 ambassadors for the Hagens Berman–Supermint Pro Cycling Team.

Here’s what she movingly wrote about the impact of bicycling in her life, in applying for the program.

As a homeless youth deeply entrenched in the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and neglect, my first bicycle offered a way to seek respite from the horrors of my surroundings and human experience, if only for a few glorious minutes. My bicycle established a sense of independence, strengthened my ability to be self sufficient, and provided me with the confidence necessary to advocate for myself, my rights, and my needs in public space. My bicycle enabled me to leave our encampment every day to access education, seek out food, and fulfill my basic needs. Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself when I began working a full time job at the age of fourteen. My bicycle provided me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my life.

Sadly, she lost it while riding her bike, as well.

Maybe if LA bike riders would respond like that to the continued carnage on our streets, our elected leaders might finally start taking us — and our lives — seriously.

Sadly, though, when someone is killed riding a bike in Los Angeles, in most cases, the late, great Phil Ochs nailed it.

Because in most cases, “It really doesn’t matter to anybody, outside of a small circle of friends.”

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Why waste your bike pump skills putting air in your tires, when you could be making music?

Although this one seems to work a little better.

And more timely, too.

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Okay, so it’s not the kind of bike you pedal.

But a young Pennsylvania man learned the hard way not to taunt a cop while riding a stolen dirt bike if you can’t control the damn thing.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes.

Even when they’re kids riding for a good cause, if not in the right way.

English drivers were angered when a hundred teenagers took to the streets to call for an end to knife crime. But one man did more than complain, getting out of his car and pushing a boy off his bike; police called that “not an acceptable response.”

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Local

Sad news from Koreatown, where a man was shot and killed while riding his bicycle by another man on a bike; police are investigating it as a possible gang shooting.

A New Urbanist living carfree in Los Angeles says she’d like to ride a bike, but has doubts about safety.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

NPR talks with the author of The World’s Fastest Man about the legendary Major Taylor, who battled Jim Crow racism to become an international bike racing sensation in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, yet died pennyless. Thanks to Brooks McKinney for the heads-up.

Wired lists their picks for the year’s top three bike helmets, ranging from Trek’s new $300 WaveCel tech to Bluetooth and crash detection models. Or maybe you’d rather have a full-face mountain bike helmet that snaps off to convert to a regular helmet.

Bicycling says if you get a concussion while shredding trails on your mountain bike, stop riding, already. The same goes for roadies, too.

Forget bikes, Strava wants to be your new social network.

A Portland woman walks with just community service after injuring a woman by booby trapping a bike path after a night of heavy drinking — but she does have to write a letter saying she’s really, really sorry. She can thank the very forgiving victim who asked for no jail time.

Speaking of Portland, a man riding a bike is dead because a speeding, aggressive driver had the munchies after drinking tequila and Sprite all day.

E-mails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show Chicago officials were afraid of a revolt by bike riders if they banned bicycles from the popular Riverfront shared-use path. Even though one alderman is still trying to do just that.

A Minnesota paper almost gets it, saying sharrows are nothing more than a reminder to share the road, although thy don’t seem grasp their benefit as wayfinding symbols, or that they tell both bicyclists and drivers where bikes should be positioned in the lane. As far as safety is concerned, however, all they do is help drivers improve their aim. Which is not a good thing.

A kindhearted Kentucky kid gave away the bike he was given after a thief made off with his bike, after cops recovered the one he got for having perfect attendance.

A Boston mom says the thief that stole her six-year old son’s bicycle didn’t just  take his bike, he stole his innocence.

No bias here. A community in New York’s Hudson Valley has decided to break the law by requiring bicyclists to ride single file, even though state law allows people to ride side-by-side; a local radio station manages to see the story from just one side of the windshield.

There’s something seriously wrong with a protected bike lane when the NYPD has to stand guard to keep drivers out of it.

Tragic news from New Jersey, where family members found a 61-year old man dead on the side of the road next to his bike after he didn’t come home from his job on the graveyard shift; investigators believe he rode off the road on a descent. Although it’s always possible he was the victim of a too-close pass that forced him off the road.

WTF? No, a bicyclist didn’t break into a home and murder an 82-year old Pennsylvania man in his sleep. A man who happened to be riding a bicycle did, before he dismounted, busted in and killed a random stranger. The fact he was riding a bike had absolutely nothing to do with it.

A DC website wonders why there’s so much knee-jerk opposition to road diets in the area, when they would make streets safer and barely affect traffic. Good question. Another good question is why do so many newspapers and websites insist on putting quotation marks around “road diet”? That’s what they’re called. It makes no more sense than to put quotes around road diet than it does “streets”.

 

International

Brazil is the latest country to succumb to the e-scooter invasion.

Britney Spears is one of us, going for a bikini-clad bike ride in some undisclosed tropical location.

The Guardian picks up the disgusting tale of the truly despicable London woman who pretended to be the aunt of a fallen bicyclist she had no relationship to, in order to claim the victim would have opposed a protected bike lane that might have saved her life.

Guardian readers consider how to make bicycling safer and more appealing, with one letter writer saying London doesn’t suck compared to Sydney, Australia, and another suggesting at least two US cities don’t suck, either. One of which is my humble hometown.

A British man uses recycled ocean plastic to create a foldable, and kind of cool looking, bikeshare helmet.

Experts attending the international Velo-City conference say Dublin, Ireland needs to cut private cars to make room for bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly considers five lessons from the recently concluded Tour de Suisse, as well as which Brits to watch for in advance of next month’s Tour de France.

Pro cyclist Lindsey Goldman says there has to be a better financial model for women’s cycling, as her Hagens Berman—Supermint team prepares to lose its chief sponsor. If they find one, tell the men, too.

 

Finally…

When you’re making a jail break, always grab the nearest bicycle you can find to ensure a clean getaway. A man may have a clear conscious after mailing back the $6,000 bike he stole, but he ended up behind bars anyway.

And bike rustlers don’t have to ghost ride their stolen bikes anymore.

 

Morning Links: Bike the Vote endorses Ryu’s 2020 opponent, biking the 101 Freeway, and building bikes behind bars

We’re back. 

I hope you’ll excuse the unexcused absences for the past few days. 

To be honest, it’s a struggle just to get by these days. Between rehabbing my new knee, going to PT, managing my pain and diabetes, and still doing all the things daily life requires — on top of researching and writing each day’s post for this site — there’s just no way to fit it all in a single day.

It doesn’t take much, like this week’s bout of low blood sugar or an extended internet outage, to throw a wrench in the whole damn thing. 

But hopefully, that’s all behind us. 

And it’s all led to today’s epic post, as we catch up on not one, not two, but three days of bike news, from around the corner and around the world. 

Be sure to come back tomorrow, too. Because there was way too much news to squeeze into a single post, and there’s still more to catch up on.

Including more tips from readers, and job openings with SCAG and CicLAvia. 

Photo by Pexels from Pixabay.

………

Let’s start off with an election that’s still nine months away.

Sometimes one candidate is so far ahead of the others, you know how you’re going to vote right off the bat.

Which is exactly what happened with Bike the Vote LA, who got an early jump on next year’s city council election in CD4. And have already picked, not just a challenger to incumbent David Ryu, but his future replacement.

Bike The Vote L.A. sent questionnaires to announced CD4 candidates, asking them to outline their vision for a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable transportation system. Challenger Sarah Kate Levy’s response was so outstanding that Bike The Vote L.A.’s CD4 Election Committee has taken the rare step of making an early endorsement in next year’s primary election, set for March 3rd, 2020.

Levy has a long track record as a political activist working with Democrats for Neighborhood Action, Planned Parenthood Advocacy, and serving as the current president of the L.A. Metro National Women’s Caucus. Levy has placed housing, transportation, sustainability, and quality of life at the center of her campaign platform, and clearly done the homework necessary to be an informed leader on each of these important topics.

The group goes on to get more specific about her support of safe streets for all of us, regardless of how we get around.

Levy’s impressive response to Bike The Vote L.A. outlines her determination to achieve Vision Zero by reducing deadly speeding, reorienting streets towards the safety of all road users, and creating a network of protected bike lanes. Levy makes it clear that her vision of L.A.’s transportation system is one where everyone has access to quality transit, one that isn’t designed around travel by cars, and one where children are able to walk and bike safely to school without the threat of death or serious injury…

We asked the candidates for their positions on implementation of projects that reduce deadly vehicle speeds on L.A.’s High Injury Network and safe bike infrastructure connecting to the L.A. River Path. Where Councilmember Ryu’s responses left his stance unclear, Levy expressed unwavering support for these critical projects. Levy also went a step further, outlining a number of additional projects she plans to implement in each of CD4’s neighborhoods. In her words, “Safer streets save lives, period.”

Then again, that last line is all you really need to know.

As Bike the Vote LA notes, after opposing bike and street safety projects for most of his first term, Ryu appears to have had a change of heart in recent months.

But we’re long past the point for halfhearted support.

Unless, like former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Ryu has had a real Road to Damascus transformation into a genuine advocate for Vision Zero and Complete Streets, it’s time to start looking for his replacement.

And from the sound of his response, he’s still got a long way to go.

Meanwhile, Loraine Lundquist, another candidate endorsed by Bike the Vote LA, has qualified for the August runoff in CD12 against front runner John Lee.

………

No, seriously.

If you’re going to take the lane on the 101 Freeway through the heart of Hollywood, at least stick to the right one.

Maybe he just wanted to know how it feels to experience the nation’s worst traffic.

Note to KCBS-2 — Riding a bicycle on an LA Freeway is against the law; doing it without a bike helmet isn’t.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn, David Huntsman and Disorder Bureau for the heads-up.

………

How about a success story from behind bars?

Former bike racer and current Folsom Prison inmate Mauricio Argueta has spent the past five years expertly refurbishing hundred of bicycles every year, which are then given to kids, fire victims and the homeless.

Now he finds himself days from release, with a job already lined up at a SoCal bike shop once he finishes his parole.

The best part is, he’s already trained his replacement.

So the program will go on changing lives on both sides of the bars long after he’s a free man.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

Members of an English bike club were the victims of a jackass in a BMW who threw hundreds of thumbtacks out of his car into their path — then came back later to video the results of his violent assault.

A Kiwi bike rider pens a very polite note to SUV drivers who insist on demanding that bicyclists get off the road.

………

This is why people keep dying on our streets.

New Jersey’s highest court confirmed a sentence that amounts to more of a gentle caress on the wrist — or maybe a pat on the back — by allowing a drunken, hit-and-run driver with a long list of criminal convictions to walk without a single day in jail for killing a teenage bike rider.

………

Local

The LA Times reminds you to enjoy the LACBC’s 19th Annual LA River Ride this Sunday. Oh, and there’s donuts on Saturday.

LA Galaxy soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of us, celebrating his stunning bicycle kick goal with a cruiser bike ride the next day.

No bias here. Pasadena Now says that scofflaw bicyclists and pedestrians were “brought to heel” during the city’s bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement program last Friday — even though well over half of the 172 tickets went to the people on four wheels, and only 19 went to the people on two.

CiclaValley returns to Pacifico Mountain, calling it the best LA area ride you don’t know about. Unless maybe you do, of course.

 

State

No, you aren’t required to wear a helmet to ride bikeshare bikes or e-scooters, unless you’re under 18.

San Diego bike riders are losing their patience over overgrown bushes blocking bike lanes. Especially after the app they used to report it says it’s been fixed. Thanks to Todd Munson for the link.

Ouch. A Chico letter writer complains about the treatment his wife got from paramedics after a nail punctured her bike tire and got jammed in her brakes.

Over 2,300 bike riders rode along the Central Coast from Paso Robles to Santa Maria yesterday, as the annual AIDS/LifeCycle ride makes its way south to West Hollywood. Meanwhile, the Advocate offers photos from the ride.

Streetsblog says the Bay Area bikeshare battle could have implications all across the US.

San Francisco speeds up the process for approving new bike lanes and other road improvements. Maybe LA could take the hint, and do something to shorten their own interminable and easily derailed process.

Bike advocates are demanding the number of bike spaces they were promised on Caltrain’s new electric fleet, with seats in view of their bikes.

 

National

She gets it. A writer for a driving website says the reason so many drivers flee the scene of a crash is basically because they’re selfish scumbags.

A writer for Bicycling says the day you sell your bike is the day you see its soul.

The Washington Post says the bike industry is worried because fewer kids are riding bicycles — or buying them. Probably because fewer parents are willing to risk sacrificing their kids to America’s speeding, aggressive and/or distracted drivers.

Seattle responds to e-scooters and other emerging technologies by debating who or what has the right-of-way on city streets, bike lanes and sidewalks. Meanwhile, the city has one of the highest bicycle gender gaps in the US.

Washington state is becoming significantly more dangerous for people riding or on foot.

Anchorage, Alaska defies the state’s conservative governor by committing to cut carbon emissions by 80% over the next three decades.

A Missoula MT bike count confirms the obvious — people ride their bikes more when the weather is better. And the bike gender gap is pretty much the same everywhere.

Des Moines, Iowa has paid out over $1.7 million and counting to settle claims from injured bike riders because they tried to build an ADA-compliant curb for pedestrians — but placed it directly across a popular bike trail with no warning.

A Madison WI city committee has decided to fight traffic violence with yard signs.

Former Chicago mayor, congressman and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is easing into retirement with a 900-mile bike ride around Lake Michigan.

One more reason to register your bike, already. A Chicago doctor got his bicycle back twelve years after it was stolen, thanks to Bike Index.

Evidently, the dove of peace rides a bicycle. Or maybe drives a cab, as Brooklyn bike riders and taxi drivers take a bike ride together to see the road from the other’s perspective, and possibly build a little detente.

Apparently, the NYPD has finally figured out who poses the real risk on New York streets, and has started cracking down on people in the big dangerous machines. That comes after years of responding to bicycling deaths with crackdowns on bike riders.

Proving once again that New York is light years ahead of Los Angeles when it comes to street safety, the NY city council voted to require adhering to Vision Zero design standards when redesigning any arterial streets, including building protected bike lanes.

A New York Streetsblog op-ed considers how to break down barriers to disabled bicycling, noting that two-thirds of bike riders with disabilities find it easier than walking.

Evidently, bicycles aren’t even safe when no one is on them, as a New Orleans driver seems happy to demonstrate. And the police don’t seem too concerned about it, either.

It’s happened again. A visibly drunk Florida pickup driver hit a man riding his bike on the side of the road, then drove half a mile home with the victim still trapped under his truck.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Florida couple learned the hard way that bike riders aren’t even safe on the sidewalk when a driver jumped the curb and ran them both down on their bikes — critically injuring the husband and killing their 18-month old son, who was being pulled behind in a bike trailer.

 

International

Is there any better use for an old shipping container than turning it into a bike hub? Unless maybe it’s turning them into housing for the homeless.

We could all use an angel on our shoulder when we ride. But a Canadian man is happy to settle for a kitty.

Caught on video: In a very scary example of the dangers of a head injury, a bicyclist from the UK hits his head falling off his bike, then stumbles head-first into the path of a bus. The good news is, the victim is okay. As always, be sure it’s something you really want to see before you click on the link.

A former British paratrooper explains how he helped liberate France in WWII with a foldie and a misfiring gun.

An Edinburgh bike shop is attempting to set a record for simultaneously fixing the most flats today.

Sorry moped riders. Amsterdam has given you the boot from bike lanes.

Swedish carmaker Volvo and helmet manufacturer POC have teamed to conduct the world’s first test of how bike helmets perform in a car crash. And needless to say, the results aren’t pretty. Then again, Volvo is the company that wants you to spray yourself with reflective paint so their drivers won’t kill youNo surprise, since bike helmets are designed to protect the wearer from falling off a bicycle, not a crash with a speeding driver.

I like him already. India’s new minister for Health and Family Welfare arrived on a bicycle for his first day on the job.

An 80-year old Japanese driver backed into several pedestrians in a grocery store parking lot after mistaking the gas pedal for the brakes, injuring four people, including two little kids and their mother. And riderless bikes didn’t fare any better than they did in New Orleans.

 

Competitive Cycling

After colliding with another cyclist in a Connecticut bike race, a Cat 3/4 racer posts gruesome photos of a front wheel thru axle lever impaled in his knee.

US road champ Justin Williams says it’s time to move away from the “boys club” that dominates cycling for greater inclusion and representation, saying it’s hard not to feel alone in a sport that’s almost exclusively white.

SoCal Cycling offers highlights from last weekend’s La Grange Grand Prix in Carson.

 

Finally…

Your next Bird scooter could have seating for two. If you don’t want to get deported, maybe don’t throw a bicycle in the path of a bike race.

And who wouldn’t be happy with 300 miles of bikeways?

………

A belated Eid Mubarak to all our Muslim friends. 

And thanks to Mike Wilkinson for his ongoing and generous support of this site. Any donation, of any size, is always appreciated

Morning Links: LAPD recovers possibly stolen bikes, Los Feliz NC gets real with Ryu, and ticketing trucks in SaMo

If you had a bike stolen recently in Santa Monica or Venice, you might want to check with the LAPD’s Pacific Division.

According to the LA Times, the driver of a pickup crashed into two other vehicles as he was fleeing the police. The chase began when officers discovered the truck had been stolen a few days earlier in Bakersfield.

Three people were hospitalized, including a passenger in the truck.

After police arrested the driver, they discovered a number of bicycles in the back of the truck, and were checking to see if they had been stolen.

However, given that most bike thefts are never reported to the police, if the bikes weren’t registered, there’s a good chance they won’t show up in a police database.

Which means the thief will get away with it — assuming they are stolen.

And the owners may never see them again.

Thanks to Joe Linton for the heads-up.

………

I can’t say I’m familiar with the members of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council. But after reading this letter, I could kiss every one of them.

This especially matters as Ryu contemplates ripping out the highly successful road diet on Rowena — after he already cancelled the desperately-needed road diet planned for 6th Street behind LACMA in the Miracle Mile neighborhood.

LA’s Vision Zero program is already at risk of dying before it has even been implemented, thanks to the auto-centric reactions of city councilmembers who, like Ryu, seem to fear angry drivers more than they fear blood on their hands.

And to answer the question posed in the letter, there is no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

None.

I’d love to see a version of this letter forwarded to every member of the city council. Especially CD1’s “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo and CD5’s Paul “Killer” Koretz.

Thanks to Alissa Walker for posting the letter.

………

File this one under things that never happen in real life.

Yes, that’s a Santa Monica police officer ticketing a delivery driver double-parked in the San Vicente bike lane.

I complained about delivery drivers blocking the bike lanes for years when I regularly rode that route, and never got any results. From the police or the delivery companies.

And was harassed so much that I had to block the comments on my videos of bike lane-blocking trucks on my YouTube channel, and finally had to delete the videos entirely.

Which seems to be what’s happening in Reddit, as redditors argue that police are overreacting to what they consider a minor inconvenience for people on bikes.

Even though blocking those bike lanes forces riders out into the general traffic lanes on a section of roadway where few drivers seem to pay attention to much of anything, including the speed limit.

Still, it’s good to see SaMo police taking this seriously.

Let’s hope they keep it up. And maybe delivery drivers will finally find somewhere else to park.

Thanks again to the esteemed Mr. Linton.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A Toronto bike rider shook his head as he passed a driver blocking an off-road cycle track. So the motorist drove down the road to the next crossing point, waited for other riders to pass, then intentionally plowed into him.

And denied afterwards that he hit anyone.

Fortunately, the whole thing was caught on video.

He now faces charges for hit-and-run and failing to report a collision, as well as failure to yield. Even though he should have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

And then a local website has the audacity to say “Both drivers and cyclists are responsible when it comes to road safety.”

Which is like telling shooting victims they have a responsibility to stay out of the way of bullets.

Then there’s this one, where an impatient and indignorant driver can’t even manage to wait a few seconds for a bike rider to have room to pull over and let her pass.

And evidently concludes that the woman on the bike doesn’t belong there, because there’s no bike lane on a street that’s too narrow for one.

https://twitter.com/THREADRIOT/status/1034625219879739395

………

Local

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a bike ride in the ‘Bu.

 

State

The proposed Peninsula Bikeway promises to connect the cities of Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City, and eventually extend across the entire South Bay Peninsula.

 

National

NPR reports on the great American e-scooter debate, saying dockless scooters are gaining popularity and scorn across the US.

El Paso TX bike riders get a shiny new two-way cycle track along a street car route.

A legally blind Indiana man put over 2,000 miles on his bike in the last year, despite his vision problems — until he was taken down by a pothole. A reminder that bad roads pose a risk to everyone on bikes, but some more than others.

A Cincinnati city councilmember says scooter companies like Bird and Lime should be held responsible for the actions of the people who use them. Which I’m all in favor of, as long as the same rule applies to a few other companies, like Tesla, Ford, GMC, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Kia, et al.

Providence RI gets creative with outreach to build support for a bike lane project, including day-long popups. Then again, if people in Rhode Island are anything like people in LA, once the bike lanes are installed, they’ll insist they were never consulted and the popups never happened.

In a study that runs counter to what we’re usually told, Boston researchers conclude that lowering speed limits actually does result in lower speeds. Which we should remember the next time we’re told that raising speeds under the deadly 85 percentile law really doesn’t matter.

Facing as much as 40 years behind bars — or as little as nothing — a New Orleans driver who fled the scene after killing a bike-riding artist begs forgiveness from the victim’s family, saying he thinks about the crash every day. Chances are, they do too.

 

International

A British Columbia woman credits her bike helmet with saving her life when a pickup driver literally ran over her head.

A Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario bike shop has become a haven for bike tourists. And having a free pump track in back doesn’t hurt.

Montreal business owners are fighting a planned bike path along a wide industrial corridor, saying it will increase traffic and angry drivers, even though it will just narrow the overly wide traffic lanes without removing any lanes or parking.

Caught on video: Road.cc talks with a British bikemaker about how hard it is to design a bicycle.

Forty percent of the residents of Malmö, Sweden bike to work or school every day, thanks to a 200-mile bike lane network that makes bicycling the fastest way across the city.

A Bangalore, India website says the city has done nothing to promote bicycling or ensure the safety of bicyclists, despite the 45,000 bike riders in the city.

Life is cheap in Australia, where a driver was acquitted on a charge of dangerous driving in the death of a bike rider, who apparently just magically appeared in front of him.

Police in Australia’s Queensland state have started a new “Stay Wider of the Rider” campaign to fight close passes by drivers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great piece from Bicycling about LA’s own CNCPT cycling team — aka Concept — made up entirely of people of color. And dedicated to blowing up the sport, in a good way.

The Vuelta saw a long breakaway in Wednesday’s stage, and a change in the leader’s jersey.

Britain’s Mark Cavendish is shutting down his cycling season after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus; he ranks second on the all-time Tour de France list with 30 stage victories.

Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali continues to have pain in his back after suffering a vertebra fracture in a crash during the Tour de France, and questions whether he will ever be the same again.

 

Finally…

No, it’s not okay to right hook someone in a bike lane. Pedestrians say people on bikes should wear license plates.

And as former pro and current Cookie Monster Phil Gaiman will attest, people who ride bicycles need a good fuel source.

………

I was hoping to attend today’s official opening of the MyFigueroa Complete Streets project, but it looks like a busy day with too many obligations will keep me away. 

If you go, try to corner LA Mayor Eric Garcetti — assuming he’s not too busy running for president to show up — and ask how Vision Zero can work if councilmembers have the power to block projects like MyFig in their own districts. 

And how it can possibly succeed if his own office isn’t willing to go out and fight for it.

I think we’d all like to hear the answers to that.

 

Morning Links: Take action to preserve Rowena bike lanes, why drivers run from crashes, and more e-scooter news

It’s bad enough that we can’t get the Complete Streets we were promised.

Now we’re having to fight just to hold on to the ones we’ve got.

While there seems to be a temporary ceasefire in the fight over the parking protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, the highly successful lane reduction and bike lanes on Rowena Ave are imperiled, following a $50,000 study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu.

Residents blame the redesigned street for an increase in cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, even though pervious studies have shown that the street carries more motor vehicle traffic, more safely, now than it did before.

And even though the study showed no link between the cut-through traffic and the removal of excess capacity on Rowena.

A more likely culprit is the Waze app, which frequently directs drivers onto streets that aren’t intended to handle that kind of traffic.

The new study ends by suggesting four alternatives, only one of which would retain the current Complete Streets design; the other three appear to be included to give Ryu political cover should he decide to rip out the bike lanes and restore the street to it’s original unsafe capacity.

Local group Keep Rowena Safe offers their response to the study, and urges everyone to contact Ryu and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represent the surrounding area, to demand that the current design stay in place.

KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE

KEEP ROWENA SAFE

KEEP THE ROAD DIET

Please e-mail Councilmembers David Ryu and Mitch O’Farrell

david.ryu@lacity.org

cd4.issues@lacity.org

councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org

And don’t forget to cc Mayor Garcetti and Assemblymember Laura Friedman

mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

assemblymember.friedman@assembly.ca.gov

You can find a sample letter here.

………

Troubling piece from the Washington Post, as the paper’s transportation writer looks at the psychology behind America’s rising rate of hit-and-run crashes.

And concludes drivers flee because they’ve been drinking, because they panic, think it’s no big deal or they can’t cope with what just happened.

Or because they just lack good moral judgement.

Gee, you think?

………

Still more e-scooters in the news.

A writer for City Watch says e-scooters will never be a first mile/last mile solution for LA transit, in part because they don’t work on hills (actually, they do). And in part because LA and Metro failed to build the bike lanes and bike parking we’ve been promised.

The Have A Go website takes LA to task, saying the issues with scooters are a problem of the city’s own making, repeating the charge that the failure lies in the city’s failure to build out the bike lane networks contained in the 2010 bike plan.

West Hollywood’s semi-enforced ban on dockless scooters appears to be working, with complaints dropping to roughly two a week. Although that ban couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the recent increase in WeHo traffic congestion, as previous scooter users go back to Uber and Lyft.

Pasadena may invite scooter providers to the city, as long as they promise to play nice.

Santa Monica reminds everyone of the rules governing scooter use.

Graphic from the Santa Monica e-scooter website

The Louisville KY newspaper looks at the city’s experience with e-scooters after their first month on the streets, where only 100 are allowed under initial limits.

The Department of DIY strikes in Cincinnati, where a couple of people used a little paint to create their own scooter parking spaces, calling them “Bird Cages,” to show how easily the scooter parking problem can be solved.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wants to pull the brakes on e-scooters.

Streetsblog asks if it’s time to redefine the bike lane in the age of e-scooters and other mobility devices.

The Verge says scooter providers are trying to rehabilitate their image in the face of city crackdowns across the US; Lime is allowing users in three cities to donate to preselected charities through their app, while promising to fund new bike lanes.

………

Local

Bike rider Doug Weiskopf writes that he was bullied off the Mariposa Bridge by complaints from Burbank horse riders, who he says have appropriated the bridge and portions of Griffith Park as their own.

The LACBC is providing a new monthly recap of the projects they’re working on, ranging from Rowena to getting the promised bike lanes on the new Spring Street bridge.

 

State

An Op-Ed from the chair of the Santa Ana Bikeways and Walkability Committee credits Councilwoman Katrina Foley with creating the committee and passing the city’s first new bike plan since 2002, and urges her election as mayor.

San Clemente will allow bicycles and ebikes on the city’s Beach Trail. Except during the summer months, when most people would to want to use it.

San Diego police are looking for four men and a woman who chased down a bike rider in their car, then punched and stabbed him multiple times; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

Thousand Oaks is adding bike lanes on the north side of Moorpark Road, and replacing missing sidewalks, to improve safety for bicyclists tackling the Norwegian Grade climb.

The San Francisco Chronicle suggest ditching the car and exploring Sacramento by bike.

 

National

Bicycling offers five tips to use your bike to burn belly fat. The magazine also offers 30 of their favorite crazy bike videos, if you’re willing to click through 30-plus pages.

A Denver nonprofit has committed to giving 25,000 bicycles to second grade students over the next five years.

Police in Grand Junction CO bust seven bike thieves and recover a large cache of hot bikes after a bait bike leads to a bicycle chop shop. This is why the LAPD need to use bait bikes like other California police departments; it’s less about arresting a single thief than getting the ringleaders behind them.

A Colorado fundraiser serves up beer to raise funds to send bikes to Africa, averaging 20 bicycles a year to help change lives, one bike at a time.

A Wisconsin paper looks back on the efforts of a pair of bike-riding hippies in the 1970s that set the state on its bike friendly path.

Businesses along New York’s former Boulevard of Death say no one’s using the new bike lanes, and they’d rather have their parking spaces back, even if it means a return to the deadly street.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A road raging 87-year old North Carolina man faces charges after he attempted to make an unsafe pass around a group of bicyclists, then cut back in behind the lead rider and preceded to run her off the road in retaliation for his own crappy driving.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A South Carolina woman plans to celebrate her 80th birthday by riding 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway to raise $80,000 provide bikes to women in Tanzania.

 

International

Following a summer of road rage and bicycling deaths, a Toronto website discusses how bike riders can make peace with motorists. Mostly by wearing a helmet, keeping the tunes turned down and behaving yourself on the streets.

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth’s homeopathic physician has brought to light the bicycling deaths of four people in five years in a single London neighborhood — and the efforts of the city’s transportation department to block safety improvements under former Mayor Boris Johnson.

A six-year old English kid set a goal of riding his bike 25 miles this month to raise money for the homeless.

A Welsh website clarifies what is and isn’t allowed for people on bicycles in the UK’s Highway Code to clear up the confusion and conflicts with drivers.

A Danish city councilor calls for a ban on gas-powered motor scooters, not to protect bike riders, but to protect the air.

Legendary Italian framebuilder Dario Pegoretti died unexpectedly of a heart condition on Thursday. Bicycling profiled Pegoretti a few years ago.

Saudi women are wearing sports abayas that allow them to bicycle more comfortably.

Sometimes DIY traffic calming efforts can backfire, as the lead riders in a group of cyclists found out the hard way. They were injured when they hit a homemade speed bump intended to slow noisy traffic in an Australian national park; one rider will miss the masters world road championships he trained for the past year with a concussion, broken ribs and broken collarbone, as well as a broken bike.

Good question. A Kiwi bicyclist wants to know why so many people hate cyclists. From the conversations and comments I’ve seen, the main objection is lawbreaking bike riders — as if the majority of drivers don’t break traffic laws on a daily basis. But violations by bike riders are somehow seen as different.

A British website says the real cost of Chinese dockless bikeshare bikes isn’t what you pay, it’s the personal data and privacy you give up to use them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock’s lanterne rouge ride through the entire Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade has raised nearly $400,000 to repair and improve Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey last year.

A Russian cyclist was declared ineligible for the Asian Games at the last minute after several countries complained about her recent citizenship change to avoid sanctions on Russian athletes.

A Swedish scientist is working on a test to detect blood packing using an athlete’s own blood to stop one of the most common forms of cheating.

 

Finally…

Evidently, calling something “the worst cycling event ever” can have an impact, after all. What it’s like to wear bike shorts for a week, without coming in actual contact with a bicycle or anything.

And if you want to see the pope on the Emerald Isle, get on your bike.

Or maybe get on a plane or a boat first. It could be a wet ride otherwise.

 

Morning Links: Help keep Rowena safe next Wednesday, and London bike riders attacked by road raging driver

Keep Rowena Safe urges you to show up at Wednesday’s meeting of the excessively named Transportation and Neighborhood Safety Committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council.

And ask why they would even consider undoing the road diet on Rowena Ave, which has proven itself successful in slowing traffic and improving safety.

Once again putting the imagined convenience of a few motorists over the safety of everyone else, and the livability of the entire community.

Then again, you might want to put the same questions to Councilmember David Ryu, since it was his office that shelled out $80,000 to study making Rowena more dangerous again.

………

London bicyclists are stunned when an aggressive motorist deliberately drives at a long line of riders in a marked bike path, then threatens them with his car when they catch up to him.

………

Local

Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies wrote 67 tickets during yesterday’s four-hour bike and pedestrian safety operation, mostly for distracted driving. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Santa Monica-based Bird announces plans to donate $1 per day for every scooter in operation to help build more bike lanes. While that could quickly add up to a lot of money, the real problem is developing the political backing to build bike lanes, rather than finding the funding, as we’ve repeatedly seen in Los Angeles.

 

State

VeloNews talks with San Diego’s SportRX about what to look for in prescription bicycling glasses, and reviews several models. Full disclosure: SportRX provided me with a pair of prescription Oakleys several years ago, which are still by far the best glasses I’ve ever owned, for bicycling or anything else. And getting them was one of the easiest processes I’ve gone through, without ever setting foot in the store. 

Orange County is considering options for a bike path along Avenida La Plata between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

A Highland bicyclist takes issue, at great length, with the new law clarifying that bicyclists who ride off after crashing into someone on a bike path can be charged with hit-and-run.

Santa Barbara police will be out in force to take the fun out of enforce traffic laws during the annual Fiesta Cruiser Ride this Sunday.

Talk about not getting it. A Santa Maria newspaper complains that removing a whopping 24 parking spaces next to a Solvang park to make room for bike lanes would ruin “Solvang’s tourism quaint, wow factor.” And that encouraging more bicycling — without removing a single traffic lane — would somehow force drivers off the street and into the surrounding neighborhood. As if anyone visits the faux Dutch community to see its quaint parking spaces.

 

National

USA Today offers a long list of guided bike tours to get you back on your bike, after first reciting a brief history of the bicycle, in case you’ve forgotten.

Bicycling offers advice on how to ride in gravel and other uneven surfaces.

Streetsblog questions why “bull bar” grill attachments are the hot fashion accessory for US police vehicles, when they’re outlawed abroad, and deadly for any pedestrians who get in their way. I’m less concerned about police using them than I am the jerks in massive pickups and SUVs who insist on putting them on their trucks for no apparent reason.

Your next bike helmet could be printed, not manufactured. Then again, so could the bike you use it on.

Dockless bikeshare companies are bailing on the Big D after Dallas developed regulations requiring the companies to pay for the number of bikes or scooters they have on the streets; just 3,500 bikes remain compared to a peak of 20,000.

A couple of Chicago kids achieve their goal of riding their bikes a total of 100 miles over summer vacation, turning it into a chance for three generations to ride together. While that’s something to be proud of, someone should tell the reporter that a 13.5 mile ride is no big deal for a lot of people. Even kids.

Evidently, athleticism runs in the family, as the great-grandfather of NFL All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski was a star of the Buffalo NY bike racing circuit in the 1920s.

Good for him. A Philadelphia bike rider sues a hotel and its valet parking manager for blocking a bike lane.

A Delaware city is using stenciled messages on the sidewalk to tell riders over 12 to walk their bikes. That’s actually a good idea. In too many cities, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether and where you’re allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk; putting a notice there removes any confusion.

DC bicyclists pair up with blind riders for weekly tandem rides.

Dockless bikeshare providers Mobike and Ofo have pulled out of DC, as well.

A former North Carolina sheriff’s lieutenant is riding his bike to recover from PTSD, after he was nearly beaten to death on the job more than 17 years ago.

 

International

London’s deputy mayor for transportation calls a local government council disgraceful for opposing plans for one of the city’s cycle superhighways, at the same time a bike rider was fighting for her life following a crash a few miles away.

You’ve got to be kidding. English social media users blew up when a driver complained about two bicyclists riding abreast on a quiet country road — which is perfectly legal in the UK — saying, “It doesn’t take a lot of my time to pass them – it’s the principle.”

The daughters of a fallen bike tourist says she would never have attempted riding the steep downhill on the Irish road where she was killed if there had been warning signs to tell her how dangerous it really was.

Australian bus drivers are put on bicycles to learn what it’s like to be passed by a bus, and how to drive around bike riders. Can we do that here, Metro? Pretty please?

Life is short in Singapore, where a bus driver got a whopping six weeks behind bars for a negligent crash that left a 36-year bike rider in a nursing home with permanent brain damage.

 

Competitive Cycling

Team Sky road captain Luke Rowe helped guide fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas to the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, one year after breaking his leg in 25 places while white water rafting.

Now that Thomas has won a Tour, he may chuck it all to take up triathlons.

Admit it. You always wanted to know more about the woman who rides a motorcycle with a chalkboard at the head of the peloton.

A day after we got a Roman Catholic look at the Tour de France, we get the Anglican view, as an English minister considers the parallels between the Christian faith and professional cycling.

CiclaValley uses the Tour to illustrate how cyclists are tougher than other athletes.

A local paper previews the prologue of the Tour of Utah, which kicks off on Saturday.

The initial rosters have been released for this month’s Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Yes, a bicycle and clothing are basic requirements for women who want to ride bikes. If you have to wave a flag just to cross a street, it should be a white one, instead.

And how to tell you’re a really crappy driver who probably shouldn’t be one.

 

Morning Links: Group plans Vision Zero ambush today, and Tour de Palm Springs killer had suspended license

Apparently, we’re about to be ambushed.

According to an alert from anti-safety, pro-traffic group Keep LA Moving, a seemingly innocuous motion being considered at today’s LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting is really a motion to redefine the city’s Vision Zero program.

Or more precisely, gut it.

The motion from CD2 Councilmember Paul Kerkorian and CD4’s David Ryu talks about refining the Vision Zero model “in order to serve the objective of more effectively increasing the safety of our streets.”

However, according to Keep LA Moving, it’s really about reducing the emphasis on bike and pedestrian deaths, since they only amount to 15% of the total collisions in the City of Los Angeles.

Tomorrow’s motion states that going forward, Vision Zero should “incorporate a data validation process to ensure that the High Injury Network supporting data was appropriate and reliable.”  Currently, data is heavily weighted in favor of pedestrians and cyclists, all but disregarding the safety of motorists. According to LADOT’s Vision Zero website: “We also give more weight to counts of Killed or Serious Injuries among people walking or biking, so deaths or serious injuries at all intersections are multiplied by three, while vehicle-vehicle deaths or serious injuries do not receive a multiplying factor. For example, if an intersection contains one fatal pedestrian collision, two severe bicycle injuries, and one fatal vehicle-vehicle, the score would be 10 (3 for the pedestrian, 6 for the two bicycles, and 1 for the vehicle-vehicle).”

In the Vision Zero Action Plan, released in 2017, the LADOT states that “people walking & biking account for roughly 15% of all collisions”. It’s not surprising then that  Vision Zero hasn’t reduced accidents and injuries since its inauguration in 2015 because the LADOT is only focusing on 15% of the problem! What’s more, the LADOT says “Vision Zero is an injury reduction strategy, not a collision reduction strategy.” And of course, collisions aren’t being reduced either. Vision Zero needs to concentrate on both reducing the severity of accidents and on the number of accidents that happen!

Never mind that Vision Zero has barely even been implemented up to this point.

Or that while bicyclists and pedestrians are only involved in 15% of LA collisions, they result in nearly half of all deaths and serious injuries.

Let that sink in.

Keep LA Moving says LADOT is focusing on just 15% of crashes. But Vision Zero isn’t about reducing crashes, it’s about eliminating deaths and serious injuries.

And drivers, surrounded by two tons of glass and steel, and protected by air bags, seat belts and crumple zones, face considerably less risk in a collision than people walking and riding bikes.

Which is the entire reasoning behind the multiplication factor, because bike riders and pedestrians are several times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision.

But Keep LA Moving thinks that doesn’t matter.

Or rather, that you don’t matter. Because the people in the other 85% of the crashes, who are less likely to be injured or killed, apparently matter more to them.

Then there’s their other major lie.

To date the LADOT has focused on “pet projects” in select districts that appease a vocal minority of residents — roads that were never flagged as needing such treatment.  Special interests and personal agendas have been allowed to drive decisions rather than actual concerns for public safety.

The road diet on Venice Blvd, in Mar Vista is a prime example. In the 11 years leading up to the Venice road diet, there was one fatality and seven severe injuries to people walking or biking along that 0.8 mile stretch. None of the contributing factors to these tragic accidents have been addressed by the road diet. Rather than analyze these accidents and implement real safety improvements fixing the problems, the LADOT chose instead to implement a road diet. They installed a road diet on a road with 45,000+ cars per day, in violation of their own standards. (The LA Complete Streets Design Guide states that road diets should only be used on streets with excess capacity and volume less than 20,000 cars.) The disastrous and wildly unpopular Playa del Rey road diets, defeated last Fall, had the same issues. In fact, in both PdR and Mar Vista, accidents and injuries increased after the implementation of road diets. Not only on the roads dieted, but on the residential side streets as well, as drivers searched for alternatives to the gridlocked boulevards.

But as they well know, the Venice Blvd project was never intended as part of Vision Zero.

Instead, it was developed by local residents as part of the mayor’s Great Streets project.

And rather than something sprung without warning on unsuspecting locals and businesses, it grew out of workshops sponsored by the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce dating back to 2014. With several public pop-up demonstrations, including a demonstration of the parking-protected bike lanes at the 2015 Venice CicLAvia.

I know, because I was there.

Let’s also bear in mind that the reference to a maximum 20,000 vehicle traffic volume for road diets refers to reducing four lane streets to three lanes, with two through lanes and a center turn lane. Not massive six lane thoroughfares like Venice Blvd, which never should have been built that wide to begin with.

But that doesn’t matter to them, since their real goal is to halt road diets anywhere in the city, willing to trade human lives — yours and mine — to avoid inconveniencing drivers.

They deny the proven efficacy of road diets, just as climate change deniers claim global warming is a myth.

All of which helps explain why the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has written to oppose the motion.

Let’s hope that Transportation Committee members Paul Kortez, Nury Martinez and Chair Mike Bonin can resist the pressure from this very vocal and well-financed driver activist group.

If you can make it on such short notice on Valentines Day — I can’t, unfortunately — you need to make your voice heard.

If not, take a few moments to urge them to reject this motion, and keep LA’s Vision Zero program intact.

And maybe tell Ryu and Krekorian what you think while you’re at it.

Credit Peter Flax with the heads-up.

………

Ronnie Huerta Jr., the driver who killed Mark Kristofferson during Saturday’s Tour de Palm Springs, was driving on a suspended license.

And suspended for good reason.

Huerta had been pulled over four times for speeding in the last two years, along with a host of other traffic violations.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until he kills someone.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

………

Local

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council could try to stop plans for desperately needed bus and bike lanes in Hollywood, and have already drafted a letter demanding that they be removed from the proposed Hollywood community plan. You can let them know what you think at their regular meeting on the 21st. And yes, I plan to be there.

 

State

Marin’s bike-unfriendly columnist says bicycle-riding tourists should just take the ferry and skip the town entirely. Maybe he should just stand outside the city and yell “Hey, you kids get off our lawn!”

 

National

Yet another study confirms the benefits of bike lanes, showing painted bike lanes reduce the risk of crashes by a minimum of 40%.

The Trump administration’s new proposed budget would be a disaster for bicycle infrastructure projects, while NACTO doesn’t think much of his infrastructure plan, either.

A Seattle writer tries the city’s new LimeBike dockless bikeshare ebikes, climbing a moderate hill with little effort, and living to tell the tale.

Utah moves forward with a bill that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, but still have to wait for red lights. Or maybe notA similar bill died in the California legislature earlier this year.

Seriously? The Houston Chronicle predicts an autonomous car nirvana, where the world will be free from traffic jams, parking tickets and auto mechanics, and no one will want to ride buses or bikes anymore because they’ll be so happy with their driverless cars.

Life is cheap in Minnesota, where a 16-year old distracted driver won’t spend a day behind bars for killing a bike-riding man while she was using her cellphone, after the DA pleads her case down to a misdemeanor.

An Ohio ultra-endurance rider prepares to take part in this year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM, as he rides to relieve PTSD from several combat tours in Afghanistan.

The Boston Globe talks with a local bike lawyer who went from a planned position as a prosecutor to getting justice for bicyclists.

Researchers at Virginia Tech University are doing comparison testing of bicycle helmets, with plans to release their results in April.

 

International

A Vancouver writer makes the case for diversity in the urbanist world, suggesting that if everyone you see on a bike or in a planning session looks like you, there’s a problem.

Just in time for Valentines Day, a bike-riding English couple have been married for 64 years, after meeting at their local bike club in 1953.

London officials call for tightly regulating and licensing dockless bikeshare systems.

A new survey from a British tire company claims bus drivers are the safest drivers on the road, and bicyclists and van drivers the most infuriating. Something tells me I’d like to see their methodology.

Nice piece from Patrick Brady, as he searches for serenity on a bike tour of Buddhist temples in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

You haven’t made it until you’ve had the honor of being blocked on Twitter by Chris Froome.

Once again, mountain bikers race through the hills, alleys and yes, stairways of Italy’s Valparaiso Cerro Abajo.

 

Finally…

What to ride when you need to carry craft beer kegs and a dog or two on your cargo bike. Be on the lookout for Sasquatch if you ride around Lake Arrowhead.

And if you really want to be safe, mount this turn-signal equipped seat bag sideways so the arrow points up at your butt.

Maybe then drivers will actually see you.

 

Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

………

In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

………

Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

………

‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

………

It’s Day 14 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

………

Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

………

On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

Morning Links: 6th Street meeting draws complaints, hit-and-run BOLO alert, and bike to the World Series

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on Saturday’s neighborhood meeting to discuss much-needed safety improvements on 6th Street.

Despite the unanimous support of the local neighborhood council, as well as other area councils and groups, Ryu appears to be dismissing calls for a 6th Street road diet to improve safety.

Instead, he has come back with his own plan, which would remove parking and add one or more left turn bays. Which would only increase the speeding local residents blame for the numerous crashes and multiple deaths on what should be a relatively quiet commuter street.

The people I’ve heard from have described the meeting as a waste of time, saying Ryu’s staffers seemed angry and tried to steer people towards his plan, rather than listening to area residents, as the councilmember has promised to do.

It’s hard to imagine Ryu approving any road diet after the disaster in Playa del Rey, on 6th Street or anywhere else.

But it’s also hard to imagine Vision Zero succeeding if he won’t listen to the concerns of the people in his district, and take concrete steps to improve safety for everyone.

………

The LAPD has sent out an alert to be on the lookout for a hit-and-run driver who severely injured a man riding his bicycle on Victory Blvd near Van Alden earlier this month.

………

Yes, you can ride your bike to the World Series at Dodger Stadium.

Just don’t expect a bike valet when you get there.

………

Adding insult to injury, Belgian pro cyclist Jan Bakelants was lifted to safety after tumbling over a guard rail and failing into a ditch during the Il Lombardia race earlier this month. Only to be run over by a race moped after they laid him down on the roadway.

Twenty-year old French cyclist Mathieu Riebel was killed in a head-on collision with an ambulance while competing in the Tour of New Caledonia last Friday.

Columbian Tour de France contender Rigoberto Uran says forget fame, he just loves racing his bike.

Cycling Tips looks at the whys behind China’s new WorldTour race, and what the future holds for the event.

Researchers try to quantify what it means to suffer while racing a bike.

………

Local

The LAPD has arrested a woman suspected of being the bike-riding North Hollywood arsonist.

LA’s Bahati Foundation, founded by former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati, is raffling a Raleigh ebike worth $3,199. And no, a raffle is not the same as an auction.

The semi-regular Draft Meetup is back at Pure Cycles this Thursday, offering bike talk combined with free food and beer.

Pasadena’s Metro bikeshare has seen nearly 14,000 rides since it opened in July.

West Covina is holding a meeting tomorrow to unveil their draft Active Transportation Master Plan. Although they might have better luck if they rescheduled for a night that didn’t conflict with the World Series.

No surprise here. The parents of 13-year old Ciara Smith have filed a lawsuit against Metro, as well as the bus driver, Los Angeles County and Caltrans, after she was killed by a bus as she rode her bike along PCH in Redondo Beach last May.

 

State

The man charged with stabbing two people as they looked for a stolen bicycle in Coachella is still being held without bail, and will undergo a psych evaluation.

San Francisco Streetsblog calls for a strong statewide law prohibiting drivers from harassing bicyclists. As the story notes, Los Angeles has an anti-harassment ordinance that allows riders to sue in civil court, but it has proven to be difficult to use. And it’s no use if the incident occurs outside the city limits.

Danville police are looking for what may be a single hit-and-run driver who crashed into three bike riders in two separate incidents on the same road 40 minutes apart.

Napa is planning to widen the main road leading into town, but only intends to place a bike lane in one direction; the city says they need to wait until a bike and pedestrian bridge is built to accommodate riders, even though plans for the bridge haven’t even come up for a vote yet.

 

National

Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the four US soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger, was famed for his BMX stunts.

Restock your bunker, and gird yourself for the coming bikeshare wars.

Bicycling tells you how to make a left turn.

Another candidate for the parent of the year award. A Montana woman could soon be staying at the same detention center where she works, after she intentionally chased down and ran over her boyfriend as he tried to escape on his bicycle after a fight, with her four young kids in the car watching the whole thing.

An 83-year old Michigan driver will avoid jail time in the death of one bike rider and injuring another, after he was sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service and forbidden to ever drive again. Once again raising the issue of how to get older people off the road after they’ve lost the ability to drive safely. And before they kill someone.

A state senator says a pair of New York bikes lanes are continuing to cause crashes. After all, it couldn’t be the fault of careless or distracted drivers who can’t manage to follow the lines on the street banging their cars together.

A health columnist for the New York Times says riding a bike without a properly fitted helmet is stupid.

New York’s Prospect Park is going permanently carfree next year. I’d like to say maybe there’s hope for LA’s Griffith Park, but that would imply that Los Angeles would finally coming to grips with its automotive addiction, which doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

Baltimore police are investigating a series of attacks by groups of teens who swarm bicyclists and steal their bikes.

 

International

A Montreal cop is on trial for fatally backing over a bike rider when he tried to stop the victim for riding the wrong way on a one-way street.

The BBC talks with LA’s own Phil Gaimon about his new book Draft Animals.

A British bicyclist suffered a massive hematoma on his hip after being knocked off his bike by a road raging driver. Actually, his hip looks pretty much like mine did following my run-in with the beachfront bike path bees.

The governor of a Nigerian state has ordered truck drivers who break traffic laws to see a shrink if they cause a crash. Maybe we could offer that here instead of traffic school.

Nothing crazy about a first-time unicyclist pledging to ride across New Zealand’s largest farm to raise funds for mental health issues.

Singapore is planning to fight congestion and smog by capping the number of vehicles on its streets. A solution that makes so much sense that we can rest assured it will never be tried here. Thanks to Mike Wilkinson for the heads-up.

A crowdfunding campaign is attempting to raise nearly $4,000 to send the body of a world travelling bike rider back home to China after he was killed in an Argentine car crash. Thanks to The Bicycle Wars for the link.

Nothing like a little North Korean propaganda to start your day, revealing that women “is forbidden to ride a Bicycle” because a “skirt should always cover the knees, and wear pants ladies is impossible.” Though you’d think a piece authored by someone named Bill Cooke would demonstrate a somewhat better grasp of the English language.

 

Finally…

Just because you’re undead doesn’t mean you can’t ride a bike — or get attacked by a drunk tourist. You too can have your very own 3D-printed Slovakian e-mountain bike for the low, low price of just $24,000.

And this is why Kardashians shouldn’t bike after drinking.

 

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