Tag Archive for Del Rey

LA pulls plug hours after approving Del Rey Slow Streets, San Diego shows how it’s done, and proof bikes mean business

My apologies if you got a premature draft of today’s post. Evidently, I somehow inadvertently posted this while I was still working on it.

Either that, or I’ve got a bad case of cyber gremlins. 

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In a dramatic reversal, Los Angeles approved plans to install the city’s first Slow Streets on several streets in the Del Rey neighborhood, which would have allowed people to get out to walk or bike while maintaining a safe social distance.

Then the city changed its mind, pulling the approval just hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

Never mind that any delay defeats the entire purpose of the program, which is intended to help people get out now for fresh air and exercise when they need it most to maintain their mental and physical health.

But even if it hadn’t been cancelled, this is exactly what’s wrong with Los Angeles.

One small area would have gotten desperately needed slow streets to allow for social distancing. But only because one neighborhood council asked for them, and one councilmember cared enough to — almost — get it done.

We need citywide leadership in a time of crisis, not 15 fiefdoms with widely varying commitments to safer streets.

As in, none at all in some cases.

Let’s hope LA city leaders get their figurative heads out of their collective asses, and start giving Angelenos safe places to get outside and move around, like the World Health Organization calls for.

Not in one small neighborhood, but in all of them.

And if it sounds like I’m pissed off, that’s only because I am.

Especially after Portland committed to 100 miles of slow streets.

Meanwhile, BIKAS — Bicycle Infrastructure Knowledge Activism and Safety — calls for an email campaign to demand quick-build safety improvements on LA’s Fourth Street during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And Streetsblog say LA’s new program to accelerate repaving during the coronavirus slowdown is ignoring the city’s previously approved Mobility Plan.

Photo by Athena from Pexels.

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San Diego continues to show LA how it’s done, closing part of four streets to motor vehicles to provide space to walk or bike while maintaining social distancing.

Meanwhile, San Diego County has reopened the SR-56 commuter bikeway between Solana Beach and Rancho Bernardo to pedestrians and bike riders.

As Robert Leone points out, it’s true that the pathway gets a lot of recreational use. But no one is stopping drivers to ask if their trips are necessary.

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Yet another study shows that bikes are good for business.

Researchers from Portland State University studied fourteen economic corridors in six cities with and without bike lanes.

And discovered that most businesses saw improvements in sales and employment as a result of bike lanes, with restaurants showing the greatest growth.

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PeopleForBikes is hosting a virtual Draft Meetup for San Diego-area bike riders this evening; you can RSVP here.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

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When you absolutely, positively have to pass the person on the bike, road dividers be damned.

Note: I missed the date on this before posting it. Not the date of the tweet, but the May 14, 2015 on the video itself. So either the bicyclist didn’t set the date properly, or I need to apologize for posting a five year old video. Thanks to Aurelio Jose Barrera for the catch.

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Phillip Young forwards a full-length film about the glory days of Detroit’s Wolverine Sports Club, dedicated, as their site says, to promoting cycling, speedskating and cross-country skiing at all levels.

And no, I haven’t had a chance to see it myself yet, so let us know what you think.

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

Police in the UK are looking for the motorcycle-riding schmuck who pushed a bicyclist off his bike for no apparent reason.

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

An Alabama man with an outstanding warrant for domestic abuse faces additional charges after leading police on a slow speed bike pursuit.

An “extremely intoxicated” Florida man faces multiple charges for attacking his former roommates while demanding to know where his bicycle was.

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Local

The LA County Sheriff’s Department says even though we’re all under safer at home orders, May is still Bicycle and Motorcycle Safety Month.

According to a new plan, LA County beaches could reopen on the 18th, but the beach bike path will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Good idea. An LA Times op-ed calls for turning streets in front of restaurants into expanded seating areas, allowing them to reopen while maintaining social distancing.

The owners of Pure Cycles have sold the Burbank-based bikemaker to Florida bicycle distributor J&B Importers; however, founders Michael Fishman and Jordan Schau will continue to operate it as a standalone company.

Against all evidence, Pasadena somehow decides yellow “traffic calming’ signs will get drivers to take their foot off the gas pedal, while a Pasadena writer explains why red lights don’t prioritize people and still make you push a button to cross. Hint: Older red lights are hard to reprogram, and cars matter more than people in the Rose City.

Lime has pulled up stakes and ridden their scooters out of Santa Monica for the last time.

After Ocean Drive was flooded with people exercising when the beachfront Strand pathway was closed, Manhattan Beach residents call for banning bikes and skateboards, and restricting it to residents only. Which is only slightly illegal, since bikes are legally allowed on any street cars are allowed on. 

Coldplay’s Chris Martin is one of us, as he goes for a mountain bike ride through the ‘Bu, while Ryan Phillppe rides his mountain bike in LA.

Prodigal Son actress Bellamy Young is one of us now, after she had two weeks to learn how to ride a racing bike for a part on Criminal Minds. And had to film the scene with a chipped a tooth from grinding her teeth out of fear of falling off.

 

State

Once again, the CHP accuses a bike rider of a SWSS,* insisting the victim swerved in front of a Fresno County driver and suffered “moderate to major” injuries. *For the uninitiated, SWSS refers to a single witness suicide swerve, which is a bike meme referring to the fact that bike riders usually get blamed for riding in front of drivers in the absence of independent witnesses, when it’s often the driver who doesn’t hold his or her lane.

Palo Alto transportation planners say we need to plan for more bicycling and walking after the pandemic, expecting both to be in greater demand.

Great idea. A UC Berkeley grad student is analyzing San Francisco blocked bike reports to determine where protected bike lanes should be installed.

A Stockton man was busted for violating his probation by towing a rifle hidden in a guitar case on his bike trailer.

 

National

Gear Patrol complains that Canyon’s new roadie ebike isn’t available in the US; service isn’t available here for the bike’s Fazua motor. They kinda like Rapha’s new lightweight summer jersey, too.

Pink Bike rates riding glasses. My personal recommendation remains giving San Diego’s Sport RX a call, and let them fix you up with prescription bike glasses, including progressive lenses.

A local website asks whether Denver has what it takes to be a great bike city.

Burglars stole over $35,000 worth of bicycles from a Colorado bike shop.

Chicago finally gets around to repainting faded bike lanes, six months too late to save the life of a bike-riding woman.

Michigan bike shops reopened Tuesday after the governor lifted the state’s strict coronavirus lockdown.

A kindhearted Niagara Falls nurse bought a 12-year old boy a new bike after reading about his stolen bike on Facebook.

A Brooklyn thief faces charges for punching a man in the face to steal his bicycle, then attacking him with it.

A writer for Forbes says ebikes are cooler than you think, praising a chunky looking 30 mph bike from a Boston startup. Even though the article says it’s suited for bike lanes, its speed makes it illegal to ride in one in many states, including California. And you’ll need a helmet and a driver’s license.

DC bike riders stage a rolling protest with a musical soundtrack to highlight inequality exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

A North Carolina high school principal is honoring her school’s graduating seniors by riding her bike around the campus ten times every day this week.

Take a virtual bike ride through the streets of Atlanta, without the inconvenience of actually going there.

Atlanta is getting serious about Vision Zero, cutting speed limits on most city streets to 25 mph.

 

International

Road.cc recounts ten brilliant inventions that changed the bicycle forever, including, yes, pedals.

Cyclist has advice on how to buy a gravel bike.

Regina, Saskatchewan city leaders overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to require bike helmets for all riders, instead opting for an education program to make them less needed.

An Ontario man set a new world record by riding 626 miles in 24 hours on his Zwift stationary bike.

The BBC questions whether we’re witnessing the death of the car, as cities around the world hope to keep many motor vehicles off the road long after the lockdowns end. Except in Los Angeles, of course, where city leaders seem committed to doing nothing.

Apparently, Los Angeles drivers aren’t the only ones taking advantage of empty streets by gluing their feet to the gas pedal. London has seen an eight fold increase in speeding compared to this time last year.

No bias here. A London writer describes bicyclists as irritating little wasps that you can’t run down without fear of maiming one, yet gives riding a try anyway, on an ebike the size of a small motorcycle. However, most of the article is hidden behind the damn paywall.

It’s two years behind bars for a pair of bike thieves who targeted workers at a Nottingham, England medical center.

The British tabloids clearly have celebrity chef and reality TV star Gordon Ramsey in their sights, accusing him of running a red light and nearly causing a crash on his latest ride from his Welsh home.

A Belgian bike path across a huge pond creates the illusion of riding through water.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 79-year old Dutch man chased down a bike thief on his ebike — with a passenger on the back.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite being rescheduled for August, the Tour de France is once again in jeopardy after the French prime minister extends a ban on sporting events through September. Am I the only one who says just pull the plug on 2020 and try again next year?

The Vuelta has nixed its planned Dutch start, and will cut back to just 18 stages this year. Assuming the race happens at all, of course.

The cancellation of the pro tour has put a crimp in anti-doping labs and testing. Not that anyone would take advantage of that, of course.

VeloNews talks with women’s cyclist Kasia Niewiadoma and recently retired cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who got stuck in Girona, Spain while on a bikepacking trip after the pro tours were cancelled.

Kiwi cyclist Ella Harris is spending her lockdown time baking bread and working on her degree in food marketing.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t ride your bike past a store and spit on the window — let alone five times. Yes, you’ll probably want a seat on your bike for long distance rides.

And watch out for gators on the bike path.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already. 

More Covid-19 bike news, you can’t carry heavy things on a bike, and Del Rey gets its very own Great Street

Today’s Covid-19 news comes from New York, where commuters wary of possible germ-infested subways are taking to bicycling, many for the first time.

Meanwhile, the city’s mayor and failed presidential candidate swears he was only joking when he said he wouldn’t follow his own advice to bike to work to avoid the new coronavirus because his bike skills need work.

And an op-ed says New York has to make the streets safer to make bicycling safer.

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As everyone knows, you can’t carry heavy loads on a bicycle.

I said, you can’t…oh, never mind.

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CiclaValley goes gravel grinding in the Verdugos and Cherry Canyon with Gravel Bike California.

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A London bike rider stresses the importance of keeping a close eye on everyone on the road.

And misses the pothole that took him down.

Something I can relate to, after once noting the location of every vehicle at an intersection before leaning into a perfect high-speed right turn. Yet somehow failing to spot the puddle directly in front of my wheel.

Then almost miraculously skidding across eight lanes of busy traffic without getting run over, and smashing into the curb on the far side.

I was lucky to get up with just a broken elbow, road rash from head to heel, and my shredded spandex shorts literally hanging a thread from indecent exposure.

Good times.

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A speeding British driver loses control on a slick roadway, barely missing a bike rider before flying off the road.

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Local

Centinela Ave in LA’s Del Rey neighborhood is now the second street in Councilmember Mike Bonin’s 11th Council District to receive a Great Streets designation. Hopefully this one won’t bring out the NIMBYs for another years-long fight like the one on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

KCET presents seven places where you can discover the LA River, much of which is accessible by bike. And all of which should be by 2028, when the LA River bike path is scheduled to finally be completed.

Hoodline uses Yelp reviews to list the four highest-rated budget-friendly bike shops in Los Angeles, including Mar Vista bike co-op Bikerowave.

Pasadena’s Over Town Brewing Co. will celebrate their first anniversary by joining with the SGV Foothill Flyers Vintage Bicycle Club to host a Vintage Bike Show and Swap Meet on Sunday.

Friday the 13th could be unlucky for scofflaw bike riders, pedestrians and motorists in Santa Monica, where police will conduct bike and pedestrians traffic enforcement safety operations throughout the remainder of the month, starting tomorrow. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets a ticket.

 

State

The owner of Fullerton Bicycles and Buena Park Bicycles is buying the ebike shop next to the Fullerton store to expand their electric offerings.

Coronado’s popular My Bike kinetic sculpture is getting a tune-up.

Family members have identified the Bakersfield father who was killed in a collision with a sleeping motorcyclist while he was riding on the sidewalk; a crowdfunding campaign has raised just $900 of the $5,000 goal. Something is seriously wrong when people have to raise money from strangers just to bury innocent victims of traffic violence. And how the hell do you fall asleep riding a motorcycle?

The 2020 Bicycle Leadership Conference sponsored by PeopleForBikes, usually held in conjunction with the now-postponed Sea Otter Classic, has been rescheduled for October.

Palo Alto authorities have identified the 11-year old boy who was killed by the driver of a flat bed truck while crossing the street on his bike last Friday; his parents tell drivers to slow down for kids. Seriously, when we will decide that too many of our children have been senselessly killed on our streets — and finally do something about it?

A Modesto couple is credited with saving a man’s life after he suffered multiple seizures while riding a bike.

 

National

Curbed is turning the panel discussion that was planned for the now-cancelled SXSW into a virtual discussion at 9:30 am PDT tomorrow.

A pair of writers for Urology Times, which most men rush to read every month, says the health benefits of bicycling outweigh the risks, but while bike riding doesn’t cause erectile dysfunction, men should get a professional bike fit to lower the risk of urethral strictures, genital numbness and saddle sores.

Must be nice. All the Portland city council candidates agreed on the city’s transportation issues at a recent forum, including opposition to widening a freeway, and supporting more and better sidewalks and bikeways.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike a 61-year old Wisconsin man with cerebral palsy used as his only form of transportation. Even if an anonymous Good Samaritan replaced it with a new one the next day.

DC will try out experimental advisory bike lanes on streets too narrow for bike lanes without removing parking, by striping bike lanes on both sides with just one narrow center lane for drivers, but allowing drivers to merge into the bike lanes to pass cars coming in the opposite direction.

After Maryland officials rejected a proposal to put a bike lane on a new bridge across the Potomac, bike advocates responded with a plea to save the old one and turn it into a bike and pedestrian bridge.

A Florida driver got a well-deserved eight-years behind bars, plus another seven years probation, for the hit-and-run, distracted driving deaths of two women riding their bikes. The bad news is, he’ll get his driver’s license back three years after he gets out.

 

International

A new study published in the prestigious BMJ medical journal says yes, bike commuting is riskier than other forms of transportation, but the health benefits outweigh the risk.

US News & World Report — yes, it still exists — says carfree streets around the world help combat loneliness by providing spaces where strangers can mingle.

The London detective responsible for traffic safety says video evidence is “almost the biggest single agenda item” to improve safety on the streets. Except it still can’t be used in California, and much of the US, for enforcing traffic violations and misdemeanor crimes.

Residents of an English village pitched in to replace an 11-year old boy’s new mountain bike after it was stolen from his school.

Yes, it can be done. A British man quit his job of 20 years, sold his house, bought a bike and set out to travel the world.

 

Competitive Cycling

Outside profiles 58-year old mountain biking legend Tinker Juarez, who has been riding for 45 years of his life and still beats competitors half his age.

The Paris-Nice bike race goes on, with a forth stage individual time trial. Enjoy it while you can; this is likely to be one of the last professional races we’ll see this year.

 

Finally

Riding a bike across the US isn’t that unusual anymore; doing it while dying of stage-four cancer is. When you get sued by the driver who hit you, take your case to the People’s Court.

And riding a bike to avoid coming down with something may not be a new idea, after all.

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