Tag Archive for Donald Shoup

Morning Links: Cars killing progress on CA climate goals, Flax debunks call for helmet laws, and what a bike thief looks like

As things stand now, California is likely to miss its climate goals.

By a century.

That’s according to a report from MIT Technology Review, which says that despite significant reductions in the energy sector, the state is making little or no progress in other areas.

They point the finger at rising auto emissions, as car ownership climbs while transit use declines.

Transportation emissions, the state’s largest source, have steadily risen since 2013, as the improving economy put more cars on the road and planes in the sky. Emissions from waste dumped into landfills have also been ticking up since the recovery took hold. Meanwhile, highly potent greenhouse gases from the aerosols, foams, and solvents used in refrigeration and air conditioning are rising sharply…

At the same time, overall car ownership rates are rising, public-transit use is falling, and consumers are still shifting toward gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. And the 92% of vehicles sold last year that weren’t EVs will, on average, still be on the roads more than a decade from now.

Accelerating the shift to cleaner vehicles is likely to require far stricter policies, far more generous subsidies, cheaper EVs, and a massive build-out of charging infrastructure. And even California’s efforts to boost the average fuel efficiency of cars sold in the state have been complicated by the Trump administration’s legal challenges.

And while San Francisco and San Diego have been making progress in building out bicycle networks to entice people out of their cars, it’s ground to a near halt in the state’s largest city.

Yes Los Angeles, we’re talking about you.

Maybe one day, the so-called progressives, environmentalists and other assorted climate activists at city hall will stop talking about the problem, and actually do something.

But sadly, that day is not today.

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Bike scribe Peter Flax is up to his old tricks.

If you can call insightful writing and consistently hitting the nail on the head a trick.

Writing for Bicycling, Flax examines the extremely flawed recommendations from NTBS — the National Transportation Safety Board, which usually concerns itself with plane and train crashes — to reduce the climbing rate of bicycle deaths.

Starting, and nearly ending, with bike helmets and high viz.

And yet the top-line proposals from the NTSB largely shifted responsibility to solve this deadly crisis onto cyclists themselves. Two of the three key recommendations focused on the need for riders to wear helmets and be more conspicuous. (The third was about improving road design, which is awesome because poor cycling infrastructure is an actual cause of cycling fatalities.)

He goes on to sum up exactly what the agency failed to address that’s actually killing people on bicycles, in one brilliant paragraph.

Now let’s talk about all the important stuff that the NTSB report passed over to focus on helmets and high vis and scold renegade riders. Like the problem of distracted driving—where four in 10 motorists admit using social media (and one in 10 say they watch YouTube videos) on their phone when they’re on the road. Or the nation’s pernicious problem with speed limit violations, a widely tolerated illegal behavior that is a known killer. They could urge the auto industry and tech sectors to work together to solve these entirely fixable problems. They could ask out loud how or why many states still don’t have 3-foot safe-passing laws or regulations banning handheld phone use, and how or why these laws are rarely enforced in those that do. They could demand that American trucks and passenger cars match the far superior standards set in Europe and Japan to keep vulnerable road users safe—why don’t our garbage and box trucks have side guards to protect pedestrians and cyclists from the wheels, for instance? They could address an epidemic of fatal hit-and-run crashes and the shifting complexion of impaired driving and America’s love affair with 5,000-pound SUVs. Rather than scold naughty cyclists, agency researchers could have examined the carnage caused by negligent and reckless motorists—and offered commentary on what to do about it.

It’s today’s must read.

So go ahead and click the link. We’ll wait.

Meanwhile, here’s the full two hours and forty-eight minutes of the woefully misguided NTSB meeting.

Thanks to Mike Cane for forwarding the video.

Photo of the ghost bike for the still unidentified Hollywood hit-and-run victim by Healthy Activest via Instagram.

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This is what it looks like when someone steals a bike from a San Marcos CA garage.

Hopefully, that video shows enough of his face to bring the jerk to justice.

Meanwhile, after a Georgia woman chased down the thief stealing her bike and demanded it back, the bighearted victim is offering to give him a bike to help him get a fresh start.

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This is what a passenger-side dooring looks like. Toronto bike riders are justifiably outraged.

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We’ve mentioned Malaysia’s basikal lajaks several times in the past two years, ever since eight riders of the modified bikes were killed when a driver plowed into them.

This response to my tweet shows exactly what the bikes are, and how they’re ridden.

A website calls them a menace to society, but the nation’s sports minister says the riders can be redeemed and represent the county in international competitions with the proper training.

Thanks to kirin for the heads-up.

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The Los Angeles Handmade Bicycle Show takes place tomorrow…somewhere.

Maybe LA bikewear maker Swrve knows, since they plan to be there.

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

A New York man faces two counts of reckless endangerment for killing a 67-year old woman when he ran a red-light on his bicycle, and slammed into her as she walked in a crosswalk with the light; he faces charges from the same DA who routinely lets drivers off the hook. This is wrong in so many ways. So just…don’t.

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Local

Streetsblog talks with Michael Schneider, the founder of Streets for All, LA’s first, and only, political action group, aka PAC, dedicated to changing city hall to change the city’s streets; the group is meeting in Hollywood next Saturday to discuss pedestrianizing Hollywood Blvd.

KCBS-2 reports nearly a third of the Metro Bike bikeshare bikes get stolen or stripped for parts.

A USC op-ed says students should be discouraged from driving to campus. Or looking at it another way, the school should do more to encourage students to bike or walk to class.

Beverly Hills received a $90,000 traffic enforcement grant from the state, which will allow them to do bike and pedestrian safety crackdowns, among other things. Even if their police department doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being bike and pedestrian friendly.

 

State

The California Transportation Commission is holding a workshop in Sacramento this Tuesday to kickoff discussion of the 2021 Active Transportation Program. Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

Call it a good time for a good cause. San Diego’s annual 20-mile Bike for Boobs bike ride and dinner takes place tomorrow to raise funds for a local charity to help women experiencing financial difficulties due to breast cancer.

The Coachella Valley Bicycle Coalition held a ghost bike memorial for Raymundo “Ray-Ray” Jaime; sadly, the 30-year old hit-and-run victim left behind his wife and four-year old daughter, who will now grow up without a father.

Thousands Oaks has opened an expansion to the city’s bike park.

Santa Cruz has identified the bike rider who died after riding off a cliff as the owner of a Salinas bike shop.

This is who we share the roads with. Just hours after a Modesto man got out of jail on a DUI conviction for driving while stoned, he got drunk and drove again, killing a bike rider while driving with a BAC nearly two and a half times the legal limit; his trial was delayed five years when he was institutionalized for mental illness.

Lyft is returning their bikeshare ebikes to the streets of San Francisco; hopefully they won’t burst into flames this time. However, you won’t see them in London anytime soon.

 

National

An Omaha bike rider says bicyclists should have to pay the same fees drivers do and have to have a license to ride just like drivers do, saying he knows other cities require that. No, they don’t. I’m not aware of any city in the US that tests and licenses people on bicycles. Never mind that bike riders already pay more than our share.

Chicago bicyclists respond to the death of a woman killed by a dump truck driver by protesting along the bike lane she was riding in.

Now that’s more like it. Instead of warning bike riders when cars get too close, researchers at the University of Minnesota designed a system to warn drivers when they get too close to someone on a bike. Seriously, take my money, already.

A Minnesota advocate refutes common objections to riding a bicycle, calling it carbon-free transportation using the original two-stroke engine. 

An Indiana cycling club shows that yes, it is possible for a riding club to get involved in advocacy and help teach people how to drive around bicyclists. Just in case any LA-area clubs want to give it a shot. Thanks to Melissa for the link. 

Bicycle Retailer dives into the history of Ross Bicycles, calling it the Schwinn of New York.

Kindhearted New Jersey residents passed the hat to buy a new bike for a teenage boy after his was stolen.

New York’s non-helmet wearing mayor and failed presidential candidate is seriously considering making everyone else wear one.

Al Pacino is one of us; he worked as a bike messenger to support his sick mother before finding success on stage, then film. And yes, he still rides.

DC approves plans for a two-way, curb-protected bike lane even though it’s opposed by a neighborhood commission. And even though it means removing parking spaces.

As we noted before, New Orleans Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater is one of us. Even if he has to tweet for someone to drive his broken bike to the shop, because he refuses to get to his games any other way. Thanks to BikeLosFeliz for the link.

 

International

The co-founder of Lumos Helmet discusses how they’re creating what they consider the next generation of bike helmets to help bicyclists feel safer.

Once again, the Mounties got their man, busting an 18-year old man for being a bike-riding serial butt slapper.

Twenty-five Montreal bike riders will be allowed to ride a bike path across an otherwise closed bridge to try out various snow clearing methods, as long as they wear a special vest and sign a waiver.

London’s Daily Mail suggests giving your child a bike for Christmas, saying you never forget your first bike. Good advice, even if it is an ad for a British retailer.

A British military vet who lost three limbs in Afghanistan was lucky to survive when he had a blowout on his handcycle and slammed into a truck at 25 mph, shattering what’s left of his right leg.

A Belgian city has managed to cut car motor vehicle traffic by 12% at rush hour, and 40% on key bicycling routes — resulting in a 25% jump in bicycling rates.

Here’s one for my own bike bucket list — a beer hall bike tour along Germany’s Danube River.

 

Finally…

Your next Harley Davidson could have pedals. Forget the family SUV, your new kid hauler could have three wheels with child seats up front.

And UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup gets animated.

No, literally.

 

Valley cyclist’s leg run over by road raging driver; check out Sweet Ride USA and UCLA Bicycle Academy

Let’s catch up on a couple items I haven’t had a chance to mention this week. As well as  frightening news from this week’s commute.

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I’ve just gotten word of a violent road rage attack against a cyclist in the Valley Wednesday night.

Road rage driver

The car’s license plate has been blurred to avoid interfering with the investigation

I’ll let the victim, John, tell his story; I’m withholding his last name to protect his privacy and help prevent possible retaliation.

I left my work on Owensmouth in Chatsworth around 5:20 pm Wednesday, riding north towards Lassen. It’s two lanes there; I take up the right lane, since there’s no room and the street is messed up on the shoulder.

A white car passed me very close and very fast. He had to almost immediately slam on his brakes because there were 10 stopped cars in both lanes in front of him. I passed him while he was stopped, then as traffic started moving I was now in front of him again. He started laying on his horn and yelling for me to get out of the road, so I stopped in front of him and asked him what his issue was.

He told me bikes can’t be in the road and I needed to be on the sidewalk. We argued back and forth, then he said he would call the police if I didn’t get out of his way.  I told him to please call the police. He then threatened to come move me himself, so I said go ahead (I’m 6’5” and 300 pounds).

After that, he got back in his car and honked awhile longer. I was trying to explain to him my rights as a cyclist but he would not listen to me. He then drove slowly forward, making contact and slightly pushing my bike. I yelled at him, then he just nailed the gas. He knocked me to the ground and ran over my bike and right leg, then had to stop because there were two cars in front of him at the light.

As I got up, he got out of his car and told me that I am an asshole and I’m the reason people hate cyclists. I took the pic of him and his car about that time.

2013-09-04 18.15.14He then got back in his car, made a left on Lassen and drove off.  I tried to get witnesses from the over 20 people there, but only got two to stop. Then I called 911. My leg looked like I had 2 tennis balls under my skin on my mid and lower shin, as well as a few cuts and both chain and tire marks; after a minute or two it was hard to walk.

They took me to Northridge Hospital. There is a possible fracture of one of the bones in my foot and crush injuries to my leg. I need to see another doctor in a couple days when the swelling goes down, but meanwhile, I can’t really walk because it hurts to put any pressure on my leg. The reporting officer said he went to the guy’s address but he was not answering the door and it appeared his car was in the garage.  Now I guess the case is in limbo between that officer and the detectives.

Hopefully, John will be okay. And hopefully, the police will take this case seriously and get a dangerous driver — one willing to use his car as a weapon — off the streets.

And that’s exactly what the charge should be, assault with a deadly weapon. It doesn’t matter that they were arguing before the impact, any more than it would matter if two men were arguing outside a bar when one took out a gun and shot the other.

But as this case clearly shows, it’s almost always a mistake to stop and argue with an angry driver, no matter how wrong or how much of a jerk he or she may be. Let alone stop in front of them.

I learned that lesson myself. The hard way.

Your best move is to get out of the way, and photograph — or better yet, video — the driver’s actions, and get the names and numbers of any witnesses.

Then let the police deal with it.

On the other hand, this could also be a good test case for LA’s bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance.

Correction: I originally wrote that this incident occurred on Thursday; it actually took place on Wednesday.

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A few months back, I ran into a guy with a brilliant idea for a web-based video series.

Steve Isaacs told me about Sweet Ride USA, devoted to exploring the sweet side of life by bike.

If you ask me, the only thing that goes better with bikes than dessert is beer. And it’s a lot easier to ride home after a few pastries than it is a handful of beers.

He promised to send me more details. And then… nothing.

At least, until I went online the other day to dig through my email server’s spam filter looking for another message that didn’t get through. And found the one he’d sent me over two months earlier.

Sorry about that, Steve.

For the last few months I’ve been developing a new web series called Sweet Ride USA, about exploring a city by bicycle with friends, seeking out delicious desserts and ultimately burning off every calorie we consume on the ride. It’s a homemade effort, all done with a partner and a bunch of friends donating their time & talent, and we just launched our first episode!

WATCH EPISODE 1 http://bit.ly/srusaep1

The bike culture and its people have been very good to me, and I wanted create a show that would bring viewers into the unique thrill of checking out a city on two wheels and use the sampling of desserts as a universal hook, for the non-biking folks.

The long view for the show is to eventually travel the world and find out what their bike cultures have to teach us… while eating their donuts.

I’d love it if you’d check out the show – http://bit.ly/srusaep1 and if you like it – please subscribe, follow, like or share with your audience.

Steve Isaacs
Facebook Twitter
Check out our Teaser Trailer
http://bit.ly/srusateaser
Subscribe to the Sweet Ride USA YouTube Channel
http://youtube.com/sweetrideusa

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Former LACBC board member, and UCLA and Cambridge lecturer Dr. Michael Cahn writes about the revival of an erstwhile bike group on the Westwood campus.

There used to be a little group called UCLA Bicycle Academy. We had a blog http://www.bicycleacademy.blogspot.com/ and a monthly lunch appointment, the first Friday every month.

This Friday, 6 September, we will resume this little routine. Donald “High-Price-of-Free-Parking” Shoup is joining us for a little update about campus developments and opportunities.  Do join us for a good start to the new term!  We meet at Lu Valle Commons on Friday 6 September at 12 noon.

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Finally, Mark Goodley forwards a photo of the Ghost Bike for Debra Deem, killed in a collision while riding in Newport Beach last week.

Beautiful. And just too sad for words.

We can all look forward to the day when the last bike rider killed on our streets is the last bike rider killed on our streets.

Photo by Mark Goodley

Photo by Mark Goodley

More songs about buildings and bikes: A panel discussion with David Byrne

Byrne-BugI’m not easily impressed.

Especially not when it comes to celebrities.

Maybe it’s because I’ve met more than my share over the years. Then again, maybe that’s why I’ve met more than my share, whether through work, mutual friends, volunteer work or just everyday encounters. In other words, pretty much the way you’d meet anyone else.

And in my experience, the rich and famous are pretty much like anyone else. Except richer. And, uh, more famous.

So that’s exactly how I treat them — like I would anyone else. For the most part, they’ve seemed to appreciate that, though there have been some notable exceptions.

A few have impressed me, though. Like Stevie Ray Vaughan. Rev. Al Green. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. And Gov. John Connally, who was critically wounded in the Kennedy assassination.

I have a feeling David Byrne would be on that list if we ever happened to meet.

Not just because he was the lead singer of one of the most influential and impossible to imitate bands of the 80s. One of the few bands that didn’t sound like anyone else, before or since, and formed a large part of the soundtrack for my blissfully misspent youth.

But also for what he did during and after his tenure in the Talking Heads. Like collaborations that pushed the bounds of music, founding the Luaka Bop record label and promoting the work of musicians from around the world. Along with a simultaneous career as a world-class artist — including a series of New York bike racks designed to subtly capture a sense of the city.

Which is only appropriate, because he’s been riding his own bike throughout New York and around the world for over 30 years — leading to his own unique perspective on urban livability, including his take on our own humble city:

If a city doesn’t have sufficient density, as in L.A., then strange things happen. It’s human nature for us to look at one another— we’re social animals after all. But when the urban situation causes the distance between us to increase and our interactions to be less frequent we have to use novel means to attract attention: big hair, skimpy clothes and plastic surgery. We become walking billboards.

It’s also lead to Bicycle Diaries, his ironic and insightful observations of the world around him, as seen from behind the handlebars.

And next week, it will lead him to Los Angeles for a panel discussion “examining the bicycle’s role in transforming the urban experience” at the Aratani/Japan America Theatre in Little Tokyo on Friday, October 2.

Okay, so it’s not free. But the $25 admission — $20 for Library Associates — goes to support free cultural programs at the Central Library downtown.

Also on the panel will be Bicycle Kitchen co-founder Jimmy Lizama, UCLA urban planning professor Donald Shoup, and Michelle Mowery, Senior Bicycle Coordinator for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation — the people who introduced the term “currently infeasible” to the world of bike planning.

And if that doesn’t make for an interesting conversation, I don’t know what will.

Stop making sense, indeed.

Bicycle valet services will be provided by the LACBC. For more information or tickets, visit www.lfla.org/aloud/.

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Santa Monica’s Cynergy Cycles offers a free lecture on Cycling For Health & Performance Wednesday at 7p. Treehugger notes that it’s illegal to ride a bike in a swimming pool in Baldwin Park. The Cato Institute says D.C.’s new state-of-the-art bike station is just a $4 million bike rack. The Iowa Bicycle Coalition asks why drivers are seldom held accountable for hitting cyclists. The Biker Chicks ask how to avoid a right hook on a group ride. If you’re in Portland tomorrow, here’s your chance to ride naked in a Flaming Lips video. Evidently, Scottish truck drivers actually look out for cyclists. The UK’s Daily Mail complains about Lycra louts who never say thank you, while Cycling England says drivers should be held responsible for cycling accidents. Finally, Catholic Charities brings their message — and breakfast — to Portland’s bikeways; throw in absolution for any gestures I might make on the way, and I’m there.

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