Tag Archive for DTLA

Morning Links: LA boots Uber bikes & scooters, Sarah Kate Levy kickoff party, and at least DTLA getting bike lanes

In a showdown of Old West proportions, Los Angeles has given Uber until high noon to get out of town.

Okay, Friday.

That’s because the company has balked on sharing dockless scooter and bikeshare usage data as required in their contract with the city.

And that’s usage, not user, data, the latter of which is supposedly kept hidden.

However, that ultimatum does not include their ride hailing service.

So feel free to keep those Uber gas guzzlers guzzling next week.

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Bike and transit friendly Sarah Kate Levy is hosting a party to kick off the signature gathering phase of her campaign to unseat CD4 Councilmember David Ryu in Hollywood on this Saturday.

I’ll try to drop by to get my name on one, even if that means tearing my wife away from our so far unsuccessful search to replace the Corgi.

Because how can you replace an irreplaceable dog anyway?

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Downtown Los Angeles is moving forward with bike lanes, even as the rest of the city stagnates.

Maybe if we could clone CD14 Councilmember José Huizar, the rest of us might finally see some, too.

Or at least him to teach the other councilmembers how it’s done.

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Sometimes its the people on bikes behaving badly.

A prelim is under way for San Diego man accused of being the bike-riding serial killer who attacked a number of homeless people with knives and railroad spikes, and set two men on fire; he allegedly killed five people and injured ten more. Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough for someone capable of that.

A New York man was caught on video riding his bike onto a sidewalk, pulling out a gun and opening fire on a group of people in broad daylight; his intended victims can be glad he seems to be a bad shot.

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Local

A writer for Los Angeles Magazine questions whether eliminating parking minimums will be good for DTLA, and says it’s unlikely residents would see lower rents as a result.

Bike Mag profiles LA-based street artist turned mountain biker Caché.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is one of us, going for a Santa Monica bike ride with the former Governator; she’s been traveling the US by train and in Schwarzenegger’s Tesla.

This is who we share the roads with. An entire Long Beach family was tragically wiped out by a 20-year old drunk driver who failed to navigate a turn on Halloween, and ended up on the sidewalk they were trick or treating on.

 

State

An Encinitas bike rider politely points out that yes, there are more than 400 bike riders in the city.

A new controversy erupted when the husband of the mayor of Encinitas was rejected for board membership on the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, allegedly because he supports protected bike lanes, rather than vehicular cycling.

A San Diego woman suffered a compound leg fracture when she was hit by a driver while riding her bike in the city’s Mira Mesa neighborhood.

Apparently, it takes awhile for news to move south, as the San Diego Union-Tribune is just now catching up with the story that e-scooters aren’t as green as you might think; they’re only three months behind their own sister publication and the rest of the country.

A Bakersfield bike rider is in critical condition after yet another hit-and-run by yet another heartless California driver.

San Francisco bike riders fan out to document 259 drivers violating bike lanes in an eight hour period — one third of them on a single nine-block stretch of Valencia Street.

 

National

HuffPost says Democrats have a baffling blind spot when it comes to cars, wondering why the 2020 candidates won’t mention motor vehicles’ contribution to greenhouse gasses.

Now you, too, can be a real superhero when you ride your very own Captain Marvel Schwinn fixie.

A Washington letter writer calls for banning skateboards everywhere but skate parks. And probably wants to ban those, too.

Colorado leaders are discovering that when it comes to ebikes, resistance is futile.

Police in Missoula MT are carrying bike lights in their patrol cars so they can give bike riders without them a free set — and a ticket. We tried to get LAPD to do that for years, but with a warning instead of a ticket. But couldn’t find a deep enough pocket to pay for them. 

Wichita, Kansas considers adding a bike valet program for a new minor league ballpark currently under constriction. Which the Dodgers should have done years ago. And the Kings. And the Galaxy. And the LAFC. And the Lakers. And the Clippers. And the Rams. And the San Diego Chargers of Los Angeles…

Dallas considers reducing a dangerous six-lane virtual highway down to a four-lane boulevard as part of the city’s Complete Streets program. Hopefully they’ll get a little less backlash than Los Angeles officials did on the Venice Blvd road diet.

A Cleveland letter writer says there are good reasons why bicyclists might ride in a narrow roadway, rather than a nearby path.

A Boston paper says whoa, whoa, let’s not go too fast on installing bike lanes, despite arguments that they could be good for local businesses; right now, the city has a whopping 68 miles of bike lanes on its 880 miles of streets.

The New York Daily News applauds a new law requiring the city to update its street master plan every five years — and include an actual connected bike lane network.

 

International

Actor Henry Golding is one of us, at least on the big screen.

A London family is happy to get their bicycle built for three back after someone took it several weeks ago; a couple of local residents turned down a reward for finding it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old English great-grandfather now holds seven age-group world records, after adding two more to his portfolio.

A Guardian podcast considers why more and more pedestrians are getting killed on our streets, and whether Silicon Valley really has the answers.

A BBC TV series makes the case that bicycles are the most popular form of transportation on the planet. And the most efficient, too.

A new Irish bike light automatically adjust brightness to road conditions, senses nearby traffic to switch to flasher mode when cars are nearby, and records that data to crowdsource a map of cycling conditions.

If you build it, they will come. Paris saw a 54% jump in bicycling rates in just one year after investing in new bikeways and bikeshare.

When you’re a high-ranking Delhi official, and can’t drive because of the city’s even and odd traffic days, just ride your bicycle.

Authorities in Kuala Lumpur threatened to use a law intended to assure parents supervise their children to prosecute those whose kids are ride basikal lajak, bicycles illegally modified with no brakes and chopped handlebars that allow riders to take the “superman” position. Note to Malay Mail — removing the frame might make a bike just a tad difficult to ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says it may not be traditional road racing, but something new and interesting could rise from the ashes of the Amgen Tour of California.

 

Finally…

If you really want to sell your “well-established premium bike shop,” it might help to mention where it is. First there is a bike lane, then there is not bike lane, then there is.

And no, the middle of a sidewalk isn’t the right place to park your scooter. A bike lane isn’t, either.

 

Morning Links: Ex-Angeleno Maria Sipin honored, closing LA River bike path gap in DTLA, and no drop in solo LA drivers

Just a quick note before we start.

I’m planning to post again tomorrow, despite the call for websites to go dark in observance of the Global Climate Strike.

While I support the goals of the strike, I expect to take a couple days off next week to spend time with my brother once he arrives on his 4,000-plus mile tour of the western US.

I’ll also be observing my birthday on Tuesday, even though it’s going to be a sad one without the Corgi.

I just don’t want to risk going three or four days in a row without posting anything. So call me a scab, but I’ll be crossing the virtual picket lines tomorrow.

And if you want to give me something for my birthday, I’m registered with Don’t Get Your Ass Run Over On A Bike.

Seriously, ride carefully out there. I don’t want to have to write about you, or anyone else, unless it’s good news. 

Capisce?

Photo of Maria Sipin shamelessly stolen from Alice Awards website; see next item.

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Let’s start out today with a pair of my favorite ex-LA advocates.

Former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson sends word that former LACBC volunteer and current People for Mobility Justice board member Maria Sipin is being honored with the Emerging Leader Award at Oregon’s Alice Awards, presented by the Street Trust.

Here’s how they describe the awards.

The Alice Awards celebrate our transportation heroes who continue to fight for safe and convenient walking, biking, and transit.

And here’s what they had to say about Sipin.

Maria Sipin will receive the Emerging Leader award. She is a transportation planner at the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).  In addition to her work at ODOT, Maria works for the community via several venues, and she participates in The Street Trust’s Women Bike Program.

Maria is in her fifth year as a board member for the non-profit People for Mobility Justice based in Southern California and is a certified cycling trainer by the League of American Bicyclists.

Maria is active in working for the community on transportation projects and activism supporting the needs and rights of low-income communities of color, teen health, and LGBTQ youth of color.

I’ll add that she’s also one of the nicest, most upbeat and indefatigable people I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

So I hope you’ll join me in congratulating Maria Sipin.

She deserves this one.

Thanks to Alan Thompson for the heads-up.

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We may finally get a bike path from Griffith Park to Long Beach.

As long as you’re willing to wait another six to eight years. And if Metro can find a spare $158 million or so under their cushions.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee approved moving forward with required environmental studies for three options to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through Vernon and DTLA.

Which, if you’ve ever tried to ride it, is a major pain in the ass right now.

The good news is, Metro already has $365 million in Measure M funding to pay for it.

The bad news, depending on the option they choose, it could run as little as $329 million, or as much as $523 million.

And won’t be finished until 2026 at best.

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Is anyone really shocked that new census data shows single occupancy driving is down throughout the US — but not in auto-centric Los Angeles?

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It’s been awhile since we’ve checked in with Long Beach expats and professional bike tourists The Path Less Pedaled, who take bicycling and painting excursion to Washington’s San Juan Islands.

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You still have time to be entered to win free Cycliq bike cams just for reporting obstructed bike lanes.

And no, for those of us who live in Los Angeles, “all of them” is not acceptable.

I tried that already.

They also offer a page full of tips and reviews for buying a bike cam. Just in case you don’t win.

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

Physicians had to scrape a 67-year old British man’s elbow down to the bone to remove road debris after he was pushed off his bicycle by a masked passenger on a passing motorcycle. Yet remarkably, says he bears no malice towards his attacker.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Police are looking for masked gunman who rode a bike up to a Chicago woman, and shot her in broad daylight on a crowded sidewalk; fortunately, she’s expected to survive.

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Local

If you have a little extra cash lying around, give some serious thought to donating to the crowdfunding page for LADOT crossing guard Delia Huerta Arrearan, who was killed in a collision that also injured a student on Monday; so far it’s raised just over $2,400 of the $15,000 goal in the first day.

CiclaValley takes a challenging ride up to the Hollywood Sign.

 

State

Police in Porterville are accused of using excessive force to arrest five bike riders in their early to mid teens, including throwing one boy off his bike; they were apparently participating in a ride-out with up to 100 other people. Naturally, the police denied they did anything wrong.

A letter writer in Half Moon Bay makes a call for bike bells to give a warning to pedestrians. Or at least put them on all the rental bikes.

Frequent contributor Robert Leone says he’ll be volunteering with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition’s bike rodeo at this Sunday’s Viva Calle San Jose open streets event in San Jose. If you go, try to find him and say hi for me.

Biking and walking advocates in San Francisco offer their suggestions on how to stop people in cars from killing people. They can start with reducing speed limits and installing speed cameras, as the story suggests, then block cellphone signals in moving cars — all of which would require changes to state law. Then move on to reducing the number of cars on the street.

Speaking of which, San Francisco is considering banning cars from some neighborhoods to address safety concerns. A similar proposal in Los Angeles would probably result in NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers rioting in the streets.

Concluding our San Francisco trifecta, bike advocates are applauding approvals of protected bikeways on both sides of the bay.

 

National

Men’s Health ranks the 100 fittest cities in the US. Shockingly, car-centric Los Angeles checks in at #16, while San Francisco tops the list, with San Diego and San Jose close behind.

No surprise here, as Streetsblog says federal transportation policy is undermining climate progress.

PeopleForBikes is giving away prizes for completing their 2019 Community Survey, including a bike from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

A writer for Gear Patrol says a $6,000 ebike doesn’t beat his motorcycle for commuting to work, but it’s a lot of fun, anyway.

San Antonio TX police bust a serial burglar who terrorized a downtown neighborhood by stealing high-end bicycles and tools.

Fascinating, yet gut wrenching story of a Minnesota renaissance man — named Genghis Muskox, no less — who rafted down the Mississippi, built his own bikes and rode across Europe. Then was brutally murdered by an Iraqi war vet and fellow alcoholic suffering from PTSD.

Officials in Dayton, Ohio may remove a requirement to have bike bells on bicycles, which has been described as burdensome and a “ticky-tack” excuse to make a police stop.

The rate of regular bike riding in New York appears to have dropped by 5% over the last two years, even though it’s increasing in Manhattan and bikeshare memberships are up. However, a lack of infrastructure in the outer boroughs and this year’s rash of bicycling deaths could be contributing factors.

New York’s Streetsblog refutes “the five stupidest things” that were said at a recent community meeting called to address the mythical war on cars.

Yes, adults can learn to ride a bicycle, even if they’ve never done it before. A DC man took an adult bike training class, and managed to stay up upright for the first time in his 38 years.

 

International

London’s buses will soon try out new safety systems to prevent driver fatigue and keep them from running over you.

A British man is happy to get his stolen bike back, even though he had to pay the equivalent of $45 to a man who claimed he bought it; several accessories were missing, but they did fix his flat tire.

After catching a close call on his cam with a driver drifting into the bike lane he was riding in, a bicyclist in the UK concludes that paint isn’t infrastructure.

An Aussie website says painting eyes on the back of your helmet or attaching cable ties won’t keep magpies from attacking you.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks at why the punishing 3,000-mile Race Across America, aka RAAM, is cycling’s hardest race. I once met a competitor in several of the first races who said he started hallucinating by the time he got to Missouri, warning his support crew to watch out for dinosaurs on the freeway.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine considers how much the world championships have changed in the 37 years since they were last held in the UK.

Germany’s Tony Martin is bouncing back from a nasty crash in the Vuelta, and preparing to lead his country’s team in next week’s worlds, despite looking extremely worse for wear.

Probably not the best idea to tweet a photo of the broken bike that made a Swiss pro crash spectacularly (see below), since team bike sponsors usually don’t like things like that.

 

Finally…

Maybe it’s time for shower helmet shaming. Kids, don’t bring your handlebars to class or unless you want to put the school on lockdown.

And more proof you can do just about anything on a bike.

Morning Links: Debunking a bike rumor, Insurance Institute criticizes protected bike lanes, and a bicycle video Monday

Before we start, let me offer a quick apology and thank you to anyone who sent in links for today’s post.

As you’ll see below, it’s been a traumatic weekend, and with a few exceptions, I’ve lost track of who may have sent what. 

I’m incredibly grateful to anyone who takes a few minutes out of their busy day to give me a heads up, whether or not my muddled brain manages to keep up. 

Photo by Deniz Anttila from Pixabay.

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Let’s start by debunking a rumor.

According to a Reddit post last week, a bike rider was killed by motorist in DTLA last week as a result of a road rage dispute.

Fatal bicycle accident on 7th and hill in DTLA

I was walking on 7th today around 10:30am and came across a woman on the side of the street who was clearly having a panic attack. I looked beyond her parked car and there was a man on a bicycle, his head face down on the pavement and blood everywhere. He wasn’t moving. There were no police or authorities on the scene yet. A man next to me said that the bicyclist kicked a car and the car hit him and drove off. He died on contact… Did anyone else see this? Have any more info? I’m not sure if the woman was panicking because she saw it happen or because she hit him and the kicking story isn’t true. Pretty gnarly to see. I walked on the same corner about 30 minutes later and it was as if nothing happened… all there was left was some blood and a bit of flesh on the pavement. Woof.

Except it didn’t happen.

Any fatal crash would require the roadway to be closed for several hours as police investigate the crash. Especially if it involved a homicide investigation.

Not just cleaned up and reopened in a matter of minutes, as if nothing ever happened.

But just to be sure, I checked with someone with knowledge of the situation, who said there was an incident at that location, but it didn’t involve a crash. Intentional or otherwise.

And no one was killed.

So let’s be careful spreading rumors. There are enough real tragedies without needlessly, and incorrectly, adding more.

Thanks to Matt Stewart for the tip.

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A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says not all protected bike lanes are created even.

And in some cases, aren’t even as safe as a regular painted bike lane.

Compared with a major road with no bike infrastructure, the risk of a crash or fall was much lower on two-way protected bike lanes on bridges or raised from the roadway — for example, within greenways. In contrast, the risk of a crash or fall on a two-way protected bike lane at street level was much higher than that of a major road.

One-way protected bike lanes differed little from major roads in terms of injury risk.

“A cyclist on a protected lane at street level is likely to encounter vehicles at intersections, driveways and alleys more often than on a protected lane enclosed within a bridge or greenway,” says Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research and the lead author of the new paper. “Pedestrians also sometimes enter street-level bike lanes, which can cause cyclists to swerve and fall.”

On the other hand, a crash in a protected bike lane is less likely to be fatal.

That said, the types of bicyclist crashes seen in street-level protected lanes weren’t the type that are typically most severe. Most fatal bicyclist crashes involving motor vehicles occur midblock, while cyclists in protected bike lanes in the study collided with vehicles most often at intersections or junctions with driveways and alleys. In such cases, vehicles are usually turning and traveling slowly…

“There is evidence that protected bike lanes help prevent the worst crashes,” Cicchino says. “What our study shows is that certain locations are better than others for this type of infrastructure.

So the choice seems to come down to whether you want to prevent crashes, or save lives.

Or just insist on building better bike lanes to begin with.

You can read the full press release hereThanks to Chris Woodyard for the heads-up.

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CiclaValley narrates an inaugural ride along a new segment of the LA Riverfront Greenway in the San Fernando Valley, better known in lower sections as the LA River bike path.

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A Boston public radio station traces the long and winding backstory connecting a mass market brand of French cognac to early cycling legend Major Taylor.

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Seriously, don’t blame the driver next to you when you don’t hold your line. Or keep both wheels on the ground.

Meanwhile, bike-riding British radio host causes an uproar by responding that a clown on a bicycle doesn’t hurt anyone, unlike a clown in a car.

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Dutch bikemaker VanMoof released the video below to show how willing people are to buy a stolen bike.

Except it turns out the entire thing was a scam — the “real” people were hired actors, and the money came directly from the film crew.

Which is a little worse than just spreading rumors.

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It’s sort of like lane assist for bicycles.

A new Dutch ebike prototype has smart steering assistance built into the handlebars to help keep riders upright.

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Evidently, the old song was right.

A new study shows breathing in air pollution is as bad for your lungs as smoking. Especially for active people — like the ones who ride bicycles, for instance.

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This is who we share the roads with.

Washington State police found a distracted driver stopped on the side of the road playing Pokémon Go on not one, not two, but eight separate phones at once.

And apparently let him go with just a warning.

If you want to know why people keep dying on out streets, that’s a pretty good place to start.

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Local

Los Angeles is now marking the sites of fatal collisions with rainbow halos created by artist John Morse, in collaboration with Southern California Families for Safe Streets and Los Angeles Walks.

WeHoVille offers a recap of Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, which allowed tens of thousands of people to experience Hollywood, Highland and Santa Monica Blvds without cars, most for the first time. Meanwhile, apologies for the tardiness as the Militant Angeleno’s latest Epic Tour tells you what you may have missed yesterday.

Santa Clarita police will stage yet another bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement day this Thursday, ticketing anyone who commits any violation that could jeopardize the safety of people walking or biking. The usual protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law that day until you leave their jurisdiction, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

 

State

California Streetsblog accuses Caltrans of trying to sabotage the Complete Streets bill in the state assembly with an over-inflated price tag.

A news story popping up across the US asks if California can put cars in the rear view mirror, noting that the only way to meet the state’s climate goals is reducing the number of cars on the streets.

The Orange County Register’s David Whiting considers the family fun of the popular Over the Hump mountain bike race.

KPBS says a group suing to stop plans for a bike lane on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood vastly overstated their local support, as 31% of the people who signed their petition live outside of San Diego, let alone North Park.

A Santa Barbara man recovered a stolen bike and returned it to its rightful owner after spotting someone stashing it in an alley.

It’s only taken the state three years to get around to clearing a rock slide off a Sacramento-area bike path, once again demonstrating just how much they value people who get around on two wheels.

 

National

An Irishman gets a different view of the US by riding his bike 4,500 miles across the country.

Maybe he should have kept up the steroids. Turns out the singer/dancer/actress is in much better shape than her athlete boyfriend, as J-Lo nearly drops A-Rod on a bike ride.

CityLab looks at the birth of the beach cruiser in 1970s California, and how it helped turn vacationers into bike riders.

GeekWire says Lime’s ebikes can be a blast. Sometimes literally.

Bicycling rates the best commuter bags for bike riders, starting at just $30.

A lot of people go spring skiing, but not many ride their bikes there. And even fewer ride their bikes 3,650 miles to just ski Alaska’s Mt. Denali.

Colorado Springs CO spent ten years installing bike lanes before the auto-centric bikelash began; a leader of the car-focused activists says he doesn’t like bike lanes even though they haven’t slowed down his commute, because he’s highly offended that someone wants to force out of his car and onto a bicycle. Because really, who hasn’t stood by helplessly as those damn militant bicyclists grab some poor, innocent driver, jerk them out of their cars and force them onto bicycles?

Nice. Houston opens a 30-acre, $25 million bike park.

This is who we share the roads with. An Oklahoma driver admitted to being high on meth when he crashed into a bike rider, apparently without breaking.

That’s more like it. A drunken Illinois hit-and-run driver who killed a 19-year old bike rider and injured another man was sentenced to 15 years behind bars — which could be doubled due to prior felony convictions.

Sometimes a story just goes from bad to worse. After a Pittsburgh bike rider was run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver, police arrested an off-duty Pittsburgh cop for the crime, after video showed he downed two shots and 160 ounces of beer before getting behind the wheel — because he was celebrating the drive-by murder of Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo.

A mob of “two-wheeled hooligans” rode their bikes on a wild rampage through Providence RI, stealing snacks from a Dollar Tree and randomly assaulting people. Police bizarrely blamed dockless Jump ebikes for the rampage because some of the kids rode them after hacking the locks. Which is like blaming car rental companies for all the reckless drivers on the 405. Or anywhere else.

A kindhearted Connecticut cop turned bike mechanic when he saw a kid having problems with his bicycle.

A Buffalo NY man decides to trade his motorcycle for a slow roll bike ride.

New York bike riders are up in arms after the local DA refuses to charge a truck driver who kept going after running over a bike rider, concluding she fell over after hitting a pothole, and the driver had no idea he’d hit anyone. No, really.

A Gothamist op-ed says making incremental changes on the streets has failed, and it’s time to break car culture now.

A surprisingly even-handed report from a New York TV station observes that the rate of pedestrians hit by bicyclists is going up. But while many bike riders break the law, it’s not always the bicyclist’s fault.

On the other hand, a writer who seems to suggest he’s an expert on bicycling because he briefly worked as a bike messenger 20 years ago says New York is living in a golden age of bicycling — or would be, if not for all those lawbreaking bicyclists. Yes, people on bicycles need to obey the law and use the streets safely, just like anyone else. But safe bike riders get killed just like the other kind.

Wealthy New York residents are suing to stop a bike lane next to Central Park, choosing to protect their precious parking spaces over human lives; as one resident who opposes the suit puts it, “The optics are terrible. No doubt we look like an overprivileged, insensitive group of people.” Gee, you think?

A Brooklyn bike shop is taking the next step in bike advocacy by posting the city’s bicycling death toll on the door to ensure everyone see it. Meanwhile, LA bike shops don’t seem to grasp the concept that safer streets would mean more customers.

Miami police have finally arrested the motorcyclist who fatally shot a bicyclist on a group ride after other members of the ride came forward with video contradicting his claim of self-defense. The New Times says the shooting is symptomatic of the dangers people on bicycles face.

 

International

Don’t steal a bike from a runner. A Winnipeg woman manages to chase down the man making off with her bicycle and get it back. While running in bare feet, no less.

The Guardian’s Laura Laker considers just how much we lose when a local bike shop shuts down. Hint: A lot. You may get a better price online, but you’ll pay much more in the loss of hands-on service. Besides, you might make some new friends if you venture out into the real world to do your shopping.

An Aussie woman living in France got her stolen bike back thanks to a sharp eye in the classifieds and an assist from the local gendarmes. 

A new German/Canadian study shows that bike helmets make you feel safer. Even if you’re nowhere near a bicycle.

Wonder Woman’s Gail Gadot is one of us, as the Israeli actress poses for a photo on her bike as she waits on a bridge. Although someone should explain to the Daily Mail what a selfie is. Because they don’t seem to have a clue.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling offers a preview of the 2019 Vuelta a España; the year’s final Grand Tour kicks off on Saturday in the Alicante province.

1960s Italian racing great Felice Gimondi passed away from a heart attack at age 76; he won the 1965 Tour de France in his first year as a pro, followed by victories in the Vuelta and the Giro, making him just one of seven riders to win all three Grand Tours.

The pro cyclists union says the narrow streets, unmarked road furniture and dangerous conditions of the Binck Bank Tour mean it doesn’t deserve to be a WorldTour race.

Writing for the Guardian, competitor Nick Van Mead offers a first-hand description of what it’s like to compete in the self-supported, unmapped Transcontinental bike race across Europe from the Black Sea to France’s Atlantic Coast — including getting chased through Serbia by packs of wild dogs.

 

Finally…

Seriously, who needs a seat tube? Apparently, you can carry just about anything on a bicycle or four.

And who needs an ebike when you’ve got an exosuit in your shorts?

 

Morning Links: New Spring Street bike lane goes both ways, red cup protected bike lanes, and ebikes up in smoke

Before we start, congratulations are in order for frequent BikinginLA contributor and behind-the-scenes proof reader Mike Wilkinson, who was recently elected to the Orange County Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors.

Couldn’t happen to a more passionate or deserving person.

Even if he does ride a tandem.

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Los Angeles’ first two-way protected bike lane is coming to Spring Street in DTLA, with a companion lane to follow soon just one block east on Main Street.

Actually, they’re already here.

https://twitter.com/LAcycleHelper/status/1122655540373364736

Here’s how both the Spring Street and coming Main Street bike lanes are supposed to work — if LA drivers can resist the urge to park in them, which is a big if.

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Bike riders across the US took part in Friday’s Red Cup Project by placing red plastic drinking cups on existing bike lanes to make their own DIY protected lanes.

And sending a message that paint is not enough. Such as the Pittsburgh advocates who called for more parking protected bike lanes.

Although not surprisingly, many didn’t last long before drivers ran them over, either failing to see the bright red cones, or simply not caring.

Like in Denver, where tomato-capped cups were soon turned into marinara. And where the project got its start, in honor of fallen DC bike advocate Dave Salovesh, who was riding in a painted lane when he was killed.

Meanwhile, hundreds of DC bicyclists converged on city hall to hold a die-in to demand streets that don’t kill people in the wake of Salovesh’s death. Although one local TV station seemed more concerned with scofflaw bicyclists than keeping law abiding ones alive.

And yes, the Red Cup Project even touched down in auto-centric Los Angeles.

And on the other side of the Orange Curtain, as well.

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Traditional bicycles seldom catch on fire.

Ebikes, not so much.

An Australian woman’s home was gutted by fire when the battery on her ebike unexpectedly burst into flames.

A Singapore woman and her son were injured when the ped-assist ebike they were riding burst into flames after they were struck by a van driver.

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Local

British singer Pixie Lott is one of us, following up on her recent Coachella appearance with a Dutch bike ride on the beachfront bike path in Venice. Maybe she ran into Simon Cowell while he was riding in Santa Monica.

Pasadena’s first-ever human sculpture took the shape of a bicycle at the Rose Bowl on Friday, in anticipation of the Pasadena finish of the Amgen tour of California next month.

The city managers of Alhambra, Pasadena and South Pasadena accuse Metro, which should know better, of ignoring people-powered transportation in favor of more cars after pulling the plug on the 710 Freeway extension through those cities.

A group of bicyclists set out from the Santa Monica Pier on Friday, hoping to raise a thousand dollars per mile for their 2,499-mile ride on Route 66 to Chicago, which would bring in $2.499 million for the fight against pediatric cancer.

The Coastal Commission gives Long Beach the okay to move palm trees along Marina Drive to make room for sidewalks and bike lanes, but only if it doesn’t bug the birds.

 

State

A Garden Grove man was sentenced to 26 years to life behind bars for the unprovoked attack that left a passing bike rider dead; 19-year old Bryan Ortega was knocked off his bike and repeatedly stabbed by 23-year old Troy David Son, even though there was no history between the two men, who did not appear to know each other.

Pro mountain biker Jeff Lenosky had $30,000 worth of bikes, cameras and other gear stolen when someone broke into his team van at a Santa Ana Holiday Inn.

A Ventura bike rider calls the city’s crumbling streets an embarrassment, complaining that the state’s gas tax money doesn’t seem to be fixing them.

Thanks to the help of a fellow church member and musician, a Bakersfield man is continuing to ride a bike despite losing his eyesight.

The news from Sunnyvale just keeps getting worse. In the story we’ve been following since last week, police now say the speeding driver who intentionally steered his car into eight pedestrians and bike riders at a Sunnyvale intersection did it because he thought they were Muslim; the FBI is now investigating it as a hate crime.

The Trader Joes of bike shops is making its second foray onto American shores with a new store in Emeryville, after pulling out of the US market thirteen years earlier.

 

National

A bipartisan bill pending in Congress would extend and expand the successful Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to build bikeways and sidewalks to reduce traffic congestion and support safe routes to schools. Unfortunately, bipartisanship is out of fashion in DC, so its immediate prospects could be questionable.

Bicycling examines the mechanical failures that led Lyft to lift its ebikes from city streets across the US.

This is what happens when you try to drive your pickup camper over a Portland bike and pedestrian bridge.

A writer from Cheyenne, Wyoming heads south to my hometown to ride the bike path along the Cache la Poudre River, which I used to ride on a near daily basis back in the day. Cheyenne is where I used to go to buy booze before I turned 21, or whenever I wanted to get beat up by a cowboy for looking at his girl the wrong way. Good times. 

Omaha NE has completed a 38-mile interconnected bicycle network just in time for next month’s Bike Week. But those damn bike riders are just never satisfied, saying it’s not enough. Unbridled sarcasm aside, at least they have an actual network, unlike LA’s disjointed and inadequate patchwork of bikeways that don’t connect to anything or go anywhere.

An Iowa letter writer calls for bicyclists to pay their fair share, and get a motorcycle license because they move too damn fast. Because evidently, it’s not enough for bike riders to subsidize drivers with their tax money.

This is what can happen if you do bikeshare right. Houston’s booming bikeshare system is reshaping the car-centric city, with the biggest jump in ridership coming from people who swapped car rides for bike rides.

Apparently, it takes a village to find a stolen Michigan girl’s bicycle.

Massachusetts legislators advanced a bill creating a three-foot passing law and 25 mph speed limits, but rejected a clause that would have expanded the use of interlock devices to fight repeat drunk driving. There’s no excuse for driving drunk, ever. Some people will tell you anyone could get caught after having a few drinks, but the easy solution is just don’t drink if you have to drive.

A group of 26 bicyclists are riding from Newtown, Connecticut to Baltimore, then back up to Pittsburgh to remember the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre and call for an end to gun violence.

The New York bike rider who allegedly blew through a red light and seriously injured a pedestrian was a homeless man, who told police his gears and brakes weren’t working right. The victim’s boss issued a statement calling for license plates for people on bicycles, saying lawbreaking bike riders put peoples lives in peril. Never mind that the last time a person was killed by a bike rider in Gotham was 2014, while 64 people have been killed by cars this year alone.

Rapper J Cole is one of us, too, riding the streets of New York to get a haircut.

A Jackson MS man faces a murder charge after fatally shooting a 14-year old boy who may have been attempting to steal his bike.

After a group of Florida mothers got suspicious of a man who kept riding his bike past an elementary school when kids were getting out, they discovered he was a registered sex offender.

 

International

Kicking your car to the curb in favor of an active commute could help cut the risk of death for overweight people.

Environmental activists swarmed central London and held a die-in at the Tate Modern museum to protest insect die-offs linked to climate change.

Britain can’t seem to figure Brexit out, but they are turning a 1790s Scottish cashmere mill into a world-class mountain biking research and development lab.

Despite earlier reports of a decline in bicycling, the UK enjoyed a record year for bike commuting last year, as new bike superhighways and improved networks helped bike lane usage boom across the country.

The BBC belatedly discovers that bicycling is not just for MAMILs. Although it’s hard to call women bicyclists rare when they make up nearly a third of Irish riders.

A Chinese bike factory town is dealing with the fallout after the bust of the bikeshare boom.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sadly, Dutch Continental cyclist Robbert de Greef has died, three weeks after suffering a heart attack while competing in a race.

Santa Clarita Magazine looks forward to next month’s Amgen Tour of California visiting the valley, calling it America’s greatest cycling race.

 

Finally…

In Los Angeles, we have car chases; in Indiana, hot bike chases. If you’re just riding around the perimeter of Great Britain, is it really a world record?

And apparently, your love of bicycling is nothing more than a basic, garden variety Satanic possession.

Which totally explains that whole N+1 thing.

 

Morning Links: BikinginLA on Spectrum News 1 tonight, the war on bikes, and brazen bike theft in DTLA

Once again, we have a veritable metric ton of bike news today.

But before we start, I’m going to be on the Spectrum News 1 channel’s Inside the Issues program tonight, hosted by former NPR and KPCC anchor Alex Cohen.

I’ll be joining Curbed LA’s inestimable Alissa Walker, new LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman, and Romel Pascual, Executive Director of CicLAvia to paint the Spectrum audience a portrait of biking in Los Angeles, good, bad and otherwise.

I tried to recommend a few other bike advocates with better insights and more TV-friendly faces, but for some reason, they wanted mine.

Go figure.

So let’s just hope I don’t break your TV.

Inside the Issues airs at 7 pm on channel 1 if you’re an LA-area Spectrum Cable subscriber. If not, it should be posted online at the above link sometime after it airs.

Who knows. Maybe I can parlay this into a talking head role as the highly paid bike pundit for CNN.

It could happen.

Let’s all play a drinking game tonight.

Take a sip every time I mention aggressive or distracted drivers, and take a shot every time I say “traffic safety deniers.”

If I do my job right, by the time the show’s over, no one will care whether I screwed up or not.

………

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

Leaders of a town in Maine wisely rejected a draconian anti-bike ordinance proposed by a local man after being told that parts of it conflicted with state law.

Or more likely, nearly all of it.

According to the local paper, the ordinance would have imposed the following restrictions, which probably would have killed bike riding entirely in the town.

  • Bicyclists are not allowed to ride on streets that have no bike safety lane
  • Bicyclists are  not allowed to ride side by side and must be at least 10 feet apart.
  • Bicyclists older than 16 must register their bike with the town;
  • Bicyclists are not allowed to wear head phones, sound-preventing device or any type of hearing distraction; and
  • Bicyclists could be fined $250 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent ones.

The man claimed he drafted it “out of concern for ‘human lives'” after seeing some people ride unsafely.

Just a reminder that there are people out there who would gladly take away our right to the road based on the actions of a few.

Or just restrict it in ways that serve the same purpose.

………

The war on bikes, part two.

A San Diego cyclist says a truck driver attempted to run him and his riding partners off the road.

Reporting the miscreant driver to his employer was the right thing to do.

However, it’s also a crime; attempting to deliberately run down someone on a bicycle or run them off the road is assault with a deadly weapon. Which means he should also be reported to the police, especially if there’s video evidence of the attack.

Even if the police can’t do anything now, they’ll have a report on file that may be useful if the driver does it again to someone else.

It was the prior police reports that didn’t result in prosecution that finally helped make the case against Dr. Christopher Thompson in the infamous Mandeville Canyon brake check.

………

Somehow we missed this one last month.

David Drexler forwards video of a brazen tag-team bike theft in broad daylight on a busy street in DTLA, directly in front of Whole Foods.

Watch to the end to see just how much teamwork went into it.

………

The Anaheim Police Department says share the road in a new video posted on Facebook, explaining to an angry driver that bike riders have the right to take the lane.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the link.

………

British TV personality Jeremy Vine had what has to be the close call of the day, if not the year, as an impatient and overly aggressive driver buzzed him while passing in the bike lane he was riding in.

………

Local

Los Angeles has opened applications for Great Streets Challenge Grants to improve a traffic corridor near and dear to your heart. Or not.

Metro Bike’s docked bikeshare hasn’t been a hit in San Pedro, where it has the lowest use rate of any of the four regions in Los Angeles County.

Metro’s Boyle Heights public meeting to discuss plans to close an eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path was briefly interrupted by anti-gentrification activists. The final meeting will take place tonight in Cypress Park — hopefully without further interruptions.

A Moreno Valley bike rider was busted in Santa Monica for riding salmon, riding without a light, and delaying a police officer — evidently by making them look for her when she tried to flee the traffic stop. The first two are just ticketable offenses, so she must have really pissed them off.

State

State officials announced the latest round of active transportation grants; a project in Compton was removed from the list, while Pomona received $9.2 million to improve bicycling and walking, including 10 miles of new bike lanes.

A homeless man was sentenced to two years behind bars for beating another transient with his bicycle before attacking two Santa Ana police officers who tried to intervene.

San Diego’s Bicycle Advisory Board held a news conference yesterday calling for more protected bike lanes.

A woman in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood is on a one-woman crusade against e-scooters.

A San Diego County bike rider is suing the county and Caltrans after he was seriously injured as he attempted to dodge a clump of asphalt in a bike lane not far from a road construction site.

The annual Tour de Palm Springs returns this weekend, with a focus on safety after the death of Mark Kristofferson in last year’s event.

Cycle Central Coast recommends a romantic bike weekend for two in Cambria this Valentines Day.

Horrifying story from Fresno, where a pair of 22-year old twins got a well-deserved 12 years for beating up a Good Samaritan who rode his bike to the rescue of a woman they were attacking, and leaving him lying in the road, where he was run over by a passing motorist.

Maybe you want to try a little Viking trail biking around Mount Shasta.

National

At least one American company is absorbing Trump’s 25% tariff on ebikes, rather than passing the added costs onto their customers.

Curbed looks at plans for the coast-to-coast, offroad Great American Rail-Trail rail-to-trail conversion bikeway.

Hawaii’s Big Island is establishing a Vision Zero program.

You could soon go mountain biking at Kentucky’s National Corvette Museum. Yes, that’s the one where a massive sinkhole swallowed eight classic Corvettes.

Hugh Jackman is one of us. The Daily Mail says he risked a $50 fine for texting while riding in the Big Apple. Except photos show he’s fully stopped on the sidewalk with one foot firmly planted on the ground.

New York advocates says the city shouldn’t cancel plans for improved bike lanes and other commuting projects, even though a planned shutdown of a major subway has been cancelled.

A Mississippi bike shop is taking community service a step further by offering naloxone to reverse the effects of a drug overdose, after the owners’ son died of an OD.

A teenaged serial horse molester — yes, that’s a thing — was arrested with a large sex toy while riding his bike in Mobile, Alabama.

International

A hacking website considers ways people around the world hack their bikes to serve various purposes, from knife sharpening to carrying multiple gas cylinders.

Snowy Halifax, Nova Scotia is gearing up for Friday’s International Winter Bike Week with a full week of winter bike events. The forecast for Halifax calls for a rainy 45° on Friday; Los Angeles should be sunny and 15 degrees warmer. Just saying.

An English man recovered his bicycle the same day it was stolen, after he spotted it being sold online by a drug dealer.

British bicyclists and pedestrians will get to be guinea pigs for self-driving cars, with autonomous vehicles hitting the street starting in 2021, even though critics say the tech isn’t ready yet.

No surprise here, as a new survey shows Brits would still rather drive a car than ride a bike or take a bus; four in ten people had a favorable view of bicycling, while nearly half took the opposing view.

Royal-adjacent James Middleton — brother-in-law to the UK’s future king — once again drew stares taking four large dogs for a ride in his covered bakfiets.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. A British woman overdosed on heroin in her Paris apartment as she struggled to cope with killing a teenage bike rider; she had moved to Paris after the breakup of her marriage following the crash.

Unbelievable. Life is really cheap in Australia, where a road raging driver who killed a bike rider walks with the equivalent of home arrest, community service and a $5,000 fine.

The Philippines has opened the country’s first protected bike lane along the National Highway.

Competitive Cycling

Downhill snow biking is now officially a thing, with a UCI World Cup planned for next year.

Finally…

Do your cycling inside and you might get booted if Madonna wants your stationary bike. That feeling when you announce the death of BMX star just three years after it actually happened.

And that feeling when you have to cancel the annual bike ride scheduled for the worst weather day of the year, because of the worst weather of the year.

Thanks to Bob Wilkinson for the last link. And yes, that’s frequent contributor Mike Wilkinson’s dad.

Morning Links: Iconic LA interchange condemned Angelenos to car hell, and 2nd US e-scooter death in DC crash

Nice piece in The Guardian from LA’s Nate Berg, who says one of the most famous — and infamous — buildings in LA is a freeway interchange.

He singles out 1948’s groundbreaking four-level freeway interchange in DTLA, which set the standard for cities around the world.

For better or worse.

And helped condemn the city’s residents to a life dependent on cars; an unwilling addiction we’re still fighting to overcome.

………

Sadly, it was almost inevitable.

The nation’s second e-scooter death was announced over the weekend, as a man riding one was killed in a DC collision, just weeks after a Dallas man died after falling off a scooter — a crash his family blamed on a hit-and-run.

And no bias here, as a tech website unfairly puts the blame on Lime for the deaths.

………

Brandi D’Amore forwards news that Bike Index is rapidly nearing their 5,000th stolen bicycle recovery. Just one more reason to register your bike right now.

And if you want to donate to Bike Index, here’s the link.

………

Local

Nice gesture from 3rd District LA Councilmember Bill Blumenfield, who introduced a motion in the council (scroll down to the ninth page) that would allow permanent memorial signs calling for safer driving where bike riders were killed. If they did the same for pedestrians, there’d be a sign on nearly every corner. Thanks to TJ Knight for the heads-up.

CiclaValley offers his thoughts on placing a ghost bike for the victim of last week’s bicycling crash in Winnetka, saying it didn’t have to happen.

Loyola Marymount University held its own Bike Week last week to introduce students to bicycling on campus.

Writing for the Pasadena Star-News, Steve Scauzillo offers lessons learned from Pasadena’s failed Metro Bike bikeshare program, placing the blame on a lack of sponsorship and safe streets.

 

State

San Diego’s Bike IB rolled from Imperial Beach yesterday to encourage women to be more comfortable riding a bike.

Thousand Oaks opened a new park offering six miles of trails and a bicycle skills park.

San Jose residents turned out in force to celebrate the city’s fourth annual open streets event.

 

National

Wired considers the nation’s stubborn bicycling gap, saying American cities are either cycling cities, or hardly one at all.

The conservative AASHTO guide has finally added design standards for protected bike lanes.

The Electrek website looks at the new ebikes introduced at last weekend’s Interbike bike show in Reno, while a writer for Singletrack compares the show with earlier editions in Las Vegas.

Bicyclists in a St. Louis suburb have started a petition calling for a Complete Streets ordinance that would require it to consider bike riders and pedestrians in any street project.

Milwaukee bike riders are worried about the city’s new streetcar after a number of riders have been injured on the tracks, months before it actually opens.

A Wisconsin letter writer says, contrary to common perceptions, bike riders already pay more than their fair share.

A new Minnesota study shows drivers are less likely to buzz bicyclists in bike lanes, especially in protected bike lanes.

No bias here, either. A Detroit writer complains about a growing sense of entitlement and invulnerability among pedestrians, blaming the victims for the rising rate of pedestrian deaths. If she thinks pedestrians are entitled, just wait until someone tells her about drivers. Or just hands her a mirror.

An Ohio bike shop owner says yes, riding a bike on the sidewalk is dangerous, but sometimes it’s the best choice.

Streetsblog says charging a New York bus driver who killed a bicyclist with a misdemeanor for violating the victim’s right-of-way is like “letting Jack the Ripper off with a misdemeanor for soliciting a prostitute.” Yet somehow, a British tabloid still finds a way to blame the victim. A video showing the crash was released last week. However, I wouldn’t recommend watching it; there are some things you just can’t unsee.

Definitely no bias here, as an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper asks if a new downtown bike lane broke the city.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Virginia man still rides his age on his birthday.

A New Orleans website says the city is literally walking and biking away from their cars.

 

International

Sony introduces a set of wireless earbuds that are designed to enhance environmental sounds, allowing you to hear both your music and the noises around you.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A British expert in human and molecular genetics who was researching hearing and sight loss in children was killed in a collision with a London black cab driver.

An English woman still has her bike because a bystander intervened to stop a young thief as he was riding off with it.

A man in the UK is riding 200 miles on his seven-year old daughter’s pink bicycle to raise awareness of the brain tumor that killed her three years ago.

Britain is planning to connect a network of existing horse trails to create a 1,000-mile offroad bikeway running the entire length of the country.

A British high school has ordered students to place numbered license plates on their bikes so people can report any antisocial behavior to the school. However, anyone who arrives on foot or by car is apparently welcome to carry on, antisocial or otherwise.

A road raging Irish cab driver intentionally brake checked a man, knocking him off his bicycle after arguing with him moments earlier; the whole incident was caught on video.

Oslo, Norway is taking a number of steps to actively discourage driving in the city center to “give the city back to the people.” Which drivers naturally see as a war on cars.

Three-quarters of Swiss voters agreed to enshrine bicycling in the country’s constitution to protect the rights of bike riders, forty years after voters protected hiking and walking. And no, that’s not likely to happen here in the US anytime soon.

A Venice, Italy design exhibition features the work of British bespoke bicycle maker Hartley Cycles, founded by a former artist and jewelry maker.

A bicycle ambulance program is saving the lives of people suffering from malaria in Zambia, and could be rolled out across Africa.

Collisions between bike riders and kangaroos are on the rise in Australia, and expected to double the normal annual total as a drought brings the wild animals out of the bush.

An Aussie mom has forbidden her teen children from bicycling after concluding the country’s drivers are too aggressive behind the wheel.

 

Competitive Cycling

British Cycling officials have approved adding a sixth day to the women’s Tour of Britain, which already offers prize money equal to the eight-day men’s race.

 

Finally…

Seriously, stealing a kid’s bike is bad enough without taking a dump on their lawn. How to lie and beg your way into a new bike.

And Trump ordering the removal of bike lanes is just a bad joke.

For now, anyway.

………

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to MilitantAngeleno@gmail.com. We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Breaking News: Los Angeles selected as part of new PeopleForBikes initiative to boost bike ridership

News has just come in that Los Angeles has been selected as one of ten cities to participate in the Big Jump Project.

The new initiative from PeopleForBikes is aimed at doubling or tripling bike ridership in specific neighborhoods by improving bike infrastructure.

As part of the Big Jump Project, Los Angeles will focus on improving bike infrastructure in downtown LA and University Park, the city’s business core. As a participant in the program, Los Angeles will annually receive the equivalent of $200,000 in technical support from PeopleForBikes, as well as an additional $50,000 in matching funds or financial commitments from local organizations….

Over the course of the next three years, the Big Jump Project cities will be laboratories for innovation, ultimately illustrating the ways in which U.S. cities and towns can tap into bicycles to radically improve the health and vitality of their communities.

The project is part of PeopleForBikes’ new PlacesForBikes program, a three-part plan including an easy-to-understand, data-driven system for rating bike-friendly cities; how-to resources for communities and businesses; and an annual conference for city and business leaders.

Los Angeles was selected along with New York City, Baltimore MD, Portland OR, Memphis TN, Providence RI, New Orleans LA,  Austin TX, Tucson AZ and my hometown of Fort Collins, CO.

While it’s great that Los Angeles has been selected as one of the initial cities, it’s unfortunate that it is limited to the Downtown area, which has already seen a jump in ridership, and the area north of USC, which could definitely use the help.

It would have been nice to see infrastructure-starved areas like South LA, Highland Park and Hollywood included in the program, as well as other often ignored regions of the city.

However, as always, the problem in Los Angeles is political will, and the courage of local councilmembers to stand up to the inevitable NIMBY anti-bike backlash.

Or more precisely, the lack thereof.

Hopefully, when people see what can be done to make our streets safer and more inviting for everyone, they’ll demand improvements in their own neighborhoods, as well. And elect representatives who will respond to that demand.

The other concern is whether LA will finally provide adequate staffing and funding for LADOT to meet the requirements of our streets, so this doesn’t result in ignoring the urgent needs of other areas while attention is focused on just two neighborhoods.

As former NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan stresses in her book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, cities must be able to respond quickly to needs and opportunities on the streets, rather than taking years to design — and redesign in response to local opposition and lack of leadership backbone — before even thinking about implementation.

Something Los Angeles sadly lacks, and seems unlikely to change.

Maybe this will be the kick in the ass the city so desperately needs.

You can see the full press release here.

 

Morning Links: Downtown bike lanes draw new brewery, new bollards on Vineland and a new LA Bike Fest video

Just a few short years ago, DTLA was a ghost town after dark. And wasn’t much better during the day.

Now, according to the founder of Modern Times Beer, it’s becoming “one of the most walkable, bike-friendly urban centers in the country.” Which is why the company plans to open a brewery, vegan restaurant and specialty coffee shop in the booming South Park neighborhood.

Just more evidence that bike lanes improve livability. And bikes are good for business.

Now if only the rest of the city would get the message.

………

Maybe Vineland Ave is turning into LADOT’s testing ground.

CiclaValley offers video evidence of the new bollards that have been added to keep drivers out of the bike lane, which started out as a plain buffered lane before being painted green in sections, and now bollards.

Hopefully they’ll take the lessons learned there and apply them to other bikeways, new and existing, throughout the city.

………

A new video promotes May’s Los Angeles Bicycle Festival, with a Kickstarter campaign attempting to raise $3,500 by the end of April.

………

A writer for London’s Telegraph says pro cycling has some safety lessons to learn, because there’s been too many collisions with motorbikes in pro cycling over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, a pro cyclist says it’s time to limit the number of motorcycles on the course and teach their riders how to operate around the peloton; the Daily Mail says that may be easier said than done.

………

Local

Metro’s planned bikeshare system could break new ground by making it a genuine part of the transit system, with transfers to and from buses and trains.

Glendora announces plans for an 11.5 mile network of urban bike and pedestrian trails along the San Dimas, Little Dalton and Big Dalton Washes.

Experience a mini-ciclovía or live out your Indy Car fantasies when organizers open the Long Beach Gran Prix course to the non-motorized public for a whole hour and fifteen minutes next Tuesday.

 

State

A Fullerton bike rider was struck by a hit-and-run driver after he tried to flee on foot from a cop who tried to stop him for an equipment violation.

A 37-year old transient was charged with murder in the stabbing death of 51-year old cyclist Sidney Siemensma on an Irvine bike path this January, as well as a separate charge for child pornography. Despite initial fears, it wasn’t a random attack; the two men were acquaintances who reportedly had an altercation that led to the stabbing. Thanks to Ed Rubinstein for the heads-up.

Chris Horner and Kristin Armstrong headline next week’s Redlands Bicycle Classic.

The Feds approved a grant for a new six-lane bridge, including sidewalks and bike lanes, over a deadly Oxnard railroad crossing.

Kindhearted Oakland police pitch in to give an 11-year old girl a new bicycle after her father was arrested for threatening her and her mother, just one week after he was released from prison on a previous domestic violence conviction.

 

National

Popular Mechanics explains how Ford’s recently patented automatic kickstands would work, allowing you to ride without ever putting your foot down. If you could manage to even get going with that much weight on your rear wheel.

The president of California’s Sustainable Trails Coalition says it’s inevitable that federal policy will be changed to allow bicycles in the nation’s wilderness areas. Possible, yes; inevitable, no.

A pilot protected bike lane through downtown Seattle will be extended and made permanent, with planter dividers replacing plastic posts.

A writer for the Wall Street Journal takes a stroll across the suddenly popular Brooklyn Bridge, and says it’s almost impossible for people on foot to avoid straying over the thin white line separating the bike and pedestrian sections, leading to abuse from riders who find their way blocked.

A St. Louis driver fleeing a traffic stop runs a stop sign, jumps the curb and hits a man riding his bike on the sidewalk. With three little kids in his car, no less.

A writer for HuffPo says New Orleans’ efforts to become bike friendly after Hurricane Katrina allow her to keep riding to work even though she’s nine months pregnant.

An Athens GA website explains why Complete Streets are good for everyone.

We only have to dodge LA drivers. In Florida, bike riders have to dodge BB guns and sword-swinging drivers.

 

International

A Canadian writer says cycling’s real image problem is that it’s just too much fun.

Cyclists in Victoria, British Columbia call for faster implantation of planned protected bike lanes to improve safety.

Make your reservations for Montreal’s French-flavored weekend long bike festival this May, including a 30-mile ride on closed-off streets that typically draws 25,000 people.

Britain’s government wants to increase biking and walking, but the country’s leading bike advocacy group says the plan won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on without adequate funding.

Cyclelicious looks at a British study that says driving really does make you fat. And illustrates it with a slightly dated traffic photo from Wilshire and Alvarado, right here in LA.

Working with computer simulations, Swedish researchers conclude bike helmets reduce the risk of concussion 54%.

National Geographic talks with Scottish BMX ace Danny MacAskill.

If you want to impress the Aussie press, try carrying a couch across Melbourne on your bike.

 

Finally…

How to be a dick at your local bike shop. Why wait for a train to pass when you can grab your bike and hop on board?

And is it really risking your life to ride from Los Angeles to Las Vegas when you have a half-dozen bikes, two chefs, a masseuse, stunt drivers, doctor and a bike mechanic?

 

Weekend Links: Rider down at 7th and Grand; driver charged with killing James Rapley in Temescal Canyon DUI

A bike rider was hit by a car at 7th and Grand in Downtown LA Friday morning.

Unfortunately, no word on the condition or identity of the victim, but I’m told he was conscious and in a lot of pain.

That bike appears to be trashed, though.

Photo by Yuki Kidokoro

Photo by Yuki Kidokoro

Thanks to Yuki Kidokoro and LA BAC member David Wolfberg for the heads-up.

……..

Just got word late Friday that Mohammed Kadri has been charged with a felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of cyclist James Rapley on Temescal Canyon late last year.

As you may recall, Rapley was riding on a rented bike during an extended layover at LAX while flying back home to Australia for the holidays, when Kadri’s car drifted into the bike lane and hit him from behind.

Kadri was allegedly drunk — or possibly still drunk — at 9:15 am on a Sunday morning, and reportedly told a bystander he had been texting.

On a related note, it’s my goal is to turn the uphill bike lane on Temescal into the city’s first parking–protected bike lane. It may not have saved Rapley at that early weekend hour, but could help keep future cyclists from the same fate.

Thanks to Karen for the heads-up.

……..

You’ve got to be kidding.

A 20-year old Wisconsin man hit a newspaper deliveryman on a three-wheeled bike, and drove home with the victim embedded in his windshield. The rider, who did not appear to be seriously injured, unlocked the passenger door and started walking down the street before a witness called police.

And yes, you’ve got to see the photo on that link.

Then it happened again, when an allegedly drunken New Jersey driver was stopped by police with a man stuck in the windshield, after driving 1.5 miles from the scene of the hit-and-run. The 61-year old victim had to be cut out of the windshield by firefighters, and was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

……..

Local

No surprise that two of the three drug charges filed against Clinton Alford, Jr — the bike rider allegedly beaten and kicked by LAPD officers last month — have been dropped, with the third likely to follow, since police had no probable cause to stop and search, let alone beat, him. I’ll never understand why there’s not more outrage over this case.

Seventh District Councilmember Felipe Fuentes teams with the LACBC to light up lightless riders as part of Operation Firefly.

LADOT counts riders along the LA River bike path.

Better Bike offers an open letter calling for an end to considering traffic congestion as a mitigation criterion under CEQA rules.

Cycling in the South Bay writes about an all too typical exchange between a cyclist, a dangerously aggressive driver and bike cop who blames the wrong one.

Former US crit champ Rahsaan Bahati talks bike safety to school kids.

 

State

Neal Storm Stephany pleaded not guilty to a well-deserved murder charge in the Newport Beach DUI death of cyclist Shaun Eagleson last month.

A missing Irvine mountain biker isn’t missing any more.

The Executive Director of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition explains what the city’s CicloSDias open streets festival is all about.

A Riverside man uses cycling to bounce back from osteoarthritis, and is raising a team after missing last year’s California Coast Classic following a double knee replacement.

Ventura County gets a $3.3 million grant for biking and walking projects.

Oakland bike thieves bust through the front door of a bike shop and steal 46 high-end mostly folding bikes. Thanks to Alex Kekauoha for the link. Note: I initially misidentified the location as San Francisco; it actually happened in the Bay Area city that didn’t win the World Series this year. Thanks to Prinzrob for keeping me honest. 

A San Francisco drunk passes out in the street next to the pink child’s bike he’d been riding. Am I the only one wondering if they checked to see if the bike was stolen?

Bike friendly Davis is looking for a new bike/ped coordinator.

A Sacramento-area fitness chain mimics ghost bikes by locking orange-painted bikes around town for a not-very-effective marketing campaign.

 

National

Protected bike lanes not only improve safety for cyclists, but for pedestrians, as well. Then again, they seem to be good for everyone.

A rider for Team Novo Nordisk explains how to ride with diabetes, something I’m going to have to learn.

Four years for a Portland teenager who bashed a random cyclist in the face with a brick. Too bad he’s a juvenile, because that crime deserves a lot more time.

A Wyoming driver faces up to 16 years after pleading guilty to aggravated homicide in the death of a cyclist earlier this year.

Things are changing in the Lone Star State as San Antonio becomes bike friendlier, and even Houston isn’t as bad as it used to be.

A writer for the Chicago Reader skillfully dismantles the Tribune’s crotchety, anti-bike troll.

A Michigan writer explains why riding with traffic is safer for cyclists. Seriously, nothing good comes from riding salmon.

New York launches a new Vision Zero map tracking traffic deaths across the city.

Great profile of New York bike messenger and riding legend Austin Horse.

A DC writer says riding on the sidewalk is just scary, for pedestrians, not dangerous.

 

International

How to survive riding in the rain.

A Vancouver study shows drivers are seldom charged with dooring.

A UK website asks if doping is finally a thing of the past in pro cycling. Uh, yeah, sure. Of course it is.

A smartly designed new Brit bike grows with your child.

A Welsh cyclist faces multiple charges after breaking out the window of a car with his U-lock. Seriously, no matter how angry you may be, responding with violence will only make it worse.

Irish researchers with a keen grasp of the obvious discover bicycling is underutilized in the country because many people think it’s too dangerous.

An Aussie rider explains why we wear those silly cleated shoes.

 

Finally…

Sir Bradley Wiggins, former Tour de France champ, is now an anime character. Caught on self-promoting video: A London beverage company develops a slightly self-serving plan to provide helmets for Boris Bike users; but not, evidently, these helmetless cyclists who videoed themselves using them — the bikes, not the helmets — to ride from London to Paris.

And Bikeyface neatly illustrates the problem with Share the Road.

 

Update: Motorist allegedly murders cyclist in Downtown L.A.

Maybe they really are trying to kill us.

LAist reports a bike rider was killed in a hit-and-run collision in Downtown L.A. on Tuesday. And worse, police believe the driver may have deliberately targeted the victim.

The collision occurred in the 600 block of San Julian Street in the heart of L.A.’s Skid Row around 4:45 pm, when the rider was hit by a 1992-97 Mitsubishi Montero SUV. The vehicle will likely have damage to the right front end.

Needless to say, given the alleged deliberate nature of the crime, the driver fled the scene; he is described as Hispanic man with a mustache, around 45 to 55 years old.

The victim, identified only as a man in his 40s, died shortly later at a nearby hospital.

It’s long been a black joke among cyclists that if you want to kill someone, use a car instead of a gun to ensure you’ll get away with it.

We’ll soon see if there’s any truth to that.

This is the 21st fatal bicycling collision in Southern California this year, and the fourth fatal hit-and-run involving a bike rider. It is also the 10th cycling fatality in Los Angeles County, far beyond the totals for this time in both of the last two years, with four in 2012 and six in 2011.

My prayers and deepest sympathy for the victim of this crime and his loved ones.

Update: KCBS-2 offers a little more detail on the collision.

Witnesses reported that the suspect “appeared to intentionally point his SUV at the victim and accelerate at a high rate of speed,” according to a police statement. “Upon impact, the victim was propelled about 60 feet through the air. The suspect driver failed to stop and continued north on San Julian, then turned right on Sixth Street and headed west.”

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