Tag Archive for El Monte

KCRW fails to confront LA Vision Zero fail, volunteers needed for ballot measure, and El Monte Vision Zero meeting

Someone in the media finally paid attention to LA’s failing and forgotten Vision Zero program.

Unfortunately, the story hits about as hard as I do these days. Which is more of a polite tap than a solid gut punch.

KCRW’s Greater LA took a look at the program, using the tragic death of fallen bicyclist Branden Findley — killed a hit-and-run driver in a stolen vehicle while on his way to the Ride for Black Lives — as an entry point.

The station notes that 294 people needless lost their lives on the mean streets of Los Angeles last year, a 20% increase over the year before. And that traffic deaths have gone up nearly every year since Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the program in 2015.

“Every single one of those numbers is a tragedy,” says LA Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “If we cannot get people from A to B and guarantee that they are safe, and that when somebody leaves in the morning, they’ll come home safely at night, then we haven’t fulfilled sort of a basic responsibility.”

It’s Reynolds’ responsibility to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in LA, and her most important tool to do that is a program called Vision Zero.

Unfortunately, while the station notes the existence of critics who think the city isn’t moving fast enough, they apparently couldn’t find a single one to put on the air.

I must have been busy that day.

But then they pivot back to marshmallow journalism, allowing LADOT head Seleta Reynolds to wiggle out of the city’s responsibility for the program’s continued failure.

But Seleta Reyolds of LA’s Department of Transportation says Vision Zero is only part of the solution to reducing traffic deaths.

She points to things beyond traffic planners’ control, like America’s continuing love affair with big, heavy vehicles that make it harder for pedestrians and cyclists to survive collisions.

Then there’s the challenge of distracted driving and the development of increasingly sophisticated car infotainment systems that keep motorists’ attention focused on screens instead of the streets.

And that’s the problem.

Despite the pleading of advocates in a series of public meetings, back when public meetings could actually take place in person, the city never really adopted Vision Zero.

Instead, the city launched a toothless facsimile of the program, relying on the Four Es — engineering, education, enforcement, and evaluation — to reduce traffic deaths.

Except Vision Zero is actually predicated on one simple realization — that people will make mistakes, and it is up to government to design our streets so that those mistakes don’t have to become fatal.

They acknowledge as much on the city’s Vision Zero page, if you can find it on LADOT’s Livable Streets website.

Our Guiding Principles

  1. People will make mistakes on the road.
  2. The consequences of these mistakes should not be death or severe injury.
  3. Reducing vehicle speed is fundamental to safer streets.

Nothing there calls for education or enforcement.

That’s because Vision Zero is based on reimagining the physical reality of our streets to protect vulnerable road users, and tame aggressive and careless drivers.

But that costs money, which hasn’t been budgeted — at least not in sufficient amounts to actually make a difference.

And it requires civic leaders who possess the political courage to make the hard choices necessary to save lives. Even if it means inconveniencing drivers by removing traffic lanes or parking spots, which our currant crop of cowards clearly isn’t willing to do.

So we have to be content with excuses, and moving the goal posts.

Of course, these challenges existed when LA launched Vision Zero seven years ago. Although Reynolds acknowledges the city probably won’t meet the program’s goal of eliminating traffic deaths by 2025, she says setting a goal with Vision Zero is still worth it.

“We’ve set a milestone. We’ve set a year. And if we don’t get there, then I hope it will invite a lot of accountability and dialogue and discussion,” says Reynolds.

But once again, Vision Zero isn’t about accountability and dialogue and discussion. It’s about ending traffic deaths.

That, we have failed to do.

And we will continue to fail until Vision Zero finally becomes the city’s one overarching priority for our streets, rather than just one program among many.

Future Indian ambassador Eric Garcetti signs Vision Zero proclamation at his massive outdoor desk. Photo from Streetsblog.

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Streets For All is looking for volunteers to circulate a petition to qualify a ballot measure calling for safe streets everywhere in LA.

Click here to volunteer.

Speaking of Streets For All, the safe streets Political Action Committee forwarded a few key findings from a recent poll in support of the ballot measure.

51.8% of people surveyed in Los Angeles would be more likely to ride a bike if there was a network of safe bike lanes

53.5% would consider taking the bus more often if it came more frequently and had its own bus-only lane

75% agree we can and should make changes to how we use street space that would improve our city

And a whopping 84% think it’s the responsibility of LA’s mayor and city council to reduce car traffic, clean the air and make our streets and sidewalks safer.

I would have liked to see more specific questions, like whether people would support removing parking spaces or traffic lanes to improve traffic safety and make room for bike lanes.

But it’s a damn good start.

And we’ll look forward to seeing the ballot measure once its released.

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Vision Zero could soon be making its way to El Monte, starting with tomorrow’s online workshop.

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This is who we share the road with.

A USC student “did everything right” in crossing the street in a crosswalk, and was run down by a pickup driver anyway, who stepped on the gas and fled like the heartless coward they are.

Just remember that the next time someone tries to tell you bike riders would be safe on the streets if we just obeyed traffic laws.

Because you can clearly obey the letter of the law and do everything right, and still get your ass run over by some jerk.

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We’ve seen this New Zealand ad before. But it’s definitely worth watching again.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

A homeless parolee has been busted for breaking out a window at a Santa Ana bike shop, and making off with a $2,000 bicycle.

Now this is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. After two people were killed while using the bike lanes on San Diego’s Pershing Drive last year, the city responds by speeding up construction of a two-way buffered bike lane and pedestrian walkway to improve safety.

Oakland announces the coming closure of the city’s Covid-inspired Slow Streets program, even though the pandemic isn’t over. And neither is the need for safe neighborhood streets.

 

National

Arch Daily offers a guide to becoming a more bicycle-dependent city.

Singletracks recommends mountain bike tools that pay for themselves in a few uses.

Great idea. Des Moines, Iowa is holding a competition to select artworks to be displayed along the city’s bike paths.

A Minnesota writer refutes the mistaken perception that winter bicyclists are all as white as the snow they ride on.

New York’s popular Five Boro Bike Ride is back on this spring as Covid cases decline.

Curbed reports that ebike batteries are catching fire way too often, while Gotham delivery riders need safe places to recharge them so they don’t.

A North Carolina man will face the death penalty for 1st degree murder for fatally shooting a five-year old boy as he rode his bicycle outside his father’s house; the alleged killer still hasn’t said why.

South Carolina belatedly gets around to considering a bill banning handheld cellphone use while driving. Then again, it’s not like bans in other states have actually stopped drivers from using them.

 

International

Trek’s holiday fundraising efforts for World Bicycle Relief may become an annual tradition for the company, as its low-maintenance Buffalo Bike built for the nonprofit is named Bike of the Year.

Yanko Design looks forward to the bicycle accessory trends of 2022, from airless bike tires and ebike workstations, to a bike helmet with a built-in air filter. Although I’m not sure “trend” is exactly the right word.

The Week recommends their picks for the best ebikes for “effortless engineering,” ranging from the equivalent of $1,343 to $5,804.

An Indian man became an overnight success after seven years of effort when he received the equivalent of $13,000 for 40% of his company on the country’s version of Shark Tank, for modifying and adult tricycle into a low-fi pesticide sprayer for crops.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal remains in intensive care recovering from leg and spinal surgeries after suffering extensive injuries when he crashed into a bus that was parked partially blocking the roadway, while he was training in his native Colombia.

 

Finally…

If you’re already a fugitive from justice, maybe it’s not the best idea to ride your bike on the freeway. Jenny from the Block looks pretty in pink on her BMX — even if it is just an ad shoot.

And the next time it feels like you’re about to be run down by the Apocalypse, you may just be right.

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

72-year old man killed riding bicycle in El Monte collision; 12th LA County bike death this year

Yet another innocent life has been sacrificed to traffic violence on the mean streets of Los Angeles County.

According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribunea man was riding his bike in the 4400 block of Peck Road in El Monte when he was run down by a southbound driver around 6:45 this morning.

The victim, identified only as a 72-year old El Monte resident, was apparently pronounced dead at the scene.

The 20-year old driver remained at the scene; police don’t suspect intoxication at that early hour. There’s no word on how or why he struck the victim, or which direction the victim was riding.

Unfortunately, that’s all the information we have right now.

This is at least the 41st bicycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the 12th that I’m aware of in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and all his loved ones.

 

 

Morning Links: Englander proposes temporary dockless bikeshare ban, and BOLO Alert in El Monte hit-and-run

Not everyone is welcoming dockless bikeshare to Los Angeles.

CD12 Councilmember Mictch Englander has introduced a motion that would ban any dockless bikeshare programs in the city, with the exception of pilot projects sponsored by various councilmembers.

The motion calls on the city to develop guidelines for any future dockless programs, as well as penalties for providers who fail to live up to those standards.

This would allow existing programs from LimeBike and Ofo to continue in the port cities and Griffith Park, respectively, but could prohibit the LimeBikes at Cal State Northridge from being taken off campus.

While the motion seems a little heavy-handed, the experiences in other cities make it clear that unregulated dockless programs invite problems, along with the inevitable bikelash from people who find the bikes on their lawns or blocking the sidewalk.

Let alone in their trees or swimming pools.

Hopefully Englander and the council can find a way to develop effective regulations without stifling the growth of what could be a very effective way to reduce motor vehicle traffic.

Thanks to TJ Knight for the heads-up.

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Police in El Monte are asking the public to be on the alert to help find a hit-and-run driver who critically injured a bike rider.

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

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There will be a pair of public meetings next month to discuss a proposal to convert Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd into a complete street.

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A man riding a bicycle was injured in a collision near the Calgrove onramp to the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita; no word on his condition.

Nina Moskol, chairperson of the Santa Clarita Bicycle Coalition, had this to say afterwards.

The location of this crash is a known bike corridor. The County has proposed bikeways plans to improve this area. The Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition has been discussing this area at every opportunity with LA County, Cal Trans, and City transportation officials.

To date, we have had no word as to what proposed improvements for safety will be implemented, when, or where exactly. What we do know is that this freeway/County road interchange is complex and under heavy use because of ongoing construction on the I-5 to complete pavement restoration (and possible HOV lanes). We encourage everyone to ride safely and carefully.

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Local

Curbed says the new Glendale-Hyperion Bridge will feature protected bike lanes on both sides, which would be a change from the painted bike lanes called for in the original plans, but it would still have just one sidewalk on the north side.

Somehow we missed this one, as Metro’s BEST program hosted a tweed ride in Culver City yesterday.

Clear your schedule next Sunday for Los Angeles Walk’s annual fundraiser and free block party

 

State

The LA Times reports on Montclair’s ridiculous law banning pedestrians from crossing the street while using any electronic device, including headphones or earbuds.

Officials opened the first section of the planned 50-mile CV Link bikeway around the Coachella Valley. Or it would be 50 miles, if Rancho Mirage was willing to let it besmirch their fair city.

Protected bike lanes could be coming to Oakland’s Lake Merritt.

Marin’s anti-bike lane crank columnist ridicules comments of a mode shift on a Bay Area bridge, saying 235 bike crossings a day pale in comparison to 71,000 motor vehicles. He’s got a point, although the question is whether there are any safe connections on either side of the bridge that encourage people to ride across.

 

National

Good piece from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says we need to get more kids on bikes.

Some Portland bike shops are beginning to shun brands owned by Vista Outdoor, which has been linked to a maker of ammunition and AR-15-type weapons.

A Wisconsin nonprofit intends to refurbish 1,000 bicycles to donate to local kids next month.

Heartwarming story from Milwaukee, where motorcycle maker Harley Davidson helped design a custom adaptive tricycle for a four-year old boy born without legs and forearms. And no, the story doesn’t explain how he’s going to pedal it.

Two Indiana men face up to 30 months in prison for building an illegal singletrack trail through an Indiana nature preserve.

A Philadelphia councilwoman proposes requiring city council approval for any bike lane that could affect the flow of traffic. Never mind that people on bikes are traffic, too.

 

International

A Caribbean-based physiotherapist explains how to avoid minor injuries when you start riding.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a road raging driver who threw oven cleaner on a bike rider — with her two kids in the car, no less — and leaving the victim with severe chemical burns, walked with a 12-month suspended sentence.

A British soldier has gotten six years for fatally slamming his car into a man riding his bike, after he was shown on video downing five beers and three shots in a pub.

Road.cc looks at presumed liability, which is the norm in most of Europe, and whether it would make streets safer for cyclists in the UK. If we ever want to end car culture and the automotive hegemony on our streets, we’ll have to adopt some form of presumed liability, which assumes the operator of the larger vehicle is at fault in any crash, because they have a greater responsibility to avoid a collision due to their greater ability to cause harm.

A Scottish newspaper makes the case for a 20 mph speed limit, saying initial opposition has died down nearly a year after it was implemented.

CNBC has discovered Copenhagen, where officials say traffic would come to a standstill if 15% to 20% of bicyclists switched to motor vehicles. Which suggest that getting 15% to 20% of Angelenos on bikes might get traffic moving again.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Gobee has pulled out of Paris without warning, after quitting other European cities due to extensive vandalism.

Evidently, bike riders are second-class citizens in Kolkata, where they’re required to get off and walk their bikes across major streets.

A Canberra, Australia newspaper says there’s no reason for the country’s Capital Territory to reconsider its mandatory helmet law, which it calls a proven lifesaver. Even though multiple studies have questioned whether the health benefits of bicycling outweigh the benefits of bike helmet laws, which have depressed bicycling rates in Australia.

Japan is considering plans to build a suspended bikeway under a bridge connecting Shikoku and Awajishima islands. Or you can ride a 44-mile route connecting six islands in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea right now.

 

Competitive Cycling

ESPN considers how Cal Berkeley law school dean Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the 12-year old hour record in 2014.

Yes, the cycling season is underway already, as Spain’s Alejandro Valverde takes the Abu Dhabi Tour, and Dylan Groenewegen wins on the frozen cobbles of Belgium’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

 

Finally…

The best way to get over a bad breakup? Ride across the US. When the real Tour de France leads leads to fictional romance.

And now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike to leave anywhere you want.

 

South El Monte bike rider killed crossing Rosemead Blvd

A man was killed in a collision while riding his bike near South El Monte Wednesday.

According to the San Gabriel Tribune, 39-year old South El Monte resident Jose Antonio Resendez was crossing Rosemead Blvd at Rush St at 9:35 pm when he was struck by a car headed north on Rosemead in unincorporated LA County.

No word on which direction Resendez going or who had the right-of-way; he died at the scene around 15 minutes later.

The driver remained at the scene.

The story notes both the bicycle and the car suffered moderate damage; as usual, the victim fared worst in the impact.

This is the 35th bicycling collision in Southern California, and the 11th in Los Angeles County. That compares with 17 in SoCal this time last year, and eight in the county.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Jose Antonio Resendez and his family. 

Morning Links: New El Monte Bike Hub opens, let CD4’s David Ryu know what you think, and sexist socks at Interbike

Today’s big news is the opening of Metro’s first Bike Hub in El Monte.

Similar to the Santa Monica Bike Center, it provides secure bike parking, along with basic parts, accessories and service to encourage riding the first and last mile, or more, when taking transit.

Plans are also in the works for additional Bike Hubs at Union Station, the Red Line Hollywood and Vine station, the Culver City Expo Line Station at Venice and Robertson, and the Lankershim Depot in North Hollywood.

The Hollywood Bike Hub has been promised for a long time, with an empty storefront marking the location in the W Hotel on Vine Street. Nice to see it’s finally happening.

And this is what Metro’s new bikeshare bikes will look like when they hit the street next year. Although I was kind of hoping they’d be in color.

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New LA CD4 Councilmember David Ryu wants to hear from people in the district. So if you live or work in CD4, take a minute to complete the survey and let him know we need safe spaces to ride and walk.

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Surly’s Marketing Manager address sexism in the bicycling industry — including within her own company — in the wake of the Sockgate blunder at Interbike.

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First Chris Froome, now Geraint Thomas pulls out of the world championships; last year’s champ is out, as well.

In the wake of Tom Dumoulin’s epic fold in the penultimate stage of the Vuelta, VeloNews lists the top five cycling implosions. And yet, they also list him as one of five riders to watch.

Today’s CrossVegas will be the first ever US stop on the cyclocross World Cup.

And the Hollywood Reporter reviews the new Lance biopic, and finds it could have used a little something itself. Maybe a short film about two homeless LA BMXers will hit the spot, instead.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Sahra Sulaiman strongly argues with Fix the City’s assertion that the bike and bus lanes contained in the new Mobility Plan are an attempt to steal their precious traffic lanes by people who have the luxury of riding a bike or taking the bus; she suggests that bikes and buses aren’t a luxury for underprivileged people in South LA. The problem with Fix the City and other similar groups is that they seem unable to look past their own convenience to consider the needs of others.

KPCC looks at the LA bike and pedestrian count conducted by the LACBC and Los Angeles Walks, which starts today, although the rain could adversely affect the results. It shouldn’t be up to volunteer organizations to keep stats the city and county should be collecting; hopefully the city is serious about keeping their own stats moving forward.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses fighting the bikelash with Modalcity’s Chris and Melissa Bruntlett.

CiclaValley rides far from home in the Coachella Valley. But it’s still a valley, right?

 

State

A section of the 405 Freeway will be named in honor of former Westminster police chief and city manager Mitch Waller, who was killed riding his bike somewhere else.

An OpEd in the Desert Sun says plans for a 50+ mile bikeway looping around the Coachella Valley are silly, and instead of reducing pollution, it will increase it during construction.

A Palm Springs police officer is honored for attempting to save the life of a 60-year cyclist who had collapsed from a heart attack. Sadly, while the officer may have saved the victim’s life that day, he died six days later in the hospital.

An informal survey from the local paper suggests most people in Tehachapi support bicycling; however, the CHP once again gets it wrong, saying it’s illegal to ride two or more abreast because bikes are required to ride far to the right. Actually, state law doesn’t even address the question of riding abreast, and the requirement to ride as far as practicable to the right doesn’t apply if the lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. And once that standard is met, it doesn’t matter if you ride four abreast, as long as you all stay in the same lane.

Cupertino makes changes to improve safety after a 15-year old student was fatally right hooked by a semi last year.

That mustachioed San Fran Critical Mass cyclist who — allegedly — bashed a car with his U-lock has pleaded not guilty to a plethora of charges. The car was undoubtedly bashed; what’s alleged is that he’s the one who did it.

San Francisco gets its first parking-protected bike lane.

A suspicious looking man with muttonchops was busted with a pair of bolt cutters near a CSU Sacramento bike rack. Although if the police had just waited until he actually used them, they might have had a stronger case.

 

National

Evidently, you have a biological need to ride your bike. And it can heal a broken heart, too.

Even in bike friendly Portland, not everyone gets it. The Portland paper questions whether the city really needs bikeshare in advance of the system planned for next year, despite the success of similar systems elsewhere. Meanwhile, New York business owners say a three-week old bikeshare station is causing traffic jams and driving away business. No point in giving people time to get used to it or anything.

Two Milwaukee men rode 1,400 miles from New Orleans to Minneapolis to have a beer with a friend suffering from ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease, and meet with other sufferers along the way. The same incurable disease recently took the life of LA bike attorney Howard Krepack.

How can we expect most drivers to pass bikes safely when the police can’t even seem to manage it? A St. Louis cop plowed into a cyclist from behind, despite flashers on the rider’s bike and backpack.

Illinois cyclists object to plans for an unprotected bike lane.

Elkhart IN considers a road diet to improve their downtown shopping district. Naturally, an auto repair shop, which apparently doesn’t have a parking lot, objects.

There are many good ways to use a bike. Throwing one onto a New York train track isn’t one of them.

New York’s boulevard of death gets a new protected bike lane, and hopefully, a new name soon.

No need to be on your best behavior once you leave elected office. A former North Carolina city councilman was arrested for DUI and hit-and-run after crashing into a bike rider.

 

International

A new Canadian Ti foldie has become the most successful bike-related Kickstarter ever, raising nearly $1 million US with 16 days to go; they only asked for $90,000. Or you could just get a folding cargo bike.

Evidently, Simon and Garfunkel were ahead of their time. A new British study of bicycling efficiency says slow down, you move too fast.

Looks like they don’t take vehicular assault much more seriously in the UK than in the US, as a road raging driver who attempted to back into a bike rider loses his license for a whole year. At least he lost his license; even that seldom happens here.

Brit motorcyclists are up in arms over raised armadillos installed to protect bicyclists, suggesting they pose a risk to that other kind of cyclists.

Try on Levi’s Commuter series of bike clothes in Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, and send a selfie of yourself riding in San Francisco.

A Canadian couple bring coffee culture to bike-mad Catalonia.

A new study from Spain says male cyclists between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to be killed in collisions than adults, possibly because there are more of them on bikes and younger riders are more likely to take chances. And in other news, sangria is wet.

Thailand is starting to take bikes seriously, with an additional 42 bike lanes planned for rural areas of the country, including a 115 mile bikeway.

 

Finally…

A tree falls on a car in Brooklyn because a sanitation truck ran into it, and they still manage to blame bike lanes. Bad enough we have to watch out for cars, now we have to lookout for boats, too; thanks to John Damman for the heads-up.

And a Buenos Aires bikeshare ad campaign wins advertising’s top award.

buenos-aires-bikeshare ad

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