Tag Archive for entitled drivers

Morning Links: Vision Zero protest at City Hall today, SCAG is hiring, and Chinese TV network discovers CicLAvia

Someone’s finally taking the fight to City Hall.

A trio of “concerned citizens” are fed up with LA’s continuing failure to implement Vision Zero, and the rising death toll that has resulted.

And calling for a protest on the steps of the building this morning.

Unfortunately, I didn’t receive notice until yesterday afternoon. So it may be over by the time you read this.

But here’s what they have to say.

What Happened to Vision Zero?

A protest in front of City Hall

LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 17, 2019–On Friday, October 18th, at 8am, safe streets advocates, parents, community leaders and concerned Angelinos will gather on the steps of City Hall to send a strong message to Mayor Garcetti, the City Council, and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT): Enough is enough! 

We estimate over a hundred people have died walking or biking in our city since 2019 at the hands of motorists. On Wednesday, Alexa, a 4-year old girl, was killed in the crosswalk while walking to preschool with her mother.

Graphic by tomexploresla

 

In 2015, Mayor Eric Garcetti committed to the popular Vision Zero initiative, aimed at ending all traffic deaths by increasing safe and equitable mobility for all. The ultimate goal is to reduce traffic related deaths to zero by 2025. Yet rather than decline, fatal traffic collisions have risen by more than 32% in Los Angeles (LATIMES) despite reported measures taken by LADOT and the Mayor’s office.  

The sad reality is that in Los Angeles County, the leading cause of death for children ages 5-14, is traffic collisions – with poor neighborhoods being disproportionately affected. Nationwide vulnerable road users die every 90 minutes. (LATIMES) Therefore, we ask Mayor Garcetti, City Council, and other responsible parties for safe streets now.

This protest is a grassroots event organized by Andres Quinche, Bob Frederick and Tom Carroll and is not sponsored by any specific entity, we are just three concerned citizens who are tired of standing by. 

Let’s move our public discourse out of the binary debates between more or less freedom and start humanizing our streets.

PROTEST DETAILS

WHEN: Friday October 18, at 8 AM-9 AM

WHERE: LA City Hall Steps (Spring St side)

 

Hopefully, more than just the three of them will turn out on such short notice.

But it’s heartening to see that people are finally getting fed up. And willing to take to the streets to do something about it.

Protest graphics by Victor Hugo Cuevas.

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If anyone with solid communication and community engagement skills needs a new job, the Southern California Association of Governments is looking for you.

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A Chinese TV network discover’s CicLAvia, and says the open streets event promotes greener, healthier policies.

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Nothing like going for a morning drive. On a bike path.

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Local

A Metro committee has approved plans for two new bike and pedestrian bridges connecting with the L.A. River Glendale Narrows bike/walk path in Glendale.

Santa Clarita’s mayor pro tem led a group of people attending Calbike’s three-day California Bicycle Summit on a tour of the city’s bike paths.

Brian Addison of the Long Beach Post looks back to the days when the greater LA area was the urban rail capital of the world. Imagine how safe bicycling would be today if we still had a world-class rail system running on every major boulevard.

Speaking of which, Metro’s erstwhile Blue Line will reopen next month as the newly renamed A Line. And not, unfortunately, the A Train.

 

State

Congratulations to UC Santa Barbara for achieving the elite platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University designation.

Police in Morro Bay are looking for a heartless coward who left a critically injured 55-year old man bleeding in a bike lane after slamming into him as he was riding his bike home from work.

School kids in the tiny coastal town of Oceano turned out to welcome dozens of veterans participating in the annual Project Hero California Challenge ride from Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara.

A new glowing map shows San Francisco’s most popular streets for bicycling, as shown by the people riding them. It would be nice to see the same map for Los Angeles, although it would probably look very different.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for the woman charged with fleeing the scene after killing a 71-year old man riding his bike; she reportedly hit him head-on while driving on the wrong side of the road. The FBI became involved after she fled the state, possibly to Mexico.

 

National

Jalopnik considers how the bicycle changed the world for women.

Life is cheap in Hawaii, where a drift-racing driver got just one year behind bars for slamming into a triathlete participating in a group ride, leaving her with serious injuries that have already required a number of operations, with more on the way.

St. George, Utah will host a pop-up protected bike lane next week, to demonstrate what residents could enjoy, paid for by Spin.

Hundreds of kindhearted Texans dug into their own pockets to help an Army vet who suffers from seizures get a new, and better, bicycle just one day after his was stolen.

The Chicago Tribune considers bicycle seats, and says go with the classic and get a Brooks saddle, while a writer for the same paper tries to assemble a Thule bike rack, and makes call a friend her final answer.

An Indiana website talks with Dennis Christopher, the star of Breaking Away. And yes, that movie was why I started bicycling again, after selling my 10-speed to attend college.

A Pittsburgh advocacy group counted 123 drivers stopped in just four city bike lanes during the morning, noon and evening rush hours.

After initially blaming the victim, as usual, the NYPD quietly changed a police report to reflect that a fallen cyclist was not at fault in the crash that killed him, after all.

A Philadelphia bicycle delivery rider was acquitted of most charges for fatally stabbing a road-raging driver who attacked him after he tried to intervene in the man’s dispute with another driver; the white victim, a former Penn State quarterback, had threatened to “beat the black off” the delivery rider.

This is why you should let the police handle it. An Atlanta-area father and his ten-year old son were both shot in a bikejacking when they interrupted a burglar going through their garage.

 

International

Cycling Tips looks back at the more than 130-year history of anti-bike bias.

A podcast featuring a global panel discusses future of road bikes, asking how new tech can make cycling better. Meanwhile, Road.cc looks back at ten retro tech inventions that changed bicycling for the better.

Promising to keep you safer on the streets, a new app has launched that will turn your smartphone into a crash detector and call for help if you don’t tell it you’re okay.

Castelli’s relatively new clothing line promises to keep you cool on hot days, yet be virtually waterproof in the rain.

A writer for a UK style magazine says she’s tired of being verbally abused when she rides London streets.

The ancient city of Hue, Vietnam, is launching a bicycle tourism service that sounds a lot like bikeshare by another name.

Life is cheap in Singapore, where a cab driver got a whole week behind bars for crashing into a woman on a bicycle, leaving her with serious injuries, including lingering damage to one eye. On the other hand, the driver did get a two-year driving ban, which will force her to find another line of work when she gets out.

 

Competitive Cycling

More heartbreaking news from the world of pro cycling, as 19-year old Dutch cyclist Edo Maas has been told he will likely never walk again. The promising Sunweb rider was descending at around 44 mph when he crashed into a car that had somehow gotten on a race course earlier this month. In a tragic irony, the crash that left him a paraplegic occurred on Italy’s Madonna del Ghisallo hill, named after the patron saint of bicycling.

More on the retirement of former cycling scion Taylor Phinney, who leaves professional cycling to pursue art. Best take so far, is that Phinney never let one horrible crash define him. And Phinney offers a powerful comment that there’s power in recognizing you no longer have passion for what you do.

A 27-year old San Diego man became the first person with both legs amputated above the knee to complete in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii, using a kneeling handcycle for the 112-mile bicycling leg and running blades for the marathon-length running portion.

Katusha-Alpecin bites the dust, as the Israel Cycling Academy takes over their WorldTour team, leaving many Katusha riders wondering if they’ll have jobs next year.

Twenty-two-year old American world time trial champ Chloé Dygert says she plans on competing in the next six Olympics, which would make her 45 when she finally retires.

 

Finally…

Build your next bike by dumpster diving. Bike-riding dogs in the rain.

And your BMX bike is now the most sought after retro toy.

Except it isn’t. A toy, that is.

 

Morning Links: Driving on the Ballona Creek bike path, shaming a helmet shamer, and cute dog on a bike

Let’s start the day with a few observations from Chris Buonomo from his weekend ride.

On Saturday morning while rolling southbound down the Ballona Creek bike path, we rounded one of the few sharp turns (the one north of Duquesne) only to encounter a silver Mercedes driver inching south on the path. When he realized there were bikes behind him, he waved us through the narrow gap between his door and the fence. I asked him why he was driving on a clearly marked bike path, and he said, “the GPS told me to go on here” and laughed it off. We told him to go to the next ramp so he could exit, and we made sure to alert all the bikes traveling in the opposite direction. I hope nobody was hurt out there.

But then we reached the Manhattan Beach Pier and their bike-hostile signage which sign shows a cyclist in a supertuck and a big red X. Pedestrians always always always have the right of way, but that sign sets up anyone who rides responsibly for failure. Roll through at 5 mph and risk getting a ticket. Do you think it’s necessary for the guy in the picture to walk his bike? Perhaps if the city didn’t offer abundant parking 3 feet from the pier and opened up that space a little more, bikes and peds could easily coexist.

The upshot is this: Cars go wherever they want with impunity. Cars dictate how much space is allocated to non-car. Yet the onus is always on bike riders not to get the drivers angry, look out for everyone else and not get themselves injured (or worse).

Will elected officials ever chip away at this systemic double standard?

Seems like double standards are what politicians do best these days.

Especially when it comes to cars and the people in them.

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Some people just don’t get it.

It’s funny how so many people seem to think bike helmets are magic devices that make their wearers impervious to injury from two-ton vehicles whose drivers are typically exceeding the speed limit.

Take this columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

Please.

Rex Huppke, armed with exactly zero scientific studies, and apparently averse to even a modicum of research prior to ranting in print, beyond calling an ER doc at the local hospital, transforms into older, get-off-my-lawn troll for mass helmet shaming.

No, really.

I’ve seen a lot of stupid in my day, most of it coming from politicians, but peddling around with nothing to protect your noggin? That’s high-level stupidity. What exactly makes you think your skull is dent-resistant?

You think you’re invincible? Guess what, diddlepants? You’re nothin’ but meat stuffed into a skin suit, and if a car or curb or tree or pothole decides it wants to play natural selection, guess who’s gonna lose?

DID YOU GUESS?!? THE ANSWER IS: THE MORON WHO ISN’T A WEARING A HELMET!

With all due apologies to the doctor on the other end of his phone, bike helmets were never intended to protect against a crash with a compact car, let alone today’s massive wall-fronted SUVs.

Instead, they’re designed to cushion the impact to your head from a relatively slow speed fall off your bike. And if you don’t spring for the more expensive MIPS or WaveCel models, do absolutely nothing to protect against traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs.

They also do nothing to protect any other part of the body. Which should be self-evident, but evidently isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in wearing a bike helmet, and never ride without mine.

But I also recognize their limitations. And don’t count on it to keep me safe.

A bike helmet should never be the first — or only — means of protecting yourself. It should always be seen as the last line of defense, when all else fails.

So if you actually give a damn about bike safety, skip the helmet shaming, learn to ride defensively, and fight for protected bike lanes and safer streets.

Then decide for yourself whether to wear a helmet.

Or as someone else put it,

If finger wagging and shaming actually worked, America would be the safest country in the world.

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Seriously, there’s nothing cuter than a dog on a bicycle.

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

Enough said.

Gotta give the guy on the bike some respect for staying on his bike and maintaining a placid demeanor through all that.

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Local

Good news on the political front, as Loraine Lundquist isn’t taking no for an answer, and running for a full term as councilmember for CD12, after losing a close race to John Lee in the special election.

Blame the geofence if your e-scooter suddenly craps out on you.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 80-something letter writer in the LA Times says he still rides his bike for minor errands, as well as taking other steps to reduce his carbon footprint.

A USC student was hit by a driver while riding her bike on University Ave Tuesday morning, joining four other Trojans hit by motorists while riding their bikes so far this month.

Robin Wright is one of us, riding the streets of LA with her husband on industrial strength fat tire ebikes as their dog trots alongside.

 

State

Calbike lists 187 streets and highways it says would be affected by the new Complete Streets bill currently awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature, including Santa Monica Blvd, Glendale Fwy and Angeles Crest Hwy in the Los Angeles area.

Apparently unfamiliar with the concept of induced demand, Costa Mesa officials present strictly car-centric proposed designs for Newport Blvd through the city, with nary a thought towards the needs of anyone not in a motor vehicle.

A San Diego advocacy group presented their vision for a Vision Zero in four East County cities.

Outside asks if the removal of Uber’s Jump bikes from San Diego and Atlanta marks the death knell for dockless e-bikeshare. Or it could just be the result of greater popularity for e-scooters. And in San Diego’s case, overregulation.

Congratulations to the Human Powered Vehicle Team from Cal Poly SLO, who set a new collegiate land speed record of 63.68 mph.

Chico cops bust a man for riding off from a bike shop at 4:30 am with a newly purloined bicycle; police credit a witness for helping them track down the thief.

 

National

Bicycling says style matters, and you want to look good when you’re getting dropped. And they want you to drool over the vintage ’80s bikes in It: Chapter Two.

Drivers in Pittsburgh — no, the one in Missouri — get some shiny new sharrows as a reminder to share the road with people on bicycles.

I want to be like her, too. An 80-year old Minnesota woman just rode 800 miles traveling to Wyoming and back. And has ridden 25,000 miles since she turned 60.

A woman who uses her bike as her primary means of transportation will be walking for awhile, after it was stolen from a badly installed bike rack at a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Association train station. To which the transit agency responded, that’s not our problem.

Once again, a bicyclist has been critically injured in the battle for space in New York’s Central Park, as a 60-year old woman went over her handlebars trying to avoid a pedestrian. And yes, she was wearing a helmet. And no, it didn’t save her.

Speaking of helmets, New York Council Speaker Dave Carlin politely shut down a reporter from an anti-bike TV Gotham station who insisted bike riders are dangerous and suggested bike helmets should be mandatory.

Once again, New York shows Los Angeles how it’s done, presenting a plan that would add 50 miles of protected bike lanes every year, along with another 30 miles of bus lanes. That compares somewhat favorably with LA’s complete and total lack of commitment for either one.

Streetsblog wants to know when will New York accept that bikeshare has become a vital form of transit, and finally begin subsiding it.

DHL is dropping their standard delivery trucks in favor of cube-like delivery bikes, after losing a wheel to qualify as bicycles under New York law.

A DC father says he’s not taking his kid to school in his cargo bike anymore, thanks to a “perfect storm of road rage, reckless driving, terrible street design, and total lack of any kind of recourse” after being chased down the street for several blocks by a horn-honking dump truck driver.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a three-wheeled bike from a Georgia Tech student, who’s suffered from mobility issues since he was hit by a car when he was five years old; kindhearted campus cops are trying to get him a new one. And remember him the next time someone says handicapped people can’t ride bikes.

 

International

Thought provoking piece from Forbes‘ Carlton Reid, who says Apple’s coming Tag chip could help you find your stolen bike and keep autonomous cars from running over your ass — as long as you can afford a new iPhone and subscription service. And could lead to the dystopian Big Brother future the company promised to smash.

Not surprisingly, London police catch a little blowback when their bike cops tweet that half of their tickets go to scofflaw bicyclists.

A London sociologist says as bicycling becomes more popular and more people compete for road space, the city must take steps to make riders feel safer on the streets.

A new British ebike folds in less than ten seconds.

Italian bikemaker Bianchi recognizes that an road ebike doesn’t have to look like one. Or feel like one, for that matter.

Students in Mombasa, Kenya have to ride across dangerous roads with no bike lanes just to get to class.

Malaysian teenagers freak out drivers by doing the full superman pose on custom chopped bicycles while riding on a major highway.

 

Competitive Cycling

Very disturbing news for long time bike racing fans, as 70-year old Michael Aisner, former race director of the legendary Coors Classic, has been arrested for secretly recording men showering after renting out his Boulder CO home.

So that’s what pro cyclists keep in their jersey pockets. Spanish cyclist Jesus Ezquerra finished the final stage of the Vuelta with one more fiancé than he had at the beginning of the stage.

https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK/status/1173279110380081152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1173279110380081152&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthebiglead.com%2F2019%2F09%2F17%2Fla-vuelta-proposal-cycling-jesus-ezquerra%2F

 

Finally…

Who needs Amazon when you’ve got your own private library in a cargo bike castle full of books? Presenting the love child of an ebike and a scooter, or maybe a scooter with pedals.

Or something

And if you’ve already been busted with your significant other for biking while extremely drunk, you might as well just schtup in the back of the patrol car.

 

Morning Links: The backstory of a bike giveaway, a possible bike lane in the ‘Bu, and entitled bike path drivers

Every year, we mention the countless bike giveaways held across the US during the holiday season.

But we usually never learn the backstory.

Like how the people behind the giveaway came to get involved. And what struggles they had to overcome to see those smiles on children’s faces.

Writing for Cycling Tips, Peter Flax looked into the story of one bike giveaway involving mountain biker Amanda Batty and a Bay Area ebike maker that put 208 needy children on two wheels in Albuquerque NM.

The holiday’s may be long over.

But this story that could put that smile back on your face.

Photo taken from the Cycling Tips story.

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A much-needed bike lane may finally be coming to the eastern part of Malibu on PCH.

Or not.

A Malibu radio station reports that a Caltrans press release announced that they will begin striping a bike lane from the tunnel to the Malibu Civic Center next week.

Which came as a surprise to city officials, who understood that they would merely restripe the fog line.

So evidently, we’ll all find out once the paint dries.

Thanks to Warren Bowman for the heads-up.

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When Chicago drivers wanted to avoid a traffic backup due to a highway crash, they turned an offroad bike path into a roadway.

But sure, let’s talk about those entitled cyclists again.

Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

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Local

The author of a new Rapha-sponsored book on bicycling in the Los Angeles area offers three practical tips on riding in the city.

UCLA says the reason Metro ridership is down is because more Angelenos are buying cars. When they should obviously be buying more bicycles instead.

New rules for establishing neighborhood councils could keep UCLA students from splitting with the bike-unfriendly Westwood NC.

CiclaValley captures some great photos of the popular Nichols Canyon Ride.

A new La Colombe coffee shop is opening in Frogtown within sight of the LA River bike path. Because few things go together as well as coffee and bikes.

Claremont looks forward to the year’s first CicLAvia on April’s Earth Day.

The LACBC visits LA’s Little Ethiopia on their popular monthly Sunday Funday Ride this weekend.

 

State

Bike advocacy group BikeVentura teamed with Newbury Park’s Giant Bicycles to donate 120 bicycles to victims of the Thomas Fire, with 80 more left to give away.

Somehow we missed this tragic story earlier in the week, as a Kern County man was killed in a hit-and-run as he was walking alongside a roadway, just a week after surviving another hit-and-run as he was riding his bicycle.

If you live in the Bay Area, here’s your chance to ride with the mayor of Mountain View.

 

National

Bicycling considers everything you always wanted to know about you bike but were afraid to ask, and myths about women’s cycling that need to die.

Two years after an Idaho woman was paralyzed from the waist down, and her riding partner killed, when they were hit by a driver while riding to the Oregon coast with Bike & Build, she plans to finish the 780-mile ride using a handcycle.

A writer complains about the fears elderly New Yorkers have of being run down by bike delivery people on ebikes, while contending that bike riders have a “sense of superiority about being bicyclers.”

Two different unlicensed truck drivers, two tragic crashes involving Brooklyn bicyclists, two different legal outcomes. And neither one beginning approach the severity of the crimes.

The LA Times looks at the success of Vision Zero in New York. Which should be a model for Los Angeles, but won’t be without the political backing their department of transportation has enjoyed.

People for Bikes looks at how bicycles have helped the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria, and whether they will continue riding after the island gets back on its feet.

 

International

Britain’s Cyclist reviews the new documentary MAMIL — Middle Aged Man In Lycra, which features the Eastside Bike Club and Stan’s Bike Shop in Azusa. And which will have its US premier in Alhambra later this month.

A West London borough will try lowering the speed limit to 20 mph following the death of a bike rider in a traffic collision. Compare that to Los Angeles, where speed limits of 45 mph or more aren’t unusual. And then ask why traffic fatalities are so high here.

A British contraflow bike lane ends without warning, unceremoniously dumping riders into parked cars or in front of oncoming traffic.

An Aussie bicyclist got off with a suspended sentence for plowing into a pedestrian crossing the road, leaving her with severe head injuries.

New blue bike lanes in Kuala Lumpur have turned into de facto parking lanes thanks to a lack of enforcement.

A Singaporean writer says he has the solution to abandoned bikeshare bikes.

 

Finally…

Evidently, blaming bike riders for individual stupidity is very un-conservative. Three days before the kickoff, the New England Patriots lead the Philadelphia Eagles three bicyclists to one.

And yell at the train that nearly killed you all you want, it’s probably not going to hear you.

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Thanks to Karen K for her generous donation to help support this site. Our annual holiday fund drive may be long over, but contributions of any size are alway welcome.

Morning Links: Bike rider mugged on Ballona Creek; LA Times criticizes selfish drivers fighting traffic safety

Cars aren’t the only threats people on bikes have to face.

One of the constant themes repeated by the people fighting bike lanes in Mar Vista and Playa del Rey is that, in their humble opinion, bike riders would be better off riding away from traffic on the Ballona Creek bike path than risking getting hit by cars on the streets.

Never mind that Ballona Creek bypasses all the shopping and employment centers between Culver City and the beach. Or that limited access points makes it harder for people to get where they need to go.

Which makes it more practical for recreational riding than for people who need to get somewhere, in most cases.

But there’s another recurring problem with the Ballona Creek bike path.

The isolation the path, below public view, makes it an ideal hunting ground for criminals. Which has been a problem on the path since at least 1990.

Every few years, there seems to be another rider attacked on Ballona Creek. And every few years, calls go out for police patrols on the pathway.

But nothing ever happens. And no government agency ever seems to want to take responsibility for the path.

Which leads up to what happened two weeks ago, when Jesus David Orozco was riding home after attending to Mar Vista Community Council meeting to discuss the Venice Blvd Great Streets project.

Something has to be done to ensure safety for everyone on the Ballona Creek bike path.

And done quickly.

Because just like on the streets, people won’t use it if they don’t feel safe there.

Especially if they actually aren’t.

Update: I’m told that Orozco posted on Facebook that he has returned to work today, and that, thanks to the physicians that treated him, is feeling good and looking like himself again. 

I’m not sharing the post, since I haven’t requested his permission to use it.

But the only things that would make this news any better is if the police caught the people who did this, and the county and cities along the trail committed to improving safety so it doesn’t happen again.

Thanks to Jonathan Weiss for the heads-up.

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The LA Times really nails it this time.

In a surprising editorial, the paper calls on LA leaders to find the courage to fight back against “selfish” motorists opposed to street safety projects.

And let’s be clear. This is the official editorial voice of the publisher and paper, not merely an Op-Ed.

The paper complains about the callousness of too many commuters, and the risk that kneejerk opposition to change will override good policy. And possibly even reverse the city’s Vision Zero plan.

Vista del Mar wasn’t an official Vision Zero project – it didn’t go through the standard community outreach and input process that is an essential part of any road reconfiguration. Still, it quickly became the rallying cry for opponents of road diets and other projects that might slow traffic. It’s worth noting that some of the loudest critics of the Vista del Mar reconfiguration and another nearby Vision Zero project in Playa del Rey don’t live in the community; they commute through it to avoid 405 traffic.

The paper goes on to criticize Roadkill Gil Cedillo’s cynical effort to gain veto power over any road diet or lane reconfiguration in CD1, as well as Paul Krekorian’s backtracking on the Great Streets project proposed for Lankershim Blvd.

Typical City Hall. It’s easy for Garcetti and council members to tout their progressive credentials and sign off on ambitious policies to transform L.A. It’s much harder to implement those plans. Too often city leaders fold in the face of opposition. We’ve seen this with the city’s Bicycle Plan. We’ve seen it with homeless housing. And that’s why so many ambitious plans remain unfulfilled.

City leaders, and Garcetti in particular, have to continually make the case that Vision Zero is about making the streets safer for walkers, bike riders, motorcyclists and, yes, even drivers. The mayor has been far too quiet in defending his program and council members who face blowback when they support road safety efforts. Projects downtown and in Silver Lake have demonstrated that road diets can help reduce injuries without significant traffic delays. There is a learning curve, and over time as more Vision Zero projects are completed, residents will likely see that the benefits of safer streets outweigh the lane losses and any effect on traffic flow.

Not to mention the attitude they attribute to motorists at the start of the piece is no exaggeration. It’s exactly what I’ve been dealing with on social media and in the comments on this site.

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In Orange County, they’re not actually attacking bike riders, just pretending to.

And likely, scaring the crap out of innocent people in the process, for the sake of a stupid prank.

An OC law firm reports that people in cars are zooming in close to bicyclists, then making a gun with their hands and yelling “Butt dart!” at the rider.

It’s just pure luck that someone hasn’t been startled or frightened into falling or crashing, with potentially serious consequences.

Thanks to F Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Someone needs to explain the meaning of sharrows to the driver of a San Diego pickup. And remind him that brake checking a pair of cyclists was what got Dr. Christopher Thompson five years behind bars.

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LA’s own Coryn Rivera topped the women’s field to win the 2017 RideLondon Classique. More on the RideLondon festival in the International section below.

More proof that motor doping is a real thing, as an Italian masters rider was busted for having a concealed electric engine hidden in his bike.

More bad news on the ultra-endurance front, as endurance cyclist Frank Simons has been killed near the start of the European Transcontinental race, just 51 miles into the 2,500-mile race; he’s the third rider killed competing in an ultra-endurance race this year.

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Local

LA County is offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the bike-riding jackass who sexually assaulted a woman in the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area.

The LA County Sheriff’s Department’s Altadena Station rescued a mountain biker in Arroyo Canyon early Saturday. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Easy Reader posts great photos of kids participating in Sunday’s Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

The Press-Telegram provides a full construction schedule for the new bike boulevard being built on 6th Street in Long Beach

 

State

Meet the Huntington Beach man who invented the beach cruiser in the 1970s.

Mazda helped build and donate 120 bicycles for foster families in Orange County.

No bias here. The San Diego Union-Tribune wants to hear from readers about the city’s mythical war on cars.

A Fresno letter writer calls for greater enforcement of “maniac” drivers who put bicyclists at risk.

Sad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a train.

Chico proposes a dramatic new bike and pedestrian bridge over a wide, busy street.

 

National

No surprise here. A new federal study shows speed was a factor in 31% of all traffic fatalities; the study recommends making the penalty for speeding equal to the penalties for drunk driving.

The Colorado legislator who called for an annual registration fee for bicyclists, then backed off after a massive backlash, now says maybe there needs to be a crackdown on scofflaw cyclists. And suggests it’s not fair if owners of ATVs, boats and snowmobiles to have to buy registration stickers, and bicyclists don’t. Never mind that all of those have motors; if they’re going to tax cyclists, maybe they should make hikers, skiers and pedestrians pay a fee, as well.

Someone is sabotaging ebikes in Aspen CO.

Touching story from Texas, where an entire family is wearing bike helmets in solidarity with their new baby, who has to wear a helmet to treat flat head syndrome.

Nebraska’s governor is riding 150 miles with a group of mental health professional to help end the stigma surrounding children’s mental health. It’s a kickoff event for Break the Cycle, a 5,000 mile ride from Seattle to DC to raise funds for child and adolescent mental health initiatives.

More victim blaming. Minnesota police say a cyclist ran a stop sign before she was hit by a van; her GPS shows she actually slowed to 1.1 mph before accelerating again.

Kindhearted Duluth MN cops pitch in to buy a new mountain bike for a man when his was destroyed in a crash, after they discovered he lived in an assisted living home and it was his only means of transportation.

Just two weeks after launching in South Bend, Indiana, bikes from the new LimeBike dockless bikeshare are already ending up in a local river.

Off-duty police officers will patrol multi-use trails in an Ohio town, as residents say they’d be more likely to use them if there was a police presence, even though there hasn’t been a crime problem. Which might be an answer for Ballona Creek, and other off-road paths in the LA area.

A Tennessee hit-and driver caught on bike cam ramming a bicyclist on the Natchez Trace Parkway has been indicted on federal charges of reckless aggravated assault, lying to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice; he could face a total of up to 37 years in federal prison. Apparently, they didn’t buy his excuse that someone on the side of the road had thrown a bicycle at his Volvo. Thanks to Allyson Vought for the link.

The New York Times says bicycling has become part of the city’s culture, with over 450,000 bike trips every day; the city has committed to building an additional 50 miles of bike lanes every year — including ten miles of protected lanes — after more than doubling the number of bike lanes over the past ten years. Thanks to Victor Bank for the tip.

 

International

The massive annual RideLondon cycling event was expected to draw 100,000 participants this past weekend, with 24,000 riders taking part in the century ride, a decrease of 3,000 riders over last year to improve safety.

Caught on video: An Aussie bicyclist pulls an endo and just barely avoids falling in front of an oncoming car. Note to Daily Mail: Going over the handlebars isn’t caused by going too fast, but by squeezing the front brake hard before the back one, causing the front wheel to lock before halting the bike’s momentum.

Apparently “hordes” of Brit runners are taking up bicycling to protect their knees, including an Olympic 1,500 meters star.

The Guardian says swapping cars for bicycles will make a bigger difference in the fight against pollution than switching from diesel engines to electric.

Israel’s railway authority will be installing automated bike parking garages at heavily used stations across the country.

The Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai is one of us, as Sheikh Mohammed stops to rescue a woman rider with a twisted chain.

The authoritarian president of Turkmenistan is one of us too, as he leads 7,700 riders, including government officials, on a nine-mile route through the nation’s capital; cars were banned from most major Turkmen cities for the day.

The war on bikes continues, as someone has been pouring oil on bike paths in Melbourne, Australia, in an attempt to make riders slip and fall, which could result in serious injuries.

 

Finally…

Who needs a water bottle when you can weld a cup holder into your top tube. How to explain why you never forget how to ride a bike without really explaining anything.

And someone please tell the LA Times we have a Critical Mass down here, too.

 

Weekend Links: The Battle of Playa del Rey goes on, and felony hit-and-run on a Sacramento bike path — or not

The LA Times catches up with the road reconfigurations in Playa del Rey with the most detailed and even-handed story we’ve seen so far.

The paper reports that people angered by the changes are threatening to sue, even though the changes were made at the request of local residents who fear for their safety on the streets. And that the improvements on Vista del Mar were done at the urging of City Attorney Mike Feuer following the city’s $9.5 million payout for the death of a 16-year old girl in 2015.

Evidently, the residents of Manhattan Beach don’t care if the people of LA have to pay out even more the next time someone gets killed. Or even if someone gets killed.

Never mind that Manhattan Beach has narrowed a number of streets to improve safety and livability in the beachside city. As a matter of fact, it’s funny how Vista del Mar somehow loses two lanes once it enters Manhattan Beach and the name changes to Highland Ave.

But evidently LA beach communities can’t do the same thing.

Then again, this sort of irrational anger at traffic calming projects is nothing new in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, a Playa del Rey resident offers the best response yet to the hordes of angry Manhattan Beach commuters upset over the changes to area’s streets.

And if you read this early enough, there will be a bike ride in support of the changes departing from the Playground Lagoon in Playa del Rey at 10 am today.

………

Sometimes, life — and the law — is just too bizarre for words.

As we mentioned earlier in the week, a Sacramento man was seriously injured when someone on a bicycle plowed into him as he ran on a riverfront path, suffering multiple facial and skull fractures, broken teeth and a broken hand.

The man who crashed into him hurriedly got back on his bike and fled the scene. But not before dropping his cell phone, which is now in the custody of the county DA’s office.

But this is where it gets weird.

If they open the phone, they should be able to find the person it belongs to in order to press charges. But they can’t open it without a warrant. And they can’t get a warrant unless a felony occurred.

And they’re not sure if it’s a felony to flee the scene after a crash on a bike trail, because they’re not sure if California’s hit-and-run statutes apply if the crash didn’t happen on a street or highway. Let alone if the vehicle involved was a bicycle.

And they can’t use the phone to charge the owner with a misdemeanor, because that would be an illegal search.

So they can’t do anything until they figure it all out.

Which seems kind of strange, since my understanding is that bike riders can be charged with hit-and-run if they flee the scene after hitting someone on a street. And drivers can be charged with hit-and-run if they leave after crashing into someone or something in a parking lot, which isn’t a street or highway.

So why can’t a bike rider be charged with fleeing the scene on a bike trail?

Of course, they could allege that the crash was intentional, which would make it felony assault, and bypass the whole issue.

But what’s the fun in that?

………

Great story, as women in India’s Assam province are changing their lives by breaking the taboo against bicycling.

A village cycle bank founded by a non-government organization allows the women to borrow a bicycle on a rotating basis, giving them freedom of movement they’ve never enjoyed before, and providing an opportunity to rise out of poverty.

………

The US national road championships will roll through the streets of Knoxville TN today and tomorrow.

ESPN talks with cycling scion Taylor Phinney on the cusp of his first Tour de France, as part of the nine-man Cannondale-Drapac team.

Chris Froome says I beg your pardon, I was never offered triamcinolone.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An Atascadero man is expected to win this year’s edition of the 2,769 Tour Divide, despite being diagnosed with diabetes last year.

Bike Radar looks at LA ex-pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s Worst Retirement Ever as he travels the US looking for Strava KOMs.

………

Local

LA officials have filed plans to reconfigure traffic lanes on Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown, removing one lane in each direct, and adding 2.3 miles bike lanes and a center turn lane. Presumably, those are lane miles, so it would actually affect 1.15 miles of street.

The LAPD is investigating the apparent gang shooting of a man on a bike across from The Plant in Panorama City.

West Hollywood creates a new promotional video apparently intended to bore people into using alternative transportation. Very disappointing, coming from the people who brought you Alice in WeHoLand.

A worldwide non-profit group founded by two Pasadena brothers donated 17 bicycles to foster kids associated with a Cal State Northridge program.

Whittier will host its first Open Streets event the middle of next month.

 

State

A new Calbike survey shows even people who drive a lot want alternatives to driving; 78% support complete streets, and two-thirds believe cities should do more to encourage bicycling. Or maybe that should read “…especially people who drive a lot…”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety operation on Sunday, so watch how you ride in the county. For one day, anyway.

Some schmuck stole the bike a Santa Cruz writer used to travel the length of the left coast as documented in his book A Bicycle Journey to the Bottom of the Americas.

San Francisco bike rental companies feel threatened by the expansion of the Bay Area’s Ford GoBike bikeshare, which allows users unlimited rides in a 24-hour period for just $15.

A San Francisco public radio station talks with members of the DIY San Francisco Municipal Transformation Agency as they commit illegal acts of bike lane infrastructure.

 

National

A new study shows over riding to hard for too long could be bad for your bowels.

Another new study reports a slight increase in traffic collisions in states with legal marijuana.

A Seattle writer offers three reasons why bikeshare will work in the city, even though the city’s own bikeshare system failed.

Washington may be refusing to fund a 72-mile rail-to-trail conversion, but people are riding it anyway.

Most 10-year olds are happy to ride their bikes to a friend’s house. A Kansas boy just rode his 561 miles across the state.

An Austin TX city employee has developed a bike lane that lights up as a bicyclist approaches an intersection, making the rider more visible and alerting drivers that a bike is coming.

A New York man has been arrested for the apparently random attack on a bike rider that left him in a coma.

No bias here. After a Brooklyn bike rider knocks on the window of a police car to left them know they were drifting into his lane, they respond by giving him a ticket for disorderly conduct.

No bias here, either. Despite the recent deaths of two people riding their bikes, the NYPD doesn’t care enough to send anyone to a community meeting to discuss traffic safety.

Once again, a car has been used as a weapon, as a Pennsylvania man intentionally drove his car into a man on a bike after the two had argued, then drove off dragging the bike under his car.

Great idea. A Maryland county crowdsources feedback on the county’s bikeways, allowing them to plan improvements and flag problems they might not otherwise know about.

Sharrows are coming to South Florida for the first time, despite studies showing they may actually do more harm than good.

 

International

A Columbian village is sponsoring a bike race to promote its natural beauty as the country transitions to peace after decades of guerrilla war.

It’s taken a Canadian man eight years to get back on his bike after recovering from the injuries he received when a hit-and-run driver plowed into a group of five cyclists. Which is four times longer than the driver’s sentence.

A Vancouver college student says bike lanes are great, but shouldn’t come at the expense of nature.

In a study that should surprise absolutely no one, Montreal researchers concluded that people who ride their bikes to work suffer less stress on their commute and are more productive during the day.

Caught on video: Following a too-close pass, a London bicyclist responds by pressing the emergency shutoff button at the rear of the bus.

Even two black belts aren’t not enough to protect a competitor for the UK’s strongest man from an assault by teenage motorists while riding his bicycle.

A British soldier is riding and kayaking across the country to honor six fallen comrades — despite losing both legs and an arm in an Afghan bomb blast.

Teenage bike riders are terrifying drivers in a British town, who fear what could happen if they hit one. Which could be legitimate, although something tells me it might be worse for the kid.

An Australian boxer was banned from driving because of poor eyesight, but did it anyway, fleeing the scene after killing a 77-year old man as he rode his bike. It’s simply not enough to take away a driver’s license; as long as they have access to a car, too many will drive anyway.

South Koreans can now ride their bikes on a 1,677-mile network of trails without ever setting a wheel on roadway, which was built to appease a public angered by a massive river restoration project.

Two Korean men are riding across the US to call attention to the comfort women forced to work in brothels by the Japanese in WWII.

 

Finally…

Don’t ride past police carrying drugs on a stolen bike you weren’t on just a few minutes. When celebs screw up, they go into rehab; when a triathlete gets caught trying to sabotage a competitor’s bike, she checked into an eating disorder clinic.

And if you’re going ride a bikeshare bike naked, using the free seat cover is the least you can do.

Please.

 

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