Tag Archive for equity

Russia laps LA’s climate mayor, equity and opportunity on LA streets, and LADOT’s Reynolds used illegal encrypted app

How embarrassing.

Moscow — yes, the one in Russia — is building bike lanes and bicycle lights along the entire Garden Ring road circling the city.

Which means that Los Angeles, home to the current world climate mayor, is getting lapped by the former Soviet Union.

Which doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being eco-friendly.

Or accommodating people on bicycles.

Then again, neither does LA.

Photo by Julius Silver from Pexels.

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A Thursday afternoon webinar invites you to reconsider LA’s auto-centric streets can work for everyone; RSVP here.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

An Oregon bike rider was intentionally doored and threatened with a gun after chasing a pair of men in a pickup who yelled a “derogatory statement” at him as he was participating in a demonstration; police arrested the suspects several blocks later.

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

English Premier League soccer star Michail Antonio is looking for the bike rider who slashed a tire on his Mercedes SUV while it was parked on a London street, for no apparent reason.

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Local

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds has been using the Signal encrypted app to discuss the city’s data collection program for dockless scooters in apparent violation of state law, which requires the preservation of all city records and communications.

 

State

Newport Beach’s popular 10.5 mile Back Bay Drive will be closed until 4 pm on weekdays to repair damage from a rock slide.

No surprise here, as wealthy La Jolla rises up against San Diego’s Complete Communities plan to increase density near transit to improve mobility and provide more “places to walk, bike, relax and play.”

The hundreds of bike riders who took part in Santa Barbara’s annual rideout on Saturday weren’t wearing face masks or practicing social distancing. So let’s hope the experts are right about the coronavirus not spreading efficiently outdoors.

Fresno considers a seven-mile protected bike lane connecting downtown with the San Joaquin River parkway.

 

National

Bikemaker Lennard Zinn ponders how we can keep this bike boom going, after the ’70s bike boom fizzled out; he suggests helping friends get their bike roadworthy and pointing them to safe riding routes.

Pez Cycling News examines the evolution of bike helmets, while Forbes suggests the best bike helmets for every type of rider. Hint: The best bike helmet is the one you’ll actually wear.

A Utah bike rider experiences an online backlash firsthand, as Redditors question how a 265-pound man could ride 123 miles with 3,268 feet of climbing while averaging 18.5 mph. Because evidently, only skinny people ride bikes. Or are good at it. Right?

The pandemic has resulted in a major drop in bicycle collisions, at least in Wisconsin, where bike-involved crashes dropped 46% statewide.

Streetsblog Chicago examines how nonprofit community bike shops are coping with the pandemic, which is limiting their hours and incomes during what would otherwise be boom times.

Good question. A Florida columnist wonders whether more bike riders on the roads will mean more conflict or courtesy.

 

International

London authorities are urging a hit-and-run bicyclist to come forward after the 72-year old man he collided with passed away a week following the crash.

Gordon Ramsey tells the British coast guard to stick to the coast, and leave him and his “massive” 62-mile pandemic lockdown bike rides alone.

A third of Scottish drivers don’t give bike riders enough room on the road, while 80% find it frustrating to pass someone on a bike.

He gets it. Ireland’s transport minister rejects calls for a mandatory helmet law, citing international evidence showing it could lead to a drop in bicycling rates.

Germany isn’t just doing things right when it comes to the pandemic; the country also reached a 60-year low in traffic fatalities, despite a record high in traffic collisions. However, German bicycling deaths are up, climbing 16.8% over the past decade.

 

Competitive Cycling

French Pro Julian Alaphilippe will defend his titles in the rescheduled Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo spring classics next month.

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel is looking forward to racing on the famed cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix for the first time, after the spring classic was rescheduled for October.

Gilbert, Arizona native Christina Birch was officially named to the US Track Cycling Long Team for the Tokyo Olympics. Assuming they actually happen next year.

Cyclist celebrates the history of the yellow jersey.

CyclingTips takes a ride up the the Col de la Loze, the highest point on this year’s Tour de France — again, assuming it happens — and the fourth highest climb in the French Alps.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a crash scene photo to call for helmet use, maybe mention whether the victim had one. If you’re stuck at home during the pandemic, just build your own freestyle course in the backyard.

And as long as you’re stuck at home, teach your grandkids how to ride a bike.

All of them.

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

WaPo puff piece on Eric Garcetti, Tamika Butler talks race and equity in bicycling, and ongoing fallout from the protests

Let’s start the day off with a cream puff.

Because I don’t know any other way to describe this very long read from The Washington Post Magazine profiling LA’s intrepid mayor, Eric Garcetti.

The story is very long — there’s that word again — on Garcetti’s background, extensive eduction, problem solving skills and ambition, and just what a great guy he is.

Which is not to say those things aren’t true. But what’s missing is any critical take whatsoever.

The reporter doesn’t talk with a single person who has a single bad thing to say about Garcetti, even in the context of constructive criticism. Let alone his repeated failure to follow through on his own ambitious agenda.

It’s a great puff piece for someone angling for higher office.

But journalism, it’s not.

Even if it does offer exactly one word about bicycling.

Photo from Wikipedia

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Writing for Bicycling, former LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler pens a very hard-hitting piece about race and equity in bicycling, and the need to go far beyond what many of us may feel comfortable with.

Including sometimes giving up our bike lanes for the greater good.

Talking about things like gender, queerness, race, and white supremacy scares people. It makes them uncomfortable. Their resulting defensiveness makes them question your intelligence. Especially if being anti-racist means giving up their bike lane. Unfortunately, it rarely makes these same people dig deep and push beyond those questions towards understanding, compassion, being anti-racist, and confronting their own need to change. Because of that, I became used to the hate I received in various venues and formats…

Bicycling cannot solve systemic racism in the United States. But systemic racism can’t be fixed without tackling it within bicycling. With the rise of bicycling during this global health pandemic, this is the moment to educate the casual beach cruisers, fully-kitted weekend warriors, the urban planning students who can’t wait to ride back to campus—all of us—on the systemic oppression of Black people, Indigenous people, and all People of Color. This is the moment to look at the racism institutionalized in our companies, media publications, nonprofits, planning firms, and government agencies, and hire a workforce that reflects the diversity of our communities, at every level and in every position. This is the moment to invest in continual and consistent education of our employees. This is the moment to do more than issue a statement. A statement is the least that can be done. Those in power must change, relinquish some of their power, and get out of the way to make room for those who are ready to lead and are equipped to identify anti-black practices and policies.

Seriously, read it.

Because this is the moment when the curtains have been torn down, and everything is finally on the table.

Let’s not waste it.

Meanwhile, City Lab says safe streets aren’t safe for black lives, noting that redesigns without diverse public input can end up hurting the communities they’re meant to serve.

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We’re still seeing the fallout from, and backlash to, the recent racial justice protests, as well as the heavy-handed response from the police.

Like this story from New York, where at least four cops beat a man in the middle of the street, apparently for the crime of riding his bicycle too slowly in front of their van. And even though he wasn’t resisting.

Bikes were on the front lines of the protests in Seattle, as well as other cities; Gear Patrol explains how your bike can play a critical role in the protests.

Police in Philadelphia arrested an accused looter for allegedly running over a bike cop, resulting in multiple surgeries to repair a broken arm, shattered shoulder, 12 broken ribs and a shattered sternum.

Michigan police busted a 41-year old white man for a hate crime, allegedly smacking an 18-year old black man in the mouth with a bike lock after calling him a racial slur; the victim lost three teeth in the attack.

A Virginia man recalls the terrifying moment an avowed racist and KKK leader intentionally rammed his Trump and Confederate flag-festooned pickup into his bike while targeting a group of protesters; the local prosecutor is pondering whether a hate crime charge is warranted. Gee, you think? Let’s hope he can find a hole deep enough. 

Hundreds of people may have gotten a free Citi Bike membership over the weekend, after someone leaked a code intended for employees of the New York bikeshare so people could ride to and from the protests.

Smart move from Safe Routes to Schools, who responded to the threat of police violence by dropping Enforcement, and replacing it with Engagement in their framework list of 6E’s.

Someone defaced a mural of George Floyd on a Massachusetts bike path.

Closer to home, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton rides along on last Saturday’s Ride for Justice for George Floyd, and thankfully takes his camera with him.

Then there’s this from not-the-actor Morgan Freeman.

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That fallout extends to the bicycles used by bike cops.

Legendary ‘cross champ Katie Compton decried police using their bicycles as weapons against protesters, and said bikemakers should only sell to police departments that pledge to follow the recommendations of Campaign Zero to reduce police brutality.

Katie’s sponsor, Trek, outlined a six-point plan to promote diversity in cycling and create 1,000 bike industry jobs for people of color; the company also decried the use of their bikes for violence, but failed to address calls to stop selling to police.

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Cycling Savvy offers a lesson on how to pass a bus safely.

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Maybe there’s a smarter way to do speed enforcement.

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GCN explains how to sell your bike for more money. Although that kind of defeats the purpose of N+1.

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

Police in Northamptonshire, England are looking for a man who spewed racist abuse at a bike rider before punching him the mouth, apparently for the crime of politely ringing his bell before passing him on a trail.

Also in the UK, police are looking for a pickup driver who threw a bottle at two bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction, injuring one by hitting him in the chest.

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Local

The crowdfunding campaign to support greater diversity in cycling through former road, crit and track national champ Justin William’s Legion of Los Angeles cycling team has raised over $87,000 in the first five days, far beyond the original $50,000 goal.

The ACLU is the latest to sue Los Angeles over the city’s data tracking requirement for dockless bikes and e-scooters.

 

State

A bill to encourage more bicycle parking in new housing developments has passed the state Assembly, and is moving on to the Senate. I’m reserving judgement on this one; too many building bike rooms just seem to present a greater opportunity for thieves. I’d rather see a bill requiring building owners and associations to allow residents to bring their bikes inside their apartments and condos. 

Surprisingly, San Luis Obispo topped PeopleForBikes’ annual list of North America’s best bicycling cities, while Santa Barbara checked in a surprising fourth. Los Angeles was an equally surprising 26th, which says everything you need to know about the credibility of the rankings. And not because it’s too low.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County could get approval for a five-year pilot program to see if automated speed cameras can slow traffic. Hopefully they won’t wait five years to try it in Los Angeles.

 

National

Get on your bike, already. A new study from the Mayo Clinic says exercise reduces your risk of death and leads to a longer life, even if you have significant plaque buildup in your arteries.

Bicycling explains how to avoid wrist pain when you ride, and after.

Writing for Fast Company, the technology director for Smart Design examines whether bike lanes really improve safety, and concludes it all depends on how well they’re designed. Which any bike rider could have told him.

Like bicycling, walking is making a major comeback. But just like bicycling, the commitment of cities to provide safe infrastructure will determine whether it continues.

Gear Junkie says a family bike ride along the 22-mile Rainbow Rim singletrack trail in Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park is the best adventure a dad could ask for.

A 91-year old Texas man was reunited with his stolen bicycle thanks to social media and the efforts of his granddaughter; he’s been a daily bike rider for 74 years, since joining the Air Force after WWII.

New York examines what it’s like to get doxxed for taking a bike ride in a case of mistaken identity, as online users rushed to identify the spandex-clad Maryland anti-BLM bicyclist. Thanks to Tim Rutt for the tip.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, jumping off his bike to save a man who was on the verge of drowning in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain.

A Savannah, Georgia paper considers the urgent need for safer streets, as well as the equally urgent need for equity on our streets.

 

International

British bike shops are enjoying the boom, but questioning how long it will last.

A letter writer in the UK accuses bike riders of thinking they’re always in the right and only seeing things from their perspective — while he only sees it from his own perspective.

European carmaker Skoda is introducing a new system to prevent doorings by detecting oncoming bike riders before the driver opens the door.

Road.cc explains why bikes have so many gears. Which is easy to understand if you’ve seen me trying to get up a hill these days.

Milan is rolling out one of the world’s most dramatic plans to redesign the roads to accommodate bike riders and pedestrians in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Police in Kolkata — formerly Calcutta — will allow bike riders to use everything but main arterials in the city while transit use is suspended.

Indian bikemakers are up in arms over a proposal to require them to put reflective tape on all their bikes, saying they can’t afford even that minimal cost after months of the coronavirus lockdown.

Japan is preparing to crack down on “dangerous” bike riders — like people who block other vehicles or ring their bells too much.

Davao City in the Philippines is taking a big step backward, approving plans for pop-up bike lanes, but requiring people to register their bicycles and display a visible license plate, as well as requiring mandatory helmets, side mirrors and bells.

Sad news from Australia’s Northern Territory, where a former Australian football star was killed when his bike was rear-ended by a pickup driver.

 

Competitive Cycling

The CCC cycling team is just the latest to lose its sponsorship in the last year, risking its further existence if a new sponsor can’t be lined up. More proof that pro cycling’s financial model is badly broken.

The women’s Colorado Classic will be held without spectators this year, pending approvals from local health officials, while using a made-for-TV model.

Rouleur profiles Giro d’Italia winner turned blueberry farmer Ivan Basso.

Then there’s the feeling when a wheelsucker does 27 mph on Rigoberto Urán’s heel, and turns out to be just some random guy in work boots and a backpack.

 

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to kick the patrol car — and a cop — when you get busted for biking while very drunk.

And yes, bikes really can fly.

https://twitter.com/cctv_idiots/status/1270277470378475520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1270277470378475520&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-june-2020-274311

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

Covid-19 fuels inequitable urbanist fantasies, YouTube stars recovering from hit-and-run, and carry anything by bike

A powerful piece from Curbed’s Alissa Walker says the coronavirus isn’t fuel for urbanist fantasies.

Instead, the virus is revealing the inequities that have long existed in our cities. And which need to be addressed if we’re going to make any real progress.

Even before the staggering impact of the novel coronavirus had been fully revealed, the people who write and think about cities were busy writing prescriptions for their recovery. But instead of bearing witness to mass death as a moment of reflection, many urbanists are using the coronavirus as an opportunity to accelerate their pre-pandemic agendas—agendas which ignore the issues that made COVID-19 more catastrophic than it should have been.

This was first obvious by early April, as cities including Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis, and Chicago began to report that black and Latino residents were dying at a higher rate than the rest of the population. Latinos, in particular, were at greater risk because they are more likely to work at essential jobs. Living situations—including overcrowding in small apartments due to high rents—were also pinpointed as a reason the virus was ravaging certain communities.

It’s not an easy read.

Especially if you insist on holding on to your own biases. And yes, we all have them.

But it’s important one, if we’re going to build the kind of cities we say we want.

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YouTube stars Kristin and Marcus Johns are both out of the hospital, a week after they were apparently the victims in last week’s allegedly intentional hit-and-run while riding their bikes in Toluca Lake.

Police chased the suspect, but lost his car somewhere near Universal Studios.

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Yet more proof you can carry anything on a bike.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s blocked.

View this post on Instagram

Dedicated. 😔

A post shared by Ted Faber (@snorerot13) on

As in this view of the Venice Blvd protected bike lanes in Mar Vista.

Thanks to Ted Faber for the photo.

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Evidently, kids love gravel biking almost as much as their parents do.

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Local

Metro finally dumps its balky app, replacing it with the popular multi-city Transit app, which includes integrated transportation options like bikeshare, dockless e-scooters and ride-hail services.

An LA Times columnist straps on her face mask and bikes to Venice Beach, questioning why people breaking the rules by tanning on the beach aren’t getting tickets; apparently, talk radio station KFI doesn’t like what she had to say — or the Times, for that matter. Fortunately, she didn’t try riding on the bike path, or she could have been the one getting ticketed. Although that doesn’t seem to be enforced, either. 

A columnist for the Pasadena Star-News complains about over-engineering on the newly reopened and carfree Rose Bowl Loop.

Santa Monica plans to tear down an old church across from Santa Monica College to build low-income housing, with over twice as many bike parking spaces as car parking slots.

Long Beach approves an “open streets initiative,” allowing streets, sidewalks and parking lots to be repurposed for outdoor activities, including dining.

A Redondo Beach motorcycle rider tries out a beach cruiser-style ebike, and finds his commute to Santa Monica takes twice as long, but is much more peaceful.

 

State

Deadly car crashes have spiked in California during the coronavirus lockdown, as relatively empty streets entice too many drivers to put their foot down.

San Diego celebrates Bike Month by unveiling a new Better by Bike campaign. Can’t argue with that one.

A Bay Area street has been closed to car traffic, becoming home to daily cello concerts.

Davis police were able to quickly identify and arrest a thief who broke the window of a bike shop and made off with $1,600 bike. Note to CBS Sacramento — $1,600 is hardly “pricey” anymore. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up. 

Police in San Rafael busted two bike thieves using bait bikes. Something that the LAPD has still never tried, over fears of entrapment claims.

A travel website says you’ve got to add Tahoe’s West Shore Bike Cruise to your bike bucket list.

 

National

Inside Edition discovers the current Covid bike shortage, while CBS News picks up on the coronavirus bike boom, while noting that 50% of current riders plan to keep riding when the pandemic ends. Which will hopefully be much closer to sooner than later.

A writer for Grist takes a contrary position, questioning whether Covid-19 will halt the progress towards a carfree future.

Ebikes are the perfect antidote for coronavirus anxiety, according to a writer for a Santa Fe NM paper.

Even though Colorado’s annual Iron Horse Classic scheduled for this weekend has been cancelled, local residents worry mountain bikers will show up and try to do the ride anyway.

A Dallas woman is looking for the Good Samaritan who stayed with her and comforted her after she was hit by a driver, just days after she started riding a bike again.

Ben Stiller recounts how his late father Jerry ran through the streets of New York to chase down the kid who stole Ben’s bike when he was a child — then came back empty handed, saying the kid who stole it needed the bike more than he did.

Slow Streets slowly make their way to Atlanta.

Florida police busted a bike thief who made off with a bike that a woman had ridden across the US; they also recovered the bike — or what’s left of it, anyway.

 

International

Six ways to make city streets safer for pedestrians. And everyone else.

FloBikes tells you how to replace an inner tube. But you already know that, right?

Toronto bike advocates are calling for a two-wheeled post-pandemic future.

Britain’s bike industry is joining together to promote a new PR campaign, telling the public that Bike is Best. Which is true, even if it feels a little grammatically challenged.

British thieves are taking advantage of the bike boom, too, with bike thefts up nearly 50%.

The UK’s Alzheimer’s society says a bike ride or brisk walk three times a week can help stave off dementia in people over 60. So what are you waiting for, already?

An Irish paper says children are the future, so get them on bicycles.

French bike parts maker Mavic may be circling the drain, but a pair of unnamed former pro cyclists may be preparing to ride to the rescue.

A Manila op-ed says a connected bike lane network is just what the Philippine city needs. It’s just what Los Angeles needs, too. But Manila might actually get it.

 

Competitive Cycling

Makes sense. Bicycling’s Selene Yeager says Everesting is having a moment right now because, as George Mallory famously said, it’s there. And nothing else is right now.

Road Bike Action remembers the late, great Amgen Tour of California, which was cancelled due to financial problems just in time to avoid being cancelled by Covid-19.

Word has it Lance doesn’t like the way he’s portrayed in the upcoming ESPN documentary about him. Which raises the burning question, who cares?

Rouleur examines the worst bike kit of the modern era.

And the road worlds could be coming back to the US.

 

Finally…

You, too, can be the proud owner of a 1959 Schwinn cruiser bike for the low price of just $800. Bold move, declaring this is Bike Month when there’s only ten days left.

And no, bikes aren’t the new toilet paper.

They’re much harder to use, and nearly impossible to flush.

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

Morning Links: Inclusivity on the streets, the phantom threat of teenage ride-outs, and the war on bikes keeps going on

Today’s common theme is inclusivity on our streets.

Like the Harvard researcher who says cities should build “networks of wide, stenciled, red-painted, surface-lighted, barrier-protected, bicycle-exclusive cycle tracks” on main streets in “lower-income ethnic-minority neighborhoods” to help residents get to work quickly, safely and affordably, rather than focusing on wealthy, white residents.

Meanwhile, a Pittsburgh paper writes about the need to make the city’s streets “anything from an empowering outlet to a necessary refuge” for women, as well as those who “identify as women, queer, transgender, non-binary or anything outside of our typical notions of gender and sexuality.”

And no bias here. The NYPD kicked a group of 11 bike riders enjoying a Memorial Day picnic out of a park for not having a permit — even though the parks department doesn’t issue permits for holidays, and they’re only needed for groups of 20 or more. Never mind that it was the same group that was racially profiled…uh, targeted for not having bells on their bikes last month.

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Eben Weiss, aka Bike Snob, writes that the phantom threat of teenage-led bike outs doesn’t exist, except in the world of panicked, ratings motivated news reports.

It’s no surprise that rideouts rankle the tight-of-sphincter; Homo sapiens probably started feeling contempt for anybody younger than them as soon as our life expectancy hit 30. And yes, being teenagers, rideout participants also do things a mature adult might consider “stupid.” In fact, I’m willing to bet some of them are even listening to that rap music and smoking the pot.

Even so, there’s not a shred of evidence that what has become an international phenomenon has resulted in an alarming rate of injury to either the public or to the riders themselves, and the likelihood that one of them might knock you down unintentionally—let alone target you for an attack—is so tiny as to be laughable.

Although he might want to decide whether to call them bike-outs, ride-outs or rideouts.

I stumbled on the first of what I assume will be many LA ride-outs on Memorial Day, as well walked past a group of young bike riders gathered in a park near The Grove.

Around 45 minutes later, they came rolling through the upscale mall, whooping  and popping wheelies, 30 or so teenage boys, mostly on fixies, as shoppers jumped out of their way.

As much as I admired their spirit, and the sheer rebellion in their affront to an icon of LA commercialism, putting that many pedestrians at risk was questionable, at the very least.

Although in my imagination, I like to assume it was done out of righteous indignation after one of the riders was kicked out of the Grove with his bike.

But next time, maybe keep the ride-outs to the street outside, where the only people they’ll annoy are safely wrapped in a few tons of steel and glass.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

And on.

A Welsh man was lucky to escape serious injury when he crashed into a wire someone had strung across a bike path at chest level, knocking him off his bike and cracking his helmet.

An Australian grandfather describes how he survived by playing dead after a man standing behind a car shot him twice in the head while he was riding his bike on a dirt trail two years ago, for no apparent reason; his would-be killer still hasn’t been found.

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Local

LAist checks in with LA’s great e-scooter experiment after the first official six weeks, noting that the Los Angeles Fire Department has responded to just 74 scooter-related incidents so far this year, although sadly, there’s been one death.

Yes, your bicycle is currency on LA’s Skid Row.

Pasadena police celebrated Bike Month with a bicycle and pedestrian enforcement detail last Fridays, ticketing 85 drivers for violations that endanger people on foot or two wheels; just five people on bikes were busted, along with 17 pedestrians. Which refutes all those people who insist that people on bikes always break the law.

The Venice Electric Light Parade is still going strong after three years, with hundreds of lighted bikes rolling on the bike path every Sunday at sunset to promote bike safety.

Santa Monica police impounded 32 Wheels e-scooters being used on the beachfront bike path; the scooters are allowed in neighboring Venice, but not in Santa Monica. And warned users of over 150 other e-scooters that they’re not allowed on the bike path.

A Santa Monica letter writer says the leading pedestrian intervals and bike traffic lights at Colorado and Ocean Avenues are going to get someone killed. Never mind that they were installed to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians.

 

State

California’s League of Cities expresses concern over a proposed law to establish state standards for e-scooters, saying it could mark the end of affordable bikeshare and scooter programs.

The Orange County Transportation Authority, aka OCTA, marked Bike Month with a three-mile bike rally in Orange on Thursday, making up for a rainout the previous week.

A nine-year old San Diego boy will have to walk to school now, after a thief was caught on video stealing his BMX bike.

A Berkeley bike rider says the city’s bike boulevards are nothing more than fiction, while complaining that drivers hit us, yell at us, even kill some of us. And then want to talk about their feelings.

San Francisco Uber drivers are told it’s up to them whether to endanger bike riders by illegally picking up and dropping off passengers in bike lanes.

 

National

It’s the 35th anniversary of the Remember the Removal bike ride, which follows the route of the shameful Trail of Tears.

Bicycling offers up an entirely subjective list of the greatest bikes ever made — if you can get past the nausea-inducing rapid fire photo montage at the top of the page. And if you can get past the fact that it doesn’t include a single bike from the last century, which I can’t.

Bike Portland asks where your kids should ride in relation to you for the greatest comfort and safety.

This is who we share the roads with. A Spokane WA man was driving with a suspended license, and didn’t have the interlock system installed on his car required for a previous DUI, when he fled the scene after running a stop sign and seriously injured a bike-riding boy.

Talk about getting it wrong. A deputy director with Utah’s Department of Transportation, who has apparently never heard of induced demand, says they need wider roads to avoid gridlock like California — which enjoys wide roads along with hellish traffic congestion.

A California artist is riding her bike across Nebraska as part of a “performative work” to follow defunct railroad tracks across the US and explore the gaps in existing rail trails.

Inc. examines how Wisconsin-based Trek grew to $1 billion in sales with a renewed focus on quality and service.

Speaking of Bicycling, they say New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare has gotten more butts on saddles than any other bike. Including a ride-by shooter.

A successful pilot project means bike riders could be allowed to use leading pedestrian intervals at nearly 3,500 additional New York City intersections.

 

International

A Calgary columnist says the Idaho Stop Law doesn’t have to be a hot potato, and the more he thinks about it, the more it makes sense.

The Irish hitman who allegedly killed a reputed mob leader in a bike-by shooting died on his front lawn in a hail of gunfire. Although his killers arrived in a car.

Bike riding continues to surge in Copenhagen, climbing to a 49% mode share, as the city considers further restrictions on car use.

No surprise here. That video we linked to yesterday showing an Australian driver brake check a group of bicyclists has sparked outrage among bike riders, while online commentators continue to blame the people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former race leader Primoz Roglic cracks on a rainy stage of the Giro, raising questions of whether the Slovenian cyclist can make the podium, let alone win.

An artistically inclined former Grand Tour stage winner thinks the modern domestique is undervalued.

 

Finally…

Maybe you can’t walk on water, but you can ride an ebike on it. Of course you want to see video of Phil Gaimon’s Cookie Corner on the Mt. Baldy stage of the AToC.

And even a tornado knows better than to mess with the Wright Brothers bike shop.

Morning Links: Tamika Butler moves to LA’s Toole Design, suspect busted in Hyperion hit-and-run, and LA SciFi Bike

She’s back.

After stepping away from local bike advocacy for a few years, Tamika Butler is stepping back onto the field.

The former head of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is taking a position as Director of Planning, California, and Director of Equity and Inclusion for Toole Design Group, working out of their Los Angeles office.

This is how the company announced the hire.

A civil rights attorney with a diverse background in law, nonprofit leadership, and community engagement, Tamika brings a unique perspective to the intersection of transportation, inequality, community, and shared values. Formerly the executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Tamika helped the LACBC shift its advocacy platform to include and incorporate the voices of communities of color, LGBTQ communities, and young people into its work improving active transportation in Los Angeles County. Her three-year tenure leading the LACBC brought numerous advocacy wins and earned the organization national attention for its work on ensuring that bicycle planning and programs across Los Angeles County includes and acknowledges its community members’ values and lived experiences.

In addition to her responsibilities on planning projects, Tamika will also lead Toole Design’s internal efforts to become a more diverse, inclusive workplace that employs people of all backgrounds. This includes collaborating with Human Resources on recruiting and hiring practices, leading trainings for staff, and serving as a resource for colleagues across the country.

Let’s hope they know what they’re getting into.

During her too-brief stay with the LACBC, Butler quickly rose to national prominence as a public speaker and community leader, challenging the predominately white world of bike advocacy to broaden its horizons and refocus its efforts on creating genuine equity on our streets. A role she continued after she left the coalition.

As the above link shows, she’s not one to pull her punches, which has led to inevitable pushback, and sometimes anger, from those she challenges.

But she’s opened far more eyes, and caused countless people in and out of the advocacy world to rethink their approaches to communities of color.

Myself included.

I’d say I hope Toole allows her to keep up her fight for inclusiveness. But knowing Tamika, from my own time with the LACBC, I doubt she would have taken the job if they had restricted her voice in any way.

So let’s welcome her back.

And look forward to many more years of speaking truth to power, and challenging us all.

………

A suspect has been arrested in the hit-and-run death of a mother who was gathering recyclables on Hyperion Ave to pay for her daughter’s college tuition.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding page in her honor has already raised nearly $4,000 over the $15,000 goal.

I’m told that community members reached out to LADOT and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s office over two years ago to request safety improvements to the intersection where she died, but never got a response.

Let alone any action.

Which sadly shouldn’t surprise anyone.

………

Your next bike could have levers instead of pedals.

A new Kickstarter campaign from an LA-based inventor promises to let you ride more efficiently with less effort. And on a very cool, if very strange, SciFi-looking frame.

All for the low, low price of $3,600 for just the frame and drive system; all the other components — wheels, seat, handlebars, etc — are on you.

Although so far, it’s raised just $211 of the $347,000 goal, with 28 days to go.

………

Local

The LACBC’s next Sunday Funday Ride will take a tour of historic San Fernando and Pacoima on February 3rd, for anyone who’d rather ride than watch the Super Bowl pregame. Which should be just about everyone, unless the Rams win on Sunday.

London’s Evening Standard offers what they call the ultimate feel good guide to Los Angeles — as long as Los Angeles doesn’t extend much beyond the Westside. But at least they recommend renting a bike and riding the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path.

Culver City will hold a ribbon cutting next Friday for segment 7 of the Park to Playa Trail, a 13-mile regional trail connecting Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean.

State

A proposal in the state legislature would eliminate the need for duplicate federal and state environmental reviews for roadways, bikeways and pedestrian projects, reducing costs and speeding the approval process.

Encinitas may cut the speed limit on the Coast Highway from 35 mph to 30, in advance of construction on new bike lanes and sidewalks.

Perhaps making up for the demise of Interbike, the opening day of the inaugural CABDA West bike expo in Del Mar drew 1,200 retailers, mostly from Southern California.

Robert Leone forwards this story about the UC San Diego fencing team deciding to wear helmets any time they bike or skateboard, noting that fencing was one of the first sports to require helmets. Then again, they also have swords, which should help immensely in slicing through traffic or cutting across campus.

A San Diego man is asking for the public’s help in identifying the thief who stole the bicycle he was using to recover from injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash. On the other hand, that’s about what you can expect when you leave an unlocked bike on your front porch.

A Canadian writer goes mountain biking at SkyPark at Santa’s Village near Lake Arrowhead.

A year in, not everyone in Santa Cruz is happy with Jump’s dockless ebike program.

A new San Francisco bike brand can be ordered online and built up for whatever kind of riding you want, from gravel to touring. And then a local bike shop or mechanic will put it together for you.

National

Nothing like a DARPA designed foldie for the next time you need to jump out of a plane and hit the ground rolling.

This is why you shouldn’t fight with a bike thief. An Albuquerque man was fatally shot after struggling with a man who tried to take his bike as he waited for a bus. Seriously, just let it go. No bike is worth your life.

The company behind the late, lamented Interbike trade show floats a trial balloon, saying they could combine a bike trade show with Denver’s Outdoor Retailer shows.

Bicycling injuries and fatalities spiked in Dallas last year; a local magazine blames the introduction of bikeshare on streets without bike lanes. Although as others have told me, correlation does not equal causation; blaming bikeshare is meaningless until we know how many of those deaths and injuries happened to bikeshare riders.

A Boston area bicyclist and former selectman says bike lanes would be great, but they’re a luxury until the crappy pavement is fixed.

Bicycling says Whoopie couldn’t be more wrong about bike lanes, and the one she complained about on The View doesn’t even exist. She didn’t seem any calmer the next day, either. Meanwhile, a writer for Denver Streetsblog says he still loves Whoopie, even though she hates bikes.

A Philadelphia councilmember wants to know if e-scooters are good for black neighborhoods not served by the city’s bikeshare system. Although a better option would be a bikeshare system that serves everyone.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is in a wheelchair as she recovers from a broken hip socket and pelvis suffered in a recent bike crash.

Orlando FL follows Santa Monica’s lead, and installs parking boxes where dockless bikeshare ebikes can be left and picked up without blocking sidewalks. Los Angeles, not so much.

Good Samaritans use a floor jack to rescue a Florida bike rider after he was run over by a pickup driver and trapped under the truck.

International

Road.cc considers 15 things they say every cyclist loves. Which, of course, not everyone does.

Bicycling as a moving meditation to keep you grounded. I’ve long considered riding a bicycle a form of meditation, and the only place I’ve ever experienced the Zen state of satori.

A UK columnist says bicyclists should have properly policed, protected bike lanes, and drivers should have to retake their driver’s test every seven years.

A British man faces serious charges after he was busted for the hit-and-run bike crash that left a 70-year old woman with life-changing injuries.

A bike-riding Brit hit man has been convicted of two murders, tied to the crimes by his fitness tracker. Note to the wise: If you plan to kill anyone, leave the Apple Watch and Fitbit behind.

Only in Ireland would a story on bike safety begin by quoting George Orwell and the poet Philip Larkin.

No bias here. A former Irish mayor describes bicyclists as “vicious.”

You can now legally use your e-scooters and hoverboards in Denmark’s bike lanes.

A New Zealand driver slammed into a group of bicyclists riding home from a race, hitting two directly, while several others fell like dominos; fortunately, none of the victims were seriously injured. And do we really need to say the driver kept going without stopping?

An Aussie news site offers tips on what kind of bike you should get.

Complaints about bikeshare were up 450% in Shanghai last year, making up nearly 20% of all complaints the city received.

Also in Shanghai, a man got a month in detention for running down a bike rider while still drunk from the night before.

Competitive Cycling

The Amgen Tour of California releases this year’s designs for the leader’s jerseys.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says drug testing a 90-year old cyclist is just going too damn far.

Finally…

Yes, it may wrap around your waist and sit on your hip, but don’t call it a fanny pack. The key to preventing bike theft is finding a safe place to park it.

And Lance Armstrong, venture capitalist.

Morning Links: Tamika Butler leaves LACBC, anti-bike NIMBYs sue LA, and Peter Flax nearly needs his own obit

When I was asked to join the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition in 2010, I set out a list of goals I wanted to accomplish as a board member.

Chief among those was extending the reach of the LACBC beyond its mostly white, mostly Westside base to serve the too often ignored communities south of the 10 Freeway, and east of the LA River.

Tamika Butler made that happen.

In her nearly three years heading the coalition, she brought a degree of professionalism that the mostly volunteer organization had never known, building a solid organizational structure and hiring an experienced professional staff to serve the bicyclists of LA County.

But more than that, she built upon efforts that had already been underway — some successful, some not — to make the LACBC a national leader in addressing equity in bicycling, and in using bikes as tools for social justice. And in the process, started a conversation on race and bias that has reverberated throughout the US.

Since stepping down from the board last year, I’ve watched as the stature of the bike coalition has continued to grow, not in her shadow, but on her shoulders.

And it had become obvious that she had outgrown her position with the LACBC, and would inevitably soon move on to a more prominent role.

That day has come.

The LACBC announced yesterday that Tamika Butler will be leaving her position as Executive Director as of July 14th. Streetsblog reports she’ll be moving on to head the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust.

They’ll be lucky to have her.

Normally, that would be their gain and the LACBC’s loss. But in this case, that doesn’t fit.

In her short time with the coalition, she has lifted it to heights no one could have predicted when the board voted unanimously to hire her. And left it positioned for even greater growth and success in the years to come.

I hate to see her go.

But it’s time to take her fight beyond the world of bicycling, where she can make a bigger impact on the greater society.

And help make this a better, fairer and more equitable city for all us.

You can read the messages of Tamika Butler and LACBC Board Chair Doug John announcing her departure here.

………

The City of Los Angeles is being sued by the guardians of LA past, who think it’s their self-appointed duty to stop any forward momentum in the City of Angeles.

Like the nearly completed Target store that’s been sitting vacant and unfinished at Sunset and Western for several years, keeping the neighborhood blighted, depressing local businesses and denying residents the jobs it would create.

Not because it violates city zoning rules, as they claim. But because they simply don’t want it in their neighborhood.

In other words, the worst kind of NIMBYs, willing to screw over an entire neighborhood — or city — in an attempt to maintain the status quo for the privileged few.

Now these same people are suing the city for — get this — exposing children to dangerous levels of smog by placing bike lanes on major streets.

Not that kids are likely to use those arterial commuter lanes. Or that they give a rat’s ass about kids with asthma.

And never mind that the studies they insist the mayor is refusing to conduct have been done repeatedly around the world, and show that the benefits of bicycling far outweigh any risk from auto exhaust or otherwise polluted air.

They just don’t want bikes besmirching their fair boulevards. Or to sacrifice one inch of pavement that could be devoted to their cars.

And they’re willing to rest their case on bogus fears about the dangers to kids to do it.

If they win, LA’s hard-fought bike plan will be out the window. Which has been their real intent all along.

Meaning that you’ll be forced onto side streets, if you choose to use what few bike lanes they deem appropriate, requiring longer, circuitous routes to get where you’re going. Or continue to mix it up with motor vehicles on streets that will remain dangerous in deference to LA’s automotive hegemony.

Let’s hope the courts see through this one and show them the door.

Preferably with a foot firmly attached to their collective ass.

You have to hand it to any attorney who would be willing to publicly display such a complete and total lack of understanding of bike lanes and road diets.

………

Hollywood Reporter features editor Peter Flax writes his own obituary following a chilling close call with the driver of a Porsche on Olympic Blvd.

………

Manhattan Beach residents are going to war over the road diet on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, preparing to sue the city for their God-given right to drive from the South Bay to their offices in Santa Monica and Century City without setting wheels on a roadway actually designed for that purpose.

Because evidently, it’s worth killing a few strangers every year so they can keep commuting in their single-occupant SUVs from their multimillion dollar beachfront homes. And LA is supposed to just bend over and let them.

Regardless of the harm they do to the people and communities along their way.

You can see what those road diet opponents have to say on the subject by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

………

A British woman has started a petition to protect the roads — or rather, those poor, put-upon drivers — from dangerous cyclists who play chicken with cars and hurl abuse at the people in them.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be drivers who pass too close to bikes or do anything that might inspire that anger.

………

Britain’s governing body for sports either missed or willfully ignored problems with the cycling program.

Greg LeMond once again calls for banning race radios in the Tour de France to make the race more unpredictable and exciting. An idea I wholeheartedly endorse. Just put the riders on their bikes and let them race.

………

Local

Streetsblog reports on Tuesday’s public meeting to discuss changes to deadly Fletcher Drive though Atwater Village, which writer Joe Linton describes as a necessary route for bicyclists through the area, despite the dangers of high speed traffic. Needless to say, most drivers at the meeting seemed to prefer the option that didn’t include a road diet or bike lanes, and wouldn’t do much to improve safety for anyone.

Six streets in the San Fernando Valley are scheduled for Vision Zero safety improvements, including Sepulveda Blvd and Lankershim Blvd — where Councilmember Paul Krekorian has already decided to keep the street dangerous instead of installing a road diet with bike lanes. The misleading headline implies bike lanes are planned for all of the streets, which is contradicted by the story.

Bike SGV reports Pasadena is planning to make the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station more walkable and bikeable.

The new superintendent of the La Habra city school district rode a bicycle across the US when she was in her 20s. I like her already.

 

State

That bike-riding rhino replica will complete its tour of the left coast in San Diego this weekend.

A UC Riverside man will ride from LA to DC this summer to spread a message of diversity and tolerance.

It’s safe to get back on your bike again. The Sacramento man who was convicted of deliberately running down three bike riders is back behind bars after being released on a clerical error.

 

National

Wired looks at the movement of women’s bike makers to finally go beyond shrink it and pink it.

An Austin TX teenager says he was “just blowing off steam” when he shot a bike rider in the face with a shotgun, nearly killing him. Hopefully, he’ll be in prison long enough to permanently lose that smug look on his face; thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Must be something in the water. In another Austin case, a 26-year old man was arrested after trying to ride salmon on an Interstate highway in an effort to elude police.

An Op-Ed in the New York Daily News calls on the NYPD to stop automatically blaming bike riders for crashes where they weren’t at fault, and stop cracking down on people on bikes as a result. Like in the case of the Israeli man killed riding a New York bikeshare bike, who didn’t swerve into a bus after all.

Philadelphia steps up plans for Vision Zero after a longtime transportation advocate was killed when a driver jumped the curb onto the sidewalk where he and another person were walking.

A Baltimore lawyer and the head of the city’s bike advocacy group explain why they successfully sued to prevent the mayor from ripping out a protected bike lane.

What the fuck is wrong with people? A Baltimore mother was murdered in a dispute over her son’s bike seat.

Jamie McMurray is one of us, part of the brigade of NASCAR drivers who’ve taken up bicycling, including a recent 102 mile ride up a South Carolina mountain.

 

International

Treehugger reviews Carlton Reid’s new book Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling. Which I hope to have in my own hot little hands in the near future.

The Guardian asks if you can pick out cities from just their naked bikeway networks. Even without looking at the multiple choice answers, Los Angeles is obvious from its disconnected non-network and over-reliance on river and beachfront bike paths.

Evidently, it’s perfectly okay to kill a bike-riding woman with your truck in the UK, then decide there’s no point hanging around once the paramedics arrive, and continue with your deliveries.

A Welsh website explains why participants in the World Naked Bike Ride aren’t likely to be arrested; apparently, public nudity is legal as long as you aren’t offensive. Which pretty much rules me out.

I want to be like him when I grow up. Record-setting, 105-year old Robert Marchand helps kick off a French cycling event he competed in several times in years past.

A Berlin bicyclist was fatally doored by a diplomat, apparently from the Saudi Arabian embassy. Thanks to again to Steve Katz.

Denmark focuses on building streets where children can bike to school alone, resulting in happier, healthier kids. And adults.

ZDNet looks at the smart internet-connected Estonian bike lock being installed in the Bay Area BART stations.

A 26-year old Indian man will spend the next three years bicycling around the country to share the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi with school children. I want to be like him, too.

A bike group paints murals around Beirut, Lebanon to promote riding over driving.

Melbourne, Australia is the latest city to be invaded by Chinese dockless bikeshare.

 

Finally…

Your next bike light could help fill potholes. Bike racing comes to Beverly Hills; no, not that Beverly Hills.

And no, hurling it off a seven-story building is not the proper use of a bikeshare bike.

 

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