My apologies to anyone who got a premature version of today’s post, after I inadvertently hit the Publish button before it was ready.
Which makes me the poster child for premature publication.
I’ve struggled with feelings of failure for several years now, the result of the the city’s failure to follow through on its promises to improve the safety and livability of our streets.
I started this site 15 years ago today, in part because I realized I can’t change the world. But I could help make Los Angeles a safer place to ride a bike.
And that, in turn, could change the world.
But as I’ve gotten older, and watched the backsliding and lack of commitment from our elected and appointed leaders, I’ve had to accept that the livable Los Angeles I’ve long envisioned is not likely to happen in my lifetime.
So I’ve continued to get more depressed fighting for bikeways, safe streets and livable communities, while working to build a community I may never see.
Something else that has happened over this decade and a half, however. I’ve watched as other people have picked up the torch, first a relative handful inspired by myself and others to fight to improve their own communities, then the others they have inspired, building exponentially on one another.
I now realize that whatever success I have in this life will be measured, not by the changes I’ve achieved, but the spark I’ve helped spread to so many others.
Like Moses, I see the promised land of what this city can and should be, but know we’re not likely to get there in whatever time I have left in this life.
Yet I’m confident that the change will one day come, and generations to come will enjoy a city that is livable and welcoming for all, whoever you are and however you travel, because of those who may just now be joining the fight.
So I promise to keep it up.
And if anything I say or do inspires you to join in or keep up that fight, then my work here will not be in vain.
Now let’s get off this damn soapbox, and onto the news.
He gets it.
The World Health Organization warns there’s an urgent need to rethink mobility, moving on from dirty and dangerous streets for cars to safe spaces for people.
According to Nhan Tran, head of Safety and Mobility for WHO,
“We must urgently move from an old model of drab, dirty and dangerous streets built for cars, to safe, green and vibrant spaces designed and built for people. Mobility underpins so many other aspects of public health and development. By making walking and cycling safe, we can reduce air pollution and fight climate change,” Tran said at the Vision Zero Conference on Road Safety here in the Swedish capital.
“By prioritizing the safety of vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists, we can reduce poverty and tackle inequalities, including access to jobs, schools as well as gender equality,” said Tran.
Sounds right to me.
Los Angeles officials teamed with Metro to celebrate Monday’s opening of a four-mile extension of parking protected bike lanes and 24/7 bus lanes on Venice Blvd.
Meanwhile, People Powered Media offers a Twitter thread covering the event — and some of the challenges still confronting bike riders on the boulevard, while calling for safer streets for a very personal reason.
Finally, social media confirms that Angelenos really did strip to save the planet on Saturday.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
No bias here. A self-described public safety expert is calling for drivers to park in a Portland protected bike lane this Friday to protest the city’s supposed “war on cars,” saying this is what happens when citizens are ignored. But aren’t people who bike citizens too?
Readers of London’s Express called for following Italy’s possible lead, with a “staggering” 84% calling for bikes to be licensed and registered. Which is likely more a reflection of who reads the Express than more general sentiments.
But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
A group of middle-aged bike riders are accused of peeing all over a pretty Cornwall, England beer garden after complaining about the food, then riding away without paying their tab. And forcing pedestrians and a person in a wheelchair out of their way as they rode off.
A bike-riding London man got fed up with a group blocking a roadway to protest oil use, pushing them out of the way while shouting at them to “fucking move” and “go and protest properly” so people in cars could use the street.
Santa Monica police will conduct another bike and pedestrian safety enforcement operation this Friday, with an emphasis on “primary collision factors involving motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists.” The standard protocol applies — ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limit line so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.
Anaheim received $5 million in federal funding for five active transportation projects near the Honda Center, including a new bike/ped bridge over the Santa Ana River.
The misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter trial for Lindsay Turmelle has been continued until September; Turmelle is charged with killing Carlsbad ebike rider Christine Hawk Embree, who was riding with her miraculously unharmed 16-month old daughter.
Injuries from bicycling — ebikes and otherwise — jumped a frightening 50% over the past four years in San Diego’s North County region, highlighted by the death of a 15-year old boy in Encinitas over the weekend.
San Francisco media sites are finally picking up the complaints about the “confusing,” and potentially dangerous, center-running protected bike lane on the city’s Valencia Street.
An Oakland website says artist, preacher, community organizer and barber De’Morea “Truckie” Evans is one of the most connected and influential people in the city, while working to make the streets safer through bicycling.
Business Insider picks up the story about bike riders in helmets and hi-vis being seen by drivers as less human, adding to the debate over mandating helmets when helmet laws have been shown to drive down ridership, while unfairly targeting the poor and people of color. Thanks to Marcello Calicchio for the heads-up.
Walmart has a new Schwinn e-mountain bike for less than $400 right now.
Members of the Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air cycling team will hold a memorial ride to mark ten years since teammate Pete Makowski was killed when he was struck by the driver of gravel truck while on a training ride, calling for “3 Feet for Pete.”
Former Star Trek actor and gay icon George Takei was blasted by conservatives on social media for defending nude bike riders taking part in a Seattle Pride parade, where they could have been seen by kids. Even though what he said was more a criticism of anti-Pride commentators than a defense of the bike riders. And any parent who takes their kids to a Pride event should be prepared for what they might see.
Boulder, Colorado will start offering income-qualified ebike rebates up to $1,400, plus another $200 for helmets, locks and other accessories, starting July 6th. Still no word on when California’s long-delayed program will finally launch.
Cheyenne, Wyoming will host its annual Bike to Work or Wherever Day tomorrow, described by some as “the best holiday ever, all on two wheels.” Something that would have been unthinkable in the former cowboy town when I grew up less than an hour south of it.
The Des Moines Register explores the reasons first-time RAGBRAI riders are taking part in the paper’s bike ride across Iowa.
In a nice change, Evanston, Illinois is planning to build a protected bike lane on a busy street that carries 12,000 cars a day, along with “an unknown number of cyclists.” Recognizing, as others have said, that you can’t measure how many people will use a bridge by counting the people who currently swim across the river.
A New York group discusses the “menace” of ebikes, scooters moped on the city’s sidewalks, as some people blame the “bike lobby” for the dangers to pedestrians, while a state senator calls them the number one complaint to his office.
Road.cc tests whether a gravel bike is slower than a road bike, and just how fast you’ll get dropped riding one.
Toronto elected a left-wing progressive for mayor on Monday; Momentum discusses how Olivia Chow will give the city a real bicycling mayor.
Welsh drivers are just three months away from seeing speed limits cut to 20 mph in an effort to save lives and build stronger communities. So what the hell are we waiting for?
“Shocking” video captures a drunk UK driver high on coke speeding along the wrong side of the road, moments before slamming into a bike rider; the driver got seven well-deserved years for killing the victim. Even if it looks like he’s on the right side of the road to those of us on this side of the Atlantic.
A UK site considers why Mallorca, Spain has become the “go-to holiday destination” for bicyclists who won’t compromise on luxury.
An Aussie bicyclist will attempt to set a new record by crossing the country in 65 days, cutting 19 days off the existing record, while raising $200,000 for spinal cord injury research.
It’s a changing of the guard, as Mark Cavendish is confirmed for his final Tour de France, needing just one more victory to break the legendary Eddy Merckx’ record for stage wins.
Former Tour de France champ Egan Bernal will return to the race for the first time since last year’s life-threatening crash while on a training ride in his native Colombia.
Road.cc considers the unwritten rules that determine the outcome of the Tour de France.
Swiss cycling great Fabian Cancellara posted a “beautiful, and heartbreaking tribute” to fallen cyclist Gino Mäder, who was killed riding off the road on a steep descent during the recent Tour de Suisse.
Swiss masters cyclist Isa Pulver became the second consecutive woman to win the solo race category in the Race Across America, aka RAAM, in a time of 9 days, 12 hours and 16 minutes, making her the first woman to finish in less than ten days in nearly 30 years.
The Press Democrat celebrates 20-year old Sebastopol resident Luke Lamperti’s three-peat as the national crit champ.
And that stain lasts forever.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and Yevgeny Prigozhin says fuck Putin, too.