Morning Links: Come play dead in PVE next Tuesday, and talk Rail to River with Metro in Bell tonight

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December 13th is a good day to die on Palos Verdes Estates.

Just not literally.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson calls for bike riders to participate in a die-in next Tuesday to protest the wealthy enclave’s inexplicable reluctance to post signs saying Bikes May Use Full Lane.

That shouldn’t be the least bit controversial. Because that’s the law in California, which allows bicyclists to use the full lane on any traffic lane that’s too narrow for a bicycle and motor vehicle to safely share, while still allowing a three-foot passing distance.

Which is most, if not all, of the traffic lanes in PVE.

So what exactly is the problem?

………

Glenn Bailey, chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee, forwards news from Metro about tonight’s meetings in the City of Bell to discuss the planned Rail to Rail/River Active Transportation Corridor Project, which is in desperate need of a catchier name.

Community meetings for Rail to Rail/River Active Transportation Corridor Project to be held today

Metro is hosting two community meetings in the City of Bell as part of the Rail to Rail/River Active Transportation Corridor Project. Both meetings will be held at the Bell Community Center, 6250 Pine Avenue, Bell, on Thursday, Dec. 8. The first meeting will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the second will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bell Community Center. The evening meeting will also be streamed live online here.

For more information contact the project helpline at 213.922.9228. Para información en español, llame al 213.922.9228.

Metro is conducting the Alternatives Analysis (AA) for segment B of the Rail to Rail/River ATC Project. As part of the AA process, the community is invited to attend to get an update on the project and also to provide input on the evaluation process for a set of alternatives to connect the Metro Blue Line Slauson Station to the Los Angeles River.

The Rail to Rail/River ATC Project consists of one corridor that will be built in two phases. Segment A is the Rail to Rail component and Segment B is the Rail to River component. Together they form one route, stretching from South Los Angeles to the Los Angeles River.

Segment A

  • The “Rail to Rail” segment extends 6.4 miles between the future Crenshaw/LAX Line’s Fairview Heights Station to Santa Fe Avenue.

Segment B

  • The “Rail to River” segment extends 2.8 to 4.3 miles between Santa Fe Avenue to a future connection with the Los Angeles River.

It is anticipated that the environmental clearance work on segment A will be completed in June 2017 while the AA work on segment B will be completed in March 2017.

Once constructed, the project will increase transit options, provide access for bicyclists and pedestrians to surrounding neighborhoods and improve regional bicycle connections. The active transportation facilities will connect residents and workers to transit, jobs, schools, shopping districts and parks.

………

Local

It’s been three years since music executive Milt Olin was killed by a distracted sheriff’s deputy while riding on Mulholland Highway. His wife channeled her grief into creating the Milt Olin Foundation, which is dedicated to confronting the dangers distracted driving through its #HandsOff campaign; a Go Fund Me page to support the campaign has raised over $31,600 of the $35,000 goal. Lets see if we can help that go over the top.

You’re invited to help former pro Phil Gaimon and the LACBC clean up Mulholland once again this Saturday.

Pure Cycles invites you to join them for a fast-paced hour discussing bicycling issues and advocacy on January 19th. And yes, there will be beer. Although it can’t be that fast paced if the hour discussion is scheduled for two hours.

 

State

Sunday’s annual Palm Springs Tinsel Triathlon will honor a police officer killed in an October shooting; the course skirts the school where she had been a student.

An Oceano driver has pled not guilty to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular homicide in the death of a world class triathlete as she rode her bike earlier this year.

San Francisco Streetsblog asks why bicyclists’ injuries aren’t enough to get safer streets.

A nearly incoherent Chico letter writer complains about the costs of bike paths he — or she — says are just trashed drug shooting galleries for the homeless, while scofflaw cyclists run rampant on the city’s streets.

 

National

Bust out the EPO. Strava says American men are just the fourth fastest country on our bikes; American women do slightly better, checking in at number three.

Bicycling Magazine discusses how to ride your bike to a badass life of leisure. I’ve got the leisure part down, willingly or otherwise; just need to figure out the badass part.

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske talks bike lights.

Cyclelicious looks at the role of bike messengers in delivering news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago — including a Japanese-American messenger who rode through falling bombs to deliver news of the impending attack to the general in charge of the base, just a tad too late.

UPS is now making deliveries in Portland via e-cargo bike.

Despite the common complaint that bike riders ignore stop signs, a new video shows 64% of drivers rolled a four-way Chicago stop. Which raises the question of who really poses the greatest risk when they treat stop signs as yields?

Milwaukee hosts a massive pre-holiday bike bazaar featuring 60 vendors and 600 buyers. LA used to have something like that until declining interest and rising costs for convention center space put an end to it. Thanks to Opus the Unkillable Poet for the heads-up.

Charges have been dropped against the original suspect in the fatal shooting of a Detroit university police officer. Even though police say he is no longer a suspect, they still believe the shooter was riding a bicycle when the officer attempted to stop him.

A Pittsburgh area man has lost 106 pounds, in part by riding a bicycle each weekday as he trains to tackle a 12 summit hill climb on his leisure bike.

Nice story from Florida, as two homeless families now have new clothes and bicycles, a job, and a roof over their heads, thanks to a kindhearted deputy; it all began with a broken bike chain.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh suggests older cyclists may have more balance issues than younger riders.

No bias here, as Edmonton, Canada police call scofflaw sidewalk cyclists “undesirables.” Never mind that few people, desirable or not, would ride on the sidewalk if they felt safe on the street.

A Russian émigré discusses life in London, as well as her blog devoted to stylish cycling in the British capital.

Three London teenagers have been convicted of manslaughter for fatally stabbing a 17-year rapper in a fight over a stolen bicycle.

A five-year old English boy tells bike thieves “please don’t steal things that aren’t yours” after they make off with his father’s bike and the bike trailer he rode in.

A British expert calls on private companies to help with the costs of improving cycling infrastructure to boost employee health.

Police in the UK are complaining about a dangerous new trend in which teenagers ride their bicycles in and out of vehicular traffic. Although apparently, it’s not just a British problem.

A German website says making bicyclists wear helmets could do more harm than good, and calls for better infrastructure instead.

Reuters looks at the women of Afghanistan’s first freestyle cycling club.

An Aussie magazine determines that cyclists using ear buds can hear traffic noise better than drivers with their windows rolled up.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can pretend you’re a Top Gun pilot while you ride. Yes, it’s possible to cross the Donner Pass by bicycle without having to eat anyone.

And don’t let anyone say cyclists don’t make good mannequins.

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Sadly, we don’t have anyone to thank for contributing to BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today. Please donate today to help keep this site coming to you every morning, so we can put your name here tomorrow.

 

Morning Links: Hollywood bike parking becomes a homeless site; a blogger argues bike lane air is bad for LA kids

Blocked bike lanes are bad enough.

Now BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey sends a photo showing that even if you manage to get where you’re going, there may be nowhere to park your bike once you get there.

Even if there are bike racks in front.

Hollywood Library Bicycle Racks

Yes, everyone has to be somewhere. And I have genuine sympathy for anyone forced to live on the streets, for whatever reason.

But city officials wouldn’t permit anyone to pile up their belongings in the street if it meant no one could park there. And they shouldn’t tolerate anyone blocking all the bike parking, either.

Maybe we need a new law to prohibit anyone from blocking bike racks in such a way that bicycles can’t use them.

But then we’d have to find someone willing to enforce it.

……..

A blogger concludes that protected bike lanes don’t belong on major LA streets because it’s unsafe for children to breath the air there.

Never mind that the overwhelming majority of riders using major arteries will be adult bike commuters, or that children aren’t likely to be on them long enough to have any significant impact on their health.

The beauty of the 2010 LA bike plan, which has been subsumed into the Mobility Plan currently nearing adoption by the city, is that it was designed with bike-friendly streets on quiet neighborhood byways ideal for children and families, as well as bike lanes on major streets for bike commuters and shoppers.

Yes, all our bikeways should be safe for anyone of any age.

But arguing against bike lanes on major arteries because breathing the air is unsafe for kids is just a straw man for someone who doesn’t want bike lanes taking up space his car could be using.

And never mind that the air inside their parents’ car could be worse than the air outside it.

……..

Bradley Wiggins did it, smashing the hour record on Sunday. He beat the existing record, set just last month, by six laps, or just under a mile. And after setting the record, he still had enough strength left to lift his bike over his head in celebration.

Although I wonder if anyone inspected his bike to make sure he didn’t have a hidden motor on it.

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Local

Mind your Ps and Qs in SaMo this week, as the SMPD conducts another Bike & Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operation today, as well as on Wednesday and Friday.

A bike rider was injured in an apparent collision on PCH in Malibu Saturday afternoon. Thanks to Jeffrey for the heads-up.

Long Beach successfully celebrates its first ciclovía. Although Metro, which sponsored the event, somehow decided that was the perfect day to do maintenance work on the Blue Line leading to it.

The man who supervised the design of Long Beach’s beachfront bike path has passed away at 86.

 

State

San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood is getting protected bike lanes over the objections of some local business owners. Except where they’re needed most, of course.

A Bay Area driver drips with sarcasm after observing a bike rider stop at a stop sign. Anyone who says they’ve never seen a cyclist stop at a stop sign isn’t paying attention.

A 23-year old San Francisco cyclist was killed in a collision with a police car; he was on his way home from a bike polo match.

Napa officials are wisely following the route bike riders and pedestrians already take, and building a pathway there under a major highway.

Firefighters rescue a bike rider after she apparently rode off a trail into a Modesto canal; she’s in critical condition after being unresponsive for 40 minutes.

Sacramento residents raise nearly $11,000 for a popular chef who was left for dead by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from his restaurant. And they’re not done.

 

National

A bike rider in my hometown is dead after a driver apparently fell asleep behind the wheel, then woke up to see a truck pulling a boat in front of him. So naturally, he swerved into the bike lane and hit the cyclist, instead.

A Wisconsin driver faces a negligent homicide charge for somehow killing two cyclists, even though they were riding on the shoulder of the roadway separated by rumble strips.

Chicago has opened an elevated rail-to-trail bike and pedestrian parkway similar to New York’s popular High Line park.

A former men’s Iron Man champ returns to competition in Missouri. But this time as a woman, two years after her sex reassignment surgery.

Due to a quirk in the law, a Kentucky driver was allowed behind the wheel despite nine — yes, nine — previous DUIs; he now faces a murder charge for killing a cyclist while allegedly driving drunk yet again. Drunk driving should have a lifetime limit of two strikes and you’re out; a third offense should land the driver behind bars. Period.

It turns out that three-foot passing laws aren’t unenforceable after all, as Chattanooga police develop an ultrasound device that measures exactly how close a car comes to a bike.

In what may be the smartest cross-country tour yet, a group of Harvard and MIT students are riding across the US to get kids interested in science.

New York’s Citi Bikes are getting a makeover, courtesy of famed bike maker Ben Serotta.

Homes near Atlanta bikeways are becoming prime real estate.

A professor at Louisiana State University was killed as she walked her bike after it broke down.

 

International

Good news for Wolfpack Hustle, as bike racing’s governing body stops punishing pro racers who participate in unsanctioned events.

A Vancouver cyclist is looking for the Good Samaritan driver who pulled her out of traffic after a solo fall knocked her out.

Turns out that London’s bicycle superhighways almost didn’t happen. So maybe there’s hope for us yet.

A Brit non-profit is getting people on bikes by selling recycled bicycles.

Bicycling is under attack Down Under, as an anti-bike government minister forces the removal of a busy protected bike lane in Sydney, apparently because it replaced on-street parking five years before.

A Kiwi cyclist survives being dragged over 60 feet and trapped under an SUV.

 

Finally…

A Brit Bedlington Terrier rides a tricycle, even if he can’t pedal. Don’t buy your next bike, just print it. And a forlorn Irish rider writes a love letter to his stolen bike.

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Guest post: BAC Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reports on efforts to undo the Chase Street road diet and bike lanes

Last week we alerted you to an attempt by the Panorama City Neighborhood Council to sneak in a last minute vote on removing the road diet and bike lanes on Chase Street through the San Fernando Valley neighborhood.

Despite the late notice, a number of bicyclists emailed to protest the blatant attempt to bypass legitimate discussion of the issue, and a handful of riders were able to attend the meeting.

Glenn Bailey, Vice Chair of the Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee, offers his report on the matter.

………

Existing bicycle lanes in Panorama City were under attack last week as both the Arleta and Panorama City Neighborhood Councils voted to support efforts to “restore” two additional lanes of motor vehicle traffic along a one-mile stretch of Chase Street between Van Nuys Boulevard and Woodman Avenue. The bicycle lanes, installed a year ago, link a major commercial district in Panorama City with the existing bicycle lanes on Woodman Avenue, and will provide a future connection for the proposed bicycle lanes on Parthenia Street, which will extend west to Canoga Park. The Chase lanes also serve the adjoining Chase Street Elementary School and nearby Panorama Recreation Center.

The removal of the bicycle lanes has been spearheaded by the Arleta “Looky Loo” Neighborhood Watch group, even though the lanes are located in Panorama City and not in Arleta. They claim traffic is delayed “up to fifteen minutes during rush hour.” (Alternatively, bicycling the route at any time of the day only takes four to five minutes.)

The Panorama City Neighborhood Council (PCNC) held its regular fourth Thursday monthly meeting last week but the Chase Street bicycle lanes item was not listed on the agenda distributed three days earlier. Instead, the PCNC issued a second agenda for a special meeting that was not publicly distributed via the City’s Early Notification System until less than 11 hours before the meeting start time.

Generally, these “special” sessions are only called pursuant to State’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, to consider items that become known within two to three days before a regular meeting. However, public records indicate that the Chase Street bicycle lanes have been agendized by the PCNC at least twice over the last two years: in April 2013 and in October 2014. The issue was most recently considered by the PCNC Public Safety Committee at a meeting held on March 11, 2015 and yet the item was not included on the agenda for the next full Board meeting held on March 26, 2015. Instead, it mysteriously appeared six weeks later with virtually no advance notice for the public.

Despite the lack of public notice, the PCNC President, Viviano Montes, reported that the Board had received about twenty emails that afternoon supporting the bicycle lanes.   Two bicyclists who live in Panorama City and who use the Chase Street bicycle lanes on a daily basis did attend and spoke passionately in favor of keeping the lanes.

Two persons spoke against the bike lanes and apparently neither live in Panorama City, but rather in neighboring Arleta.  One speaker said the bicycle lanes should be “shared” with motor vehicles, apparently unaware that a five-foot lane width is too narrow to accommodate cars and that such use is a violation of the State Vehicle Code. She claimed to have petitions with 250 signatures to remove the lanes, but apparently a copy was not provided to the Neighborhood Council so the Board doesn’t know if the signers are actually from Panorama City or not.

But that was enough to influence some of the PCNC Board members who said they would vote to represent the wishes of the “majority.”  The vote was 10-1-3 (yes-no-abstain) to “ask the city to restore Chase Street to four traffic lanes between Woodman Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard” which would necessitate the removal of the bicycle lanes. (A similar motion was passed the previous Tuesday by the Arleta NC on a 7-1-1 vote.)

According to the U.S. Census, the current population of Panorama City is 70,749 so if the Neighborhood Council wants to represent a true majority, they will need to hear from at least 35,250 more of their constituents.

Instead of undoing the road diet and removing the bicycle lanes, the City’s Department of Transportation should conduct a traffic and safety study and make recommendations to improve the flow of traffic, if necessary.  For example, the complaints about delays at the four-way stop signs could be addressed by installing roundabouts at those intersections.

The bicycle lane opponents vowed to submit their petition signatures to the local City Councilmember Nury Martinez (6th District) so stayed tuned as this story unfolds.

 

Important LAPD meeting next week for anyone who lives or rides through the San Fernando Valley

Yesterday I received the following email from Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair of the LA Bicycle Advisory Committee. 

Dear Valley Bicyclists:

At the request of LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas, commanding officer of LAPD’s Operations-Valley Bureau, an important meeting with Valley bicyclists to discuss and improve the handling of:

  •       traffic enforcement to ensure cyclist safety
  •       hit and run collisions/crimes
  •       bicycle thefts
  •       improving safety on the Orange Line and other bicycle paths in the Valley
  •       safety education for motorists and cyclists
  •       and other topics of interest to bicyclists

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division will be participating and the County Sheriff (Metro Orange Line enforcement) has been invited as well.

You are cordially to invited to attend:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
LAPD Van Nuys Division
6240 Sylmar Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91401

So that there is adequate seating and copies of handouts, please RSVP via email to glennbaileysfv@yahoo.com if you are attending OR may be attending. Also, if you have additional topics you wish to be considered for this or a subsequent meeting, please forward those as well.

I encourage you to forward this invitation to other interested Valley cyclists.

Hope to see you there.

Thank you.

Glenn Bailey, Vice-Chair
Bicycle Advisory Committee
City of Los Angeles

Having worked with both Bailey and Deputy Chief Villegas as part of the department’s bike task force, I can assure you this is one meeting that will definitely be worth your time.

Especially given the subject matter.

Northridge West NC tables ridiculous $150 licensing proposal after no one speaks in favor of it

L.A. Bicycle Advisory Vice Chair Glenn Bailey reports on the absurdly punitive proposal to charge cyclists a $150 annual licensing fee, which was tabled on a technicality in the middle of debate at last night’s Northridge West Neighborhood Council meeting.

According to Bailey, not one person spoke in favor of the proposal — including the author of the proposal, who was sitting in the audience.

A proposal to charge $150 annual bicycle “license” fee was abruptly tabled last night in the middle of public comment being heard by the Northridge West Neighborhood Council board.

After several cyclist stakeholders made comments strongly opposing the measure, NWNC President Tom Johnson announced the item would be tabled because “the motion needs to be presented by a Board member” and that it was an “oversight” that it was placed on the agenda.  Johnson asked the remaining speakers to “save it for a month” but that was objected to and comments continued.

Residents, stakeholders, and cyclists unanimously spoke against the proposal, listed on the agenda as 13v. Motion: NWNC Requests LA City to Encourage Bicycle Violator Citations and Reinstitute Bicycle Licensing (Bicycle license fees must be at least $150 per year to reflect their shared responsibility for the cost of maintaining the roads and their safe use).

The measure was repeatedly called “ridiculous” in that it would “become a barrier” to cycling and thereby hurt public health and the environment.

Glenn Bailey, vice-chair of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee reviewed the reasons the City repealed its previous licensing ordinance two years ago and told the board that “we should be encouraging, not discouraging, cycling.”

He asked the board not to “waste any more of our time” by giving any further consideration to the proposal, which speakers pointed out was in violation of the California Vehicle Code.

NWNC stakeholder Ron Wengler, whose name was on the agenda as proposing the motion, was in the audience but did not speak in favor of the item.  In fact, no one did.

The 93 Neighborhood Councils in the City of Los Angeles are advisory bodies established under the City Charter and are governed by boards elected by the stakeholders within the boundaries of each NC.

Although many emails were sent prior to the meeting, additional comments may be directed to all NWNC board members by emailing board@northridgewest.org

As Glenn points out, the proposal is ridiculous — and illegal — on its face, and should be dead on arrival, with no attempt to revive it at the next meeting.

And writing for Cyclelicious, Richard Masoner artfully eviscerates Wengler’s proposal, and warns him to be careful what he wishes for, because he just might get it.