Tag Archive for Healthy Streets LA

Blaming deadly streets, LA council considers Healthy Streets plan, and stoned driver injures mother and child

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

I’m still dealing with what my doctors insist is a form of neurological migraine, even though it hasn’t responded to treatment.

Most nights I struggle to work through it; last Tuesday I couldn’t. My head had me down for the count, and every attempt to rally ended in failure.

I’d like to say it won’t happen again.

But it probably will, until they finally get this damn thing figured out.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

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Let’s start with this piece from NPR.

The public radio network looks at the recent bike boom, and the unfortunate boom in bicycling deaths that accompanied it. Along with the role played by deadly streets designed for maximum automotive throughput.

Take this brief quote, for instance.

Improving urban transportation safety for all users starts with putting cyclists, pedestrians and those using scooters, e-bikes and other alternative mobility modes on a level playing field with car and truck drivers, says P.S. Sriraj, director of the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

“There is this lack of awareness about sharing the road between different modes, between motorists and bicyclists,” he says.

“The U.S. has this perception about modes other than automobiles being inferior and that needs to be addressed right from the get go,” Sriraj adds.

It’s worth a few minutes out of your day to read the whole thing.

Thanks to Lionel Mares for the heads-up.

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It looks like the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is making an impact at city hall.

Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez has joined with four other council members to introduce a measure to implement the city’s long-ignored mobility plan while performing unrelated street resurfacing and slurry seal projects.

The proposal, also backed by councilmembers Monica Rodriguez, Kevin de León, Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, requires the city attorney to draft an ordinance based on the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

It’s just as notable, however, for who didn’t sign on, including pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz, “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, and Hollywood councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, among others.

While the ordinance would be a big step forward, it could be subject to change down the road, and likely could be overridden by a vote of the council, unlike the ballot measure.

Depending on how it’s written, it could also be weaker than the ballot measure, which would require implementation of the mobility plan, rather that just recommending it.

However, it would also avoid a long, difficult and expensive campaign for passage of the Healthy Streets proposal, with no guarantee it would win.

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What’s worse than an out of control elderly driver?

A stoned one.

A San Diego mother and her child learned that the hard way, when a 78-year old alleged drugged driver slammed into their bikes at 11th Street and Fern Ave Tuesday evening.

Fortunately, their injuries where not life-threatening. The mother was hospitalized with serious injuries, while the child, who was not identified, suffered minor injuries.

The unidentified driver was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive. And why can’t we manage to keep impaired drivers the hell off the road.

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Police believe Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the alleged killer of top gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, flew to Houston before catching a flight to New York.

Armstrong reportedly shot Wilson multiple times, believing she was involved with Armstrong’s boyfriend, cyclist Colin Strickland, who Wilson had briefly dated when the couple were on a break.

Armstrong is 5′ 8″ tall and weighs around 125 pounds. Anyone with information is urged to call the US Marshals Service at 1-800/336-0102.

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LADOT has made safety improvements to deadly Foothill Blvd.

Although I suspect most bike riders would prefer to see the bollards on the other side of the bike lane.

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The rich get richer.

Long Beach continues to lead the way in the LA area by building out an actual bike network.

Speaking of Los Beach, the city will host a Pride Ride tomorrow evening.

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Pico Rivera is getting a new bike lane, too.

Even if it is just a short strip of paint.

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As former New York DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said, first they fight to stop it, then they fight to keep it.

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

No bias here. After a Macon, Georgia bike rider was right hooked by the driver of a logging truck, the local press blames him for riding into the truck’s rear tires.

After Welsh police sent a warning letter to a van driver about an overly close pass of a bike rider, the driver posted the letter on Facebook and bragged about getting away with it.

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Local

Pasadena police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violations that put bike riders or pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law until you leave the city, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

Colorado Boulevard recaps the recent 626 Golden Streets open streets event on the first of this month.

Santa Clarita’s Bike Week celebration took 400 car commuter days off the roads.

 

State 

San Diego advocates are calling on the mayor to improve safety by doubling funding for quick-build bikeways, while the mayor calls for “sexy streets,” a plan to repave 54 miles of major roadways while adding bike lanes and improved sidewalks.

No surprise here. San Diego spent over $68,000 to stripe advisory bike lanes on a Mira Mesa street, then rip them out just days later.

Intense has opened a new assembly plan in Temecula, allowing the mountain bikemaker to streamline operations while giving it greater flexibility.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Montecito, went for a bike ride with a friend from the old country, where he used to be a royal.

Sad news from Fresno, where a 73-year old man was killed by a driver while riding his bike in a crosswalk; Fresno bike riders say they fear for their safety after a recent string of fatal crashes.

Alameda will decide whether the safety of people on bicycles is more important than convenient parking spaces.

More sad news, this time from ostensibly bike-friendly Davis, where a UC Davis student was killed when she was struck by the driver of a garbage truck while riding her bike — even though the story doesn’t even mention that the truck had one. Megan Lynch, who came upon the crash scene shortly after the collision, says Davis “should NOT be Platinum level year after year without serious work on accessibility, and serious enforcement around car-centrist vandalism and car violence.”

 

National

Cycling News looks at the Memorial Day bike sales to help you find the best deal. But before you buy anything online or from a chain store, check with your local bike shop to see what they have to offer, including better service.

A new white paper from Portland State University considers how to make ebike incentive programs more effective.

Portland and Denver have halted wasteful freeway expansions. Let’s hope LA Metro follows their example at today’s board meeting.

A Denver TV station declares the great bicycle shortage is over, as bike shops are rebuilding their inventory, although prices are still up.

This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work. Days after an alleged drunk driver drove onto a new bike path next to an Iowa highway, killing one person and injuring two others, officials installed a temporary barrier to keep cars out while they decide on a permanent solution.

Guardian Bikes, a fast-growing startup backed by Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, is building a highly automated manufacturing plant in Seymour, Indiana to overcome supply chain problems inherent in Chinese manufacturing.

Pittsburgh is using complex metrics to design safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians exactly when and where they’re needed.

The best places to ride your bike on your next trip to Cape Cod.

A Boston college student has developed a one-pound backpack for bike riders that automatically inflates into an upper body airbag in the event of a crash.

 

International

Mark your calendar for the 5th annual World Bicycle Day one week from tomorrow.

No surprise here. A new European study confirmed that protected bike lanes help close the bicycling gender gap, with more women willing to ride on safer bike lanes. And no, that does not include bike lanes protected by LADOT’s flimsy plastic car ticklers.

Get a new ebike for less than the equivalent of $1,200 from German grocery chain Aldi this week. But not, sadly, in the US.

You can now borrow an e-cargo bike to transport bulky waste or reusable items to a Rotterdam environmental park.

The New York Times takes multi-day ride from Italy to Croatia.

An Aussie driver will spend the next four years behind bars for killing a respected Adelaide doctor as he was riding his bike; the driver was under the influence of a cocktail of illicit drugs, including meth, ecstasy, coke and weed.

 

Competitive Cycling

Still more bad news, as former pro cyclist Jaime Alberto Restrepo was shot and killed Monday in Antioquia, Colombia; the 25-year old Columbian was targeted by two men on a motorcycle, one of whom was arrested.

The Giro remains incredibly tight, with Ecuador’s Richard Carapaz maintaining a slim three second lead over Australian Jai Hindley with just four stages to go.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you need a massive $75,000 pickup with a three-quarter ton payload just to drive down the street for a cappuccino. When you’re carrying meth, coke and a crack pipe on your bike, put a damn light on it. The bike, that is, not the crack pipe.

And if you’re going to make your getaway from the cops on a bicycle, don’t choose an uphill route.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

New York joins LA in fight for 25×25, Streets For All’s state & county endorsements, and Ford says park the car

New York is joining Los Angeles in the movement for 25×25.

Advocates are challenging city leaders to return 25% of city street space back to the people by 2025, whether in the form of sidewalks, bikeways or public plazas.

New York currently has 19,000 lane miles dedicated to motor vehicle use, and three million free on-street parking spaces — more than 1.5 for every vehicle in the city.

The LA 25×25 campaign similarly seeks to return 25% of the city’s 6,500 centerline miles of streets to human use by 2025.

Unfortunately, none of the five major candidates for mayor — make that four, after Joe Buscaino dropped out — have signed on yet, though a handful of others have, including progressive candidate Gina Viola.

Which would seem to make it a valuable point of distinction for anyone who does.

Meanwhile, three of the five candidates for city controller have endorsed the plan; not surprisingly, pseudo-environmentalist Paul Koretz is a holdout, along with Paul Wilcox. And four of the five candidates for city attorney are onboard.

Only Curren Price has backed it among sitting city council candidates. Bob Blumenfield is a no, while Monica Rodriguez and Mitch O’Farrell have failed to respond, along with “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, though several of their challengers have endorsed it.

Combined with the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which requires the city to build out the already-approved mobility plan as streets are repaved, it could radically reform the city into a human-centered space it hasn’t seen for most of the past century.

And New Yorkers could envy us for a change.

Photo shows kids enjoying a pre-pandemic CicLAvia.

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Streets For All offers their endorsements for the state legislature and the LA County Board of Supervisors.

Not surprisingly, the political action committee recommend returning Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Laura Friedman to office, along with Hilda Solis at the county level.

They also recommend WeHo Mayor Lindsey Horvath for the county board.

Click the link above for their endorsements in other state legislature races.

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The East Side Riders invite you to join them on a family friendly ride this Sunday.

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Ford is starting a new campaign telling their European staffers to park their cars and bike to work, instead.

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

This is the problem with drivers parking in bike lanes. A road raging San Francisco driver subjected a bike-riding man to a punishment pass, then threw something at him while screaming to “stay in the God damn bike lane!”, after the victim had been forced to leave it several times to get around illegally parked cars. Which is not to suggest that the jerk behind the wheel had a point.

No bias here. After a 15-year old Paris, Texas girl was injured in a hit-and-run while riding her bike, the local press can’t be bothered to mention that the apparently sentient car even had a driver.

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

A South Philly bike rider was killed in a curbside shootout when he tried to rob a man smoking in front of his home, not realizing the intended victim was armed and had a license to carry.

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Local

The widow of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who died during a mountain bike race run by the California Police Athletic Federation won a partial victory when a judge refused a bid to dismiss her lawsuit, but ruled she couldn’t receive punitive damages in a wrongful death case.

 

State 

No news is good news, right?

 

National

AAA included head-on collisions with bicyclists in their crash tests for cars with active driving assistance; the results weren’t pretty.

Bring it on! Seattle is hosting a self-guided Tour de Donut leading to five donut shops around the city; the $25 entry fee includes a T-shirt, and coffee or donut at each stop. LA has a hell of a lot more donut shops, in case anyone wants to try it here.

LV Sports Biz has more details on plans to hold a L’Étape by Tour de France fondo in Las Vegas next May.

Colorado bike vigilantes are stealing back previously stolen bicycles, because police don’t have the time or resources to track them down.

Millions of toddlers can’t be wrong. The founder of popular balance bikemaker Strider Bike will be inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame.

Police in Kalamazoo, Michigan are using a laser measuring device mounted to an officer’s bicycle to catch drivers violating the city’s five-foot passing law. Something we tried, and failed, to get the LAPD to do here when they complained there was no way to enforce California’s three-foot passing law.

Seriously? A Virginia legal group suggests five of the state’s bike laws that could save your life — including wearing a helmet, which isn’t required under state law. But the only tip they have for drivers is to obey the three-foot passing law. Because evidently, if you get killed by a driver it’s your own damn fault.

 

International

Vancouver is Awesome offers a cycling enthusiast’s guide to buying your first bicycle.

Good idea. Canada’s Price Edward Island is donating $25,000 to a foundation to help young people in recovery transition back into society, to help establish a program to refurbish and recycle bicycles.

Great idea. Cycling UK, Britain’s official bicycling agency, is now offering free three-month ebike loans to encourage people to stop driving and start riding.

The rich get richer. London bicyclists now have yet another bicycle superhighway, providing a safe route for riders on the city’s east side. Which compares favorably with LA’s none.

No bias here, either. An Irish jeweler blames a new bike lane that replaced parking spaces in front of his shop for “forcing” him to close, before even waiting to see how it affected his business; Facebook commenters aren’t having it.

We Love Cycling, which appears to be associated with Czech carmaker Škoda, offers advice on how to buy a bicycle online.

More heartbreaking news from Ukraine, where a father was killed by Russian soldiers as he was riding his bike, leaving his family to carry his body back home in a wheelbarrow.

No surprise here. After authorities in a New Zealand city block a dangerous street to through traffic, there hasn’t been a single crash; the city now plans to make the closure permanent.

 

Competitive Cycling

No change in the leader’s jersey, as French cyclist Arnaud Démare overcame  Caleb Ewan in a photo finish to win Thursday’s sixth stage of the Giro, capturing his second consecutive stage.

Evidently, Astana Qazaqstan team leader Alexander Vinokourov still thinks a bike race is best seen from the seat of a bicycle, taking a few minutes to motor pace behind the team van during Thursday’s sixth stage.

Cycling Tips looks at an Italian cycling team’s whopping 38 sponsors.

 

Finally…

Presenting an ebike for people who’d rather be riding a motorcycle. If you’re riding a bike with two active drug warrants and an open charge of driving without a license, maybe don’t ride salmon — or flee from police when you do.

And you’ll have to keep riding a dumb Zwift bike for now.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Riding a bike shouldn’t be so dangerous, a look at LA’s Vision Zero fail, and Garcetti cuts LA’s transportation budget

Happy Earth Day.

Or as Los Angeles officials call it, Friday.

LA’s elected leaders will undoubtedly pontificate and issue all kinds of public statements stressing the importance of protecting the earth and fighting climate change.

But won’t do a damn thing about it.

And if you happen to see outgoing CD5 Councilmember and current candidate for City Controller Paul Koretz, ask him how he can be a self-professed environmentalist while blocking bike lanes in his district.

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He gets it.

In today’s must-read story, a columnist for the New York Times writes that riding a bicycle in the US shouldn’t be this dangerous.

Using the recent death of a 13-year old Mountain View boy as a starting point, Farhad Manjoo writes that the boy was right hooked by a truck driver who reportedly never saw the kind on his bike hidden in his blind spot.

And that Andre Retana and the man who killed him didn’t do anything. But Andre lost his life anyway, thanks to roads designed to prioritize automotive throughput over everything else.

Including human lives.

Manjoo goes on to say this —

The United States is in the midst of a traffic fatality crisis. Nearly 39,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes on American roadways in 2020, the most since 2007. American roads have grown especially dangerous to “nonoccupants” of vehicles — that is, bicyclists and pedestrians. In 2011, 16 percent of traffic deaths were of nonoccupants; in 2020 it was 20 percent. The trends are a major reversal — from the 1970s until the late 2000s, deaths on American roadways of bicyclists, pedestrians and people in cars had steadily declined. There are a number of potential reasons for rising deaths — among them that many more of our cars are big and deadly S.U.V.s, that states keep raising speed limits, that ride-sharing vehicles have made our roads more chaotic, and that people drove much more recklessly during the pandemic. But while many cities, states and the federal government have unveiled plans to mitigate the horror, progress has been elusive.

The intersection of El Camino and Grant Road illustrates a major part of the problem. A big reason our roads are unsafe is because they were designed that way — because, as the advocacy group Smart Growth America puts it, policymakers at nearly every level of government continue to prioritize the speedy movement of vehicles over the safety of everyone else on our streets. And even when the dangers of our bad roads become glaring, officials have limited options for fixing them.

Our roads are deadly because officials will still call the inevitable consequences of this ill-design a tragedy rather than a choice.

It’s more than worth taking a few minutes from your day to read the whole thing.

Go ahead, we’ll wait.

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Call this one another must-read.

LAist’s Ryan Fonseca looks at the failure of LA’s Vision Zero and the city’s mobility plan, citing a lack of funding and political will that has led to a dramatic increase in traffic deaths, rather than eliminating traffic deaths by 2025 as we were promised.

Despite putting both plans in motion more than six years ago, L.A.’s streets are deadlier now than they were then, especially for people walking.

In 2015, 186 people were killed in crashes on city streets. Last year, the death toll was 294, according to city data. Pedestrians make up the largest share of victims, with 132 people killed by drivers while walking last year. That’s up 50% from 2015.

Fed up, a coalition of safety advocates and community groups is working to get a measure on the local ballot this November. The measure would compel the city to follow its mobility plan whenever it repaves a street. That’s rarely happening now, according to the group, called Healthy Streets LA.

Once again, it’s worth a few minutes of your day to read the entire piece.

Because, to paraphrase the NYT’s Manjoo, riding a bike — or walking, or even driving or riding in a car — shouldn’t be this dangerous.

Or deadly.

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Unfortunately, the mean streets of Los Angeles aren’t likely to get any safer anytime soon, as the mayor’s new budget cuts $14 million from the city’s already underfunded transportation budget, while pumping another $125 million into the LAPD’s bloated $3.2 billion budget.

Things like this are why both the LA Times and I have endorsed Kenneth Mejia for city controller, because he’s already doing the controller’s job of digging into the city’s finances to uncover what’s hidden there.

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Los Angeles filled in yet another missing chunk of the LA River bike path in the San Fernando Valley, as the city works to complete the entire 72-mile pathway in time for the 2028 LA Olympics.

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So tell me again how bicyclists don’t ride in the damn bike lane?

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The estimable Will Campbell offers a video love letter to the little known 4th Avenue bike and pedestrian bridge over the !0 Freeway.

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

More blowback for the coal-rolling Texas car tuner, as bike riders call for a boycott of the shop over the video of a driver enveloping a bicyclist in his truck’s exhaust, which was apparently posted by the shop owner, who somehow feels like he’s the victim the victim in the whole thing. Hint: He’s not.

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Local

A writer for the LA Times gets four of the five mayoral candidates on the record for their stands on environmental issues, including calls for better bike infrastructure; billionaire Rick Caruso evidently couldn’t be bothered to do more than email it in.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. A mountain lion was killed on the busy 405 Freeway just south of the Getty Center early Thursday morning, apparently trying to get across the massive billion dollar car sewer.

Over one hundred people turned out to honor fallen bike rider Andrew Jelmert with a ghost bike ceremony Wednesday night.

 

State 

Calbike credits their advocacy work for California’s 4th place ranking in the Bike League’s roster of bicycle-friendly states.

Costa Mesa opens a new bollard-protected bike lane on Bristol Street, while “enhancing” existing bike lanes on Baker Street. That protected lane is pretty much just separated bike lane marked by green plastid bollards that aren’t going to stop anyone.

La Jolla’s Traffic & Transportation Board unanimously approved plans to repave and restripe the city’s deadly Via Capri to narrow traffic lanes and add buffered bike lanes, after a $1.32 million settlement over a man who was killed when his motorcycle hit one of the street’s many potholes.

Fontana has decided to abandon an undeveloped piece of property the city has owned for 25 years, while vowing to continue the bike races that often start and end there.

Cambria’s Eroica California vintage bike ride returns to San Luis Obispo County next weekend.

 

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says bike companies may not be perfect when it comes to protecting the environment, but they should keep doing what they’re doing.

Low-income resident’s of Corvallis and Eugene, Oregon can get a $1,200 rebate on the purchase of an ebike.

The wives of fallen bicyclists Adam and Matthew Bullard, the Whittier brothers killed while riding near St. George, Utah, thanked tlocal residents for honoring the men with a ghost bike; the city is also moving forward with plans for a permanent memorial near the site.

Indiana University’s legendary Little 500 is set to roll this afternoon; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole an adaptive tandem bike belonging to a Missouri special needs kid.

 

International

The City Fix calls out five ways to cut oil and gas use through clean transportation, including building safe bicycling and walking infrastructure, and prioritizing both in transportation budgets. Unlike, say, the budget presented by LA’s mayor this week.

The Belize cycling federation called on all bicyclists to don their team jerseys to ride along with the funeral procession honoring cycling coach and race organizer Edison “Vintage” Usher, who died just days before his 49th birthday when the motorcycle he was riding with another man exploded while on their way to livestream a women’s cross country race.

Canadian mountain bikers call for an apology after an Adidas marketing manager wrote a “willfully ignorant” blog post “steeped in white privilege,” which they say suggests the reason women of color don’t succeed in the sport is due to their own lack of hard work.

The president of a Malaysian road safety research institute says there’s no law banning bike riders from any road in the country, as long as they adhere to basic safety requirements.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews says Dutch pro Mathieu van der Poel may be wiser and more dangerous than ever after bouncing back from a nagging back injury.

Paris-Roubaix really was the Hell of the North for France’s Florian Sénéchal, who claims a spectator doused him with urine during the race. Yet he still managed to finish 13th, despite an earlier crash.

VeloNews offers photos from the first stage of this year’s Redlands Classic.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you just want to go for a buck naked bike ride. Nothing like biking with a goggles and bowtie wearing kitty.

And answering the age old question of why do bicyclists shave their legs?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Murder & DUI charges in Griffith Park crash, petition to ban cars from park, and NCs sign on to Healthy Streets LA

Make that murder, instead.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the charges against Jairo Martinez, the man arrested for killing 77-year old AIDS/LifeCycle rider Andrew Jelmert in Griffith Park on Saturday, have been upgraded to murder, rather than vehicular homicide.

The paper hints at the reason here.

In addition to murder, prosecutors charged Martinez, 37, with fatal hit-and-run and driving with a suspended or revoked license after being convicted of driving under the influence. He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

If Martinez was convicted of DUI in California, he would have been required to sign a Watson notice acknowledging that he could be charged with murder if he killed someone while driving under the influence anytime in the future.

And kill someone, he did.

Allegedly.

It’s clear from the charges that losing his license didn’t stop Martinez from driving, or from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

California has to do more to keep people like him from continuing to drive after losing their license. Let alone continuing to drive drunk.

Interlock devices that check a driver’s blood alcohol level before the ignition will engage is a start.

But it would be far more effective to impound a driver’s car for the full duration of any drivers license suspension. Or force them to sell their car if their license is revoked.

Because as the charges against Martinez demonstrate, just taking away someone’s license doesn’t stop them from driving.

Or from killing someone.

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Meanwhile, traffic safety nonprofit SAFE, or Streets Are For Everyone, has started a petition to begin phasing out cars from Griffith Park, with the exception of park rangers and shuttle buses.

Griffith Park is the largest park in the United States which still allows private cars. It is a haven for the community and a popular destination for cyclists, runners, walkers, and families with young children – getting out for some physical activity and get-togethers. Yet the few bike lanes that exist do not have barriers separating riders from cars. The posted speed limit is 25 MPH, but many drivers go 40 – 60 MPH using Griffith Park as a way to avoid the crowded 5 freeway.

And yes, I signed it. I hope you will, too.

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Twenty-eight down, 71 to go, as over a quarter of Los Angeles’ neighborhood councils have signed on to the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure, which would require the city to build out the already approve mobility plan as streets get resurfaced.

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The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition is hosting the second in their series of Bike Salons tonight.

The LACBC is also looking for volunteers as they resume the Operation Firefly light giveaway program.

The other news isn’t so welcome, as the organization has cancelled their formerly annual River Ride for the third consecutive year, while hinting at an event later this year to “celebrate the joy of bicycling.”

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As we mentioned yesterday, the Bike League — aka the League of American Bicyclists — is out with their latest ranking of the country’s most bike-friendly states.

Massachusetts overtook Washington for the top spot for the first time, while California came in at a seemingly overly optimistic 4th. New York finished 13th in the ranking, although the state got an F grade in the Traffic Laws and Practices category.

And lowly Wyoming claimed the lanterne rouge as the nation’s most bike-unfriendly state.

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

A Charlotte NC Uber and Lyft driver is out of work after a “gang” of teenage bike riders chased him down and beat him up, stealing his phone, wallet, car keys and car, after he got out of his car when he “clipped” one of the wheelie-popping riders at a red light.

A salesperson at a Belgian car dealership dumped a bucket of water onto a bike rider who spit on the featured cars as he rode by every day.

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Local

The Los Angeles Times has followed my lead, and endorsed Kenneth Mejia for city controller, with an honorable mention for longtime city budget analyst and financial officer Stephanie Clements; termed-out career politician Paul Koretz, not so much.

Pasadena is hosting a community meeting next Thursday to discuss the proposed Craig Avenue Greenway, a 1.1-mile bicycle boulevard between Orange Grove Boulevard to Del Mar Boulevard.

Whittier is planning to add a nearly three-mile extension to the popular 4.6-mile Greenway Trail rail-to-trail path.

 

State 

Calbike invites you to take part in this year’s Climate Ride fundraiser stage ride.

No bias here. A San Diego TV station actually says California’s requirement that carmakers replace cars that run on gas with other cars that run on batteries is a prime example of the mythical war on cars.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a van driver who followed a 16-year old boy on his bike, and tried to lure him inside the van.

Caltrans District 8 is asking for public input on a draft Active Transportation Plan for the High Desert and the Inland Empire area.

After a Hayward girl’s stolen bike was found stripped and trashed, kindhearted sheriff’s deputies worked with a local bike shop to get it cleaned up and repaired before they returned it to her.

It’s open season on mountain bikers in the Oakland Hills, as gangs of thieves are robbing people for their bikes in a crime spree dating back to last year.

San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney has won a seat in the California Assembly in special runoff election; Haney is credited with the rapid expansion of protected bike lanes in the city’s SoMa district.

 

National

Bicycling offers advice on how to extend the life of your bike tires. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

A Chicago bike rider won nearly $300,000 in damages after he was grievously injured when he struck the base of a broken bike lane bollard.

Boston’s Bikes Not Bombs organization is using bikes as a tool for social change.

They get it. A DC website says Vision Zero is meaningless unless we can get more drivers off the roads.

A longtime Florida bike shop was burned when an unattended ebike battery caught on fire while being charged, after they had sent the customer’s battery out to be rebuilt.

 

International

A Montreal website remembers the city’s Bicycle Bob, who fought to make bicycling seem like a normal urban activity, while encouraging the city to develop infrastructure necessary to support it.

The UK has seen a massive 40% jump in bike thefts in just the last three years.

Tossing a bike onto a London train track to watch it explode is not one of the recommended uses.

A British father calls for giving police the power to immediately suspend the license of drugged drivers, after his six-year old son was stuck by a driver who had already been stopped twice for DUI.

Current Santa Barbara resident and former spare heir Harry, Duke of Sussex, is reportedly “having a blast” riding his bike and whistling while attending the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.

Thank a massive volcano on a remote South Pacific island for the modern bike you ride.

 

Competitive Cycling

If you want to watch the oldest of the five Monuments here in the US this Sunday, you’ll need a subscription to the GCN+ streaming service; otherwise, you’re SOL for the 108th edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

The Redlands Classic stage race is back after a two-year Covid-imposed absence, with a time trial course last used 26 years ago.

A former Tokyo Olympian offers an insiders view of the L39ion of Los Angeles training camp.

 

Finally…

Bike bridge, pedestrian path and coyote crossing. If you’re going to ride your bike naked on Easter morning, at least get a damn tan first.

And now you, too, can buy a bike for the same price I paid for my last car.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Signing the Healthy Streets LA petition, LA asks for $197 million to finish LA River path, and working for safer Hyperion

That’s a picture of me signing the petition to get the Healthy Streets LA measure on the ballot at Pan Pacific Park yesterday, with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider.

With my four-footed intern somehow managing to upstage us both.

As we’ve mentioned a few times before, the ballot measure is a pretty simple proposition.

It would require Los Angeles to build out the city’s mobility plan, which is currently collecting dust on the city’s servers, whenever a street gets repaved. Which isn’t often enough, as anyone who’s had to fix a pothole flat can attest.

That’s it. If the street is included in the mobility plan — whether it calls for a bike or a bus lane — the city would be obligated to to stripe it.

The beauty of this approach is that the costs are minimal, since the street would have to be restriped anyway.

And every bus lane, bike lane and bicycle friendly street in the plan has already been formally blessed by the LA Planning Commission and the Los Angeles City Council, so it’s pretty damn hard to argue against.

But before that can happen, it has to qualify for the ballot, which will take around 93,000 signatures.

Let’s make yours one of them.

Mine already is.

Thanks to Michael, August and everyone volunteering their time to collect signatures on this vital transportation and traffic safety measure. 

………

Los Angeles is working on getting state funding to finally finish the full LA River bike path in time for the 2028 Olympics.

Burbank-Glendale state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, says she’s on board.

Yes, $197 million is a lot of money.

But it pales in comparison to the $1.6 billion flushed down the toilet to install HOV lanes on the 405 Freeway through LA’s Sepulveda Pass, which only resulted in more congestion and slower travel times.

And it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the state’s $31 billion budget surplus.

At the very least, it would provide a healthy alternative to driving for those who can use it for a commuter corridor, as well as a safe place to ride recreationally.

I included a link to the Daily News story from Friedman’s tweet, but it’s up to you to find a way around the paper’s paywall. 

………

Here’s your chance to work for a safer street for bike riders and pedestrians on Hyperion.

………

Horrifying thread from a New York bike rider, who was chased down and attacked by a driver and their passenger — for the crime of touching their car to get by after the driver illegally parked in a bike lane.

It’s worth a click to read the whole thing.

………

The future of foldies, five decades ago.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1500365563889020932

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

Life is cheap in the UK, where a homicidal driver got the equivalent of a lousy $1,321 fine after trying to intentionally ram a man on a bicycle at least six times, by my count.

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

An allegedly stoned 50-year old New York ebike rider faces charges for crashing into two women crossing the street, leaving one in critical condition with a head injury.

………

Local

An e-scooter rider was murdered by a hit-and-run driver in LA’s Koreatown early Saturday. He was struck by a minivan driver, then run over and dragged nearly 20 yards by a second driver as he lay in the street; the first driver stayed followed the crash, but the second driver, who likely did the most harm, fled the scene.

Despite the impending climate emergency, climate change is taking a back seat to policing and homelessness — or more often, policing the homeless — in the race for mayor of Los Angeles.

At least Los Angeles ranks high on the list of the best cities to walk a dog, coming in at sixth.

LA County firefighters hoisted an injured mountain biker out of a remote area in the Santa Monica Mountains above Brentwood.

 

State 

The nation’s highest gas prices are kicking ebike sales up another gear for San Diego bike shops, on top of the previous pandemic bike boom.

Dozens of Riverside bike riders turned out to honor 15-year old fallen bicyclist Javier Gonzalez., who was killed in a hit-and-run last week. Although someone should tell KNBC-4 that some of those “teens” look like they haven’t seen their teens for awhile now.

Residents along Shannon Road in Los Gatos say they support a proposal to add bike lanes and sidewalks, they just want to make them less safe, inviting and comfortable to “preserve the rural feel” of the community. Although they do have a point about adding trees along the route. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

San Francisco is planning ahead, considering three options for bikeshare after its current contract with Lyft expires in five years.

Bad news from San Francisco, where a woman is still fighting for her life, three weeks after she suffered a fractured skull and broken jaw and ribs when she was run down by a hit-and-run driver while riding home from her bartending job.

 

National

Cycling Savvy explains cadence.

Always wear a bike helmet in case you get assaulted by men with sticks and bats, like this New York delivery rider who was saved by his helmet when he was assaulted by eight men, apparently just for the hell of it. Thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

An Iowa man was convicted of homicide after running a series of red lights while driving drunk, and killing a 40-year old man riding a bike, before fleeing the scene.

It takes a major schmuck to steal the seat off a three-wheeled bike a Marshall University student with spinal bifida needs to get to class.

Speaking of which, an Alabama TV station examines how an adaptive bike can change the life of someone with a disability.

 

International

A British Columbia writer says yes, he supports more bike lanes to create safe streets and alternatives to driving, but maybe Amsterdam isn’t the best model for North American cities.

A new Canadian ebike employs motorcycle-like parts to promise speeds up to 40 mph. Which would make it illegal in California, and most of the US. 

Evidently, bike theft is no better on the other side of the Atlantic, where a bicycle gets stolen in London ever 16 minutes, with only a two percent chance of ever seeing it again.

London has expanded its Ultra-Low Emission Zone to cover any older, smog-emitting vehicles in the entire city; anyone with a gas-powered car built before 2005, or a diesel-powered car or truck built before 2014 will have to pay the equivalent of $16.70 per day. Meanwhile, Los Angeles, which consistently ranks among the smoggiest cities in the US, continues to do not one damn thing.

Twenty-five year old former world mountain bike champ Reece Wilson is the new face of tourism in Scotland’s Borders region.

Brussels has seen a 50% drop in traffic deaths since implementing an 18 mph speed limit a year ago, while bicycling rates continue to ride. LA drivers would probably riot if anyone tried to slow them down that much. Or just ignore the new limits, like they do now.

Eight-year old US/Ukrainian ebike startup Delfast continues to operate under impossible conditions in the Eastern European country, despite the Russian invasion.

A New Zealand coroner says a bike-riding man is dead because a contractor just forgot to change the road markings after a roundabout was repaved.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cycling star Tadej Pogačar claimed victory in Saturday’s Strade Bianche classic, with 41-year old Alejandro Valverde overjoyed just to finish second; high winds caused a massive crash that took down dozens of riders early in the race, including both Pogačar and Valverde.

Thirty-year old French cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will take on South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic, considered the world’s premier mountain bike stage race; she has won world titles in four disciplines, including road cycling and cyclocross.

Rather than banning time trial bikes, British TT specialist Alex Dowsett calls for rule changes to raise the height of handlebars to eliminate the head-down riding position and improve safety

That’s one way to avoid sanctions on Russian riders. Russian cyclist Pavel Sivakov is now officially French, after UCI gave him permission to change his nationality.

Sad news from the UK, where former English Tour de France and Olympic cyclist, bike shop owner and club president Colin Lewis died after a short bout with cancer; he was 79.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your banana yellow, submarine-shaped ‘bent causes causes an uproar. When you’re a convicted felon illegally carrying a handgun on your bike, put a damn light on it.

And now we know what caused that big crash in the Strade Bianche.

………

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

Red alert for climate change, ebikes now welcome in Santa Monica Mountains, and PCH bike lane closure tomorrow

Before we start, I’m aware of the death of a well-known Upland man who was struck by a speeding motorcyclist while riding his bike last week. 

I’ve reached out for official confirmation, and just trying to avoid getting ahead of the story before family members are all notified. 

We should know more later today. 

Thanks to Claremont Cyclist Michael Wagner of CLR Effect for the heads-up. 

………

The United Nations has issued a red alert on climate change.

A new report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world is facing environmental disaster, with humankind unable to keep up with the increasingly rapid pace of change.

This is what the New York Times had to say.

The report also carries a stark warning: If temperatures keep rising, many parts of the world could soon face limits in how much they can adapt to a changing environment. If nations don’t act quickly to slash fossil fuel emissions and halt global warming, more and more people will suffer unavoidable loss or be forced to flee their homes, creating dislocation on a global scale…

Many leaders, including President Biden, have vowed to limit total global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels. That’s the threshold beyond which scientists say the likelihood of catastrophic climate impacts increases significantly.

But achieving that goal would require nations to all but eliminate their fossil-fuel emissions by 2050, and most are far off-track. The world is currently on pace to warm somewhere between 2 degrees and 3 degrees Celsius this century, experts have estimated.

That alone should be the only argument we need to ensure pedestrians, bicycles and transit are given priority, not on some streets, but on every street.

And yes, that includes removing parking to build bike lanes.

Because whether or not that inconveniences someone today, it’s a lot better than watching the world go up in flames tomorrow.

………

It’s now legal to ride an ebike on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains, which will be allowed for the next year on a trial basis.

Thanks to mountain bike advocacy group CORBA for the tip.

………

Caltrans is planning to close the bike lanes in both directions on PCH tomorrow and Thursday, between Deer Creek Road and Sycamore Canyon Road west of Malibu.

The roadway will be reduced to a single lane in both directions to restore the retaining wall between supporting the roadway over the ocean.

Bike riders are urged to avoid the area for the next two days.

………

Sign the petition to get the Healthy Streets LA measure on the ballot for the November general election on the UCLA campus tomorrow, from 2 pm to 4 pm on the Bruin Walk.

The ballot measure will improve traffic congestion and safety, while fighting climate change, by requiring Los Angeles to build out the city’s groundbreaking mobility plan whenever streets are repaved.

………

Streetsblog takes a look at the nascent progress on the new protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive near Griffith Park.

Credit goes to CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman for pushing the project through.

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If you’re in the Bay Area, here’s your chance to start your bike advocacy modeling career.

………

Once you’ve experienced the peloton, a war zone is nothing.

https://twitter.com/cyclelicious/status/1498385440008667139

………

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar is the face of a new ad for bike tourism in Slovenia.

Best advice — turn off the sound and ignore the captions so you can just take in the spectacular views.

………

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

Someone is sabotaging bike lanes on a Mesa, Arizona highway by covering them with caltrops — small, multi-spiked metal tacks designed so one of the spikes always points up to puncture tires — which could cause a dangerous crash, especially if the rider fell into the roadway.

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

A 19-year old British man is on trial for the horrific murder of a 17-year old Black man, after chasing the victim into a store to stab him repeatedly with a “Rambo-style knife,” apparently at random; the entire attack took just minutes, with the accused killer leaving home on his bicycle and returning just 18 minutes later.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers more information on the abrupt departure of Metro Senior Executive Officer for Construction and Engineering Abdollah Ansari, who apparently never met a freeway project he didn’t like; Ansari leaving Metro could mean less pressure to widen and extend freeways, and more emphasis on biking, walking and transit.

Gabe the Sasquatch could be making a post-pandemic comeback as the mascot of the San Gabriel Valley’s 626 Golden Streets, as the popular open streets event returns on May 1st with a five-mile Mission to Mission route stretching from San Gabriel through Alhambra to South Pasadena.

 

State 

Bad news from San Jose, where a bike rider was in stable condition after suffering life-threatening injuries in a collision with a driver Saturday night.

Berkeley is considering permanently banning cars from Telegraph Avenue, converting the iconic street into a pedestrian, bike, and transit-only plaza.

A Bay Area website recommends four relatively short wine tours you can do by bike. Just remember it can be a lot harder to make the pedals go round after sampling a few vintages. Or maybe that’s just me. 

 

National

Momentum Magazine talks with Black Girls Do Bike executive director Monica Garrison about the phenomenal growth of the the nationwide organization, which she founded as a Facebook page a decade ago looking for riding companions.

A bighearted Indianapolis coach driver is giving out free bike lights to passengers who need them, after seeing a bike rider struck and killed by a driver while getting off a bus.

A Cambridge, Massachusetts paper says local restaurants were already suffering long before the bike lanes went in that they blame for a slowdown in business. Similar to LA’s Venice Blvd, where protected bike lanes were blamed for every nearby business failure, regardless of whether the businesses were struggling before they were built.

A DC writer beat the cost and hassle of an Uber ride to the airport by investing all of $3.85 for a seven-mile bikeshare ride.

The Tampa, Florida state attorney is addressing the problem of Biking While Black by declining to prosecute bike riders arrested for non-violent acts.

 

International

An English town extends a ban on bikes in the city center during a contentious council meeting, despite a majority of the speakers wanting it removed.

Britain’s Chris Boardman says if you think bike helmets and hi-viz are the answer to bicycle safety, you’re asking the wrong question.

An Egyptian man rode over 700 miles across the country to encourage the return of tourism.

 

Competitive Cycling

The racing season is off to a fast start, with Spain’s Alejandro Valverde and Canadian Michael Woods taking the top two podium spots at the four-stage Gran Camiño.

The International Olympic Committee, aka IOC, urges cycling’s governing body and other International sports federations to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine.

A writer for Outside recommends Black cycling legend Major Taylor’s 1928 autobiography, The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.

 

Finally…

How to get banned and unbanned for cheating on Zwift. Now you, too, can build your very own pedal-free prop-driven snow bike.

And of course the president of Ukraine is one of us.

………

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

More proof bike lanes reduce traffic congestion, and Caltrans commits to non-Vision Zero Vision Zero by 2050

A new study confirms what we already knew.

Bike lanes reduce congestion.

The Carnegie Mellon University study demonstrates how increasing bicycle and micromobility use can lead to a notable decrease in traffic congestion.

But only if there is sufficient infrastructure in place to support increased ridership.

Meanwhile, a study from the Urban Institute suggests that protected and buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks and offroad paths offer a far better solution than painted bike lanes, let alone sharrows.

Your move, Los Angeles.

………

Caltrans has finally, semi-officially committed to Vision Zero, even if they very carefully avoided using the term.

And even if they gave themselves nearly 30 years to get there, which effective absolves the agency of the need to take immediate action, giving them every opportunity to kick the can down the road.

But it’s a start.

Maybe someday, someone will actually do more than just start.

………

No irony here.

KTown For All co-founder Jane Nguyen was struck by a driver as she was walking in a Koreatown crosswalk (scroll down), while on her way to gather signatures for the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure.

The initiative would improve street safety and transportation by requiring the city to build out the mobility plan as streets are repaved, rather than the current policy of just pretending the plan doesn’t exist.

Nguyen was rushed to the ER by bike rider and corgi owner Kenneth Mejia, who’s running for city controller and has been endorsed by this site.

Fortunately, she wasn’t seriously injured.

And no, I didn’t endorse Mejia just because he rides a bike and has a couple corgis. But it didn’t hurt.

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If you know, or are, a Pasadena public school student, here’s your chance to learn how to fix a bike. And maybe even win a new one.

………

Today is the last day to apply for the inaugural Los Angeles City Youth Council. Because it wouldn’t hurt to ensure we have a bike-friendly voices on there.

………

But people on bicycles are entitled.

Right?

https://twitter.com/runolgarun/status/1498169046734295040

………

Just in case anyone thinks you can’t defend your homeland with a bicycle.

………

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

A pair of homeless men face charges for beating a Kansas man to death with a metal pipe; at least one of the men was arrested as he rode away on a bicycle afterwards.

………

Local

No news it good news, right?

 

State 

San Diego opened a pair of bikeways on Fourth and Fifth Avenues through the Bankers Hill and Hillcrest neighborhoods. Which would have allowed me to safely ride to work when I lived down there. But they only came about three decades too late.

A KPBS roundtable discussion considers what effect the debate over bike lanes will have on San Diego’s climate action plan.

Travel & Leisure recommends REI’s three-day, 113-mile supported bike tour through Joshua Tree National Park, for the low, low price of $1,099 for members. Or for the same price, just get your bike fixed-up, buy a tent and camping gear, and do it yourself.

A writer for the Marin County Bicycle Coalition calls for improving street safety before anyone else gets killed, after a San Francisco pastor was run down from behind while training for a bike ride to Long Beach.

Lodi considers converting an unused railway right-of-way to a rail-to-trail project.

 

National

Road Bike Action wants to talk about your varicose veins. Mine came courtesy of a road raging driver who intentionally slammed into my bike, driving the front cog into my calf.

A new reverse-tricycle ebike from an Oregon bikemaker offers pedal-by-wire, with no direct mechanical connection to the three independent electric motors that power each wheel; the bike also has as a tilting design that allows it to corner like a two-wheeled bike.

Seattle’s Rad Power Bikes considers lowering prices on its most popular models, just months after increasing them due in part to the international bike part shortage.

A Las Vegas bike rider was killed when a bus driver failed to notice the victim was riding to the right of the bus, forcing the rider to cling to the side of the moving bus until he or she lost their grip, and fell into it.

Business owners in Columbus, Ohio and Cambridge, Massachusetts insist on shooting themselves in the foot by fighting plans to remove parking spaces to install bike lanes, even though studies show bike riders spend more than drivers on a monthly basis, and that bike lanes encourage shopping while increasing local sales.

Streetsblog accuses New York officials of a literal coverup after the city did a “fast and shoddy repair” to caved-in pavement on a city street, following the death of a 77-year old man who fell from his bike after hitting the broken pavement; the city had ignored complaints about the problem for nearly three years. Which means the inevitable lawsuit should be a slam dunk.

Kindhearted cops in Coral Springs, Florida gave a young boy a new bicycle, replacing the one he was riding when he was struck by a driver and pinned under the car while on his way to school. Fortunately, he wasn’t badly injured.

Yet another Florida bike rider has been caught on an open draw bridge, as video came to light of a man clinging to the bridge for dear life last November; the news comes after a woman riding a bicycle was killed in a similar incident earlier this month.

 

International

Your next bike could be made from plants.

Brazen bike thieves attempted to use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle in broad daylight on a busy Edinburgh street; fortunately, they were interrupted by people passing by, who guarded it until the owner returned.

Good idea. An Edinburg bike advocacy group has issued an election manifesto calling for creation of a comprehensive network of protected bike lanes and a 30 percent reduction in motor vehicle traffic.

Brompton wants to build a new $134 million factory on an English wetlands, which the company says it will convert to a nature preserve; the factory would employ 1,500 people within five years.

More on the 80-year old British truck driver who killed a 66-year old man who was riding an ebike; court testimony shows he didn’t even brake or take evasive action before slamming into the victim. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive, let alone operate a work truck.

A journalist describes his usual bike route as a “Russian Death Valley” after Ukrainian forces beat back an attack by invading forces.

A Turkish paper describes bicycling as a way of life in the country’s central province of Konya, which is home to 351 miles of bike paths.

Around 400 bike riders hit the streets of Hyderabad, India armed with placards calling on drivers to pay more attentions around people on bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

He gets it. After winning the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne race on Sunday, Dutch cyclist Fabio Jacobsen notes that while young men were fighting to win a bike race, other young men were fighting for their country and their lives against overwhelming odds in Ukraine.

Italian pro Matteo Trentin rejected Chris Froome’s call to ban time trial bikes, saying the problem isn’t the type of bicycle being ridden, but the amount of people in cars.

Spanish motorcycle racer Aleix Espargaró says he nearly joined a pro cycling team after taking up the sport following a bad motorbike crash, calling bicycling the worst drug in the world because “the more you go, the more you want.” Although some of us would say that’s why it’s the best drug.

Two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange will be out of commission for awhile, after the German triathlete suffered a joint injury in a training fall.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can have your very own Wu-Tang Clan fixie. If you’re riding your bike with a half gram of fentanyl hidden in your bra, put a damn light on it — the bike that is, not the bra.

And evidently, there’s more than one way to ride around the world — and without breaking a sweatThanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

………

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

CHP gets bike law wrong after 13-year old right hooked, Phil Gaimon gets it, and gravel bull buffoonery in Bakersfield

Once again, the CHP gets basic bike law completely wrong.

After a 13-year old Temecula boy was right hooked by a driver while riding his bike on the sidewalk on his way to school, a CHP officer blamed the victim, stressing that he was riding against traffic.

Except there is no right or wrong way on a sidewalk.

As any pedestrian can tell you, sidewalks are bidirectional, with no requirement to walk one way or the other.

The same holds true for riding a bike — assuming sidewalk riding is legal there. The requirement to ride with traffic only applies if you’re riding in the street.

If the CHP can’t manage to teach their officers that, maybe they shouldn’t be investigating bike crashes.

………

Phil Gaimon gets it.

His latest video calls for everyone who rides a bike in LA to sign the Healthy Streets LA ballot petition, which would require the city to build out the mobility plan whenever a street on it is repaved.

And it doesn’t hurt that he features a recent story from this site, even if it was bad news.

Although you may have to suffer through an ad or two first.

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Gravel Bikes California offers what they describe as bulls, bees and buffoonery, and the madness that’s the pure joy of gravel.

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Proof that a separated bike lane is no guarantee against being the victim of a hit-and-run.

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Now that’s a close pass.

………

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

A Florida driver will apparently get away with killing a man riding his bike on the shoulder of a highway, despite veering all the way off the roadway to strike the victim, who police say did nothing wrong. And despite the driver’s long record of traffic violations and license suspensions. Just one more example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until they kill someone.

A 71-year old Welsh driver was convicted of backing into a group of bicyclists following a punishment pass, while calling them “English bastards.” The joke’s on him though, since one of the riders was Dutch.

Someone is stealing the protective iron barriers from the world’s longest continuous bike lane in Turkey.

………

Local

A Metro board motion once again reaffirms that funding for the now cancelled 710 Freeway extension will go for multi-modal and safety enhancement projects, rather than the auto-centric projects the head of Metro’s Highways Program keeps insisting on.

 

State 

A San Diego woman beats the odds by taking to her bike after nearly dying from an infected heart valve, with her husband of 40 years riding by her side.

San Mateo proves that it is possible to build out a bike plan while overcoming objections from residents over a loss of street parking; the city approved a plan to install bike lanes on three streets, as well as building three separate bike boulevards, while removing 170 parking spaces to make room for the project.

Berkeley approves plans to install a bus lane on Telegraph Ave, while building protected bike lanes on three nearby streets.

A Berkeley bike advocate reflects on her brush with death when she was struck by a driver while riding bikes with her son last year.

 

National

Bicycling recommends the best bike tubes for all types of bicyclists, including one that’s pretty in pink. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A couple in their 60s shares what they learned riding a tandem 3,800 miles across the US. Although the first lesson should be how to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.

VeloNews examines how Black style is transforming cycling culture.

A Portland website tells the tale of the city’s 1890s bike factory, which was originally opened to build an ether-powered bicycle, which was dropped when they couldn’t keep up with demand for pedal-powered bikes.

Clearly, a sidewalk is no protection from a drunk driver, as Tucson AZ bike rider was killed when a reckless DUI driver veered onto the sidewalk he was riding on; in an unusual development, the driver was also hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

The body of a Colorado man was just recently discovered and identified, after he went missing on a. bike ride last September.

Houston moves forward with plans for a road diet and bike lanes, despite last minute opposition to the project after three years of public meetings.

A New York op-ed says the city must commit public funding to expand the Citi Bike bikeshare system, noting it’s the city’s only transit network that doesn’t receive financial support.

DC considers adopting the full Idaho Stop Law, allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and red lights like stop signs, while also banning right turns on red.

Bighearted residents of Biloxi, Mississippi pitched in to crowdfund a new bike for a 76-year old man who relies on a bike for transportation, after his was stolen.

Kindhearted Florida cops bought a new bike for a young girl after hers was stolen, and they couldn’t recover it.

Another bike rider was caught dangling from a Florida draw bridge, but fortunately, this one survived.

 

International

No surprise here. A new review of 170 studies from around the world confirms that cities where where walking and bicycling are safe and convenient have a lower rate of diabetes and obesity. Although you’ll have to sacrifice your privacy and sign up to view the story.

Despite adopting a constitutional amendment enshrining the right to safe mobility, Mexico’s car-centric infrastructure continues to put bike riders and pedestrians at risk.

Road.cc offers advice on how to stop the dreaded speed wobbles, which can be scary as hell when they come for you.

A British man was finally able to overcome his fears and get back on his bike, three years after he was injured by a driver in a 2018 terrorist attack.

The war in Ukraine hits home for the bicycling community, as video posted to social media appears to show a bike rider hit by a missile strike. Although there are a lot of fakes circulating now, so take anything you see, read or hear with a big grain of salt.

 

Competitive Cycling

Despite drawing over 300,000 spectators, hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire, England has shown no lasting financial benefit.

 

Finally…

Your next bike lock could be your bike. That feeling when your cat becomes a star for riding around town with you.

And why you’ll never beat Peter Sagan if you have periods.

No, really.

https://twitter.com/amylaurenjones/status/1496863263858073614?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1496863263858073614%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-24-february-2022-290577

………

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

Bike rider killed in horrific Arkansas hit-and-run, Bike Talk talks Healthy Streets LA initiate, and Taylor Yard Bridge opening off

Unbelievable.

In one of the most horrifying examples of traffic violence in recent memory, police in Fort Smith, Arkansas discovered a hit-and-run had taken place when someone found a severed leg lying in the street Saturday morning.

They found the rest of the 57-year old victim’s body in the back of a man’s pickup, where it had been since the driver had crashed into his bike around 12 hours earlier.

The driver claimed he didn’t know the victim’s body was there until he got home — and then apparently just went inside and left him there to die once he did.

Graphics by tomexploresla

Which presumably would have given the man plenty of time to sober up before the cops found the body in his truck.

And how anyone could do something like that without being drunk or stoned is beyond me.

The crash is reminiscent of the infamous 2014 case in which a hit-and-run driver drove home with a bike rider embedded in his windshield, and didn’t notice until he came back out the next morning.

Fortunately, that one had a happier ending.

Seriously, there’s not a pit in hell deep enough.

………

Bike Talk talks with Streets For All founder Michael Schneider about the organization’s Healthy Streets LA initiative to force Los Angeles to build out the city’s mobility plan when streets get repaved.

That’s followed by a segment with Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss discussing the Idaho Stop Law, which allows bike riders to treat stop signs like yields, and — at least in Idaho’s original version — treat red lights like stop signs.

A version of which was vetoed by California Governor Newsom last year.

………

Remember what we said yesterday about the new Taylor Yard Bridge opening next month?

Yeah, not so much.

LA officials say the official opening has been cancelled. No reason or makeup date has been announced.

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British singer, songwriter and producer James Blunt is one of us.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1495986709179207682

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

A road-raging British driver walked without a single day behind bars for chasing down and ramming a bike rider who damaged his wing mirror; adding insult to injury, the driver was ordered to pay the equivalent of just $1,359 in compensation, despite totaling the victim’s $9,500 bicycle.

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

Police in London busted a sexual assault suspect who used a bikeshare bike in the attack, which allowed police to identify him from his credit card.

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Local

Momentum Magazine asks if Los Angeles can shake its anti-bicycling reputation, and seems to conclude, “maybe.”

On a similar note, a graduate student at Northwestern examines LA’s Vision Zero program, saying it brings both hope and skepticism to the city. Which most Los Angeles bike riders can relate to.

 

State 

No surprise here. San Diego’s KPBS says families of traffic violence victims often feel let down by the criminal justice system.

A 32-year old man was injured when he was struck by a driver in Santa Rosa after allegedly riding his bike through a red light while under the influence.

 

National

A Las Vegas optician may need his own eyes examined, after confessing that he was one of the bike riders charged by a bull captured on a viral video during the recent Rock Cobbler offroad race.

An Ohio mayor is oddly up in arms over a former rival’s donation of a $3,600 police bike to the local police department, as well as giving her late firefighter husband’s rescue gear to the fire department, calling them ethics violations; opponents call the ethics flap just an effort to keep her off the city council.

A paper in Worcester, Massachusetts marks Black History Month by tracing several key sites in the adopted hometown of legendary cyclist Major Taylor, as well as historic locations relating to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, among others.

After a 15-year old boy accidentally ride his bike off a bridge, a Massachusetts cop is credited with his rescue.

New York’s legislature is considering a package of bike and pedestrian safety bills that would give cities more control over speed limits, encourage them to build safer sidewalks and bike lanes, and require drivers to study more safety topics for their license test.

You know you have a problem when two people on bicycles are run down by hit-and-run drivers on the same stretch of a Florida street, the same time of day, just one mile and three days apart. Or when four people have been killed at the same Orlando intersection in four months, the latest victim was a 15-year old boy right-hooked while riding in a crosswalk.

 

International

Bike Radar’s podcast considers how to make this your best year yet on your bike. That’s easy. 1) Just ride, and 2) just ride more. And don’t take it so damn seriously.

Bike riders debate the relative merits of daytime running lights, after Road.cc reposts a 2015 article about their use.

A writer for Jalopnik says the “Freedom Convoy” that paralyzed Ottawa, Canada in recent weeks shows why cars and trucks should be banned from cities.

Canadian bicyclists are mourning the loss of longtime Toronto bike advocate Robert “Bicycle Bob” Silverman, who fought for bike lanes long before the city had any, and helped set it on its current bike-friendly course; Silverman passed away Sunday at age 88.

Good news on the bike theft front, as reports from more than 40 British police agencies indicate the crime fell over 11% last year.

A delivery rider in the UK says he’s never more than one crash away from financial disaster, after his earnings have dropped almost in half over the past few years.

A self-described die-hard Indian cyclist writes in defense of the humble bicycle, after the country’s prime minister cast aspersions on bikes in attacking another political party that uses one as its symbol; the head of that party calls the prime minister’s comments “an insult to the nation.”

 

Competitive Cycling

UCI may be ditching Red Bull for coverage of the Mountain Bike World Cup after this season, entering into exclusive negotiations with Discovery Sports.

Colombian cyclist Daniel Martínez calls injured countryman Egan Bernal a champion on and off the bike, as Martínez opens the European campaign with a third-place finish in the Volta ao Algarve.

Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin says he’s happy to be back on the WorldTour after walking away from the sport for several months last year.

 

Finally…

Go ahead and ride straight, even if the bike path isn’t. And sometimes you have to pedal upstream in life.

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

LA Times editorial calls for supporting Healthy Streets LA initiative, and Oxnard man arraigned in drunken bike death

Nice to see a writer for the LA Times get behind a ballot measure safer, healthier streets.

Times Editorial Board member Kerry Cavanaugh penned an editorial published Tuesday in support of the Healthy Streets LA initiative, which we discussed here last week.

The measure would require Los Angeles to implement the ambitious, but long-forgotten, Mobility Plan 2035, building out bus and bike lanes, as well as pedestrian improvements, when city streets are repaved.

Here’s what Cavanaugh had to say about the plan, which advocates fought for years to create and pass.

But, as is so often the case in L.A., the implementation of the Mobility Plan has not matched its ambition.

Since its adoption, the city has only made bike, bus and pedestrian upgrades to 95 miles out of 3,137 miles identified in the plan — or 3% in a little more than six years. Time and again, city leaders have ignored or torpedoed bike and bus lanes outlined in the Mobility Plan. At this rate, it will take nearly 200 years — not 20 — to fulfill the plan’s vision.

As Cavanaugh points out, it’s crazy that it takes a ballot measure to force the city to do what it already agreed to do.

But that’s the city we live and ride in these days, where fear of angering anyone leads to paralysis among city leaders. Along with more and more community meetings, where the people who scream the loudest usually carry the day.

And it’s usually the people who fear and fight any kind of change who scream the loudest.

Again, here’s Cavanaugh.

The need for community engagement can’t be an excuse for doing nothing. There’s too much at stake. Last year nearly 300 people were killed in traffic collisions in Los Angeles, a roughly 20% increase over the two prior years. Nearly half of the people killed were pedestrians. Some 52% of Angelenos said that crossing the street in their neighborhood is dangerous, according to polling conducted for the Healthy Streets LA initiative.

As part of his Green New Deal sustainability plan — another aspirational document — Garcetti called for 50% of all trips in the city by 2035 to be made by walking, biking and taking transit. But that goal will be unreachable without the political will to prioritize the infrastructure and transit improvements that make it easier, safer and more pleasant for people to get around.

It’s ridiculous that we’re in this position.

But it’s sadly become clear over the last decade that we can’t count on city leaders to do what they already know has to be done. Yet clearly lack the courage and political will to do.

So we have to do it for them.

Click here to make arrangements to sign the petition, or volunteer to support the measure

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Prosecutors have thrown the book at the accused drunk driver who killed a BMX rider in Oxnard Sunday night.

Twenty-seven year old Andres Morales pled not guilty yesterday to killing the victim, who has still not been publicly identified.

He faces charges of DUI causing injury or death, and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 percent, along with a single count of felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, combined with special enhancements for a serious felony and a crime involving great violence.

He remains in jail on $50,000 bond, which will be reviewed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Homeland man is expected to be arraigned today for killing 62-year old Hemet resident Glen Hysom as he rode a bike in unincorporated Winchester, just west of Hemet.

Thirty-eight-year old Carlos Arturo Acosta is expected to be charged with hit-and-run resulting in death, and driving on a suspended license.

He’s being held on $75,000 bail.

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There’s always a shortage of bike lockers, even at the Metro stations that actually have them. And high demand for them at the stations that don’t.

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You probably didn’t have this one on your 2022 bingo card — an Orlando, Florida bike cop in hot, but polite, pursuit of a very drunk woman riding a motorized suitcase.

Yes, a suitcase.

She faces up to ten years for spitting at the cops arresting her, damaging their patrol car, and taking a dump on the seat.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. An English driver walked with a suspended sentence and a lousy 250 pound fine — the equivalent of just $339 — for intentionally ramming a bike rider who may have accidentally brushed the car’s wing mirror.

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You might want to avoid the area around USC and the Coliseum this morning, unless you want to get caught up in the Ram’s victory parade.

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Local

Streets For All reminds us about the virtual public meeting tomorrow to consider plans to convert the peak hour lanes on Santa Monica Blvd west of the 405 into bus and bike lanes.

Walk Bike Glendale alerts us to public meetings this week to fight a plan to settle for sharrows on La Crescenta Ave tomorrow, and on Saturday to create a 9.4-mile linear park along the Verdugo Wash.

The Monterey Park City Council will discuss an induced demand-inducing plan at today’s meeting to widen Garvey Ave from four lanes to a ridiculous six lanes. Exactly the opposite of what should be done to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians, and reduce motor vehicle use while California is literally burning. Thanks to Active SGV for the heads-up. 

Calabasas is nearing completion of a road widening project on Mulholland Highway, which appears to include a separated bikeway.

Shaun White is one of us, riding shirtless through the streets of Los Angeles after a fourth place finish in the Beijing Olympics.

 

State 

Four-time world mountain bike world champ Brian Lopes donated 50 Strider balance bikes and helmets to a Santa Ana elementary school through the All Kids Bike Kindergarten PE program, and worked with a couple dozen sixth graders to put them together.

Coronado cops are using bait bikes to bust bike thieves. But LA cops still don’t, and won’t for the foreseeable future over fears of being accused of entrapment.

Rialto police are accused of roughing up a 16-year old girl who was riding an illegal motorized bike; one cop was accused of grabbing her by the throat.

A man in his 20s was lucky to survive when his bike was clipped by a moving train as he rode across the tracks in Oxnard.

 

National

Bicycling says the fixation on bike helmets just shifts the blame to bike riders, and lets killer drivers off the hook. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t appear to be available through Yahoo, so if the magazine blocks you, you’re on your own.

Forget a cycling computer. What you really need is contact lenses with a heads-up display.

Bike Portland’s podcast talks with Bike Index founder Bryan Hance about his work to bust a Mexican mountain bike theft ring operating out of Colorado.

A Nashville site says the city has a long way to go to get to zero traffic deaths. Which should sound familiar to anyone in Los Angeles. And most other American cities, for that matter.

New York’s new DOT commissioner is working to fortify half of the city’s bike lanes in his first 100 days, which are currently protected in name only by the usual flimsy white plastic, car-tickler bendy posts.

Just a year after revising Virginia law to require drivers to change lanes to pass bike riders, and remove the limitation on riding two abreast, the state senate is going backwards by approving a measure that would require people on bicycles to ride single file when being overtaken by someone in a car. The bill’s sponsor appeared to make up an incident to support it.

Dozens of Virginia runners turned out to honor a fellow runner who was killed in a collision while riding her bicycle last week.

 

International

A University of Toronto study confirms what you already knew. Over half of all drivers never look for bicyclists or pedestrians before making a right turn. Then again, some of them never look for us when we’re right in front of them, either.

You’ve got to be kidding, part two. An Aussie man wants permission to drive while he is accused of a hit-and-run that took the life of a 62-year old bike rider, despite having already shown he won’t stick around after a crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews looks forward to the “48th edition of the much-anticipated Volta ao Algarve;” the five-stage race starts today in Portugal.

Cycling News looks at memorable cases of pro cyclists getting spanked for breaking the rules.

A bike lawyer says it could be gross negligence to route an offroad bike race across a field with an ill-tempered bull, but it doesn’t help that the four Rock Cobbler riders who ended up on the wrong end of the horns had signed a waiver.

 

Finally…

As if cars blocking bike lanes isn’t bad enough, now we have to deal with robots. Meet Sigrid, the fixie-riding cat.

And meet a parrot who can ride a bike and poop on command.

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

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