Tag Archive for Healthy Streets LA

LA suggests un-Healthy Streets alternative, LADOT commits climate arson, and drivers back it up on Ventura Blvd

My apologies if you received an email with just the barest outline of a post earlier.

I seem to have had a twitchy publish button finger.

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Somehow, you knew this was going to happen.

A full year after the Los Angeles City Council rejected the proposed Healthy Streets LA ordinance, the city has finally come back with their long-awaited alternative version.

And suffice it to say it leaves a lot to be desired.

The original measure, which easily qualified for next year’s ballot, requires the city to build out the already-approved Mobility Plan 2035, which subsumed the 2010 Bike Plan, any time a street in the plan gets resurfaced or resealed with slurry.

The council had the option of approving it as written, or sending it to a vote of the people.

They chose the latter, while promising to come back within weeks with an even better, new and improved version of their own.

You can guess how that turned out.

According to an analysis of the proposal from Streets For All, who wrote the original ballot measure, the city changed the requirement from covering any resurfacing over 1/8 of a mile to 1/4 of a mile, which they say would exclude 80% of the projects in the Mobility Plan’s Neighborhood Enhanced Network, as well as removing slurry seals from the plan.

Correction: I originally wrote that the change to 1/4 mile would exclude 80% of the projects, which was a misreading of the text on my part. I have corrected the paragraph above to more accurately reflect the effect of the change.

Then there’s this.

When defining “standard elements” it was interesting that the City Attorney didn’t simply say “the improvements in the Mobility Plan” but said that it’s the improvements that the Board of Public Works, Director of City Planning and General Manager designate for inclusion in a Project.” In other words, if any of those entities don’t “designate” an improvement to be included in a Project, then it’s excluded, and a bike or bus lane is ignored. This is the first “out” the City has given itself, and it’s a big one.

But wait, there’s more, as they say in the world of informercials.

This next section is a doozy. It basically says that the General Manager of LADOT and Director of City Planning — in “consultation” with LAPD, LAFD, and the City Attorney (three entities often hostile to bike and bus lanes in the first place) — can “revise” Mobility Corridors. In other words, they’re usurping City Council’s authority over the Mobility Plan and taking it for themselves. It’s a dangerous precedent to set that City departments can change the City’s General Plan without Council, and especially dangerous to put it in the hands of LAPD, LAFD, and this City Attorney (who has implied the City shouldn’t be at fault for pedestrian deaths even if the City has failed to implement its own Vision Zero or Mobility Plan 2035 plans).

Read that again.

The city’s revised version would remove the requirement to include any street or project in the already-approved Mobility Plan, and replace with the judgement of city officials likely to be hostile to any changes.

The city version goes on to include a public outreach process, which has too often been gamed by city officials to kill projects they don’t like, or are afraid to implement.

Like shovel-ready lane reductions on Lankershim, North Figueroa and Temple Street, just to name a few.

Streets For All ends their insightful analysis this way.

So what is our overall take on the City’s version? It’s full of holes, exceptions, and bureaucracy, and is not an attempt to actually implement the Mobility Plan during repaving; it’s an attempt to look like it’s doing something, while actually continuing to mostly ignore the Mobility Plan. It also does not address any of the equity additions (former Council President Nury Martinez) had promised, nor does it establish a centralized office of coordination, or provide for a multi year funding plan.

In other words, it’s not nearly good enough. We have raised more than $2,000,000 to get our ballot measure across the finish line this spring. Our polling shows an overwhelming number of Angelenos are sick of the status quo — and will support Healthy Streets LA at the ballot box. If you’re ready for change, join us! You can stay up-to-date, volunteer, donate, and get involved on our website.

See you at the ballot box.

And in the meantime, contact your councilmember to let them know the city’s proposal is dead in the water.

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LADOT appears to be committed to committing climate arson.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports Los Angeles continues to widen streets throughout the city, calling out more than a dirty dozen streets that will soon have more room — and in most cases, more lanes — for motor vehicles.

In fact, Linton lists a full fifteen streets either currently being expanded or set for expansion, at a total cost of more than $218 million.

Although that’s barely a fifth of what the city is spending to give raises to the LAPD.

Some folks out there may be under the mistaken impression that Los Angeles is not really widening roads any more. Though widening roads is counterproductive in many ways, it has long been and continues to be an incessant L.A. City practice.

Streets for All founder Michael Schneider terms L.A. City road widening “the opposite of fighting climate change,” noting that “widening streets induces more driving, meaning more pollution burden locally and more greenhouse emissions further harming the climate.” Widening is expensive, and adversely impacts safety, health, climate, air, water, noise, housing, historic preservation, and more.

That money could make a sizable dent in the city’s bike plan, which could actually get some of those cars off the streets, rather than flushing more money down the toilet by funding still more induced demand.

This far into the 21st Century, it should be clear that we can’t build our way out of traffic congestion.

And that fighting climate change will require getting people out of their cars, and onto their feet or bikes, and into transit.

Widening streets is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

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Reverse angled parking is supposed to improve safety for people on bicycles by improving sightline for drivers pulling out of spaces.

But the new configuration on western Ventura Blvd isn’t exactly winning rave reviews, as bicyclists complain about drivers using the bike lanes to back into parking spaces, as well as double parking to wait for a space to open up, forcing riders out into unforgiving traffic.

https://twitter.com/gatodejazz/status/1695998850182660507

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Santa Monica is improving safety on deadly Wilshire Blvd by making several cross streets right turn only.

https://twitter.com/santamonicacity/status/1695150351966466427

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CicLAvia’s North Hollywood CicLAmini along the Lankershim Blvd corridor is less than four weeks away.

The good news is you can just step off the B (Red) Line subway at the NoHo station and you’re there.

https://twitter.com/CicLAvia/status/1695487795165364512

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OC bike advocate Mike Wilkinson forwards evidence of why you should always hesitate pulling out from a red light, until you know every driver in every direction is coming to a stop.

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If you build it, they will come.

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Remember this the next time someone questions why bike riders insist on riding in the street.

Or better yet, just send it to them.

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

Maybe starting the Vuelta in the Catalonia region wasn’t the best idea, as someone tried to sabotage the complicated second stage by tossing tacks and nails on the course, flattening the tires of around 15 cyclists.

An “arrogant” road-raging driver — and possible government employee — in the Philippines assaulted a man riding a bicycle, then pulled out a gun and aimed it at the victim before cooler heads apparently prevailed.

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Local 

Beverly Hills is looking for your input on the parking-protected bike lane pilot project on Roxbury Drive, as they consider making the bike lane permanent.

Police in Long Beach are looking for a pair of robbers who fired a gun as they struggled with a man to steal his bicycle along the Los Angeles River bike path Thursday night; the thieves eventually ran off without the bike.

 

State

Video from a TikTok user shows people in San Diego standing by and watching as a man steals a woman’s bike in broad daylight, calling it an example of the Bystander Effect. Then again, the person taking the video didn’t intervene, either. 

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bicycle was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

 

National

US colleges are beginning to ban ebikes due to a fear of fire risk as well as a risk to pedestrians. After all, it makes so much more sense to force students and faculty back into their cars, which evidently don’t pose a greater risk to anyone. Right?

The Better Business Bureau offers tips tips to help you pick the right ebike for your budget.

Bike Rumor offers their picks for Best in Show at Portland’s MADE handmade bike show; Velo offers their favorites, too.

Cycling Weekly visits MADE to examine the new Moots prototype spec’ed with 750D wheels, asking if we really need another wheel diameter standard.

A Seattle website profiles Seattle Bike Blog author Tom Fucoloro, who has a new book examining the city from behind the handlebars.

My hometown paper offers highlights from the massive turnout for the country’s last remaining Tour de Fat.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Sixty-four-year old John Kezdy, the lead singer of the ’80s punk band The Effigies, died on Saturday, three days after he was critically injured crashing his bike into an Amazon van illegally parked in a Chicago bike lane. The inevitable lawsuit will be just the cost of business for the online shopping giant.

It’s apparently open season on bike riders at Indiana University, as three students who participated in the iconic Little 500 bike race were hit by drivers in three days last week; the race was made famous in Breaking Away.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who left a 12-year old Boston-area boy bleeding alone in the streets. Or any other kid, for that matter. 

A writer for The New York Times says he improved his mental and physical health by ditching his car and walking to biking to run errands, though he suggests that anyone wanting to emulate him may not want to start with a trip to Costco. Thanks to Bike Talk’s Taylor Nichols, who suggests getting writer Andrew Leonard to appear on the show, for the heads-up.

A Long Island woman faces charges for slamming into a triathlete as he rode his bike in the middle of a race, after pulling out of a parking lot at a high rate of speed and onto the race course that had been closed to traffic.

The AP offers not necessarily safe for work video from the Philadelphia World Naked Bike Ride.

This is who we share the road with. A road-raging Philadelphia driver with a concealed carry permit pulled out a gun and began firing after his car was surrounded by dirt bike riders on an apparent rideout, shooting one man before he was wounded by return fire.

 

International

Evidently, you can kill a man on a fundraising bike ride while driving drunk, bury his body a shallow grave on a remote Scottish estate for three years, and get off with just 12 years behind bars — and could get out in as little as six. And get just five years and three months for helping your brother hide the body.

BBC host and bicycling advocate Jeremy Vine causes a stir in the UK by saying drivers should pull over and let bicyclists pass in urban centers, since people on bicycles can often travel faster than people in cars — and that drivers shouldn’t be allowed to pass bicyclists at all. Finally, a campaign platform I can get behind.  

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is one of us, after he posted video of going on a cargo bike ride with his twins while vacationing in Yorkshire, England. From the looks of it, the bike was almost as long as his name. 

GCN shares the “most bizarre and beautiful” bikes from last week’s Paris-Brest-Paris.

A Nigerian website says bicycling is a must if the country hopes to “be rid of hydra-headed transportation gridlock that often sends road users to nightmarish spasm.”

Giant Taiwanese bikemaker Giant warns customers that a scam website posing as the bike brand may be ripping off consumers.

 

Competitive Cycling

Jonas Vingegaard and Remco Evenepoel said enough is enough and intentionally slowed the peloton after a crash by Primož Roglič in Sunday’s stage 2 of the Vuelta; Italy’s Andrea Piccolo took the leader’s red jersey as Denmark’s Andreas Kron won the day on a stage shortened by flooding near rate finish.

Britain’s William Bjegfelt just won the Paracycling World Championships after he was told he’d never walk or bike again following a head-on collision with a driver in 2015.

L39ION of Los Angeles cyclists Kendall Ryan and Ty Magner wons the elite women’s and men’s races, respectively, at the IU Momentum Health Indy Crit in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Cycling Weekly takes a look at the alternative, off-road race scene in the UK.

More bad news, in what has been an unbelievably tragic year for pro and amateur cyclists, as 22-year old Belgian rider Tijl De Decke was killed when he crashed into the back of a car on a training ride.

 

Finally…

You may have to blow up your next bike helmet. That feeling when the man accused of stealing your bicycle finally gets arrested — 38 years later.

And they get it.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Louisiana city bans walking and biking at night, and ten months and counting for LA city Healthy Streets alternative

I sometimes use myself as the poster boy for diabetes, warning about the dangers of diabetes and the need to monitor yourself if you’re at risk. 

Now AARP is offering a list of “sneaky” signs of diabetes, from mood swings to chronic yeast infections, blurred vision and unexplained weight loss.

The latter of which was how I knew I had it before I was diagnosed, when I dropped from a muscular 200 pounds to a scrawny 150 in a matter of months. 

So use the two or three minutes out of your day it will take to read it. 

Because you don’t want this shit. 

Seriously. 

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Unbelievable.

In an effort to control crime, a Louisiana town has banned biking and walking from 11 pm to 4 am.

That’s right. The city of Kaplan has installed a permanent curfew on anyone using the streets without a motor vehicle for most of the night, while leaving enforcement to the discretion of individual officers.

According to the local police chief, the ban is intended to stop burglary and drug dealing.

Because as everyone knows, no one ever uses a car to commit those crimes.

Hardy told News 10 the curfew is to stop people from walking into others’ yards and stealing. In addition, police want to control the drug activity that occurs at night.

“The chief noticed a big influx of bicycle traffic during the night and people walking around,” Kaplan Mayor Mike Kloesel said. “It’s not usually a good thing when that happens. So in order to prevent any issues and problems, the chief asked the council to institute a curfew. They agreed.”

In other words, when people start walking at night, or gathering together on their bikes, the chief thinks criminal activity is afoot.

But as others have pointed in response to this article, the ban is likely targeted at young people with a little extra melanin content.

Whether it is actually legal is up to debate. The courts have held curfews to be legal throughout American history.

But one targeting just some people who can’t afford a motor vehicle, or choose to use their own legs to get around, seems highly questionable.

And a lot will depend on the actual enforcement.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels.

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Promises made, promises…broken.

Unfortunately, in one of Elon Musk’s latest boneheaded moves apparently aimed at destroying Twitter, the company is now blocking people from seeing tweets without a Twitter account. 

So I’m going back to using a screenshot of tweets, with a link back to the original. 

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Los Angeles saw a massive turnout for Friday’s Critical Mass.

Unfortunately, the video isn’t available on another site, so you may be out of luck if you don’t have a Twitter account.

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Don’t forget Saturday’s Ice Cream Social and Family-Friendly Bike Ride sponsored by Sunset For All and BikeLA, nee Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, at Pazzo Gelato on Sunset Blvd.

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Good idea.

The good people at Bike Talk work hard to bring you all the latest LA-area bike news. And they deserve your support.

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Oceanside bike lawyer — and BikinginLA sponsor — Richard Duquette talks ebike instruction, safety and insurance on the Bike Fitness Coaching YouTube channel.

In both English and Español, no less.

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

Nothing to see here. A Portland man organized a small protest against the city’s bike network by parking their cars in a bike lane. And kept an unholstered gun on his center console when a bike rider tried to talk to him about it.

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

Bikes get the blame, even when no one is riding them, as a loose bike was blamed for causing a four-car crash on an Utah highway.

A 64-year old Singaporean bicyclist faces charges from climbing onto a bus and beating the 73-year old driver for passing too close to him. Seriously, we’ve all been tempted, but violence is never the answer.

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Local 

Metro is now capping daily and weekly fares, which could end up saving you money if you have a complicated commute. Or not.

The LAPD is investigating after a 38-year old man was shot by an unknown assailant while riding his bicycle in Sun Valley on Friday.

State Senator and Congressional candidate Anthony Portantino hosted a Glendale bicycle safety event last week in collaboration with Walk ‘n Rollers, the Automobile Club of Southern California and Glendale Community Services & Parks.

 

State

Still no word on when California’s ebike rebate program will launch.

There was good news from Ventura, where an eight-year-old boy was found safe after he disappeared while riding his bike on Sunday; he was returned to his family after being found on the bike path next to the 33 Freeway with another boy, who had also been reported missing.

Sad news from Shasta County, where a 38-year old woman riding a bike was killed in a collision, when an elderly driver rear-ended her after drifting onto the shoulder of the road Monday night; the CHP said neither drugs of alcohol were factors in the collision. Then maybe they can explain why the driver couldn’t keep his car on the road, and why he shouldn’t be charged for that.

 

National

Wheel Tales still has space available for a guided bike tour through Oregon’s Cascade Mountains departing July 16th, including an ascent over McKenzie Pass.

That feeling when you come eyeball-to-eyeball with a bear while mountain biking on a Utah trail.

Heartbreaking story from Utah, where a man killed a bike ride in a hit-and-run, then killed himself as the cops closed in.

Colorado Public Radio offers advice on how to start riding in the state, “even if you’ve felt excluded before.”

The Daily Beast introduces guerrilla bike activists installing their own DIY bike infrastructure on Chicago streets. Let’s hope it stays on the ground longer than similar efforts in Los Angeles, which usually get removed by city officials within days. 

A Minnesota man found himself riding solo around the world at just 17-years old when his riding companion ran out of money and patience after a few months of riding through Europe; now he’s on his way home after two years and 20 countries.

This is who we share the road with. A Kentucky man was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, while allegedly driving with a suspended license, under the influence and with an open container in his pickup.

Vermont’s governor is one of us, as he plans to ride the entire length of a new 93-mile rail-to-trail conversion the first day it opens.

Heartbreaking news from Philadelphia, where a kid’s bike can be seen abandoned on the sidewalk following one of the country’s latest mass shootings, which killed five people and injured two others, although it’s not clear if the bike belonged to any of the victims.

 

International

Your next ebike could be a Beamer.

Mark your calendar for September 21st, when the international Partnership for Active Travel and Health, aka PATH, hosts an online symposium on Walking and Cycling: Effective Actions Essential to Reaching the Climate Goals; they’re also looking for organizations who want to highlight their efforts.

Momentum Magazine recommends 21 ways to keep you motivated to keep riding.

Bike Radar explains everything you need to know about concussions. Which you’ll probably suffer if you keep riding, if you haven’t already. Lord knows I’ve had a few. 

He gets it. A writer for Cyclist says there’s no excuse for badly designed bike kits.

Nothing to see here. A bike lane along the Vancouver seawall was overcrowded with bicyclists over the weekend, after the city ripped out bike lanes through the park that would have provided an alternative to the congested bikeway.

A British woman says she told off the “scumbags” who stole her daughter’s bike, tracking them down herself and grabbing it back after police reportedly refused to help.

French bikemaker Cycles Peugeot, which hasn’t been associated with the carmaker for more than a century, has unveiled a new line of “digital” ebikes ranging from a futuristic urban commuter to a long-tail cargo bike, and a front bucket bike. But as for what makes them digital, I don’t have a clue.

Good idea. French children between six and eleven years old can get a “bicycle passport” showing their proficiency on a bicycle, after completing a course offered by the country’s government.

Bike “activists” are paving the way for a safer, less polluted and more bike-friendly Milan, Italy.

Pink is one of us, as the singer went on a 20-mile family bike ride through Austria’s Wachau Valley.

 

Competitive Cycling

Saturday’s first stage of the Tour de France left fans seeing double, as twins Adam and Simon Yates outsprinted the peloton to take first and second for their respective teams.

Dutch fan favorite Fabio Jakobsen escaped a crash near the finish of Tuesday’s 4th stage of the Tour de France with nothing more than massive road rash, even if his bike suffered a fatal injury; Belgian rider Jasper Philipsen won the stage, while Britain’s Adam Yates held onto the yellow jersey.

CNN reports the riders are approaching the Tour with more caution than usual following the death of Gino Mäder on the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse.

2015 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal got busted for littering, with a $500 fine and 25-point penalty for tossing “something” away outside of the designated refuse zone.

Cyclist calls for the return of the combination jersey for the best overall rider at the Tour de France.

Forty-year old Dutch great Annemiek van Vleuten continues to hold the pink leader’s jersey in Italy’s Giro Donne, as chief competitor Elisa Longo Borghini flew off the road on a tricky descent Tuesday.

Forty-three-year old Goa, India cyclist Sundaram Narayanan won the self-supported Trans Am Bike Race, completing 4,225 miles across the US in 25 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes.

Great road cycling courses were announced for the Paris Olympics, which will start and end at the Eiffel Tower, while men and women will complete on the same 20-mile time trial course through the streets of the city.

American paracyclist David Berling has sued the International Paralympic Committee, alleging it has failed to act on allegations of widespread unfair classification, in which competitors lie about the extent of their disabilities to improve their chances of winning.

Tragic news from British Columbia, where a mountain biker was killed during a provincial cup race on Sunday.

The National Track Cycling Championships are coming to the Velo Sports Center in Carson this weekend. It’s too late to register online, but you can register in person the day before each event.

 

Finally…

Now you’ll have to watch out for drivers coming from left, right, front and back — and above. Always wear hi-vis and a helmet when you ride the ferry.

And who among us hasn’t ridden a bicycle standing on the seat and handlebars with a flatscreen TV on your head?

@murield107

#Only in New York #Brooklyn #fyp 45′ TV on his head #riding bike #fyp #StrongNeck

♬ original sound – Muriel D

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

Taking LA Planning to task for “vacuous” self-congratulatory report, and bike rider seriously injured in South LA hit-and-run

Let’s start today with a must read piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.

In it, Linton takes the Los Angeles Planning Department to task — deservedly — for producing what he calls “an astonishingly vacuous report” that’s ostensibly a status report on implementation of the city’s mobility plan.

Yet one that he says ignores all the multimodal facilities included in Planning Department’s own plan.

Almost as if they are, in reality, the LA Lack of Planning Dept.

According to Linton,

In 2015, the city approved the Mobility Plan, with hundreds of miles of new bus and bike lanes, pedestrian improvements, and a Vision Zero policy to end L.A. City traffic deaths by 2035. Safe streets advocates loved it. Reactionaries hated the plan so much they sued to block it.

Then the city largely ignored the plan. Bus speeds slowedBikeway implementation tanked. Approved bus and bike networks, supposedly slated to be completed in around 20 years, languished. Seven years after plan approval, only three percent of planned bus/bike facilities had been implemented

Yet the Planning Department somehow gives itself an undeserved pat on the back, claiming to have accomplished 76% of the mobility plan’s Action Programs.

While that may sound like they’re making real progress, those Action Programs have nothing to do with putting paint on the street. Let alone the long-promised barriers and networks that might actually provide some protection and connections for people on bicycles.

Instead, Linton describes them this way.

“…a sort of obscure plan appendix that lists 173 tasks assigned to various city departments. The Action Plan includes things like: roadway safety outreach, wayfinding, analysis of unpermitted mountain biking in city parks, and periodic updates of LADOT’s Manual of Policies and Procedures.”

He ties their massive success in rearranging the massive pile of papers on their collective desks back to last year’s fiasco with the city council’s non-approval of the Healthy Streets LA initiative — which does nothing more than require the city to live up to its commitments, and build out the mobility plan they already passed when streets in the plan get resurfaced.

That’s it.

But evidently, that’s just a bridge and resurfaced roadway too far for the city.

He describes how the city council, led by now-disgraced racist Council President Nury Martinez, voted to adopt their own ordinance mirroring Healthy Streets LA.

One that wouldn’t contain the requirement to build out the mobility plan, but would, in actuality, leave it up to the council to decide whether or not to actually fulfill their obligations.

And you can probably guess how that would go, if you’ve been paying attention so far.

Last August, the council made it sound like the ordinance would happen right away. Then-president Martinez stated that city staff would “report back on my motion within the next few weeks.” Councilmember Nithya Raman spoke of the council “match[ing] the urgency that I hear from all of you [safe streets advocates] today.”

Then very little happened. The city continued to repave streets, nearly always ignoring the Mobility Plan. Councilmembers continued to block approved bus and bike facilities. More than seven months later, city departments have not shared any draft ordinance.

During that time, city departments, including DCP and Transportation (LADOT), went on the offensive to undermine the Mobility Plan and Healthy Streets L.A., asserting that approved bus lanes and bikeways are not actually a plan, but just “aspirational… guidance.”

Now where have we heard that before?

That’s exactly what the city’s bicycling community heard from an LADOT official within weeks of the 2010 bike plan’s passage, which was later subsumed into the city’s mobility plan.

We were told, while still celebrating our hard-fought victory, that the whole damn thing was merely “aspirational.”

Something the city has more than lived up to by living down to their extremely limited aspirations.

As Linton mentions above, we’re still waiting for that draft ordinance mirroring Healthy Streets LA to come back for a reading, let alone a vote, a full eight months — not weeks — after it was promised.

There was hope after the last election that the city’s new progressive councilmembers would light a fire under our sleepy governing body, and we might actually see some action on our streets.

But it seems just the opposite has happened. And the council has managed to douse whatever fire they might have had.

As I said, it’s a must read. So what are you waiting for?

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Someone riding a bicycle was seriously injured in a hit-and-run near Adams Boulevard and Trinity Street in South Los Angeles early Thursday morning.

No description was available for the suspect or their vehicle. Or for the victim, apparently.

As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles. Although there’s not a lot to go on this time.

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A new survey shows the relationship between California drivers and bicyclists is among the worst in the country, with four out of ten bike riders rating it less than harmonious.

The only real shock is that it’s that low.

But there may be hope, according to The Thousand Oaks Acorn.

The survey found that 75% of drivers empathize with cyclists’ frustrations, such as being overtaken too closely, while 81% of cyclists said they understood the challenges that drivers must deal with while navigating busy local streets.

So there’s that, anyway.

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Gravel Bike California stops to sniff, if not the roses, the superbloom of flowers brought on by the recent rains on the Carrizo Plain.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

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

San Francisco Streetsblog says a proposal for bike lanes on a commuter route and tourist attraction between Sausalito and San Francisco is already seeing a bikelash.

After a British bicyclist is understandably outraged and profane when a van driver cuts him off in the country’s left-handed equivalent of a high-speed right hook, the driver threatens a defamation case when he gets review bombed. As if you can somehow be defamed over something you actually did.

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

An Edinburgh columnist applauds anyone who has the courage to ride a bike on the city streets, but begs bike-riding men to cover their butt cracks. Or “bahookie” in the local parlance, apparently.

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Local 

The LA County Sheriff’s deputies who lost their jobs for fatally shooting 18-year-old Andres Guardado in the back as he ran away have now been charged with abducting a skateboarder, and threatening to dump him in gang territory, then injuring him crashing into a parked car while trying to run down a group of teenage bike riders with their patrol car.

No bias here. A WeHo paper says the city wants to take away your “right” to make a right turn on a red light, while saying the maneuver is a factor in just 1% of crashes. Which means it’s responsible for around 400 deaths every year, which probably matters to the victim’s families, even if it doesn’t matter to them. And I don’t recall right on red being included in the Bill of Rights, but maybe I missed that day. 

The Source says take Metro to Sunday’s CicLAvia, with three train stations within 1.5 miles of the route.

Colorado Boulevard looks forward to next week’s 626 Golden Streets Heart of the Foothills in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

Streetsblog says a bill authorizing speed cams is up for a hearing in the state legislature for the umpteenth time; it should have no problem in Laura Friedman’s Transportation Committee, but could face opposition before the Appropriations Committee, where good traffic safety bills go to die.

A San Diego TV station reports city council members responded to a recent hit-and-run by continuing to discuss the city’s Vision Zero Plan “to eliminate but also prevent traffic collisions, bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths,” which seems to be the same thing. Although I would be overjoyed just to hear Vision Zero discussed in the Los Angeles council chambers.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the ghost bike honoring 58-year old Nelson Esteban, who was killed by a driver while riding in Palm Springs last month.

Half Moon Bay has banned ebikes from the city’s section of the Bay Area’s Coastal Trail, citing congestion and speeding. Just wait until someone tells them about the cars on the local streets and highways.

The San Jose Mercury News’ Mr. Roadshow explains why bicyclists don’t pay for the roads the same way drivers do. But then the paper hides it behind a paywall as “premium” content, reflecting a basic misunderstanding of how the internet works. Although you can read it for free if you’re willing to accept their daily emails. 

 

National

Early rock and roll cover artist Pat Boone is one of us, riding his bike, playing tennis and golf, and lifting weights to keep fit at 88 years old.

In a very bizarre case from Reno, a hit-and-run driver in a stolen truck collapsed and died as he tried to flee on foot, after a second crash as the bike rider he hit in the first one was chasing him.

Seventeen-year old junior national-level mountain biker Cayel Holmgren is in the ICU with a severe traumatic brain injury after he was knocked off his bike by hikers illegally using a bike-only Colorado trail; doctors say it will be up to two years before he can get back on a mountain bike.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 91-year old Lewiston, Maine man still rides his bike ten to twenty miles every day.

Atlanta bike computer and tech company Wahoo Fitness appears to be on the financial ropes, after its credit rating dropped for failing to meet its debt service obligations.

 

International

Cycling Weekly offers eleven reasons to ride a foldie. Must have been a slow news day. 

Tragic news from the UK, where a body was found in the woods that appears to be a man who recently went missing after he was released following six months in prison for killing a 79-year old woman in a bicycling hit-and-run; police say they aren’t treating the death as suspicious, which speaks volumes.

German prosecutors conclude that protestors didn’t cause a bicyclist’s death by delaying paramedics with a road block last Halloween.

Sad news from Italy, where two-time world mountain bike champ Dario Acquaroli died while riding his bike Easter Sunday; he was found unconscious on the ground near Bergamo in northern Italy. He was just 48.

David Hasselhoff is one of us, riding a bike to capture the culture and beauty of Munich. And he’s a train guy, too.

Good question. A Japanese letter writer asks why obey the country’s new mandatory helmet law if there’s no penalty for breaking it?

 

Competitive Cycling

Another good question. Bicycling asks how can we truly support women’s cycling in the face of cancelled racesUnfortunately, this one’s not available on Yahoo or AOL, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.

Cuban sprint sensation Marlies Mejias won the first stage race in her first Redland’s Classic, while Denver Disrupter’s Noah Granigan out-sprinted L39ion of Los Angeles cyclist Robin Carpenter on the men’s side.

The National Cycling League made its debut in Miami last weekend, part of a four stop race series.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a fun round of Governator pothole-filling blame game. How do we love bike commuting, let me count the ways.

And nothing like riding a bicycle 2,000 feet above the ground.

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Happy Songkran to the Thai American community.

Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Possible serious injury crash in Malibu, LADOT and BSS work together at last, and battered Finneas is one of us

This doesn’t sound good.

The LA County Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station announced a two-hour closure of a roughly half-mile section of PCH in Malibu.

The section from Heathercliff to Bonsall was shut down after the driver of a vehicle transport carrier hit someone riding a bicycle yesterday afternoon.

Closing the entire roadway in both directions for a crash investigation suggests  the victim may have suffered serious, potentially life-threatening injuries; police usually don’t close the road entirely unless there’s a death or possibly fatal injuries.

Let’s hope that’s wrong in this case and they’re okay, whoever it is.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

………

Maybe the Healthy Streets LA initiative is having an impact already.

LADOT unveiled the first of what they’re calling their new BLAST program, starting with the newly completed protected bike lanes on San Vicente.

If you can call a flimsy plastic bollard protection.

The program marks a new effort to coordinate operations of the Bureau of Street Services with LADOT, which both bike and government advocates have been demanding for years, if not decades.

It appears to mimic Healthy Streets LA by implementing bikeway projects as streets are resurfaced, though it lacks the initiative’s enforcement mechanism to require implementation after resurfacing.

It also doesn’t necessarily follow the city’s mobility plan, let alone the 2010 bike plan.

Streetsblog also notes that these projects will happen after termed-out LA Mayor Eric Garcetti leaves office at the end of this year, after overseeing a dramatic drop in implementing bike lanes.

Just one more reason so many of Garcetti’s former supporters will be happy to see him go.

Myself included.

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Turns out singer, songwriter and producer — and Billie Eilish brother — Finneas is one of us.

Although, as usual, we only learned about it after he crashed his ebike and pulled a major endo, shattering his elbow and collarbone.

But he insists he’ll be back in time for his sister’s show at the Forum in December.

………

Gravel Bike California takes a ride up Mt. Lowe Road in the Angeles National Forest.

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

No bias here. A Berkeley letter writer trots out the usual town versus gown conflict, complaining that a new bike lane supported by university students will kill local businesses, to the detriment of longtime residents. Never mind that studies show bike lanes are good for business, even if they require removing parking spaces. And chances are, the university was there long before she lived there, and will be there long after she’s gone.

No bias here., either. New York’s MTA says they need to see proof that bike riders will use bikeways on city bridges before they’re willing to build them. Which is nearly impossible to demonstrate when riding a bike on most bridges is dangerous and illegal.

A New York bike rider captures what it looks like — and sounds like — to get hit by a red light-running driver while recording other red light-running drivers. And gets left lying in the street afterwards.

And a road raging driver in a $230,000 Bentley subjected BBC host Jeremy Vine and a couple other bicyclists to punishment passes, and called Vine him a dick, when Vine called him on it.

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

Police in Gloucester, England are looking for a man who fled by bike after robbing a local shop armed with a crowbar.

A British man who fled by bicycle after fatally stabbing another man, and attempting to flee the country disguised as a woman, has been sentenced to just seven years behind bars.

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Local

Malibu-based fat tire e-bikemaker SONDORS is the first US ebike brand to file an IPO, although the prospectus reveals the company has shown a loss for the last two years, and may not be able to meet its financial obligations if it can’t secure adequate funding.

 

State 

Here’s your chance to name San Diego’s new mini bike lane sweeper. And yes, Sweepie McSweepface is probably taken.

Um, no. A 62-year old Poway man was seriously injured when a driver crashed into his bike; sheriff’s investigators said the rising sun could have been in the driver’s eyes — even though the crash was nearly an hour after sunrise.

Sad news from Los Banos, where a 19-year old woman was killed when her bike was rear-ended by a motorist, allegedly while riding after dark without lights or reflectors.

More bad news, this time from San Mateo County, where an 80-year old retired Stanford water polo coach was killed when he crashed his bike into a street sweeper parked on the side of the road Tuesday afternoon.

San Jose reached a 25-year high for pedestrian deaths, with 29 people killed walking the city’s streets; no word on how many of the 54 people overall killed in traffic collisions were riding bikes.

An Oakland website asks candidates for mayor how they would improve street safety, after 11 people were killed on city streets this summer; one councilmember is calling for increased police enforcement — despite his own DUI arrest — and turned down funds for a seven-mile bikeway.

 

National

A new study examines disparities in bikeshare use among lower-income residents and people of color in three US city, examining why they use the services less than wealthier and whiter residents.

Bike USA is recalling their Punisher adult bicycle helmets for failing to meet the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s standards for positional stability and impact attenuation.

An Oklahoma man was sentenced to ten years behind bars for the shooting death of a man riding a bicycle; he was driving the car when the victim was shot by another man, who was sentenced to life last week.

Misdemeanor charges have been filed against a white Milwaukee man who was caught on video grabbing a young Black man by the neck after accusing him of stealing his friend’s bikes; the 25-year old victim reportedly has the mental capacity of a five-year old. Although it appears the man may have been right about the stolen bikes.

A new 58-mile greenway will allow bike riders to travel from West Michigan, through Indiana to Chicago without setting a wheel on the roadway.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who could flee the scene after killing a 13-year old Ohio kid riding his bike; a suspect is on trial for hit-and-run and vehicular homicide, as well as possessing coke when he was arrested the next day.

Kindhearted cops in New York’s Hudson Valley bought a new bike for a teenage boy after his was stolen.

New York will develop a comprehensive Greenway masterplan for the city’s bike and pedestrian infrastructure for the first time in three decades.

A Franciscan brother has founded a campaign to get Queens bike riders to use lights after dark — and stay off the sidewalk and stop for red lights — after returning home to care for his Jewish mother.

Momentum offers a biking guide for your next trip to the Big Easy.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Louisiana woman pled guilty to negligent homicide in the hit-and-run death of a bike-riding man — eight years after killing a 15-year old boy as he was riding his bike. Just another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late. Again.

Miami is lowering the speed limit on the city’s deadly Rickenbacker Causeway to improve safety for bike riders, after several fatal crashes in recent years. Although lowering the limit just 5 mph, from 45 mph to 40 mph, may not make as big a difference as they might hope. Particularly when so many drivers ignore it anyway. 

There’s something seriously wrong when a Florida man still rides a bike at 82 year old, only to be killed by an SUV driver.

 

International

Off-road.cc explains the meaning of singletrack.

Cycling Weekly addresses five textbook mistakes to avoid when you take your riding inside.

Don’t mind me. I’ll just be applying for this assistant bike shop manager job in Edinburgh. You know, the one in Scotland.

A bike rider in England’s Surrey County calls it the worst place in the world to ride a bike. Meanwhile, riders in cities around the world are shouting “Hold my beer!” 

British officials were warned last year that removing plastic bollards from a bike lane would leave it in a substandard condition; now two bike riders have been killed in separate incidents in the past six months.

 

Competitive Cycling

The route for next year’s Tour de France was announced yesterday; Rouleur says it’s all about the mountains.

The 2023 women’s Tour will feature eight stages, including a finish atop the legendary Tourmalet.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you call the cops on your own 14-year old sister for stealing your son’s bike. Or when your relationship can survive BMX racing, but not reality TV.

And you won’t be hearing alleged Hitler aficionado Ye, nee Kanye, in Peloton classes anytime soon.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bike theft season in LA, burning more money on freeway expansion, and shifting power balance with “do-nothing” council

Apparently, it’s bike theft season.

Crosstown LA examined the trends, and discovered bicycle thefts tend to spike in Los Angeles during September and October.

According to the site, bike theft has surged in the fall since at least 2015, peaking in October from 2015 to 2019, and September for the past two years.

Bike theft numbers are likely artificially low, as publicly available Los Angeles Police Department data only counts thefts actually reported. Many people may not call police for a missing two-wheeler, either because of time constraints, or because they do not expect doing so will help with recovery.

Still, the annual fall rise in thefts indicates that the increase may be tied to the resumption of school, in particular the return of college students. From Jan. 1, 2015–Aug. 15, 2022, a total of 2,062 bicycles were reported stolen in University Park, where the USC campus is located and where many of its students reside. That is the highest count of any neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles.

The second-highest number of thefts occurred in dense Downtown, followed by Venice, a well-known cycling hub. The fourth-most victimized community in that period was Sawtelle, where many UCLA students live.

It’s worth giving it a quick read to learn how to protect your bike.

Like this, for instance.

Sometimes, the best way to thwart a theft is prevention. Ted Rogers, the editor of the blog BikinginLA and a former board member of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, said he takes measures to keep his bike safe.

“I’ve been known to walk my bike into stores just so I don’t have to lock it up,” he said. “Never lock your bike to a sign because signs can be unbolted and taken away. Never lock your bike to a small tree because those have been known to be pulled out of the ground.”

………

A Streetsblog Twitter thread explains plans by Metro and Caltrans to widen a section of the 405 Freeway through Carson.

We’ve already seen how they might as well just flush the money down the toilet, as other expansion projects — like the $1 billion effort to install HOV lanes through the Sepulveda Pass — have only served to make traffic worse through induced demand.

The money would be far better spent to improve transit, as well as bikeways, to reduce congestion by providing people with viable alternatives to driving.

………

A writer for City Watch considers how the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal alters the balance of power for the “do-nothing” city council.

The Mobility Initiative alters the balance of power.  Now the City Council is not in complete control.  Now it must work with the Initiative’s sponsors.  The City Council and the sponsors both need to consider the voters who will have the opportunity to accept or reject the Mobility Initiative or any other alternative measure cooked up by the City Council.

One of the issues that needs to be addressed is how to pay for the Mobility Plan and the $5 billion needed to repair our streets and sidewalks.  Will this require an increase in our sales tax or a new parcel tax?

Although it should be noted that the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal requires no additional investment, since it only requires the city to stripe infrastructure called for in the mobility plan when streets are resurfaced, when they would need to be re-striped anyway.

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Finish the Ride wants you to come celebrate Halloween with them in Santa Clarita.

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

More anti-bike sabotage, as someone built a cinderblock wall across a Portland, Oregon bike path, which someone else quickly knocked down.

A Joliet, Illinois man faces charges for a seemingly random attack on a woman riding bikes with her two children, striking her with a plastic pole and repeatedly hitting her after yelling at them to be quiet.

What could possibly go wrong? A seemingly endless line of porta-potties have been installed in an Edinburg, Scotland bike lane to serve people waiting in line to see the queen lying in state. Which puts riders at risk of an entirely different kind of dooring.

More proof that bicyclists face the same risks the world over, as bike riders in Ghana worry about hostile attitudes from drivers, which could “continue to cause fatalities among cyclists and further discourage young people.”

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

Toronto bike cops are called on the carpet for riding through stop signs, setting a bad example for the rest of us.

Police in Glasgow, Scotland are looking for an ebike rider who seriously injured a 55-year old bike rider in a collision; both stopped following the crash, but the ebike rider may have ridden off before learning how seriously the other man was injured.

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Local

A Venice bicyclist pulling a trailer was stopped by another man who insisted the bike was his in an altercation caught on security cam; the second man took the bike after appearing to whack the bike rider with a stick.

Pasadena police will conduct yet another in the seemingly endless series of bicycle and pedestrian safety operations this Friday. As usual, ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits so you’re not the one who gets ticketed. 

LA County is investing $15 million in a series of new bike lanes and other street improvements in South Whittier, La Mirada, and Santa Fe Springs

 

State 

A 34-year old repeat offender was arrested by Cal State Fullerton university police for the seventh time on bike theft charges, after they saw through his attempt to disguise himself as a student.

Apparently assuming they’re the only ones who need to get anywhere, residents near San Diego State University’s new Snapdragon Stadium are protesting plans to reduce traffic lanes along portions of Mission Village Drive in order to install protected bike lanes.

Streetsblog looks at the bike treatments currently taking shape in downtown San Jose.

An Oakland website looks at ten road projects underway in the city, including protected bike lanes and road diets.

 

National

Don’t think twice about that odor emanating from your body after a hard ride; NPR says it’s good for you. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

More evidence we’re failing the nation’s bicyclists, as The Guardian cites a number of American bike riders who say they are giving up bicycling because they just don’t feel safe on the streets.

Oregon elected officials get out and ride their bikes at Portland’s annual Bike Town Hall. Something we should definitely try to replicate here.

Bikemakers continue to offer seriously overpowered ebikes, as Colorado-based Optibike introduces a bike with the world’s highest power-to-weight ration, and a top speed of 36 mph.

Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid pled guilty to the speeding, DUI crash that left a five-year old girl with severe brain injuries, as well as injuring another child; he faces a maximum of four years behind bars.

Sounds familiar. A Kansas City public radio station says the city’s worst intersection is all of them, with too many problematic intersections to fix at once.

Cincinnati bike riders and pedestrians will get a new bridge later this month, connecting multiple trails for the first time.

A Chicago cop could face discipline for running a stop sign and plowing into a bike rider, while traveling without lights and siren.

This is the cost of traffic violence. The head basketball coach of Pennsylvania’s Delaware County Community College was killed in a collision while on a group ride, after police say he lost control of his bike and swerved in front of the driver of an oncoming pickup; he still holds the school record for assists at Coppin State University, where he played in the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990.

 

International

Bike Radar offers advice on bicycling while pregnant

Bike Biz examines how bike shops can be more inclusive for disabled bike riders.

Another unexpected consequence of the queen’s death, as the introduction of ebikes to London’s bikeshare system — the former Boris Bikes — has been postponed during the mourning period.

Bike riders in Norwich, England are confused by signs closing bike racks during the mourning period, which wouldn’t seem to have anything to do with the queen’s death.

That’s more like it. The UK government has approved a traffic control device allowing Bike Bus chaperones to control traffic signals to improve safety for kids riding their bikes to and from school.

One of South Africa’s largest bicycling organizations is urging riders to wear neon colors during the day, and reflective gear at night. None of which will protect riders from the country’s notorious bike-robbing criminal gangs, however.

Premium bikes are gaining popularity with urban residents in China’s resurgent bicycle kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

The owner of the Israel-Premier Tech cycling team is threatening to take UCI to court as his team faces relegation, with two lower-level teams preparing to move up to the WorldTour, while six teams are in danger of moving down.

A San Francisco website looks back at the five-day Mission Crit held in the Mission District September 3rd, billed as “the last great American bike race.”

 

Finally…

In honor of the queen, everyone is expected to drive. That feeling when your gran fondo runs out of food.

And always remember to make eye contact with drivers, even though they may not be able to see you, anyway.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1569007142325354499?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1569007142325354499%7Ctwgr%5E5f5dcccdbd113c544ccd2366ce3f4f14b984d825%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-12-september-2022-295865

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Council rejects adopting Healthy Streets, protest street racing in Angelino Heights, and Santa Ana gets it all wrong

Why do I get the feeling the city council is Lucy.

And we’re Charlie Brown.

And they really think we’re going to fall for that damn football trick one more time.

Yesterday, the city council had the chance to adopt the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal.

Instead, they pulled the football away one more time, voting to develop their own plan, which will be based on the Healthy Streets LA plan, but with a greater focus on equity.

And voted to place Healthy Streets LA on the 2024 ballot.

In other words, they’re kicking the can down the road once again. Which seems to be the city’s favorite sport.

It really was typical Los Angeles.

A number of council members spoke, seemingly with their hair on fire, about how dangerous LA streets are, how little the city has done, and how they need to be forced to keep their commitments.

Then they voted unanimously not to.

Shamefully, they also chose to ignore the large turnout in support of the measure, with Council President Nury Martinez cutting off comments while over 30 supporters were still waiting to speak.

Although they somehow had time to listen to those opposed to the measure, for some reason.

If you’re wondering why I sound angry, it’s because we’ve been here before.

In 2010, then-Councilmember Bill Rosendahl famously declared “Car culture ends today!” 

In a powerful statement before the full council, Rosendahl said “The culture of the car is going to end now!” He reminded his fellow council members about the harassment cyclists face on the road, as well as the lack of support riders have received from the LAPD in the past. “We’re going to give cyclists the support they should have been getting.”

“This is my pledge to the cycling community.”

That pledge lasted until Rosendahl left the council to battle a recurrence of the cancer that took his life.

Under Rosendahl’s guidance, the city preliminarily adopted the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights, written a group of bike bloggers known as the Bike Writer’s Collective, sending it to the City Council for review and inclusion in the 2010 bike plan.

Except it never made it into the plan. In fact, it was never heard from again.

Rosendahl also shepherded approval of the innovative 2010 bike plan, with its three levels of bikeways forming a unified network designed to channel bike riders through their neighborhood, and throughout the city.

That was subsumed into 2015’s Mobility Plan 2035. And once again, never heard from again.

In fact, we were soon told the plan was merely “aspirational,” which probably explains why only 3% of the plan has been built out in the seven years since.

Charlie Brown, meet football.

Then there’s the city’s Vision Zero plan, also adopted in 2015, which pledged to eliminate traffic deaths in the City of Angels by 2025.

Hint: we ain’t gonna make it.

In fact, traffic deaths have continued to climb virtually every year since, jumping 19% in 2019, and 21% in 2020.

There goes that football again.

That was followed by the mayor’s Green New Deal, which promised to phase out gas-driven cars while providing safe and efficient alternatives to driving.

You can probably guess what comes next.

Now the city council expects us to trust them while they tee-up the ball yet again, pledging that the new ordinance they’re going to write will be even bigger and better than Healthy Streets LA.

Except (soto voce, crossed fingers hidden behind their backs) any ordinance they write they can also change at any time, for any reason. Unlike the Healthy Streets LA proposal, which could only be changed by a vote of the people had they adopted it yesterday.

So if a councilmember doesn’t want a particular project in his or her district, or LA’s notorious NIMBYs rise up in opposition, they can reject it in part, or in toto.

Or when a new council comes in, they can overturn it, again in whole or in part.

So much for forcing them to keep their commitments.

I’ve worked hard for 14 years now to kick over SoCal rocks, and shine a light on all the ugliness underneath, at serious harm to my own mental, physical, emotional and financial health.

But days like this, combined with the ongoing carnage on our streets, make me wonder if it’s all worthwhile.

And I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. Especially now.

But let’s give credit to Michael Schneider and Streets For All for all their hard work in getting us this far. And to everyone who turned out yesterday to speak to the council, whether or not they bothered to listen, and everyone who emailed and called their councilmembers fighting for a better result than the one we got.

You deserve better. We all do.

Instead we have to wait another two years for an expensive, uncertain electoral battle against the full force of LA’s NIMBYs.

Meanwhile, we need to hold the council’s feet to the fire to ensure they keep their promises, and come up with a workable alternative.

And stick to the damn thing this time.

Because I can’t speak for you. But I’m done falling for the same damn trick again.

Peanuts drawing from ClipArtMax

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It looks like Hollywood has worn out its welcome in LA’s Victorian Angelino Heights neighborhood — especially the seemingly endless series of Fast & Furious sequels.

A protest is planned for tomorrow to halt filming, in an effort to reduce the number of boneheaded copycats attempting to duplicate the stunts there.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for the heads-up.

………

Santa Ana cops are on the lookout for a bike rider who kicked a motorist after crashing into his car, then possibly threatened the driver with a knife.

Although there’s so much wrong here, I don’t even know where to start.

Reading between the lines, the driver apparently right hooked the bike rider, while illegally turning across the bike lane instead of safely merging in to make his turn, as required by California law.

And while the bike rider was clearly in the wrong to kick and threaten the driver, LAPD officers have made it clear to me in the past that a driver commits assault simply by getting out of his vehicle.

In other words, the bike rider was the victim of the crash, and could have been acting in self-defense when he threatened the driver, since leaving the car could have been seen as a threatening act.

A good lawyer could have a field day with this one if they find the guy.

………

The LAPD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who left a Vespa-style moped rider with severe injuries at 3rd and Flower in DTLA earlier this month.

Los Angeles has a standing reward of $25,000 for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries.

………

Yeah, I’d probably use it.

Although as someone noted, the weak spot is still the cable.

Thanks to Megan Lynch and Jon for forwarding the tweet.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the British man who appeared to come to the aid of an injured mountain biker who fell off his bike, only to steal his nearly $2,800 bicycle while he was laid out on the ground.

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

A Connecticut man faces charges for groping two women while riding his BMX bike.

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Local

LA Progressive endorses a slate of candidates throughout the LA area, including Alex Fisch and Freddy Puza in Culver City, who it says face a well-funded NIMBY backlash from “homeowners who want to keep apartments, bike lanes and non-rich people out of their neighborhoods.”

The Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is pushing for safety improvements at the extremely complicated disjunction junction of Glendale Blvd, Fletcher Drive and Silver Ridge Ave, citing a lack of bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as potholes and frequent gridlock.

Tony Palos Verdes Estates is pulling the plug on plans for a roundabout at Palos Verdes Drive West and Via Corta in Malaga Cove, after local residents got out the torches and pitchforks because they fear what they don’t understand.

 

State 

California is banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035.

Newport Beach considers what to do about speeding ebike riders, from restricting ebikes from certain trails to a blatantly illegal scheme to license ebikes, while limiting the licenses to local residents, the banning unlicensed bikes from the streets.

A 68-year old San Diego man was lucky to escape serious injury when he was right-hooked by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike near Sunset Cliffs in the Point Loma neighborhood.

Pismo Beach has received $14.7 million for new curb cuts, bike lanes and wider road shoulders to comply with Complete Streets requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

National

Streetsblog considers three common bike laws that are overdue for a change, including requiring safety equipment instead of safe streets.

Good question. GearJunkie asks whether the great pandemic bicycle shortage is ending, or if it’s really just getting started.

Writing for Bicycling, a woman says she fell in love with bicycling — lower case — by delivering weed on two wheels. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bicycling also highlights the best early Labor Day sales on bike gear, in an article that doesn’t appear to be paywalled.

Autoevolution reviews Jeep’s new ped-assist ebike, calling it $7,600 of awesomeness. For that price, it damn well better be.

New nonprofit City Thread worked with five American cities — Austin, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Providence — to build out 335 miles of bike lanes in just two years, a full 25 years earlier than otherwise expected. Someone please give LADOT their phone number. Pretty please. 

A Eugene, Oregon paper says ebikes and high gas prices are making this bicycling’s golden hour in the city.

Tacoma, Washington takes advantage of an eroding bluff to ban cars from a 2.5-mile loop in the city’s Point Defiance Park, opening up the roadway to walkers, bike riders and skateboarders.

The Austin, Texas judge in the homicide case against Kaitlin Armstrong for the death of pro gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson says the case will likely be delayed to give her time to consider motions.

Texas-based Volcon just quietly rolled out the company’s first moped-style, ped-assist ebike, which is designed to look like a motorcycle.

Tragic news from Indiana, where a 67-year old South Bend parish priest was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he was riding his bike.

The Bike League’s policy director helps the New York Post pick the best bike helmets for different types of riders.

A New York bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run salmon bicyclist who plowed into him head-on while riding in a bike lane; a photographer just happened to be there to immortalize the aftermath.

 

International

Bicycling Retailer says the late Lotus Bike designer Mike Burrows was much more than just a legendary bike designer; Burrows succumbed to lung cancer last week at 79.

Canadian Cycling Magazine calls a Toronto parking cop the greatest of all time for ticketing drivers parked in bike lanes.

Scottish mountain bike champ Rab Wardell apparently died of a heart attack in his sleep, as his girlfriend, Olympic track cyclist Katie Archibald, fought to save his life.

A British writer says the proposal to require numbered license plates on bicycles is so bad it could result in the dissolution of the United Kingdom.

More proof that drivers aren’t the only threat we face. A pair of French bicyclists are in critical condition after they were each stung nearly 50 times by European hornets, while a third rider was stung 15 times.

F1 star Valtteri Bottas is one of us, as Cycling Weekly goes gravel biking with the Finnish race car driver, while falling in love with the country’s trails. Thanks to Pops for the link.

Add this one to your bike bucket list, as The Guardian takes a bike ride through the “vast panoramas and the gleaming Adriatic” of west Slovenia.

A 23-year-old New Zealand woman pled guilty to careless driving for dooring a 19-year old bike rider, who was killed when he was knocked into the path of another car; she’ll be sentenced in November.

 

Competitive Cycling

Talk about a good problem to have. Danish cyclist Jonas Vingegaard is reportedly having a very hard time adjusting to life after winning the Tour de France.

American Lawson Craddock gambled on a breakaway on the next-to-last climb during Wednesday’s fifth stage of the Vuelta, but had to settle for fifth when he was reeled in by stage winner Marc Soler.

Slovenia’s Primož Roglič had to peel off his newly won red leader’s jersey, giving it up to Frenchman Rudy Molard after stage five.

Britain’s Fred Wright stands 2nd in the Vuelta GC, while Craddock moved up to 4th; previous leaders Roglič and American Sepp Kuss slipped to 5th and 6th, respectively.

 

Finally…

If you’re carrying crystal meth on your bike and riding erratically, put a damn light on it, already. That feeling when your new bike lanes look like they were striped by a drunk.

And this is one of the best bike ads I’ve seen recently. Maybe we can get them to do an American version.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Council considers Healthy Streets tomorrow, carfree living in LA ain’t so pretty, and Venice bike lane extension

As we mentioned yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council is scheduled to consider the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition at Wednesday’s meeting.

After the proposition qualified for the ballot, it opened a 20 day window for the council to adopt it as written, or place it on the 2024 ballot for a vote by the city.

Aside from the usual opposition that comes with any proposed changes to LA streets, some advocates have come out against the measure because it doesn’t include a focus on equity or schedule for how the plan will be rolled out.

But that’s not the purpose of the proposal. It’s really a very simple measure — all it does is require Los Angeles to build out the city mobility plan, which they’ve already approved, whenever a street included in the plan is resurfaced.

That’s it.

It’s up to the city to determine when streets get resurfaced, and how to bring equity into the process.

So the best option is for the council to adopt the Healthy Streets LA proposition as written, then adopt a separate plan to fairly and equitably roll it out, especially in lower income communities that are too often ignored.

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to make it. I’m still having major health problems that keep me close to home, especially at night in the mornings until my meds kick in.

But I’m begging you, if you can clear your schedule Wednesday morning, go make your voice heard to demand that the city keep its word, and give us the safe, livable streets they promised.

And if you can’t, then email your council member today, before the day is over. That’s what I’ll be doing.

Here is what Streets For All said about it in a recent email.

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS WEDNESDAY AND WE NEED YOU TO COME IN PERSON!

After a year and a half, it all comes down to THIS WEDNESDAY. The City Council has item #20 on its agenda to consider adopting Healthy Streets LA now, or send it to the 2024 ballot.

The City Council no longer takes remote comments, and we need you to show up in person Wednesday at 10am at LA City Hall (200 N. Spring St. Room 340) and make public comment asking them to take Option #1, and adopt Healthy Streets LA. Here are some talking points you can use. We suggest timing yourself to make sure you can say everything you want to say in 1 minute.

We’re almost there, and we need all hands on deck. See you there!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

RSVP AND TELL US YOU’LL BE THERE

VIEW TALKING POINTS

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It’s not always pleasant to see yourself through someone else’s eyes.

Especially the view isn’t always pretty.

An Indian writer working with the LA Times on a journalism fellowship discovers just how difficult it is to survive in Los Angeles without a car, where the taxis are expensive and transit unreliable, and bike lanes start and stop with no coherent reason.

And you can’t even go through a Del Taco drive through without one, even when the walkup window is closed.

………

This is the cost of traffic violence.

A Florida driver killed five people in their late teens and early twenties when he drove the wrong way on a freeway at 4:30 am.

The 30-year old driver, who was the only one who survived the crash, hasn’t had a valid driver’s license since his was revoked after getting caught doing 109 mph.

Yet he continued to drive anyway, racking up traffic violations that include speeding, running red lights and failing to yield at an intersection, despite being described by a former girlfriend as psychotic and obsessive.

Just one more example of authorities allowing a dangerous driver to stay on the roads until he killed someone.

Or five someones.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up. 

………

Streetsblog says work is underway to extend the parking protected bike lane on Venice Blvd.

………

Buena Park has started work on what will be the longest bike lanes in the city when they’re finished.

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I’m not sure I’d call this a rickshaw. It seems more like a side-by-side tandem to me.

Although I did have to read the tweet to figure out that wasn’t Peter Pan sitting next to Peter Fonda.

………

A YouTuber converted his old mountain bike to an ebike, in order to tow his solar-powered camper trailer complete with rechargeable battery.

………

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

A road raging pickup driver disrupted a Portland open streets event by driving onto the route, screaming obscenities at volunteers and participants, and even flashing a gun at one point. Police say they are investigating.

Once again, cops bend over backwards to exonerate one of their own, after a Lincoln, Nebraska cop right hooked a 15-year old kid crossing the street on his bike with the walk signal; the police insist the kid somehow crashed into the side of the police cruiser as the officer was turning. Something smells like bullshit here, which isn’t hard to find in Nebraska.

British lawyer “Mr. Loophole” wants bike riders who kill pedestrians to face life imprisonment, even though drivers usually get off with a slap on the wrist, if that. And even though it hardly ever happens, while drivers kill people every day.

Cycling Weekly has more information about the Spanish driver who plowed into a group of eight bicyclists, killing a couple of 67 and 72-year old men and seriously injuring three others; the driver was captured ten hours after fleeing the crash. He’s under investigation for murder, after witnesses say he suddenly changed lanes and sped up before hitting the bike riders.

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

A Phoenix man faces charges for shooting and killing another man in a dispute over a stolen bicycle; he confessed to the killing when police arrested him, but swore he actually stole the bike from someone else.

………

Local

This is who we share the road with. The LA Times takes a deep dive into deadly street takeovers and side shows, which authorities describe as a scene of lawlessness “bordering on a riot;” six people have already been killed in street takeovers this year.

The WeHo Times provides photos from Sunday’s Meet the Hollywoods CicLAvia, while My News LA offers a brief wrap-up.

The sheriff’s department will conduct a traffic safety operation in Santa Clarita from 2 pm to 8 pm today, focusing on violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk, regardless of who commits them. You know the drill. Ride to the letter of the law until you leave the area, so you’re not the one who gets ticketed.

 

State 

California is still trying to get its shit together regarding the fully funded ebike rebate program that was supposed to be up and running by now; the California Air Resources team will hold a virtual public workshop tomorrow to discuss issues like participant income eligibility, what types of ebikes should be covered by the program, and what kinds of retailers should participate.

San Diego’s popular Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday, providing your annual opportunity to ride the city’s iconic Coronado Bridge. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

KTLA-5 offers an update on the 14-year old boy who was run down by a 68-year old driver while riding bikes with a friend in the parking lot of the Camarillo Premium Outlets; his mother reports he suffered an extensive brain injury, as well as a collapsed lung, cracked sternum, fractured vertebrae and serious road rash. A crowdfunding campaign has raised over $20,000 of the $50,000 goal.

Thanks again to Robert Leone for catching us up on a couple stories we missed recently:

Richmond is planning to revive its moribund e-bikeshare system a month after Bolt bolted, and left hundreds of abandoned ebikes on the streets.

 

National

Runner’s World recommends the best bike helmets for “comfortable, breezy protection.”

Highway-choked Houston is slowly inching away from its auto-centric reputation with a series of multimodal infrastructure projects. Maybe they could show LA officials how to do it.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a “priceless” bike that belonged to a Minnesota man who recently died of a brain tumor; before his death he passed the bike onto his son because he wanted the boy to enjoy riding like he did.

This, too, is the cost of traffic violence. Pioneering heart researcher Jeffrey Robbins, PhD was killed when a teenage driver attempted to pass him as he was making a left turn on his bike to enter an Ohio bike trail. But it’s okay, because the cops say it was just an “oopsie.”

Unbelievable. Indianapolis has removed concrete bollards along a protected bike lane, and replaced them with flimsy car-tickler plastic bendy posts, because it was just to hard to maintain the concrete barriers after drivers hit them. So better to let drivers crash into the soft people on bicycles instead, apparently.

Ebikes are getting more Maine residents out of their cars, and could help the state meet its climate goals. Which is a pretty good indication that their climate goals aren’t ambitious enough.

Boston residents are working together to cope with a month-long shutdown of a pair of commuter rail lines, including mapping bike routes and organizing bike buses for beginning riders.

DC installed a new traffic signal to address years of complaints about a dangerous intersection, nine days too late to save the life of a woman riding a bike who was right hooked by a garbage truck driver.

This is the cost of traffic violence, too. An 11-year old Florida boy was killed when a pickup driver towing a boat swerved up on the sidewalk to avoid a crash, where the boy was riding his bike.

Sad commentary from a Florida website, which says ghost bikes are becoming all-too-familiar roadside memorials on Miami’s Rickebacker Causeway.

 

International

Yes, cars really are out to get us, one way or another. Vancouver bike riders are demanding a safe route after a bike path was closed when the roof of a parking lot collapsed, blocking the bikeway.

Calgary residents complain about new bike lanes intended to slow speeding drivers, as some worry they won’t be safe because…wait for it…scofflaw drivers will break the law.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a hit-and-run driver walked without a single day behind bars for leaving a bike rider with a broken pelvis.

A British bike rider completed the grueling, 2,500-mile Transcontinental race across Europe riding a Brompton foldie.

That’s more like it. France will pay you up to the equivalent of nearly four grand to swap your smelly, polluting car for a clean running ebike, or $400 to buy an ebike without a car trade, and Paris will give up up to $500 to buy an ebike or foldie.

This is who we share the road with. A 20-year old American service member is under house arrest inside the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy after killing a 15-year old boy while driving at four times the legal alcohol limit.

Cycling Tips considers why Australian roads became proportionately more dangerous during the pandemic.

 

Competitive Cycling

The real Vuelta starts today, when the peloton returns to Spain with a harrowing uphill finish.

Semi-retired LA pro cyclist Phil Gaimon now owns the course record for Maine’s prestigious Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, while notching his fourth win in the event; San Jose’s Courtney Nelson also set a course record while winning the women’s event.

 

Finally…

Once again, if you’re carrying meth on your bike, put a damn light on it, already. Congratulations, your kid is now some Tesla driver’s crash test dummy.

And this is how you avoid close passes.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

City Watch writer gets Healthy Streets LA all wrong, NACTO says change unfair bike laws, and CNN calls bike boom bust

Talk about not getting it.

A writer for City Watch complains that bike lanes won’t fight climate change in Southern California.

He apparently bases his entire argument on a misreading of a recent article in the LA Times about the Healthy Streets LA ballot initiative, although he seems to have missed the name of the proposal in his reading.

He also missed the part where it said the ballot initiative would require building out the Mobility Plan 2035 — including bus only lanes — instead assuming that it’s all about bike lanes and pedestrian improvements.

The initiatives backer, software entrepreneur Michael Schneider leads the organization “Streets for All.” Schneider seems impatient with the the City of Los Angeles’ execution of the city’s current plans on mobility and bicycles, and City Council President Nury Martinez’s own counterproposal for bicycles and pedestrians.

The Times only mentions bike lanes in the initiative with no mention of bus only lanes. Schneider calls his initiative a “nuclear option.” Playing with weapons is never to be taken lightly, particularly nuclear ones, and his initiative will not lead the city, and the region, in the fight to reduce carbon gases needed to mitigate the climate emergency we now live in. The initiative seems more for the bicycle riders for ride for recreation, and does not take into account transportation for getting to work, shopping, eating, entertainment and other activities of urban dwellers…

If vehicle lanes are to be removed and replaced when the roads are repaved, as in the initiative, the replacements must be bus only lanes, not bicycle lanes, or both.

Oddly, that’s exactly what the initiative calls for. Which he would know if he had actually looked into it, rather than firing off a knee-jerk reaction to a single news article.

He goes on to make a case for why bike lanes aren’t practical to combat climate change in Southern California — including that he is now a “Medicare approved senior citizen,” as if his particular status extends to the entire populace at large. Or that there aren’t other older people who ride on a daily basis.

Then there’s this.

Reasons for riding a bicycle. It would seem riding a bicycle in Los Angeles is mainly recreational. From the United States Census Bureau: “Los Angeles had 1.0 percent of commuters bike to work, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today in a new brief focused on biking and walking to work. Nationally, 0.6 percent of workers commute by bike.” LINK.

Bike advocates have argued for years that the Census Bureau’s figure is a dramatic undercount that misses people who use multi-modal commutes and part-time bike commuters, as well as many immigrants and homeless people who use bicycles as their sole form of transportation.

It also doesn’t count people who ride their bikes to school or shopping, or any other utilitarian uses that doesn’t involve riding to work five days a week.

And of course, he has to trot out the tired bromide that this is not Amsterdam, failing to recognize that Amsterdam was every bit as auto-centric as Los Angeles just a few short decades ago.

Not to mention arguing that it’s too hot to ride a bike in Los Angeles, and no one wants to get sweaty on the way to work. Even though LA has one of the nation’s most temperate climates much of the year, making it far more ideal for bike riding than many other cities with higher riderships, Amsterdam included.

And forgetting that it’s possible to ride without breaking a sweat, especially on an ebike, or to freshen up once you get to work.

Although give him credit for noting that automotive exhaust isn’t healthy for people on bicycles. Even though that’s a better argument for demanding non-polluting cars than discouraging bike use.

Despite his assertions, no one is arguing that bikes should take precedent over transit systems.

That’s not what the mobility plan calls for, and not what the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure is about.

It doesn’t help anyone to go off half-cocked, and misrepresent what this ballot measure is about, and what it does, without taking the simple step of clicking on the damn link find out what it really is.

………

They get it.

NACTO calls for changing laws and improving infrastructure that unfairly criminalize people on bicycles.

The group argues that red light and stop sign laws, and equipment laws like bike bell or helmet requirements, are too often used to target people of color, including in New York and Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, they argue that ticketing bicyclists for sidewalk riding or riding salmon is more an indication of inadequate infrastructure than bad bike behavior.

………

On the other hand, CNN doesn’t get it.

The cable network reports that the bicycling boom has gone bust, as indoor cycling firms like Peloton and Soul Cycle are facing layoffs, while bike shops are burdened with too much inventory.

Yet bicycling rates remain at near-historic highs in many cities, which suggests bike sales may have slowed simply because a) some bike shops may have over-ordered during the recent inventory shortages, b) many people already have the bikes they need.

Although whether they have all the bikes the want is another matter.

………

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

A Redditor discovers the hard way that it’s not really funny to tell a coworker “You should have come by car” after she was hit by one while riding her bike to work.

No bias here. After a 70-year old Massachusetts man was killed in a dooring, the local press blames him for crashing into the open car door. Just to be clear, dooring is almost always the driver’s or passenger’s fault, because the law requires that a car door can only be opened when it’s safe to do so.

A London, Ontario bike rider was left with a broken collarbone and road rash when a pickup driver intentionally swerved into him and another rider, after deliberately buzzing the group behind them.

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

The NYPD is looking for three drivers and a bike rider responsible for a weekend hit-and-run rampage that killed one pedestrian and injured five other people, including a 44-year old man who suffered a critical head injury when he was struck by a man on a bicycle, who fled the scene. Just a reminder that bicyclists have the same obligation to stop following a crash that drivers do.

………

Local

Long Beach is investing over half a billion dollars in infrastructure improvements over the next five years, including complete rebuilds to improve traffic flow and safety for pedestrians and cyclists on major corridors like Studebaker Road, Artesia Blvd and Anaheim Street.

A man was repeatedly stabbed on Long Beach’s beachfront bike path in an apparent robbery attempt Sunday night; fortunately, his injuries aren’t considered life-threatening.

 

State 

Streetsblog California considers new models in bicycling advocacy, and how new groups can work with established organizations to improve safety and equity.

Thirty-six-year old Kenneth Alexander Heimlich went on trial for a violent rampage in Fullerton and Buena Park, including pushing a man with a bicycle into traffic and repeatedly stomping on his head, for no apparent reason.

A San Francisco op-ed complains about the city police department’s ineffectiveness in combating traffic violence, saying they’re failing to enforce the five most dangerous driving violations, particularly on the city’s High-Injury Network.

The Bay Area’s Bike East Bay is working with the city to build a series of popup protected bike lanes, spending just $20,000 for plastic bollards, tape, and other temporary street markings.

 

National

Best Reviews looks at the best Abus bike locks available on Amazon.

Gear Junkie says ABS anti-lock braking may be one of the next vital ebike features to make riding safer and more fun.

Heartbreaking story from Seattle, where a woman urges drivers to slow down after her husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Minnesota advocacy group Streets MN offers the second part of their Tips for Utilitarian Cycling, including advice on riding in heat and rain.

Louisville KY bicyclists are pushing for protective barriers on bike lanes to improve safety from inattentive drivers.

A 45-year old Cleveland man pled not guilty to multiple charges for slamming his car into a family riding their bikes, killing a three year old girl and injuring her father and ten-year old sister, before fleeing the crash on foot.

More heartbreaking news, this time from Pennsylvania, where an off-duty Montgomery County cop was killed when he allegedly swerved his bicycle into the path of an oncoming driver. Norristown Police Cpl. Brian R. Kozera had overcome a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma to compete in six Ironman triathlons, and was scheduled to compete in Kona in October. Thanks to Mike Bike for the heads-up.

 

International

A Manchester, England walking and biking advocacy group is complaining about an epidemic of drivers parking in bike lanes. Which seems to be a universal problem; if they have bike lanes on Uranus, someone is probably parking in them.

Kindhearted British police give a ten-year old Ukrainian refugee boy a new bike. Which naturally brought out all the hateful trolls on Facebook.

A Norwegian study suggests e-scooter riders are significantly more reckless than bike riders, and four times more likely to ride drunk. Then again, I’d have to be drunk to ride one. But that’s just me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team confirmed that Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner Egan Bernal will return to racing today with the five-stage Tour of Denmark, just eight months after his near-fatal crash on a training ride in his native Columbia.

Primož Roglič has been declared fit and ready to ride as he goes for a fourth consecutive Vuelta title, after abandoning the Tour de France with a dislocated shoulder and back injury.

Thirty-one-year old Dutch pro Tom Dumoulin calls it a career “with immediate effect.”

A Richmond VA newspaper talks with hometown hero Emma Langley, who won the US women’s road national championship in June.

NPR looks at gravel bike racing, with the sport’s focus on diversity and inclusion amid its soaring popularity.

 

Finally…

Nice wood-print illustration of a tandem bike. What good is a Commonwealth Games medal if you can’t use it to score free beer?

And who needs a limo to get married in style?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Contact LA city council to support Healthy Streets LA, and CA bill would give up to $5,000 tax credit for carfree households

Streets For All is asking everyone to support the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal now that it’s before the Los Angeles City Council.

The council has 20 days to decide whether to adopt the proposal as written or place it on the ballot for the 2024 election.

Or they could adopt their own ordinance, which could include similar language to the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal, but could be change at any time, for any reason, unlike the the ballot measure which would require a vote of the people to modify or repeal.

Your support matters, especially since some advocates have come out against it.

WE NEED YOU:
Tell City Council to adopt Healthy Streets LA!

Last month, we turned in more than 100,000 signatures from residents in every single council district in Los Angeles — the people demanded safer streets, protected bike lanes, and dedicated bus lanes. Yesterday, the City Clerk certified our petition.

Now, it goes to City Council. The City Council has 20 days to decide to adopt our measure as an ordinance, or send it to the ballot to let the voters decide. We already know what voters want. That’s why we need your help to get the city council to adopt us as an ordinance within the next two weeks.

MAKE PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE COUNCIL FILE

………

Good news for carfree households.

Let’s hope this one passes.

It could do as much as anything to help get people out of their cars.

………

This is who we share the road with.

A New Hampshire truck driver plowed head-on into a group of motorcyclists, killing seven people; a jury let him walk without a day behind bars, though he may be deported to his native Ukraine. Just in case you wondered why people keep dying on our streets. And my apologies to whoever sent this to me; I’m afraid I lost track of it over the weekend.

A Pennsylvania man faces charges after plowing through a crowd gathered to raise funds for victims of a deadly house fire, killing one person and injuring 17, including four critically; he then ran down his own mother with his car and beat her to death with a hammer.

A driver plowed into an Arlington, Virginia pub, injuring 15 people, two critically; people inside described the crash as being like a bomb going off.

………

Too many Angelenos learn about our deadly streets the hard way.

………

Evidently, Portland drivers can figure out what San Diego drivers couldn’t.

Or didn’t want to.

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Not Just Bikes considers the bakfiets as a car. replacement.

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French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé created over one hundred covers for The New Yorker, including many bicycling themed illustrations.

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If anyone has me on their Secret Santa list, I’ll gladly settle for a copy of this painting.

Or the original, even.

………

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

This is what a punishment pass looks like.

No bias here. A Louisville KY TV station reports, apparently seriously, that a salmon cyclist crashed her bike into the front of a police patrol car, rather than the cops hitting her with their car. That’s like saying “Please accept my apologies for hitting your fist with my nose.”

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

Police in Fort Worth, Texas are looking for a bike-riding man who rode out of the darkness to slash a man’s arm with a machete.

………

Local

Los Angeles Times readers address the recent article about the Healthy Streets LA initiative qualifying for the ballot with surprisingly less vitriol than expected, though one insisted on trotting out the old “this is not Amsterdam” bromide, combined with the myth that its too hot to ride to work in a suit here. Especially since so many Angelenos have ditched their suits post pandemic.

The Times editorial department says you’ll soon have the chance to vote for safer streets.

Treehugger says the high-speed Windsor Hills crash that killed six victims, including a pregnant mother just two weeks from full term, has reignited debate about installing speed limiters in cars.

 

State 

California governor Gaven Newsom has named former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as the state’s first Infrastructure Advisor to identify priority projects and maximize access to federal dollars.

A memorial crowdfunding campaign has raised over $110,000 for the family of Christine Hawk Embree, the 35-year old Carlsbad mother killed by a driver while riding an ebike with her 16-month old daughter; at last check, the fund stood at more than $119,000.

Eight San Diego men set a new team record for riding across the US in five days, two hours and 47 minutes.

Police in Contra Costa County arrested a hit-and-run driver who allegedly killed a 57-year old bike rider, before crashing head-on into another car minutes later.

A new 600-mile hiking and mountain biking trail could help revive dying towns in the Sierras.

 

National

Bike shops couldn’t keep up during the pandemic bike boom, and ended up ordering bikes that weren’t delivered until the after the boom crested; now they’re overflowing with bikes they can’t sell. For some reason, this story wasn’t blocked by the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, though your results may vary. 

Tech Radar offers a ten point checklist on how to safely secure your bike. And adds advice to never buy cheap secondhand bikes from shady sellers.

A Flagstaff, Arizona woman rode her mountain bike 2,700 miles on off-road trails in 51 days — despite being blind.

There is no lower form of human scum than someone who could leave a bike-riding 6-year old Las Vegas boy to die in the street.

That’s more like it. A Beaumont, Texas driver got 12 and a half years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a bike rider; his sentence was extended as a repeat offender.

A Wisconsin family brings 17 extra bikes with them to ensure every child can take part in the Green Bay Packer’s tradition of riding borrowed kids bikes to practice.

Christian singer Amy Grant has postponed more concert dates in September and October, as she continues to recover at her Nashville home from being knocked cold falling off her bike.

No, New York City will not be banning cars anytime in the foreseeable future.

The gunman who killed a security guard on the set of Law & Order: Organized Crime in Brooklyn last month apparently stalked the victim using a bicycle.

Someone tossed a heavy bikeshare bike onto the tracks in front of a New York subway train, with predictable results.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Friends remember a Virginia woman who was killed by a teenaged drunk driver while riding with a friend at 7:30 am; the other woman remains hospitalized in critical condition.

President Biden took another bike ride with his family while on vacation in South Carolina. And didn’t fall off this time.

A Miami man carries his 75-pound, sunglass-wearing golden doodle on his back as he rides around his neighborhood.

Kindhearted Florida duputies bought a 13-year old boy “the monster of all bikes” after learning he was depressed over the theft of his bike and the death of his father.

 

International

Road.cc reviews the new book Two Wheels Good – The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, giving it four out of five stars. The website also lists a half-dozen bike upgrades you don’t really need, from high-end gruppos to disc brakes and tubeless tires.

Kindhearted Ottawa, Canada cops dug into their own pockets to buy a new bike for a young kid after the one he received in a charity giveaway was stolen.

Someone may have stolen $3,300 from a bike rider in Trinidad after he was killed in a collision.

A British luxury lifestyle magazine recommends the best places for a biking vacation this fall. And no, nowhere in the US made the cut.

They get it. Officials in Camden, England say new bike lanes will benefit both bike riders and local businesses.

A 34-year old Edinburgh man with terminal motor neurone disease completed a mountainous, 20 hour, 265-mile fundraising ride; in the four years since his diagnosis, he’s raised the equivalent of $181,000 to fight the disease, with another $60,000 pledged for this ride.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver got just seven months behind bars for killing a 71-year old man riding a bicycle; he played the universal Get Out Of Jail Free card, saying he just didn’t see the victim.

Would you like fries with that? A new documentary tells the story of a Yugoslavian man who ate an entire bicycle in three days. No, really. 

Over 100 bicyclists turned out to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, aka the 75th anniversary of Indian independence.

Nice story from Gabon, where a teacher got tired of watching her students walk for miles to get to school, so she started a company making bamboo bicycles; she already has over 5,000 orders.

You’ve got to be kidding. The new Hermes bicycle sold out in mainland China, despite a price tag over $24,000. Demonstrating that a number of wealthy Chinese have more yuan than sense.

 

Competitive Cycling

Seventy-one-year old Rick Taggart qualified for the US Nationals for his age bracket, despite a high-speed crash in the final mile of a 76-mile race that left him with a broken collarbone; he somehow managed to finish the race anyway.

Pez Cycling News takes a look at seven of the world’s “most challenging, weirdest bike races.”

 

Finally…

That feeling when your bike breaks during a 1,000-mile audax, so you ride into the nearest town, buy a new frame and build up a new one to finish the ride. We may have to deal with LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting kicked in the head by a deer doing a high jump. 

And evidently, Napoleon was one of us, too.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Healthy Streets LA ballot measure qualifies for ballot, moves to city council; and Paris moves to be 100% bikeable

Correction: I got a couple things wrong in the following piece.

First off, the Healthy Streets LA initiative has qualified for the 2024 ballot, not this fall as I originally wrote.

Second, my sloppy wording implied that the city council had the option of changing the wording on the initiative, but they don’t. They have the option of adopting the initiative as written, or adopting their own ordinance based on the initiative. 

I’ve made both corrections below. 

It’s on.

The Healthy Streets LA ballot measure has been approved for the 2024 election.

According to Streetsblog, the LA City Clerk’s office ruled that the coalition behind the proposal, headed by transportation PAC Streets For All, has collected enough qualified signatures to go to a vote of the people.

Or as an alternative, the city council could skip the whole hassle of campaigning for the next two years, and adopt the measure outright, which is what Streets For All is pushing for.

The measure would simply require that the city implement the already approved mobility plan whenever streets in the plan get resurfaced, whether repaved or coated with a slurry seal.

The council can adopt the plan outright, adopt their own alternative version based on the plan, or vote to place it on the ballot.

Some people, including longtime leading pedestrian advocate Jessica Meaney, have called for the city to adopt the alternative version including a plan for implementation with a focus on equity.

The problem with that is that it could be amended or revoked by a simple vote of the city council at any time, for any reason. So if the next Gil Cedillo or Paul Koretz decided they didn’t want bike lanes in their district, they could easily have them removed.

Adopting the proposal outright would give it the force of law, and would require a vote of the people in order to modify it. And nothing prevents the city council from approving both the Healthy Streets LA proposal, as well as the council’s version, with a focus on equity in the resurfacing schedule, to govern how it will be rolled out.

Which would be the best of all possible worlds, and what Streets For All is recommending.

Meanwhile, the LA Times looked at the ballot measure, and the willingness of city officials and the public to make real changes to the streets to increase safety and livability.

In the city where the car is king, activists are pushing to claim strips of the biggest boulevards for bicyclists and walkers.

Their fight has played out at Griffith Park, where streets were recently closed after a cyclist was killed. It spilled out along the steps of City Hall where advocates staged a die-in. And now, it could make its way to the ballot box in a vote that will test traffic-weary Angelenos’ willingness to put themselves on a so-called road diet to make streets safer and the air cleaner.

But what jumps out from the story is a comment from a board member from NIMBY advocacy group Fix The City.

“If you take away vehicle lanes, you are creating congestion,” said Mike Eveloff, a board member of the nonprofit Fix The City. The group successfully sued Los Angeles over its mobility plan, mandating that an extensive outreach plan accompany new projects for 10 years. “This will result in even more lawsuits against the city. There are no costs disclosed. This represents a ‘hidden’ tax.”

Eveloff said he once loved to cycle but not anymore. “The infrastructure is incompatible with cars, bikes and pedestrians sharing the same space.”

He clearly doesn’t recognize the irony of that statement.

Because that same lack of safe infrastructure keeps many people from riding their bikes or walking to the market. And the fixes the Fix The City group opposes are exactly what would allow him to ride a bike once again.

Who knows, he might even like it.

………

This is what Los Angeles could be doing.

Paris has invested the equivalent of 154 million dollars to transform itself from a typically auto-centric, car-choked city to one where both residents and visitors can choose to get anywhere in the city on two wheels.

Now Paris is planning to drill down to the neighborhood level over the next five years, to make 100 percent of city safe and convenient to travel by bicycle.

The city is increasing its investment to $258 million to build 621 miles of bike lanes and 186 miles of cycle tracks, along with 30,000 bike racks, with 1,000 spaces reserved for cargo bikes, and 40,000 new secure bicycle parking spaces.

They’re also planning for 8,400 ebike charging stations.

This is the sort of wholesale transportation changes we were promised with the adoption of LA’s mobility plan, before we were all told it was merely “aspirational.”

And forgettable, evidently.

………

Robert Downey Jr. is one of us, as he makes a sepia toned call for more bike lanes.

………

A Vancouver visual effects artist created short videos placing local bicyclists in the Upside Down and the middle of a Star Wars battle.

………

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

The widow of a man murdered by a bike-riding man while their family was on vacation in Myrtle Beach SC is demanding the death penalty or life in prison for his killer; the victim was shot eight times after agreeing to give the down-and-out stranger a ride

………

Local

AAA calls on people to drive safely and avoid distraction as kids return to school. Never mind that they should drive that way all the time, whether or not school is in session.

The LAPD reports things are finally quieting down on LA’s new $577 million 6th Street Viaduct, while the city public works committee considers a proposal to periodically close the bridge to cars to allow greater bike and pedestrian access.

Santa Clarita residents are invited to a public meeting on Wednesday, August 24th to learn more about the Bouquet Canyon Bike Trail project.

 

State 

Streetsblog calls on California to ban parking minimums, noting that AB 2097 would prohibit parking mandates in areas near public transit.

Assembly Bill 371 could threaten bikeshare systems throughout the state by requiring providers to obtain insurance to cover the cost of injuries or deaths caused by negligent users.

Steve Martin is one of us, riding his ebike into town when he spends summers in Santa Barbara with his wife.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a bike-riding man was killed in a collision just after midnight Wednesday.

Gizmodo calls Silicon Valley’s push into transportation a miserable failure, marked by a lot of disruption but not much innovation, while a Canadian technology writer accuses tech firms of planning for transportation that benefits the few, not the many.

San Francisco has received a $23 million federal grant to improve the plastic-protected bike lanes on a seven-block section of Howard Street, including concrete buffers, curb-protected intersections and new bike traffic signals.

No surprise here, as the parents of a 19-year old UC Davis student killed by a university garbage truck driver as she rode her bike to class have filed a wrongful death suit against the university.

A New Jersey website offers tips on how to keep your bike from getting stolen.

A new study suggests the Richmond-San Rafael bridge is dramatically underused, with an average of just 136 weekday crossings.

Call it a different kind of tall bike, as Road Bike Action examines 6’7″ former NBA great Reggie Miller’s new Moots gravel bike.

People For Bikes examines plans for the Lost Sierra Route, a new 600-mile bike trail connecting 15 mountain towns in Northern California.

 

National

Treehugger asks if we’re seeing the beginning of an e-bikelash.

Speaking of Silicon Valley tech firms, Ralph Nader urged the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, aka NHTSA, to recall Tesla’s full self-driving technology, calling it “one of the most dangerous and irresponsible actions by a car company in decades.”

CityLab calls for installing speed governors on all cars to keep drivers from dangerously exceeding the speed limit; modern versions use geolocation to match the posted speed limit on a given roadway.

A Seattle website suggests riding your bike around the scenic islands of Puget Sound.

Utah has seen a spike in fatal bike crashes, already topping any other year for the past decade.

A Durango, Colorado letter writer reminds readers that without an ebike, he wouldn’t be able to ride at all.

A Massachusetts city councilor is calling for the removal of a bike lane, even though it has reduced crashes a whopping 77%.

 

International

Toronto’s mayor met with the city’s largest bike advocacy group protesting a crackdown on bike riders in the city’s High Park; an Ontario website calls the crackdown a colossal waste of time and money, since only 15 pedestrians were hit by bike riders over an eight-year period, with no fatalities, while drivers killed 212 pedestrians over the same time.

A London bike company is offering commuters free bikes to use when tube workers are on strike.

Five British bicyclists completed a 1,100-mile trip across the country, raising the equivalent of nearly $100,000 to install “life-changing” gardens at every spinal injury center in the UK.

Horrible story from India’s Uttar Pradesh state, where a woman and her son beat a young man on a bicycle to death, using a bat to knock him and his bike into an open sewer.

A New Zealand website recommends the world’s best and most beautiful bike routes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Veteran World Cup mountain biker Lea Davison has walked away from the Life Time Grand Prix gravel racing series, concluding she loves mountain biking, gravel not so much; she also cited a lack of safety and fairness.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can sculpt a giant pink cow for a Florida bike path. Or hold your own in a drag race pitting a DIY ebike against a Ford Mustang.

And if you’re going to get drunk and fall off your bike, try not to do it in front of someone’s doorbell cam.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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