Tag Archive for Hollywood

Morning Links: Motion to unprotect Yucca Street, more on the Great Helmet Debate, and Elizabeth Warren gets it

It’s hard to fight for safer streets when we have to keep fighting to protect what little we already have.

Case in point:

motion before the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council would remove a key traffic diverter from LA’s first — and shamefully, only — bicycle boulevard, on Yucca Street in Hollywood.

Also known as bicycle friendly street in LA bike plan parlance.

The motion would remove the diverter on Yucca Street at Las Palmas Ave that allows bicycle traffic to pass through while diverting motor vehicle traffic off the street, to create a low-stress environment for people on bicycles.

Something that’s desperately needed in high-stress Hollywood, which is virtually devoid of bicycling infrastructure.

Unless you consider sharrows more than just something to help drivers improve their aim.

The Yucca Street motion will be heard at the council’s 6 pm board meeting this Wednesday at the Will and Ariel Durant Branch Library on Sunset Blvd just west of La Brea.

………

More on the seemingly endless Great Bike Helmet Debate.

A writer for Bicycling argues that mandatory helmet laws actually make riders less safe.

And Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter says he got it wrong, and Peter Flax got it right regarding the NTSB’s call for mandatory bike helmet laws, instead fixing the problems that are really killing bike riders.

………

One presidential candidate gets it, anyway.

Elizabeth Warren marks World Remembrance Day for traffic victims with a call to end traffic violence. Thanks to Ms. Fast for the link.

Meanwhile, the transportation minister for Trinidad and Tobago marked World Remembrance Day by saying bike riders will be given more space on the roads in one of the island nation’s most developed areas; that follows the deaths of two bicyclists killed on a club ride last year. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the tip.

That compares to Los Angeles, where city officials said nothing to mark the day.

Let alone actually do something about it.

………

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

Police in the UK are looking for the victim of a drive-by BB gun attack after witnesses saw him knocked off his bike and into a ditch by the shooting; the jackass behind the wheel also spooked the horses being ridden by a group of kids.

Now that’s a close pass. A group of British bike riders were lucky to avoid getting run down by a driver in a massive truck speeding down on a narrow country road, who missed them by mere inches as he blew by in the opposite direction.

………

Local

LAist says yes, you can take your bike on Metro buses and trains. Even if the space reserved for bikes on trains is usually full of people without them.

Long Beach gets a $275,000 grant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through workshops on the importance of reflective armbands, bike lights, reflectors and helmets. If they really want to improve safety, skip the workshops and stand on any corner to pass out lights, and arm and ankle bands.

 

State

Calbike has a new policy director, promoting former Senior Policy Advocate Linda Khamoushian from inside the organization.

The Orange County Register takes a brief look at yesterday’s Meet on the Beach carfree festival through seven Orange County communities.

San Diego bike riders beware. The city’s police department will be cracking down on traffic violations that put bike riders and pedestrians at risk today, regardless of who commits them. So stop for stop signs, signal your turns and lane changes, and otherwise ride to the letter of the law until you pass the city limit lines.

More bad news from San Diego, where yet another bike rider has suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a pickup driver while ghost riding another bicycle; neither bike had lights.

To complete today’s San Diego trifecta, a lawsuit filed against the city by a bike rider paralyzed in a meth-fueled crash with a wrong way driver on Fiesta Island is finally going to court after five years.

I want to be like them when I grow up. A group of Santa Barbara friends ranging in age from 83 to 91 are still riding together after nearly 60 years.

San Jose residents are complaining about a bicycle chop shop in a homeless camp along the Guadalupe River Trail. You can find countless others just like it down here in Southern California.

A San Jose site takes a deep dive into why the city’s quest for safer streets has failed, resulting in worsening rates for bicycling and pedestrian injuries. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

The long-awaited protected bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge across the San Francisco Bay finally opened, drawing “hordes” of bike riders that opponents said wouldn’t show up.

 

National

A new study confirms what many of us have suspected — that subtle shifts in how news stories about crashes are reported can affect how readers assess the blame, and what should be done about it.

Who says you need a car to pick up a little extra cash?

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says if you actually look at the numbers, e-scooters aren’t very scary at all.

An Anchorage AK police officer faces charges for allegedly punching a bike rider and kicking him in the nuts in what began as a traffic stop for not having lights on his bike, after the man had sworn at and flipped off a line of police cars; the cop snatched the phone the victim was recording him with, but it continued to record audio of the assault.

A Seattle-area driver fled the scene of a crash at speeds of up to 60 mph after running down a man on a bicycle, dragging his bike under the car for nearly a mile, then covering the car with blankets to hide the damage; when investigators examined the car, they found it peppered with rice from the groceries the victim was carrying.

This is why I like Phil Gaimon. The LA-based former pro is using his new-found celebrity to support No Kid Hungry, stopping in Houston to talk cycling, charity and cookies as part of a nationwide fundraising tour for the group.

An Oklahoma man faces charges for using his car as a weapon to run down a bike rider following a drug deal gone bad.

Chicago bike riders respond to recent deaths by saying the city is falling behind in protecting bicyclists by failing to build more protected lanes and requiring side guards on trucks, along with keeping people and businesses from parking in bike lanes.

A New York State man has been sentenced to 28 months to seven years behind bars for killing a bike rider while driving drunk, then driving home, changing cars and coming back to the scene; he drove to the sheriff’s office to turn himself in after seeing the victim’s body lying in the street.

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation is complaining that local officials and residents don’t want their quiet country roads turned into virtual superhighways. Go figure.

Ben Affleck is one of us, riding his muddy bike through the streets of New Orleans.

I want to be like him when I grow up, too. A Florida pastor celebrates his birthday by riding his age with an 82-mile journey.

A Florida bike rider rolls through a stop sign on a bike path, and into the path of a driver who doesn’t bother to stop — neither before, or for very long after hitting him. And throws his hands up in frustration when he realizes going to get hit. The video captures the full crash, so be sure you really want to see that before clicking the link.

 

International

A Vancouver man is the latest bicyclist to ride every street in his own city.

She gets it. A Toronto op-ed writer says if we want people to give up their cars, we have to fix our streets first. Meanwhile, a writer for City Lab says it will take more than an app to get people out of their cars.

And we thought LA had bad streets. Over 250 people on bicycles have been injured or killed by potholes in the UK.

A English man broke a 133-year old record by riding a Penny Farthing 874 miles from one end of Britain to the other, breaking the old record by 13 hours. Of course, one reason the record stood so long is because it was set on a Penny Farthing.

A British police conduct board has concluded that officers aren’t responsible for the death of a 75-year old man pushing his bicycle up a hill, who was killed by a driver trying to escape the cops at speeds up to 80 mph.

An Irish senator accepted a challenge to get out on a bike himself after tweeting a complaint about bike riders last week, and concludes that maybe he should have seen the conditions bicyclists actually face on the streets before complaining.

They get it, too. Germany is planning to expand bicycling infrastructure and dedicate more road space to bike riders to protect them and fight climate change.

Bicycles are making a comeback in Calcutta, aka Kolkata, after being banned from 174 major streets until just 17 years ago.

A drunken hit-and-run driver talks about the emotional weight she carries after killing a 15-year old New Zealand boy riding his bike last year, and how hard she was slapped on the wrist by being confined to her home for a whole 11 months. Although it probably doesn’t compare to the emotional burden the kid’s parents will carry for the rest of their lives.

A trio of Kiwi brothers are making names for themselves throughout New Zealand for their mountain biking skills — even if the oldest is just 12-years old.

 

Competitive Cycling

Evidently, the pros feel the same way we do. Four months after Italian cyclist Alessandro de Marchi was seriously injured when he crashed out of the Tour de France, he was livid after a dangerously close pass on a training ride nearly put him back in the emergency room; naturally, the driver told him to go to hell when he complained.

America’s only remaining Tour de France winner looks over the crop of rising young American cyclists, and concludes there may be hope for us yet.

Every superhero has an origin story. British cyclist Katie Archibald relates how hanging out with the fixie crowd led to track racing in Edinburgh — and eventually an Olympic gold medal. A reminder that you never know where riding a bike could take you. Or the kids just starting out.

 

Finally…

Nothing like a romantic bike ride after getting dissed by Taylor Swift fans. Before stealing London’s longest bike, you might want to consider whether you can actually sell it.

And if you want to advertise bikes by showing a kid riding one on a beachfront pathway, maybe make sure bikes are even allowed there first.

 

Morning Link: CicLAvia visits 3 out of 4 Hollywoods, 15-year old hit-and-run victim speaks, and the war on bikes goes on

By all accounts, Sunday’s Meet the Hollywood’s CicLAvia was another success for the open streets nonprofit group.

KNBC-4 said the event was the first CicLAvia to include West Hollywood, East Hollywood, Thai Town and Little Armenia, as well as the actual Hollywood, offering participants a carfree view of historic Hollywood icons.

Then again, Patch offers the exact same story, word for word, crediting City News Service as the source, which KNBC somehow failed to mention.

And Streetsblog’s Joe Linton provides his photos from the day.

Meanwhile, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti took part in the event, celebrating the Hollywood Great Streets project.

 

Except nothing of any significance has been done on the Hollywood Great Streets project, five years after it was announced.

Unless you consider a little improved lighting and a pair of scramble crosswalks a great street.

Because I sure as hell don’t.

Meanwhile a few other views of CicLAvia popped up on Twitter’s radar today.

And wins the Oscar for the cutest one of all.

https://twitter.com/HaveAGo/status/1163481543970455552

But did he say “On your left?” Or even “On your right,” for that matter?

Unfortunately, thought, you’ll have to wait another two months for the next one.

……….

Fifteen-year old Roberto Diaz remains in “tremendous pain” two weeks after he was run down by a hit-and-run driver, who dragged him the length of five football fields as he made his escape.

Diaz has endured a half-dozen surgeries just to stay alive after the driver hit him as he rode his bike in a South LA crosswalk — with the right-of-way.

And he has a message for the heartless coward who did it.

Without hesitation he says, “I just wanted to give a message to the person that did this to me… I just wanted to know why you do like what you did. You saw me. You hit me. You knew I was under there.”

“I remember everything,” Diaz says, “From like when I got hit. When I was stuck under there. I was just being dragged. I felt like all my air was being lost.”

Yet remarkably, he forgives his near-killer.

“I forgive him but I also want him to turn himself in,” he says, matter-of-fact.

Police are looking for the driver of a dark-colored four-door Honda, probably with damage to the front end.

Hopefully the standing $25,000 reward will encourage someone to speak up.

The story also notes that a bike race will be held this Saturday to raise funds for Diaz.

[Editor’s Note: A bike race is being held Sat. Aug. 24 with donations going to Diaz. Register time: 12:30 p.m., start time 1:30 p.m. Meet up at 35th and Maple. Starting point Jefferson/Maple – Ending point Angels Point]

If anyone has more information about the race, let me know; you’ll find my email on the About page.

………

Don’t try to ride an e-anything on the campus of San Diego State University, where “electric or motorized dockless scooters, bicycles, roller skates, hoverboards, skateboards and other micromobility devices” have been banned starting with the fall semester.

The Luddites at SDSU would probably even ban this one, too.

………

A British man set a new record for the fastest man on a bike.

Which is not the same as the fastest person, in this case.

Neil Campbell broke the 24-year old record for the fastest bicycle speed in an auto-assisted slipstream at over 174 mph, beating the old record by a full seven miles per hour.

But he still has a long way to go to beat the speed of American cyclist Denise Mueller-Korenek, who holds the women’s — and world — record at 189.3 mph.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bike goes on.

It was nice while it lasted, but this unwanted feature once again rears its ugly head today.

After a man swerved his bicycle to avoid glass on a bike path, a road-raging Oregon driver followed him, then rammed his truck into his bike, got out and physically attacked him — until he realized a witness was calling police.

An Illinois bike rider was the innocent victim of a paintball drive-by when the occupants of a passing car shot him in the face with a paintball gun.

But sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly. 

A Brooklyn woman was injured when she was hit by a red light-running bike rider while walking in a crosswalk with the right-of-way.

A Florida letter-writer says he suffered a broken jaw and numerous bruises when he was hit from behind while walking by a high-speed distracted bicyclist who was staring at his smartphone.

And sometimes the problem is both.

After a group of teenage bike riders surrounded a Long Island driver’s truck following a dispute, he ran over one of their bikes, nearly hitting some of the riders in the process. Naturally, the police only blamed the kids on two wheels for riding recklessly prior to the incident.

………

Local

Metro and the LACBC will be offering a free BEST class on the Rules of the Road in Gardena this Saturday.

A Sylmar nonprofit bookstore and cultural center won a $15,000 Great Streets Challenge grant to develop a plan to improve a one-mile bike and pedestrian path along San Fernando Road; they’ll get a chance to win another half-million dollar grant to actually implement the changes.

Santa Monica is gearing up for an open streets event of their own, with COAST opening two miles of streets to people — and closing to cars — on September 15th, along Ocean Ave, Colorado Ave and Main Street.

 

State

A San Diego TV station provides a preview of this weekend’s annual 25-mile Bike the Bay ride over the Coronado Bay Bridge.

San Diego is jerking Lime’s permit to operate within its borders after concluding the dockless e-scooter and ebike company hasn’t been playing by the rules.

Sad news from Elk Grove, where a bike rider was killed in a collision with a freight train. One more reminder to never go under, over or around crossing barriers or warning lights, even if you don’t see a train or one has just passed; there might be another one traveling in the opposite direction.

More sad news, this time from Healdsburg. A 61-year old former Huntington Beach resident died on Sunday, after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver last week; he’d been struggling to kick the bottle and get off the streets. Hats off to the Press Democrat for one of the most respectful stories I’ve seen about any homeless victim.

 

National

They get it. A writer for The Week says American cities need to phase out cars.

New Skip e-scooters come with swappable batteries to eliminate the need for daily recharging, making them more sustainable.

A Streetsblog writer says Denver’s 18-year plan to build out its bike network is unacceptable. But at least they’ve started work on theirs, unlike Los Angeles, which promised to complete its plan two years earlier in 2035. And has barely scratched the surface.

Meanwhile, Denver considers lowering speed limits to 25 mph to reduce traffic deaths; a local magazine questions whether it will really make a difference. Short answer, only if police enforce the new limit and drivers obey it.

A Fargo ND man reported finding syringes and needles strewn across a bike path. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day that ends in Y.

More proof of the danger rumble strips pose to people on bicycles, as a 72-year old Minnesota man was killed when he was thrown from his bike after hitting rumble strips while on a group ride.

Saying bikes can damage a skatepark, a Michigan town considers issuing misdemeanor tickets to kids who try to use their BMX bikes there.

We know the feeling. Curbed New York says achieving zero traffic deaths will require radical changes to the city’s streets, but they’re still waiting for that to happen. Sort of like Los Angeles, where city officials somehow seem to think making marginal changes here and there will somehow magically reduce deaths in the city.

A longtime Philadelphia lacrosse icon was killed while riding on a bike path on Saturday; unfortunately, no details are available.

A troubled 16-year old Georgia boy took part in a 500-mile ride through three southern states in an effort to turn his life around.

 

International

A British pair says a 12-year old girl would have been killed if she hadn’t been wearing her helmet when she was hit by a driver. Which is questionable considering she suffered a fractured skull anyway; it’s possible her injuries could have been much worse without it, but it’s also possible that the helmet somehow failed to protect her.

The city of Utrecht in the Netherlands is the proud host of the world’s largest bicycle parking facility; the expanded facility can now hold as many as 12,500 bikes. Fortunately, there’s also video — in Dutch, of course.

Even in the Netherlands, elderly bike riders are at greater risk than their younger counterparts.

 

Competitive Cycling

Rising third-year star Lily Williams intends to show just how exciting women’s cycling can be at this weekend’s women’s-only Colorado Classic.

 

Finally…

Have a library card, check out a bike. Now drivers are trying to kill the dead, too.

And maybe the damn thing will wear hi-viz and a helmet next time.

Morning Links: Incycle bike thieves busted, elected officials in Hollywood, and finally a better bike helmet

Good news.

Chino police have busted three people accused of running over an Incycle bike shop manager after stealing a $10,000 bike.

Incycle store manager Megan Rodriguez ran into the parking lot in an attempt to stop them after they walked out with the bike, and slipped under the truck’s wheels when they refused to stop.

Fortunately, she’s been released after being hospitalized with critical injuries. A crowdfunding page raised over $35,000 for her medical care.

Kern County residents Ronald Wolfe, Kyle Stewart and Nichole Stewart were booked on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and attempted murder for the Incycle heist. Police say they may have conducted similar crimes — without running over anyone else — throughout Southern California.

Let’s hope authorities take this case as seriously as those potential charges suggest.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

Here’s a great opportunity to advocate for bikes and safer streets. Or maybe just give officials a piece of your mind.

Representatives for city, county, state and federal elected officials will be gathered under one roof at the Will & Ariel Durant Library in Hollywood from 3 pm to 6 pm today.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it, even though the library is just walking distance from my home. Or would be, if I could actually walk these days.

So feel free to show up in my place, and demand some serious action on improving street safety in Hollywood, and throughout the LA area.

……….

Big news on the bike helmet front, as Trek’s Bontrager division introduces what they claim is the safest helmet ever made.

According to the company, the new WaveCel design is 48 times more effective at preventing concussions than tradition foam helmets, without adding much weight.

And it offers significantly greater protection than MIPS helmets, which had been the gold standard for preventing concussions.

The downside is, it will cost you at least $150. But if you’re a helmet user, it could be worth it.

Speaking for myself, after spending time in the ICU when my helmet failed to prevent a serious concussion in the infamous beachfront bee incident, I may be the first in line to get one once I can ride again.

………

Somehow, we missed this one last year.

But if you’ve got eleven minutes to kill, you could do worse than watching pro mountain bikers shred on tiny bikes.

Or spend just half the time taking in this Streetfilm of bike advocates sharing the most ridiculous comments they’ve heard in opposition to bike lanes.

………

Local

Streetsblog LA announces the honorees for their May 9th fundraiser; the list now includes Active SGV, Jason Islas, Asm. Laura Friedman, Justice for Woon, and the David Bohnett Foundation. You can get tickets here.

After pulling the plug on its WeHo Pedals bikeshare, West Hollywood will go forward with an 18-month pilot program for dockless ebike bikeshare, though with strict limits on where they can be parked — which kind of defeats the purpose of dockless systems. And still no e-scooters will be allowed in the city.

Seriously, the former Governator riding his e-fat bike to the gym just isn’t news anymore.

State

A proposed bill in the state legislature would double the penalty for a fatal hit-and-run from four to eight years; the bill will move forward after emotional testimony from the widow of the hit-and-run victim it’s named after.

San Diego has finally thrown in the towel and given their long-suffering docked bikeshare provider the boot; the city is looking to dockless bikeshare to take up the slack.

Berkeley pulls a page from LA’s former playbook and continues to let the city’s streets deteriorate, saying they would cost $120 million to fix, and another $50 million to transform them into Complete Streets. Which is probably cheaper than the legal settlements they’ll pay out for not fixing them. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

San Francisco bicyclists rally to demand more protected bike lanes. Meanwhile, a San Francisco city supervisor’s call for lowering speed limits butts into the deadly 85th Percentile Law. Maybe if San Francisco joins LA in demanding changes, we might actually get somewhere.

Gear Patrol reveals the winners from last weekend’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento.

National

A website from the American Society of Landscape Architects recounts the recent National Bike Summit to examine why bicycling has flatlined in the US.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says confronting the driver who almost killed you is never worth it. As someone who’s done exactly that for most of my riding career, I’ve had some very positive conversations with drivers who’ve unintentionally threatened my safety. But the bad outweighed the good by a significant margin.

Schwinn is introducing a 28 mph gravel ebike, which would require a helmet in California. And you’ll have to be over 16 to ride it.

Bicyclits say a popular Portland bike path is virtually unridable due to homeless encampments and piled up trash.

Interesting idea. A Boulder CO bike shop is offering a certified pre-owned program for bikes, including a pre-defined trade-in or buyback schedule to encourage buyers to trade their bikes back in ever 18 months.

Iowa City, Iowa is conducting a road diet on a major street, stressing that it’s being done to improve safety and that the extra space for bike lanes is just an added benefit. No word on whether the locals will revolt like West LA’s entitled drivers.

A Houston congresswoman has proposed federal legislation to improve bike safety by adding it to driver’s license exams, improving street signage, and leveraging funds to build bike lanes.

Now there’s some honesty for a change. The mayor of Philadelphia says the streets of the city suck when it comes to safety. And used exactly that word.

A North Carolina bill would require bike owners to license their bicycles for a $10 annual fee, with the funds going to support bike safety projects. Except studies have shown that it would cost more to license bikes than a program like that would bring in. And result in more bikes rusting in the garage once the registration expires.

Atlanta drivers who stop or park in a bike lane will now be subject to a $100 fine. If it’s actually enforced, which is usually the problem.

No surprise here. The drunk driver who slammed into several bike riders at a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, killing two innocent people, was over twice the legal limit; police estimate his BAC was around .215 at the time of the crash. Also no surprise that he’s asking for a reduction in his half-million dollar bail.

Heartbreaking news from Mississippi, where a 12-year old boy is in an induced coma and facing multiple surgeries after he was badly mauled by a pack of dogs, who knocked him off his bike and dragged him into a ditch. The dogs were put down, but owner won’t face any charges because there are no regulations for dogs in the county.

The Juice is no longer loose. Orlando, Florida’s Juice docked bikeshare is shutting down after two years in the face of competition from dockless bikeshare; the city hopes to bring it back in a dockless form.

International

Specialized’s new MIMIC saddle line promises to provide greater comfort for women with a design specifically made for a woman’s body.

Mexico City’s famed Paseo de la Reforma now has its own all-woman bike cop squad.

Great Britain’s Royal Mail is trying out eight e-trikes in an attempt to help clean up London’s dirty air. Maybe they need to bring back Pashley-riding posties.

Britain considers lifting a ban on e-scooters that dates back nearly two centuries before they were invented.

We may have to deal with distracted LA drivers. But at least we hardly ever have to worry about getting live cobras stuck in our wheels like these Indian bike riders.

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s dominant Team Sky will now be known as Team Ineos, as Britain’s richest man assumes sponsorship.

Finally…

If you’re going to flee the scene after a crash, take the front end of your car with you. Pedaling with pornstars.

And seriously, if you’re wanted on a murder charge, wear a damn helmet when you ride a bike if that’s what the law requires.


An open letter to the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council about bike lanes in the new community plan

Please excuse the lack of Morning Links today. With tonight’s discussion of removing bike lanes and road diets from the Hollywood Community Plan, I felt it was more important to write and share this open letter. 

We’ll catch up on anything we might have missed tomorrow.

………

To the board members of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council,

Tonight you’re scheduled to discuss a response to the draft Hollywood Community Plan, including the proposed bike lanes included in the Mobility Plan 2035.

However, the draft response contains references to maintaining the community’s current over-reliance on motor vehicles, as opposed to improving safety and connectivity for transit, walking and bicycling to encourage people to use other forms of transportation whenever practical.

At the same time, the president of this board is on record as opposing plans for road diets, saying proponents need a reality check. And letters are included that call at least one bike lane through the Cahuenga Pass — and perhaps others — “infeasible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Or do more harm to the Hollywood community in the years to come.

The truth is that road diets, more accurately known as lane reductions, can actually improve traffic flow and reduce congestion while increasing safety for all road users. And bike lanes can improve the livability of the community, while increasing the commercial health of local businesses and property owners.

Other cities have recently seen the benefits of road diets.

But you don’t have to look to other cities to see the benefits of road diets.

  • The road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake has been a proven success, reducing average speed back down to the posted speed limit with no adverse effect on traffic volume, while significantly improving safety for all road users.
  • And despite the initial complaints of business owners, York Blvd in Highland Park has thrived after a road diet was installed; even just six months after completion, it had no negative effect on local businesses.

Meanwhile, there are additional benefits to bike lanes, with or without a road diet.

The best part is, everyone gets to enjoy these benefits, whether or not they ever ride a bicycle. All that’s required is to make it safer, easier and more convenient for other people to ride their bikes.

In fact, studies have repeatedly shown that roughly 60% of all people would like to ride their bikes more if they felt safer doing it. Even right here in the car capital of the world.

On the other hand, the best way to ensure the failure of our traffic grid is to do nothing to encourage people to leave their cars at home, as more and more people move to the city, bringing their cars with them. And more people buy cars thanks to low interest rates and a booming economy.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to some, the solution isn’t to maximize the space given to motor vehicles and their drivers.

Los Angeles streets — and Hollywood in particular — are already built out to capacity. And rapidly filling to it, as well.

Our streets will all grind to halt if we don’t take steps now to make bicycling, walking and transit more viable options for more people. The only thing that’s actually infeasible is to continue on the almost exclusively car-driven path we’re on now.

Simply put, when you say no to road diets and bike lanes, you say no to safety, livability and commercial success. And that your ability to drive unimpeded is more important than people’s lives, and a healthy, thriving community.

Please do the right thing, and support the bike lanes in the draft Hollywood Community Plan.

Sincerely,

Ted Rogers

Hollywood

Morning Links: Truck driver charged in 2015 death; LA capitulates on green lanes, and ranks low on low stress

About damn time.

After a 20 month delay, the LA County District Attorney’s office has finally charged the driver responsible for the death of Long Beach bike rider Robert Castorena in 2015.

Fifty-year old Utah resident Wesley Phil Blake was charged with vehicular manslaughter for attempting to cross under a railroad bridge in Carson that was too low for the load he was carrying on his flatbed truck. It dislodged the massive shipping container, which fell off and crushed Castorena as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

Blake was reportedly driving as a result of a trucking strike at the Port of Los Angeles, and may have been attempting to cut corners since he was being paid by the load, rather than the hour.

He faces up to six years in prison if he’s convicted.

His victim has already been sentenced to death.

……….

Once again, the LA City Council has chosen the film industry over your safety when it comes to putting green bike lanes on the streets.

A compromise agreement with the city council — which reads more like a capitulation to the industry — commits the city to using a far less noticeable shade of forest green, which pretty much defeats the entire purpose of green bike lanes.

It also establishes a three-year moratorium on any new green paint in popular filming locations, and commits to notifying the city’s FilmLA before installing green paint on other high filming streets.

Yet all this is just the industry forcing the city to bend over to kiss its collective ass to its will, since the green paint can be removed in post production, and can be easily covered before filming.

Maybe we should start a crowdfunding campaign to buy some damn black mats to cover the green lanes during locations shoots, since Hollywood production studios can’t seem to find any money for them in their $100 million budgets.

And maybe remind the council that, as important as the film industry is to LA, this is a city, not a studio backlot.

And people actually live here.

This is the dull color LA’s new green bike lanes will be, as opposed to the bright, highly visible green on Santa Monica’s Main Street at the top of this page. Thanks to Michael MacDonald for the photo.

………

People for Bikes has introduced a new nationwide map to show how 299 cities rate in terms of being able to ride your bike on a low stress network, determined by factors such as how easy it is to ride to school, shopping or a doctor.

Not surprisingly, many small towns rated high for low stress.

And equally unsurprising, Los Angeles scored an extremely low 19, compared to other cities, which scored as high as 80.

The site is still in beta, and looking for feedback through the 14th of next month. But they seem to have gotten our ranking right, anyway.

………

The LACBC will host a ride on the lower portion of the LA River bike path this Saturday.

………

The grueling Race Across America — better known as RAAM — kicked off in Oceanside yesterday; the winners should reach the finish in Annapolis MD in a little over a week.

A team of San Bernardino firefighters are competing to raise funds and awareness for their fellow firefighters with cancer.

………

Yesterday we linked to the Go Fund Me page for track cyclist John Walsh, who was seriously injured in a fall while competing on Sunday. Now Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson suggests it wasn’t an accident.

………

Local

Maybe he got the message. CD1’s Gil Cedillo is co-hosting a discussion with the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council next Tuesday to draft an action plan to improve pedestrian, bike and traffic safety. Show up and tell him to approve the North Figueroa road diet if he’s serious about saving lives; if not, it’s just more talk and political posturing. Thanks to Harv for the heads-up.

KABC-7 professes to offer tips to keep you safe while bicycling, but doesn’t get any further than helmets and lights. Note to KABC — bike lights are required in California, and every other state in the US. Not just Santa Monica.

A San Marino jewelry store owner has set out on a 3,000 mile ride across the US to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), after his riding partner died of the disease four years ago.

LA County has issued a $10,000 reward for the capture and conviction of a bike-riding man who attempted to rape a woman on a South El Monte bike trail. Let’s hope they find this creep and lock him up for a long time.

 

State

A new UC Irvine study shows safe passing laws don’t appear to have had any effect on fatalities.

Go Human and Orange County Parks hosted a pop-up event to show how cycle tracks could connect a gap in the county’s 66-mile OC Loop bike trail network.

The Daily Pilot discovers the South African cyclist towing a replica rhino down the left coast as he pauses in Huntington Beach to raise awareness of the risks to the endangered species.

A Central California public radio station looks into whether mountain bikes should be allowed in US wilderness areas.

San Francisco’s BART rail system is testing a new smart bike lock system in their stations; the Estonian maker of the lock says not a single bike has been stolen from one of their locks in over a million uses in Europe.

An Oakland resident maps out a two-wheeled pub crawl.

A Marin columnist says separate but equal is the solution to the county’s conflict over allowing mountain bikes on the local trails.

 

National

Bicycling looks at where you can legally ride your ebike, which isn’t as simple a question as it seems. In California, ebikes capable of up to 20 mph are allowed on bike paths, and bikes capable of up to 28 mph can ride in bike lanes. Anything faster than that is legally considered a motorcycle, and requires a license and helmet.

An Austin TX bike group says the minor charges against the driver who ran down four bicyclists, claiming he fell asleep at the wheel, aren’t serious enough to fit the crime.

Nice story, as a seven-year old Louisiana girl stops in Chicago to meet with bike cops on a nationwide tour to hug police officers in every state across the US.

Police in a Chicago suburb are ticketing bike riders for good behavior by giving them coupons for free ice cream for riding safely.

After someone stole a custom tricycle from an adult man with Down syndrome, Chicago-area residents crowdfund money to buy a replacement within days.

A Massachusetts bill would establish a three-foot passing distance for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as equestrians and road workers, increasing by one foot for each 10 miles per hour over 30 mph.

The Department of DIY wins one for a change, as Providence RI replaces toilet plungers installed by a bike rider with actual plastic flex poles to mark a protected bike lane.

A Baltimore judge issues a restraining order to keep the city’s mayor from ripping out a partially installed protected bike lane in response to complaints from NIMBYs.

 

International

A Canadian consultant argues that better bike lanes don’t just improve safety, they boost the local economy.

Traffic speeds are being cut to 20 mph on streets throughout the UK through 2020 as part of a Scottish study to determine if lower speed limits really do reduce injuries and fatalities.

Why settle for one world record, when you can set four in a single day?

Yes, France’s new president really is one of us, and so is his wife and security detail.

An Aussie newspaper says cyclists can’t stay at the bottom of the street food chain.

 

Finally…

Nothing like trying to do a good deed, and going for an unexpected swim; thanks to David Wolfberg for the link. If you’re investigating a hit-and-run involving a bike rider, it might help to release a photo of the truck that hit him instead of the bike that got hit.

And when your first sentence starts “”The time of the year when middle aged morons take to the highways with their bicycles and block traffic…”, it’s smart to hide behind a paywall.

 

Morning Links: Early signs of bike life in Hollywood, and protected bike lanes could be coming to Lankershim in 2017

Maybe things are finally starting to happen around here.

A walk down Sunset Boulevard over the weekend confirmed that Hollywood is the city’s second district where bicyclists are allowed to lock their bikes to specific parking meters where racks have been attached; Westwood Village was the first.

SAMSUNG

Racks are spaced one per block

Hopefully it will soon spread to other parts of the city, where it is still illegal to lock a bike to a parking meter, though the law is seldom enforced.

And work is ongoing to open the long promised Bike Hub in the W Hotel at Hollywood and Vine, just around the corner from the Red Line Metro Station. Although with just 72 secure bike parking spaces, demand could quickly outstrip supply.

SAMSUNG

Now if they could just do something about providing people with safe places to ride their bikes, as called for in the hard-fought 2010 bike plan, now part of the LA Mobility Plan 2035. Virtually none of which exist today.

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-12-40-33-am

And which will be desperately needed when bikeshare comes to Hollywood in a few years, as promised.

Unless maybe those are just pretty lines on a map, and more of the empty promises we’ve long been used to.

……….

Meanwhile, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports North Hollywood’s Lankershim Blvd could finally be getting protected bike lanes next year, after they had previously been blocked by former councilmember Tom LaBonge.

He also says plans are underway for a protected bike lane on Chandler Blvd, which could result in the city’s first protected intersection where they meet.

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive! Donate today, and help keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Donate to the 2nd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today to keep Southern California’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way bright and early every morning.

………

Nothing suspicious here. An Italian Strava king is looking to turn pro at 38, an age at which most pros have long since retired; his father is a notorious dope doctor associated with a number of banned cyclists.

USA Cycling wants you to buy a license to participate in Gran Fondos and gravel rides. But at least they’ll come fix your flats if you do.

………

Local

The LA County Sheriff’s Department gets a $1.9 million grant to reduce traffic fatalities, including a six-year rise in bike and pedestrian fatalities in the state.

Los Cerritos News proclaims itself LA’s best investigative newspaper, but apparently can’t be bothered to investigate which streets recently received $89,900 in bikeway improvements.

CiclaValley posts his favorite video of the year, as he catches up to a father and his young daughter bombing down Nichols Canyon at 30 mph on an ebike.

Ryan Seacrest is one of us, going for a ride on the beachfront bike path through Venice Beach with his apparent past and future girlfriend.

Former Criminal Minds star Shemar Moore is one of us too, as he describes what he calls the worst day of his life, when he suffered a broken leg after he was hit by a car while riding his bike in LA seven years ago.

 

State

Orange Coast College bike groups are distributing coupons on campus for free U-locks, after raising $1,000 for 42 locks.

San Diego police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who fled after striking a bicyclist near Mission Bay Park.

Community members in San Francisco discuss whether to ban cars from Golden Gate Park.

Marin hikers and pedestrians worry that approving access for mountain bikers on a short connecting trail will make it unsafe for everyone else.

A Sacramento man loses 75 pounds after buying an $800 dollar bike.

Great idea. The Davis Bike Club fights bike theft by giving out free Tile GPS-tracking anti-theft devices.

 

National

Bicycling interviews the founder of Portland’s first transgender cycling club.

An Iowa mountain bike group is building a 2.3 mile “roller coaster” off-road trail through 20 acres of wooded hills.

A Texas driver walks after playing the universal Get Out of Jail Free card when police determine the sun was in her eyes when she killed a state cyclocross champion.

A 68-year old Wisconsin man rides 1,900 miles across the US to his winter home in Texas, raising $6,000 for a local school along the way.

A Philly website offers advice on winter riding, which oddly doesn’t include moving to Los Angeles.

A Yonkers NY bike rider receives a $625,000 settlement after he was knocked off his bike by a speed bump.

New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare system is under pressure to expand into less affluent areas.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A Virginia driver won’t spend a day in jail, despite being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a bike-riding college student — and despite a number of previous violations, including two hit-and-run charges.

 

International

London’s mayor proposes investing £770 million — the equivalent of nearly one billion dollars — in new bicycling initiatives to make cycling a “safe and obvious choice” for residents of the city; that works out to an impressive 5.5% of transportation spending.

A British coroner blames a bike rider for causing her own death by wearing headphones; never mind the big scary truck that may have frightened her into falling off her bike, even if it didn’t hit her.

A group of Brit cyclists ride the full length of Britain, covering over 1,000 miles in just six days.

The train station in a Norwegian commuter town now has a 400 space bike hotel, allowing people to securely drop off their bikes while they’re away at work.

Iraqi women defy cultural expectations by getting out on their bicycles, flooding Bagdad streets in response to a social media campaign.

A DHL delivery truck took out five Aussie cyclists over the weekend, fortunately, just two of the riders were seriously injured

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a customized bicycle and a prosthetic arm attachment from an Aussie amputee.

Caught on video: An out-of-control Chinese truck smashes through traffic at a red light, mowing down everything in its path, including people on bikes, before blowing up in a burst of flames. Warning, this one may be particularly hard to watch.

A Singapore bicyclist received a $8.65 million settlement for PTSD caused when she was struck by a bundle of cables at a construction site.

 

Finally…

A little dehydration could make you a better climber. And don’t call 911 when you can’t unlock your bike — even if they do respond with sirens blaring.

………

Special thanks to Steve Herbert for his generous contribution to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive. Donate today to help keep SoCal’s leading source for the freshest bike news and advocacy coming your way every morning.

 

Morning Links: Photographic proof of bikes in Hollywood, ride LA with Phil Gaimon, and transvestites on bikes

We took the Corgi on a long and pleasant walk through our new Hollywood neighborhood on Sunday, on our way to the Ride On! Bike Day at Amoeba Records.

And I was not only pleased to see that people ride their bikes to the city’s largest farmer’s market…

SAMSUNG

…but that Amoeba has their very own bike corral. Which doesn’t look a bit like the ones the city installs.

Amoeba Bike Corral

……..

Local

Caught on video: Ride the streets of LA with pro cyclist Phil Gaimon.

Pasadena mountain biker survives a 75-foot fall off a trail in the Angeles National Forest with only minor injuries.

Redondo Beach will host a ribbon cutting for their new and improved bike path and cycle track on June 13th.

The last link in a 21-mile bike and walking trail connecting communities in LA and San Bernardino Counties opens.

The annual Santa Monica Festival kicks off Bike Week this Saturday.

 

State

Women cyclists seek parity with the men; female racers will get a three-stage race as part of next week’s Amgen Tour of California, but only one hour of long-delayed TV coverage.

Orange County firefighters use a helicopter to rescue an injured mountain biker who went over his handlebars.

A San Diego cyclist was seriously injured when a wrong-way driver turned into an exit lane at a shopping mall.

San Jose plans to achieve Vision Zero by cutting the number of solo drivers on the road by half in the next 25 years.

 

National

A new study says putting lights on your hips, knees and ankles does the most to increase visibility.

After being told he had just 18 months to live, an Oregon man with pancreatic cancer spends three years riding through 41 states and three countries. Meanwhile, a cyclist who’s been riding for 71 years says it’s the key to aging gracefully.

Seriously? A Nebraska prosecutor concludes that drivers can’t be expected to see a three-wheeled ‘bent, even with an eight-foot flag attached. Thanks to Warren for the heads-up.

Illinois bike riders develop a free online quiz on the rights and rules governing bicyclists.

After Lansing MI officials remove a ghost bike honoring a 69-year old hit-and-run victim, local cyclists put a new one in its place.

When a DUI driver hits a man riding a bike, it may be many things, but it’s not an accident. Despite what a Kentucky TV station says.

Actor Patrick Dempsey is hosting Maine cyclists on the two day, 130 mile Dempsey Challenge.

The Boston Red Sox are offering a bike valet service all this summer at Fenway Park. Are you listening, Magic?

Roughly 32,000 bike riders take part in New York’s annual Five Boro Bike Tour. But why does the story refer to spandex-clad bicyclists when the photo shows nary a Lycra in sight?

Tampa’s bike share program has logged 40,000 miles with just eight flats and no thefts. And more importantly, no reported injuries.

 

International

Two Canadian cyclists plan to ride 5,000 miles from Poland to Iran to recreate the 75th anniversary of Polish exiles escaping to Iran in WWII.

A road raging Brit driver is on trial for swerving at a bike rider, throwing a water bottle at him and then threatening the rider with a knife; he claims he merely pulled over because his grandmother — who wasn’t actually in the car — had a cramp and dropped her water bottle when the door opened.

Bicycling gains popularity in Yorkshire. But how the hell does that threaten soccer and rugby, as the headline suggests?

Scotland plans to invest the equivalent of $30 million to fund 150 bicycling projects.

A new documentary by a Swedish filmmaker says it really is a battle between bikes and cars on streets around the world.

Two Indian boys kill their friend in a dispute over a rental bike.

Aussie bicyclists are demanding action to catch whoever has been sabotaging bike lanes with tacks for the last 16 months.

An Australian cyclist wants to thank the anonymous bike riding stranger who saved his life.

A Kiwi columnist says there’s no good or evil in the conflict between those in cars or on bikes; just people trying to get their “fat arses” to work. Or sometimes, riding next door to report a house fire when the phones don’t work.

Horrible news from Thailand, as a speeding driver plowed into a group of cyclists from behind, killing three riders and injuring six.

 

Finally…

Judging by the headline in an Alameda newspaper, an apparently sentient and driverless SUV attacked a bike rider. The New York Post reports Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui rode a $799 bike out the door of a Rag and Bone boutique party in Venice, before bringing it back; there’s a story here because…?

And it turns out bicycling is the perfect form of sport and transportation for transvestites.

 

Hollywood’s anti-bike green lane myth rises again; Culver City Chamber pres comes out against bikes

Just in time for April Fools Day, the myth of the Hollywood-destroying green bike lanes rears its ugly head once again.

A brief biased story appeared on the website of the L.A. Times over the weekend, quoting a representative of the Teamsters union decrying the buffered lanes designed to keep cyclists safe as they ride south through Downtown.

The man, who represents unionized Hollywood location scouts, claimed the particular shade of green used for the bike path made it impossible to use Spring Street as a location to represent any other city in America, or any time in the past, as it was somehow impossible to cover-up, shoot around or remove in post production.

Evidently, according to him, that particular shade can’t be removed in post, even though green screens are exactly what are used for special effects. And even though others who work in Hollywood have said it shouldn’t be a problem.

Yet somehow, a multi-billion dollar industry that for over a century has created creatures, cities and worlds that don’t even exist is apparently stymied in their ability to cover up a little green paint.

Or maybe they somehow can’t squeeze the relative pittance it would cost into their bloated multi-million dollar budgets without adversely affecting the producer’s cut or maybe the lunch budget.

Then there’s the location scout quoted in the article, who, despite being described as a veteran scout, has absolutely no idea that green bike lanes exist in any other city in the country.

Evidently, she’s never been to Santa Monica. Or Long Beach.

Not to mention, as a commenter to the story pointed out, Portland, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Boulder, DC, Arlington, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

You’d think a decent location scout might know about something that appears in such a broad spectrum of the country, with even more on the way.

So let me offer a low tech, low cost and multi-use solution.

The city’s film authority, FilmLA, should have a mat made to match the color and texture of the surrounding pavement, and rent it out to film crews ridiculously apoplectic over the presence of green on the street.

Sort of like film crews have done for decades to cover up train tracks, as well as countless other street markings.

Or use any one of the multitude of techniques Hollywood has used for decades to hide things they don’t want you to see in the final footage. Or just accept that these are rapidly becoming common markings that shouldn’t shock or offend anyone living in Iowa, or in this century, for that matter.

Then again, as the head of FilmLA pointed out last year, the last time this myth circulated, the real objection was never that the lanes interfered with filming.

It was that they interfered with parking.

Film crews have long been used to free parking along L.A. Streets. And didn’t want to have to pay to park their production trucks, or go through the relatively easy process of getting a permit allowing them to block the bike lane.

And cyclists don’t want those trucks blocking the few feet of street dedicated to keeping us safe, and forcing us into traffic lanes with drivers unwilling to safely share them.

In other words, exactly what happens pretty much every day. And every night.

And yet, still hasn’t stopped a boom in ridership.

It’s bad enough that a few misguided Hollywood types want to park in our bike lanes, and can’t manage to find a solution to the federally mandated shade of green.

It’s worse that the writer for the Times didn’t bother to talk with anyone who might have presented another side of the story.

And evidently, didn’t have access Google, Bing or any other search site that might have allowed him to fact check the crap they were feeding him.

………

Speaking of bike lanes, Flying Pigeon calls on cyclists to help save planned Northeast L.A. bike lanes from kneejerk anti-bike NIMBYist opposition with two vital Neighborhood Council meetings this week, one today and another on Thursday.

In possibly the most asinine story in the history of the bike lane debate, here or anywhere else, an Eagle Rock pot shop advocate comes out against the proposed bike lanes on Colorado Blvd because, wait for it, his arch rival pot shop opponent is for them.

Seriously, I’ve checked the date on the story several times hoping this was an April Fool joke, rather than just a massive waste of cyberspace and credibility.

And as long as we’re citing Flying Pigeon as the source for news on important meetings, the quarterly Bike Plan Implementation Team (BPIT) meeting takes place from 2 pm to 5 pm this afternoon at City Hall East, 200 Main Street; the link also has instructions how to participate online.

………

Evidently, at least some members of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce would be just as happy if bikes didn’t sully their streets.

Despite the local Chamber signing on as a supporter of CicLAvia, its president has joined with the usual bike haters in coming out against Metro’s new Every Lane is a Bike Lane campaign.

Stephen J. Rose, president of the chamber, offered his own thoughts in a letter published on the Culver City Patch website.

Here are a few points I would like to ask about bicyclist’s responsibility:

  • Insurance in case of an accident. Is my uninsured motorist insurance going to be raised because of bicyclists’ rights?
  • Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Are all bicyclists?
  • Why can a bicyclist ride in the street and then on the sidewalk and then back on to pedestrian walkways?
  • Bicyclists should not only have lights on the front and rear of their bikes, but lights that can be seen from a legal distance.
  • Should bicyclists be allowed to straddle the white line and then stop in front of vehicles at a red light?
  • Why do bicyclists not stop at stop signs, as vehicles legally must do?
  • How do we tax bicyclists for maintenance of the right of way, as motor vehicle owners have to do?

Just a few thoughts as the rights of bicyclists may become more important than motorists.

I’m not going to bother correcting the errors in his comments. Particularly since there’s little else there.

Others have already taken him to task in the comments to the story. And Just Another Cyclist has done a great job of dissecting the letter, slicing and dicing the fallacies until there’s nothing left but the signature.

And even that comes into question, because, despite the disclaimer that those are Rose’s own comments and don’t reflect the attitudes of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, he does exactly that by identifying himself as its president.

Personally, I always thought that the purpose of any Chamber of Commerce was to promote business interests in the city.

But all Rose has done with his misguided letter is suggest that maybe we should take our business somewhere else.

Update: In my rush to get this online last night, I inadvertently left out the link to the original letter on the Patch website; thanks to Margaret for the correction.

………

An Echo Park fixie rider collides with a pedestrian, sending both to the hospital with apparent serious injuries; the cyclist’s riding partner said they’d both been drinking before the crash. Better Bike says change may be in the air for cyclists in the Biking Black Hole of Beverly Hills, where the bike lane ends. Santa Clarita cyclists ride to raise funds for the Child and Family Center. Our coastal neighbor to the south will host a day long Green Prix of Long Beach on April 20th, including free bike valet, raffle and group ride. Carlsbad is widening bike lanes to give riders more room. A San Diego School Board Member calls for transforming one of the city’s most dangerous boulevards into a world class greenway, including cycletracks. San Diego becomes the latest California city to remove a bike licensing requirement, at a cost of a whole $260 dollars from city coffers. A bike riding child was injured in a Ventura collision last week; thanks to Steve Herbert for the link. Cyclelicious offers a roundup of biking April Fools jokes.

Bob Mionske provides additional advice on how and when to fight a ticket. Bike Snob says Portland kinda makes him want to puke. Vancouver WA cyclists fight to keep bike lanes from being replaced with sharrows. A Boise bicyclist survives a Dr. Thompson-style brake check. What it’s like to own and ride a bakfiets, which is pronounced like what I have to wipe off after walking the Corgi on rainy days — back feets. This is why you always ride with ID, as Erie police try to identify a bike rider seriously injured in a collision with a car. The not-exactly bike friendly NYPD sticks a popular bike nonprofit bike ride with a $1 million bill to provide security. A Georgia bicyclist is apparently killed by an Escalade-driving hit-and-run motorist leaving a showing of The Croods with two small children. Baton Rouge police will hold an online auction of abandoned and seized bikes this month, but you have to pick up your bike in person.

Vancouver drivers are up in arms over a whopping $3000 spent to provide bike repair stations for commuter cyclists. Totonto cyclist doesn’t make it through a crosswalk before a right-turning semi; needless to say, authorities blame the victim. A former Brit champion cyclist still rides his tricycle at age 100. Shortly after an Irish man returns from an extended visit to the U.S., he’s killed riding to the local pub on Easter Sunday. Fabian Cancellara, aka Spartacus, breaks the competition one by one to win the Tour of Flanders. Meanwhile, second place finisher Peter Sagan is roundly criticized for grabbing the ass of a podium girl; he’s really, really sorry, but the better question is, why do we still have podium girls to begin with? Thanks to Michael Eisenberg for the heads-up. A Swedish study shows elderly riders should use step through frames — not women’s bikes, thank you — to avoid injuries. Kind of sad that this is a big step forward, as Saudi women finally get the right to ride a bike, but only in restricted areas; thanks to Rex Reese for the tip.

Finally, if you’re going to use a bike as your getaway vehicle, wouldn’t you want something a little faster than a beach cruiser?

And one last thought.

The oft-expressed idea that there’s a war on cars makes as much sense as mice declaring a war on elephants. The elephants might be afraid, but it’s the mice who are in danger.

Breaking news: Bike rider dies of injuries from dooring last week

Excuse me if I’m a little pissed off.

Not to mention more than a little heartbroken.

On Wednesday, I found myself in a room filled with LAPD traffic investigators to discuss bicycling issues in the City of Angels. And not one of them mentioned that yet another L.A. cyclist had joined that heavenly host as a result of a careless driver.

Maybe they didn’t know.

Maybe there’s a lack of communication within the department, and the people who should be first on the list to be notified about bicycling collisions — the bike liaisons representing the four Traffic Divisions, each of which was represented at that meeting — aren’t.

But either way, a bike rider has been dead for a full week as a result of a Hollywood dooring. And we’re just finding out about it now.

According to a press release from the LAPD, a 49-year old Los Angeles resident, who wasn’t identified in the release, was riding his bicycle in the southbound bike lane on Vine Street near Banner Avenue at 6:30 pm on Sunday, March 3rd, when a driver opened her car door into the bike lane. The rider reportedly collided with the door and was thrown into the roadway.

LAFD paramedics responded to the scene and took the victim to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries five days later, on March 8th.

The driver is identified only as 26-year old resident of L.A. in a 2009 BMW 328i. Police cite unsafe opening of a car door as the primary cause of the collision; drugs or alcohol do not appear to have been a factor.

The press release does not mention the nature of the victim’s injuries or whether he was wearing a helmet; however, this is exactly the sort of collision in which a helmet might have made a difference. The description of the incident suggests that the victim most likely suffered head injuries as a result of hitting the pavement; falling to the street after colliding with a car door is unlikely to result in fatal injuries to other parts of the body, though it is possible.

While dooring is one of the leading causes of bicycle collisions, both here in Los Angeles and elsewhere, it seldom results in fatal injuries. In fact, of the 145 bicycling fatalities in Southern California in 2011-12, only two resulted from a rider getting hit with a car door.

This is the seventh bicycling fatality in the seven county Southern California region this year, compared to 10 this time last year, and the fourth in Los Angeles County.

My deepest sympathy and prayers for the victim and his family.

A brief introduction to L.A.

I’ve recently noticed a number of visitors to this site from the U.K., thanks to Just Williams and Town Mouse, who were kind enough to add a link to my site. (And since I enjoyed their blogs, I was happy to return the, uh, favour.)

Since these people have taken the trouble to visit me, I thought I might depart from my usual biking banter, and offer a quick introduction to this City of Fallen Angels we call home.

And there’s one thing everyone should know about Los Angeles.

It doesn’t exist.

At least not the city you think you know. Because the L.A. you’ve seen on countless TV shows and movies is as much a creation of Hollywood as the Terminator’s invincibility or Rock Hudson’s marriage. As these things usually go, the reality is both better, and worse, than the image you may have.

For instance, the air is better than you think, and the traffic is worse.

That perfect weather you always see in shows set in Los Angeles rarely occurs in real life. Somehow, it usually seems to happen when there is a camera crew present; I think they pay an extra fee for that. And it’s long been rumored that the Rose Bowl made a pact with the devil to ensure perfect weather every New Years Day.

Also, Hollywood isn’t in Hollywood. That is, you won’t find the stars and studios that make all those TV shows and movies anywhere in the city of Hollywood, except perhaps on Oscar night, though you will find t-shirt and souvenir vendors, hookers, celebrity impersonators and other entrepreneurs dedicated to separating tourists from their money.

And I have never seen, nor have ever I participated in, a drive-by shooting.

Of course, some of the things you may think you know about L.A. are actually true.

For instance, we do seem to be a magnet for all kinds of disasters, from fires and floods, to riots and earthquakes, not to mention debilitating strikes. (We’re still waiting for plagues of frogs and locusts, and for Moses to part the Santa Monica Bay and lead his people out of Hollywood.) But things like that really don’t happen that often, and we’ve learned to take them in stride.

It’s also true that we’ve have a lot of illegal aliens here. And yes, many are from Mexico, but others come from Guatemala, China, Russia, Canada and Ireland, among others. In fact, the joke was that if you couldn’t get a table at Molly Malone’s, all you had to do was stand in the front door, yell “Immigration!” and watch half the bar empty out the back door.

As you might suspect, there are a lot of celebrities here, and we do bump into them from time to time. Personally, I’ve shared a physical therapy session with Billy Crystal, stood in line next to John Lithgow at the market, and nearly ran into Emmylou Harris rounding a corner at the mall. (Then again, I also met B.B. King, Al Green and Stevie Ray Vaughn long before I ever moved to L.A.)

The standard approach upon spotting a celebrity here is to pretend you didn’t see him or her; running up and begging for an autograph is a sure sign of a tourist. On the other hand, we’re just about fed up with paparazzi.

Speaking of celebrities, Posh and Becks made a big splash when they first got here, but they’ve kept a low profile since; I don’t know anyone who has actually seen them — including on the field for most of his first season here. And even with the most famous right foot in football (as opposed to football), our local club would still have a hard time beating Blackpool.

It’s just a pity we don’t have relegation here. If we did, the local side might play a little better.

And the Clippers would be lucky to compete on the high school level.

 

No Whip gets a ticket for making a right on a red light without stopping — just like many drivers do — while Alex endures playground taunts from a jerk with a badge. Meanwhile, a cyclist in Wisconsin discovers it’s against the law to get doored. Chicago cops take to the streets to encourage safe cycling, rather than writing tickets; I wonder if anyone ever considered that here. Illinois clarifies cycling laws in a way that actually makes sense, and could save lives. Is anyone in Sacramento listening? An L.A. rider hits the pavement, thanks to a scum-filled pothole. An Eastside rider reminds us that the city is still taking comments on revising the bike master plan (as if we actually had one before) and recommends a great place for good mole. And finally, Metblogs covers the inaugural Brentwood Grand Prix. I wonder who won the Manolos? 

%d bloggers like this: