Tag Archive for induced demand

Morning Links: 405 induced demand failure, it’s National Bike to School Day, and Beverly Hills Complete Streets plan

In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, traffic congestion on the 405 Freeway over the Sepulveda Pass has only gotten worse since Metro spent over $1 billion to widen it.

Because apparently, their engineers have never heard of induced demand. Or like typical auto-centric traffic safety deniers, simply chose to ignore it, hoping it wouldn’t apply this time.

Right.

Never mind that billion bucks would have paid for the entire LA bike plan, which might actually have done something to reduce traffic.

Speaking of which, Metro wants your input on their budget for the 2020 fiscal year starting July 1st.

Tell them not to waste any more of it on highway projects.

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If you see more kids than usual on bicycles today — or any, in my neighborhood — it’s because it’s National Bike to School Day.

Let’s hope drivers are paying attention. And they all get back home safely.

Meanwhile, Northern California holds their Bike to Work Day on Thursday, while OCTA offers a limited slate of Orange County Bike Month events.

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Today’s common theme is road rage, from drivers and bike riders, both of whom should really know better.

The Minneapolis school bus basher strikes again, as the same road raging rider who broke windows on a bus with his U-lock for parking in a bike lane on Friday returned to the scene of the crime to whack a second bus for the same reason on Monday.

Also in Minneapolis, a bike rider was beaten up, had iced dumped on him and his bicycle stolen when he complained about a limo double-parked in the bike lane outside a strip club. And naturally, the cops didn’t do anything, even though it was caught on video.

Florida police busted a road raging motorcyclist who intentionally swerved into a group of bike riders last week, sending one to the hospital with severe injuries.

Police in New Zealand are looking for a road raging bike rider who broke the jaw of a 73-year old driver during a dispute that followed a collision.

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Folding bikemaker Tern is giving their popular GSD folding e-cargo bikes to deserving nonprofit organizations.

Which raises the obvious question of whether my lack of income qualifies me.

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Beverly Hills has released its draft Complete Streets Plan, which, if adopted, would represent a dramatic turnaround for one of the area’s most incomplete cities.

There will be a public meeting to discuss it at 6 pm this evening at Beverly Hills City Hall.

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Joni Yung, aka @ayogist, offers a firsthand report on DTLA’s new two-way protected bike lanes.

View this post on Instagram

i had some time on my hands the other day, so i biked the redesigned TWO-WAY #springstreet #bikelane from its southern end at 9th to its northern end at 3rd. note that i was moving northbound; vehicular traffic is one-way southbound and so was the bike lane before the change. so while cars can only travel south, bikes can now go BOTH north and south. because we're special that way! ↔️🚲🚲🚲↔️ . @lacbc @losangelesbikelanes @cohenlawpartners @cabikelaw @ladotbikeprog @ciclavalley @cicleorg @bikemetro photo captions: 1. bollards mark the southern end of the bike lane on spring. the lane merges into main street, so s/b cyclists have to either merge right to continue on main southbound or make a left u-turn to take main northbound. the reverse approach applies to n/b cyclists. 2. the new bike signal lights for the new northbound bike traffic. 3. lane markings that hopefully make it clear to motorists when they're crossing the bike lane. note the left turn box for cyclists. 4. the bike lane as it approaches 3rd street. 5. the north end of the two-way bike lane. note how southbound bikes cross diagonally from the other side of the street, while northbound bikes must turn right (remember, it's a one-way street for vehicles). 6. the new protected bike lane on 3rd street!! 7. bikes cross main, then turn left to continue northbound. the box at the bottom of the photo is where cyclists wait for the light to cross 3rd. . a similar treatment is or will be on main. i'll have to return to report on that!🚲🚲🚲🚲🚲

A post shared by joni (@ayogist) on

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Local

The LACBC will team with Metro and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s office to host a BEST Class: Bicycling 101 bike safety training in Reseda tomorrow.

Thursday also marks the annual Streetsblog awards dinner and fundraiser, at El Paseo Inn on Olvera Street in DTLA.

This week’s SGV Connects podcast talks protected bike lanes in Pasadena.

The Santa Monica Mirror considers the city’s embrace of e-scooters in the wake of the LA area’s first motorized scooter death — even though that was a man riding a private electric mobility device, which has nothing to do with dockless scooters, except what they’re called and what powers them.

Meanwhile, a new Texas study has reaffirmed the results of a UCLA study of Santa Monica scooter users, with one third of injured riders suffering broken bones, and up to half suffering head injuries.

 

State

Encinitas will open the new Cardiff Coastal Rail Trail this Friday, part of a planned 44-mile bike path from Oceanside to Downtown San Diego. 

A San Diego writer visits a downtown bike chop shop in search of stolen bikes and parts.

A bighearted Santa Ynez teenager is hosting her own bike ride to raise funds to buy bicycles, air pumps, locks and tools for girls in Cambodia to help them get to school safely, and avoid child marriage and sex slavery.

San Jose traffic fatalities have jumped 37% over the past decade, promoting bike and pedestrian advocates to demand a Vision Zero program. But as LA advocates have learned the hard way, if it doesn’t have real teeth, Vision Zero is meaningless.

A San Francisco girls soccer team is calling for safer streets after one of their teammates was killed by a 91-year old woman while walking in a marked crosswalk; the driver said she couldn’t see because the sun was in her eyes. Yet another example of why older drivers need to be tested on a regular basis to ensure they can drive safely. Never mind that the correct response to being blinded by the sun is to slow down or stop until you can see there’s nothing in your way. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

One more reason to be jealous of the Bay Area. An Oakland developer paid for a protected bike lane with enough bollards to actually keep drivers out of it, as mitigation to get approval for a building.

Talk about off-off-off-off-off-Broadway. A Davis theater company is performing a bike-themed musical to teach bike safety to school kids.

 

National

Sad news, as Frank Peter Brilando, the designer and engineer who helped develop the classic Sting Ray, Varsity and Continental bikes for Schwinn has passed away; he was 93.

Consumer Reports recommends the best bike helmets to reduce your risk of a concussion.

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss calls for banning right turns on red lights.

Don’t piss off a Washington mom by stealing her son’s bike.

Washington sheriff’s deputies discovered the body of a man who disappeared nine months ago while riding with his son after the two got separated; he apparently lost control and hit a sign, then fell into the field where his body was found.

Caught on video: A Las Vegas boy was lucky to escape with minor injuries when a sleeping driver jumped the curb in his car, and smashed into the boy at 35 mph as he rode his bike on the sidewalk.

The University of Texas responds to a lawsuit over the death of a bike-riding woman by trying to get all riders not affiliated with the university banned from its campus and declared trespassers on university streets.

Something is seriously wrong when an 83-year old Iowa man can’t ride his bike without getting run down from behind. Apparently, Midwestern minivans don’t have brakes, since the woman behind the wheel was forced to hit him because there were cars in the other lane. No, really.

Great idea. Dallas will build a bike hostel with up to 40 beds to attract bike tourists to the city.

Over one hundred Oklahoma City bike riders rallied for safer streets, thanking people for giving a damn and calling BS on the notion that streets are for cars.

A seven-year old Michigan girl is holding a bike-a-thon to fight MS for the third consecutive year, which means she started when she was just five years old; this is the first time she’ll ride it without training wheels.

Evidently, a Boston protected bike lane is just another shortcut to drive your car to a parking lot.

As if they didn’t have enough to worry about, New York delivery riders are being targeted by a pair of ebike thieves — which means turning for help to the same NYPD officers who ticket them just for doing their jobs.

New York advocates demand action to improve the city’s Vision Zero program as traffic fatalities rise for the first four months of the year, following several years of steady declines.

Police in an upstate New York city are looking for a hit-and-run bike rider who smacked into a pedestrian while illegally riding on the sidewalk.

Now that’s more like it. The mayor of New Orleans calls for creating a low-stress bike network by building new protected bike lanes and adding barriers to 125 miles of existing bike lanes, doubling the city’s bikeshare network, and requiring bike parking in private buildings.

Louisiana 8th graders are learning how to repair bikes by reconditioning donated bicycles to give to people who need, but can’t afford, one.

Calling herself the Crazy Bike Lady, a 44-year old Tampa FL women is saving money and getting in the best shape of her life by biking everywhere instead of driving.

 

International

More proof bikes are good for you. Welsh doctors will now be able to prescribe bikeshare for their patients.

Edinburgh, Scotland hosted its first open streets event, which will repeat every Sunday through the summer.

Scottish police will conduct plainclothes sting operations to enforce the country’s equivalent of a three-foot passing distance, including the use of a special mat to show drivers just what that looks like. Something we’ve been told is somehow impossible to do on this side of the Atlantic; thanks to Megan Lynch and John McBrearty for the links. 

Caught on video, too: An English bike rider learns the hard way to always stop for emergency vehicles.

A British man is surprised to learn that the American made, 1800s mini Penny Farthing he bought for £200 is worth £2,000 — the equivalent of $2,670.

New regulations will require improved visibility for drivers in all large trucks beginning next year. Meanwhile, here in the US… <crickets>.

A jump in Aussie bike riders over 45 has led to a soaring number of hospitalizations and deaths for older riders.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling says this year’s Giro d’Italia will be “ferocious;” the first of the three Grand Tours rolls on Saturday. Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, the Amgen Tour of California kicks off a day later.

A European website looks back at the great Italian cyclist Gino Bartali, who helped save the lives of hundreds of Jews during WWII, in addition to back-to-back wins in the Giro and winning the Tour de France the following year.

 

Finally…

Even e-cars are going dockless now. If you pass an unlocked mail van while riding your bike, don’t steal a package — steal the whole damn truck.

And when you’re riding your bike while drunk off your ass, with a half bottle of booze and a pellet gun tucked in your waistband, and weed and more booze in your pocket, just…don’t.

Period.

 

Morning Links: Metro talks congestion pricing, induced demand goes both ways, and FilmedByBike this Sat

Metro’s board of supervisors considered congestion pricing to discourage driving and fund the 28 by 28 initiative at their monthly meeting on Thursday, but decided not to decide until next month.

The plan would provide funding to complete 28 transit projects in time for the 2028 LA Olympics. Metro’s CEO has also discussed using congestion pricing funds to provide free bus and train rides throughout the LA area.

LA’s ever-worsening traffic congestion means we have a choice between encouraging people to leave their cars behind by making it more convenient to ride a bike or use transit, or taking painful steps to force them to.

But the city’s ever-present NIMBYs, entitled drivers and traffic safety deniers have fought to block bike lanes, and too many spineless city officials have caved in to them.

So now congestion pricing is on the table. Whether they like it or not.

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More evidence that induced demand goes both ways.

The Seattle Times looks into where the 90,000 drivers who formerly used the city’s shorefront Alaskan Way Viaduct every day went once it was closed down, and before the new tunnel meant to replace it opens.

The paper concludes that some drivers moved to another highway, some switched to transit, and some took to their bicycles.

But most, they say, either changed their commutes, or simply stayed home.

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Looks like LAist and LA Magazine know a good thing when they see them.

LAist recommends The Frogtown Show comedy night at the Spoke Bicycle Cafe along the LA River Bike Path in Elysian Valley Saturday Night.

And both recommend FilmedByBike — Los Angeles at the Boomtown Brewery in Aliso Village on Sunday. Admission includes two movie screenings, a panel discussion, raffle and 25 exhibitors with bike demos. Correction: Earlier I wrote it was on Saturday; it’s actually Sunday. Thanks to Joe Linton for the correction.

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An impatient driver forced his way through an Oakland protest, running over a bicycle — after the rider jumped off — then ran over the leg of a blind homeless man, while driving on the sidewalk.

Remarkably, no arrest was made, as police appeared to make excuses for the driver.

You can see some of the event below, despite the shaky camera work.

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You can’t keep a good man down.

Or off an arena with his camera crew, evidently.

A British court ruled that YouTube star Ryan Taylor can legally post video of his scofflaw BMX ride on top of London’s massive O2 Arena.

Even if it encourages others to copy his dangerous stunt.

And eve if his ride was interrupted by a police helicopter.

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Local

This is who we share the roads with. A woman was arrested for killing a MacArther Park pedestrian Wednesday night; the victim was walking in a crosswalk when he was run down by the driver, who was viewing messages using WhatsApp.

LADOT is hosting a mixer for community-based organizations and community leaders on February 19, from 3 to 6 pm.

More on the selection of homegrown Long Beach bike service provider Pedal Movement to operate and expand the city’s bikeshare program.

State

Santa Cruz, which already has the state’s second-highest bike commuting rate, will raise downtown parking fees to finance efforts to further increase bike and transit use.

Bay Area bike riders say not so fast to plans to steal back a long-promised bike and pedestrian lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and give it to the same drivers who claim the other five lanes.

A San Francisco TV station honors Richmond’s Rich City Rides for its work building community around bicycle rides and projects.

National

Entrepreneur talks with William Shatner, the new captain of the starship Pedego.

No bias here. A Seattle website accuses “anti-car ideologues” at area DOTs of forcing bicycles on an unwilling populace.

Oh, well that’s okay, then. A hit-and-run driver who killed a bike rider in Salt Lake City told police he fled the scene because he was scared. Even if that was the case, he should have turned himself in the next day — after he sobered up, most likely.

A 19-year old Wyoming man’s self-funded film captures the spirit of freeride mountain biking.

Dallas isn’t afraid of road diets, unlike a certain SoCal city I could name. The Texas city approved plans to reduce a major streets from six lanes to four to make room for bike lanes and wider sidewalks. The same sort of six-to-four lane reduction was what made some Mar Vista drivers apoplectic, demanding its removal.

E-scooters could finally get the green light in Gotham, as scooter companies descend on the city to lobby for their approval. However, Gothamist warns there could be roadblocks ahead.

A 62-year old Brooklyn bike rider was awarded $2.25 million after suing the city accusing a police detective of shoving him into a parked car, suffering permanent injuries; needless to say, the officer denied touching him, bur security video — hidden from the defense for four years — showed otherwise.

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be confined to a wheelchair and walker for the next several months as she recovers from a painful broken pelvis and hip socket suffered in a bicycling crash; still no word on whether if was a solo fall or if she was hit by a driver.

A proposed DC ordinance would give scooter and ebike riders involved in crashes the same rights as regular bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bighearted North Carolina police pitch in to replace a bike that was stolen from a young girl, whose father is suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

Life remains cheap in Louisiana, where the driver who got just 90 days for killing a bike-riding city councilman gets another 90 days for injuring his riding companion. But he’ll serve just 17 days of that.

Georgia thieves steal a page from the Middle Ages and the Old West, laying a tree branch across a bridge to force a bike rider to stop; when he tried to move it, they popped out with guns and stole his cellphone. Although victims in the Middle Ages and Old West hardly ever carried cellphones with them.

He gets it. A Gainesville FL writer considers his transportation options, and concludes that cars are expensive and cumbersome, and nothing beats a bike.

The Tampa Bay Times says it’s time to make the dangerous city — and the entire state of Florida — safer for people walking and on bicycles.

International

Bike Portland looks at the bikeways of Baja.

Singer, rapper and producer Ray J plans to stay involved in the business, after selling his e-scooter company to a Canadian concern for a price tag in the high seven figures. The money will help rollout the scooters throughout North America.

A Vancouver newspaper asks if a proposal to put bike lanes and a walkway down the center of an existing bridge is smart planning or the first step towards Carmaggedon.

A British Columbia bike rider asks if the impatient driver who nearly ran her down was as frightened by it as she was. Probably not.

A Saskatoon, Canada teenager just became the youngest person to ride a bike around the world, covering nearly 20,000 miles through 16 countries.

A new report says building community bike hubs could encourage more bicycling in the Toronto suburbs; the hubs provide access to bicycles, repairs, tools and other items and services to promote bicycling in areas with no bike lanes and very few bicyclists.

The younger brother of royal spouse Kate Middleton is one of us, as he takes his two dogs for a cargo bike ride.

An “anti-social” bike mob is accused of frightening shoppers at a local mall, riding directly at them while hurling abuse.

It’s not every day that a bike thief asks to be put in prison to break his spiral of addiction; a Belfast judge was happy to oblige. Because everyone knows there are no drugs behind bars. Right?

Retired pro cycling favorite Jens Voigt tells an Indian newspaper that the problem with Millennials is they want to be millionaires in two weeks, and life doesn’t work that way. Don’t blame me, take it up with Jensie.

An Indian environmental website says bicycling would have huge benefits for the country, but the high cost of bicycles and a lack of a bicycling ecosystem are holding it back.

NIMBYs are everywhere. Even in South Africa, where white homeowners are fighting to have a new separated bike lane removed from their street.

A Singapore paper says don’t give up on dockless bike sharing yet.

Competitive Cycling

CiclaValley offers scenes from the SoCal Cross season finale.

Finally…

Turning bike parts into art. Even cartoon pigs have to wear bike helmets, ven if they originally didn’t.

And seriously, when you’re carrying meth on your bike after dark, put a damn light on it.

It might even help see the soft dirt when you flee from the police.

Morning Links: Nefarious plot to make people bike, induced demand school parking, and French motor doping

He’s back.

The latest piece from the apparently non-existent LA lawyer Richard Lee Abrams describes the city’s mobility plan as being an evil plot to force people out of their cars and onto transportation appropriate for 1895 New York.

He also accuses the city of capitalizing on pedestrian deaths to meet that nefarious goal, rather than just, say, trying to keep anyone else from getting killed.

Never mind that the easy solution he recommends for improving safety on Vista del Mar is exactly what the city tried. And then undid when South Bay commuters were revolting.

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Induced demand applies to parking garages, too. Yet Studio City’s exclusive Harvard-Westlake school wants to build a 750-space parking garage anyway, instead of encouraging alternative transportation and demanding safe routes to school.

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Leading Ethiopian cyclist Tsgabu Grmay will be competing for Trek on the WorldTour next year.

The French Cat 3 racer busted for motor doping over the weekend tried to escape after noticing officials were watching him, leading to a brief car chase; he could face fraud charges. Note to cheaters: always try to hide the wire leading from the battery hidden in your water bottle.

Fans saved the cancelled Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, which will be back next year under a new name.

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Local

Vision Zero LA says a record 177 LA area schools will participate in Wednesday’s National Walk & Bike to School Day.

Jim Shanman posts a photo showing the Ballona Creek Bike Path will be closed between 8 am and 4 pm between Duquesne and Overland in Culver City through the 5th.

Streetsblog offers photos of Sunday’s Coast open streets event in Santa Monica.

The Long Beach Marathon runs this Sunday, including a 20-mile bike ride preceding the race.

 

State

CiclaValley says bicycling from Ventura to Santa Barbara is the perfect ride for all cyclists.

The Morongo Basin is developing its first active transportation plan, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Southern California Association of Governments.

An Op-Ed in the Mercury News calls for ensuring that active transportation funds from a Santa Clara County transportation sales tax are used for projects that actually work.

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition unveils a new Ride With Respect campaign to encourage bicyclists to show more respect for others navigating the roads with us.

Sacramento will show how it intends to improve safety with a pop-up demonstration of its first parking-protected bike lane, along a reduction from three to two lanes to slow traffic. The plan appears to be a mirror image of the Venice Great Streets project that has led to near rebellion by some Westside drivers.

 

National

Bicycling has tips on what to consider before you buy a bicycle-shaped object bike at Walmart. Although you’re usually better off visiting your local bike shop, instead.

Great photo from the Seattle Times shows a BMX rider catching some serious air in mid-flip.

A Colorado Springs CO bike rider was killed in a collision with an unmarked police car; it’s the third bicycling fatality in the city this year, after none the previous two years.

Drivers in Dearborn MI now have to give bike riders a five-foot passing distance.

New York’s DA refuses to prosecute a bike rider who crashed into pedestrian last summer, even though the victim was crossing in the crosswalk with the walk signal. For once a bike rider has been held to the same standard most motorists are after a crash. None.

Four hundred New York cyclists raised over $650,000 to support mental health, domestic violence and supportive housing programs sponsored by the Jewish Board on a ride preceding the high holidays.

Even in New York, where lane reductions and bike lanes have successfully increased safety and livability, new plans are still getting pushback in neighborhoods where residents prefer parking, instead.

DC’s bikeshare system plans a $5 million expansion next year, even as competition from dockless bikeshare systems flood the market.

Florida announces plans for a massive eight-lane bridge in Tampa Bay, complete with a protected bike and pedestrian lane and an option for future rail.

 

International

The new leader of Canada’s third-largest political party is one of us. New Democratic Party leader and Brompton owner Jagmeet Singh calls for the country to develop a National Cycling Strategy. Which is something the US has never even considered.

Great idea. A women’s business site talks to the founder of a British company that’s solved the problem of children outgrowing bicycles by leasing bikes, then exchanging them for a new bike as your child grows.

UK police are looking for a man who crashed his bicycle into three people while illegally riding on the sidewalk, then got up and attacked them, leaving one man unconscious and breaking a woman’s nose.

Paris took open streets to the max on Sunday, banning motor vehicles from most of the city in an effort to fight pollution and encourage cleaner transportation.

European ebike makers have complained to the European Commission, accusing Chinese ebike makers of dumping their bikes below the cost of production.

The arrival of a Chinese dockless bikeshare company could mean the end of a free, city-owned bikeshare system in Adelaide, Australia.

You’ll still be able to ruin your lungs by smoking on a nearly 10-mile Australian inter-city bike path.

Sidney, Australia calls for a crackdown on rogue scofflaw delivery cyclists.

 

Finally…

Your next DIY bike could have front wheel drive — and you sit on the handlebars. And if you’re unemployed, just “get on your bike and find a job” with gorgeous EU women.

Or so says a British MP.

 

Morning Links: Bike-friendly UCLA nabs the Silver, and Marin grand jury delves into traffic planning

Congratulations to UCLA, which has been upgraded to a Silver Level Bicycle-Friendly University.

It’s great that the university is taking concrete steps to keep bike riders and their bikes safe on campus.

Just too bad LA Councilmember Paul Koretz is dedicated to keeping things dangerous once they leave it.

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A Marin columnist congratulates the local grand jury as they demonstrate why traffic planning should be left to people who know what the hell they’re talking about.

The grand jury, which is clearly unfamiliar with the concept of induced demand, came back with a report criticizing local officials for failing to solve the region’s traffic problems, calling on them to widen roadways to increase capacity.

And failing, evidently, to recognize that the cause of traffic congestion isn’t the width of the roadway, but the number of vehicles on it.

“Based on community feedback and limited funding, focus on those potential improvements that maximize congestion relief and safety. Outside of this project, consider shifting planned budgets for multi-million dollar pedestrian-bicycle pathways toward projects that benefit a larger population.”

Never mind that those “multi-million dollar” pathways benefit public health while providing people with an alternative to joining the great mass of motor vehicles clogging the roadways.

Let them learn from Southern California’s mistake. Turning streets into highways, and highways into freeways does not solve the problem, and only makes the situation worse while destroying the quality of life in the surrounding community.

So if they can’t handle the traffic, the only real solution is to provide residents with a way out of it.

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Business Insider offers a close-up look at Peter Sagan’s bike; he retains the leader’s jersey after four stages.

Dutch rider Tom Doumalin criticizes the long, boring transitional stages in the Tour de France. He should be happy since the race heads back to the mountains today, with a battered Alberto Contador looking vulnerable.

American Evelyn Stevens retains her lead after four stages in the Giro Rosa.

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Local

Writing for the LA Times, Alissa Walker sends a message back in time to describe the utopian, extremely bike and transit-friendly Los Angeles of 2056. We can dream, right?

The LA Weekly looks at the Eastside’s Ovarian Psychos, saying the radical feminist cycling group is taking Boyle Heights back one ride at a time.

Metro is reaching out to low income communities to participate in LA’s new bikeshare system.

A man was shot to death while riding along the LA River, on an unpaved section of the bike path in Bellflower, in what police say appears to be a gang-related attack.

Palos Verdes Estates will discuss replacing the highly biased “Bicycle Laws Strictly Enforced” signs with “Share the Road” signs and signs touting the three-foot passing law at today’s meeting of the city’s Traffic Safety Committee. Nice that they realize traffic laws should be enforced against people who don’t ride bikes, too. But maybe they could go for “Bikes May Use Full Lane” instead of the useless and outdated “Share the Road.”

 

State

A Riverside woman was lucky to survive with moderate injuries after her bike was clipped by a train.

Atascadero is planning to install a roundabout and separated bike lanes to improve safety near a high school, while providing access from downtown to Atascadero Lake.

Visalia is asking for public input on the city’s first-ever active transportation plan.

At least three witnesses jumped into action to follow a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after slamming into a Santa Rosa salmon cyclist; the victim suffered road rash, while the driver was busted and booked.

 

National

Google’s self-driving cars can now recognize cyclists’ hand signalsBut how will they respond to the one used the most in LA traffic?

Wired says instead of trying to fool Waze, slow traffic by installing road diets with bike lanes, among other options.

An Austin TX bike rider died when the chain came of his bike and jammed into his wheel, throwing him off his bike. Let that be a tragic reminder to always keep your bike in good riding condition.

An Ohio boy with cerebral palsy is given the gift of freedom and mobility by the local Kiwanis club, in the form of a customized tricycle.

Ohio cyclists — and riders around the world — were up in arms over a driver in the Columbus Doo Dah Parade who featured a crushed bike on the hood of his SUV, with a manikin depicting a cyclist sticking out of the roof, and a sign reading “I’ll share the road when you follow the rules.” Because evidently, he’s the only driver in Ohio who never breaks the law. And because threatening to kill people is always good for a laugh.

The Louisville KY city council votes to reduce funding for bikeways in favor of programs to help keep kids off the streets. Which their vote will accomplish in more ways than one.

An Indiana cycling instructor lists a dozen ways drivers and bike riders can share the road.

An upstate New York man faces charges for tackling and holding down a cyclist who almost hit his dog. As a dog owner, I can understand the sentiment. But, no.

A New York driver intentionally ran down and killed a man on a bike before fleeing the scene. So naturally, the NYPD responds by cracking down on bike riders.

Great idea. A DC bike advocacy group uses a grant to hire five trail rangers to patrol area bike paths.

A Norfolk VA writer says the only thing holding the city back from being a great cycling city is a lack of political will. Which is exactly what’s holding LA back, some areas in particular.

 

International

Ottawa transit officials rejected plans for cycle tracks in a new rail station design, knowingly putting bike riders at risk. Meanwhile, Ottawa police ticket 323 drivers and tow 29 vehicles for parking in bike lanes and bus-only lanes.

The Netherlands isn’t just a haven for bike riders, it’s also paradise for bike thieves.

Denmark’s royal family is one, uh, four of us, as they go for a family bike ride.

If you’re going to pose as a cyclist and attempt to blend into a group ride in order to sneak across the border into Spanish territory, make sure your stolen passport is in order first.

It took American adventurers Rebecca Rusch and Pat Sweeny four days to pedal up Mount Kilimanjaro, and another two to ride back down, while raising funds to provide 131 new bikes for people in need in Africa through World Bicycle Relief.

Opponents of a Kiwi bike and pedestrian bridge claim it could be dangerously overcrowded, putting users at risk of a human crush. In other words, don’t build it because it might be too successful. And doesn’t any bridge, anywhere, face exactly the same, extremely minimal risk?

A Malaysian woman takes a solo bike tour through Cambodia and Thailand, negotiating the language barrier with had gestures and staying at “love hotels.”

 

Finally…

Next time you flee the country to avoid paying damages to a Chinese bicyclist, don’t leave your Chinese wife behind. No, seriously, if you’re riding your bike with burglary tools and stolen checks and credit cards, stay off the damn sidewalk.

And how can we possibly top a story about a cyclist who survived a lightening strike thanks to his headphones and penis?

 

Morning Links: Confronting LA’s diabetic drivers, and bike thief’s mom gives back bike her son stole

Let’s talk Diabetes.

Before I was diagnosed last year, I spent about a year trying to keep my sagging energy up with carbs and energy bars.

What was happening, unbeknownst to me, was that my blood sugar would spike after I ate something high in carbs — even the whole grains I thought were better for me — then crash, leaving me hypoglycemic and needing still more carbs to get back up.

In a very real sense, I was chasing the dragon, just like any other addict. Except my addition was to sugar and other carbohydrates.

I thought I could burn them off by riding my bike, even as I became sicker and sicker, my weight slipping from a muscular 190 pounds down to 160, before finally crashing to 145 shortly after I was diagnosed.

I was killing myself with every bite I took, even though I thought I knew what I was doing.

LA drivers are diabetics.

They’re addicted to ever-increasing road capacity every bit as much as I was addicted to carbs, demanding ever more and wider roads, despite the evidence that greater capacity just results in induced demand.

If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who drives the 405 if the $1 billion road widening project has made their commute any easier.

And they fight tooth-and-nail to preserve every traffic lane and parking spot, even from projects designed to improve safety while providing those who want it with alternatives to driving.

It’s not that they’re bad people. They just don’t know any better.

It’s our city officials that have failed them.

Common sense tells people that removing a traffic lane will only make their commutes worse. Even though it’s been shown repeatedly, in cities around the world, that it can actually improve traffic flow while increasing the odds that they, and those they share the road with, will get home to their families in one piece.

And it tells them that no one will actually ride a bike to work, despite those who do it every day right here in bike-unfriendly LA, and that bike commuting rates have gone up in other cities that have installed safe bike lanes and cycle tracks.

They simply can’t see their addiction is killing them and the city we all love, as LA’s streets, many of which are already at or above capacity for large portions of the day, continue to get more congested as we continue to follow the old failed approach.

Like me, they need an intervention.

In my case, it was my doctor telling me that my blood sugar levels were literally off the charts; so high, in fact, he was surprised I wasn’t already in a diabetic coma. Forcing me to rethink my entire approach to food, and give up those things I thought I needed.

In the case of LA drivers, we need our city officials, from the mayor down to our too-often weak kneed councilmembers, who insist on being led by their constituents rather than the other way around, to explain why the old ways no longer work. And show them how alternative approaches can actually work better, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first.

And that bike lanes, and the people who use them, aren’t the enemy.

They can’t leave it up to us, as they have in the past, to explain why things have to change. That only creates yet another us against them confrontation, as bicyclists fight with drivers and homeowners over our safety versus their fears of gridlock.

It will take our leaders actually leading for a change.

And sticking their necks out to do what’s right, because they already know it is.

………

Talk about an unexpected development.

Three weeks after a man pushed an 11-year old boy off the bike he’d just won during a Halloween celebration at Ted Watkins Park and rode off with it, the mother of the suspect identified by police has returned the bike to him.

Which means he now has two bikes, since the ESR Bike and Skate Shop had already replaced the stolen bike.

Nice to see mom step in and do the right thing.

………

Local

CiclaValley explains why drivers are the real threat, even to other drivers.

Thanks to the LACBC, the NoHo Red Line Station now has a short off-road bike path connecting the station to the popular Chandler Bike Path.

Streetsblog reports Metro’s Planning Committee has approved the fair structure for LA’s coming bikeshare system. Meanwhile, Santa Monica’s Transit App now includes real-time information on the city’s Breeze bikeshare program.

In a totally unsolicited plug for a friend, Richard Risemberg’s Bicycle Fixation is offering merino wool bicycling tops on sale at just above cost.

Monrovia is the latest city in the San Gabriel Valley to develop a bike plan, as well as considering a bikeshare program.

Long Beach will crack down on unsafe drivers who put cyclists and pedestrians in danger on Thursday. But that doesn’t mean they’ll let law-breaking bicyclists off the hook.

 

State

The OC Register looks at the recent Orange County Honor Ride, which raised $40,000 for injured vets.

A Bakersfield school district gets a $100,000 grant to teach children to ride bikes safely during PE time. Although someone should explain to them that’s not what Vision Zero is, and that it can’t be accomplished in a year. Especially not without focusing on drivers instead of kids.

The three-day Eroica California returns to Paso Robles for the second annual vintage bike event next April.

The Santa Cruz paper looks at the city’s elevation to a gold-level Bike Friendly Community.

Noah Budnick, the Executive Directive of the San Francisco Bicycle Coaliton, has unexpectedly stepped down just under a year after he was hired.

The Sacramento-area’s Cycle Folsom is getting casual riders out onto the road and into spandex.

 

National

Streetsblog looks at that study showing a 14% transportation share by bikes in the world’s major cities could result in an 11% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

Bicycling encourages you to get out and celebrate Blacktop Friday the day after Thanksgiving instead of Black Friday.

Portland prosecutors ask for $250,000 bail for the self-proclaimed King of Bike Thieves.

If you can make it out to Tucson AZ this Saturday, you could ride with America’s only remaining Tour de France winner.

Researchers in my hometown found the air bike commuters breath basically sucks.

A Wichita cop goes way beyond the call of duty, giving his own bike to a veteran in need after his had been stolen.

Nebraska bike and pedestrian deaths reach their highest level since the turn of the century.

A Chicago hospital executive gets a slap on the wrist for killing a cyclist while on his way home from a holiday party; the judge gave him just 100 days behind bars, even though state law calls for three to fourteen years for aggravated DUI.

Intriguing new bike coming from Boston’s Fortified Bicycle, which promises their Invincible urban bike will be theft proof, flat-resistant and virtually indestructible.

In a sign of what can happen when bike riders and local residents actually listen to each other instead of arguing back and forth, the two sides may be close to an agreement in a dispute over a Baton Rouge bike lane. If Paul Koretz or Gil Cedillo showed enough leadership to sponsor that kind of conversation, we might have had an agreement on Westwood Blvd and North Figueroa ages ago.

A South Florida ride combines bicycling and black jack to raise funds to give bikes to children who can’t afford them.

 

International

Ottawa plans a permanent memorial to fallen cyclists.

The new Cycling Revolution exhibit at London’s Design Museum celebrates bicycle engineering; it will be open through the end of June if you’re planning a trip across the pond.

British retailer Tesco is accused of dumping $6,000 worth of new bicycles, some still in boxes, in the trash rather than donating them to those in need.

Fast Company calls the coming 200-foot high Copenhagen bike bridge the craziest bike lane ever built, with elevators that will lift riders up to cross over the harbor.

India’s elite cyclists are attempting to rebuild the cycling team following the death of the team’s coach two years ago, although their training is limited by the country’s dangerous roads.

Motorcycle-riding Bangladeshi gunmen seriously wound an Italian priest as he rode his bike.

Over 3,000 Egyptian cyclists are expected to take part in Cairo’s fourth annual Orange Bike Day sponsored by the Dutch Embassy.

 

Finally…

If you’re holding large quantities of cash and illegal drugs, maybe you’re better off not riding a stolen bike. And if you’ve been very good this year, maybe Santa Claus or Hanukkah Harry will bring you a 62 mph carbon fiber hydrogen-fueled e-bike.

 

Morning Links: Re-approval of Mobility Plan moves on; Breeze blows into SaMo; Caltrans nixes induced demand

The proposal to rescind approval for LA’s new Mobility Plan and reapprove it to head off a lawsuit from Fix the City eked through a combined meeting of the City Council’s Planning and Transportation Committees on Tuesday.

It passed by just a slim five to four vote.

Surprisingly, West Valley Councilmember Mitch Englander voted against it, less than two weeks after he was honored with the LACBC’s Innovator Award at their Firefly Ball.

New CD4 Councilmember David Ryu also voted against it, while the no votes from Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz were entirely expected.

Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Felipe Fuentes voted in favor, with Jose Huizar voting yes twice as a member of both committees.

The measure now goes before the full council at a future date.

On a related note, come back later today when we’ll have a guest post from Fig4All’s Felicia Garcia on Cedillo’s opposition to the Mobility Plan.

………

Santa Monica’s Breeze bikeshare system officially kicks off today, making it the first citywide bikeshare system in Southern California.

If you don’t count San Diego, that is.

Breeze Email-ad-Final

………

Caltrans finally acknowledges the concept of induced demand, admitting that increasing road capacity does not decrease congestion, despite the demands of LA drivers.

Too bad it’s a little too late for the billion dollar expansion of the 405 through the Sepulveda pass; that money could have built a lot of protected bike lanes.

………

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from St. Louis CyclingSavvy instructor Karen Karabell.

Today she offers a nice five minute video on the joys of riding a bike, and what a difference it would make if more people felt safe on their bikes.

Karen notes that the piece was the debut effort of filmmaker and transportation cyclist Alison Ehrhard, who she says is passionate about the subject of bicycling.

Then again, aren’t we all?

………

Local

Collision LA offers a fascinating sliding map of the LACBC’s recent bike count.

Multicultural Communities for Mobility will host a number of free bike safety classes over the next few months, starting tonight in East LA.

Bicycling Retailer takes a tour of the high-end, celebrity-filled bike shops in Santa Monica.

Great idea. The Southern California Velo Cycling Club is teaming with Incycle Bicycle Stores to collect food donations for families in need this holiday season.

A Norwalk bicyclist was kidnapped and shot in both legs in an apparent gang attack.

Long Beach receives a $150,000 grant for bike and pedestrian workshops.

CiclaValley continues the tale of his recent ride from LA to San Diego for the Calbike Bike Summit.

 

State

A San Diego couple hopes security camera video helps someone recognize the thief who stole their bike. Which could be hard, since the TV station somehow failed to include it in their story.

Dozens of volunteers pitch in to help a San Jose bike non-profit move to a new location; the shop provides bikes and maintenance training for needy and homeless people.

Students at Cupertino’s De Anza College can rent one of 50 bikes for an entire semester at no charge; they also have use of a free bike repair station.

San Francisco’s first raised bike lane — possibly the first in the state — is now officially open on Market Street.

 

National

Bicycling considers how to reframe the story to avoid blaming the victims in bike collisions. Before we complain about the press paying too much attention to bike crashes, let’s remember it was only a few years ago that they didn’t care enough to report them at all.

The Triple Pundit website looks at why the US lags behind other countries in bike commuting.

USA Today ranks the 25 best sports movies of all time. Breaking Away is the only bicycling movie on the list, ranked far below some highly questionable choices.

LA bike tourists Milestone Rides report on a trip to Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park.

A Seattle radio personality who describes himself as an avid cyclist is up in arms over spending a whopping $9,000 in taxpayer money to install free bike repair stations at nine local libraries.

That decorated retired military dog shot by a cyclist in Wyoming received a public military funeral worthy of the hero he was.

Apparently, Houston’s bikeshare system is all about the fun, ‘bout the fun, not commuting.

Pittsburgh bicyclists are calling for greater accountability for drivers in collisions between cars and bikes; as one person put it, “Bikers do not present a life-threatening risk when they have a momentary lapse in concentration.” I wish we could drill that thought into every anti-bike commenter on the Internet.

Evidently, there’s competition among thieves, as New York police bust two bike thieves attempting to steal the same bike, although it’s possible they were working together.

The Washington Post asks if e-bikes are the future of transportation, or just the next Segways.

 

International

Nice piece from the Guardian on the improving state of bicycling in Mexico City, where a weekly ciclovía opens 35 miles of roadway to bicyclists and pedestrians. Thanks to Steve Katz for the link.

London considers protected bike lanes on the Westminster Bridge leading to the Parliament building. Having walked that bridge, they would improve things for people on the sidewalk, as well.

A British bicyclist has died following a collision with another cyclist. Another reminder to always ride carefully around other people, on bike or on foot; it doesn’t take much to do serious harm.

British police bust a bike theft ring responsible for stealing 48 bikes worth $38,000. Meanwhile, registering it in advance helps a man from the UK recover his stolen bike in just 3-1/2 hours. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and register your bike for free with Bike Index before anything bad happens.

Maybe what you need is a canary yellow, 14 pound Brit foldie.

Caught on video: An apparently lightless Dublin cyclist gets t-boned by a car.

A new line of women’s bicycling panties is made with a quick-dry fabric and built-in chamois to provide comfort under skirts or casual clothing; the Latvian manufacturer is raising funds on Indiegogo.

Smog-choked Beijing wants to get its residents back on bikes to combat an over-dependence on cars.

 

Finally…

For once, the dispute isn’t over bike lanes vs. parking; it’s bike lanes vs. gravesites. Now you can let drivers know exactly what a three-foot passing distance is.

And caught on video: This is what happens when you take a wide turn and smash into a parked car on the opposite side if the road.

………

On a personal note, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may be aware that my wife was unexpectedly hospitalized following a trip to the ER on Sunday.

I’m happy to report that she’s back home safe and sound, although she nearly had to go back after she was welcomed home by an overly enthusiastic Corgi. Thanks to everyone who expressed their caring and support; that meant more to me than I can ever begin to say.

Her absence reminded me of this piece I wrote following her heart attack almost three years ago to the day.

It may be the most heartfelt thing I’ve ever written.

And quite possibly, ever will.

 

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