Tag Archive for infrastructure

US DOT almost adopts Vision Zero, bike writer’s horrific tale of online abuse, and LA is America’s worst bike city — again

What if the new infrastructure bill could actually save lives?

That’s the prospect being presented by the US Department of Transportation, which says it’s time to pivot to a focus on reducing traffic deaths.

And that the recently passed bill includes the focus and funding to do it.

If they actually follow through — which is always questionable, as we’ve learned the hard way — it could represent a huge change in direction for the department, from moving cars to protecting human lives.

Here’s what the New York Times had to say on the subject.

In a 38-page report being released on Thursday, the department outlined an approach heavily dependent on working with states and local governments to address things like designing safer roads and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. The department also said it would issue federal guidance and create new programs to carry out the strategy, such as initiating rulemaking to require automatic emergency braking technology in new passenger vehicles.

The report comes as the number of traffic deaths across the country has soared, reversing some of the progress made over the past few decades. Although fewer people were on the road at the beginning of the pandemic, about 38,680 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, an increase of about 2,500 from 2019, and deaths surged further in the first half of 2021. Officials have blamed more people speeding recklessly and using alcohol and drugs to cope with pandemic-related stress…

The report is broken down into five objectives: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. It calls on states and local governments to support research and develop technology to detect and prevent alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. It also directs the Federal Highway Administration to revise guidance to encourage safer speeds and the use of speed cameras.

Officials pointed to several sources of funding within the bill, including the $6 billion Safe Streets and Roads for All program, to reduce traffic fatalities.

But this may be the single most important sentence in the story.

“The big first here is committing the department to the idea that only zero roadway deaths are acceptable, and then aligning all of our resources around that,” Mr. Buttigieg said.

While that’s not a commitment to a national Vision Zero, it’s damn close.

Of course, the federal government has limited power to force changes on the streets, most of which are controlled by state and local governments.

And the report doesn’t address the design of modern motor vehicles, with much of the increase in traffic deaths appearing to stem from the increase in massive trucks and SUV, with flat grills and high clearances that almost seem designed to kill.

But it’s a start.

If nothing else, it’s a change in attitude and direction. And if it sticks, it could lead to safer and move livable streets — in every sense.

We can hope.

Read more on Wired and the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Alexas Fotos from Pixabay

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A writer for leading British bicycling magazine Cycling Weekly shares the horrifying details of the abuse she has had to endure online, simply for being a woman in a male-dominated field.

Michele Arthurs-Brennan writes that the harassment began just four months into her job, when someone took offense to something she’d written, resulting in a daily torrent of sexually aggressive and threatening comments.

Using sexual slurs is a common tactic among a noisy minority of people who take exception to journalism produced by women. Last year, a global survey of 901 journalists found that women are experiencing unprecedented levels of violent and sexual harassment. A quarter had been threatened with sexual violence and death. This abuse, the UN concluded, was intended to “belittle, humiliate, shame, induce fear and ultimately discredit female reporters.” Similarly, Panorama’s recent documentary ‘Why do you hate me?’ uncovered the sexual and violent abuse that affects women in the public eye.

The reports tally with my experience: harassment has left me feeling physically threatened, and the instigator clearly sought to discredit my career. Very little of the abuse targeted my work directly but instead focused on my appearance, my fertility, my husband and our home. The campaign of insults and intimidation went on for close to a year.

Th abuse eventually forced her to move after photos of the home she shared with her husband started to appear online, along with other personal details.

The final onslaught  – published close to a year after the first incident – included two articles targeting not only me but also my husband. These listed our home address with photos of our house, analysis of the parking situation outside, plus screen shots showing routes I used for regular bike rides – alongside false allegations of driving offences based on pieced-together MOT records, false accusations of the use of anonymous online accounts, as well as an entirely fabricated story about my using “feminist extremism as a cover up” to hide my “infertility” and “multiple failed IVF treatments”. The giant red flag of misogyny here is the assumption that a woman would, or indeed should, cover up infertility out of shame.

This content didn’t only affect me in cyberspace. The abuse and false allegations surfaced whenever my name was searched online, alongside our home address, which had some very real repercussions for us, until we moved house.

No one should have to tell you just how wrong this is. And how no one should have to put up with this kind of crap just for doing their job.

Or for any other reason, for that matter.

I’ve with online attacks over the years, including death threats over the road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, from people who should have know better.

And yes, I reported them to the police.

But I’ve never had to deal with sexual harassment or attacks just for being a man; that seems to be a special online hell reserved just for women, perpetrated by men.

So if you’re tempted to comment on a woman’s body, or make crude comments or threats of any kind, just don’t.

If you wouldn’t say it to a man, don’t say it to a woman.

Or better yet, just don’t say it.

Period.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

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No surprise here, as a new study once again ranks Los Angeles as the country’s least bike-friendly city, with San Bernardino and Santa Ana not far behind.

This is what the bottom ten looks like, which LA wearing the crap crown once again.

Surprisingly, tiny Colorado ski town Crested Butte, with a population under 1,400, checks in as the country’s most bike-friendly city.

You’d think that repeatedly being crowned the country’s worst bike city by multiple organizations would spur LA city officials into action.

But apparently, you would be wrong.

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PeopleForBikes will be holding its 2022 Bicycle Leadership Conference in our own backyard in March.

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Good advice for bikes, too.

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

No bias here. A Missouri writer decides ebikes don’t belong on trails, after being safely and more or less politely passed by an older man riding one, which didn’t inconvenience him in the slightest.

No bias here, either. So why the hell do some drivers think killing innocent people is funny?

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

Police in Honolulu are looking for a bike-riding man who pushed over a 78-year old woman for no apparent reason, leaving her facing surgery for serious injuries.

A Florida man faces charges after allegedly stabbing another man in the neck in a dispute over a stolen bike seat before riding away on a bicycle. Repeat after me. No bicycle is worth harming another human being. Let alone a damn seat.

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Local

Streetsblog has more on Mike Bonin’s decision to retire from the LA city council.

The Kelly Clarkson Show, with Jay Leno guest hosting, honored East Side Riders founders John “Pops” Jones Jr. and John Jones III for their work in the community, ending the segment by donating $5,000 to the group.

Metro offers an update on plans for congestion pricing focusing on four areas, including Downtown Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Housing Department received a $163.3 million state grant to build seven affordable housing projects, with $54.78 million dedicated to transit-related infrastructure, including seven miles of bike and pedestrian “improvements.” Whatever that means.

The LACBC offers tips on how to report blocked bike lanes on social media, and who to tag to — hopefully — get action, including using the hashtag #BikeBlockedLA.

This is who we share the road with. An 84-year old driver tried to turn a Los Feliz restaurant into a drive-thru, slamming his car into the building and injuring two patrons, as well as himself, in the process. Once again raising the question of just how old is too old to drive, and when should driver’s keys be taken away to protect others?

South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti is one of us, as the local paper says he walks the walk when it comes to the environment, and pedals the talk.

 

State

Caltrans says Complete Streets are coming, eventually.

San Diego installs bike counters in a pair of protected bike lanes, which could dispel the harmful myth that no one uses them.

 

National

A writer for Forbes says flying cars are great, but how about allowing people to ride bikes without fear of being harassed by the cops?

Chicago Streetsblog explores how the city can rank as one of the nation’s worst for bicycling, while simultaneously being a case study for best practices.

A coalition of New York advocacy groups is pushing the state to do something to curb traffic deaths, including passing a crash victim’s bill of rights. Which sounds like a damn good idea.

New York Magazine suggests “actually comfortable, expert-recommended” bicycle saddles.

Things are going the wrong way in New York, as the city suffered the deadliest year since it adopted Vision Zero in 2014, while Brooklyn was the city’s deadliest borough.

A Maryland city ripped out a successful bike lane project after a six-month trial, despite a jump in ridership and a minimal impact on traffic — as well as a drop in crashes and injuries — because some people complained.

 

International

Bike Radar offers a beginner’s guide to shifting gears.

A Toronto columnist complains that a new bike shelter for riders waiting to board the subway is all but useless because it doesn’t include anywhere to lock their bikes.

If you build it, they will come. A new study shows European cities that installed popup bike lanes during the pandemic saw an average 48% jump in bicycling rates. Meanwhile, American cities are busy ripping their popup lanes out, while Los Angeles wasted a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by never building any to begin with.

They get it. Vice says not only should every town have a 20 mph speed limit, but roads should be redesigned so it feels dangerous to go any faster.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An English WWII vet is still riding his bike 100 miles a week, despite celebrating his 100th birthday.

The UK is considering switching from gas taxes and excise duties for motor vehicles, which aren’t paid by drivers of electric vehicles, to a road pricing program that would charge all drivers according to miles driven, in an attempt to improve fairness while reducing traffic congestion.

A British man thanked a jury for acquitting him of using excessive force for killing a suspected burglar by pulling him off his bicycle, then kneeling on the man’s back with his head awkwardly twisted to the side for nine minutes.

They get it, too. New Zealand has seen a 700% increase in ebike use over the past five years, along with an 800% jump in ebike injuries, but officials blame the higher injury rates on increased usage, rather than claiming ebikes are dangerous, as too many others have done.

 

Competitive Cycling

Good news about two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal, who is reportedly alert and in good spirits after suffering critical injuries when he slammed into a bus parked partially in the traffic lane, while training near his Colombian hometown.

The news isn’t as good for Dutch cyclist Amy Pieters, who remains in a coma a month after she was critically injured in a training crash, although she’s breathing on her own and showing increased consciousness.

Still more bad news from the training front, as Irish pro cyclist Imogen Cotter says she’s lucky to be alive after she was struck head-on by a high speed driver who was passing a bicyclist on the other side of the road; she’s hospitalized with a broken arm and leg, along with other injuries.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’ve got a flat and out of tubes, and Peter Sagan rides to your rescue. The good, the bad and the ugly of this year’s pro team kits.

And if this clip doesn’t make your day, nothing will.

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

Calls for investigation into biased sheriff’s bike stops, multiple charges in Texas coal roll crash, and more fed bike funding

Let’s hope they take it seriously this time.

Los Angeles County leaders have called for an investigation into last week’s LA Times investigative report on the harassment bike riders face at the hands of sheriff’s deputies and the back seats of their patrol cars.

And Latino riders in particular.

The paper found that out of 44,000 bicycle stops conducted by LA County sheriff’s deputies, seven out of ten people stopped were Latino, and 85% of bike riders stopped were searched.

According to the paper, they found illegal items in just 8% of the searches — less than one half of one percent.

Never mind the highly questionable legality of those searches.

This is how a sheriff’s spokesperson explained it.

Riding a bike allows criminals “to traverse a neighborhood unnoticed, faster and safer than on foot, and additionally makes it easier to avoid police contact. We are not conducting traffic stops of persons obviously engaged in the use of a bicycle for exercise or amusement,” department spokeswoman Lt. Lorena Rodriguez said in September.

Apparently, no one wearing spandex has ever been up to no good.

Not to mention that bicycles allow perfectly law-abiding people to get to work, school and the market.

And for many, it’s the only form of transportation they have. But apparently, just riding a bike somehow makes people of color suspicious in the eyes of sheriff’s deputies.

Thankfully, LA County officials pushed back on Monday, with two county supervisors — Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis — calling for the legalization of sidewalk riding in unincorporated areas, which was used as a pretext for traffic stops in eight percent of the cases.

At the same time, members of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission asked the department’s inspector general to conduct an investigation into the report, and racial disparities in traffic stops in general. And to look into whether the agency should be conducting traffic stops to begin with.

All of which sounds good.

However, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva is notorious for ignoring efforts by members of the Board of Supervisors, the Oversight Commission and the Inspector General to look into his activities, or that of the department he leads, since his upset election three years ago — to the point of refusing to comply with legitimate subpoenas for information and testimony.

And so far, they’ve been unable, or unwilling, to force him to comply.

The excuse Villanueva has given is that he isn’t subject to their authority, having been elected directly by the people. Even though both county and state law allows for an oversight commission with direct authority over the sheriff.

So don’t hold your breath.

An investigation is definitely called for. But whether it will go anywhere remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, remember that you are under no obligation to let police or sheriff’s deputies search your belongings without a warrant. And they’re not likely to get one based on a simple traffic stop.

They have the right to ask you for identification, although there’s nothing in the law that says you need a driver’s license just to ride a bike.

But whether or not you consent to a search of your bike, pockets, bags or backpack is entirely up to you.

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About damn time.

The district attorney in Waller County, Texas is finally getting around to filing charges, over six weeks after a teenage pickup driver ran down six bicyclists while attempting to blow exhaust smoke into their faces, a violent act known as rolling coal.

The 16-year old driver, who has not been publicly named, is expected to face six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — one count for each victim, four of whom were hospitalized.

The charge carries a penalty of anywhere from two to 20 years for each count in Texas. However, as a juvenile, he is likely to face far less, unless he is tried as an adult.

Waller police came under intense criticism for failing to initially arrest, or at least ticket, the driver; as the investigation moved forward, it became clear the boy’s parents were influential in the community.

Meanwhile, Texas pickup drivers astutely note that rolling coal is for idiots.

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More on the recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is currently awaiting Biden’s signature, as we continue to learn just what’s in it.

Bicycling Retailer reports that, in addition to the $11 billion in federal transportation safety funding we previously mentioned, the bill includes additional benefits for people who ride bikes, including Complete Streets and a big boost in the funding pool for bike projects.

The infrastructure bill includes:

  • An increase in funding for the Transportation Alternatives Program by 60%, with subsequent annual increases. The program is the largest source of federal dollars for bike projects like protected bike lanes, trails, and multi-use paths. The funding is currently limited to $850 million annually, and the bill would increase the program to $1.38 billion in 2022 and up to $1.48 billion in 2026.
  • A requirement for all states to develop standards for Complete Streets, a policy and design approach to ensure users of all ages and abilities have safe and convenient access.
  • A vulnerable road user assessment to determine how dangerous roads are for people outside of cars.
  • Inclusion of the model three-class e-bike definitions.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog lists several other “small victories” contained in the bill, including,

  • A new competitive grant program that will provide another $200 million a year to connect active transportation infrastructure to plug gaps in existing networks sand improve access to essential destinations
  • Another $200 million a year for the new Safe Streets for All program, which will fund Vision Zero projects throughout the U.S.
  • A further $200 million a year for the Reconnecting Communities pilot program, which will address the damages caused to BIPOC and low-income communities by the interstate highway system in a number of ways, including projects that promote active modes like pedestrian bridges and highway removals
  • A new requirement for states to devote 15 percent of their Highway Safety Improvement Program dollars to saving vulnerable road users’ lives if vulnerable road users make up 15 percent of their roadway deaths or more — a move that will impact nearly all coastal communities and a handful of upper midwestern states, too
  • A revision of federal crash reporting standards to better capture the causes of the pedestrian death crisis, including new provisions to better incorporate hospital data into federal stats, rather than just police data

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San Diego County’s annual Udo Heinz Memorial Ride will roll out from Carlsbad on November 20th — a week from this coming Saturday.

This year’s ride will honor all fallen bicyclists, which the county has seen far too many of this year.

The ride was founded seven years ago in memory of Heinz, who was killed by an allegedly distracted bus driver while riding in Camp Pendleton in 2013.

Thanks to our latest sponsor, San Diego bike lawyer Richard Duquette, for the link. 

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As we mentioned last week, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted to advance a proposal to ban bicycle chop shops on public property, even though chop shops dealing in stolen bicycles are already illegal.

This photo by David Drexler, of a homeless encampment at Venice and Grandview in Mar Vista, shows why it may matter, although it’s not clear from the photo whether that’s on a property belonging to the city.

If your bike disappeared in the area recently, you may be able to find it there.

Or part of it, anyway.

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

You’ve got to be kidding.

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

Police in Michigan busted a bike-riding bank robber as he made his getaway after allegedly hitting two banks in a single day.

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Local

A Cheviot Hills website looks back to the earliest days of bicycling in West Los Angeles over a century ago, as the first generation of two wheelers gave way to more familiar names to Angeleno bicyclists, including local legends Alex Baum and Raymond Fouquet. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Long Beach could soon green light a $1.4 million project to improve traffic signals on deadly Los Coyotes Diagonal, including installation of new detectors for vehicles and bicycles. A good start, but what the street really needs is a road diet and protected bike lanes in both directions.

Authorities have identified the man killed by a gunman in Long Beach last week as a 31-year old father, who was riding his bike home from his studies to become a dental assistance; police believe the shooting was gang related.

 

State

This is the cost of traffic violence. A 13-year old Hemet boy went missing after he ran away from home on his bike two days before Halloween; he was eventually found as a John Doe in a local hospital, after he was struck by a driver just half an hour after leaving home.

A driver plowed into several bike riders near Los Olivos on Sunday, leaving one rider with serious injuries.

That’s more like it. San Jose bike cops will patrol a newly opened section of the Coyote Creek Trail ten hours a day, seven days a week. Something that should be done on at least a frequent basis on every bike trail, everywhere. Especially here in LA. 

Sad news from Stockton, where a 62-year old man was killed in a late night collision while riding his bike.

 

National

Bicycling says it’s time to switch to dry lube, already. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

The New York Times says the popularity of electric bikes doesn’t show any sign of fading, with ebike sales jumping 145% last year, and now outselling all-electric cars by more than two to one.

A Streetsblog op-ed says the revised edition of the MUTCD merely enshrines dangerous policies into law.

Alaska is experiencing a serious shortage of fat bikes and parts.

A Colorado bike rider shares what he learned tackling his first century ride.

Good idea. Link will cut the maximum speed in half for first-time e-scooter users in Hartford, Connecticut to improve safety until they get the hang of it.

Bike ridership on New York’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge nearly doubled over last year after a new two-way protected bike lane opened on the bridge in September.

 

International

Trek puts its money where its mouth is, pledging to match donations to World Bicycle Relief up to $500,000 through the end of the year; the nonprofit works to change lives by donating bicycles to people in need in developing areas.

Road.cc shares “affordable, high-quality” gadgets for bike riders for less than $135.

Interesting idea. A new light developed by a London designer shines a buffer grid onto the street around you, and automatically sends your location to a crowdsourced stress map when drivers get too close anyway.

Birmingham, England is finally getting around to installing bike lanes at an intersection where a young doctor was killed riding her bike four years ago.

British Transport Police are looking for a pair thieves who threatened a man with a weapon and wrested his bicycle away from while on board a train near Glasgow.

A 42-year old mother in the UK will spend the next five years behind bars for fleeing the scene following a drunk and stoned crash that killed a 61-year old man riding a bike; she told police the damage to her car was from hitting a fox. Although there may be a slight difference in size between a little fox and a grown man on a bicycle. 

An Aussie bike rider shares what it’s like to be dive-bombed by a swooping magpie.

 

Competitive Cycling

Fumiyuki Beppu, the first Japanese cyclist to reach racing’s highest level, called it a career after two full decades on the WorldTour.

 

Finally…

An ebike for people who like to pretend they’re on a modern motorcycle. When rumble strips protect the cars, not the other way around.

And that feeling when there’s an SUV parked on your singletrack trail.

https://twitter.com/SarahJ_Berry/status/1457115150583013380?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1457115150583013380%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-8-november-2021-287627

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

Feds say bike with a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you, new Bike League report, and CD13 mobility debate

Evidently, the feds want you to wear a beacon so self-driving cars won’t kill you.

The recently passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill contains a provision intended to speed up the use of beacons to help autonomous vehicles identify people walking and biking, which has presented problems for their developers.

Here’s what Carlton Reid has to say about it.

An easy to miss part of the Act also formalizes the acceptance of so-called “vehicle to everything” (V2X) technology that, on the face of it, promises enhanced safety on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists…

This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

While it might improve safety from autonomous vehicles, those “vehicle to everything” beacons really just shift carmaker’s responsibility for designing and building safe vehicles onto literally everyone else.

It also continues the current automotive hegemony, in which everyone else has to live in fear of the big, dangerous machines. And indefinitely delays the desperately needed transition to transit and active transportation.

But no big deal, right? It’s only the future of our cities and the planet we’re talking about.

The only way I might be willing to wear a beacon when I ride is if, and only if, every car on the road is required to have a compatible warning sensor.

Even if every last one has to be recalled and retrofit.

Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels.

Will even little kids like him have to be beaconize just so carmakers won’t have to program their damn killer cars to see them?

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Meanwhile, Streetsblog takes a look at what’s in the infrastructure bill.

And what’s not.

Like Biden’s promise to fix existing streets and highways before building new ones.

Politico also reported that the bill shelved the “fix-it first” promises that President Biden made when he ran for the White House.

“The House-passed surface transportation bill would have prioritized this kind of ‘fix it first,’ and also would have made states measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” the outlet reported. “But the House bill got sidelined in favor of the more bipartisan Senate version over the summer.”

The bill continues the decades-old focus on highway funding, with $300 million to be allocated to the states for pretty much whatever the hell they want to do with it.

Which in most cases means more induced-demand inducing highways and interchanges.

The bill also includes a modest $39 million in transit funding, though the article notes more transit funding is included in the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better bill currently stalled in the House — when and if it ever passes.

California is in line for an extra $5.8 billion in highway funds over the next five years, but will have to compete with other states for a share of the $11 billion in safety funds for bicycling and walking budgeted in the bill.

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For the first time in eight years, the Bike League has issued a new report on the current state of bicycling.

The new report from the League of American Bicyclists, titled Reconnecting to the New Majority, is intended to reflect the changing demographics surrounding bikes, to “ensure that all people – particularly Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) – have access to safe bicycling, and further progress actions that promote equity in bicycling.”

Among the key findings,

  • More people of Latin heritage are riding bicycles, while fewer Black people are;
  • Bicycling deaths have increased significantly since the 2013 report, disproportionately affecting people of color;
  • Potential interactions with police are a deterrent to bicycling for people of color and younger people.

And as with virtually every other report on the subject, it shows that more people would be willing to ride if they had better infrastructure and safer places to park their bikes, along with better bicycle training.

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Streets For All is hosting a mobility-focused debate for the candidates vying for Mitch O’Farrell’s seat in CD13 next week.

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You’ve got to be kidding.

If a roadway is so wide that you need a sign telling drivers it’s not a traffic lane, it’s more than wide enough for a road diet. And protected bike lanes.

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While Los Angeles has forgotten all about the groundbreaking mobility plan that was supposed to transform the city, Barcelona is busy forging ahead with a post-car future.

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Clearly, Scottish bike rider care about the climate and the future of our earth.

Maybe someday, we can get LA’s bike community to care that much about anything.

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Madame Curry was one of us, along with her husband.

More proof that she really was a genius.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457211209069912071

And maybe it’s just me, but this looks a lot like the original railing at Palisades Park, overlooking the 101 and the Santa Monica pier.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1457435610659139590

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Here’s one good deed for the day.

A Brazilian man on a bike stopped traffic so an elderly woman could get across the street safely.

https://twitter.com/GoodNewsMoveme3/status/1454151785023778823?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1454151785023778823%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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A billionaire Conservative British Parliament Member may be a “keen cyclist” who just bought a new bike, but he’s no fan of popup bike lanes. Especially making them permanent.

https://twitter.com/ldnparks/status/1456322436031467523?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1456322436031467523%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-5-november-2021-287559

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You don’t have to understand German to get this one, as a driver wants to fight a group of bike riders, apparently just for being.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. A witness followed an alleged drunk driver in Santa Cruz, who admitted to fleeing the scene after intentionally running down a bike rider. But they can’t press hit-and-run or vehicular assault charges because they don’t have victim, because he left the scene, too.

Once again, someone has sabotaged a bike trail, after an apparent anti-bike terrorist planted 60 sharpened metal spikes on a Tahoe multi-use offroad trail. When and if they find the person responsible, they should be charged with assault, if not attempted murder; spikes could seriously injure or kill a bike rider or hiker who falls on one, or has a tire blow out while riding downhill.

A Greeley, Colorado letter writer argues that the city’s bike lanes are under utilized, because they’re not swarming with people on bikes at the exact times he happens to drive by.

Ugly confrontation on a DC street, as a bike rider taps on the trunk of a car parked in a bike lane, and also blocking the wheelchair curb cut at the intersection, and asks them to move, to which the driver and his passenger take no end of offense for having the audacity to touch his car.

No irony here. A British city councilor who threatened to paint over a set of bike lanes herself is furious when someone painted them back themselves.

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

Culver City police are looking for a bike-riding robber who stole a man’s bicycle at gunpoint while he was riding on Sawtelle Blvd near Braddock Drive last month, claiming the bike belonged to the gunman’s friend.

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Local

Metro is moving forward with plans to finally extend to LA River bike path roughly eight miles south, from Elysian Valley through Downtown Los Angeles to the City of Maywood; the agency will hold a pair of virtual public meetings on November 13th and November 17th to talk about it. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the link.

LADOT’s Connect the Green program is intended to calm traffic and create safe connections along neighborhood streets designed to help people bike and walk safely, with less stress. Which sounds a lot like reinventing the wheel just to come up with the already approved network of Bicycle Friendly Streets mapped that were out in the 2010 bike plan.

Metro presents a self-guided bike tour of Little Tokyo and the Arts District, as well as offering discounted Metro Bike passes to anyone with a Golden State Advantage card (EBT).

Evidently, Eagle Rock isn’t the only place fighting over the NoHo to Burbank bus rapid transit line, as Burbank debates removing parking spaces to make room for it on their end.

 

State

Calbike offers a recap of this year’s wins and losses at the state legislature, while taking Governor Newsom to task for vetoing the stop as yield bill, as well as the bill that would have legalized crossing the damn street, due to a lack of vision and relying on false information.

Colleagues remember Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, saying her legacy will be tremendous; Chan was killed in a collision while trying to walk her dog across one of Alameda’s most dangerous corridors. Thanks to Sindy for the link.

San Francisco debates what to do after the cops bust a pair of bike thieves with 20 previous arrests between them, as the city’s DA pursues criminal justice reform. I’m all for criminal justice reform. But just how how many second chances should career criminals get?

A judge rules that felony charges are merited against a Davis bike thief who snatched a bait bike valued at $1,700, well over the $950 threshold for felony theft. Yet the LAPD still can’t use them, thanks to a City Attorney opinion that bait bikes could be seen as entrapment.

 

National

Streetsblog says it’s time for America to get serious about bike parking, noting that a key part of the $290 million plan to make the city 100% bikeable is a commitment to build 130,000 new places for bicyclists to store their bikes at the end of their ride.

USA Today recommends renting an ebike or taking a guided ebike tour on your next vacation, while the Wall Street Journal recommends buying a light one you can actually carry — if you can actually get past their paywall to read it.

Bicycling recommends the 20 best gifts for bike riders that will “truly enhance” their rides. After all, who doesn’t want to find chamois butt cream in their stocking? As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

Bicycling also rates 22 road bikes you can buy right now. And for a change, prices starting at less than $500. Once again, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

CityLab reports on VanMoof’s stolen bike hunters, who fulfill the company’s promise to find or replace any of their ebikes that get stolen in the first three years after purchase — as long as you pay their $398 fee.

An Oregon man was found dead after apparently crashing his bicycle into a traffic sign placed in the roadway. Which is exactly why temporary signs should never be placed in bike lanes, on highway shoulders or on the right side of the traffic lane.

A Washington man used his Apple AirTag to find his stolen ebike, and snatched it back from the dozing thief himself after the cops failed to show up.

Hats off to this 80-year old Illinois man, who has fought the effects of Parkinson’s for the past 45 years by riding a bike, even if he has to do it indoors.

An Ohio columnist calls on a hit-and-run driver to turn himself in, after the primary suspect insists he hit a deer, rather than killing an 18-year old man riding a bike.

A Boston woman faces charges for killing a 69-year old man riding a bike while she was driving distracted, allegedly blowing through a stop sign while she was FaceTiming with someone as her kid was crying in the backseat. Although the kid wouldn’t have been that big a distraction if she had actually been paying attention to what she was doing.

The New York Times rides every inch of the state’s new 750-mile bike route stretching from Manhattan to the Canadian border.

A New Orleans woman can look forward to spending the next 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a young father riding a bicycle, along with a handful of drug charges.

A Louisiana appeals court tossed the 90-year sentence given a convicted drunk, speeding driver who ran down a group of bike riders attending a Mardi Gras parade, killing two people; the court sent the case back for a new sentencing hearing because the judge didn’t give a reason for imposing the maximum sentence.

 

International

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is one of us, which we learned the hard way after he needed surgery on his lips following a fall of his bike; Shapps credits his helmet with preventing a more serious injury.

Nothing like watching a bike thief use an axel grinder to steal a bicycle outside a UK shopping mall in broad daylight. And simply ignoring it when challenged about it.

A Jewish military hero’s grave was reconsecrated after he was mistakenly buried as a Catholic; the Austrian native served as an interpreter and bike messenger for the British in WWII, riding his bike under heavy fire to get a medical team for an ambushed commando unit, then persuading an entire company of Nazi soldiers to surrender.

After a Russian spy somehow fell — or was pushed — to his death in Berlin, his case is tied to the murder of a former Georgian rebel commander, whose killer used an ebike and e-scooter in an elaborate escape plan.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, as Road.cc recommends exploring the natural beauty of Montenegro’s Balkan Black Mountain state.

Around 32,750 people took park in Dubai’s annual open streets event, enjoying a few precious carfree hours on a ten-lane, skyscraper-lined superhighway.

Over 130 bike riders from multiple countries raised $30,000 for Cambodian orphans.

An Aussie driver has been fined for driving with one hand while ghost riding a bicycle alongside the car with the other.

 

Competitive Cycling

The legendary 7-11 cycling team nearly missed out on its first Tour de France in 1986 when Ronald Reagan’s bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi threatened to derail their entire season.

 

Finally…

When you think e-foldies, the first name that comes to mind is…Honeywell? That feeling when a four-year old rides a unicycle and a balance bike better than I do on two wheels.

And here’s one way to get drivers to slow down.

https://twitter.com/BikeThisCity/status/1457158982347284480

………

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

Murder charge for Oxnard hit-and-run, bike lane funds stalled in infrastructure bill, and take Metro to Sunday’s CicLAvia

Ventura County prosecutors threw the book at the alleged hit-and-run driver who killed a bike-riding boy last week.

Thirty-nine-year old Oxnard resident Julio Sanchez was arrested at his home last Friday, a day after 16-year old Port Hueneme resident Andres Hernandes was run down from behind on an Oxnard street.

Police had found Sanchez’ abandoned car a few hours after the crash.

Sanchez pled not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter with prior DUI convictions, leaving the scene of an accident, and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

At last report, he was being held on a half-million dollars bail.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

……..

This is what we have to look forward to in the unlikely event Congress ever gets its shit together.

More bike lanes that are clearly separated from streets. More pedestrian-friendly street designs. And more safety features on cars

California and other states are in line for a lot more money to implement such plans, thanks to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill the House is considering.

………

The Source reminds us about this Sunday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia. And encourages you to leave the car at home and take Metro, instead.

With your bike, of course. Or your feet, if you plan to walk it.

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A series of free online bicycling symposiums will lead into next year’s California Bicycling Summit in Oakland, with leading bike researchers Ralph Buehler and John Pucher discussing Cycling for Sustainable Cities next Tuesday.

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You may have follow a detour if you’re riding the Ballona Creek bike path for the next several days.

But that’s better than the Higuera Street bridge, which will be closed for more than a year.

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When is a bike lane not a bike lane?

When it’s free protected car parking in DTLA.

https://twitter.com/ChrisByBike/status/1445456484905611269

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Call it a desire line, as the Department of DIY strikes along PCH in Orange County.

………

If you want to ride a bike badly enough, you can usually find a way.

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

No bias here. Enraged New York drivers see an “extraordinary” plot between Uber and Lyft, and a “militant local bike lane group” to deprive them of their God-given right to free parking by building a protected bike lane. Never mind that the ride-hailing companies support the city’s leading bike advocacy group Transportation Alternatives because bike lanes and safe streets are good for their e-scooter and dockless bikeshare businesses. Or that Lyft manages New York’s Citi Bike docked bikeshare, as well. 

Bizarre story from Ontario, Canada, where a woman allegedly threatened two bike-riding teens with a knife after accusing them of being on her property — even though they were on the sidewalk — then apparently ran them down with her car after they tried to leave.

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

Police in New York are looking for a black-clad bike rider who punched a pedestrian in the face as he rode by, then calmly took $100 out of the man’s wallet before riding off.

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Local

Ride Metro buses and trains for free today, as well get free Metro Bike bikeshare rides, to celebrate California Clean Air Day.

LA’s cool pavement project expands to NoHo, promising to reduce temperatures on the streets we ride, which can rise to as high as 140°.

The annual Bike It! Walk It! week returned to Santa Monica schools this week to encourage students to get out of their cars, or their parent’s cars, and walk or ride to class.

Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tomorrow to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

 

State

The San Diego Reader considers whether OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace could be behind the city’s soaring rate of bike thefts.

A woman who’s been hit by drivers twice while riding on Sunnyside’s 39th Street says stop signs and speed bumps aren’t enough to tame the city’s drivers, which is why a bike boulevard is needed. Needless to say, some of her fellow residents disagree.

Tragic news from Stockton, where a 13-year old girl was “struck and killed by a vehicle.” Judging by the article, the driver of said vehicle was apparently only coincidently involved.

Life is cheap in San Ramon, where a distracted driver walked with no charges for running down popular NFL assistant coach Greg Knapp as he was riding his bike, despite admitting to looking at his hands-free cellphone.

 

National

Seriously? The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns about the dangers of micromobility, with e-scooter, ebike and hoverboard injuries up 70% in the last four years, and 71 deaths over the same period. Just wait until someone tells them how many bike riders and pedestrians were killed in the same four years. And it only makes sense that injuries went up since micromobility use has skyrocketed.

Smart Cities says smart cities are beefing up their bike infrastructure in response to the pandemic bike boom. Then again, no one has accused Los Angeles of being a smart city in recent years.

Once again, a science website has concluded that bicycling is better for your overall health than walking. Even if walking ain’t bad.

United Airlines becomes the latest major airline to drop fees to fly with a bicycle, joining American and Delta in making the move.

Electrek examines why ebike sales are increasing 16 times faster than general bicycling. Hint: They’re fun, easy to ride and anyone can do it.

Ford is applying for a patent on a new kind of automated electronic derailleur.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A Las Vegas 4th grade teacher and baton coach was killed while riding her bike to school when a driver blew through a stop sign.

A Denver nonprofit is encouraging bicycling by paying people between 15 and 30 cents per mile to ride a bike this month, for a maximum of $75

Colorado’s legislature has finally figured out the obvious problem with the state’s ridiculous opt-in Idaho Stop, aka Stop as Yield, Law, which allows local jurisdictions to decide whether to adopt it. And leads to confusion when bike riders have no idea when they’ve crossed from one city to another, and whether or not they have to come to a full stop.

A Chicago attorney is offering a reward to find the driver who pulled into a bike lane, where his passenger was caught on camera dooring a passing bike rider.

A Nashville walking and bike advocacy group says a recent deadly scooter crash calls out the need for more bike lanes in the downtown area to meet expanding demand.

Speaking of Nashville, country music star Chris Stapleton is one of us, finding balance by riding a mountain bike during the pandemic.

A seven-year old Long Island boy raised over $4,000 for the heroes of 9/11 by riding his bike 20 miles. And insisted on finishing despite crashing his bike into a thorny fence, saying he wasn’t in as much pain as people on 9/11.

A new study reveals what they describe as the “harrowing safety risks” faced by New York’s app-based delivery riders, with half of riders reporting they’ve been involved in a crash or some other incident.

New York police busted a 14-year old boy for randomly attacking several older Brooklyn residents, including an 81-year old man and a man riding a bicycle.

DC is now requiring e-scooter users to lock their scooters to a bike rack when they’re done, which isn’t likely to improve safety or reduce clutter, while blocking parking access to bike riders who need it.

No bias here, either. After initially fleeing the scene, a Florida hit-and-run driver returned to blame the victim, insisting he didn’t know “why that person was in the road;” fortunately, he was arrested anyway.

 

International

Where to rent a bike on your next trip to Tobago.

Ontario, Canada’s equivalent of the Motor City used to be a bicycling paradise — if you go back 130 years.

After England suffers major flooding, a London cabbie somehow blames bike lanes for causing it. Which doesn’t explain why the streets without them flooded, too.

A man from Jersey spent his pandemic lockdown filming bike rides on routes throughout the British island, allowing bike riders around the world to share his rides from the comfort of their own homes.

Britain’s ongoing gas shortage has led to a 119% jump in bike sales, with sales of commuter bikes up 194%.

British advocates argue that bicycle infrastructure has to extend to rural areas, as well as cities, after a 43% jump in bike deaths on country roads last year.

A writer for the UK version of GQ accepts a challenge to ride the full length of the country, and shares what it was like to cover 970 miles in a week and a half riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

More proof life is cheap in Great Britain, where a hit-and-run driver gets a lousy 12 months behind bars for killing the 31-year old daughter of a member of Parliament as she was riding her bike.

Dutch neurologists call on people in the bicycle-riding country to wear bike helmets, despite — or maybe because — virtually no one does, even though Dutch riders suffer roughly 16,500 bicycling brain injuries each year.

France is offering drivers the equivalent of $2,975 to trade in their old smog-belching cars for clean new ebikes.

High-end Italian bikemaker Colnago says their blockchain cryptosecurity is the solution to bike theft, but you’ll just have to trust them on that. But at least you can trust Yahoo to let you read it if Bicycling won’t.

A trio of Aussie researchers analyzed bikeshare data from 40 international cities to determine where bike riders are most likely to brave the rain and snow, with Dublin, Ireland and Seville and Valencia, Spain taking the lead.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers a cyclist’s-eye view of last weekend’s Paris-Roubaix.

Longtime Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche is calling it a career after 17 years in the pro peloton.

There’s more than one way to stop when you don’t trust your disk brakes.

 

Finally…

This may just be the best bike name ever. Who needs rain gear when you can carry a roof with you?

And that feeling when you try to steal the same bait bike twice.

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

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