Tag Archive for Jay Walljasper

Biking in America’s most dangerous city, LA bike and pedestrian deaths down, and longtime bike advocate dies

Congratulations, Angelenos.

You now officially live and ride in the most dangerous place in the United States.

And that’s not even counting Covid cases.

Let alone LA drivers.

Photo by Danne from Pexels.

………

Oddly enough, though, LA County streets were a little less dangerous last year.

Crosstown says while LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s efforts have failed, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a steep drop in pedestrian deaths, succeeding where he couldn’t.

We’ve seen a similar drop in bicycling fatalities, with just 16 deaths in all of LA County last year, compared to 34 in 2019.

Never mind the mind-blowing decline in bicycle collisions we mentioned last month, dropping 90% in September compared to the year before, and 70% for the year as a whole.

The question remains why, since motor vehicle traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels, while bicycle ridership is up.

Maybe it’s safety in numbers. Or maybe there’s something else going on.

………

More sad news.

………

Mitt Romney is one of us. Or was, anyway.

………

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

Once again, someone has sabotaged a British bike trail, planting upright nails in the dirt to puncture the tires of unsuspecting riders, with the potential for serious injuries.

………

Local

It looks like Adams Blvd could get a new bike lane on a two-mile stretch between Fairfax and Crenshaw. As always though, what if anything ends up on the streets depends on how loudly the drivers and NIMBYs complain.

A Santa Clarita radio station picks up tips on how to ride in the snow, which apparently first appeared on a Virginia website. Even if most SoCal bicyclists are unlikely to encounter snow unless they go looking for it.

 

State

San Diego is opening a new $135 million bridge over Mission Bay to replace an aging span that will be demolished and recycled; a 12-foot wide bike and pedestrian lane should be finished sometime next year.

 

National

Now we’re starting to get somewhere. A new clip-on, throttle controlled motor promises to convert your bicycle to an ebike in just minutes, for around four hundred bucks.

Self picks their favorite bike helmets for women.

New above-the-ear earbuds from Bose promise to keep you safe on the road by allowing you to hear the sounds around you; these headphones from AfterShokz make the same promise. But just try explaining that to the cop who’s writing you up for having one in each ear.

The owner of Phoenix, Arizona’s Bicycle Nomad Cafe completed his second 2,200 mile bike journey to retrace the route of escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad, riding with a reluctant partner from New Orleans to Niagara Falls.

Los Angeles didn’t get a single bike lane on PeopleForBike’s ranking of the top ten bikeways in the US; Austin Texas — with just a quarter of the population — got two.

A Milwaukee man went from fixing bikes for his neighbors to opening a new bike shop, thanks to the increased demand from the pandemic-induced bike boom.

A new study shows New York has consistently failed to follow through on plans to install bike parking, resulting in just one space for every 116 bicycles; that compares with 1.5 spaces for every registered motor vehicle. Then again, drivers aren’t exactly happy with the situation, either.

Horrible news from Jacksonville, Florida, where a pair of bike crashes just ten minutes apart left one woman dead, and another man fighting for his life.

Florida residents have rallied round a new local bike shop, after a Good Samaritan stopped a burglar from breaking in and held him for the police.

 

International

British bike shops have been given the okay to remain open, despite the country’s slide into its third pandemic lockdown.

A former mountain biker who competed for the UK says ebikes helped him get his life back, despite a serious heart condition that means never raising his heart rate above sedentary levels.

Named “low carbon heroes” by the Welsh Government, a British couple are helping get more people on bikes during the lockdown by refurbishing old bicycles and converting them to ebikes.

Dutch bike cops will now have flashing blue lights on their bikes to identify themselves as the police. No word on whether they will also make siren noises with their mouths.

I like it. South Africa’s Stay Wider of the Rider campaign reminds drivers to give bike riders more space on the roads.

A pair of Malaysian cities plan to improve safety for bike riders by converting under-used motorcycle lanes into bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Tips talks with American cycling legend Connie Carpenter-Phinney, road cycling Gold Medal winner in the ’84 Olympics and one of the era’s top women’s pros; she’s also the wife of fellow Olympic cyclist David Phinney, and the mother of recently retired pro Taylor Phinney.

Apparently, British women’s cycling great Beryl Burton doesn’t get any respect these days.

 

Finally…

Maybe you should put bicycling under job skills on your resume. Bribing firefighters with a bike to take their Covid-19 vaccine.

And that feeling when you go out for potatoes and come home with a new bicycle.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

Morning Links: Crowdfunding for new bike book, ‘tis the season for bike giveaways, and a call to ban bikes

A new crowdfunding campaign is raising funds to publish a new book about the growth of bicycling in the US, by Jay Walljasper and Pedal Love’s Melissa Balmer.

Here’s what she had to say.

This book tells of the David & Goliath showdown between the U.S. Bike Movement and the National Highway Lobby in in 1997 + 1998 which saved and expanded federal funding not only for bicycling, but walking and public transit too, and set the stage for biking to flourish into the future.

It’s also a story about the real people heroes who’ve transformed their own lives by bike and are helping others and their communities do the same. People like Megan Ramey + BIKABOUT Monica Garrison + Black Girls Do Bike Barb Chamberlain Gandy Charlie Jonathan Maus + BikePortland.org Cynthia Rose + Santa Monica Spoke Renee Yvonne + Deb Hubsmith + Safe Routes to School National Partnership Maria Boustead + Po Campo Gail Copus Spann + League of American Bicyclists Marin Tockman + Robin Lennon Bylenga + Pedal Chic Kellie J Morris Kit Keller Deana Acklin Andy Clarke Jeff Miller Claudia WaskoSarai Snyder + CycloFemme Maria Sipin + Multicultural Communities for Mobility Walk Bike Places Anne Poarch • Poetry + Basket & Bike Tamika Butler, Dave Snyder + California Bicycle Coalition and more! To make this book happen we need your financial support too! Our perks start at just $3 and everyone who supports this campaign gets thanks in the book: https://igg.me/at/surprisingpromiseofbicycling.

………

‘Tis the season.

LA City Council President Herb Wesson’s team builds 1,000 bicycles for South LA students.

Dozens of kids in Santa Maria received new bikes thanks the local Elks Lodge, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition and other nonprofits.

Thirty-three San Jose kids got new bikes from a nonprofit organization.

Marin County firefighters have collected 210 bicycles for kids affected by the recent North Bay fires.

Kindhearted Utah cops buy a new bike for an eight-year old boy after his was destroyed by vandals.

A West Virginia boy fulfills an anonymous little girl’s wish and gives her a bicycle.

A Virginia sheriff’s department has launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy a bicycle for a special needs kid.

………

A writer for a financial paper calls for banning bicycles, saying bike lanes take up more space than they free up, cause pollution and drain public finances.

All of which are easily disproved with a little research.

But evidently, he’d rather settle for what the voices in his own head tell him that look it up himself.

………

This is day eleven of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

Help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

………

Local

A letter writer in the LA Times says using infrastructure to slow drivers down would be a boon to all who use our roads without a car, while another says road diets are behind the recent increase in pedestrian fatalities — even though numerous studies shows they slow traffic and improve safety.

The LA Auto Show currently under way at the convention center features a few ebikes and e-scooters, as well.

The LA city council moves forward with plans to establish a bike traffic school in lieu of paying traffic fines, just like drivers have done for decades. So topless comedy bike schools can’t be far behind.

Bike thefts are down in Claremont, despite a spike for the holidays.

 

State

A 39-year old bike rider was critically injured in a Fullerton collision Friday evening.

A pair of Santa Barbara men have started a new ebike company, and will donate a new road bike through World Bicycle Relief for every one sold.

 

National

A LinkedIn writer says might as well face it we’re addicted to cars.

Caught on video: A father saves his son from a certain crash while teaching him to ride a bike. And the internet freaks out because the kid wasn’t wearing a helmet.

A health website offers the answers to every awkward bicycling question your relatives are likely to ask at Christmas. Or Chanukah.

People for Bikes says no town is too small for quality bikeways, as a Washington town of just 20,000 people builds a neighborhood bikeway, aka bike boulevard. Unlike, say, Los Angeles.

Tragic news from Las Vegas, where a Good Samaritan was shot and killed after attempting to chase down an armed robber on his bike.

According to a local TV station, a Milwaukee holiday bike ride either had dozens of bicycling Santas, or 2,500. Just a slight difference there.

An Indianapolis man entertains people stuck in traffic by riding his bike backwards.

A road raging Connecticut bike rider faces charges for chasing down a speeding driver and spitting in his face; the road raging driver faces charges for running him down in response.

Speaking of road diets, not a single bicyclist or pedestrian has been killed on New York’s infamous “Boulevard of Death” since a road diet was installed three years ago; 186 people had been killed on the street in the prior 24 years. Maybe someone should show that to the Times letter writer.

Here’s your chance to ride across Louisiana in the company of five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault. Who still has his trophies, unlike a few American ex-Tour winners we could name.

The UPS ebikes have spread to Fort Lauderdale.

Designer Paul Frank has put his unique stamp on 200 Orlando FL bikeshare bikes.

 

International

An Ontario man gets 180 days for punching bike shop employees who refused to return the stolen bicycle he was trying to sell; he was already on probation for sex crimes.

A new report shows London’s protected cycle superhighways carry five times as many people as the roads they’re next to.

A London writer says the problem with dockless bikeshare is expecting others to learn how to share.

Don’t believe everything you read on social media. A British man is out the equivalent of $134 after ordering an ebike he saw in a Facebook ad. Seriously, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The UK’s transportation agency says bike-only lanes could save hundreds of lives in Scotland.

A Welsh man takes his first bike ride in 20 years — a 1,000-mile jaunt to Spain.

A Dublin letter writer says bicyclists are at the bottom of the traffic pecking order.

An Irish paper remembers a bike-riding dog from the 1950s.

An Indian father has ridden his bike nearly 1,000 miles looking for his disabled 11-year old son who disappeared six months ago.

An Aussie driver gets a $400 fine for buzzing a bike rider who he says abused him. Because really, it’s so easy to abuse someone who’s safely ensconced in two tons of steel and glass.

A Japanese man is riding his bike around Taiwan for the fourth time to show his thanks for the country’s support following Japan’s 2011 earthquake.

A letter writer says dockless bikeshare can help make Singapore a cycling city again.

 

Competitive Cycling

Giro d’Italia officials made Israel happy by removing a reference to West Jerusalem from its website; Palestinians, not so much. And no, Chris Froome won’t get a two million euro start fee, after all.

An ex-Marine from Ohio has reclaimed his world record by riding 415.2 miles in 24 hours on a fixie, as he gears up for next year’s RAAM.

A Portuguese man living in Wales set five new world cycling records in 24 hours, just a few months removed from living on the streets.

A cycling website interviews former pro Phil Gaimon about his new book.

If you’re going to dope, don’t break up with your supplier; US mountain biker Jenna Blandford gets a four-year ban after she was turned in by a spiteful ex-boyfriend.

 

Finally…

Your next bike shorts could be more connected than a New Jersey wiseguy. Probably not the best idea to speed past orange cones and construction workers to jump an open trench.

And if you already have an outstanding warrant, don’t ride your bike drunk.

Or get hit by a car, for that matter.

………

On a personal note, my wife finally came home from the hospital yesterday, making this officially the best Monday I’ve had in a very long time. Thanks to everyone who has sent their support during these past weeks.

 

%d bloggers like this: