Tag Archive for jaywalking

PCH widening will put bikes in door zone, support urged for CA bike/ped safety bills, and Branson lied about biking to launch

Nothing like sacrificing bike safety on the altar of parking that hasn’t even been built yet.

Malibu is finally getting around to widening a two-mile stretch of deadly PCH between Webb Way and Puerco Canyon Road to improve safety for people on bicycles.

Except instead of adding bike lanes, they’re merely widening the shoulder so there’s room to add parking, while allowing bikes to share the space on the side of the roadway with the new parked cars.

Which means instead of dodging cars in the traffic lanes, bicyclists will now have to dodge swinging doors from parked cars. And risk getting knocked into those traffic lanes in front of speeding drivers if they don’t.

So if you ride the coast highway, tell everyone you know to tune into Monday’s virtual meeting of the Malibu Planning Commission.

And tell them to go back to the drawing board.

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Streets For All has made a number of calls to urge support for important transportation safety bills in the state legislature in recent days.

Unfortunately, most have come too late to repeat here, with the deadline for comments coming before you’d likely have a chance to see it and respond.

However, this one is different.

The LA traffic safety PAC is urging you to send an email before 4 pm today to support a pair of common sense bills allowing bike riders to treat stop signs as yields, and eliminating the state’s blanket prohibition on jaywalking.

Two bills to make our streets safer and friendlier for walking and biking have passed the Senate Transportation Committee and will soon be voted on by the Senate Appropriations Committee:

  • AB 122 would legalize the safety stop, allowing people on bikes to yield at stop signs. Eight states and a number of local jurisdictions have already taken this measure, and research has shown a reduction in bicycle injuries of up to 23% as a result.
  • AB 1238 would replace the archaic ban on “jaywalking” with common sense rules for crossing the street. Today’s laws are used as a pretext for racial profiling and originated from auto industry pressure and corruption.

Both of these bills are important for democratizing our street space. It is time for the rules of the road to reflect the needs of different users, rather than just motorists.

Please use our template below to email a comment to the Appropriations Committee by 4 PM on Wednesday, July 14. Feel free to add your own message, and remember to enter your name and address at the bottom for your comment to be considered.

Streets For All offers an email template you can modify and send to show your support for the bills, with the correct email addresses already included.

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Speaking of Streets For All, Joe Linton politely pointed out that I got the date wrong, and the group’s Zoom happy hour with UCLA parking expert and professor emeritus Donald Shoup is from 5 to 6 pm this evening, rather than last night.

Confirming once again that I have no idea what the hell day it is any more.

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That bike commute billionaire Richard Branson took to get to Sunday’s maiden launch of his Virgin Galactic flight into space?

Never happened.

According to Reuters, an anonymous company official admitted it was all a publicity stunt, and the famous ride was actually staged nearly a week before the brief flight.

Never mind that the faked video was supposed to form the basis for a cross-promotion with Trek, which will now be left looking like fools if they use it as originally planned.

Next they’ll probably tell us the flight was staged, too.

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This is who we share the road with.

A Seattle bike rider was confronted by a road-raging driver, apparently for the crime of not confronting him when the motorist made a dangerous and illegal turn to go the wrong way on a traffic circle, and the rider just shook his head and went around him.

Then this —

It’s worth clicking on the tweets to read the whole tread, because most of us have been in similar situations with angry drivers.

And if you haven’t yet, chances are you will.

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That feeling when an Austin, Texas bike lane is just a feeder route for Pennywise the Clown.

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Oh, nothing. Just someone riding a bike one handed, with a bag suspended on his handlebars and a sofa on his head.

@albeezyyyyyy

One man moving company

♬ original sound – Albert Molina

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

There’s a special place in hell for a St. Louis hit-and-run driver who murdered two people at once when he ran down a 19-year old woman riding her bike home from work, despite being six months pregnant.

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

A California appeals court upheld the 16-year sentence for a man who calmly rode off on his bicycle after fatally stabbing an acquaintance in a South LA parking lot.

An Ohio man was shot by police when he pulled a knife on a cop, after he was stopped for carrying a baseball bat on his bike in an early morning incident.

New York police are looking for a Brooklyn bike rider who groped a woman’s ass as she walked on a sidewalk, then yanked down her top, exposing her breasts, before riding off. But at least the cops managed to get a damn good security cam image of the schmuck’s face before he disappeared.

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Local

The Bike Shop offers a look at last month’s Culver City Pride Ride.

Streetsblog looks at some of the 31 grants made to SoCal cities and groups as part of SCAG’s Go Human campaign, focusing on three in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

State

This is who we share the road with. A San Diego driver crashed his car not once, not twice, but thrice in just a few blocks while allegedly driving under the influence of…something.

Seriously? At least some San Diego residents are complaining that a new coastal bike path is too wide, arguing that it’s designed more like a highway.

Kern County advocacy group Bike Bakersfield offers tips for riding in hot summer weather. Which is something we’re all going to have to get used to.

San Luis Obispo has a shiny new protected intersection, the city’s first. But needless to say, some drivers find it confusing.

Participants in this year’s Pedal the Pacific campaign stop in Santa Cruz on their 1,700-mile ride down the Left Coast to call attention to sex trafficking. Note to Santa Cruz Sentinel — Just because a group of young women are riding together, a cycling team that does not make.

A Bay Area TV station explains what a bicycle superhighway is, as plans move forward for one in Santa Clara County.

Forbes tests Brompton’s new ebike foldie on the hills of San Francisco.

Sad news from Merced, where a 64-year old Ventura County man is under arrest for the hit-and-run death of a 22-year old man after rear-ending his bicycleNote to cowards — If you’re going to run after a fatal crash, take your damn license plate with you. Or better yet, don’t.

 

National

Axios demonstrates a keen grasp of the obvious, observing that the US has a lot to learn from Europe when it comes to bike friendly cities.

While bikemakers everywhere are struggling to get the parts they need during the pandemic bike boom, Seattle-based ebike maker Rad Power has cut 50 days off the supply chain simply by shifting overseas deliveries to a different port that isn’t so backed up.

A Colorado woman is on trial for murder after shooting an alleged meth-using man who had threatened her after she threw his bicycles and drug paraphernalia into the trash.

A San Antonio, Texas bike ride will stop at a pair of the city’s murals promoting vaccinations to call attention to the need to get your shot to fight Covid-19. And yes, that means you.

Kindhearted Pittsburgh firefighters made a little kid’s day by doing a little repair work after he flagged them over to fix the broken training wheels on his bike.

New York Streetsblog complains that the city’s Department of Transportation doesn’t care that a protected bike lane is being blocked by construction work.

 

International

London’s Independent recommends gear for people inspired to ride by the Tour de France.

Here’s your chance to own Princess Diana’s childhood chopper bicycle, if you have a spare thirty to forty grand lying around.

The 72-year old aide on the British version of The Apprentice will be off the show for the foreseeable future after falling off his ebike, and undergoing a number of surgeries due to the “horrific” crash.

 

Competitive Cycling

By the time you read this, Tadej Pogačar will be deeply engaged in defending his yellow jersey in the penultimate mountain top Pyrénées finish in the Tour de France, offering competitors just two more chances to realistically deny him a second straight title.

Pogačar is expressing his confusion over the “strange” tactics other teams are using, at the same time they’re complaining about his team.

Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome says Pogačar has the race all wrapped up as long as he keeps his bike upright during the final week.

Cycling Weekly fills in the details on Aussie cyclist Lachlan Morton’s solo challenge to beat the peloton into Paris by six days, riding the same routes followed by the Tour de France, plus every mile in between. Morton’s ride has raised nearly half a million dollars for World Bicycle Relief, enough to send 3,110 rugged new bicycles to Africa for people in need. Although Bike Radar seems more concerned with his bikepacking rig.

Rouleur celebrates Marianne Vos’ record 30 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia Donne, which used to be known as the Giro Rosa, and her decade-long domination of women’s cycling.

Three-time world champ Peter Sagan is officially out of the Tokyo Olympics after the Slovak Olympic Committee and Cycling Federation said he won’t recover from recent knee surgery in time to compete.

Outside challenges you to take part in one of their favorite bike races this summer.

 

Finally…

That feeling when the ‘bent bike that drops you looks like a banana. Get a new bike for the price of a canned iced tea — but only if you live north of the border.

And good thing bike riders tend to wear quick drying clothes.

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

 

Former NTSB official says no deaths should be the only goal, legalize crossing the street, and building the 15 minute city

She gets it.

A former acting chair and board member of the NTSB says we know how to prevent traffic deaths.

And the only rational goal should be zero.

Sometimes I arrived at the scene of a business jet or helicopter crash, other times it was a train derailment, once it was a cargo ship lost in a hurricane — always, it involved a tragic loss of life. But despite the terrible toll of motor vehicle deaths on our nation, I never launched to the scene of a traffic crash. Why? Perhaps because the NTSB only has the capacity to investigate a handful of vehicle crashes each year. Perhaps because there weren’t any crashes classified as major disasters when I was on duty. But in 2019, more than 36,000 deaths were recorded on U.S. roads, so an average of nearly 700 traffic deaths occurred every week I was on duty.

Yet our nation doesn’t think of a traffic crash as a disaster, since deaths typically occur one or two at a time. Many of us don’t believe that every road death is preventable. As a nation, we haven’t yet decided that we can protect everyone, including the most vulnerable among us who use our streets and highways — people who are younger or older, people who are walking or biking, people with disabilities. We accept tens of thousands of deaths on our roads every year as simply unavoidable “accidents,” even though we have proven solutions to prevent them.

It’s worth a few minutes to read.

Because she’s right. There’s no acceptable number of traffic deaths.

And it’s long past time we did something about it.

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Los Angeles Walks is joining with partners across the state on Monday for a national discussion about jaywalking and efforts to decriminalize it.

Like their sponsorship of AB 1238, aka the Freedom to Walk Act, which would get rid of California’s jaywalking law, which is too often used to target people of color.

You can register for the webinar here.

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Streets For All hosts what promises to be a fascinating discussion with the creator of the Paris 15 Minute City Plan on May 11th.

The plan, which is currently being implemented in Paris, promises to put everything you need within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride, anywhere in the city.

The LA transportation PAC is also asking for you to take a stand in support for a proposal to make Calfornia’s Slow Streets permanent by emailing the Assembly Committee on Local Government by this coming Wednesday.

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Give credit where credit is due.

Unless you’re LADOT, evidently.

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Bike Talk discusses the bible of traffic engineers this Friday, which is undergoing its first revision in a decade.

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A periodic reminder that bicycle are mobility devices.

And bike lanes help older and disabled people get around, without having to rely on a car.

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Hats off to a kindhearted Cambridge MA cop, who took a few moments out of his day for an impromptu bike ride with a little boy.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

A British bicyclist had to call off a fundraising ride across the country after a group of jerks men pushed him off his bike around the hallway point. Which makes the real victims the cancer charity he was raising funds for, and the people they could have helped.

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

Police in Ontario, Canada are looking for a bike rider who fled the scene after crashing his bike into a trash bin, while towing a trailer filled with 31 pounds of cannabis. And a guitar.

A bike-riding British thief uses his head to balance the spa he just stole.

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

San Diego opens a new South Bay campground and bike park. But not together, unfortunately.

A Bakersfield bike path could be underwater through today, thanks to a water line break.

Speaking of Bakersfield, the city will kick off Bike Month with a solidarity ride this Saturday.

Trek CEO John Burke penned a heartfelt ode to his penpal Joe Shami, the 86-year old Legend of Mount Diablo, who was killed in a collision with a driver on yet another ride up the mountain earlier this month.

Bay Area transportation officials marked the beginning of Bike Month by announcing nine Bike Champion of the Year winners, honoring one person from each county in the Bay region for their commitment to bicycling.

The rich get richer. The Sacramento region is planning a bike freeway network connecting area cities, which could require an another 300 miles of trails in addition to the 450 miles already on the ground.

 

National

The Associated Press says give mom an ebike this year.

Outside says it’s time for a federal ebike tax credit.

AARP takes a look a look at bicycling over 55, including what to look for in a new bike, bikes for people with mobility issues, how to be safer on your bike, and eight of the nation’s top rail trails, including the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

Pop Sugar recommends ten padded bike shorts to make your ride — and presumably, your wallet — more comfortable.

Bicycling considers how to advocate for and protect the trails you ride this summer. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. And they probably will.

Even Honolulu is building a protected bike lane network.

The newest edition of Oregon’s state bicycling manual gets rid of labels in favor of more inclusive people-first language.

In a common lament across the country, Omaha, Nebraska has more bikeshare bikes than ever. Just not enough safe places to ride them.

They get it. A new survey shows Pittsburgh residents overwhelmingly support bike lanes, walking routes and reduced speed limits. And think traffic injuries are a major problem. Maybe someday someone will finally get around to asking Angelenos those same questions, so our elected leaders might finally see that the car-first crowd is just a very loud minority.

New York has sent a cease and desist order to a new rival to the city’s Citi Bike bikeshare system, saying the privately run dockless bikeshare isn’t authorized to do business in the city.

A New Jersey DJ pleads with lightless and scofflaw bicyclists to stay safe.

In an overly familiar story, DC traffic deaths continue to climb while Vision Zero funding is stuck in limbo.

Camila Cabello is one of us, as she goes for a bike ride through the streets of Miami.

 

International

Road.cc offers 14 tips on how to make your bike more comfortable. I’m a big fan of padded gloves, new bar tape and better insoles myself.

He gets it. A writer for Innovation Origins says we need more and better bike paths, not more helmet laws.

This is who we share the road with. A newlywed English teenager gets a well-deserved year behind bars for stealing a crate of eggs, then driving his car while friends threw the eggs out the window at passing people and cars, permanently blinding a motorcycle rider in his right eye with a direct hit. He took the fall for his friends, refusing to name who actually tossed the eggs.

Princess Di’s “shame” mixte bike sold for the equivalent of over $61,000, which the palace forced her to sell before her ill-fated marriage to Prince Chuck; the bike went for more than twice the presale estimate.

Add this to your bike bucket list, with eleven “of the best and most beautiful places” to ride your bike in Scotland.

Rouleur looks at the 18k gold framed bike famed Italian bikemaker Ernesto Colnago made for Pope — now Saint — John Paul II.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an elderly man was forced to carry his dead wife’s body on his bicycle for hours after villagers blocked him from the local crematorium for fear of Covid-19, even though there was no confirmation she ever had the disease.

 

Finally…

That feeling when God tells you to start a weekly bike night at the local skatepark.

And let’s consign “savages” to the racist dustbin of history. Even in reference to some truly despicable bike thieves.

Oh, and it’s “thief,” not “thieve.”

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

US bike sales spike during pandemic, California bill would legalize jaywalking, and thick thighs really do save lives

Looks like NPR has discovered the bike boom.

According to the public radio network, bike sales shot up 65% last year as the pandemic encouraged more people to get outside, and find safer ways to get to work, while ebikes sales jumped a whopping 145%.

Both figures would undoubtedly be higher if the unexpected boom hadn’t emptied many shops of bikes to sell — and even higher if factories could have kept up with the demand, as the pandemic affected all aspects of the supply chain.

The question is whether all those new bike buyers will keep riding once the country opens back up.

Or if bad roads, unwelcoming drivers and a lack of decent bike infrastructure will drive them back inside and into their cars.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting wants to toss out the law against jaywalking.

Ting has proposed a bill that would make it legal to cross a street outside of a crosswalk or against a traffic light when safe to do so, saying the current law is arbitrarily enforced and disproportionately affects people of color.

The existing, largely misunderstood statue already allows people to cross mid-block in most areas, only applying on streets controlled by a traffic signal on both ends.

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A new UCLA study shows thick thighs really do save lives, especially in women.

You can thank the higher muscle mass from bicycling for reducing your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, while higher body fat also serves to protect women, but not men.

As usual, you can read the story on Yahoo if the Bicycling site blocks you.

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Go gravel grinding back to the Cold War with Gravel Bike California.

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Give ’em a hand today. Because the streets you ride will depend on them tomorrow.

https://twitter.com/MarisaMangan/status/1375333572773507075

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Maybe it’s just me.

But this new five and a half minute “conspiratorial” short film for Specialized’s Turbo Levo e-mountain bike kind of misses the mark.

In part because it feels like it might have made a much better three minute ad.

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Help promote the country’s longest bikeway for a living.

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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 British city councilor refuses to apologize for agreeing with an off-color tweet about cyclists “wanking off the Dutch.”

The Guardian questions whether “radical” plans to remake the streets will be shut down before the results are in, due to driver outrage and legal challenges, while a London site examines the “fire and fury” ignited by a popup protected bike lane in Kensington.

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

Nothing like nearly getting killed during a live Brazilian remote news broadcast. Fortunately, only her bike paid the price this time.

An idiot on a bike, almost dies twice – on Live TV LOL from IdiotsInCars

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Local

The LACBC’s annual River Ride is being turned into a free virtual event this year. Which won’t help them raise funds, since the River Ride usually brings in a large portion of the nonprofit organization’s operating budget. So maybe send ’em a few bucks when you’re done.

Shia LaBeouf is one of us, riding his bike in Pasadena, while facing a lawsuit from his former girlfriend alleging “sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress.”

 

State

Riverside County received a $3.74 million grant to add bike lanes and roundabouts on a mile-long stretch of County Line Road in Calimesa.

If you’re missing a bike in the Thousand Oaks area, check in with the local police, who recovered seven apparently hot bikes when they busted a couple on drug charges; two of the bikes have already been reunited with their owners.

Bakersfield police are looking for a bike thief who was caught on video lifting a Trek from a bus station.

A mountain biker was helicoptered out of a remote location near Orcutt Hills in Santa Barbara County after suffering a possible head injury in a fall.

Central California’s Moro Bay will finally get a new beachfront bike path, on land formerly claimed by Chevron.

San Francisco unveils a new protected bike lane and other safety improvements on Second Street in the South of Market district, otherwise known as SoMa. Although as usual, the “protection” consists of just green paint and flimsy plastic bendy posts.

 

National

The physics of how to pump your bike.

The Wall Street Journal calls gravel bikes the SUVs of the bike world. Which sounds interesting, even if most of the piece is hidden behind their infamous paywall.

Fascinating story from MIT on the history of ‘bents, which date back to at least 1896.

Today picks the best bike helmets for men, women and children. And manages to keep the price tag down to a Benjamin or less.

There’s something terribly wrong when a former NBA star ends up paralyzed while riding his bike, and no one is held accountable. Then again, it would be just as wrong if it happened to anyone else, too.

The bighearted owners of a Kansas miniature golf and go cart park raised $2,500 to replace the bicycle a deaf employee relied on for transportation, after his bike was stolen while he was at work.

Life is cheap in Illinois, where a killer driver got a lousy $250 fine for failing to slow down because he somehow couldn’t see two teens riding their bikes directly in front of him, slamming into one boy and sideswiping his brother. Maybe the problem is a prosecutor who thinks killing one kid and injuring the other is only worth a 25 buck fine; at least the judge disagreed.

A Montauk NY woman faces 8 to 25 years behind bars for the drunken, high speed crash that took the life of a bike rider; she was doing twice the speed limit at the time of the crash, and registered twice the legal BAC hours afterwards. Not to mention the baggies of coke cops found on the floor of her pickup.

 

International

Surprisingly, the inflatable, crash-activated airbag from Hövding outperformed more traditional bike helmets in an independent safety test.

Canada commits to spending $400 million on bike lanes, trails and pedestrian bridges over the next five years, although that’s just over 2.5% of the county’s $14.9 billion transportation fund. That works out to the equivalent of $318 million in US dollars.

Canada’s capitol city throws in the towel on its bikeshare system, choosing e-scooters as the favored microtransit option going forward.

Once again, bike riders are heroes, as a pair of men riding their bikes along a UK canal towpath rescued a woman who had attempted to kill herself by jumping into the water.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the bike given to a British boy after he learned to ride again despite losing a leg to cancer; a family friend has raised the equivalent of $2,200 to replace it. The bike, that is, not his leg. Although that would be even better.

A coalition of 33 Scottish organizations have called on the police to create a system to submit dash and bike cam video to make it quicker and easier to report and prosecute traffic crimes. In most, if not all, US states — including California — the problem is it’s currently illegal to use video evidence for traffic infractions and many misdemeanors, which must be directly observed by police officers. Something that has to change to hold drivers accountable and keep up with the rapidly expanding technology.

He gets it. A Cork, Ireland columnist admits that while he doesn’t ride, “cycling benefits the entire city, not just its particular practitioners, in all sorts of ways.” And urges the city to find ways to overcome its hilly terrain to encourage more of it.

In a less desirable effect of the bike boom, serious bicycling injuries jumped 4% in Switzerland last year.

Pink Bike says the pandemic and subsequent bike boom have made it clear the bicycle supply chain is susceptible to bottlenecks. Like maybe a giant cargo ship blocking the Suez Canal, for instance.

New Zealand bike riders form their own people protected bike lane to protest the local. government’s lack of action.

 

Finally…

Who knew you could have gotten an eight-year jump on the latest ebike designs? The next time you ring your bell crashing your bike, a simple spit test could determine how hard.

And I get tired of saying it. So let’s let Streets For All have the last word on LA’s failing bike plan

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Morning Links: When jaywalking isn’t, Deloitte says bicycling’s got a bright future, and a couple heroes on bikes

Let’s start with a reminder that in California, every corner is considered to have a crosswalk, whether or not it’s painted.

It’s also perfectly legal to cross a street mid-block if it’s not controlled by traffic signals on both ends.

So the prohibition on jaywalking doesn’t apply on any block without traffic signals, or with a signal at only one end.

And drivers — and people on bicycles — are required to yield to pedestrians at any intersection, whether or not they’re in a painted crosswalk.

Even though cops and lawyers love to blame victims for not being in one.

Photo by Mohan Reddy Atalu from Pexels.

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Big four accounting firm Deloitte looks into its crystal ball, suggesting that urban bike use will double around the world in the next two years.

And predicts the savor of tomorrow’s cities will be… the humble bicycle.

The company also projects that ebikes will outsell electric cars and trucks 3.5 to 1 in just five years.

Which is just as it should be.

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Once again, a bicyclist is a hero, after a Minnesota man interrupted his ride and used his bike to rescue a woman and her two dogs when they all fell into a frozen river.

Meanwhile, a Kenyan kid gets kudos for setting his bike aside to help an elderly stranger.

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Bike the Vote LA releases the questionnaire they sent to Glendale city council candidates.

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Now that’s what I call a cargo bike.

Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

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You could soon unwrap your very own bike made by Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso.

Presumably, doping is optional, despite their shared histories.

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This is who we share the roads with.

A British man was stopped by police for driving his car with no tires on his front wheels, at six times the legal alcohol limit.

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They’re all one of us.

Former 007 Pierce Brosnan went for a post-Christmas knobby-tired bike ride with his wife in Zuma Beach.

Shakira and her soccer playing husband went for a Miami bike ride over the holidays.

We already knew Madonna was one of us, as she goes for a casual ride with her boyfriend in the Maldives.

And you can throw the new mayor of New Haven, Connecticut in there, too.

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

WTF? A Menlo Park bike rider shot a dog in it’s own front yard for no apparent reason; thankfully, the victim is in stable condition. However, without any actual witnesses, it’s possible that he may have been acting in self-defense. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

An Austin TX woman’s small dog has been missing it was run over by a jerk on a bicycle who just kept going without stopping. And no, there’s no legal obligation to stop after hitting a dog in the Lone Star State. Just basic human decency, which some people seem to lack.

An Australian mother is justifiably furious after a woman on a bike crashed into her two-year old daughter, then rode off as the mom tended to the bleeding toddler’s smashed mouth. See above, basic human decency or the lack thereof.

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Local

Funeral services will be held today for Whittier’s popular “Tricycle Man;” Danny Martin was killed two weeks ago while riding his American flag-flying adult tricycle.

Metro is reducing the price for a one-year Bike Hub membership to just $20 this month.

 

State

A new Costa Mesa advocacy group will push for safer streets in the OC city this year.

By far the nicest story of the day comes from Dana Point, where total strangers encouraged a four-year old girl who was struggling to learn how to ride the bike she got for Christmas, and cheered when she finally got the hang of it.

A San Diego writer says state and city climate change laws will force the city’s drivers to switch to other means of transportation, but says that will be impossible for most people.

Bad news from Bakersfield, where an ebike rider suffered a major leg injury when he was left-crossed by a pickup driver.

The future of San Luis Obispo County’s only bike park is in danger, thanks to vandals who keep causing damage and raising the park’s operating costs.

A Bay Area letter writer says he’s only counted 15 bike riders using the new protected bike/pedestrian lane on the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge, despite the $20 million that was spent building it. Evidently he missed the other 9,985 bicyclists who used it in the first two weeks alone, despite the unwelcoming weather. 

That didn’t take long. Just two days into the new year, a Stockton bike rider was killed in a collision with a driver who stayed at the scene, then was hit again by another driver who didn’t; police handed the second driver an alibi, saying he might not know he hit anyone.

A Redding teenager was walking home from school last month because his bike was stolen, when a pickup driver crashed into him on the sidewalk, then fled the scene, leaving him critically injured; yesterday a kindhearted stranger met him at a bike shop and bought him a new bicycle. And yes, the heartless coward who left him there was busted two weeks after the crash.

 

National

Bicycling’s Joe Lindsey says stop pirating bike races online, and start paying for legitimate coverage. I’ve got no problem with the stop stealing part. But I’m damned if I’ll pay extra for the same NBC bike coverage that formerly came free with their cable TV package.

Speaking of Bicycling, apparently hitch racks and carbon wheels don’t go together.

Streetsblog USA presented its Streetsie award for transportation plan of the year to Kansas City’s plan to eliminate bus fares; LA Metro was a surprising finalist for its plans for busways, Metro improvements and bus shelters. Although someone should tell them that planned improvements have a nasty habit of falling through the cracks in the City of Angels.

After two years in effect, Honolulu’s distracted walking law has done nothing to reduce pedestrian deaths. So maybe the people on two feet weren’t the problem, after all.

Lime is pulling the plug on its Seattle bikeshare program until the weather gets a little better in the spring.

A semi-sophisticated theft ring is targeting Boulder CO bike shops, as a group of thieves handed 17 high-end bikes worth a whopping $87,000 out through a broken window in assembly line fashion.

New York bicyclists say the city is finally starting to get it, as bicycling deaths climbed to 29 last year — almost three times the number of bike riders killed in the city the year before.

After his face was bloodied in a fall caused by truck debris left in a bike lane, a New York State senator says he’ll keep riding, but it’s got to get safer.

It takes a real schmuck to just drive off in his massive dually pickup after hitting a 10-year old Louisiana boy out for a ride on his new Christmas bike.

 

International

He gets it. A British Columbia bike rider and driver says when everyone obeys the law, things go just fine.

That might actually work. Winnipeg, Canada considers fighting bicycle chop shops by requiring anyone who deals in bike parts to get a business license, and keep a photo and ID records for anyone who sells to them.

Winnipeg police bust a man for riding a stolen bike while carrying a stolen shotgun and an imitation ballistic vest. And riding on the sidewalk, too. Although someone should tell him that fake bulletproof vests only stop fake bullets.

An English woman was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when three men punched her in the face as she was riding her bike, and made off with it while she was still dazed.

Kindhearted firefighters buy new bikes for a pair of British kids after their father was killed just before Christmas.

Once again, the Netherlands shows the world how to get people on bicycles with interest-free ebike loans, a program to lease bikes through their workplace, and reimbursing people for riding to work; Scotland is providing interest-free loans to buy ebikes, too.

No shit. Streetsblog says American cities could learn from Oslo, Norway’s success in eliminating traffic deaths last year.

Indian police busted a 19-year old temple priest for stealing 31 bicycles worth nearly $50,000, alleging he was addicted to a video game.

Aussie bike riders and motorists can agree on one thing. They both hate it when police set up a mobile speed camera on a bike path next to a busy highway. And on Boxing Day, no less.

Beijing-based dockless bikeshare provider Meituan Bike, aka the former Mobike, lost a whopping 205,600 bikes to theft and vandalism around the world last year.

An Indonesian driver faces up to ten years behind bars for testing positive for amphetamines after crashing into not one, not two, but seven bike riders; fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling News offers a look at this year’s WorldTour couture. Meanwhile, Cycling Tips questions if the kits are hot or not. But am I the only only who always thinks the CCC team kit is missing a P?

South African cyclist Nic Dlamini says he’s overwhelmed by the public support, and mulling his legal options as he recovers from surgery, after he was roughed up by national park personnel who broke his arm, apparently for failing to pay a $6 entry fee; he’s unsure when he’ll be able to ride again.

 

Finally…

Your next bike lock could be a big zip tie; no, really. Nothing like riding 105 miles on a $222 Amazon bike.

And now you, too, can build your very own Tron bike.

No, with pedals.

Morning Links: Bonin declares Mar Vista a Great Streets success, and LAPD gets it wrong with hi-viz for jaywalkers

It’s the last three days of the 4th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Just three more days to support SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy. It’s easy to donate via PayPal, or through Zelle with the banking app that’s already on your phone, using the email address you’ll find on this link.

Any amount will help, and is truly and deeply appreciated, no matter how large or small. 

We’ll even take the change under your sofa cushions. Or whatever you have left once your holiday shopping is over.

So what are you waiting for, already?

………

It looks like the traffic safety deniers were wrong. And the Mar Vista Great Streets project is here to stay.

Westside Councilmember Mike Bonin released a four-minute video yesterday touting the success of the lane reductions and bike lanes on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista.

Despite the claims of opponents, who seemed to be operating from their own set of alternative facts, the newly configured road has resulted in far fewer serious crashes, while carrying just as much traffic, just as quickly, as it did prior to the new design.

In fact, peak travel times are only 30 seconds slower than before.

But while bicycle counts dropped 16 percent, the number of people walking on the street jumped by a full third over the year before. And Mar Vista business is booming.

So much for the specious claim that no one goes there anymore.

This is what one reader, who forwarded the video to me, had to say.

I’m sure you saw this, but Bonin just sent out a pretty encouraging video on Mar Vista Great Streets.

The 1-year LADOT report is apparently favorable on safety, bike/ped/scooter volumes, and (even) car travel times. (Not sure if the report is out yet.) Seleta Reynolds is recommending that the street configuration (i.e., bike lanes, I think) be made permanent, with Bonin recommending that as well.

They had some big numbers about business activity & business openings being *way* up year-on-year. (My take is this probably has more to do with the macroeconomy than the bike lanes, but it at least proves that bike lanes haven’t “killed” Mar Vista)…

Bonin also announced a bunch of traffic changes to reduce cut-through traffic on the side streets around Venice/Centinela, including some protected left turns and longer right-turn pockets on the arterials, as well as more stop signs on Victoria & Charnock.

I was hoping it’d be an announcement about more protected bike lanes, but after the last couple years, anything that’s not moving backward feels (alas) like a victory.

Unfortunately, the report hasn’t been released, and no word yet on when it will come out. Correction: The report was released the same day as the video; you can read it here. Thanks to Eric B for the heads-up.

And I’m sure whenever it does, opponents will once again deny virtually everything in it, just as they’ve done for the last year since the project was installed. Note: The traffic safety deniers are already hard at work in the comments to the YouTube video.

But maybe, just maybe, we can finally get city officials to start making decisions based on actual facts and real world experience, instead of just listening to whoever screams the loudest.

………

An op-ed in the LA Times ridicules the LAPD’s program to give jaywalkers a reflective vest and clip-on lights in lieu of a ticket.

And justifiably so.

It goes on to say defensive walking is not the antidote for the city’s high rate of pedestrian deaths.

Or bike deaths, for that matter. 

Because, while we all need to take practical steps to protect ourselves, the real problem is cars, and the distracted and overly aggressive people in them.

And dressing up like a glow-in-the-dark clown isn’t the answer.

It should also be pointed out that every corner has crosswalk in every direction, painted or not, unless crossing is specifically prohibited with posted signage.

And jaywalking isn’t against the law unless there’s a signalized intersection on both ends of the block.

Too bad the LAPD doesn’t seem to think any of that is worth mentioning.

………

Don’t make her beg. Support the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today.

Local

Mashable promotes sale prices on a pair of bikes from Burbank-based Pure Cycles.

The LA Times examines the practicality of Elon’s Folly, the underground tunnel system he promises will whisk cars at high speeds underneath Los Angeles. Although I’m in favor of anything that would get more cars off the streets, even if that means sending them down into the bowels of the earth.

State

No more $2 bus tours of Camp Pendleton any more, but you can still visit the Marine base by bike — if you plan ahead and apply for a permit in person, in advance.

San Francisco debunks the common argument that protected bike lanes will interfere with fire trucks. And moves forward with another protected lane as a result.

It’s been a deadly year in San Jose.

A Marin newspaper says Mill Valley’s new designation as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community is well-deserved.

National

The Seattle Times asks if Seattle’s new transportation director can build detente with the the city’s sparing drivers, bike riders, pedestrians and transit users, like he did in DC.

The former sex change capital of the world — and the halfway point by rail between Los Angeles and Chicago — will host the first Southwest Chief Bicycle and Comedy Festival next May, combining a “love of the outdoors, bicycle fetishism and the obligatory live entertainment-and-partying.”

In a battle of letter writers, a Colorado Springs CO bike rider says he doesn’t want the bike lanes the city is forcing on residents, while another rider correctly notes that people on bikes are subsidizing the people in cars (2nd and 3rd letters).

‘Tis the season. A Chicago nonprofit refurbished 50 bicycles for kids in Gary, Indiana, part of the 1,400 bikes they donate in the Chicago area, and up to 8,000 bicycles they send to Latin America and Africa.

Condolences to bicyclists in Adrian MI, who are getting new sharrows and being told it’s infrastructure instead of what they really are, arrows designed to help drivers improve their aim.

Honda is testing a smart intersection system in an Ohio city that warns drivers if a pedestrian or bicyclist — or a red light running driver — is about to cross their path. But only if they have the connected car system installed.

Gothamist says New York bicycling deaths have plunged to a record low as the city built nearly 21 miles of protected bike lanes this year. But Streetsblog says no they didn’t, unless you count five miles of lanes without protection as protected.

Frightening and inspiring story from New Jersey, as the long-time lawyer for the state’s governing body for high school sports makes a miraculous recovery from the nearly fatal bike crash that left him paralyzed, after the riders ahead of him went down on a high-speed group ride.

International

Cycling Weekly presents nine Christmas experiences every cyclist will recognize. Unless, of course, like me, you don’t.

Cycling Tips shares their favorite bikes of 2018, sans price tags, unfortunately. On the other hand, you can get a new and improved Oi bike bell for just $36.

No bias here. A British Columbia letter writer says new bike lanes in downtown Victoria have given bike riders a lawbreaking sense of entitlement.

The Evening Standard asks if soaring ebike sales could help London clean the air.

Yes, please. British police plan to use virtual reality to teach dangerous drivers what it feels like to be passed too closely.

BikeBiz says it will take a fresh approach to make the roads safer, as six UK bike and pedestrian advocacy groups band together to get more people riding.

A pair of bike riders are raising funds for charity by biking from London to Tokyo for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, riding over 12,000 miles through 26 countries.

Bikes are being stolen from an English train station because the bike racks are merely bolted to the ground, allowing thieves to simply remove the bolts and walk off with the still-locked bicycle. Which is why you should never use a rack unless it’s embedded in the concrete.

A police union official says separate rules for bikes, ebikes, scooters, mini electric cars and hoverboards are turning bike lanes in the Netherlands into a living hell. Raise your hand if you’d gladly trade the streets you ride for Dutch bikeways, hell or otherwise.

The rich get richer. The Netherlands is investing the equivalent of $390 million to build 15 bicycle freeways and an additional 25,000 bicycle parking spaces to get another 200,000 commuters on two wheels — and paying bike commuters 22¢ a mile to ride to work.

A Palestinian writer calls on the UK to cut ties with what he calls Israel’s oppressive regime, saying he’s being sent to prison for riding a bike during a protest.

No bias here. A Hong Kong letter writer asks who needs bicycles when you can use the city’s speedy, efficient transit system — especially when they annoy people like him.

Competitive Cycling

Forget doping. The way to get a real — and legal — edge in bike racing is supercomputing.

Finally…

Is that a bikeable alley, or an overly realistic trompe l’oeil painting? When your annual bike ride is like a “naked Christmas episode of Doctor Who.”

And if you haven’t signed a pro cycling contract by the time you’re 11-years old, you’re already falling behind.

………

Thanks to John C for his generous donation to the BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive to keep this site coming to your favorite screen every morning! 


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