Let’s start today with a must read piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton.
In it, Linton takes the Los Angeles Planning Department to task — deservedly — for producing what he calls “an astonishingly vacuous report” that’s ostensibly a status report on implementation of the city’s mobility plan.
Yet one that he says ignores all the multimodal facilities included in Planning Department’s own plan.
Almost as if they are, in reality, the LA Lack of Planning Dept.
According to Linton,
In 2015, the city approved the Mobility Plan, with hundreds of miles of new bus and bike lanes, pedestrian improvements, and a Vision Zero policy to end L.A. City traffic deaths by 2035. Safe streets advocates loved it. Reactionaries hated the plan so much they sued to block it.
Then the city largely ignored the plan. Bus speeds slowed. Bikeway implementation tanked. Approved bus and bike networks, supposedly slated to be completed in around 20 years, languished. Seven years after plan approval, only three percent of planned bus/bike facilities had been implemented…
Yet the Planning Department somehow gives itself an undeserved pat on the back, claiming to have accomplished 76% of the mobility plan’s Action Programs.
While that may sound like they’re making real progress, those Action Programs have nothing to do with putting paint on the street. Let alone the long-promised barriers and networks that might actually provide some protection and connections for people on bicycles.
Instead, Linton describes them this way.
“…a sort of obscure plan appendix that lists 173 tasks assigned to various city departments. The Action Plan includes things like: roadway safety outreach, wayfinding, analysis of unpermitted mountain biking in city parks, and periodic updates of LADOT’s Manual of Policies and Procedures.”
He ties their massive success in rearranging the massive pile of papers on their collective desks back to last year’s fiasco with the city council’s non-approval of the Healthy Streets LA initiative — which does nothing more than require the city to live up to its commitments, and build out the mobility plan they already passed when streets in the plan get resurfaced.
But evidently, that’s just a bridge and resurfaced roadway too far for the city.
He describes how the city council, led by now-disgraced racist Council President Nury Martinez, voted to adopt their own ordinance mirroring Healthy Streets LA.
One that wouldn’t contain the requirement to build out the mobility plan, but would, in actuality, leave it up to the council to decide whether or not to actually fulfill their obligations.
And you can probably guess how that would go, if you’ve been paying attention so far.
Last August, the council made it sound like the ordinance would happen right away. Then-president Martinez stated that city staff would “report back on my motion within the next few weeks.” Councilmember Nithya Raman spoke of the council “match[ing] the urgency that I hear from all of you [safe streets advocates] today.”
Then very little happened. The city continued to repave streets, nearly always ignoring the Mobility Plan. Councilmembers continued to block approved bus and bike facilities. More than seven months later, city departments have not shared any draft ordinance.
During that time, city departments, including DCP and Transportation (LADOT), went on the offensive to undermine the Mobility Plan and Healthy Streets L.A., asserting that approved bus lanes and bikeways are not actually a plan, but just “aspirational… guidance.”
Now where have we heard that before?
That’s exactly what the city’s bicycling community heard from an LADOT official within weeks of the 2010 bike plan’s passage, which was later subsumed into the city’s mobility plan.
We were told, while still celebrating our hard-fought victory, that the whole damn thing was merely “aspirational.”
Something the city has more than lived up to by living down to their extremely limited aspirations.
As Linton mentions above, we’re still waiting for that draft ordinance mirroring Healthy Streets LA to come back for a reading, let alone a vote, a full eight months — not weeks — after it was promised.
There was hope after the last election that the city’s new progressive councilmembers would light a fire under our sleepy governing body, and we might actually see some action on our streets.
But it seems just the opposite has happened. And the council has managed to douse whatever fire they might have had.
As I said, it’s a must read. So what are you waiting for?
Someone riding a bicycle was seriously injured in a hit-and-run near Adams Boulevard and Trinity Street in South Los Angeles early Thursday morning.
No description was available for the suspect or their vehicle. Or for the victim, apparently.
As always, there is a standing $25,000 reward for any hit-and-run resulting in serious injuries in the City of Los Angeles. Although there’s not a lot to go on this time.
A new survey shows the relationship between California drivers and bicyclists is among the worst in the country, with four out of ten bike riders rating it less than harmonious.
The only real shock is that it’s that low.
But there may be hope, according to The Thousand Oaks Acorn.
The survey found that 75% of drivers empathize with cyclists’ frustrations, such as being overtaken too closely, while 81% of cyclists said they understood the challenges that drivers must deal with while navigating busy local streets.
So there’s that, anyway.
Gravel Bike California stops to sniff, if not the roses, the superbloom of flowers brought on by the recent rains on the Carrizo Plain.
When you hear superbloom, California thinks #CarrizoPlain:
— Gravel Bike California (@GravelBikeCal) April 13, 2023
Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on rolling.
San Francisco Streetsblog says a proposal for bike lanes on a commuter route and tourist attraction between Sausalito and San Francisco is already seeing a bikelash.
After a British bicyclist is understandably outraged and profane when a van driver cuts him off in the country’s left-handed equivalent of a high-speed right hook, the driver threatens a defamation case when he gets review bombed. As if you can somehow be defamed over something you actually did.
But sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
An Edinburgh columnist applauds anyone who has the courage to ride a bike on the city streets, but begs bike-riding men to cover their butt cracks. Or “bahookie” in the local parlance, apparently.
The LA County Sheriff’s deputies who lost their jobs for fatally shooting 18-year-old Andres Guardado in the back as he ran away have now been charged with abducting a skateboarder, and threatening to dump him in gang territory, then injuring him crashing into a parked car while trying to run down a group of teenage bike riders with their patrol car.
No bias here. A WeHo paper says the city wants to take away your “right” to make a right turn on a red light, while saying the maneuver is a factor in just 1% of crashes. Which means it’s responsible for around 400 deaths every year, which probably matters to the victim’s families, even if it doesn’t matter to them. And I don’t recall right on red being included in the Bill of Rights, but maybe I missed that day.
The Source says take Metro to Sunday’s CicLAvia, with three train stations within 1.5 miles of the route.
Colorado Boulevard looks forward to next week’s 626 Golden Streets Heart of the Foothills in the San Gabriel Valley.
Streetsblog says a bill authorizing speed cams is up for a hearing in the state legislature for the umpteenth time; it should have no problem in Laura Friedman’s Transportation Committee, but could face opposition before the Appropriations Committee, where good traffic safety bills go to die.
A San Diego TV station reports city council members responded to a recent hit-and-run by continuing to discuss the city’s Vision Zero Plan “to eliminate but also prevent traffic collisions, bicycle and pedestrian injuries and deaths,” which seems to be the same thing. Although I would be overjoyed just to hear Vision Zero discussed in the Los Angeles council chambers.
There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole the ghost bike honoring 58-year old Nelson Esteban, who was killed by a driver while riding in Palm Springs last month.
Half Moon Bay has banned ebikes from the city’s section of the Bay Area’s Coastal Trail, citing congestion and speeding. Just wait until someone tells them about the cars on the local streets and highways.
The San Jose Mercury News’ Mr. Roadshow explains why bicyclists don’t pay for the roads the same way drivers do. But then the paper hides it behind a paywall as “premium” content, reflecting a basic misunderstanding of how the internet works. Although you can read it for free if you’re willing to accept their daily emails.
Early rock and roll cover artist Pat Boone is one of us, riding his bike, playing tennis and golf, and lifting weights to keep fit at 88 years old.
In a very bizarre case from Reno, a hit-and-run driver in a stolen truck collapsed and died as he tried to flee on foot, after a second crash as the bike rider he hit in the first one was chasing him.
Seventeen-year old junior national-level mountain biker Cayel Holmgren is in the ICU with a severe traumatic brain injury after he was knocked off his bike by hikers illegally using a bike-only Colorado trail; doctors say it will be up to two years before he can get back on a mountain bike.
I want to be like him when I grow up. A 91-year old Lewiston, Maine man still rides his bike ten to twenty miles every day.
Atlanta bike computer and tech company Wahoo Fitness appears to be on the financial ropes, after its credit rating dropped for failing to meet its debt service obligations.
Cycling Weekly offers eleven reasons to ride a foldie. Must have been a slow news day.
Tragic news from the UK, where a body was found in the woods that appears to be a man who recently went missing after he was released following six months in prison for killing a 79-year old woman in a bicycling hit-and-run; police say they aren’t treating the death as suspicious, which speaks volumes.
German prosecutors conclude that protestors didn’t cause a bicyclist’s death by delaying paramedics with a road block last Halloween.
Sad news from Italy, where two-time world mountain bike champ Dario Acquaroli died while riding his bike Easter Sunday; he was found unconscious on the ground near Bergamo in northern Italy. He was just 48.
David Hasselhoff is one of us, riding a bike to capture the culture and beauty of Munich. And he’s a train guy, too.
Good question. A Japanese letter writer asks why obey the country’s new mandatory helmet law if there’s no penalty for breaking it?
Another good question. Bicycling asks how can we truly support women’s cycling in the face of cancelled races? Unfortunately, this one’s not available on Yahoo or AOL, so you’re on your own if the magazine blocks you.
Cuban sprint sensation Marlies Mejias won the first stage race in her first Redland’s Classic, while Denver Disrupter’s Noah Granigan out-sprinted L39ion of Los Angeles cyclist Robin Carpenter on the men’s side.
The National Cycling League made its debut in Miami last weekend, part of a four stop race series.
And nothing like riding a bicycle 2,000 feet above the ground.
Happy Songkran to the Thai American community.
Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin, too.