Tag Archive for John Lee

LA Times tells state to speed up slowing drivers down, Streets For All goes all in on ads, and 5 riders run down Down Under

I seem to be apologizing a lot this week.

Sorry for the downtime on this site yesterday morning, and thank you to everyone who notified me about the 502 error; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to access the backside of this site, either.

It turned out to be a large scale glitch that took down a number of sites across the internet. But everything’s back to normal now.

Hopefully, it will stay that way.

And let me apologize to everyone who sent me links the past few days. I’ve lost track of most of them, and I’m way too tired to track them all down now.

So allow me to just offer a general and generic thank you to everyone who contributed something for your help, which I genuinely appreciate.

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They get it.

In recent years, the LA Times editorial board has taken strong stands in favor of safer streets and alternative transportation.

Yesterday was no exception, as the paper complained about the state slow-walking efforts to slow motor vehicle traffic. And called on California to finally get rid of the deadly 85th percentile state speed limit law, calling it “outdated, absurd and downright dangerous.”

The problem stems from a decades-old state law that essentially requires cities to set speed limits based on how fast people are already driving on that stretch of road, regardless of whether that speed is safe or whether the street has a history of wrecks. It was adopted more than 60 years agoto prevent cities from setting speed traps, or arbitrarily low speed limits aimed at sticking drivers with pricey tickets…

The more common and unintended consequence of the 85th percentile rule is what’s known as speed creep. Higher speed limits encourage motorists to drive faster, which in turn prompts higher speed limits. That’s what happened on Zelzah Avenue in L.A.

It’s not surprising, then, that the task force has recommended giving cities more flexibility to set lower speed limits, particularly on streets with lots of injury crashes or an abundance of pedestrians and cyclists. Research shows that speed limits do affect drivers’ behavior, and even modest reductions in speed can save lives. A pedestrian or cyclist hit by a vehicle traveling 35 miles per hour has a 68% chance of survival. A person hit by vehicle traveling at 40 mph — just 5 mph faster — has only a 35% chance of survival.

They conclude this way.

None of these steps will be easy; Californians have fiercely resisted safety-promoting reforms that might slow their commutes. But at the very least, lawmakers should get rid of a system that forces cities to give in to speeders before cracking down on them.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

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Here’s something that’s been missing from Los Angeles for far too long.

LA nonprofit Streets For All has produced YouTube ads supporting safe streets candidates in the upcoming March 3rd election.

The short ads endorse CD4’s Sarah Kate Levy and Loraine Lundquist in CD12, while taking well-deserved shots at incumbents David Ryu and John Lee.

While there’s an argument to be made against independent groups getting involved in local political races, until campaign finance laws are reformed to remove outside influence and expenditures, it’s vital to get our side out there, too.

And yes, I’ll be casting my vote for Sarah Kate Levy during the early voting period next week.

Meanwhile, Bike the Vote LA lists their endorsements in the coming election, including Levy and Lundquist, as well as Calbike’s endorsements for the state legislature.

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Horrible news from Australia, where five bicyclists have been injured, two critically, when they were run down from behind by a hit-and-run driver while riding in a clearly marked bike lane.

A 28-year old man has been arrested for the crime after police discovered his blood-splattered SUV.

He faces numerous charges, including multiple counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing grievous bodily harm; dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; and failing to remain at the scene and render assistance.

The question is whether he was just too drunk and/or stoned to control his damn vehicle, or if this was a deliberate attempt to run down as many riders as he could.

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A meeting will be held in NoHo this afternoon to discuss the ill-advised widening of Magnolia Blvd, which contradicts LA’s Vision Zero and climate action plans, and all that is holy.

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A UK website questions whether police have given up on bike thefts, saying many riders are putting off buying expensive bikes for fear of having them stolen.

Case in point, a bike thief uses an axle grinder to slice through a lock, stealing a bike on a crowded street in broad daylight.

Then threatens a bystander with it when he objects.

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The source of those nonstandard, and likely legally unenforceable, Dismount Bikes signs in the construction zones on Wilshire Blvd has been revealed.

In case you want to order some of your own. Maybe someone could convert them to Drivers Dismount, instead.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. And on. 

A road raging Miami-area driver was caught on video brake checking a bike-riding couple and trying to run them off the road, screaming that they aren’t allowed on the street; naturally, the local police don’t seem to care.

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

A Washington burglar was busted just five minutes after raiding a restaurant freezer while making his getaway by bike. Although it does make you wonder if maybe he was just hungry.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says just eight days into the mayor’s “Decade of Action” on climate change, the closure of the Jefferson Blvd bike lanes has left the city’s bike infrastructure worse off than it was last week.

Pasadena News Now allows the four candidates for the city’s mayor to make their case; all but one ignore transportation, except to complain about traffic. The fourth, Major Williams, gets points for wanting to get cars off the street — but what the hell are “motorized walkway paths?”

 

State

Bicycling says NBA Hall of Famer — and UCLA legend — Bill Walton is a huge cyclist, riding the streets of San Diego when he’s not broadcasting basketball games or engaged in multi-day tours.

Santa Barbara sheriff’s investigators are asking anyone with information or video regarding the allegedly drunken hit-and-run that took the lives of Mary Jane Becerra Corral and Adolfo Corral on a Goleta bike path to contact them; their accused killer, Eric Mauricio Ramirez-Aguilar, remains in custody on $1 million bond.

San Francisco’s mayor proposes congestion pricing and charging for metered parking on nights and weekends to reduce traffic in the congested downtown area.

An architecture and design site talks with the urban planner behind San Francisco’s newly carfree Market Street. Meanwhile, a San Jose columnist says closing streets there would have major benefits.

 

National

Seventy-seven-year old Harrison Ford is one of us. And wants you to know he doesn’t ride an ebike.

Peloton wants to swap your Flywheel in-home cycling bike for a “like new” Peloton, after the former lost a patent infringement suit to the latter. You might want to think twice about an Echelon stationary bike, too.

A Golden, Colorado bike thief made off from a bike shop with an $8,000 bicycle after leaving a stolen ID and credit card as security to take it on a test ride, and never came back.

After kids bike was stolen, a Colorado cop followed tracks in the snow to find it, along with another stolen kids bike, as well as the homeless addict who admitted taking them.

A Buffalo, Wyoming website tells the convoluted tale of why there were bike tire tracks in the snow one recent morning, after a rancher remembered he left his pickup in town following a late night visit to a “parts store.”

Nice piece from VeloNews, as a Marine lieutenant colonel describes how he started bicycling to recover after he was shot by a sniper in Afghanistan, and fell in love with the Dirty Kanza gravel race.

A Texas county commissioner pledged $7.4 million to build 3,000 acres of greenspace along Houston’s bayous, along with 150 miles of connected hiking and bicycling trails.

Cincinnati is moving forward with plans to create an additional 176 miles of bike lanes.

New York’s ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are back, after a redesign to prevent the brakes from locking and tossing riders over the handlebars.

New York City met its goal of 20 miles of protected bike lanes last year, and commits to 30 miles this year. That compares to LA’s firm commitment to maybe build a mile or two if it doesn’t, you know, inconvenience anyone.

Former New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan says car crashes are an epidemic, but one we can solve. But autonomous cars aren’t the answer.

This is who we share the road with. A West Virginia woman admits to distracted driving after killing a man riding a bike, saying she never saw the victim until she heard the thud because she was too busy looking at her phone.

An 88-year old DC crossing guard is a hero, holding his ground against a speeding driver and sacrificing his own life to save two children. Thanks to Orange House for the heads-up.

Kindhearted Virginia firefighters started a crowdfunding page for a man with Down syndrome after the custom three-wheeled bike he relies on for transportation was stolen; the site has raised over $1,600 in two days.

The Department of DIY strikes in the Big Easy, as a carnival krewe posts their own handmade signs urging drivers to watch out for bike riders during the upcoming Mardi Gras season.

Over 500 people are expected to turn out for a 51-mile bike ride commemorating the 55th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March of 1965.

 

International

A new report says e-scooters are just as safe as bicycles, and drivers are the real problem. But better regulation is necessary.

Cycling News considers the counterintuitive benefits of slapping wider tires on your skinny tire bike.

Now you, too, can own your very own badly named online bicycle accessory site.

A group of bicyclists ride 285 miles across Nicaragua in three days.

A proposal to require licenses and insurance for bicyclists in British Columbia is met with decidedly mixed reviews.

Despite the overwhelming success of London’s bicycling superhighways, merchants in the city’s Holland Park district fear it will cost them business — once again mistaking passing cars for paying customers.

This is who we share the roads with, too. A 75-year old London rabbi offered to help a woman park her Jag, and somehow confused the brake and gas pedals, crashing into two pedestrians before plowing into a pharmacy. Yes, the news is two years old; British privacy rules prevent releasing details on cases like this before they go to trial.

A man in the UK was driving at twice the legal alcohol limit when he hit a traffic island. So naturally, he blamed a bike rider for the crash.

British rock group Glass Animals makes a comeback 18 months after drummer Joe Seaward suffered a serious head injury when he was hit by a truck driver while riding his bike in Dublin.

A South African “adventure enthusiast, businesswoman and entrepreneur” describes how taking up bicycling twelve years ago has opened up her world.

Now that’s a beautiful bike. A Japanese student designed and built a handcrafted bespoke bike, melding traditional kitsuregoshi woodwork with a modern bicycle.

A Christian group has kicked off a campaign to provide 2,500 bicycles to pastors in Asia at a cost of $110 apiece.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews talks with American cycling legend Davis Phinney.

🎶 Hello muddah, hello faddah, busted for burglary, in Granada. 🎶 Former TdF stage winner Juan Miguel Mercado was arrested on suspicion of leading a violent burglary gang in Granada, Spain. Scroll way down, or read the original story en español. And anyone too young to get the musical reference can catch up here

 

Finally…

When you’re skipping school to ride your bike and carrying a little weed and a gun in your pants, make sure you have something in there to keep it in place. Your next ride could be on car tires.

And when you’re bunny hopping a canal, don’t miss.

Punishment pass brush-by, CD12 transportation forum, and forget coronavirus — cars are the health crisis

This is what a real punishment pass looks like.

Allyson Vought, the LA Bicycling Advisory Committee representative for Council District 15, forwarded this video to me yesterday.

It’s hard to see from the rear-facing cam, but the driver actually brushes her as he — let’s assume it’s a he — passes as closely as physically possible without actually sending her to the ER.

Or worse.

Which makes it hit-and-run. Not to mention assault with a deadly weapon.

And yes, she reported it to the police; what, if anything, they’ll do about it remains to be seen.

 

But one thing is clear.

In most cases like this, the driver would simply claim he didn’t see the person on the bike. That won’t work here, since he blared on the horn as he passed, indicating he not only saw her, but wanted her to get the hell out of his way.

And that makes it intentional.

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If you live, work or ride in the San Fernando Valley’s 12th Council District, cancel your plans for tomorrow and attend this transportation town hall instead.

And yes, it’s that important.

Although something tells me regressive short-term incumbent John Lee may skip this one.

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A new Chinese study confirms what we already knew. If you want to get fatter and out of shape, just get a car.

Which means the real health crisis isn’t coronavirus. It’s driving.

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We mentioned last week that Mars Volta and Marilyn Manson bassist Juan Alderete was in a coma after suffering a serious brain injury when he went over the handlebars on his bicycle.

Now a crowdfunding page has been established to help pay his medical expenses, raising over $50,000 of the $250,000 goal in just two days.

Alderete suffered a diffuse axonal injury, despite wearing a helmet; several studies have suggested that bike helmets can contribute to, rather than prevent, that kind of injury.

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Congratulations to Culver City, which voted to protect the lives of children walking or biking to school, after a years-long struggle to improve safety.

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

What an effing waste. A Fresno man is dead because a man riding a bike took offense to his support of the 49ers during Sunday’s Super Bowl, and shot him with a homemade zip gun; police found him hiding in a nearby homeless camp.

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Local

The LA Kings teamed with the Bikes for Kids Foundation to donate new bicycles and helmets to all 65 third grade students at Compton charter school.

 

State

No bias here. The San Francisco Chronicle highlights the suffering of Bay Area teachers, whose lives would be just dandy if it wasn’t for that darn bike lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Because apparently, there was no traffic on the bridge before they installed the bike lane as an alternative to driving. And induced demand isn’t a thing.

About damn time. San Francisco’s port authority finally decides that allowing restaurant valets to block bike lanes in the city’s Embarcadero is a bad thing. Which should have been done after a popular pedicab driver was killed two years ago.

In LA, we have to fight to get bike lanes anywhere; in San Francisco, the question is whether Valencia Street should get protected bike lanes or ban cars entirely.

Tragic news from Sacramento, where a woman riding her bike was killed by a heartless coward who fled the scene after Sunday’s crash.

A couple hundred people decided to skip the Super Bowl and ride a NorCal century instead, a Chico tradition since 1981.

 

National

Yes, ebikes are beginning to infiltrate gran fondos and group rides. I’ve heard of at least one popular group ride that’s been struggling with the issue of whether to allow ebikes for a couple years now.

Seriously, what does it mean when cold and snowy Denver has a Winter Bike to Work Day coming up next week — on Valentines Day, no less — and warm, sunny Los Angeles doesn’t even have one?

A Minnesota professor is trying to improve bike safety by designing a $500 smart bicycle with the sort of $80,000 LIDAR and sensors found on a self-driving car.

After gutting a bill mandating helmet use for bike-riding children, the Indiana legislature revives it to allow a state public safety fund to purchase and distribute helmets to kids. Proving that there are other ways to encourage helmet use besides fining people who ride with bare heads. Hint: The same thing works for bike lights, too.

Speaking of Indiana, an attorney from the state offers tips on what to do before and after getting hit by a car, including always riding with one or more cams on your bike. And if there’s any question why, see the video at the top of this page.

Maybe LA could take a tip from Memphis, which is conducting lane reconfigurations — aka road diets — on six streets to improve safety in the city formerly named the worst bike city in America. Meanwhile Los Angeles, which currently holds that dubious distinction, is currently planning exactly zero.

A New Orleans op-ed makes the case that the city’s docked bikeshare system is a form of public art.

Decatur, Georgia faces a bikelash after a three-year effort to improve bicycle safety and walkability in the Atlanta suburb. Kind of like every other place that’s tried to take an inch of roadway from motorists.

Miami bike advocates call for protected bike lanes instead of a painted green lane on a popular causeway where a woman was killed last year, complaining that the city has done nothing to improve safety following her death.

 

International

Even in bike-friendly Europe, nearly 20,000 people lost their lives riding bicycles in 28 EU countries in the nine years from 2010 to 2018.

Evidently, the best way for an ordinary Brit to get on American talk show is to buy a stolen bike and track down the owner.

A British man won’t be driving for the next year, after deliberately running a bike rider off the road for the imagined crime of not using a bike lane.

Evidently, the only thing that stinks in Limburg, Belgium is the cheese. Because anyone on a bike can ride along the city’s architectural artworks through a lake and over a forest, past sights including a 19th-century castle and an open-air museum.

According to a German expert, the top two-wheeled trends in Deutschland are ebikes, custom bikes and gravel bikes. Or if you really want to be on trend, just build a custom gravel ebike.

This is who we share the roads with. Horrible news from Australia, where an alleged drunk driver faces 20 charges after jumping the curb and killing four young children, and seriously injuring another; three of those killed were from a single family.

 

Competitive Cycling

The incomparable Katie “F’n” Compton looks to the future after her 4th place finish at the ‘cross world’s.

Dutch pro Jakob Fuglsang says he ain’t done nothing wrong, despite reports he’s been hanging out with Lance’s preferred doping doc, and the good doc asserts he’s never been convicted of anything. Which is not the same as never being implicated.

Cycling Tips reminisces about the chaotic 2005 Sun Tour, which marked the start of Simon Gerrans rise as a pro, but nearly marked the end of the then 53-year old stage race, which is still going strong.

 

Finally…

Apparently, golf cart drivers are just like any other drivers. How to create traffic jams on Google Maps with a little red wagon full of cellphones.

And if a Tesla Cyberbike doesn’t exist, just build your own. Thanks to Mike Cane for the link.

 

 

CA bike deaths set 25-year high, bicycling cop pays dangerous driver a visit, and bike video captures Kobe crash conditions

Yes, they really are killing us out there.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that California bicycling fatalities are the highest they’ve been in 25 years.

The NHTSA analyzed the data for the state, and found more bicyclists died in traffic collisions in the years from 2016 through 2018 than any other three-year period since Bill Clinton took office.

And that’s a long damn time ago.

Needless to say, LA County once again led the way for the entire state, with an average of 35 deaths per year in that same three year period, compared to a little less than 25 per year from 2006 to 2008.

Also needless to say, the best way to stop people from dying on the streets is to lower the damn speed limits.

Which would require repeal of the deadly 85th Percentile Law, and legalization of speed cams to enforce it.

And that can’t happen soon enough.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the heads-up.

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A bike-riding LAPD cop describes going to visit a reckless driver who nearly ran down a pair of bicyclists at Ohio and Veteran in Westwood.*

And for a change, it has a happy ending. Well worth a short six minutes of your day.

Thanks to Zachary Rynew for the heads-up.

*Exactly where I used to ride both coming and going at least three or four times a week before we moved to Hollywood.

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Apparently, Mr. Rynew has been a very busy boy, filming the first bike video connected to the helicopter crash that killed nine people, including Kobe Bryant and his daughter.

Then stumbling on the Coaster Bike Challenge.

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Streetsblog is hosting a Transportation Town hall in CD12 next month; both regressive incumbent John Lee and progressive challenger Loraine Lundquist have been invited, but only Lundquist has confirmed so far.

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Once again, the Marines have decided to some military stuff on Camp Pendleton — like helicopter operations, according to the base — which will mean shutting down the bike path for the week of February 10th.

However, people on bikes are allowed to ride I-5 through the base, while cursing the Marines for forcing them out there.

Thanks to Robert Leone for the tip.

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Every bike event should be held in a craft brewery. And every bike path should lead to one.

Just saying.

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Robert Leone also forwards opportunities for San Diego bike riders to get more involved, courtesy of the San Diego Bicycle Coalition.

This Tuesday, January 28th from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at our office downtown (300 15th St. San Diego, CA 92101) we will have a presentation from Susan Baldwin on Measure A. She will highlight the importance of smart growth and how crucial this is for the San Diego region. Learn more here. We invite you to join us and learn more so that you may make informed decisions when you vote.

This Wednesday, January 29th at 6pm the Draft Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the City of Chula Vista will be presented at a specially scheduled Safety Commission Meeting in the Council Chambers. Click here for the agenda. Click here for the Draft ATP. The address is 276 Fourth Ave. Chula Vista, CA 91910.

Next Monday, February 3rd, 2020 at 2pm the City Council members from the City of San Diego will vote on the Budget Priority Memos they each submitted Friday, January 10, 2020 to the Mayor’s office. Click here to see what they submitted. If you would like to attend and speak, please join us. There will be a lot of people who plan to attend with their requests. The more we can speak up for cyclists the better!

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It may not have been easy, but Bicycling once again proves there’s no such thing as a theft-proof bike lock.

Then again, as one cop put it, all you really have to do it make easier for a potential thief to steal someone else’s bike instead.

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The Hollywood Reporter reviews the latest Lance Armstrong documentary, which premiered at Sundance in advance of its airing on ESPN.

But this pretty well sums up what you need to know.

Every word he says in the documentary feels either lawyered to death or endlessly rehearsed over countless solitary bike rides…because he’s still halfway between victimhood and martyrdom in his own mind.

Touché.

To paraphrase an old country song, how can we miss him if he won’t go away?

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

A road raging New Mexico driver faces a well-deserved four and a half years behind bars after he was convicted of shifting his vehicle into reverse and backing into a group of senior bike riders he’d just passed, after exchanging words with them. Thanks to Brian Kreimendahl of Bike Santa Fe for the link.

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

A Wisconsin father hopes a $10,000 reward will lead to the two people riding bicycles who stabbed his son to death in an apparently random attack last September, then disappeared without a trace.

A Florida bike rider faces charges for pulling out a hammer and attacking a driver who almost hit him, after the driver told him he’d been watching out for cars, not people on bicycles. I’ve practiced nonviolence since I was a teenager, but I’d still be tempted to take a swing at him myself for that.

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Local

Bike West LA, Bike Culver City and the Central NBA/Sunset4All will host the second annual Mobility Mixer tomorrow night at the Bike Shop California on Motor Ave in West LA.

ULCA’s Daily Bruin reports Wheels sit-down scooters will soon come with an attached helmet. Somehow I doubt those hygienic liners they promise to provide will keep people from sharing their scalp critters, though.

Ride Around Pomona and Pomona Valley Bike Coalition will hop in the wayback machine for a 1950’s themed casual ride through, yes, Pomona.

 

State

Give it up, scofflaw scooterists. Lime will soon know if you’re riding on the sidewalk illegally. Now if they can just figure out how to tell when they’re parked blocking the sidewalk.

Speaking of scooters, San Diego just voted to ban them from the city’s boardwalks.

This is who we share the bike paths with. A 70-year old Santa Cruz woman was busted for her third DUI after driving the wrong way on a local bike path. Just one more example of government officials keeping dangerous drivers on the roads. Or bike paths. 

Streetsblog says the Bay Area suburb of Fremont will soon have the area’s best curb-protected bike lanes. And definitely puts to shame anything we have down here.

 

National

Bike Snob breaks down and admits that some bike do have souls.

CityLab offers its predictions for the scooter industry.

Bicycling talks bike baskets, and lists the ones they recommend. But which is the best one for toting a corgi?

Forbes says much of the initial information about the killing of bike rider Elaine Herzberg by a self-driving Uber car in Tempe AZ was wrong, including the myth that she “came out of nowhere.”

A Texas TV station corrects a letter writer, saying runners and walkers are required to face oncoming traffic, but bike riders are forbidden from riding salmon.

Seriously, what good is a bike box if the cops won’t keep drivers out of it? The Chicago Tribune wants to know.

Congratulations to New York, which came out on top with the least impact in a ranking of the climate impact of 100 metropolitan regions, followed by the Bay Area. Los Angeles ranked a surprisingly good 34, scoring high for bike use — no, really — and transit, but losing significant points for vehicle miles traveled.

Mourners released balloons on Tuesday in honor of Deondrick Rudd, the Louisiana bike rider who was killed by street racing brothers last weekend; Rudd was preparing to propose to his girlfriend on Valentines Day. Don’t do that. Mylar balloons can short power lines, causing fires and blackouts, while latex balloons pose a risk to birds and wildlife once they come back down. And they always come back down. 

 

International

Unlike some bicycling magazines and sites we could mention, Road.cc apparently recognizes that not every bike rider has wads of money falling out of their Rapha, recommending five roadies under the equivalent of $390, as well as ten of the best affordable bike shorts.

A Montreal website says the city’s Vision Zero program is revolutionizing the way people think about Montreal’s streets. That compares favorably with Los Angeles, which is revolutionizing the way a Vision Zero plan can gather dust on the shelf.

An English writer stumbles on his stolen bike, and swears his way into getting it back.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a truck driver gets off with a measly eight months behind bars for killing a woman riding a bike while talking to his wife using a handsfree cellphone, despite blinding glare from the wet road.

An Irish paper breaks down where the country’s political parties stand on bicycling issues. All of which show more support for bikes than both of America’s two major political parties.

Paris offers yet another incentive to get people out of their cars, reimbursing residents up to the equivalent of $660 for buying an ebike or cargo bike.

Damn. A Bali mob beat a man to death over an accusation that he’d stolen a bike helmet; police have been unable to confirm the theft, let alone who did it.

 

Competitive Cycling

VeloNews tells the tale of how Primož Roglič, aka he whose name must be copied and pasted, made the unusual leap from ski jumping to the top of the cycling world.

A writer for Cycling Tips struggles to find hope in the hopeless at the Tour Down Under — or as he calls it, the brushfire tour.

Cycling’s governing body has pulled the plug on China’s Tour of Hainan next month due to fears over the new coronavirus.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to make your bank robbery getaway by bicycle, maybe try something a tad more nimble than a cruiser bike. If you want to go unnoticed after shoving 30 purloined cellphones into your pants, maybe spandex bike shorts aren’t the best choice. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for that one.

And if you think a dangerous pass is a good idea, this British cop has some advice for you.

 

Morning Links: Charges for Escondido hit-and-run driver, fight for Reseda bike lanes, and bikes beat lemmings in cars

I depend on your support to help keep this site going, bringing you all the best bike news from around the corner, and around the the world. 

And to keep the foster corgi in kibble. 

So stop what you’re doing, and donate to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive today. 

We’ll wait. 

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Forty-one-year old Jamison Connor pled not guilty yesterday to charges unrelated to the death of an Escondido bike rider last month.

Connor, who is accused in the hit-and-run death of Kevin Lentz as he was riding with a group of fellow mountain bikers, was arrested for parole violations and multiple other charges just five days after the alleged head-on hit on Lentz.

Police arrested Connor on Thanksgiving Day as he was apparently driving drunk and stoned, with a loaded gun and a bag of meth in his pickup — along with his four-year old son.

According to TV station 7 San Diego, Connor faces 16 felony counts, along with three misdemeanors.

Connor faces one count of each of the following charges: child cruelty resulting in injury or death, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an unlisted handgun, carrying a loaded firearm in public, carrying a concealed weapon with a prior conviction, having a concealed weapon in a vehicle with a prior conviction, possession of a controlled substance while armed, use of controlled substance while possessing a firearm, crime against a person or property while having a previous conviction for drugs, DUI for alcohol or drugs, DUI for alcohol and drugs, and violating probation, according to (Escondido Police Department).

He also faces three counts of crime against a person or property while having a previous conviction for narcotics and four counts of possessing ammo while prohibited, according to EPD.

And that lengthy list doesn’t even include charges for killing Lentz and fleeing the scene.

If he’s lucky, he may see that kid again someday.

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Streetsblog takes a look at car-centric, anti-safety Councilmember John Lee’s attempt to rip out LA’s first Great Streets project — and first protected bike lanes — noting that he’s calling for a totally subjective public opinion survey, rather than an actual study of the safety and effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Keep Rowena Safe tells you where to send your comments if you’re ready to fight back.

And the LACBC shares the message they sent to members and supporters in Lee’s district.

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Speaking of the LACBC, don’t miss their annual open house tonight. It’s free for members; if you’re not one yet, you can sign up at the door.

I plan to be there to help them honor my friend, site sponsor and former fellow board member Jim Pocrass, so be sure to say hi.

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Robert Leone forwards news of another closure of Camp Pendleton to people on bicycles next week.

This is how a representative of the base described it.

Due to military operations bicycle access will be closed on Old Pacific Highway from San Onofre State Park to the Las Pulgas gate entrance. Bicyclists may ride on the I-5 shoulder during the indicated days of the Old Pacific Highway closure.

Closure time: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

When: Daily, from December 9-13

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Turns out our means of transportation is far more efficient than anything else.  Including those mice and lemmings in cars.

Thanks to Yves Dawtur for the heads-up.

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Los Angeles ranks a surprising 14th on a list of international cities most ready for the coming mobility revolution; LA is one of the top three American cities, behind New York and San Francisco.

Singapore topped the list, followed by Amsterdam, London and Shanghai.

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That much-loathed Peloton ad is turning into a disaster for the company, costing it $1.5 billion — yes, with a b — in market value.

The New York Times says the ad is being called sexist and dystopian, while Reuters says it’s being mocked as sexist.

Even advertising industry bible AdAge called out the “commercial’s bizarre vibe,” while a psychologist called it a complete male fantasy.

But the company says it’s not their fault, it’s yours for misunderstanding what they were trying to say.

As someone who has stuck his feet in his mouth so many times I now wear favored socks, I can safely say when everyone thinks you got it wrong, chances are it’s your fault.

Not theirs.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Over one hundred Tennessee kids asked for a bike through the county’s Angel Tree program; thanks to the Salvation Army and a local bike charity, they’ll all get one for Christmas.

………

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

A 17-year old Hawaiian boy will be tried as an adult in the death of an 85-year old woman, who fell and hit her head when he rode his bike up as she walked with her husband and snatched her purse.

………

Local

This is the last week to offer your comments on a proposal to close the eight-mile gap in the LA River bike path through DTLA.

Congratulations to Santa Clarita for being named a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community.

 

State

A San Diego letter writer says give the new bike lanes time to catch on, already.

Mountain View has prohibited parking RVs in bike lanes; the ACLU finds that “disturbing.” Yes, people who live in RVs need a place to park them, but bike lanes have no value, and offer limited safety, if no one can actually ride in them.

A Newark CA truck driver isn’t a fan of the Idaho Stop because bike riders blow through red lights and stop signs anyway; others say the real problem is the people in cars doing it. Or maybe everyone.

 

National

A homeless Maui man was given a “last chance” probation for attacking a bike commuter with a broomstick, just six days after he was released from prison.

Portland will now require larger buildings to include a bike room. Even though bike thieves love them; if they’re not monitored 24/7, it’s just an invitation to steal multiple bikes at once.

Over half of the dockless Lime and Jump ebikes in Seattle’s bikeshare system are unrentable.

An allegedly stoned 17-year old girl was cited on a juvenile manslaughter charge for killing a 76-year old man who was riding his bike on the sidewalk.

More on New York’s decision to start replacing delivery trucks with ped-assist ebikes.

A New Orleans magazine says people are dying of indifference in the city, as officials, cops and the news media ignore the problem of reckless drivers.

Police in Pensacola FL are pulling over bicyclists without lights — not to ticket them, but to give them a free set.

 

International

Just in time for the holidays, Cycling News takes a look at the best saddle packs, while Bike Radar lists the best “affordable” stocking stuffers for bicyclists. Because really, who doesn’t want bum butter in their stocking?

Bike riders in the Canadian capital complain that the city’s new Vision Zero plan is really just a Vision 20, calling for a 20% reduction in traffic deaths each year.

Tragic news from the UK. Yesterday we questioned what kind of heartless coward could run down a pregnant woman riding a bicycle and leave her bleeding in the streets; today we learned just who is accused of the crime — and that the victim’s baby died.

The family of a Polish man killed by a 17-year old Maltese driver while riding his bike have forgiven him, as he appeals his four-year prison sentence and lifetime driving ban.

A Bangladeshi op-ed says bicycling should be encouraged in the capital city, despite roads that are ill-equipped for people on bicycles.

The future is cloudy for Cambodia’s nascent bicycle industry; a German website talks with workers it calls exploited.

Honda engineers seriously studied the effects of a collapsible bicycle frame on head injuries after getting hit by a car. And not, say, making the cars safer instead.

 

Finally…

What does it mean when a bike hub replaces a former brothel? And even a broom knows drivers should stay out of the bike lane.

………

Thanks to Hamid V and Ryan D for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

 

Morning Links: Successful die-in at City Hall, Lee moves to rip out Reseda bike lanes, and more Peloton ad fallout

Let’s start with yesterday’s die-in at City Hall, where around 30 Los Angeles bike riders turned out in hopes of not doing it for real on the streets.

According to LAist,

Fed up by the lack of progress on reducing traffic deaths in Los Angeles, dozens of protesters staged a die-in outside City Hall Tuesday, calling on city leaders to take swift, bold action to make streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We have all the tools and solutions to solve this crisis,” said cyclist and organizer Andres Quinche. “What we are lacking is the courage and the conviction from our city council members, our mayor, (and) the Department of Transportation to stand up and say that safety matters more than speed, and that someone’s life is more valuable than a driver losing 10 seconds on their way to work…”

“I call the mayor’s office once a week to ask about this,” he said. “And I always get a response that someone’s going to get back to me about it. And it’s been maybe like two months since the last protest we staged and I haven’t heard anything.

But then, that’s about what you’d expect from a city that considers installing speed feedback signs a Vision Zero improvement.

Streetsblog’s seemingly ubiquitous Joe Linton described the die-in this way.

Though L.A. drivers are on track to kill more than 200 people in 2019, speakers emphasized the especially horrific deaths of Marlene and Amy Lorenzo, and of Alessa Fajardo – all kids on their way to school. In a crosswalk near Exposition Park in April, a driver killed sisters Marlene (14) and Amy (12) while they were walking to school. In a Koreatown crosswalk in October, a driver killed Alessa (4) as her mother walked her to nursery school.

Speakers criticized L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council for lacking courage and conviction to put their leadership behind the Vision Zero policies they approved. In attendance were three pro-Vision Zero candidates hoping to be elected to the City Council in 2020.

Needless to say, none of LA’s elected officials bothered to stop by. But as Linton notes, three candidates running for city council next year did.

https://twitter.com/hippierunner/status/1202006332087255041

Remember that when you go to mark your ballot next year.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog offers five Vision Zero tips for suburban cities.

Maybe LA officials could take a hint.

………

In a move that’s pretty much the opposite of Vision Zero, recently elected CD12 Councilmember John Lee continues to make his anti-bike and traffic safety bones with a resolution aiming to “improve” or remove the hard-won bike lanes on Reseda Blvd.

But before you put all the blame on Lee, notice who seconded the motion.

That’s right.

The same formerly bike-friendly councilmember who single-handedly blocked the Lankershim Blvd Great Streets project that would have brought a much needed, shovel-ready protected bike lane to the boulevard.

………

A teenaged boy in Oxford, England made the medical journals after hitting the handlebars in a slow speed bike crash — and suffering what may be one of the most gruesome injuries in bicycling history.

Just be forewarned, however, because you can’t unread the graphic description. Especially if you have a scrotum, or know someone who does.

And no, a bike helmet wouldn’t have helped.

………

How about some very cool freeriding through the streets of London and Paris?

You’ll want to watch this one full screen. But maybe take your motion sickness pills first.

………

If it’s any consolation for LA bike riders, you may have to deal with flooded streets, but at least you don’t have to worry about treacherous snowpacked and icy bike lanes.

Then again, it would be nice to have more bike lanes, period.

………

Active SGV invites you to join them on their annual holiday lights ride this Friday.

………

More fallout from that much-loathed Peloton ad.

So far, it’s gotten local coverage from Los AngelesSan Jose and Boston,

CNN picked up the story, while CBS News wasn’t impressed, and Cosmo considered what to give your husband in retaliation return. Although it didn’t keep NPR’s reporters from wanting one.

Apparently, Wall Street didn’t like the ad, either.

Seriously, though, it takes real skilled to make an ad so universally loathed that it garners millions of dollars worth of free press.

But wait, here’s another one. At least it’s a little more middle class.

………

‘Tis the Season.

Thanks to a sporting goods chain and a player with the Atlanta Falcons, more than 1,500 kids will get a new bike this year.

………

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

A hockey player for the Ottawa Senators clotheslined a bike-riding thief to keep him from riding off after stealing a backpack from a car.

………

Thanks to Lisa G and View-Speed Inc. for their generous donations to the 5th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Your support for this site helps keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

Which could come in handy when your ride gets rained out. Like today.

………

Local

Voyage LA talks with East Side Riders founder John Jones III. He already has my vote whenever CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino decides to step down.

Streetsblog explains exactly what last night’s Complete Streets meeting in Beverly Hills was all about, including biking, walking and transit improvements.

 

State

If you’re in the mood for a ride up the coast, SRAM will hold an open house and fundraiser for World Bicycle Relief at their San Luis Obispo HQ on December 13th.

A bicycle columnist for a Gold Country newspaper says helmets might help, but the real problem is a lack of good infrastructure.

Somehow we missed this one last month, as a UC Davis researcher says more bicycling could bring huge health benefits to the state. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

 

National

Cycling Tips tests the top bike chains. Meanwhile, another Cycling Tips writer says self-driving cars may improve safety in urban environments, but not as much as improvements in bike infrastructure.

Interesting take from Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss, who says ticketing bicyclists is pointless and cruel because on the streets, survival is more important than strict adherence to the law. I’m firm believer that we’re all safest when we follow the rules, except when we’re not. Your safety is what matters most when you ride. And only you can decide what that means at any given moment.

A writer for Streetsblog says Europe is laughing at us for installing parking protected bike lanes because it only incentivizes driving.

Even in bike-friendly Portland, neighborhood groups want bike lanes somewhere else.

An Iowa letter writer describes how — and why — she gave up riding her bike after moving from bike-friendly Minneapolis, blaming the hatred drivers have for people on two wheels.

You’ll have to wait until spring to ride a bikeshare ebike in the Windy City.

Evidently, Minneapolis police aren’t fans of Viking biking.

Former Massachusetts governor and second-place presidential finisher Mike Dukakis is no fan of driving. Which makes you wonder where we’d be today if an oilman hadn’t won that race.

New York will try out ebike delivery service for Amazon, DHL and other package-trucking companies.

A New York cab driver was busted 20 minutes after running down a bike rider. But only after his passenger begged him to go back.

 

International

When is a Victoria, BC bike lane not a bike lane? When it’s a parking lane literally half the day.

Seriously, how much of a heartless coward do you really have to be to leave a very pregnant English woman bleeding in the street after running her bike down with your car?

Royal-in-law James Middleton — Kate and Pippa’s brother — is getting good use out of his cargo bike, first taking Pippa’s brother-in-law for a ride with his dogs, followed by going Christmas tree shopping with his fiancé. Even if she had to walk along next to it.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Irishman races 50 miles every weekend and holds a national age group record. Even if he is a stickler for the rules.

An Australian bike rider has died a week after he became collateral damage in a police chase, when he was struck by a driver fleeing from the cops.

Singapore will require ebike and e-scooter users to pass a license test, and may require all users to carry liability insurance.

 

Competitive Cycling

American triathlete Brandon McDonald describes competing just ten weeks after undergoing open heart surgery.

So much for taking over. Four transgender women discuss what it’s like to compete in cycling and other women’s sports with little or no chance of winning.

 

Finally…

Maybe a little Christmas spandex will get you in the holiday spirit. (Insert celebrity name here) is one of us, too.

And who needs winter bike gloves when you’ve got heated handlebars?

Updated: Five SoCal cyclists dead in last 5 days; 6th fatality uncomfirmed

It is a sad irony that the same week local cyclists celebrate L.A.’s groundbreaking cyclist anti-harassment ordinance, we’re forced to confront one of the bloodiest weeks in recent memory.

Just this week, bike riders have been killed in Downtown Los Angeles and Big Bear; in addition, a Simi Valley man has been killed while riding in Hawaii, and a Long Beach man died of injuries he received in a collision on July 6th.

That’s in addition to news that a 17-year old cyclist shot and killed on over the weekend while riding his bike.

Five deaths in the last five days, spanning the spectrum of potential hazards facing riders.

……..

Let’s start with the collision that killed a 63-year old man in Downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday evening.

While it was widely reported that this death may have been collateral damage resulting from a road rage incident between two drivers, multiple sources at City Hall have told me that the police are no longer investigating this as a confrontation between the motorists.

According to these sources, the collision occurred as a result of the drivers competing for lane space on the street, resulting in the driver of the Avalanche swinging to the right of the roadway where the victim, who has not yet been publicly identified, was riding.

As a result, the driver who had been taken into custody has been released.

This does not mean that no charges will be filed in the death, though; the investigation is still continuing.

Flying Pigeon offers a photo of the ghost bike that will be installed for the victim, if it hasn’t been already.

……..

Twenty-three-year old Christopher Sop of Big Bear Lake was killed in an apparent solo riding accident on Mill Creek Road, approximately one mile south of Tulip Lane in the unincorporated part of Big Bear.

According to the Rim of the World News, the Big Bear Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a man down at 6:17 pm on Monday. Officers concluded that Sop had been travelling north on Mill Creek when he lost control of his bike and struck a rock; he was pronounced death at the scene, with time of the accident estimated at around 3:40 pm.

……..

A 67-year old Long Beach man has died of injuries he received when a truck driver allegedly ran a red light on July 6th in the Bixby Knolls area.

According to the Long Beach Press Telegram, Louis Gabor was riding his bike east on Bixby Road when he was struck by a Chevrolet S-10 pickup while crossing Cherry Avenue at around 11 am. After nearly two weeks in critical condition, he died of his injuries on Tuesday.

The driver, who has not been publicly identified, faces possible a possible charge of vehicular manslaughter once the investigation is concluded.

……..

Maui Now reports that 24-year old Anthony Hernandez of Simi Valley was killed while riding in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii on Thursday, July 16th.

Kona police found Hernandez laying next to his bike after responding to a report of a crash at 1:18 am. He reportedly lost control of his bike and fell, hitting his head on the pavement and suffering critical face and head injuries; he died of his injuries on Sunday the 17th.

The website reports that he wasn’t wearing a helmet; in this case, that information is actually worth mentioning, since this is exactly the sort of slow-speed impact helmets are designed to protect against. It also suggests that police are investigating the possible “influence of intoxicants” in the crash.

However, as in the case of Christopher Sop in Big Bear — and any case in which a rider is found unconscious or dead on the side of the road — the question is why he lost control of his bike.

It’s entirely possible that it was the result of carelessness or intoxication on the part of the rider. But it’s also possible that it could be due to road conditions, or being brushed, buzzed or harassed by a passing vehicle. With no physical evidence, it’s very easy to blame the victim for something that may or may not have been his fault.

……..

Finally, the 17-year old cyclist killed in a shooting in Montecito Heights on Saturday evening has been identified as Jesus Lopez of Los Angeles. The Press-Enterprise reports that no arrests have been made; anyone with information is asked to call Detectives J. Rios or Cary Ricard at (323) 342-8959. During non-business hours or weekends, calls may be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.

……..

These deaths — excluding that of Anthony Hernandez in Hawaii — raise the total of confirmed bicycling fatalities throughout Southern California this year to 47; 5 by gunshots and 42 in solo accidents or collisions with trains or motor vehicles; 20 of those deaths have occurred in L.A. County.

My sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims.

……..

Update: I had originally included a sixth fatality in this article; as noted on Tuesday, I had received an anonymous tip about a cycling fatality in Santa Maria; when I did a Google search for confirmation last night, I found an article from the Santa Maria Times that seemed to line up with the information I had, including the location.

However, I missed the date on the story. Even though I was searching for stories that had appeared online in just that last 24 hours, what I found was a story about a collision that occurred last November, as David Huntsman was kind enough to point out. As a result, I have removed references to the Santa Maria fatality while I wait for confirmation.

My apologies for the confusion.

Update: I’ve received confirmation that report of the Santa Maria collision was in error, and that no fatality occurred. And yes, that is very good news. 

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