Tag Archive for Karen Bass

CC election could hinge on one vote, mayor-elect’s daughter hit-and-run victim, and SUV murder weapon in man’s death

It’s the second Friday of the 8th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive

Just 22 days left to show your support, and help keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

So why wait?

Just take a moment right now and donate via PayPal or Zelle, then go gently into the weekend knowing you did your part.

And thanks to Catherine DL and Matthew R for their generous donations yesterday!

So who wants to break the ice today?

Seriously, don’t make our fundraising spokesdog cry. Give now!

………

Don’t ever let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter.

A measure in Culver City that would allow 16 and 17-year olds to vote in local elections hangs in the balance by just three votes.

Which means that if those votes are split, the vote of one single person will determine whether it passes or fails.

And whether local teens will get a jump on the ballot box.

………

It shouldn’t be hard to convince LA’s new mayor that hit-and-run is a problem in the city, after her daughter was a victim Thursday morning.

The unnamed daughter of Mayor-elect Karen Bass escaped serious injury when she was struck by a group of men in a white SUV while driving in the West Adams neighborhood.

Four men fled from the car, abandoning it on the street as they ran away.

Just one more example of the city’s out of control hit-and-run epidemic. Which no one in City Hall seems to take seriously.

………

Go ahead and call it murder.

LA County Sheriff’s investigators are.

A driver for Mt. San Antonio College was killed while walking on the campus of the Walnut community college Thursday morning, in a crash they say appears to have been intentional.

The driver was hospitalized in unknown condition.

Just one more example of someone allegedly using his vehicle as a weapon — one with no background check or waiting period.

………

Stop by during Sunday’s CicLAvia, and tell CD9 Councilmember Curren Price, Jr. it’s time for safer streets in South LA.

………

ActiveSGV isn’t just active in name only.

So take a few minutes, and help one of SoCal’s most active advocacy groups build a better Rush Street.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1598112141319360513

………

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

A Portland bike commuter was ticketed for violating the state’s mandatory sidepath law, which requires bicyclists to use a bike lane if there’s one available — even though Bike Portland calls it the city’s worst bike lane, full of parked cars, potholes and debris. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

Nothing like a road raging British driver admitting to being drunk after suggesting a bike rider doesn’t belong in the road.

No bias here. A driver in the UK tells a safety meeting called to address speeding drivers that little kids on bikes need to take more responsibility for causing crashes. Because evidently, they’re the ones who have been tested, licensed and insured to operate deadly vehicles.

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

A road raging Salt Lake City bike rider could face charges for breaking a bus driver’s hip in an altercation that began when the rider apparently complained about the way he was passed by the bus. Which serves as yet another reminder that violence is never the answer, as tempting as it may be in the moment. And only serves to transform you from victim to perp. 

An English man was sentenced to the equivalent of community service after he was busted for “wobbling all over the place” while riding drunk on a freeway.

Police in the UK found a car full of drugs after chasing a suspect on a stolen bike.

……..

………

Local 

And they say bicyclists are entitled. San Monica suspended enforcement of a new ordinance banning parking on driveway aprons and parkways bordering roadways after entitled drivers got out the pitchforks and torches, complaining about the city taking away their God given right to park wherever the hell they want.

 

State 

Southern California News Group reporter Josh Cain looks at deadly Ortega Highway, the winding 90-year old roadway connecting Orange and Riverside Counties, where 214 people have been killed in less than eleven years — making it the deadliest non-freeway in Southern California.

A Menifee boy suffered a major head injury when he was struck by a driver after allegedly riding his ebike through a red light on the wrong side of the street; thankfully, however, he’s expected to recover. Although from the description, it sounds like the victim may have been riding in the crosswalk, where there is no right or wrong direction, marked or otherwise.

He gets it. San Francisco Streetsblog’s Roger Ruddick calls on the city’s transportation department to stop calling bike lanes separated by car-tickler plastic bendy posts “protected,” saying that “makes as much sense as gluing the posts to the front bumpers of cars as a way to protect cyclists.” Now someone explain that to LADOT.

‘Tis the season. Volunteers pitched in to help an East Bay nonprofit build 500 bikes to distribute to kids at youth agencies and foster homes for the holidays, with an assist from a storage company.

 

National

Sports Illustrated looks at the best bike helmets for kids and adults. Although they wouldn’t mind if you use the included links to buy them, so they can get a little kickback on it. 

CityLab sings the praises of DIY guerrilla crosswalks and the scofflaw vigilantes who paint them.

A Portland nonprofit bike co-op fixes up whatever donated bikes that can be repaired and salvages any usable parts, then recycles the rest — amounting to 50,000 pounds of bicycle scrap every year.

More on the Oregon study showing bike boxes improve safety at intersections for people on bicycles by placing bike riders in a position where they are more visible to drivers, better able to see other traffic, and able to move out of the way in an emergency.

Kindhearted community members pitched in to buy a new bike for an Arizona boy after his was stolen. And a local bike shop helped out by giving them a discount.

She gets it. A Tacoma, Washington letter writer argues that the local paper should stop blaming victims for not wearing a helmet, because bike helmets were never designed to protect against motor vehicles.

A Texas hiker discovered an old mountain bike under a rotted tree with skeletal remains nearby, five years after a Dallas firefighter disappeared while riding his bike in the area.

New York is improving safety on Queens bike lanes by “hardening” the green lanes with protective concrete barriers. Proving that a) existing bike lanes can be made better, and b) it’s possible to offer actual protection instead of the car-tickler plastic bendy posts favored by a certain SoCal megalopolis.

Streetsblog says the recent viral New York Times article about the rising rate of traffic deaths in the US is just the tip of the iceberg, and things are even worse than they said.

NPR discusses the play Straight Line Crazy, which explores the legacy of legendary New York planner Robert Moses, who was singlehandedly responsible for inflicting the city, and the country, most of the auto-centric road designs we’re struggling to undo today.

Lime is offering free ebike and e-scooter rides to the polls for next week’s Georgia runoff election.

 

International

A Toronto website suggests ten ways the city could improve safety for bicyclists if it gave a damn, saying riding in Toronto isn’t for the timid. All of which could apply to any other city that actually gives a damn, unlike a certain SoCal megalopolis. 

Cycling Weekly looks at the problem of exercise addiction, after a British man working in Germany died of a heart attack, just days after telling the magazine he felt addicted to bicycling, despite suffering chest pains.

Speaking of Cycling Weekly, the magazine also says it’s possible for smaller bicyclists to get a good bike fit, too.

A British bike shop burglar will spend the next 27 months behind bars after fleeing from police at speeds up to 115 mph; police found five bikes in his panel truck worth nearly $38,000, which suffered over $8,000 in damage as a result of his crimes.

Another British burglar got nine years for killing a bike rider in a collision while attempting to flee from police after breaking into a drug store.

Amazon is expanding their ebike delivery fleets in the UK, enabling the retail giant to improve deliveries to residential areas, while lowering operating costs and improving sustainability.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. A 500-year old Italian mountain pass outside Venice. No, not the one in Los Angeles. Or Florida, for that matter.

Hanoi is introducing a 94-station, 1,000-bike bikeshare system, with half hour rides available for as little as 20¢.

 

Competitive Cycling

Taking a break from their recent paywalls, VeloNew examines USA Cycling’s plans to nurture the next generation of gravel cyclists. Hint: Keep them out of Texas, and away from jealous girlfriends.

Seriously? Pez Cycling News recommends five of the world’s most popular bike races, yet somehow leaves the Tour de France off the list.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you have a 99% chance of getting away with bike theft because the cops are too busy to deal with it. Nothing like a “Boobs and Brains” themed fundraising ride.

And Lamborghini goes gravel.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Bass elected LA mayor, catch and release in sheriff’s cadet crash, and WeHo considers Fountain bike lanes Monday

Congratulations to Congresswoman Karen Bass on being elected as LA’s new mayor.

The first woman to hold the post, and only the second Black Angeleno, Bass defeated billionaire mall developer Rick Caruso, despite being outspent 11 to 1 as he dropped well over $100 million on his own campaign.

The question for us is whether the new mayor’s professed focus on homelessness, crime and housing authority will preclude desperately needed efforts to transform our streets to improve safety and get Angelenos out of their cars.

Let’s hope Streets For All and BikeLA, formerly the LACBC, are already in contact with her office to set up a meeting.

Because after years of neglect under outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti, and successful efforts by various councilmembers to block progress in their districts, we don’t have any time to waste.

Meanwhile, Streetblog’s Joe Linton calls the recent election good news for livability and transportation, with the possible exception of CD11’s Tracy Park, who instantly becomes the most conservative member of the city council.

Park has professed support for multimodal transportation, yet drew much of her supporters from Westside NIMBYs who’ve fought bus and bike improvements.

………

He was arrested for attempted murder.

Until he wasn’t.

Just one day after a wrong-way driver slammed into a phalanx of sheriff’s cadets, injuring 25 people, including five critically — and after reportedly turning the investigation over the the CHP — the LA Country Sheriff’s Department announced that Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez had been arrested on a charge of attempted murder on a peace officer.

Then turned around and announced he had been released without charges due to a lack of evidence.

No, really.

The premature arrest indicated the belief of investigators that Gutierrez had intentionally steered into the recruits, accelerating at he plowed through them, as we had surmised yesterday.

The only problem is a lack of evidence confirming intent. Outgoing Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva stressed that the release is provisional, pending collection of more evidence confirming his actions were intentional.

Why they jumped the gun and arrested Gutierrez on a presumption of guilt, rather than basing the arrest on actual evidence, is an open question at this time.

As is why they have apparently reclaimed the investigation from the CHP, after relinquishing it just one day earlier.

But with Villanueva leaving in a couple of weeks, its likely to become incoming sheriff-elect Robert Luna’s problem.

………

West Hollywood is scheduled to consider whether to add protected bike lanes on deadk=ly Fountain Ave at Monday’s council meeting, which would require a reduction to one lane in each direction as well as removing parking spaces; refer to agenda item 4.B.

The lanes would provide a safer east-west alternative to dangerous Santa Monica Blvd, after the existing painted bike lanes on Santa Monica end east of La Cienega.

However, it would also require the removal of at least 150 parking spaces; an alternative plan for painted bike lanes would require removing up to 40 spaces.

Which means opponents are likely to come out in force in an effort to block it.

Meanwhile, WeHo Mayor Lauren Meister is on track for re-election, while former Councilmember John Heilman enjoys a 246 vote lead over Chelsea Wright for the second and third spots; the top three finishers will be seated on the city council.

Former Councilmember John Duran, who made cancelling the bike lanes the centerpiece of his campaign, is currently languishing out of the running in fifth place.

However, with the exception of Meister, who is already on the council, they won’t be seated in time to effect Monday’s decision on Fountain.

………

This puts the problem of LA drivers in perspective.

………

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

Police in Youngstown, Ohio are looking for a bike rider seen on video near the site of three stolen catalytic converters.

Police now believe the fatal shooting of a 21-year old Bronx basketball player by a man riding an ebike was a case of mistaken identity. Which somehow doesn’t seem to make it any better.

………

Local

The newly rebranded BikeLA is hosting a class on the Essentials of Group Riding this evening, and a South LA Pan Dulce Ride on Sunday.

 

State 

A San Diego woman whose husband was killed by a wrong-way driver while riding his bike to the movies calls on the city’s mayor to mark Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence by doubling the budget for the city’s quick-build protected bike lane program, and lowering speed limits on the most dangerous Vision Zero corridors. Sounds reasonable to me.

Oxnard approved a $3 million plan for sidewalks and bike lanes in the city’s El Rio neighborhood.

Berkeley considers a proposal to offer its own instant ebike rebate program, which could be paired with the state’s ebike rebates, if they ever happen.

Bike co-op Rich City Rides is hosting a bike party and ride to celebrate the third anniversary of the protected bike lane on the Richmond San Rafael Bridge.

 

National

Damn good question. An updated edition of Jeff Speck’s book Walkable City asks why we don’t take traffic violence as seriously as terrorism, when you’re 568 times more likely to die in crash than at the hands of a terrorist.

The 22nd annual Cranksgiving bicycle food drive rolls in cities across the US tomorrow, including a return to downtown Los Angeles after a pandemic pause.

Portland bike advocates are suing the city under a 1971 state law that requires improving infrastructure for bicyclists and pedestrians any time a street is constructed, reconstructed or relocated. Unfortunately, California doesn’t have a similar law, although Los Angeles could if the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposition passes in 2024. 

An abandoned railroad trestle across a Corpus Christy, Texas bay could become a unique rail-to-trail conversion.

Remember this the next time someone tells you handicapped people can’t ride bikes, as a 70-year old Iowa man is using a recumbent bike to continue riding as he recovers from a debilitating stroke.

Jake and Elwood Blues would be thrilled to know Joliet, Illinois could soon be expanding on the city’s two — yes, 2 — existing bike lanes.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tosses her security detail under the bus, blaming them for double-parking in a bike lane to get some donuts.

Curbed says don’t blame ebikes for the recent rash of New York battery fires; blame refurbished batteries and mismatched chargers.

Pennsylvania’s governor vetoed a bill that would have allowed curb and parking protected bike lanes in the state, after the legislature tacked on an unrelated provision to strip power from Philadelphia’s district attorney.

More than 1,300 people will ride to Congress tomorrow to demand safer streets, following the route a US diplomat was taking when she was killed by a truck driver while riding in a Bethesda, Maryland bike lane in August.

Seventy-one year old former astronaut Bill McArthur is one of us, one of 700 riders who recently completed a multi-day bike tour across South Carolina.

 

International

Bike Rumor recommends the best gifts for the wrench in your life.

Speaking of handicapped bike riders, a British Paralympian paralyzed from the waist down will attempt to become the first person to ride an adaptive bike across the Antarctic Plateau.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 13-year old British boy’s bike from his mother’s car after she rushed with him to the hospital when he fell off and broke his collarbone.

A bike advocacy group is urging Amsterdam officials to set a 12 mph speed limit for ebikes on the city’s bike paths, as faster ebikes continue to gain in popularity.

 

Competitive Cycling

A 25-year old Anchorage woman has parlayed her love of bikepacking into a new role as a champion bikepacking endurance cyclist.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be a modern take on the classic Schwinn Stingray. Or maybe made from sustainable plywood. Everyone looks better on a lowrider bike.

And who needs a cargo bike when you can ride your bike with nine kids hanging on?

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Election bodes well for bikes, DUI hit-and-run driver on trial in Huntington Beach, and South LA CicLAvia route announced

Let’s start with a quick recap of Tuesday’s election.

The short version is, nobody won.

Yet.

The large number of mail-in ballots received on and dropped off on Election Day means it could be more than a week before we have final results.

However, as things currently stand, Rick Caruso and Karen Bass are in a virtual dead heat for mayor, with Caruso holding a slight lead.

Meanwhile, bike rider and corgi dad Kenneth Mejia holds a seemingly insurmountable lead over termed-out councilmember and career politician Paul Koretz to become city controller and the first person of Filipino ancestry to hold elective office in the City of Angeles.

Bike-friendly Katy Yaroslavsky, daughter-in-law of longtime LA office holder Zev Yaroslavsky, has an 11 point lead to replace Koretz in CD5, which should mark a sea change for active transportation on the Westside.

Tracy Park holds a nearly 11 point lead over bike-friendly Erin Darling to succeed retiring Councilmember Mike Bonin in CD11.

Hugo Soto-Martinez has a tighter five point lead over incumbent Mitch O’Farrell in CD13; if he can hold the lead, it could be a major win for active transportation in the district, where O’Farrell blocked nearly all bike projects, and only came around to support Sunset for All to gain support as he battled for re-election.

Tim McCosker has a seemingly insurmountable 30 point lead over progressive Daniel Sandoval to replace termed-out Joe Buscaino in CD15, following Sandoval’s wage theft scandal that effectively sank her prospects. I don’t have a feel for what McCosker’s expected victory will mean for bike and pedestrian projects in a district that stretches from San Pedro to Watts.

Career politician Bob Hertzberg holds a slim 1.5% lead over West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath for LA County Supervisor; a Hertzberg victory would represent a significant conservative shift compared outgoing Supervisor Shiela Kuehl.

Retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna leads incumbent Alex Villanueva for LA County Sheriff, whose department has long used pretext stops to target bicyclists for riding while Black or brown. Especially brown.

State Measure 30, which would have taxed millionaires to fund e-cars and prevent wildfires, went down to defeat by a 2-1 margin.

The next update isn’t expected until tomorrow. We’ll catch up on some of the smaller cities in LA County as official results are announced.

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels.

………

You’ve got to be kidding.

A Huntington Beach man finally went on trial in the alleged drunken, hit-and-run death of 33-year old Raymond MacDonald as he rode his bike in the city in 2019.

The collision that killed MacDonald was just one of three crashes 28-year old Victor Manuel Romero stands accused of on that March night, after getting drunk and into a fight in a bar parking lot.

Despite assuring police he would call for a ride, he instead got behind the wheel of his BMW and tore out of the parking lot, hitting the bar owner’s Caddy on the way out.

He then slammed into MacDonald, driving so fast an Uber driver waiting at the intersection felt his car rock as Romero blew by; MacDonald was like dead by the time he hit the pavement.

He then hit another car after blowing through a red light, and was arrested back near the bar after fleeing on foot.

Unbelievably, his attorney tried to blame his actions, not on being drunk or merely an asshole, but by claiming he suffered a concussion from repeated blows to the head while on the losing end of the fight, which somehow affected his decision making.

Sure. Let’s go with that.

Granted, even the worst client has a right to a defense. And his attorney can’t be blamed for throwing whatever Hail Mary he can in the face of overwhelming evidence.

But maybe he could come up with something even slightly more credible.

………

In more enjoyable news, CicLAvia announced the route for the year’s last open streets event next month in South LA.

The South LA Expo Park to Watts CicLAvia will roll December 4th, on a route that will take it along Martin Luther King Blvd from Exposition Park to Historic South Central — the birthplace of West Coast Jazz — then along Central Ave to Florence-Firestone and ending on 103rd Street in Watts, the home turf of the East Side Riders.

The late date means the event will be subject to the whims of what passes for winter weather in Los Angeles. However, many people who have attended previous South LA CicLAvias have ranked them among the best events in the 12-year history of CicLAvia.

And it certainly offers some of the best food you’ll find anywhere in Los Angeles.

………

Nothing like getting right hooked on a protected bike lane.

………

San Francisco voted overwhelmingly to keep JFK Drive permanently carfree through Golden Gate Park, while overwhelmingly defeating a measure to reopen JFK and the Great Highway to cars.

State Senator Scott Wiener credits his SB288 with exempting the projects from CEQA review, forcing opponents to take it to a vote of the people, where it was resoundingly rejected,

………

Don’t worry. If a Tesla driver runs you down, they may not be texting.

They might just be on a Zoom call.

Thanks to HowTheWestWS for the heads-up.

………

That feeling when the Twitter bird flees Elon Musk, and takes up residence in your bike wheel.

Which I suppose beats the hell out of a monkey in your spokes.

………

Everesting — climbing the height of Mt. Everest on a bicycle — is hard enough. Imagine doing it when you can’t breathe.

An inspiring new video tells the story of South African cyclist Jason van’t Slot, who broke the record for the fastest successful Everesting attempt by someone with cystic fibrosis.

………

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

No bias here. A San Diego letter writer says “Same road, same rules” cuts both ways, insisting that stops signs and red lights apply to people on bikes, too. Apparently, he’s never watched drivers at red lights and stop signs, either.

No bias here, either. A British Conservative politician responds to a viral clip of an oncoming driver refusing to pause for a five-year old kid on a bike by saying the child shouldn’t be riding on the street in the first place. Because there are so much better places for families to ride where they’re going, evidently. 

This is why people keep dying on the roads. A British driver walked without a single day behind bars for using his car as a weapon to ram into a man on a bike in reverse, after the man slapped his car when the driver yelled for him and another bike rider to get out of the road. Adding insult to injury, he’ll get his damn drivers license back after a lousy six-month suspension, when it should have been revoked for life.

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

Police in Carlsbad are looking for a road-raging bike rider who attacked a car driven by a pair of teens by trying to open their door and punching a window, before smashing the windshield, then allegedly lying in wait for them down the road; the altercation reportedly began when traffic bogged down as the rider was crossing the intersection, which “got him all spun up and (one of the teens) retaliated at him and got upset at him.” I assume that last quote means something, but we may need a teen-to-English translation before it makes any sense. As we’ve said many times before, though, violence is never the right answer, no matter how justified it may seem at the time. 

NYPD officers are looking for an armed “menace” riding a bikeshare bike who repeatedly pointed a gun at pedestrians, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

An experimental program developed by a UCLA professor is paying people to bikepool between the Eastside and Downtown; Civic Bicycle Commuting, aka CiBiC, allows participants to earn credits worth up to $300 a month.

A fire at the El Segundo Chevron plant inevitably means Southern California gas prices will be going up. To which bike commuters seem oddly unconcerned.

 

State 

California set a record for greenhouse gas reductions in 2020, which was more than offset by the increase in greenhouse gas emissions last year, as miles driven rebounded to pre-pandemic levels; a full 40% of LA County’s greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicle tailpipes.

Santa Barbara county supervisors took the first step necessary to approve a proposed bike path along San Diego’s Modoc Road, helped in part by a large turnout by supporters.

Berkeley took the first step towards banning red turns on right at every intersection in the city.

The San Francisco Examiner explains California’s requirements for bike lights and reflectors. However, the law only applies if you’re riding after sunset or before sunrise, although police have been known to use daytime light checks as an illegal pretext stop.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a woman riding a bike was killed in a hit-and-run Wednesday afternoon.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a custom lowrider frame worth eight grand made by students at a Sacramento high school.

Finishing our Sacramento trifecta, city officials are asking people to pick which crappy plastic bendy bollard they want to offer a false sense of protection on bike lanes.

 

National

Transport for America says education, enforcement and technology — the cornerstones of American Vision Zero programs — don’t make streets safer; what does is better roadway designs.

A piece from the Congress for the New Urbanism calls ebikes essential technology for the 15 minute city.

Your next ebike could come with an automatic transmission; meanwhile, a new regenerative-braking ebike conversion kit promises to turn your existing bike into an ebike in just 30 seconds, you can buy it now on Kickstarter for half the planned $599 retail price.

Men’s Journal offers tips on winter fat tire bike riding, as well as their favorite bikes for the job, while Gear Patrol has advice on how to make your first bikepacking trip a success.

Triathlete offers a temperature-based guide to choosing bikewear.

Giro joins the LED-lighted bike helmet club.

She gets it. An op-ed in The Seattle Times says in order to improve safety for pedestrians, we need to prioritize the people who aren’t in cars. Which goes for protecting bike riders, too.

More bad news from Las Vegas, where a second bike rider has died following a drunken, serial hit-and-run that has now killed two people and injured seven others, while damaging ten vehicles.

Now that’s singletrack. A mountain bike trail stretches 567 continuous miles through the Colorado backcountry from Denver to Durango.

Accused killer Kaitlin Armstrong will go on trial next June for the May murder of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas.

Authorities in Chicago have apparently concluded that parking in bike lanes isn’t such a big deal, chopping the fine in half, from $500 to $250. Which is still more than in Los Angeles.

Residents of Provincetown, Rhode Island are just the latest to get ebike rebates before California’s long-delayed program goes into effect, with qualified buyers eligible for up to $1,200.

We could use a lot more people like this. Nearly 30 years after financial problems forced a New Jersey man to drop out of Howard University, he’s raised over $100,000 through an annual bike ride to help other students live out their educational dreams at Historic Black Colleges and Universities, aka HBCUs.

 

International

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid marks the 100th anniversary of drivers running pedestrians — and bike riders — off the road, when an engineering journal article by roadbuilder Edward J. Mehren called for a radical redesign of roadways to make them the exclusive domain of motor vehicles.

Road.cc recalls bygone bike tech we’re well rid of. Although if we completely get rid of wing nuts, we’ll have to find another term for all those assorted whack jobs. Oh.

Tragic news from Tijuana, where a longtime bike advocate and scholar was crushed to death by the driver of a cargo truck while riding in the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood.

A Vancouver couple were able to recover their stolen bike, along with five of their neighbors bikes, thanks to an Apple AirTag.

New wildcat posters instruct Toronto drivers to keep parking in bike lanes, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Nurses at a London hospital are using ebikes to make patient rounds in the neighboring community.

A London TikTok user shares video of a midnight bicycle magical mystery tour through the lights of the city.

Now you, too, can own your very own Irish e-bikemaker, as the country’s High Court has forced Modmo Technologies into liquidation after a recall due to a dangerously defective battery mount crippled its finances.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. Try taking a bike tour along Italy’s 2,300-year old, 373-mile Roman Appian Way.

A new Spanish ebike foldie is made from plant resin, and promises to fold in just one second.

Life is cheap in New Zealand, where an Aukland prison guard walked with community service for killing a 70-year old man riding his bike on a rural road

 

Competitive Cycling

Cyclist goes on the road with Tour de France mechanics.

Pro cyclist Rebecca Fahringer is crossing over to gravel racing, after suffering a series of concussions racing ‘cross.

Four-time Tour de France champ Chris Froome says UCI’s points system needs an overhaul, calling the new relegation system a death sentence for many cycling teams.

 

Finally…

Your next ebike could be made with artificial meteorites. When you’re riding your bike with an outstanding felony warrant, maybe try riding with traffic, instead. Artistic cycling could be your next new thing.

And here’s a really nice bike themed song from Los Angeles artist Runner, not to be confused with the ’70s band.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

6th Street Viaduct bike lanes get failing grade from bicyclists, and LA mayor candidate Karen Bass rides CicLAvia

There were two big events in the Los Angeles bike world this weekend.

Although which will have a bigger impact in the long run remains to be seen.

First up is the official opening of the long awaited replacement for the crumbling, 1930’s 6th Street Viaduct.

The lengthy, multiple arched bridge stretching over the LA River, rail yards and highways received rave reviews from almost everyone, with outgoing LA Mayor Eric Garcetti calling it “our generation’s love letter to the city.”

With the exception of people on two wheels, that is, who questioned why a little more of the $588 million budget couldn’t have gone towards a better protected bike lane.

Something the LA Times just touched on.

“The layout is perfect,” Stevi Hardy said to her friends as she contemplated the design. “I wish the bike lane was more permanent. It would just be safer if there was a cement protection.”

The bike path is protected by plastic bollards with low rubber stoppers. A car had already rolled over one, according to a tweet.

Hardy and her husband are members of the Montebello Bicycle Coalition and trekked to the bridge with friends from various parts of Southeast Los Angeles County. Their son, Miller, who is 2, offered a thumbs-up from his shaded bicycle seat before doing his best Spider-Man impression, shooting a pretend web.

This complaints start at the beginning, which is oddly far from the start of the bridge, forcing riders to share the lane with impatient drivers for the first 200 feet.

The good news is there are some connections to the bridge from some existing bike lanes.

The bad, not enough. And not safe enough.

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1546160032344969222

https://twitter.com/multimodalLA/status/1546322536887005184

Then there’s the limited protected offered by the low curbs and chubby plastic bendy posts.

Which didn’t stand up to the very first vehicles on the very first day.

Top rendering from 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

………

Next up is the triumphant return of CicLAvia, which took over South LA’s Western Ave in the year’s first event.

CD8 Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson struck the right note in opening the day’s festivities.

Los Angeles mayoral candidate Karen Bass demonstrated she’s one us, as she rode Sunday’s CicLAvia along with her brother.

However, billionaire mall developer Rick Caruso, her competitor in the race, was apparently a no show, missing a golden opportunity to demonstrate a more human side and connect with thousands of LA voters.

Next up is a return of the popular Meet The Hollywoods CicLAvia through Hollywood and West Hollywood next month.

………

CLR Effect and Claremont Cyclist author Michael Wagner forwards a heartbreaking report about the installation of a ghost bike for Debbie Morgan-Alam, who was killed late last month by an alleged DUI driver.

Wagner reports her alleged 19-year old killer was driving with three times the legal alcohol limit, and with cannabis in her system.

Although the legal alcohol limit for underage drivers is zero.

Photos by Michael Wagner

Personally, I hate ghost bikes. I hope I never see another one.

But I will keep supporting them as long as people keep dying needlessly on our streets.

………

This is who we share the internet with.

And the answer is…

Thanks to How The West Was Saved for the heads-up.

………

The president of Slovakia is one of us, too.

https://twitter.com/CoolBikeArt1/status/1546166517103984641

………

Streets For All founder Michael Schneider visits New York, and discovers that outdoor dining and parking protected bike lanes can peacefully coexist.

https://twitter.com/schneider/status/1546259940704141313

………

Everyone knows you need an SUV to ferry the kids, right?

Right?

And note she’s riding uphill, too.

………

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

Portland police have rearrested a man who allegedly attacked a bike-riding man and his young daughter in a racist attack based on their Japanese ancestry, after he failed to appear in court.

A bicyclist learns the hard way to stay out of the door zone, in a horrifying crash that remarkably appeared to end without major injuries.

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

A Cleveland woman faces neglect charges after a pizza shop worker spotted her recklessly riding a bike, with her two-month old diaper-wearing twins in a milk crate held to the handlebars with just a bungee cord.

A Grand Rapids, Michigan man was arrested after weaving a Lime ebike in and out of freeway traffic with a BAC of .19, well over twice the legal alcohol limit.

An Ohio man was busted for shoplifting despite a failed attempt to make a getaway on his Huffy.

Police in New York are looking for a man who rode off on a bikeshare bike after stabbing another man to death on a park bench.

………

Local

He gets it. LA Times letters editor Paul Thornton says when it comes to the closure of Griffith Park Drive through Griffith Park, “Cyclists need this. Runners and walkers need this. Los Angeles needs this. And frankly, I need this.”

The Sierra Club calls the Healthy Streets LA ballot proposal “a big step closer to safer LA streets.”

Shia LaBeouf is still one of us, taking his tattooed thighs for a ride through Pasadena.

 

State 

La Jolla’s Fay Ave bike path will get year-round volunteer cleanup efforts, along with re-naturalization with native plants.

San Diego police were quick to blame the victim when a woman was seriously injured after she allegedly swerved her bike into the traffic lane, and collided with a car driven by a 79-year old woman. Although it sounds a lot more like a likely violation of the three-foot passing law to me.

He gets it. A San Diego letter writer says bikeways are an important part of the city’s future, with separated bike lanes proven to reduce bike crashes by 80%.

A 16-year old Palo Alto girl was the victim of a strong-arm robbery when a man pushed her off her bike, and stole her cellphone and debit card.

San Francisco plans to add another 50 miles of bike lanes in an effort to tame some of the city’s most dangerous streets.

 

National

A writer for the Kansas City Star shares the lessons learned riding the 512-mile Bike Across Kansas.

A Wisconsin man was bike-jacked at gunpoint, a crime that’s far more common in other countries, such as South Africa.

This is who we share the road with. After a Chicago man exchanged words with a driver who nearly ran him down as he crossed the street, the woman’s passenger pulled out a gun and shot at him repeatedly; fortunately, the passenger’s aim sucked. These days you almost have to assume there’s a gun in any car. And don’t count on a gunman’s bad aim to save your ass. 

President Joe Biden was back in the saddle this weekend, albeit sans toe clips, a month after he fell off his bike when he got his foot caught in one.

 

International

Rising gas prices in the UK are leading to surging cargo bike sales.

A bike-riding British mail carrier was run down by one of his own colleagues, who drove another 15 miles before telling police he “may have hit something.”

A UK military veteran shares his thoughts on riding across the country despite losing a leg in Afghanistan.

The brutal invasion of Ukraine didn’t appear to put a damper on Moscow’s summer bicycle parade, with thousands of riders taking part.

Add this one to your bike bucket list. A new 25-mile bike path leads past four major temples in the ancient Madras, in eastern India.

Speaking of India, bike-born knife sharpeners are slowly fading away in Rawalpindi.

Severe gas shortages in Sri Lanka mean residents are leaving their cars in the garage, and taking to their bikes.

The Global Times says “fancy” foreign bikes costing up to $15,000 — from makers like Specialized, Trek and Brompton — are the latest must-have fad for China’s Gen Z.

Peddle ice cream while you peddle your new $1,500 solar-powered ebike from China’s Alibaba — or get two for just $200 more.

 

Competitive Cycling

Who had Bob Jungels 40-mile solo breakaway win on their Tour de France bingo card for Sunday’s ninth stage? The Luxembourger made a triumphant comeback after battling arterial endofibrosis for the past two years.

The formidable Ineos Grenadiers team cracked a little on Sunday when Colombian Dani Martínez did the same, leaving three team members remaining in the Tour’s top ten.

Tadej Pogačar leads the pack by more than a minute over 22-year old Jonas Vingegaard, with American Nielson Powless a surprising ninth at a minute and 55 seconds behind the leader.

Cycling Weekly complains about pro cycling’s failure to mention the war in Ukraine, raging just over a thousand miles from the Tour de France; Russian oligarch Igor Makarov remains on UCI’s management committee, despite heavy sanctions and pressure to remove him.

Fans crowding the race course claimed another casualty last week, when Italy’s Daniel Oss was forced to withdraw from the Tour with a broken neck after clipping one fan, then slamming into another who was leaning out onto the roadway; fortunately, he’s expected to make a full recovery.

The breakout star of this year’s Tour de France is French sprinter Hugo Hofstetter’s black and tan Rottweiler.

Olympic road champ Annemiek van Vleuten won her third Giro Donne title, after surviving a Friday fall.

Hope for all us diabetics, as Canada’s Sébastien Sasseville overcame type 1 to finish 12th in the recent Race Across America, aka RAAM, riding over 3,000 miles in 11 days, 22 hours and 25 minutes.

Cycling Utah offers a brief recap of Saturday’s Crusher in the Tushar gravel race; Keegan Swenson and Haley Smith topped 800 riders from 37 states and eight countries to win the men’s and women’s titles, respectively; Swenson won his in a decisive solo breakaway.

 

Finally…

If you’re planning to steal a police bike, maybe try not to do it right in front of them. That feeling when you get chased on your bike by a crazed fan.

And every bike rider knows how good it feels to get a new bicycle.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Leading LA mayor candidates ignore street safety, bikes fight high gas prices, and fighting SUVs one tire prick at a time

Ever get the feeling your issues are taking a backseat in local politics?

In a year where all of the leading candidates for mayor of Los Angeles are focusing their campaigns on crime and dealing with the homeless — one way or another — providing safe alternatives to driving hasn’t even been an afterthought.

Literally.

Just take a look at the websites for Karen Bass, Rick Caruso, Kevin de León, Mike Feuer and Joe Buscaino, and see if you can find a single mention of traffic safety. Let alone biking, walking or transit.

No mention of Vision Zero. Not a single word about building out the mobility plan to fix traffic congestion and fight rising gas prices. And nothing about investing in clean transportation to fight climate change.

Not. One. Damn. Word.

But at least Buscaino directed me to a nearly four year old op-ed he penned about embracing smart mobility options, after I complained about that on Twitter.

And as Barry J. Neely reminds us, Bass is one of us.

So let’s hope they all get around to addressing safe streets and alternatives to driving, however belatedly, as the campaign goes on.

Otherwise, it could be a very long four years, regardless of who wins.

Correction: Someone representing Mike Feuer reached out to me directing me to the page on Sustainability on his website, which contains one whole sentence about improving transit and building protected bike lanes, but only in the context of reducing greenhouse gases. 

Which, sadly, makes him the leader at this point.

………

Today’s photo shows Los Angeles City Hall awaiting its next, hopefully bike friendly, occupant, with a little more commitment and follow-through than the current one. 

………

Today’s common theme is people turning to bicycles to fight high gas prices, even though Los Angeles had a decade to get ready for this moment. And didn’t.

Streetsblog offers tips for new bike riders in the City of Angels.

Record gas prices are boosting ebike sales in San Diego, which are seeing exponential growth credited to prices at the pump.

The New York Times explains why California gas prices are so high. Although the best way to reduce price pressure at the pump is just not to play, and find another way to get around.

An Iowa writer says the state’s high gas prices make her want to ride a bike everywhere — even though their gas is over a buck and a half cheaper than California.

Rising gas prices are a double-edged sword for bike shops in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, driving up demand while increasing costs.

………

Seems like a good time for a reminder that many, if most, Los Angeles car trips could easily be done by bicycle.

If they had a safe way to get there, that is.

………

This might be taking things a tad too far.

An international group of climate activists are combating SUVs in an effort to drive the polluting, gas-guzzling and deadly vehicles off the road.

Thought to be an offshoot of Britain’s Extinction Rebellion, Tyre Extinguishers — the spelling points out their roots in the UK — punctures the tires on SUVs, with a goal to “make it impossible to own an SUV in the UK’s urban areas.”

And leave behind a politely worded note explaining their actions, while telling aggrieved drivers not to take it personally.

Which is kind of hard to do when someone leaves you feeling literally deflated, to put it mildly.

The group has targeted vehicles in London’s upscale Chelsea, Chiswick, Notting Hill and Belgravia neighborhoods, where they are colloquially known as Chelsea tractors.

And now the informal group has reportedly spread to Los Angeles, where someone allegedly inspired by their actions claims to have punctured SUV tires here .

I’d be the first to admit that I’d like to push every damn SUV into a pile and blow them all to hell. But I wouldn’t, even if I could.

Because vandalizing other people’s property is always wrong. Even if it is done for the right reasons.

………

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

Nothing unusual here, unfortunately. A bike rider was shot in the leg from someone in a passing car while riding on the UC Davis campus. And no, that’s not a prank, it’s a crime. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the link.

Bicyclists accuse an English county of closing a mountain pass to bikes as an anti-cyclist move “dressed up cheaply as health and safety,” two weeks after landslides closed the road to cars.

No bias here. When asked what should be done to improve safety for bicyclists in Oxford, England in the wake of recent deaths, drivers called for bicycle license plates, hi-viz and bicycling proficiency tests, rather than doing anything to drive safer.

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

A Glendale driver reported a hit-and-run bicyclist who fled the scene after crashing into their car. Although something tells me there’s probably another side to that story.

After an 11-year old Springer Spaniel had his leg amputated when he was struck by a man “zooming” along a multi-use path on his bicycle, the dog’s angry owner called for steps to curb “arrogant” bike riders.

………

Local

The Bike League recognized 33 new or renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities, with LA’s Loyola Marymount University moving up to silver, and Pasadena’s California Institute of Technology holding stead at bronze, while Cal Poly Pomona has to settle for another honorable mention.

 

State 

Caltrans is looking for public input on its draft Active Transportation Plan for bicycle and pedestrian improvements on state highways in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

San Diego’s mayor wants the city to marginally lower speed limits, using the same new state law Los Angeles is using to lower speeds 5 mph on 177 miles of streets.

 

National

NPR relates five ways to bounce back better from bicycle or other sports injuries.

The Today Show suggests their somewhat surprising picks for the best commuter, fitness and cruiser bikes.

A writer for Forbes says bicycle infrastructure saves lives by improving health and fitness, too.

Adventure Journal says yes, you can get a nice gravel bike for 900 bucks, albeit with a few caveats.

The Bike Portland podcast talks with local women behind the ebike revolution.

Phoenix AZ is responding to the death of a popular bicycle ambassador with plans to add more protected bike lanes in the downtown area.

Tragic news from Minneapolis, where a man died a year and a half after he was paralyzed by a driver with a revoked license while riding his bike on the sidewalk. The driver, who had two previous license suspensions, was sentenced to a lousy year in county jail in a plea bargain; if prosecutors had waited just six six weeks, the charge could have been vehicular homicide. Just one more example of allowing dangerous drivers to stay on the road until it’s too late.

A new documentary shows a man’s journey by bike from Chicago to New Jersey, riding alone to exorcise the demons of being abused by a priest as a child, and inspire other clergy abuse victims.

Bicycling profiles a proud Black Southern woman from Alabama, who encourages women to live authentically while advocating for representation in bicycling. As usual, read on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

It was Bike to Work Day in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, with the county’s leader leading the way.

 

International

Tern unveiled a new e-cargo foldie for anyone with an extra three grand lying around.

Horrible news from the Netherlands, where a 21-year old Massachusetts woman studying abroad was killed by a stalker, who placed a tracking device on her bicycle after they met on Tinder.

NatGeo wants to help you plan a bike tour through Belgium’s beer country.

German ebike subscription service Dance is expanding into more European cities, including Hamburg, Munich, Vienna and Paris. Which means the US, UK and Canada will have to wait.

Congratulations to Spanish bikemaker Orbea on being named Bike Brand of the year.

Angry New Zealand bike riders claim a teenage bicyclist didn’t have to die over the weekend, blaming local officials for turning a deaf ear to calls to make the area safer for people on two wheels.

 

Competitive Cycling

Great news, as NBC announced it will broadcast the first two years of the eight-stage Tour de France Femmes, aka the Women’s Tour de France, starting this July.

Bad news for the competition, as 39-year old Annemiek van Vleuten says she’s still improving after two decades as one of the top women’s cyclists.

Sad news from the UK, where 28-year old Scottish track sprinter John Paul has died; no cause of death was announced.

 

Finally…

Forget race results — what really matters is pro cyclists and their animal buddies. Your old bicycle chain could turn into spectacular nude human figures.

And who says a stationary bike has to stay that way?

https://twitter.com/AmericanFietser/status/1501228437457227776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1501228437457227776%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froad.cc%2Fcontent%2Fnews%2Fcycling-live-blog-9-march-2022-290929

………

Thanks to Margaret for her generous annual contribution to support this site, and keep all the best bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

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

%d bloggers like this: