Tag Archive for Karen Bass

Bloated CAO cost estimate weighs down Measure HLA, and draconian ebike regs threaten drag on micromobility

Just 315 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
So stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand Mayor Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face walking and biking on the mean streets of LA.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. Just 42 signatures to go to reach 1,000!

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Measure HLA continues to lead the news, and appears to be the hottest issue on next month’s ballot for Los Angeles.

The ballot proposal, which does nothing more than require Los Angeles officials to keep their official commitments to the bicycling, walking and transit communities, would require the city to build out the already approved Mobility Plan 2035 whenever a street in the plan gets resurfaced.

Despite being passed nine years ago with the overwhelming support of the city council, just five percent of the plan has been built in the years since — meaning an overwhelming 95% of the plan remains vaporware, with just eleven years remaining before it’s supposed to be completed.

Although implementing the plan this way, as streets are resurfaced, will take considerably longer.

Then again, we were told within weeks of its passage that the plan is just “aspirational,” anyway.

The Los Angeles Public Press describes it this way.

Measure HLA, also known as Healthy Streets LA, would require the city to implement Mobility Plan 2035 every time it repaves 1/8 mile of street or repairs 1/8 mile of sidewalk. If it fails to do so, any resident of the city of LA can sue to force compliance.

If passed, the measure could change how the city designs and builds transportation infrastructure. But it could also change the city’s identity as a sprawling metropolis built for cars — where everybody drives and nobody walks, bikes, or takes the bus unless they have to.

Last week, the city tried to sandbag the ballot measure with an astounding estimate of up to $3.1 billion — yes, with a B — to fully implement the measure.

But among the financial tricks they used to inflate the cost was rolling the full amount of street repaving, sidewalk repairs and other costs into the measure, which the city will be obligated to spend whether or not it passes. Along with shoehorning the full cost of the measure into an artificial ten year horizon, raising the projected annual costs to ridiculously high figures.

This is how Streetsblog’s Joe Linton described the report from City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo, which he accurately described as “scaremongering bullshit.”

In November, the CAO had forecast bike lanes to cost L.A. $350,000 per mile.

That was roughly double current city costs. L.A. Department of Transportation’s higher quality facilities (for example parking-protected facilities like San Vicente Boulevard) cost just under $200,000 per mile.

Today, the CAO upped its bike lane figure to $1.76 million per mile. I had to look at that number several times – not a typo: $1.76 million per mile of bike lane. Really.

The CAO bike lane cost today is about nine times what LADOT currently spends for a mile of its best bike lanes. And the CAO applies this cost to the Mobility Plan’s protected and unprotected bike lanes.

Other outlets picked up the misleading $3.1 billion estimate, while lacking the context or willingness to put it in perspective.

However, other sources focused on the powerful pro-HLA billboard that says more pedestrians have been killed on LA’s Vermont Blvd than in the state of Vermont.

CityWatch’s self-appointed urban planning expert, who somehow seems to think his expertise as a dermatologist gives him unique insights into the field, says he’s a big hell no on HLA, arguing that it’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing for road diets and transit-friendly housing, while complaining about “councilmembers and paid mercenaries parade around promoting ‘Healthy Streets’ that empower developer and other monied interests.”

Although I suspect many of the people working to pass HLA would love to paid for the countless hours of volunteer time they’re putting in on the campaign.

Former councilmember and retired LAPD supervisor Dennis Zine is also a no on HLA, arguing that it will “further reduce vehicle traffic lanes and cause additional gridlock on roads that are already over capacity,” even though the Department of Transportation says it ain’t necessarily so.

Also writing for CityWatch, civic activist Tim Deegan makes the bizarre argument that HLA will empower progressives, as if no conservatives ever walk, bike or use transit, and hurt the homeless in some unspecified way, as if they somehow won’t benefit from safer streets.

But at least one writer for CityWatch takes the time to consider both sides, while appearing to come down on neither.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports Mayor Bass is standing on the sidelines by refusing to take a stand on HLA.

But at least that’s better than stabbing us in the back like she did with her flip flop on a proposal to merely study the practicality and support for removing the useless Marina Freeway, and replace it with housing and a massive park.

According to the Times, supporters include city councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Eunisses Hernandez, Heather Hutt, Nithya Raman, Hugo Soto-Martínez and Katy Yaroslavsky, along with City Controller Kenneth Mejia.

Councilmembers Bob Blumenfield, Tim McOsker, Traci Park and Monica Rodriguez are opposed, though only Park is actively campaigning against it.

And neither Bass nor Council President Paul Krekorian have voiced support for either side.

Finally, the Daily Breeze and other SoCal News Group papers appear to oppose the measure. But since the story is hidden behind their draconian paywall, we may never know.

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The other topic gaining a lot of traction over the weekend was the effort by some legislators to reign in the booming popularity of ebikes.

A New Jersey state senate committee approved a bill that would require insurance and registration for ebikes and their riders, while admitting the bill is flawed in its present form, but insisting someone else will fix it.

A writer for CleanTechnica says New Jersey would be foolish to require ebike insurance and registration, which threatens to put the brakes on micromobility through over-regulation.

Advocacy groups say it would harm working-class residents while requiring a form of insurance that doesn’t yet exist.

Meanwhile, Key Biscayne, Florida responded to the death of an elderly woman who was struck by a teenaged ebike rider while riding her bike by approving a temporary ban on all ebikes and e-scooters.

Which is kind of like banning all cars because a single driver is accused of causing a crash, even though they may not have been at fault.

Okay, it’s exactly like it.

Yet everyone appeared to comply with the ban, as police didn’t ticket anyone for breaking it over the weekend. Although I’m very surprised no one violated the ban to challenge it in court.

GCN considers what seems to be lost in all the other arguments, with advice for beginners on how to stay safe riding an ebike.

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On the same subject, longtime Orange County bike advocate Bill Sellin forwards the following comments from ebike instructor, presenter, author & consultant Clinton Sandusky, with his permission. 

As promised, here are my personal thoughts/bullet points (not representing any organizations I am a part of) on this proposed (Bill Text – AB-2234 Vehicles: electric bicycles. (ca.gov)) by Assemblymember Boerner:
First, I certainly appreciate Assemblymember Boerner’s efforts now and in the past in trying to make riding conventional and electric bicycles a more safe and enjoyable experience here in California! I believe this bill in its current form is highly flawed, will not have the results hoped for, and therefore should not proceed forward for the following reasons:
  • It would make significant changes to existing laws (some of which have been in effect since 2016) way too fast. A more reasonable first step in addressing electric bicycle safety would be the passage of Bill Text – AB-1778 Vehicles: electric bicycles. (ca.gov) — which would raise the minimum age to operate a Class 2 electric bicycle to 16 and require the wearing of a helmet for all persons.  Of course, adherence and enforcement even to this other proposed bill would be a challenge.
  • I have a big concern with the educational component of this bill! Making education mandatory, especially for persons who do not possess a valid driver’s license, poses many problems. 1. How effectively would it be adhered to and/or enforced? 2. The current CHP online course only provides knowledge-based learning vs. more important and needed skills-based (on-bike) learning.  3. We need to take a page from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) from decades ago and first look at and highly promote voluntary education and training.  Adult to youth riders MUST be exposed to a variety of relevant, quality and effective online and in-person bicycle safety and training programs provided by recognized statewide and national organizations.  4. What would the financial burden be to bicyclists taking a course of their choice, whether a no cost or cost-based course?  Will there be provided state or local governmental vouchers?
  • My final concern is a Constitutional one. In California, all classes of electric bicycles are currently defined as a “bicycle” Law section (ca.gov) and a bicycle is defined as a “device” Law section (ca.gov) — not a “vehicle” Law section (ca.gov). Therefore, bicycling (including riding electric bicycles) in California is a right, not a privilege (like for drivers of vehicles) and must not require a valid driver’s license or issued “skills wavier” to operate.  A skills wavier would also be a logistical nightmare to administer, more appropriately by the DMV and not the CHP.

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Sean Price forwards the following warning for bike riders on PCH. My apologies if it’s hard to read; making it big enough to see seems to blur the content.

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Writing for the New York Times, author Caroline Paul describes what happened when her mother changed her life by taking up bicycling in her 60s.

Besides being trash-talked on a bike ride with her own mom, that is.

Turns out, my mother’s cycling habit meant that she was checking many of the boxes — health, novelty, community and purpose — needed to age well. (For others, this might come in the form of a language class, a book club, a commitment to mastering a plank.) Yet when my mother went biking, there was something more: She was embracing attributes like exhilaration, exploration, awe, a little bit of recklessness. This provided the final pillar for healthy and fulfilling aging: Dr. Levy’s positive mind-set.

But how? My mom didn’t live in a bubble; she had not escaped subliminal toxic messaging. It was the bicycling, with its demands for physical vitality, the uncertainty of every ride, the grit on the uphill, the inherent wheeeeee aspect of fun on the downhill — all powerful proof of that messaging’s mendacity. As her own beliefs were being subverted, her biking adventures also drew surprised and admiring reactions from peers and from those much younger (like her own children). Wow! Badass! was the elated response, which boosted her own passion for the sport, and her life. (Another thing not expected of older women: passion.)

Thanks to Tim Rutt for the heads-up.

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It’s now 61 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law — and counting.

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

Bike riders are forced to dodge a series of curb stones randomly littering a Glasgow, Scotland bike lane for the past month, which are virtually impossible to see after dark.

A whopping eight men in their 20s, 30s and 40s have been arrested in the murder of a British bike rider, who police allege was intentionally run down by the 24-year old driver; the others face charges for assisting in the coverup.

A motorbike rider in the UK is “terrorizing” bicyclists by riding on local bike paths.

A Yorkshire, England cab driver got out of his vehicle to confront a bicyclist in the video below, squaring up to exchange punches before slamming the bike rider against a car.

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

An ebike rider in New South Wales was fined a total of nearly $1,500 for violating the Australian state’s strict ebike rules for operating an unregistered and uninsured motor vehicle, presumably by violating power and/or speed limitations. Meanwhile, a woman was fined a total of more than $2,500 for violating the same restrictions while riding with her child.

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Local 

The Los Angeles city council voted to instruct city workers to look for ways to close the $100 million funding gap to close remaining gaps in the LA River bike path.

After West Hollywood gave away 50 free bicycles to encourage residents to get around without a vehicle, recipients rode an average of nearly 30 miles a month in a mix of recreation, transportation and commuting. Yet surprisingly, only 20% thought WeHo needs more bike lanes.

Long Beach continues its struggle to meet Vision Zero goals, despite a significant drop in traffic deaths last year.

 

State

Goleta proposes transferring funds promised for a new car, bike and pedestrian bridge to building roundabouts in the Old Town area, after price estimates for the bridge soar to $275 million.

San Francisco is setting new storage and charging rules for lithium-ion ebike and scooter batteries in an effort to reduce fires.

San Francisco will consider design changes to the controversial Valencia Street centerline bike lane, despite a new report indicating it has met the goal of improving safety.

 

National

A writer for CNET says her Apple Watch, combined with an iPhone, changed the way she rides a bike, eliminating the need for a separate bicycling computer.

He gets it. A Seattle writer says if he paid attention to drivers the way they pay attention to him while walking or biking, he’d be dead by now.

Once again, a group of bicyclists were heroes when four Washington state bike riders successfully fought off a mountain lion that attacked a woman riding with their group, subduing the puma by pinning it under a mountain bike frame; the victim was hospitalized with injuries to her face, neck and jaw, but is expected to survive.

A Las Vegas driver learns the hard way that if you’re going to flee the scene after killing a bike rider, take your damn bumper with you. And don’t tell your wife.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a Florida woman blamed her drug addiction after she was sentenced to 15 years behind bars, with another 15 years probation, for the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle; she was somehow still driving, despite 11 previous felony convictions.

Florida investigators concluded the woman who plowed her car into nine bicyclists on a group ride last month suffered an apparent medical issue — then appeared to refute their own conclusion by ticketing her for failing to drive in a single lane, unknowingly operating a vehicle while license was suspended, revoked, canceled or disqualified, and failure to provide proof of insurance; one victim remains hospitalized with significant brain trauma. Although how it’s possible to not know if you have a valid license, or to be held responsible if you’re having a medical problem, is beyond me.

 

International

Condé Nast Traveler recommends the world’s 19 most scenic bike paths, ranging from the British countryside to breathtaking views of Mount Everest.

It took London police less than 24 hours to infiltrate a bike theft ring using a bait bike, jailing ten people and recovering 60 stolen bikes worth the equivalent of $167,000.

Actor Matthew Broderick is one of us, taking a break from performing Plaza Suite with his wife Sarah Jessica Parker, with a casual bikeshare ride through the streets of London.

English police recommend registering your bike, after someone got their stolen Cannondale road bike back four years after it was stolen. You can do that for free right here with Bike Index

Just days after a new study suggested turbans worn by Sikh bicyclists can be nearly as effective as bike helmets in preventing injuries, an English man said his turban protected his head when he came off his bike on a wet road and slid underneath an oncoming car.

A pair of bike riders in the UK were also heroes, as authorities look for a couple who paused their bike ride in a valiant, but unsuccessful, attempt to save the life of a 25-year old man they found lying unconscious near a cycle track.

An Irish bike club suffered its second tragic loss in less than a year, when an amateur cyclist and father was killed by a Dublin, Ireland driver.

Velo describes Kortrijk, Belgium’s annual Velofollies bike expo as the best kept secret in bike shows, offering a surprising array of commuting, cargo and urban bikes.

A Sri Lankan company introduced an innovative ebike-based “Eco Hauler,” which is really just a cart towed by an ebike. But still.

An Aussie bike rider politely tells drivers to use their damn turn signals, already.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Vuelta a Andalucía “Ruta del Sol” was shortened from five days to just three due to farmer protests in the area.

A Dublin writer decries traditional gender roles and stereotypes that have limited the participation of women in cycling.

Tragic news from South Africa, where talented teenaged cyclist and national U19 time trial champ Jessie Munton has spent the last month fighting for her life in the ICU, remaining in a coma since she was struck by a driver on a January training ride.

Velo looks back at former Tour de France champ Stephen Roche, saying he was more popular than the pope, JFK or any other celebrity — in Ireland, anyway.

Always wait until you cross the damn finish line to celebrate your victory.

https://twitter.com/faustocoppi60/status/1758508052616020159

 

Finally…

Riding around the world without leaving the comfort of your home. Get your toddler the latest in e-balance bike technology. Bike riding on Mars means less air, but fewer drivers.

And we now have a new world record holder for the tallest tall bike.

Although the LA-based builder of former record holder StoopidTaller Bike didn’t need no safety rope.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Cops look for hit-and-run driver — and bicyclist, Boerner set to unveil ebike bill for kids, and demand safer streets now

Just 328 days until Los Angeles fails to meet its Vision Zero pledge to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.
Stop what you’re doing and sign this petition to demand LA Mayor Karen Bass hold a public meeting to listen to the dangers we face just walking and biking on the mean streets of Los Angeles.

Then share it — and keep sharing it — with everyone you know, on every platform you can. We’re nearly up to 900 signatures, so let’s try to get it up over 1,000 this week!

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My apologies, once again, for yesterday’s unexcused absence.

Let’s just say diabetes sucks, and get on with it. 

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Authorities in LA County are investigating a pair of hit-and-runs. Although only one of the suspects was actually in a motor vehicle.

First up is a late January crash in Long Beach that left a bike rider with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The victim was riding with a group of bicyclists traveling west on Fourth Street at Atlantic Ave around 9:50 pm on Thursday, January 25th, when he was struck by driver headed south on Atlantic, who fled without stopping.

Police are looking for the driver of a silver Nissan sedan with chrome rims. Anyone with further information is urged to contact Long Beach Police investigators at 562/570-7355.

Photo from Long Beach Police Department

That was followed by the hunt for a hit-and-run bike rider who left an elderly woman lying severely injured in a Sierra Madre street.

The woman was walking near North Baldwin Ave and Highland Ave around 10 am this past Saturday when she was struck by the bike rider, who also continued without stopping.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Ascano at 626/355-1414, or nascano@cityofsierramadre.com.

And yes, bicyclists have the same obligation to stop after a crash that drivers do, and could face the same penalties if they don’t.

Photo from Sierra Madre police department

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It looks like Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner is ready to introduce her promised ebike bill, which will require anyone without a driver’s license to pass an online ebike safety training course before they can buy an ebike in California.

The bill appears to be directed towards children, though it could apply to adults without a license, as well.

It also prohibits any child under 12 from riding any class of ebike, and establishes diversion programs as an alternative to ticketing children, which is already allowed under current bicycle regulations.

Personally, I’d prefer to see that ban raised to 14 years old, and reclassify throttle-controlled ebikes as mo-peds, requiring a driver’s license to operate, and prohibited from being used in bike lanes or pathways of any sort.

I also hope the bill clarifies that the license requirement does not apply to anyone over the age of 18.

And it raises the question of what happens when a parent with a driver’s license buys an ebike for a child without one. Would the parent be prohibited from being able to buy an ebike for their own child?

But we’ll see what ends up in the actual text.

Thanks to Malcomb Watson for the heads-up. 

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As the previous tweet hinted at, Streets Are For Everyone, aka SAFE, says you have the chance tomorrow to tell Mayor Bass that we need safer streets.

Mayor Bass wants to hear from us!

The UCLA Bunche Center is conducting a series of Community Listening Sessions, as a part of a City of Los Angeles Community Safety Research Study. The study’s goal is to identify and document a broad and representative understanding of the perceptions and realities of public safety (and of its management) of residents in the City of Los Angeles.

Join the discussion and raise your voice about important safety issues in your neighborhood. Please include the need for safety on our streets for cyclists, pedestrians, and all users. With 336 deaths on LA City roads last year, this is a vital safety concern. 

Join this community listening session, and let Mayor Bass know that you want safer streets.

Virtual Community Listening Session
February 8, 2024
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Click Here to Register

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Streets For All — not to be confused with SAFE — has updated their voter guide for next month’s election, with endorsements for six of the seven LA council races, as well as council races in Glendale and Pasadena.

Meanwhile, Boyle Heights Beat is hosting a candidate forum for CD 14 this Saturday.

Personally, though, I’m still struggling to decide between state Assemblymember Laura Friedman and state Senator Anthony Portantino for my next Congress member, either of whom would provide a strong, bike-friendly voice for traffic safety in DC.

I only wish they weren’t running in the same district, because both deserve to win.

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Velo marks Black History Month with a trio of articles recounting Black bicyclists from the early days of bicycling.

First up is what they call the little-known story of the US Army’s all-Black Bicycle Corps. Which isn’t so little known anymore, after several historical articles over the past couple years.

Then there’s 1890s Black cyclist Woody Hedspath, who they refer to as Major Taylor Number Two, honing his skills in summertime “colored fairs” during the Jim Crow era before moving on to greater accomplishments.

Finally, they write about Kittie Knox, the young Boston woman who broke racial and gender barriers in the 1890s, becoming the first Black woman to join the League of American Wheelmen, the forerunner to today’s League of American Bicyclists, or Bike League, before they changed the rules to exclude people of color.

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The Bambino was one of us.

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Someone finally found a good use for a Tesla pickup.

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It’s now 48 days since the California ebike incentive program’s latest failure to launch, which was promised no later than fall 2023. And 31 months since it was approved by the legislature and signed into law, and counting.

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

No bias here. After British tabloids attack a Birmingham bike lane as a 10 million pound “waste of money” that “no one uses,” a local paper finds it’s actually one of the most popular bikeways in the city.

Ireland’s Green Party called the Sinn Féin party’s objections to a protected bike lane “populist, anti-cycling, anti-road safety, anti-climate action bolloxology.” Although I kinda suspect they made that last word up.

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

A Portland, Oregon letter writer who seems to have an overly high opinion of his fearlessness and bike riding abilities says the city shouldn’t invest in more bike lanes or public transit until they clean them up and more people use them

Police in Mobile, Alabama busted a man riding a bicycle on multiple drug charges after searching him following a short pursuit, begun because he was exhibiting “suspicious behavior.” Let’s hope he can afford a good lawyer, because “suspicious behavior” is entirely subjective, and not probable cause to make a stop.

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Local 

The Eastsider reports that Bike LA, the former Los Angele County Bicycle Coalition, has been awarded a $100,000 grant to “evaluate transportation gaps and identify the mobility challenges, needs, preferences, and priorities of Boyle Heights and East LA residents,” one of 12 similar grants across the state. Let’s hope that’s enough to sustain the organization, which has struggled financially in recent years, but offers a much-needed voice for bicyclists in the LA area.

The Los Angeles Times explains daylighting, and why you’ll now need to park further back from an intersection to avoid a ticket.

Santa Monica police will be conducting yet another bike and pedestrian safety operation tomorrow, ticketing any violation that could put either group at risk, regardless of who commits it. So ride to the letter of the law until you cross the city limits, so you’re not the one who gets written up.

Speaking of Streets For All, the street safety PAC is hosting a bike ride and fundraiser in Mar Vista this Saturday. Saturday is also the Lunar New Year, so there could be some major dragon energy there.

The Alhambra and South Pasadena bike ride hosted by Safe Streets for SGV and South Pas Active that was scrubbed because of rain last weekend has been rescheduled for this Sunday, when the weather looks more promising. And should give you time to get back home in time for that big sportsball thing.

 

State

Good question. The Los Angeles Times asks why the state is widening the 15 Freeway in San Bernardino County, in conflict with the state’s climate goals, which are supposed to be given priority but clearly aren’t. Meanwhile, a new nationwide coalition is calling for a halt to freeway expansion, arguing that “Endless highway expansions are pulling our country into an environmental, budgetary, and public health crisis.”

A San Francisco bike rider was lucky to escape with non-life threatening injuries when he was struck by a Waymo driverless car, which evidently couldn’t spot him following a truck through an intersection. They’re called Waymo because they’re probably way mo’ dangerous than most cars with drivers.

San Francisco banned the use or sale of damaged or recycled ebike and e-scooter batteries, along with limiting how many can be stored in a single home.

 

National

Momentum offers more on the groundbreaking new study that shows cities with high levels of bicycling are usually safer for all road users — and by extension, cities that are safer for bicyclists usually have high levels of bicycling.

NPR considers what Vision Zero has and hasn’t accomplished in American cities. The only thing it’s really accomplished in Los Angeles is making traffic violence part of the conversation, without actually doing anything about it.

Cyclist calls Moab, Utah a gravel cycling mecca like nowhere else on Earth.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld a $2,400 restitution judgement against a bike thief for damaging the victim’s car, after the bike’s owner used it to give chase and cut in front of the thief to stop him as he made his getaway.

A Rhode Island man is suing Trek and Shimano for $2 million, alleging his bike’s brake lever impaled his thigh in a crash due to faulty design.

A New Jersey man was killed when a state trooper driving an unmarked SUV crashed into his bike; no word on whether the trooper was on duty at the time.

A 72-year old Florida woman was killed when her bicycle was rear-ended by a 92-year old woman driving a truck. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive safely. 

 

International

GCN offers five reasons ebikes are better than regular bikes, along with five reasons they’re better than cars.

Momentum recounts the wildest bike lane obstacles, from fat, indecisive squirrels to discarded e-scooters and banana peels.

An English research fellow writes that ebikes offer huge promise for sustainable transport in rural tourist areas.

Bicycling says Paris is now a bicyclist’s paradise after closing 100 streets to cars. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

A writer for Men’s Journal explains why he’s stoked to ride his bike across Morocco. Which should go without saying, because Morocco.

 

Competitive Cycling

Velo writes about Eritrean WorldTour rookie Henok Mulubrhan, who they refer to as the “new hot prospect” already making waves as an African phenom on a mission.

British Cycling, the governing group for nearly all bicycling in the UK, will take over operations of the annual Tour of Britain, which was at risk of folding after the previous organizer shut down.

 

Finally…

Your next pair of Reebok’s could be an ebike and an e-scooter.

And the 2026 Wold Cup final will take place in a stadium where it’s literally illegal to walk; thanks to Steven Hallett for the link.

https://twitter.com/nikicaga/status/1754270927339020360

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

New petition demands public traffic safety meeting with LA Mayor Bass, and new Calbike ED takes Caltrans to task

Just 11 days left to support the 9th Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive!

Thanks to Beverly F, Ken F, Michael W and Todd T for their generous support to keep SoCal’s best source for bike news and advocacy coming your way every day.

And a special thanks to Donna S for her attempt to donate, which was thwarted by international banking hiccups. 

Take a moment right now to join them to keep up the fight, and bring all the latest bike news coming to your favorite screen each morning. 

So don’t wait. Give now!

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Days left to launch the California ebike incentive program as promised this fall: 8

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I did a thing.

Like you, I’m fed up with the traffic violence on our streets, and mad as hell about how little is being done to to improve safety for those of us who aren’t safely ensconced behind a couple tons of glass and steel.

Let alone building a climate-friendly transportation system that’s not firmly routed in the last century.

So I created a petition demanding a public audience with Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, similar to the bike summit held by former Mayor Villaraigosa over a dozen years ago.

I hope you’ll sign it.

And help support it, spreading the link far and wide — because if it relies on me alone, it will fail.

Thirteen years ago, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa held a public forum to listen to complaints from bike riders and pedestrians about the dangers we face on city streets. He heard us, and took action.

But since then, we’ve been ignored. Mayor Eric Garcetti introduced a number of traffic safety initiatives, but failed to follow through on any of them, and failed to listen to us or meet with us a single time. Now new Mayor Karen Bass has continued to ignore the dangers on our streets.

We’ve given her a full year to focus on homelessness, and housing unhoused Angelenos. Now it’s time to walk and chew gum at the same time, and refocus at least some of her attention on the ongoing carnage on our streets, as bike and pedestrian deaths climb to near record levels.

We demand another public forum with the mayor in attendance, to listen to our complaints about the dangers on our streets, and the urgent need to re-imagine how we all get around in Los Angeles.

Go ahead and sign it now. We’ll wait.

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She gets it.

Kendra Ramsey, the new Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition calls on Caltrans to change its ways, because California will never be the climate leader it professes to be until the state stops building freeways.

And yes, that includes highway widening and building new interchanges, too.

While Caltrans spends billions each year repairing and mitigating the damage done by extreme weather caused by climate change, it continues to create the conditions for more harmful emissions. A planned freeway expansion in Yolo County, between Sacramento and Davis, may involve improper environmental review and misuse of state roadway repair funds. The controversy led to the firing of Caltrans deputy director for planning and modal programs Jeanie Ward-Waller, who planned to blow the whistle on the alleged malfeasance…

Caltrans should be inducing demand for active transportation by building protected bikeways with protected intersections that connect to robust local and regional networks of safe bike routes. It should be adding bus-only lanes and bus boarding islands, widening sidewalks, and improving conditions for people who walk or take transit…

It’s a quick and easy read.

And more than worth the click to read the whole thing.

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That’s more like it.

The stoned driver convicted of killing two Michigan men participating in a multi-day Make-A-Wish fundraising bike ride will likely spend the rest of her life behind bars, after she was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 35 to 60 years in prison.

Which means she’ll serve at least 70 years, with a maximum sentence of 120 years.

So if she does the max, she’ll be 164 when she finally gets out.

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And on a lighter note…

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‘Tis the season.

San Diego’s Mike’s Bikes, founded by a retired city employee, gives away about 300 bikes, scooters and skateboards each holiday season.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office gave away over 500 refurbished bicycles to local kids for the holidays. Although to be fair, the inmates at the county Honor Farm did most of the work.

A Baptist church hosted a bike exchange on the Navajo Nation, donating refurbished bicycles to kids who pledged to do good deeds or community service.

A Michigan nonprofit says they take bike-shaped rubble and refurbish it into rideable bicycles, donating 500 bikes to people in need this year.

And enough with the gift guides for bicyclists. Road.cc offers a guide for what not to buy for the bike rider in your life to avoid a festive faux pas.

………

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

No bias here. After San Diego adopted a new Complete Streets policy, the San Diego Reader said “bike lane totalitarians” objected to the numerous exemptions.

No bias here, either. After a British bike rider was mugged, hit in the head with a hammer and had his bicycle stolen while riding on a canal path, the cops just told him to maybe ride somewhere else in the future.

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

You’ve got to be kidding. After a Mississippi drunk driver was arrested for killing a man riding a bicycle, the local cops still blamed the victim for riding on a dark highway without lights, while praising the driver for doing the right thing by stopping and calling for help.

………

………

Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton visits nearly-finished bike infrastructure in Little Tokyo, El Monte and Vincent, including the long-promised Alameda Esplanade.

 

State

No news is good news, right?

 

National

Turns out ebikes offer less range in cold weather.

Bicycling lists a number of bicycles and ebike discounted on pre-holiday sales, including the REI cargo bike CNN rated as the best overall ebike. This one doesn’t appear to be hidden behind the magazine’s paywall, so click away.

Mountain bikemaker Kona is having a BOGO sale on one of its bikes, too.

Major League Baseball recommends taking a leisurely bike ride or walk to visit minor league ballparks across the US.

The rich get richer. My Platinum-Level Bicycle Friendly Colorado hometown is getting a nearly $1 million federal grant to “find ways to maximize safety and comfort for local cyclists.” We could all use that.

 

International

Momentum recommends the best hybrid bikes for all-season bike commuting.

Canadian Cycling Magazine recommends five new tech tools to help keep your bike safe, including a power meter that incorporates Apple’s Find My technology.

The Ethical Choice asks if Brits should be paid to bike to work. Short answer, yes. Longer answer, yes, and over here in the US, too. 

Novel AI tools developed by a Zurich firm are helping to develop safer bike helmets and better shoe soles by bypassing “the time-consuming and intuition-based design process of metamaterials.” Let’s just hope they work better than most AI chatbots.

You can now get bicycles made by the world’s largest bikemaker, India’s Hero Cycles, at your friendly neighborhood Walmart.

 

Competitive Cycling

The former head of the Movistar cycling team explains why he gave Colombian pro Nairo Quintana a second chance, saying pro cycling wasn’t fair in banning him for testing positive for the narcotic painkiller Tramadol, which won’t be banned until next year.

 

Finally…

Now you, too, can own Tadej Pogacar’s very own time trial bike — although it still won’t make you as fast as he is. That feeling when you’re an award-winning actor and a bicycle crash first responder, too.

And a British Columbia teenager made his own “feature length” bike film — if you consider a hair under 30 minutes feature length.

But still.

………

………

Chag sameach!

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

LA Mayor Bass caves to Freeway to Nowhere NIMBYs, and new fed bill aims to protect vulnerable road users

She gets it.

Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith asks why the city won’t even study removing the 90 Freeway stub to nowhere, after the mayor and other local officials caved to LA’s notorious NIMBYs.

Mayor Bass had initially supported a federal grant request to fund a two-year study of the project, which would scrap the three-mile, lightly trafficked highway, potentially replacing it with low-cost housing and a massive linear park.

But in true LA fashion, the mayor and other local officials were for it before they was against it, listening to the loudest angry voices instead of the voice of reason.

Now, though, my excitement as well as (Streets For All founder Michael) Schneider’s has given way to familiar feelings of frustration. True to form for NIMBY-indulging Los Angeles, the political support he believed was solid has suddenly turned porous.

That includes Bass: “I do not support the removal or demolition of the 90 Freeway,” she said in a statement last week. “I’ve heard loud and clear from communities who would be impacted and I do not support a study on this initiative.”

L.A. City Councilmember Traci Park agrees with her. After conducting a very unscientific poll of her Westside constituents, she wrote in her newsletter that: “The 11th District does not support the demolition of the 90 Freeway. Your voice is why Mayor Bass rescinded her initial support.”

L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell told me that, despite rumors to the contrary, she never decided to back a study or tearing down the Marina Freeway, which abuts her district in the unincorporated neighborhood of Ladera Heights. “But it’s a moot point now,” she said.

As Smith makes clear, what they’re all now opposing is nothing more than a feasibility study.

No one, at this point, is calling for the actual destruction of anything. And nothing regarding this project would be done for years, if not decades, that would inconvenience motorists in the slightest.

The flip-flopping pols cite a lack of public outreach their rapid NIMBY cave-in. Yet the reason there hasn’t been any is simply because it isn’t time yet.

Extensive outreach would be a major part of the study, and there’s no reason to do any outreach now, because there’s nothing to actually discuss at this point.

In other words, it’s not that it hasn’t been done. It just hasn’t been done yet.

So what’s the problem in just studying whether the project is feasible and practical, or even wanted — without spending a dime of city funds?

If the mayor is going to cave to NIMBY voices this easily, it doesn’t bode well for getting anything accomplished on our streets during her administration.

……..

Inland Empire Rep. Norma J. Torres cosponsored legislation calling on federal government agencies to develop methods to better protect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, as well as providing grants to cities to improved pedestrian infrastructure.

……..

Prosecutors in Austin, Texas opened the murder trial of Kaitlin Armstrong for the shooting death of gravel cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, revealing that Armstrong tracked Wilson through Strava to learn where she was staying.

In a chilling note, they also said that the last sound Wilson ever made was a scream of terror.

………

A memorial will be held this Friday evening in honor of 69-year old Tania Mooser, the woman killed by a driver in a Santa Monica collision last weekend.

………

San Diego is looking for more feedback on the city’s draft mobility plan.

Let’s just hope they don’t adopt, then ignore, the finished document, like a certain megalopolis to the north.

………

Tell me again why you need an SUV to carry groceries home.

………

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

No bias here. A San Francisco letter writer complains that the bike lane on the Richmond-San Raphael bridge “is a joke, foisted on the 40,000 commuters” who use the bridge each day “by the loud and elitist bicycle lobby and its virtue-signaling political allies.” Never mind that the gridlock he complains about is caused by too many people in cars, and won’t be relieved by ripping out the bike lane.

Portland, Oregon is in a dither over whether to rip out a bike lane that was “mistakenly” installed overnight without community input, as bike-riding residents block a large truck to prevent its removal after it was already in the process of scraping the paint off.

No bias here, either. A British mayor faced criticism for his “abysmal failure” to fulfill a campaign promise to rip out a bike lane that has seen several bicycling and pedestrian injuries, in addition to being filled with illegally parked cars. But those injuries couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the parking problem. Right?

………

Local 

Incumbent 4th District Councilmember Nithya Raman and challenger Ethan Weaver discussed transportation, transit and public safety issues in a debate sponsored by Streets For All, with both calling for increased efforts to prevent traffic deaths.

This is who we share the road with. The driver of a heavy electric truck somehow went airborne and slammed through the exterior wall of a pizza place in Hollywood. Which explains all the sirens and why there was a police helicopter circling around our apartment Tuesday night.

Santa Monica is creating a “strategic” 700-foot extension to the Michigan Greenway bike/walk project.

He gets it, too. A Manhattan Beach English teacher describes how he gave up his car for a one-hour bike commute to work, asking “why doesn’t everybody?”

 

State

San Diego will hold the 10th Annual Jim Krause Memorial Charity Cycling Ride the Point to support research to combat pancreatic cancer on November 11th.

A man was shot and killed by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department deputies in San Jacinto Tuesday afternoon when he pulled a gun as they ordered him off his bicycle.

Sad news from Bakersfield, where a person riding a bicycle was apparently killed in what the CHP described as a “high-speed collision.”

Santa Barbara is attempting to reduce conflicts between bike riders and pedestrians by installing a bike lane down the center of the city’s State Street Promenade.

San Luis Obispo County will build a 1.25-mile, $7.4 million bike path along the scenic stretch of coastline between Morro Bay and Cayucos, providing an alternative to biking on the busy coast highway.

More sad news, this time from Modesto, where a 36-year old homeless woman was killed by a driver while riding her bike last week.

About damn time. The San Francisco city attorney is suing websites that sell banned license plate covers that drivers use to illegally evade the police, tolls and tickets.

Bicyclists in Napa just got their first buffered bike lane.

 

National

And they get it. Electrek says we need fewer driverless cars, and more carless drivers. They also get bonus points for correctly using “fewer,” rather than the commonly used “less.”

Denial is not just a river in Egypt. The Las Vegas driver who killed BMX champ Nathan ‘Nate’ Miller as he rode his bike in the city claimed he’s a good driver who never had a crash before — despite 19 previous tickets, including for driving without a license.

A Colorado company has developed an online calculator to, um, calculate how much a city could save in both carbon and cash by investing in ebikes. Which serves as yet another reminder that California’s long-delayed ebike rebate program still isn’t rebating anything to anyone. 

Kindhearted strangers pitched in to buy a North Dakota man a new ebike, just one day after his bicycle was snapped in half when he was struck by a motorist.

In another reminder that bikes mean business, a Chicago CEO recounts how he started his waste composting business by pulling a red wagon behind his bicycle to pick up food waste when he was still a kid.

A 45-year old randonneur describes the hit-and-run in upstate New York that left him with a fractured back and sacrum, a trashed bike, and a long recovery.

Artnet News tags along with Filipina American artist Jasmin Sian on her daily 15-mile bike commute on New York’s Hudson River Greenway, discovering how it helps inform her art.

Speaking of NIMBYs, New York’s mayor is attempting to un-install a new bike boulevard that is virtually finished by re-opening a call for community input, while continuing to micromanage bike lane projects and back off campaign commitments to build more.

A Memphis newspaper says the city’s depiction as the nation’s least-bike friendly city doesn’t tell the whole story, and that bicycling in the city is amazing and getting better — despite a death rate 21% higher than average.

 

International

GCN suggests the best Christmas gifts for bicyclists. Can we at least put off the Christmas talk until we put Halloween a little further in the rearview mirror?

Bicyclists in Windsor, Ontario are angry after a recent report showed the city built less than three miles of bike lanes in the last two years.

Life is cheap in the UK, where an “arrogant” speeding driver who killed a 77-year old man riding a bicycle while driving with traces of ketamine, cocaine and alcohol in his system, walked without a single day behind bars, as a prosecutor described his standard of driving as “just below” the threshold for dangerous driving. You would think that, regardless of the drug use, killing someone while speeding would be prima facie evidence of dangerous driving. But evidently, you’d be wrong. 

A British self-described “cycling nut” is suing giant bikemaker Giant for the equivalent of over $243,000, after he broke his back in four places when the fork on his new carbon-frame bike separated from the steerer tube while he was riding, and the bike collapsed under him.

The star of Britain’s favorite TV commercial returned to the same hill he walked his bike up as a child to mark the 50th anniversary of the famous bread ad.

The Dutch city of Maastricht is addressing a plague of “wild parking” — illegally locking bicycles to lampposts or railings — by confiscating the illegally parked bikes and increasing penalties to get them back.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling website considers why it took so long to invent the bicycle after the Mesopotamians invented the wheel.

Beijing, China is cracking down on traffic violations — and not just the ones committed by the people in the big, dangerous machines.

 

Competitive Cycling

Dutch cycling star Jeffrey Hoogland broke the 1 kilometer time-trial world record in Aguascalientes, Mexico, averaging over 40 mph from a standing start.

 

Finally…

Apparently, bikepacking isn’t for everyone. Your next ebike could be made by Lotus, if you happen to have an extra 24 grand lying around.

And this is what it looks like to ride the world’s steepest street.

Or not.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

4 murder counts in PCH deaths of Pepperdine students, trial set for LV teens, and Bass flip flops on 90 Freeway removal

I’m writing this after getting the second in a series of shots directly into my right eye to control retinal bleeding caused by diabetes. 

So please forgive me if I miss a few mistakes today, because I can’t read shit right now. 

Just one more reason diabetes sucks. 

……..

This is who we share the road with.

Sheriff’s deputies re-arrested Fraser Michael Bohm on Tuesday, the 22-year old driver accused of killing four Pepperdine University sorority sisters last week.

Bohm was allegedly speeding on PCH in the BMW he got for his 18th birthday when he slammed into three parked cars, which then crashed into the victims. He stands charged with four counts of murder, and being held on $8 million bond.

Yes, million.

The question is what evidence deputies have developed to justify a murder charge, let alone four. Under California law, elevating vehicular manslaughter to murder would require evidence that Bohm knew his actions were likely to result in death.

Meanwhile, enraged community members stored Monday’s Malibu city council session to demand action to improve safety on SoCal’s killer highway.

That included calls for speed cams, which are currently only allowed in Los Angeles, Glendale and Long Beach, along with three NorCal cities, under a recently passed pilot program.

But what’s really needed is a redesign of the highway with protected bike lanes, walkways and traffic calming measures to make speeding difficult, if not impossible. And turn LA County’s deadliest highway into the Malibu Main Street it always should have been.

A petition from a grieving father calls for much-needed immediate and long-term action to improve safety on the highway.

……..

A trial date has been set for next year for the two Las Vegas high school students charged with the intentional hit-and-run killing of former Bell CA police chief Andreas “Andy” Probst.

Jesus Ayala and Jzamir Keys — who were 17 and 16, respectively, at the time of the crash — are scheduled to be tried as adults beginning September 16th, 2024.

Meanwhile, new video has emerged of the teens running down the second victim in a stolen car that day, laughing as they injured a 72-year old man less than an hour before killing Probst.

……..

Why am I not surprised?

LA Mayor Karen Bass was for removing the 90 Freeway stub and turning it into a linear park and housing before she was against it.

And people wonder why I don’t trust city officials.

……..

Yet another community introduces an ebike rebate before California’s long-delayed program finally launches.

If it ever does.

………

Nothing like getting run down head-on by a driver because he couldn’t see what was directly in front of his car.

………

That’s gonna leave a mark.

This is what it looks like to hit another mountain biker head-on.

………

Thousands of bike riders turned out for Key West’s annual Zombie Bike Ride.

………

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

A Hollister bike rider suffered head injuries when he was intentionally run down by a pickup driver after getting into an altercation with the driver and his passenger at a gas station

New York officials abruptly shut down a vital Queens bike path without any public input, notification or explanation, though a city council member was happy to take credit, blaming it on an “influx of ebikes and cars.”

Huh? A London writer says it’s time to regulate ebikes modified to exceed speed restrictions — which means that they’re already illegal.

No bias here. A writer in the UK says we all need to wear hi-viz vests in order to reduce traffic deaths. Might as well just call for clown makeup to complete the outfit while he’s at it.

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

An Illinois man faces drug and resisting arrest charges after fleeing from cops who tried to stop him for riding without a light; he evaded officers by riding through alleys and people’s backyards, before they tased him as he tried to enter his home.

………

Local 

Streetsblog looks at new bus-bike lanes on Sepulveda and Ventura blvds.

Bike Walk Glendale is calling on you to make your voice heard on the city’s Bicycle Transportation Plan, with a pair of public meetings next month.

Streetsblog’s SGV Connect podcast celebrates the first anniversary of the GoSGV bike lending program, while rising local writer Carribean Fragoza reads a nonfiction piece about a scary bike crash while riding alone and underprepared on industrial Rush Street.

Pasadena Now looks forward to Sunday’s first carfree Arroyo Fest on the 100 Freeway in 20 years.

 

State

Calbike talks with board member Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, a mobility justice strategist who directed and co-produced a pair of films on Biking While Black, as well as a guide to the movies.

Huntington Beach opened the city’s first bike boulevard on Utica Ave.

A San Diego man suffered memory loss after an e-scooter crash, unable to even remember getting married or having a kid.

A Hemet middle school student was lucky to escape without injuries when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver, after reportedly riding his bike into traffic without looking while biking to school.

Visalia will soon be the first city in California’s Central Valley to have protected intersections.

 

National

PopSugar presents the best balance bikes for toddlers.

An Oregon legislator wants to legalize ped-assist ebikes for kids under 16, while maintaining the current ban on throttle-controlled ebikes.

Boulder, Colorado is the first city to bring concrete tall curbs to the United States to separate bike lanes and vehicle travel lanes. Even though it looks like standard K-rail. 

Bike Portland’s Jonathan Maus offers a photo essay of New Yorkers on bikes.

New York considers a pair of bills to regulate ebike delivery riders, including requiring an ebike safety course and making providers cover the cost for safety equipment and safe ebike batteries.

A Maryland TV station says your next car could be an ebike.

Tragic news from North Carolina, where a man died after he was struck by a driver while riding 67 miles to celebrate his 67th birthday.

That’s more like it. Atlanta is introducing an app showing the location of bike racks throughout the city.

 

International

A group of 19 leading companies in the automotive, bicycling & tech sectors have banded together to develop a smart V2X communication system to help improve the ‘digital visibility’ of bicyclists and other vulnerable road users. As long as you’e willing to wear some sort of digital sensor that matches the one only some drivers are using, anyway.

A writer for Cycling Weekly gets explosive results when she experiments with bicarb supplements — but thankfully, not in terms of gastrointestinal issues.

A Canadian bike rider was lucky to avoid becoming collateral damage when two drivers collided right in front of him.

Police in Birmingham, England used lights and sirens to pull over a woman and her eight-year old granddaughter as they rode their bikes — not for any traffic violation, but just a little friendly safety advice about wearing helmets.

No bias here, either. British tabloids are accusing London’s cycling czar with “cherry picking” stats to show bike ridership has tripled in a busy part of London in order to justify more spending on bike lanes; critics accuse him of counting bicycle delivery riders, who are, in fact, riding bicycles, and would all be using cars if they weren’t.

While Paris becomes increasingly welcoming to bike riders, France’s fifth-largest city is banning bikes, scooters and skateboards from the city center

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian cycling star Primož Roglič says he planned to jump to the Bora-Hansgrohe team before the recent drama at the Vuelta, when it became clear that Jonas Vingegaard would be team leader, and super domestique Sepp Kuss won the race. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

Meanwhile, Kuss says he thinks it’s better for everyone if Roglič is on another team. Ditto

Video captures “absolute carnage” during the men’s elimination race at Saturday’s UCI Track Champions League, as a mid race crash takes competitors down like bowling pins.

 

Finally…

Presenting an ebike for people who don’t want anyone to know you’re riding an ebike. Your next bike could have an airbag — or you could, anyway.

And you can now get a new ped-assist ebike foldie for less than $900. But you could have had a 121-year old Steffey ped-assist, gas-powered motor-bike instead.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Pasadena Transportation chief to head LADOT, soft launch for CA ebike rebates, and lousy $500 ticket for AZ sideswipe

Well, I’m underwhelmed.

Nine months after Karen Bass became mayor of Los Angeles, she finally got around to naming someone to lead LADOT.

According to Streetsblog, current Pasadena Transportation head Laura Rubio-Cornejo will become the next general manager of the Los Angeles transportation department, assuming she’s approved by the city council.

Which is pretty much a given in a city where most councilmembers are loathe to rock the boat.

Rubio-Cornejo, who previously led Metro Countywide Planning, replaces underperforming former LADOT and NACTO chief Seleta Reynolds, who left for greener pastures at Metro a year ago.

Despite sky high expectations, Reynolds was largely a disappointment at LADOT, where her hands were tied by risk-averse city officials, and never appeared to have the full backing of former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Whether Rubio-Cornejo fares any better remains to be seen.

But I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Photo from City of Pasadena, via Streetsblog.

………

Still no word on when the statewide launch of the California ebike rebate program will take place.

According to Calbike, San Diego’s Pedal Ahead, which has been chosen to administer the program, announced its long-awaited soft launch.

No, really.

We are currently launching a multi-phase California E-Bike Incentive Project soft launch which includes retailer onboarding and training, community-based organization (CBO) outreach and community engagement, and the website launch. The next one to two months will be focused on retailer and CBO outreach, which will be happening concurrently leading up to the application window opening.

The soft launch will focus on four regions in California and we have already begun introducing the program to local CBOs and identifying retailers in the regions to make sure they are fully supported with the appropriate program support, trainings and resources.

So, at least another month or two before we can expect to see any action outside of a few select, unnamed areas. And before we can start seeing more ebikes replace smelly, dangerous, climate-killing cars here in the late, great Golden State.

Anyone who’s been holding their breath waiting for this is probably dead by now.

………

You’ve got to be effing kidding.

Life is cheap in Arizona, where the driver who sideswiped a bicyclist taking part in a club ride, sending three people to the hospital, walked with a ticket for an unsafe pass carrying a lousy fine of up to $500.

Because evidently, knocking multiple bike riders down like so many bowling pins is just no big deal.

And pretty much legal.

………

Huh?

A writer for an Aussie website calls for mandatory registration and license plates for cyclists.

But not for people riding bikes.

By his standard, if you earn money riding a bike — like delivery riders — you’re a cyclist. But if you just ride to work once a year, or ride to the park with the kids, you’re just riding a bike.

Then there’s this.

If you routinely spend every Sunday morning rolling en masse along a beachside boulevard, pumping the blood as much as you are metaphorically pumping your fist at an imaginary Le Tour stage gate, then you are a cyclist too and you should probably pay for registration.

You’re on the road. You’re using the infrastructure. You are at risk from other cyclists and you are a risk to pedestrians. Plus, I can’t be the only person to have seen riders sail through red traffic lights…

Never mind that people taking part in group rides are usually in the traffic lane, not using bicycle infrastructure.

Or that splitting hairs must be easier down there, as he somehow expects police to tell whether someone on a bike rides every weekend, or just this once.

Or whether that guy riding to the park with his kids may have just finished a fast half century with the club.

Although his primary concern — I say his, since it has a man’s byline, but is so self-contradictory it could easily have been generated by AI — appears to be forcing bicyclists to carry insurance and get some skin in the game.

As with all these adjustments in the way we live our lives, we need the powers that be to arrange a little quid pro quo. Remove vehicle lanes to encourage more bike riders, so why not extend the reach of the third-party insurance that is included with motor vehicle registration to cover you when on your bike? You’ve paid the fee, does it really matter what vehicle you are using?

After all, you can’t drive and ride at the same time…

Plus, if we want less cars and more bicycles, taxation has to come from somewhere. Surely it would be better to recognise a contribution of your bicycle registration than to just have everything else ratcheted up to account for the gap.

It’s likely this piece is nothing more than an effort to create a little controversy to drive traffic to the site, while signaling to car shoppers that they’re on their side.

But they may find out the hard way all those weekend warriors on bikes buy cars, too.

………

The New York Times continues their bizarre anti-ebike campaign, arguing that parents don’t know whether to view the bikes as freedom or danger, as more teens take to them.

For the moment, the power to decide what teenagers may or may not ride falls to a nongovernmental authority: parents. Across the country, they are expressing a mix of enthusiasm, contrition and uncertainty about the trendy mode of transportation.

Some parents who initially embraced e-bikes now say their enthusiasm has waned with news of recent crashes involving teenagers.

Because apparently, no child was ever injured riding a bicycle without a battery.

The question they fail to answer, as they build their anecdotal case, is whether there have been more more, or more severe, crashes on ebikes than would have been expected on regular bicycles.

Unless and until they can provide that, their entire campaign should be seen as nothing more than anti-ebike fear mongering, with the possible exception of calling out the increased fire risk due to lithium ion batteries.

Since regular bikes hardly ever burst into flames.

………

The Los Angeles Bicycle Advisory Committee has now been around for 50 years.

Although it continues to remain strictly advisory, instead of being given the regulatory authority of a commission it should have received years ago.

………

Phil Gaimon responds to the critics, and arms bicyclists with responses to the 1% of hostile motorists who seem to make up most of the commenters online.

………

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

No bias here. Writing for The Spectator, the editor of the Jewish Chronicle says Jeremy Vine’s call for drivers to be banned from overtaking cyclists in major cities is “ridiculous” and “the real problem isn’t motorists but Jeremy Vine himself.” Something even Vine seems to agree with, as he says to take his comments with a grain of salt and stop overreacting to everything he says.

It turns out the Philippine driver who pulled a gun on an unarmed bicyclist is a former cop who left the force after repeated demotions, including one for grave misconduct, yet he complains he’s being depicted as a “bad person” on social media; Quezon City has offered the victim protection if he chooses to pursue a case against the former QC cop.  

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

Two Bakersfield boys saw very different outcomes when police attempted to stop them for riding against traffic; a 13-year old boy who pulled over and waited at the side of the road was released to his mother, while a 14-year old boy who kept riding and popping wheelies had the book thrown at him.

………

Local 

You may now be able to rent a Tern cargo bike for as little as $99 a month, as the Aussie bike leasing firm Wombi announces plans to set up their first US operation in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles plans to implement safety improvements from the city’s “Vision Zero Safety Toolkit” along a two-mile stretch of Hollywood Blvd east of Gower, which saw 56 people killed or seriously injured over the last decade. Although what those improvements will be remains to be seen, likely depending on public feedback.

The LA Times foresees an optimistic paradise of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, ebikes and free public transit replaced gas-guzzling cars within 20 years.

 

State

Calbike calls on you to help get a slate of active transportation bills out of the Suspense File in the Senate Appropriations Committee; the bills must move forward by the first of the month or be killed for this year.

The late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was one of us, doing some of his best thinking and songwriting on a mountain bike near his Laguna Beach home.

The San Diego Reader questions whether the same man is responsible for two violent bikejackings in the city.

 

National

A Honolulu ER doc rides his bike 21 miles to work every day, rain or shine — and has for over 30 years.

A Houston writer says “there’s something heart-warming about the anarchy of 2,000 people on bikes reclaiming the roads back from cars.”

An Indianapolis woman faces charges for DUI and driving without ever having a driver’s license after she crashed into a man riding a bicycle, leaving the victim with multiple compound fractures, while driving at over three times the legal alcohol limit.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part one. A “cherished” Evansville, Indiana high school music director was killed while riding his bicycle, though the details are unclear.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part two. The Boston-area bike rider killed by a UPS driver Monday afternoon was identified as a respected professor and mentor to graduate students at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As the California legislature continues to appease vested driving interests in an attempt to legalize a speed cam pilot program, New York stats show a 30% drop in speeding violations after their camera program began operating 24/7.

Life is cheap in Pennsylvania, where a driver got just 11½ to 23 months behind bars for severely injuring a man riding a bicycle while driving his pickup truck with inoperable brakes and without insurance.

A new 2-mile ADA-accessible Delaware bike path was funded with $23 million from the new federal infrastructure bill.

This is the cost of traffic violence, part three. Police in Baltimore are looking for the hit-and-run driver who took the life of a “beloved” mother of two as she rode her bike home from work over the weekend.

That’s more like it. A new 42 story, 631 unit Miami residential tower will have more than twice as many bicycle parking spaces as it will spaces for cars.

 

International

Tragic news from the UK, where two men on ebikes were killed by a driver on a “very fast” 50 mph roadway; the driver was arrested on a careless driving charge.

The fiancé of the Scottish bike rider killed by a drunk driver, who then hid his body for three years with the help of the driver’s brother, lashed out at the courts for failing to impose a “proper” sentence on the two men, who received 12 years and five years and three months, respectively.

A British man has defied the odds by learning to walk and eat again, after doctors gave him just 24 hours to live after hitting an embankment on his ebike.

Momentum Magazine visits the world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel in Bergen, Norway; the Fyllingsdalen is 1.8 miles long and takes approximately 10 minutes to travel by bicycle.

Bicycling reports over 45,000 people rode their bicycles to a Formula 1 race in the Netherlands after the country banned cars from the event; another 55,000 arrived by bus or train. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you. 

Workers in the Spanish town of Elche are scraping bike lanes off the roads, after the newly installed far-right government adopted a populist, pro-car policy. Which is a warning of what could happen here if we don’t vote for bike-friendly candidates. 

He gets it. A writer from Islamabad, Pakistan says bicyclists aren’t a nuisance, whether you’re talking about kids on bikes or adults riding to reduce their waistlines.

 

Competitive Cycling

His hometown newspaper celebrates James Macdonald’s victory at the recent world road cycling championships, as the 80-year old Williamsburg, Virginia resident topped the 80-84 age group in a 53-mile race earlier this month.

Remco Evenepoel raged about safety at the Vuelta, or the lack thereof, after he was bloodied in a crash with a spectator following his stage three win, saying “It’s the third day in a row and it’s breaking my balls a bit now. I’ve had enough.” Meanwhile, the peloton has finally figured out they’re just pawns in the game.

The home of 22-year old pro cyclist Michel Hessmann was searched by German authorities as part of a doping investigation, after the suspended Jumbo-Visma rider tested positive for a banned diuretic earlier this month. But the doping era is over, right?

The inaugural CRIT Championship will debut in St. Petersburg, Florida this October, the race is the multi-million dollar brainchild of L39ion of Los Angeles founder Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

The street may be open, but it will cost you nearly 85 bucks to bike it. Even stairs are nothing to the world’s fastest pizza delivery rider.

And it took me about five seconds to find the bicycle in this picture.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin

Fighting bike dismount law at Redondo Pier, active transportation lost in LA budget, and free Earth Day Metro Bikes

Happy Bicycle Day!

Which may not be exactly what you think. Or maybe it is.

Photo shows a bike dismount sign in Manhattan Beach, because I don’t have one from Redondo.

………

I’ll let someone else start things off today.

Daryll Strauss writes that the Redondo Beach City Council was hearing a recommendation from city staffers last night about the long-standing requirement to walk your bike on the beachfront bike path as it passes the city pier.

Not to mention the ridiculous 5 mph speed limit as the bike path snakes through the pier parking garage, which makes it a challenge to keep your bike upright while getting anywhere close to it.

Redondo Beach Pier has a bike path that travels through the pier parking garage. The RBPD has begun a maximum enforcement ($300 ticket) policy requiring bicyclists to walk their bike through the garage through the south end of the pier. A distance of about 300 yards.

The laws in the city allow police to enforce a walk your bike requirement anywhere signs are posted, and signs can be posted anywhere city staff wants. There are signs and flashing lights that say walk your bike when flashing, but they flash all the time.

The South Bay Bicycle Coalition and the Redondo Beach Harbor Commission have recommended loosening the restrictions, but the recommendations from city staff is to keep the status quo.

This topic is on the agenda for the Redondo Beach City Council meeting tonight.

The staff recommendations are ludicrous. They don’t provide any data to justify their recommendations and make specious arguments. It basically comes down to the fact the police can’t legally enforce a speed limit so they’ll make it “walk your bike”. Their safety concerns for bicycles riding through turns, at an arbitrary 5mpg, are outright ludicrous and can be mitigated with textured pavement. It’s also ironic that they just installed a skate park on the pier which would have much larger safety issues.

I ride this route regularly. I completely understand walking my bike where the bike path crosses the main entrance of the pier when there is significant pedestrian traffic, but the majority of the restrictions are ridiculous.

This is the beginning of the process, so there may be an opportunity to change these rules if the city council doesn’t rubber stamp the staff recommendation tonight.

I always thought the requirement was absurd when I used to ride through there on a semi-regular basis.

Unfortunately, I received this too late to get the word out for last night’s meeting. But hopefully we’ll let you know if they reconsider it at a future meeting.

………

As expected, Los Angeles Mayor Bass released her first budget yesterday.

It will take someone with more financial acuity than I possess to dig into it and see what she’s budgeted for alternative transportation, bikes and Vision Zero, and how it compares to previous years.

But a cursory examination didn’t reveal any mention of it in the budget, or in LAist’s detailed look at the budget. Which doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

But maybe I’m not looking in the right place.

This is what she had to say on the subject when she was campaigning for mayor. We’ll see how much actually made it into the budget.

8. Prevent Traffic Fatalities and Champion Walking and Biking

Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities in the nation 11 – and those deaths disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. 1213 That is unacceptable. Traffic safety is a public health issue.

Meanwhile, survey after survey shows that Angelenos don’t feel safe getting around their neighborhood on foot and by bike – even though they want to. 1415 Angelenos shouldn’t have to worry about being struck by a car when they’re trying to bike to work or walk their children to school. Bass will stand up for safe streets, and prioritize accessibility for the most vulnerable members of our community.

As Mayor, Bass will:

  • Treat street safety as the public health crisis it is, and leverage all available city resources to address unsafe speeds and save lives.
  • Prioritize first and last-mile access to transit so that all Angelenos can use the region’s growing rail and bus network.
  • Invest in street safety infrastructure that saves lives.
  • Create family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian routes to connect neighborhood destinations and transit stops.
  • Support and expand monthly open streets events across L.A. like CicLAvia that bring communities together.

………

Metro Bike is offering free rides for Earth Day this Saturday.

………

BikeLA, the former Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, supports a more equitable distribution of street space on Eagle Rock Blvd.

………

The fight to preserve the MOVE Culver City streetscape — and keep it from reverting to the car sewer it used to be — comes to a head on Monday.

https://twitter.com/BikeCulverCity/status/1648361017196548100

………

ActiveSGV is hosting a bike ride through Covina on May 6th.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1648453853682061312

………

Berkeley bike riders demonstrate the right way to do a die-in, starting with having enough bodies to actually get some attention.

https://twitter.com/WarrenJWells/status/1648519850753671170

………

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

No bias here. San Jose’s Mr. Roadshow agrees with motorists who demand that bike riders should pay their fair share for the roads we ride on, neglecting to consider that we already pay more than our share for the negligible damage we do to the streets — unlike the massive SUVs that threaten our safety while destroying our streets, and our world. Unfortunately, you’ll have to sacrifice your email address if you want to read it, however.

A New York man faces charges after intentionally driving his car up onto a sidewalk in an effort to run down a kid riding a bicycle, claiming the boy had attempted to steal his property. Which is not an excuse for attempting to use deadly force, as he’s about to learn the hard way.

Police in Surrey, England are looking for a man who stepped out of the darkness to attack a man riding a bicycle with some sort of weapon; the attack was captured on security cam, but the attacker’s face was hidden by a balaclava.

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

An Illinois man faces up to 30 years behind bars for riding his bicycle over a homeless man sleeping in a parking garage, then attacking the victim with both ends of an axe; the horrific assault only ended when the victim was able to reach an emergency phone.

A Singapore man was hospitalized with a brain bleed after he was struck by a “peloton of crazy cyclists” while riding his bike, none of whom stopped after the crash.

………

Local 

Metro is hosting a virtual community meeting this afternoon to discuss the Rail to Rail Active Transportation Corridor Project, which will create a walking and biking pathway through Inglewood and South LA.

Santa Monica is planning safety improvements to deadly Wilshire Blvd, including “special markings at four intersections (to) create dedicated space for cyclists to safely cross Wilshire Boulevard.”

 

State

Bills to authorize speed cams and camera enforcement of bike lanes passed their first committee hearings in the state legislature; unfortunately, a bill that would rip out the bike lanes on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and replace them with another lane for motor vehicles did, too.

San Francisco bike advocates rallied to demand protected bike lanes on Arguello Blvd, where masters cycling champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes was killed earlier this month.

 

National

Distracted driving kills ten people a day in the US.

Fast Company says it’s time to undo bikeshare’s original sin, and subsidize it like the public asset it is.

In a surprising move, outdoor co-op REI is pulling out of ostensibly bike-friendly Portland.

A North Carolina paracyclist made a remarkable recovery to complete Monday’s Boston Marathon riding a recumbent handcycle, after he was severely injured in a collision with a pickup driver last July while training for the Para-Cycling Road World Championship.

Heartbreaking news from Florida, where an 83-year old man was murdered by a heartless hit-and-run driver, after he was struck by a motorcyclist while trying to ride his bike across the street; the motorcycle rider was critically injured, as well. Seriously, anyone who can still ride a bike at that age deserves a hell of a lot better. Then again, so does anyone else.

More bad Florida news, as Dartmouth College football coach Buddy Teevens had his leg amputated, as well as suffering spinal injuries, as a result of last month’s collision while he was riding his bike home from a restaurant; police naturally blamed him for the crash, and never bothered to test the uninsured driver for drug or alcohol use.

 

International

GCN demonstrates how to wrap handlebar tape on drop bars.

Winnipeg, Manitoba is holding an online auction of unclaimed bikes. The only problem is you’ll have to go there to pick it up if you win. 

England and Wales are on the verge of banning bicycle tires and inner tubes from being dumped in landfills, requiring them to be recycled, instead.

The parents of a young Scottish woman complain that “society has accepted death as a cost of getting from A to B,” after she was killed while riding her bike earlier this year.

Britain’s self-governing island of Jersey is the latest jurisdiction offering ebike rebates, with the equivalent of $372 for a standard ebike, or twice that for a cargo-ebike.

Remarkable news from France, where the 50-year old man who received the first double arm and shoulder transplant two years ago was able to ride a bicycle for the first time after losing both arms when he was electrocuted by power lines 25 years earlier.

The world’s longest purpose-built bike and pedestrian tunnel has opened in Norway, running 1.8 miles under a mountain.

Traffic deaths are up in the Netherlands, as the country suffers the highest bicycling death toll in nearly three decades — especially for riders over 75.

Switzerland is encouraging its citizens to bike to work this spring.

A Spanish man rode his bike 378 miles in just 20 hours to raise awareness and respect for people on bicycles. He certainly earned my respect.

An Indian man has developed a DIY ultrasonic dog repellent to stay safe riding his bike. Although maybe he could make it just a tad smaller before it hits the market.

Your next Taiwanese smart ebike could have a frame made of interlocking carbon triangles crammed with all the latest tech.

In yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the streets until it’s too late, Australian officials gave the visually-impaired driver who killed a 66-year old man riding a bike an unconditional driver’s license, despite failing the minimum vision test requirements and almost hitting parked cars during his driving test.

 

Competitive Cycling

The governing body for time trials in England, Scotland and Wales is introducing a standard road bike category to encourage more people to take part; no word on why Northern Ireland bike riders weren’t invited to play.

Indiana University’s student newspaper looks forward to the school’s iconic Little 500 bike race this weekend; the race was made famous by the equally iconic Breaking Away. Which is the movie that inspired me to buy a bike and start riding as an adult.

 

Finally…

That feeling when a loose plastic bag makes its home in your spokes while you ride. Now you can carry your bike across your back like a backpack; just be careful walking through crowds or going through doors.

And forget the diamond, and buy your beloved an engagement bike, instead.

………

Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Bass ignores mobility plan in State of City, MOVE removal violates CEQA, and LA Engineering greenwashes LOS climate fire

This doesn’t bode well.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass gave her first State of the City address yesterday, with a focus on the city’s efforts to build housing and end homelessness, as well as increasing the size of the LAPD, LAFD and 911 services to improve safety.

What Bass did not mention was traffic safety, Vision Zero, the mobility plan, bikes, pedestrians, transit or alternative transportation.

We’ll see where her priorities lie when she releases her first city budget this morning, and whether any of that will be given the funding they need.

But right now, it looks like we’re going to be an afterthought.

If that.

Photo by Aayush Srivastava from Pexels.

………

Carter Rubin of the Natural Resources Defense Council, aka NRDC, makes a compelling argument in favor of the very successful MOVE Culver City Complete Streets project.

And keeping it right where it is.

The project is under fire from the newly auto-centric conservative majority on the Culver City council, which wants to rip it out so cars can once again go zoom, zoom without having to make room for anyone else.

Here’s just a part of what Rubin has to say.

recent analysis of the corridor shows MOVE Culer City has delivered substantial benefits with few tradeoffs.

  • A 52% increase in bus ridership
  • A 32% increase in cycling activity
  • A 18% increase in pedestrian activity
  • Only a 2 minute increase in average peak period travel time for people in cars

Hard-won progress deserves defending. So this week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sent a letter to the City Council expressing our support for the MOVE Culver City initiative. In doing so, we joined over 20 other organizations that advocate for sustainable, safe, healthy and equitable transportation.

He also notes that removing the project could violate state environmental laws, as well as federal civil rights requirements.

In our letter, we make the case that any action by the city to increase the number of lane-miles available for mixed-flow vehicle traffic would require analysis, disclosure, and mitigation of potential environmental impacts pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City must comply with CEQA before making any final decision on a project that changes conditions on the ground today.

Full removal of MOVE Culver City would entail adding approximately 2.6 lane miles of vehicular lanes to principal arterial highways, which is likely to significantly increase vehicle miles traveled, according to the state’s official CEQA guidance. That increase in VMT would contribute to additional greenhouse gas emissions impacts, as well as criteria air pollution, including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and PM10 and PM2.5, from tailpipe exhaust and brake, tire, and roadway wear.

Further, we note that the City is required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to analyze changes to transit service that might disproportionately affect people of color, immigrants and other protected communities who ride transit.

Or to put it more succinctly,

………

They still don’t get it.

The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is proposing widening a one-mile section of Alameda Street in Wilmington near the Port of Los Angeles, increasing the street to three lanes in each direction to boost automotive throughput and the largely discredited Level of Service.

But they’re throwing us a bone by adding a bike and pedestrian trail to greenwash their work while they set the climate on fire.

Maybe they could just give us the trail, and skip the damn climate bonfire.

………

Go Human is awarding grants up to $40,000 to improve traffic safety in your own community.

………

Walk Bike Long Beach invites you to for a morning of bikes and coffee this Saturday.

Celebrate Earth Day this Saturday on your bike! We’ll do the usual group ride to get some coffee — this time aiming for Belmont Heights. Then back to Pedal Movement.

For EXTRA CREDIT, keep rolling with us and climb Signal Hill for a chat with the Sierra Club about the threat of future oil drilling in our community.

………

Nice to hear from our bike-riding state senator and Congressional candidate.

Now we just need to get the rest of ’em on bikes, too.

………

Hard to tell just where this is, but it looks like it might be the Santa Monica Civic Center complex.

Or maybe SaMo High.

………

In case you were looking for something to hang on the wall of my office, this will do nicely, thank you.

Of course, you’d also have to buy me an office.

………

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

No bias here. Officials in a Massachusetts town are up in arms after state officials begin work to remove a traffic lane and install bike lanes on a local bridge, insisting no one told them about the plans; one city councilmember actually insists there’s not enough bike traffic on the bridge to justify a bike lane, apparently forgetting that most people don’t enjoy risking their lives in traffic with safe infrastructure.

No bias here, either. A British Columbia letter writer complains that a “boondoggle” bike lane “smacks of ‘fiscal irresponsibility’ and ‘catering to cycling interests’ over the concerns of taxpayers,” apparently forgetting that people who ride bikes pay taxes, too.

………

Local 

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers photos from Sunday’s Pico Union meets Mid-City CicLAvia.

South Pasadena Active Streets was honored by state Assemblymember Mike Fong for their work organizing bike buses for local elementary school students.

The Pasadena Star News looks forward to this weekend’s 626 Golden Streets through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont in the San Gabriel Valley. Assuming you can get past the paper’s paywall, that is.

 

State

Bakersfield’s popular Kern River Bike Trail will be closed until further notice for maintenance work.

San Francisco moves to make the city less livable with a proposal to rip out the pandemic-era parklets in front of restaurants.

Speaking of San Francisco, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is calling for quick action on Arguello Blvd, where masters champ and world record holder Ethan Boyes was killed recently; the organization notes the Presidio street is used by hundreds of families, commuters and competitive athletes every day.

Just like the failure of the $1 billion 405 Freeway widening project here in Los Angeles, the engineer behind the Bay Area’s $600 million project to widen the 101 Freeway admits that it accomplished nothing, as traffic congestion goes from bad to worse. Just one more argument to invest in transit, rather than flushing more money down the toilet on highway projects. Or widening streets to move more cars.

 

National

Streetsblog complains that Biden’s EV Revolution will pay Americans to drive some really dangerous pickups and SUVS that pose a risk to everyone on the road around them, particularly people walking and biking.

The Washington Post reports that men face a higher risk of dying than women at every stage of life, with the male sex accounting for 71 percent of pedestrian deaths and a whopping 87 percent of bicyclist deaths.

Road Bike Rider explains how to pack for a bike tour, while Cycling Weekly offers lessons learned from going tubeless.

Cycling News considers the best budget bike helmets. But neglects to include any of those budget prices.

A lawyer offers advice on what to do after a hit-and-run or road rage incident. Or both.

The internet is still going crazy over the square, tread track bike wheels.

A 19-year old Bend, Oregon man is building his own sustainable mountain bike company.

A Las Vegas writer takes a pleasant bike ride through the city to examine new construction in preparation of this fall’s Formula 1 race.

Great idea. North Dakota fourth and fifth graders are teaching kindergarten kids how to ride bikes.

If you build it, they will come. Bike ridership is outpacing motor vehicle use in Ann Arbor, Michigan, thanks to new protected bike lanes and banning right on red in some locations.

Maine considers a Stop as Yield law, allowing people on bicycles to roll stop signs instead of coming to a full stop, when its safe to do so.

New York’s city council is considering new regulations to combat ebike and e-scooter battery fires.

Tragic news from Virginia, where a 26-year old woman was killed while she was teaching her 6-year old daughter how to ride a bike, along with her boyfriend; they were all run down from behind by a 36-year old woman.

A New Orleans driver faces up to 15 years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a “beloved” local butcher as he was riding his bike six years ago; no word on why it took so long to bring the man’s killer to justice.

 

International

Forbes considers the best bike computers. Even though the most enjoyable rides usually come when they’re broken.

Bikeshare is booming in Mexico City.

That’s more like it. A new British Columbia bill would require speed limiting devices on all heavy duty commercial trucks, while mandating a “safer road environment” for bike riders and pedestrians.

A new memorial bench handcrafted by a fellow bike rider honors a legendary Scottish man who wrote about bicycling for the local paper.

No surprise here, as a new report shows people in London’s poorest areas face the biggest risk of traffic injuries or death. Just like in Los Angeles, and most major cities. 

Next time you’re in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, make sure to stop at the Velorama National Bicycle Museum, the country’s only museum devoted to the invention and growth of the now-ubiquitous bicycle.

The hit-and-run epidemic has spread to Spain, where a British tourist was killed when he was run down by a heartless coward who fled the scene.

A Russian man is riding his bike around the world to promote traditional Turkish music.

 

Competitive Cycling

Russell Finsterwald and Heather Jackson claimed victory in the men’s and women’s elite categories in San Diego’s Belgian Waffle Ride, while the race retired the number 12 in honor of 2022 winner Moriah “Mo” Wilson, who was murdered in Austin, Texas last year.

It was another stage win for L39ION of Los Angeles cyclist Skylar Schneider, who won her second in a row to conclude the women’s Tour of Redlands, while Blue Ridge Twenty24’s Emily Ehrlich claimed the overall victory in the GC.

L39ion of Los Angeles founders Justin and Cory Williams announced the launch of their third co-ed, multi-racial city-based cycling team in Austin, Texas, following the launch of another team in Miami. They may be single-handedly — okay, double handedly — doing more to ensure the survival, growth and spread of cycling in this country than anyone else.

Bicycling explains the new National Cycling League and how it works, and whether it fulfills the promised fan-first professional cycling experience. Read it on AOL this time if the magazine blocks you.

 

Finally…

What good is a wearable computer if the health data thitey measures is wrong? When life gives you speeding drivers, give them your own DIY traffic sign saying “slow the f*ck down.”

And that feeling when you sprain your ankle falling off a bike just before your widely panned set at Coachella.

………

Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

……….

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

LA Planning’s “vacuous” and misleading report, tell Bass to focus on safer streets, and another successful CicLAvia

As we discussed Friday, the Los Angeles Planning Department’s recent report on the state of the city’s mobility plan is, as Streetsblog’s Joe Linton put it, “vacuous.”

Streets For All was a little harsher in their judgement.

Telling City Council and the general public that 67% of the mobility plan is complete just because it’s been started is an insult to our intelligence.

As they’ve previously reported, the actual figure is closer to three percent in the seven years since the transformational plan was overwhelmingly approved by the city council.

At that pace, the city will be lucky to complete ten percent by the 2035 expiration date.

If that pisses you off as much as it does me, let the city council know how you feel.

Especially since a Freudian slip by LA City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto seems to recognize just how little vision the city has when it comes to traffic safety.

Graphic by tomexploresla.

………

As new Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass prepares for her first State of the City speech and releasing her first budget, the Daily News says she’s likely to focus on homelessness and alternatives to armed police responses.

But that may not be not all she should focus on, according to the paper.

Michael Schneider, CEO of Streets For All, which advocates for street improvements such as additional bike or bus lanes and other pedestrian improvements, said he doesn’t expect Bass to increase funding to the city’s transportation department – but that she should.

In L.A., traffic fatalities surpassed 300 last year, the first time in two decades the city had reached that grim milestone, according to a report this year. From 2021 to 2022, pedestrian fatalities increased by more than 19% while cyclist deaths rose 24%.

“I understand why the mayor is so laser-focused on homelessness … but we are a big, multi-faceted city,” Schneider said. “We need to be able to do multiple things at the same time. And right now, we’re not. The mayor’s office is paying almost zero attention to transportation. Angelenos are paying a price for that.”

………

By all reports, Sunday’s Mid-City Meets Pico Union CicLAvia was another typical success, with a good time had by all.

Or nearly all, anyway.

Unfortunately, though, there’s not a lot of information available yet.

Although a story from KCBS-2 demonstrates how to write about CicLAvia while saying virtually nothing. But at least this story from KABC-7 had a little useful information.

KNBC-4 had a good report from the scene, but it doesn’t appear to be online yet. So check their website later.

https://twitter.com/Atticuz85/status/1647698155562209280

The next CicLAvia will be considerably shorter, as the event moves to Watts with the first-ever CicLAmini.

But really, there’s no reason to wait that long.

………

How to bring joy to a bike advocate’s heart.

………

The people who want to rip out the Move Culver City bus and bike lanes insist no one uses them.

Evidently, this is what no one looks like.

………

That DIY handlebar basket is pretty impressive.

………

Apparently, spokes must be hard to draw.

………

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

A writer for San Francisco Streetsblog is harassed by cops wrongly accusing him of running red lights, while ignoring violations by wrong way motorists.

No bias here. An Ohio radio station bizarrely tries to tie ebike battery fires to Democratic politicians who support alternative transportation.

There’s a special place in hell for the Aussie driver who appeared to deliberately target a bike rider, then dragged his bike 100 yards down the road as he lay sprawled on the ground.

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

Police in New York are looking for a couple men who are using the city’s bikeshare ebikes to snatch headphones off women’s heads.

Classic English rock group The Hollies got off the ground when lead singer Allan Clarke swapped the Christmas bicycle his dad gave him for an amp, to his father’s chagrin.

There’s not a pit in hell deep enough for the convicted British child killer who rode his bicycle around his English community the day of the Queen’s funeral, in an attempt to intimidate witnesses. Because bicycles are so intimidating, apparently.

………

Local 

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Santa Clara County could get the region’s first bicycle superhighway, if the county transportation authority approves plans for a 10-mile protected bike lane between San Jose and Santa Clara.

A Sacramento TV staton says Pebble Beach’s 17-Mile Drive’s $11.25 entry fee doesn’t apply to bike riders, who can ride one of California’s most celebrated scenic roadways without charge. Now if we can just get them to charge drivers to use the state’s other roads, too.

 

National

Singletracks says the bike shortage pendulum has swung the other way, creating a glut of used bicycles on the market.

SRAM has applied for a patent to make bike wheels from natural fibers including flax, hemp, jute, kenaf and sisal to improve comfort, control and safety, as well as avoiding carbon fiber’s interference with electronic signals.

Even car-centric website The Drive recognizes the danger SUVs pose to people on bicycles due to their ever-higher hood lines and sheer bulk.

The Denver community steps up to save a nonprofit bike shop after the owner died, and his daughter took over.

A Rhode Island magazine says it’s an uphill battle for bicyclists in the state, as people who began riding during the pandemic compete for road space with drivers who think they own the streets.

Data from New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare demonstrates the need for safer routes through the city’s Central Park.

A Pennsylvania teenager founded his own nonprofit group to repair used bicycles and donate them to people in need, as well as staging clinics to teach people how to ride them safely.

DC bicycling and pedestrian death spiked 37% last year.

 

International

Bike Radar raises the lid on the best commuter bike helmets.

Supermodel Gisele Bündchen is one of us, as she goes for a sunny, and apparently joyful, Brazilian bike ride, without soon-to-be ex Tom Brady.

Hundreds of people turned out for a bike ride to honor a fallen Hamilton, Ontario patrolman.

Bikes and dogs are now allowed on Montreal’s metro system anytime, as long as you avoid morning and evening rush hours.

A Welsh woman operates a thriving e-cargo bike-based business selling Masala Chai tea, thanks to a government program that provided her with the bike.

Here’s another one for your bike bucket list, with a 150-mile bike route past the scenic coast and castles of Kent, England. Or take a 158-mile journey through Italy from Assisi to Rome, past seven abbeys and three archeological sites.

Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill got his ten grand bike back, two years after it was snatched in a burglary, along with over $4,000 worth of other items.

A quartet of British teenagers were arrested for an attempted strong-arm bikejacking that left a man with broken fingers and a swollen face after he was brutally beaten with a metal bar.

Fans of the iconic Dursley Pedersen bicycle, with its unique uptilted diamond-shaped frame, turned out in Pedersen’s Danish hometown to mark the bike’s 130th anniversary.

A new German study shows riding a bicycle can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and obesity — and the benefits of riding an ebike almost equal a traditional bike.

Czech carmaker Škoda’s We Love Cycling bicycling blog predicts a rosy future for bikes, with bicycles now considered an essential element of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.

A Nigerian woman goes viral when a brief video shows her riding a bicycle with her three kids onboard, including a toddler strapped to her back.

A Zimbabwean paper profiles a local bike mechanic who maintains a busy business at his outdoor shop in a suburb of Zimbabwe’s capital city.

Mongolia’s capital of Ulan Bator addressed traffic congestion by hosting an event in the city’s central square to boost the use of bicycles.

 

Competitive Cycling

Slovenian Tadej Pogačar won Sunday’s Amstel Gold one-day classic, after Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner Mathieu van der Poel opted to sit it out; Pogačar says he owes van der Poel a thank you note for his advice on when to attack.

Pogačar won despite allegations of an unfair advantage after a pass by close-driving race vehicle.

With his victory, Tadej Pogačar became the first cyclist to win Paris-Nice, Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold the same year.

VeloNews takes a dive into Strava data from competitors in last week’s Paris-Roubaix to demonstrate why it’s called The Hell of the North.

L39ion of Los Angeles swept both crits in stage four of the Tour of Redlands, with Skylar Schneider winning the women’s race and Cory Williams taking the men’s race; Schneider’s sister Samantha also made the podium after sprinting for third.

Former professional triathlete Heather Jackson made a successful transition to gravel, winning the women’s San Diego Belgian Waffle Ride with a solo breakaway; no word yet on who won the men’s race.

How to write about the United States Pro Cup Mountain Bike Series wrapping up in Fayetteville, Arkansas without mentioning who won.

 

Finally…

Your next e-foldie could be made by an iconic German car speaker company. That feeling when your wife somehow objects to you performing bike stunts dangling from a hot air ballon 2,000 feet above the ground.

And anyone can build a tall bike.

Bur how about a double decker bike for four?

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Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the Islamic holy month. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.