Tag Archive for Karen Bass

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something the LA Times just touched on.

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

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

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

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

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

The bad, not enough. And not safe enough.

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

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

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

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

Top rendering from 6th Street Viaduct Twitter account.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Although the legal alcohol limit for underage drivers is zero.

Photos by Michael Wagner

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

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

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This is who we share the internet with.

And the answer is…

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

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The president of Slovakia is one of us, too.

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

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

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

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

Right?

And note she’s riding uphill, too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

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

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

 

State 

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

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

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

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

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

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

Literally.

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

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

Not. One. Damn. Word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This might be taking things a tad too far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local

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

 

State 

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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