Tag Archive for Keep LA Moving

Morning Links: Successful 626 Golden Streets, Smokey Bear visits AToC, and NIMBY traffic safety denier Bingo

We’re back with a nice, long update after yesterday’s unexcused absence.

So grab some coffee and buckle in.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Today’s photo is from the Amgen Tour of California women’s final at the Rose Bowl, courtesy of David Drexler. See below for more.

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The LA News Group’s Steve Scauzillo offers a recap and photos from Sunday’s 626 Golden Streets: Mission to Mission open streets event in South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel.

Meanwhile, an Alhambra paper says crowds flocked to the event once the rain ended.

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As long as we’re on the subject of open streets, CicLAvia has released the map for the Mid City Meets Pico Union event at the end of next month.

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David Drexler forwards some photos from the women’s Amgen Tour of California final on Saturday. Unfortunately, we don’t have names to go with the photos, but its amazing how close fans can get to the riders.

Drexler also took part in the Rose Pedal Ride after the race, when the Rose Bowl course was open to bicyclists while remaining closed to drivers.

And nearly had the entire thing to himself.

This is how he describes it.

What if you threw a CicLAvia and No One Came?
It was called the Rose Pedal — where was everyone??
After the Amgen from 2 Pm to 8 Pm there was a ciclovia — all the roads were closed to car traffic around the Rose Bowl, but it was me and less than 10 other cyclists. Sometimes I rode half way around the Bowl with no one in back or in front of me, no cars. It was weird.
I almost think that there would have been more people out there if it was not for Amgen keeping the regulars away due to car restrictions.
I had this vision of 1000’s of people cycling around he Rose Bowl like the LA CicLAvia’s.
Lot’s of people came on bikes to Amgen, but when it ended — most left?

And he posed for photos with a couple of celebs, one of whom is former US Postal Service Team rider and current broadcaster Christian Vande Velde.

I’m told the other one is pretty famous, too.

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Bike journalist Peter Flax plays Bingo with LA’s favorite traffic safety deniers. Take this one to your next contentious traffic safety meeting.

Then again, aren’t they all these days?

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Apparently, those new protected bike lanes we were promised as a condition of granting permits to build the towering Wilshire Grand aren’t exactly what we got.

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Evidently, it’s even worse in San Francisco, where a bike rider films himself riding, or trying to ride, through one of the city’s car-choked bike lanes.

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The next time you need a babysitter, maybe don’t call Danny Macaskill.

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

Maryland police are looking for a road raging driver who yelled obscenities at a group of bike riders, then intentionally swerved into three riders, forcing one woman into a ditch.

Meanwhile, Maryland police seem more concerned with whether the driver violated the three foot passing law. One of the victims says he may give up bicycling after 20 years, while his friend and fellow rider remains in the hospital, fighting for her life.

And evidently the motoring world has enlisted wildlife on their side. A kamikaze deer ran out into the road and smashed into a woman’s bicycle during an upstate New York fondo.

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Local

LA Bike Dad offers a status update on all the current bike projects in the City of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, LADOT provides update on work along the LA River bike path, including storm damage near the Riverside bridge that may force an additional closure. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the heads-up.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Actress Rebecca Gayheart says she didn’t want to live after killing a nine-year old boy as she was driving in Los Angeles. On the other hand, the kid probably did want to live. And her comment of “Why me? Why Jorge?” seems to prioritize the victims of this crash the wrong way. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up. 

The Eastsider picks up the story of CD4 Councilmember David Ryu’s unexpected support for retaining, and improving, the road diet and bike lanes on Rowena Ave. It’s so cute that they pretend there’s actually a democratic process on the city council, when whatever a councilmember decides for his or her district goes.

CiclaValley enjoys his best bike weekend ever, witnessing the Mt. Baldy stage of the Amgen Tour of California, and taking in a vintage BMX show. On the other hand, my best bike weekend is all of them.

Malibu sheriff’s deputies will be conducting a bike and pedestrian safety enforcement crackdown today. As usual, that means riding to the letter of the law while in the city. And hoping deputies don’t fall back into their bad habit of ticketing riders for nonexistent requirements to ride single file and hug the door zone.

 

State

California’s proposed Complete Streets bill moved forward in the state legislature, while a bill that would have re-allocated active transportation funds died in committee.

Meanwhile, the state assembly approved a bill to regulate e-scooters and dockless bikeshare, requiring companies to get permits from cities and agree to local rules on how to run things; it now goes to the senate for consideration.

Olympic freestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy says he’s participating in next month’s AIDS/LifeCycle ride to remind people that HIV rates are still climbing. He’s raised $153,000 to benefit the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; his goal is to raise $1 million.

The NRDC says California cities are rolling towards a more sustainable future, calling out San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego for their efforts to increase bicycling rates. Noticeably missing is Los Angeles, for good reason. Maybe CA cities have to be named afters saints instead of angels to actually do something about building better streets for bike riders.

An Irvine bike rider was the victim of a hit-and-run driver who slammed into him at the Irvine Blvd onramp to the 133, then fled north on the highway; no word on the victim’s condition. Thanks to Bill Sellin for the tip.

A writer for the Riverside Press-Enterprise says yes, bike riders are required to stop for stop signs and traffic lights, after a driver writes he did, and a bicyclist didn’t. However, there have been times when a driver called me out for running a stop sign I had already stopped at, so take it with a grain of salt.

Santa Barbara firefighters flew a critically injured mountain biker out by helicopter after the rider suffered what was described as a major spinal injury Monday afternoon. Let’s offer our prayers and best wishes for a fun and fast recovery.

Frank Lehnerz forwards another story about the Fresno crash where a Telsa’s onboard cameras proved the bike rider was at fault. Although judging by the headlines, the self-riding bicycle apparently didn’t have one.

Cupertino is widening a roadway to make room for protected bike lanes by moving the sidewalks, five years after a high school student was killed there riding his bike.

Traffic deaths are soaring in San Francisco, despite the city’s Vision Zero program.

A San Ramon letter writer somehow feels the need to remind us that bikes are inanimate objects and don’t have rights. And that mountain bikers have the same access to trails that anyone else does — on foot. Bikes may be inanimate objects, but the people who ride them do have rights.

Once again, a bike rider is the hero. A 20-year old woman is alive today after a passing bicyclist saw her drive off a 450-foot cliff and into the ocean in a remote area of Napa County.

 

National

A new NACTO report says fixing intersections — where nearly half of all urban bicycling deaths occur — could dramatically reduce crashes between bikes and cars.

Distracted driving is the new drunk driving, responsible for at least 3,166 traffic fatalities and countless close calls in 2017. And those are just the ones they know about; too many distracted driving crashes go undetected because police need a warrant to examine the driver’s phone, which requires probable cause. The law should be changed to require implied consent to search the driver’s phone after a crash, just like with blood alcohol levels in many states.

Hats off to the Bike League for teaming with the LA-area’s LACBC, T.R.U.S.T South LA and ActiveSGV, as well as the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, to produce a much-needed Spanish language version of their bike education manual.

Go ahead and take it with you. American Airlines becomes the latest US air carrier to drop extra fees for bicycles.

A Seattle writer says his bike commute was ruined by the city’s mayor, who canceled plans for a protected bike lane and replaced them with…nothing.

Running about a week behind, Bicycling catches up with the story about Walmart heirs opening their private Colorado ranch to mountain bikers. Speaking of Walmart, the massive retailer has cut prices on ebikes up to 40% for Bike Month.

A city councilmember in Colorado’s high country apparently thinks only fit, able bodied people should be allowed on 55-mile mountain bike path, voting to maintain a prohibition on ped-assist ebikes.

Longmont, Colorado, wisely considers lifting a requirement for sidewalk riders to get off their bikes and walk across a crosswalk.

A week after a six-year old Iowa boy was nearly killed in a collision while riding his bike, he started collecting bike helmets for kids without one, while Detroit physicians call a bike helmet the best way to protect kids from bike crashes, while noting that one in five kids don’t wear one. Actually, the best way to protect kids is to fight for safe streets and teach kids how to ride safely. Although helmets are still a good idea, since children are far more likely to fall on their own.

Apparently, it’s okay to actually kill someone on a bicycle and flee the scene in Texas. Just don’t try tampering with the evidence to cover it up. Thanks to Stephen Katz for the link.

A Detroit columnist says there’s a lot of synergy between high-end bikes and cars — and a lot of bike riders in the halls of car makers.

Ohio cops want to know where all the abandoned bikes keep coming from, when no one ever reports them stolen.

New York advocates are pushing for a bike and pedestrian path on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to help people on and off Staten Island without cars.

Bighearted Philly police fixed a young boy’s bike for him while he was at school, after he asked if he could leave it at the station because his rim was broken and he didn’t have a lock. And threw in a new lock while they were at it.

 

International

Great idea. A shipping container is converted into a portable bike parking locker that fits into a single parking space, capable of holding 24 bicycles.

A former Vancouver writer recalls the city’s bike-riding mayor, who convinced the city council to invest $25 million in remaking the streets to be safer for people on bicycles. One more reason LA needs to elect a bike-riding mayor in 2020.

A writer for the AP says Quebec endlessly beckons to bike riders, thanks to its beauty, history and an extensive network of bike trails.

A British lawyer wants bicycle training returned to the schools to cut injuries among children now, and throughout their lives.

I think we’ve been insulted. A Scottish op-ed says the system that kept Edinburgh from becoming a second-rate Los Angeles is broken, while calling for a greater emphasis on making the city safe for people on foot.

Over 40,000 people turned out for a Moscow semi-pro bike race and open streets event.

 

Competitive Cycling

Cycling Weekly offers eight takeaways from last week’s Amgen Tour of California; VeloNews offers their takes, as well.

Cycling Tips’ Neal Rogers wants to introduce you to AToC champ Tadej Pogacar, calling him a future World Tour winner. Meanwhile, Pogacar set a new power record for the Mt. Baldy climb.

As for races that still have two weeks to go, Bicycling says Italy’s Valeria Conti may have the lead, but Slovenian Primož Roglič is in the best position to win the Giro. And yes, I had to copy his name to get it right.

Meanwhile, riders in the Giro say sure, it may be boring so far, but just wait.

 

Finally…

When you’re holding a fundraising bike ride, but you can’t tell anyone because it’s top secret. If you somehow feel an irresistible need to cremate a mouse, maybe try taking it out of the bike shop first.

And just…don’t.

Morning Links: Fight over road diets goes national, flooding closes GMR, and Emperor Norton was one of us

Let’s start with an important piece from Streetsblog’s Joe Linton about the efforts of traffic safety deniers Keep LA Moving to take their crackpot anti-road diet fight national.

Advocates, alert: “Keep L.A. Moving,” a small, vindictive group of well-heeled westsiders with little regard for the safety of L.A.’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents, is now pushing its disinformation to a national audience – or, at least, attempting to – by rebranding itself as “Keep The U.S. Moving…”

As bicycle advocate Peter Flax has noted, KLAM’s work seems to thrive best in closed-door conservative echo chambers, like Nextdoor and closed Facebook groups. From there, they work to seed aligned broadcast media, including right-wing radio, where their claims are not questioned. When their dubious assertions, for example “[road diets cause] more accidents, more pollution, more gridlock, heavy traffic,” are actually aired in public debate, or studied using actual real world data, they just don’t hold up.

Like climate change deniers, these “Keep Moving” groups deny data-based studies showing that speed kills and that road diets work

Behind all their crackpot assertions is the empowerment of drivers in well-to-do communities. These ideologues push for unfettered driver access at the expense of safety for all road users, particularly those who have the fewest mobility choices available to them and who are most at-risk to harm. The “right” of this handful of disgruntled drivers to speed is costing the lives of tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, this is a double whammy to low-income communities of color, whose residents continue to die at higher rates. And as Rutgers’ Charles Brown points out, minority communities overlooked for road diet safety improvements “receive enforcement” instead.

It’s well worth clicking the link to read all of Linton’s hard-hitting story.

Because these are the people who, so far at least, have succeeded in halting road diets and other vital safety measures in Los Angeles, keeping our streets dangerous and deadly so people like them can continue to drive unimpeded.

At least until LA’s inevitable encroaching gridlock forces them to a full stop.

And if they have their way, everywhere.

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Popular riding route Glendora Mountain Road is closed until further notice due to flooding.

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Robs Muir sends us photographic proof that San Francisco’s beloved Emperor Norton was one of us, too.

Bancroft Library, U.C. Berkeley

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Anyone planning to ride to work this Friday for International Winter Bike to Work Day?

If you want to discuss it with a reporter for the new Spectrum News 1 channel, email Jada Montemarano at jada.montemarano@charter.com.

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Local

Speaking of Spectrum News 1, they offer a nice piece on South LA’s Black Kids on Bikes, which isn’t just for kids. Or African-Americans.

UCLA is offering a week-long, 550-mile bike tour along the California coast to learn firsthand about the impacts of climate change, and possible solutions. Solution #1 — ditch the car, and ride a bike. Thanks to Audrey Kopp for the heads-up.

A Pasadena neighborhood association says the city’s proposed Cordova Street traffic calming project has a lot to like, even if it doesn’t connect with the Gold Line.

The Signal takes a look at Santa Clarita’s new Pace docked bikeshare system.

State

Can you say, duh? A San Diego TV station reports a sharp increase in traffic tickets issued to scooter riders last year — which makes sense, since it was the first full year they were in operation.

Work is almost finished on San Francisco’s newest protected bike lane.

Sonoma officials identify the homeless man who was beaten to death by two other men in a dispute over bicycle; he had served as a mentor to other people who were new to the streets.

Sacramento is the next California city to get e-scooters.

National

Bike Snob’s Eben Weiss says chill out about that scary sounding medical study on e-scooter injuries, noting that only 15 of the 249 victims were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.

Outside examines how energy bars became America’s favorite snack food.

A writer for Fast Company takes a spin in a 300-pound e-trike, and pronounces it the future of urban deliveries.

A driving website calls the micromobility movement part revolution and part gold rush, naming 2018 the Year of the Scooter.

No surprise here. Denver’s docked bikeshare system is losing riders to the convenience of e-scooters.

The mayor of a Chicago suburb threatens to ticket every member of a group ride if they don’t stop for every stop sign. Yes, they are legally required to stop. Even though it would piss off every driver on the street street when they proceed through every intersection one at a time.

Chicago Streetsblog looks back on the life of a bike courier in the 1990s. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the link.

A Massachusetts town wants to become a bicycling city, building on a bike heritage that goes back over 100 years. Although honestly, just about every city and town can say that; it’s what happened in the past 50 or 60 years that matters.

David Drexler forwards a Bloomberg piece about the reasons for a sudden uptick in New York Uber and taxi fares, which ends with “Have you considered biking?”

Great idea. Bike riders in Athens, Georgia can get discounts at participating businesses by attaching a $5 sticker to their helmets.

No bias here. A Georgia college student gets the blame in the local media for hitting a bus with his bike, when he was actually right-hooked as he came off the sidewalk. Yes, he should have slowed or stopped before riding out into the crosswalk, and probably shouldn’t have been on the sidewalk in the first place. But the driver bears responsibility for apparently not noticing him on the sidewalk and pausing to let him cross the street.

International

Cycling Weekly offers 13 inspirational cycling quotes to live your life by. Personally, I like the one from South African Bishop Desmond Tutu.

A British Columbia high school student returned home from an international environmental engineering competition with a bronze medal for her solar-powered e-trike.

A Hamilton, Ontario safety advocate says the city’s Vision Zero plan is a lot of fluff. Not that Los Angeles bike riders and pedestrians can relate that or anything.

This is who we share the roads with. A London motorist suffered serious injuries when a road raging driver intentionally plowed into him as he stood next to his car following a minor collision; no word on whether the other driver was arrested.

A British food delivery rider faces a charge of willful misconduct for a bike crash that left an eight-year old girl with a fractured skull.

Scraping the bottom of the ethical barrel, a driver in the UK faked brain damage to avoid doing jail time for killing a man on a bike while driving at twice the speed limit on the wrong side of the road; he’s now doing six and a half well-deserved years.

London’s Telegraph recommends Dubai’s “surprisingly mountainous” bicycling routes.

Some drivers continue to say bike riders are hard to see. Apparently, so are Australian garbage trucks.

Aussie medical professionals are sounding the alarm about dangerous aggression from motorists directed towards people on bicycles. Or as we call that in Los Angeles, Tuesday. Or any other day, for that matter.

Competitive Cycling

British pro cyclist Scott Auld was lucky to escape with a broken collarbone and various other injuries when he was the victim of a car crash while training in Spain; he was riding on the inside of a double pace line when the rider next to him was clipped by a driver on the wrong side of the road, crashing into him and sending him flying down a ravine.

Finally…

Who needs wheels when you’ve got skis? When you’re semi-royal, love dogs and the press has no idea what a cargo bike is.

And if you’re on parole with outstanding warrants, carrying an illegal weapon and ghost riding another bike along with yours, put a damn light on it — 

Your bike, not the other one.

Or maybe both.

Morning Links: Conservative writer claims bikes are killing machines, and Orange Grove road diet put on hold

A conservative writer says bicycles are unpredictable, crash-prone vehicles that are killing people.

According to a post by “radical Islam” writer Daniel Greenfield, urban bicycling poses a danger to cars and pedestrians, as well as bicyclists.

Bicycles are unpredictable vehicles. They crash much more easily. They’re driven erratically. Drivers have trouble spotting them and correcting. So do pedestrians. And bicyclists have to maneuver on roads that are built for large wheeled vehicles or for walking people. No amount of bike lanes will change that.

The urban cycling movement has gotten more people on bikes. But that comes with a false sense of familiarity. Riding a bike as an adult in urban traffic is very different than riding a bike down a suburban street as a kid. The risks are different and so are the reflexes.

Although about the only risk bike riders pose to cars is that we might scratch a fender. Or get blood all over the hood when the driver smashes into us.

But what’s really killing people are the careless, aggressive and/or distracted drivers in deadly 2,000 pound machines.

Bikes aren’t dangerous.

The people and vehicles we share the roads with are.

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Don’t hold your breath waiting for changes on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd.

According to Pasadena Now, the proposed lane reconfiguration will be on hold for at least the next year due to construction of a new water main.

Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed grassroots opposition group patterned after KeepLAMoving — and at least partially run by a founder of that group, giving lie to its supposed Pasadena roots — claims that it’s continuing to gain members.

Although someone might want to tell them that Facebook friends and supporters tend to fade away in real life.

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Local

Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman is one of us, losing nearly 30 pounds since the West LA resident participated in the first California Chefs Cycle in 2015.

CiclaValley lives one perfect day in LA by bike.

A Pasadena man raised $19,000 for a children’s charity by riding 2,000 miles down the left coast.

Bike SGV talks Bike Month events on this month’s SGV Connect podcast.

The Santa Monica Daily Press offers suggestions on how the keep the Earth Day spirit going by going carfree.

A Long Beach man found new friends and riding companions on the seven day AIDS/LifeCycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

State

A San Diego-area nonprofit uses a track cycling team to teach values to disadvantaged kids at the city’s velodrome in Balboa Park.

Motherboard says dockless bikeshare and e-scooters are disrupting life in San Francisco, rather than merely disrupting existing models.

Nice piece from a Berkeley resident, who says his bicycle allows him to explore the diversity and complexities of the Bay Area, just as bicycles did for other residents over a hundred years earlier.

 

National

Streetsblog says the way to deal with sidewalk clutter from dockless bikeshare is to give them a defined space on the street.

Portland’s bikeshare system could get a Paul Bunyan-themed bike.

Tacoma WA celebrates the “mystical, magical” bicycle next month.

A Seattle pilot project will determine whether ebikes can co-exist with other trail users.

An Idaho Stop bill allowing local jurisdictions to decide whether cyclists can treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stops has passed the Colorado legislature; the governor is expected to sign it.

A Texas man faces DUI, DUI assault and hit-and-run charges for killing two bike riders and seriously injuring another when he drifted off the road and ran them down from behind as they rode on the shoulder of a highway. Note to MRT.com: When a truck runs down three bicyclists at highway speeds, it really doesn’t matter if they were wearing helmets.

Dockless bikeshare is finally coming to Chicago.

Testimony wrapped up Thursday in the Kalamazoo Massacre trial, as jurors heard that the driver took a handful of pills before getting behind the wheel.

Cambridge MA bicyclists form a human protected bike lane to call for safety improvements in the city.

Gothamist is back to tell of the toll New York’s ridiculous ebike ban has taken on the city’s largely immigrant delivery workers. Let’s hope that means LAist, now owned by Pasadena public radio station KPCC, will be back soon.

Note to New York Times: When visiting Copenhagen, chances are you can safely leave your bike helmet at home. Just saying.

A New Orleans website offers a guide to riding your bike to the city’s annual Jazz Fest, which begins this weekend.

 

International

A New York architect explains how to use barriers to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from fast-moving traffic in the wake of this week’s Toronto attack.

Iceland is quadrupling fines for bicycle violations, from running a red light — which was not previously illegal — to putting a sidecar on the wrong side of a bicycle.

England’s second city aims for a Dutch-style bicycling revolution.

A Scottish craft brewery chain is establishing a worldwide cycling club.

Dutch bikemaker Van Moof promises their bikes are virtually theft proof, sending bike hunters to track down your ride if it’s ever stolen.

“Furious” Aussie bicyclists demand police focus on dangerous drivers, rather than on whether the people on bikes are wearing a helmet.

The Financial Review calls dockless bikeshare the frontline battle between Chinese tech giants.

A driver in Singapore faces just two years behind bars if he’s convicted of killing two ped-assist bike riders and injuring a third.

 

Competitive Cycling

The two-year old Colorado Classic will expand the women’s race to four stages, equal to the men’s tour, on some of the same courses; no word on whether that equality extends to prize money, as well.

VeloNews profiles 22-year old California native Justin Oien, the only American on the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA Pro Continental team.

More on the death of women’s pro cyclist Jacquelyn Crowell, who passed away four and a half years after she was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor.

Fabian Cancellara fights back against motor doping charges by offering to let people examine his bike. Even though there’s no way of knowing whether it was the actual bike he was riding when he was accused of using an illegal motor, since it’s not unusual to use multiple bikes during a race.

A writer for SBNation says Lance took al the fun out of it when he settled his lawsuit with the US government for $5 million.

 

Finally…

When one Bike Commuter of the Year just isn’t good enough. No, posting a sign telling bike riders to get off and walk does not count as fixing a dangerous intersection.

And if you’re going to compete in a bike race while out on disability leave for a bad back, turn off your Strava first.

 

Morning Links: Group plans Vision Zero ambush today, and Tour de Palm Springs killer had suspended license

Apparently, we’re about to be ambushed.

According to an alert from anti-safety, pro-traffic group Keep LA Moving, a seemingly innocuous motion being considered at today’s LA City Council Transportation Committee meeting is really a motion to redefine the city’s Vision Zero program.

Or more precisely, gut it.

The motion from CD2 Councilmember Paul Kerkorian and CD4’s David Ryu talks about refining the Vision Zero model “in order to serve the objective of more effectively increasing the safety of our streets.”

However, according to Keep LA Moving, it’s really about reducing the emphasis on bike and pedestrian deaths, since they only amount to 15% of the total collisions in the City of Los Angeles.

Tomorrow’s motion states that going forward, Vision Zero should “incorporate a data validation process to ensure that the High Injury Network supporting data was appropriate and reliable.”  Currently, data is heavily weighted in favor of pedestrians and cyclists, all but disregarding the safety of motorists. According to LADOT’s Vision Zero website: “We also give more weight to counts of Killed or Serious Injuries among people walking or biking, so deaths or serious injuries at all intersections are multiplied by three, while vehicle-vehicle deaths or serious injuries do not receive a multiplying factor. For example, if an intersection contains one fatal pedestrian collision, two severe bicycle injuries, and one fatal vehicle-vehicle, the score would be 10 (3 for the pedestrian, 6 for the two bicycles, and 1 for the vehicle-vehicle).”

In the Vision Zero Action Plan, released in 2017, the LADOT states that “people walking & biking account for roughly 15% of all collisions”. It’s not surprising then that  Vision Zero hasn’t reduced accidents and injuries since its inauguration in 2015 because the LADOT is only focusing on 15% of the problem! What’s more, the LADOT says “Vision Zero is an injury reduction strategy, not a collision reduction strategy.” And of course, collisions aren’t being reduced either. Vision Zero needs to concentrate on both reducing the severity of accidents and on the number of accidents that happen!

Never mind that Vision Zero has barely even been implemented up to this point.

Or that while bicyclists and pedestrians are only involved in 15% of LA collisions, they result in nearly half of all deaths and serious injuries.

Let that sink in.

Keep LA Moving says LADOT is focusing on just 15% of crashes. But Vision Zero isn’t about reducing crashes, it’s about eliminating deaths and serious injuries.

And drivers, surrounded by two tons of glass and steel, and protected by air bags, seat belts and crumple zones, face considerably less risk in a collision than people walking and riding bikes.

Which is the entire reasoning behind the multiplication factor, because bike riders and pedestrians are several times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a collision.

But Keep LA Moving thinks that doesn’t matter.

Or rather, that you don’t matter. Because the people in the other 85% of the crashes, who are less likely to be injured or killed, apparently matter more to them.

Then there’s their other major lie.

To date the LADOT has focused on “pet projects” in select districts that appease a vocal minority of residents — roads that were never flagged as needing such treatment.  Special interests and personal agendas have been allowed to drive decisions rather than actual concerns for public safety.

The road diet on Venice Blvd, in Mar Vista is a prime example. In the 11 years leading up to the Venice road diet, there was one fatality and seven severe injuries to people walking or biking along that 0.8 mile stretch. None of the contributing factors to these tragic accidents have been addressed by the road diet. Rather than analyze these accidents and implement real safety improvements fixing the problems, the LADOT chose instead to implement a road diet. They installed a road diet on a road with 45,000+ cars per day, in violation of their own standards. (The LA Complete Streets Design Guide states that road diets should only be used on streets with excess capacity and volume less than 20,000 cars.) The disastrous and wildly unpopular Playa del Rey road diets, defeated last Fall, had the same issues. In fact, in both PdR and Mar Vista, accidents and injuries increased after the implementation of road diets. Not only on the roads dieted, but on the residential side streets as well, as drivers searched for alternatives to the gridlocked boulevards.

But as they well know, the Venice Blvd project was never intended as part of Vision Zero.

Instead, it was developed by local residents as part of the mayor’s Great Streets project.

And rather than something sprung without warning on unsuspecting locals and businesses, it grew out of workshops sponsored by the Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce dating back to 2014. With several public pop-up demonstrations, including a demonstration of the parking-protected bike lanes at the 2015 Venice CicLAvia.

I know, because I was there.

Let’s also bear in mind that the reference to a maximum 20,000 vehicle traffic volume for road diets refers to reducing four lane streets to three lanes, with two through lanes and a center turn lane. Not massive six lane thoroughfares like Venice Blvd, which never should have been built that wide to begin with.

But that doesn’t matter to them, since their real goal is to halt road diets anywhere in the city, willing to trade human lives — yours and mine — to avoid inconveniencing drivers.

They deny the proven efficacy of road diets, just as climate change deniers claim global warming is a myth.

All of which helps explain why the Mid City West Neighborhood Council has written to oppose the motion.

Let’s hope that Transportation Committee members Paul Kortez, Nury Martinez and Chair Mike Bonin can resist the pressure from this very vocal and well-financed driver activist group.

If you can make it on such short notice on Valentines Day — I can’t, unfortunately — you need to make your voice heard.

If not, take a few moments to urge them to reject this motion, and keep LA’s Vision Zero program intact.

And maybe tell Ryu and Krekorian what you think while you’re at it.

Credit Peter Flax with the heads-up.

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Ronnie Huerta Jr., the driver who killed Mark Kristofferson during Saturday’s Tour de Palm Springs, was driving on a suspended license.

And suspended for good reason.

Huerta had been pulled over four times for speeding in the last two years, along with a host of other traffic violations.

Yet another example of keeping a dangerous driver on the road until he kills someone.

Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

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Local

The Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council could try to stop plans for desperately needed bus and bike lanes in Hollywood, and have already drafted a letter demanding that they be removed from the proposed Hollywood community plan. You can let them know what you think at their regular meeting on the 21st. And yes, I plan to be there.

 

State

Marin’s bike-unfriendly columnist says bicycle-riding tourists should just take the ferry and skip the town entirely. Maybe he should just stand outside the city and yell “Hey, you kids get off our lawn!”

 

National

Yet another study confirms the benefits of bike lanes, showing painted bike lanes reduce the risk of crashes by a minimum of 40%.

The Trump administration’s new proposed budget would be a disaster for bicycle infrastructure projects, while NACTO doesn’t think much of his infrastructure plan, either.

A Seattle writer tries the city’s new LimeBike dockless bikeshare ebikes, climbing a moderate hill with little effort, and living to tell the tale.

Utah moves forward with a bill that would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yields, but still have to wait for red lights. Or maybe notA similar bill died in the California legislature earlier this year.

Seriously? The Houston Chronicle predicts an autonomous car nirvana, where the world will be free from traffic jams, parking tickets and auto mechanics, and no one will want to ride buses or bikes anymore because they’ll be so happy with their driverless cars.

Life is cheap in Minnesota, where a 16-year old distracted driver won’t spend a day behind bars for killing a bike-riding man while she was using her cellphone, after the DA pleads her case down to a misdemeanor.

An Ohio ultra-endurance rider prepares to take part in this year’s Race Across America, aka RAAM, as he rides to relieve PTSD from several combat tours in Afghanistan.

The Boston Globe talks with a local bike lawyer who went from a planned position as a prosecutor to getting justice for bicyclists.

Researchers at Virginia Tech University are doing comparison testing of bicycle helmets, with plans to release their results in April.

 

International

A Vancouver writer makes the case for diversity in the urbanist world, suggesting that if everyone you see on a bike or in a planning session looks like you, there’s a problem.

Just in time for Valentines Day, a bike-riding English couple have been married for 64 years, after meeting at their local bike club in 1953.

London officials call for tightly regulating and licensing dockless bikeshare systems.

A new survey from a British tire company claims bus drivers are the safest drivers on the road, and bicyclists and van drivers the most infuriating. Something tells me I’d like to see their methodology.

Nice piece from Patrick Brady, as he searches for serenity on a bike tour of Buddhist temples in Japan.

 

Competitive Cycling

You haven’t made it until you’ve had the honor of being blocked on Twitter by Chris Froome.

Once again, mountain bikers race through the hills, alleys and yes, stairways of Italy’s Valparaiso Cerro Abajo.

 

Finally…

What to ride when you need to carry craft beer kegs and a dog or two on your cargo bike. Be on the lookout for Sasquatch if you ride around Lake Arrowhead.

And if you really want to be safe, mount this turn-signal equipped seat bag sideways so the arrow points up at your butt.

Maybe then drivers will actually see you.

 

Morning Links: Second lawsuit filed over Playa del Rey road diets, and bizarre racist traffic manifesto mailed

You knew it was coming.

In news that should surprise no one, a second lawsuit has been filed over the lane reductions on Vista del Mar and other streets in Playa del Rey.

This time, by the un-ironically named driver-activist group Keep LA Moving.

Which is fighting efforts to do just that in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista, by demanding a continuation of the failed auto-centric planning that has harmed so many parts of our city, at the expense of everyone who isn’t currently in a car.

What is only a little surprising is the paranoid, tinfoil-hat wearing extremes to which they’ve taken their case.

According to a story in the Daily Breeze,

City officials have “engaged in a campaign of misinformation, name calling and race baiting, claiming that the aforementioned changes were made for ‘safety’ reasons, while the changes have made the affected roadways exponentially unsafe,” the lawsuit states.

Race baiting? Seriously?

In response to backlash, the lawsuit says, Bonin misleadingly used the stories of victims who were killed on the streets, failing to mention details that show lane reductions wouldn’t have prevented their deaths.

“In none of these cases was the unfortunate death caused by too many lanes on the road, or the lack of dedicated bicycle lanes,” the suit states.

Never mind that the victims might have survived the crashes if the traffic had been moving at a less deadly pace. Which was the expressed purpose of removing those lanes.

But here’s the best one.

It also accuses the city of failing to conduct adequate public outreach for the Safe Streets for Playa del Rey Initiative, saying only 150 of Playa del Rey’s 12,000 residents were engaged in the process.

“LADOT thereafter populated neighborhood forums with outside, paid supporters to make it appear that local residents were overwhelmingly supporting the projects,” the suit states.

If you didn’t get your check, contact LADOT and demand payment. Because evidently, everyone else who supported the projects did.

And never mind that many, if not most, of those opposing the projects don’t even live in Los Angeles, let alone in Playa del Rey.

Keep L.A. Moving also alleges Bonin’s office has suppressed free speech by allegedly deleting critical comments and blocking users from his Facebook page.

Maybe they should give the 1st Amendment another read. Because I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Then finally, there’s this.

Keep L.A. Moving director Karla Mendelson said her group isn’t against safety, but wants to make elected officials think twice before implementing road diets.

No, they’re all for safety. As long as it doesn’t inconvenience them.

You can download a full copy of the lawsuit here.

………

Traffic safety advocates and neighborhood council members around Los Angeles have been receiving a very strange and offensive screed purporting to discuss traffic safety.

This bizarrely auto-centric piece, which is filled with bike hate and 180 degrees wrong on most traffic safety efforts, reads like the Unibomber’s manifesto, but without the intelligence.

Take this section on wide bike lanes. Please.

Even more frightening than the writer’s obvious glee at the fantasy of watching another human being die in the street, is the fact that these fliers have been mailed to people’s home addresses — an implied threat clearly saying “we know where you live.”

I’m told that at least one neighborhood council member has resigned as a result.

It’s horrifying to think that working to make this a more bikeable, walkable and livable city could put you in the crosshairs of people willing to threaten others to maintain their philosophy of autos über alles on the streets.

But that seems to be the world we live in.

……….

The self-proclaimed “LA’s #1 walking and biking advocacy group” we mentioned yesterday —which calls Vision Zero “population control,” and falsely claimed to be part of the non-existent group behind this website — says it will hold a public meeting at Intelligencia Coffee in Venice on Saturday.

If you live in the area, maybe you should drop in and see if they really exist.

And if they’re really there, give them a nice, big WTF for me.

And maybe a restraining order.

………

The Colorado Classic aims to reimagine bike racing; the Denver Post gives the details on all four stages.

Here’s your spoiler-free result of the first stage.

A Denver TV station says the presence of the Rwandan cycling team at the Colorado Classic sends a message of inspiration and hope, even if they’re not expected to win any stages.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis says banning Lance’s podcast is just being petty, as he prepares to return to mountain bike racing at the Leadville 100 with his Floyd’s of Leadville medicinal dope partner Dave Zabriskie.

Cycling great Andre Greipel says he’s lost all his instincts on the bike.

The Guardian offers a beautiful photo essay examining the 2,400-mile Transcontinental bike race across Europe.

……….

Local

Maybe one day your summer bike rides could be a bit cooler, as Los Angeles experiments with changing the surface color of streets to reduce roadway temperatures.

Great profile of 16-year old Los Angeles public transit enthusiast Kenny Uong.

CiclaValley discovers the San Fernando Valley’s secret climb.

Helen’s Cycles is sponsoring a trio of rides throughout the LA area tomorrow.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson offers his own inimitable advice on commuting to work.

The South Bay’s Easy Reader News credits the removal of the Herondo wall on the Hermosa border and widening the bike path with opening the entrance to Redondo Beach, leading to a boom in business along Harbor Drive. So much for bike lanes killing business, as the above lawsuit asserts, as well as the “fat bike lanes” in the manifesto.

 

State

Residents insist that traffic congestion is a nightmare in Lytle Creek, even without any road diets or bike lanes. Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

Caught on video: A San Francisco bike rider is sent flying when he apparently hits a curb after swerving to avoid an SUV that left-crossed him.

A San Francisco website says there ain’t no party like an East Bay Bike Party.

A 74-year old Healdsburg man will face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge for an unsafe pass that apparently caused a women to fall off her bike during a charity ride.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a specialized bicycle from a Navy vet who was using it to recover from paralysis, after he was shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan.

Violent crime is increasing on a Sacramento bike path with one of the region’s highest concentrations of chronically homeless people; one rider reported getting punched in the jaw just for being there.

 

National

Streetsblog asks why cities shouldn’t fund student bikeshare passes like they do transit passes.

No surprise here. A new study showed that adult-supervised bike trains to and from school increased physical activity for kids, providing 35% of their daily recommended exercise.

Seattle discovers the most effective way to cut solo car commutes is charging for parking by the day, rather than by the month. Just imagine if they combined that with safer streets to encourage more walking and biking at the same time.

Speaking of Seattle, the city’s limited experiment with dockless bikeshare doubled to a total of 2,000 bikes this week, and could double again when two more suppliers hit the streets. My apologies to whoever sent this; unfortunately, I’ve lost track of where I got this story. But thank you anyway.

Caught on video too: A safety conscious Spokane burglar straps on a helmet before riding off with a homeowner’s bike, while ghost riding another.

Good idea. A Kalamazoo MI bike club printed and distributed 100 lawn signs to promote the city’s five-foot passing law.

The Pennsylvania bicyclist on trial for obstructing traffic testified that he was simply riding in the center of the lane to avoid debris on the right and prevent unsafe passing.

A tone-deaf Atlantic City editorial says bicyclists have to ride responsibly to protect themselves from distracted drivers. Which is probably true. But wearing a bike helmet isn’t likely to prevent a collision. And even the brightest hi-viz and lights won’t help if someone is looking at his or her lap instead of the road.

Emmy nominee Keri Russell is one of us, as a fellow bike rider strikes up a conversation about her show The Americans as she waited at a Brooklyn stop light. A) Conversations like that never happen when you’re in a car, and B) it’s proof that bicyclists really do stop for red lights.

Leonardo DiCaprio is still one of us, and still riding bikeshare bikes across New York. No word on whether he stopped for stop lights or paused to speak with any other bike riders, however.

A New York lawyer goes looking for video of the hit-and-run that put a bike rider in the hospital, and finds a city-owned truck with damage matching the one that hit her.

 

International

A 16-year old Calgary boy has raised $8,000 to fight cancer as part of a 124-mile charity ride, four years after an eye exam lead to the discovery of a baseball-sized tumor in his brain.

Edmonton, Canada is testing side guards on trucks to protect cyclists and pedestrians.

Toronto developers are starting to build carfree, bike-only condos.

The sister of a fallen teenage bike rider lashes out at young Brit riders who put their lives at risk by pulling stunts in front of cars. Although you’d think she’d blame the stoned driver who killed him, instead.

Caught on video three: A Dublin bike mechanic tackles a bike thief who tried to make off with his bike after he leaned it against a wall for a few moments.

The mayor of Melbourne, Australia threatens to deal with the problem of abandoned dockless bikeshare bikes by banning them entirely.

 

Finally…

Why bother biking to work or slogging through traffic when you can just swim. You could do worse than the Sneaky Cyclist Robber, as far as bank robber epithets go.

And a mountain biker tries to take a $149 Walmart bike down some steep singletrack, with predictable results.

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