Tag Archive for Kevin de León

Long Beach downgrades planned protected bike lane, de León gets bike-friendly, and biking where Black or Brown

Long Beach may be one of the most bike-friendly cities in Southern California.

But that doesn’t mean they always get it right.

Yesterday, we mentioned that Long Beach will hold a virtual meeting tonight to discuss a $3.7 million infrastructure improvement project on Santa Fe Avenue in West Long Beach, which includes a new bike route.

But what they failed to mention is that original plans called for a protected bike lane.

Which is a pretty major downgrade to a bunch of signs and maybe a few sharrows.

West Long Beach is no exception as this type of lack of safety, particularly along bicycle corridors, has been addressed by urban planners and traffic engineers nationwide through the use of the “8-80 rule.”

It basically goes as such: Would you feel comfortable letting an eight-year-old ride down the street with an 80-year-old as their guide? If your answer is even a remote hesitation, planners feel that road requires “8-80 facilities,” or fully protected bike lanes with bollards and parking as buffers before aligning directly with traffic.

Santa Fe Avenue, according to our own city’s Master Bicycle Plan (Appendix E), is such a facility. These bike lanes are typically Class I bike paths: They do not share, in any capacity, their space with cars.

And yet, for reasons known only to city planners, this ostensibly bike and pedestrian friendly city is going out of their way to maintain the automotive hegemony on this corridor.

Not to mention keeping it dangerous, if not deadly, for anyone who isn’t in a motor vehicle.

It’s up to you to tell Long Beach that’s not good enough.

If you walk or ride in the area, or would like to if it was safer, you owe it to yourself to attend tonight’s virtual meeting.

The virtual meeting—set to be presented in English with interpreters for Khmer, Spanish, and Tagalog speakers on hand—begins at 6PM on Thursday, Oct. 7. To register for the Zoom meeting, click here. For those using phones, you may also call 213-338-8477 and enter the meeting using the following ID: 998 6180 2751. Anyone wanting more information can contact the Public Works Department at contactlbpw@longeach.gov or 562-570-6383.

Thanks to Brian Addison for the heads-up.

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CD14 Councilmember and 2022 mayoral candidate Kevin de León has fired a shot across the bow for next year’s campaign, staking out a transit, bike and pedestrian friendly position with a series of motions introduced in the LA city council on Wednesday.

Click through to read the motions.

The fifth motion not mentioned above calls for studying the purchase of more electric mini-street sweepers to keep protected bike lanes clean, as well as the possibility of buying hybrid electric street sweepers.

Although a street sweeper that could keep cars out would help a lot more.

The most interesting motion calls for closing one block segments of some Downtown Streets to car traffic, including

  • Grand Ave between 1st and 2nd
  • Broadway between 3rd and 4th
  • Traction Ave between 3rd and Hewitt

However, a far better option would be to pedestrianize the full length of Broadway, from City Hall south to at least 8th Street.

And while placing bike lanes on the uphill side of some streets and sharrows on the downhill side has some promise, the question becomes whether it would work in practice, since drivers tend to pick up speed going downhill, often far in excess of the speed limit.

Which wouldn’t exactly be comfortable, or safe.

The bigger problem is the motions don’t call for actually doing anything other than conducting yet another a study. Or rather five studies.

Which is what the city does best.

Los Angeles has a long and unproductive history of studying problems to death, without ever taking any real action.

So we’ll have to see if anything actually comes of de León’s motions.

Or if he’s just staking out a position for what promises to be a bruising mayoral campaign.

Then again, there is something he could do to show he really is serious.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1445966890539499525

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Evidently, the problem isn’t just biking where Black or Brown, but biking where Black or Brown.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that eight times more traffic tickets were issued to bike riders in majority Black neighborhoods, compared to majority white areas. And three times more in majority Latinx neighborhoods.

The study also shows that most traffic tickets are written on major streets, but 85% fewer bicyclists are ticketed on streets with bike lanes. Except few communities populated primarily by people of color have bike lanes.

The study also shows there’s no apparent correlation between higher rates of ticketing people on bicycles and improvements in safety.

The obvious solution is to build more bike lanes in Black and Latinx neighborhoods, in consultation with the community to address fears that bike lanes contribute to gentrification.

Less obvious is the author’s suggestion to remove traffic enforcement from strategies for safer streets, since it doesn’t have any apparent benefit and unfairly target people of color.

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If you ride an Elliptigo bike, you could be looking at a recall to avoid the risk of your frame breaking while you ride.

Then again, why would you ride an Elliptigo in the first place?

Thanks to Ted Faber for the tweet.

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The youngest woman to cycle solo around the world narrates a guide to bikepacking in the wild.

Including where and how go to the toilet, without one.

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Pink Bike demonstrates how to choose lines on your mountain bike.

Which, for those of us who lived through the 80s, is evidently quite different from doing them.

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

A San Francisco bike rider was the victim of an apparently unprovoked attack when a motorcycle rider pulled up next to him, then tried to kick him off his bike and punched him, for no apparent reason.

No surprise here. A Houston attorney representing the six bicyclists run down by a teenage pickup driver attempting to roll coal accuses officials and residents in Waller County, where the crash took place, of bias against bike riders, suggesting that the investigation may be tainted as a result.

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

There’s a special place in hell for the New York man riding a pink girl’s bicycle, who strong-armed a little girl walking to school to steal her cellphone.

A British woman was injured when she was struck by a man riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, who then threatened her husband when he challenged him about it.

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Local

Metro is offering a self-guided bike tour of Chicanx art in DTLA.

Pasadena students mark yesterday’s National Walk and Bike to School Day.

 

State

Monterey’s four day Sea Otter Classic bike fest starts today and runs through the weekend, after last year’s pandemic hiatus. Nice to see Bicycling Monterey’s Mari Lynch get a well-deserved shout-out.

A 57-year old Merced man was shot by a thief when he refused to give up his bicycle; no word on the victim’s condition. Seriously, if someone demands your bike, just give it to them. No bike is worth your life, no matter how attached you are to it.

Sad news from Berkeley, where an 81-year old man died of natural causes while riding on an offroad bike trail, although it’s unknown whether his death was caused by falling off his bike, or if he fell off his bike due to a medical condition.

 

National

Bike industry leaders, who too often remain silent on bicycling issues, say now is the time for the industry and the broader bicycling community to demand action on climate change.

A writer for Cosmo tried swapping her car for an ebike, and lived happily ever after as a contented convert to bicycling.

Seattle microbreweries are discovering that the Venn diagram of craft beer drinkers and bike riders is nearly a circle.

It takes a major schmuck to steal nearly $10,000 worth of bicycling equipment from a Colorado high school cycling team, just days before a race.

More on the proposed legislation that would extend Colorado’s Stop As Yield law statewide, rather than ceding authority to local jurisdictions on whether or not to allow it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for Governor Newsom to sign California’s version of the law.

Billings, Montana is building a network of neighborhood bikeways. Unfortunately, Los Angeles isn’t, even though the Mobility Plan calls for it as one of the three bike networks included in the plan.

The CBC talks with the ER doctor who was in exactly the right place at the right time, riding a Minnesota bike trail when he came upon an unconscious mountain biker on the side of the trail, and saved his life with an emergency on-site cricothyrotomy.

Heartbreaking news from Minnesota, where a ten-year old girl lost her leg and suffered life-threatening injuries when she was run over on her bicycle and dragged for over a block, after a 73-year old semi driver jumped the curb she was on while making a right turn; needless to say, no charges have been filed yet.

A kindhearted Ohio cop gave a 12-year old boy an unclaimed bike from the police property room, after the boy loaned his bike to a couple other boys, who tossed it off a bridge onto railroad tracks, while both of the boy’s parents were hospitalized with Covid-19.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea might be the wrong person to work on the city’s Vision Zero program, after admitting he’s more afraid of bicyclists and ebike riders than he is of drivers.

Philadelphia followed the national trend of fewer crashes but more fatalities, with traffic deaths up 88% last year despite a drop in collisions.

They get it. The Washington Post says children should be able to safely walk and bike to school, but four kids in crosswalks have been struck by drivers in the last four weeks.

 

International

Treehugger recommends the year’s five best bike trailers for kids.

Cyclist rides the classic Italian climb named for the Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of bicyclists.

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for a ban on private motor vehicles in central Berlin, which would create the world’s largest carfree zone.

An Egyptian woman’s three-year old blog is empowering young women to get on their bikes; the blog is named Tabdeel, which appropriately translates to both pedaling and change.

Tragic news from Nigeria, where a 58-year old Lagos bike rider died five days after he was stabbed repeated by robbers, because the hospital delayed a transfusion and surgery due to a doctors’ strike.

 

Finally…

Forcibly pushing a man on a bicycle out of a grocery store probably isn’t the best way to foster peace and good will. When you’re stuck behind bars, a virtual bike race is probably the best you can hope for.

And that feeling when a stolen bike could be worth its weight in gin.

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

$50,000 reward in Venice hit-and-run death, man killed on 4,000 mile charity ride, and Eagle Rock wants one lane

Imagine someone you love traveling across the country to follow her faith and feed the hungry.

Now imagine getting a call from an LAPD detective telling you she’s been murdered by a hit-and-run driver.

Although they probably didn’t use that word.

Then imagine that the police won’t return your calls. And you have no idea what’s going on with a case that seems to be going nowhere, and doesn’t seem to be a priority.

You’ve just put yourself in the shoes of the entire family of fallen bike rider Prynsess Di’Amond Brazzle.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize her name. I only recently learned it myself, confirmed by her relatives.

Brazzle was the woman who was killed by a heartless hit-and-run driver as she rode her bicycle around a Venice intersection this past August.

She’s one of 18 victims of hit-and-run drivers in Southern California this year. And yet another Black bike rider or pedestrian sacrificed on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where people of color die from traffic violence at a rate far disproportionate to their share of the population.

Never mind that Pacific Avenue, the street where she was killed, is on LA’s High Injury Network as one of the deadliest streets in the city. And was scheduled for bike lanes in the city’s long-forgotten mobility plan and 2010 bike plan.

Which could mean Los Angeles bears at least some legal responsibility for knowing about the dangers of the street, and failing to fix it.

Prynsess Brazzle had traveled from her family’s Pennsylvania home to Georgia, then west to Los Angeles, believing she had been called by God to feed the homeless.

Only to have her life taken by someone who didn’t have the basic human decency to stop their damn car after slamming another human being early in the morning of August 20th.

Unfortunately, since then, the trail appears to have gone cold.

The only information police have released is a blurry security cam video of a black, large-sized SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Suburban.

That’s despite a $50,000 reward from the City of Los Angeles for information “leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.”

So let’s be honest.

Someone out there knows something. Maybe you’ve seen an SUV with a mangled front end. Or heard someone talk about an early morning crash in Venice, or acting strange the next day.

Maybe you’ve got video or other information the police missed.

And maybe you could use a cool 50 grand. Or just want justice for a young mother taken far too soon.

And yes, you can still get the money if you contact the police anonymously.

Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to bring justice for Prynsess Brazzle has raised just $139 of the modest $5,000 goal.

We could easily top that today if everyone who reads this digs in to give what they can. And forwards this piece to anyone else who might be interested in helping.

And keeping their eyes open to bring her killer to justice.

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Sometimes I could just cry.

A Wisconsin man was killed while on a 4,000-mile ride to raise awareness of hunger on the Navajo reservation, and raise fund for a mountain biking scholarship.

Twenty-seven-year old Tyler Droeger was nearly 3,000 miles into the ride, when a driver drifted off the roadway and ran him down from behind as he rode on the shoulder of a Utah highway, knocking him into a ravine.

Chances are, he literally never knew what hit him.

It’s heartbreaking to think someone could be trying to do good for others, and still end up a needless victim of traffic violence.

Droeger wrote that, when he began his journey, he “wasn’t even aware of the inequality we have here in our homeland.” And he offered this advice:

“Be good to the strangers you meet. No matter their situation. it could just as easily have been you in those shoes.”

Needless to say, no charges have been filed.

Droeger’s crowdfunding campaign has continued to raise money despite, or maybe because, of his death.

When I first saw the news on Friday, he had raised a little more than double the $4,000 goal.  It’s now over $11,000.

If you have any extra money lying around after donating to Prynsess Brazzle, I can’t think of a better place to put it.

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Let’s hope CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León is paying attention.

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Great ebike ad from Specialized.

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The Department of DIY strikes again, even if it’s no match for drivers’ love of parking in bike lanes.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1444081188918870020

Maybe they should have just used a more seasonal barrier, like the people below.

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It’s hard to get past the Wall Street Journal’s draconian paywall.

So you’ll have to settle for this, courtesy of Orange County bike lawyer David Huntsman.

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A British kid can’t use the bike lane during Back to School Week, because it’s full of cars lined up to get gas during the country’s crippling fuel shortage.

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Maybe one day, we’ll finally get to the point where we don’t need ghost bikes anymore.

I only hope we all live long enough to see it.

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

An older Brooklyn man was knocked off his bicycle when he was sucker-punched by a young man, in what appears to be part of a series of similar attacks on elderly people.

A British driver decides if an easily-passed bike rider is going use the roadway, then he’ll drive on the separated bike lane.

Pettiness abounds from IdiotsInCars

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

Police are looking for a man on a purple bicycle who groped a woman on a University of Hawaii campus.

A valet at a Nashville hotel was shot by a bike-riding burglar; fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

Scotland Yard is looking for a bike-riding man wanted for a series of East London sexual assaults, exposing himself and masturbating in public.

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Local

Disappointing to see the weekly newsletter from CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin discuss what his office is doing to promote transit and safer streets, without a single mention of bike lanes. Let alone bicycles.

The Easy Reader says ebikes are revolutionizing transportation in the South Bay’s beach cities.

 

State

A rare genetic brain disease robbed a marathoner of her ability to run, but she will still take part in a 220-mile Santa Barbara-to-San Diego ride on her recumbent to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s Million Dollar Challenge fundraising ride.

A triathlete in San Luis Obispo County recalls the red light-running driver that left her with “two shattered collarbones, two broken ribs and horrific memories of the impact,” then fled the scene, leaving her bleeding in the street.

A Fresno bike rider was critically injured after allegedly running a red light; police also blamed him for riding outside the crosswalk, as if bicycles aren’t allowed in the street. Someone should tell the Fresno Bee that the victim didn’t collide with a vehicle, he was struck by a car, which had a driver.

The San Francisco Examiner looks at California’s most significant bicyclist safety initiatives. They may not be the best source, however, since they cite LA’s dusty, nearly forgotten Vision Zero and mobility plans.

Lafayette considers safety improvements for pedestrians and bicyclists after a school crossing guard was killed in a collision last month, but not before heroically pushing school kids in a crosswalk out of the way, sacrificing himself to save them. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

National

Popular Mechanics recommends the best cheap bikes for beginners. The real surprise isn’t the price of the bikes. It’s that Popular Mechanics is still around.

Las Vegas Raiders fans turn out on their custom, low rider bicycles to show their love for the team.

Good news from Kansas, where searchers found a 13-year old girl who had gone missing on a bike ride.

Shades of the Infamous Beachfront Bee Incident. A Nebraska man crashed his bicycle after a bee got in his bike helmet and began stinging him. Except in my case, they didn’t sting me. And I got hurt a lot worse.

Even in Oklahoma, speeding drivers get the blame for a jump in traffic fatalities.

Chicago finally gets around to installing a road diet and bike lanes on the deadly street where School of Rock drummer Kevin Clark was killed riding his bike, 13 years after another bike-riding man was killed at the same site. This is how Vision Zero is supposed to work, just not so slow.

A Columbus, Ohio newspaper recommends riding the area’s scenic bike paths.

After a man was killed in Mississippi on a cross-country fundraising bike ride from Dover, New Hampshire to San Diego three years ago, his mother is planning to finish the ride, picking up where he was killed; his ride raised over 12 times his original $10,000 goal to help children with cancer.

The New York Times examines the rising carnage on the city’s streets, despite outgoing Mayor De Blasio’s promise to reduce traffic deaths under Vision Zero.

A trio of kindhearted Florida deputies got a new bike for a man after the bike he used for his transportation was stolen.

Kindhearted Fort Lauderdale firefighters replaced a young boy’s bicycle after it was burned in a house fire.

 

International

A Welsh website says life has gotten crazy at local bike shops during the pandemic.

Sponsors are bailing from the UK’s Black Cyclists Network after allegations of bullying and harassment by the organization’s founder.

Even British drivers support a 10 mph speed limit and speed cams to improve traffic problems.

No bias here. As Paris shifts its transportation focus from cars to walking, biking and transit, all the New York Times can see is the “anarchy” of scofflaw bicyclists. Thanks to Andrew Goldstein for the heads-up.

There’s a special place in hell for a retired French police officer who confessed to being a serial killer and rapist in his suicide note; victims included a pair of 11-year old girls, with one victimized after being pulled off her bicycle.

An Indian paper asks if bicycling is safe for women in Chennai, concluding women on long rides face the lack of accessible and clean public toilets and the threat of harassment and discrimination as well as a lack of bike lanes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian pro Sonny Colbrelli was the surprise winner of Sunday’s Paris-Robaix on the rain-soaked cobbles; Colbrelli didn’t even expect to finish, let alone win.

Cycling Weekly offers talking points from the race.

Britain’s Lizzie Deignan overcame bloodied hands to win the inaugural women’s Paris-Robaix race, aka Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

Cycling Tips offers a photo essay revealing the “grit and glory” of the women’s Hell of the North, while Cycling News offers their conclusions from the first ever women’s Paris-Roubaix, 125 years after the first men’s race.

Bicycling talks with Ayesha McGowan about her successful fight to become the first Black woman in professional cycling, and her goals to make the sport more inclusive for everyone. As usual, read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.

 

Finally…

Buy a kid a bike, get free tickets to Tom Brady’s homecoming game. A little skitching will get you a big fine.

And your next bike could be a two-wheel drive, hydraulic-driven, gas-powered bicycle.

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

Metro commits to BRT on Colorado Blvd, Gonzalez kills speed cam bill in Assembly Committee, and 20 is plenty

Today is Bike Anywhere Day in LA County. So just get on your bike and do it, already.

Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels.

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More on the battle for the heart and soul of Eagle Rock, as Metro commits to running the NoHo to Pasadena BRT — aka, bus rapid transit — line along Colorado Blvd.

However, as we noted yesterday, the configuration of the roadway is still undetermined, after CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León threw a wrench in the resident-driven Beautiful Blvd plan, which would remove a traffic lane in some places, while retaining bike lanes, landscaping, medians and most parking.

De León insisted on studying another option, and gathering still more public input, despite months of public meetings and comments already.

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San Diego Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez drove the final nail in the coffin of one of the two speed cam bills under consideration in the state legislature this session, blocking the pilot program in the Assembly Appropriations Committee after severely gutting it earlier.

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The UN Global Road Safety Week calls on policymakers to reduce speed limits  to 20 mph on streets where bicyclists and pedestrians mix with motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, a British town is scrapping its 20 mph speed limit because most drivers ignore it anyway.

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Good point.

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Local

Long Beach is officially opening a new bike path leading to Pier J along Harbor Scenic Drive this Sunday.

 

State

Bike rodeos are back, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department hosting one for kids in San Clemente on the 26th.

Menifee police will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety operation on the 24th, ticketing any violations that put either group at risk, regardless of who commits them. So ride to the letter of the law if you ride there on Monday.

Bakersfield is marking Bike to Work Day today, with bike shops and clubs offering refreshments on the Kern River Parkway throughout town, pandemic be damned.

A Clovis bike rider captures a closeup view of a hawk attacking his head on his helmet cam; the bird has a reputation for attacking people who come too close to its nest.

Danville opens a new bike and pedestrian bridge that cuts half a mile off the previous route through downtown, while allowing riders to bypass three busy intersections.

 

National

The latest bike helmet ratings are in from the testing lab at Virginia Tech, demonstrating once again that higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to better protection.

Jalopnik asked readers to share the close calls they’ve had on a bike. And boy, did they.

A new study shows ped-assist ebikes offer nearly the same health benefits as regular bicycles.

If you’re in the market for a Giant or Liv bicycle, Colorado used bike site The Pro’s Closet is now accepting trade-ins.

A bicycle resort in Colorado Springs CO is hosting a bike-themed art show this weekend.

Riding away from a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, a football player at the University of Texas El Paso gave up his final year of eligibility for a 650-mile ride across the state with his father and brother, to raise awareness of brain cancers after his uncle died of glioblastoma.

A Cape Cod town considers blocking a bike and pedestrian path leading to the beach, closing a public access route that’s existed for more than 200 years.

A bighearted Rhode Island teenager raised funds to donate 70 bicycles to the local Boys and Girls Clubs for kids in need.

The pandemic bike boom has hit the mountain bike trails, as well; the New York Times credits more trails, better bikes and the rise of high-school mountain biking, as well as the chance to get out in the fresh air with friends.

A North Carolina man will spend the next four years behind bars for the hit-and-run death of a popular bike advocate, after being sentenced to a total of 20 years with 16 years suspended. His boss faces charges as an accessory after the fact for helping coverup the crime committed in a company truck.

Even the buildings are out to get us. A New Orleans bike rider was injured when high winds blew debris off an abandoned skyscraper.

Miami police released bodycam video of the aftermath of a drunken hit-and-run collision in which a former porn star is charged with running down an ebike-riding pastor.

A Florida man escaped with serious injuries when he became collateral damage in police chase while riding his bike, as officers chased five teens in a stolen SUV; he’s currently confined to a wheelchair after being thrown 15 feet into the air by the force of the impact.

More collateral damage in Florida, where two men were indicted on first degree murder charges for the accidental shooting of a bike rider, who was hit by a stray bullet during a shootout between the occupants of two cars; three other men will also face charges in the case.

 

International

An op-ed from an “avid cyclist” in Vancouver says the city’s bike lanes are unnecessary and wasteful, because they inconvenience people in cars and are primarily used during the morning and evening rush hours. You know, kind of like all those lanes drivers use. 

A 17-year old Irish boy will spend the next two years in juvenile detention for killing a bike courier after running a red light.

Sisters and Bollywood stars Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor warn a paparazzo to back off after he steps into their path to film them riding their bikes.

Manilla residents are taking to bicycles to escape the city’s notorious gridlock.

A Singapore e-scooter rider will spend 12 weeks behind bars for the death of a 64-year old woman on a bicycle after they crashed on a shared-use path; the victim’s family understandably calls the sentence too lenient.

A group of Aussie bicyclists get brake-checked by a trailer-towing pickup driver, who gets out and yells at them for having the audacity to ride on the road. You know, like they’re supposed to.

 

Competitive Cycling

Italian cyclist Gianluca Brambilla was booted off the podium in yesterday’s 12th stage of the Giro, relegated from third to fourth for veering wildly in front of George Bennett in a final sprint to the finish. Fellow Italian Andrea Vendrame won the stage in a breakaway with Australian Chris Hamilton.

A new gravel race will roll from Fruita, Colorado to Cisco, Utah tomorrow, with distances up to 185 miles, while the glitterati of the gravel world will be in Texas for the inaugural 155-mile Gravel Locos race.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be a Penny Farthing. Is there really such a thing as a popular freeway interchange?

And I can’t offer any better advice for Bike Anywhere Day than this.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Metro to study Beautiful Blvd and 2nd plan in Eagle Rock, CicLAvia helps LA dine Al Fresco, and 250 pound SaMo ebikes

Before we start, I want to clarify Tuesday’s report on the death of cyclocross champ Laurence Malone in Lancaster CA on Monday.

As more information came in, it became clear that the initial reports that Malone was riding his bike were wrong; he was actually driving on Highway 138 when his car was hit head-on by the driver of a semi-truck.

I’ve rewritten my report on his death as a result, and am no longer counting his death among this year’s bicycling fatalities.

Today’s photo is a rendering of one section of the Beautiful Boulevard plan, from Eagle Rock Forward

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Metro voted to move forward with additional studies of the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, as well as another plan that with keep two traffic lanes and bike lanes, while reducing medians and parking.

The board followed the lead of CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, who called for additional public input on top of the numerous meetings that have already been held, and countless comments previously submitted.

Bike Talk posted the audio for the last 12 commenters discussing the proposals at yesterday’s virtual Metro meeting.

Meanwhile, the LA Times questioned why de León is trying to stall the transit and climate friendly plan for Eagle Rock.

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with more public discussion and analysis. But activists in Eagle Rock are understandably worried that the delay is an attempt to undermine the Beautiful Boulevard concept in favor of a car-centric view of the streets. That would be disappointing, considering how De León has touted his commitment to fighting climate change and his support for transit and safer streets.

There’s a long history of L.A. leaders proclaiming their climate leadership only to abandon climate-minded street design at the first cries of opposition.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles continues to kick the climate can down the road, leaving it to others to make the hard decisions our elected leaders lack the courage to make.

We have no choice but to provide safe, clean and efficient alternatives to driving, as an ever increasing number of cars slowly grind our streets to a halt, without destroying the livability of our communities.

The Beautiful Boulevard plan does just that, enhancing the community while providing safe space for transit, walking and riding a bike.

We have no choice but to move forward with plans like this throughout LA if we hope to save our city.

And ourselves.

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CicLAvia is leveraging its experience with open streets to guide Los Angeles in expanding the city’s COVID-19 Al Fresco outdoor dining program, and making it permanent.

“CicLAvia has been utilizing its open streets planning expertise in a new way by reaching out to smaller ‘mom and pop’ restaurants in communities most impacted by the pandemic,” said CicLAvia Executive Director Romel Pascual.

“By offering free assistance to these ‘hidden gems’ via the L.A. Al Fresco program, CicLAvia helps these restaurants accommodate more customers so they can serve their neighborhoods safely and with greater capacity, stay open and continue to prosper.”

At the same time, CicLAvia is planning the return of the country’s largest and most successful open streets event, which was halted last year due to the pandemic.

A new route and date is expected to be announced soon.

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A Playa del Rey letter writer who identifies himself as a 63-year old cyclist complains about the presence of “250 pound E-bikes traveling at 20 mph or more” on the beachfront bike path, piloted by “clueless riders of all ages.”

He goes on to call for them to be banned from the popular pathway.

However, ebikes are already prohibited from the bike path in Santa Monica, and numerous bikes have ticketed and confiscated in the past.

Correction — Santa Monica now allows ebikes on the beach bike path; somehow I missed that. Thanks to Howard for the correction

And anything that can travel over 20 mph is barred by the state from being ridden on any bike path.

Never mind that even the heaviest ebikes check in at a little over 50 pounds, rather than 250, which very few riders would even be able to lift.

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This is who we share the road with.

God help us.

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

Campus police at Cal State Northridge are warning women to be on the lookout for a suspected serial groper; unfortunately, the only description is a man in a black hoodie on a black bicycle.

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Local

Metro will host a virtual meeting at 6pm today to discuss first mile/last mile bike and pedestrian connections near the Expo/Crenshaw Station; another meeting will be held Tuesday afternoon.

The Beverly Hills city council will review the environmental impact report and consider plan approvals for the massive One Beverly Hills project at 7pm tonight; Better Bike calls for the newly bike friendly city to insist on bike lanes to and through the project on the site of the former Robinson’s May department store.

 

State

A San Diego councilmember voices his support for building a bike and pedestrian bridge across the San Diego River in Mission Trails Regional Park in honor of a 21-year-old student who drowned at the crossing in January.

A Bay Area writer says the recent death of local legend of Joe Shami, known as the King of Mount Diablo, is a reminder for drivers to put their phones down and watch for bicyclists.

 

National

Cycling News explains why your ebike can’t recharge while you pedal or brake.

The Colorado lawyer representing the family of fallen national master’s road champ Gwen Inglis is calling for the charges against the allegedly stoned driver to be bumped up to 1st degree murder to reflect his extreme indifference to human life.

Colorado mountain resort Steamboat Springs approved permitting the state’s Safety Stop, aka Stop As Yield, in the town; unlike other states, Colorado allows individual cities to choose whether or nor to allow bike riders to roll stops after checking for oncoming traffic. And the sky has not fallen there, or any other state that allows it.

Iowa’s popular RAGBRAI bike ride across the state returns with coronavirus safety precautions in place this year, after being cancelled last year.

The pandemic has shown the need for more bike lanes and sidewalks in Connecticut, with up to a 50% jump in bicycling, and two to three times as many pedestrians.

A New Jersey bill would ban bike licenses across the state, after white cops in Perth Amboy recently confiscated the bikes of Black and brown teens for not having one.

Speaking of New Jersey, the state is considering a new law requiring drivers to change lanes to pass someone on a bicycle or give a four-foot passing distance; however, like California, it contains the same clause allowing drivers to ignore those requirements by slowing down and being prepared to stop, making it relatively toothless.

An enterprising 12-year old Philadelphia boy responded to the shutdown of bike shops during the pandemic by starting his own bike repair service.

A Pennsylvania bike co-op marked the Ride of Silence by placing 22 ghost bikes on the steps of the state capitol, in a powerful reminder of the 22 people who lost their lives riding in the state last year.

 

International

The popup bike lanes on London’s Westminster Bridge will be made permanent  after proving their worth during the pandemic. That’s not the case in Los Angeles, though, where no popup bike lanes will be made permanent because shortsighted city officials failed to install any.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Edinburgh councilmember is being investigated by an ethical standards watchdog, after responding to a story about barbed wire strung across a bike path by calling for those fighting popup bike and pedestrian spaces to take responsibility for their behavior.

Moscow traffic control cops are taking to their bicycles to keep drivers out of the city’s bike lanes.

Motorcycling great Troy Bayliss was seriously injured in a head-on collision with another bicycle rider; the three-time World Superbike champ returned to his Australian home to recover from a fractured vertebrae and spinal damage. Been there, done that. I fractured the same vertebrae in my 20s when a jack broke and dropped the car I was working on down on me.

 

Competitive Cycling

Swiss cyclist Mauro Schmid captured yesterday’s 11th stage of the Giro for his first win as a pro.

Remco Evenepoel could have used a virtual Jens Voigt in his ear, yelling “Shut up, legs!” Instead he lost two minutes to race leader Egan Bernal on the Giro’s gravel stage yesterday, complaining that his “legs felt empty.”

VeloNews looks at the “unsung hero” working to help keep Evenepoel at the front of the pack, although he might look slightly less heroic after yesterday.

 

Finally…

Presenting the ebike for people who aren’t ready to give up their cars. That feeling when you’re collateral damage in a police chase.

And the perfect bike for anyone who still wants to be a cowboy when they grow up.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Bike rider critical after South LA hit-and-run, de Leόn opposes Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and cargo bikes of old

It’s happened again.

A heartless coward fled the scene, leaving an innocent person on a bicycle seriously injured in the street.

Police are looking for the driver of a maroon Kia Optima, who was turning right onto Flower Street from Florence Ave in South LA, when he or she right hooked the victim, who was crossing Flower in the crosswalk around 6:55 Monday evening.

The driver fled south on Flower.

Paramedics transported the victim to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Ramirez of the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323/421-2500, or call 877/527-3247 after hours or on weekends.

………

Disappointing news, as CD14 Councilmember Kevin de Leόn comes out against the resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan for Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, choosing cars over people and livability.

Meanwhile, the Eagle Rock Association has taken the opposite stance by endorsing the plan.

Maybe de Leόn is just trying to avoid angering anyone by allowing the removal of a traffic lane before his widely expected run for mayor next year.

But he could be making the same miscalculation too many others on the council have made, mistaking the loudest and angriest voices for that of the majority — many of whom prefer safe and livable streets to sucking in exhaust fumes and playing Frogger with speeding drivers.

Former CD4 Councilmember David Ryu learned that lesson too late to save his seat.

………

Apparently, there’s nothing new about cargo bikes.

Yes, bike riders have always been cool.

………

CD7 Councilmember Monica Rodriguez calls for public participation to re-envision deadly Foothill Blvd in Lakeview Terrace.

………

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

A Redwood City man faces charges for attacking a woman riding on a beach bike path in Half Moon Bay, pushing her down a rocky slope before throwing her bicycle on top of her, then threatening a witness who tried to help.

No bias here. After New York’s outgoing mayor says he’s open to license plates on bicycles, a local news station gleefully points out all the scofflaw bike riders they can find. Never mind the ones who don’t break the law, or all those drivers who do. Or that it just doesn’t work

Unbelievable. A road raging British man will spend the next year behind bars for getting out of a car and repeatedly punching and choking a man on a bike, who had apparently offended him by swerving to avoid a cat — but then shook the victim’s hand and apologized, using his own shirt to clean up the man’s blood, when he realized a recording of the incident would be sent to the police. And later friended the frightened man on Facebook.

………

Local

No surprise here. As Los Angeles heads back to the streets and driving rates rise to pre-pandemic levels, road rage is making a big comeback, too.

LADOT will host a virtual meeting this coming Wednesday to discuss plans to close the infamous Northvale Gap on the Expo Line bike path; expect the same entitled NIMBY opposition from homeowners as we’ve seen from the beginning.

UCLA’s Transportation department calls for biking your way to better health. It makes for healthier cities, too. And universities.

West Hollywood’s carfree weekend closure of Robertson Blvd got off to a slow start on Mother’s Day weekend. Although it might help if the city got the date right.

Racism has raised its ugly head in Santa Monica, where anti-Semitic graffiti had to be painted over on the beachfront Marvin Braude bike path; similar offensive messages were painted on Abbott Kinney Blvd in recent weeks, as well.

Life is cheap in Long Beach, where a speeding drunk driver who lost control of his car, killing a young woman riding with him and injuring another driver, got a lousy 50 days of community service, 18 months of DUI classes and three years probation. He also lost his license for three years, which doesn’t actually seem to stop anyone.

 

State

A planned 1,230-mile bike trail stretching from Oregon to Mexico is around 70% complete; the pathway stitches together existing bikeways to make up the longer trail.

San Diego has taken a page out of LA’s book, as the city has become even deadlier, five years after adopting Vision Zero, although deaths there have gone down the past two years.

A group of Berkeley high school students spent the past year carving an unpermitted mountain jump course into the hills above the city; now they’re fighting to keep the city from bulldozing it. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

A 12-year old boy and a 50-something man in Sebastopol suffered major injuries when an alleged speeding drunk driver slammed into their bikes, before smashing into a tree and suffering major injuries himself.

 

National

Far from killing business as opponents predicted, Yelp data from five cities, ranging from Boston to Burbank, shows that interest in restaurants along newly carfree streets went up.

Lifestyle website Inside Hook says between gas shortages, fuel prices, climate change and the resurgent pandemic, there’s never been a better time to ditch your car for a bike. Permanently.

Pez Cycling News offers tips for beginning bicyclists to help new riders get out on the road, while Cycling News considers the things you should think about before riding an ebike for the first time, but probably haven’t.

Seriously, you shouldn’t have to remind anyone that cemeteries are sacred ground, and not the place to train on your bike. In Portland, or anywhere else.

Kansas City adopted a Vision Zero plan, pledging to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. Let’s hope they take it more seriously than Los Angeles has. Then again, it would be hard to do less. 

 

International

A new study of bicycling rates in 17 countries confirms what we already knew — women are the strongest indicator of a healthy bicycling environment. Thanks to Keith Johnson for the link.

Cycling Weekly pays tribute to the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper album with a cover collage of 130 people who changed bicycling. Hopefully for the better, because we’ve had more than enough of the other kind.

Trek does the right thing, and offers a free bicycle to a British Columbia nurse after hers was stolen while she was busy giving Covid-19 shots. Seriously, it takes a real schmuck to steal a bike from someone working to save lives.

No bias here, either. After an Ontario, Canada man was hit by a cop while riding his bike, the local paper bends over backward to shift blame from the cop to an apparently sentient patrol car.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole a 15-year old English paperboy’s bicycle while he was making his rounds.

A British man is calling for a change in the law to require that collisions involving bike riders are treated like crashes involving drivers, five years after his wife was killed in a collision with someone on a bicycle. Actually, they already are; in either case, the person on the bicycle almost always gets the blame.

In a European study conducted by Ford, people wearing headphones were four seconds slower to identify road hazards than those without them, whether traveling on two wheels or four.

A Kiwi bike rider narrowly escaped disaster when a shortcut across a New Zealand airport runway nearly led to him being cut in half by a glider tow cable.

Amazing bike cam video, as a trio of Aussie bicyclists were lucky to escape injury when a bolt of lightening struck the roadway just behind their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

The Giro got its third leader in four days, as Swiss cyclist Gino Mäder won his first Grand Tour stage in Thursday’s 6th stage.

Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin is back from his six-month non-retirement to reconsider his future, apparently deciding it will include next month’s Tour de Suisse.

VeloNews profiles Mavi Garcia, the double-Spanish national champ and top 10 finisher, who often flies under the radar on the women’s pro tour.

More evidence that motor vehicles don’t belong in bike races, whether race motor or team support cars.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your new bike hub used to be a brothel. Politicians can’t catch a break when they bike.

And nothing like hopping around on your pogo bike.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

And get vaccinated, already.

Anti-bike bile from Indy shock jock, study shows parking causes traffic, and DTLA transportation ideas for Kevin de León

No bias here.

An Indianapolis shock jock has apparently appointed himself as master of the roads, with the power to determine who should be on them — and who shouldn’t.

And according to him, they’re only for people with big effing engines.

Which means bike riders should stay the hell off.

It’s time for bicyclists to learn their place on the roads of Indianapolis.

Yes, we’re all very happy that you’re under the impression you’re saving the environment and “keeping healthy” while breathing exhaust fumes and increasing your odds of getting crushed by a Goodyear radial. Bravo! Also, we hate you.

Yes, bicyclists can gain access to roads. Yes, they can use them for travel if they so choose. So can a squirrel, and we all know how that story ends.

WIBC host Tony Katz was responding to the following tweet from new Transportation Secretary Mayor Pete.

In other words, Buttigieg gets it, while Katz clearly doesn’t.

And probably never will.

“Roads are for cars, trucks, busses, and the movement of people,” Katz continued. “Not [bicyclists] thinking they can make a left turn without signaling because ‘Look! I’m in spandex and I’m just like the people who compete in the Tour de France but without the hills and extraordinary athletic ability. But I’ve got the hat!’”

Of course, the entire point of putting people like that on the radio is to piss listeners off, because angry people listen longer and tune in more often, and drive the ratings up.

The problem is many of those people are listening while they drive. And they may just decide to take that anger out on the next person thet see riding on two wheels.

Fools like Katz just load and cock the gun. They let someone else pull the trigger.

And they don’t belong on the radio.

Or anywhere else.

………

No surprise here.

A new study from a team of California academics shows that adding more parking really does encourage more driving.

Maybe we should try adding more bike parking and see if it holds true for us, too.

………

Busted for cruising Thunder Road while wasted.

Funny how the news didn’t come out until after his Jeep Super Bowl ad aired, though.

………

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

Mounties in British Columbia are looking for a trio of men, including one on a bike, who sprayed bear spray into a building lobby. It must have worked, though, since there were no bears in the lobby afterwards.

………

Local

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton offers a number of good actionable transportation suggestions for new CD14 Councilmember Kevin de León, including quick-build protected and painted bike lanes, and longer term projects like adding back the protected bike lanes that were removed from plans for the new 6th Street Viaduct.

Metro is reopening the community engagement process for the proposed Rail to River Trail, after the route selected for the rail part of the project doesn’t leave room for a multi-use pathway.

 

State

A retired cop argues against adding bike lanes to Highway 67 in Ramona, insisting that bike lanes are only used by the privileged few. Never mind that even the most expensive bike costs just a fraction of a new car. Or that many people who rely on bikes cling to the lowest economic rungs. So maybe it’s the people in cars who are really privileged. 

Sad news from Fresno, where a 45-year old man riding a bicycle was killed by a speeding driver; the 20-year old driver was also killed after hitting another car and slamming into a pole. The deaths came just two days after another bike rider was killed in the city.

 

National

About damn time. A new bill in the US House, co-sponsored by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer and Rep. Jimmy Panetta of California, would authorize a 30% rebate on the purchase of an ebike, with a maximum rebate of $1,500.

They get it. CityLab says transitioning to electric cars won’t be enough to avert climate disaster; instead, we’ll need to dramatically cut motor vehicle use. Which is where those ebike rebates come in.

Outside’s Joe Lindsey explains what the lawsuit against Trek’s WaveCel bike helmet tech is all about.

Seattle is moving forward with building out an actual bike network, with a number of new protected bike lanes and neighborhood greenways. Unlike a certain megalopolis to the south.

A pilot program in Colorado is fighting climate change while helping essential workers get to their jobs, using a $560,000 grant to give out an additional 100 ebikes.

Speaking of Colorado, one hundred bucks will buy you a chance to win a hand-built Alchemy Atlas road bike, with the funds going to benefit the Bicycle Colorado advocacy group, while seven bucks will enter you to win an Electra Townie cruiser bike.

How to keep riding through a Minneapolis winter, without the inconvenience of actually, you know, going outside.

 

International

Drivers in Merida, Mexico will face fines of up to the equivalent of $34.73 for parking in the city’s new bike lanes. Which hopefully will have a bigger impact on drivers down there than it would here.

Luxembourg is extending a program to provide residents with the equivalent of up to $722 towards the purchase of bicycle or ebike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Giro d’Italia and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana won’t be riding in this year’s Giro, after his Arkéa–Samsic failed to get an invitation.

Cycling in the South Bay talks with former pro Roy Knickman about what it’s like to be one.

 

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to abandon a car on a bike path when it’s full of stolen stuff and you’re already on parole. First rule of reporting — always blame the people on bikes.

And nothing like drafting a train at 60 mph.

………

Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a damn mask, already. 

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