Tag Archive for Kevin de León

LA adopts mini-superblock pilot; Baldwin Park roundabout popup tomorrow; and Shoup, Butler honored as top urbanists

Happy Bastille Day!

Celebrate by riding a French bike today. Or at least riding to a French bistro. 

Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels.

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Somehow, we missed this one earlier in the week.

According to Smart Cities Dive, the Los Angeles City Council has approved a pilot program for “park blocks,” which will reroute traffic around a single block to create carfree spaces for pedestrians.

The program is based on Barcelona, Spain’s superblocks, which channel cars around 1,300-foot spaces for living, shopping and dining.

The first such project will be installed in disgraced Councilmember Kevin de León’s 14th Council District, after he proposed creation of the program last year.

According to the website,

Park blocks can be tailored to communities’ needs, with features such as bike lanes and wider sidewalks, de León said. They can also provide “substantial shade, outdoor recreation, greening and storm water capture in communities desperate for parks,” according to a report by the Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee…

Equity will be a focus of the program in Council District 14, which has a large Latino population and high proportion of low-income households, de León said. “The park blocks program emphasizes a participatory approach,” he said. “It allows residents to have a say in the design and implementation of the program in their neighborhoods.”

Let’s hope it spreads across the city.

And that isn’t allowed to die of benign neglect like too many other urbanist programs the city has adopted.

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Baldwin Park will host a roundabout popup demonstration from 9 am to 1 pm tomorrow at the intersection of Maine Ave and Olive Street, complete with coffee and pastries for everyone in attendance.

According to a press release from the city,

The “Reimagine Olive/Maine” demonstration roundabout this week will be the newest addition to the street network in the city of Baldwin Park. The City’s Public Works Department started one week of construction on the temporary, street safety project on July 5 at the intersection of Maine Avenue and Olive Street.

The Baldwin Park City Council will hold a demonstration event at that intersection on Saturday, July 15 starting at 9 a.m. to present the street improvements to the community and the media. The demonstration will include remarks by Mayor Emmanuel J. Estrada and Councilmember Alejandra Avila, as well as numerous vehicles passing through the modern roundabout…

Roundabouts are known for their ability to enhance traffic flow compared to traffic signals. Their circular design eliminates the need for traffic signals, allowing vehicles to efficiently merge into circulating traffic and continuously flow without the interruption caused by signal phasing. This results in reduced travel times, improved fuel efficiency, decreased traffic congestion and reduced dangerous behaviors by drivers, such as running red lights or stop signs.

Roundabouts have been shown to reduce injury crashes by 75 percent and fatality crashes by 90 percent at intersections where stop signs or signals were previously used for traffic control, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Roundabouts also reduce the severity of crashes that do occur because they are designed to reduce the speed of vehicles. Roundabouts are especially effective during peak traffic hours when congestion is a concern.

Roundabouts also generate health benefits through the reduced pollution and traffic noise resulting from slower speeds and eliminating the wait for a traffic light to change. Without traffic lights, residents will save on the around-the-clock cost of powering traffic signals and the periodic cost of maintaining them. Residents also don’t have to worry about traffic signals at this intersection failing during a disaster, ensuring smooth traffic flow around a landscaped roundabout even during an emergency…

To learn more about the roundabout demonstration project, read the City’s staff report. Residents who would like to provide input on the project may do so using this online survey.

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Congratulations to UCLA parking meister and distinguished research professor Donald Shoup, and bike equity advocate and UCLA urban planning doctoral student Tamika Butler, who were both named to Planetizen’s latest list of the top 100 most influential urbanists from the past and present.

The pair were honored at #6 and #57, respectively.

New York’s legendary anti-Robert Moses activist Jane Jacobs tops the list, followed by architect and urban designer Jan Gehl, landscape architect, journalist, social critic and public administrator Frederick Law Olmsted, architect, an urban planner and co-founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism Andrés Duany, and modern architecture and planning pioneer Le Corbusier.

Which puts them in pretty damn good company.

Especially considering Shoup checks in one notch above current Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who is rapidly transforming the sprawling French capital into a 15-minute city, while Butler comes in above legendary figures like Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., Thomas Jefferson and Henry Cisneros.

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

A security guard for a South Carolina family campground faces charges for using brass knuckles to assault a bike rider, repeatedly striking the victim in the face in an effort to steal their bicycle.

No bias here. A British letter writer says bicyclists should be forced to pay for their own bike paths, since “anyone with eyes to see” can tell they prefer to ride on the sidewalk. If people would rather ride on the sidewalk than in the street, it’s a pretty good indication that the streets are too damn dangerous.

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

Police in Orlando, Florida are on the lookout for a bike-riding rustler who guided a horse out of its trailer, then rode off on his bike towing the horse behind him.

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Local 

Around 40 at-risk kids received new bicycles last Saturday, thanks to the Golden State Foods Foundation and Brotherhood Crusade’s Build a Bike Program; the kids were allowed to take home the bikes they built themselves in the parking lot of the Black-owned Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper.

Long Beach will establish an Electric Bike Lending Library by the end of this year, which will allow residents to check out a bike for up to three months.

 

State

Bike rider and artist Kathleen King-Page is looking for sites around the world for her colorful “bike scribbles” sculptures, which feature stylized bicyclists intended to capture the “joy and grace of motion” of riding a bike; she currently has the metal sculptures installed in five US states, including her native California.

That’s more like it. A hit-and-run driver got seven years behind bars for killing a 21-year old bike-riding Corona man; 25-year old Neomi Renee Velado was convicted on felony counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and hit-and-run causing injury or death. Her conviction followed four previous at-fault collisions, three of which occurred when she was distracted by her phone.

A San Mateo County grand jury put local cities under a microscope, concluding that they’ve made improvements on bicycle safety over the past two decades, but there’s more work to do.

Streetblog says another life was lost to traffic violence in San Francisco when a hit-and-run driver killed a pedestrian while the city’s police were busy trying to round up skateboarders taking part in an annual hill bomb.

San Francisco officials backed off plans to remove parking spaces for a bus-only lane on Geary Street, caving to business owner’s fears that the loss of a whole 70 parking spaces would somehow put them out of business. Because apparently, people who use transit never buy anything. 

 

National

That feeling when getting injured by a distracted pedestrian in a bike lane is the kind of meet-cute that can get you laid — on Sex and the City sequel And Just Like That…, anyway.

Forget the whole men are from Mars, and women from Venus thing. A new survey uncovers the real proof the sexes are different, as men want a Tesla ebike, while women want one made by Tiffany. But would it still come in a little blue box?

He gets it. A writer for Velo says Complete Streets aren’t complete if all they do is check a box to “satisfy those irritating environmentalists.”

A 20-year old New Mexico man faces murder charges after allegedly shooting a 62-year old minister and grandfather multiple times as he rode his mountain bike on a trail, shocking residents of the local community.

The family of fallen Colorado masters champ Gwen Inglis wants the right to maintain her ghost bike, after the city of Englewood ordered it removed because someone complained that it was dilapidated and disturbing to walk past. Which is kinda the point; ghost bikes are supposed to make you uncomfortable, and remind everyone to drive safely.

A member-supported Denver website takes a deep dive into why Denver’s Vision Zero program is failing, as traffic deaths reached their highest level of this century last year, just seven years before the the program’s 2030 deadline.

A 74-year old Long Island woman lost control after swerving to avoid people in a crosswalk, then hit the gas instead of the brakes, running into a 70-year old man on a bike before ending up in a nature preserve pond. Once again raising the question of how old is too old to drive, and what the hell states are going to do about it. 

Connecticut’s $12 million ebike voucher program has received overwhelming demand, though not on the scale of Taylor Swift tickets, according to the program commissioner. That doesn’t bode well for California’s program, which will have $4.5 million less available for vouchers to serve a population nearly 11 times larger. 

 

International

Momentum provides a guide to buying your first foldie.

Bike Radar offers advice on how to treat road rash, which most longtime bike riders experience sooner or later. I once had road rash from my ankle to my chin after skidding across an eight-lane intersection when I lost control hitting a puddle while making a right turn at speed with a steep lean. Ouch. Or as the French say, aïe! 

The rich get richer, as London opens another ten low-traffic bikeways across the city.

A British city will resurface a dangerous bike lane after the uneven surface caused a man to fall off his bike, leaving him unconscious with a host of injuries. Sort of like the dangerously cracked surface of the newly expanded Venice Blvd protected bike lanes, which could easily cause an equally dangerous fall, if it hasn’t already.

You’ve got to be kidding. An Irish driver walked without a single day behind bars for running down a man who was on a leisurely Sunday bike ride, without even braking; she admitted to police that she just wasn’t looking when she smashed into the victim, who suffered spinal injuries and a broken ankle, can no longer walk or stand without pain, and is too afraid to ride a bike anymore. But at least she was really, really sorry. Right?

Belgian ebike maker Cowboy has ridden to the rescue of rival VanMoof ebike owners by releasing a free app to keep their bikes from being bricked if the company goes belly up. But if well-funded companies like VanMoof and Rad Power can’t make it, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the ebike industry.

Your next German-made bike helmet could inflate in just 20 seconds.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Belgium, where 25-year old Australian cyclist Connor Lambert was killed when he was struck by a truck driver while training on Wednesday; he was in Europe to mentor a junior cycling team called X-Speed.

Spanish cyclist Ion Izagirre rode to victory through the vineyards of Beaujolais with a 19-mile solo breakaway on Thursday’s 12th stage of the Tour de France, while 2022 winner Jonas Vingegaard stayed in yellow with a 17-second lead over two-time champ Tadej Pogacar; Colorado’s Sepp Kuss is the top American at 6:45 back.

Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen withdrew from the Tour de France after injuries he suffered in a crash on the 4th stage made it impossible for him to continue on to Paris.

Mark Cavendish isn’t talking about a possible return next year to try to break the legendary Eddy Merckx record for Tour de France stage wins, after surgery to fix a complicated collarbone fracture that forced him to withdraw from the Tour.

Velo talks with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome about the snub from his Israel Premier Tech team that left him off the Tour roster, while the team’s owner says Froome “has absolutely not been value for money.” Schmuck.

 

Finally…

Merging beach cruisers and surfwear seems like such a natural fit, you have to wonder what took so long. Your next bike could have modular tubes, allowing you to reconfigure the shape of the frame.

And your next ebike might not even have a drivetrain.

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

Oh, and fuck Putin.

Die-in driven from news by mass shooting, LA Vision Zero a “totally unfunny self-parody,” and voters say no to De León

Three-hundred-twelve lives needlessly lost to traffic violence.

Most of them bike riders and pedestrians, many lower income, as Los Angeles set a record for the most traffic deaths in at least the last two decades.

Yet almost as heartbreaking as the lives lost to traffic violence in the City of Angels last year was the way Saturday’s die-in at City Hall to protest the deaths was shoved out of the headlines by yet another mass shooting.

The protest, which drew around one hundred participants, appeared to be covered by a number of news outlets.

Yet the only news story that’s been posted online so far came from Fox11.

And even they couldn’t be bothered to identify California Senator Anthony Portantino as the prone bicyclist shown gripping his handlebars in the story’s top photo.

Oops.

When your lead photo shows a state senator participating in a large protest, maybe it would be nice to identify him. Just saying.

 

The brief story attempts to put LA’s unacceptable rate of traffic deaths in perspective.

Yet somehow fails to mention that even one death is one too many.

How does that compare to other cities across the state, or even nationally? LA’s 312 traffic fatalities equate to just over eight deaths per 100,000, nearly twice that of San Francisco (4.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2022), but fewer than San Diego, which saw just less than nine traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2022. In Cook County, Illinois, home to Chicago, there were roughly 7.8 traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2022.

It ends with an all-too-brief mention of just what the assembled protestors were demanding.

Protesters organizing Saturday, want the city to do more to help curb traffic deaths in LA. They’re asking Mayor Karen Bass to declare a state of emergency on traffic violence; for more funding for the LA Department of Transportation and initiatives like VisionZero; and the passage of legislation that would allow for automated speed enforcement on dangerous roads.

“Throwing only $50.6 million at road safety issues in a city this big, especially considering how many lives are being lost, is a joke,” SAFE’s report concludes.

All of which was great.

But in addition to failing to identify Portantino, the station also failed to mention that Assembly Transportation Chair Laura Friedman took part, as did CD3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

Not to mention leaders from Streets Are For Everyone, Families For Safe Streets, Streets For All, LA Walks and BikeLA — formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition — among others.

Even then, the story was gone by morning, as LA’s news outlets went with wall-to-wall coverage of the Monterey Park shootings.

Leaving the reaction to the city’s horrendous death toll forgotten on the newsroom floor, just a blip in the weekend news.

I’ll have more tomorrow, after I have a chance to sift through all the many photos I took of the event.

At center is this photo, with the red bandana, is very good boy Max, who joined his owner in playing dead along with everyone else.

The top photo shows Assembly Member Laura Friedman addressing the crowd, flanked by state Sen. Anthony Portantino; behind her are LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Streets For All founder Michael Schneider. 

Correction: Apparently suffering a major brain cramp, I somehow originally misidentified Streets For All’s Michael Schneider in the above caption as Michael MacDonald, evidently mistaking him for a member of the Doobie Brothers. He is, to the best of my knowledge, not a Doobie nor a rock star, but a street safety star instead. My apologies. 

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Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times Letters Editor Paul Thornton introduced responses to LA’s rising toll of traffic violence with a headline calling the city’s Vision Zero failure a “totally unfunny self-parody.”

All along, the city’s primary tool to achieving its Vision Zero goals has been redesigning roads to reduce vehicle speeds and allocate more and safer spaces to cyclists and pedestrians. What we’ve gotten since 2015 are bike lanes removed from street widening projects, quashed “complete street” proposals, a thriving Lincoln Heights street market shut down by the city, and a reopened 6th Street Viaduct used as a drag strip. Something tells me we’ll be much worse off on Vision Zero in 2025 than we were in 2015.

Although naturally, one letter writer felt the need to remind us that streets are for cars, and everyone and everything else doesn’t belong there.

Nope. No bias there.

And while we’re on the subject of letters to the editor of the Los Angeles Times, the expected complaints about ebikes in the paper’s recent article about their supposed invasion of Orange County Beach cities, a Huntington Beach man says what the outrage over ebikes really points out is the lack of safe bike infrastructure.

Well said.

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No surprise here.

The LA Times is reporting that CD14 voters have turned sharply against incumbent Councilmember Kevin de León in the wake of his comments on a racist and otherwise offensive recording that has already led to the resignation of the former council president and one of LA’s most powerful labor leaders.

The turnaround comes just two years after those same voters overwhelmingly installed De León to replace disgraced Jose Huizar, who pled guilty to racketeering last week.

…By a wide margin, voters said De León puts his own political self-interest ahead of the people he represents. Even reliable supporters who voted for him in the past have lost faith, the poll found.

Only 23% of the voters surveyed approved of the job De León is doing, compared with 48% who disapproved, the poll found. Just over half think he should resign, compared with fewer than a quarter who want him to stay in office and 18% who were undecided; 9% did not answer the question.

If a recall were to qualify for the ballot — an effort to qualify one is currently circulating petitions — 58% would support recalling him from office, compared with 25% who would be opposed and 17% undecided, the survey found.

That comes after De León was heard on the leaked recording comparing the Black adopted son of former Councilmember Mike Bonin to a Luis Vuitton purse, and discussed how Latino councilmembers could mute the influence of their Black peers on the council, as well as their constituents.

Yet De León continues to ignore calls to resign, apparently thinking there is some pathway that will allow him to rehabilitate his image before facing the voters again in 2024.

Or sooner, if the recall petitions currently circling in his district qualify for the ballot.

De León had shown promise when it came to supporting bike and safety improvements in his district, including selecting the resident-designed Beautiful Boulevard option for the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit route through Eagle Rock.

But whatever good he promised came to a quick end the moment he was heard on that infamous recording.

It’s time for De León to read the writing on the wall — and in the pages of the Times — and resign.

CD14 deserves a leader who can more effectively represent all the people, including those of us who travel on two wheels.

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This area has long been one of the most unforgiving areas for bicycling in all of the Los Angeles areas.

Although the long-delayed Mark Bixby Memorial Bicycle Pedestrian Path over the new Long Beach International Gateway Bridge, better known as the replacement for the Gerald Desmond Bridge, should help.

Once they finally get around to opening it.

Meanwhile, this video of trying to find a safe route around the Port of Los Angeles plays like a one-man Marx Brothers routine.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1616589984206839808

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Dr. Grace Peng forward news that an anti-bike lane Redondo Beach councilmember is facing possible loss of his license to practice law after allegedly misappropriating over a half million dollars of client funds.

Proving that corruption allegations extend far beyond LA City Hall.

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

The Chicago Sun-Times probably didn’t mean it when they placed an ad about the warning signs of dementia in a story about a man riding 60 miles across the frozen wintery city to meet with other similar-minded viking bikers. But still.

This is why people keep dying on our streets. A road raging British driver was found not guilty of punching and choking a man riding a bike after claiming self-defense because the bike rider punched his car after the driver “clipped” him.

This is what “clipped” looks like, as an Australian truck driver sideswipes a bike rider, then keeps going, possibly unaware he’d even hit someone.

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

Seriously, if you’re carrying guns and a large amount or narcotics on your bike, make sure the damn thing is up to the vehicle code.

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Local 

Streets For All is calling for more support for the heavy rail option to extend the Metro train system through the Sepulveda Pass, including a Metro station on the UCLA campus, at an in-person meeting on Tuesday and a virtual meeting on Thursday. Bel Air residents are demanding an impractical monorail through the center of the 405 because it wouldn’t, you know, inconvenience the rich people.

VeloNews has more on the nonprofit Bahati Foundation, formed by Compton’s own former national crit champ Rahsaan Bahati to change the lives of underprivileged kids through bikes.

Santa Monica-based Bird is selling their consumer ebike for 60% off right now, marking it down from $2,299 to just $899, including free shipping.

 

State

Twenty people got tickets during Goleta’s latest crackdown on traffic violations that endanger bike riders and pedestrians; unfortunately, there’s no breakdown on whether the tickets went to motorists, bike riders or pedestrian.

 

National

Washington’s governor pitched in on the first day of a new program to teach Seattle kindergartners how to ride a bike.

They get it. The Chicago Sun-Times says that it’s worth trying surveillance cameras and automated ticketing to keep drivers out of bus and bike lanes.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale is one of us, as he explains what happened when he fell off his bike and broke his wrist, which combined with Tommy John surgery and a broken finger to cost him most of three seasons.

 

International

Rouler explores the relationship between Italian bikemaker Cinelli and artist and former pro cycling wunderkind Taylor Phinney.

A travel site offers tips on exploring Europe’s over 27,000 miles of bikeways. Which would take the better part of two years if you averaged 50 miles a day. Works for me.

An insurance company issued an urgent warning to British bicyclists about the crumbling state of the country’s roads, as 21% of bike riders suffered pothole-related injuries. Although I imagine what they really mean is 21% of bicycling injuries are related to potholes. But what do I know?

Once again, a driver has claimed multiple victims, as a British driver faces charges for the hit-and-run death of two men who were riding their bikes, before abandoning his car and fleeing on foot. Although even more frightening is how the local weekly paper seems to accept the horrific crash, mentioning it almost in passing.

A history website tells the story of Peter Masters, an Austrian Jew who escaped the Nazis, then returned as a bike-riding British commando during the D-Day invasion.

Horrible story from India, where a 70-year old man was killed when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike, then desperately clung to the drivers hood before he was thrown off and run over when the driver finally hit the brakes.

A New Zealand man’s planned three-day bike ride to babysit his granddaughter took a detour when his ride was interrupted by Cyclone Hale.

 

Competitive Cycling

British pro Simon Yates won an uphill battle to claim the final stage of the Tour Down Under, as Aussie Jay Vine took the GC title to win his first WorldTour race.

Bryan Coquard claimed his first WorldTour stage win in Saturday’s stage four of the Tour Down Under, 11 years after he joined the top pro circuit.

Rising Dutch ‘cross star Shirin van Anrooij had to sit one out after thieves stole her race bike from the parking lot while she was doing recon on the course in Costa Blanca, Spain.

Zimbabwean mountain biker Pressmore Musundi is aiming to compete in this year’s African Games, despite being born with no toes on either foot, following first and third place finishes in a pair of South Africa’s top mountain bike races.

 

Finally…

If a cop stops you for driving under the influence, try not to bite his finger off trying to get away. And we may have to deal with aggressive LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about leopard attacks.

Usually, anyway.

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Happy Lunar New Year, whatever language you celebrate in! And my sympathy and prayers to all the victims of the Monterey Park shooting and their loved ones. May the new year finally bring an end to both traffic and gun violence. 

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

PR plug for killer socialite, transportation ideas for CD13, and ex-Tour de France champ discussed in racist recording

Forget Black Friday. It’s just three more days to the official start of the 8th Annual BikinginLA holiday fund drive!

Thanks to our longtime friend Jim L for getting us off to an early start with his generous donation!

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The pre-trial PR campaign is kicking into high gear.

Wealthy socialite Rebecca Grossman, co-founder of the prestigious Grossman Burn Center, wants us to know that she is just so very misunderstood, and isolated from all her rich friends.

Just because she killed two innocent little kids while speeding along on surface streets at what police investigators have estimated as up to 80 mph in a 45 mph zone.

No, she says, she wasn’t drunk or street racing with her friend, former Dodger Scott Erickson, even though they were reportedly zig zagging and leap frogging one another’s cars.

And no, I don’t remember him, either.

I do, however, recall her victims, 11-year old Mark Iskander and his 8-year old brother Jacob, who were violently run down as they were crossing the street with their family.

She faces 34 to life if she’s convicted on both murder counts, and is walking free on $2 million bail pending a March trial.

Hopefully she’ll show up for that one, unlike five previous hearings.

Seriously, LA Magazine should be ashamed for allowing themselves to be used like this.

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Today’s must-read comes from Streets For All founder Michael Schneider, who has 11 transportation suggestions for newly elected CD13 Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

The ideas range from implementing the Sunset4All Complete Streets project, and the Temple Street lane reduction and bike lanes blocked by outgoing Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, to capping the 101 Freeway with a public park.

It’s more than worth the eight minutes it will take to read.

Let alone turning all the ideas into action.

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The LA Times has compiled an annotated transcript of the racist and otherwise offensive recording that lead to the resignation of former City Council president Nury Martinez and LA County Federation of Labor chief Ron Herrera.

The recording has also lead to repeated calls for councilmembers Kevin de León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo to resign, although the latter will be leaving next month anyway, after losing his bid for re-election, while the former refuses to do the right thing.

The conversation also bizarrely featured disgraced ex-Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Kevin de León
Over the weekend, I called a buddy of mine who is a former U.S. attorney.

Nury Martinez
I have one of those, too. It’s good to have one of those.

Kevin de León
Cool. We’re very close. And he, he had the Lance Armstrong case too, when they were going to indict Lance Armstrong.

Nury Martinez
The cyclist?

Kevin de León
The cyclist. Yeah.

Nury Martinez
What did he do? Doping. Is it doping

Kevin de León
Yeah. And the case was coming out of the L.A. office of the U.S. attorney’s office here…

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Enter this number in your phone. And take it with you when you ride.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is considering following New York’s lead by offering a bounty on drivers who block bike lanes.

Maybe our new councilmembers could consider something like that here.

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This is who we share the internet with.

That was followed by this comment, from someone who apparently fails to grasp the concept of a protected bike lane.
Car drivers have to move over in the lane for obstructions all the time (mail trucks, trash trucks, etc.). How hard is it for a biker to move over? What happening to sharing the road?

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

No bias here. A regional transportation group has put a Des Moines, Iowa model bike safety on hold, somehow fearing a backlash over the common sense reforms.

A British driver was caught on video speeding down a protected bike lane, either oblivious to or not caring about the oncoming bike riders who were forced out of the lane.

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

A 20-year old man in the UK was sentenced to six-months time served for rebelling against his parents attempt to have him committed by brandishing a machete while riding with a group of other bike riders, even though the only injury anyone suffered was a dog bite after the group was chased by a small pack.

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Local

Babe star James Cromwell added his voice to a campaign to halt plans to restore the ecologically degraded Los Angeles Ballona Wetland Ecological Reserve, which includes plans for a ten-mile bike and pedestrian path; no word on what the pig had to say.

Ride hailing and micromobility provider Lyft has pulled all of their bikeshare bikes and e-scooters out of Los Angeles and Santa Monica, after failing to secure a longterm contract from city officials.

Glendale has received a $6 million state grant for the Verdugo Wash Visioning Project, which will create a 9.4-mile-long linear park and nature trail for walking and cycling, courtesy of Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

 

State 

A mountain biker used his bike as a shield when he was charged by a mountain lion on a San Luis Obispo trail, leading to a brief standoff before the big cat retreated. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

The $20 million bike and pedestrian path on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is entering the final year of its four-year pilot program, as impatient motorists chomp at the bit to get it back.

The CHP has released a photo of the suspect vehicle in the hit-and-run that killed a man riding a bike in North Highlands earlier this month.

 

National

Fortune says the four-year old e-scooter industry is finally getting around to being as green and sustainable as they claimed, after quietly polluting for years.

No irony here. A Portland bike rider was lucky to escape serious injury when he was run down by a red light-running hit-and-run driver in a crash caught on video, while he was riding to an event to mark the World Day of Remembrance for victims of traffic violence.

A Kansas City business owner says his business is suffering because Missouri drivers are apparently incapable of figuring out a parking-protected bike lane.

A decades old Fayetteville, Arkansas bicycle charity is shutting down after giving away tens of thousands of bikes to kids in need; the 76-year old wife of the man known locally as the Bicycle Man continued the program for nine years after his death, and hopes to give away another 1,000 bicycles before shutting down after the holidays.

‘Tis the season. A Louisville country music station has collected over 1,500 bicycles, as well as monetary donations for Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army, to ensure that every local kid has a gift for the holidays.

The rich get richer, as New York announced plans to expand the city’s bike lane network next year.

A 60-year old New Jersey man is on his 14th bike trip across the US; he’s covered over 39,000 miles since he first hit the road on his ‘bent five years ago, after recovering from getting hit by a drunk driver.

‘Tis the season, too. A kindhearted Baton Rouge, Louisiana lawyer is giving away over 450 new bikes to local kids.

 

International

In honor of the World Cup, Road.cc creates their own all-star team of bike-riding soccer stars.

British residents say they want a bike with an ABS anti-lock braking system.

An Irish paper is up in arms after local officials “wasted” the equivalent of nearly $12,000 building a 600-foot separated bike lane, complaining it’s an “embarrassment” that even bike riders don’t want.

Pink Bike features seven weird and wonderful bikes currently for sale on the platform.

Hanoi, Vietnam is considering establishing a public bikeshare service to to reduce traffic congestion and environmental pollution, with 1,000 bikes at 94 stations.

 

Finally…

Your new fixie could be a Wu-Tang Clan bike. That feeling when the kids are riding on thin ice. No, literally.

And bike riding while blind and blind drunk.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

De León: hell no, he won’t go; advocacy groups call for ebike libraries; and what happens when officials give a damn

Talk about misreading the room.

In an announcement that was almost universally condemned, CD14 City Councilmember Kevin de León says hell no, he won’t go.

De León is refusing to resign in the wake of a racist and otherwise offensive recording in which he was heard actively participating, along with outgoing CD1 Councilmember “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, former Council President Nury Martinez and ex-LA County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera, the latter two of whom at least had the decency to resign.

His announcement was immediately condemned by newly elected Council President Paul Krekorian.

Yes, the same Krekorian who singlehandedly killed the fully funded and shovel ready lane reductions and protected bike lanes planned for Lankershim Blvd in one of his first official acts on the council.

Apparently thinking he can somehow survive this, de León said “I’m not going to mince words. I’m not going to deflect blame. I’m not going to defend the defenseless,” before attempting to do exactly that, adding he’ll be “spending the coming weeks and months personally asking for your forgiveness.”

Forgiveness that is not likely to be given, after failing to condemn Martinez’ open racism, while himself comparing fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin’s toddler son to the Luis Vuitton purse favored by Martinez.

Bonin is clearly in no mood for de León’s weakass mea culpa.

As we’ve noted before, this whole city hall soap opera matters, because we’re never going to get action on safer streets with dysfunctional city leadership, particularly with the council’s draft of the Healthy Streets LA initiative due back at the council in a few weeks.

Speaking of which, the LA Times has opened a web portal to help you find how to contact the right city agencies and officials to address various issues.

You know, in case you want to advocate for safer streets. Or complain about corrupt city officials.

Photo from Wikipedia

………

And speaking of Bonin, Streets For All has posted video of Wednesday’s virtual Happy Hour with the outgoing councilmember.

………

Yesterday we mentioned Metro’s confusing proposal to reform management of the Metro Bike bikeshare system.

The leaders of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, ActiveSGV and People for Mobility Justice teamed to release an open letter to the Metro board, suggesting that opening ebike libraries and investing in safer infrastructure might be a better approach.

………

It looks like LADOT is finally getting serious about counting bikes, at least on 7th Street.

https://twitter.com/subwayray/status/1582956512519286785

………

This is what happens when city officials actually give a damn.

………

CNN recognizes the Dutch city of Utrecht for the world bicycling capital it is.

………

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

An Ottawa, Canada mayoral candidate is politely taken to task after declaring he won’t declare a war on cars by investing bike lanes, preferring a “balanced approach” that’s balanced heavily in favor of motor vehicles.

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

A 70-year old Fresno man insists he’s the real victim after he lay in wait and repeatedly shot and stabbed a man he accused of stealing his bicycle; Edmundo Martinez faces 50 to life if he’s convicted of killing Jose Palafox, Jr. Once again, no bike is worth a human life.

A Phoenix man faces charges after he was captured on video circling a convenience store parking lot on his bike while aiming a gun at bystanders; the man bizarrely claimed there was someone hiding in a cooler at the store to justify his actions.

………

Local

The next driver who tries to run you off the road may not be one, after Google’s Waymo announced plans to bring driverless taxis to the City of Angels.

Streets For All is calling for canvassing volunteers to help elect transit advocate — and corgi dad — Kenneth Mejia as Los Angeles City Controller.

Cycling Tips reviews the second-gen Cero One cycle truck-style e-cargo bike from Los Angeles-based Cero. And likes it. I’d get one myself, with the perfect upfront corgi carrier, if I had an extra three grand laying around.

 

State 

California is offering $50,000 rewards for each of four unsolved murders, including a 16-year old boy who was shot and killed while riding his bike in Alameda County.

Great idea. The League of Women Voters is hosting a Bike Out the Vote bike caravan in Albany this weekend. Although someone should tell them that Bike the Vote is a lot less confusing.

 

National

Momentum examines bike storage solutions to help keep your bikes safe and out of the way.

Bicycling wants to know what’s the weirdest animal you’ve ever had to dodge on a bike, after a video of two angry moose charging down an Alaska bike path goes viral. In my case, it was an alligator sunning itself on a Louisiana roadway. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

Bike Portland profiles an adventurous leather goods peddler, who pedals a bike trailer with his merchandise to a local outdoor market every weekend.

Life is cheap in Houston, where an eight-year old boy riding a bike is dead because a driver insisted on distractedly making a left turn while she was “messing with her sandwich;” a month later, charges still have not been filed.

Kindhearted Michigan sheriff’s deputies dipped into their own funds to buy a 13-year old boy a new bike after he was struck by a driver, trashing his bike and leaving him with 100 stitches in his leg.

Travel site Condé Nast recommends the best bike routes to explore New York’s five boroughs.

A Virginia woman tells drivers that rushing is never worth the risk, after her daughter was killed and another woman seriously injured by an 18-year old drunk driver as they rode their bikes.

 

International

A British Columbia letter writer offers a brief tutorial on the differences between pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists, stressing that the latter might kill the first two, but the first two never kill the latter, and that separate infrastructure is the only solution to keep everyone safe.

An Indian college student faces charges for the high speed crash that killed one bike rider, before swerving onto the other side of the road and killing another.

A handmade Namibian bike brand made its international debut at the recent Bespoke bike show in London; the steel-frame Onguza bikes made by Dan Craven, a two-time Olympic road cyclist and Namibia’s only professional cyclist to ride a Grand Tour, retail for four grand for a frame, and double that for a complete bike.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Vuelta and world champ Alejandro Valverde called it a career after rolling across the Il Lombardia finish line one last time.

 

Finally…

No, no seat tube doesn’t mean you have to ride standing up. Introducing an ebike roadie for weight weenies.

And can you really say you ride a bike if you don’t know how to pop a proper wheelie?

https://twitter.com/BicyclingMag/status/1582793704775077895

 

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Nury Martinez resigns while de León doesn’t, ebike sexism from Sports Illustrated, and murder over bikes

My apologies for yesterday’s unexcused absence. 

I’d like to say I’m feeling much better today, but I promised a long time ago I’d never lie to you. 

So I won’t. 

………

Continuing with the week’s theme, former LA City Council President Nury Martinez finally did the right thing and resigned from the council, in the wake of a racist rant in a secretly recorded meeting that managed to do what many thought was impossible.

She almost single-handedly united the entire city.

If only in anger over managing to offend virtually everyone.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times says it’s time for Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, her fellow councilmembers who participated in the redistricting meeting, to hit the road, as well.

Word is that Cedillo is taking some time to consider his options, but de León currently has no intention of resigning, bizarrely thinking he can somehow weather the storm.

Hint: He can’t.

The loss of Martinez and de León is likely to hurt efforts to build bikeways and safer streets, but it’s necessary if the city is going to move forward.

“Roadkill” Gil Cedillo, who already lost his run for re-election, not so much.

………

Talk about not getting it.

Apparently Sports Illustrated is still stuck firmly in the last century.

The magazine followed the lead of countless other publications in recent weeks, making their picks for the best ebikes for all kinds of riders, from roadies, to seniors, to mountain bikers.

But their pick for the best women’s bike is — wait for it — a cruiser bike, apparently missing the memo that women can be serious bicyclists, too, and like to ride all kinds of bikes.

And often better, and faster, than the guys can.

………

Talk about not getting the memo.

We’ve said many times before that no bike is worth a human life.

But now two men are dead, and two other men face murder charges in disputes over bicycles.

A 70-year old Parlier, California man was arrested on suspicion of murder after confronting the man he accused of stealing the bicycle he used as his only form of transportation, shooting him multiple times.

Meanwhile, a Mississippi man faces a first degree murder charge for killing his own uncle with a single shotgun blast following an argument over a bicycle; he told police he returned to the victim’s home armed with the gun to get his bike gear.

And police in Missouri are looking a pair of homeless men who got into a shootout after arguing over a bicycle; fortunately, they both appear to be bad shots.

………

LADOT is holding a virtual workshop on Tuesday to discuss the 2.5-mile Connect Del Rey Corridor connecting the Ballona Creek Bike Path to the Culver Blvd Bike Path along surface streets.

………

With all the crap going on in LA these days, taking an evening to celebrate UCLA parking meister Donald Shoup sounds like a great idea.

………

A new video from the Israel-Premier Tech cycling tech shows the first ride of a group of Afghan women’s cyclists they helped evacuate the country.

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Be honest. You know you want one.

And that passenger jet on the front fairing is a nice touch, too.

………

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

Bicycling says abuse of bike lanes by drivers is killing us, and it’s getting worse. As usual, read it on Yahoo if the magazine blocks you.

A road raging Houston driver nearly ran down a man on a bicycle, then chased him over a mile while honking her horn — with her phone in her hand.

A car full of young men filmed themselves running down a Dublin, Ireland bike rider, apparently intentionally, as one urges the driver to flee the scene afterwards.

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

A 20-year old Philadelphia man is fighting for his life after he was shot several times by a man who fled on a bicycle.

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Local

Streetsblog rides the new, nearly complete bike lanes on San Vicente Blvd.

Burbank has put the brakes on new fast food restaurant drive-thrus in the city, even while local residents say it’s too little, too late.

 

State 

Half of the half-dozen candidates for Anaheim City Council who responded to a Voice of OC candidate survey call for better bike infrastructure to deal with traffic congestion. The rest either didn’t respond, or didn’t mention bikes.

Aliso Viejo has adopted a set of draconian ebike regulations, limiting ebike riders to 5 mph on sidewalks and 10 mph on bike paths, as well as banning ebikes from city owned or operated parking lots. Although it will be interesting to see if that conflicts with newly passed state legislation allowing ebikes on trails at speeds up to 20 mph.

Great idea. A new Palo Alto app will pay you $5 a day to commute by bike or ebike; scooters and skateboards qualify, too.

After a bike rider was killed crashing into a bollard on a Sonoma County bike path, the county responded by merely repainting them, rather than removing them.

 

National

A new study presented to the American Academy of Pediatrics purports to show that fractures suffered by children riding bicycles have steadily declined for the last 20 years; the authors credit the decline to teaching road safety and promoting helmet use. Although it’s just as likely that the decline stems from fewer kids riding bikes in recent years.

A triathlon site offers advice on how to remove rust from your bike. Although in my case, removing rust from the rider is more of a problem.

If you wonder why Portland is so much better to ride in than Los Angeles, the sheer size of this turnout for a people-protected bike lane to protest a deadly intersection should give you a clue.

A writer for Strong Towns looks at the bicycling death of a 13-year old boy in Tacoma, Washington, questioning whose child will be the next to be killed on a stroad, a dangerous mix of a local street and road.

Utah has seen the highest number of people killed in collisions with drivers while riding bicycles in more that 30 years.

There’s now a sparkling new advisory bike lane next to what used to be my alma mater in my very bike friendly Colorado hometown, which didn’t get that way until long after I left.

Bloomberg says Denver’s ebike rebate program is so hot, all the available certificates are gone within minutes, while cities like Boston are taking note.  Los Angeles, not so much. Never mind that California’s failure to get its ebike rebate program off the ground is making NASA’s new moon rocket look good.

A Kansas City street is getting a three-mile lane reduction and protected bike lanes.

Police in Oklahoma are looking for four close male friends who haven’t been seen or heard from since they left for a bike ride this past Sunday.

A lawmaker discovers the limitations of the Oklahoma City bicycle network when he starts commuting to the state capital by ebike.

Life is cheap in Chicago, where a judge is up for re-election five years after he gave a drunk driver who killed a man a a bicycle a lousy ten days behind bars, even though he was driving twice the legal speed limit with twice the legal BAC — and even though it was his third DUI arrest. Let’s hope they send his honor to an early retirement.

Still no justice for a Pittsburgh man who died after he was repeatedly tased by police a year ago, for the crime of taking what he thought was an abandoned bicycle around the block for a joy ride.

Heartbreaking news from Long Island, where a 13-year old boy was killed after he pushed his sister out of the way of a hit-and-run driver as they walked in a bike lane.

 

International

Up to 82% of Toronto area residents want more bike lanes.

A pair of European studies show that switching just one trip each week from cars to bikes or or trains can lead to significant reductions in emissions.

The New York Times examines whether Dutch ebike brand VanMoof can help reshape urban transportation.

A new German study contradicts earlier studies showing the health benefits of ebikes is comparable to regular bicycles, revealing ebike users are 44% less likely to hit fitness goals. Although Cycling Weekly says the self-selecting study may not be as valid as it purports to be.

Chinese made Ancheer ebikes are being recalled in the US because their lithium-ion batteries “can ignite, explode or spark.” Which is probably a bad thing, especially if you’re riding one at the time.

 

Competitive Cycling

Remco Evenepoel topped Wout van Aert for the Kristallen Fiets, aka Crystal Bicycle, award for the year’s best male Belgian rider.

Now you, too, can own your very own gently used, secondhand pro bike. Or maybe not so gently used.

 

Finally…

Who says your bike needs a chain? If you’re riding your bike carrying meth and enough fentanyl to kill 4,000 people, don’t ride salmon — and put a damn light on it.

And this is who we share the road with.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjQnLeHpQMo/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=0ab771fe-8b6d-49e6-985c-d6b3f6aa7616

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Martinez resigns as council president, but not from council, after racist remarks; and Streets For All happy hour with Mike Bonin

Following up on yesterday’s lead item, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez resigned her position, but insisted on remaining on the council in the wake of racist and otherwise offensive comments on a leaked audio recording.

For now, anyway.

Also refusing to take responsibility are the other councilmembers included in the conversation, Kevin De León and “Roadkill” Gil Cedillo.

Although the only non-councilmember heard on the recording, LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, showed enough integrity to resign his position.

Now if the others would just follow his example, as the list of people calling for their resignations keeps growing.

Here’s a short sample posted by the LA Times.

The list of political figures and organizations issuing those calls took in Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), Tony Cárdenas (D-Pacoima) and Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), an array of labor unions and two mayoral candidates — Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) and developer Rick Caruso.

Not to be left out, Streets For All joined the clamor — even though the loss of Martinez and De León could threaten hard-fought wins like adoption of a modified version of the Healthy Streets LA ballot measure and the Complete Streets makeover of Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock.

But sometimes, integrity has to matter more.

By my count, we’ve already seen three councilmembers convicted or currently facing bribery charges, with another — CD12’s John Lee — implicated but not charged in the bribery scandal that brought down his predecessor.

Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s bid to become ambassador to India went down in flames amid allegations he turned a blind eye to a top aide’s open sexual harassment of male coworkers.

Now three more elected leaders have been captured engaging in a racist conversation, as well as discussion of possibly illegal racial gerrymandering, and what appears to be a violation of the Brown Act open meetings law.

So if you’ve been wondering why our city hasn’t been more responsive to the needs of bike riders, and why nothing seems to get better in what should be — but isn’t — one of the world’s leading cities, we can start with a city government that looks to be rotten from top to bottom.

Photo from Wikipedia.

………

In a very timely announcement, the next Streets For All virtual happy hour will feature a conversation with outgoing CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose Black toddler son was the subject of some of the most offensive comments from Martinez, De León and Cedillo.

………

This is what it looks like when bikes are taken seriously as transportation.

Our German correspondent Ralph Durham forwards a photo of a bike repair stand next to an ebike charging stand for four bikes at his neighborhood biergarten.

Not shown, he says, is the bike tube vending machine on the restroom wall.

Photo by Ralph Durham

………

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

A pair of British men in their early 20s are facing murder charges in the death of 22-year old ebike rider; a third suspect has been released on bail, while a 30-year old woman has been arrested for helping them. Unfortunately, there’s no word on just what happened.

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

Police in South Wales are looking for a pair of men who assaulted another man as he rode his bike in broad daylight, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

The LA Times has confirmed their previous endorsement of Kenneth Mejia for city controller, saying opponent Paul Koretz has fought efforts to make it easier to build more housing and blocked bike and pedestrian safety improvements, and “seems more interested in remaining in elected office than in being the taxpayers’ watchdog or government reformer.” Full disclosure — I’ve endorsed Mejia as well

 

State 

A 75-year old Yucca Valley man was pushed off his bicycle by a neighbor, then beaten with his own bike, in retaliation for pepper spraying the neighbor’s dog when it came up behind him the previous week.

Mt. Diablo State Park has added 30 bike turnouts on the popular Bay Area riding route, allowing bike riders to pull out to allow uphill traffic to pass.

 

National

Schwinn is introducing a new energy absorbing helmet liner to compete MIPS, designed to reduce rotational injuries in a fall.

Denver bike advocates are meeting with city officials to pitch a low-stress bike network.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A popular Bozeman, Montana high school teacher was killed when he was struck by a red light-running driver while riding his bicycle to work.

An op-ed from a Buffalo NY bike advocate makes the case that everyone benefits from effective bike and pedestrian networks, even drivers. Or maybe even especially drivers.

Philly bike riders are using expensive locks, AirTags and GPS, and social media to fight back against the city’s persistent bike thieves.

Frederick, Maryland is the latest community to introduce a book bike, intended  to take the public library to those who can’t come in themselves. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

 

International

Bloomberg Philanthropies is teaming with the Global Designing Cities Initiative to create the new Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure, which will award up to $1 million each to ten cities worldwide to help develop bike lane networks.

Cycling Weekly tries out the new Raleigh e-cargo bike, and says everyone loves it. The built-in kids seats are a nice touch.

A travel website recommends five “magical” Mexican towns to ride your bike in.

Winnipeg, Manitoba bike riders marked Canada’s Thanksgiving with an indigenous-led bike jam combining biking and music with lessons about colonization and reconciliation.

The UK’s British Cycling is being roundly criticized for signing an eight-year sponsorship agreement with oil and gas giant Shell to advise the group on how to achieve net zero. After all, who understands how to get to zero emissions better than an oil company?

A British bike advocacy group is calling on the government to close a loophole that allows people who would otherwise lose their driver’s license to keep driving, by claiming that suspending their license would result in an exceptional hardship.

A new Dutch app promises to tell when you fall off your bike, with or without automotive assistance, and automatically text someone for help.

Tragic news from Italy, where a British international sailing champion was killed when he fell 33 feet down a ravine while on a package mountain biking tour.

Sydney, Australia bicyclists say riding in the city is hard enough without police cracking down on bike riders in the central business district.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could be made from recycled plastic.

And we might have to deal with angry LA drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting chased by a couple of angry moose.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Call for Martinez and De León to resign after racist rant, CicLAvia returns to DTLA, and vehicular murder in Griffith Park

Let’s start with a story that has nothing to do with bicycles.

And everything to do with all of us in Los Angeles.

A recording surfaced yesterday of City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Kevin De León and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera, using racist language while breaking down redistricting arguments strictly along racial lines.

Never mind calling their gay fellow councilmembers a “bitch” and a “diva.” Or referring to Oaxacan immigrants as ugly little people.

I won’t get into all it. You can, and should, read it on your own. Because as ugly as I make it sound, the reality is far worse.

Suffice it to say that Martinez described the Black toddler son of fellow Councilmember Mike Bonin and his husband as a monkey and a fashion accessory, while De León compared him to a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Both Martinez and Kevin De León have supported bikes in recent years, and the bike community have supported them in kind. And both have apologized for their comments.

But that’s not good enough.

Which is why I’m joining with countless other Angelenos and LA organizations calling for their resignations.

There is no place for open racism in our government at any level. It is simply unacceptable, and beneath contempt.

And if they don’t have the integrity to quit, we’ll may have recall them to force them both out.

The only reason I’m not calling for Cedillo’s resignation is that he has already, and deservedly, lost his bid for re-election. But if he had any dignity, he’d leave on his own, right now.

Which in his case is a pretty damn big if, given what we already know about him.

Meanwhile, this is also more proof that it’s time to take redistricting entirely out of the council’s hands, and let a civilian commission have the final say.

Photo of our intern and mascot on the new 6th Street Bridge during yesterday’s CicLAvia.

………

In happier news, a good time was had by all at yesterday’s Heart of LA CicLAvia.

Or nearly all, anyway. A couple of firefighters indicated the day was mostly event free, despite a wave of injuries at the beginning of the day.

The route, which for the first time led to Echo Park and the new 6th Street Bridge, saw a massive turnout as Angelenos took advantage of the near perfect weather.

My wife and I, and corgi, included.

Here are a few photos to capture the day.

Nikita of the Real Rydaz poses with her bike.

Both award-winning bikes were built by Will of the Real Rydaz.

Frank Gehry’s new The Grand LA adds to the LA skyline.

………

This is who we share the road with.

What started out as yet another a hit-and-run in Griffith Park ended with a murder charge.

News broke Saturday evening that a pedestrian had been killed by a driver earlier in the day. The woman fled the scene, leaving her victim to die in the street on Fern Dell Drive.

The driver was arrested the following day, after investigators concluded that the 70-year old victim’s 32-year old girlfriend had intentionally run him over — using his own car — following an argument.

Sonia Sovereign reportedly confessed to the crime, and is being held on a murder charge on $1 million bail.

And it may not have been her first brush with the law, as a woman with the same name, and the right age, led Colorado police on a drunken chase half a decade earlier.

Just one more argument for why cars don’t belong in the park. Or any park, for that matter.

………

Michael Siegal of South Pas Active Streets forwards news of a successful first Walk and Roll at two South Pasadena elementary schools.

Local community organization South Pas Active Streets organized three “bike bus” rides to school on October 5th to Arroyo Vista and Marengo elementary schools. Coinciding with South Pasadena Walk or Bike to School Day, these chaperoned, safety-in-numbers bike rides created an active way to get to school for children who otherwise might not have the opportunity.

Over 30 children and 20 adults participated in one of three different routes to school.  With a core group of riders starting the ride at one end, participants would join the bike bus along its route as it wound its way toward school.  Besides parents, volunteers on these rides included members of DUDES South Pasadena and Mayor Michael Cacciotti.

South Pas Active Streets seeks to provide safe opportunities for active mobility, supporting our childrens’ health, independence, and well-being.  With the success of Wednesday’s first-ever South Pas Walk and Roll, the organization will be coordinating more bike buses and walking buses in the future.

More information on the event, the routes and photos are at southpasactive.org/home/south-pas-walk-and-roll

………

I’d be more impressed with the new protected bike lanes on San Vicente if they weren’t half in the gutter.

But at least the city is building something in the mobility plan, for a change.

https://twitter.com/streetsforall/status/1578168132589346816

………

As we mentioned last week, CSUN is hosting a family-friendly Bikefest in two weeks.

Thanks to Steven Hallett for the heads-up.

………

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

A failed candidate for state legislature took credit for throwing a red plastic cup full of cider at a Chicago alderman, as he rode past on his bike with about 50 other people to examine existing bike infrastructure and brainstorm improvements. If you can call it “credit,” that is.

No bias here. Louisville KY writer complains about “militant” bicyclists, who hide their anti-car agenda “behind code words like safety, health, vibrant and even equity.” Um, sure. Let’s go with that.

Someone is sabotaging a DC bike lane by repeatedly dumping construction nails into it.

In an apparent attempt to thin the herd, a separated bike lane in Manchester, England, is shared with truck drivers headed the opposite direction to a delivery bay, resulting in a bizarre game of chicken as drivers go head-on towards people on bikes.

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

Police in Santa Barbara are looking for a blond man who allegedly fled the scene by bicycle after beating a man to death, before possible stealing a car to complete his getaway.

An English man faces charges for mowing down two bicyclists while speeding downhill and riding salmon in a London park, and barely missing another rider.

………

Local

An op-ed in the LA Times looks at the new law decriminalizing jaywalking in most circumstances, and the historic automotive hegemony that led to jaywalking laws in the first place.

A man in his 50s was critically injured in a Westminster hit-and-run while riding his bike Thursday evening.

 

State 

Camarillo approved a proposal to authorize just over $910,000 to hire engineering and environmental consultants for a planned $6 million bike lane extension on Central Ave. Although that’s a hell of a lot of money for just a third of a mile of bike lanes, so let’s hope there’s more to it than that.

Sad news from San Jose, where a man riding a bicycle was killed when he was struck by two separate motorists, one of whom fled the scene.

The Stanford student paper examines the presence of roundabouts on campus, explaining that they serve to slow drivers below 25 mph.

Just days after Alameda’s mayor killed plans for a protected bike lane, he raised it back up from the dead.

A planned 47-mile bike trail through the Napa Valley wine country could turn it into a bicycling destination to rival Provence.

 

National

A writer for an RV site recommends ebikes for the RV life.

Seventy-seven years after the end of WWII, an Italian man is riding from Seattle to Phoenix to retrace his grandfather’s journey as an Italian prisoner of war.

A Utah truck driver bought a new bike for a five year old boy because he felt bad about the crash that sent the kid to the hospital.

A Denver writer applauds the city for moving quickly to expand its bike network while listening to feedback from the community.

My bike-friendly Colorado hometown is getting its first advisory lane on a street I grew up riding. Something tells me it will go a little better than a similar street design did in San Diego.

Life is cheap in Massachusetts, where a 91-year old driver walked with a lousy traffic ticket for right-hooking a bike rider, who was seriously injured when he landed in the car’s back seat after crashing through the closed rear window. But at least the police asked to have his driver’s license revoked.

A rescue swimmer used a borrowed beach cruiser to save an elderly Florida man and woman, and their dog, following Hurricane Ian.

 

International

Engadget proclaims this the age of the cargo bike. Thanks to Victor Bale for the tip.

The newest Roman Catholic saint was one of us. Italian Artedime Zatti was famed for riding his bicycle throughout the Argentine town of Viedma with a medical case to care for the sick.

She gets it. An op-ed by a Toronto advocate says if we want to get more people on bikes, we have to change our cultural and political deference to cars first.

Nice BBC report on an Indian man who has opened a museum to house his collection of over 150 bicycles, many of which he restored himself. And insists he’s not doing it for the money, but just wants to share them with the world. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

New Zealand’s Stuff says cycling clubs are disappearing because they can’t afford the onerous traffic management plans.

 

Competitive Cycling

Two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar edged Enric Mas to defend his title at Il Lombardia, the year’s final Monument; the race also marked the last competitions for former Grand Tour champs Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, who care calling it a career.

Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert is also calling it a career after one last race in Sunday’s Paris-Tours, which was won in a sprint by defending champ Arnaud Démare.

France’s Pauline Ferrand-Prévot won the inaugural women’s gravel World Championship, while Belgium’s Gianni Vermeersch upset Mathieu van der Poel to take the men’s title.

Italian time trial specialist Filippo Ganna shattered the hour record, traveling 56.792 kilometers in 60 minutes — 1.2 km further than the previous record, set by Britain’s Dan Bigham less than two months ago. That works out to a whopping 35.289 miles.

Ganna not only broke the record, he unified the title by also beating Chris Boardman’s 26-year old “superman” record.

Cycling Tips offers photos from Ganna’s record-setting ride.

Five weird ways cyclists bent, if not broke, the rules.

British bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid profiles L39ion of Los Angeles co-founder and CEO Justin Williams.

 

Finally…

Britain’s wackiest bike race. That feeling when your competitor for a city council seat rescues your stolen ebike bike from a homeless camp, and you still have to run against him.

And now you, too, can race your own hologram.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

Metro EIR blesses Eagle Rock Beautiful Blvd plan, and Taylor Yard bike bridge bountifully blessed with corgis

A quick note before we start. 

I’ve received a guest post from frequent Munich correspondent Ralph Durham for when I’m out next week following my hand surgery. 

If anyone else wants to share your thoughts next week, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page above. 

Write about anything you want, as long as it’s bike related. The only restrictions are to avoid personal attacks or being needlessly offensive. 

Which means it’s okay to be necessarily offensive, evidently.

And no, this is not an invitation for SEO marketing or Native Advertising. Sorry. 

………

It looks like Metro is finally onboard with Eagle Rock’s resident-driven Beautiful Boulevard plan.

An email from the Beautiful Boulevard Coalition reports that Metro’s final Environmental Impact Report for the NoHo to Pasadena bus rapid transit project adopts most elements of the plan, including dedicated bus lanes on Colorado Boulevard, and new family-friendly protected bike lanes.

It also includes a lane reduction to improve safety in downtown Eagle Rock, with a single traffic lane in both directions, along with bus and bike lanes.

The next steps include working with CD12 Councilmember and mayoral candidate Kevin de León to make adjustments to the plan, such as enabling al fresco dining and keeping cut-through traffic from disrupting residential neighborhoods.

And getting de León to sign off on the plan, after he’s done significant waffling on the project since taking office.

………

Nice surprise from my friend Jonathan Weiss, who forwards photos from a recent ride to check out the new Taylor Yard Bridge.

And stumbled across an apparent corgi meetup.

Better yet, my wife instantly recognized the blue merle corgi staring off into the distance as one she knows from meetups with her corgi Instagram group.

Face it. It’s a corgi world, and we just live in it.

………

Nothing like jamming on the brakes to avoid getting hit head-on by a wrong-way driver.

………

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

No bias here. Miami city commissioners voted to require developers to include more parking in their projects, with one saying “This is not a pedestrian and bicycle city.” And with that attitude, it never will be.

No bias here, either. A Twitter account claims bicyclists “injury and maim” (sic) thousands of people in the UK every year. Which comes as a surprise, since there were only a little more than 600 collisions reported between bikes and pedestrians in 2020.

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

Police in El Cajon are looking for a Hispanic man who rode off on a beach cruiser after stabbing another man in the abdomen at a Del Taco drive-thru.

Similar story in Edinburgh, Scotland, where police are looking for a pair of bike-riding men who assaulted and robbed a man walking along a bike path late at night.

………

Local

The Archinect News site says LA’s new bike and pedestrian-friendly 6th Street Viaduct is about to change common perspectives on public urban space. Although you’ll have to earn the bike crossing with a steep climb to get there.

Streetsblog is looking for a part-time journalist and podcaster to cover the San Gabriel Valley beat.

 

State 

Armed only with a baseball bat, a San Diego man stole back the bike that was stolen from him the day he bought it. Although he was successful, you’re always better off getting the police involved if you can; taking back a stolen bike can be very dangerous.

A 61-year old San Diego man was seriously injured when he was run down by an alleged drunk driver on Mountain View Drive in the city’s Adams North neighborhood on Sunday; fortunately, his injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Berkeley bicyclists are backing a plan for protected bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on deadly Hopkins Street, while preserving most curbside parking in front of local businesses.

Sad news from Yuba County, where a 21-year old woman was arrested for the allegedly drunken rear-end crash that killed a 36-year old man riding a bicycle; she faces charges of DUI and 2nd degree murder, which suggests this isn’t her first DUI.

 

National

A writer for CleanTechnica offers advice on how to defend yourself from criminal attackers out to get your ebike. Even though she’s a firearms instructor who rides with a gun, she agrees with me that no bike is worth risking your life, or taking another.

Mountain Bike Action considers the pros and cons of buying an e-mountain bike.

Kindhearted Ohio cops gave a new bicycle to a man whose bike was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver; he escaped with a few minor scrapes, but the bike he used as his only form of transportation wasn’t so lucky.

 

International

Bike Biz considers the month’s hottest new bike products, including new urban cross ebikes and a new Cannondale Synapse roadie with an intelligent light and radar system.

The CEO of international insurance giant Lloyd’s of London is one of us. Although he might want to make sure he’s covered, after he was injured in a bike crash over the weekend.

Tragic story from Wales, where a factory worker was killed riding his bike home from work when he grabbed hold of a coworker’s car to talk as the other man drove alongside his bike, then was thrown from his bike after his handlebars hit the side of the car.

Drivers and motorcyclists are up in arms over a new 40 mph speed limit intended to save lives on a deadly Welsh pass, amid fears they’ll just go somewhere else where higher speeds are allowed. But bicyclists are entitled, right?

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France champ and Olympic cycling star Bradley Wiggins says the best way for Britain’s Ineos team to win the Tour is to buy the contract of two-time Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar, and send him to the Giro, instead.

Belgium’s Alpecin-Fenix team blamed their failure at the one-day Gent-Wevelgem race on other teams not doing their part to chase down the lead group. Seriously, if your strategy relies on other teams to help you win, you’ve already lost.

 

Finally…

Build your own ebike with whatever scraps you happen to have lying around. You may never win an Olympic cycling medal, but now you can buy one.

And a rock god with a whole lotta love for riding a bike.

………

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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

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

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

Literally.

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

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

Not. One. Damn. Word.

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

………

This might be taking things a tad too far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

………

Local

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

 

State 

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

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

 

National

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

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

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

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

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

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.

……..

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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.

………

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