Happy Bastille Day!
Celebrate by riding a French bike today. Or at least riding to a French bistro.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.
Oh, and fuck Putin.