Tag Archive for LA Bike Dad

Morning Links: LADOT & Ryu keep Rowena safe, Monterey bike news, and back when LA was a bike town

Chalk one up for the good guys.

After years of protests from traffic safety deniers and what turned out to be a relative handful of local residents, LADOT has decided to keep the highly successful road diet on Rowena Ave in place.

And surprisingly, Councilmember David Ryu, who many feared wanted to unceremoniously rip out the Rowena road diet — myself included — apparently saw the light, and went along with LADOT’s recommendation.

According to the Los Feliz Ledger, the results of a $90,000 traffic safety study demanded by opponents show the effectiveness of the half-mile Complete Streets project.

Among LADOT’s findings are that the road diet has reduced collisions, from an average of 12.4 per year in the five years prior to the road diet’s installation, to an average of 7.8 in the five years after. 

The city agency also found that mid-day traffic speeds went from 39 miles-per-hour both east and westbound pre-road diet to 36 miles-per-hour eastbound and remained at 39 miles-per-hour westbound post-road diet. 

Traffic volume on the street has remained consistent both before and after the road diet, according to the LADOT’s report.

Additionally, the department found, “Adjacent residential streets Waverly Drive and Angus Street … experienced no discernible increase or decrease in collisions after the implementation of the road reconfiguration.”

Meanwhile, an email forwarded to me from Scott Gamzon notes that the study calls for making the bike lanes on Rowena even safer.

It also includes a recommendation for protected bike lanes on Rowena: Enhanced Bikewav: Installation of the Rowena reconfiguration was intended to improve safety for all road users. Based on the growth in bicycle use along Rowena, upgrading the existing striped bike lane to accommodate a wider Class II buffered bike lane, or Class IV separated bikeway may provide additional safety to people bicycling. The street width can accommodate this facility without additional changes.


Adding: Implementing bike lanes was not a primary motivating factor for the road diet. Nonetheless, LADOT also reviewed bicycle counts along Rowena Avenue and found an increase in bicycle use during peak periods from a high of 14 to an average of 71 bike trips after the reconfiguration.

And Terence Heuston, aka LA Bike Dad, offered some good stats and insights on the subject.

It’s worth clicking on one of the tweets to read Heuston’s full Rowena thread. Because he lays out an effective roadmap to victory in the seemingly endless battles with traffic safety deniers that have cropped up throughout the LA area.

And allowed an angry, vocal minority to put a stop to too many desperately needed safety improvements.

But fortunately, not this one.

Thanks to Sean Meredith for the heads-up.

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In honor of the Sea Otter Classic, a Monterey County weekly took an in-depth look at bicycling in the area, with a series of articles in this week’s edition.

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‘Nuff said.

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Local

KABC-7 catches on to LA’s hit-and-run epidemic.

State

Newport Beach considers waving minimum parking requirements for Balboa Village, with one business owner saying that people should be riding bicycles on the island, anyway.

A new community park provides San Diego’s first free public parkour area and bike pump track.

A 42-year old salmon cyclist suffered serious injuries when he was struck by the driver of a commercial truck while riding in a Kearny Mesa bike lane Thursday morning. Which is just one more reminder to never ride against traffic if you can avoid it. It may seem safer to see the cars and trucks coming, but it actually increases your risk.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a man died suddenly, a month after he suffered a severely broken leg in a hit-and-run collision; however, the actual cause of death is yet to be determined.

Thanks to a Silicon Valley company an a boutique bikemaker, your next ebike could come with a 3D-printed, unibody carbon fiber frame.

National

A writer for Bicycling praises the health benefits of eating nuts. But fails to mention that eating too many is one of the best ways to get kidney stones, as I learned the hard way.

A Microsoft employee in Redmond WA credits riding his bike to work for saving a toddler’s life, after the 20-month old boy survived falling six stories through an open window, when he landed on the roof of the car the Microsoft worker had left behind.

Evidently, that fatal shooting of a bike rider in Las Vegas last month wasn’t a random act after all; police announced the arrest of a suspect, saying he’d had an altercation with the victim prior to the shooting.

A Denver bike shop is making waves in the industry by selling certified, pre-owned bicycles at reduced prices, while guaranteeing to buy them back at predetermined prices after 6, 12 or 18 months.

Am I the only one who sees a problem here? The owner of a Cleveland blue-collar bar fears the arrival of a bike path in front of his business because it will mean the loss of 12 to 15 parking spaces that people use to stop in and down a few drinks on their way home from work.

A New York councilmember says if you want a better bike network, and want to speed up the implementation of new bike lanes, take approvals from community boards out of the process.

Atlanta bicyclists plan to slow roll a major street during today’s morning rush hour to protest traffic danger and call for Complete Streets. As tempting as it is sometimes, we don’t win any friends by making people late to work, or keeping them from getting home at night.

Wednesday was Bike to Work Day in the Big Easy. LA’s version will take place next month, though the city has seen declining interest in recent years.

International

Curbed looks at how cities around the world are rewarding people who ditch their car commutes.

That’s more like it. Bogotá police are responding to a series of violent muggings of bike riders by assigning 170 officers to patrol the city’s bike lanes, along with 800 security cameras and a roving helicopter during the evening commute.

He gets it. A writer for a Canadian driving website says building more roads never was, still isn’t and never will be a solution to gridlock, because induced demand will just fill them again.

The Conversation says Canada’s best urban bike maps are made by volunteers with open source data. Something that’s just as true on the other side of the border.

Despite being annoyed at the “uncivilized” and “ridiculous” response, Hamilton, Ontario officials decide to back off on their ridiculously dangerous plan to allow parking in bike lanes. This is one case where a little uncivilized ridicule is entirely appropriate.

A new English survey shows that bicycling outdoors is on the decline, while cycling indoors is growing more popular, apparently because of the country’s “toxic road environment.”

Hundreds of members of an Irish bike club formed a hi-viz, spandex-clad color guard to honor a founding member who died suddenly while riding home with friends from a charity ride.

A Dublin paper has today’s candidate for the world’s worst headline — “No helmet, no chance if you come a cropper on your bike.” As if everyone who comes off a bike without one will die, and everyone who has one will be perfectly fine. Like the song says, it ain’t necessarily so.

A Kiwi columnist says it’s time for speeding bike riders to slow down.

An Australian advocacy group proposes paying people five dollars a day to bike to work. Which would probably be one of the most effective and least punitive ways to get people out of their cars.

Cycling Tips talks with the author of the Aussie study that shows bike lanes may be more dangerous than streets without them. However, before anyone starts demanding their removal, it’s important to consider that this study only examined how closely drivers pass riders in painted lanes, and not actual collision and injury rates. Other studies have shown that painted lanes improve safety by up to 50%.

Bike-hating former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says swapping his car for a bike during a year in Southeast Asia left him a broken man, but in far better shape. Sure, let’s go with that.

Competitive Cycling

Geraint Thomas and Michał Kwiatkowski were cleared to keep riding after a mass crash that took out much of the peloton on the Tour of the Basque Country; the jury is still out on Julian Alaphilippe,

Finally…

Like cocaine, Peloton bikes are “God’s way of saying you have too much money.” If it has e-assist pedals and four wheels, is it still a bike?

And if you’re going to take a food delivery man’s bike, make sure you can ride it.

Morning Links: Hollywood development plan released, and discrimination and LA’s deadly streets

The streets of Hollywood could look at lot different in the next 20 years.

If we can all manage to survive that long.

The city has released the new Hollywood Model Development Report conducted by consultants Fehr + Peers to plan for development in the Hollywood area by 2040, including streets and mobility.

They operated on the assumption that nothing can be done to mitigate Hollywood traffic congestion, so the focus was providing alternatives to driving.

Like riding bikes.

In fact, the study calls for a number of lane reductions to make room for bike lanes, protected and otherwise — including protected bike lanes on Hollywood Blvd and Melrose Ave.

Along with bicycle friendly streets as part of the Neighborhood Enhanced Network proposed in the 2010 bike plan.

The bad news is, the plan is based on LA’s Mobility Plan 2035, which is already gathering dust on the shelf.

And predicated on the support of Hollywood councilmembers who haven’t been elected yet.

Then again, that could be a good thing, since the ones we have now appertains to be too risk averse to make the major changes necessary to provide alternatives to driving and improve safety on our streets.

Let alone confront the angry drivers who seem to be setting the city’s transportation policy these days.

Thanks to Brandi D’Amore for the heads-up.

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Great Twitter thread from LA Bike Dad looking at the long-lasting effects of racial discrimination in Los Angeles. And how it lines up perfectly with LA’s most dangerous streets.

It’s definitely worth a click to read the full thread.

And here’s what LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds had to say in response.

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As long as we’re visiting Twitter, Pedal Love discovered what may be the best ever bicycle sidecar.

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Marin Facebook users seem thrilled to see a group of bicyclists stopped and ticketed by sheriff’s deputies.

If you have a strong stomach, it’s worth the click just to read the comments. Like this, for instance.

Funny how people often want to ban bicycles from narrow roads because they think it’s too dangerous for bikes. But it never occurs to them to ban the cars that make them that way, instead.

Never mind people, like the woman below, who think bicycling is too dangerous because of all the dangerous drivers on the roads. And somehow continue to believe the myth that if they innocently hit a lawbreaking bicyclist, they’ll be held responsible.

Most of the time, no one is. And in the rare case when police blame someone, it’s usually the victim.

Thanks to Frank Lehnerz for the heads-up.

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Now you can be the proud owner of a classic 1989 Eddy Merckx team bike made for the late, great 7-Eleven team for the low, low price of just $6,700 US.

As long as you promise to let me ride it.

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Local

Candidates are lining up to fill the seat of CD12 Councilmember Mitch Englander, who is walking away from the district he was elected to serve. We’ll have to wait see which of the candidates support safer streets, if any.

LADOT has released the environmental study for the Winnetka Avenue Street Improvements project to extend the existing bike lanes on Winnetka Ave.

After the recent disastrous proposal for a road diet on Pasadena’s Orange Grove Blvd, the city is giving it another shot with a proposal for a lane reduction, bike lanes and improved crosswalks on Cordova Street; a public meeting will be held to discuss it on Tuesday. Rose City NIMBYs and traffic safety deniers will undoubtedly be out in force to oppose it, so anyone who lives, rides or works in the area should turn out to voice your support.

State

An op-ed on a San Jose website says the mayor’s recent bike crash was no accident, but blames bad road design instead of the inattentive driver. Only the other hand, the mayor says any head defects he may have were a pre-existing condition.

San Francisco Streetsblog says no, bike commuting rates did not drop 19.9% in San Francisco, and 25.8% in Oakland, as reported in last week’s USA Today article.

Oakland plans to speed up repairs on one of the city’s most dangerous streets, a week after a 14-year old boy was critically injured when he was dragged three blocks by a hit-and-run driver.

Washoe County is continuing to build bike paths in the Truckee Meadows, despite a drop in ridership.

National

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is one of us, after surgery to repair an undisclosed broken bone suffered in an undisclosed bicycling fall and/or crash. Evidently, it’s on a need to know basis. And apparently we don’t.

A bike industry writer says e-scooters don’t appear to threaten the bright future of ebikes.

An ebike maker is used as a model for how to successfully raise prices without losing customers after they get hit with a 25% tariff increase for parts imported from China.

A Utah law firm concludes that downtown Salt Lake City and Provo are the state’s most dangerous places to ride a bike.

A New Mexico State legislator is riding her bike 300 miles to the state capital for the new legislative session.

Who needs employee parking? A Colorado company gave all of its 85 employees new $1,300 ebikes.

A Colorado man put thirteen old kids bikes along his fence for anyone to take. Only to find others continually adding bicycles to the line to replace any that get taken.

A 73-year old Michigan man has now ridden his bike across all seven continents after finishing a leisurely ride across Antarctica.

An Ohio driver pled guilty to aggravated assault for a road rage attack on a man and his wife. But he did write a letter saying he was really, really sorry.

An Irish boxer goes head-over-heels after hitting the skids on the streets of New York.

The rich get richer. Bike friendly DC is going to get three new protected bike lanes in the next three years.

A Florida man is being held on $10,000 bail after he was busted for riding a gas-powered bicycle, despite a suspended license for DUI.

International

Treehugger says drivers should thank bicyclists for modern roads, instead of complaining about us.

Maybe a hot bath doesn’t burn as many calories as riding your bike, after all.

Life is cheap in Calgary, where a bike rider was charged for killing a 75-year old man as he walked in a crosswalk — except he was only charged with failure to stop at a red light. We can’t complain about killer drivers getting off with a slap on the wrist, and not hold deadly bicyclists to the same standard.

A Toronto op-ed calls the modest bicycle one of humanity’s great emancipators.

Police are looking for a British bike rider who smashed a driver over the head with his bike lock after a crash. Seriously, there’s no better way to go from victim to criminal than trying to retaliate against a driver. Or anyone else.

A 20-year old English college student has set a new record for the youngest person to bike across the world, riding 18,000-mile through 14 countries in 159 days.

Bike advocates in the UK accused the country’s Highway Code of victim blaming for tweeting that bike riders should wear helmets and “appropriate clothing for cycling,” rather than calling for safer streets and better driver education.

Britain has been ignoring their own government agency’s advice to prioritize active transportation over driving every year since 2015.

A man in the Netherlands was killed after somehow getting stuck between a fence and the roof of an apartment building bike shed; authorities were unsure what he was doing there. Although considering that he got stuck around 3 am, we can probably make an educated guess.

Sure, let’s go with that. A Zambian man told a divorce court he used the used condoms his wife found in his pants to repair bike tires. No, seriously.

There’s a special place in hell for whoever stole and vandalized a ten-year old autistic New Zealand boy’s custom-made three-wheeled bike.

Competitive Cycling

Once again, a cyclist has been stripped of his title after testing positive for a banned substance. Except this time, the doper is a 90-year old US track cycling champ.

How bicycling became entrenched in Eritrean culture, despite the difficulty obtaining bikes and parts. And led to the first black Africans to compete in the Tour de France.

Last year was the most successful year yet for Rwanda’s nascent cycling programs.

Finally…

Probably not the best idea to steal a police bike five minutes after you’re released from jail. Nothing like reading a six-mile long poem while you ride.

And seriously, who carries a shotgun on a bicycle — let alone uses it on their riding partner?

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Thanks to Connie L for her generous donation to support this site. The holiday fund drive may be over, but donations are always welcome and appreciated.

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