Tag Archive for LA Metro

$32.1 million award in Metro crash, LA Times calls for bike lanes and sheriff’s oversight, and Mar Vista bike chop shops

Thank you all for your support and kind words last week.

I’m not even close to a hundred percent yet, but at least I can write again without tossing my cookies. Not that I should be having cookies, anyway.

Now buckle in, ’cause we have a lot to catch up on. 

And please forgive me for not crediting people who sent me links this time; it was just too hard to keep up with while I was under the weather.

But thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who did. 

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A jury awarded $21.6 million to the parents of Ciara Smith, the 13-year old girl killed by a Metro bus operated by a subcontractor four years ago when she rode her bike off a Redondo Beach sidewalk.

Combined with earlier settlements from Caltrans and Redondo Beach, they’ve now been awarded a total of $32.1 million, though the latest judgement will undoubtedly be appealed.

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The Los Angeles Times responds to their recent investigative report that uncovered bias in traffic stops of Latino bike riders by sheriff deputies in LA County, by calling for legalizing sidewalk riding and building desperately needed infrastructure.

Instead of finding support for their carbon-free travel, cyclists in some communities face unsafe and unjust conditions. In East Los Angeles, only 1% of streets have bike lanes, meaning cyclists are expected to navigate crowded and often poorly maintained streets. Of course people are going to ride on the sidewalk, even if it’s prohibited, because it’s safer.

Yet that rational decision makes cyclists a target for law enforcement. Nearly a quarter of bike stops in East L.A. were for sidewalk violations, The Times reported. In Lynwood, where there are no bike lanes at all, sidewalk violations account for 16% of stops. In West Hollywood, which is predominantly white, more streets have bike lanes and the city allows bicyclists to ride on the sidewalk in areas with no bike lanes. Less than 1% of bike stops were initiated because of sidewalk violations.

The paper also said the biased traffic stops and searches of bike riders call for stronger oversight of the sheriff’s department, which so far has attempted to avoid virtually any oversight.

Meanwhile, Streets For All urges your support for a motion at tomorrow’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting to legalize sidewalk riding in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

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As long as we’re talking about the Times, opinion columnist Robin Abcarian joins a Mar Vista man searching local homeless camps and outdoor bicycle chop shops for his stolen bicycles.

And somehow managed, against all odds, to get them all back.

Never mind that the LAPD told her they don’t bother to look for stolen bikes.

Or the Catch-22 clownshow below when he tried to report the theft to the cops.

Weitz had tried to file a police report online. Because his garage was broken into, he was told, he would have to file in person. But his local LAPD outpost in West Los Angeles is not allowing walk-ins because of COVID-19. So he went to the Pacific Division station on Culver Boulevard but was told he had to file it in West L.A.

“My local lead officer said he would get in touch after I file my police report,” said Weitz, “but I can’t file my police report, so he can’t call.”

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The teenaged pickup driver who mowed down a half dozen Texas bike riders while attempting to roll coal has been identified in court papers.

The well-connected son of prominent local sheep and goat breeders faces six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after initially being allowed to walk free when mommy and daddy reportedly showed up at the crash site.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa woman injured in the other recent Texas crash, where a pickup driver ran down three people on a cross-country bike tour and killed a Massachusetts man, is still waiting to fly home.

Doctors says she’s too fragile to leave the Houston hospital where she’s being treated for a collapsed lung, facial fracture, broken back, five broken ribs and a broken arm.

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Streets For All will talk mobility with the candidates for CD13 this Wednesday, presumably including incumbent Mitch O’Farrell.

The street safety PAC also calls for supporting a 5.9-mile peak hour bus lane on La Brea Blvd from Sunset to Coliseum at or before tomorrow’s public meeting.

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Metro announced the top-scoring picks for open streets events throughout the county over the next two years, including likely funding for CicLAvia and 626 Golden Streets.

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One more reason to love the East Side Riders, as they continue to support, and feed, the Compton community.

And to contribute if you can, financially or otherwise.

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If you’re reading this early enough, you may still have time to join a Twitter town hall calling for zero traffic deaths, in advance of this Sunday’s World Day of Remembrance.

Meanwhile, Finish the Ride will host a march for safer roads on Saturday, in an early observance of the World Day of Remembrance.

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More proof that bike lanes are more efficient than regular traffic lanes. Regardless of drivers who claim no one ever uses them.

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Taking a tiny approach to urban density in Denver.

And yes, there’s an itty bitty bike involved.

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It’s a pity everyone seemed to forget the hard-earned lessons learned in the first major gas crisis back in the ’70s.

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

Late is better than never, apparently, as Bicycling belatedly catches up with the story of the white Texas man who severely beat a Black man who paused while riding a bicycle through the neighborhood they both share last month. As usual, you can read it on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you. 

DC drivers are using a new buffered bike lane for free parking.

An Orlando, Florida bike shop owner sounds the alarm on drivers using the bike path in front of his shop as a traffic bypass.

A London man suffered a broken collarbone when a driver deliberately ran him off his bike in the city’s Richmond Park — then fled the scene afterwards, of course.

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

Police in San Antonio, Texas released video of the fatal shooting of a man who fled when officers tried to stop him on his bike; he allegedly tried to pull a gun out of his waistband after one of the cops doored him and wrestled with him on the ground.

A British Columbia man faces charges for whacking a 65-year old woman with his bicycle, causing her to hit her head on the pavement, after she apparently confronted him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The award for the world’s biggest jerk — okay, one of many — goes to the Belgium bike rider who crashed into a five-year old girl last Christmas, and is suing the girl’s father for posting the viral video of it.

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Local

A man was shot in the chest earlier this month while riding on a Culver City bike path, then was kicked in the face and punched by two or more men, for no apparent reason. Or at least, no reason the police have mentioned.

There’s still time to take a survey on how to transform deadly Western Ave between MLK to Century Blvd in South LA. Hint: fewer traffic lanes and more protected bike lanes.

A San Fernando group has called for the removal of CD12 Councilmember John Lee from the Los Angeles City Council Planning Committee; Lee was implicated in the Mitch Englander bribery scandal.

Streetsblog looks at the new raised, protected bike lanes on Burbank’s Hollywood Way.

A Claremont nonprofit is looking donations of usable bicycles in good condition, as well as “helmets, padding and locks” to help recent Afghan refugees. And no, I have no idea what padding means, either.

AARP hosts a virtual chat with CicLAvia this Thursday, including 65-year old longboarder and CicLAvia icon Swee (Ool) Woo.

 

State

Santa Ana will host a meeting tonight to discuss a proposed protected bike lane and bicycle boulevard on McFadden Avenue.

Orange County hikers complained about “hard-charging” mountain bikers at last week’s meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the city needs to focus on the action part of its climate action plan, rather than patting itself on the back based on outdated statistics.

Streetsblog credits the San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, with having a lot to like in their draft 2021 transportation plan, despite questionable funding plans.

Santa Barbara County is loaning local residents free ebikes for up to five days to experience an alternative to driving.

It takes a major schmuck to steal a bike from a ten-year old Santa Cruz girl in a strong-arm robbery.

 

National

Do we really need to be told yet again that more highways mean more cars, more congestion and more environment and climate harming emissions?

One more reason to do your riding outside, as a 23-year old woman nearly lost her leg after developing a potentially fatal breakdown of muscle tissue following a high-intensity spin class.

Seriously? What kind of cash flow does this Oregon bike shop have when the theft of $100,000 worth of bicycles isn’t a major setback?

The Nevada state stoppers who investigated the crash that killed five bike riders outside Las Vegas eleven months ago never suspected semi-truck driver Jordan Alexander Barson was under the influence, even though he tested positive for meth hours later — an oversight that led to a plea bargain on reduced charges.

Congratulations to Austin, Texas, on being named home to the worst bike lane in the world.

Sad news from Iowa, where John Karras, the former newspaper man who co-founded RAGBRAI with another reporter, passed away last week at 91; the popular ride across Iowa was founded by the Des Moines Register nearly 50 years ago.

Hats off to a six-year old Ohio boy, who set a new record as the youngest rider to complete a backflip during a California BMX competition.

Once again, the death of a bike rider is no big deal, as a US postal worker faces just a misdemeanor charge and a traffic ticket for killing a 71-year old New York man riding a bike.

Curbed offers a detailed primer on perfecting New York streets, while embracing public spaces. All of which would apply here in Los Angeles, too.

A fallen bicyclist’s mother will finish the last 1,900 miles of his planned New Hampshire to San Diego bike tour, three years after he was run down by a driver shortly after leaving Hattiesburg, Mississippi; a crowdfunding page has raised just $330 of the $10,000 he was trying to collect for a children’s hospital.

A 22-year old Florida man has been charged with manslaughter after he failed to swerve his e-scooter out of the way of a woman riding a bicycle; the victim died of her injuries several days later.

 

International

No surprise here, as climate experts say electric cars won’t save the planet. But more active transportation will help.

Virgin founder Richard Branson showed off his injuries after his bike’s brakes failed and he crashed into another bicyclist while riding in the Virgin Islands; he credits his helmet with saving his life from the “colossal” crash. Seriously, I’ve had worse.

Glasgow, Scotland is joining the international trend of banning cars from urban centers.

The Smithsonian talks with the teenage girl who rode her bike 570 miles from her English home to Glasgow, Scotland for the COP26 climate conference.

London’s iconic Westminster Bridge is getting bollard-protected cycle tracks, which might have helped prevent the 2017 vehicular terrorism attack.

Life is cheap in the UK, where a 61-year old business exec walked with a suspended sentence for killing two men on bikes when he plowed his car into both as they rode together last year; adding insult to injury, he was fined a whole £475 — the equivalent of just $637 — in court costs.

A 21-year old British man was sentenced to life behind bars for strangling his 17-year old “friend” and leaving him to drown in a dispute over a bicycle. Seriously, if someone bullies you for months, let alone tries to kill you, maybe he’s not really your friend.

A new sensor developed by a Dutch company allows you to monitor the air quality as you rides. But do you really want to know what kind of crap you’re sucking into your lungs?

Cycling Tips alleges bullying and blackmail in the convoy that carried members of the Afghan cycling team to freedom.

Heartbreaking story from India, where an Indian soldier was one of seven people gunned down by ethnic rebels, just two days after promising his eight-year old daughter he’d bring her a bicycle as a belated birthday gift when he came home in February.

 

Competitive Cycling

Tragic news from Eritrea, where rising 21-year old cyclist Desiet Kidane was killed by a driver while training in the country; she was part of UCI’s World Cycling Center training program.

Apparently, even winning the Tour de France isn’t enough to protect against bike thieves, as Geraint Thomas learned the hard way when he popped into a coffee shop while training on the French Riviera.

A new book claims to be the first written by a Black bike racer about Black bike racers in one hundred years.

The EF Education-Nippo cycling team fired Columbian cyclist Sergio Higuita for riding a Specialized bike instead of team sponsor Cannondale, but quickly took him back after he apologized. His American teammate Lawson Craddock got fired and quickly unfired, for the same reason.

It takes some serious bike skills to get back in your shoe while it’s still clipped in the pedal.

 

Finally…

The top 10 reasons drivers don’t like us. Now they aren’t even waiting until the bikes leave the shop to run them over.

And SNL has good news and bad news on the ebike front.

 

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

Tell Metro don’t water down Eagle Rock’s Beautiful Blvd, and Caltrans breaks promise to replace Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro still hasn’t gotten the message.

After the transit agency proposed a trio of auto-centric alternatives to accommodate a Bus Rapid Transit line on Colorado Blvd in Eagle Rock, local residents took matters into their own hands.

And designed a beautiful, livable and much safer Complete Street that would accommodate everyone, while making the shopping street the envy of the LA area.

The design quickly won the support of County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who convinced Metro to go back to the drawing board.

Now word is they’re prepared to come back with watered-down alternatives to the Beautiful Blvd plan, which will no doubt range from drab to almost pretty, at best.

Now Streets For All is urging you to tell Metro that’s just not good enough.

Tell Metro you support bus and protected bike lanes on Colorado Blvd!

With our local partners on the ground, Streets For All has been supporting Beautiful Blvd – a well thought out plan to implement the NoHo to Pasadena BRT through Eagle Rock on Colorado Blvd. Thanks to our coalition’s efforts, Metro is now considering this option as THE option through Eagle Rock – and it has the public support of Supervisor Solis. But it’s not a done deal yet.

On Thursday, April 1 from 5-7pm, Metro will be hosting a community meeting and it’s critical that they overwhelmingly hear support for Beautiful Blvd. Here are some talking points.

VIEW TALKING POINTS + ZOOM INFO

Add the Metro meeting to your calendar

Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Outlook.com Yahoo

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It could soon get a lot harder and more dangerous to cross the Ventura Freeway in Encino.

Retired Caltrans District Bicycle-Ped Coordinator John Cinatl sends word that Caltrans is reneging on plans to replace the Encino Ave Pedestrian Overcrossing when the current bike/ped bridge is removed later this year.

Google street view of existing bridge over the 101 Freeway

Here’s how the state transportation agency explained their highly questionable decision.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) received comments, suggestions, and feedback from community members as well as elected officials regarding the US-101 Proposed Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing Project. Most comments we received recommended or strongly suggested the permanent removal of the Overcrossing without reconstruction; Caltrans agrees. Caltrans will not replace the Encino Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing (POC) after the proposed demolition. Caltrans is delaying the demolition and will further assess the need and financial feasibility of a range of alternative pedestrian improvements as suggested by community members, City of Los Angeles staff, as well as local and state elected officials.

This is what we could have had.

Without it, anyone who wants to cross the vast river of high speed traffic will be forced to share crowded bridges with impatient drivers navigating their way on and off the freeway — undoubtedly resulting in a seemingly inevitable jump in injury collisions involving bike riders and pedestrians.

Which LA officials and Caltrans are apparently just fine with.

In addition, a second nearby bike/ped bridge could be at risk.

Councilmember Paul Koretz, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and Senator Henry Stern offices suggested Caltrans also investigate the feasibility of permanently removing the US 101 Amestoy Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing, located ½ mile east from Encino Avenue POC. Caltrans will keep the community informed as this suggestion is further evaluated. Caltrans will work with City of Los Angeles on engineering studies, environmental reviews, and seek public comments.

It’s not surprising to see Koretz continue his strange fight to protect the environment by making it much more difficult to walk and bike.

Although maybe Gabriel and Stern could explain their inexplicable support, which seems to directly contradict Caltrans’ newfound commitment to Complete Streets, let alone common sense.

Because from here, it doesn’t make a damn bit of it.

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Active SGV wants your support to demand the public park Puente Hills was promised on the site of an old landfill.

https://twitter.com/ActiveSGV/status/1374560958731841541

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More evidence that the former Mayor Pete really gets it, as Keith Johnson forwards a screen grab of the following brief Twitter thread.

The question is whether his support will be enough to make a difference on our streets.

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Thanks to Austin Brown for pointing our attention to an endlessly fascinating Twitch stream disproving the myth of stop sign-running bicyclists.

Or rather, proving once and for all that we’re not the only ones.

https://www.tiktok.com/@jhbteam/video/6942363500756913413?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.roadandtrack.com%2F&referer_video_id=6942363500756913413&refer=embed

In fact, trackers following the stop sign stream point out that a whopping 98.73% drivers — just shy of 100% — don’t come to the full stop required by law.

And unlike people on bicycles, they’re the ones in the big, dangerous machines with limited visibility, and the potential to cause major harm if they’re not operated in a safe and legal manner.

Which these drivers clearly aren’t doing. Just like the ones on the corner of my block.

And probably most other corners, too.

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

No bias here. Santa Barbara’s Historic Landmarks Commission is attempting to block plans for a bikeway on Sola Street, saying it would disrupt the virtual aesthetic of the city’s historic street grid. Because evidently, cars fit in just fine with their image of the early mission days.

No bias here, either. A Michigan radio personality comments on an early morning bike commuter she sees on her way to work every day, saying she doesn’t know “what this guy’s life situation is, but chances are he’s just a weirdo.”

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

Police in Flushing NY are looking for a bike-riding groper and flasher who assaulted two women in separate attacks.

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Local

Metro will consider a motion at their virtual meeting this Thursday that would allow highway funds from Measure M and Measure R to be spent on local streets and multi-modal improvements — including pedestrian and bike projects; email your comments by end of day today.

Streets For All forwards news that next Tuesday is the last day to request a mail-in ballot for the upcoming Neighborhood Council elections Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Elysian Valley Riverside and Atwater Village; anyone who lives, works, shops, prays, owns property, or have kids that go to school these areas is entitled to vote.

Sunset4All proposes reconfiguring the current narrow, dangerous door zone bike lanes on Sunset Blvd between Dodger Stadium and Fountain Avenue, as well as on nearby Santa Monica Blvd, replacing the virtually useless lanes with a two-way parking protected bike lane on the south side of the street.

A trio of UCLA professors hope to encourage more bike commuting by creating bicycle “flows” that produce real-time digital art exhibitions throughout the city.

The LA County Supervisors approved the DA’s call for a special prosecutor to look at past police shootings for evidence of misconduct, possibly including the fatal shooting of Ricardo Zeferino by Gardena police as the unarmed man helped look for his brother’s stolen bike.

A former participant in the 90 Day Fiancé reality show asked for prayers for her husband, who was at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after getting hit by a driver while riding his bike to work.

Rhianna is one of us, riding what looks like a rental bike on the Venice bike path.

 

State

Palmdale, Oakland and Kern County have been selected for a series of Vision Zero workshops dedicated to establishing an effective Speed Management Program. In other words, how they can finally get drivers to slow the hell down.

Berkeley police are getting on their bikes in an attempt to prevent attacks on Asian residents.

 

National

NPR says the streets are getting deadlier for pedestrians, and even worse of people of color. They’re not so hot for people on bicycles, either.

Wheeltales Tours is resuming supported bike tours throughout the western US, ranging from Colorado to the West Coast, with appropriate Covid precautions in place.

Cycling News offers advice on where to find a bike in the middle of a pandemic-driven bicycle shortage.

Gear Patrol pens a love letter to Specialized’s new e-mountain bike, calling it their best yet.

A pair of kindhearted Las Vegas teens are staging a bicycle drive to help combat youth mental health struggles; the young women have already received pledges for twice their original goal of 200 bikes.

The staff of a Boulder, Colorado bike shop were shaken but safe following the mass shooting that killed 10 people in a grocery store near the shop; they were close enough to ear the shots ring out inside the store.

A Pittsburgh professor proposes a data-driven model to asses bicycle safety in cities, while calling bicycles “arguably the most sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transport.”

Customers remember the owner of Tampa, Florida’s eponymous Joe Haskins’ Bicycle Shop, who passed away after nearly five decades of serving the community, calling him someone who inspired great rides, yet would find time for free bike repairs for those who couldn’t afford it.

Once again, a driver in the country’s most dangerous state for bike riders and pedestrians has slammed into multiple people riding bicycles, killing one bike rider and seriously injuring another in Jupiter, Florida. There’s something seriously wrong when a driver can’t manage to see two grown adults on bicycles directly in front of their car.

One more from the Sunshine State, as police in Marion County, Florida are looking for the parents of a young boy, after stopping the frightened kid who was riding his bicycle on the freeway.

 

International

What to look for in road bike disc brakes.

A writer for Treehugger offers a second-year update on life with an ebike.

Irish actress Jessie Buckley is one of us, describing how she paid a bike mechanic to loosen the spokes and bolts on her bicycle because tightening them took away the bike’s character.

The French government has issued a warrant for a driver at the Russian embassy, who has apparently been supplementing his income by selling dozens of hot bikes with a combined value of up to nearly $120,000; the employee, who doesn’t have diplomatic immunity, has apparently fled back to Russia to avoid arrest.

Two women have been killed in right hook crashes while riding their bikes in Berlin in less than a week.

Add a tour of the Malaysian city of Kuching to your bike bucket list.

Apparently not understanding the meaning of “clipped,” an Aussie website asks who was at fault when a driver slams into a bicyclist riding across the street, sending him flying; fortunately, the victim wasn’t seriously injured.

 

Competitive Cycling

Chris Froome says it’s impossible to say if he’ll ever be able to compete for a leader’s jersey again as he struggles to come back from major injuries, after bombing in the first two stages of the Volta a Catalunya.

 

Finally…

Your new tiny house could come with built-in ebikes. And a bike-riding woman learns the hard way what can happen when you’re more focused on live streaming than where you’re going.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

Metro BRT could remove Eagle Rock bike lanes, reaction to Wicksted sentence, and carmakers really are trying to kill us

Metro will host a second virtual meeting on Saturday to discuss alternatives for a proposed North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line.

Options include removing bike lanes on Colorado Blvd, while many bike advocates call for improving them and removing a traffic lane, instead.

The project has brought Eagle Rock NIMBYs out in force, who bizarrely insist that no one would ever take the bus to shop or dine at local businesses.

Meanwhile, Metro makes the unintended case for why bikes belong in their own lane next to, rather than in, busways.

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Earlier this week, we mentioned the plea agreement that gave Sandra Marie Wicksted just 16 years behind bars for intentionally running down Leslie Pray, killing the Claremont woman as she was riding her bike, and attempting to kill two other bike riders.

A couple of comments to that story are worth elevating and sharing here.

It’s hard to call 16 years in state prison a slap on the wrist. But this one feels wrong for a couple reasons.

If Wicksted really was suffering from psychiatric problems, she need treatment, not jail; too often we warehouse the mentally ill in jail, which doesn’t benefit anyone.

If not, a 16-year sentence for what amounts to first degree murder is ridiculously low. She could easily be out in half that time, or possibly less under current circumstances.

Either way, it’s yet another example of the outgoing DA’s repeated failure to take traffic crimes seriously.

Let alone do the right thing.

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Yes, carmakers really are trying to kill you.

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GCN thinks you need to improve your bike handling skills.

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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 London paper celebrates drivers surreptitiously removing bollards from bike lanes, describing it as fighting back against the above mentioned mythical war on cars.

Meanwhile, another British tabloid is up in arms over Prime Minister Boris Johnson approving the equivalent of $206 million for new bikeways to satisfy “the public’s strong appetite for greener and more active travel.”

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Local

Whittier will install a memorial mural to honor a local man who rode his bicycle across country twice to lobby Congress to honor Vietnam vets.

 

State

A Bakersfield woman faces up to 40 years behind bars after she was convicted of murdering a man who tried to reclaim his bike after she had stolen it.

Bay Area officials discuss how to get more people walking and biking.

Sonoma County residents voted to extend a quarter-cent sales tax intended to fund road improvements, bike paths, transit and transportation projects.

 

National

Salsa is recalling some of their Cutthroat bicycles due to a possible fork failure; the recall affects 600 bikes sold in the US between September of last year and September this year, as well as another 100 sold in Canada.

A 49-year old mother of two remains missing six months after she reportedly rode her bike away from her Southern Colorado home last Mother’s Day, despite massive search efforts.

After a Kansas appeals court threw out his original two-year sentence as too lenient, a driver convicted of using his car to murder a bike-riding man following an argument between the two was resentenced to a still too low ten years and a month behind bars.

Tennessee officials are struggling to identify a man who was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle on Wednesday. One more tragic reminder to always carry some form of ID with you that’s not likely to be stolen after a crash.

A New York delivery person was killed when he was right hooked by the driver of a massive beer truck, while apparently riding an e-scooter in what passes for a protected bike lane. So naturally, the NYPD blamed the victim.

New York’s Vespertine NYC creates fashionable, reflective bikewear designed to keep you safe without looking like a clown.

A South Carolina man lost a whopping 460 pounds after starting a diet and getting on his bike less than two years earlier. Read it on Yahoo if Bicycling’s site blocks you.

 

International

Cyclist says ebikes are changing the world.

An Aussie paper explains how an Argentine bicyclist ended up covered with literally thousands of cactus quills.

They’re not looking forward to any Viking biking in Thunder Bay, Ontario; the city on the shore of Lake Superior plans to shut down all its bike lanes for the winter on Sunday, and open them up for parking.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. A Toronto-area man got a slap on the wrist for jumping the curb and killing a woman as she rode her bike on the sidewalk, while he was allegedly street racing with another driver who fled the scene; the judge said he hoped the paltry 26-month sentence would serve as a deterrent. Not bloody likely. 

Paris’ plan to remake itself into a 15-minute city — where everything you need is within a 15-minute walk, bike or transit ride — is spreading worldwide and becoming the new utopia for urban planners. Let’s hope it spreads to Los Angeles, too. 

Barcelona tries to one-up Paris in the walk and bikeability department, announcing plans to convert every third street in the city center to pedestrian-first zones.

 

Competitive Cycling

Nineteen-year old former junior world road race champ Quinn Simmons’ suspension for using a dark-skinned emoji in a tweet has been lifted; the apparently chastened American rider will return to his Trek-Segafredo team for next season.

 

Finally…

Move to the Ozarks for ten grand and a new bike. That feeling when your $20,000 custom bike is trashed by a careless driver less than a mile into your first ride.

And nothing like getting dropped by a 12-year old girl with a pro contract and her own YouTube channel.

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

Ped superhero Peatónito studies LA Vision Zero fail; Slow Streets win at LA Council, and bike rider busted for Metro murder

I’ve never been one for the whole superhero genre, preferring to find heroes in real life.

But I make an exception for Mexico City’s caped protector of pedestrians, the legendary Peatónito.

So I was pleased when he popped up in my inbox today, courtesy of an email from pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks.

Nowadays it feels like we can all use a hero or shero. So we’re happy to introduce Peatónito! He comes to us from Mexico City, where he began his masked work saving lives and slowing traffic. And Peatónito has traveled beyond, from NYC to Los Angeles, fighting against the crime of poorly designed streets & sidewalks and reckless driving through creative public demonstrations and street theater.

This summer, Los Angeles Walks partnered with the crime fighter as we trained future generations of peatónitos and organized for safe street changes. He finished his training at UCLA’s Institute of Transportaiton Studies, where he penned a pedestrian manifesto (or his graduate capstone paper) titled The Pedestrian Battle of Los Angeles: How to Empower Communities to Plan and Implement Pedestrian Road Safety Infrastructure.

And what a manifesto it is.

Even a brief summary nails the city’s gaping equity gap, as well as the experience most of us have had in fighting for a safer city, for people on two feet or two wheels.

• Walking in a non-white census tract increases the probability of being killed or severely injured by a motor vehicle in Los Angeles (Figure 1). Black people are only 8% of the population, but 20% of all pedestrian fatalities. Meanwhile, median income, vulnerable age (children and older adults), and the number of cars in a household do not have a statistically significant relationship with pedestrian road safety.

• City council members are responsive to residents’ demands and threats opposing pedestrian-focused traffic safety. Even when other city agencies and LADOT support these improvements, the city council has more power over deciding the outcome of road safety infrastructure plans. Consequently, there is a need to balance this power dynamic.

• Affluent, car-oriented residents tend to have stronger influence over council members, who prioritize their concerns over those of underserved people. This power dynamic in LA permits small groups of noisy stakeholders to hijack a conversation; they manipulate the narrative to make it seem convenient for everyone. It is vital to give more power to the people that fight for safe streets, whose voices

“The pedestrian is nobody in this city, he has been forgotten by authorities and our own citizenry. The curious and paradoxical thing is that we are all pedestrians at some moment. As such, we have forgotten ourselves.” – Peatónito

 

Here’s how Los Angeles Walks succinctly sums up Peatónito’s recommendations.

• The City must recommit and strengthen the Vision Zero program, a city-wide initiative to reduce traffic fatalities to ZERO by 2025.

• The City budget should adequately fund and staff all of Vision Zero’s goals, including the Dignity Infused Community Engagement (DICE) project.

• The state should get rid of the 85th percentile rule, a state rule that requires speed to be set at the average of ongoing traffic, which has led to what many call “speed creep.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Let’s hope he sticks around. LA pedestrians — and bike riders — could really use our own superhero.

Photos and quotes courtesy of Los AngelesWalks

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Speaking of which, it looks like people won out over cars in the City of Angels for a change.

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They got her.

Twenty-five-year old Los Angeles resident Irma Monroy was busted for the murder of a Metro employee at DTLA’s 7th Street train station, after she allegedly stabbed the victim in the chest following a heated dispute.

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There’s truly a special place in hell for the Arkansas driver who — allegedly — rammed a woman jogging on the side of the road with his pickup, then carried her off and sexually assaulted her before burying her beside a rural road.

Let’s hope he ends up in a very deep, dark pit for a very long time. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

………

The bike swap meet scheduled for this weekend by the Mid City West Community Council has been postposed until the following weekend.

Which could come in handy now that the bike boom has cleaned out many bike shops.

MCW Neighborhood Bike Swap
Sat. Oct. 31st, 2020 Halloween!!
7765 Melrose Ave, (Sportie LA parking lot across from Fairfax High)
9 am  to 1 pm. 

………

This is why you need to register your bike.

Now.

………

Here’s your biennial reminder to get out and bike the vote.

https://twitter.com/starryflo/status/1317571256456159234

And yes, I want to be like him when I grow up.

Meanwhile, it’s nice to see a community organization pressing the candidates for LA’s 10th Council District about their stands on active transportation.

………

Looks like The New Yorker is catching up on the city’s coronavirus bike boom.

………

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

Business owners in Bristol, England are calling for the removal of a new bike lane, claiming it’s killing their business. Because evidently, ripping it out makes far more sense than trying to entice the passing bike riders into their shops.

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

A bike-riding San Bernardino County man has been busted for a series of peeping, burglary and indecent exposure incidents.

Heartbreaking news, as a dog died five days after a bike rider allegedly kicked it in the head for no apparent reason as his owners were running with him on a Minnesota trail. Although something tells me there may be more to the story; bicyclists usually don’t kick at a dog unless it’s attacking them.

………

Local

Another paper from UCLA’s Luskin Center documents a century of failed efforts to reign in LA traffic.

 

State

Sad news from San Diego, where a man apparently died of natural causes while mountain biking on a canyon trail near the Miramar National Cemetery.

Santa Barbara considers installing a docked ebike bikeshare system on the city’s main street.

More sad news, this time from Porterville, after a hit-and-run driver was arrested for killing a 15-year old boy as he rode his bike Friday night.

Cities Today asks if San Jose’s new bike plan can boost bicycling rates. Only if they actually build it, as LA bike riders can attest.

The family of an fallen teenage bike rider in Elk Grove calls for changes at the dangerous intersection where he was killed; the speed limit there was recently boosted from 35 mph to 45 mph — no doubt thanks to the deadly 85th Percentile Law.

An Oakland construction site is the safest block in the city for bike riders, after workers installed a Jersey barrier on the left side of the bike lane for a change.

 

National

Actually, that new soft, squishy bike helmet looks pretty damn cool. If it actually works, that is.

Bicycling staff and readers share their spookiest bike rides ever, just in time for Halloween. For a change, there’s no Yahoo mirror site for this one, but try opening it in a private window if the site blocks you out.

A new crowdfunded grant program is designed to help BIPOC filmmakers — Black, Indigenous and People of Color — tell their stories.

C|net offers their picks for the best ebikes.

They get it. A Texas magazine says Houston’s Vision Zero program won’t succeed if it’s done one intersection at a time, and that it calls for a “reckoning that the car-heavy city does not appear ready to make.” They could write the same story about Los Angeles.

New York has completed work on a road diet and two-way cycle track on 5th Avenue through Harlem.

Another pedestrian has been injured in a crash involving New York’s Citi Bike. Except this time, a 72-year old woman was hit by a van driver servicing the bikeshare system.

Actress Famke Janssen is one of us, as she rides her bike with a massive plastic bin on the front through New York to pick up some trash bags. And looks pretty damn stylish doing it.

 

International

Cycling News recommends the best saddles for when your ride hits the rocks.

A Toronto letter writer complains that few of the city’s bike riders wear helmets, despite a mandatory helmet law. Although the headline writer deserves to get their knuckles rapped for saying “Bike lanes are only good if cyclists wear a helmet,” which is factually incorrect, and has nothing to do with what the writer wrote.

Belfast, Northern Ireland has been named the most dangerous city in the UK for people on bicycles, with a whopping 71% of people surveyed saying they’d been involved in some sort of crash in the city.

The EuroNews website wonders why Europe’s largest bike-producing country has been so slow to ride them.

This one is going on my bike bucket list. Italy is opening an 86-mile paved bike trail around the country’s largest lake. Or maybe you’d prefer a 260-mile bike path from Paris to the Normandy coast.

How Spain’s fourth largest city became a leading bike city in just 15 years by building out an entire connected bike network all at once. As LA bicyclists have learned the hard way, we’ll never get there with a disconnected, piecemeal approach. 

Now that’s scary. A Singapore driver records himself swerving at the last moment after coming up way too fast on a bike rider taking the lane.

 

Competitive Cycling

The race moto rider Julian Alaphilippe crashed into in the Tour of Flanders says he can’t help feeling guilty about the crash. Although the people who really deserve the blame are the ones who allow motorcycles near cyclists in the peloton to begin with.

Meanwhile, Alaphilippe had surgery on his hand to repair two bones that were broken in the crash.

Cycling Weekly explains what to look for in the final week of the Giro.

VeloNews looks forward to the Vuelta, with five ways this year’s race will be unlike any other. Race organizers hope to emulate the Tour de France, which went off without a single Covid-19 infection, as opposed to the Giro, which didn’t.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you take social distancing just a little too far. And maybe naming your saddle after the #1 enema maker isn’t the best idea.

Or is it #2?

………

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

Russia laps LA’s climate mayor, equity and opportunity on LA streets, and LADOT’s Reynolds used illegal encrypted app

How embarrassing.

Moscow — yes, the one in Russia — is building bike lanes and bicycle lights along the entire Garden Ring road circling the city.

Which means that Los Angeles, home to the current world climate mayor, is getting lapped by the former Soviet Union.

Which doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being eco-friendly.

Or accommodating people on bicycles.

Then again, neither does LA.

Photo by Julius Silver from Pexels.

………

A Thursday afternoon webinar invites you to reconsider LA’s auto-centric streets can work for everyone; RSVP here.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

……..

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

An Oregon bike rider was intentionally doored and threatened with a gun after chasing a pair of men in a pickup who yelled a “derogatory statement” at him as he was participating in a demonstration; police arrested the suspects several blocks later.

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

English Premier League soccer star Michail Antonio is looking for the bike rider who slashed a tire on his Mercedes SUV while it was parked on a London street, for no apparent reason.

………

Local

LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds has been using the Signal encrypted app to discuss the city’s data collection program for dockless scooters in apparent violation of state law, which requires the preservation of all city records and communications.

 

State

Newport Beach’s popular 10.5 mile Back Bay Drive will be closed until 4 pm on weekdays to repair damage from a rock slide.

No surprise here, as wealthy La Jolla rises up against San Diego’s Complete Communities plan to increase density near transit to improve mobility and provide more “places to walk, bike, relax and play.”

The hundreds of bike riders who took part in Santa Barbara’s annual rideout on Saturday weren’t wearing face masks or practicing social distancing. So let’s hope the experts are right about the coronavirus not spreading efficiently outdoors.

Fresno considers a seven-mile protected bike lane connecting downtown with the San Joaquin River parkway.

 

National

Bikemaker Lennard Zinn ponders how we can keep this bike boom going, after the ’70s bike boom fizzled out; he suggests helping friends get their bike roadworthy and pointing them to safe riding routes.

Pez Cycling News examines the evolution of bike helmets, while Forbes suggests the best bike helmets for every type of rider. Hint: The best bike helmet is the one you’ll actually wear.

A Utah bike rider experiences an online backlash firsthand, as Redditors question how a 265-pound man could ride 123 miles with 3,268 feet of climbing while averaging 18.5 mph. Because evidently, only skinny people ride bikes. Or are good at it. Right?

The pandemic has resulted in a major drop in bicycle collisions, at least in Wisconsin, where bike-involved crashes dropped 46% statewide.

Streetsblog Chicago examines how nonprofit community bike shops are coping with the pandemic, which is limiting their hours and incomes during what would otherwise be boom times.

Good question. A Florida columnist wonders whether more bike riders on the roads will mean more conflict or courtesy.

 

International

London authorities are urging a hit-and-run bicyclist to come forward after the 72-year old man he collided with passed away a week following the crash.

Gordon Ramsey tells the British coast guard to stick to the coast, and leave him and his “massive” 62-mile pandemic lockdown bike rides alone.

A third of Scottish drivers don’t give bike riders enough room on the road, while 80% find it frustrating to pass someone on a bike.

He gets it. Ireland’s transport minister rejects calls for a mandatory helmet law, citing international evidence showing it could lead to a drop in bicycling rates.

Germany isn’t just doing things right when it comes to the pandemic; the country also reached a 60-year low in traffic fatalities, despite a record high in traffic collisions. However, German bicycling deaths are up, climbing 16.8% over the past decade.

 

Competitive Cycling

French Pro Julian Alaphilippe will defend his titles in the rescheduled Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo spring classics next month.

Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel is looking forward to racing on the famed cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix for the first time, after the spring classic was rescheduled for October.

Gilbert, Arizona native Christina Birch was officially named to the US Track Cycling Long Team for the Tokyo Olympics. Assuming they actually happen next year.

Cyclist celebrates the history of the yellow jersey.

CyclingTips takes a ride up the the Col de la Loze, the highest point on this year’s Tour de France — again, assuming it happens — and the fourth highest climb in the French Alps.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to use a crash scene photo to call for helmet use, maybe mention whether the victim had one. If you’re stuck at home during the pandemic, just build your own freestyle course in the backyard.

And as long as you’re stuck at home, teach your grandkids how to ride a bike.

All of them.

………

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

Lee’s office responds to buses in SFV bike lane, Covid-19 claims 2020 LA River Ride, and marking Bike Month by yourself

Good news, sort of.

Steven Hallert reports he got a response from embattled Councilmember John Lee’s office to his complaint about Metro buses using a San Fernando Valley bike lane as a layover spot.

Albeit a very noncommittal one.

Mr. Hallett;

Thank you for contacting the Office of Counbcilmember John S. Lee with your concern about the bus layover location on Rinaldi. Your message was forwarded to me for response.

As that is a Metro bus layover location, I initially forwarded your email to them for response.  I do understand your concern. Our Office does work with Metro to evaluate and locate bus layover locations and this locale is no different.  As you may be aware, bus drivers do need to be able to stop along their route to take breaks, etc., and commercial areas adjacent to shopping centers meet their needs exceedingly well.

However, we also consider active transportation as a major part in the first/last mile process in transit so there should be some consideration taken of the existing bike lane impacts. As such, I have asked Metro to evaluate your concerns in an effort to determine if we can mitigate those impacts.

Metro should be responding directly to you shortly.

So that can be read as forwarding the complaint to the responsible department. Or just passing the buck.

We’ll see how Metro responds.

The sign in today’s photo suddenly appeared on my street, even though we’re miles from the nearest bike path. Maybe someone’s just getting ready in case we ever get one.

………

More bad news, as Covid-19 claims another victim.

The LA River Ride.

Below is part of an email from LACBC Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman last Friday.

We had to make the difficult decision to postpone the 20th Annual Los Angeles River Ride due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority is the health and safety of all Angelinos especially the essential workers who are on the front lines of the crisis. We need to stay safe by staying the course. The good news is that we have been working closely with the Autry Museum to reschedule in early June of 2021. This postponement to the same approximate date next year gives LACBC, our sponsors, partners, vendors and participants along with the County of Los Angeles time to recover from the pandemic so we can host a River Ride worthy of it’s 20th Anniversary.

Of course we will honor all of the ride registrations for the new date in 2021! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and check out our LA River Ride Reschedule FAQs for additional information.

What he doesn’t say is that this could have a huge impact on the group’s already troubled finances, since the River Ride is the LACBC’s biggest fundraiser every year.

There are many people and organizations that need your help right now.

But try to find a little extra to send the LACBC’s way. Because the group that’s done so much to help everyone who rides a bike in LA County needs our help to get through this coming year.

………

Now there’s a good idea.

Robert Leone forwards a message from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition offering an option to celebrate biking next month, even though their Bike Week has been moved to September.

When – May Power

May is National Bike Month and we hope you will engage with our May Power riding program while maintaining proper physical distance from those who are not part of your household.

  • May 1 to 9 is Flower Power week. Please take a picture of flowers you see while riding and post with the hashtag #FlowerPowerSVBC.
  • May 10 to May 16 is People Power week. Take a picture of yourself on your bike and post with the hashtag #PeoplePowerSVBC.
  • May 17 to May 23 is Pedal Power week. Take a picture of your shoe and pedal and post with the hashtag #PedalPowerSVBC.
  • May 24 to May 31 is Wheel Power week. Take a picture of or through your bicycle wheel and post with the hashtag #WheelPowerSVBC.

You may have heard that Bike to Work Day is postponed from May 14 to September 24. However you can still celebrate biking on May 14 by treating it as Bike To Wherever Day! If you are not able to get out and bike on any other day, we really hope you’ll still get out and ride at least on this BTWD!

He also sends a crossword puzzle from Adventure Cycling, if you need a little entertainment off your bike.

Because doing a crossword while you ride may not be the best idea.

………

Today’s common theme is Bicycle Day, commemorating yesterday’s 77th anniversary of the day LSD inventor Albert Hoffman discovered the psychedelic effects of the drug as he rode his bike home in Basil, Switzerland.

Rolling Stone says celebrate the day by taking a trip, though I don’t think they meant on your bike.

The estate of former Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia issued a special limited edition poster to mark the occasion.

Curiously, an Indian website marks the day with ten facts about bicycling. But none about LSD, which is what the day is really about.

………

It looks like local officials are trying to send a granular message that the beachfront bike path is officially off limits.

https://twitter.com/SteveLaRue2/status/1251214661317345282

That looks like the northern section of the path where it reenters Los Angeles, but there’s not enough detail to say for sure.

………

Looks like Finish the Ride is going virtual for now.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Once again, bike riders are under attack, after someone tossed tacks across a popular riding route in southeast London; Road.cc speculated that it may be related to complaints over people continuing to ride during England’s coronavirus lockdown.

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

Police in Selma, California busted a bike-riding parole on an arson spree, who set eight fires in just 30 minutes, for no apparent reason. And may have set more the day before.

It takes a major schmuck to crash into an elderly British Columbia man, then just straighten his handlebars and leave the man lying on the sidewalk.

………

Local

The LA Times says it’s possible walkers and bike riders outnumber drivers right now, and calls on Mayor Garcetti to do the right thing and give Angelenos enough space to walk, run or ride a bike with kids without having to worry about getting run down by one. Although that’s not likely now that the mayor is furloughing thousands of city workers.

Talk about not getting it. An opinion writer for the Southern California News Group demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of induced demand, while supporting sprawl and complaining that Caltrans will no longer fund projects that increase traffic demand. And noting that California “only” accounts for 1% of global greenhouse gases. Yes, she seriously seems to think that a single state accounting for a full 1% worldwide is a good argument.

It’s not your imagination. There’s more traffic now than during the first weeks of the pandemic shutdown.

Bike-friendly Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole resigned under fire after residents of the city complained about budget and staff cuts in reaction to the sudden loss of tax revenue due to the coronavirus shutdown.

You aren’t required to wear a mask when you ride, unless you’re riding in Beverly Hills, Glendale or Riverside County. But it’s not a bad idea.

A professor at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont calls on California not to ban bicycling as part of the coronavirus lockdown.

Former six-division boxing champ Floyd Mayweather is one of us, repeatedly riding his bike through DTLA with an entourage last week. Seriously, it’s great he’s out on a bike, but maybe save the group rides until the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

Reese Witherspoon rides with her scooter-riding son through the ‘Bu. Maybe they ran into Dakota Johnson, who went riding in Malibu with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and his kids.

 

State

The first 22 days of the coronavirus lockdown saved California $1 billion in traffic injury and fatality costs.

Mechanics at a San Diego motorcycle shop are credited with saving the life of a 74-year old man by using a jack to lift an SUV off him after he allegedly rode his bike off the sidewalk into traffic; the victim is hospitalized with multiple broken bones.

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is calling on the city to improve safety and relieve pressure on overcrowded sidewalks in response to Covid-19. Thanks again to Robert Leone.

When a Fallbrook toddler suffers an arm injury in a collision while riding oin a bicycle child seat, you’d think they might actually mention that someone was pedaling that bike. But you’d be wrong.

 

National

Cycling Savvy offers advice on how to stay safe riding your bike during the Covid-19 pandemic, while keeping others safe, too. Hint: ride alone when possible.

The American Prospect says the country is finding solace in bicycling in response to being cooped-up by Covid-19.

1986 BMX cult film Rad is making a comeback in 4k.

Kindhearted Oregon firefighters bought a new bike for a seven-year old boy and his sister, after rescuing the kid when he rode his bike off a 40-foot cliff.

Seattle considers banning cars from 15 miles of streets to make room for people.

Even Jackson, Wyoming is getting a protected bike lane.

New York’s city council intends to overrule the mayor, forcing the city to open a planned 75-miles of streets to bike riders and pedestrians whether or not he likes it. And he doesn’t.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh shows what any bike rider could have told them — the bigger and busier the road, the more stressful it is to ride.

The World Resources Institute says bicycling provides a critical lifeline during the coronavirus crisis.

London volunteers are turning out in force to deliver food to vulnerable people by bicycle.

An English teenager can ride a bike for the first time after she was fitted with the world’s first medically-certified 3D-printed bionic hand.

Bike thieves continue to target healthcare workers in the UK, as a Scottish nurse got off a 12-hour shift to find someone had stolen his ebike. However, the story is better for an English nurse, who got a new bike from kindhearted strangers within hours of having hers stolen.

An anonymous British garbageman says there are a lot more bicyclists on the road now that the country is under lockdown, claiming he has multiple close calls with riders every day.

The UK has issued new guidelines allowing roads to be closed to cars during the coronavirus crisis.

A Michelin-starred British chef says he’s more successful than ever after switching gears to deliver meals and baked good by bike.

A Dublin bike shop owner is showing support for frontline medical workers battling Covid-19 by offering free repairs.

Everyone else is finally catching up to the story we linked to a couple weeks ago, about pro cyclist Davide Martinelli using his bike to deliver medications to vulnerable residents of his Italian hometown, which doesn’t have a pharmacy. Seriously, I could have easily linked to a couple dozen sources for the same piece. 

Berlin is adding temporary bike lanes to a number of streets through May.

Bengaluru’s bicycle mayor is heading an effort to deliver necessities by bike to elderly people throughout the Indian metropolis.

You can move almost anything on a bicycle. Even the body of a homeless man in India, after no one else was willing to transport him because of his HIV+ status.

Bikeshare is booming in Wuhan, China as the city that sparked the worldwide coronavirus pandemic returns to life.

Aussie bike shops are recruiting new staffers as bike business booms.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas raised the equivalent of nearly $375,000 for Britain’s National Health Service by riding three twelve hour shifts on Zwift. On the other hand, Peter Sagan says he’s a real cyclist, not a virtual one.

Australian domestique Adam Hansen is spending his time off the bike making 3D-printed masks for health workers.

Cycling News says too many questions still remain around the postponed 2020 Tour de France, which is now scheduled to start in late August.

Former pro Alex Stieda, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France — for a single stage in 1986 — is training for the Gran Fondo World Championships in Whistler, British Columbia this September, aiming for a top three finish in his age group.

 

Finally…

Pro tip: If you’re going to rob a bank, don’t ride away on your bike before you get the money. If you’re riding a bike with a gun tucked in your pants, you’re probably better off just keeping it there.

And maybe don’t post your photo online if it shows you breaking the country’s coronavirus quarantine.

Even if you are the world time trial champ.

………

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

Metro bus layover blocks San Fernando Valley bike lane, three easy steps to safer streets, and biking through the pandemic

What good is a bike lane when it doubles as a layover space for Metro buses?

That’s the question Steven Hallett asked in an email to CD12 Councilmember John Lee.

With more and more bicycles on the road, clear, safe, unobstructed bicycle lanes are vital. While there are several I would like to point out, I will address only one at this time. Just east of Porter Ranch Dr on Rinaldi St in Porter Ranch There is a bus layover zone that blocks the bike lane. It is just around a curve and is blocked by bushes, so when I am on my on a bike, I cannot see it until I get very close forcing me to either use the traffic lane or stop and wait for the traffic lane to clear. To be clear, I am not talking about a bus stop (pick-up / drop off), but a layover where one, two, and sometimes three buses are parked for an extended periods of time waiting for their run to start. On top of that, the bike lane where the buses park is very damaged —sunken and very cracked (bus stops usually have a concrete pad, this lay over zone does not!). I have been on the MTA web site to try and find out what “Rule 2.15” is that allows (illegally!) buses to park in the bike lane with no success. I certainly couldn’t park my truck there just because I wanted to! I have also emailed various departments at the MTA with no response what-so-ever, not even a polite response. I am including pictures showing the blocked bike lane, the No Parking Anytime (NO PARKING ANYTIME) sign, and the MTA sign with the reference to ‘Rule 2.15.  It is your responsibility to make our community safe!

We’ll see if he gets a response from Lee, who isn’t exactly known for his concern for anyone who doesn’t get around by car.

Especially since he hasn’t gotten anywhere with Metro.

Never mind that Lee’s got his hands full after being deeply implicated in the bribery scandal that took down his predecessor, Mitch Englander.

………

Robert Leone forwards a trio of reasonable and easy steps from the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on how to make streets safer for people on bikes and on foot.

Too bad LA’s city leaders aren’t on their mailing list.

Publicize a reduced speed advisory to 15 mph for residential streets to keep everyone walking and biking safe. More people are walking and biking in their neighborhoods to get exercise and travel to essential services nearby. With less car traffic, people are speeding down roads, endangering those walking and biking. A reduced speed advisory publicized by the city and local police would help raise awareness and lead to fewer crashes and injuries among people and less burden on the healthcare system.

  • An additional step would be to adjust signal timing to slow vehicle speeds and ensure safety

More space for the increased number of people walking and biking. Our biking and walking networks are insufficient to meet the needs of people getting exercise outdoors and traveling while maintaining six feet of social distance. We recommend identifying streets where bikeways and sidewalks could be expanded, creating quick build or pilot bikeways and sidewalks on streets that have excess vehicle lanes. SVBC is ready to help identify streets and rally volunteers to install signs and barricades to make it work. (Oakland announced April 10 that they would be closing 74 miles/10% of streets to carssee plan).

Switch the pedestrian phase of traffic signals to be automatic and ensurethat bicycles are captured at traffic signals. Adjusting pedestrian signals so pushing a button is no longer needed to cross the street limits the amount of surfaces a person must touch, helping curb the spread of COVID-19. This is simpler for some cities than others depending on how their traffic signal system operates (either a central operating space or having to go out to individual signals). Thank you to San José and Redwood City for already doing this!

………

Calbike offers resources to help get you through the coronavirus crisis, including FAQs on riding through the pandemic, tips for new or returning bike riders, and Bike Match programs throughout the state.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Angry English villagers stop just short of getting out the pitchforks and torches, ripping the sheets off someone’s bed to demand that bicyclists stop “panting” in their village and just stay away. They’re assuming that it’s the people on bikes who may be infected with the virus, when it’s just as likely the people on two wheels risk of catching it from the villagers. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

A proposal to allow New Zealand bike riders to use the sidewalk at speeds less than 10 mph is somehow deemed an attack on pedestrians.

………

Local

Great move from South LA’s East Side Riders Bike Club, who gave back to the local community by serving hundreds of free pancake breakfasts in Watts this week.

Isla Fisher is one of us, taking a bike ride through her Los Angeles neighborhood wearing a helmet and mask.

Chris Pine is one of us, too, as he took a bike ride through the streets of LA with English actress Annabelle Wallis.

 

State

A pair of pro cyclists have set up a unique contact-free food drive in Encinitas to benefit Feeding San Diego.

Bicyclists in San Diego’s North County are struggling to balance the right to ride while respecting state and local health restrictions.

 

National

City Lab suggests cities should stop charging fees to e-scooter companies and start subsidizing them to ensure their survival after the coronavirus crisis.

Apple introduces a handlebar mount for your iPhone.

Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards news about the arrest of a killer hit-and-run driver, who says she thought she’d just hit a traffic cone instead of the bike rider she left dying on the side of the road. And swears she only had one drink that night. Sure. Let’s got with that.

A Colorado bike rider says stop bending the rules to ride in groups or drive to distant trailheads, and maybe do your riding inside, like she is.

A Massachusetts driver faces multiple charges including vehicular homicide for running down an entire bike-riding family while texting last month, killing the father and critically injuring the mother and adult son.

A Brooklyn urban planner says don’t overthink it because closing streets to allow exercising while social distancing is easy.

Sad news from New York, where Covid-19 has taken the life of a 55-year old man known as the best bike mechanic in Queens, just one of the 13,000 New Yorkers killed by the virus to date.

Like here in Los Angeles, New York drivers are putting the pedal to the metal on the city’s newly empty streets, with speeding tickets up 100%.

 

International

Road.cc says you can actually get a decent road bike for less that the equivalent of $375.

Cycling Tips uses Strava data to rank the 20 fastest road bikes.

Evidently, you can’t drive away from justice. After a Toronto woman repeatedly flipped off a person for filming her blocking a bike lane, she drove off before police could give her a ticket. But it will be coming in the mail, anyway.

The CBC considers just how safe it is to run or ride a bike these days.

Once again, a bike rider is a hero, as a former English Marine leaped off his bike and into action to save the life of a van driver who went off the road after losing consciousness.

Bicycling talks with the British women who beat the Covid-19 pandemic by days to set an around the world tandem record.

A writer for Bike Radar says his new Surly fixie is keeping him sane during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown. Something most people who ride bikes can probably relate to.

An Edinburgh bike shop is donating free bikes, helmets, locks and lights to key workers for six months during the coronavirus pandemic, while a new map shows locations with similar programs throughout the UK.

Inspecting bikes in 1960s Britain.

Ebike prices continue to drop, with Dutch brand Van Moof introducing their latest model for under $2,000 — roughly half the price of its current bike.

Dutch pro cyclist Dylan Groenewegen is using his time under the lockdown to deliver groceries to homebound people in Netherlands by bike while wearing his full team kit. Thanks to Stormin’ Norman for the link.

German bike shops are scheduled to rise from their enforced coronavirus slumber next week.

An Indian man is riding his bike throughout the city of Hyderabad to call attention to the need for masks and social distancing.

Palestinian women are using bicycles to bring crafts, toys and books to children shut inside by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Nice guy. The head of an Aussie civil rights organization says being told to only walk counterclockwise around a lake for social distancing is an attack on freedom. And he’s just sorry the bike rider who killed his dog in a crash didn’t die, too.

 

Competitive Cycling

A public health expert says allowing the rescheduled Tour de France to go off as planned this July is a recipe for disaster, especially if fans are allowed to attend the race.

 

Finally…

Nothing like slipping out for a casual bike ride, and ending up with a fashion review. When you’re trying to escape from the cops on you bike, watch out for the old sign post through the spokes trick.

And call it an inflatable pool noodle to make drivers maintain a little social distancing.

………

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

Metro proposal would remake Westwood for bikes and pedestrians, and first world digital bike conference this month

Metro recently sent out a letter looking for input on a draft first mile/last mile plan for the upcoming Westwood/UCLA Purple Line Station.

Although the deadline for comments is today, unfortunately.

Westwood/UCLA Community Members:

As you aware, Metro is developing a First/Last Mile (FLM) Plan for the Westwood/UCLA Station Purple Line Station.  At this time, we invite your feedback on recommended plan improvements prior to Board consideration this Spring.

The Plan is intended improve this “first last mile” experience for users of the future station by identifying projects for efficient access and safety.  Projects identified in the Plan are then positioned for further study as part of a preliminary design phase through early 2021.

The conceptual plans included with this email are a product of over a year of field research, consultations, and community engagement.

With this email, please find four documents:

  1. Instructions
  2. Pathway List
  3. Project List
  4. Comment Form

Please carefully read the instructions and returned your completed comment form to me (liebj@metro.net) byTuesday March 3, 2020.

The comment form can’t be attached on here, so send your comments to the email address above.

There’s a lot to like here.

Especially the promise protected bike lanes on Ohio, as well as Westwood Blvd through Westwood Village — despite CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz’ pinky swear promise to Village business owners that he’d never allow bike lanes on Westwood Blvd.

Let alone protected ones.

It also includes plans several bike boulevards throughout the Westwood area, otherwise known euphemistically by the City of Los Angeles as bicycle friendly streets. Which raises the question of whether any of this has been run by the city’s transportation department before being released.

And whether it has the support of LADOT and city leaders, or if it’s just the planning equivalent of vapor ware, waiting for Koretz or someone else to shoot it down.

Meanwhile, the Planning & Mobility Committee of the Westwood Village Improvement Association will meet tomorrow.

Maybe they should hear a few words of support, too.

Thanks to Dr. Michael Cahn for forwarding the letter.

………

Thanks to Marvin D, who writes to let us know former pro Jens Voigt is hosting Digital WorldBike 2020 on March 31st, the world’s first free digital bicycling and safety conference.

Nice to see Jensie using his immense popularity to advocate for better access and safer streets for all of us on two wheels.

Which is exactly what Lance could and should be doing to redeem himself after his doping-fueled downfall. But isn’t.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Or in this case, e-scooters, as a Baltimore man says he was intentionally run down by a van driver, who naturally fled the scene.

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

Life is cheap in Calgary, Alberta, where a bike rider walked with a lousy $1,000 fine for killing a 75-year old man who stepped into the crosswalk when the light changed.

There’s a special place in hell for the bike-riding robber who stole a purse from an elderly British woman, knocking her off her crutches in the process.

………

Local

Metro is offering free fares for today’s Election Day, including one free Metro Bike bikeshare ride; all LADOT transit systems, Antelope Valley Transit Authority,  Culver CityBus, Long Beach Transit and Pasadena Transit buses are also free today. On the other hand, you may have trouble finding an e-scooter to ride to the polls.

Bike the Vote LA has a voter’s guide for today’s election if you haven’t voted yet, while CiclaValley offers a list for Valley voters. I voted early, and cast my vote for challenger Sarah Kate Levy in the CD4 race last week.

StreetsForAll will meet next week to discuss the Venice Blvd For All proposal, which would remake one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.

Caltrans will be shutting down the 5 Freeway sometime in the near future to demolish the existing Burbank Blvd bridge to make room for a new and improved bridge, complete with bike lanes and wider sidewalks; the existing bridge will be closed to all traffic, including pedestrians and bicycle, by the end of this month.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is hosting the 30th annual San Diego Bike to Work Day on May 14th, and wants your help to pick the color of their official T-shirt. I’d vote for purple, especially if they feel like sending me one. Thanks to Robert Leone for the heads-up.

Speaking of San Diego, the city’s smart streetlights could be spying on you.

The San Francisco bike shop owner who complained about plans for a protected bike lane in front of his shop swears he’s just misunderstood, and really just prefers another option that would be less safe for his customers and others on two wheels.

A San Francisco bike rider says the city’s protected bike lanes aren’t.

A group of Sacramento bike riders will parol the city’s popular bike path along the American River.

Nearly 200 bike riders took part in a Chico charity ride to raise funds for bicycle safety and advocacy; the annual Tour de Ed Bike Ride began in 2008 after a local bike advocate was paralyzed in a bicycling crash.

 

National

A retired Iowa cop, who should have known better, pled guilty in the hit-and-run death of a man riding a bicycle.

OKC police busted a BMX-riding bank robber who made off with over $2,250 from an Oklahoma bank.

Rapha is following its Walton family owners to Bentonville AK, home of the Walmart chain founded by their grandfather.

A New York state legislator offered proposals to require vehicles to be rated on the risk they pose to others, and eliminate the need to prove drivers knew their actions were reckless to get a conviction.

No bias here. A Staten Island writer responds to a New York state law allowing police to seize vehicles from drivers for repeated speed cam or red light violations by claiming they can pry his car out of his cold, dead fingers.

 

International

As Vancouver continues to roll out new bike lanes, less than half of the people are comfortable using them.

British shops are encouraged to participate in Local Bike Shop Day on Saturday, May 2nd; hopefully it will spread to this side of the pond, as well.

A London ebike rider was acquitted of careless driving in the death of a pedestrian who crossed against the traffic light, despite traveling 10 mph over the speed limit and leaving the scene after the collision; he reportedly sobbed after the jury foreman announced the verdict.

Indian bike riders confront the heat and humidity to ride 75 miles roundtrip to catch the sights of seafront Chennai.

Bike advocates say it’s only a matter of time before someone gets killed after a heavily used Sydney, Australia bike route was ripped out to make room for highway construction; judging from the video, they’re probably right.

 

Competitive Cycling

When you’re making plans for the upcoming weekend, clear some time for the Tour de Murrieta,; rather than road races, it’s actually two days of crits, which are more fun to watch anyway. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Discovery is teaming with UCI, cycling’s governing body, to create a new track cycling league designed to be more fast-paced, entertaining and engaging for spectators and online viewers.

Four cycling teams remain quarantined in the United Arab Emirates following the UAE Tour, which was halted with two days to go after two Italian team staffers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

 

Finally…

Who needs batteries when you can generate your own power while you ride?And who needs a car alarm when you’ve got a high-pressure sprinkler installed in your truck?

……..

Thanks once again to Matthew Robertson for his monthly donation to support this site, which comes just in time to pay my email service fee every month. 

Morning Links: A little good news, new NoHo Metro Bikes but no Lankershim bike lanes, and anti-bike Redondo official

After recent events, I think we could all use a little good news to start the day.

After an Indiana woman’s bicycle, which was her only form of transportation, was stolen, a pair of kindhearted Indiana bike cops gave her an extra bicycle one of them had at home.

A Maine bike co-op allows new immigrants and low-income residents to earn a bicycle by learning how to refurbish and repair it.

Thanks to a Virginia nonprofit founded by a US Army vet, 21 special needs kids now have new adaptive bicycles to ride.

And hats off to a couple Georgia cops who spotted a 71-year old man riding his bike on a busy highway without any lights or reflectors to get something to eat. So they put his bike in a patrol car, drove him to the restaurant, then went to Walmart to buy safety gear for his bike.

Photo of bike-riding family by Brett Sayles from Pexels.

………

On the local front, the good news is Metro Bike has made its first appearance in North Hollywood.

The bad news is, we could have had a safe place to ride them if CD2 Councilmember Paul Krekorian hadn’t blocked plans for a lane reduction and parking-protected bike lanes on Lankershim Blvd.

Krekorian killed the fully funded and shovel ready plan two years ago, bizarrely claiming that the project needed more public outreach.

As if five years of meetings, workshops and pop-up bike lanes isn’t enough.

And someone should tell him we’re still waiting on the additional public outreach and those alternative Lankershim options he promised us.

Or maybe Krekorian is just waiting until he’s termed out of office and it becomes someone else’s problem.

………

Nothing like a Redondo Beach official finding a little humor in running your ass over for no apparent reason.

Except maybe people commuting, exercising, recreating or having fun just annoys the crap out of her.

That would be this Recreation & Parks Commission, in case you were wondering.

………

This is who we share the roads with.

Thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

………

The Green Bay Packers take their traditional bike ride to training camp, borrowing bicycles from little kids, who carry their helmets for them.

Unfortunately for one kid’s bike, the Houston Texans joined them.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

Someone is shoving people off their bicycles on Portland OR bike paths.

………

Local

The LA Bicycle Advisory Committee will meet in Hollywood tonight; unfortunately, the posted agenda here is from December — 2018.

LA City Planning announces that LOS, which measures how many cars can move through a given point, is out, and VMT, or Vehicle Miles Traveled, is in; the latter counts people on bikes and buses, too.

Adam Conover, host of TruTV’s Adam Ruins Everything talks about living carfree in the City of Angels, and how it’s cars that actually ruin everything.

A Frogtown artist bought a small slice of the LA River to give himself a bigger voice in plans to restore it.

The last candidate forum for next week’s special election in LA’s 12th Council District will be held in Chatsworth Wednesday night. You owe it to yourself to be there if you live in CD12. Unless you’ve already decided to vote for Bike the Vote LA and LA Times-approved Loraine Lundquist, in which case you have my permission to stay home tomorrow night.

Los Angeles County puts forth a sustainability plan for a carbon-free county by 2050. Which could be about 30 years too late. Then again, the way things are going on the international front, the long-sought solution to global warming may turn out to be a nuclear winter.

 

State

Camarillo is starting work on a road widening project to add bike lanes on Pleasant Valley Road.

San Diego bike riders turn out to support plans for protected bike lanes on 30th Street; however, some in the area evidently prefer parking spaces to more customers and saving lives.

A San Jose driver complains that she right hooked a bike rider and was actually held responsible for it. And columnist Mr. Roadshow says that’s because she was. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

A San Francisco newspaper watches a bike lane for 30 minutes just before rush hour, and observes drivers blocking it an average of once per minute.

No bias here. A bike-riding Sausalito marketing flack says all the people in his neighborhood “resent the awful attitudes, rude demeanor and reckless actions” of roving packs of scofflaw cyclists who terrorize the city at speeds of up to 50 mph.

A popular Sacramento riverfront bike path will be shut down for a month to realign the path and repair a damaged embankment. Someone might want to point that out to officials in Los Angeles, where repairs to the LA River bike path are usually measured in years.

 

National

Bicycling recommends a more comfortable bike seat for women, who have to sit on often-painful parts men don’t.

A Washington columnist says yes, it’s legal to ride a bike on a freeway in the state, which doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

For the second week in a row, a triathlete has been killed during a competition, this time a 68-year old man who crashed his bike in an Illinois race.

Sad news from Minnesota, where an off-duty cop was killed when he was rear-ended by a driver while riding his bicycle.

There’s a special place in hell for the hit-and-run driver who killed a nine-year old Gary, Indiana boy as he was riding his bike, then burned the car to hide the evidence.

Police and the press in upstate New York freak out over a group of around 60 kids on bicycles riding in the roadway. And by all reports, taking the lane just like they should.

A New York op-ed says the way to stop the recent rash of bicycling deaths is to do what it takes to cut the number of cars on the streets.

Bike Snob says New York Mayor and presidential candidate Bill di Blasio’s “audacious” plan to prevent bicycling deaths just isn’t enough.

The University of Virginia offers suggestions on how to stay safe while you’re riding your bike. And for a change, most of them make sense.

The bike rider killed in a collision with a pickup truck driver during a Mississippi charity ride was a respected structural engineer for the U.S. Army Engineer and Research Development Center.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution presents six of the city’s best bike trails for your next journey to the Peach State.

Surprisingly, it’s pretty easy riding in the Big Easy these days, as the city ranks  fifth in the US in bike commuting per capita, with 3% of people riding to work. Needless to say, Los Angeles didn’t the list.

 

International

Forbes‘ Carlton Reid offers advice on the easy way to teach your kid to ride a bike.

Here’s another one to add to your bike bucket list — a 400-mile network of dramatic British Columbia rail-to-trail conversions, including 18 former railroad trestles in just one 12-mile stretch.

It takes a massive asshole — and I use the term advisedly — to sell an apparently purloined UK ghost bike online. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

A British author says narrow bike lane traffic islands turn bike riders into human traffic calming islands.

 

Competitive Cycling

In a heartbreaking reminder that cycling is a dangerous sport, 22-year old Belgian pro Bjorg Lambrecht, a member of the Lotto-Soudal team, was killed yesterday while competing in the Tour of Poland.

Lambrecht reportedly fell into a concrete culvert 60 miles from the finish of Monday’s stage, and died during surgery after being resuscitated at the scene.

Race organizers cancelled the traditional post-race podiums and festive atmosphere when the news about Lambrecht broke; today’s stage remains in question.

Thanks to John McBrearty for the tip.

Finally…

Bikeshare today, furniture tomorrow. And don’t park in a bike lane, bro — especially if you’re armed and drinking.

 

Morning Links: TAP your way to Metro Bike, comparing bike & car violations, and the war on bikes goes on

One bit of news we neglected to mention yesterday.

On Sunday, LA Metro announced that in addition to recently reduced rates, you can now use your TAP card to rent a Metro Bike bikeshare bike.

However, you still need to enroll with Metro Bike using your credit or debit card, which poses a significant barrier for lower income people who may not have either one.

It’s not clear from the announcement if TAP cards can be used for one-time walkup rentals.

TAP card photo from Metro email

………

Another good piece by Bike Snob’s Even Weiss, who says it’s time to stop comparing cycling and driving violations.

Then proceeds to do just that, to demonstrate that bicyclists and drivers both break the law, but not in equivalent ways.

And only one poses a significant risk to others.

………

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British Columbia bicyclist captures a punishment pass on his bike cam, as a pickup driver tries to force him into the back of a parked car.

For a change, though, a cop saw the whole thing and immediately pulled the driver over.

………

We mentioned this one last week, but it’s worth mentioning again.

New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that drivers tend to overestimate the safety technology in their cars.

Especially when it comes to automatically detecting and braking for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Maybe because virtually every other car ad on TV implies that newer cars can do exactly that. Even though current systems have trouble actually spotting either one.

………

Local

Los Angeles is considering extending the bike lanes on Winnetka Ave to fill a one-mile gap connecting with the Orange Line, the LA River and Pierce College, after Ignacio Sanchez Navarro was killed in a hit-and-run as he rode his bike home from work last year. Naturally, local homeowners opposed the idea, with one even saying the bike lanes would lead to scooter riders on the sidewalk. Which is exactly where they are now, because of the lack of safe bike lanes. Thanks to Councilmember Bob Blumenfield for the proposal, which is how Vision Zero is supposed to work.

UCLA’s Daily Bruin explains the new law allowing e-scooter user without a helmet, and how they can help expand student mobility.

Streetsblog offers a look back at Sunday’s CicLAvia, while Curbed looks at the “whimsical” improvements on Western that made it more inviting to the walkers and riders passing by.

CiclaValley says it will be interesting to see how the attendees at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) convention perceive Los Angeles while they’re here. Maybe they can talk some sense into our recalcitrant city council. And give our presidential candidate mayor a good swift kick in the ambition while they’re at it.

 

State

San Francisco proves that a city can take a notoriously dangerous section of street, and turn it into a safe and comfortable place to ride a bike.

Curbed considers how to get around San Francisco without a car, calling it one of the best cities for bicycling.

 

National

A Denver scooter rider got slapped by an angry pedestrian for riding on the sidewalk, even though that’s where state law requires them to be. That’s just the opposite of California, where scooter users are required to ride in the streets — but banned from streets with speed limits over 35 mph, unless they have bike lanes.

Los Angeles wasn’t the only city celebrating a ciclovia this past weekend, as San Antonio TX drew an estimated 65,000 people to their open streets event.

Can’t see the traffic for the cars. Several older people in Massachusetts say that scofflaw bike riders are a bigger worry than drivers, even after an 80-year old man was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Hoping to inspire others through art and history, a Massachusetts artist paints a mural of a local bikemaker, decades after his factory was shuttered.

New York is improving safety for bicyclists by redesigning the city’s intersections, where 89% of bike collisions occur. Meanwhile, a New York councilwoman calls for maintaining bike lanes around construction zones. That would improve safety for LA bike riders, as well, who frequently find their commutes interrupted by roadside construction sites, or forced into unforgiving rush hour traffic.

The bus driver responsible for the second bikeshare death in the US faces just 30 days behind bars after being found guilty of a misdemeanor right-of-way violation for killing a man riding a New York Citi Bike; authorities had falsely blamed the victim for swerving into the bus at first. Correction: I originally wrote that this was the first bikeshare death in the US. It was actually the second, following the death of a woman using bikeshare in Chicago. Thanks to J. Patrick Lynch for the heads-up.

After a Temple University student was nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bike, her brother invented a new kind of folding bike helmet that looks like a baseball cap “created by Space X engineers.” And raised over nine times his original $50,000 goal on a crowdfunding site.

DC’s mayor considers lowering the speed limit to 15 mph in parts of the city to improve safety, while raising fines for speeding.

A three-month temporary bike lane is already peeling off the street in New Orleans’ central business district, just weeks after it was applied.  Even with those problems, it’s an approach Los Angeles should try, instead of holding months of public meetings in front of angry NIMBYs trying to reach a virtually impossible consensus. Far better to share the stats, facts and reactions afterwards, than the fear and anger beforehand.

A Louisiana paper examines why it’s the second most dangerous state for people on bicycles, including one legislator who killed a bike safety bill because he didn’t want a kid to end up in jail for killing one of his bike riding constituents. There’s a good chance that some of his constituents might disagree, however.

 

International

Bike Radar suggests lazy ways to become a better cyclist. I can definitely get behind the recommendations to sleep more, drink a few beers and eat more cake.

Ottawa, Canada bicyclists are finding solidarity online after their bikes are stolen. The fear of having your bike stolen — let alone actually happening — is the best way to halt the growth of bicycling.

A Canadian bicyclist insists that his personal study shows half of all bike riders break the law, and he’s willing to wear a license plate so all those darn scofflaw riders can have their bikes taken away.

Writing for Forbes, Brit bike scribe and historian Carlton Reid insists ebikes aren’t cheating.

The BBC offers advice on what to do if you’re in a bike crash, ending with a suggestion to talk with a lawyer. The same advice applies on this side of the Atlantic; I can personally recommend the lawyers you’ll find on the right of this page, and you can find more on the Bike Lawyers page.

British bike riders start an online campaign to call attention to the problem of thieves stripping bike of their parts, or as they call it, half eaten bikes. Meanwhile, a London rider considers giving up bicycling after her bike was stripped for the third time.

Heartbreaking story, as an autistic boy in the UK suffered agonizing burns to his neck when bullies pelted him with “toxic slime” as he rode his bike to school.

Writing for Bike Biz, a woman questions whether the international Fancy Women Bike Ride, which got its start in Turkey, really aids the gender gap; some call it a “’patronizing and condescending’ ride ‘only reinforces stereotypes of how women should behave.’”

An experienced bike rider in Malta has given up bicycling because the roads — and the drivers on them — are becoming increasingly dangerous. And he’s got the video to prove it.

An editorial in an Indian newspaper argues that the country’s roads pose a huge risk to people’s lives, but traffic safety remains a low priorityMore proof that we face the same traffic problems everywhere.

Seriously? An Israeli paper asks how the government can tackle the rising dangers posed by ebikes — even though they’re limited to just 15 mph in the country, which is a fraction of the speed of many non-motorized riders. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls for regulating electric bikes after a 17-year old ebike rider was killed by a drunk driver. Although what kind of bike he was riding wouldn’t seem to have a damn thing to do with getting run over by a drunk.

A Melbourne, Australia traffic engineer argues for converting a protected bike lane into a regular painted lane, saying that downhill protected lanes connecting with a number of driveways actually increases the danger for bike riders.

Korea considers repealing an “ineffectual” new bill requiring bike riders to wear helmets, just days after it went into effect.

 

Competitive Cycling

A late-blooming Aussie cyclist has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, despite not riding a bike until she was 24.

A roadie magazine recaps Alejandro Valverde’s victory in Sunday’s world championships, while, a VeloNews roundtable examines how we should feel about Valverde’s win, given his status as a relic of the doping era.

The organizers of Iowa’s Jingle Cross cyclocross race cut ties with the race’s announcer, after a series of sexist remarks directed towards female cyclists over the three-day event. Seriously, referring to competitors as “the wives” and telling them to smile and look like they’re having fun shows a lack of respect that shouldn’t be tolerated anywhere, even in jest.

 

Finally…

That feeling when your newfound riding companion turns out to be an even bigger criminal than you. Why sit upright when you can pedal a recumbent bathtub (scroll down)?

And that feeling when Sir Paul McCartney just happens to crash your wedding photos.

Even if you don’t like the Beatles.

 

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