Tag Archive for LA Times

LA Times confesses to being pro bike, possible Caltrans chip seal solution, and news of the Worlds

The LA Times launches their examination of biking in the City of Angels in the Opinion pages with a trio of editorials.

The main one manages to raise a lot of questions, both from a bike rider’s perspective and from those who love to hate us, while confessing to a pro-bike bias. Hopefully, they’ll answer at least some of those questions as the series moves forward.

Meanwhile, a cyclist questions just what the rules of the road are, as training for bike riders remains virtually non-existent.

No, seriously.

I got an email recently from a rider who was surprised to learn that cyclists have to stop at stop signs, even when there’s no one else around. Except for the cop who wrote him up for it, that is.

Because no one ever told him he had to.

Clearly, we have a long way to go in educating cyclists when something that seems so obvious isn’t. Although this is a good place to start.

And a foot commuter says it’s not just about bikes versus cars, but rather, a broader discussion about public space and decision making.

Clearly, they get it. Although there’s no guarantee that they’ll get everything right, or that we will agree with everything they have to say.

But one day and three opinion pieces in, the series already feels far more honest than the Los Angeles News Groups’ much — and deservedly — maligned bike-baiting Summer of Cycling Series.

Besides, one of the writers had the infinite good taste to link back to me.

So seriously, how bad could it be?

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Caltrans develops a possible solution to the disastrous chip sealing of the coast highway north of Cambria. Now maybe they can try the same approach on Angeles Crest Highway and Mt. Baldy, where the same anti-bike road treatment was applied, to exactly the same reception.

Thanks to Stephen Villavaso for the link.

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After the big names bail due to heavy rain, Rui Costa edges Rodriguez to win the Worlds. While he didn’t win, at least it was educational for Peter Sagan, while Russian learned the hard way to lock their bikes better.

And as usual, Marianne Vos is unbeatable on the women’s side, though American Evelyn Stevens gave it her best shot.

Meanwhile, bike racing’s new head honcho promises a new era — with the help of a certain disgraced cyclist.

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Streetsblog’s Damien Newton calls the new plans for a high-speed Hyperion-Glendale bridge project a looming disaster; as far as I’m concerned, a 1970’s style 55 mph mini-highway in the heart of the city is dead in the water. A new gateway greets visitors to the LA River Bike Path. New buffered bike lanes besmirch Colorado Blvd in Northeast LA. The Eastside access project continues to move forward. The ArtNight Pasadena Bike Ride rolls on Friday, October 11th. CICLE leads a ride to the CalPoly Pumpkin Patch on Sunday, October 20th; whether the patch is sincere enough remains to be seen.

Good news for CA cyclists, as bikes get a 30% boost in the state budget. A Riverside hit-and-run leaves a cyclist in critical condition; 32-year old Alvin Lennon Johnson of Riverside was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. UC Riverside wants to curb reckless bike riders. Bike count volunteers are needed in Newport Beach. A San Diego writer says he intends to keep crossing the centerline to pass bike riders regardless of what our esteemed governor thinks; may I be the first to say thank you. Fresno is tearing out one of the nation’s first pedestrian malls. A new Kickstarter project promises to block wind noise from your helmet straps. A Chico letter writer says bike riders have to obey the same laws drivers and pedestrians don’t obey. A San Francisco cyclist pedals across the Bay; no, not on a bridge.

Now there’s a Blue Book to set prices for used bikes. A potential partner who doesn’t ride a bike doesn’t have to be an impediment to love. How to avoid being the victim of a right hook. Security video captures a Michigan bike rider repeatedly robbed after being knocked unconscious. For once, police are taking the deaths of bike riders seriously, as a third arrest has been made in the DUI death of two New Hampshire cyclists. A thug bashes a Boston bike rider while pretending to be a cop and runs off with her bike. The Department of DIY opens an NYC bureau. Bike Snob is bummed out because yet another child has been killed in New York and the police don’t care. The Wall Street Journal says bike share is blossoming in Gotham, despite the rantings of the paper’s Wicked Witch. A Delaware driver loses control and kills a passenger in his car, so naturally, it’s the bike rider’s fault. North Carolina names a trailhead after the Bicycle Man, who gave refurbished bikes to kids every Christmas.

A Toronto cyclist is chastised by the city’s police chief after she taps his SUV when it repeatedly drifts into the bike lane, nearly hitting her. Bookmark this one, as the London Times explains why non-bike riders should support increased spending for bicycling. Remarkably, two Brit bike riders survive a 70 mph crash with just relatively minor injuries. Police apologize after a law breaking British cop stops a bike-cam wearing rider who didn’t; break the law, that is. Nothing is more exhausting, and few things more enjoyable, than biking with kids. Scot cycling legend Graeme Obree retires after failing to set the land speed record he was after. Alpha Romeo is the latest high-end automaker to roll out a high-end concept bike; no offense, but I’m not impressed with overpriced vanity projects. Bikes are making a comeback in Nigeria. Champion Australian cyclist Alex Simmons gets a $1 million settlement after losing a leg when caretakers neglected to open a gate on a cycling route. Aussie cyclist credits $30 helmet with saving her life. Brit expat works to make Hong Kong a better place to ride a bike.

Finally, a Saudi cleric says driving a car could cause irreversible damage to women’s ovaries; just another reason to ride a bike. Except women aren’t allowed to do that there, either, except in parks and accompanied by a male relative.

More on the 2nd-car death of Andy Garcia, no more green bike lane, and LA gets tougher on hit-and-run

Streetsblog attempts to clear up the confusing details over the hit-and-run collision that resulted in the death of Luis “Andy” Garcia.

Garcia was killed after 21-year old Wendy Villegas hit a group of five riders and fled the scene, leaving her victims lying in the street, where he was hit by a second vehicle.

Streetsblog writer Sahra Sulaiman talks with some of the other riders involved.

What they have to say contradicts some of the details in the official press release from the LAPD — including the fact that Mario Lopez, one of the riders hit in the initial collision, suffered a broken back, rather than the minor injuries the police report.

And paints a picture of a needlessly horrifying night that took the life of a young bike rider, shattered two families, and forever scarred the four surviving riders, as well as the three men who prayed over Garcia after their van took his life.

All because a young woman got behind the wheel when she was too drunk to drive, and fled like a coward after colliding with her victims.

Then again, there’s no such thing as being just a little drunk when you’re driving.

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Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Photo of no-longer green Spring Street bike lane shamelessly stolen from Niall Huffman

Also courtesy of Streetsblog, which has been very busy on the bike front this week, comes official confirmation that you can kiss your green Spring Street bike lanes goodbye.

The highly popular bike lanes barely survived an attempt by Hollywood filmmakers to have them removed entirely; regretfully, self-described bike supporter Council Member Tom LaBonge bought into the industry’s easily disprovable lies — as did our new bike-friendly Mayor Eric Garcetti.

If it wasn’t for the efforts of Council Member Jose Huizar and a few others, the bike lanes would have been removed entirely, rather than just stripped of their green paint.

Now they await a newly approved treatment that costs significantly less, but may not be as effective in capturing the attention of motorists.

We should all hold Hollywood — and our elected readers — accountable for any drop in ridership on the street.

Or increase in injuries.

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The LA City Council instructs the LAPD to take a tougher stance on tracking hit-and-runs. And will work at the state level to revoke the licenses of fleeing drivers, and forfeit their vehicles.

Which is exactly what I’ve long been calling for.

So whether someone has read my blog, or just came up with the idea on their own, thank you. Frankly, I couldn’t care less who gets the credit as long as long-needed changes are made.

Now let’s get it done. And put a stop to this deadly epidemic.

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The LA Times says the ball is in Governor Brown’s court when it comes to signing the three-foot passing law, noting that this is the fifth attempt at passing it in California. The first two never made it out of committee, while our esteemed governor vetoed the last pair.

Meanwhile, Streetsblog notes the Times promises more coverage of bicycling issues on their Opinion page. With all the bike-riding reporters and editors who work at the paper, the only question is what took so long.

Speaking of which, Streetsblog and the new Santa Monica Next are holding a fundraiser this Sunday.

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lb_market_valetKelly Heller sends word that the Long Beach Southwest Farmers Market will begin offering a bike valet this Sunday:

Since it doesn’t begin till next weekend, I cannot tell you anything about how the valet staff is or what the bike accommodations look like.

However, I certainly *can* attest to the fact that this farmer’s market has a significant car-traffic problem.  They are paying for at least three traffic guards, and the whole time we were locking up our bikes and readying our shopping bags we observed the frustration of both the drivers and the traffic guards as they yelled at each other and everyone struggled to find any remaining needle-in-a-haystack open parking spots.

It’s nice to see that someone did the math and figured out that putting up a free bike valet might be the ideal solution.

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There may be hope for the LA River yet, beyond the current unfinished bike path next to a graffiti-clad concrete river bed. The city breaks ground on a new park next to the river in Sherman Oaks that will include a short bike path. The city council approves a new $6 million bike, pedestrian and equestrian bridge over the LA River in North Atwater Village. Larchmont Village loses thirty — yes, 30 — bike racks in order to satisfy drivers who prefer parking meters. Residents want to tame traffic on Ave 64.

There will be a blood drive in honor of fallen OC cyclist Kurt Kirkey in Aliso Viejo on Wednesday, October 2nd. Bike Newport Beach looks at the different mindset for riding in Paris. A Bakersfield driver was using a legal hands-free device when she struck and killed a cyclist riding in a bike lane Tuesday night, in what has been a horrible year for Kern County cyclists and pedestrians; police say the driver was at fault. Sharrows or Supersharrows? When a cyclist is nearly decapitated by fishing line strung over a bike trail, it’s not a prank, it’s a terrorist attack.

Industry trade group Bikes Belong folds itself into its own People for Bikes subsidiary. Elly Blue offers five tips for the bike industry to increase ridership among women. Lovely Bicycle asks if it’s possible to have too short a ride. The Houston Chronicle asks how relatively ancient Chris Horner won the Vuelta. A Houston rider has his bike stolen when he’s mugged on a popular bike trail. Evidently, there’s a requirement in Montana that says drivers have to pass bike riders even when it’s not safe to do so. A Milwaukee man is shot and killed after spotting a man riding a child’s stolen bike. Apparently, more bikes really do mean safer streets, even if New York’s Daily News has trouble believing it. Evidently, you can do tricks on a bike share bike. Male riders outnumber women in Philly, like just about everywhere else. A Maryland rider explains what it’s like to be a cyclist on the state’s roads. DC could remove restrictions preventing bike shops from selling used bikes. A 77-year old Arlington VA driver threatens the cyclist he right hooked with a baseball bat; the driver claimed the rider should have signaled for the left turn he wasn’t making.

A Winnipeg law would absurdly force groups of 10 or more bike riders to get a parade permit. Beat the crap out of a UK bike rider in a road rage incident, and walk away with a fine. A three-year old Brit girl is banned from riding her bike because she might damage resident’s cars. Is Europe’s bad economy causing the boom in bicycling? After overseeing the worst doping era in bike racing history, Pat McQuaid says he’s the only one who can clean it up; I’d say let’s give him the same ban Lance got. The mother of racing great Marco Pantani thinks her son was poisoned after breaking pro cycling’s doping omerta. A Sydney paper continues its highly biased anti-bike reporting, including blaming bike lanes for a loss of handicap parking and cyclists for running red lights; apparently, objectivity and grammatically correct headlines aren’t attributes expected of the local press. Meanwhile, the Guardian says the anti-bike hysteria in the Sydney press has got to stop, and local cyclists fight back on Twitter.

Finally, this is one way to ride with a dog. And if you’re planning to burgle a flat screen TV, maybe a bike isn’t your best choice for a getaway vehicle.

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