Tag Archive for LA Walks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oops.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

All of which was great.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope. No bias there.

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

Well said.

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No surprise here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once they finally get around to opening it.

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

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

Proving that corruption allegations extend far beyond LA City Hall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Local 

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

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

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

 

State

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

 

National

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

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

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

 

International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Competitive Cycling

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

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

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

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

 

Finally…

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

Usually, anyway.

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

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

 

Metro considers shifting highway funds to active transportation, and LA Walks calls for saving Encino bike/ped bridge

Metro wants to know what you think.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking for public input on a proposal that would divert funding currently earmarked for highways to support active transportation and Complete Streets projects.

Here’s how The Source, Metro’s in-house blog, explains it.

In June 2020, Metro’s Board of Directors directed staff to explore ways to modernize the agency’s Highway Program to better align it with policy goals of reducing vehicle miles traveled while exploring the expansion of eligible projects to include active transportation and “complete streets” improvements that focus on all forms of mobility rather than just vehicles.

The changes, if implemented, would open certain Measure R and Measure M funding that is now reserved only for traditional highway or roadway projects to new types of improvements. Those improvements include bikeways, sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements, bus prioritization and explicitly using reductions in vehicle miles traveled as a criterion for planning and designing projects.

The plan, which has already received input from local governments, has been split into two sections, here and here.

Email your comments to MMGuidelines@metro.net, or snail mail them to:

LA Metro
One Gateway Plaza, M/S 99-23-3
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Attention: MR MM Guidelines Revisions

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Last week we learned about Caltrans plans to tear down an existing bike and pedestrian bridge over the 101 Freeway in Encino, while breaking their promise to replace it with a new and improved version.

Now an email from Los Angeles Walks is calling on them to reverse a bad decision.

Last week, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) announced their intention to permanently remove and not replace a pedestrian bridge connecting communities divided by the 101 Freeway.

While Caltrans suggested other alternatives for pedestrians, such as traffic signals and crosswalks, the removal of this bridge significantly limits the mobility of those walking or rolling. Currently, the Encino Ave. Pedestrian Bridge is located in at the intersection of Encino Ave. and Killion St (see arrow).

If removed, this reduces the number of options for residents in the area to cross the 101 freeway and places at risk a similar bridge on Amestoy Ave. about half a mile to the east. With both bridges gone local Angenelos would need to walk up to 2 miles to cross the 101 at White Oak Ave. or Balboa Blvd. Or they’ll have to walk up Louise Ave., a four lane road with scant pedestrian signage and infrastructure.

This bridge provides easy and safe access for those walking or rolling to go between the neighborhood and Burbank Ave., where you’ll find grocery stores, a pre-school, businesses, and other important community assets.

In 2019 alone, these local roads (displayed on the map) saw nearly 50 collisions. That same year the community experienced a horrific street racing crash along Burbank Blvd. that killed a 19 and 25 year old. If LA City is dedicated to its #VisionZero commitment (to reach 0 traffic deaths by 2025), tearing down a community-connecting pedestrian bridge over one of City’s largest and busiest freeways is the wrong way to go.

Our call to Action! 🚨

Let Caltrans know that the community, our seniors, our students need their pedestrian bridge. And we’ve made it easy for you!

Email Caltrans Now!

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This is no April fools joke, as a new study shows popup bike lanes really do increase bicycling rates.

This is what the New York Times had to say.

The research, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in cities where bike infrastructure was added, cycling had increased up to 48 percent more than in cities that did not add bike lanes.

Dense cities where public transit was already popular generally saw the largest increases. In cities with lower density, more cars per capita and higher traffic speeds, the increase in cycling was more modest. Paris, which implemented its bike lane program early and had the largest pop-up bike lane program of any of the cities in the study, had one of the largest increases in riders.

“It almost seems like a natural law that the more infrastructure you have, the more cycling you will have,” said Sebastian Kraus, the study’s lead author.

The increases held up even after taking weather and changes in public transit supply and demand into account.

Then there was this.

Bicycles, unlike cars, do not emit greenhouse gases. Matthew Raifman, a doctoral student in environmental health at the Boston University School of Public Health, found in a separate study that investments in infrastructure for cycling and walking more than paid for themselves once the health benefits were taken into account.

“They increase our physical activity and reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, which all have impacts on health,” Mr. Raifman said.

Which is about as good an argument for transferring Metro highway funds to healthier and more efficient uses as you could make.

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The former Mayor Pete could have ridden in a chauffeured limo to his first cabinet meeting as US Transportation Secretary.

If he chose to ride a bike, it was to send a message.

Thanks to Keith Johnson for the heads-up.

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Betty White was one of us.

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

Cycliq shared a pair of punishment passes, as a truck driver passes safely once, then dipped into a bike lane to apparently send a frightening message. And a driver on a country road can’t be bothered to slow down literally for a second or two so a car coming in the opposite direction can pass, and takes it out on the person on the bike, instead.

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

This one fits in both categories, as a Hermosa Beach letter writer calls on the city to remove the “silly” sharrows on Hermosa Ave, after someone on a bicycle hit his son while he was crossing the street. Seriously, slow the hell down and ride carefully around pedestrians, especially kids. But just wait until someone tells this guy about cars. And don’t get me started on sharrows, which exist primarily to help drivers improve their aim. 

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Local

Bike Talk posted the lengthy public comment portion of last night’s meeting to discuss remaking Eagle Rock’s Colorado Blvd to support the NoHo to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit line. And hopefully, make it a lot more livable and less car-centric.

Metro Bike’s ebikes will be free to unlock this month, although standard rates will apply after that.

 

State

The San Diego Bike Coalition is in the midst of a semi-virtual Pedal With Your Peeps scavenger hunt, including a self-guided tour with peep stops tomorrow. Thanks to Robert Leone for the link.

Berkeley bike riders are being victimized by armed robbers who steal their bicycles while riding in the East Bay Hills; at least three people have been bike-jacked in the last week.

 

National

A writer for Electrek goes offroad riding on the $1099 RadMission ebike, and rates it “great.”

A Honolulu woman was the victim of a strange strong arm robbery when another woman repeatedly whacked her with a skateboard before making off with her bike — then bizarrely brought it back and walked away.

The rich get richer. Oregon bike riders will soon enjoy the benefits of a new $11.3 million program to build offroad bikeways around the the state. Much missed former SCAG Active Transportation Planner Alan Thompson heads the ambitious project.

A ghost bike for the five Las Vegas bicyclists killed by a meth-using truck driver was moved to a public school in downtown Summerlin; the plan is to rotate the memorial to different locations in the city raise awareness.

Colorado’s Tourism Office explains how to build a route through the high country wilderness by threading together by a series of scenic and historic byways. All of which are even better by bicycle. And say hi to my old stomping grounds on the Cache la Poudre River while you’re at it.

An Ohio girl became a published author while still in kindergarten, penning Bug on a Bike after getting inspired while riding with her father.

Streetsblog says yes, it’s illegal to ride your bike after smoking weed in New York, which just passed a bill legalizing recreational use. But not that illegal, since the state doesn’t have a specific statute banning biking under the influence, unlike California.

A series of weekend popup shops will bring high-end bike brands to New York that aren’t normally available in the US, including brands from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia and Italy. Someone needs to do this in Los Angeles, too.

An unlicensed driver living in the country illegally will serve up to 12 years behind bars for killing a Pennsylvania bike rider, then face deportation once he gets out. Although he couldn’t legally get a license in Pennsylvania, because he was in the country illegally.

 

International

Pink Bike collects the highlights of yesterday’s bike-related April fools pranks. I did kinda like the homeopathic mountain bike first aid kit.

Popular Science offers advice on how to get a bike during the worldwide bike shortage brought on by the pandemic-driven bike boom.

Cyclist examines the inside story of the perfect storm that resulted in an industry wide bike shortage.

A new report from Britain’s largest bike retailer suggests the bike boom is poised to continue post-pandemic.

No bias here. A London paper freaks out over a reality star’s video message encouraging people to get outside, recorded as he rode his bike “in the middle of the road.” Although they do approve of his helmet and uh, “bulging muscles.”

A UK website offers a head-to-pavement guide to gear for bike touring.

This one’s going on my own bike bucket list. A trio of British groups has developed a 2,000-mile bicycling route connecting all 42 Church of England cathedrals in England and Wales.

India’s abrupt lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of people to walk, bike or hitchhike back to their hometowns; for many, life may never be the same.

 

Competitive Cycling

Both the men’s and women’s Paris-Roubaix races have been postponed until October due to the pandemic.

VeloNews examines the technical aspects of how Irish cyclist Ronan McLaughlin became the latest in a long line of recent Everesting record holders, with a time of 6 hours, 40 minutes and 54 seconds, in part by focusing on shaving time on the descents; the solo attempt involves making multiple uphill climbs equivalent to the height of Mt. Everest.

 

Finally…

Fixing flats with a water bottle. Offroad Viking biking on an Alaskan glacier.

And striking a blow for bike equality by riding up to the drive-through window to rob a bank.

Although maybe he should have picked one where they didn’t already know him.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask

LA brags about modest bike lane mileage, resource guide for traffic violence victims, and Trek sued over WaveCel claims

Los Angeles continues to nibble at the edges of bike safety, as the city touts the installation or improvement of 61 miles of bike lanes in 2020.

That includes nearly 13 miles of new bike lanes on South LA’s Avalon Blvd.

However, it’s important to remember that LADOT measures bike lanes in lane miles, which means that each side of the roadway is counted separately. So that 61 miles really means bike lanes were added or improved on just 30 miles of streets.

That’s a big step up from the ten lane miles installed in the 2017-18 fiscal year, but still just a fraction of the annual totals built during Antonio Villaraigosa’s tenure as mayor — although the city is installing more protected and separated bike lanes now.

However, it still neglects large segments of the city, and makes no attempt to create a connected bike lane network crossing Los Angeles — let alone the three interconnected networks called for in the city’s mobility plan.

Bike lane construction for 2021 is expected to concentrate on Figueroa Blvd in DTLA and Broadway in South LA.

So who knows?

Maybe someday the city will finally get around to building bike lanes where you ride while you’re still young enough to use them.

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Losing a loved one is hard enough under any conditions.

Let alone losing someone you love to traffic violence.

That’s why Southern California Families for Safe Streets, a project of pedestrian advocacy group Los Angeles Walks, is offering a free resource guide for people who have experienced a sudden, unexpected loss.

The guide was prepared by people who have gone through it themselves, including tips on how to turn your grief into effective action.

Let’s hope you never need it.

But roughly 3,500 California families did in 2019. And probably will this year.

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Why wait for local leaders to rip out a bike lane, when you can just turn an offroad bike path into your own personal car lane?

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It’s not new, but this video offers a recumbent tour of a unique California neighborhood where homes have hangers instead of garages, and taxiways in place of streets.

Thanks to the free, daily California Sun newsletter for the link.

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Forget the latest high-end, high-tech wonders. Pink Bike takes a look at what everyday bike riders are riding.

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

Someone has been removing bollards from a protected bike lane in the UK and just tossing them across the surrounding area, creating a hazard for people riding bicycles, as well as others who might trip or drive over them.

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

An Aussie bike rider unloads on a motorist after the car’s passenger threw litter at him. Seriously, don’t do this, kids. Violence is never the answer. Although I may have been known to toss trash back through the driver’s window.

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Local

The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition reminds the city — and everyone else — that protected bike lanes improve safety for everyone, not just people on bikes.

 

State

Six women will set out to break three world records on Saturday by riding elliptical bikes up San Diego’s steep Mt. Palomar, with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in just 12.5 miles.

Santa Barbara has embarked on a stunning remake of Los Positas Road to add a 2.6-mile multi-use path connecting to the beach.

 

National

Maybe there’s hope yet. Streetsblog says the victories by Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia opens the way for a long-delayed revamp of the national transportation bill to create greater sustainability, with an emphasis on public transit and active transportation.

A new lawsuit accuses Trek of falsely claiming its Bontrager WaveCel helmets are up to 48 times more effective than traditional foam bike helmets in order to command a higher price.

The Drive recommends their picks for the best ebike conversion kits.

Anyone can build up an existing frame, so learn how to weld your own, instead.

Las Vegas bike advocates are responding to the recent death of five experienced bicyclists at the hands of a meth-using truck driver by pushing for greater safety for people on two wheels, including a call for a presumed liability law that would shift the burden of proof to the person in the more dangerous vehicle.

A Nyack NY bike shop is shutting down after nearly 50 years, after long days due to the pandemic bike boom took all the fun out of it for the owner, and emptied all the shop’s inventory, anyway.

New York suffered its first bicycling death of 2021 when an ebike rider inexplicably rode into the back of a parked SUV, the same day Southern California saw the year’s first first bike rider killed in a Riverside hit-and-run.

Great idea. A New Jersey business district is offering shoppers free twice-weekly delivery by cargo bike.

 

International

Road.cc rates 15 aluminum disk brake bikes, calling them today’s best value bikes.

More evidence of the worldwide bike boom, as London’s bikeshare system saw a record-setting 157% increase in registrations during the pandemic.

Two Irish cousins will spend at least a couple decades behind bars for murdering another man in a case of mistaken identity after falsely accusing him of stealing a bicycle; one man got a life sentence while the other received a minimum of 26 years in prison.

A Dutch university has developed a tool to wirelessly recharge ebikes through the kickstand.

Admitting to mistakes in the early days of the pandemic, Milan’s mayor is committed to changing how people get around the formerly auto-centric city, including plans for 185 miles of new bike lanes, with 21 miles already installed during the initial lockdown.

A horrifying crime, as Indian vigilantes kidnapped 30 women and children because they suspected men in the nomadic tribe of stealing bikes. Although they may have accused them of stealing motorcycles, rather than bicycles, since the Indian press uses the same term for both.

Malaysian bicyclists say new bike riders inspired by the pandemic bike boom are giving the rest of them a bad name.

 

Competitive Cycling

Yes, the pros do care what you say about them. So be nice.

Former doper and current gelati maker Riccardo Riccò just says no to the Covid-19 vaccine, thanks to a newfound concern over what he puts in his body.

 

Finally…

Just what every aspiring fashionista needs — a $27,000 haute couture bicycle. Your lifelong wait for bike shorts with built-in artificial intelligence and stimulating electrodes is finally over.

And if you’re using your bike to burglarize motor vehicles, just put a damn light on it, already.

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

Morning Links: Missing bollards in DTLA, LA Walks celebrates, and new LA River bridge unofficially opens

It’s a light news day as we lead into the actual holiday season. As opposed to the one that started shortly before Halloween.

So let’s all remember to ride safely and defensively the next few days.

And try to keep it that way.

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Eric Solomon sends word that Los Angeles officials appear to be doing their best to make the protected bike lanes on Spring Street in DTLA a little less safe.

I noticed that some of the bollards on the Spring Street Bike lane have been removed from the edge of intersections, allowing cars turning left to cut through the bike lane rather than make their turn from the middle of the intersection.

After all, you wouldn’t want to inconvenience motorists a little just to improve safety for people who aren’t encased in a few tons of glass and steel.

Right?

Update: Solomon reports today that the bollards have been replaced.

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Los Angeles Walks will honor leading walking advocates at their annual soirée next month, with tickets starting at $150.

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It looks like the striking new bike and pedestrian suspension bridge over the Los Angeles River is finally open.

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That feeling when you need the entire road for your oversized vehicle.

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‘Tis the Season.

Oklahoma City volunteers built 1,400 bicycles for children in need.

Nashville’s Toys for Tots program ensured over one thousand kids will get a new bike for the holidays.

The generous owners of an English bike shop gave a new bike to a 13-year old autistic boy, after the one he used to strengthen his hips and legs following surgery was stolen while his family was away.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes is all too real.

An Ontario, Canada driver discovers he can skip traffic by using a curb-protected bike lane that’s a perfect fit for his SUV.

Sometimes it’s the people on bikes behaving badly.

Cal State San Marcos police are looking for a man who exposed himself and jerked off in front of a pair of women, before riding off on a bicycle.

Talk about instant karma in action. Police in Corpus Christi TX are looking for a man who rode his bike up to a woman and snatched her purse, then crashed into a truck as he made his getaway; he ran off, leaving his bike and gun behind.

Seriously, how big an asshole do you have to be to give another bike rider a punishment pass?

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Local

No news is good news, right?

 

State

Still more sad news from Northern California, where a homeless man was killed when he was struck by several drivers while riding on a freeway in Richmond; at least one of the drivers fled the scene. As with other similar cases recently, there’s no explanation for why he was riding there.

A Sonoma columnist says the $20 million it took to build a new protected pedestrian and bicycle lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge was money well spent to fight climate change.

Hundreds of Chico bike riders raided thrift stores or their grandparent’s closets to turn out for this year’s Tweed Ride. Even if the local paper had to explain what tweed is.

 

National

A Buddhist “Monk on a Bike” is riding westward across the US after riding across the country in the opposite direction last year, in an effort to connect with the spirit of America and call attention to Alzheimer’s disease, which recently took his father’s life.

Good news for randonneurs, as a new 10-year study shows extreme exercise — working out 35 hours a week — doesn’t create any additional heart risks.

The Seattle Times calls on Washington lawmakers to require bike helmets for everyone, saying the benefits are unquestioned. Even though numerous studies have questioned the benefits of mandating helmets. And no, bike helmets aren’t the equivalent of seat belts. 

The man who killed a Mesa AZ bike rider in 2006 was finally arrested, 13 years  after fleeing to Mexico.

A Tucson man has built his own interactive website to help bike riders find safe and quiet routes to ride.

A Denver bike advocate rebuts a pair of op-eds from a Koch-funded pro-driving group that say the best way to fight traffic congestion and pollution is to just keep putting more cars on the roads.

The local Buffalo NY newspaper says a battalion of lobbyists are pushing for the governor to sign a bill that would allow dockless ebikes and e-scooters in the state. Then again, so are countless average New Yorkers, who simply want to use them.

New York is getting a bike mayor — and a pedestrian mayor. Which is two more than we have in ostensibly progressive Los Angeles.

I still want to be like him when I grow up. As promised, a Florida pastor celebrated his 82nd birthday by riding his age; he’s put 30,000 miles on his bike since he bought it 14 years ago.

 

International

Evidence continues to grow refuting the belief that ebikes are cheating, as studies show they give you the same physiological benefits as regular bikes.

A tech entrepreneur says the future of the bicycle industry is using bikes, rather than owning them.

Toronto pedestrian advocates are up in arms after police gave seniors reflective armbands to keep them safe at night, instead of doing something to improve safety on the streets.

The ebike revolution is passing by Northern Ireland because the country has failed to reclassify them like the rest of the UK did; current law classifies them as mo-peds instead of bikes, requiring additional tax, insurance and a license.

This is why people keep dying on the streets. Despite calling him “intemperate and reckless,” an Irish judge let a road raging Dublin man walk with probation and a fine for deliberately running down a bike rider — even though the driver had six previous convictions.

Outside takes a deep dive into the story of Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, the American bike tourists on an around the world journey who were murdered by terrorists in Tajikistan two years ago, after 369 days on the road. The pair have been posthumously, and unfairly, ridiculed in some quarters for their positive outlook and faith in humanity.

After an Australian drunk driver ran down a bike rider, instead of checking on the victim or calling the Down Under equivalent of 911, he stood next to his car and texted his sister to call a good lawyer; he apparently found one, since the judge sentenced him to just three years behind bars.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former male pro cyclist Philippa York says transitioning to a woman after she retired taught her about transphobia and homophobia in the sport.

 

Finally…

If you happen to be carrying a bomb in your backpack, try not to break any bike laws.

And you’re not a real bike mechanic until you can forge your own bike parts out of aluminum cans over an open fire.

 

Morning Links: LACBC hires new ED, LA Walks hiring new ED, and Diamondback bike found in Silver Lake

Let’s offer a round of congratulations to Eli Akira Kaufman, the new Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

Although you may know it better as the LACBC.

Kaufman takes over an organization that has spent the last few years in transition, following the departures of former LACBC Executive Directors Tamika Butler and Erik Jansen in just the past 18 months.

Hopefully he’ll be able to steady the bike coalition, and provide the stable leadership the LACBC desperately needs as the LA area’s leading voice for bicyclists, at a time when our streets have been in turmoil due to a lack of support at city hall.

The simple fact is, we need strong, effective leadership from the LACBC, in the halls of city hall, in the media and on the streets. And the LACBC needs strong, effective leadership in order to provide it.

So let’s all pat him on the back and wish him well.

And tell him to roll up his sleeves and get down to work.

………

Speaking of Executive Directors, pedestrian advocacy group LA Walks is in the market for a new one.

Current ED Emilia Crotty is stepping away after three and a half years to be closer to her family on the East Coast.

She’s been a strong advocate for safer streets for people on foot, and all other road users, and will be missed.

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If you’ve lost a Diamondback Sorrento recently, you may be in luck.

https://twitter.com/lawalksdmurphy/status/1083437307779137537

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

Portland police are looking for whoever has been tossing nails into a bike lane, using different kinds of nails at different times of day.

A separated bike lane in New York’s East Village was sabotaged with broken glass, as well as graffiti calling for a return of street parking.

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We mentioned earlier this week that New Mexico State Rep. Angelica Rubio is biking across the state to attend the opening session of the legislature.

Now Bike Santa Fe’s Brian Kreimendahl forwards word that she’ll be introducing a bill to mandate a five-foot passing distance in the state.

The bill also allows drivers to briefly cross the center line when safe to do so to pass someone on a bike, a provision California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed in an earlier version of our state’s three-foot law.

Let’s hope she arrives safely at the legislature; the safety of all the state’s bike riders could depend on it.

And let’s hope someone in California’s legislature follows her example, and re-introduces the provision Brown killed.

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Local

CicLAvia’s annual pLAy day in LA fundraiser is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, February 10th.

A writer for UCLA’s Daily Bruin says Elon Musk’s tunnels will only benefit the people who can afford an all-electric autonomous vehicle, and he’d be better off donating the money to the mayor’s Twenty-Eight by ’28program to build road, transit and bike projects before the upcoming LA Olympics.

The good news is Monterey Park has installed a new buffered bike lane on Riggin Street. The bad news, it’s just over half a mile long, giving way to sharrows on either end. As we’ve said before, the arrows in sharrows are only there to help drivers improve their aim.

State

California has finally revised CEQA rules to eliminate LOS (Level of Service) standards that considered bus lanes and bike racks bad for the environment, although the new rules don’t go into effect until next year.

San Diegans are invited to learn how to fix their bikes and make jewelry from bike parts.

A Modesto man was stabbed by a man on a bicycle while delivering newspapers in a “bad neighborhood.”

National

An Alaskan man was set on his path to become a stuntman stand-in for Kevin Bacon and Keanu Reeves when a truck ran his bike off the road, wrecking it while he walked away injury-free.

PC Magazine tries out Nordic Track’s new Virtual Reality stationary bike at CES in Las Vegas, and says it’s a fun workout — if you don’t throw up.

A Kansas man has pled guilty to second degree murder for intentionally running down a man riding a bicycle, claiming the man had struck his mother with a lead pipe.

A Lubbock TX website says the growing number of e-scooters are increasing the need for bike lanes in the central city.

A Chicago letter-writer tells drivers to learn the Dutch Reach and save a life.

A Minneapolis bike writer says there’s still hope, even though the theme of the past year was conflict between drivers and bicyclists.

Two years after an Ohio teacher crowdfunded enough money to buy every kid at her school a new bicycle, the project has morphed into a nonprofit to give kids bikes, as well as other “joyful” things like Halloween costumes.

A Boston letter writer says an auto-first policy is a road to ruin.

Massachusetts plans to get more bicyclists on the roads by focusing on improving safety and accessibility.

New York’s TransAlt advocacy group asks the city’s leaders for a Bike Mayor like London has,. Although we need it here in Los Angeles a lot more than they do.

A DC writer takes a deep dive into the liability issues surrounding e-scooters, after she ends up in the ER when the one she was riding came to a rapid and unexpected stop.

Life is cheap in Louisiana. The widow of a fallen East Baton Rouge councilmember says a lousy 12 days behind bars for the driver who killed him and injured another man as they rode their bikes is a perversion of justice. No shit.

International

The Guardian offers suggestions from around the world on how to encourage urban bicycling, from providing free bicycles to putting spikes on drivers’ steering wheels.

Road.cc goes to the source and gets the inside scoop on how to protect your bicycle from a professional bike thief.

After an English bike rider complains about a close pass by a bus driver, a cop tells him maybe he should drive a Hummer.

A new British bike helmet promises to protect your skull and grey matter even if you get run over by a bus. And remains wearable after surviving 200 impacts.

This is who we share the roads with, UK edition. A drunk van driver smashed into the home of a 92-year old woman, barely missing two young schoolgirls on bicycles, after careening through the town.

Paris is planning free transit and bikeshare for kids.

French bikemaker Coleen has introduced a very cool looking ebike based on a 1941 design by French architect Jean Prouvé.

One more for your bike bucket list — an adrenalin-pumping bike tour of the Greek Isles for a mere $7,000 per person.

Horrifying story from India, where a bike rider was struck by a hit-and-run driver, severing his leg, while the force of the impact threw him into the back of passing truck; his body was finally discovered over 250 miles away. Unfortunately, the Indian press uses the same term to describe bicyclists, motor scooters and motorcycles, so it’s unclear just what kind of bike he was riding.

Entrepreneur looks at the not-unexpected collapse of Chinese dockless bikeshare company Ofo, which dismissed its entire international business department. Meanwhile, the company has pulled its 6,000 out of London, where most of the surviving bikes had been illegally converted to private use.

Competitive Cycling

Congratulations to Redlands bike club GS Andiamo, which got USA Cycling’s nod for Division II Cycling Club of the Year for 2018. Thanks to David Huntsman for the heads-up.

Peter Flax confesses what it was like to be a fondo VIP for Bicycling magazine.

Speaking of Bicycling, the magazine suggests 15 mountain bike races you should seriously consider entering this year. Unless you don’t ride mountain bikes, that is. Or race. But otherwise, sure.

Finally…

If you’re going to ride off on your bike after throwing a flaming Molotov cocktail into your neighbor’s yard, try not to get caught on the security cam. More proof you can carry anything on a bike — even a stolen flatscreen TV.

And this must be where dockless bicycles go to die.

Morning Links: World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims & anti-Vision Zero NoHo road widening

Los Angeles Walks invites you to join them for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims this Sunday, hosted by their project SoCal Families for Safe Streets.

Especially if you’ve impacted by dangerous street design and reckless driving in Southern California.

This Sunday, November 18, more than 100 family members, survivors, and allies will stand in solidarity.

We will remember the thousands of lives lost and forever changed in preventable traffic collisions across Greater Los Angeles. Join us. 

Stand with Dr. Debbie Hsiung, who witnessed the death of her 7 year-old son Aidan Tam on May 31, 2014, while her family legally crossed the street in Pasadena. Dr. Hsiung went on to co-found SoCal Families for Safe Streets, a project of Los Angeles Walks.

SoCal Families for Safe Streets members bear witness to their pain and suffering in order to end preventable deaths and severe injuries on our streets.

Together the group will mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday, November 18 from 3pm-5pm at LA State Historic Park. RSVP now. 

Streets Have Stories

In addition to participating in ceremonies that honor lives lost or forever changed by preventable traffic collisions, we invite you to share your story this Sunday with Monique López of Pueblo Planning, who will be on hand recording experiences.

Every 7 hours someone is killed or severely injured on LA city streets.

Thousands of people throughout our region live with the pain of a sudden, traumatic loss or a life-altering injury. But their experiences — the stories of people most directly impacted by dangerous street design and reckless driving — go unheard.

Join SoCal Families for Safe Streets on Sunday, November 18 at World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims to record your story.

Through your story, you will help to shift our cultural understanding of traffic and street safety in Los Angeles and push for change.  

Please join us. RSVP today.

With gratitude, 
Los Angeles Walks

Besides, they’ll have s’mores.

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Local

LA Councilmember Joe Buscaino has proposed lifting a ban bicycles, scooters and inline skates at the city’s 25 skate parks.

CiclaValley urges you to attend Monday’s meeting to discuss LADOT’s dangerous anti-Vision Zero plan to add more traffic lanes to Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood.

A Vermont newspaper posts an obituary of Burlington native Leslie Pray, who was allegedly murdered by a Claremont motorist while riding her bike earlier this month.

Over 60 people in Long Beach have something else to be grateful for, after the city gave out 62 refurbished bicycles donated by residents yesterday.

 

State

Nice program in Riverside, where city officials are working with Ride 2 Recovery to give bicycles confiscated by police to veterans, saying it can literally save a life by giving them a way to get to the doctor or cope with PTSD.

Highland proposes pedestrian and bike safety improvements along a key bridge, including street lights and bicycle signal detection zones, with a possible Class 1 bike path to be added later.

A new study says completing the bike path along San Francisco’s 82-year old Bay Bridge would offer spectacular views, for a spectacular price — as high as $429 million.

 

National

The Design Museum of Chicago commissioned 17 original pieces of bike art for a new exhibition opening this week. Thanks to Fred Davis for the heads-up.

East Coast newspaper readers say reckless bike riders need to get off the sidewalk and follow the rules of the road. If you want to get bikes off the sidewalk, just give people safe places to ride on or off the street.

An Op-Ed in the Boston Globe says the streets need to be made safer — now. Meanwhile, the paper calls for requiring side guards on trucks to keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting caught underneath. If side guards were required in California, Frank Guzman would probably still be alive.

An MIT PhD candidate quits school and takes a nice, quiet 6,000-mile bike ride along China’s Silk Road. And writes a book about it.

New York improves access to the city’s Williamsburg Bridge by installing a protected bike lane, in advance of next year’s shutdown of a key subway line. However, Gothamist says the new bike lane has a potentially dangerous flaw.

After a Virginia man killed a bike rider and fled the scene in his work truck, his boss had the truck repaired to hide the evidence; now they both face criminal charges.

A Charleston SC newspaper says cars shouldn’t be the only way to get around the city, and that focusing on them makes it more dangerous for everyone else.

 

International

Cycling Weekly discusses the four stages that come after having your bike stolen.

A writer for Treehugger learns to give her bicycle a tune-up at a bicycle collective — aka bike co-op — in just a couple hours. And rides off for just $15.

Bolivia’s Death Road lived down to its name when a 22-year old Israeli woman was killed after a 440-pound rock fell onto a mountain bike tour.

London’s Evening Standard looks at five plans to cut toxic air and traffic deaths, including making deliveries from a train station by e-cargo bike and building safer trucks to protect people on foot and on bikes.

Paris considers banning cars permanently.

A Pakistani cycling coach says too many people think of a bicycle as a poor person’s transport, rather than a healthy way of life.

An Aukland, New Zealand columnist questions why bicycles provide such a “flamethrower of fury,” saying just relax a few years and you’ll love what the city is becoming.

An Australian newspaper considers the myth around riding single file, saying most drivers consider riding two abreast illegal and dangerous — and it’s actually just the opposite.

The Aussie edition of Bicycling provides ten tips on how to get more out of Strava.

 

Competitive Cycling

You won’t be seeing Portuguese cyclist in the pro peloton anytime soon, following his four year ban for doping with EPO before the 2017 Tour de France.

 

Finally…

Bikes really are the new golf — and beat running, too. Who needs earbuds when your helmet has built-in bluetooth bone-conduction speakers?

And seriously, who doesn’t need a bicycle jacket that turns into a sleeping bag?

 

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